Thursday, March 29, 2012

ABC of Me.(a survey)

I haven't done one of these since forever, so I thought why not? Found it at Tahini Too.

A is for age: I am 22 but my birthday is days away :)
B is for breakfast today: Cooked oat groats and brown rice heated up with some soy milk, raw almonds, banana, chia seeds and molasses.
C is for currently craving: Something chewy and gluteny. Like a huge bowl of pasta. Or a loaf of bread. (more on this later).
D is for dinner tonight: The quinoa puttanesca from Appetite for Reduction. I added some beans and a zucchini and used 1x400g can of tomatoes plus 4 large fresh ones (instead of 1x800g can). I also didn't use wine.
It's a terrible photo but it's the most delicious thing I've had for a wile. I love capers.

E is for favorite type of exercise: I'm getting into running at the moment. Though we had a larger weekend than normal and the motivation has fallen a little..
F is for an irrational fear: I have recurring nightmares about being trapped in a hospital when a ginormous tornado is coming. I'd MUCH rather a cyclone or hurricane. Or flood or earthquake. Did you know Arkansas was pronounced Are-can-saw? Learn something new everyday.
G is for gross food: Soggy sandwiches. Disgusting.
H is for hometown: Tauranga, NZ.
I is for something important: A positive attitude.
J is for current favorite jam: Homemade marmalade:
K is for kids: My cats are my kids. I get stressed out when others' children are being irritating (which is pretty much always) imagine if they were mine!
L is for current location: My loungeroom.
M is for the most recent way you spent money:
Shopping for various gluten free flours ^
And fruit and veg. Sweet potatoes were still only 49c/kg!

N is for something you need: I don't really need anything. I do need to go for a run though.
O is for occupation: I am in between jobs - just resigned as a nursery hand and have a job to start next week as an office gopher/phone answerer/and data entry-er.
P is for pet peeve: I have so many it's hard to list them all. People eating with their mouth hanging open is a big one. Charlee's licking. People who talk loudly on mobiles on public transport. The neighbours who stare at me when I whipper snip. Plus many more.
Q is for a quote: Yesterday you said tomorrow.
R is for random fact about you: My big toes on both feet do not have joints. It creeps people out. Hahaha.
S is for favorite healthy snack: Hummus =D I make it every week.
T is for favorite treat: Home made biscuits or bread or ice cream.
U is for something that makes you unique: I have a scar on the top of my head that Nadine found when she shaved it. I don't know how I got it.
V is for favorite vegetable: Pretty sure I like them all. I go through phases.
W is for today’s workout: I'll get off my ass and go for a run in a minute, and then do some weights (since I'll no longer be lifting heavy things all day at work I'll have to keep on that!)
X is for X-rays you’ve had: Teeth/mouth and I've had an echo-cardiogram. That one was fun :)
Y is for yesterday’s highlight: My lunch:
Homemade gluten free wrap bread with lettuce, grated carrot and home grown sprouts on it with a vegie burger patty. My other ones had the baked falafel from Appetite for Reduction on it. Yum. 
Z is for your time zone: Australian Eastern Standard Time. I think.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

WIP Wednesday: An ooolllddd crochet project

Here is another installment of WIP Wednesday! This one features a very simple striped crochet blanket I made way back in 2006/07. Pretty sure it was my first crochet project, though I could find another one on my unpacking travels. It's just a basic stripe using 2 colours, blue and orange, with a bit of a fancy embellishment - see the heart? I figured out how to do that all by myself! Not that I could tell you how I did it now.

It was just a throw rug/blanket but the cats have claimed it as their own. This thing has been through the washing machine so many times I'm surprised it hasn't fallen to pieces yet.

Anyway, it's been a WIP for pretty much 6 years now and I finally finished it one day! All I wanted to do was this:
Edge the damn thing! It looks SO much better and I can't believe I put it off for 6 years. I did it over two days but it probably only took up an hour of my time. It's just two rows of single crochet stitch all the way around, then I did a slip stitch around the heart to make it stand out. Now it's nicer to look at on the couch, and it should last many more runs through the washing machine now there's no raw edges.

