Yesterday was Australia Day for those of us who live Down Under (or Invasion Day, or call it what you will), which meant a day off work for most (hurrah for public holidays) and the firing up of the 'barbie' around the country. My Australia Day plan were not exactly patriotic... I went over to my friend's house to watchthe two new episodes of Battlestar Galactica I'd downloaded (OMG!!!!) and then we watched the WWE Royal Rumble pay per view. So I tried to make up for it with a little lunch spread.
Australia Day is another great chance for vegans to shine and show the world that our diet is fabulous and that you don't need to slaughter a paddock of teeny, tiny baby sheep to celebrate/despair the landing of the First Fleet. Yes, in true 'Australian style', people like to celebrate with a BBQ, and the lamb industry starts a massive ad campaign about how 'Australian' it is to eat lamb. In previous years, these ads have been direct attacks on the vegetarian and vegan movements, housed as 'comedy'. You know, so if you got annoyed with it you were taking it too seriously and being a kill-joy-no-fun-animal-lib-freak, which is very 'un-Australian' (the most overused word of this young millenium). Whatever.
Anyway, enough with my soap boxing and moaning, and on with my food! I only had pretty limited time for this. I working and on call this weekend, so I only had three hours on Saturday afternoon and four hours on Monday morning. Otherwise there would have been so much more!
This is 'Green and Gold' Summer Sunshine Pasta Salad, from Vegan Planet. I added the 'Green and Gold' part to the title. There are two types of pasta in it - farfalle and shells. The recipe calls for the farfalle to be cooked with turmeric added to the water to mae them golden - which it does, very slightly. I had planned on adding some spinach to the water when cooking the shells to try and make them green, but for some reason this didn't happen. The broccoli helped with the green. I also used yellow cherry tomatoes in place of red ones and chopped up some green shallots/scallions in place of golden shallots to keep the theme going. Very refreshing! Makes a bucket load.
And what Australia Day would be complete without some sort of burger? We opted for the very best 'burger' nature has to offer - giant mushrooms! No prep work and so damn tasty! These were, of course, burgers with the lot. The lot includes lettuce, tomato, fried onion, beetroot and pineapple. Delicious!!
These are a variation on the Strawberry Shortcakes from Vegan With A Vengeance. The base is the scone recipe and I once again made the macadamia creme (macadamias, very Australian). However, I replaced the strawberry sauce with a 'Flag Coloured Fruit Salsa' - strawberries, blueberries and lychees. It is a yummy mix, but the lychees do make it very runny!
And finally, my favourite thing... MINI LAMINGTONS! These are quite inauthentic, largely because I didn't have time to mess around trying to find a sponge recipe. But they are soooo easy. I used the coconut cake recipe from Wing It Vegan's Strawberry Santa Hats, which has got to be one of the easiest, quickest, tastiest cake recipes ever and is a great base for so many things! Cut the cake into squares - whatever size you want them to be. Next, take your favourite chocolate icing recipe (not buttercream), I modified one I found on an on-line lamington recipe (1 cup icing sugar, 1/4 cup cocoa, 55mL soy milk, 15g Nuttelex all melted down in a double boiler), and dip your lamington into it. Let the excess run off, then roll in coconut. Let them sit for a little bit, and roll in coconut again, then leave to set. Easy peasy! And so tasty!
So I hope all the other Australians reading my blog enjoyed a lovely public holiday, good food and great friend!