Monday, August 29, 2011

Mmm peanut butter

I make my own peanut butter once or twice a week, depending on how much we feel like eating. I usually buy raw peanuts with the skin on, dry roast them in a frying pan until little black spots appear and then blend blend blend! This takes about 10 minutes, sometimes longer, but the end result is always amazingly delicious. I ahven't bought any peanut butter from the shop in aggges. The homemade stuff does go very solid in the fridge though (no added oil). Which brings me to my next point.

I was given a kg bag of roasted unsalted peanuts by my stepmum (hooray! I was just about to go to the shop to buy more) so I decided to just make the peanut butter from these instead (I don't really like to eat peanuts by themselves).
I stuck two cups of the roasted unsalted peanuts in the blender, turned it on, and in no time at all I had a smooth butter. I didn't even have to scrape down the sides! Ahh and it tastes like the store bought stuff but better. I'm assuming it butterised so quickly because they are roasted with oil. It also doesn't solidify too much in the fridge.
Mmm, peanut butter.
Homemade peanut butter and homemade choko jam on home baked bread. Smug! Hahaha.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Fruit of the Month: Pineapple

I figured it was about time to do another fruit of the month, since it's been, well, months! The last one I did was the humble avocado. This month  I shall showcase the pineapple! Who doesn't love pineapple?
I noticed the other day that my little pineapple that I took from work had turned yellow all of a sudden! So I decided to cut it off and eat it that afternoon.
Here is a size comparison: a normal mug next to it, and a gigantic pineapple we had bought the same day we went strawberry picking!
We enjoyed it simply stuck on toothpicks with some of the straberry haul. It was quite sweet, if a bit pale.
A pineapple is actually a bromeliad, taking around 2-3 years to flower and fruit from planting. To grow a pineapple all you have to do is twist off the top and whack in the ground. Mine grew quite happily in a tiny 200mm pot.
I'm sure I took a picture of the flowers but I can't find it! Oh well, this will have to do.

1 cup of raw pineapple provides 2% RDI of vitamin A and Calcium, 131% of vitamin C and 3% iron (source).

We are still going through the giant pineapple from the strawberry farm, and I've been enjoying it at work in a fruit salad with orange, strawberries and kiwifruit. It's my sister's favourite fruit and she's been known to eat a whole one in a day! It hurts my mouth after a little bit so I haven't quite managed that yet :)

There are heaps of things you can do with pineapples. I prefer them as is, but you can always stick it on pizzas, on a kebab stick, in cakes, ice creams, salads, etc. Any ideas?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Basic necessities

Chocolate coated strawberries and cream.

Cream: 2 parts vegan cream cheese, 2 parts vegan marg (beat until smooth), 1 capful of vanilla essence (beat) and 1 part rice syrup (beat until fluffy). Add more rice syrup to taste. Amazing. I ate too much of it and now I feel ill. Of course.
We went to a strawberry farm and picked our own. They are divine.
Before our strawberry farm adventure we went walking in the Glass house mountains. It was a perfect day for it. We started with a mountain view lookout...(and my mug).
Then went on a circuit walk around Mt. Tibrogargan.

For ages I've been saying 'we should go up north more often and do bushwalks and stuff' and the months tick by, so this weekend we got in the car and went. It was so nice. We didn't see any koalas though :( Nadine was very disappointed.
I did see these pretty flowers though (and a stupid woman who was trampling the bush and picking every single flower she saw - she took pretty much the whole bush of a little purple pea-style flower...the exact kind of flower I wanted to see blooming!) Does anyone know what it is? The leaves are very sharp/spiny.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Peanut Butter Coconut Cream Pie

Otherwise known as a heart attack. And it was sooo worth it.

Peanut Butter Coconut Cream Pie
Serves 12


1 pre baked chocolate tart case (I made an oatmeal-buckwheat flour base but didn't write down the ingredients...make your favourite, just add 1 tbsp cocoa powder.


1 cup peanut butter (I used homemade)
125g vegan cream cheese at room temperature
1/2 cup coconut cream (put a can of coconut cream in the fridge for a few hours. Take it out and open and carefully spoon the thick cream off the top)
Scant 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract

Ganache Topping

100g 85% dark chocolate broken up
2 tbsp rice syrup
1/4 cup almond milk
1/4 cup coconut cream

toasted chopped peanuts

Prepare your crust. I put mine in a springform cake pan.

Put all filling ingredients in a food processor and process until combined. This will get really thick! Though I forgot to bring the cream cheese to room temperature first so that may have had an impact.

Pour into crust and put in the fridge for a few hours or until set.

Meanwhile, make the ganache topping!

Heat the two milks on the stove until boiling. Take off heat and stir in the rice syrup and chocolate. Stir until chocllate is melted - it'll go quite thick. Pour on top of set pie and sprinkle toasted chopped peanuts on top. Put back in the fridge until set.

Serve and enjoy. Every. Bite.

Bring it on! I'm going to try and make this deliciousness last all week. It's very very rich (as you'd expect) and quite high in fat so go easy on it!
I love to use this coconut cream. I probaably shouldn't, but I eat it from the can. Don't let me make curry hahaha. It just tastes so damn good!

