Tuesday, December 29, 2009
I had only 2.5 days in Melbourne this Christmas week and a list of all the things that i wanted to do and something that i have meaning to do for several years now was to visit a very special shop in Fitzroy called "Books for Cooks".
I entered into this amazing store full of rows and rows from floor to ceiling from wall to wall of cook books, i was in cook book heaven!
About Cooks for Books - they are Australia's specialist independent new & second-hand cookery book store; run by cooks & lovers of good food for cooks & lovers of good food. Have over 28,000 new, out-of print, second-hand & antiquarian cookery books & food & wine related titles in stock (five rooms, floor to ceiling jam-packed).
Have Australia's largest culinary book collection for sale. Whilst they can't stock every cook book there is, we try to stock every good cook book, new & old, we can find. They have books for professionals, students, enthusiastic amateurs, novices as well as children.
But they are not just about cookbooks. They also have books on food writing, food history, food science, wine writing, food & wine guides & just about any other food related area you can think of.
So, if your after that particular food & wine book for someone special in the near future than this is the spot to go first!
It is worth a look if your a foodie...
A picture and some text supplied by Book for Cooks.
Photography and remaining text copyright michelle 09
Saturday, December 26, 2009
To be inspired, have a read of their sign - it gives me warm fuzzies!!!
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
I must say that I do love a nice glass of wine or bubbles and the upcoming festivities have really had me searching. I have found a few picks that I wanted to share with you. Rosnay have just released the first organic sparkling rose which is sumptuous, matched perfectly with a Sydney rock oyster or two. Then there is the Tamburlaine sav blanc which I adore with a salmon carpaccio or a fennel salad. Tamburlaine is conveniently located opposite the Golden Door Health Retreat where I run detoxification programs - the irony kills me! But, organic wines are a must - a report just released by the Pesticide Action Network found that hazardous pesticides were found in many samples of conventional wine. My last pick is Coates organic rose which is a more full bodied wine - gorgeous with a slice of melon wrapped in proscuitto.
So, go ahead and enjoy the festive season with a glass of organic wine in hand! Merry Christmas to you and your family,
Monday, December 14, 2009
On the weekend I organised an event for a very eclectic group of people and between them the dietary requirements were really varied - coeliac, vegetarian, dairy free, vegan and seafood allergy to name a few. I searched high and low to find a caterer that would be able to help me out. Most had no idea what I was talking about – I was amazed at their lack of knowledge. Finally I came across O Organic Produce and they were incredible. I go to their gorgeous cafe in Crown Street, Surry Hills and adore everything they do.
Mick, the vibrant owner, organised all the food for my event without a hitch and he knew exactly what a coeliac must avoid! Everyone loved the delicious organic fare and I particularly enjoyed the Vietnamese rice paper rolls, inside out Nori rolls and vegetable tarts. I was hoping for a little left over’s for lunch the next day but there was barely a crumb in sight! I had a chat to Mick the next day and he explained to me how the Heart Foundation has just given them a tick.
So, if you need catering organised without stress and enjoy supporting a sustainable business then give O Organic a call. Once again Mick, the whole experience was perfect and I will be back for more!
Take care everyone... Mich xx
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
1 cup ready made organic pasta sauce
Eat well and happy cooking...... Mich xx
recipe, text, photo copyright michelle 09
A interesting website to read is; www.trustorganic.org.au; the Organic Federation of Australia, provides information about Standards for Organic and Biodynamic Products and helps consumers identify credible organic products.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
A very interesting study from the University College London in the UK followed 3,486 people for five years. At the end of five years, they matched their depression to their diet.
They found that the most depressed individuals consumed "processed food" (heavily loaded by sweetened desserts, fried food, processed meat, refined grains and high-fat dairy products). In contrast, the least depressed people consumed a diet of "whole foods" (heavily loaded by vegetables, fruits and fish).
