Hope everyone had a good Christmas I spent the 24th-26th preparing food and eating it. We had Marco’s Birthday Lunch with his family, Christmas lunch and dinner with my family and Boxing day celebrating with his family again for lunch.
We are off to Melbourne tomorrow I can’t wait! All my family are down there and I haven’t been for a few years. But I am also eager to discover some of the great vegan eats down there too. I have heard that Melbourne is the best state for vegans and vegetarians. I hope I have time. Its difficult to find time to do your own thing when visiting family. I feel guilty for ditching them or that I am not making the most of my time with them. I have a very big italian family. My mum is one of 10 and most of her siblings live down there with their kids and my father is one of four and his parents and grandmother are still alive. There is always a bit of jealously when I go between one family to the other. I also don’t know how they are going to take my new diet. They love meat down there. I know people think well they others should respect their lifestyle choice as vegan/vegetarian, but I always feel like I should be as little trouble as possible when I stay like people. Thats just the way I have been brought up and if you go against the norm then you are a problem. I am hoping I am worrying about nothing and it will all turn out well!
Over the last few days I cooked for Christmas with my family and for Marco’s family. I made another Rosemary Galette with tomatoes and zucchini, Chat Potato Salad, Sweet Potato Croquettes, Stone Fruit Slice, and a Raw Pumpkin Cheesecake. I ended up making everything except the Cheesecake for Christmas with my family. Unfortunately none of them even tried or asked about what I cooked. I was a bit annoyed after going to all that effort. This part of my family is very pro meat and milk. They don’t believe that food is important to be healthy and it shows. I hope they don’t read this. Its their choice anyway. At least they didn’t put caesar dressing on the other salads, so I could eat them. It’s something I suppose. They did eat my fudge, which also brought and Marco served out. Didn’t get any feedback, but considering the plates didn’t come back with any left over I guess they liked it.
I ended up taking the Sweet Pototo Croquettes and both cakes to Marco’s the next day for his family. Considering when I met this Serbian family they ate meat for nearly every meal, they have come a long way. Most of them don’t drink dairy and make a conscious effort to not eat so much meat. It isn’t just my influence, but also cancer, intolerance and a lot of reading that has really changed their eating habits over the past 5 years. So they were really happy with everything I brought and it cheered me up.
Their were also a lot of vegetarian options at their lunch. One of the ladies brought their traditional pita, but instead of putting cheese in them, she put some with semolina and some with grated potato. They were really really good. I couldn’t stop eating them. I wish I took a photo of them. The Serbian’s have traditional called Slava, where they don’t eat any meat or dairy products for a day. So they do have a few vegan friendly recipes. Hopefully I can learn a few.
Below are some of the foods I prepared for Christmas:
Rosemary Galette with Tomato & Zucchini (vegan, nut free)
Adapted from Chloe’s Kitchen
1.25 cups plain flour
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon rosemary leaves
1/2 cup nutlex (vegan butter)
5 tablespoons ice cold water
2 truss tomatoes
1 small zucchini
1. Preheat the oven 180 degrees and start the dough. Take a large bowl and combining flour, sugar, salt, rosemary in a bowl. Then adding nutlex in small chunks. Use your hands to combine so it becomes like bread crumbs, then add the water, so that it becomes like a dough. Place in the fridge for 10 mins.
2. Roll out the dough with rolling pin on baking paper. Cut out a large circle about 20cm and place into a circle baking pan. Refrigerate for 10 mins.
3. Brush the dough with olive oil, fan sliced tomatoes in the center and add the thinly sliced zucchini around the edges. Then fold down the edges on top of the zucchini and season it all with salt. Refrigerate for 15 mins.
4. Bake for 30-35mins and serve.
Chat Potatoes Salad (vegan, gluten free, nut free)
500g chat Potatoes
200g soft tofu
1/4 cup olive oil
1 garlic clove
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
4 shallots, chopped
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
vegan sour cream (I used Chef Chloe’s recipe)
1. Preheat oven 180 degrees. Coat the chat poatoes in olive oil and sea salt. Bake for 40 mins or until soft.
2. In the meantime prepare the sour cream. Blend the tofu, oil, garlic, lemon, mustard and salt and place in the fridge till you need it. Should make 3/4 of a cup.
3. When potatoes have cooled down cut the potatoes in halfs or quarters. Add sliced shallots and sliced sun dried tomatoes.
4. When ready, coat in sour cream and sea salt.
Mixed Fruit Slice
This is adapted for my Stone Fruit & Berry Slice. I used nectarines, peaches, kiwi fruit, pineapple, green grapes. One thing I really changed was adding a cup of soy milk to the base of the slice when I was making the dough. I also didn’t add maple to the fruit. I just squashed them on top and added a sprinkle of raw sugar.
Raw Pumpkin Cheesecake
This recipe is from The Veggie Nook. Really easy to make. Next time I wouldn’t add so much banana and put a bit more maple syrup in the filling. It was sweet enough for me, but not for Marco.
These are a couple of recipes I have made from leftovers this week, while I was cooking:
Tempeh ‘Tuna’ Salad (vegan, gluten free, nut free)
I have been hearing about this mock tuna for a while, but I never got around to trying to make it. I looked at a few recipes, but didn’t have all of the ingredients for them. It does have the texture of tuna but not quite the fishy taste. I will have to keep trying. But otherwise a good creamy salad filling for a sandwich.
2 tablespoons red onion, finely diced
2 tablespoons celery, finely diced
1 small dill pickle, finely diced
1.5 tablespoons vegan mayo
1/2 teaspoon nutritional yeast
1/4 teaspoon dijon mustard
sea salt to taste
1. Steam tempeh in a steamer for 20 mins (to remove bitterness)
2. Combine all the ingredients and season to taste. Serve in a sandwich, on toast or with a salad.
Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese (vegan, gluten free option)
100-150 g Macraroni (or other short pasta, use gluten free pasta if you prefer)
1/4 cup mashed pumpkin
1/2 cup milk
2-3 tablespoons nutitional yeast
2-3 tablespoons vegan sour cream (I used Chef Chloe’s recipe)
sea salt to taste
1. Boil Pasta according to instructions. Then strain and set aside.
2. Heat pumpkin with soy milk. Stir till it becomes a thick sauce, then add nutritional yeast and stir. Add pasta and take off the heat.
3. Add sour cream and season with salt, then place into a baking proof dish. Top with corn crumbs and cook in the oven for 10-15mins or till golden brown on top.