Hot List of Food Specialities of Cairns

Hot List of Food Specialities of Cairns with Dominique Rizzo’s Chef’s TourHot List of Food Specialities Cairns - rainforest

Daintree Vanilla and Spice,
Napier Rd, Redbank

Based in the Daintree Rainforest, directors George and Josette Gonthier have used skills and techniques handed down through generations, transforming a much-loved hobby into a full-scale commercial business as one of the first commercial growers and producers of some of Australia’s finest vanilla beans.

Working closely with the University of Western Sydney on a unique system to process the vanilla beans, results have proved a more superior quality bean than what is currently being imported into Australia with optimum vanillin content.
Hot List of Food Specialities Cairns - Vanilla pods
The future is bright for Daintree Vanilla & Spice with plans to develop a range of vanilla by-products such as essences, powders, tea, coffee and perfume, as well as a range of other spices. They are working towards becoming Certified Organic by the National Association of Sustainable Agriculture, the nation’s leading organic certifier. They recently took out the coveted ‘ABC Delicious Produce Award, From The Earth’ for their ground cinnamon and were the only Queensland producer on the podium in 2014. Celebrity chef Maggie Beer is also a regular purchaser of the award-winning cinnamon.       3 pot plants


Hot List of Food Specialities Cairns #2

Rainforest Bounty at Platypus Eco Bend
66 Lindsay Rd, Malanda

Dr Geraldine McGuire and husband Atherton (Athy) Nye call home to an 80 acre property located adjacent to the Wet Tropics World Heritage area on Queensland’s Atherton Tableland. Geraldine is an environmental scientist and talented cook who has lived, worked and travelled extensively throughout Asia, the Pacific, Europe and the Middle East.

Hot List of Food Specialities Cairns - Dom and Geraldine McGuireThe jewel of their Platypus Bend Eco Retreat is 40 acres of tropical rainforest. In the Café, Geraldine presents her cooking demonstration using the best seasonal ingredients available from their luxuriant native fruit orchids, kitchen gardens and rainforest offerings to harvest the.
Hot List of Food Specialities Cairns - Fruit and orchids

Hot List of Food Specialities Cairns #3

Tarzali Lakes Smokehouse Cafe
Lot 3 Millaa Millaa-Malanda Rd, Tarzali

Peter Whiddett’s vision of an integrated aquaculture and tourism park became a reality some 10 years ago on his return from Asia where he acquired his experience in aquaculture.

Peter has developed the Tarzali Lakes property from a run down dairy farm to a fully operational commercial aquaculture and tourism enterprise.

The Smokehouse Café is where smokehouse master, Dave Hoffman, an experienced third generation master butcher, is at his best. Dave’s list of meat industry accredited awards includes two state Sausage King gold medals plus his selection as one of Australia’s most innovative butchers by Meat and Livestock Australia in 2002.
Hot List of Food Specialities Cairns -  salami on plateHot List of Food Specialities Cairns - cheese platter

Hot List of Food Specialities Cairns #4

Gallo Dairyland
Malanda Rd & East Barron Rd, East Barron

Gallo Dairyland is a family owned business spread across 1000 acres of rich red volcanic soil, the dairy farm milks on average 500 cows twice a day. The farm has been converted into an integrated educational dairy farm experience and visitors experience how the old age method of cheese making has evolved to become a complex and innovative process, developing new and unusual cheeses, alongside the old favourites.

The dairy also houses handcrafted chocolates made from the finest Swiss couverture, on display at the café/restaurant. The chocolatier works her magic to create a beautiful assortment.

Hot List of Food Specialities Cairns - cows






Hot List of Food Specialities Cairns #5

Mt Uncle Distillery
1819 Chewko Rd, Walkamin

Mt. Uncle Distillery has built an impeccable reputation in producing award-winning premium liqueurs and spirits and is North Queensland’s first and only distillery, securing themselves as a premier attraction on the Atherton Tablelands.

Set in landscaped gardens on a banana, avocado and macadamia plantation, Mt. Uncle Distillery is as pleasant on your eyes as it is on your taste buds. Products include marshmallow liqueur, gin, rum, vodka and whiskey.