Depression is a surprisingly common symptom. Before you turn to pharmaceutical antidepressants, start with changing your foods. If you eat a healthy diet your depression may subside. I strongly encourage you to take a good hard look at your diet – the best and most effective way is to write a food/mood diary and begin to notice any trends that appear. How did you feel an hour after you ate that coffee and banana bread this morning?
I always see improvements in mood when processed nutrient-poor food is removed and replaced with whole, organic and nutrient rich food.
Friday, November 27, 2009
As quoted direct from website (WHIRA) - "The Women’s Health and Research Institute of Australia has been established as a centre of excellence in women’s health. We are a group of health practitioners, including doctors, nurses and allied health professionals. Our aim is to improve the quality of life through pioneering health research, and through turning this research into reality. We are committed to doing the following:
• Providing care to patients through clinics and hospital care
• Providing education and information on women’s health issues
• Conducting research into health issues through the Barbara Gross Research Unit at the Royal Hospital for Women. We have branches in Randwick and in Carlton"... says WHIRA.
Visit at http://www.whria.com.au/ for more detailed information.
Attached also is section from the Newsletter;
Take care everyone .... Mich xx
Morlife products; "Morlife prides itself on a strong commitment to developing functional foods with enhanced nutritional intake. This is a fundamental principle of Morlife’s quality system (ISO9001). By incorporating Morlife functional foods in your diet enables you to gain wellness so you can get more out of life" quote from website; http://www.morlife.com/
As stated on Morlife website another product worth trying would be the "Goji’antiox Antiox Instant Tea which simply dissolves in hot water, similar to the phenomenon trend of instant coffee. Not only is this convenient, consumers nutritional intake is much higher than a teabag, giving it a huge competitive advantage all round.”...says Morlife.
Morlife’s Goji’antiox Complete Wholegrain Porridge was also nominated as a finalist in the Health & Wellness category. This delicious porridge provides a comprehensive nutritional intake with the functionality on antioxidants. "....says Morlife.
A nice idea with the porridge would be to make a bircher muesli for summer breakfasts.
So, Thank you Morlife for producing quality nutritious products.
I will definitely be stocking my pantry and using your products in my recipes.
Happy Cooking and Eating Well ... Mich xxx
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Here is my recipe;
2 luxury berry leaf tea bags (organic)
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1 litre boiling water
1/2 lime, thinly sliced
2 sprigs fresh mint leaves
1-2 cups ice cubes
1. In a 1 litre heat proof jug place tea bags and sugar, pour in boiling water. Stir. Steep for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Remove tea bags and discard. Place warm tea into fridge to chill for 1-2 hours until cold.
3. Fill two tall glasses with ice cubes, lime slices and mint leaves, top with chilled tea, stir and drink immediately.
Tip: Use other tea varieties and match with citrus such as lemon or orange.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
It is the weekend and today feels like it is going to be another hot day, so i am up and starting the day early before it gets too hot to do anything but cool down at the beach and have a swim.
Most Saturday mornings I like to go through my fridge, freezer, pantry and see what i need for weekend entertaining and for the week ahead. I combine this with reading a pile of cook books and food magazines for meal inspirations then write my lists and go shopping!.
When i am thinking about menus (meals) in the warmer weather, i tend to prepare cooling, refueling drinks and foods such as juices and salads.
Mid week, after a long hot day at the office, i find nothing better then to come home and prepare a refreshing drink and luscious salad to then sit back relax and enjoy.
So, this weekend, i am going to ensure that i have plenty of fresh produce in my fridge and a lot of ice chilling in the freezer for refreshing drinks.
Take care everyone in this heat, ensure you keep up your fluids and eat well.
I would like to hear from you, how do you go about planning a meal, what do you think about when deciding what to eat ?
Friday, November 20, 2009
I had a similar dish made for me while holidaying on the far north coast many years ago. I remember being dazzled by the exquisite flavours, the simplicity of the dish and how amazing I felt afterwards.
SO lovelies, get inspired and try this recipe out. Also, post your fav hot weather dishes - possibly a big bowl of yummy watermelon with shredded mint and Danish fetta could be my second fav!
