Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Peanut butter Cups

Here is one of the peanut butter cups I made from How it all vegan. They are super easy to make and very good, although a little rich. Sorry for the crappy pic, I always seem to forget to take pics of food until the last minute when it is dark and I rely on synthetic light and then am left with perhaps not the most appetising pic, so you will just need to trust me that these rock.

I took them to work to share because I am the world's best colleague and everyone fell in love with them including one co-worker who said she hated peanut butter.

The recipe asked for graham cracker crumbs which we don't have in Australia, so I just used some vegan biscuits I had lying around. Anyone know the closest thing to graham cracker crumbs here? I actually think you could probably make it without the crumbs, I didn't notice them after it was all put together. The great thing about this recipe is that apart from the cookie/biscuit crumbs you most likely have everything lying around. The other good thing is this recipe doesn't actually require turning on an oven.

Now I just need to decide whether I should make another batch of these or some sort of cupcakes for xmas day.

Monday, December 4, 2006

Food faces

I took this one last week, the pic doesn't quite doesn't do it justice but I had to show it anyway. It's quinoa salad with chickpea eyes and nose, coriander eyebrows and mango mouth. It doesn't look great but tasted amazing.

This next one is made by Mr T it's a couscous salad with red onion eyebrows, asparagus nose and edamame eyes and mouth.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Tiffin, Tiffin, Tiffin

I have a tiffin courtesy of ebay. It's smaller than I thought as I opted for the small size. I will trial it tomorrow packed with food and see if I am left hungry.

here's tomorrow lunch:

It consists of a noodle salad with smoked tofu and a dodgy carrot flower on top made out of love hearts (I'm new at this), salted edamame and lotus root slices.

I bought frozen lotus root slices and then discovered there was no cooking instructions on the packet. After searching for recipes with frozen lotus root slices and finding nothing I eventually gave up and made it up. I washed the frozen lotus root slices in water to defrost a little then stir fried with a little sesame oil, Braggs (soy sauce), and rice vinegar and sprinkled with sesame oil. It was quite good, I will make them again.

Monday, July 24, 2006

More variety thanks to menu planning

No its not dessert its a soup with beets in it, yes you read right. I saw the recipe called beauty and the beet borscht in La dolce vegan and thought sure I feel like something different and it payed off. It was great, tasted like tomato soup with a nice beet flavour. On top is vegan sour cream made from a recipe in the same cookbook. I have to admit I was dissapointed with this cookbook after trying one recipe but its starting to look better with these recipes and the lentil and quinoa stew.

Next, one of my all time fav recipes savoury shepherds pie with sunflower seeds on top from how it all vegan but in mini form thanks to these new tins my mother purchased.

Now the dessert: super fruit tart from Dr Fuhrman's April Menu minus the blue berries on top. This rocks and I was very proud of myself because its more effort than I'm used to. Next time I won't even bother with the extra fruit on the top. It's great by itself.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Baked tofu

I can't believe I have been vegan for so long and only just tried baked tofu.

I used a recipe from Vegan planet and marinated it overnight in a mixture of water, braggs (soy sauce), lemon juice and sesame oil and then baked it for almost an hour (flipping once).

I made it this evening in preparation for tomorrows sandwiches but ended up eating quite a bit.

Fellow veg*ns and other tofu lovers go and try it if you haven't already. Its amazing!

Now I just need to explore what else goes well with in a sandwhich.

Wish I could post a pic (but still haven't got a replacement voucher from insurance company)

Monday, May 22, 2006

Grocery shopping

Last night I finally sat down and did a realistic budget (using one of the excel templates) and found as I expected depressing news, with the projected rent (that I'm not yet paying) and other expenses I will be left with about $20 each month to my name. I also did one for Mr T, and he will actually be in debt each month (don't ask).

