Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Picture and Text copyright Michelle Thrift 2010
Sunday, January 24, 2010
There is nothing like being in the company of people who are genuinely passionate about their craft and I was delighted to have the chance to interview Mariella Traina and Natalie Mandel. Their espresso bar, True Religion, is located on bustling Darling Street, Balmain. It is a pocket of a place and thanks to an edgy Melbourne meets Sydney fit out, looks brilliant. Mariella, a trained chef, owned Froth cafe in Leichhardt for 5 years before embarking on True Religion with Natalie.
The first thing that I noticed when they opened was their funky logo – it’s a coffee bean with devil’s horns and tail. As Natalie explained, coffee was originally considered the Devil’s drink so this is a cheeky twist on that. As for the name of their venture, they are both devoted to coffee and it’s a type of daily worship that we all partake in.
The main vibe definitely has an organic emphasis and of being true to the clean, simple flavours that great produce lends itself to. Both girls love eating out at Billy Kwong for the same reason. Their coffee is independently roasted and custom blended to meet their high standards. Their single origin is used for short blacks/macchiato and changes every 2 weeks. Even their decaf is Fair-trade, rainforest alliance and mountain water filtered from Mexico – and for decaf it tastes like the real thing. Luckily you can buy their coffee as well!
True Religion has gorgeous food – the things they do best are made on site while they outsource tasty treats from Adriano Zumbo. Staying true to traditional recipes and allowing ingredients to shine is evident in all their dishes. For example, Bircher muesli is left unadulterated and made according to the original recipe.
I must say, I have changed my daily routine to swing by True Religion and get my coffee – I am so fussy with my coffee and very few places actually get it right. These girls have won me over with their consistency and incredible skill in making my daily caffeine hit. They are a tribute to the Holy Grail of Caffeine and I congratulate them on their passion.
True Religion are open from 6 –4 Tuesday to Saturday and then 7-3 Sundays. Mondays are spent dreaming of coffee and refuelling for another week!
Saturday, January 23, 2010
So, Johnny is watching all of his produce rapidly wilt in the blistering heat and begins to inform us the greens are now two for one. Well, even though I get carried away without any persuasion, this had me spinning in circles! Instantly my eyes did a “Matrix” like configuration, my brain almost imploded with recipes and I began dashing all over the place with my large basket.
As I was racing to clinic I threw all my purchases in the fridge and got to work. 7 hours later as I picked up my numerous bags, I began to think of the best strategy for all of my spontaneous greens. Kale, which is my all time fav vegetable, could be used in my smoothies. The rocket would be perfect for lunch tomorrow with some shaved fennel, parsley and grilled tuna. But, what I didn’t realise was that I purchased a heap of stunning basil.
Of course, I had to make pesto and it needed to be done ASAP. So, I arrived home, poured a lovely glass of wine, put my feel good music on and got to work! First, can I say that one of my all time loves is to find amazing produce and then cook it. I prefer to keep it simple, let the ingredient shine, and always add a lot of love. I can’t cook when I am grumpy or angry – it just ends up tasting bitter and horrible. So, when I am feeling so happy and positive like today, my food always tastes amazing.
So, here is my recipe but promise me that you will only make this when you have plenty of free time, some gorgeous organic ingredients and a smile in your heart.
Emma’s Pesto Ingredients – they are all organic of course, that’s another reason this taste incredible
3 cloves of garlic
100gr parmesan – luckily I live in Haberfield and am spoilt with choice but I love one from Reggio Emilia in Northern Italy, ask the deli to grate it for you
50gr pistachios – lightly toasted
2 large bunches basil
1 cup extra virgin olive oil (I use my mum’s cold pressed organic extra virgin)
Rind of 1 lemon
Pepper to taste
Blend the parmesan, garlic and pistachio nuts. Take a minute to smell this – so gorgeously aromatic, nutty, sharp and tangy all at once! Slowly add the basil and ½ cup EVOO. Then pop in the lemon rind, pepper and ¼ cup EVOO. Blend until you are happy with the consistency. Store in a glass jar, use the remaining EVOO to pour over the top of the pesto and create a seal to prevent oxidation of your masterpiece.
Text, recipe and photo © Health Equals Vitality 2010
Thursday, January 21, 2010
On another note, I really want to inspire you to make some changes and become the best you can be. It’s a new decade and a beautiful time to cleanse any negative habits. I did an interview with the men’s mag FHM about Detox and my main point was that detox can be easy if you are shown how! As you well know, I detox every Feb and Sept and this time I have decided to blog my daily progress. This will be a valuable source of information for you as I will cover my food as well as all those little tricks I have discovered over the years of detoxing. So, send the link out to friends, become a follower and get ready to detox!
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
On a recent hunt to find "Wild Edible Greens" for juicing i found it extremely difficult to find any in Sydney. When i phoned various health food stores and produce centres people questioned my asking for such things as Kale and Dandelion leaves ??? i was beginning to wonder what i had gotten myself into, surely it can't be that hard to find locally farmed wild edible greens ?
