Did you know that in NSW alone more than 800,000 tonnes of food is thrown out for garbage collection each year? The average household throws 315kg of food into the garbage each year...that's one stat you don't want to be a part of!That's not even counting what gets thrown into the compost....or the waste from food businesses. It is estimated that this waste of fresh fruit and veggies, meat, chicken and fish, packaged foods and leftovers equates to around $1000 per household each year...mmmm, I'm feeling a weekend retreat with those savings.
We are all doing our best right. We try hard to feed our families economically with nutritious, delicious food. It's hard.
There are loads of reasons for this unintentional waste, including;
We buy too much food (think specials, double ups)
We lose or forget about food in our overloaded pantries, fridges & freezers.
We're scared of offal and secondary cuts of meat.
We cook too much and don't eat the left overs.
Plans change and we don't get the chance to cook the meals we've planned.
We don't plan.
We just prefer to wing it!
There should be a self help group for this kind of thing.... Oh hang on there is...
On Friday 25th July in our Real Simple Food cooking class, we sort out this conundrum and our pantries and fridges (photos only please) We check seasonal food guides, plan our recipes, write a meal plan and a shopping list...
We're also cooking a bunch of delicious dishes using every last scrap of food we bought, we're going to eat it all up and look forward to saving $1000 each year from now on. (That's more than the scrapping of the carbon tax will save you...)
You know you want to...BOOK HERE
SWITCH THE FISH - OK it's Fishy Friday - here's a great little guide to help you choose sustainable seafood. My fave sustainables at the moment are Moonfish and Spanish Mackerel - both currently in season. Spanish Mackerel is delish dusted in a little seasoned flour and browned in the pan over low - medium heat, then finished off in the oven. Be careful not to overcook. Moonfish is divine cooked in banana leaves with herbs or in curries/ stews. Drooling. Enjoy. x
Creative cooking with veggie scraps
Since my Asian journey, I have become acutely aware (that is a level above aware, which is what I think I was before I went away) of how we in developed countries are so removed from our food...every part of it.
One of the most delicious meals we had, was prepared for us in a simple dirt floor kitchen from a "bit passed it looking" pumpkin, a piece of taro, some pumpkin leaves, sweet basil leaves and water. The resultant soup was warm and tasty. The pigs looked hungry the next morning so I reckon that particular corner in that particular hut WAS the compost heap.
Anyhow my compost heap is way too full of veggie scraps that I reckon we could probably eat really well from.
So now I rise to the challenge - I am cooking with (pre) compost - that would be the stalks, stems and leaves of veggies that are usually tossed. Some of them have amazing properties, leading to very pleasing outcomes.
Can you guess why my rhubarb is sooo red? And no it's not photo shopped.
Anyone interested in this type of recipe? Oh sooo much fun in the kitchen.
Whilst Asian food is often difficult for people with gluten intolerances, Cambodian and Laos food has an abundance of dishes that are gloriously soy and of course wheat free.
Laos in particular is a land locked country and has not been as open to trade as its neighbours. Food in Laos is still very traditional - ignoring for a moment, the French influence that has led to some marvellous fusion dishes and baguettes and croissants to die for, a fabulous culinary diversion after a month in Asia.
The recipes I am sharing however are the traditional recipes found in the hills and on the streets where gluten is still not a common ingredient.
The flavourings that are more popularly used are herbs and spices grown in the gardens that are literally everywhere.
The dishes we will be making, whilst divine, are quite simple and the ingredients accessible. I have made a big effort to ensure that the dishes we create in the classes will be dishes that feature on your menus for years to come. Some are special occasion and some you will cook more often.
I hurt my right hand and wrist quite badly on our volcano trek and then fell on it again trying to escape the leeches near the hill tribes. As a result I have been in a splint for 4 weeks and have cooked all of the dishes in the Thermomix.
Therefore, you can choose in the class whether to follow the traditional or more contemporary method.
Whichever way you choose - I guarantee you will be satiated. Scroll down for recipes and details of the apron give-away.
I can't tell you how inspiring my Asian culinary journey was. I was wowed on so many different levels by the food experiences.
It was a divine kaleidoscope of colours, tastes, smells & sounds that I hope will remain with me for some time to come. The food we ate was truly unique and very different to Asian food that I have eaten before.
I want to transport you there with dishes like simple sticky rice and smokey eggplant jeow we made & shared with the mung hill tribe in far Northern Laos and the Cambodian Amok trey, their delicious national aromatic fish curry, which we ate at every opportunity and had the pleasure of cooking in a Siem Reap cooking class.
Crispy fried crickets with garlic and chilli sold by street vendors in Cambodia, amazing pork sate with Javanese and Balinese peanut sauces at a cooking school in Bali, chicken stuffed lemongrass stalks in Laos and glass noodle, dried beef and herb salad on the streets of Hanoi were just a few of the scrumptious dishes we enjoyed on our travels.
We were humbled by the people and their self sufficiency, generosity and positivity. Our journey was punctuated by smiling faces and quick wit. Their incredible attitudes reflected in their unique cuisine.
I attended cooking classes wherever I could and learnt some new techniques and flavour combinations. I collected many delicious recipes from eating on the streets and in some amazing restaurants. I cooked in the mountains with minority ethnic tribes and learnt what it really means to live off the land.
I am ready to share some inspiring recipes with you so please book in for one or even two of the wonderful August classes.
I had some beautiful aprons hand made in Laos by a lovely lady who sells her goods at the night markets. I think she thought all her Christmases had come at once when I put in the order - needless to say I was also chuffed that Nourishing Nosh was able to work with the Laos locals.
To view the apron and be in the running to own your own for FREEEE, jump onto the home page.
So much to say, so little time. I will be back with daily waffles. I hurt my hand whilst away and could not type or write so I am full of info that needs to come out.
For all the newest cooking classes which by the by are totally GLUTEN FREE in August jump onto the timetable.
Yesterday my food processor kicked the bucket. She was a fabulous draught horse of a kitchen appliance. Not much to look at or talk about, a sensible, frumpy, hard working model. She had toiled tirelesssly beside me for years, 10 in fact. She was a loyal, compliant member of the kitchen team. Her name was Kit.
Replacing Kit had been on my mind for a couple of years. Being a member of the cutting edge healthy foodie business, it is of course my duty to ensure I am up to date with all of the latest kitchen gadgets...and yet the thought of jumping on the Thermomix train made me a little scared of losing that wonderful traditional wholesome cooking experience. Would the thermomix replace all that I hold dear in my beautiful kitchen? The wooden spoon, the french oven and the egg beater - yes I know that most people think this is a party trick these days but I still have one!
On Tuesday morning I attended a thermomix cooking demonstration. I did not tell Kit. The demonstrator was a friend of mine, a brand spanking new consultant, a cult virgin. She did a great job. She sold a machine and signed up a new consultant.
That afternoon, Kit helped me make a batch of Bliss Balls. When cleaning up I could not remove the food processor bowl from the motor. Kit looked a little pale. I filled her with water and ran out the door to the New Thermomix consultant's sign up meeting...
When I came home, Kit had been washed and was sitting peacefully on the drying up rack. I replaced her bowl on the motor and then tried to refit the blade. I could not help her. The blade shaft was cracked in two places. I think it was her telling me it was time to move on. Thank you Kit for all you have done for me and my family and friends.
I took it as a sign that I had done the right thing. I had not rushed out and bought the newest kitchen applicance and thrown out a perfectly good one. I did not feel guilt as my husband and I carried her tenderly to the garbage bin and bid her a fond farewell.
So now with the mourning period over I embark on a new relationship with a new kitchen appliance and I feel that the time is right.