That got me thinking about grocery shopping. By shopping mostly at the market and trying to cut down on expensive food items but stll enjoying a varied healthy diet I think my weekly shopping will be about $75-$100 (for 2 people) so today I spoke to everyone at work to see how much they spent. It ranged from $35 to $200. How much do you spend? (if you don't mind sharing). The $35 a week is the woman I sit next to, who does actually eat relatively healthy and she eats meat which I would imagine adds another expense. I can't believe how little she spends I really don't how she does it, she did however start to give me a few ideas to cut down:

* Buy dried beans instead of canned (yes I know they taste better but they also take a lot more time and organisation)
* Cut out expensive snacks (no more garlic bagel slices and pretzels)
* Buy in bulk nuts and rice. Any suggestions on where to get cheaper nuts and come to think it i'm not sure that i've ever seen bulk brown rice?
* Shop at an Asian grocer ( I already do this with tofu since its saves over half the price)

Anyone else have any other suggestions?

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Thanks to Katie at Frugal Veggie Mama who posted Dr Furhams almond carob fudge recipe I tried it and fell in love.

I wish I could take pics but my camera got stolen in a burgulary we had here last week.

I'm not much of a fan of carob or almond butter (love cashew butter though) and I loved it.

The only problem now is trying not to eat it all in one go and I might just have to get a copy of Disease proof your child, even though I don't have any kids.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Menu planning

Mr T and I are trialing menu planning at the moment in an effort to reduce time and money spend from going to the supermarket almost every day. I have well and truly outlived the 'I am too spontaneous to shop weekly' excuse.

We did it last week with success so here is trial 2.

You will notice that we are very frugal trying to make almost every dish last for leftovers the next day and mostly one bowl meals. I also want to try a couple of new recipes this week.

So here is the plan for the next half a dozen days, minus snacks (fruit, nuts, popcorn, Mr T;s baked goodies and even a few salad-ish side type things) and breakfast which generally consists of toast or one of a couple of cereals.

Would appreciate any advice from those who are more experienced with these types of things.


B: Katie's Vegan French Toast which I tried last week and have been dreaming about since, served with banana and maple syrup

L: out for mothers day lunch probably to an Indian restaurant (my mothers fav)

D: Corn, Kale and Sweet Potato Chowder with garlic bread


L: Left over corn chowder for Mr T
Cashew Butter and raspberry jam sandwiches x 2 (because I will be at a conference all day and besides Mr T doesn't appreciate them like I do)

D: Burritos (refried bean, tofu and veggies) with avocado

L: Left over burritos

D: Kale and toor dal with rice and mango chutney carrot slaw (inspired from new vegan cookbook recipe)


L: Leftover kale toor dal with rice and mango chutney carrot slaw

D: Fried Rice with tofu, veggies and broccoli dish

Leftover fried rice

D: Dinner out as going to 2 open for inspections after work. If anyone is in the fitzroy area that evening let me know.

L: Our fav last minute sandwich: avocado, tomato, pine nuts with salt and pepper.

D: Mr T's mystery pasta dish

Now I just need to start actually sticking to a good budget system and I will be fine.

Btw, Mr T has been in aus for 6 months today!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

VO has closed for good!

VO stands for vegetarian orgasm and had the best vegan cake ever, possibly the best cake ever (as mentioned by a few dairy and eat egg eating folk).

It was also the place that was going to make our wedding cake. I knew that before I even met Mr T.

VO was the place were I would eat out once or twice a week when I first turned vegan. It was the only place I really longed for when I was in Hong Kong.

Admittedly they did make a few mistakes, including the move to gertrude street from smith st away from the smith st crowd. My guess is the biggest contributing factor to their downfall was the maker of the best ever vegan cakes leaving and only leaving one or two of his recipes, including 'the cake': peanut caramel nougart cake served warm with ice cream (soy or dairy).

As a result I along with probably a lot of other people stopped going so frequently. I did however still attend for 'the cake' and some of their other meal items.

I want to cry(please note I'm not) and as Jerome (recent VO cake addicted friend) claimed its the end of 'the cake era'.

Ex cake chef Mark where are you? Come back from Ireland and make a cookbook or start another restaurant or just at the very least make my wedding cake, hell I'll even arrange my wedding around your timing!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Tartex Pate I love You

For some reason last sat I had strong cravings for tartex pate, something I had two years ago and didn't particularly like at the time.

I drove around everwhere on sat with no luck finding it, I was devastated.

On sun I manged to get some from the health food shop on smith st (also have it at other healh food shops).

Now I am fully and trully hooked.

I'm onto my 3rd can now and have the 4th one waiting.

