Sunday, December 18, 2011

bundles of basil - pesto that is

I live in an apartment with a balcony so I can't grow the world of veggies I want to - but I have managed to grow some herbs (parsley, mint, coriander, basil, rosemary, sage, thyme and vietnamese mint). 

I've also got some tomato plants, a couple of cucumber plants and a dwarf lemon-tree ... and no, I don't have room to sit on the balcony!

Anyway, the last few weeks the basil has just gone CRAZY! It's growing faster than I can think of ways to cook it, so I decided to make a few batches of pesto for holiday gifts. 

There was so much I had to fill the sink to wash it. Needless to say, I got a few batches outta this lot!

I made two variations, one with a crap-load of basil, a few sprigs of parsley, cashews, a few pine-nuts, olive oil and some Parmazzano (vegan parmesan substitute). The other was the same but instead of the cashews I had some blanched almonds so added them instead. (I thought later that I should have roasted them first, but it was super hot today and I didn't want to turn the oven on!)

They turned out great, I just made a delicious bruschetta by slathering the pesto on some toasted whole-wheat sourdough and topping it with tomato and cracked salt and pepper.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

unbeatable roast potatoes

I make the BEST roast potatoes. Hands down. And here's how to make 'em. First of all, use small potatoes, I use organic baby chats. Put them in a pot of salted tap water and bring it to the boil. Boil them until they're almost cooked through, then put them on a tray and press down on them til they break open. Drizzle good olive oil over them and sprinkle fresh rosemary and rock salt (be generous). Roast in a hot oven for about 20 minutes - making sure they're cooked through and have that delicious brown crunchy crust. They're so moreish and are the highlight of a dinner party.  

radish summer salad

Today at my work there was a bag of radishes in the kitchen with a sign saying "PICKED FRESH THIS MORNING - PLEASE TAKE".

Well how could I resist? Here's a yummy salad I whipped up with them.

In the salad; radishes, red kale, carrot, beetroot, lentils

In the dressing; mustard seed, crushed garlic, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice

Was so good - yay for work colleagues with abundant veggie patches!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

chocolate ... aaaaaaaaah

My bestie Cara and her partner came round for dinner last night - and brought dessert. Oh what a dessert! I just polished off the last bit of it and thought I'd better share the love.

First of all, she found a vegan cake mix from 'Naturally Good'. It's called Deliciously Free Moist Chocolate Mud Cake Mix and is nut free, wheat free, gluten free and dairy free. It has a vegan option in the instructions where you can replace the 2 eggs with 1 tablespoon of golden syrup and 2 tablespoons of rice flour. If that's not brilliant enough, Cara in her wisdom, felt it necessary to add a handful of Sweet William choc chips to the mix too! Delish. 

Instead of icing she used a smear of Sweet William Chocolate Sauce and some fresh strawberries to top it all off. These things were AMAZING. She said they were like a self-saucing pudding straight out of the oven, and when they got to my place they had hardened up on the outside and turned into yummy brownies on the inside! Even today, after being in the fridge all night, the leftovers were fantastic.

Cupcakes are a good idea with this mix as it's super rich! I'm not usually a sweet tooth but I was dreaming of these things last night.

Thanks Cara xx

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

world vegan day cake

Happy World Vegan Day! I thought I'd share an amazing banana cake recipe in celebration. 

This is a variation on a friend's traditional family recipe. I've tweaked it a little and used that fabulous of fabtastics 'no egg' natural egg replacer (pictured). I found it at my local Coles, in the the health food section. It's in most health food shops so shouldn't be hard to find. You just mix 1 teaspoon of 'no egg' with 2 tablespoons of water for each egg in a recipe.

Okay, so let's get to the recipe! Preheat your oven to about 180 degrees celsius (a bit lower for fan-forced).

Here's what you need;
1 cup of sugar
125 grams of vegan margarine
3 mashed bananas
2 'no eggs'
2 tablespoons soy milk

Dry ingredients;
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
1 teaspoon bi-carb soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice

For frosting;
1/4 cup tofutti better than cream cheese
1/4 cup vegan margarine
2 cups icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Squeeze of lemon

Here's what you do;

1) Cream sugar and margarine together. Separately mash the bananas and add the soy milk and 'no egg' mix. Combine this with the sugar and margarine.

2) Sift the dry ingredients into the mix and beat with electric beater for a few minutes.

