Category Archives: better option

Nutrition Station

Have you visited the Nutrition Station at Doncaster Shopping Centre?

If you haven’t get down there & check them out!

The customer service is outstanding & the staff were more than happy to show off their range of products & explain to me their food & drink options. The gentleman working brought out menus of their regular food products- unfortunately their supplier was closed over the Christmas period so there wasn’t any meals to sample, but the variety was huge!

 

Nutrition Station also have a loyalty program that works on a points system, for every dollar spent. Trust me, it will be easy to spend dollars at this place as Nutrition Station cater for literally all your health needs! 

The menu displays a vast variety of basic shakes, smoothies, foods & prepacked meals. 

There’s a decent selection of Vegan Smoothies- I chose the Vegan Vigor- protein, coconut water, raw multi powder, walnuts, chia seeds, cinnamon, berries & banana. The drink was well priced and of decent size.

All calories & protein are listed on each menu item for all sizes which is great of you’re on a macro budget.
There’s some delicious acai bowls & frozen protein yoghurts to chose from too.

The Nutrition Station is young, vibrant & has a fresh feeling about it. The menu is inviting & the staff passionate about what they’re doing. Hopefully this company will pop up at more shopping centres in Melbourne, giving those looking for better, healthier options the chance to indulge in something great tasting & nutritional.

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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

Vegan Cadbury Creme Eggs

I love Creme Eggs.

Like I LOVE them.
They’re gooey, sweet, messy and only hang around for a few weeks of the year.
Due to the high fat and sugar content I decided to create my own healthier version.
A standard Creme Egg has about 150 calories, 9 grams of fat & 24g carbs.
My version (although smaller in size) are 90 calories with 6 grams of fat & 8g carbs.
The following recipe makes 10 small eggs.
You will need:
1 block of dairy free dark chocolate
1/2 block dairy free white chocolate
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 drops yellow food colouring.



Melt the dark chocolate block in a bowl over some simmering water & once melted brush the chocolate into egg moulds of your choice. I bought these for $8 from Woolworths.
Refrigerate until firm- about 40 minutes.
While awaiting your chocolate to set you can begin making your ‘Creme’.
Repeat the melting of chocolate, this time with half a block of white chocolate & the tablespoon of coconut oil.
Once melted and thoroughly mixed pour a third of the mixture into a small bowl & mix with the two drops of food colouring. This will will be your ‘yolk’. 
Leave the rest of the mixture to be used as the egg ‘white’. Let these sit at room temperature.
Pop out your chocolate eggs, once hardened and use some of the left over chocolate to join them together. Leave a small hole either at the side or on one of the ends so the Creme can be inserted.
Refrigerate again until set.
Using a small knife-tip push about half a teaspoon of the ‘yolk’ into the small hole, followed by a teaspoon of the ‘white’. Seal with a dab of dark chocolate and return to the fridge until sealed.
Continue until all your eggs are completed.
Enjoy the eggs at room temperature, & they needn’t be refrigerated.

Tofu Scramble

Easy Peasy!

Light, protein packed and vegan.
Tofu is so versatile & is available in many forms.  Silken Tofu is ideal for scrambling. 
Dice a pack of silken tofu and cook in a fry pan for a couple of minutes.

 Add half a jar of salsa of your choice and cook for  five minutes.  

Add herbs & spices of your choice and then sprinkle with cheese. I used Cheezly vegan cheese. 
Serve with salad or on toast. I paired it with a pulse salad that I’d picked up from Woolworths. Nutritious, and easy to make, this could be thrown together for any meal. 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

These need only three ingredients and are quick and easy!

You will need- 
2 tbsp coconut oil
4 tbsp PB2*
60g dairy free chocolate chips

Melt the PB2 & Coconut Oil in a microwave dish or jug.
Place the mix into large or small patty pans- I did a few of each. You should be able to fit a tablespoon or so per two mini patty pans.
Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Heat the chocolate chips until melted.
Remove peanut butter bases from the fridge and dollop enough melted chocolate on top of each base.
Place in the fridge until hardened.
Peel off the patty pans & enjoy!
I added a pecan to a couple as I had no peanuts in the pantry.
This mixture should make 12-15 mini cups or about 4-6 large sizes.
The mini Peanut Butter Cups are 65 calories each with 5 grams of fat.

*PB2 is powdered peanut butter that can be mixed with water to make Peanut Butter. It’s much lower in calories than regular peanut butter. It’s only available online ( try iHerb.com) at this stage. You could use a standard peanut or nut butter for this recipe.

Dairy free chocolate chips can be purchased at Coles in the health food section.

I only used dairy free because I prefer to eat Vegan.

Vegan Eggnog

I came up with this recipe as I was stunned that I could not find a vegan or dairy free eggnog anywhere in stores.

Even the health food stores have me blank stares.
This has a similar consistancy to eggnog without the egg part!
You will need: 
1 avocado
1 cup coconut milk
2 cups unsweetened almond milk
Pinch ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons agave
1/4 cup rum (optional)

Blend all ingredients, starting with almost frozen avocado and coconut milk.
It has a thicker, fuller consistency than a smoothie and ice could be added too.
I didn’t add the rum as I didn’t have any but it would give it that adult kick.
The Wee-Man loved it and drank lost of it. The avocado have it the good fats and helped with the thickness. I found the coconut milk in a long life pack at Coles, rather than using the tinned milk.
You could also add a squeeze of lemon juice to help with the darkening of te avocado and for a bit more flavour too. I LOVE eggnog but the packages varieties are high in fat and calories and I haven’t come across even a ‘light’ variety as of yet.
Hope you enjoy.

Days of Salads

Alright, so I didn’t exactly succeed at 24 days of salads, I don’t think I even made it to 10! And I’m going to blame the busy time of year that is, December.

I had a couple of family events come up which interrupted my salad plans so I’m just going to continue from now until Christmas Eve.
Tonight I threw together a few bits and pieces, I had some left over spinach and cherry tomatoes so I again created a tasting platter of veggies and some salsa and mayonnaise. 
I’m addicted to dipping pretzels in salsa or mayonnaise, and I think it adds a different element to a typical salad. 
Even the Little Man decided that the meatballs I’d cooked for him weren’t the go tonight and decided upon, cold ham, grated cheese and spinach. Not as exotic as my plate but watching him top his spinach leaves with ham and cheese and balancing the three into his mouth was pretty impressive.