Saturday, 31 March 2012

Recipe: Bean and Avocado Salsa

I found this recipe absolutely ages ago and only just now uncovered it in my recipe files. The recipe is from the book "The Daily Bean" by Suzanne Caciola White. In the book, the author instructs her readers to use navy beans. For the life of me, I was unable to find a can of these so I ended up using cannellini beans instead. I found the end product to be super tasty but a bit on the watery side, so I suggest that after you have refridgerated it, to drain it as best you can before serving.

What you will need:
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 firm ripe avocados, diced
2 tomatoes, diced small
1 red onion (optional)
juice of one lime
2 tsp olive oil
3 tbsp fresh chopped coriander
salt to taste

Gently stir together all the ingredients. Cover with plastic wrap, put in fridge and allow flavours to blend for at least ab hour. Serve with corn chips.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Product: Gopal's Power Wraps

When I go to PAWS, I like to have a good look on their shelves and try something new. These 'power wraps' were tucked away against a wall. I had a look at the different varieties, peered at the ingredients and thought "Why not? Let's give one of these a go." I opted for the 'Italian' one but it was a close call between that and the 'Japanese' one.

In the pack, you get two wraps. I was going to eat just one and give the other to my partner to try. I had good intentions, but it tasted so good that before I knew what I was doing, I was munching on the second one. Seriously yummy! Full of flavour. I had another look at the ingredients. It tasted so 'cheesy' that I was worried that somehow, there WAS some of that dreaded stuff in there.

Nope! None in there! Not only is this savoury snack delish, but it is also gluten free, vegan, organic, and raw. In fact, this company, Gopal's, soaks and germinates most of its own seeds and nuts.

To top all of this off, this company's manufacturing plant  is situated on 100 acres of pastureland in Texas, the American state renown for its exploitation and abuse of cows and other animals considered to be 'food' or 'entertainment' (rodeos, or public lynchings as they should be called). This 100 acres is home to several cows that the company is protecting and their name 'Gopal' even means 'friend of the cows' in modern Anglicized Sanskrit.

I will definitely head back to PAWS for some more of these!

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Recipe: Quinoa "Mac 'n' Cheese" Casserole

I nabbed this recipe from the book "The Everything Vegan Cookbook". I don't really think the title of the recipe fits, as it doesn't really try to imitate macaroni and dairy cheese, but is rather a taste delight of its own. Regardless, give this one a go because it is seriously delicious.

What you will need:
1 and a half cups quionoa
3 cups veggie broth
1 onion, chopped (optional)
3 gloves garlic, minced (optional)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 bunch broccoli, diced small, stem and all
1 tbsp flour (I use gluten free flour)
1 large tomato, diced
three quarters of a cup soy/rice milk
half tsp sea salt
half tsp dried parsley
1 cup bread crumbs (optional. I use gluten free ones)
1 cup vegan cheese, shredded (I used Cheezly which you can buy at PAWS)

Preheat the oven to 180 Celsius
Simmer quinoa is vegetable broth, covered, until done and liquid is absorbed. This should take about 15 mins.
In a medium sized pan, heat oil and add broccoli and tomato. Cook for 3-4 mins, stirring frequently.
Add flour, stirring to coat well. Add soy/rice milk and salt. Stir for about 3 mins.
Combine quinoa with  broccoli and soy milk mixture with half of the vegan cheese in a large casserole dish.
Sprinkle the other half of the vegan cheese on top, along with the parsley and breadcrumbs, if using.
Bake for about 10 minutes. If your oven, like mine, has a grill plate above the oven shelves, turn it on for about 5-10 mins, on medium heat to give the top of the dish a golden colour.

Serving proved to be a bit of challenge, as it fell apart a bit, but here is a photo showing what it looks like on the inside.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Event: Swan Animal Haven Annual Fete and Garage Sale - 15th April

The Swan Animal Haven are having their annual fete and garage sale on the 15th of April, which is a Sunday. The event will be running from 10am to 2pm. On sale will be bric-a-brac, plants, cakes, books, clothing, etc. There will also be raffles and a sausage sizzle, which although is not vegan, is at least vegetarian, which is a great step forward! Kudos to the organizers for that.

The shelter is NO KILL and is a charitable organization that receives no government funding, so this fundraiser will assist them in keeping the place running and pay for sterilizations.

