Rhubarb and apple crisp with cinnamon ice-cream

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Something hot and pudding-like may not be in tune with Sydney weather right now, but I’m churning up a batch of spiced cinnamon icecream this afternoon to serve with my light rhubarb and apple, American-style crisp. It’s all the comforting softness necessary for a Sunday night, after a salt-sprayed summery day.

Here you will find my recipe for rhubarb and apple crisp with cinnamon ice-cream in SBS Feast magazine.

Imperfect picks help stop food waste

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Knobbly carrots and misshapen pears, stunted broccoli and scratched up eggplant; we bypass them all as we reach for aesthetically perfect fruit and veg on our grocery shop routine. Would you buy these imperfect picks from the food markets, the supermarket? Loads of us wouldn’t. Which is why 25 percent of Australian produce gets thrown back to the earth, considered unsuitable for our consumption. That’s HUGE wastage, to the detriment of our environment and our farmers. What can you do? Well… {READ MORE}

What Jamie Oliver told me

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Blown away by this guy. I knew he was clever and impassioned, that he could cook. But Jamie Oliver in person had me kind of swooning. We got chatting on a red leather sofa during his latest trip to Sydney, I used two tape recorders just in case (one died so thank goodness), and talked about food, obesity, his latest book, and fatherhood.

Jamie Oliver cannot stand spoilt kids. The father of four cracks down on that, he admits; he’s kind of strict. “If I sniff that, it gets drummed out of them straight away.” He wants them to be polite, lay the table for dinner and, he adds, “I’m pretty hardcore about pulling your finger out and saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’, basically.”

My interview with the ridiculously talented Jamie Oliver came out today in Sunday Style magazine. Download it on your tablet here. {READ MORE}

‘Peanut butter and jelly’ sugar-free protein smoothie

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This breakfast is so portable you can have some of it as you rush out the door, then a little more on the 7.56am commute, then at your desk when you trawl through your emails. For those of us who hanker for peanut butter and jam on toast first thing, but push the idea aside as simply silly in the name of eating nutritious and less carby things, this tote-able breakfast is the stupendously delicious answer to our prayers.

I’ve been running, a lot. I joined a running club and discovered (after personal trainers and even a miserable boot camp) what it means to work hard, physically. The trainer who leads it has taught my muscles a thing or two. On the first sessions, I’ll admit, I silently freaked out at the hardness of it. But damn I loved it too. And I’ll be back again next week.

But an early early morning workout like that demands a breakfast; a real breakfast that tells the muscles to stop freaking out, that fills you up until lunch and, importantly, that feels like breakfast. I’m all about green smoothies right now but they don’t evoke that kind of breakfasty goodness, that morning aroma that comes with coffee and toast and sun streaming in. So I made this. A protein shake, but with nutritious, virtuous things in it (including LSA, that ground linseed, sunflower seed and almond mix), and with a sorbet-like raspberry topping. It’s like toast with peanut butter and a little dollop of raspberry jam, in smoothie form. Here’s the recipe for my Peanut Butter and Jelly smoothie. {READ MORE}

Pepita and grain salad with pumpkin and tahini

A bounty of healthy grains and seeds matched with rich and sweet roast pumpkin, this salad makes a perfect side dish or hearty lunch. Packed with protein and flavour, this dish has it all. Pepitas add a crunch to the salad, which is bound by textures and colour. You can reserve the seeds from the pumpkin, roast them and add them to the salad. I love these ingredients; I have them every day, whenever I can. I tuck pumpkin into salads and soup, and pepitas and other seeds into my three-grain Be Natural porridge every morning. But here’s my recipe for pepita and grain salad with pumpkin and a creamy tahini dressing.

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pumpkin {READ MORE}

{this week} in a few snaps

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Refusing to be held hostage by the weather this week in Sydney, I traipsed about looking for the best places to be during unrelenting downpours, and then when the sun and blue came out in all its glory. There’s nothing like a ramen to shun the winter chill, then to what is arguably Sydney’s best undercover market for important Saturday rituals of buying bright flowers and a crunchy croque madam with soft egg, and a sea pool for when it finally warmed up again. What did you do to escape from the chill this week? We’ll need ideas for the next few weeks… See more pics on Instagram.

clockwise from top left >> No. 01 Prawn ball sour ramen soup at Ryo’s in Crows Nest (egg and kim chi on the side)  >> No. 02 Flowers from the chap, after a nudge, from Eveleigh Markets >> No. 03 The Wombarra sea pool down south (only doable after you’ve warmed up by running to the pool first)>> No. 04 The Crooked Madam (or croque madam by Bird Cow Fish at the Eveleigh Markets.  

An A to Z (Apple cores to Zucchini stalks) on compost

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Separating plastics from paper is virtuous enough for those of us whose abandoned melon rinds and citrus peelings continue their steady march into the garbage bin.

Others are keeping vegetable scraps from all those amazing meals – plus coffee grains, tea bags, apple cores and corn cobs – in a bid to reduce waste and keep the garden flourishing.

The green design revolution has made few inroads with composters that appeal to the honorable recycler as well as the design aficionado. It’s not a problem for people with sprawling gardens, but in small spaces it’s a different story. Whether it’s to the worms or an apartment friendly compost bin, recycling food scraps is an economical and environmental win, and will provide health humus for whatever garden – pots, sprawling beds – you do have. {READ MORE}

How to grow (and cook) your own cauliflower

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Gone are the tomatoes, cucumber and zucchini of our happy summers, and chilly gardens are crying out for a new crop to bring into the kitchen. It’s time to grow cauliflower. Plus, now is your chance to turn this veg-in-bounty into something magical in the kitchen (jump to the recipe). This is a cool weather crop, making the pretty vegetable a perfect addition to the winter kitchen garden. {READ MORE}

{recipe} berry kombucha

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Kombucha, that fermented black tea you’re seeing cropping up in all the best cafes and in bottled commercial form in the chilled section at health food stores, is my latest fermenting experiment.

The drink is brimful of probiotics and the stuff is a stand out for digestive health. With two large jars brewing on the benchtop at all times, I can now drink it whenever I fancy, instead of hoarding it away like its some diminishing elixir, or stocking up on the bottled stuff every time my body needs a reboot. Here we have the second ferment, the part where you drain fermented tea from the “scoby” (that terribly ugly thing you see floating on the top of the kombucha, brown bits dangling off it, aka, “symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast”) and combine it with some sweet thing to make it taste better, and for a flavour kick.

Strawberries and raspberries lend a light fruitiness to kombucha. Strawberry-flavoured kombucha is available commercially and is usually made with a strawberry puree of some sort, but this is the real deal. Instead of adding sugar or loads of preservative-laden things, just add berries. I like a spot of vanilla extract in mine too (not essence). You could use any berry here, actually. I often add a few raspberries or blueberries. See the recipe after the jump here. {READ MORE}

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