Sort-of Sausage Rolls for my Nan

Yesterday we set off from Bundaberg and drove up to Agnes Waters on the coast.

We were going to stay on a property belonging to Billy’s second cousin, but it didn’t work out as the floods earlier this year had washed away the driveway and we couldn’t get our van onto the property, and we accidentally went onto the wrong property and got confronted by a scary dog so we decided to abort that mission. Instead we looked around the area during the day, and kept heading north towards Gladstone in the evening. The area we stayed in had no reception, so I wasn’t able to blog yesterday…ba bowwww.

My family had some sad news the other day (I found out yesterday) – my Great Nanna passed away in her sleep. She was in her nineties and was the last living great-grandparent of mine. When I was born, I had four great grandmothers and three great grandfathers. At a young age, I didn’t realise the significance of this, or how lucky I was to have so many generations of my family in my life – it was just normal. I remember being shocked to find school friends didn’t have great grandparents, some didn’t even have grandparents!

While I moved away from Perth, where Nanna Wilson lived, when I was about 11, I still have fond memories of her from throughout my early childhood. She was a tough lady, and one thing in particular I remember about her is that she was always looking after everyone (usually through the provision of food). It just wasn’t a special occasion without Nanna Wilson’s homemade sausage rolls or one of her jam and cream sponge cakes, or a pavlova. I also still have intricately patterned cardigans in a cupboard at my parents’ house that were knitted by her when I was a little one.

While none of this suits my present vegan lifestyle, I still enjoy the memory. As a tribute to my Nan, I wanted to enjoy some of the foods that I associated with her, but this was surprisingly difficult to do in the van, without an oven. In an attempt to enjoy some (vegan) sausage rolls, we bought a box from the Linda McCartney range and tried to cook them on the stovetop. I realised that this would not allow them to puff like a normal sausage roll, but still I tried, and they were still edible. We had some Bundaberg vegetables on the side.

Image

They didn’t turn out quite like sausage rolls, but it’s the thought that counts.

So here’s to my Nan, a strong and wonderful lady who will be missed greatly by all who knew her. X x

veganmofo

A Bundy Rum and Cola, thanks

***I just realized that this post was still a draft! This was Saturday’s post…I did try and upload it after a few Bundies so maybe that was the issue….
Today’s locally sourced ingredient is a bit of a stretch…

Image

As we are in Bundaberg, the home of Bundaberg Rum, we figured that we needed to go and have a drink at the local and really immerse ourselves in the spirit (ha ha) of the town. A lot of businesses here seem to be called “rum city” this or that, like rum city hairdressers or rum city dry cleaning services and so on. They are really proud of their produce. We settled on the Grand Hotel, as it sounded like it would suit our needs.

Bundaberg as a town on the whole is pretty unappealing to me, it seems kind of dreary and not very colourful (though I have spent most of my time working inside of a shopping centre). This could also be due to the massive flooding that occurred earlier in the year – the town kind of looks part under construction.

In saying that, we certainly met some colourful blokes at the pub, fresh out of the big house and looking to have a good time. They were a bit much for us after a while though, so we focused on what we were there for.

2

Our first drink was the classic Bundy and Rum with Coke. It went down pretty well, as knock off work drinks usually do.

3

Next we decided to go the pre-mixed variety and go with a ‘Dark and Stormy’, which is your Bundy Rum mixed with Ginger Beer. I actually liked this better than the original.

4
After the novelty wore off, we decided that Rum wasn’t really our favourite drink and moved on to something else. The end.

veganmofo

Strawberry Fields For-never (or not getting jobs as strawberry pickers)

Have you ever wondered why voting booths give you PENCILS instead of pens? Billy’s mum alerted us to this a little while ago, and when casting my early vote this morning, I couldn’t help but notice that I was given a pen to fill out the envelope I had to write on for the interstate form, but when I got to the booth – only pencils! Conspiracy?!?

Luckily for me, I had a pen on hand and the voting volunteer said it was fine that I used it but assured me that there was no chance that anybody was going to be messing with the votes. Not now that mine’s in pen, that’s for sure!

Anyway, I digress from what I came here to post.

Queensland is home to many strawberry farms, particularly along around the Sunshine Coast region. We tried our hardest to get some picking work on one of them on the way up but the place was swarming with backpackers, also desperately seeking some employment.

