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Blog

This blog started as a way for me to share my recipes + culinary adventures, tips for vibrant health + happiness, thoughts on the latest developments in nutritional medicine + the low down on the Sydney wholefoods scene and beyond...

Filtering by Tag: recipe

Asian omelette with wild salmon

Becca Crawford

True wild salmon from cold waters, swimming upstream, are a tremendous source of anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, brain-loving omega 3s. Wild salmon is also a high quality source of protein, tryptophan, vitamin D, B12, B6 (when eaten raw/rare) and powerful anti-oxidants such as selenium. 

Wild salmon is best eaten raw (as in ceviché) or as rare as possible as the delicate omega 3s are particularly heat sensitive and easily damaged by any temperature above low heat. So the key with this recipe is to keep the temperature as low as possible (long slow cooking for this one!). 

The only true wild salmon fillets available in Australia are those from The Canadian Way. The laboratory results should that this salmon has an unmatched omega 3 to 6 ratio of around 10:1 making it powerfully anti-inflammatory. In contrast, farmed salmon has higher amounts of omega 6 to 3, making it inflammatory. This is unsurprising as farmed salmon are fed a very unnatural diet (including antibiotics, soy pellets and colour dyes to give it that pink colour). They also live in very cramped crowded conditions (often dubbed the battery hens of the ocean) which breed illness and disease. I’ve blogged about farmed versus wild fish here

I often make this recipe the day after I have made Vietnamese Pho as it is a great way to use up those Pho leftover ingredients (which is actually my inspiration for this recipe)!  It is dairy-free and my kids absolutely love it for either breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Ingredients:

  • 3 fillets of wild salmon fillets
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 40g spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 40g red onion, thinly sliced
  • 40g red capsicum, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons tamari
  • 2 teaspoons activated sesame seeds
  • handful of Thai basil
  • handful of coriander
  • handful of Vietnamese mint
  • fresh chilli, thinly sliced (to garnish if desired) 

Directions:

1. Turn on the grill element in the oven. 

2. Melt coconut oil in a large frying pan on low heat on the stove top. Add spring onions, red onion and red capsicum and sauté for a few minutes until soft. 

3. Add in the salmon fillets skin side down and cook for approxiamtely 2 minutes until the skin is cooked. Add tamari and sesame seeds to coat the top of the fillets. Turn the salmon fillets over and cook for approx 3 mintues. Break the fish up into smaller pieces of about 1 inch in length with a stainless steel spatula. The fish should still be pink in the centre. 

4. Add in the herbs and the beaten eggs. Cook for at least 5-8 minutes to cook the underside of the omelette. Transfer the frying pan to the oven under the heated grill element to cook the top side of the omelette until it is golden brown. If the egg mixture hasn’t set and is still runny, return the pan to the stove top and gently cook on low heat until the egg mixture is set. 

5. Garnish with fresh chillies, and serve with avocado and sliced cucumber if desired. 

Gluten-free grain porridge

Becca Crawford

Every now and again I make a creamy rice porridge for breakfast. My kids love it, especially in winter. It’s the perfect winter breakfast comfort food. The recipe below can be used for any type of gluten-free grains but white rice is our favourite. 

Why we should always soak grains before cooking them, and why I choose white rice over brown rice, is all set out in one of my previous blog posts here.

I inject nutrient-density into this porridge by adding in egg yolks, butter and cream, to provide a creamy, nutritious bowl. There is quite a bit of milk added as I like a very milky hydrating porridge as I find grains can be very drying. If this is too much milk for you, simply use 2 instead of 3 cups.  

Base ingredients:

1 cup gluten-free grain such as hulled buckwheat, rice, millet, amaranth or quinoa
3 cups full fat milk, coconut milk or nut milk of choice
¼ cup currants (optional)
2 tablespoons cream
1.5 tablespoons butter or coconut oil
3-5 egg yolks
1 tsp cinnamon powder
¼ tsp vanilla bean powder

Toppings - any one or more of: 

chopped banana
a handful of fresh berries
a scattering of goji berries
coconut flakes
gluten-free muesli
dusting of raw cacao powder
extra dustings of cinnamon powder or vanilla bean powder
cream or yogurt
a drizzle of honey

Directions:

Soak grains and currants overnight in 2 cups of water in a bowl.  Strain and rinse in filtered water. Transfer to a saucepan and cook in milk of choice covered on a low simmer stirring occasionally until the grains are cooked (completely soft) (approx. 10 mins). Add more liquid if it has all been absorbed. Do not allow to high simmer or boil. 

Turn off heat and stir through the butter or coconut oil, cream, egg yolks, cinnamon powder and vanilla bean powder.

Divide between 3 bowls and serve with any one or more of the suggested toppings.

Serves 3

Variation: instead of cooking the grains in milk cook them in 2 cups of chicken or beef bone broth/stock then once cooked add 1 cup of milk into the saucepan and gently heat. Then add in butter or coconut oil and egg yolks and stir through until well mixed.

Veggie-Packed Fried Rice (and why I prefer white rice over brown rice and why I like to eat my rice cold)

Becca Crawford

My kids LOVE fried rice. Although I try to limit grains as much as possible in favour of more nutrient-dense foods to fill their little bellies, we still do have grains occasionally IF they are properly prepared through soaking, sprouting or fermenting. This proper preparation process adhered to by all traditional societies the world over is important to remove anti-nutrients (such as phytates) found in all grains (as well as nuts, seeds and legumes) that can cause digestive havoc (such as trapping the nutrients found in grains, irritating the lining of the gut making it leaky, and destroying enzymes needed to digest out food). Proper preparation reduces phytates thus liberating the nutrients therein and making the grains more digestible and nutritious (as well as more delicious). 

Rice tends to be favoured as a grain of choice in the ancestral health community because it is doesn’t contain any gluten (the same can be said for buckwheat, amaranth, millet and quinoa). Gluten is another anti-nutrient but, unlike phytates, it is not removed through proper soaking preparation and thus stays in the grain. Gluten can be a difficult protein to digest and for some it can lead to non-celiac gluten sensitivity or in more extreme cases celiac disease which is a full blow auto-immune condition triggered by gluten. Strict proponents of the Paleo diet would say we should avoid gluten grains (wheat, rye, oats and barley) altogether because the risk of gluten causing a leaky gut is too great (and a leaky gut = digestive distress and is one step away from auto-immunity) . For those who do react after they consume gluten then this is sound advice. Life is too short to feel crappy after a meal. For those who do not notice any symptoms after eating gluten, whether or not you should eat it is a matter of great debate and often comes down to your lifestyle choices. You may (or may not) be influenced by whether or not you have the celiac gene which can be determined via a blood test  (and if you do, you might consider it too risky to tempt fate with gluten-containing grains). As a side note if you DO wish to avoid gluten in entirety, it might surprise you to know that grains are not the only place where gluten can be found- there are numerous hidden sources of gluten in non-food everyday household objects as set out in this article here. For those with leaky gut and autoimmunity then all grains (whether they contain gluten or not) are best avoided until the gut wall is fully healed. 

Ok, so back to our friend, rice. White rice contains much less phytates than brown rice because the outer husk has been removed. The outer husk is where most of the phytates are located, so brown rice contains much more phytates that white rice. For almost 10 years as a macrobiotic vegetarian, I was eating brown rice thinking it was healthier than white rice (anything brown must be healthier, right?!?) but as it turns out the opposite was true. Go figure. Even though white rice contains less phytates than brown rice I still do properly prepare it through soaking it overnight then straining and rinsing it to remove as much of the phytates as possible. You can think of white rice as glucose – a source of carbohydrates that (unlike fructose) is well absorbed by the body and taken up as fuel by our cells. Our bodies can handle glucose in moderate amounts. Obviously consumption of too much glucose (in any form) for your energy expenditure will lead to weight gain but in the context of a balanced diet (i.e. along with the consumption of protein and fats from natural sources and above ground veggies rich in phytonutrients) and an active lifestyle,  the occasional or even frequent consumption of white rice shouldn’t be anything to be worried about for those who do not suffer digestive issues. 

Hopefully the above background will explain why I soak rice in this recipe and why I choose white rice over brown rice. People often ask me which TYPE of white rice to buy – short grain, basmati etc. I don’t think the type of white rice really matters. I typically buy short grain white rice as it is the most versatile.  And the reason why I cook rice in bone broth (aka stock) instead of water is because it is a more nutrient-dense way of eating rice – all of the minerals and other goodness in the bone broth get absorbed into the rice, giving you more bang for your buck. Not to mention that it is a hell of a lot more tastier! Why I prefer to eat this meal as leftovers cold the next day is set out at the end.  


Ingredients:

1 cup white rice
2 cups (500ml) chicken bone broth (stock)
1 onion, diced
1 packet of bacon, diced
3 tablespoons natural fat of choice (eg butter, coconut oil, beef, tallow, ghee)
1 punnet (150g) mushrooms, sliced
1 cups frozen peas
1 cup of broccoli florets, finely chopped  
1 cup of cauliflower florets, finely chopped  
1 carrot, grated
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
5 cardamon pods, ground up in a spice/nut/coffee grinder
1 cinnamon quill
1 teaspoon unrefined salt

Directions:

Soak the rice from the day before in a bowl with plenty of filtered water. The following day strain the rice and place in a saucepan with 2 cups of chicken stock (or if no stock, use filtered water).

Cover and bring to boil, then gently simmer until all liquid has been absorbed. The rice should be cooked through and tender.  

In a large frying pan or wok, melt natural fat of choice (I like to use 50/50 butter and coconut oil for this recipe) and sauté the onions and bacon on low heat for a couple minutes.

Add turmeric powder, ground cardamom pods and 1 whole cinnamon quill. Sautee for 5 - 10 minutes or until onions become translucent and golden brown. 

Add mushrooms, peas, broccoli, cauliflower and carrot, and sauté until veggies are tender, stirring occasionally.  Season with salt.

Add cooked rice to the frying pan and combine well. Garnish with coriander leaves. 

For a more Asian infusion, omit the turmeric and season at the end with a drizzle of Red Boat fish sauce, tamari and lime juice, and a scattering of chilli flakes and a handful of activated cashews. 

Serves 6.

I purposely made the quantity of this recipe substantial so that there will be plenty of leftovers. Leftovers are terrific eaten the following day cold. Rice that has been cooked and cooled for 24 hours is a form of resistant starch. Resistant starch is one type of prebiotic i.e. food for the good bacteria already in our gut that keeps these little critters alive, healthy and kicking. Unlike cooked and heated rice, cooked and cooled white rice is not digested in the stomach or small intestine, reaching the colon (the large intestine) intact.  Thereby “resisting” digestion.  This explains why resistant starch does not result in spikes in either blood glucose or insulin, and why we do not obtain significant calories from resistant starch.  Once resistant starch reaches the large intestine, bacteria attach to and digest, or ferment, the starch.  This is when we receive the benefits of resistant starch. You can read more about resistant starch in one of my previous blog posts here.