Vegan Animal


Vegan Italian Sausages with spaghetti

I’ve always had this love-hate relationship with seitan. Every time I made it before it came out really sucky. I buy some seitan of the dry ready-made variety and that always comes out wonderfully. I found the recipe for Vegan Italian Sausages on the Happy Herbivore website (you can find the full recipe here : ) and it looked yummy, easy to make and best of all most of the meals by Happy Herbivore are fat-free or at least low fat !!

So I made the recipe for the Vegan Italian Sausages from above and they turned out like this :

I added chopped them up and added them to the tomato pasta sauce that I made used for baked butternut and tofu pasta and mixed in some spaghetti and it looked like this :

And to top everything off we don’t have Daiya in South Africa and Cheezly is hard to find so when I found Vegusto No-Muh (no-moo) in an arb supermarket yesterday I was pretty happy !! They only had the “piquant” flavour available but it grates nicely and was wonderful on top of the pasta. The no-moo bit is really cute too.

Grated Vegusto :


Vegan Berry Trifle

Happy New Year everyone !!

I feel terrible that it’s been more than a month since my last blog. So I thought I’d start the new year with this amazing vegan dessert. I didn’t make it but it was made by my better half – Mrs Vegan Animal. I’m not a fan of fruit in desserts but this was absolutely amazing and it tastes as good as it looks. I’ve never had trifle before in my life and had no idea how this was going to turn out but this was made on xmas day and the rest of the family (non-vegans) loved it too.

1 packet of vegan raspberry flavoured jelly
660 ml raspberry or cranberry juice
230 g plain sponge cake broken into large chunks (we used the Vanilla Cake from How it All Vegan)
2 tablespoons orange flavoured liquer (we used brandy)
500g strawberries, hulled, sliced thinly
125 g raspberries
125 g blueberries

For the custard cream :
300 ml thick vegan cream, whipped
600 ml ready made thick vegan custard

1. Make the jelly in a large 2.5 litre capacity glass serving bowl and refrigerate until set
2. For the custard cream, whisk the cream until soft peaks form. Fold through the custard until just combined
3. Drizzle the sponge pieces with the liquer and arrange over the jelly. Top with half the strawberries and then the custard cream.
4. Top with the remaining strawberries, raspberries and blueberries.
5. Serve chilled


Aloo Matar Gobi

Vegan Mofo 2010 – Day 30

Well it’s come to the end of a wonderful Vegan Mofo. Our fellow vegans have really done themselves proud with some amazing recipes using so much imagination.

I think we should try to keep this up as much as possible and try to post at least once a week ? Anyone else agree ? It will be great to keep up the momentum and grow our online community from strength to strength.

So those of you that have followed my blog for the last 30 days (and I managed to post every day for 30 days) may have noticed that I love Indian food. So I thought it would be fitting to end with my favourite Indian dish – Aloo Matar Gobi. (aloo = potatoes, matar = peas, gobi = cauliflower)

Aloo Matar Gobi

Ingredients :
1 medium to large head of cauliflower
6 medium potatoes
6 large tomatoes skins removed and diced (*)
2 tablespoons freshly ground ginger
As much fresh green or red chillies you want (The hotter the better – but if you don’t have fresh chillies – dried red chillies will do)
2 teaspoons of black mustard seeds
2 teaspoons of cumin seeds
1 teaspoon of turmeric
2 teaspoons of curry powder (or more if you like)
2 teaspoons of chilli powder
If you have coriander powder and garam masala that would be good about 1 teaspoon of each.
Fresh lemon juice and paprika for the potatoes.
A small handful of fresh coriander leaves for garnish.
Vegetable oil for cooking
OK now for the potatoes …
The super evil way is to peel and cut in quarters, steam until soft and then roast in oven on a medium-to-high heat until crispy. 5 minutes before the potatoes are done remove from the oven pour fresh lemon juice and paprika over them. (the lesser of all evils is to add the potatoes just before adding the tomatoes)

Use a wok or a deep skillet dish that has a lid so it can be covered.
Turn the plate onto medium heat and heat up enough oil (maybe 2 or 3 Tablespoons)
When the oil is nice and hot add the seeds (cumin and mustard)
When the seeds start popping put in the other spices including the ginger and chillies.
Stir quickly for about 30 seconds and then add in the cauliflower and stir them around so they’re well coated.
Do that for about 2 minutes and then add the tomatoes.
You can raise the heat until the tomatoes are cooking nicely and starting to break up then add enough water to cover everything without making everything float.
Then cover and simmer like that for 10 – 15 minutes and the tomatoes have turned into a nice sauce or gravy.
Cover your wok if you can.
When there’s a nice sauce add the roast potatoes and leave for 5 or 10 minutes !!
Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve on a bed of steamed basmati rice or a nice garlic naan like the one below (I can’t take credit for making the naan unfortunately).

Garlic Naan

(*) Do you know how to peel tomatoes the easy way ?
OK it’s really easy. Make crosses over the top and bottom just slicing the skin slightly.
Then soak in boiling water for 10 minutes or so then add to cold water and the skins starting peeling off by themselves. Peel off the skins remove hard bit at the top and dice the tomatoes into small pieces.


Masala Dosa

Vegan Mofo 2010 – Day 29

I hope the title of this blog didn’t get you to open up hoping that I would show you how to actually make masala dosa. If it did I’m sorry because this is just a pictorial blog of our anniversary dinner at a South Indian restaurant in Johannesburg named “Thava”. What’s great about the place is there are different items on the menu and it’s authentic South Indian food where most restaurants in Johannesburg are North Indian and the menus are identical.

For those of you that have never had a dosa it’s a little piece of savoury heaven (or the closest thing you get to it) similar to a very thin savoury crepe but crispy. A masala dosa is a dosa stuffed with spicy potatoes. (this one tonight almost tasted like a spicy Indian bubble and squeak).

Masala Dosa served with urad dhal and a wonderful thick coconut chutney

We had our masala dosa as a starter (bigger enough for two to share comfortably). Accompanied by vegetable jalfrezi and aloo gobi matar (the wonderful combination of potato [aloo], cauliflower [gobi] and peas [matar] ).

Vegetable Jalfrezi

Aloo Gobi Matar

(sorry about the poor photo quality on this my flash ruined it. I really need to invest in a photography course)


Chicken Fried Seitan

Vegan Mofo 2010 – Day 28

All I can say is “Praise Seitan!!”.

Okay so there’s been a meal I’ve been wanting to try for ages. I first saw it in the Voracious Vegan blog (edit – this was originally a link to the blog but it’s no longer active so I have copied in the post below) and it’s been in my bookmarks / favourite folder for a long time.

So this is the first time I’ve tried to simmer seitan – my previous attempts have been of the baked variety. I was surprised at how well it turned out and Tasha in her blog mentions that it is a very forgiving recipe. I’d say it’s a very rewarding recipe because if you put in the effort it really comes out wonderfully. Mine did and I can see this is going to be a favourite of mine for years to come.

If you have any similar seitan recipes please share them because I’m a real fan after this one.

Since posting this the Voracious Vegan blog is no longer active so I have copied in the recipe below verbatim.
All credit to the original poster Tasha, from the Voracious Vegan blog.









Chicken Fried Seitan

Chicken Fried Seitan

Before we get started let me just say one thing: This recipe is one of the most amazing things I have ever, ever, tasted. It doesn’t just have a passing resemblance to fried chicken, it’s not just a vaguely decent replacement; it is fried chicken. I cannot stress enough just how absolutely authentic this tastes. It took an hour of convincing before my fiancé Cody would even begin to believe that I hadn’t just gone crazy and used real chicken meat. I gave a sample to my non-vegan, but still super amazing, friend Karin and she said her sons thought she was trying to trick them when she said it wasn’t real fried chicken. Apparently they were pulling it apart and examining it closely, all the while saying: “Mom, do you think we’re idiots!?”
Seriously crispy, deliciously flavored and perfectly textured, this is a meal worthy of convincing any omnivore that meat is definitely unnecessary. I know some vegans don’t enjoy eating anything that tastes like or resembles real animal flesh, but I’m not one of them. While the thought of eating actual animal meat makes me seriously nauseas, the thought of eating a cruelty free vegan version makes me seriously hungry!

