Thursday, December 31, 2009

tofu salad wraps

Another easy sick-person meal - we bought lots of flatbreads for our ill fated camping trip, so Chris made this.

They contain:
Grated carrot,
Shredded lettuce,
Shichimi togarishi,
Tofu fried in oil then smothered in teriyaki sauce & kecap manis,
Herbs from our garden.

The herbs include mint, garlic chives, basil, purple basil, some other sort of basil and vietnamese mint.


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

easy noodle stir-fry

I've been a wee bit sick the past few days, and after reading Miss T's delish looking post about Tom Yum, I decided that was what I needed to make me better. Chris went on a mission to find some paste, and found Shanggie brand - which was no good! Didn't taste like much, but burned my mouth. I think I will make my own, or hunt down the brand Miss T used.

So instead we ate a simple noodle stir fry - just veggies, rice noodles and puffy tofu in a teriyaki-esque sauce (soy, mirin, kecap manis). Sprinkles of fried onions, shichimi togarishi and fresh cucumber, this is one of my favourite things to eat.

I'll let you know when I have tom yum success!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Handmade pasta with roasted pumpkin

With excitement, on Boxing Day I tested out the new pasta maker I was given the day before. On the first attempt I used vegan dough which didn't work out so well (if anyone has a good recipe please let me know). On the second attempt I included a few eggs from my parents’ free-range chickens. It worked nicely.

The pasta was topped with a basic tomato and onion sauce with roasted pumpkin and pine-nuts. Perfect post-Christmas easy meal (apart from cleaning up the flour that I seemed to have spread all over the kitchen…).

Saturday, December 26, 2009

vegan gingerbread

Made using this recipe, from the Veganomicon authors. I made it on Thursday, our house was still a little warm so it was tricky, many trips back and forth with the dough in the fridge! It turned out so well though, I'm liking my icing skills.

I gave the cookies as gifts for Christmas, and kept a little stash for me & Chris. Delicious!

This is my cookie cutter, the supermarket ran out and I couldn't find mine. Totally pro.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

raw salad

Raw salad, or, what I've been eating a lot of lately. Things have been busy busy in the business, so since my recent inspiration of raw chocolate cake, I've just been eating a lot of simple raw salads for lunch.

Usually with:
Bean shoots (sprouted by me, yay!),
Lettuce / spinach,
Spring onion,

With my favourite dressing of lemon, olive oil, dijon mustard, salt & pepper.

Sometimes I eat it with a bagel. Almost raw.

raw chocolate cake

The latest issue of lovely Peppermint magazine had a rather intriguing recipe for raw chocolate cake. Chris didn't object to having this for his birthday, so away we went!

This is the cake pre-icing...

The recipe is by Ani Phyo, you can see of super cute little video of her making on a talk show it here.

Essentially the cake is walnuts, cocoa & dates, which are blended up into fine crumbs, and smooshed together into a cake. It's good! The icing even has avocado in.

So, now I have become all inspired by raw foods, which taste delicious and make me feel good. And may be an antidote to Christmas food?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Vegan Afghan Biscuits

Yum! I love these cookies, chocolatey and crunchy, but they're normally very buttery, so here's my adapted version. I've been rather absent on this blog - my business has been super busy leading up to Christmas, but I do have some posts ready and have been eating some yummy things, hooray!

Vegan Afghan Biscuits


½ cup of olive oil
1/2 cup of castor sugar
1 tablespoon water
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup of unsweetened corn flakes (Kellogg's)

1 cup of icing sugar
2 Tbsp of unsweetened cocoa powder
3 Tbsp water
3 drops of oil (adds glossiness)
pistachios/flaked almonds (optional)

Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
Cream the oil and sugar. Add the water.
Sift together the flour and cocoa powder and mix into oil/sugar.
Fold in cornflakes (don't worry if they crumble).
Roll 1 1/2 teaspoonfuls of the dough into balls and flatten them slightly. Place onto oven tray lined with baking paper.
Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

Icing: combine icing sugar, cocoa powder, oil and water in a bowl. Mix well.
Spoon a little icing on each cookie and then decorate with flaked nuts.

