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quick fish salad-2

Back in September, I ‘outed’ myself here on Stonesoup by revealing my 3 worst cooking habits. A bit of a brave move for an introvert like me.

Anyway, I promised to report back on my progress. So here we are!

BAD HABIT 1. Picking While I Cook

This is easily the toughest habit for me to break. So don’t be surprised that I still pick from time to time. But I do feel like I’ve made progress.

I’ve been tracking whether I feel ‘full’ or ‘hungry’ when I sit down to dinner in my habit tracking app on my phone (it’s called ‘habit keeper’). Usually it’s only one or two nights a week I’ve been over doing the ‘picking’.

Having more of a focus in this area has helped.

But the biggest change is that Fergal moved to having one nap a day. So we now have lunch at 2pm rather than midday. This means I’m much less hungry in the evenings.

It’s amazing how changes to your schedule can have a knock on effect to how much food you eat.

BAD HABIT 2. Dull Knives

OMG… This has been the easiest habit to kick AND the most rewarding. I’d forgotten how much easier it is to cut with sharp knives.

All I did was make a promise to sharpen our knives every Sunday night (or Monday if I forget). It’s amazing what a difference it makes.

I’ve even found myself sharpening mid week if they aren’t up to scratch. Love it!

BAD HABIT 3. Not Washing Leaves and Herbs

There have been countless times when I’ve been tempted to not wash my leaves. But then I’ve thought about sitting down to write this post and have dug out the salad spinner (one of Fergal’s favourite kitchen toys).

But there’s also been many a time, mostly when I’m in a hurry taking photos, that I’ve fallen back into my old ‘dirty salad’ ways.

So progress but not perfection!

What about you?

Got any bad cooking habits you should break? Or good habits you’d like to form?

I’d love to hear about them in the comment below :)

quick fish salad-2

Quick Fish Salad

We’ve been trying to eat fish at least once a week. And I’m really enjoying it! This recipe is one of my fishy favourites. I love it with flat head fillets but it works with any fish or even chicken for that matter. Hooray for fish!

enough for 2
400g (14oz) fish fillets
2 tablespoons flour (optional)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 bag salad
mayo, to serve

1. Heat a frying pan on a medium high heat with a little oil. Toss fish in the flour (if using) with some salt and pepper.

2. Cook the fish until golden on both sides, about 3-5 minutes depending on how thick it is.

3. Meanwhile, combine lemon juice with 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. Season and toss in the salad leaves.

4. Divide salad between 2 plates. Top with the hot fish and serve with mayo on the side.

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Variations

gluten-free – The flour is just there to add a light crispy coating to the fish but you can easily skip it or use your favourite GF flour. I used chickpea flour which adds a lovely yellowy colour.

chicken – replace fish with chicken breast or thigh fillets. Chicken will take an extra minute or 2 on each side to cook. I wouldn’t bother with the flour if cooking chicken.

beef – this salad is also surprisingly good with steak sliced into strips and tossed in the flour.

vegan – replace fish with a drained can of chickpeas or white beans. Skip the flour and just pan fry the legumes in a little oil until well browned. Use a vegan mayo or see below for other egg-free ideas.

egg / mayo-free – replace mayo with lots of lemon juice, natural yoghurt, a dollop of creamy ricotta or goats cheese or with a tahini lemon sauce (3 tablespoons each lemon juice, tahini and water).

vegetarian – replace the fish with sliced halloumi cheese. Skip the flour and pan fry until the cheese is well browned on both sides. Or try a fried egg salad.

more veg – feel free to add your favourite raw salad veg such as grated carrot, cherry tomatoes, grated beets, sliced cucumber, sliced zucchini, chopped red capsicum (bell peppers). Or add a handful of frozen peas to the pan for the last minute of cooking the fish.

more substantial – serve with home made fries or toss in some steamed potatoes or torn chunks of sourdough bread.

With love,
Jules x
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beet caviar

Recently, my Irishman came across a fascinating documentary called ‘Gut Reaction: What You Eat Could be Making You Ill‘.

To cut a long story short, the program focused on the latest research on gut bacteria and health.

It boils down to this…

Eating processed food = unhealthy gut bacteria = unhealthy person.

and…

Eating lots of fiber from fruit and vegetables = healthy gut bacteria = healthy person.

I was surprised at the number of diseases linked to poor gut bacteria. They include emphysema, inflammatory bowel disease, MS, autism and asthma.

The clear message was healthy gut bacteria calm the immune system and reduce inflammation.

So even if you aren’t suffering from these diseases, your health will benefit from eating more veg and encouraging the growth of ‘good’ gut bacteria.

How do you eat more veg?

Here are my 2 favourite ways to include more vegetables (and fiber) in my diet.

1. Replace grain based foods with vegetables.
For example, instead of serving a stir fry with steamed rice, I make cauliflower ‘rice’ by grating raw cauli in the food processor. Or instead of serving my bolognese sauce with spaghetti, I dump it on a big bed of baby spinach.

Or for lunch, instead of sandwiches, I’m a fan of a big salad including legumes such as chickpeas, beans or lentils. Or in the cooler months I go for soups.

2. Eat veg for breakfast.
Forget about toast and cereal. Most days I have poached eggs with some sort of veg or salad. My favourites are raw grated broccoli or cauliflower. Or I’ll have my eggs with lentils which are packed with fiber.

What about YOU?

Got any favourite tips for eating more veg? I’m always on the lookout for new ideas so I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!

beet caviar

Beet ‘Caviar’

This lovely beet sauce was inspired by Heidi over at 101 Cookbooks. Being a big fan of beets I couldn’t resist such an exotic sounding dish. And I’m glad I didn’t. We had it with some pan fried salmon and a green salad. So good (and pretty too!).

makes enough for 4 as a sauce
3 large beets
1 cup toasted walnuts
4 dates (optional)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1-2 cloves garlic, peeled

1. Preheat your oven to 180C (350F). Trim beets and scrub and pop in the oven whole. Roast until tender, about an hour.

2. Let your beets cool then peel and pop the flesh in a food processor. Add walnuts, dates (if using) balsamic and garlic and whizz until you have a chunky paste.

3. Serve at room temperature or chill and serve cold.

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Variations

nut-free – replace walnuts with sourdough bread crumbs.

more saucey – drizzle in some olive oil for a more saucey consistency.

sugar-free – skip the dates and use sherry or red wine vinegar instead of the balsamic.

different veg – I can imagine this working well with other root veg such as sweet potato or carrot.

different accompaniments – as I mentioned it’s lovely with pan fried fish but also works well with chicken, a pork chop or even with lamb. Or serve with pita or Turkish bread as a dip or starter. Vegetarians will love it with pan fried halloumi or with grilled eggplant ‘steaks’. I had some leftovers with my poached eggs for breakfast.

With love,
Jules x
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ps.

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Have you seen my new eCookbook?

For all the details, go to:
www.thestonesoupshop.com/handt/

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super moist zucchini & tuna salad-2

I often get asked where I get the ideas for my recipes and blog posts. And the truth is I find inspiration pretty much everywhere… magazines, restaurants, online, my veggie garden, when I’m looking in my fridge…

But one of my favourite places is the Stonesoup by request survey I set up to capture your questions or ideas for future blog posts.

It’s been a while since I took a request, so today I have a great one for you…

“How do you balance out saltiness? I liked your post on vinegar, and would like more of the food “sciency” posts!”
Marilen

For me, seasoning is the most important skill when it comes to making your meals taste delicious.

I’ve already written about ‘How to Season to Taste‘ and the ‘2 Most Common Seasoning Mistakes‘. If you need help with seasoning in general, they would be great places to visit.

But what happens when you add too much salt?

This isn’t a cooking mistake I make often. Basically, over salting is very difficult to rectify so I’m paranoid about not adding too much.

I always err on the side of under seasoning and have a jar of salt at the table for everyone to do the ‘fine tuning’ themselves.

But on the odd occasion I find myself with an excess salt situation, there is only one reliable method I turn to…

Dilution.

If it’s a soup, sauce or casserole that contains liquid you can easily add some water or other liquid to help spread the salt out. In other cases, you can dilute by adding other low salt ingredients.

For example, if you have over seasoned the salad below, you could toss in some extra zucchini or other raw veg to balance things out. Or if there’s too much salt in your bolognese sauce serve with extra unsalted pasta.

What about adding a potato?

There’s an old wives tale that adding a raw potato will ‘soak up the salt’. While it will absorb some liquid (including some salt), it’s not going to preferentially soak up the salt.

What about adding lemon or other acid?

If you google ‘fix oversalting’ most of the articles that come up talk about flavour balance and adding some acid such as lemon juice or vinegar to ‘balance’ out the saltiness. This is a high risk proposition because salt and acid tend to enhance each other.

There are some times when adding a little acid can help but more often it’s going to make things worse. So be very careful.

What about adding sugar?

It’s true that sugar and salt balance each other out. Which is why salted caramel is so delicious.

If you have a slight salt imbalance, a pinch of sugar can help. However if you’re at the stage where your dish just tastes super salty, adding enough sugar to balance is only going to make it taste really sweet and weird. I’ve tried this years ago with an over salted bolognese and ended up having to throw it out.

