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In My Kitchen December 2016

In My Kitchen is a monthly blog link up that is currently being hosted by Lizzy at Bizzy Lizzy’s Good Things Blog. I’m submitting this blog post of mine for December 2016. While not a vegan-specific event, anyone can join in and you can also discover new blogs, recipes, products, etc!

I will apologise again in advance for not leaving comments on some blogs as for whatever bizarre reason there are some blogs through Blogspot usually that I can’t comment on. My comments don’t go through or I get “that comment could not be posted”. Some times I have to switch browsers to get comments to work, or other times I’m asked to log in to WordPress (even though I moved my WordPress blog to my self hosted domain) etc. Total pain in the bum stuff.

I wish I could have a lot of Christmassy things for In My Kitchen December, but decorations and such aren’t really a good idea because our cats demolish them in two seconds flat. The only thing we can manage is this little tree (found at the op shop for a couple of bucks) and Lego trees. But even these get knocked over and chewed on:

fishlesstunaetc

So In My Kitchen we have the little can of fishless tuna, which I received in a vegan box swap. I never liked tuna or fish so vegan fishy foods don’t appeal to me at all so I will give this away. The white balsamic was one of those purchases where I absolutely had to have for one recipe (which I promptly misplaced). I was really pleased to find white balsamic as I have never seen it in the supermarkets or stores I shopped at. When I came home and put it away, I found another bottle I clearly desperately needed some time in the past.

I have these two blocks of mint crisp Cocolo, my favourite vegan option for a mint chocolate. Unfortunately Cocolo are shutting up shop so I’ll enjoy these while I can:

cocolomint

In My Kitchen is a Lucky Iron Fish! When I first heard people recommending a ‘lucky iron fish’ for iron related issues in the diet, I admit I thought it sounded like something scammy. I have had iron related issues for a quite a long time now, despite monitoring what I eat, so when I finally looked up the Lucky Iron Fish website and saw that it was not only legit but also a wonderful initiative, I purchased one right away. Please have a read of the Lucky Iron Fish website to see what it’s all about. You can also buy an iron fish and have one donated too. Fishykins here is easy to use. You just pop it in some boiling water with citrus for about ten minutes, take fishy out then use the water to cook your food. I made pasta like this and could detect a metallic kind of taste but when I mixed it all with pasta sauce you couldn’t tell. The veggies don’t taste iron-fishy either.

luckyironfish

I have some new cookbooks! As if I don’t have enough already. I’ve made the decision to part with the cookbooks I rarely look at. They take up too much space and I never use them. I’m really loving But My Family Would Never Eat Vegan! by Kristy Turner, author of the Keepin’ It Kind blog and the But I Could Never Go Vegan! cookbook (another cookbook I really enjoy leafing through). I’ve made a few recipes and I’ll put them up on the blog soon.

newvegancookbook

I also have Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s latest book The Superfun Times Vegan Holiday Book. Not shown is the new Smith & Daughters cookbook:

superfunisa

I recently went to lunch at Juanita’s Kitchen here in Melbourne and Juanita gave us some packets of tea and chai. I chose these two varieties and have been enjoying them, especially the chilli chai while I’ve been a bit sick with a cold:juanitaskitchen

And not In My Kitchen but in my back yard, as I like to call it, some Melbourne scenes.old melbourne trammelb1melb2

I hope you all have a fantastic holiday period full of good food and good times!

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Lunches At Tadka Boom! In The City

Tadka Boom Melbourne city

I first heard of Tadka Boom! back in September 2014 when I read about it on Melbourne vegan blog The Lentil Institution. I often catch trams right around the Goldsborough Lane area and hadn’t seen anything vegan friendly around there. So quite a few months back now, I finally made it there for lunch.

Tadka Boom! is located inside the covered strip of cafes and restaurants in Goldsborough Lane, between Bourke Street and Lt. Bourke Street, near King Street and William Street. There’s a decent amount of seating inside and outside, though I haven’t been during the busier lunch rush hours.

Tadka Boom Melbourne city

On my first visit, the available vegan options included the lentil dhal (complimentary with the two-curry meal purchase), pea and potato curry, a spicy chickpea curry and coconut peas for $11.90:

Tadka Boom Melbourne city

On my second visit, there was an eggplant curry with the same chickpea curry and complimentary lentil dhal again for the two-curry meal ($11.90). I was offered some salad on the side but said no. I knew from last time that this was quite a filling dish and I wasn’t super hungry.

Tadka Boom Melbourne city

I asked what other vegan options were available and this is pretty much it, though the samosas on the menu are listed as vegan. However when I asked, one staff member said the samosa wasn’t vegan but later said yes it was when I asked about the ‘VG’ on the menu (vegetarian dishes are labelled with a V). So best to confirm again when you visit. Same with the veg falafel, it’s listed as VG on the menu but when I asked if any of the wraps were vegan I was told no. Perhaps they meant what was remaining in the display.

Staff were helpful when I asked about the vegan options. There are the two vegan curries available daily with a choice of white or brown rice and the lentil dhal is complimentary. Just ask which meals are vegan and they’ll show you in the serving area.

At $11.90 for a filling meal, I’m pretty happy to have an option for tasty vegan Indian food in a part of the city that doesn’t seem to have many vegan lunch meal offerings within walking distance.

Where’s The Beef? also blogged about Tadka Boom! in November 2015 and you can read about it here.

Tadka Boom Melbourne city

Tadka Boom!

22 Goldsborough Lane (undercover food court kind of setup in the surrounding office buildings)

Melbourne CBD

http://www.tadkaboom.com.au/
Tadka Boom! Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Lunch At Juanita’s Kitchen In Preston

Juanita's Kitchen Preston

I first blogged about Juanita’s Kitchen back in August 2015. Like so many other places I’ve been to, I plan to go back soon after but it ends up being a long, long time later. This time, I met up with Rosalie from Quinces and Kale and Johanna from Green Gourmet Giraffe on one of those Melbourne spring days that is actually a spring day (where we had the heater on two days before because it was freezing at home).

Juanita’s Kitchen has been changed slightly since my last visit, with some benches added along the window. The space is still nice and light, with great photography and art work displays plus Juanita’s take-home products in the shelves.

Juanita's Kitchen Preston

I rarely buy drinks when I go out to eat and just stick to water, but there were too many nice looking chai based drinks on the menu to pass up. I ended up getting the soy option of the iced chai delight ($6.00). This had quite a chilli kick and was perfect for me because it wasn’t very sweet. Juanita said the coconut milk version looks prettier, but I was in more of a soy mood.Juanita's Kitchen Preston

There are lots of vegan options to choose from. Rosalie got the vegan breaky bake ($11, add vegan chorizo $12) and I took a poorly focused photo:Juanita's Kitchen Preston

For me it was tough deciding what to get but when I see peanut anything on a menu that’s often my first choice. Plus I’ve been a bit slack with eating lots of veggies lately so the Mafe ($12.50) stood out. The menu says Mafe is a popular Senegalese dish and the cafe serves it with seasonal vegetables on cous cous, though I was also offered rice. My meal was loaded with carrot, zucchini and cabbage so I felt quite virtuous about eating a whole lot of veg.Juanita's Kitchen Preston

Johanna’s vegetarian meal looked quite filling and she confirmed it was!

We’d decided to skip sharing dips/starters and instead leave room for dessert. The salted caramel cheesecake ($5.00) was really nice, described on the menu as being made with a cacao nut base with a sugar free caramel filling. It was topped with toasted almonds, rice malt syrup and chocolate shards:Juanita's Kitchen Preston

I also ordered the raw peanut butter cup ($2.50) which was lovely. Juanita gave us a piece of the beetroot brownie which was very nice, not too sweet:Juanita's Kitchen Preston

There are lots of good looking vegan options to choose from both on the menu and in the displays. Juanita also sells lots of house made products such as cooking/simmer sauces, chai blends, tea blends, salsas, smoothie mixes and marinades, all influenced by the cuisines of Mexico and West Africa. These can be found at markets too where Juanita’s Kitchen has a stall. I’ve tried quite a few products in the past and ended up buying more to give as gifts.

There are also Taco Nights held regularly (you need to book in), with details posted to the Juanita’s Kitchen Facebook page. I hope to make it to one soon 🙂

Juanita’s Kitchen

219 High Street

Preston

http://www.juanitaskitchen.com.au/

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The Great Melbourne Vegan Donuts List

veganopoulousvege2go

Melbourne has a pretty strong donut game and vegan donuts are joining the party all the time. As an act of community service, you understand, I’ve tracked down most of the vegan donuts Melbourne has to offer, sampled a good deal of them, and now present them here in one big listing.

I’ll continue to update this list as more vegan donuts join in, so please leave a comment and let me know if I’ve either missed something, or if you hear of a new vegan donut. Because you know there will plenty of vegans who will travel for donuts. Share this around– share that vegan donut love.

The first photo up the top there is of the cinnamon donuts that were being sold at the Vege2go stall at World Vegan Day in 2014. I don’t know if they still make donuts, but I thought the photo was a nice introduction of donutty goodness.

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veganopoulous mister nice guys bakeshop

Mister Nice Guy’s Bake Shop

151 Union Road, Ascot Vale

http://www.misterniceguy.com.au/

https://www.facebook.com/misterniceguysbakeshop/

Established in 2010, Mister Nice Guy’s Bake Shop is an all-vegan and allergy friendly bakery as well as being a long time Melbourne vegan favourite. Their doughnuts are ‘bronuts’, made from a brioche batter and flavours (of all baked goods) rotate daily. Shown in the photo below, starting from top right are the Golden Rough (chocolate and coconut), Cookies and Cream, Cinnamon Sugar, Snickers (chocolate custard filled bronut with peanut butter glaze, dulce sin leche drizzle and sprinkled with chopped peanuts– my favourite everrr) and the Bronut Holes with vanilla glaze. The bronuts are $5.00 to $5.50 each and the bronut holes are $1.50 each. Mister Nice Guy’s also make gluten free Petite Baked Donuts (not shown here) for $3.50 each.

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veganopoulous preston market jam donuts

Preston Market Hot Jam Donuts van

Located at Preston Market during market days (Wed-Sat)

https://www.facebook.com/Hot-Doughnuts-Preston-Market-1039684786061392/

Boy was it a happy day when my vegan friend told me these donuts at Preston Market are vegan! There’s nothing quite like a hot jam donut from a van, they really do have a taste and character all of their own. You know what I mean, that jam donut van taste that no other non-van donuts have. I think the appeal includes the experience of stuffing your face and getting sugar all over yourself then making a bigger mess when you try to find a spare tissue to clean your hands. Or vacuum the car, take your pick, because really who waits until they get home to eat them? My congratulations if that applies to you, I’m not that disciplined so I join the hoardes walking around with sugar in their hair. The Hot Doughnuts van also sell a plain vanilla glazed donut for $2.20. A box of six jam donuts is $4.90 and a bakers dozen box is $8.50. One of my top picks for Melbourne vegan donuts.

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veganopoulous loving hut la panella

La Panella in Preston and Loving Hut Northcote (can also be found at Mantra Lounge opposite Melbourne Uni)

La Panella Bakery: 465 High Street, Preston

Loving Hut Northcote: 377 High Street, Northcote

La Panella Bakery https://www.facebook.com/La-Panella-Bakery-111109138950836/

Loving Hut Northcote https://www.facebook.com/LovingHutNorthcoteAu/

Loving Hut Northcote and La Panella have a family connection, so the donuts are the same at both. Above you can see the plain sugar dusted jam donut and the two (chocolate and pink iced) jam filled donuts. Not shown is the custard donut. Everything sold at Loving Hut Northcote is 100% vegan, while La Panella Bakery has some vegetarian items, though the vegan items are clearly marked. These donuts are one of the cheaper options in Melbourne and a large size too, heavy on the jam.

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smith & daughters quince doughnuts

Smith & Daughters

175 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy

http://www.smithanddaughters.com/

https://www.facebook.com/SmithandDaughters/

My apologies for the blergh photo. It was taken back in the days before I had a low-light camera lens. But please believe me when I tell you these Spanish quince donuts are incredibly delicious. Lovely soft pillow balls of quincey jammed goodness. It doesn’t matter if you’re too stuffed for dessert, get them anyway!

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veganopoulous smith deli

Smith & Deli

111 Moor Street, Fitzroy

https://www.facebook.com/SmithAndDeli/

I wish I had more photos of the Smith & Deli donuts as they’ve had so many flavours. I’ve had cardamom spiced donuts, plain cinnamon ring donuts, donuts with a raspberry glaze and more. Shown here is a pumpkin spice custard donut which is probably my favourite of everything I’ve tried. Different flavours every time I visit!

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veganopoulous churros spanish donuts van

Churros Spanish Donuts van at the Queen Victoria Market

http://www.churrospanishdonuts.com.au

Open during market trading hours

Parked on Peel Street by the #55 West Coburg tram stop, these churros are made from animal-free ingredients and dusted with plenty of icing (powdered) sugar. Seven churros cost $6.00, or they’re $1.00 each. A family business started in 1976, you’ll find the van operating during market trading hours.

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veganopoulous doughnut time

Doughnut Time

Current Melbourne locations (they’re also in Brisbane, Gold Coast and Sydney):

5 Degraves Street, Melbourne CBD

377 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy

Topshop Melbourne CBD in the Emporium Shopping Centre (you have to go in to Topshop) *need to confirm if this outlet is still open

178 Chapel Street, Windsor

Highpoint Shopping Centre in the Fresh Food Market, Maribyrnong

http://www.doughnuttime.com.au/

https://www.facebook.com/doughnuttime/

Doughnut Time offer a few vegan doughnuts on the current menu. There’s the Vegan Fox (chocolate glaze topped with freeze-dried strawberries and crushed pistachios), A Matcha Made in Heaven (matcha green tea glaze, freeze-dried raspberry powder and vegan sprinkles), Sia Later (red velvet), the plain jam donut and The Morrissey (chocolate glazed with peanut butter cookie dough chunks– this was initially a special but I think it’s made it to the regular rotation, judging from some photos I’ve seen on Instagram). Past vegan doughnuts, which can stage a return at any time, include Pump Up The Jam (raspberry plum jam-filled and dusted with cinnamon sugar), the You Go, Glen Coco! (not sure of the flavours as the website doesn’t mention it), Rough Around the Edges (chocolate and coconut glazes, topped with shaved toasted coconut), and the Blue Ivy (jam filled). Each doughnut is $6 each and you’ll see quite a few people around holding the cute boxes.

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veganopoulous raw trader

Raw Trader

10 Sutherland Street, Melbourne CBD

https://www.facebook.com/rawtrader14/

Raw vegan doughnuts make a stand too, thanks to Raw Trader. Shown above on the lefthand side of the photo are the apple crumble (at the front), lemon chia and chocolate mocha. There are other flavours made too, keep an eye on Raw Trader’s Facebook and Instagram pages to keep updated.

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veganopoulous crumbs organic bakehouse

Crumbs Organic Bake House

170 Union Road, Ascot Vale

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Crumbs-Organic-Bakehouse/130095763706992

Another favourite with many a vegan is Crumbs Organic Bake House in Ascot Vale (the North Melbourne bakery recently closed). The filled donuts are all sourdough, with a jam filling or my favourite, the lemon curd filling. I’ve also had a lamington donut. Crumbs also sell glazed ring donuts. Crumbs products are also sold at various stores and stalls around town.

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veganopoulous village bakery

The Village Bakery

38 Grantham Street, Brunswick

https://www.facebook.com/thevillagebakery

This was a very happy discovery. I was waiting for the tram right outside and anticipated zero vegan options, as this was the case a long while ago. Consider my joy at being told the jam donut and the cinnamon ring donut are definitely vegan. These are delicious donuts, though on the day I went back to take photos the cinnamon donut had sold out.

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veganopoulous st gerrys

St. Gerry’s

Various locations (roaming food cart/stalls)

https://www.facebook.com/stgerrys/

Growing up, loukoumathes (Greek donuts also known as honey puffs) were a yearly favourite from the local church festival. When I became vegan, they were off my eating list because the donuts are dunked in honey after they’re cooked (plus I think they also had dairy milk). I could always have made my own with a sweetener alternative, but the experience of buying the donuts and standing around eating them (or taking them back home then sharing with family standing around the kitchen bench) was a big part of my childhood memories. So when I heard that there was a loukoumathes stall at World Vegan Day and then at the Vegan Brew & Food Fest, I was over the moon. The donuts from St. Gerry’s have the same texture and lovely dougheyness as the loukoumathes of my youth. St. Gerry’s offer a few vegan flavours: raspberry jam, cinnamon sugar and maple walnut.

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the donut shop fitzroy

The Donut Shop

130 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy

https://www.instagram.com/donutshopfitzroy/

The Donut Shop usually have a couple of options. I’ve tried the brown sugar toasted almond and the strawberry glaze. I haven’t been on a day when they’ve had other flavours, but these two have been good!

 

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Trang Bakery

383 Smith Street Collingwood and 25/519 Riversdale Road Camberwell

https://www.facebook.com/trangbakery/

Trang Bakery have a vegan jam filled donut and one sold as ‘nutella’ (though truthfully when I tried it twice, it was more a plain dark chocolate flavour than hazelnut). They’re quite cheap too, around $2 and freshly made when you order.

Thanks to @caleybell for providing this photo of the Trang nutella donut!

Caleybell's Trang Bakery donut

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Lekker Lekker Snackbar

https://www.facebook.com/lekkerlekkersnackbar

Lekker Lekker was another happy discovery (well, I haven’t actually tried it yet) because I used to live in Amsterdam and loved the yearly stalls popping up that sold oliebollen (yes, that translates to oil/oily balls). It was quite a treat to head down to the nearest oliebollen cart and watch them being made. I haven’t had oliebollen since about 2003 so the very next chance I get, I will be sure to check out Lekker Lekker.

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UPDATES! Here are some comments I’ve received about other places in Melbourne serving vegan donuts. Thank you for the tips!

Lucinda says “The Crimson Bear in Williamstown had a couple of raw vegan donut options last time I was in”.

I’ve had a few comments suggesting the donuts at the MCG but I don’t know where they’re from sorry (as in, the supplier).

Rory says “there’s a pop-up on Chapel St next to KFC that has an option”.

Andy says “there’s a Doughnut Time cart (maybe the one that was at the MYER Emporium) at one of the exits from Melbourne Central out to Swanston St.”

Anthony says “There’s a little bakery in Briar Hill (near Eltham) that a Chinese couple run. They do all the traditional, cheap Aussie bakery fare, including doughnuts. Most stuff is not vegan but their jam- and iced-doughnuts are vegan. Warning: almost too jammy! I go for ring doughnuts usually. Super cheap! $1 / $1.80 for small / large sizes.”

Mich Leanne says “Saw donuts at Wombat vegan cafe in Dromana the other day 🙂 ”

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And I think that’s about it! Unfortunately there only seems to be the two gluten free options in all of that (Mister Nice Guy’s and Raw Trader though I am guessing the raw donut options at The Crimson Bear in Williamstown are gluten free). I know that some of the gluten free shops sell vegan jam filled donuts, but well years ago I tried one and it was like a sponge soaked in oil and I felt really sick afterwards. Plus this listing is more about places that sell donuts, not really what you find in a packet. Speaking of packets though, the churros at Costco are I believe vegan (they were a couple years ago) and the Nana’s Choc Filled Churros in the supermarket freezer section are vegan too, and sometimes on sale for half the price.

 

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Return Visits To Mister Nice Guy’s Bake Shop

Mister Nice Guy's Bake Shop

I’ve written about Mister Nice Guy’s before but it was way too long ago so the blog is in need of a little updating! I’d guess that most vegans in Melbourne know about Mister Nice Guy’s, but it’s always a top recommendation in vegan groups where people say they are new vegans and want to know what’s about, or when people are visiting Melbourne and asking for advice on where to go for vegan food. Personally I always recommend a visit to the bake shop.

The bake shop has introduced additional products over the past couple of years, like the brioche donut bronuts, savoury brioche rolls and monster shakes. The photos below span the last year or so. This is the salted caramel pretzelstein: Mister Nice Guy's Bake Shop

Cupcakes are always a hit with the fam. The pic at the top of this post is a peanut butter chocolate. My favourite of the sweet goods would have to be the bronuts, I never thought anything would top the cinnamon buns (well, maybe the lemon buns) but the bronuts, especially the peanut butter one I tried that was a filled donut, are excellent: Mister Nice Guy's Bake Shop

There are lots of savoury items too. Sausage rolls, pretzel dogs, Coney Island chilli dog, meatballs subs, different types of brioche bun fillings such as chickpea tuna and turkey cranberry, bagels like BLT and curried egg salad and more. The sweet treats include the cheesecakes (often gluten free), whole cakes or slices of cake (GF options here too), cupcakes (with lots of GF varieties, as well as a low FODMAP flavour though I don’t know if that’s daily), danishes, Polish babkas, GF walnut banana bread, GF brownies, ring donuts, buns, scrolls, GF mini donuts, donut holes… so much great stuff. Mister Nice Guy's Bake Shop

Mister Nice Guy’s remains at the top of my family’s list of favourite places to eat. My son has been a fan of the cinnamon buns since we first started going to the bake shop and I don’t see that changing any time soon (in fact he once asked for a giant cake sized cinnamon bun to serve as a birthday cake). I like trying something different every time, but the brioche sandwiches are probably my more recent favourites though the curry katsu roll I had once was really good. The brioche sandwiches are very filling, with the brioche being a little sweeter than regular bread but for me it works well, I can only finish half then leave the rest for the sandwich press another time.Mister Nice Guy's Bake Shop

Mister Nice Guy’s is well known in the vegan community and the bake shop opened around 2010, though there were market stalls before that. If you’re visiting Melbourne, consider making time to take a trip to the bake shop! You can catch the 57 or 82 tram, or take the train and get off at Ascot Vale train station. Tram 57 goes along Union Road and tram 82 is a short walk away. The 472 bus isn’t far away either.

http://www.misterniceguy.com.au/

https://www.facebook.com/misterniceguysbakeshop
Mister Nice Guy's Bakeshop Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato