Friday, 24 August 2012

Quinoa and cupcakes for meat eaters

I often agonise over what dishes to make when we are entertaining or to take to parties and gatherings. Is it too vegan? Too healthy? Too unusual? Over the years, I have discovered that taste wins out every time, and the fact that something is vegan is soon forgotten.

I took this quinoa salad and these cupcakes to my brother's birthday celebration on the weekend.

This is my go to quinoa salad recipe, based on a recipe from the wonderful Veganomicon. I find that a lot of people are intrigued by quinoa and haven't tasted it before, so it is a good opportunity to spread the vegan love!

I was also pretty delighted to discover that Sylvia loves this salad too. I can just never predict which foods she'll go for!

Quinoa salad (adapted from Quinoa Salad with Black Beans and Mango in Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero)

2 cups cooked quinoa
1 red capsicum, chopped
1 bunch of scallions/spring onions, chopped
1/2 cup sultanas
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
3 tbsp grapeseed oil
1/2 tsp salt or to taste
1 tin of beans (mixed beans or red kidney beans are good)

If you don't have any leftover quinoa, bring one cup of uncooked quinoa and two cups of water to the boil and simmer until cooked and all water has been absorbed. Set aside to cool a bit.

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and chill. That's it!

These are the Lemon Macadamia Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream Icing from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. I think this is one of the best recipes from that book. They are a bit different, sophisticated, moist and really delicious. And pretty! 

My mum also made her Hungarian Chocolate Chestnut Cake

My mum has veganised my great grandmother's recipe. It is a rich and decadent no-bake recipe, and is a much loved favourite within our family and circle of friends. I'll post the recipe for this next time!

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Fast comfort food

Often, I feel like eating something sweet and comforting but I don't have time to make anything too elaborate. This stewed rhubarb and apple was my quick and highly effective solution the other day:

I ended up eating the whole lot (not in one sitting) because Sylvia turned her nose up at it and my partner is not keen on tart/tangy fruity things.

Stewed fruit is the ultimate comfort food to me. It's warm, soft, sweet and feels very wholesome somehow. And it has that baby food texture!

Rhubarb doesn't seem to be a very popular fruit, but I have grown up eating it. It has a unique, tart flavour and transforms into a silky and vaguely stringy jumble when cooked for long enough. 

It is delicious in crumbles and cakes but this is definitely my favourite way to eat it, simple and undisguised.

Stewed Rhubarb and Apple (makes 2 pregnant woman servings)

1 bunch of rhubarb (about 5-7 large stalks), leaves and ends removed, chopped
3 large granny smith apples, peeled and chopped
1/3 - 1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp cinnamon
quarter of a lemon with rind, pips removed

Place all ingredients into a medium saucepan. Cover and simmer until the fruit is soft, about 20 minutes. Stir it every now and then to make sure there is enough liquid. Remove lemon rind and serve warm.