Archive for the ‘Recipe Inspiration’ Category

Shared celebrations

Things have been a little quiet here at Équilibre as we await the birth of our second child… due to arrive any day now!

As this means that social festivities in the lead up to Christmas will be significantly curtailed for me this year, my girlfriends and I took the opportunity to organise a lovely lunch a couple of weeks ago to take time out to celebrate our friendship and the year that has been, as well as a couple of expected new arrivals! It was so delightful to share in some delicious, seasonal food on a lovely warm, sunny Sunday afternoon in the company of close friends.

I’ll have the recipes for the homemade cordials on a future blog post – everyone received a little ‘take home’ bottle as a memento of the afternoon!

Here are a few snapshots from our little feast as well as links to the recipes below… Read the rest of this entry »

Real muesli bars with a gourmet twist

In search of the perfect muesli bar recipe…

I know it’s popular to compare fat and sugar levels of shop bought muesli bars, and yes, despite their healthy image, in some cases you might as well be eating a chocolate bar! For me though, it’s the actual ingredient list that matters. Many popular brands have very low quality, highly refined ingredients, artificial additives and fruit that isn’t really fruit!

The only brand that I am happy to have in my pantry for snack time emergencies is Carman’s. With just a simple list of wholesome ingredients, there isn’t much to raise the alarm bells (and they don’t cost the earth in comparison to some upmarket gourmet brands).

Ideally, of course, it’s best to bake your own and take control of exactly what goes into them. Sadly though, not all of my muesli bar baking efforts have been successful, often ending up with a pile of muesli ‘rubble’ rather than nicely turned out bars!

My latest effort was inspired by Bill Granger’s recipe ‘Real Muesli Bars’ from Everyday Food. I took the liberty of adapting it somewhat, including the addition of extra flavourings like vanilla, cinnamon and orange rind – and the result was pretty good. Even Sophie tucked in to them with relish! Read the rest of this entry »

Celebration

It’s my birthday on the weekend and i’m planning to indulge… Read the rest of this entry »

Breakfast…beyond the box

My challenge to you this week is to think beyond packaged, processed breakfast cereals (yes, I do mean Weetbix!) and to ban all those boxes with their seemingly virtuous health claims emblazoned across the front. Read the rest of this entry »

Summer Menu Planner

Its taken a while, but the Summer Menu Planner has arrived (just in time for the late summer heat)…

Its no secret that I love food – i’m always in search of new recipes, enjoy reading the latest foodie magazines and daresay my cookbook collection is somewhat larger than average.

When it comes to incorporating all these wonderful dishes and ideas in to daily life, its not always easy. For most of us, it can be a big ask to put together a variety of practical recipes to create meal plans with good nutrition and balance on a consistent weekly basis. It becomes far too easy to rely on old favourites or resort to impromptu take-away on the way home. I can certainly empathise with the recurring daily dilemma of what’s for dinner? Read the rest of this entry »

Great snack recipes to energise and satisfy

One of my irritations is ‘healthy recipe makeovers’ – you know the ones, where you take traditional recipes and try to cut back on fat, salt, sugar or substitute alternative (so-called healthier) ingredients. I understand the good intentions, but often find that by doing this you come up with less than satisfying results and generally feel a little cheated. The classic example being the old ‘coconut essence in evaporated skim milk’ used to replace real coconut milk….arghhhh, so wrong!

Its basically the same as a lot of ‘diet’ products on the market that cut back on fat and then need to pack in so many artificial additives and chemicals (or in a lot of cases refined sugar) just to make them palatable. It makes no sense when a little bit of the real thing can be so satisfying, ultimately more nutritious and you don’t feel as if you are being deprived or missing out (and for those of you familiar with it, a lot less chance of spiralling out of control in to an all out binge!)

As we have been tweaking the food we eat ‘post celebratory season’, i’ve been incorporating some more healthy snacks in to our repertoire. What I love about these dips are the fact that they are age-old traditional recipes not trying to be more of one thing or less of another…they simply are what they are…straightforward, tasty, nutritious and filling. I certainly haven’t found anything better ready-made, nor easier to whip up in a couple of minutes with just some basic ingredients… Read the rest of this entry »

Christmas Pudding with a twist

We aren’t usually fans of traditional Christmas Pud, but i’m making an exception for these miniature, lighter style versions from Russell Blaikie of  Must Wine Bar. Recipe below is from his fabulous new french bistro style cookbook, MUST EAT.

They will be making an appearance on our Christmas table this year, accompanied by a glass of luscious liqueur Muscat!

Read the rest of this entry »

The Great Aussie Beef Burger

The other day, I was attempting to recall the last time I ate a fast food burger. My memory is of being in year 10, so let’s say I was around 15 years old (a couple of decades ago anyway!) Hard to believe? Not for me…

I’ll sidestep the complicated and often controversial issue of what actually goes in to those ‘oh so familiar’ burgers and ask a simple question based purely on taste and aesthetic… Why would you even be tempted by soggy, sugary buns, dodgy meat, plastic cheese and wilted salad, when the alternative – the home made version – is just so AMAZINGLY good (and healthy)?

Check out Katie’s version, complete with homemade Balsamic Beetroot Relish and Roasted Truss Tomato Ketchup if you’re feeling enthusiastic!

For us, its the perfect relaxed Summer family meal…yum!

What’s for dinner?

Planning the week’s menu is a big deal in our household…I even write it up on a big blackboard in the kitchen, café style. Loads more on meal planning yet to come, but for now, this what my family can expect this week… Read the rest of this entry »