Eat Fresh Pizza, Maribyrnong

Vegan pizza is one of those things where I’d probably only ever eat it as a gourmet style pizza in a vegan establishment, or at home, because I can be pretty much assured that either of those options would be really tasty and full of flavour.  In my experience, the vegan (well, vegetarian-minus-cheese) pizzas at regular pizza joints are bland and blergh.

A vegan friend recently recommended Eat Fresh Pizza in Maribyrnong.  Now, when a regular suburban kind of pizza joint is advertising vegan pizza in addition to regular omni pizzas, that’s one place I want to check out.  And so we checked it out for dinner tonight.  After ordering my ‘vegetarian pizza minus cheese’ without looking at the menu, I browsed the menu and saw they have options for vegan ham and salami, which like the vegan cheese, incur an extra charge.  Doh!  I could have ordered something more omnivore style, with the vegan hams instead.  Live and learn!  I had just assumed the only vegan option would be whatever comes on a vegetarian pizza.

Still, my pizza was quite nice and definitely not bland.  I bought enough so I could have leftovers as tomorrow is a busy day and I’d like something I can quickly heat up for lunch.  Okay, breakfast:

Eat Fresh Pizza Maribyrnong vegan pizza

There were a few tables inside and a window bench. Naturally, I forgot to take a photo of the outside.  It’s a white shop front with a car parking lot next to it (that’s where we parked).

Eat Fresh Pizza is located at 44 Raleigh Road, Maribyrnong.  Not too far from Highpoint shopping centre.  Their Facebook page is here. If you’re not familiar with Maribyrnong, it’s about a five minute drive from Mister Nice Guy’s Bake Shop 🙂

Home made pizzas: I love this recipe

Husband and DeeW are off in Apollo Bay, staying with some relatives at a holiday home.  Naturally, the car boot is taken up with all the stuff DeeW absolutely MUST take.  And of course, she doesn’t even look at any of it during the holiday.  Yes, those are ski boots heading for the coast:


Arthur and I will bum around at home and see if we can catch some of the free kids activities in the city (though we just missed the last tram that would have got us to ‘James and Giant Peach’ in time, so we had to trudge back home from the tram stop.  You know those moments where you turn a corner and see your bus or tram sailing past?  Yeah, that!)

Last night was movie night for Arthur and I so to celebrate his first ever viewing of Star Wars, I made us some pizza.  I used a Jamie Oliver recipe for the dough and it’s my favourite go-to pizza base because it just turns out so nice!  I halve the amount to make two medium sized pizzas.

Arthur’s only pizza preference is Hawaiian (aka Tropical or Pineapple pizza in restaurants around the country).  It’s ham, pineapple and cheese.  I use Redwood Cheatin’ Ham slices and Notzarella which I had frozen in portions, defrosted and squeezed a bit to get excess water out.  For the tomato sauce on the base I use the Aldi ‘Just Organic’ pasta sauce for a little extra flavour and I prefer this than regular plain tomato paste.  Oh, you may notice this pizza base is really thick.  That’s because I thought I stretched it out enough but obviously didn’t…


A friend had given me a bunch of portobello mushrooms the other day that she picked up from Coburg Market but didn’t think she’d use them in time before they went bad.  What a score!  They’re about $10 a kilo in the supermarkets.  So my pizza was mushroom pizza.  Lurking in the back of the fridge was one of those jars of antipasto strips of capsicum, eggplant and possibly artichoke so I used that too, plus the Notzarella:


I held my breath when Arthur tried his pizza because I wasn’t sure how he’d take the ‘ham’.  He asked for a second piece, and a slice for breakfast today so that’s a big win folks!  It means I can make him vegan pizzas at home and hopefully this will significantly reduce the occassions where he has the non-vegan version when he goes out.

My pizza was really nice too and made for a good breakfast this morning.  We’re a pizza reheating family.  Cold pizza, blergh!

Jamie Oliver’s Pizza Dough (the semolina flour version.  Shown below is the full recipe, but I halve it and it turns out fab) from ‘Jamie At Home’

800g bread or pizza flour (I use the Lighthouse brand)

200g finely ground semolina flour (I used a packet labelled “fine semolina”)

1 level Tbs fine sea salt

2x 7g sachets of dried yeast

1 Tbs golden caster sugar (I used regular caster sugar)

4 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

650ml lukewarm water

* What I did (as I can’t make the dough on a table top/ work surface like the recipe states but if you can, great! These directions are pretty much word for word from the Jamie recipe)

– In a large bowl, sift the flours  and salt and make a well in the centre.

– In a jug, mix the yeast, sugar and olive oil in to the warm water and leave it for a few minutes then pour in to the flour well.