3) Rub margarine in to cake tin and then line with baking paper. Put the mix into the tin and put in the oven for around 50 minutes to an hour. When it's done, take it out and let it cool completely.

4) Mix your frosting ingredients together and put the mix in the fridge while the cake's cooling so it hardens up a bit.

5) Slather the frosting over the cake and EAT!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

good advice salad

My friend Jane Willcox, along with her friend Rosemary Cadden, have made this excellent little book, Making a Meal of It. No, it's not a vegetarian cook book, in fact, it's not altogether a cook book at all. It's a handy how-to guide with hints and tips about using up perishables in the kitchen - from fruit and veg to herbs, meat and eggs. 

Even though there are lots of meat/dairy recipes, it's actually really good for vegos. After all, who has more wilting greens and fermenting fruit in their kitchen? Any way, I've been poring over it for the last few days and it inspired a gorgeous salad I made tonight, so I thought I'd share it with you.

To begin with, these were the things I desperately needed to use; a sad looking cucumber, half a bunch of parsley, a half a jar of sundried tomatoes in oil and some just-about-to-sprout garlic.

In the parsley section of the book there's a great little pasta sauce mix. I varied it a little, putting the garlic, sundried tomatoes, parsley and a little oil in a blender. I then added some olives, a tablespoon of the vinegar from the olive jar and a dash of lemon juice. This turned out really lovely, but it made heaps, and I didn't really feel like pasta tonight - also, what about that cucumber? So I split the mix into two, added a bit more oil to one half and put it in the fridge to make pasta with tomorrow.

So, I heeded the book's good advice and used up some other stuff I had lying around the kitchen. I mixed the pasta/pesto whatever-it-is with a tin of canellini beans. I then added the chopped cucumber and a rogue tomato from the bottom of the fridge. I put in some tinned corn for good measure, and finally added some capers - which gave the whole thing that little kick of awesome.

It truly turned out amazing. I now have a refreshing, summery salad in the fridge, ready for me to take to work tomorrow. I'll probably put a few slices of avocado on top, seeing as that's the last thing in my kitchen that needs to be used up before I go to the market on the weekend!

Thanks Jane :)
Check out the book - there's a preview of it here, or you can buy it online through Wakefield Press here.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

veggie couscous

Well, I've been busy as all hell lately and haven't posted in a while. Here's a quick couscous recipe I whipped up tonight - and hopefully I'll post a few more recipes over the next few days.

What you need;
1 cup couscous
1 veggie stock cube
Tinned brown lentils
All purpose seasoning
Tinned beetroot
Green beans

What you do;

1) Cook the garlic and onion in oil. When browned, add the chopped carrot and green beans, then 5 minutes later add the chopped mushrooms, asparagus and zucchini.

2) While this is cooking, bring a cup of water to the boil with the stock cube and a bit of oil. When it's boiled, add the couscous, take it off the heat and set aside with the lid on for 3 or 4 minutes. When it's absorbed the liquid, fluff it with a fork to separate the grains.

3) Rinse the tinned lentils and add those and the corn to the veggie mix to heat through. Take the mix off the heat and let cool a little. When it's not so hot, add the cooled couscous to the veggie mix and add spice to flavour.

4) As a final thing - and bearing in mind that this is a quick slap-stick recipe - I chopped up some tinned baby beets and put them on top. It added that final yum factor and went well with the subtle flavours.

It's quick, yum, filling and is a well balanced meal. It keeps well for two days worth of leftovers too - my work colleagues were very jealous last time I made this :)

You can use whatever veg you have in the fridge - last time I made a version of this it was the day before market day and I wanted to use up every last thing! You can play around with the spices too - these are just what i grabbed from the cupboard.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

trying new things - eating out

I haven't been able to post in a while as I've been moving house (whilst still working full time and volunteering of course) so have had no time to cook! I have however, been eating out a LOT so here are a few of my favourite places around Melbourne that have great vegan/veg options.

Vegie Hut, 984 Whitehorse Road, Box Hill

I've been working in Box Hill a fair bit lately and a friend put me onto this awesome little restaurant, Vegie Hut. All the 'meat' dishes are mock and there are some pretty convincing versions of the classics. My favourite would have to be the special fried rice - I am in love with it. There are some great veggie dumplings and the honey 'chicken' is a winner too. Just check what you order is vegan as some of the meals are vegetarian. They're not open on Tuesdays and you usually have to book as they're always packed.

Yong Green Food, 421 Brunswick St Fitzroy

Eeeeeee! I love this place. Not only are the staff absolutely gorgeous and super-friendly, but the place is totally meat free and affordable. There are raw-food options for those jumping on the latest foodie-trend-band-wagon - my suggestion is the Rawsagna ... the cashew cream, ohh the cashew cream. I also love the kimchi pancake and the pho. Everything's great though, I don't even mind the odd parking ticket when I eat there because the food is so worth it.

vege2go, 452 Lygon Street, Brunswick East

vege2go is a great little place for some quick takeaway. My favourites are the vegan arancini and the baked potatoes. There are some great salads too, the green bean and the broccoli ones are excellent.


The Fox Hotel, 351 Wellington Street, Collingwood

Sometimes you just want a pub meal. And if you want something a little more fancy than a mock-meat parma (see below) you should check out the Fox. There are always great vegan options on the menu and it's a nice little pub with a good feel.
They've also got White Rabbit Ale, which is vegan, and which, my beer-drinking-friends tell me, is the best beer ever.

East Brunswick Club, 280 Lygon Street, East Brunswick

I've got four words for you; Best. Vegan. Parma. Ever. And the bar staff are a bit cute too, which is helpful. I used to live across the road which was a health hazard - thankfully I've moved a few blocks down and have learned that vegan parmas are a sometimes food ;) .

Rumi, 116 Lygon Street, Brunswick East

Speaking of sometimes foods, this one's for a special night out. Rumi is my favourite 'occasion' restaurant. Ask for the vegan banquet and proceed to have a life-changing gastronomic experience ... hmm, I always wonder if I'm exaggerating when I talk about this restaurant and then I go there again and realise I'm not. I'm always impressed, which is not so when I have the vegan banquet down the road at Hellenic Republic (- not saying it's bad, it just sometimes doesn't hit the mark and there is far too much food wasted). And considering Rumi is cheaper I'd prefer it any day.

The Empire Cafe Gallery,  295 Sydney Road, Brunswick 

This place has a great little vegan breakfast. I've not tried a lot of things on the menu, but anywhere I can get mushrooms that aren't cooked in butter deserves inclusion. 

The guy there told me that they're going to be bringing back their vegan lunch menu soon too - so that's hopeful! Besides the food though, it's a cool little place with a good vibe.

The Radical Grocery Store, 6-8 Wilson Avenue, Brunswick

If you're vego and you live in the northern suburbs, you already know about Radical. Nonetheless I had to include it here as their delicious vegan cupcakes were an amazing source of  quick energy during the 'when will this be over?!?' house move. My favourite's the strawberry :) .

So there you go, just a few of my faves and places I've been frequenting while not being able to cook at home!

soup, soup, soup

Yep, Melbourne has turned on the cold again this weekend.

It's been a blustery, rainy Sunday afternoon, so of course I thought of soup.

I've spent the last few weeks moving house and STILL don't have the internet sorted at the new place, but thanks to a USB dongle, I'm able to post this soup I whipped up today with 'stuff I found in the cupboard/fridge that was going bad'.

Clearly choosing the ingredients was a very technical process *wink*.

 Stuff you need;

3 or 4 potatoes, chopped into small cubes
half a head of cauliflower, broken into small florets
400 gram tin crushed tomatoes
1 heaped tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup red split lentils
tinned corn
2 cloves garlic
2 and a half Massell vegetable stock cubes
olive oil
fresh parsley to taste

What you do;

1) Fry the garlic and potato in olive oil til it's browned.

2) Add a litre of water with the dissolved stock cubes and the crushed tomatoes. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and add cauliflower and lentils.

3) Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the lentils, cauliflower and potato are cooked through and soft. Then add the tomato paste and salt and pepper to taste.

4) Finally, add the tinned corn and chopped fresh parsley and heat through.

That's it! My very basic peasant soup. Cheap as chips and oh so easy. The beauty of it is that you can put whatever you want in it - I just happened to have potatoes and cauliflower I needed to use. Last time I used carrot and broccolini and it was great too.

Monday, May 23, 2011

oh my, what a pie

Well 'tis the season. Melbourne is f-f-f-freezing at the moment and there's nothing more warming than a yummy pie. Last week I baked this recipe from (minus the egg wash), and it was pretty good. So I decided to try it again but change it a bit.

The original recipe is a bit dry, so I ended up adding another half cup or so of Massel vegetable stock. I also added two teaspoons of tomato paste and fresh parsley.

