Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Everyday Happy Herbivore Cookbook Giveaway ENDS TOMORROW!!!

Just a reminder to enter if you haven't already!
for an extra entry:
I will be using a random number generator to pick the lucky winner on March 1st so make sure you get your entries in!
Good Luck to everyone :)
All the best,

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Vegan 'Turkish' Delight

After my first try at agar agar 'delights' I was left unsatisfied by the texture- yes they were delicious but they were missing something- I did a little experimenting and I think you'll find these are much closer to the original (and rosewater flavour!) 

I love the texture of these gorgeous sweets, they're not as sticky as some Turkish delights can be but they're not too wet or jelly like like the ones I posted yesterday were. If you're after a more sticky consistency simply increase the amount thickener (arrowroot/ cornstarch/tapioca) and decrease the quantity of agar agar so everyone can reach their perfect Turkish delight texture! Either way they're absolutely delicious- still sugar free and low cal so dig in! We are :) yum yum yum.

Vegan 'Turkish Delight'
Makes 30 large or 40 small squares (total recipe= 112 calories so 2 or 3.7 cals per square)
2 tbsp arrowroot (or cornstarch or tapioca)
2 tbsp agar agar
1.5 tbsp rosewater (get the good quality stuff!)
1 tsp cream of tatar
4 1/4 cups water
1 drop red food colouring (get a natural one)
10 tsp natvia (granulated stevia sweetener)
1 tbsp powdered stevia
Powdered natvia (or any sweetener)
  • combine arrowroot, cream of tatar, agar agar + 1/4 cup water to make a slurry (make sure you get all the lumps out now!)
  • combine all ingredients in a pot
  • heat, stirring, for approximately 15 mins until thickened
  • pour into moulds/container/lined baking tray
  • set in fridge for 30 mins minimum
  • cut into cubes
  • leave uncovered for 24hrs in the fridge (optional but I think it's worth it to dry them out a bit)
  • blend natvia in spice/coffee grinder to form powdered natvia
  • dust over 'turkish' delights
  • enjoy!
You can see the colour difference as they dry out a little- personally I'd happily eat them either way but the texture is more authentic if you leave them in the fridge overnight. Plus the icing sugar stays on better, if they're too wet it gets a tad messy (and fun). 

I hope you like these as much as I do, let me know if you try any variations so I can continue perfecting the recipe? Actually that goes for every recipe, I love constructive feedback (positive or negative) I think it helps us reflect and grow. Do you?

All the best,

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Cacao Vanilla Agar Agar Delight

Need a sugar fix but don't eat sugar? don't want the extra calories? don't want anything unhealthy?- I've got just the treat for you! They're 1.5 calories per square...27 cals for the entire batch! Now these don't have the exact texture of turkish delight, they're a bit too agar agar-ish and were a bit moist- I've already made another rosewater batch with a binder that fixes up the texture.. but this first batch still tastes wonderful so I thought I'd post them anyway. These have a more firm jelly texture but taste divine regardless.

Cacao Vanilla Agar Agar Delight
Makes 18 large squares
20 drops vanilla stevia sweetener
10 drops cocoa extract
3 cups hot water
1 tbsp agar agar
Natvia (granulated stevia sweetener) to serve (to taste)

  • combine ingredients 
  • blend well to make sure agar agar is dissolved 
  • pour into dish to set 
  • refrigerate for 30 mins 
  • blend natvia to form 'icing sugar' 
  • release set delight from the edges of dish 
  • turn out gently 
  • cut into large 2-bite sized portions 
  • serve sprinkled with powdered nativa 'sugar' 
  • enjoy! 
  • These will keep well but only put the powdered natvia on before eating. 
These things are SO SWEET you'll forget they're not packed full of sugar. I may or may not have eaten too many and given myself a tummy ache. Bad idea, but still- healthy low cal sweet treat. Just don't eat more than say 3 at once? I used the tofuXpress to make this but anything that will allow you to cut squares will do just fine...
I love the lid, so useful- and it came out beautifully!
Just the right size for making desserts.
I hope this gives you some ideas- there are endless agar agar possibilities. I'll post my rosewater agar agar/'turkish delight' tomorrow- they're definitely going to be a regular dessert in our house. If you don't have rosewater and agar agar in the house go grab some! you're going to want to try this recipe. Stay well until then.

