Sunday, 28 June 2020

Recipe Round-Up: Appetite For Reduction (Handheld edition)

Popping back into Appetite For Reduction with some final photos to share. The last chapter of the book is called The Importance of Eating Sandwich. It has a number of sandwich and wrap combinations using components from throughout the book. Additionally, there is also a Taco Bar and several baked potato toppings. These are their stories. As previously, I'll just rate the overall sandwich, etc. Reviews of components can be found in my previous posts for this book.

Buffalo Wrap: Buffalo tempeh and cool slaw in a wrap. I added some lettuce. I also served it with some greens and some mac and cheese (which I had leftover from serving with the tempeh and the slaw the night before).
Rating: :)

Buffalo Wrap

Open-Faced Portobello Reuben: Sliced Grilled Portobellos with Caesar Chavez Dressing mixed with ketchup on dark rye, sauerkraut, and a dill pickle on the side. I had a bit of salad on the side as well, topped with some leftover dressing. This was nice, though not quite what I think of when I think of a reuben. An interpretation of a reuben.
Rating: :)

Open-Faced Portobello Reuben

Caesar Chavez Wrap: Cos (aka romaine) lettuce with sauteed seitan (I used some seitan I had leftover from another book), sliced black olives, and Caesar Chavez Dressing. This was nice and crunchy, with some strong flavours.
Rating: :)

Caesar Chavez Wrap

Thanksgiving Leftovers Wrap: Oof, that's a bad photo. But it is simply some Veggie Pot Pie Strew wrapped up with some cranberry sauce.
Rating: :)

Thanksgiving Leftovers Wrap

Taco Night: There is a range of recipes from the book that are suggested for your taco spread. From the list, I used Guacamame, Unfried Refried Beans, Portobello Chimichurri, and Fresh Tomato Salsa Dressing, along side some lettuce. I served them with some chard taco shells for nostalgia, they are the taco shells of my youth. Other suggested additions that I did not include are Chili-Lime-Rubbed Tofu and Steamed Plantains. I loved the combination of all these flavours together!
Rating: :D

Taco Night

Taco Night

Baked Potato #2: With Surefire Seitan, Sauteed Kale, and gravy (I used gravy from a gravy mix, but the recipe in the book is for Silky Chickpea Gravy).
Rating: :)

Baked Potato with Seitan, Kale, and Gravy

Baked Potato #4: With black beans, sauteed spinach, and Red Velvet Mole.
Rating: :)

Baked Potato with black beans, sauteed spinach and Red Velvet Mole

Baked Potato #5: Buffalo Tempeh, Caesar Chavez Dressing, and roasted zucchini (which I used instead of grilled).
Rating: :)

Backed potato with Buffalo Tempeh, Caesar Chavez Dressing and roasted zucchini

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Neighbourhood cat

I've mentioned that we have a few neighbourhood kitties that come through out yard, this one of our more recent visitors. A very cute little white cat with tabby splotches. Yesterday, I saw them right up on our deck and peering in our back door! The audacity! Thankfully Dim Sim was snoozing in her chair cave, blissfully unaware of this invasion.

Saturday, 27 June 2020

Yule 2020

Happy winter solstice! I know most of my blog friends are in the USA or other parts of the northern hemisphere, so will have just passed the summer solstice. But here in Australia, it is winter. And last week, we just celebrated the winter solstice, and our shortest day of the year.

Yule aka Winter Solstice (21st of June, 2020)

Yule fell over a weekend, and while I was working on the Saturday I had the Sunday off. For a few years, I used to mark Yule by making a huge feast. But the last couple of years time and energy have been against me, so I celebrated by making an easier but delicious wintery meal.

Deep, Dark Stew a La Sicilia from World Vegan Feast by Bryanna Clark Grogan: I knew I wanted to make this for Yule as soon as I saw it in the book earlier this year. This delicious stew uses TVP chunks (reconstituted in stock before you start the recipe), which are one of my favourite things. You can use cubed seitan instead, but TVP chunks are so much better. There is also carrot, mushrooms, and celery (I only had sticks, no leaves) in the stew, and I added some frozen peas as well because why not. The stew is made with an intriguing mix of ingredients such as sherry (though I used white wine), mushroom stock (I used the tip in the book of mixing porcini powder with vegetable stock for ease), cocoa powder, bacon bits, and yeast extract (Vegemite in my case), as well as a few other things and a blend of herbs. I got six servings, and I served it over mashed potatoes. The TVP chunks are coated in flour, sauteed, and set aside at the start of the recipe. I couldn't see where to add them back, so I did it about halfway through cooking time.
Rating: :)

Deep, Dark Stew a La Sicilia

Cranberry Apple Crumble from Vegan Casseroles by Julie Hasson: This is a lovely sweet and tart crumble. It uses granny smith apples and cranberries. While it called for fresh cranberries, that is not a thing here, so I used some of my very precious frozen cranberry stash, partially thawed. I also added a touch more cornstarch to the filling mix to make up for the extra liquid of using frozen cranberries. The topping is a nice cinnamon-laced mix of oats and flour, and I used melted Nuttelex as the fat. I would next time increase the amount of that from 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup, as the topping was a bit dry still, it didn't brown that well until I stuck it under the grill for a moment. I served this lovely winter treat with some So Delicious Snickerdoodle Ice Cream.
Rating: :)

Cranberry Apple Crumble

Cranberry Apple Crumble

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post


Speaking of winter and warmth, Gizmo was a master of finding snuggly places for napping. As she got older and had some arthritis in her lower spine and hips, we would wrap her up and give her a little heat pack for her joints during the colder days, which she really appreciated.

Thursday, 25 June 2020

Midweek Munchies

I am sleepy and have to go to work in a couple of hours (back to afternoon/evening shifts, blah), so let's get munching!

First up, this wonderful package I received from my friend who brought me back some treats from the UK and Europe! Those kitty lollies are SO GOOD! I wish we could get them here.

Care Package from Michelle

A ham (Tofurkey), cheese (Miyoko's smoked farmhouse) and salad (lettuce, grated carrot, avocado) sandwich for lunch one day.

Tofurky Ham, Miyoko's Cheese, and salad sandwich

This Nutty Bruce bar needed more peanut flavour to it, but it was pretty nice. Quite sweet though.

Nutty Bruce Bar

A toasted ham (Tofurky) and cheese (Miyoko's smoked farmhouse) sandwich.

Toasted Tofurky Ham and Miyokos Smoked Farmhouse sandwich

Microwave baked potato with tinned baked beans, chopped Tofurky ham, nutritional yeast, saurkraut, avocado, and bacon bits.

Baked Potato with Baked Beans, Tofurky Ham, nooch, sauerkraut, avocado, bacon bits

A tasty afternoon snack of a sliced pink lady apple, Speculoos spread, Miyoko's smoked farmhouse, and some Querkee pepper jerky.

Snack - apple, speculoos, Miyoko's smoked, Querkee pepper jerky

I tried this Alpro Bluberry Acai yoghurt with my granola one week. It was nice, but a bit too sweet for me.

Alpro Blueberry Acai Yoghurt

I really love this Obela beetroot hummus, it is really creamy and has a great flavour. Plus I love the choppped beetroot relish on top of it! Also it keeps for 7 days in the fridge once opened, which is a nice long time so you can just snack a bit here and there.

Obela Beetroot Hummus

Some non food stuff, but I bought these great vegan stickers from Compassion Co, an amazing ethical vegan clothing and fun stuff company run by Andy Tabur.

Compassion Co Stickers

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post


We've been having some very chilly nights, and I always remember what an amazing little heater Sahara was. She generated so much heat, and snuggled so hard during winter (often under the covers), than I would frequently have to cast off blankets and PJ pants during winter because she kept me so warm.

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

Eating Out*: The Green Edge


Hello friends! Another post from the days before COVID meant that dining out was not an option. I have posted about eating out at The Green Edge so many times before. This post is from the last two times I ate there, earlier this year.

About four weeks before things really got bad here, my vet friend that I mentioned in a recent post who came to visit and I went to The Green Edge for breakfast. They were having a bake sale there that day, so I was able to drop off some goodies for that. And also it was fun for her (and for me) to do some shopping in their store. Of course, when it came to breakfast I had to get a giant turmeric latte.

Turmeric Latte at The Green Edge

And I also got the Garlic Mushrooms (mushrooms, asparagus, cherry tomatoes, spinach, and parmesan on sourdough toast with a balsamic drizzle) with a side of avocado and a side of hand cut chips with house dressing. So good. Everything on the toast was so savoury and delicious.

Garlic Mushrooms with sides of Handcut Chips and Avocado at The Green Edge

My friend got the Avocado Toast (avocado, hummus, fetta, dukkah, lemon) with a side of chips and a side of mushrooms. She said it was all excellent!

