Monday, 7 December 2009

Tian Ran – OMG, seriously, OMG……

It was pretty damn amazing.  We miss Magic Wok so much.  I remember when I heard about it closing, it was like a part of me died.  Yes, I’m being melodramatic, but as much as we love Kuan Yin and Loving Hut, we really don’t have a replacement for Magic Wok.  Sooooo, we decided to drop into the Gold Coast and visit Tian Ran on the way home from Byron Bay.  Woah – the Gold Coast and Byron are polar opposites! 
Enough ranting, food:
Mmmmmm we’ve become addicted to the young coconuts from Woolworths thanks to Cam’s sister.  They’re probably incredibly bad for the environment, being flown from Indonesia/Thailand, but OMG, soooooooooooo good.
Entree 1: BBQ Pork Buns
Tian Ran - BBQ Pork Buns
Not as good as the Magic Wok ones (they weren’t bright red in the middle), but they were good.  Very ‘meaty’ texture inside.
Entree 2: Crispy Fish Strips
Tian Ran - Fish Sticks
From the taste, Cam worked out that these were probably Lamyong Fishy Strips (no idea what the real name is).  They were really nice (and that’s saying something, ‘cause I’m not a fan of the fishy substitutes).
Entree 3: Chicken and Corn Soup
Tian Ran - Chicken and Corn Soup
I’ve had this soup before – Cam brought some home for me when I was writing my thesis and he went to the land of the leather people (the Gold Coast) with friends.  Nom nom nom nom nom nom nom nom nom nom nom nom nom nom nom nom nom !
Side dish: Nasi Goreng
Tian Ran - Nasi Goreng
This was delicious!  I don’t know what I was expecting, but it was delicately flavoured (tomato and chilli powder).  And super super yummy.  (I’m going to run out of superlatives soon!)
Amy’s Main: Salt and Pepper Chicken
Tian Ran - Salt and Pepper Chicken
Deep fried tastiness.  We thought these were Lamyong Soy Nuggets.
Cam’s Main: Black Pepper Chicken
Tian Ran - Black Pepper Chicken
Again Lamyong Soy Nuggets.  It had that tasty cornflour glaze thingy that Chinese food has.  Not too peppery – Cam really enjoyed this.
Cam’s dessert: Banana Fritter
Tian Ran - Banana Fritter
I can’t vouch for the flavour (I don’t eat banana), but Cam had a huge grin on his face the entire time he ate this.
We really enjoyed Tian Ran.  The service was great and not too fast.  The guy who owns it (we presume) was really lovely.
It was a great end to a fantastic weekend.

Friday, 4 December 2009

Byron Bay Food

Howdy!  So the hell of exams is over, so I’ve started back at work 4 days a week and have been spending the Friday doing criminal law research for a lecturer.  It’s actually pretty fun, just hard to do in the heat!
Anyhoooooo, Cam and I went down to Byron last weekend to visit his sister and to generally spend time on our arses at the beach.
Broken Head Beach
Broken Head Beach, Monday morning
We spent Sunday leisurely driving to Byron Bay, stopping at Minion Falls @ Nightcap National Park (best name ever).  Which was fun, except we got caught in a thunderstorm at 2 in the afternoon!  Leeches really are gross…
Broken Head Beach2
Funny, I remember it being calmer than this! 
We then spent Monday at two different beaches.  Morning was at Broken Head Beach (the two posts above) and Watego’s – closer to the centre of Byron (not pictured ‘cause we actually went swimming).
Tide 1
Terrible turnout
Tide 2
Tide 3 There’s two awesome vegan health food stores in the middle of Byron Bay – Santo’s and The Fundamental Food Store (Fundie’s – they have a store in Brisbane’s Paddington).
Monday Lunch
This deep fried tastiness was Monday’s lunch.  The two pastries were yummy (one was a samosa, and the other was delicately flavoured veggies), Cam had the tempeh sushi (ew ew ew), and there was a bean fritter.  Sooooooo good!
Luckily the Woolworths at Byron had Tofutti cream cheeze – so there were bagels for breakfast on both days!  Nom nom nom…
Dinner Monday
This was from Santo’s various salads and amazing pies.  Plus, in front, a millet ball and a rice ball (we shared).  This was sooooo good!
Byron Bay’s famed unicorn farm sign
It was a fantastic weekend! 
We visited the Gold Coast on the way home on Tuesday and visited Tian Ran!  I’ve got a whole post’s worth of pics, so they’ll go up soon!

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Exams = study = no fun food

Hey guys!
Thought I’d let you know that we’re not dead, we've just buried ourselves in study.  Exams finish on 19th November (yes!  I’ll be able to see the new Twilight and laugh at the ‘acting’!)
Until then, Iron Chef Vegan will not be updated.  :(

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Post 5: Product review!

