‘No-Fu’ Love Loaf from Let Them Eat Vegan! plus oversmashed smashed Jamie Oliver spuds. Bad pics

I haven’t made a lentil loaf in ages.  The loaf (lentil and sweet potato) I have always made is from Choosing Raw and it never let me down.  I did however always plan to make Dreena Burton’s No-Fu Love Loaf from Let Them Eat Vegan! in the hopes that Arthur and DeeW would eat it and LIFE WOULD BE GOOD.

The loaf is easy to make and involves cooking up some lentils and burghul (or you can use steel cut oats instead) then mixing it up with some herbs, tahini, Worcesteshire sauce, tomato ketchup and tamari and adding in some oats.  Bake and it’s done. Super simple to prepare.

nofu love loaf

I really liked it but SAD FACE, the kids weren’t crazy about it but they at least tried it.  Which means I will put it on their plates about fourteen more times because recently a researcher within the field of sensory processing difficulties told me they found that on average, a food had to be presented to a child fifteen times before the child started eating it.

For those of you who watch Jamie Oliver Christmas show specials, you might have seen his roast potatoes that he kind of squishes half way through the cooking process.  I found a clip of it on YouTube.  Easy enough right?  I don’t think mine were cooked enough when it was time for squishing. I think I applied a bit too much force:

smashed spuds whoopsie

They kind of just exploded.  First my potato masher was making little wormy potato through the masher holes so I press down a little harder and they exploded.  But let me tell you the explodey bits crisped up and boy does adding the vinegar halfway through pack a really nice punch.  I never, ever put vinegar on my fries and always found it rather gross.  But these were great:

smashedspuds2

 

I will definitely make them again… carefully.

A Very Veganopoulous Christmas

However you celebrate December 25th, or whatever you chose to do today, I hope it was a great day! In Melbourne we had a hot sunny day though fortunately not horrendously hot (though we were sitting in shade at Mum and Dad’s house so it was all nice).  The only downside to Christmas this year was none of the tv stations screening ‘A Very Brady Christmas’.  WHAT IS GOING ON???

Anyway, true to Family Veganopoulous form, we cooked enough food for twenty people even though there were only six adults and two children. We have many days worth of leftovers so it’s all good, as I don’t particularly want to see the stove again for another few months.  Just plop me down on the edge of my sofa waiting for Mike Brady to get out of the collapsed building and life is good.

What I loved most about Christmas lunch this year was how everything on the kitchen table buffet was vegan. The bbq stuff for the meat eaters was outside. It really struck me just how much vegan food a lot of omnis eat without actually realising it, so when people do the “ewww vegan food!” thing, they don’t see they’re probably already eating it– they just have meat on the plate too and getting rid of the meat isn’t really that much of a big deal after all.

But let’s start with breakfast.  This year I said no special breakfast, because last year the kids only ate the unhealthy part, then we stuffed ourselves at lunch.  So this year’s offering was fruit:

Fruity breakfast

Here’s the table at lunch.  You can see the Island Black Bean Burgers and Bistro Beet Burgers from Isa Does It, but I forgot to take a closeup:

vegan Christmas table

I made the Lemon Dijon Green Beans from Dreena Burton’s ‘Let Them Eat Vegan!”:

Lemon Dijon Green Beans

My sister made a delicious roast eggplant dip:

eggplant dip

Sis also made the Quinoa Olive Tabouleh from Let Them Eat Vegan!:

Olive Quinoa tabbouleh

I made the Kale Salad with Butternut Squash & Lentils from Isa Does It, minus the lentils:

kale pumpkin salad

My sister always roasts up potatoes, sweet potato and pumpkin:

roast veggies

From ‘Appetite For Reduction’ by Isa Chandra M, I made the Masala Baked Tofu:

masala baked tofu

My mum made a coleslaw with a simple dressing:

slaw

There was a Jamie Oliver Christmas show on the other day and he made a celeriac dish. We’ve never eaten celeriac before so my mum made the recipe. I think it’s just the celeriac in olive oil plus thyme. It was nice though I don’t think I’d buy celeriac myself:

Jamie Oliver thyme celeriac

Mum made some plain pilafi rice:

Greek pilafi rice

Mushrooms and onions, yum:

mushrooms and onions

I was totally stuffed from THIS.  Check out the herbi goodness!

my vegan plate

Being stuffed from lunch didn’t stop me from eating a big fat piece of Chocolate Mousse Tart with Raspberries from Leigh Drew’s ‘Veganissimo!’:

chocolate raspberry tart from Veganissimo

In the weeks leading up to Christmas, I did heaps of baking. Here is what I made and gave out to people.  We have the Rosemary Choc Chip Cookies and Norah’s Lemon Lemon Cookies (which didn’t turn out flat) from Isa Does It; some coconut macaroons I put together randomly; Coconut Pecan Chocolate Chunk Cookies from Woman in Real Life plus a hazelnut version and a peanut version; some raw balls I made up from nuts, dates and chia:

assorted baked vegan treats

I’ll try to blog about the recipes individually, but everything was pretty much great. Even if things didn’t turn out texture/consistency-wise great, it still tasted fab.
Despite all that food, today was fairly low key. Usually I have some relatives visiting from interstate on Christmas day but they won’t be here for a few days. I’m sure my parents will enjoy the quiet time until then.

Before I go, I’d like to share this awesome book Arthur received. Oh man you guys, I am so SO tempted to claim it for myself. It’s called ‘Archi-Doodle: An Architect’s Activity Book” by Steve Bowkett. You can fill stuff in and make up your own designs, with prompts like “complete the panorama with your vision of the future:

Archi-Doodle book
***
And now, all I want for Christmas is a good night’s sleep! All the hustle-bustle is over, Arthur and DeeW have new books to read and games to play. I’ve realised that even though the baking can get on my nerves in summer, I have enjoyed giving home made treats as gifts (and freezing biscuits/cookies really is helpful, as long as you don’t keep eating them and having to bake more…) Quite a few of the presents I bought for others were second hand: a box of 48 unused Prismacolour pencils for DeeW bought cheap on eBay because the seller got the description wrong and had zero bids mwahaha; the tea cup-saucer set for my brother in law was from a collectables store. I bought copies of ‘Isa Does It’ for some relatives then purchased some of the ingredients to go with it (a kind of baketivism I guess!). Through purchasing vegan cookbooks as gifts in the past, my family have changed their eating habits to include more vegan meals and my sister has now stopped eating fish and meat completely. By default, my mum now mostly cooks vegan and is quite happy to be meat free herself (my dad, not so much!)

Best wishes for a super holiday season!

Brady Christmas

Brady Christmas

Home made pizzas: I love this recipe

Husband and DeeW are off in Apollo Bay, staying with some relatives at a holiday home.  Naturally, the car boot is taken up with all the stuff DeeW absolutely MUST take.  And of course, she doesn’t even look at any of it during the holiday.  Yes, those are ski boots heading for the coast:

packing

Arthur and I will bum around at home and see if we can catch some of the free kids activities in the city (though we just missed the last tram that would have got us to ‘James and Giant Peach’ in time, so we had to trudge back home from the tram stop.  You know those moments where you turn a corner and see your bus or tram sailing past?  Yeah, that!)

Last night was movie night for Arthur and I so to celebrate his first ever viewing of Star Wars, I made us some pizza.  I used a Jamie Oliver recipe for the dough and it’s my favourite go-to pizza base because it just turns out so nice!  I halve the amount to make two medium sized pizzas.

Arthur’s only pizza preference is Hawaiian (aka Tropical or Pineapple pizza in restaurants around the country).  It’s ham, pineapple and cheese.  I use Redwood Cheatin’ Ham slices and Notzarella which I had frozen in portions, defrosted and squeezed a bit to get excess water out.  For the tomato sauce on the base I use the Aldi ‘Just Organic’ pasta sauce for a little extra flavour and I prefer this than regular plain tomato paste.  Oh, you may notice this pizza base is really thick.  That’s because I thought I stretched it out enough but obviously didn’t…

pizza3

A friend had given me a bunch of portobello mushrooms the other day that she picked up from Coburg Market but didn’t think she’d use them in time before they went bad.  What a score!  They’re about $10 a kilo in the supermarkets.  So my pizza was mushroom pizza.  Lurking in the back of the fridge was one of those jars of antipasto strips of capsicum, eggplant and possibly artichoke so I used that too, plus the Notzarella:

pizza4

I held my breath when Arthur tried his pizza because I wasn’t sure how he’d take the ‘ham’.  He asked for a second piece, and a slice for breakfast today so that’s a big win folks!  It means I can make him vegan pizzas at home and hopefully this will significantly reduce the occassions where he has the non-vegan version when he goes out.

