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!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Decadence is Avocado Pasta Sauce

Years ago, when I was vegetarian and I lived in the Blue Mountains, a friend of mine who is a great and passionate cook made me the most incredibly decadently rich pasta meal I think I've ever had. The integral ingredients were ripe avocado and lashings of parmesan cheese. It was an intense taste and texture that I have yearned for more than once over the intervening time...

A couple of months ago I had a glut of avocados, and a can of eggplant puree, and some nutritional yeast kicking about and I thought of that taste and texture and gave it a bash. The sharpness that the parmesan brought wasn't there, but my god it was good.

I recently bought a number of avocados that have all ripened at the same time, so tonight I made the dish again - a new iteration! - and hereby present the recipe as part of VeganMoFo. The main trick here is not to cook the avocado - cooked avocado has a bitter fatty taste - but to slightly warm the avocado sauce and allow the pasta to cool a little before tossing it through the sauce. I think that you could play with this recipe as long as you keep the main experience - silky smooth ripe avocado, creamy tahini or baba ganoush, smoky back-flavour, and the tartness of chilli and lemon.

Also, not the sexiest picture, but trust me that it tastes astonishing and is very sexy to eat!!

Avocado Pasta

Serves 4

  • 3 very ripe avocadoes
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 bunch chives
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon hot sauce or 1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon umesu
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • spinach fettucine

Cook the fettucine in salted boiling water.

Mince the garlic and chives, and put into a bowl with the avocado flesh. Mash well until as smooth as possible. Add the rest of the ingredients and continue mashing until very smooth.

When the pasta is almost ready, divide the avocado mixture into 4 large serving bowls, and add a couple of tablespoons of the hot pasta water to each of the bowls and mix through well.

Drain the pasta, divide into 4 portions, and allow to cool for a minute. Add to the avocado mixture in the bowls and toss through well.

Top with nutritional yeast and chilli flakes.

This will be a warm, not hot, dish. You can also skip the step of adding the hot water to the avocado completely, and cool the pasta completely, and serve as a cold pasta dish.

As we're coming into avocado season, I urge you to give this lush and rich dish a try!!

Sunday, October 26, 2008


My first mango of the season (and, for the first time in years, this is a season when I'm looking forward to mangoes - sometimes I don't like them...):

Superawesomemegacloseup of juicy goodness:

And on the other end of the spectrum (baked versus raw spectrum, that is) - a lovely moist carrot ginger molasses muffin, using a recipe from The Garden of Vegan as a base (I've had that cookbook since 2003, and this is probably the third recipe I've made from it - but definitely a great muffin recipe!)

The new garden...

...it slowly grows.

This morning I walked to the Marrickville Organic Farmer's Markets (for the second time - I thought it was held on Saturdays, so I walked there yesterday - d'oh!) and found a lovely stall with organic seedlings, many of which I purchased.

I still don't have the raised garden beds set up, but these seedlings should be okay for another couple of weeks until such time as I do get my courtyard all soiled up.

Tomatoes - I got four tomato seedlings:

Lookit! Flower = soon to be food!!

I got 2 types of basil - standard and Greek.

Standard (all illuminated and backlit by the sun - lovely!)

Greek - beautiful teeny leaves:

The tomatoes and basil will be companion-planted.

The base herb everyone should have in their garden - continental parsley!

And finally for today's haul, four strawberry seedlings. These are going to be planted in hanging baskets as a way to avoid slugs and snails - also I think it will look really pretty and be something of a talking point. Additional bonus - apparently planting in hanging baskets can increase fruit yield by 50%.

There are many other seedlings I want to get (it's a little too late into the planting timeline to produce seedlings from seeds, so I'm going seedlings this year...): lettuce, rocket, carrots, potatoes, chives, garlic, onions, raspberries, beetroot, beans, peas...definitely more, but I can't remember what else I want!!

I'm happy to have gotten these seedlings, because with them sitting there lookin' at me, it's harder to put off starting this fabby garden thang...