That’s why I stick to dilution.

super moist zucchini & tuna salad-2

Super Moist Zucchini & Tuna Salad

I’ve been really getting into grated raw zucchini as an ingredient. I love the mild ‘greenish’ flavour but the best part is all the moisture in the zucchini keeps your salad or whatever lovely and moist. My Irishman had this salad for lunch at work yesterday and he was raving about it so much he took a photo and sent it to me. High praise indeed!

enough for 1
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 small zucchini
1 medium can tuna

1. Combine lemon with 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil in a medium bowl. Season.

2. Grate zucchini using your food processor or a box grater.

3. Toss zucchini in the dressing along with the tuna.

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Variations

vegetarian – replace tuna with poached eggs or pan fried halloumi or crumbled salty feta.

vegan – replace tuna with chunks of avocado and a handful of almonds.

carnivore – replace tuna with shredded BBQ chicken or sliced cooked sausages.

hot! – use tuna in chilli oil

fresh fish – pan fry tuna steaks or other fish fillets and serve with the salad.

different veg – use carrots, beets or cauliflower or a combination of any of the above.

no grater – finely slice the zucchini into strips using a veg peeler or mandoline then slice the strips into smaller slivers.

herby – feel free to toss in some flat leaf parsley, basil or mint.

With love,
Jules x
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ps. Have you seen ‘Healthy & Tasty’?

To make sure you don’t miss out, go to:
www.thestonesoupshop.com/handt/

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asparagus bread torta-4

When I was studying biotechnology, (as part of my Food Science Degree) if you had asked me whether eating healthier could change your genetics, I would have automatically responded ‘no way’.

I used to think that our genes are something we’re born with. Something we can’t change.

So you can imagine my surprise when I happened across a study which showed the opposite.

Yes, changes in our lifestyles such as diet, exercise and stress levels actually change which genes are expressed in our bodies.

Amazing stuff.

In the study 30 men with low level prostrate cancer were tracked over 3 months where they changed their diets, exercised for 1/2 hour every day and engaged in stress management practices such as meditation.

As expected, the men all improved their health with lower blood pressure and weight loss. The surprising thing was they also changed the expression of around 500 genes.

Disease prevention genes were turned on and genes known to be linked to disease were turned off.

So next time you feel like getting pizza instead of cooking something fresh for yourself, remember this study.

Any positive changes you make to your lifestyle aren’t only going to impact your external health, it’s making a difference at the genetic level!

Need some fresh ideas for Healthy AND Tasty Meals?

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Then you might need a copy of my new eCookbook!

For all the details go to:
www.thestonesoupshop.com/handt/

_______________________

asparagus bread torta-4

Asparagus Bread ‘Torta’


This unusual dish was inspired by the London chef, Yotam Ottolenghi. His was a bread ‘pudding’ but when I called my version that at a brunch we hosted, everyone was very skeptical.

Luckily I was convincing enough to get everyone to try it. My little asparagus dish stole the show. And it was competing with bacon so that’s saying something.

I’m really sorry if it’s not asparagus season where you live. See the variations for alternative veg ideas.

enough for 4-6
500g (1lb) asparagus (about 2 bunches)
2 cups milk
3 eggs
3 croissants, sliced about 1cm (1/2in) thick
2 large handfuls grated parmesan cheese
green salad, to serve

1. Preheat your oven to 180C (350F). Break the woody bottoms off the asparagus and pop in a loaf pan 24cm x 12cm (approx 9.5in x 5in) with a little oil.

2. Roast for 20 minutes or until the asparagus is almost tender.

3. Combine milk, eggs and parmesan in a large bowl. Season. Toss in the croissants to moisten.

4. When the asparagus is cooked, place on a chopping board and slice half into chunks, leaving the remaining stems whole.

5. Line the loaf pan with baking (parchment) paper. Layer half the croissants in the pan. Sprinkle over the chopped asparagus. Layer in the remaining croissants and pour over the rest of the egg mixture. Top with whole asparagus spears.

6. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until well browned and puffy. If you touch the top with your finger it should spring back.

7. Cool a little before slicing and serving with salad.

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Variations

dairy-free – replace milk with your favourite dairy-free milk spiked with a few tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, I’d personally go with almond milk. And you might want to use bread instead of buttery croissants. Use about 8 slices of a rustic loaf like a sourdough chopped into cubes. And just skip the parmsean.

gluten-free – replace croissants with about 8 slices GF bread that have been cut into chunks. You might like to substitute cream for the milk to make up for the lack of croissant butteriness (I would!).

different veg – when it’s not asparagus season I’d try broccolini, zucchini, eggplant (aubergine) or red peppers or a combo. Adjust the roasting time of the veg as needed.

carnivore – toss in some cooked sausage or crispy chopped bacon in with the chopped asparagus in step 5.

pescetarian – add some chopped smoked trout, smoked salmon, tuna or canned salmon in with the chopped asparagus in step 5.

more decadent – the first time I made this I used cream instead of the milk. It was really good!

With love,
Jules x
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ps. Not sure if ‘Healthy & Tasty’ can help you?

Here’s what Ruthie had to say about her purchase…

‘Hey Jules,
A BIG Thank You for another “can’t wait to get cooking” e-book! Have already glanced through and am inspired to start creating some culinary magic. I’m intrigued and eager to try your “Broccamole” recipe… two world’s colliding here with deliciousness!!
I also LOVE how so many of your recipes are naturally gluten free (as this is a dietary requirement for me) and that you provide variations in other recipes to suit, where possible.
Congrats on another great compilation, all the best, Ruthie :)’

Ruthie, ‘Healthy & Tasty’ Owner.

To make sure you don’t miss it go to:
www.thestonesoupshop.com/handt/

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roast cauli with chorizo

Recently I’ve been reading a fab little book by one of my blogging friends. It’s called ‘The Butcher and the Vegetarian’.

It chronicles my friend’s journey from vegetarian to occasional meat eater for health reasons. And it’s a great read.

Tara talks about growing up, when her mother was all about making everything as healthy as possible. They often ate steamed veg with brown rice and NO oil or salt. Not exactly tasty.

It made me a little sad because I think there is often a misconception that healthy food can’t be pleasurable.

The thing is, if you eat broccoli and actually enjoy it, you get the same health benefits as if you ate it like it were a badge of honour.

So today I wanted to share my favourite tricks for making veg taste amazing… Because aren’t we all more likely to eat more veg if we actually enjoy them?

6 Ways to Make Vegetables Taste as Good as Potato Chips*

1. Use salt
Many vegetables contain a lot of bitter flavours. And while a love of bitterness can be acquired, there is something you can do to mask it.

Yes, our old friend salt.

Really it makes a HUGE difference. Don’t be worried about the negative health connotations associated with salt. That’s for when you’re eating industrial-sized quantities, not the small amount of sea salt that it takes to mask the bitterness in your broccoli.

Salt is also great because it enhances flavours.

2. Use butter or olive oil
Fat carries flavour and provides fat soluble vitamins which tend to be lacking in veg. So it’s actually better for you to use butter or olive oil when cooking veg.

Needless to say, the tastiness factor should also be considered!

3. Don’t boil your veg
One of the easiest ways to make veg taste yuck is to boil the hell out of them. Boiling is also problematic because your water soluble vitamins end up down the sink.

These days, the only veg I boil are broad beans, edamame and spuds for roasting or when I’m making mash.

So how do I cook my veg? Read on…

4. Roast, pan fry or stir fry
I love roast veg but they can take a while, so I often pop them in a frying pan for a speedier alternative.

Unlike boiling, these dry heat methods of cooking help add yummy caramelized flavours to your veg and remove excess moisture. Which is why they’re so delicious!

5. Use good quality veg
When I was little I hated peas. Boiled frozen peas were all I knew. And then one day when I was older I had a life-changing spring vegetable soup at a little restaurant called the Lynwood Cafe which had its own vegetable garden. I couldn’t believe that I not only liked the freshly picked sweet peas, I loved them.

Now I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with frozen peas. They’re a brilliant vegetable to have on hand.

I tell the story as a reminder that all veg are not equal when it comes to flavour. The carrot you get from the supermarket generally never holds a candle to one you grow yourself.

6. Use tasty accompaniments
I’m a big fan of using tasty accompaniments to make my veg more palatable.

Here are some of my favourites: chorizo, chilli, soy sauce, parmesan, miso paste, bacon, pesto, fresh herbs, spices and hummus.

roast cauli with chorizo

Roast Cauli with Chunky Chorizo

Roasting cauliflower is the easiest way to turn it into a super tasty treat. I love how the pale colour of cauli makes the chorizo pop. The cauli also packs a nutritional punch just as weighty as broccoli and its other brassica cousins. I’ve used oregano in the picture because I was out of parsley and the oregano in my garden needs eating up.

enough for 2
1 head cauliflower
2 chorizo, sliced into chunks
1 tablespoon sherry or wine vinegar
1 bunch flat leaf parsley or oregano, leaves picked
1 handful roasted almonds or other nuts

1. Preheat your oven to 250C (475F).

2. Chop cauli into bite sized little ‘trees’. Place on a baking tray and drizzle with a little oil and a splash of water. Cover with foil and cook for 20 minutes.

3. Remove foil and scatter chorizo over the cauli. Season with salt. Return to the oven uncovered for 20-30 minutes, stirring once or twice until the chorizo is cooked and the cauli is soft in the middle and browned.

