Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Bubble Drinks - The Real McCoy

I have blogged before about my love of Asian food, so I thought I'd follow up on my "bubble drink" post with a picture of a can from the Asian market. There were several varieties of these but this was the only vegan one I came across. It's made from mung beans, soya milk, sugar, tapioca balls and non-dairy creamer. It's quite fattening at around 200 calories per can, so I'd rather make my own at home, but I don't see how one once in a while could do any harm and it's also like a snack and a drink in one. It has a slightly odd beany-taste at first, but then it immediately grows on you and becomes more sweet and creamy. Love it!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Cat's Aid Vegan Bake Sale

Today I went to a vegan bake sale in Dublin. It was held at Cultivate at The Greenhouse on Andrew's Street as part of the Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale. The proceeds went to Cat's Aid, a charity based in Ballsbridge, and the food was lovely! I bought quite a few things and was very impressed. I'd love it if these events could be held more often - next time I'll make sure I bring along something to sell! Below are some pictures, courtesy of some of the organizers.

We bought:

- Lemon Slice (tasted like lemon meringue pie, this was my favourite one!)
- Chocolate Nut Cookie
- Peanut Butter Pastry Roll
- Treacle Nut Brownie
- Banana Cookie with Strawberry Icing


Who doesn't love bubbles? Bubbles in the bath, bubbly champagne, bubbling jacuzzis, bubbles that you blow around you in the wind while pretending to be a fairy... *ahem*

This is my first go at making a bubble drink. The "bubbles" are tapioca balls that I got from the asian market, and are exactly the same ones as I found on this blog.

There are so many different recipes for bubble drinks. You can put them in smoothies, have them with iced coffee, iced tea, cold green tea / fruit tea, soya milk, rice milk, etc. The possibilities are endless! I have an awesome idea in my head for a white russian alcoholic bubble drink!

I made mine with rice milk and a dash of vanilla essence, as I'm pretty new to this and wanted to keep it simple. The packet of tapioca balls I got said to boil them for 5 minutes and then mix them into a sugary solution (I used xylitol). I should technically have a massive oversized straw to suck the tapioca through as I drink, but I have no idea where to get a straw that big! I might get smaller tapioca balls next time.

For more information on bubble drinks have a look at the Wikipedia page!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Chilli Non Carne

I have to share with you a recipe that I concocted from various other recipes. It is most definitely one of the nicest chilli non carnes I've ever had! It is also not too spicy because the boy isn't as tough as me and can't handle hot food ;) It has a semi-sweet flavour to it. I served it up with tortilla chips as I'm not a big fan of rice, it's a bit boring as a plain accompaniment to a dish. This chilli's secret ingredients are cumin and cinnamon. Every time I eat this I want more and more!

Ingredients (Serves 2-3):

- 2 Onions
- 2 Cloves of Garlic
- 2 Sticks of Celery
- 1 Red or Orange Pepper
- Half cup of Sweetcorn
- Can of Mixed Beans in Taco Sauce from Tesco
- Teaspoon Cinnamon Powder
- Teaspoon Chilli Powder
- Teaspoon Cumin Powder
- 2 Tablespoons of Tomato Purée


- Dice the Onions, Garlic, Celery & Pepper
- Fry them in a large pan with a little oil until starting to soften and turn brown
- Add the Sweetcorn and the can of Taco Mixed Beans
- Add the Spices and Tomato Purée
- Cook over low heat for 10-15 mins

I like to leave this in the pot overnight to stew in its own juices, as it brings out the flavours so much more if you eat it the following day.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Indian Snacks

I'm so glad that Onion Bhajis, Samosas and Pakoras are vegan. I have always loved Indian food and in particular Channa Massala (chickpeas!). Tesco do a lovely little pack of 12 mini Indian snacks and I shared a pack with my boy for dinner tonight with a side salad. It really helps when your other half works in Tesco and can keep an eye on the reduced section!  ;)

My favourite shop-bought Samosa has to be from Marks & Spencers. I always end up getting one for lunch when I'm out and about in town and too busy to sit down. Their large Samosa (usually located in the fridges next to the Salads and Sandwiches) is only €1.70 and is probably one of the nicest tasting Samosas I've ever had! I could eat them until they come out of my ears!!

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Today we went and bought a barbecue, seeing as the weather this weekend has been like Summer for the first time. I love it when washing dries on the line within half an hour and you can bask in the heat of the sun. We've been doing a bit of work on the garden this weekend while the sun lasts, and I even planted some seeds: cauliflower, broccoli, radishes, courgettes, cabbage, baby corn, oregano, coriander, beetroot & spinach for a start. I've never done this kinda thing before, so it will be interesting to see how it turns out. I can't wait!

Here's a photo of my lunch tomorrow - barbecued veg skewers with a side salad. They are marinaded in Reggae Reggae BBQ sauce, which my boyfriend assured me is vegan! On the skewers were cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, red pepper, yellow pepper, baby corn & onions.

And here's a photo of the BBQ in action - the obligatory meat for the omnivores, as well as some corn on the cob & a tofu burger wrapped in slivers of aubergine. Mmmm!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Better than Reese's!

As I was tucking into this final chocolate, it suddenly dawned on me... OMGOSHNOOOO! I haven't taken a picture for the blog!! So here's a picture, of a half eaten chocolate peanut butter cup that I made.

I got tiny little silicone molds from the baking section of Homestore+More, filled the bottom halves of them with molten dark chocolate and squeezed the edges so that the chocolate coated up the sides as well. I let them set in the fridge and then I put a dollop of natural peanut butter in the middle with a whole peanut, before setting them again for a little while and pouring more molten dark chocolate on the top. The result was these nifty little creations. The boy thought they were delicious, but  I (even though I polished them off alarmingly quickly) didn't think they were up to scratch. I should have used a more solid peanut butter. This one (Meridian) was too liquidy and didn't set hard, which I suppose was quite nice in that it had a kind of a similarity to a caramel truffle, the way you bite through a dark chocolate hard shell into the soft filling inside. I really wanted mine to be firmer though, for the more authentic Reeses texture and taste. Next time I will make them even better - but they were lovely all the same!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


I've been sprouting my own beans recently - here's a salad I made with sprouted mung beans. They are extremely easy to make. Fill a large jam jar about a fifth full with your dried bean of choice and soak it overnight. In the morning put some muslin or cheesecloth over the opening and secure with an elastic band. Drain the water out through the cloth and put the jar in a really warm place like an airing cupboard, in a box in a sunny porch or on the radiator. Rinse the beans well twice daily without removing the cloth on top. In about 2-3 days they should be ready for use and can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. I am also going to try green lentils, aduki beans and chickpeas. Sprouted beans are an excellent source of amino acids, B vitamins and protein. As they are a "living food" they are much more beneficial to eat than cooked beans!

I would love a sprouter jar like in the pics on this Wikipedia page. I think I'll search for them on ebay as I've never seen them in shops here but can remember my mother having some when I was little. I remember getting really excited watching the beansprouts grow, but haven't really thought of trying to have a go myself until now.

Friday, April 2, 2010

My Favourite Breakfast

Nothing better in the mornings than good old porridge oats with red berries, soya milk and xylitol sweetner. I could live off this stuff. Tastes like berry flapjacks and takes less than 2 mins to make - Perfect!