Tag Archives: compassionate eating

Guest Blogger: Vegan4Life – Loving Hut- East Victoria Park, Perth

7 Nov
It seems that VBU! is big in Australia, have to love international blogs, it gives me great hope that there are vegans spreading the good word everywhere. Our newest VBU! blogger is Xanthi, author of the blog Vegan4Life. Here she is in her own words, “Born into a Greek family, I was a reluctant meat eater throughout childhood. I disliked animal product on the whole, yet was forced to consume them. As an adult, I learned about the horrors of factory farming and about animal sentience. Thankfully, I was able to go my own way and finally become a vegetarian. In the last few years, I flirted with veganism…until I found out the nitty gritty of what actually goes on in the dairy industry. From then on, it has been veganism, all the way for me and eventually, for my partner. With this blog, I hope to offer useful information specific to people living in Perth, Australia – be they vegans, vegetarians, people with egg, gluten or dairy allergies, etc. And although the focus is on Perth, I am sure there is plenty of content here that will be of interest to people living elsewhere.” Please follow Xanthi by checking out her blog and Twitter. Welcome Xanthi!

After having lunch at Loving Hut in Victoria Park, my partner, a friend, and I had to check out the sister restaurant in East Victoria Park.
Again, the decor was light and pleasing, and the staff were friendly.
We had a hard time to choose what we wanted for entree and mains, as there was so much choice.
Between us, we had the spring rolls, the steamed dumplings and samosas.

All were delicious and gone rather quickly between us. I don’t tend to drink while I eat, but my partner ordered a drink which I tasted and enjoyed. it was the ‘Golden Sunlight’ which is mixture of pineapple juice and coconut cream, with a scoop of vegan vanilla icecream on the top. It was heavenly!

For the main meal, I opted for the Special Fried Clear Noodles which consisted of cabbage, shitake mushrooms, carrot, tofu and noodles. They were tasty and presented beautifully. My partner ordered the Spaghetti Carbonara which I eyed off enviously, given its creamy sauce and mushrooms. This dish also came with a salad on the side. Our friend chose the Satay Tofu which had capsicum, cauliflower, broccoli, and carrot in a peanut sauce, with steamed rice on the side. She said it was enjoyable.

Having polished off our mains, we found that we were too full to fit in dessert but the cakes at the front counter just looked soooo good! It was lucky for us that they did takeaway, so we asked for a slice of the vegan tiramisu, to take home. That cake was a slice of heaven! It was big enough for my partner and I to share and enjoyed it to the last crumb! Sadly, I was so intent on trying it, that I forgot to take a photo of it! But here are some photos of the mains we had…

Loving Hut, East Victoria Park are situated on 64A Etwell Street and are open Wednesdays through to Sundays, 5-9pm.
Again, my only gripe about this place is that it is too far from my home but I have to admit, they are worth the trip.

Guest Blogger: Veggietorials – Kalbi Style Baked Tofu + Pajeon {Scallion Pancake}

12 Sep

Please welcome back the lovely Pacific Islander Kobi and her blog Veggietorials, which is full of beautiful and tasty recipes. I can’t get over how pretty her pictures are and how perfect the lighting is in her photos. You can see her previous contribution to VBU! here, it was a very pretty Cucumber Wakame salad. Do check out her out on all channels: Veggietorials, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube. Welcome back Cobi!

So this is how my crazy train of thought arrived at this recipe: I read an article about a photographer that was recreating death row prisoners “last meals”.Which then prompted me to think about what I would want as my final meal. And the no-brainer answer is Kalbi. My K-peeps understand that Kalbi (Korean BBQ) is a taste that’s hard to give up. For me, it’s more about the marinade and less about the meat. Heck, everything will taste better after a swim in this marinade. It’s the perfect balance of savory-salty-sweet. I used the Hey Shuga organic cane syrup and really liked the flavor. Sometimes I blend in some grated Korean pear, but a lot of times I don’t have it and the marinade tastes just as amazing without it.

  • Perfect for portobellas before you pan fry or throw them on the grill
  • Use a reduced sodium soy sauce for the Kalbi marinade and try it on seitan
  • Marinate tempeh overnight and pan fry

The baked tofu will have a deep flavor and chewy texture. I like to slice the baked tofu thin for banh mi style sandwiches. For salads and stir fries, I prefer the tofu cubed up. And for a quick dinner, I enjoy a Kalbi tofu “steak” with pajeon, kimchi, rice and a salad.

Pajeon (Scallion Pancake) is a savory side dish that looks fancy shmancy but is quite easy to make. I use scallions, green onions, chives or other seasonal veggies from my garden. Dip pajeon into kochoojang sauce for a little heat and a spicy kick. This Pajeon recipe was adapted from Maangchi, the internet demi god of Korean cooking. I was surprised that her original recipe was actually vegan♡. When I tried it without the Vegg and baking soda, my pancake was a globby mess even though I used a non-stick pan. The results were perfect once I added baking soda and The Vegg – Vegan Egg Yolk gave it the flavor of the pajeon my grandma used to make.

Kalbi Style Vegan Baked Tofu & Pajeon {Scallion Pancake}

by Veggietorials

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Keywords: bake fry entree side sandwich snack appetizer dairy free nut-free vegan vegetarian tofu Meatless Monday Korean

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Ingredients (4 servings)

For the Baked Tofu

  • 1 block firm or extra firm organic tofu,pressed
  • 1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons organic liquid cane sugar syrup or agave nectar
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger,minced
  • 3 tablespoons green onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds
  • optional-half Korean pear, grated. When using the pear, place all marinade ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth

For the scallion pancake

  • 15 thin green onions, cut into 5 inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon miso
  • 2 tablespoons The Vegg,pre mixed
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil


For the Tofu

Drain tofu.Remove excess water with a tofu press or wrap the block of tofu between two kitchen towels and place heavy books on top for about 20 minutes. Slice the tofu block in half so that each piece is about 1 inch thick. This process will allow the marinade to be easily absorbed.

Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a small bowl. Adjust seasoning and add black pepper to taste. Place the tofu in a rimmed dish and pour the marinade on top. Refrigerate and marinate for at least 2 hours, overnight is best.

Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place tofu in the middle of the sheet and bake for one hour total. Flip the tofu over after 30 minutes to cook and brown evenly. Remove from oven and cool slightly before slicing.

For the scallion pancake

Mix together all the pancake ingredients (except the oil and green onions) to create the batter. Heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil over high heat and place half of the scallions in even layer in the pan. Pour just enough batter over the scallions to cover them. Cook for about 2 1/2 minutes, until the edges start to form bubbles. Flip the pancake, reduce heat to medium high and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Repeat to make another pancake. Serve with kochoojang sauce if you like it spicy.

Please watch the video to master the technique.

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Guest Blogger: Afro Vegan Chick – Warm Brussel Sprouts Spinach Chickpea

18 Jun

Here’s a Brussel sprouts recipe from Janyce, author of Afro Vegan Chick blog that will totally change your mind on the vegetables. Here she is in her own words, “Hi! I’m Janyce, a writer, artist, and natural hair enthusiast from Dayton, Ohio. A vegetarian for 14 years, ultimately decided to become vegan because there seemed an unjust wrongness to eating eggs and dairy, using beauty/home products containing nasty, harmful chemicals, and so on. Veganism started as a New Year’s Resolution for 2012, but became more. This final level gave spirit a fuller sense of enlightenment and compassion. I hope to continue inspiring others to a journey of a rich, more satisfying diet and to be aware of the unnecessary evils forced unto innocent animals and their families. Like Afro Vegan Chick’s Facebook page and follow her on Twitter. Please welcome Janyce!

Snacking on a little bit of these crunchy, heavenly chips before dinner. Highly recommendable! 😉

While standing in the kitchen devouring great potato chips, dancing to tunes (no one around thankfully!), and raiding cabinets and fridge, I wondered what to create on this cool Sunday evening.

In all honesty, not usually a fan of salad (rabbit food?), especially the cold traditional kind. Maybe it’s due to eating a lot of Chipotle takeout (burroto bols yo!), but that personal preference is starting to change more as the taste for fresh quality ingredients tantalizes taste buds and creates desire for undisguised flavor. For dinner tonight, a healthy dose of green and protein. A craving for blending of different flavors together- I wanted chickpeas, Brussels sprouts, and spinach all at once and here’s how that happened.


1 14 oz. bag of frozen Brussels sprouts
1 16 oz. drained canned chickpeas
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/4 chopped red onion
3 chopped sprigs basil leaf
2 teaspoons lemon
Italian seasoning blend
2 1/2 cups fresh spinach
pinches of salt and pepper

Bring Brussels Sprouts to a boil in salted water.
Drain & set these babies aside.
Prepare basil & onion mixture to be tossed in a skillet of olive oil & garlic.
Drain chickpeas if you haven’t already.
Add chickpeas to onion, basil, & garlic mixture, getting them completely coated in olive oil.
Squeeze out that lemon juice with Hulk like strength!
Toss in the Brussels Sprouts and stir this for a minute or two.
With stove promptly turned off, toss in fresh spinach and stir until beautifully wilted. Top with seasonings blend, salt, & pepper.
Now presenting- Warm Brussels Sprouts, Spinach, & Chickpea Salad!

Why didn’t I think of pinning these foods together until now?
Very delicious- the tenderness of America’s Favorite Vegetable- Brussels Sprouts paired with chickpeas and spinach are just right. Though basil and lemon flavors were lost (had to add a bit more!), it’s surprisingly light and delightful.

Plus side: plenty of leftovers for the week too.
Let’s see how this tastes after cold, overnight refrigeration…. 😀

Guest Blogger: Bacon is NOT an herb

27 Mar

Please welcome first time poster Terri! Terri is a friend of Annie, An Unrefined Vegan and has been vegan for four months, but vegetarian for nearly four decades. Terri writes a regional blog, from central Pennsylvania, called Bacon is NOT an Herb. In PA the local Amish and Dutch cook in lard and consider bacon an herb, garnish and all around staple. Terri shares her experiences, recipes and local restaurant suggestions for vegans/vegetarians. Please welcome Terri!

Bluff Bourguignon

Mention either “food blog” or “Boef Bourguignon” to folks over the past couple of years and many would make reference to the movie Julie & Julia. It really is a sweet movie but don’t take the word of a food blogger, I am a little partial. This recipe isn’t inspired as much from the scenes in Julie & Julia where they swoon over the thick beef stew as it is from memories of the comfort my mom’s food gave to me as a kid.

On an early autumn Friday, almost 40 years ago, it was a big juicy hunk of stewing beef in Mom’s wonderful vegetable soup that I took a good long look at. My mind waged a battle between how good it tasted and how I didn’t want to contribute to the death of animals any longer. Four decades of incremental steps from that moment has now lead me to trying to replicate some of those meals Mom steadfastly prepared for us; all the flavor and love without personal guilt nor animal ingredients.

My Successful Seitan got me all in a wheat meat frame of mind, mid-January calls for a hearty winter stew. I looked up how others had tackled any vegan Boef Bourguignon. Most recipes I found started with store bought seitan like Gardien but a few mentioned preparing it themselves from the Veganomicon recipe, Simple Seitan (see Isa’s similar Homemade Seitan or Basic Seitan at An Unrefined Vegan).

I got to thinking about the difference between what the flavors of beef stewed in wine and even homemade seitan cooked the same way might end up being. I came to the conclusion that the Burgundy would have infused itself well into the beef during it’s long process of cooking while the seitan would have the flavors of whatever was in it’s simmering cooking broth. I decided to make my seitan by simmering it in a wine and broth combination (2 cups dry red vegan wine, 2 cups stock, 1 1/2 cups water, 1/4 cup soy sauce) to get that flavor well into the wheat meat. I also chose not to make the seitan in a turkey bag they way I made my Successful Seitan.

Upon removal from the simmering solution, my seitan turned out a bit purple on the exterior. This was because the only vegan wine I could find/afford was Sutter Home Cab Sauv. It really didn’t matter because when they were sauted they looked just fine and the taste was so well worth it!

Bluff Bourguignon


• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 6 cups of homemade seitan pieces (see above notes on wine simmering)
• 4 shallots, minced
• 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced crosswise into 1-inch pieces
• 3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
• 2 tablespoons tomato paste
• 1/2 of a 750 mL bottle of vegan dry red wine (refer to Barnivore)
• 1 cup vegetable stock
• 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish
• 1 large bay leaf
• 1 teaspoon dried thyme
• 15 pearl onions, fresh or frozen, peeled
• 1 pound mixed mushrooms (quartered is traditional, I also included 1/4 C reconstituted Porcini)
• liquid smoke
• 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 4 tablespoons Earth Balance, divided
• Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add seitan and cook, stirring, until seitan is browned and caramelized on all sides. Reduce heat and add shallots, carrots, and garlic; cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and cook, stirring, for another 2 minutes.

2. Transfer seitan mixture to a large saucepan; add wine and enough stock to just cover seitan mixture. Add parsley, bay leaves, thyme, and pearl onions; cover and bring to a simmer until vegetables are tender. With a slotted spoon, transfer the seitan, carrots, and onions to a large serving bowl; set aside and keep warm. Make sure the bay leaf stays in the liquid.

3. In a large cast iron skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the Earth Balance over medium heat and saute the mushrooms until they start to release some of their moisture. Add in about 3 drops of liquid smoke and stir another 3 – 5 minutes. Remove mushrooms with slotted spoon and add them into the warm bowl with the seitan and veggies.

4. In the same large skillet, add in and melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of Earth Balance. Add flour to saucepan, stirring until well combined and sauté for a minute so the flour gets cooked and doesn’t taste raw in the gravy. Pour in the wine sauce that the seitan and vegetables cooked in and let sauce simmer, uncovered, until it reaches a gravy-like consistency. Remove bay leaf and season with salt and pepper.

5. Pour gravy over seitan and mushrooms in serving bowl; fold together gently and top with parsley. Serve and enjoy. We thought it would go nicely with a starch like potatoes or maybe a quinoa side.