Ahmaaazing pizza

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I have been plotting this pizza in my head for a few days now and finally had a chance to put my pizza dream to reality last night!!
We used thepotato pizza crust using sweet potatoes, the yams with the purple skin and a couple of regular potatoes. I made a bigger batch then what is in the regular recipe. I did three cups of mashed potatoes and three cups of flour (brown rice flour, chickpea flour, buckwheat flour) any flour will work. It made a LOT so now we have enough for lunch today and dinner tomorrow!! About six servings total.

Spread your pizza dough onto a pan and pre-cook for about 15 minutes. Then take it out and do your toppings and continue cooking until it’s crisped to your liking.
The toppings…

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All prepped by my trusty sous chef!!

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The base was a broccoli kale pesto:

1 head of broccoli
A few kale leaves
2 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons of oil
Handful of walnuts
5 tablespoons of nutritional yeast (parmesan substitute)
Salt and pepper

Blend it up and spread it on. Add water as needed to facilitate blending.

Sweet and sour tempeh:

Cut up tempeh into bite size pieces and put in a baking dish with a tablespoon or so of honey, a tablespoon or so of ketchup, paprika and sesame seeds.
Bake while the crust is pre cooking.

Cashew cream:

About a cup and a half of cashews soaked
Juice from one lime or lemon
1 garlic clove
3 TBS or so of nutritional yeast
Salt and a decent amount of paprika

Blend and then transfer to a ziplock bag. This way you can snip the corner of the bag and squeeze the cashew cream on to ensure even and pretty distribution. Or if you want you could just dollop it right on there.

Veggies:

Baby tomatoes, corn, capsicum, kidney beans.

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I felt like fresh raw veggies so after I pre cooked the base I topped half and put it back in the oven until the veggies were cooked for Ali and then when that was done I quickly topped the other side (pesto, veggies and then cashew cream) and had it like that. It was really good both ways. The raw side on the left and the cooked on the right.

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The final touch…rocket, avo and a squirt of lime!!!

Cashew cream ETC!!

There has been a slight lack of interesting food happening here since I started my design course at Tafe two weeks ago…and even the interesting things I’ve been too busy/exhausted to do anything about.
Hopefully when I get more into the swing of things I’ll be able to get back into a more frequent cooking and sharing of said cooking, routine.
For now, here are a few pictures taken in the last couple weeks that I have neglected to share that will hopefully serve as some inspiration to cook up some healthy, scrumptious and cruelty free food!

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These bad boys were surprisingly good!! I had the flat kale which I don’t usually get. I was worried the leaves were going to be hard to chew and a bit sour but they were so tasty and tender!! I just lightly steamed them and then filled the rolls with some rice, grilled tempeh, black bean salsa, cashew cream and some alfalfa and rolled ’em up!

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Tasting plate with a few random things including kale chips which I have just discovered are so easy to make and amazingly tasty!! The trick is to make sure you dry the leaves really well after rinsing them so that they get crispy in the oven and not steamed. Once I have fully dried my bite size pieces of kale I massage a bit of sesame oil into the leaves and sprinkle with nutritional yeast, Himalayan rock salt and sesame seeds and then just bake for about ten minutes!!

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A nice fresh salad with lettuce, rocket, cuc, orange, avo, baby tomats, toasted almonds, hazelnut oil, lime juice and kamut cous cous. This is pretty weird but I have never cooked cous cous before…not that you can really call it cooking because you just pour hot water over it for a few minutes and then just like that it is ready to go in all its fluffy glory!!! Mind blown.

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I’ve been obsessed with cashew cheese/ cashew cream lately. Here we are having it on rice crackers with our mum’s delish home made red pepper jelly.
It’s such an amazing alternative and one of the biggest reasons why I feel like I haven’t missed cheese a la cow since I stopped eating it.
I never measure when I’m making mine. I just chuck stuff in the food processor and it always come out a different consistency and flavour which keeps it interesting!

Here is a basic recipe:

1 cup cashew nuts soaked
3 tbs nutritional/savoury yeast
1 clove of garlic, minced
juice & zest of 1 lemon juice
Himalayan sea salt to taste

Blend until smooth. It will be a sort of feta consistency. Add water if you want a thinner cream like situation.

