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 ....