Friday, March 31, 2006

Midweek Munchies

What Freedom is contributing:
-bottled orange and mango juice
-wholemeal grain bread
-flaked almonds
-tin of artichoke hearts
-tin of corn kernels
-2 tins of chickpeas
-tin of four bean mix (baby lima, red kidney, great northern, garbanzo)
-tomato paste
-wholewheat flour
-satay sauce

-baby spinach
-pink grapefruit
-button mushrooms

-quinoa (organic)
-cous cous (organic)
-a carob/tahini/banana bar (with only 3g of fat!)

The first group comes from the supermarket, the second from the fruit and veg shop and the last from the wholefoods store. The carob... bar was delicious and (even though I've been vegan for nearly two years) my first ever carob experience.

Sorry I've been absent for a few days - uni has been a bit hectic. I have a photo and recipe but they will have to come tomorrow as it is very late now. In other news, I FINALLY got a pert-time job today (after six weeks of applying). I am dressing up as a giant teddy bear and doing stage shows, birthday parties etc - should be lots of fun and the pay is great ($40AU for a half hour stage show!!)

Happy Midweek Munchies - if you want to know more check out the home of MM, .Harmonia's Hut

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

A tofu Question
This will have to be quick because I want to go to bed, but I have a question about tofu. Now, I know we vegans are pretty much required to like tofu but I think I may love it more than anyone else in the world. Does anyone else like to eat firm tofu raw, straight out of the tub of water without any seasoning, marinade etc? Or is that just me? I eat lumps of it will I'm cooking and I have slices on my sandwiches like cheese. I just think the texture and flavour are great! Anyone with me?
Have a good night/morning/whatever time it is in your part of the world and I will have a better post tomorrow, I promise.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Failed Faux Fish Cakes

Okay, I guess you should know that something is not going to be great when it is imitating something that isn't particularly great, but this recipe appealed to me because it had both tofu and brown rice. As a bonus, I never actually tasted fish cakes before going vegan so I didn't have any real expectations. I can't quite put my finger on what wan't that nice about them, they were just... less than nice. They look absolutely wonderful in the photo but unfortunately you can't see them because my parents went out last night and took the digital camera with them (when they didn't even have anything to take photots of!) so I had to take a picture with my disposable camera. So when the film gets developed I will scan in the photo but for now you will just have to imagine two nicely browned and very appetising-looking patties with a little salad. Although I don't recommend making them , here is the recipe.

-60g firm tofu, mashed with a fork
-20g brown onion, finely diced
-slightly less than 1/4 cup uncooked brown rice
-1 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes**
-1/2 tbsp celery seed
-pinch salt
-about 3/4 tbsp reduced salt soy sauce
-1 tsp lemon juice
-1/4 tsp dill tips
-1 tbsp rice flour
-1 tbsp wholemeal flour (more or less as needed)

Mix everything together in a bowl and then add wholemeal flour as needed to achieve a useable consistency. Try to shape into patties and try to put on a piece of aluminium foil under the grill (I say try because it is quite sloppy, but firms up nicely when cooked). Grill until browned then flip and grill until the other side is browned, then serve with a side of salad or veggies. You could also fry this but grilling is healthier and I don't see any reason not to.
I have been formulating an idea for dressing for the past few days but it turned out a big disaster and I was lucky that I tasted some before putting it on the salad - I think the problem was too much soy sauce, so when I come up with something better I'll let you know. My salad consisted of lettuce, tomato (organic), carrot (organic), red capsicum, corn (there it is again)and a couple of cashews, with rice malt syrup (a new discovery of mine) drizzled over the top. Yumm!

**Nutritional yeast is called Savoury Yeast Flakes here in Australia, so if you are looking for them and you can't find them, that could be why. As far as I know the only brand who makes them is Lotus, and they makes them in 100g and 200g bags.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Veggie of the Week
Looking back on my first week of posting I have noticed a couple of things:
1. It is really nice to get comments and it is an incredibly strange feeling to know that you are communicating with people so far away and
2. I have really used A LOT of corn this week. There was the Corn and Garbanzo Fritter on Tuesday, Corn in my salad on Wednesday, Creamy Corn and Carrot Chowder on Thursday and then Corny-Bean Muffins yesterday. I'm also going to be having corn in my dinner tonight (recipe tomorrow :-)). I have never really been here or there on corn - it wasn't one of my favourite veggies but I didn't dislike it. Now, however, I know that I really enjoy it, so I plan on using it more. In light of this discovery, I have decided that corn is this week's VEGGIE OF THE WEEK!! Last week I hadn't thought of this idea but if I had, sweet potato would have won hands down. And the week before would have been kale. So if you are like me and don't really use much corn I advise you to go out and get some, in whatever form you desire!

P.S The corn in the photo is not any I have bought or anything - I just googled 'corn pictures' (actually I yahooed it) and this was the first thing I got. I've always thought it was a very attractive vegetable but this photo doesn't do it justice.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Cute, Beautiful, Marvellous Corny-Bean Muffins.

Today marked my first foray into the world of savoury muffins and I would say it was a big success. I have had a recipe for cornbread muffins for a few months and have been looking forward to trying it and with inspiration from Susan's Tamale Bites i created what you see in the photo above. The consistency wasn't quite what I would have liked - they were a bit denser than normal muffins so in future I would use egg replacer, but the taste was great. So here is the recipe.

For the muffins
- 3/4 cup cornmeal
- 3/8 cup self-raising wholemeal flour
- 3/8 cup regular self-raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup water
- 3/8 cup low fat soymilk
- 2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
- 3/4 tbsp vegan brown sugar
For the filling
- tinned 4 bean mix (garbanzos, red kidney, great northern and baby lima)
- tinned corn kernels
- finely chopped red and green capsicum
- tomato paste
- a little dukkah or cummin

Mix all the dry muffin ingredients in a medium bowl and make a well in the centre then pour in all the wet ingredients and mix until combined. You may find the mixture a little dry, if this is the case just add a little more water or soymilk. To make the filling, simply combine all ingredients and mix until the tomato paste coats everything. To make the muffins, place about a tablespoon of mixture into a slicon muffin pan and then shape a little dent in the middle, then put a heaping teaspoon of the filling in there. (This is what is seen in the first picture - sorry it's blurry again). Top with enough mixture to keep the filling completely covered, and repeat. I got four filled muffins out of this and two unfilled - they are equally nice both ways if you ask me. The finished product looks great and tastes brilliant - biting into the filled ones is a very nice surprise!

I was a bit disturbed when I discovered how much fat is in cornmeal but it's a bit late now - I suppose with the low fat soymilk it's not too bad.
This week I have had a 'non-teaching study break' from uni, whic has been really good - not only have I gotten stuck into a couple of assignments but I have had the opportunity to make something exciting for lunch every day! So next week I unfortunately won't be posting as many recipes as I have this week but I now have a couple of ideas for things I can take with me instead of a sandwich!
Thanks to everyone who has left comments, it is very appreciated!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Midweek Munchies

Midweek Munchies: What Freedom is contributing for the week

Soymilk - low fat, calcium, B12 and iron enriched
Soy sauce - reduced salt
Marinated tofu cutlets - Japanese style
Bottled lemon juice (the lemons on our tree are yet to ripen)
Tinned pineapple slices
Tomato paste
Bottle of orange and mango juice
Tin of four bean mix - garbanzos, red kidney, great northern and cannellini
2 heads of broccoli
Button mushrooms

Oranges - juicing
Pink grapefruit - juicing
New season royal gala apples
Baby spinach

Yellow cornmeal - organic
Celery seed

The first group of things all came from Coles, the second lot from the greengrocers and the cornmeal and celery seed from a little health food shop. I will also be going to the organic fruit and veg shop on Saturday - it is a little one that is literally four minutes from our house walking. It has been open from 10 till 12 on saturday mornings to see whether it will be successful (the owner has a larger shop about 20 minutes away) and since the response has been so good it is soon going to be opening more and stocking more produce - something I'm very happy about, not only because it will increase shopping opportunities but also because I might be getting a job there!! YAY!
Anyway, let me explain my shopping situation to you further. I am only 17 and I do still live with my parents but since we moved house I have started doing my own shopping - mum gives me $50 a week to spend as I see fit and if I go over, it comes out of my own pocket. So far, however, I have been well under.
I don't like my shopping list much this week - it doesn't indicate how healthy and natural my products usually are, but next week is a Wholefoods Shop week, so that should be better. Here is the link if you're interested i knowing more about MM:

Now that I've given you my shopping list, I'll tell you what I had for lunch today. It was even colder than yesterday so I went "soup it is." Normally I am NOT a soup person but I was feeling creative and cold so I took inspiration from today's blog at The Vegan Lunchbox and made - Creamy Corn and Carrot Chowder. The quantity I made was so small that mum got very cross and told me I needed to eat more, so i have doubled it, but that still may not be enough for you.

