Sunday, 30 October 2011

What I make and eat #30

I am feeling both tired and lazy, my oven is broken, and I have reposted some photos of cakes I made over the last year or so because it is the second to last day of Vegan MoFo and I don't want to miss a day.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

What I make and eat #29

Hazelnut Latte Cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes

You know those Hazelnut Lattes you buy at the coffee shop? Here they are as a cupcake, complete with fluffy topping, and decorative drizzle.

If your local supermarket doesn’t sell flavored syrups for coffee, often your local coffee shop will. They may even sell you the amount you need so you don’t have to buy the whole bottle!
Toast, and grind, the nuts and store in the fridge or freezer.

Preparation time – 10 minutes
Cooking Time – 20 Minutes

1 cup Soymilk
½ cup + 2 tablespoons Hazelnut Flavored Coffee Syrup, see Hints
¼ cup Canola Oil
3 tablespoons light Brown Sugar, packed
1 ¼ teaspoons Vanilla Extract
¼ teaspoon Almond Extract, see Notes

¼ cup toasted Hazelnut Meal, see Notes
2 cups All Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
½ teaspoon Baking Soda
½ teaspoon Salt
2 tablespoons Instant Coffee Powder or Granules, see Notes

1 recipe Buttercream, More or Less (Vegan Bake Sale page 000)

Preheat oven to 375°F and line muffin tins with cupcake liners.
In a large bowl combine the soymilk, coffee syrup, oil, extracts, and brown sugar. Mix well.
Sift in the nut meal, flours, baking powder, salt, and instant coffee, mix to just combine.
Spoon mix into the prepared tins, and bake for 20 to 22 minutes or until tests done.
Allow cupcakes to cool in the tins for 5 minutes prior to transferring to cooling rack.
Decorate with Buttercream, More or Less if desired.

To make Hazelnut Meal/Ground Hazelnuts (if you can’t buy in the stores) toast roughly the same amount of hazelnuts as you need meal in a dry skillet until toasty and the skins are loosened. Remove the skins by rubbing the warm nuts in a tea towel, then pulse the peeled nuts in your food processor (or in batches in a coffee grinder) until they form a fine meal – keep a close eye on this as you don’t want to end up with nut butter! Measure out what you require and off you go; use leftovers on oatmeal or in another recipe.
Apparently, such as thing as Hazelnut Extract exists, but I have yet to see it. If you have some then use instead of the extracts listed.
If using coffee granules, not powder, you’ll need to use the back of a spoon to push them through the sieve. You can substitute an equal amount of strong espresso if you don’t have instant coffee but have access to espresso. The liquid doesn’t impact the final result.

Hazelnut Mocha Latte Muffins
Proceed as above, but replacing 2 tablespoons of the Flour with Cocoa Powder.
Almond Latte Muffins
Replace the Hazelnut ingredients (coffee syrup, extract, nut meal and nuts in the topping) with Almond ingredients.

Friday, 28 October 2011

What I make and eat #28


This one is a roasted Brussels Sprouts and Broccoli Risotto, with peas. I pan roasted the brussels and broccoli with some rosemary, and stirred these, along with thawed peas, to the simple base risotto. Super yum alongside some 3 grain bread.

Almost at the end of MOFO!

I may need a wee bloggin break once it is done...

Thursday, 27 October 2011

What I make and eat 27

Pumpkin and Cranberry bake - this one is in the oven but the dish is easy to make in the Slow Cooker too. Perfect for an Autumnal side dish, Thanksgiving or no.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

What I make and eat #26

Tamales - in the Slow Cooker....... I even have the recipe to share.

