Sunday, September 27, 2009

Melbourne Road Trip - making plans

Melbourne friends, what are some good places to stop at on a road trip from Sydney to Melbourne?
Also where are some awesome places to eat and shop? Help please!!

australian NZ VEGAN Mofo - #16 cuppycakes

The last time i made a batch of cuppies was for the RSPCA Cupcake Day but this weekend i felt the baking bug bite so i indulged and made a some vanilla cupcakes with chocolate buttercream frosting. Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World is my main source of sugary goodness although i was going to mix it up a bit and try to make a "vanilla slice" kind of cupcake. I added some rum essence to the cake batter but when it came time to make the frosting i  realised i had no passionfruit, so i made some chocolate frosting instead.
These guys were  hit with my friends and the rum essence is a nice twist on the regular vanilla taste.
I love making the frosting look like a soft serve ice cream, it makes me feel like i'm getting 2 treats for the price of one!

australian NZ VEGAN Mofo - #15 chickpea cutlets

My most favourite recipe from veganomicon is the chickpea cutlets. When there's nothing in the fridge and everything is running low, these guys are always there to save the day. They are easy to make, quick to cook and taste amazing. Veganomicon, you've done it again.
When we make the chickpea cutlets they are always accompanied by lemony roast potatoes and in our kitchen Andy is king of these guys. He never fails to make these anything but awesome. The cutlets are my domain and i have tried a few different ways of making them. I tend to add more sage and instead of mushing the chickpeas with a fork i just chuck them in the blender and pulse til they are smooth. I make the cutlets palm sized and i flatten them quite a bit because i like mine crunchy around the edges. Sometimes i make them a bit fatter and shallow fry them for the same effect.
I never manage to eat my plate full but having this as leftovers always rules.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

australian NZ VEGAN Mofo - #14 Perfect Pesto

There are so many different recipes for pesto on the internet and cook books but here is how i make mine

1 bunch basil
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup oil
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 tbs chia seeds

Blend together and mix into gnocchi or pasta.
Very quick and tasty

Your body, YOUR CHOICE!

Sign the "Stop Mandatory Swine Flu Vaccination (Aust - Federal)" petition now!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

How does your garden grow?

I like the idea of a sustainable garden and when we have our own house with a huge fenced backyard i would love to plant all of these things
*lemon tree *lime tree *plum tree *peach tree *avocado tree *apple tree *mandarin
*lettuce *tomato *carrots *peas
*potato *squash *pumpkin
*lavender *sunflowers
*basil *coriander *mint *parsley *dill *rosemary *thyme *oregano

What do you have in your garden?

australian NZ VEGAN Mofo - #13 Red Bean and Sweet Potato Curry

I have gone back to my regular few meals for the past few days. Burritos usually followed the next night by nachos and one night we ate out because the boys band was playing.
Saturday night we were going to eat at Yulli's but we stood inside for a while and were ignored by 4 different people and we didn't really have time to waste standing around, so we just walked out. Got cheap Thai at the place a few doors down which i think mine had egg in, weird because i asked for veggie tofu. hmmm :/  Anyway, i shall get onto the deliciousness that is Red Bean and Sweet Potato Curry. I have made this a few times and each time i like it more and more.

You will find the recipe in VEGAN PLANET.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

australian NZ VEGAN Mofo - #12 the lazy post

Hot dogs for dinner. I think i put too much mustard on mine this time. I used the leftover snobby joe stuff and some fried onions. Please summer come and save me from this comfort food eating! Fruit for dinner every night, smoothies and sorbet. come soon.

