Monday, September 19, 2011

Vegan 101 - from Vegan Society (NZ) + yummy recipes!

Amanda and SO MANY veggies!

Last week, the Vegan Society of New Zealand hosted the grand debut of Vegan 101 in Auckland, New Zealand, designed for new vegans and the vegan curious. 

Vegan Society member experts delivered a tasty message full of juicy tidbits that we all wished we'd known when we started being vegan.

Vegan101audience.jpgAlice Leonard of Angel Food opened ceremonies with hints on socialising in a non-vegan world and the best strategies for vegan shopping - including a reassurance that label reading eventually becomes second nature!

Bjorn Nilsen shared his thorough knowledge of vegan nutrition from his studies at Wellpark).  Along with other great advice, a longterm vegetarian going vegan received his definitive vitamin B12 answer: take a supplement.

Together with Amanda Sorrenson of SAFE New Zealand, we filled a large whiteboard with a world of vegan meal ideas: Traditional (English), Italian, Indian, Middle Eastern, Asian (general), Thai, Japanese, South American/Mexican, and even French - without feeling like we'd remembered everything. 

Amanda cooks up a storm
Then Amanda demystified the sometimes startling range of tofu available.  We got to sample dessert tofu as soft as custard all the way to chewy tempeh.

The grand finale was a live cooking demo.  We ate rich chocolate frosted chocolate cupcakes for "dessert first" while we watched Amanda stir-fry vegetables teamed with gingery noodles.  She even wrapped up by showing how quick and easy it is to use Thai rice paper wrappers to make appealing vegetable nibbles.

The food and company was so good that many attendees were reluctant to leave even as chairs and tables were packed up around them.

Congratulations, Vegan Society New Zealand - we look forward to more of these all around the country!

Stir Fry Vegetables with Noodles

1 pack of dry rice noodles
2 TBs sugar
3 cloves garlic
3-4 dried shiitake mushrooms
1 Chilli (optional)
Pickled radish (optional)
Lime leaves (optional)
About ¼ cup of soy sauce

Veggies; carrots, spring onions. mushrooms, cabbage, bok choy, sprouts, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts etc
One or more of tofu/nuts/tempeh/mock meat

  • Soak the dry rice noodles in a bowl of hot water for around 10-15 minutes. Drain and put aside.
  • Soak the shitake mushrooms in hot water for 15 mins
  • Chop up the veggies and put aside
  • Cut the tofu into cubes and fry in oil gently; either soft or firm. (Or cut your mock meat into strips or chunks) and put aside
  • Heat the wok or a large pot…. fry together oil, garlic, sugar, finely sliced shitake mushrooms, some of your soy sauce, ginger, chilli. Stir for around 3-5 minutes
  • Then add in all your chopped veggies and fry for around 3-5 minutes
  • Throw in the drained noodles and fry and continue to mix them around to ensure they all heat through. Pour in some water or more soy sauce if it gets too dry.
  • Now stir in the tofu/tempeh or other protein
  • Serve!
  • lemon
  • chilli sauce
  • soy sauce
  • white pepper
  • fresh coriander
  • sauces such as hoisin 

Easy Vegan Chocolate Cake

3 c flour
2 c sugar
¾ c cocoa
2 c water (or soy or rice milk)
1 cup of oil (sunflower or rice bran etc
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
¼ c cider vinegar


  • sift the dry ingredients together
  • mix in the water and oil and vanilla
  • lastly add the pre mixed vinegar and baking soda
  • spoon the mixture into cup cake cases or a cake tin
  • bake 180c for approx 40 mins for cake or 20 for cupcakes
Ganache Topping
Melt a block of dark choc with

  • ½ can of coconut milk or cream - (ideally the top of an unshaken can)
  • 2-3 Tbs of margarine (optional)

Let it cool before coating the cake

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