Tomatillo and Tomato Tamales
Serves 4
Makes 18 to 20 Tamales

You steam tamales on the stovetop, right? So why not steam them in the slow cooker! That was my thinking anyway, so I had to give it a try. It’s a bit of an epic recipe, and the active hands-on stuff does take a while, so choose a day when you have time to commit!
The smart ones amongst you (all of you then) will have noticed that the filling actually contains more potato than either tomatillo or tomato, but for purposes of clever recipe naming and alliteration I have chosen to ignore that fact. In case you were wondering.
I have tried to match quantities so you’re not left with anything remaining, but you may be as I would prefer that you be left with filling (which you can enjoy straight off a spoon) than not have enough for all your tamales.

You’ve been asked to soak more corn husks than you need, just in case some rip by accident, and some to rip into long thin strips to use to tie the tamales.
Start the corn husks soaking before you do any vegetable chopping so they soak as long as possible.
For best time management, once the corn husks are soaking, chop the onions and garlic while the tomatillos and chiles are roasting, then chop the potatoes while the onion sautés, then start the masa dough while the potatoes cook.
If preferred you can make the filling in advance and hold in the fridge until another day when you are making the tamales.
Use kitchen twine instead of corn husk strips to tie the tamales if you prefer.
Serve with Simple Tomato Sauce (page 000) if you like a sauce with your tamales, or just some hot sauce (or salsa) on the side if that is what you prefer.
Once cooked and cooled (in the husks) freeze the tamales in a single layer, then bag into meal portions for quick reheated suppers “on the go”. Microwave, from frozen, for about 4 minutes on high to reheat.

35 large corn husks, 1 per tamale, with spares, liners, and to make ties (2 ties per tamale)

Filling –
6-ounces Tomatillos, 6 to 8 medium, washed and peeled, then halved
2 Serrano Chile Peppers, halved and seeded, see Notes

1 tablespoon Olive Oil
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 ½ teaspoons Cumin Seeds

1 medium Onion, finely chopped

2 cups finely chopped peeled White Potato, 2 medium, about 10-ounces
½ teaspoon Salt

2 Roma Tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped

Salt and Pepper to taste

Masa Dough –
¾ cup vegan Shortening
¼ cup soft Coconut Oil, at room temperature

1 teaspoon Onion Powder
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
½ teaspoon Smoked Paprika
½ teaspoon Salt

