Friday, January 19, 2018

Eating Out: Brisbane Vegan Markets September 2017

September came around, and once again I made a visit to both of the Brisbane Vegan Markets. First up, the morning markets (on the 2nd Sunday of the month). I love corn on the cob, so was excited to try Corn Star, which had a range of fun flavoured cobs. I can't quite remember what this was called, but pretty sure it had some sort of ranch coating, with herbs and sunflower seeds. Normally getting corn on the cob at an event means getting them to leave the butter off, and just salt and pepper. I like that too, but super nice to get a fun coating!

Ranch Cob from Porn Star at Brisbane Vegan Markets


Of course I can't not get something from my favourite Green Street Foods, and this day I tried their Gyros. It is completely gluten free, they made the 'lamb' and the wrap themselves, and it was outstanding. They work magic!

Gyros from Green Street Foods at Brisbane Vegan Markets


I tried the Pork Specia Rice (vegan pork, rice, vegetables) with some lemonade from the Malaysian Nonya House stall. The pork was tasty, though so fatty! I forgot that sometimes they put weird fatty gel layers in some mock meats. A bit greasy for me overall.

Pork Belly Special and Lemonade from Nonya Malaysian House at Brisbane Vegan Markets


And of course, my favourite Berry Merry from I Should Coco to finish it off.

Berry Merry from I Should Coco at Brisbane Vegan Markets


I say finish it off, but obviously I mean except for the treats I took home for myself for later! A strawberry flan from Flour of Life, a Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake from Koko Cakes, and a Turmeric Almond Milk from Genki Milk Co. Genki Milk Co is a local business that makes the most amazing almond milks! Normally I am not an almond milk fan, they taste like watery sawdust to me, but they make theirs so wonderful and creamy. It is the best!

Fruit Flan from Flour of Life; Peanut Butter Cup from Bliss & Co; Golden Milk from Genki Milk Co at Brisbane Vegan Markets


I was back again for the Twilight markets (4th Sunday of the month), but for the first time I went in the actual evening. It was the weekend of Brisbane OzComicCon, so I headed down to the markets for dinner afterwards. I was going to meet up with my friend Ashleigh, but she was running a bit late, so I started off with some snacks. A Street Taco from Green Street Foods (sadly these are currently off their menu), and a steamed BBQ bun from September 18.

Street Taco from Green Street Foods and Steamed BBQ Bun from September 18 at Brisbane Vegan Twilight Markets


I was feeling like something a bit more substantial, so I decided to try a burger from Gatherer's. I can't remember the exact specifics, but I know the patty had chickpeas and peanut butter in it. The patty was good, though the rest of the burger was a bit subpar. Crappy roll, single slice of hard biocheese, and I think some aioli that wasn't strong enough. It was meant to come with fries, but they had run out by that time.

Burger from Gatherers at Brisbane Vegan Twilight Markets


This time I picked the Super Dooper from I Should Coco, which was a granola and nut mix with fresh fruit and maple syrup.

Super Dooper from I Should Coco at Brisbane Vegan Twilight Markets


Because it was almost the end of the night, the lovely person at the Flour of Life stall gave me two of my beloved strawberry flans for the price of one! I also grabbed a Matcha Almond Milk from Genki Milk Co, which was another winner.

Strawberry Flans from Flour of Life and Matcha Almond Milk from Genki Milk Co at Brisbane Vegan Twilight Markets


Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Cute cat


This hilarious cutie pie was in boarding a couple of weeks ago.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Eating Out: Pu Kwong and Su Life

This post is a mash up of a few visits to Pu Kwong, and one to Su Life.

Regular readers will know of my love for visiting Pu Kwong! You can check out my other visits here Of course, no meal at Pu Kwong is complete without some bean curd rolls and steamed BBQ buns to start!!

Beancurd Rolls at Pu Kwong


Steamed BBQ Bun at Pu Kwong


My favourite dish there, that I have ordered frequently at recent visits, is the mixed mushrooms with tofu. A giant plate of soft roasted tofu and mixed mushrooms in a great savoury brown sauce. While I am partial to bok choy, I if they replaced it with broccoli it would be the ultimate dish for me.

Mixed Mushroom and Tofu at Pu Kwong


Tofu and Mixed Mushrooms at PuKwong


We almost always order the Greens In Ginger Sauce as well, because vegetables are important!

Greens in Ginger Sauce at Pu Kwong


My mum is a huge fan of salt and pepper eggplant. While I find most salt and pepper things a bit too deep fried to eat more than a couple of pieces, my mum gives their version of it a thumbs up!

Salt and Pepper Eggplant at Pu Kwong


Mum has also ordered the Sizzling Mongolian Lamb a couple of times. It has a lovely sauce, and the vegan lamb chunks are a good texture.

Sizzling Mongolian Lamb at Pu Kwong


Dad ordered the Combination Chow Mein once, which came with lots of different mock meats. I steered well clear of the mock seafood (I just don't like it), and I prefer the noodles once they have softened a bit in the sauce. But my dad really liked it.

Combination Chow Mein at Pu Kwong


Last time we went, my mum tried a crispy chicken dish. I think it was called Shangdong chicken, but I can't find the menu online anymore and it isn't in my takeaway menu, so I am not sure. Anyway, it was crispy fried chicken strips on top of crispy fried greens with a sweet sauce. A lot of fried, even for my mother. Definitely a dish for sharing with a crowd!

Crispy Chicken thing at PuKwong


It has been a while since I have been to Su Life. We used to get take away from there fairly regularly, though not for ages. And I have only actually been there a couple of times. You can see my other Su Life experiences here. Su Life can be quite hit and miss, so if you find a dish you like there, it is best to stick to it and keep ordering. The one thing they do that is consistently amazing is their Pan Fried Dumplings. They are great, with a tasty filling and a nice sauce. Mum and I had lunch there a while ago, so we of course started with some of those.

Pan-Fried Dumplings at Su Life


I thought I'd try something light, with the Mini Miso Steam set. It ended up being pretty big! Also the soup was so hot, and there was a flame underneath it that just would not let it cool down. I burnt my tongue so bad! I almost thought I was going to scar my oesophagus and stomach, it was so hot, no matter how much I tried blowing on the spoon!

Mini Miso Steam Set at Su Life


Mum stuck to her favourite, the Spicy Crispy Chicken. This is probably the most famous dish that Su Life has. The spice level can vary widely, from a bit of heat to super hot, though I always brave a piece or two to see if it is too much for me. I really like the celery and the cashews in it!

Spicy Crispy Chicken at Su Life


Pu Kwong Vegetarian Restaurant - 2796 Logan Road, Underwood, Queensland - 07 3841 8999

Su Life Vegetarian Restaurant - 4/2120 Logan Rd, Upper Mt Gravatt QLD 4122 - (07) 3349 5995

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Dim Sim


I am not sure what I did to deserve this judgmental look!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Recipe Round-Up: Eat Like You Give A Damn

This is my first round-up from Eat Like You Give A Damn, a fun cookbook written by Michelle Schwegmann and Josh Hooten of Portland's The Herbivore Clothing Company. This is a shiny little book, with lots of pictures and some tempting recipes. This round up will mostly look at breakfast recipes that I have made from it.

Herbivore's Tofu Scramble with Go-To Greens and Tahini Sauce: This tofu recipe is so simple, and is reminiscent of the amazing tofu served in Austin at Bouldin Creek Cafe. The tofu is coated with nutritional yeast and seasonings, and comes out with a great, crunchy, cheesy crust. The book has many options for their go-to greens, which are steam-fried, and I used silverbeet (swiss chard). I did have to drain it at the end, there was quite a lot of liquid. All topped with the amazing Tahini Sauce, which comes together so quickly and is amazing. When I made the sauce this time, I used smoked garlic, which added a great flavour.
Rating: Scramble :), Greens :), Sauce :D

Herbivore's Tofu Scramble; Go-To Greens (Silverbeet); Tahini Sauce


Ranch Scramble with Cream Biscuits: This was a great, herby tofu scramble, with broccoli and tomato (though I could have done with even more vegetable!). When it is all cooked, the recipe says to top in the pan with some sour cream and cover, and it will melt into scramble. It didn't melt into it, I ended stirring it through. You can see I topped it with some more sour cream as well. The cream biscuits are very easy to make, using cashew cream or soy creamer. I used some soy creamer for these. The recipe makes 8 biscuits, I made a half recipe and shaped them into three biscuits, which cooked in 18 minutes. This served three people for brinner.
Rating: Scramble :), Biscuits :)

