Noteworthy noshin in Freo: The nom-noms at Simple Nosh

The simple things in life are always the best.  Hands up who’s with me?

This is something I agree with wholeheartedly.  Especially when it comes to what comes out of my kitchen.  It’s only fitting that a café with a name like Simple Nosh was on my “Must Eat” list.

Hubby and I walked into this charming cottage-cum-eatery towards the end of lunch service.  Bit past 2pm to be exact.  We found the display fridge to be pretty much bare –a good sign that business is booming.  A bad sign they had any vegan items left.  I was worried unnecessarily as there was still a lentil burger left – one with my name on it.  The veganised version of the Lentil Burger equates to ‘hold the mayo, hold the butter’.

IMAG0784_1

Nosh on Norfolk

The chatty Lea took our orders and we grabbed a table on the outdoor patio.  Luckily, the sun was now peeking out through the previously gloomy clouds.  There’s an op-shop rustic feel to the place, with odd bod chairs and sofas giving it a cosy ‘home away from home’ atmosphere.

My drink (classic Green Smoothie) arrives quickly in an old-school mason jar.  We both take a sip and hubby says it’s the best green smoothie he’s had in a while – he likes his thick, creamy and sweet.  I find I need to water it down a tad but he can slurp it up like there’s no tomorrow.  We pass the time by flicking through the travel section of the weekend paper (I’m daydreaming of a getaway during Xmas *hint hint*) and before I can say “VietnamCambodiaLaos” the mains arrive at our table.

fritatta and potato salad

fritatta and potato salad

Hubby opted for the vegetarian fritatta with a side of potato salad.  He breaks off a generous piece and forks it into his mouth.  Comfort food at its best.  Echoing his statement about the green smoothie, he now claims the potato salad is the “best he’s ever had”.  Lea tells us Simple Nosh’s condiments are lovingly created by her mum.  Everything is made fresh on the premises – no store bought mayo at this place.

My burger arrives and what a burger it is.  A generously thick lentil pattie on top of a bed of spinach leaves, tomato and julienned carrot, topped with their signature homemade tomato chutney and chunks of avocado.  All this goodness is sandwiched between a toasted wholemeal bread roll.  I’m so over burger joints being cheap by dishing out razor thin patties between huge mounds of tasteless bread.

love my lentils

love my lentils

By this point I’m quite stuffed, and opt for a soy chai latte to finish off the meal.  However, if I was feeling so inclined, there were no vegan sweets available anyway.  Don’t worry everybody – Simple Nosh will be adding plenty more vegan delicacies to their repertoire.  Hubby orders a raspberry chocolate muffin together with a flat white.  The Five Senses coffees are just what you expect a coffee to be – especially in a suburb reputed to be the birthplace of the coffee strip.  Throughout our dining experience I overhear compliments to Leah and her mum on numerous occasions as other patrons pay their bill and leave.  “Amazing”… “Thank you, that was fantastic”… “Awesome cake, so delicious”….

Hubby is strangely quiet and I glance over to see it’s because he is busily stuffing his face with Simple Nosh’s nomnoms.  He says for food like this he’ll happily turned vego.  I know it sounds sappy, but he finds Lea’s mum Irene in the kitchen and tells her he can “taste the love in her cooking”.  Awww… cue puppy dog eyes and violins.

match made in heaven:  coffee + cake

match made in heaven: coffee + cake

As we make our way to leave, hubby is so impressed with our lunch he buys a takeaway slice of lemon coconut slice for later.

Lea tells me they’re dying to expand their vegan range.  Apparently they get queries all the time, however it’s a case of being restrained due to staffing resources.  As soon as they find another cook to help out in the kitchen, Simple Nosh will be putting more vegan fare on the menu.  And you my dear readers, will be the first to know!

Want to know more about Simple Nosh?  Run by a hard-working mother-daughter duo, this eatery has only been open for a year and a bit.  Even so, for a newbie kid on the block it already enjoys a loyal following of business patrons (weekdays) and local residents (weekends).  Nestled in the leafy Norfolk Street (in the old Sala Thai premises), it’s only a few minutes’ walk from Freo CBD.  Lea’s mum has years of experience in the kitchen, and prior to opening Simple Nosh she was resident cake baker for Ootong & Lincoln.  Lea gave up a career in the fitness industry to open the business with her talented mama.

