February 4, 2016 0

Gotta Have It: Atom Natural Beauty Pack

Price: $55.00 AUD

Where To Buy: www.atomboutique.com

Atom Natural Beauty Pack

When Atom Boutique recently sent me their Natural Beauty Pack to try I knew that it would have to be the next product featured in Gotta Have It!

Australian brand run out of Sydney, Atom Boutique was inspired by a trip to Morocco and the discovery of pure Argan oil. This signature ingredient features throughout the entire Atom range and is 100% pure, naturally organic and like the rest of their vegan and natural ingredients, sustainably harvested by fair trade.

Atom’s product selection ranges from pure Argan oil through to skincare essentials and gift packs. The best way to get a real taste of these products is through one of their gift packs, like the Natural Beauty Pack! You’ll get a 200g Coffee Body Scrub, 20mL Pure Argan Oil Travel Companion and a 25g travel size of the Ghassoul Clay Mask to start your love affair with Atom.

The Coffee Body Scrub is designed to reduce the appearance of cellulite, acne, eczema, stretch marks, varicose veins and psoriasis; generally just making your skin look as bangin’ as it can be. Naturally, it contains Argan oil but some other super awesome products as well such as sugar, coconut oil, vitamin E, cinnamon, African sweet orange oil and of course, coffee. The coffee used in this scrub is 100% virgin ground coffee from Ethiopia, which means it’s unfiltered for better results.

Atom Coffee Scrub

When I massaged this stuff into my skin, I was immediately hit by the sweet scent of the orange oil and powerful aroma of the coffee. The exfoliation is gentle and leaves your skin feeling hella soft after it’s rinsed off.

Atom’s 100% Pure Argan Oil Travel Companion is a little teensy bottle that packs a big punch. You can use this stuff on your hair, skin and nails with almost limitless applications; try it as an overnight hair treatment, to enhance your moisturiser or even as an aftershave to soothe razor burn.

Atom Moroccan Argan Oil

The smell of the Argan oil isn’t overwhelming and is very quickly absorbed into the skin, so it doesn’t leave a greasy residue like many other oils. I used it to soften my cuticles after a shower and to nourish the ends of my hair and was stoked with the results!

I’m trying to decide what’s more luxurious out of a body scrub and a face mask but I think I’m going to have to go with the latter after using the Ghassoul Clay Mask. Naturally occurring in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, this clay draws out toxins and absorbs excess oils from the skin, improving clarity and elasticity.

Atom Ghassoul Clay Mask

The mask comes in a powder form, which is added to water to make a thick paste. Once applied to a dry face, you leave it on for about 10-15 minutes to dry completely before rinsing off and moisturising immediately after. I was actually really surprised at how good my skin looked the next morning when I woke up, I wasn’t expecting that!

For only 55 bucks, Atom’s Natural Beauty Pack is a steal and tbh the whole range is reasonably priced. The simplicity of the labels and packaging satisfies my obsession with well-designed packaging plus what’s inside really works. This pack makes the perfect gift for just about anybody (including you), so what are you waiting for? Treat yo self!

Atom Pack

January 31, 2016 0

Chocolate & Peanut Butter Cake Donuts

Difficulty: Easy

Makes 6 large donuts

Chocolate & Peanut Butter Donuts

It’s bloody fun experimenting with different ways to make stuff and donuts are absolutely no exception. I’ve made them all kinds of ways like baked dough based and fried batter based but by far the easiest kind to make are baked batter donuts using a donut pan. You can pick these pans up super cheap on eBay and other online stores plus most good kitchen stores will have them; I’m going to buy a mini donut pan soon for extra cuteness.

For my first attempt I went with chocolate flavour because really who doesn’t like chocolate? Plus, I wasn’t really in the mood for plain vanilla. You can glaze or ice these babies but to avoid things getting to messy, I went with frosting this time around. When it comes down to it, these guys are essentially a cake in a donut’s clothing but do I really care? No, I do not.

Ingredients

Donut Batter

  • 1 cup soy milk (or any non-dairy milk)
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate bits, melted

Chocolate & Peanut Butter Donuts

Frosting

  • 1/3 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup vegan cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon soy milk (or any non-dairy milk)
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar

Method

  1. Grease your donut pan and preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the soy milk and apple cider vinegar before setting aside.
  3. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and baking soda before mixing through the caster sugar.
  4. Add the vanilla and canola oil to the soy milk mixture and combine before pouring into the dry mixture. Combine well with a fork or whisk until smooth and then pour in the melted chocolate. Mix again until evenly distributed.
  5. Use a piping bag with very wide nozzle to pipe the batter into the donut pan. You don’t want the batter to fill the pan completely but about 3/4 full should do the trick.
  6. Tap the pan gently on the bench to release any air bubbles before baking for 15 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
  7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  8. To make the frosting, simply whisk together the peanut butter, cream cheese, vanilla and soy milk until smooth.
  9. Sift in the icing sugar and continue to whisk until combined.
  10. Spread evenly onto the donuts, add any optional extras and serve.

Chocolate & Peanut Butter Donuts

January 25, 2016 2

Baked Jalapeño Poppers

Difficulty: Easy-Medium

Makes 12

Jalapeño Poppers

For a long time I had doubted the existence of fresh jalapeños because I sure as hell hadn’t seen any. Last weekend I couldn’t believe my eyes when I spotted a basket of glossy, green chilies in the distance at the supermarket so naturally I grabbed as many as I could and got to thinkin’ about a recipe. Here is that recipe.

Feel free to go ahead and fry these bad boys if you want to, I won’t judge you. I may even try it one day myself when I can be bothered dealing with a deep-fryer situation. Today is not that day.

Ingredients

  • 12 fresh jalapeños
  • 2/3 cup vegan cream cheese
  • Handful of chives, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2/3 cup soy milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley

Lime Mayo

  • 1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise
  • Juice of 1/2 lime

Jalapeño Poppers Basket

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C and line a tray with baking paper.
  2. Cut each jalapeño down the longest edge, just a little to one side so you don’t cut through the stalk.
  3. Scoop out the seeds and remove any other bits from the inside, make sure you keep the right halves together and set aside.
  4. In a bowl, combine the vegan cream cheese, chives, garlic powder, onion powder and salt. Mix until smooth and creamy.
  5. Spoon the mixture into each half of the jalapeño and put back together, securing with a toothpick. Repeat with the remaining jalapeños.
  6. In a shallow bowl or dish, whisk together the soy milk and apple cider vinegar.
  7. In another shallow bowl or dish, add the plain flour.
  8. In one more shallow bowl or dish, mix together the panko breadcrumbs and parsley.
  9. Gently dip each jalapeño into the soy milk mixture, then coat with flour, back to the soy milk and then finally coat with breadcrumbs.
  10. Place the jalapeños onto the baking tray, spray with olive oil and bake for 30 minutes or until golden.
  11. While baking, mix together some vegan mayo and lime juice to make a dipping sauce.
  12. Serve immediately (don’t try to remove the toothpicks before serving, I learned this lesson the hard way.)

Jalapeño Poppers Lime Mayo

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January 22, 2016 0

Review: Margan Restaurant

Address: 1238 Milbrodale Rd, Broke NSW 2330

Wesbite: www.margan.com.au

With birthdays mere days apart, Jane form What Jane Did and I were bound to have several things in common. Two of those things just happen to be food, writing and road trips so when Jane told me Margan Restaurant had invited us to do a review I was like “hell yeah, let’s do it!” Jane offered to drive provided I curate (yes, curate) a playlist and for the first time since about 2009 I burned a CD of 90s and 00s hits to provide the soundtrack to our epic journey into the Hunter Valley.

Margan Entry

After walking through the rammed earth entryway which was fit for a king/Leonardo DiCaprio (same thing, really IMHO), we were greeted by owner Lisa Margan who started the business with her husband Andrew 20 years ago. I think I may have shed a tear as she guided us through the restaurant’s vegetable garden and orchard, which was just bursting with amazing homegrown fruits and vegetables. Classics like corn, asparagus and apples were growing alongside some more interesting plants like elderflower, persimmons and native passionfruit (which has all the flavour of regular passionfruit without the sourness, see below) while chooks roam around the orchard feasting on the fallen fruit. Margan’s fresh produce is all homegrown and the menu changes to suit what’s in season in their very own garden. What a bloody dream come true!

Margan Berries

Margan Passionfruit

Lisa then took us through the wine-making facilities to show us where the magic happens; which actually isn’t magic at all and more of a precise art. With very little knowledge of wine production, I was blown away by the amount of machinery and expertise that goes into making something that many of us enjoy without really giving it a second thought. The occasional use of egg-white in production means that the Margan whites are a no-go zone but go to town on the reds (drink responsibly pls)!

