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» star anise organic wholefoods

traditional wholefoods for a modern world

Filtering by Category: My Recipes

Modern Greek Salad

soullachamberlain

IMG_6150 I love traditional wholefoods made with a modern twist.  This way we can still reap all of the nutritional benefits of foods that we are designed to eat and make us thrive, but frocked up for this contemporary world. A bit like a hopeless romantic with a dirty mind (it is Valentines Day after all).

I recently shared a recipe for Fig Brie and Rocket salad now that figs are in season. Figs are still afoot (I picked some up yesterday in Just Organics) and I happened upon some pomegranate in my gathering expedition which sadly is not organic... I bought it from the supermarket (gasp!)  but i figure that its thick outer skin acts as a pretty good protectant from any chemicals that may have been sprayed on it.... and for me pomegranate  is a one-a-year purchase, so I'm not so phased. So with figs and pomegranate - 2 quintessential wog staples- my mind went to work on reinventing the Greek salad.

Ingredients

4 handfuls of rocket 8 fresh small ripe figs (or 6 large figs), cut into quarters (I prefer to leave skin on) 70 grams feta, cut into cubes 4 radishes, thinly sliced (optional) ½ pomegranate ½ cucumber, thinly shaved on the diagonal with a vegetable peeler ½ small red onion, thinly sliced in rounds handful of green olives 2 tablespoon extra virgin cold pressed olive oil 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar 1 tablespoon lemon juice unrefined salt cracked pepper

Directions

Blend the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and lemon juice with a stick blender or whisk until well mixed to make a dressing.

Arrange rocket on a round serving plate. Arrange the figs, feta, radishes, pomegranate, cucumber, red onion slices and green olives all around the plate.

Dress with oil/vinegar/lemon dressing, and season with salt and pepper before serving.

Serve as an entrée or a side to a main meal.

Serves 4.

Tonight this was prepared and served within 15 minutes post-beach as a special Valentines dinner with my 2 greatest loves - Will and Michaela- with seared pastured steak drizzled with Worcestershire sauce, my cultured veggies and a cup of gelatinous chook broth. Frangipanis, assorted shells and candle on the table care of Michaela "because this is a special day mummy".

IMG_6149IMG_6151

Opa! ..... and Kali Orexi!

Fig, Brie and Rocket salad

soullachamberlain

IMG_5528Figs remind me so much of my dad and his precious fig trees. In true Cypriot style, he has built his own enclosure for them to keep those pesky birds away, fully netted and complete with fake rubber snakes. Gotta love it. One of the numerous reasons why I LOVE summer is because figs are in season, although their time on the produce store is always fleeting- so try to get your hands on them quick before they disappear! I bought some of these deliciously sweet and delicate fruit of the Gods other day in my gathering expedition, and threw this salad together which was a big hit with the kids.  Ingredients

4 handfuls of rocket 6-8 fresh ripe figs, cut into quarters (I prefer to leave skin on) 1 small round of brie (or camembert) cheese, cut into thin wedges ½ cucumber (I prefer the Lebanese variety), thinly shaved on the diagonal with a vegetable peeler ½ small red onion, thinly sliced in rounds balsamic vinegar extra virgin cold pressed olive oil unrefined salt cracked pepper

 Directions

Arrange rocket on a round serving plate. Arrange the figs, brie, cucumber and red onion slices all around the plate. Dress with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and season with salt and pepper before serving.

Serve as an entrée or a side to a main meal.

Serves 4.

When figs are out of season you could substitute rehydrated dry figs but nothing beats the fresh variety for its unique taste, texture, nutrition and appearance.

How to make almond butter

soullachamberlain

IMG_4675I am often asked about nut butters. To be honest I am not a huge fan of them. And here's why: It takes a lot of nuts to yield a very small amount of nut butter. eg 1.5 cups of almonds yields only a bit more than 1/2 cup of almond butter.  So you end up consuming a heck of a lot of nuts in each spoonful of nut butter, much much more than you should typically eat if you were eating whole nuts. And what's wrong with nuts? In small amounts, for those who don't have digestive issues or mineral deficiencies, nut are awesome and in fact ranked as the 3rd most nutrient-dense food on the planet behind organ meats and herbs and spices (according Harvard University Chemist Dr Mat Lalonde. Check out pages 70-71 of Chris Kresser's book "Your Personal Paleo Code" 2014 for a list of the most nutrient-dense foods). However nuts do contain more omega 6 than omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (which has an inflammatory effect on the body). Secondly, unactivated nuts (ie nuts that have not been properly prepared through soaking and dehydrating) contain phytic acid which leaches minerals from the body and leads to digestive issues. Without doing a full due diligence I bet all store-bought nut butter are made from nuts that have not been properly prepared or "activated" (happy to be proved wrong here). Thirdly, nut butters are typically consumed on bread and I have spend the past decade trying to reduce the amount of gluten (and grains generally for that matter) from my and my kids' diet. The reasons for this go beyond the scope of this post but contact me should you wish to discuss the relevance and effect of grains on the human body.  The occasional consumption of smallish amounts of gluten-free properly prepared grains is fine for those without digestive issues (eg rice, buckwheat). So eating huge amounts of nut butters, especially when the nuts are not activated, involves taking a massive omega 6 and phytic acid hit. It's is a bit like the orange juice analogy where you end up consuming the fructose equivalent of 5 oranges in 1 glass of orange juice even though you couldn't possibly eat 5 oranges in one sitting.

So if you are going to consume nut butters here's what i suggest:

1. it's best to make them yourself at home from activated nuts; and

2. consume only small amounts eg a couple mouthfuls at a time especially for youngsters.

Here's how to make almond butter.  It's dead easy:

Ingredients:

2 cups of salted activated almonds 2 tablespoons of coconut oil

Directions:

Process ingredients in a food processor for 15 minutes (yes that long!) stopping the food processor every few minutes to scrap down the sides and to prevent the machine from overheating. If making larger amounts, add the nuts in batches in the food processor.

Some recipes don't require the addition of coconut oil. I found that without the coconut oil this makes the almond butter really hard to swallow and gets stuck on the back of your throat (hardly pleasant). Because my activated nuts are salted I don't need to add additional salt. If yours are not salted you might like to add 1/4 tsp salt to the food processor.

Serve:

Eat straight off the spoon as is for a decadent dessert or snack, or with vegetable sticks, or smeared on slices of apple or pineapple, or drizzled onto pancakes or on a slice of traditionally prepared bread (stay tuned for my future posts on various buckwheat loaves - they are still a work in progress). Some add nut butters to their smoothies.  You can add a drizzle of honey or maple syrup onto your nut butter (which I did as you can see in the above photo).

Storage:

Nut butters keep for many weeks in a sealed container or jar in the fridge. The downside is that they will go quite hard though in the fridge. They will keep a few days out of the fridge.

Variations:

You can substitute any other type of nut. Macadamias don't require as long in the food processor presumably due to their higher oil content. You just need to keep processing until the nuts reach the consistency of a smooth, creamy, butter. This will depend on the type of nut and how powerful your food processor is. You can flavour or sweeten your nut butter by adding the following while processing such as:

  • raw cacao powder, cinnamon powder, and/or vanilla bean powder
  • raw honey or maple syrup
  • turmeric, cumin, ginger, garlic powder and/or chilli flakes (I've made turmeric and brazil nut butter before)

In this way you can make your own spreads and butters without resorting to expensive store bought varieties. Have you made nut butter before?  What ingredients did you use?

The photos below show you the transition from whole almonds to almond butter at 4 minute intervals over 15 minutes of processing.

IMG_4681 IMG_4682 IMG_4683 IMG_4684 IMG_4676

Banana Date Walnut Loaf

soullachamberlain

IMG_3652What to do with 3 ripe bananas that will not be eaten and dared not be tossed away? Or looking for a loaf-type nutritious snack or dessert that you can smear an inch thick of butter onto (now that you're not eating much, if any, bread....)? Or craving a cosy and comforting Christmasy treat? Try this easy recipe. Kids will love it and I like that it contains no concentrated sweeteners at all- just dates and bananas. Plus it's gluten-free (and grain-free if you consider that buckwheat is technically a fruit and not a grain). Because the ingredients are so nutrient-dense with no empty fillers it is very filling and, as with all my cake and dessert recipes, a little goes a long way. If you're like me and don't have much of a sweet tooth, then reduce the amount of dates used.

Ingredients:

3 ripe bananas (approx 300-400g, weighed unpeeled) 125g butter or coconut oil 225g (1 1/3 cup) activated cinnamon buckwheat 4 eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla bean powder 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg 1 cup, 230g, approx 14 medjool dates (weigh with seeds in then remove), roughly chopped (I pull them apart with my hands). 1 cup, 95g, roughly chopped activated walnuts (I break them apart with my hands) plus extra for decorating

IMG_3653Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 120 degrees Celsius.

Grease a loaf tin with coconut oil and line it with baking paper on the base and all sides.

Process activated buckwheat in a nut grinder (or thermomix) until it resembles a fine flour. I do this in 2 batches in my nut grinder.

Add eggs to food processor and process well until very well beaten - their colour will change from yellow to almost white. Add all other ingredients to food processor other than dates and walnuts and process until mixture is smooth.

Pour batter into a large bowl and add dates and walnuts. Stir well to combine.

Pour mixture into the loaf tin and decorate the top with a scattering of walnuts.

Bake at 120 degrees Celsius for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the loaf comes out clean. If the top is not brown enough to your liking after 1 hour, turn the temperature up a little and bake for another 5 minutes or so.

When cooled somewhat remove from tin (it should slide right out with the baking paper) and place onto a serving platter or cutting board.

Serve as is or toasted under the grill element and then smear with butter if desired.

Keeps a couple days out of the fridge then refrigerate.

This is the first of a series of loaf recipes I will be making. Others will include an orange peel and spices, a savoury Cypriot olive and mint loaf,  and a basic buckwheat bread loaf. 

2-ingredient mango jelly!

soullachamberlain

IMG_3316 Super easy to make. Super delicious. Super nutritious. No added sugars. Perfect summer dessert. Kids love it (big ones too!).

There's 2 things you need to know about making jelly:

1. using a quality source of gelatin powder is important. Gelatin is what makes the mixture gel or congeal. (It's naturally found in the bones of animals and hence what makes a good bone broth look like jelly and stand on a spoon!). In terms of ready-made gelatin powders, I recommend Bernard Jensen or Great Lakes in the red container. I used the latter in this recipe.  Their beef gelatin powder is pure protein derived from the selective hydrolysis of collagen from the skin, connective tissue and/or bones of grass fed, free range beef cattle. This is the real deal. Just one ingredient: ground up collagen from pastured cows. No need to ever buy cheap processed imitation gelatin crap full of flavours, colours and preservatives from the supermarket again. Major brands will go unnamed.

2. using the right amount of gelatin powder is important - and is a painstaking process of trial and error. Not adding enough makes a watery goo. Adding too much produces a hard rubbery texture that you could bounce a ball off (unless of course you're after gummies or you could always simply say "Well, I intended to make gummies, of course").  My mate Monty tells me that the consistency of jelly is all about tongue action. And then proceeded to give me a 10 minute explanation of how the tongue needs to be able to break the jelly apart with the right amount of effortless force. Indeed. Fortunately my mango jelly passed his test. Relief! But if you feel that the consistency of the jelly using my recipe is not to your liking (if your tongue just aint happy), then simply experiment by increasing or decreasing the amount of gelatin powder used.

Ok, let's do it!

IMG_3297 Ingredients:

350ml mango flesh (1 large mango), plus additional for decorating ½ tablespoon (2 tsp) gelatin powder

Directions:

Puree the mango flesh with a hand held blender. I do this in a measuring cup to determine the correct volume of mango.

Place pureed mango plus gelatin powder into a small saucepan over medium heat and mix ingredients with hand held blender until gelatin is dissolved and the ingredients are mixed well (this will only take a few minutes). The mixture should be warm - do not allow to simmer or boil. Pour into small vessels or a glass rectangular container and refrigerate until set (this only takes a couple of hours).

To serve:

Top with additional sliced mango segments and, if desired, thick mud cream or creme fraiche.

Serves approx 4.

IMG_3296Variations:

  1. For a creamier version (akin to panacotta), add 100ml of cream to the saucepan. Experiment with volume of cream to obtain your desired creaminess; and/or
  2. Add cubes of mango (and/or well-ripened pear) into the vessels/container after pouring in the mixture.

Health benefits:

Beef gelatin: * Promotes healthy skin & hair. * Improves joint & bone health. * Improves quality of sleep when taken in the evening. * Enhances digestion by strengthening the intestinal lining.

Adding a quality protein or fat source to fruit also helps to slow down the release of the fructose naturally found in fruit, avoiding the sugar high then crash.

I'll be writing a post in the future on the difference between the Green and the Red containers of Great Lakes gelatin powder as I am asked about this frequently.

Greek Rice pudding (Risoyalo)

soullachamberlain

IMG_3190 Always a favourite dessert of mine growing up, I have fond memories of my mother frequently whipping up rice pudding dusted with cinnamon powder. I took her age-old recipe and made the necessary wholefood modifications to it and, after a few reiterations, I feel that I have nailed it and it's ready to be shared. My kids can't get enough of this one and have been taking it for morning tea to school. Just a warning, for anyone who loves a creamy comfort food, this is highly addictive!

Risoyalo is delicious served warm or, to take advantage of the resistant starch properties of cooked and cooled white rice, serve at room temperature or cold from the fridge.  I recently wrote a blog post on benefits of resistant starch which you can read here. So this is yet another way to incorporate it into your diet. I know, what a hardship.

Ingredients:

1 cup (200g) med grain white rice, soaked in 2 cups of water overnight on benchIMG_3157 2 cups water (additional to the above) the rind from ½ a lemon (slice off with a knife) 2 cups full fat milk 1/2 tablespoon (2 tsps) vanilla essence ¼ cup raw honey (or a combination of honey and maple syrup. I like using half and half) cinnamon powder for dusting 4 egg yolks (optional), for extra nutrient-density

IMG_3156Directions:

Strain soaked rice and rinse in water.

Add 2 cups of water, rice and lemon rind to a saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil (should only take a few minutes). Lower heat, stir then recover and allow to gently simmer until rice is cooked and all of the water has been absorbed, stirring occasionally (approx 8 mins). Remove lemon rind with tongs.

Add milk, honey and vanilla. Stir occasionally, uncovered, on a gentle simmer until mixture thickens and most of the milk has been absorbed (approx 20 mins). Turn off heat and stir in egg yolks until well mixed.

Pour into individual ramekins or vessels and dust with cinnamon powder.

IMG_3159Keeps in refrigerator for several days.

Makes approx 10-12 x 100g servings.

You can not taste the addition of the egg yolks (something that was not in my mum's traditional recipe). If anything, the texture is more rich and creamy with the yolks. They do give the pudding a yellow tinge instead of its usual white though!

Although I haven't tried it, for a  dairy-free version I suggest using 2 cups of coconut milk instead of cows milk. If you try this coconut milk version let me know and next time I will make it with coconut milk and report back.

 

 

 

Recipes on my blog on the one page

soullachamberlain

I've added a new Recipes page to my website which lists on the one page all of the recipes that I have over the years posted to my blog. Check it out here. Just click on any recipe and it will link to it. I aim to publish a cookbook in the new year with the hundreds of recipes I have floating around  in my kitchen cupboards but this page of my website gives you a small sample. More recipe will be posted in the coming weeks including Greek rice pudding, bacon and egg muffins, and Cypriot chicken wings. Enjoy! Much love soulla x

Activated buckwheat flour pancakes

soullachamberlain

In one of my recent posts on some of my new products I talked about my activated cinnamon buckwheat. In that post I mentioned that one of the many recipes I use this ingredient for is my activated buckwheat pancakes which have become a weekend ritual in my family. As promised, here's the recipe.  Apologies for the delay in getting this to you....it has involved many years of painstaking iterations...such is the life of a perfectionist.....

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (170g) activated cinnamon buckwheat or activated rice or a combination of the 2
  • 1.5 cups of whole milk
  • 4 pastured eggs
  • pinch of unrefined salt
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 5 tablespoons (ish) of coconut oil for frying
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IMG_5776

Directions:

Process activated buckwheat/rice in a nut grinder until it resembles a fine soft flour. For best results process in 2-3 batches. You will not get the same result by using an ordinary food processor unless you have a Thermomix.

Add the eggs to the food processor and process until very well beaten- their colour will change from yellow to almost white. This will take several minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients to the food processor and process until mixture is a smooth well-blended batter.

IMG_1330
IMG_1330

For this quantity of ingredients I like to have 1 small, 1 medium and 1 large frying pan on the go at once for efficiency and add 2 tablespoons of coconut oil to each of the medium and large frying pans and 1 tablespoon of oil to the smallest pan. When the oil has melted pour batter into each frying pan. When underside is cooked to golden brown, transfer frying pans to oven under heated grill element to cook top side until golden brown (this avoids flipping pancakes over in pan!). Be sure to position the pancakes a fair distance from the grill element to prevent burning ie about middle of the oven.

Transfer to plate and, if desired, add one or more toppings such as:

  • crispy bacon
  • fruit (eg stewed fruit, sliced banana, fresh berries, passionfruit)
  • a dollop of cream
  • drizzle of maple syrup, maple butter (which is whipped maple syrup) or raw honey
  • a dollop of jam, choc coconut spread, chocolate sauce etc.
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IMG_5090

Leftovers can be refrigerated and used for kids school lunches/morning tea esp as ‘bread’ for a banana sandwhich.

Serves 3-4.

