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31/10/2008

Vegan MoFo Day 31: MoFo youyou

Well we did it folks - we have blogged our backsides off for an entire month and we have reached blog Nirvana. I can't believe how quickly this month has gone - it's just flown by. I put this down to the old saying "Time flies when you're having fun" 'cos I've got to admit, I've had a ball! I have LOVED discovering new blogs that I otherwise would have missed and that, quite frankly, would have been a crying shame. I have "met" some wonderful people not to mention learnt so much from my fellow MoFo'ers and I have enough recipe ideas to last me a lifetime. Success all round. So I would like to dedicate my last MoFo 2008 entry to ALL the people who have journeyed this MoFo highway with me - through the tears, the laughter, the writerz blox...through it all.
It seems appropriate that tomorrow is World Vegan Day which is just the Cherry on the top so all that is left for me to say is Happy Halloween and I'll see you next month.
YOU GUYS ROCK!!!!
30/10/2008

Vegan MoFo Day 30: Diwali Supper

I'll be without a computer all day tomorrow/today so I'm posting this today but it's really tomorrow.
OO You know what I mean. HURRAH! for scheduled blogging. Unbeknownst (GOD that should be a word!!) to me and Mr treehugger, yesterday was Diwali - the Hindu festival of Light. I had heard of it and I knew it was soon but had no idea until I went into the Asian store and the chap there mentioned that it was. We had already decided we were cooking Indian food so this rather tickled me. I am easily tickled. Mr treehugger had already decided we were having Indian food I should say, because when I got up and went to make tea I saw a bowl of Lentils soaking in the kitchen and I KNEW what he was planning. We're having Daal!!! WooooHoooHoooo! Mr T is the official Daal maker in our household - he makes the best darndest Daal I've ever had (and I've had a few believe me) BUT he hadn't made a Vegan one as yet!! So we had a joint food making extravaganza that lasted ALL day - Indian food is something I insist on making in the morning and leaving it to stew and marinade in all those delicious flavours for the rest of the day. I made a delicious Curry using the Veg we had in the fridge - Carrots Aubergine, Courgettes, Potatoes, Cauliflower and Sweet Potato with the usual suspects of Onion, Garlic, Asafoetida, Mustard Seeds, Cardamom, ground Corriander, Cinnamon, Chillies, Cloves and a tin of Plum Tomatoes. And try as I might I can never wrangle the Daal recipe out of Mr T, I have been trying for as long as we've been together. He reckons that he doesn't know what he's going to put in it until he starts making it and then it all comes together like some kind of Daal JuJu, which I can totally relate to so I leave him his little culinary secrets. I'll just say that he said this was the BEST Daal he has ever made and he knows why - it's because of the particular way he prepared the Spices. I concurred - it was the best one yet but I reckoned it was because it was vegan and had nothing to do with the Spice hierarchy what-so-ever!
Mmmmm yummy. There's LOADS left for tomorrow too!!
And because it was the Festival of light of course we had to light candles. Sooo atmospheric. I'll return to my normal time zone tomorrow guys and gals. Today will be spent making lots of Halloween goodies so fingers crossed they will all come out well and I can regale and enthrall you all. Laters Y'all!
29/10/2008

Vegan MoFo Day 29: Being Vegan in Spain Part Dos

Most bloggers probably get fed up with me moaning about "I can't get that here" or "I've never seen that in the shops round here" or "Oh I've never tried that!" etc etc ad infinitum...... Go on - you can all admit it. I do sound like a broken record sometimes. So I thought this little MoFo entry would be about some of the wonderful things I CAN get. HURRAH!
Nooch! The ever elusive VWG The creamiest yummiest Yoghurt ever!! All Pulses including my beloved Dried Peas!! Nori (still haven't used this) Nuts, Mock Duck, Tofu
And that doesn't include the wonderful Fruits and Veggies that are available when this lazy MoFo'er gets off her butt and gets to the market on a Sunday morning!! So what I'm trying to say is - living vegan here in Spain is pretty darn good if you know where to look and what you're looking for and you're not frightened of cooking meals from scratch. And I haven't even mentioned how cheap the booze is! RESULT!!! Today's song is Rehab by Amy Winehouse - this was playing in a shop I went in to and I can't get the darned thing out my head - it doesn't even matter that I don't even know the words....GRRRRR!!!! *starts singing Pink Floyd*
28/10/2008