Acocado Toast with sides of Mushrooms and Handcut Chips at The Green Edge

Another day, so blissfully unaware of what was coming and thinking I would be visiting to eat there every few weeks still, I stopped in for lunch and tried the Veggie Burger Salad, a lentil patty, caramelised onions, avocado, mango chutney, avocado, cherry tomatoes, salad, and house dressing. It was a really lovely salad combination.

Veggie Patty Salad at The Green Edge

I also tried some Parmesan Fries with Aioli. They initially forgot to bring it out, so when it did come I didn't have much time to eat a huge bowl of piping hot parmesan chips. They were delicious! I burnt my mouth a bit, but it was worth it before I had to leave.

Parmesan Fries with Aioli at The Green Edge

During the COVID lockdown The Green Edge closed their cafe for eat in but still had take away, and they were also open for groceries and had a large selection of treats and ready meals in their cabinets. As of this post, as restrictions are easing, they are open for limited numbers of people eating in as well.

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Dim Sim

Winter is here, so she is frequently found seeking the sunny spots in the sun room.

Sunday, 21 June 2020

Recipe Round-Up: Appetite For Reduction (Bowl edition)

I'm trying something a bit different at the moment, by posting a few times about a book so that I can get out all of the photos I have to share! So you may see two or three posts about the same book in my recipe-round ups, and I may post more than one recipe round-up post a week... or not, I'm back at work now so who knows. We'll see how things go. Anyway, still in the wonderful Appetite For Reduction for a bit longer. After all the recipes, there is a chapter called Elements of a Bowl, which is a list of suggestions for combining different sauces in the book with a grain (or noodle), a bean, and a green to create some wonderful delicious and tasty bowl meals. I'm just going to list the components of the bowls here, any changes I made, and give my rating for the overall bowl, I've already rated and reviewed the sauce and dressing recipes in previous posts.

Mexicana Kale Bowl: Brown rice, black beans, steamed kale, steamed sweet potato, Red Velvet Mole, fresh cilantro.
Rating: :)

Mexicana Kale Bowl

Supergreen Bowl: Quinoa, steamed kale and broccoli, edamame, Green Goddess Garlic Dressing, fresh parsley and chives. I added some peas and served it over baby spinach rather than steaming kale.
Rating: :)

Supergreen Bowl

Peanut-Lime Tempeh Bowl: Quinoa, steamed broccoli, sauteed tempeh, Peanut-Lime Dragon Dressing.
Rating: :D

Peanut-Lime Tempeh Bowl

Nori Bowl: Brown rice, steamed broccoli, adzuki beans, Carrot-Ginger Dressing, shredded nori.
Rating: :)

Nori Bowl

Mediterranean Bowl: Bulgur, roasted cauliflower, chickpeas, Caesar Chavez Dressing. I used brown rice instead of bulgur, added some baby spinach, and I roasted my chickpeas in Braggs and nutritional yeast for some extra flavour.
Rating: :)

Mediterranean Bowl

Romesco Bowl: Quinoa, white beans, grilled zucchini, Romesco Dressing. I also added some flaked almonds.
Rating: :)

Romesco Bowl

Vegan Bowl: Brown rice, baked tofu, steamed kale, Caesar Chavez Dressing.
Rating: :)

Vegan Bowl

Soba Bowl: Soba noodles, steamed broccoli and zucchini, black beans, Green Onion-Miso vinaigrette. I roasted the zucchini and broccoli instead of steaming. Also the vinaigrette is normally made with red miso, but when I made it for this bowl all I had was white.
Rating: :)

Soba Bowl

Gravy Bowl: Brown rice, baked tempeh, steamed kale, Silky Chickpea Gravy.
Rating: :)

Gravy Bowl

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Dim Sim

Even more sitting on me! She is quite fond of a snuggle and snooze on my chest. I am not complaining.

Friday, 19 June 2020

Recipe Round-Up: Appetite For Reduction

Appetite For Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz is one of my favourite cookbooks, and one of my most used. I reject diet culture, but I don't think about this book like that. It is full of delicious recipes, in true Isa style. However, it does have a teeny bit of nutrition stuff and calorie information in it, so if that is a trigger for you maybe skip it (or message me if there is a recipe that catches your eye!). You can see my previous posts on this book here.

