Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Piecing Everything Together.

Now that Vegan SJ is on Facebook as well I am trying to finally get around to old photos and blog posts. I'm going to cheat with this one though and send you to a link instead. VeganYumYum. Here is where you will find the tastiest little vegan doughnuts I have come across. They are so cakey and donughty and healthier than the real thing because they are baked.
Hubby and I were so naughty the night I made these that they became our dinner, non-vegan hubby likes silly dinners sometimes. They were just too damn good to resist, all hot and covered in cinnamon sugar.
Due to not having a doughnut pan as I haven't gotten around to getting one off Ebay yet, I used a mini muffin/cupcake pan and called the dough-nots!

You can't have just 1, trust me!
 

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Slightly Narcissistic Perhaps...

This is my new badge I got at my Tupperware party today, I think its pretty cool!
So I can't be bothered putting up my recipes, and I haven't taken many photos, but I will tell you that we had Fruity Chickpea Balls, a Yum Cha selection and Brownie bottomed Peanut Butter Cheesecake from Vegan Pie in the Sky, YUM!!

Monday, 14 November 2011

Can Anybody Tell Me What Time it is? It's Lime Time.

I didn't really plan anything for dinner tonight, I was too busy blogging, facebooking and perusing my new cookbook. 
I remembered that I had a packet of Lentilicious's "Lime Time", it's kinda like a think lentil stew, which I served with steamed brown rice and broccoli, but I decided I wanted some Tofutti, Better Than Cream Cheese plopped on top, I don't know why, but I thought it made it!
Now I think I may have over cooked it a bit, and it kinda looked like gruel, luckily it didn't taste that way, so I didn't take a pic of it, so here's a pic of the packaging instead.
You can buy them online at Vegan Online or from Lentilicious's site, or from there you can also search for a stockist in your state, Tassie isn't listed, but I can tell you that the Trevallyn Grocer does stock them. They're about $7-$8 a pack.

NEW COOKBOOK!!

A couple of months back I pre-ordered a copy of Vegan Pie in the Sky which was co-written by Isa chandra from the amazing Post Punk Kitchen and Terry Hope Romeo.
It's the first time I ever bought a book without having read a review, seen a preview of recipes or before it had even been released for sale! I knew, however, it would be gold, especially considering her other books I own (pictured below) sure as heck are!


I can't wait to bake my first pie, though it will be tough choosing which one to start with, but I will post a report and pics when I do :)




It's Monday and I still Have 2 Days of my weekend Left!

On Saturday I blogged about the awesome weekend I was planning and the amazing tofu scramble I was loving for breakfast. I loved it so much that I planned on having it for breakfast on Sunday as well, but instead I got too busy cleaning my house before my family came over to worry about a silly little thing like sustenance!
Apart from the great flavours, and not actually tasting like tofu in the end, I figured out through Saturday just how fantastic HIGH protein meals are. I ate my breakfast at around 10 am and didn't even feel slightly peckish until 3 pm!
So I decided to get up and do it all again, only smaller this time, simply because I had a massive craving for a veggie dog for breakfast, bad I know!
So today I changed things a little, I made my scramble the same, but this time added kale, thyme, chives and oregano, I nearly added onion, but I didn't feel like crying this early in the morning! Also instead of toast I wrapped it in a flour tortilla and spread on some Tofutti, Better Than Cream Cheese.




It was even better today. I never liked cream cheese as a spread before I was vegan, and now I love the Tofutti stuff!
And after having had 2 boxes of chocolate soy milk, a veggie dog and a scramble wrap, I don't want to eat for the rest of the day!
Who am I kidding? I'll want a late lunch then dinner for sure! :-P

Sunday, 13 November 2011

"Meat"balls.

A few nights back I was hungrily plodding around the kitchen trying to think of what to have for dinner. As I had had my weekend cut short by being called into work last week, I didn't have any really meal planner prep time, which I try to do!
Then I happily remembered that in the freezer I had a box of Redwood's meat free meatballs in the freezer which I get from my most favourite store in the world Vegan Online.
So I quickly grabbed them out and heated up my oven and made a kick arse marinara sauce and boiled some pasta.

Marinara Sauce
Ingredients:
  • 1-2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 - 1 onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 500g jar pasta sauce, I like Raguletto's Venitian herbs
  • 1 400g tin diced tomatoes
  • fresh oregano, fresh basil, salt, pepper and dried mixed herbs to taste 
  • Pasta 
Method:
  1. Heat oil in a saucepan.
  2. Add onion and saute for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and saute fror 2 more minutes.
  4. Add tomato paste and let it cook off, another few minutes.
  5. Add fresh herbs, tomatoes and pasta sauce, mix thoroughly and let simmer until heated through.
  6. Add salt, pepper and fresh herbs to taste, you may also want a little bit of sugar in it, depending how acidic it is. Let simmer for as long as you like, when you're happy with it serve.
You could also add red or white wine to the mix as well.
This was a really great base the next night for a pizza sauce, SOO YUMMY!

But here was the dish I made
There is easily 4 serves here, you really only need 5 or 6 meatballs per dish, especially when eating with pasta, bread and salad like we did. Actually we didn't have bread, we didn't need it! And they were a great lunch of leftovers as well :)
Now I think these are gluten free, but I can't be 100% certain, just (obviously) check the ingredients first.
I can't wait to put in my next order for these, I loved them so much, even just dipping them in BBQ sauce!

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Not Quite Meatloaf.

