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Sunday, 29 January 2012

Sunday Evening Craft Project

cosmetic bag

Monday morning blues? I kind of get that on Sunday evenings thinking about the Monday morning. So, I like doing little crafty things on Sunday evenings. It eventually eases off the Monday morning blues as well.

Here's a nifty cosmetic bag I whipped up this Sunday evening. It's based on a combination of this tutorial and this one but I made mine smaller as I needed one that would fit in my bag. So, I started off with a fabric 21cm by 35cm.

The end result is still a little bigger than what I wanted it to be but that's ok, I'll make another one. I can never have too many of these little bags!

cosmetic bag

Cosmetic Bag

So, what's your Sunday evening craft project? Please share as I need ideas!

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Groupon With A Green Twist

This week savegreennow.com a company like Groupon (but with eco-friendly products in mind) is offering a 50% discount on Kaia foods ($15 for $30 worth of organic & vegan snacks from Kaia foods & Alive and Radiant Foods).

There's just about 3 days left to benefit from this offer. So, don't miss out, here's their website for the discount!

kaia foods

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Vegan Copper Jewellery

artbysusmitha

Really love those vegan copper jewellery by Susmitha. I particular love the 'Vegan for Life' one. It would be the perfect Valentine gift for a vegan girl! Find more in her shop. Also check out her Veganosaurus blog with loads of yummy food!

Monday, 23 January 2012

Oatmilk Yogurt Cake

Oatmilk Yogurt Cake

Oat milk yogurt was new to me until I came across it on Shin's Vegan Lovin' blog.
The only non-dairy yogurt I've had until now was soy yogurt. When I saw the recipe for oat milk yogurt on Shin's blog, I was intrigued and I had to try it. I usually make oat milk at home so I only had to add some lemon juice to it and leave it to rest for a day.
I am happy with the result, although it isn't as thick as yogurt. I think I need to use a thicker milk. I have another batch that I am leaving out for a few more days; I'll see how it turns out.

The taste is definitely very close to yogurt and I really like it.


Yesterday, I got a request from Boyfriendlovlie for a white cake with raisins. Now, who can refuse such a request?! So, I decided to use the yogurt in this cake since it was a bit too thin to eat as yogurt.

The cake turned out great! This yogurt definitely works well in cakes.

Oatmilk Yogurt Cake

Ingredients
Dry:
2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch salt

Wet:
3/4 cup sugar (I used demerara, any granular will do)
1 cup oatmilk yogurt (Recipe from Shin's blog)
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon vanilla essence
1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup (or more) raisins

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celcius.
  • Mix all dry ingredients together in a bowl.
  • Mix all wet ingredients in another bowl.
  • Add wet to dry ingredients and mix well with a wooden spoon. Do not beat the mixture.
  • Add raisins and mix well.
  • Pour into a cake mould.
  • Bake for 35 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

Oatmik Yogurt Cake

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

My First Recipe Video for Mauritian Style Banana Pie



A nice cup of tea in the mid-afternoon becomes a little feast when accompanied by a piece of this scrumptious banana pie. Indeed, much loved by young and old alike, this banana pie is a very popular pastry in Mauritius. Dessert or afternoon tea time snack, for me this is just an anytime heaven in the mouth.

Banana pie is something I make quite often at the Lovlie Cocoon. It has made its way a number of times to bake sales and friends' parties. So, it's about time I share this recipe.

Right. Now, not just the recipe, I have also made a video. Yay! This is my first recipe video and I had so much fun doing it. I hope you like it too! A million thanks to Boyfriendlovlie who encouraged me in doing this. And for his patience behind the camera while I was turning the kitchen upside down (which he cleaned afterward, niahahaha!) Well, what? Ok, I helped him a bit, but banana pie is his favourite sweet treat after all. So, I deserved some pampering for it, no?

Enjoy!

banana pie

Ingredients (for a 28-cm pie mould)
Shortcrust pastry:
400g plain flour
175g vegan margarine (cold)
100ml water (cold)
1/4 teaspoon salt

Banana filling:
5-6 ripe bananas
1/2 cup soft dark brown sugar
water as required

Oats milk for glazing


Prepare banana filling:
  • Peel and slice the bananas.
  • Add sugar and mix well until sugar starts to melt.
  • Place in a thick bottom pan and cook over medium for about 20 minutes.
  • Mash and stir bananas occasionally.
  • Then add about 1/2 cup water and stir well.
  • Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

To make the dough:
  • Place flour in a bowl. Add salt.
  • Cut margarine into small pieces and fold into flour. Keep cutting and folding until margarine are small and well mix. Then work the mixture between the fingers by rubbing in and lifting the flour. Mixture should ressemble fine breadcrumbs.
  • Add water and knead to form a nice and smooth dough. The dough should not be sticky and the inside should look like the texture of the inside of bread. Divide roughly into 1/3 and 2/3 portions.
  • Refrigerate for 1/2 hour.


Prepare the crust for pre-baking:
  • Preheat oven at 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Farenheit).
  • Then, take out the larger dough and spead out to 4mm thickness and large enough to fit into a 28-cm pie mould.

  • Transfer dough into mould by loosely rolling it around the rolling pin then unroll into the mould.

  • To work the fluted edge, take a piece of dough and dip into some flour. Press into the fluted edge to shape it.