¼ cup orange juice
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp ruby grapefruit/pomegranate juice
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp fish sauce
300gr kingfish & salmon, very thinly sliced
1 red chilli
1 tbsp coriander
1 tbsp mint
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
Mix orange juice, lime juice, olive oil, sesame oil and fish sauce to make the dressing. Alternately place kingfish and salmon on a large serving plate Scatter chilli, coriander, mint, onion and grapefruit/pomegranate juice over the fish. Drizzle with dressing just before serving. Eat immediately - do not prepare this before eating as the fish will
PS It's still too hot to sleep!
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
We all have a right to know what we’re eating. That’s why over 30,000 people signed the ‘Our Right to Know’ petition calling on the government to label genetically engineered (GE) foods. On October 23, the federal government finally announced it would review food labelling laws in Australia and promised to take GE ingredients into consideration. We’ve managed to get the government to listen to our concerns about GE food. But will it act? We now have an important chance to make sure it does.
The review has only allowed a four-week period for public submissions, which closes this Friday, November 20. Take action now by emailing a quick submission to FoodLabellingReview@health.gov.au and copy in the Parliamentary Secretary for Health, Mark Butler: firstname.lastname@example.org. Your submission doesn’t have to be long; it can be a few lines on your personal feelings on GE food and why you want it labelled.
You can also help increase the pressure on the government to label GE food asking your friends and family to make a quick submission to the review. Read more about it here.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
A new study suggests an easy way to reduce the risk of a bacteria associated with stomach cancer: eat broccoli sprouts. In a study conducted among 48 men and women from Japan, Johns Hopkins investigators found those who ate 70 grams of fresh broccoli sprouts a day significantly reduced the H. pylori in their stomachs.
All of the participants tested positive for the bacteria. The researchers then randomized them to either 70 grams of broccoli sprouts per day or a similar amount of alfalfa sprouts. The subjects were retested for H. pylori at four and eight weeks. By the final follow up, the broccoli sprouts had done the trick. People who ate the alfalfa sprouts showed no change in the degree of infection.
This study supports the emerging evidence that broccoli sprouts may be able to prevent cancer in humans, not just in lab animals, study author Jed Fahey, Sc.D., was quoted as saying.
Broccoli sprouts are rich in Sulforaphane, a naturally occurring phytochemical that enhances the cancer-protective capacity of animal cells. According to studies by Dr. Paul Talalay and his colleagues at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, sulforaphane induces Phase 2 detoxification enzymes. These are the enzymes which deactivate carcinogens and free radicals, thus enhancing the body's own defence system against cancer-causing chemicals.
In animal studies, administration of sulforaphane blocked tumour development, reducing incidence, multiplicity, and size of carcinogen-induced mammary tumours. In general, Brassica family plants such as broccoli are rich in sulforaphane in its glucosinolate precursor form. However, the evidence suggests that broccoli must be eaten in large quantities to substantially reduce the risk of cancer. In addition, supermarket broccoli varies considerably in sulforaphane content, whereas certain varieties of young broccoli sprouts, grown under standardized conditions, contain large and highly uniform quantities of the compound.
Talalay and his colleagues identified the specific varieties of three-day-old broccoli sprouts containing 20 times the concentration of sulforaphane glucosinolate found in mature broccoli.
So, go ahead and begin sprouting and load your diet with gorgeously healthy broccoli sprouts!
Thursday, November 12, 2009
It is fast (10 minutes), cheap and very nutritious. So keep this one handy for when you are tired, uninspired and don’t want to eat the processed options.
Ok, all you need is the following ingredients and don’t forget to use your improvisation skills!
1 teaspoon of White miso paste
2 tablespoons Arame
Old vegetables in the bottom of the fridge
Frozen yellow fin tuna or salmon fillet – cut into small cubes, be careful not to cut your fingers
First of all, put the kettle on and pour boiling water over the Arame – soak for 2 minutes. Add the miso paste to 2 cups of boiling water in a saucepan.
