Sunday, 28 September 2014

Finished pizza


Finished making the pizza tonight,decided to just use enough for a slice and save the rest. I used a sundried tomato sauce,nut cheese and marinated mushrooms,all recipes in Going Raw by Judita Wignall.next time I will add some greens,mainly for aesthetics as the pizza was less than exciting to look at,but oh the taste!!! The seed/nut cheese was creamy,the base and veggies crunchy and the tomato sauce tangy,what a lovely mix of flavours and textures. Next time I make the base I will make mini round pizzas or maybe lunchbox shaped?! 


This book is brilliant if you are new to raw,it has lots of detailed instructions such as how to sprout seeds,make nut cheeses,raw vegan versions of pizza,burgers,chilli and spaghetti bolognese decadent puddings,fermented foods,wraps,nut milks,smoothies even raw choc chip cookies and an amazing chocolate cherry cheesecake,if I wasn't full of pizza this book would make me seriously hungry!!!

Dehydrated pizza and courgette crisps



Hi,I have been busy playing in my kitchen yesterday I have wanted to make a dehydrated pizza for ages but never got round to it.I used sprouted kamut grain as the base for my pizza.


This is kamut. I soaked it overnight and sprouted it for 3 days until it had grown tails the length of the seed,Rinsing the seeds 3 times a day and allowing to drain.


Above is the type of sprouting jar I use(this one has buckwheat in it) they have a mesh lid for easy drainage. I got mine from Amazon,they are by Vogel (biosnacky) and come in a pack of two,ideal for rotating your sprouting so you always have something on the go.i usually sprout alfalfa. This is the first time I have sprouted grains and I am very happy with how it went.
The recipe for the pizza was from Going Raw by Judita Wignall, basically it involves blending up the sprouted kamut with water, oil and a binder ,I changed the recipe to use chi seeds and avocado oil as that's what I had.I also added sundried tomatoes for extra flavour. I found the grains hard to process in my food processor so didn't get such a pleasing dough as in the book, I also had to add extra water as my poor(cheaply) blender wasn't up to the job so it was a little soggy. I spread the dough on a non stick sheet and dehydrated it at 115*c overnight.


It turned out super crunchy! Have tried a bit and it's nutty and slightly chewy,can't wait to make a sauce and add toppings. I also made seed and nut cheese yesterday , this was made by blending various seeds and walnuts adding water,onion powder,nutritional yeast and one probiotic tablet to help it ferment,you then leave on the work surface for several hours.


The third thing I made to make good use go the dehydrater was courgette crisps,I cut them on my spirilizer massaged some oil into them and flavoured with lemon juice,chilli and ginger.I then dehydrated these overnight.they shrunk considerably,I think next time I will slice them thicker,lovely and crispy though!!! 

Spiralized courgette 


Ready to dehydrate,the seeds fell off whilst massaging in the oil :(


Light crispy courgette (crispettes!)



So many trays to wash up!!!!


Pizza for tea and crisps for me!
Will post later when made toppings.








Friday, 25 April 2014

It's all about the food baby!

In Peterborough there is a wonderous website called greeniversity.this is a site started by Peterborough Environment and City trust where you can access courses for free by people who want to share their knowledge,usually green or sustainable activities such as gardening,knitting,swishing and cooking from scratch etc click here to find out more I have been on quite a few classes such as aromatherapy,foraging,soup making,sprouting and a self confidence class where I walked on broken glass! I love the fact that you never know what's coming next!!
I set off on Wednesday morning to Bretton woods where I thought there was a medicinal plant walk,unfortunately I had the wrong day! (It's this Saturday can't wait!) Whilst there I had a stroll in the woods and came  across a familiar sight alongside the plentiful bluebells.