Hot List of Food Specialities Cairns - banner of drinks10 nibbles11wall plant




Best Ways for Children to Play with Their Food and Eat It Too

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Best Ways for Children to Play with Their Food and eat it too - Rabbits' heads

Best Ways for Children to Play with Their Food and eat it too

Chef Dominique Rizzo gets creative in workshops for pre-school aged children aged from 3 to 5 years. “6 Best Ways for Children to Play with Their Food and eat it too” is gluten free and sugar free. It’s a great way to re-ignite children’s interest in eating vegetables and fruit for those who usually leave it untouched. Workshops are conducted in shopping centres and child care centres.

Best Ways for Children to Play with Their Food and eat it too  #1

Best Ways for Children to Play with Their Food and eat it too - egg bird1. “Edible Food Faces” – a dynamic creative workshop for kids to learn skills to be creative with the food they eat and to introduce them through art and creativity to new foods that they may not be familiar with. This is also a great class to inspire parents to get creative with snack and lunch ideas for their little ones. This workshop will give children aged 3-5 an opportunity to make a variety of faces out of foods using a range of fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains, noodles and soft cheeses. They will have an opportunity to use a variety of creative utensils such as cutters, vegetable spiralizers, peelers, pasta cutters, tooth picks, chopping boards and child friendly implements to get really creative with the food they are eating and to encourage children to get excited about fresh wholesome foods.


Best Ways for Children to Play with Their Food and eat it too  #2

Best Ways for Children to Play with Their Food and eat it too - pear porcupine

2. “Food That Grows” – Get creative with your children to make edible flowers and animals using fresh fruits, vegetables and whole foods. This is a fun and interactive workshop that will inspire your children to enjoy eating fresh foods and also to expand their creativity in the kitchen. Ideal for ages 3-5 years, this workshop will help children with basic food preparation skills while bringing a variety of foods onto their plates. With a focus on interactive play activities, this is a workshop that will be enjoyed by parents and children alike to create healthy snack ideas.


Best Ways for Children to Play with Their Food and eat it too  #3

3. “ Eggstraordinary Food Toys” – this is a fun and funny workshop creating wonderful edible toys with the humble boiled egg. Using other ingredients such as fruits, vegetables and fresh wholefoods we give your children the opportunity to use their imagination to create chickens, roosters, mice eating cheese, baby carriages and cars all out of eggs. This is an ideal workshop for children aged 3-5 to create their own fun kindy or school lunches or morning and afternoon snacks.

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Best Ways for Children to Play with Their Food and eat it too  #4

4. “Edible Food Art” – Join us for a wonderful workshop using all edible fresh fruits, vegetables and whole foods to create works of art, using a range of different mediums your children will have the opportunity to create food paintings and collages using all types of interesting edible foods. An ideal workshop for 3-5 years old, this will be one that you and your child will love to interact with and replicate at home. Best Ways for Children to Play with Their Food and eat it too - fruit kebabs






Best Ways for Children to Play with Their Food and eat it too  #5

5. “Food that Moves” – Get creative with your children to make edible cars, trucks and carriages using fruits, vegetables and whole foods. This is a fun and interactive workshop that will inspire your children to enjoy eating fresh foods and also to expand their creativity in the kitchen. Ideal for ages 3-5 years, this workshop will help children with basic food preparation skills while bringing a variety of foods onto their plates. With a focus on interactive play activities, this is a workshop that will be enjoyed by parents and children alike to create healthy snack ideas.

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Best Ways for Children to Play with Their Food and eat it too  #6

6. “ Making Edible Play Dough” – In this creative workshop we will teach you how to make edible play dough and engage in creating interactive play with your child. Edible play dough ignites all of the senses through touch, smell and taste and also gives them something they can snack on. We make fresh spinach, pumpkin and almond play dough using all natural ingredients and colours. Using other ingredients such as fruits, vegetables and fresh wholefoods as well as an assortment of cutters, kitchen gadgets and tools, makes for a wonderful workshop for children aged 3-5 years old and a great way to teach them about making edible fun fresh food.

