Monday, May 31, 2010

Vegan Yum Yum Mac & Cheeze

So delicious!  When I was cooking the cheesey sauce I really didn't think that it was going to be so good but after it is baked with the pasta it tastes so buttery & smooth & is really good.  I had truckloads of sauce leftover so made a potato bake the next night which I actually didn't really enjoy but then I made another Mac & Cheeze & the sauce was amazing again so the sauce with pasta = win & the sauce with potatoes = fail.  I didn't use macaroni because I never have it but used some pasta shells & served with steamed veg, yum.
There are a couple of Mac & Cheeze recipes on the VYY website but I used the one from the book which I am too lazy to type up, if you have the book then definitely make this.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Bakery Style Berry Muffins

We have had a string of bad luck in our household recently so I haven't been online so much & am a bit behind with blog pots & haven't been doing cooking a whole lot of inspiring food anyway.
But, I have still been doing some baking & this week I made mini berry muffins using the recipe for Bakery Style Berry Muffins from Vegan Brunch.  These are really good, especially right out of the oven when they are crunchy on top.  For some reason my muffins always go soft when stored which I don't like so much. 
By far the worst thing that has happened in our household in the last week is that it looks like one of our cats is really, really sick.  He has gone from a seemingly perfectly healthy cat to looking like he will only be with us for a few more months.  Make sure you give your furry friends lots of cuddles & enjoy them while you can.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Chocolate Mousse Cupcakes

I am pretty sure that it is the law that you have to eat cake on your birthday so for Greg's birthday I decided to make chocolate mousse cupcakes.  I was going to make a whole chocolate mousse cake & cover it with ganache but was concerned about how we would go eating an entire cake so thought that cupcakes would be more manageable.

I made the chocolate cake recipe from The Joy of Vegan Baking which is ridiculously easy & also made the chocolate mousse recipe from the same book.  I thought the mousse tasted a bit tofu-y to start with but added a bit of maple syrup & once it chilled for awhile didn't taste like tofu at all.  I then just cut the tops off the cupcakes & scooped a little hole into each cake which I filled with mousse.  The mousse didn't set as well as I had hoped so it came out the sides a bit once I put the tops back on.  But after sitting the cakes in the fridge for a couple of hours the mousse set more.  I had originally planned to make a ganache to cover each cake with, but had heaps of mousse left over so served the cakes topped with a dollop of mousse.  These ended up being delicious, but verrrry rich.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Va Bene Pizzeria & Costco

One of my friends is currently living at the Docklands so today we met up for some Costco shopping & lunch.  I had never been to Costco before & was pretty excited about it.  I didn't buy too much today but I did buy a bulk pack of lint rollers (I was wearing black jeans & was having cat hair issues) & a big bag of dried blueberries.  Any suggestions of what I can bake the blueberries into?

We went for lunch at Va Bene Pizzeria which is his favourite local place.  The wait staff were incredibly friendly & were happy to accommodate me with vegan eats offering me a few different pasta & pizza options.  No pics because I forgot my camera, but I had the Pepperoncini pizza which had roasted capsicum, caramelised onion & parsley which was delicious.  It was not cheap at $19 but there aren't a whole lot of cheap eating options over at Docklands so if you are going to pay a bit for lunch it is nice to get some good service with it.

Va Bene Pizzeria
T10 Shed 9, Central Pier
161 Harbour Esplanade
Docklands Victoria 3008
03 8623 9690

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Veganomicon Spicy Peanut & Eggplant Soup

I seem to have been making lots of recipes from Veganomicon lately & with a big eggplant needing to be used up & not too many other vegies I decided to make the Spicy Peanut & Eggplant Soup. 

This is quite easy & I love any recipe where you end up with meltingly soft eggplant because it is about my favourite thing ever.  It is pretty rich though because of the peanut butter but that isn't always such a bad thing!  I left out the spring onions, green beans & chilli because I didn't have any & I didn't peel the eggplant because I thought it would be unnecessary.  I was also planning on making naan to have with it (which would have gone really well) but ended up having a lazy day so just served some warmed, nuttelexed turkish bread alongside it.

