Recipes: Celebrate Sustainable Food for Planet A.

There is no Planet B.

Related:  Your Questions About Food and Climate Change, Answered: NYT

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Try Chaya Tree Spinach


With predicted food shortages now is the time to plant Chaya Tree Spinach and other edible perennials.

Chaya Spinach Tree
3m high Chaya Spinach Tree

Chaya Tree Spinach (Cnidiscolus chayamansa) is a fantastic and abundant food. Chaya leaves do need some cooking preparation as do Cassava leaves and Warrigal Greens. Wikipedia states up to 5 raw leaves a day can be eaten but other sources are more cautious. Although blending and drying also seems to remove the toxic hydrocyanic acid substances, boiling for 20 minutes is recommended. The leaves survive the boiling still looking green and attractive. The broth that is left can also be consumed as the toxic substances have been destroyed by the heat.

Cooking in aluminum cookware can result in a toxic broth, causing diarrhea.[13]

You are left with tasty green leaves to use as a spinach or chard substitute or to be used in a salad and smoothies.

"Chaya is a good source of protein, vitamins, calcium, and iron; and is also a rich source of antioxidants.[10]" Wikipedia

The plant does burn off a little from cold but seems to survive well in a microclimate in our warm temperate-subtropical climate. There are reports that Chaya will regrow from the root after Florida's frosts. In colder climates try growing in a greenhouse.

Leafless stem cuttings are best left to dry and callus before potting up. Keep the cutting reasonably dry to avoid rotting. 

Chaya Spinach Tree leaves for cooking
Chaya Spinach Tree Leaves

The Chaya Spinach Tree (a large bush) fits well into a vegetable patch. It takes up a small ground footprint and provides some shade to other vegetables). We can reach the leaves from our deck or cut a branch that will later become a cutting.

A useful green vegetable for the subtropics
Cooked Chaya leaves,along with Carrot and Starfruit in a quick pickle before refridgeration


Chaya can be used as a chard substitute in many recipes but here is a link to some Chaya recipes:

Most Recipe Source -Bellingen Seedsavers


Fran's Fermented Elderflower Soda


Elderberry flower heads
Pick two or three elderflower heads and remove flowers from stems. 
Put six cups of unchlorinated water into a two litre jar. 
Add a heaped tablespoon of honey and stir to dissolve. 
Stir in the elderflowers. 
To speed up the fermenting process you can add a pinch of yeast or some whey from the top of plain yoghurt. 
Put the jar (with no lid) on a kitchen bench so you can give it a quick stir whenever you walk past. 
Place a cloth over the top to keep bugs out. 
Within two to six days, depending on temperature, the mixture will start to bubble. 
Once it has a bit of fizz strain the flowers off and put the soda in
the fridge. 

Sandies's Bean and Yoghurt Dip, adapted by Shann

500gm thick Greek style yoghurt (drain but not too much)
2 green chilies, seeds left in and finely chopped.
1/2 bunch mint, finely chopped
1/2 lemon. juiced
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
40 mls extra virgin olive oil
40-80mls extra virgin olive oil
Two 400gm cans of butter beans, drained and rinsed.

Combine yoghurt, chili, mint and lemon juice in a bowl.
Season with salt and pepper and stir though the oil.
Using remaining olive oil fry the beans over medium heat for a few minutes or until skins begin to split.
Season with salt, add garlic and cook for 3 minutes until golden.

Stir though paprika.

Pour yoghurt mixture onto a plate and make a well. Spoon in the bean mix

Note: Adapt to taste says Shann
"Only add chili to taste. I mash the beans leaving some small hunks. 
I use less oil in the yoghurt.
I retain some of the bean can liquid in case they mash too dry."

Cooked greens with sweet banana porridge


Cooked greens with sweet banana porridge
This is an easy recipe that adds more green vegetables to your breakfast.

It also makes a useful meal at other times with different vegetables and sweeteners added.

