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.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Adventures with Pastry: Sausages rolls

Theresa at Tropical Vegan had these sausage rolls on her blog. They looked amazing, so I stole her idea. I processed a tin of baked beans with oats, soy sauce and herbs. I rolled them in Borg's puff pastry. Yum! Thanks Theresa!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Adventures with Pastry: Spring Rolls

My kids love spring rolls. We frequently by large packs of vegetable spring rolls (60 or 64) from the supermarket, because they are quick, easy and good for dinner or lunch boxes. I have often thought that they must be easy to make. My sister-in-law (hi Madonna!) told me a while back that she makes her own spring rolls and oven bakes them for a lower fat option. When I saw spring roll pastry on special at Woolworths, I decided to give her idea a go.

They worked out pretty well. We had half of them for dinner, with rice, tofu, greens and store bought vegan BBQ buns. The kids will have the leftovers for lunch at school. One advantage of no meat is that they are much less likely to spoil in a lunch box and the kids get a nice serve of vegetables.

Oven Baked Spring Rolls


1 tablespoon rice bran oil or other neutral cooking oil
1/4 wombok (Chinese cabbage) chopped well
1 large carrot, grated
1 onion, chopped finely
3 dried shiitake mushroom, reconstituted in water and chopped finely
100g rice or bean vermicelli
1 cup bean sprouts
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon each salt, white pepper and ginger
pinch star anise
2 teaspoons sesame oil
Packet of 20 spring roll wrappers (check ingredients to make sure there is no egg)
Cooking spray or a few tablespoons of extra oil

(you could also add chopped coriander and chilli for a Thai flavour)

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Cover 2 cookie sheets with baking paper.
  2. Cook noodles as per packet instructions. Chop into 2-3 cm lengths.
  3. Heat skillet. Add oil.
  4. Add cabbage, onion, carrot and mushroom. Fry over low medium heat until onion has softened.
  5. Add remaining ingredients to skillet. Cook until bean sprouts soften slightly.
  6. Separate spring roll wrappers.
  7. For each spring roll, put a few tablespoons of filling (1/20th of the mix) above one corner. Fold up the corner. Fold ends in. Roll up. Seal with water.
  8. Spray oven trays and rolls with cooking spray or brush with oil.
  9. Bake rolls until golden, turning over after 20 minutes. It will take 30-40 minutes.
  10. Serve with dipping sauce of choice. We like sweet chilli sauce.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Adventures with Pastry: Croissants

I will admit up front that I don't have a great history with pastry. I think I overwork it. However, I buy a mean puff pastry (Borg's - it says "Vegan" on the packet!"). After visiting Vegan Dad's excellent blog and seeing his croissants, and in spite of my pastry history, I decided to give them a go for Mother's Day. M asked if she could help. I used this recipe from Jennifer of Vegan Lunch box fame.

First step was to mix the simple yeast dough and let it rise. That bit was easy enough. We then punched it and M rolled it out:

After that, we added a layer of margarine (Nuttelex):

I tried rolling and freezing the margarine as Jennifer directed, but the Nuttelex did not freeze hard. Instead, I just spread it around.

After that, we folded it as directed:

We then refrigerate, re-rolled and refrigerated the folded dough several times as directed.

Finally, we shaped them:

And here is one the next morning on my breakfast tray, as arranged by M, who made me breakfast in bed:

(By the way, the tray was made by J, who gave it to me for a present last year. He is very talented at woodwork and is toying with carpentry for a career idea.)

How were the croissants? The flavour was excellent and they rose well. The whole double batch was eaten by our family on Mother's Day. However, they were a bit more bread-like than flaky inside. That's probably done to the Nuttelex not cooling hard and me over-enthusiastically rolling it. However, I need to give another recipe a go to see if it's the recipe or me. (I'm guessing me!)


