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, November 1, 2010

Vegan Halloween

Yesterday was my first Halloween. We were supposed to go to a party but the party ended up being cancelled. It was also the first day since daylight savings ended and we were not at all prepared for the lack of sun at 4pm. So we got comfy at home, watched some Skins and I made a nice simple Halloween dinner with some inspiration from Morrisons (the original link to their Halloween treats seems to have died overnight).

Spicy Blood & Guts Soup*

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp paprika
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 potato, peeled and diced**
2 leeks, thinly sliced
 500ml tomato juice
1 can of crushed tomatoes
salt & pepper

Heat the oil in a large soup pot on a medium high heat. Add the onion and stir for a couple of minutes until translucent. Add the sweet potato, potato and spices and fry for a few minutes. Then add the other ingredients and bring to the boil. Then simmer for 35 minutes.

To make the soup smooth you'll need to either put it in a food processor or blender or get one of the amazing stick blenders that I got for my birthday and you can blend it right in the pot!

Once it's smooth add salt and pepper to taste and serve with the spooky witch finger bread below!
* I had intended this to just be Blood Soup but it didn't quite have the colour (it was the missing beetroot I forgot to get... it needed beetroot for the colour).
** If you have beetroot and want to get the blood colour use a 300g can of chopped beetroot, drained, here instead.

Cheesey Witches' Fingers Bread

300g flour***
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
50 g vegan butter
75g finely grated vegan cheese
1 tbsp flaxseed + 3 tbsp of water (or equivalent)
8 tbsp milk
1/4 capsicum/pepper (yellow or red)

Preheat the oven to 200C and line some trays with baking paper.

Rub the flour (+ baking soda & powder) and butter together with your fingertips until you have something that looks like breadcrumbs. Add the cheese and stir. In a separate bowl beat together the flaxseed mixture and the milk and add it to the dry ingredients to form a dough. Knead the dough a little and then roll it into a ball.

One at a time, pull off pieces of the dough (about the size of a ping pong ball). Roll into a round ball and then roll out into a long finger-length stick. Place on the baking tray and repeat. Once you have rolled them all out pinch two knuckles in each one and then get a sharp knife and make some cuts across each knuckle (take a look at the picture of the cookies below to get the idea).

The final step is to cut the capsicum/pepper up into little triangles for the nails. Then just place them on and stick the fingers in the oven for 15-20 minutes. When they are done, let them cool and serve with the Spicy Blood and Guts Soup!

*** I used wholemeal/wholewheat flour for both the bread and the cookies simply because I ran out of plain flour. I don't think it makes much of a difference except that wholemeal is a bit better for you!

Almond Witches' Fingers Cookies

 3/4 cup vegan butter
1 cup icing/confectioner's sugar
1 tbs flaxseed + 3 tbsp hot water
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 cups flour
2/3 cup almond meal (ground almonds)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 dozen blanched almonds

Beat together the sugar and butter. Then add the liquid ingredients. Finally add the dry ingredients to form a dough. Then follow the same instructions for the bread above only this time put a blanched almond for a fingernail. 

These cookies taste great with coffee!

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