Vegan Pizza Day

Happy Vegan Pizza Day

I had this date noted in my calendar, but actually completely forgot about World Vegan Pizza Day. My sub-conscious mind must have locked on to that tidbit of trivia though, as I made Pizza for dinner tonight.

Homemade pizza is a definite favourite in out house. I’ve almost perfected the base and I can say that without a doubt the flour quality matters, but what really needs to be masters with vegan pizzas is the cheese.

Some prefer no cheese on their pizza, which is fine, but the moisture level must be adapted. There is nothing worse than a dry pizza and trust me, vegan and pre-vegan I’ve had my fair share.

Tonight I decided to use the recipe I’d found on One Green Planet. Overall it’s a great recipe and two large pizzas were devoured in no time. The Moxarella has the stringy/stretchy quality lacking in most vegan cheeses and I think this recipe could be made even better with a few tweaks. The base was far easier than my usual recipe, but I think using regular organic plain flour does nothing for the lightness needed in a pizza dough.

Vegan Pizza Day Vegan Pizza Day Vegan Pizza Day Vegan Pizza Day

While I was in Pizza mode, I decide to make a dessert pizza. I’d already made some custard when the idea sprung to mind. As an exchange student in the states, I remember going to some church social get together on a Friday night (I though it was the most boring thing ever) and making dessert pizza. Now what they served up was pretty terrible actually, but what’s not to like about some puff pastry, fresh fruit and custard with coconut flakes all baked in the oven until golden. It’s basically very similar to a danish, but Dessert Pizza sounds hella awesome!

Vegan Puff Pastry

Jam as Passata

Strawberries, Pineapple and Kiwi Fruit pieces

Custard

Coconut Flakes

 

So simple I can’t even write a recipe!

Vegan Pizza Day Vegan Pizza Day

Parmesan

I grabbed this recipe from a facebook group I’m in and am yet to try it, but it looks pretty good. I like that it’s not just nooch and nuts, which a lot of “parmesan” recipes are. Can’t wait to try it!

25 g of sesame seeds (unhulled seeds are better for calcium)
25 g of almonds (apparently it’s even better with walnuts)
15 g of savoury yeast flakes
1 teaspoon of miso (black miso is best)
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder

Mix everything. I didn’t bother mixing too much. Keep refrigerated for 10 days (it won’t last that long anyway)

Chocolate and Beetroot cupcakes with Salted Molasses Popcorn

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Ingredients:

2 cups flour

1/4 cup of cacao or cocoa powder

3 teapoons baking powder

3/4 cup raw sugar

6 tablespoons oil

3 tablespoons of flaxseed gel

3/4 cup grated roasted beetroot

1 1/4 cup of water

Popcorn topping

1-2 tablespoons of vegan butter/magarine or coconut butter

1 heaped tablespoon of raw sugar

1 tablespoon of Black Strap Molasses

Salt to taste

Method: Heat oven to 160 degrees celcius In a large bowl, sift the flour, cacao/cocoa and baking powder.

Add sugar. oil, beetroot and water and mix until well combined.

Add to 12 large or 18 medium cupcake patty cases.

Bake for about 10-15 minutes.

Remove and allow to cool before icing with a chocolate icing or frosting or your choice.

Make a batch of popcorn. In a small saucepan melt the vegan butter/magarine or coconut butter, sugar molasses and salt until the sugar is dissolves.

Pour over the popcorn and while holding the lid of the popcorn pot, shake to distribute the molasses/caramel throughout the popcorn.

Add to the tops of the iced/frosted cupcakes.

You will have way more than you need to top the cupcakes, but it stores well in an airtight container for 1-2 days and it’s pretty yummy!

N.B. If you aren’t intending to eat them on the day that you ice them, leave the popcorn off until just before serving. It tends to get a little soft/soggy when left on top of the icing after a day.

