Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Andrea's YamDaisy Menu

Menu Introduction: My blog is about my idea for a series of YamDaisy Cafes that provide delicious, everyday food at prices people can afford.  Click Here to read more about my idea.
 To give an idea of the sort of food the YamDaisy Cafes would serve I ask friends to come up with a day's menu. Four options are available each day: a soup with accompaniment, two main meals and a fruit based dessert. The small number of options are to make it easier for the chef, and also to make it more similar to home cooking where there is usually even less options! The food needs to be made from scratch in a small kitchen for a lot of people out of local, seasonal ingredients.

SOUP: Vichyssoise with Melba Toast
MAIN 1: Stir Fried Zucchini and Onion on Rice with a Satay Sauce
MAIN 2: Caesar Salad in a Bowl
DESSERT: Strawberries with Meringue and Cream

I do love the insight and challenges I get from people's menus. There so many things in Andrea's menu I would like to explore. Andrea and her partner Brian are farmers and Brian has a great vegetable garden and orchard so she had an extremely clear idea of what is in season (in country Victoria in the heat of Summer). And she also knows the sort of food that suits the hot weather. 

SOUP Andrea NEVER has soup in Summer! But she knew that Vichyssoise can be eaten cold, and so chose that. What a lovely choice, because it is cool and tasty when you haven't much appetite, but it will keep you going!

MEAL 1: RICE, STIR FRY ZUCCHINI AND SATAY SAUCE  To blog a menu I need a picture, so I make one of the dishes. As well as making the blog more inviting it gives me a good idea about the menu and plenty to talk about! Plus a recipe or so to share. 
Today I made rice with stir fried zucchini and satay sauce. 
So firstly, do you call coconutty peanut sauce 'Satay Sauce'? It is common here, but by looking up recipes I think we should be calling it Peanut Sauce, maybe Creamy Peanut Sauce because of the coconut milk in it.
Since I am not cooking the dish for 60 people in a YamDaisy Cafe, but just for my own lunch - I am very glad Andrea gave me her recipe for making a small amount of creamy peanut sauce in the microwave (or easily done in a small saucepan on the stovetop). I have changed her ingredients according to what I have easily available, and this is how I make Satay Sauce:
Quick, Easy, Creamy Peanut Sauce
Soak a 1 tbsp piece of tamarind in a 1/4 cup of hot water
Into a 2 cup microwavable jug place:
2 tsp of grated palm sugar
1 minced garlic clove
1 tsp soy sauce
1 big tbsp of peanut butter
Squish up the tamarind and strain it into the jug too
a pinch of chilli powder (plain hot chilli, not the American mixture)
Mix it all up and then add 3/4 cup of coconut milk and stir again.
Microwave on medium power for a couple of minutes until it is thickened and hot but not boiling.
Add a squeeze of lemon juice to taste.
That is it! taste it, it is YUM!

Next the vegetables. I added carrot, celery and corn to the zucchini and onion, thinking it would be good to have a variety so customers can nominate if they want one left out! ~ and to add to the colour and texture of the dish. I stir fried them plain, because all the added flavour is in the sauce, and I didn't add my pinch of salt til the very end because I didn't want moisture to come out and make them mushy. This was very quick and easy too!
I served plenty of vegetables with freshly cooked rice and topped it with the hot tasty sauce. I didn't have coriander or Asian basil to garnish, so that is why sweet basil is there, and very delicious it is too. (And I have leftovers for tomorrow).
I took the photo and immediately tried to start this post, except that eating stir fried vegetables with rice and satay sauce does require both hands!

MEAL 2: CAESAR'S SALAD IN A BOWL By 'in a bowl' I mean that it is the meal in itself, not a side dish.
Andrea was really thinking about eating in the hot weather, and wanting something light and refreshing but still substantial enough to be a meal. She told me about Brian's way of eating Caesar Salad which is cos lettuce with a dressing and small pieces of fried bread, egg, and bacon, topped with parsley and spring onions. Wow! I was intrigued by this because I have never made Caesar's Salad to my satisfaction. I want to do it for my next post.
I want to make a great YamDaisy Caesar Salad in a bowl. I have considered Brian's favourite way, and am impressed by the way it is almost Farmers Breakfast as a salad! I have looked up the close to original recipes. I think I want something inbetween. Can you help me? Do you have a favourite way of making Caesar Salad? Do you ever eat it as a meal in a bowl, or always as a side dish? How would you make it for the YamDaisy Cafe?
Note: 6/3/10 : I made it! Click here to check it out

Finally DESSERT ~ STRAWBERRIES WITH MERINGUE AND CREAM. Yummo! It was nearly pavlova, but since that didn't really fit into the YamDaisy philosophy of 'everyday' food, Andrea shrunk the meringue to a small little bite of deliciousness to accompany the fruit, and the cream to a delicate blob, and let the strawberries star. Oh heaven, I wonder if I can make this dish too!

Thankyou Andrea for a gorgeous menu, a delicious lunch, and a Caesar's Salad in the next few days!


  1. I'm so eager Joy, to taste all your recipes :)

  2. Your menus are always so yummy and healthy, Joy !

  3. Each recipe is a meal on its own! Wow!
    And the meal on the picture is really attractive: who would not want to eat it all?

  4. What a wonderful menu!!!I love all your ideas.

  5. Oh the picture up there looks fabulous. What a great plating! :)

  6. This sounds like a restaurant I'd love! Yum!

  7. What a lovely menu! The food looks delicious!

  8. A lovely menu and I love the photo!

  9. Oh what a fantastic, healthy, flavourful meal!!

  10. The dish looks gorgeous, delicious and mouth watering.

  11. that peanutt sauce is to die for... great recipe!
    have a sweet day,

  12. Your menus are a challenge for me. I really need to think hard sometimes as I don't know all the ingredients, but since the menu was compiled by someone with a farm it ought to be good!!!!

  13. What a great menu. This is my first time to your blog. I really like your cafe concept too-the name is adorable.

  14. Blessings from one Andrea to another!

  15. Oh, I just read up on your brilliant Yam Daisy Cafe idea! That is so necessary and wonderful... I read about a place like that once. It was an article in Cooking Light, and I got this recipe from the article. I cook it all the time:

    I have been searching online and can't find the article or remember the name of the restaurant. I want to say it was either in Portland, Oregon or Seattle, WA. Darn! I want to find it for you!

  16. Such yummy looking food! I love peanut sauces! Your food ideas are
    nice and Summery!
    Lucy xx

  17. That peanut sauce is a must try! Can I sub jaggery instead of palm sugar?

  18. Thankyou so much for these supportive comments!
    @Yiota ~ I will beg you for a YamDaisy Menu full of beautiful Greek ingredients!
    @Velva ~ I am so glad you love the YamDaisy name!
    @Andrea, Andrea will be pleased to see you have been by here!
    @Courtney I love that salad! I will use it! And I would love to know if you find the restaurant you were thinking of.
    @Manasi Jaggery would work well!