September 29, 2014 1

Deviled Eggs

Difficulty: Medium

Makes 12-16 (depending on mould size)

deveggs

Yep, you read that right, deviled freakin’ eggs! They look just like the real thing and if my memory serves me correctly, they taste pretty similar too (but of course this all comes with none of the unpleasantness of real eggs). The eggy tastes comes to you courtesy of black salt; an ingredient you can easily pick up at your local Indian grocery. The size and quantity of your batch will be dependent on the moulds you use and you can easily pick these up online for a few bucks (I used chocolate egg moulds). Take thrse guys along to your next party or picnic and they’re sure to be a real hit!

Ingredients

Whites

  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk (or any other non-dairy milk)
  • 2 teaspoons agar agar powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Yolks

  • 1 1/3 cups (approximately one can) chickpeas
  • 1/3 cup vegan mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1-2 teaspoons black salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika

Method

  1. Spray the moulds with spray olive oil.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine the almond milk, agar agar and salt. Whisk constantly over a high heat until boiling.
  3. Once boiling, allow to sit for a minute or two before whisking again and pouring into moulds.
  4. Place in the fridge to set for a few hours.
  5. When the whites have set, gently remove them from the mould.
  6. Using a knife, carefully cut a small chunk out of the white to fill with the yolk mixture.
  7. Make the yolk by blending together all of the ingredients until smooth.
  8. Pipe the mixture into the holes in the white, sprinkle with paprika and serve.
September 25, 2014 0

Brown Fried Rice

Difficulty: Easy

Serves 4-6

friedrice

Usually, I find rice a waste of valuable stomach real estate but one of the few exceptions is my brown fried rice. It’s the perfect weeknight meal because it’s quick and easy to make plus you can really just chuck in whatever veg you’ve got in the fridge. It stands alone as a solid meal but also makes a good sidekick to other dishes.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 block extra firm tofu, chopped into .5cm cubes
  • 1 large carrot, finely chopped
  • 12 baby corn, chopped
  • 450 grams cooked brown rice
  • 2/3 cup peas (frozen or fresh)
  • 1/2 cup pineapple chunks
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (make sure it’s GF)
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (make sure it’s  GF and vegan!)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • Salt to taste

Method

  1. Heat the peanut oil in a large wok on high heat.
  2. Once hot, add the garlic, onion and tofu and stir frequently until the edges of the tofu begin to brown.
  3. Add the carrot and corn and toss for a few minutes before adding the brown rice.
  4. Cook for a further 10 minutes, stirring occasionally so nothing sticks to the bottom.
  5. Next add the peas and pineapple, followed by the soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar and salt.
  6. Cook for a few minutes more before serving.
September 22, 2014 0

Salted Caramel Cookies

Difficulty: Easy-Medium

Makes 24

caramelcookies

I remember the first time the concept of salty and sweet was introduced to me via popcorn. At first I was dead set against it but it soon become one of my favourite things. Salted caramel is all the rage these days, so I thought I would give it a good ol’ vegan crack and see what I could come up with. The possibilities are endless with this stuff but drizzle it on top of a crunchy vanilla cookie and you’ve got yourself the ultimate indulgence.

Ingredients

Cookies

  • 1 cup vegan margarine
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (lightly packed)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Salted Caramel

  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1/3 cup vegan margarine
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C and line two baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Using the paddle attachment on your electric mixer, combine your vegan margarine, caster sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract on medium-high until light and fluffy.
  3. Sift in the flour, baking soda and baking powder and mix until a dough is formed.
  4. Scoop out a heaped tablespoon of dough and roll into a ball. Place onto the baking tray and do the same with the remaining dough, placing about 2cm apart on the tray.
  5. Dip the back of a large spoon or the bottom of a glass into some caster sugar and gently press each ball of dough down til it’s about 1cm thick.
  6. Place in the oven for 15-20 minutes, the cookies will look like they’re not set but they will!
  7. Allow to cool completely on the tray.
  8. While your cookies are cooling, make your salted caramel by adding the caster sugar to a saucepan and stir constantly over a medium heat.
  9. As you’re stirring, the sugar will clump up and then turn into a light golden liquid. Be careful not to let it burn!
  10. Once all the sugar has dissolved, add the vegan margarine and continue to stir until it’s combined.
  11. Remove from the heat and stir through the salt and almond milk. Allow to cool completely in the fridge.
  12. Drizzle the salted caramel over your cookies and add a little sprinkling of salt before serving.
September 17, 2014 5