I made 5 small pies instead of one big one, and to get the shine on top I baked them for 5 minutes or so then used spray oil on top and baked them for another 10 minutes - or until golden brown. Also, I used double the mushrooms (because I luuurv mushrooms) and a little less potato.

They were so very delicious - I'm drooling just looking at the pics! They're a slow cook but so worth it. My new favourite winter dish.

The recipe is a great base too, you could really add whatever you wanted to it. I'm going to be experimenting more with this little ditty.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Trying New Things - Curry

image from BBC Good Food
I've never cooked curry - and I never order curry when I'm out. I always figured curry would be difficult and/or time consuming to make. UNTIL a friend sent me this link to an awesome free recipe for a chickpea, tomato and spinach curry. It was easy to make and absolutely delish! And the leftovers the next day were even better. 

Give it a go - you'll love it.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Berry Crepe Stack

I'm not a massive sweet tooth (contrary to this being my second dessert post in as many weeks) but when I do get a hankering for sugar - I tend to go a little overboard. These are really easy to make and look great. I found the most amazing boysenberry jam a while ago from New Zealand company Anathon. It is super sweet and goes beautifully with fresh strawberries. You can really use any mix of jam and berries you like though - I promise it will still be delish and leave you with a sugar headache.

What you need;
(makes about 10 small crepes, enough for 2 people)

1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup soy milk
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
vegan margarine
berry jam
1 punnet fresh strawberries
icing sugar for decoration

What you do;

1) Mix the flour water, soy milk and sugar til all the lumps are gone. Then cover and set aside in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

2) After 30 mins, heat a small crepe pan to medium and melt a small chunk of margarine to cover the base. Add a ladle of crepe mix and wait for it to turn slightly translucent before flipping.

3) You can put a tiny bit of margarine on the crepe before you spread the jam. Add sliced strawberries with a sprinkle of sugar to one of the layers.

4) When you've finished the stack, cover the top with sliced strawberries and dust some icing sugar on top.

Easy peasy.

Trying new things - Organic soup

I came across Pitango soups the other day. I had the one pictured, minestrone soup with heaps of vegies. I do like making my own soups, but for a quick fix when you're too tired or sick to whip up a batch yourself, this one's quite good. Pitango also have a few other vegan options like pumpkin and tomato & thyme. They've got some tasty looking organic hummus on the website too.

I've been making and eating lots of soups lately as winter creeps up on us. There's nothing like a hearty soup with some crusty bread to warm you up on those chilly winter nights.

Cheers, M

Saturday, April 16, 2011

mum's hearty winter soup

My mum made me this soup recently - it's a rich, flavoursome, hearty winter dish. I've always loved my mum's soups and I'm chuffed to share this one with you. It might not be the prettiest thing, but it's oh so delish.

What you need;

1 onion finely chopped
1 cup of pumpkin diced
1 small sweet potato diced
2 sticks of celery chopped
1 white potato diced
½ cup of green split peas
½ cup of green lentils
½ cup of red lentils
250g tin of 4 bean mix
4 tbsp pearl barley
1 vegetable stock cube


1) Put the split peas, lentils and barley in a bowl of water and leave to soak while preparing the vegetables

2) Light fry onion and celery in a little olive oil. When onion has browned, add 1 ½ litres of hot water and a vegetable cube

3) When water is boiling, add all the vegetables and the lentils and barley. Simmer for 1 ¼ hours. Give it a stir every now and then and add more water if needed.

4) Finally, add the drained 4 bean mix and simmer for a further 15 minutes

I haven't had a chance to make it myself yet but mum assures me it will turn out just like hers if I follow the recipe.

Thanks mum xx

delicious *free* choc cake recipe

Well, I haven't had much time to cook lately due to starting a new job. I was interstate last week spending time with my new colleagues and it turns out my new boss is vego! She made a delicious vegan chocolate cake for morning tea. She was also kind enough to forward the recipe so I decided to whip up some cupcakes for a bbq yesterday. Thanks Amanda :)

Here's the recipe at

These pics are my own. I made the icing with 2 teaspoons melted vegan margarine, about 1 and a half cups of icing sugar, 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder and a bit of warm water to get a smooth consistency.

They turned out soft, spongy and delicious. The recipe link is for a full cake, so for cupcakes I only cooked them for about 20-25 minutes. The mix made about 20 cupcakes.

This recipe is so fast and easy and you would have most of the ingredients in the cupboard already. No excuses then! Give it a go.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

La La Soup

Yeah that's right - that's what I call it; La La Soup. It started as Asian Soup A La Marian, but over time has morphed into La La Soup. - 'Cause that's how I roll. So, now that I've shown you a small glimpse of my neurosis, here's the recipe for my famous La La Soup - the soup to eat when you think you're getting sick, or when you're already sick and want to burn that mother virus outta yo self. Check it.

What you need;

half a head of cauliflower
a small broccoli
a big carrot (or 2 little ones)
2 juicy lemons
crushed ginger
crushed lemongrass
5 or 6 cloves of garlic ... yep, I like garlic
1.5 litres boiled water
1 massel chicken stock cube
1 massel veggie stock cube
hot chilli (either fresh or powdered)
fresh coriander
1 cup jasmine rice

What you do;

1) First things first, put the stock cubes in the boiled water and sit aside so the stock dissolves.

2) Heat some olive oil in a pot then fry the crushed garlic and about 2 teaspoons of crushed ginger (I use the stuff in a jar). Add the chopped carrot, broccoli and cauliflower and fry for around 5 minutes.

3) Add the stock/water to the pot, bring to the boil and reduce heat to simmer. Add the juice of two lemons and about 1 teaspoon of lemongrass (if you're using the crushed stuff from the jar - if it's the sliced stuff from the jar, you can use a bit more).

4) Add as much chilli as you like and let simmer, covered, for about 15-20 minutes or until the veggies are cooked to your liking.

5) Meanwhile, cook your jasmine rice.

6) When the veggies are done, add a bunch of chopped coriander to the soup. Serve on a bed of jasmine rice.

I always keep a batch in the freezer so I can do emergency soup-drops when friends are sick. Lately I've started blitzing the leftovers (not with the rice) and having it with crusty bread the next day. Deelish. Between the garlic, the lemon and the chilli, you should be feeling better in no time! 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Marrow, mushroom, barley risotto

I whipped up this risotto today because I was given some wonderful marrows (like zucchini) and wanted to make a hearty meal with them. I much prefer barley to arborio rice - it's much lower GI and is all round better for you - it's also got a great nutty texture if cooked 'just so'. Anyway, it turned out delish so here's the recipe, it serves 4.

What you need;

1 large marrow
3 large field mushrooms
a bunch of asparagus
1 brown onion
1 cup of barley
3 cubes Massell chicken (or) veg stock
half a cup dry white wine
olive oil
3 garlic cloves
fresh thyme
fresh continental parsley
2 tablespoons Tofutti Sour Supreme
1 teaspoon Tofutti Better than Cream Cheese

What you do;

1) Heat about two litres of water in a large pot and add the stock cubes. Heat oil in a separate deep pan and fry garlic and onion til translucent. Add barley and toss for a minute or so before adding the wine.

2) Add the stock to the barley a few cups at a time. Keep it on a simmer, if it's boiling the barley will stick to the bottom.

3) When the barley's half done, fry the marrow, mushroom and asparagus till just under-cooked in a separate pan (yep, we're up to 3 pans now). Then set it aside. I added some chopped thyme to the barley at this point.

4) It's just a matter of waiting for the barley to cook through now. It can take up to 2 and a half litres of liquid, I just kept adding to it until it was as soft as I like it.

5) Once the barley's done, add the veggies and mix til heated through and the barley takes on the colour from the mushrooms. Then take off the heat and stir through the Tofutti creams and as much parsley as you like (I put heaps because I love it).

It should look something like this;

That's about it - enjoy!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Trying New Things - fast, easy Indian

For a quick, easy, delicious dinner I love these Tasty Bite dishes. They're vegan and available in most supermarkets. All you need to do is heat them up and serve with rice (or whatever you like). 

One pack is a good sized meal for one person - if I'm cooking for two I like to mix two flavours together. 

Here's what I do;

Choose a mix of two. My faves are Mumbai Mushroom mixed with Punjab Eggplant, or Bombay Potatoes with either. All you have to do is heat them up, so I heat them together and add a bit of tomato sauce ... yep, just old-school White Crow tomato sauce, it makes it a bit tastier and I love tomato flavoured curries. You could go nuts with what you add to it, but I'm usually in a hurry when I'm serving up this dish.

I serve it on brown rice, with a bit of Tofutti Sour Supreme Better than Sour Cream and fresh parsley or coriander. This is a really quick, really easy meal - particularly if you always cook extra rice and have some in the fridge ready to go.

When people find out I'm vegan they say things like "gosh, you must find that really hard". I actually find it the complete opposite. Particularly when there are great products like these on the shelves (so I too can make a bang-up meal and feel like I'm cheating *wink*).

Cheers, M

Mushroom Wonton Soup

Wonton soup is really easy and yummy - it's just a bit time-consuming - so it's good for a weekend meal. This is just a twist on the classic chicken wonton soup, with mushrooms instead ... yep, I love mushrooms. This mix makes about 50 wontons - you can freeze them too.

What you need;

for the broth
1.5 litres water with 2 Massel chicken stock cubes
1 tablespoon soy sauce
a chunk of peeled ginger 

for the wontons
3 large field mushrooms
1 small zucchini 
1 small carrot
fresh chives
2 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons cornflour
wonton wrappers

 What you do;

1) Get the water boiling and reduce to simmer. Add the stock cubes, soy sauce and the chunk of ginger. Leave to simmer while you make the wontons so the ginger can infuse.

2) Grate the zuchinni and carrot and chop up the mushroom into little pieces. Mix in a bowl with chives, crushed garlic, soy sauce and cornflour. 

You might want to add a bit more cornflour depending on how wet the mix is.

3) I like to make the wontons in my hand. You put the wrapper on your palm, then spoon a bit of the mix in to the centre. Run a wet finger around the edge of the wrapper and fold it over into a rectangle. Press the edges closed, and try to get as much air out of the centre as possible. Then pinch the edges into a wonton shape - it's a bit like a pleated skirt ... but not really.

4) By this time the broth should be smelling amazing. While it's simmering, put in the wontons (however many you need - a good meal is probably 8 per person, an entree 3 or 4). They'll go translucent and float to the top when they're done. I always put in an extra one to taste test and make sure the edges are cooked through.

5) Divide the wontons into bowls with a slotted spoon and cover with the broth (get rid of the ginger). Add some chopped chives to make it pretty and eat!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Trying new things - Pearl couscous

I was stalking the aisles of my local supermarket the other day and the beaming smile of Australia's original favourite French chef*,  Mr Gabriel Gate caught my eye on this Blu Gourmet Pearl Couscous. 

I cooked it using the recipe on the side of the box - genius, I know - onions, stock and parsley. And I served it with mushrooms (cooked using that amazing recipe from a few posts ago). It turned out to be a really filling and delicious meal. 

I'd been looking for pearl couscous for ages  after eating it at Maha's and couldn't find it - even in the market spice shops. How ironic that I found it in the local Coles with a celebrity chef on the pack!

Here's how the meal turned out. Yes, I waited a few seconds and took a pic before I shoved it in my gob. 

Have you noticed that seemingly everything in my kitchen is green?! I promise there are some other colours in there somewhere. Also, my friend Jodie gave me a really simple little recipe today to help me with my "I'm going to learn to love avocado" self-imposed challenge. I'll whip it up later in the week and post it asap.

Cheers, M 

* Before Manu

Classic Potato Salad with Asparagus

I was at a BBQ a few weeks ago and there was a classic creamy potato salad. I never really ate potato salad but I've been thinking about it since so decided to give it a go. Here's a vegan version of the classic potato salad, using asparagus instead of egg and some vegan alternatives for the creamy sauce.

What you need;

potatoes, asparagus, spring onion, pickles (a.k.a. dill cucumbers or gherkins), capers, fresh dill, Praise 97% fat free mayonnaise (vegan!), Tofutti Sour Supreme (Better than Sour Cream), crushed garlic, lemon juice

What you do; 

I'm not using quantities because you can really make as much or as little as you like. It's a matter of how much tang you want = more or less capers, pickles and lemon.

Basically you boil the potatoes til just soft and let them cool (you don't want to overcook them or they'll just fall apart when you mix it up).

While they're cooking cut the spring onions and pickles into small pieces and chop the capers finely. Mix about 1 part Sour Supreme with 2 parts mayo in a bowl with crushed garlic and a bit of lemon juice to taste (don't go crazy on the lemon to start - too much lemon is hard to balance).

Steam the asparagus for about 2 minutes then refresh in cold water.

Once everything's cool, throw it all together and add finely chopped fresh dill. I put it in the fridge for a few hours before serving it so it's cold and refreshing.

Take it to your next BBQ and no-one will know it's vegan!