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.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sunday Brunch

We took the dog on a ridiculously long walk this morning down to the lake at Westlake and then on the bush walk along the river. When we returned Geoff demanded eggs on toast for breakfast. He received a stern lecture and then this:

A Not-So-Skinny Vegan's Scrambled Tofu
1 block of tofu (~300g) chopped
1/4 cup grated soy cheese
2 tbsp savoury yeast
1 shallot stalk chopped
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic crushed
1 chili chopped finely
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
+ any other spices you like!

Heat the oil in a pan and add garlic and chili over medium heat. When the garlic starts to turn golden add the tofu and dried spices. As the tofu starts to heat mash it gently until it looks like scrambled eggs (or to whatever shape you want). When the tofu is heated through add the savoury yeast and cheese. You may need to add a little more oil or some water if the savoury yeast makes the tofu too sticky. Stir through until you achieve a consistency similar to scrambled eggs. Add the shallots. Add S&P to taste.

Serve with toast buttered with Nuttelex. I also like to chop a tomato in half and cook in the same pan as the tofu until it is hot throughout and soft at the top and bottom. You may need to turn it a few times.

Happy Sunday morning!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

San Francisco: Greens Restaurant

If you are ever in San Francisco you need to go to this restaurant. They are a world famous vegetarian restaurant and if you dine here for dinner you will receive exceptional service (very happy to accommodate vegans) and delicious and well presented food.

(Don't go on a Saturday night if money is a problem as it is a Prix Fixe menu and pricey but well worth it. They have a Greens to Go cafe in the same building but separate to the restaurant for breakfast and lunch but the food isn't as good and the service is appalling. You will also miss out on the phenomenal views of the Golden Gate Bridge from the dining area if you just take away.)

Left is my main (entree). Pot pie with corn bread and seasonal vegetables. My entree (starter) was a delicious soup. Right is my dessert; it was some sort of coconut flan thing. It was yum!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Best Chocolate Cake ever.

This chocolate cake recipe is moist and delicious and never ceases to please. I made it for my cousin's 21st last week and no one could tell it was vegan.

Best Chocolate Cake Ever
3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
6 tbsp cocoa
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups water
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tbsp vinegar
2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 180C.
Mix all the dry ingredients together. Mix all the wet ingredients together in a separate bowl. Then add the wet to the dry. Stir until you get rid of lumps but try to do it quickly so you can start baking while the vinegar does its thing. Bake until it springs back. 20-45 minutes.

Best Chocolate Icing Ever
adapted from Easy Vegan Cooking
1/4 cup margarine
1/4 cup cocoa powder
4 tbsp soy milk
1 cup raw sugar (raw does work best)
1 tsp vanilla essence

Combine first 4 ingredients over medium heat and bring to the boil stirring constantly. Boil for 1 min then take off the heat. Let it cool, beating occassionally. The colder it gets the more frequently you need to beat. When cold, add vanilla essence.

To speed up the cooling process I sometimes stick the saucepan in the fridge or freezer. You need to remember to stir it, though.

Spread over a cold cake and put the cake in the fridge. This icing tastes great but will melt if it's put on a warm cake or left out in the heat.

Some other Tasmanian vego gems

Launceston: Pickled Evenings
Geoff loved this restaurant so much we ate there twice. They serve meat but have good variety of vegetarian options and were happy to accommodate my veganism. Service was impeccable.

Launceston: The Tasmanian Chocolate Studio
This place was modest but the chocolates were delicious!

Hobart: Thai Veggie Hut

Everything is vegetarian and almost everything is vegan. Great service although a bit pricey. Most dishes had TVP which I am not the biggest fan of. But it was still very yummy. We ate here on Valentine's Day and all of our dishes were garnished with heart shaped carrot slices.

Hobart: Siren's

I am so grateful we caught these guys open when we did. The food was amazing. It was a little pricey (every restaurant in Tasmania is) but well worth it. They don't have a website but check out the food! Everything is vegetarian with lots of vegan goodies on the menu and the service is great!

Tasmania was amazing.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I like pie

I've had many, many adventures (gourmet and scenic) recently but have not had time to upload any of the photos. But to make you all aware that I have not abandoned you I will mention my new love of making pastry crusts!

I had book club the other night and made a delicious One-Crust Mediterranean Pie and discovered that making crust is very easy!

Elise's Never-Fail Recipe for Awesome Crust
3/4 cup wholemeal flour
3/4 cup plain flour
6 tbsp vegan margarine

Add the two flours together and then add the margarine. Mix the margarine through with your fingertips until you have a mixture that looks a lot like fine breadcrumbs (you might need to add a little more margarine). Then add cold water (I usually use 1/4 cup but you may need a little more) to make a dough. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until it is smooth and elastic. Cover with cling wrap and put it in the fridge for 30 minutes (minimum).

Once you've taken it out of the fridge roll it out onto a lightly floured surface and use it for whatever.

This recipe makes enough pastry for a one-crust pie (a base and partly covered top). If you want to make a pie with a base and a lid use 1 cup of each flour and 8 tbsp of margarine and 1/3 cup of cold water and halve the dough before you refrigerate it.

It was my cousin's 21st on the weekend and I was in charge of making the cake. I also made a delicious blueberry and apple pie. I just made the pastry to the recipe above (with the extra for the top and base) and made a filling. It's very quick and easy and I will post the recipe for the cake and pie soon.