Sunday, 31 July 2011

Recipe: Sadie's Vitality Broth

This is a simple broth and noodle soup that is a good alternative to chicken noodle soup. I found it in the book Vegan Vittles: Second Helpings: Down-Home Cooking for Everyone  by Joanne Stepaniak . I can highly recommend this book to anyone who wants recipes that aren't too complicated, don't have too many ingredients and do not take forever to make. Apart from the recipes, it also has lovely drawings and profiles of the animals from Farm Sanctuary in New York.

What you will need:
4-5 cups of water
1 can (approx 470g - 500g) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 and a half tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
1 tp 2 tbsp fresh finely chopped parsley or 1 to 2 tsp dried
Just less than a tsp of salt, and onion powder (optional)
1 quarter tsp garlic powder (optional)
Dash of paprika and ground coriander
pinch of ground tumeric
2 thirds cup of orzo ( rice shaped pasta) or other small pasta.

Combine the water, chickpeas, nutritional yeast flakes, salt, herbs and spices in a large saucepan and bring to boil. Add the pasta and stir well. Lower heat and simmer, stirring occasionally until the pasta is tender, approx 20 minutes.

Notes: Nutritional yeast cane be found in health  food shops and is NOT to same as Brewer's yeast! Fresh parsley is what I used and always prefer. The flavour is better and the best thing is - parsley is easy to grow, including in pots. The pasta I used was made of corn - it keeps its shape when cooked and it is gluten free.

The finished product is a lovely noodle broth, perfect for these cold, rainy days we are having in Perth, at the moment.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Recipe: Basic Tofu Lasagna

I have never in my life, made a lasagna before, let alone a vegan one. Thankfully, this recipe is very easy to follow and the result was delicious! I found it in the book "The Everything Vegan Cookbook" - by Jolinda Hackett and Lorena Novak Bull.  It has a lot of easy to follow recipes, perfect for those of us who are either new to vegan cooking or cooking all together!

What you will need:

1 block of firm tofu (about 400g)
1 block of silken tofu (about 400g)
a quarter cup nutritional yeast (you can find this in health food shops)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp soy or tamari (I prefer tamari)
approx 2 teaspoons basil - fresh or dried, using less if dried
approx 3 tbsp parsley - fresh or dried , using less if dried
a pinch or two of salt
4 cups of vegan pasta sauce - I use  Paul Newman's Own: Classic Tomato Homestyle. Available in supermarkets. Any tomato based pasta sauce will do, so long as it doesn't have any cream or butter in it, really.
1 pack lasagna pasta sheets (check directions on pack as to whether they need to be presoaked or not.) As I am sensitive to gluten, I used gluten free ones which often can be found in supermarkets these days.


Preheat the oven to 180c
In a large bowl, mash together the firm and the silken tofu, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, soy/tamari sauce, herbs and salt, until they are all combined and crumbly like ricotta cheese. At this stage, you can mix in additions, like sliced mushrooms.
Grab a lasagna pan and spread about two thirds of a cup of pasta sauce on the bottom of it and then add a layer of  pasta sheets.
Spread about half of the tofu mix on top of the noodles and follow that with another layer of sauce. Place a second layer or pasta sheets on top and follow with the remaining tofu mix and more sauce. Finish it off with a third layer of pasta sheets and the rest of the sauce.
If you like, you can add a bit of grated vegan cheese on the top. Cheezly is a good brand and is available from from PAWS .
Cover your masterpiece with some foil, pop into the oven and give it about 40-50 minutes to cook. basically, what you are looking for is the pasta too cook well enough so you can put a knife through it. I used non pre-soak lasagna sheets and found that the recipe in the book recommended only 25 minutes, which was nowhere near enough time.
 And here is the final product. Totally delicious and totally free of dairy and any other animal products. Yum!

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Event: D-Day for Our South West Whales and Marine Life

Time: Tuesday, August 2 · 7:30pm - 9:00pm

Location: Fly By Night Club
1 Holdsworth Street
Fremantle, Western Australia

The future of marine protection in Australia is at a cross roads, starting here in our South West. The Federal Government’s plan for marine sanctuaries fails the whales and our marine life.

But there is still time to act.

The marine park plan is out for a three month public comment period ending on the 8th August. Every submission made will count towards turning the tide and ensuring the Government acts to save our marine life.

