Sunday, September 18, 2011

Planet VegMel picnic

It has been aaaaaaaaaaaaages since I last blogged due to slackness, tiredness due to non sleeping toddler & general life stuff getting in the way but am feeling a bit inspired at the moment so am going with it!
Today was the Planet VegMel picnic (also world fingerpainting day - who would have guessed??) & it really reinforced why I started blogging.  To sit in the sun eating amazing food with fantastic people who I would not have met otherwise is a pretty awesome thing.  I remember when I was thinking about going vegan & I used to read all these blogs & read about potlucks & it sounded like an amazing little community that I wanted to be a part of & now I am a part of it & it really is an amazing & supportive community.

So on to the food.  I decided to make rice paper rolls with a peanut dipping sauce after Mandee mentioned them during the week & I could not get them out of my head!  Unfortunately these were really bland &  boring & I was generally pretty unhappy with them & didn't even take a photo. 
My dessert on the other hand, I was really happy with.  I wanted to make something peanut buttery & when cleaning up my bookmarks I came across an incredibly easy recipe for peanut butter balls so decided to make them.  Yum!  They were like peanut butter cups in ball form but did end up a bit melty at the picnic.

Peanut butter balls (adapted from The Kitchenarian)

  •  3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
  •  7 tbsp almond meal
  •  3 tbsp maple syrup
  •  Dark chocolate (I used about 3/4 of a Whittakers block)

  1. Mix peanut butter, almond meal & maple syrup together until well mixed.
  2. Roll into balls & refigerate 
  3. Melt the chocolate
  4. Roll pb balls into the chocolate & refigerate until set.

And this is what happens after you eat too much & are all tired out from trying to grab food & chase after birds, aka, post potluck nap.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Easter buns

I do like a hot cross bun around easter & haven't been overly happy with the ones that I have been buying so decided to make my own. Many years ago I attempted making them with compeletely disastrous results, they were tiny, hard little almost inedible buns & given that I was veganising an existing recipe this time I wasn't expecting great results. So it was a nice surprise that these were incredibly easy & incredibly delicious. I left the crosses off so made them as plain easter buns rather than hot cross buns.

Hot Cross Buns (based on a recipe from

Ingredients (makes 16)
  •  1 1/2 cups warm soy milk
  •  2 tsp (7g/1 sachet) dried yeast
  •  1/4 cup caster sugar
  •  60g nuttelex, melted
  •  Egg replacer equivalent to one egg
  •  4 cups plain flour
  •  1 tsp salt
  •  3 tsp mixed spice
  •  1 1/2 cups raisins
  •  1/2 cup marmalade


  1. Combine the milk, yeast and 1 tbs of sugar in a small bowl. Set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 10  minutes or until frothy.
  2. Combine the milk mixture, nuttelex and made up egg replacer in a jug and whisk to combine. Combine flour, salt, mixed spice and remaining sugar in a bowl. Add the raisins and stir to combine. Make a well in the centre. Pour in the milk mixture and use a wooden spoon to stir until just combined, then use your hands to bring the dough together.
  3. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10-15 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a bowl and cover with a damp tea towel and place in a warm, draught-free place for 1 hour or until dough doubles in size.
  4. Preheat oven to 200°C. Grease a 23cm square cake pan. Punch the dough down with your fist. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 2-3 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic. Divide dough into 16 even pieces and shape each portion into a ball. Arrange dough portions, side by side, in the prepared pan. Set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 30 minutes or until dough has risen 2cm.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 180°C and bake for a further 20 minutes or until golden and cooked through (buns are ready when they sound hollow when tapped on the base).
  6. Turn onto a wire rack. Place the marmalade in a microwave safe bowl & microwave for 45 seconds or until melted. Brush hot marmalade over the buns. Enjoy with a cup of tea!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Cacao & Orange Balls

Last week when I was at work I was after a snack so headed to the supermarket conveniently located next door & spotted the Emma & Tom's Life Bars.  I have never seen these before but was intrigued so bought the cacao & orange flavour.  This was so good, like a healthy chocolate bar!  It also doesn't have any scary ingredients either, they are - dates, raw cashews, raisins, cacao powder & cold pressed orange oil.

But they are a bit on the pricey side at $2.60 each so I decided to try making my own version to take to work for snacks this week.  I used figs rather than raisins because that is what I bought at the supermarket & used a tiny bit of orange rind because I only had a quarter of an orange.  The orange flavour is not very strong at all but obviously if you use more rind it would be better.  I also decided to make balls rather than bars.  These turned out well, they are just slightly chocolately & I think they will be perfect afternoon snacks at work.

Ingredients(makes 8 balls)

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 7 pitted dates
  • 4 figs
  • 1 1/2 tsp cacao powder
  • orange rind to taste


  1. Throw everything into the food processor & wizz until finely chopped
  2. Roll into balls & refigerate

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Las Vegan Bakery

After nearly 11 months on maternity leave (aka the best time ever!) I returned to work last week.  I am lucky enough to be only working 3 days a week but it is making me appreciate the weekends again.  So this weekend I decided that we should head out to breakfast to start the weekend off in the best possible way.

I hadn't been to Las Vegan since the new owners had taken over & Greg has never been so with the lure of pancakes we decided to go there.  After much indecisiveness I ended up getting scrambled tofu on rosemary & olive sourdough with tempeh bacon & avocado while Greg got the sour cherry pancakes.

Greg loved his pancakes, they were fluffy & cinamonny & very delicious.

The sourdough toast with my breakfast was filled with big chunks of olives & was amazing, I would have been more than happy just to have that toast on its own.   But I don't think that the olive & rosemary flavour went well with the curried flavour of the scrambled tofu.  I liked both things separately but not so much together.  The tempeh bacon was also really, really good & has inspired me to start experimenting with making my own.

Overall we did really enjoy our breakfasts & it was a great start to the day.  We paid $25 for both meals & a coffee each.  They are also quite baby friendly with a few high chairs available.

I couldn't find anyone else talking up the Las Vegan breakfast, but others who have paid a visit at other times of the day are Vegan About Town, In the Mood for Noodles & Easy as Vegan Pie.

Las Vegan Bakery
22 Smith Street

03 9415 9001

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Bo De Trai

Last weekend Greg & I found ourselves over the west side of town around lunchtime so luring Greg with the promise of wonton soup, we decided to make our way to Bo De Trai.  I love Vietnamese food & it is something that I have not gone out to eat much of since being vegan so I have been wanting to go to Bo De Trai for awhile.

I was planning on having a wonton soup but it was a warm day & I ended up getting the spring rolls on rice vermicelli.  This ended up being exactly what I wanted, not too heavy or spicy but with good flavours.  It was plain vermicelli noodles with lettuce, mint, chopped spring rolls & it came with a sauce on the side.

Greg went with the wonton soup which he enjoyed.  I tried some & it was nice, but featured coriander which I am not a fan of.  I am planning on going back soon & getting it without coriander which I think will be really good.

It is cheap & cheerful with fast efficient service - what more could you want from lunch?

Other bloggers who have been to Bo De Trai are Where's the beef, This is Vegan Melbourne, Footscray Food Blog & Aduki

Bo De Trai
94 Hopkins St
9689 9909

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Abyssinian

I am so, so behind & have lots of posts to write for places I have eaten out at & some new cookbooks that I have so stay tuned!

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago a group of us went to The Abyssinian for my friend's birthday.  I have never eaten Ethiopian food before, but have been keen to go here for ages so was pretty happy when told we were going there.

The staff were wonderful & suggested we all get the combination plates to share so we did as we were told.  The others got meaty plates & being the only vegos there Greg & I got a vegetarian plate.  It is a massive big round plate covered in delicious injera covered in little bits of all the different vego dishes.  It was so, so good.  The food was super tasty & fun because you get to eat with your hands & who doesn't love that??  The highlight was without a doubt the shiro which is chickpeas ground to gravy tasting deliciousnes.  A big bowl of this might be a bit too much but just having a little bit was very yum.  I think our meal was $35 & well worth it, they are also BYO which is my favourite thing ever.  I am definitely looking forward to returning soon.

The Abyssinian
277 Racecourse Road
03 9376 3031