Cold Noodle Salad

1 packet vermicelli rice noodles
one small red onion
2 carrots
2 stalks celery
1/2 capsicum
1 cucumber
handful of beans
½ cup peanuts, chopped
1/4 cup sesame seeds, toasted
spring onions, chopped into 3cm pieces, to top
½ cup chopped fresh herbs like coriander, thai basil and basil
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar or honey
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
juice from 1 lime
2 tbsp soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
1 cayenne chili chopped finely
Marinated tofu
Sauteed chicken

1. Place the uncooked noodles in a bowl of warm water to soak for 15 minutes or until tender.
2. Chop all vegetables into small pieces.  You can use a matchstick cutter or a sharp knife.
3. Shake up the sauce ingredients in a jar.
4. Drain the noodles - they should be softened by now.
5. Toss noodles, vegetables, herbs and sauce together.  You can reserve some sauce on the side.
6. Sprinkle with peanuts, sesame seeds and spring onions.
Recipe Credit - Kaycee Simuong Transition Farm Summer Intern 2016

Cream of Celery Soup

1 bunch celery (dark leaves removed)
2 medium potatoes (peeled and quartered)
1 onion (skinned, quartered)
3 tbsp butter
1 litre chicken stock
250 ml cream
salt and pepper to taste

1. Cut the celery into larger sized diced pieces. Put the celery and onion in a food processor and process until well chopped. You want to ensure there aren't any stringy bits in the finished soup.
2. In a large pot, heat butter and add pulverised celery and onion.  Stir gently over medium to low heat, carmelising the onion.
3. Add the potato, stock and seasonings.
4. Bring to boil, reduce heat to simmer, and cook for about 20 minutes or until potato is breaking up. Using a stab blender or goblet blender, puree the soup until smooth. 5. Add cream and gently heat, but do not boil, taste and adjust seasonings.

Vegetable Soup with Quinoa and Nettles

Quinoa, a grain like seed is a complete protein, unlike rice or beans. It is also gluten free. It is the best source for a plant based protein and being high in fiber and iron it should have a place in every vegetarian kitchen. Sopa de quinoa is a staple soup in Peru.  The Andes is where this grain thrives.  Quinoa is cooked with potatoes, onions and garlic in lard or oil and flavored with native oregano and annatto seeds. Whatever vegetables or greens are at hand are added to the soup. The soups I had ranged from a clear pale yellow soup to a thick creamy one, chock full of vegetables and greens.It usually served with an aji made from chili peppers.  You can take one slice from a chili and float it in your bowl of soup until you have the desired heat you like.

Ingredients 8 cups (2 liters) of vegetable or chicken stock 1/2 cup quinoa, well rinsed 1 cup carrots, quartered and sliced 1 cup pumpkin, peeled and cubed 1 cup onion, finely chopped 1/2 cup celery, chopped 1 cup potatoes, cubed salt (to taste) 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley 1cup minced nettle

Method 1. Combine carrots, onions and celery in a heavy bottomed soup pot with a splash of olive oil.  Gently fry until the onion is translucent. 2. Add pumpkin, potato, quinoa and stock.  Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer.  Continue to simmer until the vegetables are tender and the quinoa has "split", the curly tails have removed, about 10-15 minutes. 3. Adjust the seasoning with additional salt, if necessary and add the fresh herbs. Cook 2 more minutes, then remove from the heat.

Cream of Celery Soup

Another quick and easy Jamie Oliver recipe perfect for the cooling nights Ingredients 1 head of celery, sliced 1 large onion, finely chopped 1 clove of garlic, chopped Small bunch of flat leaved parsley, roughly chopped 1 litre of vegetable stock 100ml single cream (plus a little extra for serving if desired) A good pinch of nutmeg and some black pepper to season A couple of tbsps of extra virgin olive oil (or a mix of oil and butter)

Method 1. In a large saucepan or casserole, heat the oil gently and add the sliced celery, onion and garlic to the pan. Sweat over a gentle heat till vegetables are soft but not browned. This process will take around 15 minutes. 2. Add the chopped parsley and vegetable stock then season well with nutmeg and black pepper. 3. Simmer the soup for approx. 15 minutes then pour into a blender or food processor along with the single cream. 4. Process/puree at high speed till soup is smooth and creamy.

Serve with an extra drizzle of cream if you wish.