4. Combine vinegar with 1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil in a small bowl. Season.

5. When the cauli is cooked, toss the dressing in. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

6. Divide between 2 plates and serve with herbs and nuts on top.

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Variations

vegetarian – Skip the chorizo. Add a pinch of smoked paprika to the dressing. Serve cauli, herbs and nuts with a poached or fried egg or a dollop of cooling ricotta.

vegan – replace chorizo with a drained can of chickpeas. Add a pinch of smoked paprika to the dressing.

more substantial – serve with pita bread, steamed brown rice, hummus or cooked quinoa. Tossing in chunks of sourdough at the end so it soaks up the chorizo oil can also be really lovely.

nut-free – replace the nuts with extra chorizo. Or serve with toasted breadcrumbs instead.

different meat – any sausage can be used here. Or try finely sliced strips of chicken thigh.

* Thanks to the lovely Darya Rose for the title inspiration. And for those of you not familiar with ‘potato chips’ they’re the Australian version of ‘French Fries’.

With love,
Jules x
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ps. Have you seen my latest eCookbook?

h&t 3D cover

For all the details go to:
www.thestonesoupshop.com/handt/

pps. I’ve had some really lovely feedback on the book already.

Here’s what Eve had to say about her purchase…

‘Hi Jules, just a quick reaction…
I am so excited about this eCookbook, congratulations!
I purchased it almost instantly as I knew you would not disappoint me… and indeed, even after only a quick glance through it, this is again a success.
I love how you always find ways to make tasty food in all its simplicity! Even with a busy schedule, I’m always eager to try one of your recipes… Can’t wait to try one of these!
Congrats!’

Eve, ‘Healthy & Tasty’ Owner.

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OK, I’m super excited and a little nervous because it’s been almost 2 years since my last new eCookbook.

Anyway, here goes…

‘Healthy & Tasty Meals Made Easy’ is now ready!

For all the details go to:
www.thestonesoupshop.com/handt/

With love,
Jules x
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slow roasted lamb shoulder-6

I love this time of year.

Here in Oz, Summer is just around the corner and the lure of long lazy days on the horizon. Yay for holidays.

Even though we don’t officially celebrate Thanksgiving here, I love the concept of this holiday.

When I lived in California, I really embraced it. Taking the time to get together with your loved ones and give thanks with a big feast thrown in.

What’s not to love about that?

But the holidays can come with their fair share of stress.

So I thought I’d talk about the 2 biggest mistakes most people make when it comes to entertaining. And of course my tips for avoiding them…

Mistake 1: Trying to do too much

It’s so easy to get carried away when planning a feast. Even though I’m a big fan of keeping things as simple as possible, especially in the kitchen, I still fall for this rookie mistake from time to time.

So what’s the solution?

Easy. Write down your menu. Leave it aside for at least a few hours, preferably overnight.

Then read through and cut out anything that feels like too much effort. Be ruthless!

Mistake:2 Not allowing enough time

Things in the kitchen always take longer than you expect. Even for experienced cooks like me.

Again the solution comes down to planning. And being realistic and honest with yourself and realistic.

If you think you could do with some help in the planning department, I have something you might find helpful over here.

Here are some of my favourite recipes for entertaining…

Starters

roast butternut pumpkin-4
1. Roast Butternut ‘Hummus’ – serve with flat bread or crusty bread or celery sticks.

broad bean pesto-3
Broad Bean Pesto – If it’s not broad bean season make it with frozen peas. Either way serve with crusty bread.

Mains

slow roasted lamb shoulder-6
Succulent Slow Roast Lamb with Spicy Beet Sauce I love slow roasting meat because you end up with super tender meat AND it can be done ahead so there’s no stress about getting the timing right.

ham
Amazing Glazed Ham – if you’re in charge of the main protein forget about turkey and focus on the ham. A glazed ham is super forgiving and you don’t need to stress about getting it cooked through because it’s already cooked. You just need to focus on getting it looking gorgeous and glazed. I make this every year and this year we’ve even cured and smoked our own ham but you don’t need to go to that much trouble. The other great thing about ham is that is tends not to be ridiculously expensive.

pecan crusted sweet potato-4
Pecan Crusted Sweet Potato – if you need to keep the vegetarians happy, this is the main course for you! If you have any carnivore guests I can guarantee they’ll want to try this too.

warming onion & white bean bake-2
Onion & White Bean Bake – This will double as a side if needed.

Sides

green chickpea salad-3
Green Chickpea Salad – chickpeas are still one of my all time favourite foods. And this salad is no exception. Kale makes a brilliant ‘pot luck’ salad green because it tastes better after a bit of time marinating in the dressing, more than you can say for most regular salad greens.

burnt carrot salad-3
Burnt Carrot Salad – This is still on high rotation in our house. It’s best if you toss everything just before it’s time to eat, so it is a little bit higher maintenance. But worth it!

potato salad-7
Preserved Lemon Potato Salad – the preserved lemon makes this salad far more exciting than a regular mayonnaise-heavy potato salad. There are 2 other delicious potato salad recipes to choose from on this page as well. If there’s an Irish person among the guests you may have them pledging their undying love for you… don’t say I didn’t warn you ;)

roast cauliflower & quinoa salad
Warm Salad of Roasted Cauliflower & Quinoa – also great served at room temp. Just keep the cheese in the fridge until you’re ready to serve. Quinoa always gets loads of questions and compliments.

rolls royce 'slaw
Rolls Royce ‘Slaw – One of those salads that can sit in the fridge as long as needed. Especially good at barbeques.

lentil & beet salad-8
Roast Beets, Lentil & Balsamic Onion Salad – this one takes a little bit of effort to prepare but is super low maintenance after that. Great if you aren’t sure how long it will be before you eat.

Sweet Treats

toblerone ice cream cake
Toblerone Ice Cream Cake – only make this if you know there will be plenty of freezer space. Guaranteed crowd pleaser.

croissant surprise bday cake-4
Croissant Surprise Cake – I can’t tell you how many readers have contacted me telling me of all the compliments they’ve had after making this cake. Great because it will sit at room temperature for hours or is equally happy straight from the fridge.

chocolate peanut butter cake-5
No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake – This cake is super easy and super rich. And it’s better if you make it the day before. Get ready for the recipe requests!

molly's chocolate chip cookies-3
Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies – the salt makes them slightly unusual but apart from that they’re as good as cookies get. I love taking these to parties because they’re easy to serve and don’t create any washing up.

Like to overcome your entertaining mistakes?

holiday special square logo NEW2

To celebrate the Holidays this year, I’ve bundled together 4 quick online cooking classes.

They include:
* Stress-Free Entertaining
* Thanksgiving, Made Easy
* Make Your Christmas Merry
* Made with Love (Delicious Gifts Made Easy).

AND if you join today you’ll get access to all 4 quick classes for LESS THAN the price of 1.

To get all the details and make sure you don’t miss out on this LIMITED TIME offer go to:
http://thestonesoupshop.com/holiday/

With love,
Jules x
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ps. And if you’re interested in simplifying your life in 2015, the early-bird pricing for ‘A Simple Year’ ends 15th November!.

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To make sure you don’t miss out on this really great program go to:
www.simpleyear.co/

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Zucchini Mac & Cheese

Today I have a bit of a favour to ask…

In a few weeks I’m going to be releasing my new eCookbook called ‘Healthy & Tasty Meals Made Easy‘. I’m super excited about it because it’s been almost 2 years since my last new book.

But before I put my latest ‘baby’ out into the big wide world, I’d love to get some feedback on it.

That’s where you come in.

If you’d like to be one of my early ‘previewers’ and score a free copy of ‘Healthy & Tasty’ before it’s available for sale, I’d love to hear from you.

To register your interest, just leave a comment below letting me know how you could benefit from having a FREE copy of ‘Healthy & Tasty’.

The competition is now closed. Huge THANKS to the over 300 people who entered!
The winners have been notified via email.
And the winners are (drum roll)…
Wendy 
Emily 
Alison
Mike
Jess 
Ali
Dena
Laurie
Amy Findakly
Susan
BC
tom
Amanda Brook
Crystal
Robyn
Joann
Narelle
Lisa

UPDATE: ‘Healthy & Tasty’ is NOW Available!

h&t 3D cover
For all the details including the special 30% OFF launch discount go to:
www.thestonesoupshop.com/handt/

The fine print:
There are 20 FREE copies up for grabs.
Entries close: Monday 3rd November.
Entries will be judged by me. I’m looking for creativity and enthusiasm.
_______________________________________

Zucchini Mac & Cheese

Zucchini Mac & Cheese

This is a recipe that was inspired by English chef, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. It certainly fits in with the ‘tasty’ criteria for my new ebook but with the pasta it didn’t really come up to scratch from a health perspective. So rather include it in my new eCookbook, I thought I’d share it here.

enough for 2
4 zucchini, sliced finely
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed (optional)
4 tablespoons cream
150g (5oz) short pasta
2 handful melting cheese
salad leaves, to serve

1. Preheat your oven to 180C (350F). Bring a pot of water for the pasta to boil.

2. Heat a little olive oil on a medium heat in a large frying pan. Add zucchini and cook until the zucchini are super soft and reduced. 10-15 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, boil pasta according to the packet timing. Drain.

4. Add garlic to the zucchini (if using) and cook for about 30 seconds. Remove pan from the heat and toss in the pasta, cream and half the cheese.

5. Divide the mixture between 2 x 2cup oven proof dishes. Top with remaining cheese and pop in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until everything is hot and the cheese has melted.