A tip on the cookie dough -- you really need to roll and press the dough firmly into a ball because the cornflakes can make the dough a little crumbly. Just scrunch it all together!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Roasted Cauliflower Salad

We've had a lot of cauliflowers in our vegie box lately, and they're not a vegetable I usually enjoy cooking... it's been so hot, so I decided to do a bit of a salad.

Basically, I chucked all this in a roasting pan:
1 cauliflower, chopped into florets
1 tbspn olive oil
1 tspn coriander seeds
1/2 tspn cumin seeds
1/2 tspn ras el hanout
1/2 tbspn soy sauce
1/2 tbspn pomegranate molasses

Roasted for 30 mins (or until the cauli looks golden-ish and cooked)

Then, I squeezed on the juice of half an orange, some torn mint, and let it cool for a bit. Mmm!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Moroccan Pumpkin Couscous Salad

I'm not the world's biggest pumpkin fan, so when one happens to arrive on my doorstep as part of my Green Line delivery, I usually try and make something super-delicious. This week I was having a little browse through the Where's the Beef blog and found this recipe, which I adapted slightly. Yum!

Moroccan Spiced Pumpkin
1 small-ish pumpkin (about 1.5kg)
2 tbspn olive oil
1 tbspn soy sauce / tamari
1 tbspn pomegranate molasses*
1 tbspn coriander seeds
1 tspn cumin seeds
2 tspn ras el hanout
1 orange (or some orange juice)

Peel, deseed and chop the pumpkin into largish chunks.
Toss the rest of the ingredients (excluding the orange) together with the pumpkin in a baking dish.
Bake, uncovered at about 180 degrees C for 45 mins.

As you're baking, you'll see that the pumpkin is starting to get dry - you can squeeze over the juice of half an orange after 15 mins of baking, and the other half an orange again after 30 mins.

Hooray! That's it!

Serve with some a little couscous salad of mint, tomato, onion, sultanas & spinach.

*Pomegranate molasses is a tangy sweet syrup - if you don't have any you could use a bit of maple syrup or sugar and some lemon juice.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Aloo Gobi

The other day the only veggies we had left were cauliflower and potatoes. So - Aloo Gobi. I did a Google search for the recipe, and Bend it Like Beckham kept coming up, which I thought was a bit racist. I chose this recipe because it had 70 5-star ratings! Awesome! And, apparently it's the recipe from the Bend it Like Beckham DVD extras. Google search results explained. I quite enjoyed that movie, but I don't really like having to type out Beckham over and over, because let's face it, he's not the awesomest dude in the cosmos.

So anyway. Delicious curry (feel free to omit the coriander as I did), don't let the Beckham reference turn you off.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Vegan Bento 4

Last night's bento was a bit of a mish-mash of some random veggies. This week in our Vegie Box from The Green Line we had (amongst the usual amazing organic fruit & veg) some rather sad looking & very tough green beans. I did a Google search to see what to make with tough green beans - the first result came back with roasting, which according to the website (will try and find the link) would take the green beans back to their fresh & young, pre-tough state. And... it kind of did?

In my bento:
Inari, salad with lemon & spring onion dressing, roasted potato, roasted green beans, sushi & onigiri.

I watched this super cute video on Youtube before making the onigiri - it was sort of helpful and very fun to watch!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Spaghetti & (Vegan) Meatballs

I know I've posted a very similar recipe before, but this was so delicious!

Again using the lentil & hazelnut mixture from my last post, I just fried up some onion on a flat non-stick pan, added some lentil & hazelnut balls and cooked until they were fried all over (just keep turning them every minute or so). Then I whacked in some asparagus and tomatoes, and that's it! Yum!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Vegan Bento 3

Another day, another Bento box. This one is quite similar to the last...

In my bento:
Lentil beanballs with tomato/red pepper paste sauce, steamed cauliflower, apple & rocket salad, sliced tomato, silverbeet sushi (yum!), carrot/cucumber/pickle sushi, more inari.

I've found it's easier to do everything in batches, which lasts a few days... the rice I cook fresh every day, but the bean ball mix I made a big batch of. I have more beanball recipes coming!

