Wednesday, 31 August 2011

ridgey didge pies and cinnamon swirls

hey all! i've only got a couple more weeks left in Australia, boy how time does fly?! well, i've been trying to soak in as much Australian culture as i can...

a meat pie was a must-do up in New England. so i went into ridgey didge pies, and got myself a standard beef - it was good, really good. i hardly ever have pastry or steak, so it was a nice treat. i still think i prefer cornish pasties though...

sometimes as a brit/pommie/englishperson, it's essential to deliver truly english experiences to ozzies also - and broccoli stilton soup doesn't really exist over here in Australia, so i made it for my hosts (using this recipe)... of course they loved it, exclaiming 'how have i lived without this all my life?!' - it really is a good combo.

and then, because i've got a little swedish blood in me, and i hadn't had them in so long, i made some cinnamon rolls for my hosts too - which i've never known anyone to dislike (and my recipe is getting better and better! almost so good i might share it with you soon...)

anyway that's all for now, a little snippet of my life down under for you all.

currently reading: driving over lemons by chris stewart - it's one of those dreamy books that i love to read, because it really and truly is an escape! spanish sunshine, lots of deep fried potatoes and lemon trees - yes please...

ps. i'm so excited - tomorrow i'm going into Sydney, and i'll be meeting up with one of my favorite bloggers ever!! can't wait to show you all photos and tell you all about my lovely lunch :)

Monday, 29 August 2011

hot milo and an apple orchard

so, i'm back in gosford now, and enjoying the sunshine once again - how nice it is to be at the start of spring, and having 23c days!!

i've still got a couple of photos from lovely Armidale to share with you...

i went out for dinner with a lovely couple called Sophie and Tim - who are really special people, and who fed me the most delicious meal! lasagne and mixed salad, followed by the most lovingly prepared fruit salad.

hot milo is very australian - it tastes like a malteser really, malty chocolate deliciousness. everyone told me that i had to do a TimTam Slam too, which is when you bite off the corners of a TimTam and suck the hot Milo through it til it goes all gooey in the centre. yummy! suffice to say this was a one-off experience (way TOO much refined sugar + flour), but i'm so glad to have tried it :)

i went to see an apple orchard about 15 minutes away from Armidale, and it was so amazing to see their giant fridge full of apples, all so shiny and appetizing. we got 3 types and grades of apples, in huge quantity...and it was so awesome to see the fields full of fruit trees.

i hope you're all well - and i look forward to catching up with you shortly again to share more of my Oz experience...

currently reading: innamincka - the story of nurses in outback australia. it's great learning a little more about life in the most rural parts of oz, so different from the comfort and ease that is found here on the coast.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

the goldfish bowl and grilled halloumi

hello lovely readers! i hope all is well with you :)

today's post is all about a breakfast i was privileged to be taken out to in Armidale, with my dad's cousin Gillian, at the Goldfish Bowl, officially "the nicest restaurant in town".

it's unassuming nature is one of my favorite things about it - you can sit on a cushioned repurposed crate and have one of the best ever cups of coffee you'll ever drink... it's about the food and the atmosphere. it is the very essence of 'cool'.

the breakfast selection was goodlooking, and it was tricky to choose what to have. i went with grilled halloumi, spinach, mushrooms and tomatoes - and it was a delight! the flavours were incredible and it was cooked to perfection. i managed to snap a slightly burry iPhone snap...

and Gillian had the ricotta pancakes, which looked insanely good, with fresh berries and maple syrup. wowee!

the Goldfish Bowl is known for it's high quality, local, seasonal produce, and it's impeccable standards and simplicity. i'm so happy to have been out to somewhere quite so delicious!

more from Armidale soon...