I've also finished two of my curtains:
The first one took forever to do because I hemmed the patterned material and the backing fabric before sewing them together THEN top stitching. (That one is on the left - it's a bit wonky and it has way too much ugly stitching).
This time I've just done ONE hem all the way around up front with a little bit of reinforcing at each tab. Worked way better, it isn't as wonky (thought still a tiny bit!) and took about 1/4 of the time to finish.

Now I can do the third one knowing it isn't going to take me all week...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Potatoes, potatoes, potatoes

Potatoes are the food for students and those with smaller budgets and everyone in between. They are pretty much almost always cheap (I picked up a 2kg bag of organic potatoes from Woollies for $2) particularly if you buy the unwashed ones. I usually prefer to buy potatoes with red or purple skin because of added health benefits compared to regular white potatoes which are a little bit more expensive but sometimes you can find them at a good price (my local fruit shop had purple skinned potatoes for $2.99/kg for weeks so that's what I was buying). Sweet potatoes are also excellent and often cheap - I just picked up one sweet potato that was as big as my head for 59c/kg. Potatoes won't make you fat, by the way. Silly myth.
Want to know a really easy cheap meal to make showcasing potatoes? Curry. Pretty much any kind of curry can have potatoes in it. This one is the Potato and Pea curry from Easy Vegan Cooking by Leah Leneman. All it is is potaotes (duh), frozen peas, onion, garlic, ginger, carrot, coconut milk and garam masala powder. We didn't have to go to the shops to buy anything for this meal (which made 4 large servings) because all the ingredients are basics that I always have. If you don't have garam masala just use curry powder. Or throw in some random Indian spices like coriander, cumin and chilli.

I need to buy a couple of plain white plates I think. Photographing yellow food isn't all that fun when it's on a yellow plate. Under yellow light.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Roasted pumpkin soup

Roasted Pumpkin Soup
Serves 7 as a starter

650g butternut pumpkin (weighed without skin)
350g kent pumpkin (weighed without skin)
1 whole head of garlic
2 small onions
2 cups chicken style stock (or veg stock)
coconut cream and reserved pumpkin seeds for garnish


 Preheat oven to 220 degrees C.

Chop pumpkin into 2 inch chunks. Cut onions into quarters. Put into a bowl with the pumpkin and mix in a bit of sea salt and cracked pepper, and two teaspoons of any neutral cooking oil (I use rice bran). Spread in a single layer on a baking tray. Cut the top off the garlic and peel off the papery part of the skin. Wrap it up in tin foil and stick on the tray with pumpkin. Bake for about 40 minutes or until pumpkin and garlic are soft.

Once cooled a little, put into a food processor (if yours is gigantic you could do it all at once but I had to do mine in batches) with the stock and blend until smooth. Pour into a saucepan.

For the pumpkin seeds you could leave raw or wash all the pumpkin pulp off them and dry fry them in a pan until toasted and then chop into pieces.

Heat soup just before serving. If you want it thinner add more water or stock. Garnish with pumpkin seed pieces and a tablespoon of coconut cream :)

 We had this as an entree last night at dinner. My garlic wasn't quite roasted enough so it was very garlicky. Perhaps put the garlic in the oven for 5-10 minutes before the pumpkin. Also my coconut cream was pretty much milk by the time I spooned it on. I'd suggest putting a can of coconut cream in the fridge overnight and using just the thick cream from the top of the can :)

The beauty of pumpkin soup is that it can be a started to pretty much anything and you can add any other seasonings you want (curry powder, italian herbs, etc). I find it quite filling so I try to make sure my main course (especially if dessert is a third course!) a fair bit smaller than usual so as my stomach doesn't explode.

I did have a dessert third course: Chocolate and vanilla ice cream sandwiches! Best idea ever by the way. I made the homemade vanilla ice cream from Veganomicon, and baked the Mocha Mama cookies from Vegan Cookies etc.
I bought the wrong kind of tofu for the ice cream but I just blended it a bit longer and it worked perfectly fine. I am so glad I only made enough ice cream sandwiches for everyone because I'd have eaten any leftovers all at once =D

One tip...make sure your cookies are pretty cold before putting the ice cream on them. Refrigerating would have been a good idea! As you can see it melted a bit. Still good though.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Bieber has left the building.

