6

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?

16

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!

30

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.

FOOD!!!!!!

Vegilicious:

VegeliciousVegelicious

Al Nada Lebanese Bakery:

alnadawvd2014a

alnadawvd2014b

alnadawvd2014c

Perfect Pebble:

bakedveganball

Chooh La La:

choohlalawvd2014

Dosa Joy:

dosajoywvd2014a

dosajoywvd2014b

Enlightened Cuisine:

enlightenedcuisinewvd2014a

enightenedcuisinewvd2014b

enlightenedcuisinewvd2014b

The Lord of the Fries WVD Chicago dog:

lotfwvdhotdog

Invita Living Food:

veganfoodatwvd2014

veganwrapsmealwvd2014

invitawvd2014a

Funky Pies:

funkypieswvd2014

Mantra Lounge:

mantraloungewvd2014

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

vegamiwvd2014

SWEETS!!!!

Mister Nice Guy’s Bake Shop:

mrniceguyswvd2014a

mrniceguyswvd2014b

mrniceguyswvd2014c

The Compassionate Kitchen:

thecompassionatekitchenwvd2014a

thecompassionatekitchenwvd2014b

Zebra Dream Ice Cream:

zebradreamicecreamwvd2014

Radhey Kitchen and Chai Bar:

radheychaibarwvd2014a

OMV Bakery:

welovevegansOMVbakerycake

omvbakerywvd2014b

Merry Cupcakes:

merrycupcakeswvd2014b

merrycupcakeswvd2014a

Pana Chocolate:

panachocolatewvd2014a

panachocolatewvd2014b

MORE FOOD STALLS!!!!!

Impala & Peacock:

impalapeacockwvd2014a

impalapeacockwvd2014b

Vege2Go:

vege2godonuts

Sugarcane Juice:

sugarcanejuicewvd2014a

sugarcanejuicewvd2014b

Coconut Hub:

coconuthubwvd2014a

Simply Vegan Cuisine:

simplyvegancuisinedolly1

simplyvegancuisinedolly2

Aussie Pops:

aussiepops

Ghost Kitchen:

ghostkitchenwvd2014

Fry’s Family Foods:

fryswvd2014

Half Pint Vegan Dairy:

halfpintvegandairywvd2014b

halfpintvegandairywvd2014

Classica International:

Classica International stall

Juanita’s:

Juanita's stall

Mojo Kombucha:

mojokombuchawvd2014

More Foods:

More Foods stall

A Vegan Smiles:

avegansmileswvd2014a

Blossom’s Organics:

blossomsorganicswvd2014

blossomsorganicswvd2014b

Inner City Hippie:

innercityhippiewvd2014

Global Green Vegetarian Food Mart:

globalgreenvegetarianfoodmartwvd2014

Life To You:

lifetoyouwvd2014a

lifetoyouwvd2014b

Sea Shanti:

seashantissnackswvd2014b

seashantissnackswvd2014

Mad Cowgirls Vegan Grocery:

madcowgirlswvd2014a

SAORI Premium Japanese Sauce:

saoriwvd2014

NON-FOOD STALLS!!!!!

Adorn Cosmetics:

adorncosmeticswvd2014

Hello Vegan:

helloveganwvd2014b

helloveganwvd2014a

Vegan Style:

veganstylewvd2014

Vegan Wares:

veganwareswvd2014

Animals Australia:

animalsaustraliawvd2014

Animal Kind:

animalkindwbd2014

The Australian Natural Soap Company:

australiannaturalsoapcompanywvd2014

WozWaste:

wozwastewvd2014

Jubly-Umph:

jublyumphwvd2014b

jublyumphwvd2014a

Bed & Broccoli:

bedandbroccoli

Beagle Rescue Victoria:

beaglerescuestall

Coalition Against Duck Shooting:

cadswvd2014

Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses:

cprstallwvd2014

K9 Aid:

k9aidwvd2014

The Cruelty Free Shop:

mattnatbagswvd2014

The Vegan Box:

theveganboxwvd2014

Pets Haven Foundation:

petshavenfoundationwvd2014

Freedom Hill Sanctuary:

vegantshirts

Soi Dog:

soidogwvd2014

TALKS AND DEMOS!!!!!

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

leighdrewwvd2014

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

COOL VEGAN BAGS I SPOTTED

A bag by RARE Bags:

rarebagsveganbag

vegansarecoolbag

veganzombiesbag

yellowveganbag

MUSIC!!!!

musicatwvd2014a

musicatwvd2014b

musicatwvd2014c

 

MY WVD SHOPPING TRIP!

A new necklace from Hello Vegan:

veganwoodnecklacehellovegan

Tea tree soap from The Australian Natural Soap Company:

australiannaturalsoapcompanysoap

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

avegansmilescheese1

A mixed four-pack of Bruce Cost Ginger Ale:

brucecostgingerale

A badge from We Love Life:

ilovevegansbadge

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

smoothiejar

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

vegamipepperoni

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:

lifetoyoumacarons

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):

thecompassionatekitchentreats

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):

omvbakeryrainbowcake

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

animalkindpurse1

animalkindpurse2

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?!

24

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?

* This post contains an affiliate link

32

In My Kitchen, November 2014

I feel a bit embarrassed when I realise my last In My Kitchen was back in July! Back then, I shared my smaller-than-a-Hobbit’s-toilet kitchen with you. In August I started preparing for MoFo and missed the deadline for the In My Kitchen submission. September was MoFo. I got terribly sidetracked in October but here I am for November, three days before the deadline!

Okay, so In My Kitchen are these Fourre biscuits. I went to the Cruelty Free Shop in Fitzroy today and they were on sale. I’ve tried the chocolate ones and they’re okay, rather flimsy when it comes to dunking them in tea which is a bit of a no-no for a serial dunker like me:

Fourre biscuits

I’ve run out of vegan mayo and decided to try a different brand this time. Mayonnaise is one of those things I don’t use often and truthfully, I had to throw the remains of the last jar out because it was way past the use-by date. This Melrose Organic Sunflower Mayonnaise is rather nice, quite tart for me with a strong lemon taste (lemon oil is one of the ingredients):

Melrose organic sunflower mayonnaise

Another purchase from the Cruelty Free Shop are these Veggie Gyros strips by Viana. I haven’t tried them yet but I have some grand plans!

Viana veggie gyros

I bought the soy cream by King Island when it was on special. I’d never tried it before and ah, kinda jumped back in horror when I opened it. See, I’ve moved it around a little so you guys could get a better feel for why I thought this had gone off. It appears this is the way it’s supposed to look, as other vegans in online communities have posted photos asking “has this gone off?” To be honest, I didn’t like the taste at all but I’ve mixed it up with a lot of differing flavours and seasonings for sandwich spreads (I’ll blog about my gourmet sandwiches sometime very soon). In the end I accepted this wasn’t that bad a product and it did well to stand in for a kind of unsweet mayonnaise:

King Island soy cream

This photo is pretty old. My mother in law gave us this box of grapefruit from her backyard tree. I don’t like grapefruit but Husband eats it with a spoon:

grapefruit

Also on special from the supermarket recently was Alpine Double Thick Coconut Cream. This was okay as a sort of try-it-once, but in the future if I want coconut cream I’ll just make my own by chilling a can of coconut cream in the fridge overnight and sweetening it a little. I don’t eat coconut cream for dessert much at all, so there’s not much point in me buying it. Photobomber:

Alpine coconut cream

After trying a sample of the Alpro soya desserts at Vegan Day Out, I bought a packet of the caramel flavour. It was nice, a little sweet but nice as a one off:

alpro caramel

I’ve had rotten luck making my own coconut yoghurt. Arthur really likes this Pura Veda yoghurt and I’m enjoying the muesli. Yes, this is an old photo!

puraveda

This is the view I wish I had from my kitchen! All I have is a fence and a boring conifer right up in my face. We recently went for a trip to the You Yangs, about a one hour drive from home.

You Yangs

I am sending this to Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial for her monthly In My Kitchen series.