Roast Dinner

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI had left over salad and dressing/dip from lunch today, so I put some brown rice in the rice cooker and cut up some veges for roasting. I lightly coated pumpkin and sweet potato with olive oil, soaked some eggplant more heavily with oil (wonderful occasional indulgence!) and then put them on a roasting tray on top of springs of fresh rosemary, and sprinkled them with Herbamare salt.

When the rice was almost cooked, I added some portabello mushrooms to the veges in the oven.

Now let me tell you about the dressing/dip I made! I used a handful of baby kale, 1 cup of raw walnuts, two tablespoons of pumpkin seeds, a tablespoon of lemon juice, a generous sprinkle of salt, a cup of water, and 2 tablespoons of some pre-soaked chia seeds I had left over from breakfast. I blended it all up in the food processor, but it didn’t taste right, so I added half of a truly massive avocado I had in the fridge, re-whizzed it, and oh my goodness! It was perfect! Lovely earthy taste with layers.

I used half of this as a dressing for the salad, massaging it into the the kale, and kept the rest to use as a yummy side dip. I love doing this- it makes the meal feel so much more scrumptious.

Macadamia, basil and spinach dip

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(I wrote this blog in August 2014)

I realised last night that I probably need to switch gears and start making energy bars for our overseas trip (instead of ice-cream cakes). So now I’m procrastinating by making dips instead. Yum!

There was a other reason for making this dip (besides being hungry), and that was to test out my new $15 food processor. It’s a tiny little thing, perfect for travelling with.

The tulip petals just happened to be there on the bench and they colour-matched, so I arranged them artfully, to create a food mandala! I’m crazy about tulips and it’s my birthday soon so I brought myself some as a special treat. I get hungry for these specific colours sometimes.

Every morning, a shaft of sunlight comes through the window and lights them up. It’s a beautiful sight to wake up to. I’ve been having fun photographing them!

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I’m not good at remembering to write things down as I go, so if you want to replicate this, I only have some vague directions for you. The trick is to taste test as you go. Got everything from my garden for this, except the nuts, garlic, yeast and salt. Blend the following, then cut some tomato chunks to stir in, and some vegetable sticks to eat it with:

1-2 handfuls of macadamia nuts.

1 handful of fresh basil.

1 handful of spinach leaves.

A squeeze of lemon juice.

A dash of salt.

1 garlic clove.

2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast.

Some water.

Good vegetable sticks for dips can include carrot, zucchini, cucumber, capsicum, peas, beans.

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Cheese

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My adventures into the land of raw vegan cake making have been a lot of fun. It definitely surprises people when they taste vegan desserts and realise you can have sweet, creamy, flavours and textures without making yourself, the planet and animals sick.

It fascinates me that the power of taste so often over-rides all other concerns! Food can be addictive, just like drugs. Continue reading

Scrambled Tofu and a discussion about soy

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI made some yummy scrambled tofu today. I made up my own recipe. First I sautéed some garlic, using extracted oil for a change, instead of cooking with water. It’s a lovely treat to cook with oil on the very odd occasion. So many meals can be done without it, like the curry I made last night. I cooked the vegetables in water and curry spices and then I added coconut water at the end after I turned the heat off. I also added some pasta made from konjac. Very yummy!

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Continue reading

Sticky vegan cheese (no nuts!)

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This is a vegan cheese recipe I found in the ‘Vegan Health and Fitness’ magazine, in an article by Dr G. Dr G (Brooke Goldner Tadlock MD). Brooke found this recipe on the VeganYumminess site. The original called for peeled potatoes and carrots. Brooke’s variation keeps the skins on, which I love, if you can source organic, of course! If it isn’t organic, you might decide to peel them after all. I found it a little too mild for my palette after the last cheese I made, so I added more lemon juice, as well as a whole clove of garlic. Here is the recipe:

2 medium potatos

2 large carrots

Steam the potatoes and carrots until they are soft, then put them in a blender or food processor with the following ingredients:

1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil

1 Tbs lemon juice

1 and 1/2 teaspoons of salt

optional: 1 clove of garlic

Post-note: I made this earlier today and it has a serious dent in it already. Everyone has tried it and they love it. My son, who still eats a little dairy from time to time, says that it’s spooky how much it tastes like real cheese. My husband and daughter enjoyed it as a spread on toast. 

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Om’s lentil patty recipe

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These are always popular with non-vegan family and friends because they have a familiar and reassuring meat-like texture and flavour.

You can use tinned lentils, or cook your own from scratch. When I cook them myself, I tend to flavour them with spices as though I were making a dahl.

Use 3 to 4 cups of cooked lentils. The trick is to make sure they aren’t too wet before you start adding the other ingredients. They need to be well drained.

1 finely cut onion.

Instead of eggs, use 1-2 heaped teaspoons of Organ’s egg replacement powder. This helps the mix stick together, but mashing the lentils slightly as you blend everything together really helps too. If you use too much egg replacement powder, your patties will become rubbery.

For flour, you can use Orgran’s gravy powder or a gluten free flour. Start with a couple of heaped tablespoons. Taste test as you go to make sure it doest become too salty. If you use the gravy powder, you won’t need to add any salt. If you have use plain flour, add salt or all purpose seasoning.

My favourite flavours to add are a fairly generous splash of cumin (at least 1 teaspoon), and an equal quantity of rosemary leaves. I don’t know why, but these two combined make for a really good flavour.

This is a truly indulgent food guaranteed to make the inner child happy. Just like raw vegan cakes! *happy sigh* And for a bit more happy indulgence, cook them so they are crispy. The crispy outside makes all the difference, eliciting groans of pure happiness from your guests. Well what do you know, maybe vegans don’t starve themselves after all!? Haha!

I could have made a vegan cheese to go with these but I’m mad about avocados, so I made a delectably thick avocado dressing to go with this meal. My avocado mash contains lemon juice from my own back yard, garlic, and a little salt.

(The patties are often nicer if you add plenty of finely chopped onion, some chopped mushroom, and some even some breadcrumbs.)