Monday, March 28, 2016

Tasty healthy vegan sausages


So today we were at Mitre ten and they had a classic kiwi sausage sizzle going on, the smell wafted throughout the car park where I was hanging out with the dog while my husband ducked inside. 

I'm guilty of enjoying the odd smell of various meats, I know I'm not the best vegetarian. Anyway I decided to try and create what I like to call a "Nat friendly" version of the classic kiwi sausage sizzle. Plus I really don't like the sound of some of the strange ingredients in packaged sausages.

Please note that I also don't tend to measure things so all quantities are approximates so please taste test and alter throughout.

Ingredients:

Two tins lentils
1 cup ground cashews
1.5 cup ground whole grain rolled oats
1 onion
2 Tbsp ground cumin
1 heaped tsp smoky paprika
Fresh basil leaves (7 or so)
2 Tbsp Tamari sauce
2 Tbsp + tomato paste
Handful of linseeds- grind them
Salt n pepper

Firstly you need to blend/mash the lentils really good, I misplaced my masher (or perhaps Jaydoggy stole it) and so I actually used my hands which worked really well and was much faster and more fun than using a fork. 

Then I ground the cashews in my ninja bullet and added them. I wanted really finely cut onion so I also whizzed this in the blender so it was almost liquid, along with the basil and Tamari sauce.

Add all other ingredients and mix well, it should start to clump together in one big ball. If it's not you may need to add some extra binding ingredients like the ground linseed or rolled oats. 

Then you grab a handful and roll into a long sausage shape, I made them on the small side and just tested cooking two first so I could try them and figure out if I needed to adjust anything but they were perfect!

I fried them in a pan with rice bran oil, turning regularly to ensure they didn't stick but they barely stuck at all which was a nice change from my burger attempts!

Enjoy with some fried onions and sauce!


Monday, November 2, 2015

Cannelloni

I'm quite proud to say that I've found my passion for creating delicious healthy food again. I enjoy a challenge so reinventing traditionally dairy laden recipes is very satisfying. I felt like it was a risk and it certainly paid off as my cannelloni was more delicious than I could've imagined. I will warn you there are a few components to the process it's not one of these 15 minute meals so you need to have some time.



Tomato sauce:

1/2 finely chopped onion
3-4 cloves fresh garlic
2 tsp Basil
Salt and pepper
1 tsp Smoky paprika
2 tins chopped tomatoes

Cheese sauce:
1/2 onion
3-4 cloves fresh garlic
2 medium potatoes
1 carrot
1/2 cup raw cashews
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
Pinch smoky paprika
Pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 cup coconut milk

Cannelloni filling:
1 butternut pumpkin
1 bag spinach
1/2 tin coconut milk
1 box cannelloni tubes

You will need a blender/food processor I used the ninja bullet

1. Heat oven to 180 degrees

2. Cut the pumpkin into small cubes and steam for 15-20 minutes or until soft. While steaming cut the potatoe and carrots and onions and garlic. Once pumpkins cooked set aside to cool down.

3. Set half of the onion and garlic aside for the tomato sauce. Add the other half to a pot with some oil and sauté. Add the potato and carrot and some boiling water and steam (or boil) until soft.

(Side note- steaming retains a lot more nutrients than boiling so I always prefer this method or roasting)

4. Mix the spinach into the pot with the butternut pumpkin and then add the coconut milk and blend until smooth. I did this in a few batches as the ninja only holds up to 450mls. It should be a lovely vibrant green colour. The idea of using the pumpkin is that it tastes great but is also a nice alternative to the tradition ricotta cheese.

5. Sauté the other half of the onion and garlic in a pan and then add the tinned tomatoes basil and paprika and reduce the heat and let it simmer till the sauce reduces to a nice and thick consistency. You can add tomato paste to speed up the process but I didn't find it necessary.

6. While the tomato sauce is simmering start stuffing the tubes with the spinach and pumpkin mixture. The easiest way I have found is to use two tea spoons one for pouring and one for poking to reduce the air bubbles and fill the tube properly so it cooks nicely. If you know of an easier way I'd love to hear it!!! I would probably cook this every second day if it didn't take so long to fill the tubes.

7. Add the remaining cheese sauce ingredient to the blender and mix in the potato and carrot mix. Blend until nice and creamy ensuring all of the lumps are out. Feel free to add less or more coconut milk as you desire, you can replace it with water or the juice from the pot. I'm not bothered about calories from coconut milk it's delicious and has plenty of benefits!

8. Once the tomato sauce has reduced cover the bottom of the baking dish with the sauce. Then place all of the stuffed cannelloni tubes on top of the tomato sauce. Lastly pour your "cheesy" sauce over the top and bake in the over for 45 minutes to an hour. I found the first time I made this the sauce formed an ugly brown crust so it's a good idea to cover it in tin foil and then remove the foul 15 minutes or so before its finished cook to get a slightly gold top.

Enjoy!!!


Saturday, October 31, 2015

Breakfast Smoothie


I just love having smoothies for breakfast, i think breakfast is one of my favourite meals in the day actually! Anyway, having just replaced my blender after a few months without (my beautiful dog broke the old one), I have started making smoothies for breakfast again. This is a wonderfully filling smoothie with lots of fibre to keep you going throughout the day. I did find after getting used to drinking these for breakfast, if i had a busy day i often wouldn't notice feeling hungry until mid to late afternoon. Here is what i made today....

Ingredients:

1/2 cup wholegrain rolled oats
1 Tbsp chia seeds
4 almonds
3 brazil nuts
1 Tbsp date puree
3 dates
1 banana
1tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cups almond milk

I soaked all ingredients overnight in the fridge (except the banana), then added the banana in the morning and blended all ingredients until smooth. Enjoy!

Zucchini Pasta with Avocado Pesto and Roast tomatoes


I experimented to zucchini pasta last year, however I never had a tool to julienne properly so my pasta wasn't very consistent in the shape or size.... Yesterday i found a fantastic cheap tool it has a billion pieces one being the julienne slicer and it worked superbly. The inspiration from this recipe came from Ella Woodwards beautiful cookbook "Deliciously Ella", which i can highly recommend to everyone.

Ingredients:
4 Zucchini julienned
smoky kelp flakes
garlic salt
olive oil
2 Avocados
juice of 2 limes
3 Tbsp olive oil
3/4 cup brazil nuts
few sprigs of fresh coriander
few leaves of fresh basil
Punnet of cherry tomatoes

Using a julienne tool or hand cutting if you don't have one, slice the zucchini and place on a roasting tray. Sprinkle with a little kelp, garlic salt and olive oil. Roast in the oven for 15-20minutes until warmed but not over cooked.

