Tag Archives: breakfast

LADY MARMALADE

So in order to catch up with a friend before Christmas, I just HAD to go to Lady Marmalade at Stones Corner for lunch AND they just won map magazine’s best lunch 2013 award. Life is tough.

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The hardest part was deciding what to eat, as there were lots of vego options and even a vegan option with greens, sweet potato, black beans, tofu and dukkah. I ummed and ahhhed and went for the mushrooms with mojo verde (a tangy non-basil pesto?) on brioche with goats’ cheese. I ordered a potato and feta hash on the side. My friend was going to go for the haloumi (because obvious) but ended up having the herbed avo toast with tomato and a SIDE of haloumi. Genius. This is why I have such great friends. Because they piece together brilliant meals.

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The café was busy but not full and we got quick service and meals. My mushrooms were well cooked and came with spinach but didn’t appear to come with the goats’ cheese. Instead, there was a yoghurt looking but cheesy tasting sauce under my mushrooms. It was still delicious and as long as no one mayo-bombed me (I don’t like mayo [but like aioli]) I didn’t mind. The potato feta hash was really good- I find that sometimes the cheese taste gets lost but you could actually pick it as an ingredient and I didn’t want to add salt to it. My friend was really happy to discover her tomatoes were in a really nice dressing and although she couldn’t pick the herbs in her avo, I think there was mint, coriander and possibly basil.

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We paid less than $30 total for our brekkies including sides and my soy iced latte. I really liked the attention to the flavours in each item- whether it was a main or a side it worked well and didn’t need heaps of salt and pepper. We even got to see a guy ride past in a plastic canoe/bicycle thing. Value.

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Lady Marmalade Cafe on Urbanspoon

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LITTLE LARDER

So when my sister recommended The Little Larder recently I was taken back to stories from my last job where a colleague would Facebook photos of her all day breakfast with lewd tomato sauce messages written on her plate by her friend the waitress. The waitress and the colleague have moved on, but the story remains and makes me laugh.

Even though it was the weekend and busy, we were served promptly and our meals didn’t take too long. My sister ordered pesto scrambled eggs with salmon, so I didn’t photograph it, but I ordered the mushroom polenta with avo and poached eggs and a beetroot, carrot and orange juice.

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The poached eggs were a little undercooked in my fussy opinion but the polenta was superb and with the balsamic, cherry tomatoes and hot sauce, was truly interesting and yummy. You’re going to pay New Farm prices here with most hot brekkies over $15 each. We finished with a stroll around New Farm, acting like complete tossers and behaving in a way that only sisters could probably understand. If you and your sister swear a lot and talk about Brisbane gigs, architecture, libraries and boys.

So exactly like you and your sister.

Little Larder on Urbanspoon

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Morning Sunshine!

So I try to be healthy, but I am terribly lazy. Living in an apartment also means I don’t feel like turning on the blender or juicer at 6 in the morning. I want my neighbours to like me. So when I saw this raw cacao chia pudding recipe on Pinterest that requires no equipment besides a tablespoons and a jar, I knew I had to try it.

I’ve never used chia before. I knew that when you soak them, they swell up and go gelatinous. Well they certainly did! They reminded me of tomato seeds with the gel sack around them. My breakfast gets made while I’m asleep and I can eat it at home or take it to work. Chia is so darn good for you, I can’t believe I haven’t tried it before. I think I’ve found a good 2014 breakfast to obsess over.

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CHOC CHIA PUDDING

INGREEDIENTS:

2 tbs chia seeds (I used white chia, which is actually grey)

1 cup milk (I used homemade almond milk [always using Sarah B’s recipe] but you don’t have to be that committed).

I tbs raw cacao (I used two because I apparently can’t read recipes)

Sweetener of your choice (I used raw honey from Stanthorpe but of course you could use a vegan option)

Add-ins of your choice (I used banana and coconut, but will be buying blueberries and strawberries soon. I would also add sunflower or pepitas or chopped almonds, but I already added almond pulp, as you can read below).

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My other variation:

As I had just made almond milk, I added two tablespoons of the almond pulp leftover from that. It adds some bulk and nutrients and means that the almond pulp doesn’t go to waste (although it’s a great addition to hummus as well).

