Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Keen for some Quinoa

Quinoa is such a funny name (just like seitan, agave, and other names I can say in my head, but I have never had to say them out loud). I’ve actually never eaten quinoa, let alone cooked with it!! Can you believe it?? I bought some a few months ago with the intention of giving it a go and I am only just trying it now! 

I found this recipe at Savvy Vegetarian but made some adjustments (mostly because I didn’t have some of the ingredients). The original recipe asked for 1/4C currants but I think hot fruit is WRONG!!!!

Quinoa, Carrot & Zucchini  Casserole

1C quinoa
a small handful of pepitas (I had no sunflower seeds)
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
2T olive oil
1 small leek, chopped small
2 medium carrots, chopped small
2 small zucchini, chopped small
1t ground coriander
1/2 t paprika
pinch cayenne
1/2t ground cumin
1 3/4C boiling water
fresh coriander
ground pepper 
Soak quinoa for an hour, rinse, leave to drain. Preheat oven to 180C. Heat olive oil in a frying pan. Stir fry leek until transparent. Add carrots, stir fry five minutes. Add zucchini, stir fry one minute. Add the spices, except for the fresh coriander and pepper, lower heat and stir until they start to brown. Put all ingredients (except fresh coriander and pepper) into a casserole dish. Stir in 1 3/4 cups boiling water, cover, and bake 20 - 30 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed. Before serving, remove the bay leaves and cinnamon stick. Stir in the minced fresh coriander, fresh ground pepper, and serve

The original recipe also asked for celery but that is one vegetable that I can’t stand! It is so overpowering in every dish I have had with it!

This dish wasn’t bad. A bit bland, but the kids liked it (probably because it was bland!)

Today we went for a really long bike ride. We tried to find Dight’s Falls but couldn’t! We found a sign that said ‘Dight’s Falls 250m’ with an arrow. So we followed it only to come across another sign with an arrow pointing back towards where we had just come from saying ‘Dight’s Falls 500m’. WTF!! So we gave up and found a cool park to eat our picnic lunch and played on the playground. On the way home we stopped at other parks and went around the Brunswick Velodrome a million times to wear ourselves out a little more! All up -   4 hours of continuous exercise and about 18 kms of bike paths!!
When we got home Tweenie said “my vajeena is sore’ and YM said ‘So is mine!” We all rolled on the floor laughing as YM is a boy and therefore does not own a ‘vajeena’! hahaha
(note: we do actually use the correct names for our body parts in this house but Tweenie considers herself a bit of a comedian!)

Looking forward to the start of VeganMoFo III tomorrow! I have noticed there is a bit of ‘chat’ about having a theme, but I will just blog about what we eat - it’s hard enough coming up with things for this family to eat let alone trying to follow some of the suggested themes! I have found the master list of participating VeganMoFo blogs here and I am aiming to have a quick look at all the blogs on the list over the next month. It’s alphabetically listed. Which letter will I make it to??


A Glorious Spring Day in Melbourne

So no VeganMoFo tag tonight. We did eat, though nothing blog worthy really.

Again the kiddies and I got out of the house and went down to Coburg Lake. How absolutely glorious was today's weather??!!!

The kids didn't even look at the playground today, instead they spent a good hour-and-a-half playing in the creek, hopping from rock to rock, discovering bugs, and 'accidentally' slipping into the water! Took some photos of the cygnets and goslings. Too cute!

Once home, after a quick feed of crumbled lentil burger and salad sandwich, we hit the back yard. Tweenie mowed most of the lawn before YM and Baby had a small go (it's all right, we have a battery powered lawnmower that rocks! You have to hold the handle down and it cuts out IMMEDIATELY when it is let go, so there is really no chance of the kids getting hurt). A month or so ago we cut back some trees and tidied up the grape vines so we also spent a couple of hours snipping up the twigs before I got out the electric chainsaw and chopped the larger branches up into small pieces so they would fit better into the green waste bin.

We also had to add a tonne of soil to the vege garden Popeye made for me. The soil was delivered a couple of days ago in 25 HEAVY bags and I had to lift them up to about chest height before dumping them into my first vege bed. Unfortunately there was not quite enough soil to reach the top, but that is ok, we planted some seedlings in it anyway. I LOVE the fact that I won't have to bend over to 'play' in my garden!

I smelled like worm wee (I accidentally spilt some on myself!) and even got a little sunburnt! By the end of the arvo I was completely knackered! Tweenie asked if she could make some brownies and I remembered about the brownie recipe I saw on The Fairest Feed (thank you!) and told her to use that. We didn't have any choc chips but it still tasted good all the same. The other two worked together and made some biscuits. I tried to take a photo of Tweenie taking a bite of the brownie to post but it didn't work out and her piece didn't last before she had gobbled it all up! So no photos of food today.

We are going to go on a picnic tomorrow, taking our bikes along the Merri Creek towards the city and see where we end up. It is supposed to be another fabulous day tomorrow and we want to make the most of it!

Enjoy the sunshine!


Monday, September 28, 2009

Asparagus, Asparagus

I said yesterday that I was planning to cook an Asparagus soup for dinner.

Here it is:

And it was DELICIOUS!!!!

Usually I don't really get off on asparagus. I have only just started eating it in the last 3 months or so. I usually add it to sauces and stuff to sort of hide it. But this soup ROCKS!! The kids wanted more and even Baby made the comment that she didn't even need to have bread with it because it was soo yummy! (She normally has half a dozen pieces of bread with her soup!) It was so easy to make.

Unfortunately, I don't know who to credit for this recipe as I got it off the internet. I will try harder next time to remember and create a link to credit the proper person.

Asparagus Soup

1 bunch of asparagus
1 large onion, largely sliced
1-5 cloves of garlic (I used all 5!)
2C vege stock
1/4C flour
2 1/2C milk (I used rice milk)
2T soy sauce/ Tamari (I used Braggs)
2t basil

Chop asparagus and place with onion, garlic and stock in a pot. Bring to the boil and then reduce to medium heat and cook until veges are tender (about 15 minutes). Add flour and cook for one minute more. Take off heat and add milk, soy sauce, and basil. Blend/Process until smooth. Return soup to the heat and heat slowly and serve.

Will definitely be making this soup again!

Today the kids and I went for a jog to Coburg Lake, had a play on the playground and jogged home. Ok, so only I jogged, but the kids went on their new scooters that Popeye bought them before he left. I was disappointed that I had forgotten my camera as the signs of spring were everywhere! Goslings and cygnets walking around with their mothers. It was so cute. I'll try to remember that next time we head out that way!

Anyway, just a quick shout out to the really cool Planet VeGMeL  It is a collection of vegan food blogs from Melbourne. Really cool idea, hope more Melbourne vegan bloggers get on board!

Only 2 more days until the official start of VeganMoFo. Bring it on!


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Fruit Salad Yum Yummy (for Popeye)

Today I made up a fruit salad to use up some fruit (gee, that's inventive I hear you groan)

And after dinner Tweenie made some custard to go with it...yum!

Isn't it crazy that fruit can sit there all week, but cut it up, put it in a bowl and call it fruit salad and it is gone in 2 seconds flat!

For dinner YM decided he wanted spaghetti, so I told he if he wanted it he had to make it. So he did, with a little help from Baby. Some say I am a lazy parent, I say I am training them up to be independent!
I wish I had taken a photo of it, but it was scoffed down real fast! He boiled the pasta, and made a sauce with mushrooms, onions and mixed veges. (Remember he is only 8!) And it wasn't bad, either!! Kitchen was a bit of a mess afterwards...gotta work on that!

Last night, while laying in bed, alone (only 85 days to go...), I kept hearing a banging noise. Finally I got up and went outside to see what the noise was, and it was fireworks!!!