Live your cherry tomatoes in half and place on a roasting duh in the oven, above the zucchinis and roast for about 15 minutes until they soften and the skin starts to blister.

I used my amazing new ninja blender for the pesto. Place nuts, avocado flesh, olive oil, lime juice and fresh herbs in the blender and process until smooth.

You could also have this raw, with fresh tomatoes and raw zucchini if you like. Enjoy!!


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Apricot, date and chia muffins


I can't get enough of chia seeds lately, they have so much fibre, rich in anti oxidants, omega 3 fatty acids and they're a complete protein which is perfect for those who follow a vegetarian diet. It's a shame they seem to have become so expensive though, I've noticed since i first bought a 500gm bag at my favourite organic shop the quantity has now halved and the price stayed the same!! Cheeky huh.

I've also fallen in love with dates, i had a strong aversion to them growing up. After a little Moroccan adventure a few years ago, i was lucky enough to have them reintroduced and it was love at first taste. Though its hard to get them as fresh and juicy here but alas they are wonderful and play a big part in my latest creation.

Ingredients:

1 cup wholemeal flour
1 cup rolled oats (preferably blended into a flour like consistency)
1 1/2tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
3 Tbsp chia seeds + 1/4cup water
1 400gm tin apricots chopped
1/2 cup chopped dates
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 freshly squeezed oranges
1 tsp vanilla

1. First put chia seeds and water in a bowl and set aside for 10 - 15 minutes until it becomes a gel like consistency, stir regularly.

2. Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl and set aside. Chop dates and then mix into the flour as this will separate them evenly throughout the mixture.

3. Add the freshly squeezed organge juice, maple syrup, olive oil and vanilla to the chia seed mixture. Mix if you need to separate the chia seeds as they sometimes form an almost solid.

4. Add wet ingredients to dry and also the chopped tinned apricots. Mix together and if it seems a bit dry add a little more water until you achieve a batter that's not too thick.

5. Bake in the oven for 15 - 20 minutes until brown on top and a pick comes out clean.

Enjoy!


Sunday, September 20, 2015

Coconut Berry Muffins


Ingredients:

2 Flax eggs (2 Tbsp ground flaxseed + 5 Tbsp water)
1/2 cup oat milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup mashed banana
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup coconut oil melted
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup raw sugar
1 cup wholemeal flour
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/3 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup raspberries
1/2 cup blueberries

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees and lightly grease 6 jumbo or 12 normal sized muffin tins
2. Prepare flax eggs in a large bowl by mixing water and ground flaxseed and let rest for a few minutes to "gel"
3. Measure out milk and vinegar and set aside. After 3 minutes add baking soda and stir.
4. Add mashed banana, melted coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla and sugar to the flax seed mix and which for 45 seconds.
5. Add milk mixture and whisk again
6. Add flour, chia seeds, shredded coconut and oats and mix again until combined
7. Add berries and mix in
8. Divide mixture evenly amongst muffin tins and bake for around 20 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean, let cool for 15 minutes in tins then remove and completely cool on rack
9. Enjoy!!!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Banana Chia and Maple muffins


My wonderful dog broke my cuisine art blender, you see he gets a bit excited sometimes and likes to leap onto the kitchen bench and look out the window waiting for us to come home... Said blender was drying on the bench and sadly fell to its demise. So I've had to come up with some creative ways of getting the nutrition from smoothies in solid form... My latest favourite breakfast is rolled oats and chia seeds soaked overnight in water with sultanas for a sweetener and also freshly ground cinnamon and vanilla pods. I wanted to put this into muffin form as i do love a good muffin... So here we go!

Ingredients:
3/4 cup ground rolled oats
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup rice bran oil
1/2 cup pure canadian maple syrup
1 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup sultanas
3 TBsp chia seeds
3 Tbsp poppy seeds
3 mashed bananas
2 tsp ground flaxseed + 6 tsp water mixed

Combine the oil and ground flax seeds with water mixing well in a small bowl. Add the maple syrup (or liquid sugar or your choice) and vanilla essence.

In a separate bowl mix the dry ingredients (oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, sultanas, chia seeds, poppy seeds). Once combined add wet mixture and also the mashed bananas.

This should make 12 small muffins, bake at 180 degrees celsius for 12-15 minutes, enjoy!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Pumpkin, chick pea and spinnach curry





Ingredients:

1 large chopped onion
3 Tbsp ginger puree
5 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp oil
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp ground turmeric
1 Tbsp ground coriander seeds
2 x tins chopped tomatoes
200 ml coconut cream
2 tsp salt
3 cups roasted butternut pumpkin cubes
1 big bunch chopped spinnach (or frozen)
1 x tin chick peas

1. Cut pumpkin into cubes and roast in the oven until just cooked
2. Saute onion, garlic, oil, ginger until cooked.
3. Add spices and salt mix well
4. Add tomatoes and then coconut cream
5. Mix in chick peas and cooked pumpkin
6. Serve on quinoa or brown rice and enjoy!

Lemon chia poppy seed muffins - Gluten free


I've recently been working with some lovely people with interesting food allergies. It really is great because it's been a long time since I've experimented with recipes and its inspired me to start creating and baking again because I really love doing it.

I'm always one to try and come up with the healthiest alternatives, and lately I've really been enjoying good old fashioned whole grain rolled oats. I soak them overnight and put them in smoothies, I blend them into "flour", make oat milk with water and ground oats...

The possibilities are endless but the best bit is they are soooo good for you check out what the worlds healthiest food site has to say about oats

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=54

Also these are not very sweet so feel free to add extra honey/maple syrup/whatever sugar you like:

2 large lemons
1/2 cup liquid honey or maple syrup 
3 cups oat flour (blend any rolled oats, i use whole grain)
4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 Tbsp ground flaxseeds + 6 Tbsp water (egg replacement)
3 Tbsp oil
1/2 cup coconut cream
3 Tbsp chia seeds
2 Tbsp poppy seeds

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Combine the lemon zest and honey in a medium      mixing bowl. Add the flour, baking soda and salt, stir to combine.
2. In a separate bowl, whish the lemon juice, vanilla, flaxseeds and water, oil, coconut cream, chia seeds and poppy seeds. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stir until just combined.
3. Pour batter into greased muffin tins, you should be able to get 8 large muffins. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the tops spring back when touched.




