My summer of salads on Paleo

Just at the end of October last year, there was one word everywhere. Paleo. People were talking about it, people were on it, I was reading about it and boy are there so many blogs about it. A friend was in my ear about it and her sales technique was rather effective; “You can eat meat, chicken, seafood, fruit, vegies, nuts and seeds. But no wheat, added sugar, carbs or dairy.” Seemed simple enough and it was. In the 6 week lead up to a day dedicated to my love of pudding, custard, ham, turkey, mince pies and basically the kitchen sink, Mr ELG and I committed to the Paleo diet. If you’ve read any of my past posts, you will know I am not one to diet (apart from the 21 day wonder diet pre wedding). Food is just too damn good to give up which is why I believe this Paleo diet does wonders for me and Mr ELG. By Christmas day, I was minus six kilos and Mr ELG was looking damn fine having shed 12 kilos.

I am proud to say that Christmas day lived up to all of my foodie fantasies and travels thereafter took me to Melbourne where I was eating fresh grilled lobster and sipping champagne on new year’s eve, to Main Ridge where I was plucking plump strawberries off the vine, to Balnarring where I was chowing down dried fig and gorgonzola pizza at Ciao Bella and finally to the Portsea pub where a glass of Paringa Estate Pinot Noir made me ever so thankful that I was lapping up my summer days; living to eat.

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So this week I am back to the grind, back to the rat race and back to Paleo. The silly season is over and the coast is clear, free from dangling carrots of snacking here and sipping there. It’s by no means a new year’s resolution because again I have no patience for those goals but I am resolute to be fit, be free, know tone and have boundless energy to run after a soon-to-be-terrible-two year old.

And so today and tonight has been coloured by my summer of salads. Sticking to the rules and guided by the refreshed energy of a new year; I feel like a kid with pack of pencils about to colour in way outside the lines.

Armed with a fridge full of fresh food, these are the last two salads I have whipped up from scratch getting rave reviews from Mr ELG and having him go back for seconds. And lastly, I hope you’re also enjoying a fabulous summer; living to eat!

Lunchtime salad

1 packham pear (chopped), 1 handful walnuts (chopped), 1/4 cup cornichons, 1/2 Spanish onion (finely sliced), 1/2 Lebanese cucumber (chopped), 2 cups rocket leaves, 1 handful grape tomatoes, 2 shallots (finely sliced), 1 x 300g chicken breast (poached and sliced), 1 handful continental parsley (chopped). Mix a dressing together of a good lug of extra virgin oil, juice of 1/2 lemon, 1 heaped Tbsp of Dijon mustard.

Combine all ingredients and enjoy the lunchtime crunch. Serves 2.

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A salad for tea and throw in a barramundi too

2 x 250g barramundi fillets, 1 lemongrass stalk (white bit chopped), 1 handful coriander (chopped), 2 garlic cloves (crushed), 1 tsp fish sauce, 1 Tbsp Tamari sauce, juice of 1/2 lime, 1 Tbsp olive oil. Combine all ingredients in a zip-lock bag and marinate for 30 minutes.

1 mango (diced), 1/2 red capsicum (thinly sliced), 2 cups baby spinach leaves, 1 handful grape tomatoes, 1 shallot (thinly sliced), 1 Tbsp sesame seeds, 1 Tbsp Tamari sauce, 1 Tbsp lime juice, 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Combine all ingredients.

Pan fry barramundi for a couple of minutes on each side. Skin should be crisp and caramelised. Serve with salad and sprinkle some extra sesame seeds on your barra before serving.

New year; old love

Le Tarte de Tatin de Tomate, corn fritters, Eggs la Mer with THE potato roesti, grilled lobster and scallops in shells. Not to mention fish and chips and all of this just in the last 48 hours.
It’s been a while since I posted.
Too long to count. I honestly thought that going to a Secret Foodies gig in October would kickstart some love. Not that it wasn’t great. Actually it was awesome and Miss Darlinghurst herself is onto something niche.
But what’s got the music started is my endless love for Melbourne.
A new year. An old love. And the best part has been to discover the city all again through the eyes of my 20 month old son…Running through Fern Gully in the Botanic Gardens, wandering through the senses-inspiring South Melbourne markets, walking through the streets pointing at trams and sifting warm sand through our toes. Lots of eats, plenty of gos and so many loves.
Tomorrow I’ll be traveling south to Rosebud – somewhere never ventured. Can’t say I’m not sad to leave but I know I’ll definitely be back. So here’s to more holiday and a brand new year to eatlovego!

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Published in: on January 1, 2013 at 10:50 am  Leave a Comment  
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Love a whole lot of ME time

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Two hours ago I had a layer of clay lathered all over my skin as one part of the Rapt treatment at Endota Day Spa in the Hunter Valley. Jaime, my therapist, was halfway through telling me that clay draws the toxins to the skin when I think I switched off and realised I was smack bang in the midst of ME time and had another 24 hours to go.
Mr ELG and I have escaped the Sydney madhouse for a night away from MM. Our first full night away and while it’s only taken a couple of hours to realise I no longer need to tend to the every whim and need of a 13 month old child, I admit why didn’t I do this sooner!!
Driving down the F3 I just loved being able to have a full adult conversation, listen to music in peace, eat a bowl of soup while it’s still hot and most of all succumb to a 2 hour body treatment where the focus is solely ME!
So now I sit here in front of a smoldering fire with two warm scones to nibble on complete with a peppermint tea, mulberry jam and vanilla bean cream. I have the latest issues of Luxury Travel and Masterchef magazine to flick through and another two hours of blissful ME time whilst Mr ELG undergoes the same relaxing 2 hour body treatment at the hands of Jaime.
I now look forward to a yummy dinner where I don’t have to ask if there’s a high chair available and sleep which ends with a sleep in past 7am.
And finally I love having a sister who MM can stay with and become one of the gang with her other kids whilst mum and dad can spend time just being us.

Published in: on June 10, 2012 at 7:16 am  Leave a Comment  
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A mixed bag of loves

This year’s mother’s day was technically my second to celebrate, however it felt more like my first as a) I was more coherent and well-slept since MD #1 – when I was then a sleep-deprived mum with a 4 week old newborn baby walking around like a zombie and b) I received my first mother’s day card from MM which instantly bought tears to my eyes. It has been a big month at ELG central. I have gone back to work full time and MM is in full time childcare. In the first four weeks, the three of us were struck down with illnesses of all kind being sickly passed from MM to Mr ELG to me and back around again like a vicious cycle. Dirty washing had taken over every surface of the laundry and if you had asked me what a home-cooked meal was; I would have looked at you like you were speaking to me in Russian as dinners became the last thing on my mind after sickness, snot and sleep and I think I broke the record of how much takeaway pizza one could consume in one week! So by the time mother’s day arrived this year on 13 May, 2012 and Mr ELG handed me a red heart-shaped card with MM’s tiny hand prints on the front and a poem inside, I had an out-pouring of love and happy tears rolled down my face leaving MM bewildered as to why mummy was crying and smiling at the same time! 9 days later and it has felt like the longest 9 days – primarily due to some sad news that a close friend shared with me on the Saturday before mother’s day (I can not even begin to imagine how the days have stretched for my friend). As I listened to her speak such difficult words to say, her voice shaking and croaking with each word; I felt numb, scared and in shock over life and how moments can suddenly unfold. Right there and then, I wanted to hold my friend, tight with love and tell her it was going to be alright. And so there I was the day after celebrating the unconditional love I have for MM and not being able to stop thinking about the conversation from the day before. Over the last 9 days, my thoughts have been consumed by the events which have since unfolded and intertwined with all of this have been my thoughts of the many shades and colours of a mother’s love. A love for the present, a love for the unknown, a love for the memories, a love for the now, a love of hope and a love of what may never come. As I said; a mixed bag of loves. These last 9 days have made me stop and think, stop and appreciate and be grateful for the blessing of my child who never ceases to amaze me. I recently wrote to my friend that there are no words. But today I feel that there are three… I love you xAx

Published in: on May 22, 2012 at 11:41 am  Leave a Comment  
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Lemon yellow leaves in Orange

There’s something so clean and crisp about country air first thing in the morning when the only thing lingering is the faint smell of smoke coming out of nearby chimneys after a fire has been smoldering all night warming up the heart of a home.
I’m in Orange this weekend, thankful to Mr ELG who has whisked me away with MM in tow for a surprise getaway.
Up and about early we stopped in at Byng St cafe; a block away from where we’re staying.
The sun is out and the leaves of the trees above are lemon yellow in colour. The bright rays are streaming over the balcony as I eat my yummy brekkie roll. It’s the perfect balance of egg, crispy bacon, Swiss cheese, rocket and tart chutney. A hot cappucino tops off the taste.
Love, love, love

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Published in: on April 28, 2012 at 12:37 am  Leave a Comment  
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Time out on a Thursday