Friday, September 18, 2009

australian NZ VEGAN Mofo - #11 snobby joes

I have never eaten a sloppy joe before and the only time i have seen one was on the simpsons. So trying out a recipe from cartoon reference and Mandee's blog post was always going to be experimental.
The recipe called for "tomato sauce" and for some reason i thought that meant sauce as in "ketchup". oooops! lost in translation. In Australia we call ketchup, tomato sauce. Andy later told me it meant to use what we call "passata" or spaghetti sauce. Luckily, i didn't have tomato paste either and in lieu of both these things i used a can of tomato soup. My conversion skills weren't that great and instead of using 8oz i used a 450g can of tomato soup. So to thicken it up a bit i put in cornflour/water mix and that seemed to help a bit. Anyway, lesson learned - convert first, don't guess and make sure i understand the american terms for stuff.
So here it is, our extra sloppy snobby joes

I put a slice of tofutti cheese on one of mine and Andy made his into a burger. Probably some form of sloppy joe faux pas but whatevs. I ended up leaving the lid off mine (too much bread for me) and they were yummy. However, I am partial to a nice saucy lentil smooshy kind of meal.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Australian NZ VEGAN Mofo - the food diaries

Last week i suggested a few things that we all try to do instead of taking pictures of our dinner.
So yesterday i kept a food log and here is what i ate;

glass of water
2 slices vegemite toast
1 strawberry
1 banana
early grey tea
handful of macadamias
glass of water
2 pieces of crystalised ginger
a packet of vege chips
4 snakata rice crackers
earl grey tea
2 snobby joes
2 choc mint bikkies
sleepytime tea

Yes, i am the constantly snacking type. Usually i drink way more tea too. Definitely need to add more exercise though. Anyway, that was fun. What do you eat on a daily basis?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

australian NZ VEGAN Mofo #10 - beautiful soup

I love a good, rich butternut pumpkin soup. Not the watery canned type, but one made from scratch. It's pretty easy and quick to make, so here's how you can do it too. You will need;

half a butternut pumpkin
5-6 cups of water
veggie stock powder
ginger (if you want but not necessary)

Firstly, cut up the pumpkin into slices and remove the skin. Grease a baking tray or dish and place the slices on then season with salt and pepper. Make sure the pumpkin is well oiled so that it doesnt burn or crisp up. Cook at 180 for 20 mins, then turn and cook the other side for another 15. The pumpkin should be slightly brownish but not burned.
On the stove fill the saucepan with the water and veggie stock and add the pumpkin. Medium heat boil for about 10 mins so that the pumpkin starts falling apart.
Pour the almost-soup into the blender and pulse about 10 times. Be careful that you don't get burned if the blender spits up some soup. (You can add the ginger before pulsing if you choose to do so)
This will make a nice thick soup but if you like your soups a bit thinner just add more water.
Serve with fresh bread or croutons or toast.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

australian NZ VEGAN Mofo #9 - an old fashioned baked dinner

It starts to wear thin with me when people continually ask what i eat. I answer with, "the same things as you, only healthier and cruelty free" Being vegan hasn't made me skinny like most people use the vegan diet for. Infact, being vegan has given me the biggest sweet tooth ever and i think i eat more sugary treats than i used to but i always try to balance it with lots and lots of fruit and veggies. Vegan is a lifestyle, not a diet!
Now, the sunday roast was a family favourite in our house as kids and of course it's easy to veganize.
When i make a roast i always try to make as many veggies as possible and eat less of the "meat"(I use the sanitarium veggie roast) What's a roast without baked potato? I try to make 1 potato per person then add some sweet potato aswell because it's lower GI. There is always an eggplant thats about to expire so i grilled some of that and lastly i steamed some brussel sprouts. Voila - vegan baked dinner

