Tuesday, January 29, 2008

East Brunswick Club Rocks

I'm sorry about the pic, a friend took a photo of me with a friend and the parmas where in the background so I had to crop it.

I used to enjoy the vegan parma at vegetarian orgasm (or V.O as I called it) when it was still open and missed it along with desserts when it closed down. So I was super excited to hear that the East Brunswick club is selling vegan pamas, thanks to Harriett from this is vegan melbourne for passing on this great knowledge. They are served with chips and a salad and it was so big I couldn't quite finish it and Mr T was full. They only problem was for the first mouthful I was a little worried that they gave us the meat ones by mistake. I'm used to eating mock meat but normally at a veg restaurant not a pub that actually serves real parmas. At $17 for a meal it's not cheap but certainly worth it, especially since we live so close and often see live music there. They also sell vegan hot dogs on Mondays.

Edited to add: I read that if you go there for lunch and ask for vegan parma it's an eggplant schnitzel instead but it's cheaper.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

So Very Un-Australian

Starting today I will not consume any alcohol for a whole year.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Uncheese cookbook

Every so often I get together with a friend and cook up a storm, by a storm I mean generally one dish. Normally we chat and chat and chat and look through several cookbooks for new recipes to try before we finally decide on one , we then go get the ingredients and then have dinner at some crazy hour like 10pm. It lots of fun and certainly beats cooking by yourself! This was the probably the first time we had already chosen a recipe and had the food ready to go. She had recently got the revised version of the The Ultimate Uncheese cookbook and had her eye on the french onion soup with vegan gruyere cheese. I know it's summer at the moment but it wasn't particularly hot that day and she had lots of onions. The soup itself was great and was better than a french onion recipe that Mr T once made that took 2 hours.
The spoonfuls of the 'cheese' were lovely inside the soup, I think this soup would be great in winter time but I probably wouldn't make the soup often though since it's not super nutritious. I also loved that she had a side note on the recipe that you can put the 'cheese' on bread and put into under the grill so we tried it:

The ''cheese" on toast was yummy although I'm sure it wouldn't convince a cheese eater especially by itself but it was great for me who can't really remember what cheese tastes like anymore. I think it looks pretty convincing too. It was especially good when you dipped it in the soup.

We also made instant cheez it, a powder that you can just add water to and cook for instant 'cheese', I will let you know what it is like when I try it. Anyone made it? What did you add to it? I'm thinking pasta and vegetables.

I like the layout of the book and if she lets me I would love to borrow it once she has finished trying recipes from it, is that a big enough hint?

Saturday, January 19, 2008

eThe Tofu Shop

The tofu shop is a tiny cafe and shop rolled into one. It's one of Mr T's favourite places to eat and I quite like it too. I always walk away feeling that I was served a nice home-style healthy meal that actually tasted pretty good. I also like that you can have lots of little bits of all dishes that they are serving. They generally serve four hot dishes and lots of salads and cold additions. The food is quite expensive especially for bain-marie food. The other downside is the manager/owner is crazy. He is anti-vegan because according to him we 'support petrochemical companies' and he has all these other crazy opinions too. Mr T and I just try not to bring up the word vegan or talk to him but it's pretty disappointing that we have to do so at a veg restaurant.

But it is worth it for their soft serve soy ice cream. It is so much better than normal soy ice cream in a tub. They only make one flavour at a time but continually change the flavour. My favourite ones that I have tried so far are the raspberry- rosewater and the coconut-pandan. Both are equally amazing! I was very excited today though when I saw that they had green tea. I've never had the chance to try green tea flavoured ice cream and have always wondered what it would taste like. For some reason I expected it to not really taste like green tea, kind of like the way banana or strawberry flavoured milk doesn't really like taste like banana or strawberries but I wrong. It was nice but had the bitter green tea after taste that I love with a hot cup of green tea but don't love with cold ice cream. Still I'm glad I'm finally got to try it.