Saturday, June 13, 2015

My favourite Vegetable chilli served in a variety of ways

I was recently on holiday in Canada and Alaska. I found Canada to have fantastic healthy vegan food options and plenty to choose from as well. Alaska however was a different story. We did an incredible tour for about seven days around wilderness lodges near by some of the famous national parks. The scenery was fantastic however the food not so.

I'm no longer vegan however i still largely enjoy a vegan diet but I am back to enjoying cheese from time to time. So even as a vegetarian I did find it really difficult to get nutritious healthy food with fresh vegetables. In fact I did become sick with what i thought was a routine flu however after two weeks I was frustrated as I felt like my body would've fought it off rather quickly. I put this down to a lack of vitamins and minerals i normally enjoy from eating a lot of fresh healthy ingredients. It was not to be though not in Alaska anyway.

There was a silver lining, at the end of the trip we stopped for lunch in a lovely small town on the outskirts of Anchorage and they have a Friday market day with lovely food stalls, arts and crafts etc and much to my delight and the one other vegan on the tour we discovered a lovely food stall with a big vegetable chilli. There were actually quite a few people from the tour that ended up buying it so we were;t the only ones feeling the effects of a lack of good food.

This chilli was devine, and use like what we would eat at home quite regularly, its so easy, so cheap but full of goodness. You can also add pretty much anything you want and take anything out you don't like, here's my favourite vegetarian chilli.

Ingredients:
1 large onion
6 garlic cloves
1 -2 red capsicums
2 courgettes
1 head of broccoli
1 tin corn kernels
1 tin red kidney beans
1 tin chick peas (or other beans)
2 tins chopped tomatoes
1 tsp smoked paprika
3 tsps italian herbs
1 tsp chilli flakes
2 tsps freshly crushed cumin seeds

1. You'll need one large frying pan or big pot. Saute the onions till clear then add garlic and brown slightly. I normally like to use rice bran or macadamia oil. Then add the herbs and spices, you may need to add a little more oil. Fry and story constantly mixing the herbs and spices into the onion and garlic.

2. Add chopped capsicums and zucchinis and continue to story fry with the onion mix. Once they soften slightly add a small amount of the tinned tomatoes. Then add your broccoli and continue to stir fry a few minutes.

3. Slowly add more tomatoes and simmer until your vegetables soften but are still semi crispy. (I don't like mine too soft i still enjoy a bit of crunch you never want mushy vegetables. You add the corn last it doesn't really need cooking just mix it in.

4. Serve however you like some of my favourites are on quinoa, or mashed potatoes, or you could use brown rice or i even like to serve in a mexican wrap with quinoa, avocado, cheese (or not for dairy free).

Enjoy!!

Roast Pumpkin Salad

When i first started dating my amazing husband, he tried to fool me into believing he barely ate any meat, in fact he didn't really at that time. He's also a fantastic cook, so one night he had me over for dinner and made this delicious, simple but great salad.

This was about three years ago now and it's still a favourite of mine infact we even use it as a pizza topping as well from time to time. It does have feta but you can easily leave it out and replace it with some extra nuts or not at all.

Ingredients:
Butternut pumpkin
Fresh baby spinach
Danish feta
Pinenuts (or other nuts)

1. Chop your pumpkin into small cubes and lightly oil then roast in the over for about 15 mins, then turn and continue until cooked through.

2. Mix in a bowl with fresh baby spinach leaves, chunks of feta cheese and sprinkle with pine nuts.

3. Enjoy!!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Mushroom Goulash for my soul sister

My Dad and Stepmum Sally gave my husband and I the "Revive Cafe cookbook" (www.revive.co.nz) for our engagement last year. It is my favourite book, they have beautiful pictures and fabulous healthful recipes with wonderful ingredients.

This Mushroom goulash is from their book with one very small adaptation. I cooked it for my beautiful friend Leigh when she came to stay with us in Canberra and she remembers it nearly a year on… So this is for you my soul sister, happy cooking and adventuring i miss you like crazy xxx

Ingredients:
1 onion finely diced
2 cloves garlic crushed or chopped
2 tablespoons rice bran oil
1 teaspoon thyme dried
400g mushroom sliced (i love portobello)
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
1/2 tsp salt
1 pinch cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons honey or date puree
200ml coconut cream

1. Saute onions, garlic, mushrooms, thyme, oil in a pot for 5 minutes until onion is clear. Lid on is best so mushrooms can sweat.

2. Add tomatoes, salt, cayenne pepper and honey. Stir until heated through and just bubbling.

3. Add coconut cream and stir in gently.

4. Taste and adjust cayenne pepper and salt as required.

(I LOVE to serve this on mashed potatoes or for a healthier option revive recommend quinoa. You can add any other seasonal vegetables you wish).

Athens: history, culture, love and moussaka!

Arriving into the Athens bus station after only 3 hours sleep was quite a challenging experience. Once again, I had no idea where I was in the expansive and sprawling city, where I was going and where I would be sleeping, but this was my plan and it was also my challenge which i conquered.

The local bus ride was nothing short of uneventful, I took number 51 to Ommonia. It was peak hour so the bus was packed, i fell into a tiny greek woman with my 20kg plus pack on my back and a very staunch Syrian man named Dimitri grabbed me and helped me up. He then lead me off the bus and walking me into an internet cafe filled with middle age Greek men smoking ciggarettes and playing world of warcraft (withut headphones), and walked out, I was pretty flustered!

I had a quick look at my emails confirming I had no couch surfing host, so i found a hostel, google mapped it, interupted world of war craft to try and find out where on the Athens map I was exactly. There was a lot of communication in Greek, pointing at the map, some exasperated looks and a return to world of war craft.

I was prepared to leave and find my way when a younger Greek guy protruded a map, I have no idea where from (this was not a tourists internet cafe), he drew an X, various arrows and then another X marking my hostel! Alas a good 40 minutes later I arrived at the steps of my haven for the next two days. I showered and wandered down to the metro and managed to negotiate my way to Monastariki square to meet a group of travellers and Greeks from the couch surfing website.

After some snacking on olives and cherries (ok I'm a convert, I actually do like them now) a few more stragglers turned up for our evening meet up, we had a good group half Greeks and half travellers, a lovely french canadian girl, a few charming mexican men a delightful irish man named Mike who i struggled to understand (the Irish always get me).

The greeks lead the way, down a multittude of alley ways, where people eat and drink in the streets on cute tables and there are no cars. We accidentally wandered into a rather dodgy alley, I didnt see exactly what was going on, but we were promptly turned back by the Greeks, muttering about heroin, needles and knives. We walked for a while past various ruins, street cafes, tourists and greeks alike…...

