Showing posts with label Picnic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Picnic. Show all posts

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Sweet Potato & Quinoa Cakes with Beetroot Hummus.

It just so happens that my better half dislikes sweet potato, quinoa, peanut butter and beets.                 
I heartily love all four.

Unknowingly I incorporated all 4 of those things in to our dinner...

Oopsie daisies!

I'm unsure as to whether these are burgers or patties or cakes or thing o's... But they're pretty tasty!

And you know what?

He ate it all.

He ate more than I did.

I think I'm a magician, guys!

Sweet Potato & Quinoa Cakes.
1 sweet potato, roasted
1.5 cups quinoa, cooked
2 T ground flax (or 1 egg)
1/2 C breadcrumbs (plus extra for coating)
1 handful herbs, roughly chopped (thyme, sage, rosemary)
1/2 bulb roasted garlic
1 T sriracha
1 t peanut butter
1/2 t maggi seasoning (or soy)
1 t paprika
2 T toasted sesame seeds (or 2 t tahini)

In a large bowl mash sweet potato and add rest of ingredients.
Taste and season to your liking.
With wet hands, separate mix in to 5 and shape in to patties.
Coat in extra breadcrumbs and bake in oven at 400C for about an hour or until a little dry and holding together well. Flip halfway.

Pan fry to create a crispy exterior (optional) and serve.

Makes 5 burger patty thing o's.

Beetroot Hummus
1 tin chick peas
1/2 bulb roasted garlic
1/4 cup oil
3 T lemon juice
1 or 2 roasted beets
1 t salt (or more)
2 t tahini

Blend all ingredients until smooth.

No editing... ACTUAL COLOUR! 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Full English Brekky (Vegan - ie THE BEST)

Just googling the words "Full English" makes me salivate. 

You see; me dad's English and me ma's Welsh. I'm Aussie and me boyfriend's Canadian.

I have quite the foodie mix in me!

Breakfast - who doesn't love it?
- Idiots.

That's who.

A full english is my ideal everything.                  In life.                  Perfection.

It is world peace on a plate.

This is my vegan take on a full english, it has no sausage, it has no bacon, it has no eggs, it has no blood pudding....... 

It does, however, have LASHINGS of love!

Try it out. I dare you.

Full English Brekky (vegan style)
Serves 1... granted, 1 very hungry soul!

1 slice grainy bread

1 T bean dip (recipe below)

1 tomato, cut in half
1/4 tin baked beans (Heinz english style, PLEASE!)
Olive oil
3 button mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup eggplant, sliced
1/4 cup zucchini, sliced
1 birdseye chilli, sliced finely
avocado, 2 slices
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

English brekkies are all about the timing, so have your plates ready and here we go.

Sprinkle salt and pepper on tomatoes and place under the grill to grill up nicely.
In a saucepan (or microwave, I guess) begin to heat your baked beans.
Whilst that is happening, heat olive oil in frying pan over a medium-high heat.
Add mushrooms first, season, and fry until just beginning to brown. (if you don't do the mushrooms separately first, they will be soggy - ewww)
Add zucchini and eggplant next.
Sprinkle on birdseye chilli.
Drop your toast in the toaster.

Once everything is cooked, browned, warmed through - bring it all together!

Take your vegies off the heat, pour in balsamic vinegar and stir thoroughly.
Spread toast with bean dip (or butter), serve with balsamic vegies, sliced avocado, grilled tomato and beans.

Be proper English and serve with plenty O brown sauce and a nice cuppa.

Bean Dip
540 mL tin six bean mix
1/4 cup almonds
4 cloves garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 t cumin
1/2 t curry powder
1/4 t celery salt
1 t salt
water to thin (optional)


Ah, there's lovely. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

The most giant quinoa salad (and peas!)

Recently, I've been on the biggest health kick of my life.

I have started running.


This morning I did a Jillian Michaels workout dvd.

Last night I speed walked for 52 minutes.

(if you could see my face right meow it would be one of shock)

Now.... you need to know me to know that this is all very out of the ordinary!

On the inside I've always considered myself healthy,
but definitely not a runner-kinda-healthy!!

Basically my end goal is to have a body like Beyonce. 

Is that too much to ask?

