Sunday, 30 September 2012

Random deliciousness

With all the other things happening in our lives at the moment, my cooking has been a bit fragmented. I find myself making dishes from random cookbooks and blogs, depending on what idea jumps into my pregnancy-addled brain. I'm still as feverish about cooking as ever!

Here are some yummy things we've eaten lately:

Vegan mayo

It was quite a revelation making this mayonnaise from Vegan Dad's recipe. It was so creamy and much much superior to bought vegan mayo.... and cheaper and no funny additives. It is made with soy milk, oil (I used sunflower oil), white wine vinegar, sugar and salt. I'll never buy vegan mayo again!

Savoury spinach pancakes

These are from Vegan Mother Hubbard and I loved them. I used fresh spinach instead of frozen, some different herbs and spices and left out the vegan cheese, and they turned out beautifully.

White bean and spinach wraps

This is a winning combo if you love garlic - smooth white bean spread based on this recipe, and spinach wilted with a bit of olive oil and garlic. These are still not as popular as our standard tangy bean wraps, but lovely nonetheless!

Friday, 14 September 2012

Food ideas for toddlers

I have heard that some toddlers eat whatever is placed in front of them. Although my little two and a half year old girl eats pretty well and generally tries most foods, she is definitely not one of those toddlers.

Vegan or not, most of my friends with toddlers share my experience.  

I am always trawling blogs on the lookout for new ideas for food that Sylvia might enjoy, so I thought I'd share some of our recent food successes - hopefully they work for someone else too!

Guacamole face

Borrowing yet another idea from the TV show Play School, I made guacamole dip with avocado, chopped tomato, garlic, red onion, lemon juice and salt and cut up a variety of veggies. Whoever said you shouldn't play with your food?

This is Sylvia's creation: 

Healthy cinnamon crackers

This is a great recipe from the blog Peas and Thank You. It is actually meant to be a cereal, but Sylvia just loves them as crackers served warm from the oven. They are made with chickpea and millet flour, so pretty nutritious!


I've blogged about brown rice sushi before. It was delicious, but Sylvia wasn't too keen on it. She prefers this version made with regular seasoned sushi rice and filled with avocado, capsicum, cucumber and carrot. Dipped in large quantities of tamari or soy sauce, of course!

Pesto pasta and broccoli

I made this pesto with basil leaves, olive oil, nutritional/savoury yeast, garlic, walnuts and lemon juice. I mix the broccoli with a bit of salt and Nuttelex.

Like adults, children have their likes and dislikes. These might change. They are still exploring tastes and textures. I understand them feeling reluctant to try new and unfamiliar things, especially when they feel pressured to do so.

I think it's a lot about control and independence. I find that Sylvia is more likely to try and eat food if the setting is relaxed and she doesn't feel compelled to try it. She is more interested in the food if she is involved in making it.

Toddlers test boundaries and I don't think food should be a battleground. I'm fine with giving Sylvia the freedom to occasionally have not so healthy foods containing sugar etc. and to try foods that may not be 100% vegan in social settings if it means that she has a relaxed and healthy attitude toward food and is happy eating our vegan food at home most of the time.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Almond-jam muffins using leftover almond pulp

I am still chasing down the recipe for my mum's Hungarian Chocolate Chestnut Cake. In the meantime, I wanted to share these delicious almond-jam muffins:

I have been making almond milk quite a bit lately - I seem to be craving it! I hate to waste all that leftover almond pulp, so I googled ways to use it and came across this recipe on Veg Web

I loved these muffins. This is the most successful recipe I have found via Google in quite some time! And I have had some disasters, believe me.  
I used cherry jam for the filling and a couple of tablespoons of apple sauce for the egg replacer. 
To make the almond milk, I soak 1 cup of almonds overnight, then blend it with 4 cups of water, a bit of maple syrup, a dash of vanilla extract and a pinch of salt until smooth. I then pour it into a fine strainer (straining it though cheesecloth would create a smoother, less grainy result but I don't mind the tiny bits of almond). It's really easy and tastes so much nicer than bought almond milk.  
Now, I think I will probably make the almond milk just to have the pulp to make these yummy muffins!