Star Anise Organic Wholefoods makes and sells premium quality organic wholefood products in Sydney, such as activated nuts, kombucha, stock, broth, chocolate, fermented foods, chocolate balls, power bars and pate. This blog started as a way for me to share my recipes, culinary adventures, tips for vibrant health, happiness, thoughts on the latest developments in nutritional medicine.
I was recently interviewed by a magazine and was asked what I do for “self care”.
We know that we can’t give from an empty well and our tank must be topped up regularly for us to have anything to give out in the first place. Mums know this all too well but the challenge in our modern world is how exactly do we regularly top up our tank when there ain’t no village helping us raise our kids?
The interviewer was shock by my response as most people talk about self care in terms of painting their nails, having a bubble bath, dancing to music, and regular facials.
For me, self care is so much broader than pleasurable or sensual activities, personal deportment and other hedonistic pursuits.
Self care is having a deep understanding of, and respect for, your body by serving it with the very environmental inputs that are required for its biological processes to function optimally. Self care is ultimately a fundamental desire to be the best possible version of yourself not only for your own benefit but so that we can be of greater service to others.
It’s harder to be the best mum, employee, employer, wife, daughter, partner or friend you can be when you’re running on half empty. It’s harder to share your unique gifts with the world when you’re struggling with fatigue, chronic illness or degenerative disease.
We ultimately engage in self-care so that we can live our best life to reach our true potential. It’s not the one off activities that bring a fleeting release of feel-good hormones amidst an otherwise largely toxic life, but instead the regular little things that we do each and every day that help build a strong foundation for a long term investment in our health.
Self care for me comes down to nourishing our body every day with the very foods that we as a species are biologically designed to eat that are ethically sourced and properly prepared to maximise nutrient-density and made with love.
Self care is hydrating our body with pure clean water.
Self care is moving our body in the way that it’s designed to move.
Self care is breathing in clean air through our nose.
Self care is living according to the rhythms of the sun and the seasons, immersing ourselves in nature, having a strong reason for living, and feeling deeply connected to a supportive community of like-minded people.
Self care is having fun, playing and taking time out to JUST BE.
Each of these 8 pillars or foundations of health is ultimately how to best care for yourself. When one or more is neglected on a regular basis your health is compromised in some way which detracts from your ability to shine your brightest light and fully engage in the creative process. And we all learn that lesson the hard way. The canaries in the coal mine (recurring colds, flus, headaches, chronic illness, degenerative disease, metabolic issues, PMT, skin issues, digestive issues, infertility, depression, anxiety, dementia etc etc) are simply the messengers that your body is sending you that one or more of these 8 pillars is being neglected. Just being conscious of the symptoms, recognising that they are not normal and being curious as to which foundations need dialling in, is the first and foremost step of self care and thus improving your health.
Self-care is understanding that what we put in and on our body effects the expression of not only our health, but our children’s health, future childrens’ health and our grandchildrens’ health.
Self-care is saying I GIVE A SHIT about my health, my childrens’ health and the planet’s health.
Self-care is looking beyond the glossy shiny exterior of packaged products and luxury brands with their slick, sexy, alluring marketing campaigns to understand their deleterious effects on the body.
Self-care is not always glamourous. Self-care is making and straining bone broth in your pyjamas, putting on a slow cooked meal instead of ordering cheap take out, cooking organ meats (even if you think they look disgusting) and making the time to have a balanced lunch instead of eating on the run or not at all. Self-care is making a decision to swap out all toxic products in your house, however laborious this process is. Self-care is investing in a water filter. Self-care is foam rolling, walking and stretching even when you don’t feel like it. Self-care is taking the time to sit still to calm your raging mind in spite of your endless do list. Self-care is swapping out those negative thoughts when they arise (countless times a day). Self-care is going to bed early instead of scrolling through your iPhone. Self-care is allowing yourself to be a big kid again by being outrageously silly and playing with your kids and being AOK with the mess. Self-care is having the courage to reach out for help and support. Because we all need it. Self-care is leaning into fear and places that scare us because we know that is how we grow as a person. Self-care is sitting with the acute uncomfortable-ness of the present moment (whether that’s loneliness, fear or unhappiness) instead of self-medicating to escape it.
Like all grand monuments, businesses, and enterprises, it’s the hundreds of little inputs and processes that went into it each and every day over a period of years and decades that all create a lasting foundation that leaves a legacy for future generations.
Self care is ultimately about aspiring for vibrant health - physical, emotional and spiritual. Our hunter gatherer ancestors would have engaged in each and every activity they did for one of these purposes. They nailed self-care because the survival of the tribe depended on the optimal health of every member of it.
PS if having a bubble bath, colouring your hair, and painting your nails make you feel good, then go for it but please be conscious of what is going into your body. Once you’ve made a decision to do/eat/apply something, then make peace with it because stress is more toxic than the substance you’re putting in or on your body.
I am excited to be running a round of Chocolate workshops limited to 10 people each.
Everyone loves to indulge in something sweet and chocolately every now and again – and why not? We eat for pleasure just as much as for nourishment and sustenance. But the key to sweet treat consumption is maximising quality and limiting quantity! What I have observed and personally experienced over the past 20 years is that if we dial up quality to the max, the quantity consumed naturally decreases. A little goes a long way when you eat the real deal as your body gets its fix and fill super fast.
Finding high quality treats without any artificial ingredients and empty fillers can be tricky business which is why I started my own range for my children over 10 years ago. It’s comforting to be able to offer my loved ones the occasional treat that’s naturally sweetened and made with only nutrient-dense ingredients without feeling overridden with guilt that I’m messing up their health. I want this for every household! Which is why I want to share some of my favourite chocolate recipes and culinary tips with you in this intensive workshop, so that you too can make chocolate treats and desserts for yourself, your family and friends that not only taste delicious, are quick and super simple to make, but are also good for you!
IN THIS WORKSHOP I WILL BE SHOWCASING:
Mexican chilli hot chocolate
“sokolata” chocolate block/slab of various flavours including carob
chocolate hazelnut spread (the real “nutella”)
hot chocolate pudding
chocolate hazelnut slice
We will be using unprocessed fermented raw cacao powder.
We will not be using any refined sweeteners – only natural unprocessed sweeteners or whole fruit.
As you will be making your own sokolata to take home please bring a small rectangular glass container lined with baking paper (15cm x 10cm or thereabouts). As we will be flavouring our sokolata and other chocolate treats and drinks with Young Living essential oils I encourage you to take the opportunity to set up a Young Living account in my team prior to the workshops so we can provide you with all of the support you need on the oils. To organise this, have a read of the Essential Oils page of my website and complete the contact form and one of my team will promptly contact you to discuss.
I look forward to seeing you at one of my chocolate workshops soon! If all workshops book out, I will run another workshop.
Due to limited spaces, once payment has been made your place is non-refundable and non transferable to another date. If you can not make it due to last minute unforeseen circumstances, feel free to gift your place to a friend and let me know. Thank you for your understanding.
When people start learning about the toxicity that surrounds us in our modern day life, they can often feel overwhelmed. From the “food” we eat, the tap water we drink, the toxins found in personal care products and household cleaning products, the blue lights we are exposed to at night, the chronic levels of stress we labour with, the electromagnetic radiation we are bombarded with, and the list goes on and on.
Indeed, one door opens another door which opens another door and suddenly you feel like you’ve been doing everything wrong and you’ve ruined not only your life but also your childrens’ lives! I’ve been there! It is indeed tragic that we live in an increasingly toxic world where we are exposed to unprecedent levels of toxins that have directly contributed to this epidemic of chronic illness and degenerative disease. However, burying our heads in the sand is not the answer. But neither is getting overwhelmed – which just adds to our stress levels.
When I start telling people about the toxicity that surrounds us, their response is “Ok! Ok! I’m in! I’m in! Let’s do this!! But where on earth do I start?!??!”
Great question! We start one step at a time. One baby step, then another and then another. With your hand held tight for support (or as tight as you need!) my team and I help you start making SMALL changes that have a BIG impact. At your pace and in your own time. Rome wasn’t built in a day. I’m been walking this road for over 2 decades now and there’s still things I’m learning, tweaking and changing. It’s part of evolving and growing as a person.
Ok, so where to start?
