Tag Archives: vegan

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!

EAT YOUR TREES

So I went on this ‘herb walk’/forage tour on Saturday and it was pretty awesome!! I loved it. The woman who was doing it, Elisabeth Westphal, did a really great job, she is really enthusiastic about nature, plants and the environment and you can really feel that.

The tour went for 3 hours and by the end I was pretty beat. It was  quite exhausting, how Elisabeth does it I don’t know, she’s full of energy, I think it’s coz she eats wild herbs every day. Must be good for you!

Anyways, it was really interesting to find out and learn new things. For example, we started the tour with edible leaves of trees. I didn’t know you could eat the young leaves and flowers of linden trees for example. And there are different kinds of linden trees. We tried the summer and the winter variety. The young leaves of the summer variety are really soft. And they get really slimey when you eat them. That’s supposed to be good for you.

winter linden tree

Also you can eat most pine trees. I knew that, but I didn’t quite believe it. Most of them taste disgusting. You only eat the young shoots and you can make tea from them. They taste really strong. By the way, is any tree that has needles called a pine tree in English and what are foliage trees called?

Some pine tree, I think it’s a larch.

Also, what I didn’t know is, you can eat, I think all, fruit tree leaves. Pretty cool. I tried some apple leaves and they have a really interesting, particular taste. Like a flowery, apple taste.

soft, furry apple leaves

This is a really popular plant in Germany, Bärlauch, which means ramson or wild garlic.

one of my favourite finds, I wanna make some pesto with it

Riding my bike through the forest, I found the smell rather offensive in the past, coz it’s really strong. You can buy this shit in pesto at the organic shop. Of curz I had to try it and it tastes quite nice. The store-bought pesto smells and tastes really grassy, but then developes a very piquant flavour. Almost spicy, nutty.

I liked the fresh flower, fruit thing better then the freshly picked leaves. They are really fresh and juicy and the little balls pop in your mouth. The flavour is very leeky, garlicy.

You can also eat a lot of flowers and use them as edible decoration, like for example, forget me nots.

Pretty!

But don’t eat the buttercups, they are poisenous!

Pretty beech tree. Edible too, in parts.

Yeah, so the forage tour was really successful and I could write lots more, but maybe another time. Elisabeth did a really great job and I’m looking forward to the next tour of hers. Hope you learned something and Happy Foraging!

Green Smoothies

So I wrote about blender foods the other day and I just wanted to share some recipe ideas I tried since then.

One day I was in a real hurry and had about 2 minutes before I needed to run out of the door to get to work, so I whizzed up this quick smoothie.

1 banana
1 passion fruit
some rice milk

Very easy and very tasty! I forgot to mention liquids in my other post, so yeah, put in some water or some rice milk or make almond milk yourself or just put in some freshly squeezed juices, I like grapefruit, for example.

Today I made another green smoothie for breakfast. It turned out kind of green, purple-ish and I thought it was really pretty.

This is what I put in

fruits

and this is how pretty it looked like.

love the colour

I had to actually thin mine down with more rice milk, coz it was really thick. Tasted delicious!

Here is a clip of some more green smoothie tips and ideas one of my friends posted in the comments(Thanks Damian:).

And here is a different take on the green smoothie, a savoury version. I’m not sure, is that healthier, some people seem to think, the more greens the better?

Next time I’m gonna try making my own almond milk and throw some nuts and raw cocoa beans into the mix!

Have you tried any green smoothies yet? Got any more ideas?

Blender Food

In some previous posts I’ve been going on about how we don’t have a blender..

And now we’ve got one! 2 weeks before we move out, awesome!!

Anyways, I’m trying to quickly remember all the things I wanted to make.. wtf?! So, first I’m gonna make some green smoothies, with bananas and pears maybe and spinach, dandelions and plantain, if I can find some. Dunno about fruits, I like passionfruit, maybe a kiwi or two and I like grapefruit too.

Or I’ll just make some fruit smoothies, would be nice with quinoa or amaranth or something for a breakfast shake. Or sprouts would be nice too, you could sprout beans or quinoa yourself. Or heaps of other things. So healthy, juicy and delicious!

I’m also thinking about blending up some veggies, maybe mushrooms or chickpeas or grains and stuff for some homemade veggie burger. Or nuts, for nut burgers.

That’s all I can come up with at the moment, if you have any more recipe ideas that need a blender let me know!

Eat Your Weeds

I’m looking forward to doing some foraging in Germany.

Here is a classic foraging plant, dandelions! I used to pick them to feed them to my guinea pigs, personally I find them too bitter. I will try them in a green smoothie though, once I get a blender. Hopefully the smoothies turn out nice, because I’ve got high hopes. I will mix them with a lot of fruits in the beginning, bananas and pears and put spinach in and dandelion or whatever, kale maybe and then ease into putting more greens in. But a 50/50 mix of fruits and greens can’t be too bad?! Haven’t checked out any green smoothie recipes yet, but that can’t be too hard. Just freestyle it!

looks like a great youtube channel, definitely gonna check out more of his videos

I really like drinking dandelion/chicory coffe substitute. It’s very common in Germany, it’s called Malt Coffee and kids drink it. Definitely better than that sugar filled Milo crap or whatever else kids drink..
Anyways, I love it, we have it with rice milk. I wanna make it myself sometime, collect dandelion roots and roast them. Sounds kinda exciting!

Here are some more weeds. Eat them! Just watch out that crazy people haven’t sprayed this shit!

And here is a cool link to an article called ‘the fantastic four – 4 essential wild edible plants that may just save your life

Ok, maybe quite a dramatic header, but it’s always good to know what’s available out there, not just for emergency situations. And free stuff?! Always great!!

So yeah, watch these videos and eat your damn weeds!!

I’m Beat

Melbourne doesn’t have many great organic, whole foods shops, so each weekend we have to drive across the whole city just to visit a couple of them. It takes half a day, most of the time we go to a market too, and by the time we get back I’m completely beat!

Pisses me off it’s so difficult to get organic produce. There is nothing in our area, so we just go to the normal supermarket during the week, they only have regular produce and a tiny, sad looking organic section, which is obviously not great.

We are trying to eat more raw, vegan foods. We are definitely eating healthier all the time and I think, after two to three months now, it makes me feel better. More energetic and I feel cleaner.

Today we had baby spinach, kale and rocket with brown rice and red quinoa for lunch, which was nice. The grains are hidden under the kale in the bowl.

Looks pretty healthy

The kale wasn’t great, but it’s the first time I cooked it that I can remember. I just sauteed it with some olive oil and salt. It was really chewy.

Somebody on twitter sent me this link to a kale chips recipe. Now this looks delicious! I’ll try that tomorrow.

So yeah, we are eating healthier, more raw, organic produce, but sourcing that crap can be frustrating.

Is it easy where you live to source fresh, organic vegetables? How do you organize shopping for healthy foods?