Thursday, November 24, 2011

Sangria, the best kind of summer cocktail

There's a nectarine pictured that I didn't end up using but would be a good addition
 I bought this lovely jug at Target like, years ago purely with the intention of making sangria in the summertime. It's been about a hundred summers and I still hadn't made any! (I also can't seem to write a grammatically correct sentence). Anyway, here is my recipe for a yummy sangria. I have no idea if it's in any way authentic, I'm just basically copying what I saw the Spanish bartenders pour into our glasses while in Spain. (Or what I think I remember seeing!)

I used an average wine glass for measuring since we were on holiday and there were no measuring cups

Makes 6-7 cups worth

2 glasses red wine (I used cab sav)
1 glass vodka (I used citrus vodka but plain is also good. I wouldn't reccomend vanilla.)
2 glasses sparkling plain mineral water
1/2 an orange, thinly sliced in quarters
1/2 a ruby grapefruit, thinkly sliced in quarters
1 lemon, thinly sliced in rounds
Ice for serving


It's pretty simple! Just mix together all the liquid ingredients and then add the fruit. Or you could put the fruit in first and pour the liquid on top. Either way.

Cover and put in the fridge for a few hours so the fruit can marinate. When ready to serve, pour into tall glasses with some of the fruit, add some ice cubes and some fresh cut lemon slices for garnish!

 At first, the vodka is a little strong in this, but by the time I'd finished my first glass I couldn't tell! (maybe that's a hint). Use only half a glass of vodka if you aren't a fan. I also like a drier red wine, but to make it a little easier to drink use a sweet, or sparkling red (such as Lambrusco). I've had sangria in bars served with sugar in the bottom of the glass, too - I don't like to add sugar to things when I think it's unecessary, but a little bit of agave nectar or rice syrup wouldn't go astray! Or a good way to sweeten without cane sugar would be to nix the citrus, and use apple, pear, necatrine and peach slices instead. The possibilities are endless!

We spent all day Saturday drinking this (Nadine's was watered down with extra mineral water because of her head cold) and then we decided to mix up some more! I'm sorry, but there IS such a thing as too much sangria.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

It's Rawesome! raw vegan restaurant

This weekend just gone Nadine and I took a long weekend holiday on the Sunshine Coast! It was half a celebration of her birthday and half a celebration of her finishing her cert 3 in companion animal services. How exciting is that. The weather was perfect and we did pretty much nothing but lie on the beach getting sunburnt. Nadine was also quite sick so everything was just too hard...except lying on the sand. Haha.

Anyway I have a few posts, but this one first. I saw a review for this cafe called It's Rawesome! on Easy as vegan Pie and we decided we must eat there while we were up the coast (since it takes like 2 hours to get up there from my house lol).
I love going to raw food restaurants because I usually can't be bothered to do much at home myself. The drinks we had were the Pina Colada, which is pineapple, coconut water, lemongrass and ice (I couldn't taste the lemongrass, but it was still delicious) Nadine had a juice, the Betacarotene Booster which had carrot, ginger and apple. Also very nice.

When we buy meals out we always go halves so we don't have to miss out on anything (who knows when we'll get to go out again!) so we got:
California Burrito with avocado lime sauce, red pepper sauce and sour cream
and the Sun burger with apple mint relish.

We both liked the burger more than the burrito, but the burrito was still yummy. It was like a thin crepe wrap with fresh salad inside with a chipotle 'cheese' (all their cheeses are made from a cultured cashew nut mix [ I think, can't find it anywhere] and are so good).

The sun burger was worth it for the apple relish alone. And whatever the mushrooms are marinated in. And the mayonnaise was quite impressive.

We of course had a dessert which we forgot to take a picture of! It was a chai cheesecakey type deal though. Very rich but very delicious. Good thing we only got one dessert :)
Whenever we are up that way again I'll definately go back. It was actually quite busy for a little place out in the middle of nowhere (that's Rosemount, which is in the middle of Nambour, Bli Bli and Woombye). It's a good thing I like driving along random highways in woop woop aye! The only thing that irked me -and it's a really really tiny thing that shouldn't bother me - but the lady who was serving kept making sure I knew it was a vegan establishment and that the 'burger' wasn't a burger in the traditional sense rah rah rah. I don't know, little but annoying. I think that might turn people off - let them be pleasantly suprised by the delicious food they ordered!