Vegan MoFo Day 28: Spicey Meataballs

What do you do when you get up at the crack of dawn? You think to yourself who's Dawn? Hahahaha..... No What you do silly, is you make the additions to your meatball recipe you've been playing around with and then you divulge how amazing they are to the rest of the blogosphere. OK then! Meatballs makes 24 Ingredients 1 1/2 cups of Vital Wheat Gluten 3/4 cup Nutritional Yeast 1 tsp Onion Powder 1 tsp Garlic Salt 1 tsp Mixed Herbs 1/2 cup Tomato Juice 1/4 cup Red Wine 1 Tblsp Tomato Marinade (paste will do) 1 Tblsp Soy Sauce 2 Tblsp Olive Oil 4 Tblsp Water 3 Cloves of Garlic, squeezed through a garlic press 2 Sundried Tomatoes, diced thinly few drops of Tabasco Half a grated Carrot Directions Grease a Muffin pan. Place in a bowl the Vital Wheat Gluten, Nutritional Yeast, Onion Powder, Garlic Salt and Mixed Herbs. Mix well with a fork. In a separate bowl - place all the other ingredients and mix well. Add this to the dry ingredients and mix with a fork to form a dough. Knead for a few minutes and then leave for half an hour. Divide the dough into equal sized ball shapes about the size of a small Walnut and place each ball in a Muffin space in the greased Muffin pan. Cover the pan with tin foil and bake in an oven at 200 degrees for 40 mins turning over half way through cooking time. When done, leave to cool completely before adding them to your Tomato Sauce. This Tomato Sauce recipe is a double recipe so freeze what you don't use for later so if you are pressed for time in the future you will still be able to have yummalicious homemade sauce super duper quick! Tomato Sauce
serves 8 Ingredients 1 tsp Olive Oil 1 Large Onion, diced 2 Cloves of Garlic, crushed 1 Large Carrot, peeled and diced 2 x 400g Canned Tomatoes 5 fl oz Red Wine or Vegetable Stock 1 Bay Leaf 1 Tbsp Fresh Basil, diced 1 tsp Dried Oregano Salt Freshly Ground Black Pepper Method In a pan add 1 tsp Olive Oil and fry the Carrot and Onion for 10 mins stirring regularly. Add the Garlic, Tomatoes, Red Wine (or stock), Basil, Oregano and Bay Leaf and cook on a gentle heat for 20 mins. Take out the Bay Leaf and whizz with a hand mixer or in your blender. Season to taste. Easy Peasy!
Add meatballs to the Sauce and heat through whilst you wait for your Pasta to cook. I had intended to make Spaghetti but alack and alas the cupboards didn't deliver so I made twirly shapes instead - I can't remember the name of this Pasta but y'all know what I mean.
Like Nonna used to make (if I was Italian and had a Nonna who was vegan
that is.) Details, details...
Today's song is Sally Cinnamon by The Stone Roses Choooooooooooon!
27/10/2008

Vegan MoFo Day 27: Rose Elliot Made my Dinner

Not literally you understand, but it was her yummy recipes that I used and I wanted to grab your attentions.
First off was Falafel and totally inspired by happy vegan face. The cool thing about Rose Elliot's The Supreme Vegetarian Cook Book is that the Falafel recipe gives a Vegan option too. YAY! I'm guessing it's totally unethical of me to type the recipe in this here blog but lucky for us, but not so lucky for Rose, Jim Carson has totally put her recipe on his blog. Thanks Jim! Instead of using chicken periods to bind all the otherwise scrummy ingredients just use 2 tablespoons of Chickpea Flour as a binding ingredient and as a coating for the Breadcrumbs you just make a batter mixture using Chickpea Flour again, mixed with a little water. Simple. These were served with Guacamole from Rose Elliot, warm Wholemeal Pittas from the Supermarket, Cauiliflower Salad from the Oxfam Vegetarian Cookbook (thanks 'lil pea), Simple Salad with the Spicey Mustard Dressing from Veganomicon and a Tomato Salsa that I just threw together using a tin of Plum Tomatoes, Green Pepper, Onions, Green Chilli, Garlic and Olive Oil. Total yumness. The Cauliflower Salad is really easy and really good - though a lot of people don't like the thought of raw Cauliflower I urge you to give it a try. The secret is to chop ALL the ingredients up really really fine. Yeah - I know you all look fine when you chop things up anyway! LOL! Today's song is The Wombles of Wimbledon thanks to Becks from I am not a rabbit! Need I say more!
Oooh yeah - check out her Apple Pie Crumble creation - the rabbit is a genius!!

MoFo' ing Computer

Just to let you all know the hard drive on my PC has gone tits up!! As I need my computer for my work THIS IS A FREAKING NIGHTMARE!! Luckily I am pretty anal in backing my stuff up, so apart from something I'm working on at the moment I have hard copies of all my work. Mr treehugger is a computer engineer so he will be working on it today and tomorrow. I, in the meantime, am using his computer but I don't know for how long as he needs his own machine too. Ah well......such is life. I think the Lords of Cyber Space are telling me I spend too much time sat in front of a monitor and that I should go out and do something else instead! Who am I to argue. I do have some bits and bobs to do, like getting my costume sorted for Friday!! And I have to box up and wrap a package swap for someone and also post a few other bits and bobs - so I've plenty of things to do to keep me out of mischief. Ha ha! So in the words of Arnie "I'll be back"
26/10/2008

Vegan MoFo Day 26: I made Cookies - WooHooooo!!

