Sunday, April 30, 2006

Fancy Balsamic Eggplant etc Sandwich
Since starting university I have discovered the wonders of having more for lunch than just a salad sandwich - I only take lunch with me twice a week now and even on those days I take salad or sushi or ocassionaly something else. Yesterday, I decided to go back to the land of the sandwich, but with a little more flair than I used to use. So I prodcued the delectable and attractive creation you see in the picture (okay, so, it's not that special, but it was yummy). If you're interested, I only made the half sandwich you see in the picture - I couldn't fit in a whole one like this!


-1 piece of wholemeal grain bread
-1 largish field mushroom or portobello
-1 chunk of eggplant that will fit on your bread
-baby spinach
-1 piece of pre-marinated garlic flavoured tofu
-1 tsp powdered veggie stock
-1/2 to 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
-3 or 4 tbsp boiling water

Mix the water, vinegar and veggie powder together. Place the eggplant (a half moon shaped slice about 1cm thick) in a non-stick frying pan and then pour half of the vinegar mixture over it and fry over medium heat until mostly soft. While it's frying, place the tofu under the griller/broiler. When the eggplant is soft and the liqud is gone, place the mushrom (slice it in two bits) in the frying pan and add the rest of the liquid. Place the bread under the griller until it is ever so slightly crisp (not brown!) and then take out and cut into two triangles. Put some fresh baby spinach leaves on one bread triangle and when the lquid is all boiled away and the eggplant and mushroom are soft, place them on the spinach and top with the browned tofu. Put the oterh bread triangle on top and voila! Eat up and enjoy.

(Sorry, I know these are very complicated instructions for making a sandwich but I really enjoyed this sandwich so I got a bit carried away!)

Saturday, April 29, 2006

DMMs - Divine, Mouthwatering, Marvellous Date Molasses Muffins

Well, I have come back in fine form after last week's muffin disaster! I don't like to sound boastful but I am truly amazed at how much my cooking skills have improved. Not my actual cooking skills, but my ability to create - I always used to wonder "how on Earth does anyone invent a recipe? Where do they get their initial idea?" But now I know that the more time you spend in the kitchen the more you learn about what foods go well together. The more recipes you read, the more you can grasp how long something will take to cook or what quantity it will make. You see other recipes and get some inspiration - that is possibly the best thing about blogging.
Anyway, I came up with an nice, Autumn-ey sounding recipe title that I wanted to put to the test but then I found out about Blackstrap Molasses and so that recipe has been put off temporarily (be on the lookout though!) Blackstrap molasses is high in iron and calcium and fat free - those are the two nutrients I am really trying to incorporate more of into my diet, so how could I resist? And, to top it all off, I found a jar on special at my regular supermarket! So, with basically no idea what I was doing, I created these mind blowingly tasty, fat free, nutritious muffins. And, to make things even better, they rose up beautifully (I love really high muffins!) So here goes:

-1 3/4 cups self raising wholemeal flour
-3/4 tsp baking powder
-1 or 2 tbsp vegan brown sugar
-1/2 cup low fat soymilk
-1/4 cup water plus a bit extra (can use all water or all soymilk)
-2 or 3 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
-3 tbsp blackstrap molasses
-equivelant of one egg (Ener-G egg or similar)
-about 1/3 cup chopped dates
-2 tsp vanilla essence

Before you start, make up the egg replacer (I find its best to let it sit for about 10 minutes) and preheat the oven to 180C (I think thats 350F).
In a large bowl combine the flour, baking powder and sugar and make a well in the centre. In another bowl mix the soymilk/water, applesauce, molasses, vanilla and your egg replacer until well combined, then pour into the dry ingredients. Mix them together, the mixture may be a little dry so add more water/soymilk as necessary. Then stir through the dates and bake in a silicone muffin pan for 25-30 mins. Get them out of the muffin pans as soon as you can without burning all the skin off your fingers and devour, delighting in their yumminess!

By the way, this makes about 7 medium muffins (depends on how big your muffin pans are and how much mixture you eat before they go in the oven!!)

Friday, April 28, 2006

Harmonias Midweek Munchies Meme
A Veg*n Meme

What wonderful foods did you bring home from the grocery store?

Midweek Munchies: What Freedom is contributing for the week

-unsweetened applesauce
-silken tofu
*firm tofu
-orange and mango juice
-blackstrap molasses
-pitted dates
-reduced-salt soy sauce
-sweet paprika
-no-salt tomato paste
-canned four bean mix
-baby spinach
-field mushrooms

*red capsicum
*brown onion
*spring onions?
*sweet potato

I am sooo excited about my blackstrap molasses purchase - ever since I learned that it is high in calcium and iron and low in fat I have been out to get some! Watch out for recipes in the coming days/weeks/the rest of my life!

Links to other Midweek Munchies
(If you participate, leave your link in the comments and I'll post it below; or, you can post in the comments)

Click here for the Midweek Munchies code
Click here for Harmonia's blog

Trackbacks, pings, and comment links are accepted and encouraged!
Technorati Tag:

A special thanks to Running2Ks and Rift for all of their help with coding, graphics, and encouragement for this project.

PURPOSE of Midweek Munchies: Put together by a small group of Veg Women, we hope to spread the word about healthy vegetarianism while obtaining idea starters for meals, recipes, learn about new products, and meet other female veg*n bloggers. Visiting and commenting on other participants lists are encouraged but not required. Have fun and Go Veg!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Rice Vermicelli with Ginger Lime Sauce
Wow I'm so behind in my posting - it's now Tuesday and this is what I had for dinner on SATURDAY! But never mind. I sort of made this up as I went and ended up with a bit too much lime juice in the sauce but it was still really yummy. You should definately try rice vermicelli if you haven't - they're a thin asian noodle made of rice (duh) which cook in about 3-5 minutes. I was shocked to find them at my normal supermarket but you may need to go to an asian supermarket.

-rice vermicelli or cellophane noodles
-stir fry veggies. I used onion, red and green capsicum, broccoli, cauliflower, carrot, spinach, mushrooms and sweet potato
-extra firm tofu

-2 tbsp fresh lime juice
-2 tsp grated fresh ginger
-1 to 2 tsp tahini
-3 tbsp water
-2 tbsp soy sauce
-sugar as needed

Place some water into a non-stick frying pan so that it is about 2-3cm (about 1 inch) deep and then put in your longer-cooking veggies (broccoli, carrot, cauliflower, sweet potato). Cook this over high heat until the water is almost all boiled away (this is a personal technique - I find it allows the veggies to be a bit softer than traditional stir fries, but this means they retain more flavour and nutrients). Then add the capsicum, onion, mushrooms and tofu (depending on how you like your tofu, you may want to grill or bake it first, as it is not very thoroughly browned when cooked in this way). While this is frying, place the noodles in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave for 3-5 minutes or until they achieve the desired texture, then drain. To make the sauce, simply combine all ingredients and mix well. Place the noodles in the frying pan and fry briefly, then pour in the sauce and stir until it boils away, making sure all ingredients get a good coating. Just before it's done, add the baby spinach. Serve and enjoy!

Just a not regarding the Banana Carrot Muffins - I think I was a little harsh yesterday. They are really quite nice and improve with age (as long as you store them in the fridge and microwave before eating).

Monday, April 24, 2006

BCMs - Boring, Crummy, Mundane Banana Carrot Muffins

In case you didn't figure this out, I was unimpressed by these muffins. Okay, so, they weren't quite as bad as all that, but I don't really recommend them. I actually didn't want to make them that much but I'm going through a process at the moment - I have a recipe folder full of recipes I've printed off the internet and after I make them I rate them out of five, list any changes I made or would make in the future, and write a comment. It is very useful but I have a number of recipes that I downloaded a while ago that no longer suit my style/tastes. You would think I would just recycle them, but that is not me - I want to have a rating and comment for every recipe in the folder! So, this is recipe that I printed off AGES ago and just had to make so that I could give it the required info. I gave it 3 stars. But that doesn't mean I'm not going to publish the recipe!:

-1/3 cup rolled oats, ground in a dry food processor until a bit less chunky
-1 cup wholewheat self raising flour
-1/4 tsp ginger powder
-1/8 tsp cloves
-1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
-3/4 tsp nutmeg
-1/4 tsp baking soda
-3/4 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tbsp nutritional yeast (NOT bakers yeast or brewer's yeast!)
-4 tbsp vegan brown sugar
-2.5 ounces firm tofu
-1/4 cup plus about 2 tbsp orange juice
-equivelant to half an egg
-1 smallish ripe banana, mashed but with some chunks left
-1/4 to 1/2 cup grated carrot

Place all the ingredients up to and including the baking powder in a bowl and stir to combine. Chop the tofu in a food processor until quite finely minced/mashed up then add in the sugar, nutritional yeast, egg equivelant and orange juice and process until well mix. Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until they are all moist, then fold in the banana and carrot. Bake at about 190C for 20-25 mins, checking for brownness.

The problem with these is their consistency - even with the baking soda, baking powder and egg replacer they barely rose up at all and this is not a problem I usually have. When they first come out of the oven, the middle is really squooshy (is that a word?) and this changes as they cool, but they are still a bit too dense in my opinion.

However, they have reminded me of how yummy banana is in muffins, so I'm going to play around a bit with this fairly soon! Below is a picture of Asante Sana (Sana for short), the most beautiful cat in the world (although this is in close competition with Wonka, who sadly passed away about 18 months ago). Sana came home with me after my week's work experience with the RSPCA - no one knows quite how old she is, but the best guess is VERY! What we do know is that she was dumped in a cardboard box in a pretty bad state - the pads of her feet were cut and bruised, her nose was scarred and she was tiny and thin. Also, for some reason, her ears are completely bald. She is now healthy, friendly and a lot bigger (mainly just closer to the ground in the tummy region!) Oh, and her most endearing feature (well, the one that won me over)? She drools. Like, a lot. Whenever she is contented/relaxed, it starts like a tap. She sleeps in my bed, right beside my face, and I often wake up beside a large wet patch.

