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.

  • 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

  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!

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.

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, 
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

  • 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.
  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

  • 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

  • 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
  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! :) 

Winter Warmer.

This time of year it's only natural to want a meal that doesn't just taste good, but to also soothe you, comfort you, give you a culinary hug!
Well last night I did just that. I made potato and leek soup, and believe it or not, it was the first time I had ever had it, let alone made it before! It was a total hit.

Potato and Leek Soup

Ingredients (serves 8):
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 2 leeks, pale section only, halved, washed, dried, thinly sliced (I only had 1 leek so I used a lot of the green as well)
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1kg desiree potatoes, peeled, coarsely chopped
  • 1L (4 cups) chicken style stock
  • 250ml (1 cup) water
  • 250ml (1 cup) Carnation Evaporated Soy Milk
  • Fresh chives, finely chopped, to serve
  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the leek and garlic and toss to coat. Reduce heat to low. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, for 18-20 minutes or until soft.
  2. Add the potato, stock and water to the pan. Cover and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook, partially covered, for 25-30 minutes or until potato is tender. Set aside for 10 minutes to cool. (I didn't worry about cooling it much, maybe I should have(?)!).
  3. Transfer one-third of soup to the jug of a blender. Blend until smooth. Transfer to a clean saucepan. Repeat, in 2 more batches, with remaining potato mixture. ( I just stuck my stick blender straight in).
  4. Place the soup over medium-low heat. Add the Carnation and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until heated through. Season with salt and pepper. (Because I didn't let mine cool very much I didn't cook it any longer I just stirred it through and served).
The original recipe can be found here.

Enjoy :)