So long vegan MoFo 2013! And random what-I-ates

veganmofo2013banner

Ehhhh welll it’s no secret my attempt at vegan MoFo this year was rather slack.  So many plans, so many last minute spanners in the works that just saw my MoFo plans fizzle out.  I did enjoy MoFo though because I discovered Australian blogs I hadn’t read before and I’ve enjoyed every single one.

Melbourne, being Melbourne, has really given us the four seasons in one day recently.  We’ve had some beautiful spring days and crazy winds last night causing power outages and all sorts of annoyances.  At least it’s good kite flying weather and Husband is a kite flying expert.  Me, I do the running around stupidly in a circle getting the string all wound up.

Much excitement (for me) as I had a Box Day.  For those of you not down with homeschoolin’ lingo, Box Day is when a cool package of schooly stuff arrives.  For me it was the next level of DeeW’s reading program:

aar

I’m going to plug this reading program because I love it so much.  It’s called All About Reading and the sister program is All About Spelling.  I have found these to be absolutely brilliant for both Arthur and DeeW.  Arthur has All About Spelling .  Both programs involve multi-sensory learning and none of this “memorise 100 words by sight” stuff which doesn’t work for many kids.  You don’t have to be a homeschooler to use these programs, you can be a parent with a child displaying reading readiness (more info on that at the AAS/AAR site) or reading difficulty, or you can be a teacher looking for a new program for your students to grasp basic reading and spelling concepts.  I know people who have dyslexia and their kids do too, and the family benefits together.  I can’t recommend All About Reading and All About Spelling enough, and the founder has a very interesting story to tell about why she started the program.  You can find out more at the All About Learning Press website at http://www.allaboutlearningpress.com/  (all opinions here are my own and my opinions are in the category of “this has been super fantastic for my kids and I can’t gush about it enough and hey I even learnt a few things about when to use ‘k’ or ‘ck'”).

Okay, time to put on my food face.  Another gush-worthy recipe I’ve mentioned before is Dreena Burton’s BBQ Sunflower Tofu which Arthur loves.  I make a batch of this for him and he asks for seconds.  He likes the little marinadey bits:

bbqtofu

I’ve been making the Lemon Meringue Pie smoothie from ‘Eat Raw, Eat Well’.  Yep, this tastes as good as it sounds:

lemonmeringue

Aaaand here’s my big flop.  It’s a raw banana pie from Brendan Brazier’s ‘Thrive’ book.  I don’t know what I did wrong, but my base was really crumbly and I’m sure I followed the recipe.  The filling part was good but I should have taken more care.  I didn’t make the topping but I had some cashew cream and used that.  It was okay but I found the taste of sunflower seeds a little much.  i would make it again though with some little changes.  And take a much better photo:

rawbananapie

I made another batch of Singapore Style Noodles I blogged about previously.  This time I used mock duck (made from wheat, with a bbq flavour) and tofu puffs:

singnoodles

I’ve been making the Raised Waffles recipe from Isa’s ‘Vegan Brunch’.  Arthur really likes these, though I prefer the cornbread waffles.  Still, it’s fun making this yeast version.  I plopped some coconut cream on mine and coconut sugar.  Yes, this was the last-of-the-batter waffle:

raisedwaffs

During the week I just forgot to take photos.  Or I did take some photos of stuff and deleted them somehow.  Now I will just have to make citrus coconut pie all over again!  See you then 😉

Gluten Free Sweet Potato Gnocchi from Cupcake Kitteh

veganmofo2013banner

Ahhh gnocchi.  I have always had a love-hate relationship with these little balls of goodness-badness.  Goodnes, because they are lovely with a taste sauce.  Badness, because traditional gnocchi often results in feeling like I have lead balls in my stomach and I feel blergh.

I’m subscribed to Cupcake Kitteh‘s blog and I squealed with excitement when I saw Mandee post this recipe for gluten free sweet potato gnocchi.  I love sweet potato, I had lots of sweet potato so that was what I chose to make for dinner a couple of days ago.

I first made a few small proper gnocchi sized balls with the fork marks as a test because I was worried the mixture was too soft.  I needn’t have worried as they turned out fine, especially pan fried in a little oil.

Then the laziness crept in and took over… look, jumbo gnocchi:

gnocchi

These were great!  I held my breath when the kids tried some.  Arthur’s rating was “38% goodness” so at least I can use this recipe as a base.  Husband was out for dinner and didn’t have any.  DeeW was not a fan but I didn’t expect her to be as she doesn’t like this kind of texture.

This is such a simple recipe and one I will make again with a really nice pesto  🙂

Sort of a MoFo post, but really more about Gopal’s Pure Vegetarian Restaurant, Melbourne

veganmofo2013banner

You guys, I’ve really been kinda struggling finding the time and motivation to do MoFo-y blog posts.  Lately I’ve had lots of last minute “let’s go out to eat” invitations, or last minute visits somewhere where I’m piled up with food when I leave.  I’m not complaining but it means I haven’t done any cooking or raw food prep of my own, and that’s what my theme was supposed to be.  Sooooo I’m a-thinkin’ that MoFo here on my blog has been a bit of a bust.  Not only that but I see so many fantastic look meals on other MoFo blogs and I end up making those instead of the stuff I had planned.

So today was one of those fly by the seat of my greedy pants kinda food days.  I had to go in to the city and was right near Gopal’s.  I’ve never been there and it’s a bit of an institution.  So when 11am arrived (their opening time) I was THERE.  At the bottom of the stairs:

gopals3

The food on offer is all inside a bain marie style set up.  I went for the ‘vegan special’ which was two veg dishes + rice or roti+ choice of salad + juice + dessert.  All for $10.50 and let me tell you this was a big serving:

gopals5

The salad was a raw beetroot and carrot (I said no to the dressing offered) and was quite nice and I’m usually not a beetroot fan.  The two veg dishes were good (one had tofu, the other chickpeas) but nothing utterly amazing however to me the appeal of a place like Gopal’s is that the food is served like you’re in someone’s home, just plopped on the plate all homely like.  I’m glad the rice was brown rice though I found myself thinking that I might get the roti instead next time (and there will be a next time!):

gopals4

My juice was actually a lemon mint kind of lemonady drink which was lovely and refreshing.  Window shot:

gopals2

Dessert was sago pudding with some sliced banana and grapes inside it.  I do admit when this was given to me I felt all ohhh… you mean dessert isn’t one of these lovely looking sweet treats in the counter display?  You know, disappointed-face.  But I was very pleasantly surprised with the sago pudding as it’s something I’ve never been that interested in, but with the fruit mixed in, it was good:

gopals1

Dork that I am, I forgot AGAIN to take a photo of the outside from the street. Here’s an inside shot though:

gopals6

I sat along the window bench and enjoyed the view and breathed a happy sigh about how much I love Melbourne… that means PHOTOS.  With my phone camera.  Enjoy!

city1

city2 Gopal’s Pure Vegetarian Restaurant is located at 139 Swanston Street up a lot of stairs.  Website here.

Vegan MoFo 2013: Day 7. Australia votes!

veganmofo2013banner

Today Australians queued up all over the nation to vote.  No, we’re not voting for the worst food photography example on the Veganopoulous blog because that would be one massive ballot paper.  It’s federal election day.  Husband was stationed at the polling booth up the road, handing out How To Vote cards and he always comes back with classic tales.  Like the one time when he saw people from the Labor and Liberal camps getting in to a punch up.  No, not voters– the people handing out the HTV cards.

Right.  Okay.  Raw breakfast!!! Today I got a bit more organised with soaking stuff in preparation for the Pear and Pumpkin Porridge from ‘Eat Raw, Eat Well’.  Before becoming vegan I never knew you could eat pumpkin uncooked.  This recipe is one I’ve wanted to try for a while, even though the thought of eating raw pumpkin doesn’t appeal much, to be honest.  Still, MoFo is all about trying new things and eating more raw is one of my MoFo goals.  So here ’tis (picture shows two servings):

rawpumpkinporridge

The recipe involves soaking buckwheat, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds (which I didn’t have), and raw cashews for up to an hour.  Grate some pumpkin, throw in some pear, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, salt and maple syrup (recipe says agave but Arthur is allergic so we avoid having it in the house), and non dairy milk, whiz it in the food processor and that’s it.  I made it less sweet than what the recipe said which turned out to be a good choice.  i also halved the recipe. This was tasty and filling though I do admit it’s rather ‘different’ and something I have to get used to but overall I’m happy with how it turned out.

Vegan MoFo 2013: Day 4

veganmofo2013banner

MoFo is great but I’m already finding myself overwhelmed at the amount of amazing look stuff out there that I want to make.  I followed MoFo last year and yet again I am bookmarking a tonne of recipes, though last year I forgot about most of them and deleted a stack when I cleaned up my bookmarks months later.  I really don’t want to repeat that this year but we’re four days in and I’ve been drooling for most of that time (and bookmarking like mad).

Today included a breakfast smoothie again.  I was supposed to make a raw porridge but forgot and when I read the recipe I had to soak me some nuts beforehand.  I was too hungry for that half hour soak so it was smoothie time.  Soaking nuts gets in the way of my breakfast and I haaate waiting to eat.  Anyway, I used bananas, date, hemp protein, home made almond milk and a pinch each of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves (I couldn’t find the cardamom).  It tasted mostly of bananas because I didn’t put enough of the spices.  Oh well, live, drink, and learn.  It was still a good breakfast:

notquitechai

I made these gluten free crackers from Oh She Glows after reading about them on Made of Stars.  They’re very simple and changing the flavours is a cinch, I left out the rosemary and halved the thyme in case they were too strong for the kids.  The ingredients in my batch are almond meal, brown rice flour, sesame seeds, nooch, salt, thyme, garlic powder (also halved), a teaspoon of olive oil and water.  DeeW loves crackers, unfortunately the ones she loves are the supermarket variety and I really want to get her on to healthy home made versions.  More bummer was that the kids didn’t like these and only afterwards did I remember they don’t like the taste of sesame:

crackers

Lunch was the leftover Pumpkin Chickpea and Cauliflower Curry with Fresh Cream Sauce (my version) from ‘Let Them Eat Vegan’, again served on top of red quinoa and dinner was a simple vegetable soup my sister had made:

vegsoup

Today’s chuck-it-all-in-a-bowl recipe was for some tahini balls.  I didn’t follow a recipe, I just grabbed stuff that I thought would work.  This involved finely chopping brazil nuts and pecans in the food processor then adding Medjool dates (and chopping), then things like chia seed, pumpkin seed, ground flax, coconut, cacao nibs and the tahini.  They weren’t really sticking together enough so I added a little maple syrup.  The tahini flavour is strong, which I love and the trick is not to eat them all in one go:

tahinietcballs

So again, not very exciting MoFo-wise and I’m still a little sick and honestly feel a little blah about having to think.  At least I’m eating better now than I have been in the past few months 😉