The Best Monday Night Meal in a Long Time

Do you know that feeling when you can’t really be bothered to cook? When takeaways don’t appeal (or are not readily available) and you just want something really quick, simple and yet full of flavour? Try Thai Chicken Stir Fry with Cashews and Chilli Jam Sauce from My Asian Kitchen by Jennifer Joyce.

This one is a winner! You can prep the sauce and veggies whilst you defrost the chicken in the microwave ( if, like me, you have only just decided what you want to cook for dinner 15 minutes before dinner time). The recipe states preparation time 10 minutes – correct. Cooking time 10 minutes – correct. Flavour – incredible!

 

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Spicy Xian Pork Noodles: My Asian Kitchen – Jennifer Joyce

My Asian Kitchen cover art

Images and recipes from My Asian Kitchen by Jennifer Joyce, Murdoch Books, RRP $39.99 Photography by Phil Webb, Illustrations by Riley Joyce

 

This northern Chinese noodle dish is served with a meat sauce that’s not shy on the chilli oil, garlic or Sichuan peppercorns. Traditionally lamb is used, but hand chopping the shoulder meat can be laborious, so I’ve used minced pork. Feel free to use any fat noodles like udon (see page 70) or even pappardelle, which mimic hand-cut noodles. I’ve also included a recipe (see page 214) to make your own. p.212

 

Spicy Xian Pork Noodles

SERVES 4

PREP 10 MINUTES COOK 20 MINUTES

spicy xian pork noodles

 

400 g (14 oz) fresh fat or wide noodles or 250 g (9 oz) dried
1 red chilli, thinly sliced
1 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted

SICHUAN SAUCE
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp coriander seeds
2 tsp Sichuan peppercorns 2 tsp cornflour
4 tbsp roasted chilli flakes in oil, drained, plus 2 tbsp oil
3 cm (1 1/4 inch) ginger, chopped
5 spring onions (scallions)
3 garlic cloves, chopped
400 g (14 oz) minced pork
4 tbsp light soy sauce
5 tbsp black vinegar
2 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine

To make the Sichuan sauce, in a small frying pan toast the spices until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove and roughly grind in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. Set aside.

Dissolve the cornflour in 1 tablespoon water.

Heat a large wok. Add the roasted chilli oil and sauté the ginger, chopped white spring onion parts and the garlic over medium heat until cooked, about 3 minutes. Add the pork and brown for about 4 minutes until crisp, breaking up the pieces. Add the soy, chilli flakes sediment, black vinegar, rice wine, cornflour water and toasted spices. Keep stir-frying until sticky and the sauce is thick. Remove from the heat.

Boil a large pot of water. If using the fresh noodles, boil for
2–3 minutes – they are done when they start to float to the top of the water. Drain and set aside. If using dried, boil for 6–7 minutes and then drain. Give them an extra rinse of hot water to remove any extra starch.

Add the noodles to the sauce and stir-fry over medium heat using two long spoons. When everything is hot and sticky, pour into four large bowls and top with the chopped green parts of the spring onion, sliced red chilli and toasted sesame seeds.

Note

Warning – not all roasted chilli flakes in oil are created equal! Most Asian shops sell various brands of chilli oil or crispy chillies in oil, typically with the flakes, garlic and black beans (basically all the sludge) beneath the oil. My favourite brand is Lao Gan Ma, packaged in a red jar with a photo of a Chinese lady on the front (the name translates to ‘old lady’). It has a cult status around the world and once you’ve tried it, you might find yourself stockpiling extra jars in your cupboard.

