This blog is a celebration of the wonderful world of vegan cooking. Enjoy!

* The title of this blog refutes the dangerous idea that veganism is a weight-loss diet and that all vegans are skinny. Conversely, being a-not-so-skinny-vegan is also not the same as being overweight or unhealthy. All food intake must be part of a balanced lifestyle.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sour cream, Chai lemon ginger muffins and camping.

Hmm. Camping. Not my favourite thing. But more of that later.

I tried my sour cream idea. It went a little something like this:
300g silken tofu
too many teaspoons of vinegar
a couple of teaspoons of lemon
(blend blend blend)
Crap, I'll have to add some flour because this is really sloppy. Let's chuck in a few fingerfuls.
(blend blend blend)
Oh God it's still sloppy.
(forget about it for a while)
Hmm. It's got some solidness. Let's serve it.

I'm serious, Ladies and Gentlemen; don't try this at home. It tastes nothing like sour cream, a little like bland mayonnaise, and needs much perfecting.

The spicy "Mexican" beans, on the other hand, turned out great. I used:
2 cans of red kidney beans with half the water drained off
1 red capsicum
1 red chili
1 onion
1 clove of garlic
some oil
chili powder, ground cumin, turmeric
pepper and salt

Fry the onions, garlic and chili. Add spices. Add capsicum and beans (with half water in the can in order to make the sauce). Make hot. May need to boil off some of the liquid depending on how you like your spicy "Mexican" beans. I served with tortillas, vegan sour cream, vegan guacamole, cut lettuce, tomato and grated carrot.

I tried something different this time for the guacamole. I just mashed up some avocado, added some lemon juice and about 2 tablespoons of soft tofu and some salt and pepper to taste. It wasn't my best guacamole. I'm getting there, though.

After dinner I went to the task of baking for the weekend. I baked the good, ol' trusty banana cake (which didn't die a slow painful death this time in my less than spectacular oven) and Ginger Muffins from The Joy of Vegan Baking which is the most fantastic cookbook in the entire world.
Ginger (and Lemon) Muffins
2 tsp No-Egg
4 tbsp water
1/4 fresh minced ginger
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp grated lemon zest
2 cups flour
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup vegan butter
1 cup soy milk
juice of 1 lemon

Preheat oven to 190 (or try to, in my case). Grease muffin tins (God bless oil in a spray can). Mix No-Egg and water. Supposed to use an electric hand mixer. I use a tea cup and a spoon. It's supposed to be thick and creamy. I just get white and liquidy. Combine ginger and 1/2 cup of sugar in saucepan over stove and stir constantly while the sugar melts. Set aside and add lemon zest when it cools but don't let it cool so much that it goes hard because this is a pain in the butt to get into the bowl. In another bowl mix flour, salt and baking soda. Then yet again in another bowl (God bless my Mix Master) beat butter then add to it the remaining sugar and beat until blended. Add No-Egg mixture and mix. Add milk and lemon juice and mix. Add dry ingredients from other bowl and the ginger/sugar until just blended. Put in muffin tins. Bake bake bake. 30 mins?

These muffins are delicious. But don't use dry ginger or ginger in a tube. Not good. And if you have the Texas Muffin tins use that instead because the muffins seem to come out better even though they are bigger so you make less. And if you, like me, run out of soy milk because your boyfriend eats more than all of Africa then you can use, if you have it, cold Chai in a carton that has been sitting in your fridge for over a week that should have been thrown out. This will make the muffins darker and taste a little like Chai but it'll still be good enough for your camping trip.

And so we've made it to the part in the blog post where I talk about camping. Well, the scenery was spectacular. We went on two 4km walks on Saturday and a 4km walk on Sunday. The falls are great. Spurling Brook falls are spectacular.

We camped at Springbrook in the camping area and it had a nice little BBQ area where we cooked up a nice vegan BBQ of vegie sausages, mushrooms, tomato, onion and sweet potato.

As soon as the sun went down, however, we noticed a ridiculous change in the temperature. And as soon as we stepped away from the warm BBQ area I felt my organs start to shut down with the cold.

I've never been so cold in my entire life and I never want to be that cold again. It's my birthday next month and all I want is a very, very good sleeping bag so I never have to be cold while camping again. And a good camping mattress so that my poor broken back can survive.

I think my complaining about the cold really tested poor Geoff's patience. Luckily I had Ginger Muffins and Banana Cake the next morning. I believe strongly in the old saying (that I made up just then):

You can be as annoying and mean as you like just be prepared to bake a lot to compensate for it.

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