Tuesday, May 29, 2007

How Great Would This Be...?

The Secret Plans to Turn Us All Vegetarian

Secret plans to encourage the nation to give up eating meat are being examined by the (UK)Government.

A leaked e-mail expresses sympathy for the environmental benefits of a mass switch to a vegan diet - a strict form of vegetarianism which bans milk, dairy products and fish. The change would need to be done "gently" because of a "risk of alienating the public", according to the document.

The extreme policy is being examined on the basis it could make a major contribution to slowing climate change.

Farm animals are blamed for producing huge amounts of the greenhouse gases methane and carbon dioxide.

However, the National Farmers' Union has ridiculed the idea as "simplistic".
The e-mail, sent to a vegetarian campaign group, comes from an official at the Environment Agency, a Government advisory body.

It states: "The potential benefit of a vegan diet in terms of climate impact could be very significant."

However, it does recognise that it would be very difficult to win public support for such a move.
Consequently, it says the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is looking to encourage a gradual change that would be more palatable to the general public.

The e-mail states: "It will be a case of introducing this gently as there is a risk of alienating the public majority."

The official goes on to say it is "unlikely" that the Environment Agency would ever suggest adopting a fully vegan lifestyle.

But the e-mail added: "Certainly encouraging people to examine their consumption of animal protein could be a key message."

The proposals are the latest in a raft of measures being promoted as helping to slow climate change.

Others include putting windmills on rooftops, driving electric cars and banning plastic bags.
The e-mail was sent to the campaigning vegetarian organisation Viva, which argues that it is more efficient to use land to grow crops for humans, rather than feeding them to farm animals and dairy cows.

Viva director Juliet Gellatley said: "I think it is extraordinary that a Government agency thinks becoming a vegetarian or vegan could have such a positive impact for the environment yet it is not prepared to stand up and argue the case.

"There is a growing awareness that our diet directly affects the world around us - and that vegetarians and vegans contribute far less to the destruction of the environment. For our planet's sake there is an urgent need to move away from a meat and dairy-obsessed Western diet."

NFU communications chief Anthony Gibson rejected these claims as "simplistic and flawed".
"This is not a black and white issue," he said.

"You have to look at how these crops are produced in terms of the energy used for growing and transport."

From The Daily Mail

Can you imagine the whole of the UK becoming vegan?! I don't think it's ever going to happen, but I can still dream... :)

Saturday, May 19, 2007


I’ve been tagged by Johanna at Green Gourmet Giraffe to blog about seven random facts about me. So here you go:
1 I am addicted to lip balm. I cannot go anywhere without one. I buy them constantly because I always lose them or wreck them (usually by leaving them in the car to melt or putting them in the washing machine).

2 My favourite colour is pink. Yes I am quite girly :)

3 I have no memory. Well, I have a memory, it’s just a very bad one. I forget what happened at the start of the film before it gets to the end, same with books. Once I went to health food store to buy gingko biloba to help with my memory, but I couldn’t remember what it was called when I got there. And I just remembered that I bought a book about improving your memory, but I keep forgetting to read it :)

4 I don’t like holey things. I don’t mean religious stuff, I mean things with lots of little holes in them. They make me feel queasy. Not sure why, but they just creep me out. Like when you cut a melon in half and the seeds leave all these little holes . ..ick

5 Prince Charles and I share the same birthday. We weren’t born in the same year though :) When I was at school I was desperate for him to become King in the hope that his birthday would become a public holiday. Still waiting...

6 I am sort of allergic to beans. One day last year I ate some canned black beans and immediately after I broke out in a crazy, horrible rash all over my body. Since then any time I eat beans (apart from my lovely chickpeas) I get an itchy swollen feeling mouth when I eat them. So, I don’t eat them anymore :(

7 I have an inability to walk around furniture. I am constantly covered in bruises from tables, chairs and doorknobs (yes, sometime I even find it hard to walk through an open door :)).

Now you know a little more about me :) I would like to tag vko at Lifestyles of the Chic & Vegan and Kati at The Veggie Voice if you guys are interested in doing it and have the time!
Sorry if you came by earlier and were unable to comment. I don't know what happened, but I think it is fixed now :)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Has It Been A Week…?

We’ve been so busy this past week, packing, organising, selling and general upping and moving to another country type stuff. But there’s always time for eating and cooking :) So, here’s some of the stuff we’ve been munching lately…

This is Sri Lankan Eggplant Curry from Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian. It was mildly spicy and creamy and I threw in some chickpeas to make it a little more filling. I really liked it, but Wee G was not so keen…that might be because he’s not really so keen on eggplants.

