Random eat-y bits and pieces

Back on the air after some internet silliness!  Like… going over your monthly usage quota and being punished by the speed of your connection slowing to snail’s pace.  Whoops.

I haven’t been keeping much of a record of what I’ve been eating.  Lots of smoothies and juices which kinda seem too boring to put on the blog. Here are some of the more less-boring ones.  A beet-berry-banana smoothie.  I don’t like the taste of beetroot in smoothies but this was okay.  The perfect thing to drink on… Prince’s birthday perhaps:

beet berry smoothie

This one had fig, banana, greens, flax and other stuff I don’t remember now:

fig banana smoothie

One of the nicer green juices:

green fruit veg juice

a maple walnut banana smoothie.  I used maple extract:

maple walnut smoothie

I made the Lentil Taco Meat recipe from Isa Does It (using chipotle powder instead) though I added a can of black beans to the mix.  Then I decided to use up the cooked red quinoa I’d discovered in the freezer so I threw that in too, along with some mushrooms.  I served it up in a bowl with baby spinach, lettuce, tomato, avocado all squirted with a little lime juice.  This is one of my favourite bowls:

lentil taco meat bowl

Johanna from Green Gourmet Giraffe posted a great nut roast recipe that uses buckwheat, one of my favourite ingredients to use.  Johanna’s recipe is also up on Ricki Heller’s awesome site. My attempt could have been a disaster because when I was simmering the buckwheat groats, I forgot about them.  The simmer time was 10-12 minutes.  I remembered them an hour later.  They were pretty mooshy by that time but not very burnt on the bottom of the pot which was a surprise and a relief!  Blurry photos, argh:

tomato nut roast2

tomato nut roast1

I made this fab chocolate chip cookie wedges recipe by Joann from Woman in Real Life.  In true Veganopoulos style, after I started the recipe I realised I didn’t have the full amount of sugar so I had to use less but it turned out great regardless.  This was a belated Valentine’s Day treat for the family:

oatchocchipcookiewedge

Chocolate chip biscuits:

choc chip biscuits

We had dinner at Loving Hut in Northcote again.  Southern fried ‘chicken’ and the homemade curry equals yumz:

Loving Hut Northcote

lhn2

aaaaaand Husband and I went to Loving Hut in Richmond.  I got my usual, which is the veg curry with tofu puffs.  Husband got the spring rolls:

Loving Hut spring rolls

Loving Hut curry

I over roasted some canned chickpeas with nooch for Arthur:

chickypops

Possibly my favourite kale dish is this cheezy chickpeas and kale dish from Fannetastic Food.  I added in some leftover roasted sweet potato:

cheezy chickpeas and kale

Husband and I received these lovely cherry truffles with the added bonus of it appearing quite vegan:

cherry chocs

Now, how many of you know how to fold a fitted sheet nicely?  I’ve been watching YouTube clips on how to do it but nope, mine turn out all horrible and I end up totally frustrated.  None of those pretty smooth corners for me.

Last weekend we went to the Moonee Valley Festival.  I did a quick run past the food stalls and there didn’t appear to be anything vegan.  If there were, I wouldn’t have waited as the queues were too long:

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DeeW made a seed ball and planted it at home:

festival6

I lost $10 on this…

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There were lots of lost balloons in the air:


festival1

I was glad to be home again.  I like visiting these community festivals but after a while I need to get out of there:
festival3
I found this sight quite amusing:

paintingtransporter

Excellent news is that tomorrow is the last day of summer!  Summer is my least favourite season so I’m not exactly sorry to see it go.  I have some plans for autumn and this year I hope I’ll stick to them!

talltree

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Banquet lunch at Gong de Lin

I’m a bit behind the times with this whole Scoopon thing.  I signed up recently because I think it gave me some extra bonus entries in to a competition.  Anyway, one of the Scoopon deals arriving in my inbox was a 100% vegan banquet at Gong de Lin.  $39 for two people so I signed up quick smart because it was a $54 saving.  My buddy T and I rocked up today all hungry like and got a booth by the window (we had to make a booking).

