Sunday, May 27, 2012

Lunch & Kinfolk

Hello :) Kinfolk is just one of those magazines. Actually, it's one of a kind. A beautiful magazine dedicated to small gatherings and eating together. It celebrates community and family through how we choose to eat. I've only just starting reading it, after seeing it on other blogs and instantly love the photography, essays and writing. The simple pleasure of eating and cooking, whether it be alone, with a friend, or with a few- is a lovely thing indeed. It's grounding.

I enjoy reading the magazine without distractions. Maybe I'll sit in a cosy chair, with a mug of black tea and a blanket. Taking time out. Just reading.

On a windy Saturday afternoon, after a trip with friends to Eveleigh markets, I had lunch. Buttered polenta sourdough toast was enjoyed with parsley portobello mushrooms and a fluffy buttered quinoa base.

You can read more about Kinfolk (here) and follow their journal (here)

Lemon Thyme Mushrooms on Buttered Quinoa (recipe link)

Hannah x

Friday, May 25, 2012

Sadhana Kitchen

Hello :) After having a busy week, it's so lovely having Fridays off. This afternoon I decided to check out Sadhana Kitchen in Enmore with a friend. It's opposite Enmore theatre, tucked in the Jivamukti yoga studio. The cafe is focused on raw, whole foods. Think chia porridge, tea tonics, rice paper rolls, sprouted brown rice balls, raw lasagne, superfood smoothies etc. Yum! Delicious! Since it was the afternoon, we weren't too hungry but felt like something fresh. A smoothie was perfect.

Green smoothie with seasonal greens, mango, orange and flaxseed oil. Served in an awesome glass jar, this smoothie was exactly what we wanted. Super fresh, sweet and instantly refreshing.
My friend Sinead, looking gorgeous in the sunlight.

Next time, I can't wait to try something to eat! On Wednesday I attended another raw cooking class (on desserts this time, will blog about it soon!), so I'm certainly inspired at the moment to incorporate more raw foods into my meals. I've been really happy lately, learning more about raw foods, talking to people at the markets and getting generally excited about food all the time. 

On another note, I went to Florence & The Machine last night. Amazing! The lady knows how to put on an awesome live show and we were all on our feet dancing. So much fun :)

Hannah x

Monday, May 21, 2012

Sunday Beauty: Oils Are Just So Versatile!

Hello :) This Sunday Beauty series has become a little neglected of late. So I'm going to put a stop to that, and write a lovely long post today, to make up for it. Today's topic is on oils. For your face! Or body! Oils are something that are super versatile and I've been using for a while. Especially important to use in this chilly, soon to be chilly-er weather, as dry skin usually pops up around this time. We need to nourish our skin more, with slightly richer products.

I thought I'd simply go through and tell you how I use oils and what kind I use. This is just what works for me! cleanse
In the morning I like to cleanse sometimes with an oil. Simply by massaging a few drops onto my face, then rinsing off with warm water. In the evening though, I do like to use a different cleanser which removes tinted sunscreen etc. Sometimes you can buy oil cleansers which do add an emulsifier to help remove such products though. Jojoba oil is taking my fancy at the moment, to which I've added a few drops of lavender essential oil.  Lavender is very relaxing and has a beautiful smell :) night, after cleansing
I mix about 2 drops of oil onto my fingertips and massage onto my face. It's nice to massage it on for a minute or so and it becomes a nice ritual and way to wind down. Rosehip is a favourite at the moment. remove eye-makeup with
Recently I've started to wear some eye makeup (usually a coppery eyeshadow, thanks for asking) which is fun but it's not fun when you have to take the products off. And I don't like buying many products. So I've been using this sweet almond oil (any oil should be fine) and it works a treat. I simply either dip a cotton tip into the oil and remove it that way or use a cotton facial wipe and turn the bottle upside down onto it (if that makes sense), and swipe it across my lid. Ta-da! It's easy and works really well. Plus the skin around my eyes always feel super soft afterwards. mix with a body cream, for hydration and nourishment 
As skin does tend to get dryer around this time (especially in heating), it's nice to pay extra attention and remember to moisturise lots. Well sometimes I like to add a few drops of oil to my body cream, when I'm mixing it on my hands first. I use a non-scented body lotion (I think it's a vaseline one, pretty cheap), so adding a few drops of oil gives a nice scent too. mix with hand cream
So lovely. Just mix a drop or two with a hand cream before bed and sleep with soft, hydrated paws. nourish the ends of your hair
I haven't done this before, but I've heard lots of good things about adding coconut oil to the ends of your hair, when it's wet, to add softness and nourishment. Has anyone done this before?

