Thursday, 28 July 2016

Eating Out: Charlie's Raw Squeeze Everton Park (and Ashgrove Express)

I haven't forgotten Charlie's Raw Squeeze, I just haven't been going as often. Especially given that there is a new Thai place right up the road from work that I am in love with (more on that in a future post). This post is a combination of a few different trips to Charlies. These first ones are from the Everton Park branch.

A while ago I got the Marinated Eggplant Salad, which is no longer available. I really liked the roasted cauliflower, sweet potato and quinoa components, but the eggplant itself was way too oniony. I also picked up a yummy Neopolitan Cloverly cupcake from there. They no longer serve it with the wafer, because they get soggy so quickly, but I was lucky enough to get one from the first batch. I loved the wafer!

Marinated Eggplan and Cauliflower Salad from Charlie's Raw Squeeze Everton Park

Neopolitan Cupcake by Cloverly Cupcakes

A while ago I went to order a bunch of new drinks they had available. First up, the Red Velvet Veggie Smoothie, which has beetroot, avocado, celery, red apple, maple syrup, frozen banana and coconut milk. It was delicious! This was on special for $5 when I got it because it was a new flavour. I also got a $9.90 juice and salad combo. For the juice I tried the new Give Me A Mandy juice, which is mandarins, carrots and ginger. I LOVED it! It is my new favourite juice from there. I also got my favourite Black Bean Falafel Salad.

Red Velvet Smoothie from Charlie's Raw Squeeze Everton Park

Mandarin, Carrot and Ginger Juice from Charlie's Raw Squeeze Everton Park

Falafel and Black Bean Salad from Charlie's Raw Squeeze Everton Park

Another time they had a special for a free juice with any salad (follow them on Instagram for their daily specials if you are in the area), so I got the Taco Salad. I had had it once before, and I loved it, but it is expensive ($15.99 if not part of a salad special... though I have noticed they have them for $9.90 taco Tuesdays now), so I don't get it often. Unfortunately it was not great like the previous one. The walnut meat really just seemed to be crumbled, dry walnuts (yuck), and the sauces were just blah. Disappointment. (I got another Mandy juice for my free juice.)

Taco Salad from Charlie's Raw Squeeze at Everton Park

Charlie's is opening up a bunch of new locations in addition to their Everton Park and Greenslopes ones. They recently opened an Express location at Ashgrove, which is a teeny bit closer to work than the Everton Park one. We went for a $9.90 salad and juice special one lunch to check it out. As an express location, they don't have the full range of juices, smoothies, bowls and nice creams that the regular locations had. This meant that tragically I couldn't get my Mandy Juice. I got another juice, and I got their new Baba salad to try. It seems to be an updated version of their previous eggplant one, but without the cauliflower. It has rainbow salad, sweet potato and corn, kidney beans and rice, and baba ghanoush. It was nice.

Baba Salad from Charlie's Raw Squeeze

I think in the future I will still go to the Everton Park one, as it has my favourite juice and is really only an extra five minutes compared to the Ashgrove one. Also a vegan bakehouse has opened up right next to the Everton Park one, so there's that. More to come on that new development once I have visited it!

Charlie's Raw Squeeze at Charlie's Fruit Market - 473 South Pine Road, Everton Park, Brisbane - 3855 3966

Charlie's Raw Squeeze Ashgrove Express - 486 Waterworks Road, Ashgrove, Brisbane

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Sleepy sisters

Sleeping sisters. Two kitties, no waiting.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Recipe Round-Up: Vegan Vittles

It's been a while since I have done a recipe round-up, but I still have a million photos to share so it is time to get back on that... not a horse... back on that bench? Today's book, Vegan Vittles, was one of my earlier books. The link above will take you to the second edition, but I just have the first one. I still have a special place in my heart for this book. I made my first scramble with it, my first 'ribs', my first 'pot roast', my first cheese sauces... you can see other blog posts I've done for this book by clicking here.

Chocolate Milk: This simple recipe gives the option of using cocoa or carob... because I think carob is basically like eating dirt, I chose cocoa. I made this with hazelnut milk, and that is a very good thing to do.
Rating: :)

Chocolate Milk

Breakfast Tofu Scramble: I loved this recipe so much when I first made it, I apparently thought it was just like eggs. I've since made it again, and it doesn't really (which is a good thing, eggs are gross), but I still love it as a scramble. Served here breakfast plate style with kale, hashbrowns, tomatoes and cheezy sauce.
Rating: :D

Breakfast Tofu Scramble; Three Nut Cheeze Whizz (From QFV)

Banana Flapjacks: This is quite a thick batter, and I found it hard to cook all the way through without it starting to burn on the edges, so you might want to thin it out just a little bit with some extra liquid. It is a very simple recipe, and the flavour comes from mashed banana. Great with maple syrup! But small on the serving sizes.
Rating: :)

Banana Flapjacks

Sadie's Vitality Broth: This soup will cure what ails you if you are a bit under the weather. It has pasta and chickpeas, but most importantly a very yummy noochy broth.
Rating: :)

Sadie's Vitality Broth

Hungarian Mushroom Soup: A combination of mushrooms, dill and paprika, three of my favourite things. It yields about '1 quart'... oh imperial measurements... that works out to about two servings.
Rating: :)

Hungarian Mushrooms Soup

Tofu Marinade #5: The book includes a whole list of marinades for tofu, tempeh or seitan. This is marinade number 5, which has soy, lemon, ginger, garlic and sesame.
Rating: :)

Marinade #5

Spicy Peanut Sauce: Finally for today, a couple of things to do with spicy peanut sauce. This is a very rich sauce, which is great as a hot dish or over cold noodles and salad. Hilariously, in my notes I have written 'could be spicier', which I would never write these days. Funny how our tastes change over time!
Rating: :)

Spicy Peanut Sauce

Spicy Peanut Sauce

I've actually made heaps from this book, but a lot of it was before I started taking photos. Kind of inspired to remake some of my favourite things from it after looking through it again, and see if they stand up to the test of time!

Do you have any favourite cookbooks from years ago?

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Sahara toes


Thursday, 21 July 2016

MidWeek Munchies

There isn't an official link up for Midweek Munchies anymore, but I've got a whole bunch of random photos of things I've been saving so I am going to resurrect it a little here to share some of these with you.

First up, some impulse chocolate buys from when I was at The Green Edge getting some bulk nooch a while ago. The Booja Booja Rhubarb and Vanilla Fool Truffles were absolutely divine! I love anything rhubarb, and these were just the right mix of sweet and tart. They were pricey ($10 for a small box), but worth it for a treat. I also enjoyed the No Whey chocolate bar, which was kind of like a Mars bar. I find the Go Max Go bars way too sweet for me, but this was a good sweetness level (though I still could have done with the chocolate being a bit darker). I haven't had the NuGo Dark Peanut Butter Cup bar yet, but if it is anything like the NuGo Skinny Chocolate Peanut Butter bar I had when I was in the US last year, it will be amazing.

Impulse chocolate buys

Sausage rolls often left me feeling a bit queasy in my pregan days, so when I could never find a vegan one that was worth eating I didn't feel like I was really missing out on anything too much. However my friend Leigh has the best sausage roll recipe in the world! The recipe is available in her book Wrapped in Pastry, though that is out of print. It is based on lentils and quinoa, which I love! She has also created a simplified version, which is still a tester recipe, and it is also delicious. These sausage rolls here were gobbled up so fast!

Sausage Rolls

I tried some of the Tofurky Lightly Seasoned Chik'n Pieces (I've had a few flavours now). They were OK, but I am not in love with the texture.

Tofurky Lightly Seasoned Chick'n

I picked up this frozen strawberry mochi cake from a Japanese grocery, which was very nice.

Strawberry mochi

This was an outstanding snack I made one day when I was just super lazy. It is a celery stick with vegan Kewpie and a rolled up Tofurky slice. Trashy, yet wonderful.

Celery-Kewpie-Tofurky snack

The Noosa Chocolate Factory Dark Rocky Road is vegan and delicious. They have perfected vegan marshmallow and jelly, and it is so satisfying to munch on a big, beautiful slab of it.

Noose Chocolate Factory Dark Chocolate Rocky Road

Going waaaayyyyy back to Easter, I love hot cross buns. You can get hot cross buns pretty easily here at Easter, both in the supermarket and from Baker's Delight. Also from some vegan-friendly cafes as well. Enjoyed with juice or a hot chocolate, hot cross buns are always welcome!

Hot Cross Buns and hot chocolate

Hot Cross Bun and juice

I was given some Follow Your Heart Vegan Egg. So far I have only used it once to make a scramble. I had heard it needed seasoning, and a small taste confirmed this, so I stirred through some locally made cashew cheese and herb spread. It was nice, but not amazing. The texture was not really scrambled eggs, which is a plus if you are me because I find eggs disgusting and approached the Vegan Egg with suspicion. I definitely still prefer scrambled tofu. I am keen to make a quiche with it.

The Vegan Egg

And finally, a marvelous toasted sandwich. It has vegemite, tomato and cheese (Daiya Swiss slices), and it is glorious and savoury.

Cheese, tomato and Vegemite toasted sandwich

What snacks have you been enjoying recently?

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post


Flashback to this little cutie and her sheepie in hospital. Her name was Oz.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Melbourne 2016 (Part 3)

After all that lunch, we spent several hours catching up with our friend until it was time for him to head home and for us to go to dinner. We headed back to Yong Green Food. I was still fighting a bit of a cold, so I started with the Immune Booster Juice (orange, apple, carrot, ginger). I asked for extra ginger, but it really wasn't gingery enough.

Immune Booster Juice from Yong Green

Leigh ordered the Yin and Yang Charger with a side of picked vegetables and kimchi, as well as her favourite kim chi dumplings. I had a couple of the dumplings, and I like that they are not too spicy.

Yin and Yang Charger from Yong Green

Kimchi and Pickles from Yong Green

Kimchi Dumplings from Yong Green

I ordered the Fried Noodles in Black Bean Sauce, which I'm sad to say was disappointing. The sauce was just a bit oily and didn't have much flavour. The noodles themselves were nice, but needed to have more veggies and tofu. I needed some freshness, so I also ordered my favourite Seaweed Salad, which thankfully was delicious as always.

Fried Noodle and Black Bean Sauce from Yong Green

Seaweed Salad from Yong Green

The next morning we headed to Smith & Daughters for brunch, where we proceeded to order everything to share. Well, not really everything. Of course, I enjoyed some of the best chai ever, made on cashew milk. So yum!

Chai with Cashew Milk from Smith & Daughters

As mentioned, we got several things to share. We go the Papas Espanolas (hot chips with aioli), Guacamole de Lujo (guac with apple and fennel, served with corn chips and raw veggies), Japaleno Mac and Cheese, Mexican Corn Fritters (corn and cheese fritters with aioli), and Butternut and Black Bean Tostadas. The clear winner was the tostadas, which were delectable! Unfortunately the corn fritters were far more deep fried than we anticipated, which neither of us really enjoyed. The chips were good, but very fried and such a huge serving for two people! I enjoyed the mac, which was not at all spicy, and the guac was good (except that they put raw onion in it, please never do this) and the fresh veggies were welcome. We were very full!

Papas Espanolas from Smith & Daughters

Guacamole De Lujo from Smith & Daughters

Jalapeno Mac from Smith & Daughters

Mexican Corn Fritters from Smith & Daughters

Butternut Tostadas from Smith & Daughters

Leigh also came up with the idea of making some loaded fries, and of course I had to do it as well. We are classy like that. I loaded my fries with mac and cheese, guac and aioli.

Loaded Fries from Smith & Daughters

Smith & Daughters has an amazing collection of salt and pepper shakers. In the past, Leigh and I have had great fun with our friends the ninja salt and pepper shakers. Tragically, they are no longer. So we had some fun with our new friends.

New S&P Shaker Friends from Smith & Daughters

We caught a cab to Southern Cross Station to store our luggage, and then hopped on a train out to Preston so I could finally visit La Panella to buy amazing vegan bakery goodies. While the bakery at Smith & Deli is very fancy, this is the sort of cheap and cheerful bakery from your corner store, and of my youth. I got a bunch of stuff to take home to Brisbane and share with my family. Clockwise from top in the photo below there was an apple scroll, custard tart, lemon tart, custard doughnut, chocolate croissant, jam tart, apple slice and vanilla slice. This photo was taken once I got them home to Brisbane, and they are a bit tumbled because when they went through security they just shoved the back in (I had them in a tupperware inside a cooler bag) and the whole thing ended up upside down!

La Panella Goodies

We had plans to visit Supercharger for a late lunch, but we were both still very full from brunch. Instead we headed out to the airport and picked up some sushi (though I didn't even end up eating mine until after I was home in Brisbane), before flying home.

A final bonus photo of the cheese and bacon roll I got from Smith & Deli! I brought it home with me, and enjoyed it for lunch the next day. It was so yummy!

Cheese and Bacon Roll from Smith & Deli

It was a super fun trip! Lots of great food! I was happy that I had a lot of variety during this visit, it wasn't just beige beige beige! There was definitely some greens involved. And only once was I so full that I was actually uncomfortable (that was after we shared the three sandwiches for lunch on the Friday). So I think I am definitely evolving, considering that I was so full I was uncomfortable for most of my last Melbourne trip... ooops! I will be headed back to Melbourne in November with my friend Ashleigh for my birthday, and I can't wait to show her all of my favourites and explore some new ones together!

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post


Dim Sim

Dim Sim and Sahara

A trio of photos of my duo of kitties, having a lovely nap in the sun during my absence.

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Melbourne 2016 (Part 2)

The reason for the trip to Melbourne was to go and see RuPaul's Battle Of the Seasons, which featured my very favourite and most beloved queen, the incomparable Jinkx Monsoon. In case you don't know, Jinkx is the prettiest, funniest, most talented queen ever ever ever. I am besotted.

Although they were coming to Sydney and Brisbane, Leigh and I went to Melbourne to see the show with some Melbourne friends (and because any excuse to eat food in Melbourne is worth it). We went for a pre-show dinner at Yong Green Food, one of my favourite places in Melbourne.

I was excited to try the new ramen on the menu, made with locally handmade noodles. You could pick between a spicy broth or a shoyu broth, I picked the shoyu. This was very yummy, though I would have liked a few more vegetables!

Ramen from Yong Green

Elyce got the new Yin and Yang Charger, which is a set meal with several small components. It looked pretty great! And Leigh went for salads - a mix of the Soba Noodle Salad (with a delicious creamy wasabi dressing) and the Vietnamese coleslaw. Michelle went for the towering chicken burger, and Elyce's partner had the Mock Chicken Wrap.

Tin and Yang Charger from Yong Green

Soba Noodle Salad and Vietnamese Slaw from Yong Green

Mock Chicken Burger from Yong Green

Mock Chicken Wrap from Yong Green

After dinner, it was on with the show! Michelle's GPS tried to have us axe murdered by going through a fairly deserted rail depot, but we got there safe and sound. And the show was magical! Sharon Needle's had us in tears with a moving tribute to David Bowie and her former kitty. Detox did an amazing performance to the song from Mannequin (one of my favourite songs ever), and Jinkx.... well, Jinkx was EVERYTHING and more. She is the best!! After the show, we had a hysterical drive to drop us back at our hotel, then we all tweeted at each other in very high and silly spirits for awhile. It was an amazing evening.

The next morning, Leigh and I decided to try yet another new place for breakfast. We had passed by Something More the previous day, and thought it would be fun to try as they had a few vegan things on their menu. Sadly, their chai was honey-based, so instead I kick-started my morning with the Elixer of Life - Ginger, lemon, turmeric and orange. It was bracing! For breakfast I had 'The One Before Ten', which had sauteed mushrooms, pickled beets and shredded vegetables with a sesame horseradish dressing on buckwheat tortillas, and some avocado on the side. I did have to pick out some capsicum and chili, but once they were gone it was delicious! I really liked it. Leigh had coffee and the Something Green made vegan. Kale, spinach, chili, pickled apple, walnuts, avocado, grains and a red pepper dressing. Normally it has an egg on it, but they left it off.

Elixer of Life from Something More

The One Before Ten from Something More

Something Green from Something More

After breakfast, we popped down the street to Smith & Deli so I could get a chai and we could check out their treats. They have croissants on Saturdays, and when we got there they had all sorts - including chocolate and raspberry and a Reuben-stuffed croissant. Previously their croissants have been too full of coconut oil for me, so I didn't get any. But I found out the next day that they don't use coconut oil any more! Next time I am getting all the croissants. I did pick up a Raspberry Crumble Slice and another one of the Strawberry Hibiscus curd cookies!

Rasberry Crumble Slice and Strawberry Hibiscus Curd Cookie from Smith & Deli

Afterwards, Leigh had a nap while I went for a walk in Carlton Gardens before lunch. Behold some gardens!

Carlton Gardens

Carlton Gardens

Carlton Gardens

For lunch, we went back to Smith & Deli to meet up with our friend Taylor for more sandwiches. Oh, I forgot to mention in my last post that during our first visit to Smith & Deli they had loaded hot chocolates. I had a peanut butter hot chocolate and it was amazing!! They didn't them at this visit, though. Taylor got The Club Sandwiches Not Seals, which is his favourite. I am keen to try it at a future visit! Leigh and I shared The Wiggum (BBQ grilled tofu, maple BBQ sauce, slaw, pickles & chipotle aioli) and the Foghorn Legless (Chicken schnitzel, bacon, lettuce, tomato, ranch & celery salt). The chicken schnitzel was tempeh-based, which I loved! They were both great sandwiches!

Club Sandwiches Not Seals from Smith & Deli

The Wiggum and The Foghorn Legless from Smith & Deli

The Wiggum from Smith & Deli

The Foghorn Legless from Smith & Deli

I also got a Chocolate Mousse Tart with Poached Pears and Rhubarb. This was one of the only baked goods from the Deli that I didn't enjoy, the mousse was strange and greasy. At least it looked pretty.

Chocolate Mousse Tart with Rhubarb and Roasted Pear from Smith & Deli

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Dim Sim


More photos sent from home!