Oct 31, 2011

Liebster Blog Award

I got an award!  I feel so loved.  Thank you for giving me this award Stuff About Stuff!  What a wonderful person.  If you're interested in vegan food and especially vegan parenting check out her awesome posts.

Liebster” is German and means ‘dearest’ or ‘beloved’.
The idea behind this award is to bring attention to bloggers who have less than 200 followers and show your support during VeganMofo!

The rules of winning this award are as follows:
  1. Show your thanks to those who gave you the award by linking back to them.
  2. Reveal 5 of your top picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
  3. Post the award on your blog. 
  4. Enjoy the love and support of some wonderful people on the internet!
My top picks:
  1. The Compassionate Cook
  2. Hobby and More
  3. Christine eats gluten free and vegan 
  4. OMGosh I'M VEGAN
  5. Vegan4Life
I'll admit to not knowing how many followers some of these blogs had, so I went by the number of comments on their posts :).  If you're interested in vegan food or animal rights at all, do give them a squizz and a follow.

Oct 30, 2011

Lush Cosmetics

Lush is situated at various locations around the city.  The below photos are from Lush Cosmetics in the Myer Centre in Queen Street Mall in Brisbane.

I first found Lush due to the wonderful aromas coming out of their store; I simply could not resist!  Upon entering, I discovered that a lot of their items are vegan-friendly!  To make it easy, they have a vegan symbol on the label so that you know straight away what you can or cannot buy.

Lush has also taken a stance against palm oil and have eliminated it from their range, replacing it with a coconut and rapeseed oil mix.  They even reportedly shared the ingredient combination with other companies so that they, too, can be free of palm oil.  Not only this but they are against animal testing!  Another amazing thing about Lush: they support charities where they can.  What's not to like?

The people who work at Lush are always cheery and easy to talk to; not once have I been left standing there waiting to be approached, or made to feel awkward.  If you have a chance, go check them out, they are a really awesome company that deserve the support.

What do you think of Lush?  Do you purchase products from Lush?  Why or why not? 

Oct 29, 2011

Book Review: Creating a World Without Poverty

Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism by Muhammad Yunus is one of the first books I ever read about poverty and what needs to be done to fix it.  I first found out about Muhammad Yunus through Kiva, which is a microfinance organisation inspired by Yunus' work.

Muhammad Yunus started the Grameen Bank after realising that something needed to be done about the extreme level of poverty in Bangladesh.  It allows poor people (mainly women) who are refused by banks, to take out loans in order to get themselves and their families out of poverty.

In this book, he talks about the current divide between the people with money and those without and how this divide is growing.  I was utterly devastated to find out the statistics.  He offers hope, however, in the form of investment in social enterprise.

Social enterprises are businesses that are not run for profit, but are run to encourage better lives for the people in the community.  They are still businesses in that they are self-sustaining (this makes them quite different from charities), however the long-term goals are not profit.  The goal can be either making money for poor owners, or providing a service that is sorely needed.  He states that each of us has the potential to become part of a social enterprise, either through ideas or investment.

This really was a fantastic book.  It is well-written, very informative and backed up by research.  There are good examples of why certain things work and others don't.  I really enjoyed reading this and I hope you do too!

Looking for a book?  Check out Better World Books.

Oct 28, 2011

November Brooch Giveaway

Sorry it's been so long since I gave something away guys!  I've been busy with university and I've not been in the best place financially.  This is actually my last ever giveaway.

However, I plan on doing a fundraising event on alternate months.  That's hundreds of dollars worth of stock being given away, postage and time for you and for good causes :).

This giveaway is for this stegosaurus brooch.  As always, I'd love it if you could share it with friends, family or even on your own page or blog.  Remember that all my stuff is handmade and handsewn by me, vegan friendly and with 10% going to charity.  It helps me pay for food and new socks so I really do appreciate it everyone!

In order to go into the draw, you  must send me an email at kommonerkraft(at)yahoo.com.au.  I will draw the winner out on the 28th of November.

Halloween Goods

So here is my creepy collection of things that I have made that are perfect for halloween!

Go check out my Facebook page for more awesome Halloween goodies! :)

Oct 27, 2011

Farmer's Market

The Farmer's Markets are held every Wednesday in Redacliffe Place, outside the Casino in Brisbane.  It runs from 10:00am to 6:00pm and is always very busy.

There are awesome fruits and vegetables from local farmers, as well as locally made treats like chocolates and mushroom dishes.  Some people also sell oils, herbs and spices!

My friend grabbed a mushroom and avocado dish from the I Heart Mushrooms tent.  It smelled so delicious!  I had already eaten though.

And I was suprised to find these vegan and raw vegan treats in a tent near the back.  They all looked so delicious!  I wish I had bought some!

Oct 26, 2011

Movie Review: Earthlings

Earthlings is one of the most talked about documentaries in vegan and animal rights circles.  I avoided watching it for a year after going vegan because I thought I 'knew it all' already.

Little did I know that I still had something to learn.  I learned that no matter how many facts you know, how many books you read, how many rallies you attend or how many recipes you look at, nothing, NOTHING compares to actually seeing an animal suffer.

