Monday, April 26, 2010

Newish Aussie Veg bloggers

I've noticed a couple of newish Melbourne veg bloggers that I think are worth mentioning. First up a friend of ours has started a new vegan blog here, he adds to one of the few Aussie male veg bloggers.

And secondly a 8yr old vegetarian food blogger called Orla, talks about eating out and her life in general here.

If you know of any Aussie veg bloggers that have updated in the last month and who generally blog about food or any gluten free veg bloggers from anywhere then please let me know so i can add them to the list on the side.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

"This is why you are fat" potluck

Vicki hosted a vegan potluck last night and the theme was "this is why you are fat" based on the website. I was a little concerned that with my weak stomach that I would end up vomiting and while I did feel a little sick at times, it passed quickly and it was so worth it.

I made Haggis Nachos based on Johanna's recipe here using my g/f oats. I've never had haggis before so can't compare it but it was really yummy and had such an interesting flavour and texture. I think it worked quite well with the nachos. I used one packet of nacho cheezly, and served it with home made guacamole, and purchased "sour cream" and salsa.

Vicki made nacho pizzas with home made pizza bases and I think tvp, I couldn't eat this but Toby said it was his fave.

Craig made potato gem, gravy and cheese calzones and Steph made potato gems with gravy and cheese. I couldn' eat the calazones but enjoyed Steph's variation on their own.

Craig also made his gluten free potato cakes which were a big hit from the last potluck and which I have been craving since. This time it was fried twice so was super crispy. He also very kindly gave me the leftovers to take home.

Rachel made fried peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and chip butties with fries.

She even made me my own version with g/f bread. They tasted just like the real thing.
Bec decided to combine a few of the things, so in this chip butty there was nachos, a potato cake and pizza.

Toby made rocky road ice cream from vegan scoop, with nuts and marshmallows, it wasn't quite the same as rockyroad but was yummy. It was really great timing that radical grocery had just received Dandies marshmallows. They are awesome!

Vicki made cupcake skewers which I think are perhaps the most impressive thing that I have ever seen and they were gluten free!!!!!! They had home made cupcakes and donuts, as well as leda choc biscuits and vegan candy. So so so so so awesome. You are now officially my hero Vicki.

Bec made cream horns with puff pastry and "cornettos" with chocolate and ice cream. I couldn't eat them and Toby was over desserts really quickly but everyone raved about them especially the "cornettos". She tried to make me own version with g/f puff pastry but it didn't work out so to compensate Bec made me a parfait style dessert with cream, ice cream, chocolate, and crushed biscuits which was over the top but I still managed to eat most of it. You can see it in the background of this pic as well as Rachel's chocolate peanut butter smoothies with home made ice cream.

Today we had doubled the haggis recipe so had plenty left over Toby used it to make a haggis and potato cake/potato gem casserole with gravy and cheese. It was good but I prefer it on nachos.

Don't worry though tonight we are having brown rice and plenty of veggies and tofu to try to compensate.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Las Vegan has Gluten Free Desserts

Toby and I have gone to Las vegan twice in the fortnight. Both times on Thursday nights, and each time it has been busy. Go Las vegan!!!

There are a few different g/f main options but I always get the rice balls minus bean sprouts because apparently you shouldn't eat bean sprouts when you are having traditional chinese medicine. It comes with lots of salad, two massive rice balls with yummy satay sauce and plenty of coriander. It is delicious and healthy (if you ignore the fact that the rice balls are probably deep fried) and super filling. Toby always finishes it for me.

Toby had the sweet and sour "chicken" which comes with tofu, veggies, rice and a coleslaw type salad. Toby said it is not exactly as tangy as chinese take out version but is probably healthier. His regular favourite dish though is the sloppy joe burger.

But the exciting thing is that there are now g/f sweets. There are red velvet cupcakes which are were sweet and moist with icing that perhaps had a tiny bit of cream cheese in it. The cupcake itself is quite red.
My fav though was the chocolate peanut butter cookies which has peanut butter filling in the inside. These are amazing.

They also have other vegan gluteny desserts like vanilla slice and chocolate cookies. The profits of some sweets like the regular cookies goes to edgars mission.

Las Vegan
22 Smith St
9415 9001

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Munster Haus- the new veg cafe on the block

We decided to check out the newest veg cafe to open in Melbourne- Munster Haus with Lisa, Cindy and Michael on Sat. I've been wanting to check it out since it opened a few weeks ago but haven't had a chance since it's only open at lunch time (mon-sat). It is worth noting that while it is all veg at the moment there is a sign stating that they may also introduce bonito and anchovies at some stage but will be a predominately veg cafe. It is buffet style kind of like the tofu shop which is not surprising since the chef used to be a tofu shop chef but it's cheaper. So you get rice and choose your own combination of dishes. There were 4 hot dishes and plenty of cold dishes. There wer only about 3-4 non-vegan dishes amongst about 11 and I got the impression that options change quite regularly.