3 cups Masa Harina, see Notes
2 ½ cups warm Vegetable Stock

Prepare the Corn Husks –
Sort through the corn husks removing any debris, and dirt. Ensure you have large ones for easy wrapping.
Soak the husks by placing into a large bowl, then covering with warm water. Set a heavy item on top of the husks to keep them submerged until ready to use.
The husks are ready to use when soft and pliable, which will be right about when you are ready for them if you start the soaking before any preparation.
Peel some of the husks into ¼- to ½-inch wide strips to use as ties, as required. You’ll need 2 ties per tamale.
Prepare the Filling –
Combine the tomatillos and chile peppers on a large parchment paper lined rimmed baking sheet, all cut sides down.
Broil until the skins are charred and juice is bursting out, about 10 minutes.
Allow to cool to the touch, then peel off blackened skins. Mince the chile peppers and roughly chop the tomatillos.
While the tomatillos are roasting, heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cumin seeds and allow to sizzle.
Add the onion and sauté until translucent, 5 minutes.
Add the finely chopped potatoes and salt, then sauté for 5 minutes prior to adding the roasted tomatillos, chiles, and about 2 tablespoons water. Sauté until potato is completely tender, and the liquid has reduced, 20 to 25 minutes. The potato and onion will be slightly caramelized.
Add the tomato and stir to well combine. The mixture will look thick. Taste and season as required.
Stand while you prepare the dough.
Prepare the Dough –
In a large bowl cream the shortening and coconut oil until light and fluffy. The more you cream the better texture your tamales will have. Microwave to soften the coconut oil in 10 second bursts if your oil is too firm to cream.
Add the spices and salt to the fat and cream until well combined.
In another bowl mix the masa with the warm stock, and mix well to ensure there are no lumps.
Transfer the masa mix to the bowl with the creamed fat, and beat until very well combined. The dough should be smooth, yet light, and very well combined. It will look and feel a little like smooth mashed potato, or play-dough.
Cover the prepared masa with a damp kitchen towel, or a soaked corn husk to stop if from drying out while not in use.
Prepare your work station for making the tamales -
Place a collapsible vegetable steamer basket in the bottom of your slow cooker. Add ¾ cup water to the bottom of the slow cooker, enough so it just reaches the level of the bottom of the basket.
Line the sides of the steamer insert and up the sides of your slow cooker with soaked corn husks, you’ll most likely need 5 or 6. This prevents the tamales from directly touching the sides of the slow cooker, which may scorch the tamales as they cook.
Place a clean tea towel on your bench top to be your tamale making surface. If the towel gets too wet you can change it more easily than wiping the bench over and over.
Make the Tamales –
Lay a soaked husk on your prepared clean tea towel. Work with the broad end towards you, and the tapered end away. Place a generous 3 tablespoons of dough onto the husk, remembering to cover the dough when not in use.
Spread the dough into a roughly 3-inch by 5-inch rectangle, leaving a space of about 4-inches down from the narrow end of the husk and about 2-inches up from the other end. These ends will be folded over. Spread the dough to the edge of one of the long sides and at least 2-inches away from the other long side. Try to keep the dough roughly ¼-inch thick.
Spread about 1 ½ tablespoons of filling vertically down the center of the dough.
Take the long side of the corn husk with no masa dough, fold it over so the end of the dough rectangle will meet the other edge of the dough where it is to the edge of the corn husk, encasing the filling in the dough. Wrap the 2-inch spare edge of corn husk around the back of the tamale, essentially sealing in the dough.
Fold the broad end up and over the top of the tamale, tie securely with the prepared strips of corn husk. Then fold the longer narrow end down and tie. There is an alternative method of tying, see Notes.
Steam the Tamales -
Stack the wrapped and tied tamales, as they are made, upright (if possible) into the steamer basket. They will be packed in and will reach to the top of the slow cooker insert.
Cover, set heat to high and cook for 5 to 5 ½ hours until tamales are tender. Once done the corn husk will peel off easily with no dough being pulled away.
Remember to unwrap prior to eating!

If you’d like less heat use jalapeno chile peppers instead of the Serrano.
Maseca brand of Masa Harina is widely available, even in the ethnic aisle of regular supermarkets.
If you find the fold and tie method as described too fiddly you can simply bunch each end of the unfilled corn husk and tie, which is easier, but means the tamales won’t stand in your slow cooker as neatly. If the tamales are lying down then the ones on the bottom may overcook, that is why it is better to have them all standing.

You can use the basic masa dough recipe as given above, and use about 2 cups of whichever filling you desire. You could perhaps use leftover chili from one of the other recipes, or your favorite combination from another online, or book, (such as Viva Vegan!) source.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

What I make and eat #25

Cinnamon Raisin Bread. The recipe for this one is in VBS.

Monday, 24 October 2011

What I make and eat #24

Pasta - with a homemade pepper sauce, and I also pan fried some storebought veggie sausages and tossed them in as well! Yum.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

What I make and eat 23

Pasta and "Meat Balls". These balls are cooked in the Slow Cooker, and (barring cuts in editing) are featured in Quick and Easy Vegan Slow Cooking - due out in January 2012. Pasta is a bit boring, but these balls elevate it to YUM!

Saturday, 22 October 2011

What I make and eat #22

From Vegan Bake Sale - Bakewell Tart. My Mum and Dad are visiting right now, and this is one of my Dad's all-time favorite desserts!

Friday, 21 October 2011

What I make and eat #21

Soup and Biscuits!

Biscuits are the Dinner Biscuits from VBS but instead of Caraway I used dried Basil to match the soup. Soup is an "Italian Lentil" - basic lentil soup flavored with Basil, Oregano, Tomato Paste and tinned Tomatoes to give an Italian flavored feel. I love soup!