Chipotle Lentil Burgers with OMG Oven-Baked Onion Rings: I made a half recipe of these to get three burgers. They have onion (it calls for red onion, but I used the inner rings of my white onion that I used to make the onion rings), zucchini, cilantro, and lentils in there. I used a smidge of tomato paste in place of the chipotles in adobe. I found this burger mix to be very soft and wet, and needed to add some extra bread crumbs to firm it up (I added an exgtra 1/4 cup). The Onion Rings were the true revelation of this dinner. Deep frying is not something I want to do (it is scary) and I can't eat a lot of deep-fried food before feeling sick, so these oven baked onion rings were a lot of fun! I used one onion and got 8 rings, and a half amount of the mixture. You dip the onion rings in a wet mixture and then into crumbs. I found that even with trying to shake them off after the wet mixture, my dry mix ended up very gluggy by the end. They still went nice and crunchy in the oven, but I needed to bake them for a few extra minutes at the end. I'd also decrease the salt in it next time as they were a bit too salty.
Rating: Burgers :) , Onion Rings :)

Chipotle Lentil Burgers; OMG Oven-Baked Onion Rings

Grilled Portobellos: This is a simple way to get some lovely juicy mushrooms on your table. They are marinated for at least half an hour (I did two hours) in a white wine-based marinade, and then grilled. I did mine in the George Foreman grill and it only took a few minutes. Let cool and slice for whatever you want! You could also leave them whole and put them in a burger as the patty.
Rating: :)

Grilled Portobellos

Butternut-Apple Soup: Not surprisingly, this is quite a sweet soup. I made a 1/3 recipe to get one lunch sized cup serve, and I also had some grilled cheese on the side. It was a very thick soup, so I added a smidge more stock. Like a fool, I realised afterwards that I had forgotten to add the ginger, which would have been wonderful. I topped it with some bacon bits.
Rating: :)

Butternut-Apple Soup

Smoky Split Pea Soup: This soup has a great smoky flavour, courtesy of smoked paprika. Yellow split peas and carrots give it a bright colour, though you could use green split peas if you wanted. I served this with some bread and salad.
Rating: :)

Smoky Split Pea Soup

Curried Chickpeas and Greens: I scaled this recipe down roughly, using one tin of chickpeas, 300g of kale, and on 400g tin of tomatoes... so it wasn't an exact scaling down. This made about three serves. It is that comforting vegan combination of beans and greens and, served over some brown rice, grains.
Rating: :)

Curried Chickpeas & Greens

Thai Roasted Root Vegetable Curry: This has a combination of roasted swedes, parsnips, and brussels sprouts, as well as sweet potato and carrots. I had extra sweet potato, so I did increase the water added a little bit. I tried making this using a smidge of green curry paste, but honestly green curry paste is just far too hot for me in any amount (where as I can take a small amount of red curry paste), so I found it a bit of the spicy side.
Rating: :) (from people who could handle the spice)

Thai Roasted Root Vegetable Curry

Chipotle Chili with Sweet Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts: This photo has been languishing a long time waiting to be shared... nine years in fact. Eeep! I have such a huge backlog of things to share. So I did actuall ymake this with chipotles in adobo, and it was OK because this was back before I lost all my heat tolerance. This also has pinto beans in it, and was served over some rice with a salad on the side.
Rating: :)

Chipotle Chili with Sweet Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts

Quinoa, White Bean, and Kale Stew: Greens! Beans! Grains! This is a filling soup! It says it makes 8 serves, I got five. It has a lovely and easy herb blend (made from dried herbs), and then is also full of veggies such as leek, potatoes, carrots, and parsnips. It is lovely with a bit of nutritional yeast or balsamic vinegar drizzed on top. (Another one from the 9 years ago file... good thing I always make notes!)(
Rating: :)

Quinoa, White Bean, and Kale Stew

Smoky Tempeh & Greens Stew: This is a nice, satisfying stew. I recommend making sure the tempeh is really well browned, otherwise it is a bit watery. The greens in this are kale and peas (which I used instead of baby lima beans), but it also has carrots and onion. It is a lot of greens, which is lovely, plus a hefty amount of smoked paprika (which I love).
Rating: :)

Smoky Tempeh & Greens Stew

Irish Stew with Potatoes & Seitan: This is definitely the sort of stew you want on a cold winters night. It has potatoes, seitan, carrots, and green beans in it, and the broth has beer as well. I use a pale ale because I don't like strong beer flavours. Served with some bread and salad for a satisfying meal.
Rating: :)

Irish Stew with Potatoes and Seitan

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Dim Sim

Another day, another sitting on me. Yesterday I was doing some core exercises on the floor, and Dim Sim thought it would be a good time to come and sit on top of me. She sat on me while I did my last two exercises, and then proceded to keep me trapped up her (all 2.4kg of her) for the next 40 minutes!