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My partner is an omnivore but is happy to cook vegan food for us all to eat. He has also bonded with Isa Does It, which has led to him expanding his repertoire considerably. Recently he cooked this yummy pesto-cauliflower pasta with breaded tofu. The pesto uses basil and coriander (cilantro) and tastes really fresh. The breaded tofu was fun too.

At the back of the photo you can see some beetroot, which I prepared because my partner said he’d been craving it. I roasted some beetroot in their skins and served them warm. Not the most natural pairing with this pasta dish, perhaps, but it was tasty.

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A couple of Sundays ago we went to the Marrickville Market. There’s lots going on at the markets and lots of food on offer. But my sister Leigh was on the lookout for the Vegan Toastie from Mister Toast. See it above, in all its splendour, and read the ingredients below. Mmmm, shiitake bacon (-:

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Thanks Mister Toast for offering this delicious vegan option.

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This pie was inspired by my sister Leigh’s Cherry Pie recipe in her first cookbook, Vegan Indulgence. I had a jar of morello cherries in the cupboard, but the recipe requires two jars… so I substituted four apples for the second jar. I peeled and slices the apples, put them in a saucepan with some cherry juice, and stewed them gently for 5 minutes to soften them. Then I followed the rest of Leigh’s very easy recipe for the cherry filling, which you can read on Google books. (Have a look on the next page too: my husband took the photos!)

I really did intend to make the pastry from scratch, honest, but then I realised that I didn’t have enough vegan margarine: “Ah well”, I thought, “it will just have to be store-bought pastry” (phew!).  I blind-baked the base for about 10 minutes so it wouldn’t end up soggy, then completely cooled the base and the filling. When cool, I scooped the filling into the pie (I didn’t use all the liquid but kept some to use as topping on ice-cream). Before putting the second sheet of pastry on for the lid, I brushed some soy milk around the edges of the base to encourage the base and lid to stick together (I pressed around the edge of the lid with a fork as well). Finally, I brushed the whole lid with soy milk so it would brown. Don’t forget to cut a circle out of the middle of the lid so that the steam has somewhere to escape.

I was very happy with how this pie turned out: look at the gorgeous red colour! It’s a loose filling which spilled out when I cut it, but that doesn’t bother me. The kids and I greatly enjoyed this pie.

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I felt that it was time to try a new seitan recipe. (I have only really tried chorizo seitan from Viva Vegan, and chickpea cutlets from Veganomicon.) After a bit of googling, I saw a lot of people posting recipes adapting the Steamed White Seitan recipe from Viva Vegan. So I decided to start there. (The recipe is also available online from food.com.)

The recipe was quite easy to make, but I wasn’t quite sure that I got my four loaves into the right shape. Also, I forgot to set the timer for the steaming and I suspect that I should have steamed them a little longer. Never mind, the seitan always gets cooked again before eating.

For two of the loaves, I sliced them and grilled them (left).  The other two spent some time in the freezer, then I defrosted them, tried to slice them thinly, briefly marinated them and put them in the oven. It turns out that the defrosting was a mistake: I later read a tip saying that you should slide partially-frozen seitan, so that you can make thinner slices. Never mind!  For the marinade I used a simpler version of tempeh tickle, with just olive oil, balsamic vinegar, some Braggs, a little Dijon mustard and a spot of maple syrup. (There’s already enough herbs in the seitan so I didn’t add any more herbs in the marinade.)  Then I put the marinated slices on an oven tray (on top of some kitchen paper) and put them in the oven for about 10 minutes each side. They came out quite crispy and tasty.

I’ve been enjoying the grilled slices in sandwiches this week (I slice them in half again before use, to make them thinner) and I think the oven-baked slices are going to make delicious sandwiches too. But I’d be happy to learn new ways to prepare seitan, especially for sandwiches, since I usually take sandwiches to work. If you know of a good recipe, please let me know in the comments!

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: if you’re ever in Brisbane, get yourself to the Green Edge, Windsor for some delicious food.  This was on their specials board last time I was there (which was back in April, I’ll admit, but I’ve been busy!!)…. a Louisiana Po Boy, shrimp-style deliciousness with very yummy sauce, mayonnaise and salad. I greatly enjoyed eating this.

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I also love the sign they’ve got hanging over the window through to the kitchen.

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The other day I had some passionfruit to use up. After some googling, I chose to make this vegan passionfruit panna cotta recipe from Baking-Ginger. As promised, this is very easy to make: it just takes a little time to set each layer.

The recipe calls for a tin of Granadilla pulp but I think that’s just passionfruit pulp (can anyone confirm?).  I substituted the pulp of two fresh juicy passionfruit, and I was able to make it stretch to a topping for four small desserts, as in the photo. It would have been nice with a bigger passionfruit layer as well, if I’d had more than two passionfruits. Everyone enjoyed this dessert and I would definitely make it again.

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It’s been cold in Sydney lately: really cold! So I decided to use up lots of leftover veggies from the fridge and make a veggie soup. This soup had sweet potato, cauliflower, carrot, cabbage, celery, a little homegrown kale and parsley, and some brown rice. It was a very thick soup, even after blending with a stick blender. I quite like using white pepper instead of black pepper in soup sometimes, for a change.

I even got fancy and made a rosemary foccacia from Vegonomicon. I’ve made it before, but this one turned out really well: you can see it in the background. I was really happy with the texture, and it tasted great, with lots and lots of homegrown rosemary.

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