Warming Coconut Chai recipe

WARMING COCONUT CHAI

Rich in the forgotten superfood spices, this delicious coconut chai recipe is full of anti-oxidants, great for anti-aging and disease prevention.

Ingredients

2 cups spring or filtered water

1 Tbsp chai tea mix (nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, licorice, tea leaves)
1 whole star anise
2 whole green cardamom pods
1 tsp cinnamon powder
Homemade coconut milk or organic canned coconut milk (Use nut milk if you prefer)
Raw honey or coconut sugar to taste

Method
1. Pour the water in a pot, add chai mix and additional spices.
2. Bring the pot to a simmer, then reduce heat to low. Cover and let spices infuse for 10 minutes.
3. Strain through a fine mesh sieve to fill mugs 2/3 full. Top up with coconut milk and sweeten to taste.

Chinese Medicine & Pregnancy BFF

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Chinese Medicine & Pregnancy BFF: Best Friends Forever!

Getting pregnant should be the easiest thing in the world right? We spend so many years avoiding pregnancy; we often expect that we will fall pregnant once we start trying to. Our bodies are also amazingly well equipped for the birthing process but sometimes we need a best friend to help us out.

Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture can greatly increase your chances of pregnancy AND a smooth pregnancy AND labour AND a healthy post partum period. In fact, Chinese Medicine is a pregnant or wannabe pregnant woman’s best friend. It can help EVERY step of the way. Acupuncture and/or Chinese Herbs can regulate your hormones, get you and your menstrual cycles VERY healthy in preparation for conception. A good Chinese Medicine Doctor will work out exactly what you need to do to increase your chances of getting pregnant. The best time to consult one is 3 months before you attempt to fall pregnant. Would you plant seeds in weedy, nutrient poor, dry ground and expect any to germinate and flourish? No, either would we. Do you want to give your child to be the best possible start in life? Chinese Medicine promotes ovulation, fertilisation, AND implantation. Naturally, gently and without nasty side effects. Acupuncture can also greatly improve IVF success. Let’s not forget the seed quality. Chinese Medicine can help achieve higher sperm counts and higher motility.1 How’s that for a best friend?

Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture can also reduce the chances of miscarriage, AND relieve morning sickness. While you’re in your second trimester, if all is going well, a monthly acupuncture visit can provide safe, natural effect relief of symptoms while you are pregnant and help your body adjust and prepare for a smooth labour. If you need more help, I have experience in managing gestational diabetes, high blood pressure and more. A good Chinese Medicine Doctor will also advise you on what exercises and diet will best suit you.

In your third trimester, Acupuncture can set you up for the smoothest delivery possible. Chinese medicine techniques, including acupuncture can help also position your baby correctly, align your pelvis, get you as well as possible for the journey to come. We can even gently promote labour if you’re overdue. Acupuncture can help prevent caesarean delivery. We can also boost your energy levels and resources to better handle the post-partum period, give you herbal tonics to take, alleviate any problems with breast feeding if you have them. That’s friendship right?

A natural, holistic approach such as Chinese Medicine can facilitate a wonderful, empowering birthing experience. I believe that is every woman’s right. As an experienced Doctor of Chinese Medicine specialising in Acupuncture, I have helped thousands of women get pregnant, stay pregnant and then smoothly deliver a healthy baby. It is a wonderfully rewarding experience for all, including me. I have even been blessed by a patient naming their baby after me. Such an honour.

We all know that life doesn’t always go as planned, but Chinese Medicine support can greatly increase your chances of a healthy pregnancy, making the journey much more enjoyable. Do you need a best friend in pregnancy?

Dr Elaine Hickman

B.H.Sc.TCM (Acupuncture), Cert.Cl.Ac (Beijing)

Registered Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine

Roasted Vegetable Frittata

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Roasted Vegetable Frittata

Serves 3

Ingredients

220g pumpkin

200g potato

220g sweet potato

25ml (1 tbsp + 1 tsp) oil

1 small red onion, peeled and roughly chopped

70g (about 6 small) mushrooms, roughly chopped

2 cloves garlic, separated, unpeeled

44g frozen peas

4 large eggs

44g (1/2 cup) grated parmesan cheese

40ml (2 tbsp) cream

Salt & freshly ground pepper

Extra ½ tsp oil, for pan

Method

Preheat oven to 2000C. Peel pumpkin, potato & sweet potato and cut into bite-sized chunks. Place on a baking tray, drizzle with 1 tbsp of oil and toss to coat. Bake for 30 minutes. Add chopped onion, chopped mushroom and garlic to tray and drizzle with 1 tsp oil. Toss with other vegetables. Continue baking for 20-25 minutes, until the vegies are cooked through. Remove garlic from its skin, place in a medium bowl and mash with a fork. Add eggs, parmesan, cream, salt and pepper to bowl. Whisk until combined. Heat extra ½ tsp oil in a 26 diameter frying pan over medium heat. Cover base of pan with vegies. Pour egg mixture over vegetables

Pork Goulash with Mushroom Pilaf

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Pork Goulash with Mushroom Pilaf

Serves 4

Mushroom pilaf

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 brown onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 cup basmati rice, rinsed

1 ½ cup chicken stock

200g button mushrooms, thinly sliced

Pork Goulash

1 tbsp olive oil

1 brown onion, halved, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 tbsp paprika

600g pork fillets, thinly sliced

2 tbsp brandy

1 cup chicken stock

½ cup thickened cream

¼ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped

Method

  • 1. Make mushroom pilaf: Heat 1 tbsp oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook, stirring, for 4-5 mins until soft. Add rice and stir to combine. Pour over stock and season with pepper. Stir to combine. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, covered, for 12-15mins or until rice has absorbed stock. Heat remaining 1 tbsp oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Cook mushrooms for 3-4 mins or until just tender. Transfer to a bowl. Cover and set aside.
  • 2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until soft. Add paprika and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add pork and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4-5 minutes or until just browned.
  • 3. Add brandy and stock to pan. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes or until liquid has reduced by half. Stir through cream and cook for a further 4 -5 minutes or until heated through. Remove from heat and stir through parsley.
  • 4. Stir mushrooms into pilaf. Spoon pilaf onto serving plates. Top with goulash and serve.

Ma Po Tofu

Serves 4

Cooking time: Less than 30 minutes.

Try something new! This dish mixes Chinese and Modern Australian cooking.

Ingredients

2 teaspoons cornflour

½ cup (125ml) chicken stock

1 tbsp Chinese rice wine

1 tsp sugar

1 tbsp light soy sauce

1 tbsp chilli bean sauce

1 large garlic clove, finely chopped

1 tbsp grated fresh ginger

2 tbsp peanut oil

300g pork or beef mince

600g silken firm tofu, well drained, cut into 16 cubes

3 green onions (shallots), thinly sliced on the diagonal

Steamed rice, to serve

Method

  • 1. In a small bowl mix cornflour with a tablespoon of water to form a past. Stir in chicken stock, rice wine and sugar. In another small bowl combine soy and chilli bean sauces with garlic and ginger. Set both aside.
  • 2. Heat oil in wok on high. Stir-fry pork for 2 minutes, until browned. Add soy sauce mixture and bring to boil. Add tofu cubes and gently stir in stock mixture. Simmer for 1 minute, scatter with green onions and serve with steamed rice. EnjoyJ

Lentil & Mushroom Au Gratin

Ingredients

2 tablespoons oil

1 onion, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

2 celery sticks, chopped

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 ¼ cups red lentils

2 ½ cups water

2 tablespoons shoyu

Salt and pepper

Mushroom filling:

30g margarine

250g flat mushrooms, sliced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

3 tbsp chopped parsley

¾ cup grated cheddar cheese

 

Method

Heat the oil in a pan, add the onion, carrot and celery and fry gently for 10 minutes, until softened. Add the remaining ingredients, with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and simmer for 30 – 60 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender. Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Melt the margarine in a frying pan, add the mushrooms and fry for 2 minutes, stirring. Add the garlic, parsley and salt and pepper to taste and mix well.

Place half the lentil mixture in an oiled shallow ovenproof dish. Spread the mushrooms over the top, then cover with the remaining lentil mixture. Top with the cheese and bake in a preheated oven at 1900C, for 20-25 minutes until golden and bubbling. Serve with salad and crusty bread.

Serves 4

Bean Polenta Bake

Bean Polenta

Serves 4

1 cup dried black beans

4 cups water

1.5 tsp salt

1 cup polenta

1/12 cup sliced green onion

2 cup garlic jack cheese (or cheddar) grated

½ pt. fresh salsa

½ can chopped green chillies

Method

Cook beans. Refrigerate. In a large pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil, add salt, add cornmeal slowly, stirring constantly. Cook 20 minutes or until thick enough to leave the sides of the pan. Mix in green onion and half of cheese. Pour half of this mixture into an 9” x 3 “ pan. Spread salsa over mixture, then black beans (drained), then chillies, then remaining cheese. Pour rest of polenta on top. Bake at 3500(F) for 20 mins. Let cool before cutting into servings.

Arancini

An effort, but delicious!

Serves 10 or more

Ingredients

3 ½ cups (875ml) chicken stock

40g butter

1 small onion, chopped

1 ½ cups (300g) arborio rice

½ cup (125ml) dry white wine

1/3 cup (25g) grated parmesan, plus 1 tbsp extra

2 eggs

1 tbsp olive oil

60g button mushrooms, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed

200g lean beef mince

¼ cup chopped parsley

1 cup (70g) fresh breadcrumbs

Rice bran oil, to deep fry

Tip: make bolognaise separately

Method

1. Make risotto by heating chicken stock in saucepan, until simmering. Keep hot. Melt butter in a large saucepan on medium heat. Add onion and cook for 3 mins, stirring until softened. Add rice and stir for 1 min, until translucent. Add wine & stir until evaporated.

2. Add 1 ladle of stock, stirring constantly, until absorbed. Repeat with remaining stock, one ladle at a time, stirring constantly for 15-20mins, until rice is cooked. Remove from heat & stir through parmesan and 1 lightly beaten egg. Season to taste. Spread rice onto a baking tray lined with baking paper to cool completely.

3. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a frying pan on high. Cook mushroom & garlic, stirring for 5 mins. Add mince and cook 5 mins, until brown and moisture evaporates. Stir in parsley, remaining egg and extra parmesan.

4. Divide cooled risotto mixture into 12 portions with wet hands, take 1 portion in your palm and make a small well in the centre. Place 1 tbsp of mince mixture in centre of rice. Fold over rice to enclose mixture and shape into a ball. Repeat with remaining rice portions and mince mixture. Roll balls in breadcrumbs and set aside.

5. Heat rice bran oil in a large saucepan on high until a cube of bread sizzles on contact. Deep fry rice balls in batches for 4 mins, turning, until golden. Drain on paper towel and serve immediately.

Easy Potato & Leek Soup

Easy Potato & Leek Soup

Serves 4

4 tbsp butter

2 cloves crushed garlic

2 leeks

4 potatoes (1/2kg)

8 cups chicken stock

¼ tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

450mls milk (or soymilk)

Method

  • 1. Clean & chop the leeks.
  • 2. Melt the butter in a pan and add the
  • 3. leeks and garlic. Fry them over a low heat until the leeks are soft, about 10mins, stir frequently.
  • 4. Peel the potatoes and chop them into cubes.
  • 5. Add all the remaining ingredients to the pan, except the milk.
  • 6. Bring the soup to a boil and then let simmer for 20minutes.
  • 7. Just before serving, pour the milk into the soup and stir well. Serve.

Roast Pumpkin & Potato Soup

Pumpkin Soup

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

1 butternut pumpkin (approx. 1 kg), seeds removed and cut into wedges
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon dried chillies
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
500g Desiree potatoes
Sea salt and black pepper
3 sprigs of thyme, leaves only
1 tablespoon butter
1 brown onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, skin on
1.5 litres of vegetable stock
¼ cup thickened cream (see tip)

METHOD

1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Place the pumpkin in a baking dish and drizzle with a little of the olive oil. Sprinkle with dried chillies, fennel seeds and salt and pepper. Cut the potato into wedges and also place on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and scatter with thyme leaves. Bake pumpkin and potato for 35-40 minutes or until golden and cooked through.

2. Heat a large heavy based saucepan, add the remaining olive oil and butter and fry the onions and garlic until soft. Add the pumpkin and potato and mash. Pour in the stock, bring to the boil and reduce the heat and simmer for 10- 12 minutes.

3. Blend until smooth with a hand held blender or food processor. Return to the pan and reheat if necessary. Stir through the cream and season to taste. Serve with cracked black pepper.

Elaine’s tip: This soup is chunky, delicious and low-fat unblended and without cream (just skip step number 3!).