Uforic Food Cafe Torquay

Archives: November 2011

A snack of the healthy kind – Asian vegetable broth

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Got hunger pains and don’t want to cure them with a piece of chocolate, biscuit or some other naughty treat?

Well, I have been using vegies to pad out my meals. They are totally guilt free and really delicious. So I thought, why not make them into a really yummy snack or light lunch? This dish has no guilt – but is full of delicious Thai flavours like fish sauce, soy and lime. It also takes less than 10 minutes to make. What could be better?

I think this is also a lovely entrĂ©e to have before heading out to a restaurant. It fills you up enough where you won’t go and order the biggest steak on the menu and then eat a whole dessert to yourself – but you’ll still want to eat – and hopefully make good choices.

 

Asian Vegetable Broth

  • 4 brocoli flowerets
  • a handful of green beans
  • 1 cup of chicken stock
  • half a red chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 tbs of chopped, fresh coriander
  • the green leaves of 1 head of pak choy, sliced
  • 1 tbs of soy sauce
  • 1tsp of fish sauce
  • the juice of half a lime
  • 1/2 a tsp of brown sugar

Method

In a small frypan add the brocoli, beans, stock, soy, fish sauce and sugar. Bring stock to the boil and simmer everything for one minute. Add the remaining ingredients and cook until pak choy is wilted – this should only take 20 or 30 seconds.

Serve garnished with some chopped pieces of red chilli, if desired.

This dish really is fantastic. Feel free to substitute any of the vegies with whatever you like – and leave the chilli out, if it’s not to your liking.

In other weight loss news – I had my first personal training session this morning. I had to get up at 6.20am, was training by 7pm and it went for an hour – well, 55 minutes until I started feeling nauseous! That’s right, I worked so hard I felt sick – but my trainer was on to it, got me to lie down and put my legs in the air. Apparently it’s all due to a build up of lactic acid. I know it sounds a bit dramatic – but I actually really enjoyed the session and have booked in the again for next week. My trainer, let’s call him Mr C – was really nice to me and he didn’t yell at me or make me feel bad. Woo hoo! He was there every step of the way. We did interval training and also boxing, which I really enjoyed.

Anyway, tomorrow is my first weight in at Weight Watchers. Wish me luck!!

As for a song, I think this one is fitting, considering how much of be “workin’ it” 🙂 …

 

Can you be a foodie AND lose weight? I’m determined!!

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Like so many people out there, I have had a constant battle my whole life when it comes to weight.

From the day I was born I was a chubby bundle of joy – and all through primary school, high school, uni and my working life – I have been voluptuous, to say the very least.

The thing that annoys me is I’m not one of those stereotypical fat people who sit on the couch eating chips and blocks of chocolate every night. I rarely even eat dessert when we eat out. I love eating good, healthy food.

It’s time to admit that the weight has to go – there are so many reason to do this!

I have actually sat at this computer many times to write about the fact that I really want to lose weight. But, I always delete those posts and go and make myself a nice, comforting risotto. Why? Well, putting the fact that I would like to lose at least 30 kilograms out there for the whole world to see is a pretty daunting thing. It makes it real – it means people are watching me. But, I think it’s the kind of committment I need to make.

Why have I decided to do this now? Well, I think I’m ready. I’m engaged and the happiest I have ever been in my whole life. I’m getting measured for the most beautiful wedding dress in six months and I have my whole life ahead of me. I want to be healthy. I’m 28 years old with a condition called Polycysitc Ovarian Sydrome (PCOS) and anyone who has that know how hard the insulin resistance makes it to lose weight. As a result of this condition, I’m am also a very young diabetic. When I found out I had it – I was so embaressed and didn’t want to tell a soul. But I’m admitting it now because I know there are other people like me out there. I’m not alone. Losing weight will also increase our chances of having a family one day. There are too many reasons why I have to do this and no reason why not!

I want to achieve my goals and eat great food!

I don’t want my blog to become some sort of weight loss haven where all I post is lettuce leaf recipes. Bugger that! As a close family member of mine told me recently” “if I have to eat lettuce leaves for the rest of my life to lose weight, then I’m going to stay fat.” I couldn’t agree more!

But I figure there must be a way to lose weight and still be able to eat delicious food. I don’t expect to be able to eat cake and biscuits everyday – but I still want food to taste good. I want to be able to drizzle some olive oil on my vegies when I roast them. I want to be able to eat avocado and I still want to eat rice and pasta.

I got told the other week that if I’m serious about losing weight, then I need to give these things away. I’m not a dietician – but I just don’t think that’s true. Whatever happened to everything in moderation? I know that if I feel deprived – I’ll binge. It’s as simple as that!

I have tried sooo many diets before! I’m sick of failing!

Over the years I have tried Jenny Craig, no carb diets – eating very little and exercising a lot. In all of these, except Jenny Craig, I have felt completely deprived and all I did all day was think about food and what I’m not allowed to eat. It’s crap, made me feel bad and I just couldn’t stick to it. I also can’t stand eating pre-packaged food on any sort of regular basis. I’d go insane if I can’t cook – so Jenny is out!

