Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Books for Cooks






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...

www.booksforcooks.com.au


Mich xxx


A picture and some text supplied by Book for Cooks.
Photography and remaining text copyright michelle 09

Aurora Spa Retreat









Hi Ladies,
Happy Holidays to you. Hope Santa was good to you all?

A few days before Christmas day i was in Melbourne visiting friends and decided that i needed a unique experience of total body bliss to start to wind down after a busy year and get myself prepared for holidays and year ahead ... Aurora Spa Retreat .... 2 Acland Street St Kilda VIC.

If you are looking for total body pampering and relaxation then this place is for you. Located, Level 1, The Prince Hotel it has everything you need. They offer a wide selection of treatments and club memberships. I treated myself to the 1 hour Relaxation Full Body Massage, however i would love to work my way through the entire treatment list....hint hint !

However, the 1 hour Relaxation Full Body Massage was just what i felt like and it was soothing and complete. I cleansed my soul with lush cups of herbal tea's throughout the treatment and simply absorbed the angelic peaceful atmosphere.

Kitya Karnu means "Salty Stones". Aurora's signature treatment "Kitya Karnu" - while you lie in the steam room they apply your chosen essential oils, followed by Himalayan salt exfoliation, then a wattleseed protein polish and placement of cool river stones over the meridian lines of the body. Treatment continues with a facial cleanse and hydration mask and ends with a hair treatment, scalp massage and a refreshing seasonal hydrating mist sprayed over the body.

The Therapeutic value of having this treatment is that it boosts circulation, removes dead skin cells, stimulates skin, hydrates the scalp, hair and face.

Doesn't this sound wonderful - I know that definitely I'll be having this treatment next time I visit the team at Aurora !


Mich xx
Photo and some text supplied by Aurora Spa Treatment remaining text copyright michelle 09

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Spirit of Christmas All Year Round

Today I went to the wonderful Abbotsford Convent in Melbourne and spent a few hours in this lovely place. I just love the whole vibe and there are sustainable lifestyle organisations, a large artistic community, a radio station as well as the vegetarian cafe Lentil As Anything. This cafe has a donation operated system - you eat and then donate whatever you like instead of being charged a set amount. This relies on honesty, integrity and appreciation by the average person. And, to make it that little bit more amazing, they use organic produce and serve fair trade tea and coffee! The cafe began in 2000 in St Kilda and now has expanded to five locations. So, in the spirit of Christmas, let's just remember that all year round, people are genorous and giving at Lentil as Anything!

To be inspired, have a read of their sign - it gives me warm fuzzies!!!

Emm
xxx

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Organic Wine to Celebrate the Festive Season!


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,

Emm xxx

Monday, December 14, 2009

O Organic Produce to the Rescue!


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.


Now you know how much I love all things organic and when I read the O Organic promise I felt that I had found a kindred spirit! They promise “To create wholesome delicious food using fresh local produce where possible. To support our organic farmers. Respect the earth and stay true to the body's needs. Our promise is to create flavoursome food that is innovative and memorable.” How beautiful is that! I often enjoy popping in to the cafe for a fair trade coffee and an egg and bacon roll (sounds naughty but I feel virtuous as it is organic!).

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!

Emm
xxx

Summer Raspberry Chocolate Cup


I can find nothing more pleasing then finishing a meal with raspberries and chocolate.


Raspberries are in season and natural antioxidants. Dark Chocolate too is a natural antioxidant - so go on what are you waiting for ? Eat Moderately but do enjoy!


I made this quick recipe over the weekend and must tell you was just perfect.


Here is my recipe;


Summer Raspberry Chocolate Cup

Serves 2


1 cup organic natural yoghurt

2 tablespoons organic cocoa powder

1/2 punnet raspberries


1. In a small bowl mix together the yoghurt and cocoa powder until well combined.

2. Spoon yoghurt mixture into two glasses and top with berries and eat immediately.


Mich xx


recipe, text and photo copyright michelle 2009

What colour am I ?

Reaching vitality is not just about eating the right food it is also about your lifestyle - the way you lead your life, both in your appearance and image and stress management practices. I was lucky enough to recently be a guest at a Make-up and Colour day, inspired by the book "What colour am I ? by Chris Rewell. I learnt about what hair, jewellery and fabric colour suit my skin tones and it was a fantastic day, i wish i had done something like this 10 years ago, but never mind you move forward and since completing the day course, everyday i have had someone comment on how nice i look. I didn't think that changing the colour of your make-up or the tones in your outfit or choosing the right colour jewellery to wear would make such a difference but it has. Thank you to Vicki and Annie (Consultants) for the day and Chris Rewell for her book "What colour am I? ". For more information about Chris Rewell - Image Consultants visit; http://www.chrisrewell.com.au/ and for information about the book visit; http://www.whatcolourami.com.au/.