Please join Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and Save Our Marine Life at the Fly-By-Night club for a drink and presentations on the whale and marine life hotspot of South West Australia. Come along with your friends and family to help protect our unique marine life with less than a week left to make a difference!

RSVP appreciated; please call the Conservation Council of WA on (08) 9420 7266. Attendance is free, donations always welcome!

Monday, 25 July 2011

The Body Shop Revisited - Part 3!

In regards to my last post about L'Oreal buying Body Shop, I decided to have a look at PETA's website to see what they had to say..
This is what I wrote to them: On your list of "Search for Cruelty-Free Companies and Products - Companies that DO NOT test on animals" you have Body Shop listed. Although this is technically true, their PARENT company - L'Oreal - DOES. There should be a note made about this on the list, as purchases from The Body Shop will now line the pockets of L'Oreal.

Their response suprised me. This is what they had to say:  Thank you for contacting PETA about L’Oréal’s purchase of The Body Shop. We are very pleased to report that PETA has received written confirmation from The Body Shop assuring us that its animal-testing policy will not change and that all its products will remain cruelty-free. We feel that it’s imperative for consumers to continue buying personal-care products from The Body Shop in order to support the company’s strong anti-testing stance and show L’Oréal that the market for cruelty-free products is huge.

Invariably, when a massive corporation buys a smaller, more compassionate company, the big company learns from the smaller company’s success that consumers are concerned about issues such as animal testing and cruelty to farmed animals. For example, Boca Foods—maker of vegetarian burgers and other vegetarian products—is now owned by hot-dog giant Oscar Mayer, and ConAgra owns faux-meat maker LightLife. Dean Foods—the largest dairy-product company in the world—owns White Wave, the maker of Silk soy milk and other nondairy products. These conglomerates’ purchases of compassionate companies have meant that more humane products are widely promoted and sold than ever before. Shoppers see them on stores’ shelves and in advertisements, which enables these cruelty-free products to become more popular.

Large corporations now recognize the expanding market of compassionate consumers who want cruelty-free food, cosmetics, and clothing. We hope that The Body Shop’s no-testing policy and its support of projects that are friendly to animals, the environment, and native peoples will persuade L’Oréal to abandon animal tests across the board.

They make some valid points, I must admit. So, what to do? Well, I think so long as their consumers KNOW  about the L'Oreal connection and that that company still tests on animals, then they can make an educated choice as to whether they shop there or not. But the fact of the matter is, there will be a LOT out there who don't know (as I didn't know). This feels like deceit to me. And to some extent, hypocrisy from The Body Shop who really push the activist/against animal testing image.

Despite their arguments, for me, I wouldn't feel comfortable shopping there and I would inform friends/family about the L'Oreal connection. What they then do with that information, is up to them, of course. 

Sunday, 24 July 2011

The Body Shop Revisited, Part 2!

After a comment posted on this blog, about Body Shop being bought by L'Oreal, I had to do some digging around and to my great dismay, have found a very good reason NOT to shop at The Body Shop.
You see, in 2006, Anita Rodderick sold her company to L'Oreal for a hefty amount. Although Body Shop state that their products are not tested on animals and this is true, their parent company (now L'Oreal) does. L'Oreal stated that they are aiming to eliminate animal testing by 2013 -that is two more years of animal cruelty and if you consider that they bought Body Shop in 2006, that will be 7 years of animal cruelty, in total.

You might ask "But if the Body Shop products are not tested on animals, why should I care if their parent  company does? The answer is below, which I have directly lifted from the website Uncaged because they explained it so succinctly:


The most important factor that affects whether a product is ‘cruelty-free’ is the animal testing policy of the manufacturing company. You have to ‘follow the money’.

Even if a particular product and its ingredients are not tested on animals, if the company that makes it performs animal tests in other areas, then purchasing any of their products promotes and supports cruelty to animals.

This also includes parent companies of subsidiaries. For example, purchases from The Body Shop will now line the pockets of animal testing cosmetics company L’Oreal. That’s why you should now boycott The Body Shop/L’Oreal.


Product: Buccaneer Bars

Buccaneer bars are rich, fluffy, chocolate nougat, reminding me much of Milky Way bars..

 They are coated with a rich rice milk chocolate coating and are completely dairy free and vegan. They contain no hydrogenated oils, no trans fats and no artificial ingredients.

I had my first one yesterday and it was delicious! You can buy these bars at PAWS , along with a few other tempting vegan chocolate bars. I shall be testing those ones out too. It is a tough job!

