What I Ate And A Tour Of Coburg Cemetery

That’s a bit of a strange title– a What I Ate followed by a cemetery tour. But it is what it is and as I’ve slacked off blogging big time, I thought I’d put it all in one big post.

First up, a bunch of eats over many weeks. Maybe months as I’ve just checked the date of my last What I Ate: March!!! How did that happen?! Anyway, I can’t even remember what some of these are, but I’ll do my best. First up is a Gardein beefless burger. I prefer to make my own patties but every now and then I’ll get a packet of Gardein:

A basic too-dry tofu veg meal made with Japanese curry powder:

I found this terrible photo of a Suzy Spoon’s veg shnitzel I had months ago. The shnitzels were okay but probably not something I’d splurge on again:

Cornflour coated tofu and veg with a heap of home made gomasio:

A gyros roll made with the Veggie Gyros packet stuff by Viana:

A sweet potato and kidney beans peanut stew with pearl cous cous:

From Vegan Sandwiches Save The Day, the country sausage sandwiches (using tofu instead of tempeh):

I think this tofu was marinated in a little ginger, garlic, soy and orange juice then thrown in to a messy sandwich: 

A simple bean and veg ratatouille:

Friends of Coburg Cemetery has been running some tours this year, so my son and I signed up for their Monuments and Headstones tour. It was one of those sunny but very cold days where taking photos with cold hands was a little difficult. I go past Coburg Cemetery a fair bit and there are a lot of very old graves that never have any flowers or obvious signs of visitors. I’ve always wondered who these people were and so when I heard about the tour, I booked straight in. There are a few famous names and one surprise was the plain nondescript grave of Charles Web Gilbert, a renowned sculptor known for works such as the Matthew Flinders sculpture outside St Paul’s Cathedral in Melbourne. There’s an information sign next to this grave, and other graves too.


Stuff I Ate

Delayed again with the weekly What I Ates! Stuff is still super busy around here and I have been making quick meals and not bothering to photograph them. Or maybe too much time has been spent trying to de-stress with a bunch of Dolly Parton music videos. And then more time spent trying to look up metal covers. I did enjoy the process of introducing my nine year old daughter to Dolly because she thought the song was called Trollene. It was a sad day when she started pronouncing Britney Spears correctly and was no longer saying Brick Knee of Spheres. Just like when my son thought Shortbread Creams were Shortbread Crimes. ANYWAY.

First up, the leftover lemongrass tofu from Huong Viet with veg and soba noodles:

Tabouli Rasa Vegan & Vegetarian Food is a market stall. I got this falafel and salad lunch box from the Coburg Farmers Market. Really lovely and fresh:

One of the quick meals was some roasted eggplant, tomatoes and basil from the garden:

Another quick meal, this time a load of veg, brown lentils and a curry paste and tomato base, served over brown basmati rice:

This was the only green on St. Patrick’s Day, a mint smoothie made with frozen banana, oats, Prana On Supergreens (mint flavour) and a couple drops of green food colour for the novelty factor. I also managed to place it on the part of the marble slab that has those weird stains I can’t remove:

And that’s really about it. Quite uninspired and mehhhh (the veg lentil curry looks way better than it tastes), but very quick and easy. Rice cookers really are amazing.


What I Ate Forgotten Blog Edition

The blog has been quiet but life has been intensely busy. When I remember, I snap photos of food but because I have been flat out, I haven’t had the luxury of time to make proper nutritious meals. But today I’ll take a bit of a breather and get some good food going.

Evidently, I need to clean my windows too. My usual early morning photography spot is the back of the couch because that has good light. And cat hair covered window frames. When I remember, I soak steel cut oats and chia seeds in soy milk overnight, then plop berries and nuts and stuff after I heat them up for beakfast:

Most days though, because I’m so busy, I make the smoothie version of the porridge bowl:

I thought I’d make the Borg’s vegetable pastry triangles for the kids. Of course, they didn’t like them. And Borg’s filo pastry is no longer vegan, though the ingredients panel for the triangles didn’t indicate anything non-vegan:

I had made a leek-garlic-onion mix to make a leek and potato pizza. After I ate the leek and potato pizza, I realised I had forgotten to put the leeks on it. It was a horrid pizza anyway. So I used the leeks with some pasta sauce in a jar for a quick no-proper-veggie-content lunch:

I did make the effort when my mum came over for lunch one day. One of my favourite soups is the split pea soup from Cadry’s Kitchen. I had made some coconut bacon and decided mountainous proportions would work best:

This year I was determined to make a Burns Night supper. I used the vegetarian haggis recipe from Green Gourmet Giraffe and for my own supper, I made some plain mashed potato. The haggis made great sandwich leftovers:

Part of the leftovers were eaten like this, the carrots are stewed maple glazed:

I also made cock-a-leekie soup. This was pretty similar to how I would make Irish stew, though this soup includes prunes. Those aren’t cobwebs, it’s steam!

Dessert had to be included so cranachan was the obvious choice. This is the version of cranachan where a very non-Scottish person has no idea what they’re doing. I toasted some oats with a little sugar, defrosted the bag of raspberries nobody but me eats and stewed the berries. Then made a parfait style thingy with coconut yoghurt:

And finally, lamingtons. I made a plain vanilla cake, a simple chocolate icing (cacao powder, icing sugar and hot water) and used the leftover raspberry sauce. We don’t celebrate Australia Day, but I know I made these on one of the days around then when it wasn’t too hot for the oven. One day I’ll use toasted coconut:

I might be a bit light on blogging in the next month or so, and I need to go back to starting my 30 day salt-oil-sugar free experiment *cough* We’ll see!


A Merry Christmas Newtonmas Family Lunch

A very happy December 25th to you all! I hope your weather was better than Melbourne’s– we had a top temperature (in the Melbourne metro area) of 35.5C (95.9F). Adelaide was worse with a top temp of 40C (104F). That’s Adelaide’s hottest Christmas since 1945. We’ve had some ridiculous Christmas weather over the years, about four or so years ago it was in the 30s at lunch time then the temperature dropped rapidly and we ended up with a massive hail storm that smashed many windows and damaged many cars across Melbourne.

We spent a quiet Christmas Day at my sister and her partner’s house, about an hour drive outside Melbourne. Just us plus mum and dad. It was too hot to go for a walk after lunch like last year (we had jackets on in 2015 because it was cold!) so we chilled out in the nice cool house.

So, Christmassy food! On Christmas Eve I try to honour the food requests in the house. The kids asked for home made pizza followed by lemon self saucing pudding. My absolute favourite recipe for the pudding is from Veganissimo! by Leigh Drew. It’s a never fail recipe. This time I doubled the sauce so it would go all lovely with the So Good vegan ice cream:

For Christmas Day I made Leigh’s Cashew Cheese with Roasted Garlic and Smoked Paprika, also from Veganissimo! This is my new favourite baked nut cheese:

We always have roasted vegetables at family gatherings:

I made a simple green salad with cranberries, avocado and cherries using the lime tahini dressing from Green Gourmet Giraffe. I would have added toasted pistachios but I forgot them on the stove this morning and burnt them all:

A couple more salads including mum’s usual garden salad and some simple coleslaw in the back. My sister also made a separate coleslaw with a sesame oil dressing:

And because we clearly didn’t have enough salad for the five salad eating eating adults, my sister made this delicious quinoa watermelon salad:

My main meal contribution was a loaf, using the Stuffed Thanksgiving Burger recipe from the Post Punk Kitchen as the filling. The filling was great but assembling the loaf with the pastry braid in a hot kitchen on a hot day was close to impossible. The pastry all stuck together and was a nightmare to work with. So I did what most fancy chefs do and cut out pastry shapes to cover up all the hideousness. I also made the Silky Chickpea Gravy from Appetite For Reduction to go with it:

We also had this vegan Greek pita by Irene’s. It’s sold in a blue packet as ‘vegan nistisimi pita’. Remember folks, we’re Greek here and six adults and two kids means you cook for fifty times that amount:

We agreed we wouldn’t be making dessert this year. Clearly this means something in cake like form because mum made a batch of amazing veganised kourabiethes, also known as Greek shortbread. They’re actually made with oil instead of a vegan butter. When I find out where she got the recipe I will link it here:

I suppose one good thing about summer is summer fruit. We had this platter with some banana peanut butter nice cream we whipped up:

It was great to have such a nice quiet Christmas just hanging out. My sister put up some Christmas decorations including some little retro-vintage decorations from when we were little:


And here’s Punky doing something totally ridiculous with his fang. I don’t understand it. Maybe he did that thing where you bite your lip which is why his face is all screwed up looking?

I hope you all had a fantastic day, full of good cheer and great food (and hey, we don’t need Christmas-Newtonmas for that!)



What I Ate: The Night Markets Edition

For my last What I Ate of 2016, I’m finishing up with a lot of eats from summer night markets. But first, I made the Thai Barbecue Seitan Ribs from Street Vegan, one of my most loved cookbooks. I screwed up the amount of tofu so the seitan was way mushy but gosh Adam Sobel knows his way around complementary flavours. This sandwich includes smoked chili roasted peanuts (I used half peanuts half almonds because not enough peanuts) and pickled Thai basil onions.

I had the leftover seitan, sauce, pickled onions the nuts with some rice the next day:

To market to market! First up, the Coburg Night Market. I haven’t been in a very long time and Johanna from Green Gourmet Giraffe mentioned some great Indian nachos she had there. So I went on the final night to try them but alas they weren’t there. I did however try the vegan option black bean taco from Perla Tacos which was a nice snack before going to pounce on more vegan options:

Since becoming vegan my eyes have evolved to have little laser beam thingies shoot out and target any sign that says ‘vegan’ on it. And so it was that I found myself lining up for gluten free gnocchi in a Napoli sauce from the Ardor Food Co stand. I’ve never had gluten free gnocchi, well apart from a forgettable home made attempt using sweet potato, but this was truly excellent gnocchi. Light and fluffy and just lovely. I’d say the nicest gnocchi I’ve ever tried:

In fact it was so good I lined up again for another bowl, this time with the vegan pesto sauce. While the pesto flavours were very good, it was way heavy on the oil for me (I know I know it’s pesto) because of how I’m oil-free at home. So if I had this again, I’d definitely get the tomato based sauces. I was very pleased to see Ardor have stockists near me:

It was fun watching Chef Vince Lotito prepare the gnocchi:

On to the Queen Victoria Market summer night market! I anticipated packed crowds and coming home smelling like a bbq and I was right on both counts. I headed straight towards the Rice and Dice stall to get the Indian nachos because I’d figured out where Johanna bought them from and they were pretty good and far more filling than I had thought:

For a second course I got the vegan momo dumplings from Nepal Dining Room:

When I see an interesting looking food I have to try it if there’s a vegan option and despite being full, I had to have the dhal hopper from Hopper Man’s Stall, part of Drums Cafe at the Queen Vic Market. The ‘bowl’ and the lid you see are crepe-like and made with coconut milk and (I think) rice flour. A chef was telling a customer the ingredients but it was hard to hear but I think she said rice flour. What a fun meal, I disassembled it a bit for the photo but it was like a bowl and lid. I had seen people walking around with these and I was all WOT IS IT I WANT IT so I was most pleased to see the vegan option:

I’ll finish off with scenes from both the Coburg Night Market and the Queen Vic summer night market. The little Christmas tree photo at the top with the beautiful wooden ornaments is from the Birdhouse Collection stall, where I picked up a sweet carved snowflake ornament.