Another veganny goodness lunch

My parents came over again today to help with some work going on at our house.  Which of course means I cook some vegan delights!  I decided on a very light dessert, seeing as we had a double layer chocolate fudge cake two days ago.

todayslunch1

First up was Spinach and Tofu Ricotta Cannelloni, posted by Caeli over at Little Vegan Bear.  I made the sauce and filling last night to make things easier today.  I haven’t had cannelloni in years so I was very happy with this tasty vegan version!  The filling contains tofu, mushrooms, walnut and spinach (plus other flavours) and was very easy to make.  The stuffing-the-tubes bit was the most time consuming part but really, it was only ten minutes.  Put the radio on, rock out to a few Poison songs, deny you did that, and you’re done.  Hey did you know that Rikki Rockett, the drummer from Poison (AS IF YOU DIDN’T KNOW) is vegan?  Anyway, I topped my cannelloni with grated frozen Cheezley:

tofuspinachcannelloni

My second dish was the Creamy Potato and Leek Casserole posted over at James&Matt. I had a leek in the fridge for about, oooh, as long as you can have a leek before it starts sporting mould.  I screwed it up a bit though.  I used less potatoes and used a smaller baking dish but I think I misread the liquid ingredient amounts and didn’t compensate properly.  Although the casserole on top was all nice and thick, the potatoes were swimming in a sea of watery liquid. My silken tofu was also really watery which probably didn’t help. Next time I will adjust properly, because this dish was delicious and I’d like to make it again  😀

leekpotatocasserole

I also made a simple salad with mixed salad greens, tomato, toasted walnuts and the Effortless Anytime Balsamic Vinaigrette from The Oh She Glows Cookbook.

todayslunch2

For dessert, I wanted something as light and refreshing as possible so I opted for fruit with some kind of fancy pants element.  I chose the Winter Citrus Salad from The Oh She Glows Cookbook.  Fresh mint leaves and (raw in my case) sugar are whizzed up and sprinkled over sliced oranges and grapefruit.  I added strawberries.  I’ve never made mint sugar before, it’s so incredibly tasty for something so incredibly simple:

wintercitrussalad

I gave some cannelloni and potato leek casserole to my sister and brother in law.  They said they tried to leave some for tomorrow’s dinner but caved in and ate it all tonight instead.  So there you go, thumbs up all ’round from my family!

Hair vegan.

Hair vegan.

Vegan Goodness for a Family Lunch

My parents came over today to help us out with some work on the house and my sister had the day off work and came over to help too.  Despite them saying I shouldn’t worry about cooking, I decided to put on a bit of a last minute light lunch.  Why last minute?  Because my sister and I had originally planned to go to Smith & Daughters for lunch, as I’d seen the opening time listed somewhere as midday but when I went to confirm later, Smith & Daughters were only open for dinner.  Which, as you can imagine was a mega disappointment.  I’ve been hanging out to go and that was to be the big adventure today. SOB CRY WAIL.

My mum and dad also offered to come over pretty much last minute, when I’d just realised Smith & Daughters was not going to happen.  I hadn’t done the shopping and there was no chance of going out to get stuff.  Fortunately, I’d made a big pot of the Soul Soothing African Peanut Stew from The Oh She Glows Cookbook the day before and served that up. Husband went out and picked up some zaatar breads from Zaatar in Coburg. For another side dish, I made some roast cauliflower.  I usually sprinkle nutritional yeast on it but I’ve run out (and I’m finding it hard to survive without it) so I just used a little garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper.  I would have sprinkled on some almond meal, but I over processed almonds the other day and they went past the almond meal stage and in to the halfway-to-butter stage…

veganlunch4
I’d also previously frozen a dip I made from toasted walnuts, roasted red capsicum and garlic.  I love this dip.  Soooo simple to make, I just toast some walnuts, roast a heap of red capsicum (bell peppers) then peel off the blackened skins and whiz it all up in the blender with some garlic and olive oil.