Berry's Box: Enter at Own Risk

Our cats love boxes and hiding places, so we grabbed a box the other day from a pile at the shops. Berry commandeered it, though Switch frequently sniffed it, interested in smells that we couldn't detect. We realised why it was so popular once we actually read the details on the front of the box!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Lemon Muffins

I have a few fruit trees in pots. One is a lemon tree. A bit over a month ago, I harvested a couple of lemons. Here is the first one:

If life gives you a lemon, make Lemon Muffins!

These were made using the lemon poppy seed muffin recipe from Vegan With a Vengeance. I didn't have any poppy seeds, so I left them out. They were pretty good. M and I are big fans of lemon baked goods, though the guys of the house aren't so keen. More for me!

Caturday on Sunday:

Miss Switch accepting scratches from both Z and J. She was purring like mad and rolling on her side and back to encourage tummy scratches.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Vegan Dad's Hot Wings

Do you like seitan? Bake bread? Feed kids? If you answer yes to any of these, you have to go and see Vegan Dad's blog. His food is consistently amazing and appealing.

These are Vegan Dad's Hot Wings, with his Sweet and Sticky Sauce. In this meal from a while ago, I served them with peas, corn and homemade chips. They are little breaded seitan chunks served with a sweet tangy sauce. My kids love these with a passion. Try them. They are seriously good. They also freeze well for a quick meal. I always double the recipe and freeze half of them.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Spicy Chopped Salad

I made a big bowl of salad Last Friday and have been eating it ever since. It was great.

Spicy Chopped Salad

Serves 8 as a side salad (or it can be 4 lunches!)

  • 1 tin 3 bean mix, drained
  • 1 tin corn kernels, drained
  • 1 apple chopped
  • 4 spring onions chopped
  • 1 apple diced
  • 1 small carrot peeled and finely diced
  • 2 tomatoes chopped
  • 12 pitted olives halved
  • 3 tablespoons flaked almonds
  • 8-16 lettuce leaves to serve (or may be diced and added to salad for immediate use)
Dressing Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • Additional ground chilli or harissa paste to taste (I added a tablespoon of harissa, but this might be too much to serve to non-chilli lovers.)
  • Salt and pepper to taste (about 1/4 teaspoon each for me)
  1. Combine all salad ingredients, other than the lettuce leaves, if you wish to serve them whole on a plate.
  2. Combine all dressing ingredients and whisk or shake to combine.
  3. Stir dressing well through salad.
  4. You can serve this immediately, but it is good if allowed to sit in the fridge for a few hours at lease.
  5. Serve with lettuce.
This would also be good with extra tomato, added grains, eg leftover rice, or a few teaspoons of olive oil in it.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

I'm ba-a-a-ack! (Spinach Calzones)

Two months?! I can't believe that I have ignored this poor blog for that long. Life stuff has been hectic, but still ... two months!

Anyway, I'm back with mini spinach calzones. I needed to take a plate* to a party last night, so I threw these together quickly. I had the dough for a pizza base in the freezer, as well as some spinach and some Cheezley cream cheese, so I decided to combine a couple of favourites, spinach and calzones. I also like my party nibbles small and not too messy, so these worked well.

Mini Spinach Calzones

Makes 24.

