Wednesday, 30 April 2008

The winning Carb Combo - as chosen by you.

Again, the voters surprised me! My favourite of the lot was the Leek, Potato and Celeriac Crumble! H would have voted for the Black Rice and Porcini Risotto so neither of us was right! But as you requested here is the recipe!
Roasted Winter Vegetable and Quinoa Pilaf
Serves 4

3 C Mixed Winter / Root Vegetables – 1” chunks *
2 T Olive Oil
1 t crushed Fennel Seeds
½ t Paprika
½ t Cumin
1 stalk Celery – Finely Chopped
½ Onion – Finely Chopped
2 Garlic – grated
½ C Quinoa
1 ½ C Vegetable Stock
Salt and Pepper to taste

- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Mix vegetables with oil, fennel seeds, paprika and cumin in a coverable baking dish. Roast uncovered for 40 minutes before proceeding with stove top part of dish – keep cooking while continuing.
- In a medium pan sauté the onion, garlic and celery for 10 minutes until very soft. Add the quinoa and stock, bring to the boil then add to the vegetables in the baking dish. Stir to mix. Cover and cook in the oven for a further 30 minutes. The liquid will be absorbed, then adjust seasoning before serving.

*Eg: Beet, Carrot, Celeriac, Parsnip, Pumpkin, Squash, Swede, Sweet Potato, Turnip, Yam, etc

I'm working on putting another poll together but I've had an upset stomach the last few days and haven't felt much like cooking. I will finish the selections before this weekend and post it when I have.

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

I love leeks.

I bought some more today, and they were nice ones, decent sized, not too much dark green tops, and the price was pretty good too. They are usually so very expensive here - not a vegetable there is as much demand for as in the UK where they were cheap and plentiful all year long.

I'm as yet undecided what I'm going to do with them, the crumble in the "Carb Combo" post / poll is really good, and so is this soup. It wasn't a winner when it was in the Soup poll, but its a winner for me! If you like leeks, or like Leek and Potato Soup in one of its many forms, you'll like this too. The fennel adds a hint of something special, but its not anise-y overpowering.
Leek and Potato Soup with Fennel
Serves 4

2 T Olive Oil
2 Medium Leek – trimmed, washed and halved length wise
1 bulb Fennel – trimmed, sliced in to 1” widths
3 Garlic – Unpeeled
½ C White Wine
2 C Potato in 1cm cubes (4 medium)
1 Bayleaf
2 C Vege Stock
2 C Water
¼ Onion – finely chopped

Preheat oven to 400F. Roast the leek, fennel and garlic in the oil for 40 minutes until soft and starting to caramelize. Peel garlic and transfer veggies to Food Processor bowl. Deglaze roasting pan with white wine and pour that into the FP too. Blend roughly.
While roasting, place remaining ingredients into a soup pot and cook for 30 minutes until potato is soft and starting to fall apart. Remove bayleaf and roughly mash in pot.
Add leek mix to potato soup pot and reheat gently.

NB: if you want a smoother soup blend once mixed, and / or pass through a sieve.

Monday, 28 April 2008

Peanuts and Beans

Together in a tasty hummus-like concoction. Again using up what was in the cupboards. H really liked this and he is not a big peanut, especially peanut butter type things, fan, so that shows how delicious this is. Its simple too and made from stuff that's easy to find.

Thai inspired White Bean and Peanut Dip
Makes 1 ½ C

1 C cooked White Beans – drained and rinsed if canned
½ C roasted, salted Peanuts
1 T smooth Natural Peanut Butter
2 T Soy Sauce
1 T Thai Sweet Chili Sauce
2 cloves Garlic – grated
1 t fresh Ginger – grated
2 T Lime Juice
2 T Peanut Oil

Blend all ingredients until smooth. Add splashes of water if too thick.
In this photo the dip (foreground) is shown with White Bean Hummus which I've posted about before, we had them for a starter with nacho chips over the weekend.

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Another muffin.

As you may have guessed from all the grain combinations which have been popping up around here lately I have been using up bits and pieces left in my cupboards. This is also a recipe to do that. Baby M is now far too old for stuff like baby food, but I had 2 containers of Pear Puree in the cupboard from when she still had it so I decided to use it up by making muffins. These were moist and tasty and really good. R ate 3 for breakfast, and as she is only 3 herself that is quite a feat!
Pear and Pecan Muffins
Makes 12

1 C Wholewheat Pastry Flour
½ C Plain Flour
2 t Baking Powder
¼ t Salt
½ t Nutmeg
2/3 C Sugar
2 T Wheat Germ
2 T ground Flaxseeds
½ C Pecans – finely chopped
½ C Soymilk
½ t Apple Cider Vinegar
¼ C Soy Creamer
¼ C Oil
1 t Vanilla Essence
1 ½ C Pear Puree

Preheat oven to 375F and prepare your muffin tins.
In a large bowl whisk together the flours, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, sugar, wheat germ, flaxseeds and pecans.
In a smaller bowl combine the soymilk and ACV, leave to curdle.
Once curdled add the creamer, oil, vanilla and pear. Mix well.
Add wet ingredients to the dry and mix to just combine. Spoon into muffin tins and bake for 30 minutes until tests done.
Cool for 5 minutes in tray before transferring to rack.

Saturday, 26 April 2008

Muffins from a cookie

A few weeks ago R and I made the Banana and Coconut muffin top Cookies as she wanted cookies and I wanted muffins. Well I decided to change up the recipe somewhat and make muffins using the same basic tastes. Worked really well! The chocolate chips are entirely optional and more for tempting children to eat the muffins than anything else. Here's the recipe -

Banana and Coconut Muffins
Makes 12

1/3 C Soymilk
½ t Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Ripe Bananas – well mashed
½ t Vanilla Essence
½ t Banana (or coconut) Essence
1/3 c Coconut Milk
3 T Oil
2/3 C Sugar
¾ C Plain Flour
¾ C Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
1 T Baking Powder
¼ t Salt
½ C Coconut
¼ C Chocolate Chips (optional)

- Preheat oven to 375F and prepare your muffin tins.
- In a large bowl mix the soymilk and ACV, allow to stand 5 minutes before adding in the banana, essences, coconut milk, oil and sugar. Whisk these together well.
- Sift in the flours, baking powder and salt. Mix to just combine. Stir in the coconut and optional extras (if using).
- Spoon into your muffin tins, filling about ¾ full. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until tests done.
- Cool in tray for 5 minutes before transferring to rack.

Friday, 25 April 2008

Soup. Made with what was in the cupboards.

I wasn't feeling up to much last night, when it came to making dinner. I made this soup before without writing down the recipe, and as I had everything I think I remember using before I made it and wrote everything down. I love soup when you're not feeling so hot, and this one is loaded with leafy green goodness, and still manages to be savoury soothing without tasting healthy or anything.
Kale, Spinach and Potato Soup
Serves 4

1 Celery – finely chopped
½ Onion – finely chopped
2 Garlic – grated
1 C Potato – peeled and finely chopped
1 t Oregano
½ t Sage
1 t Thyme
1 Bayleaf
2 C + 3 C Vegetable Stock
1 Bunch Kale – Shredded
1 bunch Fresh (1/2 Packet frozen) Spinach
1 C Water (as required)
½ C Soymilk
Salt and Pepper to taste

- In a large soup pot over medium heat sauté the celery, onion and garlic for about 10 minutes, until soft though not browning.
- Add in the potato, herbs and 2 C vegetable stock, cook for 10 minutes at a brisk simmer until potato tender.
- Add in the kale, spinach, water and remaining stock. Cook a further 10 minutes until vegetables soft but still bright green.
- Remove bayleaf and blend soup until as smooth as you like. Return to pot, stir in soymilk and reheat gently. Season to taste.

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Short-ish-bread

I started off to make shortbread to calm my sugar craving, but it is a time consuming tricky process and I wasn't feeling up to fighting with the dough yesterday so I cheated and added a little soymilk to help everything along. The result - cookies which are like shortbread, but without the real crumbly-ness of shortbread. Good and tasty, but I feel I can't call them shortbread exactly!
Thyme Orange Short(ish)bread
Makes 24

1 C Margarine – at room temperature
1 t Orange Zest
1 T Fresh Thyme – finely chopped
½ C Icing Sugar
½ C Caster (Superfine) Sugar
1 C Cornstarch
1 ½ C Plain Flour
3 T Soymilk

- Preheat oven to 300F. Grease a baking sheet.
- Cream marg, orange zest and thyme until light.
- Add sugars and cream well, until fluffy.
- Add in cornstarch and flour, mix to a dry crumbly dough. Add in soymilk and mix until dough comes together easily.
- Form into 2 even logs, about 2” in diameter, wrap in clingfilm and cling for 1 hour.
- Slice each log into 12 cookies (about 1cm width), and place on baking tray.
- Bake for 25 – 30 minutes until firm, and very slightly browned.
- Cool on tray for about 10 minutes until fully cool before transferring to rack.
These are even better the next day when they have had a chance to sit and mellow somewhat.

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Carb Combos - you chose

Another poll for a recipe. I quite like doing this, it means I have to create a bunch of recipes in a theme, as well as find other stuff to blog about. Keeps me busy, but I don't know how long I'll keep it up!

This week I've made up a bunch of Grain combinations, either with other grains, or root vegetables, giving a carbohydrate loaded side dish. Most stand alone as a main dish, with vegetables, but all could be just a side with appropriate accompaniments. Choose your favourite and vote!

Quinoa and Root Vegetable Pilaf
Versitle - quinoa with whatever root vege you fancy, or have hanging around.

Hot or Cold Bulghur and Cous cous
Two super quick cooking "grains" simply prepared. Forgot to take the photo of this one.

Millet and Wild Rice Pilaf
The mix here is nice, smooth and creamy from the Millet, with a bite-y texture from the rice. This photo I deleted in error. I'm not doing too well today.

Leek, Potato and Celeriac Crumble
Super yum. A savoury variation on the classic pudding.

Porcini and Black Rice Risotto
Very mushroom-y combination of different types of rice - Risotto and Black.

Apologies for the lack of photos!

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Earth Day

My little eco-warriors and I went on a "Clean up our Complex" walk this morning, armed with rubber gloves and bags for litter. We didn't have all that much to pick up, nowhere near as much as I expected, but then I didn't let them get the rubbish on the road which would have upped the tally. Lots of "stinky cigarette bits" and candy wrappers where the "big kids" walk through to get to the high school. Oh, those naughty big kids. A couple of people asked what we were doing, and M politely explained that "it's Earth Day so we're helping the Earth", she's all buns and cakes to tell her class this afternoon what we did, and to ask her teacher why the school isn't doing something too!

and Hezbollah Tofu put up my veganised Pot au Feu recipe - go take a peek!

and, here's a PPK tester recipe photo - Mushroom Stuffed Peppers. Super tasty!


I'm not feeling the best hence the scanty post. See you tomorrow.

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Super Soup - as chosen by you!

Another one I never expected to win - Aduki Bean, Red Pepper and Kale Soup! It was the kale that did it wasn't it? This is a thick, rich, hearty, winter soup that fills you up and is more of a meal than an appetizer, especially with some nice fresh bread on the side, almost a stew really.

Enjoy!
Aduki Bean, Red Pepper and Kale Soup
Serves 2 generously

1 Onion – Finely Chopped
2 Celery – Finely Chopped
½ Red Pepper – Finely Chopped
2 Garlic – grated
1 C grated Sweet Potato
2 T Soy Sauce
½ T Liquid Smoke
1 T Grain Mustard
1 ½ C cooked Aduki Beans – if canned, drained and rinsed
2 – 2 ½ C Mushroom Stock
1 C Shredded Kale

- In a medium soup pot over medium heat sauté the onion and celery for 10 minutes until soft and translucent.
- Add the pepper, garlic and sweet potato, cook for 5 minutes more.
- Add in the soy sauce, liquid smoke, mustard and beans. Stir to combine then add the stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce to brisk simmer and cook uncovered for 20 minutes.
- Blend half the soup then return to the pot along with the kale. Heat for a further 5 minutes before serving with some crusty bread.

If your favourite didn't win and you really want the recipe, email me veganyear@gmail.com and I'll send you the one you want.

Saturday, 19 April 2008

R's Muffins

What a cutie! and the muffins were pretty good too. She really wanted to make cookies, but I'm all cookie-d out at the moment, so she settled for these instead. She really enjoys stirring the mixture and being a big girl, standing on her stool and "helping" measure and mix.

