Sunday, 31 March 2013

Recipe: Teriyaki Noodles

Super simple raw vegan recipe I found in “Ani’s Raw Food Essentials” by Ani Phyo. Not too many ingredients, most (if not all) you can find at your supermarket. The agave syrup you can sometimes find in the health foods section of Coles or Woolworths, otherwise try a healthfood shop. The original recipe calls for the use of either tamari (which I used, otherwise known as Nama Shoyu), which you should also be able to find in supermarkets. You can use Bragg Liquid Aminos, instead, but you will need to visit a healthfood shop for that.

This recipe makes enough for about 3 people. To make the noodles, you will need a spiralizer. I use the Chef Avenue 3-in-1 turning slicer. I have seen it sold in PAWS, and various organics stores, and it usually sells for under $40.

What you will need:
4 cups spiralized zucchini noodles (4 to 5 zucchini) 

For the sauce:
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp tamari
3 tbsp agave syrup
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 tsp minced garlic (optional)

Whisk together all the sauce ingredients and toss with the noodles in a large bowl. Serve.
Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Friday, 29 March 2013

Product: So Delicious icecreams

I have blogged about So Delicious before - specifically about their non-dairy milks. This time, it is about their  icecreams - both the tub and 'on-a-stick' varieties.

I didn't think I would see these products in the stores here in Australia. The company is American and I have found that imported refrigerated items tend to be quite limited at times. But to my joy, I started seeing So Delicious icecreams popping up all over the place. It then became my mission to try as many varieties as I could. "Research for my blog" is what I say to my partner, the lady behind the counter, and to my friends. Ha!

First, about the tubs. I tried the Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl. Oh boy. Chocolate coconut icecream, with peanut butter swirled through it, plus choc chips. I am not a big fan of peanut butter but even I loved this. Who knew chocolate and peanut butter tasted so good? Plus, for those that may have an aversion to it, you cannot taste the coconut in this product.

My partner loves the Cookie Dough coconut icecream. You can taste the coconut in this, just a bit, bit it is mostly vanilla with chunks of cookie dough and chocolate flakes. Happy to say that despite the name, it is gluten free. 

I currently have the Turtle Trails variety in my freezer, waiting to be tasted. This one is a vanilla coconut milk icecream with caramel and chocolate covered praline pecans. Sounds so decadent!

I have yet to check out their almond milk based tubs, but am looking forward to it. (Not sure about my waistline, though!)

Now, onto their 'on-a-stick' varieties. I have seen a few of these in the shops - both the coconut milk and almond milk varieties.

I found that their Vanilla Almond Milk Minis to be creamy and delicious, with a crisp, sweet chocolate coating.  The Coconut Milk Mini was lovely, as well, though in this case, the chocolate coating tasted more like dark chocolate.

There are many more varieties in both the tubs and 'on-a-stick' products - some (but not all - yet!) which I have seen on shelves here, so do make an effort to hunt them down. It will be worth it, I promise!

I have found some of these beauties at my local healthfood shop and Fresh Stop in the Dogswamp Shopping Centre, and in  PAWS. If you have spotted them anywhere else in Perth, please comment below. Thanks!

On a final note: these are pricey products, so I approach them as occasional treats, which is really just as well. *peers over her shoulder, at her butt*

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Cafe: Salad Bar at Loving Hut, Victoria Park

I have blogged about Loving Hut before. Since then, I have had the pleasure of visiting that establishment several times over. They are always coming up with new additions to their menu, so revisiting them is a real treat. When we heard that they had opened up a self serve salad bar at their Victoria Park store, my partner and I made a bee line for it.

The bar is situated at the front window of the cafe, and we noticed that it was catching people's attention as they wandered past. On offer were various fresh vegetables such as lettuce, cherry tomatoes, carrots, cucumber, etc. plus various salads such as cous cous and roast vegetable, spicy potato and bean mix, and quinoa with pumpkin and spinach. Also on offer were various sauces,  lemongrass tofu and tempeh, lentil polenta, tandori bites, and cubes of vegan cheese.

The takeaway bowls come in two sizes and we noticed that they are made of biodegradable materials, which was great.

Whilst I was at it, I also ordered some hot food to have with my salad.

My partner and I tried a little bit of almost everything from the salad bar, and all of it was delicious!

We topped off our lunch with some soft serve icecream in a waffle cone. My partner opted for the vanilla which is super creamy. I had the mango, which was not quite as creamy. It had a soft sorbet kind of feel to it, instead. Still, it tasted REAL, if you get my meaning - real mango and not just flavouring. And it was perfect for a hot day.

