Great when we can travel to another country with just switching on the radio and enjoying the ride. Jacinta from Hello Travel takes us on another culinary journey, and even I am surprised where we end up. This week she was enjoying the rain on the Yangtze River after hosting a small group tour to the north, mid and south of China. Such a vast country and when you think of Chinese the mind does travel to Cantonese food and you know the typical selections – Sweet n’ Sour Pork, Cashew Chicken, Mongolian Lamb but the cuisine is far broader with the influence of weather helping to make some of the food essential for survival. Northwest China is mostly covered with dessert and mountains, the Silk road links China and the Middle East so already we start to see the differing spices, proteins and vegetables that make up the daily diets. Interesting to hear about the Sichuan region with its spicy pepper and panda bears, the Yak tea or Butter tea that keeps the locals warm in their cold Tibetan tempuratures. Xinjiang, a region that borders Kazakhstan, Russia and Mongolia known for its lamb and a street food referred to as Kao Rou, meat charred to order. I share some recipes (go to RECIPES – 15/10/2019)) for Lamb skewers seasoned with cumin, chilli powder and chilli flakes after the lamb has been marinated and the fatty juicy lamb is ready to eat. Also a tasty recipe for Sweet and Sour Pork with wonderful flavours of five-spice powder, Shaoxing wine, fresh ginger and soy sauce for the marinade with all the expected vegetables and sauce to accompany the meal.
Also following a few new spices showing up in recipes and restaurants, look for Zhoug (or Zhug), Sumac and Urfabiber. Used a lot in Israel and Middle East cooking adding that taste of difference.
Zhoug is a green sauce (go to RECIPES – 15/20/2019)
Sumac is a plant with a fruity tangy spice – burgundy in colour and usually sold ground. It is one of the main ingredients of the spice blend Za’atar.
Irfa biber is a dried Kurdish chilli pepper, a member of the capsicum family and imparts a smoky raisin like taste.
Our regular gardener Gary from Kookaburra Organics spoke about water retention in the garden and with the weather as it is we need all the advice we can find. Adding mulch will of course add the extra protection we need and as always the information given goes further than just covering the beds with sugar cane much. Adding 1 % of carbon will increase water retention by 16%, use newspaper, worm casting, compost, mulch and have you ever considered banana stalks. Evidently they are just full of moisture and great to lay in the garden to provide a constant source of moisture that is released over time and breaks down as mulch. Small crop gardens hit the discussion again and with an upcoming workshop happening in Caboolture in November get prepared for some great ideas and innovative ways to grow your food in small plots or balconies.
Sal from Caboolture Property Maintenance shared some simple ideas to bring watering systems into the garden. Keeping the gardens together not only allows for plants to rely on shade but the watering is more effective and the cost of installing dramatically reduced. Think about what you want to water, how much water is available and where the future gardens are going to be.
Spring lunch boxes in our recipe section for this week with refreshing ideas for all the family.
Nigel , the Sauce Man from the South Burnett joined me this morning to talk about seasonal cooking. Formally from Tasmania where local foods are in an abundance as the regions are within short driving distance. His Grandmother cooked and adapted her preserving to what she had in abundance, exactly as Nigel is continuing to do. Eggs from local poultry sheds, excess cauliflowers from the end of the season, abundant strawberries never go to waste. Cooking on a commercial 6 burner gas range with 25 litre pots this job isn’t for the faint hearted, its a labor of love, and a love of food. Fortunately Nigel has had extensive experience in the kitchen, travelling throughout the world and collecting inspiration along the way. The pickles, preserves, relishes, chutneys and sauces are outstanding. Visit the website https://www.regionalflavours.com.au/stall/the-sauce-man/
As usual our 4th Tuesday of the month we learn about our herbs and flowers with Sarah from Basilea. This week its all about Sacrifice Plants ( some call it Companion Planting) and amazing just how much damage happens in the garden when you are not watching. Sarah suggests growing Upland Cress for the cabbage moth as they just decimate plants in no time at all, usually when you are ready to harvest, looks like we are all looking for the perfect meal. The purple sweet potato vine not only offers the most beautiful leaves to add to your summer salads but it is loved by the grasshoppers – such a small insect but has the ability to eat through the garden at a rapid speed. So plant your Nasturtiums to temp the flying insect pests away from your crops, French Marigolds and basil near your tomatoes to deter the White fly,and Fever few as an all round pest repellent. And not forgetting the mixed flowers to attract our insect pollinators. Calendulas, geraniums, coriander left to go to seed and keeping in mind as Sarah has suggested many times, the source of your seedlings. Find a grower who is not using chemical sprays as they store in the plant and a consideration when you will be eating the herbs and flowers in your summer salads. https://www.basilealivingherbs.com/
Community Kitchen offers recipes each week and this week we look at some different recipes for lettuce and breakfast for all the family.