Let it be known I have never made Cookies in my life - vegan or otherwise (yeah, I know - I'm not right in the head). Anyhooo last night I had a craving for something sweet, which, incidentally, I swear was brought on by reading through all the MoFo blogs - I hardly ever get cravings for sweet things - so you're ALL to blame! I wanted to make mihl's ones here 'cos they just look so darn tasty AND shellyfish confirmed just how darned tasty they actually were! I went to the cupboard to check I had all the necessary doings - which I didn't!! But no biggy - I just subbed the Almond essence for Vanilla and didn't decorate the tops with Chocolate. I didn't have enough Marg either so I made a half recipe, which is just as blinking well really cos I would have scoffed the whole lot. They were totally srumpalicious!!
ain't they perrty!
And 'cos I know you're all suckers for pictures of animals - here's two of my clan the minute the bed became available.
Dr Blowfin on the left and Flip Flop on the right
25/10/2008

Vegan MoFO Day 25: I wasn't a happy bunny but I am now

I baked my Christmas Cake yesterday and it all went horribly wrong. You're probably thinking why the hell am I baking my Christmas Cake in October and I'm all horribly wrong. Right?
Well...let me tell you - I like my Christmas Cakes like I like a cheap date - moist, fruity and pissed in no time! I ply my Christmas Cake with so much alcohol between now and the big day that you really don't want a naked flame to go anywhere near it come Yuletide!! This is my first vegan Christmas and as I will be taking this Cake all the way to England with me to show off to all the rellies, I want this Cake to ROCK!! I want it to be even more special than my old faithful Christmas Cake recipe that was passed down to me by my mother who was, in turn, given it by her mother who was given it by her mother etc etc. You get my point. This Cake has to be the freaking business! I trawled the interwebs looking for a suitable recipe when this one caught my eye. I liked it because, apart from the Fruit, it doesn't contain any sugar, it uses no Marg or Oil and it's by The Vegan Society!! So it's got to be good right??!! I also like the fact it uses Marzipan as an optional addition. Seeing as there was no sugar in the actual Cake mixture - I really really liked the thought of the Marzipan, won't it be a really nice treat when tucking into a slice - a Marzipan surprise!! So - this was my Cake of choice. Went out, bought all the ingredients (boy aren't dried Fruits and Marzipan expensive!!) and set to. I thought, when I had mixed all the ingredients together, that it seemed a little dry - but I had measured out everything and followed the recipe to a T (about the ONLY time I actually do follow a recipe) so I figured it would all be alright. Have faith in the recipe Jeni! Ha blinking Ha! I took the Cake out of the oven, went to flip it over on a plate and half of it came out whilst the other half was welded to the bottom of the tin through the medium of melted Marzipan. Man that stuff is like superglue!! So, after my initial panic and bout of swearing (I really do swear like a docker), I quickly flipped it all back into the pan and cooked it for another ten mins thinking to myself it's better to leave the Cake to go cold before trying to take it out of the tin - give the Marzipan time to harden up and solidify, ya know. So when I took it out the second time I gently scraped a knife around the edges and left the Cake to cool. I went to look at it today and guess what?
TA DAA!!!
It looks alright, it smells HEAVENLY so fingers crossed it's gonna taste just as good. It seems the Sprites were Spritely elsewhere 'cos Zoey had mischief afoot in her household too!
The Planets must have been all out of sync - though I did check my Chrondala to see if the time boded well. The Chrondala is an ancient, secret manuscript of ancient lore passed down through generations to those who are worthy of it's gift, and is highly sought after by Sages and Parsley's the world over (and can be found here for free). FREE!! I paid 2 quid for mine years ago and this little beauty has made me so happy ever since - 2 quid well spent. I swear every time I look at it I discover something I've never seen before.
If you're stuck for a gift for someone - print out the Chrondala - I can't think of anyone who wouldn't like this. I bought a cheap glass frame to keep it safe and snug and I LOVE mine.
Today's song is If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out by the FANTASTIC Cat Stevens - don't ask me what he calls himself now 'cos I will embarrass myself - he will always be Cat to me. This song is from the totally FAB film Harold and Maude - if you've never seen this film then you HAVE to!! It is in my top 5 favourite movies of all time, I love it even more than The Wizard of Oz!!
:)
24/10/2008

Vegan MoFo Day 24: Mexican can can

Yes I can can.
Tonight's veritable feast was all out Mexican nosh - my favourite! I made: Guacamole (though I used proper Garlic because I can't imagine Guacamole without it - it's not right, and I didn't use Cilantro 'cos Mr treehugger Hates it with a capital H) Queso (this was good) Salad - this was just 4 different types of Lettuce, Cherry Plum Tomatoes and Spicy Mustard Dressing from Veganomicon Doritos Spicy Beans and Vegetables - this was Courgettes, Aubergine, Peppers (green and red) Onion, Carrot, Sweetcorn and Kidney Beans in a spicy Mexican Salsa. And Tortillas
Guacamole (how cute is my dish!!) and Queso
It was soooo blinking yum I couldn't stop eating and now I can't move. Sorry there's no more pictures but they came out even more crappy than usual and I wasn't gonna faff around when all that good nosh was waiting to be scoffed! Today's musical melody is totally AWESOME!!!
The music is by Session and that is all I know. I have googled and googled these guys to no avail but this song totally has me hooked! Into the treeeeeees
23/10/2008

