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Archive for the ‘Vegan’ Category

Apple Cinnamon Cookies

Advice That Certain People Who Write Essays Would Do Well To Note:

1. It doesn’t matter whether a sociological theorist is “pessimistic” or not, or which year s/he was born in. It does matter, though, that you understand that “rationalisation” relates to disenchantment and bureaucratisation, and not to people thinking logically about their life choices.

2. I’d prefer you wrote about Karl Marx and Max Weber, not Kyle Marx and Max Webber. You see, I’m not entirely sure what the latter two contributed to Sociology. Oh, and Emile Durkheim is a man, although it would be nice if one of the “Founding Fathers” was actually a “Founding Mother”. Sadly, we aren’t allowed to change the sex of people born centuries ago.

3. Want to know what helps you, in a grades-affected manner? Answering the essay question.

4. Want to know what helps me, in a sanity-affected manner? When you get my name right on the cover sheet. (Oh, and my sanity also benefits when you answer the essay question.)

5. Last but not least, cookies help inexorably with the essay-marking process. They might even help with the essay-writing process. I therefore suggest you bake and gobble these up at the earliest convenience.

Apple Cinnamon Cookies

I don’t often bake cookies. For some reason, cookies are associated in my mind with boredom. Too sweet, too crunchy, and lacking in satisfaction. However, whilst flicking through one of my many rarely-used mini Women’s Weekly cookbooks, I found this gem of a recipe.

Sweet but not too sweet, baked a little under the required time so as to retain a soft and almost-doughy interior without losing the crispier exterior, heady in cinnamon and with the faint nutty flavour of oats and whole-wheat flour, these were exactly what I forget cookies can be.

Apple Cinnamon Cookies

That is to say, addictive. Did I eat seven of these between baking them in the afternoon and going to sleep in Skank Bed at night? Possibly. Perhaps. Maybe. Okay, yes.

But they’ve got oats, and fruit, m’kay? So they’re good for me. Possibly. Perhaps. Maybe.

Apple Cinnamon Cookies

Vegan Apple Cinnamon Cookies

Adapted from The Women’s Weekly Biscuits and Slices mini cookbook.
Makes about 15.

The recipe below is for my cut-down-by-a-third-and-adapted version of the original, which purported to make 45 cookies. Whilst I know I could very easily eat 45 cookies over the course of a few days, I also know I’d get horrifically bored by the sameness of them all if I did. Ergo you should be able to double or triple this recipe easily, if you want more cookies in your life. Or if you want to share with other people, instead of sitting by yourself with cookies and ice cream watching old-school romantic movies all afternoon.

  • 1 American tb (15ml) flaxmeal, mixed with 45ml water (or one egg for a non-vegan version)
  • 90g (1/3rd cup + 1tb) brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 tb (40ml) canola (or vegetable) oil
  • 2 tsp honey/agave/golden syrup/liquid sweetener
  • 2/3 cup (60g) rolled oats
  • 50g dried apples, chopped
  • 1/3 cup (50g) wholemeal plain flour (or normal plain)
  • 1/4 cup (37g) self-raising flour
  • 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (this was the only part I didn’t cut down, as I used the full tsp of the original recipe for a batter a third the size. Woot cinnamon love!)
  1. Beat brown sugar with combined flaxseed and water with an electric mixer until mixture plumps up a little and lightens a bit in colour (if using an egg, wait for the mix to get significantly lighter in colour).
  2. Stir in (manually, not with the electric mixer) the vanilla essence, oil, and liquid sweetener of your choosing, then the oats, apple, and sifted dry ingredients. Refrigerate for one hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 190°C. Roll tablespoons of the mixture into balls and place on lined baking trays. I expected mine to spread more than they did, so if you prefer thinner and crunchier cookies, you might want to press the balls down a little bit.
  4. Bake 9-10 minutes for cookies with a deliciously soft core, or a bit longer if you want them crunchier. Though in all honesty, I don’t know how crunchy these would get. Maybe they never would? All I know is that I love the way mine turned out.

Question Time: Do you have advice for someone that would be safer shared here than with the person him/herself? Vent, my pretties, vent.

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Vegan Caraway Cake

Off the top of my head, I can think of one positive and one negative for getting up early after a bad night’s sleep and baking a cake to cheer oneself up.

Positive: Cake batter for breakfast. It’s funny how much batter can be “accidentally” left on the electric beaters, bowl, and two spoons used in the batter-making, isn’t it?

Negative: Finding cake batter in one’s hair hours later.

Vegan Caraway Cake

This wasn’t the cake I was originally lusting after. But when I ducked home to find the recipe for the originally-desired cake, I saw, directly to the left of that recipe, this fella. (What brilliant sentence construction! The essays I’m marking must be rubbing off on me…) My mum used to make this fella occasionally, but nowhere near as often as she made the originally-desired cake. I remember, though, that I used to feel more grown up eating this than the other (the originally-desired cake, that is. Have I lost you yet?), because of the below’s rather unique and non-children’s-party-friendly flavour.

So I forgot about the cake I had initially been craving, and made this one instead.

Oh, and I veganised it.

Oh, and I love it. And it still makes me feel grown-up.