In many ways, it’s a good thing we didn’t get any as it opened up other opportunities to us – Billy getting to work at the Gympie Muster (and getting paid an hourly wage rather than oh…about $4/tray of strawberries) as well as the work I am doing this week the jewellery stall. But it was still kind of demoralising ringing farm after farm, doing drive arounds and stopping at every strawberry farm in sight and just getting rejection after rejection. Nothing personal, but still.

Nevertheless, just because we didn’t pick the strawberries, doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy some of what sunny Queensland has to offer us in the form of these little red gems.

Melt a little chocolate and some coconut oil, grab some strawberries and voila! Heavenly choc berries!

Image

Image

Ode to a Baby Avocado

Hellooo everyone!

I have just finished an eleven hour work day with virtually no breaks (aside from two toilet pit stops) so I am royally pooped. I am so looking forward to finishing up so that I have more a chance to explore more of what is going on in MoFo land. After Saturday, I’m all aboard! How is everyone enjoying MoFo so far?

In saying how glad I will be when it’s over, it’s obviously awesome to have a week of cash work, and when it finishes we will be heading north up the coast, on the way to the Great Barrier Reef. Exciting!! I’m definitely on the mend in terms of health as well which is a relief.

Today I’m just going to leave you with a couple of happy snaps – I enjoyed a salad comprising of local ingredients from a few different locations, if that makes sense. Let me explain: I still have a bunch of avocados from the Eumundi markets on the weekend, but now that we are in Bundaberg I have picked up some Bundy cherry tomatoes, lettuce and cucumber from the fruit market.

I wanted to share this snap of my lunch just because my little baby avocado was just so damn cute. I should have put a knife next to it for scale, but if you compare it to the size of the almonds you can get some idea of the size. Eeeeeep!

 

Image

Baby avocado was certainly doing a lot better than this poor little dude, who came to some sort of accident while rolling around in the back of the van (note: I think I may have stepped on him in the dark…oops). Don’t worry, he didn’t go to waste.

Image

And finally, here is a terrible photo of tonight’s dinner, brought to you courtesy of boyfriend bear (the dinner, not the photo – that was my doing. Sorry, bad light). Bear cooked a delicious feast of garlic carrot and brussel sprouts (Australian organic garlic – somewhat hard to find, Bundaberg brussel sprouts), mediterranean lentils (this was a packet job we got on clearance from the supermarket), garlic bread and salad. Yay, I love feast plates with different components.
Image

Image

Backloggin’: Zucchini Fritters

I can foresee the next couple of days being much like today. As long as I am sick, and I am working all day (while snotting and sweating), I am too tired to come up with the spectacular posts that I obviously would have if I had not been stricken down (lets just go with that…)

So today I’m bringing you more backlogs, this time in the form of a yummy recipe that I got from a lovely blog called Lucy’s Friendly Food.

Image

Last week my haul of local foods from Gympie included some zucchinis and a bunch of parsley. With no plans as to what I was going to use them for, Lucy’s recipe for zucchini fritters came at the perfect time. This was a really easy dish to make, and ready in minutes. Served with a side salad it makes a really nice meal for a warm night when you don’t want to spend too much time cooking.

Hop over to Lucy’s blog and check out the recipe for these delicious fritters here. I am no food photographer, so her pictures definitely tell a better tale than mine.

Image

veganmofo

Sickness and Watermelon juice

I have managed to contract a sickness from the boyfriend, which he got from a guy he was working with, who got it from his kid. Sharing is caring huh…

So I’m super scratchy throated and runny and sore nosed and TIRED and the last thing I could think of today was an amazing food post for you all, so I’m going to draw on the little backlog of posts that I have from the last two weeks or so that I haven’t yet had a chance to put up (yes, I came with backup).

Back to Gympie for a moment – while we were there I got a few bunches of mint from the area. One day we had some watermelon that needed to go (seriously, it took up about half of our tiny fridge) so I made this yummy juice to enjoy in the sun. I wish I could teleport to this picture, where I was healthy and had a juice in my hand. Ohh those were the days…

The juice barely warrants a recipe with a mere three ingredients, but hey, I’m gonna give ya one anyway.

Image

Watermelon and Mint juice
(makes about 3 cups)

4 cups chopped watermelon
1/2 cup (packed) mint
Juice of one lime

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend. Add some ice if you want it a bit on the chilled side. ENJOY!