Other ingredients I sometimes add are: tumeric, paprika, miso paste, parsley, basil, green onion, Dijon mustard.

Enjoy your cashew cream on crackers, in sandwiches, crumbled over pasta, on pizza etc!! Also you can make a sweet version by adding the cashews, cinnamon and some natural sweetener and have it as you would whipping cream.

I’ll leave now with a shout out to all the sweet, intelligent, adorable piggies out there ❤ and a promise that I will be posting a fricken legit pizza recipe in the next few days!

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“Scientists consider the humble pig to be one of the most intelligent species on the planet — believed to have the intelligence of a 3-year-old child. Yet, this is not reflected in the abysmal way in which pigs are kept in factory farms.

Despite advances overseas, in Australia, a pregnant pig can still be confined in a ‘sow crate’—a barren metal cage little bigger than her own body. She can barely move and is unable to turn around. Trapped in a cycle of suffering, she is forced to give birth on a hard concrete or metal floor; denied the ability to properly nurture her young; and will be continually impregnated until her body can no longer physically cope.”

-http://www.animalsaustralia.org/radio/old-macdonald/factory-farming.php

Polenta pizza bites

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I can’t remember the last time I ate polenta…I can’t even say for sure that I have ever eaten it. Ali says we have though so I guess I’ll take her word for it.
I randomly had some in the pantry and have been seeing lots of different recipes using polenta on Pinterest so I decided I may as well give it a whirl…and it was a great success!!!

Polenta pizza bites:

1 cup uncooked polenta
4 cups water (check package as apparently some have different water requirements)
Oregano or Italian mixed spice, paprika, salt, pepper, oil

Bring the water to a boil. Add the polenta and a generous amount of spices and a dash of oil. Whisk on low heat until thick and hard to stir.
Transfer to a 9 by 9 pan lined with parchment or tin foil and spread evenly. Allow to set in the fridge for about half an hour. Slice and bake for ten minutes. Flip and bake another ten minutes. I wanted them super crispy on the outside so I then placed them under the griller on high until nice and toasty.

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Once they are crispy, add your toppings and place back under the griller until the toppings are cooked. We burnt ours just a bit and it added extra flavour.
We had two different variations; one a roasted garlic and green onion spread, and the other a pizza sauce with vegan cheese that turned out tasting and feeling just like ricotta after being grilled!! I wish I could recall the recipe but it was one of those taste and add as you go mad experiments…

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The base of it was blended silken tofu and then I added the usual suspects; nutritional yeast, miso paste, Dijon, Himalayan rock salt, some cashews, paprika. I also added some chilli sauce and a few roasted garlics and some lime juice.

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So easy and yummy, we will definitely be eating this again!!! Polenta is also high in protein, vitamins and minerals and is gluten free and a complex carbohydrate.

Makes about 14 pizza bites.

Holiday recap and a very green pasta

Happy new year!! I hope it’s off to a good a start for everybody as it has been for me! We just got back from an AMAZING trip home to Vancouver, back into full on summer time here in Sydney.
I was planning on keeping up with the blog while I was away but…I didn’t! I cooked a lot and took lots of photos with the intention of posting, but too much was going on!!! Here’s just a few food pics from our visit…

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Putting mum and dads new BBQ to good use on Christmas morning!

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Christmas breakfast! Vegan breakfast casserole, steamed kale, BBQ’d veggie sausages and BBQ’d mushrooms and onion.

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Christmas dinner! Mum’s amazing vegan tourtière with cranberry sauce, sweet potato and kale pasta bake, and roasted potatoes and Brussels sprouts

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Ready to get stuck in! We were so full after dinner we didn’t even eat our pumpkin pie :O

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Vegan nachos at La Bandidas Mexican restaurant. SO good. I’m really going to miss daiya cheese here in Australia, I have to try and get someone to import the goods!!!

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Fricken amaZing enchilada. Again, the daiya cheese…so…good.

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Mums ridiculously good curry sittin’ pretty on the good old Aga. I got a curry tutorial from her so will be recreating it soon and posting the recipe!

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The aga really is a cooks best friend!! Cooking up a New Year’s Eve feast here.

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Quinoa with almond crusted tofu, caramelised Brussels and green beans with a cashew miso dressing.

