Sunday, 26 June 2016

Creamy Beetroot & Friends "Pesto" Pasta v 0.2

Two in one day? Apparently this is what happens when you let yourself have a day or two in recuperation after a gruelling week and another to come. Unfortunately, I ate my dinner before I could take a photo of it. Make it, share your photo.

Creamy Beetroot & Friends "Pesto" Pasta v 0.2


- 3-4 whole beetroot
- 1 whole red capsicum
- 1/2-3/4 cup pine nuts
- 1 large/2 medium cloves of garlic
- kale
- juice of half a lemon
- 1 tbsp white tahini paste
- water
- olive oil
- salt (about 2 tsp)
- white pepper (as much as you want)
- nutritional yeast flakes
- pasta


1. core and roughly slice lengthways the capsicum. Put in baking try, cover in olive oil. Roast at ~200C for about 40 mins or until soft and roast-y.
2. peel and roughly chop beetroot, add to enough water to thoroughly cover, boil until tender.
3. when those ingredients are cooked, drain the beetroot and put in food processor/blender with garlic.
4. add to the food processor the cooked capsicum including any leftover olive oil.
5. add the pine nuts, salt, pepper, yeast flakes, and kale and process/blend until pesto-like in consistency.
6. transfer back to pot and start warming on a low heat, meanwhile begin pasta water boiling and put pasta on to cook. Stir the sauce as necessary.
7. in a small bowl, whisk together tahini, lemon juice, and additional water until a "cream"-like consistency is reached
8. add the "cream" to the sauce and mix, then turn heat off and wait until pasta is cooked.
9. when pasta is cooked (or just before), strain. Put empty put back on low heat and add olive oil. Add pasta to warm oil and stir to make it absorb. 
10. Add two serving spoons worth of sauce and stir through the pasta, slightly cooking.
11. Take off heat and serve pasta then top with another serve of sauce and some extra nutritional yeast flakes.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Apple Pie v. 0.9.

Today, Sunday, was Apple Pie day.

I have also become my own worst social-media nightmare.

Apple Pie v. 0.9


- 3 sheets of vegan shortcrust pastry (Pampas, for eg.)
- about 9-12 medium-sized apples (any kind will do, I used pink lady), chopped into rough cubes
- 1/3-1/2 cup vanilla extract (I used my own which was made with Austrian pear schnapps and about 5 vanilla beans)
- 1/2 - 1 cup of boiled water
- 5-6 tsp raw/dark sugar
- 2-3 tbsp tapioca starch
- 1 large cinnamon quill (or 2 smaller ones), broken into three
- 1 star anise broken into parts
- 6-9 cloves
- desiccated coconut
- sultanas


0. Pre-heat oven (non-fanforced) to about 210-220.
1. Spray deep-ish pie dish with olive oil, lightly, to avoid pastry sticking.
2. Place apples and sultanas into a big saucepan, cover with all liquids, spices, and 2-3tsp of sugar. Cover and simmer until apple is slightly fuzzy and tastes like it's absorbed the flavour of the spices a bit.
3. While apple is cooking, line pie dish with pastry. 
4. When apple is cooked, drain the liquid into another, smaller saucepan. This liquid will act as a sauce. Separate out the large spices like cinnamon if possible.
5. While apple is cooling, prepare sauce by mixing in, incrementally, the remaining sugar (to taste) and the tapioca starch, and whisk until desired thickness is achieved. It should be quite thick.
6. When sauce is ready, transfer apples into pie dish and distribute evenly. 
7. Top with a layer of desiccated coconut.
8. Add the sauce reasonably evenly across the top of the coconut/apple/sultanas. 
9. Cover the pie with last piece of pastry and fold IN the pastry to form the crust (see photo).
10. Bake for about 40 minutes until pastry is done.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Tofu & Marinated Tempeh BBQ Shish + Salad (v. 1.0)

Tofu & Marinated Tempeh BBQ Shish + Salad

Yes, yes, it's summer. Yes, I generally hate it. Alice and I bought a barbecue though, so that's changed how I think about cooking over the last... two days.

A photo posted by Vin G (@vinpous) on

I have to say, this was freaking delicious.

Ingredients (for the shish)

~1 slab of tempeh, cubed
~1/2 pack of sesame tofu that you can buy at the supermarket. The other 1/2 was used yesterday.
~Raw peanuts, crushed with mortar and pestle (a couple of good handfuls)
~4 tbsp pure peanut butter (for Australians, Coles now sell this in 1kg tubs - no salt, sugar, or oil. Just ground up peanuts. Lots of health food shops sell it too)
~Good drizzle of Kecap Manis (sweet Indonesian soy sauce)
~1 tsp of ground turmeric
~2 tsp of Za`atar (middle eastern spice mix)
~1 clove of garlic, crushed
~2 red birds-eye chilis finely chopped

Method (for the shish)

1. Ignore the tofu.
2. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, give it a good old stir, taste and adjust accordingly, then put the cubed tempeh in it, give it all a good stir to coat.
3. Cover and put in the fridge for at least three hours.
4. Remove tempeh (and tofu) from fridge.
5. Obtain skewers
6. Wet said skewers under a tap.
7. Alternate threading tofu-tempeh-tofu-tempeh-tofu, etc, until desired amount of soy goodness is on each skewer.
8. BBQ on high for a few minutes to crisp, then on low to cook. Turn constantly. If your BBQ has a hood, you can use that to cook it through more quickly on low.

Ingredients (for salad dressing)

~1.5 tsp of pomegranate molasses
~2-3 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
~1/2 a lime worth of lime juice

Whisk these together to form a tangy but sweet vinegar dressing. Drizzle on salad with a decent quantity of olive oil and a pinch of salt.

Salad suggestion

Sliced pear
Finely chopped coriander
Baby spinach
Cherry tomatoes
Baby yellow roma tomatoes
White onion
1-2 birds-eye chilis chopped
Chopped avocado

Monday, 21 December 2015

Spiced pumpkin tofu cheesecake [v 0.1]

Spiced pumpkin tofu cheesecake 0.1

A photo posted by Vin G (@vinpous) on
Success! I wanted to make a vaguely xmass-y cheesecake for a small xmas party amongst friends, and thought that combining a pumpkin pie (something I've never made, let alone eaten) with a cheesecake would be a good suggestion. 

So first up, let me cite my references. I more-or-less adapted these recipes to suit myself. The pumpkin pie is not vegan, so fair warning.

I made one large-ish cheesecake and one small-ish cheesecake, and I had a surplus of pumpkin. So the quantities need some work. 

For the base:

2x packets of Arnott's NICE biscuits
1x cup of melted margarine. 

For the cheesecake*: 

2x 550g packs of firm tofu (I use Yenson's, it is good), drained.
~1.5 cups of brown sugar (I found out that apparently brown sugar outside of Australia is sometimes coloured with beef bone - what the fuck? - in any case, make sure it's coloured with molasses)
~2 tsp of vanilla essence
~2 tbsp of melted coconut oil
juice of 1 lemon and 1 lime*
the zest of one lemon*

For the pumpkin:

~1/2 butternut pumpkin, peeled, cubed, steamed, and somewhat cooled
~1 cup of brown sugar
~1-2 cups of coconut cream**
~2 'eggs' (I used egg replacer)

I used ground/powdered: ginger, cloves, allspice, cinnamon - don't be shy, flavour to taste.


- Pre-heat oven to about 375F (I was actually using an oven that is measured in fahrenheit).

- Oil-spray some pie tins/line with baking paper/whatever you do.

- In a food processor, blend the biscuits with the melted margarine, then pack into whatever pie dishes you're using. Scale ingredients accordingly. Pack it really tight.

- Once the food processor is clean, do the same thing with the cheesecake ingredients and make sure it gets really as smooth as possible. It helps if you break or cut up the tofu. And be patient. Put the resulting smooth goop into the now prepared pie tray thing.

- Again, once the food processor is clean, do the same with the cooked and cooled pumpkin, sugar, etc. 

- Dollop the pumpkin mix on top of the cheesecake mix that is in the pie tin, and swirl through the cheesecake mix with a spoon or spatula or whatever. I attempted to make that swirly latte thing.

- Bake for about 35-45 minutes until lightly brown and slightly cracked.

- Allow to cool, then refrigerate for a couple of hours to set. 


