Saturday, 28 April 2012

Recipe: Cheesy Broccoli

This dairy free, cholesterol-free vegan cheese sauce is super creamy and tasty. In this recipe, you pour it over steamed broccoli and carrot, but you can also use it on steamed cubed potatoes or green beans. Or you can go wild and pour it over all of the above!
Fewer calories, lower fat and cruelty free. (Yes, dairy is the cruelest industry of them all.  Don't believe me? Check this out.)

I found this recipe in the book "30 minute vegan" which I can highly recommend. I have found lots of doable recipes this cookbook, a few of which I will be featuring on this blog in the near future.

What you will need:
1 large bunch of broccoli
1 large carrot

For the Vegan Cheese Sauce:
three quarters of a cup of nutritional yeast
quarter tsp sea salt
2 cups soy milk ( I use Bonsoy as it is the creamiest and does not have a sweet taste to it like some others.)
1 garlic clove or  half tsp garlic powder (optional)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp flour (I use gluten free)
quarter tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp mustard powder

Steam broccoli and carrots.
For the sauce, blend all the ingredients in a blender or by hand using a whisk.
Transfer the mixture to a saute pan and heat over medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes or until the mixture thickens.
Drizzle over steamed vegetables and serve.

You can't get easier than that!

Event: Keep Talking July 2012 - latest update

This upcoming Perth event just keeps getting bigger and better. I have done a few updates on this event in the past but more information has come to hand about VIP guests and speakers.

Master of Ceremony: Dana Campbell, Voiceless, CEO
Lyn White: Animals Australia
Dawn Lowe: Animals? Angels
Carole de Fraga: Compassion in World farming
Kris Farley: Greyhound Export

VIP Guests:
Dr. Sue Foster: Vets Against Live Export (VALE)
Debra Tranter: Oscar's Law

Watch this space for information on live entertainment at this event.

 If you haven't already booked your seat, you are urge
you to do so. Payments aren't due until the 1 July, but you will need to
secure your seat as soon as possible. 

If you have any questions please email :
or call Christine on: 0402127202.

For a recap as to what Keep Talking and this event are all about, see previous posting here and check out Keep Talking's facebook page.

Event: An Evening with Black Cockatoos and Humpback Whales - 13th July

Perth Advocates for the Earth present this fundraising event:
When: 13 July (Friday)
When: 7pm
Where: Perth Irish Club, Townshend Rd, Subiaco
Cost: $25pp, $45 per couple, or $200 per group of 10.
Bank details:
BSB: 016 318
Acc: 530453381
Please use your surname as reference.
Tickets will be deemed as booked once all funds are received.

For further information, or to book your tickets please contact:
Lizzy MacCasker on 0434 822 559
Raewyn Plackson on 0433 472 602

or email:

Beneficiaries: Kaarakin Black Cockatoo Rehabilitation and 
Centre for Whale Research Fremantle

What: Spend your evening with Leighton DeBarros, Rick Dawson, Chris Phillips and Curt Jenner.

ou will view an edited version of "A Wing and a Prayer".


From ‘Birthplace of the Giants’

A film being made by Producer, Director, Cinematographer Leighton De Barros. This film is documenting the work of Curt and Mich Jenner from the Centre for Whale Research in Fremantle as they attempt to document the first 48 hours of a humpback whale calf's life

Leighton De Barros will present footage of the expedition in the Kimberley taken over the last two years. See some incredible footage before the film is broadcast.

Curt Jenner will provide a fascinating presentation about their satellite tagging work, which will give an amazing insight into the migration of Humpback whales along the Western Australian coast.

You will receive information on what to plant to provide food and shelter for the Black Cockatoos

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Recipe: Bean and rice bake

This is another one of those recipes that I acquired a copy of in the mists of time, without taking note of which cookbook I got it out of. It was originally a haricot bean and rice bake but for the life of me, I could not find a tin of haricot beans anywhere, so I improvised and I suggest you do to. Just use whatever tin of beans you care for.
The original recipe calls for breadcrumbs. I found the amount too much, so suggest halving it from 1 cup to half cup.
This dish was hard to photograph but photo below to give you some idea.

What you will need:
1 tbsp coconut oil ( you won't find in a supermarket. Try health food shop.)
1 large onion (optional)
1 garlic clove, crushed (optional)
4 large ripe tomatoes, chopped
2 x 400g tins of beans (you choose), rinsed and drained
1 cup cooked rice
1 cup parsley, finely chopped
1 tsp vegetable stock
1 tsp thyme leaves
half cup breadcrumbs (I use gluten free ones, avail Coles supermarket or health food shops)
dash cayenne pepper
2 tbsp ground almonds

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Lightly grease a 1.5 litre capacity baking dish.
Heat coconut oil over high heat and add onion and garlic (if using). Cook for approx. 5 minutes. Add tomato, beans, rice, parsley, stock, thyme and half cup of water.
Cook 15-20 minutes, stirring now and then, or until thickened slightly. Add cayenne pepper.
Transfer mixture to baking dish and sprinkle with combined breadcrumbs and ground almonds.
Bake for about 30 minutes ir until golden.
Remove from oven and allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Two Fat Indians Restaurant

A friend recently had a birthday dinner at an Indian restaurant called 2 Fat Indians, and my partner and I were invited. The entire meal was to be vegan, as she, her partner and at least half of her guests were vegan.

I had never been to this restaurant before though had heard of it. It is situated on Beaufort Street in Mt Lawley, though I hear there is another one in Cottesloe. The decore inside is lovely and being a Saturday night, it was very busy.

Before the food arrived, I asked my friend about how she arranged this dinner, as the restaurant is not exclusively vegan or even vegetarian. She explained to me that she rang ahead and told management that she wanted a vegan banquet for her guests. They then told her to call back a week before the date and they would tell her what they would be serving. I guess the advance warning gave them time to come up with a menu for the event, to accommodate us. Ideally, vegans should be able to walk into such places and order off the menu or have something prepared for our needs. Sadly, this more often that not, is not the case. So ring ahead it is! And the way I look at it - at least they were prepared and able to accommodate us. Some will not even try.

The good thing about Indian cuisine, is that it does lend itself to vegetarian and vegan needs. I guess the main ingredients to look out for are ghee and paneer if you are a vegan.

Our dinner began with some appetizers, including poppadoms. There were three different items, one of which were onion bhajhi which are slices of onion coated in chickpea batter and deep fried. Sadly, due to my aversion to onions, I had to forgo that one. There were also samosas and a kind of patty that I am guessing was lentil based. Apologies for my vagueness, but I am no expert when it comes to Indian food!

Next came the mains along with the naan bread and bowls of saffron rice and plain rice.
I managed to take a photo of the various different curries and dhals we were served.
The dhal was probably the mildest of them all. There was a chickpea curry, and a cauliflower one as well. And it is around this point that my lack of knowledge in Indian cuisine really fails! All I can tell you was that they were all delicious. Some were much hotter than others. Infact, at one point, my mouth was burning! I thought I spotted a green bean but as soon as I bit into it, it turned out to be a slice of green chilli! Oops! 

I cannot comment on dessert at 2 Fat Indians, as we were treated to a raw vegan chocolate cheesecake from The Raw Kitchen, which the staff at 2 Fat Indians were happy to bring out for us.  If you have not tried  out this cake, you simply MUST! It is so creamy, smooth, rich and delicious!

So, all in all, a lovely time was had. Good food and good company. You just have to plan ahead! Visit 2 Fat Indian's website for opening hours, addresses and contact details.

Recipe: Hearty Beans and Greens Stew

I found the basis of this recipe in the book "Quinoa 365" but it included animal products and some ingredients that I could not find, so I tweaked it a fair bit and this is what I came up with. A one-put stew that is easy to make and great for dinner on a cool night.

What you will need:
4 cups vegetable stock. I use Marigold Swiss Vegetable Vegan Bouillon Powder which you can find in health food shops.
half cup quinoa
quarter tsp dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1 can (approx 400g) cooked red kidney beans
1 can (approx 400g) cooked butter beans (or any that take your fancy really)
chopped kale or spinach - how much you use is up to you, though I used a fair amount, as it wilts down
a few cooked and diced vegan sausages or firm tofu, cubed. Again, how much you want to use is up to you.

Combine the stock, quinoa, oregano and bay leaf in a pot and bring to boil.
Reduce to simmer, cover and cook for 15 mins.
Remove lid and add beans and spinach. Cook until spinach is wilted. Stir in vegan sausage or tofu and cook for a few more minutes. Serve.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Recipe: Potatoes Gruyere

This is a vegan version of the well known potato casserole. Serve with steamed vegetables and/or salad.

What you will need:
1 and quarter cup water
1 pack (approx 350g) firm silken tofu, crumbled
half cup raw cashews
quarter cup nutritional yeast flakes
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp onion powder (optional)
half tsp garlic powder (optional)
one eighth tsp nutmeg (optional)
6 medium potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
ground black pepper (optional)

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius
Oil large, deep casserole dish or mist with cooking oil spray.
Combine in a blender, water, tofu, cashews, nutritional yeast flakes, lemon juice, nutmeg, and onion and garlic powders. Process for several minutes until completely smooth.
Arrange a layer of potato slices in the casserole dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Drizzle some of the sauce over the top and then add another layer of potatoes, salt, pepper, and more sauce. Repeat until all ingredients are used, finishing with a layer of sauce.
Cover and bake for 1 hour.
Uncover and bake for 45 minutes or until top is golden brown and potatoes are soft.
Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Annalakshmi on the Swan

Although Annalakshmi describes itself as being vegetarian, it is vegan friendly. The issue of ghee is always to be considered when it comes to Indian food, however I do believe they have stopped using it and most of what is on offer is fine for vegans. [Update: a vegan has reported that he came across one dish that had dairy yoghurt in it, so be wary.] If, like me, you are unsure of what something is and what is in it, ask the staff there or take along some friends who do know their Indian cuisine - like I did!

The food varies depending on what time and day you go, but there usually is on offer various rice dishes, curries, salads, dahls and soups. When I went for lunch, I did have to skip the dessert as it was not vegan, which was a shame.
I found the soup that I had was a bit too sour for my liking, but the cabbage based salad was delicious and the curry not too hot for a lightweight like me! Also, the rice was perfect!

This venue operates on a serve yourself basis and you can go back for refills (as I did!). You also pay the amount you wish to pay. The one thing this establishment asks in return is that you do not load up on food that you may not eat. Waste of food is a no-no, and rightly so.

The staff are volunteers and money raised by this endeavor goes to fund medical assistance and food for the underprivileged in India.

Annalakshmi is situated on the Perth Esplanade, near the Bell Tower, so the river views from this venue are lovely. For opening hours, check their website, and while you are there, check out their cooking classes and their events page, as they sometimes have performers and special guests.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Recipe: Lentils with potato and rocket

This is the recipe for a hearty stew that I found in a book called "Real Food" by Loukie Werle. It is not a vegan or even a vegetarian cookbook, but I do sometimes stick my nose in non-veggo ones in the hope of finding something appropriate. I hit gold with this one, as this stew is so easy to make and so very tasty. Me thinks it will be a firm favourite for winter, especially.

What you will need:
1 tbsp olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped (optional)
half tsp chilli flakes
2 cups brown lentils
750g potatoes, cut into 2cm cubes
120g baby rocket leaves
third cup lemon juice
4-5 olives (black or green), stoned and quartered

Combine olive oil, garlic and chilli in a large casserole dish and cook over low heat for 10 minutes. Stir frequently. Add lentils, stir and cook for a few minutes.
Add 6 cups of water and bring to boil. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
Add potatoes and cook for another 20 minutes or until lentils and potatoes are tender. Add more water if you need to.
Stir in rocket, lemon juice and olives. Cook for another 5 minutes and then serve.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Recipe: Roasted Cauliflower and Wilted Spinach Salad

My partner tried out this recipe from the cookbook "Vegan Yum Yum" by Lauren Ulm. It was delicious and filling, so was a meal in itself and not just a side dish. Give it a go. You will not be disappointed!

What you will need:
1 cauliflower, chopped into bite sized pieces
quarter cup olive oil
half tbsp dried herbs (basil, marjoram, oregano, thyme)
half tsp salt
3 cups penne pasta (I use Orgran's gluten free ones which you can get at health food shops and some supermarkets, in their heath foods section)
4 cups baby spinach
half cup oil packed sun dried tomatoes, cut into strips
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Preheat over to 205 degrees Celsius and put pot of water to boil.
Place cauliflower on a baking tray, one layer deep. Add olive oil, herbs and salt. Toss. Roast for 20-30 minutes until just starting to brown and fork tender but not mushy.
Cook pasta and drain. Rinse in cool water.
Place spinach in a large bowl and dump cauliflower on top and gently toss. sat aside and let the heat from the cauliflower wilt the spinach. Add pasta on top. Add tomatoes and vinegar and toss well.

Store: Alive Organics

My partner and I visited this store recently, on a Saturday. It was certainly busy in there. The place is jam packed with products ranging from personal care products, cosmetics and cleaning products, to bulk nuts, seeds, legumes and flours. There is a fresh produce section and a refrigerated goods section as well. All products are organic, with an emphasis on raw foods, including raw food classes and foods on sale. There are also raw cooking equipment on sale, such as dehydrators, juicers and blenders, along with raw cookbooks and DVDs.  At the back of the store there is a juice and smoothie bar which, unfortunately for us, closed before we could check it out that day.

Please note that this is not a vegan exclusive store, so shop with some caution. Having said that, I found lots of suitable products on sale there and ended up leaving with some favourite products and some new ones to try out.
Alive Organics is situated at 515 Walter Road East, Morley.
Their opening hours are:
Weekdays 8.30am - 5.30pm
Thursdays 8.30am - 6.30pm
Saturdays 8.30am - 1.30pm
Sundays and public holidays - closed

For more information and news, visit Alive Organics' website.