Friday, September 30, 2011

Strange and exotic health food ingredients

When you embark on a 'real food' cooking and eating journey, you will find many of these healthy ingredients and condiments at your local health food shop, organic retailer and the good old healthy food aisle at Woolworths, which is full of certified organic ingredients. I know your time -poor and itching to get healthy, so I want it to be simple for you to find these ingredients for a smooth transition in to healthy cooking and eating.

Here are some brands and ingredients to help you follow my recipes on this blog;

Spiral foods

This long established health company make tamari, (fermented wheat free soy sauce) miso, vinegars (for salad dressings), tahini, coconut milk, bonsoy milk etc avail at woolworths or health retailers.

Sweet stuff

I use rapadura or panela (brazilian 100% sugar cane unrefined, full of minerals and vitamins not as sweet as brown sugars).

Maple syrup and rice syrup, date molasses (lebanese ingredient) and black strap molasses when baking.


I like to use either Demeter farm mill biodynamic grains and flours and Old bob's mill. I find these the freshest and best quality.

My favourite grains are spelt, buckwheat and rye. I also use rice and coconut flours. These flours are only available at the health food shop or organic retailer as they are speciality food products.

Dairy (butter, yoghurt)

I favour biodynamic dairy over organic as its more pure, and tastes much better. I like Barambah and Paris Creek yogurts and quark cheese. I also like paris creek butter but macro whole foods at woolworths now do organic butter which is cheaper.


Organic milk is a must for children. Barambah Unhomogenised is good, also cleopatra's if you're into raw milk. Of course I also like oat milk and rice milk when I need a break from dairy. No soy milk in my kitchen!

Nuts and dried fruits

In our cupboards we stock, organic dried figs and apricots, raw cashews and almonds.

Meat eggs and grains

We buy all our meat - grassfed and chicken - organic or free range (if we know the farm is certified) We love lamb!. We also favour sustainable seafood and certified organic or free-range eggs (look at the box carefully).

Please get to your local farmers markets to buy fresh produce, fruit and sourdough breads then get the other small goods and get cooking!

This is a rough guide and no means the law, buy what you can afford and aim to buy organic produce and dairy if it's in your budget. We like to promote home cooking for better health like our nana's did not that long ago! We use whole, natural and real ingredients from the markets and growers to inspire our recipes and dishes.

Any questions please email us

Grain free way of eating

Many of my clients are keen on a Paleo diet and I pretty much follow weston price eating guidelines at home and with my clients with a slant on macrobiotics and whole foods. If your looking for grain free recipes tune in they will start to appear on the index down the side of the blog.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Cauliflower gratin with roasted walnuts, rye bechamel and pecorino

Because of the cold snap I bought up a whole organic cauliflower to squeeze out one more winter dish. It was pouring rain all weekend but I made it to French's forest markets on Sunday too do a quick shop to get the week started and pick up some la tartine spelt sourdough for my boyfriend's daughters (it's there favourite!)

Oh how I love cauliflower and use it alot, I couldn't think of a better recipe to share for the last cold days. I had it for lunch with some beautiful spicy lamb and beef sausages that I also bought at the markets from a lovely Algerian french man that is now selling them at his stall. You could eat this with some snapper or ocean trout or if your vegetarian serve it with polenta and sauteed spinach

The unique ingredients in this recipe are biodynamic rye flour and oat milk to make the bechamel. The roasted walnuts give it a crunchy texture and also extra protein if you are a vegetarian. If your vegan you can use extra virgin olive oil to make the bechamel. And I did use fresh thyme, rosemary and sage from my garden cut very small to add a delicate aroma

1/2 cauliflower cut up into small florets
1/2 cup raw walnuts (roast in oven for 5 minute on 170 degrees)
1 cup pure harvest oat milk or use organic cows milk
1 tablespoon organic butter or ghee
2 tablespoons rye flour (or you can use rice or spelt flour)
1 small garlic clove, chopped very fine or use garlic crusher
fresh herbs thyme, rosemary and sage (optional)
Some handful sourdough breadcrumbs
Grated pecorino

Firstly prepare your cauliflower and set aside. In a saucepan gently melt your butter and add in the flour to make the white sauce, with a balloon whisk keep stirring and slowly pour in the milk, keep stirring until it starts to thicken and look like a nice white sauce, turn off the heat and add the herbs and garlic stir well. In a pyrex or baking dish arrange the cauliflower and then completely cover with the bechamel, sprinkle on the breadcrumbs, roasted walnuts and pecorino and then cover in foil and bake on 180 degrees for approx 20 minutes, you need the foil so the cheese doesn't burn.

Serves 4

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

New season spring lamb loins with parsley pesto and cauliflower mash

Sometimes when I get home from cooking for my clients I crave simple and nutritious dinners that can be made in flash with minimal cooking method. On the weekends I like to make a fresh pesto with whatever herbs I have left over or growing in my garden. I particularly like to use parsley which is not common but delicious and also rich in iron and cleans the blood too!

All the little spring lambs have found there may to my butcher and these grass-fed loins are exceptional when cooked medium so that they are pink inside. The cauliflower mash is great for a low carb option and a good source of daily dietary fibre.

My new cook Susan who is a naturopathy student and a fantastic source of knowledge told me that lamb is also excellent for breastfeeding mamma's.

So have your pesto ready to go and this can be made in 20 minutes for a quick healthy weeknight dinner!

2-4 lamb loins
Organic ghee
1/2 head cauliflower (prepped into florets)
1 teaspoon sea salt and peppercorns to season
Fresh cumin seeds

In a mortar and pestle prepare your sea salt, pepper and cumin mix, set aside

In saucepan put a steamer basket and cook the cauliflower for 10 minutes, remove the steamer basket add your sea salt and pepper cumin mix and some butter mash until resembling a potato mash.

Serve on a plate with pesto and the lamb loins

Take a fry pan and heat the ghee, add the lamb loins and cook for 5-6 minutes each side. When done set aside for a further 5 minutes

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Homemade butter

When I was shopping at the frenchs forest markets a few weeks back I couldn't buy any butter from my regular guy at the jersey milk stall and he suggested I make my own with his double cream, so this is what I did and it was very interesting to watch the butter start churning in the food processor and I just added a level tablespoon of celtic sea salt which was recommended but far to salty for my tastes so I would add a level teaspoon next time. The flavour is unbelievable and it is a fun project that is worthwhile.

1 container of double cream (I used jersey cream which is quiet thick I can imagine barrambah organic would be good to)
1 teaspoon celtic or Himalayan pink salt

Pour the cream straight into the food processor and add the salt, start pulsing and within 30 seconds it will start to look like butter. Stop (don't over process) and lift out and then mould into a butter shape and store in the fridge

It will last for a few months