Monday, September 14, 2009

australian NZ VEGAN Mofo #8 the lost chapters

Over the weekend we babysat my nephew and cousin. I didn't get a chance to take many photos of food because it was demolished within seconds of touching the plate. They are omni's at home with their parents but part-time vegans when they come to stay with us. They can't really tell the difference that they are eating vegan and eat the same things we do.
Friday night we had spaghetti, They usually have mince in theirs but i made it with the sanitarium stuff and they couldn't even tell! They also thought the parma-almond was real parmasen cheese.
Saturday we went for a drive to amazement, which has a few mazes, animals and other fun things. They rode on the electric cars, fed some baby lambs and played puzzle games. We had some lunch and headed to the beach at The Entrance.
The kids loved splashing around the beach, finding shells and watching the pelicans get fed. We had some chips on the grass and then headed home.
For dinner we made mini pizzas. Kids had cheese pizza and we made cheeseburger pizzas from one of the Sarah Kramer cook books. We also made an artichoke/tomato/mushroom pizza which i didn't get to taste because someone dropped mine on the floor :(
So i'm pretty sure i have had my yearly dose of vitamin D. I had heaps of sunscreen so i didn't get burnt thankfully. Babysitting is tiring and i'm kinda glad i get to give them back at the end of the weekend.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

peanut-ginger-sesame cookies

Originally uploaded by for_esme
veganomicon is my bible. i say it all the time but these have to be the best cookies i have ever tasted. The old lady in me says to add more ginger next time but still very nom!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

gotta check if those shews are veegz


Australian NZ VEGAN Mofo - Leftovers

Since my fridge was full to the brim with plates and containers of non finished foods, last night had to be a leftover night. I find that most times food tastes just that bit better after sitting overnight. I polished off the quinoa stir-fry for and it was even better second time around. I can't tell you how much you need to make it, like right now!
Today feels like a baking day. I haven't made a batch of cupcakes since the last RSPCA cupcake day baking extravaganza but i feel like making the ginger-sesame cookies from veganomicon. If i make the cupcakes there's only 2 of us to eat them and i usually end up eating majority of them. At least with cookies they last longer and we can enjoy them with a nice cup of tea.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

australian NZ VEGAN Mofo - shakin' it up

Here are some ideas i copy/pasted from the Vegan Mofo Flikr Group
I know we all love to take photos of our food and blog about it to inspire one another but let's all try to do something new from this list. I wont be doing the earth balance thing though!

* Your first vegan/vegetarian restaurant memory
* Something you used to cook but don’t anymore
* Try to cook/bake something that intimidates you
* Write about your grandma’s holiday cooking
* your favorite dish to bring to a potluck
* your favorite meal to cook for people who are scared of vegan food
* your favorite meal to cook for your parents/in-laws
* use an grain you’ve never used before
* use a fruit or vegetable you’ve never used before
* veganize a recipe from your childhood
* cook dinner for a friend as a surprise and drop it off right after work
* cook an all-local ingredients meal
* Write about your favorite songs to cook to
* Keep a photo food journal for the entire day
* Veganize a recipe
* Tell the story of the first time you tried tofu
* Take a cookbook that you don’t use very often and make one new recipe out of it every day for a week
* Post pictures of yourself wearing nothing but Earth Balance and a smile

australian NZ VEGAN Mofo #7 - The second serving

Another favourite of mine from Veganomicon is the eggplant-potato moussaka with pine nut cream.
There is a few different steps involved in making this so you will need to set aside about an hour to get everything ready.
I'm not too sure about the legalities of writing up recipes from books but if you have your own copy of veganomicon you can check it out on page 164.

Monday, September 7, 2009

australian NZ VEGAN Mofo #6 nomolicious

I find myself rotating the same 10 meals week after week so i thought i would mix it up a bit and try something new. Scouring through veganomicon i came across the pineapple-cashew-quinoa stir-fry recipe. (Sounded good and i had all the ingredients)
I'm usually a bit scared when i first try a new recipe because i'm not sure how its going to taste or turn out but this was definitely 10 noms out of 10.
You will need to prepare some quinoa in advance for this recipe. I had some cashews from the Hornsby organic market that went great with this but i used crushed pineapple instead of pineapple pieces. (I suggest you go for the pieces) I think Andy put a grilled chikn schnitzel or something on the top.
Yesterday i had a mid afternoon chocolate craving that wouldn't quit, so i looked in the cupboard for something to cure it. Cooking chocolate just wouldn't cut it. I had a few choc ripple bikkies in the cookie jar but that wasn't enough, so i added some so delicious chocolate velvet icecream to the middle and voila - home made vegan ice cream sandwich. A cure all for the biggest of chocolate cravings.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

australian NZ VEGAN Mofo #5 - The craving edition

For the past few weeks i have been craving omelettes like crazy. I have been looking all over the net for the perfect recipe and when one was suggested to me i knew i had to try it. When i woke up this morning i knew it was an omelette day. All the ingredients i needed were here. amazing! I changed it a little bit because i can never make a recipe exactly as it says (it's the rebel in me). You will need

2 cups of rice flour (I used the glutenous rice flour i had lying around)
1 cup chickpea flour
400ml Can of coconut cream
(I added some of the water and blended mine with a whizz stick to make it a bit thinner)
2 cups water
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp tumeric
1 tsp salt

Sift the flours together and make a well in the middle. Slowly add the coconut cream and water in intervals with a whisk starting with small circles and getting bigger as you add more liquid. This will stop it getting lumpy. Once you have a nice batter you can add the nutritional yeast, tumeric and salt and set aside so the flavours can infuse.
For the filling you can pretty much have whatever you want. I had shallots, mushrooms, spinach and grape tomatoes. Pre fry them so they are almost cooked and set aside.
Now back to the batter. Heat a fry pan and oil and pour in the batter. I suggest you do it so it's about a centremetre away from the edge so you can have some room to put the spatula under when it's time to flip. Then put your filling in a line in the middle and when the bubbles start appearing its time to flip it over in half. When it seals itself into a nice little omelette package it's time to enjoy.

I think the glutenous flour worked well with this recipe because it gave the omelette that gooey eggy feel.
Isa Moskowitz's Vegan Brunch also has a good omelette recipe using silken tofu but i was saving mine to make her eggplant and potato moussaka. She also lists a whole bunch of ideas for fillings.
The original recipe for the omlettes can be found here

Australian NZ VEGAN Mofo Take 4

Last nights dinner was the vegan version of meat and three veg. We all grew up watching the mushroom ad "it's mmmmmmeeeat for vegetarians", so tonight we made portabello schnitzels.
I can't remember where i got the recipe from but this is what you will need

half cup bread crumbs
half cup flour
1 tsp thyme
pinch of salt

half a cup of soy milk (or rice milk if u prefer)

Prepare 4-5 portabello mushrooms by wiping off the dirt and removing the stem. I don't like to wash mine because it makes them slimy, i just wipe them with a clean tea towel.
Put the soy milk into a bowl and in a separate bowl combine the bread crumbs, flour, salt and thyme.
Firstly dip the portabellos into the milk then into the dry mixture. make sure they are fully coated and set them aside.
Melt some butter into a frypan, i use the second highest setting because you don't want it to burn but you still want it to be hot. Now you should use enough butter so that when you put the mushrooms in it is bubbling/frothing up the edges. Put them in top down first and turn when they are a bit darker than golden. You basically want the breading to get nice and crispy and to heat the mushroom inside. This will only take a few minutes on each side.
We made 4 all together but i usually only end up eating one because they are so filling.
Serve with mashed potato, corn on the cob and green beans. Ahhhh, just like mum used to make, only cruelty free.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Australian NZ VEGAN Mofo Part 3

Although not it's not quite known for being a vegan food, (it's one of those ninja vegan items) yesterday i made an Aussie favourite - chocolate crackles! There is no photographic evidence because they were all eaten before i could get my camera out. Here is how i made them.....

4 cups of some kind of rice bubble cereal
1 cup sifted icing sugar
3 tbs cocoa powder
1 cup dessicated coconut
250g copha

Mix the dry ingredients together. Melt the copha in the microwave for about 45 seconds (make sure to cut it up into a few pieces so that it melts faster) and pour it over the dry ingredients. Mix well and spoon into cupcake/muffin liners. Place in the fridge to set.
I usually put the cupcakes liners into the cupcake baking tray to keep the shape and make them really big.
Here's what kellogs say they look like but mine are always double the size!

