Saturday, 30 October 2010

How many days, Mum?

Has this been the refrain in your house recently?? if not, then you don't have

1. Children looking forward to "dress up and candy day" aka Halloween! I have a devil and a ladybug taking part.

2. Anyone taking part in the blogging extravaganza that is the Vegan Month of Food, or Vegan MoFo.

Apparently there are over 450 bloggers taking part from all over the world including some cool cookbook authors. See this post at Headquarters! Can't wait for the RSS feed to be put together to keep up with all the madness.

Friday, 29 October 2010

Individual Stuffing


Individual Stuffing, originally uploaded by Vegan Year.

Just to get all you American readers thinking about your Thanksgiving here is some thing I had for ours! Perfectly individually portioned piles of stuffing goodness, great for your holiday meals or any time you’d like something a little different on the side.

Individual Stuffing
Makes 12

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

1 medium Onion, finely chopped, about 1 Cup
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 stalk Celery, finely chopped, about ½ Cup

1 medium Apple, cored and finely chopped, about 1 medium, peeled if desired
3 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh Parsley, flat leaf or regular
1 teaspoon dried Sage
1 teaspoon Salt
½ teaspoon dried Thyme
½ teaspoon Black Pepper

½ Cup + 2 Tablespoons Vegetable Stock
½ Cup + 2 Tablespoons Rice Milk

2 ½ Cups soft Bread Cubes, ½” size, see note
1 Cup Panko or Breadcrumbs
1 Cup Plain Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder

Preheat oven to 375F and prepare muffin tins by spraying with non-stick spray.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat and sauté the onion, garlic, and celery until well softened and starting to brown just a little, 6 to 8 minutes.
Add in the apple, herbs, seasonings and sauté a minute more.
Add the stock and soymilk, mixing well. Remove from the heat.
Add the bread cubes, crumbs, flour, and baking powder to the skillet and mix to ensure all really well combined.
Press mix equally into muffin tins and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until lightly browned and tops crisp.
Remove from tins immediately using a thin spatula or blunt knife so they stay crisp and serve warm.

Note
I use either the recipe for Plain Bread from the soon to be published Quick and Easy Vegan Bakesale, or a sturdy store bought bread. In a pinch I have used sliced wholegrain bread and that works fine too.

Preparation time – 10 minutes
Cooking time – 40 minutes

[soy free]
[sugar free]
[nut free]

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Picky eaters...

Not everything on this list is vegan, but many of the items listed are. Good ideas for feeding those you may be less adventurous eaters.

My kids don't have the most new food friendly palates (yet, I'm working on it) but they do eat things that their peers would not even consider. Things like, Quinoa, Millet, Soba Noodles (none of which my husband likes!) and simple items like broccoli which their friends think is weird.
I may try some of the ideas listed in the article and see if I can expand their taste bud range a little more...

What about you, do you have picky eaters? and what do you feed them?

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Who wants a NEW T SHIRT!!

Quickly, because the give away ends on the 31st!! Unfortunately this giveaway is only being offered to North American residents. (I know, not my choice, but the costs of shipping anywhere else would would negate the value of the prize)

I have been offered to give away to one lucky commenter a voucher to the value of $35 for the winner to create one of the custom t-shirts offered at Fibers.com. Voucher is good for design, shipping, and applicable taxes. Or, use a design they already have, there is a selection of purely vegan t-shirts so that would be a good place to start looking.

This is what they say about themselves - About us: Fibers.com is a custom clothing company that gives our users the opportunity to design and order personalized products, such as t-shirts, hoodies, and a variety of other clothing items.

To win, all you have to do is leave a comment.

The winner will be selected on the 1st November 2010 by a random number generator, and the lucky winners contact info will be passed to Fibers.com who will be responsible for sending out the prize.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Crisps Vs. Chips Vs. Fries

Terms which are different in different parts of the world and drive you mad, anyone? Today its about potatoes.

The cold packet ones - In New Zealand usually chips; In the UK, crisps; in Canada, chips.

The hot ones - In NZ Hot Chips; in the UK, Chips; in Canada, Fries.

In our house, to save the confusion and my potato sanity, we use the term Crisps to mean the packaged thin, maybe crinkled, cold, generally a snack, things, and Fries to mean the hot, deep fried or baked to go with dinner things. Avoiding the whole "chip" thing completely.

What about you??

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Red Pepper and Spinach Millet Risotto

I love combining grains to get different tastes and textures (not to mention nutrition profile) from dishes. In this case I combined Millet with Arborio Rice to create a beautifully tasty, veggie loaded, Risotto.
I find risotto is an easy dish to add other grains to, I've used Buckwheat and Barley in the past, but still gettingteh creamy result if you use half risotto rice. Yay for experimenting.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Baked Potaoes

I'm all about baked potatoes this week. The weather has been great, warm sunny days and cold evenings and mornings so maybe its just me getting ready for winter. Its pure comfort, warm and yummy, even without the toppings.