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First time out moment today at Cafe Sofia in Erskineville with a Blondie cupcake, Mint, Lemon and Ginger tea and In Style magazine…it was MM’s first day at child care. It was definitely me with all of the tears. And after sitting with MM for most of the day making sure he was settled, I really take my hat off to the Carers at Explore & Develop Alexandria. So much patience and enthusiasm all day in such a demanding job. I am so enjoying this moment for me…

Published in: on April 19, 2012 at 5:25 am  Leave a Comment  

Chiswick

I have been wanting to book a table at Chiswick since I heard it had opened on the old Pruniers site in Woollahra on Ocean Street. So this week was my second wedding anniversary with Mr ELG and Chiswick was the location of course to go to celebrate.

I lived in Centennial Park for a number of years and often drove past the low, flat, white building where Pruniers used to be located. Set a bit back from the street and surrounded by tall, elegant palm trees; it always stood out for me in amongst all of the nearby grand mansions on Ocean Street. Many months ago, I heard that Matt Moran and Peter Sullivan were building a new restaurant on the site and with their experience and combined savoir faire in the food industry, I was more than intrigued to discover what the result would be.

And on Tuesday night, I was not disappointed.

I’ve said it before and I will say it again; Sydney is fickle and rarely loyal to its restaurants. So many new ones pop up every month and barely last the distance with only a handful defying the odds. I think Chiswick will rise above and emerge as the latter. Chiswick has forged its beginnings as a “neighbourhood” restaurant with a well-stocked garden onsite providing its kitchens with crisp seasonal produce. A gorgeous fountain greets you as you walk up the pathway and into the restaurant. It’s a Tuesday night, the day after Easter Monday and at 8pm, this restaurant is booming with no signs of any looming financial crisis on its second wind. The big kitchen is open for customers to see directly in and right beside it, a long “shared” table full of chatter and laughter is busy with different patrons enjoying their food and plonk.

We are shown to our table inside the main dining room and at once given some sparkling water on request and menus to start the night. Cecilia introduces herself and urges us to take our time reading through what’s on offer from the kitchens at Chiswick. Deferring away from the traditional three course meal, Chiswick offers an alternative tying in with its table sharing notion, of small plates to share. And as I pore over the menu, I see large lamb racks being placed on the table beside me as the table of eight get ready to all dig in together. After a little bit of discussion and advice from Cecilia, Mr ELG and I order the Veal Sliders x 2, the Kingfish and Steak tartare. A Crab and pea risotto and some of the Moran family beef will follow accompanied by a plate of hand cut chips. A friend of mine had been to Chiswick only days before and on her orders the Veal Sliders were a must, not that I knew at that stage what was to come! Mr ELG also ordered a divine French wine from the Rhone region and the celebrations were off to a great start!

As we sat there chatting, I looked around the room and realised that we have become such a food-forward bunch. With cooking channels taking over our television viewing, cook books topping the best-seller lists and cooking apps taking over our iPads, everyone around me including ourselves know what we want, want the best and are happy to pay for it. And then afterwards we chat about it, share it, pin it, tweet it and the excitement continues. The Veal Sliders arrive and they are mini burgers with brioche buns, tart tomatoes and gherkins and tender veal. Super tasty that I fight to savour the taste slowly over eating it so quickly to immediately enjoy! The Kingfish is a fresh pink and the lemon aioli is like a squirt of fresh lemon on your tongue. And the Steak tartare is heaven; finely diced with an egg yolk and such a memorable marriage of flavours.

Our mains come quickly and as we share these plates too; Chiswick is living up to all expectations.

The one thing that can often let down a restaurant like Chiswick is its staff as often they are too snooty and arrogant to realise that they’re not the patron but the one serving the patron. Tonight this was not the case. All restaurants need to have a Cecilia. Someone who is knowledgeable without being pretentious, someone who loves food and loves to eat it and someone that can smile and actually have a conversation.

Never to pass up dessert and on Cecilia’s recommendations and detailed break down of the plate; I ordered the Caramelia Eclair. When it came out, and I looked at the plate, I immediately thought I was looking at a photo of the woods. On the right was a log and on the left were some Autumnal leaves. On the right was actually the Eclair with a creamy chocolate filling and on the left were slices of poached plum with roasted almonds scattered over.

Matt and Peter, your neighbourhood restaurant is a winner and I hope you are paying Cecilia well because her effort was priceless.

