Chicken and Chinese mushroom meatballs with vegetables and soba noodles

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So delicious! If you love the idea of lots of herbs and vegetables in your meals, and you delight in spicy Asian flavours, then please try this gorgeous one bowl meal.
In all honesty, I made it up as I went along, as I usually do.
If you’re brave enough, please do the same. Use sweetrosie’s recipe as a roadmap, and then delight in doing your own thing.
Here’s what I did.
First I made the meatballs.
Soak 4 Chinese mushrooms in boiling water and set aside.

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Into a large bowl:
500g chicken mince
1 egg
2 tbsp each, minced onion, garlic and ginger
1 cup shredded herbs of your choice. I used dandelion, coriander and mint
2 tbsp hoisin sauce or kecak manis
The soaked mushrooms, squeezed out and finely chopped
Mix together very thoroughly and shape into golf ball size balls.
It’s actually easier if you have your hot pan ready and just form the balls and drop straight into the pan.
This works best with very soft mixtures like this.
I fried the balls, on medium heat, in 2 tbsp of coconut oil.
Resist the temptation to poke and prod at them until they firm up.
While the meatballs are cooking, prepare around 4 cups of vegetables.
Your choice. Use your favourites.
I chose to use :
Broccoli
Broccoli stems
Red capsicum
Red onion
Carrot
Dandelion

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You can now also prepare your soba noodles.
The ones I used just required a quick soak in boiling water. Check the package for details. Dried ones usually require some cooking.
Everything is now just wonderful, and you’re well on your way to deliciousness.
Remove the cooked meatballs from the pan and set aside.
Stir fry your vegetables until cooked to your liking.
On top of your cooked vegetables, tip your meatballs and drained noodles. Don’t try to mix yet.
Now add your seasoning /sauce.
I used:
1/4 hot chilli sauce
4 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce
1/4 cup lime juice
Here’s where you create your own bespoke, signature dish. Just think about your favourite flavours, have a rustle around the fridge and pantry, and be brave.
If it helps at all. Tasty, satisfying Asian meals often combine the following elements of flavour :
Hot
Sweet
Sour
Salty
You choose the proportion of each element, it’s your call.
Gently, gently, gently lift and toss your pan full of loveliness together before serving out into bowls.
I garnished with :
Lime cheeks
Shredded mint
Chopped peanuts
Sesame seeds

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I hope you get the chance to try my recipe or even better, make your own signature variation of this tasty dish.
It really was a treat.
Wishing you love and good food.
’till next time
sweetrosie

Backyard Chickens

I know not everyone can keep chickens, and that’s a shame, especially if you are passionate about sustainable living and the food you eat.
Fresh eggs, from ethically raised hens are so much tastier than any you can buy from the shops.

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I can’t remember a time when I haven’t kept hens. Don’t get me wrong, they take some looking after, and I have to admit, chasing them around and around the garden, when they escape their coop, isn’t much fun…
They’ve been doing that a bit lately. Hopping the fence and loitering around the back door, gurgling and staring at me.
You see, hens, like ladies with pms, are always, always up for a tasty snack.
They love variety in their diet :kitchen scraps, handfuls of edible weeds, and this very special treat, that sometimes I make them when the weather is cold and I want to let them know how much I appreciate their beautiful eggs.

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It’s simple really, just cheap supermarket oats, greens and anything from the pantry that needs to be used up /discarded. Out of date seeds, nuts, grains and the like. I add in some antioxidant rich greens, soak the lot in boiling water and serve it up when it reaches room temperature.
Truly, they chuckle and coo, and just gobble it up. I swear a happy hen lays more eggs too. Just like us, a bland, monotonous diet saps ones spirit and energy.
Look at this beautiful gift: yes, I am blessed.

