Sunday, February 16, 2014

Braised fennel

3 Florence fennel bulbs
6 garlic cloves
olive oil
thyme/lemon thyme
lemon juice
agave syrup
some stock

Wash fennel. Cut off the base, stalks and leaves. Retain some of the young green shoots. Cut each bulb vertically into halves. Heat olive oil and fry fennels until golden brown. Add the garlic. Then add some hot stock, boil for a short time, then add the green shoots finely chopped, some thyme, some lemon and a bit of syrup.
Put a lid on and simmer for approx. 10 min (depending on the size of the vegetables). Open lid and allow moisture to evaporate. Can be served hot or luke warm.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Plain almond biscuits

350 wholemeal flour (spelt flour)
2 tbsp honey
1 egg
1.5 heaped teasp ground cinnamon
250g butter
200g almonds

Mix honey and egg in the middle of the flour in a large bowl.
Add cinnamon, butter flakes, ground almonds
Knead to a pastry. Add extra flour if sticky.
Cool in fridge.
Roll out thin and cut out circles (or shapes)
Bake at 190°c for 10 minutes on a baking tray. Cool.

Store in a tin lined with greaseproof paper.

These biscuits are soft and without any chunky bits in them. Just a homogenous nutty taste with a touch of cinnamon. They go well with coffe and tea. Best on the second day and after.

August Macke, Still life hyacinths carpet, 1910

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Curly kale and savoy cabbage

Savoy cabbage is a dense and firm winter cabbage in wide use in Europe. Its leaves are often used for roulades (good with rice, tofu and mushrooms), soups and stews. The vegetable has a particular taste and smell. It should be blanched before preparation.

Savoy cabbage with lemon

700 g Savoy cabbage
150 g Crème Fraîche or yogurt
Some white pepper, nutmeg
Lemon rind of ½ lemon

Remove outer leaves, wash cabbage. Boil water and blanch for 2 minutes. Drain well. Mix with Crème Fraîche or yogurt and warm for a short time. Add pepper, nutmeg and lemon rind.

Kale is considered the most wild and undomesticated cabbage. It is of high nutritional value. In many parts of Europe it is an old custom to go on a "cabbage walk", which is really a car tour today with a lot of meat. For a long time this member of the brassica family has been associated with poverty and was shunned. 

Curly Kale

1 head of curly kale
2 Tbsp sesame seeds
3 clove of garlic
400g Soba noodles
150 ml Vegetable stock
2 Tbsp roast sesame oil

Wash curly kale leaves well. Discard outer leaves and dry well. Roast sesame in pan. Mince garlic. Boil noodles.
Heat oil in pan. Fry kale for 5 min. Stir occasionally. Add garlic after 3 min. Add hot stock, but do not boil. When liquid is evaporated, add the sesame seeds and oil. Serve immediately with noodles.

More cabbage
Savoy Cabbage Rolls

1 & 2 Savoy cabbage
3 Curly kale

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Capsicums with rice and tofu

5 green, yellow and red coloured capsicums
4 red onions
6 pieces of garlic
Some olive oil
A pinch of rosemary
Some black peppercorns

250 g rice mix of
long grain rice, Camargue red rice and black long wild rice

(All organic)

Boil rice for approx. 40 min in 700 ml of water at low temperature with a closed lid.

Wash capsicums, cut inside and stems out. Peel onions and cut in thin slices. Fry red onions in olive oil. Once the onions start to look golden, add capsicums cut in thin long strips and garlic. Fry and stir constantly. Should moisture evaporate, add some hot water/stock, the rosemary and peppercorns. cover with a lid and cook gently.

Fry tofu in a little olive oil

Remove lid from capsicums, stir until no moisture remains.

Serve with multi-grain rice and the tofu and a green salad.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Jabuticaba - The Brazilian Grape Tree

Jabuticaba (Plinia cauliflora) is a tree from the Amazon, that bears large grape-like fruit directly on the trunks, limbs and main branches. The fruit is 3–4 cm in diameter with one to four large seeds.

Some people do not eat the skin and suck it out like a dark grape and discard the seeds. Any type of food like jams, sauces or juice and wine could be made from the fruits.

Being from the subtropical rain forests and cauliflory, it calls to mind many Australian cauliflorous trees that flower on the trunk.