And don't forget to Enter the Everyday Happy Herbivore Cookbook Giveaway!!!

All the best,

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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Raspberry & Cocoa Cookie Dough Sunday

I'm not sure this counts as a new recipe but I found a pic of it from before Christmas and thought why not, it looks pretty and yummy. All you need is a melon baller... or if you're spectacularly lazy feel free to just eat them from the two containers with one spoon. Same flavour combo, still delicious. What? I didn't do that! much... It's sweet, chocolatey, refreshing and satisfying- you know you want to try it.

Raspberry and Cocoa Cookie Dough Sunday
All you have to do to get this pretty yummy fruity chocolatey mess is melon ball/alternately spoon raspberry 'ice cream' and 'cacao cookie dough dip' into your glass/dish. 

You can use the original cacao cookie dough dip or the low fat cookie dough dip 
depending on your calorie requirements/taste and raspberry 'ice cream' (or any flavour really but this is my fave combo)

Here are the recipes just incase you don't want to go to the links...
Cacao-Cookie Dough Dip
1 can chickpeas (1.5cups cooked)
pinch of salt
4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup almond butter
1/4 cup lite soy milk
3.5 tbsp rolled oats
4 tbsp raw cacao powder
7 packets stevia sweetener

  • process oats & cacao
  • add chickpeas & process well
  • add all remaining ingredients except the soy milk
  • drizzle in soy milk- only add as much soy milk as you need
  • enjoy with fruit, crackers, celery, a spoon!
Low Fat Cacao Cookie Dough Dip
Makes 8 large or 16 small serves
8 tbsp rolled oats
2 cans butter beans
1/2-1 cup lite soy milk
3 tbsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
10 tbsp cacao powder
15 serves of stevia sweetner to taste
  • process oats to a floury consistency
  • add cocoa, stevia and baking powder
  • pulse to combine
  • add drained and rinsed beans
  • process whilst drizzling in the soy milk
  • add salt & vanilla
  • when you have a mixture that looks slightly too wet allow it to stand for 1hr to thicken (or if you want to eat it straight away use less liquid!)
  • enjoy with fruit, fruit 'ice cream' or a spoon. 
Raspberry 'ice cream'
Makes 1 big serve or 2 small serves
2 cups frozen raspberries
1/2 cup lite soy milk
  • chop fruit into chunks before freezing
  • defrost for 5 mins to be nice to your food processor/blender
  • combine fruit & milk
  • blend well, scraping down the sides and checking for chunks
  • If you like it soft serve style eat straight away
  • If you like it harder just put it in the freezer until it takes your desired consistency
  • This will keep well in the freezer, just pull it out ahead of serving time so it's soft enough
  • enjoy!

All the best,

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Saturday, February 25, 2012

TofuXpress Review & Tofu Scramble, Tofu & Veg Chilli Satay Stir fry Noodles, Tofu Steak Sandwich & AgarAgar Delight)

I have a confession to make. I never used to press my tofu. After many failures at pressing tofu with chopping boards, books, plates etc. I had given up. #1 I'm impatient, #2 I was scared of them falling off (yes it did happen to me) #3 it always seemed to press the tofu unevenly and #4 it was messy! I just never pressed anything and dealt with the consequences (recipes having the wrong texture extra water/additional cooking time etc.) But I can tell you now, it's worth pressing tofu! I've been pressing my tofu this week and this difference is amazing. 

