08 February 2008

Vegan Apple & Blackberry Pie

A couple of lovely new friends invited us over to brunch the other weekend and so we decided to make a fruit pie to take along with us.

That morning at the Farmers Markets we picked up a punnet of lovely fresh blackberries and so we thought that it would be fun to bake a blackberry pie. We also had a few apples in the fridge and so we threw them in (along with a pear that we thought would add a nice sweetness to the mix).

The result was delicious. The apricot pie might still be my favourite, but really I'd put them neck and neck. The apples and pear were all warm and cinnamon-y, while the blackberries just exploded in your mouth with their tart sweetness. mmmm

One punnet of blackberries
3 small apples (peeled, cored and chopped)
1 pear (cored and chopped)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
1/4 cup of almond meal (or LSA)

2 cups whole-wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup cold water

Essentially just make the pastry and roll it flat. Then line a pie dish and dry bake it for about 10 minutes on 200-220 C.

Then mix the apple and pear with the dry ingredients and place them in the baked pastry. Cover with blackberries and then make a lid with the remaining pastry - or chop it up into strips in order to make a thatched lid.

Bake for another 35-40 minutes on 200-220C (or until golden brown on top).

Here's a picture of the inside before we baked it:

07 February 2008

Animal Biscuits (cookies)

It was our nephew's second birthday the other weekend and so I decided to try out my animal cookie cutters and my new icing piper.

The result was fun and yummy, but next time I think that I will use a few more colours - maybe some yellows or greens would have brightened up the over-all effect a little...

The biscuits (or cookies if you live in North America) are just a simple sugar biscuit recipe - with flour, canola oil, sugar, vanilla, baking powder and water. I liked the flavour of them though - not to sweet, but still quite more-ish.

06 February 2008

Friday night pizza

Over the last few weeks P and I have decided that Friday night will be pizza night. This started on the same day that we realised how easy it was to make our own pizza dough.

Since then we have been experimenting with toppings and I thought that I would share a few of them with you.

Tomato paste, fresh basil, rosemary roast pumpkin, marinated artichoke hearts, kalamata olives and fresh tomatoes.

Tomato paste, fresh basil and baby spinach, green olive tapenade, marinated artichoke hearts, mushrooms, kalamata olives and fresh tomatoes.

Tomato paste, fresh basil, mushrooms, marinated artichoke hearts, kalamata olives and fresh tomatoes.

Yes, yes, I know that I ought to be more inventive, but when you like something...

Last weekend we did one with grilled eggplant, roast pumpkin, sweet potato & pumpkin, and most of the usual suspects, but I didn't get around to taking a picture.

Maybe this week I will be a little more radical.

08 January 2008

Food photos - recipes to follow

I've been terribly slack on the food blogging front (well on the blogging front in general) and so I thought that I would share a few photos of what we have been cooking (and eating) and that this might prompt me to get some recipes up to go with the images.

Beans on toast (with parsley, tomatoes and spices)

Lentil and rocket salad (with a tahini and lemon juice dressing)

Grilled veggies (mushrooms, zucchini and eggplant)

Rosemary roast veggies (pumpkin and sweet potato)

Polenta encrusted tofu (with mushrooms, asparagus and fried polenta)

Choc-chip cookies

Coconut sticky rice

04 December 2007

Vegan Apricot Pie

Now that Summer is upon us, I am trying to focus even more on eating seasonally. And so, starting with the A's, we took advantage of the gorgeous apricots that are now well and truly in season (P picked up a 1kg bag of them for $3 at the farmers markets) and made a scrumptious apricot pie for desert last night.


1 & 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup almond meal
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup non-hydrogenated margarine (or non-GM canola oil)
1/2 cup cold water

500g fresh apricot halves
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup almond meal
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 210C.

Start with the pastry. Sift the flour, almond meal, brown sugar and salt together. Knead the margarine into the dry ingredients until it is like bread crumbs. Add the cold water slowly and mix together. Hold back on some of the cold water to ensure that the mixture doesn't get too damp. Roll into two balls of equal size. Then flatten them and roll them into flat circles.

Place one pastry circle into a pie pan or an round oven-proof dish. Press in the corners and the edges so that it is evenly distributed across the base and the sides of the dish. Poke a few holes in the base of the pastry with a fork and place in the pre-heated oven for around 10 minutes or until slightly browned.

Now mix together the sugar, flour, almond meal, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small bowl.

Place apricots in a separate large bowl and stir in the lemon juice. Add the dry mixture to the apricots and stir thoroughly so that the apricots are all coated.