1 cup of water
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp nutritional yeast*
1 tbsp veggie stock powder
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp rosemary
1 medium carrot, chopped
2 tbsp tinned corn kernels
about 3tbsp sweet potato, chopped into cubes

Mix the water and tomato paste and bring to a gentle boil in a saucepan, then stir in the stock powder, nutritional yeast and herbs. Add the carrot and corn. Zap the sweet potato in a microwave for about 40 seconds (if you're rushed) or roast until it is a little soft. Add to the soup and simmer until it has thickened. Taste and add seasonings as necessary, then serve and enjoy!

By the way, the photo is of the cornmeal I bought - I am going to cook with it tomorrow so the recipe will be posted!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Corn and Garbanzo Fritter

Hi there! Autumn has finally hit today with a cold change and a bit of rain but unlike some people my eating habits don't reflect the weather - for lunch today I had a little salad whereas yesterday (in the 37 degree heat) I had a hot lunch - a little corn and garbanzo fritter. Go figure?! But anyway, I'm going to post the (sort-of) recipe for the fritter, as seen in the picture - sorry it's a bit blurry. I served it with a little chopped up organic tomato which was sweet and delicious. The recipe is adapted from one in a cute little publication by The Sanitarium Corporation called 'The Sensational Soy Cookbook' but it no longer had any soy whatsoever. Here goes.

  • 1/4 cup of self-raising flour (white or wholewheat)
  • 2-3 large tbsp tinned corn kernels
  • 1-2 tbsp tinned garbanzo beans
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp dukkah or cummin
  • 1 "egg" of egg replacer (ie powder and water)
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • plain low-fat (or regular) soymilk
Mix all the ingredients down to the egg and then add the soymilk, mixing until the batter is at a desired consistency. Pour into a non-stick frying pan and cook until the edges are browned and there are bubbles on the surface. When it is ready it will flip easily. Flip and cook on the other side until it is brown, then serve and enjoy!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Sweet and Sour Tofu and Veggies

This will have to be a quick post because mum wants to use the computer desk for her studying, so here it goes - the recipe for my Monday night dinner, Sweet and Sour Tofu and Veggies served over Quinoa.

  • 1 small carrot
  • half a head of broccoli
  • 1 large leaf of kale
  • as much red capsicum as you want
  • a small handful baby spinach
  • extra firm tofu - as much as you want
  • 1 'ring' of tinned pineapple
  • 1/4 cup of syrup/juice from tinned pineapple
  • 1/4tsp ginger powder
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1-1 1/2 tsp dukkah*
  • 1-2 tbsp salt-reduced soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp vegan brown sugar
  • 1/2 - 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 3/4 tsp corn flour
  • slightly less than 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1/4 cup dry quinoa
Start by placing the tofu under the grill. While this is grilling away , make the sauce. Mash up the pineapple with a fork ( alternately you could just buy crushed pineapple and use a few spoonfuls of that) and place it in a non-stick saucepan with the juice, cayenne pepper, dukkah, soy sauce, sugar and vinegar and mix. Chop up your veggies and place in the top of a steamer saucepan, remembering to check on the tofu every now and then, flipping when one side is brown. Put the sauce over medium heat and while it starts simmering nicely mix the corn flour/corn starch with the water. After five minutes place the quinoa in the bottom the steamer saucepan with 1/3 - 1/2 cup of boiling water, put the veggies on top and place over high heat. After another 3-5 minutes the veggies should be getting soft and the tofu should be done (it was probably done a while ago). Chop the tofu into cubes and toss in with the sauce, then add the cornflour/water mixture ( should have no lumps). Leave this simmering until the veggies are as tender as you want them and then add them to the sauce as well. The quinoa should be nearly done (if the water is all gone just add a little more) so turn this down to low heat while your sauce continues to thicken. When the quino has no more water and the sauce has reached the desired consistency, put the quinoa on a plate and top with sauce. YUM!

