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Wed, 06 Apr 2011
Thu, 27 Jan 2011
Brisbane cafes, start here maybe? - 18:25
Due to that I am now having a Monteith's Crushed Pear cider, soy mocha and vegan raspberry cheese cake at The Forest Cafe on Boundary Rd. The food and coffee I am trying is pretty good, I should try their other food some time later in the trip if I can, maybe Saturday sometime.
Fri, 17 Dec 2010
Wed, 03 Mar 2010
Some comments on a book - 14:53
In the past I have avoided really talking much about my dietary choices. I choose to remain a Vegan as I am convinced it reduces the environmental footprint of my diet as much as possible. In the book he uses figures suggesting it is less than 1/7th the environmental footprint of omnivorous diets. I try to put to the back of my mind (as Foer describes it learned forgetfulness) how animals are treated in the modern world to provide the increasing meat craving the world seems to have. Reading the book is a stark reminder of how disgusting and horrible factory farming is, not just for the animals but also for the environment anywhere near factory farms.
In the hope that the book was somewhat US centric and maybe the Australian food industry was not so bad yet I spent around 2 minutes googling and reading and rather quickly learnt that pigs, poultry and to a large extent other meat animals in Australia are factory farmed to a similar extent. Another glaring point he makes is that the increase in waistlines and meat consumption widens the global poverty gap more every year, or more obviously the starving from the obese all around the world.
Foer points out again and again how we have a picture in our heads of farming and animal agriculture where the farmer knows all their stock by sight and farms according to traditional images of farming, this simply is not the case anymore around the world, less than 1% of consumed animal product in the western comes from non factory farming environments (and other parts of the world are trying to play catch up). I do not have the book with me at work just now as I write this so can not refer to it just now but it is definitely a reminder to me that I should be happy with my own dietary choices.
Tue, 24 Nov 2009
Thu, 12 Nov 2009
Wed, 30 Sep 2009
Disappointed to learn that purple Vitasoy is not vegan - 16:33
Last week I was looking for some information about the new Vitasoy cafe milk that is appearing in many cafes, I happened to come across some discussion on vegan forums about the calci plus not being vegan friendly. The vitamin D they began adding to the product some time last year is from a lanolin derived source (sheep/wool production industry), the forums referred to it as a D3 additive, suggesting Vitasoy if they felt the need to add vitamin D could put the effort into finding D2 based vitamin D which is not from the animal industry. Response from Vitasoy when they were contacted about this is that many of their other products remain Vegan friendly and they are investigating a reliable source of D2 for this milk.
Apart from them changing the packaging but not noticeably making it clear in any other way I am somewhat annoyed at a soy milk product with vitamin D added making it non Vegan. Anyone needing some vitamin D should go outside from time to time and get a bit of sun for crying out loud. I am unfortunately somewhat addicted to Vitasoy by choice and as they have stopped producing Vitasoy heart (yummiest soy milk around) I had since then been drinking calci plus. On my most recent shopping trip however I went to buying the green carton Vitasoy (fibre), I guess it would be better to try a few non Vitasoy products and see if there is one the behaves nicely (does not clump up) tastes better than So Good and costs less than Bonsoy.
I like the term a friend I was telling this to came up with, if they feel the product needs vitamin D as people consuming it do not have enough Vitamin D it should be called "Cave Dweller Vitasoy".
Fri, 21 Aug 2009
Thu, 20 Aug 2009
Wed, 12 Aug 2009
Thu, 23 Apr 2009
How many problems are ignored - 12:29
I do wonder how many people tend to do this, unless you get a repeat failure from some brand a few times it is far easier to simply go on with life and not spend the time making a customer complaint with such a small value item. It is only as the value of a failed item increases or the ease of making the complaint decreases that you would make the effort. Of course everyone will have a different graph of where these things go and the area under which you would make the effort.
Sat, 18 Apr 2009
Some Sydney food - 19:17
First off we headed to a place in Newtown called Macro Cafe, the coffee was alright, although it was not a Vegetarian place they did have scrambled tofu for breakfast. Jane had a mushroom dish which had goat cheese and some other stuff, according to her it was remarkably not good for the ingredients. My scrambled tofu was alright but something was off about the spice or way it was served and it was not as good as I come to expect in many Melbourne Cafes.
Lunch on the other hand was had in Glebe at Iku Wholefood on Glebe Point road, a chain of stores around Sydney (10 all up), they are a Vegan cafe, with a whole variety of interesting and yummy mains and desserts ("cheesecake" made vegan with tofu and other yummy ingredients for example). I had a rather yummy tofu pocket and a pasta based fritata. Jane had a bean and rice dish with two different flavoured pinto bean dishes, the sweet potato and arame was really good and the pinto bean tomato casserole was also enjoyable. Yummmmmmm.