Tofu of the Scrambled variety...

Scrambled tofu is a ubiquitous vegan experience, and many blogs have featured it, but I thought I'd talk a little about my take on it.

Pre-vegan, I loathed scrambled eggs and omelettes. Mostly because of the eggy issue (I hate the smell), but also because my mother made them soft and in what I felt was a far too uncooked manner. So on the rare occasions I made them, I would cook them until dry and beginning to brown - so mostly it all just tasted of fried.

Even with my scrambled egg dislike, I really didn't get the whole scrambled tofu thing. I just avoided the savoury breakfast....

And then one day, after being vegan for a little while, I had the urge for savoury breakfast and I made scrambled tofu for the first time - and have been a convert ever since!!

Things I must do when I make scramble:
  • Crumble the extra firm tofu between my fingers until there are bigger bits, crumbly powdery bits, and every bit in between.
  • Include garlic, spring onion, sliced mushrooms and cubed tomatoes.
  • Have both dried herbs and fresh herbs (and/or baby spinach or rocket).
  • Add some apple cider vinegar and let the mixture sit and meld (the vinegar helps to break down the garlic and herbs and force their flavours into the tofu)
Things I usually don't do when I make scramble:
  • Add nutritional yeast (except for the times that I do)
  • Add turmeric
  • Add chilli (though I do sprinkle some hot sauce on top after it's all done)
So. Yeah. Those are my scramble guidelines - I do recommend trying the apple cider trick, it does add a little somethin' somethin' to the experience.

In closing, I give to you this morning's scrambled tofu:

Served on blueberry waffles, with shallots, garlic, tomato, mushrooms, green stuffed olives, parsley, spinach, rocket, Italian herbs, umesu, nooch, Braggs, apple cider vinegar and cracked black pepper. Cooked in olive oil until beginning to stick and brown a little.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Iterations of pasta...

When I'm feeling a little uninspired, I fall back on pasta with [ingredient]. This week I have done two iterations of much the same pasta dish - lemon sauce with greens.

So, first iteration from Saturday (I think).

Lemon sauce of melted Nuttelex, lemon zest, garlic, spring onion, nooch and lemon juice. Organic penne, petit pois (or baby peas to you and me) and torn basil thrown in at the last minute. Lovely and fresh tasting.

Tonight's iteration - lemon sauce as above, but with some olive oil and some of the cooking liquid from the pasta to make it more liquid, with asparagus cooked quickly with the pasta, shredded spinach and stuffed green olives. All topped with faux fish fingers.

Less fresh and more filling, but lots of fun and great to eat!!

Lemon nooch sauce is a great light sauce, and a break from pasta with tomato-based sauces - plus it takes only as long as the cooking the pasta, making the sauce at the last minute. Which is always helpful when you want food quickly after work!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Cat Companions

My two girls are the most important things in my life (yes, even more important than food!). I thought I'd take a cue from Susan and devote some space in this recipe blog to my long term companions.

Lucie (actually, it's Lucie Moglet Carlos MacAllister the Kitten Cat and her Sunshine Band Rodziewicz Drew)

My flatmate found Lucie in the gutter of a main street when she was about 4 weeks old - eyes just opened, unable to walk, didn't know how to go to the toilet...I fed her with an eyedropper and rubbed her tummy and helped her go to the loo (the first time...yeah, right down my front because I was holding her at the time. Ick.) She's been with me for 15 years now, and is still feisty enough that after our most recent house move she scaled a sheer 8 foot tall fence and wandered off across the neighbouring houses into the distance. She came calmly back in response to food, but frankly, she's far too capable of exploration for a cat of her age, and enjoys torturing me with this fact!!

I have two cats, and I really shouldn't have favourites....but Lucie's my favourite. She's my baby girl.

Paw Extreme Closeup!!

The other feline in my life is Squeak (just Squeak), who followed me home one night after I had given her scritches when she was sitting outside a theatre in Katoomba. I think she had been treated quite badly before she found me, because she was a very skittish kitten who would soil herself at loud sounds, and needed constant attention.

She still needs constant attention, and has the loudest purr of any cat I have ever encountered, and she loves people and people love her.

She's a little...well, I joke that she has one brain cell, which isn't very nice, but she is very very sweet and she loves nothing more than to sit on your lap and stare fixedly at you with great love and purr in a very concentrated manner. I do love her dearly, and I feel bad when I pay too much attention to Lucie and not enough to Squeak. But she does get lots of attention from visitors!

She's lovely, but doesn't photograph very well - in fact she photographs as if she were the spawn of Satan. But here are some shots where she looks a little more beatific...ish.

Unfortunately, these girls really don't like each other. I introduced Squeak when Lucie was five years old, and it's just been a warzone since then. As they're both entering senior life (yeah, right - did I mention that Lucie climbed one of the trees in my backyard three days ago?), they're able to at least sit near each other without too much fighting and scratching. And on those rare occasions where they're within two metres of each other, I feel overwhelmed by the need to take photos.

Winter is conducive to being friendly, when there's only one concentrated source of heat.

And they often sit on the arms of armchairs or the couch, when I'm in between them as a buffer. Or where there's sun and neither of them are willing to give up the warm spot.

And those are my girls. Without them my life would be much poorer, and I think that having them as my companions definitely put me on my path to veganism. But mostly, I am utterly grateful for their having chosen to spend their lives with me, and I hope I've made their lives as happy as they've made mine.

Oh Tex Mex...

I love me some Tex Mex beans. I could eat Tex Mex beans pretty much every night, and I have to work hard not to!!

When I first became vegan, I thought I would not be able to have nachos again, because I thought of nachos as needing to be smothered in cheese and sour cream. I learned from a couple of friends of mine, both of whom had been vegan for years, that in fact the cheese and sour cream hide all of the beautiful flavours of beans, refried beans, tomatoes, spices, smokiness...*drools* Instead, they had a great range of sides to go with whatever Tex Mex dish they were serving - guacamole, salsa, sauces, lettuce, tomato, olives, mushrooms...

I have passed this wonderful knowledge onto my friends and students, and am continuing to refine my spicy beans mix every time I make it. Currently it involves garlic, cumin, coriander, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, tinned chipotles in adobo sauce, kidney beans, tinned tomatoes and refried beans. It's great in enchiladas, burritos, and of course, smothered over corn chips as nachos...

This week's rendition of nachos included shredded Strong Cheddar Sheese, and was topped by a spicy savoury pineapple salsa and lots of guacamole.

Pineapple Salsa
1/2 medium pineapple, cut into small chunks
2 spring onion tops, sliced thinly
2 pickled chillies, sliced thinly
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 to 1 teaspoon hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Toss the ingredients together (including any pineapple juice produced by cutting it up), and let sit for at least 15 minutes before serving. The salt will pull out liquid from the pineapple, so stir before serving.

When nothing but sandwiches will do...

That's open sandwiches, by the way.

I have strayed off my recipe plan for the week, and entered the dangerous land of bread. But bread used merely as a base for crazed amounts of vegetable-y tasty goodness.

So, I had bruschetta a couple of nights ago. Got a sourdough baguette and cut slices on the angle, brushed with garlic and baked in a slow oven until just coloured. I made two vege toppings - classic tomato, garlic and basil (with a dressing of olive oil and, in a non-traditional twist, some umesu), and some marinated mushrooms (button mushrooms sliced, with a marinade of minced spring onion, parsley, flaxseed oil and lemon juice and white pepper). I also mashed some avocado, and sliced up some Strong Cheddar Sheese.

Et voila
Tasty breads

Tonight, I realised that I had some tempeh still marinating from Monday night, and decided to make BLATs, but made open style. So, sourdough baguette sliced on an angle, spread with avocado, mayonnaise, sliced tomato, tempeh bacon, topped with rocket and dressed in flaxseed oil, umesu and apple cider vinegar.