To lose weight, I get that changes have to be made

I’m also a bit of a purist when it comes to recipes. I love butter and don’t really like the idea of substituting. I don’t want to eat it if it tastes like crap!

However, I do understand that to lose weight, you have to make changes – so that’s what I am doing! On Sunday, I officially started tracking my eating habits through Weight Watchers and their points system – and so far – it’s been great! You get to eat normal food. Thank God!! I have always felt that my problem is eating too much rice and pasta, and that my serving sizes are too large. This has been confirmed so far and while I have gone to bed peckish – I’m down with that! I also really love soft drink – but I am proud to say I have officially given it away. I’ve had headaches and felt tired and cranky without the sugar – but I’m starting to feel good now 🙂

Portion control is the key … and giving up soft drink all together!

As I said, I’m not just going to stop posting delicious recipes, or going out for dinner – but I am going to think about things more and adopt the mantra that I can eat everything – in moderation! I am excited because I have already made a few recipes and modified things I already cook – and it’s been very yummy so far. Stay tuned for those!

Sharing the gory figures – it’s time to be honest and accountable!

The reason I decided to blog about this is to keep myself honest and on track and to hopefully share stories with other people on a similar journey to me. I have six months before I get measured for my dream wedding dress. It’s now or never! So, I’ve also decided I am going to post a before photo and my measurements. I still can’t believe I am going to post these for everyone to see – but here goes (*cringe!!!*)

Weight: 111.7kg

Waist: 124cm

Hips: 129cm

Bust: 126cm

Arm: 38cm

Dress size: 20

Thighs: 63cm

My first goal: 99kg

Ultimate goal: 80kg

There, I did it! I know – pretty shocking stats there – but let’s hope when I weigh in, things are on the improve!

My first goal is to get under 100kg. The day I reach that, I will be absolutely thrilled! I am a pretty short person, so according to the BMI calculations I should between 50 and 60kg. I don’t think I want to be that small – so I have set my ultimate goal weight to 80kg. I think I’ll be happy and so much healthier if I can get to that 🙂

Feel free to share your weightloss stories below. Got any good advice to keep me on track? How about recipes? I need yummy food!

Stay tuned for some recipes I’m trying – including indian cocnut curry – it was amazingly yummy!

Friends + Food + Dancing = Fabulous! Part 2 – Terra Rossa

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We all dressed in red – because red is for love <3 Cheers!!

Spanish food would have to be the ultimate culinary experience if you want to bring people together. Quite often Spanish = tapas and what a great bonding experience it is to share food from plates dotted right along long tables of hungry women.

That’s exactly what we did in part two of my beautiful friend Ruza’s bridal shower/hens weekend with the evening festivities held at Melbourne’s Terra Rossa Spanish Restaurant in Flinder Lane. Part 1 was at The Waiting Room at Crown Towers – read about our fantastic experience here.

Wine, shots and most importantly, Sangria (both white and red) flowed as everyone began to arrive.

Down they go!!

The atmostphere in this restaurant is loud, but vibrant and fun – not a place I would recommend for a quiet, romantic evening – but if you’ve got something to celebrate – and we sure did – then this is the perfect place.

 Before we talk about the food – let’s talk about the drinks! I haven’t had sangria before – but this was absolutely delicious – we had red first, but I think the white was superb. I enjoyed it and was a little typsy – to say the least!

Onto the food and we enjoyed four delicious course of progressive tapas – which included;

 

1ST COURSE

semolina crisp calamari

w oregano gremolata

gorgonzola, pumpkin & chestnut suppli

w charred melinzane puree

 2ND COURSE

malai chicken skewers

w tomato cumin salsa

baked portobellos w lime buratta

& black russian confit tomato

3RD COURSE

chorizo & manchego crocchettini w

salsa romesco & olive tapenade

lamb fillet pita w pimento hummus,

roma tomato & riviera feta

4TH COURSE

pistachio crusted frangelico tira misu

w arabica bean espresso gelato & 87 blend caffe surope

brioche & dolce de leche pudding

w burnt butter macadamia gelato

 As you can see, we were digging into the dessert before I could get my camera ready – it was just amazing, especially the burnt butter and macadamia gelato. I have to say the mushrooms were a highlight for me as well as the calamari. It was utterly addictive and I was stealing morssels from plates further down the table. Just delicious!

I think this is the perfect place for big groups to get together for birthdays, farewells etc – it has an electric atmostphere and one of the best parts was that they were only too willing to cater to our ladies who couldn’t eat gluten or diary – this cappachio was just one of the courses enjoyed by these girls.

 It was great to see Ruza moving around the table, saying hi to everyone and just being able to catch up with her friends and family, including her beatuiful mum!

With full tummies and happy hearts we hit the streets of Melbourne to work off some of the calories we had just consumed – but our trek to nightclub, Retro, was not without its events.

 The bride and her lovely friend Nicole needed to apply some bandaids to sore feet.

Before long we were back on the road and heading out for a night of dancing and fun.

The music at Retro was awesome! It reminded me of the songs we used to dance to in the clubs when we were teenagers. It was also great to be at a club where you weren’t surrounded by teeny boppers who always have a knack for making me feel extremely old!

We left Retro at around 3am and headed for our hotel. The next morning the lovely Laura and I found the energy to cook us all bacon and eggs. It was just what we needed after a big night on the town.

 

Overall it was a lovely weekend and I hope it was one Ruza will remember for many years to come.

Now we have the wedding to look forward to in a few weeks time. I can’t wait!!

Friends + Food + Dancing = Fabulous! Part 1 – The Waiting Room

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Ruza (second from left) and three of her bridesmaids.

When my beautiful friend Ruza asked me to be a bridesmaid for her – I was nothing short of completely honoured.

Ruza and I met at work many years ago now and we clicked straight away. She has been a huge support to me over the years and always backs me – no matter what crazy plan I have cooked up. She even agreed to audition for My Kitchen Rules with me. What an amazing friend! You can read about our relatively short, but exciting journey here. Now that’s amazing friendship – especially considering she would have had to leave home, her fiancĂ©e and her wedding plans to do it. She’s an incredible person.

However, I’d be lying if I didn’t confess that after she asked me to be a part of her wedding party – my excitement changed to nervousness. I’ve never been a bridesmaid before! How do I go about being as helpful as possible to such a wonderful women?

I quickly headed to Google – and there was lots of different ideas about traditions and obligations and all that sort of caper. You have to fluff the dress – make sure you keep her fed and watered on the big day and pack a special kit for any emergencies that may occur (touch wood). I’m a bit of a mum type – sure I can do that.

But when it came to organising the bridal shower and hens night – I was really unsure of how to go about doing it. I haven’t been to that many hens nights and the most recent one was a crazy affair. Not Ruza’s style at all!

All the ideas Google had didn’t seem to fit either. However, working with the other bridesmaids made it so much easier and the idea that food is a great way to bring people together to celebrate inadvertently turned out to be the key. We wanted to make everyone feel comfortable, happy, relaxed – but at the same time it had to be glamorous, fun and accommodate everyone’s tastes, including the mother of the bride and groom, aunties and family friends.

The weekend started on Friday night with lovely Champaign and love heart balloons, just got get us in the mood.

Balloons in the shame of love hearts will always get you in the spirit!

 

Getting into the spirit the night before the hens.

 
For the record, the bride had no idea what we had in store for her. I spent most of the night on Friday and Saturday morning trying to convince her we were taking her camping – and when we did inform her that she was required to pack and overnight bag – she looked a little worried – especially considering the rain falling from the heavens!
I was most excited about the first part of the day – which was a very sophisticated afternoon tea at The Waiting Room in the Crown Towers lobby at Crown Casino. As the gorgeous bride strutted along, she said she felt like she had come to Vegas. How fitting!

I have never seen a hen in all her paraphernalia look so gorgeously glamorous!

 

The Waiting Room is part of one of my favourite chef’s cluster of stylish venues at Crown – Neil Perry and his Rockpool Group. When I found out they were starting afternoon teas (click here to view the blog and find out more info) at The Waiting Room – I knew Ruza would love its chic and glamorous atmosphere.

Our afternoon tea came out on gorgeous tiered tea trays and everything from the gorgeous, crustless finger sandwiches to the sweet treats and array of teas were amazingly delicious.

On this tray we have Profiteroles, Caramelised Apple Tarts, Passionfruit Miroirs, Alfajors, Peanut, Caramel and Chocolate Ganache Tarts, Vanilla Orange Scones with Strawberry Jam and Chantilly Cream. My favourite would have to have been the scones. I know scones are meant to be simple, but the added touch of the orange and the vanilla in the cream is just so good! 

 

The sandwiches were so soft and wonderful – a combination between wholemeal and white bread with various fillings including classic cucumber, egg and caviar and salmon and cream cheese. If you have read a few previous posts here at Uforic Food, you’ll know I’m not a big fan of the humble sandwich – but there was nothing ordinary about these!

 

On the top shelf – Parmesan Biscuits and Anchovy Twists – delicious for all savory lovers 🙂

The tea trays, all in a row - and me, looking a little bit in awe of all the delciiousness that surround me.

 

 I think it’s safe to say that everyone had a fantastic time.

 

But no one looked more lovely than the bride herself! Doesn’t she look absolutely gorgeous?

What did you do on your hens night, or, if you haven’t had one yet, what do you think you’d like to do? Is a hens night all about getting a little crazy, or is it more about sharing stories, and playing games, or doing something more glamorous? Or maybe you can have it all? Leave your stories in the comments section below and stay tuned for part two of this fabulous girls’ weekend. There’s even more great food to come … Spanish style!

Read part 2 of Ruza’s hens nights here