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I read some good news last week, the price of cauliflower has come down from $8 to $2 each! To celebrate I thought I would share one of my favourite cauliflower dishes, Cauliflower, chickpea & pumpkin curry!

Cauliflower is a member of the cruciferous family of vegetables and with it's array of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals and antioxidants you should definitely make room for him on your dinner plate.

Along with pumpkin and chickpeas and the various spices in this dish, you are not only comforting your body in this cold weather but also eating yourself to better health.

Don't be put off by the amount of ingredients, alot of these spices and sauces are kept in the pantry and will be used time and time again. 

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 teaspoon ginger root, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin poweder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1-2 teaspoon chilli powder or flakes (depending on your heat preference)
  • 1/2 cauliflower head cut into florets
  • 500g pumpkin, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 tin chickpeas (rinsed)
  • 1 litre of good stock (I use vegetable)
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes (optional)
  • 1 kaffir lime leaf
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon tamari
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1/2 - 1 tin of coconut milk (400g can)
  • brown rice, coriander leaves, bean sprouts & greek yoghurt to serve

Method

Heat the oil in a large soup pot, then add the onion and cook until soft. Add the ginger, garlic and ground coriander. Saute for another minute then add all of the spices and cook until they start to stick on the bottom of the pot. Being careful not to burn them.

Add the cauliflower & pumpkin and saute for a minute or until they are coated with the spice mix. Fill the pot with your stock, tin of tomatoes and the lime leaf. Cover and let the curry simmer until the vegetables are soft then add the chickpeas, tamari, fish sauce and sesame oil.

Heat through until liquid has reduced and thickened.  The coconut milk should go in near the end of the cooking process - no need to boil it, just be sure it's heated through. Serve with brown rice, a dollop of thick yoghurt and top with coriander leaves and bean sprouts.

Hello! This week I have chosen a seemingly fancy dish that was actually quite easy! It's a Macadamia crusted fish .

I made this last week and the crust was just delicious. I think next time I will try a different kind of fish or perhaps even use a rack of lamb - I will let you know how that turns out.

Here is the recipe:

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (300g) unsalted macadamias
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped 
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon, plus wedges to serve
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 bunch each of flat leaf parsley and chives (note I forgot the chives)
  • 4 x 160g skinless barramundi fillets
  • mixed salad leaves to serve

Method

Preheat oven to 200C and line a tray with baking paper.

Place nuts, zest, half the juice, garlic and 1 tablespoon of oil in a small food processor and whiz into a coarse paste. Transfer to a bowl and season. Finely chop 2 tablespoons each parsley and chives and stir in.

Place fish on tray and press nut mixture onto the top. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the crust is golden and the fish is opaque.

Pick remaining parsley leaves and halve the chives. Toss with salad leaves, remaining oil and lemon juice. Season, then serve with fish and lemon wedges.

So as you will see not too much effort but mmm, alot of reward!

I even forgot to take a picture due to my rumbling belly so have used Ben Dearnley's photo! 

This year the Stroke Foundation held a campaign to raise awareness of the link between high blood pressure and stroke.

They mention high blood pressure is one of the most important known risk factors for stroke. High blood pressure can show no symptoms so the only way to know your blood pressure is to have it checked regularly.

We performed our own Blood pressure check with those in the office today and the results are in:

  • Harry, 132/82 (pictured, happy with his result)
  • Cath, 123/76
  • Georgia, 110/56
  • Sue, 151/87

So we did pretty well, but glad Sue has an appointment with her GP coming up to perform another check.

It's not too late, check with your local Chemmart Pharmacy today see your own blood pressure results or book in with your GP. 

This week I have made Pumpkin soup but with a bit of a twist on the traditional pumpkin soup by switching regular cream for coconut milk and adding some Indian spices. I found this recipe online via ex-Master Chef contestant Dani Venn

INGREDIENTS

  • 1kg pumpkin (I use butternut but any will do), peeled, deseeded and diced
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 brown onions, finely diced
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon finger, grated
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander seed
  • 1 litre chicken or vegetable stock (I use chicken)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • Sea salt, to season

METHOD

Preheat fan forced oven to 200 degrees. 

Place diced pumpkin in a large bowl, add a tablespoon of coconut oil and salt and toss pumpkin to coat evenly. Place pumpkin evenly on a baking tray, so pumpkin is not overlapping and bake until pumpkin starts to turn a light golden colour and is soft, this may take between 30-50minutes depending on the size of the diced pumpkin. Set aside.

Place large saucepan over medium-high heat, add a tablespoon of coconut oil. Once oil is hot, add onions and cook until softened stirring occasionally, a little colour on your onions won't hurt. Add garlic, ginger and spices, mix together and cook for a further 2 minutes. 

Add pumpkin, stock and bring to the boil and then simmer for 20 minutes allowing flavours to infuse. Finish soup by adding coconut milk, stir wel. Taste and ensure you are happy with the flavours, add a little more spices or coconut milk to your liking.

Remove from heat and use a hand held stick blender to process soup to a thick, smooth consistency. Thin soup out with extra stock or water if you think it's too thick for you. Season with salt.

Serve hot with extra coconut milk to garnish if you would like. 

I love this soup and it's always in my freezer, I hope you enjoy it too!

In Australia I am sure you have all heard about the Heart Foundation Tick, but did you know there is also another system set out to help with making healthier choices? I have just learned about the Health Star Rating System and wanted to share with you.

We all know whole, fresh fruit and vegetables are best for us, but when we do need to purchase packaged food, how do we, at a glance, know we are making a healthier choice. That's where the Health Star Rating System comes into play.

The Health Star Rating is a front-of-pack labelling system that rates the overall nutritional profile of packaged food and assigns it a rating from 1/2 a star to 5 stars. It provides a quick, easy, standard way to compare similar packaged foods. The more stars, the healthier choice. 

This system was developed by the Australian, state and territory governments in collaboration with industry, public health and consumer groups.

The number of stars is determined by using a calculator designed to assess positive and risk nutrients in food, you can perform your own calculations based on the packaged food's nutritional panel.

It appears not all 5 star rated products are 'healthy' they are just the better option in that category of food.

As consumers I would think it's best to not just rely on such ratings or systems, we need to educate ourselves and form our own opinions and remember, fresh is always best. 

Hey there, today I am kicking off my first 'Tasty Tuesday' recipe series with a Hearty Beef Stew.

This dish I found at taste.com.au is just perfect for the colder weather we are facing here and paired with a glass of the left over red wine makes for a relaxing evening, so better off purchasing a nice bottle.

The cut of meat for this recipe is cheaper, but it's the best kind for the slow cooking, you know when this dish is ready as the beef is just so tender.

I have actually cooked this and divided into portions for freezing, handy for lunches or dinners, may even help to distract from take away meals that entice us over the cooler months. 

I am eating the stew for lunch today, I recommend trying it yourself and tell me how you go!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1.5 diced beef chuck or blade steak
  • 2 large onions
  • 2 leeks, white part only, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 sticks celery, trimmed, sliced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled, cut into 3cm pieces
  • 2 x 425g cans diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1 cup beef stock

Method

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over high heat. Cook beef, in 4 batches, stirring, until browed. Transfer to a plate. 

Reduce heat to medium. Add remaining oil, onions, leeks, garlic, celery and carrots to pan. Cook, stirring often for 5 minutes.

Return beef to pan with tomatoes, wine and stock. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 1 hour. Uncover and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or until the beef is tender.

You could serve with mash potato & greens or a crusty bread, however on it's own is also delicious!