Cruelty Free West Expo 2014

This time of the year sees quite a few events for vegans, or friendly to vegans (and non-vegan of course!) around Melbourne! Yesterday we went down to Caroline Springs for the Cruelty Free West Expo, put on by the Caroline Springs Animal Welfare Network. CSAWN publish the most excellent Cruelty Free Guide To The West, something I have found very handy.

Here are some snaps from the day. The photos are hurried as I didn’t have much time there as I would have liked.

crueltyfreewestexpo1 crueltyfreewestexpo2

Little Miss Sunshine here was brilliant, ringing the bell to go through the door:

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Leigh Drew demonstrated some recipes from Greenilicious. No doubt Leigh’s awesome asparagus peeling skillz contributed to me running to buy a copy! It’s a super fantastic book and I’ll blog about it for sure:crueltyfreewestexpo14 crueltyfreewestexpo15 crueltyfreewestexpo16

Staff were taking food around, like this nasi goreng. Husband and the kids had to wait for me in the car longer because when I was on my way out it was all oooh food samples. So I had to get one and forget about the family for a while:


I picked up lots of information to read and pass on. As well as Greenilicious, I bought some cat treats. And more awesomely, my run of good luck continues with vegan/vegan friendly events because I won a big raffle prize! I won two prizes at World Vegan Day in 2012 and this year DeeW won the awesome hamper from The Compassionate Kitchen.

It’s really great seeing so many events providing education and raising awareness. I also love being able to buy stuff without doing the awkward “does it have dairy/egg/honey” verbal shuffle.

We had planned to go straight to Williamstown for the Sea Shepherd event but unfortunately we had a last minute change of plans. But I had a good time at the Cruelty Free West Expo, met some lovely people and loved Little Miss Sunshine! Chickens are such intelligent creatures, so much smarter than most people realise :)

Thanks and well done to the organisers, stall holders, volunteers, venue, everyone involved!



What I Ate This Week

berry muffins

A little public service announcement: since redirecting my old blog over to this one, I can’t comment on blogspot blogs (I’m working on fixing this).  Waaah! So many comments I want to leave but can’t for now. My apologies!

Okay, so I’m getting back in to training and stepping up my efforts where nutrition is concerned. Sure, I had to face days of eating the same thing and I get sick of leftovers super easily. But eventually it gets to a point where I’m grateful to just grab something I’ve prepared in advance and not stand there at the fridge, willing something to appear. Do you do that? Or stand looking inside your fridge, in case you missed something in there that you can eat? Then you go back half an hour later just in case you missed something the previous sixty thousand times??

I made some pan fried tofu in a wee bit of oil, with some steamed vegetables (the cauliflower was roasted previously with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast). The sauce is a blend of miso, tahini, garlic and brown lentils:

tofu veg miso tahini lentil bowl

A big thick chunky black bean, eggplant, zucchini and sweet potato stew with curry flavourings:

black bean veg curry stew

I’ve been having lots of green smoothies or variations of them for breakfast. I sometimes chop up fruit and veg (usually when it’s starting to look blergh) and freeze them for smoothies. At night, I take a packet out of the freezer and defrost it in the fridge overnight. Hurrah for convenience! And cats:

cat and my green smoothie

More juicing:

Green juice

I really like these blueberry pancakes from Brendan Brazier’s Thrive book. They’re made with cooked quinoa, buckwheat flour, hemp and blueberries. I served them with some Pura Veda coconut yoghurt and home made applesauce (plain apples that I stewed and pureed, with nothing added):

Thrive blueberry pancakes

Some days I pour my smoothie in a bowl and sprinkle some Pura Veda muesli on top. On this particular day I added a blob of the coconut yoghurt, except it kinda sank by the time I took the photo. What would you call this? Muethie? Smuesli? Smoothsli? Has anyone else thought of that?!:

smoothie muesli

For the kids, I made these BF Blueberry Muffins from Dreena Burton’s Let Them Eat Vegan. I added in some mixed berries and used a blend of mostly kamut flour and wholemeal spelt. I used applesauce for most of the oil and threw in some hemp seeds:

berry muffins with cat

A what-Husband-ate. I made him a veg stir fry with a hoi sin and soy based sauce, served over some somen noodles:

veg hoisin stir fry

I made this recipe for Heather’s Super Seed Power Bread from Oh She Glows. It’s great toasted and spread with some hummus:

seed power bread

My week was pretty much made up of all the above. Preparing food for the next few days ahead is such a relief on days where it’s too warm to be bothered putting the oven on (or be bothered cooking in general)!

