Monday, 13 April 2015

Some New Vegan Items - April 2015

...again, not necessarily new vegan products but that I have newly discovered!

I'm pretty sure this first is new because I had never seen it before!
It actually does taste like honey but has the consistency of agave. Sweeet!


I found these Aroy-D brand curry pastes at my local Asian grocer. 
Most of them seemed vegan by the ingredients. Was very excited to try Massamam again - it had definitely been a while!


I really don't think this is new but I recently tried it and I loved it!
It has WAY less sodium than soy sauce and Tamari and has the added bonus of amino acids!
I found the taste easy to substitute for soy - it has a slightly sweeter flavor and is not as thick or salty.


I love Paula's Choice, I just wish ALL their products were vegan!
Luckily for me all the SPF facial moisturizers are vegan except the Hydralight Shine-Free Daily Mineral Complex SPF 30.
I'm currently using the Skin Balancing - Ultra Sheer Daily Defense SPF 30 and I love it, it's light, non-greasy and doesn't smell like sunscreen.


I found this randomly in the reduced section of the supermarket.
It was so good I went back and bought all they had on sale.
Gluten free, organic and vegan YAY!



This was recommended to me at the health food store. 
I wanted a vegan protein powder and I was going to by Spirulina as well but this gem has BOTH, plus it's all raw, non-GMO and organic. The girl at the health store said she loved the Chai Vanilla so I bought a sample pack of that as weel :)


Hubby brought these home for me. Previously I'd only ever seen the vegan milk chocolate and the chunks but never the dark chocolate and these are GOOD!







Sunday, 12 April 2015

Quick Thai Red Curry


Quick Thai Red Curry

Ingredients

1 400g can coconut milk/cream
2 Tbls red curry paste
1/2 cup water
1 Tbls brown sugar
3 tsp soy sauce or 2 Tbls vegan fish sauce
1 tsp coconut amino (or omit)
1 cup soy beans
1 cup frozen corn
2 red or yellow peppers, sliced


Method

In a large pan pour half the coconut milk/cream and heat on medium.
When bubbles start to appear add in the red curry paste and whisk until well combined.
Pour in water and rest of coconut milk and heat on medium-high until bubbling.
Add in brown sugar, soy sauce, coconut aminos and frozen vegetables and bring to boil.
Reduce to simmer and add in peppers and cook until soft.
Serve with rice and top with cilantro if desired.


Saturday, 11 April 2015

Vegetable Soup

I'm kind of bewildered as to why I have never blogged a vegetable soup before but anyway, here it is!
This recipe courtesy of Alton Brown on the Food Network.


Vegetable Soup

Ingredients

4 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped leeks, white part only (from approximately 3 medium leeks)
2 tablespoons finely minced garlic
Kosher salt
2 cups carrots, peeled and chopped into rounds (approximately 2 medium)
2 cups peeled and diced potatoes
2 cups fresh green beans, broken or cut into 3/4-inch pieces
2 quarts chicken or vegetable broth
4 cups peeled, seeded, and chopped tomatoes
2 ears corn, kernels removed
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup packed, chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 to 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice


Method

Heat the olive oil in large, heavy-bottomed stockpot over medium-low heat.
Once hot, add the leeks, garlic, and a pinch of salt and sweat until they begin to soften, approximately 7 to 8 minutes.
Add the carrots, potatoes, and green beans and continue to cook for 4 to 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the stock, increase the heat to high, and bring to a simmer.
Once simmering, add the tomatoes, corn kernels, and pepper.
Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the vegetables are fork tender, approximately 25 to 30 minutes.
Remove from heat and add the parsley and lemon juice.
Season, to taste, with kosher salt. Serve immediately.


The kids like it with pasta...





Monday, 6 April 2015

Date & Nut Balls

This is an easy and healthy snack, especially for kids! Adapted from a Catherine McCord recipe seen in Parents Magazine.


