Thursday, 29 April 2021

Midweek Munchies

Munch munch munch...

I had some jarred horseradish leftover from some recipes I had made, and I discovered mashing it with avocado made for a delicious sandwich spread! Or in this case, Ryvita spread. Does Ryvita exist outside Australia? I don't know, but they are rectangular crackers made entirely out of rye (or sometimes mutli grains). I added some fresh tomato and some dill and garlic seasoning salt for a lovely summer snack.

Ryvita with Avocado Horseradish Mash, tomatoes, and garlic and dill salt

Vegan frozen meals are becoming more available in the supermarkets, which is handy if you need a quick dinner and don't have any leftovers. This Ruffie one has schnitzel and pasta in a tomato-y sauce. The downside is it does have little bits of capsicum in the sauce that I needed to pick out. But served with some microwaved baby spinach and peas, and topped with some FYH parmesan, it made for a nice dinner.

Ruffie's Vegan Schnitzel and Pasta

I love these little mochi ice creams, even though they are made with coconut milk. It is not high enough in coconut fat to make me sick, and they are such fun little bites. I picked up the chocolate flavour, which was nice. Not the deepest chocolate flavour in an ice cream you can get, but it definitely hit that little chocoalte spot.

Chocolate Mochi Ice Cream

A quick dinner I made. Coles was about to discontinue these Beef Style Ravioli and replace them with lentil ravioli, and I was thankfully able to get a box to try before they were all gone. They were fine, I don't know if they were particularly beefy. The filling was maybe a little bit grainy. I just boiled them as directed, drained, and then put back over low heat with this pasta sauce, some baby spinach, and peas.

Nature's Kitchen Beef-Style Ravioli and Leggos Sauce

Nature's Kitchen Beef-Style Ravioli and Leggos Sauce

Behold these silly superfood powders I bought! I got them from Balanced Pantry, which has a deal where you can order a pack of three samples (your choice) with free shipping for $12.95. And I got two so I could get six different powders. They also have a tumermic powder that I didn't get, a 'beauty' one with pearl powder in it, and some detox weight-loss bullshit that I was never going to buy, as well as a selection of some that are just single superfood ingredients rather than a blend. Shockingly, even though these came last year, I have only used one to make one thing. Well, maybe not that shocking given that they came only a week before Dim Sim passed. I will have to remember where I stashed them, so that I can start amusing myself with making silly drinks.

Silly Superfood Powders

When does a snackball become a dessert? These three are pushing those boundaries. Starting with the Beetroot Raspberry Brownie, this one is still your classic blend of seeds and dates, with some cocoa added as well as the titula beetroot and raspberry. The strawberry chocolate balls go one step further, adding some actual dark chocolate into the blend. Both are good, though the strawberry flavour is pretty subtle and could be stronger. I consider these more for morning tea or after lunch snacks, rather than something I'd start my day with. But that is my own personal preference. As for that Health Lab ball?? I didn't realise until I had opened it early one morning to have it as a pre-walk pre-breakfast snack that in fact it actually is a dessert. Peanut butter, surrounded by a a date/seed/etc ball, completely covered in a layer of chocolate! It was really nice, but something in the future I will definitely be saving for afternoon tea or an after dinner sweets. Again, just my personal preferences. If chocolate in the morning is your thing, go for it! Get some of these!

New Snackballs

Tuesday, 27 April 2021

Eating Out: Cat Cuddle Cafe, Farine Bakery, Botanical Lab, The Green Edge

Life in Brisbane is curious... in general we have no community transmission of COVID, so we can move around (with some precautions) almost as normal. But then occasionally a case will appear, normally linked to hotel quarantine or a hospital, and we have to be ready to go into a snap three-day lockdown followed by two weeks of indoor mask mandates and limits on numbers. So far, it has worked well for us, and that means that eating out is on the cards again. I do so sparingly, but it is nice to be able to catch up with a friend and enjoy some food. Or, in this case, cats and food! I know how lucky I am to live in a place where COVID is mostly undercontrol (thankfully, as our vaccination roll-out has been handled atrociously, we are so far behind in terms of ther).

