Bottles ready for cultured foods and beverages

Bottles ready for cultured foods and beverages
Ten Green Bottles!!

Monday, 29 October 2012

Bellini Intelli Kitchen Master

Intelli Kitchen MasterI've had my Intelli Kitchen Master on layby and it's now at home. I love the Thermomix but the price is very cost prohibitive mainly because there is only one distributor for all of Australia - I think that's called a monopoly.

So I've just made some fresh pesto and the machine is quite easy to use. I understand that a $400 machine is not going to do what a $2000 machine does - I'm just hoping it performs well and I'm able to use it frequently.

I'll keep you updated on our progress.

3 cups fresh basil leaves
4 cloves garlic
1/2 - 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese (grated)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts or walnuts or pecans
1/3 cup fresh parsley or kale (optional)
sea salt
juice of 1 lemon

Combine all ingredients in processor and blend to a smooth paste. Add more oil if necessary. Load into jars. Pesto can be frozen to have on hand

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Beef Jerky made from Mince

I prefer my jerky made from mince - beef, lamb, veal. I found that ordinary jerky was just a tad chewy and some young friends of mine thought the same.

So I make my jerky from beef sometimes mixed with organic lamb mince. You then have thin slices of very tasty protein that doesn't exercise your teeth and jaw quite so much. The kids really love this one!!

 Here's how I make it.

1.5kg organic mince (you can use chicken or turkey but turkey is probably a little too low fat)
Raw Apple cider vinegar
Sea Salt
2 Carrots, grated
2 Zucchinis, grated
Spices of your choice (I generally use cumin)
Tamari sauce

Throw mince into large bowl and pour over apple cider vinegar to cover. (Raw apple cider vinegar is unfiltered and contains floating strands and particles, which is called the "mother of vinegar.).  Leave to marinade overnight. Mince is ready when it is not red or pink anymore. The acid of the vinegar cooks the meat so the meat is not damaged through heating.

When the mince is a brown colour (not red or pink) turn onto strainer and squeeze out the liquids.

When this is done, place onto paraflexx sheets and score into mouth size pieces.

Place into dehydrator and dry at 68 degrees C or 155 degrees F for approximately 8 hours. Check jerky after this time as it may very well need more time to dry.

When you think it's finished, leave out to cool. Once cooled, check to see if it's cooked fully. Properly dried jerky when bent, should crack but not break.

In our hot climate (Queensland) you do need to store your jerky in the fridge. I always carry a small container in my handbag and I've never had problems leaving it out of the fridge for a few days.

Prepared mince with vegies and spices

This is mince that has been in apple cider vinegar. It has been cooked by the acid of the vinegar

Liquid from the mince is then squeezed out. I use a strainer for this

Jerky mince scored ready for dehydrator

Fully dried jerky

Monday, 15 October 2012

Arsenic in your Food

Here's some interesting reading on Consumer Reports. Their analysis found varying levels of arsenic in more than 60 rices and rice products.

Arsenic in your Food

I found this particularly interesting as I carry a load of arsenic which showed up in tests and often wonder how I managed to consume enough arsenic in the first place. Asparagus does contain very high levels of arsenic but the organic arsenic in asparagus is healthy and needed for our bodies.

Though rice isn’t the only dietary source of arsenic—some vegetables, fruits, and even water can harbor it—the Environmental Protection Agency assumes there is actually no “safe” level of exposure to inorganic arsenic.

They also discovered that some infant rice cereals, which are often a baby’s first solid food, had levels of inorganic arsenic at least five times more than has been found in alternatives such as oatmeal. Given their findings, we suggest limiting the consumption of rice products.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Chicken Liver Pate

What an easy way to have offal every week. Lovely fresh organic chicken livers at Northey Street Market today and they're already converted to pate. As I'm only one person in my home, I've found that pate freezes really well.

I'm using the pate on my seed crackers. Three of these with pate, fill me and I'm not likely to snack on anything else.

Here's my easy, easy recipe.

500 gr organic chicken livers
5 slices nitrate free bacon rasher
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
slurp Brandy
Sea Salt
Dried herbs (thyme or Herbs de Provence)

Add butter to pan and quickly frizz the bacon, onion, garlic. Add chicken livers, salt, herbs and lightly cook until livers are brown on outside and pink on inside.

Add to food processor along with Brandy (or Sherry) and blitz to your taste texture. I like mine left a little coarse, but some like their pate very smooth. If it needs smoothing out some more, you can pour in some duck fat. This is a fast and easy recipe and very tasty and nutrient rich.

Read what Chris Cosentino has to say on the topic.

Offal is truly a highly nutrient dense food which is becoming strangely unfashionable. Livers are an excellent source of vitamin A, which promotes healthy skin, teeth, and eyes, as well as full of iron, zinc B vitamins, vitamin C and vitamin D. Beef liver contains huge amounts of copper and good amounts of healthy fatty acids.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Seed Crackers

Here's the seed crackers that I make as they are low carb and starch free.Nuts and seeds are high in protein and contain healthy oils (Omega 3's) Vitamin Bs and other essential minerals like magnesium, potassium, copper and iron.

Because they are packed with protein and high in oils, kilojoules add up quickly!! We only need small amounts of these crackers. If I'm eating avocado or liver pate's, I'll only have 4 for the day. They are very filling.

How to make seed crackers

1 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup flaxseed
1/2 cup chia seeds
1/2 cup sesame seeds
Dulse Flakes (1/4 cup)
Sea Salt
Herbs de Provence (optional)

Place all seeds except sesame seeds into food processor and grind. Add these to a large bowl along with sea salt. Cover with water and leave for 6 hours or overnight. You need to check a couple of times and add more water.

Mix in dulse flakes and Tamari (to taste) and any dried herbs of your choice. Using an Excalibur dehydrator (, add teaspoonfuls onto parraflex sheets. The mixture will be quite mucilaginous and will naturally hold a form on the trays.

Dehydrate for 20 hours at 63 degrees or bake in low, slow oven.

Absolutely delicious and very filling

Monday, 8 October 2012

Fresh Food from Prahran Markets

What a lovely fresh food market at Prahran in Melbourne. Lots of lovely fresh and crispy food. Our heat in Queensland really knocks around our food. If it's grown fresh here it suffers from the heat and if it is transported here from other States, it suffers from the heat.

We didn't have a lot of time to spend there and it was really difficult to just rush past the cheese stall. I just love cheese........

Kohl rabi is a perennial vegetable and has a mild-flavoured taste.. It has the texture and crunch of a radish and something of the taste of a mild turnip, cauliflower or broccoli stem, making it a tasty addition to summer salads and stir-fries. It'sfrom the brassica family with the base of its stem swelled into a slightly turnipy globe. Great just to cut and eat raw.

I know this isn't a food but we don't see any Lily of the Vally in Queensland (again something to do with heat) and it smelled so sweet.

Multi coloured radishes. I rarely see the pink and white ones around here. I'd like to have been able to taste one as I find most radishes these days lack any decent flavour or heat. Often pithy inside and disappointing to eat as I remember how tasty and crunchy they were years ago.

My Very Own Chicken

I've always wanted chickens but my little courtyard is definitely not suitable - too small and brick pavers. But, I've found a solution. When I visited the Prahran food markets in Melbourne recently, this classy lady was waiting for me. She's very low maintenance and very quiet - please welcome Marilyn!!

Marilyn in her new home - she's very content

Friday, 5 October 2012

Cuppa Cottage in Sandringham Victoria

We found this exciting little cafe in Sandringham when we were on our Melbourne exploration trip. The front window is full of freshly baked artisan breads and that's what made us walk inside. Imagine our surprise to find all these wonderfully colorful homewares along with great food. We just managed a scone, jam and clotted cream each with a pot of tea as the servings were very generous. The young lady who took our order told us "if you order 2 scones each, you'll explode" and she was right.
We did manage to purchase some homewares and very much enjoyed our visit. I couldn't take my eyes or camera off all the colours and patterns - a great place for a cuppa