Here at I AM Co. one of our favourite things to do is enjoy visiting the great cafes around the country. We’re so spoilt to have such an amazing range of cafes serving some hugely delicious, healthy food from a wide variety of cultures. Some of these cafes have been generous enough to share some of our favourites with you….
The Little Bird Unbakery cafes offer something unique – seriously healthy, nutritious plant based food that caters for most allergy sufferers and which tastes amazing. For Megan and Jeremy, founders of Little Bird and The Unbakeries, seeing that look of pure joy on the face of a new customer when they ask which things in the cabinet are vegan/gluten-free/dairy-free/refined cane sugar-free/soy free and answering ‘everything!’ is the real buzz for them.
Photo courtesy of Lottie Hedley and recipe from Little Bird Goodness.
An absolutely gorgeous dish, this is the best of cooked and raw food: a fermented crèpe for the cooked part, and pickled carrots and an abundance of fresh greens, sprouts, herbs and avocado for the raw filling. Pickle your carrots when you put the quinoa and brown rice on to soak, or while your crèpe batter ferments.
Make time: 45 mins + pickled carrots | Soak time: 12 hours or overnight | Fermenting time: 12 hours or overnight | Serves: 4 |
- 1 cup quinoa, soaked for 12 hours or overnight
- 1 cup brown rice, soaked for 12 hours or overnight
- 2 cups filtered water
- 1 cup spinach leaves (tightly packed)
- ¹⁄³ tsp spirulina
- pinch of sea salt
- 1 tsp cold-pressed coconut or sesame oil
- 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
- 1 spring onion, finely chopped
Mandarin lime chilli sauce
- ½ cup + 2 tbsp tangerine juice
- ½ cup lime juice
- ¹⁄³ cup tamari
- ¼ cup coconut sugar
- 1½ tbsp agave syrup
- 2 tbsp finely grated ginger
- 1 clove garlic, finely grated
- zest of 1 lime
- pinch of salt
- ½ a finely chopped fresh red chilli
- 4 handfuls of mesclun
- 4 handfuls of bean sprouts
- ¼ red cabbage, shredded finely
- 8 overnight pickled turmeric baby carrots (recipe in Little Bird Goodness) or 2 carrots, julienned
- ¾ cup cashews
- 2 avocados, sliced
- 2 mandarins, cut into segments
- small handful of fresh coriander leaves
- small handful of fresh mint leaves
- small handful of fresh basil leaves
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
To prepare the crèpe, drain and rinse soaked quinoa and brown rice thoroughly. Place in a high-speed blender together with filtered water and blend until very smooth. Place mixture in a clean container, cover with a clean tea towel and leave to ferment for 12 hours or overnight in a warm spot in your kitchen. You should see some bubbles forming and the mixture may have risen as a result of the fermentation; this is completely normal.
Place fermented mixture back in cleaned high-speed blender, add spinach, spirulina and salt and blend until smooth. You may want to add a bit more spinach or spirulina to make your crèpes a brighter colour and enhance the flavour.
You can store the batter in the fridge for up to 1 week, but it’s best used within 2–3 days of making.
To prepare the mandarin chilli sauce, combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk to mix well. Set aside.
To finish, heat a non-stick frying pan with coconut or sesame oil. Add a quarter of the crèpe batter (about ⅓ cup) and distribute it evenly, to form a crèpe about ½ cm thick. Spread a little sliced chilli and spring onion over the top (this should stick to the uncooked mixture). Cook for a few minutes, until slightly brown, then flip to cook the other side for another few minutes. Cook all 4 crèpes and set aside.
In a big bowl, mix mesclun, bean sprouts and shredded red cabbage with about ¼ cup of mandarin lime chilli sauce, until thoroughly coated. Divide between the 4 crepes. Top each with pickled carrots, cashews, avocado, mandarin segments, coriander, mint and basil. Fold in half to cover the toppings. Serve with a side of mandarin lime chilli sauce and a lime wedge.
Connect with Little Bird:
- Ponsonby – Corner Summer Street & Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby, Auckland
- Auckland City – 14 Customs Street East, Auckland Central
- Website: www.littlebirdorganics.co.nz
- Facebook: facebook.com/Littlebirdorganics
- Instagram: @littlebirdorganics
If you have an absolute favourite dish from a NZ cafe we’d love to hear from you – we will try our utmost to feature it on the blog! Email us at [email protected]