*Dukkah is a spice which contains, among other things, cummin, sea salt, sesame seeds and ground walnuts. If you can't find it, just use cummin, but I highly recomend looking until you do.

Monday, March 20, 2006

My Meal Plan and Some Juice

As promised, I am going to post my weekly meal plan today.I will slowly be posting the recipes I use (although many of them are all done by sitgh without measuring, so that could be fun!) but for now I will just supply their titles and the location of the originals (they are all VERY adapted).

Monday: Sweet and Sour Tofu with Veggies, served over quinoa* (adapted from 'Tofu and Vegetables in Pineapple Curry Sauce from

Tuesday: Satay Chickpea Pattie on Wholemeal bread (adapted from 'Chickpea Burgers,' which I photocopied out of a recipe book in the waiting room at a doctor's surgery)

Wednesday: Tofu Kebabs with Sweet Tomato-ey Sauce served over quinoa and veggies (cannot remember where this came from but it is nothing like the original)

Thursday: Japanese-style tofu with Stir-fry veggies and cous-cous (how can there be a recipe for stir-fried veggies? The title is the recipe! And the tofu comes out of a packet)

Friday: Muffin pizzas (the 'cheese' sauce I use is adapted from 'Melty Pizza Cheese' found at

Saturday: Experimentation day

Sunday: Hot Brown Hommus with gnocchi and veggies (adapted from 'Tahini Rotini with Broccoli and Lemon' found at

So there is my meal plan. As you can see, tonight I will be having sweet and sour tofu... actually, you probably can't see that because whenever I post, it displays the time that I posted as the american time even though I'm in Australia. Anyway, it is currently 4.33pm on Monday the 20.3.06
Now to get onto the juice. Unfortunately I can't post a picture because I didn't think about posting this 'recipe' until after I had drunk the juice, but never mind. Although it is technically autumn here we are still having extremely hot, dry weather - for example, the temperature today was forecast as 37 degrees celsius. I don't know what that is in Fahrenheit but I can tell you this - it is HOT. Not that I'm complaining - I love this weather. So anyway, this afternoon I felt like giving the juicer another work out - after walking home from the bus stop (after being at uni) I needed some serious rehydration. I grabbed two fuji apples and some watermelon (organic, yay) from the fridge, cored and chopped the apple, picked the seeds out of the watermelon and stuck it all through the juicer (god I love that machine!) I then dropped in three frozen grapes (the perfect almost-guiltless snack, especially good for this weather) and left in the freezer for about ten minutes to get a bit cooler. It was DELICIOUS!
Well, after this extremely long post my hands are tired and I'm hot, so I'll sign off now!

* Quinoa is pronounced keenwa and it is a grain which originates from South America. It is high in protein and less bulky than brown rice, which I like - I hate feeling bloated. I recommend trying some if you can get your hands on it.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Thyme for Tempeh

Before I begin telling you about the above photo, I think there is something I should explain about my eating habits. Most food blogs put up a new recipe mosttimes they post but I won't be doing this because I have the same thing for dinner every inght. I don't mean every single night, I mean that I have a set meal plan so I have the same thing every Monday, Tuesday etc. I will post my recipe plan tmorrow. On Saturdays, however, I always try something new, so I will always have a recipe to post on a Sunday. I am also currently trying to turn my dad vegetarian as well as helping out my mother who I turned veggie last year and who has serious food allergies, so I can post some of the things I cook for them.

Now, back to last night's dinner. I have wanted to try tempeh (pronounced tempay) for AGES and I finally bought some three weeks ago. I ate it two Saturdays runnig, in different dishes, and found that I did not like it one little bit. This disturbed me, because there are not many things I don't like (so long as they're vegan, obviously). I wanted to try and find a way I liked tempeh and I also didn't want to waste it because it is pretty xpensive and I hate seeing food get wasted (even if wasted is fed to the dog). So last night I adapted a recipe from called Veggie Sausage Dinner Skillet and, shock horror, I actually really enjoyed it!! So here goes
(NOTE: I have estimated veggie quantities but it really depends on how hungry you are/what you enjoy).

