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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Melting Mozzarella Cheese!

I did it! YAY!

You will need:

290G Silken tofu - drained
¼ cup of raw (roasted will work, but not preferable) UNSALTED cashews
¼ cup of water
1 tablespoon of Garlic powder
1 tablespoon of Nutritional yeast
½ tablespoon of American Mustard
½ tablespoon of Lemon juice – fresh or bottled
½ - 1 tablespoon of sea salt
3 Tablespoons of Agar-Agar Powder

Place cashews and water in blender/food processer and blend on high for 5 minutes until thickened cream consistency – Most recipes require you to soak overnight (for a cashew cream), but it works fine if you do it straight away
add all other ingredients minus the agar-agar powder and blend for a further 5 minutes until well combined, I would suggest scraping down the sides whilst this is blending to make sure everything is well combined.
Gently fold agar powder into the mixture and blend for a minute until mixed.

In the pot (before cooking), it should look similar to this

Place ‘cheese’ mixture into a pan on medium-high heat and gently fold until cooked through.
It is important that this step is done correctly; otherwise your cheese will not set properly.
The easiest way to tell that it is cooked properly is the mixture will be thickening (a lot)
Once this is happening immediately transfer into a mould (I just used a small take away container) – I would suggest having this ready before you start cooking cheese, it will start to set immediately once off the heat! – smooth down the top of the mixture evenly and place in the fridge to set for a few hours.

Vegetemite and grilled cheese on toast! 

The cheese is much alike the consistency of cheezly, which is quite soft. If you would prefer to grate a harder cheese, I would suggest throwing it in the freezer half an hour or so before you are going to grate it.

I will definitely play around with this recipe more to make a cheddar version. The reason this cheese melts is the agar. At room temperature your cheese block will be very 'gel-like' as agar is a seaweed gelatin, but melts at 85°C.
Bear in mind it will not melt like dairy cheese does, but it's a lot cheaper than buying vegan cheese at a specialty store, or great to make if you're unlucky enough to not live anywhere near a shop which sells it.

Don't be too alarmed by the price of agar agar powder, mine cost about $17.50 for 65 grams of it.
To put it in perspective...
1kg of vegan cheese can be anything over $30
2 batches of the above recipe makes roughly 1kg... and would only require 6 tablespoons of agar. You could make over 5 kilos with the powder = money saving!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Vegan Calzone

'Cheesy' seasoned tofu mixture toasted inside a tortilla

You will need

Jumbo tortillas - I used 3
150G of firm tofu - pressed
1/4 cup of SEMI-dried tomatoes - diced
1 cup of fresh spinach, chopped
2 medium mushrooms, cut into chunks
5 fresh basil leaves, diced finely
4 cloves of garlic, minced
3/4 cup of mozarella melting cheezly
4 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons of massels chicken stock powder (or vegetable stock powder)
1/2 cup of diced onion
3 tablespoons of oil from semi dried tomato container
1 tablespoon of salt
1 tablespoon of pepper
3 tablespoons of corn flour
oil for frying

sweat onion and garlic in frying pan until translucent, add everything but cheezly, cornflour and tofu and cook for a few more minutes.
Crumble tofu into pan and add 3/4 of the cheezly, keeping the rest for the tortilla, add cornflour
Fry for a few more minutes until hot.
lay tortillas out on a flat base - gently sprinkle with remaining cheezly and add tofu mixture to half of the tortilla, fold over in half.
Cook calzone. I found the most efficient way of doing this was on a toaster grill, but you could also do it in a pan being very careful, or in the oven.

Cut calzone into slices for ease of eating.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Eggplant Parmigiana

crumbed slices off eggplant topped with pasta sauce and cheezly

You will need:
1 eggplant, cut into 1.5cm thick slices
1 jar of pasta sauce. I used a mushroom and garlic sauce
a tablespoon of grated mozarella cheezly per eggplant slice
Cornflour  for dusting (about half a cup)
breadcrumbs for coating eggplant (about half a cup)
1/2 cup of water mixed with 3 tablespoons of cornflour,( and 2 tablespoons of massells chicken stock ***optional)

prepare eggplant - coat eggplant in salt and let sit for about 15 minutes per side, this will draw out the bitterness from it. Once this is done thoroughly wash salt off eggplant with some fresh water.

get 3 bowls ready
1: cornflour - to coat the eggplant
2: water/cornflour/stock combo which is your 'eggy' mixture
3: breadcrumbs.