The pics were taken with a camera phone but it is better to have crappy pics than no pics, right? The next one was our meal that we shared for brunch today which included a cold broccoli-tempeh dish, cold cucumber salad, cold potato salad, noodle salad made with a mushroom broth (my fav), zucchini-capscium baked dish, and a hot tofu dish with greens. On the side we had a extra bowl of rice, satay sauce and tofu dip. Considering the name of the place it is probably not a surprise that I love their tofu dishes and their tofu dip.

I just realised that I actually have pics from when we went there several months ago too. The first dish is Mr T's, he gets an extra bowl of rice instead of rice in his bowl. The second is mine and the third is the soy ice cream. Don't ask me what we had though, I forget :-(

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Veganism and Feminism

I am not a food blogger. I have been posting a lot about food lately but I still intend to post non food posts. If I had my ideal blog I would have amazing food pics with feminist and other issue posts. Food photography is not one of my skills however and I don't seem to have the energy at the moment for all of my feminist and other more thoughtful posts. I think I just miss Sour Duck's feminist blog and kind of fell out of the loop with other feminist bloggers apart from Shrub who I still read and love.

Anyway, it saddens me that feminism and veganism don't go hand in hand together. In my mind they are so related as are other issues such as human rights. They all have exploitation in common and much more. So I can't help but get disappointed when PETA use female body images to sell animal rights/veganism and that when I point it out to vegans they don't see what is wrong with it. Or that there are 100+ posts on what is wrong with calling a man a 'girl' in a vegan forum with many thinking that it fine to call a man a 'girl' as a insult. Or that feminist blogs don't discuss animal rights. I don't think single issue approaches are the best way at all. I don't want to go into discussions about any of that right now because I just don't have the energy to argue and be sad about it.

I am glad to see posts like Gary Francione's recent one called postmodern feminism and animal welfare: perfect together because they bring the two issues together. But I feel a little torn reading it. I agree with parts of it but feel that I can not completely support it. Perhaps it is because I sit somewhere between a 'postmodern feminist' and 'radical feminist' in terms of his definitions and actually tend to be closer to a 'radical' feminist. I've never thought of myself as radical in any sense of the word. Or perhaps it because I am not completely anti-animal welfare. I think I need to sit with it for a little while but I would love to know your thoughts. Here is a preview:

The animal welfare movement makes people feel more comfortable about animal exploitation just as the postmodern feminists make people feel better about participating in the exploitation of women. You can be a “feminist” as you enjoy a lap dance at a strip bar; you can be an “animal rights” person as you eat your “cage-free” eggs or meat that is approved by animal protection organizations.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Cradle Mountain and Sarah Kramer

We are going to cradle mountain yay!

It is going to be a challenge food wise though as I am not sure how we will go eating out and I really don't want to prepare all of our meals while I am on a holiday. Any veg*ns been there recently or anywhere near devonport or other surrounding areas and have any tips? Or have any suggestions for snacks/meals that I could make beforehand and take with me?

Speaking of holidays. Sarah Kramer is bringing out a new cookbook called Vegan-a-gogo which is a mini-travel cookbook and will include recipes from her previous cookbooks. She is looking for list of your favourite 'must have' recipes from How it all Vegan, garden of Vegan and La Dolce Vegan to include in "Vegan-a-gogo". I just emailed her and suggested savoury shepherds pie, perfectly amazing pasta salad and lentil quinoa stew.

For more details about her new book see her blog here

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Red Hill Market

Mr T and I ventured down to red hill market with some friends on sat. And we loved it. Or rather we loved the food we didn't really have enough time to really look at much else. I had read that there is a stall selling Italian donuts which are vegan and found them straight away. I was a little too hungry and a little too hot and forgot to take a pic but Mr T took a pic of them making them. The donuts basically taste like the jam donuts you can get at vic market minus the jam but are pretty yummy. I was really impressed that had a sign advertising them as vegan too. Here is a pic of them making them:

A friend of mine said that there are vegan crepes there. I saw one stall selling crepes but all of the crepe options had cheese in them and I thought there must be another one but decided to ask him anyway. I started by asking if the crepes had any dairy in them and he explained that they don't have any dairy or eggs and are gluten free too. If she hasn't have told me I would have never asked and would have missed out on having yummy crepes. I asked for the capsicum filled ones minus cheese and he threw in extra rocket, olives and avocado. It was yummy and reminded me of Indian Dosas. Again I forgot to take any pics. But a friend took a pic of me holding it so I just cut me out of the pic. It's better to have a crappy pic than no pic at all right?

