Thursday, January 28, 2010

Guten Tag, Berlin (Part Two)

Guten Tag! Sorry for taking so long for the sequel to my last Berlin post but it is very hard to sum up the yumminess of Berlin in two blog posts.

Berlin is full of hipsters so there is a pure vegan cafe for hipsters in the awesome area Prenzlauer Berg. They run gigs, sell music, Books, zines and make pretty damn good vegan food.


Brunswick? Northcote? No, Prenzlauer Berg

I was curious about the red lentil sweet potato peanut soup but we ordered Rucola Pesto with Taglialelle and Pizza with tofu, pineapple and vegan cheese. The pasta dish wasn't bad but the flavour was a bit subtle for Kristy's liking. The pizza was full of flavour and the tofu topping was so crispy that it tasted like sausages.

good stuff

Hans Wurst Vegan Cafe
Tel:(030) 41717822

Address: Dunckerstrasse 2a, Prenzlauer Berg



We decided to live it large in Berlin and dined at the pure vegan restaurant La Mano Verde, a rather high-end/upmarket restaurant like Siren in Hobart . They have pretty impressive raw food option, a big wine list and lots of gluten-free options.


Entree was raw beetroot cashew ravioli:


The "ravioli" is made of thinly sliced beetroot, instead of dough, and creamy cashew cheese filling. We both liked the filling but I prefer biting on conventional dumplings instead of raw beetroot slices. The second entree was mock tuna sushi:


The sushi was pretty yummy and, most importantly, not too fishy for Kristy who hates mock seafood. For mains, we shared farmer nuggets on potato salad:


And, my highlight, mock tuna with tomato frittata:


Both dishes were awesome and beautifully plated. I forgot what was in the Nuggets but I liked the texture. The deep fried mock tuna and the light tomato frittata were very yummy and balanced each other nicely. The dipping sauce was a rich balsamic glaze.

To finish it off, we ordered the amazing dessert platter to share. Raspberry mousse with walnut, mint & ginger sorbet with custard
and chocolate mousse. We struggled to pick a favourite though, all different but amazing.


La Mano Verde
Address: Scharnhorststr 28-29, 10115 Mitte

Tel: 030-82703120



I loved Berlin so much that I was considering cancelling my flight to London and staying in Berlin until the end of our holiday, but our budget didn't allow it. After my disappointing visit to the Berlin Lego Discovery Land, we had another vegan junkfood feast at Yoyo Foodworld. We had yummy vegan cheese and bacon burger with fries and a vegan mango lassi:


And vegan gyros wrap:


We both liked the burger a lot but not the gyros wrap, probably in comparison to the awesome one at Voner. Mango Lassi was good but not great. However, I guess the rest of the food that we didn't order is much better. They make vegan Tirimisu as well but I didn't order it. Why didn't I? Because we have to save room for CUPCAKES! Yoyo Foodworld Vegan Restaurant Address: Gartnerstrasse 27, Berlin 10245


Cupcake sell a range of dairy and egg based cupcakes, but appear to always have one vegan cupcake flavour and one other vegan baked good. They are just around the corner too from yoyo foodworld. We went there twice and had a chocolate cupcake with vanilla frosting which was great, a banana cupcake which was a little too muffiny, awesome banana bread and peanut butter brownies which were good but a little cakey instead of fudgy. Kristy told a girl on the alternative tour that she thought that they sold gluten free cupcakes but found out that they only make them if you order them in advance.

Cupcake

Krossener Stra├če 12
Friedrichshain

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Auction rooms

The auction rooms, is a large cafe that was originally an auction room, hence the name. We have been there about 2 times before but just for drinks since they never used to have a proper vegan breakfast option. It is full of hipsters like you would expect and you generally have to wait for a quite a while to get a table for breakfast.


After reading Michael's review about the scrambled tofu at the Auction rooms, we decided to give it a go. Unfortunately- it was DISAPPOINTING in so many ways. First, it was $16 so I hoped to receive two pieces of toast, instead we got only tiny piece of toast. I know it is super fancy dench bread, but really? The silken tofu was bland, seriously no flavouring at all and there wasn't much of it! Third, the kimchi was super hot, I've had kimchi a few times and normally like it (like in my previous review) but it was too hot for both of us, so much so that my throat was on fire. Although I do have to admit that we both have low chilli thresholds. Also, as a mushroom disliker, I normally pass them on to Toby, but the majority of the dish was mushrooms, if you took them away there wasn't much else. Toby said the mushrooms were not that good anyway.





Toby was not a big fan of the coffee, it was his third time trying it and thought that it was mediocre, although he is a major coffee snob.

On the upside, they do have gluten free toast available.

Netxt time we might go around the corner to Grigons + Orr.

