Think. Eat. Save

cityhippyfarmgirl

Food waste is currently costing Australians up to $10 billion each year, while two million people still rely on food relief. [Oz Harvest]

Standing next to the big tented kitchen and my stomach is grumbling. The smell coming out of it is incredible. Both in what it’s doing to my taste buds and also with the thought- that all those meals that are being created in there? Well, if it wasn’t for Oz Harvest, there would be no amazing tantalising lunches being handed out today and instead all that food would have gone simply into landfill. A sobering thought, that’s for sure.cityhippyfarmgirl

“Think.Eat.Save 2015 is to bring attention to the alarming amount of food wasted in Australia and around the world, where roughly one third of food produced for human consumption (approx. 1.3 billion tonnes) is wasted or lost along the way.” [ozharvest.com]

Monday morning saw me grabbing my camera and spending a part of the day with the wonderful people connected with Oz Harvest. The national Think Eat Save campaign was launched across ten cities around Australia, in conjunction with the United Nations- (UNEP and FAO) Oz Harvest is doing an incredible job in raising awareness for global food loss and waste reduction.

Oz Harvest is a company that collects good quality perishable food (that would otherwise be discarded and end up in land fill) from a variety of different outlets. They then deliver it to a number of charities around the country. 600+ charities to be exact, that’s some amazing work right there.

But back to Monday’s Think Eat Save campaign.

“Thousands of members of the public across capital cities will be served a free hot meal including surplus soup and rescued stews made from produce that would have otherwise ended up as landfill.” [ozharvest]

Getting more people to rethink food sustainability and security on a local level is something that should be on everyone’s thoughts. Why? Because this effects everyone, on everyone level, at every generation. We should be taking ownership of the waste that we produce. And food waste? It’s a big one that really needs a big reshuffle in this country.

cityhippyfarmgirl

So what did I take away from the campaign? Well a renewed sense of, ‘we really need to do better’ that’s for sure. Rethinking what we put into our shopping trolleys, the food we create for our families dinners and what exactly we are putting into our garbages. I was also blown away by the energy of the volunteers and wonderful people wanting to do more and say more about this issue…it’s really important stuff!

I’ve certainly got more to say, but will keep it for another post. To be continued, and in the mean time? Rethink what you are putting in the bin, it could be part of that $10 billion.

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Insta Lovers- Heads Up: Now if you are keen on sharing your delicious Sunday breakfast (or any other meal) with your teams of followers on Instagram, keep on reading. Oz Harvest and Virgin Mobile have teamed up for the #mealforameal hashtag. You take a pic of your meal (any meal), tag it and Virgin Mobile turns that into a real meal for someone in need. That’s a winner right there, so get snapping people.

Helpful links with more info

Oz Harvest

Food Wise

Love Food Hate Waste

oz harvest || cityhippyfarmgirloz harvest || cityhippyfarmgirl

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Sausage Rolls (hipster certified)

kale sausage rolls || cityhippyfarmgirl

Beards, hats, cold brew coffee, braces, man buns, green smoothies and scarves. If you’ve begun to conjure up images of well-groomed hipster types with intriguing arm tatts, waxed to a curl moustaches and retro print head scarves well I’ve done my job, because I’m talking about hipsters and sausage rolls today.

So would a hipster approve of these particular sausage rolls?

Well they have a secret ingredient within them, and that secret ingredient is hipster certified….it’s kale. And as we all know hipsters eat kale for breakfast, lunch and dinner right? (As luck would have it these sausage rolls can be eaten at any meal time.)

kale sausage rolls || cityhippyfarmgirl

Hipster Certified Sausage Rolls

one bunch of curly kale (stripped from the stalk and roughly chopped)

2 small eggplants, diced

500g of organic beef mince

1 cup of sourdough bread crumbs

1 free range egg

1 knob of butter

a good slurp of olive oil

1 TSP cumin

salt and pepper to taste

puff pastry

In a pot add curly kale and diced eggplant. Add a good slurp of olive oil, cumin and butter, wilting the vegetables down. Once this is done, take them off the heat and with a hand held mixer, blitz them (or blender.) In a bowl add remaining ingredients and add cooled kale and eggplant.