So. Very. Good.

And I took some sexy photos, so here's the many angles of tonight's BLATs...

I highly recommend the miniature open sandwiches - you can get creative and inspired, they'll always look really cute and groovy, and they taste really good!! Here in Australia it's coming up to what I think of as bruschetta (and strawberry) season and I'm looking forward to lots of dinners of bruschetta followed by fresh strawberries. Yay!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Upside down and topsy turvy!

My world is both askew and cockeyed (though they are often the same thing). I just watched an episode of Two Fat Ladies, the British cooking show featuring two marvellously eccentric women whose marvellousness was tempered by their penchant for using animal products in every.single.thing I ever saw them make.

However, the episode I just watched (which I am beginning to think that I may have dreamed) featured two recipes that were not only vegetarian, but vegan!!

Admittedly, these were alongside 6 recipes featuring lard, more lard, fish, meat, cheese etc, but really - if you've ever seen the show, the idea that there were fruit and vegetables used and not smothered in animal bits is fairly world wobbling!

So, what were these wondrous things?

One was a tomato summer pudding - a pudding tin lined with bread soaked in passata, with a filling of fresh tomatoes, basil, garlic and olive oil, topped with more passata soaked bread, pressed down with a saucer and tin for 12 hours in the fridge. Turn out, slice and serve.

The other was Peaches Cardinale - whole peaches poached in sugar syrup (containing a vanilla pod), peeled and topped with raspberry sauce (strained raspberries and sugar mixed together).

I feel the urge to make these recipes purely for the OMG they came from the most unexpected place value!!

Oh cooking, how I love thee

So, I'm making good progress with my list of planned meals. Last night, I made a fabulous salad that, coincidentally, met the criteria for the ppk's VeganMofo Iron Chef challenge (pears and nuts) - apart from being 12 hours late. Ah well, I'm going to talk about it here anyhoo, because it rocked my socks off.

This is my Compelling Salad (named for my friend Neibi's comments upon sampling it): Waldorf with a hint of Caesar - it's like a vegan amalgamation of the salad trends of the last 40 years!! What's it got in it? Torn cos lettuce, VwaV's Tempeh Bacon, walnuts, luscious organic pears and a dressing made from the Blue Sheese, adapted from one on their recipes page (scroll about 2/3 way down the page).

I had this again today, and added fresh ripe strawberries - took the salad from pretty damned fine to OMG knee trembling good. Highly recommended. Share with your friends. Or not. I recommend that you leave the dressing for at least an hour, if not longer, before using - the flavours meld and intensify and the sharp sudden "blue" taste is not as prominent.

I came home from a grumpy day at work and set to work on an Indian feast - 2 hours later, check out the spread:

I had so much fun!! I used every damn pan in my house and have a huge amount of washing up facing me tomorrow night, but ye gods those were 2 well spent hours. My mood has lifted immensely, and I feel like I've achieved something brilliant.

I decided to make three curries: Tofu Saag, Channa Masala and Baigan Bharta. Here's the starting point (well, really, the third of the way through point, because I'd roasted the eggplant and made the ginger/garlic paste and chopped the leeks and deseeded the green chillies and steamed and blended the spinach...but let's pretend the prep has been done already, and this is the start point, okay?)

I've started getting a little compulsive about TV chef prepping my ingredients...I should probably stop watching Lifestyle Food, shouldn't I?

Baigan Bharta base - eggplant that has been roasted and peeled and mashed, leeks (or onion) finely chopped, tomato roughly chopped, and ginger and garlic minced together.

The end result, full of plump peas. It was nice, but I don't know if it was the eggplant (the first time I've used an heirloom eggplant), but this was a little watery and didn't pack the smoky punch of flavour I was hoping for.

Tofu Saag base - silverbeet that has been steamed in its own liquid, squeezed out and blended smooth with peanut oil and lemon juice, leeks and silverbeet stems minced together, tomato (my addition to the recipe) and organic tofu.

