Let’s take a step back in time – my 21st Birthday. I got together with my friends and went to a well known (and still around) vegetarian restaurant. Cooking and eating food made only with plants has been something I’ve always been interested in.

Now I grow all my own vegetables and look for many ways to serve them. I ferment, I pickle, I cook and eat them raw. I am always on the lookout for meals that have vegan recipes that I can share with my non-vegan friends. This has led me to a plant-based menu for some of my harvest lunches. You will regularly find vegan harvest lunches on my calendar of events.

A plant-based diet doesn't mean a quick cooking process. I start with dolmades filled with freekeh wrapped in beetroot leaves that I fermented over the winter. Lots and lots of garden mint to season.

To add an extra kick to my fermentation, I regularly add kimchi (I’m getting in the kitchen this afternoon to start one).

Seasonally I follow with tofu stuffed zucchini flowers with a side of fresh tomato relish. If the season does allow fresh zucchini flowers, I add fried green tomatoes. Pasta  is made with locally ground whole wheat flour and wild garden greens. Occasionally, it may be nasturtium flavoured pasta – spice and a little bit zingy.

I grow yacon in the garden. It is a sweet-tasting tuber plant that is good for gut health, high fibre, but low in calories. From the Yacon, I make a yacon and date cake – vegan, process sugar-free, gluten-free. This goes well with a sorbet made from the babaco tree, a cold climate paw paw. Babacos are sour but not sharp – like lemon. They taste like good champagne hence they are known as champagne fruit. 

To finish a meal, there are my own fruit pastilles made with fresh juice and pectin. There is always milk alternatives in the fridge to have with coffee and all the teas. I might even make a pot of fresh herb tea!

Menu for a Vegan Harvest Lunch

Freekeh beetroot dolmades, fresh kimchi

Zucchini flowers filled with whipped tofu, fresh garden herbs. Fresh tomato relish

Fresh whole wheat hand-cut nasturtium pasta, wild green salad

Yacon & date cake with champagne fruit sorbet

Fruit pastilles, Jacican wine spritzers, tea coffee

Vegan harvest lunches are held throughout the year at Jacican and will only serve food suitable for a vegan diet. Vegan harvest lunches at Jacican can be booked on scheduled dates, or as private functions throughout the year.

Walk amongst the weeds

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Acknowledgment of country

Hello, I’m Jaci Hicken, from the lands of the Brataualung clan, which is where I’ve spent most of my life.

I would like to acknowledge all of us here today to cook together and share a meal.

I love sharing my dream of growing the food this country has to offer and share it with you.

The traditional place that we come together today is on the lands Gunaikurnai people

And I’d like to pay my respects to our elders past, present, emerging leaders, along with all the young people in our community.

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