Thursday, 15 October 2020

Midweek Munchies

Some random things...

When I was growing up, 'Tuna Glug' was a fond favourite in our household. So much so that I veganised it for MoFo one year. A while ago Mum and I made this new version of it: Baked Bean Glug! We kept things easy by layering cooked rice, spinach, creamed corn, a big tin of baked beans, frozen peas and corn, some sliced tomato, and Daiya cheddar shreads, then into the microwave it went. This was good.

Baked Bean Glug

Baked Bean Glug

I picked up this Vegglove Cake on sale one day for $4 instead of the usual $7, which I would never pay. It was OK. The top layer was sort of a gelled berry slice on top of a crumbly base. They have some other flavours, but they all seem heavy on the coconut cream, so this is the only one I tried. I'd get it again if it was on an even better sale, otherwise I wouldn't bother.

Vegglove Berry Cake

I got this on sale one day from Woolworths, a vegan gluten free pasta. It has actual vegan cheese on it, which I appreciated, and the roasted veggies and sauce were good... but oh boy that gluten free pasta. It was thick and grainy. I am sure I have had gluten free lasagne sheets before that were not like that, so they need to improve their pasta work!

Gluten Free Vegan Lasagne

This little bag of flavoured almonds came in a CFS Mystery Box ages ago, and I found it languishing in a container of stuff. I am sorry I waited so long, because they were extremely delicious. However the raspberry flavouring could have been stronger.

Shelby's Chocolate Raspberry Almonds

Fry's has come out with some newer products, though the term newer is relative because I was late to the party with these balls. They are nicely flavoured, have a crunchy little outside and are nice and soft on the inside. Would recommend.

Fry's Butternut Balls

Finally, this tin of soup! It is soup... for my family! (If you know, you know, and you will laugh with me because soup for my family will never not be funny to me.) This was a totally adequate veggie soup, that is handy to have around. I would suggest adding some nutritional yeast to it (because duh) and serving it with a toasted cheese sandwich.

Heinz can of soup... for my family
Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Dim Sim

This little baby was the bravest girl yesterday, she had her needle aspirate without needing any sedation! And she was so sweet when we got home, she doesn't hold grudges. No results yet, hopefully tomorrow. We'll see.

Wednesday, 14 October 2020

Eating In: Stir-Fries, Sandwiches, Salads

Some more delivered or taken away foods that I ate.

When scouring all the restaurants on delivery apps for vegan options, I came across Kingsfood Chinese Restaurant, which helpfully has a few options clearly marked vegan. I got the tofu and veggies with rice as my first offering, which was lovely. The next time I sampled some of the vegan spring rolls (which were pretty much your standard spring roll), and I got the Combination Vegetarian Delight in Garlic Sauce. I was feeling like a whole bunch of veggies, and this was just a whole bunch of veggies and mushrooms. Though unfortunately it was super oily, which was sad.

Tofu and Veggies from Kingsfood Chinese Restaurant

Vegetable Spring Rolls from Kingsfood

Vegetables and Mushrooms from Kingsfood

One day I had to get petrol on my way from somewhere to somewhere, and I knew I needed to get something to eat. 7-Eleven now has a range of vegan options in their grab and go cases! They have a vegan pie, vegan sausage roll, falafel and salad wrap, vegan chicken salad sandwich, and a vegan egg salad sandwich. I went for the egg salad sandwich, which had a really nice tofu and mayo filling and crunchy lettuce. The only thing was it lacks a little in flavour, I would have loved some mustard on it.

Vegan Egg Salad Sandwich from 7-Eleven

Swinging by my beloved The Green Edge as I moved between clinics, I was sad to see that their grab and go fridge was devoid of their chicken caesar salad, and the only wraps in there had sweet chilli sauce in them. So I ended up ordering a salad wrap, minus the capsicum, add in some crispy chicken, to go. As I had to wait a little bit for it to be ready, I ended up spending a bit of time browsing and buying some fun things that you will see in upcoming Midweek Munchies posts!

Salad Wrap with Crispy Chicken from The Green Edge

The Green Edge recently closed for a couple of weeks for renovations, I am super excited to see what they have done with the place. But it happened to be one of those times I needed to get lunch between clinics. So I popped by Botanica, an fancy all vegetarian salad place that always has vegan options and is just around the corner from work. I got a small box, which was enough for lunch and dinner. They pack it full and it is filling! I got the roasted carrot and quinoa salad with tahini dressing, the raw broccoli cashew and cranberry salad, and the rice, pumpkin, spinach, and soy salad. I've had these salads before, and they are all great. I just have to remember in future though that even though the salad tastes amazing, my guts do not enjoy a lot of raw broccoli! I also got a juice from their cabinent, and one of their vegan brownies.

Salad and Juice from Botanica

Vegan Brownie

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Dim Sim

I am typing this post three hours before we are going in to get her bladder masses needle aspirated, though it will still be a few days until we have any results.

Monday, 12 October 2020

Recipe Round-Up: Bold Flavoured Vegan Cooking

I thought I was keeping on top of my comment approvals, but I just found a few that had slipped through the cracks from the last couple of months. I will have to change the way I check on them to make sure I don't miss any more!

Back to another round of Bold Flavoured Vegan Cooking by Celine Steen, a book that I recipe tested for. You can see previous posts about this book here.

Quick and Easy Pad Thai: This is indeed pretty fast to make. The recipe calls for tempeh, but as I live with a couple of tempeh haters (alas!) I used tofu instead. The sauce comes togethr quickly, and has a nice tang from a combination of lime and tamarind. I'd add a bunch of extra green veggies to it next time because you know how I love the veggies. It is also topped with some Serundeng, a delicious spiced mix of pan-toasted coconut, peanuts, and shallots.
Rating: Pad Thai: :), Serundeng :D

Quick and Easy Pad Thai

Orange Marmite Noodle Bowl: Yes, marmite! Or in my case, Vegemite. The best of the mites! The thing about Vegemite is that it is a lot stronger than other mites, hence why it is the best mite. Bianca will back me up on this. As well as the sauce and the noodles, this bowl also has tofy, cabbage, and carrot in it. The sauce is a mix of OJ and Vegemite, along with other things. I blitzed the sauce together because Vegemite is quite thick and won't stir into things withouth blitzing or melting. I used the upper ampount of Vegemite, 2 TBS, as I love me some Vegemite. However although the sauce smelled strongly of Vegemite, the orange juice was the stronger flavour.
Rating: :)

Orange Marmite Noodle Bowls

'Crispy Thin Savoury Pancakes' with Mushroom Filling: I have a terrible track record with making this sort of pancake, they always fall apart. And this time was no different. So behold my pancake mushroom bowl! All the flavours, but none of the presentation. Despite my troubles, this was still a really nice and filling dinner. I noticed that Celine has changed the pancake recipe substantially between the tester recipe that I used here and the one in the book, so I hope to try again one day and perhaps have better success! But if all fails, just put it in a bowl.
Rating: :)

Cripsy Thin Savoury Pancakes with Mushroom Filling Bowl

Soy Pomegranate-Glazed Eggplants with Dukkah: This recipe was supposed to be made with cute baby eggplants cut into slices, but I could not find anything but big eggplants, so they had to do. This was a lovely sweet, tangy, earthy and crunchy dish. I served it along side some rice, steamed broccoli, and za'atar spiced chickpeas.
Rating: :)

Soy Pomegranate-Glazed Eggplants with Dukkah

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with White Barbecue Sauce: Yay for potatoes! I left out the capsicum and chile, and just stuck with the potatoes and the red onion for this dish. Also I used regular new potatoes. They are all very nicely roasted, tossed with a lovely savoury dark sauce. The white BBQ sauce is mayo-based, and is very tangy. I don't know that I would think of BBQ sauce flavours when I was eating it, but it is nice in its own way.
Rating: :)

Roasted Potatoes with White BBQ Sauce

Sweet Potato Fries with Sriracha Ketchup: No matter what I do with sweet potato fries, I just struggle so hard to get them to go crispy. I hear this is common. While these didn't go crispy, they were still very tasty. They are dusted with a porcini salt, which gives a great flavour. The ketchup is a mix of, you guessed it, sriracha and ketchup, but also has other yummy things in it like miso and lime juice. I scaled back on the amount of sriracha called for from 1-2 TBS to just a scant tsp.
Rating: :)

