Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Shrove Tuesday Aquafaba Crepes with Haggis

Greetings on this Shrove Tuesday (aka Pancake Tuesday).  I had a go at aquafaba crepes today.  They were good but perhaps not quite as thin as they should be.  I usually make fat fluffy pancakes but today I wanted them thin enough to wrap around some leftover vegan haggis.

I have mentioned before that I have a vision of making a tartan haggis meal.  On my first attempt at tartan haggis, I piped sweet potato and tomato sauce over mashed potato and haggis.  The piping was far too thick.  On the weekend I had a go at piping much thinner stripes.  It is better.  I need to do away with my shaky hand.  And I really wanted a brighter green but my spinach was from dubious sources.  (Curse you, salmonella outbreak in bags of baby spinach!)

The tartan haggis quest continues.  Meanwhile I had lots of haggis and green cheese sauce leftover.  I made a fairly standard fast track pizza with tomato sauce, haggis and grated cheese.  While it baked I made a vegan cheese sauce.  I based in on Dreena's vegveeta sauce but doubled the cashews, added some garlic powder. I placed half in a squeezy bottle (the white half) and then added a few handfuls of basil and garlic plus a good handful of cooked green peas.  It never went green enough but tasted of peas and basil, ie a little sweet but full of flavour.

For Shrove Tuesday, I really wanted a savoury pancake.  It suited me for it to be vegan.  And I am still fascinated by the miracles of chickpea brine or aquafaba.  I finally found a reason to hang onto my balloon whisk when whisking the aquafaba.  At first the mixture was a little too thick to swirl around the pan.  I thinned it down and made another half batch of pancake mixture (because I had the aquafaba).  So a batch and a half made 8 pancakes.  I wonder if I should have thinned the mixture more.

 When it came to stuffing the pancakes or crepes, they rolled up really easily.  I spread the middle with green pea cheese sauce and then sprinkled lots of haggis along it.  I rolled it up placed it in a greased pan.  It was covered in more cheese sauce, tomato sauce and some grated (vegan) biocheese.  I cooked it for about 15 minutes.  The biocheese was disappointing after having it melt so nicely on toast but I guess it looked good and the cheese sauce gave the cheesy flavour.  It was so filling that one stuffed pancake would have been enough each.  Again I questioned if I had made the pancakes too thick.

Overall I was delighted with these pancakes.  Sylvia loved them with some grated cheese in them and rolled up.  The three of us the last one with nutella in it.  They are quite lacy textured, as aquafaba baking tends to be.  It is a brilliant recipe to use up aquafaba and make easy pancakes.  I will experiment with making thinner ones and report back.

I am sharing these crepes with Kimmy at Healthy Vegan Fridays, Jac at Meat Free Mondays, Karen for Cooking with Herbs.

More pancake recipes on Green Gourmet Giraffe:

Pancakes filled with potato and lentils
Pea pancakes with sun-dried tomato pesto 
Spinach pancakes  (gf, v)

Almond meal pancakes (gf)
Banana oat pancakes (v)
Chocolate pancakes with berries and chocolate sauce
Pancakes with oats and cornmeal
Pumpkin buckwheat pancakes
Spiced carrot pancakes

Aquafaba crepes
Adapted from Clean Real Food Highs
Makes about 6 large crepes

1 cup aquafaba
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
4-6 tbsp milk or water

Whisk aquafaba by hand to make it frothy.  Gradually whisk in flour, salt and baking powder.  Slowly whisk in water until you have a thin mixture (like pouring cream, only just thicker than milk).

Preheat heavy bottom non stick frypan over medium to medium high heat.  (I needed medium high).  Lightly grease pan (I used a light coating of margarine for the first and then a spray of oil spray between crepes.)

Now add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of mixture to pan and swirl to cover pan.  (I think my pan is about 22cm in diameter.  I used 1/2 cups of mixture but others use 1/4 cups so maybe if I had it thinner I could use 1/4 cups and make more pancakes.)

Cook until when you check the underside there is some light golden brown colour.  The edges will curl up and some bubbles will appear but neither indicate there is colour on the other side.  I found I needed to look.  Flip over and cook for another minute or two until some golden brown spots on the second side.

Stack pancakes with a clean tea towel over them.  They will soften slightly.  Stack or fill to serve as desired.  Can be stuffed and baked.

Green Vegveeta
adapted from Dreena Burton via Green Gourmet Giraffe
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 1 cup milk (I used soy)
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1½ tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp sea salt (or to taste)
  • ¼ tsp yellow mustard powder
  • 2 good handfuls of basil and parsley
  • 1 cup cooked green peas
Blend in a high power blender.  (If your blender is not high powered or you use a food processor you will need to soak the cashews.)

NOTE: if I had a handful of spinach or kale I would put that in too.

Vegan crepes with haggis and cheese 
serves 4

4 crepes (see above)
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp green vegveeta sauce (above)
1/2 a batch vegan haggis
1/4 - 1/2 cup tomato sauce (such as this or this)
60g grated biocheese or other cheese

Preheat oven to 220 C

Place a crepe on a flat surface and spread about 2 tablespoons of vegveeta sauce.  Crumble 1/4 of the haggis over it.  Roll up and place face down in a greased casserole dish.  Repeat with remaining 3 crepes.  Spread remaining vegveeta sauce on the crepes.  Spread tomato sauce over the vegveeta.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Bake for about 15 minutes or until cheese has melted.

On the Stereo:
Amanda Palmer goes Down Under

Monday, 8 February 2016

Apricot and passionfruit smoothie, plus a salad and a spinach dip

Just before Christmas I planned a post about some of the healthier food I was eating in the midst of all the indulgent baking.  I never had time.  So while I am not cooking much that is bloggable (it is either old recipes or a bit of this and a bit of that), it seems a good time to catch up.  However only the smoothie seems worth blogging.  I also made a spinach dip that was really similar to one on my blog and I made a great salad but in the festive craziness forgot to write it down.

We make smoothies quite regularly but I rarely post them now as they are often quite similar (like this smoothie).  However this one is worth sharing because it uses two of my favourite summer fruits: apricot and passionfruit.  It is perfect for a summer breakfast.

We made the smoothie with vanilla yoghurt which I don't usually use.  Around this time, we stopped having yoghurt and muesli or rice bubbles for breakfast, so I really wanted to finish pots of soy vanilla yoghurt and dairy vanilla yoghurt.  The yoghurt made it very creamy and delicious.  Which reminds me that I should make some more muesli soon.

I also intended to post this baked spinach dip that I found on Rock Your Vegan Socks.  Kimmy's photo was really gorgeous and made the dip queue-jump my to do list.  The dip was really delicious but then I found I had posted a really similar spinach dip recipe a couple of years ago.  We had it with sweet potato mash and roasted red capsicum strips wrapped in sourdough flatbreads

For Kimmy's dip I followed the recipe closely, just using spinach instead of kale and sriracha instead of ground pepper.  I highly recommending heading over to check out Kimmy's blog to check out her kale dip.

And then there is the salad that looks beautiful but I never had time to write the recipe.  Such is the crazy time of year.  It was inspired by Woolworths food magazine's Wild Rice and Lentil salad.  Mine was quite different as it didn't have feta and beetroot. 

The salad had a base of wild rice, brown rice and brown lentils.  These were topped with spiralised carrots, spring onions, walnuts, avocado and parsley.  I think the dressing was just oil, vinegar and garlic.  Spiralising the carrot was not great for this salad.  Grated carrot would work better.  And the avocado, that I used instead of feta, was delicious but avocado is suddenly so expensive that I am less likely to use it right now.  I would like to return to this salad and maybe might even remember to write notes next time.

I am sending the smoothie to Healthy Vegan Fridays, Gluten Free Fridays and No Waste Food Challenge.

More smoothies on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Banana, berry and plum smoothie (gf)
Green smoothie (gf, v)
Raspberry, apricot and pumpkin smoothie (gf, v)
Strawberry cheesecake smoothie (gf)
Tropical orange and carrot smoothie (gf, v)

Apricot and passionfruit smoothie
An original recipe from Green Gourmet Giraffe
Serves 2

1 banana, peeled
2 apricots, stoned
seeds and pulp of 2 passionfruits
1 cup milk*
175g vanilla yoghurt*
1 handful rolled oats
1 tsp chia seeds


NOTES: We use soy milk but other milks should work.  I made it on different occasions with soy yoghurt and dairy yoghurt and either were fine.

On the stereo 
Fin de Siecle - The Divine Comedy

Friday, 5 February 2016

Nutella recipes and ideas

Happy World Nutella Day.  I bought a jar of Nutella today and then decided I did not have time to bake with it so instead I am bringing you a round up of some fun Nutella recipes on my blog.

Like rice krispie slice but better

Nutella is great sandwiched between any cookies

A variation on Aussie party food: bread spread with nutella and then sprinkled with 100s and 1000s

Pipe nutella into your doughnuts

Dollop nutella on top of a pancake in the pan and then cover with more nutella

Dessert pizza topped with nutella, chocolate melts and raspberries

Nutella in the cupcake and a little extra swirled on top

Blondies are always better with nutella swirled on top

Amazing result of mixing nutella, chocolate and condensed milk 

If you don't have time to bake, buy a doughnut

 For those who don't eat dairy

Thursday, 4 February 2016

The Dressmaker Exhibition, Barwon Park, Winchelsea

In the school holidays one of the treats was to visit Barwon Park in Winchelsea where an exhibition of the costumes from The Dressmaker film is showing until 11 March 2016.  Unless you have a close family friend with keys to the mansion, I suggest you check which days of the week it opens.

If, like me, you are familiar with the mansion, you might start in surprise at the railway sign that has popped up by the front door.  It is, of course, from the film.  I read the book of the same name by Rosalie Ham in my book club last year and then went to see the movie with the group.  The story, set in the 1950s small town Australia, tells of a dressmaker returning to her childhood home to face the trauma of her past and to wow the gossips with her stylish creations. 

The exhibition gives us the elegance and fun of the film, without any of its malice and heartbreak.  Upon entering Barwon Park, you know that this is not the mansion in its prim Nineteenth Century regalia.  The grand staircase is covered by a life sized photo of a scene from the movie with mannequins wearing outfits from the scene.

Indeed the rooms are full of mannquins wearing the fabulous frocks from the movie, often with giant backdrops like this one.  And a photo from the movie, just in case you forgot.

In one front room a wall is dedicated to hats from the movie.

And many more gorgeous dresses.  The mannequins seem to have enough style to pull off wearing such wonderful outfits.

The star of the film was Kate Winslet.  Her character's sewing machine and various props are also here to see.

As we wandered about we were able to hear from our guide about the movie.  I was interested to hear it was filmed in the nearby You Yangs.  The landscape looked so dry and dusty.  It was a most surprising location for all these stylish dresses

Those visiting from the old country might have also been surprised at the extravagance of the mansion in the colonies.  The grand staircase is not hidden from the entrance hall but can be seen from behind the display.  It is mighty impressive.

And as I walk up the staircase I am struck yet again by the beauty of the mansion, even though I have seen it before.

It is in this grand hall that a wedding party's outfits from the film is on display. 

And admist all the fancy dresses, I am pleased to see the dowdy dresses of the mother, played with great humour by Judy Davis.

In the "family" rooms of the mansion, much of the furniture has been removed to make way for the exhibition.

Ironically, though the ladies of Dungatar in the movie would have been far more at home in the servants quarters than in the more posh rooms, these humble rooms were not use for the exhibition.

Some of them had furniture from other rooms.  I loved the shabby chic in this photo.

Other rooms were elegantly simple.  Though I daresay it didn't feel too elegant to the maids when they looked at how the other half lived.

It would have been lovely to have devonshire tea in the stables but this was not the day for it.  That will have to wait until next visit.  We had an afternoon tea to attend.

Barwon Park
105 Inverleigh Road
Open Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday
Dressmaker Exhibition: Wednesday to Sunday until 11 March 2016

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

In My Kitchen, February 2016

So it is February.  I hope your are settling into 2016 and ready to guess what is in this little jar above.  (The answer is at the bottom of the post.)  It is busy here with school starting last week and being back to work and trying to sort out the year and a to do list. 

Over the school holidays we cleaned out some cupboards including the glass display cabinet with some of my good glasses.  The Waterford crystal champagne glasses (not in this picture) were shamefully dusty.

We also cleaned up all the egg cups and put a few out to the op shop.  Sylvia went through a phase of eating lots of boiled eggs but hasn't had one for ages.  Upon seeing her fun egg cups she asked for a boiled egg.  They say boiling an egg is a simple thing to do but given that I have never eaten a boiled egg, making them does not come naturally.

Sylvia did not think I boiled the egg long enough (8 minutes from the start of bringing cold water to the boil with eggs the fridge seemed to be what I remembered doing) so no more eggs have been boiled.  Which suits me.  These days I do not have eggs in the fridge all the time.

My mum bought this gorgeous cut out fairy tale set for Sylvia for Christmas.  We had fun with it during the holidays.  I am not sure why the prince has blutak over his face.  You are welcome to share your guesses.

My mum gave me some apricots off her tree.  They were lovely fresh but there were a lot and they were quite ripe.

So I made them into stewed apricots.  Just a dessertspoon of sugar, a splash of water, brought them to the boil and simmered a couple of minutes until they looked soft.  I am not good at keeping them whole when I stew them.  They tasted amazing.

I was so pleased with my stewed apricots that I decided to stew up some soft peaches.  Which was not a good idea while supervising Sylvia and my niece in the bath.  They were forgotten and very very burnt.  I could have cried.

We visited a kindergarten friend of Sylvia's who is living in a small unit.  Her mum has an amazing garden in a tiny piece of land and had so much silverbeet that she gifted some to me.  It went into a soup like this one.

One of the significant moments of January was when David Bowie died.  I decided to make shepherd's pie which apparently was one of his favourite dishes.  I used up some frozen black beans, fried cabbage and old sweet potato.

It was a great stew but I never got the potato on top.  It was either too hot or too late or probably both.  We loved the stew with rice and in wraps.

Lots of meals in our kitchen have been made with wraps.  These ones I made for Sylvia's lunch have vegemite.  I have stuffed them with salad vegies, leftover stew, vegan omelettes, dips and the truffle mayo that I got for Christmas.  And now they are going into Sylvia's lunch box.

It has been a strange summer.  Lots of hot weather but only a day at a time.  Which is not so bad if there is rain or a cool change at the end of the day.  We have been eating lots of salads.  This soba noodle salad is a favourite. 

We are also very partial to some home made lemonade or limeade in the hot weather.  I have been buying bags of limes from the Odd Bunch table at Woolworths.  It is a campaign to sell fruit and vegetables that are not quite right and charge a bit less.  This lemon-limeade was very refreshing.  Sylvia took a bottle to a friend's place when she went for a sleepover.

How's this for a meal to use up odd bits and pieces before heading away for the weekend!  This bowl food was our meal before we went to Torquay.  Brown rice, wild rice, chickpeas, red capsicum, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, spinach, corn and carrot almond sauce.

Did you guess what was in the picture at the top of the post?  It is gold salt rocks in a grinder.  It is actually a photo from our long weekend in Torquay.  It amused me as a topsy turvy pictures because life often feels different on holiday.  And here the salt was gold, the lamington was pink and the noodles were blue (with spirulina).  The lamingtons are long gone, we had some noodles tonight with the above soba noodle salad dressing and I am looking for a way to feature the salt.

I am sending this post to Maureen of The Orgasmic Chef for In My Kitchen.  It is an event where bloggers around the world share what is happening in their kitchens.  Please head over to Maureen's blog and visit some other bloggers or even join in (by 10th of each month).