Preston Market with a vegan twist

I was introduced to Preston Market a couple of years ago, when my vegan friend T shared her secret with me: buy the old brown spotty bananas and other fruit right before closing time when the prices are dirt cheap.  A tray of fruit, past its best but still fine for freezing or smoothies, can be found for $1 or $2.  I’d pick up many kilograms worth of old bananans for a few dollars and use them in my smoothies.  The greatest discovery by far though was the hot jam donut van because they’re vegan.  Brilliant!

I went back to Preston Market a few days ago to see what it offers for vegan shoppers.  I stopped in at The D’Souzas for some amchoor (mango) powder.  Of course, whenever I go in “just for one thing” I end up with many things.  The D’Souzas store always has what I need and service is always smiley and friendly:

Preston Market

I picked up some soy beans from Preston Market Health Foods.  There were many elderly Greek shoppers here, looking for dried chickpeas for their ‘revithia’ (chickpea) soup and lentils for their ‘fahki’ soup:

Preston Market

Preston Market

Of course, there are a number of fresh produce stalls with prices cheaper than the big supermarkets:

Preston Market

Preston Market

I walked around looking at all the stores inside the main market area but didn’t see any other veganny-options kinds of places.  There were bakeries, continental delicatessans and lovely looking cakes but unfortunately none appeared to offer anything vegan, from my quick browsing.  I looked at the food stalls and alas, nothing vegan there.

I was pretty hungry so I headed for the Cornutopia van.  I’ve been there once before and enjoyed my vegan burrito so I ordered that again. The burritos (regardless of filling, it appears) are $10. Action shot:

Preston Market

The final stop (the most important of all): the jam donut van!

Preston market hot jam donuts

Preston market hot jam donuts

Overall, Preston Market is great for well priced fruit and veg, especially for those bargains right before closing time. You can find your nuts, dried beans, lentils and so on and different kinds of flours. More vegan options in the way of food would be great but I must confess the only food I go there for are donuts. Still, it would be nice to go there and have more of a selection of vegan food to chose from.

Preston Market
Preston Market
Preston Market

Preston Market

Preston Market

These are my purchases. I’m sure that’s the cheapest I’ve seen this particular vanilla extract.  As for the clove oil, I need some to help with minor mould problems around the house. I’m sure I paid double $3.90 for one of those teeny bottles in pharmacies! I also picked up some quinoa, curry powder (I like to try different kinds) and amchoor powder, which always seems to be in recipes I want to try then when I buy the stuff, I can’t find the recipes:

Preston Market purchases

If there are other markets out there you love for vegan shopping, please leave a comment!

Cornutopia Taco Van at Preston Market

I was at Preston Market the other day (hello vegan donuts!) and, by some amazing coincidence, I was really hungry.  I was thinking about what to eat when I looked up and saw this:

cornutopia1

A food truck!  A Mexican food truck! I am yet to try one of the food trucks around Melbourne.  Can you believe it?  I had fifteen minutes to myself to do a quick bit of shopping.  I used ten of those fifteen minutes to buy something from Cornutopia.

I asked if there were vegan options and was told that certainly, I could have things made vegan.  I needed something I could eat while walking so I opted for a vegan burrito.  It was filled with corn, beans, lettuce, a lovely rice with a lemon or lime tang and homemade chipotle sauce.   It would have been nice to sit at the chairs and tables provided but I had to get back to the family waiting in the car.  So here’s a messy action photo:

cornutopia2

I managed to eat half and left the rest for later in the day as it was very filling.  It cost $10 which I think is the same price as the meat tacos.  I was kinda hoping the non-meat taco would be cheaper.  It was delicious but I do feel $10 was a bit too much.  That may make me sound stingy but… you know.  It’s just that I can put this together myself, with home made tortillas, for much less.  Still, it was something nice to try in that “I’m gonna pop some food, I got 20 dollars in my pockeeeet” child free fifteen minutes of quiet way, before the “where are the donuts I want a donut where’s my donut HIS DONUT IS BIGGER THAN MINE I WANT A BIGGER ONE THAN HE HAS” onslaught.

Cornutopia rocks up to the Preston Market but check their facebook and twitter pages for updates on their location. http://www.cornutopia.com.au