Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Edamame hommus and tofu wraps.





After seeing the vegan blogosphere light up with amazing looking noms from Isa's new book, I gave in and got myself a copy. That was an excellent decision as it's full of the most wonderful recipes (and is super well-designed).

The first recipe I had to try was her edamame hommus and tofu wraps. Hommus, using edamame instead of chickpeas and with the addition of wasabi powder - YES PLEASE. Plus, fried tofu and sprouts on mountain bread? Also yes please. The dish is very simple to whip up and has amazing results. I added cucumber and chilli sauce to my version and they were a crowd-pleaser all 'round. Also the recipe makes HEAPS of hommus which means salad rolls just got better.


Beef and black bean.








This meal has been on fairly high rotation the last few months. Blue Dragon have a vegan black bean sauce that seems to constantly be on special for $2 at Coles and I've discovered these veg beef strips at my local KFL supermarket, $2.55. Grab some fresh veggies on the way home from work, re-hydrate the strips for 30 minutes (squeeze out water once softened) and get the brown rice cooking - weeknight win.


Monday, 10 February 2014

Loving Hut.

After a long, hot day at the beach yesterday, I found myself craving rich and "meaty" Asian food. It took me about ten minutes of brain-storming before I remembered the new Loving Hut at Northcote was on my 'to try' list. About fifteen minutes and an awesome car park later, I was eagerly sitting in Loving Hut talking to the very lovely staff. Basically, I wanted everything.

First off we got the BBQ skewers - 3 for $9. I actually spent the whole day thinking of these, they were CRAZY DELICIOUS. I even just went out and bought the mock meat they use to try and master myself. These guys were rich, smokey, charred and BBQlicious. I almost licked the plate.


The main reason we visited was because we heard of this dish - southern fried chicken - $14 (?) Although these pieces look small in the picture, they were actually huge, almost fist-sized. Basically what we have here is vegan KFC. That's right, vegan crack. Silent awe blinking was all we could muster while nomming these.


I saw this on another table as we walked in and read the menu a good few times before I gave up and asked the waiter where it was. Turns out it was a special, and a delicious one at that. Crispy noodles with a garlicy lemongrassy tofu and veg topping - $12. This was fresh and rich and crunchy and perfect. Also a huge serve.


Loving Hut at Northcote completely won us over. Thank goodness as it's a lot closer than Richmond and serves aforementioned vegan KFC crack. Great service, great prices, great food, easy parking and table availability... really, how can I not go there every night?

Friday, 31 January 2014

Veggie Villa.

Oh the excitement I felt when I saw a new vego place opening in Flemington right near my work! Veggie Villa is now open and has a fabulous menu. We have been twice within a couple of days, once for dessert and once for lunch. The meals are very affordable and dabble in Asian, Indian, burgers and also a big raw section. It was great and I'll be there often.

Here's the raw chocolate shake - $7 for a large and with banana, agave, vanilla beans, raw cacao powder and your choice of milk. It was YUM.


Raw chocolate cheesecake - $7. Very yum and surprisingly light.


Raw blueberry cheesecake - $7. BEST.


Mango tropical juice made on coconut water and fresh mango - $6 for large. This was as delicious as it sounds. Could have done with some ice though!


We got the corn chips with salsa and cashew cheese from the 'Small plate' menu - $5. A generous serve of tasty corn chips with tasty dips, maybe not quite enough of them but tasty none the less.


Tempeh wrap with spinach, tomato coleslaw, satay sauce and chilli sauce in pita bread - $7. This was tasty and filling. I am not a huge tempeh fan and will try the tofu version next trip but the satay sauce made all things good.


Okay here is the winner - wheat chicken veggie burger with green salad, cucumber, tomato, satay sauce and creamy coleslaw on a delicious focaccia, $7. This was stupid tasty and also $7, yes I will be eating a lot of these and easing the work day pain.


Veggie Villa has no online presence but can be found at 331 Racecourse Road, Flemington 3031 VIC. Their number is 03 9376 7140. Thank you for bringing vego food to my side of the tracks VV :)

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Las Vegan.

Yes, it was a Saturday so I was at Las Vegan. A Saturday without Las Vegan is no Saturday at all. I am an addict and I'm okay with that.

Home made chips and super crispy snitz with a tasty side salad including magical amazing olives...

The best vegan snitz and chips of your life for $12 would make you an addict too. See you next Saturday LV xo


Chef Lagenda.

Chef Lagenda has been my go to for Malaysian since I moved to Melbourne. These three dishes are all simple in nature but seriously packed with flavour.

Fried crispy lime tofu with sweet chilli sauce - $6.50. I think the coriander really makes this dish. The shredded lettuce and carrot come in handy for mopping up the tasty sauce.


Chinese broccoli with garlic sauce - $13.80. I feel this is steep for greens but damn that garlic sauce is crack. I will continue to nom it forever.


Vegetarian fried rice (minus the egg) - $8.20. This is delicious and confusingly cheap - yay!


Clifton's Cafe.

Clifton's Cafe is a secret winner. It has no online presence and I'd walk straight past it if it wasn't for a friend directing me and promising it's goodness. They make a set menu of fresh salads in bulk every day and they are seriously yum.

There's my favourite, the brown rice with French lentils and caramelised onion, a creamy chickpea, a crisp and light slaw and a rich tomatoey grain-based tabbouleh. Take-away serves are $8 for regular and $10 for large. I recently bought two large containers and have gotten four full meals out of them. They pack insane amounts of food into the containers so there's serious value for money. Work lunches for the week at $5 per serve - check!


Pho House.

Oh hai Pho House! You are my new favourite. Wonderful $10 Vietnamese meals and a two minute drive from my work? I love you. I go here a lot and I am always left satisfied (due to the amazing food and lovely staff!)


Yes, I did go in for this dish five times in the last two weeks. Grilled tofu skewers - $10. Vermicelli noodles, shredded lettuce, bean shoots, carrot, cucumber and peanuts with four skewers of deep-fried tofu and Vietnamese dressing - YES PLEASE. This comes with a bowl and you generally get two bowlfuls from a serve. Delicious bargain and my ideal lunch meal.


One of the two bowls it makes up, topped with chilli sauce.


Fried beancurd with vegetables on rice - $10. This is yum and if the above meal did not exist, I may have ordered it more than once but that will never happen because the above meal exists.


Veggie spring rolls - $5 and comes with fresh mint, lettuce leaves and Vietnamese dipping sauce. Rolls are quite mushroomy which was a nice change from cabbageville like most places.


Il Gobbo.

Yep, Il Gobbo, we did it again. I think I've said everything that needs to be said about this heaven.

Spot burger with wedges - $14.


Bogan burger -$10.


New York Dog - $9.95


Spot burger with chips - $14.


A Caterpillar's Dream.

We finally got around to visiting A Caterpillar's Dream in Kew a few weeks ago. The whole menu is vegetarian and quite affordable. We spent a long time deciding what to order as there are lot's of tempting items in many styles of cuisine including Asian soups, mock meat burgers, soups and salads.

I ended up with the chicken burger and chips and Jeff got the mushroom pie and chips. I never remember prices when I post so many weeks later, sorry! I think these meals were about $13-$15 each. My burger was fairly average - seemed like the usual frozen mock meat patty with basic salads and was lacking some flavour. Chips were also a bit hard and disappointing.


The pie was a better dish and was made up of three types of mushrooms in a creamy sauce with mashed potato inside too. Side salad was pretty yum.



Eat Fresh Pizza.

I think Eat Pizza in Maribrynong has re-branded to Eat Fresh Pizza. The sign out front has changed and I can only find an Urbanspoon link...

Anyway, I've been obsessed with this place the last year or so. It's our go to pizza shop and has great vegan options. I'm more of a pepperoni and cheese girl than a potato/artichoke/pine nut girl which means I'm usually unimpressed with vegan pizza options as they often consist of a curry/salad on a pizza base. This place though, is what my pizza dreams are made of.

The garlic pizza is SO GOOD, just remember to ask for no cheese (or vegan cheese for $4 extra). I prefer no cheese on this one - the garlic, herbs and dash of sauce are perfect.


We do a make your own style pizza too. On this occasion we gave the vegan pepperoni and ham a miss ($4 each extra) and stuck with vegan cheese, mushrooms, olives, Spanish onion, garlic and herbs. The vegan meats are a great option but triple soy was not ideal on this visit. Garden salad was also purchased which Nia says was surprisingly good and well-dressed.



From Earth and Water.

Just down the way from Govindas in Burleigh sits the new and much larger From Earth and Water raw food cafe. I'd had this raw snickers slice a few years ago with my mum and have not stopped raving about it since. Finally, a Christmas trip home meant I could sneak a visit back!

It's fairly pricey for a slice, I think about $11, BUT it is heaven. The bottom layer is like a Nestle Crunch chocolate bar, crispy and rich. Then comes a vanilla cheesecakey layer, chocolate moussey layer and SALTED CARAMEL LAYER topped with a thin chocolate sheet and served with raw ice cream. Best raw dessert I've ever nommed.



Govindas.

A very ugly picture of some very delicious food from Govindas on the Gold Coast. We used to drive three hours return from Brisbane for this!

I think it was about $8/$10 and I got dal (mandatory, so good) and kofta balls (also not up for discussion). Those doughy deep-fried delicious come covered in a magic tomato sauce and are just the best.


The Green Edge.

I went home to Brisbane for Christmas and naturally made a trip out to The Green Edge. I hadn't visited since they relocated to a new site in Windsor. Wow, it's awesome. Being so much bigger means more isles of food and a much larger dining section.


We ordered the big breakfast, $22 (recommend to share between two) - The Other Scramble (tofu scramble with kale, tomato, and capsicum); garlic-saut√©ed mushrooms; smoky strips; breakfast potatoes; toasted Turkish bread with guacamole; seitan sausage patties; served with a homemade tomato relish! 

OH MY GOD I am saying it... this was the BEST vegan breakfast I've ever had. Hands down. I spent most of the meal staring at my plate and shaking my head in disbelief. The scramble managed to not taste like tofu and actually tasted eggy. It was creamy and savory and rich and delicious. The mushies were perfect, the smokey strips were crazy good, the seitan sausage was YUM. The serve was huge enough to easily share. Only fault was that there was only one buried piece of toast when two pieces on the side would have been a little better for sharing. I will never visit home again without stopping by and devouring a serve of this. Green Edge, thank you!

 

Half the serve, a full and delicious meal.



Continental chocolate.

Okay so this brand has no online presence that I can find BUT it is available at the Brunswick IGA (Melbourne) and it's absolutely addictive. $1.60 PER BLOCK, VEGAN! The chocolate is very milky tasting which I love (so over dark chocolate) and the strawberry flavour tastes EXACTLY like strawberry cream Freddos. Do it, join me, we will start a support group.



Tabets.

I really love Tabets. I used to (and soon will again!) live really close and could rarely resist this place when loitering about Sydney Road, Brunswick. It's cheap, it's fast, it's delicious.

 Za'atar herb pizza - $1.50.


Vegetable oregano pizza - $3.00. Za'atar spice base with fresh tomato, capsicum, onion and kalamata olives. Topped with chilli and lemon then rolled up and ready to go. SO MESSY to eat but who cares.


Home cookin' last month.

Yep, it's been a long time... there's quite a build up of food pictures that need to get off my phone! Seems I was cooking some yummy stuff at home last month... The last few weeks have been a bit of a take-away binge (which will follow, no doubt).

Chilli lime tofu from Vegan Yum Yum, served on brown rice with garlic sesame Chinese broccoli and snow peas.


PASTA! I rarely make pasta. This was linguini with a napoli sauce of onion, garlic, fresh tomatoes, tinned tomatoes, veggie stock, tomato paste, fresh basil, dried oregano, kalamata olives, salt, pepper and chilli flakes. Served with fried broccolini topped with toasted sunflower and pepita seeds.


Felafel wraps - store-bought Yumis felafel balls on Lebanese bread with mixed lettuce greens, tomato, Spanish onion, hummus and chilli sauce.


LAZY dinner - store-bought Tasty Bite chickpea masala on brown rice with steamed greens and chopped cucumber. You heat the curry sachet IN the same boiling water as the rice... while the greens microwave... too easy not to.


Rice paper rolls.



Dragon bowls.


Barbequed marinated tofu steaks (mumma's secret smokey recipe!) with garlic mushies, fresh corn and a mango, avo and pomegranate salad.


The first time I ever made pancakes from scratch! I'm a Vegemite addict so sweet breakfasts have never tempted me. However, a HUGE $1 bag of ripe bananas meant banana topped banana pancakes (with strawberry jam).


SURPRISE! My current favourite - toor dal on basmati rice with store-bought garlic naan.