March 31, 2013

Vegan Chocolate Brownie Recipe

If there was one regular recipe request Jerome and I received from Veggieful viewers, it would be for a delicious vegan brownie recipe. Now, not only are these chocolatey, 'moist' (ew, weird word), luscious and crazily decadent, but even the brownie-hating Jerome loves them! To be honest, we had to make two batches of these to photograph. After I made up this recipe and loved it, we made another batch for photography purposes. However, over the day, we kept taking little nibbles at it until it was all gone! WE ATE A WHOLE BATCH OF BROWNIES! We felt so guilty after that and said "We better make another batch" through our chocolate-covered teeth. So, the point of this story is that they are so amazing and so yummy! The white chocolate chips add a creamy consistency and that extra chocolatey-ness! So for the chocoholics out there, this is for you!  :)

I use the Australian metric system. So, 1 cup = 250ml and 1 tablespoon = 20ml.

makes 15

   1 ½ cups all-purpose (plain) flour
   pinch salt
   1 tightly-packed cup brown sugar
   1 teaspoon baking powder
   ½ cup cocoa powder
   90g dark chocolate, melted
   ½ cup margarine, at room temp.
   1 cup 
Soy Milky Lite
   1 teaspoon vanilla extract
   100g vegan white chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 F) and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. In a bowl, add the flour, salt, sugar, baking powder and cocoa and stir until combined. 
  3. Pour in the dark chocolate, margarine, soymilk and vanilla to the bowl and beat for a couple of  minutes or so until the mixture becomes creamy and fully combined (Use electric beaters if you have them). The mixture should be thick and shiny at this point.
  4. Fold in the white chocolate chips until they are roughly distributed.
  5. Pour/spoon in the brownie mixture into the baking tray and smooth the top.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes or so until the top looks cooked and a skewer comes out clean when poked into the centre of the brownies.
  7. Cool for 15 minutes before serving or slicing. This allows it to set completely in the centre. 
  8. Serve immediately or refrigerate until needed.

  • I find that the brownies get sweeter, the colder they get. I like to warm it up before I eat it, which makes it a little bit less sweet for some reason.
  • If you are in Australia, I buy the Sweet William brand of White Chocolate and cut into chips. You can purchase it from Coles or Woolworths. 

The nutrition information above is an approximate guideline.

March 29, 2013

Vegan Spicy Vegetable and Lentil Soup Recipe

serves 5

Ok... this soup may not look appetizing, even with Jerome's magic camera skills and food styling genius, we couldn't manage to make it look like a beautiful bowl of stunning soup. HOWEVER, this soup tastes amazing, is extremely healthy, incredibly filling and is like a little taste sensation party on your taste buds. The ingredient list contains common items that you probably would already have in your pantry! So, if you feel like a spicy bowl of veggie and lentil delight, well you have to make this. Whether the weather is warm or cold, it is always a yummy and easy meal that you can make for your family. It tastes great the next day and freezes well. Enjoy! Check out the nutrition information at the bottom of this post to have your mind blown!

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
20g fresh ginger, grated (thumb-sized)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon dried coriander leaves
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup split red lentils
1 cup diced carrot
300g sweet potato, diced (about 1 cup)
6 cups vegetable stock
1 cup frozen peas, defrosted
1 1/2 cups diced fresh tomato
salt and pepper
fresh coriander leaves to garnish (optional)

  1. In a large pot on high heat, add the oil and onion. Sauté for a minute or so until the onion is transparent.
  2. Add the ginger and garlic and sauté until the garlic is lightly browned, making sure nothing sticks to the pot.
  3. Add in the turmeric, cumin, curry powder, cardamom, coriander leaves and tomato paste. Stir for a minute or so until the spices become fragrant.
  4. Add the lentils, carrot and sweet potato to the pot. Sauté for one minutes until they are coated by the spices.
  5. Pour in the vegetable stock and stir around until combined. Make sure that there isn't anything sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  6. Add in the peas and tomato and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Stir and reduce heat to medium and allow to simmer for 20 minutes or so until it has reduced and the lentils and sweet potato are tender.
  8. Serve hot with fresh coriander leaves to garnish. Enjoy!

