Sunday, December 19, 2010


Ok so maybe these places aren't really "new." And maybe they're aren't really "kray kray." And maybe I just said that because I've been trying to get the term "kray kray" to catch on as an alternative to "crazy" for a while and it hasn't taken as well as I expected. But I suppose they are relatively new to me and hopefully can add something fresh to your usual dining experience!


Now I know I often refer to things as being, "the shit." I also often say stuff like, you look up "the shit" in the dictionary you see a picture of this. And, this is so "the shit" that I'm embarrassed for everything else that ever existed. But this is "legit the shit." I'm talking hard core, bad ass vegan goods. There is a sentence you don't hear everyday. Not only do they do raw food that is in no way douche bag-esc only delicious. But they have a massive variety of stuff. This isn't all bean burritos my friends. The focus is on more asian style dished with such specialties as vegan Pho, yeah that's right you heard me. You can finally have Pho again. Plus a pretty sweet raw sushi platter and home made kimchi delights. They also venture to some new taken on old favorites like the raw burger with cashew bread, and raw lasagna (or rawsagne as they call it LOLZ) complete with cashew cheese. Actually come to think of it, they do a lot of banging stuff with cashews.
But the prom queen of the whole place has got to be the RAW GREEN TEA CHEESE CAKE! I hear the blueberry option is also pretty nice but I settled down and had 3 kids with the green tea one after one bite so never got that far. And best of all the people are not at all douche bags like at some vegetarian places *cough* Vegie Bar *cough*. In fact they're all super cute and helpful and will not make you feel awkward at all over all the questions about the wide variety of mock meats. Which although I categorically hate, I will lament and say their selection does seem less hateable than most. And maybe I almost thought about considering their Korean BBQ, almost.

Lasagna, so RAW!

Yong Green Food

(03) 9417 3338
421 Brunswick St Fitzroy

Open for lunch and dinner everyday except Monday.

Now I usually do my best to keep my rampant personal life out of the press, but I'll let y'all know that I recently moved north side, more specifically to Northcote. Before moving here I thought the best part of living in this are would be being surrounded by like minded hipster douche bags who think they are lesser douche bags for not living in Fitzroy but are in reality just the next evolution of post modern douche bag-ness. Turns out I was wrong. Well not about the douche bags, that I was totally right about. But about it being the best thing. Turns out a little local place called Veggie Kitchen is the best thing. Now the awesome thing about this is considering how amazing the food is, it's still pretty low key. You're usually get a table no stress and the take away is yet to take longer than 15 minutes.
But that's not what makes it so special, you see again straying from the usual Asian vegetarian food stables like stir-fried greens, these guys are actually doing some pretty amazing stuff with tofu. And they do it in pretty much everything on the menu.
Now the funny thing about vegetarian and vegans that seems to always surprise people, is that very few of us really indulge too heavily in this soy based snack. You see, we too see how gross it can be. But these guys take things to the next level by, get this, home making it all! Which ensures that it's not only way less processed than most, but that they also can change the textures and taste to compliment each dish.
The result, light, interesting and totally satisfying fare that always hits the spot and never gets boring!

Braised tofu, baked pumpkin, Tawainesse stuffed capscium and vegetable cutlet.

Veggie Kitchen

(03) 9489 2120
159 St Georges Rd Northcote

Open for dinner everyday!

The Worlds Most Bitchin’ Brownies.

It’s actually true. They are. I’m don’t even think I’m going to write anything funny here because the brownies speak for themselves. I will make an observation though. Some things are legitimately more delicious when made vegan. I personally prefer vegan pies, because they always have to seek out freaky good ingredients like weird mushrooms to stay legit. And the same goes for brownies. Well not in the mushroom sense. Well not here at least. A lot of vegan sweet things seem to replace animal products with more sugar and chocolate and bits and pieces. I’m not sure of the science. But I sure am happy with the results.