So there is just a sampling of all the delicious food that was had!! Some other favourites were mum’s lentil shepards pie, pumpkin soup, vegetable soup, tempeh breakfast sandwiches, rice balls with peanut sauce, chick pea flour fries, vegan mac n cheese, many drunk daiya grilled cheeze sandwhiches on the aga aka the grilled cheese master!!! and I also made my vegan Nanaimo bars which everybody went crazy about…especially when they found out they were healthy!

So all and all, it was a very tasty holiday!

Now here is a pasta recipe for you…

A very green pasta:

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It’s funny how your body craves warm hearty stuff in the cold, hence the soups and curries of back home, but as soon as you’re back in the heat all you want is fresh simple stuff! This pasta dish took about twenty minutes to make and made four big servings.

1 400 gram package of pasta (I used whole grain spelt spaghetti)
1/2 head of broccoli chopped (use the stems too! They are really nice and crunchy!)
1 zucchini chopped
2-3 big kale leaves taken off the stem and chopped quite finely
3-4 green onions chopped

Boil pasta. Chop veggies and place in a big strainer over a large pot. Once the pasta is cooked strain it over the veggies and into the pot. Place a lid on top and let the hot pasta lightly steam the veggies. Meanwhile get out your seasoning…

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So simple and so good. If you haven’t tried hazelnut oil I suggest you do ASAP! My aunt bought this for me and I trekked it all the way back to Sydney and I was blown away by the flavour!

Dump you pasta and your now lightly steamed but still fresh veggies into a large salad bowl. Drizzle with oil, nutritional yeast, Himalayan rock salt, pepper, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds.

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Voila!!

Banana bread (or muffins)

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A fruit bowl full of over ripe bananas can mean one thing and one thing only…banana bread. Or banana muffins in my case as I thought they would be a great snack to bring on the plane on Friday (yayyyyyy we’re coming home for Christmas!!!). Stay tuned for more plane snack food posts in the next couple of days; I’ve got a few yummy/portable things in mind.
This is my trusty recipe that I developed a few years ago and is adapted ever so slightly every time I make it. It is exceptionally healthier than traditional banana bread (white flour, butter, sugar yuck!!!) and is just as good, no wait, better. And I’m not just saying that. Everybody loves this banana bread, you will too!

Vegan/GF banana bread or muffins:

Wet ingredients:

2 TBS flax meal mixed with 2 TBS non-dairy milk or water ( this replaces the eggs as a binding agent whilst providing some omega’s and fibre)

1/4 cup coconut oil (or veg oil)
3 very ripe medium bananas
1/4 cup agave nectar (or brown rice syrup or honey-you might have to use a bit more though as agave is particularly sweet)

Dry ingredients:

1/3 cup teff flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup quinoa flakes
1/2 TBS corn starch
1/2 TBS baking soda
1 heaped tablespoon protein powder (optional)
Cinnamon, nutmeg to taste (I use lots!!)
Optional add ins: Walnuts, dark choc chips, pear chunks. I just added a handful of crushed walnuts.

*you can use any combo of flour you like. I used teff because it’s super high in iron and brown rice as it’s a light flour to balance out the heaviness of the teff. Amaranth, buckwheat, quinoa flour would also be good options.
*if you don’t have quinoa flakes just use more rolled oats
*I added some hemp protein powder to give them a little more staying power, obviously not essential to the recipe

Method:

Combine the flax and water and set aside.
Mash the Bananas in a medium sized bowl and add other wet ingredients and combine.
Combine the dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
Add the flax ‘gel’ to the wet ingredients and stir.
Add the wet bowl to the dry bowl and stir it up!!
Whack in a greased or lined loaf tin or muffin tin and bake in a moderate to low oven (I did about 180) for forty minutes to an hour. The muffins are a bit quicker…

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There’s nothing quite like the smell of freshly baked banana bread!!

Some holiday baking

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There’s nothing like a bit of holiday baking to get you in the spirit!! Especially since we find it a bit hard to get in the spirit over here, what with the sub tropic temperatures and everything. Alas, only thirteen more days to bask in the sunshine before heading home sweet home for hopefully a white Christmas!