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Apple, Blackberry and Chia Crumble

It was only recently that I discovered that Americans call crumbles crisps. It’s funny because the Brits call chips crisps and we obviously call them chips, although we do understand when someone refers to a bag of potato chips as crisp. When I visited Florida as an exchange student, these differences in naming ingredients or foods became apparent, we had biscuits and so did the yanks, but they serves them with gravy and a meal, we dunked them in our tea. Recently, in guess due to globalisation and internet culture, I see us adopting the american way more and more…cookies have become more popular and kids seem to use the word candy much more than lollies. Although these are subtle changes it’s part and parcel of out tradition and customs falling away to a mono-culture…

For this reason I will not call this a crisp, even though when I threw the ingredients together and baked it, that name seemed to suit it more. Am I being nostalgic? Probably a little!

But wait! Nostalgic? I’ve veganised a traditional recipe, but then again crumbles, crisps and cobblers lend themselves so nicely to this!

Blackberry, Apple and Chia Crumble

Ingredients:

1 can of blackberries

2 apples, cored, quartered and cut into chunks

1 cinnamon quill

1/4 cup sugar

1-2 table spoons of chia seeds

3/4 cup of flour

1/2 cup raw sugar

1/4 cup oats

100grams of nuttelex or coconut butter/oil (solid)

2 Tablespoons LSA (optional)

Method

Preheat oven to 180 degress celcius

Put the fruit, cinnamon and sugar in a small saucepan and simmer until apples are soft, but still keeping their shape.

Add the chia seeds and stir, simmer for 5-10 more minutes.

Remove from heat

In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar and oats (plus LSA) and stir until well combined.

Add the nuttelex or coconut butter and using your hands work it through the dry ingredients until it resembles crumbs. The more variation, the better I find, as long as the mixture is thoroughly combined.

Place the berry and apple mix into a square pyrex dish or similar.

Top with crumble mixture, making sure the entire dish is covered evenly. Don’t press down as the rougher the texture the better it bakes.

Bake in a moderate oven until the top is slightly golden.

Serve with vegan ice- cream or Cashew Cream

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zucchini and Coconut Bocconcini Tart

Quick Zucchini and Coconut Bocconcini Tart

Working from home most days, allows me to spoil myself with lunch choices. Although I am usually found sitting at the computer munching on last night dinner leftovers. Lately I’ve been making an effort to get out in the sun. Autumn is here and the Australian sun is becoming less fierce each day.

This tart is a really quick light lunch that satisfies you more than perhaps a salad might, although saying that, I’ve definitely had my fair share of hearty salads.

Zucchini and Coconut Bocconcini Tart

It’s super easy and the combinations of toppings are as limitless as pizza!

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius.

Ingredients:

1 square sheet of vegan Puff Pastry (I used Borgs)

1 large zucchini/courgette

A few mini roma or grape tomatoes

Olive oil

A few balls of coconut bocconcini sliced

Rocket/Arugula leaves

Method:

Using a vegetable peeler, make thin slithers of zucchini and lay them across the pastry making a lattice type pattern. Make sure to leave a border around the edge of the pastry.

Arrange the slices of coconut bocconcini and torn mini tomatoes.

Brush the outer edge of Pastry with non-dairy milk and bake in the oven until golden and puffy.

Drizzle with olive oil and season to taste with salt, pepper and your choice of herbs.

Add the rocket leaves to the tart after you remove it from the oven.

Add a squeeze of lemon juice!

Serves 2 as a light lunch with a side salad.

Zucchini and Coconut Bocconcini Tart Zucchini and Coconut Bocconcini Tart Zucchini and Coconut Bocconcini Tart

 

 

 

 

Coconut Bocconcini

 

Today I thought I would experiment with my coconut cheese. I made abatch in preparation of the pizza we will have for dinner. I usually just let it set in a pyrex dish or bowl in the fridge, before scooping it out and adding it to the pizza in sizeable dollops.

Why not try setting it in molds to resemble bocconcini?

Success!