Best Ways for Children to Play with Their Food and eat it too - playdough

All items, utensils and ingredients will be supplied on the day.

Best Ways for Children to Play with Their Food and eat it too- kidsin action Image 7b dough Resize

Grain Power

Grain Power
Quinoa is a rich (protein) seed that has a fluffy, creamy, slightly crunchy texture and a somewhat nutty flavour when cooked.

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Most commonly considered a grain, quinoa is actually a relative of leafy green vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard.

It is a recently rediscovered ancient “grain” once considered “the gold of the Incas” that has been cultivated for over 5,000 years. The Incas considered it a sacred food and referred to it as the “mother seed.” As happens throughout history, things changed when the Spanish conquerors destroyed the fields in which quinoa was grown; made it illegal for the Indians to grow quinoa. The cultivation of quinoa was all but extinguished.

Now we are lucky enough to be enjoying it and its health benefits in the 21st century.
Eating quinoa on a regular basis is known to help ease migraine headaches, relax blood vessels for cardiovascular health, provide antioxidant protection by guarding other cells, such as red blood cells, from injury caused by free radicals and is an excellent source of fibre, protective against breast cancer.

For a lovely toasted flavour to the grain, try rinsing the quinoa and then toasting it to get rid of the green, raw, and slightly bitter taste this grain may have.

Both of these salads are fabulous for at-home or take-to-work lunches and they are both really easy to prepare when you don’t have much time to cook but want a really healthy option.

Quinoa Salad with Broccoli and Feta

2 RSZ Quinoa close up

Serves 2
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes

• ½ cup of quinoa
• 100g broccolini or broccoli florets
• 2 shallots sliced
• 1/3-cup sun dried tomatoes, drained of most of the oil, chopped
• 50g feta cheese, crumbled
• 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
• 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice
• 1 tsp. honey
• 2 teaspoons of olive oil
• Salt and pepper

1. Place the quinoa into a saucepan and cover with water; bring the water to the boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 12-15 minutes.
2. In the last 8-9 minutes, add in the asparagus and the broccoli and continue cooking until all of the liquid has been cooked out.
3. Tip the quinoa and the vegetables into a bowl and allow to cool.
4. Add in the sun dried tomatoes, feta cheese and sunflower seeds. Combine the ingredients for the dressing and serve.
5. You could also add 75 grams of cooked protein or cooked legumes to this salad.

Sicilian-Style Wild Grain Salad
3 RSZ Dom veg side view

Serves 6
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 17 minutes

• 10 sun-dried tomatoes, sliced
• 1/3 cup roasted capsicum, sliced
• 8 black olives chopped
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 8 cups shredded Swiss chard or wild greens
• 3/4-teaspoon salt
• 2 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained * (or a mixture of quinoa, millet and brown rice)
• 1/2-teaspoon pepper
• 1/2 cup pine nuts, roasted
• 1/3 cup golden raisins
• 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Place the toasted rinsed quinoa into a saucepan and cover with water and bring to a boil. Cook the quinoa until the grain slightly swells and is soft to the bite. Drain the quinoa and set aside.
2. Heat the olive oil in a fry pan and sauté the onions, garlic and spinach for 2 minutes or until softened. Combine the quinoa with the spinach mixture in a bowl and add all the other ingredients, adjust the seasoning and drizzle in a little olive oil.

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Other salad options – substitute your favourite salad leaves and vegetables for those listed here.

Nourishing Millet Recipes

Millet is an ancient wholesome grain from the grass family growing on long soft textured stems. Different countries around the world are using millet in such interesting ways – as puffed millet snack slices in Japan, as sweetened porridge in Russian and as roti in India or simply added to winter soups and stews. It is also used in fermented drinks and foods and over the past few years the popularity of the grain has been growing, especially in gluten-free diets.   Rediscovering nourishing millet recipes is exciting and I love to cook with it as a nutritious alternative alternative to other grains. The raw seed millet is easily accessible in health food shops but make sure you buy the grain intended for human consumption, as the millet sold for pet food has the indigestible outer hull.

Eaten in moderation, millet gets the thumbs up for benefits of supporting a healthy heart, repairing body tissue and lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes due to its magnesium and phosphorus content.

Here are three of my favourite easy and delicious nourishing millet recipes for you to try.

Nourishing millet recipes - Pear and ginger loaf and jars of grains
Toasted millet and ginger poached pear bread with walnut and coconut granola

This little number is terrific served warm or at room temperature, on its own or with a dob of yoghurt.
Serving size: 12 Adults
Difficulty: Easy
☐ Prep: 30 minutes
☐ Cook: 60 minutes
Poached pears:
• 1lt clear all natural apple juice
• 2 tbsps. minced ginger
• 1 cinnamon stick
• 3 Packham pears peeled, cored and cut into eighths

• 1 cup millet
• 1 egg
• ½ cup sour cream
• 1 cup almond milk or cows milk
• ½ cup quark
• ½ cup organic panella sugar (or brown sugar or white sugar)
• ½ tsp. vanilla bean paste or 1 tsp. of essence
• 1 cup whole wheat flour
• 1 cup self-raising spelt flour
• 1 ½ tsp. baking powder
• ¼ tsp. salt

Walnut Granola:                                                                                                                                              Nourishing millet recipes - Pear and ginger loaf slice
• 1 ½ cups walnuts broken up in your hands
• 3 tablespoons organic panella sugar
• 1/3 cup spelt oats
• ¼ cup coconut
• ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 100g organic melted butter

Recipe Steps:
1. Preheat oven to 170c fan forced. Line a loaf tin so that there is a 3cm high boarder above the top of the tin.
2. Combine the apple juice, ginger, cinnamon stick and the sliced pears in a pot making sure that the pears are covered and bring it to the boil. Turn off the heat and cover the pears, leaving them to cool in the liquid. Once cooled, drain the pears from the apple juice, chilling the apple juice down and using it for a refreshing drink, and set the pears aside.
3. Place the millet into a frypan and toast it over a moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and just beginning to pop, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove ¼ cup of the millet and set the rest aside to cool. In a bowl whisk together the egg, sour cream, milk, quark and the vanilla and in a separate bowl combine in the flours with the baking powder, bicarb soda and cinnamon. Add the poached pear slices to the flour mix then pour in the egg; milk and quark mix and gently fold through the ingredients until just combined.
4. For the walnut granola combine all the ingredients including the set aside millet into a bowl and mix to coat with the butter. Pour the batter into the tin and heavily top the loaf with the walnut granola.
5. Bake the loaf covered with foil for 40 minutes then remove the foil and bake for a further 20 minutes until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Nourishing millet recipes - Puffed Millet chia and honey squares

Puffed Millet Chia and Honey Squares
I am always fossicking in my pantry and giving myself a Ready Steady Cook challenge. I will often pick random ingredients that I may not have used in a while and creating something with them, this time it was puffed millet! I picked this up in a health food store to mix in with my muesli and have had half a bag sitting on my shelves for a while. This is almost liked puffed wheat a cereal that as a young child I can remember always eating.
Makes 20 squares
• 4 cups of Puffed millet
• 1 cup desiccated coconut
• 2 tblsp chia seeds (available from the supermarket in the health food isle)
• 50g of almond flakes (toast these in a pan over moderate heat until golden)
• 135g organic butter (you can also use coconut oil)
• 4 tblsp honey
• ½ cup natural brown sugar (rapadura sugar can be bought from the health food shop, or you can also use coconut sugar)
• ½ tsp vanilla
• 60g 70% dark chocolate
1. Place the dried ingredients into a bowl together and stir. In a small saucepan combine the honey, butter, sugar and vanilla and bring to the boil, simmer for 3 minutes then pour this into the puffed millet, almonds and coconut. Line a 20cm x 30cm tine and with slightly wet hands press the mixture into the tin until evenly distributed.
2. Melt the chocolate and drizzle over the top. You can set this in the fridge but it will also set out of the fridge. Store in the fridge or in an airtight container.