Before this health kick, my mind said to me "you're vegetarian... you can eat more than that! HAVE ANOTHER BOWL! Go onnnnnnn!"


(cheese.... obviously not healthy, but my first piece in 10 days!)

The most giant quinoa salad. 

Mixed lettuce, 4 cups
Quinoa cooked, 2 cups
Sweet potato, cubed, roasted, 1/2 cup
Tomatoes, diced, 2 medium
Cucumber, diced, 1 cup
Capsicum, diced, 3/4 cup
Snap peas, sliced, 1 cup
Celery, sliced, 1/2 cup
Mixed roasted salted nuts, 1/2 cup

Serves 5.

224 calories per serve.
10 grams fat per serve. (8 of those in the nuts)

Minty pea dip.

Peas, 2 cups
Lemon juice, 2 T
Roasted garlic, 2 cloves
Dijon mustard, 1 t
Mint leaves, 1/4 cup or less
Olive oil, 2 T

23 Calories per dessert spoon.

I served this salad with a sprinkle of salt, a splash of Chinese Red Vinegar and a scoop of pea dip and hummus!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The best vegan banana bread in the world. Yep, I said it.

For 1.5 years I have held the key to the best banana bread in the WORLD, but have had to keep it a sneakret! (sneaky secret, of course)


This recipe belongs to Carla, vegan chef extraordinaire over at

I looked back, and I received this recipe in Sept of 2009 - Woah!

It would be a lie to say that I haven't made this approx 15 times.. tis possibly my most often baked good!

Basically you can go from staring at a pile of bananas (that's weird, why are you doing that?) to an entire loaf in 1 hour. ONE HOUR, GUYS.

And really only 5 mins of that involves doing any work. 

Nice butt!

you need mooshy bananas
, so chuck em in the freezer for an hour or so and they will brown up and soften. I rest mine on top of the oven whilst it is preheating, to defrost them. 

This recipe is perfect. The only thing I change is that I normally just use regular AP flour, and I don't add nuts (as I never have them on hand). If I use AP flour, I usually also use only 1 teaspoon of baking soda and powder.

Oh Oh, I also add 3 bananas instead of 2, I know Carla doesn't like nana's too much, but I like the extra nana taste :)

it looks dry in this photo, but it is actually super duper moist

The only rule with this... which actually ruins the vegan-ness of it all (terribly sorry, Carla), is to 

slap on butter and honey when it's still warm and drink it with a cup of tea.

OR, NUTTELEX AND AGAVE! eh eh? See what I did there?

Enough chit chat. GET YOUR BAKE ON, PEOPLE.
Carla's recipe:

gluten free banana bread

2 cups of gluten free flour*
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup of vegetable oil*
2/3 cup of maple syrup*
2/3 cup of rice milk
1 tsp of vanilla extract
2 frozen bananas, defrosted in their skins
1 cup of walnuts, roughly chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius. Lightly grease a standard loaf pan or a small cake pan.

2. Toast the walnuts on a baking tray in the oven until they just start to brown, cool them while you make the batter. 

3. In a medium sized bowl mix together all the dry ingredients (minus the walnuts). 

4. In another medium sized bowl mix together all of the wet ingredients. Chop off the tops of the defrosted bananas and squeeze them out of their skins into the wet ingredients like toothpaste out of a tube. Weird huh! Mix the bananas into the wet ingredients then add to the dry ingredients until well combined. Gently fold the walnuts into the cake batter.

5. Pour the batter into your loaf pan till just above half way. Bake for 45 minutes. A cake is cooked when you lightly poke it, it springs back and a skewer or a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean. If you cake is browning on the top too much but not cooked in the middle lower the heat a little and place a piece of baking paper on top of the cake.

*notes: I find Orgran wheat free products to be the best. I use olive oil in mainly everything, if you find the taste too overpowering use canola oil or a blended vegetable oil. If you cant afford to use pure maple syrup in baking all the time use maple flavoured syrup or the equivalent sweetener of your choice, try and keep it liquid though.

Friday, March 9, 2012

home made too-many-toppings pizza!

Sometimes I make pizza.
When you decide to make pizza... you'd better do it right.

You'd better go all out!
You must make everything from scratch!

Make sure you get far far far too excited and put every vegetable you currently own on top.

It'll probably fall apart when you try to eat it....

but it's pizza... AND YOU MADE IT FROM SCRATCH! 
(does anyone else type scrathc every time too?)

Living in a 2 person household means I don't make pizza too too often.

Muffin and I disagree about almost everything about pizza:

He likes thick
I like thin

He likes meat
I like vegies

He likes less ingredients

He hates crust
I absolutely freaking adore crust - and anything bready in life ever ever ever.

He likes his as is, from the oven
I like mine covered in rocket! (arugula to you foreigners!) and also with creamy spicy dill dipping sauce!


Oh come onnnnnnn.

The only thing we really both like is
easy cheese. No pools of oily cheese for me (or him). 

Come to think of it... my pizza is a very very greedy meal. I just can't stop adding things. I get so excited.

Even when I try to go easy on the toppings.... I end up with a shit tonne of toppings! It's a problem. 

1 batch pizza dough
veggies for topping
tomato sauce for base
great hunger

Go on, be like me... go pizza crazy!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

a carrot cake a day keeps the blues away! (vegan!)

Guess what?

The sun is shining and there are cupcakes in my oven. 
(Boy, does that sound like some sort of creepy metaphor!)

This is what my happiness looks and smells like.
cinnamon and love!

Why yes,
yes I am emotional maniac this weekend. Thank you for asking.

Yes, I did visit the rocky mountains and cry at how beautiful they were.
Yes, I did cry when I read the card my boyfriend gave me.
Yes, I did cry when listening to a sad song whilst doing the dishes.

And then I baked these delicious morsels of cupcakes. Ninja Vegan Carrot Cupcakes!

There is nothing more therapeutic for me than baking. 
Maybe running... but that's just a guess, because I'm not a runner.
But I'm sure I'd love it.
If I was fit.
And didn't have asthma.
And owned running shoes.
And tried running.
I bet I'd LOVE it. 
I can just tell.


Vegan carrot cake cupcakes.

1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup apple sauce
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups self raising flour
2 cups grated carrot

Preheat oven to 180C (375F).
Beat together sugar and oil until combined and thick.
Add apple sauce, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, baking soda and mix.
Add flour and mix until all combined.
Stir through carrots.

Spoon in to muffin tray, 3/4 full (I put mine in cute patty cases... it's what we aussies call them!)
Bake for 15 minutes until light brown in colour, but still soft to the touch.
Leave for 10 minutes and take out of baking tray to cool.
Top with cream cheese icing or tofutti cream cheese icing.

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup cream cheese
1 cup icing sugar
zest 1 lemon
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
tiny dot yellow colouring (optional)

Whip butter and cream cheese until light and creamy.
Add sugar and lemon, colouring and mix until combined. Taste and adjust cream/sugar/lemony - ness!

Then convince your boyfriend to come with you whilst you take a big box of them and drive around to visit all of your friends and give them 1! 

Friday, February 10, 2012

The perfect vegetable pie.

It's pie time.

Delicious wintery goodness pie time.

I made this pie and then saw many many other bloggers make pies quite similar.. I guess this is just what the Northern Hemisphere's Winter does to us all! (makes us fat)

Sometimes you don't want to toot your own horn.. But seriously guys - this pie was amazing.

Do you know what happens when you make an amazing pie and then leave to go adopt 2 kittens from the animal welfare?

Well, you have to message your boyfriend and tell him to bake the pie himself. And then you get home and realise that he's not like you... and *GASP* he hasn't photographed it. 

And then you feel like a bit of a psycho as you say
"you didn't take any photos of the whole thing?" 
to which he says 
"no... sorry, I was hungry. I guess I should have known.." 
And then you say 
"no no no, it doesn't matter" whilst you consider making another pie just so you can photograph it in all its glory. 

THUS. No photos of the whole beautiful pie ;)

Springish Vegetable Pie:

shortcrust pastry:
1 1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold cubed butter
1/4 cup cold water

1 Tablespoon butter
1 large onion, finely sliced
3 garlic cloves, finely sliced
3 carrots, roughly chopped
1/2 zucchini, roughly chopped
1 cup broccoli florets, roughly chopped
1/2 eggplant, roughly chopped
1 cup cooked spaghetti squash (or pumpkin)
1 cup peas

1/4 cup flour

2 big sprigs rosemary
3 bay leaves
1 Tablespoon capers
1 Tablespoon horseradish
1 Tablespoon herb and garlic cream cheese
2 cups stock

eggwash or oil
sesame seeds

Pulse all ingredients in a processor until they pull away from the sides. 
Pour out and form a disc.
Wrap in cling wrap and set in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

Heat butter and fry all vegetables (except peas) with whole rosemary sprigs in a large pot until cooked. When browned, add flour and mix until combined.