Now that was a flashback to a piece of writing i forgotten i had started almost 4 years ago to the day. To accompany it I have one of my favourite vegetarian recipes of all time……….

GREEK MOUSSAKA (not vegan - can be adapted though)

 I made a friend on Samos island when i was backpacking alone, I met an old greek man down by the harbour with a very handsome nephew. My lovely old friend had many interesting stories and was once upon a time a chef on the ferries, anyway he cooked for me, so its a combination of what he cooked for me and another recipe a friends mum made….

Ingredients:
Papertowels
Eggplants (1 large or two small)
Salt
Breadcrumbs (gluten free crumbs work superbly)
Egg (or replacement for crumbing the eggplant)
Tomato sauce base:
Tomatoes (fresh or tinned)
Herbs (oregano basil anything like that)
onion
garlic
Cheese sauce:
Flour
Cheese (or an alternative perhaps nutritional yeast cheese replacement)
Olivani (or butter/alternative)
Water (i never use milk anymore you can though)

1. Its not a fast process so you may want to pour a glass of red win. First slice the eggplants into rounds about 1cm thick give or take. Lay them all out on a chopping board or whatever you have and sprinkle salt on top. Leave for half an hour or so come back and use some paper towels to lightly absorb the excess fluid. Then turn them all over and salt the other side. The purpose is to remove all the liquid for crumbing. I sometimes repeat the process depending on how much liquid comes out and the ripeness of the eggplant.

2. Cut onion, garlic (fresh) and throw in a pan to make a lovely thick tomato sauce. Saute your onions as you normally would till they're clear. Then add your garlic, once it starts to brown add your freshly chopped or tinned tomatoes. Then you'll need to reduce the frying heat to a simmer add in your herbs and mix then let it slowly simmer till it thickens.

Now you can put anything really you like in the sauce, sometimes ill add red capsicums if i have them or finely chopped zucchinis but a simple sauce is just as good. (The lazy option is to use a good quality pre made jar of rich tomato sauce), however i always love to know whats going into my food and enjoy making it from scratch.

3. Back to the Eggplant it should be sufficiently liquid free now and has probably browned slightly in colour this is fine. Now you need to get them ready for crumbing. Mix two eggs in a bowl and get your crumbs in a separate bowl. You need to dip into the egg then crumbs ensuring both sides are well covered. Once you've finished crumbing all your eggplant slices, you can fry them till they're just brown don't overcook though. So only 1 minute or so on either side.

4. Prepare the cheese sauce (or alternative). I always melt the butter (margarine) first about a tablespoon then add two tablespoons of flour and then your water. You just need to whisk constantly to get a smooth texture, keep whisking and adding more water till you reach a desired consistency. Lastly add your cheese or alternative, you can even just use nutritional yeast and some extra flavours like garlic and have a lovely vegan white sauce instead.

5. Putting it altogether, so you'll need a deep dish, spread a thin layer of your tomato sauce on the bottom of the dish then your fried and breaded eggplant slices. Then add another layer of tomato sauce and then cheese sauce. I normally have about three eggplant layers but again i'd say two minimum and you could definitely do more if you have a deep enough dish. I always finish with my cheese sauce on top.

6. Bake in the oven for about 45minutes till eggplant is soft and its cooked through. It's always best if you let it sit so the sauces can settle at least an hour before serving.





Sunday, May 1, 2011

Vegan in the city to vegan in Nepal!


In the not too distant future I'm heading off an an adventure to pursue my dream of volunteering at the grassroots level in a developing country. First steps Himalaya, is a wonderful organisation that's based in Nelson NZ/ Sindhupalchok District of rural Nepal. They are passionate about early childhood development and provide education programs for families and set up early childhood development projects across the Sindhupalchok region.

As a vegan one of my initial thoughts about going to live in this region was, what will I be able to eat?!! I was literally ecstatic when Fionna told me that Nepal is a vegans paradise! I can not wait to learn some new Nepali vegan recipes! I'm told some of the food we'll be eating includes rotis ( flat breads), black dal, channa masala ( chick peas) and Leela's famous spinach curry! So I'll be sure to try and get on here and add the recipies for these tasty dishes, so you can all enjoy them!

Furthermore FIonna told me that Nepali people follow a largely vegetarian diet and what they eat is largely dependent on what they can grow as well as the caste they belong to. For example many chettri families are not allowed to eat eggs but eat mutton! Rai families are amongst the few that eat pork. Day to day they eat dal- bat- tarkari- Dal, rice and vegetable curry. I'm going to love the change from living amongst a dominant meat eating culture in New Zealand to largely vegetarian Nepal!

If any of you are keen to help out this wonderful organisation they are always looking for people to sponsor fruit at their centres. For $25 a month you might like to pay for the fruit for all of the kids ( once a week) at one of their centres. They also run treks through Nepal and even have a 14 day great adventure program if you too want to help and enjoy fantastic vegan food at the same time!

Please check out their website and contact Fionna or Durga at
http://firststepshimalaya.org/

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Chai Latte Cupcakes

I thought this would be a fantastic cupcake flavor a while ago when I started drinking soy chai lattes a bit more regularly. After a major cake disaster last week I almost gave up baking altogether (completely irrational I know), but I'm glad I didn't because i must say, these cupcakes are my favorites!

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups wholemeal flour
1/4 cup ground linseed
1 cup raw sugar
1 tsp Baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Chai Latte:
1 1/2 cups of brown rice milk (soy would work good too)
2 chai tea bags
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 mashed banana (add at the end)

So first of all heat milk and two tea bags in a small pot on the stove on a low heat. Stir regularly for about 10 mins or until the tea bags steep and the chai spices can be tasted in the milk.

In a large bowl mix all the dry ingredients together and set aside. Once the chai latte is cooked add the cider vinegar and then pour slowly into the dry ingredients and gently stir. Add the mashed banana and mix all ingredients until well combined. Pour mixture into 6 large tins or 12 smaller tins and bake in the oven for about 20-25mins at 180. Oh and remember to lightly spray the tins so they don't stick!

Feel free to add frosting if you wish, I thought they were fabulous without it!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Pumpkin and Mushroom Pangrattato

I found this recipe today in the Otago Daily Times and was very excited to see it happened to be a vegan recipe! When I was in Nelson two weeks ago Dad and Sally gave me a "Plankville" Pumpkin to bring back home with me, it was a huge Pumpkin that's fed lots of people and that we still have left in the frifge. So this is a fantastic Autumn dish we didn't have any fresh herbs so used all dried herbs, Reuben cooked it and did a great job!

