Wednesday, 30 May 2007


Lolo is a goddess. Seriously, if I were into marriage, and the lovely lady hadn't recently got married herself, I would marry her. Well, if she'd have me, that is.

Anyway, insanely lucky little bugger that I am, I've been granted access to her secret test kitchen. Woohoo! So I get to make all the amazing dishes she's planning for her cookzine, BEFORE THE REST OF THE WORLD. HAR HAR.

It's like getting a preview of an orgasm, and THEN having the orgasm itself. WOW.

So it's time I stopped letting my hormones write this blog. Pictures.

All I'll give away is that #1) yes, those are cranberries and #2) yes, it was yummy.

Most of the testers produced perfect-looking dumplings with a yummy brown filling. But because I'm me and can't do anything the normal way, mine were bright purple, due to an ingredient sub (so no, it's not the contrast on your monitor or those 'interesting pills' you took earlier.....).

Also, because Aylesbury is utter SHITE in terms of getting any ingredient which is slightly unusual, I could not procure dumpling skins anywhere. Not in any supermarket, not in the health food shop and not even in the fucking Asian shop. What's a girl to do? Make her own dumpling skins, that's what. Cheers to Ken Hom and his Vegetable And Pasta Book for the recipe.

Anyway, the dumplings and the sauce were fucking AMAZING. So so good. I got somewhat emotional in giving Lolo feedback on how good they were. And I'm not alone in this feeling. All the testers have reported back with similar praise. These babies will be a BIIIIIG hit when the 'zine is released.
Not a secret recipe, so here's the link. I replaced the chipotle sausage with Lachesis's Seitan O'Greatness because, as I already mentioned, Aylesbury is pathetic, and I couldn't get vegan chipotle sausages. But Lachesis's magic log is divine, and worked perfectly in this chilli.

The log:

The dish:

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Round Stuff With Holes

Another 'themed' backlogged post.


Recipe from The Fresh Loaf

I had a weird-looking relative of the pumpkin sitting around waiting to be used...

So I scooped out the bugger and stewed its innards...

and ended up with a pumpkin polenta stuffed bagel served with beanz n greenz.


My music centre held a bake sale to fund our trip to Dublin next year :o)
My contributions were my signature 'A Bit More Than Chocolate Biscuits' chocolate biscuits (with ginger + candied orange peel. oh, and funexciting piped icing decorations) and VEGAN DO(UGH)NUTS, courtesy of lolo @ veganyumyum.

The first batch failed hideously - no reflection on lolo's recipe; it was only coz I had no doughnut pan. I tried pinching Kelly's trick of using foil rolls in the centre, but it did not work. When I tried to remove the rolls, the doughnuts collapsed pathetically. And they were weird-lookin' anyway. After my first attempt, I was left with sad, misshapen piles of cake crumbs. The majority of said failed batch was soon working its way down my digestive system (and yes, I did then feel very sick. Thanks for asking).

Was this a Mission: Impossible? NAY! I was determined that I wouldn't be beaten by hideously failed + aesthetically offensive doughnut wannabes and a lack of specialist bakeware. I battled on in my quest for the sweet, soft ring of justice.

I realised that since I had nothing ready doughnut-shaped, I'd have to shape the buggers myself. For the second batch, I halved the wet ingredients but kept the dry quantities the same, so the texture was more like a very sticky bread dough. I knew that if I tried to ring-ify them before baking they'd puff up and basically look crap and swollen. So I just shaped 'em in to balls and patted 'em down in a really shallow-ly dipped tray (which I think was designed for Yorkshire puds - who knows? - but way too shallow for cupcakes. More dimples than cups. Anyway......)

Also, having learned from previous baking mistakes, I was aware that the reason my baked goods so often catastrophically fell apart when I played about with 'em was that I didn't let them cool, and that whilst warm they were still fragile and therefore prone to being royally fucked up by yours truly. So this time, when my (thankfully) ok-looking dough-balls came outta the oven, I let them cool. Properly.

I had toyed with the idea of filling them with jam, using some kind of placcy bag/skinny straw contraption, but given my history with piping/pastry bags, I realised this would not have been wise. I've come to terms with the fact that I will never master frosting or anything that involves squeezing goo from a bag through a hole. It's a part of life that I've accepted.

So, having discarded the idea of filled doughnuts, I decided they would indeed be holey and glazed, à la lolo's original recipe. For the holes? Simple. I gently made an initial hole with the handle of a spoon, taking care not to crack 'em. And then to properly shape it, I shoved my finger through in a totally non-gentle way and twizzled the donut around the invading digit until a satisfactory shape had been achieved. Oh yeah, I violated those doughnuts gooooooooood.

And for the glaze/sprinkles, I followed lolo's instructions to the letter, dipping 'em in the appropriate quantities of goo + sprinkles.

And VOILA! I had achieved the holy grail: I had edible, self-supporting and aesthetically pleasing vegan doughnuts. Cue much smugness and a desire to eat them all.

(I ate half.)

Sunday, 20 May 2007

Hearts, hearts and more hearts - pass me a sick bucket

DISCLAIMER: These pics are backlogged. I did NOT make all this food at once, in some kind of disgusting fit of sentimentality. Nor am I proud of its "cuteness" factor. I am not a hearts and flowers person, and god knows how I ended up making all this crap. Nevertheless, I thought it best to get all the vom-inducingly adorable food out of the way in one post, and then spend the next few months attempting to repair the damage to my menacing image.

So, on to the nauseatingly nice nosh...


I tried - and failed - to make ravioli with aubergine + mushroom filling. After a frustrating few hours (!) of attempting, it all fell apart, so I combined the filling with harissa, tomato juice and mint and cut the pasta into hearts (again, fuck knows why...) to make this nauseatingly cute dish.


Complete with pink food colouring + 'decorative' (read: pretentious) blood orange slices.


My best friend's birthday present. So it was totally ok to use a heart.

I promise there will be nothing cute or fuzzywuzzy in this blog for a looooong time.

Saturday, 19 May 2007

Muvvaz Day Goodies & Pad Thai

Mother's Day is actually in March, not May. The yanks have it all wrong. So ner.

Anyway, back in March, I made these Coconut Custard Cubes for my ma. They're low on ingredients and are a piece of piss to make, but look really impressive. Plus she loved them, which is obviously the important thing.


1 can coconut milk
3 tbsp cornflour
3 tbsp icing (confectioner's) sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla

4 tbsp strawberry (or whatever flavour) jam
1 tbsp arrowroot

1) Line a small-based tin (about 6" x 4 " - depth is irrelevant - but with relatively straight sides) with cling film (shrink wrap), pressing it firmly into the corners and making sure there are no wrinkles. Make sure there's plenty hanging over the edges
2) Thoroughly mix together first 5 things in a pan, then dump half of it out again, into another container and set aside. bring the mixture to the boil, stirring constantly, then quickly turn the heat right down and stir like mad to get rid of any lumps as it thickens. When it's nice and thick and gooey, pour it into the base of yer dish and put in the fridge to set (it'll do this pretty quickly - 20 mins tops).
3) Meanwhile, mix together the jam and arrowroot (in a mug is ideal) and nuke in the microwave for about 20 secs. DON'T OVERDO IT or you'll end up with a congealed too-solid mess which won't spread. Anyway, pour this thickened jam over the set coconut custard, spreading evenly, and return to the fridge.
4) Repeat the heating process with the second batch of the coconut mixture, and then carefully pour over the jam layer, making sure not to mess up the jam. When it's smooth and even, fold over the cling film tightly and return to the fridge to set fully.
5) When set (leave it as long as you like, but it'll be done in anything from 30 mins, but you could leave it up to 2 hours if you wanna be certain), carefully unwrap and turn out onto a plate or smooth surface. Cut into wee cubes and plonk in wrappers.

And yer done! They're ready for scoffin'.

This has to be one of my favourite meals EVER. So good. Noodles, tofu, ginger, soy sauce... pretty much all my favourite things in one meal.

NB: This isn't the Brooklyn Pad Thai from Vegan With A Vengeance. It's from a book I picked up for £2.50 in Oxfam called Vegan Nutrition: Pure And Simple. It was written in the '90s by some beardy MD, and is basically a life guide on how to be vegan - reasons for veganism, how to get all yer nutrients, meal plans, recipes etc. etc. It's a brilliant book actually - especially since it was written over 10 years ago, when veganism was about as widespread as smallpox is today - and I feel it was definitely £2.50 well spent :o)

Friday, 18 May 2007

Big Sis's Burfday Goodies

It was my sister's 24th birthday a cupla weeks ago, and - as my fellow vegan (and best friend), she deserved only the best (well, the best I could muster up, anyway).

By request, she got pizza + key lime pie. As part of her present (to accompany the amazing parka I got her), I made After Eights. I've since learned (well, heard second-hand) that After Eights are in fact vegan. However, they're made by Nestlé, which means that every bite is tainted with baby milk scandal and all manner of other atrocities. These ones were scum free. Plus they had way more chocolate than what those stingy buggers give you.

Anyway, onto the goods:


I used a bog-standard dough recipe from the Hamlyn Vegetarian Cookbook. Plennee of kneadin' and rising and wotnot. For the tomatoey goo, i mixed together a can of purée with a tsp of vegan worcester sauce and some basil, then smeared it all over the base. The veggies were shroomz, tomatoes, courgettes, red onion, yellow peppers + spring onion (scallions to you yanks - NB: yes, I will usually include the US translation for any of my "cute Britishisms"). I topped it with a few basil leaves, which brings us to the charmingly multicoloured picture above.

Then it was time for some pus-free cheeze action. I've never been a fan of those actual solid fake cheeses, but my local HFS (and, I've now discovered, Sainsbury's) stock this Dairy Free Cheese Flavour Sauce Mix, which is really nice but a bit bland, and doesn't taste that cheesy. So to jazz it up a bit, i added in some nutritional yeast, worcester sauce, tomato juice, tabasco + oregano, as well as the soymilk needed to bring it to a saucy consistency. Then it was just a case of dribblin' it over the pizza + letting the bugger bake.

The result? De-fucking-licious. Oh yeah.


This is so yummy, and -- bonus -- fat free. Also laughably easy. A stuffed cat could make this, seriously. Although stuffing animals is so unvegan. And they just look creepy. Honestly, just let the kitty live out its natural life, and then BURY IT WITH DIGNITY, FOR FUCK'S SAKE. Sigh.

Anyway, the pie.

1 1/2 cups Grape Nuts
1/2 cup apple juice concentrate
1 tbsp brown sugar

2 cups soymilk
4 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
1/2 cup caster or icing sugar (powdered or confectioner's)
2 limes - zest and juice
a few drop of green food dye (optional)

1) Preheat oven to 190C/375F. Mix together the crust ingredients and press firmly into the base of a greased 9" pie dish, making sure there are no holes, and that it's all tightly smooshed together. Bake for about 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Leave the oven on, though.
2) Meanwhile, prepare the filling. In a small saucepan, place the cornflour, sugar, lime juice and zest, and then add the soy milk, stirring well to make sure there are no lumps. Heat gently, stirring all the time, until it starts to thicken. At this point, add the food dye if you're using it, and continue stirring until it's properly thickened + paste-like - but DON'T allow any lumps to form.
3) When it's good + thick, remove from the heat and poor into the pre-baked crust. Smooth the filling out with a palette knife (or something similar), and give the dish a bit of a shake to ensure it's flat. Bake for another 10-20 minutes, until the filling is proper firm, like. Allow to cool silghtly, and then refrigerate. You'll want to take it out of the fridge for a bit before serving, so it can come up to room temperature.


3x 4oz bars dark choc (or 1x 12oz bar, whatever. ya just need 12oz, split into 3x 4oz lots)
2 cups icing (confectioner's) sugar
3 tbsp soy milk (give or take)
1 tbsp veg oil
few drops peppermint extract/flavouring

1) Mix the sugar with the soy milk + oil. 3 tbsp was right for me, but it depends. You just need enough to get a really thick, gooey consistency.
2) Melt 4oz of the chocklit and spread it out thinly on a sheet of greaseproof paper. Freeze for 5 mins to make it set.
3) Pour on the minty goo in a thin layer, so it covers the same area as the choc. You might have loads left over - I did. This isn't a problem. Eat it.
4) Return to freezer for a few mins to allow the filling to set.
5) Melt a 2nd lot of choc. Pour over frozen mint stuff. Freeze again to set.
6) When it's all good and hard (oh yeah), GENTLY (using a sharp knife and a gentle leaning force) cut it up into squares. Yes, the chocolate will crack. Not an issue.
7) When it's all squared up, place the squares in a grid on a clean sheet of greaseproof paper, with about 1/4" between them.
8) Melt 2oz of the remaining choc. Pour over the squares, ensuring they're evenly covered. Freeze.
9) Take out of the freezer and cut into squares again (by this point the choc should be thick and hard enough not to crack, unless you're really stupid and clumsy). Carefully turn 'em over. There'll probly be some spare chocolate left on the paper. Scrape off and melt, along with the remaining 2oz of choc. Pour over the flipped squares (still about 1/4" apart), again ensuring they're evenly covered on all edges. If ya wannabe a fancypants like me, you can drag a spoon across 'em to get the stripe effect. Ooh-err. Freeze.
10) When they're good and frozen, take 'em out and cut 'em up. Any spare choc shavings on the greaseproof paper? EAT THEM, YOU FOOL.

And voila!


Welcome to the generic 'Welcome To My Blog' post.

So this is where I post pics + recipes of my piss-easy (but fucking delicious) vegan food.

This blog will be nothing earth-shattering. I make stuff that's - usually - pretty quick and easy, and I rarely go out of my way to get fancypants ingredients.

And if you're not used to reading stuff by me, you'll soon learn that when I type, I:
1) swear frequently
2) use non-standard English, because as an A-Level English student, I totally can; it's cool + ironic, innit?
3) replace "s"s with "z"s, because it's funny. Really.
4) don't shut up. Conciseness is not my strength.
5) think I'm being really witty, when actually I'm just annoying and pretentious. You'll get used to it.

So, enjoy seeing my amateur food and reading my pathetic, rambling posts.
You'll grow to love me.