Very Inspiring Blogger Award

I won another award! Love to Cook nominated me for Very Inspiring Blogger Award. I am very happy that so many people are enjoying my blog. I never thought it would receive so many followers. If you haven’t seen Love to Cook, check her it out. She has heaps of healthy and delicious recipes that are very unique.

Below are the rules for the Very Inspiring Blog Award so please follow carefully:

1.  Display the award logo on your blog.
2.  Link back to the person who nominated you.
3.  State 7 things about yourself.
4.  Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award and link to them.
5.  Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirements.

Below are the 7 things about me.

1. I am still studying business/arts degree in marketing, italian language & cultural history (but hope to only use history degree)

2. I spent 4 months living in Italy this year and traveled for two months around Europe

3. I love reading and watching just about anything supernatural

4. I was a ballerina for most of my life

5. I can’t whistle, but I can pop

6. I have learned the violin, clarinet, trombone, guitar and piano (only one I can still play)

7. I have pyroluria

My 15 nominations:

Veghotpot

Sethsnap

Vedged Out

Emmy Cooks

From Motherhood to Enlightenment

Vini Cooks Veg

The Eclectic Eccentric Shopaholic

The Trim Body

Miss Marzipan

Eating Whole

What’s on my plate today

lucysfriendlyfoods

Karma free cooking

The Misfit Baker

Sugar and Spice Baking

‘Shepherd’s’ Pie and Date Gelato

I was not meant to cook today. I was meant to be studying all day till everyone got home this afternoon. But the leftovers in the fridge, from the other nights Pirozhki, were calling me to be used. They were meant to be used last night, but we went to the Tea Master again for a late lunch and were too stuffed to have dinner. Don’t ask me why I decided to make a pie when 30 degrees today. I shouldn’t even be using the oven. But as we are running low on food and I had all these ingredients ready to go.

I have never made a meat pie before or even a vegetarian pie, only sweet ones. However, living in Australia I’ve eating many meat pies. Australians like to think it’s their national dish, even though, like most of our ‘Australian traditions’,  are borrowed from migrants. I borrowed some ideas from this Taste recipe for the Aussie Meat Pie, so my pie would taste right. I wanted to put a puff pastry top on it as well, but I only had two puff pastry sheets left and too many people who live here who will want to try it the pie. So I made two pies and made a garlic mash potatoes to go on top.

I reused the ‘mince’ from the Pirozhki filling and added some corn flour, diced tomato and lots of worcestershire sauce. I also added some onion, mushrooms and lentils, since I barely had two cup left of the ‘mince’. The ‘mince’ didn’t have a strong taste, so you could just use dry tvp mince soaked beef stock and add some sauteed vegetables (carrot, onion, garlic, cabbage) if you want. I tried added a bit of vegemite to the ‘mince’ when I was cooking it, since the Taste recipe suggested it. I was only game to use 1/2 a tsp, but I don’t think it needed more then that. I’m not sure it did much to the flavour, other then maybe making it saltier. So its up to you whether you use it.

After such a hot lunch, I made Banana Date Gelato. I used soymilk, since I didn’t have any coconut.  I think coconut cream would be better, as it was not as thick as last time. The dates were so sweet that I didn’t need to add any maple syrup.

I hope you guys like the recipes. I’m sure for the rest of you not in Australia, this will be a nice pie for a cold winters night.

Vegan Shepherd’s Pie (vegan, gluten free option, nut free)

Ingredients for Pie base and Top:

2 sheets vegan puff pastry (use gluten free puff pasty if you prefer)

6-7 brushed potatoes, peeled and chopped in large slices

1 cup unsweetened oat milk (use unsweetened soy milk if you can tolerate)

2 tablespoons vegan butter

1 tablespoon garlic powder

sea salt & black pepper to taste

Ingredients for Filling

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 red or brown onion, chopped

100g (or more) sliced mushrooms

2 cups left-over tvp mince (or 100 g soy tvp mince soaked in beef stock & cooked with sautéed chopped onion, garlic, carrot, cabbage, mushrooms soy sauce)

2 tablespoons corn flour

1/2 cup tinned diced tomato

4 tablespoon worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon vegemite (or more, option)

1 tin of brown lentils

salt & pepper to taste

 Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

2. In a large pot fill with water and add potatoes & pinch of salt. Bring to the boil and cook till potatoes are soft. Once cooked strain and use a potato masher to mash it, set to the side.

3. Take a large pan or pot and heat olive oil, then add onions and cook for 3 mins, then add mushrooms and cook for a further 2 mins, or until browned then add left-over ‘mince’

‘meat’ filling

or Soak tvp mince in beef stock (only to make it wet, not to much), Saute onion, garlic in a large pan with olive oil, then add any finely chopped vegetables such as carrots, cabbage and

mushrooms, add 1 tbsp of soy sauce or more to taste.

4. Mix 2 tbsp of corn flour with 4 tbsp of diced tomatoes, then add to the pot of ‘mince’.

5. Add 1/4 cup diced tomatoes, worcestershire sauce, vegemite, lentils and bring to the boil, then put on a simmer and add salt & pepper to taste. Cook for 15-20mins then take off heat.

Garlic Mash Potatoes

6. Take large pot again and add potatoes back in. Then add vegan butter, soy milk, and garlic powder. Stir through so that the potatoes become creamy. Then add salt & pepper to taste. Then take off the heat.

7. Take the puff pastry out of the freezer and prepare the 2 pie dishes, by oiling them with vegan butter or spray oil.

Prepare pie dishes

8. Once puff pastry sheets are defrosted and soft, place them inside the pie dishes. Push the the pastry into the edges so it molds to the dish. Then cut off the 4 edges on each that hang over the sides. (I kept these scraps, rolled them, twisted them and added a bit of ketchep and baked them for a snack, you can also use to patch up any tears in the pastry)

Add ‘meat’ filling

9. First add the ‘meat’ filling into pie dishes. Making sure that they are both level.

Add garlic mashed potatoes on top

10. Then add the mashed potatoes on top of the pie filling. Again making sure its all level and try not to cover the pastry around the edge of the pie dish (pastry helps to tell you when it ready)

11. Cook for 30 mins or until pastry is cooked.

* Makes 2 pies, Serves 8-10 people.

Date Gelato (vegan, raw, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

2 frozen bananas

5-6 Medjool dates

1/2 cup coconut cream milk or thick soy milk

Method:

1. Cut bananas and medjool dates (making sure you remove the seeds).

2. Add all ingredients to the processor and whizz till all banana is smooth.