Monday, May 31, 2010

1000 vegan recipes

After many glowing reviews from Tahn and the cooking from 1,000 vegan recipes blog. I decided that despite my cookbook bookshelf overflowing with cookbooks I had to add one more.

The first recipe that Toby made was the Vietnamese noodle soup. Batgirl described it as pho and so Toby was disappointed that it was isn't pho like at all. Yes it isn't authentic, but I adored this dish in it's own right, and I normally get bored with soups. This dish was absolutely punching with flavour, with miso paste, hoisin, lime and lots more, perhaps because it takes a lengthy 45 minutes to simmer. We used smoked tofu instead of seitan which I think works well. I do agree with batgirl that this recipe alone makes the price of the cookbook worthwhile. This really is a perfect winter meal.
Next up, we made tofu jerky with the help of Lidia who has a dehydrator, I think we left it too long in the dehydrator like 3 hours too long. The flavours were nice but the texture was just weird and rubbery. But then I've never been a jerky fan. Toby, however, couldn't stop snacking on it.

Toby made country fried tofu with golden gravy, which he served with polenta. We have big issues with frying tofu in any batter because our nonstick frypan has lost its coating and so everything sticks to it and it just isn't the same in a wok. So by the time had tofu finished frying he decided to skip blending the gravy which left the chickpeas intact as you can see in this photo. This didn't really work, so I quickly blended it. This was delicious and filling. Toby liked the dish despite the wok disaster.
Now on to the failed dish- the pomegranate infused lentil and chickpea stew. In fairness, perhaps the pomegranate syrup that we purchased was actually just juice. The bottle said syrup but later when I looked at the ingredients I noticed it just said pomegranates. This dish was so tart that it wasn't edible and we didn't know how to fix and so in the end had to throw it out. I hate waste, so such a shame. I would love to know if others have issues with this dish or with the so called syrup.

I will post one recipe from the cookbook, but you get to choose which one?

Monday, May 24, 2010

White Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant

There are a few Chinese Vegetarian Restaurants in Melbourne. Enlightened Cuisine in the CBD is probably the most popular one. Vegie Hut in Boxhill is the only vegan Yum Cha place in town and their faux meat dishes draw vegans from different suburbs to the De Facto Chinatown of Melbourne. My favourite one, however, is White Lotus.

Their food is more home style, has much less (if any) MSG compared to other mock meat places and I like their friendly but laid back service. I have eaten there for my last few birthdays. I also ate there before my neck surgery in case I couldn't leave the hospital alive.

If the contestants of MasterChef Australia are cooking off with the chef of White Lotus, the signature dish would be:

Tamarind "Fish"!

I love the contrast of the soft rolled bean curd sheets and the crispiness of seaweed. The tamarind sauce is perfect, with the right amount of spiciness and sourness.

The cream corn soup is not bad neither

The gluten free options however are very limited. Kristy had the stir-fried tofu and vegies with satay sauce. It was pretty right-on and refreshing.

They also do really cool "drumsticks", roasted "duck" and lemon "chicken".

Steph went there recently and blogged about it. Cindy and Michael went there back in April, 2007. I don't know why I have never blogged about it.

White Lotus has been opened for four decades. Owner Peter Li is retiring so his children are running it on the weekend. My friend called up to book a table last week and was notified by the
answering machine that they are closed till further notice due to family illness.

I wish the Li family well and I look forward to enjoying their awesome food again very soon.

Address: 185 Victoria St, West Melbourne
Ph: 9326 6040

On the walkman:

Live! At Meredith - The Dirty Three

Onion rings, onion rings, onion rings

Yes I finally tried lord of the fries onion rings on sat night from the Northland store.

And they are PERFECT- with a yummy crispy coating, you really can't tell that they are gluten free.

I had mine with tomato sauce:
but was jealous of Ivan's version with vegan mayo. Ivan has also blogged about them here but he doesn't quite share my onion ring obsession.

