Monday, 24 February 2014

Tofu Omelette - Vegan, Baked, Child Friendly

I used to make tofu omelettes all the time, and have blogged about one I used to make for Small HERE. When I first started trying to make them they'd never go right. Recipes that claimed they'd get firm enough when fried to flip over always turned to mush. I know it can work, but I never get consistent results that way. Instead I started baking them. They've less fat this way, and you don't have to stand over it - sure they take a little bit longer in the oven but I don't mind when they come out in one piece! 
My favorite fillings are: mushrooms, spinach, cheeze & faux bacon but really what you use is only limited by your imagination (or maybe what you have in the fridge!).

An ingredient that I've used here is called Kala Namak (black salt). I've listed it as optional because I made and enjoyed these for ages before I ever tried it, it depends if you used to enjoy an 'eggy' taste in your pre vegan days. I brought some online as Small totally loves Vegg made up as a faux 'yolk' to dip things in, so I thought I'd try and get a similar taste. It's not hard to find online (I got a 100g bag for around £2 that will last ages).

Ingredients (makes two)

1 package firm silken tofu
5 TBSP gram flour
2 TBSP nutritional yeast
1 TBSP cornflour
1 TSP each of garlic powder, onion powder
1/2 TSP turmeric 
1/2 TSP smoked paprika
1/2 TSP Kala Namak (black salt)
2 TBSP oil

Pre heat your oven to 175C. 
Place all the ingredients and process until smooth. Lightly grease or spray a 9 inch round bottomed tin or oven dish. The mixture makes two so pour half and smooth out making sure there are no holes etc.
Cover with foil and bake for around 30 minutes. 

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Chocolate Chip Cookies - Vegan, Low Gluten & Low Fat

I've been craving cookies lately, but since I'm having to be careful with gluten and trying to eat a lower fat diet my old trusty recipe was no good. After a few weeks of trying out different methods I'm really pleased with these - still gooey and chewy like cookies should be!


1 cup whole grain spelt flour (I've been using Dove's Farm)
1 Tsp Baking Powder
1 Tsp Baking Soda
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup raw coconut sugar
3 TBSP non dairy milk
1 TBSP oil (sunflower and coconut works depending on what you want final taste to be like)
1 TBSP Vanilla Extract
1 TBSP ground flaxseed
1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips

Mix together the sugar, oil, milk, vanilla extract and flaxseed so that most of the sugar dissolves. Add the dry ingredients and mix well until you have a firmish dough. Divide into about 10 cookies by rolling into balls and flattening a little.
Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper and cook in a preheated oven at 180C for about 8 minutes. Allow to cool and firm up a little before eating.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Saying Goodbye To Your Cot

We've had mixed night time success since Small was born. The first few months were a sleepless blur in which Mr B and I took shifts and rarely slept at the same time or in the same bed. It was tough and I'll be honest - I knew with a new baby that I'd be up at night but nothing could have prepared me for the sheer exhaustion that being sleepless for that long causes.
At around 4 months I read 'The No Cry Sleep Solution' and began a routine, for a while she even fell asleep in her cot (in her bedroom) all by herself and slept though most of the night. That didn't last long though. To cut a long story short we ended up co sleeping for everybody's sanity and not long after set up a sidecar cot in our bedroom so everybody had enough space. She always started the night in her own room (after falling asleep with me in my bed) and would usually sleep until 2am at least before coming through. Now she often doesn't even last an hour and I end up in bed early with no dinner. The solution that has worked longest for us was no longer working and causing strain.
We're now trying to transition her to sleeping in her own room more, and as she absolutely hated her cot we decided it was time to turn it into a bed. I have to admit, as Mr B took the cot apart I was a little bit teary. I remember seeing her completed nursery for the first time after getting out of hospital (I'd been in for just over a week after having a P.E) and being really emotional knowing my daughter would be here in a few months time. It's the end of a phase, and now the cot is gone it feels like she's a 'real' toddler and no longer a little baby. I know she hasn't really been a little baby for quite a while, but it's in some ways sad to admit that as I know I can't really have any more children.
Last night was the first night with her toddler bed. She actually seems to like it and plays at tucking herself in and puts her head on the pillow and pretends to snore. I'm trying to make it a gradual process and don't expect it all to happen at once or be easy. She barely spent half an hour asleep in it after taking about three hours to go to sleep and then after coming in with us. I'm hoping she'll get more used to it over time.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Boston Tea Party - Birmingham

I'm not sure where I heard about Boston Tea Party, it may have been on Twitter or Instagram - but I'd heard roumers of vegan food. I checked out their menu online and suggested to my BFF that we meet there. We usually go to Urban Coffee on Church Street for a natter, but they've constantly ignored my (and others) requests for vegan food and they never seem to have any coffee syrup when I pop in. This makes me sad as it'd previously been our favourite for a couple of years.

Considering it's building was once a branch of Yate's and then a dodgy looking Chinese Buffet place they've done a good job of the interior. It's spacious and has an almost 'warehouse meets retro style' with some booth seating. 
They've a large selection of teas and coffees available with soya milk and they're served in cute little tea pots, although I thought tea cups would have been nicer to drink from rather than the large mugs we were given.

They have a couple of vegan food options on the menu (or vegetarian things with a vegan option), but sadly no cake. I had the vegan option veggie burger which was actually really nice and good value for money. 
It'd be nice to see a few more things such as puddings/ cake and maybe a vegan kid's option too - but it's nice to have somewhere else in Birmingham with vegan options clearly marked on the menu and staff who seem to have a good grasp of what vegan actually means. I 'm sure I'll be back soon!