Add ginger, the strained Arame and the firmer vegetables such as corn, carrots, potato, pumpkin or parsnip etc. Cook for 2 minutes. Add all other vegetables and the fish. Cook for 3 minutes.
Serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and fresh herbs if you have them. Voila, a highly nutritious dinner served in 10 minutes. All you need to do is ensure that you have miso paste and Arame in the pantry and some frozen fish in the freezer! You can try variants such as adding garlic, chilli, Dulse flakes, tofu or edamame beans.
So, send in your favorite "fast food" recipe and lets vote on the best one!
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
I have been sampling the Skin Doona range over the last week and have fallen in love with their creams. This skin care range is handmade, completely natural, full of love and extrememly high in active ingredients. The brains behind the brand, are gorgeous Jess Allen and Julie Christie. I met Jess 3 years ago in Tasmania when we both completed a manufacturing course at Pindari herb farm. Jess is a Herbalist and she showed alchemic abilities in Tasmania. I am so happy to see that her talents have hit the mainstream with the launch of Skin Doona.
All my skincare is natural and organic - our skin easily absorbs chemicals and if you haven't yet heard of sodium lauryl sulphate and its link to cancer you must have been hiding behind a rock! So, wherever possible, reduce your toxic load and keep your cosmetics and toiletries as natural as possible. Check out Cosmetics Database for all the inside information on your products.
And, put your order in for beautiful Skin Doona products at their website. Let me know your favorite one - mine is the Silk Night Cream! Once again, I am passionate about supporting local, natural and sustainable products so let me know what you think of these. Jess, I love your work, you are one clever lady!
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Why would anyone want to eat sea vegetables? Because they offer the broadest range of minerals of any food, containing virtually all the minerals found in the ocean-the same minerals that are found in human blood. Sea vegetables are an excellent source of iodine and vitamin K, a very good source of the B-vitamin folate, and magnesium, and a good source of iron and calcium, and the B-vitamins riboflavin and pantothenic acid. In addition, sea vegetables contain good amounts of lignans, plant compounds with cancer-protective properties.
Wakame – grows in temperate waters and is raked from the ocean floor, graded and sun dried. Wakame strips need to be soaked for approximately 10 minutes and then cut into pieces. Remember that Wakame will expand up to 7 times its size! This is the type of sea vegetable that you will find in your miso soup.
Arame – is hand selected and pre cooked for 7 hours to tenderize. Most are cut into thin strips and just need to be boiled for 5 minutes before use. Arame has a mild taste so start with this one.
Kombu – is dark sea kelp that is raked from the ocean floor and sun dried. Rinse it well and soak for 10 minutes. Kombu is great to use as a stock and invaluable for reducing the gas causing side effect of beans! Just add a strip of Kombu when cooking your beans and pulses and remove before serving.
Uses for Sea Vegetables
Toast and eat as a healthy snack or sprinkle over your favorite soup or casserole
Once cooked, add to your favorite stir fry
Mix in with rice for a tasty side dish
Add to your salads – my pick is to add Arame to my fresh spinach, cucumber and toasted pepita salad
Keep a container of kelp or Dulse flakes on the dinner table and use instead of table salt for seasoning foods.
Try the seaweed salad next time you are eating Japanese
Go ahead and begin experimenting with sea vegetables - I know that you will soon love them as much as I do!
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Australia currently has limited labelling laws for GE foods. That's where the Truefood Guide comes in handy. The Guide rates food brands and products as Green (GE-free) and Red (may contain GE ingredients).You can browse or search for brands on the right-hand side. The Guide is also available for download or you can order a convenient wallet-sized hard copy.
Buy Green - Companies and supermarkets listed as green have implemented policies and procedures throughout their supply chain to actively avoid ingredients derived from GE crops.