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Vegan, gluten free Ginger snaps:

Dry ingredients:

2 1/4 cups flour (I used buckwheat and Amaranth, any would do though)
1/8 cup almond or hazelnut meal
1 1/2 TBS ginger powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nut meg
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder

1 TBS grated ginger
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup molasses
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup coconut oil (room temp, not totally melted)
1 TBS brown sugar
1tsp vanilla
Dash salt

Combine dry ingredients and wet ingredients and mix together until a firm-ish but sticky dough forms.

Roll into balls, press down with fork and sprinkle with a tiny bit of raw sugar and a teeny tiny bit of sea salt.

Bake in a moderate oven for about ten minutes.

Once cooled, Store in the fridge.

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Rice Krispy squares!!

I never actually ate these much as a kid but I know they were quite popular. I don’t know how similar they are to the real marshmallow/butter/white rice bubble version because as I said I never was a rice krispy expert but they taste good, they’re healthy and they satisfy a sweet craving!

Ingredients:
4 cups gluten-free brown rice cereal
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1/2 cup brown rice syrup or honey 1/3 cup peanut butter or other nut butter
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Mix the cereal with the flax
Meal (what’s up sneaky omega and fibre!!) and set aside.
In a small saucepan heat the sweetener and nut butter until liquidy. Add the vanilla and pour over the cereal. Mix with a wooden spoon until all the cereal is coated. Press into a pan and chill for at least an hour.

To take them to the next yum factor level, drizzle with melted dark chocolate or caramel sauce.

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Happy Christmas Baking!!!

Vegan food staples

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I had been thinking of compiling a list of vegan staples for people who want to make more of the food on this blog or just more vegan food in general and the other day someone asked me to do just that, so I figured it was a good time to get compiling!

I’ve been a vegetarian for twelve years and vegan for just over four months! I made the change cold turkey, so to speak, and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I am so much happier and I have never felt or looked healthier in my life. You can find out what prompted my sudden switch in this post here

So here is a sample of some good things to have on hand if you want to get some kick ass vegan cooking/baking on!!

-nutritional yeast (must have for vegans! Make ‘cheese’ sauces with or for adding a cheesy flavour to pretty much anything and high in vit B, a vitamin that vegans are often low in)
-Tamari (gluten free, low salt version of soy)
-miso paste check out this link for why I love miso so much! shit load of nutritional benefits and so good in dressings and of course, miso soup!
-Tahini (I use tahini all the time in dressings, often in raw desserts, I add a scoop to porridge sometimes and even smoothies, here is a link for awesome tahini cookies
-coconut oil (I love this oil so much that I not only bake, fry and cook with it, but I also put it all over my face and body! Check out this link for info on it and an amazing raw chocolate recipe.
-sesame oil
-Dijon mustard

-tempehcheck out some fun tempeh facts here. I friggen love this stuff!!
-tofu firm and silken (firm for slicing and frying/baking and silken for desserts/yogurts)
-beans (chickpea, kidney, canelli beans, black beans)

-most of the desserts I make are ‘raw desserts’ which mostly all involve nuts, seeds and dried fruit…and no, I don’t have trail mix for dessert, don’t worry!! The desserts I make are off the fricken charts good, I’m not even going to be modest about this one so check out this link for an out of this world slice recipe; my raw cheese cake is another favourite, and who doesn’t love chocolate pudding tarts ?! Check out my dessert section for more of where those came from and make sure, as well as coconut oil, cacao and a natural sweetener, you’ve got a good supply of the following to get you started:
-nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts, brazil nuts etc)
-seeds (pumpkin/sunflower etc)
-dried fruit (dates, figs, apricots, raisins, prunes etc)

-quinoa (complete protein. Use as you would Cous Cous or rice. Add to smoothies, porridge etc) there are even lots of recipes out there for quinoa cakes, muffins and cookies!
-lentils (really high in iron)
-brown rice/wild rice (great source of fibre)

