Saturday, December 22, 2012
To start with we had flat bread and I had my own hummus (we assume the other hummus had some sort of cheese that normally wouldn't be in a hummus in it). The next course I had 2 tomatoes stuffed with rice and herbs. I don't care for parsley (which was very strong in this dish) but I still liked them. I also got a small Greek salad (made vegan) in lieu of on of the other dishes. There was also an amazing salad with lentils, pomegranate and coriander (I had my own with no yogurt on top). By the time the main course arrived we were all very full. Mine was eggplant with tomato and some amazing flavours. I was so full I couldn't finish the last couple bits. A server came to confirm with me that I'd had enough food to eat during the night at this point. Dessert was amazing. It had a long Greek name and was basically 2 small plates of preserved fruit- I think one was citrus and the other was watermelon. The watermelon was amazing. It looked nothing like watermelon. It was 2 orange/clear, jelly looking blocks on a plate. They did not have jelly texture at all though- it was a very firm watermelon like texture. They were amazingly sweet but so good.
I was very impressed with the service and the food. I'd heard good things about the vegan food there (but for some reason I can't find the posts to link to them now....) so I was excited when we were told that's where the end of year/retirement dinner would be. We all left completely overfull but the food was amazing and it was great having a semi private area where we were all at one table and could move around to chat to each other between courses.
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Friday, May 11, 2012
I love that everything about Fair Food has been thought through to be sustainable and ethical. Most of the food is grown locally (a lot of it around East Brunswick and Coburg) so the food miles are minimal. It is all organic (better for the earth, better for people). The farmers are paid 50% of the price the consumer pays. The workers in the distribution warehouse are disadvantaged people that are gaining skills based on environmental and social principles. The packaging used is minimal and most of it is re-used and can be recycled. The profits support programs at CERES Environmental Park. Any left over food after the boxes are packed is given to a soup kitchen. Scraps that cannot be used are composted.
The food is also very reasonably priced for organic produce since the food is bought in such large lots to be distributed between each of the boxes for the week.
There are several sizes and varieties of boxes that are available. Our box this week was the "Basic Mixed Box" ($30):
, 2 beetroots, a leek, lots o' potatoes, 5 onions, 2 broccoli heads, zucchini, 2 oranges, several apples and a bunch of bananas.
There are also a TON of extra items available including pantry items, household products and extra produce. There are food hosts (box pick up points) all around Melbourne (including some outer suburbs as well as close to the city).
If you've ever thought about getting an organic produce box, I highly CERES Fair Food. We tried it and loved it so much we decided to host.
Friday, April 20, 2012
Wombat had some bad breath when she came back from the kennel so I decided to make her some cookies that hopefully would help with the breath (and other smelly issues). Wombat is not a picky eater (she very excitedly ate blocks of ice that Zac was throwing in the yard one day after I scraped out the chucks in the freezer) but according to her these cookies are amazing (lay-down-on-the-cold-kitchen-tiles amazing). All I did was take a very large handful of parsley, a small handful of mint, chopped them up, added wholemeal flour and enough water to make a thick cookie dough. I then added a bit of baking soda and mixed everything up really well. I made 5 large-ish cookies (I didn't want to make too big a batch because there wasn't anything to preserve the cookies in the ingredients). I baked them until they looked a bit golden and were cooked through (not sure how long that was-- maybe 15 minutes). Such an easy and healthy treat to make for Wombat, we'll have to make them for her more often (it would be so easy to make a small batch to throw in the oven when we're cooking something else or make larger batches and freeze them).
(all cute and bundled up at Fisherman's Wharf)
For Zac's birthday I managed to get up tickets to a Canucks game the day after we arrived in Vancouver. The picture makes us look really far away but they were actually pretty good seats and we could see everything. The Canucks won so that made it even better.
The night after the Canucks game we had tickets to see the lead singer from one of our favourite bands (The Weakerthans) do a solo show. As well as doing stuff from his newly released solo album, he played a lot of Weakerthans and Propagandhi songs.
When we got to the island my brother decided that we should do an overnight trip up the island to go see some family and go to Tofino (somehow I'd never been to Tofino before).
On the way up we stopped at Cathedral Grove to see some of the oldest trees on the island (up to about 800 years old!)
We got to see snow as we went over the pass to Port Alberni (and there was even snow in town when we arrived in Port Alberni but it was mostly gone when we left a few hours later).
We stayed at Crystal Cove Beach Resort in Tofino for a night. We had a private cabin with ocean view (we could have got one with a private hot tub but the ocean view hot tub cabins weren't available when we made our booking and we decided ocean view was more important). We did have a fire place and sat infront of the fire all evening after a walk on the beach. The bed was the most amazing bed I have ever slept on (all 4 of us agreed the beds were the best ever and even Maya slept longer than usual so I'm sure she'd agree it's the best bed if she could talk).
The next day we went to Long Beach and did a beach walk and hiked the Amphitrite Lighthouse trail.