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Wishing you a blessed weekend, filled with everything that is happy and good.
’till next time
sweetrosie x

All You Need is Chocolate…

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Adelaide : it’s cold, it’s raining, and I haven’t been able to walk for 3 days now.
I have doubled up my strength training but really, I’m starting to get twitchy.
Unfortunately, this mood has come with a desire to go to bed with coffee and a packet of biscuits…
I could be so happy with my books and my crunchy, sweety munchies.
But I wouldn’t be happy, not really.
The part of me that remains mindful knows this.
However, I cannot deny that, at this moment in time, I need comfort via food.
As I saw it, I had two choices.
I could succumb to urges I know I would later regret, or, I can use the brain I’ve been given and find a solution to this situation.
A solution that doesn’t compromise my program or my desire for comfort in the tummy.
Comfort in the tummy leads to a soothed and comforted mind.
This chocolate, banana and peanut butter smoothie was my solution.
1 large banana
1 tbsp peanut butter
1 tbsp cacao nibs
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp raw honey
1 tbsp flaxseed
Water

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Very filling, very soothing, very delicious.
It was rounded, smooth sensation in a drink: no jarring, acidy fruits, no ice cubes, just sweet, lush and smooth.
I’m not in bed and I’m not eating biscuits. Just saying…
Have a wonderful weekend.
’till next time
sweetrosie x

Eat Your Broccoli Stalks

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With the same nutritional profile as the tasty top florets, why is it that so often broccoli stalks are relegated to the compost bin?
I know why, because for many years, I chopped off the tops and threw away the stalks too.
Number #1 reason is unfamiliarity.
We tend to cook what we know, and my childhood meals did not include the stalks of broccoli, cauliflower or cabbage.
The “choicest”, most delicate and refined part of the vegetable was selected and prepared, with the rest of the plant considered an preparation offcut.
Fair enough. But then things changed…
A different focus on my own eating meant a different approach to what was available.
And suddenly, I’d discovered a “new”  vegetable!
Let me share with you.
As mentioned, the stalk contains all the nutrients of the top, plus extra fibre.
I loved the idea of including even more of this massively nutritious vegetable in my meals.
I also love the bulk and substance the stalks offer.
Eating low carb, it’s great to have that extra substance. The cellulose fibre that makes stalks more robust, is the same fibre that will fill your tummy and promote digestive health.
Stalks makes the meal more filling and as importantly, more interesting to eat.
The stalks roast particularly well too.
This is a huge bonus : roasted vegetables, cooked in coconut oil, are a delicious offering, that most people enjoy.

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Love your stalks. They want to love you.
Eat them, feel the love.
Remember, you’ve already paid for them.
Have a wonderful weekend.
’till next time
sweetrosie x

Quinoa and Roast Sweet Potato Salad

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I’ve called it “salad”, but in all honesty, this delicious dish is so much nicer served at room temperature.
Perfect for my vegan friends, it also makes a perfectly delicious side dish, and packs well for lunch boxes.
Quantities can be loosely interpreted :the magic comes from the superb combination of flavours, lovingly combined into a healthful, delicious dish that pleases all the senses.
1kg sweet potato
1 large red capsicum
1/2 cup raw quinoa. See note.
3 tablespoons coconut or olive oil
2 crushed cloves of local garlic
1 cup of roughly chopped flat leaf parsley
Juice of 2 lemons
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
*Note: the quinoa must be soaked in cold water for an hour or so before cooking, so take this into account. Cooking is simples! Add to boiling water, and cook rapidly until tender, around 20 minutes. Drain and whilst still in the sieve/colander, run cold water over to rapidly cool and refresh. Drain well and set aside.

