Wednesday, 29 February 2012

I’ve gone a little bit nuts…

I’m not sure whether it’s the fact that today is the rare event of February 29, or whether it was the strong coffee I had this morning – perhaps it’s both.

Or perhaps it’s from the fact that there is appalling new footage from Indonesia of despicable cruelty and torture towards cows - again.

I’ve gone into over-drive.

I am typing like a loony, my brain is going bonkers, and I can’t sit still.

Hence why this post may be a bit disjointed and crazy.

I’ve signed many petitions, read lots of people’s comments, and shared the link from Animals Australia on my FB page. There is also a petition for those people not in Australia.

Whether vegan or meat-eater – I’d be surprised if this story doesn’t affect you.

I will be the first to admit that I have not seen this new footage – I don’t think I could handle it. L-whack saw some footage this morning whilst at the gym, and they had blanked out the worst parts – which just goes to show just how bad this footage is.

I cannot begin to understand what makes a human being act so cruelly, and treat another living creature with such disrespect and neglectful behaviour.

Unfortunately it’s not happening solely in Indonesia. But I think the Australian Government and various livestock companies really need to take a good long hard look at what they are supporting, and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

I don’t want to end this post on a negative note – so here is a picture of a kitten dressed as a frog.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

An interview

Thanks to the awesome work of Animals Australia, I came across an interview conducted with an ex-factory farmer employee.

You can read it here - it's not an easy read, but it certainly is insightful and we finally hear an honest account of what actually goes on inside these farms.

Monday, 27 February 2012


Well another week has begun – a little depressing isn’t it?!

Saturday morning I braved going to Coles, and boy I wish I hadn’t… It was a nightmare! I had to go pick up something, so I thought whilst I was there, I would pick up a few things I needed. So I'm holding my shopping basket, looking at the spices on the shelves. A 9yo old boy rams into me with a shopping trolley, looks at me, but doesn't say a word. The father looks at me, half laughs and says 'he's gotta learn how to drive somehow'!


I wish I had been able to think properly through my initial shock, and told him to not only teach his son some manners, but to get some himself!!

It was pretty hot on Saturday, so I thought what was a good choice for dinner? Naturally, pizza came to mind.

I recalled a recipe I saw for some pizza dough, and I thought how awesome it would be to make my own dough (let alone have it taste good!) so I decided to give it a go. I would be so proud of myself if it turned out well.

And boy was I glad I gave it a go!!

It was soooooooo easy and healthy and versatile. I doubled the recipe, so that L-whack and I could have one pizza each, but it only made enough dough for one decent sized pizza. So next time I shall double the double (hehehe)

Adapted from Shop. Cook. Make.

2/3 cup water
1 1/3 cup wholemeal Flour
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp sea salt
4 tsp parsley
1 tsp yeast
1/2 tsp castor sugar

In a medium bowl pour the water and sugar. Warm up in the microwave for 20 seconds. Add the yeast, mix well and let it rest for 5 minutes.

Mash the garlic and salt together until it turns into a paste.

To the water/yeast mixture, add the flour, garlic and parsley. Mix well with a spoon. Once a dry dough has formed, continue kneading in your hands for 2 minutes. Put it back in the bowl, cover and let it rise for approx. 2 hours.

Flatten and shape it as round as you can (I just put it straight on the tray and squashed it until it resembled a circle and was flat enough)

Here is the dough once I had mixed it together.

Little d'oh

And here is the dough about 2 hours later.

Risen d'oh

I roasted some pumpkin and potato so when we got back to L-whack I just assembled it all and whacked it in the oven. I used some bottled pasta sauce as the base.

Mr pizza cooking in the oven.

20 minutes in the oven (approx.) and out came a delicious looking, and damn tasty pizza. Toss some fresh rocket on top, and voila!


We only had 2 pieces each, so we were a bit sad!!

You know what else made me sad?

I went to a movie on Sunday (hot date with myself, while L-whack did some work) and thought I would detour to Prahran Market to get some Mister Nice Guy cupcakes – but alas they were not there!! I’m not sure whether I was too late (it was just before 4pm) or whether they hadn’t been there that day (I think I may have seen something about them taking part in the Sustainable Living Festival here in Melbourne).

Oh well, I managed to make it through the rest of the day – as did L-whack. We’ll just have to dream about cupcakes and more pizza….

Friday, 24 February 2012


It's official. My brain is fried.

I've just tried to update a client's address through a government website, and it keeps rejecting the application. 4 hours later, 40 mins on the phone - and I haven't gotten anywhere.

So I shall leave you with the following.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

I survived tofu!

That’s right!! That weird-ass scary spongy stuff that is made of fermented soy beans… Hmmm!!

Last night Shannon & Tim impressed Litha and I with a delicious vegan dinner – topped off with some tasty vegan organic wine!

I admit I didn’t take any photos of the food (although Litha took a couple, and I will add these when I get them). I was just too busy drooling and shovelling food onto my plate and into my mouth to remember snapping pics!

Spinach, Strawberry & Toasted Pecan – totally delicious, the dressing was also great! Strawberry in a salad = genius

Baked “Chicken” Drumsticks – must admit, fake chicken is something that is very foreign to me and the jury is still out!!
Tofu, 2 Ways: Kentucky Fried & Blackened – tasty! Steaks of tofu were done schnitzel style, dipped in no-egg and coated in seasoning before being pan fried
Baked 'chicken' drumsticks - complete with a stick as a bone!

Baked Mac & “Cheese” with Breadcrumbs – a rich creamy dish, I’ve never had ‘real’ mac & cheese (does anyone remember that Friends episode with Joey?!!) so it was good to try a ‘classic’ dish
Mashed Sweet Potato – sweet potato/kumara/yam is da bomb!
Sauteed Silverbeet with Citrus & Sultanas – a sweet, super tasty way to eat greens. Shannon grows the rainbow stuff, it’s so pretty!!
Maple-Flaxseed Cornbread – this was great! So amazing that Litha polished off 3 pieces and took another 2 home with her (hang on Litha, that sounds awfully similar to L-whacks ‘very delicious’ banana cake incident)

Shannon has very kindly shared the recipe with me, and said it’s ok if I post it.

Preheat yo' oven to 190-200. 

1 C Flour
1 C Polenta
1tsp Salt
3 1/2 tsp Baking Powder

2/3 C Sugary Stuff (Made up of whatever combo of dry sugar & Maple Syrup that you wish- I usually do 1/4 C maple and the rest dry raw sugar)
1 "egg" (made up of 1tbsp ground linseed and 3tbsp of hot water, stirred and cooled until it becomes egg texture)
3/4 C Soy/Oat Milk 
1/3 C Veg/Canola/Other mild-flavoured Oil 

Mix all the dry ingredients together in one bowl. Then mix the Sugars + wet ingredients in another bowl. Add the wet ones to the dry ones until just combined. 

Pour into a spray-oiled or baking paper-lined 8x8 or 9x9 (I don't know what this is in metric) dish and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick in the centre comes out clean and the edges are goldeny brown. 

Cool and feed this to whoever you want to be your future husband**

PS. Alternatives include: adding 3/4 C - 1 C corn kernels, or finely diced different coloured capsicum or jalapenos. You can also add paprika, smoked paprika, or some sort of chilli powder to give it a bit of a different taste.

Peach Raspberry Crumble with Soygood Ice Cream – a-to-die for dessert! I’ll have to find out where this fruit was bought as it was so flavoursome!

Peach Raspberry Crumble with Soygood Ice Cream

BIG thank you for Shannon & Tim for having us over last night. It was great to try some new vegan food, and to step out of the comfort zone food-wise.

I’ve loaned Shannon my two vegan cookbooks – Appetite for Reduction, and Veganomicon and I have borrowed Vegan Pie in the Sky and Vegan Diner which I shall enjoy thumbing through!

And finally, Shannon & Tim currently have 3 cats (2 they own, 1 foster kitten) and 2 dogs (2 hilarious staffy's). Olive and Jenny enjoy some play fighting, and Litha got a great action shot of them!!

Cat fight!

**Shannon wooed Tim with her wonderful corn bread baking skills, and a magazine that published their story, called it ‘The Recipe for Love’…

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Yumminess ahead

Tonight I am going to a friend's house for a tasty vegan meal. It's been in the works for months - and I'm really looking forward to it! Unfortunately L-whack cannot make it as he has PhD stuff to work on but the next best person is coming along - Litha! She is my friend/cousin-in-law, and I am certain a fun night will be had. I'm a little scared though - there may be tofu.... Eeeeeeek!

Obviously I'm not going to show up to a friends house for dinner without anything to contribute, so I've picked up a bottle of organic red wine - a vegan friendly wine of course (the label even says so - woooot!). From liquorland of all places!

It seems to review pretty well - James Halliday 2011 scored it 88/100, and Quaff 2011 called it 'sensationally good' - so I have high hopes.

Angove Organic Shiraz Cabernet

So here's to good night with good friends!

UPDATE: Just got emailed the menu (oooooh very swish!) and I am drooling already

American-Style Dinner at Shannon & Tim’s

Spinach, Strawberry & Toasted Pecan

Baked “Chicken” Drumsticks
Tofu, 2 Ways: Kentucky Fried & Blackened

Baked Mac & “Cheese” with Breadcrumbs
Mashed Sweet Potato
Sauteed Silverbeet with Citrus & Sultanas
Maple-Flaxseed Cornbread

Peach Raspberry Crumble with Soygood Ice Cream

Tuesday, 21 February 2012


Having done lots of reading of veg forums and posts, I've discovered that there are A LOT of arrogant vegans out there. There is also a lot of arrogant non-vegans too!

I'm not a preachy person. I'm not going to push my beliefs and values onto others, and I'm not going to judge someone for what they eat, wear, believe etc (unless you don’t eat chocolate, and then you are simply just WHACK!).

I think the thing with vegans is that, I've discovered, we're a passionate bunch. We're passionate about animals, and are disgusted and disturbed by the way they are treated for mass human consumption (whether through their meat or by-products). We want people to know the truth about what goes on, and that unfortunately there is a lot of cruelty that goes on. So maybe passion gets confused with preaching?

There is a point when it goes too far though. I read a few posts from people on a forum (for vegetarians, vegans and animal lovers alike) and while most of these post I look at relate to veg food, someone had slipped in a post about the recent Coles supermarket campaign "Because we all buy..." and this campaign focussed on animal products - chicken, beef and milk to be exact.

Oh my, some people REALLY got worked up. Many vegans were boycotting Coles, and cutting up their flybuy cards etc.

Um hello people, it’s an ad campaign. A marketing tool to make you buy stuff. And yes, the majority of people in Australia buy meat and animal products.

I know when I first saw that campaign I was a little surprised, and my response was - 'well, not me!' But I am not going to boycott a supermarket, and throw a tantrum because of it. We’re a minority, we cop a lot of flak for our beliefs and way of life, and a lot of people do not understand and/or are afraid by it.

However, when vegos start talking about eggs being a dead baby chicken or eating meat is just eating rotten animal carcass – that’s just not on. It gives the majority of us vegans/vegetarians a bad reputation, and disrespects a meat-eater (remember, it’s their choice to eat that).

I do wish people were more aware of the truth behind factory farms – bobby calves, ‘free range’ chickens, abattoirs etc – and I do forward on petitions, Facebook posts or emails that contain this information if I think it’s informative, but I will not preach veganism or get in their face about it.

I love animals, I’m passionate about them. I wish there was more education out there about what really goes on, but everyone has a choice – and as a vegan, I respect that.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Banana cake-ness

Once again, a great weekend was had!

Saturday morning consisted of baking a banana cake, and roasting some pumpkin. I also attempted to make a quinoa salad, but leaving the quinoa to cook on the stove whilst I got distracted by Z-monster wasn’t a great idea. It got burnt…

Z-monster came over and we hung out, which was lovely as usual. Then over to L-whacks where we enjoyed a leisurely walk, and watched a couple of episodes of Modern Family – that show is hilarious!

Sunday morning I dragged myself out of bed and went to the gym (although got caught up in traffic thanks to the filming of The Block - boo).

L-whack and I then headed to his cousins engagement party at a pub in Brighton. It was a lovely day, but I must admit that I did stop via Safeway to pick up an apple later in the day (I had a couple of spring rolls at the party, but they aren’t exactly filling!) to get me through to dinner.

A tasty pastie and salad, followed by some Whittaker’s dark almond chocolate, and grapes - my tummy was full!

The banana cake was one that I’ve had a couple of times when L-whack’s mum baked it. It’s really tasty, and as I had some banana’s to use up I decided to give the recipe a go. I tweaked the recipe a bit to make it vegan, and I added a little cocoa to make it chocolatey yum!

Banana cake

Now I will admit that I didn’t read the recipe properly. I missed that there was 2 kinds of flour in there, so I accidently omitted the plain flour (hence the slightly squashed look). But the cake turned out tasty and pretty well anyway. It was very moist and flavoursome still, but next time I will include that ½ cup of plain flour! I want to credit the creator of the recipe, but all I know it’s called Victoria’s Banana Cake – it comes from a photocopied page that has been handed around.

Banana Cake
125g nuttelex
1 cup caster sugar
1 egg replacer
Generous splash of vanilla
3 bananas, mashed
1½ cup wholemeal SR flour
½ cup plain flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ cup soy milk
2 tbsp. cocoa

1. Cream together nuttelex and sugar until creamy and pale.
2. Add egg replacer and beat until well combined. Stir in banana.
3. In a separate cup, dissolve the baking soda in the soy milk and add vanilla.
4. Add 1/3 of milk mixture and 1/3 of flour, and mix well. Add 1/3 of milk and 1/3 of flour, and mix well. Add final 1/3 of milk and final 1/3 of flour and mix well.
5. Sift cocoa into cake mixture and stir.
6. Pour mixture into a lined loaf tin, and place in preheated oven (180°c) and bake for approximately 50mins.