Chop a cup of mixed greens that do not require extensive cooking to remove any toxins, such as Okinawa Spinach, Malabar Spinach, Leaf Amaranth, Longevity Spinach, Silver Beet and Spinach.


Cook chopped greens that do require cooking to remove toxins such as Chaya, Cassava leaves, Taro leaves. 

Add to a microwave bowl with a cup of porridge oats (I prefer traditional oats rather than quick oats)  finely sliced banana, milk, and your preferred sweetener if desired. 

Microwave until the oats are cooked, around 3 minutes.  Enjoy.


Experiment cooking greens into polenta and maize flour.



Okinawa Spinach Growing Information



This tasty vegetable grows very easily in the Bellingen Valley. It is a little cold sensitive. Protect from frosts.  Share cuttings with friends.
Green Harvest has plants.

From the Green Harvest catalogue 

© Frances Michaels

BOTANICAL NAME:Gynura crepioides
COMMON NAMES: Okinawa spinach, Hong tsoi, Okinawa lettuce
FAMILY: Asteraceae
ORIGIN: Native to Indonesia

Okinawa Spinach is a dense, low growing plant to 70 cm high. Easily the most low maintenance perennial leaf vegetable; it is a hardy plant and relatively pest-free. Thriving in warm, wet conditions Okinawa Spinach does best in subtropical and tropical areas; it is sensitive to frost. An attractive plant with shiny leaves that are green on top and purple underneath; the flowers are very small and orange. It grows best in full sun to partial shade. It needs ample water, rich, fertile well-drained soil that is kept mulched and prefers a pH of between 6.1 and 6.5.


  • Food: It is a very nutritious vegetable, eaten raw or cooked. The leaves and young shoot tips are steamed, used in stir fry, tempura, stews, and soups. Try not to overcook it as it can become slimy. The leaves have a crisp, nutty taste with a faint hint of pine. In Okinawa the leaves are often fried and served as tempura. It can also be steamed with rice if it is added for the last 7 minutes of cooking time. This leafy green is also known as cholesterol spinach, and there are many claims that it lowers cholesterol. Young leaves have a much better flavour than the older leaves.
  • Edible Landscaping: The vivid leaf colour makes this a good choice as a background plant in ornamental beds. Okinawa Spinach can be used in landscaping as a groundcover in full sun (with enough water) or it does well in partial shade. It is very adaptable to container gardening and hanging baskets and will grow inside on a windowsill with good light.
  • Recommended Planting Time: Cuttings are best taken when the soil temperature is at least 25°C. Rooting the cutting in water before planting will improve results. The plant responds well to pruning, rapidly becoming bushy. Pruning also prolongs its life.
  • Planting Depth: Cuttings 10 - 20 cm long should be half buried in potting mix and kept moist.
  • Spacing: Space plants at 60 cm apart.
Recipes from The Edible Plant Project :

Okinawa Spinach
Okinawa Spinach with Rice & Mango
Okinawa Spinach
& Grits



Bunya Nut Cake

Growing locally Bunya Nuts can be boiled and utilised as a nut meal. This recipe blends the nuts with milk to make a paste.



Green Banana Rissoles-Cakes


Oven baked green banana savoury cake
• Boil and mash sufficient green bananas (or plantains) to replace the meat in a traditional rissole recipe.

• Blend with plain flour (wholemeal, half wholemeal is preferred), an egg if you like, crushed nuts, finely chopped vegetables, seasonings (cumin works well) and herbs of your choice until you have a mix that can be shaped into small rissoles.

• Fry in a frypan using coconut or olive oil or bake in the oven to avoid oils. These little savoury cakes go well to nibble with 


Carambola (Star Fruit) Upside Down Cake 


Carambola (Star Fruit) Fruit

This is a paraphrased variation of the Mango Upside Down Cake from Linda Woodrow's amazingly useful and relevant Witches Kitchen blog which made use of a Mango seasonal glut. In the Bellinger Valley we are now entering a carambola (star fruit) glut. We find the carambola perfectly replaces the mangoes texture and taste.

The Recipe:

Turn your oven on to heat up to medium (180°C or 350°F).