Intensae Nail Lacquer

Price: $21.00AUD

Where To Buy: Be Naturallyou

intensae

To stop myself from biting my nails, I usually keep them painted but it’s hard to find good nail colour that keeps my nails strong, colourful and at the same time doesn’t chip or peel off. Recently I was offered the chance to try Intensae nail lacquer and thought I would give it a go.

The range of colours is pretty solid but there’s nothing too outrageous – lots of neutrals, pinks and reds with some darker colours thrown in there too. My nails tend to get stronger with darker colours so 1966, a dark grey, is great because it’s dark but also a little different plus I tend to get a lot of compliments when I wear it! I have to say though, my absolute fave is the YÜYI 2in1 base and top coat. It’s my new go-to top coat because it’s rock hard, shiny and prevents chipping as well as stops me from biting my nails because they look so freakin’ good!

Now ‘cos they’re up on this blog, we know they’re vegan but they’re also 5 free, which means they don’t contain any of that gross, harmful stuff that we don’t want to be putting near our bodies like formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), camphor, formaldehyde resin and toluene (ew!!!)

At $21 a pop, these babies aren’t the cheapest going round but for rich, long lasting colour you’re getting a pretty good deal compared to other vegan nail polishes on the market.

If you’re in the market for a good quality, vegan nail lacquer with long lasting colours that can take you from work to night to the weekend, Intensae has you covered!

September 15, 2014 0

Lentil & Kidney Bean Chilli

Difficulty: Easy

Serves 4

chilli

Cool air and grey skies are making way for warmer weather and sunshine but I’m still hanging onto winter for dear life with this dish. It’s  a great meal for a several reasons; it takes less than 30 minutes to make, you should have all of these ingredients already, it’s a cheap meal to throw together, it’s hearty and healthy all the while tasting bloody delicious. Team this up with my excellent cornbread recipe and you’ve got yourself a spot on meal, whether Mother Nature wants to accept it or not.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 small brown onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 small chilli, finely chopped (deseeded if you want less heat. Omit altogether for a super mild chilli)
  • 1 red capsicum, chopped
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained
  • 1 can brown lentils, drained
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • Vegan sour cream and parsley to serve (optional)

Method

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan.
  2. Add the onion and garlic, once the onion has started to go translucent, add the cumin, thyme, cinnamon, paprika, chilli and capsicum.
  3. Cook for a few minutes before throwing in the kidney beans, lentils and diced tomatoes.
  4. Stir through the tomato paste, liquid smoke and brown sugar.
  5. Bring to the boil and cook for 5-10 minutes before allowing to simmer for a further 10-15 minutes.
  6. Once your chilli looks thick and rich, it’s ready to serve with a dollop of vegan sour cream and some fresh parsley.
September 11, 2014 2

Baby Spinach, Tomato Tofu Omelette

Difficulty: Easy-Medium

Makes 2 Small Omelettes

omelette

I bet you thought your omelette days were over once you gave up eggs right? Wrong! With the magic of tofu, you can create an awesome breakfast to enjoy any day of the week. You can of course mix up the fillings you use for this recipe but for now I’m keeping it simple.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup silken tofu
  • 1/4 cup GF corn flour
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons non-dairy milk
  • 1 teaspoon mixed dried herbs
  • 1/2 teaspoons dried turmeric
  • Pinch of salt
  • Handful baby spinach leaves
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup shredded vegan cheese