A good, easy recipe for a yummy, rich soup.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Soulfood Cafe

There has been a bit of debate amongst my friends as to whether I should celebrate Mother's Day this year or not.  Given that I  am 8 months pregnant I say yes, luckily Greg agreed (after some convincing) & bought me a present & also took me out to breakfast to anywhere of my choice the day after as he had an RDO.  I decided to go to Soulfood as we don't often get to go there since he works Monday to Saturday & they don't open on Sundays.

We both had the Monster Vegan breakfast, as also blogged about by Steph here.  It costs $15.80 & consists of 2 pieces multigrain sourdough toast, scrambled tofu, mushrooms, tomato, spinach, hash browns & tomato kusundi.  This is a massive breakfast!  I couldn't finish mine & still had to come home & have a nap afterwards, didn't have lunch & am still not very hungry for dinner.  I love the scrambled tofu here but the serving size is verrrrrry generous & because the tofu is very full flavoured it can get a little bit too much..  I also love the mushrooms here, I have a bit of an aversion to mushrooms at the moment but really enjoyed these.  I didn't love the hash browns (although Greg did), I just found them a bit bland although they were nice & crunchy.  This breakfast used to come with rice cake things which I loved & preferred to the hash browns.  And, although I have taken it off my plate in the photo, you do get a little dish of nuttelex for your toast.

All in all it is a good value & very tasty breakfast, but don't plan on eating again for awhile afterwards..

Soulfood Cafe
273 Smith Street
Fitzroy  VIC  3065

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Slower Cooker Curry

It has been a very long time since I used my slow cooker, in fact the last time I used it was August 2008 when I cooked my last omni meal.  I remember that I made a beef red curry in it & ate it & felt so sick afterwards that I went vegan the next day, I had been planning on going vegan at some stage but thought that I might ease my way into it but this meal pushed me over the edge & I went vegan straight away.

So, somewhat ironically when I decided to dust off the slow cooker again I chose to make a mock beef red curry with some 'beef' chunks that I had bought at Minh Phat.  This was yum.  Even though I am not working at the moment & it is nice to have food prepared of an evening & not have to do to much besides cook some rice in the rice cooker (which Greg did anyway so all I had to do was serve).

My very simple & not very authentic curry recipe

  • 2 tbsp red curry paste ( I bought mine from Aldi)
  • Can light coconut milk
  • Mock beef chunks
  • Cauliflower florets
  • Green beans topped & tailed
  • Peeled potatoes cut into chunks
  • Half a huge eggplant diced
  • 1 onion sliced
Put it all in the slow cooker & cook for around 7 hours & then serve over rice - easy!

Next time I make it I won't use cauliflower though because it went really mushy, all the other vegies came out beautifully though, especially the eggplant so I am now looking at other eggplant slow cooker recipes.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Chocolate Melting Moments

So I am now on maternity leave which is why I actually have free time for the first time in a long time & can blog regularly.  The best things about maternity leave (besides the whole not working thing) are being able to catch up with people on weekdays who don't work regular Monday to Friday hours and having time to cook more.  My mum is a high school teacher but only works 3 days a week so she came over recently for afternoon tea so I baked the chocolate melting moment biscuits from the book 'Vegan Indulgence'.  The biscuit dough is very, very dry to the point that I really wanted to add some soy milk but didn't and I had some trouble rolling them so they ended up huge!  The recipe says that it makes 20 sandwiched biscuits, I made 10 enormous biscuits.  They are very yummy though but disappeared way too fast given how few I made.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Pumpkin Soup with Savoury Muffins

Now that the weather is getting cooler we have been eating lots of soup which I love.  One of the regular soups I make is a very easy & delicious pumpkin & chickpea soup.  You must add the fennel seeds, they add heaps of flavour & make the soup so much more delicious!

