Sunday, 30 November 2008

Can I get some fries with that shake shake booty?

Next weekend, I'll be away getting what's left of my braincells destroyed by heavy metal, but this weekend I had absolutely nothing to do aside from get my nails done and watch a lot of 80s films! It was awesome.

What I love about 80s films, aside from them being cheesey beyond belief and getting away with it - is the music. 80s films had the greatest, pour some sugar on me, anthems ever as their theme songs - let me tell ya - there was a lot of spatula-karaoke going on in this flat this weekend! I watched Mannequin, Lost boys, Back to the Future, Splash, Wildcats, Ghostbusters, Cocktail, The Breakfast Club, Mystic Pizza and St Elmo's Fire. I rock.

I started the weekend off with a bang on Fridy night - chicken style seitan that I breaded and fried until it was crispy good! Served with baked fries, barbecue sauce and posh mushy peas (which I almost always make with soy yoghurt instead of tofu). I'm gonna post my ingredients for the seitan as soon as I get the cooking method 100% right. I think I know how to fix it so next time - fingers crossed!


A dinner of tofu scramble and potato cakes, made extra awesome by adding some reggae reggae sauce to the scramble. I'm loving that stuff (I found the Love Apple one in the supermarket too - YAY!).


I made soymilk today and used the foam to put on top of my coffee! :)

I used some of my seitan to make taco filling - along with some mushrooms, kidney beans, tomatoes, onion, peppers, cumin, oregano and lots of chipolte paste! YUMMMM! I found some taco shells that have a flat bottom so they're supposed to stand up; they don't. But I managed to balance them together just long enough to get a picture.


Today for lunch I breaded some of the seitan in a mixture of matzo meal (finely ground in a spice grinder) with some salt and some chicken seasoning and baked it for 25 minutes, then had it in a wrap. I got the inspiration from a wrap I used to love at the pub, in my pregan days.


Before rolling - with pickles, tomato and chipolte mayo!

And lastly, I made some muffins today. My new recipe and they worked as well!! Baking mojo is back baby!! At least I hope it is, cuz I have some baking to do before going to Hard Rock Hell on Thursday! ;-) Recipe for Oaty Bran Muffins follows:

Oaty Bran Muffins
Dry Ingredients:
½ cup / 70g oat bran
½ cup / 60g oats (I used jumbo oat flakes)
½ cup / 80g wholemeal flour
½ cup / 80g plain flour
½ cup / 100g sugar
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp allspice
¼ salt
½ cup / 60g dried cranberries (you could sub for whatever dried fruit you like though)
Wet Ingredients:
1 cup / 250ml non-dairy milk
1 tsp vinegar
½ cup / 125ml soya yoghurt
¼ cup / 55g vegan margarine, melted
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract

Method:
Preheat oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas 4.

Whisk together the milk and vinegar and leave to curdle.

Mix together the dry ingredients and make sure the cranberries are well coated in dry ingredients (this stops them sinking to the bottom of the muffins).

Whisk all the other wet ingredients into the milk/vinegar mixture. Pour into the dry and mix until just combined.

Lightly grease a 12 hole muffin tin (or line with paper cases) and divide the mixture between the 12 cavities.

Bake for 25 minutes, or until a skewer just comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack until cool.

Inside shot of the muffins...


Cooking to: 80s goodness!

I ain't 'fraid of no ghost.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Ooh mama, too hot, too spiceee? hot hot!

I was hoping to have some low fat baked goods to share with you but instead I had two, no make that 3, baking failures this week. Much to the disappointment of my best friends who had to make do with skanky biscuits out the biccie jar for pudding on Tuesday!

My muffins went wrong and so did some cookies and both went in the bin - baked goods have to be seriously pants to go in the bin in this household so that tells you how epicly (word??) I failed!! I had another go at the muffins with some tweaks and they're still not right, however they're at least edible - just not postworthy!