Wholewheat Coconut Muffins with Strawberry Swirl
Makes 12

2 T Flaxseeds
¼ C Water
2/3 C Coconut Milk
1/3 C Soymilk
¼ C Oil
1 t Coconut Essence
1 C Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
1 T Baking Powder
½ t Baking Soda
½ t Salt
2/3 C Sugar
½ C unsweetened shredded Coconut
3 T Wheat Germ
¼ c + 2 T Strawberry Sauce (12 x ½ T)

- Preheat oven to 400F and grease your muffin tins.
- In a large bowl combine the flaxseeds and water. Leave 5 minutes to thicken.
- Add in the coconut milk, soymilk., oil and essence – whisk to combine.
- Sift in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the sugar, coconut and wheat germ, then mix all these dry ingredients to just combine.
- Spoon into prepared tins, about 2/3 full. On top of each muffin spoon ½ T of strawberry sauce, then using a toothpick stir to mix in a little – not too much or it sinks to the bottom, and not too little or it runs off the top and burns, so maybe 4 times.
- Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until tests done. Remove from pans as soon as you can without burning your fingers, before the sauce cools against the metal, or you’ll rip the tops off.


and the sauce recipe, as I've posted before -

Strawberry Sauce

1 punnet very ripe Strawberries – chopped (1 pound size punnet)
¼ C Water
1 T Sugar

-Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until very soft, about ½ hour. Blend until smooth then pass through a sieve. Store in fridge until required.


I'm going to send last nights dinner off to the Hezbollah Tofu team for them to put on their website. I'll link to the post once it appears!

Friday, 18 April 2008

Tempeh "Prince Dundee"

An amalgamation of two traditional Scottish dishes, Chicken Bonnie Prince Charlie, and Dundee Lamb Chops, this is a very tasty, fruity tempeh based dish. The flavours aren't overshadowed by the tempeh, and the sweetness of the fruit works really well. Serve with a flavour neutral grain, mine was a Cous cous and Bulghur Pilaf, but rice would be good too.

I'm often looking to incorporate Scottish Dishes into my repertoire as my in-laws are Scottish, and because we lived there for so long, its almost like something from (a second) home. Dundee is traditionally famous for marmalade, as in the "Dundee Cake" (which I must veganise too) if you didn't know that already!
Tempeh Prince Dundee
Serves 2

2 C Water
1 T Soy Sauce
1 T Whisky
1 8oz packet of Tempeh
½ C Marmalade
2 T Whisky
1 T Soy Sauce
1 T Lime Juice
¼ C Water
1 T fresh Ginger – grated
2 Garlic – grated
¼ C Soy Creamer (milk)
2 T Vegan Margarine
1 Large Apple – peeled, cored and sliced into 6 O shape slices
¼ C Slivered Almonds – toasted (Garnish)

To ready the tempeh - In a wide bottomed pan bring to the boil the 2 C water, first lots of soy sauce and whisky. Add the tempeh, cover and poach for 15 minutes. Drain, reserving only the tempeh. Cut in half lengthwise then slice each half into 4 pieces. Place in shallow bowl to marinate.
For the marinade – mix together the marmalade, second measures of whisky and soy sauce, lime juice, ¼ c water, ginger and garlic. Pour over tempeh and marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
To prepare to serve you need to do the following, all steps take about the same time so do all at once to have everything ready at the same time. If too much to juggle each part keeps warm well so just do in order.
1. Drain the tempeh, reserving the marinade, and grill for about 7 minutes each side until lovely and browned. Keep warm as required.
2. Strain the marinade, discarding the “bits”. In a small saucepan boil liquid for 5 minutes until reduces by about ½. Add the soy creamer, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 more minutes until thick and creamy. Hold over a very low heat if required.
3. In a large wide frypan, over medium heat, melt the margarine and fry the apples slices for about 5 minutes each side until soft and golden brown.
To serve, arrange 3 apple slices on each plate, top with the tempeh, and spoon the sauce over the top. Sprinkle with toasted almonds.

Thursday, 17 April 2008

"Egg Salad" Sandwiches.

When I lived in the UK, during still vegetarian days, I used to get these for lunch all the time. Everywhere in the UK there are shops selling prepackaged sandwiches, Boots the Chemists, Marks and Spencers, Greggs the Bakers to name just three. This isn't something that I've seen happening anywhere else in the world, little plastic triangles filled with ready made sandwiches, something curiously British. There was always a vegetarian option, and most usually Egg Salad, with or without cress which is what I usually got. Now, eggs are out of the question but thanks to the magic that is black salt, the savoury sulfuric taste to satisfy my craving is not.
This is super simple and very tasty. Its obviously not the same as the real thing, but it hits the spot.

Chickpea “Egg Salad” Sandwich Filling
Makes 1 C

1 C Chickpeas – roughly mashed
2 T Vegan Mayonnaise
1 t Grain Mustard
½ t Cumin
¼ t Black Salt
¼ t Paprika
¼ t Onion Powder
1/8 t Turmeric
1 t fresh Parsley – Finely Chopped

Mix all together with a fork. Done. Use on sandwiches, crackers, wraps etc.
On a completely unrelated note - Go check out Hezbollah Tofu if you haven't already - shameless plug time - the blog which is veganising Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook for charity. I'm taking part in this project and received my recipe to veganise the other day. Watch both these spaces. If you'd like to participate, there is an email address on the link.

and as requested, a shameless plug for another website - If you'd like a bunch of great (well 10) recipes from great cookbooks for free - head on over to Vegan.com where Erik has put together a selection from some of the best vegan cookbooks on the market, how cool!

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Another Savoury Pancake Experiment....

After I made the Aduki Bean ones I got to thinking about other savoury, filling baked in, pancakes I could make. I think I mentioned these ones, that my Mum used to make (well sort of, her's weren't vegan) when we were younger - Leek and Cream Cheese Pancakes. I'm nothing if not up for a challenge so I put together these. Are they as good as the ones in my memory? Different but as good, as the filling is included, they certainly did the trick!

They are really good, subtle leek, subtle creamy-ness and subtle dill. All in all really nice. H liked them too, and this is one I'll be making again for sure. I only wish leeks weren't so expensive over here - in the UK they are super cheap - as they are one of my favourite vegetables.

I served them with a gravy (recipe still under construction) and some stirfried broccoli and cauliflower.
Leek and Cream Cheese Pancakes
Makes 8

3 Leeks – trimmed, sliced in half lengthwise, washed and finely sliced
2 Shallots – finely sliced
½ C Vegan Cream Cheese
½ C Soymilk
¼ C Oil
½ t dried Dill
½ t Salt
¼ t Black Pepper
1 C Flour
1 t Baking Powder

- In a pan over medium heat sauté the leek and shallot for about 7 minutes until soft but still vibrant green. Cool slightly.
- Whisk together cream cheese, soymilk, oil, dill, S&P. Add in leek and mix well. Sift in dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
- Heat a frypan over med – low heat, add just enough oil to cover. Using a ¼ C measure scoop a scant ¼ C of the mix and form pancakes in the pan. You may have to encourage them to spread out a little with the back of a spoon. Allow first side to cook for 5 minutes until golden, then flip and cook the second side for about 3 minutes more.
- Cover with a clean teatowel to keep warm as you cook the rest.

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Testing, again, and Cookies, again.

I'm not sick of it yet, good thing as there's loads more recipes to come for testing from Isa and the PPK Test Kitchen - are you?

This one we had for dinner as a starter alongside some leftover soup - Samosa Mashed Potato Pancakes, and I must say they were very tasty. H especially really liked them and we could have got through a great deal more of them!
Now the cookies. R has really gotten into the whole "making cookies with Mum of an afternoon while Baby M is asleep and M is at school" thing, she asks for it every day. We don't do it every day but it doesn't stop her asking. I made some more grown up flavoured cookies with her today, which she likes too, and they turned out really well.
Chocolate and Ginger Cream Cheese Cookies
Makes 22

1/3 C Soymilk
½ t Apple Cider Vinegar
5 T Vegan Cream Cheese*
¾ C Sugar
2 T Ground Flaxseeds
1 ½ C Plain Flour
¾ t Baking Powder
½ t Baking Soda
¼ t Salt
½ t Ground Ginger
½ C Chocolate Chips
½ C Crystalised Ginger – chopped

-Preheat oven to 375F and prepare your baking sheets.
-In a small bowl combine the soymilk and ACV, allow to curdle.
-In a large bowl cream together the cream cheese and sugar. Once well combined add the flaxseeds and soymilk mix.
-Sift in the dry ingredients, mix to just combine, and then fold in the chocolate chips and ginger.
-Using damp hands scoop dough into balls about the size of a Loonie (which is about an inch I guess) and place on your baking sheets. Flatten with the back of a dampened fork.
-Bake for 10 minutes until bottoms golden and tops just lightly coloured.
-Cool on rack.

*eg; Tofutti Better than Cream Cheese. Sub Margarine if you don’t have - I just have some as I'm using it in a dinner experiment tonight.

Monday, 14 April 2008

Soup, soup and more soup.

I liked the idea of the muffin poll so much I decided to do it again but with soup. Here's a few delicious vegan soups I've made over the past week or so - choose your favourite and enter the poll (to your right) and I'll post the most requested recipe next weekend.