Whilst I was busily blogging about my awesome breakfast this morning, I saw on my blog roll a new post from The Vegan Stoner for Lentil Loaf. I've 
been thinking about veganizing meatloaf, but was basically just too lazy! So when I saw this recipe this morning I got VERY excited!
My changes are bolded in this colour.


Lentil Loaf
Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of cooked lentils (from 1 cup of dried)
  • 1/2 an onion, chopped
  • Hand full of walnuts, We don't like walnuts, so instead I used 1/2 a large apple, chopped
  • 2 handfuls crushed crackers, I used 4 whole saladas                  
  • 2 cups frozen veggies, I used a mix of peas, corn and spinach
  • A sprinkling of garlic salt
  • 4 Tbs apple sauce, I only had 3 Tbs worth, which is the other reason why I decided to use fresh apple as well
  • 2 Tbs tomato sauce, I used 3
  • I also added 1 Tbs of yellow/American mustard
  • Ketchup is supposed to go on top, but I used sundried tomato chutney
Method:
  1. Cook lentils.
  2. Mash in onion and walnuts/apple and crackers.
  3. Mix in all remaining ingredients.
  4. Pack into a loaf tin.
  5. Spread with tomato sauce/ketchup/chutney and bake for 40 minutes at 180oC.
Simple, easy and quite tasty.
My loaf pan was a bit small, so the remaining mixture got turned into patties.

A Weekend at Home!

I normally work on Saturdays, but this week I swapped my shift to help out a friend, which means I get FOUR whole days at home!!
At the moment I am thoroughly enjoying Rage, especially because it's very Hip-Hop heavy today. I'm also loving the fact that I had time to make a totally KICK ARSE breakfast of tofu scramble, not the prettiest thing to eat, but DAMN it was good!!
The rest of my plans for this wonderfully long weekend are gardening and FINALLY setting up my little veggie/herb garden, AND going to the shelter and picking up a little of baby foster kittens. Also catching up on all of my forgotten blog posts, AND LOTS of cooking!! 
Seriously, could it get ANY better?! Well I will also be popping down to the Evandale markets and catching up with the folks and my Grandmother who is staying with them this week as well, so a totally jam packed awesomeness-filled few days, WOOT WOOT!!


 Tofu Scramble.
Ingredients:
  • 80-100g firm tofu, crumbled, I use Simply Better Foods Organic Tofu.
  • 3-4 button mushrooms, sliced
  • A good chunk of capsicum, sliced into small/bite sized pieces
  • 1 Tbs nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tbs American/yellow mustard
  • 3 Tbs tomato sauce
  • 2 slice of toast, I like Helga's Soy & Linseed bread,, or GF toast.
Method:
  1. Prepare ingredients.
  2. Heat pan med-high, u may want a little spray of oil just to coat your pan.
  3. Toss all ingredients in, cook till mushies are wilted and flavours have infused the tofu.
  4. Cook toast, dish scramble on top of it and if you like, as I very much do, have with a glass of chocolate soy milk. 
For anybody who thinks that vegans don't get enough protein, tell them to suck on this, it's 30g worth, that's approx 1/2 your daily protein requirement, HELLS YEAH BITCHES!!

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Chinese Roast Duck with Steamed Rice and Lemon Stir Fried Veggies.

When I went to Hobart recently stocked up on various awesome food stuffs, including frozen fake meats by Lamoyng. I was so stoked at my finds at the Asian grocer Wing & Co., then I ate too much fake meat too quickly and the thought of eating anymore made my stomach turn. So all this food has been taking up room in my freezer and tonight I decide I had better start making a dent in the stocks so as I can restock it with other meals I want to make. 
Because the fake meat is quite glutinous, and I still don't know how to go about preparing it, I wanted to try and make it crispy, which I have tried before and failed, but tonight it was a success.
Check it out :)
Chinese Roast Duck with Steamed Rice and Lemon Stir Fried Veggies. 
Serves 2.
Ingredients:
  • 200g Lamyong (Sayur) Vegetarian Roast Duck
  • Vegetable oil (I used Canola) for shallow frying
  • 2 packets of Lee Kum Kee Lemon Chicken sauce (from the Asian section of the supermarket)
  • Mix of your fave veggies to stir fry, I used capsicum, snow peas, carrot, onion and broccoli
  • 1 tsp olive oil for cooking veggies
  • Steamed white rice
Method:
  1. Start steaming rice, I just use a rice cooker.
  2. Cut up veggies and have them ready to go.
  3. Heat the oil for frying the the "duck".
  4. Whilst oil is heating cut duck into thin strips. Fry when oil is hot, this only takes a few minutes, I did it in batches. I also drained the "duck" on a cooling rack over a baking sheet and then kept the strips warm in the oven set to 160oC whilst I was prepping everything else as I wasn't overly organised, watch them though, mine dried out a little too much.
  5. Heat oil in a large fry pan or wok and stir fry veggies.
  6. When just about cooked to your liking add the packets of sauce, you may only need 1 pack, I like things a bit saucy though.
  7. When everything is cooked put the "duck" into the saucy veggies and coat it all with the sauce and dish up with the rice (which I happen to think is the way to go) or do what I did and dish the "duck" up on the rice and the veggies on the side, as pictured above.
This did not turn my stomach at all, as even though it may not be the healthiest method of cooking out there, shallow frying the "duck" took away the spongy glutinous feeling of the product and left it very crispy and let the flavours shine through!

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

My Favourite Dessert.