Sweet Potato Fries with Sriracha Ketchup

Red Chana Dal Mujaddara: I love mujaddara, a simple but wonderful mix of rice and lentils topped with fried onions. This is a fancy version with added flavours. The red comes from red onion and sun-dried tomatoes, and it was also meant to have red capsicum but I used carrot instead. I couldn't get the right sort of chana dal, so I used yellow split peas instead. In this one, the chana dal and the rice are cooked separately ahead of time, so you just add everything together in the end. It has a lovely flavour. The recipe has an option drizzle of pomegranate molasses to serve, but I found I preferred it without.
Rating: :)

Red Chana Dal Mujaddara

Red Curry Veggies: For this recipe you can either make your own red curry paste or use a bought one. I went for a bought one, and I used less than the recipe called for. I also used light coconut milk and water as a blend for the coconut milk. This has green beans, red onion, eggplant, and carrot (used instead of eggplant), but would be great with some tofu added as well. I got 2-3 serves out of this, served over jasmine rice.
Rating: :)

Red Curry Veggies

Very Tahini Teffballs and Dressing: This is one of the recipes I have made since testing, as life gifted me some super onsale teff grain that I could't resist, but also needed to use up. I did change a few things in the balls themselves, leaving out the jalapeno and capsicum, and using parsley instead of coriander because that was what I had. They were very tasty little balls. Topped with a tahini dressing. The dressing calls for coconut cream and I used oat milk with some extra tahini, though it was still quite thin, which I accept as a result of my subs. It still tasted great.
Rating: :)

Very Tahini Teffballs and Dressing

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Dim Sim

Dim Sim. If you follow me on IG, you'll be up to date. But for those who don't, here's the story. I noticed that she had been peeing an extra time a day compared to normal, so I felt her bladder after she had peed to see if it was completely empty as she has issues with urinary retention. It was empty, but it felt bumpy. Since my last post, we have done an ultrasound that comfirmed my fear that she has a bladder mass. Masses, to be precise. Initial testing did not give any answers, so the plan is the do a needle aspirate of them while she is sedated to hopefully get a diagnosis. I am coping while waiting by distracting myself with things (like blogging), and keeping myself feeling emotionally dead inside. The important thing is that she in herself is not unwell right now. She is her normal happy little self. I love her so much.

Wednesday, 7 October 2020

Midweek Munchies

Hello friends. As I write this, I have a majorly stuffed up neck. I cannot move it properly to drive, or turn to look at something, or, you know, exist without it being in pain. As someone with chronic pain, I am used to dealing with being in pain, but this is a notch above my usual. Fun times. So let's distract ourselves with snacks.

This is a pantry meal I made a while ago. I was curious about these vegan cheese-stuffed ravioli, but I realised after I bought them via mail that the cheese was coconut oil, so I was wary of eating them. I sauteed up some sliced Tofurky sausages, added a super easy and yummy stir-through pasta sauce, cooked some frozen peas along with the pasta, served with some broccoli on the side, and topped all with some FYH parm. It was a good dinner.

Pantry Pasta Meal

Pantry Pasta Meal

Everyone was getting excited about this new brand of chocolate, Nomo. I bought a bar of their fruit and crunch. You know what I am going to say. Far too sweet for me, but would be great for those of you who enjoy a milky style of chocolate.

Nomo Chocolate Bar

My mum got this salad dressing for her, but I ended up using it. It is SO GOOD. I've been using it with salads or with roasted veggies, but I would love to serve this as the sauce component of a tofu/rice/broccoli bowl. Highly recommend.

Marion's Japanese Ginger and Sesame Dressing

Yumi's is a brand that has a lot of different falafel-style bites, as well as burgers now as well. I tried these cauliflower and potato bites. They were fairly bland, but in that good way, and made a nice addition to a meal.

Yumi Cauliflower and Potato Bites

Someone sweet soul at work picked me up some of these Golden Oreos. We don't have all the fun flavours that you have over in the US for Oreos, and the flavoured Oreos we do have are not vegan. But the original oreos are vegan, as are these golden ones. They were much as you would expect an Oreo to be, just vanilla.

Golden Oreos

Finally, these salad toppers I got are really fun. They add a crunchy and flavourful component to any sort of salad or bowl you might be making. The seaweed one is my favourite (especially in a salad with the dressing I spoke about above), but the Tuscan one is good too. Lots of ways to use these.

