Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Spagetti bolognaise

I just am marvelling at my recent piece of culinary genius, if I do say so myself. I am so proud of myself because I did not follow a recipe for this one! Here's what I did. You'll need a spiralizer for this one. If you dont you can grate the courgette but unfortunately I don't think it will be as good this way!

Serves One:



2 1/2 medium courgettes
1 tsp salt

3 or 4 chestnut mushrooms, sliced
3 small tomatoes
1 tbsp coconut butter

Handful of cashews (soaked for a couple of hours)
Sprinkle of dried or finely chopped basil
1 tsp nutritional yeast

First spiralize the courgette. Place in a bowl and sprinkle evenly with the salt. This will soften it. You can peel the courgette first for aesthetics but I felt this was a waste of chlorophyll!

To make the pesto, grind up the cashews in a coffe grinder or food processor. Add the basil and nutritional yeast.

Melt the coconut butter in a bowl inside a bigger bowl with hot but not boiling water in it.

While that is melting, scoop the out insides of the tomatoes and put to one side. Process gently in a food processor so they are roughly chopped. Add the mushrooms, then add to the coconut butter when it is melted. You can add some of the tomato seeds back in if you like.

Rinse the courgette with warm water. Drain well. Arrange on a place, add the sauce in the middle and sprinkle with pesto.

The Carrot Cake!

My Valentine's Day gift to myself. Have been meaning to make it for ages. The recipe is from Winter 2007 Get Fresh! by Alissa Cohen:

7 carrots
1 cup walnuts
1 cup dates, pitted and soaked
3/4 cup raisins, soaked for at least 1 hour
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp nutmeg

3 tbsp honey (I used agave syrup)
3 tbsp orange juice
1 cup cashews, soaked

Food process separately carrots, then walnuts, then dates together with spices. The blend all three together in the food processor. Stir in the raisins.

Put all frosting ingredients in the blender (I found hand blender easier as there wasn't quite enough to get the blender moving) Spread over cake and sprinkle with cinnamon.

I lined a cake tin with baking paper and just it slid off easily when set. You don't need to bother with anything to stick the paper to the inside of the tin either - if you pour the mixture in carefully it will hold it in place.

It is definitely better if made the night before and left in the fridge for all the flavours to meld together. It is beautifully moist, but if I was to do a review it would say that it could be slightly more stodgy with more dates, more orange juice and possibly including sprouted wheat grain...

Lovely Layla's lovely bowl

I love eating from this bowl - it belongs to my housemate! Gives a completely different feel to a gleaming white one.

Coleslaw I had for lunch today

Loved this combination last night: Kate's 'Egg Mayonaise (Raw Living) with a tomato, pepper, cuc and celery salad with some nori sprinkle.

Sprout salad: mund beans, alfalfa, pak choi, grated courgette, tomato and red onion with lemon and garlic dressing. The more it looks like a school project insect managery, the better (without cruelly cooping up any insects, of course)


Before I upload my photos of some awesome food I have made recently I will just fill in some details of how I've been getting on since my last post which was well over 2 weeks ago now!!

To begin with, I seem to be eating loads! I was hoping the weight from December would have come off by now but it hasn't. However, I have come to terms with this, I think. I am still running 3 times a week and did some sit ups, or curl ups as their better called, yesterday for the first time in about 6 months so will try and do this more often. My tummy is still looking pretty ugly. Anyway I am obsessing less about it now so that's good. I also discovered a super-cheap aerobics class (£1 for an hour!) at uni so am doing that now too.

This morning I thought about doing another 3 day juice fast but then thought, nah, I'll just cut down my portions and I have a feeling that I ought to eat fewers sprouted seeds and legumes too... they seem to be slightly bloating if I eat too many... (actually I think the Fresh Network have organized a lecture in London with 'The Sproutman' (whose name I can't remember) in March..? am probably going to go to that) Cutting down portions is proving hard though. Must try harder. I have not been juicing recently at all - I think if I start this again it will help me to eat less as it really makes me feel nourished and so less inclined to scoff.

Anyway, enough about that. I am pretty contented and chilled out at the moment! On Valentine's Day I made a carrot cake (recipe by Alissa Cohen from the Winter 2007 issue of Get Fresh! mag. It was not as good as I hoped and I thought of some ways to alter the recipe to make it better. However, on the second day it had improved massively after chilling overnight in the fridge. I decided it was actually pretty subtle, light and really very nice. I could eat lots without feeling sick (a virtue of pretty much all raw food I think) and know when to stop (and then go back a few hours later for more of course)

I am giving up fruit and dried fruit for lent. I am still considering the rules for this though. Lemons, avocados and tomatoes will not count. I may limit it to fruit not contained within a recipe. i.e. not eating dates and raisins straight from the packet when I am bored. I can't seem to buy any raisins or dates without eating the lot within 2 days. Really I don't eat any other fruit apart from oranges on their own and bananas in chocolate avocado pudding. This way I can still experiment with alterations to the carrot cake recipe... hhmm. So really is is dried fruit that is the vice...

Finally, the Brighton Vegan Fayre 2010 is going to be in March! Can't believe it is a year since the last one! Not long til my 1 year anniversary of being vegan!!