Recently I made a chocolate "cheese"cake which I originally got from a newspaper website, but I didn't copy down the link.The recipe comes from a young lass by the name of Kamina who lives in Brisbane, she has a website called Kamina the Vegan and can be found on Facebook also.
Anyway I love this recipe, and I haven't met anybody who doesn't like, but it comes with a VERY RICH warning attached!
I call it chocolate"cheese"cake, but technically it's called Kamina's Chocolate Mousse Tart. This can easily be made gluten-free, I do this by using Orgran's amaretti biscotti.
Oh, and it is totally packed full of goodness as one of the main ingredients is tofu. Yep that's right TOFU! And trust me, you would never know!
So the original recipe follows with my changes in this colour :)


Chocolate "Cheese"cake :)




Fills 1 x 24cm fluted flan tin with delicious goodness.
Ingredients:

For the crust:
  • 300g sweet biscuits - these can be vegan or gluten free or a simple plain sweet biscuit like I said I use Orgran's amaretti biscotti
  • 125g vegetable margarine or substitute I prefer Nutelex olive lite
For the filling:
  • 1/3 cup corn flour
  • 1 cups soy milk ( rice milk or almond milk) can also be used
  • 300g 50-60% dark chocolate - organic or vegan I generally use a mix of chocolate, usually 1 block of Sweet William's dairy free "milk" chocolate, sometimes a block of 80% cocoa dark (dairy-free) chocolate and 1-2 blocks of 50-70% cocoa chocolate, depending of course whether or not I use an 80% block or not. Each block is 100g
  • 300g drained silken tofu - Kamina recommends the Japanese firm tofu, Morinaga Brand available at Asian or Japanese grocers on the shelf, I don't know the name of brand that I have used, but since moving to Tasmania I have only seen one type/brand of silken tofu, it has a black label and I have found it at Coles and Eumarrah.
  • 225g soy cream cheese - Tofutti brand or king land soy available from health shops or supermarkets in the dairy cabinet, I WAS using the Tofutti brand, which I really liked and could buy at Coles, but now they have decided to stop stocking it (GRRRR!!), thankfully they have started stocking the King Land brand. 
  • 2/3 cup raw organic or rapadura raw sugar I use organic raw caster sugar.
Method:
  • To make the crust, place the biscuits into a food processor or crush them in a blender until rough crumbs, transfer into a bowl and using your hands mix the crumbs with the melted margarine until the crumbs are moist and keep their shape when squeezed. Wipe out the processor or blender to use for the filling.
  • Press the mixture into the tin until the bottom and sides are well covered and extremely compact. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  • For the filling, in a small saucepan whisk some of the soy milk with the corn flour until smooth and then add in the rest of the soy milk. Simmer over a moderate heat bringing the milk to a boil and stirring until it makes a thick smooth custard. Melt the chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave at 30 second intervals mixing in between until smooth.
  • Strain the custard through a fine sieve (this NEVER works for me properly so I don't waist my time with this step anymore!) into your blender or food processor and add in the tofu, melted chocolate, raw sugar and cream "cheese" and blend until smooth and runny. The mix will have the texture of melted chocolate.
  • Pour the filling into the prepared base and refrigerate for at least 2 hours until firm to touch. Serve chilled with fresh berries. The first time I made this I served it with a raspberry coulis.
Making it is a lot of fun!

Mmmmm melted chocolate *drools*

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Something Bitter-Sweet.

I don't normally eat desserts, but occasionally I feel the "need". Usually I would cook something from scratch like a good little vegan girl, and because the only store bought dessert that I have found that I can eat are Nana's Lite Apple Pies, and tonight these were out of stock.
Instead I picked up a packet of Melinda's Gluten Free Goodies Lemon Delicious Slice.
I only let it cool slightly then served it up with some vanilla So Good ice cream.
It was good, not amazing, but good. I did accidentally burn a little bit around the edges of it because my oven timer doesn't really seem to work, but I don't think I ruined it, not a bad "lazy" dessert.

Peasant Dinner.

Well it might look like something the dog threw up, but last nights (and tonight's) dinner was great!


I've been eating a lot of crap lately, namely processed Asian-style seitan which I totally made myself sick on, literally!
Recently I got a copy of "Appetite For Reduction" by Isa Chandra Moskowvitz, along with a few other of her books. I figured after a seitan OD it was time to get back to some healthy vegan basics and so I picked up my copy of AfR and put together 2 recipes. On page 117 is Upside-Down Lentil Shepherd's Pie (GF), which I just made as a Lentil Stew (with some variations which I will probably post one day) which I served with Sweet Potato Drop Biscuits (Sweet Potato Scones, which would be a great savoury snack) from page 253.

It was so yummy, wholesome, healthy and filling, even non-veg hubby really liked it, especially the scones, he ate 3!

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Oreo Cupcakes.

Recently I got 4 new cookbooks, one of which was Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World which is such a cute little book that is available from Amazon.

The first tasty morsels I whipped up were the Cookies and Cream cupcakes, and even though I haven't tried any others yet I do feel they are going to be a favourite!

Get Behind My Seitan! (Well Lamyong's Seitan).

