Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Recipe Round-Up: 500 Vegan Recipes

Welcome back! It is a post MoFo world (though for most of us I think the reading and commenting will continue for some time), and I am inspired and committed to keep up with my blogging, especially in the lead up to VidaVeganCon in May. Will my good intentions carry through? Who knows. I hope so!

As mentioned, I have a squillion photos of recipes I have made from cookbooks stored on my computer, so I am going to try and do some regular recipe round-ups on here. I have a lot of non-Robin Robertson books as well! Today's book is 500 Vegan Recipes by Celine Steen and Joni Marie Newman. This book is a great volume, but one that I have not made too much from yet. I need to rectify this!

Minestrone with Simple Cheezy Sauce: Classic minestrone comfort soup, full of lots of vegetables and beans and pasta. The cheezy sauce really makes it something extra special. The cheezy sauce is thick and savoury, based on a heft dose of nooch (love it!). The minestrone soup said it served 6, but I got four servings out of it.
Rating: Minestrone :), Sauce :)

Minestrone; Simple Cheezy Sauce

I used some of the leftover sauce to make this awesome Hawaiian Pizza. Pineapple, slices of Wheaty Space Bars, and black olives. I know black olives aren't traditional on a Hawaiian, but I love to add them anyway! The sauce makes a great alternative to grated vegan cheese on a pizza!

Simple Cheezy Sauce on Hawaiian Pizza

Seitan en Croute with Creamy Boiled Leeks and Soppy (Brown Gravy): I had some friends over for dinner and wanted to make something a bit fancy. The seitan en croute is certainly impressive! The seitan itself came together quickly, and is baked in a loaf first before being cooled and wrapped in pastry. The recipe calls for one pound of puff pastry, but I used 2 sheets of Borgs puffed pastry to enclose the loaf properly. The creamy boiled leeks were a bit lacking in flavour and not really that creamy. The recipe calls for two cups of stock, but when you look at the rest of the ingredient quantities this would be way too much, so I only used one cup. You also need a really big leek. The gravy was great, and tied it all together nicely. Lots ofmushrooms and savoury flavours. All served with broccoli for greens.
Rating: Seitan :), Leeks :|, Soppy :)

Seitan en Croute; Creamy Boiled Leeks; Soppy (Brown Gravy)

Seitan en Croute

Barbecue Baked Beans with Caraway Onion Cornmeal Bread: This is something I made quite recently, inspired by the need to use up some grape jelly in my fridge. Yes, grape jelly is the secret ingredient in this barbecue sauce. The sauce coats a mix of red beans, black beans and pinto beans. The beans are in the side dishes chapter and say they make 8 servings, but for a main dish it is four servings. I served this with some cornmeal bread, which had a nice flavour but was very dry and crumbly. Also served with lots of kale.
Rating: Beans :), Bread :|

Barbecue Baked Beans; Caraway Onion Cornmeal Bread

Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate: Full disclosure, this is meant to be Pumpkin Spice Coffee, but I hate coffee so I made it as hot chocolate. I might have put a bit too much cocoa powder in, because the pumpkin flavour was very slight. It said to use 1tsp of espresso powder, but I had used 1TBS of cocoa (figuring that espresso powder was very strong in flavour compared to cocoa, I don't know if this is correct). I had this for breakfast with some peanut butter on fruit toast.
Rating: :)

Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate

Banana Muffin Tops: 'My muffin top is all that, wholegrain, low fat, I know you wanna piece of that, but I just wanna dance.' If you have no idea what I am on about, go immediately and buy 30 Rock, and prepare for 7 seasons of awesome (Tina Fey, I love you!). While you are watching, make yourself a batch of these amazing muffin tops! I actually bought a muffin top pan, and this recipe allowed me to try them out. These are amazing, they are like giant cookies, but they are muffins.
Rating: :D

Banana Muffin Tops

Walnut and Currant Veganzola Balls : I made this for my friends who also had the seitan en croute, and this was their favourite part of the meal. It isn't really cheezy, and sometimes it can be hard to make it come together properly (it likes to crumble). It is made from crumbled tofu with miso, garlic, liquid smoke, walnuts and currants. Let it sit for a while to let the flavours mellow and meld, then serve on some crackers.
Rating: :)