Vegan MoFo Day 23: My Favourite Cook Book

I'm not a very materialistic person....however I do have a few weaknesses. 1. I LOVE books 2. I LOVE little drawers and boxes 3. I LOVE jars and bottles Phew! That feels so much better!
I am a complete book worm - I love to read and have been known to get through three or four books a week. But as well as loving the reading of books I also just love books. The feel of them, the smell of them, the look of them...you name it and I love it about a book. I don't know how many books I own - it would be a mission and a half to count them all. Suffice to say - I have a garzillion of them. So it's quite sad really that my cook book collection is so small and severely lacking in tomes. Over the years I have lent them out to "friends" only never to see them grace me with their presence again - the friends OR the books. I have owned some corkers in my time and one I still have in my possession has so much sentimental value that it shouldn't be allowed. It is the very first cook book I ever bought. It cost me a total of one pound from a Sue Ryder Charity Shop and has seen a lot of action in it's time. Now it's not vegan - in fact it is the epitome of anti vegan.
But that's OK, I love it even more for that. It has seen me through many a pudding, cake and casserole and I have vegetarianised (heh - I made a word) and veganised this little treasure so much that the only reason it's not vegan is because it's stubborn and the ink doesn't rub out. Here she is in all her blazing glory.
Look at the stains and it's even burnt where I left it too close to the stove!! The front cover came off completely so I gaffer taped it up - jeez that's some strong tape. It is full of little snippets and notes and there's even pressed Flowers in there! To show this over worked, tired, well loved book the appreciation she so deserves - I gave her a make-over. Don't all girls like a pampering. Doesn't she look gorgeous! *wolf whistles*
I couldn't decide to go for The Power Puff Girls or Sponge Bob, I mean a person shouldn't have to make choices like that! So I went for both. And then I realised just how good I am at finding things to distract me from actually doing some work round here. And because I know there would be a riot if I didn't show some porn - here is my lunch
Nice huh!
Today's song is Manu Chao - Welcome to Tijuana Turn it up loud and slam down some Tequilla!!! Arrrribaaaa!!!
22/10/2008

Vegan MoFo Day 22: Cottage Pie (but it's not made from cottages)

Waves Magic Wand Ta Da!
Due to the intricate ways of energy weaving and the perceptions thereof - I will have to walk you through what just happened there.
I put the Potatoes in a big pan of salted water and bought them to the boil. Then I added to them a chopped Turnip (it was a VERY little Turnip) and a chopped Parsnip. Boiled them all together for 15 mins, drained them, mashed them up with some freshly ground Black Pepper and set them to one side. Then I added a little Olive Oil to another pan, and threw in some sliced up Onions and Carrots and fried gently for 5 mins. Then I added 2 Cloves of Garlic that had been thinly sliced (I like slices of garlic in my food) and added to that a Parsnip that had been diced up. Cooked it all for a few minutes more then added a sliced up Leek, a pint of water and a Bay leaf. Bought everything to a boil and simmered with the lid on for 15 mins - stirring every now and then. Then I added a jar of Lentils (I usually use fresh but this recipe works well with either) and simmered for a few more minutes. I had a few veggies leftover from last nights dinner so they got thrown in too (Courgette, Peas and Roasted Carrots). Then I added 2 teaspoons of Marmite and a few sprinklings of Bisto (Boullion) until I got the consistency I wanted - which was thickish but still with plenty of gravy, then placed all that in an oven proof and topped with the mashed Potatoes/Turnip/Parsnip combo. Drizzled some Olive Oil over the top and put under the grill (broiler) for 10 mins or so - until it was crispy brown all over. Served with some Mashed Carrot and Swede (Rutabaga) with some Peas and you got yourself a magical meal in no time.
I can't make this post without giving a shout out to the two people who helped me decide what my dinner was going to be tonight, thanks to their awesome blogs Dharma in the Dishes OK - I've forgotten the other person and Google reader isn't delivering!! Shame is mine. If I left a comment on your Cottage Pie let me know.
Today's song is Glorious by Andreas Johnson - sing along.... "sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee"
21/10/2008

Vegan MoFo day 21: Bubble and Squeak (and no...it's not a crazy new dance fad)