We made our way back to the restaurant via the barrel room, which was being set up for a wedding later that evening, and I think I lost Jane for a minute as she went into a flower-induced photo frenzy (can’t blame her though, it looked dope.) After taking our seats outside, our lovely server asked us to select from the drinks list. Now, as a bit of a wine dweeb I had absolutely no idea what I was doing but she was able to help me select a sweet, fruity red – the Margan 2014 Merlot which was an excellent recommendation for someone who doesn’t typically do red wine. Food-wise the chefs had prepared a special vegan menu for me on the day and considering what I had just experienced in the veggie garden, I was pretty effing excited.

Some warm olives were served, followed by an amuse bouche of tomatoes and carrots. I was then presented with the garden beetroot served with rhubarb, cacao nibs and hazelnut. For someone who’s a massive fan of the salty and sweet taste sensation, this dish was a winner. Who would’ve thought to chuck cacao nibs on a savoury dish? Not me, that’s for sure!

Photo by Jane Hollier Brown

Photo by Jane Hollier Brown

Photo by Jane Hollier Brown

Photo by Jane Hollier Brown

My main was a buckwheat risotto served with a bunch of fresh vegetables from the garden like asparagus, tomato and zucchini flowers. Regular rice risotto can be so heavy but this buckwheat version was fresh and light but at the same time super satisfying. It sounds ridiculous but knowing that this stuff was all grown on-site makes it all the more amazing.

Photo by Jane Hollier Brown

Photo by Jane Hollier Brown

As if all of that wasn’t enough, dessert was an amazing fruit salad of nectarine, berries and passionfruit served with fresh berry sorbet and crazily fluffy coconut cream. What a combination of sweetness, tartness, iciness and creamth (you should know I invent my own words by now).

Photo by Jane Hollier Brown

Photo by Jane Hollier Brown

After farewelling the attentive, knowledgable and legendary staff, Jane and I walked back to the car and spotted a pomegranate tree. I’m not going to lie, I freaked the eff out and made her take a million photos of me standing in front of it and as I sit writing this I have a tab open which is now dedicated to pomegranate tree research. It will be mine, oh yes, it will be mine.

Photo by Jane Hollier Brown

Photo by Jane Hollier Brown

On the way home, Jane’s navigation system failed us and what should have been an hour-long journey had an extra 40 minutes or so tacked onto it. I used this valuable time to educate Jane on the Tidy Town initiative (something I somehow know a bit about). We also got to hang out with HORSES, which was just a magical way to end the day.

Photo by Jane Hollier Brown

Photo by Jane Hollier Brown

Margan Gate

If you’re looking for somewhere a little bit fancy without completely going HAM on the budget, Margan Restaurant should well and truly be on your list. Let them know you’re coming so they can prepare you an equally delightful vegan feast!

Thanks so much to Margan Restaurant for having us! If you want to see more from our visit, check out Jane’s review on What Jane Did

January 20, 2016 3

Roast “Chicken” Rolls – Made with Jackfruit

Difficulty: Easy

Makes 6

Jackfruit Rolls

Is it just me or am I really harping back to my childhood and growing up in Newcastle lately? That may be why I had the sudden urge to recreate and veganise the chicken and mayo rolls from Henny Penny, a chain of fast food chicken restaurants in the Hunter.

I hadn’t really thought about roasting jackfruit until now but it really does have a different vibe when it’s cooked/stewed on a stovetop. A few crunchy bits around the edges and a much deeper flavour mean that this does recreate chicken quite well and is a great alternative because we should be looking after our feathered friends, not eating ’em!

Ingredients

  • 2 560gm cans young jackfruit in brine
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried mixed herbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 6 soft long rolls
  • 1 small iceberg lettuce, shredded
  • Vegan mayonnaise

Jackfruit Rolls

Method

  1. Drain the jackfruit and while still in a colander, break the chunks apart so you have stringy bits. Squeeze to remove excess water and place into a large bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, onion powder, garlic powder, herbs, nutmeg, cayenne, pepper, salt and nutritional yeast. Mix well to create a weird looking paste.
  3. Pour the paste over the jackfruit, mixing well to make sure it’s evenly coated. Cover and place in the fridge for at least a couple of hours.
  4. Preheat your oven to 160°C and grease a baking tray with olive oil spray or line with baking paper.
  5. Take the jackfruit out of the oven and spread it evenly onto the tray. Spray with a little extra olive oil and sprinkle with a little more brown sugar (optional).
  6. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden. Some crunchy bits are good but you still want majority of the jackfruit to be tender.
  7. Cut the rolls and stuff with shredded lettuce before adding the jackfruit and a generous drizzle of vegan mayo. You can also use gravy if you want an extra saucy roll.

