Sustainability, Hunger and Consumerism: The Quinoa Debate

Quinoa

Recently in the media and blogosphere, debate has been raging over the negative impact Western demand for quinoa (pronounced ‘keen-wah’) has had on populations in countries where it is a staple food. Much of the blame has been dumped on vegans and vegetarians, for everything from malnutrition to soil erosion and property disputes. While many concerns raised are valid, and this isn’t an issue to be taken lightly, it seems to me as though we’re crying over a scratch while ignoring the bullethole. And fingers are being pointed in the wrong direction. Continue reading

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An Ode To The Stonesoup: Two Minimalist Recipes Inspired By The Blog That Taught Me How To Eat

throw together dinner

Like most Australian women of my generation and my mother’s generation, The Australian Women’s Weekly taught me how to cook. Not the magazine itself, in my case, but all of my first cookbooks were AWW publications, and two of my most trusted sources for fail-safe recipes and general kitchen know-how are books by AWW. However, AWW did not teach me how to to eat. No, the blog and writer who has influenced my diet and approach to food is The Stonesoup (written by Jules Clancy). Continue reading

Taking Out The Trash: The Predicable Post-Holiday Digestive-Restoration Campaign

spices

Hello!

How are we all feeling after Christmas and New Years? Are you ready for a whopper of a post with some scrumptious recipes and a simple way to clear your body of holiday junk? I hope you are, because I think two of these three recipes are the best I’ve made in a while, so hold tight!

My yoga instructors are currently in the habit of asking at the beginning of class whether anyone is hungover, and then promise that the class will help clear the body of the toxins it’s holding after any overindulgence. Personally I think a hot sweaty yoga class is about the best thing I can do if I’m feeling the need to detox, but on a full-blown hangover… well I suspect it would end badly.

There are other ways of cleaning out the body, ones that don’t result in getting drenched with sweat. Continue reading

Not Another Thanksgiving Feast: Chickpea-Stuffed Choko

If you, like me, aren’t American and therefore don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, you might also find that the decadent holiday recipes abounding online can get a bit distracting. While I appreciate the sentiment of Thanksgiving, it can be difficult to plan healthy meals when there are all manner of indulgent dessert recipes and pies bombarding your eyes. But never fear, I am here! While today’s post is still a delicious recipe, it’s also very, very good for you. Perhaps if you did celebrate Thanksgiving you might want to make this to balance out some of that pumpkin pie.

As I’ve mentioned previously, I’m on a mission to try new fruits and vegetables. Sometimes it’s an item that I’ve never seen or heard of, sometimes it’s an item that I love but have never been game enough to cook, and sometimes it’s an item that has a bad rap. I like giving veggies a second chance. I find that usually it’s just a matter of doing it right. Case in point, chokos.

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Kitchen redemption at last: Coconut Custard Tart

Lack of inspiration. Unripened fruit. Overcooked cabbage. Boo-boo. Lumpy custard. Sunken cake. Misread recipes. Gritty rice. Burnt beans. Disaster. Why haven’t I blogged in so long, you ask?

I could tell you that I haven’t blogged in ages because I have my final exam for my final subject in my final semester in a week’s time, but that would be a lie. I haven’t posted because a) I haven’t had any culinary adventures worth sharing, and b) those that I anticipated would be bloggable were not. It’s humbling being reminded that I’m just as prone to kitchen catastrophe as anyone else, whether I take pretty pictures of my food and share my recipes or not. Thankfully, the bad luck gremlin has finally had his fill and has left my kitchen. Today I have a recipe for you that is so delicious, you’ll be making it again and again. Its theme song is Tubthumping; it’s name, Coconut Custard Tart. Continue reading

Feeling Fresh: Mum’s Hedgehog Slice and a Summery Lunch

As the days are counting down towards the end of my degree (34 days to go!), it’s beginning to sink in that for the first time in four and a half years, I won’t be juggling the insane stress of work with study. Needless to say, that’s a really exciting thought.

For a moment back there, a miniscule nanosecond of a moment, I thought “Whatever will I do with my free time?”. Then I forehead slapped myself. Oh, silliness is me, what a foolish thought. The more appropriate question is “However will I fit in all of the things I have been holding back from experiencing, learning or doing due to the time, stress and financial constraints that uni has entailed?” You see, I have a bit of a list of things that I’m trying to find time to do at the moment that keep getting put on the back-burner due to my demanding study schedule. But on top of this, I feel that in order to get the most out of every minute of every day, I need to be feeling my best. Continue reading

Fifty Shades of Green: Golden Beet’n Barley Salad and the Basic Green Smoothie

When is a meal not a meal? When it’s missing greens of course! If you thought otherwise, I’d like to know your name and how you got in. Kidding… even if you thought meat I’d still let you read my blog. Everyone is invited to this party. Greens for all! Greens in everything! Greens forever! Greens in every shape and form and colour! Fifty shades of green! Continue reading

The Nudist Raw Foodist: gettin’ fresh with food

It struck me this morning as I sipped my green smoothie, that if I were a nudist, I would definitely become a raw foodist. Running around the jungle in your birthday suit just seems incongruous with the idea of sitting down to a roast dinner with a knife and fork, don’t you agree? In my mind it would be far more fitting to eat freshly picked fruit, while leaping from branch to branch and swinging on vines (hoo-hoo-hoo-ha-ha-ha).

While I’m not quite there yet with the whole nudist thing, or the raw foodist thing, I’m certainly partial to an excellent salad or refreshing raw soup. Continue reading

For the love all things grilled and good for you: My Grandmother’s Aubergine

In the late 1960’s, counter-top microwave ovens began to appear in the kitchens of trendy, modern families. They became the new, revolutionary and very fashionable cooking appliance. Cookbooks published at the time will tell you how to cook a ‘roast’ dinner in the microwave, a souffle, and even ice-cream! Don’t believe me? Check it out. My mum’s microwave cookbook would have you believe that anything can be made in one (it also fails to mention the high risk of lumpy custards and gravies, and porridge volcanos). Basically, the world went a little batty over the invention of the microwave oven.

The sandwich press is my microwave oven. Continue reading

Vegetables for sustainability: making a plant-based diet work

Over the past week there has been a lot of media attention on the issue of the US drought, rising food prices, and the necessity for the general population to adopt a more vegetable-centric diet. Currently humans derive 20% of their protein from animal sources on average, but by 2050, this may need to drop to a maximum of 5%. Our planet simply will not be able to sustain the world population if meat is still consumed at such a high rate. It takes between five and ten times as much water to sustain the animals farmed for food as it would to grow crops enough to feed the same number of people. Similar figures apply to grains and vegetables grown to feed animals. Basically, if we eat the grains and vegetables directly, we require a lot less of them to sustain ourselves than if we were to feed them to animals and then eat the animals. And with an ever-increasing population, scientists are saying that this will be the only option. On one hand it makes me happy to know that factory farming will have to decrease, but on the other hand, I wonder if, for the many consumers staunchly determined to consume meat, a plant-based diet will ever become a reality.

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