Archive for January, 2010

Bake Your Own Bread

[tweetmeme source="VeganChickie"]I’ve never baked my own bread before so my bread baking mission today was quite fun. Next time I’ll add lots of seeds to make it nice and grainy and I think I might make the next batch using half white flour and half wholemeal (this time I used only white) but it all comes down to what type of bread you like I suppose so I’ll leave that up to you! The recipe makes 2 loaves of bread.


2 1/2 teaspoons yeast
1/4 cup warm water
2 1/4 cups hot water
3 tablespoons raw sugar
1 tablespoon salt
3 cups flour
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 cups flour
Non dairy milk or margarine to glaze
1/2 cup sesame seeds or poppy seeds (optional)


1. Pour warm water into a small bowl and add the yeast, DO NOT STIR. Set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl, pour hot water over the raw sugar and salt, stir to completely dissolve. Add 3 cups of flour and mix well. Pour the oil over the mixture, add the yeast mixture (do not stir). Add the remaining 3 cups of flour and mix well (you will probably have to use your hands at this point).

3. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and set aside to rise. Leave the mixture to sit for 1 hour.

4. Divide the mixture into two lots and knead the dough for about 10 minutes per batch (the recipe doesn’t require a lot of kneading so you don’t have to be too rough with it). Put each batch of dough into a greased loaf tin and cover with a damp towel for another hour.

5. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Glaze the top of the dough with non dairy milk or margarine, top with sesame seeds (or poppy seeds or nothing at all! Whatever you want!) and bake for 25 minutes.

NOTE: I had my oven on regular bake for the first 15 minutes and then turned it to fan bake for the final 10 minutes so that the top was extra crunchy, but if you can’t do that with your oven it doesn’t matter!


The Aztec Superseed

[tweetmeme source="VeganChickie"]Today I’d like to welcome my dear friend, and first time Vegan Chickie guest blogger, Nathan from blog – of – nathan. Be sure to head over to her blog to check out the adventures of Nathan and Frankie, as well as all sorts of other wonderful things like vegan recipes, product reviews and lots more.


There is a new super food being talked about but it’s not really new. Chia was cultivated by the Aztecs, Mayas and other tribes, and the Chia plant has been used by humans for centuries and is making a comeback around the world for a good reason: Chia is the highest known plant source of Omega-3 (8 times more than salmon!) and unlike other sources of this important essential fatty acid (eg. flaxseed and fish), it is highly stable due to its powerful naturally occurring antioxidants.

Chia is also a good source of potassium, phosphorous, folate, zinc, fibre, Vitamins A, B12 & C, and a great source of 18 amino acids. Chia seeds are packed with complete protein and 5 times more calcium than milk, 6 times more fibre than oatbran, 3 times more iron than spinach, 15 times more magnesium than broccoli and an ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) value 4 times higher than blueberries!

Chia is a more sustainable environmentally friendly agricultural choice for farmers being a bug-resistant arid crop producing seed even with limited water, and was so revered by the Aztecs as a source of supernatural energy and power that it was used as money!

How to Use Chia Seeds

There are unlimited ways to incorporate Chia seeds into your diet. You can substitute Chia seeds in any recipe that calls for flax seeds. You can sprinkle ground Chia seeds or whole Chia seeds on cereal or on salads or eat a handful of whole seeds as a snack.

One of the easiest ways to incorporate Chia seed into your diet is to use it as a garnish. Simply sprinkle 1 teaspoon of whole seeds into foods. You can also add one tablespoon Chia seed into a 250ml glass of water or juice, stir, let sit about five minutes, stir again, and then drink.

Chia Gel

You can use Chia seeds to make a gel, which can then be added to spreads, smoothies, cereals, etc. You can mix the Chia gel with all kinds of foods, thereby increasing flavour, fibre and nutrition, while reducing calories and fat. Always keep Chia gel on hand to mix in a variety of things. Chia gel can be used to replace oils in most baking recipes that call for oil or butter. It can also replace eggs in many recipes.

Mix 1 part Chia seeds to 9 parts water.
Whisk to break up any clumping and let stand 15 minutes.
Whisk again then place in an airtight container and refrigerate.
Will keep up to 3 weeks.

Chia Spread

100g chia gel
100g softened margarine or vegan replacement
Place Chia gel in a blender and blend until smooth.
Add softened butter or vegan replacement and blend until smooth.
Place in airtight container and use as you would normal butter from toast to melting for popcorn!