If you are making your own puff pastry, line that goodness down and add your mixture in rows. If you are using the frozen stuff (because life is full and doesn’t involve making puff pastry, then thaw it out and have an extra cup of coffee in the time you’ve just saved -single origin fair trade cold brew coffee of course.

Spoon the mixture on, fold ’em up, cut them and bake on a tray at 200C for approximately 25 minutes. They should look golden, and be tantalising the taste buds.

Eat with enthusiasm, and some delicious farmers market bought chutney.

Pumpkin goodness- Know Your Basics

pumpkin: know your basics || cityhippyfarmgirl

Although you can buy pumpkin for a fair chunk of the year here in Australia. Now is when you will be seeing rather a lot of it. Autumn and early winter is a great time for the humble pumpkin. It’s a cheap and easy basic, that really does pay to know a few different ways in which to cook it. Team it up with the forever versatile fetta and you are away. Meal times never looked so simple.

 

Now if you are lucky enough to grow your own pumpkins, they can be stored for several months in a cool dark airy spot, especially so if they have been cured beforehand. This can be done by leaving them out in the sun for a while first, for the skin to harden and the stalk to dry out.

Then there is the eating. I really like using pumpkin as it’s cheap, and can be turned into a whole list of easy dinner time meals… Or snacks… Or desserts. Actually the humble pumpkin is rather impressive with its array of pumpkiny meal options.

KNOW YOUR BASICS: Find a couple of basic ingredients and really get to know them, what they can do, what they taste well with and most importantly, how on earth to cook them.

First up, roasted. This can be done either with skins on or off depending on your time, strength and taste buds. I normally peel them, as they are generally going into a soup, dhal or bread kind of dish.

Now once you’ve peeled, chopped and roasted you are left with the scooped out, fleshy, stringy and seedy bits. Separate all the seeds and leave them in a bowl to soak over night. The next morning dry them off and spread them out in a frying pan gently roast- watch them, they POP!

Pumpkin: know your basics || cityhippyfarmgirlpumpkin: know your basics || cityhippyfarmgirl

Whether you are roasting, steaming, eating cold, eating hot, the pumpkin is a great one to be bought locally, seasonally, frugally, and importantly tastely, (surely that can be a word?)

What’s your favourite way to serve pumpkin?

A few more ideas on what to do with your wonderful pumpkin

Make a Pumpkin and Fetta Tart

Pumpkin and Fetta salad with chickpeas was delicious

Pumpkin and Fetta sausage rolls always a winner

Pumpkin and Fetta foccacia

Pumpkin Spiced Cake– everyone loves cake, especially pudding kinda cake

Pumpkin and Jerusalem Artichoke Soup, cool nights, hot dinners

Roasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

Indian Spiced Pumpkin Scones– easy for lunch or afternoon tea

Pumpkin pie

Pumpkin Dhal- frugal and seasonal cooking

and my go to Thai Style Pumpkin Soup

pumpkin: know your basics || cityhippyfarmgirl

Seasonal Eating and Earth Hour

It’s Autumn here and while I’m still waiting to feel any big seasonal shifts in the weather, there has been a slight change in what’s gracing my kitchen bench. Seasonal changes in our food are one of the things that get me really excited. I love having things in abundance, eat them in everything and just when I really don’t want to eat them any longer, the season changes and voila! A new vegetable to embrace.

Others who are also embracing all things food and farm related is Earth Hour this year. It’s on again this Saturday, and this time they are focusing in on farmers and how environmental changes are impacting Australian farmers and our food they grow. (They’ve also put out a cookbook to go along with it- with all proceeds going back to Earth Hour’s work.)

How about you? Are you doing anything particular for Earth Hour this year? Or enjoying eating any particular seasonal or local foods?

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OOOOBY– a super easy way to get some seasonal goodness delivered to your doorstep if you live in Sydney. If you have been thinking about signing up but haven’t quite done it yet. OOOOBY is offering $15 off your first box if you type in CITYHIPPYFARMGIRL as a referral code. 

Earth Hour

cityhippyfarmgirl

An excellent local drop…Krinklewood

Happiness in eating local

thyme || cityhippyfarmgirl

When meals are made up of bits and pieces like chocolate, pickles, thyme, plums and wine, you know life is treating you ok.

