Gaah

October 26, 2009

I haven’t posted for a week! I feel so bad :(

But I haven’t been reading blogs really either…Dunno what happened. I think I just got a bit busier, had some school work which was due in friday…Had a pretty crap weekend though to be honest, I ended up working both days and on sunday we were so unbelievably busy it just sucked… I guess that’s the perils of the working world! By the way, it’s my last night of being 15 tonight, tomorrow I become legal baby :P

It’s always been a tradition in my house that whenever it’s someone’s birthday, we have a birthday buffet. Basically it involves lots of finger foods like sandwiches, sausage rolls, pizza fingers, crisps, cheese and pineapple sticks, indian snacks ect. However, it’s the first birthday we’ve had with me as a vegan or even vegetarian. And because my sister had to go back to uni today, we had the buffet yesterday. My mum tried so very hard for me, I love her for that. I tried to make it slightly easier by telling her she could still do the ‘normal’ foods for herself and my brother and my sister, but she made it 100% vegan! She made vegan sausage rolls with granose ‘sausage’ mixture, pineapple and glace cherry sticks, redwoods garlic ham style sandwiches, co-op vegan indian snacks, vegan crisps, vegan cocktail sausages, cooked some vegetable fingers and brought some soya nuggets and vege spring rolls. It was really great and all the food was yummy!

And even better, she made me a vegan cake :D, it’s a white almond cake. She also made these really yummy chocolate cookies and dark chocolate cornflake cakes. Nom nom nom. I’ll have pictures in my next post!

Anyway, have a good day everyone!

Mail…For ME?

October 20, 2009

3930562108_f07c8dec17

I never ever get mail. At least, not good mail. Junk, bank statements, doctor’s letters, things addressed to the wrong person or delivered to the wrong house, the only exciting things I ever get is a birthday card or two around this time of year. (It’s my birthday in one week :D)

So, to find this waiting for me when I got home was a great surprise!

SN851483 copy

All the way from America! Sent by RandomlyMikey, as part of her giveaway I won a little while back. Unfortunatly I couldn’t recieve the whole of the prize due to the stupidly high postage costs from America to England. But Mikey was still kind enough to send me part of the prize:

SN851487Mmmmm, I can’t wait to try these! I can’t get these in England, so they’ll be a real treat! I’m especially looking forward to the Luna bar. Have you guys ever eaten any of these, which one is your favourite of the 3?

I’ve also relaised I haven’t posted for ages. Sorry! I’ve been so busy, and haven’t had time to make anything blog-worthy. But yesterday I had the best day. Thorpe Park! It’s a theme park somewhere near London…Anyway it was AWESOME. I love roller coasters and thrills. I was especially excited about the Saw ride. a 100 degree drop? So cool! I even liked the corkscrew over the corspe, mormid as I am.

Not such a success

October 16, 2009

3930562108_f07c8dec17

I was stumped on what to cook for dinner tonight. I had balked beans, and they needed eating up or they’d have to be thrown out (they’d been open a few days). I had no idea what I could prepare quickly for one that would actually go with baked beans. In the end I decided to use my culinary genious and make a white sauce to mix in with some okra and french beans. I’d never tried okra before, but my mum got some cheap frozen stuff for me the other day, and I had no idea what to do with it. I still don’t. I couldn’t really taste it through the sauce. Does any one have any suggestions? (It’s sliced, btw)

SN851442It came out looking quite nice, but the taste wasn’t quite there. Though there was definatly a good point to work on; I think if I tweak the recipe it’ll work really nicely!

I also tried adding some nutritional yeast into the baked beans to give ‘em a unique flavour – that part of my meal did work, luckily. Nom nom nom. I had a couple of other things with the beans and sauce thing, and all in all it was very filling!

Ah the British staple!

Ah the British staple!

You know what they say about baked beans… Beans beans, good for the heart, the more you eat the more you fart!

Vegan 100

October 15, 2009

3930562108_f07c8dec17Another vegan mofo activity circulating round the blogs at the moment is a vegan 100. I think my score is going to be very shameful!

Rules:
1) Copy this list into your blog or social networking site profile, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out or italicize any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment on this post linking to your results.

