Saturday, 29 December 2012

Marco's Organic Pizza

After finding out that our local pizza place offered vegan pizzas, we thought we would give them a go. We were informed that the bases were vegan and not just the toppings. An important consideration, as some do contain dairy. First we tried the 'Vegan Traditional' which is basically their vegetarian without the cheese. It was pretty good but didn't have the 'wow factor'. You basically got mushrooms, kalamata olives, salsa, onions, pineapple, herbs and garlic.

We later tried the 'Gourmet Vegan' which was seriously fantastic. So delicious, with heaps of quality toppings that included roast potato, capsicum, pine nuts, salsa, spinach, pineapple, pumpkin, and sun dried tomatoes. Plus, I was able to get a gluten free base, as well. 

Marco's Organic Pizza is situated on Wanneroo Road, in Joondana, not far from Dogswamp Shopping Centre. They are open everyday from 5pm to late.

We think the 'Vegan Traditional' and 'Vegan Gourmet' are new options, as they do not appear on their online menu and when we rung to order, the staff member we got didn't know about them. If this happens, just ask for either the Vegetarian without the cheese or the Roast Vegetable without the cheese. 

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Recipe: Watermelon and tomato salad

I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical about this recipe from “Big Vegan” by Robin Asbell. I looked at the ingredients and thought “How is this going to work??” but oddly enough….it does! Give it a try!

What you will need:
4 cups cubed seedless watermelon
1 large tomato (use yellow variety if you can find, otherwise a regular red one will do)
½ cup fresh basil
3 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp agave syrup (you can get this at health food or organics stores)
1 pinch of salt
Black pepper (optional)

Put the watermelon in a large bowl.
Slice the tomato into thin wedges and add to watermelon.
Slice the basil into thin strips and add to bowl.
In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, syrup and salt. Pour onto watermelon and tomato. Serve topped with black pepper.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Event: Christmas Day Lunch at PAWS

Great news! PAWS are offering a FREE Christmas lunch for those who choose to have a truly peaceful celebration. 
This event is on Christmas day itself, and runs from 11am to 2pm.

As the kind people at PAWS put it: 

Christmas is a time for Peace on Earth, a time for Christians to reflect on a message of kindness and compassion so hear at PAWS we would like to demonstrate just how easy it is to leave animals off our plate.
Enjoy a nut Roast covered in Vegan gravy with all those steamed veggies a nice cup of punch followed by a xmas trifle, there will be games all in an air-conditioned environment and just a great place to meet people.

I'll be there with my partner and hope you will join us!
If you are in Facebook, you can rsvp to the event's page there.

Recipe: Sweet and creamy coleslaw

This is a good one for summer. Can be eaten on the day it is made or refrigerated and eaten the next day, if you like the cabbage to be softer. This recipe comes from “Big Vegan” by Robin Asbell. I have altered it a little to include parsley and more carrot.

What you will need:
½ green cabbage
½ red cabbage
2 carrots
2 handfuls chopped fresh parsley
½ cup vegan mayonnaise (I used Plamil’s EggFree Mayonnaise which is also dairy free. You can find at PAWS or in some health food or organics shops.)
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp agave syrup (again, you can find this in organics or health food shops)
½ tsp salt

If you have a food processor, with a slicing disk,  slice both the red and green cabbage very thinly. If not, just do it by hand.
Grate carrot.
In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, syrup, mustard, and salt. Add cabbage, carrots and chopped parsley. Toss to coat. 

Recipe: Sweet potato and lentil stew

Another recipe from ‘The Kind Diet’ by Alicia Silverstone. You can eat this one on its own or have it with rice and leafy greens. It is quite spicy, so add or subtract spice measurements according to your tastes.

What you will need:
¼  cup safflower oil (your best bet on finding this is in health food shops)
1 medium onion, diced (optional)
1 large tomato, diced
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 ½ tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp chili powder
2 to 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2cm cubes
7 cups vegetable broth
1 cup brown lentils
Pinch of salt

Heat oil over medium heat in a large pot and add onion. Stir frequently for 2 minutes and then add the tomatoes and ginger and cook for 3 minutes/ Stir in the turmeric, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cayenne and salt. Cook at stir for 2 minutes.
Add sweet potatoes, broth, and lentils. Stir well and bring to boil over high heat. When mixture come to the boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 40 minutes or until lentils and sweet potatoes are soft.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Recipe: Sweet potato white bean soup

This is another slow cooker recipe that I have lifted from 'The Vegan Slow Cooker' by Kathy Hester.
It calls for the use of Swiss chard which I could not find in the supermarkets. I did end up finding it in a farmer's market, like the Stirling Markets in Stirling but that was after I made this. I substituted the Swiss chard with sliver beet which worked well but next time I will give it a go with the Swiss chard, now that I know where to find it.

What you will need:
1 medium sized sweet potato, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
5 cups vegetable or vegan chicken-flavoured stock. (I suggest using Massel or Marigold)
2 cups chopped Swiss chard or sliver beet is you can't find the chard. (If you prefer, stem parts can  be discarded and use onlt the green leafy parts of the silver beet.)
1 tbsp minced fresh thyme or half that if using dried
2 sprigs parsley, chopped

Combine the sweet potato, garlic, celery, tomatos, beans and stock. Cook on low in the slow cooker, for 6 to 8 hours.
20 minutes before serving, add Swiss chard or silver beet , thyme and parsley. Cook until the Swiss chard or silver beet is tender. Add salt to taste, if desired.

Recipe: Warm tarragon and potato salad

This is a simple but pleasant warm salad that I found in the book Veggiestan by Sally Butcher.
I have not really cooked much with fresh tarragon before, so was surprised to find that it tasted somewhat like anise which I am not overly keen on. However, I found that it tasted quite nice, and not too powerful in this dish.

What you will need:
4 to 5 large potatoes (waxy varieties are best)
Handful each of fresh parsley and tarragon, washed and roughly chopped
1 medium onion, finely sliced (optional)
6 or so olives of your choice, chopped (optional)
4 tbsp olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
Salt and black pepper to taste

Peel potatoes and cut into 2cm cubes. Bring to boil and simmer in water until cooked. This should take about 10 minutes. Drain and place in large bowl with onions, olives and herbs. Whisk lemon juice, oil and seasoning together and toss through salad. Serve while still warm.