Leek and Potato Soup, with fennel.
A twist on an old favourite, the fennel doesn't add a lot of anise flavour just a spicy undertone.
Aduki Bean, Red Pepper and Kale Soup.
A hearty meal like soup, rich and savoury.

Spinach and Parsley Soup.
An elegant dinner party soup, vibrantly green.

Roasted Butternut and Pear Soup.
Not as strange as you may think. The squash and pear both shine in a not too sweet combo.

Scotchless Broth.
Another hearty main course dinner soup. Scotch Broth without the meat.

and if your favourite didn't win the muffin poll and you want the recipe - just email me! veganyear@gmail.com

Sunday, 13 April 2008

And the winner is....

Chocolate Crackle Muffins
and as promised here is the recipe. M helped me make another lot for breakfast today, she was getting jealous of all the cookie making (and eating) R has been doing while she's been at school. It was a rout. I never expected this one to be the winner to be honest, I thought the Poppyseed Raspberry would carry the day, it must be a Chocolate thing, or perhaps you were all wondering how the cereal was used.

Chocolate Crackle Muffins
Makes 12

Topping –
½ C Flour
¼ C Marg
1 t Baking Powder
3 T Turbinado Sugar
3 T Coconut
1/3 C crushed puffed rice cereal (eg: Rice Krispies)

Muffin –
¼ C Soymilk
½ t ACV
1/3 C Oil
½ t Vanilla
¾ C Sugar
½ C Soy Creamer
1 ¼ C plain Flour
1 ½ t Baking Powder
½ t Salt
¼ C Cocoa Powder
1 C puffed Rice cereal
¼ C Chocolate Chips (optional)

- Preheat oven to 375F and grease muffin tins
- Make the topping by rubbing / cutting the marg into the flour, then adding the remaining ingredients – mix well.
- Mix soymilk and ACV in a large bowl. Stand 5 minutes.
- To soymilk add vanilla, sugar, creamer and oil – whisk to combine.
- Sift flour, BPowder, salt and cocoa powder into the wet ingredients. Just combine.
- Add cereal and choc chips, fold in.
- Spoon muffin mix into tins – about 2/3 full. Top each with a little topping to fill tin.
- Bake 20 – 25 minutes until tests done.
- Cool in tin for 5 minutes then on rack.
Anyhow, I found this a fun exercise and am going to be having another poll soon.

Friday, 11 April 2008

I've been tagged

by Shayna - A Damzelfly in London - to tell you 5 things about me you may not know, and to tag 5 other people to do the same. Well, here goes -
.

1. My natural hair colour is (now) grey.

2. I am the eldest of 5 children, and the youngest are twins.

3. Originally from New Zealand I have lived for 1 year or more in: Thailand (AFS Exchange), Australia, Scotland and now Canada.

4. I really don't like eggplant, and I have given up trying to.

5. I only have one ovary. One was removed due to cysts about 14 years ago, but I still managed to have 2 surprise children.
.

and I tag -

1. Tracy at A Veg*n for Dinner (after your holiday's fine babe)

2. Nicole at Full of Veggies

3. Bazu from Where's the Revolution?

4. Susan at Fatfree Vegan

5. Joanna of Yellow Rose Recipes - as we all want to know unknown things about cookbook authors.
.


Apologies to anyone I've tagged who has done this already. Get posting and tagging everyone.



and because this is a food blog - here's a food photo or 2!
Another cookie request from R, this time its Banana Coconut. I actually wanted to make more muffins and she wanted cookies so I compromised and I'm calling these "Muffin Top Cookies" as they are more cake-like than cookie-ish. Still very yummy.

Thursday, 10 April 2008

R's Choice.

We dropped M off at school yesterday afternoon and when we got home R said to me "I want to do something special with you now Mummy", "OK" I reply, "What would you like to do?" "MAKE COOKIES" comes the response! "What sort of cookies, sweetpea?", She thinks for a bit "Orange please Mum, with chocolate" so here we have then, from her mouth to my blog.

