Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Category: vegan (Page 1 of 3)

New York Diary – Top Gun on a War Ship

Day 2 was me thrown into the deep end, extreme walking jet lag off, a visit to the Biennale at The Whitney, a trip back up to the Upper East Side, then back down to almost where I was before, to wait in a queue, watching the sailors in their white on the beginning of Memorial Day Weekend, while we waited for the ‘gate’ to open. Then it was the trek up to the top deck of The Intrepid, an actual airplane carrier, with planes on it (and a museum below) for the yearly outdoor screening of Top Gun. I will never be able to accurately explain what it was like. Mad, strange, hilarious, nostalgic, cute, mad, funny and bizarre. Google it. Beyond.

Today.

Today was a trip to Jersey City to have our first of 2 Lost Property rehearsals in the venue. Joy of joys. I cannot explain how happy we were.

Then – absolute luck of the lucky. The day before I had said how I would love to get Mexican vegan food while I am here. Boom. We stumbled upon the most awesome vegan friendly Mexican restaurant Hotel Toruga. It was spectacular.

And then! We saw Walk off The Earth live in an intimate and amazing concert. These guys put on the most delicious, funny, positive, charming, musical, slick and delightful show and I loved every minute. Loved.

My feet are aching but my heart is soaring.

 

Aquafaba Meringue

I thought I would tell you about my latest vegan hack. I have tried, and failed at aquafaba meringues a few times (also aquafaba chocolate mousse), but yesterday’s attempt was my most successful. They were a little over baked, but they didn’t flop, stick, slide, burn or bubble into a lava mess and I think I know why.

For the first time ever I used the aquafaba from a can of Woolworths organic chickpeas, so there was no added salt, or stabiliser or anything else, just water. The aquafaba was gloopy, which is good, apparently.

All I did was whip the aquafaba, add a mix of castor and brown sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla essence, and bake for 1.5 hours on 120°c. Next time I will make the oven cooler.

Here is a pic of the last three.

Beautiful Cabbage Salad

I just made this beautiful vegan cabbage salad and it is too good not to share.

The ingredients are; a small baby cabbage, shredded, a sliced stick of table celery, sliced sugar snap peas, grated raw turnip, fresh sliced green chillies, a few sliced dates, a spoonful of cocoa nibs, and sunflower seeds. The dressing is olive oil, white vinegar and lemon juice, with salt and pepper. It is so fresh and good.

Off to eat it now.

Quinoa made Edible

I want to experiment with this idea of blogging some of my own very useful vegan hacks and I thought that the best place to start is with the mostly utterly tasteless but so nutritious  quinoa.

Most recipes call for the simple boiling of this magical legume and the only thing it can compete with in terms of tastelessness is tofu.

So, here is my quinoa hack.

I fry up onion in some olive oil (not a lot), add the quinoa, salt, pepper and sometimes even other dried herbs, and enough water to cover and then an added 10mm over the top, and add a Knorr veg stock pot. I bring it to the boil, then turn it down and let all the water absorb.

So, chop half an onion.

Fry it up in a little olive oil.

Add a cup of quinoa. (I like white, but red or black quinoa is good too)

Stir up the quinoa to coat it.

Add water to cover and a little extra (10mm).

These are the stock pots.

Bring to boil, then simmer slowly until water is absorbed and evaporated.

I don’t have more pics because I used it immediately after cooking. I made Yotam Ottolenghi’s quinoa and sweet potato salad, which is so delicious.

Please leave me feedback about this post.

Lemon Drizzle Cake Veganised

I really only have one cake recipe that I love and that I have made over the years. It uses fresh lemon and is the perfect combo of tart and sweet. Big Friendly nags for it and it is the one thing I miss as a vegan. The non vegan recipe relies heavily on butter and eggs, so I always imagined it would be a challenge to veganise, but it is very easy, and doesn’t need anything fancier than egg replacer.

Here is the vegan recipe, which is pretty easy to follow. The only thing that is vital is that you allow it the full baking time. Don’t test it with a prick because it will look done and might not be cooked all the way through.

Vegan Lemon Drizzle Cake

Ingredients

1 cup coconut oil

2 cups white sugar

2 cups flour

egg replacer to replace 4 whole eggs

vanilla extract or even just essence

100 ml lemon juice

2 tsp baking powder

salt

icing sugar and more lemon juice

What to do

Pre heat your over to 180. Grease and line a round or loaf baking tin. In your mixer, beat up the coconut oil and sugar until the granules have disappeared. Then add the vanilla essence and the egg replacer mixture. In another bowl, sift flour, salt and baking powder and slowly add to the wet mix along with the lemon juice. It ends up being quite a stiff mix. Scoop it into the tin and bake for 50 minutes. Don’t be tempted to take it out of the oven when it looks magnificent. Let it bake. When you do take it out, let it cool as you mix the icing sugar with lemon juice to a runny consistency. I like mine very tart. Then literally drizzle it over the cake and allow it to fall over the edges. Yum.

 

Vegan Musings

Yesterday my boet was in town and we went out for lunch. I chose Massimo’s in Hout Bay because I have never been and I know that they have an omni and special vegan menu. I had a most delicious vegan pizza (my only mistake was adding vegan cheese to it; horrible, unmelty coconut oil flavoured lumps) and everyone’s food was good. They even had a selection of vegan wines to choose from. I like that. It was all expensive. Eating out is expensive which is why I don’t do it that often.

It is so important for me that being a vegan isn’t about having to spend more money on food. Eating out is an absolute treat. Buying ingredients is not about buying expensive meat or dairy substitutes. In fact the only thing I don’t resent spending money on is cashew nuts, after discovering how they grow when I was in India.

Although I adore the brilliant sharing of information, recipes and advice on social media, the curse of belonging to Facebum vegan groups is that they can be both judgemental and snobby. This is a problem when vegans are trying to convince the average Joe that being a vegan is both accessible and affordable.

So when I am Facebum invited to a pop-up dining experience at R450 a head, or I read about a vegan high tea that costs the same as my weekly veggie purchase, I get a little antsy. When I read that soy milk is out and almond milk, at double the price is in, I do have a bit of a knee jerk response that omnis who might want to transition would find that off putting.

Big Friendly and I popped into De Waal Park on Saturday. I dragged him because I saw on Facebum that there was a vegan bake sale on and I wanted to support it. I want to support as many vegan initiatives as I can so that they continue to happen. I didn’t tell him that the teeniest crunchie and minute lemon poppyseed square cost R40. The poppyseed cake was ok. Big Friendly didn’t even remember to eat the crunchie I bought for him. It was too small to notice on the kitchen table.

And I am left feeling a little grumbly. This is what I think. Animal based protein is expensive. If a restaurant needs to ‘veganise’ a recipe they are leaving out the most expensive part of it. Vegan dishes cost less to make than omni ones. Soy milk costs only a teeny bit more than cow’s milk. Anything with cheese in should be more expensive, not less expensive than the non cheese version.

We vegans should be able to convince people that veganism is not a pastime for the well-heeled. But we need to demand that it is more affordable.

 

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