I've been using the tofuXpress- a product that I had seen reviewed on a couple of other blogs and thought- it can't make *that* much difference can it?.. it was time to try it for myself. So I summoned some self confidence and confidence in my little blog and contacted them asking if I could review it too. They were more than happy to oblige as long as I told you all that I asked them and that they ship world wide! So all you non-U.S readers we can get them too! Mine took 2 weeks to arrive safely and I was eager to try it out. Here are some photos of the box- don't worry mine's just a little dented because I told them I didn't need a perfect one- it's just the box.

As you can see you can also use it to marinade your tofu/vegetables (yes you can use it for things other than tofu too!)
And this is what it looks like...
The lid has a spring attached and the container has little hooks that you twist the lid under to press away. The top bit comes off for easy cleaning & the bottom bit that's translucent is the marinade lid- love that it fits neatly onto the bottom so I can't lose it! This is with the lid on but not under the hooks (aka no pressure)
Here's the lid going on twisting under the hooks
Lid on all fully.. obviously there's nothing in it yet but you get the idea.
Now to add the tofu! We had a huge block, next time I'd cut this down because it's much easier to use with a smaller block. Pre pressing
with the lid on
Post pressing overnight- can you see that tiny difference? A fair bit of water came out though. Our fresh tofu from the health food store is already pretty darn firm...not to mention creamy and delicious..
So the only question left was... what to make first?! Well we went with a classic that I had been told works best with pressed tofu- Tofu Scramble!

Curry Tofu Scramble with Herbed Mushrooms and Spinach
Makes 4 Serves
6 tbsp nutritional yeast
t tbsp dijon mustard
1 large block of fresh firm tofu
2-3 tbsp curry powder (to taste)

1 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup veggie stock

(Makes 1 serve)
1 cup cooked frozen spinach
1 cup chopped brown mushrooms
1 tbsp chopped chives
1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
1 cup curly cut carrots
  • Crumble tofu into pan
  • cook until tofu has shrunk significantly and is browning (depends on how big your block is, approximately 10 mins)
  • add curry powder, mustard and nutritional yeast
  • continue to cook until tofu returns to a brown (approximately another 5 mins)
  • enjoy! with veggies or vegan sausages or toast.
  • Thaw spinach
  • chop mushrooms, chives, oregano
  • add spinach and mushrooms to pan
  • add stock and tomato paste
  • cook until mushrooms are tender and have released their juices into the spinach and stock has reduced
  • add herbs and combine well
  • spiralise carrots to make curly carrots
  • enjoy! with tofu scramble or as a side.
Next on the agenda was trying it with the firm tofu from the supermarket- this block was a much better size (do yourself a favour and don't overfill it)
Firm tofu pressed overnight turned into

Tofu and Veg Chili Satay Stir fry Noodles!
a delicious combo that kicks noodle box out of the park. Who needs fried tofu when you have pressed tofu that can hold up to being stir fried? This mountain of yumminess was my husband's dinner- he used:
3 cups Fresh asian Noodles
1 cup julienne Carrot
1/2 cup Capsicum
1/2 block Firm Tofu (pressed)
1/4 cup Satay Sauce
1 tsp Chilli Mushroom Sauce
1 tbsp Soy sauce
1 tsp 'Chicken' stock power
1 clove Garlic
1 Fresh Red Chilli
  • Chop chilli, garlic, tofu, carrot and capsicum
  • Soak noodles in a bowl of hot water
  • Fry chilli, garlic, tofu until golden
  • add carrot
  • add noodles
  • add stock powder, soy sauce, satay sauce, chilli mushroom sauce
  • stir fry until combined well and carrots are almost tender
  • add capsicum
  • enjoy!
After that meal we had half the already pressed block left, I decided we should test out another texture of tofu by freezing it to make it chewier and more dense. After freezing it overnight and thawing it during the day we pressed it again to get rid of the excess moisture (no idea why but more comes out after freezing)
After we pressed it again it was so firm and dense that it could have made the perfect meat replacement. *note to self- next time we do curry use this method!* The other half decided that it was destined for a  steak sandwich. The whole pressing-freezing-thawing-pressing process made the tofu chewy and awesome. It was much easier to cut thin and held up to frying perfectly. We're going to have some pressed frozen tofu in the freezer at all times now!
Tofu Steak Sandwiches
Again these weren't mine but hubs used:
1/2 block Firm pressed/frozen/repressed Tofu
1 tbsp 'Beef' stock powder
1 tsp Braggs seasoning
1/2 tsp Pepper (fresh ground black)
1 tbsp Nuttelex
1/4 cup grated Cheezely Nacho Cheeze
1 cup Lettuce
1/2 cup Capsicum
4 slices Wholemeal Sourdough Bread
  • thinly slice tofu
  • fry tofu with stock powder, seasoning and pepper
  • assemble tofu and cheeze in bread
  • butter/nuttelex the outsides of the sandwiches
  • fry until golden
  • add salad
  • enjoy!
After we were done the press looked so lonely being empty after being well used for most of the week. I decided we needed a sweet treat and after my fun with agar agar I was curious to see if I could make a turkish delight substitute. Now I had the perfect means of making it! Yet another thumbs up for the tofu press. The marinating lid came in very handy for this one- I can't say how much I love that it fits into the base of the press because I would have lost it the the depths of my cupboards by now if it didn't.
It was easy to turn out of the press too
All I had to do was chop it up and dust it with powdered natvia (stevia sweetener)...recipe to come.
I'm going to try making a raw slice next and more jellies and terrines and raw loafs and savoury slices and I've got to try using it to get the water out of spinach and other veggies! Any other ideas for me?
So to end this rather long post- I love the tofuXpress and am now going to buy the other spring attachment so I can press silken tofu too! I think it will make my tofu pudding's
taste amazing. If you want to try it out for yourself you can find them here. They also have a recipe section on their website which has some more non-conventional recipe ideas using the press.

I hope you're all well, happy and enjoying your food!

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Friday, February 24, 2012

Green Stir fry

Another delicious, nutritious, simple evening meal full of veggies. Yes, I really do eat like this all the time. If you make it yummy you won't miss a thing and the greens will do you the world of good. 

This sauce is delicious and will taste great with pretty much anything so feel free to add in some more protein (edamame, tofu, beans, tvp, tempeh etc.) and/or grains (quinoa, millet, brown rice etc.) or serve it in smaller portions as a side dish. It's packed with asian inspired flavour, is salty and sweet with no fat! Perfect.

Green Stir fry 
Makes 1 large serve
1 bunch choy sum
1/2 bunch bok choy
1/2 cup chopped shitake
1 cup bean sprouts
1/2 cup fresh coriander
1 tbsp chives

2 tbsp mixed spice
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp lime juice
1/2 tsp aesofatida
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
stevia to taste
  • chop choy sum
  • grate ginger
  • juice lime
  • combine sauce ingredients
  • add veggies and stir fry until tender
  • garnish with coriander
  • enjoy!

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

'Creamy' Wasabi Sauce in Stirfry & Open Nori Rolls

This sauce is amazing- it's hot but you can adjust it to your tastes, plus it increases in potency with time so you can start off with a subtle sauce and end up with a kicker after 3 days in the fridge. I loved it. I gave myself wasabi tears and wasabi brain/sinus heat headache. My other half is a chili man but I'm a mustard/wasabi girl. I just love the heat.. and vinegar for that matter. I can drink it straight mmm. The point was that this sauce is awesome, tastes great with veggies and is packed with goodness.

'Creamy' Wasabi Sauce
Makes 3 generous serves
1tbsp wasabi
2 tbsp soy/tamari (salt reduced)
300g (1 packet) Japanese style organic silken tofu
1 tbsp red miso paste
1 tbsp grated ginger
1 tbsp lime juice
  • grate ginger
  • juice lime
  • combine all ingredients
  • blend until you have a thick, smooth sauce
  • enjoy!
  • will keep in the fridge for a few days- but it will get stronger!!
I used it a few ways, as a salad dressing/dip with veggies and in these two yummy meals...
'Creamy' Wasabi Edamame Stirfry
Makes 1 serve
1/3 quantity of 'creamy' wasabi sauce
1 cup spinach
1 cup broccoli
1 cup green beans
1/2 cup edamame
1/2 cup water chestnuts
1 cup mushrooms
  • chop veggies
  • add sauce
  • add edamame + water chestnuts
  • when tender add mushrooms, green beans & broccoli
  • add spinach at the last moment
  • stir fry until wilted and everything's tender
  • enjoy!
Open Nori Rolls with 'Creamy' Wasabi Tofu Sauce
These will work with any veggies you feel like. I used:
spinach, rocket, iceberg lettuce, celery, carrot, radish and 1/3 quantity of the 'creamy' wasabi sauce above.

Do you like wasabi? have you ever tried it fresh?

Don't forget to Enter the Everyday Happy Herbivore Giveaway!!! Only 1 week to go :)

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Super Red Dressing

This salad dressing is a brilliant red and is packed with as much flavour as colour. It's great as a dip with veg as a snack or as a salad dressing or as a base for a sauce with grains or veggies. All in all I'm very happy to have a jar of this in the fridge.

Super Red Dressing
1/2 cup blended Roasted red capsicum
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1 tbsp braggs seasoning (or other mixed herbs of your choice)
2 tbsp white vinegar
  • Blend and enjoy
On my mountain of salad
Jemma at celery and cupcakes is having a tea giveaway! How can you not want free yummy teas?

Hope you're all well and happy :)
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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Millet Stuffed Mushrooms

These are completely delicious, filling, great for you. There's nothing bad about these little beauties. Oh and if you have the grains/beans pre-cooked like I do they only take moments to make!
Millet Stuffed Mushrooms
Pre baking
Post baking
Makes 4 serves
4 medium portabello mushrooms
1/2 cup cooked Millet
2 slices lentil loaf (or 1 cup of any cooked lentils/beans)
1 tbsp vinegar (I like a kick, feel free to reduce it)
6 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
1 tbsp Mixed Herbs
  • cook millet/lentils if not already cooked
  • preheat oven to 180
  • mash loaf/lentils/beans
  • combine all ingredients
  • chop stalks off mushrooms
  • chop finely + add to mixture
  • fill mushrooms with mixture (press it in well)
  • sprinkle with nutritional yeast
  • bake for 20 mins at 180
  • enjoy!
Here is is as part of my meal: Rosemary roast pumpkin, roast eggplant and lettuce, sprout, radish, celery + cucumber salad. The perfect lunch.
Don't forget to Enter the Everyday Happy Herbivore Cookbook giveaway!

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Monday, February 20, 2012

Eggplant Curry

Being back at uni really makes you appreciate the things that keep you going- for me that would be fruit and vegetables! I get so much enjoyment from the time out from study when I get to play in the kitchen and make something yummy to fill my tummy! And sharing it with others just tops it off :)

This is one such occurrence. I ate this with green beans but I'll give you the base recipe because you can chuck any other veggies you like with it... I eat it over salad, with broccoli, peas, spinach, choy sum (asian greens) anything really.

Eggplant Curry
Makes 4 serves
2 medium eggplants
2 tbsp shitake mushroom powder
1 tsp fenugreek
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp coriander
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp cardamon
1 tin of tomatoes
1 can water
1/2 tsp aesofatida
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp ginger powder
stevia/natvia to taste
1/2c tomato paste
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup chopped fresh coriander
  • chop eggplant into inch cubes
  • toast spices in a dry pan until fragrant
  • add tomatoes and water
  • add and simmer eggplant until tender
  • *if adding beans/other veggies add them here*
  • when tender add lemon juice and coriander
  • enjoy!

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