Category: Vegan


Vegan dining in Melbourne: Madame K’s

By Midge Raymond,

In the vegan haven of Melbourne, the neighborhood of Fitzroy, we discovered Madame K’s Vegetarian (you’ll also find in Melbourne Smith & Deli and Smith & Daughters, Matcha Mylkbar, Lord of the Fries, and so many more vegan options).

This Asian restaurant is all vegetarian and there are a lot of fake meats on the menu, as well as veg dishes for those who don’t like faux meat dishes. Important note for wine drinkers: You need to bring your own wine! Fortunately, there are a number of bottle shops and wine shops nearby.

For an appetizer we had chive dumplings, which are pan fried and stuffed with chives. They were so amazing we could’ve had another couple of orders and called it a night. 

But we went on to order a main dish: tofu with red curry. This dish comprised stir-fried crispy tofu with red curry, red pepper (called capsicum in Australia), and chilis, and it comes with jasmine or brown rice.

This too was very good (but not quite as delicious as the dumplings!). There are many more vegan options on Madame K’s menu, and we look forward to visiting again to sample more of them.

  Category: On travel, Vegan
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Vegan dining at Ashland’s Growers Market

By Midge Raymond,

The Rogue Valley Growers Market is in Ashland on Tuesdays, and thanks to the fact that the Two Peas Food Truck is here also, this means that for one half-day a week, Ashland has a vegan restaurant. (And, with any luck, either the city will finally approve food trucks in town, or maybe Two Peas will open a restaurant. We can hope!)

Two Peas is a much-needed addition not only to the growers market but especially to Ashland, which overall is quite vegan-challlenged when it comes to restaurants (most have only one or two vegan items available). This food truck is 100 percent organic and vegan, and makes a point of being zero waste; they use compostable containers, napkins, and forks. On the day we visited, the entire menu was also gluten-free.

Two Peas offers a wide and interesting variety of items, from waffles to spring rolls to tikka masala and falafel waffles. Because they are focused on using local foods, their menu probably will change depending on seasons and availability.

We opted for breakfast and tried the Breakfast Tacos. One order is three tacos, so we were able to try both options: the sausage and potatoes with kraut, greens, and chipotle cream, and also the tofu scramble with roasted veggies, pickled onion, greens, and creamy pesto.

It was a gigantic plate of food, and while the corn tortillas are tiny under all of the rest, all together they make the perfect meal. The vegan sausage, made from rice and oats, is spiced beautifully, and the potatoes were crispy little nuggets. The chipotle cream was spicy and delicious.

We liked the tofu scramble slightly more; the pesto sauce was great with the salad greens, and the tofu scramble was absolutely wonderful: savory, full of flavor, perfectly cooked. The Breakfast Plate might have to be next on our list of what to try when we return.

Two Peas is also in Medford on Thursdays; check their schedule here. We can’t wait to return next week to make our way down the menu…most of all, we’re thrilled to have an all-vegan menu right here in town, and especially to see them doing so well, based on how busy they were.

  Category: Ashland news, Vegan
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Happy Earth Day!

By Midge Raymond,

It’s been nearly 40 years since the first Earth Day, and unfortunately we’ve recently taken a lot more steps backward than forward.

Still, we humans have taken a lot of great steps forward since the 1970s. There’s a lot to celebrate about our planet, and so many ways to help it survive and thrive. We founded Ashland Creek Press to raise environmental awareness through literature … this combines two of our passions: stories and taking care of our planet. There are myriad ways to help out the planet, and to make every day Earth Day in your own life.