Take each eggplant slice and coat first with cornflour, then with egg mixture, and then with breadcrumbs

Shallow fry each slice in a pan for 5 minutes on each side (or until browning) and then bake in oven on 190C for 15 minutes, flip eggplant and cook on other side for another 15 minutes.

Top with pasta sauce and cheezly and cook in oven for a further 10 minutes


Monday, April 25, 2011

Lemon and herb vege burgers

For this one I'm just going to post the recipe for the patty, the rest is pretty straight forward ;)
Recipe makes 4 decent sized pattys (1 potato per patty roughly)

You will need:
4 medium sized potatoes, boiled, drained and roughly mashed (I mash my potatoes with 3 tablespoons of soy milk and a tablespoon of nutellex butter, but this is optional)
1 cup of mixed vegetables, I used a frozen mix of diced carrot alongside peas and corn
3 tablespoons of lemon juice, either freshly squeezed or packaged
2 tablespoons of herbs, I used lemon thyme to accentuate flavours, but you could always use coriander or even just a mixed herbs.
1/2 cup of breadcrumbs
1/4 - 1/2 cup of cornflour.
2 tablespoons of salt
2 tablespoons of pepper
1 teaspoon of wasabi (optional, I like the tang it gives the patty)

Combine the above ingredients in a bowl until mixture sticks together well. Form into pattys (you can coat in breadcrumbs if you wish, but I didn't), I made 4 out of the mix and then fry in a hot pan with some oil until browned on both sides - patty is soft and goes great in a burger bun with some salad.

You can always customize the recipe by removing the lemon juice and herbs, and adding your own flavours, for example, you could always add a curry mix or something similar, experiment!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Spinach quiche

A tofu quiche made with spinach and mushroom in a savoury pie crust.

1 1/2 cups of plain flour
1/4 cup of vegetable oil
1/2 cup of water
1 tablespoon of salt

Preheat oven to 200C
combine flour and salt in a mixing bowl and add oil, mix until the flour resembles a course sand
Add 1/2 of the water (so 1/4 cup) and stir until mixed, and then add the rest of the water
roll dough out until it is an inch larger in diameter than your quiche tin (I'm using a 9" dish)
place in the dish and neaten the edges
Gently prick the bottom of the crust around 7 times with a fork to stop bubbling

Cook in oven for roughly 12 minutes or until crust is golden - set aside

Quiche filling:
500G firm tofu (pressed and drained)
1/2 cup of soy milk
4 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
4 tablespoons of vegan parmesan
2 tablespoons of pepper
2 tablespoons of salt
1 tablespoon of american mustard
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
2 tablespoons of egg replacer

Method: Blend all ingredients until smooth, set aside.

Spinach mixture:
4 cups of fresh spinach - washed
1/2 cup of diced onion
1 cup of diced mushroom
5 tablespoons of minced garlic
3 tablespoons of vegan butter.

Melt butter in a pan and gently fry garlic and onion until translucent, add mushroom and cook for a few minutes before adding spinach - mix until spinach is completely wilted. Fold spinach mixture into the blended tofu mixture

Once pie crust is cooked fill with spinach quiche filling and then cook in the oven for another 30-45 minutes until the tofu mixture is set. In the last 15 minutes you may want to gently brush the top of the quiche with some oil.

I served mine with some grilled corn, tomato and mushroom, Enjoy!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter chocolates!

