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.

Thursday, September 30, 2010


I saw this lovely post today. I thought it was really sweet.

Despite the fact that the author has made the decision to eat meat she has made an informed choice and hasn't tried to deter her child from another path. I feel much better about carnivwhores like her.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

How To Be a Cambridge Vegan II

We found Tesco yesterday which meant we stocked up big on supplies. Which meant I could eat this yummy breakfast!

And the packaging here is so helpful that finding vegan food is very easy!

 We brought our camping saucepan with us and bought a Tefal frying pan for £14 (bargain!) and found a deep, round Pyrex dish in a second hand store for £1.50. We went to this lovely kitchen shop at Market Hill but despite my drooling over some of the lovely items we could only afford a £1.49 wooden spoon (although it's a very nice wooden spoon!). But in all I have the basic items I need to cook which makes me slightly cheerier about the pending, impending, gloomy, doomy cold.

I also found the Cambridge Vegan Society and their website has a good list of vegan friendly restaurants in town which is mighty helpful. So be prepared for some reviews!

There's also something called The Cafe Project here but I'm a little uncertain of it at the moment. I will have to find out more.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

How To Be a Cambridge Vegan

Selwyn College
Geoff and I are now officially residents of Cambridge (that's Selwyn College above, we live on the grounds and I'm a member of the college). It's been wonderfully sunny and warm and my bosses, supervisors and lab buddies have all been so wonderful and welcoming that I've hardly noticed we've moved. And since everyone is here at the moment we've been going out to eat a lot.

We ate at the Rainbow Cafe when we first arrived (some readers may remember my not so positive review from April) and my opinion of it remains unchanged although Geoff seemed to like his meal.The following morning we still had no food in the house so went into town (and by that I mean the 5 minute walk across the Cam to the centre of town) and discovered that nothing opens until 10am on Sundays so we walked around a bit and found a lovely little cafe called Indigo Cofee House (Facebook page here) where we had coffee and bagels and did the Times crossword (the easy one, and only once we found it which required asking 2 strangers and a lot of flipping). We have now discovered that the 2.20 pounds refers to the weight of the damn paper and not the price.

I also had lunch at Carluccio's, although could only eat the bruschetta, and we had dinner last night at Browns which was a bit underwhelming but my meal was actually quite nice (despite the lack of protein) it was a nice evening.

We are settled into our new house although are a bit surprised by the lack of a shower. So we've been taking baths, Mr Darcy style, and hopefully we'll get some sort of shower hose fitting soon. This is a photo of the outside of our house of which we only occupy a small part.

Our humble home in the Selwyn Grounds
As I mentioned above we live on the Selwyn grounds so it's very convenient to everything including the lovely gardens.
Selwyn Gardens
And although I was hoping for a gas oven the one we have is electric but it actually works splendidly (we made great pizzas when Zach came over for dinner the other night) so I'm quite happy with it. I cannot wait until my mix master is here and all of my baking tins so I can start cooking again.

This is where the Cambridge Vegan magic will happen.
So for now that's all I have to report. But I would like to give the following, very important advice to anyone ever visiting the static world that is Cambridge:

Monday, September 13, 2010

Oma's Spaghetti Dish (Elise's vegan version)

Geoff's grandma always loves to make him spaghetti and Geoff loves to eat it (especially for breakfast!). She very kindly gave me the recipe so that I could cook it in Cambridge for Geoff. Of course, it had to be veganised but here it is.

Oma's Spaghetti Dish (Elise's Vegan Version)

3 tbsp of olive oil
3 tbsp vegan butter
250g spaghetti
4-6 cloves garlic chopped finely
1 medium onion diced
400g tin of crushed tomatoes
12 whole button mushrooms sliced
3-4 gherkins sliced
1 red capsicum
12 sliced pitted black olives
mixed herbs & bolognese herbs
500ml of tomato juice
vegan Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Bring a saucepan of water to the boil. Add salt. Add spaghetti and cook until al dente. Drain and set aside in a casserole dish.

Brown the onions and garlic in the olive oil and butter. Pour in the crushed tomatoes, mushrooms, capsicum, herbs, S&P and simmer for a short time. Add the gherkins and olives & stir. Add this sauce to the spaghetti in the casserole dish and mix. Pour in the tomato juice and bake, lidded, in oven for 1/2 hour. Remove and sprinkle with Parmesan and return to the oven, unlidded, until Parmesan turns golden.
  • I can only ever find 1 litre of tomato juice but this is a good thing. The reason it is in this recipe is that the pasta soaks it up while in the oven (I'm sure there are many Nonnas rolling in their graves at the sound of this). I normally pour in half and then check the oven now and then to see if the mix if too dry. If it is I add more juice.
  • If you don't have a casserole dish you can put it in a big soup pot and keep it on the stove for half an hour. It's not quite the same but it still tastes good!
  • You must put the gherkins in for two reasons: 1. it forces you to buy gherkins which turn out to be tasty snacks, 2. the sourness of the gherkins make everything else taste buttery. Trust me, you need the gherkins.
  • As Oma famously says... you never make this recipe the same twice. These are just the ingredients that make it Oma's mix but you can add extra anything.