Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Australia Day Lunch

Yesterday was Australia Day for those of us who live Down Under (or Invasion Day, or call it what you will), which meant a day off work for most (hurrah for public holidays) and the firing up of the 'barbie' around the country. My Australia Day plan were not exactly patriotic... I went over to my friend's house to watchthe two new episodes of Battlestar Galactica I'd downloaded (OMG!!!!) and then we watched the WWE Royal Rumble pay per view. So I tried to make up for it with a little lunch spread.

Australia Day is another great chance for vegans to shine and show the world that our diet is fabulous and that you don't need to slaughter a paddock of teeny, tiny baby sheep to celebrate/despair the landing of the First Fleet. Yes, in true 'Australian style', people like to celebrate with a BBQ, and the lamb industry starts a massive ad campaign about how 'Australian' it is to eat lamb. In previous years, these ads have been direct attacks on the vegetarian and vegan movements, housed as 'comedy'. You know, so if you got annoyed with it you were taking it too seriously and being a kill-joy-no-fun-animal-lib-freak, which is very 'un-Australian' (the most overused word of this young millenium). Whatever.

Anyway, enough with my soap boxing and moaning, and on with my food! I only had pretty limited time for this. I working and on call this weekend, so I only had three hours on Saturday afternoon and four hours on Monday morning. Otherwise there would have been so much more!

This is 'Green and Gold' Summer Sunshine Pasta Salad, from Vegan Planet. I added the 'Green and Gold' part to the title. There are two types of pasta in it - farfalle and shells. The recipe calls for the farfalle to be cooked with turmeric added to the water to mae them golden - which it does, very slightly. I had planned on adding some spinach to the water when cooking the shells to try and make them green, but for some reason this didn't happen. The broccoli helped with the green. I also used yellow cherry tomatoes in place of red ones and chopped up some green shallots/scallions in place of golden shallots to keep the theme going. Very refreshing! Makes a bucket load.

And what Australia Day would be complete without some sort of burger? We opted for the very best 'burger' nature has to offer - giant mushrooms! No prep work and so damn tasty! These were, of course, burgers with the lot. The lot includes lettuce, tomato, fried onion, beetroot and pineapple. Delicious!!

These are a variation on the Strawberry Shortcakes from Vegan With A Vengeance. The base is the scone recipe and I once again made the macadamia creme (macadamias, very Australian). However, I replaced the strawberry sauce with a 'Flag Coloured Fruit Salsa' - strawberries, blueberries and lychees. It is a yummy mix, but the lychees do make it very runny!

And finally, my favourite thing... MINI LAMINGTONS! These are quite inauthentic, largely because I didn't have time to mess around trying to find a sponge recipe. But they are soooo easy. I used the coconut cake recipe from Wing It Vegan's Strawberry Santa Hats, which has got to be one of the easiest, quickest, tastiest cake recipes ever and is a great base for so many things! Cut the cake into squares - whatever size you want them to be. Next, take your favourite chocolate icing recipe (not buttercream), I modified one I found on an on-line lamington recipe (1 cup icing sugar, 1/4 cup cocoa, 55mL soy milk, 15g Nuttelex all melted down in a double boiler), and dip your lamington into it. Let the excess run off, then roll in coconut. Let them sit for a little bit, and roll in coconut again, then leave to set. Easy peasy! And so tasty!

So I hope all the other Australians reading my blog enjoyed a lovely public holiday, good food and great friend!


  1. LAMINGTONS! Yum. I love lamingtons so much! Yours look so good! I tried to con my husband into cooking for a change (even bribed him with the bbq), sadly it didn't happen so we ate nothing special. I'm glad you had a yummy Australia Day though!

    And hmmm, yes, we all love those not eating lamb is UnAustralian ads :P

  2. Are Lamingtons just cubes of vanilla cake covered in chocolate and coconut? (I have only ever heard of them on Neighbours/Home and Away when they are having bake-sales!! I need to get out more.....)
    Anyhoo, the only kind of 'Lamb' I want to eat are 'LAM'ingtons! They look gooooooood >:o)
    It looks like you showed those omnis a thing or two about good grub!

  3. Vegetation - At least this year the ads took an attack on high flying business people rather than veg*ns, that was getting old. Do you remember that Scent of Lamb ad? Where the woman was rubbing her neck with lamb chops as a perfume? EWWWWW! Stupid lamb industry!

    Becks - That is pretty much a lamington described! Sometimes the cake will be a double layer with jam and sometimes cream/butter cream in the middle and then dipped in chocolate and rolled in coconut. They are AWESOME though, I always have been a fan. Tap into your inner Australian you know is in there and make some! ;)

  4. Your feast looks fabulous--those lamingtons! Now that I know how accessible the recipe is, I must try them. And happy belated Australia Day! (And personally, I think any day when you get to watch BG deserves a celebration!!). ;)

    Thanks so much for the link to my blog--much appreciated. And now that it's brought me here, I can't wait to look around yours, too. :)

  5. Happy Australia Day!!
    There was an ad in the UK a few years back advertising Pork Pies - the slogan was "Any fresher and they'd oink"!!!!
    That used to really peeve me off.
    Those Lamingtons are to die for, I keep meaning to make that raceipe of River's...Gah, who am I kidding - I keep meaning to make a TON of her recipes - so many recipes so little time!!

  6. Recipe recipe recipe!!!
    I hate that there's no edit button on these comment things.....

  7. Looks like you had a good Australia Day. I guess that is your equivalent to our Fourth of July?

    Never heard of Lamingtons before. They look like petit fours to me, possibly a food cousin.

    And it looks like you had a nice summery feast. The Macademia Nut Creme looks just perfect. Had the items to make it, just not sure what the final result was. Now I have to make it.

  8. ooh fun! i want to visit down under!

  9. I made lamington cupcakes for australia day, it was pretty awesome! And now I really want a giant mushroom burger for dinner, hmmmmmm.

    Those lamb ads are terrible - I hate that sort of humour that belittles other people.

  10. Happy belated Australia Day! Those lamb ads sound very disturbing and offensive.

    Your whole menu for the day was beyond perfection. The burger is giving my salivary glands a serious workout! :)

    I love the Strawberry Shortcakes with the fruit salsa on top. Rich and refreshing at the same time!

    Thank you for the shout-out! I'm so glad you like my cake, and your lamingtons look so coconuty good!!

  11. We had a BBQ too for Hottest 100 day. What? Isn't that what the day is really for? I'm sure there was a ruling at some point that because of the ideological problems with Australia Day the day should henceforth be used for sitting around with friends listening to the radio and eating vast quantities of food.

  12. Lamingtons!!! I have been wanting to make some for agggggges! Your Aust. Day meal looks delicious!