As mentioned in my last post I've been craving crazy things like KFC, well today I pretty much stopped that by making some SF"C", Sarah's Fried Chicken, which isn't actually my recipe, but rather one that I stole from Yeah That Vegan Shit!, which was stolen from somewhere else, just like everything else on the internet!
So with my huge stash of groceries that I got in Hobart ( from Wing & Co. by the way) I got some Lamyong Vegetarian Chicken (which is vegan) and looks like this (after being cut up):


The lumps on the right have been cut into bite sized chunks for apricot chicken and the lumps on the left have been into 2" squares for my fried chicken, which looks like this:


Apart from being a bit too oily it really does taste quite good, and very satisfying!

And for those wondering the "raw" product smells like Asian BBQ chicken and reminds me of Vietnamese street food, and that's what it tastes like too, but no the texture is not like chicken, its glutinous (DUH!) and not tough like meat.

Hobart Trip.

Lately I have been craving such naughty, horrible things as KFC, eating real animals! Of course I have NOT wavered and given in to such a deplorable temptation, even though I have been particularly lazy and uninspired lately and it would have been easy, I just knew it wasn't worth it!
Well this weekend just gone I went down to Hobart to visit with my friend that I mentioned in my previous post. Well the beautiful Tahlia lives nice and close to an Asian grocer, and even though I have the same one here in Launceston, I very rarely get time to go there. So I figured I would stop in and stock up, and that's exactly what I did!


I stocked up on seitan, dumplings (as when I tried making them it was a huge fail after a huge effort!), tofu puffs, panko and some pastes. So happy about this!! My freezer is packed so tightly and I've had to put things in the fridge and try to figure out how to use it all before it goes bad.

Whilst in Hobart I got to try a couple of Asian vego eateries one of which, Mo Mo Bubble Tea and Coffee House, I had been desperate to try, and found it was alright, but not as good I had hoped. The other one Thai Veggie Hut, located in the Bank Arcade off Liverpool Street, but that website shows a whole different building at a different address, but the take away menu was the same as the hole in the wall we visited. Anyway, the food there was GREAT! I had "Triple Delight" which consisted of mock chicken in a clear sauce with snow peas, mock beef with mushrooms in a slightly peppery brown sauce, crispy roast duck slices (my fave!) and steamed white rice. I meant to take a photo of my food, but forgot :( This dish was SOO good and yummy though, and totally helped with all my horrible rotting flesh cravings!

Sunday, 4 September 2011

A lovely weekend full of friends, fun and food.

A couple of months ago a friend of mine from Canberra, Tahlia, moved to Tasmania, but a couple of hours away from me. This weekend we finally both had the time to catch up, so she drove up to stay at our place on Saturday night, just to hang out.
It wasn't just that I hadn't seen her in a couple of months that made the visit exciting, but also the fact that she is trialing a vegan diet. Finally I had somebody that could really appreciate the food I make and understand my excitement over gluten flour and imitation sour cream! 
So here is the menu I came up with.

Dinner Saturday night:
Isa’s Veggie Korma

I've mentioned this recipe previously, but I thought I would post the whole recipe with the changes I've made this time. Isa's original post can be seen here

I halved this recipe, next time I will be adding more garam masala and probably a bit more curry powder too.

For the cream:
2 cups raw cashew pieces (plus water for soaking)
2 cups vegetable broth

Veggies to boil: (I’ve made some changes here to suit me)
1 ½ lbs yukon gold potatoes (1 1/2 inch chunks)
1 lb sweet potatoes (1 1/2 inch chunks)
1 lb cauliflower in large florettes (don’t cut em too small or they will fall apart)
1 lb broccoli in large florettes (don’t cut em too small or they will fall apart)
1 lb carrots, sliced on a bias 1/2 inch thick
1 lb sugar snap peas (or omit these for extra broccoli)

Puree:
2 medium sized yellow onions
2 inch nub of ginger
8 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes

Everything else:
3 tablespoons peanut oil
1 tablespoon coriander, crushed
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon curry powder
2 teaspoons garam masala
Fresh black pepper
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon tamarind concentrate OR the juice from 2 limes (I forgot this, this time, wish I hadn’t!)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 cups vegetable broth
1 can coconut milk ( I use 1 can of Carnation soy milk)
2 cups frozen peas (or omit for sugar snaps and have extra broccoli)
1 large caramelized red onion
Chopped cilantro (coriander) for garnish (optional)

Method:
First, soak the cashews. This will get them really soft and make them easier to blend really smooth. Place them in a bowl and submerge in water. Set aside for at least an hour. In the meantime prep everything.
Boil the veggies. Place them in a big ass pot (8 quart is ideal), and cover them in cold water. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat to a simmer (so you don’t overcook the veggies), for about 15 minutes. Potatoes should be fork tender. Drain and set aside.
Next, puree the onion, ginger and garlic. It shouldn’t be completely smooth, some texture is good. No need to wash the processor bowl just yet, you’re going to puree the cashews in a bit.
Preheat another big pot over medium heat. Cook the puree in the peanut oil with a sprinkle of salt for about 15 to 20 minutes, until it’s nice and browned.
This is a good time to puree the cashews. Drain them and place them in the food processor along with 2 cups vegetable broth. Puree until smooth. This can take up to 5 minutes to get it as smooth as possible.
Back to the puree. Once it’s browned, add the coriander seed and the red pepper flakes and saute for about 3 minutes. Add curry powder, garam masala, several dashes fresh black pepper and salt and saute for another minute.
Add tamarind or lime juice, tomato paste and vegetable broth and bring to a simmer. Now add the coconut milk and the cashew cream. Let cook uncovered for about 15 minutes, it should thicken a little and be really creamy.
In the meantime, saute the red onion in a little peanut oil in a separate pan with a pinch of salt for about 15 minutes, it should be browned and slightly caramelized. This adds a really nice sweetness and some added texture to the finished dish.
You’re pretty much done. You can shut the heat off then mix in the peas. Now fold in the boiled veggies, put the lid on the pot and let it heat through. Taste for salt and seasoning and serve garnished with cilantro if you like.

Lunch Sunday:

Baked Mexican Seitan Chimichangas
Mexican Seitan
Although this isn’t the quickest recipe to make as it does have to bake for 1 ½ hours, it is really quite simple to prepare and great in any meaty/mincey Mexican recipe.

Ingredients:
1 ½ cups gluten flour (I think GF gluten can be used instead…)
¼ cup nutritional yeast
2 tsp paprika (optional)
1-2 tsp cumin
2-3 Tbs taco seasoning powder (I use salt reduced)
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
¾ cup cold water
1Tbs tomato paste
3 Tbs Salsa (heat level is up to you)
1 Tbs ketchup/tomato sauce
2 Tbs vegetable oil (olive/canola/refined coconut oil, melted)
2 Tbs (GF) vegan Worcestershire sauce
3 cloves garlic, crushed

Method:
Preheat oven to 165°C.
Simply mix all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
Mix the crushed garlic and all the wet ingredients in a smaller mixing bowl, whisk until well combined.
Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix well, then knead for several minutes to ensure is well combined, some of the veggies in the salsa will fall out, but you can just stick them back in.
Place some foil on the bench, long enough to wrap the mixture in, I usually cut 2 sheets of foil out the same length and fold up a seam through the middle. Lay the ball of seitan out and form   into a log in the centre of the foil. Wrap the log up, but not too tightly, twisting ends.
Place in preheated oven and bake for 1 ½ hours.
When cooked, unwrap and leave to cool completely if you’re going to put in the fridge or freezer for later use. Otherwise just let it cool enough to handle.

Baked Seitan Chimichangas

Ingredients:
½ - ¾ log of baked Mexican seitan
1 Tbs olive oil
1 Spanish (red) onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tin diced tomatoes
1 tin red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
Taco seasoning powder, to taste, about ½ the pack/whatever’s left over from the seitan recipe
1 Tbs cummin
1-2 large flour tortillas or 2 packs of mini flour tortillas, depending on the quantity seitan used and if you want meal or finger food sized chimichangas (or some form of GF wrap)
Cooking/olive oil spray
2 Tbs extra olive oil for brushing

Method:
Preheat oven to 180oC
Cut the desired amount off the seitan log, cut that into smaller chunks and place in the food processor. Pulse until “minced”. If you don’t have a food processor you can coarsely grate it into a bowl.
Heat the oil in a large pan, gently fry the onion and garlic.
Add the seitan, kidney beans, tomatoes and taco seasoning to the pan, combine and sauté.
Open the pack of tortillas and heat up according to microwave instructions.
Lightly coat 1 or 2 baking trays, depending on quantity of chimichangas being made, with cooking spray.
Lightly brush around the edges of each tortilla with the extra olive oil, the brushed edges will form the inside of the pockets.
Spoon about 2 tablespoons of seitan mixture in the middle of each (large) tortilla, and pat it into a rectangle shape.
Fold one edge of the tortilla over the mixture, then the edge on the opposite side, the other 2 edges over the top of each other to form a sealed pocket. Lay each pocket seam side down on the baking tray.
Bake until tortillas are golden brown, about 20 minutes.
Serve with Tofutti Sour Supreme, enchilada sauce, guacamole, vegan cheese, Mexican rice and salad.

Mexican Rice
Ingredients:
2 cups white or brown rice
3 cups water
2 vegan “chicken” stock cubes
1 tin crushed or diced tomatoes, in juice
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 Spanish (red) onion, sliced
1 red and 1 yellow capsicum, sliced
½ tsp paprika
2 tsp cumin
2-3 bay leaves
chilli to taste (I don’t usually bother, but I’m not much of a chilli fan)
1 cup frozen corn

Method:
Put all ingredients, except corn, into rice cooker.
Combine everything well, cover with lid and set to cook.
Once cooked add the frozen corn, stir and let sit on “Keep Warm” for a while.
Stir again and serve.

This is really nice with a squeeze of lime over the top as well.

Peanut Butter Blondies


From Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, Page 129

On Wednesday I received a fresh batch of cookbooks: Appetite for Reduction, Veganomicon, Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World and Vegan cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, all of these by the fantabulous Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romeo of The Post Punk Kitchen fame.  
So on Sunday morning Tahlia and I were going through my hoard of vegan books and told her to see if there was anything she wanted to pick out to bake. And what do you know, she picked the recipe I also really wanted to try!
So Whilst I was making chimichangas and Carl was taking care of the rice, Tahlia volunteered to make the Peanut Butter Blondies. It was so awesome all of us in a patch of kitchen making separate dishes to make an afternoon complete, so much fun :)
The blondies (pale brownies) turned out so good and yummy that I thought that recipe alone made buying the book worthwhile! 

At the end of the day I packed Tahlia up with a care package of everything we had made, as there was a lot of food, but that's part of the fun; making a truckload and sharing it!

Thanks for coming Tahlia :) xo

Monday, 22 August 2011

40 Hour Famine 2011 part 3.

I've now completed my 40 hour food/iPhone/house phone/laptop/desktop/internet famine!
In some ways it wasn't as hard as I expected it to be, as the hunger didn't really bother me so much, not as much as the effects of hunger did.