The Vegan Hundred (my comments in italics):

1. Molasses
2. Cactus/Nopales (you can actually eat these things?!)
3. Scrambled Tofu
4. Grilled Portobella Caps
5. Fresh Ground Horseradish
6. Sweet Potato Biscuits
7. Arepa (what??)
8. Vegan Coleslaw
9. Ginger Carrot Soup
10. Fiddlehead Ferns
11. Roasted Elephant Garlic
12. Umeboshi
13. Almond Butter Toast
14. Aloe Vera
15. H and H Bagel NYC
16. Slow Roasted Butternut Squash
17. White truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Freshly ground wasabi
20. Coconut Milk Ice Cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes (dunno)
22. Orchard-fresh pressed apple cider
23. Organic California Mango
24. Quinoa
25. Papaya Smoothie
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet or Habañero pepper
27. Goji Berry Tea
28. Fennel
29. Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie (on my to eat list though!)
30. Radishes and Vegan Buttery Spread (together, really?)
31. Starfruit
32. Oven fresh Sourdough bread
33. Sangria made with premium fruit and juices
34. Sauerkraut
35. Acai Smoothie
36. Blue Foot Mushrooms
37. Vegan Cupcake from Babycakes nyc
38. Sweet Potatoes and Tempeh combo
39. Falafel
40. Spelt Crust Pizza
41. Salt and Pepper Oyster Mushrooms
42. Jicama Slaw
43. Pumpkin Edamame Ginger Dumplings
44. Hemp Milk
45. Rose Champagne
46. Fuyu
47. Raw Avocado-Coconut Soup
48. Tofu Pesto Sandwich
49. Apple-Lemon-Ginger-Cayenne fresh-pressed juice…with Extra Ginger
50. Grilled Seitan
51. Prickly pear
52. Fresh Pressed Almond Milk
53. Concord Grapes off the vine (I have had grapes from the garden, but those probably aren’t Concord grapes…
54. Ramps
55. Coconut Water fresh from a young coconut
56. Organic Arugula
57. Vidalia Onion
58. Sampler of organic produce from Diamond Organics
59. Honeycrisp Apple
60. Poi
61. Vegan Campfire-toasted Smores
62. Grape seed Oil
63. Farm fresh-picked Peach
64. Freshly-made pita bread with freshly-made hummus (Well… I have made hummus)
65. Chestnut Snack Packs
66. Fresh Guava
67. Mint Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
68. Raw Mallomar from One Lucky Duck, NYC
69. Fried plantains
70. Mache
71. Golden Beets
72. Barrel-Fresh Pickles
73. Liquid Smoke (not even available in the UK!)
74. Meyer Lemon
75. Veggie Paella
76. Vegan Lasagna
77. Kombucha
78. Homemade Soy Milk
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Lychee Bellini
81. Tempeh Bacon
82. Sprouted Grain Bread
83. Lemon Pepper Tempeh
84. Vanilla Bean
85. Watercress
86. Carrot you pulled out of the ground yourself (gotta love the family veg patch)
87. Vegan In-Season Fruit Pie
88. Flowers
89. Corn Chowder
90. High Quality Vegan Raw Chocolate
91. Yellow fuzz-free Kiwi
92. White Flesh Grapefruit
93. Harissa
94. Coconut Oil
95. Jackfruit
96. Homemade Risotto
97. Spirulina
98. Seedless ‘Pixie’ Tangerine
99. Gourmet Sorbet, not store bought
100. Fresh Plucked English Peas (these are the best!)
16, that really is dire! Though in all fairness, a lot of these products aren’t very available to me. Still, it’s interesting to think that I always thought I had quite a broad taste experience, but I still have so much to try!

Dinner tonight was a soupy stew like thing. I kinda let the veg cook into oblivion, so they went all mushy-like. Though turns out I had too much liquid. Other than that, it tasted pretty good, even if it doesn’t look the most appetising.

SN851441I had some of my favourite cabbage side dish. It’s basically red cabbage boiled in a little water with apple, onion, a little red wine vinegar and some spices. MmmmMmmMmm.