  • Immerse yourself in environmental literature! We love books like Barbara Kingsolver’s Flight Behavior and Karen Joy Fowler’s We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves and Ann Pancake’s Strange As This Weather Has Been — each is a stunning work of eco-lit, each in such a different way. Naturally, we also love every one of our Ashland Creek Press titles, from eco-fiction to veg lit to books about animals.
  • Watch movies. A few environmental films that are interesting, important, and well worth watching: Earthlings, Cowspiracy, What the Health, Forks Over Knives, If a Tree Falls, An Inconvenient Truth and An Inconvenient Sequel … the list goes on, but this is a great start.
  • Take action. Clean up a beach or a park; step up your recycling; plant a new tree, bike or walk instead of driving; eat vegan for a month (or more) … there are so many small changes we can make that become regular habits and definitely make a difference.
  • Get political. Of course, don’t neglect to vote for candidates that believe in climate change and want to do something about it — but you can also write letters, sign petitions, march, and otherwise make your opinions known…every voice does matter.
  • Get kids involved. It’s clear that today’s young people are the ones who are going to change the world, and they’re realizing they need to do this for their own survival. Help them out, whether it’s by giving them books about environmental issues, spending time with them outside, volunteering with a nonprofit to clean a beach or maintain a hiking trail, or taking them to an animal sanctuary. Show them what’s at stake being out in nature.
  • Support organizations that do good work. From conservation to animal rescue to protecting the oceans, there are a lot of great organizations that need support to do what they do. Be sure to investigate nonprofits carefully to be sure your money is used wisely and that the organization is truly environmental (you might watch Cowspiracy before making donations). Here are a few organizations we feel are worthy of our support via the Ashland Creek Press Foundation.

We wish you all a very happy Earth Day, and here’s to much more progress to celebrate in years to come!

Vegan dining in Sydney: Golden Lotus

By Midge Raymond,

We discovered Golden Lotus in the Newtown neighborhood of Sydney, aptly called Vegantown. If you stroll along King Street, you’ll find a number of vegan options, and this all-vegan Vietnamese restaurant is well worth checking out.

The restaurant has a lovely casual atmosphere, and as always, it’s fantastic to be in an all-vegan place where you can order anything from the menu without having to ask a lot of questions.

We began with “chicken” satay skewers, which were perfectly cooked — crispy on the outside and tender on the inside — and smothered with peanut sauce.

There were so many good things on the menu, it was hard to decide. Ultimately we went for the lemongrass “chicken,” accompanied by brown rice, which was a little crispy on the outside and bursting with lemongrass.

We also sampled assorted veggies with “chicken” on a hot plate, which had a lovely garlicky sauce.

Golden Lotus is one of many fantastic restaurants in Vegantown — and we recommend it highly when you’re in Sydney. Learn more here.

  Category: On travel, Vegan
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Vegan dining in New Zealand: BurgerFuel

By Midge Raymond,

Most of our time on New Zealand’s South Island was spent on (the left side of) the road … and so we were glad to discover BurgerFuel, a fast-food restaurant with several delicious vegan options. We stopped here on our way through both Invercargill and Timaru as we ventured to the distant places where we would be doing our wildlife watching.

Among the vegan options we sampled at BurgerFuel were the Combustion Tofu Burger, made with organic tofu, teriyaki and peanut satay sauces, smashed avocado, salad, relish, and vegan aioli (be sure to request that the aioli is vegan).

We also tried the V-Twin Vege patty, made with mushroom, kumara, chickpeas, and basil with melted vegan cheese, plum sauce, and relish — it was a very different mix of flavors compared to the simpler tofu burger, but it was very good, especially if you’re up for something different. We naturally got fries to accompany our burgers, and the fries are amazing.

Best of all, though, are the milkshakes, made with soy milk — they are thick, creamy, and flavorful. It’s such a treat to go to a fast-food place that not only has vegan meal options but vegan milkshake options. We highly recommend chocolate.

BurgerFuel has locations not only in New Zealand but Australia, Egypt, and Iraq, among others — and even the U.S., in Indiana…and here’s hoping they expand much further. Even better, here’s hoping they go the way of Australia’s Lord of the Fries, which recently became all vegan.

  Category: On travel, Vegan
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