This was my first time experimenting with seitan and I am so pleased with it I just know some version of it will be a weekly meal occurrence in my house. Before we left the U.S. last year I had eaten seitan a few times in vegetarian/vegan restaurants and I was shocked and impressed with how super yummy and meat-like it was. Unfortunately when we moved to Bahrain I scoured the island from top to bottom without any success: I could find no vital wheat gluten, the key ingredient to making seitan. It pains me to discuss this but I even tried making seitan with regular flour. The resulting disaster is one of my worst kitchen catastrophes ever. The ‘seitan’ cutlets were lumpy bricks of rubber that ended up in the garbage after just a few brave bites.
Last week while wandering morosely through Jawad’s grocery store, already feeling the ache in my wallet, my eyes alighted upon row after row of vital wheat gluten. I nearly howled in delight as I piled the heavy bags into my cart. Life in the grocery stores of Bahrain is so unpredictable. Some weeks they have what you want, other weeks they apparently have never even heard of it. (Oh, and kale? No one knows it exists.) So yesterday I headed into my kitchen armed with actual, honest-to-goodness vital wheat gluten and a glimmer of hope in my heart. Could I seriously make seitan? I had heard of, and experienced my own, horror stories, so I tried to contain my excitement.

The seitan came together quickly and simply with absolutely no mishaps. I could instantly discern its forgiving nature; it could be adapted into an endless amount of variations and handle all sorts of mistakes. After 20 minutes of simmering and 5 minutes of frying, I sliced into my first cutlet never expecting the shock that I received. I was completely, totally, blown away by the meaty taste and texture, and I still am every time I head back to the fridge to grab some leftovers. How could this really be made from the natural protein of wheat flour? How could something this insanely delicious actually be good for me? One more bite and every question in my head disappeared into the crispy, juicy flavor of the chicken fried seitan cutlet.
*This recipe for chicken fried seitan was inspired and adapted from this recipe created by the amazing genius Vegan Yum Yum. Check out her gorgeous blog. She was even on the Martha Stewart Show!

-1 and ½ cups of vital wheat gluten (can be found in the flour section of the Jawad’s on Budaiya Highway)
– 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast (if you live in Bahrain and do not have the best friends and family in the world that regularly ship you installments of this deliciousness, then just replace with three more tablespoons of vital wheat gluten)
– ¼ Tbsp cumin
– ½ tsp salt
-1 tsp garlic powder
– ½ tsp lemon pepper
– ½ tsp chili powder
– ½ Tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
– 2 Tbsp soy sauce
– 2 Tbsp soy milk
– ¾ Cup cold water
– Combine the above ingredients quickly and knead for just a minute or two. If you knead for too long the seitan will be a little tough. Separate the dough into 5 cutlets and drop into the lightly simmering broth.

– 5 Cups water
– 1 tsp cumin
– ½ tsp salt
– ½ tsp pepper
-2 Tbsp soy sauce
– 2 Tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
-Simmer, covered, for 15 – 20 minutes, flipping the cutlets once.

To ensure the right texture I continually taste test the cutlets as the simmering progresses. If they are cooked for too long they become tough. But don’t get it wrong, this is a very forgiving recipe, it is hard to mess up! They never become too tough, just a littler tougher than my perfect dream chicken fried seitan, but still deliciously, delectably tasty. Who knows, maybe you like your seitan a bit firmer. In that case knead the dough for a bit longer and simmer for a few minutes more.

-Once you remove the cutlets from the lightly simmering broth, TA DA, you have made seitan! Now you can proceed as you wish. You can chop it up and throw it into a stir fry (delicious), you can roast it in the oven (heavenly), you can chop it up and throw it into a taco salad (yum), the options are endless. But….you could make the world’s most perfect chicken fried seitan. You like that idea?

-Keep the cutlets in the broth but remove from heat and allow to come to room temperature while you prepare the dredging mixtures.
-In a large frying pan heat a ½ inch or so of peanut oil on medium high heat.

Dredge the cutlets first in the wet mix:
-1/4 cup water
-1/4 cup soymilk
-3 Tbsp stone-ground spicy mustard
-1/2 tsp garlic powder
-dash of lemon pepper
-2 Tbsp all purpose flour
-1 Tbsp nutritional yeast (you can replace with AP flour, but if you do make sure to up the spices a bit)
-1/2 tsp cumin

Then dredge the cutlets in the dry mix:

-1 and ¼ cup all purpose flour
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp pepper
-1 tsp cumin
-1 tsp garlic powder
-4 Tbsp nutritional yeast (omit if you must, replacing with AP flour, but up the spices)
-1 tsp paprika
-3 tsp baking powder
-Fry the dredged cutlets in the peanut oil on medium high heat until they are golden brown and crispy all over.

Serve on a hamburger bun with vegan mayo and mustard, pickles, lettuce and tomatoes. Or slather with vegan butter and hot sauce for hot wings, or serve with a side of mashed potatoes and white gravy. Like I said, the options are endless, have fun!


Split Red Lentil Dhal

Vegan Mofo 2010 – Day 27

I haven’t eaten well in the last couple of days and I felt like some really spicy and healthy that would make me feel a lot better. Dhal is a spicy Indian soup made with any kind of lentils and vegetables and normally served with either rice and/or roti.

I have used many kinds of lentils over the years but I only discovered slit red lentils in the last year and like them so much because they take less time to cook are very tasty, are easier on your digestion and can be added to any kind of soup or stew.

Ingredients :
– 6 cups of boiling water (1.5 litres)
– 1 cup split red lentils
– 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger crushed
– A pinch of ground sea salt
– 2 bay leaves
– 1 teaspoon of curry powder
– 2 or 3 fresh red or green chillies (or dried red chillies will do if you don’t have any fresh chillies. 1 tablespoon of crushed chillies or chilli powder)
– 200g of green beans (add any veggies that you like)
– 2 tablespoons of cooking oil of our choice (sunflower, canola or peanut work nicely)
– 1 teaspoon of black mustard seeds
– 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
– 1 teaspoon of cumin powder
– 1 teaspoon of coriander powder
– Pinch of hing
– ½ spoon turmeric
– Fresh coriander for garnish
– Freshly squeezed lemon juice
– Ground black pepper

Adding the boiling water to a large pot (that has a lid) on a high heat and add in the split red lentils. As it starts boiling rapidly add the ginger, bay leaves, curry powder and chillies. Drop the heat to medium high and allow to boil for 4 or 5 minutes. Add your veggies and as the water starts to boil again cover the pot and reduce heat to medium heat. Allow to simmer until the lentils have started dissolving and the veggies are soft.

Then heat up the two tablespoons of cooking oil on a medium high heat and add the mustard seeds. As the mustard seeds start popping add in the cumin seeds and leave for another 30 seconds or so or until the cumin seeds start popping. Add the remaining spices: cumin powder, coriander powder, garam masala, turmeric and hing. Stir constantly and allow to fry for another 30 seconds ensuring the spices don’t burn or stick.
Add the fried spices to dhal and mix well. Allow to simmer for another 2 or 3 minutes on a medium heat.

Garnish with some fresh coriander leaves, add salt and black pepper to taste and sprinkle with some fresh lemon juice. The dhal should by quite thick and not too runny and you should serve ladled over basmati rice.


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