Not the prettiest of photos, they are just baked potatoes after all, but so very yummy. We have plain Garlic Baked Potatoes, and Stuffed ones.
What's your favorite cold weather comfort food??

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Vegan Month of Food!


I have decided to sign up for this years VeganMoFo which is November this year, like I need more things to do, but I have a very simple theme in mind which won't be too strenuous (or so I think right now), so I'm doing it! Are you??

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Hey, Southern Hemisphere folks.....

As you probably know by now my first book, Quick and Easy Vegan Bake Sale is hitting the stores in January! Hooray. (and if you didn't know that, now you do, there's even a Facebook page, so search for "Vegan Bake Sale" and 'like' it!)

What you may not know is that I am currently developing and testing recipes for the follow-up book, tentatively titled "Quick and Easy Vegan One Dish Wonders". I have my trusty testers from Bake Sale who are helping me out with this, but I would like to add a few more Southern Hemisphere testers to the mix, to specifically test the "summer" recipes which have been developed over our summer, as you head into yours.

If you are interested in testing for this please email me at veganyear@gmail.com for more information and testing requirements etc. Alternatively, leave a comment with your email address and I will contact you.

Back to our regular scheduled blogging...

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Thankgiving!

Totally Root Vegetable loaded this year! But super delicious.

I wasn't sure how much I was going to do for Thanksgiving this year as my fingers are still hurting and blistered, so I went with simple stuff, that in a lot of cases could be made in advance, or at least partially. It wasn't too bad, stress wise, or sore hand wise, but by the end of the day the 2 worst fingers were throbbing a little.

Please excuse the crappy photos!

We started with Sort-of Borscht Soup, a lovely vibrantly coloured beet soup which I served with Spelt Biscuits (not pictured)

Moving on, the main plate consisted of Mashed Potatoes, Squash and Cranberry Bake, Stovetop Roasted Parsnips and Brussels, and Molasses Carrots (recipe needs work but OK for a first attempt) alongside was Lemon Almond Gravy (not pictured)!

To finish I made a Cranachan a traditional Scottish dessert which I veganised.

After that, too full to move!

If you celebrated this weekend, I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Monday, 11 October 2010

Look at this face!


Look at this face!, originally uploaded by Vegan Year.

R's 1st Grade Class went to The Pumpkin Patch last week, and as you can tell from this photo she was less than impressed by the noise and smell in the barn! The turkeys were gobbling, and the donkey did a big poop and she couldn't get out of there fast enough!
Other than that, a wonderful fun time was ahd by all!

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Ouch!

I was trying to make the Vanilla and Coconut Flan from Viva Vegan! for dessert today but didn't get past the first step and spent hours at the hospital with 2nd degree burns on my right hand. When Terry says to be careful because the sugar is hot, she really means HOT!! I've made this before with no issues so I have no idea why I did this today.
I was also going to make some corn crusted empanadas for dinner and right now am considering toast. Boo.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Chocolate Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Following on from my Wheat Free musings of yesterday and earlier in the week at school I have this new cookie creation to share!

These are moist, dense, and dare I say even chewy, Gluten-Free cookie, that appeal to kids and grown ups alike. I made them specifically for my elder daughter’s teacher’s sister (got that??) who is GF, and she loved them! There were leftovers and the kids ate them up after school, and the girl who was at our house on a play date said, so I wasn’t meant to hear, “Your Mum makes the best cookies, can she teach my Mum?” There’s none left, barely hours after they came out of the oven!

Chocolate Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes about 20

¼ Cup + 2 Tablespoons Almond Milk
¼ Cup Canola Oil
1 Tablespoon ground Chia Seeds

⅔ Cup Sugar
¼ Cup Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Chocolate or Vanilla Extract

½ Cup Ground Almonds
⅓ Cup white Rice Flour
⅓ Cup yellow Corn Flour
3 Tablespoons Dutch processed Cocoa Powder
2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
½ teaspoon Baking Powder
½ teaspoon Salt

½ Cup Chocolate Chips

In a large bowl whisk together the chia seeds, rice milk, and oil until thick and creamy. Stand for 10 minutes, then whisk again. The mix will be quite gelatinous.
Add the sugar, and extract and beat in.
Sift in the ground almonds, flour, cocoa powder, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt, then mix to form a sticky dough.
Stir in the chocolate chips. Cover and chill for at least 20 minutes for ease of handling.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F, and line 2 baking trays with parchment paper.
Using dampened hands as necessary, scoop dough into heaping Tablespoons and roll into balls. Flatten in your palms to form 2” discs, place on prepared trays 2” apart.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until bottoms lightly browned but cookies still soft and puffy looking.
Cool on trays for 5 minutes before transferring to a rack using a spatula to complete cooling.