Bretton woods Peterborough

There was a carpet of wild garlic either side of the pathway! This lovely plant has a subtle taste of garlic in the leaves http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allium_ursinum


Wild garlic

collected a large bunch and used most of it to make soup alongside spinach from the green back yard (our local community allotment) link to green back yard to offset the dense greenness I added sweet potato,carrot,lots of onion and fennel,this made a very tasty soup which I blended as I like to eat my soup in a cup alongside my salad. 

Soup ingredients before cooking

Unfortunately I had eaten the soup before remembering to take a cooked picture!!it was very tasty!

In other food related matters I have recently signed up for a woodland farm organic fruit and veg box,this is their £16.50 box which I got on offer from groupon for £6.50 each box for 4 weeks(result!)



You get a lot in the box and they deliver to your door,in Peterborough it comes on a Thursday.

Today I made sweet chilli sauce to go over my spralized courgette noodles(courgette from veg box)

Sweet chilli sauce(raw)



You will need

Fresh tomatoes cherry are best,roughly chopped
Dates soaked in water(madjool)
Spring onions chopped finely
Red pepper(half) chopped
Wild garlic leaves shredded or garlic bulb
Chillis(I used powdered as didn't have fresh)

 Spiralized courgette to serve 

I use the Lurch Spiralizer,I have bad arthritis in my hands and I can manage this,it doesn't require much force) spiralizer on Amazon

Easy peasy! put all ingredients in food processor and blitz til the veg is broken down but still,a little chunky,like salsa, also added the soak water from the dates. Pour over the Spiralized courgette,lovely over salad or rice.

 I use my hand blender as I have broken my processor and works just as well just don't over blend or you will get fresh soup!!!

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Chocolate for breakfast


This is the result of my latest play with my slow cooker.....vegan chocolate rice. I fancied something hearty and chocolatey but didn't have time to make a cheesecake or something similar so put all my ingredients in went off to do my shopping and because I used flaked rice it was done in just over an hour!!! There was some left so in the morning I had a very decadent breakfast,what a nice way to start the day.I will try and put it down as a recipe but in reality I just wing it and tweak as I go (the trip to the shops was because I decided it needed some real chocolate in it as the chocolate oat milk was quite a subtle taste and as the chocolate was orange I decided to put orange peel in too)

Vegan chocolate rice

50g flaked rice (this is approximate I used what was left in the packet)
I tin coconut milk( I use Pride rich and creamy coconut milk,it's really creamy!)
Half pint chocolate oat milk
Nutmeg to taste
Cinnamon to taste 
Few drops vanilla
Tablespoon dark agave nectar( you can use any sweetener)
Sainsburys free from choc n orange bar (35g I think)
Orange peel finely grated

 Add all ingredients to the slow cooker except the chocolate,cook on high about 1 to 2 hours,add more milk if necessary,melt the chocolate bar into the cooked rice at the end,when it's all melted stir thoroughly to incorporate it. Eat for pudding

Eat leftovers for breakfast,blast in microwave and start your day with chocolate...you know you want to!!!

Vegan seed and nut pate


Ingredients
 
1 cup mixed seeds and nuts,I used cashew nuts,hemp seeds and walnuts 
6 large sundried tomatoes finely chopped
1/3 onion finely chopped(chop and freeze remaining for soup)
1/2 tsp lime juice
Fresh sage finely chopped
1/2 tsp miso paste
3 tblpn nutritional yeast
Nigella seeds for more oniony flavour
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
 
Method

Grind seeds and nuts until fine
Soak sundried tomatoes in hot water(I soaked my sage too to infuse it into the tomatoes)
Add everything to food processor including the soaking water and blend until fairly smooth,don't over process you want a bit of texture.
This is lovely on toast.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Little blue flowers


I decided the wreath needed a small addition and went with tiny blue flowers dotted about between the daisies and buttercups. The pattern for the blue flowers I worked out for myself based on the larger yellow buttercup.The buttercup is made by chaining up to get the height,doing a couple of trebles and chaining down again for each petal.i figured this would work one a smaller scale so started doodling.



Not very technical I'm afraid as am tentative in my pattern drafting. The pattern is as follows

Little blue flowers

(Uk terminology)
Form a magic ring
Row 1 Work 5 double crochet into the ring ss into first dc
Row 2 ch 1,dc in same stitch,ch 1.ss into next stitch,ch 1, dc in same stitch,ch 1,ss in next stitch,ch 1,dc in same stitch,ch 1,ss in next stitch ch1,dc in same stitch,ch 1,ss in next stitch,ch 1,dc in next stitch,ch 1,ss in first stitch,this forms 5 petals,fasten off
Make loads.........


Sew middles in contrasting colour and add to project





Friday, 21 February 2014

Wreath finished?





Have finished my first wreath but feel it needs something extra,am toying with the idea of tiny lilac flowers dotted about. you can't tell from this picture but there are quite a few big gaps.my other idea was to have a crocheted bow at the top. I may make both and pin them on to see how it looks.
Been busy in the kitchen,made vegan pizza with vegan cheese from vegusto and chilli in my
 New slow cooker with vbites mince.i have also made extremely crumbly but not dry flapjack,I don't mind the crumbly bits,they are nice for breakfast with almond milk on top.


My crumbly stop your tummy rumbly flapjack!


Vegan pizza,the brown bits are vegan chorizo.


Chilli slow cooker styly! Love my slow cooker.......




Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Good wreath




I have been busy today working on my spring wreath,have now nearly finished making all the flowers,the leaves are done and then I get to do the fun bit,sewing them all onto the base.



I'm going to have to block the daisies to keep their shape but I think the buttercups work better with their natural curve in them. The daisy pattern I made up and is as follows below(under the link for the book) the buttercup pattern and leaf pattern is from this book:-

-   

I got mine from Amazon 

100 flowers to knit and crochet

It's a lovely book,full of crochet and knitted flowers.i have used this pattern book a lot in the 5 years I have had it.

Daisy pattern 

Make a magic loop
Row 1 in yellow 6 dc into the magic loop,ss tog
Row 2 in white in any dc from previous row attach and ch5,miss first st and dc in next 4 stitch ss tog,repeat in same stitch to make 2 petals in one dc space. Repeat around making two petals in each dc of first row.



The daisies need to be blocked as they come out quite curly!

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Vegan felting



One of the things that stopped me going fully vegan was my love of needle felting. I was very sad about the idea that I would never play with fibres and colour combined again but didn't want to be a hypocrite. Enter the wonderful internet!!! I found out from google searching that you can felt with plant and synthetic fibres!!!! I had always thought that this wasn't possible if the fibres weren't some kind of wool.
I have the post by mythillogical of the myths and fabrications blog http://mythillogical.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/bamboozledexperiments-in-bamboo-fibre.html to thank for pointing me in the direction of world of wool world of wool website who seem to be the only company selling ready dyed bamboo,most company's sell it white,it felts when needle felted,I cannot vouch for wet felting as I don't do it. It is a different texture to wool,shinier and slippery and slightly harder to get to felt,it doesn't seem to mesh quite as well as wool fibres but still felts,I find it best to rough it up a little first by carding it between my dog brush carders!!!


This also makes it possible to mix colours together,the colours from world of wool are quite bright so if you like a more subtle palette mixing is the way to go. I have been experimenting with mixing mid tones to my main colours and got some beautiful orangey pinky colours. 


My next test would be to use the fibres in a design. I drew out a mandala pattern and then hit a snag.....how to transfer the design to felt? You can't draw on felt to mark where you want the lines of your design...so I decided to stitch the areas of the design in running stitch and hopefully be able to pull them out later.


I then started filling in the colours and was pleasantly surprised how well they took to the background felt.in some places the background felt was starting to warp a little so I kept it in the embroidery frame for stability.i used my Janome Embellisher to smooth out the fibres but didn't linger to long in one spot as I am aware that the acrylic prefelt background is not that robust.


