Monday, 28 September 2009

Miscellaneous crap and a recipe. And MoFo!

It's been almost 2 weeks since I blogged, I can't believe it. It's been a weird couple of weeks with a bad cold, an endoscopy and another cold! But enough of that crap, on with the foodz!

This was dinner last week. I forget exactly what was in the sauce but it was tomato based, with some mange tout and baked tofu on spelt penne.


I've been digging through my cookbooks lately and remember how awesome the lentil burgers from Hot Damn & Hell Yeah were, so I made them again. SO GOOD!!! With loads of ketchup, mustard and pickles on a grainy bun.


To go with it - potato salad (with a yoghurt dressing instead of all that mayo) and a carrot salad. YUM.


This was dinner last weekend for me & my friend. I made us a salad with some pan fried tofu, sauteed onions, mushrooms and courgettes, roasted red & yellow peppers, udon noodles and avocado. Yum.


Pudding was this coconut jelly with mango in lime syrup. This was SO GOOD!! Recipe is at the end of the post, I was glad I had leftovers for the next day! :)


I bought some more smoked tofu, except this one had almonds and sesame seeds in. YUM.


I mainly ate it with salad or in sarnies, but it did have some with couscous and pinenuts ....


Also, when I bought the tofu, I picked up some chocoreale - this stuff is basically vegan nutella and it is spanktastically awesome!


I wish I had something classy that I did with it to show you but to be honest it's best like this.......

Straight out the jar on a salty pretezel.


Last week my dad made some awesome carrot & coriander soup when I was staying with him and mum. I even got some to take home with me! YAY. I made some soda bread to go with it, but I forgot to take a pic. Boo Sal!


Um this was a fairly uneventful dinner - risotto with some edamame beans (ran out of peas!), sweetcorn, peppers and the last of that smoked tofu.



So onto the recipe for the pud I talked about before. I should say that on its own, the coconut jelly is almost bland and way too rich! But all together, it all works in perfect harmony. Give it a try – it’s soooo easy! This makes more syrup than you’ll need but it keeps in the fridge for a while and can go on any boring old fruit salad to jazz it up!

Ingredients:
1 (400ml) can of coconut milk
1½ tbsp agar flakes
1 cup (250ml) water
¾ cup unrefined caster sugar
Juice & zest of 1 lime
1 ripe mango

Method:
Mix together the coconut milk and agar flakes in a saucepan and leave aside for 5 minutes. Then put it on the heat and bring to the boil without stirring. Once boiling, turn it down to a simmer and stir occasionally until the flakes have dissolved (about 5 minutes). Once dissolved, pour into 4 ramekins and let cool, then put in the fridge for at least an hour to firm up.

To make the lime syrup, mix together the sugar, lime zest and water in a small saucepan and heat gently until the sugar dissolves. Then turn up the heat and boil it for 2-3 minutes. Take off the heat and add the lime juice and also throw in the empty juiced lime halves. Leave to cool at room temperature, stirring occasionally.

To serve, peel the mango with a veggie peeler and cut the flesh off the stone in long wedges. Pour some syrup over the mango and stir it around. Unmould the jelly by cutting around the edge and using the knife to pop the vacuum created and it should drop out. Spoon the mango around the jelly and some of the syrup over the top.

I can't believe it's almost October already!! Less than 2 weeks till my best friend gets married and only a couple of days until Vegan MoFo!! Last year I loved MoFo and I've been feeling a bit blogged out lately so maybe this will challenge me to think up some new ideas!!

You can go to Kittee's ace blog for info on MoFo (or check out the MoFo room on the PPK)!

I've been lax about keeping up with everyone else's blogs too so I'm off now to start catching myself up!

Laterz
xXx

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Cluck Cluck!

Last weekend was my best friend's hen night. We had a lovely trip to Brighton starting with just the bride and the 3 bridesmaids on Friday lunchtime. We had t-shirts made for the occasion that we wore to Brighton and during the days. And as I said last time, I was on cupcake making duty.

Ages ago when I googled around for this I found these and thought they were awesome. Mine aren't quite as perfect but I was pretty pleased with them anyway.

They are Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World's golden vanilla cupcakes. With just a plain vanilla frosting coloured with a buttload of pink gel food colouring. I bought a chocolate mould to make the willies and the ball & chains I made out of fondant, food colouring and edible silver paint. Plus awesome leopard print cake cases I got online.


close-up of the willies. hehehe.