I’m sure my fellow Aussies who have tried Fry’s products are as fanatical as I am about them.  Weeeell, on Wednesday after a horrible day at work I hit Woolworths to procure comestibles for dinner.  I discovered these!
Fry's nuggets
(Don’t worry, they’'ll be well and truly eaten by 13/12/10 – tee hee)  These are super yummy!  So, after my 4.5k jog with Cam (he was nice enough to jog at my pace!), I baked these little beauties and had them with sweet potato mash and salad:
Nuggets, mash and
Damn they were good!  You really must try them if you get the chance.  I made a kebab with these for lunch the next day.
Is it just Cam and I, or are pickles incredibly addictive?  I had to buy a whole jar of pickles on Thursday just so I could have about 6 pickle slices on my kebab.  Sooooo addictive! :)

Monday, 7 September 2009

Post 4: Weekend of tasty food

Hey guys!  Hope you had a good weekend.  We really utilized our “Iron Chef” skills on the food this weekend.  I’m drooling just thinking about it.
First – Cam’s ‘healthy’ lunch from Friday.  Just to show off the fantastic Asian snacks we can procure in BrisVegas:
Cam's 'healthy' lunch
Trident Hot and Spicy Soup with ‘Chicken’ nuggets (from Burlington in the valley), Cabbage dumplings (Burlington) and Dim Sims (from the supermarket near the former Magic Wok).  I shudder to think how much sodium was contained on this plate before the soy sauce was added!
I was inspired, after viewing everyone’s blogs on the VWAV cookbook challenge to find a recipe that I hadn’t made in that awesome tome.  I came up with the “Orecchiette with Cherry Tomatoes and Kalamata Tapenade”.  Why did I wait more than 2 years to try this?  It’s fantastic in the original dish (I even found the right pasta):
Kalamata Tapanade Pasta
I added extra parsley for prettiness.
But we also tried it on bread (on Isa’s suggestion in the cookbook).  Witness the glory that is Tofutti Cream Cheese Kalamata Tapenade poppy seed bagels.  Seriously.  You HAVE to try this.  We had this for dinner on Sunday night and I had to have it again for breakfast today.  (I even exclaimed the virtues of it on Facebook).
Bagels of awesomefantastamagoricalness
It’s like heaven on bread WITH OLIVES!  Could I be more excited about a food?
And to finish, even though this was dinner on Friday night, we have pie filling.  ‘Beef’ and ‘bacon’ pie filling.  Cam said he fried an onion and added casserole mince and sliced Sanitarium luncheon.  Then he added ‘beef’ stock and a rather large quantity of liquid smoke (and I think a little gravy powder).  To top it off we added a slice of Toffuti American sliced cheeze and put in the pie maker.  It’s near to impossible to take a photo of a pie without destroying it, so you’ll have to imagine the awesomeness.  Here’s a rather unattractive picture of the filling:
'Beef' and 'bacon' pie filling
It’s really only good when you serve it straight away so you can mix the toffuti into the rest of the filling.
I’m having fun being a MoFo.  Thanks for all of your comments.  They’re a great pickup while I’m writing assignments! 

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Day 3: I looooove Mexican / Tex-Mex food!

Okay, I just love food that centres around tasty carbs (pasta, noodles, tortillas).
I’ve made this chilli once already – only last month!  It is really good, but I wanted more veggies, so when I added in the kidney beans I added in a chopped capscicum, half a can of corn kernels (the half I didn’t use in the cornbread) and the remains of a bag of ‘shrooms.  OMG.  Soooo good.  I had leftovers for lunch today.
I made the cornbread in the muffin tin.  So adorably cute!  And extra crunchy.
Chilli and mini cornbreads
If you haven’t been reading my blog for long, you won’t be aware of my extreme love for making my favourite recipes over and over and over.  (Witness my obsession with Leek and Bean Cassoulet from Veganomicon last year)… The reason why I explain this is that we’re having cheezeburgers again for dinner.  So probably no posting tomorrow.  Besides, shouldn’t you guys be out enjoying yourselves on a Friday night instead of visiting my (awesome) blog? :)
To rub it in – no work tomorrow!  Just uni…

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Day 2a: Not vegan, but feminist

I had to post twice in one day to urge you to read this article in the Guardian “Secrets of the womb by Jacqueline Maybin”.  I read it after seeing the gushing about it on Jezebel.  I’m sure my fellow feminists will enjoy!