One day early this year I went to see my friend for a fun morning, and we decided to start our day at the Cat Cuddle Cafe for some feline loving. Have you been missing cat content on my blog? Well here is a bunch! I like the Cat Cuddle Cafe because all the cats are up for adoption, and all the money raised goes back into cat rescue. They have rescued and rehomed so many cats! They also have a cute cafe and op-shop upstairs, and the cafe is all vegetarian with several vegan options. We didn't eat this visit, but you can see a time I stopped by previously for lunch here. This time, we had booked a session to hang out with the cats. So please enjoy some cats.

Cat Cuddle Cafe

Cat Cuddle Cafe

Cat Cuddle Cafe

Cat Cuddle Cafe

Cat Cuddle Cafe

Cat Cuddle Cafe

Cat Cuddle Cafe

After catting it up, we stopped by Farine Bakery to pick up some of their vegan treats. I got a cinnamon sugar doughnut and a cherry danish. You can see other things I have enjoyed from Farine here.

Doughnut and Cherry Danish from Farine

We were thirsty, so decided to try a new to me (my friend had been there before) fancy bubble tea shop called Botanical Lab. I had a super cute and super tasty ombre Matcha and Rose Soy Milk Tea with Strawberry Jelly. I also tried one of their Vegan Mochi Brownies, which is a little square of brownie with a mochi in the centre. It was fun, and the drink was delicious, and the place is beautiful. They also have some vegan soft serves there as well. Just be careful and double check the menu and/or with the staff, as not everything is vegan. The only thing on a personal note is why do places think serving things in beakers is cool? It just makes me think of chemistry labs and things you should not be drinking! But it is quirky, I guess.

Botanical Lab

Matcha and Rose Tea with Strawberry Jelly at Botanical Lab

Vegan Mochi Brownie at Botanical Lab

After dropping my friend off at their place, I stopped by The Green Edge (which I've posted about loads of times before) to pick up my favourite Chickn Caesar Salad. I took it home for a late lunch after a very sweet (literally and figuratively) morning.

Caesar Salad from The Green Edge

Saturday, 24 April 2021

Granola Round-Up

How about another crunchy granola round-up. It's been a while since I've made any, I've been leaning towards the much easier option of buying some, but here are some really fun flavours I made last year. Pretty much all of these were served over some sort of soy, almond, or cashew yoghurt and sometimes I added fresh fruit if I had some around.

Pecan-Sweet Potato Granola from Sweet Potato Soul by Jenne Claiborne: This granola is delicious! Though the sweet potato flavour in it, coming from grated sweet potato, is fairly subtle. It has both brown sugar and maple syrup in it, putting it on the sweeter side of granolas, but it has a bunch of cinnamon to make it warming and welcoming. I found out as I was making it that I didn't have quite enough pecans for the recipe, so I topped it up with some pepitas.
Rating: :D

Pecan-Sweet Potato Granola

Homemade Granola from Chloe's Vegan Desserts by Chloe Coscarelli: This is in the dessert for breakfast chapter, but even with a hefty amount of maple syrup is more a traditional granola rather than anything particularly desserty. I have seen recipes for ones with chocolate chips and marshmallows in other places! But this recipe is super easy, can be scaled up or down, and tastes great. As well as oats it has almonds cinnamon. It called for raisins as the fruit, but I don't love raisins so I used a mix of sultanans and cranberries instead.
Rating: :)

Homemade Granola

Stove Top Granola from Forks Over Knives The Cookbook by Del Sroufe: I hadn't made granola not in the oven before. This method was easy, however it didn't crisp up the way it does in the oven and while it was yummy, it was also very sticky! It uses date molasses as the sweetener and binder here, which was lovely and not too sweet. Surprising, given how sweet dates themselves are! I used a blend of mixed fruit (like for Christmas cakes) and cranberries. I made 1/3 of a recipe for 3 serves.
Rating: :)

Stove Top Granola

Chai-Spiced Almond Granola from The Easy Vegan Cookbook by Kathy Hester: This granola uses a lovely mix of spices to give it a warming glow. It uses a combination of flax-seed mixed with water and oil to bind it together. They call for coconut oil, gross, I used canola oil instead. The mix of the spices and crunchy almonds makes it a lovely way to start the day.
Rating: :)