Walnut and Currant Veganzola Balls

Cilantro Cucumber Salad: This is very refreshing, a great summer treat. It is also a great way to use up left over coriander leaves (cilantro). I mixed this through some rice with a bit of mango salad, for a lovely lunch.
Rating: :)

Cilantro Cucumber Salad

Baked Chimichangas: Stuffed with tofu, beans and cheesy salsa, these make a very tasty dinner. I served with some Tofutti Sour Cream, some salad and some sort of red rice (I have no idea what that is!). I needed to use 8 flour tortillas (rather than the 6 the recipe calls for) to fit in all the filling. Speaking of filling, these will fill you up and make you very happy!
Rating: :D

Baked Chimichangas

Cream-Stuffed Cookie Cupcakes: Fine crumbs of Oreo cookies, silken tofu, and whole wheat flour (plus some other things), make for some pretty special cupcakes. It is hard to find wholemeal pastry flour in Australia, so I used wholemeal flour. I thought that this gave the cupcakes a fairly strong wholemeal flour taste, but no one else noticed. Bonus points for these cupcakes - because you bake them with a whole cookie on top, you don't need to fuss with icing or decoration. The perfect solution for when you are in a rush.
Rating: :)

Cream-Stuffed Cookie Cupcakes

S'mores Crispy Treats: I made these for a bake sale, and they used up the last of my Rice Mellow cream that I had brought back from the US. Marshmallow fluff, chopped chocolate, puffed rice cereal and chunks of digestive cookies (I don't have access to grahams here) make a sweet but very sticky and fragile mix. It is simply mixed together and then chilled, so these tend to crumble apart the moment you take them out of the fridge!
Rating: :)

S'mores Crispy Treats

Peanut Butter Blondies: Easy and fast to make, an with a great peanut butter taste, I made these for a PB-loving friend. They come out very flat, but they have enough flavour to make up for it. These have raw sugar and light spelt flour in them, so they are practically health food.
Rating: :)

Peanut Butter Blondies

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post


This is Steve, who was in boarding a little while ago. Check out that cute little face!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Vegan MoFo 2014 #23: Robin Robertson Rocks: Nut Butter Universe

And so we come to the final day of MoFo (at least in my timezone). When I started my Robin Robertson Rocks theme, almost all of the photos had been accumulating in my folders so I had lots of material. However, I realised that there was one book from the list in my first post that I somehow had not used at all, Nut Butter Universe. So over the past week I tried to make several things from this book so I could make it my final MoFo post. I ate a lot of nut butter (particularly for sandwich snacks) in order to make this happen. The things you do for MoFo.

Pasta with Cauliflower-Cashew Alfredo had me at the world cauliflower. I deviated from the recipe slightly by roasting the cauliflower rather than steaming it. Because roasted cauliflower!!! The sauce is made from cashews, stock, cauliflower, non-dairy milk (the book called for almond, keeping with the nut theme, but I used oat), wine, nooch, lemon and seasonings and is creamy and tangy. I made my sauce in the food processor rather than the blender, so maybe it was not as smooth as it could have been, but the taste was still great. II used about 10oz of linguine (the recipe calls for 1lb, I got about 5 servings from my 10oz), and you also add leftover cauliflower, olives and tomatoes. I served this with broccoli and some precious Field Roast I brought back from the US.
Rating: :)

Pasta with Cauliflower-Cashew Alfredo

Quinoa and Black beans with Cashew Queso Sauce ticks off several of my favourite foods. The cashew queso sauce is totally amazing, I would highly recommend making a double or even triple batch so you can drown everything in it! I didn't have any pickled jalapenos, so I used a fresh green chile that I chopped. However, adding it towards the end (unlike other recipes where I have sauteed the chili) meant that it retained a bit more heat than I usual like. But the sauce was there to make it all better.
Rating. :D... seriously... the sauce!