Go to the recipe page and look for today’s date 23/9/2019
We all love food, well most of us do and with that come the regiment of not eating too much, being mindful of what foods suit your body, what we are trying to avoid and the list goes on. I thought we would chat with Amanda about diets or eating habits or seasonal changes or what ever you want to call it. Amanda Schultz our on tap Naturopath brings an easy to follow wisdom and experience to Community Kitchen and she talks about the 4 elements – our seasonal changes of food. We are just leaving that warm and comforting elements and probably carrying a little extra comfort in places we don’t want. Its time for the Spring clean, ever noticed that this time of year just does that. It brings those desires for cooler foods, outdoor exercise and bringing some air and sunshine into the house. BUT in changing our foods or trying to lose that extra kilo or two we need the patience – the body needs 21 days to start to adjust to a food change or a body reset.
Sometimes the food changes are beneficial but often different effects can deter you from continuing. Amanda recommends keeping track of the effects, it might be something you eat that doesn’t agree, if the weight isn’t coming off when you have been very disciplined maybe that diet or food change isn’t for you – and always remember the water. Dehydration is not to be taken lightly when we consider some of these effects.
Today we look at Low Carb Diet, from Aitkens to Keto a diet that has been around for some time with the usual changes . The diet suggests limiting carbs and replacing those carb kilojoules wih fat, and effectively the body will burn fat as its energy source rather than glucose. The Ketogenic diet has been said to benefit those with pre-diabetes or Type 2. So look for red meats, chicken, fish, eggs, unprocessed cheeses (cheddar, blue & mozzarella), nuts and seeds, low carb vegetables and healthy oils. Try to avoid root vegetables, processed vegie oils, mayonnaise, grains, excessive fruits, legumes, alcohol and sugary foods.
Taking this weeks talk into consideration – Amanda suggests not booking that holiday or wedding or dinner out when you are in the 21 day change – make it easy on yourself. Go for a balanced diet with lots of colour on the plate, smaller size meal and some exercise. Found this blog that might be a worthwhile read – https://www.kissmyketo.com/blogs/food/ketogenic-diet-plan-for-beginners
Kookaburra Organics offer a broad range of gardening options within our region and neighbouring Sunnie Coast. This week we follow Lise a Kookaburra apprentice, on her community involvement and how her back yard gardening program has grown. Lise started her venture by 1st turning her once lawned back yard into a place for garden workshops, a small semi-commercial garden venture and a change of lifestyle. I was interested to see whether her original vision has changed.
Lise has found a real community involvement has developed as a result of the isolation that her venture initially created. Being a sole operator the garden plot wasn’t an interactive space but rather than working alone she has created a collaborative space with other like minded growers and is now involved with Basilea and Grow Make Bake. Basilea is a small edible herb and flower farmlet supplying restaurants and fruit shops with a broad range of seasonal produce grown, harvested and distributed by Sarah Heath. Grow Make Bake from Burpengary are a swap group not only identifying the need for home gardeners, creative artists and cooks to exchange goods but also the need for community friendship. This group is driven by Gemma and now offers workshops, speakers and an avenue for the exchange of goods with a no cash exchange policy. There seems to be a trend for this exchange system and Harvest Swap at the Sunshine Coast also offers a similar system. Worth having a look at the sites to see what they have to offer.
This was the lifestyle of our previous generations – great to see its comeback.
Community Kitchen stayed very local today
Amanda Schultz, our Community Kitchen regular, a Naturopath who shares wonderful information put on her other hat today – Warrior of Food Waste. Luvaberry is a local family farm and as all farmers they suffer loss through weather, climate and produce price. Amanda remembers that light bulb day when she realized that farm waste was a resource worth concentrating on. WAR ON WASTE began. Berries of inferior appearance were collected not only from the Schultz farm but from other berry farms and frozen for use in other products. This decision set the wheels in motion – frozen berries, dehydrated berries, berry powder, and the collaboration just keeps happening.Rather than sitting on the fence and waiting for an answer Amanda started Car Park Parties
http://Our War on Waste – LuvaBerry https://luvaberry.com.au › our-war-on-waste