Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Vegan MoFo 2014 #12: Robin Robertson Rocks - Party Vegan

Great news everyone! If you remember the lovely Petunia? I posted a photo of her back on my #6 MoFo post. She got a home over the weekend! I am so happy for her. Though sad for me because I will miss her and I wasn't working when she went so I didn't get to say goodbye. But she has gone to some amazing people. Yay!

So, back to food. I love menu suggestions in cookbooks, so a book that is full of gorgeous menus was always going to be on my radar. I won this book during a MoFo competition a few years ago, super fun. :) Of course I don't often have time to make full on menus, so I haven't used this book as much as I would have liked. But I will share with you the Curry For Company menu that I made for Father's Day last year.

Curry For Company

Curry For Company

Looks pretty good, doesn't it? Let's have a closer look.

Curried Pakora Puffs are amazing. They are make ahead and then baked, rather than deep fried. They taste like fancy potato puffs and are highly delicious.
Rating: :D

Curried Pakora Puffs

Mixed Vegetable Curry is full of vegetables and kidney beans in a coconut sauce. I chose a mild curry powder to make this.
Rating: :)

Mixed Vegetable Curry

Spinach-Flecked Chapati takes the meal up to something special - homemade flat bread is always a good thing! I had to add a little bit more flour to it so that I could work the dough properly.
Rating: :)

Spinach-Flecked Chapati

Mango-Mint Chutney calls for fresh mango. Of course my dad's birthday is in the middle of winter, so I used a 1kg bag of frozen mango chunks. This chutney is quite sweet, as it has quite a bit fo sugar, so you may want to decrease that a bit if that suits your tastes more. It also has ginger, golden raisins and mint. Yum.
Rating: :)

Mango-Mint Chutney

Coconut Basmati Rice with Cashews rounds out the trio of carbs the curry is served with. I made this in the rice cooker because all my stove hobs were taken up, and it worked fine.
Rating: :)

Coconut Basmati Rice with Cashews

Cardamom Rice Pudding is the dessert for this menu. I didn't make this at the same time as the rest (see below), but I made it later on. I found it a touch dry, I had to add a bit more soy milk. The pistachios are optional, but I highly recommend it!
Rating: :)

Cardamom Rice Pudding

I mentioned that I didn't make the dessert with the rest of the menu, because it was my dad's birthday so of course he wanted cake!

Spiced Applesauce Cake is not from a Robin Robertson book, it is from Chloe's Vegan Desserts (by Chloe Coscarelli), but I will sneak it in here because I served it at the same time. This cake is amazing! Plus I love anything in a bundt tin. I needed to cook this an extra 20 minutes in my bundt tin. I also only made 1/3 of the quantity of icing, which was more than enough for a not-too-sweet drizzle.
Rating: :D

Spiced Applesauce Cake

Spiced Applesauce Cake

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Dim Sim

My beautiful princess Dim Sim. I love this photo of her, it is often hard for cameras to take a clear photo of a black cat's facial features.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Vegan MoFo 2014 #11: Robin Robertson Rocks - 1000 Vegan Recipes

Today is my fourteen year veganniversary. Yay! I am not doing much today, but yesterday I went out to lunch with some friends and had a Doctor Who afternoon with some other friends, so that was nice.

Back to some more of the mighty tome that is 1000 Vegan Recipes. There are so many recipes in this book that it is easy to put some together to make some great meals!

Piccata-Style Cashew Chickpea Medallions, Roasted Lemon Asparagus with Pine Nuts and Rosemary-Scented Mashed Potatoes with 'Limas' is a bit of a fancy combination. The medallions come together quickly, though I found them quite hard to smoosh down into the 1/4-inch thick medallions the recipe called for. I made 12 medallions, rather than 12, so mine in the picture are a bit smaller. I love piccata sauce, so I made a double batch to make sure there was lots for the medallions, you could even make a triple! The asparagus is incredibly simple and fast to make. For the potatoes, we don't have frozen lima beans here, so I used chickpeas instead (a variation suggested by the book).
Rating: Medallions :), Asparagus :), Potatoes :)

Piccata-Style Cashew Chickpea Medallions; Raosted Lemon Asparagus with Pine Nuts; Rosemary-Scented Mashed Potatoes with 'Limas'

