Sunday, August 21, 2016

Recipe Round-Up: Veganomicon

Wowsers, what a week. I've been struck down with the worst sick I've had in a while. There was a time there when I could barely eat. And if I am turning down food, you know things are serious. I was only able to take one day off work, and have spent the last three days there (the last two days with no voice). So today, this glorious Sunday, I am just lying around at home, drinking tea and soup, and hugging the cats. And finally getting this blog post up!

Veganomicon... does it need an introduction? Probably not. So let's get to it. I haven't used Vcon for awhile, but looking through some of these recipes I've made in the past, I need to revisit it. You can see my other posts about Vcon here.

Baked Apricot BBQ Tofu: I love BBQ tofu, and Vcon has a recipe for two different sauces you can use on yours. One is regular BBQ, but there is also an Apricot BBQ sauce, which is what I used here. It was very good!
Rating: :)

Baked BBQ Tofu - Apricot Sauce


Tomato-Rice Soup with Roasted Garlic and Navy Beans: This is a hearty soup, that makes a bunch! Very good for feeding a lot of people, or for lots of leftovers. The roasted garlic is a very nice addition. I can never find tinned navy beans here, so I used cannellini beans. Also served with some olive and thyme sourdough.
Rating: :)

Tomato-Rice Soup with Roasted Garlic and Navy Beans


Creamy Tomato Soup (with Basil variation): This is a great tomato soup, with a very intense flavour. It has sundried tomatoes as well as canned tomatoes in it, and is made smooth and creamy by potatoes. There is a basil variation, which I have made as well - basically just stirring through some basil. But whichever way you have it, it is good. Especially with a grilled cheese!
Rating: :)

Creamy Tomato Soup


Creamy Tomato Soup - Tomato-Basil Soup Variation


Jamaican Yuca Shepherd's Pie with Sweet Potato, Kidney Beans, and Plantains: This is a nice take on the shepherd's pie (and the filling is also nice on its own as a curry over rice). I have never found fresh yuca here, so I used frozen. I also used peas in place of lima beans in the filling. Oh yeah, and left out the scotch bonnet peppers! I couldn't find Jamaican curry powder anywhere, but the recipe notes it has some star anise and coriander and aniseed, so I added a bit of Chinese 5-spice to some curry powder for a completely inauthentic knock off attempt. Tasted good!
Rating: :)

Jamaican Yuca Shepherd's Pie with Sweet Potato, Kidney Beans and Plantains


Almost All-American Seitan Potpie: A very hearty dinner! I increased the amount of vegetables in the filling because that is how I roll. Pot pie isn't something I grew up with, but something I do enjoy now as a vegan. The crust was pretty easy to bring together, and was a nice pastry. After this photo it was drizzled in ketchup because that is how I feel pot pies should be served.
Rating: :)

Almost All-American Seitan Potpie


Seitanic Red and White Bean Jambalaya: For me, this dish was missing something. It was OK, but not wow. Which is a bit of a shame, because it made so much. I had to use two casserole dishes to cook it in the oven (it does say to use the biggest pan you have).
Rating: :|

Seitanic Red and White Bean Jambalaya


Spaghetti Squash Mexicana with Salsa Fresca: Hmmm.... spaghetti squash. It was unavailable here for ages, but is trickling through now. Sometimes at outrageous prices, but I have found it at decent prices sometimes and picked one up. First up, spaghetti squash in no way replaces pasta for me in any way, shape or form. Pasta is pasta, I love pasta. Spaghetti squash is its own thing. It's own not very filling thing (if I have it, I have to make sure I have some carbs somewhere else in the meal, or I die). The bean mixture that it is tossed with is nice here, with black beans and corn in a gentle spice. The best part is the salsa. The salsa recipe is included on this page, but it is also a separate recipe in the sauces section. It is great!
Rating: :)

