Monday, 28 October 2013

Melbourne: Trippy Taco

My partner and I went on a short vacation to Victoria recently, and we were determined to visit as many vegan or vegan friendly stores and cafes as we could manage in the short time of just a few days. Before we went, I did some homework and had a list of places to go to in Melbourne. Oddly enough, I missed out on hearing about Trippy Taco. A local told us about it while we were over there. I was a bit dubious, as we all know how much cheese and meat is involved in Mexican food, but I was assured that this place was vegetarian with lots of vegan options. So we decided to check it out.

Trippy Taco is situated on 234 Gertrude Street in Fitzroy. (We discovered a lot of the stores and cafes we wanted to visit were in that vicinity.) It is a very small cafe, with a little bit of outdoor seating. We were lucky enough to nab a table for two and the whole time we were there, there was a constant line of people waiting to order.

The menu was a pleasant surprise. No meat, plenty of vegan options, and gluten free options, too. We had a choice of nachos, several types of tacos, quesadillas, burritos, tamales, and taquitos. Both my partner and I went with the last option - the taquitos. Gluten free and vegan, these 3 crispy, rolled up corn tortillas were presented to us, topped with guacamole and salsa. There was also a lovely and unique salad on the side. Inside the actual rolled up corn tortillas was a bean mixture and I was happy to say that the meal wasn't too hot. Infact, we saw bottles of chilli sauces around the cafe, of various strengths, being used by patrons. Our guess was that they left each patron to add the hotness to their meals, as they saw fit.

Trippy Taco also do a breakfast menu, with vegan options - Breakfast burritos, quesadillas, tacos and huevos rancheros. There are also a few sweets on offer, though not all are vegan. Oh and if you are into booze, they offer a few different beers, tequila, sangria and margaritas. 

They do phone orders and takeaways, as well as dine in. We SO wished we had a Trippy Taco here in Perth! 

For the full menu and opening hours, check out their website.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Spinach Casserole

I found this recipe in the book "The 4-Ingredient Vegan" by Maribeth Abrams, and as the name suggests, it is a simple dish, with few ingredients. If you want to jazz it up a bit, I suggest adding some chopped mushrooms and maybe some herbs and spices. Chilli powder comes to mind, but maybe that's just me?
This recipe is NOT gluten free, alas, as I have yet to find gluten free phyllo pastry.

What you will need:
6 potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
600g (approx. More if you like) chopped, frozen spinach
6 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
1/2 tsp salt
16 sheets of phyllo dough ( I used the Antoniou brand, which is available in supermarkets.)
spray on cooking oil

Boil a pot of water over high heat and add potatoes. Cook for about 10 minutes or until fork-tender.
Drain and return to pot. Mash.
Thaw spinach according to packet instructions and then add to potatoes. Also add nutritional yeast flakes and salt, and stir.
Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius. Spray a large baking dish with olive oil.
Place a sheet of phyllo on the bottom of the dish and spray with oil. Repeat process for a total of 8 sheets.
Then spread the potato filling over the phyllo and lightly pack it in and smooth it out on top.
Lay a sheet of phyllo over the top of that and spray with oil. Repeat the process for a total of 8 sheets.
Spray the top with oil and bake for about 30-40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and flaky.