Monday, 30 November 2009

friends of the earth, collingwood

Every Saturday afternoon (1300 - 1600) I volunteer at the Friends of the Earth bookshop in Collingwood. I ♥ foe. During my shift I usually try to find time to eat lunch, which is always a great mixed plate of deliciousness. On Saturdays the Co-Op manager is vegan, which means that on most Saturdays the whole selection is vegan, including many of the cakes.

lunch at foe #1

I really look forward to the lunch portion of my foe shift, as well as the other portions which include chatting with customers and looking at posters for great upcoming social justice events.

lunch at foe #2

Recent delicious dishes have included tempeh curry (it was AMAZING), fresh made felafal (and tips to make great felafal), fresh made hummous, and the first couscousequinoa I've ever enjoyed eating.

lunch at foe #3

Come visit me! And eat mystery deliciousness.

Friends of the Earth
312 Smith St

Open for lunch every day of the week, on Sundays there are no mixed plates, it's Funky Pies with salad.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

trippy taco, collingwood

I've heard so much about Trippy Taco, and now that I've been I love it.

I've visited a few times now, so sadly I can't remember what this is, but I had a burrito and it was totally delicious. And the fries were great. And I really loved the black beans in my taco one time. Oh yeah.

taco at trippy taco

fries at trippy taco

Trippy Taco
48a Smith St

Friday, 27 November 2009

mr natural vegetarian pizza [north fitzroy]

With the assistance of Google Maps, we worked out that we are just within the 4km delivery radius specified by Mr Natural Vegetarian Pizza. So one lazy evening we decided to take advantage of this excellent and fortuitous piece of geography, and order in some pizza.

eggplant pizza from Mr Natural Vegetarian Pizza

The eggplant pizza was delicious, but not super exciting.

pumpkin pizza from Mr Natural Vegetarian Pizza

The pumpkin on the other hand was very delicious! I ate that one right up.

Mr Natural's prices are a bit on the expensive side ($16.40 for some of the large pizzas) but very delicious. They also do gluten free bases, for a small extra fee. They also have vegan cheese of the melty good kind.

Mr Natural Vegetarian Pizza
469 Brunswick Street
North Fitzroy
Open every night

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

breakfasting and brunching (a request for recs)

big vegan brekkie at ceres

When we first moved to Melbourne I thought we'd be breakfasting and brunching all over the place; I love breakfast quite a lot, and it was something to which I was looking forward. Alas, after almost four months here I find that we've gone out for breakfast or brunch exactly twice, both times to Ceres.

I love the Ceres vegan big breakfast quite a lot, but over the next couple of weeks we've got quite a lot of Perth friends coming across to Melbourne, and we'd love to take them out. So if you'd please, I'd love it if you'd share your breakfast (vegan-friendly) recommendations with me. We're happy to travel for good breakfast, but preferably somewhere vaguely serviceable by tram.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

sunday afternoon fake meat noms

Neither White Lotus nor Enlightened Cuisine are open for lunch on a Sunday. Can anyone recommend an Azn fake-meat restaurant that's open for Sunday lunch?


Thursday, 19 November 2009

cinnamon tea cake


This tea cake was really light and fluffy, and it had (has) a perfect cinnamon flavour, I baked it yesterday because D wasn't feeling very great and it was perfect. I am going to make this all the time. Maybe I'll have a tea party.

cinnamon teacake

cinnamon tea cake

I'd never made tea cake before yesterday, so I modified a recipe from I love that website.

100g nuttelex
three quarters of a cup of caster sugar
half a tablespoon of vanilla essence
one and a half cups of SR flour
one quarter cup of plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 heaped (chinese soup)spoons of apple sauce
1 tbl ground cinnamon
half a cup of milk

1 tbl caster sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbl melted nuttelex

Cream together nuttelex, caster sugar, and vanilla essence. Slowly add apple sauce, and beat well. Sift flours, cinnamon, and baking powder together. Mix in to the nuttelex mixture, alternating with the milk.