Chia Chiller Recipe

2 Cups Chia Gel
1 Cup fresh fruit, juiced
Pulp from juiced fruit
Mix the gel, fruit juice and pulp together and place in freezer for 1 hour and serve.
Use more than one fruit for this desert and enjoy!

Nathan bought her bag of Chia (pictured above) for just $8 for 250g.

For more information including distribution visit

[tweetmeme source="VeganChickie"]My love affair with my slow cooker continues! Today’s recipe: Lentil and Barley Soup! Jam packed with veggies and lovely and spicy, this one is definitely going to become one of my stand by recipes, especially once winter comes. Serve with some crusty bread rolls.

Lentil and Barley Soup in the Slow Cooker


1 tbs olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbs minced ginger
1 small red chili finely chopped
1 leek, chopped
2 zucchini, chopped
3 ribs of celery, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup pearl barley
1 cup brown lentils
2 small potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1cm cubes
5 cups water
1 cup vegetable stock
2 tbs tomato paste
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried marjoram
1 tsp dried sage
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt & Pepper to taste


1. Turn the slow cooker to high, add the oil, garlic, chili and leek, cook for 10 minutes with the lid on.

2. Turn the slow cooker on low and add the rest of your ingredients, stir well and cover. Cook on medium for 8 hours.

3. Remove the bay leaf and cinnamon stick. Serve!

Garnish with fresh coriander or parsley! YUM!

Note: The longer you leave this recipe, the more stew-like it becomes. The first night we ate it as a clear soup as pictured and reheated it the following night as a stew – delicious!

Carrie’s Carrot Cupcakes

[tweetmeme source="VeganChickie"]I’m happy to welcome my friend Carrie as our guest blogger this week, who is here to share her carrot cupcake recipe with us. Carrot cake is my absolutely favourite cake so I’m really looking forward to giving this recipe a try. Thanks for sharing this with us Carrie!

Vegan Carrot Cupcakes

½ cup (115g) Nuttelex
1 cup soft brown sugar
¼ cup apple sauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ cup soy milk
1 cup carrots, finely grated
1 ¼ cup plain flour

Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Grease and flour a muffin tray or line muffin tray with cupcake papers.

Cream nuttelex and brown sugar until smooth and creamy. Add apple sauce, vanilla extract, salt, baking powder, spices and soy milk and carrot and mix together well. Add plain flour and stir until combined.

Spoon batter into muffin tray and bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until cooked through. Cool completely before icing.

Vegan Cream Cheese Icing

¼ cup Nuttelex
¼ cup Tofutti
2 cups icing sugar, sifted
lemon juice to taste

Cream together margarine and cream cheese. Add the icing sugar in 2 batches. Mix until smooth and creamy, then add the lemon juice.

[tweetmeme source="VeganChickie"]Well it’s that time of the week again. Here is what has been going on in the vegan world this week.

1. Click HERE to listen to the first installment of the BBC Series “One Planet” entitled Animals & Us. It’s 28 minutes long and very interesting.

2. Something for my omnivore readers who are considering a change: Click HERE for your free vegetarian starter kit. You can get something mailed out to you or you can download it directly to your computer (which is environmentally preferable remember!) and has lots of recipes and tips for going vegetarian.

3. Conversations with an Omnivore (self explanatory really)

4. Conversations with an Omnivore Part 2

5. Last week I showed you the Mercy for Animals 2009 year in review, this week I’ve got the Peta 2009 Year in Review clip. I’ve mentioned before some of the issues I have with Peta and some of their tactics (like their exploitation and objectification of women for a start) but I do still think that the clip is worth watching.

6. Shannon over at Diary of a Vegan this week shared with us a list of environmentally focused film festivals.

7. Another vegetarian/vegan children’s book. This one entitled “The True Story of Little Red Riding Hood” in which the wolf is vegetarian so instead of threatening to eat Little Red Riding Hood, asks her to help him search for some vegetarian recipes. Not everyone’s cup of tea I’m sure but it’s great to see that vegetarianism is becoming more and more a part of mainstream culture.

8. Is the end in sight for the fur industry? Blog post HERE

9. Scientists say dolphins should be treated as “non-human persons” because they are so smart. Very interesting article HERE.

10. Best of 2009 according to Vegan Soapbox.

11. Two segments from Gary Yourofsky’s speech on animal rights and veganism at Georgia Tech last year. This guy is amazing. I wish I could see him talk in real life! Speech intro HERE. Part two HERE. (unfortunately the whole speech isn’t available).

12. A very short clip about reducing your meat intake to save the environment.

13. The ADAPTT (animals deserve absolute protection today and tomorrow) has a great list of vegan resources. Of particular interest is the “Making the Transition to Veganism” link which is the second last item on the list and is a great resource for newbie vegans. The “Humans are Herbivores” section is also quite interesting.

