Thursday, December 9, 2010

Cookies, brownies, cookies and Canadians!

Prepare yoselves for plenty of pics and plenty of sweets! and by sweet I mean cookies and brownies. MORE SPECIFICALLY, I mean choc chip peanut butter cookies, pistachio and white chocolate cookies and chocolate almond brownies! (click the links for recipes)

What do you do when you're expecting a certain Muffin's father to arrive from Canada and his flight is delayed a day? WHY YOU BAKE OF COURSE. . . and bake I did.

I'm usually more prone to baking cakes and such, so I was pretty excited when I realised I could actually whip up an entire batch of cookies in about 6 minutes! They're so simple - too simple my hips may say! These two cookie recipes I used were really great, even if I did adapt them a little.

For the choc chip peanut butter cookies, I halved the recipe as I didn't really feel like having 72 cookies on hand! I also added the peanut butter to it as the recipe was just plain choc chip cookies. Obviously adding the peanut butter added extra fat to the cookie dough and a result was a VERY well-spread-out cookie! Still super delicious with a nice slight crunch.

For the pistachio and white chocolate cookies I only added 1 cup of white chocolate chips and 1 cup of pistachios as opposed to the 1 1/4 called for in the recipes. These babies are super sweet and very very much like the consistency of Subway cookies! I personally think they would be way better with macadamias - but muffin disagrees ;)

The brownies are my go-to recipe from the Kids Cookbook from my childhood. The only difference was this time I added in 3/4 cup chopped almonds for a nice crunch!

choc chip peanut butter cookies

pre-baked choc-chip peanut  butter cookies.. notice the small size?

the size after baking!! holy hell.

piled high!

nom nom nom.

pistachio and white chocolate cookies

is this not the best table you've ever seen?!

what a beautiful plate!

 chocolate almond brownies

the brownies out of the tin - looking like velvet!

sliced to perfection.

sticky inside view of fudgey-wudgy almond brownies!

and last but not least, a delightful photo of me stuffing my face with an oversized cookie I baked. That's right - that's my face! I know you were just dyyyyyyyyying to see it. WELL THERE I AM.

 and what a pleasant face it is..

Thursday, December 2, 2010

glorious food for the beginning of Summer!

what I have been eating lately, by vegiebuglet herself...

delicious pizza of za'atar. 

oh em gee kind of amazing. The kind of simple food that you throw together when you're starving and only realise how amazing it truly was when.. half an hour later... you could eat another. and THEN, in the morning you make one for breakfast. 

simply mix za'atar with oil and spread on tortilla-style base, grill and top with fresh salad of tomato, cucumber, onion and mint. (the dinner one I fried some vegies for - but fresh vegies the next day was way better) Delicious AND cost efficient ;)

dinner plate of ultimate health. Fo sure.

Dill and caraway cabbage, vegie snossage, steamed beans to perfection, salad of beet, tomato, cucumber and home grown lettuce. Plus plus! top of an avocado, with the hole filled with salad dressing.

In primary school my best friend used to bring 1/2 an avocado to school, pour salad dressing into the hole and eat it with a spoon.... i used to mock her for it. Whose the winner now!? (we both are... with avocados in hand)

Filo veggie parcel with garden spinach and ricotta (said in an Italian accent ala Muffin).

I wasn't too keen on this recipe (which I made up through the art of winging it..) but Muffin said it was a keeper. Kinda like when Goldmember says it..   ew :D

and THEN a plate of roast delights, as by now you must know I am obsessed with roasted potato or pumpkin or any kind of root vegetable that becomes crisp, hot and able to be dipped in gravy! 

Chunky chips, roast pumpkin, roast garlic (i eat these cloves whole and Muffin looks away in disgust!) vegie snossage, steamed peas and deliciously simple-and-without-preservatives-or-icky-chemicals-home-made-mushroom-gravy! A good meal to take a long nap from.

And last but not least a break from my carb-free livin.. what I like to call my garden pasta! Fresh tomatoes, thyme, zucchini and spring onion from the garden.

The flavour of fresh ingredients really is unbeatable.

Garden Pasta.
This pasta is amazing because of the fresh ingredients - use whatever is fresh and in season and it will shine as much for you as it did for me!

any type of pasta for 2.
2 tomatoes, diced
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme
1 Tablespoon glug good olive oil
green part of 1 spring onion, roughly chopped

1/4 capsicum, roughly diced
1/2 zucchini, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, sliced
white part of 1 spring onion, sliced
1 handful green beans, chopped
1 handful roasted cashews
1 teaspoon chilli jam (or chilli sauce)
good amount of seasoning - salt and pepper.