In a round tin (greased), bake covered for 45 minutes, at 170C, then uncovered for 15 minutes. Leave to sit in the oven for five minutes, then remove from oven and let cool in tin for fifteen minutes. Remove from tin, and pour topping over the top.

Cool completely and serve.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

accidentally vegan #1

This isn't a big thing for non-Australians, but Arnotts are The Brand in Australia, I can't think of a week of my time in Australia as a child that didn't include something Arnotts in my lunch box - Tim Tams and Mint Slice and Iced Vovos and Pizza Shapes and oh nom. Most Australian vegans (I find) have an "I miss X Arnotts product" somewhere in the back of their minds. Mine is Iced Vovos, Mint Slice, and Pizza Shapes.

I can't have any of those back (though Leda does an awesome imitation Mint Slice), but oh my word, I hope you understand how excited I was when I found out that Arnotts' BBQ Shapes are vegan.

bbq shapes are suitable for vegans!

I understand that this is old hat, apparently every other Aussie vegan already knew this, but not I, and my word did I eat a lot in a very short time. How I had missed them!

tofutti icecream and jellybeans

I also recently learnt that Allens' jelly beans are vegan! OH DELICIOUS JELLY BEANS, no terrible secrets just delicious sugary ness.

I'm excited.

Relatedly, if anyone knows of any vegan (or even vego) musk sticks, please let me know. It's not for me, it's for a friend. ;oP

Sunday, 8 November 2009

book: vegan planet

So SJ picked up Vegan Planet ages ago, whilst we were out perusing books together, and promptly made the lemon risotto (p237), and it was delicious. I finally got a copy of it (thanks, Mum!) for my birthday earlier this year, but promptly moved across the country so didn't get a chance to try it out until recently.

As regular readers of this blog (or anyone who has ever talked about food with me for about half a second) would know, I love noodles. A lot. And my friend C has talked up some drunken noodles in Mt Lawley, so when I saw this recipe (p262) in Vegan Planet I thought I'd give it a go.

drunken noodles from vegan planet

These were good. The flavour was a bit understated, but overall okay.

pasta cacciatore from vegan planet

I've been really getting into tempeh lately, so I was excited to give this pappardelle cacciatore a go (p249). Unfortunately it was quite bland. If I were to give it another go, I would slice the tempeh a lot thinner, and go OTT on the fresh rosemary. And I would probably add some dried chilli flakes.

sweet potato and red bean curry from vegan planet

Finally, I tried out the red bean and sweet potato curry (p286). It was bland and watery, which was a disappointment. I think it needed some more cumin and curry powder.

Overall, I like the potential of Vegan Planet, but it needs a whole lot more spices and herbs for it to be my thing.

Friday, 6 November 2009

the potluck i did not attend plus parsley + cashew pasta and halava

I went to class instead! And turned up late and sampled some things (PIE), and got bitten by mosquitoes and, later, looked at photos of things I didn't get to eat.

The theme of this potluck, hosted by Craig and Bec at their new house, was 'not to kill James.' James requires a salicylate-free diet, and salicylates are in everything, as they're a naturally occurring plant hormone that is in a lot of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices. The list of things that couldn't be used was huge, and I spent a few days, on and off, brainstorming ideas. No fruits (other than bananas or pears with no skin), no leafy vegetables, no tomatoes, no chilli...

Pip posted about the potluck already, which helped me name all the dishes I never saw because I got there too late.

Because I got there too late, I don't have any commentary on the foods! But you can see photos of everything at the flickr set.

As I was at work all day, and went straight from work to class, D was in charge of cooking for the potluck. So I take no responsibility for any mistakes in these recipes!

parsley and cashew pasta

parsley and cashew pasta

a big handful of cashews
1/3 block of tofu
1/3 bunch of fresh parsley
nutritional yeast
3/4 cup of soymilk
1 onion (diced)
1 garlic clove (minced)
some extra cashews

cooked pasta

Blend cashews, tofu, parsley, nutritional yeast, and soymilk. In the meantime, brown onion, garlic, and the extra cashew nuts. Add contents from blender. Simmer. Add cooked pasta, stir through.

