Vegan Food Fair, Auckland 2017

Doug's World

FOOD. FRIENDS. FUN!

Do you like these things? If not, there’s probably something extremely wrong with you. Most likely, you’re a ghost wandering the earth, lost and disoriented because you haven’t made amends with Allah or Buddha or whoever. Go away.

Now, back to living people. If you like those 3 F’s (yes, there is a 4th F but I won’t go into that), then the Vegan Food Fair is the place for YOU

The mighty vegan food fair took place in the city of Auckland, last week. I suppose it is kinda late because it happened on Sunday, but better late than never as they say.

I should start by saying what makes this food fair so great – it is huge! Huge by New Zealand standards. Huge by Donald Trump standards! Are you a sleazy whore with no standards? Then it’s probably still huge.

Standard is an understatement, because this food fair is no STANDARD food fair. In fact, it’s a VEGAN food fair. In fact, I was working the fair at the gates, selling tickets. In fact, when random passers-by came to ask what the commotion was, I proudly declared that this is the biggest food fair of the whole year in NZ, and they were missing out if they didn’t go. In fact, I didn’t even mention that it was vegan. Because, why? It doesn’t matter that it’s vegan, the fact is, the food is delicious, and if you enter the fair you’re a cool cat who I want attack.

That’s a fact.

Well, I might attack you anyway, but that’s beside the point.

The point is, I volunteered at the vegan food fair, and the whole thing was a big blurry haze of eating and working, eating and working. At one point I’m munching on a PYRONI PIE (om nom), at the next point I’m pointing pointy steel barriers and trying not to drop them on little innocent children.

 

That’s okay, as long as them children are vegan they’ll have the necessary fortitude to withstand dropping big heavy weights on top of them. My job should be hurling things at kids. I suspect it would pay well.

The Vegan Food Fair was not just a food fair. It was also a place of live music, yoga, clothing, health products and more. Except I think if they called it the Vegan Food, Music, Yoga, Clothing and Health Fair, it would sound a bit much. ‘man, I can’t handle that much CONTENT in one day’. ‘Come, there will be food’, is a lot more appetising. Everyone loves food, but many people passionately hate Yoga. I think. ‘Jus’ had a fuckin yoga session, where the fuck is my inner god damn peace? Fuck this shit!’ 

Besides, if it was called the Vegan Food, Music, Yoga, Clothing and Health Fair, it would be a lot to fit on these snazzy t-shirts we wore.

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Not only did the Vegan Food, Music, Yoga, Clothing and Health Fair include vegan food, music, yoga, clothing and health, it also included legendary Australian rapper James Aspey, who sailed here to New Zealand on the back of a crocodile he turned docile with his rugged good looks and charming smile. He calls it his cro-docile.

I didn’t ‘meat’ James Aspey myself, mainly because I hadn’t done any research on him. All I knew was that he was famous, Australian, vegan and an animal rights activist. I wouldn’t know how to start conversation. ‘So, you’re a vegan aye? An Australian vegan yeah? Yeah, haha, guess no shrimps on the barbie for you aye? No kangaroo tacos for you?’ That last one is not a joke, Kangaroo Tacos is an actual thing they do in Australia, not the bacteria-ridden dinner of some Mad Max villain.

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The chalk wall by the end of the day

Overall, I’ll give this food fair my rating of 50 thumbs up. The food was delicious, the atmosphere was delicious, and the people were delicious – maybe could’ve done with a bit more salt and paprika, but they were still tender and well cooked. Let’s hope we get another food fair come 2018!!!! Until then, let’s get wasted!

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The volunteer crew! That’s me in the centre with the tartan and red and orange undershirts, looking like a weird mix between the drunken Scotsman that I am and the Latino Gangster that I aspire to be. Veganism FTW! Photo courtesy Daniel Ariyani, the awesome dude who helped organise this wicked event

How to make a MEAN Greek Spaghetti

Doug's Kitchen

Blogging is a wonderful experience. Unless you’re blogging on an 8 year old iMac – in which case, blogging is a terrible, traumatic nightmare.

But I persevere. I do it for YOU GUYS, the adoring fan(s) of my blog, you are the reason I do this! I think about you guys all the time, especially when I’m alone in my room at night!

Anyway, before I say things I can’t take back, I wanted to ask you an extremely important question – one which will change the way you see the world forever. I want you to dwell on this question for a long time, and seriously consider it and how it relates to your life. That question is this:

Have you ever wanted to cook a Greek spaghetti?

 

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Think about it for a second. You probably have never wanted to cook a Greek spaghetti, and for obvious reasons. First, I didn’t even realise Greece made spaghetti. If they did, Italy would invade. But then again, we think wine is Italian, but it was actually invented by the Greeks. I wonder what else was invented by the Greeks. Greek Yoghurt? Sure. Greek Burgers? Say what? I once watched Tim & Eric awesome show, which told me that the Romans invented wine, specifically for orgies, and I actually believed them. I honestly believed a factual statement presented by this show:

Good show. Anyway its ironic I’m talking about wine, cos i happen to be drinking wine. Well, it’s not ironic, probably considering I’ve been drinking wine which has been the source of my intention to discuss wine. That’s basically how us fancy wine connoisseur people work – we basically do two things with our lives:

  1. drinking wine
  2. talking about drinking wine
  3. thinking about drinking wine

Let’s talk about wine. In this case I’ve got two wines – the one I’m drinking is on the left – it’s from Italy (or is Italian people call it, Italia). It is a sparkly red wine – i didn’t even know sparkly red wines existed, but hey, you learn something new about wines every day. Especially if you’re always around a wine connoisseur. My cousin is a wine connoisseur. You should follow him on instagram  – https://www.instagram.com/robbiecharge/

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The portrait of alcoholism, and it’s not even a portrait

Anyway, we were gonna talk about how to make a MEAN greek spaghetti. So basically, you need lots of olives and a mushroom sauce. Basically, the whole recipe is in this book – Incredibly Delicious, which is one of the best vegan cookbooks I’ve ever read.

No they’re not paying me to say this (although they should). I just happen to think they food in this book is really really really really really really awesome. Try it! Oh, and dont forget to put some basil leaves on top in order to fancy the fuck out of it. And don’t forget to give me your money!

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Okay, I was actually gonna share the recipe but Scannable somehow managed to lose it. Don’t download Scannable – it doesn’t work. And it sucks. Mainly because it doesn’t work.

So here’s a goddamn recipe I just took from Google. Enjoy.

8 Things Vegans Need to Stop Doing

Joe's Bloody Good Opinion
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Special guest contributor Joe Bloggs

I didn’t always have a turtleneck addiction. Sure, I like the way they feel. But that’s not why I wear them. I wear them because I bloody well need to wear them. For protection. Protection from whom? Yeap, you guess it – Vegans.

Vegans are actually vampires – they suck blood. That’s the only way they get their Iron – mooching off hard-working, iron-blooded meat eaters such as myself, like some sort of dole-bludger cashing his latest welfare cheque. I remember sleeping with this vegan lady, I woke up with bite marks, and later found out she had turned into a bat and flown out of the window.

I didn’t tell my wife – as if she’d believe me. Instead, I made a pact to myself to kill every bat I see. I’ve actually begun eating bats. In hopes that one of them is her. I go into caves with my assault rifle, mow them down, gather them up and cook them in a stew.

But raising a vampire army is only the very beginning of the unacceptable behaviors adopted by these high-and-mighty freedom fighters. So I’ve composed a list of all the things vegans need to stop doing instantly before their crazy cult destroys us all.

Being Vegan

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My so-called “Mum” eating vegan food. What a joke!

What actually is a vegan? I don’t even know, and I’m pretty sure they don’t know either. All I know is that they don’t eat meat. And the only people I know who don’t eat meat are turtles. And you know where turtles belong? On islands. I heard stories that vegans don’t have jobs because it’s against their religion. Sounds dodgy to me. Whatever veganism is, people need to stop being vegan.

I tried being vegan once, but look at the disastrous results. Never again am I touching that diet. Look at my journey:

There you have it, the harrowing story of my battle with veganism. But there’s plenty of more people like me out there. Possibly you? Don’t let those vegans fool you with their tricks.

Telling me how to live my life

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Me showing off my canines

The other day I was enjoying my favourite dish – bacon, chicken and lamb burger with fish sauce and beef bun (cut from meatloaf) when this vegan walks past.

I politely ask him where the fuck he gets his protein, and it seems like that’s the queue for him to start shoving all this bullshit down my throat about beans, rice, and all this other shit I’ve never heard of. What a jerk. Why the hell won’t he leave me alone?

The things vegans need to understand is that everyone hates them. Even vegans hate vegans. Everyone is talking about them behind their backs. Especially me. Mostly me. I talk about them so much that it basically makes up for everyone. In a way, I am everybody, because I represent the views of the silent majority fed up with all this vegan nonsense.

Asking for vegans options

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Look at all the effort these poor restaurantiers had to go through to cater to these ‘vegans’. Looks like a bunch of grass to me.

Vegans need to realise that when you enter a restaurant or other food dispensing business, you are participating in a social activity, and nothing creates a horrible, awkward situation like someone asking for vegan options.

Do you realise what happens when you go up and ask for a vegan option? Do you know how uncomfortable that makes everybody? Bet you didn’t think about that. Here’s this poor cashier probably working 90 hours a week for less than minimum wage because all of our jobs have been stolen by Mexico and hard-working yet dishonest Phillipines people and now this crazy vegan comes up and starts picking fights. I hear the things vegans say. They say stuff like:

  • Give me vegan options or i’ll shoot you with my gun. *pulls out gun*
  • Give me vegan options or i’ll blow up this restaurant with this bomb. *pulls out bomb*
  • Give me vegan options or i’ll blow up this entire city with this long range stealth-equipped nuclear missile. *pulls out long-range stealth equipped nuclear missile*

When will the madness end? How far is too far for these vegans?

In my opinion, this is not good enough. My Dad fought in World War 1, World War 2 and Vietnam in order to keep this country safe from crazy Mexicans like vegans. I don’t even feel like I live in this country anymore. And it’s a shame. Especially when vegans are constantly…

Stealing my food

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Here I was just enjoying my favourite  duck, turtle and elephant soup with gorilla tongue, when this vegan picks it up and runs away with it! The truth is he can’t resist the temptation to steal. A study showed that most vegans are actually thieves.

I politely ask him to return my burger but he just pulls out his Ghost Pepper Spray and sprays my face.

Fortunately since I eat meat, I’m immune to the blinding effects, so I begin to chase him around the building. I tackle him to the ground and end up choking him around the neck. 20 minutes later, the doctor is wheeling him away and says some bullshit about him being “deceased,” like I fucking know what the word means. and now I’m the bad guy. I can’t even tell you, politically correct nonsense like this happens all the time, if you let them. So I learned my lesson not to be polite with these guys, or they’ll steal your food and your freedom. Speaking of freedom, the thing that vegans really need to stop doing is…

Being Communists

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Commies are everywhere. You gotta keep an eye out at all times.

We can all agree basically that vegans are communists. Possibly nazi communists.

Did you know hitler was a vegetarian? Apparently vegans are atheists, and atheists worship Stalin.

Makes sense, I guess. Hannibal Lecter was a vegan, aside from eating humans. And he kinda looked like a Nazi. Coincidence? I think not. Speaking of eating people, I really wish vegans would stop…

Eating People

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Stu Stew, anyone? How about some Barry Burritos or Bernie Burgers?

I can’t stress this one lesson enough with vegans, who just don’t seem to realise: People are people too. Just because they’re not animals, therefore not technically “animal protein”, doesn’t mean you can go around eating them.

Because believe me, they do. How do I know? Well, if they don’t eat animals, then where do you think they get their protein? That’s right, your Uncle Phil, the Joneseses down the road and that cute assistant at work you’ve been gathering up the courage to ask out on a date. That’s right. Vegans ate them all. I’m pretty sure a vegan is eating me right now. Something is chewing on my toe. It’s either a spider or a vegan. Either way I’m getting my gun.

Being Spiritual

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I hate all things spiritual. I don’t have a spirit, nor do I want one. I hate it when people are in ‘high spirits’, I’m like, take your spirits somewhere else. The only spirit I like is that found in a 1 litre bottle that I purchase for 40 bucks at a shop owned by Korean people.

To be perfectly honest, there’s no room for spirituality in the 21st century. I catch the cold, pee soaked train at 5 o clock in the morning and it takes me 2 hours to get to work at my terrible job. And you know what? I love it. Sometimes I pee in the train just to keep the smell alive. I’m bloody proud of it.

The last thing I need is some bloody spiritual loony lefty telling me how I can change my life. I don’t need to change. The whole worlds needs to change to my liking. Everybody is stupid and crazy except for me – the only sane person in the entire world. That’s why I write all these powerful opinion pieces. Because I’m the voice of reason in a world of madness, exposing all the horrible things vegans do, like…

Wearing Candy Canes as Earrings

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I’m not just saying this because it’s against my religion, but I find the whole practice of wearing candy canes as earrings to be utterly disgusting.

First of all, God created candy canes to be eaten, not worn. I say the same thing about edible underwear, but did she listen? No. The truth is, what is the world coming to when the things we like to eat are instead found on people’s ears? What I do with my dog and my peanut butter is my business, but when you start walking down the street, or going to clubs wearing candy canes as earrings, what are people going to do? Do you expect a girl to go up to you and eat your candy cane earrings off? Since when has a girl ever offered to nibble on a guy’s ear?

Not under my watch, anyway. I’ll have none of that nonsense. If my so-called “wife” did that to me, I’d kung-fu chop her face in half. All this candy cane communist hippie lunacy needs to go.

