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For Christmas I received a copy of Vegan Street Food by Jackie Kearney. This book is full of vegan recipes inspired by the author’s travels through India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia. Lots of the recipes look great, though several involve ingredients that I don’t normally have in the house or see in the supermarket.  I’m sure that with a bit more effort I could source them.

The first recipe that I chose to cook from this book was gado-gado.  This is an Indonesian salad, smothered with a tasty and mildly spicy peanut sauce. There are lots of parts to this dish which have to be prepared separately: boil the potatoes, blanch some of the other vegetables, prepare the tempeh, cook the red onion (which was supposed to be crispier but I ran out of time). So, it’s a little fiddly but because it’s a salad, there’s no need for anything to be warm: you can just prepare each bit and then put it aside until everything is ready.

The recipe (which is available online) called for bean sprouts but I couldn’t find any, and the recipe doesn’t ask for rice but I made a little rice as a base. My husband and I both really enjoyed this meal. I’ve found that the leftover peanut sauce (which is quite thick after refridgeration) makes a decent sandwich spread, with left-over soy tempeh, tomato and lettuce. A spicy change for lunch!

 

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I needed a beetroot recently but had to buy a bunch of three. I roasted the remaining beetroot and used most of it to make a big batch of Minimalist Baker’s roasted beetroot hummus. I used about half the lemon zest suggested by the recipe (because I only had one lemon and was making a double batch). I believe that it’s fine to freeze hummus so I’ve got half of this beautiful stuff in the freezer, and have been enjoying the other half on crackers and as a sandwich spread. What a gorgeous colour!

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This is the  “luxurious tomato-basil pasta” recipe from the Oh She Glows cookbook. The recipe is available online here (with the author’s permission… I checked). Just remember to soak the cashews the night before, and you’ve got a very quick and easy meal. The tomato-cashew sauce really is creamy and luxurious, with fresh basil for flavour and chopped leafy greens (spinach) for taste and good-for-you-ness. I’ll definitely make this again.

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We had a half-watermelon in the fridge recently that really needed eating, but noone in the house seemed that interested in eating it. It was still summer here in Sydney (this is about a week ago) but autumn was closing in. As a last summer hurrah, I decided to turn the watermelon into a frozen treat.

Some quick googling revealed that this is very easy: just freeze the watermelon and then blend it up, possibly with a little lime juice. (I used the juice of half a lime.) My blender didn’t find this particularly easy, but I kept tamping down on the watermelon chunks and eventually the mixture was pretty smooth.  The process is so simple that a recipe is probably unnecessary, but as a guide I used this recipe from thethingswellmake. I didn’t add any sweetener, I don’t think it’s necessary (the recipe suggests possibly adding honey, but as a vegan I don’t eat honey).

We all enjoyed this refreshing sorbet…. next time I might add a little mint, I think that would be nice.

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I’ve made tofu scramble many times, but this is the first time I’ve ever made a chickpea scramble. I used this Mexican Chickpea Scramble recipe from Fettle Vegan. I didn’t have any cabbage in the house, but I added some chopped-up choy sum for extra leafy-green goodness.

I served this up for dinner, along with home-made Lincolnshire seitan sausage, baked beans and peas. The scramble was tasty and filling. Maybe I still prefer scrambled tofu, but I will definitely make chickpea scramble again.

 

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It was my youngest child’s birthday today. See if you can guess how old he was? Ha ha.

I tried this chocolate banana cake recipe from Madhuram’s eggless cooking, and it worked out really well. The cake was moist and tasted great. For the icing I tried cooked chocolate frosting from Let Them Eat Vegan. I was really happy with the icing: it held together, had a lovely shiny look on the cake and tasted delicious. I applied the icing straight after I’d made it: the recipe says that if you chill the icing in the freezer, then whisk it up again, it becomes lighter and fluffier.  I’ll try that another time, but it’s certainly good to use straight away.

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To complete the decoration I applied vegan sprinkles that I bought from the Cruelty Free Shop. The kids at the party enjoyed the cake, and so did the parents who accepted a slice!

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It’s really hot in Sydney at the moment. Really, really hot. So a frozen treat is always welcome. I know I’ve mentioned this recipe for seven-ingredient vegan cheesecakes (from Minimalist Baker) before, but it is one of my favourites. Last time I mentioned it, my big realisation was that I could substitute almond pulp for the nuts in the base, which works really well. Today I mention it simply to say that you should also add a big handful of frozen berries in the topping. These berry cheesecakes taste delicious and look very pretty.

In this batch I also blended the base for longer, leading to a much softer consistency . This was an improvement, I thought, so I’ll do it this way from now on.