14. Erik Marcus’ A Year In Meat review on

15. John Schneider talks about “Earthlings”. A really great clip which I think is really reflective of a lot of people’s reactions after watching Earthlings.

16. An article in the New York Times questioning the safety of beef being injected with ammonia.

17. How Welfare Reforms Shrink Animal Agribusiness: From

18. A BBC article about how Chimps have been found to use tools to prepare food.

19. If animal cruelty isn’t enough to get you to stop drinking milk, what about human cruelty? The Real Price of Milk: An article about the treatment of Dairy workers.

20. And finally, an article about the practice of injecting chickens with liquids to make them weigh (and therefore cost) more.

Before I sign off, don’t forget to head over to the new VEGAN CHICKIE fan page on facebook and become a fan.

[tweetmeme source="VeganChickie"]I’m very pleased to welcome Mama Ogg as our first guest blogger on Vegan Chickie. You can check out Mama Ogg’s food blog HERE. Mama Ogg was also the inspiration behind the wonderful vegetable ‘stoo‘ recipe which appeared on my blog last year.

Without further ado, here it is:

Mama Ogg’s Ethiopian Lentils & Vegetables


1 small onion, diced
1 tsp each ginger powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 cup red lentils
1/2 large sweet potato, cut into small dice
3-4 medium potatoes, cut into small dice
1 tsp ginger powder,
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp turmeric
1/4 green cabbage, finely shredded
1/4 zucchini, cut into small dice (optional)
4-5 shallots, snipped


1. In a large pot saute onion til transparent, add spices and fry for a minute or two. Add lentils and 3-4 cups of water and bring to the boil. Simmer for about 30 minutes, checking the water level occasionally.

2. In the meantime, in a separate frypan saute the root vegetables until they brown. Add spices and fry for a minute or two, then add a little bit of water until it’s about 1cm deep. You want to steam the vegetables but cook the sauce off by the end of the dish, so start with a little bit of water and add more if necessary. Cover and simmer gently until the vegetables are almost tender, checking on the water level occasionally to make sure it doesn’t stick. Then add the cabbage, zucchini and shallots and stir to coat thoroughly in divine-smelling yellow sauce. Add a bit more water if necessary (only enough to dampen the mix and make sure it doesn’t stick) then cover and simmer for five minutes until vegetables are cooked through but still vibrant.

3. Serve with rice.

Note: Mama Ogg just told me that today she used the leftovers as the filling in samosas with great success. The recipe tastes even better after a night in the fridge.

**If you have a great vegan recipe that you would like to showcase, and would like to be a guest blogger on Vegan Chickie let us know! We’d love to share it (and you!) with the world!

[tweetmeme source="VeganChickie"]Based on a recommendation from T over at Blog-of-Nathan, I bought some Planet Organic Vegetarian Mince last week. I’m not usually one for mock meat products, I use them every so often but they aren’t really a staple in my vegan diet, but I stumbled across the box when we were checking out the new organic grocery in town so I thought I would buy it and give it a go. I didn’t actually take photos of the progress of this recipe because to be honest, I wasn’t really expecting it to be that good. Well, boy was I surprised! Lucky it was good, because I made a GIANT batch of the stuff. I’ve got masses of the stuff stored in the freezer now, but I don’t know if it was last very long because I’m pretty sure I’m going to eat the whole lot in a matter of days.. this bolognese is just that good! Beware, the amounts below make a massive quantity. Use your discretion for a smaller batch.

Mock Mince Vegan Bolognese

1tbs olive oil
1 Leek, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small red chili, finely chopped
1 carrots, chopped
250g button mushrooms, chopped
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup vegetable stock
4 large cans of chopped tomatoes
2 tbs tomato paste
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried marjoram
1 tsp sugar
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 packet planet organic vegetarian mince
Fresh basil
Pasta of your choice

Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat, add the garlic, chili, leek, carrot and mushrooms and cook for 5 – 10 minutes, or until vegetables are soft. Add the red wine and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the stock, tomatoes, tomato paste, dried herbs, sugar, salt and pepper, mix well and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Add the vegetarian mince, straight from the box, mix well, and simmer for a further 10 minutes (minimum, after this stage you can leave the pot cooking for as long as you wish, the longer you leave it, the more delicious it will be!). 5 minutes before serving, add the fresh basil. Serve with pasta of your choice.

[tweetmeme source="VeganChickie"]Become a fan HERE.