Dinner on the first night, the bride & 3 bridesmaids only - we went to Terre a Terre. I was so excited, I've been wanting to go there for ages. The mistake we all made was ordering a bread course first instead of a starter and the waiter failed to mention the bread dishes are HUGE!! Way too much for one person.

I got the Lavash Tanoor, deep fried lavash bread with aubergine dip. So freakin good but WAY too much of it.

My friend ordered the Slap It On - I checked with the waiter because it says vegan option available on the menu and I couldn't see what was not vegan. He confirmed it all is vegan, the menu just hadn't been changed. It looked good but again, way too big for a starter.


Here was my main, one of my friends had the same. The Miso Pretty - reverse sushi and ginger. It was soooo good. I definitely prefer the reverse rolls as well - sometimes I find sushi too fishy with all that nori, this way there's way less. It was fantastical.


We were too full for pudding so we went back to the hotel instead.

The second night was the big one. We dressed Em up as a cheerleader and we wore black skirts with neon pink tights, pink accessories and pom poms. If you're a friend of mine on facebook, look out for the pics later today!!

We went to Bar Ha Ha and started on the cosmos. There were a lot of willy shaped things that night, including these stupid straws! (You can see a bit of my pom pom & sexy pink fishnet glove there!! hahah)


Proper cosmo in a proper glass this time. STRONG but good.


By the time I remember to take a pic I'd eaten half of it.... tomato bruschetta. Tasty!


The vegan main was not all that inspirational but it was pretty damn tasty. Penne with tomato sauce, roasted peppers and butternut squash.


Again we were too full for pudding, so we stuck to liquid pudding instead.

I was pretty lucky with the hotel too. I managed to get soymilk from them for cereal in the morning, plus there was toast & jam, fruit and hash browns that I could eat too. So I had a good brekkie on Sunday before we headed home.

The absolute best part of the weekend though was saturday morning. Em, myself and the other 2 bridesmaids, Vicki & Maz, had a pamper session in the hotel spa. They converted a function room for us and put 4 beds and 3 therapists in there and some mood lighting!! hahah. We had a full body salt scrub, full body massage and a pedicure each. It was soooo relaxing and it was fun all being in the same room together.
All in all it was a great weekend and now I can't wait for the wedding!! :-)

So I know before I said I'm not doing the "listening to..." thing anymore cuz I've put my last.fm thing on here, but this won't show up on my last.fm cuz the album's not out yet. But you can stream Charlotte Hatherley's new album HERE. I suggest you do it and then buy the CD when it comes out next month because it is freaking amazing, just like the lady herself. Do it.

Oh and also go download Steel Panther's album, I went to see them last night in London and they rocked the friggin house down!!

Laterz
xXx

Thursday, 10 September 2009

JAM JAM here comes the man, hot damn!

So a couple of weeks ago, my mum had this big bag of damsons and as she was off on holiday, they found themselves in my sticky mitts. Hurrah. Of course, me being me, they sat around the flat for a good few days and so some were unusable but the rest went into JAM!

I've never made jam before so I wasn't sure how well it would come out. I had about 500g of plums in the end, so into my pan they went with 500g of unrefined sugar (I've heard that jam sugar is not worth the extra money!!), 125ml of water and the juice and zest of a lemon. Then I just boiled it up until it reached the right consistency. I only know this from watching Delia, but basically you put a plate in the fridge, then drop some hot jam on the cold plate, leave it to cool a minute and then push it with your finger. If it goes wrinkly it's ready. If not, boil some more.

It took about 40 minutes altogether and the result was really good! I got 2 jars of jam out of my batch - lucky for me, cuz I only had 2 empty jam jars. I had visions of making the Vegan Brunch scones to put it on but instead, I have mostly been eating it on toast, with peanut butter!



Maybe I'll get around to making those scones one day.

This post is lacking in green!! hahah. I try to mostly eat healthily during the week but the pics are usually a bit boring so I don't bother posting them. Sometimes on Fridays, my diet goes to shit! Case in point.... Hot Damn & Hell Yeah's Country Fried tofu, with a garlic knot, mash and sweetcorn.

And Sunday brunch. Tempeh bacon, seitan sausage, bread roll, roasted tomatoes and tofu scramble. I took a leaf out of Vegan Dad's book and left out the veggies. I also added some black salt, but only a pinch. I think it could have done with a bit more.