I decided to make some hummus too, to have another dip on offer.  I don’t follow a recipe, I just throw a can of chickpeas in the blender along with some tahini, lemon juice, cumin and salt.  I leave the olive oil for serving, along with a sprinkle of paprika:

veganlunch2

I also made a simple salad with mixed lettuce, tomato and some leftover red quinoa I’d cooked a few days ago.  The salad was dressed with the Effortless Anytime Balsamic Vinaigrette from The Oh She Glows Cookbook.  I forgot to sprinkle my toasted walnuts on top.  That’s how I roll!  Like sitting down to eat, finishing our meals then realising I forgot to fill the water jug for everyone.

For dessert I wanted to make a cake.  Arthur and DeeW have been asking me to bake a chocolate cake for ages, so I made the Double Layer Chocolate Fudge Cake from The Oh She Glows Cookbook, along with the suggested chocolate buttercream icing.  This was a last minute bake the night before as I really didn’t want to be baking on the day.  Everyone enjoyed the cake and it looked great on the cake plate, though I made a bit of a mess with the icing on the cake plate.  It’s amazing how children think a double layer cake on a platter is super special:

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For more info on the Oh She Glows recipes mentioned here, stay tuned as I am writing up another recipe review post!

I really enjoy cooking vegan food for my parents and as mum is observing Lent and eating mostly vegan (otherwise vegetarian, she gives up meat/fish for Lent), this is where I showcase some simple but very tasty dishes that are easy for her to prepare at home.  When I went vegan and mum was asking me what kind of stuff I’d be cooking, I laughed and said “you know all those meals you make during Lent but that you also make when it’s not Lent?  Like your lentil soup, and green beans-potatoes-carrot dish and your fasolatha (bean soup)? Those!” And she was all “oh!  Fair enough!”  It’s great though as my mum now makes her regular foods vegan for me but she and my dad also enjoy it. She’s not sceptical when it comes to a vegan diet because a lot of what she eats is vegan anyway, without ever having deliberately made it vegan, if you know what I mean!  So for her there has been no problem eating a vegan diet– she was eating this way a lot, long before she ever heard the word vegan.  That’s true of just about everyone I’ve spoken to.  Too often, people seem to think vegan food is all ‘rabbit food’ plus tofu and nothing could be further from the truth!

Recipe Reviews from The Oh She Glows Cookbook by Angela Liddon

Oh She Glows is a blog I very much enjoy, so I was happy to hear that Angela was developing a cookbook.  My copy arrived a couple of weeks ago and I love reading through it.  It’s a beautiful book with lovely photos and a picture accompanying each recipe.  The Oh She Glows Cookbook has made the New York Times Bestseller List and with good reason: this is simply a gorgeous piece of work!

ohsheglowscookbook

You can find ten of Angela’s recipes from her book over at Prevention.com.

I feel incredibly guilty about my photos here.  One of the hallmarks of blog Veganopoulous is the cringey food photography.  And I am so very conscious of making the recipes look unappetising because my snaps are bad.  Please believe me when I say these are fantastic recipes and I absolutely recommend you grab a copy of the Oh She Glows Cookbook yourself and take a look through it, or browse the recipes on the Oh She Glows site.

I’ve made Angela’s overnight oats before from recipes on her blog but I tried the cookbook version, knowing I’d enjoy it.  See what I mean about awful photography?  Try to ignore it and focus on this being a simple, healthy, super recipe and very popular.  I first discovered Oh She Glows because I was reading blogs where people were talking about Angela’s overnight oats, in a manner that made me feel I was waaaay behind the times.  Once I tried the overnight oats I understood why people get hooked:

Oh She Glows overnight oats

The water in the jug is actually fresh.

Arthur sat down with me to flip through the pages.  He noted some good looking breakfast recipes then asked to see the desserts section.  He (we) pretty much drooled over everything and he was mighty excited to see the Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Bites in the Power Snacks section.  We had all the ingredients so we (he) decided to make them.  I used one tablespoon of coconut oil instead of the stated 2Tbs.  These are great though incredibly difficult in terms of resisting the temptation to eat half of it before you’ve rolled the balls.  I think this chapter should be renamed Willpower Snacks, because it took all of my willpower not to shove many of these in my gob.  I can’t find my photos anywhere and must have deleted them by mistake, argh.  Fortunately I found an image from the Oh She Glows Cookbook as well as the recipe.  So now there is no excuse for you not to make it!

