The Light ‘Bulb’ Moment!

Karina’s Environmental Cooking Tip!

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There are many light ‘bulb’ moments in life, however, pay attention to this particular ‘bulb.’ All you need to do, in order to grow garlic, is the following:

1/ Buy some garlic bulbs.

2/ Reserve a few individual garlic cloves, allowing them to sprout from the top, as (photographed by myself above).

3/ Once the garlic clove has sprouted, it is ready to plant, precisely how it looks in the picture above. You’ll need a pot, some regular soil from your garden and/or from your lawn. You’ll also need to mix about a quarter of the soil with all-purpose premium compost. With the compost, you can either buy this by the bag from your local farmer, nursery or supermarket. If you really want to be green, you can make your own compost, by depositing vegetable scraps into your soil or canister, then mixing this up with the rest of your soil.

4/ Completely fill your chosen pot with this nutrient-rich soil mixture.

5/ Plant the individual garlic clove in this pot, ensuring you only allow the green shoot (at the top of the clove) to protrude.

6/ Water well, to allow the garlic clove to settle in well.

7/ Place and keep your pot out in part sun and part shade. Near a fence would be great.

8/ Every few days, monitor for signs of new green growth.

9/ Water your garlic plant every 2 days and allow to grow.

10/ Your garlic is ready to be harvested, when half the leaves are dead and half are green.

11/ Don’t water the plant at this stage (for approximately 9 days), as you want to prevent the garlic plant from rotting.

12/ After your garlic plant has dried a little (after waiting approximately 9 days), you are ready to pluck this straight out of the ground. Do this, by grabbing at the base of the garlic plant, to prevent breakage.

Have fun in the garden and the kitchen!

Enjoy!

Karina x

Copyright © 2015 by Karina Teuma

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Feeling ‘Souper’ Excited!

Karina’s Super Healthy Chicken and Vegetable Soup with Buckwheat Noodles!

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Ingredients:

– 300 g chicken thai fillet, fat removed, cubed small

– 3 cm x 3 cm cubed piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated

– 3 cloves of garlic, finely grated

– 1 pinch of black pepper

– 3 tablespoons of soy sauce

– 1/2 tablespoon of sesame oil

– 100 g buckwheat noodles per person, cooked to packet directions

– 1 teaspoon hoisin sauce

– 1.5 litres of water

– 3 teaspoons of vegetables stock powder

– 3 shallots, roughly chopped

– 40 g kale, roughly chopped (including stems)

– 100 g red spinach (or green spinach), roughly chopped (including stems)

– 400 g sweet potato, peeled and cubed

– 1/2 teaspoon samba sakso (or red chilli paste)

– 1 x 400 g corn kernels

Method:

Using a medium sized pot, bring 1.5 litres of water to the boil, adding the stock powder to form a vegetable stock. Once water has been brought to the boil, add your garlic, chilli, ginger, sweet potato, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, soy sauce and black pepper. Boil for 8 minutes, or until sweet potato is cooked.

Note: while your sweet potato is cooking, you can cook your buckwheat noodles as per packet directions. Aim for 100 g of buckwheat noodles per person. After buckwheat noodles have cooked, strain well, then place at bottom of serving bowls.

After your sweet potato has cooked, turn the heat down to a simmer, then add your corn, red spinach, kale, shallots and chicken to the pot. Put the lid on, then cook for 5 minutes.

Compiling the Beauty:

After 5 minutes are over, or when the chicken has cooked, turn the heat to off, then pour the hot and nourishing soup over your buckwheat noodles.

Savour your nourishing bowl of beautiful, healthy soup!

Serves 4

Enjoy!

Karina x

Copyright © 2015 by Karina Teuma

Showing ‘dis-tain!

Karina’s Safety Cooking Tip!

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– Ensure your cooking utensils, equipment and kitchen surfaces are decontaminated prior to preparing your food.

– Ensure you use food safe substances to clean your serving plates and other serving gear.

– Ensure you don’t cross-contaminate food (please refer to my older post on cross-contamination).

– Ensure you clean up all spills ASAP, otherwise, you may cause ‘dis-tain’ by staining your kitchen and another areas of your home.

– Use a separate kitchen towel to dry your dishes and/or dry your hands.

The list will go on and on, however, I have focused on a select few for now.

So, if next time there’s a dirty cooking bench, you won’t need to show anyone any ‘dis-stain’!

Stay safe in the kitchen.

Enjoy.

Karina

Copyright © 2015 by Karina Teuma

It’s ‘Kaling’ Me!

Karina’s Kale and Sweet Potato with Pasta!

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Ingredients:

– 70 g gluten free or low GI pasta shapes (you can use regular pasta if you like), cooked as per packet directions

– 1 small spanish onion, roughly diced

– 3 garlic cloves, grated finely

– 1 tablespoon of olive oil

– 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

– 2 tablespoons of tomato paste

– 2 tablespoons of dried mixed italian herbs

– 60 g kale, roughly chopped, stalks removed, then boiled for 5 minutes

– 400 g sweet potato, peeled, cubed, then boiled for 8 minutes

– 1 x 400 g can of diced tomatoes

– A tiny sprinkle of finely grated parmesan cheese, to serve

Method:

Using a medium sized pot, cook one tablespoon of olive oil over a medium heat, until warmed through (should only take about 10 seconds). Add your diced spanish onion, then cook on medium heat, stirring until translucent (should only take about 2 minutes). Add your grated garlic, give the onions and garlic a good stir to combine, then allow the garlic to cook for about 30 seconds. Once your onion and garlic are combined and your garlic has cooked, add your can of chopped tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, tomato paste and dried mixed italian herbs. Give everything a really good stir with a wooden spoon.

Add your boiled kale, boiled sweet potato and cooked pasta to the pot. Stir very well, ensuring the Kale is evenly distributed throughout the dish.

Compiling The Beauty:

Pile your delicious, nutritious, low GI and vegetarian light meal on your serving plate. Sprinkle a fine dusting of grated fresh parmesan cheese.

So, next time you buy some kale, be sure to try my recipe, otherwise, it may be ‘kaling’ you that you didn’t try it!

Enjoy!

Karina x

Copyright © 2015 by Karina Teuma

Not Letting Food Go To ‘Waist!’

Nathalie’s Healthy Cooking Tip!

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My Mum, Nathalie, has taught me heaps about healthy cooking, which is why this post is dedicated to her. Every time my Mum cooks, it is healthy and full of flavour. With the right amount of ingredients, you really don’t need all this fat in cooking. My Mum has many great ideas, with regards to healthy cooking, however, I will just touch on a few of the main ones.

Make a habit of removing all the skin of chicken, prior to cooking it, in order to eat more healthy. Skin is full of fat, which may make your food go to your ‘waist’ i.e. don’t let food go to ‘waist.’ (Nathalie’s Cooking Tip)

Whilst cooking or frying food in a pan, it is advisable to only put the smallest amount of oil required to cook your food. Olive oil is one of the best oils to use, if you would be using oil. Better still, steam or boil your vegetables, rather than frying them, unless you’re attentively watching the fat content in your fry pan. (Nathalie’s Cooking Tip)

Whilst baking, use fruits in order to naturally sweeten your bakes. This way, your bakes will still taste great and will also taste sweet from the natural sugars coming out of the fruit. (Nathalie’s Cooking Tip)

Try to use as little butter as possible in your baking and cooking. Try to replace butter with olive oil or another healthy cooking oil. Your bakes and cooking will still taste great, with nowhere near as much saturated fat contained in your cooking. If the recipe really needs butter, try replacing at least 3/4 of the butter for olive oil, then put the rest butter. Alternatively, you can experiment by using olive oil spread, which still has less saturated fat than butter. (Karina’s Cooking Tip)

Whenever you make a pasta dish, try to avoid cooking white sauces, as these are usually high in saturated fat. If you really would like to use a white sauce, then make your own and use low-fat cheese, low-fat milk and olive oil spread instead of butter. (Karina’s Cooking Tip)

There are many more tips I can think of, however, I will leave you with all this for now.

