Monday, 30 November 2009

Sloppy Lentils and Vegan Chocolate Buttons...

... are very nice for greedy gluttons!

Another short post today. I really can't justify posting this recipe because the only adaptation I made was halfing it and using green lentils instead of brown ones. This was another recipe from Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker which is a secret vegan treasure with all the recipes being vegan. I expect they realised selling it as 'Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker' might be a little to scary!

On the side you'll note left over Tofu Hash, adapted from Vegan Bites. This was very nice but mostly a little less spicy then I like, so I added a little hot sauce. Nom Nom Nom.

From Ready, Veggie, Cook

Tonight I was feeling a little tired, so Hubby cooked a nice chilli. This was a simple mix of soya mince, kidney beans, spices, yeast extract and tomato purée. Since we had some kicking about, we also put a field mushroom in. This added a lot to it, so I think it might become a regular addition to our 'heck, there isn't much in the fridge' chilli.

From Ready, Veggie, Cook

The other exciting news is my endless craving for white chocolate is now sated. Just yesterday evening I was lamenting to the long suffering husband about my desire for white chocolate. While doing my usual blog crawling I noticed this recipe for White Chocolate Syrup over on Lusterous Musings. I was very excited to note that Dairy Free now did white chocolate buttons. It being a Sunday night I couldn't drag him out to Tesco on the pretence of looking for something else, so had to content myself with a post work mooch this evening, which turned up these gems.

From Ready, Veggie, Cook

They taste exactly like I remember Milky Bars tasting. This is a good thing indeed, and I greatly enjoyed nomming on a few while waiting for dinner to cook.

On a last note, how nice is this? My new co-worker made cupcakes for everyone at work today, but made vegan ones (so I could have them) and nut free, so my other nut allergic colleague could have them. This is why I love my new job. The people are great. That's what makes an office more than just a building.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Once you pop..

You know how sometimes you reallllly fancy a cookie, but making a whole batch is not really a great idea. Not that I have some huge ethical objection to eating a huge batch of cookies, I just feel that after cookie number 2, you don't really enjoy them as much... and if you spread them out over a few days by the time you get to the last cookie it's gone kinda soft on the outside and dry in the middle.

No, for me, two cookies per person is just about perfect. It's one of the annoying things about living in an Omni driven world... I can't just pop into Millies Cookies when I'm in town and get a choc-chip cookie on a Saturday and enjoy that and move on. Sure, there are some nice pre-made cookies, Nana's Cookies for one are lovely, but they aren't fresh made that day, and they aren't nice and warm and fresh from the oven.

So, homemade is the way to go, but most recipes make at least a 12 cookies, if not more. Imagine then, how happy I was to see I'm not the only person wantings smaller cookie batches... and even more so that someone had done the hard work for me and posted a recipe. Yes, Kris of Nom! Nom! Nom! Blog had blogged a great Cookies for Two recipe.

So, me being me I like to play. I've halved the recipe, and made a few changes, mainly because Mr Derious loves oats in his cookies, and I think he would pout without them.

Cookies for Two - Ms Derious Style

2 tbs flour
3 tbs rolled oat flakes
1/8 tsp baking soda
Sprinkle of salt
2 tbs sugar
1 tbs margarine, softened
1 tbs apple sauce
1/8 tsp of vanilla
1 tbs soya milk
1 - 2 tbs chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 180C

Mix flour, oats, salt and baking soda together
Mix marge, apple sauce and sugar together. Add soya milk and vanilla (You could just use vanilla sugar if you wanted)
Add dry ingredients in batches
Fold in choc chips

Place four equal dollops of cookie mixture on a lined baking sheet and bake for 10-12 mins until yummy looking.

Allow to cool

Eat all four while no-one is looking, claim you forgot to make dessert ;)

Again, thanks for Kris for this recipe, it's really nice to have just a few cookies as a treat.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Slow, Slow, Quick, Quick, Slow

I've been having a bit of a trouble getting into blogging since the seasons turned. I think in part this is because food photography is so hard without either daylight, or failing that good artificial lighting. This tends to make my food look very washed out, and not very nice.

So, I'm going to try posting some shorter, snappier posts until I get my groove back. So, some apologies for the poor photos and the brevity of the posts.

Anyway, today was the switching on of the Christmas Lights in my town, so we went out to see that. There was a great band playing, but so loud my ears hurt now! I knew we would want something warm and yummy when we got back, and a sticky, hot, pudding like chocolate cake sounded like the way to go.

I love my mums 'Chocolate Fudge Pudding' which is a sticky, gooey pudding cake which cooks bathed in it's own sauce. However, I shy away from attempting to cook it myself because
  • It's a very non-vegan recipe, eggs as well as dairy
  • It makes enough for 8-10 people
  • Requires about an hour in the oven, costly and my oven is a little unpredictable

I also don't like cooking things my mum does as it never tastes the same and I then feel my version is 'wrong' rather than just different. My Mum is an amazing cook, so I feel I have some big shoes to fill if I follow her recipes.

I remembered I'd recently 'starred' a Google Reader post that had caught my eye, and nipped off to go see exactly what it was.

I follow a few omni blogs that concentrate on more frugal foods, one of these being 'Passionate Homemaking' who are currently running a Nourishing Crockpot Carnival with loads of crockpot recipes. I knew I'd seen a link to a post making a cake in the slow cooker, and sure it was... sat on Sarah's Musings (another blog I instantly added to my bulging Google Reader list) Double Chocolate Cake with Hot Fudge Sauce

This is a yummy recipe, not great for you, but by no means as terrible as some, and cooks in just one step in the slow cooker, over the hours of 90mins + 30mins cooling time. This meant I went out immediately after sticking the slow cooker on and came back to a slow cooker full of cooked cake. It's much better for my electricity bill not to have an oven on for an hour!

One of the things I liked about this recipe was that it cooked straight in the pot, most slow cooker recipes ask for some steaming arrangement, and since my slow cooker is quite small they aren't really suitable for me.

I shan't post the recipe, since I made very few changes and I would love you all to pop over there and check out her blog yourself, but I will give you a quick rundown of the adaptions I made.

Substitute milk with homemade soy milk
Used half white flour and half wholemeal
Chopped nuts were slightly less then 1/2 a cup
Chocolate chips were probably less then a 1/2 cup, using one small 100g packet

I was also not clear on how much water to use in the last step so stuck it out at one cup full, which as it turned out was perhaps a little scant as the sauce was not as thick as I would like. The sauce is found right at the bottom of the slow cooker once the cake is done. I guess if you wanted to you might be able to turn it out onto a plate, but I think it's fine how it is.

Some things to note with this recipe.
The batter will seem runny - Its okay. Don't panic
The 'sauce' will also seem runny
As soon as you pour the sauce over the top some of the cake batter will bubble up and you will think it's ruined. It's not

So, it's one of these 'have faith that it's going to work' recipes, a bit like the first time you make seitan.

30mins is the perfect time to leave this to cool. The pot will be cold enough to touch, and the sauce still runny and hot.

While we are on the subject of Chocolate... feel free to check out Chocolate Covered Katie's Operation Chocolate Covered Kindness. A quick click doesn't take much, and it could help someone out.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

The UK Vegan 100

Well, shall I just skip the whole 'I've not been blogging, I'm a naughty girl' bit, and move onto posting again... one hopes.

The main thing to note is that Pippin had her cancerous growth removed, and it doesn't seem to have returned at the moment.

On the job front, well, I've been working part time in a high street retailers....and I start a new full time job in two weeks time. I'm very happy.

Okay, quick post today. I've been looking at all the Vegan 100 lists online and sobbing into my barley cup because its been mostly US products. Finally, I've seen two UK vegan lists online, one from Where's the Revolution? The other from Cooking the Vegan Books. So, I can finally play, and now, you can too.

1.Copy this list onto your blog

2.Bold the things you have eaten

3.Cross out anything you really wouldn't eat

4.Pass it on.

If something looks non-vegan, like haggis or butter, you can just go ahead and assume that I mean a vegan version.

A bought pizza with cheese in the UK

Aldi croissants

Anything at Dandelion and Burdock

Anything at Saf

Anything at Vbites

Bacon buttie with tomato sauce


Beans on toast

Beef and Tomato Pot Noodle

Bird’s custard

Birmingham’s curry mile

Blue Sheese

Booja Booja ice cream

Booja Booja truffles

Bourbon biscuits

Bread and butter pudding

Bubble and Squeak


Chip shop curry sauce and chips

Christmas pudding

Churros at Terre a Terre

Clive’s pie

Co-op donuts



Crumpets (I love these, esp with yeast extract)

Eccles cake

Elderflower cordial

English muffins

Evesham asparagus


Fry’s Peppermint Cream

Granose Mock Duck


Hampshire watercress

Henderson’s relish


Holland and Barrett fruit flapjacks

Holland and Barrett Porkless Pie

Hot cross buns

Innocent Smoothie – Don't drink this now because of the link to coca-cola

Irish stew with dumplings

Irn Bru

Jersey Royal potatoes swimming in butter

Kent black cherries

Linda McCartney country pie Scallop (potato fritter)

Linda McCartney sausages and chips

Marigold bouillon powder

Marigold braised tofu

Marmite breadsticks - Don't eat Marmite any more because its owned by Unilever, who use horrible animal testing methods)

Marmite on toast

Masala dosa

Mashed carrot and swede

Melting Mozzarella Cheezly

Mildred’s mushroom and ale pie

Montezumas chocolate

Mushroom ketchup

Mushy peas



Paskin’s full breakfast

Pease pudding


Pickled onions

Pickled walnuts


Potato farls

Potato from the Baked Potato Shop in Edinburgh

Pringles Again, I don't consider products by animal testing giants such and Proctor and Gamble as vegan

Realeat fishcakes

Rhubarb crumble with Swedish Glace


Rice pudding

Roast parsnips



Scones and jam

Scotch broth

Scottish raspberries


Semolina pudding with jam

Sesame Snaps


Spotted dick

Spring cabbage

Staffordshire oatcakes

Sticky toffee pudding

Summer pudding

Sunday roast at The George


Victoria plum


Wagamama Yasai Chilli Men

Walker’s prawn cocktail crisps – I haven't had these in years!

Warehouse Café bangers and mash

Weatherspoons curry

White chocolate

Worcestershire sauce

Yorkshire pudding

Looks like I've eaten about 60% of the items, which surprises me.

Anyway, I'm going to try to get back into the blogging now I can skip the contact search for jobs!