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I spent last week at ANU: the Australian National University, in Canberra. The student union building is being rebuilt, so we ate lunch at a new area with several pop-up stalls serving food. I enjoyed these vegan “Peruvian-style” burritos from Mr Papa. They serve omni food (in fact, mostly meaty) but their Chica Fina burrito is vegetarian and can be made vegan: described as “pumpkin and mushroom locro with snow peas, sibaris sauce and lettuce”. These burritos were fresh and tasty. The chips and hot sauce on the side were yummy too.

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Looks great, don’t you think?  It tasted great too. My starting point for this cheesecake was a recipe on One Green Planet for Oreo Cheesecake Tartlets.  I made a couple of modifications: I’m always looking for ways to use up almond pulp (created as a by-product of the fresh almond milk that I make for my green smoothies, since I only see long-life almond milk in the shops near where I live).  So my base was around 1 cup almond pulp, 1 cup dates, cacao powder (about 3 tablespoons?) and some rolled oats, maybe 1/4 of a cup. Then I made the vanilla cream layer, as in the recipe linked above. As in many raw vegan cheesecakes, the cream is made from cashew nuts, coconut milk and flavourings. I didn’t have cacao butter so I substituted melted coconut oil.

But I was too lazy to make the chocolate ganache drizzle that they suggested in the recipe, so I simply topped the cheesecake with fresh strawberries when serving. I think the freshness of the strawberries added a nice element to the dessert.

Instead of tartlets, I used an 8 inch round springform cake tin, lightly greased and lined. As you see, there was enough base for a decent layer on the bottom and up the sides, and luckily, the vanilla filling came up to pretty much exactly the right height! If you haven’t made a raw cheesecake before then (you definitely should and) I should probably mention that after putting the base and filling together, the cheesecake goes in the freezer to firm up. When serving, cutting it while it’s quite frozen helps keep the base together, but I prefer to let it soften up for at least 10 minutes before eating it.

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A couple of weekends ago, it was my children’s school’s Market Carnival. Among the usual stalls I spotted some gorgeous looking bread from Brasserie Bread. I couldn’t resist buying a loaf of their emmer sourdough (apparently emmer is an ancient grain?!) and sour cherry loaf.  We enjoyed the sour cherry toasted, topped with vegan margarine or macadamia nut butter.

However, we didn’t use much of the sourdough. I could have put it in the freezer, as the nice person who sold me the bread suggested (I was trying to decide if we could really eat two loaves of artisan bread quickly enough). But instead I thought I’d make bread pudding. I’d just received a copy of the Joy of Vegan Baking, which luckily enough had just the recipe I needed.

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I was happy with this dessert, though it was very filling, being made with a wholemeal sourdough. It definitely needed the moistness of the (soy) icecream. I followed the recipe almost exactly, just using vegetable oil instead of melting vegan margarine. (I’m often too lazy to melt the margarine! and vegetable oil usually seems to work just as well.) This is good comfort food.

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We recently bought a waffle-maker and made some waffles. Delicious! We used Leigh’s “Basic Waffles” recipe from Veganissimo! and it worked really well.  The whole family enjoyed a weekend breakfast consisting of these waffles, which we topped with stewed apples, various berries and maple syrup. Yum.

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There are so many reasons to visit the Green Edge, as I try to do every time I’m in Brisbane. (See here and here.) Usually I go for lunch and I’m too full to try any of their delicious sweet treats. But on my last visit, my Mum suggested that we buy something sweet to take home for afternoon tea. What a great idea!  I chose this gorgeous concoction: I’m afraid I can’t remember what they called it but I think it involved raspberries. This is what it looked like when I took the end piece of chocolate off with my fork, before demolishing it. Berries, chocolate, what’s not to love?

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This was the ‘before’ shot. (I should have included a fork or something, for scale: it was maybe 10cm long. It almost looks like it could be the size of a loaf of bread!)

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This is yummier than it looks: corn and quinoa chowder from Dreena Burton’s Let Them Eat Vegan. I’ve been making this for years but I don’t think I’ve ever posted it here: maybe because it never looks any good in photos?

The recipe is available online at 86lemons.com and is very easy.  Everything goes into a casserole dish, stir, put in the oven, take it out halfway through, stir again, put it back in the oven until done. Oh and you stir in a little lime juice at the end. It’s good winter warming comfort food: yes I know it’s spring here in Australia but I’ve been meaning to post this for a while!  It was cold when I cooked it 🙂  As you can see, I usually serve this with simply steamed green veg.

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A little while ago I went to an evening lecture at the University of Sydney. Beforehand I needed some dinner, so I seized the opportunity to go back to Bliss & Chips, Newtown. I ordered vegan calamari and some salad, and enjoyed it all greatly.  It’s fun to eat tasty vegan fish and chips, or in this case, vegan calamari and salad.