18

Vegan Food Options At The Queen Victoria Night Market 2015

at Queen Victoria Night Market

Tonight I headed down to the Queen Vic for the winter night market. I went last year and wanted to check it out again this year to see if there were more, or less, vegan food options. I can tell you I walked away pretty much pleased (and full… all in the name of blog research, you understand)!

Following is my review and some info on the food stalls, but please make sure to confirm with a stall yourself before purchasing! There were a couple of stalls that were a little hesitant when I asked if a dish was vegan before saying yes. Other stalls could tell me straight away if something was vegan and what they put in it, which is what I want to hear as both a vegan and dairy intolerant person!

I’d also advise getting there at the opening time of 5pm if you can. At this time hardly anyone was around, though by the time I left at 8pm it was packed.

Lankan Pots Drums Cafe at Queen Victoria Night Market

My first stop was at Lankan Pots. Sri Lankan food plus ‘vegan’ written on the menu board equals awesome! I was so glad to get there early because I was chatting to the staff about the vegan curry pouches. A foil pocket is filled with all manner of veggies, soy protein (mock meat) and what turned out to be an incredibly flavourful curry sauce. The pouch sits on some saffron rice and I tipped out the contents and got stuck in to it all. This was so good that when I go back, I’ll get it again and break my own rule of not trying the same thing twice in a row. I’d also like to thank Lankan Pots as my meal was given to me at no cost.

Lankan Pots also serve other dishes with a vegan option. The chickpeas looked great and I’ll grab those next time as well. If you can’t make it to the night market, check out Drums Cafe at the Queen Vic food court.

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Last year I bought a lot of fudge from The Decadent Desserts Company. They were gifts for others but ah, I kinda ate them all. Tonight I headed straight to Decadent Dessert’s stall and bought a few more ‘gifts’. I a lucky recipient will receive salted caramel fudge, vanilla and macadamia fudge and pomegranate pistachio fudge. All the products are vegan and gluten free. I also got to try a cup of the hot chocolate which was beautiful and perfect for how cold it was tonight. Many thanks to the Decadent Desserts Co for giving me the hot chocolate on the house. If you’re going to World Vegan Day Melbourne on November 1st, be sure to look for the Decadent Desserts stall.

The Decadent Desserts Co at Queen Victoria Night Market

I read about Those Girls and their hot apple cider and made sure to pay them a visit. When I went to the US in the mid 90s, my friends there were always drinking hot apple cider (which pretty much consisted of heating it up in the microwave). There was a bit of a queue by this time but very much worth the wait. I’ll be keeping an eye on the Those Girls Facebook page to see where they’ll be next, so I can get (loads) more.

Those Girls at Queen Victoria Night Market

Husband loves bretzels so I stopped by the Bretzel Biz cart. The salted bretzel is vegan:

Bretzel Biz at Queen Victoria Night Market

I had planned on buying some cassava hot chips from the Cassava Chip Man but I was a little full and decided to keep these for next time for my tram ride home. I was given a sample and the chips were great, much more oomph and substance than hot potato chips!

Cassava Chip Man at Queen Victoria Night Market

The Auto Rickshaw staff told me their chickpea masala on rice is vegan:

Auto Rickshaw at Queen Victoria Night Market

Chooh La La were there, handing out samples of nuts. Hopefully they’ll be at World Vegan Day again because I love them:Chooh La La at Queen Victoria Night Market

The Hawaiian Grill stand have a vegetarian option on their menu display and told me it was vegan. Sounds awesome!

Hawaiian Grill at Queen Victoria Night Market

Rice and Dice were back, with vegan options clearly labeled. I enjoyed my meal there last year and I was happy to see them here again:

Rice and Dice at Queen Victoria Night Market

You’ll find a long queue at The Soup Factory. Bowls of soup served in bread bowls! A pyramid of bread! The Mediterranean Lentil soup is vegan and I missed out last year. Looks like I need a few more visits to fit in all the stuff I want to try, Soup Factory included:

Soup Factory at Queen Victoria Night Market

A few hours later I was feeling hungry again and finished off with the vegan burger from The Little Mushroom Co. Served simply with rocket but packing a lovely punch with the dressing, this was a winner. Keep an eye on Little Mushroom Co as they may be introducing more vegan options:

Little Mushroom Co at Queen Victoria Night Market

This band is Holy Moses Heartache and they were great. Apologies to the other band members who aren’t in the photo!

live music at Queen Victoria Night Market

The Queen Vic Night Market is on every Wednesday from 5pm – 10pm until August 26th. There are loads of non-food stalls too, though I didn’t get to check them out much tonight.