1/4 avocado to serve.
parmesan to serve

In the bowl which you will serve the pasta, put tomato, thyme, olive oil, green onion and season. Leave for the flavours to combine and some liquid to be drawn out. Delicious simple natural sauce.

Put pasta on to boil.

In a saucepan fry capsicum, zucchini, garlic, white part onion and beans until softened. Season well and at the last minute add in chilli jam and cashews. (my dad made a sweet jam and a spicy jam and ended up combining them = delicious)

Pour the fried vegetables into the big bowl with the tomato mix, then toss in the hot, drained pasta and mix to combine well.

Top with chunks of avocado, sprinkles of parmesan cheese and a heavy grind of fresh pepper. I love the way velvety avocado becomes warm and falls apart in your mouth after being tossed through pasta. 


peace out brussel sprouts!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanks-mas ideas and hot weather food.

I am thankful for American Thanksgiving and the fact that it is right around the corner from Christmas! Not because we celebrate Thanksgiving down in little old oz, but because it gives me great meal ideas for Christmas lunch :D

So far I’ve been spoilt for choice! It all began with VegNews’ amazing list of Thanksgiving blog posts and from there the hunt was on! 

My belly is thinking C’est La Vegans Holiday nut roast. I’ve had a bad experience with nut roast.. my mumma made one one year and it was godddddddddd awful. Hilarious at the time because she had put so much effort into it and we all tried to smile past the mouthfuls but soon we cracked and all laughed about how terrible it tasted! (Note: Not her fault – just a bad recipe!)

Bianca over at Vegan Crunk put up a delicious array of choices and made me wish I could get a tofurky here.. Can I?! I’ve never seen them and the website has no Australian listing..

And the stuffed cornbread stuffing over at Vegan Latina actually made my mouth water. I whole heartedly love me some pumpkin so I would make this dish every month of the year! 

But to be honest, my crown of all Thanksgiving/Christmas menu ideas MOST DEFINITELY has to go to The Ordinary Vegetarian (which is actually anything BUT ordinary).  OHMYGOODNESS would I want to go to that dinner party. What a spread! So much choice! And the thing that makes her a winner… the choices of 4 pies of course!

Please oh pretty please won’t you link me to your favourite Thanksgiving/Christmas ideas?

I really want to find a great “meat” kind of main dish to make for myself amongst other things :D

Back to me now! This week we have seen some crazy weather, from 36 degrees to 20 and pouring with rain – and everything in between. Needless to say I almost passed out at the start of this week because my body was confused as to what the HELL was going on! 

So one night we had the most perfect hot weather food for dinner!

 A vegie pattie, a vegie snossage, salad, coleslaw and fresh corn from the cob. Deeeeeeeeelish! Super easy to whip up and no need to heat the house up with pots, pans or an oven for very long :D Nom nom nom.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

roley poley eggplant thingy.

3 tomatoes, chopped
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup water
3 Tablespoons tomato paste
1 t wooster
1 t apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper

1/4 cup home-made basil pesto*

1 big eggplant sliced lengthways
1 zucchini sliced lengthways
1 handful sliced mushrooms
1 handful cherry tomatoes

Preheat oven to 200C

In a saucepan, fry tomato and garlic, add water, reduce the shit out of it for 15 minutes until thick. (i had no tomatoes or tinned tomatoes - yet this worked surprisingly well!)

* Blitz together 2 cups basil, 2 garlic cloves, 1/2 cup raw almonds, a good glug of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice and salt.

Individually fry vegies until soft and slightly browned.

Lay out a slice of eggplant, spread 1/2 t pesto on top, followed by 1 zucchini slice and either; a few slices of fried mushroom or a cherry tomato, roll and place with the rolled side down in baking dish. Continue with rest of ingredients until the baking dish is full.

Pour tomato sauce over the top, add a liberal amount of black pepper and optional cheese.

Bake in 200C oven for 30 mins. (this would be amazing with breadcrumbs on top but I was fairy** ingredient-less tonight!)

Serve with lightly blanched asparagus with a teensy bit of butter, lemon juice and salt. DELISH.

**I did mean fairly, but fairy sounds MUCH BETTER.

Monday, November 8, 2010

it's safe to say I am obsessed with roasts and breakfast.

I'm still rockin relatively carb-free-livin. This dinner was JYMUNGO compared to my meal sizes now. (as was the breakfast to follow!) BUT SO WORTH IT.

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love a good roast.