Chiswick @ 65 Ocean Street Woollahra, NSW 2025

Published in: on April 13, 2012 at 1:07 am  Comments (1)  
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A giant’s hot cross bun

Oh and forgot to tell you about breakfast as here at ELG central, Easter is one of our most loved holidays and the three of us decided to get a head start on the hot cross bun intake. I bought this yesterday at another love; Bourke Street Bakery. Their bakers have obviously had a bit of fun in the kitchen and may have taken some inspiration from James and the Giant peach as this hot cross bun is certainly not small. It was the size of a standard dinner plate and after warming it in the oven, the waft of cinnamon and nutmeg filled my home and with some butter; breakfast was a big slice of heaven. If you’re in Sydney and love a good hot cross bun, this one doesn’t disappoint so go and grab one today!

Bourke Street Bakery @ 633 Bourke Street Surry Hills, NSW 2010

 

Published in: on April 5, 2012 at 12:16 am  Leave a Comment  
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Easter bunny is almost here…

Three days before the Easter Bunny arrives and I am still busily planning my menu for Easter Sunday lunch. If you could just see my dining table…I have open Donna Hay magazines strewn everywhere, a Nigella cook book on the floor, Gary Mehigan’s book flipped open to his crazy delicious brownie recipe and a carton of colourful rubber eggs that I picked up from Bed Bath and Table; perfect for MM’s first Easter egg hunt on Sunday as I’m trying to be a good Mummy and go steady with his chocolate intake! I’ve definitely decided on a starter to get the palate salivating but deciding on what’s to come…wish me luck!

For a while now, I have been enjoying making goodies to give at Easter, just like at Christmas too when I made a big batch of my Gourmet Chocolate and Apricot muesli and bottled portions of it up in glass bottles to giveaway. The smiles from people who are on the receiving end are so much bigger especially when they realise it’s homemade! And so I add this to my Thursday madness as while I am not attempting to make chocolate eggs, I may be planning to make something gooey which involves chocolate of course and maybe a bit of peanut butter…I will keep you posted🙂

And yesterday out of all of the chocolate shops in Sydney, I paid a visit to the one I love best – Scrumptious on Cross Street in Double Bay. Quite close to another love; Papier D’Amour and two doors down from an endless love; Simmone Logue, Scrumptious is just as its name describes…utterly scrumptious. It is a small shop filled to the brim (especially around this time of year) with so many goodies; both edible and ornamental that it’s an overload on the senses. The scent of chocolate is amazing and the collection that the owners, Nicole and Briar, have amassed of glassware, bunnies, biscuits, eggs, vases, birdcages and baskets is truly extraordinary. On this particular visit, I picked up bits and pieces to decorate my Easter Sunday table and of course some chocolate to top it off.

I must now stop procrastinating and make some important decisions as to what to cook so I wish you all a beautiful Easter and hope you spend lots of time with family and friends relaxing over this long weekend, eating lots of chocolate and also taking some time out for yourself!

Happy Easter!

Scrumptious @ 4 Cross Street Double Bay NSW 2028

Simmone Logue @ 2 Cross Street Double Bay NSW 2028

Papier D’Amour @ 8 Cross Street Double Bay NSW 2028

Published in: on April 4, 2012 at 11:50 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Eat Love Go dream…no pizza involved!

Saw this on Saturday and thought Huh??? Thought I might have to go and have a chat to the owner about some copyright issues…🙂

But as I walked away; my mind began to wander and maybe this whole blog thing could one day lead to a little shop that I would love to own and run. Called Eat Love Go. A little cafe with vases of fresh flowers everywhere…where I could make my favourite ricotta hotcakes with chocolate honeycomb butter or on every second day I could alternate and make my apple pancakes with cinnamon yogurt and golden syrup….whatever I love to eat! There will be the Barossa Breakfast blend by Scullery Made Tea of course, as that’s another love. And if pancakes are not taking my fancy then I will always whip up some of my Chocolate and Apricot gourmet muesli inspired by another loveFarmer Jo.

And don’t worry I do see there to be more than just breakfast on the menu but I need to do some more thinking and dreaming…

And what about the GO? Well, I’ve recently taken up some freelance writing in Travel (have a look at Travel Hunch if you’re curious) and if you have read some of my previous posts, you will know that on my travels here and there, I do like to pick up things which remind me of where I have been. So it might be some Carthusia perfume from Capri on the shelves next to some hot pink Pretty Ballerina ballet flats from Cannes, placed next to a shantung silk scarf from Launceston….a small selection of loves evolving over time!

Well…just a thought of mine and thanks for reading!

 

Published in: on April 1, 2012 at 11:05 pm  Comments (1)  
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