Coconut Jasmine Rice and Edamame with Teriyaki Marinated Tofu was sweet and satisfying. For the rice, instead of two 400g cans of coconut milk I used a 270mL tin and the rest water. This is because too much coconut fat makes me ill, so this sub gave a lovely coconut flavour without the fat. The teriyaki marinade for the tofu came together in a snap.
Rating: Rice :), Tofu :)

Coconut Jasmine Rice and Edamame; Teriyaki Marinated Tofu

Mexican Green Rice and Beans covered in Roasted Tomato and Red Chile Sauce is a saucy pairing, in fact there is a whole chapter of sauces to smother other recipes with. This sauce is amazing, you could almost drink it like a soup! The rice had a lovely, creamy texture. I only used one green chile because I like things mild, rather than two or three.
Rating: Rice :), Sauce :D

Mexican Green Rice and Beans; Roasted Tomato and Red Chile Sauce

Couscous Stuffed Eggplant was bulked up with a side of Satay Tempeh for a great dinner. I had to cook my eggplant shells for a little longer to get them soft enough, but they may have been bigger eggplants than the recipe was made for. The couscous calls for 2 cups of water to 1 cup of couscous, which seems like way too much, so I just followed the packet instructions of 1 cup water to 1 cup couscous. The couscous is mixed with onion, nuts, golden raisins (my favourite!) and I used shredded carrot instead of capsicum. The tempeh is marinated in a mix of spiced coconut milk before being grilled (or broiled, in my case) and smothered in satay sauce (a bit sweeter than I normally prefer, but still good, my mum loved it). The sauce was also great on the eggplant.
Rating: Eggplant :), Tempeh :)

Couscous Stuffed Eggplant; Eggplant Tempeh

Tamari-Dijon Marinated Tempeh and Barley Pilaf with Carrots, Walnuts, and Golden Raisins pairs some lovely flavours for great results. The salty, mustardy marinade is described in the book as 'assertive', and it certainly is (in a delicious way). This assertive tempeh goes well with the slightly subtle taste of the barley pilaf. The pilaf also had fresh dill, so of course I added much more than the one tablespoon required. Dill forever!
Rating: Tempeh :), Pilaf :)

Tempeh-Dijon Marinated Tempeh; Barley Pilaf with Carrots, Walnuts, and Golden Raisins

Teriyaki Tofu Wraps and Red Cabbage Slaw with Black Vinegar Dressing makes a nice, light dinner. For the wraps I used zucchini instead of capsicum. The tofu is marinated in a teriyaki marinade, then the left over marinade is used to glaze the tofu and the zucchini. The slaw has a subtle flavour, which includes my favourite vinegar of all - black vinegar.
Rating: Wraps :), Slaw :)

Teriyaki Tofu Wraps; Red Cabbage Slaw with Black Vinegar Dressing

Tofu Stuffed with Watercress and Tomatoes and Three-Alarm Potato Salad is a bit of a fiddly dinner, but the results are pretty fancy to look at! I downgraded the number of alarms on the salad to mildly alarmed, using a mild salsa instead of hot. I also subbed carrot in place of capsicum and onion (I am not the greatest fan of raw onion). The best thing about this salad is that is has avocado! When I was making the tofu I was terrified that I would tear it when I was stuffing the pieces, but I went carefully and all was fine!
Rating: Tofu :), Salad :)

Tofu Stuffed with Watercress and Tomatoes; Three-Alarm Potato Salad

California Pasta Salad and Cajun Tofu Crunchies were the perfect dinner for a hot summer night. The salad has a fresh lenom juice dressing and is full of vegetables, nuts, olives and avocado. I just left out the capsicum in this recipe. I bulked this up by topping with some cajun tofu crunchies, seasoned and baked tofu that gets a great crunchy-chewy texture.
Rating: Salad :), Crunchies :)

California Pasta Salad; Cajun Tofu Crunchies

Strawberry Field Greens with Black Olives and Toasted Pine Nuts combines sweet, salty and crunchy to make a very pretty salad, all topped with a walnut oil and herb dressing. Something to impress.
Rating: :)

Strawberry Field Greens with Black Olives and Toasted Pine Nuts

Ziti with Red Pepper-Walnut Sauce and Cucumber Radish Salad with Tarragon Vinaigrette was a randomly picked combination. I definitely preferred the cucumber in the salad compared to the radis, personal preference. Instead of olive oil for the dressing I used a combination of stock and guar gum, a technique I picked up reading the My Adventures Testing 1000 Vegan Recipes blog. The pasta was not my favourite, but that is not a fault of the recipe but a fault of me making a capsicum based sauce. The only time I eat capsicum is if it is roasted, peeled and blended into a sauce, though normally it is a sauce with other flavours (like a cheese sauce).
Rating: Salad :), Pasta :|

Ziti with Red Pepper-Walnut Sauce; Cucumber Radish Salad with Tarragon Vinaigrette

(% 1000 Vegan Recipes blogged: 22.3%)

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post


My red bear Sahara. She turned 13 on the 28th of August, I can hardly believe it!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Vegan MoFo 2014 #10: Robin Robertson Rocks - One Dish Vegan

Half-way through the goal number of posts, yay! I have a super busy September, so I have prepared a lot of these posts in advance. My aim was to get to the suggested 20 posts for the month, and maybe more if I have the time. Hurrah!

Back to One Dish Vegan!

Bombay Beans with Chutney has mango chutney cooked into the mixture (I use the Sherwood brand), which gave it a nice, sweet-savoury flavour. I used diced carrot in place of the capsicum, and served this over baby spinach and brown rice. With two tins of kidney beans, this made quite a bit, though not quite the 6 serves it says. More like five.
Rating: :)

Bombay Beans with Chutney

Greek Spinach Rice with White Beans took bit longer than the recipe said to cook the rice through (my almost constant issue). Nutmeg and fresh mint make a nice flavour addition to this all-in-one grain, bean and green dish. I only got three servings, rather than four. The book suggests a number of garnishes, including tomatoes and olives, but I completely forgot.
Rating: :)

Greek Spinach Rice with White Beans

Blazing Bulgur Chili was more a smoldering ember as I took the heat down to suit my tastes (mild heat, yay, burning, no). I only had fine-ground bulgur (not medium), but it was fine (I love bulgur), and it also has portobello mushrooms and pinto beans. The corn kernels make a nice sweet burst. I only used one green chile (instead of 2) and 2 tsp of medium Masterfood Mexican Chili Powder to make this a gentler chili.
Rating: :)

Blazing Bulgur Chili

Tempeh and Cellophane Noodles with Lemongrass and Cilantro was fun, because who doesn't like cellophane noodles? Tempeh (I had a 300g block rather than an 8oz block), vegetables )I used carrot instead of capsicum), and lots of fresh coriander help make this a satisfying dinner. I only got 3 servings... I think we can all agree that my serving size is not a regular serving size!
Rating: :)

Tempeh and Cellophane Noodles with Lemongrass and Cilantro

Hoisin-Glazed Tofu and Bok Choy was a nice dish (who doesn't love hoisin?), but I would make a few tweeks. Firstly, I would pan-fry the tofu first to make it a firmer texture and a bit darker, and I would also add more hoisin to make a thicker sauce. Actually pan-frying and then glazing the tofu in the pan with some hoisin first would probably make this close to perfect.
Rating: :)

Hoisin-Glazed Tofu and Bok Choy

Lemony Quinoa with Spinach and Chickpeas is the sort of dish that people thing vegans eat all the time, but the reason a lot of people love the grain/bean/green combination is because it is generally pretty tasty! This dish is no exception, and is nice and tangy from the lemon juice. This is more of a three serve dish.
Rating: :)

Lemony Quinoa with Spinach and Chickpeas

Penne and Broccoli with Creamy Chickpea Sauce is one of the many examples of Robin's knack for creating creamy pasta sauces using pureed beans. This sauce had a very mild flavour. I used 8oz of penne pasta, and a lot more than 3 cups of broccoli to increase my greens.
Rating: :)

Penne and Broccoli with Creamy Chickpea Sauce

Penne and Chickpeas with Spinach, Pine Nuts, and Raisins is one of my favourite quick pasta mixes. The raisins are a Sicilian tradition, and can I just say that it is a great tradition. I can be a bit funny about sweet in my savoury, but this is good. Sprinkled liberally with nooch!
Rating: :)

Penne and Chickpeas with Spinach, Pine Nuts, and Raisins

Linguine with Red Lentil Sauce may sound simple, but the flavour was amazing! I've mentioned that I love red lentil pasta sauces, and this wouldhave to be one of my favourite. I used 12oz instead of 1lb of linguine, which made 4 servings just nicely.
Rating: :D

Linguine with Red Lentil Sauce

Creamy Noodle Curry uses silken tofu blended with coconut milk to provide the creaminess here. I used a mild yellow curry powder, that gives nice flavour without being to hot for me.
Rating: :)

Creamy Noodle Curry

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Abbey gets a grooming

I've already mentioned that our clinic cat Abbey loves to groom our adoption kittens, sometimes they return the favour. Here is Timmy (who has found his forever home), giving Abbey a good cleaning behind the ears.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Vegan Mofo 2014 #9: Robin Robertson Rocks - Quick-Fix Vegan

I am happy to report that I am feeling a bit better. Still tired, but on the mend. Today I am going to my friend Lisa's house and we are going to watch 90's teen movies all afternoon and eat a lot. We have burgers, mac and cheese, cupcake sundaes, Oreos, and lots of veggies to go with hummus and guac. It will be fun, but nice and restful fun!

Quick-Fix Vegan is a great cookbook that I recommend to everyone. It is full of fast, easy and yummy recipes that everyone can manage. It would make a great gift.

Smoked Portobello Tacos and Black Bean and Sweet Potato Salad are a tasty little combination. The mushrooms for the tacos cook down really quickly, and it is a very saucy mix. It goes great with the salad. I used some corn in the salad instead of capsicum. The salad was amazing!
Rating: Taco :), Salad :D

Spicy Smoked Portobello Tacos; Black Bean and Sweet Potato Salad

Freeburgers served over Roasted Ratatouille were another fun combo from this book. The burgers turned out a little dry, but were still yummy. They are based on kidney beans, and are soy and gluten free. For the ratatouille I left out the capsicum and just had extra zucchini and eggplant. I also served this with some sauteed kale for greens.
Rating: Burger: :), Ratatouille :)

Freeburgers; Roasted Ratatouille

Primavera-Style Coconut-Cashew Noodles has carrots, snow peas and Thai basil. I added some sauteed tofu to bulk it up. Instead of 400mL of coconut milk, I used a 270mL tin of light coconut milk with extra water added.Drizzled with sriracha, of course.
Rating: :)

Primavera-Style Coconut Cashew Noodles

Easy Artichoke Puffs were quick to whip up for a fun starter. Artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, capers and cream cheese mixed up and spooned onto puff pastry squares to make something amazing.
Rating: :D

Easy Artichoke Puffs

Lemony Couscous and White Bean Pilaf was incredibly quick and easy. I only used a little less couscous and stock to increase the vegetable/bean/grain ratio.
Rating: :)

Lemony Couscous and White Bean Pilaf

Shortcut Mushroom-Artichoke Risotto uses cooked brown rice for insta-risotto. Blended beans and broth lend some creaminess, and artichokes and mushrooms fill it out. The beans required to blend didn't use up the entire tin, so I added the extras.
Rating: :)

Shortcut Mushroom-Artichoke Risotto

Jerk Seitan and Vegetable Skillet is absolutely delicious. The sauce has a lovely heat, without being too spicy for me. I used carrot instead of capsicum in the mix, and I served it over quinoa and kale.
Rating: :D

Jerk Seitan and Vegetable Skillet

Ginger-Sesame Seitan with Spicy Basil Snow Peas changed a bit with a total inability to procure Thai basic, so I used some mint instead as suggested. I served this over rice with some baby pak choy on the side.
Rating: :)

Ginger-Sesame Seitan with Spicy Basil Snow Peas

Tofu Skillet Scramble includes potato in its ingredients, which is a brilliant idea. I never get tired of tofu scrambles! Served with avocado toast for a fantastic brunch.
Rating: :)