My pizza was really nice too and made for a good breakfast this morning.  We’re a pizza reheating family.  Cold pizza, blergh!

Jamie Oliver’s Pizza Dough (the semolina flour version.  Shown below is the full recipe, but I halve it and it turns out fab) from ‘Jamie At Home’

800g bread or pizza flour (I use the Lighthouse brand)

200g finely ground semolina flour (I used a packet labelled “fine semolina”)

1 level Tbs fine sea salt

2x 7g sachets of dried yeast

1 Tbs golden caster sugar (I used regular caster sugar)

4 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

650ml lukewarm water

* What I did (as I can’t make the dough on a table top/ work surface like the recipe states but if you can, great! These directions are pretty much word for word from the Jamie recipe)

– In a large bowl, sift the flours  and salt and make a well in the centre.

– In a jug, mix the yeast, sugar and olive oil in to the warm water and leave it for a few minutes then pour in to the flour well.

– Using a fork, bring the flour in gradually from the sides and swirl it in to the liquid.  Keep mixing, drawing larger amounts of flour in.  When it comes to together, knead until you have a smooth, springy dough.

– Put the dough in a clean, large flour dusted bowl and cover with a damp cloth.  Place in a warm spot for at least an hour or until the dough has doubled in size:

pizza1

(this is where my photo of the recipe instructions got cut off so here’s what I do)

– when the dough has doubled, give it a good punch.  Or maybe that’s just me?  I don’t know, it’s very satisfying to see it go all deflatey:

pizza2

– knead a little then divide in to quarters.  Roll a ball out, do your pizza topping thing, then cook until you know it’s done  😛

I’ll stick with this recipe as it has worked so well 🙂

What I Ate This Week- still slightly slack about it

So this week I’ve been remembering to take photos.  Except I feel that so much of what I eat is boring so I don’t often take photos.

Non-food wise, I’ve really been enjoying watching Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries.  I haven’t read the books but oooooh how I love that this is set in Melbourne in the 1920s!

missfisherdvd1

I borrowed ‘A Casual Vacancy’ from the library.  I  like JK, I really do.  But aiiieeeee I could not get in to this book and had to stop at (something like) “their words went back and forth like beads on an abacus”.  If you’ve read it, tell me if I should give it another chance:

acasualvacancy

Okay, on to food!

I’ve made kritharaki a few times.  I still can’t make it as well as my mum:

kritharaki

A smoothie with banana, hazelnut, a bit of raw cacao and maca.  I don’t know the ins and outs of maca and if you should avoid eating it with certain other things:

hazelnutsmoothie

Husband and DeeW picked up some California salad rolls:

saladrolls

One of my favourite smoothies is made with banana, lemon, orange, hemp seed and flax meal:

lemonhempsmoothie

I made a nice simple salad, with a bottled raspberry vinaigrette but the verdict from Critic 1 and Critic 2 was “yuuuuuck”.  My kids just don’t like salad, neither does Husband.  FRUSTRATING:

kidsdinner

(photo size change!)

I made a Mexican soup recipe from a Jamie Oliver cookbook.  The ingredients were canned tomato, red/green/yellow capsicums, carrot, onion, onion, garlic, bay leaves.  That was a little too bland for me so I added a little cumin.  The soup is topped with avocado, a squeeze of lime juice, coriander and I added some corn tortillas that I’ve had frozen since my visit to La Tortelleria.  Unbelievably, Husband ate the soup and liked it, though he only had the soup and none of the fixins on top:

mexicansoup

One day I decided to make chick’n parmigiana because I had some pasta sauce and Notzarella.  But my Notzarella (the first packet I’d bought) had gone mouldy because I should have used it sooner and I thought it couldn’t be frozen (it can).  So the kids got the shnitzels but I snuck two crispy end pieces in to my pasta.  I cheat now and then and use the bottled sauce from Aldi’s Just Organic range:

pastabowl

While the pasta had been cooking, I was helping DeeW with her reading work.  Arthur offered to help her when I had to go back to the stove:

readinghelp

I made some zucchini banana bread and gave the Royal Albert tennis set another workout:

teacake

More chips were made in the Phillips Air Fryer and this time I lightly pan fried some tofu marinated in sesame oil, orange juice and zest and a little maple syrup.  I am so pleased Arthur eats tofu, it makes meal planning much easier:

tofuchips

The next volume of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries is sitting by the TV and that’s my calling for this evening  🙂