Last year I challenged myself to an Eat Local challenge throughout the year. While this year, I won’t be continuing with the same challenge, I will still be eating as much locally produced food as I can possibly get my hands on.

Summer holiday time is a great time for local and seasonal goodies. Wonderful things given as gifts, deliciousness made available because of the season, and sometimes just a matter of being in the right place at the right time.

elysium || cityhippyfarmgirl

These are a few of the things that have been gracing our bench tops lately.

Gifted Spencer Cocoa, (cocoa beans grown in Vanuatu and made in Mudgee, NSW)

Pickles bought at Moruya Markets, with cucumbers grown a couple of hundred metres down the road.

Thyme from my window sill.

Plums from an organic laden orchard I was lucky enough to visit.

A wonderful bottle of Elysium wine. Bought direct from the makers, this company uses Australian natives for their wine making.

pickles || cityhippyfarmgirl

Spencer Cocoa || cityhippyfarmgirl

So good, all of them.

I didn’t enter a super market for any of those goodies, and damn, that felt good. It makes me so incredibly happy to be eating a fair chunk of our food like this.

Have a look around you, see what locally produced food you can find, let me know and let’s spread the word even further. I’m always on the look out for more small and local producers, and they in turn are always on the look out for more consumer support for their products.

Happiness really just might be, in supporting and eating local.

plums || cityhippyfarmgirl

 

 

Eat Local Challenge- The End

At the beginning of this year I set out to find out more on my local food and what was available around me, living here in the city. I wanted a little challenge. Not a big one, but something to get me thinking a little differently.

I already supported a lot of local eating. Receive a weekly vegetable box delivered through OOOOBY. Was a frequent lurker at many of the city’s farmers markets, and knew which brands to head towards when in the shops.

So what did I learn from doing this? Well, number one, I would say, catering five sets of tastebuds to local eating is a little tricky. If it was just me, no problem? Two adults? Still pretty easy. Add three kiddos, slightly more complicated, but definitely doable.

Another thing I really valued after doing the challenge, is spices. I love spices, and there are bugger all of my favourite spices grown around Sydney. Sure I can do with out them, but a life long deletion? Hmmm….

Using tumeric, curry leaves, garlic, lime, chilli and salt were really important in the local dishes I made for extra flavour oomph. The Murray River Salt while technically not really local at all, I looked at it as knowing where it came from. 

eat local || cityhippyfarmgirl So what now? Now that the year has come to an end, where do I go from here with my local eating?

At this stage I’m not actually sure, (which might sound rather wishy washy) but I do think to do these things long term a gradual change is better. As you’ll have more chance of sticking by the changes, and that really is what I’ve done over 2014. Gradually introduced more local food options to our family’s meals, gotten to know some different companies and played with some different food alternatives to the tried and true ones I usually reach for.

Ive enjoyed doing it, my family didn’t notice any vast differences to our meals, and now that Pepe Saya has been introduced to our lives…well, there’s no going back now is there.

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Interested in creating your own Eat Local Challenge?

Just how local is local? Well this depends entirely on you. Only you know how you and your family eat. Raise the bar just a little from what you already do. If making sure the majority of your meal includes solely food produced in your country, than make that your challenge. If you want to make it a little trickier, go for produced in the same state…trickier still within 160km.

My aim this year was to really know where my food is coming from for at least one meal a month. These can all be found below.  

Eat Local Challenge #10

Eat Local Challenge #9

Eat Local Challenge #8

Eat Local Challenge #7

Eat Local Challenge #6

Eat Local Challenge #5

Eat Local Challenge #4

Eat Local Challenge #3

Eat Local Challenge #2

Eat Local Challenge #1

eat local challenge || cityhippyfarmgirl

Carrot Top Pesto -ELC #5

carrot top pest recipe || cityhippyfarmgirlThe day I found out I could eat the tops of carrots was a bit of an exciting one.

“You can eat them!” I cried.

“Excellent.” He said, in a less than thinking it really was excellent, voice.

I pushed that lack of enthusiasm to the side as I was carrying more than enough excitability for this one to carry us both. Carrot tops eh? Who knew, actually it turns out lots of people knew, and I was just a bit slow on the uptake. So that’s why they quite often sell bunches of carrots with the tops still on… I just thought they were trying to keep the carrots looking au natural. 

What would I make with them? How would they taste? And would I get it by the rest of the family?

Carrot Top Pesto

Bunch of carrot tops, washed and finally chopped.

A couple of cloves of garlic

Juice of a lemon

Enough olive oil to get a good pesto like consistency.

Pop it all into a hand held mixer, and pulse.

With Carrot Top Pesto made, what was I going to eat with it? I had some potatoes that were whispering to be popped into the oven with some rosemary, and that looked like it could be it. Too simple? Surprisingly no. Mr Chocolate drizzled his with some Pukara balsamic vinegar, (which gave it an extra zing) and not a murmur of objection was to be heard about the ‘different’ pesto.

The following day I had more of the potatoes and pesto together, leaving out the snow pea shoots, (which just quietly I feel are a bit of a chore to eat.) Delicious, seriously delicious. I kept taking another bite just to makes sure. Armed with an empty bowl and green speckled lips, I decided that yes, carrot top pesto was indeed a winner.

A local, frugal, seasonal winner.

carrot tops || cityhippyfarmgirl

How about you? Have you made any food discoveries lately? Ever made carrot top pesto? Do you think snow pea shoots are a bit of chore to eat as well?

Where did my food come from?

Carrots- Rita’s Farm, Kemps Creek 50km

Sebago Potato- Naturally Grown, Naturally Better, Crookwell 240km

Snow Pea Shoots- Lin’s Organics, Londonderry 60km

Rosemary- My courtyard

Lemon- My parents in law’s backyard

roast potatoes || cityhippyfarmgirl

 Interested in taking the challenge?

Just how local is local? Well this depends entirely on you. Only you know how you and your family eat. Raise the bar just a little from what you already do. If making sure the majority of your meal includes solely food produced in your country, than make that your challenge. If you want to make it a little trickier, go for produced in the same state…trickier still within 160km.

My aim is to really know where my food is coming from for at least one meal a month, (where I will be posting here in the last week of the month).

Eat Local Challenge #4

Eat Local Challenge #3

Eat Local Challenge #2

Eat Local Challenge #1

eat local challenge || cityhippyfarmgirl

 

Cauliflower Curry- Frugal Friday

cauliflower || cityhippyfarmgirlcauliflower curry || cityhippyfarmgirl

The good thing about having a blog is that you can see how you have changed over time. Looking back on your words, thoughts, photos and certainly for me, my recipes. Sometimes I feel those recipes need a little shake up.

Now come winter time, this dish (or a variation of it) often turns up on our dinner table. It’s easy, it’s seasonal, it’s super frugal and it deserved a better picture than this one from three years ago.

easy cauliflower curry recipe || cityhippyfarmgirl

 Cauliflower Curry

1/2 a large head of cauliflower

3 potatoes

3 sticks of celery

6 cloves of garlic

1 finely chopped onion

1 tsp coriander

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp curry powder ( a bit old school, but I like it)

400mls coconut milk

Dry fry the spices, onion, garlic (fresh chilli if you are feeling bold) and celery in a little vegetable oil. When they smell delicious, add the coconut milk. Let it simmer for a bit and then add your potatoes and cauliflower. Pop the lid of the pot on and cook it until they are as soft as you like.

curry

Eat Local Challenge #3

corn and chilli || cityhippyfarmgirl

corn || cityhippyfarmgirlCorn, chilli and lime.

It’s a cracker of a combination, and that’s a known fact. But the issue was I needed a little butter or something like it to get the finely chopped chilli to stick onto the corn. I didn’t have any and refused to step outside my Eat Local Challenge so I was left with…

1/ squeeze the lime juice on the corn and nibble delicate little pieces of chilli off at each mouthful…hmmm, not a great idea. I like my food hot but these little chillies are quite beastly on their own.

2/ I could finely, finely chop them and roll the corn in it, hoping some would stick.

3/ I could delicately drape the chilli over the corn, admire the contrasting colours and then push my hot little garnish to the side. Yep, I’ll do that. (On thinking later, I should have cut the chilli and gently rubbed it over the corn cob. It would have given the bites a little zing, but not the kick in the pants that a big one would have given.)

So with the corn sorted, what did I have left? While I do love corn, there still needed to be a little something else to the plate.

Eat Local challenge || cityhippyfarmgirlTo avoid a line up of wrinkled noses and pouty lips I didn’t bother serving this one to the rest of the family. Brussel sprouts is an acquired taste it seems and every one in this household? Well, they haven’t acquired it yet.

So what’s on the menu and where is it from?

Brussel sprouts- Kurrawong Organics, Kirkconnel (175km)

Radishes- Rita’s Farm, Kemp’s Creek (50km)

Granny Smith Apple- from Orange

Sheep’s Curd- Willowbrae, Chevre Cheese– Wilberforce.

Olive Oil- Lisborne Grove, Hunter Valley

Eat Local challenge|| cityhippyfarmgirl

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How about you? Interested in taking the challenge?

Just how local is local? Well this depends entirely on you. Only you know how you and your family eat. Raise the bar just a little from what you already do. If making sure the majority of your meal includes solely food produced in your country, than make that your challenge. If you want to make it a little trickier, go for produced in the same state…trickier still within 160km.

My aim is to really know where my food is coming from for at least one meal a month, (where I will be posting here in the last week of the month).

For Eat Local Challenge #1 see here.

For Eat Local Challenge #2 see here.

eat local challenge || cityhippyfarmgirl

Eat Local Challenge #1

eat local #1 || cityhippyfarmgirl

Eat LOCAL child version || cityhippyfarmgirl The challenge was on. My Eat Local challenge, and this was the night to be doing. A chaotic evening after a rough day. Not the best choices to start off an challenge but I was wearing it. However it was what we were eating that was more important.

The Menu

For the adults- A raw kale salad with hard boiled eggs. (rice, kale, shallots, brown onion, flat leafed parsley, corn, carrot, lime juice, olive oil, chilli and eggs.)

For the kiddo’s- A similar tamed down version, swapping the kale for lettuce. (rice, corn, lettuce, carrot, olive oil and eggs.)

Where it was from

Rice- from Randall Organic rice

Olive Oil- from Lisborne Grove, Hunter Valley

Vegetables- from Kurrawong Organics and Champion’s Mountain Organics, Mangrove Mountain

Eggs- Ed’s Eggs, Jirandali Farm- Mangrove Mountain (85km from Sydney)

Chilli- my courtyard

eat local || cityhippyfarmgirl

Over all dinner was a success. The kids were happy to eat it all and Mr Chocolate said it was all delicious. He did throw a little Caramelised Balsamic Vinegar on top of his jazz it up a bit- a company that produces 250km’s away. I didn’t, but was kicking myself three hours later for not putting a little more protein in there or fat of some sort…I was hungry!! I guess this is the tricky bit, locally produced vegetarian protein. Besides eggs, what other alternatives do I have? To find out next time.

ooooby vegetables || cityhippyfarmgirl

Tidbits

– Foodconnect- Sydney is no longer, and OOOOBY has taken over. Similar concept, and just as committed. This is from their $39 delivered veg box.

The Locavore Edition– for Australian east coast readers, there is a comprehensive guide to both NSW and Victoria so far, (with Tasmania in the nominating stage.)

eat local || cityhippyfarmgirl

How about you? Interested in taking the challenge?

For more details see this post here and for the nitty gritty of ‘how local is local’- well this depends entirely on you. Only you know how you and your family eat. Raise the bar just a little from what you already do. If making sure the majority of your meal includes solely food produced in your country, than make that your challenge. If you want to make it a little trickier, go for produced in the same state…trickier still within 160km.

My aim is to really know where my food is coming from for at least one meal a month, (I will be post here in the last week of the month). It sounds easy enough at this stage, but as the year progresses will it continue to?

eat local challenge || cityhippyfarmgirl

Edit– Have a peek over here at Christine’s Eat Local deliciousness

Slow Living Essentials- Eat Local #1

Slow Living Essentials- Eat Local #1