24

In My Kitchen May 2017

I haven’t done the last couple of IMK posts, and this one is a showcase of stuff that has been in my kitchen over the past few months.

Ben & Jerry’s released new vegan flavours last year some time, and four of those flavours have made it to Australia, with a way expensive price tag to boot. I’d gone to Prahran Convenience here in Melbourne to stock up on foods for Easter and these were the only two vegan Ben & Jerry’s flavours available. I had really wanted the peanut butter! The chunky monkey flavour is banana with choc chunks and walnut pieces. It was okay but really, I can make my own that tastes similar (dare I say better) and of course a fraction of the price: frozen banana nicecream with a little almond milk, toasted walnuts and some chocolate.

When I tried the chocolate fudge brownie flavour I wasn’t that impressed. I’m not usually a fan of chocolate, unless it’s something really good like the vegan chocolate flavours at Miinot Gelato in Pascoe Vale South. So this was a regret-purchase until I had a brainwave, and mixed in some PB2 powdered peanut butter. Then it was excellent:One of my purchases for Easter lunch was this awesome lemon dill cashew cheese made by Botanical Cuisine. This is just so good, I couldn’t take it home because I knew I’d finish it in a few hours. Love it and it’s very lemony too:

My other Easter lunch contribution was this Field Roast roast, which was quite nice:

Jerry’s Burgers have often had a stall at some events I’ve been to and I have always said I’ll buy a burger the next time I see the stall. This time I picked up these frozen patties from Prahran Convenience. These were nice plain-ish lentil based patties and I liked that they weren’t heavily flavoured because I had one more Mediterranean style, and another with Japanese sauces and gomasio:I’ve never tried any Suzy Spoon’s Vegetarian Butcher products, and a visit to Sydney would definitely include some purchases!I’ve bought this Viana veggie gyros before and liked it in a wrap souvlaki/gyros style. I’m not too big on buying mock meats but as a once in a while thing, this is okay:These sage and marjoram VegiDeli sausages were just okay, I’m sure I liked them much more in the past. Still good as a sausage sizzle though!Keeping it local with Zebra Dream’s peanut butter chocolate flavour. I love Zebra Dream icecream and this was really nice:Preston market (why do markets and supermarkets insist on cucumbers in plastic wrap?!). I’ll always get the hot jam donuts from the van at Preston market (100% plant based) so I probably took this photo while waiting for donuts 🙂

In My Kitchen is a monthly blog link up that is currently being hosted by Sherry at Sherry’s Pickings. I’m submitting this blog post of mine for May 2017. While not a vegan-specific event, anyone can join in and you can also discover new blogs, recipes, products, etc!

4

What I Ate: Greek Easter 2017 Edition

Easter Sunday lunch was a quiet affair at my Mum and Dad’s. Usually I like to make something special but this year I pretty much had zero energy to think of what I could make from scratch. Instead, I headed down to Prahran Convenience Store and came back home with a Field Roast and I put in a request for my sister to buy some Funky Pies when she went to (the store formerly known as) Global Green Vegetarian Food Mart in Braybrook.

Mum made her usual roast potatoes and pumpkin and of course, gigantes (Greek baked beans. You can find my recipe here):

My plate has a distinct lack of green. We had tossed up making a salad (boom tish) but decided mehhh, we had enough food already. I had the Mexican flavoured Funky Pie and the Field Roast:

For dessert, Mum made the vegan version of kourabiethes, which is pretty much a Greek shortbread made with almonds. I really need to blog this recipe but I’m terrible with shaping the crescent shapes, so I’ll have to wait til I go to Mum’s so I can photograph the process (and wash my tea cup properly):

Preston Market had a Greek Festival Day the week before Easter, with some food stalls, music and dancing. One of the stalls was Honeydee Loukoumades. Loukoumades/loukoumathes, or Greek donuts, are traditionally finished with honey and walnuts but Honeydee responded to customers asking about vegan options and provide a cinnamon sugar option. These were delicious:

Some pics of the dancing with traditional Greek costumes: No visit to Preston Market is complete without the hot jam donuts, but I was likely too busy stuffing my face to take a proper photo.

10

New Vegan Menu At The Pancake Parlour

The Pancake Parlour is a long time (since 1965) family restaurant chain and one of those places etched in to the memories of many a Melburnian. Nothing on the menu was vegan, until now. The Pancake Parlour management has listened to customer feedback, as well as feedback from staff who were telling head office people kept coming in asking for vegan options.