Day 2: Kinda lazy vegan convenience foods

When Cam was cooking this last night, we discussed just how much pasta and tomato sauce we ate when we first became vegan (I became vegan after Cam but I did the same thing!).  It’s funny how much cheap pasta sauce has evolved, thanks to the gentrification of the store brands.  I buy a lot of the store brands stuff – especially ‘cause I cook a lot from scratch.  Plus, why pay more money to the large international conglomerates when you can pay less and get the same thing?
But I digress….
This one was a Puttanesca in the You’ll love Coles range.  It had both green and black olives and was tasteeeee!  It’s fun finding new ninja vegan foods.
And yes, we did use the moose pasta – I think it looks extra evil with the red sauce!
Evil moose pasta
Amy out…

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Day 1: Asian Food – the god of all vegan cuisines

Heya!  Hyperbole is fun, isn’t it?
A few months ago, on a cookbook purchasing binge, I bought Bryanna Clark Grogan’s Authentic Chinese Cuisine.  It’s a damn fantastic book.
So I looked in the fridge’s contents and consulted the text and made: Stir Fried Tofu and Leeks, and Harvest Moon Stir Fry.
Tofu and Harvest
I wish I had a better picture of the carrots (the moon) mooning you.  The only issue I had with these recipes is that they had dry sherry in them.  We could only find sherry that had been fined with milk AND eggs.  Le sigh.  Anyone found a vegan sherry?
These were REALLY tasty.  The tofu was fantastic.
I really love Bryanna’s cookbooks (witness my use of them in Italian food in previous posts), but I’d love some colour photos in the cookbooks.  But as Theresa said on my facebook pictures, the special lie-flat binding almost makes up for it! ;)
Breakfast the next day was pancakes.  Cam insisted on ice-cream and Soyatoo, so I insisted on grated apple in the mix.  I just grated the apple into the standard Pancake recipe from VWAV and just added milk until it was the right consistency.  This obviously totally made up for the sugar from the ice-cream and Soyatoo!
Apple Cinnamon pancakes So yeah, that’s it for the day.  Cam’s making us pasta for dinner (with moose pasta from Ikea), so that just may feature on tomorrow’s post.
But then again, we know how slack I am with posting!

Monday, 31 August 2009


Yup, we’re seceding from the American vegan blog complex (ha) for a month!  OzVeganMoFo is going to run for September, but as Theresa said, there’ll be ‘no worries’ about posting every day!  I’m aiming for about 4-5 posts a week!
Here’s the rundown of Oz Vegans joining in. 
Vegan, Sixteen
The Tropical Vegan
(Obviously we’re hoping that more people join in – otherwise we will look a little silly with just a few of us!)
Edited to add – but wait, there’s more!
Cupcake Kitteh (who designed the awesome logo!!!!)
Annabananabomb (2 week old vegan – that’s impressive!)
Ink and Venom
kblog (sorry to sound biased, but this is one of my favourite Aussie blogs)
Twilight and Shadow – a NZ-lander – making this a trans-Tasman affair!
For Esme
And BrisVegan has joined us on the 2nd!  I wonder which Australian state has the most vegan bloggers?
The benefits of MoFo-ing:
  • You should get more comments – this equals more dancing in the study (surely I’m not the ONLY one who does this?)
  • You will convince half of the federal cabinet to go vegan – because nothing says you’re more Australian than eating less beef (*a common misconception amongst members of the media and Australian Cattle Repressors – I mean ‘Farmers’)
  • People will start to not recognise you without your camera
  • I may just make you a present of the knitted or sewn variety.  Warning: presents may be of bad quality and may cause explosive decompression in open spaces
  • You’ll learn a bit about the law.  Warning: any information is given for entertainment purposes.  IronChefVegan Oz (inc) takes no responsibility for items lost, destroyed or damaged by following said vegan advice.  Negligence is strictly prohibited. (Take that exclusion clause assignment)
  • Vegans are sexier.  So you will become sexier by doing MoFo.  Take Alicia Silverstone for example!  So what I’m saying is that the Advanced Medical Institute should change their regimen.  (Warning: please see previous exclusion clause for prohibition of liability)

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

I’m crabby

Crabby for Chesapeake Tempeh Cakes – aka fake crab cakes!
These were tasty (for something made from tempeh – I’m not really a fan).  They were even good despite the fact that I forgot the mayonnaise in the cakes!
Chesapeake Tempeh Cakes
We had them with salad and boiled potatoes with dill (and nuttelex).  Seriously yummo.
And, a bonus pic worthy of Cute Overload, my mum’s dog Hamish (who, funnily enough, gets called H-Dog and Hambone – the rest of my family aren’t even vaguely vegetarian!).
Hamish  Good doggy!
Also – I was wondering how many vegans were going to do VeganMoFo this year?  I really want to, but my exams always take over November.  Anyone else keen to do an Aussie one in September or something (while we can still make relatively fun winter food)?

Monday, 17 August 2009

Cupcakes designed to solve all of the world’s problems!