I wonder what we will do for breakfast tomorrow...
Tue, 20 Jan 2009
Sirens Vegetarian restaurant in Hobart - 15:08
I took some photos there last night but they really do not show off the place well. It is a nice location on Victoria st down near the water, the restaurant decor is very north african feeling (morocco, egypt, or even turkish I guess). The food was really good.
We started off with a fresh baked flat bread accompanied by fresh made dips. I had an Asian inspired (with a miso soup or something) mushroom dumpling dish for main and then had a vegan Trifle for desert. Others had a roast much room with avocado tequila dish, or a pasta dish that looked good (though was not vegan) or a few other options.
They also coped well with a sudden large influx of people they probably did not expect on a Monday night, I booked for 10, we had maybe 20 all up on top of the non conference people that would have been there anyway. Anyway if you are looking for some good food in Hobart give it a try. They have no web site however are easily found via google.
Wed, 07 Jan 2009
Sat, 20 Dec 2008
Thu, 27 Nov 2008
Filling the void somewhat - 19:38
The sad thing is Bernadette's closed a few years ago leaving Canberra with greatly decreased vegetarian dining options. The good news is in the last year two new places have opened that bring back the Cafe experience (breakfasts and lunches), one of those is Satis at Watson shops and the other is My Rainbow Dreams at Dickson shops (between the post office and Hudsons) run and owned by Sri Chimnoy students. I of course am used to Sri Chimnoy from the racing side of things.
Though I like Satis, it does not stand out, maybe because they are not incredibly vegan friendly, who knows, though I like it, I do not feel the need to visit there regularly. Rainbow dreams on the other hand is really good. They always have a variety of yummy sweets (cakes, cookies, chocolates) that are vegan. They have vegan ice cream and can do smoothies and milkshakes. Their scrambled tofu is really tasty and so far every time I have had it I have enjoyed it.
On top of their standard menu they often have a yummy vegan bake of the day, they have a number of different soups and curries and pies available for take home meals. You can also read a bit about Sri Chinmoy there and buy some of the books (plus they have other interesting items to buy unrelated to Sri). Also you can buy ice cream cones from them which should appeal to more than just the Vegetarian crowd, maybe that will help hook them.
I also have had a few good talks with the people working there and am glad to hear they are enjoying doing the vegan cooking and baking, also they are interested in trying new recipes and I will probably exchange recipes with them from time to time. After all more Chai Latte Cupcakes being made anywhere would rock.
Every time I have eaten there (I have tried to get there once a fortnight for a while now) I have enjoyed the food and been greeted by friendly staff. I really would recommend it to anyone, not only vegetarians, they make an effort to show how good really healthy food can taste for anyone. I am happy to see My Rainbow Dreams successfully bringing some really good vegetarian/vegan food back to Canberra.
Tue, 21 Oct 2008
Another great few days of food in Melbourne - 22:26
Arrival was Saturday afternoon, stayed with friends and had home cooked food, then Sunday morning brunch was had at Invita (scrambled tofu and a number of yummy cakes/muffins were eaten/sampled), dinner that night I wanted to go to Lentil As Anything again however the St Kilda restaurant had run out of food by 8pm and it was too late to get to another. Fortunately there was a Mr Natural (the pumpkin pizza and vegan pizzas were both tried, both with Vegan cheese on top also) vegetarian pizza outlet across the road. They have vegan cheese and all was well. Their pizzas were good, though not as spectacular as I had hoped.
Monday morning brunch was at Soulfood (Vegan big breakfast and a number of muffins and cakes were sampled/eaten) which was good, then dinner at Soul Mama (I had the medium, which allowed me my choice of rice and 4 of the dishes to be served with it, all I tried were very good) in St Kilda (on the waters edge in the baths complex) which was large, vegetarian, fantastic view sitting looking over Port Phillip bay and a large variety to choose from at pretty good prices. Lots of yumminess.
This morning I met up with an mtb friend for breakfast, once more at Soulfood, then had a soy chai later in the day at Invita again, then I had lunch at Vegie Bar (Mee Goreng which is hokkein noodles, tofu, mushrooms, tomato sort of sauce with some chile, veggies and a peanut sauce) before flying back to Canberra this afternoon.
Oh and I had the chance a few times over the trip to go past Lord of The Fries again and actually was able to try out the vegan nuggets, definitely yummy and highly recommended.
Thu, 18 Sep 2008
Pip... - 18:41
In their place is a larger variety of mandarins, however most of them seem sour. There are large mandarins, small mandarins most of them seem to have tight fitting skin and they all seem to contain a lot of seeds. Today 2 of the 7 pieces of fruit/veg I had on my desk at work to eat during the day were mandarins of the sour, small, tight skinned and many seeded variety. I was amazed to find there were 20 seeds in a piece of fruit so small when I ate my first, so it was even more surprising to find there were 30 seeds in the second mandarin today. How can there be so many seeds in such a small piece of fruit and still have any fruit surrounding them.
Mon, 11 Aug 2008
Tue, 05 Aug 2008
Roti round 2 - 16:01
This time I used a heavy base stainless steel pan, not quite a Tawa, however I think it is the closest easily available item I had to use. I added a little bit (a few dribbles) of oil to the dough mix before starting to add water. The pan was cleaned off between the cooking of each individual Roti. A quick spray of canola oil was used on the pan surface between each Roti rather than excessive amounts floating in a wok as happened in round 1. Oh and I used self raising flour wholemeal flour.
The bread tasted and felt a lot healthier than round 1, less oil throughout. The bubbles appeared during cooking once the pan base was hot enough, the first two or three Roti were cooked before the pan was hot enough I think. The main problem this time was the bread was not as flaky as good Roti often is when you get it at a restaurant, this may mean I need to fold it over some dribbles of oil once the dough is made as some sites suggested. The other even more annoying problem was that the good bubbly Roti was awfully dry, so it cracked when handled and bent a lot rather than a nice malleable bread you can easily tear and scoop with. I wonder if making the dough just a little moister will help with the dry feeling.
As yummy as it all was it took a lot longer and was more labour intensive to make Roti than simply heat or cook some brown rice, thus I think I will keep Roti for occasional meals and when eating out and stick to brown rice with most of my curries and other Roti friendly dishes.
Mon, 04 Aug 2008
Roti round 1 - 16:32
On the whole they were still yummy and very enjoyable with the curry to eat and scoop the curry with. However I think too much oil was used in the cooking, and I used a wok, I should have used a heavy based pan or similar. Anyway I learnt a bit and plan to try again, definitely a good basic bread to make and tastes yummy fresh and hot with a curry or similar.
Thu, 24 Jul 2008
Wines from Plonk! - 17:32
It occurred to me that Mum and her partner drink wine with food and like to try out a variety of different wines. After getting some wine recommendations from Jane I set about finding somewhere to buy some nice wines from knowledgeable staff. I had Plonk at the Fyshwick Markets suggested and they sounded good as they focus on smaller labels and more variety than you may find from a large bottle shop chain.
I grabbed my car from home at lunch today and drove over to have a look, I walked away with what I think will be a reasonably nice gift of 8 bottles of wine from them, 6 whites and two reds. The wines I got are.
The Tohu comes from Marlborough region of New Zealand, apparently this is quite an award winning wine. Three of the wines as you can see are very much local and the others are all Australian. I liked the guys I talked to in the shop and we even talked about the possibility of them supporting some mountain bike stuff with CORC.
Mon, 21 Jul 2008
My weekend in food - 13:47
I suppose I could say it all started on Friday evening before catching the flight down when I made some pizzas topped with organic tomato paste, onions, pumpkin, fresh tomatoes, mushrooms, olives, capsicum, sun-dried tomatoes and kingland soy cheese. Yummmm, ate too much and then got a lift to the airport, the plane was running late which was fortunate because dinner took a bit longer than expected.
Saturday morning Soulfood Cafe was the venue for breakfast, Jane (sister) was in Melbourne for a few weeks for PhD conferences and research, also a mtb friend moved to Melbourne recently and is living a block or two away from Soul food in Fitzroy so they were at breakfast to catch up. Had a yummy chocolate cup cake, a blueberry muffin, a big veggie breakfast and a fruit salad, oh and a great soy mocha.
Lunch was had at Vegie Bar with a slightly laksa like broth that contained some very good sesame dumplings, some good Roti with Dhal and then a spectacular stuffed vegan mushroom. Dinner that night was at Lentil As Anything in St Kilda, getting there late there was not a lot left, however what was there was fantastic. A really yummy spicy pumpkin soup followed by a curry platter (a beetroot curry that worked well due to the sweet beetroot and savoury curry, a Moroccan hot pot curry and a pea and potato curry of some sort. Both the dishes were served with good Roti once again. At the end of this day I was somewhat full of food and almost rolling around the streets I think.
Sunday morning was breakfast at InVita Cafe at the Queen Vic markets, they had fresh out of the oven hot vegan blueberry muffins that were to die for which I followed with scrambled tofu on pumpkin bread. Lunch was at Silly Yaks cafe in Northcote where I was able to tuck into a Mexican bean burrito with salad and a good bruschetta (the bread had an obvious potato taste but was actually fairly good I thought). This was followed a few metres down the road at Coco Loco, an organic, fair trade chocolate bar. They had vegan Chocolate Mousse that was fantastic, rich, creamy, held its fluff and worked really well (something I really want to work out how to make, maybe using agar and soft tofu in a blender will help... who knows), vegan waffles in deep rich dark chocolate and they had something they call Kashew Mylk, somewhat obviously a milk made using Cashews. So I had a rich dark chocolate and orange hot chocolate with the Kashew Mylk. All very satisfying.
At one point on Saturday evening I had wanted a snack and Lord of the Fries seemed appropriate. So I had a cone of fries with French Canadian sauce (using vegan cheese) and damn that was good (though definitely waistline expanding) this on Sunday afternoon heading toward the airport I wanted to try out their Vegan nuggets, alas they were out of stock, however I had more fries with the same sauce and a yummy vegan hamburger. Then ran for the airport thinking the plane would be leaving before I got there. Upon arrival at the airport they rushed the checking and then the plane was delayed for 2 hours. Oh well I had a fun, if somewhat waist expanding Melbourne weekend.
Mon, 07 Jul 2008
Cooking breakages - 13:40
While I was trying to press some ingredients down into a blender I cracked the handle of one wooden spoon. So I got another wooden spoon out of the drawer and then while pushing the same ingredients down I pushed a little too far and the blender tore a chunk from the middle of the spoon. Oops too wooden spoons sacrificed in the name of the dinner party. All the food was incredibly yummy, the 12 people at the dinner all had a great evening and all I really need to do now is go and buy myself more wooden spoons. Maybe I had better buy a few spares. Oh and no one there was allergic to wooden spoons, so all was fine.
Fri, 04 Jul 2008
Looking for some ingredients - 14:18
I have also rung a few Asian grocery shops, one of them said they had Cassava so I could head out there, however I have not found Plantains yet. I guess I should check out the Fyshwick Markets tomorrow to see if I have any luck there.
Sun, 15 Jun 2008
Yummy new dinner - 22:34
Next time I think, for a bit more bulk, and for the colour variety, I will do some potatos mashed and in the mix as well so I can swirl the orange and white colours together on top.
Mon, 21 Apr 2008
Cookie recipes galore - 10:28
Some of these really do look wonderful, as soon as I can exercise again (and thus burn off excessive amounts of chocolate, sugar and butter) I need to look into trying out a lot of these. I think Crash should show the list to Jo, after all I know she likes to bake the odd yummy item, and he benefits from that anyway. Maybe I should challenge Jo to a long term bake off, we could both bake one of these recipes a week, swap some of the finished product and try them all out over 25 weeks or so.
Wed, 09 Jan 2008
Count the superfoods - 14:38
Of those mentioned, so far today I have eaten Apples, Avocado, Blueberries, Dark Chocolate, Honey, Low fat yoghurt, Oats, Oranges, Tea, Tomatoes, and dried Apricots (Dried superfruits). I expect by the time dinner is over I will have added Beans, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Garlic and Onions at least.
Of course one problem is trying to eat these in suggested quantities, such as 1-2 cups of fresh blueberries per day, a practice which simply is not economically viable in Australia (even if you had weekly access to the fresh blueberry farm). I suppose some people would point out I tend to be a bit of a health and fitness nut here though, after all I have also done 50 KM of fast paced road riding today, a stretching class and on Wednesday evenings would normally do a 10KM paddling time trial too.
The interesting thing here I think is that I had not even considered my food intake against the superfood list until I looked it up, so realistically anyone could be careful about eating healthy even if they are not in the mood for the amount of exercise I participate in.
Thu, 03 Jan 2008
When crass commercialism is a good thing - 19:13
I have mentioned in the past that the annual festival of the spicy fruit bun is a good thing because I adore hot cross buns. I could almost live on the things (okay ignoring for a moment they do not contain enough of a balanced diet to do that). I am able to purchase hot cross buns in Woolworths already, in early January, I do not need to wait until March. Rock on.
