Friday, January 18, 2013

2012 - The unblogged edition

The 18th January marks the anniversary of my blog which has been going for two years now. During 2012 I only managed to publish 101 posts, which was a bit lower than 138 posts in 2011. Challenges on and off throughout the year prevented me from writing as much as I would have have liked and ever since Ollie's arrival in July a lot of my usual free time has been devoted to training and exercising him (which is very rewarding, good exercise and lots of fun). Although it wasn't the most productive year in the blogging sense, there were many recipes from other blogs I tried along the way so here's a round up of a few I can recall (with photos of ones I've been able to locate).  

Post Punk Kitchen - Chesapeake tempeh cakes. Johanna from Green Gourmet Giraffe posted about this recipe at a time when I was struggling to like tempeh much at all. I found the tempeh in these tasty little "crab" cakes to be very enjoyable although I wasn't particularly fond of the remoulade drizzled on top. I must make these again soon!

Seitan is my motor - Pasta with walnut, mushroom and tempeh sauce. This recipe was given high praise from vegan about town and where's the beef so I was keen to give it a try. Unfortunately it wasn't a winner for us, we didn't enjoy the tempeh in this meal and the flavour of the walnuts in the sauce were too strong for our tastes, so I'll stick to using cashews in creamy pasta sauces.

Holy Cow - Aloo posto. The man and I have a similar distaste for potatoes in curries so I generally steer clear of these types of recipes. I was intrigued by Vaishali's potato based curry as I had never seen a poppy seed paste in a curry previously so I made the recipe with cabbage instead. Even though my blender struggled to break down the poppy seeds completely it was still a very enjoyable dish which my extended family enjoyed too.

Fat Free Vegan - Okara crab cakes. This is an older recipe from Susan V's archives I stumbled upon when searching for okara recipe ideas after making home made tofu. I added the upper end of the stated amount of Old Bay Seasoning (purchased from USA Foods) which resulted in a strong peppery flavour that none of us were particularly fond of.

Inspired eats- Pan fried shiitake mushroom bacon. I was curious to see if a recipe that listed so few ingredients (mushrooms, oil, salt) would actually taste like bacon. The flavour was quite impressive given there was no liquid smoke or smoked paprika involved and they tasted great on baked potatoes with a spicy noochy sauce. It hasn't replaced my favourite tofu bacon but it was fun to try out another facon recipe.

Diet, dessert and dogs - Greek inspired chickpea scramble and Quinoa pizza balls. Both of these recipes tasted fantastic, the chickpea scramble made with besan was full of delicious Mediterranean flavours and is a great alternative to a regular tofu scramble. The quinoa and bean based pizza balls flavoured with tomato paste and herbs turned out a little softer than I expected but they were still lovely to snack on.

Sweet Roots - Coconut milk cheddar - There is something about coconut products that just doesn't work with my palate and I really need to stop experimenting. Heavily spiced coconut based curries are about the only savoury meals where I enjoy coconut and anything else just doesn't appeal. The coconut flavour in this cheese was way too strong for my liking and put me off vegan cheese making for a while.

Wheres the beef - Kentucky Fried Tofu. Cindy's not so secret blend of herbs and spices in this recipe that was written up in the Planet VeGMeL zine last year was really delicious and rather simple to prepare for a slightly indulgent nostalgic meal.

Tales of a Vegan Food Fetishist / Wrapped in Pastry - I'm a huge fan of Leigh Drew's recipes and was rapt to get my guys on board with split peas in her garlic lemon dal recipe as they usually associate split peas with soup. The man and young man were also highly impressed with the Subway style "meatball" subs I made early last year. Pate en croute and pissaldiere (bottom right in the photo above) from Leigh's latest cookbook Wrapped in Pastry were popular at family Christmas gatherings last year. I loved both of these recipes but the man wasn't crazy about the pate en croute.

Vegan Dad - Corned Beef. The man used to have a penchant for corned beef back in the day so I gave this version a try. I wasn't able to track down all of the ingredients and made a couple of substitutions which may have contributed to it's failure. The accompanying white sauce with capers I whipped up wasn't fantastic either. I was sad to read recently that Vegan Dad has farewelled the blogging world as I've enjoyed several recipes from his blog over the years.

Vegan about town - Dan dan mian. I was really disappointed that the man didn't share my enthusiasm for this delicious bowl of noodles and tempeh in a super spicy broth as I was so happy to find another tempeh dish that I enjoyed. We usually have similar tolerances to chilli but on this occasion it was too spicy for him and perfect for me. Perhaps if it's toned down a fraction I may have better success next time?


I would like to finish this post with a huge thank you to all readers of this blog, everyone who has tried a recipe or two, readers that have left me a comment during these years and the many people I have connected with through regular comments on my blog as well as their own. It really means a lot and all of the feedback I receive is much appreciated. I hope you are looking forward to another year of posts with plenty more stopovers from around the world to come!


  1. Thank you for the amazing job you're doing with this blog! It 's a big source of food inspiration for me.

  2. Ooh, good round up! I've pinned a few of these recipes for trying out in our own kitchen :)

  3. Congratulations on the two year anniversary (we have similar blog lengths as it turns out - my 2 year mark is in March) :-) 2012 might have delivered slightly fewer posts, but I think blogging is an area where quality wins over quantity, and in quality you are definitely winning. I enjoyed this round up post and will look forward to another year ahead!

  4. High five on the two year anniversary!

    I've been eyeballing the Chesapeake recipe for a while, but never got around to making it as like you I'm still not entirely convinced that I really like tempeh. If it's managed to win over tempeh skeptics though, I might get around to giving it a try!

  5. happy blogiversary. Glad you are still going strong. Great to see what else you are cooking. Would the crab cakes work with the tartare sauce you did for the fish fingers? I saw a veg corned beef recipe that I wanted to try but can't remember where so am sorry that you didn't have any success with this one. RE the vegan cheeze, I did something quite similar to the new roots coconut cheeze but I used soy milk - perhaps try it again with a different vegan milk (and add a bit of fat maybe because that is probably what the coconut milk gives it)

  6. Happy blogiversary! Love the round-up of recipes you tried from the web.

  7. Hi Mel, a very happy anniversary, and looking forward to many more to come. I am thrilled you tried the posto with cabbage-- a healthier idea definitely than potatoes, and one I am going to steal. :)

  8. Amazing wrap up! Thanks for all of the awesome vegan links :) Happy Anniversary!