SN851438

Dissapointed

October 14, 2009

3930562108_f07c8dec17

Bad news! The pumpkin I bought the other day decided to go all mouldy on me D: I’d only used about 1/5 of it, too! I guess that’s a lesson to be learnt – use all your pumpkin at once. Which is what I’ll do next time. I had been wanting to make a pumpkin soup *sniff* Guess that’ll have to wait now. So my plan is to buy a pumpkin, make lots of puree with half of it and do a good soup with the other half.

I’ve had a packet of Granose sunflower seed, lentil and vegetable roast sitting in the cupboard for ages and ages now, so it’s about time I used it. I was just never sure what to use it for. I could have simply made a loaf with it, but that’s kinda boring, no? So I decided to do as the packet suggested and make some stuffed peppers (That is to say, one stuffed pepper).

SN851430Had these with a salad, would have been a  nice light meal, except I followed the pack instructions! It said use both sachets (for some reason you get 2 sachets though instructions require both…) for 2 peppers, so I used my initative and used 1 sachet for one pepper. There seemed to be a little much when I made it up, but persisted on and juststuffed the peppers extra tightly to fit it all in. I even grated some cheddar Sheese into one half of the pepper, so see if it made it taste good. The box had said put some goats cheese on top for the last ten minutes, but obviously I didn’t want to do that. So when it came to eat them, they were too full. They blocked the taste of the roasted pepper. I think the mixture would be better suited to filling 3 halves of pepper with rather than 2 halves. Oh well.

As for the taste, well, I can’t really vouch for that either. I’ve liked their sausage and burger mixes in the past, so thought this would taste good too. It was rather bland, even with the addition of the sheese to one half. Ah well. Perhaps if I added some herbs and spices and other flavourings, I can make my remaining sachet taste nicer.

Something I’ve Noticed…

October 12, 2009

3930562108_f07c8dec17

From reading on other forums and just general google searches, it’s occured to me that as a vegan, I’m quite lucky to be living in the UK. There’s a whole array of vegan items which I can (moderatly) easily get hold of for a decent price, and people are also quite receptive of both vegetarianism and veganism, even if they don’t practice it themselves. From what I can make out, for example, many breads in the USA contain milk or egg derivatives, where-as in the UK not many do at all. Same with cheese (which I know isn’t vegan), in the USA it seems to often contain rennet, but here it seldom does. It also seems quite hard to be a veg*an in other European countries, especially where in many of them national dishes contain a lot of dairy. Even Japan, a place many would think of as being easy to be veg*an, is very very difficult, as a lot of dishes are made with a fish stock, even the vegetrian ones. And soy milk often contains dairy too.

I dunno, what are your thoughts / findings on this? Have I just misinterpreted information?

That aside, I found another use for pumpkin puree! I would never have thought to use it in the way I used it, but it’s really good! Anyone for pumpkin chili? I read about it on the internet, and decided it was something worth trying, especially as it’s vegan mofo (can you believe we’re nearly half way through already?!)

chili avec pumpkinMade in the same way as any other chili, just with the addition of a good amount of pumpkin puree 5 minutes from the end of cooking. Chili is one of my favourite foods, especially as it gets colder out. Not the mention, it’s filling, healthy and hearty.

Sunday blues

October 11, 2009

3930562108_f07c8dec17I have come to dislike sundays rather a lot. They go so slowly. There’s not really anything to do, especially with it getting colder out. I get so frustrated and bored on a sunday :(. I went on a wlak today, which is always nice in the autumn. But that’s as exciting as my day gets. Do I need to find a hobby? Probably.

Still, as you’d expect I still found time to cook, I was actaully quite pleased with what I made today. It was a curried stew…thing. I’m not sure, but I was hungry and in a rush.

SN851410I don’t really have much to say today, but I was searching recipes on google, and I found some cute food art:

rice-teddy_4axUk_2263Taken from Everything Weird.

If I had the time and mad skills to do things like this, I’d turn everymeal into some kinda food art!

