Looking for the perfect cookbook to add to your collection this Christmas? Chef Dominique Rizzo’s ‘My Taste of Sicily’ is now fullyChristmas Gift My Taste of Sicly stocked and ready for purchase in store for $39.95. Featuring a selection of traditional Sicilian recipes taken from Dominique’s heritage and recreated with modern flair. Available online, Dominique will also be available to personally sign your copy in-store at her restaurant Putia Pure Food Kitchen or make it out to someone special. You can also find a copy of her book inside our fantastic festive Christmas hampers along with a selection of all natural hand and home products together with a handmade fresh fruit and fig Christmas cake.

It is always refreshing to see passionate home cooks share their love for food and Francesca Morgan has done just that. Recently written on her blog ‘Almost Italian’ Francesca has shared her love for the recipe cuddureddi siciliani biscuits that are featured in My Taste of Sicily. As an avid collector of Italian cookbooks, she described this recipe as ‘the most appealing of all the versions in my collection’ and noted the biscuits ‘contain all the essence of Sicily in one Christmassy filling: almonds, pine nuts, walnuts, figs, sultanas and currants, orange peel and marmalade, cinnamon and cloves, dark chocolate and vanilla, with a pastry moistened with Marsala’. We would like to thank Francesca for sharing such a wonderful piece of writing with the online community and at such a great time of the year. You can read more of Francesca’s great work and the full article including the biscuit recipe at

Lavazza Film Festival 2015



The 2015 Lavazza film festival opened with a bang and on opening night we were

Foodshowered with Lavazza gift packs, Bucci pulled porchetta snacks and a delicious cannoli with the engaging theme of “but first coffee” – always such sound advice to live by. Oh and those Lavazza coffee martinis were divine.

Lavazza film festival 2015 -Dominique at the Film Festival

Dominique Rizzo

Best new director at the Italian Oscars, Edwardo Falcone, treated us to a burst of real Italian energy with the hilarious film “God Willing”.

God Willing

It is one of those gorgeous Italian films with handsome charismatic characters set in a modern family thrown into chaos with an unexpected announcement by his son. Set in Rome, there are wonderful shots of the Roman countryside as well as the fabulous apartment interiors, where in typical Italian fashion, the wealthy parents live in one apartment and their children are in a neighboring apartment with lots of traffic between the two. The array of hand gestures; pouting and posturing that are so wonderfully Italian, enhance the story so well. It’s a feel good movie where the father in particular learns, albeit reluctantly at first, to accept the changes in their lives.

The festival has film styles for everyone featuring love stories, drama and even the family friendly movie “Italo” with the big shaggy dog that is sure to tug at your heartstrings.     Italo

Not to be missed is another comedy, the movie “So Far So Good” that won the Audience Award at the Rome Film Festival in 2014. With that recommendation you have to see it too.


Nor can you not see “Latin Lover” the mid-festival special movie about the life of Saverio Crispo, a famous Italian actor that is so engaging that it prompted The Hollywood Reporter to describe it as “heavenly moments”.

The 2015 festival in Brisbane wraps up on the 18 October the confirmist2015 with the 1970 Oscar nominated film “The Conformist” described by Michael Atkinson of the Village Voice as “An orgasm of coolness”.

That’s a brilliant choice too.Official

What’s next? A Lavazza of course, and back to the movies!

Lavazza film festival 2015- promo poster

A Fresh Take on Mouthwatering Sausages

1. RSZ Dom with sausage men
Sausages were in the news at the Brisbane Ekka 2015! Long gone are the days when the choice was limited to beef and pork sausages. Now there is a sausage for just about every cuisine from German bratwurst, Spanish chorizo, French Andoulliette to Sicilian sausages. I love them all, but no surprises that I think Sicilian sausages are the best and that’s a good reason to lift the lid and let you see what I’m cooking.

2 RSZ Dom w Don Melrose_Michael Slams

Take it easy and let the professional butchers like Michael Salm at Carindale, make the best of sausages for you, (seen here with Dom Melrose).

3 RSZ sausages

You can throw them on the barbeque or go for one pot cooking that’s at its best with this tasty dish for sausages, cooked in a simple rich onion and tomato sauce. This was one of my favourite dishes growing up as my mother cooked it many nights as a simple and quick economic dinner option. The roast pumpkin and green pea smash is a great option instead of mash potato and makes a fantastic side for grilled chicken, or fish.