6. Serve with salad leaves on the side.

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Variations

carnivore – brown some bacon or crumbled pork sausages and toss in with the pasta.

more substantial / carb lovers – serve with garlic bread.

different cheese – I use a combo of emmental, gruyere and parmesan but cheddar, mozzarella and swiss cheese are also good.

vegan / dairy-free – just toss the garlicky zucchini through the cooked pasta with a little extra olive oil. And serve with finely grated brazil nuts and a handful of mint or basil leaves on top.

healthier / more veg – replace some or all of the pasta with steamed chopped cauliflower.

different veg – the zucchini are pretty special here because they cook down and concentrate in flavour but you could use asparagus, broccoli, peas, red bell peppers (capsicum) or cauliflower.

gluten-free – use GF pasta (I did) or replace the pasta with steamed chopped cauliflower.

With love,
Jules x
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ps. And if you’re interested in simplifying your life in 2015, the early-bird pricing for ‘A Simple Year’ ends SOON.

To make sure you don’t miss out on this really great program go to:
www.simpleyear.co/

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yogic green salad

This time 5 years ago I was at a big crossroads.

I loved my job designing Tim Tams (chocolate cookies) for Australia’s largest biscuit manufacturer. I mean who wouldn’t love working with chocolate?

However, earlier in the year I’d had a glimpse of another life. Writing my first cook book was an experience that I’d loved so much.

Maybe it was my calling to write about food?

At first I dismissed the idea. How on earth could I earn as much money as I did in the corporate world?

But like most good ‘scary’ ideas, it kept coming back.

About the same time I’d discovered the blog, Zen Habits. I was getting deeply into the concept of simplicity in life. As I read about Leo’s own transition from a job he hated to full time blogger, it dawned on me…

I didn’t need to match my 6-figure corporate salary. If I put my mind to it, and really simplified my life, I could live on a fraction of the amount.

All of a sudden the change seemed within reach and in January 2010 I quit my job.

I haven’t looked back.

These days I feel incredibly blessed. I get to help people all over the world discover that healthy eating doesn’t need to be complicated. I only work on projects I love. I have the freedom to fit in my work around taking care of my 16 month old.

And for the last few years I’ve made way more money than I ever did as an ’employee’.

The thing is, I wouldn’t have made it here if I hadn’t simplified my life. That really was key.

Which begs the question… What opportunities might open up if you started to simplify YOUR life?

You’re probably wondering why I’m talking about this. Well I just wanted to share a really exciting project that I’m a part of…

It’s called ‘A Simple Year’ and basically it’s a year long program of guided simplicity that focuses on simplifying a different area of your life each month.

If it sounds like something you might be interested in go to:
www.simpleyear.co/

___________________

yogic green salad

Yogic Green Salad

This salad was inspired by my Kundalini Yoga teacher, the lovely Odette. In preparation for a special early morning practice recently, Odette encouraged us to try a 24 hour ‘green foods’ detox. As she was describing a suggested meal of peas and avocado, all I could think was ‘yum’. And here it is…

enough for 1
2 handfuls frozen or freshly podded peas
1 avocado
1 lime
1 handful pistachios (optional)

1. Heat a little extra virgin olive oil in a small pan on a medium high heat. Add peas and stir fry for a few minutes until they’re hot. If using frozen just pop them straight in the pan from the freezer.

2. Place warm peas in a bowl. Top with scoops of avocado and a splash of lime juice. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Serve with pistachios on top (if using).

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Variations

different veg – use chopped asparagus, green beans, broccoli or podded broad beans.

more veg – serve with a handful of baby spinach, mint, flat leaf parsley or basil leaves.

carnivore – it won’t exactly be a yogic detox salad but feel free to fry some chopped bacon, sliced chorizo or chicken thigh fillets before cooking the peas.

nut-free – just skip the pistachios or serve with the herbs suggested above.

more substantial / carb lovers
– again this will take it outside the realms of a ‘yogic’ salad but you could serve with crusty bread and butter or toss in some cooked quinoa, brown rice or other cooked grains.

With love,
Jules x
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ps. Here’s what people are saying about ‘A Simple Year’ 2014…

“Participating in “A Simple Year” has offered me the opportunity to focus on several areas of my life and reconsider, unclutter, and ponder changes that I would not have pursued without the program. The structure of the course allows you to dig in as little or as much in each area as you care to or can manage. For me it’s been life changing.”
–Carole

“Signing up for and participating in “A Simple Year” has been one of the best things I did in 2014. It has allowed me to make some significant changes in my life, each leading to other new changes and opportunities.”
–Kathy

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easy fish curry-2

Do you ever feel ‘too tired to cook’ after a long busy day? Well you’re certainly not alone!

A few years ago I surveyed Stonesoup readers for their biggest cooking challenges. The number 1 response was being ‘tired at the end of a long day’.

We all know what that feels like.

But how do you make it easier to cook when you’re tired AND hungry?

Or as one of my students calls it…’HANGRY’.

So here’s my simple 2-step process to make it easier to get into the kitchen and cook the delicious, healthy meals you and your family deserve…

STEP 1. Have actual food in the house

If there isn’t food in the house we’re all more likely to pick up takeout than go to the store, buy ingredients, come home and cook. Food in the house gives you a HUGE head start.

I find there are 2 parts to this.

First, having a well stocked pantry can be a huge life saver.

The other piece of the puzzle is a regular system for buying fresh ingredients. It might be an idyllic weekly trip to the farmers market, a Monday night supermarket run or an online order that gets delivered.

The type of system isn’t important. Just find one that works for you.

STEP 2. Have a collection of fast, simple recipes at your fingertips.

Having a collection of quick, healthy, easy recipes is key. If you know dinner is only going to take you 10-15 minutes, aren’t you more likely to be able to find the energy you need to make it happen?

I can hear you asking…

“Great Jules, but where am I going to find such a collection?”

To be honest, you don’t need to look any further than Stonesoup. This collection of 50 healthy 10-Minute meals is a great place to start.

BUT if you want a collection of super easy, healthy and yummy recipes that you can save on your phone or tablet to access any time, even when you’re not online, then I have just the thing for you..

THCC2 3D Cover

The best selling of my eCookbooks is called the ‘Tired & Hungry Cook’s Companion’.

It’s all about helping you avoid becoming ‘Hangry’!

If you’s like to discover more go to:
www.thestonesoupshop.com/tiredhungrycookscompanion/

_____________

easy fish curry-2

Easy Fish Curry

My Irishman and I have been on a mission to eat more fish so we have been having a regular pescetarian Monday. This curry was inspired by one such Monday. I’ve found buying fish at our local farmers market makes fish cooking much more affordable and delicious. I’ve served it on a bed of cauliflower ‘rice’ (raw grated cauliflower) but you’re welcome to use steamed basmati rice if you prefer.

enough for 2
450g (1lb) fish fillets, chopped into chunks
1-2 tablespoons garam masala
1-4 red chillies, chopped
1 can tomatoes (400g / 14oz), chopped
4 tablespoons whipping cream (35% milk fat)
1 bunch coriander (cilantro), leaves picked

1. Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan (skillet) over a medium high heat.

2. Add the fish and brown for a few minutes. Then add the garam masala and chilli. Stir for a few seconds.

3. Add tomatoes and their juices. Simmer for about 5 minutes, or until the fish has cooked through.

4. Stir in cream and bring back to a gentle simmer.

5. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve with coriander on top.

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Variations

vegetarian – replace fish with drained canned chickpeas or home cooked chickpeas.

vegan – replace fish with diced eggplant. Will take longer for the eggplant to cook in the sauce, around 20 minutes. And replace cream with coconut milk.

dairy-free – replace cream with coconut milk. Butter or ghee could also be used instead of cream.

different herbs – if coriander (cilantro) isn’t your thing consider basil, mint, a handful of fresh curry leaves. Or just skip the herbs.

carnivore – replace fish with diced chicken thighs fillets or sliced steak. Adjust the cooking time as needed.

no garam masala – replace with a mild curry powder or loads of black pepper and a little ground cumin.

With love,
Jules x
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ps. Not sure if the Tired & Hungry Cook’s Companion will help YOU?

THCC2 3D Cover

Here’s what people are saying about it…

“I’m really enjoying the Tired and Hungry Cooks Companion – it’s helping me to become somebody who actually cooks for herself! Because there are few ingredients, I can read the recipe once and remember it. I am starting to have repertoire of recipes in my head. I’m saving money because I am not buying lunches or eating out. I’m enjoying my food more.”
Jen, Tired & Hungry Cook’s Companion Owner.


“I love your latest eCookbook. It has been my saviour with a newborn along with international postings for my husband. We are currently in South America and even though not all the ingredients are available, the fact it’s transportable and 5 ingredients to whip up in minutes has saved our night life!

Emma, Tired & Hungry Cook’s Companion Owner.


“I love how your five-minute meals are actually meals, not just haphazardly thrown-together salads or supplemented pre-packaged ‘foods’. Most of those recipes are exactly the amount of effort I’d want to exert if I was tired and hungry, but didn’t want to settle for noodles or fast food.”

Aldrea, Tired & Hungry Cook’s Companion Owner.

pps. Here’s the link again:
www.thestonesoupshop.com/tiredhungrycookscompanion/

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moroccan meatball tajine-3

When I was getting into cooking, one of the few things I found really intimidating was working with spices. I’m not sure what caused my ‘spice phobia’ but I do remember only using spices if the recipe called for them. I’d always use exactly the types and amounts listed.

Talk about restrictive.

Over the years, with a lot of trial and a little bit of error, I’ve adopted a more liberated approach to cooking with spices.

Why Use Spices?

If you’re ever short on time or short on space in your pantry, spices can be an absolute life saver when it comes to making food taste amazing.

Not only that, using different spices is by far the quickest and easiest way to make a boring old dish taste new and exciting.

What’s not to love about spice?

Anyway its been literally years since I last wrote about spices on Stonesoup so I thought it was high time that we had a little spice love.

I specifically wanted to share my 3 favourite spice blends because these days I find I’m far more likely to reach for a blend than faff around with adding a heap of different single spices.

Using spice blends means you get the complexity of flavour of loads of different spices all in the one little packet. Love it!

My 3 Favourite Spice Blends.

1. RAS EL HANOUT
This is a Moroccan spice blend that translates as ‘top of the shop’. It’s traditionally the best spice blend a Moroccan spice merchant will sell. The ingredients lists can be lengthy, with as many as 23 different spices. And as you can imagine the flavour is exotic and complex without being too ‘out there’.

It’s my favourite blend for the tajine recipe below and it works really well with fish and chicken and vegetables like eggplant (aubergine).

Best substitute for Ras el Hanout: Equal parts paprika, coriander, ginger and a pinch of saffron OR just ground coriander.

2. BAHARAT
A Lebanese blend of 7 spices including paprika, pepper, cumin, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and nutmeg. It’s a bit darker and more intense than Ras el Hanout but still works well with meat, poultry, seafood and vegetables.

Best substitute for Baharat: Equal parts paprika, cumin and cinnamon OR ground cumin.

3. GARAM MASALA
I always spell this Indian spice blend wrong but think I’ve got it right today! For some reason garam masala is my ‘go-to’ Indian spice if I’m in the mood for a bit of curry. I tend to reach for garam masala over a generic curry powder.

I think this is because garam masala tends to be more laid back than some in your face curry powders. Which tends to suit my cooking style better.

Best substitute for Garam Masala: Mild curry powder OR loads of black pepper.

What about you?

Do you have a ‘spice phobia’? What are your favourite spices or blends? I’d love to hear in the comments below :)

____________________

moroccan meatball tajine-3

Moroccan Meatball Tajine

This is a dish I’ve been making for years and am kinda surprised I haven’t ever written about it on Stonesoup. About time! It’s a brilliant example of how using spices can transform a boring old dish (Italian meatballs) into something exotic and super tasty.

enough for 2-3
1 onion, peeled & chopped
450g (1lb) minced (ground) beef
125g (5oz) almond meal
2 teaspoons ras el hanout, baharat or ground coriander
1 jar tomato passata or puree (700g / 24oz / 2.5 cups)
4 tablespoons butter
1 bunch coriander (cilantro), leaves picked
cauliflower rice or cooked couscous to serve

1. Preheat your oven to 180C (350F). Place onion in a small pan on a medium heat with a little oil and cook until soft but not browned. About 5 minutes or a little longer.

2. Combine cooked onion, beef, almond meal and your chosen spice in a large bowl. Season generously with salt. Roll teaspoonfuls of the mixture into balls and place in an ovenproof dish.

3. Pour over the tomato passata or puree and top with butter. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes or longer until the meatballs are browned on top and cooked through.

4. Serve meatballs on a bed of cauliflower rice or couscous with coriander leaves on top.

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VARIATIONS
to serve with couscous – cook couscous according to the packet but add some extra butter.

to serve with cauli rice – grate 1/2 small cauliflower using your food processor or a box grater and serve meatballs on top. No need to cook or warm it.

different accompaniments – great wrapped in lebanese bread, tortillas or other flat bread. Could be served with your favourite pasta.

short on time – skip the onion and simmer the tajine on the stovetop until the meatballs are just cooked through. You might also like to skip the meatball rolling and just cook the meat more like a bolognese sauce.

different meat – beef is a favourite but lamb is also great. Pork, chicken, turkey or buffalo could all be used.

vegetarian – try adding the spice above to these lentil balls.

nut-free – replace almond meal with soft bread crumbs or cooked quinoa.

dairy-free – replace butter with lots of extra virgin olive oil.

different herbs – mint, basil, parsley or baby spinach are all great.

italian meatballs – just skip the spice and serve with basil instead of the coriander.

indian meatballs – use garam masala as your spice and serve with a dollop of natural yoghurt.

With love,
Jules x
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easy chinese chicken

If I mention the words ‘mindless eating’, what thoughts pop into your head?

Probably nothing healthy, right?

For me ‘mindless eating’ normally evokes thoughts of chowing down on junk in front of the TV or computer. Big bags of chips or pop corn at the cinema. Or shoveling ice cream straight from the tub.

While I’m a huge fan of the concept of MindFUL eating, I’ve also come to appreciate that there’s a place for mindLESS eating in a healthy lifestyle.

Really? Mindless eating = healthy?

Mindless Eating for good is a concept I discovered via the lovely Darya Rose. It was coined by researcher Brian Wansink in his awesome book, ‘Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think’.

Basically Wansink’s research team have found that our bodies aren’t very good at accurately keeping track of how much food we eat. Most people can eat 20% less and not actually feel like they’re missing out on anything.

Wainsink calls this the ‘mindless margin’. It’s basically a ‘buffer zone’ where our brains don’t detect whether we’ve eaten more or less.

Over time, the extra (or less) food eaten in the mindless margin adds up to weight gained (or lost!).

So today I wanted to share some tips from Wainsink’s book that I’ve found helpful.

3 Tips to Eat Less Mindlessly

1. Use smaller plates
It’s an optical illusion but it really does work. The same amount of food look like much more if served on smaller plates. So you’re more likely to feel satisfied with less.

Same goes for smaller glasses, something to think about if you’re trying to limit your wine consumption. (Nothing to see here…)

2. Serve (slightly) less food
Most of us keep eating until our plates are empty. So a great way to eat less is to serve yourself less food to begin with. The trick is to find a balance, you don’t want to feel like you’re missing out. It’s about keeping inside the ‘mindless margin’.

3. Only serve healthy options in the middle of the table.
I love serving big platters of food in the middle of the table because it looks so appealing. But as you probably know yourself, if food is there it gets eaten.

I’ve found by serving healthy options like salad and vegetables in the middle, I still get the look and feeling of abundance. However keeping the extra servings of meat and potatoes in the kitchen, means we’re far less likely to have too much of these.

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easy chinese chicken

Easy Chinese Chicken

The simple sauce for this chicken was inspired by my favourite food writer, Nigel Slater. A bit of garlic, some 5-Spice powder and soy sauce. So easy and really delish. I can get Chinese 5-Spice at my local supermarket but if you can’t, an online spice merchant will be able to help you out. Or see the variation below for an alternative.

Enough for 2
2 teaspoons Chinese 5-Spice
2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
500g (1lb) chicken thigh fillets, slice into bite sized pieces
250g (1/2 lb) snow peas, trimmed
1-2 tablespoons soy sauce
handful cashews

1. Combine 5-spice, garlic and 2 tablespoons oil. Toss in the chicken and allow to marinate for as long as you’ve got. A few minutes is fine but for anything longer than an hour, keep it in the fridge.

2. Heat a little oil in a wok or large frying pan on a very high heat. Add snow peas and stir fry until bright green and just cooked but still very crunchy. Remove to a clean bowl.

3. Heat a little more oil in the wok and stir fry chicken until well browned and just cooked though. About 5-10 minutes.

4. Return snow peas to the pan to warm through. Remove from the heat and toss in the soy sauce.

5. Serve in two bowls with cashews on top.

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VARIATIONS
vegetarian – replace chicken with sliced hallomi and pan fry until golden instead of stir frying.

vegan – replace chicken with sliced eggplant. Allow more time stir frying for the eggplant to cook properly. Undercooked eggplant is one of my least favourite things.

no Chinese 5-spice – make your own approximation with equal parts ground cinnamon, fennel seeds, black pepper and star anise. Or at a minimum just use cinnamon and fennel.

different veg – asparagus, sugar snap peas, bok choy, broccolini, broccoli, Chinese broccoli, red capsicum (bell pepper), zucchini (courgettes).

more veg – serve on a bed of cauliflower ‘rice’ (grated raw cauli).

carb-lovers – serve with steamed rice or rice noodles cooked according to the packet.

different meat – minced (ground) chicken, chicken breasts, pork fillet, steaks – any tender cut that will stir fry well.

With love,
Jules x
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kale 'cabonara'-4

I‘m a huge believer in the power of habits for helping to put everyday decisions on autopilot, making it much easier to live a healthy life.

One of the things I’ve learned in my study of habit formation over the years is the power of public commitment.

Earlier in the year, I joined Febfast and committed to a month without alcohol.

It was tough. Especially the night we were staying with friends in Sydney and everyone else was drinking really lovely wine.

One of my friends tried to persuade me to have some. They weren’t going to tell anybody…

It was tempting.

But you know what kept me from caving?

The thought of having to sit down here and admit to you that I had broken my promise.

While Febfast is long gone, I have a few bad cooking habits that I’ve been trying to kick on my own. And if truth be told, I haven’t been having much luck.

So today I’m ‘outing’ myself on my 3 worst habits. I’ll report back in a month or so to let you know how I’ve gone.

BAD HABIT 1. Picking While I Cook

As I mentioned in my interview with the lovely Darya Rose a few weeks ago, picking at food while I cook has long been my worst cooking habit.

Now that I’m getting dinner ready for Fergal before I start cooking for my Irishman and me, it’s been getting worse.

I hate that feeling of sitting down to dinner and not being hungry.