Tofu Skillet Scramble

Indonesian Vegetable and Tofu Scramble is another yummy take on the scramble. I love anything with hoisin sauce in it. Served with salad and some sort of little flat bread that I just can't recall!
Rating: :)

Indonesian Vegetable and Tofu Scramble

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Wicket and Kiki

A slightly blurry photo of two special kitties when they were in boarding - Wicket and Kiki!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Vegan MoFo 2014 #8: Robin Robertson Rocks - Vegan Planet

I'm not at work today, instead I am at home feeling crappy. However reading through MoFo posts is certainly giving me something to pass the time. And speaking of time, it is time for some more fun from Vegan Planet (original edition)!

Savoury Amaranth Porridge is a recipe I made for breakfast, I love savoury for breakfast! The recipe says it serves four, but I only got two small bowls out of it. It was a bit gluggy, but very satisfying.
This recipe is the same in the revised edition.
Rating: :)

Savoury Amaranth Porridge

Saffron Couscous Cake with Spring Vegetable Saute is a pretty looking dish. The list of ingredients may look long, but it comes together very quickly. I found that it could do with a bit more flavour with the vegetables, so perhaps a splash of soy. I left out the capsicum.
This recipe appears in the revised edition with some slight increase in some vegetable quantities.
Rating: :)

Saffron Cous Cous Cake with Spring Vegetable Saute

Three-Flavour Pancit is based on a Filipino noodle dish, with seitan, tofu and tempeh making it beautifully vegan. I used carrot instead of red capsicum. So, where do we get our protein from?
This recipe appears in the revised addition with some changes to the vegetables, including the addition of cabbage and carrots and the removal of capsicum. Wise.
Rating: :)

Three-Flavour Pancit

Chickpea and Green Bean Tagine is full of great flavours, including fruit, vegetables and nuts. I served this over brown rice. For the dried fruit mix, I used dates, apricots, raisins and currants. Yum.
The recipe appears in the revised edition with slightly less sugar.
Rating: :)

Chickpea and Green Bean Tagine

Red Bean and Sweet Potato Curry is a satisfying curry that I served over rice, with salad and with some mango and date chutney. I used zucchini in place of green capsicum.
This recipe appears in the revised edition with slightly less ginger.
Rating: :)

Red Bean and Sweet Potato Curry

Mediterranean Bean Ragout includes fennel, one of my favourite vegetables. It suggests serving over noodles, but I served over some brown rice. There is also an option to puree a bit to give a thicker ragout if you wish, but I did not.
This recipe appears in the revised edition with some alternations to vegetables and herbs.
Rating: :)

Mediterranean Bean Ragout

Autumn Vegetable Stew is packed full of greens, beans and veggies to make a great dinner. We just don't have collard greens here, so I subbed in a bag of baby spinach, rocket and kale which was great.
This recipe appears in the revised edition with the addition of some white wine.
Rating: :)

Autumn Vegetable Stew

Tuscan White Bean and Fennel Stew with Orange and Rosemary had a very strong flavour from the orange zest that was added. It has lots of different vegetables as well as beans, and I served it with some grilled bread.
This recipe appears in the revised edition almost the same, just a minor decrease in oil.
Rating: :)

Tuscan White Bean and Fenel Stew with Orange and Rosemary

Indonesian-Inspired Tempeh Stew has a lovely flavour, full of ginger, tomatoes and coconut milk. As well as tempeh there are also some sweet potatoes in there, making it extra delightful. I served this with steamed broccoli.
This recipe appears in the revised edition with 8oz tempeh instead of 12oz.
Rating: :)

Indonesian-Inspired Tempeh Stew

Tempeh and Red Bean Jambalaya with Chipotle Chiles uses dried chipotles that have been soaked for its heat kick. I used some zucchini in place of the green capsicum and served it over brown rice.
This recipe appears in the revised edition but uses tinned chipotles in adobo rather than dried chiles.
Rating: :)

Tempeh and Red beanJambalaya with Chipotle Chiles

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post


Yesterday I introduced you to our adoption cat Byron, and mentioned he had a special friend. This is Maple. She is also up for adoption, but they are very bonded so we are trying to find a home for them together. Here she is modeling her little cat chair.