Learn to make a range of delicious, nutrient dense wholefood dishes; ready in 20 minutes

Quick spring delights.

November 9. Balmoral Beach.

Spring is the season of renewal, the colour green abounds. It is the perfect time to consider our self and to cleanse while enjoying a wide variety of exquisite tastes, colours and textures; that raise our spirit and lighten the load on our digestive system.

A cooking class at ‘A Healthy View’ Balmoral Beach Mosman

Nutrient-dense wholefood meals to nourish you well; without being calorie-rich. Learn to make quick, cost effective and delicious meals to suit the season and satisfy those you feed.

The classes I teach at nutritionist Michele Hedges home and business, ‘A Healthy View’ have the added benefit of her valuable input. Together we are an informative team and these classes are always a lot of fun.

11am-3pm November 9th $125
Be quick to contact Michele; numbers are strictly limited. michele@ahealthyview.com.au

The class demonstrates the dietary principles that traditional societies have used for millennia; using the least refined local and organic ingredients.

The benefits of eating this way include: ease, reduced sugar cravings, an improvement in behavioural issues, natural weight loss, increased satisfaction and hormone regulation


Update on appearances and cooking classes

The Organic Expo and Green show has arrived today is the first day, this year it is in both Sydney and Melbourne.

For details go to http://www.organicexpo.com.au/

Each year its popularity grows and the numbers of visitors increase. The organic industry has come a very long way since I opened Iku in 1985. At that time organic was associated with muddy vegetables and not much else. Biodynamic rice was only available 9 months of the year and everyone thought us crazy for championing the cause. It is heart warming to see the growth and burgeoning interest.

I will be onstage tomorrow August 13th  at 1.30pm demonstrating a few simple dishes that reflect the principles of a wholefood way of eating, if your about do come and say hello. I will have recipe cards with menu suggestions for a wholeday of winter wholefoods and I will be discussing foods that harm and foods that heal. I will be making and discussing a compound butter mix, which offers a range of highly nutritious fats, an Andean grains Casserole which demonstrates all the principles of nutrient dense eating and showing people how to make their own delicious chicken stock.

I will post the recipes here next week for all to trial and enjoy. I hope to see you there.

August 13th and 14th  The MINDD Conference is being held at the Jockey Club in Randwick I will be discussing fats and their benefits at 12.30pm August 14th, for more information go to http://mindd.org/s/archives.php/266-MIFOC-2011.html  this is an invaluable event for all parents and would be parents.

I have a Capturing Cultures Class in Palm Beach NSW on August 28th, there are places still for that one.

I will be in Perth teaching with Jude Blereau  at her Wholefood Cooking School September 10th-18th contact Jude for the programme and for bookings, be quick these sell out very fast. jude@wholefoodcooking.com.au

Bondi Class programme is yet to be confirmed, please contact me if you are interested in these, or subscribe here for future updates.

Bookings for private and small group classes in your home are being taken too.


Coasting through winter with food and friendship

Winter on Pittwater is beyond glorious. We spent a lovely sunny day with our  friend Lucienne and her generous mother Cherie at Cherie’s home in the bush. It is a short ferry ride from our home to hers but it feels like a world away, no cars to be seen or heard in this stunning, boat access only, bay. It was a day of shared cooking, festivating and feasting together with visits from unexpected and opportunistic diners and tea drinking friends. A day that reminded us all of the pleasure it is to be alive and able to share our selves. It certainly helped that Cherie’s home is exquisite and that every direction you look your eyes are met with beauty, be it a tray of sparklingly clean glasses, a wall of fine art, her Chinese red leather chair or beautifully framed outlooks onto nature, days like these make me very grateful for life and loved ones.

A native Firewheel tree provided these spectacular flowers and since the bush abounds with ravenous wallabies, possums, bush rats and goanna  fruiting shrubs must be contained; hence the beautiful bird cages. Below are a few of Cherie’s beautiful botanic watercolours and her colourful palette.

Lucienne and I took to the kitchen and while she made silky linguine India and I made side dishes. Together we cooked cockles and muscles alive alivo and the meal was delightfully shared.

   

This insistent goanna muscled in too and caused a fair bit of  a stir before the sun began to sink and it was time to pack up, return the shells to the water and take tea on the deck and a boat ride home.


Free to roam, organic wholefoods grown at home

In my book, growing real organic wholefood and friendship go hand in hand. It takes tenacity and hard work to grow real food but the rewards are many fold. I count my daughter and I incredibly fortunate to have such foodie friends, whom we adore, who are committed to growing free range organic food, at home in the country.  ‘The country’ fits the Sussex like area they live, where hills roll and European trees proliferate, this is not really ‘the bush’. We spent a fabulous wet weekend prior to Easter, at Glenquarry, a magnificent rural haven; not far from Bowral, two and a half hours from home. Antonio Ramos and Camilla Mahony are the proprietors of ‘Olive Green Organics’ their life is about providing Australians with the best packaged organic produce,sourced in Italy and South America. They sell many great products including the best gluten free pasta I have ever tried and traditionally farmed high altitude Quinoa and Amaranth from the Irupana collective in Bolivia. They and their truly divine nippies Paloma and Maximo live on the land in harmony with the elements growing most of their fresh food. This family is committed to developing nourishing soil in and on which to raise nutrient rich produce, to feed themselves and many of their friends. Maximo and Paloma are learning about respect for life and death and real food through their inclusion in everything it takes to grow your own. These are happy free roaming children who are a delight to be with, they are well nourished with love and the best the land can offer. All the animals growing here are destined for the pot, in their right season but while they live, they are much loved and carefully tended.

In the past couple of years we have cooked and feasted on incomparable home grown pig, sheep, duck,cockerel and a wide assortment of vibrant mineral rich vegetables. On this Autumn visit, we came home with large Queensland blue and French heirloom Potti Marron pumpkins, onions, carrots, eggplants, fat bunches of just picked herbs, yacon (a South American tuber to eat raw or cooked) and a Cockerel; not much makes me happier than having fine produce to create with. Antonio and Camilla share the many tasks but it seems to me, he is lord of the four legged beasties, Henry the dog and the soil, while Camilla devotes her time to raising the two legged creatures including the most fabulous collection of heritage breed ducks and poultry, however, the lines of work are fluid. Camilla is breeding poultry with function as her goal, there are 40 or more chooks and we were fortunate to arrive the week 14 young cockerels met their maker and thus the cooking pot, that was a delicious sadness, pics of a most delicious Coq au Vin to come.

Camilla’s free ranged chooks provide eggs in the extraordinary array of colours, seen in the photo below. The grey blue birds are Arucana they lay the light blue egg, this breed, like Antonio, hails from Chile. I am sure Antonio’s heritage is a contributing factor in his magnanimous come one, come all, lets eat together nature. Camilla quietly embraces and engages the many and ensures peace and order have a home too, they are a special family and India and I always leave with full hearts and fuller stomachs. Together we all cook and chat and plant and reap and laugh and walk and bake and cook and eat… This trip we ate hot cross buns from ‘Flour, Water, Salt’ Bowral’s Sourdough bakery, definitely worth a detour to go here where the bread and cakes reflect someones careful attention and passion. We made a range of delicious meals that included one of the Potti Marron pumpkins stuffed with home grown minced pork, garlic, onions and whatever else it was Antonio added to what he called his ‘porkognese’, this dish inspired me to make something similar when I got home but I used lamb and pomegranate in mine, photos will follow. These pumpkins have a dense flesh, they are not very sweet but they are totally delicious and look gorgeous. India and I made a fig and chestnut tart and Camilla wowed us all with her cockerel casserole and roasted rack of home produced lamb. I left them with a monster loaf of freshly baked sourdough bread, which Antonio told me he was still eating a week on. Above are photos of the poultry, the magnificent French ‘Moran’ cockerel is top left, his feather footed missus lays the chocolate brown eggs below, on his right is a Dutch Barnevelder chicken, she lays the medium brown breakky. The ‘Silver Laced Wyandotte’ is an American breed, she lays the cream coloured eggs. The white eggs belong to the large showy five toed, top-knotted French heritage Houdan, she refused a photo; the French once considered Houdan to be the best birds for eating, today they are mostly bred for their looks. It seems then that egg colour has to do with breed, not feed as I had previously thought. These impressive looking eggs are all utterly delicious. I am keen for my own heritage breed chickens but for now I make do with tending my neighbours two free roaming Isa browns, reliable layers who provide us with a delightfully brown egg each, each day they are away. Collecting eggs from free ranging hens is somewhat like finding hidden treasure and is, I believe, a pleasure not to be missed by anyone. That eggs from truly free ranging hens are also a perfectly balanced package of easily digested nutrients makes them a gift of nature not to be taken for granted.


Chestnuts, Walnuts and gratitude for life…

Autumn means it’s time for sweet fresh chestnuts and crisp white walnuts. These go with many seasonal delights including, new seasons apples, sweetcorn, pumpkin, tender pink ginger, purple garlic and on…. I adore chestnuts and don’t mind the work that they are when they are only around and at their best for a few weeks of the year. Picked now and kept in the bottom of the fridge, you will have six weeks to discover how many things they are good for. Fresh walnuts need to be spread out and sun dried; so they do not moulder and spoil. Slow cooked brown rice and chestnuts with walnuts is delicious and paired with some sticky roasted pumpkin, ginger, parsnip and garlic and lots of green beans it makes a fantastic, seasonal meal.

Yesterday, whilst India baked for a party, I sought an adventure of my own, it is best that a mother leaves her daughter alone when she is in charge of the kitchen. I headed 150k’s west to Kookootonga Nut Farm at Mount Irvine in the Blue Mountains. Here chestnuts and walnuts can be collected from beneath hundreds of their gorgeous trees and bought for a mere $8 a kilo, what a treat I thought. The weather could not have been more perfect and I had so much fun all morning foraging and taking in the beauty of the parklike setting while I gathered up shiny chestnuts and damp, heavy walnuts. Kookootonga is owned and operated by the two current generations of the Scrivener family; who have lived on this property since settlement at Mount Irvine in the 1890’s. Buckets and gloves are supplied, I wore a cloth pair but when next I visit I will be sure to take a thick leather pair; for protection from the chestnut spikes and the spiders there. My trip was rather more eventful than planned and involved a high speed ambulance ride to Lithgow Hospital! A female funnel web or perhaps trap door spider grabbed my index finger, left two red welts and gave me the fright of a lifetime. I have only the highest praise for the Scriveners and Mark and our kind and attentive emergency services. I give great thanks for the end result being a false alarm as apparently no poison was injected. All I suffered was a nasty case of shock and ambulance sickness. Today my heart  has returned to a more normal rate and all is well. This is a day I will truly ‘never’ forget, I will use it to remind myself of my great fortune and gratitude for life. Mark tells me this is the first ever such incident and so I think it safe to say do go, take a picnic, it’s a fabulous outing for all the family-with leather gloves on! Recipe to come…


Autumn and Winter Cooking Classes

For all who have been keenly awaiting the next class programme thank you for your enquiries and for waiting.  I will use this blog to offer you seasonal whole food related information, products and services, recipe tips and recipes. If you would like to subscribe you will receive all updates; as they are posted. To make bookings for these classes, private classes or to enquire about catering or food coaching please contact me via email. I look forward to seeing you through autumn and winter. These beautiful eating apples are my all time favourites, ‘Spartans’. They are a heritage breed with dense sweet and slightly tart flesh, they are crisp, like the air in Autumn and their flesh is brilliant white. This breed is hard to find here in Australia, but very well worth the search, Ripe The Organic Grocer sells them in Melbourne and you can try Granny Smiths at Turramurra in Sydney; they sell heritage apples grown in Orange NSW. In my opinion these growers certainly deserve our support. I took this photo at the Broadway markets in Hackney last time I was in London for Autumn, a market worthy of a visit when next you pass that way. If you know of other places to buy heritage apple varieties please spread the word.


Smoked Corn and Quinoa Salad

This Quinoa was grown in Bolivia by the Irupana collective. It is sold in Sydney by “Olive Green Organics” a company with the sort of integrity that warrants our support. I have used 40% white, 40% red and 20% black quinoa to make this delicious salad. The Quinoa was soaked overnight in acidulated water to ensure that once it has been cooked it will provide the best nutrition and be easily digested. Smoked corn kernals, coriander and green beans add freshness, texture and flavour there is fresh jalapeneo chilli for those that like it hot .


Awaiting the 250 enthusiastic guests who filled the cafe fit to bursting at the launch

I have been in Holland working on Nourish a new and very exciting restaurant. The menu offers a range of omnivorous wholefoods and raw food platters. It is in the Twijnstraat in Utrecht and very funky extention of the Oude gracht with many delightful artisan shops along the way. Well worth a visit when next you pass that way! Ask for Carla Visch she is the creator of this Nourish and you will find my book of the same name well represented there.