I chose a small bowl, I forget how much it cost but despite it's deceiving size it filled me up.
There was only a few gluteny dishes: two tofu dishes and the cous cous salad. So I still managed to try quite a few options. I had the chickpea bake, cold tempeh and brococli dish, and indian style rice balls (with chickpea flour, yay), roasted potatoes, and cold pumpkin. I enjoyed it all, particularly the chickpea bake and the herb roasted potatoes. It felt like a good home cooked meal but with lots more options.

Toby chose a medium plate for $11:
Toby said his his favourite parts were the tofu in broth and the cold tempeh broccoli dish.

Toby had a soy latte and said that it was ok.

I love all the wooden furniture.

It was reasonably priced, delicious, not too far from home and healthy so we will definitely be back. The only downside was I didn't notice any vegan desserts.

Munster Haus
371 St Georges Rd
North Fitzroy

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Yong Green Food II

We finally went back to Yong Green Food after Kristy was "glutened". I was very excited because it has been two months and there were lots of thing I wanted to try.

After we ordered, a friendly girl (I guess she is Sunju but not sure how she figured out who we are) approached Kristy and said:
"I guess I owe you a meal."

We told her we appreciated the offer but she doesn't need to do that . At the end she still took the price of the Thai Green Curry off our bill.

Kristy ordered the Raw Nachos (Sorry for the out of focus camera phone photo, I blame Nokia):

Instead of the boring corn chips, we have some yummy raw crisp flax crackers. It came with three different dips: cashew cream (pretty smooth), guacamole and sunflower seed tomato dip. She loved the dish especially the rich tomato dip which had a nice chilli kick to it and was impressed with the creaminess of the cashew 'cream'. Whilst it was obviously not the same as cooked nachos it was an excellent dish. Kristy said she was very full after this one dish. I guess there are lots of nuts in this dish. Lots of nuts = lots of protein = road to awesome human performance.

I looooooooved my grilled mock tuna on rice (Sorry for the photo again):

The "tuna" (not G/F) is the one you can get from mock meat shops and some Asian supermarkets. It was crispy on the outside and had a very rich fishy flavour. It came with a wasabi soy sauce, a purple cabbage coleslaw and some steamed vegetable.

I also had a vanilla soy ice-cream with red bean. The ice-cream was just the normal So Good one but the Japanese/Korean style red bean was awesome.

I reckon it is a smart choice to offer both raw and cooked food, as raw diet is not everyone's cup of tea especially on cold days. I would go back for more as there are lots of choice (and gluten-free food for Kristy) and the dishes are not too pricy ($12-15 for a main and $8.5 for burger/wraps).

Check out our last visit and other blog posts about Yong Green Food by Michael, Steph, Cate, Niki and Shawna.

Yong Green Food
421 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy

On my walkman:
I Learned the Hard Way - Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings

Saturday, April 10, 2010

G/F Mint Choc Cupcakes and My New Toy

For my birthday I received a group gift from all of my fam and Toby, a 90th anniversary special edition kitchen aid. The colour is called candy appple red, it is metallic red unlike the regular red ones. This pic really doesn't do it justice:

So I felt that I had to bake something for the vegan bake off, since it was the day after my birthday. Mind you I have never baked gluten free before except for packet mixtures. I made the chocolate gluten free cupcakes from VCTOTW but used coconut milk instead of soy milk because I think I read somewhere that Mandee the gleegan (g/f and vegan) baking goddess does that.

But boy did I have issues, when I went to take out the cupcakes I realised that the temperature had dropped significantly so the cupcakes were cooked on the top but were liquidy on the bottom. So I had to put them back in until they were burnt on top and I could taste the quinoa flour, yucky!

I decided to make choc mint cupcakes because I saw this cute idea on martha stewart website for choc mint leaves but couldn't get it to work. First the choc chips from Rishons don't melt properly and then when I switched to lindt, I couldn't peel the mint leaves away from the chocolate. There was lots of swearing at this point.

I followed the recipe for the mint icing, but am pretty sure that the recipe is incorrect, no amount of mixing would take away the gritty texture. I thought I must have done something wrong so made another batch and had the same problem, I'm petty sure it needs more margarine. I added more margarine and it was slightly better but then too runny so it wouldn't pipe properly.

