Sunday, 15 September 2019

Father's Day (Menu: Athens via Astoria, Queens from Vegan Eats World)

In Australia, Father's Day is the first Sunday in September (I know it is different in the US). As per usual, I made a special dinner for my dad, guided by his choices. It used to be Indian menus every birthday and father's day, but in the last few years he has started exploring the world through food a bit more. So for this meal, he picked Greek. I hit the cookbooks and picked out a menu from Vegan Eats World by Terry Hope Romero that met with his approval. You can see other stuff that I have made from this book here.

Cucumber Tzatziki: This was amazing, with a combination of cashews and vegan yoghurt (I used natural almond yoghurt) as the base. I only made a third of the recipe, which I regretted because I would have happily drank all the leftovers! It has the usual tzatziki components of garlic (I used powdered instead of fresh), cucumbers, and dill (sadly I couldn't find any fresh, so I did have to use dried here). Quadruple the recipe and pour it in a glass! Or put it on stuff, whatever.
Rating: :D

Cucumber Tzatziki


Greek Eggplant Lasagna (Pastichio 'Vegani'): I love pastichio, so I was happy to make it for this recipe. The full recipe makes a huge amount, so I halved it to cook in an 8 x 8 inch casserole. Weirdly, while the name of the recipe says eggplant, the recipe itself is mushrooms only but then has a variation where you add roasted eggplant listed after. I added the roasted eggplant because of course you should. There are three components to this recipe: A slightly cheese pasta, a mushroom/eggplant/tomato filling, and a cashew and silken tofu bechamel sauce. They came together so well, cooked perfectly. Also, leftovers are good hot or cold! Please enjoy the slightly messy inside shot as well, so you can see some of the layers. The book has a prettier photo.
Rating: :)

Greek Eggplant Lasagna (Pastichio)


Greek Eggplant Lasagna (Pastichio)


Braised Greens with Lemon and Olive Oil: This is a simple dish, very easy to make while your pastichio is resting. I made a half recipe, and I used baby spinach because that is what was easiest for me. A nice side dish, also good cold as leftovers.
Rating: :)

Braised Greens with Lemon and Olive Oil


These are some dolmades. I didn't make them, I got them out of a tin. I just thought that they would be a nice addition.

Dolmades from a tin


And here is a plate, all full of Greek goodness!

Athens Via Astoria, Queens Menu


Walnut Spice Sticky Cake: Of course there had to be dessert! This cake is lovely and moist, with a wonderful orange kick to it. The recipe says you can bake it in either a 9 x 13 in sheet tin or a 9 in round tin, I did the round tin. Once baked, the cake it covered in syrup and left to soak. I poked holes all over the cake prior to tipping on the syrup. At first I was worried there was too much syrup, but it soaked in after a few hours. I made the cake in the morning, and served it at night, so it had lots of time to soak in all the syrup.
Rating: :)

Walnut Spice Sticky Cake


Overall, this menu was fairly relaxed to put together over the course of a day. I made the cake first, then the tzaziki. Then I made the pastichio filling and the bechamel sauce. Then I had several hours to chill out and watch a Sunday afternoon movie with my mum. Finally, about an hour before dinner I made the pasta, layered it with the other pastichio bits, and popped it in the oven. And I made the greens right before serving, as the pastichio was resting out of the oven.

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Dim Sim


My baby has another UTI. Poor girl. It came on Wednesday night. Thankfully I have pain relief and antibiotics on hand so I was able to get that into her straight away. She seems OK now, though will be on antibiotics for a bit longer.

Thursday, 12 September 2019

Midweek Munchies

It's been a while since I've done a true midweek munchies random round-up, and I have lots to still share. So let's get into it!

I got some Beetroot Latte powder from Woolworths on super sale (channelling my inner Hillary, the queen of finding stuff on sale). Beetroot powder is pretty because it makes pink drinks! But honestly most of the time the flavour is pretty lacking. So I always make mine a bit stronger than it says on the packet. I added some cute mini marshmallows as well!

Beetroot Latte with Mini Marshmallows


Speaking of mini marshmallows, I combined them with some mini chocolate chips and some raspberries to make a cute little sweet snack. Pretty sure I got the inspiration for this from a Food For Dissertating post that I read a while ago.

Raspberries stuffed with mini marshmallows and chocolate chips


I love peanut butter pretzels! These were a packet from The Cruelty Free Shop, and they were everything I wanted.

Peanut Butter Pretzels


Earlier this year my mum went to Tasmania and she brought me back some vegan passionfruit 'chocolate'. I was skeptical, I admit, as you know how I like my chocolate (and this had no cocoa powder to speak of), but they were amazing. The passionfruit flavour was so tangy and fresh, with a bit of creaminess underneath.

Vegan Passionfruit Chocolate


On the topic of my mother, this is a lovely korma pumpkin soup she made from a recipe in a Coles magazine. She has made it a couple of times now, and it is really nice.

Mum's Curry Pumpkin Soup


And finally... these. These Milky Choc Balls were hailed as vegan Maltesers. I LOVED Maltesers in my pregan days, and I have always wished for a vegan version, so I was SO EXCITED. But I was let down. They are not in any way malty. They are crunchy rice puffs coated in chocolate, and that is that. I was very mislead by advertising. Can someone make me a vegan Malteser please?

Not Vegan Maltesers


Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Lil Jane


Sweet Lil Jane has gone to her adoption home. She went on Sunday, and I am very happy for her, but I will miss her.

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Eating Out: i like ramen

I've posted about vegan ramen restaurant i like ramen a few times before, but I have been back a few times since. An Instagram friend was visiting Brisbane a few months ago, so we were finally able to meet up (always exciting the meet internet friends face to face!) and she was keen to try here.

We got a few of the starters to share, as well as our ramens. We shared some Sticky Eggplant, fried eggplant in sweet and sour sauce, and some Garlic Soy Asian Greens. The greens were lovely, as greens always are. The eggplant was very deep fried for me, but I did like the flavour of the sauce, and the eggplant itself was good. I was glad I was sharing though, as I would have struggled to eat a whole serve.

Garlic Soy Asian Greens at i like ramen


Sticky Eggplant at i like ramen


We also got the Roasted Potatoes with Kimchi. I know what you are thinking, wait, kimchi is spicy Susan! You don't do spicy! I sure don't. This was mostly for my friend, but I did also pick out some of the non-kimchi-adjacent potatoes at they were good. I'd like a bowl of kinchi-free roasted potatoes!

Kimchi Potatoes at i like ramen


Now, onto the ramen. I got the Chick'n White Miso Ramen (ramen noodles served in our delicious house made chick’n white miso broth, chick’n strips (or tofu for gf option) and seasoned broccoli - topped with chopped spring onions, fresh sprouts, fried shallots, roasted seaweed, chilli threads and sesame), minus the chilli threads. Apparently this is their most popular ramen, but I was disappointed. The broth just was lacking for me, and I didn't love their chick'n (not sure what they use). This is my least favourite of all the ramens that I have tried from here.

Chink'n White Miso Ramen at i like ramen


My friend made good ordering decisions, and got the Tonkotsu Ramen (rich and creamy broth served with yellow ramen noodles, topped with confit cherry tomatoes, marinated bamboo shoots (or broccoli for gf), spring onions, sprouts, roasted nori, sesame and chilli threads), without the spring onion. She loved it, and I tried a bit of the broth and it was delicious. I definitely wished I had ordered it instead. (Spoiler alert, I have since then, but you will have to wait for a future post to hear about that!)

Tonkotsu Ramen at i like ramen


i like ramen - 388 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Lil Steve


Meet Lil Steve! The brother of Lil Bob and Lil Jane. He's still a bit shy and hissy, but he is settling in well.

Sunday, 8 September 2019

Recipe Round-Up: Vegan Pizza

I love pizza! It is a magical, marvellous, wonderful food, and it can be topped with almost anything your heart desires. And of course if you are a vegan pizza lover, the cookbook Vegan Pizza by Julie Hasson is a natural addition to your cookbook shelf. I've just realised that I have made almost every recipe in it, bar two savoury pizzas and the dessert pizzas. I've almost made this whole book! Though I've still got a few photos to share that didn't make it into this round up, you can see almost all the other pizzas I have made from this book here. I will also note that the basic pizza dough recipe from this book is my go to pizza dough. It needs a bit of time to sit, but it is so fast and easy. Also, as far a cheese goes, while I have used Daiya on some of these pizzas, my heart belongs to Follow Your Heart. They are my favourite, they melt well, and they don't have that gloopiness that Daiya sometimes gets.

Asparagus, Tomato, and Pesto Pizza: This pizza speaks of spring! An easy to make zesty pesto topped with mozzarella, tomatoes, and asparagus. The only change I'd make would be to spritz the asparagus with a little olive oil and some salt and pepper before adding them.
Rating: :)

Asparagus, Tomato, and Pesto Pizza


Cheeseburger Pizza: A tomato-garlic sauce base, with cheddar cheese, some homemade burger crumbles, onions, and pickles. With ketchup and mustard for garnish of course. I love the flavours of cheeseburgers, but I love them more on a pizza than on a burger! The burger crumbles are easy to make, using a max of TVP and quinoa as the base. They do call for dried onion soup mix, but it you are like me and can't find any Julie includes a homemade version you can make instead. I also tried out the cornmeal pizza crust for this pizza for a change. It was just as easy to make, but the dough was a bit softer and needed to bake for a bit longer However, the flavour of the crust was fantastic!
Rating: Pizza :), Crumbles :), Base :D

Cheeseburger Pizza


Peanut Barbecue Pizza: Peanut butter and BBQ sauce mixed together to make the pizza sauce? Yes please! This is a lovely combination of flavours, topped with mozzarella, broccoli (which I used instead of green capsicum), onion (I used red instead of yellow), and corn.
Rating: :)

Peanut Barbecue Pizza


Pub Pizza: I was having a bad day and needed some self care when I made this pizza. And as far as good goes, this is exceptional self care. I used a pre-made base that I bought from the shops to make it easier. Topped with a delicious cheddary cashew cheese sauce, cheddar cheese, crumbled burger (you can make the burger crumbles that I mentioned above, in this case I used some crumbled Neat dry burger mix that I had from the US), red onion, and broccoli. Eat this and you will feel at least a little bit better.
Rating: :D

Pub Pizza


All-American Barbecue Pizza: I am not sure what makes this all American, but it is tasty. BBQ sauce, mozzarella, red onion, and soy curls, garnished with coriander. The soy curls are Sweet and Smoky Soy Curls, which are lovely. We can't get soy curls here, but I have a very precious stash in my freezer from US trips and friends.
Rating: :)

All-American Barbecue Pizza


Eggplant Parmesan Pizza: A classic dish made into a fun pizza. One small eggplant was perfect for a large pizza. I only made half the milk and crumb mixtures for breading the eggplant, and that was plenty. The slices are popped on top of a tomato-garlic sauced and mozzarella sprinkled pizza base, and then garnished with basil. The slices got lovely, golden, and crunchy. This pizza was very filling!
Rating: :)

Eggplant Parmesan Pizza


Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Lil Bob and Lil Jane


Our adoption kittens Lil Bob and Lil Jane are ready to go to new homes! Sweet Jane has already found her forever home, and Lil Bob is on the lookout. But in exciting news, their brother was also caught the other day and has joined us at the clinic. He still needs quite a bit of socialisation before he'll be ready. But I'll introduce him in my next post!

Thursday, 5 September 2019

Midweek Munchies: Keep It Cleaner

There is a brand here called Keep It Cleaner (not a name I am super fond of, food isn't clean or dirty... unless you drop it in mud), and initially they had a small range of protein bars and balls in the supermarket.

I was lured into trying them when I saw the choc cherry one, because I love choc cherry. Plus it has probiotics, and I love that sort of stuff. And it was delicious! Because of the probiotics, they had to be kept in the fridge, but they are handy to have when you need a quick snack after yoga but before heading off to yum cha! They also had a few non-probiotic, non-cold protein balls. These were variable. The peanut butter one was the best, of course. The acai one I didn't like at all.

Keep It Cleaner Balls and Bars


I was happily just buying my choc cherry bars, when they suddenly released a huge new range! I love a good bar or ball, so of course I had to go check it out. A friend told me that Woolworths had heaps of them, so off I went and stocked up on a lot of the new stuff.

Keep It Cleaner


But then I was in Coles the next day and I found different new flavours! It seems that the different supermarkets have different flavours. Oh well.

Keep It Cleaner


Keep It Cleaner


I also found two new probiotic flavour bars in the fridge section!

Keep It Cleaner


Keep It Cleaner


I haven't had a chance to try all of the flavours that I have bought, but the ones I have tried have been good. I also didn't buy all the available flavours, there are some that had coffee or mint in the flavourings that I left. As you can see, they are coated with coconut. This makes it a little mess for snacking in the car, but I sure have done it. I also like that they don't have coconut oil in them. Coconut nectar and desiccated coconut, but no gross coconut fat to make me ill. Of course the downside is that they are pricey. So I tend to only buy them on sale, but even then they would not be within everyone's budget.

