Thursday, 21 October 2021

Midweek Munchies

Who is hungry?

I made some burgers! Using the Fry's Big Fry Burger. These are sold in the freezer section, but I only found out as I took them out of the freezer at home to make them that they are meant to be thawed before cooking. Ugh. Anyway, thankfully I was able to defrost in the microwave, then cook. They were OK, but they have this slightly distinct taste that a lot of the beefy Fry's products seem to have (like the mince and the beef strips). To make it into a cheeseburger I used some Tofutti American Style slices. Tofutti slices were the second vegan cheese I ever found (the first being that ubiquitous tube of Kingland vegan cheese in supermarkets in the early 2000s), and I still have a soft spot for them. They are exactly like those individually wrapped Kraft cheeseslices I had as a kid. I hadn't seen them for years until stumbling onto a pile at The Green Edge one day recently. I finished it up with a Fry's Brioche bun and some Coles Cheeseburger Sauce.

Fry's Cheeseburger


Fry's Cheeseburger


A papple! A new fruit sensation, according to the sticker. It's an apple pear hybrid, and was like eating a crunchy pear.

Papple


I bought these Teriyaki Munchies ages ago because they sounded good and also the nuts in it are 'activated' with kombucha, which tickles my silly food bone. These were totally delicious!! However they are extremely expensive, so I will only be buying them in the future as a sometimes food.

Teriyaki Munchies


Picked up some Ginger & Lemon Kombucha from Coles and it was good! Nice and dry, not too bubbly, no stevia!

Coles Kombucha


I have shared some Plantry Frozen Meals before, mostly I eat their lasagne. However I decided to try the Pad Thai after confirming that it didn't have any chilli in it. It is really yummy for a frozen meal, and is now my favourite of the bunch! It does have a bit of capsicum in it, but not much and it is on the top so it is easy to pick them out. I really like this one.

Plantry Pad Thai


Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Gizmo


Sharing more of my precious girls with Gizmo, all curled up.

Monday, 18 October 2021

Eating Out: Wild Spice Kitchen at Paper Moon Coffee House

Hello friends! My roster has been a bit silly lately, with working almost all the days except for an occasional single day off over the last weeks and continuing in to the next week and a bit. I'm tired. Here is a quick little post about a quick little lunch I had one day a while ago! Wild Spice Kitchen is a food truck associated with Paper Moon Coffe House. I've posted about them once before.

The Paper Moon aspect of it is the seating and the cafe, it has drinks and also stocks some vegan baked goods! I ordered a chocolate and banana smoothie, which was nothing outstanding but was exactly what I was after.

Chocolate Smoothie at Paper Moon Kitchen


Wild Spice is a food truck located right next to it, so you can go and order food from there. They are all vegan, and have a savoury menu as well as a few pastries. I ordered The Amelie, which was a croissant, tofu scramble, roasted tomatoes, aioli and hash browns. Also a pile of rocket because Australian cafes just cannot get enough of rocket, a shame because I don't love it. Anyway, this was pretty good, though the scramble could have done with a bit more flavour.

The Amelie and Wild Spice Kitchen


Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Dim Sim sleeping


I know everyone is hanging out for Abby and Boo news, but I also want to keep honouring my three heart cat here. They are a part of me forever, and they were my soulmates. So here is Dim Sim, when she was all curled up like a perfect little charcoal brioche bun!

Wednesday, 13 October 2021

Midweek Munchies

It's Wednesday, so you know what that means... munchies!

Here are some snacks I got from a random health food store. The shiitake jerky was the star of the show, very mushroomy. I also enjoyed the dried fruits. They were soft dried, and the paw paw wasin strips. The bananas were basically whole bananas dehydrated, so they were tiny. Dehydrated banana gets so sweet!

Snacks


Another beautiful Treat Dreams care package, this time from my friend Michelle in Sydney. It included two blocks of the limited edition Wear it Purple bar, that was fundraising for trans youth services. It is a milk chocolate bar with rice crispies and freeze dried passionfruit, and the top is coloured metallic purple. The tang of the passionfruit balanced out the slightly too sweet of the milk chocolate. The milk chocolate peanut crunch bar is also amazing, because peanut and chocolate are a match made in heaven! I also love the strawberry bears as well. Thank you Michelle!

Treat Dreams from Michelle


More and more vegan lollies are becoming available these days, including a lot that are vegan versions of childhood favourites. I am not a huge lolly person, but the one I have been yearning for is a good strawberries and cream! These were my favourite then, and my favourite now. The Green Edge started stocking this brand, which has a huge range, but I was all about the S&C. I saw they had coconut oil in them, so I only bought one bag. Big mistake, as this type have been sold out every time I've been there since... obviously because they are the best. They are just like what I loved as a kid! I only eat a few at a time, so this bag has lasted me a while. Next time I see them on the shelves I'll be sure to grab a few!

Strawberries and Cream Lollies


Bangers and Mash, again. This version had the Unreal Co Chicken and Chives sausages. They were OK. But why do companies insist on puting vegan casing on so many sausages these days, when most of the time it just sticks and sheets off when you are cooking? I also tried the Plantasy instant potato and carrot mash... and it made me realise that I don't love dehydrated carrot. I topped it with some more of the Plantasy vegan gravy mix, which I tried to make taste better than last time by using beef-style stock instead of water and also increasing the amount of gravy powder... I still didn't really like it. Oh well.

Sausages and Mash


Sausages and Mash


Finishing it up with this fun water kefir I found! Feijoa flavoured! It also had vanilla in it. It tasted kind of like a slightly fruity creaming soda, and was very nice.

Feijoa Kefir


Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Abby


Abby, giving me a little bit of side eye. How are things going with the cats?? Slowly. Abby is much happier now that her confinement is in my bedroom rather than my study, though she is still a bit mopey. I let her come out for a bit if Boo is in the catmax. Trying to get them both eating on either side of the closed door at the same time can be tricky. Also, if Boo notices Abby under the door when there isn't food, she will hiss. But it has gone from a big hiss and growl to a quite to moderate hiss, so that is some progress!

Monday, 11 October 2021

Recipe Round-Up: But My Family Would Never Eat Vegan

The final part of the three part recipe round-up from But My Family Wound Never Eat Vegan, by Kristy Turner. I hope you all at least enjoyed seeing the pictures. These round-ups take a bit of effort, because I have so many recipes to share! And working my way through the books in alphabetical order is slow going. But today we finish the Bs! Next full recipe round-up, we move into the Cs. Very exciting. It will be back to some shorter posts after this one for a bit. As always, you can see previous posts about this book here.

Fruit Pie Oatmeal: A final oatmeal for you, this one has fruit added to the oats while you cook, then they are topped with the same fruit and nuts if you want. I used strawberries, which are my favourite fruit, and used some pepitas rather than nuts.
Rating: :)

Fruit Pie Oatmeal


Roasted Carrot & Wild Mushroom Ragout: These next four meals are all from the comfort food chapter. And it kicks of with this lovely combination. I made a half recipe for two serves. The carrots are lovely and sweet, and pair well with an earthy mixture of mushrooms (portobello, oyster, and rehydrated porcini). Served over some creamy cheesy polenta.
Rating: :)

Roasted Carrot & Wild Mushroom Ragout


Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie: I feel like a lot of vegan cookbooks love using sweet potato for their shepherd's pie. This one was tasty, but I didn't get the typical shepherd's pie flavour from it. The filling of beans, mushrooms, vegetables, sundried tomatoes and green olives is very herby and tangy. The mashed sweet potatoes on top are sprinkled with pepita parmesan. I made a half recipe, and got three serves out of it.
Rating: :)

Sweet otato Shepherd's Pie


Lasagna Soup: This recipe uses that herby macadamia ricotta I mentioned in the last post that I used for the zucchini manicotti. This isn't really lasagne soup, because I used bowtie pasta instead of broken lasagne noodles. Using what I had! It also has chickpeas, zucchini, yellow squash, spinach, and basil in the tomato broth. It makes a lot! The ricotta is so good with it.
Rating: :)

Lasagna Soup


Cauliflower Parmigiana: Ding, ding, ding, this is a winner! I loved this seasoned crispy coated cauliflower steak, roasted until crunchy on the outside and wonderful on the inside. It is topped with Sun-Dried Tomato Marinara (remember I mentioned that in the first post? Guess what, this is STILL not the recipe where it is made!), cheese sauce (I used some CFS vegan cheese sauce), and basil. You can serve it over spaghetti, but I had just had a huge lunch so was looking for a lighter dinner, so I just served mine over some wilted baby spinach.
Rating: :D

Cauliflower Parmigiana

Perfect Roasted Potatoes: This is from the picky eater chapter, because I guess everyone loves potato! These are par-boiled, smashed, coated in vegan butter or oil, and seasoned before baking. They go crunchy on the outside, and soft on the inside.
Rating: :)