Friday, September 4, 2009

New cook books

I am so excited right now. With summer on it's way i have been daydreaming of eating watermelon for dinner, scooping out kiwi fruits and putting ice in all my drinks.
I have found myself eating lots of comforting winter food, baking lots of cupcakes and basically in a vegan rut. One day an idea came to me, what if i ate more RAW foods? The whole idea of being vegan for us was to stop eating junk and put better foods into our bodies (apart from the whole loving animals side). So i ordered a few books from ebay to get me on the right track.
Ani Phyo has some great books. I got Ani's Raw food kitchen and Ani's Raw food desserts. What's a recipe book without the right info? The RAW Food revolution Diet will help me make sure i'm getting all the things i need and answer all of those fun questions like, "where do you get your protein?".
What vegan cook book collection isn't complete without the new Vegan Brunch by Isa Moskowitz? well, not mine! aaaaannnnddd lastly, we all love guilt free desserts which Babycakes by Erin McKenna has perfected.
No doubt these will all be covered in flour/soymilk/vegetable peel by the end of the week and i will be sure to post lots of pics of my cooking adventures.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

dinner #2 AusNZVeganMoFo

Tonight we had my favourite dinner, NACHOS!
They aren't really from any cookbook but here's how we make ours.
Cook an onion until it's translucent then add a can of sanitarium casserole mince and a packet of taco or fajita seasoning. Add a can of tomatoes, kidney beans and simmer for 15 mins. After this is done lay out some chipman corn chips onto a plate and put the nacho bean mix in the centre. Grate some Cheezly on top and put into the oven for about 20 minutes on 180 degrees. Top with mashed avocado and tofutti sour cream and ENJOY!

No meal in our house is complete unless it is followed by dessert. Tonight's was probably as healthy as it gets without lacking in the deliciousness factor. To let your tastebuds revel in this delight you will need a punnet of strawberries, some soy/rice milk and a little sugar to taste. Blend with a whizz stick blender, but not too much because you want it a little pulpy then pour into a bowl and slurp away.

No dinner for me

Last night i didn't make anything for dinner. A bad mood and a headache put me in bed at 7pm.

I did have some left over beanballs for lunch on a roll with tomato sauce and it was delish!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Meal 1 for Aus VeganMoFo

To kick off the first vegan meal for Aus VeganMoFo tonight i made Spaghetti and Beanballs from VEGANOMICON.
I didn't have any kidney beans so i used cannellini or white beans instead.
Here they are being all mashed up.
Then i added the spices/gluten flour/breadcrumbs etc and kneaded it for a few minutes to give it a nice chewy texture. After this i rolled them into about 16 walnut sized balls.
I put them into a baking tray with some oil and rolled them around so they were nicely coated.
Then cooked them for about 15 minutes each side and they came out nice and golden.

While all this was happening i also has some fettucine cooking on the stove and a tomato marinara sauce simmering away.
Put all three together and what do you get? A delicious meal for 2 with plenty left over for tomorrow's lunch. I put some Parma-Almond Cheez on mine! Delish!!

Australian VEGAN Mofo!

Yes, I admit it, I am a lazy blogger!
This month i will blog my vegan butt off and take so many food pr0n pics that you will be sorry you ever asked me to update!
I am participating in the Australian Vegan Month Of Food just like the one on PPK, only a month early and for Aussies!
So ladies, preheat your ovens, put your best apron on and get cooking - VEGAN STYLE!

cook books

Originally uploaded by for_esme
I really like to cook. it's fun.
I also like to bake and vegan-ise other recipes.
Here are a few of my cook books. I use at least one recipe a day.
I can't pick a favourite because they are all great!