I wish you all a Happy New Year and belated Merry Christmas!
Time has just flew since we had a our party on the 20th. After that I had Christmas to organise and family spend time with in the days following. I’m now over six and half months pregnant and exhausted from the busy season and the heat. It’s any wonder that I fell asleep by 11pm last night. The holidays are not over yet though. I fly tomorrow to Melbourne for my cousins wedding and won’t be back till mid next week. Hopefully going to get some good eats in Melbourne, especially now my appetite has become monstrous.
Over the past few of days my little one must have grown a lot. I got a shock when I saw my tummy and how much it had grown all of a sudden and I am eating like a bottomless pit. Here’s a snap we took last night.
26 weeks and 5 days
For new years Marco and I decided to have a quiet one. It was our last new years as a couple before we become a triple. But the last thing I wanted to do was be around more people or crowd at Southbank for fireworks. We ended up being spontaneous thought and booking dinner at an exciting new restaurant that just opened up in Westend.
Vegerama West End Restaurant has finally opened their doors recently. They offer 100% Vegetarian Breakfast, lunch and Dinner, as well as many vegan options and gluten free. I have been a long time customer of Vegerama since I discovered their vegetarian store in the Myer Centre and then their vegan store on Adelaide Street (Brisbane CBD). I also ordered their food for our big party recently. Everyone who came to my party loved their food. I was so happy to showcase some of the best vegan food in Brisbane for my carnivorous friends.
So last night we booked in for their New Years Dinner, which was a set menu of sharing dishes, pizzas and desserts. Sorry didn’t get some nice shots of the restaurant, but even Marco intends coming back again very soon.
I was really hungry. Marco not so much. So we just ordered Veggie Burger Sliders with Rustic Mixed Fries & Chilli Mayo and Satay Pizza (satay sauce, roasted pineapple, crumbled tofu and hawaiian herb salad). They managed to make them both vegan for me as well.
We were both really impressed by the flavours. The little patties in the veggie sliders tasted really good and almost meaty. The fries were also really well cooked and not oily at all. The pizza was also really nice and a great tropical take for such a hot night.
I managed to finish most of the food on my own. Marco did suggest something about taking some of the pizza to work, since he had an 8 hour shift at 1am. But I didn’t seem to hear that. I told you my appetite has become monstrous!
I know I have been really slack lately with posting recipes. I have been cooking, but I have just become overwhelmed with getting everything onto the table and haven’t had chance to take many photos.
For Christmas I was more relaxed this year. Since we had twenty family members I decided I could not cook all that food myself again this year. So I let them bring their own meat and dairy desserts.
I still wanted to do a vegan main so I made this Lentil, Mushroom, Spinach Spicy Nut Roulade from Mouthwatering Vegan Recipes. Mine does not look anything like Miriam’s one. I ran out of baking trays so I had to try and fold it in a round dish, then it would roll so I had to add another piece of pastry. Despite all the issues everyone really liked it surprisingly. Well everyone except Marco. He really isn’t a fan of the silverbeet spinach that I used.
I also made this delicious vegan Caesar salad which is a mash up between Alicia Silverstone’s and Angela Liddon’s (Oh She Glows) Caesar salads. I did forget the croutons but everyone really liked it and didn’t realise it was vegan. I will post this recipe soon when I get a chance to make it again. I also made a hell lot of roasted vegetables to complement the mains.
For dessert I made Chef Chloe’s Lemon Squares from her cookbook Chloe’s Vegan Desserts. They were a big hit with everyone. Can’t wait to make them again or another flavour variant. Mum made this little fruit platter, similar to one a friend made for my party. I also made this Double Tiered Coconut Cake with Coconut Frosting. This recipe is adapted from Chef Chloe’s Classic Coconut Layer Cake also from Chloe’s Vegan Desserts. Sorry I don’t have a better photo. My mum already started hacking at the other side of the cake before I got a chance to take a photo. I did include the recipe below since I don’t think I will be making this one for a while. My freezer is still full of desserts from the party. Poor Marco is going to get diabetes just trying to finish them.
Double Tier Coconut Cake with Vanilla Coconut Frosting (vegan, soy free, nut free)
2 cups unbleached plain flour
2 cups pastry flour (or another cup of plain flour)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1.5 cups evaporated cane sugar (panela) or raw sugar
2 cups plant milk (soy, almond or coconut works best)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2/3 cup coconut oil or grapeseed oil
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
1.5 cups shredded coconut
Vanilla Frosting to garnish (recipe below)
2 cups shredded coconut to garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Take two 9 inch round cake pans and grease with some vegan butter and then line the bottom with baking paper.
2. Take a medium bowl and combine the milk and apple cider vinegar to make a buttermilk. Leave for a couple of minutes so that it thickens.
3. Then add the sugar, oil and vanilla. Whisk or use a hand beater.
4. In a large bowl add the flour, baking soda and sea salt.
5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and use a hand beater to blend the batter till smooth.
6. Stir through the shredded coconut.
7. Place the batter in the cake pans. Make sure they are evenly distributed and smooth on top. Bake for 30-35 minutes. While baking rotate the pans half way through.
8. Once the cakes are cooked, leave the pans to cool on a cooling rack for about 20 minutes. Then carefully take them out and leave to cool for 30-45 minutes.
9. Place one of the cakes on the cake stand and top with about 2/3 cup of the frosting. Then add the second cake and frost the cake from the outside in, until it is completely covered.
10. Sprinkle the frosted cake with shredded coconut and serve when ready.
3 cups powdered sugar
1 cup vegan butter (I used nutlex)
pinch sea salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4-5 tablespoons of plant milk
1. Use a hand beater to blend all the ingredients until smooth and fluffy.
*Enough for 1 double layered cake.
Again I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!!