Viva La Vegan!


I got to Sydney a bit before 10am after sleeping most of the flight and getting another great breakfast from Qantas: Sanitarium Rice Bubbles this flight with soy milk, an apple and a Nanaberry from Rowie's Cakes in Marrickville, with Organic QUINOA flour!  One of my closest friends, the lovely Jess from The Cruelty Free Shop picked me up.  Once again the weather is cold and miserable when I'm interstate, though at least it's not raining, yet.  I hung out with Jess for awhile at her place where I'd be staying for the long weekend and then let her get some work done so I headed into Rozelle which is just around the corner from her, and where some of my favourite second-hand shops are! 

First though is lunch at Iku Wholefood one of my favourite places to go when I'm in Sydney, it's a vegan macrobiotic place that has many different stores and a great selection of healthy meals. I had the lasagne with greens.  I normally get the eggplant version, but as they didn't have any ready to eat, I had the tomato, olive and baked vegetable version AU$10.50 yum


Followed up with their Black Sticky Rice Pudding which was good but not as great as I'd remembered... what does that mean I wonder?!  AU$3.50 for black and brown rice, water, palm sugar, cornstarch, creamed coconut and sea salt.  They also make a great sago and salad dressing.


I then went to my favourite vintage and op-shops in Rozelle and found 4 new dresses: one white halter, one grey for winter, one pink strapless and another pink one that I hope to wear next weekend at the Vegan Festival in Adelaide!  Each time I come to Sydney I always make sure I go to U-Turn as not only do they have a great selection in the front/main section of their store, but when you walk out the back there's a whole other section of just dresses!

Afterward I went to About Life a huge health food store that I got lost in for awhile while I waited for Jess to pick me up.  For dinner Jess and I headed to the new Green Lizard Vegan & Fusion Raw Cafe with Lee & Sue Coates from Cruelty Free Super, a good friend of my family and I who I used to work with at Chandlers, Scotty, and Jess' friend Louise.  The owner John came out and explained the menu as well as showed us some of his ingredients, including the ingredients for the Green Drink - pickweed (a weed/vegetable with a great amount of protein), papaya, cucumber, watercress and mint...


which would end up looking like the below photo.  We all started with the green drink and were informed by John that we should drink these before our meals arrived.


Sue decided to try something different, so she had the raw Almond Milk: soaked almonds, soy milk, mint and goji berries AU$8:


Green Lizard Vegan & Fusion Raw Cafe is a tiny place in Kings Cross that just fit us and two other couples.  It was also freezing so we shut the door which didn't bother John as he "already had enough people."  Their raw food has to be cultivated and prepared so John advises that it's best that you call a few days in advance.  John is a great guy who will advise you of how to correctly eat his meals.

For entrees, Lee had the Broadbean salad: baby broadbeans on roasted rice paper with warm red palm oil, oregano, lemon juice and Himalayan rock salt AU$8


Sue had the Strawberry pancakes: strawberries with herbs on roasted rice paper with paprika, lemon juice and mint AU$8:


Louise had the Blueberry pancakes: blueberries on roasted rice paper with paprika, lemon juice and mint AU$8:


Sue then had the Mushroom Deluxe for her main meal, consisting of mushrooms and herbs grilled in red palm oil AU$15:


I had the stuffed Tofu AU$15:


And the rest of the group: Lee, Scotty, Jess and Louise all had the Bento box which was a combination of my stuffed tofu, Sue's mushroom dish, with rice paper rolls, and brown rice AU$18:


Great food, we all felt amazing afterward!


Today Jess and I were meant to attend the Sydney Vegan Bake Sale in Newtown to raise money for Charlie's Angels Horse Rescue, who were one of the stallholders at my Green Earth Festival this year.  Unfortunately it was pouring so the bake sale was washed out ;(  Fortunately we had also decided to eat brunch at Naked Espresso that a friend Leigh Drew, owned and manages.  I also caught up with Josh, one of the chefs who I had met late last year when he won one of the Bake Off categories for one of my festival fundraisers.  My best friend since year 9, Trent, came along to hang out with Jess and I and catch up on all the news.

Jess ordered the BLAT: two Redwood streaky-styles rashers, lettuce, avocado and tomato with organic sourdough toast, vegan mayonnaise and dijon mustard AU$11.90:


Trent and I both ordered the organic buckwheat pancakes with organic maple syrup and organic agara syrup with sliced seasonal fruit AU$12.90 I managed to just eat all of my meal, very filling but great!


Here is the selection of some of the goodies from the Sydney Vegan Bake Sale that Leigh ended up selling at Naked Espresso since the spot outside was rained out, to raise money for Charlie's Angels Horse Rescue:


Baked items were sold for $3 each, 2 for $5 or 4 for $10, they all sold very quickly!  After brunch Jess and I went on a postering mission in Newtown, putting up posters to advertise the Cruelty Free Festival that was taking place the next day.  Jess originally started the Cruelty Free Festival but has handed it over to another friend of ours, Sarah Wade to run.  We were trying to think positive, no-rain thoughts all day for tomorrow, but it wasn't looking good...   We ran into some lovely gals we'd both met at last year's festival, Miranda and Sally, who had just moved up my way to the Gold Coast.  I look forward to catching up with them when we're all back in Queensland. 

There's an all-vegan shop called Vegan's Choice in Newtown which is right next to Green Gourmet:


they sell a good range of vegan products including desserts and Addiction brownies - my favourite!


After our postering we headed back to Jess' where I watched a movie, Whip It and chilled out a bit before we heading to Nourishing Quarter for Sarah's partner, Matt's birthday.  Dinner guest included: Jess and I, Sarah and Matt, Sundara, Tracy and Ben, my friend Robbie, and Matt's mates Craig and Scott.  The staff at Nourishing Quarter were a bit worried about whether all ten of us would fit along with a few other tables of people, but we managed.  This is a mostly vegan restaurant that has only just opened in Redfern.

We all shared the Sweet Angel Wraps: marinade creme de tofu sheets interwoven with royal quinoa grains and buckwheat/white vermicelli noodles, omega-3 chia seeds, crispy julienned pickled carrots and cucumber wrapped in Vietnamese rice paper, servew with Nourishing Quarter special peanut and bean dipping sauce 3 for AU$12:


also shared the Sacre-Bi Rolls: royal quinoa grains, chia seeds, tofu strips rolled in roasted anciet grain (thinh) powder, buckwheat/white vermicelli noodles, lettuce, spices and exotic green herbs rolled in Vietnamese rice paper, served with flavoursome clear soy-based Nuoc Cham sauce 3 for AU$12


Jess, Scott, Sarah and Sundara all had the Sacred Congee, the Nourishing Quarter speciality consisiting of Vietnamese congee with lemon juice, pickled Spanish onions, pickled ginger, black pepper, hot chili, shredded cabbage/seasonal sprouts, Ancient Grains Mix and tofu regular size AU$12.50 large AU$15:


Tracy, Ben and Matt had the Lemongrass Tofu as did Robbie and I, which we shared along with a couple of other meals below.  Spicy Lemongrass in Textured Tofu with seasonal vegetables was served with their Ancient Ama-No grains mix.  Small AU$15 large AU$20:


Robbie and I also shared the Sacre-Frictura: crispy quinoa and corn fritter made up of julienned sweet potatoes, fresh corn, onions and shallots in Ancient Royal Quinoa/Amaranth batter mix served with tamarind-based sauce AU$11.50 for two


Sundara and Craig both had the Passage to India: tofu, pumpkin, chickpeas, peas and amaranth, served with Ancient Ama-Noa grains mix and fruity greens summer side salad Large AU$20:


Which brings me to an amazing dish that Robbie and I shared, like a fried rice but with Quinoa, Amaranth and brown rice.  This is one of the BEST meals I have had in a long time and that includes all the meals I had on my US adventures!  This dish consists of red, black and white (!!) quinoa, amaranth, brown rice, onion, coriander, carrot, celery, peas and corn.  I cannot express in writing how beautiful this dish is and how impressed I was with this restaurant.  No sure how much it was though, I'd guess about AU$15-20:


In discovering the amazing dish above, I had a lengthy talk to the chef and owner, Lam, who is just as obsessed with quinoa as I am - maybe even more, could that be?! He told me about his grain mix (see the photo below) that consists of the three different types of quinoa: white, red and black, plus amaranth and brown rice.  They have a huge jar of this mixture that they pretty much use in every dish, plus they also sell the mixture, Ben walked out with this very pack:


I am thoroughly impressed with Nourishing Quarter, it is now by far my favourite place to eat in Sydney, without a doubt.


I was hoping that it would be a beautiful day for the Cruelty Free Festival as the venue was outoor at Belmore Park right in the city, plus I had a newish dress to wear when I was emceeing the event. I've recently been informed that Sydney people are similar to Brisbane people in that if it's raining they won't go out.  If this happened in Melbourne, no one would ever go out!  So Jess and I were thinking positive weather thoughts all weekend and, guess what?  When I awoke from my semi-slumber it was great weather!  As Jess had left too early for me so that she could set up her marquee for The Cruelty Free Shop Sundara, Ben and Tracy picked me up and we arrived just before I was meant to start the day off.  It was a great day with a lot of people, I was very busy all day with my emcee role but had a few hours break when my friend Lindsay and his Triple J ex-radio partner Marieke took over from me.  Tom Ballard also did a stint looking after the main stage for me and the two of us did a bit of co-emceeing which was fun!

Most people think I live in Sydney and it's always great to visit, hang out with some of my closest friends and favourite people and catch up on vegan eating, purely for blogging purposes, obviously.  I did a bit of networking at the festival in between the emceeing.  New favourite cakes are from the lovely ladies at Ruby Fruit who make amazing cheesecakes (I had two) and who gave myself, Jess and Sarah all a box full of cupcakes at the end of the day! I also caught up with a FaceBook friend of mine, Brittyn, who was in Sydney on the first leg of her Australian adventure.  Brittyn would be coming to Brisbane the week after and staying with a mutal friend of ours, Justin who runs Hellhound Hotdogs.  Even though I was completely exhausted, Brittyn and I went to dinner at Green Gourmet where you pay for the weight of the food you put on your plate.  Sorry that I didn't get any photos, blame it on my exhaustion from a job well done emceeing!  So this picture of their deep fried ice-cream with chocolate sauce will have to suffice:



Okay, so this vegan tour is starting to wear me out...  I'm really hanging out for my first proper sleep in for over a month after next Sunday's Vegan Festival in Adelaide.  My full-on month started with a wedding one Saturday followed by the Animal Activist forum on the Sunday, then last weekend I was in Melbourne for World Vegan Day with a couple of days home in between to catch up on work.  Jess and I are both doing the three vegan festivals - only one more left.  We were exhausted when we woke up!

We took our time getting ready and then went to meet Jeremy from Vegan Perfection at Iku Waverley.  Jess had the Mezza plate: an assortment of Iku snacks, pickles and sauces AU$9.50


I had the Macro wrap consisting of fritter greens and sauces wrapped in wholemeal flatbread AU$6:


Jeremy and I then shared some cake.  On the left is the chai spiced semolina pudding with rice cream, on the right is the coconut and lime cream pie with rice cream.  Yum.  Both were UA$7.50 each


I left late in the afternoon when the skies were about to start pouring down.  Luckily the weather held out for the festival.  Sydney and my Sydney friends I will miss you until next time we meet...

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