I was walking round the supermarket last week and I found a bottle of Reggae Reggae Sauce. Now I didn't know much about this stuff, except that subway do a really gross looking sandwich (that I LOVE the advert for! Hence post title) with it in and I think the guy who invented it was on Dragons' Den. Anyways, it is a sauce that is a cross between barbecue and jerk seasoning and it is GOOD! Plus it's vegan. So I basted some thick wodges of tofu with it and baked it along with some roasted veg (and a salad made of the last of the cherry tomatoes) and it was seriously rockin!! Hot hot!

Today I had this great idea to make some VCON chickpea cutlets, but I didn't have any chickpeas. And my copy of VCON is at work cuz someone is copying recipes. So I decided to wing it with some sweetcorn patties - with some Reggae Reggae sauce in them! They are not quite right but I think they have potential so I'll post the recipe when I get it right.

I served them with some maple & ginger roasted carrots, peas and some white bean mash (AWESOME stuff).


This soup was inspired by my current love of Jerk spice. It is black bean, brown rice & sweet potato soup with a big kick from jerk seasoning. It's not very photogenic I know, but it is super warming and filling (and ace with crusty bread). I still think it needs tweaking though so I'm holding off posting the recipe for now.


I had to take a pic of this.... I decided to use my soymilk maker to make some rice milk. I used basmati and it said not to soak the rice, but I dunno! I had a heck of a job unscrewing the filter and when I finally managed to, I saw why. The rice had formed a big solid block! hahaha. The rice milk kind of sucked too.


Sometimes I have days when I forget that I'm a 29 year old woman and feel like a teenager again. Like yesterday, when the car battery died and my Dad had to come over, jumpstart Jeff and take me to quickfit (where he paid for a new battery before I could get my wallet out). Love him for that cuz I'm broke!!

And I'm not feeling any more grown up cuz tonight, all I really wanted to do was watch daft films and eat cookies. I saw Becks' post about Dreena Burton's cookies and they looked so good that I had to make them too. With my baking failures this week, I've been feeling a bit like I've lost my mojo, but hurrah - a success. Unfortunately not my recipe but these are damn good cookies, nonetheless. I just wish I wasn't dieting so I could pig the whole friggin batch instead of just one!!

Baking cookies to: Random cheesy choons that I found on my iPod but I can't stop shakin' my booty and singing this song into my spatula!

Oh and I nearly forgot - Happy Thanksgiving American bloggers & bloggettes! xXx

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Aww shucks...

I got nominated for a cute Butterfly award (must not mention grammar must not mention grammar must ….), by the lovely Jeni Treehugger and by the awesome Guava. I love both their blogs and both of these were a Vegan MoFo find for me, as I think I was for them! Gotta love that mofo! Big big thank you, ladies! :)
I love butterflies as well – me and mum have a bit of a fixation about them and I have one tattooed on my foot – because my nan loved them and oh it’s a long story I won’t bore you with, sufficed to say I love them.

Oh and as usual I’m behind the times!! And pretty much everyone I want to nominate either nominated me or has already posted about this or I’ve seen them nominated.

So as I’m a rebel I’m gonna ignore the RULEZ* and I’m just gonna give a shout out to the blogs that I love. If I haven’t mentioned you – I’m sorry, it’s just that I have a memory like a sieve!

These ladies make me laugh, inspire me and make me hungry by posting awesome food porn. I never cease to be amazed at the originality and humour and awesome recipes I get from food blogs and since going vegan, the blogosphere has really helped me never look back!

If you haven’t already been nominated for this (I think you probably all have) then consider yourself tagged:

Jessy – happyveganface
River – Wing It Vegan
AllularpunkAwesome.Vegan.Rad
Georgia – Lady’s Vegan Kitchen
Becks – I Am Not a Rabbit

I will probably be editing this list because there are others, I KNOW I’ve forgotten – that’s what I get for not having a blogroll; maybe it’s time I get on that!!

*The rules are supposed to be….
1) post about the award
2) link back to the person that nominated you
3) place the award on your sidebar and then choose 10 blogs that you think are really cool, link to them, contact each person and talk about why you think their blogs are cool.

Friday, 21 November 2008

It's all Greek to me

I finally got around to making tofu. Actually this was my second attempt, the first was a big fat failure. This one worked really well.