Method

  1. In a blender, combine the tofu, corn flour, nutritional yeast, non-dairy milk, herbs, turmeric and salt until smooth.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat a teaspoon of oil on high and once hot, pour in half the mixture and swirl around until the base of the pan is covered.
  3. Allow to cook for a minute or so before turning down the heat to medium.
  4. Sprinkle half of each of the spinach, tomato, onion and vegan cheese onto the top of the mixture and allow to cook for a further 3 or so minutes.
  5. Using a spatula, gently lift up the edge and check if it’s ready to be flipped. You’ll know it’s ready if the omelette easy lifts from the pan and doesn’t stick.
  6. When it’s ready, carefully and quickly flip one half of the omelette over the other so it’s folded in half. This part can easily go wrong so make sure you’re careful!
  7. Allow to cook for a further minute or so before serving immediately. Repeat with the second half of the ingredients.
September 8, 2014 0

Tomato Pasta Bake with Quick White Sauce

Difficulty: Easy

Serves 4-6 

pastabake

I don’t know why but there’s something a little more satisfying about pasta bake over a regular bowl of pasta. It doesn’t get more simple than this recipe, plus the addition of my quick white sauce adds that extra sum’n sum’n to take this dish from basic to bitchin’ in no time.

Ingredients

  • 1 x 500 gram pack pasta (whatever kind you like!)

Tomato Sauce

  • 1 small brown onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 x 400 gram cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs

Quick White Sauce

  • 1/4 cup vegan margarine
  • 1/4 cup plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 cup soy milk

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease a large baking dish with spray oil.
  2. Cook the pasta according to packet instructions while you make your other sauces.
  3. To make the tomato sauce, heat some olive oil in a large saucepan before adding the onion and garlic.
  4. After a couple of minutes, add the crushed tomatoes, brown sugar, vegan Worcestershire and mixed herbs.
  5. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. To make the white sauce, add the vegan margarine to a microwave safe bowl or jug. Microwave for 30 seconds or until the margarine has melted.
  7. Whisk in the flour and half of the soy milk. Cook again in the microwave for a minute. Whisk in the remaining soy milk and cook for another 30 seconds.
  8. Combine the pasta and tomato sauce and pour into the baking dish. Drizzle with the white sauce and bake for 15-20 minutes until the edges of the white sauce become golden.
  9. Serve immediately.
September 4, 2014 3

Sprout & Kernel Tree Nut Cheeses

Price: From $8.00AUD

Where to Buy: www.sproutandkernel.com (coming soon) See below for more details.

skcheese

Go to the US and you’ll see vegan nut cheeses coming out the yin yang but in Australia it’s a very different story. Sprout & Kernel are looking to give this story a happy ending with their range of tree nut cheeses.

While I do love to make my own nut cheeses, it can be time consuming and sometimes I just want to have some ready and waiting for me on demand. Recently I was given a Sprout & Kernel taster box so I could give their range a whirl and naturally I’m going to share my thoughts with you all.

First cab off the rank was the Aged Cashew Cheese ($12) and ohmygod it’s a serious taste sensaysh. It’s sharp and tangy with an awesome texture with a nice firmness to it.

Next up I had a little chomp on the Dill & Garlic Cashew Cream Cheese ($10). Phwoar! This one is a nice, smooth spreadable cheese with a deeper, richer and flavoursome taste. Eating it alone on a cracker is delicious enough but I can’t wait to pop some on a sandwich with some vegan slices, relish or pickles and salad.

The Original Pepper Crust Cashew Log ($8) has a softer, more spreadable texture than the Aged Cashew Cheese, much like most of the cashew cheeses I’ve tried in the past. It’s also much milder but that pepper crust packs some punch. The logs come in other flavours like spicy and fruit & nut too!

You can taste the delicious macadamia-ness of the Little Sister Macadamia Cheddar ($12). It’s more crumbly than the other guys but still keeps it’s shape when sliced. I popped it on a cracker with some quince paste and I could have sworn that my taste buds were having a rave.