Ps: lately I haven't been able to leave comments on blogs that have the comment form at the bottom of the post. Does anyone know how to fix that? It seems all the blogs I want to comment on have that form!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Beans beans the magical fruit

This meal is so simple, yet turns out delicious. And it's so cheap! Inspired from a Chilean recipe in the Oxfam Vegetarian Cookbook.

Makes 6 servings
500g dry red kidney beans (about 2.5 cups)
2 large onions, sliced
4 cloves garlic chopped
250g pumpkin
3 cups corn kernels (from 3 cobs, or frozen)
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp chilli flakes
2 cups chicken style stock


Cook kidney beans (soak overnight, simmer for about 1 hour OR boil beans, let soak 1 hour, drain, and simmer in new water for about 1 hour) and set aside.

Fry onion and garlic in some oil (or water) until soft. Add pumpkin and corn kernels and cook until it starts to soften. Add beans, spices and stock, bring to boil and turn down to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes and serve on rice! Or we used cracked wheat because I forgot to buy rice.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sometimes it's nice..

..not to have to cook!
Nadine's had a few days off so tonight she cooked tea so I could sit on my arse. She told me to pick a random number and the Fusilli Roasted Veggie Primavera from Appetite for Reduction was my choice. Vegetables are cheap at the moment - apparently the cherry tomatoes were reduced to clear, woot!

It's nice to have a giant plate of vegetables sometimes. Colllooouuursssss. I've been sick lately so I reckon as many veg as possible is the best thing to do. :)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Fresh produce - a veg*n's best friend.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Perhaps a tad too soon...

...but here is a delicious recipe in celebration of bananas being almost cheap enough to buy again. It was inspired from my copy of 'The 21st birthday Cookery Book of the Country Women's Association in Tasmania'. Most of the recipes for meals hold pretty much no interest for me (laden with various animal parts and by-products) but the desserts and confections can mostly be made suitable for us!
Baked Banana Pudding
Serves 4-6


115g margarine (I use nuttlex lite)
2 med-large bananas
2 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 cup cold water
zest and juice of one lemon
1 cup raw caster sugar (or regular sugar)
1 cup of wholemeal self raising flour

Make sure you use McAlpin's!

Pre heat oven to 180 degrees Celcius.

Mix chia seeds into water and set aside to thicken. Mash bananas in a small bowl and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the margarine and sugar. Add lemon juice and zest and beat to combine. Beat in chia seed goo and bananas until well combined. Sift in flour (don't forget to re add in the bran) and beat again until combined. You may need to add a little bit of milk...the batter should be thick but not dry at all.

Pour batter into a greased or lined baking tin (I used a small brownie pan). Bake for about 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
After baking
Serve with ice cream!
I served ours with half arsed frozen vanilla hazelnut iced milk cream mixture. Haha it was ok.

The pudding however was delicous! I'm kind of surprised it worked, but there isn't any reason it wouldn't have is there. It's soft and moist without being gooey and gross, it's not TOO sweet, though maybe next time I'll experiment with less sugar. It leaves room for any add ins - nuts, raisins, chocolate...And it''s really simple with few ingredients! If you don't want to see your chia seeds, try using a flax egg replacement for two eggs or you can buy white chia seeds. I don't care...they aren't noticeably crunchy in this either. If you don't like a lemony flavour, omit it and use vanilla essense. You'll probably need the milk at the end if you do that though.

I've bookmarked many many recipes in my book and I'm pretty excited about a few of them :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Mexican inspired salad!

I finally got a new camera charger in the mail today! Woohoo! I forgot how to use it. BUT it means I can now start taking pictures again, I was going a little crazy. I even have a recipe. As you may or may not know, the salads I like best include carbs and more carbs, and protein...they generally aren't greens based unless it's on the side of something.

Serves 4-6

1 cup dry wheat berries, soaked overnight and then cooked (should make about 2 cups)
1 punnet cherry tomatoes, sliced in half long ways
Kernels from one cob of corn
1 cup cooked black beans
1 cup cooked pinto beans
1 spring onion, sliced thinly
As much spinach leaves as you like

Dressing -
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp jalapeno hot sauce (I use this stuff)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Mix all the salad ingredients together. In another bowl whisk the dressing until combined. pour on salad, and mix that. Easy peasy! I am pretty excited about eating it for lunches this week.

Serve with some avocado to make it even more yummy.

The jalapeno sauce has coriander and mango in it - it's so so so good. And reasonbly priced (not that I can remember how much). I'm not sure how you'd substitute it, maybe a fresh chopped jalapeno, fresh mango and dried coriander...or fresh corinander but that tastes like soap. Let me know if you try it!