* In future, it might be nice to add more lemon/lime goodness. Lots more. For that tangy cream-cheesy-ness.
** It might be nice to add some coconut cream to the cheesecake part too, to increase the creamyness.
A photo posted by Vin G (@vinpous) on

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Banana cake: it's basically a superfood, right? (v.0.1)

Banana cake that is more-or-less a superfood and was invented after a nice rigorous walk in the rain for breakfast which ended up being quite late as far as breakfasts go. It is also basically a cupboard cake.

Also flow-on sentences. Pretty damn good for an invented cake, I reckon.

Ingredients (makes quite a decent sized cake)

3 very ripe bananas
3/4 cup of canola oil
1 cup of almond milk
1/2 cup of loosely packed brown sugar (two tbsp? maybe?)
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup coconut powder (super-fine desiccated)
2 handfuls mixed nuts
3 heaped tsp baking powder
2 cups of flour (I used 1 cup of spelt and 1 cup of what I believe was GF self-raising...)
3 tsp vanilla essence
4 tsp of raw peanut butter (the type with nothing added to it)
3 pinches of cinnamon


0.5. Preheat oven to 200C (fan-forced)

1. Start mashing the bananas in a big bowl
2. Add oil and sugar and beat with mixer until all combined and smooth
3. Add the rest of the ingredients EXCEPT the peanut butter and cinnamon
4. Mix with a spoon until all combined
5. Put in a cake tin, papered or greased or whatever you prefer
6. Spoon the peanut butter into the centre of the top of the cake and then swirl it through to about 1cm of depth in the cake.
7. Sprinkle the cinnamon on top of that
8. Bake for about 45 minutes or until the skewer trick works.

Enjoy your 'superfood'.

A photo posted by Vin G (@vinpous) on

A photo posted by Vin G (@vinpous) on

Creamy salad dressing (v. 0.1)

No photo, unfortunately, but I made this creamy salad dressing to go with a mock-chicken salad. I suspect it would also go exceptionally well with either pasta or potato salad.


Tahini paste
Extra virgin olive oil
Nutritional yeast flakes
Apple cider vinegar
Dried marjoram


In a little jar with a tight-fitting lid, add the ingredients roughly as follows:

1:2:2 ratio between tahini:olive oil:vinegar
Pinch of salt
Two tsp of yeast flakes (depending on quantity of dressing)
Marjoram as desired (I used about a tsp)

Then put the lid on tight and shake the hell out of it until it's all smooth and creamy, adjusting the quantity of oil as necessary for more smoothness.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Banana & Sticky Rice Breakfast Fun (v.0.1)

Good morning.

I think this post will be the first time I've made an experimental breakfast, possibly ever, but definitely in a long time. Certainly the first I'll have written up a recipe for.

We accidentally put too much sticky rice on to soak a few nights ago, so have been thinking of ways to eat it. It's pretty good stuff; a staple of Northern Thailand (Isaan, if I remember correctly), but also used in other south-east and east-Asian cooking: desserts, in particular.

This recipe is tasty, though takes a little getting used to, especially not long after waking up. I think I will revise it over time (as is intended with all these recipes not marked v.1), but would love it if other people also modified it and told me about their results.


~2 cups of (white) sticky rice, soaked overnight.
~1 banana
~2 tsp tahini paste
~2 tsp coconut cream
~2 tsp maple syrup


For the sticky rice, I use a rice cooker with steamer basket on top, lined with aluminium foil with holes stabbed into it. I put the sticky rice in the steamer on top of the foil, make sure the rice cooker bowl has plenty of water in it, cover, and steam until cooked. It takes about 15-35 minutes, depending on how soaked the rice is. You can get away with soaking only for a couple of hours, but the cook time is longer and the results can be a bit variable.

To make the sauce, just put the tahini, coconut cream and maple syrup into a bowl and mix it well. Adjust quantities for flavour preferences. This quantity of maple syrup is not overly sweet, in fact the sauce tastes decidedly like Halva.

Once the rice is cooked, place however much you want on a serving thing, chop a banana over the top, sprinkle with cinnamon (I'm not sure the cinnamon is the greatest addition to the recipe; might try LSA or similar next time), and then pour/dollop the tahini sauce over the top.

Nom with fingers if you're feeling messy, I used a spoon so I could civilly drink a coffee at the same time.