Raw kitchen gadgets

Raw kitchen gadgets

Our new Raw Food ‘must haves’

So much for our new kitchen.

Three weeks and it still looks like a building site!

So no recipes this week..

Some time ago I did a post on the Raw Kitchen and gadgets.

Blendtec Blender and attachments

While on the Feast and…

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Breakfast Mix - Raw, vegan and healthy

Breakfast Mix – Raw, vegan and healthy

Healthy breakfast mix

I must apologize for not posting for a few weeks now.

I have had other things on my plate – pardon the pun.

But I have been eating a hearty healthy breakfast every day!

Along with a green juice or a smoothie, I always have a scru…

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Mini Apple Tart - Vegan of course

Since getting into raw foods, and going vegan, I have not done any baking at all. Not sure why this is, but probably linked to the idea of a low-carb diet being healthy. We’re not so now sure that is the case, and carbs have stated creeping back into our foods.
Add to that the excellent recipes in my latest favourite vegan recipe book that I mentioned last week, and well there we are – vegan apple tarts.

The first time I made apple pie I used a bought pastry. This time I made these mini individual apple tarts for a dinner party for friends, and I made the pastry myself.
Getting quite adventurous for me!

There are loads of similar shortcrust pastry recipes on the web, but I more or less used the one from the Vegan Bible by Marie Laforet.

I really think you should go on line and get that book! It’s a winner.

And the filling was pretty simple too.

What you need:

About 5 apples
cinnamon sticks
lemon juice
brown sugar
shortcrust pastry (bought or make your own)
mini tart tins with removeable bases

What to do:

Core and chop the apples into smallish pieces
Put in a pot with a little water, some cloves, cinnamon sticks and sugar
Bring to boil ,and simmer gently for a while till apples cooked and soft.
Set aside to cool, and carefully remove the cloves and cinnamon.
Roll out the pastry, cut into pieces and gently press into your mini pie tins (oil the sides first)
Put some of the filling into the tins
Reroll the left over pastry and cut into thin strips and lay on the apple in a criss cross pattern, or however you choose.
Pop in a preheated oven and bake for about 20 mins at +- 200 deg C

We served these up with vegan coconut-banana ice-creem. Delicious. Went down a treat!

Ice-creem is something else I we have been battling with, but this coconut-banana one works. Recipe for that next week. Stay tuned!

Bon apetit.

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Apple tart and coconut icecreem

Spicy vegan burger patty

Spicy vegan burger patty

Vegan burger patties

There is something comforting about burgers, and I really want to come up with a good satisfying vegan burger that one can serve up to the carnivore friends.

I have made a few in the past, and although not bad at all, I don’t think any were the ‘ul…

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Vegetarian Haggis Stuffed Peppers

Vegetarian Haggis Stuffed Peppers

In the last post I mentioned Vegetarian Haggis, and different ways to serve it.
A couple of weeks ago we drove inland to the Cairngorms to see snow (A bit of a novelty for South Africans).
We found this inviting looking pub called the Strathmore Arms next to…

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Vegan cheeze

Karen’s vegan cheeze

I must apologize for not posting for a while!

Karen and I are on the European inland waterways on our motor cruiser Shangri La,
on a trip from Netherlands to France.

I am somewhat preoccupied with running the boat and all that goes with such a voyage.

Read about our boating here

Galley (kitchen) on board

However, the boat has a well equipped galley (kitchen) and Karen has been producing the most amazing vegan food.

We have been wanting to make vegan cheeze for a while now, and Karen has done it!

Here is Karen’s guest post on this –

Vegan cheeze

The thing about vegan cheeze is well, why bother. Cheese is highly addictive with casomorphins
And it tastes so good.
Cheese is a big hurdle for wannabe vegans. It was a tough one for us. We were told that we would get over cheese but I never believed it for a second.
But you actually do get over cheese. I think eating cheese is a habit. Not helped by the fact that there is so much of it in food all around us.
Once we started buying alternative things to eat – veggie pates, hummus, other bean dips, guacamole, salsas, pestos, tapenades, etc cheese
kind of dropped from our minds.

