Eating out Vegan in Melbourne // What I Eat #2

In my first What I Eat in a day from Melbourne, I showed you a lot of very cheap, quick and easy meals I made in my first few days in Melbourne.

I really want to stay healthy, fit, mostly plant-based and eat on a budget while I travel, but I also want to try the amazing vegan food spots, enjoy my time and go out with friends.

That’s why you will find some restaurant recommendations for Melbourne in this post, as I went out for food quite a few times with my friends – and it was worth it!

Now I try to still keep on track with my money, but also enjoy the amazing (vegan) food they have here without any regrets!

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Saturday 29/9

On Saturday I had to leave my first hostel and move to Sabrina’s hostel in Fitzroy, so I enjoyed the free pancakes for the last time for breakfast.

I really wish they would not have them in most hostels for breakfast for free, because they aren’t vegan and pretty unhealthy but free – so it’s hard to resist :D

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For lunch, I had some leftover pasta with my go-to sauce at the moment that I keep repeating. You can find the recipe in my last What I Eat post!

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IMG_6176 After watching the Football game in a pub, I was super stoked for some unhealthy burger (as many people ate them in the pub) and so we went to ‚Lord of the Fries‘ an all vegan fast-food burger chain. It tasted unhealthy, but awesome at the same time! I had a ‚fish-burger‘ and sweet potato fries with vegan aioli and only spend 20$ for that.


Sunday 30/10

For breakfast, I met again with my AuPair mom in a wonderful, small and calm café called ’slowpoke‘ on Brunswick Street.

This time I ordered buckwheat chocolate granola with coconut yogurt, almond milk and pears which was super delicious and very filling. Luckily, I didn’t got the Avo Toast this time, as it could have never topped the one I had two days ago with her!

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As a snack, I had some bread with hummus as well as carrots to dip.

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Sadly, I forgot to take a picture from our actual dinner.

We had an oven roast with sweet potato, broccoli and capsicum with tomato chutney.

As a dessert, we got these funny Asian rice balls with peanut butter from the Asian supermarket.

They taste weird but okay and it was cool to try them.

 

 

 

More Meals…

As I had pretty much the same for breakfast most days / it didn’t look that great / I just forgot to take pictures I will only show you a few more meals I had in Melbourne.

My breakfast was either free pancakes with maple syrup, rice-porridge (that I showed you in part one) or toast and chocolate spread/strawberry jam at the free breakfast in my 2nd hostel.

Sadly it wasn’t as healthy as I imagined it, but it’s hard to decide between being cheap or healthy…

 

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My last week in Melbourne was a little less tourist-y and more enjoying time with the friends I met. We went to the market to go food shopping and had a late breakfast / early brunch there. I bought a falafel wrap for 4$ (2,50€) at the food court which was very good as well as another slice of banana bread.

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Even though the banana bread from Aldi is packed individually in plastic which sucks, it is so practical to take with you and not eat everything at once. And it also keeps it moist and yummy!

And if you wonder: yes! They have Aldi here :D

 

 

 

 

 

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The day we went to Brighton Beach, I had olive ciabatta with olive hummus for lunch in the sunshine and the same for dinner with another slice of banana bread.

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Another day Sabrina and me slept in and then made this amazing vegan pasta bolognese for lunch. Super easy, quick and delicious!

Quick Vegan Pasta Bolognese

You need: pasta, carrots, onion, tofu, tomato sauce, salt, some spices and a little bit of oil and soy sauce

How to: Boil pasta with salt. Fry chopped onion with a little bit of oil in a pan. Add chopped carrots and a bit of water and steam for a while. Mash firm tofu with a fork and sprinkle with soy sauce, add into the pan. Spice with salt, pepper, veggie broth, Italian herbs (whatever you have/like). Add tomato sauce and the cooked pasta.

If you like you can add cheese or nutritional yeast as well as fresh spinach & tomatoes to make it even more nutritious.

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The next night we ate some leftover tofu fried with onion, capsicum and carrots in a wrap with hummus, tomato chutney and lots of spinach. I really like wraps and eat them a lot here because they are healthy, easy, variable and delicious!

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Soy, mushroom and tomato noodles with fried tofu, broccoli, salad and fried onion.

One night we went to ‚Lentils as Anything‘ and it was a feast! We tried all the dished they had that evening and everything was just AWESOME! I am for sure going there in Sydney as well. Oh and everything is VEGAN by the way!

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Savoury Japanese pancake with tomato relish, vegan aioli, firm tofu and nori. Extremely delicious and something I never ate before.
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Veggie Ratatouille with mashed potato, salad and nutritional yeast. My favourite dish!

Cauliflower and something soup and dried fruit chocolate brownie for dessert.

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You can see that I couldn’t really resist eating out on my second week in Melbourne :D That’s just how it is when you meet people and want to enjoy your time with them and for me, that’s totally okay! I rather sleep in a 12-bed-dorm and live cheap as much as I can, but spend a little bit more on dining out with friends and having a wonderful time! Especially when it’s healthy and vegan food!

At ‚Madam Saigon‘ I had this amazing vegan noodle salad bowl for only 11$ (7€) which is amazingly cheap for eating out here!

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My second hostel had a free soup night every Tuesday, so I had vegan carrot soup with bread and some more fresh carrots with hummus for dinner that night.


That’s more or less everything I ate in Melbourne! Besides my Breakfast mostly healthy and besides eating out mostly cheap :D

How do you like my Backpacking What I Eat in a Day’s? Is it interesting? What would you like to see and hear more of?

 

 

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What I Eat in a Day in Melbourne as a Backpacker on a Budget #1

Now that I am travelling I want to show you what I eat as a (mostly) healthy, (mostly) vegan Backpacker on a budget in Australia!

I hope you are excited for some super easy, cheap and quick recipes and meals as I don’t want to spend too much time or money cooking (and I also don’t have the nicest kitchens in the hostels). But I still try to mostly eat homemade food as eating out is crazily expensive. If I do eat out, I like to go to cute little healthy cafés that offer vegan food and I’m okay spending more money there, rather than finding the cheapest takeaway pizza in town :D

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The prices

The first hostel I stayed in offered free tea, coffee, rice and pasta as well as free pancakes in the morning, so I tried to use that to save money.

Besides what I was thinking, the food in the supermarket isn’t that much more expensive than in Germany. Some things obviously are, especially produce that have to get shipped from far away. I tried to mostly shop my produce at the market (for example the Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne) as they offer cheaper products that aren’t as fresh anymore or at the end of the day.

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Here is a list of the food I bought and how much I spend on them:
  • 12 tomatoes                                2 $         1,30 €                 market
  • 2 red bell peppers                     2 $         1,30 €                 market
  • 5 bananas                                   1 $         0,70 €                 market
  • Hummus                                     3 $         1,80€                  market
  • Salt                                               2 $         1,50 €                 Coles
  • Olive ciabatta                             4 $         2,50 €                Coles
  • Olive Hummus                          5 $          3 €                     Coles
  • Canned Kidney Beans           0,75$        0,50 €                Coles
  • Soy sauce                                    4 $         2,50 €                 Coles

Next time I definitely should buy my soy sauce as well as tofu for example at an Asian supermarket. They are very popular here (because there are also a lot of Asian people living in Australia) and it’s a lot cheaper there.

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Some prices look crazy at first, but 12$ are actually 7,50€ which is the same price as in Germany for the vegan B&J… but I’m for sure going to try all the flavours when my parents visit me :P

Day 1

This wasn’t actually my first day in Melbourne, but the first day that I took pictures of my food – just to clarify that!

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As I already said, my first hostel offered free pancakes with maple syrup every morning. I wasn’t really happy about that on one hand, because I planned on trying to eat completely vegan, but on the other hand, they were yummy, free and quick to eat before leaving the hostel to explore…

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At the market, I bought this amazing self-made hummus and 4 little loaves of bread (there is no English name for „Brötchen“! :D ) and I dipped two into the hummus for lunch.

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The first meal that I cooked at the hostel was this easy rice & veggie dish. I cooked rice with some salt, mixed the veggies under after the rice was nearly finished and added some veggie broth. That’s it! Not super great, but cheap, healthy and easy.

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Day 2

Another day I slept in until 10:30am and there were no more pancakes. I cooked rice with more water than usual and „overcooked“ it to make it very creamy and sticky rice/porridge texture. Then I added lots of cinnamon, mashed banana, apple, raisins and some nuts.

It might seem weird to try to save money on something inexpensive like oats, but as cheaper you eat on most days, as more often you can spend more money on going out! :D

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Because I had a late breakfast, I just had two oranges as a snack and ate dinner early.

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A combination I just recently discovered is pasta with a hummus sauce and veggies. That’s what happens when you are a backpacker: you can’t buy a large variety of food otherwise it will go bad and you have to use it up before you leave a place – so you have to get creative and buy food that works in many meals.

