Thursday, 23 February 2012

Review: Vegan's Choice Grocery

Vegan's Choice Grocery
113 King Street Newtown NSW 2042
(02) 9519 5330

In the previous post, Kate wrote about cheesecake - I had one to die for the other day. There is an amazing little shop called Green Gourmet in Newtown (Sydney) where they have delicious vegan takeaway. They had a pie oven - filled with vegan pies (my favourite was the cheesy chicken), walls filled with vegan delights, freezers stocked with products and a fridge filled with ..... cakes! Which brings me to the berry cheesecake. I loved it. The crust was firm and sweet, the topping was creamy and tasty. I miss it so, I live about 50km away from that shop but I am finding that I am making excuses to go there.

Worth a visit if you find yourself in the area. The owners also own the restaurant nextdoor, Green Gourmet, a vegan, Asian smorgasboard. Bring it on!

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Addictive Vegan Chocolate "Cheesecake"

I have no memory of what 'real' cheesecake tastes like, but I can't imagine that it tastes any better than this one.

This cake will have disappeared before I get the chance to offer it to anyone outside of this household, but I doubt people would be able to tell that this is a raw cake. It is so rich, creamy and indulgent! 

And the fact that is has so much healthy stuff in it is also handy when you have a chocoholic toddler on the loose.

I found the recipe here.

Bangladeshi Rice

At one stage in my life, I was sharing a house with a wonderful woman from Bangladesh who also happened to be a great cook. As a result, I learnt to cook a really great rice. Hope you like it.

2 cups basmati rice
1 cup red lentils
2 onions
1 1/2 tblsp crushed garlic
3 tblsp cumin seeds
1 tblsp tumeric powder
1 tblsp crushed dried chilli (or to taste)
Salt and pepper to taste

  • Fry onion in oil, in a pot, until caramelised then take off heat.
  • Add garlic, cumin seeds, tumeric, chilli, salt & pepper - stir.
  • Wash rice and lentils and place in pot.
  • Place finger gently on top of the rice and add enough water to cover the first flange.
  • Bring to boil.
  • Turn off heat (if electric), put extremely low if gas.
  • Let sit for 10 minutes.
  • Eat.

Easy Vegan Nachos

Why have I been vegan for so long and not tried to make nachos?

Maybe it's the memories of an overload of cheese and sour cream. I'm not generally a big fan of trying to replicate non vegan foods by using 'substitute' foods such as soy cheese.

However, now that we are ruled (happily and benevolently) by our almost 2 year old daughter Sylvia, I try to think of meals that will be fun for her to eat.

This meal is a winner because Sylvia's favourite phrase at the moment is "Sylvia do it!". Translation: Sylvia will try most foods if she can eat them on her own. Even if most of the food is sliding off the spoon on its way to her mouth, she refuses assistance. This makes for very messy but entertaining mealtimes!

Sylvia loves the novelty of using the corn chips as a spoon by herself. She then offers the soggy chip to mummy or daddy to eat, but at least she's getting the most nutritious parts of the meal in her mouth, right?

Although there are a few elements, this is a pretty fast and simple meal once the beans are cooked, and could be even faster is using canned beans. I don't add chilli powder because of Sylvia, but I'm sure it would be a nice addition if cooking just for adults. 

Easy Vegan Nachos

2 cups dry beans, cooked (I used a mixture of white and black beans because that's what I had in the cupboard; other types of beans and canned beans would be fine too)
1 onion, chopped
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp sugar (or to taste)
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
2 cups passata (tomato puree)
corn from 2 cobs of corn
2 carrots, chopped

Quick guacamole
1 avocado
1/2 tsp garlic powder
dash of salt

Cashew Sour Cream from this recipe

Prepare cashew cream first - it's nice have to this in the fridge for a while before eating it.

Now to the beans. In a large saucepan, fry onion in oil for a few minutes, then add carrots and corn and cook for a further few minutes. Add cumin, paprika, salt and sugar and cook for few seconds. Add beans and passata and simmer for about 20-30 minutes, stirring every now and then. I used a bit of the cooking liquid from the beans in ours, so you may need to adjust the amount of passata depending on how saucy you want the beans to be.

While the beans are cooking, mash the avocado, garlic power and salt together.

Layer the beans, guacamole and cashew sour cream and enjoy with corn chips!

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Review: Royal Sweet Cake Indian Restaurant

Indian Restaurant (Sydney)
Royal Sweet Cake
44 Station Street, Wentworthville

Royal Sweet Cake (RSC) is located near Wentworthville railway station. There are a number of similar restaurants in the street but this one distinguishes itself by claiming it is Pure Vegetarian, meaning vegetarian (not vegan).

The interior is simple and the staff helpful. The RSC menu lists a number of dishes, mostly curries, but only a handful are vegan.

Dishes ordered were cauliflower pakoras, a chickpea entrée, vegetable curry, potato and pea curry, rice and flat bread.

The entrées were tasty except the pakora a little dry. The chickpea dish was large and would have been enough for a main meal.

The vegetable curry was delicious with plenty of coriander. The potato and pea curry did not have the variety of textures and tastes as the vegetable one but still satisfying.

For dessert, RSC offers a number of sweet cakes. There were four varieties for vegans, two made primarily of cashews, one of chickpeas and one of wheat. The cakes were delicately flavoured with a very pleasant after taste.

RSC caters for children, is not licenced and is reasonably priced.

Stars:  ** out of *****