Lunch at RUSU Realfoods (again)

Last week I blogged about my lunch at the RMIT University Realfoods Cafe.  I was in the same part of town today and knew exactly where I wanted to go for lunch!  Actually, I had planned on going to Wonderbao but forgot the address so decided on Realfoods this time (then worked out I had practically walked past Wonderbao, doh).

The lunch rush was well and truly over and the only thing left at Realfoods was vegan pizza and desserts.  I got one of both  😉

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The pizza was really tasty. But the raw tiramisu I bought for $7.50 (it’s my last hurrah dessert as I’m about to start a ‘diet’) was amazingly amazing.  Oh my goodness.  If you ever thought eating raw meant you miss out on desserts, you are so so so wrong.  You’re from Planet Wrong.  It was simply divine and that’s all I can really say about it.  It was very thick and rich and so good that I couldn’t put it down to take another photo.  It’s $7.50 well spent but I advise you to savour it.  Not shovel it in like I did, because I was in a bit of a hurry.

I also took some photos around town.  I do have to wonder: since when did being a uni student involve dressing like one is going to a fashion show?  Back in my day it was all about the jeans, flanny shirt and Blundstones.  Maybe I’m just old?

Here are some pics from around RMIT:

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The State Library of Victoria:

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Australia On Collins:

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The Shot Tower at Melbourne Central:

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Other stuff in Melbourne Central:

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The Block Arcade:

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Pretty trams all in a row:

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Random here-and-there:

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Mercifully, the temperature has dropped in Melbourne so it was perfect weather to walk around and take my time about it!

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Baked Tofu and the Birdmen

For me, baked tofu is one of those things where I love it for a little while, then I’m over it.  Weeks later I remember it again and make some, then I’m over it.  And so the cycle continues.

I was digging it this week so I marinated some pressed firm tofu in kecap manis, garlic, ginger and sesame oil then fried it on a griddle pan.  I made lettuce leaf wraps with spiralised raw carrot and zucchini:

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And for the the leftover tofu I made a simple salad with the Asian Miracle Dressing from Vegan Lunch box, which is made up of balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, sesame oil, soy sauce, olive oil and maple syrup:

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Let me explain the flag that DeeW insisted be in the photo. Husband had taken DeeW in to the city and they lasted ten minutes at the Moomba parade (because of the heat and crowds, although I secretly believe Husband couldn’t handle the tacky element).  Moomba is an annual festival held in Melbourne, first celebrated in 1955.  My goodness, I just read the Wikipedia page and had no idea about the buttocks theory.  Anyway, when I was young, the highlight of Moomba was the Birdman Rally, where people would create some ‘flying’ contraptions (more like things that involved flapping one’s arms) and then seeing who could jump off a platform and ‘fly’ the furthest.  Most of the time people flew straight down in to the Yarra River.  I don’t know you guys, Moomba these days just doesn’t seem to have the magic it once did.  Although after reading the Wikipedia bit about bums, I think the magic may be back.



 

Thanking the Academy for my Liebster Awards

I’ve been ever so slack with my bloggy awards.  Aaaages ago, the luurvely Miss Fairchild of Miss Fairchild’s Charm School had kindly awarded me The Liebster Award.  Miss Fairchild and I both have a love of all things vintage but she totally rocks vintage hats where I just look like a dork because I have a really big head and hats have always been a problem.  Even berets cut off my circulation.

Miss Fairchild’s award focuses on vintage so I planned on including some photos along those lines.  But then my photo editing program was being silly, then I couldn’t find all the photos I’d taken, then all the things I was going to photograph are stored at my mum’s house.  So my post got stuck in the drafts folder.

Johanna from the Green Gourmet Giraffe has also kindly awarded me the Liebster Award.  Green Gourmet Giraffe was one of the first veg blogs I started reading and Johanna has given me lots of ideas.  Big thanks to both Johanna and Miss Fairchild for my awards!

