A Caterpillar’s Dream

It’s a freezing, typical winter’s day in Melbourne. I decided a warm lunch was in order and googled a Vegan suitable cafe. I came up A Caterpillar’s Dream in Kew.  I invited my friend Jess along and after  a good 30 minute drive in the pouring rain, we met at this cute little venue.

The place was a little busy when we arrived but we were able to locate a table in a little nook near the window.  The menu is very diverse and has vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options.  There are eggs available on the menu for those wanting the signature Big Breakfast.

The menu consists of a very good range of breakfasts-  veggie ham croissant, pancakes, porridge and avocado on toast.  There’s sandwiches and wraps, all with the option of vegans meats. There’s a couple of mains, a veggie chicken steak and grilled veggie fish.  I definitely want to try as much as I can from this place, there’s even vegan pies!

I started with a soy latte and Jess enjoyed a flat white.

I couldn’t decide between ordering a Vegan wrap or a Vegan fish burger, I went with the latter. Jess selected the Vegan chicken burger. One of these burgers, with a side of chips, is more than enough for just one person.  Both our eyes widened when our food was placed in front of us!  It was going to take us a while to indulge in our selections.

The Vegan fish was in three small portions in the bun with an array of vegetables; beetroot, tomato, lettuce and vegan mayonnaise.  Jess’ was a crumbed vegan chicken fillet that was crispy and delicious.  We both attempted to finish our Turkish Bread burgers but left about a quarter each on the plate, with most of our fries. 

The coffee was the best I’ve had in a while so we ordered another one each.

The cafe started to fill up by the time we were ready to leave and it will definitely be worth a second visit!  Especially to enjoy another coffee and one of their vegan desserts.

The dessert range is huge. There’s everything from cupcakes to sticky date pudding to ice cream to cookies. All vegan!!  Take away is available, so of course, I did just that: two cookies and cream and two banana mini cupcakes. 

A Caterpillar’s Dream is well priced and the servings are extremely decent! I’m not a huge fan of mock meats but after enjoying my ‘fish’ I’d definitely give them a second chance.  The wait staff were lovely and very friendly. A relaxed setting with children welcomed.  Atmosphere was great and not too loud even though the seats were quite full. 

Looking forward to my next visit!

You can visit A Caterpillar’s Dream at Shop 4, 26 Princess Street, Kew or their website http://www.acaterpillarsdream.com.au

Sugar Free Orange Cheesecake

Beautifully citrus with sweet tones.
I love Cheesecake, finding one that’s not dense and full of fat a sugar is hard!

I’ve come up with this recipe, loved by the family, it’s refreshing and low calorie.
You will need: 
Base:
10 crushed sugar free cookies
4 tbsp melted butter

Cake:

3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
4 tsp gelatine powder
1.5 blocks light Philadelphia Cream Cheese
300g fat free/sugar free plain yoghurt
100g Natvia for Baking 
1 tbsp orange rind

Heat the orange juice in a saucepan until boiled, remove from heat & sprinkle gelatine on top. Whisk until dissolved. 

Leave aside to cool.

Using electric beaters combine cream cheese, Natvia, yoghurt & orange rind. Once creamy add the orange juice mixture & whisk until it starts to become thick. Refrigerate covered for an hour.
Using a slice tin cover with plastic wrap and then brush with the melted butter.
Sprinkle in the crushed biscuits and cover with another pan to create weight. Refrigerate until the filling’s hour is up.

Spoon the cheesecake mixture onto the biscuit base. Use a spatula to smooth the base and fill out all corners.
Cover with foil & refrigerate for a minimum of 6 hours or overnight.

 

Remove Cheesecake from slice tray by lifting using the glad wrap. Slice & serve!

Maxi Foods

I adore shopping at Maxi Foods.

The variety and vastness of the supermarket makes it actually a SUPERmarket. There’s everything from fruits and vegetables to lollies (dairy free, gluten free, vegan) to jams, relishes (most Australian made) pastas, fresh cakes and breads plus your standard supermarket lines- pet food, stationary and so on.
The fruit and vegetable section is abundant with beautiful produce with a good selection of organic foods.
If you have specific dietary requirements this is the place for you; isles of gluten free and dairy free are common. Vegans are catered for in the fridge and freezer sections along with pantry staples.
Tofu to products can be found in the freezers although I was disappointed not to find any So Delicious freezer products during this visit.
If it’s breads, gluten filled or not there’s a massive range at Maxi. Although of you’re a tight arse like me, sifting through their clearance bread means loaves to chuck in the freezer for around $1.50.
My favourite is the dairy case. 
Coyo, Wot No?, Rachel’s, Five Am; the list is endless. There’s a good few rows of juices and natural iced teas too.

Maxi Foods is worth the visit and you’ll soon find your trolley full!!
You can visit the Maxi Foods website at 

Orange Cupcakes

These are super refreshing, spongey and very light. Almost like you’re not consuming a traditional cupcake.
You Will Need: 
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
80 g melted butter
1/2 cup Natvia For Baking
2 eggs
1 cup self raising flour
1/4 cup Unsweetened Almond Breeze
For the Icing:
100g softened butter
1 tsp orange rind
1 cup Natvia Icing Mixture
1.5 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
Pre heat a fan forced oven to 180 degrees.

Beat the orange juice, butter, Natvia, Almond Breeze & eggs. Once quite smooth add the flour and mix well.

Line a cupcake/muffin tray with party pans and spoon two tablespoons into each mould. 

Bake for 10 minutes. Cakes should be golden and spring back to the touch.
Remove from oven and leave in try for 5 minutes before removing to cool on a wire rack.

While cupcakes are cooling make the butter cream icing. Using electric beaters combine all ingredients until smooth and fluffy. 
Once cupcakes are completely cool ice with an icing bag or use a knife for something simpler.
Enjoy by themselves or with your late night almond milk cuppa. 

Orange Curd

I have an abundance of oranges so decided to make some Orange Curd.
This is great as a filling for a sandwich, cake, on a scone or on some hot toast!
You will need:
2 egg yolks
2 whole eggs
80g Natvia For Baking
100g butter at room temperature
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tsp orange rind
Using a whisk combine all ingredients and mix well. Microwave for 10 minutes in a safe dish. Remove every minute and whisk, the mixture will begin to thicken.
While cooking the curd sterilise a couple of small jars in a pot of boiling water for 10 or so minutes. Make sure you remove them using clean metal tongs and dry using paper towel.
Bottle your thickened curd and seal. 
Refrigerate and use as you please.

The Lilydale General

I adore this place. It’s always busy (a good sign) full of life and has a gorgeous variety of foods and drinks.  There’s everything from freshly squeezed juices, smoothies to big breakfasts, tacos and burgers.  All their meals are beautifully presented.  There’s a huge variety of vegan, gluten free and dairy free options.

I started with an Almond Breeze latte.

Followed by Raw Tacos- gorgeously plated on a wooden board, this meal was light and tasty. Made with walnut meat, cashew cream (I think), corn, fresh red tomato and huge lettuce leaves for ‘taco’ cups. Delicious!!

The sun was shining but the rain was pouring, making this little gem of a cafe glitter in its individuality and variety.
The Lilydale General is a quaint little building, a mix of rustic wood and concrete, with greens and whites running through it’s decor.  It’s almost old fashioned yet has a modern twist. Bottles of wine line the walls amongst old fashioned jugs, glasses and the odd soft drink bottle.
I highly recommend visiting The Lilydale General, if not for a meal then grab a smoothie. 

The customer service is top notch and the menu is well priced. It’s fantastic to find a place like The Lilydale General, a place where the owners obviously care about what people want. There’s local produce used, they cater to intolerances, customers food choices and have many options.



I even took a piece of their HUGE Vanilla Slice home. Definitely the ‘best in the state’. Huge, creamy, flaky pastry and perfectly sweet.
You can Like The Lilydale General on Facebook and follow them on Instagram. 

Chicken & Prawn Risotto

Tonight I made a Risotto for the family. Making my own stock out of 4 cups water, salt, pepper, diced capsicum, sliced carrot, zucchini, kale & tomato. Once cooked through I used a stick mixer to purée the stock and then added two more cups of boiled water. 
Use the stock to cook your aborio rice while browning diced chicken breast in a fry pan. Remove from heat once browned. 
Keep adding the stock until the rice is cooked & then combine the chicken & 2 cups of prawns.

Heat through & serve.
Easy, yummy, perfect for vegetable haters & a perfect end to the awfully rainy day!