6

Greek Soccer Club Style Jackfruit Souvlaki

vegan jackfruit souvlaki

Growing up in a Greek home meant lots of soccer matches down at the local Greek club. For bigger matches, souvlakia (that’s the plural in Greek) were for sale. The same kinds of souvlakia were always available at the annual Greek Orthodox church celebrations too. You’d line up with a ticket, get your souvlaki in a paper napkin then stand around with family and stuff yourself.

In November, the Greek church near my parents held their annual feast day so Mum and I got to talking about how to veganise the souvlakia and I knew I’d have to use roasted jackfruit. The marinade was easy enough: olive oil, garlic, dried oregano. Some people liked to add a little lemon juice to the marinade but it was mostly without. The onion relish though was where the bite came from, just a simple mix of chopped onions and fresh flat leaf parsley all stuffed in to a long bread roll.

By now I’m sure you all know about the many uses of jackfruit in dishes such as vegan pulled pork. It certainly is great for that purpose but because my early experiments with jackfruit involved roasting,I wanted to stick to that for this recipe, because CRISPY BITS.

Although jackfruit isn’t something I’m over the moon about, it’s fun to experiment with. I’m playing around with a jackfruit-beef Bourguignon (just need to find the right red wine!). Fun times! Let’s just hope I can continue to find a steady supply of canned jackfruit in brine.

This jackfruit souvlaki doesn’t claim to taste exactly like that you’d find at your Greek soccer club or church celebration, but the flavours are there. For me, veganising my family’s recipes, or recipes from childhood means I try to keep the flavours and ingredients as close to the original as possible, no matter how simple the dish (like this one). I had a nice trip down memory lane, and onion breath for hours. Just like old times. Opa!

vegan jackfruit souvlaki

 

Greek Soccer Club Style Jackfruit Souvlaki
Print Recipe
A jackfruited, vegan version of the simple souvlaki sold at the Greek soccer clubs and churches when I was growing up. The onions and parsley really make this but if you're a hater of raw onion, feel free to leave it out and add in tomato, caramelised onion or whatever you like.
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Greek Soccer Club Style Jackfruit Souvlaki
Print Recipe
A jackfruited, vegan version of the simple souvlaki sold at the Greek soccer clubs and churches when I was growing up. The onions and parsley really make this but if you're a hater of raw onion, feel free to leave it out and add in tomato, caramelised onion or whatever you like.
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Ingredients
Jackfruit Souvlaki 'meat'
Onion relish
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to about 180C if you're not going to let the jackfruit marinate for a while. Line a baking tray with baking paper (or use a non-stick tray). Drain the can of jackfruit. Separate the jackfruit chunks so you get large-ish stringy bits. For the harder bits, you can chop them in to little pieces (some people prefer to discard the harder bits). There were little seedy bits too which I discarded.
  2. Squeezing excess liquid from the shredded jackfruit, place it all in a bowl with the lemon juice, olive oil, minced garlic, dried oregano and salt. Give it all a good stir and let it marinate for at least an hour. Lay it out on the baking tray, evenly spaced. Roast for about half an hour but keep checking every seven minutes or so because the outside bits may get a bit too crispy and burnt.
  3. While the jackfruit is roasting, simply mix your diced onion with the parsley. Slice your bread roll lengthwise down the centre. When the jackfruit is done, pop it in the bread rolls and top with the onion-parsley.
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4

Shop 225 Pizzeria, Pascoe Vale South

Shop 225 Pizza Pascoe Vale South

Word on the street in Vegan Town is that there’s a new pizza place in Pascoe Vale South offering a vegan pizza. Not just a vegetarian-hold-the-cheese pizza but a real live fully vegan-by-design pizza, topped with vegan sausage and cheese. Yes please!

Shop 225 has been open for about four months and is located at the Bell Street end of Melville Road in Pascoe Vale South. Being a frequent visitor to this area and the 55 West Coburg tram, I’m really happy to finally see a vegan meal option in this part of Melville Road and Bell Street.

It was a little too humid for us to sit outside but we were glad to be indoors and nab the big island bench table right by the pizza oven and preparation area. There’s a larger table, window bench and some tables for two along the wall. There’s also some seating if you’re waiting to collect a pizza.

Shop 225 Pizza Pascoe Vale South

Of course I was going to get the La Moda pizza ($21), labelled as vegan on the menu. Topped with tomato, silverbeet, Notzarella and Tofurky sausage (I asked for olives, rocket and basil too), my pizza was ready in no time (thanks to the 400 degree oven) and was top notch. Arthur was also very happy with his non-vegan pizza. For dessert we ordered a house made mango sorbet which was also delicious, though I was too stuffed to have more than a mouthful, much to Arthur’s delight.

Shop 225 Pizza Pascoe Vale South

We gotta establish something here and now– Shop 225 do not make your kinda standard pizza bases that you find all over the ‘burbs and in university cafs. Nor do they make pizzas like you’d see on a regular pizza joint menu (you know, things like Hawaiian, Capriciossa and so on). This is artisan style Napoli pizzas, where the base is very thin but the crusts are pillowy and puffed up nice and soft, not crispy. The dough is prepared over two days and your pizza is made super quick in the wood fired oven. I love these kinds of pizzas and they’re a very welcome change from what I usually see on offer elsewhere.

The menu offers nine pizzas total, with the La Moda being the dedicated vegan pizza. Although the menu states no changes to be made to the pizzas, I asked if I could have some eggplant and maybe a drizzle of truffle oil next time and they were okay with that. Pizzas are one size only (yes, you will be full!) and the menu also states no half-half pizza combos. There’s a specials board too and pizza pickup is available.

There are house made gluten free pizza bases too! Yay! These have limited availability and are $4 extra. Of course, all the regular pizza bases contain gluten. A gluten free pizza was being made in front of me and I was impressed with how the house made dough looked and relieved for GF customers who can get a nice freshly made base and not a pre-packaged jobbie.

As well as the pizzas, Shop 225 offer beverages and house made desserts including the vegan gelato. Service was friendly and helpful too and we had a nice chat about vegan meats and cheeses out there, so rest assured Michael and Connie fully understand vegan requirements!

I’m really keen to see what happens with vegan food in Pascoe Vale South. Being a regular visitor for many years now, I haven’t yet discovered any vegan options apart from the excellent Miinot Gelato further down Melville Road. I’ve popped my head in to cafes but haven’t seen any vegan friendly menus. I’m hoping that others follow Shop 225’s example and introduce dedicated and flavourful vegan options.

Shop 225 Pizza Pascoe Vale South

Shop 225

225 Melville Road, Pascoe Vale South

https://www.facebook.com/Shop-225-726462744142788/

Tram West Coburg 55 stops opposite at the terminus (Bell Street). Or you can catch buses 903, 513 or 527 along Bell Street.
Shop 225 Pizzeria Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

10

What I Ate: The Krishna Indian Restaurant Vegan Buffet Version

Krishna On Barkly Christmas buffet

Back in December, Krishna Indian Restaurant (aka Krishna on Barkly) in Footscray held a Seven Days of Christmas all vegan buffet. I KNOWWWW RIGHT?! SEVEN DAYS OF INDIAN FOOD BUFFET. I was lucky enough to go twice and enjoyed some fabulous food and good times. Johanna from Green Gourmet Giraffe has a more detailed writeup of the food we ate, which you can read here.Krishna On Barkly Christmas buffet

Krishna On Barkly Christmas buffet

Krishna On Barkly Christmas buffet

That was all quite a while ago now, and I’m supposed to be blogging What I Ate weekly… whoops. Here’s a tofu veg noodle stir fry made with ginger, garlic, sesame oil and orange juice:

orange ginger tofu noodles

I made a slightly modified version of the black pepper tofu recipe from Where’s The Beef?:

black pepper tofu

I’ve pulled out the cookbooks again so I can get some more reviews happening. I’ve previously blogged about what I’ve made from Isa Does It but the photos were so awful that I feel I have to do justice here and revisit my favourites and the recipes I haven’t tried. Here’s the Harira (from Isa Does It). Love this:

vegan harira from Isa Does It

Another book I’m going through to review is Isa’s Vegan Brunch. I don’t really do justice either to this book, because I only really use it for a couple waffle and pancake recipes. I’m not a brunch-at-home person but of course these recipes can be made any time. These are the old fashioned Chelsea waffles, topped with strawberries and nectarines:

vegan waffles from Vegan Brunch

I love blueberry banana smoothies. Unfortunately this awesome smoothie jar that I had won broke (that’s what you get when you’ve left it in the sink then empty boiling water from the pasta pot on top of it). Like the Bee Gees would say, TRAGEDY:

blueberry smoothie

Krishna On Barkly are gearing up for a Valentine’s Day buffet. Oooooh!

4

Paperboy Kitchen, Melbourne City

Paperboy Kitchen Melbourne

Recently I’ve been hunting out vegan options around the city (what we Melburnians call the CBD area). I don’t mean the well known veg*n places that everyone knows– I mean those places which aren’t vegan but offer some great plant based meals and are handy for vegans who are visiting or working in the area. Paperboy Kitchen in Little Lonsdale Street is that kind of place, offering two really tasty vegan meals that you can choose to have in a bread roll banh mi style, or with noodles.

The first time I visited, I ordered the red curry cauliflower in a bread roll. Red curry paste is simmered down with coconut milk, offering a mayonnaise-like kind of sauciness (in fact, I thought they may have mixed mayo through it and so I had to clarify. No, there’s no mayo). This was really good, huge, and a bit tricky to eat. Which is essentially my way of saying I dropped stuff everywhere:

Paperboy Kitchen Melbourne

On my second visit, I went with the satay tofu with noodles. This was full of lovely fresh ingredients and made for a light, filling lunch:

Paperboy Kitchen Melbourne

Your order comes with a little serving of sweet spicy popcorn on a wooden board– take care if, like me, you’re a slobby eater and keep an eye on runaway cauliflower pieces. The noodle bowl options both come with Asian slaw, carrot and daikon pickle and coriander. The Sriracha mayo that comes with all bowls is not vegan (there are non-vegan bowls that all receive the same ingredients).

Paperboy Kitchen gets quite busy during lunch but I was lucky to grab the only free spot by the window. There’s a bench along the window and a couple of larger table inside though there were quite a few people waiting outside for their takeaway order. On my first visit, it was well after lunch and not busy at all. Service was great and my meals came out quickly. When you place your dine-in order, you get a plastic animal instead of a number :)

I’m pretty chuffed to learn about all these places that offer really good vegan meals, not some lazy afterthought kind of vegan meal. Paperboy Kitchen have two winners here and I have to go back to try the banh mi or noodle bowl versions of what I’ve ordered.

Paperboy Kitchen

320 Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne CBD area

Open during lunch hours Mon-Fri 11:30-3:00

http://paperboy.com.au/

https://www.facebook.com/PaperboyKitchen/

 

Paperboy Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

6

Review of the Latest Gardein Products to Hit Australia

Gardein Meatless Meatballs

There was a fair bit of excitement when Gardein products finally landed in Australia and we were able to get a repeat of that excitement when more products began shipping here. My review of the first batch of Gardein products was quite favourable and these new products are pretty tasty too. First up, the Meatless Meatballs. The packet instructions suggest you place the meatballs in your favourite pasta sauce, so that’s exactly what I did, though because I already had the oven on I decided to cook them (in the oven) first to get nice and brown. I made another pasta meal without cooking the meatballs first (I cooked them in the pasta sauce) and they were fine. The photo above shows my homemade pasta sauce which is made with tomatoes, roasted red capsicum and sundried tomatoes. I really liked the meatballs with this sauce and would happily eat them in a sub kind of sandwich or wrap next time.

Next up, the Crabless Cakes. I’ve never had a non-vegan crab cake but I was assured by a former crab cake eater that these do taste like crab cakes and are a great animal-free alternative. I’m happy to believe that, because they had that fishy flavour, with a little spicy flavouring too.

Gardein Crabless Cakes

The Sweet and Sour Porkless Bites had that exact same taste and texture that you find in non-vegan sweet and sour pork dishes. I used to order that now and then from Chinese restaurants in the past and this vegan version did not disappoint. I stir fried some vegetables and served this over rice. I tried to be a little more imaginative but really, this is the way to serve this dish!

Gardein Sweet and Sour Porkless Bites

For the Sweet and Tangy BBQ Wings, I wanted to have them in a wrap with something fruity on the side. I was a bit too lazy to make a proper nectarine salsa, so I just cooked up some brown rice quinoa mix and a red onion, and had it in a wrap with leafy greens and sliced nectarine. I like anything smoky flavoured, so I enjoyed this. If you’re a fan of BBQ style pizzas with those smoky toppings, give these a go:

Gardein Sweet and Tangy BBQ Wings

The final product I tried was the Beefless Ground. This is pretty much your vegan ground beef/mince meat alternative. I had wanted to experiment with a vegan version of my Mum’s moussaka, so I used the mince here and added some brown lentils to bulk it up a bit more. The Beefless Ground is easy to cook with and is already flavoured, so I didn’t add much to it. It’s on the sweet side which I don’t think worked that well in a moussaka but might do better in a lasagna. I’m not used to my bolognese style sauces being sweet and in the 90s when I traveled to the US and Canada, I was surprised that every meat sauce I tried (in restaurants or store bought) was sweet! Still, I liked the flavour though because it is on the sweet side, I would be quite picky about how to use it.

Gardein Beefless Ground in moussaka

 

If you’d like to see where Gardein products are stocked near you in Australia, check out the Gardein Australia Facebook page. In Australia, the distributor is Plant-Based Foods. Check out Plant-Based Foods’ website to see what other products they stock.

* Disclaimer: These products were sent to me for review purposes: thank you to Plant-Based Foods. All opinions are my own and I receive no compensation– I will only recommend products I am genuinely happy with!