Product review: Over the Moon coconut ice cream

The guys over at Food + People make it possible for people to connect through home-made food. One of their recent events was a dairy-free coconut ice cream tasting that happened to be free and not far away from home.

Alex, the young businessman behind the product, had organised the event to get some feedback on the flavours he’s developed.

Over the Moo

There were two vanilla versions, mango & lime, mango, capuccino and peanut butter & chocolate.

Over the Moo

We filled in a questionaire with feedback about the flavours and four possible logos for the company.

Over the Moo

We rated the vanillas separately. My favourite vanilla was the one that was more French vanilla-y and less coconut-y. From the other flavours, my order of preference was capuccino, mango & lime, mango, and peanut butter & chocolate. I liked the fact that you couldn’t really taste the coconut in most of the flavours (except one of the vanillas). Also, most flavours were not overly sweet, as evidenced by the large amount of ice cream I stuffed my face with before feeling overdosed.

Over the Moo

If you want to attend any of the events organised by Food + People follow the links below.

Food + People
foodpluspeople@gmail.com
foodpluspeople.com
On Facebook

Product review: Ferment It

These guys make, you guessed it, fermented products. Their current range includes: beetroot, apple & inca berry; kimchi; lime, mango & chili and the good old sauerkraut. You can buy them fresh OR you can get a bag of dehydrated mix + starter cultures to make your own.

Ferment It

Last time I saw them at Eveleigh markets I grabbed a mixed pack for $45. I liked them all and appreciate the variety because certain flavours go better with certain dishes. For example, I like plain sauerkraut with bacon and eggs and kimchi with canned tuna or salmon and avocado. You might expect the fruit-containing ones to be sweet but they are not, remember the fermenting bacteria feed on the sugars of the fruit/vegetables and generate an acidic product.

Ferment It

I am not very keen on plastic bags to store food and was happy to find out that they will be shifting to glass jars next year.

Ferment It
PO Box 509
Brighton Le-Sands NSW 2216
jambel@fermentit.com.au
(02) 8096 1298
www.fermentit.com.au

On Facebook

Review: Store Espresso (Camperdown)

After a brief hiatus due to final exams (yay, I just finished my second undergraduate degree!), here’s my report from the last breakfast catch-up with my sister. Once again I managed to take this place for granted for the 2.5 years that I lived 1-2 minutes from there and only got to visit it now that I live 15 minutes further away. Yes, we’re talking walking distance. What a drama, I know.

Until recently I was under the impression that Store Espresso was more about the coffee and less about the food. Fortunately our visit proved me wrong.

Store Espresso

Upon a closer inspection of the menu a few items did catch my eye. We ordered the Italian scrambled eggs with crispy pancetta, diced tomato, parsley & provolone (served without sourdough), which was more an omelette than scrambled eggs. Other than that, it was amazing! One of the best tasting breakfasts I’ve had lately. If cheese didn’t make me stuffy I would eat this every day.

Italian scrambled eggs

Italian scrambled eggs ($14)

The other dish was also good but less spectacular. It was field mushroom layered with sautéed spinach, roast tomato and pesto served with poached egg (again, no sourdough), that we ordered with an extra poached egg to make sharing easier. Nice flavour, especially the slightly sweet chunky pesto.

Field mushroom

Field mushroom ($14.50 + $2 for extra poached egg)

And yes, coffee was good. So was the water with lemon slices offered at the table. Yes, “the” table: they do the communal table thing, so be prepared if you are socially impaired (like me).

Long black

Store Espresso
17 Fowler Street
Camperdown NSW 2050
(02) 9517 4157
www.storeespresso.com.au

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Recipe: Pan con aceitunas

Recently I wrote about craving sandwiches from my childhood. Today’s sandwich is even simpler: it involves only three ingredients but tons of memories. I recommend using botija olives (I’ve bought them in Tierras Latinas, Flemington Markets and Loving Earth in the past) but any flavourful black olive would do. Pro-tip: next time someone you know goes to Perú, tell them to bring some olives (and lúcuma and maca), they’re way more expensive over here.

Mantequilla y aceitunas

Once again, this sandwich features the paleo-friendly protein bread.

Pan con aceitunas
Yield: 1 sandwich

Pan con aceitunas

Ingredients

  • 2 slices protein bread
  • black olives (preferably botija), pitted
  • butter

Directions

  1. Bread, butter, olives, bread. As simple as that.

Review: The Gardens (Sydney CBD)

My friend Bonnie gave me the heads up of this CBD cafe offering a couple of clearly-labelled paleo options in its menu.The Gardens is located at the lower-ground level food court on 259 George Street (aka Food @ 259). Hard to spot from outside but pretty popular with locals.

The Gardens

The menu has many customisable items: lunches, salads, omelettes (available all day), smoothies (and protein shakes). Besides the aforementioned paleo items, they include other paleo-friendly ingredients such as macadamia nut oil, grass-fed eye fillet, free-range chicken and bacon, free-range/organic eggs, almond/coconut milk, MCT oil and nut butters for smoothies, etc.

Create your own lunch menu

Create your own salad menu

I chose the “create your own lunch” (starting from $12.90, which 2 bases and 1 main) with sweet potato & pumpkin mash and mixed leaf with aged balsamic & macadamia nut oil with secret crumbed paleo chicken, and added smashed avocado for $2 extra. Okay mash and salad, nice avocado and chicken. Not sure about what was in the chicken coating (it’s a secret, after all) but I would say some sort of starch (potato?) or quinoa in addition to nut flour.

Sweet potato & pumpkin mash, mixed leaves, smashed avocado, paleo crumbed chicken

Sweet potato & pumpkin mash, mixed leaves, smashed avocado, paleo crumbed chicken ($12.90 + $2 for the avocado)

Bonnie had the same bases with grilled Tasmanian salmon as protein.

Sweet potato & pumpkin mash, mixed leaves, grilled Tasmanian salmon

Sweet potato & pumpkin mash, mixed leaves, grilled Tasmanian salmon ($12.90)

The other paleo item in the menu is available at breakfast: The Gardens paleo pancakes, a stack of Dutch mini pancakes with coconut, almond flour, organic eggs, served with organic honey, cinnamon & maple syrup ($12 or $13 with sliced banana). I haven’t tried them and doubt I will since I normally don’t have sweet things for breakfast and that stack sounds like a big load of sugar. I would probably order them sans sweetener and with a side of bacon.

I spotted a few interesting coffee options: the crash stopper (long black, cinnamon and coconut milk), bulletproof (long black, grass-fed butter and MCTs) and pre-workout shot (double-shot espresso with coconut oil). Unfortunately I had a long black and didn’t like it that much. Good to know the options are there, though.

Long black

Long black ($4)

I’ve also tried the create your own omelette ($9.90 if ordered with free-range eggs and up to 3 fillings). Mine had organic eggs ($1 extra), kale, mushrooms, olives and free range eye bacon ($3 extra). It came with toast, butter and some salad leaves. I obviously did not eat the bread and in hindsight I was glad I didn’t say “no bread” because that could have meant “no butter” also. The omelette was huge and tasty (especially with melted butter on top!) but I do like my egg whites & yolks better mixed.

Omelette with kale, mushrooms, olives and bacon

Omelette with kale, mushrooms and olives ($9.90 + $1 for organic eggs + $3 for bacon)

The Gardens
Shop 1 / 259 George Street
Sydney NSW 2000
(02) 9247 3146
www.the-gardens.com.au/
On Facebook

Recipe: Triples in protein bread

I don’t crave bread often but when I do it’s usually in relation to childhood memories. Among other sandwiches, we grew up eating triple, which is very popular back home although there’s nothing typically Peruvian about it. Its name refers to the three different fillings that are separated by four (FOUR!) slices of bread. Yep, Peruvians eat lots of carbs, that’s why we’re all “doughy”, as Robb Wolf would say.

I’ve come across a couple of great commercially-available bread options that we use once in a while. One of them is protein bread, that is not technically paleo but grain-free and low carb. The good news is that we haven’t noticed any ill effects from the whey or pea protein it contains. The complete list of ingredients is: water, egg white, whey protein, golden flax meal, pea protein, almond meal, gluten-free baking powder, chia seeds, linseeds, sea salt, kibbled black pepper, caraway seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, pepitas, and cinnamon. It tastes pretty good, is very filling and is sturdy enough to make sandwiches.

Triples in protein bread
Yield: 4 sandwiches (to feed 2-4 people)

Triple

Ingredients

  • 1 Roma tomato
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 2-3 tablespoons mayonnaise (preferably home-made)
  • 8 thin slices protein bread
  • salt
  • pepper (optional)

Directions

  1. Peel, seed and chop the tomato, put in a bowl.
  2. Peel and chop the eggs, put in a separate bowl.
  3. Peel and chop the avocado, put in a separate bowl.
  4. Season the tomato, eggs and avocado with salt (optional pepper) and mayonnaise.
  5. Make two sandwiches by layering bread, avocado, bread, egg, bread, tomato, bread. Normally you would cut off the edges but I like the seeds that come with the protein bread. Cut each sandwich diagonally in half and enjoy.

“Bulletproofing” other beverages

A few times per week I have a Bulletproof coffee for breakfast. It makes me super alert and helps me stay in the natural state of ketosis most of us experience upon waking up. A few weeks ago Simone Miller posted a photo of matcha tea with butter on Instragram and made me want to try it. I have had Tibetan tea (the original buttered tea that inspired Dave Asprey’s invention) before but it was a cheap, processed one that didn’t taste good at all. Time to try some things out with grass-fed butter and MCT oil!

I brewed a cup of plain La Merced yerba mate and a cup of T2 sencha (green tea). I do prefer matcha but didn’t have any on hand. I used 1 tablespoon of each butter and MCT oil (same quantities I normally use with coffee) and blended ‘em up until frothy.

Bulletproof mate and sencha

I loved the yerba mate version so much that now I alternate between coffee and yerba. I wasn’t very fond of the the sencha version as I found the tannins too overpowering.

Review: Phyco Food Co. (Eveleigh markets)

Phyco Food Co, curators of seaweed (love that tagline!) is Jared Ingersoll‘s newest project. Some may remember the chef’s slow food cafe/restaurant Danks Street Depot. In Phyco, he continues with his philosophy of excellent food quality in a different format.

Jared Ingersoll

You can find Phyco every Saturday at the Eveleigh markets. Their products include salts, seaweed and cookbooks.

Seaweed menu

Products

They also offer a few dishes showcasing the nutritional powerhouse that so many people in the West neglect: seaweed. Sea vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals, particularly iodine, which is essential for proper thyroid function. Table and bread-making salt fortification with iodine worked for a while in countries like Australia, until people started consuming fancy salts and organic bread. I prefer sea/pink salt to the cheap iodized varieties and do not eat bread, so I make sure I consume seaweed regularly.

Menu

On to the food! Pork belly is always a winner and this was no exception. The pork belly poached in wakame with daikon had the perfect Asian vibe going on. While the meat was tender it was a bit difficult to cut it with the provided wooden fork so we ended up stabbing it and taking turns for biting it. Not recommended for a first date.

Pork belly poached in wakame with daikon

Pork belly poached in wakame with daikon ($10)

The roasted field mushrooms, roast garlic with nori packed a lot of flavour and an interesting texture. The dish looked small but was very satisfying, even for meat eaters like us.

Roasted field mushrooms, roast garlic with nori

Roasted field mushrooms, roast garlic with nori ($10)

Phyco Food Co.
0403 777 564
info@phycofood.co
www.phycofood.co

Review: Grill’d new low carb bun

I used to get really excited when I saw “gluten-free bread available” written on a menu. It meant I could eat bread without suffering the aftermath on my body but “gluten-free” does not necessarily mean healthy. Grill’d has decided to position themselves ahead everyone else by offering a low carb bun, which is essentially paleo. It’s made with water, free range whole egg, almond meal, organic coconut cream, tapioca flour, psyllium husk, raw honey, and salt, ingredients that me or any other real foodist would normally use to make bread at home (more information here).

Grill'd

I went to the World Square shop to test the bread. I ordered one of my Grill’d favourites: the almighty (with tasty cheese, crispy trim bacon, free range egg, beetroot, salad, relish, and herbed mayo). The bun is thinner than what I imagined but looked and tasted good. I tried to lift the burger up with my hands but the bottom half was gone; it didn’t survive the moisture from the veggies and relish.

I also ordered a personal serve of the new zucchini chips and some more herbed mayo. The chips are dusted with rice flour and fried in canola oil, definitely not something I would eat frequently. I wasn’t a big fan; while the rice flour gave them a crispy coating, the zucchini pieces inside were soggy due to their high water content.

Almighty in low carb bun, zucchini chips, herbed mayo

Zucchini chips for one ($4.80), herbed mayo ($0.70), almighty burger ($13.50) on low-carb bun ($1.50)

Grill’d
www.grilld.com.au

Review: Original Meatball Company (Sydney CBD)

Today’s post is a guest review from my weekday CBD lunch buddy Sebastian. We went to the Original Meatball Company on York St.

Original Meatball Company

Their meatballs are gluten-free and you can get them American style (as a sub, and therefore no longer gluten-free), in a salad or a serve of your choice of balls + sauce + cheese. We ordered two salads to share: great balls of fire (beef balls with chimichurri, cholula hot sauce, jalapeño, served on shredded iceberg lettuce) and the Italian job (pork & veal balls with pesto, napolitana sauce, mozzarella, served on dressed mesclun leaf).

Original Meatball Company

Sebastian says:“Lunch consisted of two servings of generic meatballs topped with bland sauces. The sauces came in different colours, but they both tasted of nothingness. The meaty balls were served on what the imaginative call “a salad”, the descriptive call “a bed of lettuce”, and what I think is best described as “tasteless”. It was a Tuesday, so the meals came with a free side of julienned, salty cardboard, or fries as they were misleadingly described on the menu and a drink. It’s a sad meal when the tastiest item is a Coke.”

Great balls of fire

Great balls of fire ($10.90)

The Italian job

The Italian job ($10.90)

Okay, so this is not a true “guest review” because I’ll chime in, too. I agree with Sebastian that lettuce alone is not an ideal salad and that the balls needed more seasoning, but while the sauces were not the tastiest on Earth, they weren’t horrible. The overall meal was a decently-priced, decently-sized, healthy lunch for CBD standards. Re: the freebie Tuesday deal, the chips were of the generic frozen kind (most likely not gluten-free), and you can have water instead of a soft drink (which is sometimes impossible back home because soft drinks are cheaper than water!).

Tuesday deal: free chips and drinks

Tuesday deal: free chips and drinks

Anyway, here you have two different opinions from people who have similar opinions in other aspects of life. Maybe I’m biased because I get too excited when I find new gluten-free lunch options close to work. Maybe Sebastian’s tastebuds have been affected by overexposure to cheap Asian takeaway and daily diet soda consumption. Maybe both. Anyway, hope you find his and/or my opinion helpful.

Original Meatball Company
Shop 3, 56 York Street
Sydney NSW 2000
originalmeatballcompany.com.au

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