Tuesday

Dark Chocolate and Wholegrain Oats Breakfast


A most wonderfully delightful breakfast is the Organic Wholegrain Oats from Woolies and some of their Dark Chocolate Chips that they sell in a little tin. I also add sugar and a spoonful of vegan margarine. This is what I had this morning, and plan to have for the next few days as well! To spice it up, add some nuts, dried fruit, muesli or fresh bananas. I also add some rice milk sometimes, when I'm in a hurry to eat and want it to cool down faster.


Mongkok Lunch























Cyrildene is a very authentic Chinese food area and this is a restaurant that I really enjoy eating at in the area. They make fantastic Salt and Pepper Tofu and Garlic Pak Choi. Yum!



Wednesday

Vegan Twixxlers

I felt like doing something particularly naughty today, and I found this recipe! I haven't made it yet, because I have to get back to my work, but in the mean time, here is my cunning plan to make my own Twix like chocolate bars. I've taken this recipe and veganised it for you.

Shortbread

1 cup vegan baking margarine, at room temperature
1 cup confectioners sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
Pinch of salt

Preheat your oven to 180°C. Spray your pan lightly with cooking spray, or line with parchment, and set aside.

In a medium-sized bowl, beat together the margarine, sugar and vanilla. Add the flour. At first, the mixture may seem dry, but it will come together as you continue to beat at medium speed.

Take the dough and press it evenly into the pan. Lightly flouring your fingertips will help with any sticking.
Prick the crust all over with a fork. The holes will allow steam to escape and the crust will bake evenly with fewer bubbles.

Bake the crust until it is lightly golden brown on top and the edges are deeper golden brown, about 35 to 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and immediately run a knife around the edges to loosen the crust. Set it aside to cool completely.

Caramel Layer

2 cups caramel, cut into small chunks
3 tablespoons coconut cream

Vegan Caramel Recipe

1 cup margarine
2 cups sugar
2 cups milk alternative
1 cup maple syrup, agave or any other syrup
1 t vanilla
1 tsp salt

Grease and line a pan with parchment. Place all ingredients (except vanilla) in a large saucepan. Bring ingredients to a boil stirring often. Cook over medium heat while stirring.

Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour into lined baking pan.
Allow to cool completely. Snip into pieces using clean kitchen shears or slice with a knife. Wrap individually with waxed or parchment paper. Makes ±100 pieces

If you want to store it and use it to pour as a caramel sauce over ice cream or confectionary, pour the finished mixture into a glass jar. Warm the jar in a pan of hot water before pouring over ice cream or cake.

For Twix, Melt the caramel and cream over low heat in a small saucepan. Pour the caramel over the cooled crust and set in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to chill and firm up.

Chocolate Wrapping

3 cups chopped vegan dark chocolate, melted
1 tablespoon vegetable margarine (optional)

Melt the chocolate slowly in a double boiler. If it seems very thick, add a tablespoon of margarine to thin it. Pour evenly over the chilled caramel layer and spread to cover all of the caramel. Return to the fridge until the chocolate is well set. It's best to store these bars in the refrigerator.

These bars can also be cut and dipped in chocolate to resemble Twix ® bars. After the caramel layer has chilled firm, cut down the length of the pan, splitting the bars into two long, narrow bars. Then cut each long strip into "fingers". Dip the chilled bars into melted chocolate and place on parchment paper to set for several hours.

Sunday

Carciofi Rosso's Sexy Makeover

My dear partner Ryan has given my little blog a complete makeover as a Valentine's day gift. It's looking much sexier with my bespoke typeface logo, the lovely red header and the legible new layout! I'm so happy with it and very excited for all my readers to see it! I hope you love it as much as I do!

Ryan specializes in Corporate Identity design, and his designing one for me was one of the most romantic gifts I could possibly imagine. Hand crafted gifts are my absolute favourite, as I know that so much time and love went into creating this new look as a surprise! I'm such a lucky girl!

For My Valentine
Because I'm on student income, I suggested to Ryan that we don't spend money on gifts for Valentine's day, also because it's a silly occasion and I feel even sillier wanting to do something to enjoy it!

I decided to make lots of lovely things for our special night but I ended up taking on too much and dinner took longer to cook than I thought it would! I had such great intentions! But what I ended up making was delicious and very indulgent.