  • Split red lentils cook much faster than whole red lentils. Check and "pick" them over to make sure there are no rocks or little random pieces in there. I know, sounds weird! But one day, you may encounter a tiny stone that has managed to sneak its way into the bag. 
  • I use low sodium vegetable stock.

This lentil soup is amazingly tasty and also incredibly healthy. One serving of our soup contains 328% of your daily serving of Vitamin A, 46% of your Vitamin C, 8% of your Calcium and 26% of your daily intake of iron. On the other hand, the soup has high levels of manganese, potassium and thiamin. 

The nutrition information above is an approximate guideline and does not include "optional" ingredients. Daily values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.  

March 26, 2013

Vegan Easter Carrot Cupcake Recipe

Easter is nearly here and why not celebrate with a cute little Easter cupcake? I love carrot cake and the spices used in it so I thought it would be a delicious flavour for this occasion  Decorate them as prettily and cutely as you want! I used a little bit of the cupcake mixture to fill some miniature patty pans to sit on top. Then, Jerome made some cute little bunny ears out of icing. If you would rather a traditional Christian Easter cupcake, you could decorate with little crosses. Both would be very sweet! When I was little, my Nanna and I would make desserts and homemade ginger beer to take to church for morning tea. These cupcakes would be such a nice idea... decorate with a little cross and everyone will love them! :)
So, try these out and tell me how they go! Happy Easter!

makes 10

Cupcake mixture:
   1 cup all-purpose (plain) flour
   2 teaspoons baking powder
   pinch salt
   1/2 cup tightly packed brown sugar
   1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
   1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
   1 cup grated carrot (100g-ish)
   1/4 cup plain-flavoured oil
   1 tablespoon golden syrup
   3/4 cup 
Soy Milky Lite
   1 teaspoon vanilla essence
   1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Vegan Cinnamon "Buttercream" Icing
   1 cup icing sugar
   1 cup vegan margarine
   3 teaspoons vanilla 
   1 ½
 teaspoons cinnamon

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (365 °F) and line a cupcake tray with 10 patty pans.
  2. Add all of the cupcake mixture ingredients to a bowl.
  3. Beat for a minute or so until smooth without lumps.
  4. Divide the cupcake mixture between the 10 patty pans. 
  5. Bake for 20 minutes or so until risen and the tops of the cupcakes bounce back when touched.
  6. Allow to cool completely.
  7. Make the buttercream icing: Add the icing sugar, margarine, vanilla essence and cinnamon to a bowl. Beat until creamy and fluffy.
  8. Pipe the icing onto your cupcakes as desired.
  9. Serve immediately or refrigerate until needed!

  • The buttercream icing is a treat, but if you would rather something less fattening you could always do a cream cheese icing. Mix vegan cream cheese with icing sugar and any desired flavourings as an alternative.

The nutrition information above is an approximate guideline and does not include the icing ingredients.

March 18, 2013

Vegan Cashew Cream Recipe

This is so delicious. I am always on the lookout for new vegan cream alternatives and this one is amazing! Weeeeee! You have probably seen our other cream alternative which is a whipped coconut cream. This cashew cream is very different and can be used as a savoury cream or a sweet cream. The great nuttiness of the savoury cashew cream can be used as a delicious addition to curries such as a beautiful Indian Korma or in soups. On the other hand, adding the optional sweet ingredients below will make it taste a bit more "dessert-y" and will be yummy to add to the tops of cakes, pies or muffins. This has a really tasty nutty flavour, so if you don't want to add a nutty flavour to your desserts then you may want to use our whipped coconut cream instead. Jerome loves this... he normally doesn't like nuts but he really enjoyed this. I was so excited when I made this that I scooped it up with my finger and ran from the kitchen to the office, screaming with excitement. When I got there I shoved my finger at him and made him eat it! And no... he didn't look at me strangely as he has grown accustom to my "special" traits hehe. Have a look at the tips and serving suggestions at the bottom of this page for ways to use this in your meals. 