2 x 150g blocks of dark chocolate, as a general rule anything over 70% cocoa is usually dairy free, but remember to check
200g jam, I used strawberry but whatever you got around
1/4 C. soy milk
3/4 C. sugar
1/2 C. rice bran oil, this is my choice for cooking but any low flavor oil will do. Just stay away from the olive oil
2 t vanilla extract
1/2 t almond extract
1 1/2 C. flour
1/4 C. cocoa
3/4 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
Tub of strawberries roughly chopped, could use 1 C. of berries also

Your crew for this evening.

1. Pre heat the oven to 160

2. Melt one block of chocolate over a double boiler, or lacking that a metal bowl over a pot of water on the stove

3. Chop up other block of chocolate and set aside for now

4. In a large bowl mix your jam, milk, sugar, oil and extracts. Beat well to get all of the lumps out of the jam, you want it nice and smooth

5. Sift in all of your dry ingredients, mix well using a fork because the batter will be pretty thick.

White christmas. Almost.

6. Finally fold in your fruit and remaining chocolate

Whose a pretty birdie?

7. Pour into a brownie dish, don’t stress if it doesn’t fill the pan right to the corners, the batter will spread while baking

8. Bake for 45 minutes or until the top is soft but crinkly

9 Wait until cool, slice and enjoy! They’re pretty amazing warm with some non dairy ice cream but also keep awesomely for days.

TADAAAA! And remember, you don't have to be pretty to have it going on!

NOTE: The usual tooth pick test doesn’t really work here for letting you know if they’re cooked an account of all the chunks of melted chocolate. So you’ll have to go by sight. But don’t stress too much, soft brownies are always yum.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Be still my beating heart.

Like a lot of vegans I know, the turning point for me from vegetarianism to veganism came in the form of Jonathan Fafran Foers book Eating Animals. I'd been a huge fan for a while but had held off delving into his first work of non-fiction because quite honestly, I was afraid it would turn me vegan. And I wasn't sure if I was ready to give up my cheese-wheel-a-night habit. Turns out my fears were founded as his engaging, witty, thoughtful and at time beautiful book is a pretty strong argument. I would always suggest it not only to new vegans but also vegetarians, as Foer is himself actually a vegetarian.
It's a really clear and accessible way to rap your head around a huge issue. And I found helpful in also addressing a lot of the emotional implications of our relationships with the foods we eat. Of course the god fathers of consumerism literature like Michael Pollan are always going to be called up first to give addresses on these issues, but I'd take Foer any day for his ability to make sustainable eating seem very possible.
Tying in with my little love in is this really cool interview I found with him from, another really engaging and interesting resource. It encapsulates a lot of his arguments from the book, which I really recommend you check out. Without wanting to sound like too much of a douche bag, it may just change the way you look at your dinner plate forever.

I'm not convinced of your vegetarian credentials Jonathan, because you appear to be EATING MY HEART OUT!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Nothing says love like eating out. LOL.

So maybe my presence here has been a little thin on the ground of late. Ok so maybe it has been very thin. Now of course I'd like to give you a list of excuses as to why i've been so neglectful for my little vegan thought tank. But quite simply, I moved out of home and have neither the funds to experiment with cookies as freely as I usually would. I also had another kitchen fire so am kinda sitting on the whole "using the oven a whole lot" thing at the moment. But it did occur to me that just because my only food cooking adventures seem to be confined to midnight pancakes doesn't mean I can't fill this page with a seasoning of treats. Albeit from someone else's warm and delicious kitchen. So here it is, Wendy's run around guide to snacking in Melbourne! Because god knows, if there is one thing I can do, it's furiously snack.

Because I'm pretty sure my heart stops if I don't eat one like every 20 minutes.

My Choice!

"Lord of the Fries"
Now LOTF comes up pretty much every time anyone, ever, anywhere, mentions vegan eating. And it is awesome, it’s burgers especially need a special mention for their killer style. But it’s their cookies that keep me coming back for more. Often leaving parties early to grab one on the way home before they close. I don’t know what it is, the mix of flours, the seeds, the fruit, the vegan chocolate that isn’t totally gross. The lovely crumbly texture awarding you surprise crumbs in your hair hours after the event of eating them is over. Maybe its the coming together of so many lovely things. Ultimately who cares, just cram a bunch of these bad boys into you.

Crn Elizabeth and Flinders street
Flinders Street Station
(Obviously there are like a million other locations now, but common, I’m not the yellow pages)

Runners Up!

That’s right, what the fuck? As if these are vegan? Now this is one of the rare examples when something being vegan marks just how artificial and terrible for you this product is. In short, cream filled chocolate biscuits shouldn’t be vegan. And you shouldn’t read the back to ascertain what the hell they are cramming into these bad boys to ensure their animal free goodness. Don’t think, just eat. Words to live by.

You can buy these everywhere. In fact if you can’t find them be careful because it appears you have stumbled into a wormhole and now appear to be living in Victorian times.

Just because the word ‘cream’ is in the title doesn’t mean you gotta get all up close and personal with the cow.

My Choice!

Pretty much anything in the range. The huge, huge range. It’s all pretty good. And its also kinda liberating to be able to ask yourself, ‘do I feel like an ice cream sandwich today or one of the other trillion options they have?’ The runner up is a close second but Tofutti takes the prize just because of their ability to spoil you for choice.

Is stocked sporadically is often surprising places, just check out their website

Runner Up!

“So Good”
Yeah I get it’s hell obvious, but its also yum, cheap (oh btw Tofutti is pretty much the price of saffron) and readily available. It also manages to blend to sometime off putting soy smell pretty seamlessly with its chocolate flavor.

Same deal as Oreos in terms of tracking this down. Pretty much any big supermarket is a safe bet.

Coz a grrrls gotta eat!

My Choice!

Pretty easy choice really. Word to the wise though, heartbreakingly the soul singing dessert is not in fact vegan. But the crazy ass delicious curries and stews are. They’re also so cheap you probably don’t want to know how they’re keeping costs so low, and are usually served with a heavenly side of chanting and subliminal religious messages.

123 Swanston Street Melbourne

Runners Up!

Now every food blog this side of the river is loosing its shit over the progigal son of mexican food so I’ll keep this brief. Although an omnivore restaurant, Mamasitas has the kind of animal free options you usually reserve for your extra nerdy vegan dreams. It’s also cheap, cool and has a hell of a drinks list.

Level 1, 11 Collins St Melbourne


My Choice!

Now I wasn’t even going to include pies, pre vegan I wasn’t THAT blow away by them. Too many mystery filling surprises. That is of course until I stumbled onto TOFWD and their range of sour dough crusted delight. Actually so yummy I could cry, into my tofu and pumpkin dream. Cheap, fast and wholesome; just like the girl of your dreams. Splash out a few more clams to get it with a side of salad and relish and really make a day of it.

28 Degraves st Melbourne

Runner Up!

“Vegie Bar”
I actually didn’t want to include this one, it just all seemed rather obvious. But their ever evolving dessert case always draws me back for more. I’m not even going to mention a specific flavor but their hit rate of a warm fruit pie or crumble has been 100% since I was a kid. Oldies but goodies usually get that way for a reason.

380 Brunswick St Fitzroy


My Choice!

"Las Vegan"
Hands down, turn on the lights, fold up the envelope, put your shoes back on and go home. THIS.IS.WHAT.THEY.WERE.TALKING.ABOUT.WHEN.THEY.COINED.THE.TERM.THE.SHIT.

2 Smith St, Collingwood

Runner Up!

‘Habib Wholefoods’
A pretty decent wholefood store in its own right, you have to give these guys props for always having a decent selection of sweet treats to keep you blood sugar sky high while running for the train.