The finished product - all hot and creamy (due to the addition of the remainder of the dressing from the Compelling Salad!) and probably my favourite of the three curries tonight.

Channa Masala base - much the same as the Baigan Bharta - leeks, ginger/garlic, tomatoes, chillies, and a rinsed tin of chickpeas.

My second favourite of the night - I added sundried tomato paste instead of tomato paste, and some tamarind paste, and those two really lifted the flavours up a lot. Fresh and hot and tasty.

All served with brown basmati rice cooked with stock, cinnamon stick and cardamom pods, as well as mango chutney and lime pickle. Num. Num. Num.

The recipes were all pulled from the web, ingredients scrawled on a piece of paper, and then I guessed at the amounts of spice and additions outside of the recipes. So I don't really have any recipes to offer, but I do recommend looking up the dishes and taking a recipe from the first google page (it's what I do) and giving it a bash and then adapting it as you go.

I'm taking this in to work tomorrow to share with a workmate. I find cooking for other people, whether it be readers of VeganMoFo, or someone at work who is fascinated by vegan food, means that I cook better and more often than I normally would - I guess it's all about showing off, eh? It's a win/win situation, 'cos I'm feeling healthy and happy with the cooking I'm doing, and also I get to witness other people enjoying it, which does a person's heart good.

Tomorrow...*goes to check list*...I think either Barley Risotto or Sesame Broccoli and Smoked Tofu...hmmmm...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sunday at home...

...means making lots of foods.

Breakfast on Sunday, for those of us who work the Monday to Friday job, should always always be a treat. Sometimes I go out, sometimes I stay at home, but I always make sure to have something different from my usual breakfast.

This morning's breakfast was blueberry waffles (bought frozen, heated in the oven), organic bananas and strawberries and Strong Cheddar Sheese.


Smothered in maple syrup:

Lunch was something very simple, but mucho tasty. Organic baked beans, with a bit of Herbamare seasoning salt, hot sauce and nooch stirred through whilst cooking, served with spelt sourdough piled high with avocado. Dude. So good.

I spent some time today planning foods for the rest of the week, based around the box of organic fruit and veges I got last Wednesday. Listy list:

Barley risotto with two mushrooms (button and shiitake) cooked in sun dried tomato stock
Tofu saag with spiced rice
Waldorfesque - pear, walnut, celery and cos salad with Blue Sheese dressing
Carrot, snowpea and glass noodle salad
Broccoli and asparagus sesame salad with smoked tofu
Warm salad of roast tomato, garlic and smoked tofu with barley and rocket
Beans and greens pie
Jerk shiitake mushrooms (a take on Jerk Seitan from VwaV)
Citrus tart with citrus/vanilla buckwheat shortcrust pastry
Apple walnut breakfast muffins

So, for dinner I made this:

I roasted cherry tomatoes, cubed smoked tofu, garlic cloves, sea salt and peppercorns in olive oil in a very hot oven for 30 minutes. I cooked pearl barley in vege stock until tender. I mixed the barley into the roasted tomatoes et al, then dressed with balsamic vinegar and maple syrup, before stirring through chopped rocket and a handful of roasted hazelnuts.

So very very good. I had to stop myself from having seconds, leaving myself with an awesome lunch tomorrow!!

I'm hoping to keep to my list of foods, and VeganMoFo will (fingers crossed) help me achieve that goal.

Last but not least, my ongoing attempt to create a lovely citrus tart (please excuse the inevitable cat hair):

I'm still some way off from perfecting it, but it's okay. I managed to make 2 (oops), so I'm hoping that it's nice enough for other people to want to eat - I think the lovely nutty buckwheat crust may freak folks out a bit. I'll wait until it's totally chilled to make the call, but I'm pretty sure I'll take it into work anyway...

I liked today, it was filled with slow moving, relaxed watching of cats in the sun and making lovely new foods that I've never had before. Always a good day when that happens. Made of win.

Thursday, October 09, 2008


I don't think I've done one of these before - at least not that I've published - but as dinner tonight was essentially dinner from last night except on bread and minus the tomatoes, and I'm feeling somewhat uninspired, I thought I'd take on the memelistything wot I found on Iron Chef Vegan (amongst the 80 million other blogs I'm trying to keep up with during this VeganMofo - I'm failing completely most of the time - that's going to be lots of reading on into the next couple of months!)

1. Name a song that involves food in some way.

Dinner Bell - They Might Be Giants

2. What criteria do you use when choosing a new cookbook to buy?

Pretty pictures. Use of wacky grains like amaranth. If there's a mention of veganism as a way to lose weight I'll hide the cookbook at the back of the shelf at the bookstore whilst saying "Pffft bollix!"

3. What did you eat today?

Breakfast - Apple and cinnamon Crunchola with oat milk and banana

Lunch - 2 gluten/lentil/refried bean empanadas with 1/2 an avocado, salad leaves, spicy chilli sauce, soy yoghurt and a banana

Dinner - Smoked Cheddar Sheese, avocado, Cheatin' Pepperoni, cherry chutney on spelt sourdough, followed up with nutty Moon Cake and tofu ice cream from Vegan's Choice.

4. Name a vegan food that you know exists but you have never tried.

Pretty much any food that folks talk about on the ppk that's available in the US/Canada/Europe.

5. The Food Network just called and needs you to start your new show tomorrow. What will the title of the show be?

Eat the Rich. Same as my imaginary cafe wot I've been planning since I was 17.

6. Favourite hot sauce or other spicy condiment?

I have developed, since I became vegan, a huge taste for hot sauce. Technically, the hot sauce/nooch mixture on top of something creamy like macncheez OMGNOM!

7. How old were you when you became vegetarian/vegan?
21 - Vegetarian; 27 - Vegan

8. Favourite vegan cheeze?

I love Sheese (see previous post) but my favourite vegan cheez is really Dragonfly's Bulk Dry Uncheese Mix (or as I call it, Casheez). So very tasty. I am in the midst of moving from the desire for cheese flavour to the desire for nooch flavour, I think.

9. Cutest baby animal?

Can I pick, um, all of them? Kittens, yus. Lemurs. Llamas. More lemurs. And bendy baby ruminants with giant knocky knees.

10. Favourite type of jam/jelly/marmalade/preserves?

Red Raspberry Jam from Dalfour. My mum's marmalade, and her tomato quetta.

11. Do you take any vitamins/supplements?

1 x multivitamin per day, and a B12 shot every 2 months (my B12 was great until I started on my medication, which sucks all of the B12 out of my system...stupid medication)

12. What food/dish most embodies the Fall season?

What's this "Fall" of which you speak? *whisper whisper* Oh. Autumn. Um. Beer? Or more precisely, pumpkin.

13. What food would you have a hard time living without?


14. Coffee, tea, or hot chocolate?


15. It’s 10PM and you’re starving. What do you eat?

Nothing. I'm very controlled by my special diet thing (long and boring story) and I only eat three times a day, and only with 5 hour breaks. So it's 7am, midday and 6pm feeds for me. If I found myself hungry at 10pm I'd drink some water and go to bed.

16. If you have an animal companion, what is his/her favorite food?

I have obligate carnivore cats who like occasional vegan treats. Lucie loves vegan ice cream and Smoked Sheese, and Squeak is fond of Cheatin' Chikin and Cheezly Cheddar. That's it for the vegan portion of their diet, though.

17. Worst injury you’ve gotten in the kitchen?

I have a triangular scar on one of my fingers on my right hand from an injury I got from a commercial clingfilm dispenser when I was working as an apprentice chef in 1999. I really should have gotten stitches, as the dispenser cut deeply and pushed the skin from base knuckle to middle knuckle of the finger (ow), but I just pushed it all together, wrapped up the injury, put about 5 gloves on my hand and finished my shift. I don't think I've ever seen as much blood as I saw when I took off my gloves at the end of the shift.