This was inspired by Leslie's recent post at Eat Peace Please - I told you she was a dog in a cat's body too (what kind of self-respecting cat drools?)!

NOTE: Okay, computer issues mean the Sana photo will come later. Keep checking back!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Muffin Pizzas
Yes, it is that time of the week again when I share with you one of the items in my ‘weekly menu,’ and this week it is my Friday meal, muffin pizzas. Obviously pizza is one of those very personal things – some people like strange and delicious combinations while others prefer to stay more traditional in their toppings. For some it is all about the cheese but others prefer to have none. Personally, I was a cheese lover when it came to pizza –I would have tomato paste then a layer of cheese, some toppings and then another thick cheese layer. Now, I still have cheese but not in the traditional sense. When I first became vegan I was desperate to get my hands on some vegan mozzarella but now even if someone offered it to me I don’t know if I’d take it – too much fat, too processed. I don’t claim that the cheese sauce I use actually tastes that much like cheese, and certainly not mozzarella, but it has nice flavour of its own, its fat free and really good for you – what more could you ask for?
Anyway, this is how I make my pizza but it’s not an art form or anything and the amounts are all very approximate. By, the way, the pictures do NOT do these pizzas justice. They normally look much better and I seriously need to work on my lighting. And yes, the plate does have teddy bears on it. It was a gift from my grandparents at least five years ago and I eat off it every night (despite my mother’s attempts to get rid of it!)

• 1 wholewheat English muffin (check that it’s free of whey powder and other nasties)
• 3 or 4 tbsp no-salt tomato paste
• ½ tsp basil (dried)
• ½ tsp oregano (dried)
• 3 tbsp firm tofu, mashed
• 1 tbsp brown onion, finely sliced
• 2 tbsp capsicum (I use 1 tbsp red, 1 green)
• about ¼ cup baby spinach (packed in), finely sliced
• mushroom (any sort, but I’m loving field mushrooms at the moment)
• tinned pineapple pieces

• 1 ½ or 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
• ½ tbsp cornflour/cornstarch
• ¼ tbsp rice flour
• 1/8 tsp garlic granules
• about ½ tsp lemon juice
• ¼ cup plus about 2 tbsp water
• sprinkle salt

In a small bowl mix together the tomato paste, herbs, mashed tofu, chopped onion, capsicum and baby spinach. Divide the muffin into its two halves and spread the tomato/tofu etc mixture onto both halves (you may have some left over – I just eat it raw!) Then stick on your mushroom and pineapple (basically as much as you can fit).
To make the cheese sauce, place all ingredients in a bowl and whisk with a wire whisk until the flours and yeast are all dissolved, then pour into a non-stick saucepan. Place the sauce over medium heat and leave to sit for about 30 seconds. At this point, it should have started thickening. Stir very briskly in circular motions around the pan with a wooden spoon – the sauce will begin to bubble and thicken. Don’t stop stirring! When the sauce is thick and smooth, reduce the heat to as low as it will go and then leave for about a minute. By this point it should be quite thick and gooey. Place the two muffin halves on the grill tray and then pour/spread the cheese sauce over the top. Place the pizzas under the grill and cook for about 5- 8 minutes, checking regularly. When the cheese is browned to your liking, remove pizzas and enjoy! Yum!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Harmonias Midweek Munchies Meme
A Veg*n Meme

What wonderful foods did you bring home from the grocery store?

Midweek Munchies: What Freedom is contributing for the week

Along with other midweek munchers, I'm going to be marking organic goods with a little star, just like this one *.

-soymilk (iron, B12 and calcium enriched, low fat)
-soy yoghurt (calcium enriched, low fat, blueberry flavour)
-tofu (garlic flavour)
-roasted cashews (unsalted)
-baby spinach
-fielf mushrooms
-wholemeal grain bread
-satay sauce
-rice vermicelli (GASP - I actually got this at the regular supermarket. I thought I'd be going to the asian supermarket!)
-tinned sweetcorn (no added salt)
-a lime

-over ripe bananas
-royal gala apples


*green capsicum
*brown onion
*fresh ginger

Look out for a recipe with the rice vermicelli in a few days...I'm excited about that! And the over ripe bananas will be featuring too. As I said last week, the pre-marinated tofu (Japanese style) that I normally buy is VERY high in fat (9.5g per serve!!!) so I had plans to try something different. Coincidentally, the supermarket stopped stocking it this week. Which is where the garlic flavoured tofu comes in. It does have marginally less fat, (about7g per serve) but I'm still looking out for something else.
Happy Munchies everyone!

Links to other Midweek Munchies
(If you participate, leave your link in the comments and I'll post it below; or, you can post in the comments)

Click here for the Midweek Munchies code
Click here for Harmonia's blog

Trackbacks, pings, and comment links are accepted and encouraged!
Technorati Tag:

A special thanks to Running2Ks and Rift for all of their help with coding, graphics, and encouragement for this project.

PURPOSE of Midweek Munchies: Put together by a small group of Veg Women, we hope to spread the word about healthy vegetarianism while obtaining idea starters for meals, recipes, learn about new products, and meet other female veg*n bloggers. Visiting and commenting on other participants lists are encouraged but not required. Have fun and Go Veg!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

A Loooong Post
Hello! I was going to post this yesterday but my computer was being totally stupid so I couldn't but better late than never! Okay, I have lots of things to post about (and a heap of photos) so I'm going to do a few sections in kind-of chronological order. Here goes.

Saturday Night's Dinner

For dinner on Saturday I made Fettucine No-Fredo from Susan's blog and it was wonderfully, superbly delicious. I'm not going to post the recipe because I barely changed it, except I used spaghetti instead of fettucine, a bit more nutritional yeast than the recipe called for, and I chucked some kale in with the broccoli (cos you can never get enough leafy greens!). I highly recommend making it and say a big thankyou to Susan. If (when) I make it again, I will make one change - cut back on the water and add a little soymilk, just to make it creamier. By the way, what do you think of my photo? Personally, I'm pretty impressed!

Easter Presents
I decided to make my parents all vegan gift baskets for Easter and so on Saturday while they were out I spent 4 hours slaving away in the kitchen. I don't actually know if the baskets were 100% vegan, because I bought the carob chips in bulk and don't know the ingredients, although they did specify 'no milk.' I'm not going to eat them (too fatty/sugary anyway) so I wasn't too fussed - I figure they're still way better than milk chocolate. Anyway, back to the contents of the baskets. Both of my parents had basic chocolate brownies, mum had cornflake cookies and dad had carob-dipped orange segments (although he ended up eating a fair few cookies:-)They were a big success, except the oranges - dad could handle the carob in the brownies but he's just not quite ready for it on its own yet. So they were sprinkled on the backyard for birds (mum can't eat citrus fruit). Here is the recipe for the brownies - they are not like anything I would make for myself, so don't expect to see anything like this posted too often! (The recipe was adapted from a little cookbook called 'Brownies, Fudges and Toppings' - certainly not vegan!)

-75g vegan margarine (or a combination of margarine and peanut butter)
-65g carob chips/dark vegan chocolate
-equivelant to 1 1/2 eggs
-3/4 cup vegan sugar (pref. white but I used brown and it was okay)
-3/4 tsp vanilla essence
-1/2 cup plain white flour
-1/8 to 1/4 cup cocoa powder
-icing sugar (i think this is confectioners sugar in America?)

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius (350F). Use a wire whisk to mix the egg replacement, sugar and vanilla essence. In a separate (heatproof) bowl,melt the margarine and carob/chocolate over boiling water, then allow to cool slightly and whisk into the sugar and "egg" mixture. Add the flour and cocoa powder and mix until combined - don't overbeat. Spray a brownie tin with non-stick spray then line with baking paper. Pour in the brownie mixture and cook for 40 - 50 minutes (start checking after 35). Brownies are done when they spring back lightly to the touch. Remove the brownies and allow to cool completely before removing from the pan. Chop into squares and dust with icing sugar.

Here is a picture of the finished product:

And this is what the baskets looked like, complete with fresh frangipanis (my favourite flower ever) stolen from down the road. Well, not stolen - I took ones that were already on the ground! I'm not going to post the recipe for cornflake cookies as it is very simple and just involves cornflakes, flour and lots of sugar and margarine.

Oh and if you're wondering, Easter was good to me too - I got four packs of dried fruit! (My biggest vice - once I start on it I can't stop). I got craisins (maybe not exciting to you, but very rare here in Australia), mango, paw paw, and a 'fruit salad.' Unfortunately, the fruit salad (consisting of apple, peach, apricot, pear and possibly something I'm forgetting) was the only one not coated in sugar. You can't really taste it on the craisins but the mango and paw paw... it's like eating handfuls of sugar! So I rinsed them considerably and dried on paper towels, and that's much better. I didn't take a photo, although I might still :-)

This photo shows the home of Spirit, the most beautiful, wonderful rat in the world! I adopted here from a shelter just over a year ago when she was only a baby, after she was found running loose in a cinema - goodness knows how she got there, but she certainly wouldn't have lasted long in the 'wild' as she is clearly a domesticated rat. It took a lot of tears and begging to talk mum into it, but I was eventually successful and mum doesn't regret it (she's allergic to Spiri, but only if she touches her, so it's not a problem). This photo is here because her easter present was the little hammock she is sitting in. I make them for her often and she then 'customises' them (with her teeth) to the point that they are falling apart, when I make her another. She has needed a new one for ages, and so for Easter she got it (and was very happy).

I did have one more thing to post but I am out of time, so I'll do it tomorrow. I would love some comments... haven't had any in a while! (And I still don't know how to put links to other blogs.)

Saturday, April 15, 2006

HCMs - Healthy, Cute, Magical Hot Cross Muffins
I don't know about you but in my mind, it just wouldn't be Good Friday (or Easter at all) without Hot Cross Buns. Unfortunately, unlike in the past, I couldn't find anythat didn't have milk solids or milk protein in them. I actually think this ended up being a good thing because I am really moving away from commercially produced foods with lots of preservatives in them, so I'm glad I didn't get any Hot Cross Buns.
I then considered baking my own but I'm really not into sitting around for hours waiting for balls of yeasty dough to expand and, after all, I am the vegan MUFFIN princess so what did I do? I made Hot Cross Muffins! Another recipe made up as I went, and another success. These really have the taste of HCBs, if not the consistency, and they totally hit the spot. Plus the house smells great - nice and cinnamoney! So here is the recipe:

-1 cup self raising wholewheat flour
-1/2 cup Crunchola Cereal ***
-1/4 cup cornmeal
-1/2 tsp cinnamon
-1/2 tsp nutmeg
-1/8 tsp ground cloves
-2 tbsp vegan brown sugar
-equivelant to 1 1/2 eggs
-1/4 cup low fat soymilk
-1/4 cup water
-2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
-1 tsp liquid sweetner (I used Rice Malt Syrup)
-1/4 cup (or more) dried fruit (I used chopped dried apples and sultanas)

-plain white flour
-lemon juice
-liquid sweetner

Preheat the oven to about 180-200 degrees Celsius.
In a large bowl mix the flour, cereal, cornmeal and spices until combined. Whisk the egg, milk, water, applesauce and liquid sweetner in another bowl then add to the dry ingredients and mix until all the dry indgredients are moist. Then stir in the dried fruit and place into muffin tins. (Lightly oil, or use silicone). Bake for about 15 minutes until just firm. While they are baking, make the mixture for the crosses. I'm afraid I didn't use any measurements for this, I just mixed a bit of everything together until I had enough and it was the right consistency. Obviously you wouldn't want to do this if it wasn't easter anyway. Take the muffins out of the oven and carefully spread the flour mixture in cross shapes on the top then put back in and bake for another ten minutes. Enjoy!

*** I had a lot of this cereal left and was keen to use it up - obviously it is not going to be something everyone can get but it can be easily recreated. The ingredients are just rolled oats, fruit juice concentrate, cinnamon and some dried apple. If you can't find anything simiar, I suggest just toasting some oats and then adding a little more cinnamon to the recipe.

If you want to make these at an occasion other than Easter (which I highly recommend!) I would call them Spicy Three Grain Muffins.By the way, sorry about the blueness of the photo!

Friday, April 14, 2006

Midweek Munchies, A Celebration, Last Night's Dinner oh and Happy Easter!
In case you can't tell, I've been busy! There was something else I was going to post but I think that would just be going overboard, so I'll do it tomorrow. Okay, lets do this in order - Midweek Munchies First.
Harmonias Midweek Munchies Meme

Midweek Munchies: What Freedom is contributing for the week

-tinned peaches in juice
-tinned pineapple in syrup
-extra-firm tofu
-soy yoghurt
-bottled orange and mango juice
-salt-reduced soy sauce
-garlic granules
-oranges (for juicing)
-pink grapefruit (for juicing)

-maybe kale
-red and green capsicum
-brown onion
-wholewheat fettucine

-cocoa powder
-carob chips

Okay, the first lot of things is from the supermarket, the second lot is what I will be getting at the organic market tomorrow and the last two things are for mum and dad's Easter presents - more on that tomorrow!

Links to other Midweek Munchies
(If you participate, leave your link in the comments and I'll post it below; or, you can post in the comments)

Click here for the Midweek Munchies code
Click here for Harmonia's blog

Trackbacks, pings, and comment links are accepted and encouraged!
Technorati Tag:

A special thanks to Running2Ks and Rift for all of their help with coding, graphics, and encouragement for this project.

PURPOSE of Midweek Munchies: Put together by a small group of Veg Women, we hope to spread the word about healthy vegetarianism while obtaining idea starters for meals, recipes, learn about new products, and meet other female veg*n bloggers. Visiting and commenting on other participants lists are encouraged but not required. Have fun and Go Veg!

Okay, now on to the celebration... I have been vegan for two years today! YAY! I turned vegan age 15 after reading 'Save the Animals: 101 Ways you can Help' written by legends Peter Singer, Ingrid Newkirk and Barbara Dover. I highly recommend it! I honestly can't believe it has been two years since the day I told mum I wanted to become a vegan. WoW. Time flies!

