Weekend of International cuisines: Part 1

Hi all, hope you had a great weekend. Mine hasn’t been too busy. I got my ring back from the jeweler and saw Silver Linings Playbook, which is a  really great film. I was going to take  a little break from cooking this weekend, but we have so much food in the fridge that it feels wrong to buy food out.

On Saturday Marco and I went to Westend Market at Davies Park. I first went here a couple of months back and finally saw what all the fuss is about. It is probably the closest thing we have to the Sukuzi Markets in Melbourne. There are fresh food markets, hawker stands from all different nationalities, clothing and other stalls and live music.

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There are heaps of great vegan eats here if you look. Last time I was here I got the No Bull vegan pie from Ykillamoocow. It was really good and it was hard to tell it wasn’t a traditional meat pie. Infact last time I was here I came espeically to try this pie.

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This time I wanted to try something different. So I got the Hungarian Tócsni with Avocado, Mushroom, Purple Onion. Its a potato rosti topped with the rest of the ingredients. Mine got broken when they made it so its hard to tell that’s what it is, but nevertheless it tasted really good. I miss avocado. They are not in season at the moment and a bit too expensive to be having everyday. Marco got a Turkish Gozleme with Spinach & Cheese. I don’t let him have cheese very often so he gets it where he can. This stand also did a pumpkin and spinach one that would be vegan.

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For desert I got a Cardamom Latte from Gypsy General Trading. It was a really hot day, but it was worth it. We also got some Salted Carmel Macadamias from Bonobo Nuts to take home. These are the best nuts I have ever had. Last time we got a tri box with the macadamias, chai almonds and some other sweet cashews. This is a must buy when you come to the Westend Markets.

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After visiting Marco’s nieces and nephew we came home and found our new Chinese student and her friends making Chinese Hot Pot. They persuaded us to try some, as there was so much left over and heaps of extra ingredients that hadn’t been used. I’m not sure what was in the stock as they said it was from China and they didn’t know how to tell me what it was. They added to the hot pot silken tofu, fried tofu, fish balls, fish cake, bok choy, wombok, enoki mushrooms and rice noodles. It was very spicy and had a strong flavor from the chili and peppercorns. It was nice, but I couldn’t have very much. I admit I couldn’t resist the fish balls. I haven’t had them in years, since I discovered how much msg and processed ingredients are in them. So I’ve slipped up again. However, I had a dream the night before that I was eating fried chicken and couldn’t stop even though I knew its bad. I haven’t had one of those dreams for ages. I use to always have dreams about eating KFC or custard puffs, when I first had to give up dairy. As long as I don’t eat them in real life, I guess its not so bad to dream about eating them.

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The girls had heaps of silken tofu left over that they were going to throw out because they didn’t like the taste of it. I took the opportunity to use it to make Marinated Buffalo-Style Tofu Mozzarella, from my new favorite book, The Complete Guide to Vegan Food Substitutions. I was a bit skeptical that it wasn’t going to taste anything like cheese, but I thought I may as well try it out. Since I was using leftovers the silken tofu wasn’t cut a bit smaller and I only had half of the amount, so I just halved the recipe.

Marinated Buffalo-Style Tofu Mozzarella (vegan, gluten free, nut free)

DSC02906Ingredients:

180-200g silken tofu, cut into cubes

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

4 sun dried tomatoes,  cut julienne

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1/2 tablespoon dried basil

1/2 tablespoon minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/8 teaspoon cracked black pepper

Method:

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1. Combine all the ingredients, except the tofu, in a small bowl.

2. Add the tofu and coat in the mixture.

3. Place in an airtight container and leave to marinate overnight. Eat room temperature.

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So for lunch today I decided to try out my vegan marinated mozzarella. I can’t believe how much this taste like cheese. I haven’t eaten cheese in 3 years so I also asked Marco, Mum and Ted to try as well. They too thought it tasted just like cheese. Just a little less salty. They all commented that the marinate was also very nice.  So if your vegan or dairy intolerance and  missing cheese this is definitely a great recipe to try.

To make the most of it I made Greek Salad wraps with Marinated Buffalo-Style Tofu Mozzarella and Homemade Hummus. It was a really delicious and filling lunch. I had to stop myself making another one after this. To go with it I made a Watermelon & Ginger Juice. I tried to make it like the one I had the the New Leaf Cafe, at Murwillumbah.

Greek Salad wraps with Marinated Buffalo-Style Tofu Mozzarella and Hummus (vegan, gluten free option, nut free)

DSC02915Ingredients:

2 Whole wheat or Gluten free Wraps

2 handfuls of sliced lettuce

1 tomato, sliced

1/2 small cucumbers sliced in battons

1/2 small red onions sliced

8 black olives, pitted and sliced

sea salt to taste

homemade hummus

Marinated Buffalo-Style Tofu Mozzarella

Method:

1. Heat the wraps in a dry pan, then fill with all the ingredients and wrap it up.

* Serves 2

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Watermelon & Ginger JuiceDSC02930 (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

3.5-4 cups watermelon

1 tablespoon grated ginger

1/2 cup filtered water

Method:

1. Whiz all the ingredients in the blender (or juice) until liquidized, then serve.

* Serves 2

After lunch we took the dogs to the dog park near Rocks River Park. If I haven’t introduced them to you yet, these are my babies, Albie and Bella. Albie is the big White German Shepherd, he’s  1 1/2 years old and is very much the baby of the two. Bella is a Maltese Shih Tzu and shes 7 years old. We got Albie together and he became our life. Bella was my brothers dog, who we adopted after we got Albie. They are best of friends now and separating them is almost impossible. Albie is a big scaredy cat, everything scares him. But he does have a ferocious bark, which is more of a deterrent. He’s not exactly friendly with new people or even with people who pass us in the street. He’s been to puppy school, extra obedience classes and I have tried everything, but he’s just suspicious of everyone. Bella on the other hand is the most friendliest dog, but if Albie is scared then she springs in to action and will fight off any dog or human who he feels threatened by. I love them so much and our lives are so much better with them in it.

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10 thoughts on “Weekend of International cuisines: Part 1

  1. The markets look great! I love the name Ykillamoocow 🙂
    The tofu mozzarella looks amazing!
    I like the idea of a Cardamon latte too.
    Your fur babies are very cute 🙂

  2. What a lovely & colourful market! I love your vegan treats! Your dogs look really cool too! 😉
    Your watermelon & ginger juice looks so tasty! 🙂 MMMMMM! Not to mention your silken tofu mozzerella styled dish!

  3. I loved reading this! Oh, I can’t wait for our summer’s farmers’ markets! The cardamon latte sounds lovely and your wraps look so tasty! I love the sound of your marinated tofu – gotta give that a try!

  4. Pingback: ‘Chicken’ Enchiladas | Live Blissful

  5. Pingback: Red Wine Barley & Brown Rice Risotto with Mushrooms and Spinach, Vegan Parmesan and Turkish Bread Pizzas | Live Blissful

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