Monday, April 16, 2007

I'm Still Here!

Erm...hello! Sorry for my lack of blogging lately. The past week or so has not been the best for my family and while I’ve still been cooking and eating (of course :)) I haven’t been in much of a mood to enthuse about food here. But now I think it’s time to get back to it, so here’s some stuff we’ve been eating lately... This is Moroccan Chickpea and Lentil Soup from Vegetarian Soups For All Seasons by Nava Atlas. Strangely even though it has my favourite chickpeas and lentils this has been one of my least favourite soups from this book. I found it a little bland and had to spice it up some more.Fatfreevegan.com provided the inspiration for this meal. Yummy roasted veg on a baked potato topped with some Follow Your Heart Vegan Gourmet Cheddar Cheese. A tasty meal, but we could have done without the cheese. I’m not sure why I bought the vegan cheese. It’s only the second time since turning vegan that I’ve bought it and I think it will be the last...neither of us are really bothered about it. To use it up I made some macaroni cheese. And while we did really enjoy the meal I don’t think it will get me running out to the shops for more vegan cheese any time soon... And here it is with some roasted asparagus...mmmm!!! Another recipe from Fatfreevegan.com. These are Black Bean and Butternut Tacos. The ones pictured are Wee G’s which I made with black beans, but mine had chickpeas instead. I read on the internet (I’m not sure where now) that to make your tortillas in to taco shells you should bend them over the oven rack and leave them to crisp up in the oven for a few minutes. Although they were a little wonky they turned out quite well and were super crispy. Any longer in the oven and they would have broken our teeth though... :) I made Aloo Mutter Gobi from Fairly Odd Tofu Mom’s recipe again. It is just so good that Wee G insisted I make it again. This time I used sweet potatoes and edamame instead of potatoes and peas, so I guess the name is rather inaccurate now, but whatever...! I also cut down on the oil again and instead of coconut milk I just used soy milk. It was obviously less rich and creamy, and perhaps a little runny (note to self: use less soy milk in future!) but I enjoyed it just as much. And to go with the curry I made some more naan bread. Oh yum! This time I added the baking powder when I was supposed to which helped a lot! I also sprayed a little oil over them before grilling which made them a bit browner. They are so good I could eat them by themselves!!
I’ve made Moroccan Chickpea Patties from Vive Le Vegan! several times before and they are gorgeous! My only problem with them is that they can be a little soft making it hard to fry them. This time I added a flax egg and baked them in the oven. I also omitted the breadcrumb coating. They turned out just as good as when I have fried them and they were less prone to falling apart. These are some sweet potato and carrot sticks baked in the oven with some cumin, cinnamon and allspice and coated with a little spray oil. These are fantastically tasty and are a great side to go with almost anything. I made some garlic mayonnaise (just Veganaise and garlic mixed together) to dip them in....yum! And we have been eating some salads too. All pretty boring and much the same, but this one is quite pretty so I thought I’d share! I attempted to make a vegan Cadbury’s Crème Egg around Easter time. I have to admit that I in my veggie days I was quite partial to a Crème Egg even though they are super sickly and sweet. The original recipe was from here and advised to make the inside first and refrigerate it to harden, then dip in chocolate. If you’ve ever eaten a Crème Egg you will know that the inside is quite soft and not the easiest thing to dip in warm chocolate. To address this issue I decided to make the chocolate in an egg mould first and then fill with the fondant centre. Unfortunately I couldn’t find egg moulds and tried to use these little plastic eggs that not only halved the wrong way and had holes in the bottom but were also impossible to get the chocolate out of. They did come out tasting quite like Crème Eggs (although they were a little too strongly vanilla flavoured), so if I find proper egg moulds before next Easter I’ll probably attempt them again. The one pictured is the only one I managed to get out of the “mould” without breaking...

Looking forward to catching up on all the blogs I’ve been missing lately... Have a great day!! :)

14 comments:

aTxVegn said...

Boy, you have been cooking! I have made a lot of the soups from Nava's book, incl. the Moroccan Chickpea & Lentil, and found most of them to be bland. Maybe she expects us to season them to our liking.

I never was a cheese fan and I'm glad I don't have to search for a substitute.

Everything looks really great, esp. all the spicy stuff! Could you tell me which recipe you like for naan?

