Wednesday, 23 August 2017

What do you eat/ What do you use? Part 32

·        * Easy Mediterranean Tart: I used one sheet of flaky pastry. I put about 4 palmfuls of frozen vegetables into the oven for ten minutes at 200 degrees. With the thawed sheet of New Way’s Vegetarian Pastry (available at Countdowns), I cut the sheet into four. I then spread tomato puree, added some herbs on top, then added the cooked vegetables, and sprinkled some pepper over it. I cut slits at the corner so that the edges can be folded in. I put this in the oven for 20 minutes or until puffed up. This is the recipe for four tarts, slightly adapted, from Tinned Tomatoes For the mashed sweet potato, I chopped a large sweet potato and boiled it for about 15 minutes I think. Test it by poking it with a fork and if it goes through smoothly, it’s ready. I sifted out the water, then mashed the sweet potato and added some paprika, garlic and herb salt, and pepper. I had the tart and mashed potato with Bistro’s Rich Gravy, mixed vegetables, and spinach.
·        * Chocolate Cake recipe is from The Buddhist Chef I just stick to canola oil, because it’s cheaper, and I omitted the cashew nut.
·        * Another hit from Loving It Vegan. Her cake recipes are the best, even if I find the icing too sweet. The cake tin I use is large, so I didn’t divide the mixture. I did, however, only made and used half the icing recipe. Strawberries (obviously you can tell I didn’t use any) are still on the pricey side, but I’m looking forward to trying this recipe with strawberries in summer. I use Olivani margarine for vegan butter but there are other dairy-free options popping up.
·        * Passionfruit custard triangle <3 322="" 7am-5pm="" always="" and="" are="" available="" but="" caf="" can="" check.="" custard="" favourite="" fridays="" from="" i="" lincoln="" monday="" my="" o:p="" on="" open="" portershed.="" ring="" road="" saturday.="" them="" these="" think="" thursdays="" triangles="" until="" up="" you="">

I have a reusable straw

This is super rich chocolate mousse to make when you’ve used a can of chickpeas but don’t want to waste the liquid. I used Trade Aid’s dark chocolate with this but any chocolate will do, although I think dark chocolate makes it richer. I didn’t follow the directions: after fluffing up the aquafaba (chickpea brine), you’re meant to add the tempered chocolate slowly, not adding it with the mixer still going on high. However, it still worked anyway. I added a teaspoon of vanilla to the melted chocolate as a pre-emptive measure after reading the comments. I also added a lot more icing sugar – I think about 3 tablespoons. It’s best to add the icing sugar to taste. After pouring the mousse into glasses, or whatever vessels you’re using, an hour in the fridge should be enough for it to sit. I think it makes two of those glasses pictured. They’re best enjoyed slowly. Recipe:     

If you’re new to aquafaba, mixing it on high for 10-15 minutes should make it have peaks. How to test if it’s ready? Stick a toothpick in and if it stands, as opposed to falling into the aquafaba, it’s ready. If it falls in, then you need to keep mixing until it doesn’t. 

·        * Chickpea Tikka Masala: I used this recipe Adaptions I made were: skipping the cayenne pepper, swapping a can of chickpeas for a large handful of chopped mushrooms, and missing the fresh coriander because, ew, it tastes like soap to me. I didn’t read the instructions and missed the cornstarch bit, so my curry was runnier than it was meant to be. But still, tasty : D glad I have a decent tikka masala recipe up my sleeve now. I forgot how much I like chickpeas.
·        * Apple Turnovers: I mainly followed this recipe but things are different in New Zealand. I thawed two sheets of New Way’s Vegetarian Pastry, then cut it into eight squares. I chopped up two apples, and put it in a pan with: a tablespoon of dairy-free margarine, ¼ cup of brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon of cornflour. I cooked it on medium-high for about 15 minutes, but it’s ready when tender so check. The apple mix is stretched thin, but I find putting a tablespoon or two of the apple mix at the centre of each square works – there’s just enough. Fold the square into a triangle, and press a fork on the open edges to seal it. Bake it at 200 degrees for 15 minutes, or until golden. This is great with some dairy-free ice cream. If others are not into apple turnovers, or you’d rather eat them yourself over a longer period of time, 20 seconds in the microwave should be enough to warm them up. If it’s not warm enough, another 10 seconds might do the trick.    

Picture taken by my boyfriend on Skype. I was showing him my halo. 

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Earthquake Memorial

Went to my favourite cafe, Portershed, and enjoyed a passionfruit custard square and a coconut milk mocha. 

It's pretty much spring already at Christchurch's Botanical Gardens

I visited the Christchurch Earthquake Memorial for the first time

Thursday, 27 July 2017

What do you eat / What do you use? Part 31

I’ve been throwing money at Portershed, the café that recently opened at 322 Lincoln road. It’s open Monday to Saturday, 7am until 5pm. The staff are great; they have wonderful and tasty options from sausage rolls to peanut butter brownies, coconut milk coffees to almond milk coffees; and it’s comfortable with style, affordable, and at a good location. I'm so happy this place exists in Christchurch. Go!

It deserved its own picture. A custard and lemon doughnut! : O the best thing ever and it’s at Portershed. I recommend calling them to get them to set aside a doughnut for you as they go quick! They’re $8.50. 

·       *  My boyfriend’s mother made this delicious pasta flora traditional Greek jam tart and I’ve asked for the recipe and tried to make it myself:
I used canola oil instead of sunflower, vanilla essence, which I put in with the liquids, and I didn’t add brandy as I didn’t have any.  
·        * A large meal I made that I ate over five days.

 Tofu Scramble: It’s my first time making tofu scramble. It doesn’t taste like scrambled eggs, but I enjoyed it regardless. I got the recipe from Kalel but I’ll type the recipe as she does delete videos. Break up into pieces a pack worth of firm tofu to desired pieces. Add a tablespoon or two of turmeric, some seasoned salt (I use garlic and herb salt), and the juice of two lemons, which is about six tablespoons of lemon juice. Mix this up and leave it to marinate for at least 15 minutes. Cook some slices of onion with some margarine or water on medium heat to brown and add some minced garlic. Add in some slices of mushroom and cook it until it browns. Add in some red pepper then a couple of tablespoons of diced tomatoes. After they’ve cooked, add in the tofu mix and two tablespoons of nutritional yeast or cheese alternative. If there’s no liquid, add in a tablespoon of dairy-free milk. Put in a couple of handfuls of spinach leaves and once the leaves are done, the tofu scramble is ready.

 Spinach: I just emptied a bag of frozen spinach into a pot on high heat. Once the spinach started melting, I lowered the heat down to a simmer and stirred until it was ready. I love spinach on its own but it’s also good with some garlic and soya sauce.

 Classy Casserole: I skipped some stuff I didn’t have but otherwise followed this recipe from Bosh in hindsight, I should have halved the recipe or frozen half of the dish to eat later as I didn’t end up being able to finish it all. Bosh make big portions!  

Meal prepping

I've started practising drawing

Sugar and Storm

Storm. Recently finished 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo'. Got a bit addicted to it.


Saturday, 22 July 2017

Chester Bennington describes depression

The video has a click bait title sorry. He was describing how it was.

I got my blood test results back and my thyroid levels are good with the medication, so it’s now the low moods causing my lethargy. I’ve managed to get five more sessions with the cognitive behaviour therapist and I am getting better doing the activities and exercises she’s assigned me for ‘homework’. I can relate to what Chester is saying, only being around people kind of makes things worse because I have some sort of social anxiety where I think everyone around me is thinking negatively about me and thinking I’m so weird, awkward, I shouldn’t exist etc. It doesn’t matter how long I’ve known you or how much I like you or you like me, I prefer to be alone despite what thoughts tumble around internally; the internal thoughts happen even if I’m around people. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes getting out is good, but it’s also tiring.

It’s like I’ve been placed on this beam that I can’t balance on very well and have never wanted to be on. I can see others enjoying being on the beam or doing fine or both and many not understanding why others struggle because it’s easy, granted there are some expected missteps. And I can see others struggling to stay on like me, some thrashing about worse than me maybe with a better
threshold, or loathing being there and jumping off only to be saved by society to keep on it. Sometimes it takes so much energy flailing around but once you find your footing, you know you could stumble again any moment. The right medication does help you flail less but it doesn’t stop you from cursing being on this fucking beam. There’s a co-dependency in our society too where if someone successfully jumps off their beam, it unbalances many that knew them despite how the jumper felt about their own existence. I feel like I’ve got my footing more and I know I’ve been balancing better especially compared to six years ago and that I know I don’t have it as challenging as others. Still, I reiterate: I’ve never enjoyed being on this beam, and the thought of tripping up to the point where you struggle to keep on, is always at the back of my mind. I watched a short documentary 24 & and Ready to Die, and one thing I learned from it is that when you have depression, of course the future looks bleak because you’re looking through life with a depressed filter you can’t really remove. Perhaps it’s best to take things day by day or week by week. After all, the future is never guaranteed. No one’s immortal.

Monday, 10 July 2017

Norway 2017

Norway was amazing! And now I remember what it's like to physically be with my boyfriend and god damn it; why is he so awesome and why does he live so far away?

I went to Norway through Qatar airlines and they had delicious vegan food like curry with tofu and salad, hashbrown with quinoa and mushrooms, some kind of pastry with mushroom and melted garlic margarine inside etc. Also was given a chocolate cupcake and lots of fruit. At one point, a flight attendant gave me a vegetarian meal and I told her I couldn't eat it because it had dairy, then she checked her piece of paper and realised she had given me the wrong meal. Still have to be wary but hey, delicious vegan options! I watched Dial M for Murder, Logan, and Jupiter Ascending. I tried to watch Percy Jackson and the Olympians but I couldn't get into it. I did read most of Calamity by Brandon Sanderson, which was an easy, enjoyable read. And I slept A LOT! 38 hours is the longest I've ever travelled somewhere one way. It's not fun. But the way back was easier being 28 hours.

I was tired a lot of the time I think because of hypothyroidism, but I did manage to have a good time overall and the difficulties I faced were internal. Norway was great and I can't wait to go back. I really want to get better just to make it happen, but you know, when you have depression, you feel like you're just not meant to be happy. Still, I've come back with purpose I didn't have before.

Doha airport. Not a vegan friendly airport but it was comfortable with places to wait at, bathrooms, and plenty of seats.

I got to meet Leo! Rejoice!

My boyfriend and I getting our arses kicked. We are good at dis.

Going for a hike

*bites lips* he's so hot.

Oslo in the summer time; nobody can fall asleep. Staring out the window from my bed...

My boyfriend was shocked by how much coke I drink... >.> he doesn't seem to notice when I guzzle it down over Skype. 

Super lucky to catch Mitski in Oslo. When I first heard her music, I didn't think much of it. But after watching an interview of hers and watching her live and hearing her voice, I'm a fan. Now I stalk her on twitter and play her on repeat on Spotify.  

Kate Moss sculpture 

I love the show Vikings and it's made me more interested in the vikings

Narvesen at Oslo S sells two vegan hot dogs : D ... they tasted so good, I don't understand why people aren't vegan.

The king's 'humanely killed free-range' *rolls eyes* animals. Poor things. They were bred to all have an expiry date and to end up in people's digestive systems. 

Stave church at the Folk Museum

Until all are free (from human harm). The bag was bought from Nettverk For Dyrs Frihet, an organisation that does a lot for animals. 

Fristelse Cafe from Drammen had an ice cream truck for a day at Oslo. The ice cream was amazing! We tried the bubblegum flavour and the blue cola one. The blue cola was good, but the bubblegum was the best! Mikael got an oreo mousse for us to eat later, which is in the following picture on the Pikachu plate. Seriously! Why aren't people vegan? The oreo mousse tasted like carnist mousse, if not, better! 

The Swedes have good vegan option. I tried the Big Peak ice cream cone and Tofuline's caramel toffee. We also managed to get berry sorbet on doughnuts in one part of Oslo. Yes, my boyfriend and I chased vegan options around Oslo ^_^

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Lots of jellyfish in the water

Also visited the National History Museum

Royal Palace

Bogstad camping

A different area I forget where

With a curious fox

What does the fox say? *boyfriend cringes*

Wohoo! Won her over. The cats were frightened of me. I r so scary.

Deilig mann!

Lucky kvinne 

Getting across with a little bridge you move yourself by turning the wheel

We thought of waddling across the water to get to the island on the right, but it turned out to be quicksand or something because we kept sinking and my boyfriend nearly lost one of his crocs. I nearly lost a flip flop/jandal and had to tug at it to get it loose. I couldn't even help my boyfriend retrieve his croc but he managed without me in the end. 

We found another place to swim. I promised him I would one day so... *gulp*. Took my time getting into the water but he wasn't expecting me to go in after him so : D nice moment. The water was cold!

Oh my god I love Sea Shepherd! Is it obvious?

He managed to get me to play games twice. He's such a Nintendo guy. I grew up with Playstation but, to his constant disappointment :P I am too impatient with gaming in general. 

Prefer taking naps while he plays :P ...

We went to Frogner park and met a cute dog called Yoda.

This is on postcards


These sparrows came super close to us while I was having a nap

Day before the Oslo pride parade. I wasn't feeling well enough to go but wish I could have! I'll put it on my bucket list to go to a pride parade.

Lots. Of. Vegan. Options. Scattered. Around. Oslo.

Lovely restaurant

My boyfriend can cook! He also knows I love spinach.


Funky Fresh Foods is amazing! Tried jackfruit burgers for the first time.

My boyfriend's mum made a Norwegian Christmas meal seeing as I won't be there this Christmas and I've never tried one. Oh my god she's good at cooking and baking; not to mention she's so sweet.
She also made skolebrød and kanelboller. The skolebrød had coconut and custard, while the kanelboller is like cinnamon buns. She also baked a lovely chocolate cake : 3 yuuuum. God was I spoiled : D  

They have gelatin free sweets labelled.

Moussaka recipe I didn't have wine so I just omitted that. I also used some vegan mince and less lentils. Alpro's soya chocolate tastes like Calci-yum. Wish we sold it in NZ. Well... I'll just have to move to Norway, right? :P