Ingredients:
Olive Oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic (or however much you want)
1/4 pumpkin -chopped into small cubes
200g mushrooms cut in half or finely chopped
2 bayleaves
a few sprigs of thyme (or teaspoon dried)
1 cup vegetable stock (or red wine, or chopped tomatoes)
salt and pepper
Pangrattato:
2 slices stale bread (we used a hunk of turkish bread)
2 cloves garlic
1 chilli (fresh or dried) finely chopped
grated zest of an orange
handful of parsley (or tsp dried parsley)

Heat olive oil in a large pot then add onion and garlic and cook slowly. Lower heat and add chopped pumpkin and mushrooms. Stir to coat with oil, then add wine or stock and herbs. Allow to simmer for 20 mins r so until pumpkin is cooked.

Meanwhile make the pangrattato. Tear the bread and put ina blender/foodprocessor. Blitz until it forms rough crumbs. Add other ingredients and blitz until it is all chopped. Heat a little oil in a frying pan tip in the breadcrumb mix and stir until it is starting to turn golden brown and crisp. When vegetables are cooked, sprinkle the breadcrumb topping over. We also added chopped almonds and cashews which was good too!

Monday, April 4, 2011

PLEASE say NO to Factory Farming New Zealand!


I'd like to bring your attention to a really important issue happening right now here in NZ.

Battery hen farming in NZ is cruel and unneccessary. Cages have been banned in several countries throughout the world however NAWAC has recommended that existing cages are replaced with new cages that offer no real animal welfare improvements.

You can HELP by going to www.nocages.org.nz and sign the petition protesting the use of battrry cages in NZ.

You can also help provide moral support to the wonderful man living in a cage outside of Dunedin (the city i live in) - see person in a cage on fwww.facebook.com

If you want to make a financial donation www.safe.org.nz can use any help possible fundraising for their TVcommercisls and excellent work they do for animals!

Thank you!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Strawberry Chocolate Cupcakes!


I made these incredible cupcakes for Reuby in celebration our 5 year anniversary! After we ran out of the yummy chocolate Banana cupcakes I made a few weeks ago he asked me one night where the cupcakes were, we'd had heaps of them (mini ones) in the pantry and he seemed quite distraught that they were all gone and I had no time to make any more! So I handed in my second assignment of the semester (not sure if i mentioned im studying a post grad diploma in Development studies - hope to work for Oxfam or the UN one day), last night it took a few weeks of late nights and long weekends in the library... I got super excited last night when I submitted the essay cause I could finally bake again without feeling guilty about having an assignment to do! I found some cheap end of season strawberries at the University market today so decided to try and make strawberry chocolate cupcakes and they turned out better that I could ever have imagined!

Dry Ingredients:
3 cups wholemeal flour
2 cups raw sugar
2/3cup cocoa
1 tsp salt
2tsp baking soda


Wet ingredients:
400ml coconut cream (1 tin)
2 mashed bananas
4 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp instant coffee disolved in 2 tsp hot water
3 tsp vanilla esssence

Frosting:
1/2 kremalta (non-hydrogenated coconut oil)
1 Tbsp vegan margarine (i use olivani)
Icing sugar
3 tsp vanilla essence

Mix all dry ingredients together in a bowl then in a separate bowl mix all wet ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix together. If it's a bit dry just add a little bit of water. Bake in the oven for approximately 20 minutes at 200 degrees.

For the frosting i mixed kremalta and olivani together, I did this by hand using a fork and potato masher but if you have a mixer use that you'll save heaps of time! Then mix in icing sugar until it's light and fluffy. Once the cupcakes are cooked and completely cold pipe frosting on top and then add freshly chopped strawberries. Otherwise if you have decent tops on them cut them off and smooth some frosting over the bottom half then pile strawberries on top and replace the lid, garnish with a little extra frosting a strawberry piece and I used melted dark chocolate too.

Enjoy!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Homemade Vegan Cheese


So we are having pizza for dinner tonight and we don't have any soy cheese in the fridge so I decided to try and make my own! I consulted a few different vegan cheese recipes on the web as well as my pantry and this is what I came up with...

Ingredients:

1 1/2 Tbsp almond butter
1/2 Tbsp cashew butter
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 dsp crushed garlic
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
pepper and salt

Mix the ingredients well and then spread on a lightly greased oven tray and bake for about 30mins (15mins each side) at 100 degrees. Alternatively you could use a dehydrator for raw vegan cheese. Or you could enjoy it as a cheesy spread uncooked and undehydrated.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Orange, Chocolate Cup Cakes..


Today I felt like making some pretty cupcakes with lovely looking frosting. I've never experimented with vegan butter cream either, but finally decided to take the plunge! I'm happy I did, so here you go, vegan orange chocolate cup cakes!

Ingredients:
2 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 2/3 cup water
1/3 cup oil
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup whittakers dark chocolate chips/chunks
orange zest from one orange
juice from two oranges


Ok so first you need to mix all the dry ingredients together, then in a separate bowl mix all the wet ingredients and then combine slowly and add the chocolate chunks last. Put mixutre into cup cake papers or tins and bake for appoximately 15 mins.

Butter Cream Frosting:
1 Tbsp vegetable shortening
3 Tbsp vegan margarine
2 cps icing sugar
2 freshly squeezed oranges (the juice)
1/4 block melted dark chocolate
orange zest to decorate

Mix shortening and margarine until well combined, light and fluffy. If you don't have an electric mixer just use a whisk and or fork - that's what I did. Sure your arm get's sore but it works the same! Then mix in icing sugar a little at a time and lastly melted dark chocolate. I sprinkled vegan cocoa on top and used orange zest to decorate.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Baked Eggplant Stacks


Reuby and I have new flatmates and they cook interesting and different things to what we normally cook, so last night they were eating this amazing looking eggplant thing, and that inspired me too create my own amazing looking eggplant thing. So I consulted a few other blogs and then got some ideas and voila here's what I did:

Ingredients:

1 big fat eggplant
2 big red juicy looking capsicums
4 plump yummy smelling red tomatoes
a handful of spinnace
1 shiny red onion
a dessert spoon of garlic
1 cube of oxo vegetable stock
a little bit of water

Ok so first I cut two red capsicums into four quarters and placed on a greased oven tray, then Cut an eggplant in half length ways then cut each half in half again length ways. Then cut four tomatoes in halves and place all of the vegetables onto a greased oven tray and bake in the oven for about 45 mins or so - just check regularly to check their progress. In the mean time, finely chop a red onion, put in a small saucepan and gently fry with some garlic (I use alot so just whatever you're comfortable with), then add some herbs i used oregano and basil and a handful of spinnach. Boil water and crush up a cube of oxo stock and then add a tiny bit of water (maybe 2-3 Tbps) and mix it so it's quite thick and then mix into the onion mixture.

