Archives for category: dairy substitute

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I just got back (well, on Monday) from two weeks in Canada.  I spent the first week in Vancouver, where I found some yummy things to eat.  I had some time to kill on my first day before I could check into my hotel, so I walked to Kokomo in Chinatown and ate a Breaky Bowl, featuring tofu scramble, spicy tempeh crumble, roasted squash, lettuce, cherry tomatoes, rice and seeds.  A very healthy and tasty start to the day (and a nice change from airplane food!).

The next day I planned a walk specifically to grab brunch at Edible Flours, a vegan bakery in Kitsilano.

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So many vegan treats, both savoury and sweet, and several gluten free options. Not a great photo (below) because of the reflections, but you get the idea.

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I had a spinach, tofu and artichoke roll (right) and a cinnamon roll (left) with a coffee: from memory, an oatmilk latte.  All were delicious.

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Then it was time for the conference which I had come to Vancouver to attend.  Imagine my joy when I noticed that there was a hole-in-the-wall selling vegan puddings, just across the road from the conference venue!

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The people at Vegan Pudding & Co are really onto something. I had a strawberry pudding, topped with whipped coconut cream and double-chocolate sauce.  It was rich and creamy and I wish I could eat another one right now.

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My last lunch in Vancouver was at Nemesis where I had the vegan version of the Raddest Cauli Hash.

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My friend had the non-vegan version and she was jealous:  I got avocado on top of mine and a really fresh pesto underneath. This dish was a really nice mixture of flavours, colours and textures.

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Recently I made some tofu feta, following this simple recipe from Vegan Sparkles.  As well as a nice addition to a greek salad, I also enjoyed this tofu feta as part of a simple dinner I made myself one night, accompanying Linda McCartney vegan sausages and delicious grilled asparagus (just coated in olive oil, salt and pepper).

Today I thought, well I’d like to do a blog post but all I really have to talk about is the tofu feta I made.  Then I wondered, have I already mentioned this recipe?  I’ve made it a few times over the years. Turns out I *did* write about the same tofu feta recipe on this blog once before: six years ago to the day! What a coincidence!  Then I realised, that old post was written on Day 2 of this humble blog. So happy blogversary (?!) to me 🙂

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This is the first recipe I’ve tried from Julie Piatt’s book This Cheese is Nuts. Many recipes in the book involve a dehydrator, but I don’t own a dehydrator. (Do you own a dehydrator? Are they worth it? I’m very interested in any comments you may have.)  So I tried a “form cheese” which doesn’t require a dehydrator.

This is the cashew cheddar. The colour comes from emptying out beta-carotene capsules. You mix up all the ingredients in a blender and then stir it around in a saucepan until it reaches a particular temperature and starts pulling away from the sides of the pan as you stir.  I didn’t use a thermometer but I did stir and stir and eventually, the magic happened.  Hooray! Then, the mixture firms up in the fridge.

Even when chilled, the cheese wasn’t as solid as I expected. It was good on sandwiches or on top of chillis. But I had also put some of the cheese in the freezer (I used four ramekins, because I didn’t have a larger container of the right size). Freezing the cheese changed the texture and it became more solid, as pictured. After freezing, the cheese was sliceable but still easily spreadable.

If I made this again, I would add some more flavourings, like pepper and garlic. The strong and gorgeous flavours of (my sister!) Leigh Drew’s cashew cheese recipe has set the bar really high, I guess.  I’d also like to try some of the other recipes in the book, and may try using the oven on a very low temperature for a very long time, as an alternative to a dehydrator. (Have you ever tried that?  How did it go??)

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I had a couple of avocados that needed to be used, so I tried another avocado chocolate mousse recipe, this one from Well Plated. Unlike my first attempt, this recipe has no nuts: it’s really just melted chocolate, avocado and a few other flavours. To serve I added a blob of vanilla-flavoured coconut yoghurt, and raspberries.