Take care everyone... Mich xx

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

5 Minute Dinner !!!


After a busy day and 1 hour exercise, i was so hungry and tempted to buy fatty take-away such as fish and chips and all sense and good reason went out the window but then i remembered that i had a bottle of organic ready made pasta sauce in the fridge and a can of cooked organic beans in my pantry that i cooked a healthy refueling dinner in under 5 minutes. I wanted to share with you my quick, yummy and filling recipe.
5 minute dinner - serves 1
1 x 400g can organic cooked mixed beans (butter beans, chick peas, white beans, red kidney beans)
1 cup ready made organic pasta sauce
1 tablespoon chilli paste or fresh chilli, finely chopped
grated cheese and cooked spinach, optional for serving


1. In a small frypan, heat drained beans, pasta sauce and chilli together until hot.
2. Spoon into a bowl and serve with a grated cheese and spinach.


Tip: This recipe can be divided by 4 and served for breakfast with a slice wholemeal toast and a poached egg.


Eat well and happy cooking...... Mich xx

recipe, text, photo copyright michelle 09

Why Organic?

As i mentioned in a earlier blog, i have not always eaten organically until this past year and i must tell you that i can notice the difference between eating something grown and produced organically to something commercially made; i notice the difference in both taste and quality. The fact is that i know that what i am eating is grown locally or within Australia and it is grown without using synthetic chemicals. i am not going to go into all the details about organics now as we will be covering Organics in the book; but i just wanted to give a little insight into why i choose to eat organically.

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.

Mich xxx

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Product of the Week - Steady Stick Water Bottles

Refill and Reuse - that's the message that I want to share with you today. I spent many summers on the beautiful island of Ithaki, Greece, and by the end of the season, horrible plastic water bottles would line the coastal roads!


We all know what BPA plastic does to us - it’s carcinogenic and slowly poisons every little cell. BPA is not a molecule that you want floating around in your body and you need to avoid it. Quite a few water bottles that I have looked into have a thin, clear plastic inner lining that contains BPA so make sure that yours doesn’t. Steady Stick water bottles are made from BPA free hard plastic with technology pioneered in the States in 2008. There are no petrochemicals in Steady stick bottles – yay!


Just fill these reusable bottles each week and quench your thirst in all the places where you typically buy or carry bottled water. I add chlorophyll to mine for alkalizing and coconut water for electrolytes – amazingly beneficial for your health. Support the reduction of plastic waste. Save money and the environment. Go ahead... reduce bottles!


Apart from being an organic nut, I am also a carbon friendly kind of girl! So, these bottles receive “Product of the Week”. If you have a fav product that you would like in this category just post a comment.
Emm
xxx

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Veggies, Fruits & Fish - Natural Antidepressants!

Wow - this is exactly the kind of research that makes me so excited! I am very happy to share this with you and the whole book will be full of this "Food as Medicine" approach. Get ready, hold onto your hats and start your journey to happiness!

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.

Emm
xxx

Friday, November 27, 2009

WHRIA

Like many; i have needed expert advice and treatment when it comes to Women's Health matters and i support the good work that Prof. Thierry Vancaillie and team at WHIRA are doing.

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

Product Review

A friend gave me to try the most delicious chocolate treat - a dark chocolate coated goji berry. I have never tasted anything so special. This product is pictured below and can be brought in the health food section of leading supermarkets plus online; please go to Morlife website for more details about it's nutritional value and product pricing. Being introduced to the chocolate goji berry as a nutritious treat; i am now looking at other products available.

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 "Gojiantiox 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 Gojiantiox 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

Iced Berry Mint Lime Tea

On a 41 Degrees predicted day, i can find nothing more satisfying then making tall glasses of iced tea to refresh the soul and cool down.

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

Menu Planning

Good Morning,

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 ?

Mich xx

Friday, November 20, 2009

Too Hot for Dinner!!!

Ok, I returned home after a long day at work, it has been oppressively hot and muggy and a storm has lingered on the horizon for way too long. It is still 30C while I write this! My appetite is always fantastic but on nights like this I just want to eat light, cooling food that doesn't heat up the kitchen and take forever. So, I wanted to share with you what I had this evening. I stopped off at the markets and bough fish on the way home, the rest I had on hand. I love this dish as a dinner party entree as it takes literally 10 minutes of prep and 5 minutes of assemblying. That means I am not stuck in the kitchen slaving over an oven while everyone else has fun!

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!

Emm
xxx

Carpaccio

Ingredients
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

Instructions
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

Submissions to the government’s food labelling review close this Friday 20th November!

Ok, it’s time to get active and also activate your networks – we need to let the government know how important it is that GE foods are labelled properly. Many governments in Europe have either banned GE or implemented mandatory labelling already. The only way to completely avoid GE foods is to eat organic.

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: mark.butler.mp@aph.gov.au. 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.

Emm xxx

Cherries


It is 6 weeks to Christmas...and to me when i start to think about the festive season, i think about Cherries. As a child growing up i selected Cherries one by one from the produce containers at the market or supermarket for our Christmas feast and it was so much fun and something special that i looked forward to each year but a few years ago i went to Young, NSW and picked Cherries from the Cherry trees at a Cherry Farm and it was such a terrific experience - i ended up with a huge bucket of Cherries but i think this year as we are spoilt with so much choice at local farmers markets that I'll be buying cherries locally from local farmers.
Cherries come in many varieties and types from a sweet to a sour to a combination of sweet and sour. I like eating the sweet ones and cooking with the sour ones. When picking your Cherry look for plump, shiny skins with stems attached that is not blemished, broken or bruised. I like to store Cherries in a plastic bag in fridge until ready to eat, then wash and eat or cook. Cherries generally only keep for a few days so best to buy them as you need. The good thing about Cherries is that they are a nice balance to eat around Christmas time when we are surrounded by cakes, puddings, biscuits and pies...I say "fill up on Cherries instead" as mentioned by Sydney Markets " they are a great source of Vitamin C, potassium, virtually no fat and supply antioxidants and fibre".
Let me know what you like to do with Cherries and what is your favourite variety? Does anyone have a yummy recipe with Cherries ?
Happy picking, eating, cooking with Cherries this festive season !
Mich xxx

Organic Restaurant Review


Hi All, a couple of weeks ago i went to lunch at Agape and meet the Executive Chef Simon Lawson, who came across as a down to earth, humble and very creative chef. His restaurant has a elegant but sophisticated stylish feel and the decor and lighting is both welcoming and comfortable. The lunch dishes used produce in season and was simple and delicious, offering pasta, pizza, soup and salads to name a few. His dishes and restaurant inspired me to go home and cook organically. I have not always eaten organically but have started recently been inspired by Emma and definitely can taste and feel the difference from a health perceptive. Agape is well worth a visit. Simon mentioned his client base is mainly locals but is stretching further a field and he is excited that his fairly new restaurant is doing so well. Congratulations Simon and well done on a cool concept. See you again soon Simon for my next fix of goodness.
Take care and eat well everyone!
Mich xxx

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Broccoli Sprouts – A Super food That I Love!

I go to the organic markets each Saturday and buy fresh 3 day old broccoli sprouts. I love adding them to my salads and their taste is absolutely delicious. I am always hearing about the latest "super food" that cures everything from insomnia to cancer. Usually once I start investigating, there is very little solid research to support the proclaimed super food. The vast amount of research that I have read on broccoli sprouts is very compelling - I am convinced that the high levels of sulphoraphane are incredibly beneficial. So, go ahead and start adding this incredibly therapeutic food to your diet. This is the epitome of "food as medicine!"

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!

Emma

xxx

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Emma’s Fast Food Dinner

Tonight I came home after a 12 hour day and then a 2 hour drive home (long story there!) to flop on the couch and wonder what was for dinner. I really couldn’t be bothered cooking and I hadn’t organised anything in advance - a cup of tea was looking like a great option. Then I remembered my version of “Fast Food” and started to get hungry. So, I dragged my tired butt into the kitchen and made my trusty emergency dish.

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
Fresh Ginger
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

Skin Doona - an Incredible Skin Care Range


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!

Emma

xxx

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

My Favorite Superfood - Edible Sea Vegetables

Many different cultures with well developed traditions, intuitively incorporated sea vegetables into their diets for their unique nutritional and medicinal properties. The regular use of these sea vegetables adds an extra dimension to flavor but they are also a powerhouse of nutritional energy.

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!



Emma xxx








Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The True Food Guide for 2010 is Here!

I am an absolute fan of the True Food Network and wait for their guide with baited breath. They save us all the work of trying to determine what foods are GE(genetically enginered)free. So, with my trusty little guide in my hot little hand, I have been able to negotiate my shopping with ease!

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!

Emma xxx


Sprout Magazine - Issue 01- Summer 2009



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.

Michelle xxx

Monday, November 2, 2009

Eggplants


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!

Eggplant Parmigiana
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...


Michelle xxx

Friday, October 30, 2009

Falling in Love with the Humble Mushroom

Hi fellow foodies,

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.

Emma xxxx

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Emma and I are in the process of writing a book together about "Eating Your Way to Health- A Woman's Guide to Vitality".....