Perfect Roasted Potatoes


Chickpea Croquettes with Dill Yoghurt Sauce: This is from the special meals for fancy get togethers chapter, not to be confused with the previous impressive meals for your in-laws chapter. I guess there is a distinction. The croquettes are made sweet potatoes and chickpeas. I took the baking option, and you can see they didn't quite go golden, but they tasted good. I left out the cayenne. I made some small croquettes and also one larger burger patty size so I could make a leftovers sandwich with it. The dill sauce was wonderful and tangy. In a shocking twist, fresh dill (my favourite herb) was no where to be found, so I had to take the dried dill option. I used a lot.
Rating: :)

Chickpea Croquettes with Dill Yoghurt Sauce


Cheesy Roasted Sweet Potatoes: From the holidays chapter, this is simple and delicious! Just toss sweet potatoes with nutritional yeast, paprika, and garlic and roast. So simple, so delicious. Add extra nooch.
Rating: :D

Cheesy Roasted Sweet Potatoes


Sun-Dried Tomato Linguine: At last, we have arrived at the origin recipe for the Sun-Dried Tomato Marinara you have been hearing about these last few posts. This is from the romantic chapter. Is this a date night mood setter? Beats me. Maybe ask someone who isn't acearo. But it tastes good! The marinara sauce has sun-dried tomatoes, fresh cherry tomatoes, tinned tomato sauce, and tomato paste, so it is all tomatoes all the time. It has a lot of flavour, and also makes a ton. So it is good to make all those other recipes with afterwards, you'll have some leftover! I used half the amount of pasta and made it up with a tin of kidney beans. This also has green olives, as you can see, as well as capers. Are capers romantic? Who's to say. Anyway, this is a good recipe.
Rating: :)

Sun-Dried Tomato Linguine


Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Boo


Don't worry, Boo is fine. This is just a flashback photo to her in her cone. She wore it so well! Much fashion. I've scheduled the last couple of posts to be released, so I will update you on the Boo-Abby situation in my next post. Fingers crossed things around going a bit smoother. It is going to be a long, slow process.

Saturday, 9 October 2021

Recipe Round-Up: But My Family Would Never Eat Vegan

Part two of this round of round-ups from But My Family Would Never Eat Vegan by Kristy Turner! See part one, and other posts about this book, here.

Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal: Heading back into oatmeal territory from the breakfast chapter with this classic combination. The oats are cooked with extra cinnamon, raisins, and molasses. And topped off with more raisins and chopped peanuts. I find raisins to be incredibly sweet, so I was a bit sparing with them compared to what the recipe calls for.
Rating: :)

Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal


Peanut Butter and Banana Oatmeal: Another classic combo, I just love PB&B! This has sliced banana and peanut butter cooked with the oats, and is topped with more of the same plus maple syrup and crushed peanuts. With all the peanut butter, this makes this breakfast extra filling! I should mention that the base recipe of this starts with a cup of rolled oats for one serve, so they don't skimp on the serving sizes.
Rating: :)

Peanut Butter and Banana Oatmeal


Smoky Shroom Sausage and Red Potato Goulash: Back to the homestyle cooking chapter with this offering. The mushrooms are sauteed with sausage-style seasonings before being roasted. I could have used extra mushrooms, and it ended up a bit dry, but the flavours were good. Especially with the optional sour cream on top! I used a silken-tofu based sour cream recipe I had leftover from another cookbook.
Rating: :)

Smoky Shroom Sausage & Red Potato Goulash


Butternut Squash Risotto with Sage Butter: This is from the impressive meals chapter, designed to impress your inlaws apparently. It is a wonderful autumny-risotto, using roasted butternut to give a wonderful flavour. Ths sage butter and crispy sage on their own I wasn't a fan of, but they go great with the flavours of the risotto. I also sauteed some Field Roast Apple Sage sausage, and also used some Pepita Parmesan from the book on top as well. Served over baby spinach, I got three big servings from this recipe (it says it serves 6). And I think it looks pretty!
Rating: :)

Butternut Squash Risotto with Sage Butter


Kung Pao Cauliflower: This is a quick sautee style recipe, with an easy to make at home kung pao sauce (I skipped the sriracha though, so I guess it is not really kung pao anymore). I also left out the chilli flakes and I used celery rather than capsicum. Tis made three serves. I didn't bother to cut the green parts of my scallions into fancy thin strands, because I wasn't trying to 'impress' anyone with the appearance. Sorry, Dad.
Kung Pao Cauliflower