The texture is strange, it is somewhere between regular and silken tofu. Very soft - and the taste reminds me of what I remember cottage cheese to taste like. It split down the middle when I turned it out of the mould.


I baked some (that I didn't get a photo of) but I overcooked it and it was a bit yuk. When trying to decide what to do with the other half, all that kept popping into my mind was feta! I know there are a few recipes out there for tofu feta but I was too lazy to look one up so I just doused it in a bit of olive oil, white wine vinegar, oregano and salt & pepper and left it over night.

Then I made a greek salad with it. The supermarket has started doing pick and mix tomatoes and I got yellow, orange and red cherry tomatoes - they were so pretty and sooooo tasty....


I added some chunky cucumber, finely chopped red pepper, my tofu feta and shallot and a simple red wine vinagrette. Oh and lots of fresh mint. The rather unphotogenic stuff next to it was some brown rice and lentils, cooked together in veggie stock with some peas added and a bit of red wine vinegar. Ugly but tasty.

This week, my copy of Sarah Kramer's Garden of Vegan arrived. I was flipping through and as soon as I saw the recipe for the Bodacious Barley & Bean Soup (AKA the best soup EVER), I knew it had to be mine. Oh yes, it had to be mine! So I made it and wow! My friend was round at the time and when she tasted it, took the recipe straight away to make it when she got home.
To go with it I made some more soda bread. I'm still working on getting the recipe right though so I can post it.

Monday, 17 November 2008

Wonky Donkey

This weekend gone was my Dad's birthday and we went out for a lovely Italian meal, then back to their house for cake. He asked for a black forest style gateaux, just like Mum always used to make him. Except now cake making duties have been passed to me which means the double cream has been 86'd and replaced with chocolate frosting.

I put cherry buttercream in between the layers, along with cherry pie filling. The cherries could really do with being fresh ones for the top as these ones were a bit saucy and it was totally wonky (despite my cack-handed frosting job) as one side rose higher than the other on one of the cakes! Mum's cakes were always perfect looking and I still don't know how she did it but she used to pick the whole thing up, once covered in cream and roll it in chocolate flakes!!

But anyhoo - as retarded as my version looked, it tasted seriously ace.

I doubled the basic chocolate cupcake recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. The buttercream was simple buttercream with some of the sauce from the cherry pie filling mixed in. The chocolate frosting I didn't weigh but it was pretty much the same as I used for this cake, but with a bit less liquid, so it was a bit firmer.


Inside shot.... the flash washed out the pretty pink colour of the icing!!


The next morning I got up and baked ginger muffins and some pancakes for everyone for brekkie. My dad decided to make a fairy cake with a muffin and the leftover cherry pie filling. I thought it was awesome so I took a pic of it!

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Sexual Chocolate.....

SEXUAL CHOCOLATE!!! (I been watching Coming to America!! hehe)

My okara experiment actually worked! Hurraaaahhh. I made brownies and what's more - they are low fat!


Low Fat Okara Brownies
Dry Ingredients:
1/2 cup / 80g plain flour
1/2 cup / 80g wholewheat flour
3/4 cup / 150g sugar
1/3 cup (scant) / 30g cocoa powder
1+1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Wet Ingredients:
1/2 / 120g cup wet okara*
3/4 cup / 185ml unsweetened non-dairy milk
1/2 cup / 125ml soya yoghurt
2 tbsp flavourless oil
1 tsp vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract

3tbsp ish / 30g chocolate chips

Method:
Preheat oven to 180C / 350F.

Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl, make sure to seive the cocoa powder so you don't get skanky lumps!

Whisk together the wet ingredients together and pour into the dry. Mix well and pour into an 8x8 glass dish, lightly greased. Sprinkle over the chocolate chips and bake for 25 minutes. A knife won't come out clean because 25 minutes won't cook these through. But I like them them super squidgy and fugdgy. You can cook them for longer if you like a bit less squidge!

Leave them to cool in the dish until they're cool enough to cut. I just leave them cut in the glass dish rather than turn them out - but mainly cuz I'm lazy!

