Tag Archives: blog hop

Anyone Can Cook Fabulous Vegetarian Food: Non-Terrifying Tofu!

OK.  This is it.  This is where it gets scary.  I’ve been playing, I admit, at the shallow end of the vegetarian pool.  I buy my farmers’ market veggies, I use legumes with grains to build whole proteins, and I add nuts to anything I think I can get away with, given that neither Andrew or I really like nuts in things.  I make veggie-burgers and vegan cakes and smoothies with non-dairy milks, and I even play with raw foods.

But there is one food that I have, thus far, largely avoided.  I buy it sometimes, and put it in my fridge, whence it gazes upon my accusingly until I feel so overwhelmed with guilt that I blend it up with a lot of chocolate and call it a truffle tart.  Or… nope, that’s basically all I do with it, really.  Oh, wait, there’s a dip, too.  It’s quite a good dip, actually.  But that really is it.  And this is silly, because I know perfectly well that one can make tasty food with tofu.  I’ve even done so, on occasion.  It’s just… there’s something about it that intimidates me utterly.  Perhaps it’s the beige, quiveringness of it all.  Perhaps it’s the subtly nutty flavour which, I must admit, I do not really like.

All I can say for certain is that I am terrified of tofu, and it’s time to face my fears!  With Lent (and thus vegetarianism) rapidly approaching, the time has come to gird my loins and venture into the land of soy products.

The March 2014 theme is

Non-Terrifying Tofu!

(Soy be it.)


I’m going to need a lot of help on this challenge, I can tell you now.  Because while I have successfully followed recipes for tofu, I just am nowhere near comfortable enough with it to generate my own.  So if you are a regular eater of tofu, if you know just how to make it awesome, please, come and share your recipes, especially the savoury ones (I’ve pretty much got a handle on the whole ‘blend tofu with fruit or chocolate to make a mousse’ concept).  I’d really love to get some good marinated tofu recipes, some curries, some scrambled tofu (the best tofu I have had to date was a vegan version of Migas, spicy scrambled tofu with tortilla bits), some… honestly, I dont know what!  If I did, I wouldn’t be basically sitting here going ‘help!  I don’t know what to do with tofu!’

But I truly don’t.  If you do, I’d love to hear from you this month.

Challenge rules can be found at the main challenge page!  Don’t forget to add your post to the linky below once you’ve done all the lovely adding of icons and linking back to this page, so that you can get the blog hop code for your own page.

(I was going to end with another Soy pun, but since the only thing that comes to mind relates to Soylent Green, which is really not a very vegetarian concept, I think I might leave it at that…)

Anyone can cook vegetarian food: Attack of the Killer Tomatoes!

If you are anything like me, then sometime back in October or November you planted a lot of tomatoes.  And, if you are anything like me, you are now staring at the jungle of tomato vines that are taking over your vegetable plot and producing madly in this horrible, tropical weather we are having, and wondering what on earth to do with all these tomatoes.

The February 2014 theme is

Attack of the killer tomatoes

(Eat them before they eat you)


This challenge is very simple.  It’s about tomatoes.  Tomatoes as the star of the show.  Tomatoes being preserved by roasting, drying, bottling or being turned into passata.  Tomatoes being eaten in lavish quantities in salads, on bread, or stuffed with other goodies.  Perhaps even stuffed with more tomatoes.  And if anyone wants to try a tomato-centric dessert, I’m going to be right there trying it.  I dare you.  Myself, I’m already wondering about tomato sorbet…

Also, any science-fiction or horror themed tomato meals are enthusiastically encouraged.  I can’t think of anything obvious myself, but I think we can all agree that science fiction tomatoes would be amazing.  And probably predatory.

So, go out into the garden.  Brave the tangle of vines, taking care to avoid any hostile zucchini tribes lurking in the undergrowth, and select your prey.  But be quick and be stealthy – I have it on good authority that tomatoes like regular feeding with organic matter, and if your tomatoes look anything like mine, there is reason to suspect that they will catch it for themselves if necessary.  I would hate any of my lovely readers or fellow bloggers to fall victim to a composty fate…

Challenge rules can be found at the main challenge page!  Don’t forget to add your post to the linky below once you’ve done all the lovely adding of icons and linking back to this page, so that you can get the blog hop code for your own page.

Good luck – and may the sauce be with you!

(I know, I know, I’m ashamed, truly I am, but really, how could I resist?)

Anyone Can Cook Vegetarian Food: Easter Egg Inspirations

Hooray!  It’s March, which means it’s time for a new Vegetarian Food Challenge! And with Easter fast approaching, where better to look for a theme?

The March 2013 theme is Easter Egg Inspirations

(because feeding people gorgeous food is the true meaning of Easter.  Um.  OK, maybe not.  Unless you’re me, in which case feeding people gorgeous is the true meaning of life in general, no matter what time of year it is…)



This challenge is a very broad – not to say silly – challenge.  What with Easter approaching, I initially thought about an egg-based challenge… but this seemed a little unfair on the vegans among you.  On the other hand, chocolate is probably a little bit too easy, especially if dairy and eggs are allowed.

So here’s the deal.  You can include any dish that…

  • Features eggs, or is egg-based (bonus points for anything that looks at all Easter Egg like by the time you are done with it)
  • Features eggplant.  Because that totally counts as eggs for vegans.  Bonus points if you stuff the eggplant, thus preserving the egg shape.
  • Is chocolatey and vegan (bonus points for vegan Easter Eggs – I really must get my vegan chocolate truffle recipe out for this one)
  • Anything else that you can convince me looks like an egg.  I’m sort of hoping a few of you will pick this one, because I have no idea what looks like an egg, but would love to find out.

Challenge rules can be found at the main challenge page!  Don’t forget to add your post to the linky below once you’ve done all the lovely adding of icons and linking back to this page, so that you can get the code for your own blog hop.

I can’t wait to see what egg-cellent recipes you come up with.  And I’m going to stop right now before the urge to make bad egg puns overwhelms me…

Anyone Can Cook Vegetarian Food: A Lunchbox Challenge!

Now that most of us are heading back to work, we are back in the land of packed lunches.  Or buying lunch, which I try not to do, but which is still occasionally irresistible.


The February 2013 theme is The vegetarian Lunchbox

(because sandwiches get very boring, very fast)


This month I’m looking for vegan and vegetarian recipes suitable for packing and taking to work or school.  I would, on the whole, prefer savoury recipes because I for one have absolutely no trouble thinking of nice little cakes and biscuits to bake and take to work, and every single one of them is vegetarian.  Possibilities might include…

  • Frittatas
  • Savoury muffins or slices
  • Soups
  • Wraps
  • Honestly, anything that looks like lunch to you.  If I had lots of ideas, I wouldn’t be running this challenge!  (Well, I might be, because I’m kindly like that, but I probably wouldn’t be running it as the second challenge ever…)
  • Sandwiches.  If you must.  But interesting sandwiches, please!
  • Salads again!  Because salads can be lunch too!

Be creative and delicious and wonderful, as you always are.

Rules of play can be found at the main challenge page.

ETA: And the most important rule (after ‘make it tasty and awesome’)  is, please link back to this post!  Reciprocity is everyone’s friend, and I’ll hold off on approving linkies until I see a link back here. 

I noticed a few of you had trouble with the linky list last time (I think perhaps some people didn’t see it?).  Please remember to click on the blue link that says ‘Click here to enter’ – this allows you to add your page to the blog hop, and to get the code so that you can add the blog hop to your own site.  If you don’t do this, but follow the rest of the rules, I’ll still get a notification that you’ve joined in, and can add your page manually, but you can only add the blog hop to your own page by entering the code yourself.

I can’t wait to see what you’re having for lunch!

Anyone Can Cook Vegetarian Food: The Substantial Salads Challenge

Vegetarian food can be awesome.  I mean, for one thing, most cakes are vegetarian – not to mention chocolate! – and I don’t think anyone is going to seriously claim that cakes and chocolate are not awesome.  And savoury vegetarian food can be fantastic, making the most of all the gorgeous vegetables, grains and legumes out there, as well as pasta, rice, polenta, and, if you are lacto-ovo vegetarian, eggs and dairy products such as yoghurt or cheese.  Who doesn’t love eating these things?

And yet, a lot of people are intimidated by vegetarian cooking (and let’s not even get started on the terror that cooking vegan can inspire!).  In all honesty, I’m one of those people.

I’m an omnivore with vegetarian tendencies.  I like cooking and eating vegetarian and vegan food, and I usually go vegetarian for a couple of months each year, during Lent.  I do this because I think it’s a good idea both ethically and health-wise to reduce reliance on animal sources of protein.

Despite this, I find vegetarian cooking really hard when I have to do it every day.  All my easiest, no-brainer meals all tend to have meat in them.  Which means the busier and more stressed I am, the less likely I am to cook vegetarian, despite my best intentions.

I want to do better than this.

My plan is, therefore, to start a monthly Everyone Can Cook Vegetarian Food festival over here on my blog.  Every month, I will pick a theme – which will probably be seasonal for those of us Southern Hemisphere types, so I hope you are all ready for Vegan Christmas In July – and provide a linky where you can add your dish.


Here are the rules:

To join in, simply post a vegetarian (or vegan) dish on your blog by the last day of the month and:
  • Link to the challenge page at Cate’s Cates (or link to both the challenge page and Cate’s Cates, if someone else is hosting)
  • Use the Anyone Can Cook Vegetarian logo in your post
  • If you use twitter, tweet your post with @catescates and #easyvegetarian and I will re-tweet it to my followers.
  • If you don’t have a blog, email me your recipe (17catherines at gmail dot com), along with a picture of the finished product, and I’ll post it for you and add it to the list.


  • Follow the current theme when creating your recipe
  • Entries can be vegetarian or vegan.  If your recipe happens to be suitable for any other dietary requirements so much the better – and please say so!
  • Entries don’t have to be new blog posts!  I’m hoping these challenges will hang around as an index of handy recipes (so that people in the Northern Hemisphere can come looking for salads when it’s seasonal for them).  Just edit your existing blog post with the link and icon for this one, and add your post to the linky.
  • Recipes must be added to the linky by the first day of the following month (ie, February 1 for this challenge).

The January 2013 theme is substantial Salads.

(because in this weather, who really wants to cook at dinner time?)

I look forward to seeing (and tasting) some amazing salads! Add them to the linky below.  If you’d like to make this into a blog hop from your blog, click on the link below after you’ve entered your contribution to get the code, and everyone else’s salads will appear on your blog as if by magic!

NB: It seems that links are taking a while to turn up below.  Please be patient, but if your link hasn’t shown up in 24 hours, let me know and I’ll follow it up for you.