ROAST DELIGHTS: simplified!
1 bag baby spinach, fried with butter, salt and lemon juice.

peas boiled then added to butter, salt and mint.

green beans, steamed yo.

asparagus, blanched for 2 mins, topped with tiny bit oh butter, lemon juice and fresh cracked black!

carrots and punkin cut thin, with fresh thyme and oil and s+p, roasted at 200C for 15 minutes.

tiny potatoes steamed for 10 minutes, transferred to hot frying pan with oil, rosemary and salt and pepper. then into 200C oven for further 15 minutes to crisp up!

graaaaavy. 1/2 cup leek rounds, softened in butter for 5 minutes, add 2 Tablespoons flour and mix until all coated, throw in 1 cup vegie 'beef' stock and simmer. I added 1/2 t of apple cider vinegar and a ton of cracked black pepper. Simmer and reduce to desired thickness!

and that is it! Delicious.

BG (before-gravy)

AG (after-gravy)

Muffin and I have almost been together for 3 years and until recently I could probably count the number of meals he has made me on 1 hand! AND HE'S A CHEF!!!!!!!!!!!! (really, he is.)

anywho. The past few weeks he has made me brekky on a Sunday and it has been diiiiiiiiviiiiiiiiiine. I think breakfast is my favourite meal of the day. And a giant full english (vegie style) is probably the best. Ya know, the bomb diggity!

Without further adieu , I present ... OUR BREAKFAST!
sliced avocado, roasted tomato, rosemary mushrooms, vegie snossages with HP sauce and baked beans! So full after this bizzo.

I know, I'm a lucky gal.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Shepherds pie, feminist style ;)

The other night I wanted something hearty for dinner and so I decided on a lentil and sweet potato shepherds pie. However, I have decided to call it a Shepherdess pie, as I only ever think of males when I hear the word Shepherd - and I'm suuuure there are female shephards too!***

Shepherdess Pie:

1 large carrot, diced
1 celery stick, diced
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic
2 bay leaves
3 mushrooms, chopped
1/2 eggplant, diced
1/2 zucchini, diced
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups vegie stock
1 teaspoon sriracha
1 Tablespoon worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1 tin lentils

2 big sweet potatoes
1 normal potato; steamed and mashed.
1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon soy milk
1 teaspoon salt

to serve:
1 bunch asparagus
lemon juice

Preheat oven to 180C.
In a big saucepan, fry the carrot, celery, onion and garlic on a low heat until softened but not browned. Add in the bay leaves and the rest of the vegetables. Cook them for another 5 minutes unti they are softer and then add in the tomato paste. Stir it until it is throroughly combined and then add in everything else apart from the lentils. Stir and lower the heat and leave to thicken and cook fully through; about 10 minutes. Take off the heat and add in the lentils (so they don't overcook). 

In a big casserole dish pour in as much lentil mix as will fit, I kept aside about 1 cup - it would be great as a pasta sauce too! Top with the combined mash mix of sweet potato, normal potato, butter, milk and salt. Rough it up with a fork and bake in the oven until golden and crisp on top - about 20-30 minutes.

Blanch asparagus in boiling water for about 2 minutes, overcooked asparagus is the WORST. While still hot, place on plate and top with a tiny amount of butter, a squeeze of lemon juice and freshly cracked black pepper. ASPARAGUS SERVED THIS WAY IS THE ABSOLUTE BOMB SHIZNIT.  eat eat eat eat.

Another night we had the leftovers as a side with a lentil pattie and some cabbage fried with caraway and dill. NOM NOM.

** I googled it. There are. Hahahaha. Here I was thinking I made it up!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Carb-free! (ish)

Comfort food..

It's a very personal thing. In the past, comfort food to me has been giant (i mean giant) bowls of pasta, even more giant plates of pierogis, fresh tiger loaf slathered with cold butter, and of COURSE absolutely massive turkish bread sandwiches and vegie burgers with poutine!

Didyanotice that that is all carbohydrates?! Thus my problem! So I am cutting down on me carbs! I do actually already feel a lot better already, 1 week into it. It is too easy to whip up a meal around carbs, so it definitely takes some brain power to steer clear of them.

I haven't cut out wrap bread though, as I am a wrap-lover and would probably cry without them ;) Its been pretty easy to snack on fruits and nuts instead actually. For the time being I've also cut out anything overly sugary, such as energy drinks/high-suger juices and chocolate. (the chocolate I miss already!)

One night this week Muffin and I shared a lovely salad plate. We ate it with a few multi-grain vita weats (my favourite bikkie), but essentially just filled up on vegie goodness.

