Saturday, 29 December 2012

Marco's Organic Pizza

After finding out that our local pizza place offered vegan pizzas, we thought we would give them a go. We were informed that the bases were vegan and not just the toppings. An important consideration, as some do contain dairy. First we tried the 'Vegan Traditional' which is basically their vegetarian without the cheese. It was pretty good but didn't have the 'wow factor'. You basically got mushrooms, kalamata olives, salsa, onions, pineapple, herbs and garlic.

We later tried the 'Gourmet Vegan' which was seriously fantastic. So delicious, with heaps of quality toppings that included roast potato, capsicum, pine nuts, salsa, spinach, pineapple, pumpkin, and sun dried tomatoes. Plus, I was able to get a gluten free base, as well. 

Marco's Organic Pizza is situated on Wanneroo Road, in Joondana, not far from Dogswamp Shopping Centre. They are open everyday from 5pm to late.

We think the 'Vegan Traditional' and 'Vegan Gourmet' are new options, as they do not appear on their online menu and when we rung to order, the staff member we got didn't know about them. If this happens, just ask for either the Vegetarian without the cheese or the Roast Vegetable without the cheese. 

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Recipe: Watermelon and tomato salad

I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical about this recipe from “Big Vegan” by Robin Asbell. I looked at the ingredients and thought “How is this going to work??” but oddly enough….it does! Give it a try!

What you will need:
4 cups cubed seedless watermelon
1 large tomato (use yellow variety if you can find, otherwise a regular red one will do)
½ cup fresh basil
3 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp agave syrup (you can get this at health food or organics stores)
1 pinch of salt
Black pepper (optional)

Put the watermelon in a large bowl.
Slice the tomato into thin wedges and add to watermelon.
Slice the basil into thin strips and add to bowl.
In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, syrup and salt. Pour onto watermelon and tomato. Serve topped with black pepper.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Event: Christmas Day Lunch at PAWS

Great news! PAWS are offering a FREE Christmas lunch for those who choose to have a truly peaceful celebration. 
This event is on Christmas day itself, and runs from 11am to 2pm.

As the kind people at PAWS put it: 

Christmas is a time for Peace on Earth, a time for Christians to reflect on a message of kindness and compassion so hear at PAWS we would like to demonstrate just how easy it is to leave animals off our plate.
Enjoy a nut Roast covered in Vegan gravy with all those steamed veggies a nice cup of punch followed by a xmas trifle, there will be games all in an air-conditioned environment and just a great place to meet people.

I'll be there with my partner and hope you will join us!
If you are in Facebook, you can rsvp to the event's page there.

Recipe: Sweet and creamy coleslaw

This is a good one for summer. Can be eaten on the day it is made or refrigerated and eaten the next day, if you like the cabbage to be softer. This recipe comes from “Big Vegan” by Robin Asbell. I have altered it a little to include parsley and more carrot.

What you will need:
½ green cabbage
½ red cabbage
2 carrots
2 handfuls chopped fresh parsley
½ cup vegan mayonnaise (I used Plamil’s EggFree Mayonnaise which is also dairy free. You can find at PAWS or in some health food or organics shops.)
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp agave syrup (again, you can find this in organics or health food shops)
½ tsp salt

If you have a food processor, with a slicing disk,  slice both the red and green cabbage very thinly. If not, just do it by hand.
Grate carrot.
In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, syrup, mustard, and salt. Add cabbage, carrots and chopped parsley. Toss to coat. 

Recipe: Sweet potato and lentil stew

Another recipe from ‘The Kind Diet’ by Alicia Silverstone. You can eat this one on its own or have it with rice and leafy greens. It is quite spicy, so add or subtract spice measurements according to your tastes.