Thursday, 20 October 2011

What I make and eat 20

Lets see if I can remember what they all are...
Waffles for Breakfast.
Gluten Free Almond Waffles, with Maple Syrup -

Vanilla Waffles with Strawberry Sauce -

Waffles for Dessert.

Banana Spelt Waffles with Vanilla Ice-cream -

Triple Chocolate Waffles with Mint Chocolate Chip Ice-cream -

and even, Waffles for dinner! I love savory Waffles.

Roasted Garlic Waffles with stir-fry vegetables -

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

What I make and eat #19


This one is both fusion, with the vegetables cooked until a little crisp in Chinese Five-Spice and other Asian aromatics (ginger, cumin, garlic, cilantro, chili flakes), and a use-up-what-ever-is-in-the-fridge dinner. (You have them too, right?) I added the veggies to the rice after it was done so they would stay crisp and firm in the creamy risotto. I cooked the rice pretty simply but with some similar flavors. I love risotto and make it often, turns out differently, but still spectacular every time.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

What I make and eat 18

A simple dessert this, and perfect for the cooler days we're having now. Cranberry and Orange Bread Pudding!

I took a pile of leftover whole wheat bread (crusts mainly) cut into inch sized pieces mixed with some frozen cranberries and then smothered the lot in a blended custard mix. The mix was just silken tofu, soy milk, sugar, arrowroot powder, baking powder, orange extract, vanilla extract, and orange zest blended to taste so no recipe I'm afraid. Baked at about 350F for roughly 50 minutes, leaving the outside crispy and caramelized and the insides soft. Heavy and filling, but not too sweet so perfect for having with a scoop of ice cream!

Monday, 17 October 2011

What I make and eat #17

More tofu. This time tossed in a mixture of cornstarch, arrowroot powder, and a selection of spices (Chinese 5 Spice, turmeric, garlic and onion powder, a little cayenne, and I think that is it!) then pan fried to a crispy shell with a soft inside. The shell got chewy as the tofu cooled, and as it absorbed some of the liquid from the vegetables, but still very very good!

The vegetables are broccoli and bok choi, with some fried shiitake mushrooms and a little home made sofrito. All served over brown rice.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

What I make and eat 16

Salad. Not so much making involved in this one however.

Mixture of stuff from the fridge with an Almond Butter dressing. Simple - almond butter whisked with some sriracha, lime juice, soy sauce, agave, and water until the desired thickness. Taste and adjust, drizzle and serve!

Saturday, 15 October 2011

What I make and eat #15

Half way through! MoFo sure goes fast when you're having fun.

For lunch yesterday (and leftovers today) I roasted a (cut into florets) head of cauliflower, and 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas in the oven at 450F until crispy and a little toasty. The chickpeas are chewy and firm, the cauliflower tender and caramelised just a little. I did season liberally with curry powder, chili flakes, as well as cumin and mustard seeds prior to tossing in a little oil and roasting.

The only bad thing is that this combination is a bit "windy" so maybe not for polite company!

Friday, 14 October 2011

What I make and eat #14

A little bit fiddlier than a wek night dinner, these tasty balls are perfect for when you have a little more time on your hands. At home as an appetizer with a dipping sauce, as shown, but there’s no reason at all you couldn’t serve these over pasta with a simple Tomato based sauce for a take on Spaghetti and Meatballs, or use them in a Meatball Sub type sandwich!

Herbed Smoked Tofu and Hazelnut Balls
Makes about 60

These end up looking slightly green from the herbs, but they have a smooth, nutty, smoky flavor which is accented by those herbs so the green gets to stay!
These balls are very small, perfectly bite sized for serving as a finger food appetizer, but if you want to make them larger for a plated starter (and less fiddling around) then go right ahead!

For best time management, prepare the vegetables while the nuts toast.
Prepare the balls and store in the fridge until ready to cook and serve.