Quinoa and Black Beans with Cashew Queso Sauce

Brocolli and Rice Noodles with Hoisin-Cashew Sauce has a major error in the recipe - it makes no mention of the broccoli in either the instructions or the ingredients!! I added a head of broccoli when I was stir-frying the vegetables, as well as some peas for more green (my broccoli was pretty small) and I used sliced carrot instead of capsicum. I also added a couple of sliced and sauteed 'vegan gluten rolls' I had bought in a fit of curiosity at an Asian grocery store for some more protein. This is a sweet and rich sauce, and is great with the chewy noodles.
Rating: :)

Broccoli and Rice Boodles with Hoisin-Cashew Sauce

My Favourite PB&J is a pretty simple 'recipe' - bread, peanut butter, jam is nothing new. However Robin's favourite PB&J is made with lime marmalade as the jam, and this is why I like it. It is easy to get stuck into a PB&J rut, but this reminds us that there is a whole world of jam out there. I didn't have lime marmalade, but there was some mandarine marmalade open in the fridge (which I disovered is insanely sweet, normally I use fruit-juice sweetened jams but this was full of sugar). Really any jam could have a turn at being the J.
Rating: :)

My Favourite PB&J

Flower Power Almond Butter Sandwich is a mix of almond butter, grated carrot, sunflower seeds, raisins and maple syrup on bread. I also added some baby spinach leaves. I found this quite sweet, so next time I would leave out the maple syrup. I took this to work to be my easy to eat lunch when I was working a half day at our bigger clinic, and it was surprisingly filling.
Rating: :)

Flower Power Almond Butter Sandwich

Grilled Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich is a nice snack. I made this in my panini press rather than in a frying pan, so I didn't use any butter on the outside of the bread. The only thing is that the flavour of the peanut butter and the banana is lost a little when it is hot. I think that either some vegan bacon or some blueberries and cinnamon would be great in this.
Rating: :)

Grilled Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich

Open-Face Peanut Butter and Tomato Broil had to make the list for MoFo, given the curiosity that the PB and tomato quesadilla from Quick-Fix Vegetarian generated in the comments. I still like the combination! Though I think it is more fun in quesadilla form.
Rating: :)

Open-Face Peanut Butter and Tomato Broil

Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie was a change of pace from my usual green smoothies. It said serves one or two, and I made a half quantity - you can see it is tiny, so I would say a full recipe would really serve one. The flavour is classic, though for me I would view it more of a snack smoothie rather than I breakfast smoothie, but that is because I really am addicted to greens in my morning smoothies.
Rating: :)

Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie

So, here ends Vegan MoFo for 2014. I am so glad I decided to participate (inspired by my upcoming trip to VidaVeganCon next year... I can't wait!!). I have had such a great time reading through everyone's blogs as well, I tried to comment as much as I could! The other great thing about participating was that it has given me my blogging buzz back again, yay! I know I won't be posting as often, but I think I will aim for a few times a week, especially now that I am in the habit of writing posts in advance to keep as drafts when I have a day off. I will be bringing you many more recipe round-ups from cookbooks, as well as stories of my recent trip to Seattle, vegan places I have been eating at and maybe something else every now and again. And, as always, cute kittens! Thanks a lot MoFoers, I love you! I hope to meet lots of you in Austin in 2015!

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Gizmo on her 15th birthday

I couldn't end MoFo without posting a photo of my beautiful Gizmo. It is two and a half years since she has been gone, and I miss her every single day. Although these days I have to say that I only have two kitties, I will always have Gizmo as well.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Vegan MoFo 2014 #22: Robin Robertson Rocks - 1000 Vegan Recipes

As mentioned, I have a lot of photos stored up from lots of cooking but not much blogging, and I have been working through these as I have been doing these posts. The way I save photos on my computer is that I have a folder for each book, and I name the photo file after the page name in the book so I can clearly see where everything fits. These all go into a 'To Upload' folder within the book folder, and once they are uploaded I move them into another folder titled for the chapter they come from. Because I am mostly just uploading photos in order, I realised that I had shared almost no sweet treats with you! So I decided to delve into the desserts chapter of 1000 Vegan Recipes for my penultimate MoFo post.

