Friday, June 25, 2010

Hot potato!

This was dinner the other night. There's a baked potato with some melted toffuti slice, bean salsa, sweet chilli sauce, caramelised onion and vegan bacon bits. In the background are baked cauliflower, peas, pumpkin, swede and Isa's garlicky kale with tahini sauce (from Vegan with a Vengeance). Relatively little prep, some baking, boiling and a quick saute and there's dinner. The kids liked everything but the kale and swede. Yum!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Wonton soup + cuddly cats

The guys have taken off to the shops. M and I decided to have a nice warm soup for lunch. Here's what we made:

It was great. M even ate bok choy, which is normally not something she would touch. She said it was the best soup ever.

Quick Wonton Soup

Serves 2 (with generous seconds!)


(The measures here are mostly estimates, as I didn't measure precisely as I went.)

1 1/4 litre vegan stock (I used Massel chicken style stock)
1/4 cup sliced dried shiitake mushrooms
10 store bought Chinese vegan dumplings
1 small carrot, sliced
1 plant bok choy, stem and leaves chopped and separated
2cm knob ginger, chopped into thin julienne
1-2 tablespoons soy sauce

  1. Rinse mushrooms and put them in a 2 litre saucepan.
  2. Add stock. Bring to boil. Reduce heat. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Add all remaining ingredients, except bok choy leaves. Simmer 5-10 minutes until dumplings are warmed through.
  4. Add bok choy leaves and simmer until leaves are soft.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

Sleepy cuddles!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Tofu Mushroom Ragu

I frequently make this Tofu Mushroom Ragu. It is based on the Mushroom Ragu in The Australian Women's Weekly Vegie Main Meals recipe book, which is one of the small ones Aussies will see on same for a few dollars at the supermarket checkout.

I change it around a bit, by using button mushrooms and adding tofu for protein. I serve it often with pasta, as you can see, rather than dairy laden polenta, as in the recipe. I also add some vegetable sides.

It is a great favourite in our house. In fact it's one of Z's favourite meals.

Here's my recipe:

Tofu Mushroom Ragout


Serves 8-10 with pasta and sides (I freeze half and have 2 meals for 5 people)

Cooking spray or a few tablespoons of olive oil
Approx 750g very firm tofu (can be a bit more or less depending on the packaging style), cut into 1-2 cm chunks
1 Large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons Nuttelex
1/4 cup plain flour
500 g button or flat mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2/3 cup wine (can be white or red or cooking sherry, depending on your preference or pantry)
2 cups vegetarian stock (I usually use Massel Chicken-style vegan stock cubes + water)
1-2 cups water
2 teaspoons dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
Pasta to serve

  1. Spray large skillet or wok with cooking spray.
  2. Fry tofu chunks until slightly golden. You might need to do this in batches. Remove tofu from heat.
  3. Spray skillet/wok again with cooking spray. Cook onion until almost translucent.
  4. Add garlic and cook for a minute or two longer.
  5. Remove garlic and onion. Melt margarine. Add flour and cook for a minute or two. If it's too dry, add a few tablespoons of water.
  6. Add mushrooms and cook for a few minutes.
  7. Add wine, tomato past and stock and mix until flour mix dissolves into liquid.
  8. Return tofu and onion/garlic mix to liquid. Add enough water to almost cover. Add thyme.
  9. Simmer for 20-30 minutes, until liquid reduces to a desirable amount and thickens.
  10. Taste. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  11. Serve over cooked pasta with vegetable side dishes.
This freezes very well.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


I love the Old-Style Chelsea Waffles from Vegan Brunch. I replace the cornmeal with more plain flour and use maple syrup as the syrup sweetener, which makes them a bit easier to make with Australian ingredients (fine cornmeal can be hard to find here and I always have flour).

I made some again the other day and topped them with maple syrup, pear and slivered almonds. Yum!

The kids love them. I usually make a double batch and freeze half for later. With a bit of baking paper between them, you can just take one or two frozen waffles, grill, toast or microwave them for a quick breakfast. I quite like the reaheated ones with a bit of peanut butter and drizzle of maple syrup.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Not-honey jumbles and cats

I made some honey jumbles (sans honey) last weekend. For those who haven't hade them, honey jumbles are basically small bars of gingerbread with a heavy glaze-style icing. I suppose that they often contain honey, hence the name. However, my old Women's Weekly biscuit cookbook has a recipe that uses golden syrup as a sweetener and not honey. I had not had honey jumbles for years, though I used to make them often as a kid, from the same recipe book (25-odd years ago!).

So I decided to veganise my old favourite. You can find the original recipe here at I replaced butter with nuttelex, milk with soy milk and egg-white with No Egg (egg replacer). Here they are:

As the recipe says, they are best after a day or so, as they soften and intensify in flavour. They look a bit rough, but were very nice, just as I remembered. The cakey, slightly chewy ginger bread is delicious with the slight lemon tang of the sweet glaze. They take a while to make, with the cooling and re-baking, but they were worth it. The kids loved them. They took some to school and apparently their omni friends liked them too. Vegan baking for the win!


Two cats snapped on Z's bunk bed. They have decided they like the high bunks (the boys have bunks and M has a bunk over desk bed). If they can't be found, they'll be fast asleep on someone's high bed.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Adventures with Pastry: Pies

Yes, I am still obsessed with pastry. It's because I bought a pack of Borgs puff pastry. I also love hot pastry out of the oven on cold days. This time, its a vegan twist on Aussie pies. Mine had mushy peas in it with extra on top. Other members of the family left out the mushy peas (crazy, I know!) We served it with sweet potato oven chips and broccoli.

Aussie Pie

Makes 12 pies


1 onion
2-3 cloves garlic
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
1 tin Sanitarium casserole mic (or use about 1 1/2 cups TVP)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon red wine
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup prepared gravy (I used Gravox Supreme, which is accidentally vegan, but you could use your favourite mix or homemade smooth gravy)
1 1/2 tablespoons cornflour (if needed for thickening)
3 sheets puff pastry
1 tin mushy peas (optional)

  1. Fry onion and garlic.
  2. Add mince, vegetables, soy sauce, tomato paste and gravy.
  3. Simmer until vegetables are tender (10-15 minutes). This will be the pie filling.
  4. If you think the mix is a bit watery, mix the cornflour and wine and add to pie filling mix. If it is thick enough, add the wine and omit the cornflour.
  5. Cool pie filling. (I put mine in the fridge overnight and used it the next night for a quick dinner).
  6. For individual pies, cut the pastry sheets into 4 squares each. Stretch each a little.
  7. Put 1/12 of the filling onto each pastry square. If you like mushy peas, put some on top of the filling. Fold corners of the pastry squares over the filling and seal edges. (You can also make these in muffin or pie dishes for a rounder and taller pie.)
  8. Bake until pastry is golden (around 45 minutes).
  9. Serve with mushy peas more or favoured sauce.
You can use the filling to make big pies or in a shepherds pie. Everyone loved them. It's a good way to increase the vegetables on the children's plates, without them realising. I am also going to send some to school in lunch boxes.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Adventures with Pastry: Pics of the Baked Bean Sausage Rolls

As I said the other day, I made Theresa's baked bean sausage rolls. She didn't give a detailed recipe so I just made one up, based on her description, assuming that she probably had actual home made US-style baked beans instead of the canned ones I used. I agree with her assessment, they were some of the best vegan sausage rolls I have made. The kids loved them. They have also been popular cold in the children's lunch boxes. I pop a frozen one in before school and it defrosts by lunch time.

Anyway, here's a picture:

Baked Bean Sausage Rolls (a la Theresa)


2 tins of baked beans (1 drained and one with liquid)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 cups oats
1 cup Weetbix crumbs (or use bread crumbs if you wish)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon each paprika, salt and pepper
4 sheets vegan puff pastry (I used Borgs)

  1. Heat oven to 200°C.
  2. Process everything but the pastry in the food processor until the mixture is almost smooth.
  3. Cut each sheet of pastry into 4 squares.
  4. Put 1/16th of the bean mixture in a line in the middle of each square of pastry.
  5. Roll each sausage roll into a tube shape and seal edges of pastry, using a little water if necessary.
  6. Bake until golden and pastry is puffed (35-45 minutes).
Can be eaten straight away, reheated for a few minutes in the microwave or frozen for later. For smaller cocktail-sized rolls, cut each roll into 3 before baking.


Sister cats can be very satisfactory pillows:

As you can see, Berry and Switch are very fond of each other. They are litter mates who have lived together their whole life. As the weather gets colder, they love to sleep snuggled together.