Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Until 2013 - Merry Xmas

The holiday mode is in full swing and Christmas is upon us.  So much so that most things (including blogging) have been the furtherest from my mind.  Spoilt by an early mark to the school holidays we ventured to Melbourne to spend time with family and boy was it a noisy and exhausting affair.  With four children in total ranging in age from 6 down to 3 there wasn’t much time for relaxing but I did manage to sneak off and do a few things that have been on my list for a while in Melbourne town.   One included a trip to Botanical Cuisine where I snapped a few shots and the other a little cafe not far from there called Tomboy.  But we are now home and bike rides to the beach to find treasures that lay awash the shore, playtime with friends and being in the pool what feels like every five minutes is what the days have become - aka no routine. The summer holidays are here well and truly and it’s nice to not have the pressure of everything for a little while, so, enjoy your personal time out in the coming weeks and until 2013 - enjoy the holidays, be safe and have a wonderful break.  We plan to be back in the new year with something new - that’s if I don’t take to much of a holiday of course.  

Merry Xmas Everyone and a Safe and Happy New Year xx

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Saturday, November 24, 2012

Happy Holiday Snaps and A Green Salad

Sometimes all you need is a bit of green. Would you agree?

After holidaying recently at the beautiful Rainbow Beach with my husbands sister and her super cute family it was great to get back into my little kitchen and food routine. We had a lovely week away and it was fantastic to give the boys (all four of them) some wonderful freedom and space to run amok. The serenity and vastness of the environment lent itself beautifully to their energetic personalities. We feel so lucky to live where we do and have freedom at our fingertips.

I can still see the boys faces beaming with excitement as we pulled off the bitumen in our 4WD and headed up the beach toward our destination. They were in another world. We counted eagles soaring on the thermal currents, dodged jelly fish washed ashore and hung on for our dear life a couple of times. But perhaps the highlight for the boys was feeding dolphins at Tin Can Bay. The boys were  silenced by their serenity. Sealed in our memories forever we can’t wait to do it again.

Rainbow Beach is certainly somewhere I could get to know much better. Luckily it is only a couple of hours from home.

A Very Green Salad

For the Dressing:

1 head of garlic
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (cold pressed)
50 ml lemon juice salt and pepper to season

Preheat oven to 200 degrees celcius
Wrap garlic tightly in foil and place on an oven tray
Roast until tender (approx 30 - 35 mins)
When cool enough to handle, squeeze the garlic from skins into a bowl (discard skins)
Whisk in oil and lemon juice Season and set aside

For the Salad:

Sift through your fridge and find anything green - celery, spinach,lettuce, corainder, avocado, sprouts, brussel sprouts, brocolli and chop, chop chop.
Mix through some chickpeas (canned will do if you are short on time) and top with a generous sprinkle of pumpkin seeds or even dukkah would go nicely here.
Load it all into a bowl and dress as you wish.
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Friday, November 2, 2012

Boys Snacking On and We’re on WELL in LA

Green Candy - or so I tell my boys.  This green smoothie is easy to drink thanks to the addition of an orange and frozen banana.  

A Delightful Green Smoothie
Serves 2 - 3

1 cup coconut water
1 orange, peeled
1 frozen banana
Leaves from one stalk of kale

Place in a high powered blender and whiz

This is an after school quickie now the weather is warming up.  Blueberries have started popping and make a good sub for the grapes and if pistachios or other nuts aren’t on the allowed list then try cubes of cheese or pitted olives. 

Cucumber, Grape and Pistachio Salad
Serves 2

1/2 green cucumber, washed and chopped
bunch of grapes, washed
sprinkle of pistachios (unsalted)

Mix together and serve

A cup of tea fixes everything and Vanilla Rooibos is our favourite.  Perfect as part of our settling routine prior to bed.   Ahh! says Mummy.....

And a big thank you to Erin from Well In LA.  Thank you so much for your feature this week and kind words of which can be found here.  For anyone who isn’t familiar with Erin’s blog and work then pop on over to Well in LA and check out this cool gals love of all things wellness related.   I guarantee you will want to go  out and buy a yoga mat once you have......... 

