Monday, October 31, 2011

My Vegan MoFo 2011 Round-up!

Last day of MoFo and the perfect time to share some of the things I've been enjoying this MoFo.

The best themes
  • True blood food by That Pain in the Ass Vegan. Most awesome was probably the vegan tongue.
  • Year 2 of vegan gravy by Tofu-n-Sprouts. The true gravy queen. 
  • Horror movies with menus by Don't eat of the Sidewalk. Katie has managed to make me (a person who truly hates scary movies) want to watch all of the movies she's written about.
  • Vegan in Brighton. Jojo has been keeping up with not only one but four (4!) themes. Random eats, Football Foods, Cookbook Challange and New Foods. Her posts have all been great fun to read. 
Things I've tried and loved
Great posts
 3 great new (to me) blogs 
  • Elitefood. Traditional Finish cuisine - veganized. I recognize a lot of these dishes from Swedish cuisine and can't wait to try some of these recipes.
  • V.K Rees Photography. Awesome photos, beautiful cat, great food and Vanessa seems to be a pretty damn cool woman!
  • Oh, ladycakes. This blog always makes me happy. It's colourful, the photos are pretty and she's made a MoFo all about pumpkin!
5 favourites from my own MoFo posts

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Very deep dish pizza

 I was spending the weekend with Martin and parts of his family, and we decided to make something fun for Saturday dinner; deep dish pizza! 

The way we made it was really easy. We made some basic pizza dough and put it in a spring form. Spread a layer of vegan cream cheese on the bottom, and started filling up with layers of soy mince and tomato sauce, pineapple and vegan mozzarella cheese.

 We baked it for about 30 minutes, and then it looked like this. Quite a beast!

 We had some dough and filling left over so we made some mini ones in the muffin tins. Since we were out of the cheese we added some sliced banana on top, yum!

All of this was really tasty and of course we ate some pizza salad to go with it.

This was my last food-post during MoFo 2011 - I've been posting every day and it has been a lot of fun! I feel like my blogging wasn't that much fun though, so I hope November and December will feel more inspiring for both me and you. Tomorrow's post will be a round up!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

2 x breakfast

 Black bean burger (from Veganomicon) on plain white buns (from The best veggie burgers on the planet) and lemonade.

Green smoothie in a bowl. Made with banana, apple, spinach and soy milk.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Pumpkin luna bars

 I'm not sure your autumn will be complete unless you make these pumpkin bars from V.K Rees Photography. No further description needed - now go make them!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Ginger potatoes with aubergine


I spent two weeks this summer working on an organic blueberry farm in England (read the interview with the farmer here!), and that's where I first had this dish. Wei Wei, the woman of the house, did not only bake some mean blueberry muffins, she was a queen of the kitchen! She cooked great food most everyday, but this dish is probably my very favourite of the things we got to eat there. I don't make it exactly the same way as she did, but it's still yummy and perfect on a dark and cold autumn evening (as it is here today).

Ginger potatoes with aubergine
 serves 2

250 g potatoes (4 small-medium ones), cut into chunks
150 g aubergine (I used one half), cut into cubes
2 cloves of garlic, finely shopped
a chunk of ginger (see the picture below), finely chopped
a splash of soy sauce

- Boil the potatoes until almost tender.
- Sauté the aubergine in canola oil over medium heat until tender and a bit browned.
- Add the garlic, ginger and potatoes and a splash or two of soy sauce. Cook until it comes together a bit and the garlic and ginger is fragrant.
- Serve with bread or some fresh greens such as baby spinach or lettuce.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Interview vith Robin, an organic blueberry farmer in the UK!

