Brekky Bowls

There’s a place down the street from our house called The Shop and I’m absolutely in love with it. It’s the tiniest cafe (literally 3 tables inside) and a few outdoor squat spots, but it’s so idyllic. The first time I saw it I was on my way to check out our apartment, it was filled to the brim with people sipping lattes and eating fresh salads and it had a major impact on why I decided on our place. Just look at it.

the Shop Bondi photocred: summersite.com

It’s been our go to breakfast spot when I’m not in the mood to make anything or when we want a side of sunshine with our Sunday brunch. Although their menu isn’t extensive the dishes they do serve have been perfected. Take their brekky bowl for instance. This is something that I absolutely love. Simple ingredients, fresh vegetables, very little seasoning, and super healthy. Here’s my take on the brekky bowl.

brekky bowl

What you’ll need:

  • quinoa
  • roastable veggies (I used potatoes, beets, and carrots, but any root veg will do)
  • avocado
  • egg
  • halloumi (aka cypriot) or tofu
  • sprouts
  • lemon
  • s&p

Let me first discuss halloumi or cypriot, because before I moved to Sydney I had no idea what this was and it’s prevalent in almost every menu I come across. Halloumi, as it’s mostly known, is a semi-hard, unripened brined goat’s and sheep’s milk cheese. It has a high melting point so it’s great fried, seared or grilled and it’s texture is similar to a harder mozz with a deliciously salty flavor. It’s sooooo good.

First, roast your veggies.

I chop my potatoes, beets and carrots and add them to a baking sheet with a little oil, salt and pepper. (Tip: if you chop everything to the same size they will cook evenly). I roast at 350 degrees for 25-30 mins or until golden brown. Luckily I had some from dinner the night before so this is a great way to use veggie leftovers.

Second, make your quinoa.

I follow the packaging, but sometimes I’ll  use chicken broth instead of water. This time I used water to cut down on sodium, again I had some left over from dinner.

Third, poach or pan fry your egg.

You can really make your egg to your preference, but I like the eggs this way because you can punch the yolk and let it run all over your bowl like a sauce. Mmmmm… For tips on poaching an egg watch this.

Fourth, pan fry or sear your halloumi, or you can use tofu instead.

I put a small pat of butter in a non stick skillet and slice my halloumi about 1/4 inch thick. Once the butter is melted I add the cheese and watch it brown. You should get a crispy layer of golden brown on each side, but watch it because it will burn and you don’t want to waste this cheese.

Lastly, assemble. I add a layer of quinoa to the bottom of my bowl, add my roasted veggies to one side, add the halloumi next to it, add sliced avo to the bottom of the bowl and sprouts to the top, and then I top it all off with my egg.

Voila! It’s that simple. At the Shop they use these bowls that are almost deep plates they are a little easier to work with when it comes to eating, you can plate this, but I liked the idea of a bowl. I mean, it’s a brekky bowl. Hope you try this recipe and let me know how it turns out!

Cheers,

Mae

Ch..ch..chia pudding 

I’ve seen chia seeds everywhere! They are all over my Instagram feed since I follow a bunch of food bloggers and health fanatics. But aside from topping my yogurt or fruit bowl and sprinkling them into my smoothies I never really used them in a recipe before.

When we were living in San Francisco we ate breakfast at a restaurant called Plow in Potrero Hill and I ordered their chia pudding bowl. And it was so good. I was raving about it and kept meaning to recreate it.

It was so simple, delicate, sweet and better yet, a bowl of health benefits. Now I’m not going to explain what each food item provides on the nutritional scale as I’m sure I won’t be 100% accurate, I’ll let you guys do the research. But I am going to share a recipe for my version of Plow’s chia pudding.


What you’ll need:

  • Chia seeds
  • Almond milk or coconut milk
  • Vanilla extract
  • Bee pollen (make sure it edible)
  • Mixed berries
  • Bananas
  • Honey (I like the Orange blossom honey)

First, make the pudding:

  • 4tbs chia seeds
  • 1C almond milk
  • Few drops of vanilla

Mix together in Tupperware. Leave in the fridge overnight (at least 8 hours). The seeds expand and become gelatinous. If it’s too thin add more seeds, but you’ll have to refrigerate and wait again. If it’s too thick add more milk and stir. It should be the consistency of a silky pudding.

Second, add toppings: 

You can really top this with anything or leave it as is and sprinkle some cinnamon or coconut sugar on top. Yum! I added sliced bananas, mixed berries, bee pollen (don’t worry, they don’t really have a flavor, it was more for color and their “health” benefits, plus this is how Plow made it) and drizzled honey on top.

Happy breakfast or snacking!

If you try it Let me know how it goes.

Cheers,

Mae

This Sashimi Plate

Sashimi is a Japanese delicacy consisting of very fresh raw meat or fish sliced into thin pieces.