Why not take these little ‘balls’ and marinate them in olive oil, garlic and herbs?

Further success!

Coconut Bocconcini

I can’t wait to use these little beauties in more recipes, I already used them here. I love having marinated and roasted vegetable et al on hand to add to meals, it makes midweek dinners so much easier!

Ingredients:

1 can good-quality coconut milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or coconut vinegar
2/3  teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon agar powder
1 tablespoon tapioca flour
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

Olive oil
Italian herbs
Crushed garlic

Method:

Add the coconut milk into a small saucepan and whisk over medium-low heat.  Add in the vinegar, salt nutritional yeast and agar then whisk frequently until it starts simmering. Reduce the heat immediately, add the tapioca flour, whisk to remove any lumps and heat for 5-10 minutes more. Transfer to your chosen molds and set in fridge or freezer. When set add to a glasses jar or container with olive oil, herbs and garlic and marinate overnight.

Coconut and Peanut Butter Fudge by Oh My Humble Pie

Coconut and Peanut Butter Fudge

Coconut and Peanut Butter Fudge by Oh My Humble Pie

Coconut and Peanut Butter Fudge

Most of my cooking usually involves lots of experiments. It’s actually a bit of a challenge for me to even have a recipe blog, because so much of it goes by feel and my mood. Of course I do follow other people’s recipes and get ideas, but I’m constantly whipping something up and not taking notes…Yep, silly me!

The first batch I made of this kind of just happened, I’m not even sure what I was trying to make, needless to say I was kicking myself for not jotting down a recipe and got to work fast to create the same deliciousness. I didn’t think anyone else in the house would even like these, but boy was I wrong, they almost need to be hidden!

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 cups of Dried Coconut (desiccated, preferably organic and sulphate-free.)

2 Tablespoons of Coconut oil

2 Tablespoons of Peanut Butter

1 1/2 Tablespoons Agave syrup (or maple or rice malt syrup)

1/4 cup Soaked Raw Cashews

1 Tablespoon Sweet Coconut Spread

Small amount of Almond Milk or other non-dairy milk if needed.

METHOD:

I used a stick blender when making this fudge, but a really powerful blender, like the Vitamix,  will most definitely make the whole process faster and the end result will probably be smoother. My Kenwood Handheld 700W does a pretty good job though, so I would at least recommend a stick-blender with a metal shaft and ample wattage.

In a suitable bowl or jug blend the coconut and the oil until it resembles coconut butter rather than anything grated and dried. The heat from blending with add in the oils from the coconut being released, so be patient and you will see results. If your blender is not super powerful, it just means the texture will be slightly more like Coconut Ice, than Fudge, but it will still taste great.

Once the coconut is well blended you can proceed to add the other ingredients one by one, until everything is mixed well. You can adjust the sweetness to taste.

Find a suitable silicon mould, I used some ice cube mould from Ikea, which worked out perfectly quantity wise for this recipe. You could also line a suitable flat tin with plastic or foil. Press the mix into your chosen mould and then freeze or refrigerate until set.

Remove from mould and then store in the fridge as they will melt in the warm weather. Enjoy!

Coconut and Peanut Butter Fudge
Coconut and Peanut Butter Fudge by Oh My Humble Pie

Coconut and Peanut Butter Fudge

Coconut and Peanut Butter Fudge by Oh My Humble Pie

Coconut and Peanut Butter Fudge

Coconut and Peanut Butter Fudge by Oh My Humble Pie

Coconut and Peanut Butter Fudge

 

 

The Cruelty-Free Festival 2013

Cruelty Free Festival 2013

Last Sunday I ventured down to The Cruelty Free Festival which took place at Belmore Park, Central. It was quite warm and I couldn’t stay as long as I had liked, but I’m already counting down the days until next year. There was such a great vibe and a very diverse cross-section of people, all sharing their love of animals and yummy foods. I can only see this festival getting bigger and better each year.

