Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Braised octopus in tomato, garlic, chilli and paprika broth

I picked up some octopus from my fishmonger, it is rich in zinc and very nutritional and I love it.
I planned on making a salad but instead opted for a braise with a rich red paprika salty and spicy broth.
This recipe is full in body, rich in flavour and tender to eat. I love to use the paprika paste from turkey, it is used to replace tomato paste in many of my recipes.

1 kg fresh octopus cut tentacles into 3 cm pieces
3 garlic cloves
3 small red chillies
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
black pepper to season
1 can tined tomatoes
1 cup vegetable stock
1/2 bunch oregano
2 tablespoons paprika paste (available from middle eastern supermarkets and made in turkey)

Heat oil in a medium sized saucepan keep the oil on a low heat, in a mortar and pestle pound the garlic and chilli to a paste, add to oil and gently saute, add octopus and stir, add stock and tomatoes, paprika and oregano.
Cook on low heat for 40 minutes the octopus will be be very tender serve alone or with quinoa or basmati rice


Monday, December 28, 2009

Chopped caesar salad with left over christmas turkey

We had such a heavy traditional Christmas lunch, even to be polite I go with the flow and eat my mum's prepared lunch but I find it hard so I have a little, then I rest to digest.

This is my post boxing day recipe to use up some of that free range organic left over turkey

recipe -

Cooked turkey pulled apart
1 small cos lettuce cut into small pieces
1 sourdough bread for croutons ( rip into little squares roll in olive oil and sea salt and pepper and bake for 10 minutes - and crispy)
1 cucumber diced into small pieces
french green beans trimmed and blanched for 2 minutes

dressing for salad

2 coodled eggs (runny only cooked for 2 minutes in boiled water)
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/3 extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon dijon mustard

Put all the dressing ingredients above in a blender careful not to split egg and oil mix (if it separates start again)

Place all the salad ingredients into a large bowl and mix through dressing so it"s coated well and serve

Serves 4

Amaranth spaghetti with basil pesto, rocket and baby tomatoes

1 packet amaranth (gluten free spaghetti) or your choice spelt etc
2 tablespoons basil pesto from recipe on blog
1 packet baby tomatoes ( i got beautiful yellow ones from markets)
1 bunch rocket
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil to drizzle cold pressed
percorino or fresh Parmesan if you desire

Boil some water in saucepan and cook spaghetti (following instructions on packet)
When pasta is 2 minutes off ready throw in the tomatoes to boil
When done put into a colander and rinse with water working quickly
Put back into saucepan and work in basil pesto until coated
Place spaghetti on plate and decorate with rocket and some cold pressed oil
add some grated percorino

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Basil pesto with sunflower seeds

1 bunch fresh basil
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons raw sunflower seeds

in a mortar and pestle pound all the ingredients so the pesto is chunky, if your feeling lazy use a food processor but it tastes much better hand blended.

Coconut passionfruit and raw honey ice cream

Icecream ( ooh so nice in summer) I have been wanting to adapt a dairy free version so many of my clients are dairy free and mostly I am too.

1 can coconut milk
1 can coconut cream
1 whole passionfruit (prefer home grown or organic)
4 tablespoons raw honey
4 egg yolks

In a saucepan heat the raw honey on a lower simmer until clear and runny
Seperate the eggs and whisk the yolks set aside
in a bowl whisk the coconut cream and milk together add the yolks and honey whisk until blended
add the pulp from the passionfruit and stir
pour into a jug and cool in fridge until very cold ( i do this overnight)
if you have an ice cream maker ( get one if you don't) follow the manufacturers instructions and pour in mixture

Enjoy and remember all yummy desserts in moderation

Eating in America


3.5 weeks later I have returned from an amazing and inspiring whirlwind tour of San Fran, New York and lastly Honululu (for r and r and prosurfer at pipleline ooglin)

What a trip!

After eating out at restaurants, I was slightly worried I may have lost my touch in the kitchen. But alas 4 day's back and I have cooked for a client and created 3 new recipes which I will post.

The higlights of my trip

1. Visiting ferry farmer markets in san fran
2. Eating clam chowder ( i know so touirsty but delicious) - see funny photo of me with the live crabs; poor little darlings
3. Meeting my new mentor and the wonderful rebecca katz
4. Eating at herbivore in mission san fran
5. Learning to deconstruct a menu (thanks rebecca) and ask the waiter for what I really want (always a fear because I know what happens in the back of house ie kitchen.
6. New York New York Vegan baking at Natural Gourmet Institute with baking goddess Fran.
7. Eating at Angelica's kitchen
8. Discovering Cleanplates new yorks www.cleanplatesnyc.com (healthy tasty guide t manhattan) - Hanging out in the village eating shopping, eating shopping.
9. Falling in love wth great mexican food at Chipotle.
10. Grassfed burgers everywhere..
11. Wholefoods, so great so many cool things
12. Just simpley being in new york I love this city.
13. Pumpkin Pie in Brooklyn.
14. Helicopter ride over manhattan whoooo
15. Hawaii - crazy fusion food that really works and explodes in your mouth
16. North Shore pipleine masters - wow whoo.

Please mail me for food details if you heading to any of these cities I really hit the ground running and did a lot of research.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Ian Gawler Living Well

Last weekend I was in Victoria as you may have read in my November newsletter, it was such an inspiring trip and I cooked for 38 residents with cancer over 3 day's.

The ingredients were bio dynamic, local and full of vitality, you really could taste it in each bite, also the amazing women cooks poured there heart and soul into each dish.

Now I'm about to start a series of vegetarian cooking workshops before I head off to the states....

For more info head to the news section of the organic cook website, and also for a read of a 6 page feature in prevention magazine which is out now in newsagents.

enjoy the two new asparagus recipes.


Asparagus with blue eyed cod, tomatoes, eggplant and tomato ragu

2 bunches asparagus, washed and trimmed
1kg blue eyed cod
½ red onion, sliced finely
2 cloves garlic
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 eggplant, sliced thinly
2 tablespoons parsley
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small red capsicum, deseeded and chopped into small cubes
1 small red chilled, deseeded and diced
2 anchovies, washed and cut small
1 cup vegetable stock
Sea salt and black pepper to season
Pecorino cheese, shaved to serve


Preheat oven to 170 degrees
Line a baking tray with baking paper and baste either side of eggplant with extra virgin olive oil and bake in the oven for 25 minutes turning half way through
Fill a saucepan with boiling hot water almost to the top and blanch asparagus for 2 minutes.
Cut the fish pieces into 3 and poach in water in frypan for 15 minutes or until cooked set aside
Remove when cooked and drain and refresh with cold water. Set aside
In a frypan heat the oil and add the garlic and red onion cook until translucent
Add the red capsicum, chilli and two tablespoons water and cook for 5 minutes
add the canned tomatoes, vegetable stock and anchovies and when eggplant has cooled cut into small squares and add as well season with sea salt and pepper and reduce tomatoes cooking on simmer for 10 minutes.
Pour the sauce over the fish and asparagus, serve with pecorino

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Gabriellas Homemade Italian Salami

Italian Frittata with Asparagus

1 small brown onion, diced finely
2 garlic cloves, mixed to a paste
1 small red capsicum, sliced very finely
1 bunch asparagus
½ bunch parsley, washed and picked
Sea salt and pepper to season
1 tomato, chopped roughly
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
8 organic eggs
1 small tub ricotta
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon black pepper corns and sea salt


In a mortar and pestle grind the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, black pepper and sea salt. Set aside
Fill a saucepan with boiling hot water almost to the top and put in the asparagus, blanch quickly 2 minutes and remove and refresh with cold water. Gently slice the asparagus spears in half.
In a frypan heat the olive oil gently and add onions and garlic, sauté until
translucent. Add in the red capsicum, asparagus, tomato paste, tomato and zucchini stirring for 5 minutes. Whisk the eggs in a bowl and season with sea salt and pepper add the parsley and then slowly pour in to the frypan coating the whole pan. With a tablespoon place dots of ricotta on top of egg mixture. Lastly when the base is cooked sprinkle the fresh spice mix and a splash of olive oil and put the fry pan under the grill for 5 minutes to cook the top of the frittata until golden.
serve with a green salad and good quality sourdough for breakfast, lunch or dinner!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Organic Chicken Liver Brandy Pate'

Sometimes when I have been cooking all day it is a challenge to have the energy to prepare a meal myself... So all I want for dinner is good quality Pate on fantastic small bite sized pieces of baguette. Hm and the nutrition is very dense.