Add bay, capers, horseradish, cream cheese, stock and season with salt and pepper. 

Cook until the desired consistency, you want it too be a little too runny as it will firm up once it cools.

Add peas at the last minute. Ideally leave mixture to cool, but if you must you can use it warm.

Preheat oven to 180°C

Remove pastry and cut in half. Using a rolling pin, roll in to two 10" circles, the dough will be quite thin. 

Line bottom of 8"springform pan with 1 circle of pastry. Remove rosemary from vegetable and add vegetable filling to the pie. Top with second circle and tuck in edges, forming a seal.

Eggwash or oil and top with a sprinkle of salt and sesame seeds.

Bake for 45 minutes until golden.

(it's pretty good)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

I made sushi and it was delicious!

Sushi! Sushi! Sushi! 

I scream, you scream, we all scream for sushi!
......That's the saying, right?

how about THAT photo editing?!
I'm just a little excited for sushi.

Whenever I'm THIS excited, I take a lot of photos. Don't say you haven't been warned!

I've made sushi once before.
This time round I successfully managed to make sushi unhealthy... how did I do this?


Now I'm not saying that you also have to use tempura... it's just that tempura pumpkin is ALWAYS my favourite sushi filling. The crunchiness against the soft rice is divine!

Don't knock it til you try it, Bucko. 
I also did a little tempura mushroom - honestly, not so delicious. 

This time I did my rice in a rice cooker (click this link for how to cook rice on the stovetop).

2 cups of uncooked rice will make 4 large sushi rolls... withthatsaid.. Mine somehow made 6 rolls. YES - SIX.

That's a lot of sushi in a 2 person household. 

Vegan Sushi:

500mL sushi rice (2 cups)
600mL water

75mL rice vinegar
10mL sugar
5mL salt

nori sheets

vegies for the filling, thinly sliced:
pumpkin (pre cooked)
sesame seeds

sushi mat (I used a place mat!)

sushi buddy

Entirely cover sushi rice with water and leave to soak for half an hour. Strain and add more water, this time moving the grains around slowly with a cupped hand. Rinse one more time and notice the rice is now very very white.

Place in rice cooker and turn on! Once cooked, leave on warm for 15 minutes.

Heat rice vinegar, sugar and salt together until all dissolved - then set aside to cool.

Empty rice in to a large bowl or tray; wooden is ultimately best, but I used glass (anything other than metal, as it will affect the taste). 

Using a rice paddle, sprinkle the vinegar mixture over all of the rice and slowly move rice around whilst your sushi buddy fans it for you. Be gentle as you don't want to break the grains.

Continue this until your rice is room temperature, sticky and tastes right. 

1/2 cup plain flour
1/2 cup corn flour
1 cup cold cold cold water
1 t salt
1 t baking powder
1 ice cube

1 cup oil for frying

Use chopsticks to roughly combine all tempura ingredients. Drop in an ice cube to make sure the batter stays cool.

Heat oil in a pan, it is hot enough when a drop of tempura batter bubbles instantly. 

Add vegetables to tempura mix and drop in hot oil until crisp and browned. Drain on paper towel.


Get your nori sheet and lay it shiny side down on your sushi mat, with the smaller side facing you. 

Using wet hands place 1/4 of the rice on your sheet and spread it out evenly, pressing it down hard and leaving 5cms at the top for rolling/sealing. 

Layer your vegies in the centre of the rice. 

Wet the opposite end of the nori a little to help it to stick to the roll. Using the sushi mat, roll the nori over the filling and pull back to form a tight circle. Proceed to roll the nori all the way to the end and squeeze to seal. 

Make sense?!

Leave in the fridge for half an hour before eating. Slice with a very sharp knife, or a bread knife.

Serve with soy sauce, wasabi and pickled ginger.

and obviously be pretty impressed with yourself..


Related Posts with Thumbnails