It’s travel time. Trying to fit mine and Misty’s wardrobe in a tiny suitcase…. stressing over IF Misty will sleep on the flight (pleasepleaseplease)…. excited to get home…. not excited about the cold that is always a feature of New Zealand.
I went on a cooking rampage, stocking up our freezer/fridge/pantry with easy meals for Viper. I think I took things a little far, when I was pouring granola into the 6th huge jar. Viper even said to me, ‘You know Lou, I CAN cook.’ Yes, yes you can Viper – I think I need to calm down. Let’s just say that my freezer is NOT a vegan-friendly place right about now.
Distractions for Misty on the flight: food, toys, markers…. this should take up ohhhhh about 10 minutes until he is trying to escape from the seatbelt, and run around the plane, harassing passengers. Sigh.
Anyway, next post will be the beginning of Vegan Mofo which is very exciting – it’s my first time participating, and I can’t wait to connect with a whole lot of glorious like minded bloggers, get inspired, and celebrate awesome vegan food. I’m unsure if I will go with a “theme” or such for the month, I think I’ll just stick to my usual “winging-it” attitude, as it tends to work for me. I DO know that I will be hunting out all the vegan delicacies available in my home town of Christchurch city… plus I will continuing my music-posts featuring vegan artists.
See you from the “other side of the ditch”…. happy weekend, all.
I always think it’s funny when babies/kiddos do something new, or seem really interested in something that you jump to the conclusion that ‘That’s it! They are going to be a _______.’
I do it with Misty all the time:
- He draws all over the BBQ with chalk… he must be going to be a famous artist, possibly in the medium of charcoal portraits.
- He strums the guitar and sings (Daaaa! Daaaa! Daaaaa! It’s a great song)… he’s a future rock star, for sure.
He’ll probably be an accountant or something equally as boring.
I wonder what I used to be fascinated with as a child… I bet no one ever thought, ‘She’s definitely going to be a hippie- who dropped out of uni- that cooks weird food- and hangs out at home all day with her child.’ Not so glamorous, but a lot of fun for sure.
It’s my birthday tomorrow, so I’m getting all reflective on this past year… and years of my past. I’m definitely a happier person, and I think this is because I’ve stopped trying to “define,” myself. What you do for a job, what possessions you hold, where you’ve been in the world – all these things are important, yes, but they do not make you the person you are.
I think there’s so much pressure on kids/young adults to know “what they want to be” (when they grow up) – it’s haunted me for years. I’m still not close to any discernible answer to this. As a kid, I would answer with occupations that I thought would impress the “grown ups” – a vet, a teacher etc, etc. Really I should have just answered with,
‘I want to be a good person, and I want to have fun.’
That kids, is what it is all about.
Oh, and good food…. these may LOOK like cardboard, but it is tasty cardboard that utilises almond pulp nonetheless.
Cinnamon, Oat and Raisin Crackers
(RAW, Vegan, wheat/soy/seed/refined sugar/corn free)
- 2C leftover almond pulp (I use leftovers from almond milk making, but you could try almond meal here, I would add maybe 2T water though)
- 1C pitted prunes
- 1/2t sea salt
- 1t ground cinnamon
- 1C oats*
- 1/2C finely chopped dark raisins (or any dried fruit)
- Process together prunes, almond pulp, salt, cinnamon and oats until a soft dough forms. It doesn’t matter f the oats stay a bit chunky – this is nice for texture.
- Stir through chopped raisins and either spread out onto non stick dehydrator sheets, or do what I do… smoosh out onto pieces of baking paper (about 2mm thickness – I have a weird circular dehydrator that calls for some creative techniques)
- Dehydrate 8-12 hours at 60 degrees C for a chewier texture or 15-20 hours for a crispier cracker style snack.
Viper liked these chewier, I like them crispier. Viper also liked them eaten with a square of milk chocolate on the top… he said it was like the ultimate “fruit and nut.” I enjoyed with mashed banana and tahini. Misty kind of chewed one and then threw it at Boosty. Bless.
Yes, I love chick peas. Yolie knows this, as she sent me this card, along with some US/UK snack bars (bar swap ahoy!) I’ve actually eaten all of the bars already. No photos. No evidence. Whoops.
Really, I don’t care; they were all delicious, particularly the peanut buttery, chocolatey chippie Larabar. I tend to make all my own snacky-goods these days… it was a nice change to try something packaged, plus sample some of the brands I am constantly seeing around blog-land. Makes me feel involved, you know? Not like some un-educated hobo slumming it Down Under.
