ZB's Vegan Recipes

Here's where you can find some fun, tasty and generally pretty easy-to-make vegan (and often low GI) recipes. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Day Four...

...I've lost some of my enterprising spirit over the last few days (had takeaway last night, courtesy of the boy) but am hoping to regain it today.

Otherwise, I've done pretty well with the pantry challenge:

I made bread (not so successful) and baked seitan (massively successful) on the weekend.

I'm still eating the bread, despite the fact that it's essentially dwarf bread and I should probably be going to war with someone and using it as a weapon. It's full of goodness, though (buckwheat flour, barley flour, rolled quinoa, wheatgerm) which may explain it's, erm, firm nature. Plus I made half of the dough into spiced fruit buns, and they're good, no matter what!

The seitan used some of the flavours I associate with lamb (sage, rosemary, lemon) and I used sweet soy sauce rather than standard soy sauce or Braggs, which gave a lovely sticky sweet crunchy exterior to the seitan roast. I'm really happy with it, and thankfully left myself enough gluten flour to make another one next weekend.

Hmmm....What else have I made?

Spicy pumpkin (and sweet potato) pasta sauce with fettucine and walnuts. A great standard, taught to me by an ex-boyfriend (who is now a very successful chef, which, yay!!), and used up the pumpkin and the fettucine.

Sliced seitan with sundried tomato, onion, lemon and mustard sauce, and mashed sweet potatoes.

Seitan and salad with BBQ sauce.

Angel hair pasta (discovered in the spaghetti jar after I wrote the list!) with arrabiatta sauce (tomatoes, garlic, chilli flakes)

I keep looking at the list, and muttering things to myself about eating only flour for the next month ;-) Hopefully this experience will teach me to buy more carefully...or possibly may encourage my hoarding nature, so that I buy in bulk!!

So, I could repost the revised list, but instead I'll post what I've used up completely so far:

Buckwheat flour
Plain flour
Dried apples
Peanut oil
Spiced Brown Sugar
Brown Sugar
Angel hair pasta
Silken tofu
Cheezy Quacker dough

So much more to go!! Will try and get photos soon....

I am cheating, though, and buying some additional ingredients in order to test recipes for the book. I'm still coming up with recipes, silly me! I've adapted the bavarois recipe to a creme caramel recipe, and I really want to try it. These extra ingredients don't count, as they're not for daily consumption, they're for the greater vegan cookbook good.

At least that's what I tell myself so I can sleep at night.

Enough rambling, more coffee!!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Pantry clean out or...

...this time of year = broke ZuckerBaby.

An off hand comment from my boy ("You could probably live for months off what's in your pantry") has inspired me to do just that. With the exception of purchasing fresh fruit and veges and soymilk, I'm going to try and see how many meals I can make with, and how long I can eat out of, what I already have in my cupboards, fridge and freezer.

So, the first step was an inventory. Be prepared for the list o' doom. I had way more stuff than I thought I had in my cupboards, so this is going to be fun!

"Baking" cupboard (where I keep all of the stuff for recipe testing for the book, and other baking essentials and dry goods)

Maize flour (masa harina)
Gluten flour
Potato flour (what do I do with this?? Any ideas?)
Rye flour
Almond meal
Raw wheatgerm
Pearl barley
Rolled Rye
Barley Flour
Buckwheat flour
Sunflower seeds
Steel cut oats
Macadamias (still in their shells - I have to figure out how to remove them!)
Blanched almonds
Hazelnut meal
Dried apples
Bottled Morello cherries
Self raising flour
Plain flour
Chickpea flour (besan/gram)
Mixed Nuts
Slivered Almonds
Arrowroot flour
Xanthan gum
Guar gum
Rolled quinoa
Dessicated coconut
Rolled oats
Baking powder
Bicarb Soda
Chocolate covered coffee beans
Agar Agar
Chocolate chips
Icing sugar
Brown sugar
Spiced brown sugar
Golden Syrup
Vanilla powder
Corn syrup
Custard powder

"Cookery" cupboard (all the things I generally use for dinners)

"Beef" stock cubes
Vege stock cubes
Balsamic vinegar
Palm sugar
Sesame Seeds
Canola oil
Canned tomatoes
Cannellini beans
Tomato paste
Smoky BBQ Sauce
Soy flour
Worcestershire Sauce
Peanut butter
Nori sheets
Rice wine vinegar
Apple cider vinegar
White vinegar
Olive oil
Peanut oil
Sesame oil
Wholemeal spirals
Vegeroni sprials
Soba noodles
Spelt shells
Mac and Chreese
Rice paper sheets
Nutritional yeast (I may have to get some more of this, it's become essential to my life!!)
Arborio rice (which I'm not supposed to eat, so don't know what I'm going to do about this)
Brown rice
Red lentils
Black Eye Beans (peas?)
White balsamic vinegar
Red wine vinegar
Kelp Powder
Mineral water
BBQ sauce
Sea salt


Kalamata olives
Agave nectar
Spicy BBQ Sauce
Vegan mayonnaise
Sweet chilli sauce
Sweet soy sauce
Mango chutney
Pickled galangal
Pickled ginger
Barley miso
Sundried tomatoes
Blackstrap molasses
Pickled cucumbers
Branston Pickle
Chinese BBQ Sauce
Pickled Turnip
Tom Yum Paste
Dijon mustard
Yellow mustard
Pickled chillies
Hoi sin sauce
Tamari pepitas
Silken tofu
Creamed coconut

Fruit and veges

Red cabbage
Chinese cabbage
2 lemons
2 avocados
2 tomatoes
2 oranges
Sweet potato
1 red onion
2 lettuces
Spring Onions


Cannellini beans
Linseed meal
"Chicken" balls
Spring Roll Wrappers
Pawpaw chutney
Coconut milk
Cheezy Quacker dough
Spring onion rolls
Vegetable buns
Chipotle chillies
Seaweed "fish"
2 bananas

I suspect I am set for months.