Chai-Spiced Almond Granola

Sesame-Apricot Granola from Vegan Bowl Attack by Jackie Sobon: I just realised this is a recipe from a bowl cookbook but it is the only one I photographed not in a bowl! Ha. This is a really nice combination, with a mix of oats, buckwheat, coconut flakes, almonds, apricots, and seeds (including sesame seeds and chia seeds... I could do without the latter in there, they were weird). All coated in a tahini mixture. I had to add a smidge of hot water to my tahini mix to get it thin enough to be able to stir through and coat everything. I also had to bake it for slightly longer in my oven. It came out in wonderful crunchy crumbles! I made a whole recipe, which said it served 6 but really makes 3 generous serves.
Rating: :)

Sesame Apricot Granola

Homemade Hippie Cereal from Minimalist Baker's Everyday Cooking by Dana Shultz: This is a combination of granola mixed with puffed rice cereal. The granola part is gluten free, so no oats. It is all based on a mix of nuts (I used almonds and pecans) and seeds... including chia seeds again. I just really only like them under specific circumstances. I also added some raw sunflower seeds to the first baking stage, rather than adding rosated ones later on. It also has dried blueberries, and I added extra cinnamon as well. Confession time: I forgot to set a timer for this after I put it in my oven, so it baked for however long it took for the lovely smell to remind me that I had something in there! But it all worked out well. Once cooled, you mix it with the rice cereal. It is pretty fun to eat!
Rating: :)

Homemade Hippie Cereal

Crunchy Citrus Toasted Granola from Cooking With Kindness (Edgar's Mission): A bright and tangy take on granola, using orange, lemon, and lime zest in mix. I made a half recipe for this, and used a blend of rolled oats and rolled rye. It also has coconut flakes, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, dried dates, and dried apricots. I left out a the linseeds (aka flaxseeds) and the dried figs (I don't like figs), and I used canola oil instead of coconut. Served with some orange segments, it was a refreshing start to the day.
Rating: :)

Crunchy Citrus Toasted Granola

Thursday, 22 April 2021

Midweek Munchies

Hey, these midweek munchies are posting midweek!

So many burgers these days, so many of them trying to be super meaty. Which is not really my jam, but yet if I see them on sale I feel compelled to try them. As long as they aren't full of coconut oil, which a surprising number are. This V2 burger looked meaty, but wasn't really that meaty. Not compared to something like the Beyond. But still a bit meatier than I would want to eat in general. I just made some pretty simple cheeseburgers with them.

V2 Burger

V2 burgers

Burger with V2 burger, Sheese Red Slices, Fry's Brioche Bun

Here is another leftovers into a toasted sandwich combination. This one using roasted eggplant, pizza sauce, and smoked Miyokos... so it was almost like and eggplant parmy sandwich except with bread instead of the eggplant being breaded.

Roasted eggplant, pizza sauce, smoked Miyoko's toasties

These fruit cake slices are vegan! However, they also are a bit dry.

We Love Cake Vegan Fruit Cake

This toasted sandwich had Tofurky Oven Roasted Slices, Miyoko's smoked cheese, spinach, and some sort of tart red jam... I can't remember exactly what it was.

Toasted Sandwich with Tofurky Oven Roasted, spinach, maybe cheese, some sort of red tart jam

I bought this fancy bottle of ginger Kombucha, which was nice.

Fancy Ginger Kombucha

Finally, some sick day ramen. This had a really nice flavour. It would be easy to add some extras to this to make if a bit more filling and fancy, but I was sick and just wanted something easy and savoury and warm.

Spiral Foods Instant Shiitake Ramen

Tuesday, 20 April 2021

Litha 2020 and Lammas 2021

The summer festival sabbats. That I marked with food, as I tend to.

Litha (aka Summer Solstice) (21st December 2020):

Normally I make a little menu plan to make something special for each sabbat. Litha 2020 I did not. It was less than a month after Dim Sim passed, and I was still deep in the extremely non-functional part of my depression and grief. In fact, I realised I didn't make any recipes for over a month. It was all about eating the easiest thing I could, and when (if?) I was actually hungry. Food for Litha tends to include red and yellow foods, bread, and fruit and vegetables. At that point, one thing I would eat fairy regularly was my 'depression sandwich', which was just bread with mayo, sliced tomato, and turmeric seasoning salt on it. I was also eating some apricots, because I love them and it was the season. And I was drinking a lot of juice, like this carrot, apple, and ginger juice. Turns out that this depression lunch worked out perfectly into Litha themes! How about that.