The mix contains:
Whole red lentils,
Ground hazelnut,
Spring onions,
Salt & pepper

Basically I just soaked the lentils for a few hours, then boiled them with the potato & celery. Then chucked it in a food processor with some hazelnut, polenta, chopped spring onions, salt & pepper and whizzed until mushy.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Vegan Bento

This week I've been totally inspired by the vegetarian Bento on We're Rabbits - they always look so delicious! I usually cook the same sort of things for a week at a time - this week is officially Bento week at my house.

I noticed that the We're Rabbits bentos often had yummy looking hazelnut & lentil balls, so I cooked a loose interpretation of this recipe.

In my bento:
Lentil bean balls, sliced tomato, inari with cucumber loveheart, cucumber & pickles sushi, apple/dijon salad. And on the side is a yummy okonomiyake Chris made.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Carrot & Couscous Salad

I'm not a big couscous eater, but I had a craving for something carrot-y and Moroccan-y. This was extremely quick to make, and tasted rather delicious.

Carrot & Couscous Salad

Olive Oil
Lemon Juice
Ras el Hanout
More Carrots
More Onion
Orange Juice
Baby Spinach

(Sorry for lack of quantities, just make it up as you go!)


Fry half the carrots & onions in some olive oil with a bit of salt & pepper, until they're nicely cooked and a little caramelised.
Chuck these in a bowl with some Ras el Hanout (this can be a bit spicy, so don't add too much), lemon juice & couscous, and add some boiling water (just cook as per instructions on your couscous).
- I just chuck everything in a bowl, cover with boiling water, and chuck on a lid and let sit for 5 or so mins.

Whilst the couscous is doing it's thing, take the rest of the onions & carrots and fry this batch. When this 2nd batch is lovely & golden, pour on the juice of 1 orange to kinda deglaze the pan & make a nice caramelized sauce.

Chuck it in with the cooked & fluffed couscous with some sliced baby spinach, mint, sultanas & walnuts. Hooray! Yummy!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Vegan Double Choc Chip Cookies

Mmm. Yum. This recipe for vegan cookies has been kicking around my house for years & years. Adapted from a butter-y & egg-y recipe, you can add anything to it. Chocolate chips, nuts, dried fruit, coconut, the list goes on!

I used to make these with Nuttelex. However, due to concerns about Nuttelex's use of Palm Oil, and also the whole trans-fat thing (is it bad? is it not?) I just use oil.

Hooray! So these ones are for Chris's mums birthday, but of course I've snuck in a few already, just to be sure they taste okay!

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil (I use olive oil, you can use whatever you like!)
1 & 2/3 cup self raising flour
3 tablespoons cornflour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbspn apple juice / water / soy milk
2 tspn vanilla essence
1 & 1/4 cups choc chips / walnuts / coconut

Preheat oven to 180C.

Mix the oil & sugar together.
Add in the flours, & baking powder, and mix until the oil is distributed.
Add in the juice/water/milk & vanilla, and mix until the cookie dough is kinda like a crumbly, pastey dough, like this:

Then, add in the chocolate chips, nuts, coconut (or whatever you choose) and mix through. By now it should be slightly resemblant of breadcrumbs?

Roll it in to little balls, like this:

Then bake on greaseproof paper for about 15 mins, until the bottom of the cookies are lightly browned.

Note: the cookies will be super soft when you pull them out of the oven, but will crisp up as they cool.

Hooray! Yummy cookies!

This recipe makes around 30 small cookies. Yum.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

savoury pumpkin pie

Lately we've been getting a lot of pumpkin in our weekly vegie box. I'm not a famed pumpkin lover, so my repertoire is pretty thin. My favourite way to eat pumpkin is usually with Moroccan / Middle Eastern flavours, hence this pie.

Super easy:
Roast some pumpkin pieces in olive oil (garlic optional)
Marinade the roasted pumpkin in lemon juice, ras el hanout, sesame seeds, sultanas (optional) & walnuts for about 30 mins.
Chuck it all on some pastry and bake.