Spaghetti Squash Mexicanan with Tropical Avocado Salsa Fresca


Seitan in Mole Sauce: This has a great flavour. The mole sauce is made from scratch, and is really nice, and is mixed with the seitan, carrots and onions. I served with with brown rice and roasted cauliflower for my dad's birthday one year (see the tablecloth, that means special occasion!).
Rating: :)

Seitan in Mole Sauce


Tropical Avocado Salsa Fresca: Just coming back to that salsa again, it is pretty much the greatest salsa you will even eat. You can choose between mango, pawpaw or pineapple. I have made it with both mango and pawpaw, they are both great options. My mum has an avocado sensitivity, so I made a portion for her using cucumber instead of avocado that was still nice and fresh. Please make this forever.
Rating: :D

Tropical Avocado Salsa Fresca


Do you have Veganomicon? What are your favourite recipes?

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Dim Sim on her back


The final in my 'Dim Sim On Her Back In My Lap' series. Behold the awkward leg placement. Bless her.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Eating Out: Easy House Vegetarian

Back in May (I know, so far behind) I went with my parents down to Easy House for a mother's day yum cha. We are serious yum cha eaters! Plus, three people is the optimum number for eating the most things at yum cha. Here's what happened.

Pan-Fried Noodles with XO Sauce.

Pan-Fried Noodles with XO Sauce from Easy House


BBQ Pork Buns.

BBQ Pork Buns from Easy House


Rice Paper Rolls.

Rice Paper Rolls from Easy House


More Pan-fried Noodles in XO Sauce. They are Mum's favourite.

Pan-Fried Noodles in XO Sauce from Easy House


Pumpkin Dumplings.

Pumpkin Dumplings from Easy House


Chicken and Bok Choy Dumplings.

Chicken and Bok Choy Dumplings from Easy House


Eggplant with Black Bean Sauce.

Eggplant with Black Bean Sauce from Easy House


Steamed BBQ Buns.

Steamed BBQ Buns from Easy House


Beancurd Rolls.

Beancurd Rolls from Easy House


Satay Chicken Skewers.

Satay Chicken Skewers from Easy House


Pan-Fried Dumplings. I love the vinegary sauce these come with.

Pan-Fried Dumplings from Easy House


Radish Cake. My loves!

Radish Cake from Easy House


Pan-Fried Vegetable Buns. These were a special for the weekend.

Pan-Fried Vegetable Buns from Easy House


Mango Pudding. My favourite way to finish yum cha.

Mango Pudding from Easy House


It was a pretty grand effort! And we were very full for the drive home from the coast. On the way home, we stopped into All-Time Coffee Co to pick up some Notella doughnuts we had pre-ordered.

Notella Doughnuts from All-Time Coffee Co


Easy House Vegetarian Restaurant - 8/90 Markeri St, Mermaid Waters, QLD - (07) 5572 8808

All Time Coffee Co - 1/2478 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach, QLD

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Dim Sim on her back


Continuing my series of Dim Sim lying on her back in my lap posts, here is a close-up of her face. Not impressed. Not amused. But she didn't run away!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

MidWeek Munchies: Sweet Treats

Here are some sweet treats I have been enjoying over the last few months.

My friend Amy made these super cute sprinkle doughnuts. I am too scared to deep fry doughnuts, but Amy is super brave!

Doughnuts


This Loving Earth Raw Lemon Caramel chocolate is delicious, even though I don't normally like raw chocolate or caramel things. I like a lot of their other flavours as well.

Loving Earth


I won some vegan jubes made by Red Balloon in a competition a while ago. While not all of the flavours were my cup of tea (it was assorted, and I wasn't sure what a flavour might be until I committed and bit into it), the ones that were to my taste were very nice. Good texture.

Red Balloon Lollies


Fairy bread is great! If you aren't Australian, then you have been missing out. Bread (white to be the most authentic), margarine and Hundreds and Thousands! The important part is that hundreds and thousands are multicoloured little hard balls, they are not the longer sprinkles that seem to be around in the US. This is crucial. The day I found vegan hundreds and thousands, I ate so much fairy bread! Also pictured with the Sugar Hex body scrub I got from Bonnie's Bathhouse, a local vegan skin care company.

Fairy bread


A terrible photo of some great trial mix I made. It has freeze-dried strawberries, mini raw carrot cake cookies, chocolate covered raisins and maple walnuts and chocolate covered coconut in it. So good!

Snack mix


A ridiculous snack I made. It is a chocolate covered rice cake spread with Speculoos and topped with fresh raspberries.

Sweet snack


I enjoyed these crunchy little choc-chip cookies with a turmeric latte. Though they were all shaped like animals, so I felt a bit bad munching on them. #toovegantofunction

Snackimals and Turmeric Latte


I picked up these treats last week from The Green Edge. Haven't tried them yet, but excited to. The chocolate bar is the Go-Max-Go version of a Twix. I loved Twix bars, and have been waiting for someone to make a vegan one for years. I expect that I will eat it, declare it far too sweet, and there will end my cravings.

Green Edge Buys


And finally, these stunning chocolates that I ordered from Treat Dreams. Treat Dreams is a small vegan handmade chocolate business based in Sydney, and they have recently started shipping interstate. It was a bit of a wait from ordering to delivery, but the wait was worth it. There are their version of Ferrero Rochers, which are way better than the original. But most importantly, the Strawberry and Cream hearts. They are the most amazing chocolates! I love them so much. I want to marry them. Alas, they are a bit pricey to be a regular occurrence.

Treat Dreams Chocolates


What sweet treats have you been enjoying lately?

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Dim Sim on her back


As promised, the first in a series of Dim Sim posts. The other day, I somehow convinced Dim Sim to lie on her back in my lap. As you can see, she was not incredibly impressed. But she let me rub her tummy.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Eating Out: Buddha's Birthday at South Bank

I have quite a bit of catching up on my Eating Out posts... this last weekend I had friends visiting and we ate our way around Brisbane for two and a half days! However, there are a few things to get through before we get to that. A while ago, I went to Buddha's birthday at South Bank. This is held every year, and includes a vegetarian food festival as well. It isn't all vegan, so you do need to ask around, but there are lots of vegan options. It was a horrible, cold and rainy day. And I was ready to bail on the whole thing, but my Mum was keen to go, so we went. Just for a little bit of food, trying to stay out of the rain (there really were no undercover areas for eating). On the plus side there were not many people there! Normally it is packed. Please excuse the bad photos, they were taken balancing an umbrella and the food and my phone.

I started with a steamed vegetable bun from a random stall, which was hot and yummy.

Steamed Vegetable Bun at Buddha's Birthday


There was a stall selling cups of five skewers, so I got a random assortment of the vegan offerings. I wasn't the biggest fan, the mock meats were not the greatest quality, and one of them was seafood-like, which I don't enjoy.

Veggie Skewer Cup at Buddha's Birthday


I also got some yummy radish cakes from the Su Life stall.

Radish Cakes from Su Life at Buddha's Birthday


Mum ordered a Satay Burger from the Vege Rama stall, which wasn't good. The sauce was just at thin curry sauce, no obvious peanut to it. And the patty was meh.

Satay Burger from Vegerama at Buddha's Birthday


We also found a sweet potato chips stall, and ordered some. Though instead of being the proper chips/fries that we were expecting, and that other people had been walking around with, they were more like chips/crisps... OK briefly but then just very oily.

Sweet Potato Chips at Buddha's Birthday


We decided to spread out through South Bank for some sweets. Normally I go to Beach House for vegan ice cream, but I decided to give Gelare a try. Unfortunately no vegan cones, so you have to get cups. Most of the flavours are fruit based sorbets, but they did have a chocolate and a green tea one as well. I got Strawberry Fields and Banana Caramel scoops. The strawberry one had that very strong, almost too sweet taste that I find sorbets often have, but mixed in with the banana one it was like a nice strawberry ice cream.

