Saturday, June 26, 2010

Plush toppings are great but.....

Their g/f bases really are horrible. This was my second time trying the g/f bases. The texture is quite hard and cardboard like. I've tried g/f pizzas at eat pizza and nostralis and both have pretty good bases. I know that plush like nostralis don't make their own g/f bases, so I just want to point out there are better g/f vegan pizza bases out there plush. Please consider changing them, even if it costs more, I'm willing to pay a little more for a better base. It's such a shame because we are big fans of plush and think that their toppings are the most interesting.

This time we shared a garlic pizza, I love the simplicity of this pizza- cheezly, garlic, and parsley.

A tom yum pizza with tomato , mushrooms, capsicum, fried tofu, coriander and tom yum sauce, it's mild and tasty:

and tropical with pesto, pineapple, red onion ad fried tofu. I love the addition of pesto on a Hawaiian style pizza:

and my fav satay, with mushrooms, zucchini, satay sauce, red onion, and coriander. Satay sauce really does belong on pizza.

Plush Pizza

85 Burwood Rd
9819 1188

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Pressure Test Tempeh Stroganoff

As you might know, Kristy and I are big fans of Masterchef Australia. Although season 2 is way too melodramatic (Contestants can't stop bringing up unrelated personal stories and the three judges constantly try to make them cry) and lack of show stopping dishes, I still enjoy the show as I am passionate about food.

I saw the recipe card of the Pressure Test Beef Stroganoff at Master Chef's official supermarket and decided to make it for dinner. Conveniently, they sell Spring Gully Gluten Free Worcestershire Sauce which was labeled "suitable for vegans". The recipe ask for 500g piece of beef, so I grabbed two packs of 400g Simple Soy original Tempeh from Asian supermarket as my "core ingredient" (we doubled the recipe).

Kristy suggested Tastebook's Vegan Heavy Cream/Creme Fraiche Substitute recipe, which is basically Tofuttii Cream Cheese, soy milk and lemon juice.

vegan crème fraiche

Sweet paprika flour coated Tempeh


caramelizing sliced mushroom

I did a few sets of Russian Kettlebell Goblet Squat when the Stroganoff were simmering. Yes, I'm a hard living comrade.

no handmade fettuccine

The end product tasted very nice, even though I sort of burnt the tempeh and mushrooms. Matt Preston might say it is disgusting..........(insert Ad break) delicious.

Talking about Master Chef Australia, ex-vegan ex-contestant Skye is selling some raw vegan sweet treat at the Northey St organic markets in Brisbane (check out her website). Marion and Adam (my favourite!) were both food bloggers. I still haven't got the time to read all of old entries but they both look very nice.

On My Turntable:
On Fire (Remastered LP) - Galaxie 500

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Grigons & Orr Corner Store

I first read about Grigons & Orr Corner Store on Steph's blog and then later at Vicki's blog and Carla's blog and decided that I had to have their tofu dish since it was both g/f and vegan.

Grigons & Orr is an old corner store and still sells milk bar type items like milk, tea, baked beans, lollies etc. There is limited seating inside, but plenty outside. But it's always seems to be busy, so it's not really a place to go if you want breakfast immediately. The first time I went I was lucky that my friend Marisa was there and leaving so we got to grab her table, thanks Marisa! Other times I've had to wait 10-15 minutes for a table.

Anyway on to the tofu dish, I generally order it with extra gf toast but admit I haven't check the veganess of the gf toast yet.

The tofu is coated in herbs and cornflour (or possibly some other gf flour), and is stacked on top of mushrooms and spinach. The garnish around the edges appears to be balsamic glaze and then there is a soy infused sauce that appears to be watered down a little with stock or water. I love this dish but still feel that it could easily be better with maybe more balsamic glaze, more sauce or even some fresh herbs. If I have it on it's own without the extra toast I'm at the almost full stage, whereas with extra g/f toast I'm actually full

I've gone a couple of times with my family and then once with Kylie and they have really enjoyed their non vegan breakfast options too. I also love the fact that their water has strawberries in it and they sell my favourite lemonade (Charlie's raspberry lemonade). Toby's is pleased by how much protein he gets with this breakfast but is not a fan of their coffee.

Grigons & Orr
Corner of Queensbury St & Chetwynd St
North Melbourne
Open 7 days 7am- 5pm

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Castlemaine and Daylesford Part 2

So Kristy and I headed up north from Castlemaine to Harcourt. There are quite a few wineries and even a cidery. I have never been to a cidery so we went to the home of four different vegan ciders: Henry of Harcourt.

I thought we could check out the orchard, how they press the apples and brew but those activities weren't available. But I guess tasting all the ciders there was good enough.

Chooks @ Henry of Harcount

I skipped the Pink Lady cider that I've had a few times at Las Vegan and started with the amazing Perry($5/500ml), a cider made of Perry Pears. It tastes similar to Weston Organic Perry cider but drier (still sweet enough) and more nature. The second one was Duck and Bull Cider($7/500ml), a Pink Lady and Yarlington apple cider. It tastes a bit sweeter than the Pink Lady cider and has a nice aftertaste. The third one was Last Apple ($15/750ml), a non-sparkling apple wine. It was pretty nice but I prefer wine made of grapes or pears (like this 2 quids El Cheapo).The last one was the amazing Yarlington Mill ($20/750ml). It smells and tastes very very very very very nice. I have never paid $20 for a bottle of cider before, regardless the size. Well, I have now.

Henry of Harcourt
219 Reservoir Road,

Harcourt VIC 3453

The guy at Henry of Harcourt informed us Mount Alexander Winery is the place to be, so we took his advise.

The winery is ran by a couple and two cute dogs. We tried their Pinot Noir, Shiraz and Cabernet Shiraz. We both loved the Shiraz and were amused by the awesomeness of the Cabernet Shiraz. I'm not an educated wine drinker and all I can say is that Cabernet Shiraz is an interesting wine. It has lots of layers and transforms in your mouth. Both of the Shiraz and Cabernet Shiraz are vegan. They use egg whites to filter the Chardonnay but I forgot if their Pinot Noir is vegan.

The gang of booze and my new Keepcup

Mount Alexander Winery
410 Harcourt Road,
Sutton Grange, Victoria

We also revisited Chocolate Mill at Mount Franklin. We were there around two years ago and tried all the vegan-friendly chocolate and the soup mug sized hot chocolate. This time, in additional, we watched the demo they do at 11am and 2pm every day.

They explained that, unlike other commercial chocolate manufacturers in Australia, they use only high quality
Callebaut Belgian Couverture chocolate, with no vegetable fat or palm oil. They are pretty vegan and gluten-free friendly and cater for different dietary requirements. All their dark chocolate, apart from Acticoa Dark (63.5%), are vegan.

They sell vegan filled chocolates at the shop for around $8 per 100grams, including dark chocolate dipped apricots, orange slices, candied ginger pieces, cardamon discs, cinnamon sticks, my favourite Dark Cherry Lips and Kristy's favourite Peppermint Leaves. We ate them all before we have chance to take photos but you can see some of them from our last post.

lots of chocolate
Mini Willie Wonka chocolate river
5KG of Belgian Chocolate. (No, you can't get it from Costco)
Mr "Chief Taster" turned the chocolate brushed mold upside down.
They called it the "Chocolate Rain"


5451 Midland Hwy, Mount Franklin VIC 3461

On the Walkman:
Moonshot - Buffy Sainte-Marie

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Gluten Free Bread Reviews

I waited before trying g/f bread, which I stongly advise for newly diagnosed coeliacs. I think it's kind of like soy cheese, if you give up dairy and wait, the soy version seems pretty believable. Also, all of my reviews are for g/f toast, you can't generally eat g/f bread untoasted, it's just not edible. Also please note that while all but one of my reviews are for vegan breads that often the same company has other varieties that are not vegan.


Dovedale rice chia bread: This bread is ok and I have found it to be quite easy to get, they even have it at IGA on sydney road. But like many other types of gluten free bread, it's tiny in size. I also find that it never goes properly brown in the centre. But the most annoying thing about this bread is once you put in the fridge (you put most g/f breads in the fridge when opened) it's difficult to pull the slices apart, they kind of stick together and then when you try to pull them apart, I always end up breaking them. It kind of reminds me of white bread and while the crust gets harder, the middle still stays quite spongy.
Country life bread: this is the most accessible g/f bread, you can find it in all coles and safeway stores. It contains both egg and dairy, but I accidentally ate it at when I ordered g/f toast at Pearl Oyster cafe, it was better than I expected but obviously I wont be buying it.

Schar bread: is apparently Europeans most popular g/f bread. I've tried both the pan carre and the rustico and can't tell much of a difference between the two. Both come in a convenient two pack, but it's tiny and I feel like I need to eat 5 pieces to get full. It reminds me a lot of a wholemeal bread, just a slightly bad version. This is my probably my third favourite bread which I buy it a lot because I can get it quite easily from health food stores and melbas fine foods in Brunswick. It does goes brown too and doesn't seem to take as long to toast as other types of g/f bread but it quite vulnerable to breaking. However, it makes great toasties as I discovered at the 'this is why you are fat' potluck.

Naturally gluten free crunch: This takes a long long time to toast but I love the fact that it contains quinoa flour, many of the g/f breads contain white rice flour so aren't the most nutrious. I also love all of the seeds (linseed, poppy, sunflower, pumpkin, sesame) and it does remind me of multigrain bread. It is however not sliced which annoys me a little because I'm bad at cutting even slices. I don't love it nearly as much as the Mediterranean version. It also has the added bonus of being regular bread size and it goes brown (eventually). This is probably my favourite regular bread at the moment but is really hard to find in shops near me. I've only seen it at g/f stores.

Zehnder rice loaf, seems to be the it- g/f bread at the moment. It's normal bread size but it does come frozen, and unsliced which just seem like too more work to me. It is actually not a bad bread, it's got a fairly neutral flavour, is a decent size and is perhaps my 2nd flavour bread. It's also a little difficult to get but I have found it at wholefoods on lygon st (brunswick).

Black ruby soy and linseed bread: Black ruby is a g/f cafe in Carlton that sells it's own range of bread. Their breads actually look like regular breads, they are large and various shapes and don't resemble cardboard. I've only tried the soy and linseed bread, while it's another unsliced bread, it was delicious and went brown when toasted. The only downside was when placed under baked beans, it went quite soggy. Cindy has had the pumpkin bread and said it was pretty good for g/f bread. I"ve got a blog post coming up about the place so more about that soon.

Lifestyle Bakery wholmeal loaf. This has been the only g/f bread that I haven't been able to eat. Maybe it's the wholmeal soba flour, but it just tastes disgusting to me, after taking a bite into one piece, I threw out the rest. I found it at piedemontes and would be interested to know if the other flavours were any good.


Vitality herb and garlic bread: I found this at an IGA in the western suburbs. It is sliced, goes brown, has a lovely flavour and was great with margarine and nooch.

Health Right Garlic Bread: I was so exited to see gluten free garlic bread. It wasn't quite as good as I remember garlic bread due to it's slightly weird and hard texture and I think the flavours of the herbs kind of overpowers the flavour of the garlic but it's still super delicious and vegan and gluten free! I'm so popping this in the freezer for more lazy winter nights.

Schar baguette. We used this to make garlic bread recently and while it took a lot longer than regular garlic bread to cook, it was a pretty good comparison.

Most pictures were taken from
absolutely gluten free

Thursday, June 10, 2010

We have moved...

We started blogging here over 6 months ago (and moved all of the old food posts over), but I noticed that lots of people are still linking to the old blog instead of this one. So can you please update your links, pretty please with a cherry on top.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Castlemaine and Daylesford Part 1

After reading about Steph's adventures in castlemaine, I bookmarked it and decided that I had to go there. We went away for a weekend and stayed at the incredibly tranquil accommodation just outside of castlemaine. And first stop for food was saffs of course.

We had dinner there on the first night and were pleased to get a table near the fireplace. I ordered the chickpea curry which comes with rice and banana. The curry was nicely spiced and perfect for a nice winter night. I loved the banana, it had a great cooling effect.
Toby had the dhal burger with fries which he said was good but was lacking some sauce because he ordered it without yogurt. So he added in some tomato sauce.

We went back for breakfast and had the vegan and gluten free breakfast, although Toby added some toast to his:
I really liked the crunchy potato rosti and was so pleased to have a vegan and gluten free breakfast option, but Toby wasn't overly impressed with the meals or the coffee, he was particularly annoyed by the lack of protein and I had to remind him that we were in fact in the country and not some hip cafe in fitzroy.