Litha lunch

Lammas (2nd February 2021):

By Lammas I was starting to cook a bit more regularly again, if only to give me something to do. Lammas is the wheat harvest festival at the peak of summer, and foods typically include corn, grain, breads, seasonal fruits and veggies, and berries.

Quick Herb Bread from 1000 Vegan Recipes by Robin Robertson: I had briefly planned to spend my day making an elaborate and delicious looking braided yeast bread recipe that I saw on IG. But reality set in and I just did not have the spoons to deal with that. Instead I made this Quick Herb Bread. The original recipe calls for dried basil, thyme, and marjoram but I took the suggested variation of using celery seed and dried dill.... with a lot of extra dried dill. This ended up being a very dense loaf, almost more like damper (as Australian thing). Overall a bit meh. But it did the job.
Rating: :|

Quick Herb Bread

Corn Salad with Basil Pesto Aioli from Vegan Bowl Attack by Jackie Sobon: This seemed like a nice way to celebrate corn. I made a half recipe, but I still was a little low on corn so I added some white beans as well. A great addition! I also used celery instead of raw red onion. The basil pesto aioli was really lovely.
Rating: :)

Corn Salad with Basil Pesto Aioli

I also served it with some grape tomatoes and sliced cucumber.

Lammas Dinner

I went super easy for dessert, with a Nanna's Vegan Apple and Rhubarb Pie,some fresh blueberries, and some of the Pana Boysenberry Cheezecake ice cream I mentioned in my last post. I was planning on having fresh blackberries rather than blueberries, but just that week suddenly blackberries were no where to be found!

Lammas Dessert

(% 1000 Vegan Recipes blogged: 29.9%)

Sunday, 18 April 2021

Midweek Munchies

It's Sunday, but these midweek munchies don't obey the laws of time.

The world was abuzz with the news... and by world I mean Brisbane vegans and the news in question was that Totally Vegan By Charlie chocolates were going to be landing at The Green Edge. This South Australian based company had been making vegan versions of some all time favourite chocolate bars. I got Bubbly Jaffa (orange Aero Bar), Fat Cats (KitKat), Slackers (Snickers) and Buggy Wheels (Wagon Wheels). They also have Bubbly Mint (mint Aero) and Choc Deck (Top Deck) that I did not get, and since then they have also released Marsssss, Twicks, and Honeycomb (both explanatory). The chocolate here is kind of mey, it is sweet and kind of thick and soft. So it really relied on the flavours to bring it home. My least favourite was the Bubbly Jaffa, more because a textural issue because while the orange flavour was nice the whole thing was just very soft. Following it up was the Buggy Wheels, which suffered from a too dry biscuit layer and not enough filling. The penultimate flavour was the Fat Cats. This wasn't in two fingers, like a KitKat, it was a block with squares you broke off. But they were filled with delicious crunchy wafer. And finally, the winner of course was Slackers. Peanuts and caramel and nougat.

Totally Vegan by Charlie Bars

Totally Vegan Buggy Wheel by Charlie

When you are already buying all this chocolate, what is a few more sweeties?? Both of these flavours are Alter Eco are amazing, I have had them many times before. I also got some Peanut Butter and Berry Jam Jubes by Australian company The Red Balloon. I don't know how they did it, but wow they really got peanut butter flavour into a jube. Though to be honest, this is not my favourite way to have peanut butter and jam. The jubey texture and the flavour just don't really match up in my brain.

Treats from The Green Edge

From things I bought, to things brought to me! My friend Kim made some homemade vegan soy yoghurt, and delivered some to me at work. It was excellent! Thick and tangy. I took it home and made breakfast with it the next day, just with some berries and pepitas and a drizzle of maple syrup added on top. Yum!