I served it with this delish salad of steamed asparagus, avocado, apple & rocket in a dijon/lemon/olive oil dressing. Lovely.

This meal was totally super easy and quick, as are pretty much all the meals I've been cooking lately. I find cooking to be a huge way of procrastinating, I love cooking and can spend hours at a time, especially when I'm going through a macrobiotic phase. But, I'm trying to ramp up production in the business before Christmas, hence the easy recipes at the fore. It's better than take-out, right?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Walnut Bolognese Sauce

I've been a wee bit lazy the past couple of days, and haven't gone out to buy more olive oil, onions, and a few other kitchen staples. So, when it came time to make something to eat today, I felt I would be inventive (rather than leave the house, horror!)

I felt like a pasta, but I like my pasta rich & a little olive oil-y, but we only had about 1 teaspoon left. So, I thought maybe the oilyness of walnuts would satisfy my rich pasta craving, and made this up.

It kinda has that what-is-that texture that regular bolognese does, but doesn't taste much like it (I think, I can't remember).

(Once again, sorry for dodgy photos, can't wait for summer and eating dinner during daylight!)

Walnut Bolognese Sauce
For 4 people

Ingredients (the things in brackets are what I would have used if I hadn't been too lazy to shop!)
1/2 leek (or 1 large onion) sliced finely
1 tbspn olive oil
Couple of sprigs of thyme (or whatever herbs you feel like)
Bay leaf
1/2 cup walnuts
Large handful of beans - say, 30 or 40? (or some other green veg like asparagus or something)
1 tbspn vodka (trust me)
Pinch of ground cinnamon
800g tin of tomatoes


First you want to bash the walnuts in a mortar & pestle till they're the consistency of breadcrumbs. (Or wizz them in a food processor, whatever, I don't care).

It will look like this. Arty shot.

While you're at it, slice the onion/leek and the green beans - if you slice the beans lengthways it will look prettier, but you'll also be more likely to cut yourself so take care.

Great. Now, fry the leek/onion until soft & slightly browned.
Chuck in the beans & walnuts, and turn the heat down and cook for about 5 until the walnuts seem toasty.
Splosh in the vodka (or, if you don't believe me, a bit of wine).
When the vodka/wine has sizzled away, add the other stuff, and let the sauce simmer for at least 30 mins.

Mmm. That's all.

P.S. - this is not quite as 'meaty' as you would expect a bolognese to be - I guess you could add some mashed up tempeh or something if you wanted, too.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Gyoza Noodle Soup

I was totally won over by this post on the Fairest Feed by lovely Philippa, and decided to take my own crack at making a Japanese noodley soup with gyoza.

Mine's not quite as pretty, but was super delicious!

To make:
About 1 cup vegetable stock per person (make sure it's nice & garlicky & gingery),
Soy sauce, orange juice, kumquat marmalade, mirin, etc,
Some vegies, including asparagus, spring onion and cabbage / wombok,
Some tofu puffs
Soba / ramen noodles (precooked to al dente),
Gyoza! (You can buy dumplings at the shop, or make your own).


Put the stock in a pot, and add juice of 1 orange, 1 tbspn light soy sauce, some mirin / ketchap manis / sugar / kumquat marmalade (just make your favourite Asian-y broth),
Add some finely sliced tofu puffs (about 1.5 per person), and the long cooking vegies (like asparagus stalks, cabbage, cauliflower etc.
When that's cooked, add asparagus spears, spring onion, other quick cooking vegies, and the noodles.

At this point, start frying your pre-steamed gyoza.

Then, when the gyoza are fried, the noodles will be done. Serve! Mmm! So good.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

macro bought by woolworths

Just a quickie today - unimpressed to discover that Macro Wholefoods, as of May 09, has been bought out by Woolworths.


You can read more here - some of the stores are going to be turned into 'upmarket grocery' stores named Thomas Dux. Macro's line of products will be bought out too, and presumably rebranded.

I am getting downright sick of hearing terrible stories of the way that Woolworths treats its food growers and suppliers, and I know I'm not the only one.

And I really liked their tempeh burgers.

