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:

bfblueberrymuffins

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:

coconutbananamuffins

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:

bananabrownricepudding

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):

festivechickpeatart1

festivechickpeatart2

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:

cashewchivespread

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:

morroccanbeanstew

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…

pbbananatortillas

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:

veggiesizzleburrito

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:

gingercashewtofu

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

‘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

Vegan MoFo 2013: Day 3’s smoothie and finally, MoFo themed meals

veganmofo2013banner

Another smoothie for breakfast today, this time an old favourite made with brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds, hemp protein, frozen banana, a date and some cacao nibs (and water):

brazilnutetcsmoothieLunch was a salad wrap.  I visited my mum a couple of days ago and she’d chopped up some ingredients to make a coleslaw (cabbage, celery, red capsicum, parsley, dill) and I took a small container home with me.  For the wrap bit, I used lettuce leaves.  The non-raw element is the eggplant dip I also scored from my mum’s house, she and my sister had roasted some eggplant and made a delicious garlicky dip so I plopped that on to give the whole thing some flavour (and I had to use up the dip, nobody else in my house eats it):

saladwrap

Fortunately my appetite is returning  because I decided to also have a vegan stuffed capsicum that my mum prepared.  In Greek we call this dish “yemista” and they’re traditionally made with a combination of mince meat and rice but during Lent, many people make vegan versions.  My mum’s version is delicious and hopefully I can blog the recipe one day:

yemista

Before leaving for Sydney last week, I made some meals to freeze so that I wouldn’t have to run around wondering what to cook for MoFo the day after returning home.  I made the Pumpkin Chickpea Cauliflower Curry from Dreena Burton’s ‘Let Them Eat Vegan!’, using the oil free option (which is just omitting the oil when you fry stuff and use a splash of water instead).  Dreena recommends serving this with her Fresh Cream Sauce, made with raw cashews but I discovered I was all out of raw cashews and tried macadamias instead.  I added more lemon juice to the macadamia cream than the recipe called for, so mine was more a Fresh Macadamia Lemony Cream Sauce.  Still, it was fine spooned on top of the stew (though I think the cashew version would be much nicer) which I served with some red quinoa I’d cooked and frozen a long, long time ago (as in, I was surprised to find it in the freezer and decided I better use it):

pumpkinchickpeacaulicurry

Dreena’s recipe calls for a can of pumpkin puree but I just cooked and pureed some butternut pumpkin I had in the fridge.  It made about half a can’s worth, so with the full amount it would have turned out better.  Still, it was loaded with veggies and chickpeas, was oil free and gluten free so I kept with my MoFo theme there when it comes to cooking my own meals  😉

Thank you to Mister Nice Guy and a few ‘what I ates’

We haven’t visited Mister Nice Guy’s Bake Shop in quite a while.  Well, to be fair Husband did take the kids recently but he forgot that the Bake Shop is closed on a Monday, doh.  After the kids beat him up for it, they took it well.

Arthur’s birthday is this week and it appears he has refused my order to stop growing up.  I don’t think that will stop him writing stories for me on my birthday with titles such as “how to cook a butt” (actually that one was a graphic novel complete with recipe instructions).

For a pre-birthday treat, Husband took Arthur and DeeW to Mister Nice Guy’s today and he came home bouncing around in excitement, because of this lovely thoughtful gesture:

bun2

Arthur was given a cinnamon bun for his birthday-in-advance and declares it one of the best presents he’s ever received.  I haven’t had a cinnamon bun myself in ages so asked Husband to get one for me and it was every bit as delicious as always:

bun1

A very mega thank you to Mister Nice Guy and the Bake Shop crew!  Best customer service ever!

Okay, here are a few “What I ate this week” tidbits.  There aren’t many because I’ve been sick with no appetite and when I felt okay to eat all I wanted were the oranges and strawberries and bananas.

First up, the Mushroom Pecan Burgers from Dreena Burton’s ‘The Everyday Vegan’. I’ve never been lucky with things made from mushroom.  I like whole or sliced mushrooms but if it doesn’t look like a button shape to begin with, I won’t eat it.  I can’t bring myself to eat enoki, it falls too much in to the category of alien space food.  I’ve never been interested in turning mushrooms in to something else (like a burger), instead just preferring them sliced and tossed through pasta or on a pizza.  And that’s really about it. Arthur and DeeW won’t go near mushrooms so I thought I’d be sneaky and whiz them up and put them in burger form.  The recipe was very easy and contains tahini and hoisin sauce.  I used oats instead of the breadcrumbs:

mushroompecanburgers

I liked them but the kids weren’t keen which was pretty frustrating as this is a really good recipe.  I suppose they may have eaten them in a bread bun but I want to avoid giving them bread (or gluten, specifically) wherever possible.  It’s worth noting Dreena includes a ‘version 2’ recipe in her book Let Them Eat Vegan and you can see those burgers here.

Still, it means I got to have the leftovers to myself, this time in corn tortillas with salsa and vegan sour cream with coriander:

mushroompecanburgers2

 

For the first time ever, I made myself tofu scramble.  Up until now I was never truly convinced that ‘tofu’ and ‘scramble’ belong in the same sentence.  Kind of like apricot chicken.  Or any of those ‘fruit’ flavours in the Cadburys family block.  I had some tofu that had been defrosted and pressed (I think it was firm tofu) so I just crumbled it and fried it up with a pinch of curry powder and black salt.  I haven’t used my black salt much and boy when I added it to the tofu scramble, could you smell egg!  It smelt and looked so much like scrambled eggs that I had to sit there for a few minutes trying to will myself to eat it.  I added some of the coconut bacon I’d make and some rocket (I love rocket, yeah-eh) along with a little bit of vegan mayo. Delicious!

tofuscramblewrap

More burgers from Let Them Eat Vegan!, this time the Lentil Walnut Burgers.  The recipe calls for green lentils but I only had brown and they still tasted great.  There’s also diced apple (though I grated it) which adds a little sweetness without being too sweet.  I really liked these:

lentilwalnutburgers

I saw these green curry soups at Aldi.  I love green curry but not as a soup so I put most of it (but not all the liquid) on brown rice.  It wasn’t very good, a bit too sweet and the vegies too blergh looking and I gave up after a few spoonfuls.  Then felt a bit crappy because I’d put a couple of these soups (the red curry variety as well) in a bag of goodies for my sister’s birthday:

aldisoup
Woolworths sell these pakoras in their freezer section and they were over a dollar off so I grabbed some as a snack to have back at my mum’s house.  They tasted fine enough but were too dry when reheated:

pakora

I made the Pecan Date Nibblers from Let Them Eat Vegan! as an experiment for a short family holiday we have coming up.  The sweetness comes from the dates and maple syrup though next time I will cut the maple syrup way down as they were pretty sweet.  Arthur loved them, DeeW not really.  I added pumpkin seeds to the mix:

pecandatenibblers

I made my sister a lemon slice using Mel’s recipe but because I was plain old lazy I didn’t include the dairy free margarine and instead just dumped the condensed soy milk in without heating it.  I’ve never used the vegan version of condsensed milk and like the dairy version it’s basically massive sugar overload in canned form.  Does it stop one from having a big spoonful?  Not usually:

soymilke

I’m hoping that my food blog posts (well, my cooking I should say) for September will be far more interesting because of Vegan MoFo.  I’m looking forward to trying lots of recipes from my cookbooks, especially raw recipes.  See you then!

Rocket, YEAH-EHH!

Rocket, YEAH-EHH!