Avoid Red - The companies and supermarkets listed in the red section of the guide may have products that contain ingredients derived form GE crops
Remember, the only way to safely avoid GE foods is to eat organic. We have yet to see any long term research on the effects of GE foods so until I am convinced that GE foods are safe, then I will be choosing to eat organic food. With love and awareness, Emma xxx
PS This video is absolutely fabulous - you will actually LOL!
Hi fellow food readers, for the past few weekends now I have been shopping at my local inner city growers market which is full of organic produce, meats and poultry, fresh flowers, wines, chocolates, bread and coffee.
Last weekend i meet "Sprout magazine" (pictured). This is a wonderful inaugural issue and as taken from text in the magazine is about ..."Food for the future, a group of people living in the inner-city suburb of Chippendale who had some ideas on how to contribute in making their community more sustainable"...
This issue talks about Summer seasonal produce, organics, TrueFood, Honeybee Blues, and delicious recipes from well-known chef Luke Mangan.
I wanted to share news about this community magazine as it is a refreshing and inspirational read.
To find out more information go to; sproutmagazine.com.au.
Monday, November 2, 2009
It's Summer and that means eggplants are coming into season which to me is lot's of home made baba ghanoush served with lightly toasted sourdough bread slices drizzled with a good quality organic extra virgin cold pressed olive oil and includes lightly oiled eggplant slices grilled on a hot BBQ to bring out the core flavour of the eggplant and served together with other grilled vegetables, olives, cheeses and more toasted bread for a afternoon of alfesco dining.
A friend recently gave me a recipe for Eggplant Parmigiana developed by a UK chef Madalene Bonvini-Hamel, Founder of The British Larder, were I have changed the recipe to suit the ingredients in my pantry and fridge and I wanted to share my version to you because my family nourished on this dish for the entire weekend - it was so delicious! So Thank you Madalene and my friend "Amie" for the inspiration!
2 large eggplants, washed and tops removed, cut into 1cm slices
4tbs extra virgin cold pressed organic olive oil
600ml home made tomato sauce or a good quality organic pre-made one
1 x 200g organic mozzarella, ripped into pieces
200g grated fresh Parmesan cheese, preferably organic
1/2 wholemeal or rye sourdough bread stick, cut into 1cm slices
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves
Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1. Coat eggplant slices in olive oil and cook on a very hot BBQ until grill marks on both sides, remove and set aside.
2. Start assembling the parmigiana dish, using one large deep 30cm x 20cm baking tray and spoon a layer of tomato sauce, then layer eggplant, mozzarella, bread slices, parmesan, fresh basil, oregano and season with sea salt and fresh black pepper. Repeat the layers again finishing with layer of eggplants and parmesan.
3.Bake in a preheated oven at 180ºC for 35-45 minutes, let rest for 5 minutes before spooning out a portion for eating.
Serves 4 (approximately).
Happy Cooking and Eating Eggplants...
Friday, October 30, 2009
I had the beautiful experience of finding these enoki mushrooms at my local organic farmers market ( Orange Grove in Leichhardt). I always get so excited to see the freshly picked mushrooms the farmer has on offer. From Swiss brown to Portobello to Enoki and so many other varieties that I never see anywhere else.
To give you a bit of background - I have always disliked mushrooms. Bland, insipid, slimey was my description. Dad used to take me mushroom picking as a child and we would enter the cows paddocks and, to my disgust, dad would head straight for the cow dung and then start picking mushrooms. Of course, I was humiliated, terrified someone I knew would see me and would scarper into the nearest bush!
Now, many years later I appreciate the humble mushroom for so many reasons. First of all, I now love the different textures involved in mushrooms - crunchy, seductive, rich and silky. I have just had an amazing dinner of white miso poached organic chicken thighs with enoki mushrooms, chilli, garlic and lots of ginger. Add to this some fair trade quinoa, organic greens and I am literally in heaven!
So, for all of you that may not have fallen in love with mushrooms yet - be open to the possibility that one day soon a mushroom will sneak up and suprise you with its dexterity, versatility and nutritional power.