May 27, 2008

Minestrone Monopoly

The other night I cooked Minestrone Soup from scratch. Two days before I asked around some tips on Minestrone soup and basically collated bits and bobs of the wonderful experience in cooking people shared.
The best tip was using celeriac, a seasonal vegetable also known as celery root or knob celery. It is cheap, wholesome and a good source of Vitamin B6, Magnesium and Potassium.

Vegan Slow Cook Minestrone Soup - Serves 4 (or 1 and some easy freezed dinners if you too fly solo)
(take note, no real measurements were used sorry)

1 - 2 cups of Vegetable stock (I had just over a dozen ice cubes prevously frozen)
2 - 3 cups of boiling water
1 400g can of butter beans
1 400g can of cannellini beans
1 400g can of borlotti beans
1/2 medium celeriac chopped
2 stalks of celery chopped
7 tiny potatoes chopped
4 cloves of crushed garlic
2 handfuls of chopped fresh parsley

salt to taste
1/2 cup of tiny soup pasta, vegan friendly, to serve 4

1. In a great large pot heat the vegetable stock. Lower the heat to simmer all three bean mixes and the boiling water.
2. Add the celeriac, celery and potatoes.
2. After roughly 30 minutes, add the the Fresh garlic, parsely and salt. Allow to cook for awhile and add more salt to taste if required.
3. Simmer on the stove, occasionally stirring for a minimum of 1.5 hours. At best, all
ow to go for 2 - 3 hours. Optionally add more boiling water during the cooking time if you prefer a 'watery' soup, as opposed to creamier.
4. 15 minutes before, make enough pasta for just this dining and garnish, serve with rye garlic bread and home grown parsley

The weekend recently gone, a few friends had a night in, including a hearty cooked Italian meal, vegan red wine and a loose game of monopoly. Decided to bake Vegan Oreo Chocolate Cupcakes from VCTOTW.
I jumped up in joy when my vegan girl and omnivore friends chowed those little moist suckers down in minutes.
I did in fact forget to take photos of the actual presentation cupcakes that they enjoyed, so when I got home found the half eaten 'tester' to photograph.

May 16, 2008

Banana Bicycle

It is official, my bicycle is in the making ! A custom made, using sourced second hand pieces, road fixie will be what I hope, my new best friend. I await with much anticipation.

The poor little kitchen I was just beginning to have a thing with, has been somewhat neglected the past week. My first meal using organic tempeh was not appetising at all. After discovering my newly bought mushroom soy sauce was a year out of date, I pondered on why my dinner made my tummy skwirm.

Trial two consisted of tempeh cold rolls with vermicelli and homemade peanut sauce. Didn't work, enough said. Last tempeh round was thrown on an uninspiring sandwich with fresh beetroot, hummus and other fridge sort of treats. Wasn't in love... Any recipe suggestions would be greatly appreciated :)

Earlier in the week, my stove simmered up a Thai Coconut Corn Soup which failed sadly beneath the hands of my cooking. Why? I think it was just my tastes buds, sadly put off after eating the first failure for the night - Indonesian Coconut Rice. First of all you ask, soup and rice??

In between I attempted to inspire with some dark chocolate chip cookies, which resulted in hard, mouth full sized balls of who knows what. To compensate all this delightfully crap cooking, some afternoons my new blender can whip up beautiful smoothies. Restrictions apply to bananas, because if they didn't I would probably scoff three or four a day. Instead, cravings are filled with thick, cinnamon, banana bliss.

Bucketing rain with a seriously cold bite, tears at your ankles, m
onstrous winds tangle up trees, brollies and scarves. Winter has definitely arrived. Hopefully the week ahead brings inspiring and exciting delights for the mind, body and soul.

May 4, 2008

Lentils in the sun

I have entered the blogging world and although I am on a little garlic high (anyone else get that?), there is a feeling of glittery excitement passing through me. There will be many trials, errors and success in the kitchen as a just come vegan. I hope in time I will find some happy readers who may help better my cooking skills!

Today a beautiful Autumn sun warmed that fresh bite in the garden, so a few hours of sketching and last nights Spicy Lentil Patties on a pumpkin seed sandwich. Fresh avocado, beans sprouts, lettuce and my favourite homemade Chickpea Hummus. This sheeet was good! Added more heat to the mixture and used brown lentils, simmered, as my lazy Saturday afternoon didn't include soaking Black Eyed Peas for 24 hours... that and there were no precooked cans at the supermarket.

The past week my diet has been fairly high in fiber, you know what I mean, particularly consisting of some muesli bars that I have a serious obsession to bake. Wednesday I visited the Organic Markets, in the hills, and bought coconut flour and a fruit and nut mixture, so I incorporated them into the batch. Unfortunately I learnt coconut flour is serious stuff and I would half it with w/w flour next time. And damn! Since the cooler weather my brown rice maple has become rock hard.

After a week of slacking off mentally, physically and in the kitchen, tomorrow bike riding with a close friend down along the coast should partially make up. Also, I seriously hope to bake some of those incredible cup cake recipes circling the net.