Maybe not ALL of the world’s problems, just the little things, like cheering up friends!
World problem solving cupcakes
Chocolate cupcake with Peanut Butter Icing from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World
In other happiness inducing news… pickles!  (insert quotes from Scrubs here…)
Pickle burger
Oh Fry’s Burger with Tofutti American Style Cheeze melted on top with pickles, tomato sauce, american mustard and finely diced brown onion, how much do I love thee?
Finally, I’ve been cracking (ha) out Hot Damn and Hell Yeah! by Ryan Splint because the recipes are simple and CHEAP (and supporting a vegan Australian is ALWAYS a priority).
Badly photographed Enchilladas Mmmmmm – enchilladas with cheeze (not shown, guacamole).
Up next: Vegan Cupcakes take over the United Nations – Switzerland stops being neutral on the cupcake issue… :)

Friday, 7 August 2009

Beans, beans the musical fruit

Gosh it’s hard to think of snappy blog post titles!  This one is extra lame (I want to hear groaning people!)… :)
Anyhoooo, Cam made a ridiculously AWESOME stew on Tuesday night.  Adzuki Bean Stew.  Yes, Adzuki beans can be used in savoury dishes.  This was really, Really, REALLY fantastic.  The flavours were just fantastic (probably all of that delicious smoked paprika).  I had it for lunch again the next day.  My only comment is that the dumplings weren’t bready enough.  A friend have us about 2kg of dried Adzuki beans, so we will DEFINITELY be trying this again (I’m thinking of using the dumpling recipe from the Leek and Bean Cassoulet from Vcon and tweaking it).  I believe the recipe for this is here – from the printed copy on the bench, it looks like Cam put it into metric! (Maths can be useful)
You really MUST try this recipe!!!
Adzuki Bean Stew
And, just because I get more comments when I post purdy things, witness the crapilly made, but very pretty quilt I made during uni break!

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Not all vegan food looks like baby food

Just the tasty stuff!  Vegan Chilli Con Non-Carne from Hot Damn and Hell Yeah! Recipies for Hungry Banditos and the Dirty South Vegan Cookbook by Ryan Splint:
Vegan Chilli Con Non-Carne
Really REALLY yummy.  I added canned corn (thank you Coles – 3 for $4!!!)  We had it with Cornbread (not pictured).  Fan-freaking-tastic dinner.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Best dinner ever

As I recall I haven’t named a post “Best dinner ever”.  I was at Mrs Flannery’s on Friday and they had Soyatoo!  SOYATOO!!!  (cue excitement)
Anyway, we had to have cheezeburgers, fries and shakes for dinner.
Master Shake 1
Note the awesome swirly fantabulousness that I got from the soyatoo.  Sorry, SOYATOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  And now with Italics SOYATOO!!!
Here’s a side view:
Master Shake 2
Burgers were Fry’s Burgers topped with Tofutti American style slices, with Bread and Butter pickles, finely chopped onion, american mustard and tomato sauce on low-gi, high-fibre white bread.  Yes, white bread.  Best food ever…
Best dinner ever
Yes, I’m back.  Uni holidays, work, etc……  :)  

Monday, 8 June 2009

You really need to wait until the soup cools before blending!

Hey guys.  Obviously study and work has been taking over my life (as usual).
I broke a stick blender this week!  I made a huge pot of leek and potato soup and tried to blend it before it was cool enough.  Long story short, I melted all the glue in the blender and had to throw it and the soup out.  I was a very sad panda.
So I made this soup on Saturday instead – it’s kinda chunky because I used a potato masher to mash up the veggies.  Totally tasty (it’s the Fennel, Squash and Apple soup from the Voluptuous Vegan).
Fennel squash and apple soup
Next I made the Chard Frittata from Vegan Brunch.  It was pretty good, but next time I’m going to put the tofu through the food processor and cut up the silverbeet (chard) a lot finer!
Frittata and salad
Cookies have helped to ease the pain of study.  I bastardised a Dreena Burton recipe by adding waaaaay too much molasses – they were even better this way!
And, in remembrance of my stick blender, green taties (pesto potatoes) with pesto made in the stick blender.
Green taties and chickpea salad
Cam has his only exam tomorrow.  I have one next week and two the week after.  Law school really is as boring as everyone says it is!!!!

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Hey ya!

Hey guys.  Long time, no blog.  Uni, work, you know the drill…..
Anyway, I was inspired by a recent South Park episode to make Tofu “fish” Fingers (I believe you call them Fish Sticks in the US).  Recipe came from the Vegan Lunchbox cookbook (finally bought it!).  Pretty tasty!
'fish' sticks
'fish' sticks -2
I’ll resist the urge to make a gay vegan fish joke.
I discovered chipotles at the Indian grocer the other week (month?) and so I made tamales (using aluminium foil instead of corn husks).  Not bad….  They’re really dense!!!
And, of course, I’ve been sewing….
Outside bag
Inside bag
Reverse bag Exams are coming up, so I’ve been attempting to start study (they start on June 15, so hopefully I can cram it all in – for some unknown reason they’re ALL open book!!).
VeganAmy out.