Jackfruit Rolls

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January 18, 2016 13

Gotta Have It – memobottle

Price: From $22.00 USD

Where to Buy: www.memobottle.com

memobottle and memobooklet

You guys should know by now that I’m a sucker for good design and thoughtful packaging, so it’s no surprise I fell in love with the memobottle as soon as I saw it! Naturally I was thrilled when memobottle sent me a couple to review (and if you read on, you’ll have the chance to win one of your own).

memobottle black lid

These dope water bottles were born when fellow Aussies (another tick) Jesse and Jonathan were frustrated at the amount of single-use drink bottles washing ashore in a country where clean drinking water is so easily accessible, not to mention the fact that traditional drinking bottles didn’t fit easily in back packs and laptop bags.

You may be thinking “ummm isn’t plastic super bad for the environment?” but did you know that because of the energy it takes to create aluminium and stainless steel products, reusable plastic bottles are actually 80% more environmentally friendly? Nup, neither did I! And trust me, you’re going to want to use your memobottle again and again and again.

memobottle packaging

What are my favourite things about the memobottle? Sheesh, where do I start?! I’m a fool for features and the fact that these babies come with two lids (one black, one white) is probably the dopest thing ever, especially if you don’t want to get your memobottle mixed up with your pal or want to choose the right colour to match your outfit/IG post (don’t act like you don’t care about this stuff, I know you do!)

memobottle A5 and A6

I also loooove that memobottles come in two international paper sizes, A5 and A6, so that you can pick the size that suits your bag and thirst best. My personal fave is the A6 because it’s so teensy and adorable but holds a surprising 375mL of liquid, while the A5 is equally as slimline but holds a cray 75omL.

The details on these babies are super sweet too; each bottle has memobottle and size in raised text. The BPA free plastic feels smooth and light but sturdy, easily sliding in and out of your bag or backpack but sitting firmly in your hand. Plus they come with a cute little memobooklet which is full of cute photos and info about your new membottle.

memobooklet

If you appreciate sleek design, the environment and the convenience of being able to easily carry you H20 around with you, the memobottle is your new must-have item of 2016.

Want to win an A6 memobottle of your very own? In 25 words or less, comment on this post and let me know why you want to win. Giveaway is open WORLDWIDE, entries close at 5pm on the 25/01/2016. Don’t forget to check out Instagram for another chance to win!

January 15, 2016 1

Review: The Persian Place

Address: 43 Bolton Street, Newcastle NSW 2300

Website: www.thepersianplace.com.au

Bitchin' Qeymeh

I miss the golden age of Newcastle’s CBD. No, I’m not talking about the 50’s when David Jones was but one of many thriving department stores along Hunter Street and The Store wasn’t a place to go for weird seafood/leather goods. I’m talking about the 90’s; a time when you had to decide between Big Al’s (an Al Capone themed diner) or all you can eat Pizza Hut, going to see the latest Power Rangers movie at the Showcase cinema and patting Camilla the dog before taking your seat.

“Town” has had a bit of a rough trot over the years but she’s comin’ back! Some nice little retail stores, cool bars and a bunch of eateries are helping bring Newcastle’s CBD back to life and one of those eateries is The Persian Place on Bolton Street.

TBH I don’t know if I had ever tried Persian food until I decided to stop by for lunch just before Christmas. The space is chill AF; floors covered with rugs and tables covered with beautiful fabrics, a great space for an intimate dinner or large gathering (there’s a whole room out the back that would be perfect for that).

The menu specifies which items can be made vegan, which is a bloody godsend and unfortunately a rarity at Newcastle restaurants (seriously, is it THAT hard?) A total of six dishes altogether which when ordered together would make a bitchin’ feast!