Finally, here’s the last thing vegans need to stop doing:

Blowing up Hospitals

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Did you ever watch the film The Dark Knight? Based on a true story, the hero of the film is a smooth talking guy called The Joker, whom, incidentally, ends up blowing up a hospital.

Well, I have some news for you – Joker was a vegan. All the signs point to this obvious truth. For example, did you ever actually see Joker eat meat?

Exactly.

And ever wondered why his face is so pale and his lips are so red? That’s because of dreaded iron deficiency caused by lack of steak, which is the worlds’ only source of iron. His hair is green because that’s what happens when you eat too many vegetables. And he bites his lip because he’s so hungry for the meat forbidden by his religion of veganism. What a jerk!

However, there is one thing I have in common with The Joker – his insatiable desire to kill bats. I can finally relate to him. On that note, I’m going to get my grenades and go bat-hunting.

And no darned vegan is gonna stop me.

Which Vegan Bean Dip is The Best?

..., Doug's Kitchen

Which Vegan dip is the best?

Well, it depends on who you ask. But since you’re on my blog, you’re asking me. You may have intentionally asked me, or you may have just clicked into this link hoping to get somebody, anybody’s opinion, and you get mine. Bad luck. We don’t always get dealt the best hands. We can start out in life in the rose gardens and end up in the ditch. Life is a bitch, and you’re a snitch. I don’t know what that means but it rhymes. Thanks, Bob Dylan.

But we’re here to discuss vegan dips. In New Zealand. And specifically, which one is The Best, and why. What makes a bloody good kiwi dip? Creamy? Hearty? Dipping Ability? After all, you don’t want a dip so viscous that you slip your chip into the dip, and break that chip on its way out. A good dip should be accommodating, not thick and clingy: you’re the one eating the chip, not the dip. And you don’t want your relationship with the tip and chip to be like a tense three way love triangle with you assuming the girl, the chip is your boyfriend and the dip is his jealous ex. If you’re wondering what I’m talking about, I guess I’m really saying you shouldn’t have sex with your dip. Dip is good for many things – eating, for example. You could probably paint your walls with dip. Heck, you could use it as a lubricant. But there’s a big difference between having sex ‘with’ (alongside) the dip, and having sex with the dip. The difference is yours to make.

Going on a bit of a tangent, here, so let me get back on subject. So the three dips we have here are the from The Good Taste Company, who released the ‘Good From Scratch’ vegan dips in a marketing campaign with celebrity kiwi chef Michael Van De Elzen, famous for his ‘hit and miss’ approach of either making incredibly delicious food, or incredibly hated food. (Okay, I wanted to include a link. I can’t find that one scene from ‘The Food Truck’ where everyone is spitting out his food. But it exists, damn it!)

He’s a nice guy though, and he’s passionate about healthy food, so he gets points.

The range of dips is hit and miss too! So let’s go through each one of them and see what they have to say for themselves.

DIP 1: BLACK BEAN AND BEETROOT DIP

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You’ll either love this dip or hate it. I didn’t like it the first time, but quickly grew to love it. It’s an acquired taste, I guess. I like it because it really does have that hearty black bean and beetroot flavour. It tastes genuine, like a homemade hummus. It’s really thick however so it goes great with thick cut potato chips and a beer. Or five.

DIP 2: SPICED LENTIL AND CARROT DIP

There’s not too much great to say about this dip. It’s far too salty,  basically tastes like an amateur lentil curry at a Hare Krishna restaurant. It might go better with some dosas or idlis rather than my potato chips. Pass.

DIP 3: SMOKEY WHITE BEAN AND GARLIC DIP

This is the more popular of the dips. I guess because it’s the only one of the three that actually tastes like a traditional kiwi dip. It’s got that creamy, sour oniony flavour that I miss so much.

However, it’s just a bit too rich for me, and they went a bit overboard on the artificial smoke flavour. I wish they did what they did with Turkish Kitchen Manuka Smoked Garlic Hummus, and actually smoked that damn thing. It tastes so much more authentic:

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The greatest hummus ever.

So in conclusion, the black bean and beetroot wins! That’s what it’s on the featured image, too. Because it’s the best dip ever!

However, many dips remain out there, some discovered, some undiscovered, some that everyone loves yet I don’t know about. So let’s take a look at some of the dips that you might be interested to try:

The Saucy Vegan does an excellent looking Avocado dip

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Nest and Glow do a Raw Sweet Chili Dip

And Seasons Gourmet do two wicked pestos that apparently make great dips:

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And in homage to my friends in the vegan wordpress community, I suggest the following:

Red Pepper Dip (also gives you a recipe for some chips to go with!)

Smoked Spinach and Artichoke Dip (sounds delicious)

Spicy Moroccan Dip (the best dip ever?)

Sweet Pea Dip (i made a typo of Sweat Pee dip which sound delicious)

Spicy Sweet Potato Dip (eat it)

Salted Caramel Pumpkin Dip (say whaaat)

Well, there you go folks! In this blog post I said the word ‘dip’ exactly 43 times. So well done to you as much as it is to me. Do you have any great vegan dips? If so, I’d love for you to share them! Leave a comment below and follow!

Tasty Tofu Scramble Recipe (+ free poem)

Doug's Kitchen

Take a gamble, and read this preamble,

In which I ramble, ’bout my tofu scramble.


Put down that soup, from a brand called Campbell’s,

Before your put your health in shambles.

I’m not asking you to give me a famble,

Simply to try my tofu scramble.


Cook enough for 10, make your servings ample,

give your friends and family a sample.

And let is be a fine example,

Of how ye don’t need eggs if ye hath tofu scramble.


I hope this preamble has made a fine ensemble,

To this terrific tofu… scremble?


Ye Olde As Recipe:

  • 450 grams of soft or silken tofu
  • 1 /2 sliced yellow onion
  • 1 tablespoon of canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of marmite
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric powder

for seasoning

  • A handful of curly-leaf parsley
  • Dash of lemon juice
  • Dash of black pepper

Directions:

Let the marmite and oil heat in the pan. Add the sliced onion once hot. Press the tofu so it’s reasonably dry, but you don’t have to worry too much. Chuck the tofu in and use your spatula to scramble it up. Add the turmeric while you mash. After it’s fully mashed, add the nutritional yeast and salt. Mash it all up until it looks like scrambled tofu. Add more yeast or turmeric to your desires. Let it sizzle the rest of the liquid away.

Have as you would have scrambled eggs, but add parsley and a bit of lemon juice to the top for a kick.

How to make some MEAN baked beans

Doug's Kitchen
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Trinity = the Man – ie, ‘who needs greens when you got beans?’

O, baked beans. The food of kings. Did I say Kings? I meant cowboys. Cowboys who don’t need guns – they can shoot bullets out of their assholes and breathe fire.

Cowboys like Trinity, pictured right: the greatest cowboy in film history. Piss off Clint Eastwood, you whiny bastard, Terrence Hill will always be the the king of cowboy movies. Take a look at the 10 minute introduction to the cinematic masterpiece ‘They Call Me Trinity’:

(And yeah, you don’t have to watch the whole 10 minutes. Just have it playing in the background so you can enjoy the awesome theme music. No that is not the theme music to Django Unchained, it’s the theme music to They Call Me Trinity, which was stolen by a far shittier movie called Django Unchained)

Trinity is a badass. The reason he’s so great is because he spends the whole introduction sleeping on his rickshaw, as if to say, ‘I’m so badass, I don’t need to prove to you how badass I am’, until about nine minutes in when he shows that he’s the greatest gunslinger on God’s Green Earth, mowing down two villains behind him with his revolver in an insanely dexterous manner which defies all logic. In between that you see him eating some very cowboy-like food, possibly baked beans. That could be the reason for his amazing gun skills. He’s not too bad at slapping, too. In fact he really seems to like slapping people. I’d slap anyone who took my beans.

Now that we’re full of beans and campy testosterone, let’s figure out how to cook some mean beans. Because baked beans are a staple breakfast food in the English world, due to their beany goodness. Rich in beans, baked beans use the power of ‘baking’ to bake the

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when yor beans are baked af

beans to perfection, delivering you a final product we call ‘baked beans’. But if you’re like me and always just buy Watties or Oak (don’t buy the Pams or Home Brand, they’re shit), you can kinda get sick of them after a while.

 

So a long time ago (back in the good ol’ days), I started experimenting with adding cumin and chilli powder to baked beans, which spiced things up a little bit. But then I started currying them, by frying up potatoes in a rich blend of spices, then pouring in the beans. Chuck in some flatbreads and the end result is this:

So if you’re keen to do something like this, here’s a little recipe:

DOUGS SUPER AWESOME MEAN LEAN R18 BEANS (adults only)

  • 1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
  • 2 teaspoons Cumin Powder
  • 1 tablespoon Chia Seeds
  • 3 – 4 Cayenne Peppers, deseeded
  • 1 can of Watties / Oak Baked beans
  • 1 tablespoon of Kale Oil

Directions:

Crush the shit out of the cumin seeds and chia seeds in a mortar and pestle. Chuck it in the pan when the oil is boiling hot. Get to work chopping up the deseeded peppers and chuck them in. Every 30 seconds pour in a tablespoon of baked beans along with a sprinkle of cumin powder. Keep doing this until all the beans are frying away with the cumin. Serve with fresh thyme, rosemary and oregano and your choice of bread.