Very happy with the results so far and extremely happy to be needle felting with totally vegan fibres!!!i am embroidering gold lures thread around the coloured areas,this is how far I've got at the moment.


Guess what just got delivered? More felty goodness from world of wool,black and white bamboo so I can mix tones as well as colour and an interesting fibre called super right trilobal nylon rainbow top. It's much harder to felt and makes a fluffy mess everywhere but is so shiny and sparkly,I think it will make lovely highlights to a felted piece.


It's the rectangular sample at the bottom. Am excited about all these new fibres and am off to mix some new colours.





Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Progress report


 
The hexagon a day project is going well,sometimes on schedule,sometime two or three steps,forward or backwards but am very happy with the colours,they make me feel like spring is already here!!I'm really getting inspired to make some kind of hexagon jacket,but if I sit on my sofa I will merge into my hexagon blanket and never be seen again!!

I have been vegan for nearly a month now and am starting to get know a few things,I am getting used to reading labels,am compiling a list of vegan foods (and booze!!!) sometimes with the help of websites such as http://www.barnivore.com which causes me a lot of joy and pain depending on which of my favourite tiples is vegan!!! Guinness I am sad to say is not :( but Magners pear cider (yummy) is vegan,it's just a case of finding out and focusing on the positives,oh and keeping in mind the big picture,the fact that I don't want to be part of any harm done to any animal. I also find it much easier to eat at home and to cook mainly from scratch,it's a shame restaurants don't do good home vegan cooking,they would be so popular!!!


This is my mixed nut and chestnut loaf which I made for dinner


But as it is very moist it also doubles as a pate to use in sandwiches,what follows is a very rough recipe as I tend to taste and add things as I go and don't measure much:-

Nut and chestnut loaf

In a bowl put handful each ground almonds,cashews and walnuts(roughly ground in coffee grinder,1/2 packet bulgar wheat,quinoa and chickpeas,2 slices wholemeal  bread made into breadcrumbs nutritional yeast to taste(about 2 tablespoons),tsp mixed herbs....in frying pan fry the following in olive oil til soft,1 large onion,handful mushrooms 1 finely chopped green pepper when cooked add tablespoon miso paste tsp marmite and vegetable tomato paste,mix everything together plus a tin of chestnut purée,mixture will be wet,1/2 hour 190 c or gas 5 cool slightly then slice and serve or cool to use as pate.

I served this with vegetables and cashew cheesy sauce( ground cashew nuts,nutritional yeast and water,simmer in a pan gently until thickens,I added mustard,pepper and turmeric but you could add parsley or whatever herb you fancy,this makes a cheesy,rich thick sauce and it's super yummy!!!!

Yum yum,I made way too much nut loaf so have frozen some in nice thick slices,I am using my freezer frequently to save soups and bakes so I can rustle something up quickly another time,like a present to my future self,homemade without the effort!! :) 

My next project I am working on is a crocheted wreath which I am going to decorate with flowers and leaves,am thinking a spring theme with daisies and buttercups,bluebells maybe? At the moment have only got as far as the wreath itself which is a polystyrene one covered in a rectangle of single crochet material eased to fit and sewn into place at the back.



 

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Hexagon update




It's day 7 of the hexagon a day crochet along,am still being naughty and so far have 10 hexagons done. Have been joining them as I go but at my craft group last night we were discussing the fact that this method means carrying the whole thing with me,it's not a problem now but things will get heavy in a few months time!!! That being said am loving how it's turning out,joining method included,the little bit of colour that spikes into the next hexagon is really pretty.



  I love joining as I go,I think I will continue in this vein and it can become a home project when it gets too cumbersome to take to craft groups. I really need another project so that I don't do too much too soon on this blanket.i have picked up my pastel granny squares which are probably destined to be cushion covers,not sure yet. Am just enjoying the colours.