The rules for the Liebster Award are (and I have different versions of the rules!)

1. Link and follow the blogger who awarded you
2. Blog about the award
3. Give the award to 5 other bloggers – preferably bloggers with less than 200 followers
4. Answer the 11 questions I asked you and create 11 questions to your 5 awarded bloggers

Now you have to bear with me, because I’m going to double up on the answers.  After all, I received the award twice!  😛

Let’s go!

I think I have to begin with 11 random facts about myself:

1. I’ve never been to Greece.

2. I often have dreams where I am busting to go to the toilet so I go searching for one and when I finally find a toilet it is either disgusting and overflowing, or a I sit on a clean toilet only to discover it’s a regular chair. I don’t think this dream means anything other than I really need to go to the toilet, because when I wake up from these dreams I’m busting.

3. I lived in Amsterdam for three years.

4. I have a wardrobe overflowing with vintage goodies but my preferred clothing always involves trackydacks (that’s trackpants).

5. I get really annoyed with people who claim that vegans/vegetarians “secretly crave meat”.  Ah, no.

6. I always planned to raise my children without violent imagery around them. You know, no toy guns, avoiding shows with displays of aggression, etc.  Half an hour ago I sat down with Arthur to watch a bit of Wrestlemania.  He’s never seen a wrestling show before and was laughing his head off.

7. When I was little and my family first started going to the new Chinese restaurant in town, I thought the lazy susans on the table were the greatest invention ever.  For the first few years my sister and I only ate the ‘Aussie’ kids menu of chicken and chips.

8. When we moved to this house I used to look out my front door when not properly attired, shall we say.  A guy was riding past on his bike and glanced at me then he did this massive double take.  Then I realised I’d assumed the screen door in our new house was like the old house, where you could look out but people could not see you.  I really hope that guy wasn’t a neighbour.

9. I won’t answer the phone if I don’t recognise the number.  I also pretend not to be home if someone is at the door (unless it’s a neighbour because what they have to say is important/relevant to us) or deliveries.  If it’s someone I don’t know, I won’t open the door.

10. My career was in IT but my secret dream (like millions of others I guess) is to be a writer.  More for young adults/kids.

11. I often forget about veggies in the veggie drawer and only remember to hunt for them when they’ve gone bad.

Below are the questions from Miss Fairchild:

What was your best vintage find?

Oooh so many!  I love old coats. My favourite is a 1950s mint condition coat in kelly green which was an eBay splurge for about $100 including postage from interstate.  That, or a purple coat I have.  I also collect vintage crockery, in particular the Johnson Brothers ‘Old English’ designs.  My collection started with a single plate my grandmother gave me before she died and I have tracked down pieces on eBay now and then, or found some in op shops.


greencoat

purplecoat

Where do you prefer to shop for your vintage?

Definitely op shops especially those run by churches that aren’t the big name oppies.  The clothes I buy are more along the lines of old 50s or 60s coats, or clothes you’d see on ‘office ladies’ in the 60s and 70s.  I don’t go for a particular era, I just go for the actual garment itself.  I love shopping at Savers on their 50% sale days.  I don’t often buy from specialty vintage shops (unless it’s something really special) because for me it’s also about bagging a bargain.  Some of my best vintage dresses were not more than $7.

Do you prefer to wear “authentic” vintage or modern reproduction?

Authentic where possible but it really depends on the garment.  For pants/trousers I’d probably go for repro, if I can try them on first.  I love my old dresses but they’re not really that comfortable in warm weather.

What would you NEVER buy vintage/second hand?

Undies!  I also avoid fur and leather.

What is your favourite vintage (prior to the 60’s) movie?

Hmm not sure… Audrey Hepburn makes me smile. But may I say I never ever could tolerate Calamity Jane?  And I still can’t.  Sorry, Doris.

 Do you have a favourite period tv show/drama?

Does The Brady Bunch count?  I love everything about it– the clothes, the house, the colours, everything.  Carol’s clothes were always so well put together, even a simple skirt and blouse.  The other day I watched an episode where she was wearing a bright green dress with white trim and buttons.  I loved it because DeeW has the same green in her 70s green and white dress:

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I was way behind everyone else with Mad Men and watched the first four seasons practically back to back.  Love love love it.  Also love Downton Abbey.  I don’t watch tv but I do try to get entire seasons of a particular show so I can watch it in one go.  I’m too impatient for the weekly episodes.

What do you feel is the best thing about dressing in vintage?

Everything I have is unique.  It makes me appreciate them more, especially the clothes that belonged to my grandmother.  I have more respect now for tailoring and I also have a fondness for fugly 80s clothes.

What are your favourite vintage accessory pieces (bonus points for hats – and pictures of said hats!)?

I love hats but feel self conscious in them.  I wear berets and caps in winter but usually to cover up bad hair.  I also love the beaded clutches my mum kept from the  60s.  She threw everything else away, arghgh!

Do you have a favourite red lipstick? If so what brand/colour?

Probably my Mac ‘Ruby Woo’.  When I buy new cosmetics now I only buy vegan brands but haven’t really been looking for a new red lipstick as I’ll keep using my current ones until they run out.  I’ve never been happy with a red lipstick and constantly searching for that perfect shade.

What (if any) vintage “lifestyle” activities do you participate in? (swing dancing, re-enactments etc)?

Nothing really!  If I’m going out somewhere special I do my hair, which involves a fair bit of work as my natural hair is thick, curly and frizzy.  I have to wash and dry it, then straighten it, then put it in heat rollers.  I don’t like doing too much to my hair but if I want a 1940s style then it involves work, sore arms and a sore scalp.  I only break out a head to toe vintage look for special occassions but even then it’s always a mix of styles.  I have problems with my feet so I can’t wear most shoes so I’ve had two pairs custom made with round toes.  This means I wear round toe t-bar shoes with dresses that were originally worn with pointy toes.  I don’t do pointies or 70s shoes  🙂

What makes you most glad that you live in modern times?

The obvious things like modern medicine and the Internet  🙂  And household appliances.  I use the machine (delicate cycle!) for things I should probably be hand washing…

The questions below are from Green Gourmet Giraffe:

Who was your childhood hero?

I had a thing for Aquaman.  I always felt the others hogged the limelight.  I liked Wonder Woman too, Linda Carter was just so pretty.  And I wanted to be this woman:

frida

What is your favourite mechanical kitchen implement?

My BlendTec blender.  When I bought it I was all “what have I done???” because they’re not cheap but I think it’s worth every cent.  It just blows away all the crappy old blenders I had.

What is one song that you have sung in public, where did you sing it and why this particular song?

I don’t think I’ve sung in public ever, I have a dreadful singing voice.  Just ask my kids.  The last thing I remember singing was Puff the Magic Dragon at my primary school concert.

What is the best costume that you have worn to a fancy dress party (or if you haven’t worn one, then what would you love to go as)?

I’d love to dress up as Mrs. Carol Brady.

What is your favourite green food?

Green tea ice cream  🙂

What is your ideal birthday cake?

Probably something involving vegan tiramisu, or something lemon-coconut.  Or a pie!

Do you have any giraffes in your house (knickknacks, clothes, pictures etc)?  If so please tell me about one.

DeeW has two stuffed giraffes named Spotty Giraffe 1 and Spotty Giraffe 2.

What fictional character used to terrify you as a child?

Well, not a fictional character but my mum used to watch a lot of old movies and well, Jimmy Stewart always bugged me.

Do you back up your blog?  If so, how?

Nope!  I’m hoping WordPress.com takes care of that  😛

What is your favourite vegetable or fruit that you have grown in your garden (or what would you like to grow if you haven’t grown anything)?

Tomatoes!  I’d love to grow eggplant too.  I’ve grown kale organically and it was mostly eaten by garden critters.

