Tag Archives: dinner

Fibre: The Original Sexy Superfood

When was the last time you discussed your bowel movements at a dinner party? It seems fibre intake and subsequent bowel activities are not a popular dinner conversation. Trendy superfoods like acai and goji berries, spirulina, cacao and wheat grass seem to be the focus when discussing superfoods.

Don’t get me wrong, I do love an acai breakfast bowl – spirulina shot and raw cacao coated goji berries do excite me. However, expensive ingredients from exotic locations are omnipresent whilst fibre is often considered passé.

Long before noni juice was purported to aid digestive discomfort and maca was heralded for …

Read the complete article on TheUpside Blog HERE

For wholesome nourishing and utterly delicious high fibre breakfast options, see HERE

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Food Fads Worth Embracing

As a nutritionist, one phrase I despise is “food fad”. I’m obviously in support of food, so the food component is fab. But add a fad to the end and suddenly everything changes.

apples

Really, another one?

Food fads are usually heralded by minions shouting “I SAVED MY LIFE THANKS TO …” only to be forgotten two minutes later when the next magic pill arrives.

One delivery followed by another; weight-loss pills, the key to anti-ageing, potions for eternal bliss, scents to stave off hunger, superfoods to make you shine, elixirs to boost your metabolism, and so on. It still amazes me what desperate measures some individuals take in the name of health.

So what’s wrong with a little fad? The main qualm I have with fads is their tendency to encourage obsessive behaviours. Such actions are unsustainable in the long term and facilitate poor self-esteem.

I wholeheartedly support proactive health measures and preventative nutrition. However, there is no need to increase the mortgage on your house to fund these exclusive potions.

Miracle Pill

There is no such thing as a miracle pill

 

Look at Mother Nature

One fad that has been around for some time and is probably more a way of life than a fad is the kitchen garden program offered by many primary schools. Thanks to the vision of Stephanie Alexander and her desire to provide regular kitchen and garden classes to children, the next generation is learning vital skills for optimal well-being and healthy living.

Teaching a child how to love and nurture vegetables is crucial for their future health.

I appreciate that maths, geography, history and the like are essential to the school curriculum. However, teach a child how to grow tomatoes and show them some kitchen recipes that transform these beautiful sweet morsels into delicacies and you will improve their lives. It will encourage them to develop a healthy relationship with food and a positive regard for their body. This is turn will boost their self-esteem.

Fresh Turmeric

Fresh Turmeric

Self love

A child with food knowledge and kitchen skills is more likely to develop into a physically active healthy adult. They are more likely to consume wholesome foods regularly and respect and nurture their body.

Contrast this with a young adult lacking in basic food knowledge. They are often the yo-yo dieter who loathes their body.

I spend much of my time in schools and corporate offices giving nutrition seminars and running wellness programs. Adults who were encouraged as children to take part in food preparation and cooking lead healthier lifestyles as they grow.

But if you weren’t a child of home harvesters, it is not all doom and gloom. There’s no time like the present to start.

Fast fads & detoxes

Drastic fad diets and detoxes might facilitate short-term weight loss. Yet fast forward two years and it’s likely all lost weight plus more has appeared. Glorifying short-term skinniness is like celebrating the success of a cheater. The truth will eventually out in the most inconvenient circumstances, such as a burst zip, when the weight reappears.

A final message

Stop over-complicating everything.

Seek professional help if you would like a targeted approach unique to your lifestyle. Otherwise, simply consume far more vegetables than you think you need. You might notice the improvements to your health. You might even notice your skin develops a radiant shine that the $350 superfood failed to deliver.

And, with love and kindness, please drink some water.

Disclaimer: I am not associated with Stephanie Alexander or her programs, nor do I receive royalties or bonuses for promotion.

My Piece Published in The Weekly Review 14th March 2015

Let’s go to Uncle for dinner

A little while ago one of my friends suggested Uncle for a dinner catch-up. To be honest, when she first mentioned it, I wasn’t that taken. I couldn’t help but think another Modern Australian/Pseudo Vietnamese restaurant in Melbourne?! Really??!!

Okay, I was wrong.

Uncle, located in Carlisle Street St. Kilda, is actually a breath of fresh air.

Forget the food for a moment, the atmosphere is gorgeous, upon entering you’re greeted with cheery polite staff. Half of Uncle is an outdoor terrace so you can dine al fresco. I do like dining with fresh air. Considering I’m a nutritionist, I’ll leave the design speak to the experts but will say it is elegantly decked out in furniture and finishing’s that compliment the atmosphere and food.

Winning so far.

If that wasn’t enough in the bathroom there is Thankyou hand wash and Who Gives a Crap toilet paper. Both these companies donate significant funds to those in need, be it providing water or sanitation to developing countries. You may not know this but I get really excited over companies with a social conscience.

Another tick to Uncle.

Now for the food…

There are options for all dietary requirements. From a separate menu for the gluten avoiders to options for vegetarians and meat eaters alike. There was recently a menu change but luckily my new favourite, the lime cured hapuka, coconut, pomegranate, chili on betal leaf remains. If you look closely the betal leaf is actually a love heart, so how can you go wrong   😉 I noticed this when my sister and I were there celebrating me passing my yoga teacher training exams.

The hapuka fish is cooked beautifully. Importantly the fish is not doused in coconut rather it is respected as an ingredient. The coconut merely compliments. Pomegranates provide a bit of juicy freshness and the chili is just enough.

Lime cured Hapuka Fish on Betal Leaf

Lime cured Hapuka Fish on Betal Leaf

I recently ordered the whole fish with ginger soy and fragrant herbs. Once again, the fish was cooked beautifully, it was light and came off the bone easily. Although my favourite part was the generous supply of fragrant herbs. There’s nothing worse then receiving a plate of beautiful food with just a token green or herb. Herbs contain antioxidants, vitamin C, folate and fibre so deserve to be celebrated as much as the main item.

Whole fish with ginger soy and fragrant herbs

Whole fish with ginger soy and fragrant herbs

My only gripe was with the saltiness of the ginger soy.

I dream of a world where salt addition in food is controlled at the table but with a quota to prevent oversalting. You may think I’m a killjoy, I just worry about the implications of too much salt. There really is no denying excessive salt is disastrous to blood pressure. I can’t apologise, I’m just thinking about your health.

Uncle3

There is a substantial drinks menu. However, the tick for me was the friendly addition of a lemon wedge in my mineral water. Sometimes the simple things are often the best 🙂

I went to Uncle for a friends farewell dinner. We needed a special restaurant for a special friend.

uncle

Now for the nutrient analysis..

The menu is based on fresh seasonal ingredients that easily speak for themselves. The flavours are intricate but not overpowering. A talented chef, yes yes!!

It has become common place in our society to order side dishes or miss out on vegetables and salads. There are sides on the menu such as the delicious and crunchy mixed leaf salad. However, there are generous vegetable additions to the main dishes so sides are not an essential.

Food is designed to be shared which is fun but it also ensures greater variety in food intake so more gorgeous nutrients for our body-mind.

In Summary

Uncle serve fresh food with flavour. There is something for everyone. However, I would love to see less salt in the dishes.

Score: ***(*) 

3.5 out of 5

Love, Respect, Nourish by Sharon's Nutrition Melbourne restaurants

Cauliflower Pizza

Pizza is an interesting food.

It has the potential to be nourishing and wholesome with plentiful vegetables, yet so often the goodness is lacking.

Sorry to bare bad news but let’s face it, thick white bread covered in salty processed meats, then doused with excessive sauces and cheese is not going to do a thing for glistening skin, energy levels and concentration.

Enter, my cauliflower pizza and suddenly the story has a happier ending.

See here for my feelings about cauliflower.

This recipe is a winner. It is still on the indulgent side with the cheese addition, so should be consumed only occasionally.

Prepare the base for your guests and let them top it themselves for an interactive dinner party

or top it with my favorites, rocket leaves, pine nuts and herbs as I have in this recipe. Just be warned, once you serve this to your guests, they may never leave.

Cauliflower Pizza

Cauliflower Pizza

Serves: 1 Cauliflower Pizza per person

Ingredients 

1 Cup Grated Cauliflower

3/4 Cup Cheese

1 Egg

1 Tablespoon Dried Mixed Herbs

1/3 Avocado

1 Tablespoon Pine Nuts

Handful of Rocket Leaves

Method:

Preheat oven to 180C.

Shred/Grate Cheese.

Mix grated cheese with grated cauliflower.

Beat egg. Add egg to cauliflower/cheese. Mix to combine.

Line small pizza pan or baking tine base, with baking paper.

Evenly spread pizza ingredients onto pan to form pizza base.

Top with mixed herbs.

Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes, or until pizza browns, cheese melts and pizza is slightly firm.

Remove from oven.

Top with avocado, pine nuts and rocket leaves.

Optional: In a mortar and pestle pound basil and spinach leaves with a little olive oil to form a paste. Spread lightly over the pizza as a pesto sauce before topping with the avocado, pine nuts and rocket.

Beetroot Pancakes

Beetroot Pancakes topped with snow pea sprouts, mixed leaves and vegan dill cashew cheese

Beetroot Pancakes topped with snow pea sprouts, mixed leaves and vegan dill cashew cheese

I like beetroot, a lot! See here for my download on the benefits.

Other wise, stay here for this stunning recipe. I make beetroot pancakes for a quick dinner but they are equally suited to breakfast or lunch.

I prefer pikelet size pancakes but if you prefer larger size morsels, use a larger pan 🙂

Ingredients: 

1 Beetroot, grated

1 Cup Buckwheat Flour

1 Egg

1/2 Cup Milk (I use unsweetened almond milk or quinoa milk)

1/4 Cup Sparkling Mineral Water

1/4 cup Buttermilk

Macadamia Nut Oil

Method:

Sift buckwheat flour into bowl.

Add egg to buckwheat, mix.

Add grated beetroot, mix.

Whilst stirring, slowly add milk, sparkling water and buttermilk. I prefer to do this step with a fork, rather than a beater or processor to prevent over mixing and enable the sparkling water and buttermilk to combine gently.

Note: depending on the absorption of the buckwheat flour, you made to add slightly more flour or liquid. The batter should be wet and thick but not overly sloppy from the liquid.

Heat pan to high heat.

Once hot, add 1 tablespoon macadamia nut oil, allow to coat the entire pan.

Turn heat down to medium heat.

In batches, ladle beetroot pancake mixture into pan. – careful not to overcrowd the pan.

Cook on each side for 2 minutes or until the pancake is colored and ‘browned’.

Repeat process until all the batter is used. May need to add another 1 tablespoon macadamia nut oil or wipe down the pan between batches.

Serve with leafy greens and either cashew cheese or ricotta cheese for a hearty meal.