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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Vegan Fridge Items

I thought it would be best to actually discuss the basics of my fridge. I find that I get a lot of messages in regards to how to go about starting a vegan diet, it's not hard by any means, and I guess posting pictures and explanations of the foods which I keep in my Fridge might bring that home for anyone who is curious, my fridge looks pretty similar to what most other peoples should. I should have gotten a photo of my Fridge door also, but it only holds soy milk and water.

One of the most basic products that a person will have in their house. But many people think this is something vegans cannot eat? Most of them are safe, unless you purchase a 'fancy' type which has added extras like honey, or whey, but this is easily checked by looking at the ingredients.
Want to get this vegan at the shops? Look out for Helgas brand, they're vegan friendly!

Another basic fridge item, there are additives which will easy make this product unsafe for vegans, such as the obvious - DAIRY.
Want to get this vegan at the shops? Look out for Nuttelex, it's dairy free and safe for vegans!

The great thing about fruits is that it's all safe for vegans! You don't have to buy a million different kinds of fruits every week, you can just mix it up week to week depending on what is on special at the time. Some of the fruits I have almost every week in my fridge include Bananas, raspberries, blueberries, and apples. They're a great and quick snack item.

Tofu is something which is ALWAYS in my fridge. If I want to add it to stir fry's I stick to extra firm organic tofu's, if I want to add it as a base for cheesecakes, sauces or dips, I will purchase a silken tofu. Trust me... there is a difference!

Mock Meats
I would almost go as far to say this is a must for anyone transitioning from an omnivorous diet to a vegan/vegetarian diet. For us long-time vegans, sometimes it's nice to get them to mix things up a little bit. There is a lot of debate regarding whether vegans should eat anything resembling meat... but that argument is made invalid by the fact that most people don't go vegan/vegetarian because they hate the taste of meat..more-so for their health, or ethical reasons in regards to the slaughter of animals.
It's always good to have some handy for a quick 'meat' and 3 veg style meal. Be careful, there are many mock meats on the market which are not vegan friendly and contain either whey or egg white powder.
Want to get this vegan at the shops? Look for Frys, Eatwell or Linda McCartney. Some of the Sanitarium range is vegan such as their roast and soy sausages.

Pretty Obvious, right? Try and keep a good supply of these in the fridge. Some of my regulars include: Pumpkin, Zuchinni, Carrot, Mushroom, Squash, Eggplant and Corn. Also make sure you have some green leafy vegetables such as Spinach - Very important!

Not a necessary item, but a good one nonetheless. Here in the fridge I have Semi-Dried Tomatoes, Kalamata Olives, and chargrilled eggplant. They all make for a mean sandwich, wrap, pizza, or even snack! I like to keep some on hand for all of the above.

Sandwich Spreads
Another which is always popular. I'm just going to go ahead and list some vegan options for these: Kraft Peanut Butter (smooth or crunchy), Sweet Williams Mud, Vegemite, Most preserves (check ingredients to be safe), Most pickled products, Corn Relish, Praise 97% fat Free Mayo......

That's all for now. Keep your eyes peeled for my next blog entry... I'll make my pantry a little more presentable and do a write up on the bare essentials I keep.
Hope you've enjoyed reading, if you have any queries, please comment below and I'll do my best to answer/help out :)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Banana Walnut Cake

Banana Walnut Cake, so simple! This cake is moist and delicious, and a slice would go perfectly warmed up with a little butter smeared on the top to go with your morning coffee.

You will need:
2 cups Flour
1 1/2 tsp Baking soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1 cup Raw Sugar
1/4 cup Oil
4 ripe Bananas, mashed
1/4 cup Soy Milk (or water)
1 tsp Vanilla
1/4 - 1/2 cup of crushed Walnuts or nut of choice (Optional)

Pre-heat oven to 180 C. Lightly grease a 9-inch round cake tin for a cake, or a loaf pan for bread. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate large bowl add the sugar, oil bananas, soymilk/water and vanilla. Combine this easily in a blender or whisk vigorously, stir in nuts.
Add the flour mixture, stirring just until wet.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Lazy Nachos

When most people think of nachos... they think of mounds of grilled cheese over corn chips which are topped with mince, salsa, guacamole and sour cream...

Yeah, I'm WAY too lazy for that most of the time!
This is one of my laziest meals

You will need: (Recipe generously feeds two people)
1 packet of original dorito chips, or corn chip of choice
2 avocados, mashed with 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
1 300g jar of mild/medium/hot salsa

Whatever vegetables you have in the fridge, plus a tin of re-fried beans and a packet of taco spice blend
I use -
1 small onion
2 tablespoons of garlic
1/4 cup of broccoli
1/4 cup of carrot
1/4 cup of spinach
1 tin of lentils, drained
1 tin of refried beans
1 packet of taco spice blend

To make the mince:
Add onion, garlic, broccoli, carrot and spinach to a food processor and blend until mince-like
add blended vegetable mixture with a few tablespoons of oil, and packet of taco spice blend to a hot pan and cook until soft (5-10 minutes)
Add lentils and re-fried beans and mix until well incorporated, and your mince is ready!

To assemble:
Organise dorito chips onto a place, top with mince, then top with salsa, and top with fresh mashed avocado, done!

If you want sour cream... and can't be bothered making a tofu one, you could always grab some tofutti sour cream, it's equally as lazy and works a treat.

I don't even miss grilled cheese on my nachos :)

Pumpkin and Tofu pizza

This is a pretty simple pizza which me and Mr. Monster love, if you love pumpkin... and you love tofu... give it a try!

You will need (per pizza):
1 pizza base of choice - I prefer thin
1 cup of bite sized pieces of butternut pumpkin
1 cup of shredded fresh spinach
1/4 cup of extra firm tofu, crumbled
1/4 cup of sliced red onion

Tomato Paste for base (I usually get one with garlic added... or add some minced garlic)
oil for roasting
1 teaspoon of dried mix herbs

Place diced pumpkin in a bowl and lightly drizzle with oil
lay out pumpkin on an oven tray and roast at 180C for 15-20 minutes or until pumpkin is roasted nicely
While pumpkin is roasting, throw crumbled tofu and spinach into the same bowl with mixed herbs - very lightly drizzle with oil and toss to coat - set aside (it should look like the picture below)

Cover pizza base with tomato paste and top with red onion
gently place cooked pumpkin on pizza and throw spinach mixture on top
bake in oven at 180C for roughly 15 minutes or until spinach has wilted.
Crack some sea salt and pepper over the pizza
slice and serve - enjoy!