I stayed with Robin and Wei-Wei on North Harton farm for two weeks this summer for my first WWOOFing experience. It was two great weeks with hard work, a fantastic communal feeling and with truly picturesque surroundings. Growing organic blueberries is not an easy task, and I thought I’d let Robin tell you his own story about being a small scale farmer in the British countryside.
Wei-Wei and Robin
My parents owned North Harton farm. As a child we had 3 farms on and around Dartmoor. My grandfather had a farm close to Haytor. When my mother died she gave the farm to the National Trust. I was able to buy some of the farm back and decided to live here 5 years ago. I am rather reclusive and do not promote publicity or advertise our blueberries.
A blueberry field in the sunset.
There is no clear reason why I chose to grow blueberries; perhaps it was some divine inspiration, who knows - but I guess the blueberries are organic because I could not afford to be anything but organic what with the expensive tractors, trailers and fertilisers that non organic farmers have. Now we are fully certified organic with the soil association who are a great organisation and we sell to ethical and family distributors like Riverford Organics. I like to think that as blueberries are a super-fruit and very good for your health it makes sense to eat them in their purest form. I can testify that they are good for your memory and make you young because Wei-Wei my dear lady says I only look 40 and I always remember her birthday!  And as for Wei-Wei she only looks 30!
To have an organic blueberry farm you need to be able to work throughout all the seasons, and you need to work hard. There is no escaping; if you can't get yourself up early in the morning then you had better find a normal nine to five job. And working on a farm means working in the rain, snow and freezing cold. The only holiday I have is walking to the top of the farm to see my Dartmoor ponies. On average I work about 18 hours a day seven days a week and sometimes longer. So you could ask "Why do you do it?" The answer is that when you have a passion for something you just do it no matter what. That's what makes Dartmoor blueberries the best blueberries in the world. Royalty, film stars and Jo Blogs down the road all seem to like genuine British organic blueberries. We have 17 different varieties that fruit from July to the end of October, so each punnet will have different tasting berries. We are in the business of making people happy, and we are always happy when we hear people who buy our blueberries say "Wow!"
Of course being organic is not for your average farmer - all our plants, 25,000 of them, would stretch 20 kilometers if laid out in one long row and they have to be weeded by hand; pruned by hand, in fact everything is by hand including the picking and labeling. We are grateful to all the wonderful people who come from all over the world to help us produce the best blueberries in the world. The WWOOF organisation has also played an important part and Wei-Wei and I are always delighted to meet new young people with so much enthusiasm even though many have had no farming experience - they simply love staying on an ethically minded farm with other likeminded souls. It is certainly a great life on the farm, and if you like the fresh clean air of beautiful Dartmoor then why not visit us!
The farm is situated in the Dartmoor National Park - quite lovely!
Where can you buy Dartmoor blueberries? Well if I could I would give them away. I am an anti-capitalist so I try and sell them to the nicest people I  know! We stay well clear of supermarkets which are the main reason for the demise of town high streets. Supermarkets in being economically efficient are tight fisted toward the farmers that supply them.
So you can buy Dartmoor blueberries from Riverford Organics. They do a vegetable and fruit box scheme that you can order to your door, and in the summer the chances are they may well be selling our blueberries! They are an ethical company like ours so if you care about the planet, the universe and where we are heading then why not buy from your friends rather than bad guys?
Wei-Wei my dear lovely lady makes some great recipes with blueberries including apple and blueberry pie, blueberry juice, blueberry muffins, blueberry jam, pavlova with blueberries... the list is endless!
Thank you Robin for sharing! If you missed out, I did an interview with a cranberry farmer in Washington earlier this summer, check it out here!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Cowboy cookies

This is the perfect cookie. It's the cowboy cookies from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, with some small changes (almonds instead of pecans, some white chocolate chips mixed in as well, and I sprinkled pearl sugar on top of some of them). They have a great texture, no cake-feeling here! They're crunchy yet not at all hard, and the taste blows me away. I have finally found my go-to cookie recipe, and if you havn't tried these yet, go make them!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Creamy lemon pasta bake

Creamy lemon pasta bake
adapted from the Pioneer Woman
serves 3

220 g/7,7 oz spaghetti
3 gloves of garlic, finely shopped
2 tbs olive oil
peel from one lemon, grated
100 g/3,5 oz vegan cream cheese (I use a garlic and parsley flavoured one)
½ tsp dried oregano
pinch of black pepper
pinch of salt
juice from half a lemon
3 tbs soy milk
fresh parsley

- Boil the spaghetti and drain it.
-  Heat the olive oil over low heat and add the garlic. Sauté until golden and fragrant, then add the lemon peel and turn the heat off. (I do this step in the pan I will later use for the oven, since it works both on the stove and in the oven. That makes it easy, but you could also use a sauce pan and put it in the oven safe dish before next step)
- Mix in the cream cheese, oregano, pepper, salt, lemon juice and soy milk, and stir. Depending on the consistency of your cream cheese, you might have to use a little bit more or less soy milk. You want it to be about the same thickness as a blended tomato sauce, if that makes sense.
- Add the spaghetti to the creamy mixture and mix until the spaghetti is coated.
- Bake for about 10 minutes at 200 C/395 F or until golden on top.
- Mix in some chopped parsley and serve! This is awesome with a green salad or garlic bread.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Pear Frangipane Tart from the Post Punk Kitchen

I made this Pear Frangipane tart some weeks ago when my mother was visiting. She brought a bunch of pears from her own tree, and since we were both still swooning over a pear almond pie we ate a few years ago, this was the time to try the recipe from the Post Punk Kitchen blog. I was kind of nervous before baking, since the almond "batter" looked horrible and since I was bringing this to a dinner party, I hoped for the appearance to be less repulsive after baking, and it came out beautiful. Like the ugly duckling really. It tasted amazing all along, so I was never really that worried. I can't recommend this tart enough, so just get yourself some pears and make it yourself!

To go with the autumn theme - look at this stunning color of some maple leaves I used for decorating a gift wrapped in newspaper

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Plain White Buns

This weekend my sister is visiting me here in my new hometown and what's better for welcome dinner than burgers? I had a bunch of black bean burgers from Veganomicon in the freezer so I put all my energy into baking my own buns (it didn't take a lot of energy though!). Of course I turned to The Best Veggie Burgers on the Planet for a recipe. I haven't tried that many recipes from it yet, but every single one I did try has been amazing. Amazing! I decided to go for the most basic buns, the Plain White Buns. They come together really quickly, rise sky high and smell absolutely wonderful while baking.

Next time I think I'm gonna make 10 instead of 8, these where a bit to high. But they were sooo tasty!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Lentil-balls and apple puff pastry squares.

 I made lentil-balls for dinner and served them along with the given things, spaghetti and tomato sauce. The balls where really good, but since I hardly ever cook with the intention to create a recipe, there is none. However, they contain: green lentils, onion, garlic, green bell pepper, sunflower seeds, breadcrumbs, spices and a small amount of gluten flour. Now, do it yourself!

 Then, there was dessert! (Yes, I used the same parchment paper but as for the lentil-balls but I did turn it over.) Store bought puff pastry, topped with apples, cinnamon and sugar. I brushed them with some homemade peach jam once they were baked too. 

They were awesome.

4 sweet bloggers have nominated me for the Liebster award, which is some kind of thing you do to spread the word about the smaller bloggers you like. Thank you Smooch Panda, Food Stains, Beans, Figs and Katz and Phoenix, you made me very happy! I'm not a big fan of doing these things myself and I have no idea how many followers everyone have, but I'm planning a round up of all the amazing things I've read during MoFo later on so I will spread the love then, promise.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Homemade coconut milk.

 I love everything that's DIY, and now homemade coconut milk is added to my repertoi!
How to make this happen?

Take ½ cup of shredded coconut.
And mix with 1 cup of boiling water in a food processor for a couple of minutes.
 Strain in a colander, mash the coconut pulp to really get it all out. Here comes the best part: you can do it all over again, using the same coconut 2-3 times!
Mine did turn out kind of thin, but worked wonderfully in a rutabaga purée I used it for. It tastes great to drink by itself as well!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Appetite for reduction: Black beans in Red velvet Mole

 I love the to me a bit complex flavours of this mole. It's sweet, spicy, heavy and chocolaty with a hint of cinnamon. It looks like a thick chocolate sauce and tastes like nothing else. It feels like you're eating something unique, even though it's really easy to make! I served it over basmati rice, steamed carrots and spinach, and although it's good, I miss something that's a bit more fresh and... acidic? I'm pretty sure a fresh salsa of some sort would make this meal more complete and not quite as heavy. How do you like to serve your mole?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Chickpeas, frigde, freezer and a lake.

Today's post is kind of a mish mash. A picture of boiled chickpeas in freezer bags, a peak into my fridge and freezer and a picture of a lake in autumn. I'm not a super blogger this MoFo, but I hope to make up for it in November and December. 

Before moving to Hallsberg I want to a big Indian supermarket in Gothenburg and bought a giant bag (5 kilo) of dried chickpeas.Chickpeas is definitely my favourite legume (maybe shared with green peas) and since they are so versatile they get used a lot in my kitchen. I like to cook them up in big batches and freeze them for easy use later on.

So this is my fridge. In the door, I keep things such as capers, liquid smoke, malt vinegar, soy sauce, cooking wine, sriracha and ketchup. On the top shelf there is all kinds of jams and jellies, the huge almost empty glass jar is lingonberry jam. You can also spot some tahini and margarine. The second shelf is pretty empty since I have no left overs today, but there are some pears that my mother brought from her garden. The last two shelves are for veggies. Right now there's bell peppers, rutabagas, cabbage and more.