Ranch Scramble; Cream Biscuits


Apple & Peanut Butter Smoothie: I loved this smoothie. I made a half recipe, which made just over one large glass. I added extra peanut butter (of course) and added an extra splash of milk (I use oat milk). As well as apples and peanut butter, it also has bananas, molasses and cinnamon (with some other stuff), that just made a delicious, creamy, not-too-sweet start to the day.
Rating: :D

Apple and Peanut Butter Smoothie


Minty Spinach-Pear Smoothie: This recipe is meant to have kale as the greens, but I just am not a huge fan of kale in smoothies. Sorry. I much prefer baby spinach, so I used that. I made a half recipe, which made one large glass. This was sweet, minty and refreshing.
Rating: :)

Minty Kale-Pear Smoothie


Sage Gravy: While this doesn't look attractive, it sure was tasty. And so fast! I had a single leftover biscuit, so I just made a 1/4 recipe of the gravy and it came together in a few minutes. The recipe called for either AP flour, white whole wheat flour, or spelt flour, and I used spelt.
Rating: :)

Sage Gravy


Souk Scramble: This recipe was inspired by Middle Eastern markets, and has tomatoes, olives and spinach as well as a blend of herbs and spices. The tomato was a particularly nice, fresh addition.I made a half recipe (with 250g of tofu), cooking only for myself, and got 1.5 serves when I served it with some more spinach, pita bread, and hummus.
Rating: :)

Souk Scramble


Survival Scramble: This scramble honours the cabbage, which apparently would be a safe food to eat in a nuclear war as the outer leaves act as a barrier. Of course, if there is a nuclear war my plan is to die in the first wave, so no need to forage for cabbage. But I do enjoy cabbage in my regular, non-nuclear war life. I made a few changes here, using some scallions instead of onion and some carrot instead of capsicum. The scramble also has potato, and I salute anything that comes with potato built in. The seasoning is based on mustard and fennel. Overall it was a bit dry, but the flavour was good. I got just over three serves from it.
Rating: :)

Survival Scramble


Sausage Biscuit Breakfast Sandwiches: This recipe calls for the cream biscuits again, but made into 4 large biscuits rather than 8 small ones. You need them big because they are your bread! I used some sausage patties that I made from another book (breakfast sausage patties are not really a common thing here), and I had some cashew cheese left over that I made from Artisan Vegan Cheese that I used instead of cheese slices. The sandwiches also have some wilted spinach. They are big and filling! Served with some potato gems and roasted Brussels sprouts, they were an excellent brinner.
Rating: :)

Sausage Biscuit Breakfast Sandwich


Savoury Breakfast Grain Bowl: Most of the recipes from this chapter I actually made for dinner, but this was a great quick breakfast. I love savoury breakfasts! This is a very versatile recipe, that lets you use up whatever grain you might have left over and choose you own fruit and nuts - I used jasmine rice, cranberries and walnuts. It also has spinach, and while the recipe calls for a TBS of oil, I left it out. Mixed through with some soy and nooch, so quick! I also topped mine with some avocado and some leftover serundeng.
Rating: :)

Savoury Breakfast Grain Bowl


Ruby's Tomato Soup: A change of pace from breakfast foods. This recipe is so simple, reminiscent of tomato soup from a can but so much better. It is creamy, a little bit cheesy, and a little bit tangy. A great blend of flavours. I got three serves from this, served with some grilled cheese and some salad.
Rating: :)

Ruby's Tomato Soup


Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Dim Sim


A super pensive little Dim Sim. That is my arm that she is resting her head on. I wonder what thoughts she had going through that perfect little head.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Eating Out: Brisbane Vegan Markets August 2017

Continuing to catch up on my many visits to the Brisbane Vegan Markets last year! In August, I went to both the regular morning markets (2nd Sunday of the month) and the twilight markets (4th Sunday of the month). Buckle up, there's a lot of food!