4. RSZ Sausage pumpkin smash


Sausages with roast pumpkin and pea smash and tomato and onion sauce

Serves: 4
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes.

Ingredients sausage dish:
• 8 x good quality sausages – get these from a butcher who makes his own as they will be lighter in additives and fats or choose a lower fat sausage
• 2 brown onions, sliced
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 2 x 400 g tins of diced tomatoes
• ½ teaspoon of dried mixed herbs
• 1 teaspoon of tomato paste
• 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce*
• Salt and pepper

Ingredients: Pumpkin and pea smash
• 500g pumpkin, seeded and peeled
• 1 tablespoon butter
• 3 spring onions, (scallions) white and green part sliced thinly
• 2 cups frozen peas, defrosted
• Salt and pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 200c
2. Cut the pumpkin into largish chunks about 4-5cm and spray or drizzle with a little oil, roast them for 20 minutes until golden and cooked through.
3. Heat a small saucepan and add in the butter, sweat off the spring onions for a couple of minutes then add the green peas and cook for 5 minutes, season with salt and pepper and with a fork partially mash the peas with the pumpkin.
4. For the sausages, heat a non-stick pan over a moderate temperature and brown the sausages on all sides, cooking them for about 10 minutes. Remove them from the pan and set aside.
5. Into the same pan add in the sliced onions and the garlic and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add in the diced tomatoes and then fill one tin ½ way with water and swish out both tins adding this water to the pan. Add in the herbs, tomato paste, worcestershire sauce and simmer for 10 minutes.
6. Season with salt and pepper and add the sausages back into the pan, continue to simmer for another 15 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Turn off the heat and let the sausages sit in the sauce for a few minutes before serving with the mash.

Now for the real challenge – make your own sausages! This is my favourite Sicilian Uncle’s recipe for making sausages from my cookbook “My Taste of Sicily”.

6 RSZ cookbooks

5 RSZ Sausage recipes



Le Salsicce Di Zio Mario
Zio Mario’s Sicilian sausages

Makes: 40 sausages

Preparation time: 60 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes


• 6 kg pork shoulder coarsely minced (ask your butcher to do this)
• 90 g sea salt
• ¼ cup (40 g) black peppercorns, cracked
• ¼ cup (40 g) fennel seeds
• ¼ cup (35 g) ground allspice of paprika
• 2 tablespoons mixed spice
• 1 large handful flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
• 1 bulb garlic, cloves chopped
• 10 m natural pork casings (order from your butcher)

1. Place the minced port, salt, peppercorns, fennel seeds, allspice or paprika, mixed spice, parsley and garlic in a large deep bowl. Mix well with your hands so that all the spices are blended through. Cover with plastic film and refrigerate overnight so that the flavours have time to develop.
2. If the casings are salted, rinse them under cold running water, then keep in a bowl of water to ensure they stay moist.
3. To make it easier to fill the sausages, remove the meat from the fridge at least 30 minute beforehand to bring it to room temperature; this will prevent the filling from breaking the casings. To test the flavour of the filling, fry a small ball of it in a frying pan over medium heat, then adjust the seasoning accordingly.
4. If you have a mincer of sausage machine at home, using the tube attachment, carefully slide a piece of the casing on the tube. If you don’t, you can use a piping bag to stuff the casings with the meat. A good tip is to fill the casing with about ¼ cup (60 ml) water; this will open the casings as you fill them. Start the machine on low until you get the hang of the pace and stuff the casing evenly with the pork mixture, taking care not to break the casing. Once you have a long sausage, you can either leave it as is and coil it around itself, securing with string (this is more traditional), or twist the casing around at intervals to make your desired sausage length. Repeat with the remaining casings and filling. Refrigerate the sausages for at least 30 minute before cooking.
5. For thick sausages, pan-fry or barbeque for 4-5 minutes on each side or until the sausage is slightly firm to touch, about 15 minutes in total (thin sausages will take about 10 minutes). Alternatively, roast the sausages in a roasting pan at 200 degrees C for 30 minutes or until golden and cooked through.
6. Leftover raw sausages can be wrapped in serving-sized portions and frozen for up to 3 months.

Making sausages is not difficult but maybe a bit messy, so you can refresh your hands using one of Putia’s beautiful sea salt scrubs!

7 RSZ Coconut detox body scrub

“My Taste of Sicily” cookbook and Sea salt scrubs are available on-line at and

Dominique’s Top Recipes – Ekka 2015


Night view

Being on the Fresh Food stage at the EKKA is always fun, exciting with lots of great people in the audience, coming up saying hello to me and our guest presenters. There have been so many requests for my recipes this year. Everyone seems to be inspired by what was on show theDominique's Top Recipes - EKKA 2015 - food stagere, so here are Dominique’s Top Recipes – EKKA 2015 for you to get in and cook yourselves. Let me know your favourites.

1. Chocolate mousse cups with orange segment salad and praline spiced pecans
Makes 4 cups.

1 pkt of Nicholson Fine Foods Chocolate mousse
4 cups raw pecan halves
1⁄4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 1⁄2 tablespoons chili powder
1⁄2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1⁄2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

Preheat oven to 170c.
For the chocolate mousse follow instructions on the packet.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.Dominique's Top Recipes - EKKA 2015 - chocolates on platter
Place pecans and melted butter in a large bowl and toss until nuts are well-coated.
Add remaining ingredients and toss again.
Transfer to prepared baking sheet and arrange in a single layer.
Bake until lightly browned, about 20 minutes.
Remove from oven, immediately loosen nuts with a metal spatula and set aside to cool before serving or placing in gift containers.


2. Spiced Palmiers
Makes 64 slices

1/2 cup sugar
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground cardamom
2 teaspoons ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 package frozen puff pastry thawed
All-purpose flour (for dusting)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, divided

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix sugar and spices in a small bowl. Unfold pastry on a lightly floured work surface into a 14×10-inch rectangle, rolling out if needed. Brush lightly with butter. Sprinkle 1/4 cup spiced sugar over. Cut in half lengthwise.
Fold both long sides of 1 pastry strip so that outer edges meet in the center of strip. Brush with more butter; sprinkle with 2 tablespoons spiced sugar. Fold in half lengthwise, forming a 14 inch-long log about 1 inch wide. Repeat with remaining pastry strip.
Place logs on prepared baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and chill until firm, about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 210°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Cut each log crosswise into 1/4-inch slices. Lay slices flat on prepared baking sheets, spacing 1 inch apart.
Bake palmiers until golden on bottom, about 8 minutes. Using a thin metal spatula, turn palmiers over. Brush lightly with butter; sprinkle with more spiced sugar. Bake until sugar is bubbly and pastry is golden brown, about 15 minutes longer. Transfer palmiers to a wire rack; let cool. Palmiers can be made 2 days ahead. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

3. Quick baked buttered Strawberry sponge                           Dominique's Top Recipes - EKKA 2015 - Strawberries_almonds

500g strawberries, large
1 cup verjuice
Zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon of ginger, grated
1 small sponge cake, sliced into 1 ½ cm slices
4 tablespoons sugar
50g butter
3 tablespoons flaked almonds

Preheat the oven to 220c

Carefully wash the strawberries and remove the stalks, drain well and pat dry. Place the strawberries into a small saucepan and sprinkle with the cinnamon, lemon zest and grated ginger. Add in the verjuice and stir over medium heat for about 30 seconds. Drain and reserve the liquid and keep the strawberries aside.

Place the sponge slices in a baking dish overlapping them to cover the base of the dish.
Pour the reserved strawberry and verjuice liquid on the sponge and arrange the strawberries on top.

Sprinkle with the remaining sugar, flaked almonds, thin slices of the butter. Bake the strawberries in the oven until they have caramelized on top and turn golden brown.

Strawberries have always been considered to be quite delicious and their sweet flavour has been praised in various Latin texts. Since ancient times, this red berry has been believed to be an aphrodisiac and associated with love stories. According to one legend, the first strawberries grew out of the tears of Venus, the goddess of love, who was crying over the loss of her love, Adonis. Centuries later, in the court of Louis XIV, the King of France, it seems as though ladies would seduce the knights of the court by tossing strawberries at them. The ladies would also eat strawberries paired with the newly invented Chantilly cream.
The strawberry is not the fruit of the strawberry plant? The actual fruit of the strawberry plant are the small yellow seeds that cover the outside of the berries and are called achenes.

