PEANUT BUTTER BAR

It didn’t take much persuasion to get my booty over to the Peanut Butter Bar in Leichhardt, Sydney. My life flashed before my eyes when I saw their video pop up on Facebook, featuring a brownie being drowned in peanut butter from an ever-flowing PEANUT BUTTER TAP. That’s right, you heard (read) me – peanut butter on freakin’ tap.

Upon further investigation, I discovered that this place is in fact HEALTHY? Dishes bumped up with extra protein, decadent desserts made out of pumpkin and dates and coconut milk… of course, not everything on their menu follows this protocol, but for argument’s sake, we won’t focus on those.

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I convinced a pal to come with me, and we weren’t even swayed by the torrential downpours, sudden peak-winter temperature and 1 hour bus journey. We were excited for peanut butter, and no-one and nothing would stand in our way.

Off the bus, lured by the siren of PB (but mostly so we didn’t get soaked from the rain), we sprinted into the café. The decor is very interesting; the walls are donned with brightly painted murals and quotes from sporting greats (see pic for their subtle ode to Arnie). Admittedly it wasn’t quite what I was expecting! But they certainly are aiming for their clientele; this seems like the place to go once you’ve finished a hardcore session in the gym and are after a ‘healthier’ treat.

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Feeling a bit out of place, we made our order: salted peanut butter and choc chip cookie (with a scoop of their protein ice-cream), peanut butter chocolate lava cake (also featuring a scoop of vanilla bean ice-cream) and a vegan berry cashew cheesecake. We didn’t travel all that way to order something measly!

Oh my gooey-ness, the lava cake was INSANE! However, after two bites, it became a bit of a struggle as the dish is incredibly rich! The cookie was okay; with the ice-cream on top it was a dream, but the cookie on its own really wasn’t that great – you could really taste the protein-y-ness (what do you mean that’s not a word? Lies).

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Then there was the vegan cheesecake… oh boy. I have to say, I really didn’t enjoy this one at all! There was hardly any flavour, and the texture wasn’t pleasant. It was basically all mush! The base of the cheesecake seemed to essentially be ground up flaxseed, and the top layer with the berries tasted watery. I know vegan food tends to have a reputation for being fairly flavourless, but I have tried some truly tasty dishes in my time. What a shame this one was a disappointment! We ended up leaving it pretty much untouched.

The highlight from our entire spread was the ice-cream. Ooooh it was yum! And the peanut butter of course, although I really wish there was more of it!

For all of our goodies, it was a total of $41.95. Not the cheapest, yet not the most expensive either.

Unfortunately I left feeling heavy, the food sitting stagnant in my belly, thirsty and with the desire to brush the furries off my teeth. Ah, well! Perhaps if we tried different items off the menu, we would’ve had a better experience, who knows! Alas, I can now say I’ve been there, done that.

Have any of you popped to the Peanut Butter Bar before? If so, what did you think?

Alix x

SPICED KALE WITH PINE NUTS

Ahh, the classic side dish. It may not be the main event on your plate, but that doesn’t mean it has to be uneventful and boring! Let me tell you, I have come across one heck of a side dish that I actually ended up eating as my main *guilty*, and holy YUMBALLS it packed a punch! No joke, it was like my tastebuds were singing. This may seem like an exaggeration, but give this recipe a whirl and I promise you’ll see what I mean!

Just look at it. That green! I feel like the real life heart eye emoji.

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INGREDIENTS:
– 1 bunch of kale (de-stemmed & torn into bits)
– 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
– 100g pine nuts
– 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
– 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
– 1/2 tsp cumin
– 1 tsp ground fennel seed
– 1/2 tsp ground coriander seed

METHOD:
– Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat
– Add your pine nuts and toast them until golden, stirring frequently
– Throw in your chilli flakes, cumin, fennel seed, coriander and garlic
– Cook for a few more mins until the garlic becomes golden and the pine nuts are nicely toasted
– Add in your kale leaves, a bit at a time. Stir them all around until all the leaves have wilted
– Season to taste!

Simple. Tasty. Good for you. It doesn’t get much better than this!

If you make this at home, let me know how you go by commenting below or tagging me on social media! Enjoy!

Alix xx

ASPARAGUS, GOATS CHEESE AND SWEET POTATO FRITTATA

When I think of a frittata, my mind automatically takes me back to my living-in-a-dorm University days. On a Sunday night, the canteen would present to us leftovers from the week… in frittata form. Think stodgy, misshapen and strangely brown lumps (drooling yet?). Needless to say, this skewed my opinion on the classic frittata and turned my previous “ooh yum” into a “get it away from me!!”. This was unfortunate as my dad used to make mind-bogglingly delish frittatas at home growing up!

Well, I am pleased to report that my opinion on frittatas has now officially turned back into a “hell yes!”. What restored my faith is this little guy here:

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Asparagus, goats cheese and sweet potato frittata. Asparagus? Yum. Sweet potato? Yummo. Goats cheese? OH SWEET LORD GET IN MY MOUTH. This combination is a dream, and I paired it up with a nice tangy, peppery radish and rocket salad.

I was SO lucky to be plucked from the masses to win a box of fresh veggies from Matt Moran and his restaurant Chiswick here in Sydney. Included were the asparagus spears and radishes, which is what inspired this whole ensemble!

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To recreate this at home (and I highly recommend you do!), you will need:

INGREDIENTS:
– 6 eggs
– 4 spears of fresh asparagus
– 1/2 a sweet potato
– 1/2 tsp salt
– Cracked black pepper (to taste)
– 20g unsalted butter
– Good quality goats cheese or curd
– Fresh parsley

METHOD:
– Preheat grill in the oven to 180°C
– Boil sweet potato in its skin. Once it’s cooked through, drain and put aside to cool
– Once the sweet potato is cool enough to handle, peel the skin off and dice into cubes
– Slice the asparagus spears on an angle (into ~4-5 segments each spear. Remember to chuck the woody bottoms!)
– Place the asparagus in a small saucepan and pour boiling water over the top
– Lightly whisk the eggs with the salt and pepper and chopped parsley (a good pinch)
– Melt the butter in a non-stick pan (be sure not to let the butter brown)
– Pour your egg mixture in, drain your asparagus and then scatter them in the pan along with the sweet potato
– Turn the heat down, and let it cook for a few minutes until the sides set (approx 2-3 mins)
– Place the pan under the grill and allow to cook until the top is nice and golden, and the edges have slightly puffed up
– Ease the frittata out of the pan with a spatula and pop onto a plate – top with goats cheese, extra parsley and cracked black pepper

Et voilà! It’s so incredibly light and simple, but don’t be fooled – it’s mightily delicious.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. Let me know if you whip it up at home!

Alix xx