Saturday, February 16, 2008

I'm not sure how it got to be over 3 months since I last posted. I got busy and then I got out of the habit. Lately I've really missed blogging and reading everyone else's blogs. I'm going to be pretty busy for the next month or so but then I would like to get back in to it, so if anyone still drops by here please know that I am still vegan, still cooking and er..still Scottish :)

Hope to "see " you all soon!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Happy World Vegan Day!

I’m not doing anything special to celebrate World Vegan Day, just being my usual vegan self. If you’re reading this and you’re not already vegan perhaps you might want to try eating vegan for the day. It doesn’t have to be today. It could be tomorrow. And then you could try it again the next day and the next day and the next day...and just don’t stop :)

On to food...last night I made a scrumptious pumpkin and chickpea stew for Halloween. It was simple and spicy comfort food and made use of my new toy.

I got this almost 2 weeks ago and I love it! I haven’t used the porridge function yet, but I love the slow cooker, rice cooker and most of all the steamer. Unfortunately it’s not possible to programme the slow cooker to start cooking at a specific time (only the rice cooker has this function) so it can’t switch on itself while I am at work. However I do have a husband who works at home and I have managed to programme him over the years to do simple tasks like this :)

We ate the stew with some steamed broccoli and some leftover potatoes which were sprinkled with salt, pepper, cumin and paprika and fried in a little olive oil. Yum!

And here is the recipe.

Spicy Pumpkin and Chickpea Stew
(makes 4 servings)

3 cups diced pumpkin
1 parsnip, diced
2 cups passata (I used one 500ml carton)
I cup cooked chickpeas
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsps vegan stock powder
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp paprika
¼ tsp cinnamon
½ cup water
½ tsp chopped chillies*
Handful of fresh coriander, chopped

Throw everything but the coriander in the slow cooker and cook for 4 hours. Mix through the coriander at the end.

*I used these. They’re great if you are a little scared of fresh chillies like me!

And finally if you have a spare minute, why not see if you can spot the vegan?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Remember Summer?

I can’t believe it has been 4 months since we got back to Scotland now and I have blogged so few times since getting back! I just seem to have been so busy...I am having a hard time adjusting to being back at work and having enough time to fit in all the other things I would like to do!

The day we moved back to Scotland was the longest day of the year. We arrived home in the morning and to try and beat jet lag I vowed to stay up until it got dark. It was a bad idea as it didn’t get dark till around 11pm!

That day my Mum made the whole family a vegan dinner of a delicious shepherd’s pie (made with veggie mince). Yum!

Followed by some beautiful berries. It's so nice to have a home cooked vegan meal made by someone else!

Throughout the summer my Dad gave us lots of home-grown lettuces and leaves that made lots of great salads. Here’s one with tomatoes, grilled courgettes and peppers served with potatoes sprinkled with Dad’s home-grown mint. It's nice to just nip to the greenhouse to pick out your dinner!

One sunny Saturday morning in July I decided to test out the farmer’s market, set in the shadow of Edinburgh castle. Whilst it wasn’t the veggie heaven I was hoping for (in fact there was a severe lack of veggies and far too much meat) I did pick up a few things.

Some delicious organic bread, raspberries, strawberries and exotic mushrooms.

I identified the mushrooms as crimini, shitake, oyster, chanterelle and enoki. However there was one mystery mushroom that I couldn’t identify...perhaps it was just a stalk!

My mushrooms became a simple but tasty soup with the help of some onions, garlic and soy milk. Served with the gorgeous fresh bread it made a fantastic lunch.

The fruits were blended in to a scrummy smoothie.

Now summer is well and truly over as today the clocks turn back and we head in to winter. But what better way could there have been to use that extra hour today than catching up on the blog :)

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Return to LA

Our broadband is fixed! Hurrah! Don’t even ask what’s a long and boring story of utter incompetence and company craziness.