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Monday, October 22, 2012

Wholesome Cook Guest Post - Grain and Gluten Free Bread with Hemp

Whilst Martyna from the Wholesome Cook is headed to San Diego I have headed over to her amazing blog to share my grain and gluten free bread that has become somewhat of a staple in my household.  I usually make a loaf of this on a Sunday and whilst it is no substitute for a loaf of crusty sourdough it is something bread like none the less.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Martyna she is a professional recipe developer and the cook behind a Sydney-based allergy-friendly recipe blog, Wholesome Cook, where she tries to create a point of reference for healthy, nutritious and easy to prepare meals, without breaking the bank or over-complicating things. Think of her blog as an anti-revolution to the world of highly processed, fast-food and pre-packaged meals. Specializing in mostly natural, additive-free and allergy-friendly recipes Martyna has recently published her first e-cookbook, My Whole Food Philosophy.

To read more about this recipe and get a copy to print then head here

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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Worthwhile Indulgence - Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes

chocolate cupcake recipe

These little cupcakes constitute what I would regard a worthwhile indulgence and they are both grain and gluten free.

chocolate cupcake recipe

Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes
Adapted from Comfy Belly
Makes 12

Dry Ingredients

1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cacao powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 Tbs pecan meal

Wet Ingredients

1 Tbs olive oil
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup brown rice syrup
1/3 cup chocolate (70%), roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 185 degrees celcius
Line a cupcake tray with patty papers
Combine the dry ingredients in a medium size bowl and use a whisk to mix together
In another bowl combine the wet ingredients and whisk together
Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix together with a spatula to combine
Add the chopped chocolate and mix again
Spoon a heaped tablespoon of mixture into each cupcake liner
Bake for 20mins or until a skewer when inserted comes out clean
Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack

For the Frosting

250 gm block cream cheese, softened
1 heaped Tbs of honey*
Juice of half a lemon

Beat all the ingredients together until combined and smooth
Adjust the sweetness if you wish
Transfer mixture into a piping bag with your chosen nozel and pipe away

* If the frosting seems a little soft then put it in the fridge for a little while to firm up then pipe.

chocolate coconut cupcake recipe

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Thursday, October 11, 2012

I Finally Got Around To Making It - A Raw Lime Tart

I have had this on my list for some time now.  In fact there is a couple at our local farmers market who make and sell a version which is how I first discovered it.  The fact that it was delicious meant I couldn’t not know how to make this so I started to search the internet where I found quite a few to choose from.  Most of them seemed ok but I decided to go with one created by Robyn from Girl on Raw.  I became familiar with her work a little while ago via one of the Raw Cafes not far from us.  Also the fact that there is also an aussie connection probably swayed me as well.

Some points to note with this tart is that it needs to be sliced whilst frozen and taste as you go to ensure you create something to your palate.  Add more or less sweetener or lime juice as you desire.   The same applies to the dates in the base.  Just make sure it is sticking together nicely.  I also think some dried cranberries or sour cherries would make a nice addition to the base as well.  I garnished the tart with dehydrated limes because I could.  It just added something a little bit extra and I made double the recipe.  It was perfect for a 22cm springform pan.

serves 8 - 10

For the Base

½ cup almonds
½ sunflower seeds
½ cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup shredded coconut
10 pitted fresh dates (judge this as you go as to whether you require more or less)
6 Tbs coconut oil

Place all the ingredients into the bowl of a food processor with the S blade attached and whiz until crumbly and sticky
When happy with the consistency press the mixture into the base of a springform pan that has been lightly oil and lined with a piece of glad wrap
Place in the freezer whilst you attend to the filling

Tart Filling

4 ripe avocados ( i like the hass variety but any would be fine)
2/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
4 Tbs agave
4 Tbs coconut oil
1 tsp xantham gum

Place all the ingredients into a blender and whiz and smooth
Adjust the flavours to your palate
Pour the mixture into the springform pan
Place in the freezer until set (this may vary depending on freezer)

To serve:

Remove from the freezer10 mins prior to serving
Use the glad wrap to help with lifting it from the base of the springform tin
Slice using a wet knife

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Friday, October 5, 2012

Tasty Greens - So Simple

Bok Choy Recipe

CBok Choy Recipe

So simple!

Tasty Greens

Orange and Chilli Glaze
Adapted from Curtis Stone

1 tsp macadamia oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated finely
1 large red chilli, seeds removed and finely sliced
¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
¼ cup tamari (wheat free soy sauce)
1 tbs honey

Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat
Add garlic, ginger and chilli
Stirfry for approximately 1 – 1  ½ mins
Add the orange juice and reduce by half
Add the tamari and honey and cook for additional 4 – 5 mins until slightly thickened
Remove from stovetop and prepare the greens as below

For Bok Choy

2 bunches of buk choy, quartered 
Sesame seeds to sprinkle (if desired)

Prepare the buk choy by cutting into quarters and washing thoroughly
Steam bok choy for approximately 3 mins or until tender
Arrange on a serving plate and drizzle with orange and chilli glaze
Sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sorrel Pesto and Za’atar Roasted Baby Eggplants

Sorrel is a lovely green that exudes a fantastic lemony flavour..  Similar to spinach it can be lightly cooked or used for extra zing in a salad.  When I stumbled across a bunch not so long ago I wasn’t sure what its destiny would be until the need for pesto arrived one morning.  I tend to have pesto making down pat these days which is great.  With no recipe needed, just a few minutes, sorrel pesto is being connected with a plate of fluffy scrambled eggs for breakfast and then atop some ever so quaint roasted baby eggplants coated in Za’atar  for lunch.  But why stop the parade there I say when you can top off some pan fried salmon for dinner with another dollop and a squeeze of lemon juice also  -  now that was delicious!

For those who are unfamiliar with Za’atar it is a middle eastern spice blend of which there are many different styles which share common ingredients.  It is easy to make yourself but you can also buy pre mixed preparations in most deli’s or specialty food stores.

Sorrel Pesto
Makes approx 2/3 cup

1 bag of fresh sorrel
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
¼ cup pine nuts
1/3 cup packed coriander leaves
1/3 cup freshly grated romano
¼ cup olive oil
1 tsp honey (optional)

Place all the ingredients except the olive oil in a food processor and blend together
Gradually add the olive oil and continue to blend to a paste or your desired chunkiness
Place in a jar with a tight fitting lid and chill in the fridge where it will last for 1 week.

Fine Cooking
Makes 1/3 cup

3 Tbs Dried Thyme
1 Tbs Lightly Toasted Sesame Seeds
1 Tbs Ground Sumac
½ tsp Dried Oregano
¼ tsp sea salt

Mix all together in a bowl or if you have a spice grinder pulse a few times to break up slightly making sure not to over processs (you should still have some whole seeds in the mix)
Store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Roasted Baby Eggplants

10 baby eggplants, cut in half
2 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs Za’atar

Preheat oven to 185 degrees celcius
Line a baking tray with foil
Prepare eggplants by washing and cutting into half
Place the halved eggplants in a bowl and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 Tbs Za’atar, tossing well to coat the eggplant.
Place in the oven for approximately 20 mins or until soft and cooked through

** Roasted baby eggplants are super to have on hand for pepping up and adding variety to a salad or even as a side when a quick dinner is called for. 

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Monday, September 17, 2012

Some Spicy Tomato Ketchup

  Spiced Tomato Ketchup

Spiced Tomato Ketchup and Roasted Kipfler Potato's

Since recently attending a cooking class at the Spirithouse I’ve had an asian influenced cooking bug of which this ketchup by Kelly Lord forms part of.  Generally I am very bad at sticking to any recipe however on this occasion i managed to stick to the lines fairly closely which, is possibly a world first for me.  My personal spin on the dish entered when i decided to serve this luscious sauce over  freshly roasted kipfler potatoes which isn't asian but pretty darn good none the less.

Use this sauce as you wish.  For that matter it is great as a sauce for pizza or anywhere else you may use a tomato based sauce (within reason).  Beware it does make quite a large quantity so feel free to halve the recipe below.  I have done this numerous times and it makes approximately 500ml.  A perfect amount if you ask me.

Kelly Lord’s Spiced Tomato Ketchup
Makes - a lot

Step 1

1.5 kgs vine ripened tomatos
1 medium red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tspns black peppercorns
2 tspns mustard seeds
2 whole cloves
1/2 stick cinnamon
1 tsp smoked paprika
10 red chillies, deseeded and sliced

Place all the above ingredients into a large stock pot and simmer slowly for 45 mins or until a third of the juices have evaporated.
Stir frequently whilst cooking.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Once cooled, place the tomato mixture in a blender and blend on high for approx 1 minute
Strain the blended mixture through a sieve and into a saucepan, making sure you have extracted as much juice as possible from the pulp.

Step 2

1/3 cup coconut sugar (original recipe calls for brown sugar)
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
1 lime, juiced
1tsp sea salt

Place the saucepan with sieved ingredients on a medium heat and add the ingredients from Step 2.
Allow to simmer for about 10 - 15 mins.
If you prefer a thinner consistency then only simmer for 5 mins.

Once cooked, allow to cool before placing into a sterilised jar in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.

Kipfler Potato

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Pumpkin Quinoa Cake For My Dad - Two Ways!

“The food is terrible, he said” 

The words of my Dad who was recently hospitalised for two weeks after falling terribly ill.  Of course we knew he was on the mend when these words passed his lips.  It was a relief to hear.

  I took off home that day and headed straight to the kitchen with the intention of creating something delicious but wholesome, and, I was pretty happy with the outcome.  I knew I had done it the moment I pulled it from the oven. 

I could smell the cake was done.  I let it cool then wrapped it in some fabric I had in the cupboard before heading back to the hospital, for a picnic of sorts from which there were crumbs to match thanks to two ravenous boys.  I can only imagine the cleaner was not impressed the following morning.    

I made the original version of this cake on spelt flour but since then I have created another version using oat flour for my own curiosity really.  It was equally delicious and is the one pictured.   I include the recipe for it below, if you are interested.  It could be regarded as gluten free if uncontaminated oat flour is used.  For anyone interested in making their own oat flour click here.

In my climate I like to store this cake in the fridge if it hasn’t been eaten within a day or two.  Allow it to come to room temp before serving or warm gently if you can’t wait. 

Pumpkin Quinoa Cake

(Dry Ingredients)
3/4 cup whole spelt flour
3/4 cup almond meal
3/4 cup quinoa, cooked
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp cinnamon, ground

(Wet Ingredients)
2 eggs
1/2 cup ricotta
1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup chopped pecans + extra to top
1 cup grated pumpkin

Preheat over to 185 degrees celcius
Line a loaf pan with baking paper
Place the first 7 ingredients into a bowl and use a whisk to lightly mix together and break up any lumps 
Then mix the wet ingredients together using a whisk
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix lightly using a rubber spatula
Add the chopped pecans and grated pumpkin and mix again
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf tin and top with extra pecans if you wish
Place in the middle shelf of the oven and cook for approximately 35 - 40 mins or until a skewer when inserted comes out cleanly

Oat Flour Version
 (Gluten Free if Oat Flour is Non-Contaminated)

(Dry Ingredients)
3/4 cup oat flour
3/4 cup almond meal
3/4 cup quinoa, cooked
1/2 cup brown rice flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tbs arrowroot flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt

(Wet Ingredients)
2 eggs
1/3 cup ricotta
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup full cream milk

1/2 cup pecans
I cup grated pumpkin

Essentially follow the same method as above for the spelt version

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Tried and Tested Thai Style Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin Soup

I seriously have no idea why I haven’t shared this considering we have been eating it all winter long.  Soup is such a great thing to just have on hand.  I can’t tell you how many times it has been my saviour.  

Thai Style Pumpkin Soup
Serves 6
Inspired by the Spirithouse

1 - 2 Tbs macadamia oil
4 cups pumpkin, chopped

1 Tbs macadamia oil
1 red onion sliced thinly
1 can of coconut milk
1 Tbs red curry paste
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 Tbs coconut sugar (brown sugar will also do)
1 Tbs fish sauce

1/2 cup coriander leaves, roughly chopped
juice of 1 lime

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius
Place pumpkin on a baking tray and lightly coat/spray with oil
Roast until tender (approx 25 mins - 30 mins depending on the size of your pieces)
Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly

Meanwhile heat macadamia oil over a low - medium heat in a heavy based saucepan
Add the onion and cook until soft
Turn down the heat slightly before adding a 1/4 cup coconut milk and the curry paste 
Allow to cook gently for 5 mins 
Add the slightly cooked pumpkin, remaining coconut milk, stock, fish sauce and coconut sugar
Allow to simmer for 5 - 10 mins longer
Add the coriander leaves and transfer to a blender or use a hand held blender to puree
Add the lime juice and adjust the seasoning if necessary 

Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin Soup

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Strawberry and Fennel Juice

strawberry and fennel juice

strawberry and fennel juice

The mercury is starting to rise and on the weekend we welcomed the return of the juicer from the depths of the cupboard.  It was greeted by two cheering boys, a punnet of strawberries,  fennel and a few other bit and bobs.  I only got a mouthful of this thanks to two greedy boys who decided to help themselves whilst I was photographing but I have managed to make it again since.  I love it with lots of mint and on one occasion I added some lemon but as I always say make it your own - add more strawberries, bump up the apple for extra sweetness or downsize on the mint, if you wish, then savour and enjoy.

Strawberry and Fennel Juice
Serves 2 greedy boys in this instance

1 x 250gm punnet strawberries
1 large apple or 2 smalls
1/3 of a medium size fennel
1/2 lebanese cucumber
1 small zuchinni
a handful of mint leaves

Wash and prepare the above ingredients
 Juice according to your juicers instructions.
Then add some ice cubes for some chill factor.


strawberry and fennel juice

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Been Wanting To Try This For Ages - A Cauliflower Pizza Base

Well  I can now say “I have tried it ”.  After months of spying this around the traps my intrigue got the better of me and I decided to give it a go.  I tweaked the base to my own liking then topped it with tomato paste, a sprinkle of grated parmesan grilled it and then finished off with a leftover salad.  You of course could could top it whatever you like and cook it as a traditional pizza which i have also done as well.   It was truly tasty but not comparative to my tried and tested whole wheat spelt pizza base that as a family we regularly enjoy on a Friday night at the end of the working week.

Cauliflower Pizza Base
Adapted from Supercharged Food

I small cauliflower riced **
1 cup almond meal
1 egg
zest of a 1/2 lemon
fresh thyme leaves from 3 - 4 sprigs
1/4 - 1/3 cup parmesan (you decide)
sichuan salt and pepper to season or sea salt

Preheat oven to 225 degrees celcius
Place a pizza stone in the oven to preheat as well
In a bowl combine all the ingredients and mix well to combine
Spoon out the mixture on to a sheet of baking paper and using your hands press into a round shape that resembles a pizza base
Place in the oven on the pizza stone and cook for 12 - 15 mins or until well browned
Remove and allow to cool slightly before topping with with whatever you desire before grilling to warm toppings or melt some lovely cheese of your choice....

* to rice cauliflower - place florets of cauliflower in a food processor.  Whiz until finely chopped but not to much as you don’t want to puree it.

If using almond meal is a problem then check out this post which omits it.


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Friday, August 17, 2012

Sometimes It’s The Simple Things - Sichuan Salt and Pepper

Sichuan Salt and Pepper

I am thinking this is perfect lightly sprinkled over anything at the moment including chocolate chips cookies, but, perhaps my favourite way to enjoy is sprinkled over brussel sprouts, lightly stir fried with a hit of garlic, squeeze of lemon and topped with crunchy almonds, roasted capsicum, avocado and tempeh.  

Sichuan Salt and Pepper
Inspired by Mark Jensen
Then Urban Cook
Makes 2 - 3 Tbs

2 Tbs Coarsely Ground Sea Salt
1 Tbs Sichuan Peppercorns

In a heavy based frypan dry roast the place the salt and sichuan peppercorns
Roast y until aromatic
Cool,  then grind to a fine powder in a mortar and pestle

Sichuan Salt and Pepper

Sichuan Salt and Pepper

Brussel Sprouts

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Hey There, I’m Sherilyn the creator of Wholepromise. This is where I venture outside of being a mum, wife and Fertility Nurse Specialist. I live on the Sunshine Coast in Qld, Australia and am spoilt by year round access to Farmers Markets offering a plethora of local, seasonal and organic produce. In all Wholepromise is my style of food, it’s the food I want my boys to appreciate and it’s the food that makes me happy. Styling and photographing it is just another bonus.


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