4. Quark quiche with bacon and leeks                                                           Dominique's Top Recipes - EKKA 2015- quiches
Serves 4-6

75g butter
2 ½ cups plain flour
2½ tablespoons Quark
3 Tablespoons Water
½ Teaspoons Salt
1 tablespoon of butter
1 leek, thinly sliced
150g bacon
½ cup Grated cheddar cheese
1 cup Milk
½ cup quark
3 Eggs
1 Pinch Pepper
1 Pinch Salt


Combine the butter, flour, quark, water and salt in a food processor until the mixture comes together in a soft ball. Knead for a couple of minutes and press into a greased quiche or greased and lined cake tin with removable base. Refrigerate for 10 – 15 minutes. Heat a small frypan and melt the butter, add the leek and the bacon and sauté for 10 minutes until the leeks have softened. Allow to cool slightly.
Preheat the oven to 180c. Blind bake the pastry for 15 – 20 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Into a bowl combine the remainder of the ingredients and whisk well, season with salt and pepper. Place the cooked leeks and the bacon into the base of the tart, pour over the filling and bake for 35 minutes until set to touch and golden brown on top.

5. Roasted Root Vegetables with browned butter                                      Dominique's Top Recipes - EKKA 2015 - Baked vegs
Serves 6-8

For the vegetables:
700g shallots, peeled and quartered lengthwise (leave the root intact)
700g turnips, peeled and cut in 3/4-inch pieces
1.5kg butternut squash, peeled and cut in 1-inch pieces
500g parsnips, peeled and thinly sliced
700g baby cut carrots
500g baby red potatoes (abut 2-inches in diameter), halved
50g Salted Butter, cut into bits
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
For the Browned Butter:
120 Salted Butter, cut into bits
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 200c. Combine all of the veg and melt the butter with the olive oil , salt and pepper, toss this over the vegetables and roast for about 50 minutes, rotating the pans and tossing the vegetables every 15 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer to a large bowl.

Towards the end of cooking, make the browned butter: place the butter and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a saucepan over low heat with the sage leaves. Cook, swirling occasionally, until the butter has a nutty aroma and is amber brown.

Just before serving, toss the vegetables with the browned butter.

6. Italian yoghurt flat breads with herbed yoghurt cheese and basil tomatoes                      Dominique's Top Recipes - EKKA 2015- Dom w Country Women's rep.

3 self-rising (self-raising) flour
3 cups natural yogurt
2 tablespoons water
sea salt

2 very ripe tomatoes
Hand full of basil
Virgin olive oil

Combine the self-rising flour the greek yogurt and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the hook attachment. This can also be done by hand. Mix the 2 ingredients until the dough starts to form. If the dough is dry, add 1 tablespoon of water. Continue to knead and bring the dough together. If the dough is still barely holding, add the second tablespoon of water.
Dump the dough out onto a large, lightly floured surface. Work the dough out into a large disc. Divide the dough into 10 equal pieces. Roll each piece out until it is about ⅓ inch in thickness and has a 6 inch diameter.
Place a griddle pan on high heat and let it get very hot. Cook the flat breads on each side for 2 minutes until golden. The flat breads should puff up and have a light char colour. If desired, brush each side with olive oil and a small pinch of sea salt. Serve with sliced fresh tomatoes, torn basil and your favourite cheese.

Yoghurt Labne
500g of yoghurt (hung in muslin over a colander for two days in the fridge)
2 tblsp Parsley, chopped
1 tblsp Thyme, chopped
1 tblsp Mint, chopped
Zest of 1 lemon
Olive oil to cover

Combine the labne with the herbs and lemon zest, spoon in=to a clean jar and cover with olive oil. Keep in the fridge for up to a month and use for cheese plates, spreading on breads and crackers.

7. Crostini with roasted grapes, blue cheese, and honey

Serves 20 – 25 pieces

This easy appetizer is perfect for parities

500g Red grapes, removed from the stems
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 French baguette, thinly sliced and toasted
100g Blue cheese
Honey, for drizzling

1. Preheat oven to 170c. Place grapes on a large baking sheet. Drizzle grapes with olive oil and gently toss. Roast for 20-25 minutes or until grapes are soft and slightly shrivelled. Let the grapes cool to room temperature.