Happy Sunday

Today has been one of those days where you sit on the couch thinking about all the things you should be doing rather than browsing through millions of food blogs and drinking cups of tea. I think it's because we bought a brand new doona yesterday. Yes I am blaming my blankets now. It's so soft and cushy and (not wool, feather or down!) warm and comfortable I decided to not get out of bed for ages, which of course set me up for the rest of the day.

Though I did manage to attempt to do some sort of yoga before breakfast (which was porridge with banana and peanut butter), but only did about 3 different poses (including a few sun salutes) because I am getting increasingly annoyed with my lack of ability to touch my toes. Motivation for yoga has been hard to come by since I crashed my bike (funnily enough, so has cycling) even though my wrist is FINE and getting stronger everyday with all the heavy lifting we seem to be doing at work lately. I know I know, I just have to get off my ass and just do it. I know I'll like it! I bought a new yoga DVD yesterday in the hopes that it would motivate me but within the first 5 minutes it rubbed me up the wrong way so bad I turned it off and had a sook. Ah, hormones!
I made this delicious guacamole to have for a mid morning snack (instead of running! this would have been pefect for after a nice sweaty run). Mash 1 small avocado, stir in 5 chopped cherry tomatoes, a couple of tbsp of sour cream (I used the cashew sour cream from Addicted to Veggies - so good!), a dash of onion powder and black pepper. Stir and enjoy with corn chips or crudites or with a spoon.

I also managed to wash my car, which I've been meaning to do for a couple of weeks. I ended up getting a new  (used) car by the way hooray! And it got so filthy from all the dust while parking at work (so dry). So I vaccumed out all the potting mix and put in some floor mats to protect the carpet from my scummy work boots. While I was cleaning the back seats out I discovered they could sort of fold out (i'm not sure of the purpose of this) and underneath was a lovely history of the previous owners (or their children). They went to the beach a lot, ate lots of chips and drank cans of something. Mmmm. I washed the outside using only four buckets of water, and of course a huge storm has now rolled in and the rain clouds looks dark and ominous. Oh well, I enjoyed looking at it's shiny-ness when I walked down the stairs before!
For lunch I had this amazing bowl of soba noodles. I made a similar sauce with sunflower butter and soy sauce, only I added in some chilli flakes. The veges are a grated carrot, 2 grated radishes and all the greens from one bunch of radishes. I also put a handful of rye berry sprouts on top. Yum.

I bought a lifetimes supply of various noodles while in the Valley yesterday. (I also had vegan 'fish' at a little vegan/vegetarian asian restaurant but I didn't take my camera :( It tasted disturbingly like real fish, though I could tell it wasn't because it had the chewy texture of gluten).
Yesterday for an afternoon snack I made up some of this cream from Addicted to Veggies (I may be a little obsessed!) It would be amazing on peaches like in the original recipe but unfortunately they are not in season in Australia at the moment. Strawberries are, however, and we dipped them in the cream and thought about how amazing it would be as a frozen dessert...

Tomorrow I shall jump back on my exercise wagon, stop sooking about my lack of flexibility, and see if I can still run 3.5km (or 26 minutes) without stopping like I did last week! That was pretty exciting. It gave me confidence knowing I can probably run this 5k in less than 45 minutes or whatever it said I had to. Ha.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Sprout sprout sprout!

I love to sprout stuff. I've been sprouting stuff for ages, when I lived in a sharehouse I always had jars sprouting on the window sill and in the dish rack in everyones way. I stopped doing it for a while because I got lazy (it's not THAT much effort) and have just recently started again. The problem is I never know what to do with them, forget they're in the fridge and then they go bad! Sad sad times.

Then I found this recipe for Lentil sprout salad on Addicted to Veggies, and the dressing sounded so good, and I happened to have mung beans sprouting on the windowsill so I made it for lunch last weeked. Driiiibbble. I made the delicious delicious dressing as per the recipe (it is the shiz) and filled a bowl with mung bean sprouts, shredded red cabbage, avocado, shredded silverbeet leaves and yellow squash. Yum. I had the second half for lunch at work.
I had a fair bit more of the dressing left in the fridge and I didn't want that to go bad either (I really don't eat much salad, generally) so I made a salad to go on the side of tonights dinner. In it is: baby spinach, cherry tomatoes, radishes, avocado and rye sprouts. I've never sprouted rye before and man they are SO GOOD. I love the little tails :). is a fantastic resource for how to's and supplies. I just use a large jar, the window sill and some sort of mesh.
Dinner was the Salsa rice from Vegan on the Cheap. There's nothing quite as satisfying as rice and beans. 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Happy Saturday

Today I intended to get up when I woke up (ha!), eat half a grapefruit, do some more Bridge to Brisbane training, and come home and eat breakfast. However we went and drank too much wine last night so I stayed in bed and got up when I was ravenous, ate an entire can of baked beans on toast (yummmm - I heated them up in the microwave and mixed through some liquid aminos and nutritional yeast) and proceeded to sit on the couch for a few hours, with laundry and dishes washing thrown in between.