When there are Roast Dinner leftovers in the treehugger household we make Bubble and Squeak. Traditionally this is a dish of all your leftover cooked veggies mixed together then lovingly fried in Oil. What could be better? Ask most Brits and they will tell you they prefer the meal on Boxing Day to that of Christmas Day and that's all because of this wonderful dish - Bubble and Squeak. If they say otherwise - poke 'em in the eye and run away! VeganYumYum made some a while ago and as her photo's are sooo much better than mine (jealous? NO!) I thought you could all have a look to see what they CAN look like. Leftover from last nights dinner we had Roast Potatoes, Broccoli, Carrots and Nut Roast. But use whatever leftover Veg you have - be aware you may need more Potato than anything else as this is what generally binds everything together. But not always. Place all your Veggies in a microwavable dish and nuke 'em for 2 mins - this makes it easier on the old mashing muscles. Then set to with your Potato Masher and mash 'em all up.
When mashed add some thinly diced Onions to the mixture, some Pepper and Salt if needed. Then form into Patty shapes and fry in a little Olive Oil on low heat for 20 mins on each side. Depending on your leftover quota will depend on how many Patties you make - but these do freeze well so whatever you don't eat can be stored for leftover leftovers. LOL!
See mine look pretty too...
I served these up with a recipe I found on This Little Piggy had Tofu because I had Carrots and Sweet Potatoes and it looked blinking yum. And it was! Today's song which I have played so many times today the neighbours are threatening to knock me off their Christmas Card list is Human - by The Killers Listen here and tell me how freaking good this song is!
20/10/2008

Vegan MoFo Day 20: A Sunday Roast on a Monday

Yeah that's Punk Rock that is.
What isn't quite so Punk Rock is having your boiler die, your new blender jug crack and your extension lead break. No...that's just chaos and also sums up my day pretty well. New boiler installed, blender jug thrown out in disgust and extension lead taken apart and fixed - this gal wasn't in the mood for cooking. Much....... I called upon a store cupboard favourite
Granose Nut Roast Mix. HURRAH! All it took was water and bunging in the oven. To accompany this veritable bag of Nutty goodness, I roasted some Potatoes in Olive Oil and Rosemary, steamed some Carrots and Broccoli, made some Gravy and served it all up with a dollop of Cranberry Sauce.
It was super scrummy and perfect food for filling my boiler mending boyfriend's tummy. Today's song is I'm Going Slightly Mad - by Queen. Because amidst all the chaos this seemed so fitting. Laters Y'all!
19/10/2008

Vegan MoFo Day 19: Sweet Potato Rösti and Mediterranean Vegetable Crumble

Sweet Potato Rösti and Mediterranean Vegetable Crumble
Mr treehugger LOVES these Röstis, and I don't make them often enough in his opinion. Actually that's true - I don't make them often enough as they are ridiculously easy to do. If you have weak wrists then get someone to help you here as there is a LOT of squeezing involved, I find it very good therapy especially when imagining it is the necks of people that have annoyed me recently.......Mwah ahhh ahhhh! Sweet Potato Rösti makes 6 Ingredients 1 Potato, peeled and grated 1 Sweet Potato, peeled and grated Few slithers of Onion Salt Pepper Place both the grated Potato and Sweet Potato in the centre of a clean tea cloth and, over the sink, squeeze all the liquid out. This will take a bit of effort as just when you think you've squeezed as much as you can - squeeze again and there'll be more. Once squeezed, place in a bowl and add the Onion, Salt and pepper. Toss everything up with a fork. Heat a skillet pan and add a drizzle of Oil. Use your hands to scoop up a load of the Potato mix and place on the skillet. With the back of a fish slice (really...is there another word for this utensil?) flatten the Potato mix down into the pan. Add as many as you can without over crowding the pan. Cook for 2 mins on quite a high heat. Flip the Rösti over and cook on medium heat for 5-8 mins. Flip over again, pat the sides to form a roundish shape and cook on low for 8 ish mins. You'll probably need to flip over again but you'll know when they are ready - they will be golden brown in colour with a few black areas. Serve! These are DELICIOUS!
I served these with a new creation that I just made up as I went along. Mediterranean Vegetable Crumble serves 2 Ingredients 2 Tblsp Olive Oil 1/2 Aubergine, cubed 1 Roasted Red Pepper (I used tinned) 4 Mushrooms 1/2 Courgette, peeled and cubed Half a small Onion, sliced 3 Cloves garlic, sliced 8 Pitted Black Olives, quartered 1 cup Tomato Sauce Sprig Fresh Rosemary Salt Pepper 4 slices whole, nutty, seedy Bread Heat the Olive Oil in a pan and fry the Aubergine for 10 mins - stirring regularly. Add the Peppers and cook for a few minutes before adding the Mushrooms and Courgettes. Cook everything together for 5 mins then add the Onion, Olives and Garlic. Cook for a few more minutes. Add the Tomato Sauce and place a lid on the pan, turn the heat down low and simmer for 10 mins. Add the Rosemary and season to taste - I find this needs quite a bit of Salt. Leave to cool then place in an oven proof dish. Heat the oven to 200 degrees. Blitz the Bread in a food blender so as they are reduced to Bread Crumbs and sprinkle over the top of the Vegetables. Place in the oven and cook for half an hour - make sure the Bread Crumbs don't burn - that would be a disaster. I have to cover mine after a few minutes - you all know about my oven by now, right? If you want - you can drizzle Oil over the Bread Crumbs before putting in the oven, but I am trying to watch my weight!!
HUZZAH!!!
This is really tasty and yummy and the combo of the rich Tomatoey Vegetables with the crunchy, nutty, toasted, seediness of the Bread Crumbs is just a delight to the senses.
Todays song is Animal Nitrate by Suede!! Brit Pop's finest hour, though the name's not very Vegan - I will forgive their oversight!! Brett Anderson...I SO would........
18/10/2008