Auction Rooms
103-107 Errol St
North Melbourne
9326 7749
www

Monday, January 25, 2010

Shakahari

Gluten disclaimer: I do feel a little bad for my fellow coeliac sufferers for posting about gluteny dishes, but I only have one week left and then it's back to not eating gluten FOREVER so am having the gluteny dishes while I can. As Danni wisely named it: 'kristy's good bye gluten tour'.

To celebrate our first wedding-ed anniversary Toby and I went to Shakahari for dinner. I've always loved Shakahari, but a bad experience with a birthday celebration there last year left me not wanting to return anytime soon. We had incredibly rude service, average meals and a whole list of things that I had to do to make a large booking. Like pre-order dishes and be there before the restaurant opened. I had high hopes though after both Niki and Carla gave it glowing reviews. Besides, it's the only fine dining veg restaurant in Melbourne. They have changed the menu since I last went there and I swear that the portion sizes are bigger, but the staff insisted there had been no change.

We shared the avocado rolls, the one gluten free dish that we ordered:
The coriander sauce was amazing, however the rolls were not particularly flavourful, also we cut them open and discovered a white substance which I initially thought was vegan cream cheese, however was also flavourless and I suspect may be uncooked batter. Though I'm hoping that someone can correct me.


Toby had the satay legend, the satay sauce was absolutely brilliant, however the rest of the dish was pretty average. I remember the sides on this being full of flavour and I'm sure the seitan used to have a better texture or flavour. As Toby pointed out on the plus size: they used to serve 3 skewers and now you get 4.

I had the quinoa croquettes They used to have a similar dish, with macadamia nuts, that I favour over this. The kimchi had just the right amount of punch of chilli, without being too overbearing but again this dish seemed to depend on the sauce. Kind of the theme for the night. We sadly didn't have room for dessert.

Overall, nothing was bad, it just wasn't amazing. At some stage during the dinner I heard someone yell out my name and it turned out to be fellow food blogger Niki, my photo taking had given me away. Such a small world! I think maybe next time I will follow her lead and just order entrees rather than mains.

Shakahari Vegetarian Restaurant
201-203 Faraday St
Carlton VIC 3053
(03) 9347 3848
www

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Cherries!

With my recent 1kg cherry purchase, I started looking for cherry recipes. My friend Jo introduced me to the addictive way of eating cherries dipped in chocolate. I think cherries are awesome by themselves, but the chocolate transforms them again. I think they are even better than strawberries in chocolate. It's also a good way to use up Lindt 80% dark chocolate, because I think it's too bitter to eat by itself. I've tried them, refrigerated, partially frozen and completely frozen, and I think Jo's right, partially frozen is the way to go. Completely frozen is a little too hard on the teeth and refrigerated is just boring. To make them simply wash and dry cherries then dip in melted chocolate and place in the freezer for a short period of time- say 15 minutes.
I didn't dry the cherries the first time which is why they are a little ugly here

I also continued with my ice cream making obsession and made coconut ice cream from vegan scoop, and added chopped cherries and choc chips. This was good, but in no way competes with the greatest ice cream ever (see below) or with bounty flavoured fritz gelato. I think the coconut extract leaves a slightly weird flavour. The recipes asked for flaked coconut but I skipped it. This is also soy free since it uses coconut milk.

do you like my strawberry bowl? it's the closest I have to cherries

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Gluten Free Plush Pizza

Plush Pizza, is a vegetarian pizza place with a small eat in area which is perfect if you live on the other side of town, like we do. It's an old fave of ours, we used to eat there once a week at one stage, but this is the first time that I tried their gluten free bases. I was pleased to talk to Ben (who owns the place) and discover that all of the sauces and toppings, apart from the soy sausages are gluten free. It was great to talk to someone and feel completely confident that they get the whole gluten free thing and know to look out for things like wheat based caramel added to sauces etc.

We shared a satay pizza, my favourite, with zucchini, mushrooms, tofu and coriander:

and ben special (my second fav with avocado, pesto, tomato, mushrooms and a little dash of chilli and balsamic vinegar:
I have to admit the g/f crusts were a little disappointing though, nowhere near as good as the gluteny version. Really thin, and the edges were really hard. I can't fault Plush though since they buy their gluten free bases from some gluten free place, maybe silly yaks although don't quote me on that. They are significantly more expensive too at $5.50 extra for a large g/f pizza, so I really will have to save it for special treats.

Still it's good to know I can still have the same pizzas in my gluten free world. Now I just need to find easy gluten free pizza recipes to make at home, anyone have any fool proof ones?

Plush Pizza
85 Burwood Rd, Hawthorn
9819 1188
www

Monday, January 18, 2010

Coeliac stuff, sun dried tomato pesto and costco

* So according to my specialist my coeliac antibodies levels are impressively high, I wonder if it was all those years of eating gluten based mockmeats, especially during my year in Hong Kong.
* The specialist said that I can eat gluten up until my biopsy in a couple of weeks time, which is awesome because I have been seeing it as a chance to say goodbye to all of my gluteny favourite foods except since I stopped eating it, I have been really really really sick whenever I eat it, I can finally see the link between my health problems and gluten. I might actually voluntarily stop beforehand because I want to be well.
* People with coeliac's disease often have issues with the absorption of vitamins and minerals, that can lead to other problems like osteoporosis, which is why constant low iron or b12, is often a sign that you should tested for coeliac disease, although most doctors seem to be pretty oblivious. I've always had low iron, even in my pre-vegan years and stomach related issues for years, and despite seeing several specialists and doctors I was never tested, until now. I was a little nervous about getting the results of my calcium, b12 etc knowing that my body might not be absorbing them either. Also, i've been vegan for 6-7 years and have been a pretty slack vegan when it comes to taking vitamins/minerals and am a bit of a junk vegan as you can probably tell from this blog. But, my calcium, b12, creatinine, potassium, are all ok. Yay!!!!! The only low ones are my iron (which is up from it's normally low place thanks to the expensive but effective red iron) and my vitamin d which is slightly low. I'm off to get some deva multivitamins though now from here and I might even try to get more sun.
* I'm having a gluten free vegan potluck on 26th Feb fri night in Brunswick, if you are interested in coming, email me at inthemoodfornoodles (at) gmail (dot) (com)

I got to go to Costo on the weekend with a member and come back a little poorer but with lots of bulk items like gluten free museli bars, tinned tomatoes, a giant jar of sundried tomatoes, a bag of almonds, 1kg of cherries (more on that later), maple syrup, frozen blueberries and 4 blocks or organic dark chocolate. It was awesome, and I restrained myself from buying giant bags of american potato chips, giant size hommous and lots more.

Anyway on to the food we made, I've started my first trial with gluten free pasta. Toby made the sundried tomato pesto from ppk, which is super easy, we ignored the advice and used the jar kind and eliminated the first step, we also used regular almonds instead of silvered and it didn't seem to make a difference.


Ingredients
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes (not the kind in a jar)
2 cloves garlic
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast or vegan parmesan
1/4 cup slivered almonds
Fresh ground pepper and a dash of salt

Directions
In a sauce pan soak sundried tomatoes in boiling water til covered by an inch. Leave to soak for 10-15 minutes til soft.
In a blender or food processor combine the sundried tomatoes and its soaking water, garlic, olive oil, slivered almonds, nutritional yeast or vegan parmesan, fresh ground pepper and a dash of salt. Process til smooth.

He then added the pesto to the pasta and mixed over low heat. We tried the Orgran vegetable rice pasta spirals. I was half expecting the pasta to be a little like cardboard, like wholewheat pasta, but it was actually alright. Maybe not quite as smooth as regular pasta, but really ok. I can still have comforting pasta carbs, yay!

As for the pesto, it was super quick to made, tasty and we will definitely make it again. Toby added cannellini beans to this dish, but it really does need some veggies too, we just didn't have any.


We added nooch to the top (instead of putting it in the pesto itself).

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Guten Tag, Berlin (Part One)

We arrived in Berlin and were welcomed by the awesome vegan food after 3 days of awful fries and veggie sausages at the amazing All Tomorrow's Parties in Minehead, England. Kristy loves Berlin and I'm basically obsessed. Berliners are friendly, helpful and stylish yet unpretentious. There are cool shops, galleries and street art. If you are not sure what you want to see, Alternative Berlin Tour is a bloody good choice. A few people suggested we stayed at The Circus Hostel. It is in the posh Rosenthaler Platz, two train stops away from Alexanderplatz (Think of Flinders Street Station). After we settled down, we walked down the beautiful Kastianallee st to Maja's Deli in Prenzlauer Berg. There was soup, hot dishes on the Bain-Marine, ridiculous looking coffee drinks and tons of deserts.

Sweets More sweets

Kristy loved the Lasagna but it was so salty that I couldn't have a second bite. I had the Tempeh Sandwich. The bread was amazing (sorry, Kristy), the tempeh was full of flavour, and the salad was fresh. There were also pumpkin curry and veggie casserole on the menu board when we were there.

Lasagna

Tempeh sandwich

For desert, Kristy picked the veganized traditional German layered cake. The base was like the mix of cookie and vanilla cake, with a layer of cream, cherry and melted chocolate. It is one of the best vegan cakes I've ever had. And I got the chocolate almond cake with almond flakes and mazipan balls. It wasn't very sweet which I liked.

