Monday, 18 August 2014

Spaghetti Pie

Why have pasta on its own when you can have it encased in pastry?

One day, I inexplicably felt like making a pie with a spaghetti filling. This filling would have been a fine dinner on its own. I may have had too much time on my hands to think of putting it in a pie, not something that happens often! 

This was one of those weird ideas that worked out really well. Is spaghetti pie even a thing? I have seen it as a crust but not a filling. 

Sylvia thought this idea was hilarious and loved the end product. Peter thought I had gone completely around the bend, but also loved the end product. Lexie was too confused to even try it!

This pie is definitely comfort food, and fun to make and eat!

Vegan Spaghetti Pie

Pastry (slightly adapted from barley poppy seed crust from Vegan Lunch Box)

2 cups plain flour
1 cup wholemeal flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar


approx half a packet of angel hair pasta (about 250g I think)
2 tbsp olive oil 
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, peeled and grated
2 zucchinis, grated
approx 2 cups passata/tomato cooking sauce
dried basil and oregano to taste
2 tsp sugar
salt to taste

White sauce 
2 tbsp vegan margarine
2 tbsp plain flour
approx 1 cup non-dairy milk
dash of garlic powder and salt to taste

Preheat oven to 190C.

Make the pastry: Combine flours, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Add the oil and mix with your fingers until the flour has formed small crumbs. Add the water and vinegar and stir with your fingers until the dough holds together. Knead the dough a few times and divide into two pieces. Roll out each piece on a floured surface to fit your pie dish and line your pie dish with one of them. Put the other crust aside and make your filling.

Filling: Cook the pasta - this only takes two minutes - and put aside. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and fry the garlic, carrot and zucchini for about 10 minutes. Add the passata, herbs, sugar and salt and cook for a few more minutes. Add the pasta and combine. If you want it a bit more saucy add some more passata, but you don't want it too runny. 

Make the white sauce: Melt the margarine in a small saucepan. Add the flour and garlic powder and cook on low heat for a minute or two. Slowly whisk in the milk, only adding enough to reach desired consistency, until it thickens but is not too gluggy. Add salt to taste.

Fill the pie with the spaghetti mixture, spread the white sauce over the top and top with piecrust. Cut a small slit in the centre of the pie. 

Bake for about 35 minutes until lightly browned. 

Monday, 11 August 2014

Peanut Butter Choc Chunk Cookie Dough Balls

I have worked out that lot of the time, the major reason I want to make cookies is because I have a craving to eat the dough. 

I think it's because I have great memories of eating raw packaged cookie dough when I first moved out of home with my best friend (Nat, are you reading?!). It was heavenly. Until we made ourselves sick!

This time, I thought I'd skip the baking step and just eat the dough as a legitimate sweet. It is, right?

These are real cookie dough balls. Not imitation or healthy ones (although I love those too!). A great fast way to get your cookie dough hit. Better than packaged any day!

Peanut Butter Choc Chunk Cookie Dough Balls

1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup vegan margarine
1/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup plain flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1/2 cup roughly chopped dark vegan chocolate

Mix together the peanut butter, margarine and brown sugar in a bowl. Combine with the flour, vanilla and salt. I found using my hands to mix easiest! Then add the choc chunks and roll into balls. 

Friday, 8 August 2014

Vegan Snacks My Kids Will Actually Eat: Part 2

Picture me perched next my children and the most recently offered snack or meal, eyes wide in anticipation of their verdict (which they give so casually) - yum or yuck? Then quickly remembering to feign nonchalance (a must - they sense the desperation) and springing up like a cat!

OK, I'm not really that sad and my kids aren't really that fussy or spoilt, but it's not far from the truth!

Here are some snacks my kids have loved recently:

These samosas filled with potatoes and peas are from Vegan Lunch Box. They are a bit time consuming to make, but it was worth the effort because Sylvia ate them for two days straight!

"Cheesy" pasta is a staple for us. So quick and they always love it.

These maple syrup cupcakes were so delicious and light. I made a bit of icing with icing sugar, vanilla and rice milk to go on top. 

My kids didn't like these peaches so much, but loved the custard (I made it with soy milk). Such a nice dish for cold weather. 

I make these chocolate chip pikelets a lot. I love that they contain flaxseed. They are quick to make and great to take places. 

[This follows on from my last post on vegan snacks for kids.]