Saturday, June 30, 2012

Mini Mash Pots

Here's another quick afternoon treat, or evening snack.

 I love a tasty inside ;-)

You'll need:
12 Egg-free gow gee pastry wrappers 
1 over-ripe banana
4 squares of dark chocolate
6 raisins
small amount of coconut milk 

Mash the banana well & grate the chocolate into the mashed banana.
Lay the gow-gee pastry onto a lined baking tray.
Put a spoonful of the mashed mixture onto the centre of each pastry piece.
 Put a raisin (or another cube of chocolate if you want an ULTRA treat) on top of the mash.
Lay another piece of gow-gee pastry on the top to make a lid.
Fold the edges over to seal the pastries.
Brush the tops with coconut milk.
Mmmmmm, shiny pastry ready for the oven.
Bake at 200C for approx 12 minutes or until golden brown.

Quick Fix Main

Do you have a day that is particularly busy? A day that you come home later than usual and that seems to run-in to dinner time? Need a quick and easy fix?.......

This is a great meal for those evenings.
It takes less than 15 minutes making it soooooo not worth getting take-away!
Its so quick & easy to prepare and yet it's still very tasty & satisfying.

This meal will serve one but you can just add as much as you need to serve as many as you need! Easy!

Water Saute a chopped carrot, a handful of chopped button mushrooms, 1/2 chopped green capsicum, a small bunch of broccolini. Saute for approx. 5 minutes until veggies are soft.
Add a 270ml can of coconut cream & stir thoroughly. Leave on the heat and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down & allow to simmer & thicken.
Slice a small zucchini & place in a microwave safe dish & heat on high for 3 minutes until zuchhini is soft. Drain & place in a bowl.
Pour the coconut mixture over the top of the zucchini & sprinkle a small hanful of peanuts on top.

Too easy!
Very Tasty!

No-Top Tofu Pie

Pie anyone?
I guess this is even similar to a quiche...... but much more tasty :-)

You'll need:
1 sheet puff pastry (low fat if desired - that's what I used)
300g silken film tofu, drained very well
1/2 teaspoon vegetable stock
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 cup corn kernels (frozen or canned is fine, if using frozen this works better if they are defrosted first)
30-40g sun-dried tomatoes, cut into small pieces
400g can soybeans (cannellini beans or other white beans would work equally as well)
1 heaped Tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 Tablespoon arrowroot powder
handful pepitas

Place a pie dish or flan dish on the sheet of puff pastry and cut around the outer edge to create the circle shape. Press the cut pastry into the dish.
Drain the tofu & place in a large jug or bowl. Add the stock & thyme.
Whisk until the tofu has crumbed down completely & no large lumps remain.
Add the corn, sundried tomatoes, soybeans, arrowroot & nutritional yeast.
Stir until all the ingredients are well combined.
Pour mixture into the dish & press down well. 
Smooth the top and then sprinkle on the pepitas. You can fold the edges of the pastry over if you desire.

Bake at 200C for 25-30 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.

Note: If you don't like the taste of the arrowroot powder, you can substitute with cornflour, or leave it out. If you leave it out the pie will not set as well - you will need to make sure that the corn is defrosted too or else there is too much moisture in the mix. The pie will still taste good but it won't hold together very well.

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Monday, June 25, 2012

PCRM Carrot Pudding

Recipe Review: Carrot Pudding

I saw this post on pinterest the other day & since I had recently juiced a heap of carrot, I thought this would be good to try using the leftover pulp.
I'm a big fan of the PCRM and have tried many of their recipes previously.
The recipe can be found here.

I must admit that I had high hopes for this recipe! I was dreaming of writing how delicious it would be....
Sadly, I didn't enjoy it as much as I had hoped! Perhaps I put too much expectation on this dish!
It was tasty, but perhaps not as a whole bowl for breakfast! lol....
My daughter who had a little dish of it for morning tea thought it was delicious & came home asking for more!
I wasn't a fan of the fresh ginger with the mix. I prefer fresh ginger in stir-frys and savoury dishes. This dish has a touch of sweetness which I loved. If I was to try this again I would definitely use ground ginger instead.
Perhaps the carrot flavour in my dish wasn't as strong as it should of been since I used pulp.
I did find this dish quite easy to make & it was a nice change from a regular breakfasts that I would of had otherwise!!!!

Overall rating: 3/5

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Lazy Day's Teacake

This is a great cake for times when you don't want to pull out 10 things from the cupboard & have to measure bits and pieces of this and that.

It's really moist & tasty, and yet so simple.

This recipe calls for a prepackaged cake mix. There are plenty of vegan ones in the shops, check the ingredients list out because often they don't contain milk or eggs! Try Well & Good or Orgran for mixes that are also gluten free. Aldi do a blueberry muffin mix thats base is vegan - you could use this & just omit the sultanas if you want.

You'll need:
a packet of vanilla cake mix
385g pie apples
1/2 cup sultanas
2 tablespoons flax seeds
1 teaspoon cinnamon.

Grind the flax seeds til well ground. Add 6 tablespoons water & stir well. Let sit while you prepare the rest of the cake.
Empty the cake mix into a bowl. Add the sultanas. Coat the sultanas with the mix - this helps them not to stick together. Add the cinnamon.
In a separate smaller bowl mash the pie apples until all pieces are small & broken down.
Add the apples & the flax mix to the cake mix. Stir well. It will take a few minutes for everything to combine well, but it will eventually come together.
Line a rectangular baking dish with baking paper. Cut into the sides of the baking paper so it sits well in the dish.

Pour the mixture into the dish & place in a preheated oven at 180C for 50-60 minutes until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
Allow to cool in the pan.

Slice & serve.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Raspberry Oat Cake

Who said you can't have cake for breakfast?!?

This is part of my week worth of oats, where I experimented with different ways to flavour oats. 
This is not a traditional cake so it doesn't take long to prepare and cook. The texture of this cake is like a muesli bar. 
Very quick and easy to prepare, it can be made on a weekday morning without any worries. It can be made in the time it takes to brush your teeth Silly girl, no-one brushes their teeth before breakfast....... hmmm lets try again, it can be made in the time it takes to prepare your morning coffee! That's better..... and let me assure you that coffee is it's perfect match!

You'll need:
1/4 cup oats
1/4 cup oatbran (either store bought or grind 1/4 cup oats yourself)
1/4 cup frozen raspberries
1/4 cup soymilk
1 Tablespoon ground flax seeds
1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

In a small bowl combine the oats, oatbran, flax seeds and cinnamon.
 Add the soymilk and maple syrup and stir until well combined. Then add in the raspberries while still frozen. Stir through til evenly distributed. 
Lightly spray with oil a ramekin (approx 11/2 cup size). Pour the oat mixture into the ramekin and press down.
Place in the microwave for 31/2 minutes. (Please note microwave ovens can vary a lot. I use a 1100W.) 
You will know the cake is ready when the mixture has drawn away from the sides of the ramekin as shown in this picture:

You can slice it if you desire, or just spoon it directly into your mouth (my preference of course!)    ;-)

Also handy for those mornings when you don't feel like eating straight away. It can be easily lifted out of the ramekin and wrapped to take to work with you!

A week worth of oats

I love having oats for breakfast.
But sometimes having the same thing can become a bit boring. I usually just microwave my oats with some non-dairy milk for a few minutes & then add frozen berries.
So I was on a quest to find a few ways to have my oats that were a bit different from the regular way.

Here's what I came up with!

A week worth of oats

Monday's Oats - Fig & Passionfruit
Cut up 3 dried figs into little pieces, put in a pot with half a cup of oats & a cup of soymilk.
Bring to a boil & simmer for 3-5 minutes until oats are soft. Serve with passionfruit pulp over the top.

                                                        Stirred all together for complete yumminess!

Tuesday's Oats - Strawberry Choc-Nut
Put half a cup of oats in a bowl & pour over enough boiling water to just cover the oats. Put them under a cover for approx 5-10 minutes. The oats will absorb the water & soften.
Pour a heaped tablespoon of my nut-seed milo over the top and stir to combine with the oats. Add chopped strawberries for a lovely bowl of tasty oats :-)

Wednesday's Oats - Spiced Mandarin
Soak overnight a bowl with 1/2 cup oats, a cup of pomegranate juice, and a 1/4 teaspoon of each cinnamon, nutmeg & allspice. The oats will absorb the juice overnight. In the morning add a chopped mandarin, a Tablespoon pepitas & a teaspoon sesame seeds.

This is what you'll find in the morning after having soaked overnight

Thursday's Oats - Prune & Hazelnut
Stewed prunes remind me so much of my grandmother. She used to have them on her weetbix every morning. This is my own version of how to have stewed prunes for breakfast!
Put half a cup of oats in a bowl & a heaped tablespoon of prune spread. Add just enough boiling water til the oats are covered. Top with a lid of some form & leave overnight for the oats to absorb the water. In the morning grind up a tablespoon of hazelnuts in a coffee grinder & sprinkle over the oats with a half cup of almond milk. So tasty....

The oats will absorb the water overnight

Grind the hazelnuts in the morning

Friday's Oats - Raspberry Oat Cake

This was so good that I thought it deserved a post of it's own! You can find it here.

Stay tuned for some great creations for weekend breakfast cooking with oats.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Birthday Cakes

I LOVE LOVE LOVE making birthday cakes!
I love thinking about what shape they will be or how it will fit into the party theme.

But most of all I love it when people enjoy the cake and are surprised that its vegan! What no butter, no eggs?!?!? How can you make a cake with no eggs!!! 
~E~A~S~Y~  Like this.......

Here's a couple I've made:

Me with my 30th cake that I made.

The finished product :-)

Showing the layers - one vanilla, one strawberry, one chocolate!

Neapolitan Cake

The process is time consuming - but well worth it!
Layers of yummy cake!
Rolling out the icing

Who doesn't love a rainbow cake??
Layers separated by strawberry jam
Making coloured layers of cake

More cake!
Two flavours - top part sultana & choc chip, bottom part orange & poppy seed
Cow print fondant

Of course birthdays not only mean cooking, but craft too!
Making invitations is always lots of fun
And making party bags too!
Thumbprint tree
For a wonderful memory of those in my life at the time :-)