Now, onto last night's dinner - sorry about the picture, I thought it was going to come out really well but I was quite mistaken! Thursday is the one night of the week when I eat something straight from a packet - I'm not into all those colours, flavours preservatives and assorted other rubbish but these marinated tofu cutlets aren't too bad and they taste great! ALthough they are the single most fattening things I eat, at 4.5g of fat each, so I'm thinking of looking for another option. Basically I take them out of the packet and stick them under the grill, flip when brown and wahla, they're done. But while they are cooking I make a little stir fry, and some organic wholemeal couscous. Stir fries are easy but everyone has their own style - I stick some broccoli and carrots in about two centimetres (that's nearly an inch) of water in the bottom of a non stick pan so they get kind of softened before the frying begins, then I add red and green capsicum, onion, mushrooms (button or field) and some tinned pineapple (I love this stuff!) and a handfull of spinach just before serving. I dump all of this on the couscous and top with the tofu cutlets - yummy!

Now last of all, Happy Easter to everyone out there in blog land. Easter is going to be a bit sad this year - it is normally a nice opportunity to get together with the extended family (an defend my eating choices - not so fun) but this year, being a few thousand kilometres away on the other side of the country, that won't be happening. Just a quiet easter for us I guess. However you spend your Easter I hope you enjoy it! And I also feel that it's necessary to apologise to any Christians - I often feel bad for celebrating easter and christmas even though I'm a devout athiest, but that's our modern society for you!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Flogs and Blogs
Sorry I haven't been around for a few days - I had two midsemester exams this week so I have been busy with studying but now I'm back and I have next week off, YAY! I have been inspired by a few other bloggers lately to publish a flog (food-log) so here I have flogs for Monday, yesterday and today:

Breakfast - Tinned peach slices with soymilk and sprinkled with flaked almonds
Freshly squeezed orange and grapefruit juice
Lunch - 1 large Pritikin muffin (from the Healthy Byte Cafe) YUMMM
1 royal gala apple
Dinner - Sweet and Sour Tofu with Veggies and Quinoa

Breakfast - 100mL low fat, B12 and iron enriched plain soymilk
piece of mulitgrain toast with sugar free marmalade
freshly squeezed orange and grapefruit juice
Lunch - 1 royal gala apple
Snack - 2 Seedy Citrus Muffins
Dinner - Chickpea Patty in multigrain bread

Breakfast - 20grams of Hi-Lite Wholegrain cereal with sultanas and soymilk
freshly squeezed orange and grapefruit juice
Lunch - small salad
1 royal gala apple
Dinner - Tofu Kebabs with Tomato-ey Sauce

Okay, as someone who is still relatively new to blogging, I have a question. How do I publish links to other blogs? All the other blogs I love visiting have long blog listings but I can't figure out how to do this. Its a bit disappointing because normally I'm pretty good with computers but this has me completely stuck. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Monday, April 10, 2006

A dip for lunch
Hello! I made a yummy dinner last night but it wasn't overly exciting - just roast veggies with balsamic vinegar, crushed garlic, rosemary and borlotti beans. However, it did introduce me to two delicious new ingredients - the vinegar and beans. I have always secretly been of the opinion that pretty much all beans taste the same but wow was I wrong. I actually bought the borlottis because they look so pretty on the can (not in real life!) and cos they were only 69cents a can, but they turned out to have a really unique, yummy flavour. And I loved the balsamic vinegar, although I don't think I could have too much of it. SO for my lunch today I created a dip/spread which used both of these ingredients. I am getting more and more confident at just making things up as I go and this was a huge success - my dad really liked it and he normally hates beans! (Not to mention anything new!) I was totally approximating, so this is just a rough guide. You could probably substitute other beans but as I've said, the borlottis have a very unique flavour.

-2 or 3 tbsp tinned borlotti beans
-about 2 tsp finely chopped brown onion
-about 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
-1/2 to 1 tsp lemon juice
-sprinkle of ground sage
-a couple of pinches of dried rosemary and thyme
-3/4 tsp savoury yeast flakes (nutritional yeast)
-1/2 tsp veggie stock powder
-flax seeds and poppyseeds for decoration

Heat a little bit of water in a frying pan and fry the onions on medium heat until they are browned. While they are frying, rinse the beans and mash them up to a smoothe-ish paste (skins will make it a bit lumpy) with a fork. Mix in the yeast and veggie stock then add balsamic vinegar and lemon juice to achieve the desired consistency, tasting as you go. When the onions are cooked add them and the herbs and stir through. Put in a bowl and top with a pinch of poppyseeds and flax seeds, or some fresh herbs if you have them on hand. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