Chocolate almond cake and German layered cake

Maja's Deli
Tel: 030-48494851

Address: Pappelallee 11, Prenzlauer Berg

Cash only. Open Mon-Fri 12:00-20:00, Sat 12:00-19:00



I asked a staff member at The Circus where can I find somewhere nice for coffee. She said there is
good coffee a block away and great coffee a few tram stops away. So we went to Bonanza which is not far from Maja's to get some great coffee. The soy latte is MUCH bigger thus weaker than the latte in Melbourne but still pretty good. They roast their own beans too.

Bonanza

For dinner, we went to Yellow Sunshine, also known as "The Vegan McDonald's" amongst the vegans. There were lots of vegan options and most of them are organic. We've got the Nuggets, Currywurst, Double "Chicken" Hawaiian Burger (with pineapple) and Mango Lassi to share. The veganized traditional German dish Currywurst is basically sausage with "Chillup" (curried tomato sauce). It wasn't bad but not exciting neither. Burger and Vegan mango Lassi were superb. The nuggets were pretty nice too.


Yellow Sunshine
Tel: 030-69598720

Address: Wienerstrasse 19, Kreuzberg
Mon-Thur 12-24, Fri-Sun 12-1.


Next stop is Voner der Vegetarische Doner. I was super psyched when we arrived. Look at this bad boy! Mock meat on a rotating spit!

Nice

So I grabbed a kebab (two of them, actually):

Yum

It was awesome. TRULY OUTRAGEOUS!!!!! (Just remember not to order herb sauce if you are vegan) I gave Curryhurst a second chance. It was better than Yellow Sunshine's version but we both didn't like it very much.

Well...

Voner der Vegetarische Doner
Tel: 030-99265423
Address: Boxhagenerstr 56, Friederichshain
Mon-Fri 11.30-23.00, Sat-Sun 13.30-23.00.


Cafe Morgenrot is a nice little pub that serves vegetarian and vegan food. They do a pay-what-you-can (not pay-what-you-feel-like) breakfast buffet. Unfortunately we didn't make it.

We had a piece of nice orange ginger cake:


And shared an amazing toasted tomato vegan cheese sandwich, it has pesto, tofu, basil, tomato and vegan cream cheese:

Oh, the cider and banana shake were quite nice too

Cafe Morgenrot
Tel: 030-44317844
Address: Kastanienallee 85, Eberswalder
Open Tue-Fri from 10am, Sat-Sun from 11am

Friday, January 15, 2010

The greatest gluten free vegan ice cream EVER

This is my fav ice cream, EVER, yes really EVER!!!!! I'm a little obsessed with the amazing peanut butter chocolate combination, and have tried it in lots of forms like peanut butter truffles, and peanut butter oreo truffles, peanut butter chocolate cupcakes , cannonballs/buckeyes and peanut butter cups but I have finally found my favourite way to combine peanut butter and chocolate with ice cream. The melted chocolate gives it a lovely rich flavour which really compliments the crunchy peanut butter, I heart ice cream with a bit of crunch rather than regular smooth ice cream. It is soooooooo good that it seriously makes gluten free living seem easier because I could easily live on this ice cream. I'm a little embarrassed to admit that this ice cream only lasted me 4 days and Toby didn't even have any since he is a little over the peanut butter-chocolate combination which was fine since it meant that I could eat it all.

Chocolate peanut butter swirl ice cream from the vegan scoop:

1 c. soy creamer (i used soy milk)
1c. soy milk
3/4 c. sugar
2 T. arrowroot
1 T. vanilla extract
1/2 c. chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate)
3/4 peanut butter (go crunchy for the awesome nutty texture)
1/4 cocoa powder

Mix ¼ cup of soy milk with the arrowroot and set aside.

Mix the soy creamer, remaining soy milk, sugar, cocoa powder and chocolate chips in a saucepan over low heat. Bring to a boil. When the mixture has just started to boil, take off the heat and immediately stir in the arrowroot cream. This should immediately cause the liquid to thicken.

Stir in vanilla extract.

Set the ice cream mixture aside to cool. It will take at least a few hours in the fridge. Freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. Add peanut butter during the last few minutes of freezing.

My ice cream maker didn't swirl it very well though, so I mixed it up with a fork.

I am so going to work myself through the other recipes in this awesome book, but since I have already posted two of the recipes online, I really should stop there.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

We all scream for ice cream

The day before I got my blood test results I made the mint choc chip from Vegan Scoop. I decided that I had to have the cookbook after trying Rachel's amazing peanut butter ice cream.
Mint choc chip was my fav flavour ice cream growing up, so I couldn't resist. I was super relieved to find out that 1) my soy milk is g/f and 2) arrowrooot is also g/f so that I could still eat it. Especially since I can no longer eat the so good ice cream in our freezer.

I followed Rachel's advice and used a little less peppermint and just tasted it until I felt that it had just just the right amount of peppermint. This seriously rocks unless you are one of those crazy mint-choc haters and has been so refreshing on the super hot days we have been having lately.

2 c. Silk soy creamer (i used more soy milk)
1c. soy milk
3/4 c. sugar
2 T. arrowroot
1 1/2 T. peppermint extract (I used about 1 T)
1 T. vanilla extract
3/4 c. chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate chopped up which wasn't as good)

Mix ¼ cup of soy milk with the arrowroot and set aside.

Mix the soy creamer, remaining soy milk, and sugar in a saucepan over low heat. Bring to a boil. When the mixture has just started to boil, take off the heat and immediately stir in the arrowroot cream. This should immediately cause the liquid to thicken.

Stir in the peppermint extract and vanilla extract. (I actuallly decided to heat it with the sugar)

Set the ice cream mixture aside to cool. It will take at least a few hours in the fridge. Freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. Add chocolate chips during the last few minutes of freezing.

You could add green food colouring, if you want.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Coeliac rant

Thank you all of your supportive comments below but there are a few things that I want to clarify, not necessarily with any of you but just because I keep repeating the same conversations with lots of people. Being coeliac and vegan are not really similar, I seriously never found going vegan hard because it was a choice I made, and there were many reasons that I went vegan, that I am passionate about. This isn't something that I am passionate about, I'm not helping the environment, animals etc and it's not really a choice, it's something that I sadly have to do but really don't want to. Also, to everyone who says that I should stop being vegan to make it easier, I'm not going to do that, so don't even think about it.

So I might complain a lot for a little while, before I go back to being positive me. I will go back to being happy me I promise. Although I've read that even after I adjust, there will still be days that will be frustrating. It's seriously a lot harder that you might imagine and I know it will get easier but right now it's not good. It's mostly because I am discovering all sorts of stupid things that have gluten in them, and kind of grieving for all foods that I won't be able to eat. It's weird, I will be in the shower, or on the computer and then just random foods will come into my head and I will yell out to toby 'ohhh funky pies', or 'ohhh tofutti cuties' or 'puff pastry' and then sigh. It's also not the food, but the emotional stuff that is linked to the foods. Like being able to just grab a salad sandwich when I'm out in the middle of nowhere, and eating fry's sausages in hotdog buns when we can't be bothered cooking, or eating ninja vegan jelly beans in our work meetings and listing all my favourite coloured jellybeans in order because it keeps changing (white is my current fav), and making Oreo cupcakes for almost all of my family events several times a year because they get disappointed if I made any other variety and growing up eating BBQ shapes and then discovering the exciting fact that they are in fact vegan.

It is also looks like it might be expensive, I even read online that I need to get a new toaster. Also, I'm still sick, in fact I seem to be worse at the moment as my body slowly starts to adjust to my massive change in diet, I really used to eat a lot of gluten! I still haven't seen the specialist, but I have read it could take a while of eating g/f before my health is perfect. So it's not like I can see instant results. And you know when you are sick, you want comfort food and my comfort sick food is toast with vegemite, and vegemite isn't even gluten free. I've still got to have lots of tests including a biopsy and check that I haven't done any major damage to my bowel/intestines and see if I have any of the related coeliac problems. It's a lot more serious than I initially thought. And everything that I read online seems to say that I should never have even small amounts of gluten, because even small amounts can do damage to my body, so apparently it's not a case of having a little bit here and there, although some people do it. Also, people talk about being 'glutened' which sounds a lot like us vegans with dairy. Once you give up dairy, even if you are not dairy intolerant and you accidentally have a little bit, you body tends to overact. So after giving it up for a while, the reactions might be even more obvious to even small amounts of gluten. Also, I personally think having little bits here and there might be harder since I won't be able to forget how awesome regular bread is.

I read this good article online about the emotional impacts of being celiac and some of it has already resonated with me. It's a little alienating because I normally have lots of vegan and vegetarian friends who completely understand any eating issues that I have and I normally have vegan and very friendly restaurants where I can eat almost everything. Now when I chat with people, I feel like people don't really allow me to complain about foods that I can't eat, and keep wanting to talk about the positive stuff that I can eat, but I need to talk about both. I will get to a place where I just talk about the positive stuff, but I'm not there yet. It's all brand new to me, remember! Also, most of the omni places that I used to go to had vegan options that generally tended to not also be g/f. Also, I can't imagine many of my omni friends inviting me over to dinner anytime soon. If they thought it was hard feeding a vegan, now it's going to be extra hard for them. Even reading vegan food blogs, it a little sad right now, so you might not see that many comments from me because I still don't know how to adjust everything to be g/f. In same ways it actually seems easier to read g/f omni blogs because I don't crave meat than to read vegan blogs, isn't that weird?

On a more positive note, I really want to thank Steph for making me gluten free chocolate jam muffins yesterday. It was so nice to have freshly baked delicious gluten free things, I was so touched I almost cried but then proceeded to scoff 3 down in a very short period of time forgetting about my nausea and upset stomach and ending up with chocolate all over my face. They were delicious and it was extremely comforting!

Now I need some gluten free advice because I am don't want to spend another $60 on gluten free products that we both dislike. I'm looking for:

* a filling but nice vegan cereal, I love cocoa bombs but have found that 1 hour later I am starving

* vegemite replacement. There is 'vegie spread' and 'mightymite' that are both g/f but i'm not sure which one tastes good. I normally would eat sanitarium marmite because it contains b12 but neither seem to have it.

* tasty gluten free muesli type bars. I tried aribar's but they taste like fruit juice and not in a good way.

* are there any accidentally vegan lollies that are also gluten free that I can get at any supermarket?

* has anyone tried making the moist chocolate mud cake packet mixture?

Thanks for listening to me whinge, I think I needed to get a lot off my chest and now I better go back to my thesis world.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Tart N Round saved my soul

I went to Tart n Round last night and Toby and I were seriously impressed. As Toby commented they are no longer just a dessert place. Their savoury options have improved since I was there last and there is a new larger menu. I can now really understand Lena's excitement.I can't even begin to explain my new found appreciation for the place, since it is the only vegan and gluten free place, so the one place where I can eat everything! I hope they stay open for a long time, I really do. Sadly, it was pretty quiet and empty for a Saturday night.

I'm staying away from most veg restaurants at the moment, because it's just too depressing seeing all of my old favourite dishes that I now can't eat. Also, I've already tried lots of gluten free products that have been horrible so it was relieve to get some good things. This is also my first gluten free meal that I have walked away feeling really full. Plus, for gluten free meals the prices are quite reasonable.

Please excuse the dark and blurry camera phone pics!

Toby and I decided to share one main and one entree to allow room for dessert. We had the lentil moussaka, it had a layer of mashed potato in it, which added a creaminess and just made the meal really comforting and got the thumbs up from both of us. It was awesome comfort food.

We also had shared an entree of pumpkin risotto balls, that were served with a tomato chutney. It was noticable that they didn't have regular bread crumbs, but some sort of alternative crumbing, but it didn't affect the taste. These were Toby's favourite.

In the background, our friends tried the dips with bread. I was hesitant about trying anything that resembled bread, because I've been warned from several people to stay away from any g/f bread for a while, because most of it sucks compared to regular bread. But this toasted bread, was almost like toasted pita bread, crisp and delicious and not at all weird tasting. I was over the moon, seriously wanting to jump up and down on my chair and squeal in delight. I know it's not regular bread, but to have wraps like this would still make life a lot easier. The staff/owners are so friendly, and showed me the packet: it's the old time bakery organic gluten free bread, watch out though because the non organic gluten free bread contains dairy. Now I just need to find out where they stock it.

I also tried a tiny bit of a friend's pizza crust which is really thin but was a thousand times better than a gluten free pizza I have tried elsewhere.

And then I had the cherry chocolate cake which is over the top. I couldn't finish it and look forward to eating the leftovers today. I know some people can't handle the over the top sweetness/richness of their desserts, but it's exactly my type of dessert. It's probably a good idea to share desserts because not only are they extra sweet but the pieces are also quite large.

Tart N Round
839 High St
Thornbury
9480 0818
Wed-Friday 12-10
Sat- Sun 9-10
www

Thursday, January 7, 2010

cream buns and really really realy bad news for me

I got my test results back today and I tested positive for coeliac disease. The doctor has sent me to a specialist so I'm not quite sure the extend of it but am pretty devastated right now.

I mean it's great that I don't have something serious, but bread is one of my major comfort foods. I just keeping thinking of more and more things that I can't eat like falafel, dumplings, my favourite mock meats, lebanese pizza, regular soy sauce etc. I have toast every single morning for breakfast and from what I have heard and the few I have tried, most g/f breads seem to suck.

I've been running around the house checking that things are g/f like Cheezly, thank god!

I'm still not sure what I can and can't eat but Lena has already been super helpful as I've asked her a thousand questions and discovered some interesting things like I need to be careful that my soymilk doesn't have barley in it, I didn't even know that barley was a gluten based product.

Even though I made g/f recipes lots of times like rice, nachos, and rice noodles I am feeling really stuck right now and just want to eat bread so if you have any awesome gluten free vegan recipes or blogs please share!

In other sad news for me, I just discovered that la panella sells yummy vegan cream buns, the cream is a little hard and almost icing like in texture, but they are pretty tasty and super sweet, just my type of dessert!

Monday, January 4, 2010

A solution for a bird killing cat and an upcoming potluck

I wanted to wait a couple of months before posting about the catbib just to make sure that it worked. Back in the start of October our cat Button attacked two birds in one week. I did a search online and found info about catbibs. I decided to give it a go since locking inside was making her so miserable.

She quickly adapted to wearing it during the day when she goes outside and I am happy to report that there has not been any more injured or dead birds.

It doesn't seem to get in the way of her going about her normal activities either:




We might need to invest in a couple more though because already Button's cat bib is looking tattered and dirty. A few people have commented that she looks silly, but I think that she looks cute!

In other news, I am a month away from finally finishing my thesis, so am going to knuckle down and let Toby do all of the blogging until I have finished. Once I am finished I want to organise a potluck in Feb, maybe with a loose "cheese" related theme, if you are interested in coming and are not friends with me on facebook you can email me at inthemoodfornoodles (at) blogspot (dot) (com) or leave your email in the comments section.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

2009: THAT WAS THE YEAR THAT WAS

There were a hell of a lot of stuff happening in 2009, from some very amazing things to somethings that I wish never happened. All in all, It is still one of the best years in my entire life, apart from the year I turned Vegan, the year I met Kristy and the year I moved to Melbourne to live.

January / February

First of all, Kristy and I were properly married or weddinged in January. The event was blogged about by a non traditional wedding site.

We also went to the first All Tomorrow's Parties in Mt Buller, Australia. My highlights were Fuck Button, Spiritualized, The Saints and Silver Apple. It was followed by the infamous Laneway Festival in Melbourne CBD.

We started making a new regular dish- lentil tacos.

Kristy went to see one of her old favourite singers - Ani Difranco.

March/April

-We become regulars at Radical Grocery, our local vegan fairtrade supermarket.
-Kristy started her addiction to cake decoration.
-We tried Half Moon Cafe's Falafel and Wood Spoon Cafe for the first time. YUM!
-We, the crazy Melbourne Potluckers, had a strange but nice Raw Potluck.
- We veganised one of Kristy's childhood favourites: tuna patties
-Kristy and I heard ghost noises at a Daylesford B&B. Kristy decided to drove us home at 3 in the morning while trying not to kill the jaywalking animals and hoping to find a petrol station as the fuel light was flashing.
-I learnt how to ride bike at the age of 31!

20th April 2009, I went to check out an Akido, school. The Yoda-like instructor asked me to throw a punch at him so he could show me a move. He threw me on the mat and I landed flat on the mat, at like 80 KM/HR. I left with serious nerve damage and the pain stayed with me for almost two weeks, for the first week Kristy had to feed me because I couldn't move my hands.

May/June

Kristy was still addicted to Cake Decoration. Check out our Scrabble Cake and Marshmallow Mud Cake.

We started putting one of our new favourite toppings on pizza: Apple.

July/August

-Tart n'Round opened.

We started making mashed potato and gravy pizza, sounds weird but is like comfort food to the max.

-Vegan omelets!!!


-Kristy make strawberry cupcakes (one of the many batches cupcakes)

Septemper/October

-Kristy and the Potluckers chipped in for my most memorable Birthday Gift my bike: The Tobinator! Kristy also baked me a Tobinator Cake. She also made Lidia a Dog Cake

-I went to Dean & Britta's show at the Melbourne International Art Festival. They also did a secert gig at Purp Pop Records. I waited outside for two hours and got in for the last song. I ended up having a chat with Dean Wareham and had a shameless fan boy moments.

-Kristy took me to fancy ezard for dinner, it was one of the best meals I have ever had.

-Kristy reconnected with one of the first recipes that she made as a vegan: soy sausage dhal

-I started blogging with Kristy.

- We started making sausages from Vegan Brunch

November/December

-Vegan Fitness Week in Melbourne
-Kristy is still a cake decoration addict. (Cats/Dogs Cupcakes)
-We re-visited Hong Kong and visted London and Berlin for the first time. (There are two blog posts about London. I will blog about Berlin soon.
-I went to My Bloody Valentine's All Tomorrow's Parties in Bultin Minehead, UK. It was awesome.

Oh... and my record of the year is:

Tarot Sport - Fuck Buttons




Friday, January 1, 2010

Gingerbread cookies and xmas lunch

For xmas, we decided to make gingerbread people and animals, I used the colourful choc chips, white icing and a black icing pen to decorate them in all sorts of way. I used this recipe from post punk kitchen but I halved the amount of ginger and I still think they may have been a tiny bit too gingery and added only a pinch of cloves and I used golden syrup instead of molasses:

Gingerbread cutout cookies
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup plain soymilk (I used rice milk)

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour or all-purpose flour (I just used white)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

spice blend:
1/2 teaspoon each ground nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger

Directions
In a large bowl beat together oil and sugar for about 3 minutes. Add molasses and soymilk. The molasses and soymilk won't really blend with the oil but that's ok.

