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Tuesday 9 December 2008

It came to me, I think they call it an epiphany – man that’s a big word!

This is my 100th blog post! YAY.

Had a great weekend (Maz has the pictures on her camera so I can't post any till next time), despite sleeping for 2 nights on the world's most uncomfortable sofa bed, horrid food and Thin Lizzy sucking ass! We shared a chalet (with no shower – I had to wash my hair in the bath with a jug – ick!) with 4 fellas, who’s idea of hilarity was to play Orville singing I Wish I could Fly at 9am on Saturday morning, when I was hungover.

AND - I fell over, I used to fall over a lot when I was younger, after a beer or two. But this time, I wasn't even drunk! Someone who was drunk spilt beer and I slipped in it and smacked down on my knee - I have a lovely colourful bruise there now, but at least I amused the group of lads singing "she fell over she fell over" at me - aren't boys original!!

I also got lots of “why would you choose to be vegan”, “carrots are alive as well you know” and “how do you milk a soybean” …. type questions – the soybean milking question was pretty amusing though.

The only vegan food option on site (the Ghetto!!) was chips and crisps; typical. Luckily I took soya milk and cocoa pops and of course... cupcakes and cookies.

VCTOtW basic chocolate cupcakes, with my new peanut butter frosting – which rocks socks!! I was wingin it, but recipe on the way – more on that in a bit though!

This is what happens to your cuppies when you travel in the Venga Bus for 4 hours! :( Still, as my dad says - all goes down the same hole - we are eloquent in my family, eh!!

And cookies – these earned me a few “wait, you made these..... yourself?”, “these are vegan?”, “they don’t have tofu in do they?” …… etc questions, I think they were impressed! Dreena’s recipe again because it really is the best CC cookie recipe I’ve tried so far.

Onto other info, I’ve started writing a cook zine! Basically, I wanted to put together some recipes for my family and friends (as sort of an extra stocking filler for chrimbo), giving them ideas for easy, healthy vegan dishes.

I often hear from my family & friends that they are stuck for what to cook me and they don’t know where to start looking. So this zine is aimed at friends & families of veggies / vegans who are not sure what to cook for them and are stumped by ingredients they’ve never heard of in recipes they Google. All the dishes will be easy to make and I’m also avoiding using any ‘weirdo vegan ingredients’ – ie, anything that is difficult to find or requires a trip to a specialist shop / website.

Once it’s done, it’ll be a free PDF for anyone that wants it – more info on that when it’s done. Some of the recipes will be ones I’ve posted before on the blog but there’s a few new ones I’m working on too, going in there.

One will hopefully be a variation on this recipe that I ripped off from my new Favourite American TV chef, Giada De Laurentiis, because it was awesome – just needs some tweakage! (I spent about 2 hours watching videos on the Food Network website when I got home Sunday and I really like her and her "ya gotta have parmesan.." - even if I don't agree! I’m ‘borrowing’ another recipe off her when my friends come for dinner this week.)

Oh and the PB frosting recipe will be in there too, once I figure out measurements.

I had some leftover so I did a pepper too, as I only had one big mutha tomato. It didn't work as well, as I didn't think to pre-cook it, which peppers need. Served with roasted brussels, which I know looked burnt - they were perfect.
The point of the post title though (aside from listening to too much Bowling for Soup) – I finally got my white bean & sweetcorn soup right. HURRAH! I’ve been tinkering with this for ages and this about the 6th attempt. I just could figure out what was wrong with it – I tried adding potatoes, soya cream, soya yoghurt, changing the herbs, upping the beans, lowering the beans…. and it was still off!

But today it hit me – almost literally because of my stupidly over-filled cupboards. When I went to make the soup, I found I had only got one can of sweetcorn left and I’d eaten half of it for dinner! Dammit. But I did have a can of creamed style sweetcorn – GENIUS!

So here it is, I’m happy at last!!

Creamy White Bean & Sweetcorn Soup

1 tsp olive oil
1 onion
2 fat cloves of garlic
1½ (generous) cups / 350g cooked cannellini beans
3 cups / 750ml veggie stock (I used 3 cups water + 2 stock cubes)
A couple of sprigs of thyme
1 can (418g) creamed style sweetcorn
½ - 1 small can of sweetcorn (optional)
Salt & pepper to taste

Over a medium / low heat, sauté the onion in the olive oil with a pinch of salt for a few minutes, until starting to look translucent. Add the garlic and just cook for a minute or so, so you don’t burn the garlic. Add the beans, stock, thyme and a good pinch of pepper. Throw the herbs in whole, the leaves will fall of the stems and you just need to fish the stalks out before you blend the soup. I don’t add salt because my stock cubes are salted and also, I cooked the beans in veggie stock so it doesn’t need it. If this isn’t the case, add a good pinch now.

Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 25 minutes.

Take off the heat and blend the soup (I do mine with an immersion blender, in a jug, in 2 or 3 batches). Pour back into the pot, add the creamed sweetcorn & regular sweetcorn if using and stir through. Check seasoning and enjoy with crusty bread. Yum.

Cooking to: Incubus – Light Grenades
This was today's dinner, balsamic roasted cherry tomatoes (awesome!), yummy breaded seitan, sweetcorn and smashed taters! Rad.

I have some erm, experimental muffins in the oven right now – they smell good, let’s hope they don’t suck!! I'll tell ya next time.
I'm off to finish putting up my chrimbo tree! :-)


  1. everything looks so good and your dad is right, it does all go down the same hole, I'd still eat those cuppies!
    Cookzine! yay!

  2. Sounds like you had a rocking weekend!
    My family always ask what I eat when I'm out and my response is 'Meh~there's always chips' (I'm super healthy like that!) but I always take food with me wherever I go, like a crazy hungry hobo (have lunch box, will travel!)
    Watch out though dude, those cookies are addictive (of course you can stop at anytime, of course you don't have a problem....hehe!)

  3. Ouch!
    I'm sad for your knees - boys are silly and we must throw rocks at them - hee hee hee.
    Looking forward to the ezine. I've been toying with doing this for a while now - also using regular ingredients because it drives me COMPLETELY bonkers when I read recipes and they have all sorts of weird and wonderful ingredients in that, alas, my cupboards do not.
    That Soup looks totally scrummy!
    I'll make that for sure.
    And you're all just teasing me with your Dreena Cookies!

  4. Oh the silly questions...if I had a Euro for every time I had to remind someone that veg are not sentient beings!
    I'll take those banged up cuppers, no problem! And can't wait for the zine!

  5. What a weekend! I am glad you hade some vegan travel food with you. Congrats on the zine, that is such a great idea.

  6. good luck writing your cookzine! i can't wait to get a copy :) congrats on perfecting your soup, it looks yummy.

  7. happy 100th post, Sal! congrats, congrats! that's so awesome!

    sorry you fell - and that Thin Lizzy wasn't that great. sadface! i used to fall a lot as a kid, too - i would always fall in church (i would just zone out & get so bored!) - which would really piss my parents off. glad i don't go to church any more! ahahahahahaa!

    sorry you cuppies got mixed up on the ride there. i bet they were awesome though! they look stellar! my dad says the same thing as well. he says "aw, hell - it's gonna end up in your stomach and get all mixed up anyways!" ahahaha!

    your mealz are look'n super scrumptious - and i hope your muffins are the best! let us know how they turn out! and i would LOVE to have a copy of your cooking zine! hells yeah!

    and thanks for the soup recipe! YUMMY!

  8. CONGRATULATIONS! That was a lot of action for a long weekend and a 100th post! I'm so excited for your cookzine!! Mr. Guava and I are thinking about putting together little recipe books as part of the guest gift at our wedding so I'll come to you with tips!

    oh yeah.... "How DO YOU milk a soybean??"
    MWAHAHAHHH! Why don't I get funny anti-vegans instead of angry ones? :)

  9. Your cooking zine for friends and family is the best idea! I'm looking forward to see what you put together.

    Hope your knee feels better soon!

    Off to check out Dreena's CC cookies recipe...

  10. sal, thanks for your kind words regarding the passing of ms. clairisse...

    that food looks awesome, and i can't wait for the pb frosting recipe. i wing most of my food. and also--love that show on the food network. i veganized the eggplant timbale on her show this summer.

  11. OH, poor cupcakes! but they were tasty anyway, weren't they?
    Congrats on your 100th post!

  12. Those cupcakes look INCREDIBLE Sal!
    Can't wait for the recipe (and the Cookzine!

  13. I think the cupcakes still look pretty darn tasty even after they were a bit smushed. I wouldn't mind that at all!

  14. Sounds like a good weekend apart from the beer spilt on you, the falling over and the bruise, poor you!

    And poor cupcakes getting all mooshed up but I bet they still tasted great. Also I love Dreena's cookie recipe too.

    I think I will try that soup of yours, it's deffo soup weather here

  15. Sorry about your knee! Boys are so silly, aren't they!

    Dreena's cookies are so amazing and so addictive! I'm not surprised everyone liked them!

    Poor cuppies! Your dad is right though, it all goes down the same hole! :)

    The cook zine sounds awesome! You rock so hard!!


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