It was prefect weather however for baking up some easy kids lunch treats seeing as they are home for nearly two months I will have to have the pantry and fridge packed to the rafters. My boys have bottomless pits as stomachs, they are always hungry so having healthy homemade snacks at home is a must or I hear the ever so repeative nagging of “Mum I’m Hungry!”
Italian food is so dear to my heart. I love the taste and flavours but mostly I love the stories, memories and family comforts it brings. I grew up with my Nonnas cooking the Italian favourites whenever we would go to visit and as I get older the nostalgia becomes so much more important. It resonates with more than just eating, if you have ever had the pleasure of eating at an Italian family feast you will know exactly what I mean.
I love the fact that food brings life around the table and Italian food is the epitome of this. The love and time that is put into cooking and serving the most satisfying plate of pure home cooked food is evident with the smiles and loud chatter that evolves just by enjoying this type of food.
Have you tried Matcha Green Tea? Cooked with it? Or even know what it is?
This ancient Japanese green tea is an antioxidant powerhouse! This powerful superfood is made from Japanese green tea leaves stone ground into a powder form which makes an even higher amount of health benefits than green tea leaves itself. It supports sustainable energy and weight management, helps control stress levels and boosts immunity which can be helpful in cancer prevention.
Without getting too technical in a nutshell Matcha Green Tea can make you feel more relaxed, vitalise your skin and an overall powerful detox for your body.
So how do we use it?
There are many ways in which you can include Matcha in your day, easiest way is in your morning smoothies, smoothie bowls, adding it to heated milk to make an evening latte. You can also use it in baking cakes, biscuits, ice-cream and raw desserts.
The first time I’ve experimented in cooking with it I made a raw Matcha Mint Slice and I was definitely pleasantly surprised. It has more of a subtle flavour when mixed in baking but gives this vibrancy of colour that is just divine. The combo with the mint works so well together the possibilities are endless. The Japanese have a lot to say when it comes to health and vitality the figures show for itself. Start enjoying that cup of Matcha Green tea sooner rather than later and you will feel better for it. Makes sure to get an organic high quality ceremonial grade one, which is of highest quality, ask your health specialist at your local health food market for recommendations.
I will be trying a few different recipes with Matcha, some choc Matcha bliss balls may be next!
Today marks the day one year ago that I launched this online blog. What started out as merely a recipe journal has turned into something so much more meaningful.
One year ago I was apprehensive and scared to put myself out there and share not only my food recipes but my advice and knowledge on healthy living, mindfulness and some private stories regarding my family. I took the chance and I am so grateful I did.
Have you seen the latest trend which seems to be making an appearance on many foodies blogs, plates and social media?
I’m talking about the new obsession with whole roasted cauliflower. It’s the vegetarian version of the meat lovers lamb roast. Many healthy wholefood cooks have been seen making different versions with Jamie Oliver also jumping in on the new idea.
And like all new trends I just couldn’t resist in trying it out for myself to see what all the hype was about. I often roast it in florets with turmeric and spices on a weekly basis so what was so special about this?
If I have to be perfectly honest it tastes exactly the same as the way I always make it though the cauliflower turns out very tender inside and the spiced yoghurt gives it a nice crusty coating on the outside. It also does look a whole lot nicer too and makes for an awe-inspiring centre piece to wow dinner guests.
The husband felt like fish for dinner the other night so true to form he can not just bring home some fillets of fish liked asked he had to bring home a tasting assortment of the entire seafood shop..
Anyone who knows him well would know how big of a seafood lover he is. Fishing/crabbing is in his blood, it is his passion, hobby, his way of unwinding. It is his ultimate, he thrives on it. Same goes for the love of seafood. If I asked him what is something he couldn’t live without or what would his last meal would consist of it would most definitely, 100% be Seafood. So when I agreed for him to buy some fresh fish fillets for dinner as he hasn’t been out to fish in a while, naturally he comes home with 1kg green prawns, 2 dozen fresh oysters, 4 squid hoods and the fillets of fish that he went in for. Just can’t seem to help himself like most men at Bunnings hareware store. For now it has turned into a mid-week seafood extravaganza!
To start off with I hadn’t prepared anything so I got him working. “Right you’re on the calamari for the kids start crumbing, then onto the garlic prawns for the wok. Make an avocado salsa and top the oysters with lemon and ponzu and let me get this fish in the oven.” I said in an assertive tone. We were in full gear. “kids fix the table and then get out of the kitchen!”
For the fish I love a simple pairing of sweet fennel and leek, the sourness of lemon, the hit of chilli and juiciness of blistered tomatoes to compliment the delicate flavour of the fish without over powering it. The aromas that emerged from the oven were ones of sweet sensations, adding the fish for the last 7-8 mins delivers the most perfectly cooked soft flesh that just break apart and melts in your mouth. Combining all the flavours of leek, fennel with the lemon, garlic and thyme marinade you have a simple, healthy meal that is fit for a king or to impress any posh seafood connoisseur.
We could not indulge in such extravagance without going all out and popping a bottle of Moet champagne to top the night off.
So there we sat on a Thursday night sipping on Moet, eating our entrée’ of Oysters with avocado salsa with ponzu, wok fired garlic and chilli prawns. Main of Baked Flame Tail Snapper with Leek, Fennel & Tomatoes whilst the kids enjoyed their home cooked crumbed calamari and garlic prawns.
The pressure was on but with a little team effort we pulled it off!
Needless to say I turned to hubby and said I’ll be getting the fish from now on.
Baked Fish with Leek, Fennel and Cherry Tomatoes
4 pieces boneless white fish fillets ( I used local flame tail snapper)
2 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
fresh thyme sprigs or parsley
1/2 red chilli sliced (optional)
1/2 leek top removed and sliced
1 fennel top removed and sliced
1 punnet cherry tomatoes
- Preheat oven to 200’C
- Cut fish in half to make 8 smaller pieces
- In a medium size bowl combine, olive oil, garlic, lemon zest only, salt and pepper and thyme. Mix well
- Place the fish pieces in the marinade and coat the fish. Set a side
- In a lightly oiled baking dish place fennel and leek evenly over the base of the dish
- Drizzle with half the lemon juice toss through. Top with the cherry tomatoes, season with salt and pepper.
- Cook in the oven for 30 mins
- Add the fish pieces to the baking dish pouring over any remaining marinade and cook for a further 7-8 mins until fish is just firm and cooked through
- Remove from the oven pour over remaining lemon juice and serve with baked leek and fennel