Chocolate Chip Cookies are the quintessential cookies. I had to add a bit more soy milk to the dough as it was quite dry initially, then I shaped them with my hands as it was still a bit too stiff to drop from a spoon.
Rating: :)

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Maple-Walnut Oatmeal Cookies are lightly spiced and packed full of oats and walnuts, with a hefty dose of maple syrup thrown in. There is something so comforting about oat cookies, and these don't disappoint.
Rating: :)

Maple-Walnut Oatmeal Cookies

Orange-Scented Coconut Cookies are gluten free and soy free, I made them to take to a potluck. The recipe says it makes three dozen, but these are very small cookies. These were nice, but because they contain coconut oil I could only eat one. That's why I took them to a potluck, where they were quickly gobbled up.
Rating: :)

Orange-Scented Coconut Cookies

Peachy Thumbprint Cookies were a beautiful addition to an afternoon tea when I had some friends visiting. The cookies themselves are spiced with cinnamon and allspice, which goes beautifully with the peach jam in the centre. It was quite a dry dough, and I only got 11 cookies using 1 1/2 inch balls instead of two dozen like the recipe said. These are so amazing and delicious, that you may want to make a double or triple batch because you will want to eat them all.
Rating: :D

Peachy Thumbprint Cookies

Chocolate Coconut Brownies had a few issues in the execution - they stuck like crazy to the bottom of the pan once cooled. I have no idea why I forgot to put baking paper in the pan! That aside, these were lovely. Coconut milk, extract and shredded coconut gave the coconut flavour, and there were also chocolate chips. One upside of the sticking situation was that I ended up with quite a few crumbs, which were amazing sprinkled on top of an ice cream sundae.
Rating: :)

Chocolate Coconut Brownies

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Fudge is very intense and sweet, a decadent treat indeed. The recipe says to melt the chocolate chips and then just stir everything together, but I found it really grainy when I tried it this way so I ended up putting it all into a food processor and it turned out lovely.
Rating: :)

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Fudge

Chocolate-Macadamia Cheezcake Truffles are a little bit magical, using melted chocolate and cream cheese to make the thick triffle mixture. The only issue I had was with 'ground' macadamias. When I tried to process them they just turned into macadamia butter, so I ended up just crushing them with my nut mallet, so you can see they are a bit chunkier than they were probably meant to.
Rating: :)

Chocolate-Macadamia Cheezcake Truffles

Pumpkin Cheezcake with Cranberry Drizzle should have been an autumn treat, but I made this in the middle of summer. Of course. We don't have graham crackers here, so I used digestive biscuits to make the base. The filling came together in a snap, and baked really nicely. I am always a bit worried when baking cheesecake that it won't set and will be all runny in the middle. The cranberry topping was quite thick, even though I added some more maple syrup to it. I put it in a little snaplock bag and snipped the corner off to decorate it.
Rating: :)

Pumpking Cheezcake with Cranberry Drizzle

Cherry Clafoutis always sounds so great to me - cherries baked in a lovely vanilla batter, always served with some ice cream. I needed to bake it quite a bit longer to get it to set all the way through, but my oven can be a bit funny sometimes.
Rating: :)

Cherry Clafoutis

Fudgy Chocolate Sauce is thick, delicious and goes great on a sundae. Plus it comes together in a snap. Pour it over all your desserts!
Rating: :)

Fudgy Chocolate Sauce

(% 1000 Vegan Recipes blogged: 25.1%) -> I've just passed the quarter way mark for recipes blogged from this book. :)

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post


More filter fun with my phone, this time I snuck up on Sahara snoozing.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Vegan MoFo 2014 #21: Robin Robertson Rocks - One Dish Vegan

I went out for lunch today at a newish vegan restaurant up in North Lakes (I will review it on the blog once MoFo is over). I ate quite a bit, so now I am in a slight afternoon food coma state. Zzzzz... So now I am reading through MoFo posts, wishing I could put myself into even a great food coma by eating all of the magical foods on all the blogs. Here is some more One Dish Vegan.

