Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Pretty Pink Vegan Valentines Day

Happy Valentines Day to everyone and lots of love to you! This Valentines Day I organised a girls picnic in the park with an array of vegan treats that I thought I would share with you.

To get into the valentines day spirit we had red love heart cut-outs hanging from the trees, lace cushions, sparkling pink drinks, and a bunch of girls dressed in their prettiest pink!

On the menu:
Dips including: Susan's Saucepan 'hold the cheese' pesto, Susan's Saucepan roast capsicum and cashews, Tofutti 'Better than cream cheese,' babaganouj, home-made bruschetta mix, Maggie Bear's quince paste and Wattle Valley exotic thai with cashews. With a selection of crackers and bread including Always Fresh Grissini italian breadsticks in rosemary & sea salt.

We also had a few different types of olives - some marinated in herbs and lemon juice, others stuffed with semi-dried tomatoes. A couple of the dips were at the supermarket, but most supermarket dips tend to include parmesan cheese in everything! Many of the crackers also had milk or cheese solids in them - even plain watercrackers. So I purchased everything but the Tofutti and exotic thai dips from a deli instead.

Then we had Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls and lots of them! Mum and I made these up - so easy. I have the recipe for them here.
For drinks we had a couple of different organic fruit juice mixes and some tall bottles of Tiro sparkling pink grapefruit juice.

Finally for desert, we had Bliss Balls made up by Davey. These are really easy: simply add some soaked almonds to a food processor and then slowly add dates, figs, goji berries, raisins, or anything else that will be sticky enough to mould it all together. If you are a sweet tooth you can also add some agave nectar. When it is not too mushy and a good consistency to stick together, roll up little balls and then cover them in desiccated coconut.

And last, but definitely not least, these pink raspberry vegan cheesecakes from Loving Hut at Mt Gravatt. So DELICIOUS and they taste exactly like cheesecake.
That's it! It was so nice to have a girly picnic and I have to thank all of the lovely ladies who attended - you made it such a special Valentines Day! xx

Monday, February 15, 2010


One of the most common questions that gets thrown at you when you mention the vegan diet is "Why don't you eat eggs?' I understand the curiosity behind people not putting them in the animal cruelty category, however I met a lady on the weekend who may be able to help you understand why.

But firstly, there is no real need for eggs, which by the way are full of cholesterol and unhealthy fats. If you are a baker, there is a product on all supermarket and health food shop shelves called "Egg Like" or "Egg Replacer" which works wonders in binding cakes. You can also use 2 tablespoons of cornflour and a little water to form a glue that won't interfere with the taste.
If you like the big breaky to fill you up on those Sunday mornings, then a cruelty free "Vegan Big Breaky" consists of things like:
veggie sausages (Mrs Flannerys, all Coles & Woolies)
baked beans
fan of avocado with cracked pepper and salt
fried tomato
fresh Turkish bread with nutelex margarine
freshly squeezed orange juice
scrambled tofu...(soft tofu..just pretend it is eggs and cook with favourite ingredients)
Here are some simple facts about where your eggs come from

RSPCA Barn Eggs are produced by housing hundreds of chickens in sheds with laying boxes around the edges. Theses chickens are stressed and confused as they have little personal space and confused pecking orders. After 18 months they do not lay fast enough and are taken to abattoirs
FARM FRESH/SUPERMARKET EGGS are laid from battery hens that live in small cages holding 5 hens each. These hens have barely enough room to turn around and their feet become painful from holding onto the metal cage beneath them . Again these hens are taken to the abboitors after 18 months
FREE RANGE are once again in sheds, but supposedly let out for some time in the day, however it is not monitored.
So you as a consumer can CHOOSE to purchase eggs, or you can CHOOSE to purchase some egg like and go for a vegan breaky. It is easy to live without them, and you don't have to contribute to the never ending suffering of our beautiful animals.

If you live in Brisbane and would like to give some battery hens a home after their first 18 months of a horrendous life, there is a wonderful lady by the name of "Monique" who is going in to the battery farms and taking as many as she can find homes for before their trip to the abboitors. Her phone number is 0419 709 729 and she lives in Banyo. Monique will be available at Brisbane's Green Earth Festival on Saturday 13th March at the City Botanical Gardens to talk with the general public.
Email is

Monday, February 1, 2010

Transitioning to Environmentally Friendly Recipies

How many of you out there wouldn't mind altering your recipes some days to be animal free? Is anyone listening to the fact that meat is now officially terrible for the environment? I am sure many pepple know this, however it is hard to make the change with husbands, wives and family situations....but what if you just didn't tell them they were eating a vegan meal?

Now I am not trying to encourage you all to lie, but slowly and surely I am going to be giving you some recipes ideas that no-one will notice are meat free. These recipes will be not too far away from what the "Average Aussie" is already doing...just 'altering' the shopping basket and family recipes a little, so that slowly, slowly you can transition to some meat free meals, and start consciously thinking about what to buy to cut back without too much effort of fuss!

I am going to start today with a "Vegan Spaghetti Bolognaise", and if you don't tell anyone, I can promise you no-one is going to know the difference! With the help of a product from Sanitarium called "Vegie Mince" in all of your Coles and Woolworths supermarkets, you can make a bolognaise sauce that looks the same as meat, tastes the same as meat, and has a high source of protein, iron, zinc, B12, and is cholesterol free as the icing on the cake!

I have no doubt you all have your own bolognaise sauce recipes, but I will give you all one just in case.
If you are super organised, make this sauce a day early as as you know, sauce always tastes better the next day...that is just a small tip for you all!!

Don't forget to be happy and think positive thoughts, or sing your favourite song when you are cooking - as the love will go into your families hearts and taste so much better!! That is a spiritual fact!

So to feed your family, you will need to boil up enough spaghetti or whatever pasta you enjoy! To be even more environmentally friendly, go for an egg free pasta.

Then buy:
2 packets of Sanitarium Vegie Mince
1 bottle 500g tomato bolognaise pasta sauce of your choice
500g tin organic tomatoes of choice
one huge white onion and 2 fat cloves garlic chopped
cold pressed Australian olive oil...lets say...1/4 cup
dried basil herb
fresh basil,salt and pepper to taste
The bolognaise sauce goes as follows:

Fry up your finely chopped onions, dried basil herbs and garlic in some olive oil
Add Sanitarium mince and mash into the garlic and onions
Add tin of tomatoes and stir
Add bolognaise sauce and simmer for 30 minutes on low heat, stirring
Add salt and pepper to taste, and freshly chopped organic basil from your garden