 

DO:

Stick everything but the fruit/coconut in a jar. Shake well (very well!). Leave in fridge overnight and then add fruit or other add ins of your choice. Use a bigger jar than me. I was adding sliced banana bit by bit. I’ll have to find a good sized jar to take this to work in.

What does it taste like?

Hmmm… well as I said, I added too much cacao, so it had this intense, dark chocolate flavour. The bitterness of the cacao was perfect with the sweetness of the banana. I’d use less cacao just to stretch it further next time. You can never hoard too much cacao.

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Enjoy!

 

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Ben’s baked eggs

So this is probably the last eggy dish in an unofficial egg series of blogs. This was something I whipped up for Ben when he was feeling ill. It’s the easiest, most versatile thing ever.

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  • Grease a ramekin
  • Add veggies of your choice (I added leftover sauteed spinach with garlic and ricotta)
  • Season
  • Bake until eggs whites are cooked to your liking (anywhere between 20-40 minutes, depending on your oven).
  • Eat.

You could also add cheese, or make them more Spanish by adding a tomatoey sauce at the bottom of the dish.

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Simple. Great if you’re feeling ill or lazy.

 

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Easy Quiche for lazy people (aka me)

So I think the final frontier for ex-vegans eating eggs again is quiche. I’m not sure why, but I’d take a poached egg over quiche any day of the week, even though you’d think a poached egg is more “eggy”.

I’ve wanted to create something freezable for work and thought I’d give quiche a try, but also didn’t want to spend ages making bases. Then it hit me, from the packet of mountain bread I buy for me breakfast wraps:

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And so, dear readers, that is exactly what I made. I doubled it for lunchable goodness. When cold, I wrapped them individually in foil and froze.

Has this made me love eggs? Alas, no. I have been eating fewer eggs these days, reserving them for breakfasts, but Ben loves quiche and even as I type told me he was going to defrost a piece for lunch today.

So not quite delicious in my eyes, but if you already like egg, you might really like this recipe.

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CAFE CHECOCHO

So if you go to Cafe CheCoCho on Hardgrave Street, you must not sit at the Hobbit Table.

What is the Hobbit Table, you may ask? Well, frankly, it’s my table. Okay not literally but it’s decoupaged in dozens of pictures taken from Tolkien stories and as someone who has read “The Hobbit” over a dozen times and “The LOTR” about six, I feel compelled to sit there and sad when I don’t. Don’t worry, the other tables are just as charming and skillful. I’m also partial to the vintage ladies table when the Hobbit is occupied.

So enough about tables.

Ok, one more thing about The Hobbit table: You can see Middle Earth in the background.

Ok, one more thing about The Hobbit table: You can see Middle Earth in the background.

I passed Cafe CheCoCho (Chess, Coffee, Chocolate) for years before I finally went in. I’m sorry I didn’t go earlier. Until the move this year, we went there while our laundry was washing up the street on a Sunday morning. It was a ritual we had. Although I don’t miss lugging laundry to a laundromat, I do miss that ritual!

CheCoCho does a standard-ish cafe menu really well. You’ll find some lovely vegan options for breakfast and drinks and they make a mean bowl of chips.

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The All Day Breakfast, vego option.

The best breakfast option is by far the $9 All Day Brekkie. The veggie option comes with roast veggies instead of bacon, which sounds unusual but works so well. This time, I ordered The All Day and Ben ordered an omelette. Ben got a latte and I got a chocolate milkshake. Vegan milk options are happily used.

Omelette you look at that for a while.

Omelette you look at that for a while.

I love how consistently excellent the poached eggs are here. I really can’t recall getting a bad one and as regular readers will know, I eat a fair few poached eggs in and around Brisbane. Just after this breakfast, I took a good non-vego friend here who also ordered the vego All Day Breakfast and she loved it. It was totally satisfying sharing the poached egg love.

I’m also happy that there are a few places left that serve milkshakes in metal canisters. Does anyone else remember getting them when you were little? I loved that. Or, at a close second, in a milkshake glass with the leftovers in the canister and both served to you. I’m getting flashbacks to this diner from my childhood in Victoria called …something “Park” which served milkshakes this way and HAD A SMOKING SECTION (Today, there is no smoking in any Australian shopping centre or food service area). So very old. I digress. Here’s our drinks (Ben always enjoys the coffee here and orders a huge one):

Don't spill your drink on The Hobbit table. Unless it's on Mordor. No one likes Mordor.