And my most delicious meal this week was actually just a tofu scramble! I shouldn't say just because you should never underestimate a good tofu scramble! This one was more of a dinner edition than a brekky edition though. So easy and SO delicious!

1/2 zucchini, sliced
3 mushrooms, sliced
1/4 red capsicum, sliced
1 spring onion, sliced
1 carrot, grated
1/4 cup cooked spinach, chopped
1/2 block tofu
1 teaspoon nigella seeds
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon sriracha
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

1/2 avocado
1 Tablespoon toasted sesame seeds.

Add all vegies into a hot frying pan and fry for a couple of minutes until starting to colour. Crumble in the tofu and break down as much as you desire. Add in the rest of the spices and fry for about 5-10 minutes until it is relatively dry and toasty in colour! Serve with fresh avocado and sesame seeds sprinkled on top!
I ate this with beet hummus, rocket pesto and avocado spread onto corn thins.

Another night I made a sort of pizza but used a super thin whole-wheat wrap bread instead of white hunks of dough.

I dry-fried the wrap bread on one side and then topped it with some rocket pesto and a mixture of fried zucchini, mushroom, eggplant and spinach. I added fresh diced tomato, some salt and pepper and a little bit of cheese. I grilled it in the oven and the whole process took about 15 minutes! To serve I dolloped on some beet hummus, avocado and sriracha. Yuuuuuuuuuuuumm.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

So fresh and so clean, clean!

Yes, I was going for the fattest cold roll in the world record! And I think I got pretty close to winning ;)

I make these all the time, and no, I still don't know how to make small ones! I get so carried away because they are delicious. I always serve them with two sauces; 

The peanutty one is actually only 1/2 teaspoon of peanut butter to about 1/4 cup of coconut milk and a squirt of sriracha. SO SIMPLE!

The soy one is 1 chinese spoon sweet soy, 1 chinese spoon dark soy, 1 chinese spoon light soy, 1 chinese spoon rice wine vinegar, 1 chinese spoon water, 1/2 chinese spoon sriracha, 1 chinese spoon toasted sesame seeds. EAAASSSSYYY. 

Tonight was bbq weather. I knew this because it was sunny, and not windy = perfect. 

and now, with titles! ("ooooh")

the grilled corn I just threw on the bbq til it blackened a little.

Guacamole was 2 avocado's, mixed with a little spanish onion, lime, tomato, coriander, salt, pepper and chilli (and actually not very nice, the avo's had no flavour!) sad face.

beet hummus had 2 tins of chick peas, 1 Tablespoon tahini, 1 Tablespoon lemon, 1/2 cup beet (i used tinned - fresh would be better), 1 teaspoon salt, 1 garlic clove, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika.

pesto was made with 2 cups rocket and about 1 cup of mixed nuts (such as walnuts, almonds, cashews), 1 clove garlic, good glug oil, salt and pepper! Blitz.

bbq veg, I skewered and bbq'd until cooked. No marinade, just simple :D

polenta flowers, cook polenta according to packet instructions and at the end add in 1/2 cup grated zucchini, 1 Tablespoon parmesan and salt and pepper. Pour mix into greased cake tin and leave to cool. Cut shapes out of solid mix and fry or bbq for a few minutes on each side until crisp! VERY YUM.

sweet potato rosti, literally just grated sweet potato thrown on the hot plate of the bbq. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!

stuffed mushrooms, take large swiss mushrooms and scoop out the middle 'gills', place in a bowl with 2 Tablespoons bread crumbs (you could use nuts) a splash of oil and 2 Tablespoons of your pesto. Mix and refill the mushroom caps. Grill for about 5 minutes. 

I also made fattoush:

1 cup mixed gourmet lettuce
2 tomatoes, diced
1/2 cucumber, sliced
1/2 celery stick, sliced (this is not traditional!)
1/2 red capsicum, diced
1 handful marinated artichokes
1 handful black olives
1 handful mint
1 handful parsley

5 Tablespoons oil
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
salt + pepper

1 spinach mountain bread
1 teaspoon cape malay seasoning (I got this from Oxfam. It's a spice mix of coriander, salt, cumin, pepper, fennel, chilli, mustard seed, cinnamon and turmeric! If you can't find it, just use a pinch of the first 5 spices.)

Lightly oil the mountain bread and sprinkle with cape malay seasoning. Grill until brown, leave to cool and break up into pieces.

Add the bread and dressing to the salad right before serving so nothing goes soggy! 



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