Read more here.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

cheater pastry pudding

This recipe is super easy, but requires puff pastry which I just bought at the shop (hence, cheater).

I was watching Masterchef a little while ago, and they made some sort of caramelised apples with french toast. I am yet to be convinced of the virtue of either eggy french toast, or a vegan alternative, so I came up with these to go with my apples.

Again, don't have any quantities in this recipe...

You'll need puff pastry, don't use a low fat version or they won't be nice & crunchy and puffy.

1 sheet puff pastry (defrosted), and sprinkle on top:
Caster sugar (about 1 tbspn), &
Cinnamon, &
Nutmeg of clove powder, &
Dessicated coconut, &
Apple, just a tiny bit grated VERY finely (optional).

Basically the more you add, the harder it is to roll, but that's okay. Don't add much that is too wet or it won't be nice & crunchy when it's cooked.

So. Roll it all up (the pastry needs to be very non-frozen & very non-low-fat or it will crack).

Then with a sharp knife, slice it into rounds - each should be about 1.5cm thick.

Then, place on a baking tray and bake for about 15 mins or until they look golden and delicious.

Pre-cooking - sorry about the battered tray!

Post cooking - the darker ones are just upside down.

Serve with caramelised apples or something else yummy.

You can also make savoury ones of these, go for it!!

pumpkin: roasted pumpkin pasta

Now that we're getting our weekly vegie boxes, I'm a lot more focussed at cooking specific vegetable types. We recently had a BIG chunk of pumpkin in our vegie box, which called for, amongst other things, Roasted Pumpkin Pasta.

It was quite easy to make...

I peeled and roughly chopped my big pumpkin into bit sized strips.

I chucked them in an oven tray with some olive oil, salt & pepper, and roasted them at about 180 degrees for 1.5 hours, until they were lovely & sweet and the way roasted pumpkin should be.

Toward the end of the roasting time, I made a basic pasta sauce, with:
Leek &
Onion, fried until golden in
Olive oil, to which I added
Chopped Tomatoes (from a can), &
Spinach leaves

When the sauce was ready & the spaghetti cooked, I tossed it all together with about half the pumpkin, and then served with more pumpkin on top, and some pistachios (yum!)

It was soooo nice. Recommended!

And sorry for lack of measurements, I NEVER measure when I cook savoury, but you'll figure it out!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Kumquat Salsa

I know, it is a bit unusual, kumquat salsa. But I like to experiment!
We were having tacos, and I had just finished making some kumquat marmalade (more on this soon). Kumquat apparently is a very common ingredient in Asian cooking, I love it with soy & chilli. So I thought, why not in salsa? It worked really well, very yummy.

I've been eating this salsa with the tacos, and also just on bread. So good!

1 small onion, sliced finely
1 teaspoon fresh ginger shredded
1/2 tbspn olive oil
1 capsicum sliced finely
1 chili sliced finely
salt & pepper
1 tomato, cut into little cubes
1 tspn soy sauce
pinch of cumin seeds
2 stalks of oregano leaves
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tbspn kumquat syrup

You should cook this in a mid-sized frying pan.

Fry the onion and ginger in the oil on a medium heat for a few minutes until the onions are just starting to brown.
Add in the capsicum and chili, turn the heat down, and cook for around 10 mins, until the capsicum is nice & soft.
Turn up the heat to high, add the cumin seeds, salt, pepper & oregano, and cook for around 1 min until the cumin is nice & fragrant.
Add the soy sauce and kumquat, and cook about 1 more min - the sauces should sizzle when you add them in, and the liquid quickly evaporate.
Okay. Now add in the lemon & tomato, turn down and cook a bit longer.

Voila! You have salsa. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Yummy Vegies: The Green Line

Sorry for terribly long absence from this blog!

We've just started getting organic vegies delivered from The Green Line (if you're in Melbourne too you can also get them!)

We've opted for a weekly box of mixed seasonal fruit & vegies, it's always a surprise!

I feel a lot healthier eating this fruit, normally I would NEVER buy fruit, but as it's there I have to eat it!

Because the vegies are seasonal, it means there are lots of things in there I might not usually buy, so I have to be more creative cooking. That's a good thing!

