Sunday, November 29, 2009

Vegan Brunch English Muffins

After reading this post on Easy as Vegan Pie I decided that I wanted home made english muffins for breakfast the next day. I have made crumpets before which are really delicious, but had never thought about making muffins. And it ended up being a rainy Sunday morning so it was perect muffin making & eating weather.

The recipe from Vegan Brunch is really, really easy but I had issues getting the cornmeal to stick to the muffins so I tried doing it for the first batch & ended up bypassing that step in the following batches. Also, the recipe makes heaps!! I cut them with egg rings & I made over 20 so I now have lots of muffiny goodness in my freezer. I ate mine warm out of the oven with nuttelex & blackberry jam - yum!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The excitement of fantastic vegan food when you least expect it

I think most vegans who attend events that are catered for often expect the worst. I organise & attend meetings in hotel conference rooms quite frequently. When organising the catering they always ask for dietary requirements & I always ask for a vegan meal. Sometimes my meals are fantastic (The Prince in St Kilda gave me incredible food) & sometimes I get nothing but fruit salad (I hate Hilton on the Park in East Melbourne) & sometimes my food isn't separated or labelled so others eat it or I don't even know what is suitable & there is no one around to ask (MCEC).

So, this week I am attending an Events Management course & they said that they cater morning tea, lunch & afternoon tea, they didn't ask for dietary requirements but I emailed them to let them know I was vegan, expected the worst & packed my bag with lots of snacks.

Yesterday was my first day & at morning tea I was a little bit excited to see soy milk with the tea & coffee & was happy that there were apricots available to eat in a bowl alongside the omni cake. I was eating some apricots when the caterer sought me out & said that he had prepared a special lunch for me & that he also had dried fruit & almonds available for me for morning tea if I wanted so I was pretty happy that they had gone to an effort. Then lunchtime came. At the food table there was a box, labelled vegan - filled with food for me!! There was heaps of food! I got delicious rice paper rolls filled with marinated asparagus, a big salad with kidney beans as well as apricots, strawberries, a muesli bar & a bag of biscuits labelled "afternoon tea". There was way too much food to eat but I was so excited that I took most of it home. So when lunch rolled around today I wondered if I would get the same again, but no & it was even better! Today I got a cup of salad of freekeh, pomegranate, tomato, baby spinach & almonds (aka the best salad I have ever eaten) as well as 2 big rice paper rolls, a small bread roll filled with tapenade & roasted vegies, a muesli bar & nectarines & strawberries.

It is such a small thing to make a little bit of effort but it makes such a difference. I am so used to feeling like I am a nuisance & getting boring salads with no imagination that to come across a caterer who is not only lovely but makes great food is a welcome change!

Monday, November 16, 2009

East Coast Coffee Cake

This cake is goddamn delicious! I used the recipe from Vegan Brunch (man, I love this book) & added in fresh blueberries because I bought lots of punnets super cheap. I had massive issues with the cake batter though, it was incredibly runny - to the point that it was like pancake batter. I added in another half a cup of flour because I thought that the crumb mix would just sink straight in, it was still really runny but it worked out in the end. I think I slightly undercooked it but the cake was so good that we still quite happily ate it.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Vegan Brunch Sausages

I have been doing a lot of cooking lately from Vegan Brunch & after reading all the hype about the sausages I decided to make the cherry & sage ones, but subbed dried cranberries for dried cherries. I liked these but I didn't love them but this may be based on two things.

1, The first time I made them there was a kids party across the road & lots of little girls all of about 8 years old singing that awful song "Sexy Bitch" starting throwing things at my car (fruit & dolls heads!) So being the cranky neighbour I am I went over to complain while the sausages were frying & I burnt them, so they were not so great.

2, I then froze the rest & I just don't think they froze well & were really rubbery. I did like them & thought they had good flavour but I think I am put off making them again, but I do want to try the chorizo sausages.

The second time I had them I served them with a lemony smashed potato & salad. I actually think the smashed potato was my favourite part of the meal, I used nicola potatos & they were delicious!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

World Vegan Day

I went to my 2nd World Vegan Day on Sunday. I met some great people Steph, Danni, Tahn, Kristy & Toby & ate ice cream so all in all it was a pretty good day! I completely forgot to take photos on the day but completely agree with Phillipa's post here about the lack of lunch options. The lines were crazy long & Greg & I were turned away from Funky Pies because they had no hot pies so we ended up eating rice paper rolls & lots of deep fried food from enlightened cuisine.

But, my food highlight of the day was cake!

This is cheesecake & chocolate torte from Naked Treaties (I hate that name) by Jemma who was on Big Brother years ago. We bought 2 slices to take home & these were a bit expensive, I think $5.50 per slice but well worth it. On my plate is 1/2 a slice of each & oh my goodness they were delicious!! Especially the chocolate torte which was super rich & chocolately. Apparently they do catering so at the moment these are frontrunner for dessert at our wedding.

Greg just mentioned that his food highlight of the day was Veganpet cat food. We got a sample for our cats & Greg tried it & loved it - weirdo.