Salad Toppers

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Dim Sim

Dim Sim is going in for some tests tomorrow, for something that could be scary or could be nothing. I'd appreciate all good thoughts for her. I will let people know more once I have a better idea of what is happening.

Tuesday, 6 October 2020

Eating Out: Market Organics

Yes, you read that right. Eating OUT. I have dipped my toe into the waters of dining in, but only once and only for one special occasion. My friend and co-worker's goodbye. Brisbane is back to doing really well in the COVID stakes, but that isn't an excuse to go back to everything being normal. My friend discussed with the cafe before hand to make sure we would all be happy with their COVID plan, and we were. It was just a small group of us, and all people who I see at work all the time. I was still pretty wary, but overall felt that it was as safe a space as a space could be. And it was nice for a couple of hours to be a person in the world. I won't suddenly be eating out all over the place, I have no plans to eat out again for some time, but it was a moment in time that I treasured. Next week this section will be back to the usual delivery and take away.

But what is the place? I hear you scream. Or not, I realised it is in the title of the post. We went to the cafe attached to Market Organics in Newmarket. Annoyingly, it used to be all vegan and vegetarian, but then it changed ownership and now there is meat. But at least they still have a number of vegan options on the menu.

I got a beautiful looking Velvet Latte, which was a beetroot and turmeric latte. I hoped it would have more flavour than most other beetroot lattes, where you are basically drinking warm pink soymilk. It had the slightest hint of more flavour. At least it was pretty!

Velvet Latte at Market Organics

For food I got the 'Mushrooms', which is sourdough with mushroom pate, sauteed 'forest' mushrooms (enoki and shiitake), kale, broccolini, and salsa verde. I got the vegan version of it, which came with cashew cheese rather than feta, and I also had a side of avocado with it. Because of course! This was delicious, and very filling.

Sauteed Mushrooms at Market Organics

The cafe is attached to a store with a lot of vegan options, so I popped in and brought myself a selection of interesting things, keep an eye out for my thoughts on these eventually in midweek munchies posts.

Market Organics Haul

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Jed trying his best

The friend and colleague we were farewelling was Jed's mum. Here is a photo of Jed on one of the last days I was with him. He was trying very hard to get another colleague's lunch. It is important to reach for your dreams.

Sunday, 4 October 2020

Recipe Round-Up: Bold Flavoured Vegan Cooking

A new contender enters the ring! I haven't done a recipe round-up for Bold Flavoured Vegan Cooking (by Celine Steen) yet, but I have posted about one of the recipes before here. I'm going to have a few posts for stuff I have made so far from this book. I was a recipe tester for it, so I have made a bunch of things! The bold flavours loosely are Savoury, Spicy, and Sweet. 'But Susan!' I hear you say, 'Spicy?' Yes, spicy. So when I tested for this book it was at a time when I hadn't completely lost my tolerance for spicy, but I still needed to make things very mild. Celine was super cook about me reducing the heat (and leaving out capsicum and coconut oil) during my testing, I was her spicy wimp tester. Let's get into it, shall we?

Chickpea-Nut Croquettes with Asian-Style Peanut Salad: What a lovely and refreshing combination these two recipes make! The croquettes are amazing, packed full of chickpeas, peanut butter, carrots, panki, coriander, and more. I loved them. The salad is a blend of carrot and cucumbers, sliced into ribbons, in a dressing that makes it almost a quick pickled salad. I decreased the amount of sambal oelek in both of them.
Rating: Croquettes :D, Salad :)

Chickpea-Nut Croquettes and Asian Peanut Salad

Pulled Jackfruit Rolls: What a stellar recipe, and it included my piece de resistance - making a super mild gochujang. I am a master spicy wimp! The book also has a basics chapter, which are not your usual basics, and a lot of the recipes use components from there. This sandwich is amazing! But it does take a while, as the jackfruit and slow simmers in a delicious sauce for an hour. The sauce includes the gochujang. It also calls for Lapsan Souchong tea, but I couldn't find any so there is a sub provided for liquid smoke instead. The sandwich is assembled with mayo, grated carrot (which I used in place of red cabbage), cucumber, and the most amazing pickles. The Asian Pear Pickles are just so delicious and delightful and an absolute MUST!
Rating: Sandwich :D, Pickles :D