It looks like we had ourselves a little barbecue here doesn’t it? Unfortunately we didn’t :( It was all cooked in the oven, but tasted almost as good as barbecue. We had some tofu and veggie kebabs, corn on the cob, spicy potato wedges and coleslaw with pineapple. I also made BBQ and peanut ginger dipping sauces. The peanut ginger sauce was made from the Ginger Dipping Sauce from Vive Le Vegan! mixed with peanut butter. It was amazingly good!

And here’s a close up of the pineapple coleslaw yumminess. I think it was my favourite part of the meal, but Wee G wouldn’t touch it. He has never recovered from some kind of mysterious coleslaw-related childhood trauma. Even the inclusion of pineapple was not enough to tempt him to taste it….pah

What to do with leftover cabbage? How about some Chinese Cabbage and Tofu Soup? Yes please. This is from Vegetarian Soups From All Seasons. It seemed like it may end up a little bland, but I added some garlic and ginger and it turned out very tasty.

Some snacky chickpeas. They were roasted in the oven with some spices (cumin, chilli and a tiny bit of cinnamon I think) and then nibbled while watching telly.

Last time I made this Cornmeal Coated Tofu I thought I would try and make it a little more like fish fingers next time for Wee G. But I changed my mind and decided not to entertain his latent fishy desires and just made it exactly as before. Yummmm...

And last but not least some Peanut Better Cookies from Vive Le Vegan! I added some chocolate chips because...there really should be chocolate in every cookie. I’ve never eaten peanut butter cookies before and I was not crazy about them…I think I prefer my peanut butter and my cookies separate. However Wee G loved them so he got to eat them all to himself :)

See you later innovators!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Some Bits and Bobs

We are really getting in to packing now and it seems like everything is everywhere… :( I am planning on packing the kitchen stuff last so that I can keep cooking for as long as possible :)

I bought some Pillsbury Crescent Rolls (which are accidentally vegan).

"Crescent Rolls are VEGAN??!!"

I intended to spread them with my Notella, but it was all gone by the time I got round to using them, so instead I made them in to little rolls with chocolate and hazelnuts. They were so yummy!
First I spread margarine (Earth Balance) on the dough.
Then I added some chopped chocolate chips and hazelnuts…
…and cut in to strips.
Then rolled each strip up…
…like this…
...until all were done... and popped in the oven for about 11 minutes till golden.

Yumalicious! We had these for brunch with a massive fruit salad. It was decadent, but very healthy at the same time :)
This is a pasta bake I threw together using all the stuff in my fridge that I wanted to finish up. I lightly sautéed onion, asparagus, green pepper and spinach and added some cooked brown rice pasta, tempeh, canned tomatoes, basil, oregano, red pepper flakes and some tofu-basil ricotta (from VWaV). It was topped off with more tofu-basil ricotta and baked for about 45 mins. It was simple, delicious and perfect with a salad.
This is a great snack idea from Vive Le Vegan! In the book it’s called Cinnamon Sweet Hemp Spread, but I used almond butter instead of hemp butter. It’s so good as a little dip for apple slices. Finally here’s a little tempeh stir fry thrown together in about 15 minutes. Just some onion, pepper, cabbage, asparagus, mushrooms and tempeh served over rice noodles. The thing I love about stir fries is that they are different every time. The sauce for this one had ginger, garlic, tamari, red pepper flakes, , vinegar, maple syrup and thickened with cornflour and water.

Hope you’re all having a great week!

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 Idol...how 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!!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Fat Free Dressing and Hot Dog Soup

I know sometimes it seems like I am unconcerned with healthy eating, what with the burgers, pizza etc that I have posted lately, but when we are at home I do try to make an effort to make our food semi healthy. I tend to cut down or omit the oil, salt and sugar in recipes when I can. So when I found this replacement for oil on fatfreevegan.com I had to try it out.

It’s basically a mix of cornstarch and water. I doubled up the cornstarch in the recipe and it made a really thick gloopy substance that looked pretty disgusting, but when I mixed it in to my salad dressing it worked really well. If you’re going to try it I would recommend mixing with a food processor or blender. To be honest there was a slight powdery taste to the dressing, because I increased the cornstarch, but it’s not too noticeable. I would rather have a wee bit of a powdery taste than a bigger bum so I am not too bothered about it! The downside is that you might missing out on Omega 3s from the oil you might have added instead. I guess you could use a mix of oil replacer and oil to deal with that. The photo above is of some Lemon Zinger Dressing from Vive! It’s very lemony and very zingy! :) And here is yet more soup :) I saw this last year on VeganLunchBox.com and have been meaning to try it ever since. It’s a lentil soup with veggie hot dogs added toward the end of cooking. It reminded me of lentil soup my Mum used to make (that she put a big lump of ham in (eeew!)). It was very tasty. However, even though I halved the salt, it was still too salty for me. Next time I wouldn’t add any while cooking and possibly a little at the end if needed.