Preparation Time – 10 Minutes
Cooking Time – 10 Minutes

¾ cup Hazelnuts, skins removed if possible

1 (8-ounce) packet Smoked Tofu, roughly chopped
2 Shallots, roughly chopped
¼ cup Parsley, roughly chopped
¼ cup Cilantro, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons Liquid Smoke
¼ teaspoon Coriander

4 to 6 tablespoons Soymilk

¼ cup Breadcrumbs

Canola Oil or non-stick spray to fry

In a large skillet over medium heat toast the hazelnuts for until aromatic and golden, about 5 minutes. Remove any skins by rubbing in a clean tea towel.
Transfer nuts to a food processor and pulse to a coarse mix. Wipe skillet and keep handy.
Add the tofu, shallots, parsley, cilantro, liquid smoke, coriander and 4 tablespoons soymilk to the food processor. Pulse until well combined and smooth, adding more soymilk by the teaspoon, if required.
Place the breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl (or in the upturned lid of the food processor!) and heat a thin layer of oil (or use non-stick spray) in the skillet over medium heat.
Form the mixture into teaspoon sized balls, roll in the breadcrumbs to coat and fry until golden brown on each side, about 8 to 10 minutes in total.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

What I make and eat #13

Mango Smoothie.

For breakfast sometimes, for lunch on other days. Made from blending frozen Mango, frozen Banana, Applesauce, a little Agave, and water (though sometimes soy milk).

If making onee for dessert I've even been known, on occasion, to add a scoop of vegan vanilla ice-cream!

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

What I make and eat 12

This is a spread I made for an indoors Teddy Bears Picnic hosted by my elder daughter. All home made (well, I bought the fruit and vege at the store) and all yummy. Though there was the odd child who didn't like something - the dip for the veggies, the icing on the cupcakes, the cupcake (after eating all the icing)- pretty much everything got eaten! In more detail we have -

Chocolate and Vanilla Cupcakes, with Buttercream, More or Less from Vegan Bake Sale.

A selection of mini finger sandwiches - thte triangles are sprouts, the rectangles; cucumber, and the squares are lettuce and tomato.

Plain Cookeis from Vegan Bake Sale, made as stars.

Chocolate Chip Cookies (no recipe, made up on the fly). All the teddys and their owners had a blast and went home with full tummies too.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

What I make and eat #11

Thanksgiving Edition.

Remembering that we in Canada celebrate out Thanksgiving in October. Last night I made this for our dinner -

Puff Pastry filled with a mixture of grated Smoked Tofu, roughly chopped Mixed Nuts, dried Cranberries, Breadcrumbs, Panko, Sofrito, and Herbs/Spices. No recipe, just until I liked the taste, baked at 400F for about 15 minutes.

Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts.

Pan Roasted Maple Glazed Sweet Potato Cubes with dried Cranberries.

Mashed Potatoes and Marmite Gravy (not pictured).

Full and happy tummy!

Monday, 10 October 2011

What I make and eat #10

Today I am super busy in the kitchen preparing stuff all over the place for our Thanksgiving dinner. I wanted to share a lovely dessert with you from earlier in the week - a Coconut Ginger Mixed Berry Crumble.

The filling is mixed berries, roasted in the oven with a little sugar and apple juce, then topped with a bodged together crumble topping using flour, (plain and whole wheat) unsweetened shredded coconut, finely chopped crystalised ginger, baking powder, sugar, and both margarine and coconut oil as the fat rubbed in. Baked for 25 minutes at 400F - served with some (store bought) icecream.

Happy Thanksgiving all - back tomorrow with more about that!

Sunday, 9 October 2011

What I make and eat #9

This is leftovers!

Firstly I toasted some cumin seeds in a hot pan, then added a litttle oil and sauteed some minced garlic, cilantro stalks, and chile flakes for a minute over medium high heat. I added a chopped onion, then reduced the heat to medium and allowed the onion to caramelise lightly prior to adding in some leftover grains - in this instance rice and quinoa - to heat through and have the flavors meld. Really quick, yummy, and filling.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

What I make and eat 8

Sometimes, convinience foods. In this instance the Gardein Mandarin Orange Crispy Chick'n.