2/260 Flinders St Melbourne


‘Cato Pick n Mix’
Their ever changing array of surprises is not only practical (a really cheap way to buy your everyday cooking staples) but also super fun and delicious. Their nutty, sweet, salty, spicy and sometimes just plain weird selection is always changing; but personally it’s their sweet potato chips that keep me coming back for more. The single reason why I gained weight after cutting out seven eighths of the food pyramid.

Cato Street Prahran, I forget the number, pretty much next to Coles


‘Jungle Juice’
It’s Melbourne, most of the coffee is pretty banging. But it doesn’t even rate a mention if they don’t rep BonSoy. But I’m giving it to these kids because the vibe it good, its fast service, quality chit chat and I’m yet to have a bad experience of any shape their.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

I love you Parfaits.

I really love parfaits. Like a lot. Like it was the theme of my year 8 birthday party. Less people got it than I would have liked. And Friday is my day off, and I like preparing fancy afternoon snacks for myself as a reward for getting through the week without being hit by lightning or a cab or whatever. So armed with some weird left over ingredient, a hankering for an old favourite and a heart so pure I set out to make a treat.


-1 chopped apple
-½ cup coconut milk
-Maple syrup
-Really any muesli-ish ingredients
-Tofutti cream cheese

1.First up chop your apples, and stew in the milk until nice and soft. Remove from heat, mash with a fork and freeze for about an hour or until frozen but not solid

2.Mix your oats, nuts, sultana and muesli things, pour over enough maple syrup so its all a little bit sticky but not swimming in the stuff, spread on a baking tray and bake at 150 for about 15-20 minutes. Check every now often so it doesn’t burn and give the tray a shake to its equally crunchy

3.Once your muesli is done and cooled, take out your cheaters apple sorbet, give it a little mash to soften up and layer in a glass with your cream cheese, jam and whatever else you have around. It occurred to me after that peanut butter could have been pretty sweet.

And enjoy!! Sweet, quick and easy. Just how a little afternoon delight should be.

Was it good for you?


Being vegan presents lots of challenges. And almost everyday I get asked a new perplexing question from a curious omnivore. Most relate to things like, how do you make vegan potato bake? How do you make lasagna? How do you make toasted cheese? Believe it or not, I have found solutions to all these dilemmas. And although it usually takes a little sweet talking about how nutritional yeast is nowhere near as gross as you think it is, my solutions to the food queries are usually pretty well met. Although, as a furious baker there is one area that seems to get the cold shoulder again and again. And that is the case for eggless baking. Now although when you’re having a supreme moment of spiritual transcendence while chowing down on a donut, cookie or cake you’re probably not thinking about the role that the simple egg played in its conception; try and make one without them and you’ll realize their quite importance. Eggs are actually a bit of a necessity, unfortunately they also tend to be the result of horrible battery cage situations, where chickens beaks are burnt off, their legs broken and are pumped full of hormones to lay several eggs a day, literally ripping them apart. They keep them in artificial day light for about 23 hours a day to keep them laying and then slaughter them the second they are not hyper productive.
But enough about that, I’m not here to lecture, I’m here to eat. So I thought I’d put together some egg alternatives and their pros and cons. Different methods will work for different recipes so select in line with your tastes and needs. As with everything I say experiment as much as you can be bothered to find the perfect fit, because there is always an alternative is you take the time to look.

In place of 1 egg, substitute:

Egg Replacer
Personally this is my choice. It’s easy to measure, tasteless and pretty well foolproof. All come with directions for measurements of the box and its only a case of adding hot water. There are a few things you need to remember though. Always mix in a cup before adding, you need to create a smooth (and I mean smooth, those fuckers are gonna wanna form lumps if you let them) paste before adding it to your mix.
For all my enthusiasm there are a few cons, my sister swore she could taste the egg mix in some Snickerdoodles I made her the other day. The thing was I didn’t tell her they had been sitting on my kitchen bench for about a week before she got them, so I don’t know how seriously you should take that comment. Another thing is it’s really important to read the back of the box before you buy. And this goes for all vegan replacement stuff. There is some animal free stuff out there that substitutes a lot of chemical stuff in its place, and there isn’t a whole lot of point in going natural if you’re consuming bucket loads of Gelling agent #227 everyday. So my recommendation is Orgran, No Egg; you can get it from pretty much all health food stores and some big supermarkets in the health food section. Its easy, cheap and tasteless. Just like all good things in life.