Lastly I sunk my teeth into the Monster Cheddar ($12). It’s a lot firmer than the Macadamia Cheddar and way more intense. This is a welcomed addition to any vegan cheese board, that’s for sure!

Who would have thought that such simple ingredients like tree nuts, lemon juice and nutritional yeast could create such a diverse range of flavours and textures. An afternoon spent with this taster box, some quince paste and a selection of crackers is a real treat.

So far Sprout & Kernel cheeses are available from Newtown Markets on select dates and some festivals around Sydney but hopefully will be available in stores soon. To stay up to date with Sprout & Kernel availability, follow their Instagram and Facebook.

These cheeses are so bitchin’ that even non-vegans enjoy the varied textures and flavours! You really do need to try them to believe how awesome they are as I haven’t tried anything quite like it since becoming vegan all those years ago. It’s also great to see more and more vegan products made right here in Australia, something I hope we see more of in the future – I’m sick of paying crazy prices for imported stuff!

I guess more regular trips to Sydney will be on the horizon, because I can’t stand the thought of living without a constant supply of this cheese in my fridge!

September 1, 2014 0

Mediterranean Pasta

Difficulty: Easy

Serves 4

medpasta

If you’re like me, you probably have olives, semi-dried tomatoes and capers in your fridge at all times so whipping this dish up is a pretty simple exercise. The pan-fried capers add a little punch and with a sprinkling of my vegan parmesan, you’re good to go with this easy weeknight dinner.

Ingredients

  • 1 500gram packet pasta
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (plus some extra for frying the capers)
  • 1/3 cup baby capers, drained
  • Squeeze of lemon
  • 1 cup pitted kalamata olives
  • 1 cup semi-dried tomatoes
  • Vegan Parmesan to serve
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1.  Cook the pasta as per packet directions and drain.
  2. Add some olive oil to a frypan (about .5cm deep) and when hot add the baby capers. Cook until crisp and drain on paper towel.
  3. Toss the olive oil, lemon juice, olives and semi-dried tomatoes through the pasta.
  4. Serve with some vegan parmesan, salt, pepper and a generous serve of fried capers.
August 29, 2014 21

The Chia Co.

Price: From $7.69AUD

Where To Buy: www.thechiaco.com.au

chiaco

The first time I ever heard of chia was on that Chia Pet ad at the beginning of Wayne’s World but then it kind of dropped of the radar. Over the past few years, chia has really grown in popularity as a superfood and why bloody shouldn’t it?! It’s the highest plant-based source of Omega-3, high in dietary fibre and contains all eight essential amino acids making it a ‘complete’ protein (which is rare for a plant-based protein).

The Chia Co. range of products make getting your daily dose of chia easy peasy. Not only do they produce black and white chia seeds in different quantities but they also make chia oil, which is great in salad dressings, chia bran, which is great in baking and ground chia seeds, which are great in smoothies. Chia seeds themselves are super versatile; you can make a gel and have a couple of teaspoons, add to baking (like my Oat,  Almond and Chia Cookies), pop it in a salad or on top of cereal, the possibilities are endless!

The Chia Shots are one of my favourite products because they’re teensy individual serves of chia seeds ready t go whenever you need ‘em. If you’re hitting the road for a few days, or just want to boost your meals out, take a Chia Shot along and you’re all set.

If you’re in the refrigerated section of your supermarket, also check out their Chia Puddings; individual serves of flavoured chia goodness perfect for lunch boxes and snacks on the run.

The Chia Co.’s products are easy peasy to spot because of their bright orange packaging and are available at most supermarkets, so make sure you pick up some of their awesome products next time you do your groceries!

Wanna win some Chia Shots from The Chia Co.? As part of Like a Vegan’s 4th Birthday ExtraVeganza, you can score some Chia Shots and over $200 worth of vegan goodies just by commenting below and telling me what your favourite use for chia is! Also be sure to check out @likeavegan on Instagram for another chance to win!

Australian residents only, winner will be drawn on the 5th of September, 2014.