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Posts tagged ‘cooking’

Super-Easy Vegan Pasta Bolognaise

Two-Pot Super-Easy Pasta Bolognaise (with extra veggies)

This is a continuation of my praise of the mighty rice cooker. Once again proving its versatility, it can be used to make a delicious TVP-bolognaise with a few extra servings of vegetables in there. Don’t be fooled by the seemingly long ingredients list; it’s mostly touches of common seasonings.


  • Rice cooker
  • Medium sized saucepan
  • Strainer


  • 1 cup textured vegetable protein (TVP; available in the health food section at Woolworths or Coles, or at any decent health food shop)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 jar vegan tomato pasta sauce
  • 2 cups pasta of your choice (gluten free is fine)
  • 2 cups mushrooms, diced
  • 1 head broccoli, diced
  • 1 tbsp canola oil or vegan ‘butter’ (I use Nuttlex)
  • 5 tsps ‘beef’ stock (Massell’s do a good one)
  • 2-3 tsps mixed herbs (or to taste)
  • 1-2 tsps minced garlic
  • 2-3 drops liquid smoke (optional)
  • Bragg’s liquid aminos to taste (optional)
  • 2-3 tsps porcini powder (optional)


  1. Add the diced mushroom and broccoli, oil and Bragg’s to the rice cooker. Mix well and set rice cooker to “cook”.
  2. In the saucepan, add the TVP, water and 3-4 tsps of ‘beef’ stock, and bring to a boil on medium-high heat. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, until it’s absorbed most/all of the water.
  3. Once the TVP is cooked, strain it and press out the majority of the moisture (reserve the stock for later use if you wish).
  4. Add the TVP, jar of tomato sauce, 1-2 tsps ‘beef’ stock, mixed herbs, minced garlic, porcini powder and liquid smoke to the vegetables in the rice cooker. Mix thoroughly and leave on “cook”.
  5. Rinse the saucepan, and fill ¾ full with water. Add a pinch of salt, and bring to a boil on high. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, then strain.
  6. Pour pasta into a bowl, add a few heaping tablespoons of the sauce on it, and sprinkle with nutritional yeast. Enjoy!

Note: if you want to get a really thick sauce, leave the rice cooker on “cook” for longer, or while you eat, with the lid off.

An Ode to Rice Cookers (Including 3 Easy, Delicious Recipes)

Have you ever bought a new kitchen tool or appliance that completely changes the way you cook/your life? I’ve had a few (such as my miniature masher), but none that so impacted my life as the rice cooker.

(My interpretation of my relationship with the rice cooker).

The great thing about them is you can cook pretty much any grain in them, and you can also prepare a whole meal in the one pot, with minimal effort. The following aren’t so much recipes as “instructions” on how to make delicious and nutritious meals that don’t require a lot of work.

(Note: I use the formula of 2 cups water : 1 cup grain in all of the following recipes, and generally use around 2 cups of dry grain per recipe).



  • vegetables (I usually use a few field mushrooms, and a leek, or sweet potato) diced into roughly 1cm cubes
  • arborio/short-grain rice
  • non-dairy “butter”/margarine (I use Nuttlex)
  • seasonings (to taste): Braggs liquid aminos, vegetable stock, nutritional yeast (LOTS), porcini powder (optional but delicious), smoked paprika

Instructions: add non-dairy butter, diced vegetables, Braggs to taste, and a small amount of water (~2tbsp), and set rice cooker to “cook”. When vegetables have reduced and are tender (usually around 10-15mins, depending on veggies), turn cooker to warm and add rice, appropriate amount of water and seasonings, mixing thoroughly. Set to “cook”, and stir occasionally.



  • instant curry paste (I often use Tasty Bite’s eggplant curry – they have a good range of vegan sauces, etc.)
  • brown rice
  • can of legumes – I prefer chickpeas, kidney or black beans, or 5 bean mix
  • finely diced vegetables – onions, carrots, broccoli, mushrooms, potato, sweet potato all work well
  • small amount vegetable oil (~1tbsp)
  • seasonings (to taste): “beef” stock (I use Massell’s), liquid smoke (optional but highly recommended), paprika, Bragg’s liquid aminos, porcini powder (optional), onion flakes (optional)

Instructions: add oil, vegetables, legumes and Braggs’ to rice cooker and set to “cook”. When reduced, set to “warm” and add rice, water and seasonings. Set to “cook” and take a break! (Note: brown rice takes longer to cook than white rice, approximately 40-50mins.)



  • pearled barley (in the health food section of the supermarket)
  • can of Sanitarium “Country Hot Pot”
  • TVP
  • ~ 1 tbsp dairy-free “butter”/margarine
  • diced vegetables: mushrooms, potato, broccoli/broccolini, carrot all work well
  • 1 cup frozen peas (optional)
  • seasonings: “beef” stock, mixed herbs, dried rosemary (depending on how much is in your herb mix), Braggs’ liquid aminos, nutritional yeast (optional, gives it a cheesy flavour), porcini powder (optional), onion flakes (optional), liquid smoke (optional)

Instructions: add “butter”, diced vegetables, peas and approx 2tbsps water to rice cooker and set to “cook”. When reduced, set to “warm” and add the “Country Hot Pot” mix, pearled barley and water, seasonings, and tvp (remember to add an extra cup of water per cup of TVP). Set to “cook” and you’re done! (Note: pearled barley takes about the same time to cook as white rice, 30mins or so.)

So there you have it, three delicious meals made with minimal effort, maximum nutrition, and frankly delicious outcomes. Let me know if you’ve any rice cooker recipes of your own!

Recipe: Vegan ‘Scrambled Eggs’

(Or, vegan scrambled tofu). Original recipe, so all credit to meeeeee (please). Serves 1-2, depending on how hungry you are!

175g firm/pressed tofu
3-4 tsp soy sauce
soy milk
4 tsp nutritional yeast
2-3 medium-sized mushrooms (optional)
1tbsp vegetable oil


  1. Mash the tofu in a bowl, using a fork, until it resembles the consistency of scrambled eggs

  2. Add the soy sauce and nutritional yeast, mixing well, then add the mushrooms, mix in, and then add a splash of soy milk* until the tofu mixture begins to stick to itself

  3. Place a frypan on high heat, grease using the oil, and stir tofu mixture constantly until it begins to brown slightly

  4. Serve with toast and pepper, and enjoy.

*I used approx. 2tbsps

No photo’s this time, but it’s not the most photogenic recipe anyhow. Delicious, though!

Recipe: Vegan Cinnamon Rolls

I got this recipe from here, so I’m not going to repost it. I also glazed them, but I can’t remember where I got the recipe from, so here it is:

1 1/2 cup vegan margarine
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
Powdered sugar

Melt butter, add brown sugar, salt, and vanilla and bring to a boil. Take off the stove and add enough powdered sugar to bring it to the consistency that you wish. Beat with electric mixer. Pour over warm rolls.

I may post a picture of the glazed rolls later, when the sun is up so the camera doesn’t make them look odd.

Recipe: Vegan & Gluten-Free Spaghetti Bolognaise

Vegan & Gluten-Free Spaghetti Bolognaise Recipe


  • 1 cup soy protein/mince (I use Planet Organic brand)
  • 2 tsp. vegan beef stock powder (I use Massel brand)
  • 1/3 of a large eggplant
  • 1 tin diced tomato
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced/grated
  • 3-5 button mushrooms
  • 1 carrot
  • Mixed herbs (Master Foods do a good herb mix)
  • ½ a jar tomato and mushroom pasta sauce (I used Dolmio’s, but be sure to check the ingredients – some pasta sauces contain cheese or milk derivatives)
  • 1 packet gluten-free spaghetti
  • Olive oil (around 2 tbsps)


  1. Cook spaghetti according to packet instructions.
  2. Prepare 1 cup soy protein – soak in 1L water, stir in 2 tsp’s of vegan beef stock; leave to soak for about 10-15 minutes, then drain.
  3. Dice the eggplant, mushroom, onion and carrot.
  4. In a large frying pan, add olive oil and onion, and fry until the onion starts to brown.
  5. Add eggplant, mushroom and carrot, and cook until eggplant begins to brown.
  6. While eggplant etc. is cooking, drain spaghetti and set aside.
  7. Add soy mince and tinned tomatoes, stirring regularly for about 5 minutes.
  8. Add pasta sauce and garlic, stirring through thoroughly.
  9. Add mixed herbs to taste.
  10. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  11. Pour over spaghetti and serve.

And here is a picture of my results:

vegan gluten-free spaghetti bolognaise

This recipe is copyright Amanda Jenkins, 2008. Permission granted to reproduce as long as credit is given and it is left unchanged.

Recipe: (AWESOME) Vegan Triple Choc Cookies

(Note: recipe adapted from here if you’re really curious, but the site has an imbedded videoclip, so super low-bandwidth users beware!)

Vegan / Gluten-free Triple Choc Cookies

• 2-1/4 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour (Orgran do a good one)
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup dairy-free butter or margarine (I used Nuttelene)
• 3/4 cup granulated [white] sugar
• 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
• 1/4 cup cocoa
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• Egg Replacer for 2 eggs
• 1 cup “milk” vegan chocolate, 1 cup white vegan chocolate – ~ 1 bar each of Sweet Williams chocolate seemed to work well

1. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in small bowl.
2. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla in large mixer bowl.
3. Add egg replacer one at a time, beating well after each addition; gradually beat in flour mixture.
4. Stir in chips and nuts.
5. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
6. Bake in preheated 190 degrees (Celcius) oven for about 15 minutes (NB!: they will be extremely soft and crumbly when you take them out, so don’t freak out like I did – just leave them to cool for 5-10 minutes and then take them off the baking trays).
7. Let stand for 5 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

These taste awesome, especially given that gluten-free baked goods can often taste a little… odd. But even the non-vegans in your life will love these! This is a photo of my first attempt at these:

Home-made vegan / gluten-free triple choc cookies

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