The best thing was that you didn’t have to ask whether something you ordered was vegan or not and there was no need to say “Hold the cheese!”

Well done to all involved in making it a fabulous day!

For more information: crueltyfreefestival.org.au

All photos by Mookie (please contact me first if you wish to use any images.)

The Cruelty-Free Festival 2013

The Cruelty-Free Festival 2013

The Cruelty-Free Festival 2013

The Cruelty-Free Festival 2013

The Cruelty-Free Festival 2013

The Cruelty-Free Festival 2013

The Cruelty-Free Festival 2013

The Cruelty-Free Festival 2013

The Cruelty-Free Festival 2013

The Cruelty-Free Festival 2013

The Cruelty-Free Festival 2013

The Cruelty-Free Festival 2013

The Cruelty-Free Festival 2013

The Cruelty-Free Festival 2013

The Cruelty-Free Festival 2013

The Cruelty-Free Festival 2013

The Cruelty-Free Festival 2013

The Cruelty-Free Festival 2013

The Cruelty-Free Festival 2013

The Cruelty-Free Festival 2013

The Cruelty-Free Festival 2013

The Cruelty-Free Festival 2013

The Cruelty-Free Festival 2013

The Cruelty-Free Festival 2013

The Cruelty-Free Festival 2013

 

Dairy and Egg Substitutes

Firstly let me say that when you first go vegan or transition into using less animal products, I think there is a desire to use regular recipes that you may have always used, are familiar with or just stumble upon and want to veganise. I know for me it was almost a challenge to ‘hack’ every favourite meal. Making a recipe vegan is not always as simple as a straight substitution of regular milk with non-dairy milk and egg with a replacement. Some non vegan recipes just won’t work if you try to make them vegan. For example if a recipe calls for more than 3 eggs, adding an egg replacer is just going to make it taste bad. The good news is there are hundreds of great vegan recipes out there to use.

If you are like me a lot of your cooking just happens, you’ve been doing it for so long you rarely follow recipes for everyday meals. So learning how you can adapt your meal making to incorporate vegan friendly ingredients is fantastic and absolutely essential if you want to keep having fun in the kitchen.

Substituting milk:

The best thing about substituting milk in your daily meal and recipes with non dairy equivalents is that you have a huge choice. There is not only one brand of soy milk, so to the people that say they can’t go vegan because soy milk tastes really bad, well I say you haven’t found a brand you like. Usually the most well-known brand tastes the worst. I know that here in Australia, most people would automatically buy So Good (if they were replacing cow’s milk) , which to me tastes terrible, but Bonsoy, Vitasoy and a few others are so nutty tasting and delicious. So shop around and find your favourite. Don’t like soy milk, easy! There are even more non-dairy options available. Rice milks, hemp seed milk, almond milk, oat milk, cashew milk, coconut milk and the best thing is you can have several different kinds in your fridge and pantry according to your preference and also the use. I love coconut milk for desserts and it also makes the creamiest porridge, almond milk is great for smoothies and soy milk in cappuccinos is perfect to me. Some people can’t drink soy or choose not to, but with the extensive list of other options, it’s not a problem.

You can even make you own nut milks which are delicious and you know exactly what is in them.

Almond milk:

125grams of whole raw almonds soaked overnight

Blend with water to make up 1.5 litres of liquid

Start by adding about 300ml of water and blending until really smooth, then strain through a nutmilk bag or a large rectangle of muslin folded in half to make a square.

Squeeze all liquid out and pour into glass bottles.

You can sweeten to taste with maple syrup if you like, but to me almonds have a slightly sweet taste anyway.

Keeps for 3-4 days in the fridge.

This is great if you make a lot of smoothies and get sick of purchasing the small 1 litre tetra packs of non-dairy milk.

Substituting eggs:

When it comes to substituting eggs in a recipe, you need to be aware or what the egg is doing, is it binding the other ingredients together, is it aiding in raising the baked goods or adding fluffiness to the texture.