  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 jap pumpkin chopped into big chunks
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • Vegetable stock
  • 1 can chickpeas drained & rinsed

Heat olive oil in a big saucepan or stockpot & add onion & garlic & cook until onion is soft.
Add pumpkin, fennel seeds & vegetable stock to cover everything (I like my soup really thick)
Cook until pumpkin is very soft
Blend & add chickpeas & season to taste

I decided to make some savoury muffins to eat with the soup which were also really good.

  • 2 cups self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1 small zucchini, grated
  • 1 small carrot, grated
  • 2 vegie sausages
  • 1 cup grated cheezly
  • egg replacer equivalent to 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup soy milk
  • 75ml canola oil
Preheat oven to 200°C. Lightly grease a muffin pan or fill holes with muffin liners if you are so inclined. 
Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Place zucchini and carrot in a large sheet of paper towel. Squeeze out excess moisture. Add vegetables, sausage and 1/2 cup cheese to flour. Stir to combine.
Whisk egg replacer mix, milk and butter in a jug. Add to dry ingredients. Using a large metal spoon, stir until just combined. Two-thirds fill muffin holes with mixture. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Stand for 5 minutes in pan. Turn onto a wire rack to cool.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Veganomicon Seitan Cutlets

I recently made the seitan cutlets from Veganomican for the first time.  Normally if I make seitan I use a recipe where you simmer them for about an hour then leave them to cool in the cooking liquid for about another hour so it is quite a long process.  This recipe us a lot quicker & I found them really tasty.  I am a big fan of the chickpea cutlets & these are quite similar so I will definitely make them again.

The recipe made six cutlets so we had them three different ways.  I make sandwiches for Greg to take to work everyday so two went into sandwiches for him.

I felt like eating roast potatoes so with two other cutlets we had them pan fried with roasted potatoes, steamed broccoli, steamed beans & VWAV punk rock chickpea gravy.  It was not so pretty, but we both really enjoyed this, a perfect cold weather meal!

For the last two cutlets I decided to make another recipe from Veganomicon which was the 'Seitan Piccata wtih Olives & Green Beans'.  I pretty much completely followed the recipe except it calls for shallots which I didn't have so I used thinly sliced red onion instead.  This meal was another winner - easy to make & really tasty.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Vegan Brunch Toasted Coconut & Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins

These are actually the Toasted Coconut and Mango Muffins, but I didn't have any dried mango so I subbed some chocolate chips.  We bought a mini muffin tray for the cupcake kebabs & have been using it all the time since, I didn't make a whole lot of muffins or cupcakes beforehand because they are often too big but the mini muffin pan makes them perfect size for eating with a cup of tea & it makes heaps so you can't really go wrong!

This recipe is super easy & the toasted coconut flavour is delicious, they also feel healthier than a normal muffin with the addition of wholemeal flour & they don't have huge amounts of sugar in them.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Mediterranean Olive Bread

Whenever I make soup I like to make bread to go alongside it so when I recently made a delicious tomatoey vegetable & sausage soup I decided to also make Mediterranean olive bread from The Joy of Vegan Baking.  This bread is so, so good!  It is essentially savoury cake with rosemary, olives, sundried tomatoes & olives all through it.  It doesn't have yeast in it so is really quick & easy too for a weeknight meal.  Completely delicious & goes exceptionally well with soup.

The soup that I make is a very easy soup & a good way of using up lots of vegies - I chop up whatever vegies I have on hand & cook in a little bit of olive oil & add a tin of tomato soup & massel chicken stock until I have about 4 serves worth & this time I had some vegie sausages in the freezer so I chopped up some of them & added them as well.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Shepherds Pie

I usually do all the cooking & Greg does all the cleaning which is really the ideal situation for me, but he recently had a week off so did some cooking.  He made a shepherds pie one night which he was very proud of & it was really tasty, it was loosely based on this recipe.
As much as I like cooking it is really nice to come home & not have to think about dinner.