Spiced Pumpkin, Millet and Quark Muffins

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

Serves: 12 AdultsNourishing millet recipes - Spiced pumpkin, millet and quark muffins
• 270g pumpkin, peeled, seeded and diced
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• Salt and pepper
• 1/2 cup millet
• 1 egg
• 1/2 cup sour cream
• 1 cup milk
• ½ cup quark*
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
• 2 teaspoon curry powder
• 1 tablespoon Za’atar spice*
• Good handful of spinach

1. Preheat oven to 180c. Place paper liners in a 12-cup muffin pan; set aside.
2. Place the diced pumpkin onto a tray and drizzle with the oil, season with salt and pepper and roast for 30 minutes. Remove the pumpkin from the oven and allow to cool.
3. Heat a large pan over medium high heat. Add millet and toast, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and just beginning to pop, 3 to 4 minutes. Set the millet aside to cool.
4. In a bowl whisk together the egg, sour cream, milk and the quark and in a separate bowl, then add in the flours with the baking powder, bicarb soda and the spices. Toss the pumpkin into the flour along with the chopped spinach and the millet and toss together covering the pumpkin with the flour.
5. Gently fold the egg mixture into the flour until just combined. Spoon batter into the muffin tins and bake until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the muffins comes out clean or they spring back when pressed, about 20 minutes. Allow muffins to cool in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack or serve warm with your favourite relish.

Other: Makes 1 dozen muffins that are suitable for freezing.

Redefining Eggs

Eggs for protein

Eating eggs 2-3 times a week is a great way to enjoy lean healthy protein.

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Protein is made up of amino acids which are the building blocks of our bodies with hormones, skin, blood cells and muscles all relying on a regular supply of amino acids. Including lean proteins in each meal is a great way to keep you feeling fuller for longer helping to prevent that afternoon snacking usually on sugary or high fat foods.  Ideally as part of your lean protein intake the recommended amount of protein is 1-3 serves a day.

1 serve of protein is :

(100g raw) or 65g cooked lean red meats such as beef, lamb, veal, pork, goat or kangaroo

(100g raw) 80g cooked lean poultry such as chicken or turkey

(115g raw) 100g cooked fish fillet or one small 95g can of tuna or salmon in spring water or sardines

2 large (120g) eggs

1 cup (150g) cooked or canned legumes/beans such as lentils, chick peas or split peas (preferably with no added salt or sugar)

170g firm or silken tofu

30g (10 only almonds), sunflower or pumpkin seeds, natural peanut or almond butter or tahini or other nut or seed paste (no added salt sugar or fat)* (limit these to only once a day)

 Tips on choosing fresh eggs

When buying eggs, do your best to buy free range or organic, always check the carton making sure that all eggs are in tact.

Store the eggs in the fridge and to check if an egg is fresh, place it into a bowl of water, if it sinks its fresh, if it floats then it needs to be discarded, if it is in between, then eat within a couple of days.

When in doubt always crack an egg into another container before adding it into your other ingredients or into the pan.

 Bringing flavour into your egg dishes

Use fresh or dry herbs – fresh is better for flavouring eggs, best fresh herbs to use are chives, parsley, basil, dill, coriander.  Shallots, although not so much a herb, go great with eggs.

Rsz Dom hands veg


Dry herbs you can use, cumin, coriander, paprika, oregano, thyme.

You can also add mustards and serve the eggs accompanied with a fresh or store bought tomato salsa – check the sugar and salt content and opt for the lower content.

For a richer egg mix instead of milk you can use, ¼ cup yoghurt, sour cream or cream.

Instead of Parmesan you can also use 100g of grated good quality cheddar, cottage cheese, quark, ricotta or feta.


