Modern Vegan Guide Snippet 01

We can all be a kindness activist for animals, people, planet and self. Every small step can make a difference and these MVG Snippets are just that. Small steps of kindness activism to inspire and inform your vegan food, home and lifestyle choices.

MVG Food

As COVID continues to sweeps across Australia, like many I’ve had moments of nostalgia. Nostalgia for freedoms lost and eras gone by. These moments of nostalgia have found me reading historical cooking books and enjoying the simplicity of the recipes reflective of a time when budgets were tight and life was somewhat easier.

I’ve enjoyed reimagining many of these recipes as dairy-free, egg-free and completely vegan. You’ll find these recipes on the blog in the ‘Classic Recipe’ series and I hope to bring you several Modern Vegan Classic Recipes each month.

Indulging my nostalgia this month, I’ve baked a Vegan Dark Coffee Cake and Corn Flake Biscuits. There’s something about the combination of treacle, spices and currants in the coffee cake that can transport you to years gone by. As I write this post, it’s been on my counter-top covered in a tea-towel for three days and it’s still as fresh as the day it was baked.

Classic Recipe: Vegan Dark Coffee Cake

Corn Flake Biscuits need no introduction to people of my generation. They were a staple at birthday parties and a popular, easy bake for home cooks for generations. A fun activity to make with kids or yourself, to delight in simple ingredients and easy methods.

If you’d like to cook something savory to balance out these sweet treats, you might like to try this Spicy Vegan Gumbo or Orecchiette with Creamy Carrot Miso Sauce recipe.

MVG Home

In an effort to improve my gardening skills, I joined The Diggers Club. The Diggers Club has been assisting gardeners since 1978 to create beautiful and productive gardens. Annual membership is $59, which includes $30 of gifts, membership to the Facebook community and seasonal magazines. In other words, really good value.

Last weekend I found myself immersed in the bumper Seed Annual, learning about seeding, growing and harvest times. It took supreme self-control not to immediately order lots of seeds!

If you enjoy gardening, this is a membership you’ll love. The Facebook Group is incredibly helpful, I’ve really enjoyed the magazines and if you live in Victoria, you’ll also receive unlimited free entry to the gardens at Hersonwood, The Garden of St Erth and Cloudehill. Highly recommend!

Visiting Heronswood, August 2018.

MVG Life

This month Pandy Bake Shop opened in Northcote, Naarm/ Melbourne. I hear ‘vegan bake shop’ and immediately, I’m in! I was gloriously rewarded with a strawberry lamington and iced lemon myrtle cake. Rating both 11/10 and absolutely will be heading back to Pandy.

Image: Instagram @pandy_bakeshop

In my quest to keep a constant supply of Tumami in my pantry, I discovered The Leaf Store. It was like grocer mecca. The selection of fresh fruit and vegetables was glorious, the shelves were stocked with all kinds of delicious goodies. I was in a rush so didn’t have the opportunity to explore the fridges but next visit, I’m going to allow plenty of time for proper grocer exploration. The Leaf Store is located in Hawthorn (my local) and Elwood, offer click and collect and delivery.

Image: Instagram @theleafstore

I’m loving content from Nicola @veggie_nerd and Anna @theurbannanna on Instagram. Nicola has a degree of fitness and care about counting things in her recipes that I could never even aspire to. Although we fall on to entirely different ends of the fitness spectrum, Nicola’s recipes are really delicious. I’ve cooked many and a recent favourite is her Spicy Dan Dan Noodles.

Image: @veggie_nerd Spicy Dan Dan Noodles – a must try!

Anna @theurbannanna is a zero-waste, forager who teaches traditional skills. When not in lockdown, Anna hosts in-person classes. Her garden is aspirational as is her Community Corner – a neighbourhood place to share fresh produce, homemade preserved food, seeds and seedlings.

Image: @theurbannanna fermenting corner

MVG Reviews


Ahead of release of the new book Future Steading. Live like tomorrow matters: Practical skills, recipes and rituals for a simpler life, I’ve been consuming the Future Steading podcast. I especially enjoyed the interview with Chris Ennis of CERES Fair Food. In particular, I was horrified to learn timber is the third most illegally traded goods, after drugs and counterfeiting. Chris’ words on activism on the front line being like war and causing exhaustion and burnout resonated with me. And further, how nourishing activism can contribute to incremental lasting change felt he’d summed up the early evolution of Modern Vegan Guide. Listen to this episode of the Future Steading podcast with Chris Ennis here.


Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teaching of Plants. I think this book was added to my reading list from a recommendation by Cornersmith. It’s a big departure from what I’d ordinarily read. I nearly stopped at the first few pages but am so glad I persisted. The storytelling I was first put-off by was something I wholeheartedly enjoyed as I progressed through the book. There are many fables and metaphors within the book which gently remind us indigenous people have thousands of years of wisdom to share.

Braiding Sweetgrass: the value of an object as a gift or commodity.

Be More Vegan: The young person’s guide to going (a bit more) plant-based. This is probably a good book for the target audience of young people. There was something about the styling of this book that didn’t quite work for me (maybe because I’m not the target audience!) and it’s quite British. I’d love to know if there was an Aussie equivalent.

BOSH! How To Live Vegan I usually love everything by the BOSH! guys but this book got nothing but a flick through from me. It might work for people who are absolute newbies in the vegan space, though I think there might be more appealing books than this one for those starting out. I was bummed I couldn’t get more into this as I’ve pre-ordered and loved all other BOSH! books.

Use It All: The Cornersmith guide to a more sustainable kitchen I’m a big fan of Cornersmith ever since making their oven-dried tomatoes. This book is an excellent guide for people who are starting out in reducing their food waste by making the most of every ingredient in the fridge and pantry, or for those looking for new inspiration.

This week’s reading thanks to my local library.

The Farm

If you’ve been following along the building our forever home on the Farm, we’ve progressed the design along substantially. Our Architect has named the build the Tripartite Homestead on account of it being composed of three radically arrayed pavilions. The August update on the Farm can be read here, including the Architect’s design rationale, concept images and video.

Tripartite Homestead by Megowan Architectural

My Life

You may have noticed my blogs have been a little erratic recently. Sadly, our beautiful lion-cat Patty was hit by a car in late July. The house next door to us is being demolished and we didn’t have any idea of the timeline for this. As Patty’s accident occurred the first day of demolition, we think the very loud noise caused him to run from our yard onto the road. It breaks our heart every single day to see how damaged he is and how far he is from his former, seemingly indestructible self. Yet, we thank our lucky stars our 11 year old boy is still with us and we get to pamper his broken body.

It seems like it’s been a month of doctor’s appointments for me too. Breastscreen, bone scan, heart monitoring and COVID shots have been some of the things ticked off in recent weeks. Some long-deferred dental work was also done this week. It doesn’t rain sometimes, it pours.

It’s fair to say it’s been a whacky month with lots of life maintenance and never-ending lockdowns. Sounds like a perfect moment to sign off and finish the coffee cake with a generous slather of butter, like I promised myself.

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