Sunday, 22 June 2008

Potluck muffins and super-easy tomato, bean and herb pasta sauce recipe

Yesterday I went to a meetup and potluck with the Yahoo! Scottish Vegans group where I got fed lots of yummy food! Sadly I forgot to bring my camera with me, but I took a photo of my own contribution before I went.

I made two kinds of muffin, Apple Pie Crumble ones from Vegan with a Vengeance, right(I used white sugar because I'd ran out of brown for the crumbly topping, they still tasted okay but the brown sugar they advise does work a lot better), and chocolate chunk muffins, left. The chocolate chunk ones were adapted from the cherry-almond recipe from the same book, by omitting the cherries and almonds, and replacing them with a bar of chocolate diced into small chunks, and replacing the almond essence with vanilla essence.

This is a really quick and easy pasta dish, with italian style herbs and pinto beans.

Cook 250g wholewheat pasta according to instructions.

Dice 2-3 onions, crush 3-4 garlic cloves, then saute both in 2 tbsp olive oil in a large pot over a hot hob, until onions are transclucent. Add a can of chopped tomatoes, 140g tomato puree(about 6 heaped tbsps), 1tsp oregano, 1tsp basil, 1/2 tsp thyme, a few pinches of sea salt and ground black pepper and stir sauce. Bring to the boil, then turn down temperature to simmer.

Drain and rinse a can of pinto beans(any kind of bean would work really) and add them, plus the cooked pasta to the sauce. Stir through then serve!

You might want to adjust this recipe by adding sundried tomatoes, or any kind of vegetable that takes your fancy :)

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Mmmm caaaake...!

This here yummy cake is from How It All Vegan, using the recipes for the Auntie Bonnie's Wacky Cake and the Maple Butteresque icing, with some walnuts on top to garnish. And it tastes as good as it looks!

Monday, 16 June 2008

Back from Blackpool!

Just back from my hols to Blackpool with Jay!

Sadly we never got to go to the all-vegan wildlife hotel that we'd booked over a month in advance after all On booking, the hotel owner asked us to call in the event that anything come up and we couldn't make it for any reason so she could rent out the room- which of course I would have done anyway.

Shame really that she couldn't take her own advice, because when we called on the morning to say we'd be arriving after 6pm, she asked if we could come later in the month instead? Apparently her companion dog had been ill a few weeks ago and so no staff were working in the hotel atm, and fair enough, it's understandable that these things happen- but we wouldn't have minded so much if someone from the hotel had at least been professional enough to give us a call and let us know all those weeks ago so we had more time to make alternative arrangements!

She said over the phone that perhaps she'd be able to let us just stay in the room at a discounted rate if we were unable to find alternative accomodation and that she could give us a call back later so I said I'd call if if we couldn't find anything else, though luckily we were able to find somewhere else at the short notice with less than half an hour to go before we left for our trains- the omni Chequers Plaza hotel. While it was a bit more expensive and had little in the way of vegan options, although to be fair we didn't actually expect any at such short notice, we did get a room with a great view, as you can see from our first pic! Although if we'd had more time we'd probably have tried to find self-catering holiday flats with a kitchen, or went to another entirely vegan hotel altogether in a completely different location.

However, we still had a good time anyway despite all the stress of sorting this out at the beginning, and Blackpool was a very nostalgic holiday for us since we'd both been there as kids
And, we've decided that we're going back as we've got a hot date in 2033 to visit Blackpool when we're older! :D

If anyone's looking for a good place to eat with vegan options in Blackpool, we can personally recommend Michael Wan's Mandarin, where they made us a vegetarian banquet, making it vegan by replacing the egg fried rice with boiled rice, or Wah Wah's Oriental Noodle Bar, and their gorgeous, but spicy Tofu and chilli dish with which my Jay has officially lost his spice wimp title by gobbling all up!

Let the holiday pics commence!
Jay bumped into Gordon Ramsay at Louis Tussaud's Waxworks but wasn't too happy to see him... btw, does anyone know what kind of wax waxwork figurines are made from? Never occured to us till later that it might possibly be non-vegan beeswax or something... :( I googled but couldn't see anything...

Here's one of me beside the seaside- please excuse the messy hairdo- it was windy!
Another from the waxworks of me dispensing some good advice on my T-shirt to Hannibal Lecter...

Monday, 2 June 2008

Veganomicon and VWAV goodness- and some leftovers!

Last night's dinner was baked curried tofu served with messy rice, both from Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. I served this alongside the yogurt dipping sauce (not pictured, sorry!) and saved my tofu marinade in the fridge for later as Isa and Terry advised...
These are Vegan with a Vengeance's quinoa and black-eyed bean croquettes. It's my second attempt at this recipe, since the first time I tried it they fell to bits! While they're quite photogenic here, as soon as I cut them they begun to crumble :( They were, however, quite tasty :) I've served them with onion rings(Morrisons' own brand frozen) and a cauliflower and broccoli bake in a "cheesy" nutritional yeast sauce(recipe in archives).

I had leftover cooked quinoa from making the croquettes and marinade from the curried tofu, so I made these into a quick stir fry for my lunch with some broccoli, an onion and a couple of spring onions, which was very tasty indeed :)

Sunday, 1 June 2008

If I don't have an ingredient, sometimes I just replace it almonds...

Apologies for the quality of this photo, but this was a seriously yummy dinner! It's my take on the coconut rice recipe from Alternative Vegan by Dino Sarma with a couple of alterations- I've used brown rice and owing to the fact I didn't have any, I replaced the cashews with chopped almonds. I've served it alongside a korma with tofu and mixed veg(there's asparagus, boccoli, mushrooms, leeks, bell pepper and spring onions in there!)
And these here are almond muffins from Vegan with a Vengeance, well, the cherry almond muffin recipe without the cherries anyway! I just used a few extra almonds in it.

I've ran out of almonds now... whatever shall I replace them with...?