http://www.prevention.com/food/cook/vegan-recipes-oh-she-glows?s=10

Photo by Angela Liddon, taken from the Oh She Glows Cookbook

I also made the Out-the-Door Chia Power Doughnuts.  First I had to buy some doughnut oven pans because really, they’re so cute.  Anyway, I doubled the recipe so I could share some with my sister and I used a combo of black and white chia seed.  For my first attempt I used buckwheat flour (I loooove buckwheat flour) instead of oat flour, only because I hadn’t washed the blender so I couldn’t make oat flour.  The batter was quite thick with the buckwheat flour and Angela’s recipe with the oat flour says the batter is very runny.  So I added a considerable amount of extra non dairy milk.  I had to work quickly when spooning the batter in to the doughnut pans because it started thickening up with all that lovely chia.  As this was my first time filling doughnut pans, I did it all messy and the holey bits were covered in the final product and I had to cut holes with a sharp knife.  The doughnuts were great, not too sweet which I looooove and I served them with the suggested Coconut Lemon Whipped Cream… which I turned in to Coconut Lime Whipped Cream, cos I was out of lemons.  Which really wasn’t whipped cream at all because I accidentally used a can of low fat coconut cream which I ended up using as a dipping sauce:
chiadoughnutsbuckwheat

For my second attempt, the blender was washed and dry (ha!) so I ground up some oat flour.  Boy do I love my Blendtec blender.  Anyway, the oat flour version produced lighter doughnuts.  This time I used a can of full fat coconut milk in the fridge overnight but I didn’t have lemon juice so I just sweetened it with maple syrup and added some maple extract:

chiadoughnutsoats

More sweet treats: the Gluten-Free Almond-Chocolate Brownies.  Made with almond meal and brown rice flour, these are easily the best brownies I have ever tasted.  I don’t usually like brownies as I’m not much of a chocolate fan, but I am so embarrassed about how much of this I ate in twenty four hours.  I even took a plate outside for walkies:

ohsheglowsbrownies

Arthur liked the look of the Maple-Cinnamon Apple & Pear Baked Oatmeal.  I’m always up for a baked porridge!  The recipe calls for half a cup of unsweetened applesauce which I didn’t have.  Usually I make my own in the blender but it was late at night and I couldn’t switch the blender on.  I decided to leave it out but as I had an open can of coconut cream in the fridge, I used the leftovers along with some soy milk.  I definitely should have added more liquid, or perhaps took it out of the oven sooner as it dried out a little.  I really liked it regardless but when it comes to porridge, Arthur and DeeW prefer the usual sort I make.  I think I will incorporate the flavourings and apple-pear in to their regular porridge, as this is such a good recipe and I’d hate to see it go unused because my family don’t go for baked oats:

Oh She Glows Baked Oatmeal

 

The first recipe I made from the book was a soup, because I had loads of veggies to use up.  I confess that I always skip over Soup chapters and come back to them last.  Not this time.  The Soul Soothing African Peanut Stew was made first, though I added in more veggies and also a cup of leftover cooked burghul because they all had to be used up.  Delicious!  I’m looking forward to trying more of the soup recipes, usually unheard of for me.  No photo, it seems to have disappeared  😦  But I’ll be making this again asap and will be posting more recipe reviews so come baaaaack.

From the Oh She Glows blog, I made the Homemade Mocha Nutella spread, minus the mocha/coffee.  Angela’s recipe mentions the (food) processing time and I definitely think you should stick to it.  I didn’t, because it was evening and I had to hurry up and get DeeW ready for bed so I cut corners here.  I don’t think my coconut sugar blended enough as a result because you can feel the grittyness, though perhaps I should have used the smaller bowl of my food processor to really moosh things up.  I also began with using only half the coconut sugar stated as that’s just a thing I do in case a recipe is too sweet for me, but in the end I added the whole amount which was exactly what I had left of coconut sugar.  I would make this again to give out as a gift, with more care and time spent on the processing part.  Patience, grasshopper:

ohsheglowshazelnutbutter

 

So far I have loved every Oh She Glows recipe I’ve tried.  I started bookmarking pages with little scraps of paper then gave up because I was bookmarking every page.  I now have the very painful task of selecting which two recipes I will make next.  I’m limiting myself to selecting two only, because otherwise I will do a mega blowout and bookmark everything again!