Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Light is Changing

(with a breakfast/lunch box so I won't starve)

My sunset kitchen last week

Finally (and with much gratitude to nature on my part) the sun is sinking, and setting earlier. The energy is descending, and even though it's still hot (it's just been 41, 40 and 38.9c the past 3 days), the nights are cooler and you can most definitely feel Autumn in the air. And those full moon, hot day sunsets are just breathtaking. But, whilst this is taking place my energy needs to keep up - it has been and still is, all happening here! I head off to Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane this week. First stop is Melbourne for the wedding of good freinds and classes, with the cooler weather I know I'll find there, a definite plus. I've even bought a cardigan and jumper !!! Whilst writing the classes, I was getting so excited - especially the Breakfast and Lunch Class for Adults and Children at School, Work and Play. I read this little quote somewhere recently that said if it was hard getting out of bed in the morning, your breakfast wasn't delicious enough :) I can't wait to make Poached Quinces and Vino Cotto with Goat Cheese or Labne  or the Pumpkin, Cheddar, Rosemary and Sage Gluten Free Scones - I'd most definitely get out of bed for that. Classes will be at The Green Grocer - such a gorgeous shop, and the owner Mary and I will chat ten to the dozen. Did I say how much I love Melbourne... I do. There's still a couple of spots and you can contact Mary. I also love Essential Ingredient in Prahran (and Market Lane Coffee) and can't wait to be back there for the To Market class.

Then, onto Sydney for Recipe Testing for the new book. Cakes, Biscuits, Pies - hard work, but I bear the burden. I'm going to post pictures on Facebook, so you can get a feel for what's happening and how a book progresses.  Myself, Food Editor and Editor (and others) go down at approx 2.30 to pick apart or comment on what has been cooked (not by me) that morning. One has to have a robust ego, but it's where I learn about the little things I do, that make a good end result and have not put in the recipe. I love recipe testing and it's such an essential part of a good book. Then, I'm onto Brisbane for Nourishing Young Children class at Mondo Organics - I'm really looking forward to being there.

In the background, I am gearing up for the Whole and Natural Foods Chef Training Program. I was at an Anti GM talk 2 weeks ago given by French scientist Gilles Eric Seralini along with other Chefs and interested people from the food industry. It is one of the first times I've heard such grounded scientific reasoning and response to the pro GM lobby - coming from a scientist, it counts. But the interesting part was the conversation afterwards, where it got to the issue of how we train chefs - many of the young trainees there wanted and noted they received little or no education about the goodness of the food itself, how it's grown and how it impacts on and in a human body. I was so excited to be able to say, "but you can, this is happening in the world - here in Perth, and in New York". We need to change everything about how we relate to food - including how we train those who work in the industry. The Whole and Natural Foods Chef Training Program is a part of that change and it's incredibly inspiring to see what some of the graduates from both New York and my program are doing.

BUT, to the food. I've learnt not to rely on plane food - mostly, it's not edible. This is what I am taking for the plane trip - 5 odd hours, so I need something real. I'm making an old favourite - Stuffed Butternut Pumpkin - and one from my garden none the less. I'm going to take a treat also - some Chocolate Mousse. Whilst I'm on the plane, I'll most likely be day dreaming about this - Heidi Swanson listed it recently on her Favourites list, and I'm biting - hook, line and sinker. It's very me, I love it, I want to live in San Francisco - but alas, not this year. I'll have to make do with our tour there next year. For now, I'm going to savour all the deliciousness, cool weather and friendship that Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane have to offer. I look forward to seeing you there.......

I also made a quick plum crumble 

Gluten Free, Can be Dairy Free

Top with seeds for a dairy free version (they will toast up in the oven) or grated cheese if desired - even goat cheese crumbled into the mix would be delicious. Play with the vegetables as desired - some cooked lentils would be a great addition and  increase the protein, as would a sprinkle of dulse flakes or a little arame sea vegetable (reconstituted of course). Serve with steamed greens (beans and kale) for dinner, or with a salad for lunch. 

1 medium butternut pumpkin
1/2 - 3/4 cup cooked grain - hulled millet is good, I used red quinoa
1 small onion - finely chopped
1 clove garlic - finely chopped
2 stems celery - finely chopped
2 medium carrots - finely diced - but you can see I didn't have that, so I chopped up zucchini from the garden instead
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 - 2 corn kernels, freshly cut of the cob
1 - 2 tablespoons currants
1- 2 tablespoons lightly roasted pine nuts
fresh coriander or basil - I used basil
1 - 2 teaspoons wheat free tamari

sunflower and pumpkin seeds as desired
good melting cheese as desired

Pre heat oven to 180c or 165c if fan forced.

Cut the pumpkin in half lengthways, brush with a little extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with some fresh thyme or rosemary (not essential, but good). Bake for 20 - 30 minutes or until the flesh is soft, and I like it a little caramelised. 

Meanwhile, add a good tablespoon of that olive oil to a pan and gently saute the onion, garlic, celery and in my case zucchini until soft. After a few minutes add the cumin and stir through. You are not frying the vegetables, just cooking them through - covering with a lid will enable them to steam a little without frying. Add the corn kernels and cook for a further couple of minutes. 
Mix the cooked quinoa, vegetables, currants, pine nuts, herbs and 1 teaspoon tamari together - you can do this in the frying pan. When the pumpkin is ready and cooled a little, gently remove the bulk of the flesh from the skin - add this to the frying pan also and mix through - the pumpkin will help it all stick together.  Try to leave a little flesh on the pumpkin - it will help it to keep it's shape. Taste and add tamari as needed.

Stuff this mixture into the pumpkin halves - there will be plenty, and any that you can't fit in, will be good by itself. Either sprinkle with a few pumpkin and sunflower seeds, or top with cheese and bake for 15 - 30 minutes or until warm.


  1. I salute you for taking a stuffed butternut squash on a plane journey! You truly are a woman after my own heart. I just found your book, 'Wholefood for Children' and will check out your others. Great recipes, information and writing! I haven't found many other recipe books that talk about food in the way that you do, beyond Nourishing Traditions and Weston A Price followers. Thanks! x x x

  2. Hi Naomi,

    Thanks so much... happy cooking x Jude

  3. Hello Jude,
    Just wanted to thank you for this delicious recipe. I have made it 4 times already and it has been a big hit every time! It is so delicious and easy to make. Several people have asked for the recipe and I have referred them to this blog.
    Looking forward to your next trip to Melbourne.
    Forever grateful for your lovely blogs and recipes.
    Danielle Luscombe

  4. Thanks Danielle - so glad to hear that, and it is so easy...