Though I did saute off some onions, red peppers, and frozen peas to add to the sauce prior tot serving over brown rice for a more complete dinner. Tasty, quick, but for us, only very occasionally as it is on the pricy side, and we do prefer to make what we eat from (as much as possible) scratch most of the time.

Friday, 7 October 2011

What I make and eat - #7

Roasted Chickpeas!
Cooked chickpeas tossed with a little oil, some minced garlic, spices (which vary each time but usually inclusing cumin, chile powder or flakes, a little salt) and roasted at 400F for about 30 minutes or so, turning once, until crisped up, a little chewy and super yum.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

What I make and eat - 6

This one is a White Chocolate Ice-cream, very sweet and rich, though at the same time cool and refreshing, being that it is ice-cream after all.
Investing my Air Miles in an ice-cream maker was such a good call!!

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

What I make and eat - 5

Mushroom Soup!
This one made in the Slow Cooker and appearing in my soon to be published Quick and Easy Vegan Slow Cooking. I love soup.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

What I make and eat - #4

These ones are Custard Flavored - which is something I like a lot. Served sinmply with a little syrup as pictured, or with fruit this is a treat breakfast. I like these with slices of ripe pear.

Custard Pancakes
Makes eight 5-inch pancakes

A beautiful golden yellow pancake, with a vanilla custard flavor, perfect for eating either warm topped with syrup, or cold spread with a little vegan margarine.

Preparation Time – 5 Minutes
Cooking Time – 15 Minutes

2 tablespoons Custard Powder
1 cup Soy Milk

½ teaspoon Vanilla Essence
½ cup Water
2 tablespoons Canola Oil
⅓ cup Sugar

1 ¾ cups All Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
½ teaspoon Salt

Heat a large skillet over medium low heat.
In a large bowl whisk together the custard powder and soymilk until smooth. Add the vanilla, water, oil and sugar and whisk to combine.
Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt, mix to just combine.
Add a thin layer of oil to the skillet, allow to heat for a minute or so and using a ⅓ cup measure scoop a pancakes worth of batter onto the hot pan. Spread out slightly.
Cook the first side until bubbles appear all over the surface (about 3 – 5 minutes) and then flip over and cook the other side about 2 minutes more. You’ll notice the first side is golden.
Keep warm under a clean tea towel while you cook the rest.

Monday, 3 October 2011

What I make and eat - 3

Loaded with a thick bean or TVP chili (anyone you like - mine is different every time it is made), topped with Daiya cheese, melted, then a generous serving of both Gualcamole and Tomato Salsa (in this instance both homemade). Occasionally with commercial Sour Cream as well. Huge dinner, but very simple, especially if you have leftover chili!

Sunday, 2 October 2011

What I make and eat # 2

This dinner is simple. Tofu cubes marinated in a mix of store bought black bean sauce, liquid smoke, mustard, orange juice, agave, garlic, and cilantro, then baked for about 1/2 hour at 400F or so. While the tofu was baking I cooked some brown rice and tossed that with some finely chopped scallions, then steamed some broccoli, which I then lightly sauteed with garlic, chili flakes and cilantro. Tastes superb!

Saturday, 1 October 2011

What I make and eat - 1

Welcome to post number 1 in this years Vegan Month of Food at my little bloggy blog. I am not doing a set theme this year, just picking pictures of things I make and eat to give folks out there an idea as to how simple and varied eating vegan can be. I can't promise not to blog about beans on toast but I'll try and keep things a little more high brow than that!

On to post number 1!

This is a Butterfly cake I made last weekend for the niece of a friend. She was turning 3 (the niece not the friend, obviously) and was having about 40 people to the party!

Cake was loved by all I am pleased to say!