Spicy Peanut Soup is a rich, delicious filling soup. I made this for a lunch, foolishly thinking it would be a pretty light meal. Nope, this will fill you up and keep you full for a longtime, with a smile on your face. I fried the tofu in a little bit of peanut oil first before adding it to the stew at the end. This is full of onion, carrots (in lieu of red capsicum), tomatoes, rice, bok choy and tofu. I drizzled this with some sriracha.
Rating: :)

Spicy Peanut Soup

Quinoa and Lentis with Butternut Squash and Rapini came about after I finally found some real rapini for the first time. I had never seen it here before, but I had read at some point in the past that you could substitute broccolini for it (even though they really aren't the same at all now that I see rapini). But one day at the supermarket there were some big bunches of fresh rapini! Score! This is a great, earthy dish. I used pecans instead of walnuts for the topping.
Rating: :)

Quinoa and Lentils with Butternut Squash and Rapini

Chickpea and Kale Stew is a great winter stew, packed full of potatoes as well as the chickpeas and kale. I served this over some baby spinach leaves for even more greens. There is the option of blending a bit of the stew for some extra thickness, which I did.
Rating: :)

Chickpea and Kale Stew

Winter Vegetable Hash is a satisfying brinner. For the vegetables I used red onion, carrot, potato, zucchini (instead of capscium), mushrooms and I also added some kale for extra greens. I had to cook this a fair bit to get it lightly browned and crispy. I got three servings out of this, rather than four, and that was served with some baked beans (just from a tin) and some toast.
Rating: :)

Winter Vegetable Hash

Couscous with Edamame and Chickpeas is a fun pilaf with carrot, scallions and tomatoes also included. Topped with cilantro. This made about 3.5 serves rather than 4, and was maybe a little bit dry. But it is great when topped with lots of nooch.
Rating: :)

Couscous with Edamame and Chickpeas

Frittata Puttanesca caught my eye because... putanesca! This frittata is based on firm tofu mixed up with lots of herbs, spices, nooch, olives, mushrooms and tomatoes. I topped this with some Cheezly cheese for melty goodness. The recipe says to take out of the oven, sprinkle with fresh basil, cut into wedges and serve hot. You can see from the second photo down that when I did this it was very crumbly. It was still super yummy, especially served with some garlic bread and salad. I chilled the leftovers in the fridge, and you can see in the third photo down that after chilling it slices much better, and keeps the shape when you reheat it.
Rating: :)

Frittata Puttanesca

Frittata Puttanesca

Frittata Puttanesca

Japanese Eggplant and Tofu may not look the prettiest, but teriyaki doesn't need to look pretty! I totally screwed this up when I first made it, I couldn't work out why the sauce was so vinegary, then realised afterwards that I had left out the agave. Ooops! But then I added some agave to the leftovers and that balanced out the teriyaki beautifully. I used some portobello caps instead of the capsicum. I needed to make a triple batch of the marinade to coat everything properly. Don't be a dope! Rememeber the agave.
Rating: :)

Japanese Eggplant and Tofu Teriyaki

Oven-Baked Indian Vegetables with Chickpeas is lovely. The baked flavour of the vegetables blends beautifully with the precious fire-roasted tomatoes. Every part of this recipe is roasted in the oven, including the chickpeas. Yum!
Rating: :)

Oven-Baked Indian Vegetables with Chickpeas

Cute Kitty Photos of the Post

Possum with violet

Today (the 28th of September) would have been Possum's 20th birthday. Our beautiful old man left this world in February this year, and is very much missed. I have posted this photo of him on my blog before, but it is one of my very favourites. Love you my little stripey boy. <3

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Vegan MoFo 2014 #20: Robin Robertson Rocks - Quick-Fix Vegan

A few people have been impressed the number of recipes I am putting up in each post. I am here to share my secret, which will probably result in less awe once the truth comes out. Every time I cook I make something different out of one of my books, I almost never make the same thing twice. Too many books, too little time! I take a photo of each dish and make notes for the recipe. Then, and this is the tricky part, I don't blog for ages, while continuing to accumulate photos. This is key for having a zillion photos at your disposal. Finally, decide to do MoFo at the last minute. Because you have so many Robin Robertson books with photos awaiting their time to shine, make this your theme. So really, being such a slack blogger over the past ever has allowed me to have so many photos on hand to have a really great MoFo! And I will still have hundreds of photos left to upload here even after MoFo finishes! With that in mind, how about some more from Quick-Fix Vegan.