We do try vegan cheeze substitutes when we find them. They are unfortunately very expensive. I’ve been wanting to make a vegan cheeze and
my first attempt was a bit of a flop. This attempt was a whole lot better. And I made it on the boat – no less.
We had Internet at one of the stops and I watched this video
Anja shows exactly how to make this cheeze and what texture to expect.

Her key tips are – Simmer don’t boil the cheese.
Cook the Agar-Agar for a full 10 minutes to make sure it’s activated and will set.
And get it in the moulds pronto as it sets while you are pouring it

Tricky ingredients like Agar-Agar and Miso are available from most Asian food shops or Health Food shops.

Her recipe is written underneath her You Tube video. I was careful to follow it more or less but I made a few tiny tweaks to accommodate what I had on the boat.

Here’s the recipe –

1/2 C Soaked Cashew nuts/Macadamia nuts
3 Tablespoons Almond flour/Ground almonds
1 + 1/2 C Soy milk
3 Tablespoons Mild flavoured vegetable oil
1 Tablespoons Lemon juice/Apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons Miso paste – any colour or kind

1 Teaspoon Vegetable stock powder/Onion powder
1/2 Teaspoon White pepper
1/2 Teaspoon Himalayan salt

2 Tablespoons Agar-Agar soaking in 3/4 C boiling water for 10 minutes

I also added –
2 Tablespoons Nutritional yeast
1/4 Teaspoon Turmeric

You can add other flavours. Think along the lines of Garlic powder, Dried herbs, Liquid smoke, Smoked salt, Smoked paprika, Tomato paste, Mustard, Beer, Tamari, Soy sauce.

Here’s how you make it –

Boil the kettle and soak the Agar-Agar for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile mix all the other ingredients and blend until smooth. I only have a stick blender on the boat and it worked fine. Check the taste and add more flavourings or salt if needed.
Add the Agar-Agar to the cheese mixture, and again, blend well.

Now add the mixture to a pot and bring it to a simmer.
Do not let it burn or boil.
Keep it at a simmer for 10 minutes stirring constantly and scraping down the sides of the pot.
After 10 minutes, remove pot from heat and quickly pour into a heat proof mold. Allow to cool at room temperature and then place in the refrigerator.

So the question you may ask – is it like cheese? I don’t think so. But I like it. The closest I can compare it to is a really firm savoury mousse. It slices nicely. The flavours are up to you. You can add more or less of what you like.

Vegan cheeze on bread

It’s perfect for a cracker biscuit or a slice of bread. With some pickles or a relish? Maybe mustard or vegan mayo and a slice of tomato? I loved this particular cheeze but I’m definitely going to try different flavours.

And it packs a protein punch with nuts and soy milk as the main ingredeints – which is always handy for vegans.

Thanks to Karen – and it was absolutely delicious!

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Indonesian Pumpkin Cakes

We are on a bit of an Indonesian fling at the moment, as you might have gathered. See my last post to find out how this came about. One of the desserts at our Indonesian pop-up dining event was these tiny pumpkin cakes. They are surprisingly tasty – just sweet enough with a hint of coconut.
We had several attempts at making them, and for the actual event I made 70 of them. Delicious as they are, I don’t think I will be making them for a while.

The trick in this recipe is to use the right balance of flours to get just that perfect texture – not too rubbery!

So here is the final recipe:

Ingredients –

Base layer –

200 grms steamed pumpkin
200 ml coconut milk
45 grms rice flour
35 grms tapioca flour
2 T brown sugar
¼ t salt
Dash vanilla extract

Top Layer –

180 ml coconut milk
25 grms rice flour
15 grms tapioca flour
1 T brown sugar

Method –

1 Put all base layer ingredients in a bowl and blend with a stick blender. Adjust salt and sweetener to taste.
2 Put all top layer ingredients in a bowl and blend. Also adjust to taste.
3 Get a steamer going on the stove.
4 Pour the base layer into greased mini molds, filling to about 75 to 80% to allow space for top layer.
5 Place molds in steamer. NB – Seal lid with a tea towel to absorb the moisture.
6 Steam for about 6 minutes.
7 Remove from stove and carefully pour in the top layer mixture to the molds. Take care not to disturb the base layer.
8 Return to steamer and steam for about another 6 to 8 minutes.
9 Remove from stove and insert green coloured coconut flakes as decoration/garnish
10 Remove molds from steamer and set aside to cool completely.
11 Once completely cool, remove from molds.