Date & Nut Balls

Ingredients

1/2 cup GF oats
1/2 cup walnuts
1/4 cup cashews
1/4 cup pitted dates, chopped
2 Tbls agave syrup
1 tsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 Tbls shredded unsweetened coconut


Method

Preheat oven to 350F/180C.
On a baking sheet place nuts and oats and bake for 10mins and let cool.
In a food processor add nuts and oats and blitz until all blended and chopped finely.
Add in all other ingredients except for the shredded coconut and process until all mixed well.
Take small amounts of the mixture and roll into a ball in your hand.
Dredge in coconut shreds and leave to cool.
How many balls you make depends on how big they are.
Keep in sealed container for a few days.


Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Vegan Fondue

This recipe was adapted from Vegetarian Times.


Vegan Fondue

Ingredients

10 small fingerling or other boiling potatoes, peeled (1 lb.)
1 Tbs. olive oil
2 large onions, peeled and chopped (2 cups)
3 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbs.)
2 Tbs. cornstarch
2 Tbs. nutritional yeast
1 ½ tsp. salt
1 cup dry white wine, such as Chardonnay, divided
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1/2 cup vegan mozzarella shreds
1/2 cup vegan cheddar shreds
1 tsp salt
pepper to taste


Method

Cook potatoes in boiling, salted water 5 to 8 minutes, or until soft. Drain, and set aside.
Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium-low heat.
Add onions, and cook 15 to 20 minutes, or until soft and translucent.
Add garlic, and cook 1 to 2 minutes more.
Meanwhile, dissolve cornstarch in 2 cups cold water in small cup.
Add cornstarch mixture to onion mixture, increase heat to medium, and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add nutritional yeast and salt, and simmer 5 minutes more, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat, and add potatoes and 1/2 cup wine.
Blend with immersion blender until smooth and silky.


Return to heat, and simmer gently 5 minutes.
Add remaining 1/2 cup wine, and cook 1 minute, stirring once or twice, or until Fondue is thickened.
Add in vegan cheeses and stir until melted.
Add nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste before serving with bread pieces or apple slices.


Monday, 30 March 2015

Easy Rocky Road

The best part about this is that you can use whatever ingredients you have in your house.


Easy Rocky Road

Ingredients

1 cup vegan mini marshmallows
1/2 cup nuts of choice (I used walnuts)
1/4 cup raisins
10oz vegan choc (I used half dark half milk)


Method

Using a double broiler melt half of the chocolate.
Once melted transfer to a brownie/casserole dish lined with baking paper.
Sprinkle marshmallows, nuts and raisins to the melted chocolate.
Melt the remaining chocolate and pour over the top of the other ingredients.
Refrigerate for at least one hour.
Slice into small bit size pieces.

Pad Thai

I got recipe from the Post Punk Kitchen.


Pad Thai

Ingredients

8 oz pad thai rice noodles, cooked according to package directions, immediately rinsed with cold water and cooled (see note above)
2 tbls vegetable oil, divided
14 oz tofu, pressed and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1 bunch bok choy, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups scallion, chopped into 1 inch pieces
1 cup lightly packed cilantro, chopped
4 oz mung bean sprouts
Any vegetables you like.

For the sauce:
2 tablespoons tomato paste
5 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce (use gluten-free tamari to make this gluten-free)
6 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons Sriracha
2 tablespoons mellow white miso
1/4 cup water

To serve:
3/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts
Extra lime wedges


Method

Boil water for noodles. Cook noodles.
In a large pan over high heat drizzle in 1 tablespoon of oil.
Add the cubed tofu and sprinkle with about 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Cook for about 7 minutes, tossing often, until it’s nicely browned.
Mix together all of the ingredients for the sauce and set aside.
Stem vegetables.
When tofu is browned, transfer it to a plate and cover gently with tin foil to keep warm.
In the same pan or new pan cook the garlic in the remaining oil very briefly over a medium-high, about 15 seconds.
Add the scallion and cilantro and toss just to get it wilted.
Now pour in about half the sauce and get it heated through.
Add the noodles and toss to coat.
Then add back the tofu and vegetables, the mung beans and the remaining sauce, and toss to coat.
Serve immediately, topped with peanuts and lime wedges, plus extra cilantro if desired.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Vegan Meringue!!

I saw this recipe posted on "What Fat Vegans Eat" page on Facebook. I was skeptical because it looked so easy but it was easy and it worked! They aren't the most beautiful meringues but they taste exactly right and crushed into your favorite dish no one will be the wiser! Whoever decided to use bean water is a genius but it makes sense because of the protein.


Vegan Meringue

Ingredients

Water from a 400g can of chickpeas
3/4 powdered/icing sugar


Method

Using an electric mixer, blend the chickpea water until white and frothy - resembling whipped egg whites.
Add in powdered sugar and mix until well blended.
Spoon onto baking paper on a cookie sheet.
Bake at 100C/200F for 2 hours.
To make them more tall peaks you could possible add a small amount of potato, tapioca or corn starch.
I have not tried this though, it's just a thought!

Sunday, 22 March 2015

We Made A Tee-pee!

So not on a vegan note but on a family note...we made a teepee! Technically it's for the kids but it looks so comfortable I think I might sneak in there when they're not home ;)
This was a fairly easy project for around $60 - we got plain duck cloth on sale.


You need;

5.5 yards x 3 yards
5-6x Wood planks - 9' tall
Rope/ribbon
Sewing machine/fabric scissors
Drill
Optional Extras; tarp, paint, pillows, blankets

Instructions;

We started with one 1 piece of 11 x 2 yard piece of plain duck cloth and cut it in half down the middle.

Next I sewed the two 5.5 yard pieces together and lay out flat. mark down the middle of the piece. Using one of the planks of wood, drill a hole about 9" down on all planks. Lay wood down in the middle line of the material with the hole on the long edge. Start marking around to make a semi-circle on one side of the material.



Fold the material in half on the fold line and cut around the circle with fabric scissors.


Next either hem or using a seam stitch sew the round raw edges to prevent fraying. The sides should have selvage so should not need hemming.


Next lay the material out flat and in the center of the flat edge mark two button holes on each side. This will be for the rope to feed through and attach to the wooden plank.


Attach all your planks together in a teepee shape and feed the rope through and tie to hold in place.
Next wrap the material - round edge along the ground - around the planks and mark three button holes.



Sew all the marked button holes.
The top two are for feeding through the plank as an anchor, the bottom 6 holes are to hold the teepee together at the front.

Technically now your teepee is ready! 


We painted circle patterns on the material but tracing cups and plates and then using some old house paints samples we had left over from when we made a birdhouse. We had paint on our hands so we put hand prints on as well.



 


We covered the floor with tarp, then got some outdoor cushions and blankets from a thrift store.






Sunday, 15 March 2015

Easy Pasta & Potato Bake

This is an easy recipe and a crowd pleaser using what you have in your home.



Easy Pasta & Potato Bake
Serves 4-6

Ingredients

400g uncooked pasta, I used brown rice rigati (shells, macaroni, spiral or penne)
400g potatoes
120g vegan cheddar
120g vegan mozarella
1 cup vegan Bechamel sauce (white sauce)
1 tsp salt.


Method

Cook the pasta as per packet instructions.
Boil potatoes till soft inside but not falling apart (peel first if you like).
These two steps can be done the night before and left in the refrigerator.
Preheat oven to 400F and prepare a large oven proof casserole dish with a drizzle of oil or vegan butter.
Prepare the white sauce, adding the extra tsp salt for taste.
Slice the cooked potato into rounds.
Place a layer of cooked pasta at the bottom of the dish.
Add a layer of potato rounds.
Pour over some white sauce and sprinkle a layer of both cheeses.
Repeat the layering steps until you are out of ingredients - saving a little bit of white sauce and cheese for the top.
Top with a bit of white sauce and a layer of cheeses.
Bake in the oven, covered for 20-30 minutes, until cheeses look like they are melting.
Uncover and bake for a further 10 minutes to get the top melted and slightly browned.
Serve as a main or side.