Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Vegan Products - July 2016

As per usual all products are vegan and gluten free. They may not be new but it's the first time I've tried them :)

Found this Neat brand in the local Publix supermarket - it's faux meat that is soy free. Tasted a lot like falafel but still made great burger patties. looking forward to trying the Italian Meatball one. There is also a breakfast and Mexican one. They also make egg replacer!


Found two different Amy's vegan/GF chocolate bars in a health food store. I love the chocolate one - tasted like a chocolate Milky Way.

 
 I found this Bold brand vegan GF pizza at a health food store marked as "discontinued" which I was very sad about because it was REALLY GOOD!! If you see these stock up!


I'm sure this Tofutti Garlic & Herb cream cheese has been on the market for a long time but it's the first time I got to try it. Thumbs up! 


A couple of newly discovered vegan GF Amy's meals...



Found this Ener G brand Tapioca bread at the health store and I really like how it tasted toasted.


Found Gardein GF chicken scallopini which I was excited to try. It was OK. I think it you are adding it a recipe with other flavors it would be a great substitute but alone it doesn't have a ton of flavor.


Arbonne has been around for a while but they really are lovely products and GF/vegan to boot! A little on the pricey side but well worth it for certain items you like to splurge on! I've been very happy with the items I purchased so far. Mascara, make up primer, facial cleanser and renewal serum.


Everytime I travel whether it's by plane or car I always take vegan protein bars as snacks and possible meals where vegan options are naught. I found these new ones.... Whole Earth & Sea Pure Food Organic Vegan Greens (loved this, like a healthy chocolate bar), The GFB (taste like a cookie), D's Naturals No Cow Bar and Pure Organic Berry choc bar.



Found these at Walmart and they are so delicious! No all the Good Thins are GF & vegan but some seem to be! I always count sugar (in the USA) as not vegan unless otherwise stated.


 The Jackfruit Company didn't impress me with the BBQ flavored one but the Sesame-Ginger was good in a stir fry - I had to make another sauce though as the amount in the packet is just enough for the jack fruit.


I found these Tres Latin Foods pupusas at the health store. They kind of taste like thick quesadillas - very delicious. Like a healthy hot pocket! Kale & Pinto Bean and Black Bean & Sweet Corn are both vegan.


Very excited about this late item! Lotus Foods finally brings us a decent vegan and healthy alternative to ramen/pot/minute noodles! In fairness I've only tried the Buckwheat & Mushroom Rice Ramen but so far so good!



Monday, 25 July 2016

Summer Vegetable Soup

This is my BFF's receipe, I like a lot more salt than she does but this is great vegetable rich soup. Add any other vegetables you like of course. I also enjoyed it with pasta!



Summer Vegetable Soup

Ingredients

2 Tbls coconut oil
1 onion, chopped
3-4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1-2 carrots, sliced into thin rounds
2 stalks of celery, chopped
6 small red potatoes, quartered
1 yellow squash, halved length ways then sliced
1 zucchini, halved length ways then sliced
1500g/53 oz chopped or crushed tomatoes, blended smooth
1500g/53 oz water
8-10 brown mushrooms, sliced
1/2 bunch kale or spinach
1/2 bunch fresh parsley leaves, chopped
2 Tbls Rosemary, finely chopped
2 Tbls thyme, finely chopped
salt to taste


Method

On a medium heat cook onions and garlic in oil until onion is clear.
Add peppers, carrots and celery and cook for a few minutes.
Salt as you go and add more at the end to taste.
Add all other vegetables (except kale), tomato puree and water.
Bring to boil for 10 minutes.
Reduce heat to low and simmer for around 1 hour.
10 minutes before the end add in herbs and kale.
Salt to taste and serve.



Saturday, 23 July 2016

Vegan Tapas Night!!!

 I have been wanting to have a vegan Tapas night for a while and since I was staying with a good friend and had a close friend from Australia visiting so I thought that was a perfect excuse to open the Sangria and try some new recipes! The potatoes and mushrooms were definitely the highlight although I loved the almonds, roasted peppers and olives as well!




Setas al Ajillo - marinated mushrooms



 Banderillas - marinated or pickled vegetable skewers. I used gherkins, cocktail onions, artichokes, black olives and roasted capsicum.







Toasted bread, I used GF vegan English muffins.


Patatas Bravas - fried potatoes with a tomato based sauce and drizzled with aioli sauce.



Leftovers were great on a wrap ;)


Tapas Marinated Olives

I couldn't find a specific marinated olive recipe I wanted to use for my Vegan Tapas Night so I just made this one up and it was good!


Tapas Marinated Olives

Ingredients

1 cup green Sicilian olives
2 Tbls good quality extra virgin olive oil
salt to taste
1 Tbls fresh thyme, chopped finely


Method

Mix olive oil, salt and thyme in a small bowl and toss the olives through.

Patatas Bravas (Spanish Fried Potatoes)

 This was my favourite dish from my Vegan Tapas Night, the sauce is so great I used the extra on bread and pasta! Recipe from All Recipes.


Patatas Bravas (Spanish Fried Potatoes)

Ingredients

2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 cups olive oil
1 tablespoon salt

Sauce
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 teaspoon salt
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 red chile, minced
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 (14 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, drained
1/4 cup vegan aioli


Method

Combine potatoes, 2 cups olive oil, and 3 teaspoons salt in a large cold skillet.
Heat on low and cook until potatoes are softened, 12 to 15 minutes.
Increase heat to high and fry until golden, 5 to 6 minutes.
Drain on paper towels.
Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
Cook and stir onion with 1 teaspoon salt in the hot oil until onion has softened, 3 to 4 minutes.
Add garlic, chile, and smoked paprika; simmer for 1 to 2 minutes.
Stir in tomatoes and return to a simmer.
Transfer tomato mixture to a blender, cover, and puree until tomato sauce is smooth.
Serve patatas bravas with tomato puree and drizzle with aioli.


Pimientos de Padron (Roasted Peppers)

This was dish from my Vegan Tapas Night! SOOO easy! I ended up used mini sweet peppers because I couldn't find the Spanish ones. Recipe from Martha Stewart.


Pimientos de Padron (Roasted Peppers)

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
Olive Oil Extra Virgin
12 ounces Padron or shishito peppers (I used mini sweet peppers)
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt, preferably Maldon


Method

I sliced my peppers in half and removed the seeds.
Heat olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet until almost smoking.
Add peppers and cook, stirring, until blistered, about 1 minute. It took me longer than this but you can tell when they are ready.
Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain.
Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with salt; serve immediately.

Champiñones al Ajillo (Garlic Mushrooms)

This was definitely a highlight at my Vegan Tapas Night! Recipe from Easy Tapas Recipes.



Champiñones al Ajillo (Garlic Mushrooms)

Ingredients

1/4 cup (2 fl. oz) olive oil
4 cups (8 oz) brown mushrooms, washed and quartered
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons dry sherry
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon dried red chile, seeded and crumbled
1/4 teaspoon Spanish paprika
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons chopped parsley


Method

Heat the oil in a skillet and sauté the mushrooms over high heat for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
Lower the heat to medium and add the garlic, sherry, lemon juice, dried chile, paprika, and salt and pepper.
Cook for about 5 minutes or until the garlic and mushrooms have softened.
Remove from the heat, sprinkle with chopped parsley, and serve on small earthenware platters.


Spanish Spiced Almonds

As part of my Vegan Tapas Night this recipe is from Food.com.


Spanish Spiced Almonds

Ingredients

4 teaspoons olive oil
1 1⁄4 teaspoons smoked paprika (hot or mild)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cups blanched whole almonds
1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt, to taste (or kosher salt)


Method

Preheat oven to 300F.
Warm the oil in a small saucepan over low heat.
Add paprika and cumin, and stir 1 minute to mix and release flavors.
Remove from heat when mixture just begins to bubble.
Move to a medium bowl, and stir in the almonds.
Transfer almonds to parchment lined baking sheet, and bake 10 minutes.
Sprinkle right away with salt, and move to wire rack.
Let dry at least 2 hours before serving.

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Tomato & Basil Baked Polenta

Polenta is easy and you can add whatever ingredients you like to change the flavour.


Tomato & Basil Baked Polenta

Ingredients

8 cups water/stock (if using water season with salt)
2 cups grits/polenta
1/2 cup butter
1 can chopped tomatoes (I use this in place of one of the cups of water)
1/2 cup chopped basil
1 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes
3 green onions, chopped (optional)
1/2 cup vegan Parmesan (optional)
Olive oil (for serving)


Method

Preheat oven to 350F/180C.
Add polenta, stock, butter and canned tomatoes to a saucepan, stir and heat on medium-high until mixture is thickened.
Add in sun dried tomatoes, basil, green onions and Parmesan.
Pour mixture into a greased baking pan and bake for 30-45 minutes.
If you prefer you can set the polenta in the fridge and then just bake slices.
Serve with vegan Parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil.


Sunday, 1 May 2016

Turkish Lentil Soup

Another outstanding recipe from Vegan Richa. I love this soup because it's so hearty and so full of flavor. I doubled this recipe to get 4+ serves but I wouldn't double the red pepper flakes again because I found it too spicy (I'm a delicate flower). I really liked it with the squeeze of lemon, especially with the spice. I tried it with and without blending and blending really made the flavors come alive.


Turkish Lentil Soup

Ingredients

1 tsp oil
¾ cup onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
⅓ cup chopped carrots, 4 baby carrot or 1 medium carrot
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp or more black pepper
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
1 tomato chopped
1-2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp chopped fresh mint leaves, or use ½ tsp dried mint
½ cup red lentils
3 cups vegetable broth
Mint, lemon juice and olive oil for garnish


Method

Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
Add onions, garlic and pinch of salt and cook until translucent. 5 minutes.
Add the carrots and the spices and mix well.
Cook for 2 minutes.
Add the tomato, tomato paste and mint and mix and cook for 2 minutes.
Add the red lentils, water and salt and mix.
Partially cover and cook for 15 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to simmer for a few more minutes until the lentils are tender to preference. (I found I needed an extra 10 minutes for the carrots to soften).
Taste and adjust salt and spice and mix in.
Add more water if needed.
Cool slightly and blend with an immersion blender or regular blender.
Serve in bowls with a garnish pepper flakes, lemon juice, a few drops of olive oil and chopped fresh mint(optional).