Monday, September 10, 2007


So I cooked some stuff over the last couple of months (of slack absenteeism).

Sanitarium Roast served with herbed wedges and avocado cucumber salad.

I was quite bemused upon opening the Sanitarium Roast packet...the cylindrical "roast" appeared to more resemble what I feed my dog (also known as "dog log") than something I would willingly choose to eat myself. But, being the brave warrior for the vegan cause that I am, I rolled that thing in the provided (luridly orange) herb and spice mix and wacked it in the oven, cosied up to some potato wedges.

Whilst baking I prepared a simple salad consisting of an avocado that was going mooshy, 3/4 of a cucumber that was just wasting space in the fridge and some random tomato, spiced up with a healthy dash of balsamic and some olive oil. Simple, but delicious.

The roast emerged from the oven looking surprisingly edible, brown and crusty on the outside, a somewhat springy texture was revealed to my forky probings. Sliced and generously doused in packet gravy, it actually tasted not too bad! Not sure that it would have been quite so consumable minus the lashings of gravy and stuff on the side, but it worked well in this instance. I'd like to try it maybe in some sort of sandwich, with some sort of mustard..perhaps a pickle.

Mock Tuna Salad

I first spied this recipe whilst browsing I think mainly because the photo on Lindyloo's blog had a potato chip in it, and I quite like potato chips.

The recipe is remarkably simple to prepare, makes a decent amount, and you could probably use it in a whole heap of recipes


1(15 oz.) can chick-peas, drained (or 1.5 c. cooked)
1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise (I use 97% Fat Free Praise, which is vegan)
1/3 cup minced celery
2.5 T. minced dill pickle (about 1 pickle-slice, give or take)
1/2 T. nutritional yeast
1 green onion, chopped
1 t. soy sauce
1/2 t. kelp powder (optional, I didn't, though I'm sure it would give it that tunaish taste)
pepper, to taste


In a medium bowl, mash the chick-peas coarsely with a fork. Mix in the remaining ingredients. Use on sandwiches or on a bed of salad greens.

I served it in some cos lettuce leaves with some (rather pale) lemon fries. Just chips with herbs and lemon zest on them prior to baking. Tasted good but not enough crunch. I need to work on my baked chips routine, either that or resort to deep frying them. Any hints? I did parboil them first but it helped not a thing. Le sigh.

Anyway regarding the mock tuna, I've never actually tasted real tuna so I dont know how similar it is, but Rocket said it had a similarity, and it looked a damn sight like it! It was really tasty, tangy and nicely textured, would go well in sandwiches and just as a snack, and seems like it would be something that would keep well in the fridge over time.

You should try it!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Green Field Restaurant

It was one of the freezingest days of winter and I was feeling rather indecisive. I had made Rocket stroll up and down Sydney Road with me (from Albion St to Brusnwick Road and back again) searching for a yet undiscovered dining gem. Nowhere in particular, just something delicious. In the end, it was my bladder that made the decision and when it all got much too much for it, we entered the nearest establishment, which happened to be Green Field Restaurant.

Immediately it smelt like burning. But hey, burning means cooking, and cooking means food, so we sat down (after brief interlude with bathroom) and perused the menus. The vegetarian section was quite pleasing, and I did have difficulty deciding what I wanted. It was a toss up between some variety of eggplant deliciousness (I'm always tempted by eggplant dishes because it is something I am entirely shite at cooking whilst at home) and the incredibly genius sounding "tofu satay stack" or some such. I went the stack. Look at it!!

I was really, really impressed with this meal. For the most part, I'm used to meat serving Asian restaurants having a fairly okay range of stir fried vegetables with beancurd, or satay vegetables or some such, but I was so chuffed to be presented with this creative and delicious meal created exclusively for the enjoyment of vegetarians. Basically, it was a stack of about 3 square slices of deep fried tofu, layered with a spicy, coconutty satay sauce and a bed of vegetables on the bottom, included shredded carrot and lettuce, broccoli, some random peas, carrot, capsicum and baby corn. The vegetables were fresh and crunchy, the tofu crisp and the satay just bound it all together. I understand its not too far removed from the usual satay and beancurd dishes, but I am pretty easily impressed and it was a cut above the usual.

Rocket decided to go with the Monk's Bowl because he often strives to eat like a monk but then fails because I make him eat peanut butter chocolate icecream.

It was a simple and soothing dish of broth, noodles, puffy tofu and vegetables, exactly as described in the menu and delightful in its own way. Not as delightful as TOFU SATAY stack but hey, monks cant have everything.

We enjoyed some delicious asian broccoli with garlic sauce on the side, and this is what it looked like.

Mmm..delicious and most generous garlic studding.

Green Field Asian Restaurant was a pleasant surprise, well priced food and really a great variety for vegetarians and vegans alike. And the burning smell went away eventually.

