Friday, 15 May 2015

Teacher's Gift Basket

If your kids school is anything like ours about this time of year they send home "suggestions" of what you should give the teachers as an end of year thank you for looking after your brats all year. Some of the suggestions included notebooks and pencils....lame! I prefer the personal touch...they want to relax in their time off not be reminded of the year to come!


Basket from thrift
Homemade Card

Check out my DIY page and Gift tag for more ideas!

Lecsó (Peppers, Tomato & Onions)

My grandmother always had some lecsó cooking when I would come over. Traditionally she would serve it as a side with potatoes and sausage but I love it on it's own!


Lecsó (Peppers, Tomato & Onions)

Ingredients

2 large pepper
1 large onion
2 tomatoes
olive oil for frying
salt for seasoning


Method

Slice vegetables thinly.
Heat olive oil on a pan or skillet on a medium.
Add vegetables and cook until soft and onion is clear.
Add salt if needed.
Serve hot!

Spicy Smoky Tofu Jerky

Gorgeous hubby got me a huge dehydrator for Mother's Day. My first test is tofu jerky! I had previously tried this in the oven but had mixed results with the texture. Click here for that recipe and an assortment of marinades!


Spicy Smoky Tofu Jerky

Ingredients

1 lb extra firm tofu, pressed
1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
1 Tbls liquid smoke
1/8 cup water
1 Tbls Sriracha sauce or any chili paste
1 Tbls onion powder
1 Tsp garlic powder or 1 clove garlic
1 Tbls black pepper
1 tsp brown sugar


Method

Mix marinade together.
Slice tofu into 1/4 inch slices and place in a container with the marinade.
Leave for two hours to marinate, turn occasionally to ensure all pieces are marinade.
Place in dehydrator and leave for 8 hours or overnight.
You can do this in the oven on a cookie tray on the lowest setting but it may not turn out as chewy.


Monday, 4 May 2015

DIY Foaming Pump Soap

His hand soap recipe from One Green Planet I find amazing for the kids in the bath/shower. It's foaming so it's great for them to only use a small amount.


DIY Foaming Pump Soap

Ingredients

2 Tablespoons castille soap
Water
15 drops Essential Oil of choice


Method

Mix castille soap and essential oils together.
Pour into your pump container and fill water slowly to the top (you may need to let the bubbles settle occasionally)
Screw on lid. Shake around.



Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Watermelon Ice

We had a watermelon from our last vegetable garden that was a little small to eat so I turned it into Watermelon Ice which was delicious!


Watermelon Ice

Ingredients

1 whole watermelon, cubed and seeds removed.
1 Tbls agave syrup (or any sweetener to taste) - you can totally omit this ingredient too


Method

Blend in the blender and transfer to a container to freeze.
Blend again when ready to serve.


Freezing Stewed Tomatoes

If you don't have a canner and don't want botchelism this is a great way to preserve your tomatoes.


I started with sterilizing my jars;
Wash jars with dish soap and rinse well with hot water.
Preheat oven to 120C and place jars in the over for 20 mins. 
I add the lids 5 mins before the end otherwise the rubber can burn.


Next I washed the tomatoes and boiled on the stove until the skin splits and is coming away from the flesh.
Once tomatoes are cool enough to touch peel the skin off.


You can also de-seed if you like but I didn't.
At this point you can freeze them whole or puree them in a blender before freezing.
I added some fresh herbs to mine and heated so that they were ready as a sauce base.


Defrost completely before using.




"Lobster" Bisque


"Lobster" Bisque
Ingredients

3 tps vegan fish paste
1 Tbls vegan fish sauce
3 1/2 cups water
1 small packet of silken tofu
2 egg replacers (as per packet instructions)
1 Tbls soy sauce (I used Tamari)
1 Tbls cooking sake (or Japanese rice wine)
1 tsp potato starch mixed with 2 tsp water
2 shallots (spring/green onions) chopped
2 Tbls vegan buttersalt to taste


Method
Bring the water and stock to boil in a medium - large saucepan.
Stir in soy sauce and sake.
Add potato starch mix and stir quickly.
In a medium bowl whisk egg replacers with silken tofu & shallots, adding more water if needed for that "beaten egg" consistency.
Pour in the tofu mixture then transfer to a blender and blend until smooth.
Return to pan on a low heat and melt in the butter.Once warmed through serve, adding more salt if needed or chilli flakes if you prefer it hotter.

Noodles with Peanut Sauce

This recipe was adapted from a recipe by Nigella Lawson.



Noodles with Peanut Sauce

Ingredients

for the dressing
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon garlic infused olive oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce
100 grams smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons lime juice

for the salad
125 grams sugar snap peas
150 grams beansprouts (rinsed)
1 red pepper (deseeded and cut into small strips)
2 spring onions (finely sliced)
1 floret of broccoli, separated and steamed
550 grams thick rice noodles (ready prepared)
20 grams sesame seeds
4 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander


Method

Whisk together all the dressing ingredients in a bowl or jug.
Stem broccoli, red pepper, bean sprouts and sugar snap peas.
In a large pan lightly fry spring onions with a small amount of oil.
Pour the dressing over them and let simmer for a minute.
Stir through the noodles, then the vegetables.
Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and chopped coriander and pack up as needed.

Easy Chats

Chats, or small baked potatoes are easy to make an delicious as a snack with vegan sour cream and sweet chilli sauce.



Easy Chats

Ingredients

10 small potatoes, sliced into quarters.
1 tsp steak seasoning (vegan of course!)
1 tsp salt or Red Robin seasoning
vegetable oil


Method

Preheat oven to 400F and prepare a baking dish (I like glass) with a small layer of vegetable oil.
In a zip lock bag add the potatoes and seasonings. 
Zip shut and shake until potatoes are well covered with seasonings.
Bake in oven for 30-40 minutes, turning once at 20 minutes.
Serve alone of with sauce of choice!

Monday, 27 April 2015

Rejuvelac - Adventures in Vegan Cheese Making

I decided after 5 years of being vegan it really was time to make vegan cheese properly. That means using rejuvelac - a fermented liquid from grains. I've been getting my directions from Miyoko Schinner's amazing book "Artisan Vegan Cheese". If you haven't checked out Miyoko's Kitchen I suggest you try some of her cheeses - they are AMAZBALLS!

To start you have to soak the grains (in my case 1 cup buckwheat groats) over night in a large jar covered with a cheese cloth, then rinse but keep moist and keep rinsing and keeping moist twice a day for a few of days until tiny sprouts appear. You're supposed to keep them in a warm place but out of the sun...I'm not sure exactly what that means but where I live that's near impossible so I'm just keeping them on a shelve near the window.


Once sprouted, divide the grains between two jars and pour 3 cups of filtered water in each. Cover with fresh cheesecloth and put back in the same warm spot. after a few days the water will turn white and have a tart lemony smell. Drain the liquid into clean jars,cover and can be stored in the refrigerator for 4 weeks. 

After around 3-4 days I had some sprouts so I rinsed and added the water and 3 days later I had the cloudy water. I should have read the instructions more clearly - apparently quinoa seeds only take a day to sprout - doh! 
This made about 1 litre of rejuvelac and most recipes call for 1/2 - 1 cup.


Smelled like egg farts but hopefully will do the job!
Use the first basic cashew cheese recipe in Miyoko Schinner's book, left it over night. Then used the basic cashew cheese for a Brie recipe.

Cashew Nut Brie

Used the rejuvelac to make a batch of sharp cheddar - this was so delicious!!

Sharp Cashew Cheddar