My only complaint was there not enough- with only about 6 in my bucket, next time I might skip the nuggets and have 2 containers of onion rings. Also please bring back the gluten free buns soon, I would love a gluten free burger!

I think they are available at all Lord of the Fries stores.

*Edited to add: no longer gluten free

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Gluten Free Funky Pies

It's only Sunday morning and this has already proven to be a very good weekend of eating new things. First, Radical Grocery got in two types of gluten free funky pies: No Wurry Curry and Mediterranean Veg. I was so excited about this that I literally jumped up and down. I have eaten regular funky pies before and loved them, so rushed out and brought 6 (3 of each flavour). Also I have seen lots of non vegan gluten free pies and have felt like I am missing out.

Toby and I share one of each flavour with some sweet potato fries on friday night, we did make the mistake of not defrosting them properly so they took a while to bake which I think resulted in slightly overcooked and hard crusts as you can kind of see in this pic.

Here is a kind of gross picture of the insides, because we were rushing to eat them. On top is the No Wurry Curry and on the bottom is the Mediterranean veg.

The Mediterranean veg, contains eggplant, silverbeet, spinach, potatoes and carrots. It kind of felt a bit like a healthy pie but tasted great with tomato sauce. We both preferred the No Wurry Curry version with it's mild lentil and chickpea curry in a coconut sauce. The non burnt bits of pastry in the middle were great, unlike some other gluteny pastry that I have tried it didn't have the cardboardy feel. Thanks to Funky Pies for making gluten free versions and to Radical grocery for stocking them, you both made my day and I will be back for more!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Gluten Free Garlic Bread!!!!

I have seen another gluten free garlic bread floating around but it has dairy in it, so I was happy to find a vegan version. It's called health right garlic bread which I found at Absolutely Gluten Free. It's not as good as regular garlic bread but it has a nice crust, and is quite garlicy with lots of herbs mixed in and it fills that empty gluteny garlic bread void quite nicely.

Toby and I are both having a pretty horrible week, so will be back posting proper posts next week when we hopefully have a bit more energy.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Gluten free onion rings coming to a store near you...

Ok this isn't really a proper blog post but worth sharing.

Lord of the fries will have gluten free onion rings soon, according to their twitter page their ETA is 20/05 which is only a few days away, although it might be worth checking beforehand to avoid disappointment.

I love onion rings if you recall my obsession with coles brand accidentally vegan ones and am so so so happy that I have a g/f version that I can eat.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Matthew's Delicious Tofu -On Regular Rotation

I seem to have gotten into a bad habit of not blogging the meals that we make in our household regularly and the cafes that we go to regularly. But I'm trying to change that, starting with this recipe. We probably make this on a fortnightly-monthly basis, because it easily adaptable, we have it over rice or noodles and have even had it over mashed potatoes (see pic below). We add in whatever veggies and crushed nuts that we have. The dish is great because it's easy, quick and it has a great combination of sweet, sour, and salty flavours, plus a tiny bit of heat. Also, we always seem to have the essential ingredients like garlic, maple syrup, lemons and tamari. I don't think we ever measure the sauces, we just add all of the flavours and then taste to adjust. So feel free to play around with it.

This is from The Garden of Vegan, one of the first cookbooks that I got as a new vegan. It's titled "Matthew's delicious tofu" (page 120) which always make me laugh because my brother's name is Matthew and he hates tofu. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

1lb medium tofu (about 450 grams)
2 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp fresh ginger grated
1/4 tsp dried chilli or 1 tsp Asian chilli sauce
1/8 cup maple syrup
1/8 cup Braggs (or Tamari)
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 dry roasted almonds, chopped

Saute tofu in oil until browned. Reduce heat to medium-low and add garlic, ginger and chilli. Saute for 5 minutes. Add maple syrup, braggs and lemon juice. Cover and cook until liquid has evaporated. Garnish with almonds. Serve over rice or noodles.