My oils all lined up!

Do you like to use oils in your skincare routine? 

Hannah x 

p.s. Did anyone notice it's actually Monday today, and this title refers to Sunday?! Tricky...

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Lunch, lately.

Hello :) I thought I'd share with you some quick lunches, I've been making lately. I'm trying to eat more  vegetables you see, it can be quite difficult, though my job has been made easier by all the colourful and new season vegetables I get to see at the 3 markets where I work now. Crazy market lady, I am indeed.

Parsnips, purple carrots & white baby carrots. They're so cute. I've been roasting all these vegetables a lot recently. The purple carrots are intense! 
Red quinoa salad with mint, basil, pine nuts, pepitas and dried cranberries with kale chips and roast vegetables. I roasted sweet potato, parsnips and baby white carrots. The carrots are my favourite and roasted whole they're super sweet, soft and wholesome. 
Slight variation from the above salad. I added hazelnuts this time too. 
Wholemeal wrap with chickpeas, mashed sweet potato with spices, sauteed spinach and haloumi. It was wrapped, toasted, cut in half and enjoyed. It was inspired by a toasted sandwich I had at a Sonoma Bakery cafe recently, which included a delicious spiced pumpkin mash. 
Raw cauliflower salad. The recipe is from the cooking class I did at Alfalfa House (& I attended another recently, more to come!), and I've been making this salad non stop. All you need:
1/2 or 1 cauliflower, shredded finely
drizzle or three of olive oil
pinch of sea salt
cayenne pepper
lemon/lime juice
lots of fresh herbs
I chopped the cauliflower very finely. I made this last night and took leftovers to uni today with millet, red quinoa and corn. I suggest making the salad with a whole cauliflower, and storing it in your fridge for quick salad fun times!

What have you been making for lunch, lately? Are you a roasted or raw vegetable lady (or gent) ?

Hannah x

p.s. I wrote this post about ways to boost your vegetable intake over a year ago now! You may like to read it :) Or alternatively, not.

p.p.s I just pre-ordered Sarah Wilsons I Quit Sugar Cookbook! Although, I've realised, I will never quit sugar (sometimes there is nothing nicer than a pastry or slice of cake), I'm happy to be inspired to cook more sugar free recipes. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Toasted Buckwheat Muesli

Hello :) My usual breakfast consisting of a mushroom, kale and haloumi omelette, is a little bit last week so this week I made an effort to make a big batch of toasted buckwheat muesli, for breakfast on the go. I adapted it slightly from Scandi Foodie. Fabulous vegan blog. It's so fabulous you don't even notice most of the recipes are vegan. She always has so many creative ideas, it's super inspiring. 

Recipe: Toasted Super Muesli

I should mention I tended to make up most of the measurements. 1 handful of that, 2 handfuls of that- works for me :)

I called this post toasted buckwheat muesli though, because I had never thought to roast buckwheat in an oven as a method of cooking it! So I'm just excited I can cook it this way, it's the star ingredient. Super crunchy and nutritious too, being alkaline and gluten free to boot. Bonus points, buckwheat. Have you cooked raw buckwheat before? I'm a fan of buckwheat (soba) noodles and occasionally use the buckwheat flour to make pancakes.

I used this Loving Earth buckwheat and coconut butter. On a side note, wholegrain toast with this coconut butter, cinnamon and chia seeds is a winner!

Ingredients looking all neat and sectioned in the bowl. I also added some shredded coconut.

Mixed together with the coconut oil/butter and rice syrup. I recently bought some rice syrup and the taste is nice, but doesn't beat pure maple syrup! It's good for using in baking and this toasted muesli for some sweetness though.

My toasted buckwheat muesli. I added a sprinkling of raw cacao nibs and a dollop of coconut yoghurt. Love that stuff. The muesli didn't toast all that much, which might mean I didn't add enough coconut oil or syrup. Although I don't mind, it's something a little different from granola, not as coated and sweet. I think rice syrup is fructose free as well. Fancy that. 

I think I'd better go make another batch of muesli, which I can enjoy tomorrow morning as I'm starting a new job and won't have any time to think about breakfast (it's a very early start!)  It may involve Orange Grove Farmer's Markets and olives.... :) 

Enjoy your weekend, any cooking plans for Mothers Day?

Hannah x

Monday, May 7, 2012

Cardamon Coconut Rice Pudding with Rhubarb

Hello :) At the moment I love seeing all the fruit and vegetables at the markets change according to the season. Autumn is definitely my favourite. Last week at Eveleigh markets, it was rhubarb which caught my fancy, all those lovely red stalks in various shades of red. And I just knew rhubarb would go perfectly with a recipe I have been dreaming of for some time now.

It's a rice pudding. Cardamon Coconut Rice Pudding. Basically I wanted to make a rice pudding with coconut milk instead of the usual cream and cows milk affair. Something different, you know. I substituted white rice for brown too, which adds more fibre and nuttiness. Cardamon and cinnamon add warmth and spice, and of course stewed rhubarb or another fruit is essential.

Recipe: Cardamon Coconut Rice Pudding with Rhubarb
1 cup brown rice
2 cups water
1 cup coconut milk or cream
1/2 cup extra coconut milk or cream (optional)
1 stick cinnamon
6 cardamon pods
cloves (optional)
several stalks of rhubarb
1 tablespoon sugar
1. Rinse brown rice and add to a pot with the water, coconut milk, cardamon, cinnamon and cloves (if using)
2. Bring to the boil, turn heat right down and cover with a lid.
3. Stir mixture every 10 minutes or so.
4. Turn heat off when the rice has absorbed most of the liquid. This may take 20-30 minutes. If you want to add more creaminess stir in another 1/2 cup of coconut milk and simmer for another 5 minutes.
5. In the meantime, cut rhubarb stalks and rinse. Place in a pot with a small amount of water and sugar. Bring to the boil and let simmer for 5 minutes.
6. Serve the rice pudding with rhubarb and an extra sprinkle of sugar or cinnamon.

I am rather in love with this simple, comforting recipe; perfect to brighten any cold or miserable day :)

It's Autumn, in a bowl. 

Hannah x

Thursday, May 3, 2012

A Simple Tart

Hello :) I made this simple tart for lunch a little while ago now. I'd been to the markets and purchased some hand-stuffed olives and was pondering what to do with them. A tart it was to be. Simple and scrumptious. Is there anything more to say?

Recipe: Zucchini, tomato and olive tarts (makes 4)
1 sheet puff pastry
A few tablespoons of pesto
Zucchini, sliced
Cherry tomatoes, sliced
Goats or feta cheese
1. Leave 1 sheet of puff pastry to thaw for about 15 minutes. In the meantime, have a snack. Apples are really quite delicious at the moment. Oh and preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.
2. Transfer the sheet to a baking tray, spray lightly with olive oil. Cut puff pastry into 4 squares and prick with a fork a few times.
3. Spoon about a tablespoon of pesto on each square, leaving a centimetre on the edges.
4. Score the edges with a knife.
5. Arrange the sliced zucchini, tomato and olives on the pastry pieces.
6. Bake for about 10-15 minutes, until the edges are crisp and golden. When the tarts are still warm, scatter the goats or feta cheese on top.
7. Serve warm, on its own or with a fresh salad.

Next cooking goal: to make the pastry from scratch! 

Hannah x