Food Bytes with Sarah Patterson



FB: How would you rate your cooking skills?

MB: The last time I attempted to cook, which was heating a vegie burger patty on a frying pan, I splashed hot oil over my hand, leaving a permanent scar. The burger, however, was cooked perfectly!

FB: What is your signature dish?

MB: I’m sorry, but I won’t be inviting you over for dinner. Drinks and a gourmet nibbles platter? Sure!

FB: If you could only have one more meal, what would it be?

MB: Garlic bread. Pasta. Pizza. Hot chips. A warm chocolate brownie and ice-cream. All vegan, please!

FB: What is your favourite TV food show and who is your favourite TV food person?

MB: Oh, too much drama in the TV kitchens, Sarah! Although I do admire Jamie Oliver’s passion for fresh and healthy food.

FB: What is your favourite food?

MB: I moved from Perth to Melbourne in December, and as a new vegan, my list of favourite foods is ever-expanding. Pizza at Red Sparrow Pizza in Collingwood, Macaroni and cheese balls at The Cornish Arms hotel in Brunswick, the brekkie burrito at Smith & Daughters in Fitzroy and cupcakes from Tidbit Cakes in Richmond! That’s just to name a few.

FB: What is your favourite drink?

MB: I’m mad for beer and will usually opt for a pint of a local lager.

FB: Which five people would you most like to invite to dinner?

MB: I couldn’t go past sharing a meal with family and friends. But if we’re going to throw in a celebrity, let’s invite Ricky Gervais. ( … and we’re ordering pizza)

FB: Do you have a kitchen tip for us?

MB: When heating up a vegie burger patty in a frying pan, use spray oil rather than an excess amount of olive oil.




A few years ago, I did a favour for a vegan friend of mine. To say thank you, she presented me with a box of pretty, pastel vegan cupcakes. I was both delighted and dubious. How tasty could a cupcake be, I wondered, if it’s devoid of butter and eggs? My question was answered on the very first bite. They were deliciously rich, decadent, moist and crumbly, all the things a proper cupcake should be.

I’ve since discovered avocado can be a wonderful substitute for eggs and butter. You can even make frosting out of it. I only had to look at a picture of this particular chocolate cake and I was a goner. The beauty of this vegan cake recipe from is that you don’t have to go scouting around health food shops and the like for the ingredients … most are probably already in your pantry.




3 cups self-raising flour

5 tablespoons pure cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

¼ cup canola oil

1 ripe avocado, mashed until smooth

2 cups water

2 tablespoons white vinegar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups sugar


Preheat oven to 175 degrees celcius. Grease and flour 2 9” round cake pans. In a large bowl, whisk first five ingredients. In another bowl, whisk canola oil and next four ingredients. Once combined, add sugar. Pour wet avocado mixture into flour mixture and mix well until smooth. Divide batter evenly between cake pans and place in the oven. Check after 30 minutes to see if they’re done, keeping in a little longer if need be. Sandwich together cakes with frosting made from 2 mashed avocados, 2 cups of icing sugar and five tablespoons pure cocoa powder.

Photo supplied