I had a fairly good and mildly energetic day of running around with the dogs and picking firewood at my parent's place, maybe not the best activities to do when running on empty, but it was good to get out of the house and keep busy.

I had planned to do all these wonderful things like organise my Tupperware cupboard, clean out my pantry, read my board, look through and organise my old course work to start to get a feel for what I will be teaching next year. None of this happened, I was just too lethargic. Instead I just hung out on the couch, watching TV, for about 8 hours. I couldn't concentrate on words on a page or anything even mildly physical from about 2:30pm.


Having said that, the first 24 hours were the easiest, even though I did feel a bit weak and tired, it was right around the 24 hour mark that my hunger pangs kicked in, for just a little while then they went again. It was around then that I started to feel a lot weaker and more tired.
I had a great "meal" of juice for dinner, followed by my 3rd and final barley sugar for the day.

I woke up this morning and weighed myself, I lost a whole 2kg (4.4lbs) in 48 hours, I know this isn't "weight" it's probably just fluid, and by tomorrow I will probably have put on a kilo again, but I was very surprised how much had gone. NO I WILL NOT STARVE MYSELF TO LOSE WEIGHT!! And neither should anyone else! This was not a comfortable experience, and nor should it be, it's supposed to make you feel crappy so you understand how people living in poverty around the world feel every day. Carl looked at me last night when I was looking woeful and said "Imagine feeling like this walking long distances to a refugee camp with a baby on your back." I could not ever imagine how horrible that could ever be!

I've eased my way back into eating as I actually felt too weak to eat. At about 12:30 I had a small bowl of Sultana Bran, around 2pm I had some gluten-free crackers with Nutelex and Vegemite and shortly I will eat an apple. This is so I don't make myself sick and to gradually get my energy back as I still feel really crappy! And now I'm just waiting for my veggie delivery, which is late(!), so I can figure out what to cook for dinner tonight.

Don't forget, if you haven't donated yet it's not too late just go to my 40 hour famine profile page, here you can see how much I've raised and who has donate.
Every little bit helps.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

40 Hour Famine 2011 part 2.

Hello fellow bloggers,
just a reminder that I am doing the 40 Hour Famine from 8pm tonight (20th August) until 12 noon on Monday 22nd August.
Please help support me in my efforts go to my 40 Hour Famine Profile Page and just remember I'm not just going without food for 40 hours, but also my iPhone, laptop, desktop PC, house phone and INTERNET!!!

SO PLEEEEEEASE HELP ME STOP THIS:



thank u :)

Monday, 15 August 2011

Lamyong Mini Steaks.


Small bite size pieces of soy patties marinated with a sweet and spicy sauce. Add to stir fries or simply add pineapple and serve on a bed of rice.
Whenever I find a packet of food that is vegan I instantly want to try it. This isn’t necessarily a good thing. I found this out with Lamyong Mushroom Chunks, which admittedly I didn’t taste, just opened the bag, thought they smelt like dog food and chucked the pack away!
I bought this pack along with Lamyong Mini Steak from my favourite online store Vegan Online.
Due to my unwillingness to try the mushroom chunks I was really hesitant to try the mini steaks, which is why I had the pack in my pantry for about 3 or so months.
A Couple of nights ago we realised there wasn’t much in the fridge or pantry, but I did have a pack of the mini steaks, reluctantly we decided to give them a go, here's what happened:

SJ’s Lamyong Mini Steaks


I sautéed some onion and broccoli in a medium sized fry pan.
Then added some:
Sweet and sour sauce
lime juice
mirin seasoning
rice wine vinegar
1 ½ pineapple rings, cut into small pieces
and the pack of mini steaks

I cooked it gently for about 5 minutes or so, until the steaks were heated through, then thickened the sauce with some corn flour mixed with water. Cooked it for another minute or two and served it with some steamed white Basmati rice.

And guess what? It wasn’t too bad at all! A quick and easy no fuss meal with plenty of flavour :)

Monday, 8 August 2011

Why Am I Vegan? Part 2 (Thyroid Update).

So I have previously put up a post kind of explaining why I am vegan.
What started off as an ethical issue about the plight of bobby calves and the cruelty involved in the dairy industry soon became a health issue. I researched becoming vegan before I took the plunge and found out that there is a lot of iodine in dairy products, which is bad for me because I was Hyperthyroid (thyroid gland was over-active and produced too much iodine and poisoned my body).
On MANY occasions I asked general practitioners, dieticians, and endocrinologists if there was ANYTHING I could do in my diet to help my thyroid. All everyone told me was "Keep away from iodine which is found in iodised salt and seafood, other than that there is nothing you can do." Which turns out is BULLSHIT!!!
THERE IS A TON OF IODINE IN DAIRY!!!!
Something I had to find out on my own about 5 years AFTER diagnosis!

Well, since I I became vegan (and quit smoking and stopped drinking Coke) I have only improved both my physical and emotional well being. I have lost a guilt that I had for a very long time, but was never able to figure out what this guilt actually was.
I have now lost 13kg.
But the most impressive, amazing, exciting part of it all is that I have lost my Hyperthyroidism!!
This of course was my overall (short-term) vegan goal, proving that I could cure myself of a disease that not only makes me very heat intolerant, an insomniac, depressed, anxious, hyperactive, soooo hungry, gives me heart palpations, forces me to be on 2 different kinds of medications, but also stops me from falling pregnant, goal number 2!
Very quickly after becoming vegan I felt there was no need for me to take my medication any more, so I weaned off, maybe a little quicker than I should have, but I had done it once before, so felt confident in what I was doing. Very quickly I started feeling better and non-symptomatic so I was extremely happy, yet nervous. I was nervous that it would only be a matter of time before I entered a state of total thyrotoxicosis.