This was dinner one night this week. I was hungry and so it had to be quick. I cooked some rice with some leftover tomato sauce that I made out of a big bag of tomatoes my mum gave me. I added some fresh coriander and made some baked tofu to go on top. Pretty good for a quickie!


This one was dessert for when my friend came over for dinner on Tuesday. It was supposed to be 2 of them but one was ill, which means I still have half this pie in the fridge! It is a work in progress, I haven't got it right yet and I'm not sure the flavours go perfectly yet. It was a ginger snap biscuit base with a banana filling (the 'nanas turn it brown, ick) with dried banana and stem ginger to decorate. It was ok, I burnt the base though!


oh and this is what happens when Maz serves up seconds while I make tea.....


I didn't take a pic of dinner, it was a stir fry. I wanted something light and low cal as we were having pudding. I kind of wish I did take a pic though as there were loads of veg in it and it was pretty. Ah well.

I still had half a block of tempeh left after making the bacon. So I dug out Veganomicon. You know, I've had this book ages and have only made 2 or 3 things from it. So I decided on the hot sauce glazed tempeh and corn-jalapeno gravy. Although it was actually just corn gravy as I left the jalapeno out, also, i only added 3/4 of the corn before blending and the rest in afterwards cuz I love the crunchy texture of corn.

I have to say, glad I left the chilli out of the gravy because holy cow, this tempeh is one hot spicy mama!! I left the cayenne out of it as well - thank god!! I dunno if the hot sauce in the US is a different thing to over here, or if I'm just a big wuss?? But I used sriracha and man it was soooo hot!!

I like spicy food but I think next time I make this I'll cut the hot sauce back a bit!

That's all for now. Tomorrow I'm off to Brighton for my best friend's hen night and I'm sooo excited. I'm on cupcake making duty so expect pix of those next time, along with dinner pix from Terre a Terre! Squeeee!!
Laterz
xXx

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Elvis! Elvis! Let me be....

.... keep that pelvis faaaaaar from me!!!

I should probably start with the pic that inspired the post title so you don't think I'm totally nuts. Peanuts to be precise - The Elvis Cupcake! VCTOTW banana cupcakes, the Elvis variation. I can't believe that it took me so long to make this cupcake cuz they are AWESOME! I swapped the regular flour for white spelt and they were damn good.


The reason for these cupcakes was dinner, I had 4 friends over. For the main, I made us spelt pasta with mushroom and cashew cream sauce. It was really good, but the pic is ugly. Sorry.



Speaking of spelt flour and pasta, I had lunch last week with a fellow ppk'er, who introduced me to a great little health food shop that sells LOADS of different wheat free pastas. I also got tempeh - Squeeeeeee!! Only ever seen this online and in Brighton before so I was soooo excited.


So excited that I went back a couple of days later for more pasta and some tofu. The smoked tofu on the right is real good stuff. It has herbs and sunflower seeds in and is perfect just raw in a sandwich. And I speak as someone who HATES the texture of most raw tofu!


Most of the smoked tofu went into sandwiches like this. With mayo and tomato.


Today, the last of it went into some miso soup. 2 cups of water, half a bunch of udon noodles, red pepper, spring onions, chilli (from my balcony - yay!), a tablespoon of barley miso, a tbsp or so of low sodium soy sauce and smoked tofu. I added some hot sauce, as my chilli was pretty lame and the juice of half a lime. Some fresh coriander would have made this super.


Backtracking a bit, my spin on after dinner mints for when the friends came over was cake truffles. Remember that vanilla cake from my last post? And the neon green icing from my last post? I took the leftovers of each, mixed them together and covered them in melted mint chocolate.


Cute and tasty.....


Inside shot. Yum yum yum, these went down well!

I had some mushrooms and cashew cream left over, so I made some cream of mushroom soup. It was delicious and I had it with crusty bread.


Today I was trying to get inspired to make something with the potatoes and fresh corn in my fridge. So I came up with this spanish inspired stew. It had yellow pepper, onion and tomatoes in, plus a craptonne of paprika and some smoked paprika too. I served it with basmati that I stirred some vegan butter and fresh parsley & chives into. Not bad at all for a wing-it job.


And look, the great british summer, or what was left of it anyway.


Just keep your cool now you're starting to DROOOOOOLLLL. Hey! Fangool, I'm Sandra Dee!



Laterz
xXx