Monthly Archives: September 2012

VEGAN PASTA SALAD

If you follow The Forage on Facebook you might remember me talking about some vegan pasta salad I said I’d post the recipe of. That was about 2 months ago. Today I will finally post it. Yeah, that’s the speed I work at..

I’m a bit sluggish sometimes, but it’s a REALLY delicious salad so it needs to be done!

I love pasta salad by the way, I remember eating it as a kid, the more mayonnaise the better. It’s a finely tuned mix of sweet, sour, salty and fatty flavours. Oh My God, if you make it right it’s just so delicious. Also, if you make lots of it, it’s the perfect snack to pull out of the fridge when you come home after a day of work.
Or whatever else you do during the day. Or night.

I normally freestyle most of my food, so I just made a list of things I thought needed to be put in and served it to my guests at our house warming party. They loved it! I was so happy!!

Ok, but here’s the recipe, remember it’s vegan, so you need to get some vegan mayonnaise (mayonnaise is the key) from the health food shop, apparently they sometimes even have it at normal supermarkets too. I haven’t seen it there so far though.

Recipe for 8 people and then some,

fusilli(spirelli)  3bags of 500g
vegan mayo 2 jars
tofu smoked 1pack
vegan deli slices 1 pack
vegan sausages(spicy) 1 pack
(3 meaty things in total)
gherkins 1 jar
onion 2-3
apple 2
cherry tomatoes
mushrooms
or other veg
olive oil
capers 1 jar (optional)
salt
pepper
paprika
cayenne pepper

fry up mushrooms and tomatoes(you can use other vegetables of your choice, like zucchinis or peppers) in olive oil and some spices, when they are semi done let them cool

boil pasta, strain just before al dente and let cool

cut onions, apples, gherkins and sausages and all other ingredients into small pieces, I like them fairly small, but that’s a matter of taste

stir the mayo into the cool-ish pasta

and put the cooked vegetables and the rest of the chopped stuff in

add capers and spices to your liking

stir well

put in plastic container with lids and let sit in fridge over night

Of curz you can leave out any ingredient you or your guests wont like or are allergic too. Or add whatever else takes your fancy. I added the cayenne pepper quite freely, so the salad had quite a spicy kick to it, which thankfully everyone loved. Made it a bit different.

I made one batch with onion and one without, afterwards one of my friends said she didn’t quite like the apple, but she loved the salad, so I guess I could have left that out of one as well. Inquire about your friends dietary requirements beforehand if you’re not sure.

It was a delicious salad, I made another batch just for the two of us a few days later, but it wasn’t quite as good. I used a different kind of mayonaise, coz I couln’t find the other one and I blame that.

This is a great salad for a buffet when you have friends over or as I said, a semi-healthy quick meal.

Next time I might try a potato salad, I quite like that as well. I used to love a good egg salad, but I can’t imagine making a vegan egg salad..?
Have you ever made pasta salad? What’s your favourite non lettuce-ey salad?

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VEGAN CHOCOLATE BROWNIES OR MUD CAKE OR SOMETHING

I know, I’ve really been bad with writing lately.. This whole ‘one post a day for a year thing’ apparently didn’t work out. I blame the move..

Anyways, I tried to get a bit more into cooking and baking lately. So I thought, if you want something sweet, “What’s better then chocolate brownies?!”. When I was vegetarian I used to make chocolate brownies every now and then and they were delicious. But that’s kind of easy if you can use 6 eggs or whatever..

So I thought I’d try a vegan version. I’ve had a few vegan cakes now and I thought it’s time to practice making my own.

So I got the following recipe:

2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups brown sugar
2 tbs baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups water
4 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup over ripe banana mashed well
some olive oil(or another oil of your choice to grease pan)

mix dry ingredient

mix wet ingredients

pour wet into dry ingredients, mix well(if banana not very ripe mash up in blender)

pour batter into pan which you greased with an oil of your choice before

preheat oven to 170 Degrees C and bake for about 15-20 minutes depending on if you want it more gooey or more solid

Well, I think I went a bit overboard with the wet ingredients and the dough turned out quite runny. Next time, gotta cut down on that.
The cake has a very fluffy, kind of sticky texture, it really turned out more like a mud cake.

Also, I’m not quite satisfied with the taste yet, not sweet and chocolatey enough, even if the flavour improved over night, as it always seems to do. In the future I gotta take it easy on the wet ingredients and will replace the water with rice or some other plant based milk for a sweeter, creamier taste and maybe even put more cocoa powder in it. I also replaced the olive oil with coconut oil, but that was just for greasing the tin anyways.

Coz the man sourced the recipe, he forgot to put the chocolate chips on the shopping list, so I used a vegan chocolate spread as icing instead.

As I said I’m still experimenting. I will keep you updated on how the cake goes with the alterations. If you have any more suggestions on how to improve this recipe or have any favourite vegan (baked) treats let us know in the comments!