Have you been to the night market this year? Any vegan tips to share?

at Queen Victoria Night Market

6

Week In Review: Buddha’s Day in Melbourne

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This past week was a welcome quiet one. Arthur and Husband had super busy schedules but DeeW and I were able to take it easy at home. On Saturday we went down to Federation Square in the city to check out the Buddha’s Day festivities. Melbourne switched on perfect weather!

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I’d hoped to get something to eat. There were lots of foods marked vegetarian but nobody was able to give me a guarantee about vegan options. In the end I gave in to DeeW’s big googly puppy eyes (maybe because I was making the same eyes) and got one of these twisty potato things. I was told they were cooked in oil and that was it. I was starving, I’d never tried one of these before and they smelled soooo good. Only later did I learn from a fellow vegan that these twists are often pre-dipped in a non-vegan batter:

potato twist

Here’s a random house near Melbourne Uni, snapped while DeeW and I were waiting for the tram:

terrace house

 

News time!

* Vegetarian Victoria will be celebrating their birthday on Saturday July 11th, 7:00pm at the 5th Brunswick Scout Hall on Weston Street, Brunswick. The event will be child friendly and alcohol free. Prices are $15 for adults and $7 for children under twelve, including food and drink. There will be prizes, a monster raffle, giveaways and competitions. More details to come but for now please check out the event page on Facebook, especially if you have dietary requirements. All food will be vegan. Fun times, please invite your friends!

vegetarian victoria stall

 

Have you heard the cover of Don’t Dream It’s Over by Ariana Grande and Miley Cyrus?

I’ll leave it there for this week. Please enter my current giveaway (Leigh Drew’s Veganissimo! and Greenilicious) if you have an Australian mailing address. It’s a pretty sweet giveaway, if I may say so!

 

8

Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale Events: Coming Very Soon

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Happy days are here again with the Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale! From April 25th to May 3rd, vegan bake sales will be happening worldwide. Anyone is welcome to attend and enter the baking categories (it goes without saying that entries must be vegan!). Named Veg Event of the Year by VegNews Magazine, the Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale has raised over $300,000 in its first six years.

See if there’s a vegan bake sale near you at http://www.veganbakesale.org/

Melbourne is lucky to have two vegan bake sales running. Animal Liberation Victoria (ALV) together with True Earth Market will be hosting a bake sale at CERES Environment Park in Brunswick on April 26th from 11:00 to 5:00pm. The categories you can enter are Cakes and Cupcakes; Other baked goods (sweet pies, slices, biscuits etc); Savoury; Raw; Gluten Free. If you don’t want to enter you can donate a plate of goodies to be sold to help fund raise for ALV. The event program for the day includes food demos, vegan BBQ, stalls and entertainment. Lots of awesome! The event program also gives you more info about entering the baking competition, so please have a read if you want to enter.

True Earth Market will feature vegan stalls on the day. True Earth Market promotes independent ethical small business and you can pick up some beautiful handmade jewellery, clothing, ceramics and giftware at the bake sale and at the market days.

Entry is gold coin donation and all proceeds will go to ALV to help support their vital rescue work and campaigns.

The second bake sale will be hosted by Sea Shepherd in Williamstown on April 26th at 12 noon. All proceeds go towards Sea Shepherd Australia. The Steve Irwin will be open for free tours, making this a great family event!

Sea Shepherd held a vegan bake sale last year, which you can read about here.

I’m planning on attending the CERES bake sale and possibly entering a category or two!

These are fantastic fund raising events, with the money raised being put towards such important, life saving work.

Are you planning on going to bake sale event near you? And will you be entering the competitions?!

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8

Past Two Weeks In Review

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I’ve been aiming to publish my Week In Review posts on a Sunday evening, but last Sunday I had to work on my Mantra Lounge vegan cruise post instead. And since then I’ve been busy. So ah, here’s my Fortnight Week In Review of the last two weeks.

Arthur and I went to a presentation on getting humans to Mars in the next decade. Really interesting stuff and there was some brief talk on growing plants on Mars. Naturally, my vegan ears pricked up, then my vegan brain started dreaming about a planet where all food is plant based. Vegan Mars or bust!

Arthur I went on a tour for kids at the Australian Synchrotron. A synchroton is a machine that accelerates electrons to (nearly) the speed of light. The electrons are deflected through magnetic fields, creating really bright light which is then sent down beamlines to experimental workstations for research purposes. In short, it’s bloody brilliant. The Australian Synchrotron scanned this portrait of Henry VIII (sent by a gallery). Henry’s hand was originally painted with the little finger bent. The synchrotron was able to ‘see’ the bent finger under the final layers of paint:

synchrotron henry VIII painting

The synchrotron has also scanned eucalyptus leaves and found specks of gold, when the tree’s roots have gone down in to gold rich areas.

