ZB's Vegan Recipes

Here's where you can find some fun, tasty and generally pretty easy-to-make vegan (and often low GI) recipes. Enjoy!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Queensland Adventures 2 - Lunch at My Heart Garden

My Heart Garden...what a wonderful place! It's in St Lucia, near the UQ campus, and the moment that I walked into the sunfilled, fresh smelling and very calm shop, I was ready to sit and relax and eat until I couldn't walk. Which is just as well, as that's what we ended up doing!

Our host for the day was Kapila and the lovely woman in the kitchen was Durba - there was a lovely (and very ego boosting whilst entirely embarrassing for me) moment when Susan told Durba that I'd written Vegan Indulgence and Durba got very excited because she has a copy at home and was really happy to meet me. And I her, and Kapila, they were both just so friendly and sweet and totally engaged in what they're trying to achieve with My Heart Garden.

Also very good about having a photo taken to celebrate the wonderful time I'd had there.

So. The important stuff. The fud.

I was so happy because OMG I wanted to eat everything and couldn't (but did try very hard to do so), so if you are in Brisbane you MUST go there and try as many things as possible!!

Many foods!!

I got one of the little Not Sausage Rolls home to have as midnight snack (I ate it and a peanut butter chocolate cupcake that Susan made me in the hotel bed whilst reading the third Sookie Stackhouse novel - I'd read the first on the plane and the second the previous night. It was at that moment that I realised that I was on holiday....)

There are many more yummies on display, but you'll just have to go and experience them yourself.

Anyhoo, Susan and I both had the Bliss Burger, a wonderful lentil patty on a bap with mango chutney and vegan mayonnaise and salad and peanut sauce and NOM!

Another shot, I hear you say? Oh well, okay then.

Then Susan and I decided to attempt to break the most-desserts-eaten-in-one-sitting record, by sharing the following four (yes, four) desserts.

Chocolate cake with chocolate icing, heated up so that the icing turns all saucy

Banana Pudding Brownie (yes, from Vegan with a Vengeance)

We rested for a bit after finishing these ones - here we are halfway through our first round:

*ding ding* Second Round!!

Maple Pumpkin Cheezcake (with bonus Susan-taking-food-porn shot in the background)

Finally, the piece de resistance, the Nanaimo Bar. This was...head explodingly sugary (seriously, I had to take painkillers after eating it - so very worth it!), but also really tasty and definitely addictive. I had never had a Nanaimo Bar before, but my understanding is that it is a Canadian delicacy brought recently to these distant shores. My thanks, Canadians, for bringing this ridiculously sweet sweet to my attention!!

Of course, my favourite thing about going out to eat with other people who have food blogs - taking photos of food in public places is not as weird when both of you are doing it.

We sat and groaned and drank peppermint tea and regretted (but not really) the dessert craziness, before rolling off to Susan's place (where there was much cat worshipping of Sahara, Gizmo and Dim Sim), and then heading (much too early for our poor stomachs) to Loving Hut for the last meal of the day - and the meal that would defeat Susan!! But more of that later...

My Heart Garden
Shop 5/225 Hawken Drive (opposite Coles)
St Lucia 4067
Telephone: (07) 38708898

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Queensland Adventures 1 - Breakfast at Alibi Room, Brisbane

I just spent a week in Queensland, starting with visiting family and friends in Brisbane and culminating in doing the catering for my uncle Rod and his wife Margaret's shared 60th birthday party and 20th wedding anniversary in a grand venue at Peak Crossing.

I took lots of photos and have lots of stories, so each of the experiences gets a separate (picspam) post!

I arrived in Brisbane on Monday, and had lunch with family on my father's side - my grandfather, my cousin Janet and my aunt Margaret (who I haven't seen in at least 30 years) - at a Lebanese place in West End, and then met my not-cousin, Rod's wife Margaret's son Leif, for coffee and many vegan chats - he and his partner Lyndal are vegan and very excited about having an all vegan feast at the shindig I was catering, and I was very excited to have other vegans attending!

Tuesday was devoted entirely to eating my way around vegan Brisbane. I abandoned my diet for the day and had a great time being led around vegan Brisbane by the lovely and talented Susan.

We started the day with breakfast at the Alibi Room in New Farm.

We had the Kombi Driver's breakfast, a giant plate containing hash browns, vegan bacon, vegan sausages, scrambled tofu, baked beans, spinach, mushrooms, tomato and sweet potato chips. We got the smaller size for "one" and split it between the two of us, which was more than enough food. I can't imagine getting the double sized one for "lovebirds" and trying to finish it!! I got a coffee, which was okay, but I have been spoiled by the brilliant coffee and (sadly left-the-country) barista at naked espresso in Sydney...

Some photos:

The initial decimation of the Kombi Driver's plate:

My plate and coffee

The house made hash browns were freaking amazing, and the scrambled tofu was better than I was expecting, spicy and herby.

Susan ignoring me whilst she noms and I take photos...

All in all, despite the lack of "vegan toast", a pretty good start to the day.

We went to Fundies for supplies for the shindig (but where I actually just got almonds in dark chocolate arglenom), a magic shop where Susan got a plush sleeping sickness and a sparkly pink Slinkee and Sol Bakery to grab sourdough for the shindig (best.bread.ever).

Then, it was off to enjoy a marvellous lunch at My Heart Garden, which is the subject of my next post!