Monday, 14 April 2014

Iced Gingerbread Cake

There's not too much to say about this cake. It just made me feel good!

This cake is a mildly spicy version of gingerbread in cake form. I really love this icing - a thin, crisp layer of extra sweetness. 

Perfect with a cup of tea with rice milk!

Iced Gingerbread Cake (adapted from The Wholefood Lunch Box by Janet Hunt)

1 1/2 cups wholemeal flour
1/2 cup plain flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup raw sugar
1/2 cup vegan margarine (I used Nuttelex)
1 tbsp molasses
1 tbsp ground flaxseed whisked with 3 tbsp water
non-dairy milk to mix (I used oat milk)

1/2-3/4 cup icing sugar
2-3 tbsp coconut milk/cream
few dashes of cinnamon
Dash of vanilla

Preheat oven to 180C.

Whisk together the flaxseed and water and put aside.

Mix together all dry ingredients. 

Melt the margarine and molasses together on low heat until melted.

Stir the margarine mixture and the flaxseed mixture into the dry ingredients. Add as much milk as necessary to make a thick batter.

Line a square cake tin with baking paper and pour in the cake mixture. 

Bake the cake for 15 minutes at 180C and for further 45 minutes at 170C, or until cooked.

To prepare icing, simply stir all ingredients together until smooth. Let it cool completely before icing. You can eat it immediately or wait until the icing hardens (or a bit of both!). 

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Using Stuff Up

My partner hates wasting food. He will scan the fridge, collect everything near expiration and basically put it on a sandwich. Needless to say, we don't ask him to prepare much in the kitchen!

I don't go that far, but it feels terrible to throw food away and I do get a lot of satisfaction from using up stuff before it spoils. 

Lately I'm trying to cook more with what I have available at home, as opposed to getting a crazy idea to make some obscure dish (which I've usually seen online along with a drool-worthy photo) for dinner/dessert that requires another trip to the shops and two hours/days preparation!

Here are a few of my recent efforts: 

We always have opened jars of tomato sauce and paste in the fridge needing to be used up. This simple pasta and beans concoction turned out beautifully. I fried some garlic and onion in olive oil, added rosemary, tomato paste and pasta sauce and stock, and added the cooked beans and pasta. 

We often have leftover tofu stored in water in the fridge. Sometimes I just fry the tofu with some tamari and the kids really like it. This pad thai style dish and popcorn tofu are also good ways to use it up. 

This is my favourite quinoa salad - a great way to use leftover cooked quinoa. Lexie likes it too, so I tend to make it quite a bit. I've also made Johanna's delicious muffins a few times, which contain cooked quinoa.  

This chocolate and banana pudding from Vegan Lunch Box was a fun way to use up chocolate almond milk. It had slices of banana at the bottom. 

I used up some fresh basil and parsley in this sauce and poured it over baked sweet potatoes. It was so good! The sauce was based on the Green Goddess dressing from Appetite for Reduction

Apple sauce and coconut yoghurt - this was a pretty desperate attempt to save an open jar of apple sauce. It was quite nice though, and Lexie liked it. I've made this apple brown rice breakfast a few times which is a very simple and yummy way to use up apple sauce. Kari's carrot cake pikelets also put apple sauce to great use - a lovely, warming and wholesome breakfast or snack!

Monday, 7 April 2014

Baking for Preschool Lunches

I take any excuse to bake. Any. Friends coming over, trying out a new recipe, using up food, to cheer me/someone else up, waking up in the morning... 

Now, I have a legitimate weekly reason to bake - to include wholesome nut-free things in Sylvia's preschool lunches. And of course the rest of us in the household (and anyone I meet in the street) get to sample them too! 

Her favourite are these chocolate chip cookies from Live. Learn. Love. Eat sweetened with maple syrup and made with wholemeal flour:

This banana bread (without walnuts) from the same blog was also successful:

We have enjoyed all the recipes from this blog, especially the peanut butter and jam thumbprint cookies and the cookie dough balls (which both unfortunately contain nuts so can't go in the lunch box). 

I love Angela's recipes! Pretty much everything I've made from her blog has been amazing, especially this quiche. I can't wait to get my hands on her new cookbook!  

Sylvia likes the results of most of my healthy baking binges, but all the cakes, muffins and biscuits/cookies are losing their "treat" status due to the sheer volume I make! Ah well, a kid (and a mum) could have worse problems...