Sunday, February 27, 2011

30 Day Vegan Easy Challenge - recipe list and questions for vegans

I signed up to do the 30 Day Vegan Easy Challenge, running from 1st to 30th March. Unfortunately I will be doing the challenge alone - the rest of my household will be trying to be supportive and eat vegan meals with me when I cook at home. Initially we had all agreed to do the challenge together, but they backed down. Ah well.
I've been going through some of my recipe books, marking out recipes I'd like to try over the 30 days. I'm going to try to be a lot more organised about my cooking during March than I usually am. Inspired by The cookbook challenge post over at Gourmet Green Giraffe, I thought it would be a good idea to start a list of recipes I like the sound of so I can refer back or add to it over the month.

I'll start with the newest addition to my cookbook collection.

The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur - Kelly Peloza ( and

  • Fiesta Margarita Cookies
  • Soy Milk's Favourite Cookies 
  • Apricot Foldovers
  • Iced Caramel Cookies

The Vegan Scoop - Wheeler Del Torro
  • So many things in this book I want to make, but my ice cream maker died and is yet to be replaced...
 Vegan Yum Yum - Lauren Ulm (
  • Stuffed Banana Berry French Toast
  • Sweet Chilli Lime Tofu
  • Seitan Black Bean Corn Burgers
  • Miniature Napoleons with Eggplant Creme
  • Pad See Ew
  • Mini Blueberry Tarts with Lemon Cream

Viva Vegan - Terry Hope Romero (
  • Drunken Beans with Seitan Chorizo
  • Seitan Saltado
  • Creamy Potato Peanut Stew
  • Creamy Corn Crusted Tempeh Pot Pie
  • Shredded Seitan and Mushroom Empanadas

How It All Vegan - Tanya Barnard & Sarah Kramer (
  • Faux Eggs Benny
  • Sarah's Delicious Chilli
  • Savoury Shepherds Pie
  • Potato "Cheese" Perogies

Vegan With A Vengance - Isa Chandra Moskowitz (
  • "Fronch" Toast
  • Asparagus and Sun-Dried Tomato Frittata
  • Lemon Corn Waffles with Blueberry Sauce (OMG, these sound awesome!!!)
  • BBQ Pomegranate Tofu
  • Seitan Portobello Stroganoff
  • Revolutionary Spanish Omelet with Saffron and Roasted Pepper-Almond Sauce
I think the meals at home will be the easiest part of the 30 day challenge. Lunches at work however, I think will be where I will encounter the most hassle. I am not organised enough to make lunches to take to work every day. I work 55-65 hour weeks which really eats into my available food prep time, and I always find that when I think I have made enough dinner to have leftovers for lunch and dinner the next day, someone in the house comes back for seconds or unexpected guests rock up... So at work I usually end up grabbing something in the food court at either QV or Melbourne Central. If I can manage a long enough lunch break I will duck in to either TOFWD or Chan House, but it is rare I will get enough time. And as much as I love the nuggets, I don't think Lord of the Fries for lunch every day is the healthiest idea...

Last week I tried asking a few of the food places at QV if they had vegan options, and got a lot of 'I don't know' responses, and 2 yes - for the veg soups at In a Rush, and for a veg salad with no dressing from the sandwich bar.
So I'm hoping for some advice on what to get for lunches in the city, what are some good options? What are usually safe bets as being vegan suitable? Are breads at sandwich bars usually safe? 

And if you have any of the above cookbooks and can recommend a particular recipe that you love and think I should try, please leave a comment below.

Finally for anyone else doing the 30 day challenge who may have come across my blog, check out this facebook group with a list of 'Ninja Vegan' products. I love that term!


  1. If you're near RMIT Swanston St campus there is a vegan cafe/takeaway in the Student Union food court. The few times I've been there they have only had a couple of options, but it's healthy, yummy & cheap!

  2. In Melbourne Central:

    There's a Grill'd up the top, and all of their veg burgers are veganiseable (they even tell you on the menu what to exclude in order to make them vegan). Their chips aren't even vegetarian, though, they contain small amounts of beef fat.

    In the food court (on the same level as Coles, toward the Elizabeth Street exit), there's a Middle Eastern place (I think its name is Spices) where you can get something vegan - the oregano pizzas rolled up with salad inside, or there's a mixed vegetarian plate which you can request to have just hommous and babaganoush, not the yoghurt based dip/s (this plate is quite large). Still in the food court, there's also a takeaway place (mostly Westernised Chinese food) that sells veg rice paper rolls, and I can't think of any reason why these wouldn't be vegan.

    There's also a Sushi Sushi place on that level, and I think there's also another Japanese takeaway place in the food court. Vegetarian sushi rolls are fine as long as they don't contain omelette (pale yellow, but could be confused with tofu skin) as a filling, and as long as they say they don't use mayonnaise.

    There's a few salad/sandwich/lunch bar type places, where some of the salads may well be vegan. the pre-made veg sandwiches ususally contain cheese or a non-vegan dressing, though, and possibly a non-vegan type of margarine.'

    Melbourne Central's online store directory tells me there's a Subway somewhere near the Coles (though I don't remember it) - you can Google to find out the details of what's vegan at subway (make sure you're reading the details for Australia), but basically a couple of their breads are vegan, the other breads contain dairy, and the veg pattie is vegan, and a couple of dressings are vegan, along with the vegetables of course.

    Or hey, you could always just buy a box of BBQ Shapes from the Coles! Heheheh.

  3. Sushi places - plain inari and seaweed inari would also be vegan.

    Breads at sandwich bars - I always assume plain sliced bread (white/wholemeal/multigrain) is vegan (similar breads in supermarkets are vegan, and when I worked in cafes our sliced breads were vegan). Plain rolls probably are too, it's only likely to be non-vegan if it's some sort of gourmet/fancy bread roll. Remember to ask about their margarine (or just omit it and get avocado spread on instead, as I do) - margarine may or may not contain dairy or non-vegan vitamin D(from lanolin).

  4. Bagels often (usually) have egg washes/glazes on the outside of them.

  5. After looking at QV's online store directory:

    They have a Grill'd (and a Burger Edge, which also has veganisable veg burgers) and a middle eastern takeaway place (which probably has substantial vegan options, similar to the place I discussed above, just watch out for dairy in dips), and they have a San Churro's (the donuts with dark chocolate dipping sauce = vegan, though not really lunch food, I realise), and a few Japanese/sushi places.

  6. The Italian Bean Rice from vegan yum yum is yummy and easy.

    Shepard Pie from How It All Vegan is amazing. Good choice!

    Good luck with the 30days challenge!