  • Line the dough with baking paper and place some dry beans onto it. (I am using mung beans, but any dry beans will do, even rice). This is only to prevent the dough from rising or forming bubbles during the pre-baking.

  • Bake for 15 minutes.

Make the strips for the lattice top:
  • Meanwhile, prepare the strips for the lattice top.
  • Take the other portion of dough and roll out to approximately 30cm diameter.
  • Cut strips of 1cm width.
Fill and make the pie:
  • Remove crust (after 15 minutes) from the oven.
  • Save the beans for later use in other pie baking recipes. These beans can be used a few times.
  • Fill the crust with the banana paste, even out.
  • Make the lattice top:
  • Take the longest strip and line it in the middle. Press to secure on one side only.
  • Take every other strip and line a little distance apart.
  • Then, lift and pull back alternating strips.
  • Place one strip across (to make a criss-cross pattern).
  • Fold back the strips.
  • Then lift alternating ones (i.e. the strips that are now under) and place another strip across.
  • Continue in this way of alternating each row until lattice is complete.
  • Trim off excess strip length.
  • Brush with some non-dairy (I used oats milk) milk.
  • Place in oven and bake for 45 minutes or until crust is golden.
banana pie

Sunday, 15 January 2012

More Cranberry Cleansing...

Cranberry Smoothie

I don't know whether it's my body's natural call to be cleansed that's attracting me to this cranberry smoothie but I sure am definitely addicted to it. It's my third time having this before breakfast. This time I had it minus the kale.

The good thing about this smoothie is that I can feel it working as soon as it hits my stomach; a quite soothing effect but also very energising.

I still have some fresh cranberries in the fridge leftover from the holidays. It's a shame that they are only seasonal. I guess I'll have to get frozen ones after, although I'm not sure how much of the goodness are retained in the frozen ones...

Monday, 9 January 2012

Vegan Pesto made in a Mortar and Pestle

I realised that I had never actually featured any pesto recipe here before. With my nut allergy, I don't actually make pesto that often. But I was inspired to make a nut-free version when I got this mortar and pestle as a Kris Kindle (Secret Santa) gift for Christmas in the office. What a thoughtful gift!

vegan pesto

Did you know that pesto infact originates from the use of a pestle to make it? (It's from the Genoese word Pestâ (Italian: pestare), which means to pound, to crush, in reference to the original method of preparation, with marble mortar and wooden pestle).

While it does sound like it involves a bit of work to grind pesto in this way, it actually is very agreeable. The fragrances that are released during grinding are really exquisite and the result is a much tastier pesto despite the fact that this one was a nut-free version.

This is also garlic free but feel free to add it in if you like.

Vegan Nut-Free Pesto

Ingredients (yields only about 2 tablespoons of pesto)

25g, washed, fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoons olive oil, as needed
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (adjust to taste)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Sea salt, to taste


vegan pesto, basil
  • Grind basil leaves in mortar and pestle (or blender).
vegan pesto
  • Add the nutritional yeast and salt (be careful with these two as nutritional yeast is already quite salty).

vegan pesto
  • Add lemon juice.
  • Lastly add enough olive oil to keep it moist and spreadable.
  • Cover and store chilled for at least an hour.
  • Pour a thin layer of extra olive oil, if you like, over the top to help keep it bright green.

vegan pesto

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Keep Going Green...

My dream dress this year! The green trend still going strong...
Green trend, http://www.sarahillenberger.com/index.php?c=workshow&p=330_salatkleid
Photo credit Sarah Illenberger.

If I can't get the tree house, I'll do with the broccoli house.
Broccoli House, http://www.itistheworldthatmadeyousmall.com/projects/broccoli-house/
Photo from 'It is the world that made you small'.

Green knickers? Ahem!
http://christophegilbert.com/
Photo manipulation by Christophe Gilbert.

Although I do like all the green in Ireland, I should remember to put some diapers on the clouds when I don't want it to rain here!
Baby Cloud, http://itistheworldthatmadeyousmall.com/
Photo from 'It is the world that made you small'.

And a cute fruit hoot!
Fruit Hoot
Photo Credit KomodoEmpire.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Monday, 2 January 2012

Cranberry Kale Smoothie for a Great New Year KickStart!

Instead of making resolutions (I don't usually make any), I have a list of what I'm looking forward to in the coming year. Last year has been a busy year for me and I haven't been regular on Veganlovlie. This year, I'm looking forward to...

firstly, getting organized, and donating things we don't need, clearing the space really.

learning more about photography and food styling.

working more on my handmade jewellery project.

incorporating more yoga in my routine and hitting the gym more often.

cycling around the neighborhood more often.

...and posting new varied content on Veganlovlie (stay tuned).

Happy 2012!


Now to kick start that New Year, here's a smoothie that is surprisingly much more delicious than it sounds! Definitely going to be a regular one.

A great way to make use of all the cranberries too, that are now reduced in most stores.

Cranberry and Kale Smoothie

Ingredients
a handful of kale leaves (you can rip them from the fibrous boney centre)
7 - 10 fresh cranberrries (frozen is also good)
juice from 2 slices lemon
1 banana
1/2 ripe pear
1 tablespoon agave nectar (or maple syrup, both optional)

cranberry kale smoothie

  • Mix all ingredients in a blender. (I used a hand blender).
  • Pour and drink!

cranberry kale smoothie

Yummy Fresh Start!

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