2. Place 3 grapes on top of a baguette slice. Top with blue cheese and a drizzle of honey. Serve.

(Toast baguette slices-preheat oven to 200c . Place baguette slices on a large baking sheet and toast until edges are slightly golden and bread begins to toast, about 5 minutes.)

8. Apple and fennel and blue cheese salad                                    veg fennel_cabbage
Serves 4-6

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 large crisp, sweet apple, thinly sliced
1 medium fennel bulb, quartered and thinly sliced, fronds reserved
6 cups torn butterhead lettuce
1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese

Whisk oil, vinegar, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add apple and fennel and toss to coat. Chop 1/4 cup of the fennel fronds and add to the bowl along with lettuce and blue cheese; gently toss.

9. Maple Apples, Blue Cheese and Bacon Pizza

Makes 2 small pizzas

1 x quantity of yoghurt flat bread recipe

2 small apples, thinly sliced
⅓ cup maple syrup
250g shredded Italian blend cheese
4 slices cooked bacon, cut into thick pieces
½ cup roasted garlic cloves
80g blue cheese

Preheat oven to 260c.

Flatten out the dough onto greased trays and bake until golden and just cooked – about 5-6 minutes. Drop the oven temperature down to 200c.

Place the sliced apples in a small bowl and pour the maple syrup on the sliced apples and set aside.
Layer the pizzas with some of the shredded Italian cheese then top with slices of the apple, half of the bacon, garlic cloves and chunks of blue cheese.
Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden. Drizzle with additional maple syrup, cut and serve immediately.

10. Blue cheese and bacon salad

For the Blue Cheese Dressing

1 cup sour cream
½ cup real egg mayonnaise
3 tablespoons natural yoghurt
3 teaspoons red wine vinegar
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper
1 ½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
80g blue cheese (reserve a few chunks for garnish)
Chopped chives (reserve a few for garnish)

For the salad
1 baby cos lettuce, cut into quarters
4 strips bacon, cooked, cooled and chopped
4 medium size tomatoes, cut into wedges

Add all of the dressing ingredients to a medium bowl and stir well to combine. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Remove any limp outer leaves of the lettuce head and then cut in half, then cut each half into quartered wedges. Place each wedge on a plate, drizzle with the blue cheese dressing, top with a few crumbles of bacon, a sprinkling of chives and reserved blue cheese chunks and add a few wedges of tomato on the side. Give one more sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper and serve.

Dominique's Top Recipes - EKKA 2015- Dom Food Angels

11. Root vegetable hash browns
serves 4

baby red potatoes (or other waxy baby potatoes) – unpeeled and cut in 3/4″ pieces
sweet potatoes (or yams) (1 medium) – unpeeled and cut in 3/4″ pieces
parsnips (or turnips or celery root/celeriac) – peeled and cut in 1/2″ pieces
carrots – peeled and cut in 1/2″ pieces
2 teaspoons sea salt (to boil the vegetables)
4 shallots – root ends trimmed, tops trimmed 3” from the edge and cut in 1/4″ slices
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large sweet onion – skinned and cut in 1/2″ pieces
1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Boil veg together, drain and let cool, smash gently with fork, season and add chopped shallots , herbs. Bring a frypan to high heat with oil and press in hash cake, brown until crunchy then turn over, brown other side, then serve topped with

Place the potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, carrots and salt in a large heavy-bottomed pot and fill with enough cold water to cover the vegetables by 2″. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, fast-simmer uncovered for 6 to 7 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Drain and let cool for a few minutes. Place the vegetables in a large bowl and slightly crush with the back of a wooden spoon. Add the scallions and stir to distribute them evenly. Set aside.
Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 4 tablespoons of olive oil and the onions. Toss well and sauté for 2 minutes until the onions have softened. Add the root vegetable mixture and the salt and pepper. Toss well and flatten the vegetables with a spatula so that they’re compact in the pan. Reduce heat to medium/medium-high and sauté undisturbed for 8 to 10 minutes until browned. Shake the pan to loosen the vegetables, then invert them onto a large platter. Return pan to stove and add the balance of the olive oil. Slide the vegetables back into the pan, uncooked-side-down, and continue to sauté undisturbed at medium/medium-high heat for 6 to 7 minutes until browned. Slide the hash browns onto a serving platter and serve immediately.
Cook’s note: The hash browns can be made up to 4 hours ahead and kept at room temperature. Keep the hash browns in the frying pan and re-heat over medium-high heat until hot. Alternatively, transfer to a baking sheet and re-heat at (220°C) until hot, about 6 to 8 minutes.

