Thursday, May 3, 2007


Yesterday was our wedding anniversary :) Wee G had to work late so we decided to just stay in and I made dinner. We snuggled up and watched American romantic!
Remember the other day when I said that I try to make fairly healthy food in the house? Well, I guess l lied cos this meal was far from low fat or low calorie :)

First up I made Zucchini Delight from How It All Vegan. It’s a mix of lentils, rice, zucchini, tomatoes and soy cheese flavoured with oregano and basil and baked in the oven. Last time I made it with tofu basil ricotta from VWAV and chickpeas in place of the lentils and it was delicious. This time I added some green pepper, broccoli and cherry tomatoes, fresh basil and used FYH Monterey Jack cheese. I realised afterward I should have put the dish under the grill at the end of cooking and it might have melted the cheese a little better. We both agreed that we preferred the first version with the tofu basil ricotta but that the addition of cherry tomatoes was really good :)

I also made Laura’s Oatmeal Wheat Bread that she posted about the other day. It was so delish! Thanks for the recipe Laura! I made it in to garlic bread by spreading it with a mix of Earth Balance margarine, olive oil, crushed garlic and herbs and baking it for a few minutes. Mmmmmm!
The most exciting part of the meal was dessert though! I had been obsessing about Plamil’s vegan Nutella since Bazu’s post about it. I can’t wait to go home and buy some, but in the meantime I thought I would try making some of my own. I didn’t quite manage to recreate the right texture, but the taste is pretty similar! Can’t really go wrong with chocolate and hazelnuts! The recipe is at the end if you want to try (and maybe improve) it.

I then made basic chocolate cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take over the World adding some ground hazelnuts. I warmed the “Notella” and poured it over the cakes and topped with chopped hazelnuts! Oh yum! This was awesome!

Have a Terrific Thursday!!

“Notella” Recipe

¾ cup hazelnuts
1 cup vanilla soymilk
¾ cup raw sugar
1 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Heat grill (broiler). Spread hazelnuts out on a baking tray and place under grill under skins are very brown, almost black. Wrap hazelnuts in a clean dish towel and shake/rub until skins come off. (Don’t worry if some are left on).
Place hazelnuts in food processor and blend until it becomes a paste. (This took about 4 minutes in my food processor and would not go completely smooth. If you have a better food processor you will hopefully get a smoother paste). Keep hazelnuts in food processor.
Mix cornflour with 1 tbsp of soy milk (from the 1 cup of soy milk) and set aside.
Put remaining soy milk in a pot over a medium high heat. Bring to boil and add sugar. Stir continuously until sugar has melted. Add cornstarch to pot and continue to stir until thickened to a sauce-like consistency. Add chocolate chips to pot and stir until they are melted. Remove from heat.
Add chocolate mix to the hazelnuts in the food processor and process until thoroughly blended.
It will thicken up more if you leave it in the fridge overnight.
Voila! Notella!!


bazu said...

Seriously? BEST anniversary dinner ever! Happy anniversary to you guys and many happy returns!
I'm so jealous that you'll be in the land of Plamil soon! Those cupcakes look beyond decaedent. Will you marry me? ;-)

KleoPatra said...

Awwwww! Happy Anniversary! Your meal loks awesome and healthy. The cupcakes are terrific, too. Thanks for the "notella" recipe, too. Scrumptious!!!

I love that you snuggled and spent time together, btw, you little romantic couple, you! Sweet!

Sometimes the best meals have no concern for fat that's low or calories that are miniscule.

vko said...

Happy Anniversary! What a perfectly decadent meal - fat be damned it's your anniversary for goodness sakes!
I think that is very romantic evening.

The cupcakes look perfect!

Melody Polakow said...

Happy Anniversary! The food looks great... and the cupcakes.. yum!

congrats on moving back home.. you must be so excited! (I am catching up on posts here)

dervla said...