Anyway I decided enough time had passed since my feast of a breakfast to go for a run without getting cramps or spewing, and I was getting hungry again. So I ate my half a grapefruit:
Look how bright it is! This is a ruby red grapefruit. They were really cheap at the fruit shop (something like $3/kg) and are awesome to eat in the morning to get things going.

I went for my run (I can now go for 11 minutes [for my slow jogging that's 1.6km] without stopping. That's a pretty big acheivement for me haha, the girl who walked off the 200m track in a huff in grade 7), and realised I always pick silly times to do it. Midday probably isn't the best idea in the blazing sun. I hate putting sunscreen on my arms and legs (but I did don't worry!) because it takes forever to scrub off. I use Natural Instinct Sunscreen, and it's apparently 4 hours water resistant. I tell you, this stuff does NOT come off! Which is a good thing in the harsh Australian sun.
Thankfully it's warm enough to run without a jumper on now. Goodbye cold.

When I got home I tried to do some yoga but I had the shakes - obviously didn't eat enough before hand, or perhaps I should have put some gatorade in my water or something. Tomorrow I'll be sure to do that. So I had lunch. I didn't feel like the soup we drunkenly made last night (though it's pretty good!) So I threw together this:
1 small zucchini, 1 yellow squash, 1 silverbeet leaf, 100g tempeh and 1 serve of gluten free pasta shells. It's in a satay-esque sauce I made from 1 tbsp sunflower seed butter, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1/8 tsp onion powder and 1/8 garlic powder (yeah I got lazy). Damn it was good.
I bought this sunflower seed butter for my sister and her boyfriend to use (he's allergic to nuts) but it's pretty revolting. In fact it's awful. By itself that is. It's sickly sweet and salty at the same time (but smells pretty good!) I've basically just been using it in stir fry sauces. I bought some gluten free pasta the other day because I like it. Why do gf pasta packets always have 6 bazillion languages on it?

I may or may not try to make a baguette to have with our soup for tea tonight. Hmm.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Tasty tasty

Been on a bit of a Veganomicon kick this week (spicy tempeh pasta) and the Asparagus and Lemongrass Risotto on page 198 was also freakin fantastic. It took forever to make (though I was making bread by hand at the same time so that may have held me up a tad) and I didn't have any basil or mint or peanut oil, ooor enough arborio rice but I don't know if I'll make risotto any other way again (jk). I used about 1 cup of arborio and half a cup of regular brown rice, skipped the basil/mint and did serve it with the suggested Tangerine Baked Tofu but used oranges and whiskey instead of tangerines and rum. Amazing. Served with lime zest, pan roasted cashew nuts and extra marinade from the tofu.

All the flavours worked really well together but I think next time I'll slice the tofu a little thinner and marinate for longer because it didn't pick up the flavour it could have.
Another one we've made is the 'Pumpkin Baked Ziti with Caramelised onion and Sage Crumb Topping'  (phew long title!) on page 194. (I obviously didn't go further than the pasta and risotto chapter.) I used wholewheat spirals instead of the ziti and I'm pretty sure that's the only edit I made to it! I could eat the cashew ricotta with a spoon and the breadcrumbs on top were to die for (though I wish I'd used some wholemeal bread instead of the white baguette we got for 50c since it gave both of us a stomachache!) and the whole thing was quite moreish. It was better the next day for lunch too.
Now a non Vgeanomicon related thing - my breakfast for the past few days! I had a tiny bit of whole oat groats leftover in a jar that was annoying me by being there so I cooked it up in some soy milk with handful of chopped dates and chopped brazil nuts. I didn't measure the dry grain but I ended up with 2 cups of cooked oats. I divided it in two and stuck it in the fridge. In the morning I heated it up, added sliced strawberries (on special at Coles hooray!) some chia seeds and a drizzle of brown rice syrup. Yum. Filled me up for ages which is really good since I have to wait 4 hours since I eat breakfast before I get to eat again. I highly reccomend a whole grain for breakfast - brown rice, wheat, oats, spelt (omg yum), buckwheat, barley. Just cook it up the night before, or on Sunday cook enough for your whole work week, it should keep in the fridge.

Now I am going to sit and watch the Gruen Transfer with a cup of hot red clover tea. Apparently it helps reduce hot flashes (cuz I get those! haha), healp relieve rheumatic or gout pain, contains vitamin E and can help sore throats. [source] Good o :)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Spicy tempeh and Brocolli with Wholewheat spiral pasta

I decided to get out a cookbook to make tea tonight and Nadine wanted pasta so I chose the 'Spicy Tempeh and Brocolli rabe with rotelle' from Veganomicon on page 190. I used a regular brocolli instead of rabe, used wholewheat spirals instead of regular rotelle and added half a punnet of cherry tomatoes sliced in half.

Dayum this was delicious. I ate seconds which of course turned out to be way too much but I wanted me some more of that tempeh. It was all sausagey (fennel seeds) and spicy and delicious. If you don't have tempeh, tofu would do, or try eggplant or some sort of bean. Yummm. I can't wait to eat this tomorrow for lunch at work.