Don’t spill your drink on The Hobbit table. Unless it’s on Mordor. No one likes Mordor.

Seriously, just eat here. It’s old, it looks a little grubby at times, it’s not air conditioned but it’s really affordable and it sells books for $2 (Such a cool and varied selection as well). It’s just very West End.

Yoooooooolk.

Yoooooooolk.

Ooey gooey.

EDIT: The owners have had to get rid of most of their decoupage tables except for the big indoor one because, due to age and rain, they had gotten gummy and were peeling. This means the Tolkein Table is gone and I am sad forever, but I’m sure I’ll adjust to eating on a non-fantasy epic table. In time. Perhaps.
Checocho on Urbanspoon

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Need this.

This might be a phone filter, but this is how I actually perceived the world around me this morning until I had a fresh juice, poached eggs and haloumi and a B vitamin. Better now.

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Thank you Pear Cafe & Bar!

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Cranking up My Breakfast: Are Eggs for Me?

So I don’t know about where you live, but in Australia a mid week breakfast tends to be toast or cereal. Maybe yoghurt or muesli or oats if you’re a bit fancy. A piece of fruit? Perhaps.

Upon selecting these photos, perhaps I’m a breakfast person after all.

We save cooked breakfasts for the weekend.

For a long time, breakfast for me was fruit or yoghurt. I couldn’t stand the thought of more in my tummy that early in the morning.

My trainer, however, had other ideas. He’s actually a guy from work and a bit amazing. He trains me and some other colleagues once a week. It was his idea for me to give up sugar. He’s also a protein advocate and not vegetarian. He knows that I am self conscious about my “grain belly” but is not an advocate of cutting wheat and grains from your diet- only refined, poor quality grains.

The other day he ask me, “How many eggs do you eat a day?”

I blinked. I was vegan for three years. I really don’t like eggs that much. Now cheese. Cheese I’m on board with. Eggs still freak me out.

“Umm… I have two a week. On the weekend”.

Cue eye boggling.

My trainer’s response? Eat 4-5 eggs a day. A DAY.

I get it. Protein is important. We all know that protein is needed for regenerating tissue in the body. But you don’t have to look far to find a vegan or vegetarian who will tell you that you don’t need animal protein in your diet.  More and more mainstream sources are suggesting we are careful about our animal protein intake because of the other health risks this can inflate.

So I told him I would try and went away to reflect and research it.

There’s more and more evidence to suggest that healthy adults (tee hee. I’m an adult) don’t need to worry about eggs contributing to heart disease or high cholesterol. So that’s good.

But 4 or 5 eggs a day?

If you read any of the links above, you’ll see that one, maybe two eggs were the recommended amount. Does that mean I should eat the rest in egg whites? What do you do with the spare yolk? I’m not chucking that out. What do you do with it (seriously, comments below appreciated).

Furthermore (and I know this link is to an Oprah article and therefore may not be as reliable as the Harvard or Mayo Center links) there’s the sensible idea that if you’re eating more eggs, you’re probably eating fewer wholegrain serves.

So what’s a girl to do?

Well, the first thing is to get that one a day. And I have for the last four weeks. Here’s my new breakfast wrap (Parmesan is a good source of calcium, an egg cooked without oil and greens on a wholemeal wrap).

I like my whites solid (I hate uncooked egg white) and my yolks runny for a good dose of lecithin,

If I have the chance to eat another egg or eggs, then sometimes I take it, sometimes I don’t. I know that even though my weight hasn’t changed yet, my muscle mass is increasing and I’m getting lots of comments from people noticing (vain, I know). When I go to the doctor’s for a checkup next month, I’ll be sure to have a blood test and get my cholesterol levels measured to make sure daily eggs work for me and my body.

My trainer is not an idiot. He knows that I don’t have to worry about cholesterol from other food sources because, apart from a little dairy, my largely plant based diet is cholesterol free. I understand where he was coming from.

I don’t think I’m going to get to 4-5 eggs a day but for now my trainer will just have to live with that.

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COMFORT AT MY TABLE

So for my first day of holidays, I went to lunch with two friends, one of whom I hadn’t seen in ages. I’m really not familiar with Milton because I’ve always been scared off by the terrible parking situation.