Organic Chicken Liver Pate with Brandy (for a lazy decadent evening with a glass of red)

400G fresh organic chicken livers
1 stick of butter (I used paris creek biodynamic unsalted butter)
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon leek
2 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons brandy

Take 20g of butter and melt in a fry pan on a gentle flame. Add the leek and garlic and also bay leaf and thyme and slowly saute for 7 minutes.

Trim the chicken livers removing any spots or other bits.

Add to the fry pan and cook for 5 minutes turning over the livers they should be soft (not tough and over cooked)

Remove the bay leaf and thyme and put the livers and leek mixture into a food processor with 100 grams of butter.

In the same fry pan deglaze with 2 tablespoons brandy and then pour into food processor

Add fresh black pepper and sea salt. Adjust seasons for taste

In the same fry pan melt 30 grams butter, pour pate into a ramekin or container and pour melted butter on top to set.

I ate my pate with common ground spelt sourdough that I toasted and cut into small pieces. It really was the most delicious and decadent dinner for a lazy night.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Super delicious protein bars for in between meals.

Here we go, I just developed this yummy recipe... it is gluten and dairy free (vegan) and contains no refined sugar(s)

1/2 cup pepitas
1 cup pecans
1 cup raw almonds
1 cup coconut dessicated
1 cup quinoa flakes
2 cups buckwheat or brown rice cereal puffs
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt (ravida sea salt italian brand)
1 cup brown rice syrup
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1/2 cup chia seeds
1 teaspoon pure vanilla essence
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cardamon powder


Put the pecans, almonds and pepitas (pumpkin seeds) in a dry fry pan and roast until crispy and aromatic (5-7 minutes)
Chop the nuts and pepitas roughly.
In a saucepan gently melt the coconut oil, brown rice syrup and maple syrup until warm.
In a bowl mix all the dry ingredients including the nuts, seeds spices, and pour over the warm coconut oil and brown rice syrup.

Stir well, and put into a square baking pan and put in the fridge for an hour or so.

As you can see from the photograph there is only one square left!


Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sydney International Food Festival

Today I was reading an interview with celebrity chef Curtis Stone, the journalist asked him what he is looking for in a woman he said someone who likes to travel, booze and food.

Heck! that's every woman I know!

Well it sounds hopeful we are all in with a chance to date Curtis.

So the Sydney International Food festival is on, I can highly recommend the restaurant lunch deals try any of the fine diners they recommend.

A report from my mum she was at Level 41 last Friday and the lunch deal impressed her fine dining palate.

So here are my picks for lunch

Aria, Becasse, Bel Mondo, Catalina, Flying Fish, Kazbah on darling, Pilu at freshwater

Wow I'm going to have a busy month.

Check it out while you can fine dining like a queen or king at these prices you could try a few restaurants each week.

Website www.siff.com.au

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Reactivate and Celebrate Spring!

H E L L O ....
OK, I confess I have been laying dormant for 4 months on the blogger front.
I'm awake and ready to step into mid spring, this means asparagus, juicy watermelon and artichokes.
Hey bec and atticus what's in the garden ?

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Ethical Food Sources...

I have been working in the organic food movement (in various situations) for over 8 years now, but lately have been wanting to deeper explore the connection between farm to plate and really get to know my suppliers food sources.

As a chef, teacher and educator it is paramount for me to know how my produce was grown, and what organic farming practices are being used. Not many people buying organic produce (as there is so much hype around 'organic' these day's) think about the fact that there organic strawberries may have been on the back of a truck from somewhere in victoria for 3 days and this makes them 1. very expensive 2. they lose there energetic and life force properties 3. not very sustainable practice , really c'mon.