Set out below are 10 things that can INCREASE NOURISHMENT and REDUCE TOXICITY in your home (the ONE environment that you can control!). Start where it feels right for you and once you’re comfy with opening one door and exploring that room, then open another door. Remember, YOU are in the driver’s seat. I’m just here to provide you with all the support, education, tools and resources you need.
Be conscious and curious about everything you put in and on your and your childrens’ bodies. Question everything. Don’t just accept that if something is allowed to be sold it must mean that it is safe. Sadly not.
Learn to read labels on ALL packaged goods – food or otherwise - to educate ourselves and make healthier, informed choices. A good rule of thumb for food ingredients– if your great grandmother wouldn’t have recognized that ingredient, don’t touch it. If it’s a non food item – if it doubt plug the ingredient into the EWG (Environmental Working Group) website which rates it toxicity (1 or A being the least toxic, 10 or F being the most toxic).
Buy nutrient-rich whole unprocessed foods – starting with organic produce from farmers markets, co-ops, or organic stores. Try to buy as many single ingredient unpackaged food as possible.
Learn how to make nourishing meals for your family with those single ingredients. To that end learn how to make nourishing staples like gelatinous bone broths, slow cook meals, organmeat dishes and gluten-free baked cakes in my online cooking workshops. Subscribe to my website or follow me on social media to learn of upcoming in person cooking classes.
If you don’t have the time, energy or bandwidth to make all your meals every single day from scratch, know that at Broth Bar & Larderwe make onsite organic bone broth, broth based soups, 15 hour slow cooked meals, fermented foods and drinks, activated nuts and seeds, nutrient-dense raw treats free of all refined and artificial ingredients. We also have an online store.
Learn how to reduce the toxicity in your home by attending a healthy homes gatheringwhere my team and I can help you swap out the toxins in your personal care products and household cleaning products in a positive and empowering way without the overwhelm. My team run these at least once a month in Sydney and further afield (including all over Australia in 2019 as part of an Australian tour).
If you really want to get serious about reclaiming and maintaining vibrant health, invest in a life-changing one on one health coachingsession with me (either in person or via skype) or attend at a fraction of the price a group Food as Medicine talk (which I am presenting all around Australia in 2019).
Educate your children and loved ones, gently and from a place of love.
Enjoy the journey of learning new knowledge and using it to make SMALL changes that have a BIG impact. Many think ignorance is bliss but there’s nothing blissful about chronic illness and a ravaged planet. Knowledge is power. Power brings choice. And choice brings an opportunity to change your health, your childrens’ health and the planet’s health.
When we increase nourishment (in all areas of our life), and decrease toxins (again in all areas of our life) - that’s when our children can grow and function properly, perform their best and reach their true genetic potential, so that ultimately they can be the best possible versions of themselves! At the end of the day that’s essentially what we parents want for our children!
Ultimately this is a message of hope because as parents we are in the driver’s seat. We can dial up our childrens’ nutrient-density. We can reduce their toxic exposure. In our lap lies an awesome and empowering responsibility.
So I implore you to join me on this journey for the sake of this next generation in any one or more of the ways set out above. MY reach is only so great. And YOUR reach is only so great. But if we work together as a community, our reach is POTENTIALLY UNLIMITED! If I tell 3 people about the benefits of making more nourishing, less toxic choices, and each of those 3 people in turn tells 3 people who each in turn tell 3 people, this creates a ripple effect that can be the force of change that this planet so radically needs.
Remember that this is not about deprivation. It’s about healthy swaps. We need to change our mindset about healthy swapping and view it as an act of self love because its saying “I care (or give a sh#t) about my health, my kids’ health and the planet’s health.” And at the end of the day, what is more important or empowering than that?!
Spending the past 2 weeks with my mama who is quickly slipping away with dementia and witnessing the devastating effect that this has had on not only her life but the lives of those around her, has made me more determined than ever in my mission to empower people with the education, tools and resources they need to reclaim their health and to live less toxic, more nourishing lives before it is too little too late. By turning ignorance into education, we can raise conscious awareness about the effect of what we put in and on our body.