This is extremely messy stuff, and I will give you all fair warning to not attempt these chocolates if you have frustration issues, or issues getting your kitchen and hands dirty!

if you want to just make plain solid chocolates, you're only going to need some dark cooking chocolate

I made these babies with two different fillings, one was a peanut butter cream filling, and the other was a vanilla coconut center

You will need:

Dark cooking chocolate (or chocolate chunks of your choice)
Soy milk powder if you wish to make the chocolate 'milky'
a mould - I couldn't find easter egg moulds, so I used love heart shaped ice cube trays (think outside the square!)
a pot of boiling hot water
and a glass bowl which will just fit on top of this.

you'll need to temper the chocolate - place the chunks of chocolate in the glass bowl, which should be sitting over the boiling water - mix with a spatula until melted.

Now you need to add it to your moulds - to fill.... just fill them with chocolate - easy.
If you want to make them 'shells' and add filling you'll need to evenly distribute the chocolate in the mould, use a brush or the back of a spoon to make sure every side of the mould is covered - and place in freezer to set, you may need to do this a few times before you're happy.

once the shells are set add your filling (will give recipes below) and then add more tempered chocolate over the top to seal the chocolate, and place back in freezer till set.

You may then even want to drizzle some tempered chocolate over the top, I did this with a white chocolate for my pictured chocolates. - It may all sound simple... but it's very messy and frustrating!

Peanut butter filling:
3 tablespoons of peanut butter
2 tablespoons of non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening (i used copha)
3/4 cup of icing sugar
1/4 cup of vegan butter.

Method: use electric beater to beat all ingredients until fluffy! Use to fill your chocolates!

Coconut filling:
3 tablespoons of non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening (i used copha)
5 tablespoons or more of coconut cream (skimmed off the top of the can)
1/2 tablespoon of Xantham gum
5 drops of vanilla essence
1 tablespoon of agave nectar

Method: cook all ingredients in pan (but xantham gum) until smooth and shortening has melted.
add xantham gum and whisk for another 5+ minutes until thickened (it will still look rather gooey, it will harden in the freezer/fridge!)
Let cool, and use to fill your chocolates.

Tofu Florentine

'Eggy' Tofu on an English muffin with cooked spinach, topped with hollondaise sauce and served with grilled tomato and mushroom.

Absolutely PERFECT for Easter Brunch with Mr. Monster, we both enjoyed this on a lovely rainy Sunday morning.

'egg' tofu:
Firm tofu - not necesary to drain, cut into 1.5cm thick slices
vegan parmesan to coat, alternatively you could process some cashews, nutrional yeast and salt for this

Coat tofu pieces with parmesan mixture and fry in a pan on high heat for 5-10 minutes, 5 minutes each side and set aside.

Hollondaise sauce:
3 tablespoons (heaped) of vegan butter
2 tabespoons of flour
1 cup of soy milk
1 tablespoon of american mustard
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
2 tablespoons of vegan mayo
salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter in a pan, and whisk flour into the butter.
Whisk soy milk and other ingredients into mixture until desired thickness, set aside

Grilled Mushroom and Tomato:
Medium to Large Mushrooms, halved
tomatos, halved
vegan butter

Melt butter in a pan on high heat and add Mushroom and tomato, cook the mushroom until soft but still crunchy and remove from pan.
Leave tomato in pan until cooked through (10-15 minutes) on each side.

Spinach - wilt in pan with butter.

Compile the breakfast! Toast and butter your english muffins, add spinach, tofu and top with hollondaise sauce! You could also add something like a vegan bacon to the meal.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Shepherds pie

Lentil based 'mince' in homestyle gravy topped with creamy mashed potato and served in a crisp puff pastry shell.

These were a big hit at home, with both omnis, Mr. Monster and room mate Monster!

You will need (recipe makes 12 muffin-sized pies)

2 carrots, diced finely
1 Large onion, diced
3 tablespoons of minced garlic
1 tin (1 cup) of lentils, drained
¾ cup of spinach, chopped
1 ½ cups of mushroom, diced (should still be slightly chunky)
3 tablespoons of Massels supreme gravy mix mixed with 1.5 cups of water.
Place everything but the gravy into a pan and cook until almost ready, add gravy and let thicken.

Mashed potato:
5 small/medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
tablespoon of nuttellex (or vegan butter)
¼ cup of soy milk
Boil potatoes until soft, drain
Add butter and soy milk and mash.