I've tried plain, herb, mushroom and will open the olive soon.

Mushroom is by far my fave and I don't even like mushrooms but they all taste amazing. Great on crackers and in a sandwhich (toasted or plain). My omni mother thinks it tastes a little like tuna. But i don't think its quite that fishy (never been much of a fan of fish).

It is added to my list of foods to serve for my house warming, for an apartment I haven't even started looking for yet.

I'm starting to think though perhaps I should try making some, this long weekend I will try the 'How it all vegan' recipe which I know I had at Ms Honey's years ago but can't quiet remember. Anyone else tried tartex and tried re creating it? At $4.95 per can its becoming a slightly pricy habit.

Disclaimer: I should probably say I've never had real pate, in fact the whole idea of real pate scares me so i can't compare it to the real thing.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Food Clarity

I've been thinking a lot about food lately. Well rather others thoughts about food. My theory is this: the majority of the population don't think much about what they shovel down their throat. They certainly don't see it in terms of what nutrition it gives you. Also little thought is given to where animals products come from (but thats another story). Instead, it something that has to be done quickly and often on the go. I remember when I first moved to Hong Kong how amazed I was by the fact that eating on the run didn't seem to be the thing to do. Even when people are eating foods from those stands (eg: fish ball stands) they tend to be stand around it eating it close by. I rarely saw anyone walking and eating or eating on the MTR or other public transport or anywhere rather than in restuarants or their homes. And this is Hong Kong fast paced Hong Kong.

I finally get it now though and this is going to seem so simple but food is fuel for our bodies, and minds.

Yes food also provides comfort among other things. I think the other problem is for people this becomes more about comfort than fuel for ourselves.

I used to be the same.

Not anymore though. I finally get it! Although it took me getting pretty sick (a few years) ago to get it.

Drinking on the other hand I still struggle with. I seem to forget to drink a lot of the times and I still struggle with water in particular but I'm learning slowly.

Anyway back to food. Last night I made miso soup. I've always eaten the instant type which is yummy. Now I realise it's kind of silly though because miso soup is perhaps the quickest and easiest type of soup to make.

I combined a few recipes and basically threw in some kale/chinese broccoli (instead of seaweed), carots into some water and cooked it for about 15 minutes. Then added the tofu, miso paste, and spring onions and cooked for a few minutes and whola it was finised and yummy and very good for you.

According to whole foods:

a little miso goes a long way towards providing your daily needs for the trace minerals zinc, manganese, and copper. In addition, a single tablespoon of miso contains 2 grams of protein for just 25 calories

I've also read somewhere that miso is supposed to be better than chicken soup for colds.

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Happy CCC Day Mr T!

Today, a few years ago our relationship finally went from friends to partners and all because of a little miscaculation on my part.

Mr T and I had been friends for a while and had grown increasingly close over the last few months leading up that day. By this stage there was daily contact and a lot of flirting. Stupidly both of us though weren't completely assured that the other liked each other in that way. Anyway fast forward to April 5th.

Mr T had texted me and said 'I'm in causeway bay do you want to catch up?'. I of course agreed and I remember that day having someone sort of stomach upset so I sat on the steps below drinking my peppermint tea and waiting for him:

We had dinner together in this lovely Italian restaurant in my building that played old French music and talked and talked about everything. We then went to city super(supermarket) where I bought some soy chocolate choc chip ice cream (Us brand: Double Rainbow) and a few other things. He wanted to try the ice cream so we went to my place where we sat and talked and he tried the ice cream which he of course loved.

Eventually he reluctantly went to leave and to hug me as he usually did and to kiss me on the cheek. At the time however I completely misread the incoming kiss (aimed at my cheek) and kissed him on the lips. Thankfully he felt the same way and I only found out later of my mistake.

So why CCC day? In case you haven't figured it out: it was named after the ice cream.

Pak Choi flowers made by Mr T on a plate I got from Savers.

Sunday, April 2, 2006

You win some, you lose some: baking

I've had a strong desire to bake lately.

First the chocolate chip cookies with macadamia nuts from vegan planet(below) rocked.

There was a lot more that were gobbled up while they were still warm.

Then the chocolate cupcakes from how it all vegan, which were horrible. I've made so many recipes from that cookbook and loved every one but this one sucked big time. All you could taste was the molasses. Big dissapointment!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Vegan Pizza

Before I got really sick, I decided to play aroung with vegan pizza.

I made 'cheezy sauce' from a recipe from the back of the nutrirional yeast (or savoury yeast flakes as it is called here in aus) packet. While the colour was off the texture was very good, like melted cheese and it was quite yummy.

I decided to make two different styles of toppings on one since the base was so large. The left was my side, the slightly healthier side consisted of: cannellini beans and broccolini precooked with garlic inspired from something in vegan planet. On the right side, Mr T chose to cover it with tomatos, olives, mushrooms, corn, and capsicum.

before the cheezy sauce

after the cheezy sauce, sprinkled with sesame seeds and different herbs

It was served with sun dired tomato garlic bread, which beats regular garlic bread any day. It was yummy and very filling. however next time I won't cover it so much with the sauce, it takes away from the toppings a little bit too much for my liking and I'll make mini ones instead and expirement more with different toppings.

We had a fair bit of cheezy sauce sauce left over so we made some toasted sandwiches for work the next day, mine consisted of sauce and corn/ sauce and tomatos. Mr T's were a little more colourful since he loooves olives and I can't stand them:

Monday, February 27, 2006

A vegans guide to flinders lane take away.

1. Glicks. They have a range of different bagels including sun dried tomatoes and chocolate ones. Yes chocolate! They are so yummy that I ate two of them the other day plain. Now though I have tofutti cream cheese in the fridge, so watch out. For about 60c x 2 its a very cheap yummy lunch.

2. Suji Sushi-Okoniyamki You have to ask for it without mayo. I find one filling enough and the whole office seems to be addicted to it at the moment. At $2.50 again another cheap lunch.

3. Satay Bar. Two tofu skewers, satay sauce, rice and salad for about $6.60. They also have vegetable skewers but they aren't quite as satisfing as the tofu ones.

4. The organic food and wine deli. Serves a variety of things: pies, hand rolls, chocolate brownies and more. Yummy but not cheap and they are only open weekdays for lunch.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Yummy Xmas Lunch

I am so sick of eating out

The kitchen renovations are taking forever, so far it has been 10 days without a useable kitchen.

Last night we decided after eating at 7 different veg restaurants in the last 10 days that veg out time is probably the healthiest. Last night I had black bean tofu and veg, black eyed pea dhal and brown rice with the best garlic roti ever. Mr T ordered there 'no oil' dish which unlike most of their dishes was made fresh. They brought out a really colourful plate of steamed veggies, tofu and rice noodles with sweet and sour sauce on the side that looked so healthy I almost wanted to cry.

Between eating out every night and way too much going out Mr T and I are both starting to feel the effects.

He is really sick and i just feel really blahhhhhhhhhh plus i have a coldsore :-(

Tonight we got creative, I made black bean (canned) burritos in the sandwhich press which we had with salsa and corn chips. But then of course is the question of how do the dishes without a kitchen sink? I think its going to be in the bath.

Raw foodists, now would be a great time to mention some super easy raw dishes that aren't hard to prepare and not much mess to clean up either.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Vegans love hepburn springs/daylesford area

Wow i know two that do (Mr T and I).

We just got back from a weekend away and food wise it was amazing.

We started off having one of the beautiful pies at the himalaya bakery and cafe.

Then went of to the continental house for dinner. Where sadly the vegan buffet was cancelled but they promised to whip up something for us.

They brought out some sliced mango and a nice cold tofu salad with some sort of sesame dressing and Mr T and I were quite pleased. But it didn't stop there, they continued to bring out a further 4 dishes: kimchi, nori rolls, green veggies with sweet chilli sauce, and avocado salad.

It was amazing and we both left very full. Yes even Mr T who never seems to be full.

The next day we had brunch at the bakery again and this time had their beautiful dips platter and I swear there hummus is one of the best that I've ever tasted.

And their bread, mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

We also had a yummy calzone and one of the most amazing desserts I have ever had, a date carob cake/muffin (below) and I don't even like carob.

It was a great weekend and just what the doctor ordered.