Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Vegan BLT

I've been craving Tofu Bacon (I get the recipe from Tempeh Bacon in VWAV, I really can't handle tempeh) for a few weeks now - we haven't had it since our four year anniversary about a month ago. So I got a bee in my bonnet and made BLTs! I marinated the tofu overnight (and got some marinade behind my ear, but that's an entirely new story) so it really soaked in. Make sure that you follow the directions from VWAV carefully, I always forget that you don't put the oil into the marinade - and the oil solidified on the bacon - it kinda looked gross, but it melted back after about 15 minutes on the bench.

I grabbed some fresh Turkish bread from Coles (it was on special - yay), an iceberg lettuce, an avocado, a coupla decent tomatoes, half an onion, half a dozen 'shrooms and some vegan soy mayonnaise. Assemble as you would a BLT.

We were a bit overexcited when we took these photos, possibly because we knew just how fantastic these would taste!!! So here's the BLT from a few different angles:

Open sandwich version:

Close up:

And from the side:

Ensure that you serve with an appropriately flavoured beverage. I chose to have a Mount Gay rum and Coke. Yum!

Except for the prep the night before, this is a really easy dinner (though there is a few dishes to wash, but it is really tasty, so hopefully your loved ones will be as overjoyed as Cam was and will gleefully do the dishes!). 11/10.

And the BLT smell will wash off with soap and water. But why would you want to get rid of that smell? Tee hee. Hope everyone's having a good week - I'm learning lots of new stuff at work & have discovered a way to include Richard Dawkins' notion of memes in my dissertation. It's always fun to use evolutionary theory.....

Monday, 28 May 2007

Sunday's Indian Feast & cookie swap photos!

Indian Feast

Cam cooked almost all day Sunday to make a feast for us! His sister, her husband and Cam's nephew joined us - they're omni and they LOVED it!!!

All the recipes come from The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking - the bread is a Chickpea and Whole Wheat bread (it was meant to be puffy, but we just baked in the oven), there's a tomato glazed chickpeas and a dahl. The salad is a quick combination of evenly chopped tomatoes, onions and cucumber drowned in a sea of lemon juice and liberal additions of sea salt.

They were all very tasty - I'm afraid I really cannot compete with Cam when it comes to Indian food - he is the master (but we won't let it go to his head, will we?)....

We checked the mail this afternoon (Monday) and we had presents!!! Mel had sent us through our cookies from the PPK cookie swap (next time I'll advertise here - that's an incentive to keep you checking my site... LOL).

We opened the box and found this note:

And then under the cool orange paper we found these cookies! You can see how small my hands really are in this photo - I am a 160cm midget:


OMG!!! These were so tasty!!! She spoiled us and used white choc chips - as far as I know you can only get these on mail order in Australia. Thank you Mel!!!!!

For those of you playing along at home, this is the blog post she refers to:

And check Vegetation's post on the Human Battery Cage - currently touring Oz...

Friday, 25 May 2007

Tonight's dinner and dessert!

We're going out to a family get-together tonight (it's my aunt's birthday!) & all the omni's are having roast & veggies, so I thought I'd do a traditional type dish for us.

Voila! I present mini shepherds pies!


And I also made cookies for dessert, gee what a surprise! I got a cookie stamper last night (it kinda looks like a gun. Anyways, I was able to make purty flowers.... Recipe is Gingerbread Cut-Out Cookies from La Dolce Vegan.

Cookies and soy milk

I'm snacking on a few right now with soy milk (as you can see)! Here's a closeup of the cookie magic:


I'm definitely looking forward to dinner & dessert tonight!!!

Update: everyone loved the pies (except my big sister insisted on calling them party pies - ARRGGHH!!!) and the cookies. But there's no surprise there, everyone always love my cookies. Maybe I should change the name of the blog to be Iron Chef Cookie? :)

Edit 28/05 (partly to get out of study & partly to share my easy recipe):

Contents of the pies:
Fry up a teaspoon/clove of garlic (of course I add about three, but then again, I hate vampires. No wait, I LOVE vampires!! Especially if they're on Buffy... But I digress) in olive oil. Add a whole chopped onion and fry until transparent. Add a tin of Sanitarium casserole mince (it's a wheat gluten product), half a dozen chopped 'shrooms, a handful each of frozen peas and corn, and approx three dessert spoons (heaped) of Orgran vegan gravy (available in the health food section of Coles). Add a bit of water (I'm not sure exactly, a slurp)? And stir until it looks tasty.

Add to the pie crusts that you've already blind baked in the oven (we've found that the low-fat puff pastry from the supermarket (not sure which brand) is vegan - not the butter one) and top with mashed potatoes. Make sure that your mash has extra margarine in it - it helps with the crunchy top.

Bake until you get a nice crunchy top - I usually check the pastry & chuck it under the grill to finish (I don't like burned pastry).


Thursday, 24 May 2007

Cam's brilliant - so we went out to dinner!

Cam got his GAMSAT results on Tuesday (it's like the MCAT in the US - a medical entrance exam) and he got in the top 7%!!!!! We were very excited about this news, so we decided to go out to our favourite asian vegetarian place - Magic Wok!

Here are the evening's tasty goods (forgive the crappy photos, we were attempting to be discreet - didn't really work):

Turnip cake - it's nothing like cake, but it is deep fried turnipy goodness:
Turnip cake

Drumsticks - I really don't like dissing food from this place, but these weren't very nice - they'd been cooked previously and were cold - which I'm guessing is what they were trying to achieve - it just didn't work for me. It was served with a REALLY good plum sauce though!

BBQ Pork Buns - we get these EVERY time we go to Magic Wok (and when it was Leader Bowl). These are without a doubt the best buns in the entire universe. When we first had them I was still omni, and Cam freaked out because they taste so authentic. We always get two each.... Isn't the veggie flower in the middle gorgeous?
BBQ Pork Buns

Alrighty, onto mains.

I had sweet and sour pork - oh my god it was so good! I had the leftovers for lunch.... Oh yeah, so greasy & tasty. The look of this one fooled a few omnis that I work with.
Sweet & Sour Pork

Cam had Lamb Rendang - they said it was spicy, but as always, Cam has the stomach of a crazy person (he likes hot food):
Lamb Rendang

If you're ever in Brisbane you HAVE to go to this restaurant. It is insanely good. We always over order on the entrees, so we can have leftover mains for lunch or breakfast the same day....

Now all we have to do is cross our fingers that Cam gets an interview for Medicine at UQ.... Everyone has to cross their fingers until September.... :)

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

More damned cookies (and other stuff)!

It has certainly been cookie fest around here for the last few weeks. The sugar monster has awoken and demanded feasts. Anyway, here's another batch of cookies I sent off last Friday!

These are the Sparkled Ginger Cookies from VWAV: 

Sparkled Ginger Cookies

And these are the Coconut Choc Chip Cookies from La Dolce Vegan (I promise that this is the very last time I'll post a photo of these:
Vegan Coconut Choc Chip Cookies

And finally, I've gotten something that I've been drooling over for about a year.....

A Hello Kitty toaster! (Yes, it would appear that I am a 5 year old!!!)

Hello Kitty Toaster

We're going out to dinner at our favourite Asian restaurant tonight, Magic Wok, so I'm planning to take the camera. Mmmmm Vegan BBQ Pork Buns.....

Thursday, 17 May 2007

Vegan Laksa!

Here's the Laksa that Cam made for dinner. He's still tinkering with the recipe, so here's some pics in lieu of sharing the goodness. :(


The second bowl I ate - see what a mess I made? LOL...

Cam's making Laksa for dinner!

No pictures yet, but I'm excited!!!

Oh yeah - we got Cooking Mama's Cook Off on the Wii (yes, we are that dorky, but I do kick EVERYONE's ass at boxing - I'm serious I'm undefeated). It is so much fun & frustrating at the same time (like writing a thesis on English lit).

Yeah..... Woo!!!!!

Wednesday, 16 May 2007

PPK Cookie Swap!

Here are the cookies that Amy swapped for the first OZ cookie swap (it may not be the first, but I'm announcing it as such until contradicted).

Coconut Choc Chip (La Dolce Vegan) (in my top 5 favourite cookie recipes)Coconut Cookies

Chocolate Jam Drops (VWAV) (first time making)Jam Drop

I had to try them before they were sent, just for quality control and they were mighty tasty. I've got another person to send cookies too (I put Cam on the list so we had even numbers) later this week, so I'll be posting more cookies soon (even though I have a wedding to go to in a month and my belly's looking a lot like Santa's)....

Monday, 14 May 2007

Completely unoriginal - gnocchi!!!

I have to thank Vegetation over at Vegetation Ramblings (link to the right) for the idea for this (although after three hours cooking, I'm not so sure ;) ).


Anyway, it was pretty tasty!!! My recipe was as follows:
1 portion of gnocchi (recipe from Nonna's Italian Kitchen)
1 portion of vegan parmesan (ditto)
1 portion of almond vegan ricotta (ditto again)
500g roasted pumpkin
Nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste
In a bowl, combine about a cup of ricotta, the pumpkin and 4 tablespoons of the vegan parmesan in a bowl. Mix together (don't mash the pumpkin too much, although it isn't really that bad...) and add nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste.
After cooking the gnocchi, drain and put back into the empty saucepan. Add the pumpkin sauce and stir until warm. Divide into bowls and sprinkle with more parmesan. Enjoy!
Original Recipe here!

Anyway, have a go....

The next day I made an ultra simple pasta sauce and cooked the rest for lunch. The pasta sauce is, you guessed it, Isa's pizza sauce, bastardized (thanks Tez - the tropical vegan) for my requirements (I use the entire tin of tomatoes, including the juice). Cam played Cricket with friends on Saturday morning and was STARVED!!! I believe we enjoyed this in front of an episode of Scrubs. ;)


I sent my batch of cookies off for the first Aussie cookie swap on the PPK forums, but I won't spoil the surprise for my partner. Check back in a few days for cookie pics!!!!

Wednesday, 9 May 2007

Vegan Spinach and "Ricotta" Cannelloni

I made this to take to Cam's parent's house on Monday ('twere a public holiday in BrisVegas).

The recipe basically comes from Nonna's Italian Kitchen - the spinach and ricotta filling with Isa's pizza sauce from VWAV (is there anything I can't put that sauce in - it's very versatile).

Here's the before photo:

Uncooked cannelloni

And the after (cooked photo):

Cooked Cannelloni

It was REALLY tasty - I can't believe I hadn't thought of making this before. Anyway, if you have about two hours free, you should try this.

On other matters, I'm (Amy) trying to get some work done on my thesis - it's going okay, but I really need to pull my finger out (and the PPK forums are way too distracting). Um, everything else is good I guess. It's Mother's Day this weekend, and I'm involved in the AU Cookie swap (I organised it on PPK), so I expect to do a fair bit of baking this weekend.

I'm not quite sure what kind of cupcakes to make for Mother's Day. I was thinking the margarita cupcakes, but my nephews (they're all under the age of six) will be there. I want to try something other than the chocolate ones with peanut butter icing (it's like eating a tub of solidified oil - a tasty tub of solidified oil).

Expect cupcake and cookie pictures on the weekend. It's an RDO for me on Friday, so I'll be procrastinating as usual. I have plans to make lasagne, but I've posted a picture of that tastiness already....

No food, but some animal friends


We went on a picnic on the long weekend & we had a few animal friends visit us. This guy was swooping around and looking generally gorgeous.

There was also a spider on the table - Cam took this very artistic photo...


Food soon!

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

Geekiest Pantry Ever

Cam's very proud of our organised cupboard - everything (and I mean everything) is labelled - the joys of a label maker.... He wanted me to share this with the world. :)

Spicy Seitan Pasta

Spicy seitan pasta, based on a local italian restaurant's non-vegan pasta - I loved this dish back when I ate meat.... It's basically Isa's pizza sauce (VWAV) spiced up with chilli & mushroom & grilled seitan o'greatness. Man that roll lasts a while!!! I still have about a third left....

Easy dessert - coconut ice-cream!!!


I wanted icecream, but I was also craving coconut (another PPK forums idea). It's a mixture of creaminess & chewy goodness. It's just icecream (in this case Sanitarium SoGood Bliss Vanilla & Passionfruit) topped with grilled dessicated coconut (make a "tray" out of folded over alfoil & put a handful of coconut on it & grill for about 2 minutes - keep an eye on it - it likes to burn)......

Fried Rice

This one's another recipe we were shown by the lovely folks who used to own the ID Cafe in Fortitude Valley (RIP).....

Fried Rice

I got the idea for an "in your face" photo from someone on the PPK forums....

I'm behind the times - Seitan O'Greatness

I'm normally behind the times on all the cool vegan stuff, but I finally found gluten flour in Brisbane (it's known just as gluten flour in Australia - you can find it in lots of health food stores). Thus, I was FINALLY able to make the Seitan O'Greatness - the recipe was posted on the PPK forum last year(Lachesis' recipe)....

Here's my first attempt - I've cut it into slices:

And put it on a pizza! (Sauce is from VWAV - so much cheaper than buying pizza sauce BTW):Pizza

I love making pizza from scratch - the base is so much more tasty & healthy this way (and I get "cheese" - this one uses Cheezly & it looks a bit like pinapple chunks)..... YUMMO!