First up, the morning markets. I went on my own to these, and stocked up on a number of treats before managing to get a seat out of the sun. I tried a mushroom woodfired pizza from a pizza place that I cannot remember the name of, and it was nice, though a bit sparse with the mushrooms.

Mushroom Woodfired Pizza at Brisbane Vegan Markets


Unfortunately my next choice was not great. I ordered some 'poutine' fries from a stall, I say 'poutine' like that because as well as gravy it had sour cream and things on top. After I ordered, turns out that there wasn't even gravy. There were black beans, so not even remotely like a poutine. And it just was not good. It was so bland (I couldn't taste the cheese sauce or the sour cream at all), the fries were not cooked well. I ate as much as I could, because it was expensive, but I was bitter about it the whole time, thinking of other tasty treats I could be having.

Poutine from The Vegan Van at Brisbane Vegan Markets


Thankfully, I brought it back with dessert. The Black Forest Brownie from my favourite stall, Green Street Foods. It was so good. And yes, that is coconut whipped cream on the side, but they work it like magic and it is so light and doesn't make me sick!

Black Forest Brownie from Green Street Foods at Brisbane Vegan Markets


And I washed it all down with a delicious (though huge) strawberry cashew mylk from Nutsy.

Strawberry Cashew Milk from Nutsy at Brisbane Vegan Markets


Of course, no trip to the markets is complete without an I Should Coco ice cream. I got my favourite, the Cherry Merry.

Cherry Merry from I Should Coco at Brisbane Vegan Markets


Two weeks later, I met up with my friend Amy for the Twilight Markets, though we got there when it opened at 12pm to avoid the crowds. We both enjoyed a forever favourite, a steamed BBQ bun from September 18.

Steamed BBQ Bun from September 18 at Brisbane Vegan Markets


We both visited Gatherers. Amy got the Arancini Balls with and iced tea. I got the sweet potato fries with guacamole. The fries were nice, though a bit oily by the end. Unfortunately the guac, for which I paid extra, was not great as it was clearly made with subpar avocado.

Arancini Balls and Iced Tea from Gatherers at The Brisbane Vegan Markets


Sweet Potato Fries from Gatherers at Brisbane Vegan Markets


I also got another strawberry cashew mylk from Nutsy, but just a small one this time. Those big 500mL ones are very filling!

Strawberry Cashew Mylk from Nutsy at Brisbane Vegan Markets


And I needed space for the BBQ Mac and Cheese Burger from Green Street Foods.

BBQ Mac and Cheese Burger from Green Street Food at Brisbane Vegan Markets


I was pretty full, but you are never too full for ice cream. I tried the monthly special, The Bloob, from I Should Coco. It had blueberry sauce and fresh blueberries.

The Bloob from I Should Coco at Brisbane Vegan Markets


All this eating was thirsty work, so I finished with a Passionfruit Lemonade from Get Vegan With Jadda for the walk back to my car.

Passionfruit Lemonade from Get Vegan with Jadda at Brisbane Vegan Markets


But it didn't end there. I picked up a strawberry flan and a raspberry danish from Flour of Life for afternoon snacks!

Strawberry Flan and Raspberry Danish from Flour of Life at Brisbane Vegan Markets


So. Much. Food.

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Gizmo


Today (the 14th of January) is six years since I had to say goodbye to Gizmo. I miss her a lot. I don't even know how so much time has passed.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Eating Out: Pitstop Pizza, Crust, Pizza Capers (aka Vegan Pizza takes over Australia)

This post is a combined pizza post, involving a bit of eating out, but also a lot of ordering in. That's right, vegan cheese has come to Australian pizza delivery places!

But first, an actual eating out experience. I am so late with posting this! Before the vegan cheese could come to our doors, Pitstop Pizza was delighting vegans with a vegan section on their menu. While no vegan meats make an appearance, the lure of vegan cheese was strong. I met up with a friend there for dinner one night to try it out.

My friend was gluten free, so she got the Vegan Vegetariana (homemade pizza sauce, vegan cheese, mushrooms, fresh tomato, marinated roasted capsicum, onion, Kalamata olives) on a gluten free vegan crust. I tried a piece (after picking off the capsicum), and it was fine. Though you could definitely tell the crust was gluten free.

Vegan Vegetariana at Pitstop Pizza


I enjoyed the Vegan Halloween pizza, with homemade pizza sauce, vegan cheese, mushrooms, pumpkin, spinach and dried oregano. On a regular, gluten filled crust, which I think definitely improved the experience.

Vegan Halloween at Pitstop Pizza


They also have some vegan desserts there, so I ordered the cherry pie. It is more like a mini cherry strudel. It was nice, but they served it cold. Definitely would have benefited from a heat up and perhaps a scoop of non-coconut vegan ice cream!

Cherry Pie at Pitstop Pizza


Not long after that visit, Crust, a nation-wide pizza chain with delivery, started offering vegan cheese, with their own special vegan pizza, and you could also customise your own. We ordered two pizzas, starting with the Vegan Alfunghi (Wild Mushroom medley topped with a Thyme & Rosemary crumb mix on a Vegan B├ęchamel base, garnished with fresh Shallots and vegan cheese, I had them leave off the truffle oil). It was OK, though a little bland and oily.

Al Funghi Pizza from Crust


We also customised a pizza, and it has been so long I don't quite remember what was on it. But I see from looking at it that it had BBQ sauce, potato, asparagus... maybe spinach as well? This had tastier flavours than the mushroom.

Vegan Pizza from Crust


Crust uses Biocheese, which is a coconut-oil based cheese. So after eating a few pieces, I started feeling kind of gross. They have since also started offering a Vegan Smoky Pulled Jackfruit Pizza, which I would like to try (with some modifications, such as taking off all the capsicum and chilli), but definitely sharing it with friends to avoid the coconut oil cheese issues. Oh, also, this was PRICEY. Having these two pizza delivered cost about AU$50!!! Not a cheap night in.

Not long after Crust started a vegan range, Pizza Capers jumped on board as well. Cue another night of ordering in!

As well as pizza, Pizza Capers also offers some vegan calzones, in either regular cheesy, rosemary cheesy, or chilli cheesy. I had the rosemary one. It was fun, but again with the Biocheese! It is a lot of cheese.

Vegan Rosemary Calzone from Pizza Capers


Their initial vegan offering was the Sweet Potato Lovers Vegan Pizza (Sweet potato, button mushrooms, crushed garlic, pizza sauce and vegan cheese. Garnished with rosemary, shallots and salt flakes, finished with sweet chilli sauce). I got mine without the sweet chilli sauce, and instead drizzled on some BBQ sauce once it got to my house. A much better option! This was quite a lovely pizza.

Sweet Potato Vegan Pizza from Pizza Capers


Again, with the Biocheese, I felt a bit icky afterwards. I can do small amount of Biocheese, but this was all a bit too much! They now also have a second vegan pizza, a Vegan Tobasco Spiced Mashed Avo (Smashed Avocado, Vegan Cheese, Charred Corn and Diced Tomato lightly seasoned with Garlic and Green Tabasco, finished with Coriander and a Lime Wedge). Tabasco issues aside, I am deeply suspicious of cooked avocado. I love avocado like life, but most of the time I find that cooking it ruins it, so I don't think I'll try this. You can also customise your own pizza.

The big vegan news in Australia of the last week is that Dominos has just started offering vegan cheese and vegan pizzas as well! And even more exciting, they use Follow Your Heart, which is my favourite and doesn't make me feel sick! At the moment they have three vegan pizzas. They are a Vegan Avocado Veg (again with the cooked avocado!), a Spicy Vegan Trio (no thanks to spicy), and a Vegan Marherita (which will be my choice), though hopefully soon they will offer custom pizzas as well. I will eventually order them and will report back when I do, I might be the only vegan in Australia who has not had a vegan Dominos pizza yet!!

So, things are looking pretty good for vegan pizza in Australia. There are restaurants offering vegan pizza, which is great, but the uptake of vegan cheese and vegan ranges by the large pizza delivery chains I think is a great indication of the growth of vegan demand in Australia. I'd love to see some vegan meats make the menu (the day I can order a vegan Hawaiian with black olives to my door will be a glorious day), and more Follow Your Heart or other not super coconut fat cheeses, but overall I am pretty happy!

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Dim Sim


Dim Sim's happy face after getting lots of head pats.