A short blogging break: it’s decluttering time

Hi everyone, I’m going to be changing the blog up a bit (like cleaning out the gajillion pointless categories and decluttering the tags for starters) and a few other things.  All this requires a bit of a break while I move things around and make everything sparkly clean and makeovery.  Plus I need to find more time to go op shopping 😉

You can catch me on Twitter @Veganopoulous

See you when I get back!

love boat

Veganopoulous is expecting you!



Om Vegetarian and Open House Melbourne 2013

A last minute change of plans saw me freeee to catch a tram in to the city today and check out some of the buildings open for this year’s Open House Melbourne.  First up on the list was the Royal Historical Society:


Unfortunately I got the date wrong, it’s open tomorrow only.  So I slumped around the corner to the Hellenic Museum:


I got to look around upstairs (which always means photos of staircases and balustrades):


… and old fireplaces:


I was too busy taking photos to find out about these giant mutated Sylvannian Families:


The Hellenic Museum features stories about and by people who made the journey from Greece to Australia.  These are also the stories of my parents, who both arrived here with my grandparents when they were little.  I can’t imagine how difficult it would have been for my grandparents, knowing they would never see their families again and having to start from scratch in a strange land.  Fortunately they did have family here, who had arrived before them, but it was still very difficult.

After the Hellenic Museum, my next open house building was the former public records office, which now houses the Victoria Law School:









From there it was off to the Phillips Shirt factory, where I could have seen old machinery had it not been for the queue that was forty five minutes long.  A quick photo of the outside, then I went off to get lunch:


On the way home, I was near the Rendezvous Grand Hotel Melbourne (also part of Open House Melbourne) and a tour was just beginning.  The hotel celebrates its 100th birthday this year.  There were beautiful stained glass windows and wood panelling:








We got to look inside the hotel room with this wall art in the shower:


This is the ceiling gum leaf detail in the room:


Further down the corridor somewhere:


The heritage room:


Lunch was at Om Vegetarian on Elizabeth Street.  Up the old stairs:


and in to here:


A meal at Om costs $6.50 which includes rice and two curries plus naan and some hot pickle.  Yes, I only got two pieces of potato, but you can go back for more.  I didn’t, because the meal was quite filling plus I bought a samosa for $2.  Everything was pretty good:


Open House Melbourne is on tomorrow (July 28).  Did you visit any of the buildings?


Some Stuff We Eat and Some Food Stuff We Say in Australia

I thought I’d put together a blog post on ‘Aussie’ foods, or food experiencess, I’ve had in my life.  It’s a bit tricky because most is non vegan and I only like to feature vegan foods.  I do have a lot of vegetarian readers so for this post I’ll show images of vegetarian stuff (mostly sweets!).

I also thought I’d mention some of the words we say for various food items, that have other names in (mostly) North America.

In Australia, we say biscuit for cookie.  Even though we use the word cookie, it’s seen as more of an American word.  If my children ask for an Oreo, they either say Oreo or biscuit (photo from Wikipedia).  Oh, and we say fairy floss, not cotton candy:



We say scones, elsewhere say biscuits.  Scones are made from self raising flour, butter, milk and salt then baked in the oven (photo from misterniceguy.com.au):


Scones! (cooked in the oven)

Someone please correct me if I’m wrong here.  In Australia we say plain flour for ‘all purpose flour’.  We say self raising flour, I think, for ‘cake flour’.  Basically it’s plain flour with raising thingies added, so you don’t have to add in baking powder to a recipe.  For corn flour, we mean corn starch– often added as a thickener to a sauce for instance (photo from White Wings website.  When you’ve got a White Wings mum, you’ve got it maaaaade):


Self Raising flour! Used for baked goods that need to rise, like cake

Here we say jam, in North America you guys say jelly.  Growing up, I never understood why American kids would eat peanut butter with jelly (photo from the IXL site):


Jam on Scones!

An Australian sweet treat is a lamington.  It’s a sponge cake cut in to a cube and covered in chocolate icing then rolled in dried coconut.  Some are plain inside but others have cream or jam, or both (photos from Wikipedia and www.coles.com.au respectively):


Cream filled lamington


Jam filled lamington

Arnott’s Assorted Creams were the cause of many a battle between siblings when I was growing up.  In the pic below (taken from www.calorieking.com.au) starting from top left going clockwise, we have Delta Cream, Orange Slice, Monte Marlo (this had to be separated before you ate it, or you would be thrown in jail), Kingston (my favourite, fortunately there’s a good vegan alternative!) and Shortbread Cream.  Or as Arthur used to say, and we never corrected him, Shortbread Crimes:


Arnott’s also had the non-cream variety packs:


Okay, I think that’s enough of the biscuits.

Pies (unfortunately the very non-vegan variety, aka gristle ‘n’ gravy) are considered an Aussie staple by some. They’re sold at sporting matches and are pretty much everywhere.  The more well known brands are your typical high fat high salt massively processed parcels of grossness.  There are loads of variations and yay we also have some great vegan options (photo from Where’s the Beef).  Now, I grew up thinking Americans only ever ate hot dogs at baseball games.  The Australian equivalent is pies being eaten at our footy (Australian Rules Football) games:


Sausage rolls are very common here.  We had these for dinner tonight using the recipe I borrowed from Where’s the Beef.  I add in finely food-processor-chopped raw cauliflower and omit the breadcrumbs:


When I was in primary school (about 1980) a popular frozen treat was a Sunny Boy.  Another flavour was called Razz and was more raspberry flavoured.  Collectively, they were referred to as ‘frozens’.  Because… they were frozen. Basically it was a frozen pyramid of sugar and nasty colours and additives.  Now, if you were lucky, sometimes the inside of your packet would have a special stamp called a Lucky, which entitled you to get another frozen for free.  It was quite an experience finding a Lucky.  I think they’re still around and I would hope they’re not as nasty as they used to be.  I couldn’t find a picture of the 1980s packaging:


A ‘Frozen’ cost 5 cents when I was in primary (elementary) school.

I’ll leave you with some incredibly dorky old TV commercials.  Wow, I almost can’t believe TV ads were so cringey.  Believe me, there are many more examples…

(highly effective, people still tell their kids to Slip Slop Slap)

(highly effective… because people still quote this kid.)

I think our tv ads these days are only sliiiightly better.  But none beat this:

If I had to name one favourite thing about Melbourne, it’s our multiculturalism. When people have asked me a question like “what’s a typical Australian dish”, I don’t really have an answer because there’s just so much on offer!  I’m reminded of an article I once read quoting a survey saying the number one favourite English food was curry. Thinking of the meals my mum made growing up, there were lots of Greek dishes of course but nothing fancy like moussaka, more just simply every day dinner foods.  These days, my mother will cook curries, Asian stir fries, Italian, you name it.  I absolutely love that I can find whatever cuisine I like (I assume!  I still have to track down a place that makes food from Panama!)

I’ll leave you with this video of a favourite song of mine growing up.  Thanks to Johanna of Green Gourmet Giraffe for reminding me!


Chickpea Pumpkin Seed Burgers from Let Them Eat Vegan!

I’ve tried a couple burger/patty recipes using cooked chickpeas as a base and both Arthur and DeeW have managed to eat them without complaining.  Arthur has rated them around 60% which is fine by me– as long as he eats something full of goodness I’ll take that 60%.  My aim here is to find a healthy recipe both kids will eat.  Even if I have to do the “you can have dessert after you’ve eaten all your vegies” bribe now and then.  You know, the kinds of food bribes all the child psychologist parenting expert people say you should avoid.  And before your kids were on solids you swore you would never ever subject your child to the dessert bribery.  Or childrens TV.  Or Barbie.  And then you find yourself watching ‘Arthur’ with the kids before going off to look for vintage Barbie clothing on eBay.

Today I decided to try the Chickpea Pumpkin Seed Burgers from Dreena Burton’s “Let Them Eat Vegan!”, one of my favourite cookbooks.  These burgers are made up of canned chickpeas, nutritional yeast (yay!), basil (I used the dried option), onion, cooked brown rice, oats, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, ground flax, garlic, pumpkin seeds and of course S&P.  The recipe also calls for Annie’s Goddess Dressing which I don’t have (I don’t even know if it’s available in Australia) so I just did without.  Also, the recipe allows either ground flax or ground white chia seeds.  And red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar.  I also used half the amount of dried basil suggested as I find dried basil very strong.


Oh… I just realised the recipe gives you an alternative if you don’t have the Goddess Dressing.  I didn’t see it.  Whoops… well, the burgers turned out great anyway!  Arthur and DeeW gobbled theirs up and didn’t complain.  I think this is because apple pie was in the oven.

This is such a great recipe and one I will have as a regular go to.  Everything is mixed in a food processor so if you’re lazy pressed for time like me, this will appeal.  Look at those ingredients!

Thank you Dreena for yet again making my life easier!


Embarrassing Crushes (where most of my readers will run away)

Inspired by Xenia’s wedding post over at Collar City Brownstone (check out Xenia’s home, it’s beautiful) I decided to make a blog post about some of the celebrity crushes I’ve had throughout my life.  I’m sure I’ve left lots out, which is probably a good thing.  In a sort of rough chronological order, I present the following.  I’ve decided not to include any text because when I started typing, I realised I was making up really pathetic excuses.

EDIT:  I forgot to mention that I wasn’t going to put names in, so you guys could guess!  But I’ll put the names in at the bottom, from top to bottom  🙂





























Rapper LL Cool J Barechested Wearing a Crown




1) Christopher Reeve as Superman

2) Michael Jackson in the Thriller era.  I had a Billie Jean windcheater (sweater)

3) Kim Hughes, Australian cricketer

4) … Grizzly Adams.

5) A constipated Kenny Rogers.  I thought he was soooo handsome.

6) Michael Landon as Pa.  Then that Highway To Heaven show.  I must have inherited this from my mum, she loved him too from Bonanza days.

7) Alby Mangels (that’s for the Aussies here!)

8) Barry Gibb.  You may be noticing a theme of big hair and beards here but mercifully, no photo of Santa Claus.

9) Yul Brynner.  Etc etc etc.

10) Ralph Macchio in Karate Kid days.

11) Alex Papps in The Henderson Kids (a good Aussie drama for young adults).  Carry on, togeeeeether, every step of the waaaay…

12) Patrick Swayze.  I was on the Swayze bandwagon before Dirty Dancing, thank you!

13) Bros.  Either twin, I wasn’t fussy.

14) Simon LeBon and his hair.

15) George Michael.  Poor Andrew Ridgley never got a look in.

16) Timothy Dalton as Prince Barron in Flash (Ah-ahh) Gordon.

17) Bono (and I still think he’s gorgeous).

18) Nik Kershaw.  Did you know The Riddle was just random ramblings according to Nik, because he needed to get the melody right?  But then it took off and people around the world are still trying to come up with meanings and Nik is all “there is no meaning!”

19) Johnny Depp from 21 Jumpstreet..  I’m not a fan of his these days.  The modern Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was one of the worst movies and casting I’ve ever seen.  I couldn’t get over how bad that movie was.

20) Tim Finn from Split Enz, who didn’t always look like that.  He’s so handsome, see?

21) The singer from Men Without Hats.  I never knew his name.  Oh hang on, Wikipedia says Ivan Doroschuk.

22) Michael J Fox!

23) Joey from Degrassi.  If I went to Degrassi High I would probably have been picked on for that.

24) Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones (yes he looked better dressed like this).

25) Carl Sagan– a worthy crush!

26) Axl Rose.  I think it was the whole bad boy thing, which is quite lame now.

27) Freddie Mercury.  Did you know his real name was Farrokh Bulsara?

28) Patrick Stewart.  Brilliant actor and what a voice!

29) LL Cool J.  He’s just gorgeous.  I saw him on Sesame Street rapping “it’s addition, you don’t need to be a mathematician, add em add em add em addem up” once and let me tell you there is no better way to start your morning!  This lady loves Cool J!

30) Christopher Eccelston.  Superb actor.

31) Lupe Fiasco.  I was very taken with his song/video “Bitch Bad” (don’t let the title fool you!)

I completely forgot one of my big crushes and you guys have to guess this one: