It’s finally here!! I can’t remember if I’ve been sneaky or not about this ebook (which is possibly another layer of ninja if I can hide even that from myself) but I’ve finished and it’s all yours for free and it’s 100% dedicated to my food mistress: chocolate. No matter how busy I get or how lazy, there’s always time in the day for a nibble on something chocolate-y. I may have something of an addiction, but I’ve decided to make a total chocolate cleanse for myself….with chocolate. And since it’s free, you can “cleanse” with me! 😀 Continue reading
Welcome to another installment of Vegan Mofo! I’m hoping you’ll forgive my absence since I’m technically crashing the party anyway 😉 Today’s theme is the most retro, so I spent my sick day yesterday trolling the web for retro recipes and came across this. The second I showed it to Man-thing he was sold and insisted on the whole matter, which is why you have faux sausages instead of some horrifying jelly mould. I guess that’s a good thing! Retro is a very, very scary term to search for, as it turns out.
I survived my first week of the new (second) job and am now bouncing forward into week two. As much as I like to stay on top of things and organized sometimes things do get put on the side, like the two assignments due Friday for my library diploma. Whoops. But stressing is for people who don’t have easy mint mash pancakes in their life, so I’m going to have a few late nights this week but I figure it was worth it for a bit of relaxation over the weekend. Pancakes certainly make me feel like I’m spoiling myself, so as a beginning-of-week-treat last night it worked wonders!
You’re probably looking at the title, then looking at the picture, and then asking yourself where the tacos are. Well, no tacos for us, since I can’t find any, and also because this is far superior. All the taco fixings stacked and smashed between absolutely delightful spiced thick and firm cornmeal pancakes. This is a filling, ridiculously happy meal made with all natural ingredients. Yes and yes!
Often when going out to restaurants most vegetarian options always list creamed spinach. I’ve never been wild about it, and certainly now it gives me the shivers, but I do love spinach, and I adore beans, so why not mash them together for a much more superior creamy spinach dish?Of course, since we’re at it, there may as well be mini wraps, because life is sad otherwise.
It’s done! I actually managed 29 days of rice to celebrate our new house 😀 Thank you to everyone who has been following along this crazy little meander into property talk, infinite rice, and wacky ideas! To celebrate I made a baked pancake with all the fixings. I figured that today is totally on par with graduating or having a birthday – any excuse to go large!I’m also going to detail some things I’ve learnt from these 29 days of rice through 4 tips for the long-haul blog post theme, just because it’s been a real experience! Alas, with all this madness I figured it wouldn’t be fair to show a WIAW on top of all the inevitable text and pics from a thousand angles, so you’ll have to forgive me this week’s breather on that front. 🙂
I’m pretty excited about this, because I suck at pancakes or anything flat in a pan, and I actually managed crepes! 😀 Healthy, delicious, and stuffed with a delicious bean creamed corn hummus filling for extra cheer 😀
Today is my little puff’s birthday! 😀 A good way to remember is that it’s the day after Freedom Day, since I suck with birthdays, but it’s completely legit, because I only got a dayplanner last year, and everything before then never happened.
Who is this puff? This angelic creature of love and snuggles?
Well, it could be my husband, who loves snuggles and head scratches and being fed, but no. Tis his majesty, the royal overseer: Gatsby the Great! Those two are in the throes of a life-long bromance, honestly! I tried to bake a gingerbread cake in celebration this morning from Chocolate Covered Katie, but my oven’s thermostat is on the fritz, and thus it met a sad (but still somewhat charred and tasty) fate, and, as such, not presentable for guests, which was kind of the point (and promise!). Boo hiss!
Well anyway, a ballistic oven doesn’t do sweet goods any favours, but a bit of charring doesn’t hurt the savoury deliciousness I have to show you today. This is part three of my quick ‘n easy dinner ideas (see beet latkes + glazed polenta slices). You’ll notice that I use a lot of the same ingredients, or slowly shift from one set to another (I’ve finished my broccoli, so now we’re onto eggplant and nearing the end of the black beans!). I’ve decided not to buy any new ingredients but use what’s in the house, just as is usually the case during a busy weekday (unless you have a food-shopping compulsion as I do). Also, public holidays make me lazy, so there’s less flashing of emptying bank cards and more prancing about in pajamas.
There’s also a bit of indulgence. Exhibit A: The eggplant pancake burger.
A modest looking creature, but it’s delightful, filling, and ridiculous. Prerequisites for a birthday dinner, wouldn’t you agree? Continue reading
Ja, so sometimes my mind goes strange places, and the title is probably sufficient to convince anyone of that. I usually try and steer clear of artificial vegan meat products and reserve such things for when there really is no alternative or when Man-thing whines hard enough. He’s truly a sucker for soya chunks (probably because, as an omni, it’s as close as he gets to “the real thing” in a vegan household. Luckily I’ve taught myself to make my own burgers, and will soon try out some tofu nuggets, and such things are satisfying enough that one needn’t buy soya products in such shapes. One thing that one can’t really “replace” is seafood, just because it’s so varied in its form and textures. I can’t say I miss seafood itself, but rather the types of dishes it represents. I guess I can’t go large on this topic, however, since I’ve honestly gone and paired prawns and pancakes. This was for yesterday’s lunch, because weekends are a time to indulge in experimentation.
