Thursday, September 25, 2008

Raw Vegan Crack

That is what this stuff should be called, seriously. We are having a bit of a banana glut at the moment, which is something that makes me very happy, but it has actually gotten to the point where I am having to freeze and dry them to stop them rotting! But I'm not complaining! So here is a lovely little plateful of dried bananas (I bought the plate for $1 at an op shop). I was reading Lolo (at veganyumyum)'s most recent post Foor Photography for Bloggers and got really inspired to take some pretty pictures. As I've said before, my main problem is that I don't eat much more than fruit during the day, so when I have pretty food I never have nice natural lighting. But I think these pictures came out quite stunning, even if I do say so myself!

Oh and I made banana ice-cream with chocolate sauce and chopped almonds. It was heavenly... and looked very pretty too! ;-)

Lastly, I got myself a copy of Vegan With a Vengeance a few weeks ago and I have been going so nuts cooking and baking for my parents and the girls at work. I lOVE this book! Here are the Coconut Heaven Cupcakes - they were very popular at work! I know the lighting is not great but I actually really like this shot:

Anyway, I have to be getting to bed. Sorry if you are drooling all over your keyboard now ;-)

Friday, August 01, 2008


Isn't it pretty?

Sorry it's been a while. I have been planning this big post to commemorate my 2 year anniversary of a 100% raw diet, but that was 3 weeks ago and it hasn't quite come to fruition yet...
So instead I give you a big fat bowl of tabbouleh. I found this meal to be fascinating to me, both in taste and texture; fascinating is good, by the way. ;-) It is not something I have ever eaten before (though I've made it for others a million times), in fact I don't know if I ever even ate non-raw tabbouleh. I do think it is a very easy dish to convert into raw though, if you like it cooked i imagine you would like it raw.
The reason I have never made it for myself is that I am not 100% comfortable using oils of any kind. This is not because of the fat content, it is simply because extracting oil from anything, be it an olive or a hemp seed, will alter the constitution of the oil and is a form of processing that I'm not entirely happy with. BUT I was really hankering for a big bowl of tabbouleh and, as you probably know if you read this blog much, when my body is asking for something I give it what it wants. I must admit, I have had some emotional/psychological stressors in my life recently and I know I haven't been taking 100 proper care of myself, so I wondered if I was a bit low in iron and that's why my body wanted all that iron-rich parsley.
Whatever the reason, I'm glad I made it because it was really very tasty. The dressing used 1/4 cup of organic, cold-pressed sunflower oil and I felt absolutely no ill effects from that, so I intend to be making it again!
Because I'm so nice, I want you to be able to enjoy this recipe as much as I did, so here it is:

Salad ingredients:
4 bunches parsley
about 300grams cherry tomatoes
1/3 cup almonds

Dressing ingredients:
1/4 cup cold-pressed oil (olive, sunflower, I'm thinking hemp would be great...)
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 small clove garlic (optional)

Finely chop the parsley in a food processor. Halve or quarter (if big) the cherry tomatoes. Chop the almonds in a food processor briefly until just crushed (not powdered!). Blend dressing ingredients in a blender then put everything in a big bowl and toss until well combined. Serve and enjoy.

Hope life is going wonderfully for everyone. I will try to get back with that anniversary post soon!

Friday, July 04, 2008

Another Meme

Okay so I know that doing memes is just a quick and easy way to knock together a blog post. But I do really love doing them, I get immense enjoyment out of answering questions, and also out of sharing myself with others. So all round, memes are good for me! I found this one at The Tropical Vegan, a blog I love.

1) LAST MOVIE YOU SAW IN A THEATRE? Ummmm... I think it was 'Bee Movie' last year. I loved the vegan undertones in this movie, and I LOVE Jerry Seinfeld so all round I quite enjoyed it. But you know, it was a kids movie, lacking in adult humour. I'm not a big fan of movies :-)

2) WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING? Sort of reading a book on animal experimentation, I can't remember what it is called. I have read heaps of books on this topic but the style this is written in just isn't doing it for me.