The good news is that I have taken loads of photos for the blog! The bad news is that the memory card broke and jammed in the camera and we can’t get any photos off it now... :(

However, I do still have lots of pics on the pc. So let’s take a little trip back to my previous life in LA. Oh, it all seems so long ago... I am beginning to forget what the sun looks like... :)

First up, some cakes and cookies... I had to finish up some of the flour, sugar etc in the kitchen and what better way than making sweet treats?!

Some peanut butter cookies from Vive Le Vegan... These are Wee G's favourite.

Chocolate cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World... Delicious!

Some kind of chocolate chip cookieness... I’ve forgotten exactly what these were, however Wee G assures me they were scrummy!

These were pancakes with peanut butter, banana and cinnamon... Pancakes are always good and peanut butter makes them even better!

This was made to use up the rest of my Pinjur sauce from Trader Joe’s. I added some onion, baby courgettes and mushrooms along with some soy yogurt, fresh basil and lots of black pepper. Thsi turned out really tasty.

And lastly something a little bit healthier...

...and some yummy pasta with tofu, broccoli, tomatoes and basil. My favourite kind of dinner.

Thanks for reading :) Happy weekend everyone!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Sunny Scotland

Edinburgh Castle

Hello friends and bloggers! I am still here and have not forgotten my blog. Life has been getting in the way! We are sooo happy to be home and see all our family and friends but are definitely missing the California sunshine. It seems like we have had about 4 days of sun since we got back. Ah well, without rain we wouldn’t get rainbows :)

We have had a total nightmare with our broadband. It’s a long and boring story, but since getting back we’ve had proper internet access for about a total of 2 weeks. We are still trying to get re-connected, but I have got a way of posting this today. We are also having issues with our camera so I can’t take photos right now either, pffft! Anyway, fingers crossed we will be all sorted with broadband and camera in a few weeks and I can get back in to blogging properly…hurrah!!

So much has happened since I last blogged…where to start?! Well, how about some food? I started back at work a few weeks after getting back home. It’s been a bit of a shock to the system after my three year holiday! I’ve had a lot less time to cook so a lot of what we have been eating has been simple and to be honest a bit boring :)

We have become a little addicted to Patak’s curry sauce. It’s so simple to throw a few veggies in a pan, add sauce and serve with rice and poppadoms. Yummy! Many of Patak’s sauces and pastes are vegan, you can see which ones here. My favourite is Rogan Josh, but Wee G likes Madras, which is a bit super hot for me!

I have been trying to resist the lure of the chippy since we got back. Chips from the chippy are fatter than any fries you will ever get in the US. They are usually softer in texture than fries and a bit greasier too. They are extremely unhealthy, but sooooo tasty! I’m sure they are one of the reason that Scotland is just about the unhealthiest nation on the planet. Here on the East coast you will be offered salt and sauce (brown sauce and vinegar mixed together) with your chips, but as we are from the West coast we go for the much tastier condiments of salt and vinegar. It’s also good to have a morning roll and a pickle (pickled onion) along with your chips. Beware – some chippies cook their chips in animal fat just to annoy us veggies.

I’ll be back with more as soon as I can! Hope you have all had a great weekend!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Almost Back To Normal...

Thanks for all your comments. We are settling in well, but still only have a dial up connection...and it's super slow...pah! We should have broadband by next weekend if things go to plan (which they haven’t so far…). Due to lack of kitchen equipment and general laziness I haven’t been cooking anything exciting so I don’t have that much to tell you all. Our belongings should arrive in about two weeks which means that I can get busy in the kitchen again!

I’m looking forward to getting back to reading all your blogs regularly and I have lots of thing in Edinburgh that I want to explore and blog about…

Have a great weekend!!

Friday, June 29, 2007

We Are Home!!

We are finally in Edinburgh and settling back in to our flat...hurrah! The last few weeks in LA were so busy that I never got a chance to blog, but I haven’t forgotten about it and will be back soon! We currently only have a super slow dial up connection, but when we get our broadband I will be back to blogging and catching up with all your blogs too! Hope you are all doing well...see you soon!