From what we eat and drink, the personal care products we put on our skin, the household cleaning products we unwittingly inhale, how we move, sleep, breathe, and play, how much time we spend in nature, whether we have a strong reason for living, our inner dialogue and our ability to manage our stress… all these pillars or lifestyle choices profoundly influence our health, and switch our genes on and off for better or for worse. Modern science tells us that chronic illness is not, as we previously thought, primarily driven by our hard coded genes but by the expression of our genes which in turn is driven by OUR lifestyle choices. This is a message of hope as we are in the driver’s seat! But as a society and individually we need to urgently shift gears and change lanes in order to change the trajectory of our health and arrest the epidemic of chronic illness and degenerative disease.
In our lap lies an awesome and empowering responsibility as we control to a very large degree these lifestyle choices! Join me in stepping up to that responsibility for the sake of our health, our children’s health and the planet’s health. This is why I do the work that I do and why I shout this message from the rooftops of houses across Australia in my Australian Food as Medicine tour.
It’s a simple message but there’s much work to be done.
Last year I started my Australian tour with pre-eminent holistic dietician, gut health expert and GAPS practitioner Marieke Rodenstein to spread this important message to make a greater impact on people’s lives. We have had SOLD OUT events and brilliant responses from Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, and South East Queensland to date. I’m delighted that we can now also spread this message in country NSW.
Here is more information on the talks to be provided:
In this comprehensive 1/2 day presentation, I dive deep into the Fundamentals of Robust Nutrition and provide you with a comprehensive How To manual that sets you up for life. While health is mulifactoral and influenced by a number of different pillars or foundations of health, nourishing your body with the very nutrient-rich whole unprocessed foods that we as a species are biologically designed to eat is, I believe, the fastest and easiest way of reclaiming and maintaining spectacular health with the most profound impact. I spend time explaining the most nutrient dense foods on the planet and how to incorporate them into your diet, the 3 main buckets of dietary toxins and I bust mainstream myths that have led to an epidemic of chronic illness and degenerative disease. What you will hear and receive is exactly the same information that I provide in my one on one health coaching sessions but at a fraction of the price in these group Food as Medicine talks.
Marieke Rodenstein will hone in on the fundamentals of robust gut health. Our collective forte is to combine the wisdom of ancestral diets with the latest developments in nutritional medicine and robust science, to provide you with all the tools and resources you need on how to nourish your body and optimise your health.
Health issues, pharmaceutical band-aids, and confusion and stress over what, when and how to eat might be considered “normal” in today’s society, but this is not a natural state of being and you don’t have to settle to live that way.
By the end of our presentation, our mission is to make you feel empowered that you have all the information, tools and resources you need to reclaim and maintain your and your family’s health and wellbeing so that you can be the best possible version of yourself and live the full and vibrant life that you so truly deserve.
While the focus of the Food as Medicine talk is helping you to recognise and eliminate DIETARY toxins (and nourishing our bodies with the nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory whole unprocessed foods), the focus of my HEALTHY HOMES talk is to help you become aware of and eliminate ENVIRONMENTAL toxins lurking in conventional personal care products, household cleaning products, make up and perfumes (and to healthy swap to all-natural, yet super-powerful, cost-effective versions). For what we put on our skin and breathe into our lungs is just as, if not more, important than the food we eat as our skin and lungs have no digestive filters!
This gathering is free to all Food As Medicine attendees as my mission is to help you kick toxins in ALL areas of your life! So if you are booked into the Food As Medicine talk you will receive automatic entry to the Healthy Homes talk as we want you to make a whole day transforming your health in ALL areas of your life.
I can’t wait to see you in Bathurst in July for this full day event. This will be our last time to tour in this region. Please forward this email to your friends and family. These could be the talks that could change the course of their life!
Together let’s spread this powerful message that food can be the most powerful medicine, our genes are not our destiny and that our health and our planet’s health lies in our hands.
After Bathurst, we are headed to Melbourne (July), Tasmania (Aug), ACT (Sept), Bunbury (Oct), Perth (Oct), and finishing the tour in Sydney in November. Places are booking fast to all these cities so please secure your tickets quickly to avoid disappointment. To book into other Australian cities on the Food as Medicine tour click here and select the relevant city from the drop down menu.