This documentary uses a lot of what some people call 'emotive' images.  I call them truthful images.  It goes through all of the various industries that we humans have created that exploit animals and use them as commodities; fashion, food, pets, circuses, research...

I recommend this for anyone who is having trouble connecting what is on their plate to something that is a living, sentient being that is capable of feeling pain and knowing suffering.

WARNING:  This movie is very graphic.

The movie is available to watch online for free.

Oct 25, 2011

Six Simple Sexy Smoothies

So in a bid to get healthier, I have decided to ditch vegemite toast as my breakfast of choice and replace it with a smoothie.  As I hardly ever touch fruit, this will help to make sure I get some decent vitamins in my system too.

Peach and Apple
*1 apple, peeled and chopped     $0.90  (I used Granny Smith)
*8 pieces tinned sliced peaches  $1.15  (or 1 peach, peeled and sliced)
*1 tbsp maple syrup
*3/4 glass of soymilk                  $0.65

Total:  $2.70
Source - veganised

Peach and Banana
*8 pieces tinned sliced peaches  $1.15 (or 1 peach, peeled and sliced)
*1 banana, sliced                        $1.98
*3/4 glass of soymilk                 $0.65

Total:  $3.78

Apple and Strawberry
*2 apples, peeled and chopped   $1.24  (I used Pink Lady)
*125grams fresh strawberries     $1.24 (half punnet from Coles) 

Total: $2.48

Strawberry, Apple and Orange
*2 oranges, juiced                       $1.22
*125grams fresh strawberries     $1.24 (half punnet from Coles)
*1 apple, peeled and chopped     $0.62  (I used Pink Lady)

Total: $3.08

Apple, Ice and Orange
*1 apple, peeled and chopped $0.62
*1 orange, juiced                     $0.61
*10 ice cubes

Total: $1.23

Banana and Strawberry
*2 bananas                        $3.45
*1/2 punnet strawberries  $1.24
*1/2 glass non-dairy milk $0.65

Total: $5.34

Oct 24, 2011

Breaded Tofu

Inspired by a photo that Sarah posted on her facebook page, I checked out her recipe for breaded tofu.  And then I made some and I REGRET NOTHING!  Seriously, delicious.

*1 block tofu (500gm)
*1/4 cup flour
*2 tsp paprika
*1/2 tsp chili powder
*1 tsp each garlic powder, turmeric and ginger powder
*pinch each salt and pepper

1. Put all ingredients except tofu in container.  Shake.
2.  Cube tofu, put in container.  Shake.
3.  Either bake at 180C in oven or fry in frypan til brown.

Note:  I ended up with a lot of leftover breading stuff, so maybe halve it :).

Oct 23, 2011

Charity Event - Kisschasy, Movie and Animals Australia

Sunday afternoon and night, I spent my time volunteering for the wonderful organisation Animals Australia.

The event is sponsored by Ben and Jerry's unfortunately so it's not a vegan friendly event by any means (although a representative told us about how they have won awards for their practices).  However, Kisschasy, the headlining band, got to choose the charity that money would be raised for and they chose Animals Australia, which I think is pretty damn awesome of them.

Janelle brought along some rad vegan cupcakes that she invented the recipe for (hopefully she shares it!).

The other bands that played on the night were Hungry Kids of Hungary and Glass Towers.  There was also an awesome movie, Life in a Day that was played, the trailer for which is below.  Unfortunately I left after being there from 4-7 so I didn't get to see it :(.

All in all, the day was pretty chilled.  We sold a few badges, but most people were there for the music, not to talk to us about animals.  Hopefully the event helped to raise some money for Animals Australia so that they can continue to do an awesome job!

Oct 20, 2011

New Tattoo!

Today I got a tattoo that is probably one of the first ones with any sort of meaning attached.  It's of a giraffe with stuffing coming out of it, pins stuck in it and patches.  I chose a giraffe because that was one of my first ever soft toys as a child and I chose a soft toy because, well, I make a lot of soft toys through Kommoner.

Unfortunately I couldn't get a great photo as it's kind of awkward taking a photo of your forearm...  I got it done by Eammon from Cooloola Tattoo in Gympie.  Best.  Tattooist.  Ever.

Stuffed Mushrooms

*16 large mushrooms
*1 onion, diced
*2 tomatoes, diced
*1/3 cup breadcrumbs
*2 tsp garlic
*1 tsp parsley
*1 tsp paprika
*salt and pepper to taste

1.  Preheat oven to 180C.
2.  Remove stems from mushrooms and chop.
3.  Chop the onion and fry together with mushroom stems.
4.  Mix together with spices, breadcrumbs, tomatoes and herbs in a bowl.
5.  Spoon into mushroom cups.
6.  Roast in oven for 15-20 minutes or until mushrooms look cooked.

 I definitely will have to try making stuffed tomatoes next time!  Mmmmm.

Oct 19, 2011

Pizza - Mushroom and Spinach

Pizza.  Delicious and easy and meal of champions.  So versatile and open to anything new.  Here is my plain old boring contribution to the pizza world :p.

*9 mushrooms, sliced                     $2.00
*9 cherry tomatoes, halved             $1.24
*half an onion, diced                      $0.16
*handful of fresh spinach leaves    $0.50
*pizza base/pocket bread                $0.62     ($2.14 for gluten free, depends on brand)
*BBQ sauce
*garlic powder, salt, pepper, chili powder

1.  Preheat oven to 180C.
2.  Fry up onion and mushrooms.
3.  Put base on alfoil on tray.
4.  Put BBQ sauce on base, then layer toppings as desired; I went spinach leaves, mushroom and onion, tomatoes.
5.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until spinach leaves are sufficiently wilted.

Total: $4.52 ($6.04 for gluten free).  I eat the whole pizza, every time hehe.

Variations: Use three cut up veggie dogs, some capsicum, pumpkin, grated carrot and/or Toffuti cream cheese.  Even try different sauces :).

Oct 18, 2011

Eggplant and Tomato Casserole

I've never made a casserole before. Yes, I know, I lead a sheltered life haha. I found this recipe for an eggplant and tomato casserole over at This Vegan House thanks to Randomofo.

The dish that I used was a bit big so it ended up being a bit shallow. Unfortunately I don't have any no-egg or nutritional yeast so I made do with what I had and it still tasted delicious.

Below I have copied the recipe with my alterations and the costs of ingredients.

*1 large eggplant, peeled, cubed $1.49
*500g tofu, cubed                       $5.23
*2/3 cup gf breadcrumbs            $1.50
*1/2 onion, finely chopped         $0.27
*3 tomatoes, sliced                     $1.14
*salt, pepper
*1 clove garlic, crushed
*2 tsp oregano
*1 tsp chili powder
*1 tsp dill
*1 flax egg (1 tbsp flaxseed meal + 2tbsp water)

Add any other herbs or spices you want.

1. Bring eggplant and tofu to boil in salted water, simmer until eggplant is soft.
2. Mix breadcrumbs, onion, herbs and spices together.
3. Make the flaxseed egg.
4. Drain and mash eggplant and tofu when finished, mix everything together except tomatoes.
5. Layer tomatoes on bottom of dish, place mix on top, layer top with more tomatoes.
6. Bake at 180C for 40 minutes.

Makes: 6 serves

Total: $9.63 or $1.60 per serve.

Calories:  1134 or 189 per serve

Protein:  81.1g or 13.5g per serve

Oct 17, 2011

Cauliflower & Tofu Curry

Well this was my first time trying to make a curry.  I think that next time I'll ditch the tofu and add some coconut milk to thicken the sauce so it seeps all through everything...  Mmmm...  Below is the recipe I used from various recipes on the net to make this.  Let me know what you think it needs or point me in the right direction for curries as I love the curries I buy from Vege Rama!

*1 onion, chopped               $0.35
*3tbsp ginger and garlic    
*500g frozen cauliflower    $2.66
*1 can chickpeas                 $1.00
*2 tsp garam masala
*1 tsp turmeric
*1 tsp chili powder
*1/2 cup water
*500g tofu, diced               $5.02
*1 tbsp lemon juice
*1 cup of rice                     $0.70

**Take cauliflower out to defrost before you start this!**

1.  Put rice on to cook. 
2.  Fry onion and tofu in a bit of oil and the spices (if you didn't defrost the cauliflower, chuck it in now).
3.  Add cauliflower, water, chickpeas and lemon juice.  Let simmer to ensure flavours get in to the tofu.
4.  Serve with the rice.

Total: $9.73 or $2.44 per serve (makes about 4 serves).

I tweaked this recipe as I like things to be simple and it didn't have enough of a punch for me.

Oct 15, 2011

Restaurant - Vege Rama

After lounging around drawing on my friend while he was on the phone, then seeing him off to work, it was time for lunch.

I don't normally eat out as I'm trying to live off about $70 a week for food, transport and any other miscellaneous things that might crop up, but I had failed to pack myself a lunch so could not resist the siren call of vegan curry.

Brown rice with white chickpeas curry - $7.00 – And yes, I ate it all.

Vege Rama is located in the food court of the Myer Centre at Queen Street Mall in Brisbane. They serve all vegetarian food, with vegan and gluten free options available. There are pizzas, cakes, salads, curries and snack foods.

The staff is always friendly and you can ask them if you're not sure about the food that is available. I come here often and always love it.

Oct 13, 2011

Chocanana Muffins

My mum used to make me chocanana muffins all the time and would freeze them to be taken to school as a snack.  Here they are, veganised!

*1 packet chocolate chips         $3.21  (I used Sweet Williams)
*4 medium bananas, mashed   $7.92
*1/2 cup vegetable oil              $0.58
*1/2 cup raw sugar                   $0.10
*1 cup SR whole wheat flour  $0.11
*1.5 cups SR flour                   $0.17
*1 tsp cinammon

1.  Mash the bananas in a bowl with a fork.
2.  Mix all ingredients together.
3.  Bake at 180C for 20-25 minutes.

Makes:  6 muffins.

Total:  $12.09 or ~$2.01 per muffin.

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