We started by ordering a ‘freshly squeezed juice’ first, though we were a little suss about the ‘freshly squeezed’ origins:

gongdelinbanquet

First up, according to the Scoopon coupon description were the vegetarian spring rolls.  These were fairly standard spring roll fare but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, because spring rolls are usually always yum:

gongdelinbanquet

The steamed vegetable dumplings came out at the same time.  I thought these were quite nice and would happily order them again:

gongdelinbanquet

Course 3 on the Scoopon menu description was baby corn soup… but ours never materialised.  I didn’t realise this when we were there, it’s only now reading the menu for this blog post that I realise we didn’t get it!

Next up: bean sprouts in Sichuan style sauce.  These were okay, with some thin noodles in there.  It was more of a refreshing accompaniment and I’d be happy if I could make this at home.  Nice and simple but tasty:

gongdelinbanquet

At the same time we also received a bowl of rice each and the sweet and sour ‘pork’.  Ahhh!  This tasted exactly like the non-vegan version you find in standard suburban Chinese restaurants.  You know, where lemon chicken is on the same menu.  I haven’t had sweet and sour pork (vegan or otherwise) in many, many years and this was a nice bit of nostalgia.  I believe this could fool a meat eater:

gongdelinbanquet

Because I was a bit of a doofus I tipped all my rice in to my bowl and plopped the sweet and sour pork on top, right before the waitress brought out the chicken with hot and spicy sauce.  The mock meat here wouldn’t fool a chicken-eater, but the dish was really tasty.  Suits me fine as I’m not in to mock meat as a meat substitute, I eat it because it’s food I like. Nothing to do with meat. I had to salvage half of my rice for the hot spicy chicken dish:

gongdelinbanquet

Finally we got glutinous rice balls in a sweet sauce.  The ‘sauce’ was more like warm water that was sweetened.  I really liked the black filling which tasted like bean paste and sesame.  A word of warning: take a pocket mirror.  Maybe even a toothbrush, because the filling got all over our teeth, in our teeth and we had to sit there cleaning out black bits.  Seriously, take a mirror and you’ll see what I mean:

gongdelinbanquet

I asked T what she would like to say for the blog and she said BRING A MIRROR.

Gong de Lin is located at  level 3, 264 Swanston Street, right near Lonsdale Street.  Walk in to Noodle Kingdom then take the elevator immediately to your left.  I previously visited Gong de Lin and I was happy with my meal there, though the second time I walked out as I waited for nearly twenty minutes to order and I was the only customer.  Trust me folks, I was making the ready-to-order face. You know, the slightly insincere half smile with raised eyebrows?  Anyway. When I’m hungry, you can’t mess with me.

I’m a bit bummed now that we missed the baby corn soup, there was no mention of it whatsoever so I’m slightly miffed. Regardless, I liked it all enough to order another two person coupon and I’ll take my sister.  This time I’ll take the coupon menu with me and make sure I get everything! T and I were so full we walked it off, down to the recently opened Broad Bean Organic Grocers in Southbank to take a look.  They have a good variety of products and vegan treats:

broad bean organic grocer

broad bean organic grocer

broad bean organic grocer

We took a peek at Testing Grounds, a public open art space opened in October 2013 that was formerly a vacant lot.  That’s the Victorian Arts Centre in the background:

testing grounds

It was quite warm out in the sun so we finished our city outing with a nice big cold juice at a juice bar in Melbourne Central.  I forgot to take a photo of the juices, but here are some scenes of a typical Melbourne day in the city.

cityscene1

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I thought about asking this person if they could do a Weeping Angel pose.  Then I thought they probably get asked this all the time and find it REALLY annoying:

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Don’t blink!

Valentine’s Day tasty delights

Ah, Valentine’s Day.   Not something I’m personally in to, but DeeW was quite excited.  She made a card for me, then asked me to write “Dear Mummy, Happy Valentine’s Day, love from DeeW”.  I finished writing, she folded it up and proudly exclaimed “look!  I made you a card!”

I had planned on baking something in a heart shaped tin, or making something in my heart shaped moulds but in the end Husband and I thought we would have a special food day.  In other words, Mum Hasn’t Been Organised Enough To Prepare Stuff.  First stop in the morning was Mister Nice Guy’s Bake Shop. I tried the mini raw strawberry shortcake and it was fantastically good.  This is the first time I’ve tried one of the raw offerings from the bake shop and it did not disappoint:

raw strawberry shortcake

More goodies on display:

strawberry cream cheese scrolls

Mister Nice Guy's cupcakes

For dinner, we headed off to Eat Fresh Pizza at 44 Raleigh Road in Maribyrnong.  I got myself a vegan gourmet veggie pizza, with capsicum, roast pumpkin and eggplant.  Major yum here too:

vegan pizza

My Valentine’s present to myself, Husband and the kids magically appeared earlier in the week.  I had some things to drop off at an op shop and to my delight there was a big “50% off everything” sign on the window.  I scored this 1970s Mastermind set, just like the one I had growing up.  Not only that, but this I am sure is unused as the scoring pegs were still in a sealed bag and the coloured pegs were in a bag (non-sealed).  For $2.50!!!

Vintage Mastermind game

Note the hands. BWAHAHA!

I love my readers! MWAAAA!

Two more raw dishes: Cauliflower Popcorn and Veggie Tempura

I’ve previously made the Cauliflower Popcorn from ‘Eat Raw, Eat Well’.  I liked it a lot but found it a little on the salty side, so this time ’round I only added a pinch of salt.  The cauliflower is tossed with nutritional yeast, EVOO and the salt then dehydrated.  Then it is major yumz time as you try not to eat it all in one go.  I’m cheating and using a photo I took last time:

cauliflower popcorn

The Vegetable Tempura recipe from Ani Phyo’s ‘Ani’s Raw Food Asia’ has had a permanent bookmark in it ever since I received my copy of the book.  The batter is made with zucchini, cashews, pumpkin seed, olive oil, salt and nutritional yeast and on its own would make a tasty salad dressing.  Get your veggies, smother them in this batter then dehydrate. The cauliflower on top is the Popcorn Cauli:

raw veggie tempura

This was good too, though I wouldn’t make it again unless I had people to serve it to who would appreciate it!  I just realised I forgot to make the accompanying dipping sauce.  Never mind, it tasted good plain.  I’m not sure I dehydrated it enough as the batter wasn’t quite right, but had I done any more the vegies would have been over dehydrated.  They had a nice crunch to them so I didn’t mind!

Have you made cauliflower with nooch, olive oil and salt in the dehydrator?  What do you think of it?

Dinner at Rumi, Brunswick East

After today’s lunch, I was quite determined to have a green juice for dinner but we had a last minute change of plans and the chance to enjoy good company so we headed off to Rumi in Brunswick East.  I’ve never been there before but my sister recommended the vegan options.

The staff that served us were incredibly helpful and went through all the vegan options.  I chose the fried (I know, I know) potatoes with lemon, garlic and sumac.  These were nice and crunchy on the outside and enough for a few people to share, if you have other dishes.  The idea at Rumi is that food is shared, rather than a big meal all to yourself.  I also went for the eggplant dish (not listed on the website’s menu) with mint and red onion and a yoghurt sauce– the vegan option was a tahini sauce in place of the yoghurt. A plain pita bread was rolled up and served alongside:

Rumi dinner

These were very tasty and certainly best enjoyed with company where everyone shares what’s on offer.  I asked about vegan desserts and the options were the Persian floss, Turkish Delight (made with cornflour not gelatine) and pistachio halva.  However as these were not made by Rumi, they could not guarantee they were definitely vegan.  The in-house options that could be veganised were dates with (I think) labneh, or poached peaches without the dairy component, but essentially you’d end up with just dates or the peaches.  So those two options didn’t really appeal to me, even though I appreciate that Rumi were happy to make these vegan.

Rumi is located at 116 Lygon Street in East Brunswick.  As I said, staff were great and I left there feeling quite happy that more people seem to get the whole vegan thing. 

* A note on how I felt, given I’ve been mostly raw all week: I did feel the effect of eating the oil in the eggplant and potatoes.  I haven’t been eating much oil this week, just the odd teensy bit of coconut oil in smoothies here and there, when taking nuts/fats in to consideration.  I really feel an urge to go completely green-juice this week!