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Arthur and I went to a Socratic discussion group. We both enjoyed it but coming up with Socratic definitions of words was very challenging! We had a good time (and Arthur loved the refreshments so naturally he wants to go back for those too).

I captured this photo on my phone, through a dirty tram window:

Elizabeth and Collins Street

Don’t blink, DeeW! Here’s the Reuniting Family sculpture:

reuniting family

Melbourne and Victoria News:

Magic Milk Bar will be running Uncooking classes in April. I’ve been to Missy’s cooking/uncooking demos and she makes some great stuff. Check Magic Milk Bar’s Facebook page.

– The central Victorian sun powers world’s first concentrated solar power station.

– Don’t forget my sidebar on the blog here, listing upcoming events in Melbourne!

Articles and Other Interesting Stuff:

A video with Jamie Oliver giving his thoughts on veganism.

To Be A Feminist Is To Be a Vegan.

Disney World Gets A Gluten Free and Vegan Bakery

– Germany says ‘no more chick shredding’

Dutch nursing home lets students live rent free

Food:

– I’ve been making a few recipes from Ricki Heller’s new book Living Candida Free. I’ll blog about that soon!

– I still haven’t made these Mostly Raw Hazelnut Mocha Mini Cheezecakes from Veganosaurus. How is that possible?! Mocha! Hazelnut! Bad Veganopoulous!

– I’m trying to think of what to make for our family’s Easter lunch next week (my parents are Greek Orthodox so they’re hosting lunch). These vegan Easter ideas by Nava Atlas are great.

From Other Bloggers:

– Vegan cookbook author (who also blogs) Dreena Burton appeared in the Daily Mail. The article is pretty good but some of the comments are ridiculous which sadly is often to be expected. Lesson of the day: don’t read the comments!

– Kari from Bite-Sized Thoughts has blogged about her trip to Dublin and surrounds. You can read about those here!

– Check out this awesome fennel smoothie from Vegan Miam. I love fennel and picked one up yesterday, just to make this smoothie.

Where’s the Beef? have put together this fab tour of Melbourne’s inner north featuring fooooood for veg*ns. And bird watching!

Reading:

– the Vegan Health and Fitness magazine you see in the top pic.

– also reading some webpages on low/zero waste living. I’m mindful of too many bags and packaging in general when I do the shopping but of course there’s so much more to it. So I’d like to explore that more and change shopping habits.

 

Listening To:

– Just random stuff on YouTube whenever I think of a song, like old school Madonna clips. I think the last video I watched (or was forced to listen to) was the Nyan Fart Cat parody with the kids… that was Arthur’s choice, people!

Watching:

– Arthur and I have started watching episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Yeeeears ago my dad bought the whole series on video cassettes. That’s about two episodes per tape. Aaaaand about a big bookcase worth of cassette covers. My mum is happy they’re finally out of the house and I’m looking forward to having them out of my house too. They take up so much space (bwahaha space!!! See what I… never mind).

 

It’s Easter Sunday today and nothing special is going on here at home. I hope that your day, whatever you’re doing and wherever you are, is as awesome as Captain Jean-Luc Picard!

picard meme

 

 

14

Mantra Lounge Vegan Cruise

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What a fab evening on board the Victoria Star, thanks to Mantra Lounge hosting their first vegan cruise! As someone who hates being on boats, gets motion sickness easily, can’t swim and once went to a fancy dress party dressed as Gilligan, I might have had enough reasons not to go. But… VEGAN CRUISE. So of course I was there, even if I had to rock up solo (minus Gilligan costume).

We were treated to some presentations by Mark and Jason (both vegan) from Vegetarian Victoria, and a talk on food and consciousness by someone whose name I didn’t catch unfortunately (I’ll edit this when I find out his name). Lots of laughs and interesting information!

And the food, of course, was awesome:

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Check it out! The menu was loaded lasagna, nachos, mesclun salad (or cous cous salad), salsa and a cashew(?) cream. I love big servings of lasagna! Mantra Lounge prepared a lot of food so people were able to go back for seconds, but I was full enough and wanted to leave room for dessert:

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MANGO. CHEESECAKE. Big serves!!! Bad photo:

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Some of the view:

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After dinner there was the raffle draw, some music, Q&A and then time to go home. I didn’t get any photos of the music performance as the light was really low and the pics didn’t turn out.

Mantra Lounge will hopefully make this a yearly event which would be awesome! You can check Mantra Lounge’s Facebook page for future updates. Or go in to Mantra Lounge for a meal, because the food is fantastic.

Thank you and well done to everyone involved in hosting this cruise!

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