*I say wet okara but I like to leave it in the filter inside the machine once I've poured out the soymilk, just until the filter is cool enough to remove. that way the extra liquid is removed and it's a bit firmer than if you empty it straight away. If you don't do this - the weight of the okara won't be the same for this recipe.


Cooking to: The Scorpions - Crazy World

And here are some bonus pics of my friend Emma's gorgeous little pooch Maddie. She brought her over to the flat in the week so we could have dinner and watch Supernatural. Isn't she gorgeous!!

She like attention so I think she was jealous that Dean was getting it all..... :)

Thursday, 13 November 2008

YYYYAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!

I know - 2 posts in one day, well I couldn't wait any longer to post this.......

Remember my stupid exams I spoke about a while ago. Probably not, but anyway - I PASSED!!!!!! WITH CREDIT TOO!! 13th today as well - I guess it's lucky for some eh!

I AM SO GOD DAMN FUCKING HAPPY. I been doing the happy dance for almost an hour (in my head for the most part) and I'm still shaking like a leaf.

squeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!

OK I'm off to calm myself down now.

ps. YAY!

Wanna play 20 questions?

Is it a mineral?
Yeah.
Is it a tank?
Woah, yeah!

Hehe gotta love Bill & Ted!

Ahem, anyhoo I been tagged for a meme by the superrad Allularpunk of Awesome.Vegan.Rad (possibly one of my favourite blog titles ever!!). I think she is getting me back for tagging her on the “show me your freezer” meme! Haha.

Ah well. Here are 7 ‘interesting’ things about me.

1. I LOVE Bon Jovi.
I know they're not 'cool' and everyone makes fun of them but I don’t care (they still fill stadiums over and over - so there nerr!). Their songs remind me of my youth and they are still the best live band I’ve ever seen and I’ve seen a fair few! Every tour, me and friends still go to at least 2 gigs, more if we can afford it. They are the band I’ve seen the most times live, probably followed by the Foo Fighters, then Take That (see factoid 3).

2. I have a weird memory.
I remember quotes from films / tv shows, even if I’ve only seen them once and my friends used to get annoyed with me cuz I always used to know all the words to pretty much every song they used to play in the pub. Also I can remember conversations I had 10/15 years ago, the reg no of all my mum and dad’s cars since I was 10 and people’s phone numbers that I haven’t spoken to in over a decade. I also know all my bank a/c and credit card numbers off by heart. But for the life of me, I cannot remember MY car reg no, stuff I’m assigned to do in meetings*, or where I put the pen that I was just using. (*Probably more due to zoning out during meetings and dreaming about Jensen Ackles, rather than concentrating on boring meeting shit.)

3. I was the BIGGEST Take That fan ever from the ages of about 11 - 15.
My bedroom had so many posters of them on the walls that you couldn’t see wallpaper anywhere. There were even posters on the wardrobe, the door and the ceiling! I was in love with Mark Owen and used to sign things Sarah Owen! Hahahah. My best friend loved Robbie so she signed Emma Williams. I am seeing them play Wembley next year and I’m still as excited as a 14 year old.

4. My dad was in the Army when I was young so I lived in Germany for a couple of years, but I don’t remember much about it, except getting hit in the face with a stone by the pikey kid next door.

5. As well as regular earlobe piercings, I have a couple of others (tongue, tragus, rook) and a couple of retired ones :( . I’d like more but they are just such a pain to heal. I also have a tattoo (just one at the moment but I want more) in memory of my Nana, on my foot. Piccie.

6. I think I’m quite intelligent but at the same time, I’m also clumsy, accident prone, a bit dippy on occasion and pretty unlucky, but I hit the jackpot when it comes to my friends and family. My Mum and Dad are two of the greatest, kindest people to ever walk the planet, my big bro is awesome, hilarious and speaks a language that only he & me understand (that’s a sibling thing though, right?) and my best friends are the most loyal, funniest and caring best friends anyone could ever ask for.

7. I work for an Exhibitions Safety consultancy by day but at night, I’m really a superhero that saves the streets of Fleet from the evil lurking below the surface. I have a magical power to transform bad guys into wildebeest, covered in jam.**

** Yeah I struggled to find 7 things – I’m not really very interesting! Hahaha.

I'm tagging whoever wants to play because most people I read regularly have already been tagged I think. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

You gotta roll with it....

