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Monthly Archives: September 2013

Apart from being an amazing film (if you haven’t seen it I’d recommend it) it’s an amazing ethos.  If we all payed it forward every so often the world would automatically be a better place.  Part of it for us is to try not to throw away an item of use but to offer it to someone, after all it may be a useless spare bed to us but to someone else who doesn’t have one, it’s just a bed!  Today I went onto a local site looking to post that we have a single bed to give away.  I noticed a post from a week ago about a man who had gone through a breakup and needs just about everything so he can have his kids over.  So I contacted him and we’re dropping the bed off to him tomorrow, I’ve also gone through our things (people give us things they don’t want, we keep them, sometimes we give them away) so now I can give him a bed, bedding, hoover, stereo, dinner set and lamp shades.  The thing that has touched me is he is so grateful and astounded that people have been so nice in offering items to him.  He kept offering payment via barter but I told him I’d just want him to do the same if he was in a position to.  We now have a few less bits and pieces required, but more importantly a Dad will have his home started ready for his children to be with him.  That’s all the payment we’ll ever need and thanks really aren’t needed.  

There is a big difference between needing and wanting.  We need very little to survive really, a home, some furnishings, a place to cook and a place to wash.  What we want is often very different from that.  I am not writing this post for people to praise me for being a nice person, I kind of know that (lol) 😉 but I would like to encourage others to think about it before they part with something that can still be used, to someone with nothing, your something could be everything.  

 

2013-09-27 21.17.21

 

These are light and crispy, it’s a similar recipe to the lime and chocolate so shows how it can be adapted. Makes 12 small cookies

Ingredients

1/2 cup of plain flour

1tsp baking powder

4 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup vitalite or vegan margarine

1/4 cup icing sugar

Add to the mixing bowl, the flour, baking powder, sugar, margarine and coconut oil.  I used the coconut oil solid and worked the mixture until it was melted.  Kneed together ingredients with your hands until all fats are dissolved and you have a dough.  Take a small piece of mixture into your hand and roll into a ball, slightly larger than a walnut and place onto a baking tray with parchment, press your thumb into the centre to make a dent, you don’t see it when cooked, but it helps them spread evenly.   Cook on 170 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes, check after 15, they should be golden.

I discovered this when as sick as a dog and about to go to a Rock Festival, my husband and I came down with terrible colds.  We ate it and for a couple of hours it made us feel better but it’s also just a very nice, tasty dish that is cheap to make and could be a recipe for using your own produce.  I know that for a lot of people good food is becoming hard to come by due to lack of finances, so I’m going to try and give an idea of costs. 

For 2 people, for more, double ingredients.

1 Carrot (I got a 1kg bag for 75p, so that’s a lot of carrots for other recipes)

1 Onion (1 bag for £1)

1 Stock cube (I get them from home bargains, they are 45p a packet and packaged in the UK, not maggi, they are Nestle and they want to patent water so I’m not buying their products)

3 tbsp soy sauce (I got a large bottle for under £3 in lidl

1 tbsp fish sauce (Optional, not for vegans and fine without, got it on offer for £1.50)

1/2 Pepper (75p for 3)

Noodles (I use the ones from home bargains for 45p a pack)

1/2 pint of water (or there abouts, cover the vegetables)

chillis 1/2 tsp (I used dried) (£1.50)

2 cloves garlic (£1.20 for 3 cloves)

1 tsp ginger (£1.50 for a piece, but you could use dried or the kind from a tube)

Slice veg (You can use anything really) and sautee in sesame oil if you have it (£1.50 a bottle from an ethnic section in a supermarket) or any oil, olive, sunflower, coconut etc, chop the garlic and ginger finely and add, stir every so often so nothing sticks, for the 2 person soup I use a small saucepan.  Add the stock cube when the veggies are soft looking, the onions start to get more transparent. and let it sit for a moment then mix it in, you can press it with the spoon to break it up.  Add the water, soy and optional fish sauce, simmer for 20 mins then add your noodles, without the flavour packet and wait for 5 minutes while they cook.  You have asian noodle soup, enjoy and obviously you can use proper noodles, but this is a cheaper version.  

I got the recipe from here but I amended it as below: http://www.holycowvegan.net/2011/12/lemon-poppy-seed-bundt-cake-with-lemon.html#.UkGMWMa3_pU

2 2/3 cup self raising flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups caster sugar

1 3/4 cup soya milk mixed with 2 tsp vinegar. Set aside for minimum five minutes to curdle.

1/4 cup lemon juice (I’m going to add a bit more next time)

1/4 cup poppy seeds

Zest of two lemons

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup sunflower oil

1/2 cup coconut oil

Cream together the sugar and oil until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.

Mix the lemon juice, zest, vanilla extract and almond milk.

Sift into a bowl the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder

Add the flour to the oil and sugar mixture in three batches, alternating with the almond milk mixture. Mix for 20 seconds after each addition.

Add the poppy seeds and mix with a spatula to disperse them evenly through the batter.

Oil and flour a cake tin and place in oven on 175 degrees for around 45 minutes or until golden and a toothpick comes out clean.

For the glaze: 1/4 cup lemon juice, 3/4 cup of icing sugar, mix.

Prick the top of the cake with a toothpick and pour or spread on the glaze.

1/4 cup lemon juice, 3/4 cup of icing sugar, mix.

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The images show our foraged apples ,with one apple from our tree, foraged blackberries and the leftovers as I forgot to photograph the finished pie.  I never measure my crumble mix but I’ll try and give rough amounts, i’m a cook that goes on flavour and texture and rarely follow recipes. 

Ingredients

Apples 

Blackberries

Brown Sugar

Flour

Vitalite or vegan margarine

Coconut oil

All Spice

Half a Lemon

Regarding quantities, I’d say I used 1 1/2 cups of flour, 3/4 cup of sugar, 1/4 cup vitalite, 1/4 cup coconut oil for the crumble mix, you can use either white or brown sugar.  Combine in a bowl using a rubbing technique to produce breadcrumb like texture. 

For the fruit, there was about 6 cups of chopped apple and 2 cups of blackberries.

First peal and chop the apples, finely chop a teaspoon of lemon zest and juice the half lemon, once chopped coat in the lemon juice, put into a pan with a cup of brown sugar and 2 tsp of allspice, cover and heat until softened, add the blackberries once softened and stir for a minute then transfer into a baking dish.   Top with the crumble mix and bake for 20 or 30 minutes on 190 degrees, check for bubbling filling and light brown crumble. 

I served this with soy cream (non GMO of course)

 

 

For me, part of being green is to cook my own food.  I occasionally like a treat so this is my recipe for Vegan Chocolate and Lime Cookies.

Vegan Chocolate and Lime Cookies

Ingredients

zest of one lime.

1/2 cup of plain flour

1tsp baking powder

1 small packet vegan chocolate buttons

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup vitalite or vegan margarine

1/4 cup caster sugar and 1 tbsp

Chop the lime finely and put 2/3 into a mixing bowl, put the rest aside.  Add to the mixing bowl, the flour, baking powder, sugar, margarine and coconut oil.  I used the coconut oil solid and worked the mixture until it was melted.  Kneed together ingredients with your hands until all fats are dissolved and you have a dough.  Chop the chocolate buttons and add, kneed them in.  Take a small piece of mixture into your hand and roll into a ball, slightly larger than a walnut and place onto a baking tray with parchment, press your thumb into the centre to make a dent, you don’t see it when cooked, but it helps them spread evenly.  Chop together the sugar and zest until you get a lime sugar and sprinkle onto each cookie.  Cook on 190 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, check after 15, they should be golden.