Obviously wheat is acceptable for vegans but I have a sensitivity to it so I do all gluten free. Either way, there are SO many flours out there and a lot of people eat a crazy amount of wheat flour without thinking about it. Before I stopped eating gluten I would easily consume it for breakfast, lunch and dinner…Wheat bix, sandwich, whole wheat pasta. Our bodies crave variety and there are many flours that are not only much easier to digest but full of protein, iron and other essential nutrients that you can’t get from wheat. So try switching it up with flours such as:
-buckwheat flour (complete protein contains all the essential amino acids, great for baking, pancakes, crepes etc)
-brown rice flour (the goodness of brown rice in flour form! A very light flour ideal for anything really, I find it to be the most versatile.
-teff flour (very annoying but this flour isn’t available in Australia, at least I haven’t been able to find it and when I ask at health food stores they give me a weird look. It’s definitely available in north America though and is awesome because it is very high in iron. One serving of it is nearly your whole days iron intake :O )
-oatmeal ( have this on hand for porridge obviously, but you can also blend it up quickly into a flour to use in baking etc)
-chick pea flour (really great for pizza crust and chick pea fries !! As well as Indian pakoras and adding to home made veggies burgers to make them stick together better.

-rice/almond/hemp/soy milk
-coconut milk

-cacao (like cocoa but raw which means it hasn’t been stripped of any nutrients. The flavour is much better then cocoa and it’s considered a super food!! I use it all the time for desserts and often add a scoop to porridge or smoothies for added nutrients and because it’s chocolate…and adding chocolate to things is generally a good plan.)
-honey (technically not vegan but I still use it) agave syrup, brown rice syrup, stevia
-spices (essential for taking your cooking from good to f&$@ing good. I stock tons of spices, my favs are paprika, tumeric, cinnamon and cumin though. Closely followed by ginger, nutmeg, cayenne, curry powder and dill.)

-nori sheets/dulce flakes (seaweed is really good for you, particularly the iodine in it is great for vegans)
-flax meal (full of omegas and mixed with water creates a binding mixture that you can use in baking instead of eggs)
-chia seeds (omegas/protein/fibre. Add it to smoothies, porridge, cereal or make chia seed pudding by adding about 1/2 cup of non-dairy milk to 1/4 cup of chia seeds, let it sit for about ten minutes, add some fruit, cinnamon, cacao etc and ta-da, chia pudding!
-corn starch (thickening agent, great for vegan gravies and making vegan mac n cheese which you can find a recipe for here

-last but not least, your going to want to have some fruit and vegetables on hand!! Lots of them! Every colour of the rainbow!!

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Happy healthy cooking!!

Ooey gooey cinnamon buns

20121204-111415.jpgOoey gooey satisfying warm aromatic cinnamon buns; and unlike their sugar, butter, white flour laden cousin, the traditional cinnamon bun; these bad boys are high in protein, fibre and low in fat with no added sugar. The winner is clear, in my books at least!
I found the recipe here and just adapted it slightly. I’ve been searching for a healthy cinnamon bun recipe for ages and wasn’t ballsy enough to try and make one up so I was stoked when I stumbled upon the great recipe!

Combine the dry ingredients:

1 cup almond flour or hazelnut meal (or combo)
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup amaranth flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp xanthan gum
2 tsp soy lecithin granules

Combine wet ingredients:

1/4 cup room temperature coconut oil (not melted our the dough will be too wet)
1/4 cup apple sauce (I simple blended one large apple in my food processor)
2 TBS maple syrup
1/2 TBS vanilla extract

Filling: blend in food processor until combined but slightly chunky still:

2/3 cup mix of dates and raisins
1/4 cup mix of honey and maple syrup
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 TBS cinnamon

Method:

Add the combined wet ingredients to the combined dry ingredients. Mix with a wooden spoon until a dough ball forms. Place the dough in your fridge while you are Preparing the filling.

Roll your dough out into a square-ish shape onto baking paper. Cover with your date/raisin filling and a handful of walnuts and slivered almonds, if you wish.

20121204-111515.jpgCarefully roll up. I had trouble with this as it was a really hot day which makes the dough hard to work with but I just kinda rolled and ‘mooshed’ it together with my hands and they turned out great despite a few cracks in the dough. I ended up placing mine in the freezer for a few minutes halfway through rolling and then finnished with the colder dough which helped.

With a sharp knife slice the dough, about an inch and a half each roll. Place in a baking tray and bake in a moderate oven for about fifteen minutes or until turning golden. Check at the ten minute mark for sure! Mine baked surprisingly quickly.

20121204-111621.jpgThey are delicious straight out of the oven but if you want to take them to the next level here are some rad frostings options:

Caramel frosting (the one I used, inspired by the This Rawesome Vegan Life blog, makes a lot but it’s so good just as a spread on its own that you won’t mind having too much!!):

2 heaped tablespoons of honey
1 tsp of vanilla
Handful of brazil or cashew nuts
10 soaked dates
1 heaped tablespoon tahini
1 heaped tablespoon almond butter
1 1/2 TBS coconut oil

Blend until creamy

Cashew cream frosting, this frosting I made to go with my raw cinnamon buns which are also to die for.

Blend until smooth:

1 cup soaked cashews (I had mine soaking while I was making the buns)
1 TBS coconut oil
Juice from 1/2 a lemon
Dash of cinnamon
1 TBS toasted coconut (I had this leftover from the creamy coconut rice I made the night before, not essential but recommended for sure!)
Dash of stevia or other sweetener
About 1/8 cup water to thin

20121204-111712.jpgAlso, they are great leftover. We have been eating them for three days now! Just store in the fridge and heat up under the griller for a couple minutes! Perfect, healthy quick breakfast or snack!

*A note about baking with gluten free flours:

The gluten in regular flour is what acts as such a great binding agent, unfortunately though gluten is really hard to digest which is why lots of people have allergies to it. This is what makes gluten free baking a bit more of a challenge. The xanthan gum and soy lechithin in the recipe act as the binding agent, holding everything together nicely. The soy lechithin also softens the bread a bit. The buns will probably still work if you leave it out, but will be more crumbly.

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Enjoy!

Almond crusted tofu and vegan chocolate cake

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We usually have a nice salad for dinner on ballet nights and last night was no exception. It turned out to be one of the best salads yet as well!! Hands down the best tofu I’ve had and the dressing was amazing.

The cake inspiration came from baking a cake with the little girl I nanny earlier in the day. It was a boxed cake with refined sugar, flour and dairy etc so needless to say I didn’t have any but it smelt pretty damn good and I was proud of myself for not even having a taste, so I decided I would have to make a ‘healthy’ vegan cake that I could enjoy after ballet.

First, the salad…

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The salad itself was made up of: lettuce, tomatoes, green onion, purple cabbage, grilled eggplant, zucchini and mushrooms. The veg combo was really good but the star of the show definitely went to the tofu closely followed by the dressing so here’s the breakdown…

Almond crusted tofu:

Drain as much moisture out of your firm tofu as possible and slice it into triangles.

In a shallow dish, mix up a marinade of:

3 TBS soy sauce
Juice of half a lemon
2 tsp rice wine vinegar
1 TBS sesame oil
1 minced garlic clove
Paprika, ginger and pepper

Place the tofu in marinade, covering all the sides. Leave in the fridge for as long as possible. (I put it in before work so it had a good 9 hours!)

For the almond crust:

3 TBS flax meal
2 TBS nutritional yeast
3 TBS finely chopped almonds
Himalayan rock salt and pepper

Flip the tofu around in the marinade to get all the sides wet. Press all sides in the almond crust mix and place on a lined baking tray.

We cooked ours under the griller in our oven for about seven minutes each side.

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Seriously. So. Good.

For the Tahini Miso dressing:

2 TBS Tahini
1/2 TBS Miso
Pinch of Garlic powder
1 TBS Nutritional yeast
2 tsp Ginger
Almond milk as much as you need for a good consistency
Paprika
Honey (optional if you like slightly sweeter dressing)

Whisk till smooth adding milk as you go to thin.

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Yuuuuuuuuuummmmmmmm

Alright, so the dinner was really really good and I highly recommend you try the tofu and dressing for yourself!!

After dinner I quickly made the chocolate cake as I wanted it to be done before we left for ballet so it would be cooled and ready to be frosted and mowed when we got home.

When I started baking it I thought it wasn’t going to work because the top was kind of burning and the middle wasn’t really cooking. I put some tinfoil on it and cooked it as much as I could before I thought the top was looking too burnt and left it to cool.

When we got home, after biking through a bit of a monsoon, I really wasn’t expecting it to be very good. I was wrong. It was moist, rich and delicious.

Once again I got my inspiration fromthe This Rawsome vegan lifeblog

This makes one quite small cake. If I was making it for a big group, I would double it and make a stacked cake.