This is one of the weirder, but most effective options. I use silken tofu because it blends better. And in my experience it’s probably the only possitive experience I’ve ever had with silken tofu. Again this is pretty much tasteless, natural and probably something your average vegan is going to have on hand. A good tip for this is blend 50g of silken tofu with about 2 T of the liquid portion of the recipe. Not only will you get a smoother blend, but it’s also going to bind with your batter or mix better. Probably not a good idea to tell people who are already a bit weird about egg alternatives that your baked goods have tofu in them. Another nice side effect is I also find it tends to keep things nice and moist as well, just watch out because sometimes it can turn cookies a little bit cakey.

1/2 Mashed Banana/ Avocado or ¼ Cup Apple Sauce
Now the amount you use is obviously going to depend on the size of your fruit. But I use this as a guide for a larger banana or a medium avocado. Again this method is really nice because it’s natural, nutritious and a nice little trick for keeping things from being too dry. The only side effect, especially with the banana, is it will flavor your dish. The banana can actually be a really yum addition though if you’re expecting it. The avocado and apple leaves less of a trace but again just be careful if you’re making with delicate flavors. Both work great in chocolate based things and the banana and apple can be a great addition to muffins and breads.

1 table spoon of flaxeed oil in 3 tablespoons of water is great in your heavier foods like pancakes, muffins, cookies and bars. Any type of high quality oil will work pretty well but just be aware that it will make your batter a little heavier, especial vegetable oil. I nice trick it to prepare this by running it through a food processor first of mixing bit by bit and microwaving at 15 second intervals, this gives a weirdly egg like consistency. It can be a good idea to include flaxseed oil in your diet because it includes a lot of important nutrients from oil that is hard to get if you’re not eating fish.

Don't eat eggs, that's where I grow my kids!

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Oatmeal Cookies

The calm before the storm

- 1/2 C vegan margarine, softened

- 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar, packed

- 1 T agave syrup*

- 1 T maple syrup 
Egg replacer for 1 egg**
3/4 Cups Flour

- 1 t Cinnamon
- 1 t Nutmeg

- 1/2 tsp Baking Soda

- 1/4 tsp Salt
1 1/2 Cups Oats (rolled)

- 1 Cups Raisins
1/2 cup chopped almonds (optional)

Preheat oven to 180°.
1. Beat margarine, brown sugar and syrups until fluffy. Add your chosen egg replacer and beat until well blended.

Nature gave chickens eggs. Science gives you this.

2. Combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt in another bowl. Gradually add to margarine mixture until well blended.

Resist the urge to eat now. It will only get more banging. Ok maybe eat a little now.

3. Stir in oats, raisins, and nuts (if using).

Time to accessorize.

4. Form your desired cookie shape and place on wax paper on a baking tray, bake for 15-17 minutes or until edges brown
Let sit for a few minutes and ENJOY



SERVING SUGGESTION: I had mine with a smear of Tofutti cream cheese and a little cinnamon, as I’ve been eating pretty much everything I make eye contact with since discovering Tofutti, DOUBLE ENTENDRE!

*you can find this bad boy at health food shops and really middle class super markets. Its way better for you that sugar, about 10 times sweeter and diabetic friendly
* I just used your average egg replacement, but if that is a bit twilight zone for you I’ll do a follow up post with alternatives

Seemed to satisfy the client.

Even Moma got involved.

Ahh cookies, bringing people together on weird homemade porches. What else do you need?

Change is good, but notes are better.

