It’s pretty ‘Chilly’ Here!

Karina’s Spicy and Chilli Minestrone

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Ingredients:

– 70g gluten free pasta shapes

– 1 x 400g can of diced tomatoes

– 4 cups of water

– 2 teaspoons of vegetable stock powder

– 1 large pinch of back pepper

– 2 rashers of rindless bacon, fat removed, then roughly diced

– 4 cloves of garlic, finely diced

– 1 white onion, roughly diced

– 150 g fennel, roughly diced

– 300 g baby brussels sprouts, halved lengthways

– 600 g sweet potato, diced

– 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

– 3 tablespoons dried mixed italian herbs

– 1/2 tablespoon hot chilli sauce

– 1 tablespoon of olive oil

Method:

Using a large pot, heat one tablespoon of olive oil, over medium heat. Once oil has heated through, add your bacon and fry until crispy and slightly caramelised. Once bacon is crispy, add your onion, then cook until translucent, stirring occasionally. Once translucent, add your onion, then fry for 30 seconds.

Add your balsamic vinegar to the pot, then cook this off until slightly reduced (about 1 minute), then stir. Add your vegetable stock powder to the pot, whilst adding your water to the pot, simultaneously, then give the whole mixture a good stir. Add your can of chopped tomatoes, then stir.

Add all your vegetables to the pot at the same time (sweet potato, brussels sprouts and fennel). Then add your pasta immediately after. Once the pasta has been added, add your hot chilli sauce, mixed italian herbs and black pepper, then stir well and allow to cook, on the same heat setting (medium heat) for about 8 minutes, or until vegetables are cooked.

Compiling the Beauty:

Serve your soup in a large bowl. Relax in a warm place, enjoying your nutritious and comforting bowl of Minestrone!

Serves 4

Enjoy!

Karina x

Copyright © 2015 by Karina Teuma

You’re Sweet Enough!

Karina’s Healthy Cooking Tip!

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To begin with, you don’t need much sugar, as you’re sweet enough! A healthy alternative to sugar and honey is Rice Malt Syrup. Rice Malt Syrup is also Gluten Free and made from 100% Brown Rice. Rice Malt Syrup is also 100% fructose free.

Why not just buy sugar?

Rice Malt Syrup provides a stable supply of energy, dispersed over a long period of time, which prevents the well-known 3pm slump, along with preventing spikes in your blood sugar level and associated crashes within your blood sugar level. Sugar, on the other hand, does the exact opposite. Sugar releases your internal sugars much faster, causing spikes within your insulin levels, creating your well-known 3pm slump and impacting on fatigue and other health issues.

Is there any controversy surrounding the usage of Rice Malt Syrup?

Yes, there is, however, according to: http://www.thenaturalnutritionist.com.au/rice-malt-syrup-the-scoop/, “recent research by scientists at Dartmouth College, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) in 2012, found consumers were ingesting potentially harmful levels of arsenic via rice and Rice Malt Syrup. This report understandably discouraged some consumers from purchasing Rice Malt Syrup, but it’s important to keep these studies in perspective. Remember, we live in Australia and Pure Harvest is flying the flag in chemical-free products and environmentally sound manufacturing techniques.” In other words, be careful what type of Rice Malt Syrup you buy.

The choice is yours. I still use honey, as opposed to sugar in my cooking. I occasionally use Rice Malt Syrup also. Either way, Honey is a much better choice than sugar, as Honey is lower in GI than sugar.

Happy reading…. I hope you make the best decision for your health when you’re cooking!

Enjoy!

Karina x

Light and Ch-Easy!

Karina’s Low Gi and Low Fat Spaghetti Carbonara!

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Ingredients:

– 200 g gluten-free pasta (Spaghetti)

– 30 g low-fat tasty cheese, grated

– 1 – 1.5 cups of light milk (depending upon how much sauce you like)

– 6 rashers of bacon, all the fat removed, sliced thickly

– 200 g chicken breast, fat and skin removed, cubed small

– 1 large pinch of white pepper

– 20 g olive oil spread

– 20 g wholemeal flour

– Fresh rocket to serve

– 1 tablespoon olive oil

Method:

Cook your pasta as per the packet directions, strain, then set aside with the lid on.

Make your low-fat carbonara sauce. On medium heat, melt your olive oil spread in a medium sized pan, then add your wholemeal flour. Stir together constantly with a wooden spoon, until a ball forms. Once this little ball forms (after 1 minute of constant stirring), then you will need to grab your whisk. Add your milk to the mixture, one little pour at a time, then whisk constantly until all the milk has been incorporated and the sauce has thickened. At this stage, it is entirely up to you whether you like a lot of sauce with your carbonara, or a light coating. If you prefer a light coating on your spaghetti carbonara, then only use one cup of light milk. If you prefer more sauce, then you will need to add one and a half cups of light milk. Once your sauce has thickened, then you will need to add all your low-fat cheese, using the whisk to incorporate all the low-fat cheese into the sauce, then add a large pinch of white pepper. Whisk well until the pepper has been incorporated. Turn the heat to ‘off’.

Using a separate frying pan, turn the heat to a medium heat, then add your 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Once your olive oil has warmed through, add your bacon and chicken pieces to the pan, then fry on both sides, until slightly caramelised and fully cooked. Turn the heat to ‘off’.

Compiling the Beauty:

Add your cooked chicken and bacon pieces to your low-fat carbonara sauce, then stir well to combine. Stir your cooked pasta in with your low-fat carbonara sauce, chicken and bacon, then serve on a plate. Top with fresh rocket!

Serves Two!

Enjoy!

Karina x

Copyright © 2015 by Karina Teuma

Having a ‘ball’ of a time!

Environmental Tip: Making Seedballs, thanks to http://www.milkwood.net !

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On the 31/05/15, Milkwood held a free class on making seed balls and talking permaculture. I was engaged the whole time and even got to make my own seed balls, then take them home! What an awesome day!

All credit goes to http://www.milkwood.net for showing me how to make Seedballs, what they are and how good they are for the environment.

Seedballs are made from the below ingredients:

– 3 parts clay

– 1 part compost

– 1 part seeds (we used a combination of lettuce seeds and parsley seeds)

– Enough water (just to make it damp enough to roll into balls)

The method:

Mix three parts clay, with one part compost, then one part seeds (whichever vegetable seeds you like), then pour just enough water to make the mixture moist.

Using your hands, roll the mixture into tiny balls (about 1.5 cm in diameter).

Lay out to dry in a sheltered/shady position for approximately 2 days, then store with plenty of ventilation, until you’re ready to use them.

Using the Beauty:

Simply roll these little beauties into your veggie garden, on the ground wherever there is soil, or simply on the grass in your backyard. It really is this simple.

How these Beauties Work:

Once these beauties make contact with the soil, all they need is a heavy downpour of water, be this by the rain, or man-made rain i.e. the tap. The idea behind these Seedballs, is that the seeds within the Seedball, become protected right until they germinate. This means that birds will not be able to peck at these seeds, as the seeds become protected within this clay/compost/seed/water mixture, allowing the plant to fully develop and to become resilient to wildlife.

Now this, people, is such a clever idea! I’ve got a few at home ready to simply roll into my garden!

Now, you can say you have had a ‘ball’ of a time!

Have fun in the garden!

Karina x

No Grain, No Gain!

Karina’s Super-Healthy Brown Rice Omelet Appetisers!

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Ingredients:

– 1 cup brown rice (boiled for 30 minutes, then drained)

– 4 eggs, beated (1 egg for rice mixture, 3 eggs for omelet)

– Cracked black pepper

– 1/4 cup reduced fat cheese, grated

– 2 low fat, chicken sausages, cooked, then sliced into bite-sized pieces

– 1 handful of roasted sweet potato, cubed small

Method:

Pre-heat your oven to 220°C, for 15 minutes.

Combine cooked brown rice, reduced fat cheese, one beaten egg and one large pinch of pepper.

Lightly grease a large half-dozen cupcake tray, then mould your rice mixture into the cupcake moulds in the tray. Ensure you firmly pat the rice to form the shape of the moulds, so as to compact this rice nicely.

Once oven has been preheated, place the rice moulds into your oven for about 15 minutes, or until the rice is crispy and dry.

Once your rice moulds are ready, whisk your 3 eggs, with a pinch of pepper, then pour this mixture into your rice moulds. Top your egg mixture with the sliced cooked chicken sausage and your roasted sweet potato pieces, then place back into the oven for a further 10 minutes, or until your egg has cooked.

Compiling the beauty:

Arrange on a plate, to serve immediately, as an appetiser. If you are out and about, you can wrap these beauties in aluminium foil, then bring these with you. These are a very nutritious and convenient snack food.

Serves 6 as an appetiser.

Enjoy!

Karina x

Clean Food!

Karina’s Safety Cooking Tip!

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The above is a photo of olives which I have cured, marinated and preserved, for later enjoyment (once the flavours develop). One crucial step, which I will never miss, would be to sterilise the preserving jars beforehand.

Sterilising jars prior to filling with food, is crucial and beneficial. The benefits include, but are not limited to, the following:

– Your food will keep for much longer.

– Your food will have been handled correctly.

– Your food may be safe for consumption i.e. food will not be contaminated with bacteria.

There are many different methods to use in order to sterilise your glass jars, prior to using. I like to grab a large pot, fill it up 3/4 with cool water, then place the jar back into the large pot. Once the jar has started to boil for 12 minutes, then you are ready to place your jar into a hot oven, for approximately 3 minutes, or however long it takes to evaporate any residual water off the jar.

Stay safe in the kitchen!

Enjoy!

Karina x

Say ‘Cheese’!

One, two, three: ‘cheese’ !

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Ingredients:

– 1 kg natural pot set yoghurt

– 1 teaspoon of salt

– 1 giant new Chux cloth

– 1 large, thick stick, a rolling pin or a large wooden spoon

– 1 deep bowl

– Excitement

Method:

Use your excitement to do the following:

Stir in 1 teaspoon of salt into 1 kg of natural pot set yoghurt. Rince your new Chux cloth in warm water only, then squeeze most of the liquid out, ensuring the cloth is still slightly wet. Pour your entire salted yoghurt mixture into this cloth, then gather the Chux cloth, ensuring it surrounds the mixture securely. Hang your mixture on your wooden spoon, or other utensil, ensuring the sides of the Chux cloth are tied to the wooden spoon, to prevent falling. Ensure that the mixture is hanging, so that a nice even drip can be established. Keep this mixture hanging for about 8 hours, or until exactly half of the yoghurt mixture has dripped out of the cloth. This mixture is called ‘whey’. The cheese is called ‘Labna’.

Compiling the Beauty:

Essemble your large blob of cheese the way you like it, so this part is entirely up to you. For me personally, I love this cheese with some beautiful Crusty wholemeal bread or Crusty Pane Di Casa bread – just devine!

Serves six or more people as part of an antipasto platter!

Enjoy!

Karina x

If you can’t stand the heat…..get into the wilderness!

Karina’s Health Tip!

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There are too many benefits of Bushwalking to list on this post. For me, personally, I absolutely love the outdoors and this makes my soul shine! Apart from that soul-buzzing feeling some may experience from the outdoors, there are many other benefits of bushwalking, including, but not limited to, the following:

– Bushwalking is different to regular walking, as bushwalking exercises muscles you normally don’t use.

– Bushwalking exercises your core muscles, which helps you stay more balanced and coordinated.

– Bushwalking can help control moods, along with moderate feelings of feeling blue.

– Walking up hills, mountains and stairs, makes for a great cardiovascular workout.

– Bushwalking is a feast for the senses, whereby bushwalking introduces you to different sounds, different smells, different locations, interesting places, different terrain, different species of flowers, plants and many other beautiful things. This can help lift your mood tremendously.

– Walking helps you to loose weight and to help keep your overall wellbeing under control.

So, if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen get into the wilderness!

Enjoy!

Karina x