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sampling spring with Remy, Anthea & Cecile

yes, it’s the first day of spring, so get ready for lots of sunny music and recipes, and crepes!



Yes that great showcase for the food of our region, and simply great day out under the trees of the Bangalow Showgrounds, is on again this weekend – if you are anywhere near the Northern Rivers on Saturday 13 September, make sure you head to Sample with many hungry friends.

All the information you need is here, including a downloadable programme.


But the most important event at Sample this year is the launch of Anthea’s cookbook, a collection of favourites called : Passion – organic vegan recipes to live for.  And if you think all that sounds too healthy to be fun, you haven’t tried her food, so check out the sample recipes below, or taste what she is making on stage on Saturday – the Northern Rivers Food Cooking Stage, 2 pm.

You can also contact Anthea and see where to get the cookbooks at



Wild Rice, Broad Bean and Artichoke salad
This healthy and nutritious salad is a meal in itself. It’s got the wonderful earthy flavour of the wild rice, the waxy broad beans, the soft artichokes, and the crunch of the snow peas. My classic favourite flavor combination sings a sweet melody in this dish: lemon and lime with salt and olive oil Don’t be fooled by the simplicity as it works with everything else going on in this dish. I just love the fluoro green colour of the
broad beans contrasting with the black of the wild rice. Visually this salad is gorgeous.
Brown rice is underestimated as a wonderful health food. Brown and white rice have similar number of calories, carbohydrates and protein. The differences lie in processing and nutritional content. When only the outermost layer of a grain of rice (the husk) is removed, brown rice is produced. For white rice, the next layers underneath the husk (the bran layer and the germ) are removed also, leaving mostly the starchy endosperm. Several vitamins and dietary minerals are lost in this removal and the subsequent polishing process. One cup (195g) of cooked long-grain brown rice contains 84mg of magnesium while one cup of white rice contains 19mg.

Serves 4 people as main
1 cup long-grain brown rice
1/4 cup wild rice
2 cups filtered water
2 cups broad beans (40 pods) you can use
edamame beans (fresh soya beans)
2 cups snow peas, sliced
1/2 cup pinenuts, toasted or raw
10 artichoke hearts, sliced into quarters or
2 lemons, juiced (approx 1/2 cup)
2 limes, juiced (approx 1/4 cup)
1–2 tsp good salt, to taste
1/2 olive oil

Combine brown and wild rice with the water and boil for 5 minutes. Reduce heat
and simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off and allow to ‘steep’ for a further 5 minutes. When
cooked, cool with cold water, strain and place aside. Meanwhile, shell the broad beans
and steam for 1–2 minutes (no longer) until they are fluoro green! Cool in water. Once
cool, peel the outer (tough) skin off. Split at one end and ‘pop’ the bright green bean
Steam the snowpeas for 1–2 minutes or until bright green and crunchy.
Cool in water, drain, then slice on an angle into thin strips.
Combine ingredients for the dressing in a jar and mix thoroughly.
Toss all ingredients in a bowl with the dressing and serve.


Pea & mint risotto with toasted pinenuts – by Anthea Amore

For a vegan or vegetarian, eating out can be an uninspiring event with little choice on a menu. Risotto is often one of those choices. A vegetarian or vegan risotto done well is lovely, creamy and full of flavour, but that’s not always the case! Creating flavour is actually easy. Vegetable stocks and fresh herbs can make up the basis of the flavour. I always use olive oil to add richness to a risotto. Garlic, onion or leek, slowly caramelised, also add to the flavour and body of a good risotto. Spices like nutmeg go beautifully with pumpkin or broccoli. Fresh thyme or sage or any of the Italian herbs pair well with red wine and mushroom.

Artichoke heart and roasted fennel partner well with most Italian herbs and/or lemon zest. Using citrus zest, green or black olives, chilli, sun-dried tomatoes or capers can take a simple risotto to a whole other level.

I also use brown rice instead of traditional arborio purely for nutritional reasons. It may take a bit longer to cook than arborio but the health benefits far outweigh the extra time and the end result is nutritious, creamy and delicious!

Note If you have leftover brown rice, then you can make this meal in 20 minutes.

Serves 4-6 as main
1 cup brown rice (short grain rice is more
glutinous than long grain rice but you can use
Filtered water or stock
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 cup shelled peas, keep shells for making pea
Freshly cracked pepper
1–2 tsp good salt, to taste
1/4 cup finely shredded mint (roughly 1/2 a
200g spinach, washed
3 tbs olive oil
1 tsp vegan stock powder (optional)
2 dsp lemon juice
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/4 cup coconut milk (optional)
1/4 cup peas
1 small garlic clove, sliced
olive oil, drizzle
2 tbs pine nuts, toasted
A little shredded mint
Lemon or lime zest

Cooking the risotto
Place the rice in a medium to large saucepan with 2 cups of filtered water and bring
to the boil. Once boiling, reduce to a medium heat and simmer until all the water has
evaporated. Add more water or vegetable stock if you have some (see recipe below
for a basic vegetable stock). Start by adding half a cup and once again evaporate and
cook the rice further. You’ll notice the rice grain swelling and softening as it continues
to drink up the water or stock. The trick to risotto is to allow the rice grain to slowly
absorb the liquid. Too much water and it may become too runny; not enough water
and it may become dry and stiff. So it is best to add a little, stir, and allow it to fully
absorb the liquid. Keep doing this until the rice is creamy and soft.
Meanwhile, prepare the pea and onion mixture. Sauté the onion on a medium heat
with a little olive oil, bringing out its sweet caramelised flavour. Add the garlic and
gently brown but do not burn it. Add the peas and some freshly cracked pepper and
a pinch of salt. Roughly mash half the mixture with a potato masher, to bring out some
flavours. Set aside.
Once the rice is all creamy and soft, spoon the pea and onion mixture into the rice
and stir. Add the remaining ingredients, including the spinach, and allow all the
flavours to mingle on a low to medium heat. Once the spinach has wilted, taste for
seasoning and re-season if need be.
Pea and/or basic vegetable stock
Using the pea shells to make some vegetable stock is a great way to intensify the pea
flavour. You can add any vegetable scraps you may have. The leaves and inner heart
of celery is great as well as carrot peelings or tops, parsley or other fresh herb stalks,
and pretty much anything else except beetroot for obvious reasons! While you are
cooking the rice or before, if you have the time, place the water, vegetable scraps and
pea shells into a pot and bring to the boil. Then reduce heat to a medium simmer. Use
warm stock water when the recipe requires, see above.
Note The longer you cook the vegetables in the water the richer and more
full-flavoured it will be.
Lightly stir-fry the peas in a frying pan with a splash of water to slightly steam them.
As the water evaporates, add the garlic and a drizzle of olive oil and sauté gently for
a further minute. Add salt and pepper to season and set aside. When ready to serve,
scatter a spoonful or two of garnish on top of the risotto, sprinkle on some shredded
mint, freshly zested lemon or lime, and pine nuts. Delicious!



Never again will I be able to make crepes without the image of Cecile’s mother’s bum going round and round as she beat the crepe batter for the kids every weekend – and I’ve never even met her!

… aaah, the evocative power of a good food story.  Thank you Cecile, and for the music too (find more about that on, go to programs and then the belly page.)


For the batter you need:
3 free range eggs
50g rapadura sugar (optional)
150g of organic wheat flour
1/2l of organic milk
Make about 10-15 crepes

Beat eggs up till it looks foamy, then add flour till it makes like ribbons
and you can write your name with it
Add milk, and keep adding the rest of flour and milk in the same way as
Leave it to rest for at least an hour, in the fridge.

To cook crepes, you need preferably a crepe pan but any flat pan would do,
as long as it’s not scratched.
Lightly oil pan and pour a ladle full of batter, move pan forward and back
and on sides in order to get a flat thin crepe.
Wait till the sides of crepe lift up a bit, this means that it’s cooked
enough to be flipped over.
Using a wooden flapper, toss crepe over. Cook another minute, then reserve
on a plate and cover with a kitchen towel.
Repeat process for all batter.

For salted butter caramel:

300g raw organic sugar
20g organic salted butter
25cl organic liquid cream

Melt sugar in a pan on a very low stove. DON’T BURN IT !!!
Take it out of stove if it gets too unmanageable.
Taking caramel on the side, add bits by bits butter, stir continuously, BE
CAREFUL WITH splashes of very hot caramel.
Finally slowly add cream to caramel, being very CAREFUL with splashes again.

When caramel looks smooth, pour into jar. It will thicken. You can keep it
up to 3 days in the fridge.

Spread caramel on crepe and roll it or fold it in triangle.

Bon Appetit !!!


To find out which event Cecile will attend with her Peace Love and Crepes stall, lots more info and recipes, check out this link

Other links suggested by Cecile, cos for some things you really need to look – or even better, do  :
Video showing how to make traditional salted butter caramel:

Folding crepes: /




Garlic news – we import 3500 tons of garlic each year, Australia just can’t produce enough at the moment. A study by Steve Wylie at Murdoch Uni has found that this garlic carries many viruses that can be easily spread if you plant the cloves in your veggie patch.
Wylie and colleagues went to supermarkets and collected 11 bulbs of garlic from Australia, China, the USA, Mexico, Argentina, & Spain. They found 41 plant viruses by extracting the genetic sequences in the bulbs.In addition, he says, native orchids can be infected by some of the viruses that infect garlic. As garlic is propagated by planting the individual cloves, viruses carried can be spread to other plants by insects when propagated by home gardener or thrown out in wild. And presumably from home composting too. Wylie says the study has broader implications because exotic viruses could be brought in with imported potatoes and sweet potatoes and anything else that propagates vegetatively, that is by planting the root or bulb or rhyzome.
So the quick solution is, make sure you buy local garlic only if you want to plant it in your own garden, and toss imported garlic scraps in the bin.

ABC online reports that Bees in Canada have been given a new job. As well as pollinating plants and crops, they’re now dusting them with organic pest control and saving farmers a lot of money in the process. Known as bee vectoring the bees pass through a tray filled with the organic pest control powder as they exit their hives. The powder attaches itself to the fine hairs on a bees body, and when the bees visit flowers to pollinate them, they do pest control at the same time. One of the developers, Professor Peter Kevan , says :
‘Getting the dose right is absolutely imperative so that it doesn’t kill the bees,’
The bees are helping to suppress the presence of aphids, whiteflies and thrips among other insects. So far the mothod has been used on strawberryies, raspberries and sunflowers, the scientists are moving on to coffee plantations. Some trials of this technique were done in 2002 in Australia. The Australian bee industry this year is focused on dealing with drought and delayed crop flowering which have seen Australian honey production fall to its lowest level in 20 years.

There are a few upcoming events you may be interested in attending. The fabulous Living Communities Festival is on again this Sunday September 7 at the Mullumbimby Community Garden, starting with a street parade at 10 am and goes until 6pm. There are talks, food, music, all sorts of entertainment and information, but it is worth checking out just to see what the people of Mullumbimby have acheived in a few short years on this site. Ten dollars for adults, free for kids, lots more info on the community garden website.
Also this Sunday, chef Francisco is back from holidays with a seasonal pop up dinner at the Federal Hall, find Francisco’s Table on facebook for more info.

Jim from the Blue Knob Community Market recommends you check out Nicole Foss, who will be speaking in Mullumbimby, Lismore and Nimbin in September. She will be presenting on how we build resilience and self-reliance in local communities to prepare for the possible challenges of climates changes, economic collapse and fossil fuel shortages. icole speaks from a solution oriented perspective rather than a fear based outlook. Her blog is

Finally, Sydney chefs are into extreme burger wars. The burger craze has even swept up our fine dining chefs, inspiring them to open burger joints, and has seen an explosion in less common combinations, from the roo burger to pulled meat and bolognese versions. But the Sydney Morning herald has unofficially declared the extreme burger winner to be chef Danny Russo’s creation for Bertoni Casalinga in Balmain is extreme. Two pieces of lasagne, battered and fried, make up the “bun”, which encases a wagyu beef pattie, mozzarella and special Italian sauce. mm, just what you need to inspire a spring cleansing.




This week comes from the winner of the major prize in the bayfm radiothon, Alice Amore (no relation to Anthea I’m told) – her first reaction on being told that she had won a year’s supply of food from Santos, a store that is stuffed full of delicious healthy fresh veg and whole grains, and the odd bit of chocolate and other treats, was :

” I’ve won $5200 of chocolate!!!!!”

Alice knows what keeping happy and healthy really requires.


Love and chocolate covered subscribers, Sister T

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