Thursday, November 13, 2008

Mother Teresa

In order to be considered for a sainthood, one must be said to have performed three miracles while on earth. Mother Theresa, the Albanian Roman Catholic Missionary is already well on her way with her beatification official in 2003, but that's not the only Teresa who has a few miracles to her name. Now, I don't know how much sway the opinion of AB holds for those Vatican movers and shakers, but Teresa Cutter, the Healthy Chef, should be in contention for some kind of post-earthly reward or honour as well. After the little myriad of munchy miracles this health conscious wonder woman has been whipping up in the kitchen for years, it just doesn't seem right that she'd rock up to the Eternal Gates and not be on Saint Peter's VIP door list.

Teresa Cutter is my favourite kind of person, creative, generous, warm hearted and inspired. To this day I still have all of the newspaper cutouts from her decidedly delectable reign as the food editor for the Healthy Life section. She has been guiding me on flourless and sugar free and low GI and protein and fiber and antioxidant rich ways of getting my cake, muffin, tart or loaf fix. With Teresa, you can have your cake and eat it, all the while prancing around in your skinny jeans with more energy and alacrity than a cocaine addicted pervert in Amsterdam! Imagine my delight when I heard she'd opened up her own kitchen and cafe on Avalon Beach. Never mind petrol prices and the trek from Sydney, this just had to be seen!
Miracle number one: Healthy, grunt inducing Eco Banana Bread. Banana bread is one of life's simple pleasures. It's the only thing the little old ladies who go to Gloria Jean's for their afternoon tea have in common with the very hip Gertrude and Alice Set in Bondi. Yes, Banana bread is more than a nice treat or a naughty brekkie, it's the last remaining inter generational link between X's and Y's and soon to be daisy pushers. This makes it an oven baked cornerstone of societal cohesiveness, and Teresa has taken it from just plain good, to quite bloody great! Eco Banana Bread, my little gluttons... it's wheat free, protein rich, organic and low GI. Cheeses christ. It tastes unbelieveable, all ripe bananas, wholemeal spelt and honeyed coconut. The texture is rich and dense and with just a smidge of butter, it tows the line between dessert and brekkie wonderously. Mum and Aunty Laura loved it, which illustrates something i've always believed: when healthy food is made by someone who knows what they are doing and using really lovely ingredients, you don't even notice that you are eating something that's better for you. Instead of being a culinary excess, good cooking and some creative thinking can make a common cafe pitfall a really nutritional and wholesome food. For those of you who are super duper fusspots, there's even a gluten free version that uses almonds as its base.
Miracle number 2: it takes a bit of a sad, pathetic and empty person to get genuinely excited about a juice...this juice rocks my world. I have been making it at home and getting a version of it made up for me at the Earth Store. This is one of the most phenomenally tasting zingzestgreenbursts my mouth has had the privilege of being a venue for. I juice a lot at home, I have broken 2 industrial juicers in 3 years, but never in my wildest dreams have I come up with a combination so refined, so delicious, that also made me feel like Jane Fonda in an 80's aerobic inspired pink lycra frenzy of fantastic sprightliness.