Ok, making the delicious salad.
Quinoa is done, so onto the next stage.
First things first.
Heat the oven to 200C, and put the quinoa in cold water to soak.
Get a big bowl, and fill it with cold water and a splash of lemon juice. This is for your sweet potatoes. If you drop them into this lemon water as you peel them, the rate at which they’ll oxidise and get those ugly black spots will be greatly reduced.
If your coconut oil is solid, gently melt. I usually do this by sitting a cup with my oil in it, in a bowl of boiling water.
Peel and chop your sweet potato, dropping the pieces into the lemon water as you go.
Don’t make the pieces too small, they’ll up falling apart on you.
When they are all done, dry off with a tea towel and spread out, in a single layer (or close enough to) in a roasting pan.
You don’t have to be too anxious about the single layer thing. Just remember, too much potato jumbled up will release more moisture, which means more steam, which ultimately means not so much roasted, as boiled sweet potato.
The dry heat of the oven needs a chance to caress and love on as much surface area of your potato as possible.
Sprinkle the potato with salt and pepper.
Pour over your oil, and using your hands, make sure each piece in the pan is coated. Just smile and jumble them all about. The oil will be lovely for your hands too. Bonus.
Into the oven, maybe 1 hour, maybe 40 minutes. Life’s like that, so many variables…
How long they take doesn’t matter, and can’t really be nailed down, but, you’ll know. The edges will be a little charred in places, and the insides, tender.
To stop them sticking, and to turn them during cooking, don’t bother trying to use tongs, you’ll break them up, and upset yourself.
Just grab the pan and carefully, but decisively shake. Loosens and turns perfectly.
While they’re roasting, wash and cut your capsicum into fairly generous strips.
You want to roast the capsicum for 20 – 30 minutes, so use your judgement and toss it in with the potatoes when the time is right.
When the vegetables are cooked, and straight out of the oven, add the garlic and half of the parsley.
The residual heat is enough to take the raw edge off the garlic and wilt the parsley.
Tip over the cooked quinoa and pour over the lemon juice.
Using your hands, again, gently, but thoroughly combine.
Taste it, see if it needs anything.
More salt or pepper?
Maybe more lemon?
Add as you see fit. This is your dish, it belongs to you. Make it taste the way you want it to taste.
All that is left for you to do now is to tip it out onto a platter and sprinkle with the remaining parsley.
Serve with love.

Have a wonderful week. Eat beautiful, because you are what you eat.
’till next time
sweetrosie  x

Self Love and Nourishment

“Tell me what you eat and I will tell you who you are.” Jean Anthelme Brillat – Savarin (1775 – 1826)

It was while substantiating this oft repeated quote by the man considered by many the founder of modern gastronomy, that I came across another he’d offered.
A poignant quote that urged the tired, the defeated and the lovelorn, to take comfort in the restorative powers of chocolate.
His astute words remind us that there are times in life when one must rely on  sensual impulse, maybe even intuition, to soothe and nourish ones self with food.
I love chocolate, and indeed ate chocolate tonight.
Thank you Monsieur Brillat – Savarin, you’re right, I felt better.
However, it is also an definable act of self love when we can apply those same intuitive responses to our daily food choices.
I am the first to admit, I can be a lazy eater.
I live alone, time gets away from me, life gets busy.
All factors that at times seem to shrink my food choices down to variations on just a couple of themes.
Hence, the smoothie.
Nourishing, comforting, fast and pleasing to the senses, they just work for me.
This one pleased me much.
Dates
Banana
Strawberry
Flaxseed
Almond
Raw honey
Coconut oil

I wish you peace, comfort and good nourishment : for your body and for your spirit.
’till next time
sweetrosie x

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Amped Smoothie

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Not just another smoothie post…
You know I love them.
I just can’t think of a easier, more delicious way to keep up my fruit and coconut oil consumption.
But, I have had to concede, my smoothies could be better.
You see, using an inexpensive bullet style blender meant I didn’t really have the option to include more of the “good stuff.”
Nutrient dense ingredients like :
Leafy vegetables, such as spinach, lettuce and kale.
Powerfully beneficial, (and with natural diuretic properties) plants like celery and parsley.
Seeds such as flax, pumpkin, sunflower and chia.
Nuts too : particularly almonds, brazils and walnuts.
My little blender would have spluttered to a permanent stop.
Well, times have changed!
sweetrosie has acquired a very powerful new bullet blender and it pleases her greatly.
This powerful little machine can not only reduce nuts and fibrous vegetables to a very fine form for your smoothies , it also comes with a milling blade for flours, nut butters and the like.
I luurve it!
What’s in the jug today? I’m glad you asked :
Spinach mix with carrot and beetroot.
Banana
Golden kiwi
Red grapes (including the nutritious seeds and stems)
Raspberries
Coconut oil
Almonds
Water
Coconut milk
Yes, it’s a hella lot of smoothie, but on the weekend, it’s breakfast and lunch, sipped at my leisure.
Maybe you’ll see one on special, or maybe someone will ask you what you want for your birthday.
Don’t hesitate, just do it. I don’t think you’ll regret it.
Because, all I can say is, why didn’t I do this sooner?

Have a wonderful weekend, eat beautiful, be beautiful.
“till next time
sweetrosie x