To make puff pastry casing, grease 2x12 muffin trays all over, make sure oven is preheated to 280C
gently push thawed pastry into muffin cases. Cook in oven for max 10 minutes. Depending on oven this will vary, so keep an eye on them! Once they’re golden take them out.
Add mince mixture, and top with mashed potato, cook for 20 minutes (at 180C) or until mashed potato is golden.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Strawberry Smoothie

Great morning snack - or any other time snack really. Recipe makes one smoothie)

3/4 cup of soy milky (or your choice of non dairy milk)
6 + strawberries with head removed
2-3 scoops of sanitarium vanilla soy bliss (or your choice of non dairy ice cream)

Place ingredients in blender - blend for a few minutes.

It's that easy!

Thai peanut pizza

So I saw this on A Profound Hatred Of Meat yesterday and just HAD to have it for dinner!

(this is my picture, not as presentable as the other blog)

It turned out absolutely amazing! I was keen for left overs... but Mr. Monster ate all of them :'(

I'm  not going to bother re-posting the recipe as you can check that out on the other blog, but I will post my thick - base recipe.

You will Need:

1 1/2 cups of plain flour
1 1/2 tablespoons of active yeast
3/4 cup of warm water
1 tablespoon of brown sugar
2 tablespoons of oil
1 tablespoon of salt
(lime flavoured toasted sesame mix) - I only used it for this particular recipe, but it would have been amazing without it)

1. Mix warm water with yeast and sugar and let sit until fully dissolved and foaming slightly (5-10 minutes), then add oil to mixture
2. Mix remaining dry ingredients together, form a well in the center and add wet ingredients, using a wooden spoon/spatula mix until combined, and then kneed with your hands to form a dough, it should be slightly sticky - add more flour if needed
2. set aside in a large oiled bowl covered in glad wrap of a damp warm cloth until doubled in size (takes about an hour or two depending on the temperature outside)

Once this has happened, punch the dough to let the air escape, then knead, and roll into a ball, roll out to the size of the pizza you wish to cook, either with a rolling pin or your hands. if you want a thicker crust, form the edges to be slightly higher than where your toppings are going, it will rise in the oven.

I found my base cooked better if I placed it in a thick slightly oiled frying pan in the oven, that way nothing was still soggy and it had a nice crunchy outer coating, but you don't need to do this. (I made it to the size of my frying pan)

My pizza took about 20 minutes to cook.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Creamy asparagus, spinach and broccoli risotto

One which people seemed to like a lot on my facebook.. so I thought I'd add the recipe for you all to enjoy :)

You will need:
2 cups of arborio rice
3 cups of mixed greens (fresh asparagus cut, broccoli cut, fresh spinach leaves)
1 large onion
4 tablespoons of garlic
1 tin of coconut cream
3 + cups of vegetable stock
Salt and pepper to taste

1. pan fry asparagus and broccoli until cooked and set aside in a bowl
2. sweat onion and garlic in pan and add arborio rice
3. add half of the vegetable sock and gently agitage the pan instead of stirring unil absorbed
4. add remaining sock and coconut cream - agitate the pan until absorbed - if too crunchy at this point, add more stock and cook for longer.
5. once rice is nearly cooked add fresh spinach leaves and wilt in rice.
6. Once rice is cooked gently mix in asparagus and broccoli, add salt and pepper to taste


Spinach and 'Ricotta' Cannelloni

This ended up being surprisingly tasty, all round favourite!

you will need:

10 + Canelloni tubes, cooked per packet instructions
2 cups of fresh spinach leaves
1 small onion - diced finely
tablespoon of garlic
1 tin of pasta sauce, I used a roast onion and garlic sauce.

1 cup Firm tofu
1 tablespoon of salt
1 tablespoon of lemon
5 tablespoons of almond meal
3 tablespoons of nutrtitional yeast

White sauce
1 cup of soy milk
5 tablespoons of nuttelex
2 tablespoons of almond meal
3 tablespoons of flour

Preheat oven to 190C

To make Ricotta:
In a bowl, mash tofu and all ingredients into a ricotta like consistency and set aside. If not to your liking, add more nutritional yeast/lemon juice until you're happy with it.