Tonight's dinner? Quiche, using silken tofu, nutritional yeast, besan, salt, pepper, vinegar, mustard, soymilk, garlic and onion powder, broccoli, sundried tomatoes and the cheezy quacker dough as a crust. Nice, though a bit salty.

I am hoping to document this experiment closely - should provide lots of fun and bizarre recipes!!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Cookbook cooking

So the title covers the range of topics I'm going to discuss in this long overdue post. Hello to the one squirrel wot is still hanging out to see if I ever post here again!! Love your work!!

Anyhoo, the last few months have been crazed. I was tutoring Term 4 at the Sydney Community College, working full time and writing and testing recipes for my very own cookbook, all at the same time. Add in some personal life dramas, and thus no posting for far too long.

But it's all settling down now. I'm almost done with the recipe testing (got about 5 recipes to go), and have discovered some great dishes while I was doing it (I'm so ridiculously proud of two: Tiramisu [one of my taste testers actually referred to the creamy custard mixture as mascarpone, which was pretty awesome] and Caramel Bavarois [I remember making bavarois when I was doing my apprenticeship, and loving it, and it's great to veganise a whipped cream and gelatine dessert...]).

I'm all set to kick off another round of classes for Term 1 of 2008, starting on February 9 (the day after I hand in the draft of my cookbook, eeek!) These are going to be organised differently, going for 5 hours over 4 weeks rather than 2.5 hours over 8 weeks. The advantage is that we can do stuff like seitan and cheezcake in the longer classes. The disadvantage is that I have to create completely new class plans. Eh. Potayto, Potarto.

A side effect of the recipe creation and cookery classes is that my desire to get creative for myself when making lunch or dinner is pretty much nil, and for the first time in a very long time I've found myself cooking almost completely out of cookbooks. And it's been great.

This week I decided to completely organise my foods out of cookbooks, and this is what I've made thus far:

Baked Seitan Roast from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Being Vegan by Beverly Lynn Bennet. It's pretty awesome, and makes a ridiculous amount of seitan. I like that it's halfway between the traditional method of boiling seitan and the easier method of baking seitan. Recommended. I'm going to try out some different flavours, too.

A couple of bread recipes from Vegan Planet. I was proud of myself for making yeasted bread for the first time, but not that happy with the look of the results. Tasty and chewy, though, so the loaves didn't go to waste.

A take on Not!Tuna Salad from Vegan Planet. Made with chickpeas rather than tuna or tempeh, I really liked this. Being me, I added heaps of herbs and pickled cucumbers and spices and heaps more soy mayonnaise than the recipe called for - all good! Served with salad greens, vegies and garlic croutons made from the Vegan Planet bread.

VwaV's Cold Udon Noodles with Peanut Sauce and Seitan. Made this with rice noodles, and upped the spice value of the peanut sauce. Loved it.

V-con's Pumpkin Saag - I made it with a mixture of pumpkin and sweet potato, and with frozen rather than fresh spinach, and it was made of awesome. Served with millet that I'd stir fried with onions, turmeric and peas. Nummy.

V-con's Baked Pumpkin Ziti with Sage Breadcrumb Topping. This was easy to make, and nice tasting, but did not knock my socks off, sadly. I tend to go for flavours that are really strong and sucker punch me, and the mildness of this dish really didn't do it for me. I like that it's got a lovely balance of flavour, but I'm really unsure what I could add to this dish to help it suit my palate and not completely screw up that balance. Requires further contemplation.

I've still got plans to make a whole bunch o' burgers from Dreena Burton's Everyday Vegan; the Chipotle BBQ Sauce from the Candle Cafe cookbook; Caesar Salad, Chickpea Cutlets (previously attempted, but got a big FAIL 'cos I didn't use all chickpeas, I used a bean mix) and Mexican Millet from V-con; and more bread. It's going to be a fun weekend o' cookery!!

The only thing that I've been making that's not from a cookbook is my take on Chimichangas, otherwise known as deepfried burritos. I don't deepfry them, I panfry them, but it just gives a great crispy feel to the burritos and changes the experience completely!!

I've done a couple of versions, both with my smoky bean mixture. One version contained the beans and BBQ Not!Pork that I'd cooked in orange juice and Braggs, and the other contained the beans and a mixture of different types of olives. I top them with a salsa of tomatoes and pickled chilli and guacamole. Lots of fun and ridiculously easy to make.

My desire to take photos of my food is back up and running, so hopefully I should have some good food porn to provide soon.

Have fun and cook something new today!!