There’s no better way to start the weekend with a morning trip to the local farmer’s market. Seriously, it gives me that sun is shining, birds are chirping kind of feeling (even when it is grey and the birds are jerks). The closest markets to me happen once a month at the Abbotsford Convent, and once at the Collingwood Childrens’ Farm – both beautiful settings for some early morning wandering and vegetable hunting. Of course, it’s not just vegetables – it’s also where I stock up on choccies! Mmmm.
Salted lime and dark nut cove are my absolute favourites, but all are top notch. Cocoa Rhapsody are not completely vegan friendly, however I would estimate about 60-70% of their range is.
Obviously all this food gathering is enough to make anybody hungry. Luckily, there’s a few good options within arms reach. Firstly, the Farm Cafe inside the Collingwood Children’s Farm.
I love how the tables sprawl out of the enclosed cafe space and into the ‘farm’. If you sit down amongst it, you don’t get table service – however you do get sweet little dudes like this stopping by.
It always makes me laugh seeing the “please do not chase the animals” signs, and then watching all the little toddlers trailing behind the chooks. It shouldn’t, but it does.
The farm cafe is quite vegetarian friendly, and had two notable vegan options – the white baked beans and the super salad. Never one to turn down a super salad (super salad sunday used to be an institution in our house in Tassie), I went for it. The Bear had a dish with creamy polenta, mushrooms, eggs and snow pea tendrils.
It certainly lived up to it’s name. A combination of quinoa, carrot, beetroot, leafies, and herbs topped with a lovely lemony cashew hummus, a good old chunk of avo, pepitas and pomegranate molasses dressing. The beetroot was shredded so thin I couldn’t even taste it (crazy for me), and it was so full of goodies that even the Bear enjoyed it (despite his grudge against quinoa). I loved the sticky, crunchy pepitas and the contrast between the sweet dressing and tangy hummus. A super seriously satisfying start to the day (ha!)
While I think I slightly prefer the Collingwood Farmer’s Market due to the greater number and variety of stalls, it is always lovely to stroll around the grounds of the convent on a sunny morning. Unfortunately on this occasion, it was cold, grey and wet, so we escaped to a dark little corner in the Convent Bakery to grab some brunch. With memories of a delicious vegan arancini, we were disappointed to find it had disappeared from the menu and there were no longer any marked vegan options. Already committed to the idea of brekkie, I went for the standard – smashed avo on toast, while the Bear had fruit salad and yoghurt.
But it hurts my soul to pay $16 for it (especially after removing the goats cheese). This was tasty, on lovely convent bakery-baked sourdough and dotted with cherry tomatoes and basil. But $16….you can get much more elaborate and thoughtful dishes down the road at Admiral Cheng Ho for that much. It kind of bothers me as a vegan at cafes, you can expect to pay $4 for a side of mushrooms, yet no discount for removing eggs or cheese. Le sigh…
Luckily with a full tummy, a hot coffee and a basket full of veggies (and chocolate) I couldn’t stay mad. I will always love you avo on toast xoxox
Collingwood Children’s Farm
18 Saint Heliers St, Abbotsford
Open 7 days, 9am – 4pm
Open from 8am on market days (2nd Sat of the month)
1 Saint Heliers St, Abbotsford
Open 7 days, 7am – 5pm
Lime and sea salt would be my top pick too, those chook’s are so pretty with their fancy feathered cowls! No kidding -restaurants should offer free sides when vegans remove items and still pay full price.
Aren’t they cute? I’m with you, if you’re not going to reduce the cost they should offer an extra side!
that super salad looks great – I wish I made more super salads at home! it has been so long since I went to the collingwood children’s farm – must try and get along one weekend when the market is on – I love the convent too but I am never wrapt with the options to eat there.
It’s so lovely there, particularly on market days! I’ve only eaten at Lentil as Anything once and the Convent Bakery a handful of times but I know what you mean – there’s nothing particularly outstanding. At least it’s so pretty there though 🙂
Oh my! It all looks delicious! I always have issues paying full price after taking out the most expensive ingredients too.