Hi all, it’s been a rainy, windy couple of days in Brisbane. Everyone’s on alert for flooding and cyclones. Everything should be fine for us for flooding, but it’s a bit scary knowing that the rain isn’t going to stop for another couple of days. Our house has a couple of leaks from some screw ups from tradies that were working on our roof recently. We also have few little waterfalls flooding into our property from our neighbors. At least the dogs got a shower and a blow dry so they could join us inside. They are very happy chappy.
On the brighter side this is my 100th post. I can’t believe I’ve made it this far already. A big thanks to all the people who follow, comment and visit on my blog. You have no idea how much of a difference it has made to my life. Although I have had some slips this is the longest I have stuck to any kind of lifestyle change, so I am really proud to share it with you guys. You visits, likes and comments really help to keep me going on my transition, even though I often feeling like giving up.
Since I started this blog back at the end of September I have received a lot of positive feedback from many people. I have received a lot of great advice and praise from many regulars bloggers, many of which have given me awards for my efforts. I’ve also had views from from 77 countries to date. I can’t believe people from all over the world have found my blog and taken the time to check out out. So thanks again for all your support!
Tonight I cooked an African Stew. The recipe is adapted from Spicy Peanut Soup with Chicken from Bon appétit website. I adapted it to be vegan and gluten free. It was really nice comfort food for a cool, windy night and everyone loved it. I haven’t used peanut butter in a stew before, but it tasted really good. To go with it I made Spelt Buttery Biscuits. Marco, mum and Ted haven’t had these before. Last time I made them it was for the Marco’s niece and nephew, who also loved them. They all really like the buttery biscuits and they went really well with the warm stew.
Spicy Peanut Stew with Sweet Potatoes and Eggplant (vegan, gluten free, soy free)
450 g sweet potato, cut into cubes
1 tablespoon hot sauce
sea salt & pepper to taste
4 cups vegan chicken/vegetable broth
1/3 cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons tomato paste
5 tablespoons vegan butter
1.5 cups chopped onion
1 cup carrot, grated or diced
1 medium eggplant, cut into cubes
2 tablespoons arrowroot flour (tapioca)
1 cup canned diced tomatoes
1. Place the sweet potato in a large bowl and coat in the hot sauce, salt and pepper.
2. Take another large bowl or jug (big enough to hold 4 cups) and combine the stock, peanut butter, and tomato paste. Whisk it till it is all combined.
3. Take a large pot and melt the vegan butter on medium-high heat.
4. Then add the onions, carrot and eggplant. Saute for about 8 min. Then add the sweet potato and saute for a further 3 min.
5. Add the stock, tomatoes and flour to the pot and stir it through. Cook for 30 mins, or until the sweet potatoes are soft enough to put a fork through.
* Serves 8
Yesterday I had another try at the Eggless Fritata. Last time I made it I used firm tofu instead of silken tofu. I also didn’t have a nonstick pan. So it didn’t turn out as smooth as I would of liked. Since then I tried to make it again, but unfortunately I dropped it when I flipped it. This time was a success! I had silken tofu and my new neoflam pan I got for Christmas. I found the silken tofu made the batter a lot smoother and cooked more like an fritata, instead of a scramble. The pan also kept it together and didn’t let it stick, so that I could easily slide it into a baking tray to grill before serving.
I adapted the recipe this time and used sweet potato, red onion and carrot. It was incredibly fluffy and according to both me and Marco (the egg lover) this tasted much better then an egg fritata. The potato really makes it creamy and less plasticy then egg. Although this breakfast took me a lot longer to prepare it was definitely worth the wait. It is also great to pack for morning teas or lunches, which is what I will be doing for Marco for work next time.
Sweet potato & Carrot Eggless Fritata (vegan, gluten free, nut free)
1 sweet potato
200g soft silken tofu
2 tablespoons vegan butter
3 tablespoons cornstarch/arrowroot
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
½ teaspoon onion flakes (or onion powder)
½ teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small red onion diced
3 tablespoons grated carrot
1. Peel and cut the sweet potato in thin slices, then put it a small pot with water and bring to a boil. Cook until tender. Then strain and leave cool.
2. In the processor blend the silken tofu, vegan butter, cornstarch, baking powder, sea salt, black pepper, turmeric, onion flakes and garlic powder.
3. Heat pan with olive oil, then add the red onion and cook for a couple of minutes.
4. Then add sweet potato and grated carrot and cook for another couple of minutes.
5. Add the tofu batter to the pan, coat the vegetables, then level the batter and let it cook for 15 mins on medium heat.
6. Preheat grill in the oven.
7. Slide the frittata onto a circular baking tray with baking paper and place into the oven (grill). If you have the right pan you can put the entire pan into the oven. Grill for 3 mins or until slightly golden brown on top.
Last night we had Marco’s niece and nephew stay over, so I made them Black Bean Brownies. I got the recipe from Happy Herbivore, you can find it here. I used 1/4 cup of oats more then recipe said as the batter a bit too thin and added vegan chocolate chips. I also cooked for about 10 mins more and then had to let it set in the fridge, so that I could slice it. It was nice, but the texture of the black beans was a bit strange for me. Luckily the kids loved it. They had two slices and even took the rest home, so it was a success after all. This recipe is gluten free, so if you don’t mind beans in your brownie, this is a nice recipe.
The only other exciting thing I have had to eat this week was on thursday night. Marco and I meet some friends at our favorite Indian Restaurant, A Night in India. I have been visiting the Toowong location for ten years. Seems like just yesterday I was there with my newly legalized girlfriends, eating Indian and drinking wine, before hitting the clubs. I’ve change a lot since then, but the food hasn’t. It is still fantastic and fresh. Since then I have also discovered the Carindale location, which is owned by the other brother. Depending what side of town we are on, we visit both regularly. They both have many vegan, dairy free and gluten free options. So after I was forced to give up dairy and gluten a few years back and now eating vegan, this place was a god send to me. I don’t have to order the one boring vegan dish on the menu, because there are many exciting, delicious dishes to try, which are ‘Vanessa friendly’.
When we arrived the other night, our friends were running late and we were really hungry. So we ordered Vegetable Samosa. I asked if they were vegan and yes they are. The mint yogurt sauce that it came with was not, but I still ordered it for Marco. They were probably the best samosa I have every had. They weren’t greasy at all. We usually order Pakoras for entree, but I am happy I took a chance ordering this. For main I usually order the Vegetable Madras, as it is a creamy, dairy free dish, that has coconut milk. Tonight I decided to be different and order the Mushroom Sabji. It is a creamy curry with mushrooms, potato and peas. Although it isn’t vegan I asked the waiter if I could have it dairy free and the chef agreed to make it for me. On the side I ordered my usually Roti made of wholemeal flour and is dairy free. As much as I miss naan, when I eat the roti I forget about naan.