Grease a 20 cm cake tin and line the base with a circle of greaseproof paper.

Make the carambola topping first.

Slice enough ripe carambolas to nearly cover the bottom of the cake pan in a single layer.  Arrange them in a decorative circle if you like. Sprinkle half a cup of chopped macadamia nuts (or use other nuts) in the gaps.

In a frypan, melt a good dessertspoon of butter and a good dessertspoon of raw sugar. Cook for a few minutes till the butter sugar mix just starts to caramelise and go sticky, then drizzle this mix over the carambolas and nuts.

Cake batter.

In a food processor, blend together 100 gm butter (just under half a cup, or most of a stick) with half a cup of  brown sugar.

When it is nice and fluffy, add three eggs, one by one, and half a cup of chopped carambola.

Then a teaspoon of vanilla, or scrape half a pod, and a cup of self-raising flour.

Pour this over the carambola topping.

Bake for around 40 minutes in a medium oven till a straw comes out clean.

Cool for ten minutes or so in the pan, then carefully turn out. Run a knife around the edge of the cake in the pan, put a plate over the top, then invert and tap lightly on the bottom of the pan.  Carefully peel off the paper."  


Green Vegetable Bake.


The half demolished Bake
I am always looking for recipes that utilise our abundant garden greens. The accompanying picture looks unappetising but the leftovers were refridgerated

 1. Collect your greens and any other vegetables. I prefer to use tomatoes in a salad rather than a bake but I use any of the following in a mix of greens :

• Small chokoes  • pumpkin leaves, • Katuk • Okinawa Spinach, • Ceylon Spinach, spinach • silver beet or beet leaves • Surinam Spinach • Brazil Spinach  •sweet potato leaves  • some chili or capsicum leaves • capsicum • various herbs • spring onions • Moringa leaves and flowers • cooked Chaya Spinach Tree leaves • cooked Warrigal Greens •mustard • rocket • zucchini 

2. Rinse well if required.

3. Fry some garlic and onion in oil (I prefer olive oil but coconut oil also works) .

4. In a 'kitchen whizz' chop a layer of hard vegetables such as pumpkin and carrot with the cooked onion and garlic. Add an egg or two and some cream or a little milk or yoghurt. Season. Also add some tasty cheese or feta cheese.

5. Layer the chopped vegetables in an oiled or buttered oven proof dish.

6.  'Whizz"/chop the green vegetables along with some seasoning,  eggs and a little milk or cream and add as another layer to the ovenproof dish. Keep the amounts of liquids small because the greens generate plenty of liquid. If you like you can just mix everything into one layer.

7. Bake for close to an hour in a moderate oven until dry on top.

8. Optional: Top with cheese (feta, tasty or parmesan) and bake for another 5 minutes.

9. Serve warm or cold with a salad.

See also:

Eat your Pumpkin leaves and links to other vegetable recipes using indigenous plants




Adapted from Coles Magazine by Rae
Prep 20 mins I Cook 1-1 ¼ hr I Makes 1 Loaf
1 ½ cups (225g) self-raising flour
1 cup (220g) brown sugar
½ cup (40g) shredded coconut
450g can crushed pineapple
½ cup (125ml) buttermilk
150g melted butter
2 large eggs
2 large (or 3 medium) ripe bananas, mashed
400g finely chopped frozen mango


·   Preheat oven to 180°C
·   Mix flour, brown sugar and coconut in a bowl
·   Drain pineapple in a sieve, pressing out liquid
·   Whisk buttermilk, melted butter, eggs and mashed banana in a bowl
·   Add to flour mixture
·   Stir to combine
·   Pour mix into a greased and lined 10cm x 22cm loaf pan
·   Smooth the surface
·   Bake at 180°C for 1-1 ¼ hours or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean
·   Cool in the pan for 5 mins, then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely

Spinach/Silverbeet Pie Recipe: Georgie's version of a Stephanie Alexander recipe

Okinawa Spinach
Note: This is a great way to use edible weeds and most greens.

Ingredients to make a pie the size of large pizza tray.

2 cups plain flour (wholemeal if you like)
pinch of salt
1meagre cup of water
4 tbsp olive oil

Method:  Sift flour and salt into large bowl. Add water slowly and oil and mix with hands.  Make a good dough mixture that you can knead.  So all water may not be used as that depends on flour.  Knead it in the bowl or tip onto surface and knead for 10 minutes.  Put in bowl, cover (I put my bowl into plastic bag) and put in frig whilst you do the mixture.  

The mixture
1 good bunch of silverbeet   (or frozen siiverbeet/spinach - I haven’t used this but I know you can)
Add parsley or other greens if you don’t have enough, or for variation
1 onion
4 cloves garlic
1 tsp turmeric
salt, pepper, chili powder if you like
Cut stalks off silverbeet, put aside to fry with onions.  Shred silverbeet by rolling leaves together and cutting finely.  Place in colander and salt generously.  Put weight on top and sit in sink to allow juices to drain out - 15 minutes or so.  Rinse with water and squeeze.
Finely chop onion and garlic and fry gently in olive oil.  Allow onions to fry for 10 min then add finely chopped stalks  and fry another 10 min.  Add tumeric and chili powder to this mixture whilst frying.  

Cheeses - about 3 cups of cheese or more if you like. 
Parmesan - grated
Ricotta or cottage
Feta - cut into pieces
Mix all above ingredients together and add

5 eggs beaten and mix all ingredients together

Making the pie case
Oil pizza tray and drizzle oil on rolling pin or you can use wine bottle
Break the dough into two lots.  One bigger than the other. (2/3 and 1/3)
Roll the larger piece into circle larger than the base of the pizza tray.  This pastry is quite strong when thin.
Place on tray and push to edges….it is flexible.  Allow edges to come up.
Spoon mixture on and flatten it down with hands, getting all air out.
Roll out other dough and place it on top.  Dip fingers in water and smooth edges together.
Use fork and prick holes in top and drizzle olive oil over the top.
Bake in oven of 170 degrees for about 35 minutes.
(Put a tray under the pie as it cooks to catch juices.
Eat hot or cold.




Credit: Woolworths Fresh Magazine
Prep 20 mins I Cook 1 hr I Makes 1 Loaf
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup wholemeal flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp lemon zest
2 large carrots, peeled, grated
2 medium apples, peeled, grated
1 1/2 cups diced prunes
1/2 cup walnut pieces
1 Preheat oven to 170°C. Lightly grease and flour a 4-cup Loaf pan, shaking out any excess flour.
2 In a bowl, whisk together the flours,
3 baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and allspice.
4 In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the sugar, eggs, oil and zest on medium speed for 1 minute or until blended. Reduce the mixer to Low speed and add the flour mixture in 3 batches, stopping the mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl between additions. Fold in the carrot, apple and prunes.
5 Pour batter into prepared Loaf pan. Evenly sprinkle the walnut pieces on top. Bake for 1 hour or until the top of the bread is golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the centre of the bread comes out clean.
6 Cool for 15 minutes. Run a butter knife around the edges to loosen the bread and invert the pan onto a cooling rack. Turn the bread over so the walnut side is up, and Let the
7 bread cool completely before serving.

  Omshree's Chickpea Salad


1 cup dried chickpeas soaked overnight
rinse thoroughly
Pressure cook chickpeas with a dollop of olive oil, no salt (half hour on high pressure is good)
rinse thoroughly
Add as much as you like quartered sweet cherry tomatoes      
1 large red onion diced                                         
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon roasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 dessertspoon tamari (soy sauce)
Recipe is subject to preference. For example can use sea-salt instead of tamari; add grated ginger;  add lime zest; vary quantities of garlic, onion, cherry tomatoes; whole cherry tomatoes instead of quartered; add parsley, chives, or shallots; and so on


Eat your Pumpkin leaves and links to vegetable recipes using indigenous plants

Pumpkin leaves soup

World Vegetable Centre: Discover Indigenous Vegetables!