The most rewarding yet difficult endeavour I have ever embarked upon. My children bring me endless wonderment coupled with exasperation (and which dose is greater depends on the day). I have never experienced a love so pure, intense and unconditional as the love I have for my children. Yet motherhood is by far a vocation that is more painful than anything I have ever experienced. It makes my 2 honours degrees (in law and commerce), a university medal, and the running of my 4 businesses look like absolute child’s play in contrast to the daily struggle of parenting 2 children without my fiery Greek-Cypriot temper getting the better of me. As a close friend often muses “Hell hath no fury like Cypriot scorn”. Just when I think it gets easier they enter a new stage of growth and I’m back to feeling like a novice. Most of the time I feel like I am failing miserably, undeserving of the 2 beautiful souls that I have been entrusted with for such a fleeting amount of time. Guilt, shame and incompetence often riddle me. And the more I talk to other mothers (no matter how zen or perfect they appear, or how many parenting books, courses or programs they have completed) the more I realise that I am not alone. What is portrayed on social media is only one teeny part of the picture.
Don’t ever be fooled to think that it’s all roses, butterflies and unicorns for any given mother as you don’t really know what she’s going through or what goes on behind the scenes. So I’m here to tell you that no mother is perfect, that whatever you’re feeling I guarantee that we have all felt it, and that we are all doing our best to raise children without the village they have evolved to be raised in. And that mismatch in itself brings a myriad of issues.
While the impact mothers have on their children etches deep and can last generations (for better or for worse) the saving grace is that our children are incredibly forgiving and resilient, and each day is a new start with new intentions.
The rapid demise of my own mother to dementia over the past few years has given me great cause to stop and ponder my relationship with her and all the sacrifices she made as a mother which I only started to appreciate when I became a mother myself. To see one of the most capable, competent, and driven women I have ever met be reduced to a person devoid of mental and physical faculties, is painful beyond words. When there is nothing left to say all that can be said is “I’m sorry, and I love you”.
As mothers, we not only bring forth life, we feed, nurture, care, support, love and protect with all our hearts. Yes motherhood involves pain and suffering (often from the first trimester). But it also involves wonder and joy. And let’s not forget that as we celebrate our special day in May. Tonight my son asked me “Mum, why did you have children?” My response: “To grow as a person…. To love and to be loved in returned, to teach you what I know and to learn from you in return.” Indeed, my children are my greatest teachers, my shiny mirrors reflecting back everything I dislike in myself and exquisitely pressing my buttons in a way that only they know how to press. They will keep pressing and pushing until I show up as the best possible version of myself – happy, confident, capable, fair, supportive, honest, accessible, with clear boundaries. If they don’t feel I’m stepping up in any one of these areas, they will poke and prod (“act out”) until I step up. As my children grow and mature, I feel it’s an opportunity for me to grow and mature as a person. There are many lessons to embrace, as every mother knows.
Mothers have the power not only to rock the cradle but to rock the world”
— Dr. Bernard Jensen
So I dedicate this newsletter to my mother, and to mothers everywhere, who have done and who are doing so much for their children. I see you coming into my Broth Bar and to my classes and talks, driven by a desire to provide the best possible start to your childrens’ lives. It warms my heart to think that the next generation of children that we are raising will be more robust, resilient, taller, smarter and beautiful than our generation, due to our hard work. And for that we can pat ourselves on the back!
Limited Edition: Organic Choc-Coated Macadamias for Mamas
To celebrate, acknowledge and honour the mothers in our lives and the incredible role they play, we have crafted as a Mother’s Day special limited edition, our signature activated macadamia nuts smothered in our signature raw dark chocolate: organic choc coated maccas for mamas! Simply superb!
Who doesn’t love that winning combo!? I hope you enjoy them as much as we have enjoyed bringing them back for sale to you as a Mothers’ Day limited edition. Throw into a larger hamper, or simply gift as a stand alone special treat. These are sure to please the yummiest/tiredest/grumpiest/happiest of mummies – for we are all these things rolled into one plus more ;-)
Sold exclusively at Broth Bar & Larder. To organise a courier to any area within metropolitan Sydney or Wollongong simply call Broth Bar & Larder on 0421 786 009. Limited quantities available, so get in quick to avoid disappointment!