Vegan Caraway Cake

This cake tastes like old-fashioned to me. It tastes like something one of the heroines in my beloved-childhood novels would have eaten whilst sitting in her garden dreaming about the future, or whilst serving afternoon tea to a dear grandmotherly-aged friend. This is the cake I imagine Elnora from A Girl of the Limberlost would have slid into the oven with her soft hair falling in front of her face and her butterflies adorning the wall behind her. This is the cake I imagine Anne Shirley would have shared with Theodora Dix as they listened to the echoes of their voices calling back to them from faraway hills.

It’s also the cake I can imagine I’ll  have polished off in two day’s time, but that can be our little secret.

Vegan Caraway Cake

Caraway Cake

Serves 8 -10, adapted from The Women’s Weekly Cakes and Slices Cookbook. For a non-vegan version, substitute Nuttelex with butter, two eggs for the flaxmeal, and normal milk for the soymilk. My mum used to make this wheat-free with her own mix of cornflour and rye flour, so I assume it would also work with gluten-free flours.

  • 2 tbs flaxmeal (ground flax)
  • 125g Nuttelex (I used the Olive Oil kind)
  • 1 cup caster sugar (I used raw caster sugar)
  • 1/2 cup soymilk
  • 1 1/4 cups self-raising flour (the original recipe said to sift this, but I didn’t bother. What can I say? I’m a rebel.)
  • 1/4 cup custard powder
  • 2 tbs caraway seeds.
  1. Preheat oven to 160°C, and grease and line a 14cm x 21cm loaf tin.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the flaxmeal with 90ml water and leave to sit for 5 minutes.
  3. Add Nuttelex, sugar, milk, flour, and custard powder to flaxmeal and beat on low speed with an electric mixer until combined. Increase speed to medium-high and continue beating for 3-4 minutes, until the mixture has lightened in colour.
  4. Stir in caraway seeds.
  5. Spread mixture into prepared tin and bake for 50m-1hr. Stand in tin for five minutes, then turn onto a wire rack to cool.

Question time: Are there any particular dishes you make that remind you of a storybook character? Saying oatmeal makes you think of Goldilocks or beans of Jack doesn’t count…

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Panch Phora Lentil Pilaf

I love cooking. Really, I do. I love the way that cooking is my escape from anxiety and misery; it’s one of the only activities in this world that entirely captures my attention and makes the whirly-burly-thoughts stop their whirling-and-burling. I love attempting to follow recipes then being unable to stop myself from improvising, and I love when the people I care about enjoy what I’ve made for them.

That said, I probably shouldn’t admit the number of times I’ve stood in Smurf Kitchen at dinner-time, peered into my cupboard filled with quinoa, rice, millet, legumes, vinegar, sesame oil, canned artichokes, sardines in tomato/chilli sauce (don’t knock it ‘til you tried it. Unless you’re vegan/vegetarian. Then knock away), coconut milk, canned tomatoes… and made a frown-y face.

You see, sometimes I look at those wholesome, pantry-staple, Make-A-Nutritious-Dish-In-Half-An-Hour items and find myself unable to push away one forlorn thought:

How on earth can I get enough sugar, fat, and processed goodness into my tummy with those stupid ingredients?

More often than not, I’ll succumb to my mother’s voice in my head, which tells me to Make Something Proper That You Won’t Be Ashamed To Tell Someone You Ate.

Panch Phora Lentil Pilaf

Other times, though, the world goes blank and all of a sudden it’s ten minutes later and I find myself, with no idea how I got there, sitting with a plate in front of me upon which is perched a double decker sandwich of wonderment. You know the sandwich I’m talking about, right? It goes: Wonder White bread -> peanut butter -> chocolate chips -> Wonder White bread -> peanut butter -> maple syrup -> Wonder White bread.

And you know what, Mum? The only thing I’m ashamed of is that I never seem to take the final step towards frying such a monstrosity piece of art in butter.

However, for those of you who do like to cook Something Proper That You Won’t Be Ashamed To Tell Someone You Ate, I’ve got just the dish for you. It’s even the dish for me, because when I stopped being lazy and invented this, I couldn’t understand why I’d ever want to eat a sandwich instead.

Also, I want to marry Panch Phora. Just sayin’.

Panch Phora Lentil Pilaf

Panch Phora Lentil Pilaf

Serves 2 (easily doubled)
(recipe from my noggin)

  • 1 American tb (i.e. 3 tsps) Panch Phora
  • 1 tb oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 200g celery, sliced (or celery and carrot, or whatever vegies you have on hand)
  • 1/2 cup (100g) rice
  • 100g red lentils
  • 2 cups veggie stock (estimated… I think I started with 1 1/2 cups and then I threw more in…)
  1. Toast Panch Phora in a dry frying pan for a few minutes until the mustard seeds start to pop and the mix is beginning to get fragrant. Tip the spices into a pestle and mortar and give it a quick grinding. Don’t fuss over it, though. I love the flavour burst of whole spices, and none of these are crazy-intense like, say, cloves are. A bit of whole fenugreek isn’t going to kill you, I promise.
  2. Heat oil in a medium (or large, whatever floats your boat) saucepan, and fry onion and vegetables for 5-10 minutes until softened and gettin’ tasty-tasty.
  3. Throw in rice and lentils and stir around, and then pour in stock. Bring to the boil, cover, then turn down to a simmer and let it potter on its own for 20-25 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed. Season with salt and pepper. (And tabasco, if you’re me. Which you’re not, clearly, but… hmm. Where was I?)
  4. Eat, and be bemused by the thought that you ever wanted to eat a double decker sandwich of wonderment instead. Silly poppet.

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