Hearty Winter Vegetable Stew

Serves 4-6Ingredients 2 Tbs. olive oil 4 shitake mushrooms, cut into quarters 4 small onions, quartered 3 celery stems, roughly chopped into 1cm pieces 4 carrots chopped into 2cm pieces 300 gms potatoes, well scrubbed and cut in to chunks 2 turnips peeled and cut into chunks 1 medium parsnip, peeled and chopped into chunks 1 small cauliflower, cut into florets 2 cloves garlic, crushed Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 2 ½ cups rich vegetable stock ½ cup dry red or white wine 1 Tbs. tamari soy sauce a bunch of parsley and thyme, 1 sage leaf, and a 25 cm stem of rosemary…(dry herbs may be substituted)

Method 1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or other large pot over medium heat. 2.  Cook onions for three minutes.  Add celery, shitakes and carrots for another two minutes. 3. Add all remaining ingredients. Reduce heat to low. Cover pot, and cook, stirring contents occasionally, until all vegetables are tender, 1 hour. 4.  To thicken the sauce, right before vegetables are done, take a large frypan and melt 2 tbsps butter. 5.  Add about ¼ cup of red wine and 2 cloves of garlic crushed and chopped.  Reduce by half. 6. Add approx 3 tbsps of flour. Gently whisk the flour allowing it to brown slightly. 7.  With a ladle, slowly spoon some of the stock into the fry pan, whisking all the time.  Continue adding stock until you have the desired consistency.  Add this back into your stew. 8.  Season with fresh herbs, salt and pepper.  Serve as is or top with mashed potatoes to make a delicious vegetable shepherds pie.


Hearty Tomato Soup

Ingredients2 cups chopped carrots 2 cups chopped celery 3 cups diced onions 6 cloves garlic, minced 12 cups chopped fresh tomatoes 2 Tbsp olive oil 2 cups stock 2 Tbsp salt 2 tsp. sugar 2 bay leaves 4 cloves 12 fresh basil leaves

Method 1. Roughly chop all the vegetables. It doesn’t matter what they look like because the soup will be blended later, but make sure the carrots, onions and celery are all about the same size so they cook at the same rate. 2. In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil. Add in the carrots, celery, onions and bay leaves and cook until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook another 5 minutes, but don’t let the vegetables brown. Add in the tomatoes,  stock, sugar, salt, basil and cloves. Allow to simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes break down and the carrots are soft. 3. Turn off the heat and allow to cool for 15 minutes. 4. Puree the soup, either with a stick blender or in batches in a conventional blender. 5. Once the soup is all pureed, push it through a sieve.  You want to get out the tomato skins and seeds, but push through the rest of the vegetables. If you use too fine a mesh strainer, you will just end up with tomato juice. If you can skin and seed your tomatoes before making the soup you don’t have to strain it. But this is time consuming and I found it just easier to strain. 6. Put all the strained soup back in the pot and add the salt and sugar to taste. Even though my tomatoes were very ripe and sweet, I almost always add a couple of teaspoons of sugar to tomato soup or sauce because it helps balance out the acidity of the tomatoes and bring out the natural sweetness. 7. You can serve as is, or add cream to make a 'bisque'.

Mineral Rich Chicken Stock

If you make stock, you know that nurturing smell which permeates each corner of a home as it slowly simmers through the night.  If you have never made a stock, you have to try...just once at least...get your biggest pot (or borrow a big one from your mother) and clean out your vegetable drawer.  Add some bony chicken parts and let it simmer. In our house, I find the smell of a good stock simmering all night is enough to make an ailing child turn the corner.  Whenever the heat of summer subsides, we have a stock pot on.  By winter, our freezer has extra stock frozen, but we still make stock as the weather cools, and all winter long.  We use stock in soups, stews, pasta dishes, risottos, and stir fries.  I believe that the stock made from nutrient dense vegetables and herbs, consolidates their essential nutrients into a rich, spoon licking, brew which re-mineralizes the body and the spirit!

Ingredients Organic bony chicken parts - Carcass(es) (cooked or uncooked), necks, wings or  legs 1 onion, chopped into ¼ inch squares 8 branches parsley (not the leafy tops) 2 bay leaves Several large branches of thyme (or whatever you have leftover from the week) 2 medium carrots, diced 4 celery stalks and leaves, roughly chopped Leek tops Onion tops any tomatoes, beans and zucchini left in the vegetable drawer 8 whole cloves 8 whole peppercorns 2 liters cold water or enough to float all the items Leafy tops of parsley

Method 1.    Place chicken parts in cold water and bring to boil.  Skim the foam that forms. 2.    Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for hours or even overnight. The longer you simmer the stock, the more flavourful it will be. 3.    In the last 10 minutes of the stock simmering, add the leafy parsley to add extra minerals. 4.    Strain the stock.  You can reduce it further to intensify the flavour. 5.    Refrigerate and then skim any fat from the surface. 6.    Freeze in jars or use within a week.

For more great information about stocks, check out Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon.

We have written more about Thyme and its great attributes.