Hope your Wee G realises how lucky he is!!!
I'm absolutely STARVING looking at your blog(just came across it today via google alerts for vegan).
I will have to find myself my own personal vegan chef as I'm crap at cooking!!!
You should open a restaurant in Scotland when you get back! I have two nieces in Edinburgh and friends in Glasgow and Aberdeen so I would be sure to pop by!

Happy Anniversary!

aTxVegn said...

Not EVERY meal has to be healthy - esp., the celebration ones! Happy Anniversary! I think the casserole and cupcakes look outstanding. I can't wait to make Notella!

Vicki's Vegan Vice said...

Happy Anniversary! The pizza looks perfect & the cherry tomatoes on top almost look like little hearts. Brilliant recreating the vegan nutella & the cupcakes with it on top make me say "wow" outloud.

Emmy said...

Happy Anniversary :) The food looks so tasty too!

laura jesser said...

Ooh, how delicious! I think I would like the casserole better with the tofu ricotta as well, but those cherry tomatoes are certainly gorgeous. Oh, and who would have thought that making Notella could be so easy?! I'll be giving this recipe a go!

Happy anniversary! Sounds like it was very special!

scottishvegan said...

bazu, ha ha ha! You are too funny! I am afraid I’ll have to decline your proposal though. I don’t think it would please Wee G or Daiku!! Don’t worry, when I am back in the Land of Plamil I’ll share my goodies with you...well, as much as you can over the internet! :)

Kleopatra, you are so right...the best meals usually aren’t exactly low fat or low calorie, are they?!

vko, thanks!

Melody, I am super excited about moving home...although the packing is not so much fun!

dervla, thanks for coming by. As much as I like cooking I’m far from being a chef! Plus, I would never want to work those hours!!

aTxVegn, I hope you like the Notella if you try it!

vicki, aaaw I like the idea of the cherry tomatoes looking like hearts. Very cute!

emmy, thank you!

laura, the Notella isn’t exactly like the real thing, but I didn’t tell Wee G what it was and when he tasted it I asked what he thought it was. He replied “the inside of a Ferrero Rocher” so it can’t be too far from the real thing!

Mena said...

Happy anniversary! Here's to many more.

julie hasson said...

Happy anniversary to you both! What a wonderful looking meal. I'm going to have to give your notella a try (LOVE the name : ).

And congratulations on moving home. Sometimes there's nothing like having family close by -and Scotland seems like an incredible place to live.


Johanna said...

Congratulations on wedding anniversary! The meal looks scrumptious and made with love. It seems to me that it is very emotionally healthy to celebrate with decadence and flair.

Anonymous said...

Happy belated anniversary! Love the notella -- some of my youth was spent in Germany so I have fond memories of chocolate sandwiches. I'm wondering if you substituted the hazelnut coffee syrup for the actual hazelnuts if it would have more of the texture of nutella? Hmmm....I may have to try it and see.

scottishvegan said...

Mena, thanks!

Julie, I hope you enjoy the Notella if you try it! Scotland is a great place to live in many ways. The best thing for me is that my family and friends are there!!

Johanna, I think you are right. It’s not really celebrating if you are trying too hard to be healthy!

Midwest Vegan, you should try the Notella with hazelnut syrup and let me know how it goes. I do think that some of the “Nutella” flavour comes from roasting the hazelnuts though so although it would be smoother I am not sure if it would taste quite the same…

Kati said...

Happy Anniversary! It looks like everything was delicious. I'm especially interested in that garlic bread - it's amazing how the simplest things can sound so good sometimes. And I don't need to tell you that those cupcakes look divine, but...they do! =)

Kati said...

P.S. Those "two peas in a pod" are really cute!

scottishvegan said...

Kati, thanks! I usually make garlic bread using just garlic and olive oil (and bread obviously!) so that stuff was fancied up! The "two peas in a pod" picture was on an anniversary card my sister sent us. I thought it was kind of veggie appropriate!