Sunday, April 22, 2012

Quinoa Loaf

When Tallulah was first born I joined a Vegan Families listserve - that's right a listserve. It was actually a Yahoo Group but I got all the messages posted by members as emails. That was only 5 years ago. I didn't have a Facebook account at the time, I couldn't work out what I'd use it for and I don't think Twitter had been invented. So, we maybe twenty families, would stay in touch by emailing the list moderator who would approve our emails which were then sent to everyone else in the group. It was great. There was a lot of talk about B12 and Plunket and the Lamb and Beef Board, who seemed to sponsor almost every pamphlet on iron.

As well as being vegan a few of us were also doing Baby-Led Weaning which was relatively new. So, we were able to share what was going on and any new information we found.

At one stage, around the time of the Terror Raids, an undercover police officer joined our listserve. No one is quite sure what they were hoping to find out, apart from chocolate cake recipes. There was a bit of this type of thing going around at the time and the group was closed down for a while but eventually it started up again. Everyone had to re-join and we all found out how hard it is to prove you are not an undercover police officer via email, but in the end the list got up and running again

One of the best things that used to happen on the listserve, is that sometimes around 5 o'clock, someone would email, 'What's everyone having for dinner?' And our Inboxes would be flooded for a minute with everything from: Baked beans on toast to Marinated tempeh with hoisin sauce. One of my favourite recipes was sent by Amanda Reid, an amazing yoga-teacher and nutritionist. You can catch up with her at Samadhi Yoga It was for quinoa loaf. It is fast and yum and leftovers are awesome for lunchboxes.

Quinoa is a wonder food. Well people call it a wonder food. I was never that taken by it - it tasted decidedly, erm, grassy. That was until Amanda shared her secret - stock! She put me onto Rapunzel Vegetable Stock which you can buy at Countdown. It is easy and yum. I started adding it to my quinoa and I began to realise what all the fuss was about. I also make my own stock sometimes. I throw a bunch of vegetables into the slow cooker for the day then freeze the liquid stock into ice cubes which I add to the cooking water of grains and vegetables, or soups. I was pretty excited to see that the Broth Bag was included in PPK's top vegan 100 for last year. What a great idea!

Anyway, the recipe is below but I just wanted to say something about cooking quinoa, cause I find it hard. I usually measure half dry quinoa for cooked - erm - so this recipe calls for 2 cups of cooked quinoa, so I cook 1 cup of dry quinoa to get 2 cups of cooked. There's a flasher, easier way of saying this, but you know what I mean. To cook my 1 cup of quinoa, thus turning it into 2 cups, I bring 2 cups of water and stock to the boil. So I always use twice as much water as quinoa.


So, for this recipe, bring 2 cups of water and stock to the boil, pour in 1 cup of quinoa, lower the heat and cover. Let it simmer till it dries off, but be careful not to burn it. And here is the rest of the recipe.


Grease a loaf tin.
Heat the oven to a medium temperature.

2 cups cooked quinoa
2 tsp Olive oil
1 onion diced
Stick of celery
1 black of tofu
Fresh herbs
Heaps of black olives - sliced
Squeeze of lemon juice
Dash of soy or tamari
2 tablespoon tahini
Black pepper
Dried yeast flakes for the top

Place olive oil in a fry pan and when hot saute onions, celery, fresh herbs until soft-ish. Add tofu and stir fry for a minute or so. Take off the heat.
In a bowl mix together: quinoa, black olives, soy of tamari, then the cooked onions, celery and tofu from the frying pan (hopefully these are still a bit warm) then add tahini and lemon juice. Mix till quite sticky-together.
Fold into a greased loaf tin.
Sprinkle yeast flakes over the top.
Cook in a medium oven for about half an hour.

It's nice with salad, or potatoes, but probably also bread.

Thanks to Flickr user net_efekt for licensing this pretty photo of quinoa flowering under Creative Commons.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Vegan Corn Bread by Elizabet Elliot

I have a folder. It is an old green ringbinder bursting with different-sized pieces of paper with hand-written recipes on them. I have recipes on the back of envelopes, on the back of other recipes, on the back of printouts from jobs I used to do. I don't have a hole punch so most of the pages have been forced through the rings of the folder to make holes. Most of the pages don't stay in the rings any more. When I open the folder everything falls out. So I've decided to put some of the recipes on here, for safer keeper.

About four years ago, I met Elizabet Elliot. Elizabet is a visual artist. When she was living in Wellington she created and performed her proximity booth project. Elizabet builds amazing structures through feel rather than engineering, they are precarious and fort-like and the proximity booth invited people into one of her structures, to sit close with her. Elizabet's work is often interested in space and intimacy and the ways these play out in the world. Her latest adventure is an amazing collaborative art community called the Rumor Union. If you follow this link you'll see that Elizabet is from Mobile which is in Alabama. I had never met anyone from Mobile before I met Elizabet. When Elizabet was thinking or worrying or creating she would often come to our house and cook. Often this was because she had cooked all the food in her house and needed a new kitchen to cook in and a new house to cook for. Elizabet taught me how to make chili beans and also these really nice cookies which used banana and oats to hold them together instead of butter and flour. But by far the best thing Elizabet taught me how to cook was Cornbread. Her recipe is written on a piece of lined paper which I remember ripping out of a workbook I had. She spoke it to me off the top of her head. It was a sunny day. We were both working insane hours, her at art school me at a job and looking after Toki but we stopped for half an hour and made chili beans and cornbread and we laughed probably and probably we talked about art that we liked and building because we often talked about built things.


2 tbspn ground flaxseed
6 tbspn water
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
1/8 cup sugar
4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup soy milk
1/4 cup canola oil

Preheat oven to 425 F/210C

Grease a baking dish.
Bring water to boil in small saucepan. Add ground flaxseeds, reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes or until thickened (Elizabet said, 'Til they look snotty'). Set aside.
In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt.
Add ground flaxseed mixture, soy milk and oil to flour mixture.
Fold together.
Turn into baking tin.
Cook for 20-25 minutes.

I usually always add onions and chili to this recipe. I fry the onions and red chilis and then just add them when I add the wet ingredients.

Image: 'The Road from Mobile, Alabama' licensed under Creative Commons by Nouhailler on Flickr. Thank you.