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and in the end

May. 1st, 2008 | 09:02 pm

So, it's been a little while since I (pen) have posted here. I've sort of outgrown this blog, and it's been some time since Claira has posted here, so yeah.

You can find me posting at Vegan About Town, a blog about my adventures in cooking, and my adventures in finding vegan food in Perth. I hope that you'll drop by, perhaps.

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Jan. 8th, 2008 | 08:15 pm

I started the day obsessing about enchiladas, the soft wraps and the delicious filling and I was really excited that these turned out so well.

This recipe is theoretically gluten-free, but I have been having a lot of trouble finding tortillas that are actually made from corn, rather than corn and wheat flour. That is, however, the only impediment to its gluten-free status.

1 can refried beans
1 can kidney beans
10 or so small tortilla wrap things
a dozen button mushrooms (diced)
1 medium sized carrot (peeled and diced)
4 tomatoes (diced)
1 onion (red or brown) (diced)
half a green capsicum
cayenne pepper
chili flakes
2 cloves garlic (minced)
tomato paste

Stir fry the mushrooms, carrot, half the onion, half the garlic, capsicum, and whatever other vegies you might wish to add. I used snow peas, just because I had some that needed to be used. Also add chili flakes, cayenne pepper, and oregano. When it's about cooked through, add the refried beans and kidney beans, and simmer on low until heated through. Heat the tortillas in the microwave for thirty seconds, just to soften them.

Blend the tomatoes, remaining onion, tomato paste and garlic together with a little paprika to create a salsa.

Scoop two or three table spoons of mixture into each tortilla, roll and place in baking tray. When you run out of room/tortillas/mixture, cover it all in the salsa (try to cover as equally as possible), and bake at about 180C for 20 minutes.

I served this with Matthias' delicious guacamole (recipe here), which is my favourite guacamole recipe.

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chocolate choc-chip cupcakes

Jan. 6th, 2008 | 01:56 pm

This recipe is modified off a recipe originally provided to me by vegetus. It's a simple recipe that produces a soft cupcake with a mild chocolate flavour. The real punch comes from the choc chips, which is why they're delicious when still warm.

chocolate choc-chip cupcakes

1 and 3/4 cups SR flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder

1 tsp vanilla essence
80g nuttlex or other margarine (melted)
1/4 cup apple sauce
1 cup plain soy milk
1 cup choc chips


Sift the flour, baking powder and cocoa together, and mix in the sugar. Add in the vanilla essence, followed by the nuttlex and the apple sauce, and then slowly add the milk, mixing as you add, until a thick batter forms. Mix in the choc chips, then leave the batter to sit for five minutes.

Divide the mixture into a twelve pan cupcake tray, and bake for 15 minutes at 180C. Eat whilst still warm.

The chocolate squares in the photo are from Carmel Valley Chocolates (in Carmel), they are gluten-free and vegan and quite tasty.
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chocolate jaffa slice (vegan)

Nov. 18th, 2007 | 08:37 am

One of the things I did after I started at my current place of employment was occasionally mention the casual baking competition we had at my previous place of employment. I would talk about how great it was, how delicious, how much fun. Eventually, I had enough people convinced that we were able to start a casual baking competition of our own. This week's category was slices, something I had never tried before. And I came second! So, that was cool.

This slice is really easy, and really delicious. I honestly can't wait to try making it again, this or another slice!

This recipe is vegan, and though it is not gluten-free it could easily be so if you use gluten-free biscuits rather than plain wheat-based ones.

Chocolate Jaffa Slice


200 grams of biscuits (I used the Arnotts' Nice)
cup walnuts
300 grams dark chocolate
half cup icing sugar
100 grams butter
1 tablespoon finely grated orange rind


Crush or blend the biscuits and the walnuts. My blender is on its way out, and the barmix was useless for this job, so I found myself on the floor of my kitchen using my mortar and pestle to pound the walnuts and biscuits into tiny pieces. Pour this mixture into a bowl.

Melt half of the chocolate, the icing sugar (sifted) and the butter together. After removing from the heat, add the orange rind to the mixture, then pour into the biscuit/walnut mixture. Stir it all together until combined. Pour this combination into a cake tin that has been lined with baking paper, and press it all down very firmly. Put it in the fridge to set for about ten minutes.