This juice is genius: lemon, apple, parsley, ginger and spirulina. Harry, one of the juice guys at the Earth Store has tried the spirulinaless version and is converted. It's the fine wine of juices, the perfect convergence of tart, sweet, green and sharp. Its an epic enzyme flush to your system, you feel so clean and vital afterwards. My cheeks start to glow about 20 minutes after a shot of this stuff, I feel amazing, so much so that it has been the precursor to quite a few heroic jogging stints where I felt like a modern day Balboa running up and down those stairs. You have to try this juice at the Healthy Chef Cafe or at home, it's a down right winner. If you're hooked on the morning latte, skip the draining cliche and see what happens when you start your day on one of these babies, you'll have conquered the world by a quarter to twelve.
Miracle number three: Wholemeal Carrot Cake. We regret to inform you that there was sadly not enough restraint present at our sun drenched table to procure for your viewing pleasure a decent photograph before this sexy wedge of cakeheaven met its untimely end. Good carrot cake is hard to find. Good for you carrot cake is even harder. This is wheat free, protein rich and low GI. There's organic wholemeal spelt by Demeter Farm Mill, organic fruit, rapadura sugar and more carrots than a bunny can stash. It's a moist cake, with a beautiful deep and nottoosweet canopy of creamy icing. The texture of it was beautiful, softness broken up with fruit pieces. So, so, so good.
The menu here is unbeatable. Most healthy places tend to be vegetarian, for those of us who wouldnt have the LT without the B and who appreciate some chicken in our salad and some beef in our lasagne, The Healthy Chef cafe has got your carnivorous back. It's healthier versions of all the things you know and love. The breakfasts and lunches are amazing, beautiful avocados and clean meats and dense, huge slices of wholesome bread are all presented on beautiful slabs of wood that animate your eye as much as your palate. Some of Teresa's product range is on sale, as well as her cookbooks. It's a beautiful idea and execution, a healthy, comfortable place where good food is laid out on descriptive menus that educate you about the contents and health benefits of the meals and treats you're chosing. The menu has a key that aids you in picking gluten free, organic, vegan etc options, it gets you to think about the dynamic of your food in a way that is as informed as it is light hearted. Eating well isn't rocket science, it's just the confluence of creativity, effort and the desire to not fill your body up with anything less than whole, real food that makes you happy and healthy.

Teresa has taken the way she cooks and takes care of herself in her own kitchen and applied it to an ethical, inspired commercial venture where she can share her recipes, her ideas and her flavours with people who will hopefully be propelled by her efforts to do the same thing for themselves and their families.
To see her full menu, go here.

Summer is the perfect time to head up to beautiful Avalon for the day. The Healthy Chef cafe is at 17 Avalon Parade, Avalon Beach. It opens every day from 7am til 4pm.

Teresa looked too busy when I popped in for me to ask her for a photo, if you do manage to get down there, she's the blonde one with the beautiful smile. I am planning to head up here for a lazy morning as soon as exams are over, it's a place I keep wanting to come back to. I am guessing the miracles don't stop at three. For more of her wonderful recipe ideas:

God Bless you, Ms Cutter.


Anonymous said...

jane fonda heh heh i remember i dressed as her for my kindergarten dressup day ahh good times

amanda said...

heh. i am too into banana bread to have ever had the experience of wearing lycra myself! do you recommend it? whats your gelato spot in newtown btw?

Anonymous said...

gelatomassi! (262 king st, near the clocktower, near that famous thai restaurant?) run by 2 brothers who are very generous with their samples heh i love the watermelon ooh and the pistachio!

amanda said...

okay are they the big blue shop or the smaller one opposite the dendy. i think the big blue one is slightly better, but ive found gelato is either good or bad. never tried really really great gelato. There was a place called Bar Mado in Auburn that I went to a few years ago for amazing ice cream, Turkish and Lebanese do wonderful ice cream, esp pistachio. I am not gelato gaga though. Its hard to get flavours that don't taste too synthetic. never been that crazy about bar italia but i remember really liking the one at the entrance of the norton st plaza, its still there i think.

i am shocking, i cant remember any of the damn names. heh. theyre all too similar and italian looking. best ice cream was a chocolate earl grey in new york....holy hell.

we are doing a blog piece on you and the blue place, im sure its the blue one youre talking about. they have some really quirky combos dont they?

Anonymous said...

just thought i'd give my 50 cent on the newown gelato scene since I live round the corner...

my personal fav is the one on the corner of Wilson St and King St, just up from the Bank Hotel. Don't know the name. I reckon the one up the road has generous serves, but maybe a little subtle on the intensity of flavours. The flavours all taste like they have the same base or something, and its kinda creamy with a lack of punch. Kind of like when curries are made from the same base in the one restaurant, or like a Jack Johnson album. A bit same-same.

I have to agree with you about gelato being never better than good. I hope no one gets angry but I feel the same about pizza.

Hey Mands, have you been to that wholefood place on Danks St in Waterloo above Fratelli Fresh i think? Drove past it the other day and wondered if we could make an expedition there if you aren't already a regular.

amanda said...

heh. screw this being a medium for my writing, ms eggers, it is fast becoming an outlet for your spleen. i love how you managed to knock gelato, pizza AND jack johnson all in one hit.

i think we are all talking about the same gelato place, its the big one next door to the new sushi train, yeah? i was there last night, if id known you lived in the area i would have paid you and your spleen a visit. i feel the same about pizza too! there's a nice one at love supreme called the smilie which ill do a piece on in a few weeks, rosso pomodoro used to be great, but i didnt like it the last few times i went. people tell me marios is a really good one, i think its in paddington? not sure, but i think italian food in general is unremarkable. apart from carpaccios and the odd risotto, i dont really dig it.

have not tried fratelli upstairs, tatsu said it used to be better, but he has higher standards than god so i definitely think we should check it out.

tried el beshar in newtown, its actually got decent lebanese food. tell me where you eat on king street, i am salivating in anticipation live near the buddah bar, if you have not had a massage from annie there, then you just have to drop everything and go right now. It's like a divine dark chocolate tart for your back muscles.

Anonymous said...

annie as in annie coleman? she is amazing - i drop in for an orgasmic muscle relaxant session on the rare occasions when i find myself with flush with cash!

how funny!

on the topic of gelato - the one on victoria street in darlinghurst is divine. no idea what it's called though, but i know it when i see it.

yum yum yum this cafe looks luscious! gosh i love cake. yum. YUM.

amanda said...

i thought her surname was goldberg, but i might have it wrong, shes a super intelligent tiny woman with short hair, brown hair brown eyes. i want to marry her. i was at the gelato shop on victoria road about 2 and a half weeks ago, i had chocolate orange and it sucked but tats had pear and raspberry and it was amazing. they pack out too, they stay open late i think. have you seen that awesome deli a few doors up, dont know the name, right next door to the victoria room. PS, victoria room >> very decent chai and the best hummus ive ever had. wtf?

Anonymous said...

hmm. perhaps a different annie? mine is a blondie. hurrah for girl loves!

see that's where you went wrong. something about fruit and chocolate just don't sit right with me. can't do it. nope. i think i had the coconut or the lychee but definitely the hazelnut. yum.

i know the deli, but i haven't ventured inside yet - looks too deli for me and every time i walk past i get intimidated! interesting about the victoria room we should hit it up for some chai - although stay away from their dry dry scones, high tea at the tea room gunner's barracks is much better!

ps. don't know if you ever noticed but the timing on your blog is all outta whack woman. when's the move?

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure there is a sushi train near the one I'm talking about, its the shop right on the corner across the road from Zanzibar.

I agree with your sentiments on both my spleen and pizza. I've heard Love Supreme is good but haven't been there. My boyfriend used to live in Paddington and he reckoned LS was the best. The place a few doors up from me at Alexandria (Cavelli's) are good enough for me to not bother travelling any further.

I kind of agree with you about Italian, but its such a staple in my diet that can't be a hypocrite about it. I just think its difficult to elevate it to that special level. There used to be a good Italian place in Leichhardt called Carpaccio's but it has recently changed hands and gone downhill bigtime. They did super whitebait fritters and zuccini flowers. As for risotto I never order it out because its rarely done well, and if I feel like eating some wallpaper glue I can make it OK myself at home. I am yet to find a special Italian restaurant to replace it.

I live in Alexandria on Euston rd. If you're in the area let me know. My boyfriend is Greek and I've been keen to take him to the restaurant upstairs at the Civic - apparently good reviews on their modern Greek. More traditional Mamma food downstairs at lunch time. We should go.

amanda said...

we are officially talking about the same gelato place. i went to carpaccios once or twice and liked everything except the carpaccio, have you been to grappa? they do a ludicrously good beef one. does your greek have access to a good moussaka recipe, am dying to make it at home. and how far is euston rd from that newtown junction?

greek sounds great, i was taken to one at manly i think that had good reviews, my greek friend had heard of it and it was really lovely, great service too, very cute little man owner who's excited to joke with you and feed you. ill try and remember to ask for the name.

I am going to put on 5kg when we start doing regular meet ups, arent i?