Monday 31 October 2011

Vegan MoFo Day 31 - Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween MoFo's! I cannot believe Vegan MoFo is over, I'm a little sad about it. It's been so awesome to spend the month trying new recipes, learning to bake bread, stuffing myself with football food, connecting with bloggers (some on a daily basis!) and discovering many wonderful new blogs which I'll be sure to add to my google reader as soon as I get the chance. At the same time this has been kinda hard work & I'm looking forward to having a pretty chilled day tomorrow. I can't promise I haven't already been flicking through my cookbooks deciding what to cook next though. I have an un-carved pumpkin awaiting me and a girl needs to eat! I think I'll be making the butternut apple soup from Appetite For Reduction, I feel like I need to eat something healthy after the crazy food-fest that has been Vegan MoFo!

On Saturday I had a little halloween party, more of a gathering than a party though. Just a few close friends, spooky music & a lot of food. I posted most of the goodies I made in this post but here's a photo of the table which includes the mummy dogs I made.

I typed up a menu using the spookiest font I could find.

My friend Sal from the blog Alien On Toast made amazing Halloween Stuffed Peppers inspired by a post she saw on Wing It Vegan.

Aren't they awesome? My friend Kip, the Messy Vegetarian Cook, made a two bean chilli and Sal made cornbread to accompany it, sadly I didn't get a picture but you can see the chilli topping my hotdog in yesterdays Football Food Sunday post.

There were geeky party games...

...and we carved pumpkins that I'd prepared earlier by cutting off the tops & scraping out all of the seeds.

Mine's the super simple one and the one on the right was carved by my friend Jay, he has the skills!

At around midnight we all headed out into town because it was White Night! White Night's a one night festival that takes place in Brighton and Hove. Things kick off at around 8pm and lots of businesses that usually close at around 6pm stay open until 2 or 3, some until 6 & there are art installations and other fun things to take part in all across the city. We headed to Boho Gelato where I got a tub of Mojito Sorbet.

We tried to get into Red Roaster for late night coffee but they were too full so we wandered the streets and looked at the awesome outdoor art installations like this cool tree...

...which was surrounded by a rope which people had tied their wishes for the future and thoughts about the past and present onto.

The first one I looked at said "I wish the world would go vegetarian", I love Brighton!

The next morning Sal, Kip & I headed out to find breakfast whilst Nick slept. We just went around the corner to Iydea where we each grabbed a Brunch Muffin with a side of hash browns.

I love that you can get a super fast breakfast at Iydea, the Brunch muffins are pre wrapped & ready to go so that you can get the food into you fast!

This toasted English muffin comes with a sausage patty, avocado, tomato and special fruity sauce and only costs £2.20. The hash browns were the perfect combination of grated potato and onion and I think they only cost an extra 95p. This was perfect. Iydea also do two sizes of cooked breakfast, stir fry on toast and beans on toast for vegans. The only disappointing thing about the Iydea breakfast menu is that there aren't enough vegan options compared to the amount of veggie options, the menu's very egg heavy and I think it would be awesome if they'd do a tofu scramble. They could also buy or make some vegan cheese to veganise their Breakfast Hash and their Hash Wrap if they wanted to make me really happy! That said I do really appreciate their speedy breakfast service and this cheap & filling breakfast sandwich was just what I needed on Sunday morning.

I intend to spend what's left of today sitting my my pumpkin filled living room reading blogs, watching George A. Romeros Dead Trilogy and eating leftover apple pie...what a perfect end to MoFo.

Sunday 30 October 2011

Football Food Sunday, Take 5!

I can't believe we're closing in on the final day of MoFo and that this is the last Football Food Sunday of the month. It's not the end of the football season though so I'm sure there wil be more ridiculous Sunday food posts ahead of us!

After last nights halloween party I knew I wanted to take it easy today but I also wanted my final Football Food Sunday to be special...quite the dilemma! I eventually decided to make Chilli Cheese Dogs and Apple Pie, fun, but kinda low maintenance.

The motivation behind the chilli cheese dogs was that my lovely friend Kip from the blog Messy Vegetarian Cook made chilli for last nights party so I knew I could use some of the leftovers for these! I cheated a little more by buying the hot dogs (Frys) and the cheese (Vegusto) but I made the bread rolls myself; mainly because that actually seemed easier than going to the supermarket!

The buns are the Plain White Buns from The Best Veggie Burgers On The Planet, I made these a few weeks ago on Football Food Sunday & it was no hassle to shape them differently to make hot dog buns. These do rise a lot though so I had to do a bit of careful reshaping to get them right. Next time I would shape them into 10 hot dog rolls instead of the 8 baps they usually make. These chilli cheese dogs were totally amazing, I can't believe what a difference baking your own bread makes! I've also never topped a hot dog with anything other than ketchup before and the addition of chilli and cheese made them so much more delicious.

Whilst the dough for the bread was rising I started on my first ever totally from scratch pie. I've made mince pies before but only using store bought pastry and I've made store-bought puff pastry topped faux chicken pies but never pie crust from scratch! As I mentioned the other day my copy of Vegan Pie In The Sky arrived so I was excited to get started on some pie making. The Cosmos Apple Pie was the obvious choice, it's classically American and Isa even says in the preamble for the recipe that it's probably the first pie recipe you'll want to master. I decided to make the Buttery Double Crust for my pie because it sounded delicious and can I just say, wow, the pastry came out so perfectly and it was really delicious.

The pastry for the top of the pie fell apart a little as I put it on, mainly because it didn't look perfect so I tried to backtrack & take it off making the whole thing worse. Pie hint, do not try to remove your top crust to re-roll it, it will have touched the filling by then so there's no going back! After a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar I doubt anyone could even tell! As well as having never made a pie before I've actually never even eaten a homemade fruit pie before! This was delicious and clearly much better than the pies I used to buy from the supermarket before going vegan, I was also really surprised at how simple the process was even for a total rookie! I'm so excited by Vegan Pie In The Sky, I can't wait to make the Cherry Pie, the Key Lime Pie, the Chocolate Raspberry Tart, the Berry Chocolate Chip Cobbler, the Lemon Mousse Pie, get the idea! I could go on forever, I will definitely be posting more pie pictures on this blog!

This has been a very successful days eating, I see many more pies and chilli dogs in my future! What are your favourite pies or hot dog toppings?

Saturday 29 October 2011


Hello, my name's Jojo & I used to be a goth. Seriously, for a long time I would only wear black, my hair was purple & my room in my shared house looked like it was decorated for halloween all year round. Some of the gothyness wore off but my love for Halloween (and My Ruin!) has stuck around. I remember seeing this haunted halloween house on Mo's blog a couple of years ago & I remember thinking that it was the awesomest Halloween thing ever! I've got a few friends coming over later to listen to creepy music & eat spooky food so I thought I'd give it a try...

As you can see it's more of a ruined gingerbread house. Y'see I cheated & used an IKEA gingerbread house that I bought last Christmas but never got the chance to make. Unfortunately every single piece was broken when I opened the box. I tried to fuse some of them back together but it wasn't really working so I decided a Spooky Ruined Mansion was the way to go! My gravestones are Speculoos biscuits and the house is sitting on a chocolate cake base with bourbon biscuit frosting & extra crumbled bourbon biscuit dirt. There are spooky snakes, a Sour Patch Kid ghost and I threw a giant plastic rat in there for good measure!

Next on the menu for tonight, Green Gunge Cupcakes.

These are just green dyed vanilla cupcakes filled and topped with green vanilla frosting. I tested them last night & the gunge does indeed squirt out when you bite into them - awesome!

There are sugar cookies too. I used a recipe that I found on the PPK years ago, I remember them being called No Whey's Sugar Cookies but I can't find a link anywhere. I did black cats & pumpkins.

Last night after our tamale feast Nick & I carved some pumpkins. We did one proper one & cut the top and scooped the insides of two others so tonights guests can have some pumpkin carving fun too.

There were tonnes of pumpkin seeds so I washed & dried them and then coated them in olive oil, smoked paprika and chilli powder. I roasted them at gas mark two for 50 minutes turning them halfway through.

Last but not least I made Rat & Eyeball Jelly!

The eyeballs are peeled grapes & the rats are just plastic. There are rats inside the jelly too but you can't really see them in the picture.

The only thing left to make are some mummy dogs, I'm going to wrap some hotdogs in pastry & use little pieces of black olives for the eyes. You'll have to wait until Monday for those pictures though because I have some halloween crosswords & word searches to mount on card, apple bobbing to set up, punch to make, a costume to finish and an anniversary drinks party to go to before tonights gathering!

Friday 28 October 2011

New Food Friday - Tamales

So I definitely saved the new food I was most intimidated by until the end! I've wanted to make tamales for a long time and MoFo seemed like the perfect time to give it a try. Of course I decided to use a recipe from Viva Vegan and I settled on the Sweet Potato Black Bean Tamales. If you've never made tamales before it's quite a process, you need to soak your corn husks, make a filling, then the dough and then after wrapping them you steam them. There are a few pages on how to plan your tamale making before the recipes and I found that section really helpful. The whole process took me four hours from start to finish and whilst I was making the filling I made the Viva Vegan Tomatillo Salsa.

These certainly were delicious and I'd consider making them again if there was someone here to help but I think ~2 hours is my limit for cooking a meal!

My largest pan with its folding steamer insert can only hold 8 tamales at a time meaning that I have a second pan steaming away as I write!

I hate being negative about cooking experiences & I definitely don't want to dissuade anyone from trying to make tamales but I just don't have the patience for all of the fiddly wrapping, rolling and tying this entails! The tomatillo salsa is really awesome & it was way easier to make than I expected it to be, I'll definitely be making it again. I've never seen tomatillos in the UK so I grabbed a tin when I saw them in Vienna about a year ago. I've been planning to make this salsa ever since and I wish I'd made it sooner. I'm a huge spice wuss so I only used one chilli instead of two but the fact that I bought & used an actual chilli is kind of a big deal because I've actually never done that before! I found the salsa pretty spicy, definitely at the high end of my spice tolerance scale, but it's definitely delicious & I'll be piling it on next time I make a burrito.

Today I was also baking cupcakes & cookies for tomorrows exciting Halloween soirée. I'll be blogging about those & my haunted gingerbread house tomorrow, see you then!

Thursday 27 October 2011

Cookbook Challenge Day XI

After taking a day off from cooking yesterday I was back with a vengeance today! I picked up the cookbook challenge for its final day with another three new recipes & tackled a haunted gingerbread house for a little Halloween gathering I'm having on Saturday!

Two of the recipes came from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan today, you might think that this was a coincidence but I'll admit that it was pure cheating on our part! Eat, Drink & Be Vegan did come out of the hat once & as per the rules Nick was meant to pick one recipe from it, unfortunately once he saw the picture of the Orange Sesame Tofu with the Coconut Lime Basmati Rice there was no stopping his rule breaking! I have to admit it sounded like a really delicious combo so I figured why not? They're our rules & we can break 'em if we want to!

This was an awesome meal & I'll definitely be making both of these recipes again. The tofu marinade is a mixture of soy sauce, maple syrup, sesame oil and orange juice with some arrowroot to thicken it. I'd probably sprinkle on a few less sesame seeds next time but mainly because they're kinda expensive! The coconut rice recipe suggests that you serve it with a lime wedge but we both preferred the rice without the extra lime, I think the recipe is limey enough as it is & the extra lime kinda overpowered the coconut flavour.

The next book out of the hat was Veganomicon & Nick was instructed to pick a dessert so that we wouldn't be eating two dinners! He chose the Tea-Poached Pears in Chocolate Sauce. We don't often make desserts, there are quite often brownies, cookies or other dessert like things lying around but I don't often whip up a fancy dessert.

I think I'm actually in love with these poached pears! I actually kinda hate tea and I was worried that the tea flavour might overpower the delicious flavour of the pears & subtle orange zest, thankfully that was not the case. You need to let the pears cool for around an hour before eating them & I'm happy to say that they were well worth the wait & this was a truly delicious dessert.

Wednesday 26 October 2011

Taking the day off!

Last year I took a day off from my MoFo theme on the 16th & got take away. It might be 10 days later this year but I though I'd carry on the tradition today. Nick & I ordered pizza from local pizza delivery place Pizza Face and watched a movie (Pretty In Pink - not as good as Sixteen Candles in my opinion!). Pizza Face have had vegan cheese for a while now and the other day on Twitter they announced that they're now doing 4 or 5 entirely vegan pizza's on Mondays and Tuesdays. These come with Cheezly and your choice of mock meats and veggies. I know what you're thinking, this is Wednesday Jojo! Well, we thought we'd give them a call to see if they had any leftover vegan toppings and we were in luck! I ordered a vegan margarita with mushrooms and vegi bacon...

...and Nick ordered a vegan margarita with veggie bacon.

We also got a vegan garlic bread, which you can order with or without cheezly. If you're ever in Brighton you should definitely order some Pizza Face, they don't have anywhere you can eat in yet but feel free to get it delivered to my place!!

Tuesday 25 October 2011

Cookbook Challenge Day X

Just like yesterday I picked the cookbooks for the challenge out of a hat and Nick chose the recipes, unlike yesterday I had to do the cooking myself! His first pick of the day, Apple-Pie Crumb Cake Muffins, came from Vegan With A Vengeance. This is one of my oldest & most loved cookbooks and I was excited to be cooking a new recipe from it.

These muffins have grated apple, chunks of apple and apple cider for triple-apple-awesomeness! The only problem was that I realised after starting to make the recipe that it included apple cider, you don't get apple cider in the UK... well, Strongbow's technically made from apples but I don't think that counts! If I'd had some apple juice in the house I'd have subbed that but a quick look in the fridge told me we only had orange so I used soya milk. This is why you're meant to read the recipe all the way through before starting it isn't it?!

These muffins are perfect for autumn. I used in season British Cox's apples and I don't think my soya milk sub caused any damage. The sugary crumb topping gives these muffins that perfect muffin top crunch and the surprise chunks of apple inside are reminiscent of the inside of an apple pie. Perfect.

The second recipe of the day was meant to be the Blackberry Skillet Pie from Vegan Diner but sadly the ridiculous price of blackberries meant that this one wasn't going to happen, I picked again and Nick decided on the Cocoa-Nut Quick Bread from 500 Vegan Recipes.

This sweet loaf is full of cocoa and coconut and the coconut is blended to make a powder, as you can see from the photo I didn't quite get that bit right! This loaf's really chocolattey and has a delicious crisp top. I think I'm going to make Nick take the rest of it to work tomorrow so that I don't eat it all!

The final recipe of the day is from Yellow Rose Recipes, Nick was so impressed with the taco meat recipe we used on Sunday that he picked another of the authors TVP based recipes, Sloppy Joannas. We had some homemade burger buns from Vegan Diner in the freezer so this was a really quick easy meal.

We've never had Sloppy Joes (or Joannas) before but we'll definitely be making these again. Sloppy Joe's are really, really good, like a sloppy burger... I guess that's the point!

Monday 24 October 2011

Cookbook Challenge Day IX

I've decided to shake things up for the last few days of the cookbook challenge! I'm still picking the cookbooks out of a hat but instead of using the random number generator we haaaave *drum roll* the Husband Generator! Nick said that he'd do all of the cooking on Monday if he could pick the weeks recipes, um, okay!

The first cookbook outa the hat was Veganomicon & Nick chose the recipe for Banana Nut Waffles. I knew he'd pick either waffles or pancakes this week & this recipe was a great choice. I've had my eye on it for a while because I love the banana flapjack recipe from Vegan Brunch and I'm also a big fan of nuts in waffles.

These were delicious! Nick did a great job especially because it was his first time using the waffle maker, next time I might cook them on a slightly lower heat so that they firm up a little more but there definitely will be a next time.

After breakfast we popped out to buy ingredients, post some parcels & to retrieve all of my halloween decorations from the place I used to work, when we got back there was a pile of post waiting for us which included this great coincidence!

My pie book & a movie about pie, awesome! I'm so excited to get cooking from Vegan Pie In The Sky...I might even have to sneak a recipe into tomorrow's cookbook challenge!! UK peep's just a heads up, Amazon is still saying that the pie book can't be shipped until November 11th but the Book Depository has them in stock & is getting them into your grubby pie loving hands within 48 hours.

Whilst I read my new cookbook Nick got started on the second recipe of the day the Bakery-Style Crispy Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies with a hint of Maple from The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur.

These are seriously THE best chocolate chip cookies EVER. Try them now! Nick said that they were really easy to make but also that he'd never really realised how much sugar goes into cookies!! These cookies are definitely bakery-style, when Nick & I were getting together we used to go to a little local cookie place called Ben's Cookies and their chocolate chip cookies were my favourites, these cookies are just like them so they bring back great memories as well as being delicious! Nick's decided that this is his favourite cookbook & I love that he even has a favourite cookbook so thanks Kelly!

The third cookbook out of the hat today was Vegan Planet, Nick found it quite hard to chose a recipe from this book because it's huge and a bit intimidating and has no pictures. I tossed a few ideas out there and after showing him a picture of the Mac and "Cheese" on Susan's blog Kittens Gone Lentil he was convinced that was what was for dinner. As an ardent onion hater Nick wasn't too impressed that this recipe contained a whole onion but after realising that it was blended he was happy to proceed!

I served mine with broccoli & Nicks with peas and we both loved that it was topped with breadcrumbs. I really should do that more often because it makes everything all crispy & delicious. Sadly aside from the delicious topping we found that this mac & cheese was a little flavourless. The recipe says to use 2 tsp of nooch (that's nutritional yeast!) but Nick knows that that's now how you make a good mac & cheese and threw in 2-3 TBS instead. Unfortunately even that alteration didn't make this cheesy enough for us & it was more like a creamy pasta bake than a macaroni cheese. We added a lot of Parmazano sprinkles though & it ended up being a satisfying cheesy dinner even though we probably wouldn't use this mac & cheese recipe again.

Today's been awesome, I can't believe I've eaten so much delicious food & had three things to blog about without having to cook anything. Isn't Nick the best?!

Sunday 23 October 2011

Football Food Sunday, Take 4!

Iiiiiiit's Football Food Sunday! It's an exciting one today because the game we're watching is actually being played in England! For the last two years we've been to Wembley Stadium to watch but we're trying to save some cash this year so we're on the sofa with our football food instead.

Last night I went to a girlie sleepover at a friends house in another city, there was a tonne of great food, a few glasses of wine, nail polish, terrible movies, and not much sleep. Because of that I knew that todays football food had to be quick & easy and tacos seemed like the obvious choice.

I decided to make the meaty part of the taco filling from TVP because we have a tonne in the pantry & it's loads cheaper than using store-bought veggie mince. I followed the Yellow Rose Recipes method of cooking & seasoning it and it only took about 10 minutes which was perfect given how tired & lazy I'm feeling today. Nick impulse purchased the crunchy taco shells on our last trip to a big supermarket and they just need warming in the oven for 4 minutes, again, perfect! I also served these with quick & easy guacamole (avocado, salt, pepper & lemon juice), shredded Vegusto Melty cheese, lettuce & tomato. Nick had sour cream on his because he doesn't like guac', lettuce or tomato...weird! These tacos didn't quite seem unhealthy enough for Football Food Sunday though so we drank some Cola too and then followed the meal with a popcorn chaser!

I'm sorry this has been a bit of a short one, I promise I'll be back on form next Sunday & I'll be here tomorrow with a new twist on the Cookbook Challenge.

Saturday 22 October 2011

The Cowley Club.

Yesterday it got to lunchtime & I realised that I hadn't really got any food in the house. This was actually awesome news as it meant that I'd managed to eat all of the leftovers and I could go out for lunch!

I decided that because it's MoFo I should try somewhere new so I headed to The Cowley Club. I helped cook a Sunday roast there last week to raise money for Sea Shepherd but aside from that I'd never eaten there before.

The Cowley Club is a vegan worker owned co-operative social centre. During the day it houses a cafe & bookshop and in the evenings it's run as a members bar. When I popped in there yesterday there were four lunch options; two mains, a wrap & the soup of the day.

I went for the Sausage Mash Kale & Gravy which only cost £3. The wraps were £2.30 and soup with bread is only £1.80!

This was a huge plate of food especially considering the price. As you can see there were a tonne of smashed skin on potatoes, two sausages, a decent sized side of kale and plenty of lovely onion gravy. I'd planned to get a slice of cake for £1 but I was far too stuffed, if I'd had my own container I'd have gotten some to take away. This was delicious hearty fare & I can't wait to go back for more.

The Cowley Club which is open on Wednesday, Thursday & Friday from 12-6 and serves food from 12 - 3:30 is the perfect place to sit & read a book whilst eating cheap but delicious vegan food. I love their ethos and the fact that they do things like their Migrant English Project where they teach refugees, migrants and asylum-seekers English for free and give them a free lunch. What a great project!

Friday 21 October 2011

New Food Friday.

Okay, I have a confession. I think I'm obsessed with baking bread! New Food Friday is meant to be all about trying new foods but after realising that I've spent way more than our usual monthly food budget already & that I have a cupboard stuffed with food I decided to scrap the plan to make pierogis & make something more pantry friendly. I had all of the ingredients for the Spelt Loaf from 500 Vegan Recipes in the house and we were out of bread so this seemed perfect.

I picked a recipe that used spelt flour rather than wheat flour because I wanted it to be a bit more challenging & I guess I'm getting good at this bread thing because it turned out great...that is to say that it tasted great, I get the feeling that it isn't really meant to look this "rustic". I think I need to work on my loaf shaping skills!

On Wednesday I made a couple of mini pie crusts when I was making the quiche & today I decided to make broccoli cheese mini quiches for dinner to go with our bread. I used the base recipe from the You Won't Believe It's Vegan quiche and added the cheese from the Inside-Out Cheeseburger's and some broccoli sautéed with garlic.

These little quiches were perfect and both Nick & I love the bread, it's definitely going to be a challenge not to spend the rest of the evening snacking on the loaf!

Thursday 20 October 2011

What I Ate Thursday!

I enjoyed taking pictures of everything I ate a couple of Thursdays ago so I thought I'd do it again today. I slept 'till 11.30 & woke up starving so I started my day with this classic, baked beans on toast.

This bread is just cheap wholewheat from the supermarket & my beans of choice are the Co-Op's Organic Baked Beans. This is my breakfast of choice, I'd eat it every day but I sometimes feel like I should vary it so I do!

For lunch I went for a big plate of leftovers. There's barbecue tofu from Sunday's football food feast, an apple, some kidney beans from the can I opened to make hummus, the last of the pilaf from yesterday & as you can see I won the battle for the last slice of quiche!

This was a pretty great lunch, I'm learning to love leftovers and the quiche was still as amazing as it was yesterday.

For dinner I got Nick to grab a bag of mixed lettuce on his way home from work & I threw together a quick salad. There are chickpeas, again from the hummus, sliced radishes, cherry tomatoes, grated carrot and the dressing from Monday's Sanctuary Chef Salad.

That dressing is still SO yummy, I love it! This would have been a dull salad without it, I think it'd probably make the dullest iceberg lettuce amazing though!

After dinner Nick & I made fun dessert plates! They have Roasted Almond Cookies with Fleur du Sel that I made for the Cookbook Challenge on Tuesday, a square of my favourite Rupunzel Nirwana Noir nut truffle cream chocolate (we have to ration it because you can't buy it in the UK), two Sweet Vegan marshmallows and a Bio Bis spelt chocolate sandwich cookie.

It's been a pretty good day for food given that I haven't needed to cook anything...unless heating up beans counts?! See ya'll tomorrow for New Food Friday!

Liebster Award

When Carrie from Vegan For The Win nominated me for the Liebster blog award last Saturday I was super flattered but I also felt like I shouldn't accept it as I have more than 200 followers. Leibster is German & means 'dearest' or 'beloved' but it can also mean 'favourite' & the idea of the Leibster award is to bring attention to blogs with less than 200 followers but when Savannah of In Her Grace also nominated me for the same award I decided that I should definitely write a post about it & pass the award on to 5 more bloggers.

To keep it relevant I'm passing the award along to bloggers who are also participating in Vegan MoFo...

If you'd like to pass along the award you just need to pick five blogs with less than 200 followers and then...

1- Show your thanks to the people who gave you the award by linking back to them.
2- Link to five of your top picks and let them know they've been nominated by leaving a comment on their blog.
3- Post the award on your blog.
4- Enjoy the love and support of some wonderful people on the inter-web!

Wednesday 19 October 2011

Cookbook Challenge Day VIII

Today the Cookbook Challenge seemed to be insisting that I had friends over for dinner with it's three easy to prepare ahead dishes that would all go together well as one meal. I'm not one to argue with the recipe generator so that's what I did!

My first recipe of the day was the Chipotle Lime Two Bean Hummus from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan. Hummus is usually pretty easy to throw together and this was no exception even though I had to open two tins of beans rather than just one!

The hummus is made from both chickpeas & kidney beans and the chipotle flavour comes from Tabasco. This isn't a recipe I'd have picked, there are a lot of hummus recipes scattered between my many cookbooks and as I never have Tabasco in the house, well, until today, I would have skipped it for a more pantry friendly recipe. I was worried this would be too spicy but even I couldn't really detect any spice, I might even add more Tabasco next time.

My next recipe of the day isn't actually from the cookbook challenge but as I was having friends over for dinner I thought I should pull out the big guns & make 4 dishes. I'm a firm believer that hummus should always be accompanied by pitta bread so I e-mailed one of my bff's for her recipe.

This simple flatbread recipe only contains five ingredients but I realised too late that the recipe calls for fresh yeast rather than either of the kinds of yeast I actually had, I decided to guess at active dry yeast & continue anyway!

These certainly didn't turn out as well as Kip's pitta bread usually does but I don't think they're half bad for a first attempt. They look more like a flat bread roll than a traditional pitta but they tasted great so who cares right?!

The second cookbook I pulled out of the hat for today was the The Complete Guide To Vegan Food Substitutions and the generator chose me page 178, Quinoa Lentil Pilaf.

This pretty dish is flavoured with orange juice and caraway seeds & I love that it uses roasted salted cashew nuts. It's also the perfect accompaniment to recipe number three the Quiche from You Won't Believe It's Vegan. I've made quiche plenty of times before using my go to recipe from Vegan Brunch but I have to admit that I've never made the pie crust myself before. I don't usually cheat completely & buy the pre baked pastry case but I do usually buy the pastry in a block & just roll it out myself & I'll admit that I was tempted to do that today...

...but I reminded myself that I was going to need to make pie crust when Isa & Terry's pie book arrives anyway & I also remembered that Nick & I had received some of those fancy ceramic baking balls as a wedding gift so I stopped being a wuss & got on with it! The crust is coconut oil based which I was surprised by, I was worried that my savoury quiche would turn out, well, coconutty, but it hasn't and the crust was perfectly crispy & didn't crumble when I cut it.

I decided to grate some of the cheese I made yesterday into this quiche & it definitely worked out well. It was really delicious, there's only one slice left and I think there might be some fighting over it tomorrow.

I also chopped up some veggies to go with the hummus & here's the whole spread...

I think I'll be making all of these dishes again and I'm happy that I'm no longer scared of pie crust!