Sunday, 27 March 2011

Nutty Mornings

It was always there, just out of sight, waiting.
But what was it waiting for?
The Tangle Box by Terry Brooks

I have been doing a lot of eating out lately, which is not to say that I haven't been cooking (which also happens a lot...and in case you started to feel concerned, I have still been cooking
way more than I have been going out) but just that, well, there are reasons. But anyway, what you really want to see is some food and, with my crappy camera in tow, I have some...

So on Wednesday morning I met my cousin D at the
Heritage Hotel Lobby Bar for breakfast because I'd managed to score a 2 for 1 voucher off Moira's blog. Well that wasn't the only reason but it helped! We both ordered the pancakes (there wasn’t a lot of choice in terms of larger meals although there are several small options) and fresh juices.

I have a favourite juice combo - carrot, apple, beetroot and ginger so naturally when I saw that on the menu (Liver Lover) I knew I had to order it and I have to say, this was the best version I've had. I loved how super thick and super gingery it was.

The menu was new and for some reason (of which I can’t remember now) we got one plate of pancakes before the other. To make up for it though they brought us out another dish as well, the soyurt parfait with cranberry muesli, grated apple. I thought this was really awesome but D thought the yogurt tasted a bit too much like soy (I'm pretty sure it was the Kingland Soy yogurt).

We both ended up ordering the pancakes (there wasn’t a lot of choice in terms of larger meals although there are several small options). To be more precise, berries, macadamia and buckweat pancakes served with maple syrup and grilled banana.

The pancakes weren’t very sweet which I loved and had an awesome nutty texture (both from the buckwheat and the macadamias). They tasted healthy...but in a good way if that makes sense. Plus they kept me full all morning and into the afternoon which was fortunate as I was so rushed off my feet at work I didn't get to have lunch until quite late.

I will be honest here and say that I didn't exactly expect that much when I went but I came away feeling very excited. Our waiter was excellent and the manager came over to have a chat with me and he seemed genuinely passionate about their new menu and the direction the food at the Heritage is going in. You've gotta love that.

But come back next time (or at least some time in the future) for an even more exciting meal at the Lobby Bar...

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Desperate for vegetables

So there is all of my tale. I cannot die until my time is come, and who can know when that is? Until then I will be alone, alone as no mere man can ever be, alone with my wretchedness and meaningless evil and self-disgust until the world collapses and is born anew..."
Child of an Ancient City by Tad Williams and Nina Kiriki Hoffman

AGES ago (as in way back in January when I was back in Christchurch...although at least we are in the same year) B and I went to the
Welcome Chinese Vegetarian Cafe for dinner. I just did a quick check and yes, it is one of the few vegetarian restaurants that have managed to open after the earthquake. So go there if you are in Christchurch because they make great food.

I can't remember anything that we ordered so you'll just have to make do with the pictures!!! It was all delicious but as usual, too much food but better too much than too little!

I have to admit that once I got home though I was really feeling the lack of vegetables in the dishes we'd chosen. Hmmm, my tastebuds have certainly changed over time!

Back up in Auckland and only a couple of weeks ago
I went to a vegetarian Indian restaurant with a couple of friends, Jai Jalaram Khaman after my flatmates raved about the place.

I ordered a thali (most options were vegan apparently) and also got some other random dish on the side that I forgot to photograph because clearly the lady serving us felt sorry for me not being able to sample on of my friend's dishes. It was good, whatever it was though! Actually, all the food was really delicious but again I came home really feeling the lack of vegetables. I think there might be something wrong with me!

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

From inside the box

He shook his head sharply in the hope that it might dislodge some salient fact which would fall into place and make sense of an otherwise utterly bewildering Universe, but since the salient fact, if there was one, entirely failed to do this, he set off up the road again, hoping that a good vigorous walk, and maybe even some good painful blisters, would help to reassure him of his own existence at least, if not his sanity.
So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish by Douglas Adams

Hello!! I have been floating around on another planet but tonight I have briefly touched down to give you a post (and a recipe!!!) and just say, well, there is some big stuff happening soon which is all terribly exciting but terribly scary at the same time but you'll have to wait.