Vegan chocolate cake:

Combine and set aside:

1 cup almond milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
Just under 1/2 cup of vegetable oil
Just under 3/4 cup raw sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract

Combine and add to above mixture:

3/4 cup mix of brown rice and amaranth flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon

Optional:

Tablespoon or so of maple syrup (if you want it sweeter)
Tablespoon of instant coffee granules (if you dig mocha flavoured things)
1/4 tsp cayenne (If you like your chocolate with kick)

Ours was with all of the above and it was amazing. I think I will try sans cayenne next time because we were borderline about whether it added to or hindered to the flavour.

Bake at 180 for about 30-50 minutes, covered, checking often. Let cool Completely before frosting.

Frosting:

This frosting is so good, it could be a desert all on it’s own!

1/4 cup silken tofu
1/2 cup cashew butter
1/3 cup cacao
2 TBS honey
1 fig (or just add extra honey)
11/2 tsp vanilla
1 TBS instant coffee granules

Blend until creamy and smooth over the cooled cake!!!! You will probably have extra. I ate my extra by the spoonful the next day!!! Hey, it’s the healthiest and tastiest frosting you will ever encounter, it deserves to be eaten by the spoonful!

Let them eat (vegan gluten free) cake!!

Potato pizza crust

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Mashed potato pizza crust?!? Who thought of this glorious idea?! Unfortunately it wasn’t me. I stumbled upon it by chance last night and was so excited I was going to make it for breakfast. But I decided to be good and had my usual green smoothie in a bowl instead…

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Which was super tasty, energising, and I think my body appreciated it more than a 7am pizza sesh, so I’m glad I saved the pizza party for later.

In case you would like to recreate this smoothie in a bowl action; it was made up of some kale, a handful of romaine, 1/2 a small cucumber, 1/4 of an avo, 1/2 a banana, 1/2 an apple, 1/2 a pear, hemp protein powder, flaxmeal and soy lechithin granules (FYI soy lechithin supports brain health and helps detoxify your liver!! Bonus!) blended till creamy and delicious! Add some ice cubes to make it even thicker and nice and chilled. Topped with some oatmeal, coconut, passion fruit and cinnamon.

Anyways, back to the much anticipated pizza!!
We did a mix of regular potatoes and sweet potato and my goodness it was one of the best pizza dough’s I’ve ever had. The texture was out of this world. We decided it would be really good just baked as is and eaten as flat bread with some dips. So easy too!

Mashed potat pizza dough:

2 cups mashed potatoes/sweet potatoes (or you could do all regular or all sweet)
2 cups flour (I used a mix of half amaranth flour and half brown rice flour, any would work though)
2 tsp baking powder
Good sprinkle of garlic powder And dill

Method:

Boil your potatoes until tender. Drain and mash with a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil (or oil of choice) add garlic and dill.
Mix flours and baking soda together. Add the mash and mix with your hands until it forms a nice ball.

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Grease your pan and roll out your beautiful dough.

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See? Beautiful right?? All the pretty potato skin speckles and gorgeous orangey colour from the sweet potatoes.

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Pre-bake it in a moderate oven for about ten minutes and then top as you wish and finnish baking.
If you’re feeling like making a healthy and kind choice, you can copy ours which had: homemade tomato sauce, artichokes, green capsicum, purple onion, zucchini, olives, and TWO types of vegan cheese. The first is a home made cheese sauce that we drizzled over and the second is grated vegan cheesly.

There are lots of different recipes out there for vegan cheese sauce. I have tried MANY and invented many as well. They are all delicious but I am still on my quest to create the hands down perfect one. When I do, I will surely post about it.
Here is a basic one though to start with:

1 1/2 TBS coconut oil or vegan margarine
1 cup soy milk or other alternative
1/4 c brown rice flour or other flour
1 TBS corn starch
3 garlic cloves
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 TBS lemon juice
4 TBS nutritional yeast
Paprika, pepper, Himalayan rock salt, miso paste or soy sauce to taste (optional)

Whack it all in a pan and whisk until thickened and creamy. Use on pasta for a scrumptious bowl of mac n cheese, over broccoli for a tasty side dish, as a dip for crackers or veggies, on nachos or on this pizza!!

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Besides being healthy and kind, it was also tasty as f$&@. You really can’t get any better than that. End of story!!
Get mashin.