Today is Live Blissful’s 1 year Anniversary! I can’t believe my vegan journey has made it this far. A year ago I really didn’t know if I this was something that I could actually do. Although I’m not completely perfect, I have managed for the most part to completely change my diet as well as my reluctant fiance’s. Now that I have made it a year I know that this is something that I can live by long term. I really want to thank all my fellow bloggers and readers for your encouragement that has kept me going.
Over the past year making the change to vegan has not been completely smooth. Although I have achieved more then I thought I would. I have discover new ingredients and different ways to cook without needing animal products. I have made a conscious effort to buy animal free products. I have also found and sampled many vegan/vegan friendly cafes and restaurants around Brisbane and other Australian cities.
The biggest challenges I have faced over the past year seem a lot less insignificant now, then when I first began this journey. Unkind comments and awkwardness from family and friends were probably the hardest thing to swallow. But I learned to stop apologizing, because choosing to live a healthy life is not something to be ashamed of. The second biggest challenge was the feeling of despair every time I could not find something to eat in a restaurant. Now I try to make more informed choices when choosing a restaurant. When I have been invited out I try to organize something special with the chef and usually leave feeling happy and satisfied. As for cravings, these have been probably the easiest thing to over come. My tastes have really changed and I don’t really crave the same textures and flavors that I use to.
Another anniversary that I almost forgot about was Marco and my 6 year Anniversary. It actually fell on the 19th, but we both forgot. Now we are engaged I’m not sure which anniversary we are meant to celebrate. Maybe we will just celebrate all of them. We had a pretty quite weekend. Poor Marco has had work at 4 am. So I wanted to make him some home cooked meals that I know he would like. I was going to also make a cake, but after he found a mysteries jumbo muffin in my fridge (not sure where that came from), I thought we could both do without.
This breakfast was inspired by the loads of apples in my fridge crisper. I only usually use green apples for juicing. But my mum keeps buying all these red apples that no one eats. This was surprisingly filling and very creamy. In fact I’m about to have it again for morning tea now.
Raw Apple Breakfast Pudding (vegan, gluten free, soy free)
1/2 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon agave (or other natural sweetener)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons flax seeds
2 teaspoons chia seeds
fresh fruit to garnish
1. In a high speed blender add the cashews. Once they are starting to break down, then add the water, agave and vanilla extract. Don’t worry if its not really smooth.
2. Roughly grate the apples with the skin on.
3. Add some lemon juice to the grated apples so they don’t go brown and taste fragrant.
4. Combine the apple with the cashew cream. Stir through some flax seeds and chia seeds
5. Serve raw apple pudding with fresh fruit to garnish
This stew was inspired by all the leftovers veggies that needed to be used. I cooked up so many organic split kidney beans a few days back and then nobody was there to eat them with me.
I have never done a dumpling topping before. I was just flicking through a Jamie Oliver cook book and saw different stew toppings. I added Cheezly White Cheddar Style, which gave it a really nice savoury flavor. This is something else that I needed to use up. One bad thing about vegan cheeses is that they don’t last many days after opening.
I really loved the dumpling topping. This is definitely something I will make again for my next stew. It tastes so lovely and savory and just as nice as having fresh bread with an oven hot stew.
Kidney Bean and Vegetable Stew with Cheddar Dumplings Topping (vegan, nut free)
Ingredients for Kidney Bean and Vegetable Stew:
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 large brown onions, diced
2 garlic cloves, diced
1/2 bunch shallots, diced
2 sticks celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
4 baby or 1 red capsicum, diced
1/2 cup white wine
1 teaspoon sweet hungarian paprika
1 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)
1 teaspoon lemon thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
1 can good quality tomato pulp
2 zucchini (diced)
2 cups cooked kidney beans
2 cups vegan chicken liquid stock
sea salt & black pepper to taste
Ingredients for Dumplings:
200 g self raising flour
100 g grated Cheezly White Cheddar Style/vegan cheddar
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
6-7 tablespoons ice cold water
5 tablespoons Nutellex Lite/vegan butter)
1. Heat a large oven proof pot with olive oil. Then add onion and garlic. Cook for 10 minutes and as it starts to brown, add celery and shallots and cook for a further 5 minutes.
2. Add carrots, capsicum and white wine. Continue to cook until the wine is absorbed.
3. Add the paprika, liquid smoke, lemon thyme, bay leaves and parsley.
4. Saute the vegetables for a couple of minutes, then add the tomato pulp. Continue to cook until the carrots start to soften
5. Add the zucchini, kidney beans, liquid stock, sea salt and black pepper. Bring to the boil, then leave on a simmer for 30 minutes.
6. In the meantime preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
7. Before placing the stew in the oven, prepare the dumplings. In a large mixing bowl add flour, cheddar and parsley. Then add the nutlex and mix it through with your hands. Then add cold water one tablespoon at a time, until it forms a dough.
8. Roll the dough into about 12 balls.
9. Top the stew with the dumplings on the outer edge.
10. Bake for 30 minutes, then serve.