I'm definitely going to try the flax egg next time I need an egg replacer.

Mary said...

I must say, Cadburry Eggs are the most disgusting candy ever. I don't think I'd ever want to veganize it because it was so gross to begin with! When I was little, I thought it was a real egg in the middle. Barf!

I bought some Hemp Milk. I think I'm going to try it tonight or tomorrow. It looks really good!

Is FYH cheese good? I haven't had cheese is over 1.5 years so I don't remember it all that well. Besides, I actually like plain pizza. But sometimes you get those cravings, you know? I've have VeganRella which is pretty good. Now I crave pizza and mac and cheese. :(

laura jesser said...

I used to love Cadbury eggs... terrible, I know. I should probably NOT try making these, because then I would be hooked again on something I was content to let go of! I sort of agree about vegan cheese--I kind of like it every now and then, actually, but on the whole it doesn't really do much for me and I don't really feel compelled to buy it. I'll pick some up every once in a while, though. All this food you have made looks delicious and so pretty. I never thought to replace coconut milk with soy milk in Indian food before... maybe I'll try it sometime.

bazu said...

I'm sorry you had a rough week, I hope you are feeling better now.
As always, I'm really impressed by your cooking (your own naan, your own taco shells, your own VEGAN CREME EGGS!) I used to like those at Easter before going Veg. The other day I saw them at the store, on clearance for 29 cents and for a second I had the urge to get one... good to know there's a vegan alternative.
I used to be a HUGE cheese fan, so I really miss it. I'll admit it!

Emmy said...

The sweet potato and carrot sticks look so good. That's so cool you made the vegan creme eggs. They look impressive and delicious :)

scottishvegan said...

atxvegn, I got the naan recipe here. It worked really well for me. Flax seeds make such a good egg replacer…when you mix them with water and leave for a while they get all gloopy like real eggs. Apparently if you warm the mixture and use a blender it works even better. I was about to link to Bazu’s post about it when I saw that you have already commented on it so you’ve obviously read it :) Here’s the link for anyone else interested.

mary, no wonder you didn’t like the idea of Crème Eggs if you thought there was a real egg inside…yuck! Hope you enjoy your hemp milk! I think FYH cheese is okay, but not great. I don’t really think it tastes all that much like cheese, but it is reasonably convincing in something like macaroni cheese. I generally prefer my pizza without cheese rather than fake cheese.

laura, maybe I shouldn’t tell you…I don’t want to encourage any addictions, but you can buy vegan crème eggs here :) They are in the UK and will probably charge a fortune to mail to the US. I got the idea for using soy milk instead of coconut milk from fatfreevegan.com. She suggests using soy milk and coconut extract, but I didn’t bother with the coconut extract as I didn’t have any.

bazu, like I said to laura, you can buy vegan crème eggs here; I think I might have to buy some for next Easter! Have you tried sheese yet? I have heard it’s the best cheese substitute out there. I haven’t tried it, but I imagine because it’s Scottish it must be great! :)

emmy, the sweet potato/carrot sticks are so tasty! I think my crème eggs would have been more impressive if I’d actually managed to make a whole one!!

Lucy said...

Hope all is well with you now. Amazed at the creme egg - there are some places over here that make vegan ones but their always highly flavoured with blackcurrant or mint and have no yolks! Yours look much more like I remember them :)

Lucy said...

goodness my grammar - that should have been they're!!

Seitan Wörshipper said...

Hello, and thank to yuor visiting in my blog ;) I think your cookings loooks awesome tastefull! Really, those pictures make me feel WERY hungry... Yum! Thats all what I could say just now..Yep, I like mutch that indian foods(maybe your recomended that when you visited in my vegan blog ;)) yuor Aloo Mutter Gobi looks good, edamame is fun idea! I haven`t cooked any food with it yet. Maybe I try to put edamame in some indian stew next time.Thanks for the idea! And your naan bread looks wery nice, I have also made naan in onetime but it was little too crispy for its crust, not that soft kind of naan.. Also those pitas with bean filling and pizza makes me like yellous ;) Looks so good! Now I must going to eat(seitan of course!)!

scottishvegan said...

Seitan Worshipper, you should definitely try the Aloo Mutter Gobi if you like Indian food, it is so yummy! And very nice with edamame!

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