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Last Saturday afternoon I wanted a substantial snack.  Here is what I ate:  some homemade hummus, some carrot sticks, roast chickpeas (marinated in leftover marinade from making carrot hotdots, then roasted) and the star of the show, sliced and fried pepperoni from Just Add Vegan Products.

Just Add is a new venture by my sister Leigh Drew, author of vegan cookbooks including Veganissimo! and Greenilicious.  Her aim with Just Add is to provide dry mixes in sustainable biodegradable packaging. To turn the dry mixes into delicious food, just add liquid and follow the instructions.  To make the pepperoni, you tip the Just Add dry mix into a bowl, add oil and vegan stock, knead for a couple of minutes, shape into two logs, wrap up in alfoil and steam:  the usual process for making seitan.

The pepperoni is very tasty with a good amount of heat.  So far I’ve enjoyed my pepperoni slices in sandwiches and on its own, or in snack bowls like this one.  Other Just Add products include hot dogs, burgers, a ham that I can’t wait to try, and a cheesecake (base and filling).  Look out for Just Add at vegan markets in Melbourne (and sometimes Sydney!) and follow Just Add on instagram to get sneak peaks of upcoming products currently being tested.

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It was hard to decide what to eat when I visited Shenkin at Enmore.  In the end I ordered the Forest bowl, with cauliflower, broccoli, pumpkin, chickpeas, carrot and hummus. Everything was beautifully prepared and the combination was very tasty and satisfying.

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Last week we went to the Sydney Vegan Market at Moore Park. We got there around 11am and it was already quite busy… by lunchtime it was absolutely packed.  So many great things to eat, it was hard to choose.  I had two corn fritters with a tomato quinoa salad.  In fact, mine also had a scoop of avocado mash on each fritter, but I was so keen to eat it that I forgot to take a photo!  So I went back to the stall later and took a photo of someone else’s order (with permission).

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There were also lots of yummy sweet treats to choose from.  I managed to get the very last slice of raspberry-topped cheesecake from Rhubarb Bakes.  Mmm, happy tastebuds.

A big reason why we went to the markets last weekend was to see my sister Leigh, who was there selling products from her new business Just Add.  I’ll do a post on Just Add products separately, when I’ve prepared a couple more of her products at home.

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I made this recipe for vegan san choi bow from delightfulvegans.com . The mixture includes some carrot, baby corn and water chestnuts fried with tofu and lots of yummy flavourings.  My kids are normally not that keen to eat lettuce but they both really enjoyed these.  I accidently added the fresh mint early, during the cooking stage: next time I would wait and add it at the proper time, right at the end for maximum flavour.

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After my week in Vancouver I spent a week in Waterloo, working with a colleague.  One evening I took myself out to dinner and a movie.  Dinner was at Jane Bond and the movie was at the Princess Twin cinema.  All the food at Jane Bond is vegetarian, and several items are vegan.  I had a jerk tempeh burrito with  spinach and black bean, served with pineapple, mint and lime salsa.  From memory, the beer I had with it was a pale ale called Face For Radio.  I enjoyed the burrito: I’m not sure I’d put pineapple in a salsa myself, but it was fun and somehow matched the vibe of the place.

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From my admittedly limited experience, I would guess that Jane Bond is the coolest place in Waterloo.  I mean, just look at it!  It’s also a live music venue.  I immediately felt relaxed and comfortable there.

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Just look at this table! I loved it all.  Go there if you can.

One more eating experience in Waterloo that I’d like to mention.  My colleague and her family took me out to brunch at Proof Kitchen, inside a hotel.

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I had the Breakfast Goodness, one of a few items marked as vegan on the menu. It consists of artfully smeared hummus, smoked tofu, red quinoa, baby arugula (also known as rocket), crushed pistachios, pomegranate seeds and molasses. Nice colours, nice mix of textures, tasty.  This is quite fancy food, in a somewhat upmarket place.

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I’m a mathematician: my colleague and her husband are both mathematicians.  There are a lot of mathematicians in Waterloo.  I’ve never seen such a mathematical theme in a restaurant before, anywhere.  The concept of proof is what sets mathematics apart from every other science, so it’s very close to every mathematicians heart.  It made me happy just to be eating in a restaurant called “proof”, and even happier when I saw the square “QED” symbol as part of their in the logo of this restaurant.  (We mathematicians put the little square at the end of our proofs, to let people know we’ve finished.)

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They even have a maths problem written on blackboards!  But I was too busy eating my brunch to try to solve it.

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I just got back (well, on Monday) from two weeks in Canada.  I spent the first week in Vancouver, where I found some yummy things to eat.  I had some time to kill on my first day before I could check into my hotel, so I walked to Kokomo in Chinatown and ate a Breaky Bowl, featuring tofu scramble, spicy tempeh crumble, roasted squash, lettuce, cherry tomatoes, rice and seeds.  A very healthy and tasty start to the day (and a nice change from airplane food!).

The next day I planned a walk specifically to grab brunch at Edible Flours, a vegan bakery in Kitsilano.

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So many vegan treats, both savoury and sweet, and several gluten free options. Not a great photo (below) because of the reflections, but you get the idea.

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I had a spinach, tofu and artichoke roll (right) and a cinnamon roll (left) with a coffee: from memory, an oatmilk latte.  All were delicious.

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Then it was time for the conference which I had come to Vancouver to attend.  Imagine my joy when I noticed that there was a hole-in-the-wall selling vegan puddings, just across the road from the conference venue!

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The people at Vegan Pudding & Co are really onto something. I had a strawberry pudding, topped with whipped coconut cream and double-chocolate sauce.  It was rich and creamy and I wish I could eat another one right now.

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My last lunch in Vancouver was at Nemesis where I had the vegan version of the Raddest Cauli Hash.

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My friend had the non-vegan version and she was jealous:  I got avocado on top of mine and a really fresh pesto underneath. This dish was a really nice mixture of flavours, colours and textures.

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Recently I made some tofu feta, following this simple recipe from Vegan Sparkles.  As well as a nice addition to a greek salad, I also enjoyed this tofu feta as part of a simple dinner I made myself one night, accompanying Linda McCartney vegan sausages and delicious grilled asparagus (just coated in olive oil, salt and pepper).

Today I thought, well I’d like to do a blog post but all I really have to talk about is the tofu feta I made.  Then I wondered, have I already mentioned this recipe?  I’ve made it a few times over the years. Turns out I *did* write about the same tofu feta recipe on this blog once before: six years ago to the day! What a coincidence!  Then I realised, that old post was written on Day 2 of this humble blog. So happy blogversary (?!) to me 🙂