Thursday, June 14, 2018

Eating Out: Mt Gravatt Marketta

For the most part it doesn't take me too long to get around Brisbane, but there is something nice about options closer to home. The Mt Gravatt Marketta is a weekly food market that is not too far from where I live, and has quite a few vegan options. I have only been once, and it was at the end of last year (I am so far behind in my posts, but catching up!), so the options may well have changed since then. In fact, I know they have because my mum sends me every vegan mention that the post about! I think it does vary from week to week, but you will definitely find something. Here is what I found!

Starting with this Vegan Tostada from Viva la Tostada. It is the vegetarian tostada minus the dairy, but of course the price is the same. Black beans and crunchy veggies and avocado, it was nice, though a little dry.

Vegan Tostada from Viva la Tostada at Mt Gravatt Marketta

I can't remember the name of this stall, but it had lots of bubble teas! I had a Peach Iced Tea with Pearls and Lychee jelly, and it was yum!

Peach Iced Tea with Pearls and Lychee Jelly at Mt Gravatt Marketta

I was super excited to try London Spuds, a baked potato stall. The potatoes themselves were baked in a special potato baker thing... I am sure it has an actual name. But the toppings left a little to be desired. I combined the toppings of two of the vegetarian ones (named Dr Who and David Beckham), minus the butter, cheese, and sour cream. Mine had baked beans, slaw, and mushrooms. My enthusiasm was a little dampened when I saw them tip a can of cold Heinz baked beans on to it, and topped it with some ready made slaw mix from Coles (which is always dry). Oh well, it was fine and the potato was good, but they need to do better for their vegan options... and maybe ingredient quality in general

Baked potato with Baked beans, slaw, mushrooms (Dr Who vs David Beckham) from London Spuds at Mt Gravatt Marketta

Could I be more vegan getting a falafel plate? But this one from Yossi's Falafel was excellent. The falafels were perfect texture and flavour, with some pita bread, pickled vegetables (I love pickles!), and super creamy hummus. Yum!

Falefel Plate from Yossi's Falafels at Mt Gravatt Marketta

Confession - I have never had churros. Well, except for the fancy ones from Terre a Terre in Brighton, but they are really in a category of their own. Barcelona Churros had vegan churros, though no vegan dipping sauce. They don't have any sort of small serve, so I did my best to get through this giant cone. I couldn't finish. Initially they were delicious, hot, crunchy, cinnamon sugary. But they cooled quickly and were not as good, and I was getting full. I needed someone to share with!

Churros from Barcelona Churros at Mt Gravatt Marketta

But not too full for ice cream! Heavenya was a small gelato stall, with two vegan flavours with the rest of their offerings. I picked the pineapple sorbetto over the coconut based chocolate, and it was refreshing and creamy and delicious. A perfect end.

Pineapple Sorbetto from Heven-yah at Mt Gravatt Marketta

Some other options I saw included a vegan burger, and a vegan Laksa. I had messaged a number of stalls before going to confirm vegan options, but it seems like these days there is always something. As I mentioned, this visit was several months ago, so attending stalls or menu items may have changed. But if you are looking for something fun to do on a Saturday evening on the south side of Brisbane, this is probably worth a visit.

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Dim Sim

It is winter here, so the sun is much slower to come up. Dim Sim takes this as a personal affront, but is pretty good at seeking it out where she can. She is perched on the back of a sofa here, and you can just see the sunlight on her fur.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Recipe Round-Up: Minimalist Baker's Everyday Cooking

A while ago I bought Minimalist Baker's Everyday Cooking by Dana Shultz after seeing a bunch of Instagrammers do a cookbook challenge from it. The recipes I saw looked good, though once I got the book it took me a while to get inspired by it. However, eventually inspiration hit,and I have made many lovely recipes from it, with many more marked to make. This is the first proper round-up I've done of this book, though I have blogged about a few individual recipes in the past past

Carrot, Potato & Chickpea Red Curry with Cauliflower Rice: This is a hearty, comforting curry. The recipe calls for a quarter cup of red curry paste, plus more to taste. So cute. I used a tablespoon and got a nice mild heat. Because there is no coconut milk in this curry to mellow out the heat a bit (it is a tomato based curry rather than a creamy one), I increased the amount of sugar to use two of the larger Australian TBS (20mL each), rather than the standard US one (15 mL each), and also added a squirt of lime juice. I got a lovely sweet, tasty curry with just a very mild heat. I served this over cauliflower rice, which was just cauliflower processed up and sauteed in a little oil. Cauliflower rice will in no way replace real rice for me, but as there was a lot of potato in the curry for carbs already, it seemed like a fun thing to try. I think this was my first cauliflower rice!
Rating: Curry :) , Cauliflower Rice :)

Carrot, Potato & Chickpea Red Curry; Cauliflower Rice

Crispy Baked Tofu: This recipe is so simple and so easy and barely a recipe, basically just involving baking plain tofu cubes until they are crispy. But sometimes the simplest things are the most perfect. And I do really love tofu. I made this for another recipe, but I also just snacked on a bunch as well.
Rating: :D

Crispy Baked Tofu

Super Green Juice: I don't have a juicer, but this is a blender juice. It has parsley, coriander, spinach, kale, celery, ginger, cucumber, apple, lemon and either banana or pineapple (I used pineapple), that is blended up with water and strained. I am a rebel, so I had mine as a smoothie rather than a juice, because sometimes I am too lazy to strain. It was post sweaty yoga, so I used coconut water instead of regular water. It makes a lot of juice/smoothie! It was... OK. Not my favourite mix of greens. The texture was also a bit strange, though that is my fault for making it as a smoothie rather than juice. But the flavour was just not quite there for me.
Rating :|

Super Green Juice

Beet & Green Apple Yogurt Smoothie: So pretty and pink! Also very refreshing. This uses raw beet, a green apple, and vanilla soy or coconut yogurt, I obviously went for soy. It has berries in it as well as the beet and apple, and some lime for tartness. A great mix of earthy beet, sweet apple and berries, and the lime.
Rating: :)

Beet & Green Apple Yoghurt Smoothie

Super Powered Chocolate Shake: I know this looks more like hot chocolate than a shake. I styled this for a MiniMoFo challenge about warming up over Christmas. Of course, in Australia, Christmas is hot! So even though it is in a mug, that is one icy cold smoothie and the marshmallows are actually ice cream. I made a few changes to this simple recipe. I used peanut butter instead of almond butter (almond butter is just so expensive here, plus chocolate and peanut butter is a perfect match), oat milk instead of almond milk, and LSA mix (linseed/sunflouwer/almond meal) instead of flaxseeds (aka linseeds). The cacao powder, chia seeds, and banana I had as written. I also left out the date, because I knew this would be sweet enough for me without it.
Rating: :)

Super Powered Chocolate Shake

Garlic Cheddar Herb Biscuits: I haven't made a lot of biscuits, but these are the best I have ever made. They are salty, garlicky, cheesy, and delicious! I made a half recipe and for 4 biscuits using a 2.5 inch cutter. The cheddar flavour comes from lots of nutritional yeast. I loved these.
Rating: :D

Garlic "Cheddar" Herb Biscuits

Chickpea Fesenjan: I wasn't sure exactly what this would taste like before I made it, but it was a runaway hit. Roasted walnut meal is mixed into a sauce with pomegranate molasses and simmered with chickpeas. I am not always the biggest fan of walnuts, sometimes they can be bitter, but after the simmering there were no issues. The sauce had such a great flavour, including some lovely sweet onions as well. I served this over basmati rice, and we got 3.5 serves from it. The recipe calls for 1.5 cups, or 180g, of walnuts. My 1.5 cups was less than 180g.
Rating: :D

Chickpea Fesenjan

Masala Chickpea Curry: This comes together easily, and is a very lovely sauce. The recipe calls for 4TBS of garam masala, which seems like a lot. She does have a note to make a quite GM blend, though I used my regular store-bought one. My one was nothing like her one, and I decreased the amount to 4 tsps. It was quite peppery! As well as simmering chickpeas in the sauce, it is topped with some spiced chickpeas as well. I reheated these garnish chickpeas just before I put them on. I served this with rice and baby spinach, garnished with parsley and with a little lime juice squeezed on. It says it makes 4 serves, but really it is 3.
Rating: :)

Masala Chickpea Curry

1-Pot Chickpea Noodle Soup: I scaled this recipe for six down to a recipe for one, when I was under the weather and needed something soothing. I used 1 carrot (instead of 5), 2 celery sticks *instead of 4), 2.5 cups of stock (instead of 7-8 cups), and a 70g bundle of ramen (instead of 225g of spaghetti). After simmering for 10 minutes, a lot of the liquid had absorbed. It made one big serve, for one not so well girl. And it definitely hit the spot.
Rating: :)

1-Pot Chickpea Noodle Soup

Butternut Squash, Kale & Quinoa Bake: I had to use silverbeet (swiss chard) for this recipe because the kale in the store was no good. As well as butternut a kale, this also has onions and mushrooms. I could have decreased the dried quinoa from 3/4 cup to half a cup, as I would have preferred a heavier vegetable ratio. I got three to 3.5 servings out of this. I used a shallow rectangular baking dish, rather than an 8x8 inch one, and it was the perfect size. I served this over some more silverbeet.
Rating: :)

Butternut Squash, Kale & Quinoa Bake

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Burm brothers

Look at these two ridiculous Burmese brothers. They love snuggling!

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Eating Out: EatMii

One of West End's many offerings, EatMii is a Vietnamese and brunch cafe that has several vegan options. While they do offer some more 'traditional Australian' breakfast options, all I ever see people order here is the Vietnamese food, with good reason. It is delicious. They have several vegan options on the menu, and I have tried all but one. For research, of course. The one I didn't try is a spicy noodle dish, so I must leave that research to someone braver.

If you need a refreshing beverage, you can get a coconut in the shell. I always forget how awkward I am with these. But they are fun every now and then.

Coconut juice at Eat Mii

Of course, pho is one of the first things that comes to mind when I think of Vietnamese food. Their vegan version is a steaming hot bowl of fragrant broth, full of tofu, mushrooms, herbs, and vegetables.

Vegan Pho at Eat Mii

The also offer a Tofu Banh Mi, which can be made vegan. They don't replace the pate or mayo with anything, so it isn't quite as fun as it could be, but it is still a very satisfying sandwich.

Tofu Bahn Mi at Eat Mii

Rice paper rolls are a refreshing snack or starter. Their vegan ones are filled with tofu and crunchy vegetables. I got mine with the hoisin and peanut sauce, because why would you not choose that.

Tofu Rolls with Hoisin Peanut Sauce at Eat Mii

But my pick of the bunch is the Vegan Tofu Bun. A delicious vermicelli salad with crunchy noodles and tofu. And the tofu is to die for. It is so delicious, I wish I could just order a bowl of that tofu alone. Now that I have been through all the non-spicy vegan menu options, this is what I will be ordering at any future visits. So good!

Vegan Tofu Bun at Eat Mii

EatMii - 181A Boundary Street, West End - (07) 3846 3161

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Dim Sim

Sitting on clothes was always Sahara's thing. But the other day I came up to find that Dim Sim had unexpectedly taken a liking to these black pants. In fact, the light was off when I came looking for her and I couldn't see her until I turned it on! Camouflage kitty. At least her fur will match the pants, Sahara left red fur all over things, and Gizmo was tabby, so you could always see where they had been sitting!