Enjoy!

Karina x

Copyright © 2015 by Karina Teuma

These aren’t ‘won-ton’ wontons!

Karina’s light and Spicy Chicken ‘wonton’ soup!

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Ingredients:

For the Wonton filling:

– 150 g chicken thigh fillets, fat removed, cubed into tiny pieces

– 2 cloves of garlic, finely grated

– 1 large pinch of black pepper

– 1/2 a teaspoon of Mexican hot sauce

– 22 egg pastries

– 3 drops of sesame oil

To seal the Wontons:

– 1 small cup of cold water

For the Wonton Broth:

– 2 tablespoons of soy sauce

– 3 teaspoons of vegetable stock powder

– 1 pinch of black pepper

– 1.5 litres of water

– 1 teaspoon of Mexican hot sauce

– 1 teaspoon of sesame oil

– 150 g carrots, sliced thinly

– 1 shallot, sliced thinly

Method:

Clean your kitchen bench well, wipe dry, then lay your wonton wrappers across your kitchen bench.

Make your wonton filling by combining all the ingredients for the wonton filling together, in a small bowl, then mix well to combine. Scoop 1/2 a teaspoon of wonton mixture into each wonton, then lightly brush two sides of the wonton wrapper with water (it should be the two sides that form a triangle). Fold your wonton wrapper over, to form a sealed triangle shape. You can either have triangle wontons, or you can experiment with different shapes.

Make your wonton broth, by combining all the ingredients for the wonton broth, except the shallot. Bring this mixture to the boil, then add all your wontons, being careful to stir the broth well so that the wontons do not stick together. Boil the wontons in the wonton broth for about 10 minutes, or until the chicken cooks and the wontons are nice and plump. Once cooked, add your shallot, then turn the heat to ‘off.’

Compiling the Beauty:

Grab a large soup bowl, then pour your broth and wontons in this bowl.

Sit in a warm place to enjoy your comforting and spicy soup.

Enjoy!

Karina x

Copyright © 2015 by Karina Teuma

Up to the Waist with Waste!

Karina’s Environmental Cooking Tip!

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There are many things you can do, in order to reduce waste in your kitchen. If you buy goods which have recyclable packaging, then you are one step closer in significantly reducing waste. Always use the well-known saying: ‘Reuse, Reduce and Recycle.’ Reuse plastic containers and water bottles, until they cannot be used any more. Reduce the amount of waste you generate, both in packaging and in food scraps. Recycle anything you can recycle. Use cloth napkins, instead of always relying on paper ones. This will save a tonne of waste and will significantly help the environment.

There are many other Environmental Tips I can offer. I will cover another one next time.

Have fun!

Enjoy!

Karina x

Don’t be ‘Chicken!’

Karina’s Delicious and Spicy Baked Portuguese Chicken!

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Don’t be ‘chicken.’ You know you want to try this recipe! This one is a flavour explosion…bring it on!

Ingredients:

For the marinade:

– 1 x 1.8 kg whole chicken (dead, of course)

– 6 garlic cloves, grated

– Juice of 1 lemon or 1 orange, whichever you have around. (lemon is better)

– 1/2 tablespoon of salt

– 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

– 1. 5 tablespoons of paprika

– 2 tablespoons fresh oregano

– 2 tablespoons of olive oil

Just combine all the above ingredients together in a bowl, then your marinade is complete.

For the basting sauce:

– 1/2 teaspoon of fiery chilly paste (try to get a hot one with seeds in it)

– 30 grams of olive oil spread (reduced saturated fat)

– 5 garlic cloves, grated

– 1 tablespoon of olive oil

– A light sprinkle of salt

– Juice of 1 lemon or 1 orange, whichever you have around. (lemon is better)

– 2 Bay leaves, lightly scrunched by hand

– 4 tablespoons of whisky

Just combine all the above ingredients in a bowl, then your basting sauce is complete.

Method:

Rinse your chicken, then pat it dry with a paper towel. Butterfly your chicken by cutting carefully down the backbone on one side with a sharp knife, then press the chicken down firmly to ensure it is flat. Tuck the wings inside the chicken, to prevent charring whilst baking. Carefully disjoint the chicken by running your fingers down the bone line of the legs, then grabbing two bones that run into each other, then snapping them (just like a dislocation: poor chicken). Do this for the two leg bones. Once the dislocation process is complete, then slash the chicken’s meatiest parts deeply, so that the chicken cooks evenly whilst in the oven. Once this is completed, pour all the beautiful marinade directly onto the chicken, then massage all this flavour into the chicken, onto the skin, under the skin, all around the skin, then into the cuts of the meatiest parts of the chicken. Place marinated chicken into a bowl, then cover with cling film. Leave in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours (if you like your chicken spicy, then leave it in for 2 hours).

Once the chicken has marinated for your preferred timeframe, leave the chicken in the refrigerator until your oven has been preheated. Preheat your oven (fan forced) for 15 minutes, turning your oven to 200°C. Once preheated, lightly oil (with olive oil) your baking dish, which should be large enough for your chicken. Place your beautiful marinated bird into your pre-oiled baking dish, then place it in the oven. Cook your chicken, skin side up, for 30 minutes, without turning. Baste your chicken with half of the basting sauce, then place your chicken back into the oven, skin side down. Cook for another 30 minutes, then baste your chicken with the remainder of the basting sauce.  Place your chicken skin side up, then cook for a further 15-30 minutes, or until the chicken juices run clear and your bird is fully cooked. Once fully cooked, rest your bird outside the oven for about 10 minutes. Turn your oven to ‘off.’

You can make a jus to go with this bird. All you need to do, is pour all the juices which run off from your baked chicken, into a small pot, then bring to the boil. You can slightly thicken this jus if you like a thicker sauce, by mixing some corn flour in with this to make a smooth sauce. Alternatively, you can just leave the jus the way it naturally came out of the chicken, bring to the boil, then pour over your chicken. I prefer the more natural jus. Just delicious!

Compiling the Beauty:

Arrange on a plate with your favourite Low GI vegetables. I love baked sweet potato chips and greens.

Serves 6

Enjoy!

Karina x

Bacteria Going ‘Viral’!

Karina’s Safety Cooking Tip!

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Cross-contamination are two ugly words. Once cross-contamination has gone completely ‘viral,’ however, ugly does not begin to describe what can go wrong. In order to be safer in the kitchen, one should prevent all means of bacteria crossing from one surface to another, otherwise known as cross-contamination. Cross-contamination can arise from a multitude of areas, including, but not limited to:  poor hand hygiene practices, a lack of sterilisation on items including kitchen utensils, along with poor food-handling techniques.

With regards to hand hygiene, always ensure your hands are thoroughly cleaned prior to making contact with kitchen utensils, equipment and food. Always wear a clean apron prior to preparing food and ensure your hair is tied back. There are many other safety controls with regards to this subject.

With regards to food handling techniques, always ensure that you do not use the same knife you used to cut meat, to cut your veggies. Always cut your veggies on a clean board, then use a clean knife to prep. Always cut your meat on a separate clean board, then use a clean knife to prep. It is very important that your meat does not get mixed with the veggies during the prep stage, since, raw bacteria from the meat, can easily be transferred onto the raw veggies.

Never use the same knife you used to prep your veggies, than you use to prep your meat, unless the knife has been thoroughly cleaned between applications.

Stay safe in the kitchen!

Kind regards,

Karina x

Copyright © 2015 by Karina Teuma