3) FAVOURITE BOARD GAME? I love all the ones that go on for ages... Simpsons Monopoly, The Game of Life, Risk and of course Scrabble.

4) FAVOURITE MAGAZINE? Vegan Voice and The Big Issue

5) FAVOURITE SMELLS? Oooh that's hard. The smell after rain. Cacao butter. My cats' fur. My pillow case.

6) FAVOURITE SOUNDS? Wow I don't think I've ever thought about that before. Silence.

7) WORST FEELING IN THE WORLD? That feeling when you desperately desperately want something and you would do virtually anything in the world to get it but you just can't.

8 ) WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU THINK OF WHEN YOU WAKE? Oh no did I sleep in again? Or maybe "good morning Ruhsa."

9) FAVOURITE FAST FOOD PLACE? The fruit bowl. Doesn't get faster than an apple! ;-)

10) FUTURE CHILD’S NAME? Never ever ever ever having kids. Ever.

11) FINISH THIS STATEMENT—IF I HAD A LOT OF MONEY I’D… donate to lots and lots of charities. Share with my family and friends.

12) DO YOU DRIVE FAST? I don't speed, if that's what you're implying ;-)

13) DO YOU SLEEP WITH A STUFFED ANIMAL? Well on my bed there sits a pink stuffed elephant (as old as me!), a stuffed dolphin, a tweety pie and a little grey rat. But at night i share with two cats and a dog who are definitely NOT stuffed, so the toys have to move out.

14) STORMS–COOL OR SCARY? Cool for me. Scary for my little doggy Casper :-) The cats aren't too fussed.

15) WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST CAR? A white toyota station wagon named Abigail. She was older than me and absolutely covered in animal rights related bumper stickers.

16) FAVOURITE DRINK? Green smoothies.

17) FINISH THIS STATEMENT - IF I HAD THE TIME I WOULD… play my instruments more.

18 ) DO YOU EAT THE STEMS ON BROCCOLI? Well I'm not a broccoli lover. My guinea piggies loooove those stems, so they usually get them.

19) IF YOU COULD DYE YOUR HAIR ANY OTHER COLOUR, WHAT WOULD BE YOUR CHOICE? I love love love the colour of my hair and would NEVER change it. I wish it would be long and straight again though, like it used to be :-(

20) NAME ALL THE DIFFERENT CITIES/TOWNS U HAVE LIVED IN? Oh i don't think I can do them all. I can do Elizabeth, Burton, Lobethal, East Victoria Park, Bayswater.

21) FAVOURITE SPORTS TO WATCH? I like soccer (football) on telly or basketball live.

22) ONE NICE THING ABOUT THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? Theresa is so passionate about so many issues and is clearly a very dedicated activist.

23) WHATS UNDER YOUR BED? Like Theresa, I sleep on a mattress (actually, 2) on the floor, so i guess the floor is under my bed! Probably also a lot of cat hair, lol.

24) WOULD U LIKE TO BE BORN AS YOURSELF AGAIN? well i am happy with who i am now but I wouldn't want to live through the last 5 years of my life again.

25) MORNING PERSON OR NIGHT OWL? I used to be a morning person and i will be again someday. At the moment though, definite night owl.


27) FAVOURITE PLACE TO RELAX? In nature. Somewhere with my cats or rats. The shower (but I hate the water wastage).

28 ) FAVOURITE PIE? Apple (raw, of course).

29) FAVOURITE ICECREAM FLAVOUR? Banana. Straight up.

