cook | eat

this salad has simple yet sophisticated ingredients that are really so effortless to pull together.

we had this on a Friday night after a long week at work. we wanted something light yet decadent, and we didn’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen; relaxation, wine and chats were needed, and this dish pairs perfectly.

Ingredients:

  • Bunch of watercress; washed & trimmed
  • Prosciutto; roughly torn
  • Camembert; the best quality you can afford
  • Fresh figs; washed, dried, halved and grilled for a couple minutes each side (2 per person)
  • pistachio nuts; shelled and dry toasted in a dry pan (handful for two)

All these ingredients don’t really have measurements; just add to taste or increase/decrease according to numbers of people eating.

No dressing is needed because the figs caramelise on the outside and stay juicy on the inside which lends a lovely liquid to the salad.

Method:

Assemble in pretty layers of ingredients, the smaller more delicate ingredients towards the top. Serve with or without a glass of crisp, slightly sweet rosé or a mature Blanc de Blanc champagne.

Advertisements

whole30 | two weeks down

Jay and I are doing the Whole30 program.

What is Whole30 you might be asking?

It’s a revolutionary way to change your life; you’re health, your emotional attachment to food and your relationship to your body and exercise.
You can read all about it [here]

Basically we are doing away with alcohol, sugar, grains, legumes, dairy and healthy-treats (referred to as Sex With Your Pants On) for a full 30 days!
But don’t focus on what is being avoided, focus on the positive; whole food, healthy – as close to nature as possible – food, detechnofying (is this actually a word?!?) and simple movement for a month.

It’s been a little challenging. The no alcohol is what’s really got me. I usually have a glass of wine or a martini every night. And not snacking between meals has been challenging (snacking avoidance is also about temperance) although I’ve still been having at least one snack a day, like late-afternoon I have some beef jerky or a handful of nuts.
I’ve also gotten a little sick, Jay calls it the “carb flu” but Whole30 says its not unusual to get a little sick as your body is trying to rid itself from all the toxins in the first week or so, the immune system is a little overloaded. So days 7-11 I struggled with an ear and sinus infection which was not fun.

Today is Day 14. And you should see my skin and eyes; clear and sparkling! I’ve always had pretty good skin, but I can really see a difference. And my clothes feel a little looser. I am enjoying the food; eating naturally but all the cooking is pretty intensive! Last night was the first time we ate out since starting to program; we went to Mumu Grill which specialises in grass-fed beef & free-range pork/chicken. It was weird not having a glass of wine with the meal (especially on a Saturday night) but we made great food choices and left feeling satiated, not bursting at the seams and with dessert, wine & the other extras, dinner was so cheap!

Here’s a few pics of our food over the past week:

homemade paleo muesli
homemade paleo muesli

made with no grains; just seeds, nuts & coconut. I have this with coconut milk or homemade almond milk.

brekkie; bubble & squeak with poached egg
brekkie; bubble & squeak with poached egg

a great way to use left over veggies; bubble & squeak fry-up topped with a poachie

breakkie; scrambled eggs with hamburger beef pattie & kale salad
breakkie; scrambled eggs with hamburger beef pattie & kale salad

grassfed beef patties with scrambled eggs and a kale & tomato salad

lunch; mince fry-up & salad
lunch; mince fry-up & salad

super quick to prepare; grassfed beef mince & onion with a salad of kale, tomato, jicama & blanched broccoli

coconut chicken 'nuggets' with sweet potato sticks & waldorf salad
coconut chicken ‘nuggets’ with sweet potato sticks & waldorf salad

so yum! chicken nuggets made with freerange organic chicken mince, Thai spices & rolled in coconut then shallow fried, served with sweet potato sticks & waldorf salad (without the blue cheese and made with paleo mayo)

dinner; mushroom burger with sweet potato wedges
dinner; mushroom burger with sweet potato wedges

mushroom bun, grassfed beef pattie, salad & paleo mayo served with sweet potato wedges

steak, sweet potato & zucchini grilled on the bbq with salad
steak, sweet potato & zucchini grilled on the bbq with salad

grassfed scotch fillet barbecued with sweet potato & zucchini and served with a quick salad of blanched broccolini, green beans, pepitas & cranberries

meatloaf muffins & zoodles
meatloaf muffins & zoodles

grassfed beef mince with chopped veggies & herbs to make a ‘meatloaf muffin’ served with zucchini noodles and homemade basil pesto

memorable meals

Food glorious food.

How I love to eat!