Variations: to make a berry pancake add some frozen berries to the batter after you have poured it into the frying pan and before transferring to grill element.

Tip: Across 3 frying pans this quantity of batter should produce pancakes that are quite thin. This is preferable to a thick pancake when using buckwheat flour as buckwheat is very dense so a thick pancake will end up doughy and uncooked in the centre. When pouring the batter into the frying pans if the batter at the end of the bowl is more coarse then that means that you have not processed your buckwheat into a fine enough flour.

What is resistant starch and why you should consume it

soullachamberlain

IMG_2474Resistant starch is all the rage right now in the ancestral health community. I have been receiving numerous enquiries over the past few months about resistant starch and how to consume it. Firstly I want to point out that I don't follow trends. I try to understand the science behind something before I alter any of my lifestyle choices. So let's start with the science and a potted summary of gut health because this is where it all begins....

  • Our health depends on the health of our gut (by "gut" I'm referring to the Gastro-Intestinal tract that runs from the mouth to the anus).
  • The health of our gut in turn depends on the balance, number, location and strains of bacteria that live there (this bacterial film is often referred to as our microbiota, microbiome, or gut flora).
  • The bacteria that live in our gut span the spectrum of good or friendly bacteria (called probiotics or 'old friends') on the one hand and bad bacteria (pathogens) at the other end of the spectrum with a heap in between.
  • The good guys should outnumber the bad guys by 85% to 15%. The location of that bacteria is really important: they should mostly be in the colon, the large intestine.
  • When the balance or location or the different strains of bacteria is out of whack, our health is compromised, either in some minor way (eg reduced immunity leading to colds and infections. NB 75% to 80% of the immune cells in the body are in the gut, so changes to your gut microbiome are absolutely going to affect your immunity and your ability to fight off infections) or acutely (eg SIBO, leaky gut, brain and/or skin disorders, autoimmunity).
  • There are a number of factors that affect our intestinal bacteria, diet being one of them (others include antibiotics, the sterility of our environment, C-section versus vaginal birth, the contraceptive pill, acid-stopping drugs, smoking, the use of colonics, environmental toxins, pesticides, heavy metals).
  • Anthropological evidence shows that many strains of good bacteria that appeared in our hunter-gatherer ancestors have permanently disappeared from the modern gut today. We pass on our microbiome down to our children through birth from generation to generation so the state of our health and our lifestyle choices today will affect the health of future generations. As Chris Kresser recently put it "if we change or eliminate certain species of gut flora that have been living in our guts for millions of years or hundreds of thousands of generations and we wipe them out, we’ve permanently changed essentially what it means to be human because we have 10 times more bacterial cells than we do human cells, so it’s a big deal."
  • I wont go into all the details on what the good bacteria do for our health but without them we can't survive and we need them for strong immunity, healthy digestion, good brain function, healthy skin, calm nervous system, and a well-functioning metabolism.

A diet rich in lacto-fermented foods provides natural probiotics (good bacteria) that populate our gut. But once the good bacteria are there these essential little critters need to be kept alive and kicking. Enter prebiotics. Prebiotics are the food for the probiotics already in our gut to keep them alive and healthy. So we need a diet rich in both probiotics (to populate our gut with new strains of good bacteria) and prebiotics (as their fuel source). Fortunately a nutrient-dense traditional wholefoods diet can provide, for most people, a good source of both without resorting to over the counter supplements. I always try to obtain my nutrients from wholefood sources wherever possible. Prebiotics are generally classified into three different types: non-starch polysaccharides, soluble fiber, and resistant starch (RS).  Each of these types of prebiotics feeds different species of gut bacteria, but of these, RS is most recently donning the spotlight for its ability to lower blood glucose levels, improve insulin sensitivity (which contributes to fat loss), act as a powerful anti-inflammatory agent and maintain the integrity of our gut by decreasing intestinal permeability. RS is a type of starch that is not digested in the stomach or small intestine, reaching the colon (the large intestine) intact.  Thereby “resisting” digestion.  This explains why RS does not result in spikes in either blood glucose or insulin, and why we do not obtain significant calories from RS.  Once RS reaches the large intestine, bacteria attach to and digest, or ferment, the starch.  This is when we receive the benefits of RS.

Examples of RS include:  

(a)  starch found in grains, seeds, and legumes; (b) starch found in raw potatoes, green (unripe) bananas, and raw plantains.  Cooking these foods causes changes in the starch making it digestible to us, and thus removing the RS; (c) retrograde RS since this type of RS forms after RS found in foods listed in (a) or (b) above are cooked and then cooled for 24 hours.  Examples include cooked and cooled parboiled rice, cooked and cooled potatoes, and cooked and cooled properly prepared (soaked or sprouted) legumes.

IMG_2478Since many of my clients and people who follow a nutrient-dense traditional wholefoods diet do not eat much if any grains, seeds and legumes, and since raw potatoes and green unripe bananas are not so tasty and since plantains are rare as hens teeth in Australia well that just leaves cooked and cooled potatoes as our most practical wholefood source of RS. To that end I have put together the following 2 simple recipes incorporating cooked and cooled potatoes that I am now incorporating into my and my kids' diet:

In the coming weeks I will also post recipes for avocado and raw salmon nori rolls and Greek rice pudding (both incorporating cooked and cooled white rice- properly soaked then rinsed before being cooked then cooled).

Kids typically love all of the above dishes so adding them into your culinary repertoire shouldn't be a hardship. They are a convenient lunch box idea (obviously make them the day before) as well as fun summer time food perfect for picnics and easy dinners when you don't feel like eating hot food. At it's most simplest level you could get into the habit of adding some chopped potatoes to your evening steamed veggies then pop all or some of them in the fridge to be consumed the following day in kids' school lunch boxes and into your salad for lunch. Just a thought.

How often do I eat cooked and cooled potatoes? At least once  if not twice a week. A little less often in the case of cooked and cooled white rice.  So I guess this has been a change for me, in a practical sense, since reading about RS. I'm not sure how important the 24 hours of cooling is prior to consuming the cooked and cooled potatoes. In my household sometimes these dishes get consumed in less than 24 hours of being cooked but if you can be a little organised and prepare ahead of time then all the more power (and prebiotics) to you!

To read a more comprehensive article on prebiotics and RS written by Chris Kresser click here  (I have essentially condensed and summarised the punch lines for you in this blog post). In his article Chris points out that if you are on a low carbohydrate diet or don’t tolerate potatoes well you can add RS to your diet via unmodified Potato Starch (NOT potato flour), plantain flour and/or green banana flour (by adding to cold or room temperature water, almond milk, or mixed into smoothies). His article comes with the usual caveat that if you suffer gastro-intestinal tract distress with even small amounts of RS, this may be an indication of SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) or microbial dysbiosis, and you may need to consider working with a healthcare practitioner to establish a more balanced gut microbiome through the use of herbal antimicrobials and probiotics before adding RS or other prebiotics. To that end for those of you living in Sydney I highly recommend working with a holistic practitioner on the same nutritional page such as integrative GP Dr Min Yeo or natropath/herbalist Anthia Koullouros (both at  Ovvio Paddington 5 Ways). If you live in Melbourne I have a list of like-minded practitioners that I can email you.

Potato salad with home-made mayonnaise

soullachamberlain

IMG_2474 IMG_2475IMG_2477Cooked and cooled potatoes are an excellent source of resistantIMG_2476 starch, a prebiotic that helps feed the probiotics (good bacteria) in our gut. To learn more about resistant starch, and why you should consume it, read my blog post here. Potato salad is one easy and yummy way to incorporate cooked and cooled potatoes into your diet. It readily lends itself for school or work lunches, eaten straight from the fridge as leftovers or prepared ahead of time for every day dinners, dinner parties or picnic lunches. Ingredients:

1 potato, cut into 1cm cubes (approx 150g) ½ carrot, cut lengthways then into rounds ¼ cup peas (you can buy frozen organic peas in most organic shops) 1-2 rashes of pastured bacon or rounds of diced pastured ham (optional) tallow (or natural fat of choice) for frying bacon 1-2 tablespoons home made mayonnaise (see recipe below) unrefined salt cracked pepper

 Directions:

 Steam potato, carrots and peas until soft. Add to a bowl. Meanwhile dice bacon and stir fry in a small saucepan in tallow (or fat of choice) until cooked. Add to the bowl. If using ham instead of bacon add it to the bowl. Mix ingredients in bowl to combine. Refrigerate for 24 hours to allow resistant starch properties of the cooked and cooled potatoes to form. When ready to consume, stir through mayonnaise and season with any additional salt and pepper.

Serves 1-2 depending if consuming as a side or a main.

Note: I tend not to peel the skin on potatoes unless they are particularly grubby / full of soil. This typically depends on the variety of the potato. Sometimes a little scrub with a brush and water is enough to remove excess dirt.

Mayonnaise

Ingredients:

3 egg yolks 1 tsp Dijon style mustard 1.5 tbsps lemon juice 1 tbsp whey (optional) 1/8 tsp unrefined salt cracked pepper ¾ cup olive oil

Directions:

Blend together all ingredients, other than the olive oil, with a hand held blender. With the blender still running, very slowly pour in the olive oil a little at a time. The result should be a thick creamy paste.

Makes 1 cup. Keep refrigerated. Without the whey, mayonnaise will keep for about 2 weeks. The addition of whey will help your mayonnaise last longer, adds enzymes and increases nutrient content. With the whey, mayonnaise keeps for several weeks in the fridge and will become firmer with time.

 

Spanish omelette (Tortilla Espanola)

soullachamberlain

Cooked and cooled potatoes are an excellent source of resistant starch, a prebiotic that helps feed the probiotics (good bacteria) in our gut. To learn more IMG_2478about resistant starch, and why you should consume it, read my blog post here. Spanish omelette is one easy and yummy way to incorporate cooked and cooled potatoes into your diet. It is a typical Spanish dish consisting of egg omelette with potatoes. In my creation I’ve added black pudding or chorizo for extra nutrient-density and some cherry tomatoes and parsley for colour. I like to serve this dish cold to take advantage of the resistant starch properties of cooked and cooled potatoes. It readily lends itself for school or work lunches, eaten straight from the fridge as leftovers or prepared ahead of time for every day dinners, dinner parties or picnic lunches.

Ingredients:

2 large or 4 small potatoes (approx 500 grams) 8 eggs 1-2 tablespoons cream (optional) 1 black pudding (blood sausage) or chorizo, sliced into thin rounds (approx 150g), (optional) 1 large red onion, sliced (or brown onion if red not available) 12 (approx) cherry tomatoes, cut in half (or ½ large tomato, diced) handful of parsley, chopped unrefined salt cracked pepper 1 tablespoon tallow 1 tablespoon butter (or fat of choice)

IMG_2480Directions:

 Preheat grill on high. Thinly slice potatoes and steam until soft (approx 10-12 minutes).

Melt tallow in small frying pan on low heat. Cook the black pudding on each side until browned (or cook underside on the stove top then transfer to the oven under a heated grill element to cook the top side). Leave in steamer until ready to use.

Meanwhile melt the butter in a large frying pan on low heat. Add the onions and sauté until golden brown stirring occasionally. Take approximately half of the onions out and set aside. Add the cooked sliced potatoes, and place the onions and parsley on top.

Blend eggs (and cream) with stick blender until well mixed. Pour egg mixture into the frying pan on top of the potato mixture. Scatter the cooked black pudding/chorizo and cherry tomatoes into the mixture. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook the underside of the omelette on the stove top before transferring to the oven under a heated grill element to cook the top side until golden. Once the top side is golden brown take out from the grill and if the eggs still haven’t set (test by tilting the frying pan to see if the eggs are still runny) then place back on the stove top on very low heat and cook until the mixture is set.

Keeps in refrigerator for a couple days.

Serves 4 as a main or 8 as a side.

Note: I tend not to peel the skin on potatoes unless they are particularly grubby / full of soil. This typically depends on the variety of the potato. Sometimes a little scrub with a brush and filtered water is enough to remove excess dirt.

Variations:

Instead of cooking this in a frying pan you could all the ingredients in a greased oven-proof baking dish and bake in the oven at 120 degrees Celsius for 1 hour or until set.

Moroccan fennel and orange salad and dinner party 'formulas'

soullachamberlain

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This recipe is inspired from Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian with my own twists and variations. This salad is always a crowd pleaser at dinner parties because it's so different and refreshing. With naturally sweet oranges and cinnamon, you could even serve this at the end of the meal almost in lieu of dessert. For those who are a little more intimate with the way that I rock, you might have observed that my meals can be quite formulaic, even though the ingredients are diverse and varied. Why? Firstly, formulas take time and stress out of meal preparation  (because as much as I love cooking and crafting recipes, we all have better things to do than be in the kitchen for hours on end). And secondly, formulas ensure that you've got a good balance of macronutrients (fats, protein and carbs) in each and every meal and of course I'm assuming that within each macronutrient family the ingredients are micronutrient-rich, grown/reared the way nature intended with due regard to their source and processing e.g. pastured versus confined meats and dairy, wild versus farmed seafood, pastured versus battery hens, traditional fats versus industrial seed oils, chemical-free fresh seasonal produce versus conventional, etc etc.

