Saturday, January 28, 2012

Puff Pastry- Samosas and Jam puffs.

I have used puff pastry a few times this week. And it's vegan!

So first of all. I made samosas for dinner tonight and they turned out great. Usually they would be made with filo pastry but the puff pastry is a lot easier to use. They turned out extremely good. I had never made them before. To make the filling, what you need is ( I don't give any mesaurements really as you can have as little or as much as you want:
But aproxameltly:
-A good handful of diced butter nut squash
-A good handful of diced carrots
-'' '' '' red onion
I baked these together in olive oil until soft.
-Blanche a handful of chopped cauliflour, Peas and pea string things.. (?) hah
- Chop some chilli and a few mushrooms and spinach.
-In a sauce pan add oil, 2 teaspoons of curry powder, 1 teaspoon of coriander and cumin seeds.

When the carrots, onion and squash are finished cooking, add everything into the saucepan and stir for a while until everything is coated.
I had falafels and some left over veg curry so I broke up some falafel into it and added a couple teaspoons of the curry to moisten it up.

I cut out about 4 large diamond shape in the rolled out pastry placed some of the mixture to one half and then folded over. Then wet the pastry a little and popped into the oven for about 20 mins.

And for the left over pastry!! Squish it all together and roll it back out flat. Cut little triangle and circle shapes out and fill with jam or chocolate or jam and peanut butter. These tasted so good!

Friday, January 27, 2012

A couple of Avoca soups.

I've had these two Avoca cookbooks for quite some time. I got the most recent one last year off Chris ( ) and I've only used it once before but I used one of the soup recipes yesterday. The book is divided into seasons. Within each seasons there are soups that can mostly made vegan! There is also a vegetarian section too which is great.

I made a roast pepper and tomato soup from the first cookbook. This tasted really good. I added some ingredients like basil, chilli and garlic!

2 red peppers roasted until soft
2 onions chopped
1 litre of veg stock
2 cloved of garlic
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
some tomato puree
1 tin of tomatoes
salt and pepper
About half a chilli.

So I roasted off the peppers and meanwhile, I fried off the onions until clear, added the garlic and sauteed for about a minute. I then added the tinned tomatoes, veg stock, cinnamon, tomato puree, thyme, basil, chilli and roasted peppers when they were done. Cooked for about 2o mins and then pureed. However, this only made about 3 bowls, so if you are cooking for more, double the recipe!

I also made the root vegetable and squash soup from the newest book. I wasn't to into this as the parsnip really took over.Not a big fan of parsnip in soup.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Vegan Pesto

I've been making this a fair bit. It's really so simple and also so yummy.
I add:
-Semi-sundried tomatoes
-Cashew nuts (pine nuts are insanely expensive)
-Salt and Pepper.
-A couple cloves of garlic

And all into the food processor. I have some Basil in the fridge so I will make some tomorrow for my dinner.

Lemon Buttercream Cupcakes by Sweet Vegan

So I finally got stuck into these cookbooks. I've only managed one recipe so far and that's the Lemon Buttercream Cupcakes from the book 'Sweet Vegan' by Emily Mainquist.

So first of all, I found the mixture to be extremely doughy. They were like bread like and not as sweet as I would of liked them to be. I guess as the recipe calls for brown sugar. Can anybody tell me if it's essential to use brown sugar as the majority of recipes use it. I would like to maybe half it and replace one half with caster to make them a bit sweeter. As for the doughy concern, I guess it's down to the use of 390g of flour! That's a lot. I think next time, I am going to half the recipe.

I found the butter cream to be lovely but didn't use the one given in the recipe as it involved 225g of butter, and thats' way to much! So I stuck to a previous one I've used. I used soya butter and it tasted grand!

And of course, I ate the majority of them!

ps. If you have any recipes that result in light fluffy cupcakes, PASS IT ON!

Friday, January 6, 2012

What's good.


So today I discovered this bar. What grabbed my attention was the vegetarian society approved logo on the packaging on all of the bars. So I thought maybe some would be vegan. I first saw the range of these bars today in the Bus Stop Newsagent on Grafton street. I only looked at a few and none of the ones were vegan. However later on I was in the cost cutters on Aungier st and saw them again. I picked up the raspberry crumble and it said Vegan so yay! And it tasted sooooooooo delish. The pastry tasted so familiar. It was certainly delish and I plan to stock up next time. On the website , it says that the Apple and Blackcurrant and the Rhubarb crumble are also vegan. As well, a number of their flapjacks. So, I hope to see these around more.

The Counter, Dublin.

The counter are a custom build burger place located on Suffolk street in Dublin and in Dundrum. I have eaten here many times. They have sweet potato fries that are unreal. They also have a vegan option, a veggie burger which is really tasty.
You can choose:
-the size of your burger
-if you want it in a bun or in a bowl with salad (can choose type of bread and type of salad)
-type of cheese
-toppings (up to 4 and have a very wide range)
-sauce (again wide range)

Here is a picture of the menu, you tick it all off yourself.

If you're vegan, the burger in a bowl is vegan and none of the buns are vegan.
It is reasonably priced too. So just another vegan option in Dublin!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

My first vegan Christmas.

...wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. For once, I didn't feel horrible and unhealthy from the copious amounts of chocolate. So no weight gain what so ever!

As I said previously, I went to Cork for Christmas, down to my Aunt's. It was a long drive down and a very long and squishy one on the way back (4 people+2 dogs and a flat tyre on the m50). I didn't have my digital camera with me so all my pictures were taken on my phone. I had a surprisinly delicious dinner anyway. My aunt made me roasted sweet potatoes and gave me a lesson in roasting. I also had falafel, peas and roasted potatoes. As plain and boring as that sounds it was really tasty when put together with some gravy and ballymaloe country relish.

For dessert, My aunt had gotten me a slice of Natasha's Living food Raw Coaco Orange Ganache Tart. It's 4 euro for a small slice but was so worth it! It was so creamy.

I received 3 vegan baking cookbooks for Christmas.
I had picked out 'Sweet Vegan' myself for my mum to get me. I choose it mainly due to the fact all the recipes are in grams. I really don't trust my cups to grams conversions. Different sites have different calculations! I have marked out all the reicpes I want to try.

However.. a lot of the recipes have ' unprocessed cane juice'.. or un processed cane sugar. I've asked around a few health shops and they have no idea what I am talking about. Does anyone know where to get some??

And Jesse got me Vegan Cookies-Invade your cookie jar and Babycakes! They both have amazing looking recipes and are lovely books. Once my exams finish, I will get stuck in.