Next, I had a mango lick which is basically a frozen mango on a stick from this stall, which was so great in the hot weather.

There were lots of other yummy food that I didn't get to try as we arrived at the market at 12 not realising that it closes at 1pm. There are plenty of fruit orchards and farms around the area so I was pleased to see lots of stalls from the farms selling things like cherry sorbet and blueberry balasmic vinegar and blueberry BBQ sauce.

It is certainly worth the trip there for the day as there are fruit farms, wineries, red hill brewery and lots of other places to visit around the area. We went to Totally Pure Fruits and purchased some organic fresh fruit and freeze dried snap pears at pretty good prices. Plus it is close to all of great beaches and it is quite pretty.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Chunky vegetarian chili

I've been making this for years because it is super easy, freezes well and can be made with ingredients you can get anywhere. Plus paired with corn chips it tastes pretty good. If I have extra cash i'll add avocado and soy cheese too. But more often than not I'll eat it plain with corn chips. It is also nice in a burrito or taco. Considering the recipe is on about half a dozen websites I don't think it matters that I share it again. Most of the time I'm lazy and don't add rice and therefore add less water and it cooks a lot quicker but Mr T made it this time with it. I also add a tiny bit of dark chocolate or cocoa powder when I have it ever since I discovered that the secret to great chili is chocolate/cocoa. And no, it doesn't taste like chocolate just adds a richer flavour to it. I recommend doubling the recipe so that you can freeze some of it, although when doubling it you may need to play around with the water amount so it is not too watery. We generally use three types of beans just because we can.

1 medium green bell pepper (capsicum), seeded and chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans Mexican-style tomatoes, undrained (I just used regular tomatoes)
1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (11-ounce) can whole-kernel corn, drained and rinsed
2 1/2 cups water
1 cup uncooked rice
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  1. Sauté green pepper, onion and garlic in oil in a 3-quart saucepan on medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until tender. Add tomatoes, kidney beans, pinto beans, corn, water, rice, chili powder and cumin; stir well. bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 30 minutes , stirring occasionally.
Once again we decided to use very fancy place mats.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year

My week and a half off work comes to an end tomorrow as I go back to work. It has flew by, and I have enjoyed the time off. It has basically involved lots of time with family and friends and lots of great food. I didn't go away but it was nice to have time off and just do nothing. It is also good because I decided to make a new years resolution this year: to start and finish my thesis.

As per usual I didn't take many pics of food but here are the few I did take:

Coconut Lime cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes take over the world. I liked them and was impressed that they didn't require as much sugar as the others. I even halved the icing recipe and it was enough. I also think these were pretty easy to make. If you had to choose though the Cookies and Creams one taste better but these are great for summer.

Snobby Joe's from Veganomicon. Recipe can be found here. It's weird but Mr T and I have never tried meaty sloppy joes but we often make veg versions I think because the recipes are generally easy and it's fun to try and eat them and not make a mess. We normally make two versions. The first is made from kidney beans and is super quick and I love it. The recipe can be found here although I use less Barbecue sauce. The second version is made from tofu and the recipe comes from la Dolce Vegan and Mr T loves it. This lentil version is good as we both like it. I used french green (puy lentils) which texture wise were great.

I'm torn about getting Veganomicon. I love Vegan Cupcakes take over the world but am disappointed with Vegan with a Vengeance. I think that most of the recipes in Vegan with a Vengeance take way too long too cook and are just too complicated for lazy cooks like Mr T and I especially on week nights. I also seem to be the only vegan who thinks its over-rated as most of the recipes I have tried are ok but not great. I think I may need to flick through the newest cookbook before I decide but I haven't seen it any stores in Melbourne yet. Anyone seen a copy?

I hope you have a great 2008!