So I’ve been off line and out of touch for a while now. Well in a blog sense. Not in a Facebook update 40 times a day to make use of all the funny calls I think of when no one is around, sense. But it’s been more than my busy 90210 life style that has kept we away from my favorite internet platform. No i’ve had rather a large lifestyle change. One that may at first seem out of line with my perceived love of food. I’ve become a raging anorexic...PSYCH. Not really, and sorry if you are a raging anorexic, best of luck in the future and all.
In fact I’ve become a vegan. A spasmodic vegetarian, sans the hotdog eating birthday, it wasn’t that much of a jump for me. And a few things have changed for me and I guess it’s only natural that they will filter down to this blog as well. Don’t worry I’m not going to start lecturing you all, I always said this was about celebrating food in all its forms, so rather than berate the things I’ve rejected, I’m going to celebrate those I’ve embraced, NUTRITIONAL YEAST ANYONE?
So with all huge life altering events the first thing you do is take stock of what’s important, and that’s exactly what I did. I bought every book about vegan cookies that I could find. I even made my mom bring some back when she was overseas. So from here on in the recipes and suggestions will flow free, just think it’ll all be as kind to our animal friends as it is to our swelling bellies. ENJOY!



Monday, February 8, 2010

Say it with French biscuits.

People show love in different ways. With words, glances, gestures, screaming outside someone’s front door at 2 am holding your shoes and your dignity in your handbag. Wouldn’t know a thing about the last one personally. But for me there is only one way, and that’s macaroons. I don’t know what it is but somewhere in the middle of those filled sandwiches of french delight I find all the eloquence I’ve lusted after all my life. For me the language of love isn’t prefixes and past tenses, no it’s egg whites and almond meal. If you’ve ever been handed one of these bad boys from me feel confident you’re probably invited to my birthday party this year, and I’d act wing man for you any day. I really encourage you to give them ago, they’re a lot easier to take on that you’d think and oh so, so rewarding. I suppose like most ways to say “ I fucking love you.”

[for macaroons]
3 egg whites
1 T caster sugar
Pink food coloring (or what ever you like)
Almond essence
1 1/4 C icing sugar
1 C almond meal
2 T icing sugar, extra

[for ganache]
150g chopped white cooking chocolate
1/4 cream
Food coloring

1. Pop your oven to a slow 150˚
2. Beat egg whites till stiff, add caster sugar and coloring. Beat until sugar disolves and your whites are glossy
3. Fold in sifted icing sugar, almond essence and almond meal
4. Spoon into a piping bag and pipe 4 cm round onto a baking paper lined (you’re really going to want to use the paper) about 2 cm apart. Let rest for a few minutes before putting into the oven for 20 minutes or until dry to touch
5. Allow to cool and dust with icing sugar
6. Meanwhile, combine ganache ingredients in a heatproof bowl over a bowl of simmering water until chocolate melts.
7. Refrigerate till a spreadable consistency.
8. When completely cool, sandwich macaroons with ganache
Your brave ingredients

Another rad thing about macaroons (AS IF THERE WEREN'T ENOUGH THINGS ALREADY!) is that the almond meal means that they're good for all your gluten intolerant brothers and sisters.

FAST FACT: Save your yolks and make custard. Do date I don't think I've ever made a batch of macaroons that weren't accompanied by a side order of Portuguese tarts.

TIP: Piping bags make possible the sort of perfection that you should never attempt to recreate alone

Try these bad boys with different flavor ideas, remember it’s super easy to infuse egg white with different things, just leave it all in a bowl over night (I’ve made some very successful honey and lavender ones in the past). But chocolate is the easiest choice, so here is a little help in changing the proportions.
Omit the food color all together, and use 1 C and 2 ! of icing sugar rather than the 1 1/4 C. This is important because you’ll need to add 1 T of cocoa when you fold in your final ingredients and you don’t want it to be too dry.
And for the ganache just leave out your essence and swop white chocolate for dark. Make a bunch of colors for the full united nations experience!