White Beans with Mushrooms and Sauerkraut was a great dinner for a cold winter night. My dad is a bit iffy about sauerkraut, however in this recipe it is drained and rinsed so he was on board. The recipe calls for one tablespoon of minced fresh dill, which is adorable. I put in about a truckload because I love dill. This makes big servings.
Rating: :)

White Beans with Mushrooms and Sauerkraut

Seitan Donburi with Unagi Sauce is amazingly delicious. The sauce includes soy and sake (there is an option to use mirin instead, but I went with sake). If you have some seitan on hand, this is a great recipe that comes together in a snap. This is served over rice, and I chose short grain Japanese rice, and also some broccoli on the side. Yum.
Rating: :D

Seitan Donburi with Unagi Sauce

Moroccan Chickpeas with Tomatoes and Spinach is a lovely spiced dish that goes great served over couscous. I didn't have Moroccan spice blend, but the book includes a recipe to make up the perfect amount required with spices that I already had at home. I used carrot instead of capsicum.
Rating: :)

Moroccan Chickpeas with Tomatoes and Spinach

Smoky Chiptole-Chocolate Chili is a lovely deep flavour that is wonderful served with cornbread. I went easy on the chili powder as our chili powder is much hotter and also to suit my desire for just a gentle heat.
Rating: :)

Smoky Chipotle-Chocolate Chili

Quinoa and Chard with Sherry-Glazed Mushrooms takes two classec grains and greens and combines with lovely sherry-cooked mushrooms. You do need to keep an eye on the quinoa when you add the silverbeet to cook down, mine started catching on the bottom of the pan a little.
Rating: :)

Quinoa and Chard with Sherry-Glazed Mushrooms

Sweet and Spicy Tempeh impressed me with the lovely sauce, not too sweet but just right. I added some carrot instead of capsicum that I cooked with the tempeh. The spicy comes from sriracha, which added a lovely mild heat.
Rating: :)

Sweet and Spicy Tempeh

One-Pot Pasta Primavera had lots of great vegetables, most of which are cooked in the boiling water towards the end of the pasta cooking time. Despite this, they are not mushy. I added some white beans as well to make it a complete meal. It went great with nooch.
Rating: :)

One-Pot Pasta Primavera

Penne with Artichokes, Walnuts, and Olives was a bit dry. I used 8oz of penne instead of 12oz, which gave three servings, and I added a tin of kidney beans for some protein.
Rating: :)

Penne with Artihokes, Walnuts, and Olives

Rotini with 10-Minute Tomato-Olive Sauce shows how easy it is to make a delicious sauce from scratch. I altered the sauce a bit, using only a 14oz tin of crushed tomatoes instead of a 28oz tin, and I didn't drain the tin of diced tomatoes. I added some kidney beans as well. I used 8oz of rotini, which gave three servings. I served this with some roasted zucchini, apparently I was feeling a bit fancy with presentation when I took this photo.
Rating: :)

Rotini with 10-Minute Tomato-Olive Sauce

Ziti with Brasciole-Inspired Tomato Sauce is topped off with some toasted, crunchy breadcrumbs, which are a simple yet amazing addition. The sauce is full of garlic, and golden raisins give it a tart bite. I added some kidney beans, and only used 8oz of ziti instead of 12oz.
Rating: :)

Ziti with Brasciole-Inspired Tomato Sauce

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Dim Sim

When I first got my new phone (a while ago now), of course I had to play with the different filters on the camera. Here Dim Sim is modelling one of them for me.