Gross, huh?

18. When you have a food-related question, who do you call?

Cookbooks, vegweb, ppk, wikipedia, Google. Oh bless the interwebs.

19. Summer is ending- What food will you miss most?

Or to put it another way, Spring is just starting, which food are you looking forward to? Asparagus, strawberries, stone fruit.

20. What snacks do you keep in your purse/backpack/desk at work?

See long winded answer to 15 - no snacking for me!!

21. Favourite soup to make on a rainy day?

Spicy Red Lentil and Tomato - fricking fabulous.

22. What’s your favourite combination of fresh vegetable and/or fruit juices?

Apple, carrot and ginger.

23. Favourite brand of root beer?

Erm. I used to love Bundaberg Ginger Beer (I don't drink soft drinks any more... *sigh*)

24. Make up your own question!

How do I meet Richard Till?

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

*sings* What a vegan kind of daaaayyyyyy!

Today (well, after work anyway) was a great vegan day. Lunchtime was fun, too, with my empanadas, and feeding my workmates vegan cheezcake is always fun. But for me, this afternoon ranks very high on my vegan-o-meter.

Why? Because two very cool things happened. One was that my favourite vegan cheez was in stock at my favourite vegan faux meat store, Vegan's Choice, for the first time in...12 months? A really long time anyway.

And what's my favourite vegan commercially available cheez (I love making Dragonfly's Dry Uncheese Mix)? I don't mind Cheezly, but I find it fatty and chalky, and can only eat it in things, not by itself. But there is a vegan cheese that I yearn for based purely upon its' flavour. That would be Smoked Cheddar Sheese. I have been daydreaming about this creamy, sharp, smoky vegan cheez since the first time I tasted it. I am incredibly excited about the fact that it's back in stock - so excited that I bought a metric ton of Sheese this afternoon, as well as crackers (yup, Sheese is good enough to eat plain on crackers - love!!), bread (Sheese and chutney sandwiches, here I come!), chutney, faux meats to have with the Sheese...well, you get the drift. I'm really looking forward to making up a ploughman's on the weekend!!

I got 2 Smoked Cheddar, 2 Strong Cheddar, 1 Cheshire Style, 1 Blue Style (I want to make pear and walnut cos salad with blue sauce, nummy!!) and 1 Spreadable. They'll last, unopened, until July next year (ah, processed food. How you freak me out), so I'll be able to offer some to my upcoming house guests so that they too can experience the joy.

I cracked open a Smoked Cheddar and the Spreadable, as well as the Cheatin' Pepperoni and sesame poppy crackers, and had myself a very rich dinner!!

Sexy avocado, baby tomato and sea salt

Mmmmm, smoky...

Spreadable and Cheatin' Pepperoni

I found everything tasty and rich, and don't know that I can face Sheese again until at least, ooh, tomorrow...

Loaded down with the many food purchases, I came home to find that my Bokashi bin had been delivered, huzzah!! Bokashi bins are benchtop composts, with a microbial inoculant containing beneficial micro-organisms, which ferments the vegetable waste and breaks it down without any smell, and you can drain off liquid to use as fertiliser and when the waste breaks down you mix it with soil and then use the soil to grow lots of yummy veges and fruit, the waste of which you...put into the Bokashi bin!!

I've got a tiny enclosed courtyard in the new place, but I'm going to get planters and hanging pots and set up a small organic kitchen garden, and the Bokashi bin is definitely a positive starting point! I'm very excited and terrified at the idea of growing my own veges and fruit, especially since I'm convinced that I've got a black thumb, but I really want to start living as sustainably as possible, and to do that I need to grow stuff - so I'm going to give it a good Aussie bash!! Wish me luck!!

Thus ends my very happy vegan feeling day! Huzzah!