DOUG’S SUPER INDIAN CURRIED BAKED BEANS

This is where things get intense. I actually made a little video but got sick of recording as it was an extremely hot day and frankly I just wanted to hurry the fuck up and eat the beans. I don’t know how these food vloggers do it. Anyway, the recipe goes something like this:

  • 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons of Cumin Powder
  • 3 -4 cayenne peppers, deseeds
  • 3 small kumaras
  • 1 can of watties / oak baked beans
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup of coconut cream
  • 1 can of watties baked beans
  • 1 teaspoon of Garam Masala
  • 2 tablespoons of Kale Oil

Directions:

Crush the cumin seeds in a mortar and pestle, and chuck it in the pan with the hot oil. Peel the kumaras and heat them up for two minutes in the microwave. Then dice them up and chuck them in the pan.


After a few minutes, chuck in the cumin powder, turmeric and cinnamon. Let fry for a few minutes. Then chuck in the chilli peppers. Cook until all the oil is dried up and the potatoes and chillies have become caked with spices. Then add the baked beans, and let some of the sauce fry off before chucking in the coconut cream. Finally, add the garam masala and turn off the heat.


Serve with coriander and rotis or other flatbread.

Anyway, here’s some more baked bean meals:

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Baked beans with tahini, parsley, chips, spinach, gluten-free toast and tomato sauce

 

Hash Browns with baked beams, spinach, nutritional yeast and wholegrain toast

 

 

Okay, I didn’t make this. It’s from the awesome cafe Mimosa – check it out! Tofu scramble, kumara bacon, guacamole, mushroom, baked beans and tomatoes

Tofu scramble with baked beans, mushroom, cherry tomatoes, gluten-free toast and ketchup

WELL, IT’S ‘BEAN’ A GOOD BLOG POST! I’LL SEE YOU GUYS NEXT TIME! BYE BYE!

Hare Krishna Food Festival, Jan 2017

Doug's World

What’s for dinner? Who’s asking? Am I asking myself? Does anybody really care? Are you truly, actually interested in what I had for dinner? If so I’m flattered! Well, I’d be more flattered if it was my own cooking, and then you’d be like ‘wow, you’re such a good cook, Doug, marry me’, and I’d be like ‘well, okay,’ rather than if i’m just taking photos of someone else’s food, and you’re like ‘wow, doug, you pick all the best restaurants, marry me,‘ and I’m like ‘well, okay’ and the rest they say is history.

Introductions aside, I went to Saturday’s Hare Krishna Food Festival in the Kumeu region of Western Auckland. Oh how had I had been neglecting my social life for a week or so in favour of other activities such as watching paint dry and shouting at my curtains. So I thought if im gonna make up for it I might as well socialise over plates full of hare krishna food, because generally im more sociable if im eating or drinking coffee. Or alcohol. Or all three at the same time. The trope goes that when westerners think of Hare Krishna, the following things come to mind:

  1. Cheap Indian Food
  2. That’s it

Well, turns out, a lot of Hare Krishna people like to poke fun at this, and call themselves ‘the kitchen religion’. I haven’t any interest in religion or spirituality, but eating out for cheap is one thing Auckland desperately needs so Hare Krishna helps out with that big time. Check out Mukunda’s on K road. They do a mean vegan curry! BUT THAT”S ANOTHER STORY. (see I used ” instead of ‘ not because of shift key but because so dramatic)

Let’s face it, who doesn’t love food? Aside from people with eatings disorders. Where was I going with this? Oh, okay, turns out there’s a whole bunch of people who don’t like eating. No, they’re not anorexic or bulimic or anything – they simply do not like eatingThere’s stuff you can read on the internet about it. READ IT. But dont stop reading my blog! ill miss you 😦img_6043

For all the rest of us who do like food, Hare Krishna is good cos they do exactly that. The first meal we got was this Asian Tofu Salad, SEE BLOW FOR ASIAN TOFU SALAD – which was pretty boring but it had cashews which made it more interesting. All the cashews gathered at the bottom so the reward for going through the whole thing was a big tasty spoonful of cashews. I can live with that! I could probably live ON cashews too. But I wont. Simply because of the price. Otherwise I would.

 

Asian tofu salad and somebody’s feet. Judging by his feet he must be pretty handsome

After that we noticed one food stall had a perpetually huge line, so with my sheep mentality I flocked towards that line because thats what I do, I just go with what everyone
else is doing. It was a really hot day standing in that line which had to be about a hundred people, so fortunately I had a pina colada. Anyways I got this Masala Dosa with a big range of chutneys.

