Marfigs' Munchies

Adventures in vegan eats and feats


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Guide to using up holiday leftovers

HolidayleftoversIt’s something of a law of nature: our eyes are always bigger than our stomachs (no matter how hard we try) in the holidays. So much baking, faffing and sighing, and then the hard, stale reality of excess that sits in the fridge for a week or two to silently judge us. Or, you know, it’s tough to work out portion ratio per person when everyone treats the holidays differently: some as a challenge of excess, and others as a season of torture and self-control so they don’t come out the other end in stretchy pants.

Moreso than my issue with clothes that don’t fit in January is the leftovers that get out of control. Waste makes me sad, because what we usually get rid of is actually edible. This is a little guide to help you plot what you can do with the never-ending crumbles of what you’ve been scoffing.

And before you go a-clicking, don’t forget to download my free mini me holiday ebook 🙂veganxmassplash

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Tofu sprout tacos

tacosides2I was explaining what a parfait was the other day to Man-thing when he suddenly piped up and said that, considering my background, I wasn’t actually a snob. It was random, but rather sweet. Diplomats don’t actually live glamorous lives, and as a kid there was nothing more boring than attending or hosting endless cocktail parties, making small talk about the South African economy with people in suits. I turned out a bit of a mongrel because I didn’t always pay attention, so it still takes me a few minutes to figure out where the knives and glasses go when setting a proper table, or how to eat certain foods. There’s nothing better IMO than standing over a sink eating a mango like a zombie or licking my fingers clean of ketchup and fries, because it’s the absolute opposite of all that pomp and ridiculousness I was exposed to. I’m sure all those diplomats wanted nothing better than to kick off their shoes after a long day and sit together on a couch eating comfort food and shooting the breeze about interesting topics.

Mess appeals, because it’s very much sensory and feels much more indulgent than sipping delicately on bubbly and wiping the corners of my mouth with a dainty piece of cloth. With that in mind, I’ve been very excited to try out this delightful set of taco shells we found at the amazing grocer on the way to the cat shelter, and it’s taken a lot of self control not to just scarf them down like crackers but to actually take the time to fill them and play around with tastes. Continue reading


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Carpe kitties! A day of munchies in photographs and raw custard curd cups :D

So, last Sunday was a pretty big day! I started volunteering at the Be Wise Sterilize shelter for a few weeks now and having the best time ever cleaning litter trays, giving meds, and feeding rascaly cats and kittens. Cats really are my creature of choice when it comes to cuddles and bonding, and all these meows want is love and attention.

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L-R: Plaster, …um, Pig on top and Puff at the forefront. Naptime!

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Sprouted zucchini pasta with sun-dried tomato sauce

I always try to have some side projects going when it comes to baking/kitchen-faffing. A while back I got an awesome three-tier bean sprouter from my colleague Marmiet, so I’ve been sprouting beans for the past week and they have suddenly gone ballistic on us. I’m not sure if they’re over-sprouted (is there such a thing?), but I simmer-boiled (totally a thing) them for 10 minutes with the idea to dash them into all our salads, because we are SO frakkin excited to have made our very own!!

topsproutschick-1res mungbeans-1resI wanted to do something fun with this first batch of mutant sprouts (because the “normal” sprout collection at the supermarket seems very much more subdued than my lot), so with that in mind I set out to make myself a mean “raw” pasta (and in the process break a thousand rules regarding what is actually raw, whoops!). Either way, it is awesome. 😀

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Birthday cakes, snacks, and lentil loaves

Thursday was a day much like any other, except for the fact that I was born a few decades ago and people like to celebrate that sort of thing. I couldn’t figure out why Man-thing looked so giddy when I groggily opened my eyes that morning until he wished me a happy birthday. In order to overcome my apathy I decided to view that day as I would those which actually excite me, such as the very noble world cupcake day – an excuse to gather people together in an enclosed environment and make something they must at least take a bite of. >:) If I had a cape I would wear it in the kitchen for such moments, but as it is I am barely able to put an apron off and end up making a sad mess of myself. Still, elegance can be a trait of aging – a gradual process :p

Because I am slightly compulsive I also figured was a good opportunity to tick something else off of my to-do list: the ominous lentil loaf. There are so many wonderful recipes out there, so unique and vibrant, that it’s difficult to see the woods for the trees, or some such. Many of these recipes also rely heavily on nuts (cups and cups of the stuff!) or bread stuffing, which sounds yummy but is not always suited to everyone’s health requirements. Since my SIL’s own man, Foxtrot, is an avid cyclist (as in 100s of kms!) and tries to avoid starches, I decided to scour the web for recipes that weren’t reliant on too much (or any!) bread or unnecessary gluten. I’m also finding that I have much more energy when I also lessen the amount of carbs I eat, and I like to have my nuts where I can see them and can control my portions. Yes, I need lots of healthy fats, but eating x5 my daily intake in one slice of nom is also a bit much, especially considering my birthday cake was brimming with lovely cashews!

I based my recipe on that of the Simple Veganista – straight-forward, no-nonsense and oh so delicious! My only changes were to sub the pepper for grated marrows and I also added a handful of chopped basil for its beautiful taste. It really came out rather spectacular for a first run! Next time I’ll go wild with mods – some raisins, nuts, etc, but I wanted something everyone could enjoy, or at least taste without horror. :p My MIL was very complimentary, but that might also have been because it was my birthday!

loafcutresNext time I’ll also make a lovely gravy to go atop the loaf – there wasn’t time – but even without the spicy tang of the blushing soy tomato glaze is just enough to give a pleasant shock to the tongue.

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Stringy split green pea soup and a smoothie to go!

Ok, before I get into the whole split pea soup side of things, let me sing the praises of a well-known vegan standard that I have studiously avoided til now: le smoothie. It’s something I decided to try out now that I have some spare time and have direct access to a kitchen (in case I was left starving half an hour later). I also have SO much spinach that I carefully prepared, and with the overflow of salad and mayo-free coleslaw as well, I had to come up with something to do with it all. Cue our hero!

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Man overboard! Stuffed and baked cabbage rolls to the rescue!

Last night Man-thing unexpectedly caught a fever (in the space of half an hour!) so he’s now in bed, suffering and going through the typical hot/cold flashes and other unpleasant symptoms. The problem with such situations is what one can eat, because everything tastes foul or makes you feel rather nauseous. So this morning I quickly decided to bake some yeast-free rye bread to toast, and, in the spirit of not wasting energy, quickly trundled up these gorgeous baked cabbage rolls which I’ve been meaning to make for  a while now. The filling isn’t as glamorous as I’d wanted, but when you’re under pressure time-wise anything will do. Plus, admittedly, the filling is bladdy tasty after all, so worries on that account! Cabbage rolls is one of those things I would have refused to eat a few years ago because a) where’s the cheese? and b) seriously? Lately, however, I’ve been spying it on the archives of many of my favourite food bloggers, and it truly sounds delicious now that my palate is more adventurous and balks at animal produce. So, win-win!

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