Vegan MoFo Day 18: So I made Apple Pie

Let it be known Mr Treehugger is not Vegan, he is a pesky-tarian. But, because I am the main cook in the house, his diet is 90% Vegan. I can tolerate his eggs and cheese and milk in the fridge BUT the only fish I allow is a sad frozen packet of fish fingers in the freezer. I can not abide the smell of fish in the house it is just BLEURGH!
Everything I cook he always enjoys and comments frequently that he can't believe a lot of the things are vegan. Mwah ahhhhh ahhhhh....my evil plan is working. As well as being a pesky-tarian he is also Diabetic (oooh I'm sticking the labels on left right and center today aren't I!!). I LOVE to bake - it is my favourite kind of kitchen witchery and I've always prided myself on my extroadinary baking skills. Cooking for a diabetic means my love of baking is challenged at the best of times and since moving onto vegan baking the challenge has been even greater. Vegan baking has been pretty hit and miss but the successes far outweigh the few disasters. It is a learning curve after all. If I bake - I bake for both of us - something that we can both eat and enjoy. Obviously, baking for a diabetic means that the sugar content has to be reduced greatly and all my baking recipes are tailored with this in mind. You'd be surprised at the amount of sugar that is used in recipes which is actually so unneccessary - something I have come to realise in the past few years. "Get to the Apple Pie already!!" OK, OK I hear you. This is an easy Apple Pie recipe suitable for diabetics and vegans alike HURRAH! It is one I have adapted myself and it will not fail to disapoint. Even if you're not watching your sugar intake - you gotsta try this. Apple Pie Ingredients For the Pastry: 8oz Flour 4oz Margarine 5 Tblsps water For the filling: 1 Cooking Apple, peeled, cored, quartered and cut into slices 2 Dessert Apples, peeled, cored, quartered and cut into slices Scant handful of Raisins Sprinkling of Cinnamon Method Make the Pastry by sifting the Flour into a big bowl, add the Margarine and rub into the Flour with your hands until it resembles Bread Crumbs. Add the Water and gather it all up with your hands. Knead for a few seconds until it is smooth and elasticy. Grease an 8 inch Pie Dish. Flour a work surface and roll the Pastry out thinly and evenly. Use the rolling pin to carry the Pastry over to the Pie Dish. With your fingers; gently push the Pastry into the Pie Dish. Take the Pie Dish in one hand and with the other hand use a butter knife to chop off the excess Pastry, set this to one side 'cos you need this for the Pie top. Layer the Dessert Apples on the bottom of the Pie, sprinkle on the Raisins then follow with a layer of Cooking Apples. Top with the remaining Dessert Apple slices and sprinkle on some Cinnamon. Wet the top edges of the Pastry with some water. Roll out the remaining Pastry and cover the Pie pressing down firmly with your thumb along the top edge. Chop of the excess Pastry and use it to cut out shapes to decorate the Pie with, you will have to brush Water onto the bottom of the shapes to stick them to the Pie. With a knife, make two slits in the centre of the Pie top - this is to allow steam to escape. If you don't do this the Apples will bubble and spill out all over the place and you don't want that. Cook in a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees for about 40 mins. Because all ovens vary in their cooking performance - check on the Pie quite regularly to make sure it doesn't burn. I always need to cover the top of mine with tin foil half way through baking because my oven is pants.
Who's ya daddy now!!
Todays song that I just can't stop singing is Kate Bush - Wuthering Heights Much to the dismay of my neighbours!! Thank god they can only hear me and not see me as well....'cos you've just gotta do THAT dance haven't you?
17/10/2008

