The Odd Room

A lovely local 🙂

Recently opened cafe in Cheltenham/Sandringham with good, thoughtfully made coffee and an inventive menu. I say thoughtfully-made because I feel that these guys really appreciate the art of coffee-making!

The Odd Room serves breakfast, lunch & speciality coffee – including a single origin Aeropress creation that I am yet to try. I stuck with my good old soy latte which was good but not great. I did, however, have an iced latte from here a few weeks ago which was impressive. It’s hard to get a good iced latte because everyone messes up the coffee to milk ratio and changes the sizing and it just gets too weak. This one was justttt right.

oddroomcoffee

..I wasn’t going to order food..but then I did. Ahh story of my life!

gnocchi1

 

 

We shared gnocchi with spinach, feta and roast tomatoes. Again, good but not great. (I sound like a fussy bitch but I’m not that bad!) The gnocchi was a little on the soggy side but the sauce was tasty. I didn’t even think to look at the all-day brekkie menu. Big mistake on my behalf. I feel the chilli eggs would have gone down a treat.

 

theoddroommenu

 

What was a real stand out about this place is the service. Really friendly and attentive. The place was quiet so I’m not sure what it would be like with a full house, but I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt! Only problem is that parking is a bit of a hassle but I will happily put that aside for a good coffee. Will be back asap for a speciality brew and breakfast next time. Definitely worth a visit if you’re going past! 

 

 

The Odd Room on Urbanspoon

Misty Water-coloured Memories…of French Toast

November 2014 – Recipe Redux Theme

A Food Memory For Which You Are Thankful

In the US, November marks the Thanksgiving holiday. But many of us are especially thankful for food memories we have shared with friends or relatives throughout our lives. Was it a special meal you ate as a child? Or, maybe it was a food you grew and harvested with your own children. Please share one of your favourite food memories and the healthier “redo” of the recipe.

So hard to narrow it down…my food memories are a bit of a blur. My dad is the cook in the family, mum never, ever enters the kitchen, so I have my dad to thank for my passion for cooking and food. In saying that, dad and I do not share a passion for nutritious food, so my memories consist of donuts and french toast at breakfast time! Not the best start to the day..

I’m putting a healthy spin on a usually sugar-laden,  low-fibre and high GI french toast recipe. By using naturally sweet ingredients such as cinnamon and vanilla, less sugar is needed. Incorporating more fruit will also naturally sweeten the recipe too. This means lower kilojoules overall and less of the processed stuff! Switching a boring white loaf of bread to a wholemeal sourdough means more fibre and also lowers the GI load = staying fuller for longer and not having crazy spikes in blood sugar = win 🙂

French toast doesn’t need to be bad for you. If made using this recipe, it’s actually quite a nutritious breakfast. Fibre and carbohydrates from a good quality bread, protein from the eggs and a good source of calcium from a side serving of the yoghurt dressing. Plus your getting in a serving or two of fruit 🙂 Just use an olive oil spray in a non-stick pan to fry the bread – sorted!

I got a little excited and made a vegan caramel sauce too..couldn’t help myself! It was delicious. But it uses a lot of dates so ups the sugar content significantly. This recipe is just as good without the caramel sauce, but if you are feeling decadent then go for it!


 

Stuffed French Toast with Caramel Sauce

(serves 2)

4 x slices wholemeal bread

2 x eggs

1/4 x cup milk (soy, dairy, rice)

1 tsp x vanilla extract

1 x banana

1 x tsp cinnamon

olive oil spray

Jalna low-fat vanilla yoghurt

Caramel Sauce

8 x medjool dates, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes

200mL x milk (I used macadamia)

1/8 x tsp salt

1/2  x tsp lemon juice


Soak dates in boiling water for half an hour

Whisk eggs, milk and vanilla in a shallow dish

Mash banana and cinnamon in a bowl

Spread two pieces of bread with banana mash and top with another piece of bread so you have a sandwich

Soak each sandwich in the egg mixture (about 5 minutes for each side)