Bread plus …… for Breakfast

The Grain family includes oats, wheat, bread, pasta, whole-wheat biscuits, rice, barley, corn,
polenta, buckwheat, spelt, millet, sorghum, triticale, rye, quinoa and semolina.breadrolls 1 rsz

Bread is a great source of carbohydrate giving you energy and it is best eaten for breakfast and lunch. The best breads to choose are wholemeal, wholegrain, rye, pita, lavosh, crisp breads, English muffin, crumpet, rice cakes, seeded breads, sprouted breads, sour dough, organic whole grain breads. Always read the label of ingredients and buy the bread with all natural ingredients.

The recommended amount is 4-6 serves a day.

1 serve is:
1 slice (40g) bread
½ medium (40g) roll or flat bread
3 (35g) crisp breads
1 (60g) crumpet
1 small (35g) English muffin or scone

The nutrients provided by whole grain breads and natural grains include carbohydrates/starch which gets converted to energy, protein, fibre and a wide range of vitamins and minerals which can reduce the risk of developing certain diseases including coronary heart disease, diabetes and can also assist in the maintenance of the digestive system preventing colon cancer.

High fibre foods, such as wholegrain breads and cereals, can also be an effective part of any weight loss program as they take longer to digest and create a feeling of fullness, which discourages overeating.

Bread with ricotta_cherry tomatoes rsz

Spinach, tomato and herb ricotta toasts
Serves 2
Prep time 10 minutes
Cooking time: 3 minutes

200g cherry tomatoes
2 tsps. virgin olive oil
2 tsps. balsamic vinegar
Cracked pepper and salt
½ cup ricotta cheese ( from the deli)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
Cracked pepper and salt
1 tsp. lemon zest
4 sliced of whole grain bread
2 cups spinach leaves

Recipe Steps:

  1. Slice the cherry tomatoes in half and toss with the olive oil, balsamic and salt and pepper.
  2. In a bowl smash the ricotta with the chopped herbs and the lemon zest.
  3. Toast the bread and spread on the ricotta cheese, top with the spinach and then the tomatoes. Serve.

Bread plus – other ideas

  • Cinnamon: Honey (1 tablespoon) and good sprinkle of cinnamon with ricotta Substitute the tomatoes and the spinach with 1 sliced apple or 1 sliced pear, fresh or grilled giving ½ a piece of fruit per person.
  • Bananas: Spray a hot non-stick frypan with oil and cook 1 sliced banana for 1 minute until golden, set aside, cook 6 trimmed rashes of bacon and whisk 1 egg with ¼ cup of milk. Dip 2 pieces of bread into the mix until coated with egg mixture and cook the bread in the same pan for 1 minute on each side until golden and serve with the banana and 1 tablespoon of maple syrup – serves 2.
  • Berries: ½ cup of berries – fresh or frozen cooked with 1 tablespoon of maple syrup
    Avocado and cherry tomatoes: Top two slices of toast each with 1 ½ tablespoons of ricotta or cottage cheese, ¼ a diced avocado, 5 cherry tomatoes, cut in half and chopped chives, season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon.
  • Sicilian style – brioche buns with granita.

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8 Winter Breakfast Ideas

Our steamy summer nights are definitely behind us as the sun starts to set a little earlier and the mornings turn up the chill. Transitioning your weekday menu into the warmer months may leave some a little lost for thought. Summer days are great for all things fresh and chilled, salads, grills, barbequing, and those fast and quick meals in minutes. How to translate this into our warmer days does take a little extra thought but with some handy tricks and tips your winter meals can bring you as much pleasure, comfort and ease both in the kitchen and at the dinner table.

8 Winter Breakfast Tips

8 Winter Breakfast Tips

We all know that breakfast is an important part of the day and a time when our grains take centre stage.

