Three top food trends for the NEW YEAR
Wolf Packs is always on the look-out for the new and different. Currently trending are three new perspectives on what is regarded and about to be accepted as every day food.
Root-to-stem eating. This means using and eating the entire fruit and vegetable, including the stems, leaves, and parts uncommon. The idea behind root-to-stem cooking is the need to reduce food waste, similar to nose-to-tail butchery. Expect to see more about the “don’t discard” movement.
Fungi, yes but mushrooms with healing properties—including chaga, reishi, and lion’s mane are being added to foods for their rich, umami flavours and various medicinal benefits ranging from anti-stress and anti-inflammatory to energy boosting and detoxifying, among others.
Hemp is on the menu. The amount of hemp-enhanced foods and experiences will escalate. The hemp seed revolution has already started and can be found infused into many different meals and snacks, so look out for this smoking-hot trend.
by nonna ivana
There are some who need a recipe almost every time they cook and then there are those, like me, at the other end of the spectrum. Someone who NEVER even looks at a recipe. In fact, if I’m following prep and cooking instructions, then it is a recipe for disaster!
My cooking is emotional, it’s done with feeling, sight, touch, taste, sound and smell. It’s a skill developed over years of experience, firstly in my Mother’s kitchen and restaurant, watching and listening to her explaining the process, and then whilst raising my own family, and getting their feedback, positive and negative.
When Alexis, my son, was an apprentice chef, he taught me the secret of 'listening' to the sounds of cooking, there are differences in sound between soft sizzles and a strong, hot fry, especially when frying steak or onions. I loved that tip!
My best way to learn is experiential. I’m sure that the recipe writers are doing their best to explain their process, and I am also sure that unless I cook with passion and love…it’s just not the same… and no one can’t write and explain that “extra” intuitive ability that overrides even the best instructions. My other complaint about recipes is that they are highly prescriptive – they demand certain ingredients (in or out of season) that you have to purposefully purchase, weigh and measure, often leaving bits and pieces behind that just contribute to waste and extra cost.
I’m also not a great cake, dessert or sweet-maker. I do prefer making 'Moorish' or Mediterranean tasting meals! I prefer to be health conscious and make food that it’s super good for you! I’ve almost banned sugar!
I’m not one for the books! I need to “do”, and “do” repeatedly, to learn effectively. My kids would call me a pseudoscientist and sometimes, on rare occasions, my emotional cooking radar was off and I would produce a barely edible feast! On the whole, however, my cooking was wholesome; fresh; plentiful and healthy. The only planning, was to decide which days we would be eating chicken, red meat, and fish or go vegetarian. Every day different vegetables and salad ingredients were on offer so that there was variety. Once I sorted the overall weekly plan I would shop around that basic plan. It didn’t always work. Sometimes the supermarket offered discounts and that always inspired me to adapt a menu. Budget is everything after all! There are seasons for buying as well, and it’s often best to wait for end of season discounts if you can’t afford the pay the high season price. For example I LOVE osso bucco (It’s Italian, meaning osso "bone" & bucco "hole") and when it’s on special, I buy bulk. Some of which I freeze and some that I cook immediately. It makes for an amazing stew or casserole, one that can feed a family of 4 for at least 2 separate meals, especially if you add potatoes and peas!
Sometimes I’m also inspired by what is left-over in my fridge. I hate waste and can whip up a meal using bits and pieces that are clogging up the vegetable drawer. It’s amazing what can be added to rice or noodles to bring new meals to life! Now there’s no recipe book that can use my fridge contents for inspiration!
Recipes just don’t work for me, that’s not to say that they won’t work for you. Just remember, you can be creative, you can experiment and you can substitute ingredients. Baby steps is best. Try a real simple recipe on your own and see how wonderful it feels to have achieved success!
Nonna Ivana's Kitchen
My Mother instilled in me the cooking basics. I was lucky enough to have been around and lucky that she was so passionate about home cooking. She taught me that almost every meal can commence with an onion, from curries to hot salads to bolognese sauce. Onions are loaded with numerous health benefits, and scientists are still discovering how beneficial this vegetable really is. They're a very good source of vitamin C and B6, iron, folate, and potassium. The manganese content in onions provides cold and flu relief with its anti-inflammatory abilities. Onions are so very versatile, they can be roasted, fried, sautéed, boiled and eaten raw!
So how do you prepare a meal with an onion starter?
Here’s one idea that may work for you.
I call it the “making spinach yummy"
In a deep frying pan or Wok, add one rough wedged onion and fry in olive oil until tender and translucent. Once almost cooked, sprinkle with salt and pepper and then add a dab of butter, they should look a bit brown. Add roughly cut spinach or kale (as much as you like) place a lid on the pan for a few minutes or until the spinach reduces in size. If you want to add more colour you could include a red capsicum to the frying process prior to adding the spinach. What you are after is what I call a "fry-steam" - just keep mixing the greenery until your're happy with the consistency - it should be moist but not too wet.
Serve immediately whilst hot, with an option for guests to add shredded cheese, like parmesan. Keep it simple - keep it healthy - keep it easy!
So Is one easier that the other ? the big question.
scientific research has shown that running on the treadmill is roughly the same as running outside if you make a few simple adjustments.
for example , by setting the treadmill at a 1% grade, you can offset the lack of wind resistance and the belt moving under your feet to make your run the same effort as running outdoors.
Other benefits of treadmill running is the use of ankle and wrist weights without looking like a strangely dressed space man running down the street ! I also like to train without a shirt in summer as I sweat like race horse. Being indoors has its advantages.
You can also dramatically increase your cardio on a treadmill without concern of fatigue or " getting back home" meaning you can push your limits through the roof with the knowledge that you can simply jump off and recuperate for a minute or two. I find on the tarmac I keep a few reserves as to tackle a hill climb or grassy section.
But in saying all that It still as monotonous as hell running on the mouse wheel for km after km.
Where as running outside at 4:30 am when the sun comes up and the birds are chirping, wind in your hair, all that jazz, is revitalizing!
Also once I start my run outside I WILL finish it without cutting any corners or stopping as I might on a treadmill I get no interference or excuses, I have to get back home.
You may not have heard of Tabata Training yet but did you know it can burn a whopping 13.5 calories a minute and double a person's metabolic rate for 30 minutes afterward!
Tabata is an early form of high-intensity interval training (HIIT), started in the 1990s by Japanese professor Izumi Tabata.
Tabata training has been invaluable to me as a motivational tool and extreme cardio builder.
It was introduced to be by a boxing/MMA coach "Sam " in Port Macquarie when I lived there a few years ago.
I base my Tabata interval training in two different categories. The first style is designed for 100% cardio annihilation! The other is weight training. I use a Tabata timer on my phone. It's a free app called "Tabata Stopwatch Pro". I set this at 4 rounds, each round consisting of 8 sets - 20 seconds on and 10 seconds off, with a minute rest in between each round. I start jogging at 12 km per hour for the first round increasing the speed by 2 km e.g. 12 km,
14 km, 16 km and so on. The theory behind this style of interval training is that you trick your heart rate to believe that you continued to run the whole time, even whilst stopping for a 10 second breather. Your heart rate does not decrease virtually at all while you stop for 10 seconds yet your body/joints/ligaments etc. get a quick regeneration ready to pump through the next 20 seconds of torture.
Under normal circumstances the average fit person would severely struggle to sprint 16 km or 22 km per hour for 4 minutes straight! I find this a great way to stretch my cardio to extremes on levels I would not normally subject myself to running outdoors.
As my much loved "hand me down" treadmill only goes 16 km per hour max, I wear ankle and wrist weights up to 10 kg and incline 1.5% to simulate a bit more of a realistic run, as many believe the treadmill work out to be a slight advantage.
The other Tabata workout I use is weight training. I use the same 20 sec on, 10 sec off X 8 sets and I do this 4 repeats. So for example Friday - chest day, I do flat bench press, super-set flys, super-set incline bench press, super-set chest dips, super-set.....you get the idea. This will get your heart rate way higher than normal paced weight training giving you a good dose of cardio mixed in with you weights.
Its a great method to utilise if you are cutting weight, as this will burn calories similar to a fast paced walk or jog. The obvious down side is that you may find you need to drop your size of your weights as there is next to no rest time in between reps, but I still find this an acceptable sacrifice for all the extra cardio.
All in all Tabata is a great way to add motivation to your normal training routine. The timer acts like a fitness coach, driving you to keep pushing through boundaries and burn calories.
The best thing about this tabata workout is, the whole workout is only 20 minutes! Leaves me less excuse and less time looking at Facebook on my phone while sitting on my bench in between weights and I know exactly what I’m in for every time.