Darya had some brilliant advice around setting boundaries for snacking, like using a plate and only doing it sitting at the table. I’ve been working on implementing this for a few weeks now, and while I have made some progress, there have been times when I have had my official snack and still picked while cooking.

I need a bit more help with this one.

BAD HABIT 2. Dull Knives

Even though we have top quality knives and the easiest sharpening system ever, I’m very embarrassed to admit that I can easily go weeks if not months without sharpening.

I know dull knives are dangerous. I just can’t explain this terrible habit apart from being super lazy.

So I commit to sharpening my knives at least once a week on Sunday or Monday. I’ve started this week off with sharp knives. It feels great.

BAD HABIT 3. Not Washing Leaves and Herbs

I think this habit started when we were buying most of our veg from the supermarket. Those pre-washed bags of salad leaves and herbs are just ‘oh so easy’.

Now we buy the lions share of our veg from the farmers market. I’m loving the increase in quality and freshness but have honestly been ‘pretending’ to myself that the leaves don’t need washing.

When clearly they do. I know.

I can’t believe I’m going to put this in writing, but we had a guest staying who found a slug in the salad. Even that mortification hasn’t wrenched me out of my slothfulness.

It’s definitely time for a change. So when I report back I’m planning on my salad spinner being my new best friend.

What about you?

Do you have any bad cooking habits that you’d like to break? Or even some good habits you’d like to form?

I’d love to hear about them in the comment below :)

_________________

kale 'cabonara'-4

Kale ‘Cabonara’

OK so if you’re a purist when it comes to the naming of dishes, you’d better block your ears. I know that cabonara traditionally includes egg yolk and no cream, but I really liked the sound of kale ‘cabonara’ and I felt more in the mood for cream than egg yolk… so that what we have.

Enough for 2
4-6 slices bacon, chopped
1 bunch kale, ribs discarded (if tough) & leaves sliced into ribbons
1-2 cloves garlic
4 tablespoons cream
2 large handfuls grated parmesan + extra to serve

1. Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan and cook bacon on a medium high heat until well browned.

2. Remove bacon from the pan and add the kale and garlic. Cover and cook, stirring every few minutes until the kale is wilted and deep green in colour. It will take about 5-10 minutes. If it starts to burn, add a splash of water to help generate some steam.

3. Return bacon to the pan and add cream. Stir over the heat to warm through then remove from the heat and add the cheese.

4. Divide between two plates and serve with extra cheese if you like.

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VARIATIONS
more substantial / carb lovers – toss in some cooked pasta at the end. A drained can of chickpeas or white beans will do the same job without causing blood sugar problems.

paleo / more classic cabonara – replace cream with 2 egg yolks. Add the yolks with the bacon off the heat. And see the dairy-free option.

dairy-free – replace cream with 2 egg yolks and replace parmesan with grated brazil nuts and if you like a teaspoon of nutritional yeast.

vegetarian – replace bacon with chopped smoked tofu – a really lovely ingredient. OR serve with a big handful of smoked almonds or other nuts.

different greens – as much as I love kale, any leafy greens such as spinach, baby spinach, chard or silverbeet can be used.

vegan – cook sliced kale with garlic in olive oil and serve with more olive oil and a good few handfuls of roasted nuts or cooked legumes.

With love,
Jules x
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bacon & cabbage-2

A few weeks ago, my Irishman was in a lift with a family with a sick baby. He mentioned that he has a one-year-old and the other parents were like, ‘Oh you must be used to him being sick’.

My Irishman was a little taken back by this.

Over dinner he told me about his encounter with the sick child.

We both realized we’ve been very lucky with Fergal. Apart from the odd runny nose, he hasn’t ever been really sick. (Excuse me while I just go and touch some wood!)

But is this just good luck? Or good genes? Or something we’re doing or not doing?

In all likelihood, it’s a combination. However, our habits and lifestyle must be having an impact.

4 Ways I Keep My Family Healthy

1. We eat real food.
The rate of obesity has increased at the same rate as our consumption of processed food. Coincidence? I think not.

What do I mean by ‘real food’?

Basically, it’s anything without a complicated ‘ingredients list’ on the pack. Or better yet, food that doesn’t come in packages. Like vegetables, fish, meat etc.

While most of our food falls into the ‘real’ category, we don’t obsess. I’m happy for occasional processed conveniences like commercial curry pastes or tomato ketchup.

2. We go easy on grains, especially wheat.
The main problem with grains, even ‘whole grains’ is they provide loads of carbohydrates without enough beneficial micronutrients. I prefer to get my carbs in the form of vegetables and legumes.

Even if you think you don’t have a problem with wheat or gluten, you may find your health improves if you experiment with removing wheat from your diet. It’s not just a digestive thing. In ‘Wheat Belly,’ William Davis links consumption of modern wheat to all sorts of ills including schizophrenia.

3. We aren’t afraid of fat. Including saturated fat.
Whenever I write about fat it tends to be controversial. The whole ‘low fat’ movement has a lot to answer for.

Eating fat doesn’t make you fat. In our house we love olive oil, butter, cream, nuts, avocado and bacon.

Not ready to stop being fat phobic? Then check out:
What Does It Mean to Be Fat-Adapted?
Why Fat is the Preferred Fuel for Human Metabolism

Also, saturated fat isn’t bad for us. In 2010 a panel of heart disease experts concluded that reducing saturated fat intake doesn’t reduce the risk of heart disease.

Saturated fat tends to be the most stable fat for cooking and can actually be beneficial. If you think I’ve gone crazy, read 7 Reasons to Eat More Saturated Fat.

4. We eat lots of vegetables.
Vitamins. Minerals. Fiber. Antioxidants. Plus they’re delicious.

What’s not to love about veg!

______________

In case you’re wondering, I’d better be clear about my credentials.

I’m not a professional dietitian or nutritionist. However, I did study nutrition at university. For my Food Science Degree I took two nutrition subjects (and got distinctions!) along with basic biochemistry.

___________________
bacon & cabbage-2

Super Yum Bacon & Cabbage

My Irishman tells me that bacon and cabbage is a traditional dish from Limerick. He’s a big fan of his Mum, Geraldine’s version.

I knew it was a bit risky to mess around with a family favourite but I couldn’t help myself. Instead of boiling the cabbage, I just soften it in a little oil which saves time and reduces the risk of any ‘smelly’ cabbagey flavours.

enough for 2
3-4 slices bacon, chopped
1 bunch leeks, washed & white parts sliced OR 1 onion
1/2 small cabbage or 1/4 large, sliced
1 tablespoon rice or other wine vinegar

1. Heat a medium saucepan on a medium heat. Add a little olive oil and brown bacon.

2. Then add the leeks and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring when you think of it.

3. When the leeks have started to soften, add the cabbage and a splash of water. Cover and cook, stirring every few minutes until the cabbage is ‘al dente’ or just soft. Somewhere from 5-10 minutes.

4. Season with salt and pepper and vinegar. Serve hot.

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VARIATIONS
different cabbage thicknesses – I like to slice my cabbage finely using my knife, so not as fine as a mandoline. This way the cabbage cooks quickly. If you’re after a more chunky look, cutting the cabbage into 1 inch ribbons will also work, just expect a longer cooking time.

more veg – serve with flat leaf parsley leaves, baby spinach or a few spoonfuls of home made sauerkraut.

different cabbage – I’ve used white cabbage in the picture but we love this with red cabbage (and balsamic vinegar) or savoy as well. You could also use brussels sprouts, just remember to slice them finely so they cook quickly. Kale can also be used.

vegetarian – just skip the bacon and serve with a salty cheese crumbled over like feta.

herby – a little thyme or sage added with the onions is also lovely.

carb lovers – serve with steamed or mashed potatoes.

vegan – replace bacon with smoked tofu or skip the bacon and serve topped with roasted or smoked nuts such as almonds.

With love,
Jules x
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kale with pistachios-3

You know when you come across someone who is a kindred spirit? Someone who has similar philosophies to your own?

I love when that happens.

Like when I discovered Darya Rose from the fab little blog summertomato.com.

Darya and I share a lot in common including a love of vegetables and legumes, a background in science (Darya has a Ph.D) and a firm belief in the power of healthy eating. We’ve both written guest posts for Tim Ferrissblog, which is how I discovered her.

Anyway, Darya’s book Foodist: Using Real Food and Real Science to Lose Weight Without Dieting is one of the best books I’ve read on healthy eating.

Actually I love it so much I’ve read (listened to the audiobook version) about 5 times in the last year.

If you’re at all interested in how to use real food and healthy habits to control your weight, or even just after some inspiration to help you eat healthier, I can’t recommend Foodist enough.

But in case you need more convincing, I contacted Darya and asked her a couple of questions…

Q. For you personally, what are the top 2 habits you’ve developed (or quit) for controlling your weight?

A. The number one habit I had to give up, without a doubt, was dieting. It sounds counter-intuitive, but dieting was what caused me to make terrible food choices, deprive myself and ultimately overeat. Once I embraced the joy of Real Food all the “self control” I wished I had became second nature. Eating right became easy for me, and I lost weight naturally.

The second habit was cooking. I never used to cook, and to be honest I thought it was beneath me. I was an academic and preferred to outsource my food preparation so that I could focus on “more important things.” I was so misguided. Once the value of Real Food started becoming clear to me, I realized the only practical way to fit my new lifestyle into my grad student budget was to learn how to cook for myself.

What surprised me was how easy it was.

I thought I needed to have some special talent to make food taste good (I had been known to burn water in the past), but when you start with excellent, seasonal ingredients it’s actually kind of hard to mess it up. Then you just need to develop a few simple skills (sautéing, roasting, etc.) and it’s a piece of cake. These days I actually consider it easier to cook and eat at home than go out to a restaurant in the city.

Q. The habit I struggle with the most is snacking while I’m cooking. This is especially bad at dinner when I’m tired and lacking will power! I often sit down to eat and am already full. Now that I have a baby who eats dinner before us, I find it’s getting worse. I’ve tried having healthy snacks on hand which does help sometimes but often I eat the healthy snacks and reach for more food as well. Any ideas how I can stop so I can enjoy my meals at the table?

A. Snacking is tough for a lot of people. One of the issues is that it is difficult to make it a discreet occurrence; it is hard to create a barrier to stop yourself from overdoing it. The key to reprogramming any habit is to pay close attention to the triggers that drive your behavior, and what feelings they activate. The next step is finding ways to steer yourself in a different direction.

One way that I’ve personally been able to control creeping habits like snacking (I lump work/email in the same category, since I work at home it’s hard to keep work out of my personal life sometimes) is to create clear boundaries.

For instance, I too am often hungry before dinner, which is often after I finish my daily workout. I know that there is no way I can get through the cooking process on so little fuel, so I consciously have a satisfying snack before starting to cook. Carrot sticks wouldn’t cut it in these situations. I often have a bit of trail mix, cheese or a hearty piece of fruit. It’s important to make your snacking official, use a plate and sit at a table. That way eating while standing or walking around the kitchen feels weird and inappropriate.

With my method I’m satisfied enough to not snack during the cooking process, then by the time dinner is ready I’m hungry again. Similarly I keep work in its place by forbidding email in the living room. I have a home office (far away from the living area), which is the only place I’m allowed to work. If I want to check email I have to walk away from everyone and go into my boring office. It’s a pretty good deterrent.

The important part is that there’s a clear boundary for when snacking or working is/isn’t allowed. In Foodist I call these black & white rules.

kale with pistachios-3

Kale with Pistachios

Adapted from Foodist by Darya Rose. This is one of Darya’s ‘home court’ recipes which is similar to greens I cook all the time. I love Darya’s idea to leave the garlic sit and add at the end of the cooking time. Darya notes that this time increases the nutritional content of the garlic while minimising the risk of burning the garlic. Love it!

enough for 1-2
1 bunch kale
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
handful shelled pistachios, roasted
100g (3.5oz) cooked lentils (1/2 cup), optional

1. Wash kale well and slice into ribbons. Leave some water on the leaves to help the kale steam as it cooks. If the stems are really thick, remove the stems and just use the leaves.

2. Heat a large frying pan on a medium high heat. Add a splash of olive oil, the chopped kale and a pinch of salt. Cover with a lid and cook for a few minutes.

3. Stir and if the kale is drying out or starting to burn add a few tablespoons of water. Cover again and cook for another few minutes. Keep cooking and stirring like this until the kale is wilted.

4. Make a hole in the center of the kale, add the garlic and a splash more oil. Allow the garlic to cook for about 30 seconds then stir it into the kale.

5. Add pistachios and lentils (if using). Stir. Taste and season with extra salt and pepper if needed.

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VARIATIONS
carnivore – brown some chopped bacon or chorizo before adding the kale. Or serve as a side to roast or BBQ chicken.

different greens – I’ve used purple kale in the picture but any green kale or leafy greens such as spinach or chard are great.

lemony – if the greens taste a little flat, I sometimes add a splash of lemon juice or sherry vinegar at the end.

more substantial – add more cooked lentils or other legumes such as chickpeas or beans.

different nuts – feel free to us other nuts such as almonds, cashews, brazil nuts or pine nuts.

nut-free – just replace the nuts with extra lentils or a handful of toasted sourdough breadcrumbs for extra crunch.

other ideas for tasty additions – roast chopped beets, shavings of parmesan, goats cheese, ricotta, sardines, fresh parsley, lemon zest, or aioli.

With love,
Jules x
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red velvet brownies-3

Can you believe it’s September already?

I know!

I really love this time of year. Spring is just beginning to make an appearance both in the weather and the produce available at the farmers market. The days are getting longer.

And it’s my birthday(!)

This year, I’m continuing my birthday traditions of sharing a new cake recipe with you and having a birthday sale. So let’s dig in!

The Birthday Cake!

In case you’re new to my Stonesoup birthday tradition, previous celebrational treats have included a lemon delicious cake, a croissant surprise cake and last year’s birthday ice cream sandwich.

I actually started developing this year’s recipe over 12 months ago because I take my Birthday cake very seriously. I wanted to make a sweet treat using one of my favourite vegetables, beetroot.

Most baking recipes that use beets just call for grated beets, similar to carrot cakes. But I’ve always found the results disappointing. As much as I adore the earthy flavour of beets, it’s too much for me when used raw in a cake.

So the solution?

Easy, just used cooked beets.

And combining them with dark chocolate in a rich squidgy brownie doesn’t hurt. At all.

The Birthday Sale

One of the best things I’ve done in my business this year is start ‘Soupstones’, a done-for-you meal planning service. I love this unique service because it really helps make it super easy to eat delicious, healthy home cooked dinners on a regular basis.

It’s all about helping you eat well and be well.

Soupstones Square Logo no border

So this year I thought I’d do something different and have a 50% OFF Birthday Sale on Soupstones Meal Plans monthly membership. So if you join during the sale, you’ll lock in the 50% savings for as long as you are a member.

As per my birthday tradition, this sale is available for the next 72 HOURS ONLY. That’s it.

To make sure you don’t miss out go to:
www.thestonesoupshop.com/soupstones/

UPDATE: The birthday sale is now over.

_______

red velvet brownies-3

Red Velvet Birthday Brownies

The first time I came across a red velvet cake recipe, I remember being so disappointed that the ‘red’ came from food colouring. My first thought was why not use something natural like beets?

enough for 6-8
150g (5oz) unsalted butter
150g (5oz) dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), chopped
150g (5oz) cooked beets
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract, optional
150g (5oz) brown sugar
150g (5oz) almond or hazelnut meal

1. Preheat your oven to 180C (350F) and line a loaf pan with baking paper.

2. Melt butter in a small saucepan. Remove from the heat and add chocolate. Stand.

3. Meanwhile, whizz beets in a food processor until smooth. Add eggs, vanilla, sugar and nut meal and whizz again until mixed.

4. Add melted butter and chocolate and again whizz until combined.

5. Spread mixture over the base of your pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until firm on the top but still squidgy in the middle.

6. Cool in the tin and serve sliced with vanilla ice cream or double cream.

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VARIATIONS
no food processor – just chop the beets finely by hand and mix everything with a spoon.

even redder velvet – replace dark chocolate with white chocolate.

home cooked beets – just trim and scrub beets then bake whole (180C / 350F) until soft when pierced with a knife, about an hour but may be longer for large beets. Cool and peel before using.

budget / nut-free – replace nut meal with plain (all purpose) flour. Be super careful not to over bake as flour based brownies can be very dry.

dairy-free – replace butter with coconut oil.

egg-free – I haven’t tried this but replacing the egg with 1 large mashed ripe banana should work fine here.

vegan – combine the dairy and egg free options.

With love,
Jules x
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SORRY!
The FREE Training is No Longer Available

___________________________

Like to win one of 5 FREE places in the
Healthy Meal Method program?

Here’s how to enter…
1. Watch the FREE training videos above.
2. Leave a comment below the video telling me the story of how the Healthy Meal Method could make a difference to your life.

UPDATE: The Competition is NOW CLOSED.
The winners are:
James Barrett
Siri Jostad
Kathleen
Amanda Pierce
Susan Stone

THE FINE PRINT
Entries will be judged by me. I’ll be looking for creativity and enthusiasm!
Entries close Tues 8th September 2015.
Winners will be notified by email.

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sauerkraut-3

So I was very pleasantly surprised with the response to my previous post on fermenting vegetables.

It made me super happy to hear that so many of you are interested in fermentation and put in a request for my sauerkraut recipe.

So today that’s exactly what I have for you.

Enjoy!

sauerkraut-3

Simple Sauerkraut

I was never a huge fan of sauerkraut until I started making my own. Being able to control how fermented or ‘funky’ your kraut gets makes a huge difference. If you’re new to fermenting vegetables though I’d really recommend starting with fermented carrots which are much much easier!

This method is called dry brining and when you read through the method it’s hard to imagine it working. I know I always thought that when looking at kraut recipes. It wasn’t until I actually saw Sandor Katz make kraut that I ‘got it’. So I recommend checking out the video as it’s much easier to show you rather than write.

makes 1 medium jar
1/2 head cabbage
salt

1. Day 1. Cut cabbage in half lengthwise and trim the surfaces that were already cut. Remove outer leaves and discard. Finely slice the cabbage as well as you can. I use a knife because I like it rustic. But you could use a mandoline if you want really fine kraut.

2. Place sliced cabbage in a large bowl. Sprinkle with a few generous pinches of fine salt as you go. You want at least 0.5% salt. I just add and mix and taste as I go. When the cabbage tastes slightly salty but still really fresh I leave it at that. (See notes below for more detailed quantities).

3. Massage cabbage with your clean hands. Sandor recommends 10 minutes but I usually do it for a few minutes and then leave it to stand so the salt can work its magic. You want the moisture from the cabbage to come out.

4. Pack the cabbage into a clean glass or ceramic jar. Press down firmly as you go to really release the moisture and pack it as tightly as possible. I like to use the back of a spoon. You want enough liquid to just cover the cabbage. If it looks too dry add a little filtered or boiled and cooled water. But be sparing as water will dilute the final flavour.

5. Seal with the lid and leave on the kitchen bench.

6. Day 2. Open the jar to release any gas buildup. Push the cabbage down to re-submerge. Taste.

7. Day 3+. Repeat as per day 2 and taste again. If the cabbage tastes tangy enough for you, pop it in the fridge and start eating. If not leave it out of the fridge and continue to taste every day until you’re happy. Depending on the temperature and how funky you like your kraut it can take from 3 days to months.

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Notes / Variations

Different Veg – I like savoy cabbage but recently made a mix of savoy and red cabbage that was really pretty. Turnips, carrots, apple and cooked spuds can all be added.

Flavourings – I haven’t tried any but celery seeds, curry spices, caraway seeds, or chilli can all be used.

Quantity rule of thumb – 1kg veg will fill a 1L vessel and will need about 0.5% – 1% salt so about 5-10 grams.

If in doubt when tasting – pop it in the fridge because this will slow the fermentation down and you can always pull it back out if you decide later that it’s not strong enough for you.

Different containers – Don’t ferment in metal due to corrosion. Plastics can be OK but I prefer glass or ceramics so you can be certain there are no plastics leaching into the ferment.

Floating veg – you can put a weight to hold down the veg as they tend to float. I usually don’t bother.

Fill levels – Don’t fill to the top due to expansion

Light degrades some nutrients but generally light is OK. It doesn’t need to be in a dark cellar and is better in the kitchen where you won’t forget about them. Plus UV rays from the sun act as a mould inhibitor.

White Mold – just skim and discard they’re not toxic.

Bright Coloured Molds – are toxic – discard the project. But don’t stress about this too much. No one has died from eating fermented vegetables.

Video Recipe


Or view video recipe over here.

With love,
Jules x
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ps. I’ve also recently uploaded a video for making fermented carrots (much easier than kraut!). It’s available over here.

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fish with asparagus & goats cheese-2

Without a doubt, the saddest day of the year for me is the 20th August.

You see it’s the day that nine years ago my family huddled in a little hospital room and watched my Mum breathe her last breath.

I still really miss her.

This year I’m feeling it even more than usual. I think it’s because now that Fergal is getting more interactive I often imagine how much my mum would have delighted in spending time with him.

I also wish she was around so I could ask her questions about this whole motherhood thing.

But I didn’t sit down today to make myself or you cry.

I just wanted to share a trick that’s really helped me deal with the loss of someone so special.

Whenever I’m feeling lost and wishing I could call Mum and ask her for help, I ask myself a question instead. ‘What would June do?’

The funny thing is as soon as I ask it, I usually feel exactly what the answer is.

Just something that I’ve found useful. If you’re ever missing someone, try it. It might just help you too.

And of course I wanted to remember my Mum. So I have a little June-friendly recipe that includes some of her favourite things (asparagus and fish) and lots of her favourite colour (green).

Enjoy!

fish with asparagus & goats cheese-2

Fish with Asparagus & Goats Cheese

It’s not quite asparagus season here, but this was a combo from last Spring that I just loved and have been meaning to share with you since then. I love it with fish but the mint and asparagus also work really well with lamb cutlets or chops.

takes: 15 minutes
makes: enough for 2

2 fish fillets or steaks
1 bunch asparagus, stalks trimmed and broken in half
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 bunch mint, leaves picked and torn if large
large handful goats cheese

1. Heat a frying pan on a medium high heat. Add a little oil and cook the asparagus, stirring every few minutes until it is just tender. About 5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, combine lemon juice with 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil in a bowl. Season.

3. Toss the cooked asparagus in the dressing and leave it to stand.

4. Add a little more oil to the pan and cook fish until golden on both sides, 2-3 minutes each side.

5. To serve, divide fish between two plates. Toss mint and asparagus in the dressing and scatter over the fish. Crumble over goats cheese and serve warm.

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VARIATIONS
vegetarian – skip the fish and double the asparagus and goats cheese. Or serve minty asparagus with goats cheese and a poached egg.

vegan – skip the fish and cheese and serve the asparagus with chunks of avocado and roasted nuts such as brazil nuts or pine nuts.

dairy-free / paleo – replace goats cheese with roasted nuts such as brazil nuts or pine nuts or drizzle over a sauce made with 2 tablespoons each lemon juice, tahini, water and olive oil.

carnivore – replace fish with chicken thigh fillets, lamb cutlets or other lamb chops, or minute steaks.

not asparagus season? – no probs. Use green beans or frozen peas instead.

With love,
Jules x
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fermented carrots-3

A few months ago took an online course called ‘Debunking PCOS‘ which is all about improving fertility and conquering Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome which I was diagnosed with over 10 years ago.

The thing that really surprised me about the course was that the number 1 action we were encouraged to take was to heal your gut.

Not exactly the most glamorous topic, but when you consider how important the gut is to helping you absorb and use the nutrients you need, it really makes sense.

A healthy gut isn’t just important for fertility. It impacts everyone’s health.

So I hear you asking…

“OK Jules, so how do I make my gut healthier?”

Well funnily enough, earlier in the year I went to a workshop on how to ferment vegetables. It was led by Sandor Katz, author of ‘Wild Fermentation’ and ‘The Art of Fermentation’. And was completely inspirational.

But I’m jumping ahead of myself…

So what is the number 1. way to improve your gut health?

Easy. Eat more fermented foods!

Yoghurt is probably the first thing that comes to mind. And if you’re happy with eating your yoghurt then that’s great.

But the wonderful world of fermented food doesn’t stop there.

Fermenting vegetables is a brilliant habit to get into. Especially if you’re trying to keep away from dairy so yoghurt isn’t a good option for you. But even if you’re happy with your yoghurt, adding fermented vegetables to your repertoire is only going to help your gut.

Plus, they’re delicious!

I love the tangy crunch of a home fermented baby carrot.

And the best part is, if you make them yourself then you can control how mild or ‘funky’ they taste. I’ve never been a huge fan of commercial sauerkraut, but regularly make and eat it now that I know how good it can taste when you don’t ferment it too far.

And what about Number 2?

That’s easy too. Just stop eating inflammatory foods which include refined carbohydrates and vegetable oils.

But if you’re reading Stonesoup you’re probably doing that anyway :)

fermented carrots-3

Fermented Vegetables

If you’re nervous about the whole fermentation thing, the good news is apparently no one has ever died from eating fermented veg. So it’s safe!

This method is a great place to start because it’s suitable for pretty much all vegetables. My favourites so far are carrots, zucchini (which turn out like pickles), red chillies and celery. I’m also keen to try onions.

Will keep in the fridge for months.

1 clean glass jar
enough vegetables to fill jar
50g (1 3/4 oz) salt
1L (4 cups) water

1. Scrub veg. Trim or chop into bite sized pieces. Peel if you prefer (I don’t bother).

2. Pack the veg into your jar.

3. Combine salt and water and stir until dissolved. Shouldn’t take too long.

4. Pour salted water over the veg to cover them. You probably won’t need all the liquid. If the veg aren’t covered, make up more brine so they are covered.

5. Close jar and leave somewhere you will see it but not in direct sunlight.

6. Every day open jar to release any built up gas (CO2). Start tasting after about 3 days. When you’re happy with the flavour (ie it tastes acidic or tangy enough for you) pop the jar in the fridge and start eating. Or if the veg start to soften, it’s time to refrigerate. Generally 4-5 days is a good amount of time for fermentation but if you’re living somewhere really warm it may not take that long. And really cold climates may take longer.

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VARIATIONS
veg – use your imagination. Cauliflower, carrots, zucchini, chillies, beets, celery, cucumber, watermelon rind, baby eggplant, capsicum (bell peppers), green tomatoes, chard stems. Sandor Katz did say that the only thing he doesn’t like to ferment are veg with lots of chlorophyll. So anything too green like kale isn’t great. And from my notes watermelon rind tastes like cucumber pickles.

flavourings – feel free to add in flavourings such as cumin seeds, fennel seeds, coriander seeds, bay leaves, preserved lemon, lemon zest, thyme, rosemary, sage.

salt – I use a finely ground sea salt but Sandor said it doesn’t matter so much.

lower salt – it is possible to ferment without the salt or use lower quantities, the problem is that salt helps to keep the veg texture nice and crisp so unsalted or low salt veg can end up mushy. Which might be OK for you. Salt also helps flavour.

water – use filtered water if you can. But if using tap water, boil it and allow it to cool to get rid of any chlorine which may hinder the fermentation.

brine – after you’ve eaten the veg the brine can be discarded or used to season soups and stews. Or you can drink it.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS
as a snack – my favourite way to eat them is to pick them out of the jar and snack. Fergal and I often chomp on fermented carrots while I’m getting his dinner ready.

in salads – add a little crunch and zing. I wouldn’t make a whole salad from them though as it might be too much of a good thing.

with rich / hearty meals – serve a little bowl of fermented veg with your next pork belly or lamb shank extravaganza. I love them with mashed potato too.

with burgers – it’s a classic combo for a reason!

Video Recipe


Or view video recipe over here.

With love,
Jules x
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ps. Did you enjoy this? If you’d like me to do a followup post on how to make sauerkraut, leave a message below and if there’s enough interest I’ll share that as well.

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