Pulled Jackfruit Rolls with Asian Pear Pickles

Matcha Tempeh and Pickled Veggies Sandwiches: I didn't make this recipe exactly as it was meant to be made, as I had made the matcha tempeh for another recipe and was using some of it up here. But the matcha tempeh is really the star of this show, and I highly recommend it! The rest of the sandwich has some wasabi mayo and quick pickled veggies. The pickled veggies are where I had to improvise with what I had on hand, so I used the carrot but I used cucumber instead of bok choy and I left out the radishes and scallions. Regardless, it makes for a lovely sandwich combination.
Rating: :)

Matcha Tempeh and Pickled Veggies Sandwich

Caramelised Jackfruit Tacos: Confession, I made these corn tortillas. Can you tell? Ha! I really don't like store-bought corn tortillas, so most of the time I just sub them for wheat ones. But occassionally I will make my own (using the recipe from The Taco Cleanse). But that is neither here nor there for this recipe. This is another great flavour combination. The jackfruit is tossed with a glaze and baked, which is really nice and not something I had done with jackfruit before. The tacos also have some lime-y broccoli, coriander, and pickles on them. The book calls for the Peppers in a Pickle recipe, I used the liquid part of that but pickled carrots and cucumbers instead.
Rating: :)

Caramelised Jackfruit Tacos

Smoky Kale and Chickpeas with Miso Peanut Drizzle: This is super fast to make, with the chickpeas and kale just needing a quick sautee. They are really just a vehicle for the sauce. It calls it 'drizzle', but you will want to drown everything in this amazing delicious sauce. I served this with some roasted sweet potatoes as well.
Rating: :D

Smoky Kale and 'Peas with Miso Peanut Drizzle

Kinoko Gohan: This is Celine's spin on a classic Japanese dish of 'mushroom rice'. Rice is cooked in a mushroom dashi broth, and then mixed through with sauteed mushrooms. The cookbook version has the addition of kim chi, which the tester version did not, but I would just be leaving that out regardless. Topped with some grated carrot, sauteed enoki mushrooms, and served over baby spinach with some baked tofu on the side.
Rating: :)

Kinoko Gohan with Shichimi Togarashi

Chazuke (Matcha Soaked Rice): This has a double hit of matcha, with a matcha-infused broth as well as matcha tempeh, however it is never overpowering. It just adds a subtle but lovely flavour to the dish. This recipe is also topped with Japanese Carrot Pickles, which are very easy to make.
Rating: Chazuke :), Carrot Pickles :)

Chazuke (Matcha-Soaked Rice)

Tamarind Miso Soup: A fun combination of two flavours I really enjoy. This is a light soup, with bok choy and carrots in a broth made of all sorts of fun things. Including some hefty doses of miso and tamarind for a really rice and tangy flavour.
Rating: :)

Tamarind Miso Soup

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Dim Sim

I will never get tired of watching my sleepy bub nap next to me on her cushion/pinkie/blankie pile on the sofa.

Saturday, 3 October 2020

Isolation Brunches

Going back in time to those two months I spent on leave from work, isolating away in our house. One of the things I did to try and bring some struction and fun into our lives was a weekly brunch. This also meant, as you will see, that I dug out my waffle maker and had a mighty fine time! I keep forgetting that waffles are so easy to make with this waffle maker. It was also a nice time to get to make some of these sweeter brunch-type recipes that I hardly ever have a good time to make. Since heading back to work, I haven't made brunch once! I need to try and at least find a fun time to do it occasionally.

Old-Fashioned Chelsea Waffles and Brown Sugar Peach Coulis from Vegan Brunch by Isa Chandra Moskowitz: These was so easy to make, and they make a lot. I used half the recipe and got 6 nice fat waffles and one mini one. They are not overly sweet, but I really enjoyed that. I served them with some Brown Sugar Peach Coulis, which allowed me to use up some frozen peaches in my freezer because it certainly was not peach season. I also drizzled it with a bit of sweetened rice cream.
Rating: Waffles :), Coulis :)

Old-Fashioned Chelsea Waffes; Brown Sugar Peach Coulis

Peanut Butter Waffles and Blueberry Ginger Whole Berry Sauce from Vegan Brunch by Isa Chandra Moskowitz: Peanut butter everything! These waffles are filling, and also a bit crunchy because you use crunchy peanut butter. Again, I made a half recipe for 6 waffles. These had a nice peanut buttery flavour, and were not too sweet (again, hurrah!). Served with the Blueberry Ginger variation of the Whole Berry Sauce recipe, which used frozen blueberries and fresh ginger. The fresh ginger gave such a lovely sparkle to the sauce.
Rating: Waffles :), Sauce :)

Peanut Butter Waffles; Blueberry Ginger Whole Berry Sauce

Raised Waffles with Baked Cinnamon Apples from Vegan Brunch by Isa Chandra Moskowitz: I thought I'd try my hand at these yeasted waffles. You have the option of making them in the morning and letting them rise, or making them the night before and doing a longer rise in the frige overnight. I took the first option. Again, I halved the recipe and got 6 waffles. Mine got very dark on the outside with this recipe, which is different from how they look in the book. It didn't do anything bad to the flavour though. When I pulled these out of the waffle iron, they still seemed a bit soft compared to the others. But once out the crisped up on the outside and have a lovely fluffy inside. I served these with some nice and easy Baked Cinnamon Apples, also from the book.
Rating: Waffles :), Apples :)

Raised Waffles; Baked Cinnamon Apples

Tempeh Bacon from Baconish by Leinana Two Moons: Pancakes, bacon, and fruit, which a combination. The tempeh bacon from Baconish is easy to make and delicious to eat. I had a packed of Melinda's gluten-free pancake mix from an Vegan Mystery Box that I needed to use up, and I am sorry to say that it was not a good time. They tasted funny, the batter was so thick but also so fragile to flip. Thankfully the bacon, some apple slices, and maple syrup saved the day!
Rating for Tempeh Bacon :D

Tempeh Bacon; Melinda Pancakes; Apples; Maple Syrup

Raspberry Cornmeal Pancakes from Eat, Drink, & Be Vegan by Dreena Burton: These pancakes were a bit of a miss, they were quite crumbly and hard to flip. I wonder if my cornmeal was not fine enough? The recipe itself I noted had no sweetener in it, however it did call for vanilla soy milk which is normally sweetened. I didn't have any of that, so I used a blend of plain oat milk, maple syrup, and vanilla extract to make my own. I used a 1/3 cup measure as a scoop, and got 6 pancakes. I served this with some Maple Cream, another recipe from the blog that I have made a few times before, and some fresh strawberries.
Rating: :|

Raspberry Cornmeal Pancakes

Hearty Pancakes with Buckwheat and Blueberries from Power Plates by Gena Hamshaw: These also gave me a bit of trouble with the batter, as it was very thin and if you made the pancakes too big then it would tear when you flipped it. But I found using a 1/4 cup measure as the scoop just perfect. These had a really nice flavour and texture, thanks to the mix of spelt and buckwheat flour. I served these with some runny peanut butter, maple syrup, and sliced strawberries.
Rating: :)

Hearty Pancakes with  Buckwheat and Blueberries

This final brunch, which was actually the first brunch we had chronologically, did not involve any recipes. On my last day of work before I went into isolation, I stopped by Naim to pick up some vegan raspberry croissants. When I got home they went into the freezer and there they stayed until we decided to get brunching! These were lovely. Dusted with a raspberry poweder and filled with raspberry jam, they were a big hit. We happened to have quite a few types of fruit in the house that day, so I mixed up a quick fruit salad with banana, apple, raspberries, grapes, and pawpaw to have with it.

Naim Vegan Raspberry Croissants and Fruit Salad

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Dim Sim

As well as sleeping with my bamboo contour pillow for bad necks, I have to sleep with a little cushion tucked next to the right side of my head to stop my head from flopping to the side too much while I sleep, thus ruining my neck more. Chronic pain, it's so unfun. But one morning Dim Sim decided that sitting on a little cushion on top of the pillow was the ultimate in comfort. She stayed there for quite a while! Thankfully she doesn't try and take it from me when we are sleeping, because you know I would let her have it no matter the consequences for my neck.