  • Pizza dough for 1 base, uncooked. (I used some from the Vegan with a Vengeance recipe, with whole wheat flour swapped for about about 1/3 of the plain flour in the recipe. I always make extra when I make pizza and freeze it in 1 pizza batches. Use whatever pizza base recipe you like)
  • 250g frozen spinach
  • 2 large spring onions chopped
  • 75 grams vegan cream cheese (I used Cheezley Sour Cream and Chives variety that I found in my freezer)
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (also called savoury yeast) (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 240 degrees centigrade.
  2. After you have prepared your pizza dough, cover it and put it aside.
  3. Defrost and drain the spinach.
  4. Add cream cheese, yeast and spring onions to spinach. Mix well.
  5. Add salt and pepper to spinach mix to taste. Mix again.
  6. Using a rolling pin, roll pizza dough very thin, about 1/2 cm (1/4 inch).
  7. Cut 7 cm circles of dough from the rolled dough. I used the top of a skinny glass, but a round biscuit cutter would work well.
  8. Consolidate remaining dough, roll and cut again. Keep doing this until you have used all the dough.
  9. Divide the spinach mixture between the circles of dough, leaving a clear rim of dough to use to shut the calzone.
  10. For each circle, wet the rim of the circle and fold it over into a half circle over the filling. Seal the edge.
  11. Place calzones on two baking trays. Leave a little space (1/2 - 1 cm at least) between the calzones.
  12. Bake until gently browned, turning once. (Approx 10 - 15 minutes)
  13. Serve hot or cold.
I served them cold, in a large bowl. They were delicious and popular. They had a thin crust of pizza bread with a nice substantial serve of savoury spinach filling. I think that they would also be good in lunch boxes or made into approximately 6 larger calzones as part of a meal. The kids loved them, so I'll be making these again.


Why would you want to use the printer? Why would you want the contents of your canvas satchel? Cat sleep is far more important than your paltry human concerns. (Featuring Berry sleeping on a satchel and wedged onto the printer tray. Bonus Switch staring at moths out the door.)

* For the non-Australians, the Australian phrase "bring a plate" means to bring food to share appropriate to the type of event. It can mean to bring a main dish, a side, a salad, a dessert, finger food or any similar item to share. I'm told this phrase is far from universal and that it has led to confusion for non-Australians in the past.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Been busy!

Just a quick note to say that I'm very busy at the moment with work and home. I'll be posting again properly soon. I have been taking blog photos for the last few weeks, but don't have time to do a full post.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Another salad lunch

Hot weather and cheap salad greens inspired this lunch from last weekend.

We went to Aldi on Sunday, to pick up a few things. While I was there, I saw salad greens for 99c for a big pack. I also got a Turkish bread, to put with some hommous I had at home.

I made this salad. It was mixed salad greens, grape tomatoes, 6 mushrooms sliced and grilled, some chopped cucumber, a spoonful of capers and some mustard dressing. The dressing was actually left over roumalade sauce from Vegan brunch, with a few tablespoons of cider vinegar and a teaspoon of sugar. (Dissolve the sugar in the vinegar, by heating it in the microwave.) It would also be good with the maple mustard dressing from Veganomnicon.

At the back, there is some toasted Turkish bread with hommous on it.

As an aside, I quite like shopping at Aldi. Many of their items are actually labelled "suitable for vegans." It takes a lot of the guess work out of shopping.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Noodle lunch

I was shopping the other day and decided to grab a few things for lunch. I made these noodles, which really hit the spot. I used the vegan oyster sauce which is available from the Cruelty Free Shop.

Lunch Noodles with Vegan Oyster Sauce

Serves 2

2 tablespoons neutral cooking oil (I used rice bran oil)
300 g tofu diced into 1-2 cm squares
1 cm knob ginger
2 chopped spring onions, sliced into 4 cm lengths
1 packet Heinz frozen steamed vegetables for one (cauliflower, broccoli and carrot)
200g ready to use udon noodles
3 tablespoons vegan oyster sauce
3 tablespoons water

  1. Fry the tofu squares in 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet or wok.
  2. Once the tofu is lightly browned, add the remaining oil, ginger and onions. Cook for about 1 minute, until fragrant.
  3. Refresh the noodles in boiling water, while waiting for the ginger to cook.
  4. Add the frozen vegetables to the pan and stir fry until hot.
  5. Drain the noodles. Add the noodles, sauce and water.
  6. Serve hot.
They were also great reheated for lunch at work the next day.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Apple and Sage Sausages and Caturday

Tonight we had homemade apple and sage sausages with mash, vegetables and gravy.

The sausages were a variation on Isa Chandra Moskowitz' cherry and sage sausages from Vegan Brunch. I replaced the dried cherries with a grated apple. I used powdered sage, despite Isa's instruction not to do it. I also replaced the all-spice and cloves with 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, because for some reason I was out of both all-spice and cloves. I really should check my spice cabinet before I cook.

It was really good. Even M, who is not a huge seitan sausage fan, liked these.


Sisterly love!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Just Caturday

I am heading to a birthday party today, so this is just a quick cat picture.


Who is that kitty in the window?

Switch enjoys sitting in our front window and watching the world. There is the added bonus of being hidden from children, if she is not in the mood for more enthusiastic cuddles.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Curry #3

Maybe this should be Curry #2 1/2. I used some of the frozen mushroom chunk rendang (from my last post) for this meal. I made up packet dosai mix, which happened to be vegan. The dosai were delicious with this curry. As you can see, I also did a quick tomato, cucumber and herb salad. There is also lime pickle and chutney for sambals plus a couple of spring rolls.

The spring rolls were a concession to M, who does not like curry. She had dosai, vegetables and spring tolls, hold the curry.

Tomato, Cucumber and Herb Salad

Serves 4 as a side dish.


1 small red onion (optional and not included due to Mr BrisVegan's aversion to raw onion)
2 tomatoes
1/2 small cucumber
1/2 bunch of chives
2 teaspoons diced coriander leaves (cilantro)
1 teaspoon diced mint
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
pinch each salt and pepper

  1. Dice onion, cucumber and tomato, into 1/2 to 1 cm dice.
  2. Finely dice herbs.
  3. Mix all ingredients in a salad bowl.
  4. Refrigerate for 1/2 to 1 hour then serve.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Curry #2

Another curry. This is a big pot of mushroom stick rendang that I made a while ago. It was made with a bottled curry past and tinned coconut milk. The mushroom sticks are quite "beefy" and are a big favourite with my family. I replaced the traditional potatoes with other vegies to increase the vegetable quotient of the meal.

For this one I sauteed onions in a little oil. I then browned the mushroom chunks. I removed the onions and mushroom sticks and fried the curry paste until it was fragrant. I then added the onion, mushroom sticks, vegetables, coconut milk and some water. I simmered the curry until the vegies were cooked. I made it fairly mild, so that Z, a new curry eater, would enjoy it.

As you can see, I made a big wok-ful for several meals. Curry always freezes well. Frozen curry in the freezer means that I can boil some rice, heat the curry and have dinner on the table quickly after work. It helps us to cut down on takeaway meals, save money and have quick, but healthier versions of our restaurant favourites.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Curry week and another late Caturday

We have been eating curry a lot lately, because I visited an Indian grocery store and impulsively bought an astonishing number of curry mixes. This week I plan to show some of the curries eaten at Chez BrisVegan. Last night, I made two curries from these mixes:

As you can see, there was a butter chicken mix and a jalfrezi mix. They were both fairly dry spice pastes. Both were vegan. The butter chicken contained neither butter nor chicken. Both asked for 50ml cream, but I replaced that with 125ml creamy-flavoured Vitasoy So Milky Lite.

With the butter chicken seasoning, I made butter pumpkin and canellini beans. The creaminess of the sauce works beautifully with the sweetness of the pumpkin and beans. I also added an onion, and a couple of chopped green beans and spring onions, for contrasting green colour.

For the jalfrezi, I made a curry with the mix, onion, carrot, broccoli, mushrooms, peas, tomatoes and green capsicum, as well as the soy milk.

For both, I sauted the onion then added the vegetables and curry mix with water as suggested on the packet. I simmered them until the vegies were almost cooked and added the soy milk. After heating it through, it was ready for serving.

Both were very good, served on brown rice, with chutney and lime pickle. Everyone but M ate them and enjoyed them. The curries were relatively mild and child friendly for Z. M is not a curry fan and ate the veges, beans and rice without the sauce. As a bonus, they made enough to give me some leftovers for another meal and some work lunches.