I want to cook with lamb that has been loved and cared for, feed homeopathics not antibiotics and has played in the paddock. I want to know how the farmer has treated his livestock and what kind of conditions the animals lived in and I want to always purchase biodynamic produce and dairy over organic as the farming practices are based on harmonious sustainable soil care. The soil is so beautiful and healthy I know because I have worked on a biodynamic farm and tasted the aliveness in this way of farming. Each bite is heaven. And the land management is more respectful for mother earth.

Feather and Bone

Not all organic farming is ethical, and this I believe should be a priority over certification.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Slow Cooker + sunday night rainbow chard pasta with chicken

The slow cooker has been finally been unwrapped and brought out of it's box.
I actually purchased it a few months ago, my mother and I purchased them together, everyday the past two weeks I gaze up at it's home on a shelf up high.....
Tonight's the night and I have cooked up a delicious persian dish with lamb shanks dates and preserved lemons....

Persian Lamb Shanks Dates and Preserved Lemons with Potatoes slow cooker style.

1 t black pepper
1 t cumin
1 t tumneric
1 t ground cardamon
seasalt to taste

(you can cheat and use herbies spices persian spice mix)

4 lamb shanks
4 potatoes, cut into chunks
1 carrot, cut into chunks
1 cinnamon stick
6 fresh dates (seeds out)
1 preserved lemon diced finely
1 brown onion roughly diced
1 T harissa
1 T ghee

Brown onion and spices in ghee until translucent
Place in slowcooker
Seal lamb shanks for 3 minutes each side
Place all remaining ingredients into slow cooker and set for low....
The longer you cook the better overnight is ideal.

Rainbow chard chicken pesto pasta

1 pkt l'abruzzese gluten free pasta twists
4 stems rainbow chard (fresh in season)
2 T fresh basil pesto
2 chicken thigh fillets
2 yellow zuchiini's sliced finely

Fry chicken thigh fillet in ghee until cooked through
Cook pasta for around 8 minutes
Prep rainbow chard and slice up finely
Add rainbow chard and zuchinni to pasta in the last 2 minutes of cooking
Slice chicken thigh fillets
Drain pasta rainbow chard and zuchinni and pasta
Heat pesto and move through pasta and vegetables
Serve and place chicken on top


1 bunch basil
1/2 cup pine nuts roasted on a skillet
1 clove garlic
2 T fresh grated parmesan
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Put all ingredients into a food processor and process until smooth

You can freeze for later ....

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Simple meatballs

I have been a little lazy on the blog lately, running around organising work for Minnd and creating new recipes in my head. (not paper!)

Here is a lovely simple recipe I made last night luckily I had some steamed broccoli and quinoa to finish this dish for my vegetarian friend who dropped by just as cooking was wrapping up (great timing anita)

Simple beef meatballs with spicy tomato Sauce

500g organic or pasture fed beef mince
1 t cinnamon
1 t cumin
1 t coriander
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs or packed (I like to use organic rice breadcrumbs or demeter farms sourdough breadcrumbs available at always organics in brookvale)
1 Jar tomato puree
1 can diced tomatoes
1 t harissa paste
sea salt and pepper to season
1 sprig rosemary

Make the tomato sauce first putting tomato ingredients into a small saucepan with harissa, rosemary and simmer for 15 minutes.

Use your hands and work through spices with beef and breadcrumbs
Roll the beef mince into small balls about the size of a 50 cent coin
Bake in oven on a baking tray for 15 minutes on 170 degrees.

Spoon tomato mixture over meatballs and serve in a bowl, steam some broccoli and if you feel like add some cooked quinoa for more protein.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Harissa Paste

Harissa Paste

10 red chillies
1 bulb garlic
1 T cumin seeds
1 bunch coriander
olive oil
1 t ginger

Put all ingredients into a mortar and pestle and pound with a strong arm.


Use a food processor.

Corn and coconut quinoa chowder

Greetings Bunnies,
I hope there is room left in your tummies for a delicious quinoa chowder
Quinoa is a very nutritional gluten free grain that is readily avail in health food shops and I have even seen it recently in the supermarket.
Quinoa packs a protein punch as it is a complete protein and with an amino acid profile similar to milk, therefore it is very high in calcium and lysine (great for cold sore breakouts)

Roasted Pumpkin Garlic, Corn and Coconut Quinoa Chowder (Vegan G/F)
500g pumpkin, diced and peeled skin off
3 cloves garlic
2 corn cobs
2 cups stock (vegetable or chicken)
1 cup quinoa
1 can coconut milk (spiral brand)

bake pumpkin and garlic for 20-25 minutes
heat stock in a saucepan and add quinoa and corn
gently simmering for 20 minutes
add coconut milk, roasted pumpkin and garlic
blend until smooth
season with sea salt and pepper
let sit for 10 minutes and it will thicken

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Good Fats

Good fats is favourite topic of mine, it massively contributes to our health.
Why good fats you might ask?
Good fats nourish our insides, make our skin and eyes clear and healthy and don't convert to cholesterol or go awry in our systems to later cause cancer and immunity issues.
It is as simple as this, if you are frying you need oils that will not burn for eg coconut oil, peanut oil and sunflower, (vegetable oils)
Cold pressed Oils are meant to be used exactly as that states 'cold pressed' after you have finished the cooking process.
For more info refer to 'Nourishing Traditions' by Sally Fallon.


Lentil shepards pie with ghee

Lentil, Shitake Mushroom and Pumpkin Sheppard's Pie (Vegetarian/G/F)
1 cup brown lentils
2 cups filtered water
1 leek
1 cinnamon stick
1 clove garlic
1t cumin
1 t grated ginger
1 T tamari
1 cup soaked shitake mushroom (avail from asian grocers)
400g pumpkin, skin off and cut into small pieces
2 T pumpkin seeds
Ghee or clarified butter
extra virgin olive oil

Cook lentils in saucepan with cinnamon stick until soft (25 minutes)
Fry up leek, garlic, ginger and shitakes in ghee adding tamari at the end.
Mix the above ingredients together and press down into a casserole dish
Steam the pumpkin until soft and mash with ghee, smooth down onto lentil base and drizzle with olive oil and pumpkin seeds bake for 20 minutes in moderate oven.

Just a note on ghee/clarified butter, make sure you make your own and use organic butter
it is wonderfully nutritional doesn't burn at high temperatures and has a delicious nutty flavour.

Ethiopian Ghee Recipe
1 stick butter
1 cinnamon stick
4 cloves
1 t grated ginger
1 t cumin
2 chillies

Melt butter in saucepan, throw in remaining ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes (keep an eye on temperature)
The end result should be separation in the butter, milk proteins/solids will be floating on the bottom, on the top will be a beautiful golden clear liquid, this is what you want.

Cool, strain and put into a clean jar will keep for 5 weeks
Use liberally on steamed vegetables, cooking, baking etc...

Friday, April 3, 2009

Almond pear tart

It's being raining all week, I've been cooking up a storm at home and catching up on reading and research. Tonight I baked an almond and pear tart with luscious coconut oil.

Pear and Almond Tart (Vegan/GF)
4 brown pears ( in season and ripe ready to go!)
2 cups raw almonds
1 cup extra virgin coconut oil (avail at health food shop must be organic and extra virgin)
1 T rapadura sugar (avail at health food shops)

process almonds and coconut oil and press into a spring form tin
slice pears and fan on top of almond base, sprinkle rapadura sugar on top and bake for 25 minutes.

Note on rapadura sugar (unrefined, evaporated cane juice)
a natural pure sweetener that contains many minerals and vitamins, harvested in brazil, harvested quite simply, juice is pressed from sugarcane and cooked to reduce water content.
It does not pass quickly into the bloodstream like white sugar does and is a healthy option for cooking. But go easy it's still sugar!