Friday, 28 September 2012

Dragon Bowls.

Okay so my house mate made this for me after I'd come home raving about the Yong dragon bowls.
I was all "oh my god you can not top it, it was so good! Need it in my daily life!"
She was like "eat this" *presents home-made dragon bowl*
I eat it, along with my words.
They are that rare combination of epic deliciousness AND healthiness...
They own me.
The soft rice, the crisp salty garlic tofu, the fresh salad, the warm citrusy miso dressing... perfection.

Ingredients - serves 4;

 • Grain of choice (I use brown rice but quinoa or even noodles would work well also)
• 1 block of firm tofu, diced
• 1/2 cup soy sauce
• 3 garlic cloves, minced
• Shredded greens of your choice (I used iceberg lettuce this time for some crunch but spinach, cabbage, rocket would all work)
• 1 large or 2 small carrots, grated
• 1 large beetroot, grated
• 1 packet of alfalfa
• Sesame seeds, for serving

• 1 orange, juiced
• 2 tbs lemon juice
• 1/2 cup miso soup
• 1/2 cup oil of choice (I used peanut)
• 2" piece of ginger, minced


• Cook your grain, set aside.
• Fry tofu in soy sauce until golden (about 15mins on a medium heat).
• Add garlic and fry for a further 5mins. I am known to continually add more dashes of soy sauce to keep the pan from being too burny/dry (also I am addicted to salt). Once sufficiently browned, set aside. 
• Blend all dressing ingredients together and set aside.
• Assemblage time! Layer grain, then greens, tofu then veggies. Pour over dressing and top with sesame seeds.

This is creepy good you guys, like, almost my favorite thing to eat in the entire world and we ALL know how much I love eating... :D


Wednesday, 26 September 2012


We tried out Gurkhas Nepalese the other night in Brunswick.
It was tasty but the servings were quite small which was a bummer (don't let the tiny plates fool you!)
We had the smokey BBQ tofu skewers (with magical sauce) but the Asian greens never turned up on the plate.
We also had wok flashed mushrooms, cauliflower and potatoes and a side of saffron rice.
So glad we over-ordered (3 mains for two people) cause we polished the plates off.
The food was delicious and I really enjoyed adding Nepalese to my cravings list.


Sausage rolls and relish.

I'm cooking a few dishes for a friend's wedding soon and spent the weekend as a test run.
Sausage rolls were insanely good and were scoffed down by three meat-eaters that day!
The reviews assured me that the rolls were super meaty-tasting but I had doubts (tofu, walnuts... oats!), way too hippy for my liking.
Still I gave it a go and am seriously glad I did as this meal is going straight to the pool room.
I also made relish to accompany, as I'm fancy.


Monday, 10 September 2012

Epic food times.

So, there has been a lot of eating of tasty things lately...
The food pics in my phone are getting a little out of control (and I've been consciously trying to NOT photograph everything I eat) so it's time to offload them all here.
Being vegan in Melbourne is too easy, I kind of miss Brisbane's lack of dining out options.
I'm getting poorer and rounder but as of this week, more home-cooked meals and I actually have to use my gym membership!

Amazingly cheap and tasty potato and leek curries with biryani rice from my new local, Madino. The dry-style leek curry with coconut and chilli is life changing.

Miso and bento from Tomoshibi. They even made me a special batch of vegetarian miso (no fish flakes!)

One of (too) many trips to Casa Del Gelato - home of hazelnut and chocolate flavoured soy gelato! Hazelnut FTW.

Birthday treats baked by the boy.

Went to see LORD for the best "chicken" nuggets of all time.

Finally got around to seeing what all the fuss was about at Laksa King. BELIEVE THE HYPE! (and make a booking) Best laksa of my life and the melting chunks of eggplant were pretty unbelievable.

 Many visits to Lentil As Anything at Abbortsford lately, always tasty (but not always pretty) curries to be devoured!

Actually cooked at home last night, dad's AMAZING Thai green curry recipe. Kind of a big deal. Seriously looking forward to leftovers tonight.

This other time I cooked at home too, a basic tofu/Chinese broccoli/chilli sttir-fry with brown rice and sesame seeds. Drowned in so much soy there is no taste of tofu in sight (WIN).

Okay so this photo does not do Mankoushe any favors but OH MY EFFING GOD their felafel wraps are a new level of awesome. I actually had a moment when eating this. Bread BAKED TO ORDER with moist felafel and magical tahini... hands down NO CONTEST the best felafel in Melbourne. Go there, got there now.

It was a freezing winter night and I baked Linda McCartney country pies along with steamed greens, garlic sauteed sprouts, creamy mash and onion pepper gravy - like eating pure happiness.

After eating Mankoushe, my idea of the humble felafel wrap changed forever. I had to up my game with home-made wraps. Here I made felafel balls with cos lettuce, tomato, Spanish onion and sweet chilli but the secret was the fresh baked wraps and hommus that I bought from a Lebanese bakery (goodbye Coles/Woolies wraps/hommus forever). It was no Mankoushe but was by far the tastiest home-made wraps I'd made.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Tom Yum.

Remember the laksa recipe I posted not too long ago?
This is it's delicious spicy/sour (healthier) brother, tom yum.
It's basically the same recipe with a different paste base.
Take out the coconut milk, fried onion and nuts from the laksa recipe and you have this one.
It's hot, spicy, sour, healthy and delicious - perfect for winter nights.


• Noodles, prepared as per packet instructions and set aside (I like chow mein)
• Tom Yum paste
• Tofu puffs (available in Asian grocers)
• Handful of snow peas
• 2 shallot stalks, sliced
• 2 cups button mushrooms, quartered
• A few handfuls of Asian greens (I used baby Chinese broccoli)
• 1 long red chilli
• 1 lime
• A handful of bean sprouts
• Bunch of coriander, chopped
• Handful of nuts (I used cashews)


1.) Cook the jar of paste about 1L of water for a few minutes (back of paste jar will be more specific with liquid quantities).
2.) Prepare noodles then set them aside.
3.) Add mushrooms and tofu puffs to the soup and simmer for about 10 mins.
4.) Add snow peas to the soup and some coriander stalks. Cook for another 5 mins to soften the peas then turn off heat.

Now for the assembling;

1.) Add noodles to bowl
2.) Add raw Asian greens, the hot soup will cook these
3.) Add soup
4.) Top with lime juice, bean sprouts, fresh sliced shallots, fresh sliced chilli, and coriander

Half Moon Cafe.

Half Moon Cafe gets amazing reviews and is said to have the "best felafel in Melbourne"...
A challenge!
I accepted.
Went there last week and ordered aforementioned best felafel in Melbourne.
Felafel won.
Moist, tasty, fresh cooked, lot's of pickles and hommus on fresh chewy bread...
Okay Half Moon, you made the list (a list in my phone of about a million and three new fave places to eat in Melbourne.)



These Unicorn lollies are available at the Brunswick IGA (where SO many strange vegan things hide on the shelves...)
They're those hard boiled style ones with chewy stuff in the middle.
Childhood memories.
I keep finding wrappers under Jeff's side of the bed, these lollies are a delicious problem.


La Panella Bakery.


 Sausage roll.

 Curry pie.

 Jam doughnut.

Chocolate muffin.

 Chocolate walnut slice.

 Veggie pastie.

Coffee cinnamon scroll.

Remnants of an apple pie (FRENZY before I could photograph... the shame.)

Mushroom, veggie and veggie meat pie.

The softest and most delicious wholemeal bread I've ever eaten - $1.80. 

My downfall.
The end of days.
Gym membership = useless.

The intense love and hate that I felt for my boyfriend the day he took me to La Panella still resonates in me.
Basically he was like "so there's a vegan bakery in Preston, 5mins drive from your house... wanna go?"
Me - "yeah whatever, you're so obsessed with bakeries, how good can it be?"...

I've spent a good hour tossing up whether or not I should share this here as the shame that follows is depressing...
So we walk in to the bakery, I see that there are shelves and shelves of vegan marked treats.
Of course everything is old world prices, $1.50 vegan sausage rolls, $2 pies, $1.30 jam doughnuts etc. etc.
Well what choice did we have?
We bought it all.
There was a FRENZY, I don't know what came over me.
Seriously, we spent $20 and got 11 items plus a drink... ELEVEN BAKERY GOODS FOR UNDER $20.
Although we didn't eat ALL of it on the pavement outside, we did eat most of it...
I drove home a broken and bloated lady.
What am I meant to do with myself now that I know there are AMAAAAAAAZING $1.50 VEGAN SAUSAGE ROLLS RIGHT NEAR MY HOUSE!?
*sigh, my will power has been doing double time.

Anyway enough of the rant, I am sure you get the idea by this point.
La Panella = cheap, delicious, vegan bakery goods and certain doom to my bathroom scales.



Thursday, 19 July 2012

Sweetie Pie & Cuddle Cakes.

My friend Mai has just started a vegan and gluten-free cupcakes/cakes business called Sweetie Pie & Cuddle Cakes.
The grand opening was last weekend and OMG was it tasty.
Basically I stumbled into vegan HEAVEN and possibly found myself in a sugar coma about 23 minutes later...
It was worth it.
Check them out!!


French lentil bolognese.

I've been making this bolognese for a long time and it's a proven winner.
It's hearty, rich and wonderful, PERFECT for an icy winter night.
I use this Veggie Num Num recipe but change the tin of condensed soup for a tin of diced tomatoes as I find the soup way too sweet.
It's GOOD.


Scrambled tofu.

So my Soulfood scrambled tofu addiction was getting a bit out of hand...
My bank account can't keep up with my social life/eating habits some times.
This resulted in me experimenting with re-creating my caramelised love at home.
It changes depending on what's in the fridge but I've pretty much got this down to perfection.
I don't cook with specific measurements so bare with me and give this a go, it's YUM.


Scrambled tofu
• 1 packet of firm/crumbly organic tofu
• 1 brown onion, sliced
• 3 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 cup of mushrooms, diced
• Large handful of baby spinach leaves
• Small handful of fresh parsley, chopped
• Pinch of cumin
• Pinch of tumeric
• Pinch of paprika
• About 3tbs light soy sauce
• About 5tbs kecap manis (dark sweet soy sauce)
• S&P

To serve:
• Thick slices of sourdough toast
• Fresh avocado with lemon
• Cherry tomatoes


1. Throw the onion in a large non-stick pan with a good slosh of olive oil and brown over a low heat for at least 10-20 minutes until it caramelises (yes it's a long time to cook onion but it's worth it as the sweet caramelised flavour MAKES this dish).
2. Crumble in tofu along with mushrooms and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes until shrooms are softening and garlic is aromatic.
3. Add spices and soy sauces, stir and continue to cook for another 5 minutes or so.
4. Throw in spinach and parsley and cook for 2 minutes, season with S&P.
5. Serve on toast with tasty sides and lot's of lemon juice!


Mister Nice Guy Cupcakes.

Yeah so I am surprised at how long it took me to find these.
Nearly three months of living in Melbourne and I finally got my hands on some.
Mister Nice Guy provided some very nice vegan treats.
Pictured is banana/hazelnut/chocolate and chocolate/coconut.
Both were intensely enjoyable.



I'd been meaning to check out CERES Community Park for ages as my roomies love it.
Finally made it out there one sunny day when my mum was visiting and had the most amaaaaaazing falafel baguette (with roast pumpkin, olives, spinach, alfalfa and pesto! All grown organically on the grounds).

The cafe is very vegan-friendly and lovely to sit at (outdoor patio surrounded by bushland).
The park itself is really cool and has produce farms, animals everywhere, two cafes, a dam, an organic store, organic produce markets and some nice hippy stalls thrown in too.
Next sunny day I am going back for seconds.



Move over Whittakers (not really, I still live you and your gooey peppermint perfection), Heidi is my new chocolate BFF.

This strange Lindt rip-off (packaging-wise) is DELICIOUS!
Dairy-free, super creamy and full of crunchy nuts and sweet pear essence.
Available at the Brunswick IGA (have not seen anywhere else yet).

Monday, 18 June 2012


 Pre-steamed beauties

 Post-steamed tasties

Yes the title gets capitals, that is because THESE ARE THE TASTIEST THINGS YOU CAN PUT IN YOUR FACEHOLE!
Seriously, these are crack dumplings and I've been known to trade them for goods and services :)
About 18 months ago when friends and I got home from a Melbourne trip, we were bummed about not being able to access dumplings easily in Brisbane.
We decided to make some and I took a few different recipes I found online and combined the best parts to make this recipe.
Surprisingly, it worked.
Not only worked but was like, wow.
SO this is another dish that is for weekends only as it takes me 45mins to finely chop all the filling ingredients and another hour or so to fold 60 dumplings and steam.



• Approx 60 dumpling wrappers (Gow Gee)
• 3 cups shitake mushrooms, chopped finely (I use button mushrooms when I'm not as cashed up, shitake are expensive but taste better)
• 1 cup pak choy or Chinese broccoli leaves, finely shredded
• 1 cup firm tofu, finely chopped
• Thumb size piece of ginger, finely grated
• 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
• 2 shallot stalks, finely sliced
• 1 cup coriander, finely chopped
• 1/4 tsp white pepper
• 3 tbs soy sauce
• 2 tbs sesame oil
• 1 tsp chilli sauce/sambal oelek/chilli powder
• 1/2 tsp veggie stock powder


• Mix in a large bowl
• Spoon into wrappers, fold (Youtube dumpling folding videos! It takes practice)
• Steam
• Faceplant

Serving suggestions;

• Dipping sauce - most part soy sauce, dash of white wine vinegar, few drops of sesame oil
• Chilli sauce/sambal oelek
• Wok tossed Chinese greens with garlic
• Steamed rice


Dal Kofta.

This dal kofta is one of my faaaavourite dishes to make (if you haven't already noticed, Veggie Num Num is my go to guide for delicious winners!).
It's SO tasty and makes about six serves.
The catch?
It takes a long time to make.
I make it my Sunday dinner so I have two hours prep time.
It's SO worth the wait, seriously.
The kofta balls are crunchy and packed full of flavour and the curry they float in is really rich and creamy.
I forgot to take a picture of it plated up as I faceplanted very quickly.
I serve it on brown rice and top with LOT'S of fresh lime juice, chopped cucumber and a huge handful of fresh coriander leaves.

P.S This pic was taken just before I added the coconut milk, it gets a LOT creamier :)