currently listening to: pictures by benjamin francis leftwich

Friday, 12 August 2011

celery flax bread and wintry armidale

g'day! i hope you are all well - and that you've enjoyed the last couple of guestposts from laura and primal kitchen. i know i have :)

well, i'm currently in Armidale, NSW, and enjoying the warm winter sun and beautiful landscape surrounding me. it's a pleasure to see a country town, because it is so far different from the coast - smaller, quainter and friendlier. the architecture is stunning, and i never get bored of it. i do however miss the warmth of the coast... for those of you who think that Oz never gets cold, well, think again - it gets very cold here!

now, onto more foodie related things... a few people have requested the celery flax bread recipe i spoke of a few posts ago - and i'm finally getting round to posting it on my blog:

this recipe makes pizza base, crackers, wraps and bread - all depending on how long you dehydrate it for, and in what shape and thickness you create it.

celery flax bread recipe:
1 cup diced celery
½ an onion, diced
½ cup ground flaxseed
1 ½ Tbsp olive oil
½ Tbsp dried oregano
¾ cup water
a little salt and pepper

1. place all the ingredients in a blender, and mix until thoroughly combined.
2. spread the mixture out on greaseproof paper in circles or large rectangles, and dehydrate for 4-6 hours, cut into triangles and dehydrate again for a few hours until crisp for crackers, or leave just once for pizza base or wraps.

notes: i dehydrated mine in the oven with the door ajar, as i don't have a proper dehydrator. you can of course just bake it quickly with the door shut, and it'll probably be done incredibly quickly!

now onto some recent down under sights:

wottle - an australian icon. and very beautiful!

white chocolate and raspberry torte - i was given this for tea at my cousin's house. it was baked by her lodger, a young uni student, and it was perfection!!

dangar falls - a very long thin waterfall out in the bush... we saw kangaroos up close in the wild, and they hopped up to us as we lit our evening bbq!

currently reading: tilly trotter omnibus - my nickname used to be tilly trotter, but i've not read the book until now... i saw it on the shelf in the house i'm currently staying in, and i've not been able to put it down since (save to write this blog post!)

Friday, 5 August 2011

guest post: a primal kitchen lunchbox

Hey everyone, today we have a treat - a post from one of my favorite ever blogs, Primal Kitchen. We are doing a lunchbox swap, so you can find my latest eats over on her blog. Since I found the blog I've adored the recipes, and especially the lunchboxes...Enjoy and be inspired!

Greetings, fans of Not Just Apples! It is my great pleasure to do a guest blog post lunchbox swap with Alissa - her blog and its pictures simply radiate dedication to a nourishing whole foods lifestyle. I am Primal Kitchen's Family Grokumentarian - I blog over at Primal Kitchen: A Family Grokumentary, where you'll see over a hundred (and counting) pictures and descriptions of lunches that I've packed for my preschooler and my husband.

I am a huge advocate of packing leftovers in lunches if it can be managed. Doing so prevents waste, saves money (instead of creating or buying an entirely new lunch), and leaves one more in control of the ingredients that go into one's food (as opposed to eating out).

Alongside the previous night's leftovers, I usually try to add a couple of fresh options to keep some variety going.

Here are a couple of examples:

Here, I had slow-cooked dark meat chicken with cabbage and carrots for dinner.
The dish was accessorized with a few pickles and a bag of raw almonds for my husband's lunch.
Here's another slow-cooked leftovers lunch.
Roast beef with cubed potatoes in the main dish - on the right is a mix of
watermelon and sliced cherries, as well as a dish of fresh raw sugar snap peas.

I love using kitchen shears to slice meat - saves so much time!
Sometimes, rather than slow-cook, I favor a lunch that comes together quickly under a broiler or on a grill. In this case, I skewered some lamb, and seasoned it with paprika, white ground pepper, and freshly ground sea salt. I sliced several peppers (aka capsicum) into 1 cm strips, and tossed them with coconut oil, garlic powder, paprika, and freshly ground sea salt. The skewers of lamb were in one dish, the peppers in another. I had both under a high heat broiler for about ten minutes, with a break to turn everything over once halfway through.