  1. Oats, nutritiously can keep us going all morning, for something a little different try combining your regular oats with rye and triticale, soaking them overnight in apple juice or water cuts their cooking time in half and are a quick option for a hearty and satisfying breakfast.
  2. Topping them with chopped nuts or soaked dried fruits.
  3. Stewing some fresh fruits in their own juices and served with natural yoghurt and a spoon full of chopped walnuts will add sweetness without adding refined sugars.
  4. Millet and quinoa are also great alternatives if you have gluten intolerances and can be purchased in the whole grain or in flake form.
  5. Miso, broths and vegetable soups served with rice or noodles might be a little hard for some of you to stomach in the morning, but a vegetable broth with a little shredded chicken, chopped egg or slow cooked meats for breakfast is a light, cleansing start to the day and something that you can make ahead of time and reheat in the morning.
  6. Soups are a great way to fit those 5 serves of vegetables into your day and make great easy lunch options.
  7. Eggs are always a great one to fall back on and take minutes to prepare, poaching, boiling or baking them mixed with spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes and fresh chopped herbs.
  8. Breakfast burritos, baked bean jaffles, toasted breakfast sandwiches, fresh muffins, whole meal pancakes are all things that you can prepare the night before and heat in the morning if you are really time poor.

Just a few minutes of prep time and you can have a winters worth of great breakfasts to keep you healthy, happy and well fed.

Otherwise drop into Putia Pure Food Kitchen for a hearty and healthy breakfast

Dessert to start the day

It seems that the food fashion is heading towards starting the day with what is usually the end of the night’s rewards and restaurants alike are serving up guilt laden delights for all occasions even breakfast.


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We all know that breakfast is the most important part of the day and if whole grain muesli, egg white omelets and sour dough 12 grain toast is getting a little stale in your morning menu then head to some of our finest venues for a little heart starter. Of course nutritionist are going to say that this is not the ideal way to start the day but in moderation and every now and then it’s healthy to change things around as long as you continue the day with high protein healthy meals and of course a little exercise.

For a real hit you can simply head to Putia Pure Food Kitchen for a great coffee and a mouthwatering Chocolate waffle, mulled red wine poached pears, spiced syrup,mascarpone. So challenge your taste buds, get out and enjoy. Here is my recipe on a breakfast idea that’s sweet, fruity and with that all-time favorite creamy finish for you to try at home.

Apples baked with olive oil and oranges with pine nut pastry and whipped ricotta

Serves 6
Shake up this dessert by adding some fresh figs to the apples, grated 80% dark chocolate to the pastry and a heady vanilla bean or rich Lick ice cream to finish it off.

3 large granny smith apples sliced into 1 ½ cm rounds
2 tbsp. extra virgin Olive oil
1 tbsp honey
Zest of 1 orange
1 tbsp orange marmalade
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger

For the pastry
30g pine nuts
25g flaked almonds
1 tbsp Bertolli olive oil, extra
5 sheets of filo pastry

350g firm fresh ricotta
2 tbsp caster sugar
½ tsp vanilla paste
½ cup pouring cream
2 tbsp marmalade extra
¼ cup water

Preheat the oven 200c

Place the olive oil, honey, marmalade and spices in a bowl with the orange zest and whisk to combine. Toss the apple slices into the mix and then place onto a tray lined with paper and bake for 10 minutes until softened. Remove from the heat; if you want a little more colour place the apples under a griller. Set the apples aside keeping the marinade.

Toast the almond flakes and the pine nuts for 4 minutes until golden.

Lower the heat to 180c
Blend together the nuts until crushed.
Add the tablespoon of extra olive oil into the left over marinade from the apples. Using a pastry brush the marmalade, oil and honey mixture onto each sheet of pastry and scatter over some of the crushed nuts, sit the pastry on top of each other until all sheets are done, scatter over any remaining nuts, then slice the sheets into 6 strips and onto a tray lined with baking paper, place the strips in a fold so that concertinas onto its self. Bake for 10 minutes until golden. Place the ricotta, caster sugar, vanilla and cream into a food processor and blend until smooth, heat a small saucepan with the marmalade and the water and simmer until reduced and slightly syrupy.

To serve place down a pastry, top with a slice of apple, some of the ricotta and then another slice of apple, drizzle over some of the syrup and serve.