 

Prawn Laksa: My Asian Kitchen – Jennifer Joyce

My Asian Kitchen cover art

Images and recipes from My Asian Kitchen by Jennifer Joyce, Murdoch Books, RRP $39.99 Photography by Phil Webb, Illustrations by Riley Joyce

 

Malay cuisine is a mash-up of local Chinese, Thai and Indian influences, which makes their soups, curries and noodles dazzle with exotic spices, creamy coconut and hot chillies. What distinguishes laksa paste from red curry is the use of nuts. Traditionally it’s candlenuts, but they’re tricky to source so I use macadamias. p. 56

 

prawn laksa

Prawn Laksa

SERVES 4 AS A STARTER OR 2 LARGE PORTIONS

PREP 15 MINUTES COOK 20 MINUTES

6 macadamia nuts
1 tbsp vegetable oil
75 g (21/2 oz) yellow or red curry paste
250 ml (81/2 fl oz) chicken stock
1 x 400 g (14 oz) tin coconut milk 2 whole star anise
2 cinnamon sticks
3 tbsp tamarind purée
2 tbsp palm sugar
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp lime juice
150 g (5 oz) green beans,
chopped 200 g (7 oz) large raw prawns
200 g (7 oz) thin rice vermicelli
100 g (31/2 oz) pineapple
Large handful each chopped coriander (cilantro) and mint leaves
Pickled red chilli and shallots (see page 52) and crispy fried shallots, to serve

 

Using a mortar and pestle, crush the macadamia nuts to a fine paste.

In a large saucepan, heat the vegetable oil and add the curry paste and crushed macadamia nuts. Turn the heat down to medium and cook for 5 minutes. Pour in the stock, coconut milk, spices, tamarind, palm sugar, fish sauce and lime juice. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, then add the beans and prawns. Simmer for 2–3 minutes and remove from the heat.

Pour boiling water over the rice noodles and leave for 2 minutes or until soft.

Cut the pineapple into 2 cm (3⁄4 inch) batons.

Divide the noodles among four large bowls and ladle the laksa over. Top with the pineapple, chopped coriander and mint and pickled red chilli and shallots. Serve with crispy fried shallots.

NOTE

The taste of this soup relies on using good stock, so it is worth making the Master Asian chicken stock (see page 77). If you’re short on time, make the stock in a pressure cooker. It takes about 30 minutes and you end up with stock that would normally require at least 2 hours to cook. You can also use a good-quality bought chicken stock.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chocolate & Almond Nice Cream: Farmacy Kitchen Cookbook – Camilla Fayed

Farmacy Kitchen Cook Book by Camilla Fayed cover art

Farmacy Kitchen Cookbook by Camilla Fayed ($39.99), published by Hachette Australia.

 

Chocolate & Almond Nice Cream

GF R VG

Serves 6–8 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes, plus 4 hours freezing

“Regulars at Farmacy know we love a nice cream. It was hard to choose which flavour to include. Emily loves this banana and almond version and could quite happily eat it every day. It has a creamy edge and chocolate fudge chunks in the middle. There are no grains in the recipe and no flour, and it is sweetened with natural sugars. All the ingredients support good health. This is a nice cream your body won’t mind you eating.” p.231

 

Chocolate and Almond Nice Cream

For the fudge

50g (1¾oz) coconut flour

3 tbsp cacao powder

6 tbsp maple syrup

¾ tsp vanilla extract

pinch of salt

 

For the ice cream

6 peeled, sliced and frozen bananas (you can use fresh but these take longer to set)

175g (6oz) smooth Almond Butter (see page 74)

3 tbsp maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

 

Put all the fudge ingredients into a small food processor and blend until well combined. The mixture should resemble dry brownie pieces. Turn into a bowl and break up the mixture into chunks or finer pieces if desired.

Put all the ice cream ingredients into a blender and whizz at a high speed until completely smooth. Transfer the mixture into a freezer-proof container. Add the fudge pieces, folding them in with a spoon until they are evenly distributed. Freeze for 4–5 hours until set.

 

Almond Butter

GF VG

Quantity: approx 250g (9oz)

Preparation time: 20 minutes, plus 15 minutes cooking

 

500g (1lb 2oz) raw, peeled almonds, Unsoaked

 

“This recipe is a one-ingredient wonder that transforms almonds into a luxurious, velvety

spread. We use it as a butter replacement in our recipes and in a variety of plant-based

dishes. Almonds are high in vitamin E and are one of the most nutritional of all nuts. The

butter adds flavour and thickens sauces with all the nutty goodness that almonds provide.”p74

 

Preheat the oven to 150˚C (300˚F), Gas Mark 2. Place the almonds on a baking tray and put in the oven for 15 minutes. Be careful not to colour the nuts too much; do not fully toast them.