30) OF ALL THE PEOPLE YOU HAVE TAGGED, WHO IS THE MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND FIRST? I don't know the rules on how to tag people, so I'm not going to bother. Go ahead and do it if you want :-)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Searching for Recipes
Okay, here's the story: as you probably know, I am working at an animal shelter called The Cat Haven. I LOVE my job and I LOVE the girls that I work with (one in particular!! :-) but what I don't love is that they are among the typical, hypocritical 'animal lovers' who still eat animals. There are a few vegetarians among them but certainly no vegans (and most of them had never heard of a raw foodie until they met me!)
So I am winning them all over with my delicious cooking and un-cooking, showing them how ultra tasty cruelty free food is. My first major experiment was last Sunday when I took a big batch of Chai Latte Cupcakes (from the ppK) in to share. Instead of the suggested topping I just sprinkled them with icing sugar, then personalised them by using an old stencil to put the first letter of everyone's name on a cupcake in cocoa powder. They looked AWESOME and I so badly wanted to share photos but lo and behold, my camera ran out of batteries. And my camera is really finnicky and only takes Duracell brand batteries, which I of course didn't have any of, so I was going to take pictures on my Dad's camera but my parents went away for the weekend so that was out too, boo :-( The good news, however, is that every single cupcake, including the rejects that spilled out of their liners and turned more into cookies, was devoured. Everyone thought the initialing was cute and funny and the cupcakes went down really well, with most people not knowing they were vegan until they were told (of course!) All in all, a great response.

But what I am after now is suggestions of other recipes I can take in. My only real requirement is that they are vegan: can be cooked or raw, sweet or savoury, whatever. Obviously if I am making a cooked recipe I'm not going to be sampling it, so this is why I want really tried and true recipes, that definitely WON'T fail me. Also, these girls are serious junk food addicts so I don't want anything that tastes too 'healthy,' if you know what I mean. SO, suggestions please!!

Because I didn't have a photo of the cupcakes to show you, I thought I'd share this one instead:

It's the cake from my best friend's engagement party about a month ago now (where is the time going!?!) The lighting was bad but the cake was stunning. Definitely not vegan but vay vay pwetty!!

And here is my gorgeous artsy fartsy photo of it :-)

I leave you now... lots of recipe suggestions please!!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

An ode to a fruit that I love...

... PERSIMMONS!! And as you may have guessed from my previous post, I like a certain type of persimmon, the type that not many other people like. I like astringent persimmons. Sweet persimmons, also called fuyu fruit (I think) are eaten crisp, almost like an apple. To me, they have very little flavour and the texture does not delight. But astringent persimmons...woah. I actually only discovered this joyous fruit last year - i've been missing out for 18 years! - but I plan to make up for that in years to come!
Many people are put off by astringent persimmons because at some point they have tried one that wasn't ripe, which is certainly not a pleasant experience. When eatne under-ripe, they leave the inside of your mouth feeling furry and gross. A truly ripe astringent persimmon is really really squishy and the skin should split if you squeeze it. The inside has a texture very much like jam - the way I eat them is to pull out the flower-like leaf at the top then split the fruit in half and slurp the insides out messily. Yum.

This post is the beginning of my attempt at blogging much more regularly. I think the main reason that I don't post is because I like all my posts to have (good) photos, but because all my blogworthy meals are eaten at night, when the lighting is bad, I have no photos. Hence, no posting. But I am going to try and change all that!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A meme
You know you need to update your blog when your Nanna is telling you to do it, lol :-P
Tonight I bring you a meme, which I spotted at Walking the Vegan Line. The way it works is that if you do any of the five things, then you are tagged. So here are the options:

1. bite your nails
2. secretly listen to Britney Spears while driving
3. wish you had a pig as a companion animal
4. consider yourself a scientist
5. ate a cupcake this past weekend

So I don't really fit any of these. I did bite my nails for 8 years but I have now actually stopped, yah! I do sometimes listen to a bit of Brit but it's not much of a secret. To be honest I have never really wished this at all, though my Mum does. I used to have a sheep and I looooooooooooved her so much. Number 4 is probably the closest, I don't have any qualifications yet but I will eventually have some kind of science degree. And it's a definite no to number 5.

What were you doing five years ago?
Ummm...2003. That would be my first year at St Peters, the private all-girls school where I did my last 3 years of school. That was a horrible horrible horrible year that I would really rather not remember too much.