In a separate bowl, sift together all the other ingredients.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet in batches. Mix together with a firm spoon or spatula until well combined. You should have a pretty stiff dough. Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for an hour or up to 3 days in advance. (If you chill longer than an hour you may want to let it sit for 10 minutes to loosen up a bit before proceeding).


Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease your cookie sheets.

On a floured surface roll you dough out to a little less than 1/4 inch thick. You can do this in 2 batches if you don't have the space. Cut out your shapes with your cookie cutters and gently place on cookie sheets (if you are using them to decorate with remember to cut a hole with a straw or something before baking). Bake for 8 minutes.

Remove from oven and let them cool for 2 minutes on the baking sheet then move to a cooling rack. Wait until they are completely cool before icing.


The icing was following was made using the suggestion from PPK of mixing icing sugar with a tiny bit of wter until you get the right consistency, it was so simple.

It was lots of fun cutting out the gingerbread shapes, and it made me realise that I want to make more cut out type cookies, however I found that the dough cracked quite a lot when I baked them as you can probably tell from the santa looking one here:

we also made vegan caramelised onion quiche from vegan brunch and my mother provided the rest of our yummy lunch, which consisted of roasted vegetables, corn and peas cooked with Nuttelex and cheezy broccoli/cauliflower with our family's Vegemite gravy, it doesn't actually taste like Vegemite just adds a depth of flavour.

Hotluck and awesome nature of blogging

Steph has nicely summarised the hotluck nicely here, so has Tahn but I thought I would talk about what we made.

Toby made two types of sushi, one was the avocado and tempeh sushi from Tempting Tempeh and the other was cream cheese and cucumber sushi inspired by cucumber sandwiches as shown below. We discovered however that rolling sushi is actually harder than it looks. It was his first time and neither of us were sure if he was doing it right, so we sadly had to watch a few utube videos. I preferred the cream cheese cucumber sushi.

I made my friend Dan's amazing chickpea pate recipe, I normally put cajun spices around the edges but at the last minute realised that we didn't have any so settled on dry parsley which didn't quite do it justice.


I also made the cheesecake truffle recipe that Tahn kindly posted here, these were so easy and delicious and I will certainly be making them again, I've reposted the recipe just in case something happens to her blog and I've left without the recipe:

Chocolate-Macadamia Cheezcake Truffles from 1000 Vegan Recipes by Robin Robertson


2C vegan semisweet chocolate chips (I used 2 blocks of lindt dark chocolate)
1 container vegan cream cheese
2C confectioners' sugar
2T pure vanilla extract (I used only 1 since our vanilla extract sucks)
1C ground macadamia nuts (I used ground cashews)

Melt the chocolate chips.
In a food processor, combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla and process until well mixed. Add the melted chocolate and blend until well mixed. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours.
Roll the chilled mixture into 1-inch balls and place them on an ungreased baking sheet.
Roll the balls in the nuts, turning to coat. Transfer truffles to a serving platter, refrigerate for 30 minutes and serve. Cover and refrigerate any leftovers.

And lastly I made raspberry lemonade:
I've been obsessed with old fashioned American style lemonade since I made the Lebanese lemonade from wheres the beef months ago and while I was in London I fell in love with a bottled raspberry lemonade which I have since discovered that they now sell in Coles. I simply altered the Lebanese lemonade recipe:

Raspberry lemonade

5 1/3 cups water
1 cup castor sugar
1 1/3 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice (around 7-8 smallish lemons or a bag of lemons)
1/2 cup of frozen raspberries


Stir together the water, sugar and half dozen raspberries in a saucepan over low-medium heat, until the sugar is dissolved.

Transfer the sugar syrup to a serving jug using a mesh strainer and a spoon to squeeze the raspberry juice out and keep the raspberries out. Stir in the lemon juice. Chill in fridge. I then added some frozen raspberries to act in place of ice since I was taking it to the park.

I think I might try the lavender lemonade from here next. Lemonade is just so refreshing!


It was a great potluck, with so much great food and great to have some new friendly potluckers present who will hopefully become regulars. Danni made the oreo truffles which were a big hit and reminded me how awesome blogging can be, recipes are a bit like fashion, and can become circular in nature but with a much shorter circle. The oreo truffles were a huge blogged about recipe a little while ago, that I was influenced by and then SJ posted the recipe and the circle started again with Danni and Vicki and others making them and no doubt it will do the rounds again in the near future because it is an easy and yummy recipe. It's great how influential blogging can be and just when you start to forget about a recipe, it does the rounds again and you think ok yeh I forgot about that, I should make them again. By the way there is also an awesome peanut butter version, where you substitute peanut butter for cream cheese that are equally yummy that I blogged about here. And there is also a gingersnap version which I haven't tried but look good.