Archives for posts with tag: vegan

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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.

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My kid #1 informed me that she wanted to make toffee for her Dad for Father’s Day this year. He is very fond of hard English toffee, which is almost impossible to buy here in Australia. We had tried to make toffee for him once before, and it turned out a bit burnt. How did we go on the second attempt?

I used the same recipe again: the plain toffee recipe from One Green Planet. The main difference was that I was much more relaxed about the whole process. Having tried it before, I knew that it would take a long time: in fact, I was stirring the pot for about an hour. I gave up on having the sugar thermometer attached to the side of the saucepan (with a clip that it has on the back), because I was worried that the bulb wasn’t really covered by the mixture. So I just lay it into the saucepan on an angle, and stood it upright from time to time to check the temperature.

I am very happy to report that the resulting toffee does not taste burnt!  It tastes sugary and buttery, like proper hard English toffee that you can buy in the UK. And it’s vegan! Hooray.

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My partner has added a new recipe to his repetoire. He prepares baked potatoes (in the microwave, because it’s quicker) and whips up a batch of chilli from Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s recipe Ancho Lentil Tacos. On this occasion he also prepared some baked beans and salad.

The potatoes turned out really well, soft and creamy, though you don’t end up with the crispy skin that oven-baking gives. There’s some instructions on microwave potato baking here, though my partner says he just pricks the skin of the potatoes, then microwaves on high for 3 minutes, turns over, repeat until done. A very easy midweek meal. Thanks honey!

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Just around the corner from where I live there is a place called The Shack Market Cafe. It’s omni but always has at least a couple of good vegan options. They’re all about wholefoods. This is the Earth Burger: the patty is made of kale, quinoa, tahini, grated carrot and other yummy things, served with sweet potato fries, salad, tomato relish and grilled tofu. I liked it.  The coffee is good too.

They have three locations: Newtown, Monterey and Gymea. You can see a couple of other things I’ve eaten at the Shack here and here.

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On Sunday I made the tempeh tikka masala recipe from Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen. But just before I started cooking, I realised that I didn’t have any tempeh in the fridge after all. Instead I used store-bought chicken-free strips, that I did happen to have in the fridge. The tikka masala flavours easily overpowered the lemon-thyme flavouring of the strips. The curry was fun to make, didn’t take too long to prepare, and was really yummy. The recipe in the book is very similar to this version which is available online from Vegan Richa.  I’ll make this again.

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I was in Toronto recently for a week, for a conference. (I already told you about the delicious cactus tacos that I ate while there.) Luckily, my flight home was late at night, and a friend from the conference was in the same situation, so we walked around Toronto for a day. Our wanderings were not entirely aimless because I knew exactly where I wanted to end up for lunch: Hogtown Vegan, 1056 Bloor St W. Please note the special advertised on the board: pulled ‘pork’ poutine.

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This is a (blurry) photo of the pulled pork poutine special. Poutine is a Canadian thing, chips with gravy and sauce, something like that.  It was so, so good. Their lunch menu was full of delicious-sounding items: I really wished I could stay another week just to sample 7 more meals!  I am actually salivating now as I remember how good this messy stuff tasted.

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On the subject of vegan food in Toronto, I’d also like to mention Rise Espresso, 107 Mutual St.  If you are looking for good coffee near Ryerson University then I suggest you make your way there.

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Here is their display counter of baked goods, almost all from Sweets From the Earth and labelled as vegan. I liked the look of the unlabelled bread-like item at the top left, so I asked what it was, and was told it was banana bread with chocolate chips.  “Is it vegan?”, I asked.  “Everything in there is vegan!”, the lovely barista replied. Hooray! The banana bread with chocolate chips was delicious, and their coffee was great.

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This is a soya meat curry.  The little balls are made of soy beans (somehow) and have been dehydrated and packaged (see photo below).

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I have to thank my friend Dilini, who first gave me some soy meat curry that she had cooked (which tasted *amazing*!!), and then gave me this packet so I could cook some for myself. Of course hers tasted much better and more authentic than mine! I asked Dilini where I would find this packet and she said “Sri Lankan shops”.

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This is what the soy beans look like out of the packet. You soak them in hot water, then drain them and squeeze the water out.  Then, follow the instructions on the packet (a spice sachet is included) or find a recipe online, like this one.  I added zucchini (courgette) for a bit of green.  We all loved the soy meat balls, they’re really yummy. I’d definitely like to experiment with them again, and encourage you to do the same.