Simple, honest, tasty food + friendly service + a good cuppa = smiles all round

Looking forward to revisiting when they have more vegan options!

Simple Nosh
12 Norfolk Street, Fremantle
Open 6 days week in winter (closed Sunday)
Breakfast from 7.30am, Lunch from 11.30am – 3pm

30 seconds with one half of Simple Nosh – Lea

Do you do catering? 

They take cake, muffin or pattie orders, just make sure you give them 2 days’ notice.

Simple Nosh version 2.0? 

Vegan range will be expanding, such as non-dairy smoothie options in the summer and more desserts.

In future you will be able to take Simple Nosh home with you – Mama Irene will sell her homemade jams, chutneys, preserves and other Made With Love goodies.  Watch this space!

Why did you decide to take the plunge and open a cafe?

?Both my mother and I have a passion for vegetarian food, also homemade food is hard to come by these days that has love and passion added to it (Freshbyfriska:  Amen sista!) We had an opportunity come to us and decided to take a risk and plunge into it 🙂 ”

Biggest learning experience?

“Didn’t realise how much hard work it would take.”

Life motto / philosophy:

If you never take a risk you will never get anywhere.

The fruits of Irene's baking

The fruits of Irene’s baking

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Try a Tantalising Thai-inspired Salad Tonight

With Spring less than 2 weeks away in good ol’ P-town I was craving salad for lunch.  Furthermore, most of Monday (today) has been blessed with mucho quantities of sunshine, fresh breezes and chirping birds.  It makes the first day of the working week just that much more bearable.

This is based on the classic Thai ‘som tum’ salad.  I couldn’t for the life of me find any green papaya so made do with the contents of my veg crisper.

Take it from me – the dressing will take the veggies you use to a whole other level.

Raw Thai Salad

Dressing:

2 red chillies (sliced thinly)
2 garlic cloves (chopped)
4 tbs tamari or nama shoyu
4 tbs lime juice
4 tbs sweetener (I used rapadura sugar)

Salad:

handfuls of sliced purple cabbage, zucchini, fennel, sprouted mung beans
unseasoned cauliflower rice (I had a batch the night before so threw this in there to bulk it up)

NB: Cauliflower rice?  Dead easy.  Blitz chunks of cauliflower in a food processor until crumbly.

To make the dressing put all ingredients in a blender and press ON.  Done!

Serve salad onto plates and drizzle with dressing.  Top with chopped raw nuts or seeds (I used cashew and sunflower seeds).

Bask in the sunshine while eating.  Daydream you’re lazing on a beach in Koh Samui getting massages and sipping cocktails.

P.S.  Want to up the protein content?  Add chunks of tofu or tempeh.

P.P.S.  If you have a low tolerance for heat, remove the seeds or just use one chilli.

Till next time!  Hope you all had a good start to the working week.

tasty thai

tasty thai

 

Sugah, sugah.. can it be good f’yah? Raw Blueberry Crumble

OMG.  Was that the title I came up with?  Obviously I was never destined for super stardom as a rapper.  Yep, hanging up those pimp mamma boots up as we speak.

Moving right along!  There has been widespread vilification of sugar.  Sugars come from a variety of sources, not all of which are as bad for you as reported.  Repeat after me.  Refined sugar, bad; natural sugar, good.

Being a health conscious vegan, I’ve used a variety of sugars and sugar substitutes.  These range from:

  • Beet sugar
  • Date sugar
  • Maple sugar / syrup
  • Agave nectar
  • Coconut sugar
  • Fructose fruit granules
  • Molasses
  • Irish Moss
  • Brown rice syrup
  • Yacon syrup
  • Stevia
  • Succanat or turbinado sugar
  • Rapadura sugar

The ones in bold are said to be the ‘healthiest’ of the bunch.

Cyndi O’Meara (nutritionist, author and self-confessed health nut) of Changing Habits sent over a bag of Rapadura Sugar for me to use.

Rapadura sugar is sugar cane which has been juiced and dehydrated. Unlike refined sugar which has zilch nutritional value, rapadura retains cane juice’s vitamins and minerals. Containing a natural balance of sucrose, glucose and fructose, it’s known as a healthier sugar as its easier to digest and metabolise. Changing Habits’ rapadura is produced organically, free of chemicals or anti-caking agents.

The knowledgeable Cyndi further educates us about sugars:  “’Raw’ sugar is not really raw – it has been heated at high temperatures and a lot of the minerals and vitamins are gone. It’s better than refined sugar because it has a little of the molasses still clinging to it. Some sugar is sold as ‘organic’ raw sugar, and people think this means it’s unrefined – all it really means is that it’s grown with organic agricultural methods, then refined as usual… the juice (molasses) has been mostly removed, and there’s not really much goodness in it.”

Hey, any nutritionist who believes chocolate can be good for you must know what they’re talking about!

I’d heard from friends that kefir grains and kombucha SCOBYs love rapadura.  I replaced my usual raw sugar for this.. and holy moly!  My kefir grains trebled in size.

Rapadura sugar is also easy to use in raw desserts which don’t need a binding agent.  Like the raw blueberry crumble below!  You can use a ratio of 1:1 when substituting rapadura for the regular white stuff.

crumble central

crumble central

Raw-padura Blueberry Crumble

Crumble:
2 cups walnuts (soaked the day before then dried)
1/4 tsp each: cinnamon, nutmeg, sea salt
1/4 cup desiccated coconut
1/4 cup oats
1/4 cup Rapadura sugar
1-2 dates (chopped and soaked the night before)

Filling:
1 cup pitted dates
1/3 cup water
2 cups frozen blueberries, thawed and drained
2 cups fresh blueberries (or more frozen blueberries, thawed and drained)
1 tbsp lemon juice

To make the crumble, combine all dry ingredients in the food processor.  Blitz until fully ground, coarse and “crumbly”. Add the dates to the ‘crumbs’.  Process until it comes together. Stir in sugar evenly, remove from food processor bowl and set aside.

To make the filling, combine dates and water in the food processor – hey presto, date paste!

Add 2 cups frozen blueberries, lemon juice and process until smooth.  Now hand mix the fresh blueberries or additional 2 cups of frozen blueberries.

Assembly goes a lil something like this:  spread approximately 1/3 of crumble in a pan or glass dish.  Spread half the blueberry mixture on top, then layer the remaining crumble on top of the blueberries.  Top with other half of the blueberry mixture.  Garnish with coconut flakes or serve with cashew cream.

I prefer my blueberries still frozen as I love the crunchy sensation mixed with the crumbly oat / nut mixture.

Hope you’re all having a happy, healthy weekend!

Don’t limit yourself to blueberries.  What other fruits would you use in a raw crumble?

crumbs'n'blueberries

crumbs’n’blueberries

Organic, Oasis + City? Endota Combines all 3

It had been another whirlwind week at work.  On my quest to find businesses aligned with my philosophy of holistic health and well-being, I came across endota spa.

Bonus?  They’re smack bang in the city.

For those not yet in the know, endota is all-Australian certified organic spa success story.  The first endota spa opened in a small town near Melbourne 13 years ago.  The Perth branch is nestled between King St and Shafto Lane on the west end of Hay Street.  Walking up the stairs to their discrete entrance, it was a welcome sanctuary of calm amidst the cold, wet concrete jungle that is currently Perth city!  It had been a hell-ish week of turbulent winter weather.

hay street

hay street

I’m immediately greeted by endota perth’s proprietor Georgie Wood and ushered to the relaxation lounge.  The décor of the spa is a calming eco-modern palette of creams, greens and neutrals.

The endota menu?  Decisions decisions.   Treatment packages range from an express 30 minute head and shoulder massage to the baller 5-hour total pampering session aka the appropriately named “Splash Out ” which consists of a footbath, yoghurt cocoon, facial, spa mani + pedi and massage.  Alas, I was on my lunch break.  Boo hiss.