The rest of the trip was mostly spent in Victoria enjoying the amazing spring weather, helping my brother with stuff at my mom's house and spending time with family. The Canucks made it into the playoffs while we were there, with game 1 happening the night before we were flying back out. We managed to get 2 tickets off a friend again and went to game 1 of the playoffs. Unfortunately the Canucks didn't do so well that night so it was kind of a sad way to end our trip but we did get free Canucks playoff towels from the game (hopefully we'll get to go wave those around at the pub if the Canucks go further in the playoffs and we actually make it down to the Imperial Hotel when they're showing the games).
On our way home we had a 10 hour layover at LAX so we decided we had to leave the airport so we didn't go insane. We managed to have a nice afternoon out, eating lunch at a veggie burger place and going to Manhattan Beach. I'll do a separate post about that part of the trip though.
Sunday, March 04, 2012
Cows have been one of my favourite animals for a long time so I was pretty excited to meet them. This is Hansel (I'm pretty sure- I've compared my photos to ones on the website). Zac became friends with him.
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Sunday, January 29, 2012
My plan was to make the tempeh when we were having a couple of hot days since it needs to incubate around 30C for 36-48 hours. I ended up doing it during the coldest couple days/nights of the week. First I soaked the beans for about 18 hours. Dehulling the beans was the most time consuming part since we don't have a grain mill so I did it by hand by rubbing the beans between my hands after they'd been soaking for a while and then removing the hulls when they floated to the top of the bowl.
After the soy beans had been mostly dehulled I cooked them in water with a bit of vinegar for 30 minutes, drained them and let them cool and dry for a bit before mixing in the tempeh starter. While the beans where cooling I took 3 zip lock sandwich size bags and poked lots and lots of little holes in the bag with a nail to allow the soy beans to breath while incubating. I filled each of the bags with about 1/3 of the soy beans and set up an incubator in our esky using a hot water bottle. I have no idea if it was at the right temperature and it definitely wasn't a constant temperature but it seemed to work. My best looking block of tempeh (the one pictured) looks a lot like the store bought ones because I had it sitting on a cooling rack over the hot water bottle (there wasn't enough room for all 3 on the bottom of the esky with the hot water bottle). I was a little concerned about the black bits but apparently that's normal (has to do with the air flow and heat levels). I fried a little bit up right after incubating it (I incubated mine 48 hours, I probably could have gone a couple hours or so more) and it tasted great. Zac made a stir fry with some of it the next night and it was sooooo good. What was left of it I sliced up and froze today (I sliced it so it would be easy to get just a bit of it if I want-- I hate trying to use just part of a frozen store bought tempeh block, it's so hard to cut). I'm impressed with my results in making tempeh but it was time consuming (mostly just trying to dehull the soy beans) and had to be well planned out so I was home when steps needed to be done.
Thursday, January 26, 2012
We used to go to Coco Loco (High St, Northcote) fairly often but for some reason we haven't been in ages (we just haven't gone to High St. much at all). We were up there today and Coco Loco was open so we decided to stop by because Khaled makes the best chocolate drinks ever (and a lot of his stuff is vegan). The one I got was an orange flavoured chocolate drink. I got it as an iced chocolate today. So rich and chocolatey and so good! Zac got a lemon myrtle chocolate drink. Both of us had our drinks made with his homemade cashew milk. We need to go back again soon.
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Friday, December 16, 2011
Saturday, December 03, 2011
(I forgot to take a photo until after I started taking apart the rice pile). It was really tasty. The curry was just slightly spicy with a very coconut-y flavour, filled with vegies and fried tofu cubes. The greens on the side were really nice.
We'll be heading back again once they get settled and have their full menu available (there's a list of the menu on their facebook page).
Westgarth Books & Cooks is at 77 High Street in Northcote.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Sunday, September 04, 2011
Dinner was really good (but the couple of photos we took on our phones where very dark and blurry so I just deleted them). The menu is available online (I'd pretty much decided what I wanted when I'd looked at the menu the day before). We started with the Avacado Magic and the mushroom shinjuku. I was still congested from a cold so I wasn't tasting a lot of flavour but the fact I could taste things ment they must have been flavourful. I got the green, green laksa for my main which I really enjoyed (nice and spicy- perfect for getting over a cold). It's description on the menu is: Green tea soba noodles (buckwheat/wheat ), spinach and bean sprouts cooked in a Thai krachai ( lesser galangal ) green curry coconut stock. This is topped
with a variety of fried tofu, tempeh and fragrant herbs.
Zac got the Shaolin Treasure, described as: The secret of Shaolin monks! Five grain mixed rice cooked with vegetable stock to a risotto like texture. This comes with a bowl of braised turnips,spiced tofu,gingko nuts, beancurd seitan, and bok choy.
At first glance Zac was pretty sure his meal wouldn't fill him but within a couple minutes of finishing he decided he was too full to have dessert. We ended up not getting dessert and just having some mini raw cheesecakes when we got home.
That was only the second time we've eaten at Shakahari but I think we do need to go there more often for special meals.