Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Cashew maple muesli bars

 February 24, 2021


Most of the novelty in our lives at the moment draws from the relaxation of COVID restrictions - we're getting out and seeing friends, attending events (gigs! karaoke! roller disco?!), and eating at/blogging restaurants we've not visited in a year, if ever. We're still spending plenty of time at home, but there it's back to the familiar - books, crafts and recipes that are a comfort rather than a stretch. 

So this is the first new recipe in a while. Even so, it's a familiar ingredient list and melt-and-mix technique, designed to make a low-fuss and moderately nutritious snack for slow, still-working-from-home afternoons. The peanut butter and maple syrup flavours are a bit more subtle than I anticipated - the main feature is really the rolled oats, which gave me something to chew on and would consistently tide me over until dinner. 

Cashew maple muesli bars
(a recipe from the blog Eat This My Friend,
still accessible from the Internet Archive)

1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup salted cashews
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 cup dates, pitted

Line a baking tray with paper. Place the oats in a frypan and gently toast them on medium heat, stirring them regularly. When they smell good, turn off the heat and transfer the oats to a large bowl.

Pulse the cashews briefly in a food processor, so that they're roughly and unevenly chopped. Pour them into the bowl with the oats, and mix them together.

Place the maple syrup and peanut butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, until they're melted and smooth. Pour the mixture over the oats and cashews and mix.

Thoroughly blend the dates in the food processor until as smooth as possible - I added a tablespoon or two of water to get things moving. Pour the date puree into the mixing bowl and stir everything thoroughly to combine. Turn the mixture out onto the baking tray and use the back of a spoon or clean hands to spread it out evenly across the tray. Refrigerate the slice for at least a few hours before slicing it up to serve.

Saturday, March 20, 2021


 February 23, 2021


We owe Steph for pointing out Masti's Vegan Tuesdays to us, and for booking us and a couple of friends in to give it a whirl. It's a set menu, served as a thali, with a wine or soft drink ($39 per person). We were treated to a curled papadum and eensy salad, two curries (which change from week to week), a dal that charmed everyone at the table, saffron rice, and the fluffiest vegan naan I've ever encountered. For dessert, there was a rich and dense scoop of dark chocolate mousse garnished with neon-coloured popping candy (it looks like this gets changed up with fresh fruit on occasion too).

The Masti staff couldn't have been friendlier; eager to share their dishes and hear our feedback. This sample across their menu has us all wanting to return and order more à la carte.


Messy Veggies are already fans of Masti's vegan night.

354-356 Brunswick St, Fitzroy
9427 2121

Accessibility: There's a step up on entry. Furniture is medium-spaced throughout the restaurant, primarily low tables and seats with backs. We paid at a high counter, and didn't visit the toilets.

Monday, March 15, 2021

Luther's Scoops

 February 17, 2021


We were saddened to learn that Samba's Jhol Momo closed during 2020, but we can't begrudge the following business to take up the shopfront lease. Luther's Scoops has slightly reconfigured the fit-out and offers a unique rotation of icecream flavours.

They offer ingredient combinations that are rarely seen in icecream but intuitively make sense. On this day, we skipped by the vegan options (watermelon and strawberry sorbet, dark chocolate, a sold-out raspberry & lemon verbena sorbet) and focused on the dairy-based options. Michael piled blueberry and sour cream onto butterscotch ripple ($7), while I sampled passionfruit and lemon custard, and vanilla malted milk. 

The fruit flavours and colours were gorgeously bright against the rich, creamy base. Michael was a bit distracted from his butterscotch in a melting scramble, and my malted milk was too subtle to follow up that passionfruit; it might've worked better in combination with the Earl Grey and chocolate icecream. We'll absolutely be back to perfect our orders.


Luther's Scoops
528A Sydney Rd, Brunswick

Accessibility: Under current COVID restrictions, ordering and payment occurs over a low counter direct from the footpath.

Thursday, March 04, 2021

Beku Gelato

 February 11, 2021


Beku is a reasonable walk or bike ride from our home, and we really haven't given it the full attention it deserves over the past couple of years. I recall eating a wonderful scoop of teh tarik (i.e. Malaysian style pulled milk tea) gelato there, and their Southeast Asian flavours have only expanded in the year or two since. They consistently offer a novel range of vegan flavours amongst their dairy-based ones, too.

On one of February's hotter days, we raced to take this photo of four flavours before they dripped all over us! Michael had a vegan cone piled with scoops of chocolate and cendol decorated with the green rice jelly ($7.10). Meanwhile, I took on a cup of the dairy-based condensed milk gelato and Milo Dinosaur, with a Milo sprinkle ($7.10).

There are so many more flavours to try: common ones like dulce de leche, mango and pistachio, and Beku specialties like coconut with jackfruit pieces, Kitan Hitam, Ube, Tolak Angin, Thandai, Houjicha, Paan, and Es Campur. I fear that we've run out of summer, and will miss our chance to try them all under optimal conditions!


Beku Gelato
171 Lygon St, Brunswick East

Accessibility: Under current COVID restrictions, we can use a shallow ramp from the street to order and pay at a low makeshift counter.