Serve hot or cold

semolina halva

halava (modified from the hare krishna book of vegetarian cooking)

not quite three cups of water
one and a half cups of sugar
10 saffron strands
half a cup of walnuts + pecans, chopped
200g butter
and and a half cups of semolina

Simmer water, sugar, and saffron over heat. In the meantime melt butter in a saucepan, add semolina, and stir-fry for about fifteen minutes, until the butter begins to separate. Lower the heat, and slowly pour in the liquids, whilst constantly stirring. Stir to remove lumps, then add the nuts. Cover and simmer for three minutes, to soak in all the liquid. Eat hot.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

world vegan day at abbotsford convent

D and I ventured out for our first World Vegan Day in Melbourne! For the last couple of years I've been pretty jealous of people in both Melbourne and Sydney, having delicious vegan opportunities, whilst Perth had nothing much going on for WVD. So I was really excited to have a chance to go!

There was a medium-sized crowd when we arrived, about eleven. We wandered around a bit, peering at stalls, before deciding to have a pre-lunch pie, whilst the queues were still quite small.

funky pie

D had a spicy thai pie, which was delicious. I had a funky chunky pie, filled with mushroom and potato, which I'm sure was fine except that it was frozen in the middle! I exchanged it for another, which was also cold! So I gave up. This unprepared frozenness meant that the lines for the funky pies were very long later in the day, when their pies were finally warm.

We milled around inside, and met up with some bloggers (Vicki, Tahn, and Kristy + Toby), before going on a hunt for something else to eat.

raw vegan cheesecake

D picked up a raw cheesecake from Naked Treaties (by Jemma from s1 Big Brother). This was on the recommendation of Kristy, and both Kristy and D agreed that it was quite delicious.

zesty lemon gelato

After eating some things noodles and fried things provided by the Supreme Master (there wasn't a lot of choice other than that), I cleansed my palate with some delicious lemon zest gelato (which really had zest in it), and D had the bounty gelato (I thought it was yuck, but D liked it).

I wasn't feeling very well, so we left shortly after this, having spent about two hours wandering around, but not before we bought some goodies.

world vegan day haul

Featured here are three dips by Australian Vegie Gourmet, oven-roasted tomato pesto, lentil spread, and chunky tomatoes + chilli. They all taste so delicious! Also featured here are three chocolates, orange chocolate + cranberries, dark chocolate with white mint choc-chips, and chocolate with raisins. Not pictured, the greatest stickers ever, and my official Greens knickers.

Overall it was a success! I just wish there had been more savoury food.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

lazy day salad-based noms

D works from home, and as the weather (very very slowly) creeps back to warm, likes to indulge in some salad-based lunches. These are pretty easy to prepare, and easy to find the ingredients for, as there's a grocery/bakery on the corner, about fifty metres from the front of our apartment block.

tofu and salad wraps

The first of these was a tofu and salad wrap. Fresh lavash bread, with some leftover fried tofu, hummous, a Coles mixed salad bag and some King Soyland mayonaise. I offer no verdict on the deliciousness of this wrap, as I was not home to experience it, but D assures me it was delicious (and it was also repeated for lunch the next day).

salad roll

Later in the week I was home for lunch, and I can assure you that this salad roll was indeed delicious. I picked up some fresh turkish bread rolls from the corner grocery (Omara, on Sydney Road, for the curious), a roma tomato, an avocado, and some baby spinach, and grated some carrot. Also added some hummous (because we're totally on the hummous train at the moment), and some soy mayonaise.

Sometimes I forget how delicious the really simple, easy, fresh vegan food can be. It can be really delicious!