I took this opportunity to do the dishes, freeing up my chocolate melting pot again. Melt the remaining chocolate, pour into the tin to form the top layer. Smooth it all out evenly, and put it back in the fridge to set again, about another half an hour.

Once cut, it looked really awesome. Next time I think I'm going to sprinkle coconut on top of that chocolate layer, but it was delicious without.
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sugar-free spiced apple cake (vegan)

Oct. 30th, 2007 | 07:44 pm

I was stressing out about this for a week, trying to create a vegan, diabetic-friendly cake recipe for a coworker's birthday. Finally I baked it last night, and continued fretting all morning until cake time came, and it turned out to be moist and just sweet enough.

sugar-free, vegan, spiced-apple cake


1 cup SR flour
1/2 cup SR wholemeal flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla essence
About 1/2 cup applesauce
1 tsp olive oil or melted nuttlex
1 cup soy milk
1 to 1 1/2 apples (peeled, grated)
1/4 cup sultanas

Sieve and mix all the dry ingredients together. In order, mix in the vanilla essence, applesauce, nuttlex, soy milk, apples and sultanas. Combine well, but don't over mix. I overmixed, and it made the outside a little rubbery when it was cooling.

You can either bake as muffins (15-20 min) or as a cake (just under 40 min) at 180C. You can eat it plain, but it would work with almond flakes sprinkled on top.
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falafel balls and spaghetti (vegan) (gluten free)

Oct. 1st, 2007 | 07:16 pm

falafel balls and spaghetti

falafel balls:
1 can chick peas
2 tbsp tahini
chilli powder
brown onion
chickpea flour
2 cloves garlic

super easy sauce:
1 red onion
3 tomatoes
1 clove garlic
handful mushrooms
1/2 can tomato soup


crush the chick peas, mince the garlic, finely chop the brown onion, then mix all felafel ingredients except the chick pea flour together. Slowly add the chick pea flour until the mixture is of a consistency that you can roll it into balls, but still kind of sticky. Roll into balls, lightly flour in remaining chickpea flour. Makes about fifteen balls (don't make them too big). Lightly fry in a wok until golden in a tablespoon or two of oil, three or four at a time, then bake at 160C for twenty minutes, turning halfway.

This frying-baking method is one my mother taught me years ago, it allows what you are cooking to be crispy but well-cooked.

Whilst the falafel balls are baking, put some water (followed by fettucine pasta) on to boil. Roughly chop the red onion and the garlic, lightly fry until onion is translucent, then add the tomatoes (also roughly chopped) and the tomato soup, and any herbs you might like to add. Let simmer lightly for ten minutes, then add the mushrooms, again roughly chopped. Put the lid on, leave to simmer until the pasta and the falafel balls are ready. Serve the falafel balls on the pasta, covered by the sauce. I suggest only three or four balls though, they're pretty filling.

I didn't laugh once whilst writing this post.

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cottage pie (gluten free) (vegan)

Aug. 28th, 2007 | 09:41 pm

Cottage Pie

This is a good way to hide mushrooms in a meal. You can still see them, you just can't taste them.

A cottage pie without meat is (according to Wikipedia) called a shepherdess' pie, but there are so many things inherently wrong with that name that I'm not even going to go into them.


onion (finely diced)
one clove of garlic (minced)
two tomatoes (also finely diced)
carrot (finely diced)
half cup peas
1 can kidney beans
3 or 4 mushrooms (diced)
quarter red capsicum (diced)
vege stock
chives (one tablespoon)
pepper (a shake or two)
cayenne pepper (half teaspoon)
three large potatoes (diced small)


Cook and mash the potatoes in your preferred method. I tend to boil until squishy, then mash.

As the potatoes are cooking, prepare the other ingredients. Fry the onion and garlic until the onion is soft, add the tomato and the chives, pepper and cayenne pepper. Leave for three or four minutes, then add vegetable stock, capsicum and carrot. Leave to simmer for five minutes, then add kidney beans and mushrooms. After simmering for ten minutes, add the peas. Allow the peas to warm through.