Amphibious Porridge

Healthy Jelly

African Vegetable Loaf

African eggplant and okra

Rice Ball Bean Soup

Boiled Dumplings

Pas de Deux Salad

Burmese Leaf Soup

Bacon Rolls

Swamp Tune Sauce




Garlicky marrow rings- Using a zucchini glut


Says Jack: This is one way to cope with a glut of marrows(overgrown zucchinis/courgettes). Why not try this with cucumbers.

Garlicky marrow rings… that actually taste good!

  See also

Preserving Courgette Gluts For Winter





Auntie Beryl's cauliflower and blue cheese soup

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Serves: 4


20g butter, chopped
1 large brown onion, halved & finely chopped
1 large teaspoon mustard powder
500g cauliflower, cut into florets
3 cups vegetable stock
2 cups water
60g mild blue vein cheese, chopped
1/2 cup light thickened cream
Chopped fresh chives to garnish
Toasted sourdough bread, to serve


1. Heat oil and butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring for 3 minutes.

2. Add powder and cook, stirring for 30 seconds. Stir in cauliflower. Add stock and water and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes or until cauliflower is tender. remove from heat. Set aside for 10 minutes to cool slightly.

3 Blend soup, in batches, until smooth. Place soup in clean saucepan. Add cheese and stir over low heat until hot and cheese has melted. Taste and season with salt and ground white pepper.

4. Ladle soup among serving bowls. Sprinkle with chives.

Lynda's pumpkin, feta and herb bread – ideal as a side for soups, BBQ’s etc

400g pumpkin – steamed – cube ½ cup and keep for decoration, mash rest
2 cups self raising flour
Pinch of salt

60 butter – chopped roughly
200g feta – chopped into small pieces
2 Tablespoon finely chopped herbs – rosemary, oregano, thyme
½ cup cream (or milk) – only if required (see note below)
200’ oven
Rub butter into flour until mixture resembles breadcrumbs
Mix in mashed pumpkin, feta and herbs
Pat out dough onto a scone tray – top with cubed pumpkin
Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until hollow when tapped
NOTE:  Mixture should resemble a scone mixture.  As moisture content in steamed pumpkin varies, only use cream if mixture is dry.

Auntie Beryl's Choko Soup


• 3 good sized chokos (chayote), peeled and chopped
• 2-3 rashers bacon (or substitute) finely chopped
• 1 large onion peeled and finely chopped
• 3 tablespoons of uncooked rice
• 3 chicken stock cubes (or vegetable stock)
• 6 cups water
• 2-3 teaspoons curry powder
• salt and pepper


• Saute bacon and onion
• Stir in rice, bacon and chokos
• Add stock cubes and water (or 6 cups of chicken/vegetable stock)
• Add salt and pepper to taste
• Simmer until choko is soft (approximately 30 minutes)
• Allow to cool then puree with a blender

Enjoying Choko Soup
* Aunty Beryl used Sanitarum Bacon Style Rashers and also vegetable stock to make this delicious soup. We all have loads of chokos at the moment and if not they are freely available in many local places including the old caravan park in Bellingen.

Savoury Muffins with Mushroom Plant, Basil, Sundried Tomato & Cheese


Spray Oil
2 cups self raising flour (fresh is best)
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups tasty cheese and a 1/3 cup extra
1/4 cup sundried tomato, drained and coarsely diced
1/2 cup finely chopped basil and mushroom plant (young leafy tips)
1/4 cup toasted pine or macadamia nuts
1 cup milk
80g butter, melted
1 egg, lightly whisked


• Preheat oven to moderate 180 degrees C. Lightly spray a 12 hole muffin tray with oil.
• Sift flour and salt together  into a large bowl.
• Stir in cheese, tomatoes, basil & mushroom plant mix, and nuts
• In a jug combine milk, melted butter and whisked egg.
• Make a well in the centre of the dry ingrediaents. Add milk mixture all at once. Mix lightly until just combined.
• Spoon mixture evenly into prepared muffin tray and sprinkle with extra cheese.
• Bake 20 to 25 minutes until cooked when tested with a skewer.
• Cool in tray for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack.

Leela’s Sweet Pumpkin Pie

2 cups plain flour
¼ tsp salt
¾ cup butter
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ cup of ice water, approx

Blend the first 4 ingredients in a food processor until crumbly. Slowly, add enough of the ice water whilst running until mix starts to pull together. Scoop out and use a rolling pin on a floured board to shape into a sheet of pastry. Make a shell in a greased, shallow pie dish.


2 cups of slow-roasted pumpkin mash
½ cup raw sugar
1 cup ricotta cheese
¼ cup of soy or milk
3 eggs
½ cup macadamia pieces
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp cloves
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp cardamom
¼ tsp of powdered galangal (or ginger)

Mix the above ingredients and pour into the uncooked shell. Bake at 180 degrees approx. 1hr.  Cool before serving; flavours will improve over the next few hours.

Leela’s Black Sticky Rice

The black rice took well over an hour to cook and might be tricky to find – you could try a white rice substitute.

600ml of milk and/or soy milk
½ cup black rice, rinsed in cold water
1/3 cup of brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp cloves
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp cardamom
1/3 cup of sultanas
1/3 cup of walnuts (optional)
2 eggs, beaten
¼ cup of coconut milk
1 ½ tsp of vanilla extract

Bring the milk to simmer in a large pot and add the next six ingredients. Simmer until rice is tender – stir occasionally to prevent sticking and add more milk if necessary. Combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl and mix in ½ a cup of the hot rice. Add back to the rice pot and stir over medium heat until thickened. Spoon into a shallow dish and bring to room temperature before serving. I recommend tasting along the way to tinker with the flavours!

Linda's Sweet Potato Cornbread

900g sweet potato – boiled and mashed (to yield 2 cups)
125g butter
4 eggs lightly beaten
¼ cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon bicarb of soda
Pinch salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup plain yoghurt
2 cups fine polenta
Preheat oven to 180’ – butter a 20cm square cake tin.
Pure sweet potato in a mixer or food processor with all ingredients except yoghurt and polenta.
Stir in Yoghurt and polenta and pour into prepared tin.
Bake for45 minutes or until a fine skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Cool a little before turning out and cutting into squares.
Note:  Pumpkin can be substituted for sweet potato.  Finely diced chilli can also be added for a different flavour.

Linda's Gramma Pie

This Gramma Pie disappeared off the plate before I could photograph the whole cake.
2 cups (300g) plain flour
250g softened butter
½ cup icing sugar
1 egg plus 1 yolk – beaten lightly
Combine flour and icing sugar, rub in butter.  Stir in egg mix until well combined. 
Gently knead pastry on a floured surface and press into a flat disc.  Wrap pastry and refrigerate for an hour. 
On a lightly floured surface roll our pastry until large enough to fit a 28cm flan tin – trim edges.


My Recipe for a Very Mild Sambal


This recipe uses local plants and spices. If you like a hot sambal add more chili.

- One clove of perennial garlic
- Quarter of a hot chili
- A good handful of small red perennial capsicums or use a large capsicum
- 1/4 teaspoon dried nutmeg powder
- 1 onion, preferably mild, peeled and chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons-  chopped palm sugar

- dash of coconut oil. Coconut oil adds flavour. Don't use olive oil
- 2 Curry Tree leaf bunches
- 2 Lemongrass stems, bruised
- 1 cm Galangal, peeled and sliced. Fresh ginger could substitute.
- 2 tablespoons Tamarind paste or substitute lime juice
- 2 tablespoons salt


1. Combine first seven ingredients and grind or blend finely. If you are not bothered by a more fibrous sambal you can also blend the lemon grass and galangal added in the next step.

2. Heat oil and saute ground ingredients together with curry tree leaves, lemon grass and galangal, stirring until the mixture changes colour. Add tamarind juice and simmer for another minute, then leave to cool.