(Late Again) Caturday

This cat is not yet out of the bag!

(Germophobe note: Don't worry, the bag will never be used for food ever again.)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Baked Soy "Fish" and Late Caturday

A few weeks ago, I got a beancurd and laver fish-shaped product from White Jade Garden vegetarian supermarket at Inala. It was was pretty cheap at only $5.90.

As it was the size and shape of a whole fish, I decided to do a baked fish dish. I wrapped it in baking paper with a topping of chopped garlic shoots, ginger and chilli. It was pretty good. All the kids loved it, though M found the tipping a bit spicy and scraped it off. The laver layer unfortunately lifted off when I unwrapped it, but I suspect it would be even better with it on.

Baked "Fish"

Serves 2-4 (5 at a push with plenty of side dishes)


Cooking spray
4 garlic shoots
3 cm knob fresh ginger
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tsp each cider vinegar and sesame oil (I think replacing the vinegar with 1 tablespoon of lime juice would be better)

  1. Heat oven to 180 degrees Centigrade.
  2. Cut a sheet of baking paper(parchment), large enough to wrap around the fish and fold several times to shut. Spray the baking paper with cooking oil.
  3. Place "fish" on the baking paper on an oven tray.
  4. Top fish with the garlic shoots, ginger and chilli.
  5. Mix remaining ingredients and then pour over the "fish."
  6. Fold the paper to seal it around the "fish".
  7. Put it in the oven and bake for 1/2 an hour.
  8. Serve. I put it on a plate with lettuce and tomato for colour, but it would also be good on rice, noodles, couscous or Asian greens with capsicum.

(Late) Caturday

Kitty toes!

Berry likes to sleep on my bedside table, lately. I think that it is cooler than the bed, but still close to us. The other day, I woke to a dazzling display of paws. I love how her pads are both black and pink, in her white foot fur.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Braised tofu, fried rice and greens

As it says in the title, this is braised tofu with fried rice and greens. We had this a while ago and I forgot to blog it.

The tofu is based on a Kylie Kwong recipe that I saw on TV. It is tofu fried and then slow cooked with stock, sugar, soy sauce, sherry, onion and a dash of vinegar. The original recipe had cherry tomatoes. This one had carrots, because from memory, I didn't have any tomatoes.

The greens were just quickly stir-fried in a dash of sesame oil and then sprinkled with sesame seeds.

The fried rice is Z's favourite way to eat rice. It is very quick and easy to make. It's a fairly rough recipe, because I usually just throw stuff in a wok.

Vegan Fried Rice

Serves 6


2-3 tablespoons oil (I use rice bran oil)
1 onion, diced
few slices diced Redwood vegan ham or 1 diced Sanitarium hot dog
3 cups cooked rice (best if cooked the day before, but just cooked is OK), fluffed so grains are separate
3/4 cup frozen vegetables (or 1 carrot, cut into a small dice, 1/3 cup peas and 1/4 cup corn kernels), cooked with the rice
1-2 tablespoon soy sauce
Pepper to taste (optional)
1 teaspoon sesame oil (optional)

  1. Heat wok or large skillet to medium heat.
  2. Add 1/2 tablespoon of oil and onion. Cook until almost translucent.
  3. Add vegan ham or Sanitarium hot dog. Cook until onion is translucent and the protein is lightly browned.
  4. Add remaining oil and turn up the heat so the wok is fairly hot (about 2/3 on my hot plate).
  5. Once the oil is heated, throw in the rice and cooked vegetables.
  6. Stir well, so the rice is well coated with oil.
  7. Add the soy sauce, pepper and sesame oil (if using).
  8. Keep stirring until rice is golden and hot.
This recipe always goes well in our house. It is also good for pot lucks, and reheats well in a microwave, with a few good stirs. In fact, I took this to a party were another person had taken a traditional omni egg and meat fried rice. This one was finished and the other was half left. Quite a few people had seconds of my vegan fried rice. I was pretty pleased with that outcome.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


