27 July 2011

Food glorious (and organic!) food

Since I finished reading Take Control of Your Health by Elaine Hollingsworth (after seeing it so highly recommended on Miranda Kerr's Kora blog), my life will never be the same again (click to buy the book). And I am so SO grateful for it. Slowly but surely, I have begun making a number of lifestyle changes - Aluminium free deodorant (we are meant to sweat, people!), a glass water bottle, sodium lauryl sulphate-free shampoo/soap/cleanser... The list goes on. But the one thing I'm enjoying the most is cooking healthily (nothing processed) with organic produce. Yes, it's more expensive, but the taste of organic makes me realize how far gone supermarket produce is. Bland, thick-skinned, pesticide-laden nothing-ness. Do me a favour - In the next few days, if you are able to, go buy one organic apple, sit somewhere quiet, and eat it. You'll be amazed. But back to food, here are a few beautiful things I've made over the past week - Delicious, healthy, good for the planet, easy on the eye and truly satisfying. Mr Tonic even claims he's been "fuller for longer" lately.

(above) Roast pumpkin (I roast my veggies in organic Ghee), wild rice, roast spanish onion, chickpeas, shaved fennel, fried pumpkin seeds, tamari almonds. Loosely based on this 101 Cookbooks Roast Pumpkin Salad recipe. This was my first foray into wild rice, and my goodness. It's so good.

Super-awesome stir fry: Pan fry firm tofu in a little ghee and sprinkle with salt. After 3 or 4 minutes, add cashew nuts and toss around for another 2 or 3 minutes until lightly toasted. Throw in sliced brussel sprouts, cauliflower and a little lemon zest, and cook on high heat for a couple of minutes. Drizzle with olive oil and a squeeze of lemon.

Super-awesome cauliflower & potato soup: Fry onions and garlic in organic ghee until soft, add chopped potatoes and cover with chicken stock (I like this Campell's Real Stock paste). Season with salt and pepper, and when potatoes are soft, add cauliflower and cook for a further 5 minutes. Puree and serve with a drizzle of olive oil and chopped chives. We had ours with Sonoma bread and butter. Soup is proving to be a great way to get veggies into the kids!

(above) On Sunday morning, I made "Baked Oatmeal with Pears". It's super filling and a rare treat to have something baked for breakfast! I swear it's from 101 Cookbooks, but I can't for the life of me find the link. But here's the recipe from the email I sent myself to print out (and lucky I did!):

Baked Oatmeal with Pears  (Serves 4-6)
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
1/4 cup pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds), toasted
1/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground clove
pinch of fine sea salt
1 egg
2 cups almond milk
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 ripe pears, diced
1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted, plus more for greasing pan

Preheat the oven to 190
˚C (375˚F). Grease the bottom of a 10×8-inch baking dish with the coconut oil, set aside. Place the rolled oats, nuts, baking powder, spices, and salt in a medium mixing bowl. In a separate bowl beat the egg. Add to it the almond milk, maple syrup and vanilla, stir well to combine. Spread the chopped pears into an even layer in the baking dish. Pour the oat mixture to cover the pears, then slowly pour the wet ingredients over the oats so everything is evenly soaked. Drizzle the melted coconut oil over the top and bake for 30-35 minutes. When it’s done the oatmeal should be set and lightly browned on top and your kitchen smells like cinnamon. Let cool slightly before serving.

Note: I left out the walnuts (I'd run out), pepitas (I forgot) and hazelnuts (didn't have any) and substituted almonds. I also left out the clove (didn't have any) and ginger (wasn't too sure about it) and it was still really delicious. I also used organic oat milk instead of almond milk (which is over $8 a litre!!).

(above) Super-awesome salad: Fennel, continental parsley, borlotti beans, chickpeas, cashews, hummus, caramelized onions, olive oil, apple cider vinegar. 

Soon, I'll show you a few of my favourite ingredients for yummy-ing up healthy food. I just have so much to share, it's not funny. But it's good. I just need a few more hours in the day! I hope you are inspired to try some of these dishes and consider switching to organic produce, if only for the taste. Happy cooking (and eating!). PS I wanted to switch to a glass water bottle for my desk (plastic = chemicals) and wasn't sure where to get one, so I popped into Thomus Dux (fancy, but gorgeous green grocer) and grabbed a 1 litre bottle of Antipodes water ($4.99), which I will reuse. Ta-daa!


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