Music for your Mouth: Soup Dragons

Soup Dragons are a band who I really only discovered through MoFo. I know a couple of their songs by ear, but never knew of the artist. I was originally going to feature Bowling for Soup – a band I listened to as a teen – but when I found out that the Soup Dragons did a cover of this Rolling Stones song I had to include it – it’s such a feel good classic. I love it!

soup1This recipe needs a bit more tweaking – I’m not quite happy with the flavour, however I’m on a roll with posting recipes every day for this MoFo and I don’t want to break it – this is the only one I have ready for tonight. And I’m free! To do what I want! Any old tiiiime. I will probably come back to it later and edit it once I get the balance right. Perhaps roasting the pumpkin first might help?

The inspiration came from a soup that was made for my work’s weekly Thursday winter soup day that was absolutely delicious – I will have to see if I can track down the recipe to see what mine is missing.

soup2

Miso and Ginger Pumpkin Soup
(serves 4-6)

1 brown onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 Tbsp ginger, minced
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 Butternut pumpkin, peeled and diced (approx 1kg)
4 potatoes, diced (approx 500g)
2 carrots, roughly chopped
1 litre vegetable stock
1/2 – 1 tsp cayenne pepper
3 Tbsp brown rice miso
Salt and white pepper to taste
2 spring onions, chopped (for garnish)
2 Tbsp black sesame seeds, toasted (for garnish)
Wasabi (optional)

In a large pot over medium-high, heat coconut oil and throw in the onions. Cook until translucent – approximately five minutes, before adding the garlic and ginger. Saute for a minute or two, being careful not to let the garlic and ginger burn.

Add pumpkin, potatoes and carrots and cover with veggie stock. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and cover. Cook until the veggies become tender.

Transfer to blender (or use a stick blender) and blend until smooth.

Return to pot and add miso, cayenne and salt and pepper. Stir through.

Serve with spring onions, toasted sesame seeds and a blob of wasabi if you’re into that. I know I am.

soup3

I’m free, any old time to get what I want, yes I am!

veganmofo

Music for your Mouth: Hot Chocolate

We all know Hot Chocolate. We all love hot chocolate.

hotchoc4 I am not going to go on about stuff today, because I am really tired. Instead I will show you pictures of my hot chocolate.

I have been going mad on the cashew milk lately, it is just so creamy that it makes everything velvety and amazing.

hotchocI had planned to do a giveaway today, but I haven’t organised it and as mentioned above, I am tired, and have also been sick this week. Hopefully I will get around to it in the next couple of days. Sit tight!

Also please note my mum’s beautiful mugs that I borrowed for a photo shoot. She has had these since I was little and they are my favourite.

hotchoc5

Spiced Hot Chocolate
(serves 2)

2 1/2 cups cashew milk
1/4 cup dark chocolate, chopped
2 Tbsp cacao powder
2 Tbsp agave nectar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Dash of cayenne pepper
Marshmallows to serve (optional)

Place cashew milk in a small saucepan, then remove a couple of tablespoons of it and place it in a small bowl. Add cacao powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and cayenne. Whisk with a fork until the mix becomes a thick slurry, then add it back to the rest of the cashew milk. Stir in agave nectar and vanilla.

Heat saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly until it comes to a gentle simmer. Remove from heat and add chocolate. Stir until combined. Pour into mugs and top with marshmallows.

hotchoc2

veganmofo

Music for your Mouth: The Banana Splits/Bananarama

Today I’m hitting you with a double band, mostly because I wasn’t sure if you would let me get away with using the Banana Splits as a band. I think it’s valid, but I’ve got Bananarama on backup – just in case!

For those who don’t know, The Banana Splits come from an old TV show – the Banana Splits Adventure Hour – featuring Fleegle, Bingo, Drooper and Snorky. The show was totally before my time, however, my love of bananas alerted me to this awesomeness some years ago. Mascots of madness! Banana heroes! And cool fact for ya: the song at the bottom was written by none another than Barry White. Enjoy!

As for Bananarama…you really need to set aside a good couple of hours just to watch their videos. THEY ARE AMAZING. Think you don’t know Bananarama? You are wrong. I guarantee you will know at least three of their songs. Think “I’m your venus, I’m your fire, your desire” or “more more more, how do you like it how do you like it”. Yeah you know it! And can you believe they are still going? 30 something years on? BECAUSE BANANAS ARE POWERHOUSES!

Also, I just realised that I posted two banana recipes in a row. It certainly is bananarama!

bananasplitAnyway, I digress. BANANANANANAANANANA!!!!!!

Banana split!

bananasplit4Ruby is certainly a fan.

bananasplit2 Banana Split

1 banana, sliced lengthways
3 scoops vanilla ice cream
Vegan whipped cream
Chopped nuts
Chocolate sprinkles
Honeycomb crumbs

Chocolate fudge sauce:
50g dark chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup coconut cream
1 Tbsp agave nectar

First prepare your fudge sauce. Heat coconut cream and agave in a small saucepan over medium low heat until it begins to simmer. Turn off heat and add chocolate, whisk until combined.

Assemble your split! Place banana on either side of ice cream scoops. Top with some fudge sauce, then whipped cream, sprinkles, nuts, honeycomb and more sauce. Go crazy!

bananasplit5

veganmofo

Music for your Mouth: Spice Girls

When I was in primary school, you were either team Hanson or team Spice Girls. Admittedly I was team Hanson, however that doesn’t really fit into the theme I’m going for, so I’m going to throw the Spice Girls a bone and include them in MoFo.

I probably should have made something hot and spicy, but ah well, this’ll have to do.

PEOPLE OF THE WORLD! SPICE UP YOUR LIFE!

spicegirls3My mum recently bought me a jar of really nice organic spice rub which I have been using to make baked tofu for an easy weeknight meal. When my stocks started running low, I took a squiz at the ingredient list and tried to create my own version which I think came up pretty well. You could easily multiply this recipe and keep a jar of it on hand to cut down prep time.

spicegirls

Spice Rubbed Baked Tofu
(serves 3-4)

350g firm tofu, pressed and sliced
Juice of half a lemon
1 tsp olive oil

1 Tbsp dried rosemary
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried sage
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp coconut sugar

Preheat your oven to 200C and lightly grease a baking tray.

Prepare your spice rub.Depending on what form your herbs are in, you may need to grind them up a bit. I had home dried sprigs of rosemary, and I ran out of dried oregano so used fresh, so I had bits of all different sizes and consistencies. Regardless of the others, you will need to grind your mustard seeds – use a mortar and pestle to do this. After grinding the seeds, I added the remaining ingredients and just ground them all up together. Tip spice mix onto a small plate.

Combine lemon juice and oil in a small bowl or dish. Brush each tofu piece with the lemon mix, then dredge through the spice mix. Get your hands dirty and give each piece a good rub as you go. Lay out on baking tray.

spicegirls4Bake for 15 minutes, then flip and bake for a further 10. At this point, I like to turn on the grill and chuck them under just to crisp them up a bit.

spicegirls2Serve with a lemon wedge and a side salad, such as this strawberry balsamic salad.

spicegirls5

veganmofo

Music for your Mouth: Fiona Apple

For some reason, every time I think of Fiona Apple I picture Fiona Horne – remember her, the white witch? I know they aren’t the same person so I don’t know what’s causing the mix-up, but I just can’t help it. Sorry Fiona Apple. I’m not sure if you guys have heard any of Fiona Horne’s songs, but well, I’ll let you have a listen for yourselves. Scroll down if you dare…

This is the first thing that springs to mind when I think of apple desserts. It has fond memories for me, it was a regular in mum’s winter repertoire alongside other favourites such as golden syrup dumplings, sago, and custard with dessicated coconut on top. It’s a relatively easy one to whip up, and is super comforting, particularly when you’re all snuggled up on a cold night.

fionaapple4

Baked Stuffed Apples
(makes 4)

4 Granny Smith apples
1/2 cup dates, chopped
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
2 Tbsp coconut sugar
2 Tbsp nuttelex or coconut oil
1 tsp lemon or orange zest (different but both delicious!)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 180C.

In a small bowl, mix together dates, walnuts, coconut sugar, zest, spices and salt. Add nuttelex and vanilla and stir to combine into a kind of paste.

Now, core your apples. This can be a bit tricky without a corer, but I use a small sharp knife to make the first cut, then use one of those old school melon ballers to remove the rest. I have done it with just a sharp knife, however it does take a bit longer. Make sure you don’t cut all the way through to the bottom or your filling will leak out – try to leave a centimetre or so.

fionaappleUsing a sharp knife, cut a line around the width of the apple. This will prevent the skin from bursting in a funny way.

fionaapple2Now stuff your apples full of mix and pop them in a baking tray or dish.

fionaapple3Put a little bit of water in the bottom of the tray, then cover with a lid or some foil. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove cover, and bake a further 5-10 minutes until apples are tender.

Serve with vanilla ice cream, cream or custard.

fionaapple5

This is the first Fiona Apple song I ever heard.

And as promised, this is Fiona Horne on good old Hey Hey It’s Saturday…

veganmofo

Music for your Mouth: Jello Biafra

We don’t really call it Jello here – it’s Jelly – but I am not going to let that get in the way of some good edible audio.

Today’s beats to eat come to you from the great Jello Biafra – you might know him from acts such as the Dead Kennedys and his collaboration with the Melvins, or for having a sense of onomatopoeia about him, with a voice that sounds somewhat like wobbly jelly. Today, however, he comes to you in the form of a delicious dessert.

jello5It’s like trifle, but not as daggy. Truth be told, I never really liked that weird sponge cake layer in trifle anyway, so this suits my tastes juuuuuust fine.

Jelly is another one of those foods that reminds me of being a kid – in fact, I’m pretty sure I haven’t had it in years. I used to love when my mum would make it for me when I was home from school with a sore throat – it was such a treat!

jello4I’m still impressed with just how cool this looks. I love the way the berries are suspended at different heights, reminds me of being in space or something (obviously I know all about being in space).

jello2
Fancy Layered Jelly Cups
(makes 2)

1 pack vegan jelly crystals
400ml boiling water
Handful of blueberries and strawberries

1 cup cashew milk (or other nondairy milk)
1.5 Tbsp vegan custard powder
1 Tbsp coconut sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, scraped

1-2 squares chocolate, shaved

Empty jelly crystals into a heat proof jug, then pour in boiling water and stir until dissolved.

Prepare two fancy glasses by popping a few blueberries and some chopped strawberries in the bottom. Distribute jelly mix evenly amongst the glasses, then place in the fridge to set.

Next, prepare the custard. In a small saucepan, whisk together a couple of tablespoons of cashew milk with the custard powder and coconut sugar.

Add remaining milk and heat over medium heat until it starts to bubble, whisking constantly. Allow to cook for about three minutes, until the mixture is noticeably thicker, continuing to whisk to avoid lumps forming. Turn off heat and stir through vanilla. Set aside to cool – you don’t want to put hot custard onto your jelly as it will melt. Allow to cool, but check in every so often to whisk up and ensure it doesn’t set. When cool enough, divide custard among the glasses and return to the fridge to set.

When cool, garnish with some extra berries and shaved chocolate.

jello3

veganmofo

Music for your Mouth: Vanilla Ice

Oh Vanilla Ice. How your song always used to get me excited, thinking I was about to hear Queen and David Bowie sing Under Pressure. The disappointment every time…

Still, there’s no denying that the song has entertainment value, especially with the 80’s film clip. Ha ha ha. Oh lordy.

vanillaicee1I originally made this ice cream with coconut milk but found that the coconut was a little too overpowering, outshining the vanilla beans. I decided to give it a go with cashew milk, as I thought the flavour might be a bit more neutral and the consistency creamier. I think it worked out really well, and I enjoy the subtle hint of cashew.

vanillaicee2

Vanilla Bean Cashew Ice Cream

400ml cashew milk
400ml coconut cream
1/3 cup agave nectar
2 vanilla beans
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp arrowroot
1 Tbsp vodka

Heat cashew milk, coconut cream, agave and salt in a pot over medium-low heat. Scrape vanilla bean out and add to pot, chucking the pods in as well to cook out all the flavour.

Remove a small amount of liquid from the pot and whisk arrowroot into it, before returning it to the pot.

Turn off heat and stir through vodka. The vodka helps by acting as an ‘anti-freeze’, which means your ice cream will stay creamy rather than going as hard as a rock. Cool trick huh?

Transfer to a bowl and place in the fridge until mixture is completely cool. Remove vanilla bean pods and pour mix into ice cream maker to do its magic! Once complete, eat straight away for a soft serve style ice cream, or transfer to the freezer to firm up.

If you don’t have an ice cream maker, do not fear, you can still make ice cream! You will just need to pour the mix into a dish of some sort and place it in the freezer, and check in on it every half an hour or so to whisk it up until it freezes. This is important to ensure you get the creamiest ice cream possible!

I served this with some pureed strawberries on top and a shaving of chocolate and/or a sprig of mint. Deeelicious.

vanillaicee3

veganmofo

Music for your Mouth: The Cranberries

ZOMBIE ZOMBIE ZOM BIE BIE BIE!!!!!

My ex-housemate loves the Cranberries, and Enya makes her cry when she drinks gin. FACT.