This process left the lamb nicely rare but with a charred and well-seasoned outside - as I prefer it. This dish could be tossed together (as shown) and then refrigerated overnight in a lunch-appropriate lidded dish, allowing the flavors to meld.

I hope that this mix of lunches has left you with a few new ideas for what you might pack in your lunches in the coming weeks! Enjoy your weekend.

Monday, 1 August 2011

guest post: laura's raw food lunchbox

Thanks to the lovely Laura for sharing her raw food lunchbox with us! I'll be posting on her blog today, so go over there to check out my version of a raw food lunchbox. The recipes that she's created for this post are fantastic, and I'm so looking forward to trying them...

Hello, I'm Laura from Keeping Healthy Getting Stylish and today I'm exchanging guest posts with the lovely Alissa on the theme of the Healthy Lunch Box!

As both myself and Alissa have been enjoying experimenting with raw foods we thought we would both create a raw lunch box! I love Alissa's blog for her wonderful recipes and beautiful food photography. She also introduced me to adding greens other than spinach to my green smoothies!

Like Alissa, I enjoy adding raw foods into my diet when I crave them. At the moment I love nothing more than a huge salad filled with greens and veggies topped with some beans, tofu or even crumbled raw crackers along with a tasty dressing.

For the lunch box I'm sharing today I thought I'd get a little more experimental!

My lunch box includes: rocket with courgette spaghetti and basil, pine nut and hemp pesto, RAW Health Intensely Italian raw crackers, sugar snap peas, a kiwi and nectarine fruit salad, lemon cashew chia seed pudding in a jar and a royal gala apple:

Here are the recipes for you!

Rocket with courgette spaghetti and basil, hemp, pine nut pesto (serves 1, raw, vegan)

· A bag of rocket leaves
· 2 small courgettes made into 'spaghetti' using a spiraliser (or you could use a veggie peeler to make ribbons instead)

For the pesto (makes about half a cup):

· 2 tbsp pine nuts
· 2 tbsp of hemp oil (or you could use extra virgin olive oil)
· 2 tbsp of nutritional yeast
· 1 cup of fresh basil
· 1 clove of garlic
· 1 tbsp of sweet white miso
· water to thin

Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend. This was my first time experimenting with making my own pesto and it tastes amazing! Toss the courgette spaghetti with the pesto and serve on top of the rocket.

This is such a delicious and easy to make pesto, I’ll never buy it from the supermarket again!

Lemon Cashew Chia Seed Pudding (serves 1, raw, vegan)

· 2.5 tbsp of chia seeds
· 1/2 cup of rice milk (or milk of choice)
· Juice from half a lemon
· 1 tsp of lemon zest
· 1 tsp of agave syrup
· 1 tbsp of cashew butter

Combine all ingredients together in a small jar (a near empty cashew butter jar as I used would be perfect!) and leave in the fridge for a few hours to allow the chia to gel. Enjoy!

This is a wonderful tangy, sweet pudding choc full of healthy fats which should keep you full all afternoon!

Here are a few other ideas for raw or semi raw lunches:

· Fresh Asian Salad
· Ginger Cashew Nori Rolls
· Raw wraps - I love using spring green leaves and spreading them with sunflower seed butter, apple, carrot and basil!
· Raw rice salad (just finely chop some cauliflower in a food processor until it resembles rice then added other chopped veggies and herbs)
· Simple green salads with assorted veggies and crumbled raw crackers (one of my current fave lunches!) made even better with a raw dressing like this delicious Green Goddess Dressing
· A blended raw soup
· Cucumber 'boats' filled with a nut pate
· Stuffed peppers filled with a nut pate
· Raw hummus with raw crackers and veggie sticks for dipping
· Raw chocolate brownie bites

Some great blogs to check out for raw food ideas include Choosing Raw and Kristen's Raw.

Have you ever experimented with raw foods? What would be in your perfect lunch box, raw or not?