makes 1 cup

For Savoury Cashew Cream:
   1 cup (140g) whole raw unsalted cashews
   6 tablespoons (120ml) soy milk

For Sweet Cashew Cream (optional), add:
   1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
   sweeteners of choice

  1. Put the raw cashews into a container and pour in water until the cashews are just covered.
  2. Cover with a lid and leave overnight to soak and soften (At least 8 to 10 hours).
  3. After the cashews have soaked for 8 to 10 hours, drain the cashews and discard the liquid.
  4. Put the cashews into a processor/blender and process until they become a thick paste.
  5. Pour in the soy milk, 1 tablespoon at a time until it becomes a creamy consistency to your liking. You may want to add more or less soy milk than I have suggested to make the consistency you need.
  6. Blend for a few minutes until it is smooth, creamy and without lumps. Spoon it through a sieve for a silkier consistency.
  7. If you are wanting a savoury cream, well you are done! Use immediately or refrigerate until needed.
  8. If you want a sweet cream. Add the vanilla and sweeteners to the processor with the cream and blend until combined, smooth and creamy. 
  9. Enjoy!

  • Will keep in the fridge for about 2 to 3 days. 
  • You can freeze it for a few months. 
  • For a nut butter or spread: Blend the drained soaked cashews without any liquid into a thick paste. This is delicious on its own. It has a taste between tahini and peanut butter and is beautiful on toast! 
  • Use the savoury version of the cashew cream in curries. Especially in kormas! 
  • Use the sweet version of the cashew cream in desserts that will compliment a nutty addition. Such as carrot cake! 

The nutrition information above is an approximate guideline and does not include the "optional" ingredients.  

March 11, 2013

Vegan Asparagus and Corn Tart Recipe

This is an amazingly delicious and easy tart recipe that is 100% dedicated to Jerome. I asked him the other day what his most favourite things were which included pastry, corn and asparagus. So I made up this recipe as his ultimate naughty weeknight meal! He absolutely loved it. The béchamel sauce adds a nice creaminess to the crunchiness of the puff pastry, the sweetness of the corn and to the delicious asparagus. If you are a pastry and asparagus fan then you will definitely enjoy this. Try it one night when you feel like some pastry goodness and you need a quick meal to prepare. Have a nice day!

makes 2 tarts

Béchamel Sauce:
   ¼ cup vegan margarine
   ¼ cup tightly packed minced yellow onion*
   2 garlic cloves, minced
   ¼ cup corn flour (corn starch)
   2 cups 
Soy Milky Lite
   1 tablespoon lemon juice
   1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (what is this?)
   salt and pepper
   pinch of nutmeg
   ½ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

   2 puff pastry sheets, thawed (about 25cm x 25cm)
   14 asparagus spears, woody ends broken off
   4 tablespoons corn kernels 
   spray oil
   rocket or salad to serve 

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius and line two baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Make the béchamel sauce: In a pot on medium to high heat, add the margarine, onion and garlic. Sauté for one to two minutes until the margarine has melted and the onion is transparent. Add the corn flour and stir until it forms a paste. Add the soymilk, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper and nutmeg. Stir to combine. Reduce heat to low and whisk for a few more minutes or so until the sauce has thickened. Be careful not to let the sauce burn on the bottom of the pot. Take off the heat and cool (The sauce will thicken even more when cooled). Set aside.
  3. Place the pastry sheets onto the baking trays.
  4. Pour the béchamel sauce on to the centres of the puff pastry sheets and spread from the middle, leaving a 2 to 3 cm border around the outside of the sheet without any sauce (Leaving a border without sauce will allow it to puff up and become all crunchy). Use just enough to cover the centre. You may have a little bit of the sauce left over. 
  5. Sprinkle the corn kernels evenly over the pastry sheets.
  6. Top with the asparagus spears. 
  7. Lightly spray the tarts with olive oil. 
  8. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the sides have puffed up and have browned.
  9. Serve with salad leaves or rocket leaves.