In My Kitchen June 2016

My favourite season is over and we’re now in winter (my second favourite season. Summer comes way last). Except I feel like there wasn’t much of an autumn, or perhaps I just didn’t get out as much as I hoped! In autumn I like to go and take photos of the trees, especially in the gardens around Melbourne but just like the National Gallery of Victoria, or the State Library or whatever, I always end up forgetting and then when I go to do something, everything is over. Same thing happened with the recent David Bowie exhibition here, gahhh!

In My Kitchen for June is some malt extract. I have always loved malt flavours and wish there was a vegan version of Milo, a popular malted milk drink in Australia. I actually planned on buying powdered malt extract but this isn’t sold in supermarkets or bulk stores and in the end I was going to purchase from home brewing supplies websites. But I passed the regular syrup-like malt extract in the shops and ended up getting it instead. I regret not getting the powder as it is really frustrating getting the malt extract out of the tin to measure, especially now in our colder weather! I’ll use this malt in a recipe for this month’s We Should Cocoa challenge, hosted by Johanna from Green Gourmet Giraffe:


Also In My Kitchen this month are these green cha soba noodles. I haven’t seen this variety before from this brand. I buy the soba and ramen noodles but this is the first time buying the cha soba:


I saw these kale spirulina corn chips in Aldi recently and decided to give them a try. They’re okay, but have that ‘green’ aftertaste that bothers me after a while:


We’ve almost finish this jar of green bean and mustard pickle from 2&5. I bought this from their stall at the Coburg Farmers Market recently:


I tried this ‘vegetarian chicken’ that I found in the freezer section at Global Green Vegetarian Food Mart in Braybrook. The business name has changed but it still says vegan and vegetarian on the storefront:


Now, a question that pops up often, even in vegan/vegetarian circles is “why on earth would veg*ns want a fake meat product!” Well, there are many answers to that! For me personally, I don’t view the mock meats as a meat substitute because I have no desire to eat meat. For me, I view the mock products as food. Mock meats are often made from wheat gluten or soy so in those cases I look at it as a soy based or wheat gluten based food. Same with the vegan cheeses– there’s no desire for me to eat cheese, being dairy intolerant, so I look at the vegan cheeses as a nut based product (or whatever else it is made from).

Other veg*ns eat mock meats because they didn’t give up meat due to hating the taste or texture– they gave it up because of an ethical decision they made not to eat animals anymore. Others like it as a transition kind of food, or because they like the texture in certain meals. Some people can’t stand the sight of it as it reminds them too much of meat. It’s different for everyone!

There’s a vegetarian (with vegan food) restaurant here in Melbourne called Enlightened Cuisine and the following appears on their website:

The concept of using a mock-meat replacement isn’t new. In the early Chinese Imperial dynasties, prior to the Emperor performing his annual prayer for The Kingdom’s prosperity, he was required to practice strict vegetarianism for seven weeks. 

The Royal Court’s skilled chefs created extraordinary vegetarian recipes with the appearance, texture, and taste of the all of the Emperor’s favourite meat and seafood dishes as a substitute for his normal carnivorous diet. 
Over the years the skill has been passed down and developed further by Chinese monks, who were required to emulate meat for the Emperor when he visited their temples because they were not permitted to serve real meat to anyone inside the temple.


So there’s a whole fascinating history there too with the mock meat products and some of my favourite meals with mock meats are here in Melbourne’s vegan restaurants.

In My Kitchen is this hazelnut spread by Pure Harvest. I often put a thin spread of this on some bread or in a wrap with banana and toast it up for the kids. Just saw the cat hair on the lid there:


And In My Kitchen, always when I’m cooking and doing a million things at once, is my baby boy Punky. He’s really sweet but also a very naughty boy. He was born with a little stumpy tail (as was his other brother, but the brother we have and a sister have regular tails). When he is startled and the fur stands up, his tail turns in to a pom pom:


And here’s his brother, who has a variety of names really. You know how cats or dogs sometimes see a carrier, and they know it means GOING TO THE VET so they run away? Not our boys. They love this (rather rusty) carrier, as soon as they see it on the floor they race to be the first inside it. They both juuust fit but still try to sleep in there together so one of them is half hanging out. They purr away in the car too, which is a nice change from our old cat years ago who used to runny-poo-poo in the car out of fright:



Unfortunately my kitchen is the least cosy room in the house because it’s so cold in there (no heating in that part of the house unless we put a portable heater on). When I cook in winter I’m often wearing my jacket and ear muffs because the slightest bit of cold gives me earaches. It sucks to have cook wearing ear and headwear designed for the snow we don’t get in Melbourne!

In My Kitchen is a monthly blog link up hosted by Maureen at The Orgasmic Chef. I’m submitting this blog post of mine for June 2016. While not a vegan-specific event, anyone can join in and you can also discover new blogs, recipes, products, etc!

I often have problems leaving comments for some blogs running on Blogspot. I had got things working but then things screwed up again. I try to reciprocate all comments left here by commenting on other blogs but unfortunately some of my comments don’t seem to make it through, or the comment form keeps kicking me back to a login screen where I’m already logged in, or it defaults to a user profile I don’t want to use despite selecting my proper blog profile, etc etc. So I do apologise for not being able to leave comments on all the blogs!