A typical summers dinner party 'formula' might look something like this:

  • Pastured meat: typically long slow roasted. Casseroles, soups, and curries I tend to do more in colder months while roasts, BBQs and raw meats are favoured in warmer months
  • A couple of salads: if you can throw together one salad that's a little more interesting or different than your garden-type variety salad (excuse the pun), then all the more power to you
  • A root veggie dish: For some of my other favourite root veggie dishes click here.
  • A cup of home-made broth: I try to match the broth with the meat that I am cooking i.e. either chicken, fish, pork or beef broth. Matching is by no means essential.
  • All finished off with some light dessert.

You might like to read one of my earlier posts on Entertaining Made Easy.

For last night's dinner party the menu was:

  • 9HR slow-cooked (90 degrees) pork shoulder with crispy crackling (to make crackling place heavily salted shoulder towards bottom of oven under heated grill element for 5 minutes or until the skin blisters and browns). To understand why I marinate the pork for 24 hours in apple cider vinegar then discard the vinegar before roasting read this
  • Garden salad with activated pepitas and avocado kindly brought by the gorgeous Sylvia- don't be afraid to ask a guest to bring a garden salad (and wine) when they ask "What can I bring?" as a green salad is pretty easy to throw together for most people and one less thing you need to worry about
  • Moroccan fennel and orange salad
  • potato gratin
  • Jellies for dessert (chocolate coconut panacotta plus a mint and ginger jelly. I will be writing up a separate blog post on jellies soon. One dessert would have been sufficient but I had a second jelly left over from a birthday party the night before).

It was more than enough food. So here's the recipe for the Moroccan salad:

Ingredients:

  • 2 large fennel bulbs, cut into paper thin rounds
  • 2 oranges, peeling and cut into segments
  • 6 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin cold pressed olive oil
  • 1 tsp unrefined salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • Handful of mint leaves, roughly chopped (optional)

 Directions:

Place all ingredients (other than mint) in a bowl and toss well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Add mint leaves just before serving.

I make this several hours before serving. This salad keeps in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours and in fact its flavours improve with time.

Serves 8

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What are some of your favourite dinner-party salads? Please share.

Creamy mushrooms and zucchini side dish

soullachamberlain

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Who doesn’t like creamy mushrooms? My kids love them so much that I thought that this would be a great way to disguise green veggies that kids otherwise struggle to eat. Zucchinis being the case in point. This side dish is super simple to make with only a few ingredients. Tonight I served this with roasted lamb shanks but it would also make a great weekend brekky served with eggs and avocado. My kids ate the whole serving of this and asked for more.

Ingredients:

  • 1 punnet (150g) mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 zucchini (or other greens of choice e.g. spinach), thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons cream (I like the thick mud cream)
  • Unrefined salt
  • Cracked pepper

Directions:

Melt butter in frying pan. Add mushrooms and zucchini and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low heat stirring occasionally until veggies are cooked through and soft. Stir through the cream and gently heat covered for a few minutes before serving (do not allow cream to boil).

Variations:

  • Omit greens entirely if you want unadulterated creamy mushrooms.
  • Add a splash of white wine after adding in mushrooms for extra flavour and oomph!
  • Add a sprinkle of fresh or dried thyme after adding in mushrooms for extra seasoning.

Apple and rhubard crumble (gluten-free, sweetener-free)

soullachamberlain

My ultimate winter comfort dessert. Here's my very simple gluten-free, sweetener-free recipe:

Ingredients:

Filling:

5 red apples, chopped and cored (leave skin on)
1 bunch rhubard, chopped (discard green leaves)
2 star anise
2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1 teaspoon vanilla bean powder
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
4 tablespoon coconut oil

Crumble topping:

7 medjool dates (approx 160g), seeds removed
3/4 cup (90g) desiccated coconut
110g frozen butter, roughly chopped
3/4 cup (130g) activated nuts of choice e.g. almonds, hazelnuts, macadamias
1/3 cup (65g) activated hulled buckwheat

Directions:

Melt coconut oil in a large frying pan. Add rest of filling ingredients and cook on low heat, covered, until fruit is soft, stirring occasionally. Remove star anise. Add cooked fruit mixture to a large rectangular oven proof dish.

To make crumble, pulse ingredients in food processor until it resembles a coarse crumbly mixture. Spread crumble mixture on top of fruit mixture and bake at 120 degrees Celsius for about 30 minutes.

Serve with cream, cream fraiche or home-made vanilla or macadamia nut ice-cream.

Variations:

  • add 2 teaspoons (or more) of raw cacao powder to filling ingredients for a hint of warm runny chocolately goodness
  • substitute or include pears in the fruit filling