Monday, 26 May 2008

Mmmm chocolate....

This weekend my mum baked some yummy chocolate cupcakes!

Warm from the oven! I was tempted to eat one but I decided to wait until they had cooled and were frosted!

The cupcakes with frosting....

And here is a picture of my mum- the baker! : )

I have also eaten some yummy chocolate bars recently (luckily much better than that carob bar I tried)

Mmmm orange and chocolate, always a winning combo! This bar was flavoured with an orange oil which was really yummy. The texture of the bar was perfect too, lovely and smooth!

I also really enjoyed this bar of chocolate. Although it is a long time since I had eaten dairy chocolate (over a year) I don't really know whether this bar tasted like dairy chocolate. It was certainly delicious though!I would definitely purchase it again! (Sorry for the ruler in the background of the photo- I was revising on the table before stopping for a chocolate break!)

I have not only been eating chocolate though...

I recently enjoyed making (and eating) a pizza with loads of veggies and some cheddahflavoured

Cheezly! I love the flavour of Cheezly, it is just a shame that it doesn't really melt! I think you might be able to buy a certain type of Cheezly that does melt though- I will look out for that!

I also have been eating lots of stir fries. These are great when I am busy revising because they are so quick to cook! I never get bored with them either as you can always mix up what you throw in and it usually results in a tasty meal! Below is a stir fry with sugar snap peas, beansprouts, beanshoots, chilli peppers, tofu, in a spicy tomato sauce with some wholewheat noodles.

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Recent munchings...

This weekend, I was lucky enough to enjoy yet another vegan cake baked my my wonderful mum! I mentioned to her a little while ago that I had never had a vegan carrot cake (I haven't seen many recipes for them and I think my mum was initially a little sceptical about doing a cake without the usual buttercream frosting). Anyway, she came across a recipe in her magazine that was aimed at people with various allergies, which included a tasty looking recipe for a (vegan of course) carrot cake! My mum therefore decided to make it when I came home this weekend!

The cake had lots of dried fruit in, which is the reason that I think the recipe does not include a frosting. My mum decided to finish it off my just dusting the top with a little icing sugar. The only adjustment she made to the recipe was halving the amount of cinnamon. I think the recipe initially called for over a tablespoon of cinnamon, which my mum thought would be a little overpowering, especially for my little sister who likes quite plain foods.

I think my mum was right to make the alteration because the cake still had a lovely hint of cinnamon but you were able to taste all the other flavours of the fruit in the cake too. It was surprisingly moist, almost in between the texture of a cake and a pudding. That means that it should keep well (not that we needed it to, it took the 4 of us in our family only 2 days to finish the entire cake! I did mean to post the recipe but I left it at home- I will try to remember to get it next time I go home!

I also had the pleasure of enjoying a chocolate cake (yet another one!) baked my my lovely omni friend. I think he is better at vegan baking than me! This cake was a chocolate sponge cake with a chocolate buttercream-style frosting. It was absolutely lovely- nice and chocolatey but not too rich (the piece pictured below is my generously sized slice!)

A less tasty item that I consumed this weekend was the bar of carob pictured below. I eat lots of dark chocolate but rarely carob, so I decided to give this bar a try. Unfortunately, the health food shop only had this 'no added sugar' bar, which I would not have selected by choice (when having a treat why not have the sugar too?) However, I decided to buy it nonethless and hoped it would be nice. Unfortunately, my hopes were dashed! The bar had absolutely no sweetness to it at all! The only way it was vaguely palatable was if I dipped the pieces into sweet tea : ( I was very disappointed and wished I had just purchased a bar of my favourite Green and Blacks instead. Fortunately, my mum had sneakily bought me 2 bars of Green and Blacks with cherries so all was not lost!

Recently, I have especially been enjoying 'Trek bars' as a snack. They are primarily made from dried fruit and nuts and are really yummy! They are nice and moist and a great snack to have 'on the go'! My favourite flavour is shown below: 'Cocoa Brownie'. While it doesn't taste exactly like a brownie, it has a nice chocolate hint to it and is a very similar texture. I am all out of these at the moment but will be stocking up on some more very soon!

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Meals recently and verdict about the seed butter

Pasta- always a regular feature on my menu! It was a bolognaise type sauce made with soya mince, in a tomato sauce, with lots of fresh chillies added for some heat! I served it with wholemeal pasta twists rather than spaghetti because I realized I was out of spaghetti! It would have been a little messy with spaghetti anyway as the sauce was quite runny (I was getting impatient when cooking and couldn't be bothered to wait for the tomato sauce to reduce down!)

Mmm lentils... I knew I fancied lentils for dinner one evening but wanted to do something a little unusual with them. I looked at what I had in the cupboard and saw that I had some black bean sauce. I thought that this could be a good opportunity to try something different so I combined the two and added some more fresh chillies (they were on offer at my local supermarket so I have loads!) I served it over wholemeal cous cous and it was very tasty! It is definitely a combination I would try again! I think perhaps next time I would add in some chopped up sausages, which I think would complement the dish nicely.

As regards the seed butter I purchased, I was not very impressed by the flavour. I was anxious to try it and so just grabbed a spoon and dived in. Unfortunately the taste that greeted me was not a pleasant one! It was almost bitter tasting and had a very gritty texture. After swallowing, I was left with a rather nasty aftertaste and the 'grit' of the butter remained. I needed a drink to get my mouth back to normal! However, I was determined not to let this put me off the spread and have since tried it in porridge (not too bad but peanut butter is definitely nicer), on rye crackers (too much crunch going on) and on toast (the best combination so far- actually pretty pleasant).

Therefore, I do not think I will be purchasing this spread again in the near future! I am very keen to try other spreads though. I plan to make a trip this weekend to the health food shop where I purchased the spread because they have such a huge choice of other spreads. I will post whatever spread I decide to purchase!

Sunday, 4 May 2008

A tasty weekend!

I was feeling pretty stressed out yesterday evening. I did have a good weekend, which I spent at home with my family. It really helped ease my uni stress by getting away from it for a couple of days. Anyway as I so have a nightmare exam tomottow, last night I wanted food that was easy to cook but nice and healthy to keep my brain (and body) well fuelled!

I realised that I hadn't eaten a stir fry in a long time and decided that this meal would be perfect. I was going food shopping anyway so decided to buy the neccessary ingredients. I made my stir fry with tofu, loads of different veggies, udon noodles all mixed together in a black bean sauce. It was really tasty and filled me up nicely : )

Also on my food shopping trips (supermarket and the health food shop) I picked up these treats:
As you can see, I bought: 4 bars of chocolate, two of my favourite Green and Blacks, 2 plain dark chocolate bars (they were buy one get one free!), as well as 3 flapjacks (labelled as giant bars) and 2 raw food bars (also buy one get one free :) )

I have also found a new butter to try! I mentioned that I was on the hunt for a new nut butter but in fact found a very tasty looking seed butter to try, organic raw hemp and lindseed butter:

Sorry for the awful picture; you cannot turn the flash off on my camera!
I love the green colour of this spread, it looks like the colour of pesto! I haven't tried it yet but definitely will be sampling some very soon!
Additionally, my very kind mum baked a yummy vegan chocolate cake (and everyone knows that chocolate really helps to ease stress ; )) Here is a picture of my piece: