Tag Archives: coconut

on the farm

On air on bayfm 99.9 community radio Byron Bay on 12 November 2012


Today Sister Cath and Sister Di talked with two local farmers, Ian Mulligan and Pam Brook.

And they shared a couple of their favourite seasonal recipes.




Nectarines, peaches, mangoes, solana tomatoes, asparagus, sweet corn, beans




Heat a barbecue plate on medium high. Spray capsicum with oil. Cook for 10 minutes or until chard on all sides. Transfer to a cold bowl, place plastic wrap over dish and let cool for 5 mins.

Peel and remove seeds roughly chop and place into a bowl with

Olives. Whisk oil, vinegar and salt and pepper in a jug and add to salad. Sprinkle with basil.

Cook asparagus on barbecue plate for 5 minute until just tender. Cook haloumi on barbecue plate for 1-2 minutes until golden.

Transfer to serving plate, serve asparagus and haloumi with salad and a crusty baguette.

Ingredients: 3 red capsicum, olive oil cooking spray, 1 cup green olives,2 tbs virgin olive oil,1 tbs white wine vinegar, ½ cup basil leaves,3 bunches of asparagus;2x250g packets haloumi cut into 1.5 slices, crusty baguette.





Shred lime leaves finely, wash and finely chop coriander roots. Reserve coriander sprigs. Combine lime leaves coriander roots chilli and coconut milk and a ceramic dish. Add salmon fillets and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Halve cucumbers and dice; remove cheeks of mango, scoop out flesh and dice. Add mango to bowl with cucumber. Chop half the reserved coriander sprigs and add to the mango and cucumber mix.

Preheat the barbecue to high, oil the plate. Remove salmon from the marinade and cook skin side up for 2-3 minutes or until golden. Turn and cook to your liking. Serve salmon with steamed rice or quinoa, cucumber salad and a lime wedge.

Ingredients: 4 kaffir lime leaves, 1 bunch of coriander,2 long red chillies,165 ml can coconut milk,4 salmon fillets 2 Lebanese cucumbers, 1 large mango, 1 tbs vegetable oil, lime wedges and steamed rice.


A Tongan Feast


For the first belly of 2012  Professor Mike Evans from Southern Cross University joined sister T to talk about his time doing research in Tonga, and the great Tongan New Year feasts.


Music and dancing are very important in Tonga - photo Mike Evans


Mike  shared a couple of favourite recipes from his time in Tonga.



… can be done with other sorts of proteins as well. I’ll mention this one because it is a guilty pleasure. I have written on the impact of imported lamb flaps in a critical way, but I love this way of eating them. It may be that there is a lesson here in terms of portion control (though maybe not) … this way of cooking the lamb does not require much meat, and the taro greens are packed with goodness.

Take a portion of the lamb and cut into large bite size. In a large bowl mix with a little onion, shallots, garlic, or similarly savoury vegetable. Season to taste and put aside. Make some coconut cream and put aside.

Lay out a large section of banana leaf (or tin foil if leaf is not available); on top of the leaf make a nest of the taro greens; lay the leaves together to form a bowl, and then spoon the lamb mixture on to the leaves. Cup the leaves into a bowl shape using the underling banana leaves as additional support, and pour coconut cream over top of the mixture (150-250 ml or so to cover the meat). Close the taro leaves to seal the mix in a packet, seal the packet in the banana leaves and tie shut. Cook in the underground oven (called an ‘umu) … if using an oven place the packets into a covered pan with a bit of water in the bottom – the key is that the taro greens must cook in a moist heat. Be sure the packets are sealed … one hour at 170-80 …

Eat with baked or boiled taro, breadfruit, yams, cassava, or sweet potato.

To go heart smart trim the fat off the lamb, dilute the coconut cream with some water.



Take a firm white fish fillet (tuna is good) and cut into bite size pieces. Chop some onion and garlic into fine pieces and mix with fish in a bowl. Add citrus juice (say 2 lemons) and marinate for an hour or so. Pour off the lemon, add coconut cream (and maybe some chopped tomato or peppers [capsicum]), season to taste, and serve.



Kienga's traditional garden - photo Mike Evans

on air 27 December 2010 – wrapping up a delicious decade

The final belly of the year, and a favourite final guest, the very charming Belinda Jeffery.  Belinda has made time for belly over the years even though she is a multi media foodie dynamo, several years presenter on Better Homes and Gardens, award winning cookbook writer, regular columnist for ABC Delicious magazine, regular on another radio station – she’s even famous in the Netherlands!  We almost thought Belinda would be flooded in today, as one of the wettest Christmases we can remember keeps the Northern NSW frog population very happy.  But she made it and we had a lovely chat about the most delicious people and food developments of the year just ending.  And the decade, as we just managed to work out.  Belinda loves some of the changes she has seen since moving here, the booming farmers markets, the emphasis on local,organic and sustainable food, the school veggie patches and cooking programs.  We both remembered the dreaded Swiss roll as the only thing we had learned in our own school home ec classes.

Belinda’s latest book is The Country Cookbook: Seasonal Jottings and Recipes (Lantern, 2010), and she is aware that she has been very indiscreet, talking so glowingly about the Northern NSW area.  The secret is well and truly out now.  It is a beautiful book, full of photos of local wildlife and plants, stories and Belinda’s trademark carefully explained recipes.   Madam Zaza, occasional Belly assistant, who was dragged in to help out on this public holiday Monday, said it is the first time she actually feels like trying out something in a cookbook.  Congratulations to Bayfm subscriber and regular listener Bridget, who was a very very happy winner of a copy.

For the rest of us, Belinda also brought in a recipe that she particularly recommends for this time of year, when many of our homes are full of visitors.  Easy to make and easy to multiply.


This scrumptious chicken dish is perfect for times when you’ve been out and
about much of the day and the thought of getting home and cooking something
from scratch is less than inspiring. The marinade only takes a few minutes
to make and basically you just plonk the chicken into it the night before
you need it, make sure it’s well coated (and covered, or your fridge will
smell rather exotic!) and leave it be until you’re ready to cook it.

I nearly always serve this with a bowl of jasmine rice and something
cucumber-y, as their cool freshness is a lovely balance for the spicy
chicken. The cucumber ribbons look really pretty but if time isn’t on my
side I’m just as likely to seed and slice the cucumbers then mix them with a
little plain yogurt, fresh mint and salt, and serve this instead.

2x 270ml cans coconut cream
3 heaped tablespoons of your favourite curry paste
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger
Inner hearts of 3 stalks of lemongrass, finely chopped
1/3 cup finely chopped coriander
8 chicken chops (or 8 skin-on chicken thighs)

800g Lebanese cucumbers, washed and dried
2 tablespoons light olive oil
2 tablespoons very finely shredded ginger
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon rice (or white wine) vinegar
1 teaspoon caster sugar
2 small red chillies, finely chopped
3 teaspoons sesame oil
Up to 1 tablespoon lime juice
Sea salt, to taste
Garnish: a few lacy coriander leaves (and, if you are lucky enough to have
them, coriander flowers too)

# I use Patak’s terrific Tikka Masala curry paste for this

In a large bowl thoroughly mix together the coconut cream, curry paste,
ginger, lemongrass and coriander.

Line a container that will fit the chicken chops with a large sturdy plastic
bag. Sit the chicken pieces in the bag and scoop the marinade over the top.
Tie a knot in the top of the bag, then squish it about in your hands so that
the chicken is thoroughly coated in the marinade. (Make sure you use a good
strong bag for this or, as I’ve found to my cost, as you squish the chicken
about, if the bag is too thin it can tear making rather a horrible mess!)
Put the bag back into the container and cover it tightly with a lid. Now
just pop the lot into the fridge for at least 3-4 hours, or better still,
overnight. If you remember, from time to time give the chicken pieces
another squish so every part of them is well coated.

When you’re ready to cook the chicken, preheat your oven to 190C. Line a
shallow oven tray with baking paper and sit the chicken pieces on it,
skin-side up. Squeeze any leftover marinade in the bag over the chicken.
Slip the tray into the oven and cook the chicken for about 40 minutes, until
it is deep golden-brown on top.

While the chicken is cooking, make the cucumber ribbons. To do this, run a
vegetable peeler, repeatedly down the length of a cucumber to form long
narrow ribbons; stopping when you get to the seeds. Rotate the cucumber and
do the same again. Repeat this with the remaining cucumbers. Put the ribbons
into a large bowl, cover them with cling film and chill them. (I discard the
seedy cores and the first ribbons on each side as they are all skin and a
bit chewy.)

When the chicken is nearly done, put all the remaining ingredients, except
the lime juice and salt, into a small saucepan and mix them together. Sit
the pan over medium heat and bring the mixture to the boil. As soon as it
boils, remove it from the heat and stir in a little of the lime juice. Taste
it and add salt and more lime juice, if necessary. Pour this over the
cucumbers and thoroughly mix it in.

When the chicken is ready, sit one or two pieces on each plate and scoop a
little cucumber salad alongside. Finish off with a sprinkling of coriander
leaves. This is delicious with a bowl of jasmine rice. Serves 4 hearty
eaters or 6 lighter ones.

We also had the first ever Belly Awards – yes not the Oscars, the Bellys!

Queasy for the naughty ones, happy for the nice ones – feel free to contribute yours, just email belly@belly.net.au


Queasy    Bellys

– worst food porn – Eat, pray, love the movie, with Julia Roberts- extreme Hollywood version of food porn – overdone visuals, soft music, slowed motion, only eaten by beautiful people. And size 8 women struggling into skinny jeans are not very believable saying admittedly admirable things about not letting a few extra kilos get in the way of a wonderful eating experience – super clean super pretty food porn – not sexy.  A sister T award, yes I know lots of people loved the food in this, I just like my food porn a bit less Disney.

– mobile phone behaviour – cafe and restaurant patrons on the phone while ordering a meal or paying – a sister B award on behalf of exasperated restaurant staff and patrons – some local cafes have signage that you will not be served while on the phone – good on them.

– most dubious restaurant practice – ringing up 10% extra on my credit card bill when I left the tip line blank on the card receipt, and left a cash tip – in Byron Bay!  I carefully fill in every line in most places, will do so here too in future.

Happy Bellys

The Belinda Jeffery Blessed are the Cheesemakers Happy Belly award goes to all 3 wonderful local cheesemakers, all sprung up in the last 5-6 years, all inventive and delicious, each very different : Bangalow Cheese, Nimbin Valley goat cheeses, and Moo Ball’s Tweed Valley Whey.  From market and local shops.

From Sister T :

– best new leaf – broad bean tops – seasonally at the markets or grow your own
– most cooked from new cookbook – Vefa’s Kitchen, a big beautiful blue and white bible of Greek cooking, lots of unusual recipes that work
– strange but good flavour combination – eggplant and chocolate
– best thinking food lover’s publication – Griffith Review – quarterly essays and stories published by Griffith University –  # 27 is called “Food Chain” – lots of info on sustainability and ethical eating, agriculture and the food industry, and fiction

From sister B :

– best new addiction and dentist’s friend – chocolate covered peanut brittle

From listeners
Nicky : best episode of a tv food show – Heston Blumenthal’s recreation of Willie Wonka’s chocolate factory, with lickable wallpaper;
and best food movie – the German movie Soul Kitchen
Isabelle : best new member of the pumpkin family : little green squashes sold as Mexican squash (a pointier version of the little yellow ones, with much better flavour) – from markets

If any winners want to get in touch with the bellysisters, they can have a signed copy of Sister T’s belly as a prize, otherwise just the glory.  Please comment if you agree/disagree with the awards, or have suggestions.

Speaking of markets – remember farmers markets are on rain or shine, in case of really major flooding local radio will broadcast cancellation advice.  This week Bangalow Farmers Market is on Friday not Saturday.  Byron, New Brighton, Mullumbimby as normal, others check with contact numbers on belly market page.

And we finished the show and the year with some useful advice on food and music combining, and the legal definitions of murder, manslaughter and bad cooking (really) by bad cook evangelist Dr Siggi Fried.  Follow at your own peril.

And I did not have time for a very 2010 Happy New Year message(oh, ok, I forgot to take this in to the studio).  If you are so with it that you not only send all your greetings by sms, but you don’t even bother writing your own, this is the place for you – http://sms4smile.com/category/new-year-sms/

A couple of examples :

My wishes for you in year 2011
Great start for Jan,
Love for Feb,
Peace for march,
No worries for April
Fun for May,
Joy for June to Nov,
Happiness for Dec,
Have a lucky and wonderful 2011.

Oh my Dear, Forget ur Fear,
Let all ur Dreams be Clear,
Never put Tear, Please Hear,
I want to tell one thing in ur Ear
Wishing u a very “Happy NEW YEAR“!

And my personal fave :
There have been many time in 2010
when I may disturbed you
troubled u
irritated u
bugged u
today I just wanna tell you
I plan to continue it in 2011.

You have been warned.  Happy New Year,

Sister T


Two tracks brought in by Belinda Jeffery :

Renee Fleming, Hallelujah, from the release Dark Hope

Melody Gardot, , Baby I’m a Fool, from My one and only Thrill

Babylon Circus,  Ici [‘here’], from La Belle Etoile

Cygnet Repu – We Sing Kumbaya – From the release entitled Home -A collection of songs from QLD Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Artists.  A solo indigenous artist from Torres Strait – Mabuiag Island

Faux Pas – Chasing Waterfalls -From the release entitled Noiseworks
A solo electronic act from Melbourne, VIC