You know it’s autumn…

October 10, 2009

…When the pumpkins appear in the shops! It’s been a year since I’ve last eaten pumpkin, and I’ve missed it! Usually I just have it the boring (yet still yummy) roasted way. Which is  great, but I wanted to try something new with it. And so I decided on Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal. I even made my own pumpkin puree! Actually, you can’t even get canned pumpkin in the UK (I don’t think), so it was make my own or nothing. It came out really well, and so tasty, I could have eaten the puree as is. There are a hundred pumpkin puree recipes on google, so I shan’t bother with the recipe for that.

pureeThe resulting oatmeal was so good! Even better than my carrot cake oatmeal, and just as nice as banana brulee oatmeal. I have enough puree left to have some brunch tomorrow :D (I intend on lying in, if I can). I’ve never actually eaten pumpkin pie before, it’s more of an American thing and isn’t common at all in the UK (at least not as a dessert). So for vegan mofo 09 entry #6, I give you:

pumpkin oatsI made it on the hob today, as I always do with ‘special’ oatmeal, it just comes out nicer, though it’d work very well in the microwave, too.

  • 2 1/2 table spoons of pureed pumpkin (homemade or canned),  more or less to taste
  • 3 teaspoons light (soft) brown sugar. Or an alternative sweetner.
  • 40g rolled oats, or another hot cereal
  • 300ml (just over a cup) of ‘milk’ of choice. (I used 2/3 soya milk & 1/3 water)
  • 1/3 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 teaspoon all spice/pumpkin spice
  • small handfull roughly chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

Add the oats, all spice and cinnamon to a saucepan and mix together before adding the milk. Bring to the boil and lower the heat to a gentle simmer, stirring always. Cook untill almost at desired consistancy, add the sugar and pumpkin and mix it all in (taste at this point to see if you need any more pumpkin or sugar ect), when it’s cooked to how you like it add 2/3 of the chopped nuts. Transfer the oatmeal to a bowl and add the remaining nuts.

And I found out something cool today; I know someone famous! I didn’t even know that they were famous till someone pointed it out at work today. One of the managers at the cafe I work at is in a band called Brigade. The guy I know is James Plant. When I was told today I was all, ‘Oh wow, I had no idea!’ I knew he was in a band, just not a famous one!

Better than chocolate?

October 7, 2009

Chocolate is one of life’s great pleasures. Everyone likes it (well, anyone normal :P). Even my friend the chocolate hater is coming round to the idea that chocolate really isn’t all that bad. And since I went vegan, one common question has been, ‘But what about chocolate?’ My reply is always the same, ‘I can still eat chocolate, a lot of dark chocolate is vegan and you can get vegan milk and white chocolate.’ My favourite chocolate has always been dark so finding it has never been an issue.

However, recently my nan brought me back a present from one of her and my grandad’s holidays: Plamil Carob Confectionary.

carobI’d only read about the wonders of carob, how it has a great taste and can be used as a substitute for chocolate chips or cocoa powder, is caffine free and just generally amazing.

Carob contains as much Vitamin B1 as asparagus or strawberries; as much niacin as lima beans, lentils, or peas; and more Vitamin A than aubergine, asparagus, and beetroot. It also contains Vitamin B2, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and the trace minerals iron, manganese, chromium, copper, and nickel. It contains about 8 percent protein and is a good source of fiber. Compared to chocolate, carob is three times richer in calcium, has one third less calories and seventeen times less fat.

SN851389

However, my first impression didn’t bare the great tasting result I was expecting. On my first square, I wasn’t keen at all. It was edible, but not so nice. But then, the next day, I tried another bit, it began to grow on me. By the third day, I was in love. I still am. I like it better than chocolate, that’s for sure! It has a more prominent smell than ordinary chocolate, akin I suppose to the strength of coffee. It has a profound taste, too, certainly an aquired taste, I think. The main thing to remember when you eat it is it is not chocolate, I think the reason I disliked it at first was because I was expecting chocolate. It’s one of those things many chocolate lovers will hate but really shouldn’t fear! Give carob a chance! (or 2 or 3!). It really is better than chocolate.

I want to try some carob chips or powder now, I think a hot carob drink would be yummy! Or carob chip cookies…But I have only ever seen these things priced very expensively from their chocolate counterparts, so cocoa it is (untill I can get my hands on another carob bar).

I don’t think I’ll be able to get mofo posts up for a couple of nights :(. I’m going to the cinema tomorrow night and then staying at my grandparent’s house (No school on friday – yay!), then going again on friday evening. Saturday I’m working, so won’t get a chance to cook something good, but I’ll try to have a great mofo post for sunday!