And I’ve eaten some delicious fare of late, which I thought I’d share with you.

some have been delectably healthy…

51120138419 green smoothie made with coconut water, kale, celery, apple, cucumber & mint

5142013143845 make the best of this seasons ripe creamy avocado; with lettuce, tomato & salmon

6172013214128 I’ve been experimenting with the paleo recipes.
I created paleo chicken nuggets; chicken mince, coriander, chilli, shredded coconut & then rolled in coconut flour & air fried in my Philips AirFryer!

617201321412 snacking on roasted almonds with Japanese chilli salt & paprika and coconut oil

And then the not so healthy…

6122013201432 celebrating my husband’s success (uni post-grad) with Bollinger champagne and homemade coleslaw & American-style pork ribs!

530201315265 a socialicious dinner party with friends!

614201303054 a French bistro style dinner with my girlfriends (I ate the meal on the top right; duck & celeriac mash) at Felix at The Ivy

But it’s not all about me….Harley bear had a birthday! He turned 3 years old and he had a birthday party with a few doggy friends at the dog cafe. He had a delicious lunch of mince, rice & veggies and a dog friendly birthday cake!!!

5152013121440

What memorable meals have you eaten of late???

two of the best | week of health & fitness

For my final post of A Week of Health & Fitness I’m going to share with you two of my favourite healthy meals.

WINTER FARE

Pea & Ham Soup

pea&ham

I have to admit to you that before I made this soup a couple of weeks ago, I had never eaten Pea & Ham soup! The idea of copious amounts of peas disturbs me; I’m not a fan of peas. But after my friend Mands bought in a delightful smelling pea & ham soup for lunch at work one day, I went searching for a recipe and found the most delicious, gourmet looking soup (above) from Gourmet Traveller. It makes 6 serves which freeze really well.

Ingredients

  • 40 gm butter, coarsely chopped
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 ham hocks (about 800gm each)
  • 750 gm dried green split peas
  • 360 gm (3 cups) frozen baby green peas, defrosted
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) extra-virgin olive oil

Optional

  • 1 baguette, halved lengthways and cut into 5cm pieces
  • Herb butter
  • 60 gm softened butter
  • ¼ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tbsp thyme
  • ½ garlic clove, finely chopped

METHOD

  1. Heat butter in a large saucepan over low-medium heat, add onion and garlic and sauté until tender (10-12 minutes). Add ham hocks, cover with cold water (about 4 litres), bring to the simmer, reduce heat to low and cook until ham is falling from the bone (1-1½ hours). Remove hocks from saucepan, set aside to cool and, when cool enough to handle, remove skin and bone (discard), coarsely shred meat and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, add split green peas to stock and simmer until very tender (45 minutes-1 hour). Add baby peas (reserve some for garnish if desired) and simmer until bright green (1-2 minutes). Purée in batches in a blender until smooth, add shredded ham to soup (reserve a little for garnish if desired), season to taste and keep warm.

Optional

  1. Meanwhile, for herb butter, combine ingredients in a small bowl, season to taste and set aside.
  2. Preheat a grill to high. Place baguette cut-side up on a baking tray and grill until golden (1-2 minutes each side), then spread with herb butter. Serve with hot soup topped with reserved baby peas (steamed until bright green) and shredded ham.

SUMMER FARE

Roast Trout with Fennel & Orange

602460_10151088895866398_772916367_n

Apologies for the lousy photo quality. This was from my Instagram feed a few months ago. I can’t even remember how I came up with this salad. It doesn’t really matter how, it just matters that it’s damn tasty!

INGREDIENTS

I generally just adapt the quantity of the ingredients by how many people I’m feeding. You’ll get the hang of it!

  • Roast trout (I buy it from the store already roasted and cold in a whole fillet side); flaked
  • orange; segmented
  • radishes, sliced finely (I use a mandolin)
  • fennel; sliced finely (I use a mandolin)
  • coriander
  • mint

Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup EVOO
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • tsp honey
  • salt & pepper to taste

METHOD

  1. To make the dressing mix all ingredients well and set aside
  2. Assemble all salad ingredients by layering; fennel, radish, trout, orange, mint & coriander
  3. Pour over dressing & serve immediately

kale & walnut pesto | paleo recipe of the week

kalewalnutpesto

People are always asking me what I do with kale. 

I primarily use it to make green smoothies, as a side veggie for dinner (think sauteed kale & mushrooms) or in my scrambled eggs/omelette for brekkie.