Orange Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 24

¼ C Plain Soymilk
2 T OJ
½ T Orange Zest
1 T Ground Flaxseeds
¼ C Oil
¾ C Sugar
½ t Orange Essence
1 ½ C Plain Flour
¾ t Baking Powder
½ t Baking Soda
¼ t Salt
¾ C Chocolate Chips

- Preheat oven to 375F. Grease 2 cookie sheets.
- In a large bowl mix the soymilk, OJ, zest and flaxseeds. Stand 5 minutes.
- Add oil, sugar and essence. Combine well.
- Sift in the flour, BPowder, BSoda and salt. Just combine. Add Choc chips and mix well.
- Dampen your hands slightly and shape dough into T size balls. Flatten slightly and place on tray. Re dampen hands as required.
- Bake for 10 – 12 minutes. Cool on tray for 2 minutes before moving to rack.


While they were baking she had fun pretending that her 'pets' were hitting her and needed time outs on the naughty step - it was super cute and I bet you can guess which developmental stage Baby M is up to now!

The cookies were very nice, not over the top orange-y and not overshadowed by the chocolate. Good choice little R. Here she is looking super cute eating them.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

A bevvy of breakfasts!

Not breakfasts with a Bevvy - just a whole bunch of them, mainly muffins for a reason you'll see as you read on.

Banana Blueberry Muffins - an old favourite. Tried and true is perfect sometimes.
Chocolate Crackle Muffins - like Chocolate Crackle Cakes but in muffin form. I have had the idea for the base part swimming around in my head for a while (since I last made Chocolate Crackle Cakes with the girls I think) and found something similar top the topping in a very old book of my Mum's while in NZ. As they both have puffed rice cereal in them I decided to combine the two into a breakfast (or anytime) muffin treat.
Apple Crumble Muffins - another new one. I made an Apple Pie Cookie a long time ago, and all this topping on muffin business above got me thinking about doing a crumble in a muffin form. I'm sure its been done before, I'm not that original, but here's my take on this.
Raspberry Poppyseed Muffins - Why I chose this combo is beyond me, but it worked really well. I used frozen raspberries as this was the cheapest option, would be better with fresh berries, but until they're in season you take what you can get.

Now, the reason for so many muffins - I have set up a wee poll (to your right) so you, dear readers, can decide which recipe you get, and which muffins I remake for this weekend - cast your vote now!

This last one isn't mine, so isn't part of the poll - a PPK Tester - Curried Cauliflower Frittata, but it looks pretty good all the same, and was super simple to make.

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Oranges and .... Pomegranates?

I was going to call the post "Oranges and Lemons" but then thought the better of it as there are no lemons in this recipe!

Its a recipe for the marinade I used for last nights baked tofu, and I think it would go quite nicely with Tempeh too, its sweet and a little sticky and also makes a good stir fry sauce. I like the little hint of bitterness from the Orange Zest, but if you don't like it then leave it out. Orange and Pomegranate Marinade / Stir fry Sauce
Makes about 3/4 C


2 T Olive Oil

3 cloves Garlic - grated

2 T Fresh Basil - finely sliced

1 1/2 C Orange Juice

1/2 T Orange Zest

3 T Agave

3 T Maple Syrup

3 T Pomegranate Molasses

  • Heat the oil over medium heat and saute the garlic for about 2 minutes until very aromatic. Add the remainder of the ingredients and simmer over low heat for about 1 hour until the mix has reduced to about 1/3 of its original volume.
  • Strain through a fine sieve to get the bits (basil / garlic / zest) out leaving a smooth souace to use as marinade.

I served the tofu and stirfried veggies with something I made up. You know how I've done Risotto before with half rice and half buckwheat, well last night I made a risotto with half rice and half millet. H doesn't like millet all that much so I thought it would be interesting to see if he liked it this way. He did, but not as much as "normal" risotto. I made a plain-ish one, with a hint of lemongrass. Nice Millet Risotto
Serves 2 - 4 as side, depending on how many other sides.

2 cloves Garlic - finely chopped

2 Shallots - finely chopped

1 1/2 T Lemongrass - finely chopped

1/3 C Millet

1/2 C Aborio (Risotto) Rice

1/4 C White Wine

2 - 2 1/4 C Vegetable Stock

  • Over medium heat, saute the garlic shallots and lemongrass for about 2 minutes until aromatic.
  • Add the grains and stir to coat. Add the white wine and cook until absorbed stirring all the time.
  • Add the stock 1/4 C at a time, stirring to combine and then again once absorbed - risotto style. It'll take about 40 minutes to use up all the stock.
  • Cover and stand 5 minutes prior to serving.

Monday, 7 April 2008

They're pancakes, but not as you know them.

