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Thursday 22 May 2008

Keen-WAHHHHHH! & Dayglo Cheesecake

Tonight I remembered to make notes, so I have recipes!!

Firstly tonight's dinner: Mushroom Quinoa Pilaf. This was awesome and made me glad that I ran out of basmati and had some quinoa to use up. I love quinoa anyway but I was getting a bit bored of just eating it cold in salads - this way is much better. Although having said that, the cold leftovers will be tomorrow's lunch!

4 sun dried tomatoes (the plain ones, not the ones packed in oil)
2 tbsp or so of dried wild mushrooms (any you like - mine are mixed wild mushrooms)
A small onion, diced (around 100g)
1/2 pack of mushrooms (any you like, I used organic closed cup mushrooms - about 125g)
1 tsp coconut oil
Boiling water (measurements given in method)
1 Vegetable stock cube
175g (1 cup) quinoa
1 tsp each of fresh rosemary and thyme
1 tsp paprika (optional)
A splash (tsp or so) veg*n worcestershire sauce
125g (1 cup) frozen peas
salt & pepper to taste


Put the dried mushrooms and sun dried tomatoes together in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Cover the bowl with a plate and leave to soak.

Chop the onion and mushrooms and saute in the coconut oil, over medium heat, for around 3-5 minutes.

Strain the liquid from the mushrooms/S-D Toms through a sieve lined with kitchen towel (to catch any grit). Make the liquid up to a pint / 2 cups with water from a recently boiled kettle. Add the stock cube and mix well.

Add the quinoa to the pan and stir well for about a minute. Add the stock, herbs, paprika and worcester sauce. Stir well and turn the heat up till the liquid comes to the boil. Chop the sun dried tomatoes and dried mushrooms and add to the pan, stir well.

Once boiling, turn the heat down a bit but it still needs to be bubbling. Cook for about 15 minutes until the quinoa is cooked (when the germ separates). Add the peas after about 10 minutes, they don't need to be in there for the full cooking time.

You may need to add more water if it evaporates before the germ separates - I added about another half a cup in total. Once cooked and almost all the water is evaporated, switch off the heat and cover with a lid or foil. Leave for 5 minutes, then check seasoning and serve.

I served mine with some slices of aubergine that I just sprayed with olive oil, sprinkled with salt and pepper and baked in a 190°C oven for 30 minutes.

Cooking to: Bowling for Soup - The Great Burrito Extortion Case

Next was pudding. I saw this chick make a white chocolate and strawberry cheesecake on market kitchen yesterday and it looked good. However, I didn't have any vegan white chocolate. Or strawberries. Or digestive biscuits. So instead I came up with blueberry and chocolate cheesecake with a pink wafer base! I had to improvise - they were the only biccies I had in, hence the dayglo pink base!

Actually it was surprisingly tasty and it made two so I have one left for tomorrow. Yay. So easy a giant penguin could knock these up - that'd be weird though!

100g biscuits of your choice (I used pink wafers - 8 of them)
1 tbsp vegan margarine
1/2 a pack (349g pack) firm silken tofu (I used Blue Dragon)
1/3 cup tofutti plain cream cheese
2 tbsp icing sugar
1/2 tsp orange extract
good handful (about 1/2 cup) blueberries, plus extra for the tops
1/4 cup chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet)

Put the biscuits in a plastic bag and smash fook out of them with a rolling pin. Alternatively, put them in the processor and grind them up.

Melt the margarine over a low heat. Once melted, add the biscuit crumbs and stir well. Pack the mixture into the bottom of 2 small glasses and pack it down with the end of the rolling pin. Put them in the fridge to firm up while you make the filling.

Whizz the tofu up in a blender. If like me you use a hand immersion blender, do it in a beaker / tall glass, or you'll have tofu all over yourself and your kitchen!! Once smoothe, scrape into a bowl with the tofutti and mix well. You could use an electric beater to get it really smoothe, but I just used a small magi-whisk and some elbow grease!

Then add the sugar and orange extract and stir well. Add the blueberries and chocolate chips, mix well and divvie it up between the two glasses.

Throw a few more blueberries on top (or some chocolate shavings, or both!) and let it set in the fridge for an hour or so. After an hour it should have firmed up a bit but will still be softer than regular cheesecake. At this point it is ready to shovel down your gullet, as my dad would so eloquently say.

Cooking to: Del Amitri - Some Other Sucker's Parade

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