Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Plush Pizza- Gluten Free 2

Plush Pizza is a vegetarian pizza, yes all vegetarian!

Back when the vegan fitness guys were in town, we went to plush. Everyone ordered regular chunky pizzas and I had the ben special on a gf base. I love this pesto topped pizza with a touch of balsamic vinegar, tomatoes, red onion, mushrooms and avocado. Thankfully the avocado is not cooked, I hate cooked avocado. Rochelle's friend Andrea also got a gluten free pizza, so we exchanged a few pieces. You can see a half eaten piece of hers on my pic at the top. She got a chunky pizza which comes with all of the regular toppings like tofu, olives, mushrooms etc except for the soy sausages which aren't gf. It's like a regular pizza with everything on it except it also has gherkins on it. I also enjoyed it but missed the sausages. As much as I love the ben special, it's good to have a bit of variety so was thankful that she wanted to share!

As for the gf bases, I think I was perhaps a bit harsh on my last post. I'm not sure if they were just having a bad day the last time with their bases, or if my tolerance for gf bases has changed but their gf bases were fine. They are quite thin but didn't have quite the undercooked feel that I remembered. I will aim to go back again before they sell their premise which likely won't be until at least the end of the year.

I don't think there has been any other reviews since last year when Carla, Steph and Cindy blogged about it.

By the way, if you google plush pizza then this site comes up, plush pizza, literally!

85 Burwood Rd
9819 1188

Monday, May 23, 2011

Vegan and Gluten Free Trifle

Toby become an Australian citizen last week, we didn't intend to do anything special but friends of ours very kindly insisted on having dinner to celebrate and hosted an Aussie themed BBQ in his honour. I made thetvp burgers (mentioned in previous post), BBQ tofu and this: 

Vegan and Gluten Free Trifle

I remembered how awesome Vicky's gf sponge cake was so tried to replicate it, unfortunately my oven temperature dropped and then I tried to turn it up and it resulted in a slightly weird overcooked hard cake. I doubled this recipe which might also be part of the problem. The original cake recipe is from Cooking with Diva:

115gm vegan spread (I used nuttelex)
115gm gluten free self raising flour (I used the orgran brand)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 egg replacers (read back of box for instructions)
115 gm unrefined caster sugar

Cream the vegan spread, extract and caster sugar together.
Slowly add in the egg replacers and mix in with the vegan spread and sugar.
Meanwhile sift the flour twice and slowly fold into the mixture.
Stir together until nice and creamy.
Split the batter evenly between to 6″ sandwich tins. (I doubled the batter and used one large cake tin)
Bake at 180°C (356°F) for 20 minutes.
Turn out on cooling rack.

Let cake cool then cut into pieces and place in bottom of bowl (I used a large glass mixing bowl).

Peach Layer:
Drain 825 gram of peach slice and reserve 3 tablespoons of juice to pour over. Place on top of cake pieces.

Jelly Layer
1 packet of gf vegan raspberry jelly
Make jelly, let cool and when alost set pour over peach slices and refrigerate until fully set

Custard Layer
3 tablespoons Orgran gluten-free custard powder
650ml rice or soy milk
3tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Mix the custard powder with 4 tablespoons of the milk to make a smooth paste.  Add the sugar.  Heat the remaining milk until it is almost boiling, pour it over the custard blend and mix.  Return the custard to the pan and heat, stirring until it has thickened.Add vanilla essence. Cool completely.  Pour on top of jelly.

Cream Layer: 
2 cartons of soyatoo cream
grated chocolate (optional)

Whisk cream and then use spatula to smooth cream on top, sprinkle shaved chocolate.

It is quite a time consuming dish to make and since the dinner was midweek I made it over 3 nights. I also had lots of issues, firstly the cake was not great which I suspect was due to my changes or my oven and then the first batch of custard was gross but all together it was fine.  Cindy and Michael made some pies and pavlova cups and the hosts Troy and Bec made some vegemite and cheezly toasted sandwiches and bought some gf vegan tim tams.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Gluten Free Lifestyle Bakery Giveaway

Lifestyle Bakery kindly offered to send me some of their products to sample and to offer an extra package to one of you lucky readers. All of these products featured here are both gluten free and vegan. Toby was impressed that there wasn't any weird preservatives in these products too.

The first product that I tried was their mulitgrain buns, you can eat them plain but I preferred them toasted. We chose to eat them with vegan sloppy joes. The buns kind of reminded me of damper, although it has been a long time since I had damper.  They did become a little soggy after a while but had a good taste. Whilst I enjoyed them, this was probably my least favourite product but then I'm yet to have a gf bun that I have thought was close to regular buns, I guess it's one of the harder gf things to replicate. I used to prefer crusty buns whereas gf buns tend to be quite soft.

Next up I tried their award winning chia seed toast. I was relieved to discover that all of their breads were already sliced since most gf bread are not and I hate slicing bread. This was my favourite. I decided to make a toasted sandwich out of it using tomatoes and cheezly. It went a nice golden brown, was not tiny like other gf toast, had a pleasant flavour, was quite filling and as an added bonus chia seeds are healthy! I will certainly be buying this again.

Next up was the plain white toast, this was slightly burnt (my fault), but I was pleased to see that it could go so brown as other varieties of gluten free bread struggle to go brown and have that lovely toasted texture. This did closely resemble the taste of regular white toast although had a slightly different texture inside, basically it crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside but that's not an unpleasant thing. It is mostly made of maize, soya, potato and rice flour. Doesn't it look like regular white toast?

I was so excited about the pizza bases, we tried it with shredded smoked tofu, tomato paste, pineapple and cheezly. This was probably my second fave of their products.

The texture was quite bready, like a thick pizza base and again quite filling and without any unusual weird flavour. Toby and I agreed that we preferred this to other gf pizza bases we have tried at home.

Next up I used the bread crumbs to make these tvp burgers (replacing the flour with a mixture of bread crumbs and chickpea flour). I wasn't a massive fan of the burger pattie flavours but thought that the bread crumbs worked and tasted pretty similar to regular breadcrumbs. This one pictured had bread crumbs inside, but the others had extra breadcrumbs on the outside and BBQed well (more on that later).

Lastly I tried the fruit toast. I'm not a huge fan of fruit toast but this had a nice subtle cinnamon flavour and again was super filling, I only needed 2 slices to fill me up.At first I just had it with margarine (nuttelex) but when I run out tried it with coconut oil which worked really well with the flavours.

To enter the giveaway all you have to do:
  • Like the Lifestyle Bakery page on facebook and/or twitter 
  • Leave a comment here answering the question: what is your favourite sandwich filling? and telling me which page you have liked/followed. 
  • Winner will be announced on Sunday 29th May night so you have until Sunday 29th at 1pm (eastern standard time) to enter. 
  • Entries restricted to people in Australia.
And number generator decided that comment 20: Maree is the winner.

I will forward your email address to lifestyle bakery so they can arrange to send you your package. Congrats!

    Saturday, May 14, 2011

    Malai Kofta

    I made this the other day and it is my new favourite Indian dish to make at home. The balls are great, the sauce is great and together it is kind of magnificent. The following day I had it at work and had multiple people ask what the yummy smell was. I substituted cumin for cumin seeds and left out the cilantro but it was still damn tasty. I was particularly amazed with the tangy sauce, which I think is quite similar to other Indian tangy sauces. The only downside was Toby's comment that there is no protein so I mixed some beans into the sauce (after the photo). We will certainly be making this again!

    Malai Kofta by happyveganface:

    kofta balls:
    3 small russet potatoes, boiled until cooked through
    ½ yellow onion, diced
    3 cloves o’ garlic, crushed & minced
    ¼“ ginger, peeled & chopped
    3 green onions, very finely chopped (white & green parts!)
    big ‘ol handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
    2 slices ‘o gluten-free bread
    ¼ cup raw cashew pieces
    2 tsp safflower oil
    ½ tsp black pepper
    ½ tsp cumin seeds
    ½ tsp paprika
    ½ tsp sea salt
    ¼ tsp garam masala
    pinch of cayenne pepper

    malai kofta gravy:
    2 large tomatoes, finely diced
    6 mushrooms, finely diced
    3 big cloves o’ garlic, crushed & minced
    ½ yellow onion, finely diced
    ½ bell pepper, finely diced
    ½ cup veggie broth
    ¼ cup coconut milk (or any non-diary milk)
    2 tbsp chickpea flour
    2 tsp safflower oil
    1 tsp toasted ground coriander
    ½ tsp cumin
    ½ tsp black pepper
    ¼ tsp turmeric
    ¼ tsp sea salt
    juice from ½ a lime
    handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
    handful of fresh parsley, chopped
    Start with the potato balls: in one skillet toast up those cumin seeds & cashews on medium heat. set aside. place the 2 tsp of oil in the other skillet and heat to medium and sauté the onions and ginger until the onions become clear. add the garlic to the onions and sauté for another minute. add the remaining spices for the  kofta balls and let it cook for another minute. remove the spiced onion mix from the stove & transfer to the food processor. add to the food processor those toasted cashew pieces & cumin seeds, slices of gluten-free bread, and cilantro. whiz it up until it’s pretty well combined then transfer the whole mess o’ yum to the large mixing bowl (which you could use to smash up those potatoes) & add the smashed potatoes & green onions. combine well & adjust seasonings to taste. form a bunch ‘o walnut sized balls and place them on the baking sheet that’s been spritzed with a little cooking spray. bake the kofta balls on 350 (no need to preheat) for 20 minutes. turn them over & bake another 10. while your balls are baking get your gravy on!

    In the medium pot, on medium heat, sauté the onions, bell pepper, mushrooms & garlic until the onions become soft (don’t let them brown). add in the spices & sauté for another minute. toss in the chopped tomatoes & veggie broth. bring everything to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat – simmer for 10 minutes. uncover, add the coconut milk, and whisk in the chickpea flour. toss in the cilantro, parsley and lime juice, adjust seasonings to taste, and set aside.

    To serve: ladle gravy over kofta balls & enjoy! 

    Tuesday, May 10, 2011

    Veggie Kitchen- G/F Banquet 2

    The famous JP and flux from vegan fitness visited Melbour recently which was a great excuse to visit Vegie Kitchen. Toby and I attended with about a dozen others including the uproar guys and a few Melbourne vegan strength guys. I've blogged about veggie kitchen a few times, once with the regular menu and once with the gf adaption, this is their new banquet. Once again they were able to provide g/f alternatives with all of the dishes. Many of the dishes were same as previous with a few new ones too.  Please excuse my phone photos. Since our last visit I also noticed that they have little v and g symbols on their menu to show what is vegan and gluten free.The banquet costs $28 and is pretty good value, look what I got:

    Apple sprout soy milk, this has quite a strong flavour similar to asian style soy milk:
    Lettuce delight, I think the only difference is that I get nuts instead of mock meat in mine:

    This was probably my favourite course, I can't remeber what each one was called but each one was a different version of mock meat, I loved the one with pineapple but the fishball was also good and I don't even like mock fish.

    This was probably the only dissapontment of the night, every else got mock meat with their rice and I had plain rice:

    This was similar to the last banquet with tofu and veg covered in tofu skin and a healthy stew. The stew had all sorts of interesting things like gingko nuts and chinese red dates.

    For dessert we had the option of a silken tofu red bean dessert or Tang Yuan (sweet rice sweet potato ball) with soy ice cream which I forgot to take a picture of. We had the tofu dessert which I enjoyed but I know it's a bit of an unusual dessert for people who haven't had it before.

    See other reviews from vegan about town and wheres the beef.
    159 St George Rd

    Thursday, May 5, 2011

    Vegemite Tofu

    I always cook Matthew's Delicious Tofu for dinner. It is fast, full of protein (3x500g tofu!!) and yummy.