Celery Gratin

1 celery head, trimmed
25g butter
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
2 bay leaves
100g breadcrumbs
50g walnuts, roughly chopped
40ml white wine
100ml vegetable or chicken stock
100ml double cream
30g grated Parmesan or Gruyere

1.  Cut any thick celery stalks in half, trim all of it into thumb-size lengths, then wash and leave wet. Melt half the butter in a large frying pan, then add the celery, onion and bay leaves. Season, cover, then cook over a medium heat for about 30 mins, stirring occasionally to stop the onions catching.
2.  Meanwhile, prepare the breadcrumbs. Melt the remaining butter in a separate pan, then toss in the crumbs and walnuts, stirring often until lightly golden and toasted. Set aside.
3.  Heat grill to medium. When the celery is tender, turn the heat right up, pour in the wine and stock, then reduce by two-thirds. Pour in the cream, then reduce for a final few mins until you have a syrupy sauce. Check seasoning, tip into an ovenproof dish, then scatter with the breadcrumbs and Parmesan. Grill for 2-3 mins, until the sauce bubbles. Let it sit for 5 mins before serving.

Cleansing Green Drink

This week we have a recipe donation from Baxter at Palate EarthYoga in the Park has begun all over the Mornington Peninsula...and has spread to Silver Sands, SA as well!  Baxter will be leading yoga classes in the Sorrento park, behind the Hotham Police station each morning from 8-9 and then starting 27 December 7.30-8.30 + 9-10am.  Yoga in the Park is also happening in Mt Martha, Somers, Flinders, and Mornington.  Free range, organic yoga for all ages and stages! For an achievable cleanse when you don't want to commit to days of 'deprivation', or simply have too many christmas parties that would interfere with your programme...

Green drink: 1 garlic clove or ginger (opt) 2 cups lettuce (or silver beet or spinach) 2 cups parsley leaves 1 celery rib 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed 4 cups spring water 1 fresh orange or grapefruit, peeled 1 tablespoon olive oil


I have been told that every region in Italy has its own ministrone.  Keep that in mind when you are making this, substituting and adding anything you feel works. I have written the straight recipe from Slow Cooking by Joanne Glynn.
220 gms dried borlotti beans
50 gms butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
15 gms parsley, finely chopped
2 sage leaves
100 gms pancetta, cubed
2 celery stalks, halved then sliced
2 carrots, sliced
3 potatoes, peeled
1 tsp tomato paste
3 roma tomatoes chopped or 400 gm tin chopped tomatoes
8 basil leaves
3 litres chicken or vegetable stock
2 zucchinis, sliced
220 gms shelled peas
120 gms green beans, cut into bite sized lengths
1/4 cabbage shredded
150 g small pasta
6 tablespoons pesto
grated parmesian cheese
1. Put the borlotti beans in a large bowl, cover with cold water and leave to soak overnight.
2. Next morning, drain and rinse thoroughly under water.
3. Melt butter in a large saucepan and add the onion, garlic, parsley, sage and pancetta.  Cook over a low heat, stirring once or twice, for about 10 minutes, or until the onion is soft and golden.
4. Add the celery, carrot and potatoes and cook for 5 minutes.  Stir in the tomato paste, tomatoes, basil, and borlotti beans. Season with plenty of freshly ground pepper.
5.  Add stock and bring slowly to a boil.  Cover and leave to simmer for 2 hours stirring once or twice.
6.  If the potatoes have not broken up, roughly break them up with a fork against the side of the pan.  Taste for seasoning and add zucchini, peas, beans, cabbage and pasta.  Simmer until the pasta is al dente.
7.  Serve with a dollup of pesto and Parmesan.
Source - Slow Cooking by Joanne Glynn

Summer Vegetable Stock

Ingredients1 tbsp olive oil 1 tbsp butter 1 onion, chopped into ¼ inch squares 8 branches parsley, roughly chopped 2 bay leaves Several large basil leaves Several branches of thyme 2 medium carrots, diced 4 celery stalks and leaves, roughly chopped 2 tomatoes, roughly chopped Leek tops Onion tops 1 handful green beans, roughly chopped 4 chard leaves and their stems, roughly chopped 1 tsp salt 8 whole cloves (optional) 8 whole peppercorns (optional) 2 litres cold water

Method 1.    Heat butter and oil in a large saucepan. Add onions and herbs.  Cook briskly over medium heat for several minutes to lightly colour the onion, stirring as needed; then add other vegetables. 2.    Cook them for 12 – 15 minutes, then add water, bring to a boil, and simmer for 45 minutes. 3.    Strain the stock.  If it is to be used in pasta or a stew, you can reduce it further to intensify the flavour.