Where did you last have a picnic and what did you eat?

We took the kids to the park some time ago and flew the kites.  I think I took nuggets, juice, fruit that wasn’t eaten and some cake.

Okay so I have to nominate five blogs and ask 11 questions  🙂  I confess I don’t read that many blogs (well, compared to most people I don’t read many!) and I only stick to those I enjoy and give me a smile (or hungry stomach).  The blogs I nominate are

Sunny Side Up

Collar City Brownstone

Woman In Real Life

Vegan About Town

Made of Stars

And here are my questions.  Thinking caps are go!

1) If you had the choice to travel either forwards or backwards in time (one way trip), which would you choose and why?

2) What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?

3) Describe an outfit you had as a child which made you feel all super special important.  Photos if you got ’em.

4) Say you formed your own nation.  What are three of your laws?

5) What is the theme song to your life?

6) What shoes would you love to wear but can’t (for whatever reason).  What is that reason?

7) What’s one thing you wouldn’t ever eat, even for a million bucks?

8) Describe the worst hairstyle you’ve had.

9) Which is the greatest ABBA song ever?

10) Think of a family tv show you watched as a kid.  Which character did you have a secret crush on?  You’re disqualified if your answer is Phillip Drummond.  Bonus points if it is a parent character.

11) You have a magic wand (or magic baguette, or something).  You only get one turn and you must wish for something that improves the world somehow.  What would you wish for?

Thanks for reading!  And to my nominees, no pressure to answer as I know how busy people are  🙂

Lunch at RMIT RUSU Realfoods Cafe

I was in the city again today near RMIT (that’s the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University) so for lunch I decided on RUSU (that’s RMIT University Student Union) Realfoods (whew).  RUSU Realfoods serve organic fair trade vegan and vegetarian foods.  I’ve had some delicious raw meals and dessert from there before and today I went for the brown rice with the three curries on offer (veg and lentils).  For $8.50 I had a delicious filling lunch:

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I was eyeing off the lemon coconut cake but as I decided this morning to stop the sweets (as much as possible *cough*), I sadly waved goodbye to it.

I would have taken more of my usual city photos but my camera battery was low so today all you get is the food  🙂

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RUSU Realfoods is located at RMIT University City Campus, 360 Swanston St, food court, building 8, level 4, Melbourne, Australia, Earth etc.  They are only open during the university semesters.

Vegan Moussaka

Moussaka is probably one of the first dishes people think about when asked “can you name a Greek dish”.  Growing up though, my mum didn’t make this often as there’s a fair bit of work involved.  Instead, she’d make pastitso, which is a baked pasta with beef mince, covered with bechemel sauce.  Much easier and less time consuming than moussaka!

For my moussaka, I first began by slicing eggplant, salting it and then rinsing/patting dry.  I also sliced up some potatoes.  Both the potatoes and eggplant were shallow fried in oil (something I don’t like to do often!):

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My mother in law had given me some tomatoes so I made a quick tomato, onion and garlic sauce.  Ideally I would have like to chop the tomatoes more, or pureed the whole thing but I hadn’t washed the blender:

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For the meat layer, I used the walnut-cauliflower meat recipe from Diet Dessert and Dogs.  I used half walnut and half pecans. For the dried spices I used about a heaped teaspoon of paprika and dried oregano.  For the layering, I think I did potatoes, eggplants, sauce, ‘meat’, potato, eggplant, ‘meat’, sauce.  Yeah, I screwed up the order a little.

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For the cream layer on top, I whizzed up raw unsalted cashews and pine nuts with some water, juice from a medium lemon and a good dash of nutmeg (salt and pepper to taste too):

I was pretty happy with how it turned out.  This is something I’d make on a special occassion.  And a bigger stove so I could fry everything at once. Bad photo with twee background:

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Next time I’d like to add more flavour to the cashew-pine nut cream but overall I was happy with how it turned out 🙂