  • 1 small handful of kohl rabi and sweet potato, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 3 tablespoons diced brown onion
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • tempeh, as much as you want
  • 1/2 a large carrot
  • 3 tbsp diced tinned tomatoes, plus two tbsp of the juice from the tin
  • slightly more than 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • slightly less than 1/4 tsp dried rosmary
  • 1/4tsp dried oragano
  • 1/4tsp dried basil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • handful baby spinach leaves
Place the kohl rabi and sweet potato into a saucepan, cover with water and simmer until tender. While they are cooking, fry the onions in a little bit of water until they are just barely turning brown and then add in the garlic and tempeh (chooped into bite sized pieces) and continue frying until the tempeh is quite browned. Add to the frying pan the carrot, herbs (including bay leaf) and 2 tbsp of diced tomatoes plus 1 tbsp of the tomato juice. Reduce the heat and let this cook for a few minutes and by this time the sweet potato and kohl rabi should be ready. Drain and add to the frying pan along with the remaining tomatoes and juice and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes or until the carrots are tender and it has reached the desired consistency. Turn off the heat and stir through the baby spinach leaves (roughly chop them first) and just let them wilt a bit while you get your plate ready. Remove the bay leaf and serve.

You could increase the liquid int this recipe and make it a pasta sauce/topping for rice but, as you can see from the picture, I had it thick and served as-is. The original recipe added chopped apple at the same time as the carrot which I did because I LOVE apples, but it just didn't work in this dish. Also, I had to add spinach because in my worl a meal is not a meal without spinach.
For anyone who doesn't know, kohl rabi is a little grren (or purple) thing that is related to cabbage and originated in germany. You can use regular potato, cabbage , or whatever you want if you can't find it, but it is very tasty and nutritious.
Verdict of a non-vegan: I gave a piece of tempeh to both my mum and dad, with very different responses. Dad said "it tastes like compressed dirt" whereas mum said "it's much nicer than tofu" (is she out of her mind!??!)If you make it I hope you enjoy it.

P.S If you read this blog I would love it if you would leave a comment. It would be great to know someone was actually reading it!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Hello. I have been extremely busy for the last month, what with moving across the country and starting university but from now on I am going to try and blog regularly, because I love reading everyone else's blogs so much.
I made a batch of muffins today and they were absolutely STUNNING!! My non-vegan father said they were "the best" (except when he bit into a whole clove... whoops). The recipie began its life as a Pumpkin Loaf from but finished up as sweet potato muffins.

A little side note now: sweet potatoes (also known as kumara and yams) are really, really yummy and they are my favourite veggie at the moment. If you have never tried them, you totally have to - buy one for this recipie and about five more to use in whatever way you can.

Okay, here is the recipie for the muffins:
Freedom's SPMs -
uperb, Perfect, Magical Sweet Potato Muffins
  • 1 1/2 cups self raising wholewheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 - 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup vegan brown sugar, minus about 1 1/2tbsp
  • 200g raw sweet potato
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup plain soymilk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (or more if you love it like I do)
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cloves (about five individual cloves)
  • 2 eggs worth of egg replacer
Peel and chop the sweet potato and place in a saucepan with 1 tsp sugar, cover with water and boil until tender and bright orange, 15-20mins.
In a big bowl mix the flour, sugar, salt and baking soda and then wait around getting bored until the sweet potato is ready. Drain the sweet potato, place in a medium sized bowl and mash, then mix in the applesauce, 'egg,' soymilk, vanilla essence, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Scoop this into the dry ingredients and mix. It is important that you don't mix too much - I always used to read this in recipes and wonder what 'over mixing' was and why it mattered, but now I know. This mixture will be really light and kind of "foamy" but if you stir and stir and stir it will get smooth and runny, and your muffins won't rise very much.
Put the mixture into silicone muffin pans and bake for anywhere between 15 and 30 mins at 180 degrees celsius - it depends how you like your muffins. I didn't want to wait too long so I took them out a bit sooner than I would normally have and they were a little doughy, but then I love eating the ough before it goes in the oven so this didn't bother me!

Good luck with making them and I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!
(As you can see in the pictures, some of them are topped with cashews - I don't really know why I did this, I think it was mainly because we have lots of cashews in our house cause my mum loves them but she has begun a new diet to try and improve her health so she can't eat them anymore. I wouldn't normally use them because they are so high in fat.)