I followed the recipe, though I knew that the chocolate flavour would be very strong. Sure enough, kid #1 said it was too strong for her. I had concerns that reducing the amount of chocolate would let the avocado taste through. But there’s absolutely no trace of avocado flavour with the recipe as written. (I did add the optional agave nectar.) When I make this again, I’ll reduce the amount of melted chocolate a bit (maybe 3/4 or 2/3 of the stated amount).  I like the texture of this mousse, which I made very smooth in my high-speed blender. I didn’t find the flavour too strong myself, though it might be a bit overwhelming without the addition of some coconut cream or coconut yoghurt, and fruit.

 

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This was dinner one night last week, starring crispy smashed potatoes from Oh She Glows and roasted carrots, following this recipe (but I substituted agave nectar for maple syrup since I was out of maple syrup). Also on the plate we see some steamed snow peas, some corn on the cob, and a small pile of chopped-up homemade seitan sausage. The finishing touch: a thick drizzle of Dreena Burton’s raw aioli from Let Them Eat Vegan, made from cashew nuts, brazil nuts, pine nuts, garlic and some other flavourings. I am happy to report that the recipe for raw aioli is available online.

You know what?  It was a yummy and satisfying dinner.

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This is the mousse part of Dreena Burton’s Raw Chocolate Dream Mousse Pie, from Let Them Eat Vegan. It is the first time I have made a chocolate mousse that contains the secret ingredient…. <whispers> avocado. For some reason, my high speed blender didn’t completely obliterate the texture from the soaked cashews: you can see some graininess in the photo. But this tasted good as a chocolately dessert.

OMG: have a look at the date of this post and the date of Dreena Burton’s post that I linked to in the previous paragraph!  That’s a completely unprepared coincidence, I promise you. Exactly 5 years from her recipe post to mine.  And that reminds me: a week ago it was my 5th anniversary as a vegan. Hooray!

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Looks great, don’t you think?  It tasted great too. My starting point for this cheesecake was a recipe on One Green Planet for Oreo Cheesecake Tartlets.  I made a couple of modifications: I’m always looking for ways to use up almond pulp (created as a by-product of the fresh almond milk that I make for my green smoothies, since I only see long-life almond milk in the shops near where I live).  So my base was around 1 cup almond pulp, 1 cup dates, cacao powder (about 3 tablespoons?) and some rolled oats, maybe 1/4 of a cup. Then I made the vanilla cream layer, as in the recipe linked above. As in many raw vegan cheesecakes, the cream is made from cashew nuts, coconut milk and flavourings. I didn’t have cacao butter so I substituted melted coconut oil.

But I was too lazy to make the chocolate ganache drizzle that they suggested in the recipe, so I simply topped the cheesecake with fresh strawberries when serving. I think the freshness of the strawberries added a nice element to the dessert.

Instead of tartlets, I used an 8 inch round springform cake tin, lightly greased and lined. As you see, there was enough base for a decent layer on the bottom and up the sides, and luckily, the vanilla filling came up to pretty much exactly the right height! If you haven’t made a raw cheesecake before then (you definitely should and) I should probably mention that after putting the base and filling together, the cheesecake goes in the freezer to firm up. When serving, cutting it while it’s quite frozen helps keep the base together, but I prefer to let it soften up for at least 10 minutes before eating it.

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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’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.

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I had originally soaked some cashews with another recipe in mind, but I decided instead to try this cashew maple ice cream from thevintagemixer.com . You just blend up the cashew nuts, some water, coconut oil, sweeteners and vanilla, then put in the freezer in a shallow tray.  You stir the mixture regularly: I gather that this helps make the icecream creamy, rather than just icy.

We tried some tonight with a drizzle of maple syrup over each serve, and we all enjoyed it. The icecream was quite firm initially but softened up quickly.  Next time I make this, I’ll put it in the icecream maker and see if there’s much change in texture.