SCM's - Superb, Classic, Magnificent Seedy Citrus Muffins
Well, I promised that I had some good recipes coming up, and here is the first one. I had never tried Lemon Poppyseed Muffins but for some reason in my mind they are a 'classic' muffin flavour so I wanted to try some (I had no idea until after I made them how high fat poppyseeds are!) I did a general yahoo search and found a horrible, fattening, nonvegan recipe which looked easy to modify. But then I bumped into this recipe forOrange Flax Seed Muffins and it appealed to me for two reasons, one it had dried apples in it which I LOVE and two there is a big container of flax seed in my cupboard which I don't like to use because of it's fat content (yes, I knew that flax was fatty but didn't make the connectoin with poppy) but which was annoying me. So anyway, I mashed the two recipes together and Seedy Citrus Muffins were born. I actually think if I made them again I might leave the dried apple out - a few too many flavours. Because of all the seeds they have a bit of a 'gritty' texture but taste great. Also, they are absolutely amazingly good for you! I haven't finished working it out but the nutrition content is enormous. Here goes:
-2 cups self raising wholemeal flour
-3/8 cup vegan brown sugar
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-1 tsp baking powder
-equivelant to 1 1/2 eggs
-1/4 cup low fat soymilk
-3/4 cup orange juice
-2 tbsp unsweetened apple sauce
-1/8 cup poppyseeds
-1/8 cup flax seeds
-1 tsp grated orange rind
-1 tsp grated lemon rind
-1 cup chopped dried apple (optional)

Preheat the oven the 200 degrees (celsius).
In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and baking powder and in a medium bowl combine the soymilk, orange juice, applesauce and 'eggs.' Add the liquid to the dry ingredients slowly until you reach the desired consistency - I actually didn't quite use all of the liquid. Mix until all ingredients are combined then add the seeds, rind and apple (if using). Bake for about twenty minutes and enjoy!
This makes 11 medium muffins.

There are great photos but for somre reason they won't upload so come back tomorrow and maybe they will be here!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Midweek Munchies
I know there is a new code up for MM at Harmonia's Blog but I'm not quite game to try it at the moment so for now...

What FREEDOM is contributing:

dried apple
bottled orange juice
bottled orange and mango juice
balsamic vinegar
can of borlotti beans
can of corn kernels
can of pineapple rings
marinated tofu cutlets (Japanese style)
soymilk (low fat, iron, calcium and B12 enriched)
'Hi-Lite' Wholegrain cereal mix (also calcium, iron etc enriched)
100% fruit marmalade
wholewheat muffins

oranges (for juicing)
grapefruit (for juicing)
baby spinach
field mushrooms

As you can see, I had a pretty big shopping week this week, but it still came in (just) at under $50 AU (that's the budget mum gives me) so I was pretty happy - I actually went to two supermarkets because at one down the road from my normal one I got the Orange and Mango Juice nearly a dollar cheaper, the gnocchi for $2, the muffins for $2.50, the corn for 99cents and the borlotti beans for 69cents!! I wanted black beans but who can pass up that kind of bargain?
I have a couple of interesting recipes planned for this week so keep your eyes peeled over the next couple of days! Happy MM everyone!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Tofu Kebabs With Tomato-ey Sauce
Well, it is time to post my Wednesday meal - this is possibly my favourite meal of the whole week. (Okay, I could also say that about Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, plus Saturday is fun - but still). A word of warning - USE SALT REDUCED SOY SAUCE!! You may think that it won't make any difference but I can tell you now, if you make this using regular soy sauce you will be disappointed, and I wouldn't want that!By the way, I recommend letting the kebabs marinate for at least 1.5 hours, so if you're in a rush, this probably isn't the dish for you. So here goes!

-2/3 cup salt reduced soy sauce
-1 1/3 cups water
-2 or 3 tbsp satay sauce
-3/4 tsp garlic granules/powder
-1/2 tsp sweet paprika

-about 100g extra firm tofu
-1/2 a 'ring' of tinned pineapple

-5 or 6 tbsp pineapple juice (i use the syrup from the can)
-2 tbsp water
-2 tbsp tomato paste

-grain (I use quinoa)
-broccoli and greens (ie kale)

To make the marinade, cput all ingredients in a shallow dish/tray/bowl of some kind and mix gently with a spoon or other mixing implement.
To make the kebabs, chop your tofu into 24 cubes and the pineapple into 6 chunks (or you could just buy the cans where it is already cut into chunks for you :-). Thread two pieces of tofu onto a bamboo skewer, followed by a piece of pineapple, another two pieces of tofu, another piece of pineapple, and two more pieces of tofu. Repeat for two more kebabs. Submerge the kebabs in the marinade and leave to absorb for at least an hour and a half.

Once kebabs have marinated for sufficient time, mix the sauce ingredients plus about half to three quaters of the marinade in a saucepan and place over medium to high heat. As this begins to boil, chop your veggies and place in a steamer above whatever grain you're using (quinoa is great, rice is also good). After about 5 or ten minutes, place the kebabs under a grill and turn to high. Then leave the whole lot, stirring the sauce occassionally and checking that the kebabs aren't burning, for about 15 minutes. The sauce will slowly thicken, so the times depend on how runny you want your sauce - I like it thick and gooey so it takes a while. When the veggies and grains are ready (obviously rice will take longer than quinoa) and the kebabs are browned, lay the kebabs over the veggies and rice, top with sauce and enjoy!!

