Friday, 20 February 2009

I've got a lovely bunch of coconut-ty food!

To bring to the Yahoo! Scottish Vegans' group potluck tomorrow! There's some of my coconut sandwich biscuits...
Vegan With A Vengeance's Coconut Heaven Cupcakes... Since I'll be getting there by a shoogly bus they'd probably end up a mess if I iced them beforehand, so I nicked the ingenious idea of bringing them un-iced with the icing in an icing syringe from Annie who done this at the last potluck.
I also made a huge, double-sized, pot of korma so that Jay and I could have a portion each for our dinner, and I could bring along the rest, since everyone else would be getting korma and Jay wanted some too!

I served it here with coconut rice(Sorry to disappoint everyone reading this for a preview, the rice was just for us because I don't think it's safe to reheat rice? I didn't want to risk poisoning anyone!) based on the recipe in Alternative Vegan.

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Being vegan needn't be expensive!

...And a perfect example of a tasty, healthy, balanced and inexpensive vegan meal is this Venn Pongal, pictured above with a side of Basic Brocolli, both from Dino Sarma's book Alternative Vegan. (He recommended this recipe amongst others himself on his recent blog and podcast on "I'm Broke food"! Worth a listen if you're skint... or even if you're not.)

I think a lot of people have this misconception that a vegan diet is expensive to follow, and this just isn't true. Sure, some ready made vegan products, like the Grassingtons foods which I recently reviewed, can be quite pricey, but I tend to see these things as a treat to splash out on occasionally rather than everyday foods. Obviously if you ate stuff like that every day it would soon add up.

Vegan basic essentials such as legumes and grains are about the cheapest things you can buy! The cheapest way to buy them is dried in a bag- I mean, you can pick up a kilo bag of lentils in most which will make several meals foraround a pound, often less! Even if you buy the more expensive tinned legumes, which are handier if you're in a hurry, you can pick up super-duper bargains like a 15p tin of red kidney beans from most supermarkets' basic ranges, or deals like 3 tins of beans for £1.

I was shopping with my mum last week and she spotted expensive ready made chilli con carne, and I commented that I could make a whole pot of my vegan version myself for round about £1!

Don't let this financial climate put you off going vegan if it's something you've been thinking about- ditching the animal products might even save you a few quid!

Thursday, 5 February 2009

How to be a Vegan Junk Food Junkie.

The Seitan Cutlets from Veganomicon make great burgers. I've served them up in traditional white, sesame seeded burger buns, and had them with lashings of Reggae Reggae Sauce. Yum.Up next in the vegan junk food post, I made a mushroom and pea curry using Yeung's concentrated Chinese Curry Mix, which tastes just like the stuff you get in Chinese Take-aways. (Please note- while some chinese take aways' curry sauce can be vegan, many others aren't and may contain meat stock or milk so do be sure to ask first. Or alternatively, just do what I've done here and mix some up at home!).
This was really easy- I just threw 250g sliced mushrooms, 3 chopped medium onions and a drained and rinsed tin of peas into the curry sauce mix and simmered for a few minutes, then served it over (nice, healthy!) brown rice. If I was going to be really naughty I could have fried my rice as well... hmm, I think I'll try that next time...

Last but not least, here's a close up shot of some amaranth with lashings of maple syrup. I'd never heard of amaranth before going vegan, but it's a super-nutritious grain which is high in protein and minerals, and makes a rather nice cereal. It's quite nice, and like a much smaller version of quinoa.