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Relish - The Green Bowl


Where we go a little bit deeper into who, what, why, where and when we Relish



 

The best way to tell you how my day went is to tell you that I went to put on a load of washing and found the load of washing I put on yesterday. No longer a freshly laundered domestic achievement, but a murky swamp scented reminder that I really need to set an alarm for every single thing I do. Or get a live in housekeeper, just to stay on top of the basics. Rinse and repeat for every task I attempted to complete for the day.

So to get this day back on track (It's 4.30pm, its not getting back on track) I am sitting here now, writing to you about somethings that make me very happy.

Let's talk about food!


It's not odd to have a favourite menu item at your favourite cafe, something you get every time even though you should try something else. For me every nearly every single week it's a bowl of Pho from Junktion in Toowoomba for breakfast. I'm not really an eggs and bacon or bircher kinda gal. Not really down with anything smothered in hollandaise.

I realise delicious breakfast offerings make up the bulk of our beloved menu, but as i often say 'You can't be everything for everyone' even if you are the one that painstaking crafts the breakfast menu. I crave the huge bowl of Pho, its fragrant noodly goodness, the side dish of garnishes - crisp bean sprouts, hoisin and chili and the little wedge of lemon that doesn't seem big enough to make a difference but packs the exact amount of zesty citrus required.


Part of the beauty and magic is this dish the same every single time, I know how it is going to make me feel, I know what to expect. It is my weekly ritual that sets me right (even when it happens to be 32 degrees at 7.30am and I've got sweat on my sweat)


As a chef it absolutely thrills me to have customers that feel the same way about the meals I have created. Relish was never intended to just serve food and drinks - you can get that everywhere or do it yourself, if you as so inclined.

Relish is knowing you can come through the door and feel better - the food is a hug and coffee a comforting word. Or a funny anecdote, or if you come in often enough - you make fun of us and have a laugh. Or tell us about the horrible encounter you had with that total witch at the supermarket.


For one of our customers, that meal is The Green Bowl.


The Green Bowl was such a slow burn on the menu, I considered taking it off -now we can’t make them fast enough. This angel customer said ‘it's so tasty and wholesome and it makes me feel so good, like I'm really taking care of myself. I know I will love it every time. I can’t place the dressing on the lentils but I adore it. I don’t expect you to share your secrets’

I wrote down the recipe for her immediately. Any great thing is better shared and I don’t believe in food secrets.

I’ve worked with many great chefs over the years and it is really common for an element to be left out of a recipe, just so it can’t be exactly replicated. Then they can yell at you for getting it wrong and feel smug because no one else can produce their work, it's a vicious cycle and so very frustrating! And one of the reasons chefs are so awful and to be avoided at all costs.


You can have 20 people follow the same recipe and some will always come out better for some than others - you either got it or you don’t. I’d prefer if everyone knew all the secrets of amazing food. Having said that, I know there are people that cant cook to save themselves. I put them in the same category as myself the the nightmare that is an excel spreadsheet. I really hope whoever invented that can't even turn on a toaster...

The dressing on The Green Bowl lentils is deceptively simple. Equal parts ginger, garlic and cinnamon stirred with oil to a saucy consistency, add salt to taste. Combined they taste like all and none of these things. Earthy and spicy, like they are doing magically healthy and delicious things to your insides.

That interaction really sums up what we are doing and how we set about doing it. Really simple, delicious, no secrets, share what you have, look after everyone.


Full disclaimer as we go forward and I attempt to share recipes - I am the absolute worst at writing down anything I have ever made. I have ‘recipes’ that look like half written shopping lists. Just ingredients, no weights and measures, no method, nothing.

It’s a family curse, I have seen a tomato sauce recipe my Gran wrote that called for a 'Tub of tomatoes' No doubt she used the same tub every time and it all worked out but I'm pretty sure 'Tub' is not a standard unit of measurement.

Rest assured this style of record keeping is an absolute nightmare for my apprentice (and son) and he is doing his best to get me to change my ways. I'm sure it's related to my lack of ability with the aforementioned spreadsheet from hell. There is hope for the future! In the meantime, I’ll keep no secrets and share the best I can X


The Green Bowl

Lentils & Dressing

-Equal parts grated Garlic, Ginger and Ground Cinnamon (1generous teaspoon of each per 420g can of lentils)

-Good quality olive oil

-Salt to taste

-Combine to the consistency of runny sauce - not as thick as mayo


Rinse lentils well and stir dressing through. I use half a can per person. If you’re someone that soaks dried lentils - more power to you, they taste much better and have a better texture. But I’m happy to open a can.


Grab your favourite bowl and lay a base of mixed lettuce. The bowl is important. I’ve only ever made this in individual portions. You could make it in a share bowl for the table but that’s never occurred to me for this particular salad… Surely everyone has a favourite bowl? I like a large bowl with shallow sides, or a stainless steel mixing bowl - they are perfect to eat salad from.


Top with half a can of dressed lentils

Depending on what’s in season, top with greens. Think cucumber slices, bean shoots, blanched broccolini, asparagus, green beans, whatever you love or need to use up.

Avocado, crumbled feta and a wedge of lemon are essential, unless you don’t like any of these things.

A sprinkle of The Sprinkle or dukkah or any seeds and nuts. You want something crunchy for texture (We will discuss The Sprinkle down the track)


We drizzle with Roasted Sesame Kewpie, but Sriracha Mayo, Green Goddess or anything you love is perfect.


This is a loose recipe, even for me! It's the dressed lentils that really make it. Keep a bowl in the fridge and you’ve got a really delish meal base ready to go for a few days. They taste good warm too!


A note about crushed garlic and ginger - Obviously freshly grated is superior. We all know this. We also know that having a jar of each in the fridge is incredibly handy.

We ALSO know that washing stinks if you leave it wet in the washing machine for 18 hours.

I'm from the 'I'M DOING THE DAMN BEST I CAN' movement. Sometimes we are majestic beings grating ginger and thinking good thoughts . Other times we are impatient, forgetful, just barely coping bog trolls. It's only fair that both should have their moment!


xoxo

Hayley


Did you know you can pre order anything from our menu? Just order a Green Bowl and forget the whole post x



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2 Comments


emma
Jan 23

Your green bowl IS so good! And The Sprinkle is superior to anything else out there. Oh, and I also have a load of smelly washing waiting to be re-washed 🙃

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Hayley Hammond
Hayley Hammond
Jan 23
Replying to

I’ve been known to rewash up to 3 times. Don’t tell anyone. Pretty sure it’s a sign of greatness…

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