The Felafel are sensational and served with pickled red cabbage and smoky sauce. The Nan Panner is an awesome fresh accompaniment full of fresh tomato, cucumber and herbs plus it’s served with the most amazing flat bread. The Mirza (smoked tomato and eggplant) is sensationally smoky and flavoursome, while the Qeymeh (roasted zucchini) can stand alone as its own dish. The menu highlight for me is the Seeb Zamini; triple cooked potatoes with mint salt (!!!) and when made vegan, served with some of the best hummus I’ve ever tried.

Potatoes on fleeeeeek

The staff are lovely and accomodating, the service is speedy and the atmosphere perfect for sharing a meal with some of your favourite peeps. You could leave feeling completely satisfied for between $20-$30 per person which in this day and age, is pretty bloody impressive. Also I think it’s worth noting that I ate here four times in the space of a fortnight so you know it’s dope.

I’ll still cling onto the hope that one day Big Al’s will return to Newcastle with a vegan vengeance but until then, The Persian Place remains my new pick for dining in Newy’s CBD!

January 12, 2016 0

6 Tips to Make a Tops Stir Fry

I only realised recently that people have a bloody tough time of making a stir fry and often make a total mess of it altogether. For some reason, I was #blessed with being the best stir fryer I know and while I don’t think I’ll ever make one as good as my local Thai restaurant, I do a pretty bitchin’ job for someone who has literally no culinary training whatsoever.

Are you constantly effing up your stir fry? It has been a bit of trial and error but here some of my hella easy tips you can try at home to wow your friends. Let’s be real though, it’s mainly impress yourself because the most important tastebuds around here are yours.

Top Stir Fry Tips

#1 The Right Pan

First off you’ve gotta make sure you’ve got the right sized pan for the amount you’re cookin’ up; the bigger the better. Don’t chuck a stir fry for four in a tiny pan or wok, you’re going to end up with the worst stir fry of all time. OF ALL TIME. Also make sure it’s the right type of pan than can handle the heat required to make a good stir fry. This doesn’t have to be a fancy wok but you can pick up super tradish ones like the one above for pretty cheap. If you don’t have a wok that’s cool, I often use the little frypan we have lying around because it’s the perfect size when cooking for one. Avoid those weird nature pans at all costs, while they seem like a good idea at the time they’re bloody expensive and never heat pans to the temperature you’ll need. Many of my deepest disappointments in life have been caused by those bloody pans.

#2 Size Matters

If you want your vegetables to cook evenly there are two things you need to do with them and the first one is make sure they’re cut evenly in size. I like to cut my veg in little sticks rather than rounds because I think it looks better and it’s easier to eat but I don’t give AF what shape you’re using as long as the size is uniform, ya hear me?!

Top Stir Fry Tips

#3 Timing is Everything

Some stuff takes a while to cook, right? So why would you throw them in at the same time as something that takes a minute to go soggy? You don’t have to answer me because I can’t actually hear you but take a minute to think about the serious mistakes you’ve been making here. I forgive you, we all do. After heating my oil I add the garlic and onion at the same time and cook for a little minute before adding my protein (tofu, tempeh, mock meat etc). Once the protein is looking nice and cooked, I throw in the hardest vegetables (carrots and baby corn, I’m lookin’ at you!) and toss them around for a few minutes before throwing in the softer veg (capsicum, zucchini and mushrooms, you’re up). Finally, throw in the stuff that you really only need to heat for a minute or so like bok choy and other Asian greens.

#4 Be A Tosser

You don’t want the ingredients of your stir fry to sit for too long, so it’s important to keep things moving with your mixing utensils. Also give your wok a good shake to loosen things up and make sure the vegetables are getting an even amount of heat, you don’t want to play favourites (haven’t you heard that plants have feelings too? *Eye roll*)

#5 Don’t Get Too Saucy

This rule only applies to cooking stir fry, not your general approach to life (stay saucy, legends). You want to add the sauce at the very end so you have just enough time to heat it. You want to make sure you’re adding enough to cover the contents of the pan but you don’t want so much that your veggies start to go for a soggy swim.

Top Stir Fry Tips

#6 Get It While It’s Hot

I feel like this one is self explanatory but maybe it’s not so I’ll tell you anyway. Serve your stir fry as soon as it’s ready to avoid it having too much time to cook further in the sauce and go limp. Also eat it ASAP because you’re stir fry is gonna be so lit that every mofo is gonna want a pieeeeece!