Strawberry Fields and Banana Caramel Sorbet from Gelare at Southbank


I also stopped by Doughnut Time to try their Matcha Made In Heaven vegan doughnut. The slight bitterness of the matcha actually helped bring down the sweetness of the glaze. It is my favourite glazed one I have had from there.

Matcha Made In Heaven from Doughnut Time


Gelare South Bank - 3 Grey Street, South Brisbane, Queensland - (07) 3255 1314

Doughnut Time South Bank - 186 Grey Street, South Bank, QLD

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Sahara on the blanket


Just another one in my series of 'Sahara on the blanket' photos. Don't worry, next post I shall start a series entitled 'Dim Sim on her back on my lap'... you don't want to miss it!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

MidWeek Muchies: Silly juice edition

I like silly juices. The sillier they are, the more I want to try them. We have had a couple of brands hit the supermarkets this year, and some of them are rife with silliness! Here is an array of silly juices I have tried! Of course, being that they are super silly, the results end up as hits and misses. Here is my silly juice rundown.

This one tastes like pear with hint of cough lolly... hmmm....

Silly juice


Mostly tastes like pear.

Silly juice


This is my favourite green juice to buy. It is nice. Served here with a Notella Doughnut. For a balanced diet.

Silly juice and Notella Doughnut


Sometimes they have silly juices on sale, so I buy a selection of silliness to enjoy. The Carrot Top was good! Livewire wasn't bad. Chillout was very sweet and mild, pleasant. Green Keeper tasted oddly like dill pickles. I love dill pickles, but do not want my juice to taste like dill pickles. Do not recomment.

Silly juices


The Ginger Ninja juice is actually my very favourite juice to buy. So good! Green Light unfortunately was another oddly dill pickle experience. The Apple and Rhubarb one was tragically lacking in flavour, and I have decided that drinks with chia seeds are odd. Date Night is simple and sweet.

Silly juices


Berry Beets was very nice. I like beet-based juices a lot. Orange Bruce was OK (I much prefer Ginger Ninja), and Greener Bruice and Redder Bruce were both nice.

Silly juices


I've already discussed that Carrot Top is good, and I enjoyed the Unbeetable one as well.

Silly juices


My beloved Ginger Ninja, with a kale saute. Super health!

Silly juice and kale satue


The Impressed Juices are definitely my favourite. I love Ginger Nina, and The Works is my favourite green juice. I also enjoyed the Berry Beets juice and the Date Night smoothie. They have a couple of other juices I haven't tried because they are pineapple based and I am not a huge pineapple fan. Looking at their website, they seem to have a juice called Unearthed with carrot, apple, celery, beet and fennel that I have never seen but I am definitely keen to try!

The Bruce Juice is also pretty good, though not as good as Impressed. I've also had their Red Bruce (Apple, raspberry, lemon), which was nice. And they have two others I haven't tried - Green Bruce (apple, spinach, mango) and Golden Bruce (mango, peach, passionfruit... I am not a fan of passionfruit in drinks so I will skip trying this).

The Juice Lab I am not a huge fan of. The Carrot Top and Unbeetable were both good juices, but most of the other ones I have tried either just taste like pear or taste oddly of dill pickles. I am meh on the brand.

I have tried that Apple Rhubarb Chia juice from Parkers, as well as an Apple Watermelon Mint one (refreshing) and an Almond Milk and Date smoothie one (OK) and their Carrot Orange Ginger one (also not as good as Ginger Ninja).

So, there is a bit of a silly juice round up for you! The downside to a silly juice addiction is that, even if they are on sale, costs add up quickly, so I have cut way back on my juice purchases lately.

Do you have a favourite brand or type of silly juice? What is the silliest juice you have ever had? Please tell me!

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Sahara on blanket


Remember last post when Sahara was fast asleep on the blanket? I woke her up taking photos, because I am a jerk mother.