Bananas:

Bananas work well in baked goods where the banana taste is welcomed. Mashed, very ripe bananas trap air and keep the cake, muffins etc moist. This is an easy substitution for muffins and obviously banana bread or carrot cake etc.

½ a mashed, very ripe banana = 1 egg

Chia Seeds:

Substitute 1 tablespoon of chia seeds (preferably finely ground) + 3 tablespoons of water per egg

To grind them add them to your coffee grinder. If you do use them whole it just means you will have seeds in your end product, which sometimes doesn’t matter. I guess it’s personal preference.

It’s also a great ingredient to use to thicken sauces and gravies with and it’s delicious in smoothies!

Flax seeds:

Last year when I was searching for a diy recipe for a vintage setting solution for my hair, I found a recipe calling for Flaxseeds.

Basically the seeds are gently simmered for 15 mins and then the liquid is strained and cooled. The end result is a clear gel like substance not very dissimilar to eggwhite. Immediately thought I could use it as an egg substitute in baking recipes and also to coat my arancini balls…Success!

So now I make a batch up once a week and I can use it in pancakes, fritters, arancini and my hair also! So versatile!

1 Tablespoon of whole Flax seeds added to 1 cup of water.

I make a batch using 3 tablespoons with 3 cups of water.

Simmer gently and stir often for about 15.

Strain immediately and store the liquid in the fridge in a glass bottle.

Commercial egg replacer:

There are also commercial egg replacers on the market, personally I don’t think they are that fantastic, but I guess to have a packet in the pantry as a back up can’t hurt.

Make your own N’egg

2 tablespoons gluten flour or unbleached white flour

1 ½ teaspoon oil

½ baking powder

2 tablespoons water

Combine everything in a little cup or bowl and use immediately as the baking powder loses it’s effectiveness in about 2 hours.

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RAWGUST: Day 2

Part of the reason I didn’t want to commit to 100% for RAWGUST is that I didn’t want it to be completely ridged and inflexible as far as eating out and especially with other people.Today I chose to eat my cooked meal for lunch.

Breakfast: Peanut butter, choc smoothie. Banana, peanut butter, cacao, cacao nibs and chia seeds and a dash of maple syrup. It tastes so naughty, but it’s so good for you. I’ll post some photos and a recipe soon. Mornings can be a rush during the week!

What’s so great about Chia seeds:

  • They are gluten free
  • Very high in dietary fibre, which is for digestion.
  • They contains 20% Omega 3 ALA and has eight times more Omega 3 than salmon!
  • With 20% protein, Chia is a complete protein containing all 8 essential amino acids.
  • High in antioxidants.
  • Chia contains five times more calcium than milk and seven times more vitamin C than oranges and 3 times as much iron as spinach as well as twice the potassium as bananas.
  • Super great for healthy skin, hair and nails

Cacao nibs are also considered a superfood and rightly so. They are basically the raw form of chocolate, so when people say chocolate contains anti-oxidants they aren’t really referring to that Snickers bar. Raw Cacao nibs are a source of beta-carotene, amino acids (protein), Omega-3 EFA’s, calcium, zinc, iron, copper, sulphur, potassium, and one of the best food sources of muscle relaxing, stress relieving magnesium.

How can you not get these two babies into your diet!?!?

They are both really great in bliss balls as an easy raw snack to have handy!

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Lunch:

As a said before I decided to eat a cooked lunch because when someone suggested you go to Funky Pies at Bondi, you go! We love Funky Pies! Their side salads are always fresh and the pies are so yummy! They also stock lots of vegan cheeses and other packages foods. All vegan and a fantastic attitude towards doing good and being eco-responsible. Check them out!

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Dinner:

Rainbow paper rolls with raw satay sauce. One word AMAZING! I ate the entire plate of them!

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and then there was dessert. Raw pecan maple ice cream, so good!

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What a great way to finish off a meal!