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I liked the random ‘Yea baby!’ I really need to start including that expression in my vocabulary more often. ‘Time to take out the rubbish. YEAH BABY!’

 

Preparing our Masala Dosa

WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOURE ALL OUT OF FUSINO DOSA oh wait I see what you mean

Masala Dosa and four types of chutney, left, Samosas in Tamarind sauce, right, and a cool pair of funky shades belonging to somebody who obviously has a great taste in shades. Whoever he is, he sounds handsome

I also got some vada sambar and a samosa. They gave me an extra samosa, which was cool because I had waited so long, and they also happened to be the best samosas I’ve ever tried. The tamarind sauce was great as well.

Vada Sambar and Samosas! Need a name for that hand, looks like it belongs to a handsome guy. Police! Help! There’s a handsome guy’s hand on my Vada Sambar! Oh wait, never mind, it’s only my hand.

So Im full as and just decided to walk it off and explore for a little bit. The property is really beautiful, but the highlight is the Alpacas!

Even the Alpacas meditate

Now, the Alpaca was fucking awesome, but Overall the Hare Krishna festival… kinda let us down in the end. First, it felt less like a festival and more like just a general food gathering. There were only about 6 food

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Pasta dishes that looked delicious but fortunately were nor vegan pastas. I had a massive pasta craving by this point so FML. Pastapasta

stands, and only one sold all the Indian food we liked, which explains the huge wait time. I mean, when we think of Hare Krishna we think of affordable, mildly flavoured Indian food.But a lot of the food being sold was things like pizza, pasta and noodles. I was expecting lots more music, dancing, face painting and that kinda stuff. But we were all kinda sitting thtere thinking ‘this is it?’

To give them credit, it seems like the first food festival that particular group has organised in that area, so I’m assuming they were very tentative about the whole thing, and will probably to make it a lot more exciting and fun for all next time. My main plea for next time: give the kids something to do aside from playgrounds and bouncy castles (where was the face painting at?) and secondly, more Indian food!

 

 

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Hare Krishna Food Festival, Kumeu, Auckland 28 Jan 2017

6 Easy Vegan Uses for Marmite

Food

High in Iron and B12, Marmite is the Garbage Collector of vegan food: it offers a valuable service without getting any recognition or appreciation.

But I think a lot of people simply don’t know how to use it. So I’ve gathered together a few simple tips and ideas for getting started on your wonderful yeasty journey with the power of everyone’s favourite black sludgy tar.

Cook it on your curry

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courtesy of thatgirlsgotanappetite.wordpress.com

You wouldn’t normally associate curry with marmite, but in western curries it’s a done thing. Find out why.

Curries usually begin with a spicy sauté. More traditionally you’d use butter or ghee, whereas vegan curries tend to use coconut oil. However, many British curries tend to chuck a spoonful of marmite into their sautés, and it gives the curry a sharp, meaty tang.

Check out this BBC recipe for an easy vegan curry with marmite. I’ve tried it many times and I love it.

And here’s a thread on the veggieboards forum discussing the use of marmite in curry.

Spread it on your avocado toast

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courtesy of honestcooking.com

Toast some wholemeal sesame seed bread, spread on top marmite and layer out half an avocado. Top it off with some sesame seeds.

Due to its high iron content, I would frequently make this for my girlfriend who was anaemic. I made sure to make plenty for myself too because it’s also insanely delicious!

Pour it on your pizza

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courtesy of pinterest.com

Marmite adds a tang to simple pizzas that goes well with the yeasty base. The best trick is to warm the marmite and apply it as the base sauce. Chuck on some tomato paste, basil and vegan cheese.

Gloucestershire Vegans has a great pizza recipe using marmite. Check it out!

Chuck it in your chip butty

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courtesy of foodnetwork.co.uk

Chip butties are a paleo’s worst enemy. Starch on starch. Why not add some yeast into the mix? This is actually really delicious, and a lunchbox favourite.

Take white bread, spread on margarine, hot chips (or potato chips, if you’re feeling thuggish) parsley, marmite, tomato sauce or your favourite vegan aioli.

Wedge it between Weetbix and Gary

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courtesy of marmite.co.nz (I cropped out the glasses of milk like a good vegan bastard)

A vegan take on the poor kid’s lunchbox classic – weetbix, cheese and marmite. I absolutely loved these as a child.

Well, okay, I didn’t love it, I didn’t have exactly high standards back then. But this makes an easy and fortifying snack to take with you wherever you may roam. Simply take a wheat breakfast biscuit and spread on a thin layer of marmite. Top of with your favourite vegan cheese.