Image

veganmofo

Lemony Almond Kale Pesto

I’m back for round two!

I’ve had a long day on my feet working for a jewellery stall in a shopping centre here in Bundaberg, so I’m going to make this a quick post.

In Gympie, I picked up some kale from a fruit and veg market that was according to the dude, grown “literally just down the road” – you can’t get much more local than that without growing it in your own yard (or van? Van garden? Hmm…)

It’s no secret that I love pesto…and garlic, and kale and lemon and almonds and so on. Anyway, I decided to whip up this pesto to stir through some pasta as a quick and easy meal, and we used the leftovers to spread in sandwiches (kale pesto, baby spinach, marinated red capsicum and sundried tomatoes). Yum.

Image

*note: I made this with raw kale as I enjoy the taste, but if you don’t like the bitterness, it’s a good idea to blanch it first (by dropping it in boiling water until the leaves turn bright green, then transferring to a bowl of ice water). However, if you are going to heat it up (on pasta for example), you will end up losing a lot of the bitterness anyway.

Lemony Almond Kale Pesto
(makes about 2 cups)

1 bunch kale, washed and stems removed (*see note above)
150g raw almonds

2 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
3 Tbsp water (plus more if needed)
Salt
Pepper

Add almonds and garlic to a food processor and pulse a few times until roughly chopped.

Roughly chop the kale and add it to the processor along with oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Process until well combined.

Add nutritional yeast and water and process to combine. If necessary, add water 1 Tbsp at a time until desired consistency is reached. Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed.

Use as a dip, spread, sauce, or pretty much whatever you can think of. Sometimes I like to just eat it on my finger.

 

Image

Image

Raw Choc-Mint Mousse

Happy Vegan MoFo everybody! Wahoo!

This is my first time participating, which is a bit exciting for me. I was umming and ahhing over whether or not I was going to do a theme as I thought posting every day as I travel around might already be quite a challenge, but hey, I love a good challenge – so I’m hitting the ground running and doing a theme.

I’m opting for what I am hoping will be quite a simple one, which is ‘locally sourced’. This means that I will be aiming to use at least one locally sourced (from wherever I am local to at the time) ingredient every day, which as well as a fun theme is a great way to support local farmers and industry. As we are in quite a big veggie growing region at the moment, it shouldn’t be too difficult. And it’s an excuse to visit more farmer’s markets too! I know, tough gig right?

So we’ve moved on from Gympie – we left today and are currently in Bundaberg, as I have picked up a week of work selling jewellery at a stall starting tomorrow. Billy finished up his labour gig yesterday, so it was perfect timing.

Image

Before we left though, I had a chance to go on a little trip of my own to Eumundi to visit the infamous markets there. Eumundi is about half an hour south of Gympie, and a little closer towards the coast. It’s a really cute, funky little town and it is buzzing on market day.

The markets were awesome – a diverse range of arts, crafts, food, clothing, jewellery, instrument, handmade toys and so on. I had just eaten brekkie before arriving, which was a bit of a bummer as there were a few different vegan options on offer including momos, smoothies, raw sweets and a Hare Krishna café. I just couldn’t justify buying food for my already full tummy.

I did grab some organic veggies though – some local garlic, salad mix and a big bag of avocados. How I love cheap avocados!

Image

Afterwards, I decided to travel a little further to the coast as it had been a while since I’d seen the ocean. I drove through Noosaville to Sunshine Beach, where I was able to enjoy the last day of winter under the sun (not that Queensland could call this ‘winter’….29 degrees! That’s summer in Tassie!)

Anyway, enough talk, more food!

Last week I made this deliciously creamy mousse with some avocados that I got in Nanango….being well stocked in the avo department I thought it would be a great start to MoFo to share this simple and sweet recipe.

Image

Raw Choc-Mint Mousse
(serves 2)

2 avocados
3 Tbsp cacao powder
1-1.5 Tbsp stevia or other sweetener (depending on taste)
1/4 cup fresh mint
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp virgin coconut oil

Add all the ingredients to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Chill in the fridge before serving, and garnish with extra mint leaves.

Image

That’s it. It is sooo easy and I just can’t get over the creaminess..it’s amazing. It’s also super versatile, as you can easily alter the flavours – I’m thinking Mocha, Raspberry and Jaffa next. Mmm…

Image