Once all the baked vegetables are cooked - peel the skin off the capsicums and tomatoes and then arrange all of the vegetables ontop of each other in a stack. I put some yummy onion sauce in the middle of each layer and put some capsicum and tomato in each layer.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Chocolate raisin fudge, with hot raspberry sauce and vanilla soy ice cream!



The other day I decided to invent some vegan fudge, I'd been thinking alot about this amazing chocolate biscuit fudge my Mum used to make when we were little. I remember smashing biscuits for what seemed like an eternity, and then we'd press the mixture into a tin and have to wait for hours for it to set in the fridge. Well it seemed like hours but it probably wasn't. So anyway, from memory I thought I'd try and replicate and veganise it.

Fudge ingredients:

1 packet of budget vanilla round biscuits
1 cup of coconut
1 cup of raisins
1/4 cup of cocoa
1 cup olivio margarine
1/3rd block whittakers 72% dark chocolate

First you need to crush the biscuits until they are fine and crumbly. Then melt the margarine and chocolate together in a double boiler on the stove. While this is melting, mix the coconut, raisins and cocoa into the biscuit mixture. Once the margarine and chocolate mixture has melted together pour into the biscuit mixture and stir until well combined. Then press into a fudge tin and refrigerate.

Raspberry sauce ingredients:

1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 Tbsp of cornflour (but only if you want really thick sauce - I wasn't happy with how thick it was so would have preferred a runny sauce)

Mash the raspberries with a fork and then add the suagar and heat slowly on the stove until it melts and becomes a nice thin consistency. Now you can either add the cornflour for a thick sauce or leave it out for a runny sauce.

Then melt 1/4 block of whittakers dark chocolate in a double boiler. Crumble the fudge or slice it into whatever shape you please and place on top of or under a spoonful of "dairy, wheat and gluten free" vanilla ice cream. It's in a blue 1 ltr pottle in New World supermarkets, or any other soy alternative you like. Pour the raspberry sauce around the edge and the melted chocolate on top.

Voila, a decadent vegan dessert to please anyone!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Vegan Lemon Curd

Ok so about a month back I got a craving for vegan lemon curd cupcakes, I searched the internet far and wide and couldn't find any cupcake recipes. So what's a girl to do, I invented my own, however I was too excited at the time and forgot to write down my recipe! So if anyone out there has their own cupcake recipe please feel free to direct me there or post it here as a comment. In the mean time I do have the lemon curd recipe, it was super easy and sooooo tasty but a little scary to see how much sugar goes into it. So lemon curd is definitley those once in a blue moon treats, although I know there are much worse things out there!

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups of lemon juice
2 1/2 cups raw sugar
1/2 tsp of salt
4 Tbsp of coconut cream
6 Tbsps of cornflour dissolved in 6 Tbsps of cold water
4 Tbsps of margarine

Simmer the lemon juice, sugar, and salt stirring constantly until the sugar has dissolved. Then add the corn starch mixture and the coconut cream and stir until it's combined with the lemon mixture.

Continue to stir constantly and the mixture will start to thicken, then add the margarine and cook for a little longer as it dissolves into the mixture. Once this has happened you need to let the mixture cool completly, then put it in the refrigerator.

Enjoy spread on vegan scones or lemon cupcakes or perhaps lemon poppy seed cake!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Double Chocolate Raspberry Cup Cakes


So this weekend we've had three different groups of visitors come to stay and visit. First was my good friend Laura and her boyfriend Andy, then we had Amy and Brad who came down to escape the Christchurch earthquake, then two lovely couch surfers from Austria and Germany. Andrea had been through her first and hopefully last earthquake and was very happy to escape the constant rumbling and earth moving. So what better thing to do than bake some yummy comfort food for my visitors who'd been through so much over the past week! Chocolate of course is a girls best friend and raspberries complement it so well, so I came up with Double Chocolate and Raspberry Cup Cakes!

Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups wholemeal flour
1/3 cup vegan cocoa
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 3/4 - 2 cups coconut cream
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup roughly chopped 72% Whittakers dark chocolate
a handful of fresh or frozen raspberries (for each cupcake)

In a large bowl whisk together all of the dry ingredients (excluding chocolate for now), and make a well in the centre. In a separate bowl mix the coconut cream until it's smooth and all lumps have disappeared. Then add the vanilla to the cream and pour into the dry mixture. Mix wet and dry until it's a smooth consistency then add the roughly chopped chocolate and mix again.

Grease cupcake/muffin tins (small or large) with margarine or spray with oil then spoon mixture in to just below the rim (they don't rise too much). Then place the raspberries on top and bake in the oven at 180 degrees for about 20 minutes for small cup cakes or about 30minutes for large muffins. Let the muffins cool for a bit in the tins then put them on a cooling rack. The raspberries sunk in quite far so I put some more on top for some extra colour and taste!

Bon Appetit!!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Black bean and Lentil Pot Pies!


This tasty pie was invented due to a number of things that happened. One was that Reuben decided to make vege burgers using black beans in chilli sauce instead of regular beans as we'd run out. Now it may sound good and certainly did taste great however they looked horrible! Some people wouldn't think so, but when he put the pot in my face to show me I thought it was something that had gone very very bad in the fridge, not to put you off or anything! It did smell good!

So we made the patties and they tasted fantastic but we both found it hard actually seeing them on our fork going into our mouths (looked a lot like mince to me). So anyway, I met up with my good friend Emily for lunch on Friday and we went to Modaks which is a local Dunedin cafe that has several vegan options. I ordered a lentil pie and that gave me the idea to use Reubens horrible looking but great tasting burger mixture in a pie! Sorry for the long drawn out explanation but here's the recipe:

Ingredients:

puff pastry (New way vegetarian society approved)
1 onion chopped finely
1 tin black beans in chilli sauce
1 tin of four bean mix
1 finely chopped courgette (or grated - we don't have a grater at the moment hence why it was chopped)
3 mushrooms finely chopped
salt n pepper
squirt of tomato sauce
3 Tbsps cornflour

So you first need to drain the four bean mix then add the black beans in chili sauce (delmaine brand in NZ) - don't drain the black beans as you'll get rid of the sauce (I did this once silly me). Mash the beans together using a fork or potato masher, or even a food processor. Then mix in the finely chopped onion and remaining ingredients. Our mixture was also quite runny which isn't ideal for patties and which is why it worked perfectly in a pie. I used large muffin tins, greased them with olive oil and cut the pastry sheets into four small squares. Place each square into the tins (once they've thawed so they don't break). Then spoon the mixture into the pastry cases. You can leave them open or use an additional pastry sheet and cut small squares to fit on top. Bake in the oven until the pastry is golden brown!

