Friday, 28 September 2012

Today is different.

Normally on a Friday, I have started the tradition of #FoodPornFriday. But today I’ve decided not to.

This week in Melbourne, there has been a disturbing and chilling case of a young woman who mysteriously disappeared off a busy street (less than 700m from home). Sadly, we woke to the news this morning that her body was found overnight, and that a man has been arrested and charged with her abduction, rape and murder.

For me, the thing that hit hard was that it was so close. The innocent victim, Jill, was a 29 year old with her whole life ahead of her. She was going home after a few drinks with friends and colleagues, and had probably done that walk countless times before. She refused an offer from a friend to walk her home because she thought she was safe.

When the Police released the CCTV footage of her final sighting (a brief interaction with her now confirmed killer), it was chilling and upsetting to see. She was clearly uncomfortable being stopped by this man, and unsure of what to do, she did what most of us has done at one time or another – called her brother, tried to look busy, and when she thought she was ok, she kept on walking.

The agony and pain that her family and friends have gone through this week, not knowing where she was, dealing with the media intrusion – and now the unimaginable horror to discover that she was so brutally violated.

Now that Jill has been found, her family can begin the grief process. There is closure to some degree, but so many questions remain unanswered.

It’s a reminder to us all that we need to be aware of ourselves and our surrounds at all times, that sadly there are antisocial people out there with no respect for others.

May Jill now rest in peace; my thoughts are with her family and friends.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Cheesecake heaven

Prior to becoming vegan, I didn’t really eat much cheesecake. I had a cheese allergy, but I would occasionally indulge in a piece on a special occasion.

My mum used to make cheesecake’s for the local café, who would serve them and sell them (we’re talking a looooong time ago, before food/hygiene laws changed!) so I knew she likes cheesecake (and she was well known for making yummy ones!). So with her birthday approaching, I started looking into what to make her for the celebration!!

I knew I wanted to make her a vegan cake (that was a no brainer!) but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go safe vegan (easy chocolate cake) or ‘scary’ vegan (cheesecake).

I settled on scary vegan.

**cue scary music**

I decided to make Vegie Head’s Better than Reece’s Peanut Butter ‘Cheesecake’ – knowing it was a VH recipe, I was in safe hands and it was less scary.

Getting the ingredients proved to be a bit more of a nightmare than I thought! I already had most of them, but I needed some Tofutti cream cheese, vegan biscuits, more agave syrup and silken tofu (ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!).

I went to 3 supermarkets to get the 4 ingredients!! By the time I got to the last supermarket, I was ready to have a small breakdown. But I guess if these places are sold out, it means there are people out there buying vegan products, so that’s a win!!

I set out making the cheesecake, making one helluva mess along the way!!

I’m not going to post the recipe, because you can find it in Vegie Heads e-book, a genuine bargain at only $7 for almost 30 delicious recipes!!

I brought the cheesecake out of the fridge, stuck a candle in it, we all sang happy birthday then served it up. At this point, no one was any the wiser. I waited until everyone had enjoyed a mouthful, before I gleefully announced – it’s made of tofu!!! L-whack looked a little freaked out initially, but then dug back into his piece (we’re both very sceptical of tofu)!

Sorry about the lack of focus...

This ‘cheesecake’ is so rich, creamy and delectable – and oh so easy. You could even just serve the filling as a mousse or something.

I absolutely cannot wait to make this again, and freak out some more unsuspecting people – who knew tofu could taste so freaking good?!!

Thank you Miss Vegie Head for your inspiring, delicious and non-scary recipe. You helped mum’s birthday to be a great one xx

Friday, 21 September 2012

Food Porn Friday – September 21

I found out some devastating news last night.

My hairdresser is pregnant…

Who is going to cut my hair now?!! It took me years and years of terrible hairdressers and shocking haircuts to find Rebecca… I’m convinced it’s because of her cut/styling that I was pulled out of the audience for ‘Hey Hey it’s Saturday’… (Hahaha, long story!)

