November is World Vegan Month, so I thought I’d share some of my favourite vegan related things with you all, including a recipe that even the biggest meat lovers will find tasty (if they give it a chance!).
I’m not vegan myself, but I was vegetarian (by my choice) from the young age of 3 until I was 15, and given the option I’ll go for the veg option most of the time when I am eating out. I love animals, think that tofu and legumes are pretty damn delicious (not to mention nutritious), and love the ingenuity that many vegans have.
My favourite vegans
My favourite vegan in the whole wide world is my sister Mel (although I may be a little biased there!). She is currently pregnant, so if any vegans out there reading this have any tips for her to have a healthy vegan pregnancy, I would love to hear them and pass them on to her.
Some other (more famous) vegans that I love:
- Kristen Bell – actress (Veronica Mars)
- Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Ross – comedian and actress
- Alanis Morisette - singer/songwriter
- Emily Deschanel – actress (Bones)
- Jason Mraz – singer/songwriter
- Andrew G (Osher Gunsberg) – Australian TV show presenter (Channel [V], Australian Idol, The Bachelor)
My favourite vegan blogs
Whether you’re vegan yourself or just want to try some tasty new vegan recipes, here are some great vegan blogs to check out:
- Post Punk Kitchen
- Vegan Eats & Treats
- Oh She Glows
- Ashley’s Green Life
- Veggieful (Australian)
- Thug Kitchen (Almost vegan; Entirely awesome!)
Vegan recipes I want to try
…and here are some mouth-watering vegan recipes that I want to try soon:
- Cauliflower ‘cream’ sauce for pasta on Spoon Fork Bacon
- Tofu ‘bacon’ on Green Gourmet Giraffe
- Homemade vegan Oreos on The Edgy Veg
- Tofu scramble on Where’s the Beef?
- Healthy vegan falafel on Gourmandelle
- Best vegan quesadillas on Love My Vegan Life
A recipe that I’ve tried is this vegan meal that I made last Christmas for my sister and have cooked a few times since. Even the meat eaters at our Christmas Day gathering last year couldn’t get enough of this tasty nut loaf & mushroom gravy! I’ve lived off this for the last few days and I’m absolutely loving it. Tomorrow’s lunch promises to be delicious with a wrap filled with lots of salad and leftover nut loaf – I can’t wait!
Vegan Lentil and Nut Loaf
- 115g red lentils
- 100g hazelnuts, skinned
- 150g walnuts
- 1 large carrot
- 2 celery sticks
- 1 onion
- 115g mushrooms
- 50g Nuttelex (or other vegan margarine)
- 2tsp curry powder
- 2Tbsp tomato sauce
- 2Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1Tbsp chia seeds (or other egg replacement)
- 2tsp salt
- 4Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped (or other herbs from your garden - I use a mix of parsley and basil)
- Soak lentils for at least one hour in cold water (or overnight). Drain well and set aside. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius. Grease and line the base and sides of a 1kg loaf tin with baking paper or foil.
- Chop nuts finely by hand or grind in a food processor being careful not to over process - you want them chopped finely, NOT made into a nut paste. Set nuts aside.
- Process carrot, celery, onion and mushrooms in a food processor until finely chopped. Melt Nuttelex in a large frypan over medium heat and fry vegetables for five minutes. Stir in the curry powder and cook for a minute until fragrant.
- Meanwhile, soak chia seeds in 3Tbsp of warm water and let sit for a few minutes to turn into a sticky mess. Alternatively, puree 1/4 cup of tofu until smooth.
- In a large bowl, mix together lentils, chopped nuts, cooked vegetables, sauces, egg replacement (eg. chia seed goo), salt, herbs, and 150ml of water. Pour mixture into tin and press down firmly.
- Bake for about 70-90 minutes until brown on top and firm (cover the top with a piece of foil if it begins to burn). Leave roast to stand for 15 minutes before turning out. The loaf may be a bit soft when you cut into it, so be careful. Serve with vegan mushroom gravy and roast vegetables.
Vegan Mushroom Gravy
Makes 2-3 cups.
- 1 cup button mushrooms, finely chopped
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1/4 cup Nuttelex (or other vegan margarine)
- 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
- 2Tbsp soy sauce
- 1/4 cup wholemeal plain flour
- Handful fresh herbs (eg. thyme, oregano and rosemary)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Melt the vegan margarine in a large frypan or saucepan over high heat and fry mushrooms, onion and garlic for 1-2 minutes until softened.
- Reduce heat to medium and add vegetable stock and soy sauce. Slowly whisk in flour, bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Allow to cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring regularly, until sauce thickens.
- Puree with a stick blender until smooth, then season with herbs, salt and pepper.
What is your favourite vegan blog or recipe? Share it with me in the comments below!