12.  Polenta and Blue Cheese Butter

Soft Polenta
4 cups water, plus more as needed
4 cups milk, plus more as needed
3 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups polenta
1/2 cup creme fraiche
1/3 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano

In a large saucepan, bring the water, milk and butter to a boil. Add 2 teaspoons of salt to the water and whisk in the polenta. Whisk constantly for 3 to 4 minutes to prevent lumps. Simmer for 45 minutes, partially covered and stirring every 10 minutes, until the polenta is thick, smooth, and creamy. Add the creme fraiche and Parmesan. Check for seasoning and adjust consistency by adding milk or water to the polenta. Polenta may be made up to 20 minutes ahead of time and kept covered until ready to serve.

Blue cheese butter sauce

1⁄2 cup butter softened
1⁄2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil
1 clove garlic, minced

In a small bowl combine butter, blue cheese, parsley, basil and garlic.
Set aside.
Grill steaks to desired doneness.
Top each steak with a generous amount of the butter mixture.
Chill the remaining butter for another time.
(Try the butter mixture tossed with hot cooked vegetables).

13. Vegetable Caponata and Buttered Herb Pistou

3 large onion, chopped
1 celery, including leaves, chopped
1 cup olive oil
5 capsicum, deseeded and diced
2kg aubergines, cut into 2.5cm (1 inch) chunks
3 tbsp salted capers, soaked in water for 10 minutes, then drained
2 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp white wine vinegar
55g (1 3/4 oz) concentrated tomato paste
Salt and pepper
Chopped parsley

Blanche the onion and celery in lightly salted water for a few minutes, then drain.

Toss the eggplant chunks and the red capsicum with the ½ the olive oil and roast in a hot hot oven until golden brown. Add the onion, celery and all the remaining ingredients. Stir well, then cover and cook for about 15 minutes, removing the lid of the pan towards the end of cooking. Should the sauce require extra moisture, add a tablespoon or two of water during cooking. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss with chopped parsley to serve

Buttered Herbed Pistou

1 1/4 cups flat-leaf parsley
1 cup fresh chervil leaves
3/4 cup fresh tarragon leaves
Kosher salt
1/2 garlic clove
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Blanch herbs in a large pot of boiling salted water for 10 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer herbs to a medium bowl of ice water to cool. Drain. Squeeze dry; chop. Purée herbs, garlic, and 3/4 cup ice water in a blender until smooth, about 3 minutes. With machine running, gradually add oil. Season with salt.

Blend some of the herb pistou with softened butter and serve with the lamb.

14. Branded Beef JBS Brazilian Tri Tip beef      

butcher action rsz
The tri-tip is a cut of beef from the bottom sirloin sub primal cut It is a small triangular muscle, usually 750g – 1.2kg in weight. It’s a lean cut texturally, it resembles a flat cut brisket, though it doesn’t have nearly as much outside fat. It’s not huge on beef flavour or fat, so it’s a generally good idea to season it generously and serve it with a flavourful sauce.

Brazilian Roast Tri Tip Beef with Santa maria salsa

For the beef
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seed
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dark or light brown sugar
2 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 whole tri-tip roast, (about 1 ½ kg) or 1 top sirloin roast

Combine pepper, cumin, paprika, coriander, cayenne, brown sugar, garlic, salt, and oil in a small bowl to form a paste. Set aside.

Rub steak with paste, sear on all sides and then roast for 20 minutes turning and flipping occasionally until an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the steak registers 55c for medium rare, 20 to 30 minutes
Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. Slice thinly and serve.              sausages


2 large ripe tomatoes, diced
1 stalk celery, peeled and diced
4 green shallots/ spring onions chopped
1 fresh green chili diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander leaves
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Combine tomatoes, celery, shallots , chili, coriander, garlic, vinegar, and Worcestershire in a medium bowl and toss. Season to taste with salt. Let the salsa sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour before serving. Serve. Refrigerate leftovers in a sealed container for up to 5 days.


15. Spicy Beef Short Ribs                          meat display 1

1 tablespoon cumin, toasted & ground
1 tablespoon coriander, toasted & ground
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 tablespoon chilli, dried
1 tab hot chilli, (bonnet) chopped
1 onion, sliced
1 cup beer
1 large clove garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon grated ginger
4 fresh bay leaves
2 cups white wine
2 tablespoons Tabasco sauce
2 cups honey
¼ cup thyme, chopped
Salt and Pepper
3kg of ribs bone in.

In a small bowl, combine mustard, sugar, chili powder, cumin, paprika and salt. Sprinkle the mixture all over the ribs, rubbing it in with your fingers, and set aside for at least 20 minutes, or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day.

Preheat the oven to 170c. Cover a large baking sheet with aluminium foil and place the ribs on it. Bake in the middle of the oven until the ribs are fork-tender and the meat has shrunk away from the ends of the bones, about 2 hours.

When ribs are tender, prepare a grill for medium-heat cooking. Mix the barbecue sauce with a tablespoon or two of water (this will make basting easier). Place the ribs on the grill and cook, turning them and basting them frequently with the sauce, until well browned and nicely glazed, about 15 minutes. (Be careful not to let the sauce burn; move the ribs to a cooler area of the grill if they begin to char.) Transfer to a platter and serve.

16. Grilled Pork loin tortillas with bean salsa and spicy achiote aioli      tortilla rsz
Serves 4

4 pork loin steaks
2 tsp brown sugar
½ tsp ground cumin
1 tsp oregano
¼ tsp ground chili
1 tsp smoked paprika
¼ tsp ground black pepper
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp of sunflower oil

For the salsa
2 round tomatoes, deseeded and diced
1 lebanese cucumber, deseeded and finely diced
2 tblsp coriander leaves and stalks, chopped
½ red onion, finely diced
2 eschallots ( green onion) finely sliced
1 cup cooked black beans ( you can use turtle beans or black eye beans)
2 tblsp olive oil
2 tblsp lime juice
Salt and pepper

Achiote paste
Whole egg aioli

Pat dry the pork sirloin steaks and set them aside on a plate. Combine the brown sugar and all the spices together rub this into the pork steaks leaving them to sit in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.
Combine all the ingredients for the salsa and season with salt and pepper to taste. Place this in the fridge while you are cooking the steaks.

Heat a griddle pan, fry pan or barbeque and drizzle the sunflower oil onto the steaks. For a perfectly cooked pork sirloin steak, cook the steaks on one side for 6 minutes without turning. Turn the steaks over and cook on the other side for 2 more minutes, this will cook the steak to a perfect white, if you prefer them a little pink in the middle then reduce the cooking time. Remove the steaks from the pan and allow them to rest for 2 minutes. Serve the steaks with the salsa and toasted flat breads. Combine the aioli with the achiote paste and adjust the seasoning. Serve with the pork.

17. Slow braised spiced pork belly w roast pumpkin, green beans and ginger soy dressing

1 kg pork belly, skin on
1 large pinch of sea salt
½ cinnamon stick
5 cloves
2 star anise
1 tsp fennel seeds

Braising liquor
1 litre chicken stock
3 tbsp shaoxing wine
3 tsp miso paste
12 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
3 bird’s-eye chillies, deseeded, roughly chopped
½ cup coriander roots, washed, roughly chopped

Dipping sauce
½ cup kecap manis
½ cup light soy sauce
½ cup malt vinegar
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp chilli paste
2 cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
Coriander leaves for garnish

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

To make the spice mix, toast the ingredients in a dry frying pan for 5–10 minutes, or until fragrant. Leave to cool then place in a spice grinder or mortar and grind to a powder.

To make the braising liquor, whisk the stock, wine and bean paste together in a mixing jug, then add the remaining ingredients.

Use a very sharp knife to score the skin of the pork belly in parallel lines, about 1 cm apart. Rub the spice mix and sea salt into the skin, working it well into the incisions. Lift the pork belly into a deep roasting tray that is just large enough to contain it snugly. Pour in enough of the braising liquor to come to just below the skin, so the meat is submerged (make sure all the aromatics are evenly distributed around the pork).

Cook covered overnight until tender, cover with baking paper and set in the fridge until firm. Cut into portions and season with spice mix, return to a hot oven of 200c to heat – about 20 – 30 minutes. Combine the dressing ingredients and arrange the pork on top of roasted pumpkin and green beans, drizzle over the dressing and top with coriander.

18. Italian style crumbed pork cutlet with fresh fennel and apple slaw                Dom food stage rsz

Serves 4

4 pork cutlets
1 egg
1 ½ cups bread crumbs
Zest of 1 lemon
Handful of parsley
1 clove garlic
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
Salt and pepper
125ml Litre olive oil for frying

1 bulb of fennel
1 apple
Squeeze of lemon
1 carrot carrot
3 long green shallots
Hand full of mint leaves
2 tbsp good quality mayonnaise, unsweetened
1 tblsp verjuice
1 tblsp lemon juice
Drizzle of olive oil
20g flaked almonds toasted in a dry fry pan until golden

Using a meat mallet, slightly flatten out the cutlet and season it lightly with salt and pepper.
Whisk the egg into one bowl and in another bowl combine the bread crumbs with the lemon zest, chopped parsley, garlic, grated parmesan, fennel seeds and season lightly with salt and pepper. Place the cutlet into the egg mix then press it into the crumbs. Heat the oil in a large pan over moderate heat and fry each cutlet until golden, about 2 minutes on each side. Place the cutlets onto a tray and into the oven for a further 5-6 minutes.
Shred the fennel, apple and dress with the lemon juice. Into a separate bowl combine the shredded carrot, thinly sliced shallots, mint leaves, then whisk together the mayonnaise, verjuice and lemon juice. Toss together the salad and serve this with the cutlet garnished with the toasted almonds.

19. Diced Pork stirfry with sticky chili ginger baked vegetables, lemongrass rice      

3kg diced pork marinated with sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic and ginger
2 bunches shallots
5 cobs of corn, kernals removed
3 eggplants, diced
3 capsicums, deseeded and diced
2 heads of broccoli, florets
4 bch bok choy , shredded and blanched
1kg bean sprouts
2 bunches of coriander
2 stalks lemon grass
1.5kg rice

½ cup kecap manis
½ cup light soy sauce
¼ cup malt vinegar
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp chilli paste
5 cloves of garlic
2 cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
Coriander leaves for garnish

Season the pork and fry off in batches until golden but still tender.
Toss all the vegetables except the bok choy and the bean sprouts with vegetable oil and bake in a hot oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Toss the vegetables with the blanched bok choy and fresh bean sprouts and toss with the cooked pork. Pour over the reduced dressing and serve with the rice and

Cook the rice in the cooker with bashed stalks of lemon grass.

beetroot rsz20. Cauliflower cream and beetroot relish

1 large cauliflower, cut into small florets
2 medium onions, roughly chopped
1 bayleaf
Enough milk to cover just cover the cauliflower
ground white pepper
2 tablespoons of butter


Put the cauliflower, onions and bay leaf in a large pan, then pour in enough milk to almost cover. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15-20 mins, or until the cauliflower is completely tender.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cauliflower and onion to a blender with a ladleful of milk, and blitz until smoothly puréed. Add more milk if you like, mixing to soften to your preferred consistency. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made to this stage a day ahead. Keep chilled and reheat before serving.) Serve with a knob of butter melting on top.

Beetroot relish

750 g beetroot
1 brown onion, peeled and diced
2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup water
3 tsp yellow mustard seeds
2 cup sugar
2 whole cloves
2 peelings of orange rind
1 pinch sea salt *to taste
1 pinch ground pepper *to taste

Peel and process beetroot and onion in a food processor. In a covered frying pan, fry mustard seeds in a little oil. Add all ingredients to a large deep frying pan or large saucepan.
Place over medium heat, cover and bring to the boil. Cook for 30 minutes or until the beetroot is soft and the liquid has reduced and thickened slightly. Pour into sterilised jars, seal and let cool.

Dominique's Top Recipes - EKKA 2015 - Dom's c_book display


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.

Best Ways for Children to Play with Their Food and eat it too - trainImage 6 banana cars Resize



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.

4 RSZ grains on board


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.

4 RSZ Lettuce_chicory red ball

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.

resize Fritatta in pan

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.

brioche rsz