Monday, July 5, 2010

Taking our furry child for a walk down Simonstown main road we were pleasantly surprised to see the lights on in the shop! :-) Upon closer inspection we noticed that there's a steady stream of water running from under the door and down the pavement...the Espresso machine had all it's nozzles on open and was overflowing! However no damage was done and we ended up, after minimal trial and error managing to make a capuccino...which wasn't half bad! The display fridge and overhead lights are working although the ancient wiring and antique switches made for some interesting speculation as to which swithes matched which lights...:-) Now the heat turns up a few degrees to get the premises customer fit by the weekend! Yay...Bella Vegan evolves just that tiny bit further.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Finally a premises has been located...right in the heart of Simonstown. It's winter and the tourist season hasn't arrived, mind you neither have the Whales! They're usually here by now. Wonder if the Soccer World Cup has anything to do with it? :-) I digress...Have not done any cooking at home what with all the meetings...the bane of getting involved with Capitalists, and landlords! However, I've remained pretty much true to my socialist roots and, at least, drove a bargain...of sorts! Ok, ok...I could have done alot better but I'm the new kid on the block! We begin trading tomorrow (on a small scale while we empty the shop of antiques to make space)...delicious Chessy Muffins...trying out the very expensive Cheesly Vegan these will not go cheap! Also a pot of hearty Spicey Pumpkin Soup, Seed loaf, assorted teas and Muffins..Cranberry, Banana and Date and of course, coffee, Hot Chocolate and espresso... I hope to see you there!<3

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

It's not possible that food this delicious cannot be fattening!! The Chocolate Nut Mousse is absolutely rich, dark and creamy with narry a 'cream' in sight. The recipe, like others of the 'creamy' kind calls for Silken Tofu which is difficult to find in our neck of the woods. I'm a bit irked that many of the Vegan recipes I've come across seem to include processed Soya Bean, Tofu, Seitan or Geitan. I'm not knocking these meat substitutes but ...what's the point? I use them occassionally but prefer to cook using, um...VEGGIES and legumes. Because the meat substitutes are so like meat it's easy to slip them into the comfortable role of the main attraction with veggies as the sideshow. Meat substitutes do have their merits as "fast food" or for grilling over a BBQ, and of course...for weening meaters off their poison! :-)

Chocolate Nut Mousse

2 x not too ripe Bananas
2-3 x TBLS smooth unsalted/unsweetened Peanut Butter ( or nut butter of your choice)
2-3 x Heaped TBLS raw Cocoa

Whisk or pop in blender until smooth, creamy and fluffy...add rice or soy milk to suit desired thickness.

Garnish with non-dairy cream whip, Berries in season or Banana.

Serves 2

Monday, June 21, 2010

I walked for hours today, in the rain. It pulled over the Southern Peninsula like a grey sheet, sending people scurrying for shelter in warm fragrant coffee shops and cosy bookstores. I couldn't wait to get home to start this sunshiney coloured soup...made from pumpkin, carrots and butternut, onions, garlic, roasted red pepper, lavish dollops of raw peanut butter...and a generous pinch of cayenne pepper. The warm colour is really cheering on this longest night of winter.... We followed this up with a Lentil, Tomatoe and Mushroom Shepards Pie and vegan Chocolate Banana Mousse!! After this a brisk walk through Simonstown with Jethro was definitely in order!:-)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Let's be honest how many people would choose Sex over good food? No one I've asked. Seriously. Maybe sex would be there somewhere, as in dining from a luscious buttock, or spooning dumplings off an ample tummy but a half decent meal wins hands down everytime...anyway, Paul, my housemate, made a delicious Vegan curry last night. :-))
Again winter root vegetables were cast, in yet another versatile role...this time sauteed in olive oil, coriander powder, a Hot Durban curry mix ( Mother-in-Laws-Tongue), Masala...and dollops of Peanut Butter!! Some veggie stock...(although I would have added half a cup of coconut milk) and salt and pepper to taste.My cellphone camera could not do the meal justice so we turned out the lights in the kitchen, Paul shone a torch on the "display" and voila! This was so delicious, served on plain white rice...not Basmati, that I scoffed 3 plates!! I would have gone for another one but couldn't fit in another rice grain. I don't know if it was the divine combination of fragrant, spicey curry and a really full stomach but I was suddenly fully charged and knocked off 3 paintings in one sitting...Paul followed suit, and loads of fun was had by all!!

These Apple and Cinnamon Muffins are ideal as breakfast on a freezing winter morning!

1 x Cup Polenta ( Mealie Meal)
1 x Cup Oats
1 x Cup Wholewheat or Brown Bread Flour.
3 x Tsp. Baking Powder
2 x Heap Tsp Cinnamon Powder
1 x Tsp Nutmeg
1/2 x Tsp Salt
3 x Apples diced ( I keep the skins on)
1 x Cup Raisins
1 x Cup Sugar ( optional...the amount is negotiable)
1 x Cup chopped walnuts
1 x Cup Orange Juice
1/2 x Cup Sunflower Oil

Combine Dry Ingredients well.
Lightly whisk up the Wet ingredients.
Blend the mixes with a wooden spoon.
Add more Orange juice if the Mixture seems too dry.
You should be able to push it off the spoon easily with your finger.
Spoon into prepared Muffin tin.
Serve hot!!

Bake at 180c or 36of until the centre of your Muffins are springey!

Cape Town is shrouded in misty clouds, the ocean churns and the wind barrels down from the mountains. Simonstown, where I live, has a waterfall that dries to a trickle in the Summer...this morning it gushes down in torrents as I write this!! A few days ago I made a delicious Vegan Lasagne from what was available in the pantry....brocolli, carrots, lentils, tomatoes, potatoes, mushrooms and butternut. I used Soya milk and white flour to make a "white sauce'. We ate from this for two days...with green salad. I can't help turning to traditional winter fare when the mercury drops and it's really simple to convert old meaty favourites like lasagne, shepards pie and so on, to totally Vegan. Tastes the same, looks the same....only waaahaaay better! Compassion NEVER goes out of style, or tasted this good! :-)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

And so the cold, wet and blustery days of winter set into the Cape, storms thrash the coastline and everyone huddles around warm fires, nursing Gluwein and stroking a cat...or something. Today was not one of those days!:-) Instead the sun blazed down from a blue, cloudless sky and except for the slight nip in the wind you'd think Spring had arrived. Winter veggies are cheap and readily available this time of the year, Avocados, Butternut, Brocolli, favourite any time of the year. As the sun sets the chill rises and thick Veggie soups, Pasta dishes and hearty Curries seem the order of the evening. This Penne dish can be served hot or cold and is delicious both ways.

Hot/Cold Penne Salad

2 x cups Penne ( cooked)
4 x Soy Sausages ( grilled and sliced)
Handful Rocket Leaves ( roughly sliced )
6 Sundried Tomatoes ( sliced)
10 x black Olives
4 TBLS Olive Oil
I clove crushed Garlic
Grated rind of one Lemon
A few pinches of mixed Italian Herbs
Salt and Pepper to taste