The best news of all is that Loving Hut in Victoria Park, is now open 7 days a week:

Mon-Fri: 10am to 2.30pm
Weekends: 10am to 4.30pm

You can keep up with what's new and see lots of mouth watering pictures of their dishes on their Facebook page. Check it out!

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Recipe: Zucchini carrot ribbon salad in tomato dressing

This is a pretty simple salad and you don’t need any fancy kitchen equipment for it.  Your average fruit and vegetable peeler will do the job. I liked the blend of the crunchiness of the carrot and the softness of the zucchini, which looked and felt like eating fettuccine.  I think next time, I may double the amount of zucchini used.
You can experiment with the ratios of the dressing ingredients if you like, making it sweeter, perhaps.  I could not find sun-dried tomato paste/puree, so just used the regular stuff. Also, if like me, you are not keen on garlic and onions, you can leave them out and this salad will still taste good.
Credit given to the book from which I found this recipe: “Big Vegan” by Robin Asbell.
This amount makes enough for 3 people.

What you will need:
1 tbsp sundried or regular tomato paste/puree
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 garlic clove, crushed (optional)
½ - 1 tsp sugar
¼ tsp salt
2 medium to large zucchinis
1 large carrot
2 spring onions, chopped (optional)

In a small bowl, whisk together the tomato paste/puree, oil, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, sugar and salt.
In a large salad bowl, peel the zucchini and carrot down to the seeds, turning as you go.
Add the spring onions to the bowl and drizzle the dressing over the vegetables. Toss to coat and serve.

(The photo below doesn't do it justice, but rest assured that it is tasty!)

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Product: Dairy Free Fudge and Coconut Ice by Fabulous Fudge Factory

This is a UK company. I came across these two products in PAWS (the only place I have seen them in Perth, so far) and thought I better try them in the name of "research", tee hee!

First up - the Dairy Free Coconut Ice. Although I have heard of it, I had never had coconut ice before, so I could not compare it to the dairy variety. To me, this was a sweet, coconut tasting treat - minus the cruelty of dairy, of course. My partner, who comes from a British family background, use to love this stuff as a kid, and was very pleased to see a vegan version available. The pink colouring is achieved with the use of raspberries and beetroot and you can taste the raspberry - which I think is delightful.

The Dairy Free Fudge is what is known as 'Devon Set', which means it is soft, creamy and smooth. (As opposed to the Scottish version which is harder and crumbly.) The fudge is made in batches and are hand crafted. I have had dairy fudge so can compare this product. Basically, the flavour and creaminess is all there, minus that animal fat smell that I find so unappealing. Ack!

If you have a sweet tooth, give these two products a go as a treat. I eat these in moderation, as they are very sweet.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Product: Holy Cow Golden Crunch

It's a tough life, being a vegan blogger. So many new and tasty products I *have to* try, all in the name of research for this blog!

I found this product in PAWS and have not seen it elsewhere. It is very sweet and very crunchy. Think of Violet Crumble or Crunchie bars, and you will have an idea as to what this tastes like. (If you are Australian, that sentence will make sense. If not, maybe not so much. Sorry.)

What you get is cinder toffee, covered in dark chocolate. Be warned however, it is NOT gluten free.

So if you have gone vegan but miss the old bit of Violet Crumble or Crunchie, get to PAWS and indulge!

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Product: CoYo coconut milk yoghurt

There was much excitement when this product finally hit our shops, here in Perth. Finding a truly vegan suitable yoghurt has always been a challenge due to the source of the cultures used. (This product contains plant based cultures.) It is also lactose free, and gluten free.
The company is from Queensland, I do believe, and this product is an award winner.

I started off by trying the 'natural' variety. It is very rich and creamy and has a sharp bite to it. I then tried the passionfruit variety and really enjoyed it. I would suggest eating it with fresh fruit or cereal, as it is very rich.

The cost of the product is quite high for the amount you get, so I only buy it now and then.
There is a store locator function on the CoYo website, though I have noticed that it is not complete for Perth. This product can be found in some healthfood shops and some IGAs but I have also seen it sold in Manna.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Product: Chocolate Fudge Treats by Tofutti

I have been aware of this Frozen icecream-on-a-stick treat for quite some time but did not think I would ever see it in the shops here in Perth. Tofutti are an American company that make various vegan suitable food stuffs, some of which I have tried and loved. (See my previous post about their Cuties, tubs of icecream and Marry Me bars - Yummo!)

To my surprise and joy, I actually found their Chocolate Fudge Treats in the freezer section of Coles at Dogswamp, Tuart Hill. There were boxes of them in an up right freezer cabinet, along with kosher products. (Yes, some kosher products are also vegan.) I snatched a box and took it home. The box contains 12 of the treats and to my surprise, I have actually managed to make them last!

