Harvest Vegetarian Restaurant in Rozelle has always been one of our favourite restaurants in Sydney. We probably had everything on the menu and decided that we like certain dishes more than others. For my husband Kumera & English Spinach Gnocchi is the one whereas I particularly like Tofu Skewers & Peanut Sauce but we always have Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls as an entree without exception.
Recently, the cookbook “Harvest Vegetarian” came out and I own a signed copy of it. Adam, Harvest’s chef/owner, has great experience in cooking as well as running a restaurant. One of the reasons I like his cookbook is the fact that his experience comes through in the way the recipes are written.
Instead of ingredients or courses, Harvest Vegetarian Cookbook is divided into chapters like:
A walk in the garden
Food on the go
Vegetarian coming to dinner
For the passionate
Dreamy desserts & tempting treats
I must admit, I struggle to find what I’m looking for most of the time because this.
The dishes are marked with V (vegan or vegan option) and G (suitable for gluten-free diets) all across the book including the contents page.
Here’s one and only dish I cooked from Harvest Vegetarian Cookbook: Kumera and English Spinach Gnocchi with Lemon and Garlic Cream Sauce. The reason why I picked this dish is because it is my husband’s favourite.
Next time I will try Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls with a dipping sauce and for that I am growing Vietnamese mint in my garden. The dipping sauce really makes the rice paper rolls.
After Vietnamese Rice paper Rolls is achieved I will probably try my favourite dish: Skewered Tofu and Roasted Vegetables with a Peanut Sauce. This one looks like an easy one to make. I also have my eyes on Viennese Lime Biscuits. They look so good in the book.
When we were in Paris in 2007, we were doing this around the world trip and Paris was on the map too. Before we left cold Melbourne with the plan of never going back, I put together a little book with all those vegetarian restaurants wherever we planned to visit. I showed Paris section to the owner of Hotel Sanguine he pointed out the nearest ones and even booked a table for us at Le Potager du Marais for that evening. Weren’t we glad that he did when we got there? It is a tiny place with trestle tables. If you need to get up, you need your partner to stand up so that the waitress can pull the table out and you can then go wherever you need to go. The very same table needs to be put back after you are seated. Thank God I didn’t need to go to the toilet that evening!!
Le Potager du Marais is a very popular place that features a menu of traditional French cuisine in vegetarian with some vegan options. I remember having mushroom faux pate. The food was pleasant and the waitress spoke reasonable English. For us the best memory about this place was the other people who dined with us at the same time. We had this French couple sitting next to us. They didn’t speak any English and we didn’t –and still don’t- speak French. After the courtesy “bonsoir” exchange we simply ran out of French. Luckily, we were saved by this super-woman from Luxemburg who arrived with her mother. Because of her, we had an incredible multi-lingual conversation between the six of us. Of course, it was silence again after the mother and daughter from Luxemburg left.
Le Potager du Marais is easy to find. You don’t need Jean Pierre to give you directions. Just learn how to use Paris metro and you are good to go. When you get to Rambuteau metro station, you see Rue Rambuteau from the exit and Le Potager du Marais is about 50 meters on the left.
It’s a good idea to make a reservation during peak hours though. It is a very small restaurant and usually packed.
Green Gourmet in St Leonards is one of my favourite Chinese vegetarian restaurants in Sydney. I think we discovered it about 9 years ago. I just love the way Peter’s face lights up when he sees us and Doris greeting us in her lovely “chatty” manner.
We tried a great variety of dishes to date; Steamed BBQ Not Pork Bun, Spring Roll, Satay Sot Skewer, Better Than Oyster Fritter, Singapore Rice Noodles, Harvesting of Prosperity, Lemon Nugget, Golden Slices with Plum Sauce, Lo Han Tsai -Monk’s Choice-, Steamed Soy Mince with Water Chestnut and Sichuan Style Eggplant, to name a few. However, last night we decided to try at least one dish that we haven’t had before. In the end, all our mains were something new!
Peking Not Duck
This is the entree we order every time, I mean every time. We tried Peking Not Duck at other vegetarian places but this is by far the best. You fold the pancake nicely to avoid having Hoisin sauce dribbling down. Well, we decided it is unavoidable and part of the fun:)
Tofu Pillow with Cashew Nuts
Tofu pillows are nice and soft and the sauce is slightly sweet. Lovely dish.
Spicy Vegetarian Fish Slice and Stir-fried Fresh Vegetables
The sauce in in vegetarian dish is lightly spiced at first but it quietly hits you a little later on. So watch out for that chilli with a hidden agenda:)
Our dinner last night.
Almost forgotten… Just like a regular Chinese restaurant you get orange slices at the end of the meal. Of course, we had take aways last night so Peter gave us the whole orange instead!!!
One of the great vegetarian lunch places we discovered in New York. Although we were close to the one on 110 West 40th Street now they seem to have more branches. I particularly recommend the handbag option. Pick it up and go to Bryant Park. They have chairs and tables in the park for people to sit down and have lunch.
They have a total eco-approach. The packaging is almost all biodegradable and their paper napkins are made from recycled sources and printed with soy ink.
One thing you need to be careful with this place it is surprisingly closed during the weekends and incredibly busy as people book online and go there to pick up their food.
We tried Crisp Africa, Crisp Asia -Asian chilli sauce, alfalfa sprouts, Japanese eggplant, mandarin oranges and greens- and felafel handbag sandwich.
Vegi-Deli Thai Fish”Style” Cakes are vegan. They are made with chickpeas, onions and potato and flavoured with lemongrass, galangal and lime. Serving suggestions: Sweet chilli sauce, cucumber salsa, vegan mayonnaise Can be purchased from www.crueltyfreeshop.com.au for $8.95 Ingredients: Chickpeas (46%), … Continue reading →
Massel Stock Powder Beef Style is all vegetable, vegan, kosher with no animal or GMO content and MSG, gluten and lactose free product. I’m telling you it is a great alternative to straight forward -and sometimes boring- vegetable stock. I … Continue reading →
Ok, I confess… I still have non-vegetarian cookbooks and clippings from magazines. I even came back from Turkey with quite a few material containing unethical stuff. Why? Because some of them are modifiable in vegetarian cooking. The recipe below is coming from an incredible famous recipe magazine which I picked up from Istanbul airport on my way back to Australia. Don’t think you can’t have kebabs because you are vegetarian. It’s all doable people and this one, in particular, goes nicely with a bottle of Chard Farm Pinot Noir 2008 from Central Otago.
3 medium potatoes (I used desiree potatoes)
Oil for deep frying
For the kebab:
Sanitarium Vegie Delights Tender Pieces in caramelised onion gravy (I used the whole tin)
1 small onion
1/3 tsp cumin
½ tsp Turkish chilli flakes
½ tsp dried thyme
2 sprig continental parsley
Salt and pepper
3 medium tomatoes
A drizzle vegetable oil
1 tsp ground sweet paprika
Salt and pepper
You will have three elements going all at the same time. Start with peeling potatoes. Cut them into thin pieces –somewhere between French fries and English chips. Put them in large bowl of water.
Heat your deep-frying oil.
Peel and chop onion. Peel and dice tomatoes. Wash and chop parsley. Set them all aside for the time being.
Heat some oil in a pan (I used my non-stick wok for this because I have better heat control) and add onions. Fry them until onion is cooked thoroughly. If you are not using a non-stick pan add a little salt to onions while frying as they brown without burning.
Rinse potatoes and dry them completely with a clean tea towel. If the oil is hot enough, start doing your chips. I did this in two batches. It depends on the size of your deep frying pot.
In the meantime, heat oil in a small pot. Add tomatoes and sweet paprika, salt and pepper. Boil first and then turn the heat down and simmer until the sauce is thick enough to be called “sauce”.
Empty the whole tin of Tender Pieces. Add salt, pepper, thyme and cumin. Continue stirring until all that caramelised onion gravy is absorbed. Add ½ parsley and keep it warm.
Peel and crush garlic onto a bowl. Mix with yoghurt and mix it all well. Set aside.
Once your sauce is thick, kebab is cooked and chips are done, it is time to assemble your dish. Arrange chips on the plates. You will have a bed of chips first. Spread garlic-yoghurt mixture. Spoon over your kebab and add tomato sauce. Finish with chopped parsley and enjoy!
We decided to add Lamyong’s Vegetarian Satay Sticks to our dinner –Vegan Singapore Noodles- the other night as a starter. They are from Lamyong’s Vagos line and made in Malaysia. In the box you find 12 sticks –made from gluten … Continue reading →
“People often say that humans have always eaten animals, as if this is a justification for continuing the practice. According to this logic, we should not try to prevent people from murdering other people, since this has also been done since the earliest of times.”
Isaac Bathsevis Singer (1904- )
US Author, Essayist