Ingredient of the week

  • Ready Made Vegetable Stock- handy to have in the cupboard for whipping up a soup or gravy

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Long time no blog

Allo.

Long time no blog!

I'm in the full swing of my vegan experiment now. It's going well, so far. I have loads of energy, and I don't feel nearly as hungry as I would normally :) Here are two recipes that I have loved the past few days, and they're both reasonably low fat!

Sesame Tofu:

Ingredients:
1/4-1/2 (depending on whether it's a side or the whole meal) pack of Cauldron Tofu
Soy sauce/Shoyu
Any Asian spice mix- eg 5 spice, 7 spice
1/4 tbsp vegetable oil

1) Drain and pat the tofu dry. Cut into bite size chunks.
2) Put the tofu into a bowl, adding the shoyu (as much as you like, be careful not to use too much as it is very high in salt!), spice mix and oil
3) Mix and leave to marinade for about half an hour
4) Fry the tofu on a mid-high heat, turning frequently, until it is browned and crispy on the outside. Enjoy with greens, rice, or on its' own as a light meal!


Mexican Vegetable Soup
Ingredients
Tin chopped tomatoes
Cabbage (pull some off, I used about two handfuls)
One corn cob, with the kernels cut off (as in, use the kernels :p)
Tin kidney beans, drained
BBQ sauce
Cayenne Pepper
Soy Yoghurt (optional)
Other veg (today, for example, my mum brought me home a handful of fresh pea pods which I shelled and put in!)
Vegetable stock (I made up some using Swiss Bouillon

1) In a saucepan, bring the stock to a boil
2) Add the corn (and any peas if using) and beans. Cook for about 1-2 minutes
3) Add the cabbage (torn roughly) and bring the soup to a slight simmer
4) Add the cayenne and bbq sauce- be very liberal with the cayenne, unless you like a proper kick! Simmer for 10 minutes, until the cabbage is tender and the soup is heated through
5) If it is too spicy, add the yoghurt 1/2 tbsp at a time, tasting after each.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Fally down

My whole 'animal free' experiment is NOT going too well right now.

My main problem is that I've had so many bloody essays to do in the last while. My School's Volunteering Project, my dissertation, and now my 307 essay on The Godfather. I just can't pull an all-nighter without a bloody good portion of cheesy curly fries, with garlic mayo, and a greasy, dripping, oozingly cheesy pizza or garlic bread. Followed by some kind of egg based sandwich in the morning, or nachos for dinner, or something like that. It's awful, and it's probably stalling the whole process, but as soon as this FUCKING essay is handed in, I can go back to my healthy, vegan ways. I can make myself some tasty vegan treats to nom on when I want something sweet. I can make myself ridiculously healthy vegan soups, stews, chillies, curries etc. I'll have the time and energy to put into my animal-free experiment. It will be LOVELY.

I think I'm going to celebrate handing it in tomorrow by cooking one hell of a cajun bean stew. Hell, I'll pick up some okra and make it a vegan gumbo. Wahey!

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Mmmmmmmmmmmm

For Christmas, my awesome (albeit somewhat sceptically suspicious) parents bought me the fantastic Isa Chandra Moscowitz's 'Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World'.

It is full of amazing animal-free cupcake and frosting recipes. Feeling in the mood for a bit of cheeky bakery, I endeavoured to make some Cookies And Cream cupcakes. Apart from having to use ordinary Oreos (Newman-O's do NOT exist this side of the Atlantic!) they were completely vegan and... absolutely AMAZING!

Honestly, I have never eaten a more rich or intense chocolate cupcake in my life! And the frosting was so creamy and delicious... it tasted more like Hagen Daas Cookies and Cream ice cream than vegan buttercream!

Apart from my currently scheduled breakfast of a single boiled egg for fat and protein, I'm going to try and eat all vegan when I get back to Lancaster, as much as I can. I'm cutting my food down to fruit, veggies and good carbohydrates in an attempt to lose weight. I'll make up loads of soup and stuff to have and take snack packs of salads and chopped fruit to Uni with me, and keep some ready made soup in the cupboards for when I'm bored.

Wooo!

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Veggies!

My lunch today was probably the most sickeningly healthy thing I've eaten in a while.

A giant plate of raw veggies (carrot, broccoli, cucumber) and strips of warm pita, with a little snack pot of red pepper humous. Soooooooooooooooo so so so very tasty.

I made a big pot of three bean curry with coconut rice last night. Coconut rice is so easy to make- whack some rinsed basmati, creamed coconut, a sprinkle of cinnamon and Caribbean every day seasoning and a couple of bay leaves into a pan, add some boiling water, bring it to the boil, turn off the heat and cover. 12 or so minutes later, yummy rice!!

The big pot of curry, however... It was meant to be dinner for yesterday and then food for today as well, only for some reason, it all burnt to the bottom. So the curry we ate from the top of the batch was fine, but everything else was full of burnt flakes. Not so tasty, I can assure you.

I'm thinking about buying some lunch boxy things featured on one of the blogs to my right --> They look perfect for taking food to snack on and eat when I'm on campus all day, to ensure I've got some healthy and low fat veggie food to hand. Only issue is money now!

Friday, 15 October 2010

Hmm

I was wandering around Lancaster on Wednesday, looking at the market stalls, grabbing some lunch from Sannah (an amazing Asian lady who sells incredible food on market day- I had spicy chickpea and potato with a tortilla wrap- SO GOOD!) and some ingredients for a 'pork' and tofu stir fry: when I came face to face with the Yummy Cup Cake Stall.

These cup cakes are incredible. Seriously the tastiest cup cakes in Lancaster. Lots of different flavours, from Barbie (pink icing and sparkly sugar) to Ugly (green icing, marshmallows and chocolate chunks) to Dime bar (chocolate icing with dime bars baked in the batter)... yet none of their cupcakes, or the other treats they sell, are suitable for vegans.

It got me thinking. Why aren't there more vegan bakeries/patessierres? Vegan cupcakes and treats aren't disgusting, cardboardy things- on the contrary, most vegan cupcakes are just as light, moist and fluffy as cupcakes made with eggs and butter.

I'd love to set up my own vegan cake shop one day. Sell amazing things like vegan brownies, vegan pastries, lots of different vegan cookies, vegan ice cream (so you can make your own vegan milk shakes!) and, of course, tonnes of flavours of vegan cup cakes.

I'm going to do some experimenting over the next week or so. I have a house full of willing testers next door, so I don't even need to eat many cup cakes. I have a couple of flavours already set out for testing:

Banana and Carrot cup cakes, with vegan cream cheese frosting
Spiced Ginger cup cakes, with vegan honey frosting (maybe use golden syrup or maple syrup? need to do some investigating!)
Dark chocolate cup cakes, with vegan peppermint frosting

So yeah! What do people think?

Monday, 11 October 2010

Maaaaaadness

I love coffee when it doesn't taste like coffee :)

Had to get up at twenty to seven this morning, in order to shower, eat breakfast and be ready on time to get to the bus station and get onto campus in time for my NINE O CLOCK Shakespeare lecture. Wasn't as bad as I was anticipating, and had a lovely brekkie of blueberry wheats with soy milk, and a glass of chocolate soy as a treat for getting up on time!! However, was feeling uber tired on the bus back (came home as I've got a gap of 4 hours between my first lecture and the seminar afterwards) so stopped off at Starbucks for a soya latte with two pumps of vanilla syrup. Mmmmm... it was good. And now I'm nomming a quick pot snack (Sainsbury's veggie bolognese pasta) before I go out again to sort my rent payment out and head to my Sci Fi lecture!

I'm such a busy busy bee, I'm not even going to have time to cook myself dinner later. Sad times :( I'll make myself a 'BLT' to nom on campus later, to keep hunger at bay. This time, it'll be made with Quorn deli 'bacon' cos I couldn't find any smoked tofu in Sainsbury's, grr... Sure they have it, just not in the Lancaster one. Too small, prolly.

However, Nathan's promised he'll cook dinner. Dunno what he'll make. Maybe chilli spaghetti? Hope so, that's sounding nice now :p He also promised me yesterday when we were having lunch in Wetherspoon's (went there for their roast deal, only I had to have something else cos they didn't have any of their delicious portabello mushroom and chickpea roast left :() that he'll make me a roast on Sundays if I get a part in one of the LUTG plays (as we won't be able to go to 'Spoons cos the Sunday rehearsals and their roast deal run at the same time, noon-6!!) sooo that's rather nice of him :)

I want to buy some vegan products too. Vegan marshmellows and chocolates and cheese sauce and all manner of tasty things from a couple of the shops I've linked to the right. We'll see how money goes after this rent payment ;)

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Hmm

Blergh, I hate insomnia.

I'm going to cook myself some food in a minute. I really want a BLT (or, should that be TLT?) but we don't have any more rolls left, and I'm scared the bread is mouldy D: Might do some orzo with pesto and mozarella... or some soup. Soup'd be nice right now *drools*


Whatever I do, I've got boxes of tea I can get stuck into. I love tea. I'm such a tea fiend.

I wish I had the ingredients for some baking... There's this vegan recipe book I want BADLY, 'Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World' and it has some insanely delicious sounding recipes, like Crimson Velveteen Cupcakes and Banana Split cupcakes... mmm... cupcakes...

I've got a packed of carrot cake mix. Might make some carrot cake cupcakes?