Spoon the mixture into an oven proof bowl; cover with mash potato, then sprinkle cheese on top if you eat cheese. Cook in 180C oven for 10 minutes. The mixture in the pie is a bit runny, but very delicious.

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dahl (gluten free) (vegan)

Jul. 23rd, 2007 | 08:37 pm


This recipe is delicious, and simple, and everyone who has tried it has declared it tasty, and I have to assume that they're not lying to me.

half cup green (or yellow) lentils
half cup red lentils
half cup yellow split peas

1 shallot (diced)
ginger (about three cm worth) (diced)
2 cloves garlic (diced)
green chillis (thin slices)*
3 tomatoes (diced well)
2 cups vegetable stock
1 tablespoon ground coriander seeds
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoon tumeric
1 can coconut cream


Soak the lentils and peas for six to eight hours. Drain, rinse well, and remove any funny looking bits.

Fry shallot, ginger and garlic until the shallot is clear, then add spices and chilli and fry until the spices are fragrant. Add peas and lentils and tomatoes, stir, add the stock. Simmer, covered, for about fifty minutes, or until the lentils are soft, stirring occasionally and adding water as necessary.

Add the coconut milk, stir through, simmer for another five minutes, then leave to sit (on the burner, but with the heat off) for another two or three minutes.

Serve with roti and rice. The roti will obviously not be gluten-free.

chilli note: two chillis for a mild flavour; four chillis for a bit of spice.

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spinach and pesto lasagne (theoretically vegan and gluten-free)

Jul. 21st, 2007 | 07:46 pm

Spinach and Pesto Lasagne

This recipe is theoretically gluten-free, but only if you make your own pesto, and check to make sure the corn enchilladas do not contain secret wheat, as many often do. It is only vegan if you use a vegan cheese, or skip the cheese all together (it is not strictly necessary to include it for deliciousness).

red wine
half a cup of tomato soup
3 tablespoons tomato paste
3 tomatoes
2 mushrooms
half of one red capsicum
2 cloves garlic
1 onion
one bushel of spinach
about a half a cup of pine nut and basil pesto (bought or made, both work)
enchilada sheets
option: cheese


Dice onion and garlic as small as possible. Dice tomatoes quite small. Brown onions and garlic; add two thirds of the tomatoes, then the tomato paste and herbs. Then add the tomato soup, then the rest of the tomato. Add a small amount of red wine, just a dash or two.

Dice the capsicum and add, same with mushrooms a few minutes later. Simmer uncovered until cooked through.

Wash and drain spinach, then shred but not too fine.

Spread a small amount of the tomato mixture into the tray, enough to cover the base. Layer enchiladas so they cover the entire base (you will have to break them). Then layer half the pesto (spread it onto the enchiladas) and half the spinach. Enchiladas again, then pesto, spinach, a little of the tomato mixture. Final layer of enchiladas, rest of the tomato mixture, and cheese to cover as desired.

Bake for 20 minutes at 190C.

Serve hot. Be careful though, because it will be a little liquidy. It serves four, though you'll want a side, garlic bread or a salad or similar.

It is such a delicious recipe that the first time I made it, Davyd sat there and said, I do not mean to be melodramatic but this may be the best thing you have ever cooked. I think that he was being melodramatic, but it was delicious all the same.

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tomato and chickpea pasta in a lemon sauce (vegan)

Apr. 28th, 2007 | 07:30 pm

Tomato and Chickpea Pasta in a Lemon Sauce

The lemon made this light, and the chick peas added an interesting texture. It's really easy and tasty, and I'm not usually a fan of chickpeas.

four medium tomatoes (diced chunky but not huge)
one can of chickpeas 400g (drained)
1/8 cup of lemon juice
1 tablespoon of ground cumin
two cloves of garlic
some parsley
olive oil

Cook the pasta until perfect, drain and return to the pan.

Dry fry the cumin, remove from pan. In a tiny bit of oil fry the garlic for ten seconds, add tomatoes, chickpeas and parsley. Keep on heat until tomatoes are slightly cooked, and the chickpeas are heated through.

In a jar, mix cumin with lemon juice and a tablespoon of oil. Put the lid on and shake well to combine.

Mix the tomato/chickpea mixture into the pasta, then add the cumin/lemon mixture. Stir to combine and serve.

Makes about four serves.
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