A What-I-Ate-And-Forgot-To-Blog-About-Again post

I’ve been crazy busy baking lately.  I decided to give out tasty vegan treats for Christmas this year.  The grand plan was to bake things I could freeze before hot weather kicked in, so I wouldn’t have to bake closer to Christmas if the weather was foul (as in hot).  Now the big problem with this grand plan, in case you can’t see it (though I think it’s big enough to fit the orbit of a small planet) is this.  TREATS.  FREEZER.  Now what do you get when you walk to the freezer to remove said treats?  You get TREATS FOR OTHER PEOPLE EATEN. So I have to keep baking.

This year I’d planned to decorate the house more Christmassy, do crafts with Arthur and DeeW and make a fabric wreath for the front door.  None of that happened because our short getaway got in the way of all that.  The kids decorated the tree.  Yes, that is a small patch of paint that has come off thanks to blu tack.  Toad is this year’s Christmas star ornament and there’s also an angel (that purple thingy) DeeW made:

Our Christmas tree

Decorations from when I was little:

vintage Christmas decorations

DeeW likes to decorate with her toys:

our Christmas tree

Our mantel in the lounge room:

Christmas mantel

…and what you see when you zoom out a little:

Christmas mantel

With our family holiday this month, I’ve been forgetting to blog about what I’ve eaten.  I did manage some photos here and there.

First up: VEGAN POUTINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Some may remember my rather pissweak attempt at poutine on Canada Day.  Welllll as it turns out, Lord of the Fries serve vegan poutine.  It’s not my fault they only call it ‘French Canadian” on the sauces menu.  I would have noticed poutine and pounced otherwise.  Anyway, LOTF’s poutine was deeeelish.  I know where I’m going next Canada Day.  Gosh I hope they didn’t give me dairy cheese, I did specifically ask for vegan but you never know.  Disgusting looking photo:

Lord of the Fries French Canadian Poutine

 Speaking of fries, the Philips Air Fryer has been faithfully churning out chips.  I use a teaspoon of oil, even though the instructions say use a tablespoon.  Still tastes fine to me and the less oil the better I say.  We call these air fries:

air fries

I went to Divine Realm Veggie Delight and got a serving of their tofu and veg curry, a mock meat with green beans and I asked for a few pieces of the mock duck with sauce.  I went well after the lunch rush was over, nobody was around, so I think they pretty much gave me what was left.  Which meant a massive serve.  I’m confused though, did they change their name from Chan House?  Or was it always like this with two names?  Anyway, food is yum:

divinerealmmeal

I made some chickpea patties that weren’t popular with anyone but me. At least DeeW ate all the veggies on her plate:

chickpea patties with veg

I can’t even remember what this is… I think it was based on the Cambodian Noodle Salad from The Kind Cook:

 Noodle Salad

The Classic Baked Tofu from Isa Does It plus some garlicky cashew topped noodles:

basked tofu cashew noodles

I think this may have been the Sizzling Mongolian Kantong packet mix, with veggies and mock duck on brown rice:

Kantong Mongolian with veg and mock duck

Vegan pizza time with Notzarella, which I really like using:

vegan pizza with Notzarella

I think I just roasted some veg and tofu here and mixed it all up.  Nothing flash:

mixed veg tofu

Husband and I went to Zaatar and I got my usual.  This costs about $4:

zaatar pizza

I’ve been making lots of juice in my new juicer.  I’m so happy that Arthur and Husband will drink a juice made with greens.  I add some sweet fruit to theirs, like orange and apple:

Fruit and greens juice

familyjuice2

juice1

green juice

A berry smoothie with hemp oil:

berrysmoothie

Green smoothies of some sort, with a bit of chlorella.  Which makes it sound like a diseased drink:
chlorellasmoothie

chlorellasmoothie2

DeeW loves a Planet Box with fruit:

Fruit Planet Box

Some time ago I bought this sweet coconut spread.  It’s okay but I don’t know why I bought it.  It was on sale and I must have been in a “buy something on a whim” mood:

coconutspread
I picked up this Wot No Dairy? dessert, to use in a cake that called for vegan yoghurt.  Must admit I tried really hard to like it, but failed:

wot no dairy
This was the cake, but ah, I don’t even remember what recipe I used:

some kind of cake

My mum had made an apple rhubarb compote and I plopped some on the plate with my cake:

some kind of cake

Last night we thought we’d be clever and drive in to the city to see the Myer Christmas windows.  We thought surely it won’t be busy on a Sunday evening.  The queue was looong and when we lined up an attendant told us this was the middle of the queue.  The end of the queue was waaaaaay down there.  Over an hour long to wait.  So we decided to go and get dinner instead.

DeeW liked this big door:

big red door in the city

These are the Melbourne Bike Share hire bikes:

Melbourne bikeshare

The Christmas tree in the city square.  It was raining and I didn’t want to jaywalk to get a better photo:

Christmas in Melbourne 2013

Bourke Street Mall all dressed up:

Bourke Street Mall

Bourke Street Mall

Melbourne Town Hall:

Melbourne Town Hall

And this was the sky when we got home:

sunset

Hope you’re all having a peaceful lead up to the holidays  😀

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What I Ate This Week (or so)

Food glorious food!  But first I have some sad news.  I was in Coburg yesterday and wanted to go to Cafe Sarabella for a piece of their vegan cake.  I was all happy hoppin’ along, having bought some coconut flakes for coconut bacon and then I noticed there were no chairs and tables outside Cafe Sarabella.  Never mind, I thought.  Perhaps Sara is inside cleaning up and can still sell me a piece of cake.  But you guys, OH NO.  There was a big sign saying they’ve closed because of damage caused by plumbing and their last day of trading was August 8th.  MUCH SADNESS.  I really liked going there. *SNIFF*

We’ve had some cold, windy, rainy weather here this week.  Two days ago there were branches blown off trees when we were driving around Brunswick and through the city.  It’s great reading weather though.  I borrowed three memoirs from the library but couldn’t make it past the first few chapters because the authors got on my nerves.  I much prefer leafing through my cookbooks.

Husband and I have been catching up on Red Dwarf episodes.  I will always have a crush on Chris Barrie.  Movie-wise, I have also been subjected to more Fast and the Furious films.  I also borrowed Julie & Julia from the library which was entertaining I suppose but mehhh I don’t know, Meryl Streep kinda overdid the Julia Child a bit.

Okay, the food. Let’s start with the apple hemp pancakes from Let Them Eat Vegan! by Dreena Burton.  I didn’t make a separate post about it because I really made them look bad on the underside, where the apple slices go (in my version… the lazy version), so next time I make them I’ll at least make them look presentable.  Anyway, this is a great healthy recipe (without lashings of maple syrup that we add, ho ho…):

hemppancakes

I bought some falafel balls and made some hummus.  I like to serve these on top of salad greens:

falafelsalad

I made myself wraps with sprouts, salad greens, avocado, vegan sour cream, sliced apple and pecans:

applewrapIs this alien space food?

calzone2

It’s a calzone!  Made with my leftover Redwood Cheatin’ pepperoni slices and Notzarella.  Awful photo taken with my phone:

calzone1

I made the Banana Scented Vanilla Cake, also from Let Them Eat Vegan!.   Can you see the evidence of my laziness (and why, again, I didn’t make a separate post about it)?  Note the indentations.  That’s because when I am lazy and line a round cake tin with baking paper, I just shoved a whole square of paper in.  Not the whole properly cut out a circle and side bits routine:

bananascentedcake

My mum made some pilafi (rice) and Greek style beans and potatoes:

beanspilafi

My sister cooked up a bunch of mixed veg and some burghul and gave me some.  I love it when people give me food they’ve made.  If I cook the same thing for myself I won’t enjoy it and wouldn’t want to eat it.  I’m strange that way.  But if someone else makes it, even if it’s toast, to me it is raised to gourmet status:


burghulveg

I decided to make a mushroom stroganoff.  It was blergh.  The best thing about it was the bowl (from mum’s kitchen when I was growing up):

stroganoff

I had the falafel zocaccia from Zaatar in Coburg.  I can only eat half at a time as it’s so filling:

falafelzaatar

I had the No Wurry Curry pie from Funky Pies:

wurrycurrypie

That’s pretty much it for the more interesting stuff.  I don’t put the standard boring veggies in there but every time I look over these What I Ate posts I think perhaps I should 🙂

Until next time!

A really slack “What I Ate” moment

I’ve been slack AGAIN with my ‘what I ate this week’ posts.  Meal planning has gone out the window for another week because of Husband’s unpredictable work schedule.  I did manage to take some pics of various this-and-thats!

Kale and chickpeas dressed with lemon juice and nooch:

kalechickpeas

I can’t tell you how happy I am that Arthur and DeeW are eating porridge.  I get to cook ONE BIG BOWL then serve it out.  Bliss!  I had some with currants and golden syrup.  With toasted coconut, I call it ‘ANZAC Biscuit Porridge’:

porridge

Bad photo of the vegan packet rendang mix with leftover potato and sweet potato mixed in:

rendangveg

In the week before Greek Orthodox Easter my mum made vegan ‘koulourakia’.  Koulourakia are bready-biscuitty things served alongside coffee and tea.  Mum’s usual recipe has butter or cream but this version is made with oil.  Everyone makes their koulourakia differently.  My maternal grandmother made big hearty versions but my paternal grandma made hers sweeter and heavier.  My mum makes hers somewhere in between:

teakoulourakia

Speaking of Easter, here are the flowers Mum had on the table for Easter Sunday lunch:

easterflowers

For lunch Mum made rice with veg.  My sister made the roast veg and a leek potato soup.  Due to an unfortunate miscommunication, there was no vegan dessert.  It didn’t matter though as I was pretty full anyway:

easterlunch

One of my favourite smoothies is made with orange, lemon and frozen bananas:

citrussmoothie

I made a walnut basil pesto which was delicious.  I tried some gluten free rice macaroni.  The first time I cooked it according to the instructions.  Sat down to eat and the pasta was still hard (yes I’d tried a piece before turning the stove off!).  It was so hard I threw everything away and made a second batch.  I had to cook the second batch for double the amount of time stated on the packet and the piece I tested had turned to moosh.  Sat down to eat the second time and some of the pieces were still too tough and I’m not talking al dente!  I ate it  because I was starving but I’m never buying it again:

ricepasta

A Lebanese zaatar bread from Zaatar on Sydney Road in Coburg:

zaatar

I went to lunch at Zaatar and ordered their falafel zaatar focaccia, which they assure me has no animal content at all.  It was delicious and I could barely finish it all:

falafel

My mum’s vegan ‘yemista’, which are Greek stuffed vegies.  Mum always uses rice but this time she used burghul:

yemista

I had a voucher for Lord of the Fries so I treated myself to their Spicy burger.  I forgot to take a photo until I’d demolished it:

mostlyeatenveganburger

…and this was my view as I ate my burger at LotF near Flinders Street Station:

lunchview2

lunchview1

It was a beautiful day and I had my camera with me, so I’ll leave you with some snaps of my super home town  🙂

citywalk1

citywalk2

citywalk3

citywalk4

citywalk5

citywalk6

citywalk7

citywalk8

citywalk9

citywalk10

And home again:

citywalk11

\o/

Another “What I Ate This Week” half job…

… it’s a half job because I haven’t been meal planning and what I’ve eaten seems far too boring for a blog!  Plus I haven’t put any effort in to my cooking at all recently, whoops.

We had some fantastic news with the arrival of our first niece. Yay!  When Arthur was little, Husband’s sister  bought him a giant stuffed toy emu.  It’s so big Husband uses the butt as a pillow.  We are considering passing this big gift back to her now with a big “MWAHAHAHA!”  😉

A few days ago, we woke up to find this:

carwindow

That’s our car’s rear window.  Overnight, someone tried to break in, using some kind of sharp implement.  I had heard noises while I was watching Call The Midwife (fabulous show but mehhh, can’t warm to Nurse Jenny Lee at all) and opened the curtain to look out which may have disturbed the person because I didn’t hear anything after that.  Fortunately they didn’t get in, the car was otherwise okay and insurance has covered the repair which was done yesterday.  All that’s left is this reminder, which I’m yet to clean up because I can’t find our broom and am too lazy to search the back yard:

glassonsroad

It could have been worse and we’re thankful our trusty steed sustained no other injury.

Two weeks ago, DeeW began a ballet class.  I now know first position, demi pointe, arabesque.  Maybe next time I’ll learn how to spell them:

ballet

On with the food!

Hallo!  What is in that bag?

whatsinthebag

It’s Lebanese zaatar bread and a spinach pide!

zaatar

This week, I went back to Wonderbao and again got the three vegan options.  $7.50, you can’t go wrong!  Unless you can’t have gluten in which case, SAD FACE:

bao3

I went to one of those Noodle Hut(?) places for the first time.  You select the kind of noodles you want and vegies etc and they stir fry it for you.  I was a bit unimpressed with the $10 pricetag but I was so hungry and nothing else was open as it was a public holiday when I was out and about.  I chose the thick rice noodles with every single kind of vegie they had plus tofu.  I could have made something tastier at home, it was just garlic and soy sauce and waaaay too much oil.  I won’t be going back:

noodles

I bought some vegan burger patties.  I think this is the Macro brand curried chickpea burger eaten two ways.  Firstly in a sandwich overloaded with rocket (which I love, as you can tell):

veggieburger

and then in a bun with salsa and Tofutti sour cream:

salsaburger

‘nachos’… I had to tear up a square of Tofutti for my cheese:

nachos

Green curry vegies and rice served in a bowl that really makes this look terrible…

greencurryveg

I’ve been eating way too much of this mock meat rendang curry.  I throw some vegies in and serve it over rice:

rendang1

I hope your week had lots of excellent news!

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:

zaatar1

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:

zaatar2

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!”