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.

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summer prawn cups

After the first couple of weeks of summer being a total let down of rain and jumper weather, Sydney has finally been slapped in the face by the summer we know and love! High-30-degrees and sunshine!

The summer weather always makes me crave seafood, so over the weekend when I was planning a quick casual dinner for an impromptu catch up with friends, I decided to do a super easy, low fuss but totally delicious take on the Prawn Cocktail (or Shrimp Cocktail for all my Northern Hemisphere mates).

Ingredients

  • fresh prawns (I use large Australian Tiger Prawns); 3-4 per person
  • iceberg or cos lettuce, shredded
  • fresh dill, roughly chopped
  • fresh avocado; quarter per person, sliced evenly
  • cocktail sauce; I use store bought but there are some good recipes out there if you prefer to create it yourself

Method

  • layer lettuce, avocado, prawns & sprinkle of dill in a pretty formation in your fave cup, glass or bowl
  • drizzle with cocktail sauce & serve

market fresh

i prefer buying my fruit and veg from local organic suppliers rather than from the big supermarkets. you know it’s fresher and free from chemicals and you get to know the farmers, learn more about where your food comes from and how it’s grown. it’s also important to financially support the ‘little guy’ over the supermarket chains!

in Sydney, i get my fruit n veg from one of two locations; the weekly Sunday organic farmer’s markets at Frenches Forest or The Locals Market.

at the farmer’s market you can walk around and chose your own produce; chat to the farmer’s and select what looks good on the day.

produce from Frenches Forest Organic Market

there’s usually other delicious goodies like artesian breads, hand-pickled veg and small batch honey, all direct from the creators.

The Locals Market is the brainchild of a local Sydney woman Talia, whose love for good fresh produce led her to create and grow a kind of co-op; she and her team get up early on Saturdays and scour the Sydney Growers Markets for the best local produce and divide it all up into bags which we, the local consumer, can collect from a few different pick-up locations.

the produce changes weekly depending what’s in season. She emails out a list of what’s available that week, you please your order and collect on Saturday morning. Easy!

The Locals Market also has a blog with great recipes and ideas to turn all that good produce into good fare.

this week’s The Locals Market bag & Harley checking it out



all of this for $45!

checkout your city council websites for nearby markets and give your support to your local farmers. you’ll get great produce and feel good too!

//all photos my own//

paleo banana + coconut bread

IMG_20140101_113719 So my New Years Resolution Revolution is going really well!
I have been 100% paleo for 22 days and counting!

I wanted to share with you my new fave sweet treat recipe which I discovered on Aussie TV chef personality & nutritionist Teresa Cutter’s website
The Healthy Chef.

It’s great for morning or afternoon tea but I especially love a slice for breakfast!

Original Publication HERE

Banana + Coconut Bread

IMG_20140119_193843Makes 1 loaf
Serves 12

  • 400 g (14  oz) ripe banana
  • 6 free range / organic eggs
  • 4 fresh pitted dates (see notes)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz/  1/4 cup)  macadamia nut oil, coconut oil or cold pressed olive oil
  • half teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons gluten free baking powder
  • 70 g ( 1/2  cup/ 2  1/2   oz) ) coconut flour
  • 20 g (1/4 cup / 1  oz) chia seed (see notes)

Preheat your oven to 150 C. (fan forced) 170 C ( no fan)
Combine banana, dates, oil, cinnamon, vanilla, eggs and baking powder into a blender or food processor and blend until creamy and combined  – alternatively you can do this by hand in a large bowl.
Add the coconut flour and chia seeds and mix through.
Rest for 10 minutes to allow the chia and coconut flour to expand.
Lightly oil one loaf tin and then line with baking paper –  The size I used was: 10 1/2 cm wide and 26 cm long.
Spoon batter into the tin – at this stage you can decorate the bread with flaked coconut of sliced banana before baking.
Bake for  50 – 55  minutes ( a skewer inserted into the centre should come out dry).
Cover the top with foil if over-browning.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool before turning out the loaf.
Makes 1 loaf serves 12.
keeps in the fridge covered for up to 1 week. (freezes well too)

All words from The Healthy Chef. Picture my own.

 

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!

this week | in instagram

IMG_20130224_153624 making Skinny Cow icecream into a pretty treat! IMG_20130224_154113 (1) circa 2010 @ South Coast Bawley Beach; Harley’s first trip away IMG_20130225_210054Jay, my hot Monday night date;
late dinner after seeing an FBiRadio presents ‘The Imposter’ movie IMG_20130226_221222Amber!!! Had to take this picture of Amber Valletta for Coach at the QVB on George St to send to my friend Tam. Amber & Shalom were our supermodel heros in the 90s!  20130226220559155 Feb dinner club with E & Neen at Mexico Surry HillsIMG_20130226_213321 thanks for the pretty paper stars (that I won’t be shredding) Aunty Sheela!!! IMG_20130228_070833 sunrise over beautiful Sydney during my morning jog IMG_20130228_071608 running stairs with Harley IMG_20130302_083244 little monster – Harley IMG_20130301_070652my favourite boat ‘Poppy’. I want. I will also be using this boat to escape the zombie apocalypse (hope the owners don’t live close)! 
IMG_20130227_072741 early morning boxing IMG_20130301_130116 my husband’s cool ensemble IMG_20130301_082421 this week’s Friday Flowers! Australian Natives. IMG_20130301_090040 hello friend. made by Tino @ Mano Espresso IMG_20130302_154251 a well deserved Dirty Grey Goose Martini on Friday night at Darling HarbourIMG_20130302_072608 get ready for colour & debauchery Sydney!!! Mardi Gras!!! IMG_20130302_104549 Saturday Pyrmont Grower’s Market in the rain IMG_20130302_162137 my skincare routine for the last 6 years…it’s the only skin I’ve got so I’m going to take damn good care of it! IMG_20130302_162815 my makeup ritual IMG_20130302_130653 50 shades of grey Sydney style… weekend of wet weather IMG_20130302_152750I finally hung my recently purchased artwork in our bedroom.
The three paintings are by a Swiss artist named Cristina B.
[contact via @CristinaBStudio on twitter]IMG_20130302_203534 Saturday night simple pasta for my date home alone with the couch
& Xbox Live movies!!! I will not admit to eating half a packet of skittles!!! IMG_20130303_160735 “I was going to be good Mummy but there were too many other options”!!! Harley the cavoodle
IMG_20130303_154731Sunday brunch at FFF Glebe.
Mango smoothie & pumpkin, walnut, chicken salad.

How was your week???

signature2 - melly xox

granola bars | recipe

Yesterday as Jay, Harley & I were returning from our sunrise harbour walk we discovered Jay’s wallet was missing. What followed was the fasted 2km run I think we’ve ever done! But there it was, sitting on the grass where it had fallen out of Jay’s pocket when we were doing our sit-ups & ab-work!

Today my knee is a little sore, so I skipped my workout, but always searching for Friday’s Fitspiration, I found this amazing healthy granola bar recipe from MoveNourishBelieve which I’m going to make on the weekend!

granolabars_02

friday

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