Pour the apricot mixture into the partially-baked pastry. Place the unbaked pastry circle on top to form a lid, carefully squeezing down the edges to create a seal. Cut some vents into the top in order to let out the heat during baking.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until golden brown.

Leave to cool for at least 5 minutes before cutting or it will collapse on itself and be too hot to eat!

28 November 2007

Turkish dinner

This post is dedicated to Isil who finally gave me the confidence to make ─░mam Bayildi - one of my favourite dishes in the world.

Since my Mum was in town, I also made Fasulye, a cannelini bean salad and couscous.

Cannelini beans may seem a bit odd, but it was supposed to be a chickpea salad until I realised that I had completely run out of chickpeas...

I make Fasulye a little differently from the recipes that I have seen online, so here is my recipe if you want to try it.

500g green beans (with ends cut off)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
4 tomatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 cup water

Heat the olive oil over a low/medium heat, add the garlic and stir for about a minute. Add the spices and stir again for 30 seconds. Add the beans and stir so that they get covered in the spice/garlic mix. Add the tomatoes and raise the heat to medium/high. Stir in the water and let it simmer for a couple of minutes.

Turn down the heat to medium/low and cover. Leave it to simmer for about 45 minutes, checking periodically to stir and add water if it gets a little dry.

It should be really soft and melt-in-your-mouth-y when it is ready.

See Veggie Way for the Imam Bayildi recipe.

23 November 2007

Ginger soy 'fish'

We had some of the soy 'fish' left over and so I decided to do a variation on the theme that P had done so successfully the other day. This time I did a ginger sauce, steamed some asparagus and puk choy, and made brown rice.

Ginger sauce
1/2 tblp canola oil (or any light vegetable oil)
2 tblp fresh grated ginger
1 tblp chilli sauce
1 tblp lemon juice
1 tblp soy sauce

soy 'fish' (2 or 3 per person)
puk choy
brown rice

Cook the brown rice. (We use a rice cooker).

Heat the oil over a medium heat and add the ginger. Stir for about a minute and add the chilli, lemon juice and soy sauce. Stir for a couple of minutes and then lower the heat and let it simmer for a little. Add some hot water if it starts getting too thick.

Brush a fry pan with a small amount of oil and lightly fry the soy 'fish' on both sides.

Steam the asparagus and puk choy for about a minute (or until slightly wilted).

Serve all ingredients on to a plate and drizzle the ginger sauce to taste.

18 November 2007

White bean & mint dip

The other day I decided to give Lily some cannellini beans for lunch and so I had to figure out what to do with the rest of the can (I know, I should use the dried beans, but I am simply not that organised at the moment). So, I grabbed a bunch of mint from the garden, added the juice of half a fresh lemon, a little salt and some olive oil and blended them all together to make a white bean & mint dip. And, it was really yummy.

It tasted really fresh and minty and just perfect for a sandwich of tempeh, tomatoes and lettuce (from the garden). It also made a good dipping sauce the next day when I was feeling snacky.

17 November 2007

Rosemary roast pumpkin salad

Yesterday was hot hot hot and so we decided to have salad for dinner.
I roasted up some left over pumpkin with some rosemary from the garden. Added some mixed beans, a bunch of parsley (also from the garden), some tomatoes, snowpeas, asparagus and avocado and topped it with fresh lemon juice, olive oil and some Iku salad dressing. Yum.

Lily was quite taken with it, but had to settle for her own meal of avocado, butter beans and pumpkin.

15 November 2007

Fresh tomato & basil soup

We bought a big bag of fresh tomatoes and a bunch of basil at the Farmers Market last weekend because I was going to make Bruschetta for the party. I ran out of time, however, and so I was left with having to think of something else to do with the food. And so we ended up with fresh tomato and basil soup.

I had forgotten just how delicious fresh tomato soup could be and so I thought that I would share the recipe with you. It is extremely simple.

1 kg fresh tomato, peeled and roughly chopped
a handful of fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
1 tblsp olive oil
3 cups of boiling water
salt & pepper to taste
(a couple of cloves of garlic would be yummy too, if you can eat it).

Slice a cross in the base of the tomatoes and blanch them in boiling water to make it easier to peel them.

Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based stock pot over a medium heat. Add the tomatoes (or the diced garlic first if you are using it) and stir for a couple of minutes. Add the salt (I used about 1/2 teaspoon) and the basil and stir for a minute. Add the boiling water, stir and cover. Leave to simmer over a low heat for around 10-15 minutes.

Serve with crusty toast covered in pesto. (A dollop of pesto in the soup would also be tasty).

Eat outside, if possible.