Pina Colada inspired cake


Ok so I modified this recipe slightly from the "100 best vegan recipes" book my wonderful friend Sarah gave me. It's originally called a tropical coconut cake, however there is no coconut in the recipe. They also use canned mandarins which I just find soooo strange so substituted that for pineapple. I simply added a cup of coconut and also used wholemeal and raw ingredients instead of refined ones! The end result is a refreshing and moist cake, perfect if you're inclined towards tropical flavors.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups wholemeal flour
1 cup dried coconut
2 tsps baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup raw sugar
1/3 cup oil
1 cup milk (i used rice milk)
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 tsp cider vinegar
1 medium sized can of crushed pineapple (can also use pieces)

Glaze:
2 Tbsp coconut cream
1/2 - 1 cup icing sugar

So all you need to do is heat the oven to 175 degrees and grease a baking tin. Then mix all dry ingredients (EXCEPT sugar) in a bowl. In a separate bowl mix the sugar and oil together then add the remaining wet ingredients and mix well. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients then add in the pineapple and mix. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for approximately 30 - 25 mins.

You can make a glaze with coconut cream and icing sugar, make sure it's quite thick so it doesn't seep into the cake. It also looks nice if you sprinkle some coconut on top and even arrange some fresh pineapple on top as well!



Monday, January 3, 2011

Wendels Vege Burgers

I learnt this recipe from my friend Wendel and it's been modified many times, but is an excellent recipe for Summer BBQ's. This is another one of those flexible recipes where you can add almost any vegetables but this is how we regularly cook it:

Ingredients:
1-2 tins kidney beans ( or four bean mix/chickpeas mashed well)
1 onion very finely chopped
garlic cloves
1 small tin tomato paste
1 courgette grated
1 carrot grated
Italian herbs
salt and pepper
paprika
2-3 Tbsp cornflour
lemon juice

First you need to drain wash and then mash all of the beans. You really can use kidney beans, chick peas, four bean mix etc. We often use a mixture of all to change it slightly. Once the beans are mashed up well then add the finely chopped onion, garlic cloves, salt n pepper, herbs and spices. Mix everything together then add the courgette and carrot and mix again.

The mixture will be dry and crumbly, add the tomato paste and or sweet chili sauce or any tomato sauce, or pasta sauce or a combination. Mix it together again and the mixture should be wetter and sticky, add cornflour which binds it all together. I often grill these in the oven, Reuben likes to fry them in oil, and they also work well on the BBQ. When grilling in the oven it's important to lightly grease an oven tray, then spread mixture into patties and cook for approximately 10 - 15mins on each side.

Serve with salad or in bread with salad, they're lovely with chutney and hummus. Also, you can use any vegetables in this recipe, as long as they're finely chopped or grated so feel free to experiment. I've used grated raw beetroot in the past, as well as pumpkin and kumara etc.

Eggplant Lasagna


This is good when eggplants are in season and cheap!

Ingredients:
1-2 eggplants
1 jar of dolmios red wine sauce
1 tin lite coconut cream
1-2 red onions
1-2 courgettes
1 red capsicum
1 green capsicum
lasagne sheets
vegan cheese (optional)
olive oil

Saute red onion then add eggplant, diced into small cubes or larger chunks. Add the dolmios sauce and coconut cream and cook until eggplant is soft but firm. Add all remaining ingredients (except lasagna sheets and vegan cheese) and cook for a five to ten minutes.

Remove from the heat and place half of the mixture in the bottom of an oven dish. Cover in one layer of lasagna sheets and then place the remaining eggplant sauce mixture on top. Grate vegan cheese on top or leave it as it is and bake in the oven for 20 mins or so until the pasta sheets are cooked through.

Mexican Bean Soup

This is Reuben's specialty, he always cooks this so well!

Ingredients:
1 onion finely chopped
4-6 cups vegetable stock
1 can chopped tomatoes
1-2 cans of kidney beans or four bean mix or 1 of each
salt n pepper
italian herbs
1 tsp chilli (crushed or finely chopped)
1 courgette cubed
1 carrot cubed
1 red/green capsicum
1/2 cup of pasta
3-4 mushrooms
vegan pesto (optional)


Finely chop the onion and saute in olive oil, then add the all of the vegetable stock and canned tomatoes. Add the vegetables and heat to boil (stirring frequently) then reduce the temperature to medium. Stir regularly, add the beans, pasta next and cook for 10 mins, then add mushrooms and remaining ingredients and cook for another 5 mins or until pasta is al dente.

Summer Rissotto

Believe it or not but I only learnt to make rissotto last spring, and it's a good thing I did because it's fast becoming my new fave food! You can pretty much put anything in it and i intend to try various vegetables throughout the year - rissotto for every season. Plus some good vegetable stock and white wine makes for a very tasty meal! Sorry this post doesn't have a picture so you'll have to leave it to the imagination, but I can assure you it looked/tasted amazing! Oh and I used proper rissotto rice (arborio) but it can also be made with brown rice it just tastes longer - but its a healthier option and also a slightly different flavour.

Ingredients:
2 cups arborio rice
1 cup white wine
7 cups vegetable stock
1 red onion
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup fresh chopped green beans
1 lemon (grate the lemon zest then squeeze the juice)
salt n pepper
olive oil

First finely chop the red onion and sautee for a few mins in the olive oil, then add the rice and stir fry for a few mins till the edges turn white. Add 1/2 a cup of wine and stir constantly until it's absorbed then add the remaining wine and continue stirring until it's absorbed.

Continue to add 1/2 cup of stock at a time stirring until it's absorbed for about 20 minutes. Then add the vegetables and more stock and continue until the rice is soft and cooked. Add the lemon zest and juice and salt n pepper and stir well then serve!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Vegan Christmas Dinner!

So this Christmas is actually my first as a vegan, so it will be interesting (i hope so anyway). As Reuben is going home to Auckland for Christmas this year and I'm heading back to Waimate, we decided to have our own Christmas dinner together.