 My freezer is kind of a mess since it's so full. Mostly, there's huge bags of lingonberries, apple pieces, cranberries and such.

We went to a gorgeous lake today that's nearby the town I'm living in. It's pretty big, very blue and it was kind of windy today to the surface was pretty rough. Imagine living in that house shown in the picture above, quite a view!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Monday Morning: Oatmeal and sandwich.

Oatmeal with bilberries and a sandwich with arugula, cucumber, fried tofu and a mustard dill sauce.

This particular sauce is a traditional Swedish sauce typically served with fish, but is normally vegan in it's nature! The Swedish name is Hovmästarsås, which translates literary as "head waiter sauce", and the name is said to origin from back in the days when the head waiter made the sauce by the table in front of the guests. You eat the sauce cold and it's really good on sandwiches, tofu or potatoes. IKEA sells this kind of sauce, but I haven't been able to make sure if their  brand is vegan, so look at the list of ingredients before buying!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Bilberry muffins

Bilberry muffins, made with the recipe for "very berry muffins" in Vegan Brunch.

Before summer, I would have called these blueberry muffins. But working at an organic blueberry farm taught me that what we call blåbär (litterary translated blueberry) in Sweden, is called bilberries in English! That's so confusing. What's called blueberries in English is called American blueberries in Sweden.

Anyway, 17 % of Sweden is covered in bilberry plants, isn't that incredible? They are a lot smaller than blueberries, and I find that their taste is more concentrated, but I might be partial!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Carrot dogs

Carrot dogs must be the most cliché vegan food there is, but it's actually tasty. I like them better made of tofu or seitan, but this is easier and way cheaper. How to do it? Steam the carrot until kind of tender, then fry it a bit using a grill pan for those pretty stripes.
So, the sauerkraut. I'm not sure. It wasn't bad, but not great either.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Vegan MoFo Hump Day!

We're halfway through Vegan MoFo 2011 and that means it's a perfect day to kick back, gather the strength and inspiration to do the last part too, or read the thousands of blog posts you have'nt had the time to read yet.

While doing this, and celebrating that the weekend is here, I've got the perfect song for you. It's a newly written song by Leslie Hall and if this will not get you in the vegan cooking party mood I don't know what will.


And, for the best sing-a-long opportunities, here's the lyrics:

I eat the finest cuisines, in the finest of places / Stuff my mouth full and always say thank you / But if it's raised in a cage, and it can't even move, if it's hormone filled and in a bad mood / I'm gonna pass on that / Reach for something better / The only milk I'll drink comes from the nipple of a soy bean / Veggies make you live forever, and they seem to taste much better / When they're cooked and grown with love, so give a chef who knows what's up a hug / Momma just can't seem to get it, Papa he just rolls his eyes / When I tell them I'm much healthier, they just say that it's all lies / But beans, nuts, fruits and veggies can really fill the belly / Get you vitamins you need, shiny hair and extra speed / Don't take that meat-wich any further, I want a marinated, deep fried, hand-tied mushroom burger / I like it! / We gotta stand strong for our feathered, furry, sometimes scaly animal friends and their little babies / 'Cuz I wouldn't want to live in a cage in a dark warehouse killed at an early age / Pumped full of hormones, sleeping in my feces / Never met my mother, raised by machines / Never get sunshine never get green, but that's just me / [That girl loves fruit leather!] / So ask us what we're eating, delicious and repeating / Fruits and veggies are so nice, with a slice of tempeh, yes, I'll have that twice / Don't forget the legumes!

 Happy Vegan MoFo Hump Day everyone!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Bacon and egg breakfast burger in bagel bun.

This is my lunch today. The bacon and egg breakfast burger from The Best Veggie Burgers on the Planet by Joni Marie Newman. This book is fantastic. It's filled with loads of fantastic burgers and all of them sounds really great, and I've loved the ones I've tried so far. This particular burger is tofu-based and is super yummy on the bagel buns from the same book. I served mine with some fried onions and green bell pepper, mayo, mustard, ketchup and some extra bacon crumbles.

Unfortunately, I have some serious camera troubles right now and there will probably take a while before I've managed to repair or replace it. It sucks, but I will try to continue MoFo with me last pre-written posts and then I guess I'll just have to make my old rusty compact work for a while.