I feel like I should put on Oasis, but with PMT rearing it's ugly head, it could just make me mad!

Tonight, I made sushi. I should start by saying that I have NEVER made sushi before but I keep seeing all these pretty pictures plastered all over t'internet so I decided to give it a go.

Be kind.... my rolling sucks, but hey - it was my first time! I had some VCON sweetcorn/edamame salad and some cold peanutty noodles to go with and it was awesome!


I was planning on putting in strips of tofu with miso marinade on it but I didn't have any tofu in my freezer (which is a first). Denied. It was ace nonetheless.


Today's lunch was the easiest and quickest pea soup ever. I've had 3 attempts at this now and today I got it right.

All you do is bring 1/2 cup (125ml) of water to the boil. Crumble in a half a stock cube, add a cup of peas (100g) and cook until the peas are tender (about 5 mins). Pour into a blender with 1/4 cup (4 tbsp) soya yoghurt and blend, then season to taste. No frills - just tasty and super quick.


Last night I made bread, but I really was feeling way too lazy to knead so I made soda bread, which is SOOOO much quicker. I used the recipe on the side of the flour packet and it was a mixture of white and rye flour. It was good but I think the measurements need tweaking, as I found myself adding flour for a while until the dough was right! So I'm going to play with it and then post it.

It was awesome with jam (and my soup today).


Monday's dinner was a quick curry, and I mean quick. I didn't even start chopping the veg until I'd put the rice on to cook for 25 minutes and I still had time to show the guy who's fixing my shower round the flat as well!!

It went like this.. chop onion and butternut squash. Let contractor in to whinge about shitty shower screen. Saute an onion in a few sprays of low fat cooking spray and a pinch of salt over a low-med heat, add 1/2 cup (about 80g) of butternut squash, some green beans and 1.5 tsp of curry powder (any you like - I make my own) and stir and cook for a few minutes. Add some water (about 1/2 cup) and half a tin of tomatoes. Then cover it with foil (or a lid if your pan is lucky enough to have one) and leave it for about 15 minutes until the BN squash is cooked. Then mix in 1/2 cup (80g ish) cooked chickpeas and 1/4 cup (4 tbsp) soya yoghurt, season and sprinkle with fresh coriander if you like it and serve over brown rice. YUM.
I have an okara experiment in the oven as we speak - hopefully more on this next time!

Oh and unrelated but I'm watching the Strictly Come Dancing results from Sunday that I V+'d and fuck me - how awesome was that cha cha that the world champs did!!!

Oh and for the love of all that is good Britain - stop fucking voting for John - he SUCKKKKKKS! He is beyond terrible, it's a joke. Heather and Brian got kicked off which makes me sad cuz I find Brian Fortuna strangely hot!

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Rain rain go away, come again another day!

I posted a while ago about my banana pancakes that I made that I hadn't quite got right. I've got them right now - they were breakfast yesterday and were soooo yummy. Recipe is below the pic.


Banana Pancakes (makes 4 nice size pancakes / serves 2 people)
1/2 cup / 80g wholemeal plain flour
1/4 cup / 4 tbsp chickpea/gram flour
2 tbsp baking powder
pinch salt
1 large banana
1/2 cup / 125ml non dairy milk
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
2 tbsp maple syrup**, plus extra to serve

Method:
Mash the banana and mix all ingredients together in a bowl. It's ok if the banana isn't 100% smoothe and it's also ok if you don't get all the lumps out of the batter - don't overmix it!

Heat up a small, non-stick pan and spray it with a very fine mist of flavourless oil (I use sunflower). You don't have to use the oil but it helps.

It's quite a thick batter so spoon into the pan and spread out with the back of a spoon. Cook for just a few minutes and keep loosening with a spatula, until you can put the spatula all the way under the pancake without it getting stuck. Flip the pancake over and cook until you can remove without it sticking, as before.

Serve with lots-o-maple syrup.

** the amount of maple syrup depends greatly on how sweet your banana is and whether your milk is sweetened. When I first made these, I did it with vanilla soymilk which is very sweet and I didn't need to add any maple syrup. When I made these yesterday, I used my homemade unsweetened soya milk so it need a bit of help. Just taste the batter before you add any sweetener to make up your mind. Also, don't make them too sweet, as they're going to be dredged in maple syrup and will be just sickly!

Yesterday we went to Brighton for the day. I'm told that Brighton is a veggie paradise and I did see a couple of veggie food places, but unfortunately, my omni friends were more interested in beer than vegetarian shoes! :) However, I did have my favourite Yasai Itame in Wagamamas, so I was a happy chick.

The weather sucked though. Driving home the rain was ridiculous and today hasn't been much better. The noise outside my flat is horrid. The rain is absolutely shitting it down and the wind is howling and so all I wanted for dinner was a Sunday roast.

Sunday roasts are a British institution but not something I've bothered with since going veg. But today that all went out the window.

I roasted up some brussels*, potatoes and carrots and served it with some baked tofu, some Paxo sage & onion stuffing balls (vegan - yay!), peas and some bisto gravy (also vegan - double yay!). The tofu I just slathered on a thick layer of marinade made from miso, soy sauce, veggie worcestershire sauce, garlic powder and black pepper and baked it with the veggies for 30 minutes, flipping half way through. It was a great dinner and ready in under an hour - unlike it's omni counterpart would have been!


I'm trying to cut the calories a bit and lose some weight before I'm a bridesmaid this year, but I cannot bear to give up baking altogether! My previous attempts at fat free muffins have pretty much been a bit cack, so I went a surfin and found Susan V's Cinnamon Swirl Muffins. I only made 10 though instead of the 12 it should stretch too, because I like big fat muffins. They are soooo good.
I found this pic on my camera - it was dinner one day last week. I really fancied spag bol - like my mum used to make, but updated to use tofu instead of cow and wholewheat pasta.

And remember last time I said I suck at okara... here's my failure: spelt okara crackers! They smelt good, the dough tasted nice, but the texture is awful. Chewy plywood! argggh. I think they've got potential though and I've got some beans soaking to make tofu tomorrow, so I shall not be beaten yet!


Enjoy what's left of your weekends everyone! :)

Friday, 7 November 2008

Do you even know what a wah wah is, girl?

Every time I cook quinoa I have to remind myself of its stupid pronounciation and then I start singing that song into my spatula!!

Tonight's dinner was a simple pilaff, but made with quinoa instead of rice - that I have christened Bean-Wah. It was awesome.

So although it's not that hard to whip up a pilaff, I included a recipe. Mainly so I could give it a stupid name.

Feel free to vary the veggies & spices to suit your taste or whatever you have in the fridge, I always do but this is what went in it today:

Bean-wah
Ingredients:
1 medium onion
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 an orange pepper
A couple of mushrooms
1/4 of a large aubergine
1 clove of garlic
1 tsp (ish) paprika
1 tsp no salt added poultry spice
pinch of chilli flakes (optional)
1/2 cup / 90g Quinoa
1.5 cups / 375ml boiling water
1 veggie stock cube
1 tbsp nooch
1/2 cup / 8 tbsp cooked beans of your choice (I used black beans)
About a tbsp each of fresh parsley and chives
Salt & pepper to taste
Method:
Saute the onion in a medium frying pan, in the olive oil with a pinch of salt for a few minutes, over a med-low heat. Add the other veg and cook for a couple of minutes.

Add the quinoa and garlic and stir well. Add the water and crumble in the stock cube and a pinch of pepper. Mix well to dissolve and then turn the heat up and bring to the boil. Don't add salt at this point, unless you used a no-salt stock cube.

Once boiling, turn down the heat to a simmer and cover the pan with tin foil (or a loose fitting lid). Cook for 15 minutes, until the germ separates and almost all the liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally.

Add the beans and nooch and turn off the heat. Stir well and cover with the foil again. Leave covered for 5 minutes then check the seasoning and stir in the herbs.

Serve with crusty bread or if, like me you don't have any, whatever frozen bread like thing you can toast up while the bean-wah is cooking! Mine was a low fat naan! haha. It was good.