Anyway, I make this recipe all the time… I love it, but people may think I’m weird for this one. Whatever.
Chewy Chocolate Baked Chickpeas:
(Vegan, gluten, nut, seed, cane sugar free)
- 1C cooked chickpeas
- 4t cacao powder (or cocoa)
- 4t maple syrup (or agave/honey/rice syrup)
- 1t coconut oil
- 3T water
- 1/4t sea salt
- Combine cacao, syrup, water and salt to make a runny paste.
- Toss through chickpeas, coating well (I actually marinate the chickpeas overnight in this ‘syrup’ but if you can’t be bothered, just skip this… I just think it intensifies the flavour).
- Spread onto a lined baking tray.
- Bake at 180 degrees C for 25 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so (the chocolate sauce will begin to thicken and coast the chick peas).
- Turn down oven to 150, bake for a further 10 minutes.
- Turn the oven down to 100 degrees, bake for a further 15 minutes.
- Turn oven off, leave the chickpeas inside to cool completely.
These are great on top of something gooey – think oatmeal, ice cream, tofu pudding (pictured above) banana soft serve, or as I did this morning, chia seed pudding. The chicks peas are dry and chewy…. not crispy – don’t expect anything crunchy… I always add a touch extra salt – dark chocolate and sea salt is a pretty wicked combo. For some reason, they remind me of a stale malteaser. It won’t win any beauty competitions, but this was delicious:
Vanilla Lucuma Chia Pudding:
(Vegan, gluten, nut and cane sugar free)
- 1/4C chia seeds
- 2t raw lucuma powder
- 1/2cvanilla soy milk
- 1/4t vanilla bean paste
- 1/8t sea salt
- 1t agave
- Mix everything together, and chill in the fridge for 10 minutes or so, while the chia gel up.
- Top with the chocolate chickpeas.
Viper makes me laugh. A lot.
We have (stupidly) braved the shops twice since Christmas. I’m not sure why- I HATE the mall with a vengeance, and department stores induce horrible panic attacks. I get so confused when I enter them; so many levels, escalators, lifts, shiny beautiful people. When I try and escape I can never work out where the right exit is. Maybe that’s why they make so much money…. they trap you in there, confuse the hell out of you and then you have to buy your way out.
Anyway… Viper likened going to the mall to smoking… everyone seems to think it’s cool, they are all doing it, so you blindly follow. It ends up costing you a lot of money, and makes you feel sick afterwards. Even so, you still keep going back for more. Just to try it again – every one else seems to keep doing it. Having quit the dirty smokes years ago, I hereby commit myself to giving up the mall and it’s toxic temptations.
This time of the year is a tad chaotic for most people – particularly me at the minute, or so it seems. I am really looking forward to getting back to a bit of routine in my own environment… re grounding myself if you know what I mean. What with the festivities of the season, constant travelling and our families’ typical daily craziness, I’m ready for a break (!)
Kinda ironic as we are meant to be on holiday at the moment.
Also, I have been sleeping on an air mattress for the last week and I think I have spina bifida. Just saying.
So the lonely vegan’s tofu got shoved to the back of the fridge, and ended up getting a tad frozen. Works for me, as I like the texture of pressed tofu after it has been frozen…
Balsamic Tofu Steaks with Olivey Dill Cream:
- 500g firm tofu, pressed for at least 1hour
- 2T balsamic vinegar
- Press tofu, wrapped in paper towels under something nice and heavy. I tend to favor a big stack of plates and wooden chopping boards.
- Cut into desired size steaks, and coat with balsamic vinegar.
- Place on a lined baking tray under the grill at 200 degrees C for about 6 minutes each side (until golden brown and crsipy on edges).
- 1 avacado
- 2 cloves crushed garlic
- 1/2t chilli paste
- 1T + 1t lime juice
- 1/2t sea salt
- Black pepper
- 1 can cooked cannelini beans
- 10 pitted Kalamata olives
- 1/4C fresh dill (rosemary would be lovely here too)
- Blend all ingredients until very smooth. Chill in fridge.
When the day dawns and produces something similar to this:
You need a few ideas to ‘get over the grey,’ and have a bright and sunny day no matter the weather.
Wear some obnoxiously bright coloured trousers.
Go on a pram mission. It helps if you have one of these little creatures to hold your camera case (read: chuck onto the street 10 times). Also, dress like a tiny burglar.
Purchase delicious seasonal treats from road side fruit pedlars, and frighten said produce monger by taking photos of their vehicle. (‘Who is this crazy tartan-pant wearing, pram- pushing photo -taking weirdo lady with the baby that looks like an escaped convict?’)
Take photos of random pretty things
Laugh at this dude + his destruction of my parent’s pristine house
Give someone a delicious present, and then proceed to eat it yourself, ha.
Go look at groovy things; get mad as you can’t fit everything you want to buy into luggage-and have banned self from adding to house cholesterol problem.
Purchase groovy cooking instrumentation (not life threatening to aforementioned cholesterol problem).
Meet a friend. (Consume wine and be thankful for the wonderful connectivity that is technology and the lovely new people it can bring into your life).
Not such a bad day after all.
- Don’t think that juggling an 11 kg child while trying to fill out 2 separate customs forms (including a lot of passport referrals for stupid numbers) is an easy feat. It’s not. Especially when the 11kg beast does not want to be pinned down.
- Don’t let Misty out of your sight for even 3 seconds, as that is all the time it takes for him to (almost) get through the security door and onto the tarmac. Also, don’t think that the security guard will be amused – he won’t. Not even a cheeky smile and a bat of the eyelashes will help.
- Don’t expect your 1 year old is going to sleep during a 3 1/2 hour international flight, just because it’s his normal bedtime and he should just nod off. Oh no, don’t expect that at all.
- Never dismiss the humble paper cup as an awesome toy – entertained Misty far longer than a newly purchased whizz-bang baby toy.
- Never put limits on expectations – when you think something already awesome cannot be improved on – it still can (see above).
- Even though you never believe products when they claim to be “really good,” sometimes this can be true. Oh so true. Oh so good (see below).
- Old favourites never go out of fashion.
Kumara, I’m so glad that we are friends again.
Yip, it’s good to be home.
I thought I would kill two birds with one post and recap some weekend fun with recipes for our weekend eats.
I’m telling fibs with the following pretty picture, as these Cheesy Corn Fritters were actually consumed cold on the ferry as we made our way to Stradbroke Island. Intended as a snack for Misty, Viper ended up eating at least half of them.
Cheesy Corn Fritters:
(Egg, gluten, nut and soy free)
(If you are making these just for adults totally crank up the seasoning, add some chilli flakes and extra salt/pepper/herbs for bite)
- 1/3C sweet corn kernels
- 1/3C root vegetable puree (I used sweet potato, but pumpkin or potato would be fine)
- 1/3C grated cheese
- 2T flax
- 3T milk ( I used rice milk)
- 2T brown rice flour
- 2T chickpea flour
- 1/8t baking powder (aluminum free)
- 1/8t ground coriander
- Pinch of sea salt
- Black pepper
- 1t fresh or dry herbs (I used fresh chives)
- Mix ground flax seed and milk together. Set aside for 10 minutes.
- Mix remaining ingredients together, and combine with flax ‘egg.’
- I cooked these by the spoonful in a hot pan for 2 minutes either side, then placed them on a lined baking tray. 10-12 minutes at 180 degrees C helped them to firm up nicely.
- Serve with a nice dollop of sour cream or guacamole (sweet chilli sauce is great for grown ups).
Short but oh so sweet.
A weekend island getaway, complete with family, friends, babies, beer and music (among other things).
Straight out front.
These were sampled, smooshed and smeared.
Stairs were discovered.
Sweet ride. Real sweet.
SNACKS: (vary seasonings according to your tastes)
Balsamic Baked Chickpeas
- 1 can chickpeas, drained
- 1 t sea salt + extra salt for seasoning after baking
- 1-2t garlic granules (optional)
- 3-4T balsamic vinegar (I like it vinegary)
- Toss chickpeas in vinegar, salt, garlic.
- Place on a baking tray that has been misted with olive oil spray.
- Bake for 1 hour at 150 degrees C – keep and eye on them and stir/rotate every 10 minutes or so.
- After 1 hour, turn off oven, leaving chickpeas inside to cool completely (helps dry them out further)
- Sprinkle with more salt (mmm) and a crack of black pepper for luck.
Strange beachy plant specimens.
Homeward bound… sleepy time.
We’re going here tomorrow:
North Stradbroke Island.
Last time we went here, it was a tad different (read: no child).
(read: many beers)
You don’t need beer goggles to appreciate that this place is beautiful.
I’ve been cooking like a crazy woman, creating a little stash of goodies for us to take along. This time we are not going to survive on beers alone.
Yes, that’s right – I’m going. I’m going, and I’m leaving you with just these photos for company.
When I get back from the white sandy beaches, warm blue waters…having had my fill of delicious food, cold beers and reggae tunes, I may fill you in with some recipes.
If I decide to come home.
I’m not sure what we were doing either.