This week saw the presentation of the ARIA (The Australian Recording Industry Association Music) Awards, so I thought I would come up with five Top Fives of my own, listed in no particular order…
5 Great Plant Powered Snacks
Popcorn – (cover bottom of pan in a good layer of oil, add kernels when oil is very hot – a kernel will start to spin by itself at this point, add salt now for more even coverage, leave lid askew to release moisture, keep heat up high until fury of popping subsides, immediately remove popcorn from pan before it burns.)
Eda Mame – Young soy beans. Sprinkle defrosted beans in pods with salt, or, cook beans, pod and all, in pepper and garlic. At end stir through some veg oyster sauce and remove from heat. In either case you don’t eat the pods but you will still be able to enjoy the seasoning as you eat the beans.
Peanuts – Roast your own at home under the grill at high heat, or for something different, boil in salted water for about 15mins until soft. Keeps in fridge for a few days.
Mini Spring rolls, samosas or onion rings – available in supermarket freezer. Lemon served with onion rings is a great sub for calamari. Best way to cook all fried snacks is on a cafe style sandwich press.
Crispy Mix – Make your own assortment of nuts, pretzels, rice crackers, popcorn, biscuits, dried fruit etc and store in an airtight container for when snack attacks hit. Middle Eastern grocers have some really great things you can put in.
5 Great Plant Powered Recipes
Add a sprinkle of turmeric and/or a bit of mustard for more colour/flavour. This is great on tacos, toasties as a dip or even as a fondue. Yum.
Blend in a handful of diced roasted beetroot for colour.
Roll out on bench with greaseproof paper on top and bottom. Cook uncovered with bottom paper directly on oven racks. Keep the paper you have removed from top and use it to allow you to flip pepperoni halfway through cooking.
Have on toasted sandos with mockzarella.
Simple but pimped Dhal Tadka
No soaking required.
In pot or pressure cooker boil red split lentils, chopped onion and tomato, grated ginger, salt and turmeric to taste, in enough water to make it quite soupy. Add some kale or broccoli at end of coking if you like for extra colour.
In a separate pan fry up any or all of peppercorns, coriander/cumin/fenugreek/mustard seeds. Add chilli flakes, sesame seeds, curry leaves – all optional.
Serve dhal, top with fried spices and some macadamia or coconut oil and optional coriander leaves.
Vegetable Manchurian – My Chinese-Indian Love Affair
Gobi manchurian is cauliflower fried and served the same way. Find it in restaurants that serve dosa or that have a Chinese Indian menu, or make it at home, dry or with ‘gravy’ (sauce). Ask restaurants if they can leave out ajinomoto (MSG) if they use it.
Use a sandwich press to cook the balls, same with felafel.
Vegan Pho inspired soup
I could live on clear soups with lots of yummies packed in.
Here is a link to one recipe, if you want to make your life simple you can use five spice powder in place of the dried spices. I add in a splash of vegetarian oyster or hoisin sauce or weird and wonderful vegetarian pastes from the asian shop. Have fun with flavours!
ps it’s pronounced ‘feu’ it comes from the French ‘pot au feu‘
To me soup like this would not be complete without a couple of pieces of mock meat, but some purist vegos would disagree. Which brings me to my next list…
5 Shamefully Yummy Mock Meats
Mock mutton/beef chunks. This one is easily yummier than the real dead thing. It is usually based on shiitake mushroom stems. Eat it fried in fried rice or add to soups like pho, or curries like rendang. Easily my fave faux.
BBQ ‘pork’ – great in stir-fries. Also look out for vegan char siu buns. Steam or microwave for a total junk food treat. Usually made from wheat protein aka gluten…not for coeliacs!!
Crispy chicken/duck – this crisps up great on the sanga press. Serve with vegies and rice and sauce of your choice. This is normally made from beancurd, the ‘skin’ off soy milk.
Pretend prawns – Yes they exist! not as tasty as the real thing, but very cute and much more sustainable. Made from konjac, a starchy root. I love these in soups too.
‘Fish’ – This is similar in use and manufacture to the chicken/duck…it just has some nori seaweed added for ‘sea flavour’. Not for the faint hearted, some can taste a little too ‘gamey’ for comfort.
All of the above can be found at Vincent Vegetarian if you live in Melbourne. Regular Asian grocers will often stock some of the other items. Meat eaters might sniff at the fakeness of mock meats…but it is any more unnatural than every single step of modern industrial animal farming?!
FFLG is the world’s largest food relief organisation.
We support plant-based meal distribution to the disadvantaged, malnourished and victims of disaster (natural or manmade), wherever there is a need in the world.
With a mission to address the root cause of all social issues through teaching spiritual equality in practice and precept, our projects also include health education, eco-farming, schooling, animal rescue and animal care.
Background on the Food for Life Project:
The distribution of sanctified plant-based meals has been and will continue to be an essential part of India’s Vedic culture of hospitality from which Food for Life was born. Since its inception in the early 70’s, Food for Life has tried to liberally distribute pure plant-based meals (prasadam) throughout the world with the aim of creating peace and prosperity. The project started in 1974 after yoga students of Swami Prabhupada became inspired by his plea that “No one within a ten-mile radius of a temple should go hungry!” Today Food for Life is active in over 60 countries.
Up to 2,000,000 meals daily!
With volunteers serving up to 2 million free plant-based meals daily to schools, as well as from mobile vans and to disaster areas. FOOD FOR LIFE is now the largest food relief in the world, eclipsing even the United Nations World Food Programme.
5 Great Yoga Moves
Lying single knee twist.
Helping those less fortunate than yourself, whatever their species
5 Great Animal Quotes
“Some people talk to animals. Not many listen though. That’s the problem.”
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
“The assumption that animals are without rights and the illusion that our treatment of them has no moral significance is a positively outrageous example of Western crudity and barbarity. Universal compassion is the only guarantee of morality.”
― Arthur Schopenhauer, The Basis of Morality
“I have from an early age abjured the use of meat, and the time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look upon the murder of men.”
― Leonardo da Vinci
“Some people say they love animals and yet harm them nonetheless; I’m glad those people don’t love me.”
― Marc Bekoff, The Animal Manifesto: Six Reasons for Expanding Our Compassion Footprint
“Remember that when you leave this earth, you can take with you nothing that have received–only what you have given- a full heart enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice and courage.”
― Francis of Assisi
And of course this whole blog is a really just a list of 52 great charities 🙂