Alas, the pancakes are not vegan and while I don’t miss any pre-vegan foods, if Pancake Parlour made a vegan version of their pancakes, I’d be all over it. Perhaps that’s due to a fair bit of nostalgia because PP was a very special treat when I was growing up. On our few trips to the city during the year, Mum would take us to lunch and I’d always get the Alice in Wonderland (a pancake with icecream, chocolate syrup and sprinkles).

During my vegan years, I never went along to the PP when there were family meals there because there was nothing satisfactory I could have or veganise easily enough, so I’d stay home. So it’s good to know that I can go along and get a meal too.

One of my favourite treats in the pre-vegan days was the Swiss Mountain Milk Malt and I was really happy to see this is on the vegan menu. The milk options are almond or soy, so my son and I shared a soy version with the chocolate flavour (the other flavour was espresso). I love malt but couldn’t really taste it at all, and it was pretty sweet. At $11.20 this is a pricey beverage but I’ve been waiting years for vegan options at the PP and was happy to splash out the cash! Yes, that’s my doppelganger on the glass:For a meal, I got the Strawberry Plantcrepe ($16.90). The filling is made up of fresh strawberries with organic strawberry jam and vanilla soy ice cream is included. I really wasn’t sure what to expect as some of the vegan crepes I’ve had elsewhere haven’t been that flash, but this crepe was really well done.Other vegan crepe options include the Chocnana Crunch Plantcrepe (banana, peanut butter, chocolate, $15.90), Bavarian Apple Plantcrepe (spiced apple filling, $15.90), two plain Plantcrepes with ice cream ($12.60) and the Jamaican Banana Plantcrepe (grilled banana, $15.90). All served with vanilla soy ice cream.

There’s the Superfood Salad too (gluten free: kale, quinoa, lentils, black beans, corn, mixed lettuce, hommus, other fresh mixed veg dressed with lemon infused olive oil, $15.90). Vegan chickpea tuna is an optional extra for $4.

There’s a Berry Power Smoothie and a Super Green Power Smoothie, both $9.50 and gluten free.

I am pretty impressed at the chickpea tuna offering, because that shows some research has been done. From what I have seen and heard, the PP have really made an effort to develop this vegan menu and hopefully there will be even more. I’m hoping for a vegan version of the cottage fries!

I’m always happy when restaurants include decent vegan options or better, develop a new vegan menu in response to customer requests. A big name like PP introducing a vegan menu is pretty great.

We had lunch at the Melbourne Central restaurant. The full vegan menu is available here, Doncaster and Malvern East only. The smoothies, malt shake and salad options are available at all the PP restaurants.

http://pancakeparlour.com/vegan

 

8

Followup Cookbook Review: Street Vegan

Some time ago (long ago, September 2015!) I reviewed one of my favourite cookbooks ever, Street Vegan by Adam Sobel. Since then I’ve made more of the recipes, so here’s a little recap.

Starting with the top photo, the Rosemary Hemp Seed-crusted Tofu with Tarragon Garlic Bread Pudding was pretty good. I didn’t shake off enough of the crumb mixture off the tofu so it was a little floury but I liked that the tofu was baked, not fried in oil though I chose not to use oil for the baking. The bread pudding would have been loads better if I’d had something other than wholemeal multigrain! If I make this again, I’m going for regular old white bread or spelt (like the recipe suggests). My tip: don’t use wholemeal multigrain!

Next, the Sage Tempeh Sausage Sliders with Fried Sage Leaves and Lavender-Roasted Shallots. I love everything about that except the tempeh but I gave it a try anyway. The flavours of the patties were great but it was still too tempehey for me. The sage leaves though, I couldn’t stop picking at them. I used regular white onions instead of shallots as shallots cost a millions bucks per kilo compared to onions at the time. This is another recipe where I want to gush about Adam Sobel being a genius with how he has all these different flavours and textures working so brilliantly together. I want to make this again, minus the tempeh somehow:

I’ve made the Thai Barbecue Seitan Ribs with Pickled Thai Basil and Onions and Smoked Chile-Roasted Peanuts (whew!) before but this time I messed up the seitan. The recipe just says use half a block of tofu and perhaps my block was bigger than what Adam Sobel used, because my seitan was way mushy. Tasted great, though this would also depend on using a fantastic red curry paste. Another great sandwich:

Then I had the leftovers in a bowl with some rice:

From the breakfasts chapter, I had the Fried Dandelion Greens (well, I used kale) with Lemon Garlic Potatoes. Gotta admit this one killed me a bit, it was way too heavy on the vinegary elements (3 tablespoons umeboshi plum vinegar, and I had halved the amount). Perhaps it all works better with the dandelions? I also found the potatoes were too heavy on the lemon and I usually love lemon potatoes (I’m Greek!). I want to make this again with dandelion leaves but I’ll definitely cut that lemon and vinegar way down (forgive the yucky coloured bits of kale):

Croquettes are things I love ordering in restaurants but hate making myself. Damn fiddly things that make you wait around, you know? Then again I’m a proud resident of Lazy Town. So for whatever reason, I had to go and make the Rosemary White Bean Croquettes with Roasted Fennel and White Wine Jus. I wasn’t a fan of these, when I see wheat germ or oat bran in a patty/croquette recipe my alarm bells go off and yeah, I found these a bit… wheat germy. I wasn’t sold on the white wine jus though I used a wine which I thought matched well to the recipe but yeah, didn’t work in the end.

There are quite a few pancake recipes and here’s the Blue (I used yellow) Corn Pancakes that I topped with candied hazelnuts. I don’t know why, but I could really taste the 1 teaspoon baking soda in these and so I was unable to finish them. I did cut down the oil a bit too from the 3 tablespoons so I don’t know how much that would have affected the aftertaste. Crappy photo of pancakes but really, I have to throw a cat pic in: I also made the Fresh Fig Pancakes with Chamomile and Blood Orange Syrup. I couldn’t find blood oranges so I used regular oranges and it was a nice syrup. But these pancakes also had a strong baking soda aftertaste (2 teaspoons each of baking powder and baking soda). Another pancake recipe has two teaspoons of baking soda so yeah, that’s way too much for me.

The Flaky Spinach Pie had a nice tasting filling but I waaaay overdid it with the pastry crust topping as it made the top layers way too bitter. A light sprinkling of the spicy dry mix would be better. I made another mistake with this but can’t remember what it was:

I liked the Vanilla Sesame Milk and Chocolate Cashew Milk, however these are things I’ve made on my own so I don’t need a recipe. My versions are pretty much the same as the recipes in Street Vegan minus the coconut oil (I haaaate coconut oil added to drinks). So the cashew chocolate milk is your regular cashew milk (cashes, water, salt but don’t strain it), cacao powder, a sweetener (Sobel uses agave, I use Medjool dates as my son had a bad allergic reaction to agave in the past) and that’s it.

If you follow Cinnamon Snail on social media like the Instagram account, you will be treated to photos and descriptions of amazing food (baked ziti burger!). Lucky folks, those who have easy access to the Cinnamon Snail food!

6

Stuff I Ate

Delayed again with the weekly What I Ates! Stuff is still super busy around here and I have been making quick meals and not bothering to photograph them. Or maybe too much time has been spent trying to de-stress with a bunch of Dolly Parton music videos. And then more time spent trying to look up metal covers. I did enjoy the process of introducing my nine year old daughter to Dolly because she thought the song was called Trollene. It was a sad day when she started pronouncing Britney Spears correctly and was no longer saying Brick Knee of Spheres. Just like when my son thought Shortbread Creams were Shortbread Crimes. ANYWAY.

First up, the leftover lemongrass tofu from Huong Viet with veg and soba noodles:

Tabouli Rasa Vegan & Vegetarian Food is a market stall. I got this falafel and salad lunch box from the Coburg Farmers Market. Really lovely and fresh:

One of the quick meals was some roasted eggplant, tomatoes and basil from the garden:

Another quick meal, this time a load of veg, brown lentils and a curry paste and tomato base, served over brown basmati rice:

This was the only green on St. Patrick’s Day, a mint smoothie made with frozen banana, oats, Prana On Supergreens (mint flavour) and a couple drops of green food colour for the novelty factor. I also managed to place it on the part of the marble slab that has those weird stains I can’t remove:

And that’s really about it. Quite uninspired and mehhhh (the veg lentil curry looks way better than it tastes), but very quick and easy. Rice cookers really are amazing.