For the last few weeks I've been getting a fruit and veggie box from
Ooooby (you can see Moira's posts about Ooooby here) which has been really cool because not only does it save me trips to the shops where I ultimately end up buying the same thing every week but it has also led me to try things I don't normally cook with. My goal each week is to finish the box and try everything. It's not a very hard goal but it's fun!

Anyway, each week they include a piece of paper that tells you where everything is from and if it's organic or whatever. They also include a few recipes which normally I ignore because I'm not very good with recipes but one week they included a red cabbage in my box and I had no idea what to do with it so I thought I'd give the recipe a try...and was pleasantly surprised! Perhaps I should do it more often!

Cabbage, Avocado and Pear Slaw
I ought to say here that this is not quite the recipe that was included because, well...but it is pretty much the same.

Sesame Dressing
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil (or rice bran oil but I used olive oil so therefore that's what I've put!)
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
1 tsp sesame oil
Salt and pepper (which I think I might have forgotten to put in but I can't remember now

2-3 cups (approx) finely shredded red cabbage (or sort of chopped as thin as I could be bothered if you are like me)
1 pear, cored and sliced
1 apple, cored and sliced
1 avocado, peeled, de-seeded and sliced

Make the dressing by whisking all the ingredients together and set aside. Toss all the salad ingredients together, pour over the dressing and serve.

You might not want all of the dressing but it is quite nice! The slaw is quite good
on the side with almost anything but even better with slices of fried tofu on top.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Escaping with Big Boots

Christopher Robin was sitting outside his door, putting on his Big Boots. As soon as he saw the Big Boots, Pooh knew that an Adventure was going to happen, and he brushed the honey off his nose with the back of his paw, and spruced himself up as well as he could, so as to look Ready for Anything.
Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne

So...I'm getting quite bad at this blogging thing and right now things are feeling more than a little stressful which is all rather understandable but doesn't change the fact that I have a whole lot of friends trying to live in a city that pretty much resembles a war zone. But I did have a beautiful weekend. M managed to fly up from Christchurch on Friday night (he requested that I bring water and food to the airport - just a hint at how desperate things are
down there) and was quite excited about having a shower since his place was still without water. After M showered and we had dinner we escaped up to my beach house for the weekend.

Somehow Auckland managed to turn on a beautiful fine weekend with no rain whatsoever which is a bit of a miracle! After lazying about and sleeping in (felt like the first time in ages) and going for a paddle on our archaic (but totally awesome) polystyrene surfboards and swimming I made us lunch...hummus, tomato and mushroom toasted sandwiches with a red cabbage coleslaw (recipe to come).

After lunch we did a bit more lazing about because we could and then wandered up the hill for some fresh air. The view from the top is always incredible (not that the view from out our front door isn't though!).

Then I made us an awesome green curry packed full of veggies, chickpeas and butter beans (my new favourite bean) on brown rice. We both went back for seconds.

I actually had some bananas I hadn't got around to eating or freezing (this is quite rare since I normally pretty much buy bananas, deliberately leave them on the bench for a couple of days and then freeze to make smoothies) so I decided I was going to make us banana bread. The one from
Veganmicon to be specific. I think I've got it down pat now and it's my favourite. It even toasts quite well a couple of days later too.

We had a slice each for dessert straight from the oven and then pretty much devoured the rest the following day. SO good! Of course, we needed delicious banana bread to fuel us for a run in the hot sun over in Tawharanui...

Apparently I am in this photo as a tiny wee pink dot halfway up the hill but I am too small to really make out

And then all too quickly it was time to go home again and for M to head back to Christchurch. It felt even harder than normal to see him go...