Vegan MoFo Day 17: Mock-a-Leekie Soup

Mock-a-Leekie Soup Do you like what I did there! OK - more soup - HURRAH!
But first a funny story....... I served this soup up for dinner last night. When asked what flavour it was by Mr treehugger, I told him it was originally based on a recipe called Cock-a-Leekie. "Coq - spelt with a q - it's French then." To which I replied "No it's Scottish - it's spelt C.O.C.K ...." He asked me what it was made out of and I replied - without even thinking about it "Cock." There was so much snarfing going on that soup was snarfed across the table. Finbarr Saunders would have been proud. The recipe I used called for the carcass of a chicken. BLEURGH! I don't think so! Ain't no dead chickses going in my dinner thank you very much. So yeah....this is a traditional Scottish recipe veganised by yours truly. Enjoy! Mock-a-Leekie Soup seves 2 Ingredients 2 Tblsp Olive Oil 2 Large Potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes -ish 2 Leeks, sliced and washed 1 small Onion, sliced 2 Pints Vegetable Stock Salt White Pepper handful of chopped fresh Parsley Method In a big pan lighly fry the vegetables in the Olive Oil for about 5 minutes, until soft but not coloured. Add the Stock, cover and simmer for 40 mins, until the Vegetables are cooked. Leave to cool. When cooled whizz it all up with your blender, return to the stove and heat through. Add Salt and Pepper to taste and stir in the chopped Parsley. Serve. Today's song is by Noah and the Whale - In Five Years Time. It is impossible to listen to this song and feel anything but warm and fuzzy!

Vegan MoFo Day 16: I've Been Tagged and I made a Scooby Snack

I've been tagged two and a half times. Once by Eesh from Crafty Vegan, once by Sal from Alien on Toast and almost by Becks from I am Not a Rabbit "But what does it all mean?" I hear you cry. Well...it was the brain child of Billy from Vegan Talk and what it basically means is I have to take a photo of my freezer and of the contents there-in, write a small summary of them and then tag 5 other bloggers. All I can say is boy am I glad I defrosted the freezer a few weeks ago otherwise all you'd have seen would have been ice. The culprit
I think my wonderful Photo Shop skills tells you all you need to know.
Now I have to confess that I did take out a packet of Fish Fingers, which are obviously not vegan and belong to my Pescatarian boyfriend, and I also took out some boilies - which are vegan but not in the sense that they are used to catch fish with. BooHoo.
So that's me tagged and now the fun bit! I am tagging: DJ at Skint Vegan Felicity at Thrifty Living Half Pint Pixie Sara at Pick, Cook and Brew Ladybug at Grow Peace! The Revolution will be Cultivated Ha Ha you're it! To end all this blogging fun I would like to introduce you to my lunch. This was: Mustard Stuffed Seitan Roast Gherkins Fried Mushrooms More Stuffed Seitan Roast Sundried Tomatoes On 5 Seed Bread. YUM! And today's song that I just can't stop listening to is Mother of Iration by Misty in Roots Check it out!
15/10/2008

Vegan MoFo Day 15: Boff Bourgi-nom-nom

This is another pre vegan favourite from my childhood that my mother used to make and I would gladly scoff up. It's an easy recipe to veganise and they're the one's I like the best.
Boff Bourgi-nom-nom serves 4 Ingredients 1lb (450g) Seitan 3 Tblsp Olive Oil 1 medium Onion, sliced 10 Button Mushrooms, quartered 1 Tblsp Flour 1/4 Pint (50ml) Vegetable Stock 1/4 Pint (50ml) Good Red Wine Pinch of Thyme 1 Bay Leaf 2 Cloves of Garlic, diced Method Cut the Seitan into 2 inch cubes. Heat one Tblsp of the Olive Oil in a large pan and fry the cubed Seitan until browned all over, be careful to make sure it doesn't burn. When done, place in a large casserole dish. Fry the Mushrooms and Onions for 5 minutes in the same pan using one Tblsp of the Olive Oil. Add these to the casserole dish. Heat the remaining Olive Oil and add the flour, allow to brown, stirring continuously. Then add the stock to the pan and stir really well for a few minutes.Transfer this to the casserole dish. Also add to the dish the Wine, Thyme, Bay Leaf and Garlic and season well with Salt and Pepper. Give everything a quick stir. Cover and cook in the oven at 180 degrees for 40 mins. I served this up with some Leeky Mashed Potato, steamed Carrots and Spinach with Sesame Seeds. The Leeky Mash is really easy: Slice a Leek and rinse well. Steam for 10 mins then drain and set to one side. Boil your Potatoes for 20 ish minutes. Drain and mash. Add a teaspoon of Whole Grain Mustard, Salt, Pepper and a drizzle of Soya Milk. Then add the Leeks. Stir everything up and place in a dish. Drizzle Olive Oil over the top and grill for 10 mins. YUM!
Leeky Mashed Potatoes
Mah dinner!
Todays fun and frivolity was brought to you using the letters Mo and Fo.
13/10/2008

Vegan MoFo day 13: Mediterranean Tomato Soup

I have been inspired by so many blogs that I'm gonna be busy in the kitchen for the next 6 months not to mention 10 pounds heavier by the end of it all ! There are so many great blogs out there, who knew? So MoFo scores yet another über point! I have seen some amazing soup recipes and photos in the last two weeks (2 Weeks!!) here are some of my favourite: Scotchless Broth Cravin Veggies Roasted Red Pepper Soup Pumpkin Lentil Soup Tomato Pumpkin Soup Leftover Mashed Potato Pumpkin Soup Chickpea & Herb Dumpling Soup Beet, Barley and Black Soybean Soup So is it any wonder I woke up craving soup this morning!! It's an old cliché but so true (aren't all clichés true?) that we eat food firstly with our eyes. I'm a sucker for contrasting colours and green and red do it for me every time PLUS I had the last of the harvest from my garden to use up as well. Look how little they are - sweeet.
And no, I don't have big hands - they really are little Peppers
So I wasn't going to fight all these things screaming "MAKE SOUP" at me and thusly this Soup was created - and in record making time too, well for me anyway. I served this with a Baguette/French Stick which was sliced in half and toasted and then drizzled with Olive Oil. Eating bread like this is a very typical Spanish Breakfast by the by, I had never seen or heard of it before I came to live here, but I implore you all to try it - you will be hooked. Mediterranean Tomato Soup serve 2 Ingredients 1 Tblsp Olive Oil Peppers, sliced (half red half green) 1 small Onion, sliced Half a Courgette (Zuchini), cubed 780g tinned Plum Tomatoes 2 Cloves of Garlic, peeled and sliced 1 tsp Smoked Paprika 2 tsp Salt 1 tsp Mixed Herbs Drops of Tabasco, depending how spicy you want it Method Heat the Olive Oil in a pan and add the Peppers, Courgette and Onions, saute for 10 minutes or so. Then add the tinned Tomatoes - juice an' all, you will want to squish up the Tomatoes for this - I find using a knife and fork the easiest, but do whatever works for you. Add the Garlic and Paprika and place a lid on the pan and cook for another 10 -15 minutes. Add the Salt and Herbs and simmer for 10 more mins. Check seasoning. Add a few drop of Tabasco, stir really well and serve.
I had this for lunch and then had it for dinner as well! It's soooo gooood. Today's song is White Man in Hammersmith Palais by The Clash - Played REALLY loud!
12/10/2008

Vegan MoFo Day 12: Stew and Dumplings

You know when you leave comments on some blogs and you get a load of letters you have to type in to ensure you're not some spammer, well...have you ever noticed how some of them actually make words? Cool huh!
Anyhoo...I've had a real lazy day today, mainly spent reading blogs and leaving comments and generally just enjoying living my life through blog land, really sad to hear about Pumpkin I know how hard it is to lose such a beloved family member. Lots of love to Veggie Sue. Lazy days call for lazy food and for me that either involves leftovers or a one pot wonder. Well - I ate all the leftovers last night so out came the cauldron sized saucepan and Stew and Dumplings were born. This is a great winter warmer and once all the veggies are peeled and cubed - it's all pretty simple from there. Use what ever veg you have and the quantities are basically up to you – you can make as little or as much as you want.
This is what us Europeans use to make Dumplings. I have it on good authority that this is the same as Hydrogenated Vegetable Shortening
Veggie Stew serves 4 Ingredients Potatoes Olive Oil Turnip Carrots Onions Leeks Swede (Rutabaga) Parsnips Garlic Bay Leaf Parsley Bisto Gravy Granules (Beef style Bouillion) Marmite ( even if you don’t like it, I have served this to people who say they hate the stuff yet they love this recipe ) Water or Stock Dumplings 5oz Flour 2 oz Veggie Suet 1/2 tsp Salt 1/2 tsp Mixed Herbs Water to bind so as the Dumplings form elasticy shaped balls
Method Boil the Potatoes, drain and set aside. Peel and chop all the veggies to whatever size you want. Put some Olive Oil in a big pan and add the Onions, fry gently for 5 mins then add the garlic and all the other veggies except the leeks and Potatoes. Cook for 15 mins stirring to make sure nothing sticks to the pan. Add the Leeks and cook for a few more minutes. Add water or stock, as much as you want, pop in the Bay Leaf, cover and simmer for half an hour on a low heat. Stir in the Gravy Granules to get the consistency you want, add a teaspoon of Marmite and the Potatoes and cook for another 10 mins stirring often. Season with Salt and Pepper and add the Parsley. Now to make the Dumplings. Place the Flour and Suet in a bowl, add the Salt and Herbs and mix up with a fork. Gradually add water stirring inbetween each addition, I used about a cup. You want a sticky dough like consistency that forms an elasticy shape (Wow! My Literature teacher would be impressed with that description!!). If it's too dry add more water and likewise, if it's too wet add more Flour.
There are five Dumplings but one sank before I got my camera, so inconsiderate!
Place the Dumplings on top, pop the lid on the pan and cook for 15 – 20 mins on a low heat. Serve! Don't move for the next two hours and fall asleep halfway through the boring film you were watching! Today's song shall be Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here
This is stuck in my head quite a lot - it is my rescue song. You know when you try to get an annoying song out of your head so as you stop bursting forth with it whilst walking round the supermarket? Try this one - it works every time. Oh the power of The Floyd!