Supporter of Good Return

Roast Leg of Lamb

Makes your mouth water a little bit, doesn’t it? I was at the Bondi Farmers Market this last weekend, acting as the in-house photographer (yep, I work for the folks that run the markets at Bondi Beach & Manly Beach on weekends, it’s a great gig!), and of course had to avail myself on all of the awesome veggies and breads and goodies there. It was a great market, and I don’t say that lightly! One of the best features of my home town in Canada is its tightly knit community, which in the summer seems to revolve around the local farmers market. I’ve grown up on fresh produce and market goods, and it was difficult to reconcile myself to second rate stuff at grocery stores when I moved away for university.

Fortunately, the Foodie Revolution means that farmers markets are cropping up everywhere and flourishing too. Have you noticed this? In both Sydney and Vancouver, the two cities I’ve lived in most recently, organizations are working hard to get these markets off the ground and to be the centres of their community. I think that this will certainly happen in Bondi—this oh-so-famous part of Sydney is chock full of folks who know what’s good for themselves and for the environment. Yay Bondi! There were hundreds of people at the markets this Saturday and I hope that it stays as busy for all the Saturdays to come.

What fell into my bag? Some organic carrots, a few chocolate croissants, a delicious fruit and nut loaf, and some wholewheat flour stone-ground by hand the day before I bought it, by the man who handed me the bag (yes!). It smells like heaven and I can’t wait to get baking with it. Seriously, life just doesn’t get better than a good farmers market!

While this leg of lamb is sadly not from the farmers market, it is a darn good recipe for a Sunday afternoon roast. (Which should totally come back into fashion, by the way—talk about a little effort for a lot of food!) So read on…

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Edited: May 3rd, 2011

Quinoa, Beet, and Chorizo Salad

I don’t think the photo does justice to just how tasty this meal is! I rather impulsively bought a package of organic quinoa the other day, and was tickled pink to discover this lovely recipe in a new salads cookbook my mum got me (thanks mum!). It combines so many things nice—the slightly sweet roasted beet (beetroot for you Aussies), the salty spiciness of the chorizo, the earthiness of the beans and avocado, and the satisfying crunch of a well-cooked quinoa dish.

Quinoa, pronounced keen-wah, is an amazing ingredient. Native of the Andes in South America, it has been cultivated by humans for over 6000 years. It is technically a seed though it is often considered a grain, but unlike any other seed or grain, it contains a full set of amino acids and is therefore a complete source of protein. As it’s gluten free, quinoa is pretty much a power food—great for vegetarians, vegans, and celiacs alike! (And according to Wikipedia, quinoa is one of the few food sources being considered for cultivation on long-term manned space flights! How cool is that?) Omit chorizo and use a tasty tofu or chopped boiled egg for vegetarian or vegan alternatives!

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Edited: December 1st, 2010

Chilled Corn & Bean Salad with Chicken

chilled corn & bean salad with chicken

This chilled corn and bean salad with chicken is a result of one of those nights when you have some stuff in your fridge and it just kind of sits there and stares at you, and you know that you have to eat some of it but you aren’t sure what, how, or why. You wouldn’t think that this is a problem that I face frequently, but it happens more often than I enjoy. However, once you hone in on a couple ingredients and skim through a cookbook or two (or ten), some really yummy dishes can result!

If you’re stuck for dinner one night or want a recipe that’s pretty fail-safe, give this a go! It’s pretty quick and cost effective besides.

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Edited: September 22nd, 2010

Easy Noodle Salad

crisp noodle salad

This easy salad recipe will have you on your knees! Noodle salads can be hit and miss sometimes, but I promise that this one delivers. Tangy but sweet, crunchy but soft—it’s everything a crisp noodle salad should be. The first time my boyfriend made this I fell in love with it, and it’s a salad that I always wonder how I lived without whenever we make a fresh batch. The crowning glory of this salad is the vinaigrette dressing, as it is so easy to make and tastes so good I’ve actually had to lick my bowl. Uh… you didn’t know that! This also makes a great salad to bring to parties, as it’s not your ordinary green salad nor does it have any expensive ingredients.

So what are you waiting for? Get out the knife and start chopping to make this easy & delicious noodle salad!

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Edited: September 2nd, 2010