Wednesday, June 30, 2010

World Vegan Junk Food day 11/7/2010

I occassionally indulge in a few servings of junk food every now and then. But I often think to myself, "Am I really helping the producers of these fine products enough?" What we need is a day where we can acknowledge the contribution that junk food has made to the vegan movement. A day where we eat as much as we can with no regard for the consequences. That day is near.

World Vegan Junk Food day 11/7/2010

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Souper meals

I'm a big fan of randomness when it comes to cooking as I rarely have all the ingredients for a dish I would like to make. When this is the case I usually just chuck stuff together and hope for the best.

A recent one was this chickpea scramble that contained a tin of chickpeas, spinach, chopped frozen vegies, passata, turmeric and nutritional yeast. It didn't taste too bad.

Tonight I faced a similar problem. Wanting to make a cottage pie, I was short on potatoes and carrots. I sauteed some onions and garlic and let my imagination run wild. I came up with a tasty bean soup.


  • 2 onions (chopped)
  • 3 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 1 litre of vegetable stock (ALDI brand)
  • 1 tin of white beans
  • 1 tin of red kidney beans
  • 3 vegan sausages (sliced)
  • 2 cups of the cheapest frozen mixed vegetables you can find (I went with safeway's home brand)
  • Olive oil

Heat up oil in pot and add onions and garlic. Add the rest of the ingredients once onions are translucent. Simmer for about 15-20 minutes.

I also baked a nice loaf of sourdough on the weekend that I was quite happy with.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Sprouted bread and one night of gluttony

Although they are not my all-time favourite cult/sect (check out this for my favourite), the Essenes did some pretty cool stuff when it came to food and that was making bread from sprouted grains and baking it on stones in the hot desert sun.

I occassionally bought some of the Essene bread from health food shops, which is pricey, but discontinued after finding out about biodynamic farming methods, which produces the main ingredients of these loaves.  This is a shame as sprouted breads are really a nutritional powerhouse compared to regular bread. For a long time I always intended to make some for myself but was put off by my failed attempts at sprouting various grains and pulses. However, over the last month or so, I've gotten the hang of this sprouting thing. I've been using an old 2.5 litre pickle jar and a muslin cloth secured with a rubber band successfully with chickpeas, quinoa, wheat and lentils. I knew I was now ready to have a crack at making essene bread. Here's my "recipe":


- Sprouted wheat (as many cups as required)


- Mince the sprouts with a food processor.
- Knead for about 8 minutes until it starts to kind of resemble normal bread dough. Cover and leave for an hour.

- with wet hands shape into loaves
- bake in 160 degree oven for about 80 minutes

This is quite sweet and sticky stuff and it came out with an almost freshly baked cookie texture which was quite similar to the stuff I used to buy. It also stuck to the bottom of my baking tray so I had to do a bit of scraping to get it off. I will probably make this again and play around with a few different grains.

Yong's X 2 + Vegie bar

Yesterday afternoon I met up at Yong Green food with my lawyer friend, Dan, and we loaded up on some tasty vegan food. I had a vanana (vanilla, banana, almond milk) smoothie, gyoza and chickpea wrap. Dan had the pumpkin soup and gyoza.

The gyoza were great but the pita bread on the chickpea wrap was a little over toasted. My smoothie was also grainy with bits of almond still floating around in it. I think last time I was there the almond milk was strained. It still tasted good, but not as good as their cacao smoothie.

After that we headed over to the Nova to watch Food inc. I had heard this was kind of lame and I was not disappointed. This was mostly due to the prominence of the hero of the happy meat movement, Michael Pollan, author of "The omnivore's dilemma" (turns out there is no dilemma. Here's a good review of his book). There was so much crap spouted out by him, the crazy pig and chicken murderer and the organic yoghurt billionaire. There is no nice way to kill an animal, as could be seen by the audience's reactions to all of the murder scenes, even the happy meat one. They are right in saying factory farming is unsustainable but are wrong in claiming that peddling organic body parts and secretions is the answer. This requires a massive reduction in the human population yet none of them advocate humane cannibalism, where we would only eat people who have lived nice, stress-free, lives.

After the film we decided to go to Yong's again. I ordered the "chicken" skewers and daikon salad. Dan had the miso soup and nut burger.

The daikon salad is a favourite of mine with its chilli and sesame oil dressing, but it was my first time with the skewer. It was probably one of the tastier vegan meats I have had. I wonder where they get it from?

I was in the mood for cake so we headed over to the vegie bar for some of their chocolate cake. Dan decided to grab a vegan supreme pizza as well. This is a really good pizza and a step up from the last time I've had a pizza from there. Who would have thought walnuts could be so tasty on a pizza? Chocolate cake was great, as usual.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Sourdough success

I succeeded in making my first loaf of sourdough bread on the weekend using my 10 day old sourdough starter that I mentioned in a previous post.

Fresh out of the oven

I attempted to follow the directions from and it didn't really go to plan. Despite not matching the instructional pictures at any stage, once out of the oven it looked like a proper sourdough and had a solid crust. Most importantly it tasted awesome. Strangely one loaf was quite salty. Have to work on my kneading technique :)

The starter a few hours after refeeding


Some of you may have seen or heard about a story on a current affair last week profiling a new product called quorn.  The quorn company is evil beyond comprehension. All of their "mycoprotein" (a fungus product they claim is similar to mushrooms, truffles and, don't forget, athlete's foot) products contain animal secretions, or eggs and dairy products in animal abuser speak.  In the U.K, Quorn has basically crushed all of their opposition out of the supermarkets, buying out all the shelf and freezer space where vegan friendly foods once resided. In fact I would say it is easier to get redwoods products in Melbourne than in London or other big cities. This was certainly the case when I was there in 2008.

The ACA story shows that quorn are ready to splash the cash around in promoting their product and this is bad news for the animals, vegans and all potential vegans i.e. everybody.  If your local woolworths/safeway is not stocking Frys products, you should contact them regularly to encourage them to begin stocking it. Even though I like to buy most of my vegan meats from Radical Grocery, I like to buy something from Safeway every few weeks to continue creating a demand for the Frys products. This small effort will help make the transition from violence-based eating that much easier for others.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Insert seitan pun here

After discovering the veg*n for dinner blog a few weeks ago, I've been wanting to try out her recipe for seitan filet mignon. Last night I managed to gather all the necessary ingredients, thanks to radical grocery, after a week or so of scouring local supermarkets for gluten flour with no luck. I replaced the corn meal with polenta (U.S.A. foods apparently stocks it, but I wasn't willing to go all the way to Moorabin for it).

This was my second attempt at making seitan. Several years ago I used a recipe from 'La Dolce Vegan' that turned out quite rubbery. This recipe had pictures included so I would know if something was going wrong. At the the stage just before boiling, my seitan didn't resemble the picture and looked a bit brittle. A small amount came off whilst cooking and turning it over, but they ended up quite solid in the end.

Just out of the pot

I ate some straight away and was pleased, but there was a slightly overpowering herbiness to it. I chucked them in the fridge overnight and had some today with steak sauce (with a side of sprouted chickpeas) and they tasted even better with a much meatier texture. Only dissapointment is that it didn't look much like the pics from the original recipe.
Overall, the recipe is a bit time consuming but I will definitely make it again.


Had lunch in the city today at the food court near the corner of King and Collins st. Found a place called 'Simply Indian' and all their vegetarian curries were vegan and the guy knew what he was talking about as I asked him if there was butter in the curry and he said, "We don't use butter, ghee or flour in our curries. All the vegetable curries are vegan." So I told him to give me all of them. 3 curries and rice for $9.95. Pretty good value. I had the spinach and tofu, chickpea and potato and cauliflower curries. Solid meal.

$9.95 worth of deliciousness

Simply Indian
Shp4g/ 546 Collins St, Melbourne