3. Remove curry tree leaves, lemon grass and galangal before serving.

4. It will last at least a week in the refridgerator.  I use a large dollop to stir-fry climbing or bush beans but use to stir-fry any suitable vegetables such as baby chokoes.

This recipe was an adaptation of an asian recipe. You can experiment and vary the ingredients to taste.


Nell's Vegetarian Walnut and Rolled Oat Burgers


1 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

3/4 cup diced onion

2 eggs

1/2 cup of cream which may be replaced by 3/4 tsp of salt, 2 tbsp of powdered milk and 1/2 cup of water.

Add herbs to taste. Nell uses parsley, thyme, sage or mixed dried herbs.

Mix all ingredients. Fry mixture in a lightly oiled pan until lightly browned. Size as desired.

Drop burgers into a saucepan of 4 cups of simmering water flavoured as desired for 20 minutes.

May be used as burgers on bread or rolls. They can be served with gravy, with vegetables brushed with tomato sauce, as a dip or on skewers.

After boiling, this burger may be crushed and tomato sauce added to create a dip consistency. The fluid used to boil the burgers may be used to add moisture together with sauce, to control flavour.

These burgers freeze well either before or after boiling.


Nell's Green Paw Paw Salad

Green Paw Paw Salad

4-5 cups of grated green paw paw

1 cup of bean or pea shoots

1 cup ground peanuts

1 small chili

1 tbsp of Dulce flakes (seaweed flakes)

Combine above ingredients.

Dress with:

1tbsp honey dissolved in 1 tbsp of hot water

1/3 cup of lemon juice

1/3 cup of olive oil

2 tsp of sesame oil (optional)

Fish sauce is traditional in green paw paw salad. Vegetarians can use the above ingredients.


Nell's Dolmades


Blanch vine leaves in boiling water for 3 minutes. Rinse in cold water and drain. The number of leaves needed depends on the size of the leaves. Nell’s leaves are large.

Fry 2 finely diced onions in half a cup of olive oil. Add 1 cup of rice and 3 tbs of pine nuts and stir for 2 minutes.

Add, finely chopped:

1 tbsp fresh dill
1 tbsp of mint
• 5 tbsp parsley
• 3 tbsp currants

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Add 1 cup of water.

Cover pot tightly and cook for 15 minutes until water is absorbed. Place vine leaves shiny side down and place rice mixture in centre. Fold stem and sides over the rice and roll towards point of leaf. Line a heavy pan with vine leaves. Pack rolls placing seams down. Cover with:

• juice of 1 lemon
1 cup water
One third cup of oil.

Cover with vine leaves and a fitted lid (a plate will serve). Simmer for one hour. Remove from heat and stand 1 to 2 hours to allow all fluid to be absorbed.



Elaine's Herb Tea Punch


Berries of the Forest (or a similar cordial)
Lemon Grass
Lemon Myrtle leaves
Clove Basil leaves/seeds
Rosella fruit (Cranberry Hibiscus leaves might substitute)
Garden Mint and Peppermint
Orange rind.

Place a tablespoon of each of the above ingredients in a stainless steel saucepan or glass basin. ( Snip them a little with your kitchen scissors, to release more flavour.)

Cover with a litre or more of boiling water, stir for a minute and cover with lid, to prevent loss of flavours from evaporation.
Infuse until almost cold
Strain, pour over iceblocks into Punchbowl.  Chill.

The strained Herbs may be used a second or third time to extract the flavours and constituents.  Add to the punchbowl. Keep covered in the refridgerator.

When ready to serve, add a bottle of sugar free, preservative free, juice of your choice and a bottle of mineral or soda water. Stir to blend  and pour the PUNCH into glasses over some icecubes.

Elaine used sugar-free cranberry juice but advises that pomegranate, apple or blackcurrant juice also blend well.

Homer added wine to his 'erb teas. ENJOY

Recipe Source -Bellingen Seedsavers

 'Saving heritage seeds that adapt to local climate variations.'

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