This is a simple and delicious festive side dish. Save it to impress next Christmas!

zombie

Green Bean Cranberry Salad

400g green beans
1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
1/3 cup dried cranberries
Juice of half a lemon
1 tsp lemon zest
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper

Top and tail your beans. Prepare a large bowl of iced water.

Soak cranberries in hot water.

Bring a pot of salted water to the boil. Add green beans and cook for 2-3 mins until they turn bright green and slightly tender.

Drain and transfer to iced water for 30 seconds – 1 minute. Drain.

Whisk together lemon zest, garlic, oil and salt and pepper in small bowl.

Combine beans, nuts, cranberries and dressing. Serve.

zombie2

veganmofo

Music for your Mouth: Infected Mushroom

Infected Mushroom? Infected with DELICIOUSNESS!

I apologise. We haven’t even quite reached the halfway point in MoFo and I’m already getting a bit loopy. Perhaps I was a bit ambitious in aiming for a new recipe every single day. Regardless, I’m here now, and I have a recipe for you.

infectedmush2

Have you noticed my posts are getting less and less talk? I’ve been spending too much time cooking and browsing the blogroll, and so by the time I get around to actually making my own posts, I just want to get them out there.

infectedmush3

Stuffed Mushrooms with Pesto Cashew Cheese

12 – 18 button mushrooms (depending on size)
1 recipe of cashew cheese
3 cloves garlic
1/3 cup walnuts, toasted
Juice of half a lemon
3/4 cup basil
2 Tbsp olive oil + extra for brushing
Salt and Pepper

1 Tbsp pinenuts, toasted

Preheat oven to 180C.

Carefully remove stems from mushrooms and lay mushroom caps upside down on a lightly greased tray.

To make your pesto, place garlic, walnuts, lemon, basil, oil and salt and pepper in a blender, and blend until combined. If more liquid is needed, add water 1 tablespoon at a time.

Prepare cashew cheese and place in a bowl. Add pesto and stir through.

Fill each mushroom with pesto mix, then brush the mushroom flesh with a little oil.

Bake for about 20-25 minutes, until mushrooms are tender and the pesto begins to look a little golden.

Serve on some rocket (straight from your parents’ garden!) and cherry tomatoes to brighten the plate up. Garnish with toasted pine nuts.

infectedmush5I’m going to play you a song called Converting Vegetarians. Obviously they mean converting vegetarians to vegans, right? Ha!

veganmofo

Music for your Mouth: Martha and the Muffins

Holy moly there’s some great alliteration going on in the title today. A mouthful of muffins!

I had heard of the band Martha and the Muffins in passing before now, but didn’t really think I knew who they were. I did a bit of the old internet research, and the first song that came up on youtube was Echo Beach. As soon as I started playing the song I recognised it – it is so familiar, I just have no idea where from. The Bear felt the same too…perhaps it is in a movie or something? 

Regardless of where it’s from, it’s a catchy tune with a perfect 80s film clip – the outfits, the hair styles, the split screen shots – it’s all there! I probably should have made some daggy 80’s cookbook muffins to match, but I will leave that to Hasta La Vegan, who is doing a spectacular job of with her theme of Bizarre and Outdated Cookbooks. Check. It. Out. Some serious dishes happening over there.

marthamuffins2

Zucchini and chocolate are the perfect partners in crime in the creation of lovely moist cakes. Not only that, but using veggies in sweets is a great way to sneak them in for those who do not look so kindly upon them. I reckon that if I had zucchini-hating children, I would definitely test this recipe on them – I bet they would barely notice the vegetables in amongst all that delicious chocolate.

marthamuffins4I don’t know what it is about muffins, but Ruby can never seem to keep her eyes off them. She is definitely my dog! Or maybe it’s the sneaky cats on the tea towel that she’s got her eye on this time…

marthamuffins3marthamuffins

Chunky Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
(makes 12)

1 1/2 cups spelt flour
1/2 cup cacao powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup overripe banana, mashed
1 1/2 cups grated zucchini
2 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 flax egg (1 Tbsp flaxmeal = 3 Tbsp water)
1/4 cup non-dairy milk
1/3 cup chocolate, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 180C and lightly grease or line a muffin tin.

In a large bowl, combine flour, cacao, baking powder, bicarb soda and salt.

In a separate bowl, mix together the banana, vanilla, oil, sugar, flax egg and milk.

Stir zucchini into the wet mix, then pour the whole lot into the dry mix and stir until just combined, being careful not to over mix. Fold through choc chunks.

Spoon into muffin tray and bake for 20-25 mins until they bounce back when you press them lightly. Allow to cool slightly, then turn onto a cooling rack.

marthamuffins5

veganmofo