For the past few months (3 to be exact) Tyler and I have kept a predominantly pescatarian diet. It’s been a good change to our normal meat eating habits and it’s allowed our digestive systems to take a rest from breaking down heaps (Ozzie word) of thick protein and fat. It’s been a good change except I crave variety when it comes to meals and eating salmon everyday was getting a bit boring. I don’t know too much about fish, salmon and shrimp made up my repertoire, thus we were eager to mix things up a notch. We ventured to the Sydney fish market to explore and hoped we’d score a different member of the sea. It was a bit overwhelming seeing all of the fish and seafood displayed on the crushed ice. I love shell fish, but it is pricey. I did make a Cioppino back in Florida, so I’ll throw that onto the list, although it cost me almost $70 to make. Anyway this market services local restaurants so knowing that chefs are visiting to grab their catch of the day is kind of cool. I’m shopping where the culinary pros shop. We ended up cruising around with no goal, but when we came across the sashimi we just couldn’t resist. We’re sushi lovers so this was the tits. We bought 2 trays at $16.99 each and they weren’t stingy. The tray had about 8 thin slices of a few different fish; salmon, tuna, hamachi (yellow fin-may fav!) and ocean trout. we asked for extra salmon because I didn’t like the whitefish option they had. It was cheaper than what you would pay for at a sushi restaurant and we had enough for dinner and leftovers for Ty’s lunch.

Here’s my plate of goodness. Sashimi Plate My Deconstructed Sushi Plate: What you’ll need:

  • assortment of sashimi (make sure it’s sushi grade you don’t want to eat just any raw fish, you might get sick)
  • nori sheets
  • black rice
  • sprouts (I used bean sprouts, they are a bit sweeter)
  • radishes
  • purple cabbage
  • carrots
  • cucumbers
  • red peppers
  • mirin (or sweet rice wine)
  • soy sauce
  • sauce recipe info in the link (optional)

First, cook the rice I used a regular pot because I don’t have a rice cooker. I know it’s crazy an Asian without a rice cooker, but we just don’t eat rice that often (too many carbs I don’t need in my life). I did 1 cup rice to 2 cups water. When the rice is fluffy (usually about 20-25 minutes) mix in 1/4 of mirin and cover. The mirin sweetens the rice a bit and gives it that sushi roll flavor.

Second, pickle the accoutrement Mix 1/4 cup of mirin with couple of dashes of soy, 2 tablespoons of sugar, salt and pepper. Slice your veggies in sticks. I chose to cut my radishes in circles because it was easier. If you have a slicer that makes sheets that would be great to, but I just had a knife so I cut the raw veggies as thin as I could to make matchsticks or shreds without cutting my fingertips off. Once the veggies are cut, drop them in the pickling liquid and soak for at least 10 minutes.

Last, prep your plate I took one sheet of nori and laid it flat on my plate, but I think this was more for presentation because the sheet got soggy and I think next time I’ll just roll it up like a big funnel and set it to the side so I can build small hand rolls, but you live and you learn. I then scooped up a small portion of rice and added it to the plate topped with sesame seed and some sprouts (we eat with our eyes first). I started laying rows of fish and then along the sides of the plate I added my pickled veggies. I pickle them because they give them a light sweet flavor and there isn’t a raw bite with the delicate fish. I liked the combo. It melded well together.

I also made a “dynamite sauce” for Tyler since he likes spicy and I didn’t buy wasabi. I used the concepts of this recipe for the sauce except I improvised. I didn’t have tahini so I used vegan mayo. I kept everything else the same and I tasted a bit, it was good, just spicy.

Alright I hope you enjoyed my first recipe blog. I realize I posted this photo a few weeks ago, but I wanted to share the steps. More to come.

Cheers, Mae

Here we go…

Voila! Here’s my first post as a newbie food blogger. This is something I’ve been wanting to do for some time now and with some coaxing I realized “what the hell?” To say I have a passion for food is an understatement. I’ve been talking about starting a restaurant for ages and while I’d still love to accomplish that dream, blogging is a bit more economical at the moment.

For my first post I think it’s relevant to give you a little background about me.

me and tyler

I love sweets, particularly red velvet cake and Haribo gummy bears, maybe I’ll mix the two in a future recipe?! (Mmmm…the possibilities) I’ve been cooking since childhood and absolutely love it. My favorite thing about cooking is that I can create a meal and share it with others. I love how food brings people together and fills their bellies with happiness. I have recently become addicted to bargain shopping and love finding things “on sale” and purchasing them just for the deal. I work in the Digital Media space and have been for almost 5 years. I love animals, especially my dog Desi and my new kitten Jamilia. I’m currently living in Sydney with my boyfriend Tyler.