Get your own Green Line vegies here!

Monday, April 6, 2009

spaghetti & beanballs

Meatballs are one of those ultimate feelgood foods I think. But not having eaten meat for a long time, I had totally crossed them off my comfort food list until I bought my copy of Veganomicon and found beanballs in there! Like any recipe, I can never follow it and always think my way is best. I've made these twice now, once with breadcrumbs and once wheat free.

Both recipes make at least 20 beanballs.

You will need to make a basic tomato pasta sauce to go with them.


With breadcrumbs:
1 x 410g tin red kidney beans
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/4 of a leek
1 tbspn plum sauce*
2 tspn soy sauce
pinch of pepper

Drain the kidney beans (reserve the liquid). Put these in a food processor with the rest of the ingredients. Blend, adding the kidney bean liquid as you go, until you've got a mixture the consistency of mincemeat. That's it!

Wheat free:
1/2 cup of dry adzuki beans, soaked overnight (at least 12 hrs) and then cooked until soft
1/4 cup cornflour
1/8 cup rice flour
1/2 small onion
1 tbspn plum sauce*
2 tspn soy sauce
pinch of pepper

Same as above! Drain the beans, chuck everything in the food processor, and blend adding the cooking liquid as you go.

Roll either of the mixes into balls, and then fry them, turning as they cook. When they're fried all over, simply add them to some basic tomato pasta sauce (mine was just onion, tomato & zucchini). Cook for about 5 mins in the sauce, then serve over pasta!

* - you can use any sweet relish/chutney instead of the plum sauce.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Gyoza (Mmm, Oishii!)

Who doesn't like Gyoza? I don't know, but if you don't then maybe these will change your mind.
The Filling.
4 Wombok leaves, sliced into really small pieces (about 5mm squared)
4 Spring onions, sliced bery thinly
1 garlic clove, grated finely
2 teaspoons soy sauce
3 teaspoons cornflour

Put the wombok & spring onion in a bowl with the salt (mix it all up).
Let sit for about 10 mins.
Handful by handful, squeeze the juice out of the wombok & spring onion mix (just pick it up in your hands and SQUEEZE over a sink.
Put it all in a bowl with the soy sauce, garlic & cornflour. Mix well (basically it should look like a bowl of wilted wombok thinly coated in white cornflour-y goop. Good.)

Next, grab your packet of gyoza wrappers (see photo one for the type I used).
Get a bowl of warm water - wipe a ring of water around the edge of each wrapper, put a small blob of mix in the middle, and get crimping!

This is contentious.
Sorry for the traditionalists.

Mine are fried then steamed,
But, if you want them fried, steam them first and then fry them for a couple of minutes on a flat pan. Mmm.

I make them by putting a little oil in the bottom of a pan (sesame or olive usually). Then I put my gyoza in the pan, and heat on medium-high heat until the bottoms of the gyoza are fried and a light brown colour.

Then I ADD:
1 cup of water, with:
1 tspn soy sauce
1 tspn kecap manis
1 sliced spring onion
1 thumb sized knob of grated ginger

So you mix it all into the water first, then quickly tip this into the gyoza (there'll be a very loud SIZZLE) and quickly put the lid on.

Turn the gyoza down to a medium-low heat and cook about 10 mins until the gyoza look cooked (the wrappers should have a sheen and be very slightly translucent). If you have too much liquid, leave the lid off and cook for another minute or so.

That's it!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Very Good Cookies

I made these really yummy chocolate chip cookies a couple of days ago. One of those too-hot-to-be-baking days, oh well. They're not cookies for the purist, they have chocolate, pecans, sultanas and coconut, and some other healthy things. Not too sweet, very yummy - so yummy I had to donate some to Chris's parents to stop myself from eating them all. Mmm.

Will share recipe soon!

Monday, January 19, 2009

the best tofu sandwich

Mmm. Best tofu sandwich ever.
It contains:
Grilled tofu
Grilled Zucchini and
Leek & tomato salsa

You could use any salsa, but this salsa I made with some fried leek, garlic, spices, herbs & tomato. And some sultanas. Yum!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Carrot Cake

Yum! I have eaten too much today though... so good and addictive, especially with the cinnamon icing! I don't remember where I found this recipe originally, but my copy has so many alterations, crossings out and resizing of ingredients it doesn't really resemble the original!

Carrot Cake
Makes 1 Cake

1 ½ cups grated carrot (approx 3 med carrots)
1 cup self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder *
2 teaspoons cornflour *
pinch of salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup vegetable / olive oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
120 g crushed pineapple with juice
¼ cup chopped pecans or sultanas (or a mix of both)

Preheat oven to 170 degrees C (350 F)

Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add in the grated carrot and mix thoroughly until all the carrots are coated in flour.
Stir in oil, vanilla, pineapple and pecans / sultanas and mix well.
Pour into a greased tin (a loaf tin is the perfect size)
Bake for 45 mins – check with a skewer to make sure it comes out clean.

Ice with cream cheese icing, or my favourite – cinnamon icing (pictured). It’s just icing sugar, water and a pinch of cinnamon.

* you can substitute the cornflour and baking powder for 2 eggs - just beat in with the rest of the wet ingredients.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Healthy Tomato Soup

I was inspired by the recipe for Creamy Tomato Soup in my (recently purchased) Veganomicon cookbook - I am terrible at following recipes, I always think my variations will be better. I wanted to give this soup a bit of a health kick, so I added some lentils and other healthy bits and pieces, and it is fab! I made such a huge pot though, I ended up distributing to various family members. Here's the recipe (I actually made a double quantity but have halved it for you).

Healthy Tomato Soup
Serves 6 - 8

1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1sp chopped rosemary
couple of sprigs of thyme
pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup red lentils (soaked overnight if possible)
2 large potatoes, sliced thinly
1/4 cup white rice or buckwheat (or a mixture)
1 tablespoon ground almonds (optional)
2 litres stock / water *
100g sundried tomatoes (not the ones in oil, just plain ones)
1 x 810g tin crushed tomatoes (I like ardmona brand)
salt, to taste
fresh basil (optional)

Fry onion, garlic, herbs & pepper in the oil for about 5 mins, or until the onions are starting to brown slightly.
Add the stock / water, lentils, potatoes, rice & optional almonds. Boil for about 15 mins, or until the lentils are tender.
Add the sundried tomatoes and more stock / water if necessary and simmer on a low heat for 20 mins or until the lentils are soft and the tomatoes have plumped up.
Blend the soup well (a stick mixer works great), add the tinned tomatoes and blend again until smooth.
Add salt & pepper to taste, feel free to chuck in some fresh basil.

* I used water, but sploshed in some soy sauce for a bit of extra flavour

Bento Boxes

Tonights dinner was yummy Bento boxes! Chris's parents gave me these boxes, and I love them as I've always wanted bento boxes of my own.

In these we had
Radish pickles with sesame seeds,
Salad of lettuce, tomato & pear, and
Rice with a leek & garlic sauce.

Leek & Garlic Sauce Recipe (too easy...)
Thumb sized lump of ginger (about 3cm x 1cm x 1cm)
1/3 of a leek
Oil - 1 teaspoon
Mirin - 1 tablespoon
Soy Sauce - 1 tablespoon

Slice the ginger and leek into very fine matchstick sized pieces. Stirfry the ginger in the oil for about 1 min, then add the leek. When they've both cooked and become a bit browned & softer, add the mirin & soy sauce and cook until the sauce has thickened. Serve on rice for a nice, special touch!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Huff Bagelry

I'm a bit of a Glicks fan, so when a new bagel shop opened near me it took awhile to visit. Huff Bagelry is a pretty swish looking operation, but when we got there in the early afternoon they'd run out of a lot of stuff.

We bought some savoury bagels, my favourite so far have sesame & caraway seeds baked on top (yum). Nice bagels, caraway seeds were a bit of a revelation, but Glicks is still my number one bagel shop.

My breakfast of champions:
Sesame & Caraway bagel, topped with homemade hommus, tomato, and pickles. It was pretty good. I think I'm a champion.


Do we need a welcome message?