Next time on Alien on Toast.... I suck at okara!

Cooking to: Airbourne - Runnin' Wild
(if you like AC/DC and that sort of good stuff, I recommend this band. They are totally awesome, pot banging, stripper rock, fuck music! Rad!)

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Okara yum yum

So I've heard great things about this okara stuff, which is basically the pulp of the soya beans that you're left with after making soymilk. I didn't know what to do with it but what I came up with was some black bean cakes.

They were really REALLY yummy but they need work before I can post a recipe. These had okara, black beans, yellow pepper, onion, garlic and spices in. They were a little too soft to flip so they broke up a bit when I pan fried them, so this is something I need to work on.

I served them with brown rice with some broccoli and baby corn.



Today I went to an awards do for local businesses that are promoting healthy lifestyles to employees and we won a Gold award!! It was at the Four Seasons in hampshire which is unbelievably posh and beautiful and they catered for me! YAY.

I didn't get a pic of the starter, but it was a salad with loads of veggies and an awesome dressing. The main was this baby, it was so cute I had to take a pic - a baby pumpkin which was filled with spinach, mushrooms and herbs and served with other seasonal veg around it. It was sooo tasty! Excuse the crappy pics, I took them on my camera phone!


Desert was a fruit salad, it was yummy! I'm not used to actually having vegan food made for me when I go to events and even when they do, it's usually cack! So this was a lovely surprise.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

It's frickin freezing in here, Mr Bigglesworth

It's officially winter! It's cold, rainy and dark at 6 o'clock! Today I went to my friend's beautiful little girl's christening and then my friends came over for a little Supernatural catch up. By the time they went home I really was hungry and wanted something quick. But instead I took my time and made an AWESOME soup.

I won't lie, I totally stole this idea from the Barefoot contessa - it's a lentil soup with smokey sausage! Recipe is below the pic.


Lentil & Sausage Soup (approximates as I didn't weigh)
1/2 cup lentils
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots
1 medium potato
2 medium tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic, grated on a microplane or chopped finely
1 veggie stock cube
about 3 cups of water*
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp sage
Good squeeze (tbsp or so) tomato puree
4 spicy/smokey vegan sausages (see below)
Salt & pepper to taste

Method:
Pour boiling water over the lentils and set aside while you prepare the rest of the veg.

Chop the onions, potato and carrots into rough dice. Saute the onion in the olive oil and a pinch of salt for 5 minutes.

Add the garlic, tomatoes, carrots and potato and stir well and cook for a few minutes. Add boiling water from the kettle *enough to almost cover the veg (I also added a bit more as the soup was cooking so I added about 3 cups in total). Add the stock cube, tomato puree and the drained lentils and a pinch of salt & pepper. Don't go overboard on the salt if your stock cube has added salt. Add the herbs and bring to the boil, then cover with a lid and turn down to a simmer and cook for 20-25 minutes until the veggies are cooked.

Turn off the heat and add the sausage if still warm. If the sausage is cold, cook it for a minute or so after you add the sausage.

Check seasoning and serve with crusty bread.

Onto the sausages I used in the soup. I used the Everyday dish recipe, but I halved it and took out all the garlic & seasonings and replaced it with 1 tbsp of smoked paprika, 1 tsp regular paprika and 1 tsp liquid smoke.


To go with the soup, I made some focaccia. I didn't save the link to the recipe but I just googled focaccia and the one I used was ace.


I used my soymilk maker!! Exciting it was too, except that I was watching TV and the blade kicked in and scared the bejesus out of me several times!


This was brekkie today; it may look like a common old tofu scramble but the addition of a tablespoon or so of leftover VCON mustard sauce transported this scramble into a parallel dimension of radness!


Lastly, but definitely not leastly, I baked yesterday. I woke up hungover at my friend's house (Halloween was a boozy one) then went home, baked cupcakes and went back to my friend's house again to watch horrors. Bad ones.

My friends requested chocolate CCs with peanut butter frosting and that is what they got!

Cooking (the soup) to: Supernatural Season 2