And why not? Sweet and sour deliciousness aside delicious, creamy filled pancakes? Mm mm! Continue reading
Shall I start with lunch or pudding? Let’s do lunch, since it is incredibly easy to make, and is bladdy tasty to boot. A week or so ago I tried to make Angela’s Jumbo chickpea pancakes again, but my pan packed up thanks to all the scratches, and everything became a big smush of bits and globs.
I doubled the batch and sprayed the bells out of two round 20-22cm pans and split the batch to bake for 20 minutes in a preheated oven (180 degrees Celsius).
NOM! Quick, easy, delightfully versatile. I’ve made it lots of times now in the oven with shredded carrots, zucchini, all that. Since I figured out one can bake this bugger I’ve managed to procure a non-stick pan, but I like this way so much that it’ll be a hardship to switch over again.
Lemon poppy seed cake with cashew frosting (serves 16. Or, rather, there are 16 slices which serves monsters well)
I spent a lot of time this past week looking up different poppy recipes, since I got a 1kg bag for my birthday (many, many months ago!) from two lady pals and it has been rather neglected til now. I finally decided to merge different recipes, but my original list is a compilation of 20+ recipes. I realized that this is how I usually operate when it comes to choosing a recipe and deciding on how to modify it, because so many recipes each contain individual elements that I adore and want to include. I also find them rather informative – for instance, one or two websites suggested that one soaks the poppy seeds in the soy milk for 20 minutes or so so that the poppies do not suck up the surrounding liquid during the baking process. awesome! Anyway, I try to keep the recipes low-cal and low-sugar so that I can share on a whim with the health-conscious or diabetic, such as my FIL, and I think this recipe covers all those bases.
- As mentioned above, I soaked the poppy seeds. Even if it does absolutely nothing, I’m still going to do it with all my poppy cakes and muffins from here on out, because I like imagining that such randomness has a purpose.
- I used 1 1/4 cups nutty wheat flour and 1/4 cup cake wheat flour (tis less dense).
- I also subbed the canola oil for 1/2 cup applesauce, since I’m not a fan of oil in my cakes, and this does the trick nicely for oil-free baking.
- I added 2 tsp lemon juice AND also threw in 1/4-1/2 low-cal passion fruit juice concentrate thinned down considerably. This I figure helps give some air-iness to the eventual texture and cancels out the heavier nutty wheat flour, which would ordinarily have weighed down the cake and made it too dense and more bread-like. Considering I baked the cake in a loaf pan, this low sugar recipe was already cutting it fine.
- There is also 1 TBSP of custard powder in here! Oh yes! Next time I might mix it with a little milk before hand and then plonk that into the bigger picture, but I wanted just that hint of smooth sweetness which custard brings without overpowering anything else. It just softens the edges of the lemon, methinks.
- NB: I baked the loaf-cake for 30 minutes, then poked lots of holes everywhere and poured a thin mixture of 1 TBSP powdered sugar and 1 TBSP soy milk with 1 TBSP lemon juice and poured it over the cake, spreading the glaze evenly across the top with the back of a spoon. I then put it back into the oven for the last 10 minutes. I just think this adds to the inner softness of the cake and adds that tiny bit of sweetness which would otherwise be lacking for most tastebuds. Again, I also think the heavier flours will accomodate such a move, but not too sure about pastry flour or more airy ones, where it might cause a big of a congealed mess.
Happy, healthy cake! Hurrah! The cake is actually to celebrate the fact that yesterday was my last day of work for the year (officially)! I still have editing to do, but that’s luckily not sitting in an over-air conditioned office feeling like a police officer. I love my job, and I’m so glad I got to do something different this year, but there comes a breaking point for everyone, and luckily I struck gold and signed out right before I lost my mind! 😀 With the Masters degree confirmed as a plan-of-action for next year I’ll be back for this same job in 2014 – it’s amazing to think that after how many years I don’t have to do 2-4 jobs at the same time just to afford petrol/gas. This cake therefore represents the year, I guess – light, happy and full of little surprises!
For the frosting I used the base of this cashew frosting recipe, but “accidentally” doubled it, using 1 cup soaked cashews, 2 TBSP agave, 1 TBSP beautiful almond butter, and I forgot completely about the coconut oil. I also used a TBSP of lemon juice, as well as a 1/4 TBSP of poppy seeds, for splash. Blitzed it long and then some in the food processor, and it is so subtle yet decadent, that I’m not sorry to have a whole 1/2 cup sitting in my fridge, waiting to be manhandled somehow. I like the idea that under the frosting is some light glaze to give that bit of sweetness, but Man-thing says that there’s always room for more sugar in his stomach, so I guess others may prefer to add some more sugar to their frosting or to their cake, depending on tastes.
So there you have it! Delightful, non-chocolate happiness in your mouth! I’m still going to do an ooey-gooey chocolate or malva pudding type dessert for when Man-thing’s teaching degree results get released. I’ve completed all my theoretical modules now but I suspect I’m not cut out for teaching younglings, so I’m happy to put that on ice for now – going through the theoretical modules together with Man-thing was great though – don’t think I’d have managed motivation-wise all myself. I could say that for most things in life, which is why I don’t mind that he ate THREE slices of this cake off the bat, and would probably had munched more had I not made a point of saying I’d wanted to share it with the in-laws (for which purpose there actually needs to be some remaining by tomorrow morning!).