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I buy frozen berries and frozen mangos regularly, and use them to make green smoothies. One day I was unpacking the groceries and realised that I’d accidently bought a packet of frozen pineapple pieces, instead of frozen mango. Oh no! How to use them up?

A quick google brought me to Connoisseurus Veg’s recipe for pineapple upside-down cake. I was too impatient/lazy to wait for the pineapple to thaw properly, which was probably a mistake. I just chopped the frozen pineapple chunks in half and used most of them to decorate the bottom of the cake (which becomes the top when you turn it out. I didn’t have any pineapple juice in the house so I just whizzed up the rest of the frozen pineapple in a stand blender, until it looked like gelato, and then tried to defrost it in the microwave!  This might not have been such a great plan because it meant that the cake mixture was cold when it went into the oven, and the frozen pineapple pieces might have released quite a lot of moisture too, as they cooked.

So, the resulting cake was probably a bit too moist and really should have been left in the oven for longer, in hindsight. But child #1 and I enjoyed eating it: she said that it tasted like pancakes with pineapple on top, and she loves pancakes.

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It’s a long weekend in Australia this weekend, so I’ve got today *and* Monday off work. I’ve been craving the pulled jackfruit poutine that I enjoyed in Toronto last year, and I found a few recipes online but didn’t have all the ingredients. Instead, I decided to make BBQ jackfruit using this recipe from Clean Green Simple, and some homemade buns I’ve made before, and I served up these BBQ jackfruit burgers for lunch.

The jackfruit filling was very tasty. I cut down on the amount of cayenne suggested by the recipe but it was still enough to leave a nice tickle. This was a bit too spicy for kid #1, but kid #2 requested seconds.  I’ll definitely make this again.

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Kid #1 really likes blueberry bagels. We used to be able to buy them from our local supermarket, but they don’t seem to stock them anymore. Finally I realised that we could try to make some ourselves. We found a recipe online and today we had a go.

I made a few mistakes.  The first mistake was thinking “Sure, this packet of yeast is old but it will probably still work” (!!).  The yeast produced some bubbles after 5 minutes in warm water with sugar, so I decided to use it, but now I think it probably wasn’t up to full strength. Either that, or mistake #2 finished it off: I used frozen blueberries but they were still (very) cold when they went into the dough. That might not have been a great idea. (I’d read that it was fine to use frozen blueberries but that you should get them out an hour in advance. We didn’t wait an hour. Maybe 20 minutes. Oops.)

So, when I make these again, I’ll use freshly bought yeast and room temperature blueberries (fresh or defrosted). But even so, they were tasty, if a bit flatter and crispier than expected. We enjoyed them.

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We live down the road from the Ramsgate Foodies Market but we haven’t been there for a while. This morning child #1 suggested that we go there for (a late) breakfast. We cycled to the market and walked around deciding what to eat. I couldn’t resist the humitas from the Pochito Chilean Street Food stall.  (They mostly sell omni food, but the humitas is vegan.)

Humitas is mostly made with fresh corn and onion, ground into a paste andwrapped up in corn husks, then boiled.  This page has a recipe for humitas and also tells us that “Humitas are one of the classic pre-Columbian foods of Latin America”. I found my humitas very tasty, especially with the coriander salsa on top. It was a very good way to start the day.

Pochito Chilean Street Food

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This is the mousse part of Dreena Burton’s Raw Chocolate Dream Mousse Pie, from Let Them Eat Vegan. It is the first time I have made a chocolate mousse that contains the secret ingredient…. <whispers> avocado. For some reason, my high speed blender didn’t completely obliterate the texture from the soaked cashews: you can see some graininess in the photo. But this tasted good as a chocolately dessert.

OMG: have a look at the date of this post and the date of Dreena Burton’s post that I linked to in the previous paragraph!  That’s a completely unprepared coincidence, I promise you. Exactly 5 years from her recipe post to mine.  And that reminds me: a week ago it was my 5th anniversary as a vegan. Hooray!

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Last month, dear reader, I went to Melbourne. While there I ate two delicious meals. The first, pictured above, was eaten at Handsome Her in Brunswick. The food was gorgeous: this dish is called the Park Yeon-Mi. I quote from the menu: “Charcohl bubble waffle with crispy drumsticks, cucumber kimchi, turmeric infused daikon, pickled carrots, Korean sweet and spicy sauce, tofu emulsion and rainbow slaw”.  Wow. It was quite amazing. I think the drumsticks are tofu-based (?).

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The decor at Handsome Her is pretty amazing too.

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The next day, brunch at Ray’s Cafe. (A poem.) I had the Hash Savage: scrambled tofu, smoked lebanese eggplant, smashed peas etc. Very tasty.

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The Grizzly Beer Fries with BBQ pulled jackfruit and miso cheese was also quite delicious. I think I’d go back just for these fries.

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This gorgeous plate of vegan (tofu-based) fish and chips was lovingly prepared for us by the good people of The Ship Inn at Ouseburn in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK.

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This pub switched to an all-vegan menu at some point in the recent past (last couple of years) and this was our first visit. They also had several vegan beers on tap. As well as the fish and chips, which my partner greatly enjoyed, another member of our party sampled the Lucky Taco (below)…

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… and I had the Aloha Teriyaki Burger, which was very tasty.

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Great vegan food, relaxed atmosphere, dog-friendly, and with a cool exterior. I definitely hope to eat here again and highly recommend that you drop by, next time you’re in the north-east of England.

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