Saturday, August 11, 2012

Weekend Cooking: Veggie Challenge Wrap Up

It is August and this means that my Veggie Challenge had come to an end. My goal was to eat vegan for two days each week and I succeeded to do so :) Will I go back to may old ways...? Not completely. But first let's see what I archived.

I had put several mini goals in place for me. Things that I wanted to try to make vegan for a long time, but didn't.

These were my goals:
- Make some vegan basics like mayonnaise and faux feta
- Make or try several vegan bread toppings and spreads.
- Try my hand at vegan baking
- Go out to eat once as a vegan (lunch or dinner, yet to decide)
- Make some vegan snacks

I did make one vegan basic. The vegan mayonnaise from Gnoe which tasted brilliant. It was creamy and delicious. I did not try the faux feta yet.
I made a couple of vegan spreads to eat on my sammies. One I made in my last week and I will share that one today.
I also tried my hand at vegan baking. This was perhaps my biggest obstacle. I dunno why, because it turned out it wasn't hard at all.
I also made vegan snacks, like smoothies, toasties and chocolate-peanut butter truffles.
However I didn't dine out as a vegan. I planned to one week but then it was too busy in the city to do so. And after that week I kinda forgot. But this is still something I want to experience.

So will I be going vegan full time?
I am sorry to say that I won't. As a vegan you have to make everything yourself. There isn't much you can just grab from the shelves on a busy day. And making my own bread toppings, snacks and dinner each and every day would put too much strain on my already low energy levels. Not to mention that you can't even buy a bread in most stores and you have to travel to special stores just for something so basic.
However! Now that I am over my fear of vegan baking, I will surely make more attempts to do that. In baking there is always a huge amount of milk, eggs and/or butter involved. And if I can bring that down, it will already be a step towards using less animal products. I even bought 3 vegan baking books last month to make this easier! Also I will continue to make 1-2 vegan recipes a week. Not by accident as in the past, but by choice.
I have enough cook books in my house to do this and I will also keep visiting a Dutch vegan forum for inspiration and not to lose touch with veganism. I hope that in the future it will be easier to obtain certain items vegan. Like decent vegan cheese or bread in every supermarket.

Anyway on to the recipe I want to share with you this week. It is a cashew bell pepper spread. I found out that cashews are such an excellent base for any creamy spread now that I have a decent food processor :D

Cashew-Bell Pepper Spread:
- 2 red bell peppers
- 1 cup unsalted cashews
- some water
- salt and pepper
- 1tsp sesame oil

Cut the bell peppers and roast them shortly without oil in a pan until they blacken a bit. Mix all the ingredients in a food processor and add water bit by bit until you have a smooth spread.

I used this spread as a filling for vegan sushi (shown above) and it was one of the best tasting sushi I ever made. I made small maki rolls with it, that you make using only half a sheet of nori. It was the first time I made these little sushi rolls and it took me some practice with the amount of rice. I only made large rolls before. But you can also use this spread in a wrap with other veggies, in a pasta salad or just on a slice of bread. It is very versatile.

This post is part of Weekend Cooking. Make sure you visit the other participants as well :)


  1. That spread sounds yummy and your sushi rolls look lovely.

    Good for you for sticking with your vegan experiment. I don't think I could do it at this point. But it used to be difficult to find vegetarian products in stores and vegetarian meals in restaurants, so maybe one day vegan will be more popular too.

  2. I wouldn't have thought of using cashews as a spread base, but now that you've mentioned it, it makes sense. Sounds delicious!

    And good on you for finishing so many parts of your checklist! That's very admirable.

  3. Congrats on accomplishing your goals! It is a fun idea for an experiment. I don't think I could do something that requires so much preparation, though...


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