Spray a pan with cooking spray and heat up

Using a spatula, carefully place one sandwich in the pan and cook each side for about two minutes or until golden brown

Put the first piece in a warm oven while the second is cooking

stuffed

For the sauce…

Drain the dates

Place dates, milk, lemon juice and salt in a food processor

Blend until smooth

Add more milk if you want the sauce a bit thinner

caramel

To serve… 

Slice each sandwich on the diagonal and top with caramel sauce

Serve with a side of vanilla yoghurt

 french toast

This one went down a treat. A good option for weekend brunch if you have some time on your hands and a willing participant to feed. In the spirit of Thanksgiving…thanks to my dad for the Recipe Redux inspiration! Enjoy xxx

Sierra Tango and their accidental french toast…

Today was accidental and unplanned and completely indulgent. Just went out for an innocent coffee, post-breakfast. Then thought I’d have a look at the menu purely out of curiosity. Fifteen minutes later I had this in front of me…

 

frnechy1

Ooops.

 

French toast with passionfruit curd. Ahhh yeah it tasted as good as it looks!

 

So there is a new place opened up in Cheltenham called Sierra Tango. And we thought we’d give it a go because it looks really lovely from the outside. They only do brunch on the weekend, which suits me just fine. And they have a fairly small menu, but what’s on there is good stuff. Pet hate … having to spend 20 minutes reading a menu back to front because there are two many things to choose from and everything sounds like a variation of the same thing! :/

The prices are a little bit steep for a regular MSB (especially for us poor student/partially unemployed successes), so I would save this place for dinner or maybe a special occasion brunch. But there were some really nice things to choose from..like a quinoa bircher, spanish baked beans and a Ploughman’s platter. Take a look at their dinner menu here. Note: vegetarian friends out there, not a whole lot to choose from, but there are a couple of options!

Oh and you may have noticed that I took a photo of my food today? It was nerve racking. I only did it because I thought we were relatively alone in the corner (turns out we were not). Good practice, nonetheless.

All up, I’ve written about Sierra Tango a) because the french toast was decadent and I literally ate dessert for a (2nd) breakfast, and b) but more so because the service was so attentive. You can tell that it’s a family business that put a lot of love and care into what they are doing. So go and support local businesses and show ’em a little love!! It might be me cooking for you one day!

Sierra Tango on Urbanspoon

Tofu Saturdays

It’s Saturday today, hooray!!

I am feeling the positive vibes this weekend, my Saturday has gotten off to a good start. We went to the 1000 Steps this morning for a bit of a workout. It’s always so beautiful down Ferntree Gully way! This post is inspired by a cafe that I recently discovered in Belgrave called Earthly Pleasures – where we had just done the steps and then had some amazing scrambled tofu!

Now, i know when most people hear scrambled tofu they probably fall asleep, but hear me out – I went through a huge scrambled tofu phase in my vegan days, and it’s so easy and versatile! Tofu is super high in protein with 1/2 cup containing around 10 grams – and it’s also an excellent source of calcium too! By itself it is bland and boring, so it really is what you make of it. The one I had at Earthly Pleasures was packed full of fresh herbs, but you can add anything you like..this is my favourite way to make it…

1 x block of firm tofu (make sure it’s firm and not silken!)

1 x tsp of olive oil

1/2 x diced onion

1 x red capsicum – diced

1 x field mushroom – diced

2 x stalks of kale, finely shredded

1 x TBS tamari

1 x TBS nutritional yeast

Get your pan hot and add the oil, grab the tofu with your hands and give it a big squeeze! You want it to crumble in the pan.

Cook it for a couple of minutes until it started to get brown, then add the onion and cook for another couple of minutes.

Then throw in the rest of your veggies, it depends on how crunchy you like your veggies but I only cook it for another couple of minutes more to heat them through.

Stir through tamari and nutritional yeast.

Serve with sliced avocado and toast! We stopped off at a little farmer’s market on the way home from the steps and got this amazing French sourdough – yum!

tofu scramble