From my bedroom window I have a direct line of vision to the city's skyscrapers and I managed to snap this, albeit crappy & unprofessional, photo. The next door neighbour had come out a few seconds after me to investigate and I was caught in my PJ's! So I quickly ran inside after only this one shot. I'm wondering if the fireworks was from Fed Square celebrating Geelong's Grand Final win?? Anyone know??

And now for something a little different.....

Time for a little offloading.
My B-I-L rang today and asked if I would watch my nephew for a few days, which I happily agreed to. He said they were going to come about 4 ish. So a while later I phoned back and asked if they wanted to stay for dinner while they were here. He hummed and harred a bit then asked 'What are you going to make? Vegetables?" Then he declined the offer. He's a big meat eater, and that's his choice, but I felt...Gee I don't know what I felt. A bit pissed off, I suppose, that he was being so condescending. Anyway, feel a little better for getting it off my chest.

I've found a recipe for Asparagus Soup that I am going to make tomorrow. Look forward to posting about that!


Saturday, September 26, 2009

First Foodie Post

So off to the markets we went.

Check out what we got:

And I got change from $20!!

I grabbed some tomatoes, 10 kiwi fruit, some mushrooms (sorry Earth, for the plastic bag), a continental cucumber, snow peas, spinach, carrots and 3 punnets of strawberries (one punnet fell on the floor and I forgot to include it in the photo). Also the bag in the trolley is mostly apples with a few pears thrown in (YM LOOOVEES apples!). I got that for $5.00. When Saturday rolls around again, whatever apples are left I usually make stewed apples for an 'apple sauce' so we can have it in our yummy porridge (I'll post that one day!).

These cool earth-saving, plastic bag-dissing fregie bags are Australian made by TwoGirls. I love them!! My mum and I bought some when she was here the other week from CERES. She took two home and I kept 5. I wish I had more!! I really only shop on Saturdays and today's fruit and vege hall is only one third of what I usually buy so I end up having to use some plastic. The great things about them is that they hardly weigh anything, the shop assistants can see what is in them and I am happy that I am taking home less plastic. You can check out their website at

As mentioned in my first post, Saturday shopping is nothing without a visit to La Panella Bakery on High Street, Preston. So much of their bakery delights are vegan! Yippee for us! (Although one day I was there I overheard a sweet little boy of maybe about four ask his mum if he could have 'that' [not sure what 'that' was, but he pointed to something sweet in the cabinet] and mum replied 'oh no honey, we can't have that. It's vegan) Anyway, I always buy yesterdays bread if I can, mostly because I am poor but also because not only does it freeze really well but it still tastes so fresh! I grabbed 6 loaves for 90 cents each! Great for school holidays! I also grabbed my favourite from there - mushroom pie and apple slice. MMMMMMMM

As an added bonus, although nothing really to do with any of the above items, Lord of the Fries has finally opened at Northland Shopping Centre! Popeye took us there for dinner last night before he left. Let's just say there was room for improvement and they were very apologetic that Popeye's food came well after we had all started eating, but they are to be forgiven in my mind as they have only been open for about a week and may still be ironing out the bugs. I look forward to the next time I get to eat there.

What is your best/worst vegan food story?




I'd been thinking of creating a blog where I post all things vegan, showing pics of the food we eat and discussing/venting veganism at my children's school/negativities about veganism/ negative vegan comments etc etc. Then today I bumped into the Post Punk Kitchen reminding me about veganmofo and it starting in October. So this got me moving! And here is my vegan blog!
We (Tweenie, daughter,11; Young Master, son,almost 9 & Baby,daughter,7) are off to the markets to load up on fruit (still have HEAPS of veges!) and no Saturday arvo market trip is complete without a stop at La Panella Bakery for a mushroom pie and apple slice! So I will make that my first foodie post!
Today Popeye left us for a course in Sydney (86 days to go, and counting! I've already put it into my iCal!!), so it is just me and 3 for a while :(
Hi ho, Hi ho, it's off to the Preston Markets we go....