– Using a fork, bring the flour in gradually from the sides and swirl it in to the liquid.  Keep mixing, drawing larger amounts of flour in.  When it comes to together, knead until you have a smooth, springy dough.

– Put the dough in a clean, large flour dusted bowl and cover with a damp cloth.  Place in a warm spot for at least an hour or until the dough has doubled in size:


(this is where my photo of the recipe instructions got cut off so here’s what I do)

– when the dough has doubled, give it a good punch.  Or maybe that’s just me?  I don’t know, it’s very satisfying to see it go all deflatey:


– knead a little then divide in to quarters.  Roll a ball out, do your pizza topping thing, then cook until you know it’s done  😛

I’ll stick with this recipe as it has worked so well 🙂

Pizza at Rubicon Cafe

Last week I was treated to lunch at Rubicon Cafe in North Melbourne.  My dining pals and I went at a non-busy time so the place was empty.  In our group we had vegans (well, me), vegetarians and GF folk and we were happy to see there was something for everyone.

I was in the mood for pizza and the friendly guy who served us was very helpful and told me they’d make me a vegan special.  Sounds good right?  And it was.  It was also of hub cap size:


Vegan pizza is one of things I usually avoid because, well, the ones I’ve had are mostly crap and boring.  Not this one.  It had potato!!! And pumpkin!!!  And cherry tomatoes, capsicum, mushies, olives, spinach, red onion, broccoli WILL YOU STOP THIS IS JUST TOO MUCH.

This is the best vegan pizza I’ve ever had.  I was never much in to cheese on a pizza so the lack of vegan cheese wasn’t a problem at all and in fact if it were an option I would have said no.

It was about $16  and despite how huge it was, I managed to stuff it all down, leaving some crusts (and some dignity) behind.

Rubicon Cafe is located at 50 Errol Street, North Melbourne.

Lunch at Zaatar

I must begin by saying Zaatar is not a vegetarian/vegan establishment.  However their ‘pizza’ bases are vegan (I again received confirmation when I visited today) and I’d like to share my selections with youse all.

I love the plain zaatar, cooked fresh for you and costs $1.00:


When I go there to eat, I get a zaatar base topped with olive, capsicum, onion and tomato.  I think this cost about $3.00:


I often buy the spinach pide (no photo as I didn’t get this today) and it’s delicious.

Now some of you may be wagging a finger at me saying now Vegan Opoulous, aren’t you supposed to be avoiding gluten?  HMMM?  And to that I say yea verily you may scold in fairness, but I am going to get tested for glutenny problems and apparently I have to not avoid gluten.  And if I absolutely MUST eat gluten, it’s coming in the form of Zaatar’s zaatars.  Mmmkay?  Because they’re just so yum.

Zaatar gets quite busy during lunch hours but I’ve always been able to find a table.  It’s a great option for a budget friendly meal.  I went there today with non-vegan Husband so there’s something for everyone.  There are dips and salad as well as vegetarian pastries and sweets.  Zaatar is a family establishment and I always see lots of families with young children enjoying their meals.

Zaatar is located on the corner of Sydney Road and Munro St,  Coburg (so the northern part of Sydney Road as you head towards Bell Street).  They are open 7 days a week from 7am to 8pm.

“I’ll be back!”

Vegan Easy Market and ALV Christmas Celebration

Today I headed off to the Eco Centre in St. Kilda where the Vegan Easy Market and Animal Liberation Victoria Christmas Celebration were being held.  What a great day!  My friends and I arrived around midday.  Naturally, I headed right for the food.

Lunch was sausage sizzle (if you’re reading from another part of the world, a sausage sizzle is a barbequed sausage on a piece of bread).  Add onions if you have gourmet tastes like me:


 Try to stop your sausage from flopping to one side while you take a photo of it:


Tasty delights at the bake sale table:


Mel, The Kind Cook, made some fabbo gingerbread peeps:


I also watched Patty Mark’s ‘TofuTurkey’ cooking demo.  Yay for front row seats, you get the best view and the best whiffs of awesome smelling food:



We finished off with pizzas from the nearby Mr. Natural Vegetarian Pizza joint and ate them by the beach.  I went for a pizza topped with mushroom, onion, bean sprouts, corn, green capsicum, beans and tofu (no vegan cheese for me as it was a couple bucks extra and I’m not a huge fan anyway).  Lots of vegie goodness in there but next time I might go for the lentil dhal or something plainer like a vegan hawaiian pizza.  And take a better photo:


Okay, time to go finish off a fabulous day with some green tea and a Leda chocolate biscuit (yeah, my healthy eating was sort of accidentally forgotten today).