Spring is finally here which means celebrating the best of fresh produce – delicious vegies, fruits and tender cuts of meat. September is also Australian Organic Awareness Month, which means celebrity ambassador and clean-living advocate Luke Hines will be spreading the word about all the delicious organic home-grown produce on offer.
It’s hard enough to get kids interested in cooking if its not their thing (although you could try these 3 tips for getting your kids interested in healthy cooking), let along convincing them that fresh, organic food can actually be delicious! Fortunately, Luke Hines has some fail-safe recipes.
“In Australia we’re so lucky to have such an amazing range of fresh produce, and I believe the purest organic offerings are really superior in taste and quality,” Luke says. “No one wants to be cooking up meals laden with extra pesticides and additives, so it’s worth outlaying a little extra for organic food if you’re health conscious and want to do the right thing when it comes to your family and the environment.”
Here Luke shares one of his favourite spring-time recipes from the latest Australian Organic Certified Organic Cookbook.
Organic Stuffed Mushrooms
“Stuffed mushrooms are one of the easiest yet most delicious meals you can put together,” Luke says. “This recipe is a celebration of simple, seasonal flavours that go really well together on the plate and makes for a perfect light dinner or entrée.”
- 4 large organic portobello mushrooms, stems removed and reserved
- 2 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
- 3 tbs pecans, crushed
- 1 lemon, zest and juice
- sea salt and black pepper
- 100 ml extra virgin olive oil
- 1 bunch parsley, chopped
- 2 tbs pecans, toasted and chopped
- Preheat the oven to 200°C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Add the mushroom stems, garlic, pecans, lemon juice and zest, salt and 3 tablespoons of the olive oil to a food processor, along with the parsley. Pulse until it forms a rough, wet paste.
- Arrange the mushrooms, gill-side up, on the prepared baking tray and spoon over the prepared mixture.
- Drizzle over the remaining oil and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until mushrooms are cooked through and the herb crust is golden brown.
- Divide among plates, season with salt and pepper and serve topped with toasted pecans, extra lemon zest and parsley.
Organic Souvlaki Skewers
“I love Greek food because it’s always light, fresh and packed with tasty vegies,” says Luke. “This recipe is one of my favourites – Greek food at its finest!”
- 3 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
- 2 lemons, zest and juice
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- sea salt and ground black pepper
- 800g organic chicken thigh fillets, roughly chopped
- 1 cup organic almond meal
- 1 cup arrowroot flour
- 125ml coconut milk
- 125 ml filtered water
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- pinch of sea salt
- 3-4 tbs coconut oil
- *Can substitute store-bought organic pita bread instead
To accompany: Cucumber, tomato, parsley, red onion
- Mix the olive oil, garlic, lemon zest and juice and oregano in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper, add the chicken and toss to coat, then cover with plastic wrap and set aside in the fridge to marinate for at least 20 minutes (up to 3 hours if you have time).
- For the pitas, combine the almond meal, arrowroot or tapioca flour, coconut milk, water, oregano and salt in a bowl and mix well to form a smooth batter.
- Melt about 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil in a small non-stick frying pan over medium heat.
- Ladle one-quarter of the batter into the pan, tilting and swirling it to coat the base in an even layer, and cook for 2-3 minutes, then carefully turn the pita over, with a spatula and cook for a further 2 minutes, or until golden. Repeat with the remaining mixture.
- Heat a barbecue grill to medium-high.
- Thread the marinated chicken onto the prepared skewers and grill for 6-8 minutes on each side or until cooked through.
- To assemble the souvlaki, spoon a few generous dollops of avocado on each pita and top with a chicken skewer and add finely diced vegetables.
For more cooking inspiration or kitchen shortcuts, try these ideas: