Friday, 31 August 2012

Food Porn Friday – August 31

It’s the last day of winter – HOORAY!!!

To celebrate, let us enjoy #foodpornfriday.


Ratatouille-Inspired Summer Veggie Dish
A delicious mix of colourful, nutritious vegies, ratatouille can be either a summer or winter dish. And I LOVE the movie…

Photo: Oh She Glows

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, peeled & minced
2 cups chopped sweet onion
1 large zucchini, chopped into 1” chunks (~2 cups chopped)
1 large yellow zucchini, chopped into 1” chunks (~2 cups chopped)
1 Italian Eggplant, peeled & chopped into 1” chunks (~1-1.5 cups)
1 red pepper, chopped
3/4-1 cup marinara sauce (or use chopped tomato)
1-2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, to taste
1/4 cup packed fresh basil, finely chopped
Herbamare + salt & pepper, to taste
In a large cast-iron pot or skillet, heat the oil, garlic, and onion over medium heat for about 5 mins, stirring frequently and reducing heat if necessary.
Add the chopped zucchini, eggplant, and red pepper, as they are ready to go in. Season with salt and pepper and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes. I like giving the veggies a sprinkle of Herbamare to bring out the flavours.
Stir in about  3/4-1 cup of your favourite marinara sauce (I used The Linen Collection Marinara from Costco!) along with fresh herbs. Cook until vegetables are tender, but still a bit firm and not overcooked – about 5-7 more minutes.
Serve with a crunchy baguette, rice, potatoes, couscous, quinoa, or simply as a side.


Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes with Vegan Banana Ice Cream
I don’t think I would ever make these as I don’t have enough patience to wait for it to cool, or artistic merit. But I would have no problem one (or 4!) down!

Photo: Joylicious
Banana Ice Cream
3 very ripe bananas, frozen
1 tablespoon soymilk (optional)
Using a blender or hand-held immersion blender, blend the bananas into a smooth paste.  If it feels a little thick, feel free to add the soymilk.
Place in a medium glass container and freeze for 30 minutes or more before using. 

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes
1 1/4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup warm water
½ cup brewed coffee
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon distilled vinegar
1 ½ cups all-natural peanut butter, room temperature
½ cup honey
Cocoa nibs and cocoa powder for garnish
Mix peanut butter and honey together in a bowl until combined.  Set aside until ready to use.
Preheat oven at 350F. 
In a large bowl mix the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt together until well incorporated. 
Add water, coffee, oil and vinegar into dry mixture, mix until fully blended. 
Fill muffin pan with liners and fill with batter ¾ the way full. 
Bake in oven for 22-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. 
Place on rack to cool.  Using a paring knife or tiny circular pastry cutter (1”-1.25”) cut out a hole in the center of each cupcake for the peanut butter filling.
Take banana ice cream out and set aside.  Fill each cupcake with peanut butter mixture up to the top and scoop banana ice cream on top. 
Garnish with cocoa nibs and cocoa powder.  Serve immediately.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Strawberry muffins

Are deeeeeeeeelicious!!

Having bought a couple of punnet’s of strawberries on the weekend, and tasting just how flavoursome and yum they were (hello summer fruits!), I felt compelled to buy more and create a tasty baked treat. So I did!!

I hopped off the train one stop early to go to Woolworths (not ideal, but they had 2 punnets for $3.40!) and then walked home, salivating at the thought of baking goodness.

I googled a recipe, it received raving reviews and I had all the ingredients. So I settled on this recipe, with a few Ess Mick’s tweaks (as usual, my tweaks are in italics).

They were so easy to make, and smelt so good baking in the oven. Once they were ready, I packed some up and popped over to visit L-whack and Miss Molly (L-whack is dog-sitting) and we ALL enjoyed these light, fluffy muffs… erm muffins!! I can’t wait to have another one (or three…) tonight for dessert.

Om nom nom...

The Best Strawberry Muffins

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (wholemeal SR flour)
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (3/4 tsp as was using SR flour)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup milk (soy milk)
1/2 cup butter, melted (nuttelex)
1 eggs, beaten (1 chia egg, see note)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup strawberries, chopped (about 1 1/2 cup)

Preheat oven to 425F (220°c), then grease your muffin tin (I lined mine with Spiderman wrappers!).
Sift flour, baking powder and salt into large bowl. Stir in rolled oats and sugar, then set aside.
Combine milk, butter, egg and vanilla in a small bowl.
Stir milk mixture into dry ingredients until moistened. Then stir in strawberries.
Spoon batter into muffin tray, filling each until about 2/3 full.
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until lightly browned.
1 chia egg = 1 tbsp. chia seeds + 3 tbsp. water in a cup. Let sit for ~10mins until it resembles egg white consistency. Voila!

And there you have it. Delicious, chunky, moist muff!!

On another note, I have to share with you this sign that caught my eye in Woolworths yesterday… I kid you not. Slightly inappropriate much?

Friday, 24 August 2012

Food Porn Friday – August 24

Hello Friday. I’m so glad you’re here.

Without further ado, let’s launch into #FoodPornFriday.



Photo courtesy of The Shiksa in the Kitchen

2 green bell peppers, (3/4 lb total)
1 medium jalapeno (or more to taste)
2 large cans diced tomatoes (1 lb 12 oz each), or 8 large tomatoes peeled and diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp sugar (or to taste-- some people prefer it less sweet)
1 tsp chili pepper flakes (or more to taste)
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp paprika

Roast the bell peppers. Seed the peppers and peel off the charred skin. Chop the roasted skinned pepper flesh.
Seed the jalapeno, then mince it.
In a medium saucepan, combine diced tomatoes, roasted bell peppers, minced jalapeno, garlic, sugar, chili pepper flakes, and salt. Bring to a simmer over medium high heat.
Reduce heat to around medium low, till the matbucha is cooking at a medium and constant simmer. Monitor the temperature of the matbucha, stirring every ten minutes to make sure it doesn't start to stick to the bottom of the pan. Let the mixture cook for 65-75 minutes till most of the liquid has reduced and cooked down.
When most of the liquid has evaporated and the mixture is quite thick, you are ready to add your oil.
In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil and paprika.
Pour the seasoned oil into the pan and stir.
Let the matbucha cook for about 30 minutes more, stirring every 5 minutes. Towards the end of cooking, taste the mixture and adjust seasoning as desired-- more sugar for sweetness, chili pepper flakes for spice, and salt if needed.
Remove the matbucha from heat and allow to cool completely. The salad is best served at room temperature or chilled.

Dontcha just wanna grab some of that lightly toasted pita bread and dig in? NOM!


Warm fudgy pudding cake

Although this isn’t a vegan recipe, it is SO easy to veganise it. Use margarine instead of butter, non-dairy milk instead of dairy milk, and BAM it’s vegan!

Photo courtesy of the Kitchn

For the cake
1 cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (6 ounces) white sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 cup (4 ounces) milk, whole or 2%
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
For the pudding
1/2 cup (4 ounces) white sugar
1/2 cup (4 ounces) brown sugar
1/4 cup (2 ounces) unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup (8 ounces) cold water
Vanilla ice cream for serving, optional

Heat the oven to 375°F. Grease or spray with non-stick cooking spray an 8"x"8 baking pan.
Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt through a fine-meshed strainer into a mixing bowl. Combine the milk, melted butter, and vanilla. Pour the liquids over the dry ingredients, and stir gently with a spatula just until no more dry flour is visible. Scrape this batter into the pan and smooth the top.
For the pudding layer, combine the white sugar, brown sugar, and cocoa powder in a small bowl. Pour over the cake batter and shake the pan to evenly distribute the sugars.
Pour the cold water over the sugars. Do not stir. Put the pan immediately into the oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes. As it bakes, the cake will rise to the top while the pudding forms beneath. The cake is finished baking when the edges of the cake turn dark brown and crispy, and when the top of the cake is shiny and dry to the touch.
Let the cake cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Scoop slices of cake and the pudding beneath into individual bowls and top with ice cream. Leftovers will keep refrigerated for up to a week and can be reheated for 20 seconds in the microwave.

 Dang it. It's not even 11am, and I want pudding...