Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Jinie's Menu

I asked my friend Jinie to tell me what she would put on the menu at a YamDaisy Cafe.
This is important to me as I need to discover how people think and look at the concept for the food. Delicious, homestyle, seasonal food that the chef can manage throughout the day in the small kitchen with not much help!
The soup dish and one main is to be available for lunch and on through the day as long as it lasts, and the second main and fruit based dessert need to be available by mid afternoon. These meals can be take away also.

Jinie is someone who has managed on a low income for many years. Her first thought was on how to make a good meal with the cheapest ingredients. But what this made me realise is that for people on low incomes the costing is easy, think of the great meals you already cook! You can be confident they will be within the budget for the YamDaisy Cafe.

Jinie chose:

Potato and leek soup with crusty bread. Perfect for this time of year in Wintery Victoria. This is one of my favourite soups as it is so tasty and comforting.

Pasta Bake made with bolognaise sauce and with grated vegetables added. Hmm, I am confused My vegetarianism may be to blame, so I search the web and as far as I can work out, Jinies recipe is like lasagne with bolognaise sauce. This would be a great meal and easy to prepare. The sauce could be made the day before and be ready in the fridge, and dried pasta, rigatoni perhaps, would be used in this recipe. the added vegetables could be pieces of roasted root veggies. I would like to add some lightly dressed rocket leaves to the plate as their bite would complement the dish.

Veggie Slice with a side salad and sweet relish. I googled this one and discovered that most of the world thinks veggie slice is a slice of vegetarian pizza. No. It is more like a fittata, eggah or an Iranian Kuku. The most common recipe around here is the zucchini slice with about 5 eggs, lots of onion and grated zucchini and topped with cheese and baked. When Jinie makes it she adds whatever is to hand: sweet potato, pumpkin, carrots, zucchini, capsicum and bacon. I would like the side salad to be soft lettuce and herbs with little extras like pine nuts and olives and the relish served in a little dish beside.

Rhubarb and Apple with creamy yoghurt. The truth is that we got sidetracked and I didn't get a fruit dessert from Jinie! But luckily (because I wanted to put a photo up) I had taken a picture of my yummy dessert last week, and this would be just lovely with Jinie's menu. I cooked the fruits separately and made the yoghurt extra creamy by draining it a little. (I would serve with the yoghurt on top I think)

So this is the first input I have for the YamDaisy menu. I would love some feedback and ofcourse I would love your ideas for a menu. Check out the menu page on my Yam Daisy Cafe website (which by the way I am updating, so any feedback on that will help me too!)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Article for CSMC

This is the article I wrote for the Newsletter of the Council for Single Mothers and Their Children


Most days, for most families, it is a challenge to provide tasty nutritious meals that suit everyone. It involves budgeting, shopping, storing, menu planning, preparation, cooking, serving… all in the relentless timetable of breakfast lunch and tea, day after day after day.

When you are a single mother; if there is poverty; if chronic illness, disability and other stresses are in the mix, then things start getting impossible. The Housewife Cook needs a break.

Imagine a YamDaisy Café just up the road. Pensioners and Healthcare card holders can join up and get meals e.g. ten dollars for a two course meal. Others pay slightly higher prices. The chef who runs it is a great cook.

You could get the kids off to school and meet a friend there for lunch. You might go after school and have a family meal there - you would get home with the children fed! You could have an easy meal with your preschoolers, or pick up takeaway.

This could be fast, but not the fast food that you should only eat occasionally. The food would be made from scratch, on the premises, so your family would be getting food at least as good as what you would make yourself.

The YamDaisy Cafés would run as a franchise. We want to start with a pilot café and spread from there. Our web and Facebook sites will give the details of the concept, and your feedback is needed. Would you like to have a YamDaisy café up the road? When would you use it? What would make it work best for your family?

Please contact me

Project Manager Joy Stevenson

Email: joys57@optusnet.com.au

Ph: Business Hours (03) 9489 1596

Look out for the web launch around Easter - yamdaisy.com

YamDaisy Presents: COMFORT FOOD ‘09

Comfort Food is what you keep coming back to, all your life. So you want it to be good!

You have had a horrible day, you are sick and tired and hungry and miserable.

Then someone lovely says "Sit yourself down and I will make you a yummy comforting meal. What would you like?"

Here are some of our results:

Jan: Chicken soup, with chilli, ginger, garlic and lots of veggies, Indonesian style

Trevor: Chicken noodle soup with vegetables

Rose: Minestrone with garlic bread

Joy: Rice and Dahl

Lin: Beef madras Curry with rice and naan

Francine: Soft boiled eggs with toast soldiers

Let me know your favourite comfort food and I can add it to the list.

(Michelle Obama likes Macaroni Cheese).

Sunday, June 7, 2009

World Environment and World Oceans

The 5th of June was World Environment Day and today, the 8th, is World Oceans Day.
Two very special days and a reminder that these wonderful powerful forces, that have shaped us over eons, have such vulnerabilities and need our care and respect.
The YamDaisy Cafe has a role to play.
  • It makes the most of savings caused by community rather than household cooking. It can have systems for compost and evolve menus that avoid waste.
  • YamDaisy Cafe can have partnerships with Restaurants, Markets, Producers and Backyard Growers to make use of over supply.
  • YamDaisy cafe would respect Sustainable Fishing and use local seafood that is not endangered. This would familiarise customers with the best seafood to use and the types of meals it suits.
  • Partnerships with tertiary design and architecture institutions could result in students who design and organise the cafe fittings or refittings that make use of eco knowledge and design features that help power saving, comfort and waste reduction.
  • using local seasonal food cuts down on food miles, limiting processed food saves energy.
  • Good food results in a healthier population who can more easily do their part to help our environment.
  • Local cafes and their clients can support, instigate, advertise or promote local environmental activities and projects.
Can't wait!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Meditteranean Diet Guidelines

In my early speel about the YamDaisy idea I talked about Mediterranean Diet Guidelines and Slow Food Principles and found people querying these and saying it was negative to talk about diet and confusing because so few people know what these things are.
Having enough to explain I streamlined to talk about delicious homestyle cooking.
I am concentrating again on the Mediterranean Diet after hearing a great interview on Radio Therapy 3RRR. Catherine Itsiopoulos is a research fellow and dietitian who has studied the effect of the Mediterranean diet on people with diabetes. It made a great difference to their lives.
In the interview she said "We can't all have Greek mothers cooking for us!"
Well, step up YamDaisy cafe!!!!
Wouldn't it be easy for people to be able to get a meal that was so good for their health, at a price they could afford, AND (with exercise the other focus for improving life with Diabetes) that could involve a walk to the cafe and back. plus, they would get usede to the types of meals that they like and help their health, and the YamDaisy cafe could help with recipes and tips for when they do cook at home.
Talk about win win!

Here is some info about the Mediterranean Diet:

A recent study has once again confirmed that people who closely follow ‘the Mediterranean Diet’ live longer than other Europeans (1). So what exactly is the Mediterranean diet and how does it exert this spectacular effect.

The Mediterranean diet is not a specific diet plan or diet program but a collection of eating habits that are traditionally followed by the people of the Mediterranean region. There are at least 16 countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea and food habits vary between these countries according to culture, ethnic background and religion. But there are a number of characteristics common to them all…(2).

  • A high consumption of fruits, vegetables, potatoes, beans, nuts, seeds, bread and other cereals
  • Olive oil used for cooking and dressings
  • Moderate amounts of fish but little meat
  • Low to moderate amounts of full fat cheese and yogurt
  • Moderate consumption of wine, usually with meals
  • Reliance on local, seasonal, fresh produce
  • An active lifestyle