But I’ve found a new use! Kale & Walnut Pesto; totally paleo friendly and great with grilled/steamed fish or chicken. Yum!!! Adapted from a recipe found [here]

Kale & Walnut Pesto

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup plain/raw, roughly chopped walnuts (or nuts of your choice like blanched almonds or macadamias)
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • about 3 cups chopped kale
  • 1 cup Italian flat-leaf parsley
  • ¼ cup grated sheep or goats hard cheese (or Parmesan cheese for those not inclined to the sheep or goat variety)
  • ½ – 1 cup extra virgin olive oil or macadamia nut oil
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Method:

Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add nuts and stir constantly (or gently shake pan) until toasted, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let the nuts cool.

Pulse garlic clove in food processor until it is chopped finely, about 30 seconds. Add kale, toasted nuts & cheese and pulse until chopped. You may have to stop the food processor, open the top, and push the kale down toward the blades.

With the food processor running on low, add olive oil in a steady stream until you get the consistency you want. I used just over 1/2 a cup of macadamia oil.

Season to taste with salt and pepper (about 1½ teaspoons salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper).

Enjoy!

instaweek | my week in instagram

Happy Sunday peeps!

I had a really enjoyable week!
Eating right, exercising regularly, achieving at work, catching up with friends, spending quality time with Jay (the hubby) & Harley (the doggy).

coffee meeting with my cool colleague Mike at Peas Please in Alexandrai
coffee meeting with a colleague Mike at Peas Please in Alexandria
Monday sunset
arriving home in time to see this; Monday sunset
a good workout
a good workout
healthy lunches
healthy (paleo) lunches
healthy (paleo) dinners
healthy (paleo) dinners
Harley hanging his head in shame after eating all my buttons
Harley hanging his head in shame after eating all my buttons
Turkish for dinner club with the Jacksons
Turkish for dinner club with the Jacksons
what I wore
selfie – what I wore
drinks with the girls
drinks with the girls @ Baxter Inn
the girls; clockwise from the left; me, Mel, Mands & Amy
the girls; clockwise from the left; me, Mel, Mands & Amy
Friday flowers
blooms on my table – Friday flowers
fruit from the Grower's Markets; these apples were picked the day before!
fruit from the Grower’s Markets; these apples were picked the day before!
Sunday session in the park
Sunday session in the park

I hope you’re all having a great weekend!

signature2 - melly xox

roast chicken, kumera & cauliflower mash with greens | paleo recipe of the week

I posted this picture on Instagram and got a request from my blogger buddy Simply Stephanie to share the recipe.

image

It really isn’t complex and is something that you can easily whip up after work on a week night. It’s paleo because it’s dairy & wheat/gluten free!

Here’s the details to serve 2 people:

Ingredients

– chicken drumsticks (organic please!) x 5-6
– herbs to taste; fresh or dried rosemary (I use fresh from my garden), chilli flakes, thyme, tarragon, salt & pepper
– half a head of cauliflower
– a large sweet potato (aka kumera) about 800g
– green beans, about 120g or two handfuls
– 50g butter
– oven roasting bag (makes life easier but not required if you can’t get them)

Method

1) preheat oven to 180ºC (356ºF)
2) place the chicken in an oven bag on a tray (or in a oven dish, with foil to cover) and sprinkle with herbs, salt & pepper to taste (I use 2 sprigs of rosemary and about 1/2 tsp of each herb), salt & pepper. Place in the oven on 20 mins timer
3) peel & dice sweet potato, segment cauliflower and place in a large saucepan and cover with water; bring to the boil and simmer til veggies are tender (around 15 mins). Drain, add butter & mash and set aside leaving covered.
4) check on the chicken at 20 mins (usually needs an additional 10-15 mins) and uncover if using a dish & foil for the final 10-15 minutes cooking time.
5) boil the jug, top & tail the green beans, and cover them with boiling water for 5 mins. drain and set aside.
6) serves 2 happy people!!!

signature - melly xox

cavewoman

I’m a cavewoman!!! 

Not in the scary, hairy, don’t-bathe, don’t-brush, get dragged off to bed by my hair (oooh kinky) kinda way….I’ve gone paleo! The paleolithic nutritional lifestyle also known as the caveman, or in my case cavewoman, diet.

It’s been a whole week since the Williams’ household has turned paleo. This next week is going to be challenging because we’re going away on holidays but as long as we can stick to mostly paleo eating I’ll be happy. I’m feeling really good and my skirts are starting to feel looser already!

52176050

View this video to understanding the paleo lifestyle in a nutshell:

Breakfast

IMG_20130412_063002IMG_20130404_110533green smoothies

IMG_20130410_072312scrambled eggs & bacon with avocado, tomato & coriander salsaIMG_20130411_201925IMG_20130407_185646kale, bacon & scrambled eggs IMG_20130414_174219 cafe breakfast; poached eggs, mushroom, spinach, tomato bacon & goats halloumi IMG_20130414_101140 frittas made with coconut flour, zucchini, sweet potato, mint & chilli, with bacon & avocado/tomato salsa

Lunch

IMG_20130408_201353 salad with chicken & goats feta IMG_20130414_174134 mishmash salad; kale, carrot, beans, zucchini, tomato, avocado

Dinner

IMG_20130412_195223fennel, spinach, orange, asparagus & walnut salad with grass-fed beef rissoleIMG_20130411_221341chicken with roasted orange & white sweet potato, onion, cauliflower & broccoli IMG_20130407_185530 poached chicken with roasted veg (white & orange sweet potato, cauliflower, onion & zucchini)

instaweek | my week instagram

How’s everyone’s Easter break?
I’ve been loving the extra long four day weekend spent at home in a love bubble with Jay and Harley.

The week past was full of cramming work in before the holidays, getting my healthy eating back on track and catching up with family & friends.
The only low is that Jay’s Dad’s cancer is back; in his liver this time around which means intensive chemo starting next week. We’re focusing on sending good thoughts and lots of love his way.

IMG_20130325_062903IMG_20130326_094347starting the week off right; early morning jog & a green smoothie

IMG_20130326_203721 Tuesday night: Jay with Daddy & Mummy Williams; his parents

IMG_20130327_201952 Mid week drinks with the girls at a funky new “secret bar” called The Baxter Inn. It’s tough to find but once you’re there you won’t want to leave!

IMG_20130328_195222 since the imminent demise of google reader, I’ve gone all BlogLovin….

IMG_20130328_081216 another green smoothie

IMG_20130330_104145 and another! this time in my new carry container from rawblend.com.au

IMG_20130328_222542 Throw-back-Thursday; my BFF Gracie (left) & me circa 2004

IMG_20130330_152057 cooking up a barbie

IMG_20130329_131832 Friday Flowers on my table

IMG_20130329_090648 “wake up Mummy, it’s walkies time!” Harley says…

IMG_20130329_131556 Good Friday chillin in our crib…

IMG_20130329_143111 Try getting this stick back!

IMG_20130329_165823 Easter treats; hot cross buns & French Earl Grey tea (my favourite!)

IMG_20130329_234053 remembering our Paris trip….I want to go back!

IMG_20130330_184452 Date night; Old Fashioned fun at The Baxter Inn (I just HAD to take Jay!)

IMG_20130330_215429 and later on date night; Hoopla under the Big Top in Darling Harbour. It was super fun but a little weird when the trapeze artist got the shits with her clothing and took off her top mid-way through the routine! Flying boobies with the flying trapeze!

IMG_20130331_102120 Look what I got to wake up to this morning! Jay made me pancakes!!!
Gluten & wheat free pancakes too! Isn’t he grand…

IMG_20130331_111049 Ain’t it true!

Happy Easter Sunday xx

signature2 - melly xox[follow me http://instagram.com/thisismelly]

what a week

Hello, sleep? this is Melly. I’m ready for you now!

IMG_20130310_122559

I can barely keep my eyelids open as I write this. Hectic week… Jay was in Melbourne for work which meant keeping a house full of rolling guests (one lot departed as another arrived) entertained came down to me (thank God for the delights of Harley the born entertainer)!

20130308235929792Acting like big kids with Danny. My goofy favourite uncle!
Tuesday night we stayed til closing at the local Thai restaurant
drinking wine and talking.
Wednesday night we drank cocktails & shared sundaes with the sparkling city backdrop behind us…

20130310121842839 I managed to get a couple of solid workouts in!

20130310120612745 Reading love poetry & playing with a new filter…

20130310123459098 Still so obsessed with salads;
zucchini flowers
rocket, apple, walnuts & feta
spinach, pumpkin, beetroot, lentils & feta

20130307180956194 cocktails with colleagues

20130308073132986

and a few more with friends

IMG_20130309_102626

how can you not when your city shows off weather like this?!!
[pic via]

20130310120911423 Jay’s home! Saturday date night; Dreams In White play in Darlinghurst.

20130310121022513 And of course my little Harley boy…the fluffy love of our lives!

The last of our guests left this morning,
so now it’s time to do the washing & get back into our routine.
But first a little nap in the sun…

Happy Sunday!

On Instagram?
Let’s be friends!!!

@thisismelly

instagram