After a few days of Internet surfing and phone calling, i found a local supplier called "Alfalfa House", at last i found a store that spoke my language.
As stated on their website; www.alfalfahouse.org
"Alfalfa House is a not-for-profit cooperative that aims to provide, where possible, minimally packaged and minimally processed, affordable, wholesome, organic food to its members."
What a wonderful store to have so close and to know that it exists. If you have some free time it is worth checking out the website and visting the store.
So, Thank you Alfalfa House for having a place for like minded people to go and shop!
I am so happy to know you are here!
Can anyone share with me a time that they have tried to look everywhere for a particular ingredient and have not been able to find it ???
Happy Juicing and Eat Well !
Text Copyright Michelle Thrift 2010
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
So, after I had completed my days of inspiration and motivation, I set off down the road to visit Lou Davidson at Tamburlaine Winery. You may remember my pre Christmas post about organic wines where they featured as one of my favourites. I love so many things about this place it’s hard to keep it to a short blog but I will try my best!
First of all it is their commitment to organic that impresses me the most. They started making their way organic in 1998 and were certified in 2001. Becoming a certified producer is no mean feat and it takes time, money, passion and a strong belief to get that little logo! All the kitchen waste and water is recycled, seaweed fertiliser is used on the grounds, extreme heat in the warehouse is combated by straw bale insulating, high pressure steam is used to kill weeds, and even the tractors are run on soybean oil! Now for this Eco Girl, that’s a lot of ticked boxes!
Secondly, Lou has the absolute perfect venue for a dream event – as she showed me around I already had my next birthday planned out. Casuarina Catering organise all the food – ingredients are sourced locally and the menu sounds delicious. There is the most gorgeous lake with a perfect balcony for pre dinner cocktails. Add a live band, romantic candles, some organic wines and it sounds like an exceptional night out!
Tamburlaine has an export market that is increasing as we speak – those clever folk in Sweden and China know just how terrible chemicals are. So, take advantage of the member’s discounts and join up, order your next dozen bottles and know that when you sip that gorgeous drop, you are participating in a clean, green product that tastes stunning. Thanks again Lou, for your wonderful tour.
PS My personal fav is the 2008 Verdelho at the moment
PPS Mich, I couldn’t help but have a little taste
PPPS BUT I bought lots more for us to share!
Monday, January 18, 2010
Enjoy loose leaf tea in these convenient, simple to use, and ecologically friendly tea infusers! The T-Sac filters are ideal for those who dislike the mess commonly associated with loose-leaf tea - that's most of us! Uniquely designed with a gusseted bottom which allows the tea leaves to completely unfurl, thus increasing the flavour and strength of the tea. T-sac tea filters also have a paper flap which is perfect for tucking under the lid of a tea pot or a travel mug.
Best of all, they are made from 100% natural, unbleached, and chlorine free paper. As I make my own Rejuvenation Tea, which is a loose leaf organic blend, these tea filters are the perfect accompaniment to make a quick cup. I used to have to brew up a pot, which often meant that I would be wasting tea – a thing of the past now. Whoever invented these little beauties gets my thumbs up for practicality and sustainability! I usually find them in a Japanese tea shop or order them online.
Today I awoke to the most gorgeous sunny morning and happily sipped my coffee on the back porch soaking up the warmth. Much to my delight a neighbour came over with the two dozen eggs we ordered. They got my stamp of approval when I opened the tray to find they were still covered in dirt and the odd feather. This is what real eggs are and I grew up eating these at my Grandma’s farm. The yolks are so yellow it’s amazing and the taste so much more intense.
We then traipsed off to “Arcadia”, the local fruit and vegetable shop. I had commented to Simona that the rocket salad at dinner last night was like the true wild rocket that I rarely see in Sydney. So we went in search of this prized rocket at Arkadia. I only had $10 on me and I mentioned to Simona that I needed an ATM – she burst out laughing and said “Emm, you can’t possibly spend more than $10 at Arcadia!”
Vi, who runs this wonderful little shop, is there every day of the year except Christmas day. We pulled up to the shop, which is more like an open shed, to find a treasure trove of produce. Most of it is local and people either sell it to Vi or swap it for something else. I bought 2kg juicy carrots, a whole head of celery, a cos lettuce and a big bag of the gorgeous rocket – all for $5! Now, I know the produce is not organic but it is home grown, local and most people use seaweed fertiliser, not chemicals. I can’t even buy a bag of rocket that big for under $5 in Sydney!
So, a country life may be just the thing I need – it is certainly on the long term drawing board! Simona and I have visions of sharing vegetable harvests, making jams and enjoying nice long nights around the dinner table. Thanks again Vi!
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Hello everyone, what a great day today is! This morning i started my day with a bowl of Bircher muesli and it was such a good feeling to know that i had tick started my day with a wholesome, enriching and simple recipe.
My Bircher museli recipe is a slight variation from the original Bircher-Benner muesli which consisted of rolled oats, lemon juice, cream, grated apple and ground hazelnuts.
According to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia; "Muesli was introduced around 1900 by the Swiss physician Maximilian Bircher-Benner for patients in his hospital, where a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables was an essential part of therapy. It was inspired by a similar "strange dish" that he and his wife had been served on a hike in the Swiss Alps. Bircher-Benner himself referred to the dish simply as "d'Spys" (Swiss German for "the dish", in German "die Speise"). Muesli in its modern form became popular in western countries starting in the 1960s as part of increased interest in health food and vegetarian diets."
So, I have created my own take of this historical dish. My recipe is high in fibre, antioxidants, vitamin C and low in fat. Keep this in fridge covered for 3-5 days.
So, here it is; dig in and enjoy;
2 cups complete multigrain porridge (rolled rye, brown rice flakes, rolled oats, rolled barley, blueberries, sultanas, goji berries)
2 cups (500ml) premium organic orange juice
1 cup (250ml) natural plain organic yoghurt
1 tablespoon organic agave nectar
In a large glass bowl mix together all ingredients and leave covered overnight in fridge. The next day, stir and taste checking that grains are soft. Once grains are soft and dried berries are plump, serve 3-4 tablespoonfuls muesli into a large glass bowl and top with slices of your favourite in season fruit such as nectarine, peach and pear.
Eat and enjoy !
Text, recipe, food styling and photo copyright Michelle Thrift 09
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
And based on my current coffee consumsption, if I use a Keep Cup, I will save 416 paper cups annually as well as 1kg plastic lids, 5kg of landfill and 429mjs of energy - now this simply has to define sustainable!
So for this eco girl, I now have a Keep Cup in car, both clinics and home!
Thanks Mick at O Organic for his winning barista smile.
2 x 45g sugar-free dark chocolate bars, melted
1 cup organic roasted almonds or cashews
1 x 45g sugar-free dark chocolate, melted
Monday, January 4, 2010
'0% sugar...70% cocoa...100% taste!'
No chemical sweeteners
No artificial colours and flavours
Low in carbohydrates
Low GI for slow release energy
Picture and some text supplied by Vitality Brands Worldwide.
Happy New Year to you all...
Well, if your anything like me and most of the population these holidays, i am sure we have all eaten and drunk too much and have had little exercise.
I am sure that by now you have set yourself new goals for this year and i hope this includes a exercise and diet plan. You may even want to consider starting with a detox program to tick start you off ???
For me, it will be consuming a well balanced natural diet and starting lot's of walking.
I like to go for a walk before and after work…. It helps me to relax into the day and helps me to unwind at the end of the day. It also helps create and burn an appetite! After this holiday season i am going to walk 1 hour daily.
The National Heart Foundation Australia has a very good walking program it is Australia’s largest network of free community-based walking groups, led by volunteer Walk Organisers. Heart Foundation Walking makes being active easy, even for those not used to being active;
Click on the link below for more details;
What type of exercise do you like doing ?
TIP: Consult your Doctor and/or Naturopath before starting any new diet and exercise programs.
Photo and some text supplied by www.heartfoundation.org.au
Remainder text copyright michelle 09
New Years Eve for me was quiet but most enjoyable; I made a most delicious Thai Chicken & Mango Salad; here is my recipe; Serves 1 if very hungry or 2 as entrée.
1) Marinade for 30 minutes; (2) organic thigh fillets, sliced with 1 tab grated ginger, 1 tab grated garlic, 2 tab sweet chilli sauce, 2 tab lemon juice, sea salt, 1 tsp fish sauce. Heat 1 tab olive oil in frypan or wok. Cook chicken until marinade is syrupy and chicken is well browned and cooked; about 15-20 minutes. Remove chicken and set aside, keeping oil in pan.
2) Slice 3 shallots, diagonally and saute shallots until just soft and started to crisp. Remove and set aside.
3) Slice I small cucumber, diagonally and set aside. Prepare remaining ingredients; 2 tab chopped coriander, 2 tab chopped mint, 1 mango sliced, 2 cups baby spinach, washed.
The restaurant is gorgeous, very Melbourne and the food was amazing. It is an exotic fusion of Chinese, Indian and French influences and the emphasis is placed on the freshness of the ingredients and simplicity of cooking. This allows the aromas, flavours and textures to shine. I must say, it was incredibly healthy and the use of herbs and spices was very clever. From star anise to lemongrass to ginger, each flavour was expertly matched.
We shared everything as that way you can really make the most of the experience. Not one dish failed to impress me. We started with a selection of Little Bites that were tasty and had me fighting over the last piece of prawn cake with my 21 month old niece! The mains were equally as delicious and all accompanied by a lovely Pizzini Pinot grigio from the King Valley. I particularly loved the pan fried barramundi with julienne ginger and salted soybeans. I really loved this restaurant so if you are heading to Melbourne, make a booking and enjoy!
PS. Yes - Detox month is coming soon!!!