Stock up on marmite and lettuce sandwiches

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Courtesy of marmite.co.nz

Another poor kid’s lunchbox classic, but also great for when you’re on the road. I took a bunch with me when traveling across Northland on foot and it was hugely sustaining.

The marmite.co.nz website has many other shockingly easy marmite recipes, some of them vegan. Check out this vegan marmite kumara slider recipe, looks delicious!

Well, there you go folks! Some easy ideas for incorporating marmite into your plant-based diets. I’m always keen to hear more ideas so leave a comment below or get in touch with the facebook group VANZ (Vegans Aotearoa New Zealand)

Kumara (Sweet Potato) Bacon Recipe

Food
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It looks like bacon and eggs, it smells like bacon and eggs, it tastes like bacon and eggs, but brother it ain’t bacon and eggs!

I tried googling a recipe for Kumara Bacon but I only found recipes that uses Kumara AND Bacon. So I stole this excellent recipe for rice paper bacon from Sweet As Vegan – a great recipe, check it out! But I replaced rice paper with Kumara, which I find a bit more substantial and to be honest, more bacony.

The advantage Kumara has over its rival potato is that it’s edible raw. Well, as long as you cut it thin enough.

This simple recipe is for a crunchy Kumara bacon which tastes like a gristly and fatty bacon. Of course, it’s a lot more tolerable when you know that isn’t actual gristle you’re tasting – it’s just the crunchy fibers of kumara. No pig. Just kumara.

  • 1 kumara, yellow or white
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of barbecue sauce
  • 3 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • Dash of black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon savoury or nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon of shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoons of water
  • Oil

Mix the soy sauce, barbecue sauce, smoked paprika, pepper, yeast, shredded coconut and water in a bowl. Then slice the kumara about 1cm thick. This can be difficult at first since the kumara will be quite tough but you’ll get the hang of it. If you want you can use the wide mouth end of a grater.

Take the kumara slices and submerge both sides in the ‘batter’. Shake off any clumps and put it into a pan of hot oil.

Fry each side for about 15-30 seconds. The moment you see the slightest charring, take it out and put it in a colander for the oil to drip off.

Great! You’ve now got kumara bacon. Have it with some tofu scramble or chuck it on a decadent Elvis Sandwhich… if you dare!

I’m Never Baking a Pizza Again

Doug's Kitchen

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I’m never going to bake a pizza again.

‘Wait a minute,’ you’re probably saying right now, ‘how are you going to live without pizza?’

That’s a fine question. A life without pizza is no life it all. It’s more of a static existence, like a pebble on the sidewalk.

Don’t worry. I’m still going to make pizza, I’m just never going to bake pizza. Because now I’ve discovered the wonder of fried pizza, I’m never looking back.

Specifically raw-fried pizza. That may sound like an oxymoron, and it is. But what I mean is simply this: the pizza base is fried, leaving you free to chuck on your topping fresh and raw.

I got the idea from this Jamie Oliver video with Antonio Carluccio doing his favourite fried pizza. Real Italian pizza tastes fresh and alive. Its been abused by Americanisation to the point where we associate Pizza with cholesterol and heart attacks. But Italian food is usually fresh as fresh can be. Are you reheating your leftover pasta? If you are, stop now! It’s better cold. Anyway, here’s the video:

And not only did this pizza look tasty, it was fully vegan pizza until the last moment when he chucked some Mozzarella on the top.

With all this talk of Italian tradition,  you may call it sacrilege to fry your pizza. But I think good vegan food is not about imitating your old favourites, but reimagining them. For me, pizza went from a cheesy, sticky mess to a living, breathing dish full of flavour and character. Nothing beats fresh sliced capsicum or Kalamata olives straight from the brine. And basil is just something that was not ever meant to be served any other way but freshly picked of the plant. That’s why if I urgently need basil, I buy the whole plant.

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If you’re making gluten-free bases, you are at an extra advantage, because the best GF pizza bases are made from a liquid batter, like a pancake. This allows you to make them as thin as possible. The best gluten-free bases are thin, crunchy and fried.

Also, frying your pizza takes less time than baking it, meaning you have more time for activities, or making more pizza. Pizza no longer seems like an ambitious task, and so ultimately, I am eating more pizza.

And a life with more pizza is a better life.

Going raw isn’t about abandoning everything and eating just fruits and nuts. It starts with finding ways to implement raw practices into your meals. Do this enough and idea of a fully nuked dish just doesn’t appeal to you anymore. So get started on a raw-fried pizza and share your results with me today!