Over mashed potatoes with more sauce but no nuts

Over rice with peanuts

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A love letter to GF Bread

To Naturally Gluten Free,

Your Mediterranean bread makes my heart sing! It is almost regular bread size unlike the other g/f breads that are so small that they get stuck in my toaster and cause me to burn my fingers. Your bread goes brown and crispy like regular toast should and even better it doesn't taste like cardboard. It is also vegan unlike some other brands of g/f bread that they sell at the major supermarkets. Plus the sundried tomatoes, olives, capsicum and herbs means that I just need to add some nuttelex and a bit of a nooch (savoury yeast flakes) to get complete perfection. There is only one little problem, you don't have any stockists on the north side. I found you at Absolutely Gluten Free in Werribee amount other great gluten free things like garlic bread and apple pies. But I will find some way to access you regularly, I promise. Thanks for making mornings normal again!



Friday, May 7, 2010

Vegetarian Nirvana Cafe- a vegan coeliac's smorgasboard

I went to veg nirvana with a small group of friends a little while ago. Veg Nirvana is a vegetarian Indian restaurant in Richmond with lots of vegan options. I inquired about gluten free menus and was given a special menu that had all of the gluteny dishes crossed out, as you can see below, there was not many dishes crossed out:

Everyone ordered one main dish each and everyone chose gluten free and vegan dishes, so I could eat all of them. I really do have awesome friends!

We shared some crunchy deep friend onion bhaji which comes with an addictive tamarind chutney
and a Indian style potato salad called aloo chaat:
This mushroom curry called shabham curry was the most popular amongst everyone:

I loved the tangy flavour of this aloo mutter dish:
We also had this aloo gobhi:

and many others including the smoked eggplant dish, dal makhani (with kidney beans) which was probably my second fav dish, a kofta dish (also super tasty) and I forget what else. Some of the tomato based curries tasted quite similar and kind of blended together in my mind, but all of them were delicious and it was so awesome to be able to eat so many dishes.

Vegetarian Nirvana Cafe
486 Bridge Rd
9428 1408

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Memphis BBQ Tofu and Peanut Butter Cups

A few weeks ago, I attended a pre-roller derby BBQ potluck at Emily's house. It wasn't the usual potluck crew, well except for Danni and Steph (and Jo), who have already blogged about it here. I was a little worried that there would be nothing I could eat with other vegans but there was loads of g/f options that I could eat and I got to meet a few more awesome vegans too. This all helped to soften the blow, because my fave roller derby team the dead ringer rosies got thrashed. We need you back playing Skate Bush!

Anyway derby speak aside, Toby made the Memphis BBQ Tofu from Vegan Dad and it really rocked. It is marinated in spices and then you add a lovely sweet home made BBQ sauce when it is almost ready. I loved it and it certainly got polished off really quickly. We will definitely make it for future BBQs.

And I made peanut butter cups using this recipe from Bittersweet, which is simple to make and yummy, although I used Lindt dark chocolate which I think made it a little too bitter. Are you sick of me blogging about various peanut butter-chocolate combinations? Here is Jo, showing the inside with her opposition derby colour nails:

Both photos taken from Danni because I'm slack

Thanks for all of the yummy G/f dishes everyone and Emily for inviting us!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Taco Salad

We have been without our computer and internet for a while but finally have it back and our computer is bigger and faster now, yay! This is an old blog post that kep getting pushed aside by other things. When Toby got out of hospital, I stayed at home the first few days with him but after that he was on his own. He couldn't heat lunches or go out for lunch himself so I had to make something that could be eaten cold. For the first couple of days I just gave him bread rolls and had my own gluten free heated lunches, but it was too much work making dinner and two different lunches. It was also quite hot at the time. We often eat nachos which are one of our favourite meals but my weak stomach often punishes me for the corn chips and oil. Whereas, this had a small amount of corn chips and felt healthier. This isn't really a recipe but basically I just combined shredded lettuce, tomato/bean salsa (just cumin and chilli added to tomatoes and beans), nacho cheezly and sour cream and then added crushed corn chips. It was so simple, and easy for Toby to eat without having to prepare anything. I think it would make a great picnic meal too. It's not too great for Melbourne weather at the moment though.