I went to my endocrinologist a couple of weeks ago and not only did she agree with me that cutting out dairy was a good thing to do as she knew it wasn't good for somebody like me (another doc, some "wonderful" fertility specialist told me I had to go on the Atkins diet, fuck that!), but she RAN SOME TESTS!! A completely amazing and novel idea, I thought!
You see I have had MANY blood tests over the last 5 years, but it turns out, according to my medical history, that it has been a VERY long time since I have actually been attended too in a thorough manner.

Well when the results came back she informed me that not only am I not sick any more, but that I am in REMISSION! Far better than I expected, I knew I wasn't sick, but I didn't realise how not sick I actually was/am. I was blown away and so incredibly happy! Knowing that I had done the right thing, all by myself was amazing! I am still waiting for a couple of other bloods to come back to find out why I haven't fallen pregnant after NINETEEN months of trying, another thing no doctor seemed to give a rats arse about "Your young, don't worry about it....."  FFS how long did they want to let me go before taking a little bit of fucking blood to see if I actually even fucking ovulate?!! (a story for another time).

So in summary, I am happy, healthy, lighter, and getting lighter all the time, thrilled that I have found a doctor that actually seems to give a fucking shit about my health, and I've done it all by myself after getting sick of nobody caring (or at least that's how it seemed).
Oh, and I use WAY too many exclamation marks!!!

BUT PLEASE DO NOT JUST STOP ANY MEDICAL TREATMENT AND TRY A "NATURAL" TREATMENT FOR ANY HEALTH PROBLEM WITHOUT PRIOR CONSULTING MEDICAL PRACTITIONERS, AND DOING A LOT OF RESEARCH FIRST!
They might rip us off, give us the shits and leave us feeling bewildered and confused by not answering our questions or just see a disease and not a person from time to time, but they are the ones who went to med school, not us!

~SJ xo

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Banana Bread.

This afternoon I have made another loaf of Isa Chandra's Banana Bread. SOOO GOOD!!!
I wanted to share the recipe with you, but with the changes I make to it, which are noted in purple. I make my changes to make it healthier and contain more fibre, I promise that it does not change the flavour at all though!
I like to pop a slice or two in the toaster for breakfast, or just slice and butter some to pop in my lunch box for morning tea.
I also love to pop a slice in the toaster and have it with a nice cup of tea for breakfast.

Wherever possible I use organic ingredients.


Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (I usually use muscavado, rapadura, or coconut palm sugar)
  • 1/2 cups white sugar (I use raw sugar)
  • 1/2 cup margarine, at room temp
  • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed well
  • 2 cups (plain) flour (I use wholemeal) You could also use gluten-free all purpose flour to have a great GF treat!
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup vanilla soy milk, mixed with 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (I changed this to 3/4 tsp cinnamon and 1/4 tsp nutmeg)
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Spray a 8×4 bread pan with non stick cooking spray, or lightly coat with margarine.
  2. Sift together flour (I don't do this as I use wholemeal flour), baking soda, salt and spices.
  3. [In a separate bowl] Cream together the margarine and sugars. Add bananas, soy milk and vanilla.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry. Mix well. Pour batter into pan (I sprinkled a bit of cinnamon sugar on top today as well, YUM! However, as this is quite sweet you may want to just sprinkle some extra cinnamon, 86 the sugar). Bake for an hour to an hour and ten minutes. (60-70 minutes).

Monday, 18 July 2011

40 Hour Famine 2011

One thing I love about my veganism is that it is a choice. I have chosen which foods I will and won't eat, I have that luxury, many don't!
We all know what a horrible problem world hunger is, we can't turn on the news without seeing images of Africa's food crisis, and that's just Africa, poverty is EVERYWHERE!!! The images I see from my beautiful, warm house whilst I'm eating dinner sadden me deeply so I want to make a contribution to help people far less fortunate than I.
So when I found out that one of my beautiful friends is doing the 40 Hour Famine (held from 8pm Friday August 19th - 12pm Sunday August 21st) this year, but she is giving up her phone instead of food, which is a MASSIVE deal for her, it got me thinking. What could I give up?
I knew I couldn't give up food because my job is very physical and I work on Saturdays.
So I got onto the 40 Hour Famine website to check out the rules. It turns out I can go without food because I don't have to do it the same time as everybody else, I can postpone it for 24 hours.
So that means that from 8pm Saturday August 20th until 12pm Monday August 22nd I will be fasting. However I will not just be going on a food fast, I will also go without my iPhone, landline phone and my computers!

So NO FOOD, iPHONE, LANDLINE PHONE, DESKTOP OR LAPTOP COMPUTERS =
NO Twitter
NO Facebook
NO Blogging
NO iPod or iTunes
NO Texting
NO Phone calls
NO Games
NO Google
NO Cooking (Hubby will have to fend for himself!)
NO Food, except for barley sugar every few hours and ONLY WATER to drink.

I plan to journal on paper and then transfer to my blog later, I will read my book, do some houseork and only listen to the radio when I want to listen to music!

To sponsor me please view my Online Profile where you can make a donation using your credit card. It dosen't cost much to help fight hunger, everylittle bit helps.

Thank you.
xo

Sunday, 17 July 2011

How I Do Love Isa!

Any vegan would know who Isa Chandra is. She is a culinary vegan Goddess!!
Isa has a great website, and is the author of many fantastic books, one of which I gave to my sister-in-law last Christmas, before I know who Isa was.

The reason why I love her so much is that all her food is easy to make, you just need some cooking know-how and a good palate. As yet I have not purchased any of her books but I very much want her entire collection.

Tonight's dinner was Isa's Cashew Vegetable Korma, which was the first time I had ever made a curry from scratch. and it was DE-LISH!!


I have also made her Banana Bread, which is quite sweet, but I just adore it, especially with chocolate soy milk for morning tea. YUM!!


And of course the one recipe of Isa's that EVERY vegan knows is her Chickpea Cutlets. I love to serve these with mashed potato, steamed veggies and a mushroom/onion gravy. Also really good on a sandwich with BBQ sauce for lunch.


Veganizing My Childhood.

Whenever my Grandmother came to visit us she always had 2 jobs that must be performed:
1. Ironing, 
and
2. Making dog cakes!

Let me clarify that Dog Cakes are not food for dogs, they are (apparently) rock-cake-style-bickie-type-things! 

Dog Cakes


 Ingredients:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 cups self raising flour
  • Substitute for 1 egg
  • 2-3 Tbs vegan margarine
  • 1 cup sultanas
  • little bit of soy milk for mixing and glazing.
Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 180oC
  2. Mix flour, sugar and margarine in a large bowl with fingertips.
  3. Add egg replacer and some milk to combine mixture. Use only enough milk start to bring the mixture together. Add the sultanas and anymore milk or flour if required.
  4. Lightly flour a board/kitchen bench and roll out. Cut into circles with a smallish-mouthed glass, they do spread a bit. Ball up and roll out the remaining dough and repeat the cutting out process until you get to your last scrap of dough. This last bit is best eaten raw I've always found, otherwise you get a wonky bickie! (I don't like wonky, but I do like raw!).
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or 'til golden.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

5 Month Vegan Anniversary.

Today is the fifth month of my new vegan lifestyle. :) :) :)

5 months might seem like an odd time to celebrate, but for me it is pretty big as it coincides with the purchase of my first house!!

Another great big milestone for me is the fact that since February 10th (2011), I have now lost 10 kilos!!! Meaning that I have now lost a total of 11.2kg since Christmas. I am one very happy, and much healthier, little vegemite, as proud as proud could be!

So today I am celebrating these milestones by unpacking boxes and cooking some wonderful vegan treats to share with my mother-in-law, who came for a little holiday from Wollongong, only to help us move house and clean, rather than relax!

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Asian Food!

Tonight we will be having yet another stir-fry for dinner, I love them, plus I have some wombok and pak choy I have to use!
Fried rice and stir-fries have become very popular in my house since I became vegan. They are the kind of meals that don't take much time to whip up and are a great "I CBF'd cooking" meal, plus they are always tasty and filling, and make GREAT lunch leftovers!
 
I made a "Chicken" Fried rice a few nights back and wanted to share it, so here is my basic fried rice recipe. 
I haven’t worried too much about quantities, just make that up to suit yourself.

SJ’s Fried Rice


Ingredients:
  • Brown Rice, steamed
  • Frozen peas
  • Frozen Corn
  • Broccoli, cut into small florets
  • Capsicum, sliced or diced small
  • 2 rings of pineapple, cut into small pieces, plus a bit of the juice if you like
  • Green beans, cut small
  • Carrot, diced
  • Zucchini, diced
  • I’ll also add wombok, bean shoots, mushrooms, onion, spring onions, sugar snap or snow peas or whatever else I have that takes my fancy at the time
  • Kecap Manis or Tamari to keep the dish gluten-free


THE NEXT 3 INGREDIENTS ARE OPTIONAL
  • Organic Soybean "Chicken"
    (Not my most favourite thing in the world, my non-veg hubby likes this stuff more than I do, but it is great in Asian and Mexican dishes I find, and it is becoming a staple in my house. If I’m not using the “chicken” I may crumble in some organic firm tofu, I’m the hugest fan of tofu, but I love to crumble it into dishes so I can’t taste it, but still get extra protein.)
  • Boiling water
  • Massel Chicken Style stock powder
Method:
  1. Steam rice in rice cooker.
  2. Whilst rice is cooking prepare your veggies.
  3. When rice is cooked leave it to sweat a bit whilst you prepare the soy bean chicken if using. Boil a bit of water, enough to cover the chicken and a little bit extra. Add the stock powder, as much as you like, to the water, then add the chicken. Allow it to boil for a bit, then you may need to reduce the heat slighting and cook it on more of a simmer, depending how much time you have. Just ensure its tender.
  4. Whilst water/”chicken” is boiling cook your veggies. Heat a small amount of oil, if needed, in a pan and add the veegies. I cook the harder veggies for a couple of minutes first then work up to the softer ones. I chuck the corn and peas in still frozen, or maybe partially defrosted, I tend not to worry too much.
  5. When the veggies are almost cooked add the rice, Kacap Manis/Tamari (to taste) and pinapple juice (if using, I like it a little bit sweet sometimes), stir to combine really well.
  6. When the “chicken” is ready drain it and add to the rice, stir through, then serve.

Easy, healthy, and yummy! :)