This brand has also come out with a range of other products it seems like. Protein powders, pasta sauces, protein pastas, probably some other stuff. The only other product I have bought from them is a delightful lime and ginger kombucha, which is nice and tart and I very much enjoy it.

If you are in Australia and keen to try them, they can be found in Coles and Woolworths. But you'd need to visit both for the full range of flavours because I guess they have some sort of agreement!

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Jed


Clinic boy Jed, reclining on his scratching post couch after a snuggle.

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Eating Out: French Tarts

Hello, and welcome to the first post MoFo blog post! I thought I might take a week off, but here I am. Funny story, a while ago it looked like I was running low on eating out adventures to post about. However, never fear. I have gone out and I have eaten and I now have so many places to keep sharing with you! Brisbane delivers.

Like in today's post. I had heard about a place called French Tarts and that they had some vegan options. I never realised that it is about five minutes away from their work! Their Instragram (which says they specialise in vegan treats, though they tag every post with vegan so it is hard to know what is really vegan and what is not unless it is in the description) had all sorts of fun vegan pastry treats, though I wonder if they are for weekends or special occasions, because it was a fairly small selection when I got there. But there was still some fun stuff to choose, and at really good prices as well.

Please enjoy this terrible photo of an almond croissant. I got this for my friend, and she said it was great.

Almond Croissant from French Tarts


I couldn't say no to a cinnamon doughnut, they are my favourite! And this one didn't disappoint. They also had a choice of custard or jam filled one. I chose custard, but I wish I had chose jam. Unfortunately I found the custard pretty runny and flavourless.

Custard Doughnut and Cinnamon Doughnut from French Tarts


But my favourite was this berry danish, which was just delicious!

Berry Danish from French Tarts


So, you must think that I am there all the time given how close to work it is? Alas, no. The parking around it is so bad, the one time I did go I had to drive around the block four times and then I was just so lucky to get a spot. So I haven't gone back. But the nice thing is that they supply their vegan doughnuts and danishes to several vegan cafes and restaurants, so I can still enjoy them.

French Tarts - 198 Boundary Rd, Bardon

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Dim Sim


One very sleepy Dim Sim.

Saturday, 31 August 2019

VeganMoFo 2019 #31: Wrapping It Up With Instragram



The final day of VeganMoFo 2019 is here. I had a lot of fun putting together the posts for this year, and reading everyone's posts as well. Last year, as well as blogging I also did a daily corresponding post on my Instagram, but that was a lot of work and I decided this year to drop the Instagram stuff and just focus on the blog. A good decision indeed! But some people did MoFo entirely on Instagram, and I have enjoyed following them through the month. Today, for the final post, I though I'd share some of the IG accounts I've been enjoying this MoFo.

Caroline, of the blog Tea and Sympatico, has been sharing lovely Instagram posts themed around books this month. Thanks to her, I have added a heap of books to my to read list. She has also been posting some lovely food inspired by them, like this Lemon and Almond Vegan Cake.



Bonnie has been posting gorgeous food following the prompts this month, like this amazing Peach and Blueberry Galette.



Vegan Raptor always does a fun pun-themed guessing game for VeganMoFo. Last year they did Buffy, which I did pretty well at once I got the hang of their pun technique. This year they are doing Star Wars, and all I have done is proven how much I suck at Star Wars. Oh well, I guess a few right! Not this one though.



The final IG account I will share is Emma. You may also know Emma from her blog, but also for being one of the VeganMoFo organisers! Thank you Emma and friends for keeping this all going! This year, Emma has been posting a Past & Present theme, posting a lot of her old favourite recipes as well as a few new ones. She has a link list to all the recipes that she has posted here. I don't know about you, but these Bolognese Fries are crying out for me to make them!



And so ends VeganMoFo 2019. I'll hopefully be back into my regular-ish blogging schedule of three times a week, though I might just take a couple of days off first!

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post



This kitty has a whole bed, all for herself! Of course, she spends lots of time sleeping on her parents' bed as well, but if she wants to retire early, she can go to her own bed (sometimes with fairy lights to decorate the room!). If you are on Instagram and you aren't following Sassy, what are you even doing with your life? Sassy is not only a wonderful cat, she is the cat behind VeganMoFo! Her mum is Emma, and Sass has told me that she has spent a lot of time helping her mum with MoFo related activities. So thank you Sassy, for making this month possible!

I hope you have enjoyed my Cats In Beds theme for this MoFo as well. I know sometimes the bed theme had to be taken loosely!