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January 7, 2016 0

Birthday Cake Cupcakes

Difficulty: Easy

Makes 12

Birthday Cake Cupcakes

It may be hard to believe from my teen-like behaviour and overwhelmingly youthful appearance but today is in fact my 28th birthday and I thought as a special gift to myself I would bake cupcakes. I’ve been baking cupcakes for as long as I remember, sometimes with a recipe, more often just chucking a bunch of ingredients into the oven and hoping for the best but this time I decided to pay attention and write it down. I guess this is growing up.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot (tapioca) flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons jimmies or sprinkles

Frosting

  • 1/2 cup vegan margarine
  • 1/2 cup vegan cream cheese
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon jimmies or sprinkles

Birthday Cake Cupcakes

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C and fill a cupcake tray with liners.
  2. In a medium sized jug or bowl, whisk together the almond milk and apple cider vinegar before adding the oil and vanilla.
  3. Sift the flour, arrowroot, baking soda, baking powder and salt into the bowl of your electric mixer.
  4. Mixing on a medium speed, slowly add the almond milk mixture until the batter is smooth (it’ll be pretty runny).
  5. Finally, add the jimmies or sprinkles and mix until well distributed.
  6. Using a 1/4 cup measure, fill the cupcake liners with the batter.
  7. Lightly tap the tray on the bench a few times to even out the batter and release any air bubbles.
  8. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until golden on top before removing from the oven and allowing to cool.
  9. While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting by beating together the margarine and vegan cream cheese in an electric mixer.
  10. Sift in the icing sugar and continue to mix until light and fluffy.
  11. Add the vanilla and beat until well mixed.
  12. Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes before generously sprinkling with jimmies or sprinkles.

Birthday Cake Cupcakes

January 4, 2016 2

Review: Soul Burger

Address: 49 Perouse Road, Randwick NSW 2031

Website: www.soulburger.com.au

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IMHO there’s nothin’ better than a good burg, so when I heard that Soul Burger in Randwick had gone completely vegan (I know, right?!) I decided to get my ass into gear and plan myself a lil road trip to the big smoke.

When you walk in, you’d be nuts to not be instantly stoked on the decor; plenty of hanging lights, white painted wood, exposed brick and “Plant-based Burgers” scrawled across the wall. Totally “Grammable” for those of you love to post food pics (guilty, sue me!) Plus the early noughties RnB soundtrack had me in the zone.

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The menu is even more impressive! Choose from 8 (E-I-G-H-T!) different vegan burger options, with mock meat laden delights like the Sumo Burger to more veggie lookin’ stuff like the Mushroom Burger. There’s even 3 types of fries, which in my world is always going to be a winner; Red Fries (tangy seasoned), Green Fries (herb seasoned) and Kumara Fries (sweet potato) all served with aioli. Drinks-wise you’re looking at a large selection of organic soft drinks, Coke, I think maybe beer? but none of that matters because they have Coconut Shakes made with Soul Burger’s own coconut ice cream.

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My dining companion (AKA my mum) and I both decided we wanted the Cheeseburger so we grabbed a couple of those plus the Green and Kumara Fries to share. I also grabbed a chocolate coconut shake because I’m not a dweeb and why the hell wouldn’t I?

Running with the Grammable theme, the food is served in white enamel dishes which is v cute. My only teensy issue is that the fries are served before the burger, not with it, which may actually be super chill with some of you because I don’t know your individual dining preferences.

But none of the above actually matters at all if the food ain’t good and I am glad to report that it was tasty AF! The Green Fries were better than Grill’d (which I reckon is a pretty good compliment) and the aioli was on fleek (come back and read that in 2 years and try and figure out what the hell it means). The Kumara Fries were nice too but I’m not a huge sweet potato fan so that’s nobody’s fault but my own.

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The Cheeseburger is motherflipping delicious, albeit a little messy with all the amazing sauces happening up in there but luckily you’ve got a napkin dispenser on your table to deal with any condiment malfunctions (this is a new term I’m trying out for 2k16). It’s like hella meaty in a vegan way but also cheesy and creamy in a vegan way and just really, really good.

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The shake was like somebody jumped on a trampoline really high and brought a coconut-flavoured cloud back down with them, threw it in a blender with some chocolate and served it to me in a fancy enamel cup. That’s what it tasted like, ok?!

So, should you go here? Yes. If you’re anywhere in the general vicinity (Newcastle is included because I bloody did it) and don’t go to Soul Burger you have made a terrible mistake. Do better next time.

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P.S. Get ready Soul Burger, I’ll be back.

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