Mothers Day Putia

Mothers Day Putia Style: 7 ways to thank your Mum


Mothers Day Putia

For more than 100 years we have been celebrating Mums on Mother’s Day.  Mums need to be pampered, spoilt and to take it easy on Sunday 10th May 2015.  For a start, what you must do is clear the decks on Saturday. That means give her a hand with the washing, grocery shopping and housework so that it is done and dusted and out of the way for Sunday.  You don’t want her distracted by the basket of laundry or feeling guilty that the fridge is empty apart from cheese wine and crackers. Next must-do is to sign her up to Netflix to watch her favourite TV series late on Sunday afternoon so that she can watch House of Cards and fall blissfully asleep on the sofa!

7 Ways to Thank Your Mum and Celebrate Mothers Day Putia-Style.

1. To kick off Mothers Day Putia-style, why not start with breakfast at Putia.

Has she tried the spiced pumpkin waffle with salted caramel sauce? Or autumn fruit compote and mascarpone? 

Mother's day breakfast Putia

2. Or what about some tasty local preserves?

From Putia Panty give her a range of delicious handmade jams, relishes and pickles made from local ingredients and hand chosen for our pantry.

Mother's Day gifts putia pantry

3. Make lunch a special occasion at Putia, where we honor Mums and they eat for free*.

Dine in the dappled shade of the Poinciana tree,  sip on Italian Prosecco and listen to live music.

*Conditions apply.

Mother's Day lunch Putia

4. Surprise her with a gift voucher to a Putia cooking class in Brisbane.

Enhance her skills in her favourite cuisine.

Mother's Day Putia Cooking Class

5. Give her Putia Pantry personal cleansing products – the Coconut, Lemongrass & Coffee Detox body sea salt scrub smells and feels so fresh.

Putia Products Cleansers

6. Why not surprise her with a ticket to the Hampton Festival on the following Sunday? Join Dominique on her City and Country Tour, starting with breakfast at Putia. Travel by bus together to the festival of seasonal fresh produce, wineries, restaurants, market stalls, cooking demonstrations and art exhibitions.

Mother's Day Gift Hampton Festival

7. Enjoy Lindeman’s Wines – Early Harvest: lighter in calories and lighter in alcohol. How much more healthier can we get? 

Mother's Day Lindemans Early Harvest

Finally, post an absolutely gorgeous pic (flattering angle and lighting please) of her on Instagram as a fabulous memory of the day!



comfort food healthy snacks

Tips to make comfort food – Healthy Snacks

Snacking in winter or for comfort is easy and often we don’t even know we are doing it. Here are some indulgent and healthy snack ideas to take you through winter.

I hope you have enjoyed my healthy tips to make comfort food. Please feel free to share your tips to get you through the colder months!

I also have some great cooking classes on offer during June at Putia Pure food Kitchen including; Risotto, Gnocchi and Pasta, Winter Comfort Cooking and Singles Winter Comfort Cooking, Breakfast Like a King, Fabulous Organic Growing and Northern Italian Favourites.

comfort food healthy snacks

Comfort food is all about meals and ingredients that keep us feeling nurtured, warm and wholesome during those cold days and chilly nights, and these tips are a sure way to keep the winter blues away and still feel like you are staying true to your healthy self.

  • Try having spiced popcorn that you have made yourself. Roast off almonds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds with a tsp of olive oil and a tablespoon of tamari or your favourite curry powder. Add a little salt and pepper and bake until golden and crunchy.
  • Make your own herbal teas by infusing ginger with mint and a stick of cinnamon. Drink this for a warming drink. You can add a little honey and lemon if you feel poorly.
  • If you are entertaining, use a lighter style red wine and bring it to a simmer with lemon and orange peel, a stick of cinnamon, a couple of cloves, a few slices of ginger and a tbsp of orange blossom or rose water and simmer  this until fragrant. Drink warm for a twist on that comforting  glass of red. For hot chocolate fans, blend together dark dutch cocoa, with a good pinch of cinnamon, a few drops of vanilla essence, a pinch of chilli and some honey or a little sugar. Pour over your warm milk or hot water and enjoy.
  • My favourite healthy chocolate substitute (as we all know that chocolate is a winter favourite) is blending together fresh dates with dutch cocoa, cocoa nibs, soaked nuts and a table spoon of coconut. Roll into balls and again in coconut. Eat one when you feel that sugar hit urge.