Tag Archives: vegan

veggie eats in: St. Pete’s

Before I left on my trip I did a bit of research – specifically for vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Russia. I heard that it might be a challenge to eat well as a vego in Russia and I didn’t want to starve. Over the next couple months I am going to try and share some of delicious places that I have tried around the world. (Complete with pictures if I was brave enough to take out my Camera… which I clearly was not while in St Petersburg.)

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Cafe Ukrop
Ulitsa Marata 23 (191025)

I stopped by this cafe on my first day in St Petersburg when I was all alone. I had read that Cafe Ukrop had English menus, so I knew that I would be ok there. The cafe is quite cute but on the first floor they don’t speak any English. The guy behind the counter smiled, but then opened a notebook that had various English phrases written out. He pointed to: English Restaurant upstairs.

So up I went.

The Restaurant was very nicely decorated, very clean and modern and very organic. The menus were clear and just about every dish looked amazing. The vegan dishes were marked, as were raw dishes and anything that you add milk or cheese to.

I settled on a potato, pea and cucumber salad with a cashew mayonnaise and lots of dill – Those Russians love their dill. I was craving vegetables in a bad way, so I also had a carrot juice. Gotta keep my orange glow.

I would definitely recommend this place for vegans and veggies alike. I didn’t try their desserts, but they looked amaze. I found all these places on HappyCow.com so check that out too – usually opening hours are listed but most places in Russia are open late (9 or 10)

Cafe Botanika
7 Ulitsa Pestelya (near Mukhinskoye Arts Institute)

We visited Botanika on our second day. And then our third. And then our fourth. They, too, had an English menu and waitresses that were adorable. On our first visit, Sean and I both had a juice and I went the full Russian and followed that up with a beet salad and then some Borsch. BEET OVERLOAD (but not – I could eat Beets forever.) Both dishes were sooooo good. Sean had a Dillwich, whichh was some kind of wrap – and a mulled wine. The prices were reasonable and the food was so comforting.

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We returned the next two days for multiple coffees. Mostly cause the waitresses were so cute.

The Idiot
Nab. reky Moiky 82

The Idiot was our restaurant of choice for our night out to the theater. We arrived at about 6.15pm and were greeted and seated immediately. The decor was very homely – it kind of felt like I was in a Babushka’s dinning room. There were tall candles on each table and china cabinets against each wallpapered wall. It was sort of in the basement of a building which made it a very cozy place to dine. The menu was in both Russian and English with some charming spelling and grammar mistakes. We opted for the non-smoking section, but pretty much everyone smokes in Russia and you can do it pretty much everywhere – so that is something to keep in mind, it was rather smokey.

The best part about the Idiot is by far the bread basket. It comes with about 5 different kinds of the best bread ever. They also bring you a trio of flavoured butters (not vegan) but still a nice touch.

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For drinks we ordered a honey and pepper spiced shot of Vodka (when is Russia) and Sean got a beer while I ordered a wine. Upon serving our drinks the waitress also brought another complimentary shot of vodka from the bar. So just to sum up – 2 shots each and an extra drink. I have read that they give this complimentary shot to everyone. Bonus!

IMG_0578I had a delicious meal of salad and with an odd main that ended up being a ginormous plate of green beans.

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I would suggest trying something with a bit more variety – but just a side note, those beans were AWESOME.

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Sean ordered a burger – which he said was awesome… but why didn’t it come with a bun? Peculiar.

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Still a great place – a bit more expensive but really nice for a night out.

🙂
See you in Moscow!

x

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strawberry muffins and ohmygod it’s august.

woah.

Where did I go?

Where did time go? Is it august? Is it MID-august? Holy moly, you guys. I can’t even.

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Things are happening behind the scenes over here and it seems I haven’t baked in like… 67 549 years. That is an exact estimate.

Let’s not dwell on excuses as I have none. STRAWBERRY MUFFIN TIME!

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I feel like strawberries aren’t put into muffins enough. Blueberries, for sure. But strawberries? And I don’t know why NOT, cause these are delicious. Crazy yummy. And I like to over stuff the muffins liners so you have ginormous cafe-like muffins. oh yes.

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Strawberry Muffins
Adapted from my blueberry muffins.

1 c. whole wheat flour

1 c. all purpose flour

1/4 c. oats

4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 c. brown sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 c. raw sugar

1 c. oat milk (or any non-dairy)

3 tbsp mushed banana

1 lemon, zested

1 c. fresh or frozen strawberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease or line a 12 inch muffin pan with liners. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugars, baking powder and salt. Create a well and add the milk 1/2 cup at a time. Mix with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Mix in lemon zest, vanilla and banana and stir until fully combined. Gently fold in strawberries, try not to over mix muffin batter.

Spoon batter into muffin cups, filling about 3/4 full. Bake muffins for 22 – 25 minutes until fully baked. OR fill the liners all the way full, bake as normal or maybe a few minutes more and enjoy huge muffins.

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Check back next week! I promise to post more than once a month. 🙂 I have more things to share! Exciting things!

xxx

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Filed under Adventures in Australia, Breakfast, Muffins

Breakfast and Dessert – basically the same thing

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You know what’s weird?

That oatmeal and rice pudding have essentially the same ingredients and preparation/cooking instructions but one is a very distinctly a breakfast and one is very much a dessert. What is it with oats and rice? Why is rice a dessert and oats are a breakfast? Well I say to hell with that.

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Rice pudding for breakfast anyone? If we put fruit on it… its basically a balanced meal. duh.

I’m down with this train of thought.

Next thing: Why has the world been keeping home-made compote from me for the past 20-odd years. Who’s wise idea was that?

I didn’t think it was that easy to make I guess. And man, it is better than jam and contains less sugar… so why would you ever make jam?! WHY!? Why would you try (and probably fail) to can/jar things in boiling water  when you could really, honestly, just eat compote from the saucepan…? Riddle me that!

So – I made rice pudding. And then I made compote. And then I layered them like a fancy person and put lemon on top like an even FANCIER person and then my tastebuds exploded.

If I can have fancy tastebud explosions… so can you!

Lets get into it!

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Rice Pudding

1/2c. Arborio rice

1 c. coconut milk

1 c. oat milk

1/4 c. raw sugar

1 tsp. lemon zest

1 vanilla bean (scraped)

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Blueberry Compote

1 c. bluberries

1/8 c. sugar

1 tbsp. lemon

1 tsp. lemon zest

1 tsp. arrowroot powder

For the rice puddin’

Pour the coconut milk, oat milk, rice, sugar, and zest into a saucepan and bring to a boil over med/high heat. Once the mixture is boiling, lower the temperature and allow it to simmer while covered for about 30 minutes. I usually eyeball this because it always depends. I taste it and take it off the heat when the rice is cooked and there is only a bit of liquid left. It will firm up quite a bit as it cools. Now, mix in the cinnamon and vanilla bean scrapings.

Serve hot or cold with blueberry compote.

For the Blueberry compote

Toss everything in a small saucepan and simmer on a medium heat until sugar has dissolved and you crush up some of those berries. It doesn’t take long… 3-5 minutes.

Eat direct from saucepan. Or layer with rice pudding like a fancy person.

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xxx

 

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Filed under Breakfast, Desserts, Puddings

Canadia does desserts

Well well well… here we are again.

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It’s CANADA DAY!
I’ve talked at length about what it’s like to be a Canadian in another country and here I am again – feeling just the same way.

I spent the weekend deciding what to bake for Canada Day. What quintessentially Canadian treat could I make to commemorate the day?

Canadian Bacon Sandwiches with mustard? (mmm. no.)

Poutine? (ahhh… no thanks.)

Elk Burgers? (… is all Canadian food the opposite of vegan?)

Shot glasses full of maple syrup?

PERFECT. I mean… ok… maybe not. But that would be AWESOME and I secretly eat spoonfuls of maple syrup all. the. time.

What else is Canadian?

Really? I dunno. This is a question I struggle with a lot. People often ask me what Canadian cuisine is. I don’t know.

Canadian bacon and maple syrup. Get down with it.

But here is the thing I realized… in Canada we have a plethora of desserts. Desserts that I always just ate and enjoyed and assumed that the rest of the world was eating and enjoying them with me. I was so wrong!

There are three desserts that I have discovered recently that many people from other countries have never had the pleasure of tasting or sometimes even heard of!

UNREAL.

Here they are in list form:

1. Smores. I know. I KNOW, guys.I don’t think this is necessarily Canadian only… but it’s definitely a North American thing. My boyfriend and his friends knew nothing of these “smoresss” I spoke of when we first met (in Canada) and furthermore you cannot even buy Graham crackers here in Australia. WHAT EVEN IS THAT?!

2. Beaver Tails. Pastry with cinnamon sugar. Um… does it get any more delicious? They resemble Beaver tails… BOOM – Canadian.

3. Nanaimo Bars. OK it kind of makes sense since Nanaimo is a place in British Columbia, but hell, i didn’t know that until I was like… 18 at least. Woops.

4. BUTTER TARTS! How and why is this only a Canadian thing? I grew up with these tasty tarts. Interesting. Well today I introduce them to Australia… in picture form only. Cause the actual recipe was very touch and go… into my mouth.

But also they didn’t hold up thattt well. So I’m not gunna tell you it was top notch. I think the problem was the crust which should have been thicker. All the ooey-gooey ness inside the tarts just broke loose and ooozed er’rewhere. Still delicious.

Anyway, had to share since it’s CANADIA DAY!

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🙂
Have a good one!

xxx

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Filed under Adventures in Australia, Desserts

chocolate chip cookies

COOKIES!

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Cookies have been happening a lot around here. Like these &  these! Both winners, however I had yet to make the old classic: Chocolate Chip!

My Dad makes a pretty mean cookie… in my highschool days I could often eat 5 at a time after school. MAN they were good.

And on that note…it’s Father’s Day in Canada!!!
Happy Father’s Day to the most awesome Dad in the world. He is super rad and hip and drinks scotch and listens to music really loud. and it’s NOT cause he’s deaf, it’s cause he’s bad ass. He also once rode his bike to attend a Foo Fighters concerts by himself… and I think that’s just plain cool.
And while I will never forget the PMI… and I will hold it against you for always, you have redeemed yourself with incredible cookies and delicious muffins.
Can’t wait to hang out soon. And bake things and make things hopefully with some new kitchen appliances in the t-dot! 😉
nice-fam
MISS YOU PAPA HICKS!
love love love

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Back to the cookie at hand… if your thinking that I’ve made these somehow a good-for-you alternative, then you’re wrong. Keep searching if you must – but when your ready for a classic, chewy & sweet cookie, please return. I’ve not gone to any lengths (at all) to make these healthy – This is a good old fashioned chocolate chip cookie. Lots of sugar, lots of chocolate. White flour. Let’s get amoungst it.

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Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from here
½ c. coconut oil
1 c. brown sugar
¼ c. oat milk
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 c. flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1/2 c. chopped up almond chocolate (More chocolate would be nice – but I ran out. Not surprising…)
1/2 c. walnutsFirst, pre-heat the oven to 350* F. Cream together the coconut oil & brown sugar. Make sure its well mixed. THen add in the vanilla and milk.
In a separate bowl combine the dry ingredients. Combine the wet & dry and then fold in the chocolate and nuts.
Roll the dough into balls in tbsp sized portions. Its is pretty crumbly but just smoosh it together and it’ll be grand. Flatten the dough a bit on the pan and shape each cookie. Press some extra chocolate on top for delciousness and appearance. I also sprinkled a couple grains of sea salt on top. Cause sweet & salty… I mean come on.
Bake for about 8-10 minutes.
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Let them cool… or not. and enjoy!
xxx

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Filed under Adventures in Australia, Cookies

ch.ch.ch.ch.ch.ch.ch.ch.cherry bomb

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I just googled “random facts” because I was having trouble getting started on this blog post. Sometimes random facts are inspiring.

Like this one:
Every second Americans collectively eat one hundred pounds of chocolate.

What?! is that a thing? How is this stuff even measured? What about at night time? Who are all the lonely hearts eating 100 pounds of chocolate a second between midnight and 6am.

This is an interesting fact that I have a feeling may not have much truth to it. But I’m gunna roll with it, I may not be American, but this makes me feel better about the 3 oversized chocolate bars a consumed last week.

Aside from my chocolate cravings which are ongoing and unavoidable… I am craving muchos carbohydrates lately. Muffins are delightful. Scones are perfect. Cherry Banana bread is amaze-balls. I didn’t think of it prior… but chocolate would be a GREAT addition.

Just doin my part to contribute to the random facts of the world.

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Let’s get into it.

Cherry Banana Bread
Adapted from this recipe

3 ripe bananas
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 c. unsweetened apple sauce
1/4 c. raw sugar or brown sugar
1 chia egg
2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. oats
3/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. frozen cherries
1/2 c. walnuts

First, grease a bread pan and set aside. Preheat your oven to 350*F.

In a large bowl, mash the banana until very mushy. Combine with the sugar, lemon juice, chia egg & apple sauce. Add the cherries and fold through.

In a separate bowl combine all the dry ingredients, including the nuts. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until just combined. Pour the batter into the bread pan and spread evenly. You can top it with some more cherries and walnuts for good measure.

Bake for about 55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Eat it and be merry.

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I also just read that in 1879 Belgians tried to train cats to deliver mail. Not surprisingly… it did not work.

Mail cats. pft.

xxx

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Filed under Adventures in Australia, Breads, Breakfast

blueberry scones

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I get into grooves a lot. Grooves… or habits. Habits or routines. Routines… or slightly OCD behaviour.

Like that period in my life during high school when it took me 30 minutes to complete my extensive bed time routine, which involved the opening and closing and locking and double checking of every door in my house.

Like that time from kindergarten to grade 4 when I cried everyday before school.

Like that time when I compulsively saved every cent to buy a wiener dog.

These grooves/habits/routines apply to my eating as well.

Like that time when I ate only Just Right breakfast cereal –  for every meal. I craved it so bad… it was… Just Right. And here’s the kicker – I ate it dry. Yeah no milk for this girl. I would pour literally two cups of cereal in a ziploc bag with a spoon and take it to work for dinner. This went on for months. And then one day I just wasn’t eating it anymore. Haven’t had any since, actually. (Put on list of things to do for when I visit Toronto)

And then there was that time I only ate avocado on toast with tomato. Oh wait… that one is still going on.

And of course there was that summer that I made scones like every three days. That was by popular demand though. The demand from Sean.

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Anyway, it seems like I get into routines but then I drop them suddenly without reason and never look back. I haven’t made scones in what feels like forever. So this recipe had to happen.

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It should happen for you too regardless of your current food routines.

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Sean loves it when I stack my food.

Blueberry Scones
adapted from here

1 1/2 c. white flour
1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/3 c. raw sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 c. coconut milk
1 c. blueberries

Preheat oven to 425*F. Sift the flour together with the baking powder and then mix in the salt and sugar. Now add cold coconut milk and mix until just combined. Fold in the blueberries or fruit of choice and gather the dough into a loose ball. Turn dough onto a floured surface and form into a circle or square or rectangle or whatever about 3/4 inch thick and cut out 8-10 scones in whatever shape you please, traingles, circles, it don’t matter. Brush some extra coconut milk on top and sprinkle with extra sugar.

Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment and bake for 15 minutes – 20 minutes or until golden brown.

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xxx

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Filed under Adventures in Australia, Breakfast