Thursday, 21 June 2012

Venn diagrams and Earthquakes...

Oh boy, I’ve been lazy lately. Not without reason, but I just haven’t felt the urge to write a post in my blog… until now!! Perhaps it’s the cold, miserable winter we’re in the middle of experiencing; maybe the earthquake rattled a few things loose in my head (haha!) or it comes down to simply pure laziness and lack of motivation – not sure. But here is my latest post, and I promise it’s full of yumminess and hilarity!

Because the days are rolling into one at the moment, I can’t remember the order in which things went, so I’ll group this post into sections


Every so often, there’s a sign placed on the footpath on Clarendon Street in South Melbourne. I think it’s from a local business – it doesn’t seem to be selling anything, it’s just out there for a giggle. I’ve noticed on previous occasions its featured zombies. Well, this week it was different…

On one side

And on the other…

HAHA!! I was never good at maths, however for whatever reason, Venn diagrams stuck in my head.

As I mentioned earlier, Melbourne experienced an earthquake the other night. I was sitting on the floor in front of the heater, watching a DVD of Grey’s Anatomy when there was a strange noise and everything started shaking and rattling. At first, I honestly thought it was a possum on the roof (as this happens nightly) however it kept going and I thought the glass was actually going to break. Fortunately, on the earthquake scale it was minor and there was no serious damage or injuries reported. It is VERY rare for Melbourne to experience an earthquake, and I’d never experienced one before – and I have to admit I hope to not experience another. I cannot imagine the terror that people experienced in Japan, Italy, Turkey or Christchurch in recent times – again, another reason why I am so lucky to live in Australia. However, in true Aussie fashion, we took the piss out of it and some online pictures and references went viral.

I noticed this the following day…


Last night, my brother popped over briefly. We were chatting, when I went to the freezer to get a Tofutti Cutie (YUM!). He looked at me, and told me he thought I was vegan now and why was I eating ice cream. When I informed him it was soy/tofu ice cream, his face crumpled up in minor disgust and he went quiet. I asked him if he wanted a bite to try – he ummed and ahhed, then said ok. He took a tentative bite, chewed then looked surprised. “Hey, that’s really quite good”, and proceeded to accept my offer of a whole one to himself – BAHAHAHA!! There is no chance of him ever becoming vegan (he had actually just come from a sausage tasting thing – yuck) but it’s another small win for vegans!!


I’ve been doing quite a bit of cooking lately – this weather deserves comfort foods like stews and soups, so I have made some yumminess.


The soup on the stove, with the kale chopped and ready for be added!

A super easy, super tasty recipe from Vegie Head. Get on it! It’s so good, that even L-whack (who as a PhD candidate who has not time) has asked me to show him how to cook it!!

Moroccan tagine wraps

Minus the wrap!

And with a few changes because I didn’t have the right ingredients. Instead of sweet potato (kumara) I used normal potato, and instead of baby spinach I used a bunch of rainbow chard.

Stewed apple

An EssMick original recipe... haha!! I don’t really know what I did, or how much of stuff I added but it turned out tasty.

It went something like this;

5 apples (I used granny smiths), peeled and thinly sliced
Juice of ½ lemon
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
Pinch of salt
¼ cup of water

Place all ingredients in a saucepan and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Eat!

My next blog will be about my mis-adventures with filo pastry… an entertaining and amusing evening for me whilst I was trying to be brave and use pastry for the first time…

Friday, 8 June 2012

Rumbly in my tumbly

On Wednesday, I swung by Northcote Bakeshop. I was hoping to get some more delicious grainy bread, and vegan empanada’s!! Unfortunately only one of those options was available (empanada’s baby!).

So I decided to try another one of their offerings. As it was late in the day for them, they’d sold out of most of their bread. It was a tough decision, choosing between their honey, oat & organic red quinoa sourdough or their potato bread with rosemary and nigella seeds… On this occasion the sourdough won (even though honey isn’t considered vegan) but I am glad I did!! It’s a dense, delicious loaf that went beautifully with my soup!!

Nom nom!

I also couldn’t resist their fruit loaf. The picture I took on my phone is terrible and doesn’t do it justice!! So I stole a picture from their Facebook page. Behold the fruit loaf!!

Nom nom NOM!

SO dense with fruit, spices and sesame seeds – YUM!! I may have been seduced by the tastiness once I got back to my car, and managed to polish off about 1/3 of the loaf by the time I got home… hehe!! My lap looked like a sesame crop had exploded!!

Both these loaves were $7 each, a little more than I usually pay but I thought it would be good to try them and keep in mind for special occasions. I will definitely be back to try their potato bread – like apple & cinnamon, potato & rosemary is a match made in heaven.

