Red Robyn, Camberwell

Standard

The weekend before last, the Bear and I took a bike ride out to my folks place. Upon arrival, we decided to head over to Camberwell with them to get a bite to eat for a late lunch. I had been wanting to check out the Red Robyn for some time after hearing them described as an ‘allergy friendly cafe’ – catering for a number of different dietary requirements, including vegan, fructose allergies, nut allergies and FODMAP diets. Everything on the menu is also gluten-free and soy-free. Wowzers.

The cafe itself is on a quiet part of Camberwell rd, and you could quite easily fly right past it without noticing if it were not from the cute little red robin sign out the front. Inside, the place is warm and bright, with splashes of red throughout to fit with the theme.

redrobin2 I wasn’t sure if we were going to be let in as we were cutting it quite close to kitchen closing time, however we were welcomed with a smile, and provided with lovely service throughout. I started with a coffee while I perused the menu a little further.

redrobinThere were many dishes that caught my eye, but ultimately I went with this one. Ask me what it is. I can’t remember! I think it was some sort of smoky eggplant and potato croquette, with a fresh salsa. Wow my memory is failing me terribly. I really need to take care if I plan to write about a meal!

Regardless, I remember it was tasty. My mum, dad and the bear all went with non-vegan options, and all commented on how much they enjoyed their meals too. On the way out, I was told that there are usually plenty of vegan sweets on offer, including vanilla slice (be still my heart!) so I DEFINITELY have good reason to return.

Red Robyn
393 Camberwell Rd, Camberwell
Mon – Fri – 7.30am – 3pm
Sat – Sun – 8.30am – 3.30pm
(kitchen shuts 30 mins prior to close)

Music for your Mouth MoFo Wrap Up

Standard

Hello! Hi! Hola!

I had a bit of an impromptu week and a half off after MoFo, just to catch my breath. But now I’m back, and with awesome news. Drum roll pleaaasseee…..I won a MoFie!

mofieHell yeah! Thanks MoFo judges, I certainly had fun and am glad you’ve enjoyed the sweet sweet tunes too. Head over to the official Vegan MoFo site to check out the full list of MoFie winners. Thank you to all my readers old and new and everybody who participated in MoFo and made it rockin’. See you next year!  \m/

And without further adieu, here is a pictorial summary of my thirty days of MoFo, following the theme of Music for your Mouth:

                              bread lemonheads honeycombs3

                              blindmelon2 chillipeppers pb3

                              chuckberry2 neutralmilk2 smashingpump1

                              vanillafudge marthamuffins infectedmush6

                               zombievanillaicee3 jello3

                              fionaapple4 spicegirls3 cake1

                              bananasplit hotchoc soup1

                              blondie3 thejam1 cream4

                              cherry1 orange1 saltnpepa1

                              peaches2 burrito2 custard2

30 days, hoooooly mackerel! This was only my second year MoFoing, but certainly my best effort to date. I can’t believe I managed a post every single day (take a good look folks, it may not ever happen again). I had tried to be organised this year to stay one step ahead of the game, but I did feel a little in the deep end, particularly towards the end of the month. There’s always something to aspire to and next year it will be to be even MORE organised. Ha!

Thanks for dropping by, stay tuned as we return to regular programming.

One more song to take us to the close. It isn’t an edible audio, but I think totally appropriate. Plus I was bummed I didn’t get to squeeze Freddy Mercury in anywhere else, so y’know…

veganmofo

Music for your Mouth: Custard

Standard

DAY 30!!!

Can you even believe it? What a month it’s been! Although I planned to attempt a recipe per day for the month, I never expected I would stay on top of it. But here I am – day 30 of 30. I am actually quite proud of my efforts.

I’ve had a lot of fun playing around with food and music this month, although it has also taken a bit out of me. I had thought with a tiny bit of pre-planning, the whole event would be a cinch. Not the case. There were definitely ups and downs, mini kitchen meltdowns and whole recipes thrown away. Not to mention the extra expenses involved – I didn’t see that one coming! Perhaps next year my theme will have to be cheap eats…But anyway, we made it. Hoorah! I think we all deserve a big pat on the back.

Not only have I had my own cooking fun, but I’ve also loved connecting up with the worldwide vegan community. I’ve kept up with many of the blogs I usually read, but also pretty much doubled my reader with brand new (to me) blogs from all over the place. I still haven’t quite made my way through the MoFo Around the World page, but will hopefully get a chance to over the next week or so. It’s been so nice meeting you all and I want to thank you all for the lovely comments you’ve been leaving.

In the next few days I’ll do a round up of sorts and reflect on the month just gone, but for now I have one last musical treat for you. CUSTARD! I’m bring it back to home base with these guys, who are an Australian band that formed in the ’90s. To be honest, I don’t really know how big the band was worldwide, but I remember a whole stack of songs from them from the ’90s – they are so catchy. The most popular, Girls Like That (Don’t Go For Guys Like Us) has such a catchy riff and was played a lot on Rage and I think even Triple J – if you haven’t heard it, give it a listen below.

custard2 This was one of the recipes that took me a few gos. I had never tried to bake soy custard before, and so firstly decided to attempt a custard mix using silken tofu. I used beautiful rhubarb from my mum and dad’s garden, however the custard didn’t quite cut it – was too spongy – and the crust was too thick.

custard3This time I just used the basic custard recipe from the custard powder box (check that you get a vegan brand as some have milk or egg in them), popped some berries in it (after running out of rhubarb) and chucked it in the oven. It turned out better than I expected. Probably could do with some more tweaking, but uh, it’s DAY 30 MoFo’s!!!

custard5

Custard and Berry Tarts
(makes 6)

Crust:
1 1/2 cups flour
2/3 cup nuttelex, cold
2 Tbsp icing sugar
Pinch of salt
2 Tbsp ice water

Filling
1/4 cup custard powder
3 Tbsp coconut sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups non-dairy milk

Handful of mixed berries – about 1/3 cup plus extra for topping

Mix flour, salt and sugar together in a bowl. Add nuttelex in small chunks, then rub together with your fingers until mix becomes like crumbs. Add water one tablespoon at a time until mixture can form a ball. Cover and chill in the fridge for half an hour.

Preheat oven to 180C and grease six small tart tins. Separate dough into six balls. There may even be enough dough for a seventh, however I only had six tins so ya know. On a floured surface, roll each piece of dough out into a circle, about one centimetre thick. Press dough into tins, cutting off any extra. Make a couple of fork pricks in the bottom of each tart, then put some pastry weights on top of each and bake for 15 minutes, until lightly golden. Remove from oven, allow to cool slightly and remove pastry weights.

In a saucepan, stir together custard powder and sugar. Add a couple of tablespoons of milk and whisk into a thick paste. Add remaining milk slowly and put over medium heat. Stir continuously with a whisk as the mixture begins to thicken – it is amazing how quickly lumps form if you get a bit lax. Once mixture has thickened – about ten minutes – stir in vanilla. Remove from heat.

Place a couple of berries in the bottom of each tart shell. Distribute custard amongst tart shells, then return to oven for fifteen minutes, until custard sets.

Remove from oven and allow to cool.

For the topping, I grabbed a few extra berries, one teaspoon of agave and a dash of vanilla and cooked down into a sort of coulis.

custard7Gotta love an inside shot. It reminds me of Peter Everett on Ready Stead Cook. My, how he loved to see food ooze.

custard4

What the hey, it’s the last day, here’s another one!

Congratulations everyone, it’s been a blast! Peace ouuuwwwwttttt!

veganmofo

Music for your Mouth: The Flying Burrito Brothers

Standard

Hands up if you can believe MoFo’s last day is tomorrow?! I know, last week I felt like I had been MoFo-ing forever, now it seems as though it’s disappeared so fast. What a month it’s been.

So uh, the Flying Burrito Brothers are a country rock band. Yeah, I’ve been waiting to drop this bomb on you! I’m going to share two videos with you at the bottom. The first one because you just have to watch Gram Parsons’ eyebrows. They are seriously hypnotising. Secondly, I’m playing their cover of Wild Horses because I love the song. Enjoy.

burrito2The burritos I’ve made to go with the band are inspired a little by the tofu asada burritos at Trippy Taco. Any Melbournite will know what I’m talking about – smoky tofu goodness. Thank you liquid smoke, you little beauty. I had never heard of this magic stuff prior to my vegan days, now it is my secret weapon. Love the stuff!

These were my favourite burritos I’ve ever made, and I even had the compliment that they were better than the Trippy Taco ones, however that may or may not have been to make me feel good. Sorry about the foil wrapping, I rarely use foil – and buy the recycled stuff when I do – but I just could not get this burrito to stay together for a photo. Once again, I overstuffed my burrito to the point of eruption. When will I learn?

Smoky Tofu Burritos
(Makes 2)

2 tortillas
250g firm tofu

1 Tbsp coconut oil

Marinade:
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp liquid smoke
Juice of 1 orange
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp lime juice
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
Dash of cinnamon

Salsa:
1 tsp coconut oil
1/4 red onion, diced
1 green chili, finely chopped
1 tomato, diced
1/4 of a red capsicum, diced
1/4 of a green capsicum, diced
2 tsp lime juice
2 Tbsp fresh coriander
Salt to taste

Filling:
Basically whatever you want! I used:
Lettuce
Avocado
Vegan Cheese

First up, press your tofu good and well so it can absorb as much marinade as possible. I did the old fashioned way – with tea towels and a couple of phone books for a few hours. Once pressed, cut your tofu into cubes. Mix together all marinade ingredients and chuck the tofu in. Marinate for AT LEAST one hour, if not overnight.

To make the salsa, heat teaspoon of coconut oil over medium high heat and add onion and chili and saute until onion becomes translucent. Add capsicum and tomato and cook until tomato breaks down, about 5-10 mins.

Add lime juice, salt and coriander and stir through. Remove from heat and set aside.

To cook the tofu, heat tablespoon of coconut oil in a fry pan over medium high heat. Add tofu cubes and cook for about ten to fifteen minutes, turning occasionally, until just about all the edges are slightly crispy. Turn down heat to low and pour leftover marinade over the tofu, stirring so that it coats all the pieces. Remove from heat.

Assemble your burrito! I’m not going to tell you how to do this! Well okay, what I did was smoosh some avocado on, put some lettuce down, heap on some tofu, sprinkle on some cheese, and drip on some salsa. Wrap and stuff in mouth.

burrito3

Oh and just for fun, I’m sending this over to my friend Liz at I Spy Plum Pie for her new Meatless Monday linkup. Head over and check out the recipes starting to pool up over there!

veganmofo

Music for your Mouth: Peaches/The Moldy Peaches

Standard

Nothing moldy about these peaches! They did, due to the fact that it is not quite stone fruit season here, come from a can and we could assume that they were put there by a man…in a factory down townnnnnn. Yep. Uhuh.

I’m just doubling up bands now as an excuse to play multiple songs to ya. I can’t remember if I said this already, but when I started planning for MoFo I compiled a list of foodie bands, and I well exceeded the thirty I needed for the month. So wherever I can, I’m trying to squidge more in.

First up, Peaches – duh. But today I’m featuring a song by Peaches and Iggy Pop, because I love the dude, and also you get to watch a video of them fighting off zombies. Wins all round!

Secondly, the Moldy Peaches. I guess peaches are not so edible once they are mouldy, but they are still fun to listen to because Kimya Dawson is cute.

peaches2I had some leftover cherries from the cherry ripe balls I made the other night, so decided to team them up with some peaches for a classic crumble. It worked out EXTREMELY well, as I also had some leftover ginger ice cream from the other other night. My testers for this recipe – Mum, Dad and the Bear all loved it. I always love desserts in ramekins where you feel special for getting your own little pot of something.

peaches3Usually when I make a crumble, I just put the fruit, some lemon (sometimes) and spices together for the base – I personally don’t think it needs any more than that. I like my crumbles to be a bit tart and tangy rather than overly sweet – I leave the sweetness for the crumble topping. Because I used tinned and frozen fruit for this one though the fruit was quite juicy – hence adding the flour to thicken it up and create a saucier texture rather than a pool of liquid at the bottom. If you prefer a sweeter crumble, feel free to omit the lemon and add a sweetener.

peaches1

Peach and Cherry Crumbles
(makes 4)

2 cups peaches
2 cups cherries
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup flour

Topping:
1 cup oats
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
3 Tbsp coconut oil, firm
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 180C.

In a large bowl, place peaches, cherries, lemon juice, zest, cinnamon and flour. Stir until well combined. Distribute mix amongst four ramekins.

In a small bowl, all ingredients except the coconut oil and vanilla, and stir well. Add coconut oil in small chunks, and vanilla, and stir through – I did this with my hands. Ensure all the oat mixture has gotten some moisture, if you need more oil, add it by the teaspoon.

Distribute crumble amongst ramekins. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until top is golden and crispy.

Serve with ginger or vanilla ice cream, custard or non-dairy cream.

peaches4 peaches5Millions of peaches, peaches for me!

veganmofo

Music for your Mouth: Salt N Pepa

Standard

Yeah you all knew this day was coming. I actually developed my list of bands at the very start of MoFo, so I have been holding out on you all with this one. HOW COULD I NOT FEATURE SALT N PEPA?!?

saltnpepa1 I wasn’t particularly creative in what I would make for this one – I always intended to do salt and pepper tofu. I probably should have created more of a challenge, but hey, this is delicious (and it is too late in the month for big challenges). Plus, I have never had super great luck with it – I’ve only attempted it twice before and neither time I got it quite right (or I made a big mess of the ‘cubes’).

saltnpepa2So I’m pretty happy with this, and happy with my return to the grass backdrop. It reminds me of the pictures I took while we were living in the van, where the ground was our table. Haha. Anyway, doesn’t it just highlight the green spring onions so beautifully?!

saltnpepa3

Salt and Pepper Tofu

250g firm silken tofu
4 Tbsp cornflour
1 Tbsp sea salt, powdered
1 Tbsp white pepper
Dash of chilli (optional – white pepper already gives it a little tingle)
1 spring onion
1 small chili
Coconut oil

Drain your tofu, and handling it carefully, cut it into cubes.