Homemade soy yoghurt by Kim

With so many new vegan meats coming out, I picked up these Chicvee and Beefvee strips from V Plant Based on clearance. They freeze great! And they are frequently on sale for half price, which is even less that these ones! Look out for them in some upcoming meals.

V beef and chicken strips

Here's a using random stuff up toasted sandwich I made for lunch one day. It had cheese and some leftover vegetable ragu. A fun way to use up those leftovers.

Cheese and Vegetable Ragu Toastie

And this lovely sandwich, that had some avocado, smoked Miyoko's cheese, panfried smoked tofu, mayo, and tomato.

Avocado, smoked Miyoko's, smoked tofu, tomato, mayo sandwich

Finally, some experiments. As long time readers know, coconut fat is my enemy. I can have a little bit, but I have a low tolerance so I end up feeling really awful if I eat too much. And coconut is such a popular ingredient in vegan dairy foods these days! There are some things I can eat, but I don't know until I try and the cost tends to put me off being willing to take that risk. However, I found some Pana Ice Cream on super clearance sale for AU$4 a tub (normally AU$12), so I thought sure. I'm willing to lost $4 and give this to someone else if it doesn't work out. I am happy to report, it did work out! This joins So Delicious in coconut-based ice creams that I can eat! I still can't eat a heap of it, but I can definitely have a nice little dessert snack bowl. I had the Peanut Butter and Raspberry flavour, which was awesome! I have also since got the Boysenberry Cheezecake flavour.

Pana Peanut Butter and Raspberry Ice Cream

I had a similar mindset when I got this tub of Nakula Strawberry Yoghurt on clearance for $1. Nakula traditionally has been all coconut based, but this one is a blend of coconut and almond. Alas, it was too coconut fatty for me. But hurrah, it was only $1!

Nakula Strawberry Yoghurt

Tuesday, 13 April 2021

Midweek Munchies

You know the drill. Here we go!

This is a stir-fry I made using a ginger-miso sauce recipe a friend shared on her IG stories. It was salty and gingery, which was nice, with a bit of brown sugar to even it out. I made mine with tofu, broccoli, and eggplant and served it over rice. I made a bit too much sauce, you can see it is kind of swimming in it, but no complaints about that.

Jenny's Miso Sauce

These are some fun snackballs I found, a nice change from the chocolate and nut based ones. These both have really nice flavour, though they are kind of gummy and smooshy in texture. There is also a banana and spinach flavour I haven't tried yet. I recently found a bunch of the mango and carrot ones on super marked down short dated clearance sale, and I bought all the ones they had left. A nice score!

New snackballs

This is a burger I made from random things I had that needed to be used up. Just a regular burger bun, a Veef burger patty and some leftover satay sauce. I also added mayo, spinach, grated carrot, and pineapple. This reminded me of an satay sauce and salad burger I used to get from a vegan place years ago.

Veef, satay sauce, carrot, spinach, pineapple, mayo burger

Every now and then I will find a package of vegan gyoza on sale, normally either vegetable or mushroom filled. I love to steam them, put them in a bowl on top of some spinach, and cover them in a mix of plum sauce and black vinegar. It makes for a very easy and delicious lunch. Pretty sure I've shared some similar photos before, but here it is again!

Gyoza with plum sauce and black vinegar
Speaking of things I have shared before, here is another baked potato for lunch! I think this one has tinned baked beans (which I always mix some nooch into), spinach, ketchup, and bacon bits.

Baked Potato

I bought a Suzy Spoon Vegetarian Butcher Lasagne that I found at some random vegan-friendly shop. I can't remember the price, but it was not cheap but certainly better value than the cost of some other vegan ready-made lasagnes. It was a solid amount to serve as well. Taste wise it was... okay. It tasted a bit too much of just tomato sauce, and a bit dry. I don't think I would buy it again, there are other lasagnes I prefer, but it was fun to try it.

Suzy Spoon's Lasagne

Suzy Spoon's Lasagne

Suzy Spoon's Lasagne

Finally another one of these silly soups. This one was 'Sweet Beets' aka the red soup, with beetroot, sweet potato, and again with the amaranth and hemp seeds. Stop putting seeds in soup please. But seeds aside, it was a nice taste.

Nutrish Soup Red