To make white sauce:
1. Melt nuttelex in a pot and add flour, mix well into a roux
2. add milk and whisk vigorously until thickened - set aside.

Sweat onion and garlic in a pot and add spinach, cook until wilted.
Add spinach mix to ricotta and use this to stuff the canneloni, be gentle with the cooked shells

Compile your baking tin!
Lay a thin layer of pasta sauce on the bottom before you place your canneloni down, once you've put the Canneloni in fill with pasta sauce and top with white sauce.

Bake in oven for around 20 minutes - Enjoy

Creamy pumpkin soup

So I've been a little sick with a cold as of late, and my throat was pretty sore so I didn't want to eat anything too harsh... so I made pumpkin soup, it's so easy I don't know why I don't make it more often!

This recipe feeds two people, if you have more mouths to feed - adjust amounts accordingly.

You will need:

1 1/2 cup of pumpkin (I used butternut), cut into chunks
1 cup of sweet potato, cut into chunks (leave skin on)
1 cup of carrot, cut into chunks (leave skin on)
1 large onion
4 tablespoons of garlic
2 litres of water
3 tablespoons of massels vegetable stock
1 tablespoon of massels chicken stock (or an extra of vegetable)
2 tablespoons of mixed herbs
salt and pepper to taste
tin of coconut cream

1. Dice onion and sweat in a pot with garlic
2. Add water and stock powder and herbs
3. Place pumpkin, sweet potato and carrot in pot and place lid on top(water should just cover vegetables) - let cook for about 20 -30 minutes stirring occasionally, if vegetables are not falling apart yet, let it cook for longer.
4. Use a stick mixer to blend soup into a nice thick consistenty - blend half the coconut cream into this.
5. Serve up, add coconut cream to the center and gently mix around to create the pictured effect, add salt and pepper to taste.
6. Serve with crusty bread, or whatever you like really, I just used some multi grain toast.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Enchiladas with salsa and sour cream

Recipe makes 12 enchiladas

You will need:

Packet of 12 burrito tortillas

Enchilada filling:
2 cups of mixed vegetables, blended in a food processor or grated (I used the following)
         - butternut pumpkin
         - sweet potato
         - spinach
         - mushroom
         - carrot
1 can tinned corn, drained (equivalent to a cup)
1 large onion, diced
4 tablespoons of minced garlic
1 can of lentils, drained (equivalent to a cup)
1 can of old el paso Refried beans (equivalent to a cup)
1/4 cup of flour

1 can of diced tomato (equivalent to a cup)
1 Large onion or two small onions, diced

Sour cream
Firm silken tofu (equivalent to a cup)
4 + tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar
4 + tablespoons of agar nectar
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
pinch of salt

1- Preheat oven to 200 C
2- fry processed vegetables along with diced onion and garlic until cooked, add lenils and corn and cook for a further 5 minutes, then add refried beans and mix through and add flour to stiffen mix
3- spoon enchilada mixture evenly amongst 12 tortillas, wrap tortillas and place on a baking tray - place in oven for 15 - 20 minutes or until golden and crispy on top
4- blend sour cream ingredients until smooth (tofu, apple cider vinegar, agar nectar and salt) taste, if still too 'tofuey' add more vinegar and agar nectar - once happy with taste place in fridge until serving time.
5- To make salsa place diced tomatoes and diced onion into a bowl - done!

Once enchiladas are cooked, place on plate and add salsa and sour cream, you could also make an easy guacamole by mashing some avocado and lemon.


Monday, April 11, 2011

Curried 'egg' sandwich

So last night I had myself thinking about curried eggs - I used to love them when I was younger - I decided to try my luck at veganising it for lunch, and I was so happy with the result!
(sorry, I didn't take a picture but you'll get the idea)

You will need
Tofu (firm) - I'm just going to say 1 block and you can use leftovers
2 tablespoons of curry powder (more if you like a good strong curry flavour)
3 + tablespoons of vegan mayo (I used praise)
salt and pepper to taste

Put the tofu in a container with other ingredients - use a butter knife to gently cut and fold the tofu and mix (you don't want to mash it really fine) - play around with the amounts and work out what you prefer.

add to sandwich bread with some lettuce, tomato, sprouts - or all of the above!


Monday, April 4, 2011

Not so meaty animal-lovers pizza

Last nights dinner was pizza, and Mr. Monster wanted something different on his, so I put together a faux-meat-lovers pizza, it turned out pretty damn good if I don't say so myself!
I reckon I could fool a meat-eater :P

So the base is just pita pocket bread based with BBQ sauce and some herbs, and ontop we have: Onion, Mushrooms, Capsicum, nut-meatballs (sorry guys, there's going to be a few nutmeat recipes until I get through the whole tin!) and a sourcream/aioli I made.

Nut-meatballs were just made using the recipe on the side of the Sanitarium nutmeat tin, and shaped into small meatballs and shallow fried.


1/2 cup of firm tofu (silken firm would be fine too)
teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
teaspoon of minced garlic
teaspoon of agave nectar (or any sweetner)
teaspoon of lemon juice
mixed herbs, salt and pepper for seasoning.

Blend the above ingredients into a sauce-like paste, if you want it to be a little more watery add a teaspoon of oil, if you require it to be more runny, I'd suggest some soy milk.

compile the pizza - drizzle with sourcream/aioli (and some more bbq sauce) and bake in the oven

wha la! (Mr. Monster and I's pizza/movie night treats!)

Friday, April 1, 2011

The McVegan - McDonalds style breakfast

So I was really craving a maccas breakfast - god knows why, the amount of cruelty associated with that company is disgusting, and the amount of money that is poured into it by people who are either ignorant to the fact, or don't care is also disgusting.
So anyway, I decided I could make my own vegan style McDonalds breakfast - and here it is!

A Nutmeat patty and tofu 'egg' slab served on an english breakfast muffin with 'cheese' sauce, accompanied by hashbrowns.

Pretty neat, huh? I was impressed. So was Mr. Monster, he said that all the sauces really complimented it, and that infact it actually tasted better than a maccas burger, so there you go!

You will need:

english muffins
hash browns


1 tin of sanitarium nutmeat
1/2 cup of cooked brown (or white) rice, cooked
1 generous tablespoon of wholegrain mustard
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small-medium onion, diced finely
1/3 cup of massels supreme gravy mix powder (no water added)
tablespoon of soy sauce
tablespoon of mixed herbs
1/2 - 1 cup of binder. You can use breadcrumbs, flour or corn flour

Add all ingredients bar the binder and mix well, you may need to grate the nutmeat ( I just squeeze it through my hands a few times)
Add the binder and roll into thin patties to fit in the english muffin.

Fry patties once constructed and put to side.

For cheese sauce you will need
1/4 cup of flour
7 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
tablespoon of mustard
tablespoon of tomato sauce (for the colour)
salt and pepper  to taste
teaspoon of lemon juice (optional)
large tablespoon of vegan butter (I used nutellex)
1/2 cup + of soy milk

Melt butter over stove and then add flour, whisk this together, it should look kind of doughy, add soy milk and whisk together, add mustard, lemon juice, nutritional yeast salt and pepper and whisk together.
this should go very thick, when you take it off the heat it will go thicker. I used it very thick on mine, but if you'd prefer it to be runnier you could do that too, make it more of a 'hollondaise sauce'
take off heat and let cool a little

'Egg' mixture:

one packet of firm tofu (I just used a shelf safe packaged one because it's all I could get my hands on)
vegan parmesan cheese (optional)

slice firm tofu into cm thick slices,  and if you're using the veg parmesan cheese, gently coat them in it (this is completely optional, it would be fine without it)
gently fry tofu and put to side with cooked patties, I found this worked best of all places in my sandwich press! it squeezes the water out whilst frying and steaming the tofu simultaneously, smells and tastes more like egg!

then you can construct your burgers!

Place patty and 'egg on a muffin, and smear the top part of the bun with your cheesy sauce - add a sauce (I used bbq sauce), pull your hash browns out of the oven and you're ready to enjoy it!

I'm impressed! :)