If L-whack is lucky, I may save an empanada for him (I bought 2 this time). IF he’s lucky… ;-)

Northcote Bakeshop on Urbanspoon

This weekend in Melbourne is a long weekend. I plan on keeping busy, catching up with a couple of girlfriends, brunching, shopping, walking, keeping warm – and having date night with L-whack! I’m also dying to get a pedicure – even though its winter, I feel I must keep my toes looking well-kept and pretty!

The other thing I plan on doing is finishing off Downton Abbey, season 2. Oh my goodness, if you thought season 1 was full of scandal and drama – just you wait til season 2!! Sooooooo good!

To finish off today’s post; I wanted to share a beautiful drawing of a rainbow that my 3yo niece (Z-monster) drew for me. Isn’t it gorgeous!

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Behind the 8-ball

Friday evening, my back was aching for a massage (pardon the pun!) so I hiked my way to Chadstone to see my miracle worker Loco, and he sorted out my sore muscles. As it was dinner time by the time I was done, and it would take me a while to drive home, I decided to be brave and see what vegan options Chadstone could offer me! I knew there was a Lord of the Fries (which I am yet to try) but I wanted something healthy, and fairly light. So I made my way to Sumo Salad and asked the girl which of the salad options was vegan friendly. Happily, she pointed out 3 options (they also do hot food now, but I didn’t ask which were suitable) and I settled on a 3 bean & tomato curry, and a pumpkin & couscous salad.

Sumo Salad yumminess

Both salads were tasty, and I would be happy to go back to Sumo Salad.

Yesterday, The Age newspaper published a story on the health benefits of leading a vegetarian lifestyle. Cue vege-bashers. Oh man, some people are so ignorant. As I’ve said before, we should respect what people choose to eat (or choose not to eat) however I know that I am sick of the haters, the defensive meat-eaters who abuse, bully and belittle vegetarians/vegans. I do not understand this backlash and ignorance from meat eaters. Why do you feel so threatened?

I came across a funny, yet sadly true example of the ignorance (and in some cases, simple stupidity!) that meat-eaters come out with when they hate on vegies.

Found here

Unfortunately for them, they believe the stuff that has been spoon-fed to them by Dairy Australia, Meat & Livestock Australia and all the other pro-animal corporations out there. If someone chooses to eat meat, so be it – but at least be aware of where/when/how your food is produced, the reality of factory farming, and the possible consequences of eating such products. Have a read of Skinny Bitch, or The China Study. I don’t agree with everything that’s written in Skinny Bitch but they certainly have some very valuable information in there, and make you really think about what you’re eating (it’s not a bible, it’s a guide). And it’s NOT all about being skinny, as they put in the disclaimer at the end of the book!

I recently received my copy of The China Study and I’m looking forward to reading it soon (once I’m done with The Book Thief).

Having said all that, I will be the first to say I’m not perfect. On Saturday, I fell well and truly off the vegan wagon. My niece Z-monster and I made some tiny teddy chocolate cars, and unfortunately you can’t get vegan versions of what I needed (well, not that I’m aware of – please let me know if there is and how to get them).

Together we had an absolute blast making these, and Z-monster was really good at sticking all the pieces together – and boy, I had forgotten how tasty tiny teddy’s are!!

The left one looks a little unhappy... haha!!

We also fed some ducks, played chasey along the massive bridge at Fairfield Boat House, and sang songs in the car. I love my Z-monster, and it was awesome to spend the time with her.

Duck time!

On Sunday, I cooked Husband’s Healing Soup from Oh She Glows. I made a slight adjustment, by adding a fresh bunch of organic kale, using 1 cup of pearl barley, and using chickpeas instead of edamame.

Please excuse the crap photo, I didn’t have suitable light and my phone is on the way out. I served it with the last few pieces of 7-grain sourdough from Northcote Bakeshop, so I’ll need to make another trip!

At this point, I would like to say that Whole Foods should come to Australia. A place with fresh, healthy, organic produce and has something for everyone. Their mission is to supply people with the best quality of food so that they can live longer, better, healthier lives whilst promoting sustainability. A bit ironic given it’s an American company, but I think the model/concept would work well here.

As lucky as I am to be Australian and call this wonderful country home – I also believe that we are lacking in so many areas. Whether it’s the availability/price of products (like cars, clothing, technology), the issue of ‘gay marriage’ (I’m all for equality), to the food options we have to us (or should I say LACK of options – there is such a small amount of vegan friendly products available readily to us). Australia is behind the 8-ball, which is such a shame.