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.