Are you happy eating the same stuff for days in a row?


What I Ate (This Past Fortnight)

miso tahin itofu greens bowl

Whoops. Kinda forgot the weekly What I Ate again… so let’s make this (another) What I Ate This Past Fortnight, shall we?

I made a tofu scramble with assorted veg that had to be used up. I flavour my tofu with a little garlic powder, nutritional yeast and black salt. I had it in a tortilla with avocado and greens. The tortilla is rather unnecessary but I had an urge to use the panini press:

tofu scramble tortilla

This one is more what-my-brother-in-law-ate. He’s been doing some work on our house so I made him this pasta dish using the Vegami pepperoni I bought from World Vegan Day, red capsicum, onions, olives, capers, some leftover pasta sauce and topped it with parmesan by A Vegan Smiles:

vegan pepperoni pasta

More Vegami vegan pepperoni action! This time I grilled it on the panini press and served it in this panini-pressed Turkish pide. Like a BLT without the B:

vegan pepperoni BLT

What I call the Mother and Son green smoothies. Banana, greens, cinnamon and non-dairy milk:

green smoothie

I met up with some Melbourne and interstate bloggers the night before World Vegan Day at Loving Hut in Northcote. I ordered the home made curry:

Loving Hut Northcote curry

I roasted some cauliflower and made some simple cast iron pan fried garlic tofu and tossed it all through spaghetti with some home made pesto. I tried not to overload it with more A Vegan Smiles parmesan but that stuff is so good I added loads more after I took the photo:

garlic tofu cauliflower pasta

This is my meal in the top pic, though here we have my serial photo bomber. It’s the miso tahini roast cauliflower recipe from Isa Does It, but I used sauteed garlicky silverbeet instead of soba noodles along with more of the garlic tofu:

Cat stalking miso tahini veg bowl

I went to Grill’d for lunch and tried their new falafel burger. It’s vegan without the tzaziki:

Grill'd falafel burger

Doing these What I Ate posts (or rather, missing them then having to play catch-up) makes me see just how fast time seems to be flying. How on earth did we get to November so fast?! Christmas stuff has been in the supermarkets for a couple of months now at least and our family conversations have been turning to foods to make for Christmas lunch with family. Gahhh, I want it all to slow down!


World Vegan Day Melbourne, 2014

* You are welcome to use my photos but if you do, I’d appreciate it if you could link back to my blog. Thanks! This is also one very photo-heavy post!

World Vegan Day Melbourne! I’m trying to think up a sensible paragraph here but really, all I can think of is EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!

So wow, what a day! I got there an hour before opening time to get some photos of the stalls without crowds (thanks to the WVD staff who allowed me to go in early). There was quite a buzz with people bustling around and setting up. So many new stall holders to check out and familiar faces to return to. This year’s Melbourne WVD took up two pavillions, with food in one and non-food products/services in the other.

Because I have so, so many photos here I’ll keep the text to a minimum. None of the photos are in any way meant to be an official (or even professional, ha ha…) account. I hope I have the names of businesses correct, please leave me a comment if there’s something that needs correcting or mentioning.




Al Nada Lebanese Bakery:




Perfect Pebble:


Chooh La La:


Dosa Joy:



Enlightened Cuisine:




The Lord of the Fries WVD Chicago dog:


Invita Living Food:




Funky Pies:


Mantra Lounge:


The Vegami Smoky Spiced Pepperoni is the best vegan pepperoni I have ever tasted:



Mister Nice Guy’s Bake Shop:




The Compassionate Kitchen:



Zebra Dream Ice Cream:


Radhey Kitchen and Chai Bar:


OMV Bakery:



Merry Cupcakes:



Pana Chocolate:




Impala & Peacock:





Sugarcane Juice:



Coconut Hub:


Simply Vegan Cuisine:



Aussie Pops:


Ghost Kitchen:


Fry’s Family Foods:


Half Pint Vegan Dairy:



Classica International:

Classica International stall


Juanita's stall

Mojo Kombucha:


More Foods:

More Foods stall

A Vegan Smiles:


Blossom’s Organics:



Inner City Hippie:


Global Green Vegetarian Food Mart:


Life To You:



Sea Shanti:



Mad Cowgirls Vegan Grocery:


SAORI Premium Japanese Sauce:



Adorn Cosmetics:


Hello Vegan:



Vegan Style:


Vegan Wares:


Animals Australia:


Animal Kind:


The Australian Natural Soap Company:







Bed & Broccoli:


Beagle Rescue Victoria:


Coalition Against Duck Shooting:


Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses:


K9 Aid:


The Cruelty Free Shop:


The Vegan Box:


Pets Haven Foundation:


Freedom Hill Sanctuary:


Soi Dog:



Leigh Drew made some recipes from Greenilicious (a great cookbook, same with Veganissimo!):


Phil Wollen gave a brilliant speech. At times it was very difficult to watch and hear, but it made me realise more than ever the importance of being vegan, for animals, humanity and the planet:

Phil Wollen WVD Melbourne 2014


A bag by RARE Bags:











A new necklace from Hello Vegan:


Tea tree soap from The Australian Natural Soap Company:


Kinda Cheese Nut parmesan from A Vegan Smiles (tastes so good I have to stop myself from eating it with the spoon already):


A mixed four-pack of Bruce Cost Ginger Ale:


A badge from We Love Life:


A glass smoothie jar with straw from The Raw Food Store:


The Vegami Spicy Smoked Pepperoni, I could have eaten the whole sample dish:


I tried all the samples (twice *cough*) of the macaroons by Life To You and had a hard time choosing which one to buy. I settled for the blueberry:


A pecan slice and rainbow chocolates from The Compassionate Kitchen. I think the pecan may have taken first place on my favourites list now, with the lemon ginger slice a very close second (photo taken by Arthur):


A slice of this lovely rainbow cake with rose frosting by Oh My Vegan (OMV) Bakery to share with the kids (the roses got a bit squished in my container):


For DeeW’s birthday I bought her this sweet coin purse from Animal Kind:



Not pictured are my tote bag from The Vegan Box, a bottle of Citrus Soya Japanese Sauce by SAORI (all the sauces are fantastic) and the salt and vinegar sea crisps from Sea Shanti (another fantastic product).

There were many more stall holders and food vendors and I apologise for not including them too, but it was difficult to photograph everything properly once the crowds came in. Thanks to everyone for letting me take photos! There are no photos of my lunch because I pretty much filled up on samples, though I did get the three steamed dumplings for $2 from the Loving Hut outlet. For dessert I got the apple raspberry ice cream from Fritz Gelato. Then ten minutes after I left WVD my stomach started growling and I was craving dosa.

Thanks also to the organisers, volunteers, stall holders, presenters, venue staff, the helpful security guy at the front gate, anyone involved with bringing another great World Vegan Day to Melbourne!


The big pie at the Melbourne Showgrounds. A vegan pie thanks!

giant pie at Melbourne Showgrounds

Did you attend World Vegan Day today? What did you get? What did you eat?!


Cookbook Review: Vegan Sandwiches Save The Day!

asian eggplant sandwich

Vegan Sandwiches Save The Day! by Celine Steen and Tamasin Noyes is a cookbook I flip through often. The recipes sound fabulous and the photos are great. I just wanna pick the crispy bits of seitan off the page!

But I have to confess I’ve done this book a great disservice. See, even though I looked through it a lot, I decided the recipes were a little in the too-hard basket because quite a few of the recipes require you make other recipes first. So I would put the book away and always mean to make something “when I have more time”.

What an error that was! After enjoying some sandwiches at True North in Coburg recently, I was determined to get this book out and make at least a handful of recipes. I’m so glad I did! I also realised that it was hardly as time consuming as I previously thought!

My first sandwich was the French Tofu Salad with Grapes. Pan fried pieces of tofu are then tossed in a kind of thick dressing with vegan mayonnaise (I didn’t have any and used a soy cream cheese instead which worked fine), onion, celery, white wine vinegar, toasted slivered almonds, chives, Dijon mustard, thyme, parsley, dried tarragon and dried herbes de Provence (which I didn’t have). Served over some baby spinach on my last piece of (toasted) fancy bread, this was fantastic. As for the grapes… I didn’t have any and wouldn’t have put them in anyway. The recipe variation notes say you can use some minced apple. I had some applesauce in the fridge so I mixed that up with the cream cheese, so it was sort of mayonnaisey in the end:

French tofu salad sandwich

I had an eggplant that needed to be used up, so I went for the Asian Eggplant Sandwich. I only made half the recipe, so I could use the eggplant for another sandwich. This sandwich is another winner. The eggplant is pan fried in some sesame oil, garlic, ginger and sesame seeds. The sauce for the sandwich is made with tomato sauce (ketchup), tamari, rice vinegar, sambal oelek (I used a little chilli paste) and peanut butter. Sounds good, right?! I kept the salad part simple with undressed shredded carrot, lettuce greens and red onion (I left out the cabbage and rice vinegar). Vegan mayo on the bread, some coriander (cilantro) to garnish and then you go stuff your face. The sandwich has its lid on in the top photo up there:

asian eggplant sandwich

Some readers recommended I make the Chickpea Shawarma. This was another wow sandwich for me– chickpeas baked with apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, vegan yoghurt, curry powder, onion powder and garlic. There’s a tahini based dressing and then you assemble it all with some tomatoes, greens and fresh parsley. I used toasted Turkish pide rolls:

chickpea shawarma chickpea shawarma

The Almighty BLT was up next. Truthfully, I’ve never been a fan of tofu slabs in bread. This recipe calls for tempeh bacon (that recipe must be pre-made) but I turned it in to tofu bacon instead and it worked fine. This sandwich has a spread made with vegan sour cream (or yoghurt), vegan mayonnaise, capers, red pepper flakes, onion powder, garlic and sundried tomatoes. I toasted the Turkish pide rolls (they taste blergh untoasted) and added the tomato, red onion and salad greens. I didn’t have any avocado but I’d definitely try to use it next time. After this sandwich, I’m happy to have tofu slabs in a burger:

tofu bacon BLT sandwich

I made the Green Monster Bread– one of those recipes in the book that you can use for a number of the sandwiches, but I handed off to that too-hard basket. But there’s nothing hard about baking simple breads! This bread is made green by blitzing up some leafy greens (aragula or spinach in the book) along with other wet ingredients. Instead of a loaf I made rolls. Arthur loved it, I found it a little too sweet for a savoury kind of bread so next time I’d cut the 2Tbs of sugar down:

green monster bread

green monster bread

With my leftover raw eggplant, I made the Marinated Eggplant Sandwiches. I made the eggplant a little differently to the recipe, which calls for the eggplant to be prepared with olive oil, apple cider vinegar, Cajun spice mix, Worcestershire sauce and liquid smoke. I marinated the eggplant in all that and pan fried it, which is different to the recipe, but I think it still turned out fine. The tofu is marinated with white balsamic vinegar, olive oil, nutritional yeast, onion powder and garlic. I don’t have white balsamic vinegar and used the ‘regular’ dark kind, crossing my fingers and hoping for the best. It turned out a little regular-balsamicy but still fine enough. I used one of the Green Monster Bread rolls spread with a little vegan mayo and salad greens:

marinated eggplant sandwich

I am so, so glad I decided to give this book a chance. Really, there’s nothing all that time consuming about the recipes I prepared. Make your tofu or eggplant or whatever then you have stuff in the fridge to use for your sandwiches. So for a little prep work, you have a few day’s worth of sandwiches readily available. You can see more examples of other sandwiches over at Where’s The Beef?

I did plan on making one or two of the seitan recipes. In the end I passed because for me, seitan is okay but I know I’d prefer something ready made like a Redwood Cheatin’ product. Maybe another day when I can handle more vital wheat gluten! I also planned on making one of the many great looking sweet recipes but seeing as we’re still a little loaded up with Halloween treats, I want to avoid making any additional sweet treats for a long, long time  ;)

So, to sum it all up, I love this book. It’s helped me rediscover a love of fancy sandwiches. Previously I’d just slap something mega boring together for a mega boring sandwich. But with some extra effort now, I can have mega fab sandwiches in a jiffy. And I’ll definitely be making the Green Monster Bread again!

Do you have Vegan Sandwiches Make The Day? Is it on your wish list?

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