They are creamy and delicious, tasting a lot like Peter's Billabongs. (Note for the non-Australians reading this: Billabongs are a common chocolatey dairy icecream on a stick. I have never had one in my life (yay!) but a friend has assured me that is what this product by Tofutti tastes like.)

There is a catch to this product, however. It contains Nutrasweet, which I know is a controversial ingredient for some. All I will say is, do some research and draw your own conclusions. Personally, I'd rather have the calories than artificial sweeteners, but then again, I am not adverse to consuming something once in a while that contains it. Like I said, I have one of these once in a while - not everyday, 30 calories each or not.

I have not seen them anywhere else other than my local Coles Supermarket but if anyone else has, please post a comment below and let me know. Thanks!

UPDATE: I have contacted the company in regards to palm oil, as a few people have asked me if this product contains it. Tofutti have assured me that it does not contain palm oil or any other kind of oil.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Competition: Win a copy of the book "Sanctuary: Portraits of Rescued Farm Animals" by Sharon Lee Hart

This book is a collection of black and white photographs of animals that have been been rescued from a certain grim fate, simply for being considered the 'right' species to exploit and murder for profit. Each photo comes with a profile on each animal, telling the story of how they came about to being rescued and their new lives. The stories are written by the sanctuary owners and workers, themselves.

Your Daily Vegan is giving away a copy of this book! If you would like to enter to win, please check out their page for full instructions. It is super easy and yes, I have entered too! Competition ends March 12th.
Good luck!

Friday, 8 March 2013

Book: Handbook for the Aussie Vegan

This is a brand spanking new book for Australian vegans and those working towards becoming vegan. The book is by Silva Mirovics who runs her own business called Nutritional Empire.

The book contains a foreword by Australian philantropist Philip Wollen, articles by several naturopaths, recipes with colour photographs, and a directory of various businesses, services, organizations in Australia that are vegan and run by vegans.

Special mention must be made of the recipes. They are split into the Savoury, the Sweet, and the Other. Some are raw, some are gluten free, and all are vegan, of course. The recipes have been submitted by various people and organizations around Australia, including Sea Shepherd, Edgar's Mission, Bed & Broccoli, Ethikool, Cruelty Free Super, Perth's own Animal Rights Advocates, and many more...

I found a copy of this book at Loving Hut in East Victoria Park. They had a few copies for sale there but I am not sure how many they have left or for how long they will be stocking it. Otherwise, you can always order your copy online here.

I can't wait to try out some of these recipes and explore more about veganism in Australia. I strongly recommend you get a copy of this book!

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Catering: Loving Hut, Perth

Not only does the Perth Loving Hut have a cafe and an evening restaurant, they also offer catering services for functions. As it was my birthday recently, I decided to order two platters of savoury finger food and a cake for the little party I was having to celebrate. As myself, my partner and most of my guests were vegans, I thought the food would go down a treat - which it did! The non-vegans/vegetarians were also impressed with the food, which was very pleasing to see.

I opted for the mini kebabs with tomato chutney, the mini quiche, the stuffed mushrooms, and the potato/pumpkin swirl puffs.

Other options you can order are: samosas, spring rolls, mini bruschetta, chewy bites with mayo, and mini spinach ricotta pies.

For the cake, I opted for the strawberry cake, but with blueberries topping it. That is the beauty of Loving Hut - they will custom make you what you want, and that includes the icing and decoration. There are gluten free and raw options, too. Just have a chat with them, and they will work something out for you.

Check out their Facebook page for more details and how to order.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Magazine: Living Vegan (Spring 2012)

I am waaaaay overdue with my review of this issue. It came out months ago! Naughty me. But then, this is still the latest issue out there, so I am not the only one lagging behind. (Ahem. Would like to see another issue soon, Living Vegan!)

Anyway, this issue contains the contentious topic of  "Is palm oil vegan?". Both sides of that are argument are presented.

There is also an interview with Lindsay McDougall, former Frenzal Rhomb lead guitarist and current Triple J DJ, who talks about his veganism.

Following that, there is an feature on the "Animals are not ours" protest that happened in central Melbourne, complete with some pretty damn powerful photos taken on the day.

Another interview is included - this time with Lee Coates from Cruelty Free Super .

Towards the back is an article on cruelty free beauty, plus all the regular segments like the Recipes page, competitions, "Vegan Spy" page, and much more. The content is heavily Australian based, as are the advertisements, which is great.

If you wish to buy one issue or to subscribe for a year, you can do so via here.