In other news I just realised my leisure/food category had completely disappeared from my laptop, probably during a recent fsck. Time to look through my laptop backups and compare against what is on the system to see if anything else is missing that should not be.
Fri, 18 Aug 2006
Wed, 16 Aug 2006
Snicker Doodles - 22:41
Tea with a coconut aftertaste - 21:42
As for things to do up here, I am tempted tomorrow to head up to Mareeba to some local coffee plantations and a Mango Winery as mentioned in this food itinerary. I love fresh coffee, and Mango wine sounds good.
Tue, 15 Aug 2006
Yummy eggplant bake - 10:19
In the Body and Soul section of the Sunday Telegraph on July 16th this year there were three very appealing recipes. Spicy Fish Soup with Cracked Wheat, Easy Eggplant Bake and Pumpkin, Pine Nut and Silverbeet Rolls. I have been meaning to try these out for a while, however had not gotten around to changing my normal shopping and food preparation for meals at home. While on holiday I decided to try them out so last night I cooked the Easy Eggplant Bake (recipe) for Sam, Ben and I to eat for dinner.
That is definitely one fantastic vegetarian dish, highly recommended, the garlic and the nutty flavour of the dry roasted couscous are good with the eggplant base. I will probably try the pumpkin, pine nut and silverbeet rolls on Thursday.
Tue, 08 Aug 2006
There goes an 8 year stretch - 22:28
Around 6am on Sunday morning after getting out of a warm sleeping bag out at the race venue for the working week series 8 hour mtb race, as Russ and I started setting up the site ready for the 6:30am rego arrivals and getting everything happening for the race that day Stu (the race promoter) rocked up and handed us both Bacon and Egg muffins. Who was I to turn down free hot food containing bacon.
I guess the main reason I have avoided McDonalds (and since trying it for the first time ever 3 years ago also avoiding Hungry Jacks) is I do not like the taste of most of the food on offer and it is never particularly healthy even if it tastes alright. There is almost always better tasting or healthier (or both better tasting and healthier) food available so I do not see any point in consuming the food on offer from these ubiquitous fast food providers.
I would however live on Bacon and Egg rolls if that were possible so eating a Bacon and Egg muffin almost fits with in that dietary plan. Mmmmm Bacon.
Fri, 02 Jun 2006
Oops a rather nice wine - 23:40
Fri, 05 May 2006
I really do not like the coffee produced by the coffee machine in the office at work (some expensive automatic Saeco machine) and thus never drink it, instead I buy my own coffee and at work prepare it in a single cup filter. I have thought from time to time it may be good to have a coffee machine in my office at work so as to make reasonable coffee however I could not get around how inescapably pretentious that would be. This AeroPress however can even be put away in a drawer.
So I bought one, it arrived this morning (AUD $54 delivered, overnight, from the Australian distributor CoffeePress) and I am converted, this does indeed produce coffee as good as can be made in a quality machine.
Sun, 23 Apr 2006
The close of the Spicy Fruit Bun Festival again - 13:40
Sun, 16 Apr 2006
Good dinner - 23:01
The main I cooked was Chicken with Mango, very yummy. With it I made a salad from a variety of lettuce's (is that the plural of lettuce?), pine nuts, sesame seeds, avocado, capsicum, feta, lebanese cucumber, tomato and snow peas all chopped fine to make it easy to get on a fork. Dessert was rice pudding spooned on to a bed of banana, strawberry and peaches with honey dribbled over the top.
Good night with friends, enjoyable dinner, some good wine, followed by a fun game. This game is sort of like Pictionary with words rather than pictures. The game is called Articulate (some reviews of Articulate), I enjoyed playing it quite a lot. It is however a game (much like Pictionary) that is biased if played by people who know each other really well (such as close siblings). Jane and I tend to be scary with our ability to almost read each other's mind in Pictionary and being able to speak and bring easy free association into play in this game I suspect we would also do well. Jane and I played on different teams tonight for the good of the game play.
I also baked up some more cookies today in order to take on a mtb ride tomorrow morning.
Fri, 24 Mar 2006
FHFC - 14:03
On the riding Mt Ainslie note, it is the fastest road descent in Canberra, largely due to the lack of corners, I have exceeded 90Kmh coming down that road from time to time and I know a few people who have passed 100Kmh on the descent. Climbing wise it is also one of the harder climbs in Canberra, it is deceptively easy at the bottom and then gets increasingly difficult and steep as you approach the top. Time wise most people will climb it in about the same time they do Black Mountain, possibly a minute or so faster.
Mon, 13 Mar 2006
The spicy fruit bun festival is back, this time with chocolate - 16:57