Spending last weekend with my mama who is quickly slipping away with dementia and witnessing the devastating effect that this has had on not only her life by the lives of those around her, has made me more determined than ever in my mission to empower people with the education, tools and resources they need to reclaim their health and to live less toxic, more nourishing lives before it is too little too late. By turning ignorance into education, we can raise conscious awareness about the effect of what we put in and on our body. From what we eat and drink, the personal care products we put on our skin, the household cleaning products we unwittingly inhale, how we move, sleep, breathe, and play, how much time we spend in nature, whether we have a strong reason for living, our inner dialogue and our ability to manage our stress… all these pillars or lifestyle choices profoundly influence our health, and switch our genes on and off for better or for worse. Modern science tells us that chronic illness is not, as we previously thought, primarily driven by our hard coded genes but by the expression of our genes which in turn is driven by OUR lifestyle choices. This is a message of hope as we are in the driver’s seat! But as a society and individually we need to urgently shift gears and change lanes in order to change the trajectory of our health and arrest the epidemic of chronic illness and degenerative disease. In our lap lies an awesome and empowering responsibility as we control to a very large degree these lifestyle choices! Join me in stepping up to that responsibility for the sake of our health, our children’s health and the planet’s health. This is why I do the work that I do and why I shout this message from the rooftops of houses across Australia in my Australian Food as Medicine tour.
Next cities on the Aussie tour are Byron Bay on 13th April and my home town the Gold Coast on 14th April. I’ll be running 2 separate but related talks on each day (with a break for a free organic wholefoods lunch in between).
The Food as Medicine talk focuses on the fundamentals of robust nutrition and comes with a comprehensive How To manual that sets you up for life. While health is mulifactoral and influenced by a number of different pillars or foundations of health, nourishing your body with the very nutrient-rich whole unprocessed foods that we as a species are biologically designed to eat is, I believe, the fastest and easiest way of reclaiming and maintaining spectacular health with the most profound impact. I spend time explaining the most nutrient dense foods on the planet and how to incorporate them into your diet, the 3 main buckets of dietary toxins and I bust mainstream myths that have led to an epidemic of chronic illness and degenerative disease. What you will hear and receive is exactly the same information that I provide in my one on one health coaching sessions but at a fraction of the price in these group Food as Medicine talks. Plus you will hear from Marieke Rodenstein, Australia’s leading holistic dietician and GAPS practitioner, who will hone in on the fundamentals of robust gut health. Learn more and book here.
The healthy homes/healthy swaps/essential oils talk focuses on reducing environmental toxins in the one environment we can control - our home! I will be educating people on the toxins found in conventional personal care products (including perfumes and make up) and household cleaning products. I will show how you can healthy swap to all natural, non-toxic, super powerful, cost effective products in a positive and empowering way. Small changes, big impact. Without the overwhelm. This talk is completely FREE for everyone who books into the Food as Medicine talk with a free organic wholefoods lunch provided in between. Learn more about this talk and book here. If you have already been to one of these talks please come again and bring a bunch of friends. Friends don’t let friends use toxic products!
This will be our first and last time presenting on the Gold Coast and in Byron Bay, so I encourage you to take the opportunity to make a full day of understanding and reclaiming your health. By the end of the day, you will have all of the tools and resources you need to take back control of your health, and your childrens’ health. And what could be more important than that?!?
I’ve received numerous requests to visit various towns and cities around Australia and abroad to run these talks. If you want us to come visit your home town and you think you can muster a minimum of 50 people to attend, then Marieke and I would be delighted to oblige. Just email me your details and we can get the ball rolling. Together let’s spread this powerful message that food can be the most powerful medicine, our genes are not our destiny and that our health and our planet’s health lies in our hands.
Please forward this email to your friends and family. These could be the talks that could change the course of their life!
This is a very traditional soup served at Greek Easter after midnight mass to break the Easter fast of Lent. I added a wholefoods spin to my parents’ traditional recipe by soaking the rice (to learn why this is important read this earlier post here) and ensuring that I purchase a certified organic or at the very least a pastured chicken that is not fed GMO grains.
This is the only time I make a chicken stock (or broth) with a whole chicken. Usually I make a chicken broth using chicken bones only as set out in my online bone broth workshop which you can check out here.
I love this soup so much not only because of the fond memories it evokes but because of its innocent and comforting flavour. There’s only a handful of ingredients but the trick is all in the technique to make it frothy and creamy without the eggs curdling.
This is my daughters favourite soup and I hope that she will pass down the recipe to her children and many generations ahead.