Notes –

1. The traditional garnish or decoration is pandang. We cannot get this here, so we took coconut shavings and soaked them in green food colouring, and then dehydrated them for a while.
2. It is important to use the teatowel in the steamer lid, otherwise the tops of the cakes go watery.

3. The little molds I used were lent by someone. Not easy to find here in Cape Town. But you can just as well use larger cupcake size ones. Maybe steam for a few minutes longer to ensure set right through.

Everyone enjoyed these somewhat different treats.

Bon apetit!

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Indonesian Pumpkin Cakes

Salad days are here again!

Warm winter salad

Eating healthily out here in the North Sea is not particularly inspiring!
Give them their due, they do try – but the selection is limited.

Munching my way through the ‘same old’ lettuce, tomato, onion and peppers, I could not help remembering the wonderfully tasty and ‘differen…

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Low Carb Oatcakes

We both love oatcakes. Oats is sooo good for you for a number of reasons. Read more here. We’ve already made Cinnamon Oatcakes – here – and Cheesy Oatcakes – here. While we are in Scotland we tend to try the different brands available in the supermarkets. Back home in South Africa, we…

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Onion Tart - Vegan

Onion Tart – Vegan

Vegan onion tart

We have not done much vegan baking at all but Karen wanted to try this dish as a starter at our last dinner party.

The original idea also came from the Leafy Green Cafe recipe book by Antonia De Luca, but we also needed to make this one gluten free.

After m…

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Chickpea Cinnamon Blondies

Chickpea Cinnamon Blondies

Who would have thought of using beans in a dessert? Seems like lots of people. Anyway - it was a first for me, and turned out really well. I am busy doing an on line cooking course and needed to make two completely diffenrent dishes using the same type of bean. I made...

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Homemade Tomato Sauce

Homemade Tomato Sauce

There's something quite satisfying about making your own tomato sauce. And this one is delicious and oh so simple. Thanks to Jamie Oliver's "Jamie at Home" video series for the inspiration. Ingredients: 5 ripe tomatoes 2 T white wine vinegar Pinch salt 1 t smoked salt...

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Carrot Lox (Vegan “Smoked Salmon”)

Carrot Lox (Vegan “Smoked Salmon”)

Way back in 2014 I this post featuring my version of a vegan "smoked salmon". I would like to think I sort of invented this - but probably not. Now, since we have been doing our vegan pop-up dining, featuring vegan sushi, I have improved it a lot.. Here is my updated...

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Sweetcorn Chowder

Sweetcorn Chowder

When we decided to make this sweetcorn chowder as a starter for our pop up dining event, (check out our Green & Vegan FB page) we originally opted for a raw recipe. When we tested it, yes it was tasty, but to be honest - tasted - raw! So we changed tack completely,...

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Vegan Creme Brulee

Vegan Creme Brulee

Vegan Creme Brulee is something I have been wanting to make for ages! I went out and bought a chef type 'blow torch' to add to all the other kitchen gadgets we already have. But I think I will use it quite a bit. Apparently one can also use it to skin tomatoes and...

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Tomato Consomme

This very tasty Tomato Consomme is thanks to Jamie Oliver's "Taste" video series. We made and served it at our latest pop-up vegan dining event last Saturday, and it seemed to go down a treat. Check out our Green & Vegan FB page Ingredients: 5 or 6 ripe large tomatoes...

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Basil Pistou and Oat Creem

Basil Pistou and Oat Creem

These were the two extras I used in the cucunber mint soup in the last post. As promised, here are the recipes. Both very quick and easy. Basil Pistou - Ingredients: 2 C fresh basil, loosely packed 4 cloves garlic, minced (use only 2 if they are the very large cloves)...

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Melktert – Vegan

Melktert – Vegan

A momentary break from the French slant - but don't worry, there will be more of that influence to come. With our pop-up ding in Cape Town, we have also been trying traditional South African dishes. So here is a vegan Melktert. Recipe came courtesy of Plant...

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