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.