I've been thinking about savoury pancakes recently. Not crepes necessarily, but thick, fluffy-ish smaller than crepe pancakes - not filled with anything, but maybe, or maybe with the filling cooked in. This is one of those made into reality. The other one I'm playing around with is based on one my Mum made when we were kids, with has leeks and "cream cheese" as either a filling, a topping or incorporated. Watch this space for more...

Anyhow, back to last nights. They were a little dry-ish, but I think that's from the Teff flour - I was playing with the flavour of it in them, its good, but because of it they're better served with a sauce / gravy / moist topping like I did with the mushrooms. You could also make them smaller and use as a base for hors d'oeuvre, or to stretch as appetisers for more people.



Aduki Bean Pancakes.
Makes 12 1/4C size pancakes - serves at least 4 as appetizer


1/2 Onion - finely chopped
2 cloves Garlic - grated
1 T fresh Ginger - grated
1/2 Chili Pepper - finely chopped
1 C cooked Aduki Beans
1 C Water
1/4 C Olive Oil
2 t Cumin
1/2 t Paprika
1/2 t Salt
1/4 t Black Pepper
1/4 C Teff Flour (or sub WWPF)
1 C Plain Flour
1 T Baking Powder
  • In a medium sized pan over medium heat saute the onion, garlic, ginger and chili for about 5 minutes until onion is translucent. Stir frequently so it does burn.
  • In your food processor blend together the onion mix, beans, water, and oil until really smooth.
  • In a large bowl sift the spices, flours and BPowder. Add the bean mix to the flour and stir to combine.
  • Heat a little oil in your pan over medium - medium/low heat for cooking the pancakes. Using a 1/4 C measure (or size of your choice) scoop the pancake mix into the pan.
  • Allow to cook for 5 minutes on the first side before flipping - you'll see some bubbles but not many due to the thickness of the batter, and cook for 2 - 3 minutes on the second side until nicely brown.
  • Keep warm by covering on a plate with a clean tea towel as you cook the rest.

H really enjoyed these. Especially with the mushrooms as he just loves Mushrooms!

Sunday, 6 April 2008

A couple of dinners.

Though nothing really exciting.
I had leftover "Scotch eggs" from the other day and I fried them in a little oil to get the outsides all crispy, and served them with rice, and marinated then grilled asparagus. I drizzled the Pomegranate Balsamic Sauce over the top - this sauce is pretty good. H thinks its tastes a little like HP sauce, but I wouldn't know. Really good anyway. I know the "eggs" are traditionally deep fried, but this way was pretty good too.
Then Pizza, topped with roasted asparagus. I'm in love with asparagus at the moment if you hadn't guessed. I'm having more for dinner tonight, and should hopefully have something interesting to blog about tomorrow, if my ideas actually work!

Saturday, 5 April 2008

Saturday Strawberry Scones

Nice piece of alliteration to start the blog post.

I made these earlier in the week but felt they needed reworking a little, so I remade them this morning and they turned out better than before. They're not too sweet, but nice and fruity, with a hint of difference provided by the basil. Its a good combination and don't be put off by the thought of basil and strawberries!

Strawberry and Basil Scones
Makes 8 - 12

1 C plain Soymilk
1 t Apple Cider Vinegar
3 T Strawberry Jam
1 t Strawberry Essence
2 T Sugar
3 T Oil
1 T fresh Basil - finely chopped
2 1/2 C Plain Flour (or sub some WWPF)
1 T Baking Powder
1 t Baking Soda
1/2 t Salt
3/4 C fresh Strawberries - finely chopped
  • Preheat your oven to 375F and grease a baking sheet.
  • Mix the soymilk and ACV in a large bowl, stand for 5 minutes.
  • Whisk into the soymilk the jam, essence, sugar, oil and basil.
  • Sift the flour, BPowder, BSoda and salt into this bowl. Add the strawberries and mix with a wooden spoon until just combined.
  • Now either - Shape into a 6" disc on your baking tray and score into 8 triangular pieces (like you would a pizza) and bake for 25 - 30 minutes
  • or - using 1/3 C size measure scoop 10 - 12 scones onto your baking sheet and bake for 20 -25 minutes.
  • Brush tops with a little soymilk before baking if you like. and to be honest use whatever size measure you like to scoop - just keep an eye on the cooking time.

Obviously these are better as the strawberry season goes on and the berries get sweeter. I hope all of you lucky enough to have strawberries in a garden make at least one batch of these sometime this summer!