What you will need:
¼  cup safflower oil (your best bet on finding this is in health food shops)
1 medium onion, diced (optional)
1 large tomato, diced
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 ½ tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp chili powder
2 to 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2cm cubes
7 cups vegetable broth
1 cup brown lentils
Pinch of salt

Heat oil over medium heat in a large pot and add onion. Stir frequently for 2 minutes and then add the tomatoes and ginger and cook for 3 minutes/ Stir in the turmeric, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cayenne and salt. Cook at stir for 2 minutes.
Add sweet potatoes, broth, and lentils. Stir well and bring to boil over high heat. When mixture come to the boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 40 minutes or until lentils and sweet potatoes are soft.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Recipe: Sweet potato white bean soup

This is another slow cooker recipe that I have lifted from 'The Vegan Slow Cooker' by Kathy Hester.
It calls for the use of Swiss chard which I could not find in the supermarkets. I did end up finding it in a farmer's market, like the Stirling Markets in Stirling but that was after I made this. I substituted the Swiss chard with sliver beet which worked well but next time I will give it a go with the Swiss chard, now that I know where to find it.

What you will need:
1 medium sized sweet potato, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
5 cups vegetable or vegan chicken-flavoured stock. (I suggest using Massel or Marigold)
2 cups chopped Swiss chard or sliver beet is you can't find the chard. (If you prefer, stem parts can  be discarded and use onlt the green leafy parts of the silver beet.)
1 tbsp minced fresh thyme or half that if using dried
2 sprigs parsley, chopped

Combine the sweet potato, garlic, celery, tomatos, beans and stock. Cook on low in the slow cooker, for 6 to 8 hours.
20 minutes before serving, add Swiss chard or silver beet , thyme and parsley. Cook until the Swiss chard or silver beet is tender. Add salt to taste, if desired.

Recipe: Warm tarragon and potato salad

This is a simple but pleasant warm salad that I found in the book Veggiestan by Sally Butcher.
I have not really cooked much with fresh tarragon before, so was surprised to find that it tasted somewhat like anise which I am not overly keen on. However, I found that it tasted quite nice, and not too powerful in this dish.

What you will need:
4 to 5 large potatoes (waxy varieties are best)
Handful each of fresh parsley and tarragon, washed and roughly chopped
1 medium onion, finely sliced (optional)
6 or so olives of your choice, chopped (optional)
4 tbsp olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
Salt and black pepper to taste

Peel potatoes and cut into 2cm cubes. Bring to boil and simmer in water until cooked. This should take about 10 minutes. Drain and place in large bowl with onions, olives and herbs. Whisk lemon juice, oil and seasoning together and toss through salad. Serve while still warm.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Recipe: Tofu Bouillabaisse

Another super simple stew recipe lifted from the wonderful book "The Vegan Slow Cooker" by Kathy Hester. The original recipe calls for the use of saffron, which I skipped due to its cost and it really is only there for show rather than taste. But if you are flushed with cash, use it! You can even find it in the supermarket, next to all the other herbs and spices.

What you will need:
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, cut in half and sliced (optional)
3 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
small fennel bulb, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, cut into half moons
3 medium potatoes, cut into chunks
1 pack extra firm tofu, cubed or roughly chopped into chunks
1 can diced tomatoes or 3 cups chopped fresh
1 and a half cups water
2 bay leaves
salt to taste
juice of half lime

This part can be done the night before: Heat oil in a pan over medium heat and saute onion, if using, for 3-5 minutes. Add garlic, if using, and saute for 3 more minutes. Store this in the fridge over night, along with cut up tofu, fennel, carrots, celery and potatoes. make sure you use an airtight container.

In the morning: combine all ingredients in the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Serve.

Recipe: Split pea and lentil soup

A little while back, I was browsing in Planet Books which has a considerable vegan cookbook collection, when I came across this beauty: "The Vegan Slow Cooker" by Kathy Hester. I like using my slow cooker because it is so easy and you can plan do most of the work overnight, switch it on in the morning, go to work and then come home to a hot meal and a house full of aromas. And I do believe slow cooked meals are tastier, too.
My main problem, however, was finding a cookbook with just vegan slow cooker recipes. So imagine my glee when I found this book.
Over the last few weeks, my partner and I have been trying out a few recipes. This one is absolutely delicious. The split pea gives it a nice thick consistency and the herbs make it very aromatic. Try it!

What you will need:
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced (optional)
1 cup lentils
1 cup split peas
6 cups water
2 tbsp vegan chicken flavoured bouillon (You can use Massel which is gluten free and vegan. I have fond it at IGAs and in health food shops.)
2 bay leaves
1 tsp dried tarragon
Half tsp dried marjoram
1 tsp dried rosemary
170g baby spinach
salt, to taste

You can do this part the night before if you wish: If you are using the onion, saute it over medium heat in a pan, for 3 to 5 minutes. Store it in a container in the fridge, ready to use the next morning.

In the morning: combine the sauteed onion, lentils, peas, water, bouillon, bay leaves, tarragon, marjoram, rosemary and salt in the slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
Approximately 30 minutes before serving, add spinach and stir through.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Recipe: Ginger pasta with zucchini

I found this one in Alicia Silverstone’s book “The Kind Diet”. It is super easy to make, as you will see. I only tweaked it a little bit to suit my needs.

What you will need:
Pasta of whatever shape, size and quantity you like. It doesn’t really matter. I used two 250g packs of gluten free rice pasta.
1 block of firm tofu, roughly mashed up with your hands or fork
1 tbsp olive oil
Half onion, chopped (optional)
Small zucchini, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
A few dashes of tamari or soy sauce
1 tsp ginger juice (grate a 5cm piece of ginger and squeeze out the juice with your fingers)

Cook the pasta according to the packet directions, drain and set aside.
Heat oil in a pan and if using, add onion and sauté until onion is translucent. This should take about 3 to 4 minutes. Add 1 or 2 tbsp water if the onions start to stick to the pan. Add the zucchini and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes to until it softens. Then add tofu and tamari/soy sauce. Saute for 2 minutes and then stir in ginger juice and cooked pasta. Toss ingredients and serve.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Product: Redwood 'Wot No Dairy?' Dessert

On my recent visit to PAWS, I came across a shelf full of these little tubs of yum. I grabbed the peach and apricot one to try and my partner opted for the raspberry one.

These are vegan, and do not contain any soy. I find with these sorts of products they can often be too sweet but this one hit the right balance, being sweetened by fruit juices. The texture is creamy and yoghurt like.

These are best served chilled though so long as you haven't opened the seal, can be stored in a cupboard until you are ready to chill and then eat.

The Redwood website indicates there are other flavours available, such as strawberry, black cherry and plain. I did not see these at PAWS but will keep my eyes open in case they come in, as I would like to try them too.

Product: Redwood Gourmet Meat Free Fish Style Fingers

I picked up this product at PAWS recently. I am not big on mock meats, though my partner does like them, so we bought a pack to try out. I haven't eaten fish fingers since I was a child. Even when I ate fish, I was very very picky and only ate certain types, cooked in certain ways. I was certainly not keen on anything that smelled or tasted 'too fishy'. So, I approached this product a little warily.

To my relief, I found it to be not too fishy. As they cooked in the oven, they gave off a fishy aroma but it was not over powering. Also, when eating it, the fishiness was there but not too strongly. The texture had the flakiness of fish fingers and I loved the crunchy coating.

I had mine with a dab or two of tomato sauce. A salad on the side would make it a nice meal.

Be warned however, tasty as they are, they are not gluten free.

Event recap: Cruelty Free Festival, 2012

This was my second year in attendance and I must say, this event is getting bigger and better. Much kudos to the wonderful people at ARA for organizing it!
There food demos, talks, raffles, lots of product stalls and information stalls from animal rescue groups, environmental groups, activists, etc. There was also live entertainment and kids activities.
The biggest draw card, I felt, were the food stalls. There were way more than last year, and I did my best to sample the wares... My biggest mistake? I didn't bring a container to take food home! Next time!

The event took place in Subiaco again and it was packed. There definitely were more people in attendance this year, than last and it was so nice to see people bring along their kids..and their dogs! There were a lot of pooches there, along with greyhounds up for adoption.
It was so nice to see so many familiar faces, but also to meet new people, chat to stall holders, and to soak up the positive vibes, in general.
Naturally, I took a lot of photos. What follows is just a small sample.
Pictured to the left is Geoff's famous 'not-dog'. Well, half of it actually! It is much longer than that, but I was so keen to get stuck into it, that I forgot to take a photo first! This is a gorgeously spicy vegan sausage that has fooled many a meat eater. I am not keen on mock meat - especially the kind that tastes and feels a little too much like meat. This item hits a wonderful balance - delicious but not too 'meaty' for my tastes. Oh, and they are all handmade! Needless to say, Geoff's stall sold hundreds and ran out before the event was over.

At the same stall were sausage rolls and Ric's awesome pies. I had the corn mornay one, which was delish and creamy.
Also to one side of this stall, was a sweets stall, run by some friends. For sale were biscuits, cupcakes, cakes, and various other sweets. I do believe that they sold out of items, as well, and no wonder considering how wonderful everything looked! You could tell a lot of effort and care went into the making of these goodies!
Out the front of the stall was a lovely lady who was offering to take people's email addresses so the recipes of these items on sale, could be sent to them. What a great idea!
As it transpired, the lady in question turned out to be none other than fellow vegan blogger Vegan Sparkles ! It was so nice to finally meet her in person!

After stuffing ourselves for a bit, my partner and I went and checked out the stalls. We especially liked the Sea Shepherd stall, ARA stall, and PAWS stall. And then I spotted the stall by Edgar's Mission! I heard that they were coming, and were so pleased! Based in Victoria, they are a farm animal sanctuary and do a lot of important rescue work and are also active in educating school students and the public at large, on animal issues. If you haven't heard of them before, please check out their website. As I listened to the stall holder speak, it dawned on me that it was none other than Kyle whom I have seen on videos by Edgar's Mission and in lots of photos. That is when I had my fangirl moment! Kyle was very sweet about it, giving me a hug and letting me have his photo taken with him. My partner thought is was all very amusing...hehe. Well, what can I say? Some women get all fangirly over sportsmen, actors, singers, etc..For me, it is compassionate, vegan activists!

Speaking of meeting awesome people...I got to meet this awesome little guy. His name is Jolly and he is cutey! He was a very popular little fellow! I love pigs. They are smart and have a lot of character, and are very dog-like.

Wandering around for a bit, we also came across the greyhounds that were up for adoption. Now, the greyhounds are the one breed of dog that suffers a lot at the hands of humans. I had no idea until I was told about it. No wonder there is the need for rescue groups for these gentle creatures. If you were like me - in the dark about the greyhound racing industry - read about it here and work to educate others.
Although all the greyhounds there were gorgeous, here was one greyhound that caught my attention and heart. Her name is Chloe. She was sweet, placid and affectionate to all that took their time to give her a bit of attention and kindness. Having two cats and a small home, I am in no position to adopt, but I do hope some met her on the day and opened their hearts and home to her. This is a photo of her with my partner.

After a while, it was time for some dessert, so my partner and I split a tub of dairy free, vanilla icecream, topped with crushed oreos, from Loving Hut. Yum!

It did rain a little on the day, though not for too long. It certainly did not affect the crowd attendance, from what I could gather. I am looking forward to next year's event and WILL be bringing an empty lunchbox to take food home!

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Recipe: Turkish everyday beans

Another recipe from the book “Veggiestan” by Sally Butcher.  This one is pretty easy to make but I found that it didn’t make much, so I have doubled the amount of beans to use. You can do the same with the other ingredients if you wish. Also, I use canned beans because I am lazy. If you do this,  expect the beans to break down a bit or otherwise add them in a little later to the rest of the ingredients. Also, I used far less lemon juice than what the original recipe asks for, as I felt the juice of 2 lemons would be way too much, but use your own judgement on that, of course.
This dish tastes good hot, cold or room temperature – on its own or with a salad or stir fried tofu.

What you will need:
2 x 400g cans of cannellini beans (or haricot)
1 onion, finely diced (optional)
3 sticks of celery, finely diced
2 carrots, peeled and finely diced
1 large potato, peeled and finely diced
2 garlic cloves, chopped (optional)
2 tbsp olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
A few sprigs of fresh parsley

On medium high heat, heat the oil and add onions, celery and carrots. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add potatoes and garlic and after a minute of stirring constantly, add ½ cup water and stir in beans.
Turn heat down to low and cook for about 15-20 minutes, to that the potato is cooked.
Add lemon juice and parsley. Serve.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Loving Hut- East Victoria Park, Perth

After having lunch at Loving Hut in Victoria Park, my partner, a friend, and I had to check out the sister restaurant in East Victoria Park.
Again, the decor was light and pleasing, and the staff were friendly.
We had a hard time to choose what we wanted for entree and mains, as there was so much choice.
Between us, we had the spring rolls, the steamed dumplings and samosas.

All were delicious and gone rather quickly between us. I don't tend to drink while I eat, but my partner ordered a drink which I tasted and enjoyed. it was the 'Golden Sunlight' which is mixture of pineapple juice and coconut cream, with a scoop of vegan vanilla icecream on the top. It was heavenly!

For the main meal, I opted for the Special Fried Clear Noodles which consisted of cabbage, shitake mushrooms, carrot, tofu and noodles. They were tasty and presented beautifully. My partner ordered the Spaghetti Carbonara which I eyed off enviously, given its creamy sauce and mushrooms. This dish also came with a salad on the side. Our friend chose the Satay Tofu which had capsicum, cauliflower, broccoli, and carrot in a peanut sauce, with steamed rice on the side. She said it was enjoyable.

Having polished off our mains, we found that we were too full to fit in dessert but the cakes at the front counter just looked soooo good! It was lucky for us that they did takeaway, so we asked for a slice of the vegan tiramisu, to take home. That cake was a slice of heaven! It was big enough for my partner and I to share and enjoyed it to the last crumb! Sadly, I was so intent on trying it, that I forgot to take a photo of it! But here are some photos of the mains we had...

Loving Hut, East Victoria Park are situated on 64A Etwell Street and are open Wednesdays through to Sundays, 5-9pm. 

Again, my only gripe about this place is that it is too far from my home but I have to admit, they are worth the trip.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Recipe: Agave mustard glazed potatoes and string beans

I found this recipe in the book "Vegan with a vengeance" by the amazing Isa Chandra Moskowitz. The original recipe uses maple syrup but I substituted with agave because that is what I had on hand and it worked out fine.
I think the casserole dish you use is important for this recipe. I used a deep one, which meant that some of the potatoes did not sit in the sauce enough, and so did not get cooked as well. So, I recommend that you use more of a shallow dish to cook this in.

What you will need:

900g small potatoes, peeled and halved or cut into thirds if they are little bit bigger. Aim for 2.5cm pieces.
225g runner/string beans, ends cut off and then halved.
2 gloves garlic, finely chopped (optional)
3 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
3 tbsp maple or agave syrup
3 tbsp Dijon mustard (I use Organicville Dijon Mustard which is vegan and gluten free. Can be found in some health food shops, and at Fresh Stop, at Dogswamp shopping centre.)
2 tbsp olive oil


Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
Place vegetables in casserole dish.
In a bowl, stir together the rest of the ingredients. Pour over the vegetables and mix until everything is coated.  Cover and place in oven. Bake of 25 minutes, remove from oven and toss everything. Use a spoon to drop sauce over the vegetables.
Turn oven down to 180 degrees Celsius and cook for another 25 minutes, uncovered.
Remove from oven and toss again. Cook for another 25 minutes, uncovered. Check for tenderness of potatoes and then serve.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Cafe: Loving Hut, Victoria Park

Loving Hut is an international chain of cafes and restaurants that are completely vegan. The eastern states have had Loving Hut for some time now, and I had been hearing good things about them. This year was Perth's turn, with a Loving Hut cafe opening in Victoria Park.
My partner and I scooted down there soon after they opened, and had lunch. The cafe is small, but there are tables inside and out. The decor is bright, light and welcoming. There is also a 'mini-mart' at the cafe, selling vegan food products - a lot which we have never seen before. The staff are friendly and courteous. We definitely good a good vibe from this establishment.

As for the food...there was a lot to choose from. Infact, I could not choose, so I opted for a plate with a little bit of four different dishes on offer!
There was a coconut friend rice, a spaghetti dish, a tofu and veggie stur fry and a ginger and pumpkin curry. All were delicious!

My partner opted for a plate of spaghetti and a sausage roll, plus a 'meat' pie. Not a bit of greenery in sight! Tee hee. 

I was too full to have dessert but I did have a taste of his soft serve chocolate icecream in a waffle cone. It was so delicious! Smooth, creamy and the cone itself was yummy, too. There was also a berry variety on offer and I have heard that there is now  'cookies 'n' cream' , apricot, and raspberry flavours available. These may be for a limited time, however, so get in quick for them!

Loving Hut cafe is situated on 366 Albany Highway, in Victoria Park. Their opening hours are Wednesday to Sunday, 10am to 4.30pm.
There are gluten free, organic and raw vegan options available and they also do beverages. 
My only complaint about this cafe is that it is not situated closer to where I live! 

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Product: Moo Free vegan chocolates

If you don't like dark chocolate, there are other vegan alternatives to dairy milk chocolate. Here is one that I found at PAWS.
Moo Free are a UK company that produces a range of chocolates that are vegan and gluten free. No wheat, no lactose and no cruelty.

I tried their Organic Rice Milk Chocolate Bar which turned out to be very tasty indeed, with a full flavour and just the right amount of sweetness.

Their website lists other products, such as pralines (I LOVE pralines!) and various different fruit and nut bars. I would love to see these on the store shelves here. I guess I will have to keep my eyes peeled.

As just mentioned, this product is available at PAWS, but there are a few other stockists in Perth, as listed on their website.

Oh, and don't you just love their packaging designs? So cute!

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Recipe: Caramel nut popcorn

A nice little treat to make.  Recipe found in the cookbook “Big Vegan” by Robin Asbell . The original calls for the use of corn oil which I just could not find. I did some googling and read that safflower oil is a good substitute. The trick is to substitute with a light tasting oil. Olive oil is not suitable as it has too strong of a taste. I got the safflower oil at a health food shop. 

What you will need:
½ cup popcorn kernels (try the organic ones that you can buy from health food or organics shops, and taste the difference!)
Vegetable oil spray
½ cup agave syrup
½ cup brown rice syrup (avail. in health food shops)
1 tbsp safflower oil
½ tsp salt
1 cup pecans, chopped

Preheat oven to 165 degrees Celsius.
Pop the popcorn in an air popper. Sort through the popped corn and remove the unpopped kernels.
Coat baking tray with sides, with vegetable oil spray.
Mix both syrups, oil and salt in a measuring cup and then pour over popcorn. Add nuts and toss gently to mix. Spread mixture on the tray and bake for 10 minutes. Stir and reverse position of the tray. Bake for about 10 minutes more.
 Scrape immediately into a storage tub and let cool a bit before eating or cool completely, uncovered before storing tightly covered at room temperature. Will keep for up to 1 week, though it tastes so good, I doubt you will find it lasting more than 1 day!

Monday, 15 October 2012

Recipe: Middle Eastern ratatouille

This is a very simple dish from the cookbook “Veggiestan” by Sally Butcher.  I altered it a bit to suit my tastes. For example, I left out the bell peppers because I am not keen on them, but include them if you are a fan, of course. And although the garlic and onions are ‘traditional;’ in this dish, my body is intolerant of them, so have omitted them too and the dish still tasted good without them.
This dish can be served with garlic bread or rice. Or you can just eat it on its own, like I did.

What you will need:
1 or 2 eggplants, cut into 3-4cm chunks
2 zucchinis cut into 3-4cm chunks
2 potatoes, peeled and cut into 3-4cm chunks
1 red bell pepper, cut into 3-4cm chunks
1 green pepper, cut into 3-4cm chunks
1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped (optional)
4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed (optional)
4 tomatoes, quartered
3 bay leaves

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Place all the ingredients into a casserole dish and mix. Add a splash of water  - just enough to cover the bottom of the cooking dish. Cover and cook in the oven for 1 ½ hours or until the vegetables are tender.  Sprinkle on some salt to taste and serve. It is as easy as that!

Event: Wet Nose Day, Cat Haven & Dogs' Refuge Home - 28th October 2012

It's back! Wet Nose Day is on a little earlier than last year. At the Cat Haven, there will be fun activities for the kids, raffles, plant and clothing stalls, bric-a-brac for sale, items up for auction, and more.

I will yet again be running the book/dvd/cd stall. Last year, this stall raised the most funds out of all the stalls on the day. There were THOUSANDS of items for sale and I dare say it will be the same this year! I am actually taking a week off work, so I can dedicate some time to sorting and organizing donations for the stall, so expect so method to the madness when you come down and have a look. (ie books, cd's and dvds will be organized into genres, fiction/non-fiction, kids, etc. ) 

This year there will be a sausage sizzle, I am told. Ideally, I would like to see an end to the offering of meat products to raise funds at animal charities. It makes no sense to me to exploit animals to help others. Perhaps that is something Cat Haven can embrace in the near future. In the meantime, I am told there will be food on offer for vegans and vegetarians, which will involve the use of a separate BBQ and equipment. What exactly will be on offer, I don't know, but I will be keen to see.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Event: Seminar on animal welfare, 16th October at UWA

A little late notice, but I hope to be able to attend and maybe see you there!

VENUE: FOX LECTURE THEATRE (G.59 - in Arts Building), University of Western Australia

WHEN: Tuesday October 16th, 5pm sharp - 6.30pm (including informal Q&A session)

WHAT: "Does Animal Protection Law Protect Animals?" - a seminar on animal welfare.

Just because we are at the top of the food chain does not mean animals belong on the bottom.

Interested in the cruelty and treatment of animals? UWA cordially invites you to a talk about how law treats animals, its history, and possibilities for future developments in this area.

This lecture is open to the public, so you don't need to be a law student or even a university student in order to attend. But you DO need to have a passion for animals and an interest in their welfare.

Seminar begins at 5:00pm sharp, intended to run for 1-1.5 hours. Questions are welcome (speakers will gladly answer related questions, so bring yours along!)

Saturday, 13 October 2012

The Raw Kitchen Cafe - revisited

Earlier this year, I visited this cafe in Fremantle but had only had a dessert there. As lovely as that was, I knew I had to go back to have lunch.

This time, I was keen on trying their raw zucchini pasta. I am glad I did! When my order arrived, a large bowl was set in front of me, filled with a delicious looking pile of goodness. The zucchini noodles were long, and tender and mixed in with mushroom, kalamata olives and a rich marinara sauce. The fresh basil and the macadamia 'parmesan cheese', topped it all off very well.  (Note that in the photo below, I had already started eating before I remembered to take a shot of it! That's how keen I was to try it out! Oops!)

For drinks, I sampled the 'Choc it to me' smoothie which was thick and tasty with its banana, raw cacao, agave and almond milk.

I was pretty full but then had to have a bite of a raw 'cherry ripe' - type of slice. It was yummy but perhaps a bit too sweet for me. My partner, however, had no problem demolishing it!

I know that I will need to pay The Raw Kitchen another visit soon, as my friends orders the Nachos and it looked so good, that I knew I had to come back to try that! 
What a work of art!

For opening times and location, check out their website.