Recipes from Dreena Burton’s Let Them Eat Vegan! and Eat, Drink & Be Vegan!

Dreena Burton’s cookbooks rate highly among my favourites.  Dreena’s recipes are easy and delicious and I’m determined to use them more than ever.  See, I have an over abundance of vegan cookbooks because I have a slight vegan cookbook addiction problem.  This means that whenever I get a new book, the older ones get ignored. Not so with Dreena’s books, I still leaf through them regularly.

This past fortnight I made batches of muffins to freeze.  Arthur in particular is ALWAYS sniffing around the kitchen for snacks and often makes himself a peanut butter sandwich, which is what I want to move him away from.  So I decided to make a bunch of muffins for the freezer and defrost some overnight so there’s always a muffin kind of snack for him every few days.

First up were the BF Blueberry Muffins from Let Them Eat Vegan! (LTEV) where the BF stands for blueberry-free.  These can be made with or without the blueberries (just add blueberries to some of the batter). They turned out great, perfect for freezing and for keeping the “I’m hungreeeeeee” monster kiddies at bay:


Next up, also from Let Them Eat Vegan! were the Coconut Banana Muffins.  These also turned out fab.  I made them in a mini size because my muffin cups had been used for the blueberry muffins, which I cooked immediately before:


Of course, even though the intention was to freeze the muffins, a few got eaten just to make sure they were okay…

Every now and then I like to make something a bit more fancy for breakfast.  This week I made the Banana Pecan Rice Pudding Pie from (ED&BV).  This is made with pre-cooked brown rice and I had a batch in the freezer.  Other main ingredients include banana, coconut milk, brown rice syrup.  There’s a topping involving pecans but I chose not to make it. I also used a little less rice syrup.  I had the exact 2/3 cup of coconut milk that the recipe calls for but it was a carton of a coconut-rice milk.  I was all out of plant milk after that, otherwise I would have put a little more because I don’t think there was enough.  Still, it tasted pretty good and the bananas provided enough sweetness.  Next time I’ll make it without the rice syrup but with more banana and see how we go.  DeeW didn’t want any as she likes her rice plain. Preferably from Loving Hut. Surprisingly though, my rice-hating son ate it and said it was good:


I FINALLY made the Festive Chickpea Tart from LTEV.  I can see why this is often considered a favourite among Dreena fans. I chose to make it without the crust.  I thought about leaving out the cranberries, as I don’t go for sweetness in savoury recipes but I guess the cranberries add the festive touch so I put them in. I brushed the top with the oil-tamari mix but chose not to put walnuts on top as there were enough in the tart.  This is so simple to make, the hardest part is chopping the onions (I left out the celery) and cooking them first.  Everything goes in the food processor and you press it in to the pie base/dish. This is now one of my favourite savoury tarts, along with the rosemary gravy (which had thickened heaps the next day, as you can probably tell):



Next up is the Cashew Chive Spread from LTEV.  I halved this recipe as I am watching my fats and I knew I’d be the only one eating this.  I halved the cashews but forgot to halve the amount of fresh dill and lemon juice.  Not to worry, because I love the taste of lemon juice and dill! I had it on some Turkish bread with maple-balsamic tempeh, all squished in my sandwich press.  The sandwich looks terrible but tasted good:


Here’s the Moroccan Black Bean and Sweet Potato Stew from LTEV.  Initially I wasn’t going to make the topping, which is dried figs drizzled with a little EVOO and roasted.  I’m glad I changed my mind!  The stew itself was full of flavour and proteiny goodness with the black beans, chickpeas and lentils.  I discovered I was all out of red lentils so I used green instead.  Red lentils would have been nicer but I was happy with the stew and the fig topping added a nice sweet touch.  I would probably leave the figs off next time, as I’m fine with the stew on its own:


From ED&BV I made the Peanut Butter Banana Tortillas.  I used sunflower seed butter instead of peanut butter (this is a suggestion in the recipe and Arthur eats too much peanut butter as it is!). I used wholegrain wraps instead of tortillas and used my sandwich press instead of cooking in a frying pan.  Arthur liked these but DeeW didn’t.  If oooonly I could find recipes both children like that don’t involve the word Fry’s before it… anyway, I can see these nut/seed butter + banana tortillas being a bit of a dangerous thing when I have chocolate chips about.  I miiight have put choc chips inside the leftover piece and heated it up…


I tried the Veggie Sizzle Burritos from ED&BV.  Easy to make  but unfortunately I was the only one who liked them (the family don’t go for wrapy-burrito-type things.  I KNOW, right?) I took this photo before serving it up nicely with some salad.  That’s a bit of Cheezly on top, I had to be careful with the cheeze sprinkling because the family wouldn’t touch one with cheeze.  Without it, they at least took a bite:


Finally, here is the Cashew Ginger Tofu from ED&BV.  This tofu was fantastic.  I served mine on soba noodles with some salady stuff, stir fried zucchini and carrot and lots of fresh mint and coriander:


There are so many more of Dreena’s recipes that I have bookmarked so I will definitely be blogging about those in the future!


Sweet Potato, Peanut and Chickpea Stew from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan

Back in August, before our trip to Sydney, I’d made a bunch of meals to freeze so I wouldn’t have to cook when we returned.  One of those meals was the Sweet Potato, Peanut and Chickpea Stew from ‘Eat, Drink & Be Vegan’ by Dreena Burton (and it froze well!)

This was really easy to make, like every other Dreena recipe I’ve made.  I wish the family ate chickpeas but secretly I’m glad I had this to myself 😉  This is something I’d make again, though as I’m a bit forgetful (and maybe a bit lazy) when it comes to putting things on the side, I’d throw in a bunch of veggies.  I hope I have the recipe title correct, my sister is borrowing my copy of ED&BV so I can’t check:


Now, for someone who visits libraries as often as I do, I’m waaay behind the times.  See, many of the libraries here have a self checkout system.  There are a range of languages to choose from represented by flags, so one day Arthur asked if he could press the skull-and-crossbones.  He did, we then fell around laughing, and this is what we got when we left.  WHEEEEEEZE:


And my business here be done.  Signed, Pirate Yoda.

A slightly fancy luncheon party

‘Slightly fancy’ here means I’ve broken out the old china, properly cleared the table and planned a bit of a menu for a special guest.  Today’s special guest was my sister who came over so Husband could fix her phone.  That was the special occassion.  Yep, any reason to get the slightly-fancy on in the haus of Veganopoulous.

Usually I have a fair bit of anxiety when it comes to cooking for anyone not in the immediate family.  My shoebox kitchen doesn’t help matters.  Anxiety about cooking for others kinda sucks when you love to cook.  But hey, I’ve come a long way from my teenage sweet and sour Asian macaroni piece de resistance and the truly disgusting ricotta tortellini salad that was simply dressed with sesame oil (thank YOU, awful 90s Womens Weekly cookbook.  Or was it Family Circle?).

My sister and I like the same foods so I decided to put together a hearty main meal of veg and chickpeas, a few veg sides, a simple garden salad and a slice for dessert with tea.  Plus a coconut cake, because I couldn’t choose between a slice and a cake so I made both.  Because I can!  I did briefly consider a tofu dish but decided this was enough if we were going to have tea and more than one piece of cake…

I collect old china by companies like Johnson Brothers, Meakin and Grindley.  And clearly,  I don’t like to iron or properly co-ordinate a table setting:


I asked DeeW to prepare a centrepiece:


The main part of the meal was the Pumpkin and Chickpea Salad recently featured on Where’s The Beef? I used half butternut pumpkin and half sweet potato. This was simple and very tasty.  My sister says it would make a great lunch to take to work:


One side dish was the Lemon Dijon Green Beans from Dreena Burton’s Let Them Eat Vegan!:


I also made some potatoes that were sprinkled with lemon juice, garlic and sumac.  Which turned the potatoes pink:


I roasted some cauliflower, using Dreena Burton’s recipe for Almond Roasted Cauliflower from Let Them Eat Vegan! but I was out of almonds (yeah, noticed that after I started preparing the cauli) so it was walnut roasted instead:


The garden salad was a simple green leaf mix, toasted pecans with a vinaigrette made with EVOO, pomegranate molasses, garlic and lemon juice:


Everything ready to go:


The slice was Hedgehog, which I haven’t made in many many years.  I used the recipe from Veganise This! which was adapted from Green Gourmet Giraffe’s recipe.  I had eaten some biscuits from the packet of Arnotts Nice before I knew I’d be making this recipe so yeah… could have done with about five more biscuits here and a smaller tin:


And the cake was another Dreena B. recipe: the Coconut Cake from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan! with the Creamy Vanilla Frosting on top.  I love this cake.  In place of almond extract for the cake and frosting, I used a tiny bit of coconut essence (I really need to buy the good stuff).  This cake was renamed by Husband to Sunken Cake.  And then Caldera Cake.  Obviously I went wrong somewhere cos yeah, it really sunk in the middle:


You know those moments when you’re really stuffed but you’re still thinking about going back to the fridge for the last piece of cake?   Yes, that.  I’m resisting the urge though so I’ll go and make another pot of tea for myself instead  🙂


Chickpea Sensation Patties from ‘Eat, Drink, & Be Vegan’

As part of my push to get back in to meal planning, I went through a small pile of cookbooks to try out new recipes.  The kitchen table was cleared for me to work and I got Arthur to sit down and do some of his English grammar work.  He complains and moans about it being the most boring thing on earth.  That is why I know he is up to no good when he is intently scribbling in his workbook:


That’s my boy.  Did any of you pick up on the hip hop dude’s hand in the conductor’s bum?  (the “AHHHHH” is supposed to be a scream of surprise…)

Today’s recipe choice was the Chickpea Sensation Patties from Dreena Burton’s “Eat, Drink & Be Vegan”.  I am yet to go wrong with a Dreena recipe.  I love her books and read through them often.  Dreena recently wrote a blog post on finding a balance between motherhood and working.  It’s a good read and I found myself nodding along here and there.

Back to the patties.  They involve a food processor which always get a thumbs up from me!  The most time consuming part was chopping the onions and celery then frying them up a little.  In other words, not much work at all.  You just moosh everything up in the food processor then fry the patties.

The patties reminded me of the stuffing you’d make for a Christmas dish (without the rosemary).  The kitchen was full of warming smells.  I really liked them but the kids didn’t, as I expected.  Tthat’s okay, they much prefer bland foods and I was an adult before I could handle thyme and rosemary.

I steamed some cubed potatoes then fried them up with a tiny bit of oil and a generous pinch of good Spanish paprika.  For Husband, I put some raw carrot, snowpeas and green beans on his plate because that’s the way he eats them.  Being a believer in the benefits of raw food, I’m not complaining!