I settle in the lounge, green tea in hand,and fill out the client form.  My therapist greets me right on time for my appointment.

devil is in the detail

devil is in the detail

I’m led into the treatment room, take off my many layers and finally rest my weary self on the treatment table.  Ooohhhhh… its heated and moulds to the body!  I don’t ever want to get up and wonder how much one of these babies will set me back.  I have just the place for it at home…. mmm… snapping out of my daydream, my therapist double checks the info on my client sheet and advises my facial will begin.

She’s very knowledgeable about the products and skilled in the art of NOT talking throughout the treatment (funnily enough, was watching Rules of Engagement last night where the very same thing happened to Audrey, only it was Adam who wouldn’t shut up, not the therapist).  Zero chance of this happening here.

She starts off with the cleanser, followed by an exfoliating scrub and an extremely rejuvenating wild orange facial mist.  Then comes the face masque. The end of the facial is signified by the masque being wiped off and moisturiser smoothed on in its place.  Oh, and there’s also a quick face, head and shoulder massage thrown into the mix somewhere.  As I slowly come back to my senses, I curse silently.  Damn, 30 minutes has gone by much too quickly for my liking.

With a theatrical sigh, I reluctantly hoist myself off the warm treatment table and collect my belongings.

My therapist gives me a sheet detailing the products used during the facial.  Before I leave, I’m given a few samples of endota teas.  Endota sources its ingredients as locally as possible.  This encapsulates everything, from moisturisers to tea leaves!

As I descend down the stairs and out of the spa, the sights and sounds of the city again envelope me.

With comparable rates to other CBD spas, the endota difference is the use of native Australian certified organic ingredients and extra facilities such as a large couples treatment room and a relaxation lounge.  The latter is stocked with teas, magazines, comfy sofas, scented candles and lighting conducive to helping one fall asleep!

I could think of worse ways to spend half your lunch break.

cosy treatment room featuring lust-worthy heated table

cosy treatment room featuring lust-worthy heated table

Most relevant to this blog is the health and well-being connection.

60-Seconds with endota perth’s Georgie Wood

Georgie shares with me how her father-in-law adopted a 100% raw diet when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.  After approximately 5 years being a fully-fledged “rawtarian” or “raw foodie” his tumours had shrunk significantly.  He lives a healthy, full life.. extremely fit  and active at 71 years young.  His brush with cancer was the catalyst for beginning – and continuing to – live life as holistically and organically possible.

Why did you decide to open an endota spa?

I was introduced to the endota spa network approximately 3 years ago as a potential franchisee.  I fell in love with the ethos and culture that endota not only promotes, but also how they all live their lives. The founders are  dynamic, earthy ladies who have worked hard to create, grow and share their passion for affordable and authentic products, and show business owners how to create an authentic retreat where everyone (all clients) can afford to indulge in a little love and peace for themselves in this fast paced world.

My background is fitness and nutrition, so I really understand the importance of caring for our bodies and souls, inside and out, for peace and wellbeing.

“It’s not just about looking good!  It’s also about feeling fabulous, nurtured, rested and worthy.”

I’m addicted to:

I love, love, love quinoa and pop chia seeds on everything!

Your favourite endota product and why?

I am a lover of the glycolic polishing mask for fabulous exfoliation and the bush honey and macadamia skin drink as my daily moisturiser.  Clearing away old skin cells, allowing for the new, and feeding my skin is really important to me at my young 49 years of age!

Most popular treatment at endota spa and best-selling product?

I would have to say our “treat” spa package is probably the most popular gift package purchased and given.  It’s a 3 hour treatment consisting of the billabong footbath, foot massage, body cleanse and brushing, a divine warm oil body cocoon, scalp and full body massage. Plus the signature endota organic facial. All the products we use in our gift voucher treatments are certified organic, our very own range.

Paint us a picture of your former working life:

My spa has been open about 17 months now.  Previously, I was busy growing my family and had a small personal business coaching clients in fitness and nutrition.  Prior to that I have been in event management in hospitality. All my working life has been people-based – which is where I love to be.

The finer details…

endota day spa Perth CBD

Level 1, 856 Hay St
Perth  WA  6000
t: (08) 6181 9858
e: perthcbd@endota.com.au

There’s two winter specials ending in August (eeps, only 2 weeks to go!)

Check out the details here http://www.endotadayspa.com.au/spa-special-offers