Mix cornflour, salt, pepper and chili on a plate.

Dredge each piece of tofu through the cornflour mix, ensuring each side gets covered.

Heat coconut oil until very hot. Depending on your tools and stuff, you might want to use a wok and one of those wire net thingos. I don’t have one, so I just used a small saucepan. I put enough coconut oil in the pot that would cover half a piece of tofu – maybe about a centimetre and a half? (Sorry, didn’t measure the quantity of oil I used – just put it in).

When the oil is very hot (you can test this by flicking a drop of water into it – it should sizzle and bubble rapidly), carefully place tofu into the oil, a couple of pieces at a time. Let it cook for a minute or so before carefully flipping it with a fork to cook the other half. Remove from oil once a slightly golden crust has formed – drain on paper towel.

Chop up spring onion and chili to serve.

These did not last long with the (cleanly shaven) Bear around. I literally got like three of them.

saltnpepa4Look how fast his hand is moving to his face! It’s just a blur!

saltnpepa5At least I know they got the seal of approval.

saltnpepa6How does one choose just one Salt N Pepa song to play? Yeah, gonna go with this one…so ’80s cool.

veganmofo

Music for your Mouth: Agent Orange/Orange Juice

Standard

Another double shot of tunes today with Agent Orange – a punky, surfy band from the late ’70s, and Orange Juice – a post-punk, Scottish band. It’s kind of strange to present to you a salad in association with a band whose namesake is a herbicide used during the Vietnam War, but I assure you there are no crop destroying chemicals in this dish.

It’s another throw together simple salad which is great to take along to a barbecue or put on the Christmas table. I have no idea about pomegranates. I had my first taste of them only a couple of years ago – my mum served one with breakfast on a special occasion – maybe Christmas? I have had one since then, not including this one. So I had no idea what I was doing when I was trying to select a ripe one, nor get the seeds out. What a strange strange fruit. I’ve been seeing them in so many recipes lately and I guess I just thought they would look pretty in a salad.

orange1

Orange, Avocado and Pomegranate Salad

3 cups salad leaves – I used a mix of baby spinach and rocket
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 avocado, sliced
2 small navel oranges
1/3 cup pomegranate seeds

Dressing:
Juice of half an orange
1 tsp orange zest
Juice of half a lime
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp agave nectar
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 Tbsp coriander
Salt and pepper to taste

Cut your oranges into slices. It’s probably easier to slice them then cut the skin off – the first one I did I peeled first and then tried to slice it up – it was a juicy juicy mess.

Throw all salad ingredients in a bowl.

Put all dressing ingredients in a blender and blend to combine. Pour over salad.

Easy.

orange2

veganmofo

Music for your Mouth: Eagle Eye Cherry/Wild Cherry

Standard

Another double shot for you – Eagle Eye Cherry and Wild Cherry…very VERY different, but both edible audibles. I’m going to cut straight to the chase otherwise I might not get this post in before midnight – I have literally just finished making these. Apologies for the shitty photos, it is 11pm and the lighting is TERRIBLE! I had a camera in one hand while trying to hold a lamp behind my head all the while thinking about being asleep in bed.

cherry4Cherries are not in season here at the moment, so I’ve used dried and fresh in this recipe. I was originally planning to make a raw cherry ripe slice, but lost the motivation to complete it and thought that balls would be less work. It never works out that way though, and I was stuck tediously dunking individual balls into chocolate rather than just pouring it in a tray and letting it set. Oh well, you live and learn, don’t you?

cherry3

Cherry Ripe Balls
(makes a bunch)

1 cup cashews
1 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup dates
1/3 cup frozen cherries
2 Tbsp rice bran syrup
1 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut

150g dark chocolate
OR
100g dark chocolate + 1 Tbsp coconut oil

Put cashews in food processor or blender and process until they resemble coarse crumbs. Add cherries, dates, frozen cherries, rice bran syrup, vanilla and salt and blend until combined.

Transfer to a bowl and stir through coconut. If mix is too moist, add a little more coconut.

Roll into balls and place in the freezer to set.

In a double boiler, melt chocolate. I didn’t have enough chocolate to use it alone, hence adding coconut oil to make it spread further. I would have liked to do just chocolate and get a nice thick shell, but these were really good too. Coat each ball in chocolate and return to freezer until set. Voila!

cherry1

veganmofo

Music for your Mouth: Cream (with Ginger Baker)

Standard

See what I did there? Yeahhhh!

Cream are awesome. I like listening to them in the car, where I can groove along by myself and remain calm in traffic. They are good for that. Also check out young Eric Clapton, isn’t he funky?

Ice cream is also good! It is delicious and I love it. Not to toot my own horn but this ice cream is PARTICULARLY tasty. I don’t know that I’ve had ginger ice cream before but it definitely won’t be the last time I have it.

cream3The addition of crystallised ginger is really great here, and I suspect some crumbled up gingernut cookies would also be delicious. THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS!

cream1

Ginger Ice Cream with Caramel Sauce

Ice cream:
400ml coconut cream
400ml coconut milk
1/2 cup rice malt syrup
1/4 cup minced fresh ginger
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup crystallised ginger, chopped into small pieces
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 Tbsp arrowroot
1 Tbsp vodka

Caramel sauce
400ml coconut cream
1/3 cup brown sugar
Pinch of salt

For the ice cream – Put 1/4 cup of coconut milk in a small bowl and set aside. Place remaining coconut cream, coconut milk and ginger in a pot and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Turn of heat and steep for 15 minutes.

Pour milk through a strainer and return to pot.  Add rice malt syrup and vanilla and return to heat.

Add arrowroot, nutmeg and cinnamon to the 1/4 cup of coconut milk and whisk with a fork. Pour into pot and whisk well. Cook over medium heat while whisking continuously until mixture begins to thicken. Remove from heat and stir in vodka.

Pour mix into a bowl and allow to cool completely. When cooled, transfer to ice cream maker and let it do its magic. If you don’t have a maker, pour into a tray and place in the freezer. Every half an hour return to the freezer to whisk the mix until it has set completely.

Once ice cream maker has done it’s thing, stir through crystallised ginger. Now you can eat it as soft serve or place into the freezer until set!

For the caramel sauce, bring coconut cream, sugar and salt to a boil in a small pot, then turn down to a simmer. Allow to simmer, stirring every now and then, until the sauce reduces and thickens.

cream2

Now I am off to watch the Bear play his first gig in a new band. I hope they are as rocking as this:

veganmofo

Music for your Mouth: The Jam

Standard

The Jam! Another one of those bands that I’m sure you know, even if you don’t think you do. Have a listen and I swear you will.

I am running out of wind a little with MoFo now, though am on the final stretch. Just one week to go! It has been really fun, but also really time consuming, as you can all understand. I have posted every day this year, which I hope I can carry through the last week. Ahhhhhhhh. I’m sure there will be a collective sigh of relief at the end of the month, combined with the disappointment of no longer having a never-ending supply of wacky themed recipes and delicious posts. Until next year!

Anyway, I’m jumping the gun a little. Let’s get back to the food.

Pretty straight to the point recipe here – jam. Lately I have noticed a lot of talk about chia jam. I watched with amazement as Veganopoulous and Johanna at Green Gourmet Giraffe whipped up batches of the stuff. As soon as I realised just how simple it was, I was in. And I’m so glad I was! This is so easy and delicious, and isn’t overpoweringly sweet. The chia seeds remind me of raspberry seeds, just like in my Granny’s homemade jam.

thejam1

Apple Berry Chia Jam
(makes 2 jars)

3 cups strawberries, chopped
1 cup raspberries
2 green apples, peeled, cored and chopped or grated

1 Tbsp lemon juice
3 Tbsp agave nectar
1 vanilla bean
3 Tbsp chia seeds

Place strawberries, raspberries, apple, lemon juice and agave nectar in a pot and heat over medium-low heat. The apple can be chopped or grated, depending on whether you like chunks in your jam or prefer it smoother. As we are not using kilos of sugar like you do in normal jam, you may not wish to add the lemon juice. I like the tartness, however if your fruit is not very sweet it might be too much. If you need to add more agave to sweeten your fruit to your liking, do so.

Allow fruit to cook down slowly – it can be helpful to put a lid on for the first while to steam it a little. As it cooks, use a fork to mash it up a bit. Once it has broken down a bit, scrape the vanilla bean out of the pod and add it to the pot, throwing the empty bean in there too. Continue to cook until the fruit has pretty much all broken down.

Turn off the heat and stir in chia seeds. Allow to sit for ten minutes until the chias expand. If you would like the jam thicker, add more chias.

thejam2

veganmofo