The Portobello Philly Reuben: Remember that smoked gouda cheese and mushroom I opened the last post with? That was for this recipe. I hope I can be forgiven by reuben afficiandos for making this on regular bread, but it was what I had to work with. This has a lovely made at home russian dressing, and uses grilled mushrooms. I just used normal field mushrooms, as I couldn't find portobellos. All topped off with a bunch of sauerkraut, these were great.
Rating: :)

The Portobello Philly Reuben


The Avocado Melt: This great sandwich used up some of the leftover gouda sauce and sauerkraut from above. It also had tomato and mayo in it. The combination of the avocado and the gouda was quite rich, so it definitely needed the sauerkraut and tomato in it to help cut through that.
Rating: :)

The Avocado Melt


Lemongrass Tofu Banh Mi: I love a banh mi! This one was a wonderful marinated tofu (I let mind marinate for a little bit longer), which is worth making on its own even without the rest. After marinating, the tofu is cooked and then glazed in the left over marinade. I strained the marinade first, as it still had lots of fibrous strings from the lemongrass. There is also a quick pickled carrot and daikon salad, which is very nice. I left out the sriracha in the aioli, making it into just a regular aioli, and I also left out the jalapenos from the sandwich itself. The crusty roll was also stuffed with cucumber slices and fresh coriander (aka cilantro for my US friends).
Rating: :)

Lemongrass Tofu Banh Mi


Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies: Moving into the vegan baking isn't all hippy chapter. I made a half recipe of these cookies, and got 16 cookies using a 20mL scoop. The recipe calls for apple sauce of mashed banana, I used the former so there was a subtle flavour from that. The peanut butter flavour itself was also fairly subtle. But these were a nice cookie.
Rating: :)

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies


Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Boo


Boo loves sitting on the windowsill getting the sun and watching out for anything that might be moving around out there.

Thursday, 7 October 2021

Recipe Round-Up: But My Family Would Never Eat Vegan

But My Family Would Never Eat Vegan is the follow-up to Kristy Turner's first book, But I Could Never Go Vegan. Once again, it is split into chapters based around an excuse people might give, and covers a wider variety of food for all occasions! I have really enjoyed making things from this cookbook, and I would recommend it. You can see previous posts I've made from this book here... and I just realised that those posts were from four years ago! Where does the time go? Why do I have so many cookbooks? Rounding them up here is going to be a never ending task. At least I'll have something to do for years? Anyway, back to the round-up! This is part one of three.

Smoked Gouda Melty Cheese Sauce: The book has a selection of pantry staples, including a very versatile cashew cheese sauce that has a lot of variations. This is the melty smoked gouda variety, which is thickened with cornstarch and flavoured with smoked paprika, garlic, and dill. It has a great flavour, and is wonderful to make a grilled cheese with. This is after it has been melted for another recipe, which you will here about in the next post.
Rating: :)

Smoked Gouda Melty Cheese


Everyone's Favourite Oatmeal is from the breakfast chapter, and is a good basic recipe with a bunch of variations. The original recipe is a little bland, but very filling. Although already sweetened with a little bit of maple syrup, I added a good spoonful of some vegan honey I had to use up on top. As well as an extra generous sprinkling of cinnamon. I increased the mild:water ratio for cooking the oats, I just prefer my oats creamier.
Rating: :| a just a little bland

Everyone's Favourite Oatmeal


Simple Fruit and Nut Oatmeal: As I mentioned, there are a bunch of variations. I'll just share one in this post, and spread the others out in the future round up posts so you don't just get overwhelmed by oatmeal. This one is the basic recipe just topped with fruit and nuts and drizzled with extra maple syrup. These additions definitely fix the blandness! I used strawberries and sliced almonds on mine.
Rating: :)

Simple Fruit and Nut Oatmeal


Mushroom-Kale Skillet Hash: A savoury breakfast option, this is very quick to make. It is a hash of red onion, red potatoes, mushrooms, and greens. I had ordered kale to be delivered, but they sent basil by mistake, so I used baby spinach leaves as the greens in this. It is seasoned with Old Bay seasoning, so it was good to use up some of the packet that I bought ages ago. I got two dinner sized serves out of this, and would recommend topping with some ketchup as well!
Rating: :)

Mushroom-Kale Skillet Hash


Cheese-Stuffed Meatballs: Thisrecipe is a bit fiddly, but well worth it. It is from the 'vegan food for your meat and potatoes family members'. The 'meat' of the meatballs is made from mushrooms, kidney beans, and panko, and they are stuffed with some of the melty smoked gouda cheese sauce I posted about above. Although a bit soft, the meatballs worked perfectly. Once the cheese cools after you make it, it is very easy to scoop for stuffing into the meatballs. Served on spaghetti and topped with a Sun-Dried Tomato Marinara Sauce (more on that in another post as it is from another recipe in the book).
Rating: :)

Cheese-Stuffed Meatballs


Beer-Marinated Portobello Tacos with Avocado-Corn Salsa: Sometimes I use beer for a recipe and then I have some leftover because I don't drink it, so I scour my books for another recipe. Thus, these tacos, also from the meat and potatoes chapter. I made a half recipe of these with three field mushrooms (portobellos were not available). The marinade needed a but more flavour to it other than just the beer, which ended up being the overwhelming taste. It is served with an avocado-corn salsa, which was nice. I used celery rather than raw onion, and left out the jalapeno. I served these with a side of roasted zucchini and potatoes.
Rating: :| (though would be fine if you liked beer taste more than me I imagine)

Beer-Marinated Portobello Tacos with Avocado-Corn Salsa


No-Bake Zucchini Manicotti: From the 'health nut' chapter, but guess what. I totally roasted my zucchini slices first. Take that! I just don't like raw zucchini, nor does my body. Once roasted, it was great. They are rolled with some lovely herbed macadamia ricotta and topped with some more of that sun-dried tomato marinara (still not the main recipe to talk about that, it is just a sauce used in quite a few things). I served it with some roasted sliced potato. This is a nice flavour, but is absolutely not a filling meal. Be prepared to have some other stuff to eat with it.
Rating: :)

No-Bake Zucchini Manicotti


Shiitake Stroganoff: From the 'homestyle vegan food' chapter, this creamy sauce gets its base from silken tofu. Despite the addition of some seasonings and a lot of delicious shiitake mushrooms, it is just a bit meh. It manages to be too lemony and also a bit bland all at once. I served it with half the amount of pasta called for, and a tin of white beans mixed through for protein.
Rating: :| A bit bland, nooch fixes all though

Shiitake Stroganoff


Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Abby


Abby would like you to know that she is being held against her will! As part of make Abby and Boo get along plan 3.0, she is now confined to my study so Boo can have the run of the house. She is being very dramatic about it, and is a master of the tiny little sad squeak. Even though I've been sitting in here with her for the last two hours on my laptop, she takes that as an invitation to show me just how pitiful she is. Be brave Abby!

Wednesday, 6 October 2021

Midweek Munchies

More midweek, more munchies!

I picked up these chicken pieces on sale to try. They were not bad. I wouldn't pay full price, but if I saw them at a discount I would use them again. I used these to make an orange chicken stir-fry from one of my recipe books (the review to come) instead of using homemade seitan. Love a ready made protein!

Naturli Chicken Free


Naturli Chicken Free


I saw these available in Woolworths, which is exciting! I love a vegetable/mushroom/tofu gyoza, but these look like they will be a fun option as well. The BBQ Pork one has chilli in it, but the Teriyaki Beef one doesn't. I did buy some of the teriyaki ones, so will report on those once I eat them.

New Gyoza in Woolworths


I bought these to serve along side some soup. They are pre-sliced, so you can just heat up as many as you need rather than having to heat up a whole loaf. They were a little bland though.

Herb slices


Herb slices


I had a bunch of veggies in the fridge that needed using up, so I roasted them all up and made a roast veggie bowl for lunch. This had baby spinach underneath, and was topped with a hefty follop of hummus and a drizzle of BBQ sauce. I have always loved the combination of hummus and BBQ sauce.

Roasted veggies, hummus, BBQ sauce


Tried this chocolate that I had bought a while ago. The chocolate itself wasn't the best, but it was salvaged by the lovely tangy raspberry pieces.

Raspberry Chocolate


After hearing everyone raving about the Coles Nature's Kitchen Chicken-Style Nuggets, I got some for myself. At half price, no less. Love a bargain! I am glad it was half price, because they were fairly meh. They had a weird oily texture. Fry's green box nuggets are still my number one!

Nature's Kitchen Chicken Nuggets


Finally, I bought this Botanical Bacon on-line, and was excited about carrot bacon. It was not great. I realised once I got it that the ingredients included coconut oil. But also flavour wise there was nothing bacon about it. It just tasted like chewy oily maple scented something.

Maple Syrup Botanical Bacon


Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Boo


Boo being a prawn. You can just peep her little shaved tummy.