It’s mid-way through Vegan MoFo, and a justifiable time for a brief break in the street food theme. What better reason than the Living Green Festival? The Living Green Festival is Canberra’s first festival celebrating compassionate, ethical lifestyles. In a small town like this, it’s easy to feel like the only vegan around, but this festival was a great reminder that there are others out there, and that for a small town in the middle of nowhere, we don’t have it so bad after all.
There were stalls held by a number of animal welfare organisations, vegan stores, political parties and restaurants- and of course, it was the food that was the big drawcard for us.
Ethiopian food is one of the best things about Canberra. Our hometown, Adelaide, only has a couple of Ethiopian restaurants. But Canberra, while a fraction of the size, has at least four or five, all of which are very vegan-friendly. This Ethiopian plate of injera, kik alicha (yellow split peas), kidney beans and samosas came from Global Ethiopian. We haven’t been there before, but this was great so we’ll definitely check it out. Bonus points for the staff being so friendly- though this might have been because I seemed to be the only patron who knew what injera was.
Chadwiko also picked up some satay skewers and spring rolls from Kingsland Vegetarian, but being not-so-great at blogging, he ate it all while I was in line for my Ethiopian food and neglected to take a photo. His verdit- satay was a hit, spring rolls a miss. We’ll probably stick to our favourite restaurant, Au Lac, a few doors down from Kingsland.
But of course, it’s not a vegan festival without a sugar overdose.
First up- chocolate swirl cheesecake from Rubyfruit Bakery. This was the highlight of my day. Super creamy and delicious. Rubyfruit is currently a wholesale and commission bakery only, but they let us know that a physical store is on the cards in the future. The downside- they’re based in the Blue Mountains, about three hours away. But who am I kidding? We’ll make the trip for more cheesecake.
Chadwiko liked it so much that he saved some for later.
This jaffa fudge cupcake was also from Rubyfruit. Not only is it adorable, but it’s also the lightest, most delicate cake that I can remember trying- vegan or otherwise. The pecan tart came from the volunteers running the festival. This was definitely the maple pecan pie recipe from Isa and Terry’s newly released pie book (also available online!), but this remains one of my favourite pies from testing so there are no complaints from me.
The other best part of the day was poring over all the treats available at Vegan Online‘s stall. I can’t say enough good things about Vegan Online- I order from them all the time, and they’ve always been awesome. The range is great, and they’re super nice- they even sent me some free Sheese when a dodgy courier held my delivery hostage. Today we picked up some Jokerz bars (my favourite) and some Food for Lovers’ vegan queso. I’ve been waiting for so long to try this stuff, and it definitely lives up to the hype. A couple of stalls down, I also grabbed some vegan condensed milk which will hopefully feature in a street food treat later this week.
All in all, a great day. And a great turnout- hopefully this means more similar events for Canberra’s vegan population to come out of hiding.