I got my hair cut last night (looooooong overdue) and Rebecca mentioned how different and healthier my hair seemed. I told her about my change in diet (and I have also started using Desert Essence coconut shampoo/conditioner in the last 6 weeks) and she was impressed!!

I mean, I’m happy for her being knocked up by her hubby and all that, but…

I need some food porn now to cheer me up.

Roasted tomato tortilla pizza with basil cashew cheeze

Photo: Oh She Glows
Roasted tomatoes
0.90 kg/2 lb. tomatoes (I used mixed cherry tomatoes)
1/2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
Fine grain sea salt & pepper
For the basil cashew cheeze
2 garlic cloves
1 cup loosely packed fresh basil
1/4 cup roasted tomatoes
1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for at least 1 hour
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. water
1 tbsp. nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt, or to taste
Large tortillas
Place 1 cup raw cashews in a bowl of water and soak for at least 1 hour. Rinse and drain before use.
Preheat the oven to 375F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Chop tomatoes and place in a bowl and mix with olive oil, vinegar, and season with salt and pepper. Spread out on prepared pan and roast for about 30 minutes or so. Remove and reduce heat to 350F.
For the sauce
In a food processor drop in garlic cloves and mince.
Now drop in the basil followed by the roasted tomatoes and drained and rinsed cashews. Stop to scrape down the side of the bowl.
Now add in the rest of the ingredients and blend until super smooth. Season with fine grain sea salt to taste. Add more oil or lemon juice if preferred.
Place your desired amount of tortillas on baking sheet. Spread sauce on each tortilla followed by a generous amount of roasted tomatoes.
Bake in the oven for 13-15 minutes (watch closely) at 350F or until crisp and golden. Serve immediately. Store leftover sauce in an air-tight container in the fridge. It should keep for a week or longer.


Pumpkin chocolate-chip pizookie

Photo: Chocolate Covered Katie
2 cans white beans or garbanzos (drained and rinsed) (500g total, once drained)
1 cup quick oats
1/4 cup pureed pumpkin (or butternut squash or sweet potato)
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp. vegetable oil or coconut oil
1 1/2 cups brown sugar or coconut sugar
1 cup chocolate chips
Blend everything (except the chips) very well in a food processor (NOT a blender). Blend until it’s super smooth.
Mix in chips, and pour into a pan. (I used a 10-inch spring form pan, but you can use a smaller pan if you want a really deep-dish pie.)
Cook at 350F for 35 minutes. Let stand at least 10 minutes before removing from the pan.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Pomodoro sauce

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned my love for spaghetti. I adore the stuff. But I have to admit something. I mainly use bottled sauce.

**Hangs head in shame**

I know, I know. Bottled sauce is high in oil, sodium and fat and is generally really not good for you… But I’m a sauce snob, and I had found a delicious authentic pasta sauce* that I’ve been loyal to for the past 5 or so years. And it’s so convenient.

Well I decided last night that I had all the ingredients to make my own pasta sauce, so away I went. And dang it, it is delicious!! I'm hanging out to have some tonight for my dinner. GET IN MAH BELLY!!


A splash of olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
4 cloves garlic
3/4 cup of full-bodied red wine
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 jar passata
2 x 400g tin of diced tomatoes
1 bunch basil, roughly torn

On a gentle heat, stir together the oil, onion, carrot and celery and let it gently cook for 10-15 minutes until the onion is soft and starting to turn brown
Stir in garlic, and let sit for a minute or two.
Add the wine, and let that simmer for a couple of minutes. Add red wine vinegar, passata and tomatoes, and stir to combine. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce to a simmer.
Simmer sauce for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid sauce sticking on the bottom.
About 5 minutes before the end, stir through the torn basil and season with salt & pepper as needed.

I also added some wilted kale, and also half a cup of cannellini & kidney beans are they all needed to be used.

*In case you’re wondering, it’s the Saclá cherry tomato arrabiata. And I admit I will buy more of it for when I CBF!!