So I just cooked some free pasta from the hostel, mashed some kidney beans, chopped tomatoes, olive hummus, fresh baby spinach and veggie broth and heated it up.

Throwing different ingredients together and making it a delicious meal!

 

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Day 3

I was very lucky, that my AuPair family that I’m going to stay with in May came to visit Melbourne and we were able to meet each other.

And I was even more lucky, that we went to a café to have breakfast that probably has the best ever Avo smash toast in whole Australia! Only ate this one until now, but I can’t imagine that it can get any better (and my AuPair mom agrees in that and she has already eaten many Avo toasts!)

Sadly I forgot to ask for a vegan version as I was a bit nervous that morning, but it was so yummy and so much variety in one dish – lots of mashed avo, good bread, tomatoes, cucumber, balsamic vinegar, mozzarella cheese & poached egg.

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That day I got gifted Kombucha on the streets as a sample. It wasn’t really a great flavour, but in general, I really like Kombucha.

 

The amazing breakfast kept me full for long, so I had another early and big dinner. Leftover rice with veggies where I only added some pak choi and soy sauce as well as fresh capsicum on the side. As a dessert, I had some sweet rice with applesauce and raisins.


You can also always follow me on Instagram to see what I am up to, where I am, what I’m doing or what I eat! 


Another part of what I eat in Melbourne will follow soon! Including another great breakfast with my AuPair mom and way to much eating out as there are so many awesome vegan places here in Melbourne! :D

 

Food Photography – Tips & Inspiration

Since I started my blog I really got into food photography. I fell in love with the process of cooking and baking, preparing, arranging, taking the picture at the end and of course: eating it afterwards.

Today I would like to share some inspiration, tips and things I learned through the process.

I am totally aware that I am not a pro at all, not even very good. I’m only a beginner trying my best, but I already learned a few things that I want to share with you. Maybe you want to start taking pretty pictures of your meals as well and sometimes it’s easier to learn from someone like me instead of someone that already has a lot of equipment, knowledge and practice and who can’t relate to the difficulties of a beginner.

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Equipment

My Camera. I shoot with a Sony Alpha 6000* a system camera that takes amazing pictures while being very small and light – perfect for my travels and everything I wanted. It captures the colours very beautifully and blurs the backround nicely.

My Lens. I still only have the 16-50 mm lens that came with my camera because it works very well for what I need and I didn’t want to spend more money. Maybe in the future but for now I have to work with what I got.

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The two pictures above are taken with my iPhone 6s

Phone. Your phone is also capable to take some great food pic’s. But I find that it isn’t possible to take good pictures in different angles – it just looks weird. But from above and 45° angle looks decent.

I don’t have anything else that I use for my food photography. No light, no tripod (that I use), no background/ underground. I only use what I can find at home: window light, wood floor, white table, kitchen cloth, cardigans, scarfs…

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I once bought this grey plate, but I’ve only used it once or twice because the colour doesn’t make the food look very good…
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But I always use the same plate in pink! Both from IKEA

Ceramic. I did invest in some beautiful plates and bowls cause I really enjoy cute pottery and it’s nice to switch and vary them with different colours and meals. I always find lovely ceramic at IKEA and it’s affordable too.

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Porridge

I think the easiest meal to style and photograph is porridge. Just mix some oats with hot water or plant milk and some extras (here are some porridge recipe inspirations if you need!). You can’t really make something wrong and it’s also super quick and without much effort.

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very liquidy porridge – on purpouse

Tip #1 Make your porridge pretty thick rather than too liquidy (put more plant milk in after taking the pictures when you want to eat) because that way your toppings won’t sink into the porridge. Unless that’s the look you go for obviously – can look very cool as well.

 

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I used a pullover and a sushi roll pad for the background

Nice Cream

…is pretty easy as well, but you have to be quick so that it doesn’t melt away and your toppings drown!

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Tip #2 Get creative with your toppings. It’s always so much fun to choose and cut the fruit and then carefully place it where you’d like it to go without making it look to perfect (most of the time – exact lines can look great too!). Then look for small grains/seeds to add. Maybe even some flowers to top it off? The variety makes food pictures often look super interesting and eye-catching. But don’t overdo it! Too much stuff can look very confusing and extreme. Of course, minimalistic styling can look amazing as well – just try out what you like best!