Saff's cafe
43 Mostyn St

While in castlemaine, I checked out the IGA around the corner from saffs and was super impressed they had an amazing selection of vegan/gluten free things that I hadn't even seen before including soups, dips and even a vegan and gluten free lasagna. I just kept walking around saying 'I love this place', next time we might stock up and have some meals back at our accommodation.

We always seem to go away to daylesford, and while this time we stayed in castlemaine we couldn't resist going to daylesford since it's only about 30 minutes away. I was a little worried about our trip to himalaya bakery since my last trip there was pretty gluten heavy but was relieved to discover that they had gluten free bread and loads of gluten free options including 2 muffins which were both vegan and gluten free. For lunch Toby had the open sandwich with white bean dip, grilled capsicum, lettuce over toast. He was surprised to find the white bean dip was actually cold but thought the flavours were lovely and fresh.

I had the white bean dip with g/f toast and tomato and spinach. I enjoyed the addition of onion and herbs to this dish, it was really was much tastier than it sounds.

We went back for breaky the next day, toby had the mushroom scrambled tofu with extra potatoes. Toby thought it was full of flavour and filling but a little oily.
I had the spanish scrambled tofu with had capsicum, tomato and gluten free toast. I really enjoyed this and was so grateful for finally finding a g/f scrambled tofu dish, toby agreed that it was a tad tastier than his.

Himalaya Bakery
73 Vincent St Daylesford

And of course no trip to the region would be complete without a trip to continental house for the vegan banquet which is on sat evenings.

It started with the nourishing soup which contained pumpkin, seaweed, buckwheat. I'm not normally into healthy soups but I loved it.

For mains there was a selection of raw and cooked dishes, most of which were gluten free. They even had a gluten free lasagna which I think was more like a bake since it contained bread crumbs on top instead of a cheesy sauce but was our favourite dish of the night. I also really enjoyed the raw pad thai, and the tofu dish. Both of us were incredibly full and happy at the end of this meal, so full that I forgot to take a picture of dessert which was a bowl of fruit.

Continental House
9 Lone Pine Ave
Hepburn Springs

But that's not it, Toby will wrap up the rest of our eating and drinking adventures away in the next post.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Vietnamese style noodle soup from 1000 vegan recipes

As promised here is the recipe from 1000 vegan recipes, we made quite a few adjustments to make it gluten free:

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 onion, chopped
1 serrano or hot green chilli, seeded and chopped (we used dried chilli flakes)
1 tablespoon of ginger, chopped
3 tablespoons soy sauce (we used tamari)
2 whole star anise (I couldn't find star anise at the supermarket so left it out)
5 cups of vegetable stock
2 tablespoons of barley miso paste (we used white miso paste without barley so it was g/f)
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lime
1/2 cup hot water
4 ounces (113 grams) dried rice noodles
6 ounces (170 grams) dried seitan (we used smoked tofu but like Batgirl's idea of using fried tofu)
1/2 cup fresh bean sprouts (we left this out since apparently you used eat bean sprouts when taking traditional Chinese medicine)
3 green onions chopped for garnish
1/4 cup chopped coriander for garnish

1. In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, cover and cook until softened, 5 minutes. Add the chilli and ginger and cook unitl fragrant. Stir in the soy sauce, anise and broth. Simmer, uncovered for 45 minutes to allow flavours to blend. Strain the soup and return it to the pot discarding the solids. (Toby skipped the straining stage)
2. In a small bowl combine miso, hoisin, lime juice and water and add to the soup, stir in the noodles and the seitan. Cook until the noodles are soft about 10 minutes.
3. Ladle the soup into 4 bowls and garnish with bean sprouts, green onions and cilantro.


Saturday, June 5, 2010

A Minor Place II

Once I went gluten free my vegan breakfast options were pretty limited in Melbourne since most of the scrambled tofu options around town contain regular soy sauce. If you do come across any tofu dishes minus wheat based soy sauce please let me know. I was super happy to discover that A Minor Place have g/f toast. Despite my rosemary hatred I love Henry's white beans which consists of white beans, rosemary (I pick out the bigger bits), lemon, dukkah and lots of rocket over toast. Their toast is pretty ace for g/f bread too, it's from the old strathmore bakery. Toby thinks the coffee is pretty good too so it's become a regular breakfast option (every couple of weeks). You can read Toby's post about a minor place here.

A Minor Place
103 Albion St
VIC 3056
9384 3131