What are five things on your to-do list today?
Well as it is now 9.30pm there is not much left for me to do today.
1. Brush my teeth.
2. Feed my darling ratties.
3. Brush my hair
4. Get my bag ready for work tomorrow so I don't have to do it in the morning.
5. Clean up the kitchen.

What are five snacks you enjoy?
My ultimate favourite thing to snack on is simply fruit. So I'll tell you my favourite fruits :-)
1. Grapes (probably the BEST snacking food in the world :-) I like red ones with seeds, lots of different varieties but especially currant grapes
2. Rockmelon
3. Persimmons (astringent ones)
4. Figs
5. Bananas

What are five things you would do if you were a millionare?
1. Give money to all my favourite charities... animals australia, PAWS, the Australian Orangutan Project, Veg-fam, TEAR ... the list goes on.
2. Give some to all my close family and friends.
3. Buy a totally eco-friendly house in the country somewhere.
4. Start a feral cat rehabilitation shelter (my dream!)
5. Publish my own books including raw food books, poetry, fiction...

What are your 5 bad habits?
1. Procrastination
2. Always running late (probably linked to number one :-)
3. Picking my scabs (sorry, TMI)
4. Getting to bed late (also linked to number one)
5. Ummmm... I can't think of another one!!

Where are five places you have lived?
1. Burton, Adelaide, South Australia
2. Elizabeth, Adelaide, South Australia
3. Lobethal, South Australia. The BEST place to grow up on Earth. I will always <3 you Loby!!
4. East Victoria Park, Perth, West Australia
5. Bayswater, Perth, West Australia

What are five jobs you've had?
Hmmm I don't know if I've had that many...
1. I mowed the lawn for a friend of my Grandma
2. Berry picker/packer
3. Giant teddy bear
4. Junk mail deliverer (the worst job going... well not the worst, but pretty bad)
5. and now... Cat Welfare Officer. How i love my job :-)

So now I have to tag some more people. You are officially tagged if you:
1. Sponsor or have sponsored a child or animal of some kind
2. Take cold showers in the summer (or all year round!)
3. Love squishy slurpy astringent persimmons WAAAAAAAAY more than those stupid crunchy ones
4. Share your home with more than one feline friend
5. Have a compost heap

Friday, May 23, 2008

Yummy Yums!!

Guess what? I have a recipe for you! A real, honest-to-goodness recipe, that is super delicious! I created it out of nothing this evening, which is probably not what you would expect from someone who had been out of the house working for 10 1/2 hours and had to get packed and ready to catch a plane at 6.20am the following morning... but I was feeling more inspired to create than I have in a loooooong time. My parents are out, so I cranked up the radio and had a lovely relaxing un-cooking session, with wonderful results. I achieved exactly what I wanted to first time, which is always lovely in the kitchen!

I call it Glistening Green Fruit Medley (avocados, zucchinis, capsicum and tomatoes are all, botanically speaking, fruits).
Glistening Green Sauce
1 large avocado
1/4 cup parsley
80 mLs of celery juice
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 large basil leaf
Fruit Medley
2 small yellow capsicum
1 1/2 punnets cherry tomatoes
1 spring onion
generous handful snow pea or sunflower sprouts
lots of fancy lettuce mix (aka mesclun)
1/2 a zucchini

To make the sauce combine all ingredients in a blender and blend till smooth.To make the medley, begin by thinly slicing the capsicum and spring onion; halve the cherry tomatoes, finely chop the lettuce and create zucchini noodles using a spiraliser. Add all ingredients to a large bowl and toss with sauce, then serve and enjoy slurpily!

As you can see, I took quite a number of artsy photos of this and while they are not perfect I really quite like them! Good considering the poor lighting, at least!

I'm sorry this has been such a short post but as I mentioned, I have a plane to catch early in the morning... my best friend in Adelaide just got engaged, and I'm flying back for the party to surprise her!!! Soooo exciting. I'll try to get back soon but meanwhile, enjoy life and eat your greens! :-P