The menu was simple but delicious, nutty vegetable rissoles, with homemade guacamole and salad with macadamias, olives and cherry tomatoes. The rissoles recipe was actually on the stuff website and I used it but adapted it. The salad was an experiment, but I firmly believe it's hard to go wrong with salads.

Rissoles:
275g marinated tofu (we used the NZ stuff that's grown and made in Motueka)
1/2 cup pics peanut butter
70g ground almonds
35g sesame seeds
1 red capsicum (grated)
1 carrot (grated)
2 small slices of pumpkin (grated)
1/2 red onion finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp chili powder
1 Tbsp soy sauce
salt
cracked black pepper

First you need to mash the tofu in a large bowl, it should resemble fine breadcrumbs. Add all remaining ingredients and then lightly oil your hands and shape into patties and palce on an oven tray.

Bake in the oven for approx 15 mins on each side at 180 degrees, or cook them on the BBQ or fry in a shallow frying pan. We served them with fresh guacamole (recipe in Nachos post below), vegan organic basil pesto and fruit chutney with salad.

Salad:
Lettuce or mesclun leaves
1/2 punnet cherry tomatoes cut in half
olives cut in half
macadamia nuts (handful)
red and green capsicum chopped
1/2 orange diced
12 orange squeezed over salad

Serve with bread or just salad either way they're great. Christmas dinner was accompanied by fresh strawberries dipped in dark chocolate! However, on actual Christmas day I'll be bringing my Chocolate Raspberry cake to dinner!

Courgette fritters and salad!

Reuben and I love eating "burger" pattes/fritters and we decided to try out this recipe which was fantastic, we fried some in a pan and baked some in the oven (the healthier option obviously). Reuben ate his in bread with salad and I had mine chopped up n top of salad. Either way they're great!

Fritters:
1 cup flour
¼ cup cornflour1 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp salt
Cracked black pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano (or other italian herbs)
1 ½ tsp of egg replacer
2 Tbsp of warm water, to dissolve egg replacer
1 cup of rice or soy milk
2 1/2 cups of grated courgettes
Oil for shallow frying or greasing oven tray

Mix all above ingredients in a large bowl and then drop spoonfuls into a frying pan and press flat once immersed in oil. Or drop onto oven tray and shape using a spoon. Bake or fry ensuring to flip sides. if frying in pan you'll need lots of paper towels to absorb oil.

Serve with fresh salad and or in a sandwich or burger. This recipe is really nice with fruit chutney on the fritters, we used "watties bit on the side" fruit chutney, hummus is also a great addition with the salad.

Nachos Vegan Style!

Since becoming vegan, the only dairy product I've missed has been Cheese. Which means that nachos have never quite been the same... Well until I decided to use guacamole as a cheese substitute. It worked superbly. I really didn't miss the cheese with the guacamole! So here's what I did:

Guacamole:
2 ripe avocados mashed
2 vine tomatoes chopped finely
1 small red onion chopped finely
1 green chilli chopped finely
cracked black pepper
1/2 lemon squeezed

Nachos:
1 red onion chopped
1 red and green capsicums chopped
1-2 courgettes chopped
2 tins kidney/ chili beans
1 jar of pasta sauce or tin of tomatoes and or freshly chopped tomatoes
chili powder or sauce (if not using chili beans)
tomato paste

For the Guacamole all you need to do is mash the avocados, add the remaining ingredients, mix well and refrigerate for an hour or so before serving.

You can use a lot of different varieties of vegetables in nachos depending on what's available at the time. First you fry the onion then add remaining fresh vegetables and stir fry for 5-10mins. Once vegetables have softened a little add the kidney/chili beans and sauce and cook for
15-20 more minutes until vegetables are tender.

Add tomato paste at the end to thicken the mixture and stir for 5 mins more then serve. Note the best type of chips are "mexicano natural" flavored, they're vegan and they don't take away from the taste of the nachos. Add guacamole on top of the nacho mix and enjoy!!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Vegan Gluten Free Choc Coconut Fudge!

This fudge was very popular at the Festival, I didn't make it though it was made by Catherine who also gave a talk on a book she is writing about the history of vegetarianism in NZ. So here's the recipe, I tried this fudge and it was sooo good.

Here is the recipe - quantities are a bit approximate as i tend to guess
rather than measure ...

Ingredients:
one and 1/2 cup Simple brand gluten free flour (you can use wheat flour if
not gluten free)
1/2 cup to 1 cup dried coconut
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup cocoa
2 large tablespoons raspberry jam
125 g vegan margarine
1/2 cup raw sugar


Melt margarine, cocoa, sugar and jam in a saucepan, until sugar dissolved.
Allow to cool slightly, then mix in dry ingredients - should be slightly wet
without being totally runny. Spread about1 cm thick on a greased tray (baking paper is good too, and you can usually reuse it). Bake at 180 C for
15-20 mins or till cooked. Ice with chocolate icing (olivani, cocoa, lemon
juice, sugar) while still warm. Enjoy!

Thanks to Catherine for sharing this wonderful recipe!!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Vegan Veggie Rolls

These are super yummy and super easy! I was so excited to discover new way vegetarian pastry. I found this recipe online and adapted it to kiwi ingredients.

Ingredients:
2 courgettes grated
2 carrots grated
red onion very finely chopped
2+ cloves of garlic crushed (depending on how much you like)
1 large orange kumara diced finely and boiled till soft
small tin of tomato paste
1 cup of crushed rolled oats (i use wholegrain- instant is fine too)
mixed herbs
sweet chilli/bbq sauce or any other sauces you like
1 packet of new way vegetarian society approved pastry

All you need to do is finely chop the onion and crush the garlic and fry in the pan on a low heat till it becomes transparent. Then add grated courgettes and carrots and stir fry for about 5 minutes. Drain away any excess liquid and set aside.

Once kumara has been boiled, drain away all liquid and mash it up. Mix in the courgette/carrot mixture with the rolled oats. Once the mixture is all mixed up together it should be a lovely orange with green speckles from the courgettes, add the sauces, herbs, paste and salt and pepper. I also like a little bit of spice so add some paprila and chiili.

Take the pastry sheets out and spooon the mixture across the bottom 1/4 of the pastry sheet, then roll up and puncture with fork holes! Bake in the oven for about 20 mins until hte pastry has browned slightly. Serve hot or cold, they're delicious either way!

P.S. You can make them as big or small as you like, for a dinner with salad or for a work morning tea snack!