Monday, 14 September 2009

AusNZVeganMoFo: Voluptuous Menus

As many of you may know, I cannot resist a menu plan. I am virtually compelled to make any menu plan or suggestions made in my cookbooks. So The Voluptuous Vegan is like a dream come true - a book full of menus!

Some of the menus can be a bit fiddly, it is true. And there are some that have ingredients that are a bit tricky for me to source here in Brisbane. For the moment anyway, I am getting pretty good at finding ingredients around the place. The thing I like about it though is that although there can be many steps, it gives you a plan for making the menu so it all goes smoothly. And there are lots of components you can compare in advance as well, so it goes a lot more quickly when you are putting it together. The book also contains some super cute suggestions for plating up. Here's a couple of menus I have made in recent history to show you how great this book is.

This is Thai Vegetable Stew. A delicious stew that is bursting with so much vegetable goodness. Look at all those vegetables - eggplant, cauliflower, zucchini, carrots and sugar snap peas. Yum!

But what is this stew without some Baked Tofu Triangles to go with it? These are SENSATIONAL. You just want to make a whole bunch of them to sit and munch your way through.

Serve your stew and your tofu over some Jasmine Rice with Coconut. OK, confession time. This recipe calls for fresh shredded coconut. But I was just too lazy at the time to crack my own coconut that I used some from a packet. I promise I will do it for real next time!

This menu is just delicious already. But what makes it extra delightful is a nice side of Mint, Orange and Red Onion Salad. This is great, but makes a small amount so you may want to double the ingredients because it is very yummy!

This second menu is just perfect for a chilly night.

It starts with Seitan Bourguignonne. This includes seitan chunks, mushrooms and vegetables marinated in the most incredible marinade. It is so full of flavour - shoyu, miso, red wine, mirin, balsamic vinegar, garlic... so good! And the great thing is there is lots of marinade left over for future use. It's great with tofu!

Then you make a big bowl of fluffy Mashed Potatoes with Parsnips. The parsnips give it a great flavour, but can be a bit stringier than the potatoes when mashing.

A simple salad of Mesclun with Raspberry Vinaigrette rounds out the meal by adding some all important greens.

Giving you this! I won't lie, it takes a fair bit of time. But the results are damn tasty!

Cute Cat Photo of the Post

Another bittersweet tale for your today. This is Milky. For about 6 months when I was living in Sydney I had three and a half cats. Milky was my half. She started turning up every couple of days, sitting on the back steps. She was adorable and sweet and was wearing a collar. She was also skinny and had a sore on her face. My best efforts (including attaching a message on her collar and doing numerous neighbourhood door knocks) failed to turn up a home for her. I took her to the vet to scan for a microchip (there was none) and got some antibiotics for the wound on her face. She had no teeth, and would just swallow the antibiotics when you put it in front of her. I started feeding her, and she was so glad for it. It will come as no surprise that she was soon at my doorstep all the time! Unfortunately Sahara hated her, and Gizmo and Dim Sim were wary of her to say the least, so she never became a fully integrated place in the house. She did get into the house a couple of times - and trotted around so happily! When I went away on holidays and my girls went to the cattery, I arranged for a neighbour to keep on feeding her. She was an absolute sweetheart of a cat. Unfortunately for Milky, the wound on her face was not a wound but was a tumour. Knowing what I know now, it was most likely a squamous cell carcinoma. I tried to make her as happy as I could until the time came when the tumour was too big and the distortion to her face too great. She was going off her food. So we went to my vet and Milky was sent off in peace. This is the only photo I have of Milky. In case you are wondering, I named her Milky because of her colour. OK, that was quite an essay! I still love you Milky!


  1. I love that book! Some of the ingredietns are hard to get here as well. I agree with you on the tofu triangles, those are amazing.

  2. That is some yummy looking food! I love your story about Milky--thank you for taking care of her! She was so lucky to have had you in her life.

  3. Wow, I always see those menu suggestions and think that I could never be that dedicated (I can barely make myself follow just one recipe!) so I'm impressed! It all looks so good especially those tofu triangles.

  4. That all looks so delicious especially the orange salad. :) I also enjoyed your story, Milky's very lucky!