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If I’d known Comfort at My Table had been waiting for me all this time, I would have been there years ago. It looks like quite a small café from the front but opens into a large airy space with big white tables and mismatched chairs. The décor is decidedly girly- pale pink walls, floral bunting and a shabby chic feel, but this didn’t stop heaps of local businessmen from popping in for a meal or a take-away coffee while we were there, a good sign considering there are lots of other coffee places nearby.

Comfort specialises in breakfast but also serves lunch and sweet things. One friend ordered a sandwich and the other scrambled eggs with mushrooms. I ordered the avo toast with Danish feta and tomato relish for $10.80 and a poached egg on the side ($1.50). My first thoughts were “That’s not a cheap avo toast”. I stood corrected when a huge and delicious pink plate came out with a slice of roasted lemon and plenty of rocket as well as a really tangy creamy danish feta (I always thought feta had to be one or the other). You pay for care and things made at the café itself. It was divine.

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I also ordered a pot of chai which is supposed to be a specialty. It came out properly brewed in a pot with honey on the side (even though I stayed strong and didn’t have the honey). It was a lovely tea. I thought it might be T2 Chai, but it lacked the liquorish hit T2 has. The waiter didn’t know either- it’s a secret! He also said that he once guessed it might be T2 but confirmed that it wasn’t. Whatever it was, it was lovely as were the waiters who were present, very pleasant and attentive but never intrusive.

They also serve Krazy Lemonade, a local product I’ve had at the West End markets many a Saturday. All the baking is done in house. Overall, it was a well done: service, décor, food and pricing was all spot on. There really wasn’t any vegan options already on the menu, but the avo toast could easily be done without feta and there was toast and fruit toast available. If I wanted a hot vegan option, I’d be incline to order toast and then add some sides like thyme mushrooms, chat potatoes (yum), baked beans, avocado and roast tomato (providing everything was not cooked in butter of course). Soy milk and gluten free bread were available.

After one of my lovely ladies went back to work, the other and I wandered down Railway Terrace to Park Road. We discussed how the café would be lovely for a Kitchen Tea or Baby Shower- it was definitely feminine, but more Shabby Chic meets Happy Modern, and not over the top.

I know Comfort has been around for a while, but I really was delighted at how “correct” everything was and how much I enjoyed my breakfast for lunch.


Comfort at My Table on Urbanspoon

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Holidays and NUDE DELI CAFE

So I’m on two week holidays.

And I celebrated with:

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  • Many long walks (the view above is from my 8 km loop standing on the Storey Bridge)
  • Super vegan enchiladas with Maple quinoa hazelnet muffins with friends
  • Making long phone calls to people.

I also went to the Cotton Tree Sunday markets with Ben and a friend and had brekkie. The place was packed. It’s on King Street and even thought it’s a tiny market with lots of clothes, it’s worth a lap and near to lots of places to eat, the Maroochydore beach and the parks near the river. It’s increasingly busy, but with locals unless it’s the school holidays.

We found a table at Nude Deli Cafe. My first impression was that it was expensive. Lots of brekkies were $13-$16 plus, including an avo and tomato toast! I ordered Eggs Your Way and got poached. Ben ordered a soy latte in a mug (he doesn’t do big breakfasts) and my friend wasn’t eating. It was $15.30 for the eggs and coffee.

I’m not quite sure what makes this a “Deli”. Possibly nothing? Although it was busy, the service was fine and although not speedy, not a big wait. Ben’s coffee came out first and he thought it was ok. My eggs came a little later. I thought they were well poached but very small eggs and served on two slices of buttered thick white toast.

It was all fine, but not good enough value to tempt me away from Raw Energy (same street but closer to bowls club) or Envy (around the corner). We finished with a stroll around the markets and I discovered the bestest Frida Kahlo bag ever.

After returning to BrisVegas, I tottered off on a walk around the river with a good friend (completely destroying my feet in the process) and found that there was new art down by the river at Kangaroo Point. A bunch of these:

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Covered in things like this:

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Which to me looked like they were out of a botany book (I didn’t photograph the bugs!)

We were rewarded with this on our way home:

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The sky is on fire.

Nude Deli Cafe on Urbanspoon

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