Monday, April 03, 2006

Monetery Fritatta
Hi there, I meant to post this yesterday but ran out of time in the day, what with starting work and studying... but anyway, I'm here now. As you may or may not know, Saturday night is my 'experimentation night' and this week I could not resist trying a recipe that Susan posted a while back called Montery Frittata Normally when I make new recipes I change them a fair bit and as a result change their name, but Iwas fairly true to the recipe with this one. For that reason, I'm going to be a bit lazy and not type it out, but I will tell you the alterations I made. Aside from quartering the recipe, I did the following:

-regular brown onions not green
-red and green bell peppers (capsicums)
-normal, organic vine-ripened tomatoes (ie not roma)
-no olives (YUCK!)

-no onion powder

-no mustard

The result was really tasty but not spectacular. I definately think that if I make this again I will add more of all the seasonings, especially turmeric, basil and thyme. I was going to take pictures of the finished product but the frittata's transition from pan to plate was less than graceful so the pan pictures will have to do. I couldn't compete with Susan's pics anyway! Oh and one other thing - just before serving I stuck the pan under the grill for a few minutes so that the cheeze sauce browned on top.

Have a good night everyone!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

NAMs -
Nummy Absolutely Marvellous Nectarine Apple Muffins

Well, here is my muffin recipe for this week. I am extremely proud of it for a number of reasons - first and formost, it is the first muffin recipe I have completely made up from scratch! None of the things I make are ever that much like the recipe, however, I always actually have a recipe there, just for ideas. This time though, I totally made it up as I went. I'm also proud because these muffins are so unique - I have never hear of nectarine muffins before but I just thought "why not?" I actually got the idea when I saw a very unhealthy, unvegan Mango and White Chocolate muffin at a shop the other day - for about the past three weeks the fruit and veg shop has been selling over ripe mangoes rally cheap so I planned to get a couple on Thursday and just go from there. Unfortunately, the mango season is now over, so I got some really over ripe nectarines instead. Finally, I am proud because the muffins tunred out really yummt! Oh, and I'm pretty impressed with my photography skills!

I made half of this recipe with white flour because my mum can't digest a lot of fibre like that found in wholemeal flour, but the wholemeal ones are much nicer.

-2 cups self raising wholemeal flour
-1 tsp baking soda
-2/3 cup brown sugar (or substitute)
-1 1/2 cup nectarine flesh
-1/2 cup plain, low fat soymilk
-equivalent to 1 1/2 eggs
-1/4 cup apple, chopped into small pieces
-flaked almonds

Begin by mixing all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and then make a well in the centre. Mash the nectarine flesh in another bowl and then mix in the soymilk and the 'eggs,' before adding to the dry ingredients. Mix until all the ingredients are combined then stir in the apple pieces. Spoon into silicone muffin pans and then top with flaked almond pieces (or not, to cut down on the fat - I just think they look sooo pretty!!). Bake at 180 degrees C (I think that's 350 F) for about 25 minutes or until they spring back when lightly pressed. Take out of the oven and enjoy!!

Chickpea Patty
Well here it is, the end of a very hectic week - I now finally have the time to post my dinner from Tuesday night even though that was three days ago now. Before I begin with the recipe, I need to talk about the photo. When looking at this photo, remember that saying "don't judge a book by its' cover"... It looks unappetizing. There is no point denying the fact, and although that is partly to do with my photography skills, it really does not look great in real life either. However, the appearance of this chickpea patty says nothing about its flavour. It tastes really great! As you can see, I serve it on wholemeal grain bread with lettuce and satay sauce, but you could eat it anyway you like - I think it would probably taste nice in a pita bread or other wrap. Okay, here goes:

-5 tbsp tinned chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
-2 tbsp liquid from the chickpea can
-1 medium carrot
-2 tbsp finely chopped brown onion
-4 tbsp finely chopped capsicum, red, green or a combination
-1 handful baby spinach (I have pretty small hands)
-2-3 tbsp bottled satay sauce
-boiling water
-1 tsp dukkah or cummin (or more)
-about 1/8 cup dry breadcrumbs
-rice flour

Chop the carrot into rounds and fry in a little water. While this is frying, put the chickpeas in a food processor or blender and pulse until they are in quite small pieces (a few big lumps/whole chickpeas are good though), then scoop into a bowl. Now add the onion and capsicum to the carrot and while this is all frying away, mix the dukkah/cummin and liquid into the chickpeas. Taste as you go to get an idea of how spicy you want it. Now chop the spinach roughly and add to the frying pan, stir frying until the spinach is just wilted. Put the satay sauce into the frying pan and then add sufficient boiling water to almost cover the veggies. When the water has boiled away, add the veggies to the chickpea mixture and mix, then add breadcrumbs, stirring them through until the mixture is a workable consistency. Wet your hands then shape the mixture into a patty, roll in rice flour andfry. I find at this point that olive oil is imperative because if you fry the patty in water it will go soggy. When the patty is browned, flip andbrown the other side, then drain on paper towel (if you used oil) then serve and enjoy. Trust me, it tastes great!!