Ssss…Subiaco and Scarborough on a Saturday and Sunday

While in Perth, we stayed with my Nanna and Grandad in Claremont. It was so lovely catching up with family and just hanging out, and for me it felt as though it were just yesterday that I was there. Hard to believe it has been a whole year since I was in Perth, finishing up my uni placement.

Claremont is a stone’s throw away from Subiaco, which is the home of a weekly farmers market every Saturday morning. We took the train over one morning to check them out.  It’s a great little farmers market, with a lovely vibe. As we walked in, we were greeted by the Subiaco Ukelele Free For All (SUFFA) group playing – mad deja vu to the Cruelty Free Festival this time last year. They are fabulous and never fail to bring a smile to your face.

We wandered around the markets, picking up the odd bit of fruit and veg and browsing the different wares. We found one little stall (that I can no longer remember the name of) that was selling a range of little cakes and treats, mostly raw. Billy picked up a little pecan tart and I chose a gorgeous little blueberry cake. Billy’s was being digested before I could even reach for my camera. Mine survived long enough for this shot…

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Billy’s was a little bland, but mine was packed with flavour. It was almost just a blueberry puree, and rich like a jam. Just lovely!

After the markets we wandered around the op shops, then completed our morning with a trip to Gelare, as we had heard rumours of a couple of vegan flavours. We weren’t disappointed. Not only did they have the usual vegan sorbet flavours, but they had vegan chocolate, cappucino and coconut flavours. We shared a cup of coconut and cappucino.

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Yum! The cappucino was awesome, and for me it was necessary to balance out the coconut which I can find a bit overpowering sometimes.

The following evening, we decided to check out a place in Scarborough called the Wild Fig for dinner with my Nanna and Grandad. We had read a bit about the place (and it’s sister cafes – the Naked Fig and the Pickled Fig, in Swanbourne and Fremantle respectively). While the website declared that the menu changed seasonally, there appeared to be several delicious sounding vegan dishes. I was quite excited.

The Wild Fig is a nice open space, looking out over Scarborough beach. It was just starting to get quite busy when we arrived, as it had been a warm day, and being the weekend, many people were migrating up from their day the beach.

Looking over the menu I was surprised to find that the two main vegan options I had been eyeing off were nowhere to be seen! In fact, the only vegan dish apart from the sides was the bruschetta. I was a bit disappointed to have no choice after such a promising online menu (that included an amazing sounding lemon and thyme polenta dish and a szechuan pepper and cashew crusted tofu dish, as well as a vegan pannacotta…YUM), and was told by the waitress that they have a vegetarian night on wednesdays with plenty of veg options. I couldn’t quite understand why at least one of these was not made available on a regular basis. Aaaanyway.

We started with a trio of dips with bread, which we were assured were all vegan. You’ll have to excuse the TERRIBLE pictures, as the lighting was just starting to get dim around this time.

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These were nice, I particularly liked the centre dip – a sundried tomato based one.

Next up I got the bruschetta. As it was an entree, I decided to get a side of chickpea salad, as I thought it would be quite small.

Again, please excuse the horrible pictures here. It’s all I got.

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This wasn’t what I expected at all. The bruschetta was a mix of tomato, red onion, sweet potato, pumpkin, rocket and balsamic. This was decent, albeit a little plain compared to the other dishes I was teased with. I was disappointed by the plain toast arranged on top of the veggies, somehow I thought it should have been a nice thick slice of something rather than a flat piece of toast, particularly given the price.

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This was nice, but again, a little plain. It was dressed with olive oil and did not have a whole lot of flavour. In fairness, it was just intended as a little something on the side. It was nice and fresh though, I’ll give it that.

The service was okay, but seemed to be quite disorganised. Our dips came out quite quickly, but there was a big gap in between until a different waitress came over all of a sudden and asked if we were ready for our mains. There was also an extra main added to our bill, though the waitress noticed the mistake as she gave it to us. It wasn’t at all a bad experience, in fact, despite what I’ve just said we had a pleasant time. I just couldn’t help be disappointed by the lack of vegan options on the regular menu, after seeing so many listed. I would still love to go and try some of them on their vego night.

Subiaco Farmers Markets
Subiaco Primary School
271 Bagot Rd, Subiaco
Every Saturday – 8am-12pm

Gelare
51 Rokeby Rd, Subiaco
Mon-Sun – 9am-6pm

Wild Fig
190 The Esplanade, Scarborough
Mon-Sun – 6am-10.30pm

Fremantle Eats: The Juicy Beetroot and The Raw Kitchen

As I said, I’ve got a series of eating out related posts to come from the time we’ve spent around Perth over the last week or so. I’m amazed at all the wonderful new (and old) places popping up around the place here.

I had the opportunity to visit Fremantle two days in a row during the week – once with family on an op-shopping mission, and once on my own, wandering aimlessly about.

The first day, we started with lunch at the Juicy Beetroot – a cosy little cafe tucked way down at the end of an alleyway, almost out of sight. It is 100% vegetarian (and very vegan friendly).

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I visited the Juicy Beetroot with Billy and my mum this time last year when we were here, and it concreted it’s place in my mind as a cosy little place to get wholesome, yummy food at a reasonable price. The main menu features a range of salads and a range of hot foods which you can mix and match in a bowl. I got a ‘small’ bowl for about $10 and was able to choose six different salads to squeeze in there.

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Yeah I know, not the greatest picture. But it was good. And really filling. I had a variety of different salads, from roasted mushrooms to tahini broccoli, to tofu and sprouts and more. Topped of course with some chili sauce.

You can get a huge bowl for about $13, but I wasn’t quite hungry enough for the big salad (sorry Elaine).

The following day I missioned back to Freo, spending my morning visiting the lovely Arts Centre. I remember coming here as a child, the beautiful limestone buildings and green shady gardens – it really is a charming place. Over the warmer months they hold free Sunday afternoon music sessions in the courtyard which would have been cool, but we weren’t able to make it. Next time!

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I wandered around the galleries for a while, pretty much having the whole place to myself that early in the morning (aside from an older gentleman who was super enthused about one of the exhibitions and kept making comments about the pieces as we passed each other – his happiness was infectious!)

Afterwards, I sat in the courtyard of the cafe for a coffee and a bit of quiet reading time.

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I spent the next few hours browsing the streets of Freo – shops, markets, buskers and more. Around lunch time I ducked over to the beloved Raw Kitchen for a bite to eat. I got in just before the big rush – the place is so so popular. They are in the process of relocating to a larger shop which will be really great for them, although it’s on a street rather than in an arcade/courtyard so they will lose all the outdoor seating – bit of a bummer.

Anyway…I was having some mad cravings for their raw pizza, so I ordered a piece and a chai smoothie pronto.

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(Again, not the most inspired photo).

The pizza was just as I remembered – topped with stacks of basil and big dollops of smooth delicious cashew cream, as well as olives, sundried tomatoes, fresh tomatoes and mushrooms. I wasn’t hungry enough to go for the two salads on the side (nor did my wallet want to cop that one…).

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The smoothie was a little sweet for me, and I was a bit bummed I hadn’t gone with the choc-mint or choc-chili that I’d tried before and liked. But noooo, I had to try something NEW! If they had eased up on the agave and let the lovely spices shine through, I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more. Personal preference I guess.

On the way out, I picked up a cappucino cake to go, to share with Bear later.

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Oh. My. Gosh. Let me tell you….it was incredible.

I had tried quite a few of their desserts last time I was in Perth – namely the choc-mint slice, two different cheesecakes and a macaroon. But this one quite literally took the cake!

Well, the choc-mint slice is probably on par (I can’t go past that flavour combo!), but what I loved about the cappucino cake was the strong coffee flavour and the texture – beautiful silky smooth without being as rich and dense and the cheesecakes that I’d tried before. It was just divine.

The Raw Kitchen is a bit of a favourite amongst locals, with delicious healthy food and wonderful happy service. I was sort of disappointed to hear along the line that they didn’t necessarily use organic produce though. While they aren’t exactly marketing themselves as an exclusively organic business, for the price they charge I would kind of expect it. A single slice of pizza is around $10, or $19 with salads. Most of the mains (nachos, club sandwich, pasta, etc) are about $20 each. My smoothie was around the $9-10 mark, and the cake about $8.

It’s pricey, but there’s no denying that the food is absolutely scrumptious. Gimme some more of that caaaaaaaake.

The Juicy Beetroot
132 High St, Fremantle W.A.
Mon – Fri – 11am-4pm
Sat – Sun – CLOSED

Fremantle Arts Centre
1 Finnerty St, Fremantle W.A.
Open 7 days – 10am-5pm

The Raw Kitchen
Shop 14, Piazza Arcade
36 South Terrace, Fremantle W.A (not for much longer though..!)
Mon – Tues – CLOSED
Wed – Fri – 11am-3pm
Sat – Sun – 11am-4pm

Choc-peanut ‘keep-you-going’ balls

I’ve made these balls a couple of times over the past two weeks or so, particularly since the big trip across to Darwin. When you’re driving for 6-8 hours a day in the heat, you need something to keep you going (aside from the bazillion litres of water) and give you a bit of a kick. These are great for stemming sugar and chocolate cravings too, as they have the sweetness and the chocolateyness plus nutrition, all rolled in one super duper little ball!

The first time I made these, we didn’t have access to power so I waited for the dates to get really soft, then mashed them with a fork. If you prefer, you could definitely whizz these in a blender or processor.

Also, it might be worth noting at this stage in my blog that I eye most of my measurements. We live in a small van as we travel, and I don’t have measuring cups or spoons. I use a mug for my cup, but mostly I just eyeball things – I think I have a pretty good eye by now. In saying this, some of my recipes may be a bit out of whack for you. This can normally be remedied by adding a bit more of this or a bit more of that. When I get home, I promise I’ll be more precise, but I’m afraid that’s how it is for the time being.

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Choc-peanut ‘keep-you-going’ balls

1 1/2 cups dates
3 Tbsp natural peanut butter
3 Tbsp coconut oil
1/2 cup shredded coconut
3/4 cup oats, pulsed a few times in the blender (or use already crushed/ground oats)
3 Tbsp chia seeds
2 Tbsp cacao powder
pinch of salt

Soak the dates for a few hours until soft, then mash with a fork (or process).

Add peanut butter, cacao and coconut oil and mix into a paste. Try to resist eating off spoon or spreading on toast.

Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. If mix is too moist, try adding some more oats or coconut or cocoa. Likewise, if the mix is too dry, add a little more oil or some water.

Roll into balls and refrigerate until ready to eat.

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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.

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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!

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veganmofo

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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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…

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Raw Pad Thai

So I’m thinking about doing Vegan MoFo…is anyone else here signing up?

I’ve been following it for years, but now I’ve got my own blog I think it’s time to  participate. I don’t know how well I’ll do at posting every day, especially once we’re on the move again, but hey – could be fun trying! I’m excited for the interweb being alive with vegan blogging!

Yep, I’m in.

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Now, I just wanted to interrupt my backlog to share this beautiful meal I ate the other night, courtesy of the lovely Sophia at Silk and Spice. Raw Pad Thai had been at the back of my mind for a while, and once I saw the colourful recipe she’d put forth, I knew I had to try it. I managed to snap a picture of it just before sun down (we get terrible light in the van), so it doesn’t quite do the dish as much justice as it deserves, but you can hop over and check out the recipe in all its glory here.

I used coriander instead of chives as I had them on hand, and we squeezed a bit of lime juice on top too, and let me tell you – it was deliciously fresh, crunchy and filling. A winner! Thanks Sophia!

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Raw Pasta with Creamy Garlic Avocado Sauce

I loooove raw pasta. For some reason, it seems so much more filling than just eating the constituents on their own, and it’s definitely way more fun. I whipped this one up the other day and we enjoyed it for lunch on a sunny Queensland winter’s day. It’s really yummy, and soooo easy. Go ahead, try it!

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Raw Pasta with Creamy Garlic Avocado Sauce
(serves 2)

1 large or 2 small zucchinis
2 cloves garlic
2 medium avocados
3 Tbsp basil infused olive oil (plain olive oil will obviously work fine too…I had this on hand and thought it would be tasty – it was!)
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped tomato and red onion to top (optional)

Turn zucchini into pasta using whatever method you please…spiralise, veggie peeler, grater, etc and separate into two bowls.

Chuck garlic, avocados, oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper in a food processor and process until smooth and creamy. Taste for seasoning. Add water one tablespoon at a time if you’d like the sauce to be thinner.

That’s it! Easy as that! Divide sauce between the two bowls, top with chopped red onion, tomato and a generous sprinkle of pepper. Enjoy!

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