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

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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:

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I lost $10 on this…

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There were lots of lost balloons in the air:


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

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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!

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Meal Planning Week 4: The Hideous Food Photography version

I was incredibly lazy last week when it came to food.  I didn’t plan a full menu again which of course meant our meals were nowhere near as vegietastic as I’d hoped!

One smoothie I like is made with banana, plant milk, oats, cinnamon and hemp protein.  This fills me up for a while.  I call it my ‘porridge smoothie’:

oat porridge banana smoothie

I made the Cauli-power Alfredo pasta sauce from Oh She Glows.  It was quite tasty, though I should have added more plant milk as it was far too thick (I didn’t follow the recipe thoroughly).  Or perhaps I could have added some vegetable stock.  Anyway, I was thinking that if it was really thick, perhaps it could serve as a kind of bechamel layer on a baked pasta or moussaka.  I’ll have to try that one day:

caulipower alfredo

I found a packet of vegan rendang in the back of the pantry and cooked it up with some peas and coconut rice:

vegan rendang

I made some filo parcels with a filling of chickpeas, walnuts and cooked brown rice.  The kids weren’t crazy about them but the next day Arthur asked for leftovers so I’d say they ended up being a winner for one child at least!

chickpea  walnut rice filo parcels

Quite a bit of fruit:

fruit salad

Husband had gone out to a shopping centre and called to ask if I wanted anything from the food court.  It was a hot day, I wasn’t in the mood to cook so I requested some Indian food.  The Indian food outlets at shopping centres often have a few vegan dishes.  My photo does not do it justice.  My photo does not do the plastic bag justice:

indian takeaway

Arthur and I baked the Sweet Potato Blondies from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar.  As always, I significantly reduce the amount of sugar used:

sweet potato blondies

Sunday was Australia Day.  Originally I had plans to take the family out to some of the free events going on, like the Government House Open Day.  But we had a late change of plans, a really late night and when Husband and I woke up we were way too tired.  We did stop at Mister Nice Guy’s Bake Shop on the way to visit my parents:

Mister Nice Guy's Bake Shop music

Mister Nice Guy’s made awesome Australia Day themed cupcakes (here are last year’s).  I got the Golden Gaytime, which the Bake Shop described as a “vanilla toffee swirl cake with caramel frosting, topped with chocolate and caramel ganache and sprinkled with honeycomb”.  Golden Gaytime is an icecream that has been around since I was a little girl and it was probably my favourite icecream-on-a-stick before I went vegan. So if something is ‘Golden Gaytime inspired’ I am THERE.  We also got the ANZAC biscuit inspired cupcake and a donut. Arthur got his usual cinnamon bun:

Mr Nice Guy's Bake Shop selection

To finish off the week, Husband and I went out to dinner at Magic Mint Cafe in Moonee Ponds.  I got my usual veggie pakora for entree and the mixed vegetable curry for my main.  YUMZ:

Magic Mint Cafe veg curry

It’s Wednesday here and I haven’t used a meal plan this week either! The weather has been urgh-hot again, though today is lovely so I might get some baking done, or meals that can last a few days.

Fingers crossed I’ll get back to meal planning for next week…

Dinner at Philhellene, Moonee Ponds

My mum’s birthday was this week and she decided she wanted to have her birthday dinner at Philhellene.  When she initially phoned them up, she asked about vegan options for me and was assured there were vegan dishes.  Of course, this didn’t stop me from going straight to the menu online and confirming that for myself 🙂

It was a busy night but our entrees arrived quickly.  My sister and I shared the ‘rodi dip’, which was made from roasted red capsicum, walnut and pomegranate:

philhellene1

I stuffed myself on bread before even thinking to ask if it was vegan, seeing as all the Greek women in my family only ever made bread with vegan ingredients.  I just assumed it was then later smacked myself in the head for not asking (I don’t want to know now!):

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Arthur and DeeW got some chips and I had… quite a few of those:

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I ordered the cauliflower salad with cous cous, parsley, pomegranate, onion, almond and dressed with a pomegranate molasses vinaigrette.  This was delicious and not a huge serve, though I was already a little full with the bread, dip, and pinching the chips.  I want to try and replicate this at home as it was a winner for me:

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My sister ordered the vegetarian platter.  I’m really proud of my sister.  She no longer eats meat and although she’s more vegetarian now, most of what she eats or cooks is vegan.  Anyway, I’ve decided to include a photo (I only show vegan foods here on the blog but in this case all you see is pastry!).  I think the only non-vegan item on the veg platter are the pastries which contained feta and spinach.  This was a really big meal and my sister couldn’t finish it without help (she didn’t eat the pastries 😉 :

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We all enjoyed our meals and service was very efficient and friendly.  The restaurant was quite busy and although our entrees arrived quickly, our mains took a really long time which is kinda a little difficult when you have young children getting impatient!  I’d brought along stuff to keep them occupied so fortunately there was no “where’s Charlie Chan with that food?” moment:

murielswedding

I didn’t have a chance to take a photo of the inside of Philhellene, plus there were people everywhere, so here’s the indoor view from my seat:

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Although not a vegan establishment of course, I was very happy with my food and if my family wanted to go back there I would gladly order the rodi dip again (though I’d check if the pita bread is vegan but ohhh it was good bread) and some of the other vegan options.

Philhellene is located at 551-553 Mt. Alexander Road, Moonee Ponds. http://www.philhellene.com.au/

A return to Magic Mint and some *wheeeeze* *huh?* funnies

* UPDATE March 23rd 2014:  We went to Magic Mint tonight and I decided to confirm again if the onion kulcha was vegan as the last couple of times they told me it was.  But when I googled recipes they all seemed to have dairy.  Anyway tonight I was told their onion kulcha has milk in it  😦  I’m hoping it didn’t the times I ordered it but well, it would explain the (TMI alert) Sneaky Dairy Poos.

 

Husband and I returned to Magic Mint in Moonee Ponds for a lovely meal.  Magic Mint always has great service, the food is good and I get to take leftovers home for breakfast.  So it’s a win on all fronts!

The first time we visited, I ordered the mixed veg curry.  On the second visit, I got the eggplant, potato and pea masala.  For this third visit I went back to the veg curry with coconut rice.  I ordered onion kulcha on the side but forgot to take a photo:

magicmintvegcurry

Husband and I are always happy with our visits to Magic Mint and it’s our go-to Indian restaurant.

Now on to the humour part of today’s broadcast.  I’m usually a bit slow catching up on all these funny clips and stories that float around the WWW so I’m guessing a lot of my readers have seen the following clip.  The “you have never seen a more inexplicable clip than this” really sums it up for me.  I swear I sat there in a state of utter confusion and speechlessness, with some laughter (hello Tonya Harding!) thrown in before going back to being utterly confused.  Enjoy!

http://sabotagetimes.com/funny/you-have-never-seen-a-more-inexplicable-clip-on-the-internet-than-this

Vegan MoFo 2013: Day 1 is a bit of a fail, theme wise…

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It’s the first day of this year’s Vegan MoFo and my theme is the rather ridiculous ‘eat as much raw as possible but any cooked food is to be oil free and oh while I’m at it everything is gluten free too’.  I chose this theme because I have wanted to try oil free for a while, plus I need to be more disciplined with going gluten free and I want this to be an experiment to see how I feel overall.  I’ve blogged before about my short mostly-raw food trial making me feel and sleep fantastic and I’m very curious to see if I can have that again.  I’ve also stacked on a little weight and feeling blah about it.  Yep, when I do my aeroplane seatbelt up and notice my stomach flopping over the top of it, it’s time to re-think my eating and lack of aerobic activity.

Most days I have a smoothie or some kind of juice for breakfast but for MoFo I want to get back in to green juices daily.  My day 1 MoFo smoothie was made with frozen banana, peanuts, raw cacao powder (I put too much in by accident) and ground flax:

chocpeanutsmoothie

As we hadn’t gone shopping since returning home from our holiday, I made another smoothie for lunch.  This time, frozen bananas, oats, a date, non dairy milk and cinnamon.  I know I know, oats aren’t exactly gluten free but there was nothing else to eat and I wasn’t sure when we’d go shopping nor when I’d eat next:

cinnamonoat

Finally we went shopping and I loaded up on fresh produce.  I had a precooked dinner I’d made and frozen so that I wouldn’t have to cook for a few days after returning from Sydney.  Everything was set, then we dropped the kids off for a sleepover at my mum’s and then as it is Fathers Day here in Australia, I asked Husband what he’d like for dinner.  Aaand he suggested Magic Mint Cafe in Moonee Ponds, our go-to Indian restaurant. Aaaaaaaaaaand I got the veggie pakora which are, you know, deep fried in oil.  And my main of Aloo Gobi Mattar had oil in it. Aaaaand I got some stuffed naan as well which is… gluteny.  I supposed I can wriggle out of my day 1 fail by saying “BUT I said the food I cook would be oil free, I didn’t say anything about other people cooking for me so nyerrr”.  Plus my mum gave me some stuffed veggies she’d made for me and they’re cooked in oil.

Dinner at Magic Mint was great as always though:

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Let’s hope I get some more raw happening tomorrow!