Tag Archives: mint

Winter Warmer : Pear Mint and Ginger Crumble

Image 2This is a recipe from one of my favourite food blogs “Finger Fork & Knife”, which is a real inspiration to my own aspirations of becoming a food stylist / food photographer / food designer, if not only just as a hobby. I’m not quitting my day job any time soon – I have a mortgage!

Warm pear and ginger are some of my favourite flavours, coupled with the sweet and crunchy oat and nutty topping – with little bursts of saltiness dotted throughout – contrasted with the freshness of mint and zestiness of lemon, balanced with cold creamy vanilla icecream atop, makes this dessert a winter winner in my book. Pears are in season now too which is perfect as I’m a big fan of cooking seasonally and using produce at its optimum quality and availability.

I made a few ingredient substitutions in order to reduce the guilt when seeking comfort in this treat, but all in all this crumble is pretty wholesome (in terms of desserts), so don’t feel too bad.

Pear Mint and Ginger Crumble*

Serves 4-6

For the fruit

  • 4 large pears, peeled, cored, sliced – I actually forgot to peel mine. The skin has antioxidants, anti-inflammatory flavonoids and heaps of dietary fibre, so feel free to leave it on for added nutritional benefit.
  • 2-3 medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped – I used 3
  • 2 pieces stem ginger, chopped – I couldn’t find any so I used glace ginger and halved the amount of sugar used in the crumble topping to compensate
  • zest of 1 lemon – when zesting the lemon, do so over the pan, so that you capture all those flavoursome oils from the rind that splutter everywhere
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves

For the crumble topping

  • 1/2 wholemeal flour – I used wholemeal spelt flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats – next time I’ll try rolled spelt oats to reduce gluten
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar – I used 2 tbs to reduce the sweetness since I used glace ginger, and also to make it a tad healthier
  • 1/4 cup almonds, roughly chopped – hazelnuts would be yummy too
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 60g unsalted butter, chilled, cut into cubes – sorry, but butter makes everything better! Use organic grass-fed if you can.
  • Himalayan rock salt

Method

Preheat oven to 180C.

Put the sliced pear, dates, stem ginger, lemon juice and zest into a saucepan. Add a splash of water and bring to the boil. Reduce hear and simmer for 5 minutes, or until the pear has softened slightly. Remove from the heat and add in the chopped mint leaves. Stir gently to mix through mint then spoon into an oven-proof dish or divide between individual ramekins.

To make the crumble topping, combine the flour and salt in a bowl. Add the butter and rub with your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs – this can also be done in a food processor. Stir in oats, brown sugar, almonds and sunflower seeds. Scatter the crumble over the fruit in an even layer and pop into the oven to bake for 30-35 minutes, until browned on top. Serve warm, with a big dollop of natural yoghurt, custard, cream or (my choice) vanilla icecream.

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IMG_2209*Recipe credit to Finger Fork & Knife: http://fingerforkknife.com/2013/06/30/pear-mint-ginger-crumble/

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Dry July

Clear Your Head, Make a Difference

Back in April my boyfriend and I had 6 weeks off the booze, in an attempt to be healthier and to save some money. It really wasn’t that hard especially since we were doing it together. We felt energised and positive! So when I heard of “Dry July” – a charity that raises funds to help adults living with cancer – I thought, why not participate? It’ll give me an opportunity to have another month off and re-focus, and more importantly, it’s a good deed!

A colleague of ours is currently going through the heartache of helping her loved one fight cancer, so we have set up a workplace team to show our support. If you wish to donate, you can do so by visiting http://au.dryjuly.com/team/chesswealthpartners.*

Eating Clean

A month without alcohol is also a good motivator to eat clean. I must admit that lately I have been indulging a little more than I should be in sweets and processed foods (white flours and sugars.. I’ve been naughty!) so this is a good time for me to reset. I’ll be making an effort to have a juice or smoothie everyday and to eat clean.

I kicked off the morning this Energising Green Juice.

Photo of Energising Green Juice

Energising Green Juice

Ingredients

  • 1 green apple
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 stick celery
  • 4 leaves kale
  • 2 sprigs mint
  • 1 lemon, peel removed
  • 2cm-piece ginger

Method

Put all ingredients through a juicer. Simple!

You can use any combination veggies and fruits you like. There are no rules.**

Stay tuned for more clean recipes throughout my Dry July!

*If you want to sign-up for Dry July yourself, visit https://au.dryjuly.com/sign-up/. My individual profile is http://au.dryjuly.com/profile/fionawhite.

**Remember to eat the colours of the rainbow – mostly veggies. Fruits are still high in sugar so have these in moderation. More green veggies = higher alkalising effect = better for you! Happy juicing! x

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Vietnamese Chicken Salad with Green Papaya, Pickled Carrot and Mint

Picture of Vietnamese Chicken Salad with Green Papaya, Carrot and Mint

At the farmers markets on Saturday morning, my usual green grocer had bags of freshly-shredded green papaya for sale. I love green payaya salads but seeing as though I am way too lazy to go to the Asian supermarket to buy green papayas and even lazier to peel and shred the big melons myself, I didn’t hesitate to procure myself a bag of the not-always-available (and conveniently pre-packaged) fruit.

I didn’t have a recipe for a Thai green papaya salad (originally from Laos as I have now learnt) so I adapted a recipe for Vietnamese Chicken Salad with Carrot and Mint from Bill Granger’s “Bill’s Everyday Asian” – a cookbook that comes highly recommended by my best friend and she is not wrong! All the dishes I’ve made so far have been really tasty and quite simple, especially for Asian food which I can find to be a tad onerous on time, ingredients and processes.

Vietnamese Chicken Salad with Green Papaya, Pickled Carrot & Mint

  • 1.5kg rotisserie chicken – I used 2 poached chicken breast instead (see recipe below)
  • 90g bean sprouts
  • 180g Chinese cabbage, finely shredded – I used green papaya instead
  • handful mint leaves
  • handful basil leaves
  • pickled carrot (see recipe below)
  • 3 tbs fish sauce
  • 2 tbs soft brown sugar – I used raw organic honey
  • 1 long red chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp finely chopped ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, crush with the flat of a knife – I finely chopped mine
  • handful chopped roasted peanuts
  • small handful crispy shallots – I used sliced spring onions (fresh)

Shred the chicken breast meat. Place the chicken, bean sprouts, green papaya, mint and basil leaves and picked carrot in a serving bowl.

Make the dressing by whisking together the fish sauce, lime juice, honey, chilli, ginger and garlic. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine with half the peanuts. Sprinkle with the remaining peanuts and spring onions to serve. Serves 4 (it served a hungry boyfriend who loved it and who doesn’t normally like Vietnamese food plus myself for lunch, and we even some leftover to use as rice paper roll fillings the next day).

Pickled Carrot

  • 1 large carrot, finely julienned – I simply grated mine
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt – I always use Himalayan pink rock salt
  • 1.5 tbs rice vinegar
  • 3 tsp caster sugar – I used raw sugar

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, cover and leave to pickle for 20 minutes.

Poached Chicken Breast

You can use many combinations of aromatics you have on hand to poach chicken breast, eg. black peppercorns, bay leaves, spring onions etc. Use a good dose of salt (about 1 tbs for 4 breast fillets). Add all the aromatics into a pot of cold water. Bring to the boil. Add the chicken, turn off the heat, cover and leave to poach for 20 minutes. You will have perfectly poached chicken breast every time. Too easy! I like to poach a few extra so that I always have easy salad proteins and wrap fillings on hand.

Chúc ngon miệng! (Bon appetit in Vietnamese)

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