Bumpy satinash (Syzygium cormiflorum)

Davidson's plum (Davidsonia pruriens)

Durobby  (Syzygium moorei)
and many more...

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Tempeh and Egg Sandwich

2 Eggs
Some tempeh
2 Tomatoes
Green herbs (parsley, lemon thyme, chives etc)
or lettuce leaves
Some mayonnaise (Soya)
Cheese, a few thin slices
Olive oil
Some Dorrigo Pepper (Tasmania stipitata)
or any black pepper
all organic

Maybe the tempeh is a left over from last nights dinner.

If not wash and cut tempeh into thin slices. Remove any dark spots. Mix a bit of tamari with olive oil and a pinch of pepper, rub sparingly into the tempeh slices. Leave for 10 min. Fry gently in olive oil.

Clean the vegetables and herbs. Slice ripe tomatoes into thick slices. Make sure the lettuce leaves/herbs are not wet. Fry the 2 eggs in olive oil. Put a slice of fresh bread or toast on each plate. Add some of the mayonnaise, the cheese slices, the tomato slices, the tempeh slices and the greens on both. When the eggs are done, top the 'big one' with it and serve immediately.

Serves two people. It can be a hearty breakfast or lunch. You might want to vary the recipe to your needs.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Banana cake

Another version of the sugar banana cake posted previously.
This time there are large chunks of sugar bananas in the cake. The orchid in the picture is the Lesser Swamp-orchid (Phaius australis) which would have inhabited the Coffs Harbour swampy paperbark forest near sea level. All is now airport, highway and malls with view of the denuded hills growing bananas.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Ginger fruit and herb tea


Ginger, thumb size piece
5 strawberries
4 slices of citrus
A sprig of sage/ mint/ or lemon balm
2-3 fruit of roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa) or rose hip
Honey (optional)


Take the young ginger rhizome, wash, peel it thinly and slice.
Wash the strawberries and slice.
Slice 4 slices of an orange, remove the pith and pips
Wash hibiscus/ rose hip fruit
Wash herbs, remove stalks
Add all into jug
Pour 1 liter of boiled water over ingredients and let them steep for 6 minutes.

The drink can be composed freely depending on the availability of ingredients. It can be served hot or cold. You might want to strain the tea and add a few slices of strawberry only. Serve with or without honey.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Mushroom macadamia baked mince


6 champignon mushrooms, medium to large
150g grated macadamia nuts
4 tbsp tahini
10 stems of shallot greens or 2 whole shallots, chopped
100g cheese for baking, e.g. mild cheddar


Clean then chop mushrooms into small cubes
Place in a mixing bowl
Add macadamias, shallots and tahini
Mix well
Place in a baking tray and smooth the surface
Slice cheese on top
Bake on the second shelf at 160°c for 40 minutes

The proportions are variable for this dish, but there should be more mushrooms than nuts, about 2:1 brings out the mushroomy taste.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Nut cake with sultanas

125g butter
5 eggs, separated
3 heaped tbsp honey
200g almonds, grated
80g haselnuts, grated
100g spelt flour
1 packet Weinstein/wine stone baking powder
200g sultanas
2 lemons
100g icing sugar


Wash sultanas and soak for several hours in the juice of 1 lemon with the grated lemon rind of both lemons.
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Beat butter with 1 tbsp honey in a bowl with a wooden spoon until smooth. Add egg yolks one at a time while beating.
Whip the egg whites until stiff. Add 2 tbsp honey and whip until integrated.
Add weinstein baking powder to the almonds and add the haselnuts. Mix a little.
Beat half the nuts into the butter-egg-yolk mixture. Add a little egg white and mix it in.
Add the sultana-lemon mixture and mix in.
Continue to add more nuts and small amounts of egg white until the nuts are all mixed in.
Gradually add the flour while carefully and slowly mixing with a wooden spoon. Add more egg white as necessary.
Lift the remaining egg whites under the mixture.
Add just enough flour so that the mixture remains moist and light.
Put the mixture in a buttered 28cm cake form and smooth it on top.
Bake for 25-30 minutes on the second shelf from the bottom.
When finished, check that the cake is baked through with a skewer or fine knife. If not, return to the oven. If it is getting dark on top, cover it with a piece of natural paper.
Remove from the form when cooled.
Make icing from icing sugar and lemon juice and decorate the cake with it.
It is also nice without any icing.