My Vegan Brunch experimentation goes on. Here are some lovely waffles that I made for breakfast one day. These are the Classic Chelsea Waffles, with a few adjustments. I didn't have any cornmeal, so I just used more plain flour instead. I also followed the suggestion and replaced the original malt syrup with maple syrup. I made a double batch and added 1 1/2 cup frozen blueberries to half of it. The picture shows a blueberry one.

As you can see, I served then with maple syrup, So-Good vanilla ice cream and banana.

They were excellent. The children wolfed down 2-4 each. Fortunately, the recipe made 20 waffles on my machine, so there were some for the next day. They were good reheated either in the toaster or in the microwave.

I have also made the yeast rise ones, when my omni mum was visiting. Both types are great, though the yeast ones are a little softer. Both would be great to serve to omni guests. Obviously they are a great favourite with children. Isa Chandra Moskowitz has created another family favourite for me!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Gado Gado Plate and Caturday

This is not a very good photo, but it was a good dinner. Here is a gado gado plate that we had a little while ago. On the platter are (clockwise from top corner): peanut sauce (store bought + extra peanut butter and dash of soy), tomato, caramelised tofu, cucumber, carrot and steamed/cooled potato. We also had a bowl of rice vermicelli. This was nice and cool on a hot night. However, I would add more greens next time.


Berry is in ur bed, stealing ur z's. (Oh damn, now I am writing in lolspeak!)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Cinnamon Buns

Another Vegan Brunch recipe. This time it's cinnamon buns.

On Boxing Day, we drove 2 1/2 hours west to my sister's place at Dalby. We stayed overnight, as did my brother and his family from Monto (about 6 hours north of Brisbane). To help feed so many people, we all pitched in and made food, which led to several delicious feasts over the weekend. One thing that I took was a big tray of these buns.

Here are the extras that we ate fresh at our place:

They are sweet, light and cinnamon-y. I like the inclusion of cinnamon in the dough for an extra flavour lift.

The ones that we took to Dalby were delicious even though they were 1 1/2 days old. We heated them for around 15 minutes in a 170 Celsius oven. Everyone, including all the omnis, liked them. A few people asked for the recipe. Several of the children (not just mine!) asked for seconds.

Cinnamon buns FTW!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Rocky Road and Caturday

Like many vegans, I thought I had kissed marshmallows goodbye forever. Then the Cruelty Free Shop started to sell a marshmallow making kit and Dandies from the US. After ordering some of the astonishingly expensive Dandies, I decided to make something to make them last. Rocky road was my marshmallow delivery system of choice.

In my Christmas dinner post, I showed rocky road. I made 2 types. They were traditional (pictured above) and ginger. Here are the rough recipes. You could change the nuts and other fillings as desired.

Traditional Rocky Road


1/2 packet Dandies marshmallows
125 g Whittakers dark chocolate (1/2 250g block)
100g cashews
1 packet dried strawberries (you could also use Turkish delight)

  1. Put chocolate in a microwave proof bowl.
  2. Melt chocolate in microwave. This was 2 1 minute sessions at 3/4 heat on my microwave, but a higher powered machine may vary. Just go gently in short bursts and stir after each time. Remove it when a few small lumps remain and stir until they are dissolved.
  3. Add remaining ingredients. Pour into a loaf tin, which is lined with parchment (baking) paper. Refrigerate until solid.
  4. Cut into bars or squares as desired.
Ginger Rocky Road

Make as above, with the strawberries replaced with 1/2 - 1 packet of crystallised ginger and the cashews replaced with slivered almonds.


Some days it's too hot to move. Cats deal with this by hogging the breeze. Not pictured: they will also lie in cool tiled doorways where you wish to walk.