Green Field Asian Restaurant
378 Sydney Road

Spelt Pizza

One day I came home from work, and whilst perusing the takeaway menus that I have amassed over time (I do this on a regular basis, sheerly for kicks) I came across one that had never seen before! And nobody could tell me where it came from, how it had made its way into my pile...though I suspect it was...through the letterbox.

It was for a newly opened pizza place on Bridge Road (just a walk away from me) called Spelt. All their bases are made on spelt flour, which is a special flour that can often be consumed by people with wheat intolerances. Now, I have no known intolerance to wheat, but I do have an intolerance to not eating pizza on a regular basis, so off I went.

The restaurant itself is rather nice, lots and lots of seating areas, including outdoors and a cute little courtyard. The service was friendly and helpful which is always pleasant. We ended up ordering a roasted vegetable pizza to share (without the cheese) and a garden salad.

They arrived in good time, and consisted of certainly enough food to feed two hungry vegans. The pizza, though somewhat nakeder than what I'm usually used to, was delicious - not too oily despite the roasted/marinated vegetables, and the pizza crust was lovely and crispy and spelty. Well it really tasted like a normal flour base to me, which is the point I guess. The salad was also great. They do that thing where they slather it in an amount of olive oil that I personally would never use on my salads at home due to guilt factor, but makes the salad ingredients taste just awesomely amazing. It was very fresh and there was heaps of it and I did enjoy it.

The meal total came to about $20. They have a few vegan/veggie pizzas on the menu including a mixed mushroom one which will become my next victim. They also have pasta and a pretty decent salad menu.

As a side note, whilst spelt bases are generally okay for people with wheat intolerances, they still contain that pesky gluten so are not suitable for coeliacs. However, Plush Pizza do offer a gluten free base for a few bucks extra. Its a shame it tastes a tad cardboardy though. But hey! Options!


14 Bridge Road


Tofu Soft Serve. Indeed!

The day that I discovered that the Tofu Shop had possession of a soft serve machine was truly, truly unsurpassed. Except maybe by the time I absolutely by accident walked into a vegan gelati place in Rome; that was rad too. I only wanted to ask directions but instead I gorged myself! Off topic.

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The Tofu Shop does own a soft serve machine in which they make tofu based soft serve, sweetened with fructose....that means its healthy and good for you right? Fruit sugar? Could be consumed daily, right? Yes? Hm. Regardless, this stuff is just wonderful, reminiscent of the days of 30cent cones but less pig fat. Okay no pig fat. And they change the flavour every week! The flavours range from old reliables (such as vanilla malt, pictured above) to the exotic and then some (such as the vivid green coconut-pandan I had the other day).

I also know, through tofu related gossip, that one can request flavours. I also know that they have a rosewater flavour. One day I will combine these two important items of factual knowledge and request rosewater soft serve, until then I will just be shy and eat what they give me.

You can have the soft serve for takeaway or eat there, they have some nice outdoor seats, and that can be a good option as often times it can take a few minutes to rev up the machine. Also you can be regaled by very interesting monologues by a man who works there, and you will not really understand what is going on but you still listen.

The Tofu Shop also has bain marie style eating with revolving dishes of really delicious looking vegetables, and house made tofu-based cakes and slices. I will report back at a later date.

The Tofu Shop

78 Bridge Road


Fraus Hot Chocolate.. essentially a solid not a liquid. It could probably even be served on a plate, thats how remarkably thick it is.

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I'm not really much of a coffee drinker, so hot chocolate (particularly during the dreaded colder months) is my warmed beverage of choice to consume outside of the home. At home I'm quite lazy, soaking a teabag in hot water seems to require herculean efforts on my behalf, thats why I surround myself with helpful tea making friends.

Anyway! I had heard much gushings regarding Fraus' amazing hot chocolate drinks, their supreme thickness and creaminess, variety of flavours, and vegan-ness!

My first visit involved a sumptuous experience with a coconut flavoured hot chocolate. Intense cocochoc flavours, thickly studded with shredded toasted coconut bits, this was definitely more of a dessert than a simple drink! I did consume the whole thing with a spoon, with is really the only way to do it. Trying to drink that stuff would most certainly result in a cardiac shock of some variety and/or hot chocolate milk moustache becoming crusted to your face and resulting in comedic embarassment and bugs attacking face.

Other flavours in my extensive, yet still meagre, experience (considering the broad flavour list) include strawberry (tastes like Roses "Thankyou very much" strawberry heart shaped chocolate of days yore. You know the ones your parents used to get, that would inevitably be regifted unless you so happened to tear into them whilst they were out) and vanilla (which was incredible), but mainly I have stuck with the coconut.

The hot chocolate comes in two different sizes. Cup - for the weaker more lame people among us, and mug - the obvious choice for champions. Mug size with soy milk sets you back about $4.40, but well worth the money spent. If trying an unexplored flavour, be sure to ask whether its vegan friendly, as some flavours may contain milk solids.

Fraus also serves sweet and savoury crepes, of which I have no experience. Just putting it out there. Much, much respect to you if you can handle both hot chocolate and a crepe. Simultaneously.


345 Victoria Street

North Melbourne