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simple and pretty- but nothing special

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Examples of toppings
  • fruit/veggies used in the meal or as an extra
  • seeds, nuts, granola, dried fruit, shredded coconut, chocolate drops
  • hearbs
  • leaves or flowers
  • cutlery
  • drizzled syrup

The green-yellow-blue colour palette.

Tip #3 Stick to a colour palette. Especially when you use a lot of different ingredients it can look unappealing when you have too many colours that don’t fit to each other well. I would say 2-3 colours are enough for most pictures. A colourful food styling can look lovely, but the colours have to work with each other well.

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I went for orange and green – just like the ingredients
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This is by far the prettiest bowl of oats I ever made. Simple but beautiful!

 

Tip #4 Leave the skin/ the greenery on. It might feel weird to put strawberries with their greens on your food – but it looks so pretty. Same with Mango, when you fold it over after cutting or cherries.

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Bright strong colours, but they harmony pretty well with each other so that it works fine. 

 

Tip #5 Stick to natural colours and stay away from bright colours (unless it’s the food itself of course). It just doesn’t fit well in my eyes.

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No need a lot of effort. Just some greens, veggies, a few sesame seeds and chopsticks on the side. 

 

Tip #6 Don’t overdo it with the styling. It’s in matters of taste, but I personally don’t like it when food pictures are loaded with too much food, ingredients, toppings etc. I’m more the basic and minimalistic kind.

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Tip #7 Movement or „just-about-to-eat“ pictures can bring your food photography to the next level. I’m just starting to experiment with it myself, but I love the look and it’s even more eye-catching than just a pretty bowl of oats or a stack of pancakes.

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Examples for movement in pictures
  • Cutlery digging into the bowl of oats, stabbing into a piece of pancake, rolling up some spaghetti or laying on the plate
  • pouring chocolate sauce or maple syrup over pancakes/waffles, pouring milk into a bowl of granola, coffee poured in a cup or smoothie in a jaw
  • hands holding the bowl of oats or the plate with pancakes into the frame, holding the cutlery or jaw
  • syrup, sauce, melting ice cream, berry jam dripping from pancakes or waffles

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Tip #8 Don’t just focus on the bowl/plate itself, the scenery is just as important. Of course, you can leave it very plain and basic to put the focus on the food, but most of the time some little details in the background are essential for great pictures.

Underground & Background

It looks super beautiful when you have many different varieties of wood floor, plain coloured floor, marble floor etc. but I just didn’t take the time and effort to make some square meters of under-/background myself. Here are some DIY tutorials on how to make them yourself (1 and 2). I am for sure going to do that when I’ll be back from my travels and start getting into food photography more again! It makes your pictures look much more professional and put together, but until then just look for different floors or tables in your home or…

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this picture is taken in my bed
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My grey cardigan as the underground

Use kitchen cloth, bed linen or clothes as an underground or detail in your picture. Kitchen clothes are obvious, but it can also look great to take foot pictures in your bed or use cardigans and scarfs as an extra.

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newspaper and a drink
Examples of details
  • kitchen cloth, blanket, clothes
  • cutlery
  • kitchen tools
  • fruits, veggies, ingredients (separate or in a small bowl)
  • seeds, nuts, granola scrattered
  • flowers, greens, leaves
  • drinks (tea, hot chocolate, smoothie, juice, coffee)
  • news paper
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baking tray 

 

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two plates on a grey t-shirt

 

Tip #9 Have two or three plates/bowls with the meal and not only one. Style them similar but not same so you have a bigger variety and more possibilities to picture them. For example one in the foreground, the other blurred in the back or both next to each other/ behind each other as if you would want to eat with another person sitting in front of you.

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Pancakes

Stacks of pancakes are a bit harder to capture because they tend to look crooked and the angle can be unflattering. But it’s so fun to style (and eat!) them so I love to experiment around and try different things.

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Got inspired to make bigger and thinner „Crêpes“ and roll them up on Instagram, so that’s what I did

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Putting banana between the pancakes or cutting pieces out – so many great ideas to incorporate into your own pictures.

Tip #11 Take the idea of a food picture you like and recreate it. I promise you it won’t look the same and copied in the end, but when you do this you start to look exactly at how it’s done. How the setting, food, toppings and details are arranged to make it look good in the end. You’ll learn and understand a lot in this process!

I really like to get my Inspiration from Pinterest – have a look at my food photography board!

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I hope you enjoyed this post! I really tried to show what I’ve already learned and I am super excited to experiment around more and get better! 

Do you like food photography? Are you hungry now? And do you take pictures of your meals as well?