This soup is traditionally served with Greek Cypriot Flaounes. Between these 2 recipes, your wholefoods Greek Easter is sorted. I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as I do and please tag me in your posts (@staraniseorganic) so I can see your creations.
1 cup white rice
1 whole organic or pastured chicken
3 pastured eggs
2 teaspoons unrefined salt plus extra for seasoning chicken meat
2 tablespoons lemon juice plus extra for seasoning chicken meat
Soak 1 cup rice in 2 cups of water overnight then strain and rinse.
Place 1 whole chicken in a large saucepan and add 1.5L waters. If whole chicken doesn’t fit into your saucepan cut it in half with a sharp knife.
Cover, bring to a boil (this takes approx. 10 minutes) then slow simmer for 3 hours (you can slow simmer for longer e.g. 6 hours but be sure that the heat is very low so that not much if any of the liquid evaporates). The result should be a beautiful chicken stock. Strain the stock into a large bowl (while keeping the chicken in the saucepan, covered, to stay warm).
Add rice to a small saucepan and add 2 cups of the strained stock. Cover, bring to the boil then simmer until rice is cooked through and the stock has been absorbed, stirring occasionally.
Beat eggs well until frothy with hand held blender.
Add 1 cup of stock in a smaller bowl and very slowly pour in the eggs mixing with a stick blender. Add this egg/stock mixture into the large bowl of stock and mix again with the stick blender until the mixture is frothy on the top. Add in the rice, lemon juice, salt and cracked pepper and stir well to combine.
Place the chicken a platter, roughly breaking it up into pieces (you can try to remove as many of the bones as you can at this point). Season the chicken with additional salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste.
Ladle the soup into bowls. Serve with the chicken either on a side plate or added into the soup.
Serves 6 as a main or 8 as an entrée. It is likely you will have some chicken left over.
This is a uniquely Cypriot recipe served at Greek Easter. I took my mama’s traditional recipe and “wholefoodised” it to make it gluten-free and maximise nutrient-density. I think of this as a healthy bread /slice with a slightly sweet twist. As a result kids LOVE it!
Traditionally each flaouna is made individually in the shape of a square about an inch heigh, but for convenience I simply pour the batter into a square baking tray and cut them up in the desired size after they are cooked.
300g Reggiano Parmigiano (parmesan) cheese (or other cheese or combination of cheeses), roughly chopped
1.5 cups (250g) of activated savoury buckwheat
1 cup whole full fat milk
1 cup Greek style full fat yogurt (255g Meredith Sheeps Milk European set yogurt with the blue lid)
½ cup extra virgin cold pressed olive oil
¾ cup (125g) currants (or 100g sultanas)
1 bunch (approx 50g) mint leaves, roughly chopped, stems removed
Sesame seeds for decorating the top of the loaf, preferably activated
Rehydrate currants/sultanas to bring them back to wholefoods by soaking them in a bowl of filtered water for several hours or overnight then discard soaking water.
Process activated buckwheat in a nut grinder or Theromix until it resembles a soft fine flour and add it to a large mixing bowl.
Beat the eggs with stick blender, or process them in a food processor or Theromix until fluffy and add to the large mixing bowl.
Grate the cheese by processing it in a food processor or Theromix then add to the large mixing bowl.
Add the rest of the ingredients (other than sesame seeds) to the large mixing bowl and stir until they are well combined to form a batter.
Pour batter into a 20cm2 square cake tin or rectangular loaf tin lined with baking paper and liberally scatter sesame seeds on top. Alternatively, pour batter into cupcake/muffins cases then scatter with sesame seeds. Makes approx 20-27 muffins depending on size.
Bake at 120 degrees for 60 mins or until a skewer comes out clean. For a double batch bake for 1 hour 20 minutes.
Place under heated grill element to brown the top of the slice (if desired).
Allow to cool before cutting into large square segments of about 10 cm2 (for square cake tin) or 1 inch slices (for loaf tin). Serve at room temperature.
Slices can be stored in an airtight container for 3 days before requiring refrigeration. They can be frozen up to 3 months.
If you make these please tag me in your post as I’d love to see them. Happy gluten-free Greek Easter! Remember – this is not about deprivation, it’s about healthy swaps! ;-)