Sunday, September 30, 2012

Dosa Hut- West Footscray

I've been craving dosas since our Hong Kong trip and so suggested dosa hut for a family event. It's a nice looking cafe with very reasonable prices. I wasn't completely confident of their gf-ness because when I asked she said that they use regular flour too but Toby and I were pretty sure that she was talking about the whole restaurant rather than the dosas. I didn't get sick afterwards which is a good sign.

 excuse the phone pic

Toby and I both ordered the masala dosa (about $8). It comes with a coconut sauce, a mild vegetable curry and a slightly spicer sauce. The potato curry inside the large pancake was very tasty but also very spicy. My family members enjoyed their dosas and curries too although my grandfathers rice based dish was far too spicy for him. I think Toby struggled too with the spice level, so if you can't handle the heat I would stay away. I loved it though. My mother who is a big fan of Indian food said that she couldn't believe that she had only just discovered dosas. My only complaint was that I was still a little hungry so ate half of a second serve.

You can read other reviews at footscray food blog and consider the sauce.

Salaam Namaste Dosa Hut
604 Barkly Street
West Footscray
9687 0171

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Green Smoothies and Hemp Truffles

About a fortnight ago when we got our first taste of spring , I felt inspired and energised to be healthier. While the weather quickly went back to being miserable with only a few good days inbetween. I've kept up some good habits. I'm still eating some junk particularly at the potluck yesterday but I feel that at least I start the days on a good start by having a green smoothie for breakfast. I started out with:

Classic Green Smoothie from Oh She Glows:

Yield: 1 serving/2 cups
  • 1 cup almond milk, or milk of choice
  • 1 ripe banana, preferably peeled + frozen
  • 2 handfuls organic spinach or 1 handful kale
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds OR 1 tbsp ground flax
  • 1 tbsp nut butter, optional
  • 1-3 ice cubes
  • protein powder of choice, optional

Directions: Starting with the liquid, add in 1 cup of milk of your choice. Now add in the chia or flax and nut butter. Next, add in the spinach followed by the banana on top. Blend until smooth. Add in your ice cubes and blend some more. Serves 1- about 2 cups.

This was great, I skipped the ice and the protein powder. You can't taste the baby spinach at all, so its a great way to start. It didn't quite fill me up.  But I've found that if I increase almond milk to about 1&1/4 cup and increase the seeds or nut butter slightly then I'm right to lunch time.

I've slowly been making more adaptions using frozen bluberries, cherries, raspberries and using kale and boy choy (yes sounds gross but again can't taste it), I've also used hemp seeds too.

I'm not a morning person at all, so I put it in my klean canteen bottle and drink it on the way to work. Be warned if you do this to rinse it out straight away. I once left my bottle dirty until I got home which was a big mistake-smell wise. I do need to floss at work now though unless I start getting up earlier and having it at home.

I recently bought some hemp seeds which are supposadly good for you. I'm always suck a sucker for the latest 'superfood'.  This US study suggests a range of benefits like high in omega 3 and 6, and may lower cholestrol and blood pressure. They are actually legal to eat everywhere except for australia and new zealand. So they are sold as a skincare product in some larger health food stores. See below:

I'm also been making a few different versions of these raw truffles so if I do get hungry before lunch I eat a couple. This is my favourite, its slightly sweet and Toby who hates these sort of raw snacks loves these (and not just for the high protein).

Hemp Truffles adapted from the raw project
  • 1 cups shelled hemp seeds
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp. almond butter
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 1/8 cup cacao powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
Place hemp seeds, chia seeds, almond butter, cacao powder, and salt into a food processor and process until well blended. While processing, feed in pitted dates and process until the mixture is well blended and clumping. Add in vanilla and maple syrup. Roll mixture into small, quarter-sized balls and enjoy. Makes about 15 balls.

 I love these type of recipes, if you have any similar recipes please let me know.

They both may look gross but taste great!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Baked Vegan and Gluten Free Cheesecake with Strawberry Glaze

It was Toby's birthday this weekend and when I discussed the idea of making him a cake he had zero interest in fact he said if I made a cake he won't eat any. We are such opposites in some ways. Until Lisa on twitter suggested a tofu cheesecake and he suddenly become interested. So I made him this protein packed cake:

Baked Vegan and Gluten Free Cheesecake with Strawberry Glaze

1 packet of gf biscuits- 175 grams, I used organ gluten free vanilla outback animal biscuit
60 grams dairy free margarine (nuttelex), melted

Place biscuits in food processor and process til they become crumbs, add melted margarine and press into base of 9 inch case pan. Place in fridge.

Cheesecake (from baking bites):
1-14 oz (390 grams) package firm silken tofu (I think the silken tofu I used was a little smaller)
1-8 oz (227grams) package Better than Cream Cheese
2/3 cup sugar
¼ cup lemon juice (I used tiny bit of lime juice since I didn't have enough lemon)
½ tsp almond essence (I used vanilla)
2 tbsp cornstarch

Preheat oven to 350F.

Place silken tofu and vegan cream cheese in the food processor. Process for 1 minute, then add sugar. Process until smooth and no sugar granules remain, 3-5 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine lemon juice and almond extract. Whisk in cornstarch. Pour mixture into the food processor and process until very smooth. Pour into prepared crust and bake for 45 minutes.
Allow to cool at room temperature for 2 hours, then refrigerate overnight.

Strawberry Glaze:
1/4 cup strawberry jam
2 tablespoon of water
1 punnet of strawberries (you made need more or less depending on how you want to decorate it)

Heat jam and water until simmering and brush on cake, add strawberries and glaze more on top. Chill until ready to eat.

I put the strawberries in the shape of a 'T' in the middle. This was a pretty easy cake to make, it does make a small cake though and it does have a slight soy flavour. Everyone seemed to enjoy it though particularly the birthday boy!

Here is a not so great phone pic:

P.S: Planet VegMel is celebrating its third birthday this year with a picnic on Saturday September 15 at Edinburgh Gardens, starting at 1pm.  Check out the facebook event here. Come along and bring some vegan food to share. If you are up for a challenge or just wanting to feed me you can make it gf too :-)