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, January 31, 2011

Fat Free Vegan Kitchen

So as part of my new year resolution to eat healthy on week days I've been basically making every meal from Susan V's fantastic blog Fat Free Vegan Kitchen. I've mentioned this blog a few times before but some of the recipes I've tried making recently were so fantastic that I thought I'd share my pictures and some comments. I'll link to each of the recipes but make sure you check out her whole recipe collection. She has this fantastic feature where you can pick out your favourite recipes or recipes you really want to try and put them into your "Recipe Box". At first I was a little surprised that a fat free blog won the VegNews Favourite Blog award for three years running but once I started cooking from her blog frequently I found out why!

Brussels Sprouts and Shiitake Mushroom Soup: This is by far my favourite recipe. So yummy on cold nights and such wonderful flavours. The brown rice takes a while to cook but it's a very easy recipe to make.
Spinach and Artichoke Pie: So Geoff couldn't get filo pastry and so bought shortcrust pastry instead. Not exactly fat free so I just ate the filling but it so so delicious that I scooped out inside of the left-over pie and hid it in the fridge so I could have it for lunch the next day too.
Chocolate-Orange Cake: I baked this cake for a friend in the lab for his birthday. I actually found it to be a little too dense for my liking but for a fat free cake it's brilliant and everyone in the office loved it. My supervisor liked it so much his wife asked me for the link.

Pasta with Asparagus, Cannellini Beans, and Porcini Cream: I was so excited about the flavour of the porcini cream for this recipe but when I put everything together it tasted a little floury. I also think I undercooked the asparagus.
Chickpea and Turnip Stew with Ethiopian Spices: I don't have a photo of my dish but this is me making up the spice mix. I didn't really like the flavour of this dish. I think I put too many cloves or something in it.
Orange Couscous Curry: This was tasty and very easy to make. We bought the mandarin pieces in a jar but I'm sure you could use fresh ones if you are lucky enough to be currently living in a country where fresh fruit doesn't taste like potato.

Chocolate Sauce

My new year's resolution was to eat healthy on week days and eat whatever I like on weekends. I also promised myself to exercise more and have been going to pilates twice a week (and have consquently been in constant pain). I've been pretty good at sticking to my resolution and so on Saturday night I had no problem at all with eating this lucious bowl of fruit with chocolate sauce.

I've never made chocolate sauce before (and couldn't be bothered looking up a recipe) so I broke up a couple of blocks of vegan cooking chocolate, stuck them in the microwave for a minute or so (checking every now and again to make sure it wasn't burning) then added a few teaspoons of agave nectar and a tablespoon or so of soy milk. And it was delicious!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Vegan in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is one of my favourite places in the world to go to eat because they don't run screaming when you mention you are a vegan. Last year when I was there I went to the fantastic little bistro called Henderson's (actually, I went 3 times) and this time I went twice again.
Vegetable soup. This was actually kind of bland..
Bean pate. Very yummy.
The soup of the day: spinach et al. Ask for vegan butter.
The haggis.
Enchilada (not vegan in this picture but can be made vegan.)

Curry of the day chutney and yoghurt (not vegan but can be).
Bean burger.
We also ventured to another restaurant this time called David Bann. It's a vegetarian restaurant and it's absolutely stunning inside with fantastic service and some of the most delicious and unusual tastes I've ever eaten.
56-58 St Mary's Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1SX
(Off the Royal Mile and the Cowgate)

The vegan beer selection was very good.
Smoked mushroom & basil tortellini w/ parsnip soup. 
(Not vegan)
Thai fritter of spiced broccoli and smoked tofu.
Jerusalem artichoke & creamed celeriac w/ puff pastry. 
(Not vegan)
Risotto of mushroom, leek and butternut squash. (Not vegan)

Organic Udon noodles w/ ginger red pepper 
sauce & home smoked tofu.
Soup of the day: broccoli et al (not vegan).
Smoked and marinated tofu. This was so delicious. 
Such unusual flavours.
Sweet potato, cauliflower and cashew nut curry.
Lentil dish. This was hearty and filling but the
flavours weren't as interesting as some of the other dishes.
Lemon and raspberry posset (not vegan).
Filo basket of warm orange caramel fruit with coconut rum 
sorbet. This was amazing. The fruit was warm and juicy and 
the syrup wasjust delicious in contrast to the subtle 
coconut sorbet. The only negative part about the dish was
that there wasn't enough sorbet.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Happy Hogmanay!

Yes, I'm well aware it's almost the end of January.

Where have I been?

Well, it definitely wasn't to see the Queen despite her relative closeness.

For the past few weeks I've been chained to my desk programming and writing reports for my upcoming assessment (upcoming in like two days). In between these moments I've been keeping up to date with the devastation in Brisbane (my home for the last 8 years) and other parts of Australia (including Grafton which was my home for 14 years). I also may or may not have become slightly addicted to watching The Vampire Diaries and may have neglected the blog a little in order to watch Elena and Stefan make out. I'm a sad, sad individual.

But before the floods, 150-year old vampires that are supposed to look 17 but are actually 30, and the numerical solvers Geoff and I spent Christmas and New Year in, and just out of, Edinburgh.

I've never been anywhere that celebrates Christmas and New Year like Edinburgh. And the weather was almost balmy! It was 5 degrees some days. A whole 5 degrees.

I'll make a separate post about the restaurants we ate at while we were visiting that beautiful city but for now let me just share some photos of my Christmas and Hogmanay experience.

Mulled wine at Sofi's.

Hot cider at Roseleaf.
Christmas day.
Moroccan Lentil Soup
Roast Vegetable Cous Cous and Stuffed Mushrooms
Hogmanay Torchlight Procession.
Princes St during the procession.
New Year's fireworks.
New Year's Day haggis feast with neets and tatties. I used Macsween.