19 thoughts on “In My Kitchen June 2016

  1. I went to Enlightened Cuisine a couple of weeks ago. I was saddened to hear that they will be moving later this year, have been advised to leave by their landlords. They haven’t found a new location yet.

  2. I love Milo! I’m surprised there isn’t a vegan version on the market. Always had it as a special treat in Australia and mom would bring a jar home to Canada where we’d ration it, I think we could find it in specialty isles in the market here now but I haven’t had it in so long and if it has airy in it I wouldn’t buy it anyway. There is malt soy I sometimes find in the Asian markets but not quite the same as Milo – also I kinda always loved the gritty-ness when it was mixed cold. I have trouble leaving comments on blogger too (being a wordpress user) it’s really annoying.

    • yessss the blogger-wordpress thing is so bloody annoying! Milo was definitely a comfort food for me, and ha I can just imagine rationing it out when your mum would take a tin home. I used to have mine on hot hot hot milk over cornflakes 🙂

    • I think I’ll go buy the malt powder anyway, my husband used to like adding a blob of this malt extract to our bread maker, which I got rid of in an effort to declutter and do more bread baking by hand. Must do it…

  3. So much good stuff in your kitchen. I particularly like the look of those spirulina and kale corn snacks and the Green Bean and Mustard pickle reminds me of the British Piccalili we have here in the UK. By the way the “why on earth would veg*ns want a fake meat product!” I was recently having this discussion with a couple of veggie and vegan colleagues at work when I told them I went to Bristol VegFest and was so excited to to the mock Meat wheat gluten products and the vegan caviar. Even before I was veggie, I have never eaten pork, beef, caviar etc – and yet I am curious to try the substitute versions, but my stomach would turn at the thought of eating the ‘real versions’.

    • that conversation happens all the time in veg*n communities too, I see it at least once or twice a month. I find the input from life long veg*ns really interesting too!

  4. A very interesting in my kitchen – had not heard that story about mock meat before – I love some mock meat not because I want to eat meat but because I miss the rituals and social gatherings associated with meat – and then there is just the amusement is creating something that looks like meat but tastes nothing like it! I really liked the kale crisps when I tried them and love the look of the cha soba noodles. We have one of those cat carriers but keep it out of the way until the vet or cat motel is on the cards – maybe we should leave it out as a plaything. And will look forward to your malty creation!

  5. Cute little kitties. 😀

    I am coming to Melbourne this weekend to work at OzComicCon, and will be staying at a hotel near Enlightened Cuisine, so I will probably eat there at least once for convenience.

    • oooh it’s definitely worth a meal! I might go to OCC but hang around outside with my son to see everyone dressed up (but not actually go in).

  6. I love what’s going on in your kitchen! I have to keep an eye out for powdered vegan malt… I’d love a milo alternative! I like the occasional mock meat as well, but it’s not a staple… and I often get the “but why?!” comments as well. What do you think of the Pure Harvest spread? I have the almond one, and I’m not sure I love it… the flavour it a bit too… I don’t know, coconutty, or fake almondy, for my taste. Perhaps its a texture thing because it’s cold as well.
    Your cats are so lovely – their personality really comes through in your photos 🙂

    • the Pure Harvest spreads are a little bit coconutty for me, there was one I didn’t like as much (possibly the almond). I wish we had a vegan Milo alternative too!

  7. I hear people ask about the fake meat thing all the time! When I first went vegan I totally stayed away from them, but one day my husband told me he was getting tired of my cooking since it always had the same texture. Then it was a big “ah-ha” moment and now I incorporate some seitan, jackfruit, and fake meats into cooking from time to time. I know some people really like fake meats because they try and hit really high protein to carb macros.

    Your cats look so pretty. I wish my cat liked getting into her carrier, but no such luck. XD

    • I like the textures too, I used to like chicken parmigiana in the past and I would like that kind of texture again but of course not the actual meat! It’s a bit of a shame some people don’t understand that this doesn’t mean one wants the actual meat. I have though had a few vegan meat meals where I thought the restaurant made a mistake and served me meat and I spat my food out (though it was definitely vegan in the end)!

      • My flexitarian friend will NOT eat certain meats, she is totally grossed out. So if she is scared if she didn’t get the mock beef she always gently says “mmm… this looks good. Babe do you want a bite?” and forces her boyfriend to do the taste test. XD

  8. I love the little Chinese Buddhism vegan way of explaining not eating meat – it’s so true Faye, each to their own. Love your baby boys, love the fact they love their trip to the car or vet – very cute 🙂 I’m intrigued by the Cha soba noodles, let me know what you think. I’ve seen them but haven’t tried them. Lots of lovely goodies for IMk this month, see you soon
    Pillows of butter puff with portabello mushrooms and truffle butter

    • we have to put the cat carrier away because when we want to pick the cats up for cuddles they sometimes go and hide in there 😉