    The other day, K and I were talking about serving pan fried tofu with the vegemite gravy we made before.  And now we have a new easy weeknight dish.

    Instead of vegemite or NON-gluten-free Marmite, we used Freedom Foods' Vege Spread.

    Vegemite Tofu
    (serves 6)

    What you need:

    3 packs of 500g firm tofu, sliced or diced (We love Yenson's so does Cindy & Michael)
    Whatever amount (within reason) of vegies, chopped 
    Handful of sesame seeds
    1 TBSP of sesame oil or raw coconut butter
    6 gloves of garlic, minced (or you can use the whole thing)
    2-4 TBSP Freedom Foods' Vege Spread
    1 to 3 TPSP of corn flour or any gluten-free flour
    1 1/2 cup of water
    Dash of tamari or gluten-free soy sauce (We use Chang's)

    What you need to do:

    - Brown sesame seed on fry pan, set aside.  

    - Heat oil and pan fry tofu on non-stick fry pan or wok, add dash of tamari on top of tofu just before you flip it.  Set aside in a big metal mixing bowl or tray.

    - Heat oil on non-stick fry pan or wok.  Saute minced garlic for a moment and add vegies.  Stir fry for a moment.

    - Add Vege Spread and water.  Stir fry until it's mixed in with vegie.

    - Slowly add gluten-free flour to the pan.  Keep stirring until it is thick enough.

    - Add tofu back to the pan and sprinkle sesame seeds on top.

    You can serve it with brown rice, noodles or even mashed potatoes!

    Tuesday, May 3, 2011

    Bomb Cafe- Special Gluten Free

    I still think that Bomb has the best scrambled tofu in Melbourne, but sadly it's not gluten free so I've been missing out for a while. A friend of ours recently started working there and so Toby secretly asked if it was possible to make it gluten free for my birthday. Toby took along some gluten free tamari and they made me my own special version. It was a great surprise! It was still just as great gluten free, still had the same slightly sweet, slightly salty, slightly oily flavour which I love so much.Their gluten free bread is not vegan, so I had it some fried potatoes. I think that their secret is the purple onions. Perfect hangover food, and I don't even drink!

    They also made me a special strawberry milkshake, although without ice cream so it was more like granita, but quite delicious.

    Thanks Toby and Bomb Cafe staff!

    I'm not sure if they will do the gluten free scrambled tofu for others, so you might want to call to check.

    See our gluteny reviews here and here. The now extinct more to love vegan was the first blog to introduce me to this cafe. I couldn't see other veg reviews of the cafe, but goggling bomb cafe related to bombs exploding in cafes so if I've missed your blog which isn't meaty then please let me know.

    Bomb Cafe
    229 Johnston St
    9486 0699

    Sunday, May 1, 2011

    Crunch Cafe, Thornbury

    I got an email from a thoughful person called Jo, who told me about another place where I can find breakfast which is both gluten free and vegan. So I arranged to meet Bec and Troy there a few weeks ago to give it a go. Crunch is a smallish omni cafe with a couple of tables outside and several inside. They have one large vegan breakfast option, which we all had, to make mine gluten free they simply had to subsitute the toast for gluten free toast. It comes with spinach, tomato, generous serve of avocado, black beans and smoked tofu. The smoked tofu was delicious and I was pleased to see black beans on a breakfast menu but the flavouring of the beans and spinach was a tad bland and could do with some extra herbs. It was easily fixed though with some extra salt and pepper and lots of lemon squeezed over it. It was filling, full of protein (for Toby) and I'm super grateful for another place in the northern suburbs where I can enjoy a large vegan and gluten free breakfast, because lets face it I'm not the easiest to feed at breakfast time. They also have a few gluten free desserts and my favourite Charlie's juice available.

    Toby's long black rating: 7/10.

    I think crunch is a relatively new cafe, so haven't seen many reviews apart from the coffee guide.

    Crunch Cafe
    669 High St