The event will be taking place at the shelter, on Kalamunda Road, South Guildford.

Prior to the event, if you have items you wish to donate (bric-a-brac, books, clothing, plants, etc), please leave them at the gate of the shelter.

Event recap: An evening with Lyn White

A few months ago, I posted about this event. Well, not only was I able to attend, but I was also fortunate enough to volunteer for the night and meet Lyn White.

With the event being sold out, we expected to be kept busy...and we were! As volunteers, we had to show up several hours early and help with some of the set up. The staff from Animals Australia were warm and friendly and made sure that once Lyn had begun to speak, we would all have the chance to be present for it.
Some of us worked as ushers for attendees, helping check tickets and name lists. I volunteered to work behind the merchandise stall, where we sold some fabulous Animals Australia T-shirts. We were inundated with people joining AA, buying t-shirts and also donating funds.
Before attendees arrived, volunteers were able to meet with Lyn White. What an exciting moment that was! I think we were all rather star struck. Here was the woman who helped to expose the Australian live export trade for what it was - cruel, barbaric and archaic. Here was the woman , who first hand, bared witness to so many atrocities in her fight to expose animal cruelty. She shook my hand, looked at my name tag and we both  had a bit of a laugh at the 'strangeness' of my name. She was warm and personable, and I felt very privileged to have been   able to meet her.

When it was time, myself and the other volunteers were able to sneak into the back of the hall and wait for the event to begin.
Unsurprisingly, when Lyn White appeared on stage, she received a standing ovation.
She spoke with eloquence and intelligence, and covered so many topics - from live animal exports to factory farming, to environmentalism. Myself and my friends and fellow volunteers were en-rapt. I am not ashamed to say that I was deeply moved and inspired.

With Lyn's speech were some visuals - both photographic and video. Evocative but not too startling and harsh. When presenting people with harsh truths and realities, you always walk a fine line with how much and what needs to be shown to get your point across. I felt the visuals provided during this presentation were just right.

At the end of the speech, Lyn received another standing ovation and I felt very proud and happy to be there.

After the speeches, Lyn mingled with attendees who were treated to drinks and vegan canapes which I must say, were delicious. Never before have I had vegan caviar! I managed to mingle amongst the crowd and to my delight, saw many familiar faces.

All in all, the event was such an uplifting experience that I will remember for a long time. One thing nagged at me afterwards, however. I went home wish so much that I could share what a Lyn shared with us that night. I knew I could paraphrase some of it, but really could not do it justice. I could not express myself the way she had. I wish I could have had my friends, family, co-workers and acquaintances  there with me, to hear, listen and think on what Lyn had to say. A few days later, I was pleased to find out, via Facebook, that I could share the experience in a way via "A Virtual Evening with Lyn White". 

 From Animals Australia, about this virtual event:
Following a sell-out national speaking tour, Lyn will share her inspirational journey into animal protection and vision for a kinder world with all in a free virtual event. Join us for the launch at 6PM EST March 19th at - or visit any time after the 19th to watch the full event online.

“What if the purpose of each new generation is to question... To identify where there are injustices and to right them. We would inevitably leave this world a kinder place for those who followed us.”

-- Lyn White, Animals Australia Campaign Director & Investigator

So, if you missed out on attending (the Perth event was sold out) please check out the virtual event and hear what Lyn had to say.

[Photo credits: Top photo used with kind permission by Katrina Love. Following photo by Alex Cearns from Houndstooth Studio.)

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Event: 2nd Animal Rights Discussion Group, 21st March

ARA (Animal Rights Advocates, Inc) are holding their second discussion group on the 21st of March, which is a Wednesday. The discussion topic is Animal Rights in Pop Culture. This event will include the screening of examples, with dinner and a discussion afterwards. The event will run from 6pm to 8pm at PAWS.
Please note that the event is FREE but if you want dinner, you will need to pay for that yourself.

The discussion group will occur every third Wednesday of the month, 6 to 8pm, at PAWS.

Please RSVP to by the 19th of March and go into the draw to win some dairy free Easter eggs.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Raw Kitchen Cafe - Fremantle

This lovely little cafe is central to Fremantle but is tucked away in the Piazza Arcade so you have to look for it. Having heard good things about it, we had to go and check it out.We already had lunch elsewhere, so we decided to stopped into The Raw Kitchen cafe for something sweet.

My partner ordered the Minty Moment Smoothie which I ended up sipping from. From the first mouthful, we both described it as tasting 'very real'. I know that sounds strange, but after having tasted this raw drink, it makes you realize how fake and artificial big brand, mainstream versions are. This drink contained raw cacao, fresh mint, agave, vanilla bean, almond milk and ice. It was divine!  Checking out the drinks menu, we noticed that none were made with honey, as some raw food places are known to use. Instead, agave is used for sweetening, which makes them vegan suitable. And, for 2 dollars extra you can get superfood boosts included in your smoothie. This includes spirulina, wheatgrass, chia, etc. Oh, and I loved the use of glass straws - something I had not used before.

Whilst my partner sipped his smoothie, I got stuck into a slice of raw vegan cheesecake. The one I had was apple, maple and cinnamon and was delicious! Not sickly sweet, super creamy and a right balance of cinnamon used. I also loved the fresh apple slices on top. They went very well with the cake.

I do hope to be back there again soon, to try out their savories, such as the raw pasta. They also offer raw soup, club sandwich, pizza, nachos and salads. All of their menu items are dairy, sugar and gluten free.
Because I am fairly new to raw food cooking, my mind just boggles at the creativeness of some of these items. The cafe offers raw cooking classes and inside, there is a small selection of specialist raw food ingredients and equipment.

The Raw Kitchen Cafe is open Wednesday - Sunday. Check out their website for opening hours and address.

Manna Wholefoods and Cafe - South Fremantle

I had been meaning to check out this store/cafe for a while now, but living on the other side of the city meant I had to make a special trip down. I am glad I did and I have now been back again and looking forward to my next visit.

The cafe offers all sorts of yummy things - desserts, drinks, salads, patties, wraps, bakes, raw foods, etc. Not all is vegan but they label everything clearly so you can make an informed decision on what to order. Both times my partner and I visited, the cafe was very, very busy. The service, however, was quick and efficient. On my first trip I opted for a vegan bake which was a mixture of pumpkin, seeds, cherry tomatoes, chickpeas and more. Tasty, filling and the serve was generous.
My partner chose the tempeh wrap and a tofu patty. Not being a fan of tempeh, I just tried his tofu patty and was seriously jealous! 

On my second visit for lunch, I opted for a slice of gluten free vegan pizza and a quinoa salad. Again, the portions were generous and the food delicious.

After stuffing ourselves, it was time to check out the store section. I was naturally drawn towards the books on sale. I liked the way in which they were categorized and instantly started pursuing the raw food and the vegan sections. I saw a fair amount of titles there that I had not seen elsewhere.
After the books, we explored the other shelves. Again, I must stress that Manna is not an exclusively vegan store, so shop with some caution. There was plenty of brands and products I recognized from shopping elsewhere, but also came across many others that were new to me. Their shelves were stocked well with products ranging from bulk food ingredients, confectionery, toiletries, cleaning products, etc. There is a meat freezer chest to one side of the store, which I found to be rather sad and distasteful. It just doesn't fit in with the look and feel of the store and I really wish they got rid of it.
Apart from that, I do recommend checking out this store and cafe, even if it means a fair trip to get to it.

Check out their website for their address and opening times.

Product: Simply Organic Italian Herb Spaghetti Sauce Mix

This product is great if you are too tired to make a pasta sauce from scratch. Basically, it is a dry packet mix that is clearly marked as being organic and vegan. Using it is pretty simple - just add water and tomato paste or a tin of crushed tomatoes and you are away. You can also add tofu to it, to bulk it up and put on top of spaghetti. My partner opted for the tinned tomatoes option and paired it with meaty balls, on top of gluten free pasta. It tasted great, with a strong herb flavour. I would suggest, however, adding a pinch of sugar or a few drops of agave to cut some of the sourness from the tomatoes.

I found this product at Manna Wholefoods in Fremantle and have not seen it elsewhere so far. If you can't get to Mana, perhaps look for it in health food shops and organic stores. This company has a few other suitable vegan products available which are listed on thier website.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Event: Animals Asia Roadshow - Perth, 9th June

Details are a bit sketchy at the moment, but I thought I'd pass on this information on so we can all save the date.
Founder and Executive Director Jill Robinson will be speaking at this fundraiser. Her blog is here and you can check out what this group is all about here.