A little more about me

October 6, 2009
It seems to be a vegan mofo tradition to take part in these surveys, and it looks like a fun way to celebrate mofo and give you more of an insight into who I am, so here you go, vegan mofo entry #5.
.
1. Favorite non-dairy milk? I’ve only ever tried soya milk and oat milk, and oat milk is my favourite of the two, it’s creammy, yummy and makes great hot chocolate! Though it is more expensive than soya, so I drink Tesco’s unsweetened fresh soya milk 97% of the time.
.
2. What are the top 3 dishes/recipes you are planning to cook? 1) Some kind of pumpkin dish, maybe roast pumpkin, pumpkin soup, or pumpkin pie oatmeal…or all of them!
2) Chocolate brownies, I’ve never made these as a vegan and I love love love brownies.
3) Wholemeal herb drop biscuits
.
3. Topping of choice for popcorn? I like to keep things simple with just plenty of salt. Though I really want to try it with nutritional yeast.
.
4. Most disastrous recipe/meal failure? So far I’ve had no real disasters, but the time when some bread rolls I made came out as dense and heavy as you can imagine comes to mind.
.
5. Favorite pickled item? Gherkins.
.
6. How do you organize your recipes?Loose recipes? Sadly I don’t, really. I’ll print off a recipe and after I’ve made it the paper just gets shuffled from place to place and eventually someone gets fed up of it hanging around so it ends up in the recycling. I want to compile them in a binder or something.
.
7. Compost, trash, or garbage disposal? We have a mini compst bin on our counter top, where we put food waste. This goes into our brown bin, which is for compost waste (Including garden waste ect), which is collected by the council. The rest goes in either the garbage bin or recycling bin. Garbage disposal? Never had it, never will…unless I move to the States.
.
8. If you were stranded on an island and could only bring 3 foods…what would they be (don’t worry about how you’ll cook them)? Peanut butter, chocolate or carob bars, gooey chocolate cake.
.
9. Fondest food memory from your childhood? Staying at my grandparents house in the school holidays, or when they used to take me on short holidays somewhere.
.
10. Favorite vegan ice cream? I’ve only tried 2 types, Swedish glace vanilla and Booja Booja Chocolate. I love the Booja Booja one way more.
.
11. Most loved kitchen appliance? Microwave. I know some people hate them, but it is so useful for quick cooking with little washing up!
.
12. Spice/herb you would die without? Mixed spice, just the smell is enough to take me to easter and all those yummy hot cross buns. That said, It’s one of my lesser used herbs/spices.
.
13. Cookbook you have owned for the longest time? I only own one cookbook, and I can’t remember its name! something to do with oats and various things you can do with them. I get all my other recipe books from the libray.
.
14. Favorite flavor of jam/jelly? Blackcurrent, my grandparents neighbour used to give us jars of homemade stuff, it was awesome!
.
15. Favorite vegan recipe to serve to an omni friend? Anything baked, so far all the treats I’ve baked have come out perfect.
.
16. Seitan, tofu, or tempeh? Tofu – it’s so versatile!
.
.
17. Favorite meal to cook (or time of day to cook)? Dinner
.
18. What is sitting on top of your refrigerator? Some tomatoes.
.
19. Name 3 items in your freezer without looking. Lovely Jubbly lollies, Tesco’s nut cutlets, sprouts.
.
20. What’s on your grocery list? Soya milk, vegetables (what ever is on the cheap), apples, beans, chocolate.
.
21. Favorite grocery store? Poppy’s Pantry – It’s a local wholefoods store and without it I would have access to half the vegan
yummies I eat.
.
22. Name a recipe you’d love to veganize, but haven’t yet. My grandma’s creamy potato soup that kicks serious butt; basil ice cream; and haggis.
.
23. Food blog you read the most . Or maybe the top 3? Chocolate covered katie
.
24. Favorite vegan candy/chocolate? Dark chocolate covered ginger or Carob bars.
.
25. Most extravagant food item purchased lately? Nothing extravagant, to be honest.
.
26. Ingredients you are scared to work with? Spring roll wrappers because last time I tried I bulzed it up. Can’t think of anything else off the top of my head.
.
27. Favorite food cart? Never encountered one of those.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.