A life of health and wellness…with kids!


2 Comments

Why I won’t be buying a Thermomix

THermomix free zone

Thermomix Free Zone

Yes – you heard me correctly – this post is all about why I decided not to buy a Thermomix.

A few months ago I had the opportunity to go along to a Thermomix demonstration – and let me tell you I was hooked. I came away from the demo and I desperately wanted one of those things. It was just amazing…You could do so many things with it and it was so speedy…and such little amounts of washing up…

So off I went an began to plot how on earth I could possibly begin to afford one of these gadgets. But here’s the thing..in my life right now I could simply not justify the near $2000 cost for a machine that did everything I could already do with the gadgets I already had at home.

I still wanted one.

But as the weeks of my obesession wore on I started to do some research into people who had a Thermomix and did not like it or didn’t use it as much as they thought they would. I started reading things that I found myself nodding along to. What kind of cooking did I do? Lots of quick things – stir frys and grilled meats; lots of long slow cooked things – set and forget stews etc; baking baking baking…using my Kitchen Aid stand mixer. Real cooking with real ingredients that I chop by hand because I enjoy the process of chopping and stirring and cooking.

How would this gadget fit into the way that I cook right now? It just wouldn’t. I had a multi function cooker that is a slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer and risotto maker in one. I had a Kitchen Aid food processer and Stand Mixer, I have a Vitamix blender with the dry blending canister for making nut flours and other grain processing. I already made my own yoghurt with the Easiyo. I can make Custard on the stovetop. I can make bread dough by hand. There was nothing  that I needed to spend $2000 on a machine to do for me that I didn’t already have the capacity to do.

I completely understand the value if you do not already have all of these gadgets in your kitchen, or if you have a very small kitchen and need to maximise gadget for space capacity, or you didn’t already cook most things from scratch and you were wanting to learn – but for me – the investment would have simply been one of ‘Keeping up with the Jones’s’. So I came to my senses and decided against it.

I think they are a great gadget for the right person – just not for me.

So that’s why I won’t be buying a Thermomix.

Andjxx

 

 


3 Comments

Cooking From Scratch

68012622_ciwblvla_c

 

** This post originally appeared on one of my blogs from well back in the day – this week I am doing a retrospective of some past writing – I hope you enjoy!**

We had a little lunch gathering for a few friends yesterday – not quite like the picture above – but hey I am dreaming of summer and being able to spend serious amounts of time outdoors!

We cooked up a  bit of an Indian feast including a couple of vegetarian curries (Eggplant and Chickpea as well as this Aloo Gobi ). We also made a Goat Madras – yes you read right – Goat.

Back in our pre-children days we regularly went to a great Indian restaurant in Brisbane called A Night in India (High st, Toowong – I thoroughly recommend!). My husband and his friends regularly ordered a goat dish for the novelty factor – and really it is a novelty. It doesn’t taste all that different to Lamb!

For the first time I went to a specialty spice store and bought a authentic Indian madras spice blend. If you have never been to one of these places they are quite an eye opener – all the things you can buy in bulk! Rice and Spices…. but I digress. I think that doing this made such a big difference to the flavour of the curry – it was perfect!  Add rice and poppadums – we were all very happy! If anyone is interested I improvised basing the curry on a combination of this Goat curry recipe and this one.

I found it interesting to hear one of our friends telling the other girl (Who I had only met once before briefly) that I make everything from scratch (she was referring to the pumpkin hummus that I made). Is it that strange to cook from scratch? Is that a reflection of the quick and easy society that we live in?

I cook most things from scratch for a number of reasons:

– so that I know what has gone into the food – no chemicals, additives or preservatives.

– so that my children see cooking and preparing food as a normal part of growing up and that we don’t always just go to the shop when we want something.

– value for money!

So I’ll leave you with the Eggplant and Chickpea curry recipe – but tell me –

Do you prefer to make things from scratch???

Eggplant and Chickpea Curry

Serves 4 as a main

2 medium Eggplant

200g Green Beans

1 onion – diced

1 Tin chickpeas

1 tin Lentils

1.5 tbls Tamarind paste

2 Cups water

1 tbls yellow mustard seeds

2 tbls Garam marsala

200ml Coconut milk

Rogan Josh curry spice blend

2 tbls minced ginger

1 tblsp minced garlic

Method

Chop eggplant into 3 – 4 cm cubes, spray with olive oil spray and cook in a 200 degree celcius (180 fan forced) oven for 20mins.

Place the onion, garlic and ginger in a pan with approx 2 tbls olive oil – cook gently until the onion starts to  brown. Add the mustard seeds and Garam Marsala and cook until fragrant (about 1 min). Add spice blend and mix through thoroughly. Add tamarind and water and stir through. Allow to cook down and reduce slightly. Add eggplant, lentils, chickpeas and beans and cook for around 10 minutes, stirring regularly. Add coconut milk in the last 5 minutes.

Serve with Basmati rice!

post signature


Leave a comment

:: Healthy Dinners:: The story of a Pizza thats Amore

Pizza is a fairly regular meal choice in our home – which you may think is a strange choice for someone who supposedly encourages a healthy lifestyle. I actually think that Pizza done well is an excellent and wholesome meal. Let me elaborate further.

When you make your own pizza from scratch or you purchase it from someone else who you know also makes their pizzas in a traditional manner and from scratch, using fresh ingredients – you can usually find that particular pizza is full of fresh goodness. Whole foods and the absolute freshest ingredients are key. As is making your dough from scratch. And not using TOO much cheese.

I really enjoy the whole process of the pizza coming together. Making Pizza dough – like bread is a bit of an art and every recipe you find seems to be slightly different. Also like bread, it does take a little practice before you begin to get the feel for the dough.

Pizza This dough is so needy!

This dough is so needy!

Kneading the dough in itself can be a challenge sometimes – it is always a balance between the stickiness of the dough before the gluten starts to take effect and makes it become all stretch and smooth and lovely and not using too much flour on your hads to stop the said stick doug from, well… sticking.

Then you walk away and let all that yeasty goodness do it’s work.

Pizza Dough Rising

Dough Rising

I actually drove all the way over to the other side of town to pick something up while this dough was rising! Talk about multitasking!

Punch it down, give it another knead, lightly spray some oil on the pizza tray and the roll and stretch out the dough to fit. I just love the organic-ness of homemade Pizza dough.

Pizza Rolled and Ready

Rolled and Ready

Add your toppings of choice – a good guide is a little meat and a lot of vege! Then a smattering of cheese (I *may* have had more than a smattering here given that bocconcini was one of my toppings.)

Pizza Nearly Ready

Nearly Ready

We did have a slight pause at this point as I discovered that while I thought I had turned the oven on, the little munchkin had actually pre-programmed it by randomly pressing buttons and it hadn’t preheated at all. So 45 minutes and a little bit of gardening later, here you have it!

Pizza Yum

Yum!

xxAndj

What is your favourite sometimes food dinner?