The dates are:
Hobart: Saturday 2 June
Canberra: Sunday 3 June
Sydney: Monday 4 June
Melbourne: Tuesday 5 June
Adelaide: Friday 8 June
Perth: Saturday 9th June
Brisbane: Tuesday 12 June

There is also a date for new Zealand:
Auckland: Wednesday 13 June

Watch this space for more info as it comes to hand...

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Live Animal Export Protest - Fremantle docks, 4th March 2012

I woke up to some exciting news this morning - members of Forest Rescue were able to board the Ocean Shearer, which is the world's largest live animal export ship. This abomination can carry up to 125,000 sheep or 23,000 cattle and it was docked at the Western Australian port of Fremantle. One member chained herself to the ship and refused to leave.

Protesters flocked to the docks to show their support for this protest. It was all very last minute and sudden, so social media was the main way we came together. Our numbers were small but that was not surprising considering the suddenness and the fact that it is a long weekend here.

Media attended and banners were displayed. We stood and watched the ship on the other side of the water and then suddenly noticed a lone sheep that had gotten away. He was running for his life. We were shocked and appalled when we saw a worker throwing himself at the sheep, in what could only be described as a rugby tackle. It was cruel and disgusting. Add to this, the awful stench coming from the ship and the heat of 35 degrees Celsius. It all must be a terrifying, hellish experience for the animals.

Whilst on the dock, we had the opportunity to chat to passers by who were curious as to what was going on. Some even joined us in the protest, holding banners, posing for photos and offering encouragement. We also had Lynn Maclaren MLC attending, which was great.

It is important that the pressure is kept up, so that is why I dropped everything and rushed to the docks to participate. Please consider join the fight to end this barbaric 'trade' once and for all in Australia. Stay informed by checking out Stop Live Exports for local news and events, and Animals Australia for a national perspective.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Event: Keep Talking 2012 Event - Update

Late last year, I posted about this event and then did an update on the event's all vegan menu. Time for another update, with added details:

Keep Talking is back in 2012 bigger and better 
Come and join us for an afternoon of good food, inspirational speakers, fashion and fantastic prizes.

Date: 22 July 2012

Place: Hyatt, Perth

Tickets: $100 (includes a 3 course vegan Lunch + Tea and coffee. Alcohol can be purchased at the venue)

RSVPs: By 15 June 2012
All tickets to be purchased by the 1 July 2012 (limited seats available, first come first serve basis)

Confirmed Speakers include:

Dana Campbell - CEO, Voiceless. Master of Ceremonies
Lyn White - Campaign Director, Animals Australia
Dawn Lowe - Australian Representative of Animals' Angels
Carole de Fraga - Australian Representative of Compassion in World Farming
Kris Farley - Live Export of Greyhounds (tentative)

We have huge sponsors, great prizes and wonderful food. What are you waiting for put the date in your diary and make sure you grab a ticket!!!!!

All proceeds from this fundraiser will go to Animals Australia, Voiceless and Stop Live Export.

Please send us an email for payment details and further information.


Houndstooth Photography
Tree of Life
Waggy Dog Bakehouse
Red Balloon
Vegan Style
Lisa Baker MP, Inglewood
Andersen Cacoa Creations
Sweet William
Synthesis 345
Australian Ethical Insurance
Designmine Pty Ltd


Carpaccio of Silken Tofu

Marinated asian mushrooms,heirloom tomatoes,fennel,rocket,toasted pinenut granola, pink grapefruit dressing.


Tagine of Butternut Squash and Autumn Vegetables

Truss tomato,chick peas,ginger,saffron,coriander,fresh date and almond cous-cous
Black pepper roti,lemon oil and minced mint.


Chilled White Tea and Peach Chai.

Lychee,mango,sago pearls,almond gelee,coconut sorbet,salted caramel grissini.

Coffee or Tea

Cashew Brittle petit four

*Menu could be subject to change, we will let you know if that happens.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Book: Vegan is Love by Ruby Roth

Ruby Roth is one talented woman, with real heart. A little while back, I posted about her previous children's picture book "That's Why We Don't Eat Animals". The good news is that she has a new book for kids coming out in April, called "Vegan is Love: having heart and taking action", which she has written and illustrated.

Here is an uplifting video that shows the author talking about the book and veganism. For more information on this book and this author, you can check out the website.