Sweet Potato Fries

I chopped up some cleaned and unpeeled sweet potatoes and baked them in the oven for an hour, with a little olive oil and some seasoning. They're always a winner! I love sweet potato fries!

Onion Rings with Beer Tempura

I made a beer tempura batter using some Windhoek, Self Raising flour and some seasoning. I chopped an onion into rings, used only the big outer rings, and dipped them in the batter. The batter should be custard consistency to get a nice thick batter that clings to your onions. Deep fry in peanut oil or canola oil until golden. Place on paper towels to drain oil. Season and serve immediately!

Earth Burger Patty

I have the loveliest book called The Best Veggie Burgers on the Planet by Joni Marie Newman from which I got a burger patty recipe for the Earth Burger.

110 g mushrooms
4 garlic cloves minced
60 ml olive oil, divided
330 g cooked brown and wild rice blend with dried split peas
75 g corn kernels
chopped broccoli and cauliflower
1 1/2 cups wholewheat flour
1/2 cup vegetable stock mix

The ingredients I used weren't exactly to her specifications but you fry up 110g mushrooms with some onions, mix them in with everything else. You can either bake these patties in the oven or you can dry fry them on a low heat for about 20 minutes, turning every five minutes to ensure even cooking.

Wholewheat Sweet Buns

I actually made my own bread rolls for these burgers and they turned out OK, not as fluffy and airy as I had hoped but I did several things wrong. I forgot to add the egg replacement to the mixture, and I also didn't leave them to rise somewhere warm enough, or for long enough.

I also used a recipe from Joni Marie Newman's book, but you can use any recipe for little yummy bread rolls.

Enjoy navigating my new-look blog!

much love!

Thursday

Pesto Princess

The Pesto Princess is a company based in Cape Town that is making some delicious pestos, I have heard. I saw, however, that none of those I could get my hands on were Vegan! To my delight, they responded to my query with a positive that there is a wide variety of their pestos available that are dairy free and Vegan friendly!

This was their response:


Our Red, and Olive and Aubergine, pestos are already dairy-free, and available in retail.

If you live in the Western Cape, visit us for tastings at the GAIA market this Sunday, under the trees and across the road from the Spar at Alphen Village in Constantia.


There will be a fresh batch of dairy-free Basil and dairy-free Thai pesto available, as well as Red, and Olive & Aubergine, pesto, Harissa paste, Chermoula paste and Chimichurri - all suiting a vegan style of eating.


We hear you vegans! :)



Then they sent another response for Joburgers:


This just in! 

Starting next Saturday, we'll have a small amount of dairy-free basil, and dairy-free thai, at the Braamfontein Neighbourgoods Market!

In addition to the Red, Olive & Aubergine, Harissa, Chermoula, and Chimichurri, this will give you quite a vegan range to enjoy... :)


How exciting! Off to the Neighbourgoods Market in Braamfontein for me!


An example of what the bottles look like. 

Saturday

Bamboo Blossom's Monkey Bread

Photo by Natasha from Bamboo Blossom


A friend of mine runs the blog Bamboo Blossom: in which she has a post about her adventures with Monkey bread. Sounds and looks delicious! I am definitely going to try this one!! Looks like a wonderful lazy Sunday morning idea. You can get pre made bread dough from Pick 'n Pay as far as I know, and it should be Vegan. The best bread is, however, from freshly home made dough. Here is a recipe for some of my own ideas for monkey bread.

Bread dough (See Gluten Free option below)

750 g White bread flour, sifted
7 g sachet of fast-acting yeast
2 tsp salt
1 tsp castor sugar
15 g Vegan baking margarine, chilled and diced
350 ml warm water
100 ml warm vegan milk alternative, rice milk preferable

Gluten Free bread flour mix:

375 ml millet flour
375 ml sorghum flour
500 ml tapioca starch
250 ml potato starch

Don't compact flour when measuring. Pour into measuring cup rather than scooping.
Makes 1,5 litres of flour.
Mix well.

Topping and filling:

Add cinnamon, sugar, raisons, finely chopped dried fruit and fresh apple cubes onto (and into if you so desire) the dough.

To finish off the dough sprinkle agave nectar, maple syrup or sugar over the top of the bread with cinnamon sugar. Add some lemon zest if you're into that.

I can't wait to make this! My mouth is watering! Imagine the smell of this baking in the oven!