Place the nuts in a food processor and process at high speed for 2 minutes. Reduce to medium speed and process until the mixture has a creamy, tahini-like texture, and is smooth and velvety. If there are still lumps, continue processing. The mixture will go through different states, turning from almond meal to powder and then into butter. Be patient and scrape the bowl frequently, especially at the start. The time it takes will vary depending on the freshness of the nuts – this process can take up to 15 minutes.

Notes

This is one recipe for which you don’t need to soak the almonds. The almond butter works best when the nuts’ natural oils are warmed, allowing them to be released more easily. This recipe does not work with ready-ground almonds. Raw, peeled almonds produce a creamy and velvety butter texture free of the solids of the skin. Alternatively, you can use almonds with their skins to create a darker butter with a slightly different flavour.

This keeps well in an airtight container in a dry, cool place.

Sweet Potato & Mushroom Curry: Farmacy Kitchen Cookbook – Camilla Fayed

Farmacy Kitchen Cook Book by Camilla Fayed cover art

Farmacy Kitchen Cookbook by Camilla Fayed ($39.99), published by Hachette Australia.

 

Sweet Potato & Mushroom Curry

GF VG

Serves 4

Preparation time: 15 minutes, plus 20 minutes cooking

“This Thai-inspired recipe is a homely update on our Farmacy restaurant curry. It’s colourful and bursting with goodness. Susie says that this curry would be her desert island luxury. This is one of the recipes that elicited excited gasps at the testing table. Its flavour is deep and delicious, warming heart and soul.” p. 180

 

Sweet Potato Mushroom Curry

For the curry paste

1 red chilli

4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

2 lemon grass stalks, sliced

4 coriander sprigs, stems included

1½ tsp ground turmeric

1 tsp salt

 

For the curry

4 shallots, chopped

4 garlic cloves, chopped

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp curry paste (see above)

1 tbsp grated fresh root ginger

500ml (18fl oz) Vegetable Broth (see page 60)

1kg (2lb 4oz) sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

2 kaffir lime leaves, chopped

200g (7oz) oyster or other mushrooms

125g (4½oz) roasted peanuts, chopped

375ml (13fl oz) coconut milk

3 tbsp Philosopher’s Sauce (see page 64)

2 tbsp coconut nectar

 

For the cucumber raita

2 cucumbers, seeded and diced

125ml (4fl oz) Cashew Yogurt (see page 76)

3 tbsp chopped dill

1½ tbsp lemon juice

 

To garnish

dry toasted pumpkin seeds

coriander leaves

2 limes, halved

 

Blend together all the curry paste ingredients in a food processor until they form a paste. You may need to add a couple tablespoons of water. Set aside. This will make more paste than you need for this recipe, but it will last several months if refrigerated. To make the curry, sauté the shallots and garlic in the oil in a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat until they are translucent. Do not let them colour. Add the curry paste and ginger and cook for 1 minute. Add the vegetable broth, sweet potatoes and lime leaves and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and cook for 10 minutes. Then add the mushrooms, the peanuts and the coconut milk.

Stir in the philosopher’s sauce and the coconut nectar. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes. Test whether the sweet potatoes are done and simmer longer if necessary.

Turn off the heat under the saucepan, cover and allow to rest for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the raita by combining all of the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.

Serve the curry garnished with pumpkin seeds and coriander leaves along with a dollop of raita, and half a lime for squeezing over.

 

 

Probiotic Jar: Farmacy Kitchen Cookbook – Camilla Fayed

Farmacy Kitchen Cook Book by Camilla Fayed cover art

 

Farmacy Kitchen Cookbook by Camilla Fayed ($39.99), published by Hachette Australia.

 

Probiotic Jar

GF R VG (if honey and bee pollen not used)

Makes 4 x 250ml (9fl oz) jars

Preparation time: 25 minutes

“This recipe will give you a beautiful probiotic parfait jar. We serve it at the restaurant and people always say how lovely this jar looks. Probiotic yogurt is full of good bacteria, which stabilize the gut, and the addition of spirulina makes it rich in minerals and protein. Chia is great for speeding up digestion, as well as being high in omega-3s. Enjoy taking care of your gut health with this beautiful jar of goodness.” p.89

 

For the chia pudding

475ml (17fl oz) homemade Nut & Seed Milk (see page 78)

1 tbsp honey or other sweetener (optional)

½ tsp vanilla extract

6 tbsp chia seeds

 

For the probiotic spirulina yogurt

500g Cashew Yogurt (see page 76)

¼ tsp vanilla powder

1 tbsp raw honey or other sweetener (optional)

½ tsp spirulina powder

pinch of salt

 

To serve

150g (5½oz) strawberries, sliced

2 tbsp bee pollen (optional)

25g (1oz) coconut chips

25g (1oz) flaked almonds

 

Probiotic Jar

To make the chia pudding, blend the nut or seed milk with the honey (if using) and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl. Stirin the chia seeds until well combined. Soak until the seeds have absorbed all the liquid and become gelatinous. This mixturewill keep for 3 days in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

To make the yogurt blend all the ingredients together in a highspeed blender until well combined.

To assemble, put a layer of strawberry slices around the edge of the base of the jars and add some yogurt. Spoon a layer of chia pudding on top of this. Finish with more strawberry slices, the bee pollen (if using), coconut chips and flaked almonds.

Review: Farmacy Kitchen Cookbook Plant Based Recipes for Conscious Living – Camilla Fayed

Farmacy Kitchen Cook Book by Camilla Fayed cover art

Farmacy Kitchen Cookbook

Camilla Fayed

Hachette Australia

Aster: Octopus Books

ISBN: 9781912023509

 

Description:

Want to eat well with nature’s best ingredients while being aware of where our food comes from?

 

Think taking better care of the land and people who grow these ingredients is important?

Welcome to the FARMACY KITCHEN, where you will find inspirational ideas for conscious living and delicious recipes for plant-based eating. The Farmacy ethos is about bringing attention back to nature, simplicity and balance. We love to follow the concept of ‘simple abundance’ in the food we create, using fresh, colourful and whole foods in inspired combinations for maximum taste, digestion and enjoyment.

 

We know how good food tastes when it’s made with love and intention. It’s a creative process that brings care into the kitchen to make great-tasting food to nourish the body and energise the soul. A process that you can now bring to your own kitchen with the help of this book.

 

 

My View:

This beautiful book pays homage to fresh, natural plant based ingredients in colourful and tantalising ways. I must admit I was instantly drawn to the breakfast breads and some of the desserts (especially the gluten free, vegan, raw Chocolate Wheels – which look a lot like a commercially made comfort food of my childhood).

 

This book has so much more than comfort foods to offer; I love that there is a comprehensive guide to preparing nuts, seeds, grains and beans.  Activating nuts and seeds by soaking makes digestion easier and their nutrients easier to absorb. And can improve taste.  Following on is a section on sprouting, and then another on cooking with beans and pulses. A great tip here (that I know but don’t follow often enough) is to soak and cook different types of beans separately as the cooking times varies depending on the variety.  I often make a bean casserole or need a mix of beans for a dip or burger – and sure enough if I try and short cut and soak and cook together some are over cooked (mushy) some are still hard…one I will learn J

 

There is a great section on “basics” which covers making sauces, nut and seed milk, nut butter, fruit chia jams etc. There are sections on breakfast, dip and appetizers, sides, soups and salads, mains and desserts. The final chapter adds a surprising element – a section on natural recipes for keeping your home and body healthy without the chemicals; think edible body butter, natural toothpaste and body wash.

 

This is a comprehensive guide to fresh and natural plant based cooking.