On Thursday Nadine and I got rid of my hair!
'Twas too thick for the clippers at first...
But then it wasn't!

Thanks to everyone who kindly donated to the Leukaemia Foundation, I have managed so far to raise over $200!

Nadine will, however, quite miss watching the Bieb mow the lawn. Oh well, I'm sure it'll grow back quick smart :)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Random eats :)

The pecan crusted french toast from Skinny Bitch in the Kitch. Delicious. Don't think I'll bother with the whole sticking the chopped nuts to the bread next time - too fiddly and they burnt before the bread cooked properly - but wow. I've never had french toast before this and we both reckon it may turn into a weekend breakfast staple. I'd reccomend going for two pieces of bread for each person (if using heavy wholegrain bread like I did) because we couldn't quite finish it.
Barley and Cashew nut casserole from Easy Vegan Cooking. The only thing I don't like about this book is the apparent lack of flavour - so I just add some to the recipes when I make them. This one I cooked the barley with some beef style stock and a bay leaf, and added garlic. This is one that's better the next day (though still quite delicious the first day!) Meals like this are so easy to make and eat and are also filling and healthy. Good good.
A lunch the other weekend. Went perfectly with a bit of light reading and whipper snippering (lol.)
Fresh rice paper rolls with cos lettuce, grated carrot and some mashed chickpeas mixed with vegan mayo. Dipping sauce was sweet chilli and soy sauce. Sounds a little odd but totally worked :)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Life Update + Deconstructed hummus pasta

I have been fairly lazy blog-wise lately. I've been busy setting up house, reorganising what I've done to set up house, working, running and crafting. This year is turning into The Year of Doing Things I Always Wanted to But Didn't Because I am Too Lazy or Otherwise Unmotivated. (breath).

I've signed up for my first 5k race of the year (I intend on doing more than one) - The RACQ International Women's Day Fun Run/Walk, and I've been running pretty much every second morning to get ready for it. I'm lucky to live in an area that is FULL OF HILLS which is excellent for running training. I also figure that if I run for 15 mins up and down (steep ish) hills, it'd be like running for half an hour on dead flat ground. =P I actually enjoy this whole running business now. I've managed to get up at five am to fit it in before work and I've found on those days that I do run I have a lot more energy at work. I of course practically fall asleep by 7pm that night but that's ok :)

I have 3 craft projects going on at once at the moment (including my curtains which I have only finished one of so far) and I'll be trying hard to update about them if any progress has been made every Wednesday.

My house is coming together and I just bought a lawn mower (just in time too, the lawn is getting loooonnngg). It is a battery powdered one and I may review it once I've used it.

Now onto some food that of which this blog is about.

Ever had the best intentions of making hummus to eat but finding that the food processor is dirty turns you off?

Deconstructed Hummus Pasta
One Giant Serve.


Pasta for one
2/3 cups cooked chickpeas
1 tbsp tahini
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 clove garlic, grated/minced
1 wedge of lemon, squeezed
Black pepper

Cook pasta. Put the rest of ingredients into a bowl and stir to combine. Add pasta to bowl and stir again. Enjoy!
I added about 5 cherry tomatoes that I found in the fridge to give it some colour. If I make it again I'd also probably add a little bit of water to thin the tahini a bit. It got quite thick :) 

This whole recipe provides you with 24% of your daily iron needs, 14g of protein, 13% calicum, 9% vitamin C, and only 21g sodium. (According to I'm particularly impressed with the first three.

Or if you HAVE hummus, just cook some pasta and whack maybe half a cup of it on top. Yum.
On other nonrelated news, this year I have signed up for the World's Greatest Shave for leukaemia! This is another thing I've been wanting to do forever.
I'll be shaving off what we like to refer to as 'The Bieber'. I'll miss him a little. :)

If you would like to sponsor me, please click here and follow the instructions :) Any amount is appreciated!