So nothing went right, I was cursing myself for wasting precious thesis time on baking and actually said to Toby 'I'm not going to enter, this is just embarrassing' but he convinced me to enter anyway.

I got to the bake off, and there was only one other gluten free entry: my friend bec's yummy banana bread. She also had issues as she couldn't find any ripe bananas, but I thought it was yummy. Lots of others have blogged about their dishes and many others but I can't comment on their dishes since I couldn't try them :-( I did get to try the amazing raw entries though like the amazing winning choc coconut slice/cake entry and my friend Kylie's raw mint choc cheesecake made from cashews.

I won the gluten free category which I'm pretty sure is just because of the cupcake factor not because my dish was very good, I even heard a few people critique them which is really not very nice people, I know that they sucked, I don't need to be reminded! My gluten free baking has a long long way to come.

There was a young gleegan girl though who was excited about being able to eat cupcakes, I'm sorry that they weren't so great. And to the gleegan girl's mother I lost your email address but would to know more about the vegan brand of probiotics from the US.

Pic taken from Danni (I was too annoyed and frustrated to take any pics)

The one thing that I am happy with is the cupcake liners from House. aren't they purty?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Nostralis Wholemeal Vegetarian PIzza II

Long time no see, vegans!

Last week, Kristy and I went to Bec and Craig's place to eat pizza and watch Empire Strikes Back. Plush was closed so Craig drove to Nostralis for some yummy gluten-free vegan pizza.

Last time when we went there, we enjoyed the Garlic Pizza and Vindaloo Pizza very much, so Craig decided get them again. He also picked the Spinach Pizza and Mexicana Pizza.

Nostralis is very different than other veg*n pizza joints. They don't use stuff like vegie sausages or fried tofu. Their gluten-free base is pretty good and they put a shite load of Cheezly on the pizza too.

I loved the complex flavour of the Vindaloo Pizza. The combination of ingredients (Tomato, Cheese, Banglore Beans, Peppers, Sultanas, Hot Spices, Banana, Onions & Vindaloo Curry Paste) is very unusual but it works.

I didn't like the Mexicana Pizza much. It was like bland Chilli on a pizza base.

We also had the Garlic Pizza and Spinach Pizza (sans Fetta and Egg). They were both fresh, simple and nice.

I will go back to try more pizza!

Nostralis Wholemeal Vegetarian Pizza
55 Hawthorn Rd Caulfield North 3161
Phone 9528-49-61

On my walkman:
Someone To Drive You Home - The Long Blondes

Monday, April 5, 2010

I need your best oat recipes please

My friend Bec surprised me by giving me a pack of gluten free oats which she ordered online from some shop in America. Oats are not generally gluten free since they grown and processed with wheat. I could just eat the g/f oats in porridge but I think it would be more exciting to make other things like cookies, burgers etc. So please share with your favourite oat recipes, I don't want to waste them on recipes that suck.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Tofu Shop

I don't blog about the the tofu shop very often because despite it being a veg cafe the owner is anti-vegan and super argumentative, so if you are vegan and are planning on going and an older man is there beware or just don't advertise your veganism, all of the dishes that have dairy in them are clearly marked. We used to go all the time and stopped all together because of him, but now go occasionally if we are in the area because we like the food. Also, he seems to be in there less and less and all of the other staff are friendly and pleasant.

The tofu shop sells healthy type bain-marie style food, and contains a few tables outside or you sit on the stools inside.

The food generally consist of four hot dishes and a range of salads and cold dishes. They also sell falafel, samosas etc in a pie maker, but I always opt for the bain-marie options and generally get a bit of all of the vegan dishes. The options always vary. My favourites are generally the hot tofu dishes, the tofu is generally amazing! Toby always gets a extra bowl of rice and then a bowl of food, as you can see below. But I always get a medium bowl with a small amount of rice, so that there is room for ice cream. I highly recommend the tofu dip and the satay sauce which you can get to compliment each meal. It's also pretty g/f friendly with the dishes that contain gluten clearly marked.

It's great when you feel like homestyle healthy food but can't be bothered cooking.

My other favourite thing about the tofu shop is the tofu soft serve ice cream, there is only one flavour at the time but changes regularly from green tea, to rosewater and raspberry, chocolate etc. This time they had strawberry ice cream. We both adore the ice cream, but i've heard that soy haters find the soy flavour too strong but after vegan for 7 years I can't detect it all.

Tofu Shop
78 Bridge Rd, Richmond
Weekdays 12-8
Sat 12-5