“LETTUCE” EAT BETTER!

Healthy Cooking Tips!

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Hosting lunch or dinner parties can be rewarding. Hosting lunch or dinner parties with a walk-in garden, can be even more rewarding, as the fruits of your labour have finally paid off. You and your guests can eat outside in the sunshine, alongside all your herbs, fruits and vegetables, picking them as they please. This is the concept of a ‘walk-in’ eatery, which I created the other day when I had relatives over for dinner. The guests were able to help themselves with as many herbs and vegetables as they wish, piling them on their plates whilst eating that greek salad or while BBQ’ing all the meat.

This is one of the great rewards of taking the time to look after your herbs, vegetables and fruits.

Have fun in the garden and have fun in the ‘walk-in’ eatery!

Enjoy!

Karina x

Copyright © 2016 by Karina Teuma

 

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DON’T KNOCK IT, “ROCK”IT!

Karina’s Rocket Environmental Cooking Tip!

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This will be a very short and sweet Environmental Cooking Tip, by yours truly, Karina.

If you have sprouting Rocket during spring, you can easily and quickly plant the seeds. All you need to do is wait until the middle of spring, or until you see pods or ‘bulbs’ growing out of your Rocket herb. Crack the rocket pod open, scrape all the seeds out of your pods, pant all the seeds directly into soil, then cover lightly with soil. New shoots will form within days!

You will be laughing with how much rocket you can harvest!

Happy Gardening all!

Have fun in the garden!

Karina x

Copyright © 2015 by Karina Teuma

YOU’RE “MINT” FOR ME!

Karina’s Trifle-Misu with Chocolate-Cowby Custard, Chocolate Soil and Chocolate-Mint Herb Pot Plants

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If you like cooking, as well as gardening, then this recipe is for you!

This recipe is very fun to do for kids as well as big kids (like me)!

I made up the recipe, however, the idea of an edible plant was someone else’s (not sure who, so all credits go to this person).

Ingredients:

Custard Ingredients:

  • 500ml custard made up as per custard powder packet directions (this usually means using custard powder, 2 tablespoons of castor sugar and 500ml of milk).
  • 200g good quality milk chocolate
  • 3 heaped tablespoons good quality cocoa
  • 3 tablespoons premium strength cowboy drink
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Coffee Soak:

  • 2 heaped tablespoons of strong coffee
  • 3 flat tablespoons of ‘creme de cacao’ Liqueur
  • 1/3 cup castor sugar
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 550g Italian lady finger biscuits

Chocolate Soil and plant Topping:

  • Ten long sprigs of fresh ‘chocolate mint’ herb, freshly cut.
  • 250g chocolate ripple biscuits, crumbled and smashed with a rolling pin

Cream Layer:

  • 250g mascarpone
  • 400g whipped cream
  • 3 egg whites, whipped until soft peaks form
  • 3 egg yolks, whipped with 1/3 cup castor sugar, until pale and thick

Utensils:

  • 2 x new medium-sized terracotta pots, cleaned thoroughly, then set aside to dry naturally
  • 1 x new medium-sized garden trowel, cleaned thoroughly, then set aside to dry naturally
  • Foil to line the inside of both terracotta pots, also using the foil to cover the hole at the bottom of the terracotta pot.

Method:

Combine 250g mascarpone with 400g whipped cream, then gently fold in the creamed egg yolks, followed by the whipped egg whites until combined, but still light (refer to cream layer ingredients). Place this cream mixture in a large bowl in the refrigerator to chill.

Place chocolate ripple biscuits in a large and lockable glad wrap bag, ensuring all biscuits are placed inside and all air is knocked out of the bag before closing. Close the bag, then, using a rolling pin, crush all the biscuits until they maintain the consistency of soil. Set aside (away from heat or cold).

Boil 2 cups of water, then, using a spoon and a large bowl, combine all the coffee soak ingredients. Once combined and whilst still hot, carefully and briefly dip all the Italian lady finger biscuits in this mixture, place in a large bowl, then set aside.

Make your chocolate cowboy-custard by following the directions of your custard powder mixture packet and by adding milk and sugar, then follow all directions until your custard is lovely and thick. Whilst your custard is still hot, add 200g cadbury milk chocolate, separated into cubes, then gradually whisk in, along with your bournville cocoa, cowboy drink and vanilla essence. Whisk until all ingredients are well combined, then set aside. Refer to my custard ingredients section under the ingredients section.

Compiling the Beauty:

Grab your two terracotta pots, then line them both with foil. Now the fun begins!

Grab 1/4 of the soaked italian biscuits, then evenly place them at the bottom of one of your terracotta pots. Pour 1/4 of your chocolate-cowboy custard over this, then pile 1/4 of your mascarpone and whipped cream mixture on top. Repeat this process one more time for this first pot. Top with half of your chocolate soil mixture, then gently and artistically stab your chocolate soil mixture with 5 ‘chocolate mint’ herb cuttings. Repeat this process to make your other pot.

Serve with a mess of your chocolate soil and your garden trowel, using your garden trowel as a scoop for your dessert!

N.B. The fresh ‘chocolate mint’ herb is a perfect match for the chocolate-cowboy custard in one mouthful!

This was heaps of fun to make!

Makes 2 pots!

Enjoy!

Karina x

HOW HAVE YOU “BEAN”?

Karina’s Environmental Cooking Tips!

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Above is a photo I took today of one of my many vegetables I’m growing at the moment: Beans. Since I’ve been gardening a lot lately, I can say with confidence, that I have “bean” great! How have you “bean”?

I would like to share some of my sustainable gardening tips for happy vegetables and an even happier planet, as below:

  • Use natural bamboo (as above) to use as a natural plant support framework, for when the plants would like to crawl up structures in order to grow. I have used natural bamboo grown over my neighbours fence, which had become a bit of a weed. Instead of buying plastic stalks, help the planet and your budget, by using natural bamboo.
  • If you don’t have access to natural bamboo, use any dead branch you may find which has fallen from trees. This will also help the planet and your budget, by using natural branches.
  • If you don’t have enough space in your backyard to have a garden, nor a few pots around your dwelling, then you can always join a community garden. You will receive similar benefits of growing your own vegetables, along with meeting like-minded green-thumbs. Win-win!
  • Try to take full advantage of your plants natural climbing abilities and try not to use garden ties, unless the plant needs them. By using either bamboo or dead tree branches, this will help the planet, your budget and your time 🙂

Have fun in the garden!

Enjoy!

Karina x

Copyright © 2015 by Karina Teuma

Blooming Balls!

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

Remember my original post, as per the below, back in June? Well, true to form, three months later, without planting, these seed balls have now developed into seedlings! I thought you’d like to see the results of how great they really are! The best part was, I didn’t even need to plant them!

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Have fun in the garden!

Enjoy!

Karina x

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

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

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

Better ‘Hop’ to it!

Karina’s ‘Fresh’ Environmental Cooking Tip!

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Pictured far left: Tamie, my Dog.

Pictured far right: Floppy.

My brother has a rabbit. His name is Floppy, however, he has many nick names. Apart from Floppy’s lovely nature and beautiful looks, he is also good for another thing. This thing is fertilisation for the garden!

I only started using rabbit poo for fertilising the garden about a few weeks ago, however, we have had Floppy for around ten years! The benefits to my vegetable garden have doubled! The crop is greener, fuller and tastier! The best thing is, you don’t need to pay for a fertiliser! This one is a very green environmental tip, since the rabbit poo goes straight from the ground, into the garden, by one scoop from the shovel! Beware not to over-fertilise, a very small amount of rabbit poo is sufficient, otherwise, you may do more harm than good!

Rabbit poo is one of the best manures for your gardens, since it is rich in many nutrients! One added benefit is that rabbit poo does not have an offensive odour, as some manures do.

Thanks Floppy, you’re the best!

Have fun in the garden!

Enjoy!

Karina x

Pass the Pasta!

Karina and Anita’s Pasta!

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My friend Anita assisted in prepping the ingredients today, for this wonderful pasta dish, made on the spot, with fun! Anita is camera shy, hence why she isn’t in this picture 🙂 It was a fun day cooking! The best part about cooking this, was that the oregano, chilli, parsley and rocket, was cut straight from the garden! Soo fresh!

Ingredients:

– 400g Gluten Free spiral pasta

– 1 tablespoon of olive oil

– 1 medium sized chilli, chopped finely (moderate heat rated chilli)

– 1 brown onion, diced finely

– 4 cloves of garlic, minced finely

– 1 x 400g can of peeled and diced tomatoes (preferably made in Italy)

– 1 tablespoon of tomato paste

– 3 tablespoons of dried mixed italian herbs

– 1/4 cup of fresh oregano, taken off stalk and left whole

– 1 tablespoon of fresh continental parsley, sliced thinly

– 1/2 cup of fresh rocket, left whole

– 1/2 cup of kalamata olives, sliced thinly

– 1/4 cup of sun-dried tomatoes in oil, diced finely

– 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

– Cracked black pepper

– Shaved parmesan cheese to serve

N.B. you can use regular pasta, instead of Gluten Free pasta, if you prefer

Method:

Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil. Meanwhile, heat your oil over low heat in your medium-sized saucepan, then simmer your onion until translucent. Add your garlic and chilli, then cook for one minute or until aromatic. Add your balsamic vinegar, then sauté until content has reduced slightly (about 30 seconds). Once slightly reduced, add your diced tomatoes, tomato paste, kalamata olives, sun-dried tomatoes, dried mixed italian herbs and cracked black pepper. Turn the heat to a simmer, then give your sauce a stir. Leave your sauce to simmer, until your pasta is cooked.

Once your saucepan of lightly salted water is boiling, cook your Gluten Free spiral pasta in this saucepan, until cooked as per the packet directions on your particular pasta. Drain, then place back into the large saucepan. Place the lid back onto the saucepan to keep the pasta warm.

Now that your pasta has cooked, all you need to do is finish your sauce. Turn your sauce to ‘off,’ then give your sauce a good stir. Add your sauce to your cooked pasta, then give a few tosses to combine. Sprinkle your fresh continental parsley, along with your fresh oregano, on top of your completed pasta.

Grab a large serving plate. In an indulgent manner, pile your pasta goodness onto your plate. Gracefully shave your parmesan over your pasta, then let your fresh rocket feather its way down to your plate.

Take one bite, then allow your taste buds to be happy.

Serves 4

Enjoy!

Karina x

Copyright © 2015 by Karina Teuma