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Vegan Cats?

The thought of feeding cats vegan food seems to be a controversial one, for some people. I have to admit, I was resistant to it for a long time, as I worried that it might compromise the health of my two male adult cats, Bandit and Arki.
But then I started to look into it and came across Veganpet which is an Australian company. Their website provides information on what cats and dogs need in their diets and how their products measure up.
For cats, there is both dry and wet food available.
I have started my two cats on the dry food by mixing it in with their current meat based one.  They LOVE it! I am confident that I will be able to eventually have them on just vegan dry food soon. I am making the change a gradual one, as to not upset their digestive tracts. That tends to happen to a lot of cats when their food is changed - be it vegan or animal based. As for the wet food, it was not as readily accepted by Arki. Both would eat it if was given with their regular meat wet food. If given just the vegan wet food, Arki would not eat it. As a result, I have decided to only feed them the vegan wet (along with their meat based one) now and then.

As for treats, there are cat treats available. My two like happierpets cat treats. (They also do dog treats and are also an Australian company.) With biccies such as Catnip cookies, Cheezy Biccies, Tasty Tempeh Treats and Pumpkin Treats, I am almost tempted to try them myself. (Just kidding!) They are homemade and including fresh organic fruits and vegetables. Their products contain no artificial colours, flavours, preservatives, or fillers.

So why am I doing this? Well, I have been accused by the unenlightened, that I am trying to 'make myself feel better' by 'forcing' my cats to be vegans. Not true. What I am trying to do is lessen their reliance on meat products for the sake of the animals being used and abused in factory farms. This isn't about making me 'feel better' but about doing the right thing by animals and by the environment. I have also been accused of being 'cruel' by giving them vegan cat food. Little do they realize that my cats (but especially Bandit) will BEG to eat vegetables, rice, and tofu! So long as the vegan food I give them contains the amino acids  (eg; Taurine) and  Fatty Acids they require to stay healthy, I hardly think I am being 'cruel'.

Even though it seems that I will not be successful in making them totally vegan, I am happy that I will be able to at least reduce their intake of animal products.
Both Veganpet and happierpet products are available from PAWS

Recipe: Chilli NON-Carne

This one is quite filling, easy to make and you can have it as mild or hot as you like. Instead of meat, you use firm tofu which you can buy in sealed, packaged blocks at the supermarket. Tofu is great at absorbing the flavours around it and with so many herbs and spices used in the recipe, the result is very yummy.

What you will need:
2 onions, finely chopped (optional)
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed (optional)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 block of firm tofu, cut into 1 cm cubes
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tin of kidney beans (rinsed)
1 tin of corn
Dash or two each of ground cumin, coriander and dried chilli powder
Fresh shopped parsely, basil and rosemary (dried, if fresh unavailable). A dash of each.
Cooked rice - however much you like! I usually do about 2 cups dried, cooked in a rice cooker. Basmati or even jasmine rice go well with this.


Saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil for 4-5 minutes. Add tofu and stir to coat with oil. Cook for 5-6 minutes to lightly brown the tofu. Add tomatoes, beans, corn, herbs and spices. Bring to a simmer and then reduce heat. Cover with a lid and allow to cook on medium heat for 30-40 minutes. When done, serve on rice.
Easy and tasty!

Shop: Body Shop Australia Revisited

Recently, I posted about the Body Shop. I emailed them, asking them which products were suitable for vegans. I got a quick and comprehensive reply. I was supplied with a list of their products with the vegan ones marked. I am happy to note that a very large proportion of their products are suitable of vegans.

The animal derivative ingredients they use in their products are:
· Beeswax (may also be listed as Cera Alba)

· Honey (may also be listed as Mel)

· Silk* (hydrolysed Silk)

· Whey Protein (may also be listed as Lactis protein)

· Lanolin derivatives (acetylated lanolin, acetylated lanolin alcohol, hydroxylated lanolin, isopropyl lanolate, lanolin, lanolin alcohol, lanolin cera, lanolin oil, PEG-75 lanolin, PPG-12-PEG-50 lanolin, PPG-30 lanolin ether)

· Shellac** (in our define & lengthen mascara only)

· Cholesterol derivatives (C10-30 cholesterol/lanosterol esters, cholesterol, cholesteryl chloride, cholesteryl nonanoate, cholesteryl oleyl carbonate)
* The grade of silk used by The Body Shop is not produced through killing the silk worm to obtain the material. The grade used for Body Shop cosmetics does not require the silk threads to be intact and so the worm can leave the cocoon before it is used.

** The lac beetle lays resin down as part of their natural lifecycle. The resin is harvested from mature branches and this is then processed to make shellac wax. During the process, some of the lac beetles die as part of their natural lifecycle. The lac beetle is not killed purely to obtain shellac wax, however a number of lac beetles die as part of their natural lifecycle during the process.

The Glycerin used their products is vegetable based, not animal derived. The Body Shop does not use any ingredients that are by products of the meat industry.

So now you and I know and can be informed consumers...or non-consumers.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Recipe: The Very Green Soup

Still cool weather here in Perth, so I just recently gave this soup a test run. As the name suggests, it is very green. Nice and simple to make.

What you need: 
5 cups of water
3 small heads of bok choy, chopped
2 large potatoes, chopped
1/2 small cabbage, chopped
500g of frozen peas

Place all of the above ingredients into a pot and cook over high heat. Bring to boil and then turn the heat down to low, covering the pot with a lid. Remember to stir now and then and cook for approx. 20 minutes or so. If the potatoes are tender, then you know it is ready for the next stage, which is the fun bit...
Blend with a handheld blender until smooth.
Add salt and pepper or (my favourite) Herbamare.

Easy, fairly quick and tasty. This soup also tastes great reheated the next day.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Store: Body Shop Australia

The Body Shop is a great store for vegans and vegetarians who know that not only does it matter what you put in your mouth, but also what you put on your skin and hair. They have a range of products that cover make-up, fragrances, body care, hair care, and more.
They state: We do not test our cosmetic products or ingredients on animals, nor do we commission others to do so. We never have and we never will.

On their website, you will find a list of helpful links to groups and also an outline of their campaigns over the years.

Although I like Body Shop, I find shopping they a bit trickier for vegans than vegetarians, as some of their products do contain animal ingredients (such as lanolin oil) and they do not seem to label their products clearly, stating what is vegan friendly. Lush do this, and it makes shopping a whole lot easier. Lush also seem to have less packaging than Body Shop and their stores feel less 'sterile' (ie more touch, feel and smell).
Still, having said that, Body Shop is worth visiting and there are a fair few stores in Perth.


Saturday, 16 July 2011

Clothing: vegan slogan T-shirt

I love my new vegan slogan T-shirt. A bit too cold right now, to wear, but come summer, I shall be wearing it a LOT.
I got this one from an Australian online store called Extremely nappies. The lady who runs this is a vegan and so I am happy to support her business.
The t-shirts are ethically produced, sweatshop-free.
180 GSM 100% Cotton
• Shoulder to shoulder tape,
• Fabric pre-shrunk to minimise shrinkage,
• Double needle bottom hem and sleeves
• Extra long body, side seamed for a tailored fit.

The T-shirts are of limited stock, so get in quick. They are being sold at cost price ($25) and are of good quality.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Tofutti : dairy free icecreams and cheese products

Without a doubt, American company Tofutti produce THE best non-dairy icecream I have ever tasted.
Their "Marry Me" bars are my absolute faves. Such a creamy vanilla icecream, with crisp chocolate coating. I can demolish one way too quickly!

Then there are the "Cuties". These are vanilla dairy free versions of the 'icecream sandwich". So creamy! There is a good range of flavours of this product but I have only been able to find the vanilla one so far.

There are also dairy free icecream tubs available in various flavours, though again, I have only been able to find a few of varieties.

As for their dairy-free cheese products, I have tried plain "Better than cream cheese" which is a smooth , and nice tasting alternative to the dairy variety. The flavour is subtler and the consistency allows you to use it as a dip.  There are a few varieties of it, available, but I prefer the plain one.

The "Sour Supreme" is a dairy free sour cream, which I enjoy having with vegan nachos. The flavour is less sour than the dairy variety, which I prefer.

There are many more products made by this company , but being imported from the USA, their availability here seems to be somewhat limited. So far, I have been able to find these products in various IGA storesWoolworths, PAWS and Fresh Stop Market (Shop 1 Dog Swamp Shopping Centre, Joondanna).

Their website: Tofutti

Recipe: Roasted brussel sprouts

I know, I know! You are thinking:  "Brussel sprouts? YUCK!".
But hear me out....
Roasted, this vegetable is yummy, with a nutty flavour. And it is so simple to do.
Here is how:
After you have discarded the outer few leaves and chopped off the stems, just cut each sprout in half, lengthwise. Coat with olive oil and some herb salt ( I love Herbamare - pictured - available in healthfood stores) and place facedown on a baking sheet. Optional: add minced garlic 5 minutes before they are done, and mix with tongs.
Roast for 15-25 minutes, with an oven temperature of 205c
The cut side should be nice and browned and crispy in places.

Truly YUMMY. Trust me on this!

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Event: Fundraising night to be held for the Bali Animal Welfare Association

BAWA is a not-for-profit organization registered in Bali and is dedicated to improving the lives of animals. BAWA supports a fully staffed clinic near Ubud that provides free veterinary treatment and nutritional care for homeless animals, a 24 hour animal ambulance delivering professional emergency care, a free mobile sterilization clinic, an education program, a puppy adoption program, plus a continually expanding range of community projects.

There will be a fund-raising event for the film "Red Dog", to be held at Cinema Paradiso on Wednesday August 10th at 6.45pm. The film is an adaptation of the novel of the same name by award-winning author Louis De Bernières. It's the legendary true story of an infamous kelpie who roamed the Pilbara in the 1970's and was adopted by the mining community. It's a very simple, funny and amazingly beautiful story.

The ticket price of $25 includes extra goodies, such as a door prize, beer/wine/soft drink and finger food. There will also be a raffle with lots of awesome prizes.

Your attendance at this event will support the amazing work done by this very inspirational team of people and make a very real difference in the health and welfare of Bali's animals.

Please contact Natasha Watson for tickets or donations.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Event: Stop Live Exports Fundraiser

Website: Stop Live Exports
Time: Sunday, September 18 · 7:00pm - 11:30pm

Location: The Fly By Night Musicians Club
Parry Street
Fremantle, Australia

Stop Live Exports is a Fremantle-based grassroots organisation that is working for the phase-out of the cruel and unnecessary live animal export trade.

This promises to be an evening to remember - fun, faeries, music, dancing, tears and laughter!

An exciting line-up of fabulous talent has offered their services for the evening. Heading up is the much-loved Sneaky Weasel Gang comprising Dan Carroll on lead guitar and vocals, Bryn Stanford on drums and Jason Bale on bass guitar, bringing their badass boogie, voodoo blues and 60’s inspired rock ‘n soul to the event.

Supporting act Cal Peck and the Tramps - Byron Robertson, James "Bangers" McKay and Dave Benck – are exponents of rhythm and blues tinged garage rock with a sole aim of delivering dance floor-filling, infectious rock rhythms.

And finally, bringing his unique ‘old man blues’, Lightning Jack will be kicking off the evening with musical skill that belies his years and amazes all who hear it.

The comedic vaudeville duo The Vintage Reds will fill in the gaps with sass and sauciness while the Eco Faerie performance tribe will be weaving in and out of the happy crowds throughout the evening, spreading magic and mischief.

So if you want to enjoy a fantastic night of entertainment, whilst showing your support for this noble cause, please join us at the Fly By Night Musicians Club on Sunday 18th September and let the voices of the people be the voices of the animals!

$23.50 Presale from or via Ticket Request
$25.00 on the door on the night
Tickets on sale from 12/07/2011, so get in quick!!

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Tofu Pasta Topping

I got this recipe out of the book "The Compassionate Cook" by Peta and Ingrid Newkirk. In it, this recipe is listed as Katie's Tofu Pasta Sauce but I have found it isn't much of a sauce, due to there not being enough liquid involved. It does make a nice topping to pasta (or even rice or potatoes) and it is very quick and easy to make.

What you will need:
2 tb sp olive oil
1 medium onion (optional)
1 or 2 tb sp soy sauce or tamari (I prefer tamari)
1 cup frozen peas
fresh or dried parsely
450g (approx) firm tofu, cut into small cubes.

Heat the oil in a wok pan or large pan. Use medium heat. Saute the onion (if using) and tofu for about 5 minutes and then add the soy/tamari sauce and peas. Cook over low heat until heated through. You can either throw in chopped parsley during the final stage or once off the heat.
Serve over pasta ( I favour Orgran's gluten free rice pasta, which is also vegan.)

I have evolved!

I really liked this website. They are based in England but there is plenty of useful resources on there for us Australian vegans, too. There is so much on there to see and read. At the moment, they are taking submissions for their new "We have evolved!" gallery. For more info on how to be part of that, see the website: Evolve!

Look closely, and you will even find me on there.

And if you are on Facebook, check out their page there : Evolve! on Facebook

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Recipe: Ribollita

This is a Tuscan soup that often tastes even better the next day. I use my slow cooker for this one. If you don't have one yet, seriously consider getting one, as slow cooking is often simple and the method really brings out the flavours.

What you will need: 
2 tins of cannellini beans (approx 800g)
1 tin of chopped tomatoes (approx 400g)
1 carrot, diced
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced diagonally
1 quarter cabbage, thinly shredded
approx 300g potatoes (I use desiree) cut into 1cm dice
1 garlic clove, crushed (optional)
2 tb sp tomato puree
2 tb sp olive oil (I prefer cold pressed)
1litre vegetable stock or water

Place 1 can of cannellini beans and the 1 can of chopped tomatoes in a food processor bowl or (what I prefer) process with an electric handmixer and puree.
Put the puree into the slow cooker, with garlic (if using), carrot, celery, cabbage, potato, tomato paste, olive oil and stock/water. Stir to combine and then cook on High for 5 hours.
Then add remaining cannellini beans. Stir and cook for another 5 minutes.
Serve with vegan parmesan cheese on top. I use "Dairy Free Parmazano grated hard cheese replacer" by 'Life free from'. You can buy this at PAWS

Why am I vegan? : a video

This is a thoughtful, upbeat little piece that I love. Produced by Evolve!

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Bookstore and Cafe : The Bodhi Tree

Where: Unit 1, 416-418 Oxford Street
Mt Hawthorn 6016
Western Australia Australia

Contact: Tel 08 9444 9884
              Fax 08 9444 9889

What: cafe, bookstore, events, book clubs, etc

Cafe open:  
Mon 8-5
Tue 8-5
Wed 8-5
Thu 8-8
Fri 8-5
Sat 8-5
Sun 8-3

Although the food and drinks on offer are not 100 % vegan ( 95% vegetarian - I did spot some fish), there are vegan options, as well as gluten free options. 

 The food is well presented, the decor pleasant and the service friendly. I know to some it may seem odd to rave about a salad, but I must have had the best salad in ages, there. The produce was so fresh and varied. I did not leave one scrap on my plate.

You can access their food and drink menues at their website : The Bodhi Tree Cafe

As for the bookstore, their stock (in store and online) covers a fair few subjects that might interest vegans such as raw food cookery/diet, environment and sustainability, social science, health and wellbeing, philosophy, etc. My one criticism is that there seems to be a few books about vegetariansim but none on the vegan lifestyle and diet, specifically.

More info on their online bookstore service can be found here: The Bodhi Tree Online Bookstore

Paula's Choice Australia - skin care

I have been using Paula's Choice skin care and makeup products for years now. I have used both their phone and online ordering systems and have had no problems with either. The products are good quality and reasonably priced.
Along with skin care, they have hair care products, make-up, body care and a fair few other products.

Their statement about Animal Testing: Paula's Choice has never tested our products on animals and never will. We also do not fund any independent source to conduct animal testing on our behalf. Last, but certainly not least, we support many animal-centered charities such as the Humane Society, ASPCA and NAVS.

The majority of Paula's Choice makeup products contain no animal ingredients; however, some do contain beeswax derived from beehives and glyceryl stearate from animal fat,  lanolin or lanolin derivative, tallow derivatives, and a few others listed below. Please refer to the list below for complete details.
Paula's Choice products that contain lanolin (which is extracted from sheep's wool) or a derivative of lanolin:
Lip & Body Treatment Balm
Moisturizing Lipscreen SPF 15
Skin Balancing Toner

Paula's Choice products that contain cholesterol: (derived from sheep):
Moisture Boost Hydrating Treatment Cream
Hydralight Moisture-Infusing Lotion
Lip & Body Treatment Balm (contains an ester of cholesterol)
Moisturizing Lipscreen SPF 15
Skin Balancing Toner

Paula's Choice products that contain beeswax:
Brow/Hair Tint
Moisture Boost Hydrating Treatment Cream
Lip & Body Treatment Balm
Moisturizing Lipscreen SPF 15
Slip Into Silk Body Lotion

Paula's Choice products that contain sodium chondroitin sulfate (derived from shark cartilage):
Skin Recovery Moisturizer
Skin Balancing Toner

Paula's Choice products that contain glyceryl stearate derived from animal fat:
RESIST Remarkable Skin Lightening Lotion
Skin Recovery Hydrating Treatment Mask
Moisture Boost One Step Face Cleanser
Great Big Lashes Mascara
Brow/Hair Tint

Paula's Choice products that contain ingredients derived from tallow (a type of animal fat):
RESIST Remarkable Skin Lightening Lotion

With the exception of the Concealer Brush, Precision Liner Brush, Powder Brush, and Blush Brush, all of Paula's Choice Makeup Brushes are made from animal hair.

Paula's Choice makeup that contain beeswax:
Brow/Hair Tint

Paula's Choice makeup that contain glyceryl stearate derived from animal fat:
Great Big Lashes Mascara
Brow/Hair Tint

With the exception of the Concealer Brush, Precision Liner Brush, Powder Brush, and Blush Brush, all of Paula's Choice Makeup Brushes are made from animal hair.

 So, this company does sells some products that are not vegan-friendly. The good news is that they are very transparent in regards to letting their customers know what the ingredients are in their products, so with a little bit of investigation, they can pick and choose what is suitable for them and what is not. That is what I have done.

Their website: Paula's Choice Australia


Product: Yummy Earth Organic Vitamin C Drops

Guess who managed to catch a cold? Yep....sigh....One good thing about it is that it has led me to discover this product which vegan friendly. I found it at the wonderfully stocked PAWS who have other products by this company.

These Vitamin C drops are available in 'Citric grove' flavours such as "Blood Orange Cocktail", "Lucky Lime" (my favourite), "Cheeky Lemon", and "Tickled Pink Grapefruit". 

Gluten free, organic, vegan, GMO free, with 100% natural flavours and colourings. No fat and 14 calories per drop.

This company also produces other products, including lollipops but check ingredient listings, as all may not be vegan.
Their website: Yummy earth

Product: Amy's soups

We are experiencing a cold, dry winter in Perth, at the moment which has been a perfect time for soups. Amy's soups (from the USA) are truly delicious. There are a few varieties available for vegans (steer clear of  the 'cream of' as they are not suitable) and so far I have tried "Amy's Low Fat No Chicken Noodle Soup" and "Amy's Low Fat Minestrone Soup" which is organic.

With these soups, all you need to do is heat and serve. The "No Chicken" one is light and tasty, using organic tofu as the 'chicken'. The "Minestrone" is a tasty blend of beans, organic vegetables and pasta, in a tomato broth. Both soups have a 'homemade' quality to them.

Both of these products are GMO free.

I picked up these products from PAWS.

For more information on Amy's products : Amy's Kitchen

Product: Orgran Chocolate Mousse

Found this one in a health food shop and I have to say the simplicity of its preparation appealed to me. You can eat this as a sort of pudding/mousse or you can use it as a cake filler or topper. For my first try at it, I gave it a go as a pudding. The pack says you can eat it straight away, but I opted to eat it after it was refrigerated. The texture is nice and smooth and creamy. Taste-wise, if you prefer dark chocolate over milk chocolate, you will probably like this better. I found the texture and flavour more appealing after 2 days in the fridge. Next time, I will have to try it out as a alternative to a cream filling or topping to a cake.
This product is dairy and gluten free. Also egg free, so it is suitable for us vegans. Quick and easy to prepare and 98% fat free.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Shop: Lush

Shop 19 Plaza Arcade
650 Hay Street, Perth
WA 6000
Tel: +61 8 9325 8974


Shop T170 Garden City Shopping Centre
125 Riseley Street Booragoon
WA 6154
Tel: +61 8 9315 2062

Opening Times:
 Mon- Thurs 9am-5.30pm
Fri- 9am-9pm
Sat- 9am-5pm
Sun- 11am-5pm

What: Vegan and vegetarian friendly bath, shower, skin, hair products. Plus styling products, perfumes and gift boxes.

Website: Lush

Being vegan means more than what you put into your mouth. It extends to what beuaty and hygiene products you use, too. So may include animal products and/or have been tested on animals.
See here for Lush's statement about animal testing
They are also environmentally aware, and they try to keep their packaging to a minimum.

I have to say that this would be one of my favourite stores. When you walk in, there are so many yummy scents and brilliant colours. The staff are friendly and helpful and I almost always get free samples popped into my bag when I checkout.
 I have tried out a lot of their vegan products (so many to choose from, too!) so I shall be reviewing them later. In the meantime, I will say that almost all have been 'winners'.

Visit Lush, try some products in the store and have a chat with the staff. You will not be disapointed!

Shop: PAWS - People & Animal Welfare Society

Where: 120 Beaufort St, Perth
Opening Hours: 7 Days a week, 11am - 8pm
What: Cafe and store (and so much more, see their website for details)
Website: PAWS

I have not eaten at the cafe yet, so I cannot comment on that, but I have shopped here and have picked up some great stuff, which I will be reviewing later. This is a great one-stop-shop for vegan and vegetarian products. You will find here things that you may have only read about and seen online but never seen in the shops, including health food shops. my biggest gripe about vegan cookbooks, is that they mention certain products you need and they turn out to be so hard to find in Perth. Well, at PAWS you are bound to find it.
The place is often staffed by volunteers. So far, I have found them to be a friendly bunch. The opening hours are generous but be warned - I have twice gone to shop there and found that they have been closed when they should have been open, with no temp sign left on the door explaining why they were closed. This is why I have taken to calling them right before setting out to shop there. Not an ideal situation but one that I have to work around in order to get to some of their yummy stuff.
 There is always the online ordering option, of course. I have not tried that yet. Being new to quite a few of their products, I have preferred to go in and check out their goods in person.

So, if you live in Perth, I urge you to pay them a visit. Take your time, have a good look around, and I bet you will leave with a bag full of vegan goodies!

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Recipe: Creamy Corn Chowder

This is a slow cooker recipe I found years ago, in a book. Unfortunately, I did not note which book. A simple recipe for a pleasant winter warmer. 
This soup can be partially prepared the night before. Complete Step1. and then cover and refrigerate overnight. The next day, just continue cooking as directed in Step 2.

What you will need: 

1 tbsp olive oil ( I prefer cold pressed)
2 stalks of celery, thinly sliced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
half tsp of dried thyme leaves
1 bay leaf
3 and a half cups water or vegetable stock
2 large potatoes, peeled and grated
1 can creamed corn (about 400ml)

Additional if you like them:
1 onion, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped 

1. Heat oil over medium heat, in a pan. Add onions, celery and carrots and cook, stirring for 7 minutes, until softened. Add thyme and bay leaf and stir for 1 minute. Add stock/water and bring to boil. Transfer mixture to slow cooker and stir in potatoes.

2. Cover and cook on Low for 8 hours or High for 4 hours, until vegetables are tender. Add corn, green pepper, jalapeno, if using, and cumin. Stir well. Cover and cook on High for 30 minutes.


Product review: Tomato soup in a cup by Orgran

With winter here in Australia, I love having a cup of soup for my lunch at work. One of my favourites is Orgran's Tomato soup in a cup. Not only is it vegan, it is also gluten free and yeast free. Low in fat, with a rich taste that is fine balanced between not too sour and not too sweet. The pack contains two satchels and all you need to do is open, pour into a cup and add boiling water and stir. Simple.

I have found Orgran, in general, to produce some good quality vegan products, and being intolerant to gluten, their products have been doubly good for me.
Orgran's website

I have found this company's products in health food shops and supermarkets such as Coles and Woolworths.

Perth Event: Keep Talking Fundraiser

Where: Little Chutney's, 67 Rokeby Road, Subiaco 6008
Little Chutney's website

Date: 31 July 2011
Time: 12pm
RSVP: 03 July 2011
Tickets: $65 per head
What’s Included: 3 course vegetarian meal (vegan options available) and soft drink (alcohol can be purchased at the venue)

Tickets will be sold on a first come first serve basis, so get in quick. All tickets need to be purchased and paid for by the 10th of July 2011.

There will also be a prize for the biggest group booking so get your friends together and spread the word.

To book please email:

Keep Talking will be fundraising to support Animals Australia's Media Campaign to Ban Live Export.
Animals Australia's website

The afternoon will include performance by Alanna Eileen, raffles, Silent Auction, and most of all a show support from the lovely people of Western Australia.

Peter Tinley Labour MLA will be speaking at the Fundraiser and although Melissa Parke, Federal MP is unable to attend, has officially sent her support for the Fundraiser, she has also sent a statement which  will be read out at the event.

Senator Rachel Siewart Greens MP, will also be speaking at the Fundraiser.