Monthly Archives: July 2013

Tonight’s dinner…a warming Irish Stew!

Lamb_StewYou may recall that a few weeks ago I went to a cooking class with Jude Blereau.  She was launching her new cookbook “Wholefood Baking” and did a Thermomix demonstration for some of the recipes she has converted to be used in Thermie!

One of the recipes that received great comments was the Irish Lamb Stew on Sweet Potato Mash (the photo is Jude’s picture of her dish).  I had a small taste and it was delicious, but as it contained vegies and grain that I don’t eat I subsequently went home and made it the next day.  Again it was great!

OMG, a couple of weeks have gone by since I started to write this post and I find myself making this great recipe yet again. In fact I think I’ve been making it about once a week!!! It’s DEFINITELY time I share the recipe with you.

Tonight I am using up vegetables that I have in the fridge like – parsnip, carrot, pumpkin, capsicum, broccoli. The options are endless. Just use the measurements of vegetables in the recipe as a rough guide when substituting!  For a larger family, I would suggest steaming some diced vegetables in the Varoma and adding it to the stew to make it go further.  You could have your sweet potato steaming on one level and the other vegies on the top!

It is supposed to be served with Herb Butter, but as I don’t eat dairy I just don’t use it, but I’ll be nice and include it for those who do! I will also give you the original recipe and let you know the variations I usually use to make it Low FODMAP, Paleo, fructose friendly and gluten free which will appear in brackets (). Here’s the recipe!

Herb Butter

6 sprigs fresh flat-lef parsley, leaves only

20g fresh chives

4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only

120g unsalted butter


Place all herbs into mixing bowl and chop 3 seconds on speed 7

Scrape down the sides of the bowl

Add the butter and blend for 10 seconds on speed 5.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl and repeat if necessary.

Refrigerate until ready to use.

Irish Lamb Stew


002150g leek, white part only (150g green part of spring onions)

2 garlic cloves (1 garlic clove or omit and use garlic infused oil if you can’t tolerate any garlic)

3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only

20g butter, coconut oil (garlic infused oil)

90g celery (90g zucchini or if using parsnip and swede instead of potato, use 90g celeriac)

190g carrots

190g potatoes (to make it paleo I use celeriac or a mix of parsnip and swede)

4 pieces of lamb necks on the bone, fat trimmed (about 700g)

40g pearl barley presoaked for 1 hr or overnight with 1/2tsp lemon juice (120g quinoa washed)

sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

3 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, leaves only with extra to serve

1 sprig fresh marjoram, leaves only – I didn’t have any so just omitted it!

3 bay leaves

1 tbsp. tamari (1 tbsp. Coconut Aminos)

700g water

600-800g sweet potato, peeled and cut into 2cm pieces (600-800g mix of celeriac and pumpkin)


003Place leek, garlic and thyme into the mixing bowl and chop for 3 seconds at speed 5

Add butter/oil and sauté for 4 minutes at Varoma temperature on speed 1.  Set aside

Place celery, carrot, potatoes and herbs (or the alternative vegies – do not put in bay leaves) and chop for 3-5 seconds on speed 4-5 to obtain a chunky consistency.  Less is best as the veggies cook down.

005Add the leek, lamb and barley into the mixing bowl and season with salt and pepper.

Add the bay leaves, tamari and water.

Place the sweet potato (or in my case celeriac and pumpkin) in the top rack of the Varoma dish and place Varoma into position.

Cook for 45mins  at 100° on reverse, soft spoon.

Season the stew with extra tamari to taste and check if the steamed vegetables are cooked. If they are, set them aside in a Thermoserver. If not, continue cooking as before. If the Varoma is no longer needed, place TM basket on top of mixing bowl with MC removed. Cook for a further 10-15 minutes on Varoma, reverse, soft spoon setting until the lamb is tender. I often add extra vegetables like zucchini, if not used before, or broccoli. When stew is cooked, place in Thermoserver.

Lamb_Stew_Low FODMAP_QuinoaClean and dry mixing bowl. Place steamed sweet potato into mixing bowl and mix for 10 sec on speed 5. Insert butterfly, add 10-20g milk if using and puree for 10-14 sec or until smooth. I sometimes don’t mash at all and put the steamed vegetables into the stew as well.

Serve stew hot with the vegetable mash. Garnish with chives and parsley and herbed butter if using it!

I hope you enjoy this as much as our family does x


The Langham Hotel, Melbourne, Australia.

This weekend we went to Melbourne to take Miss 5 to see Disney on Ice. We stayed at The Langham Hotel on Southbank.

The Langham is an older style hotel with lots of pink featured. It’s not the usual type of hotel we would choose to stay in. We prefer a more modern decor. That being said, it did have its bonuses.

The position on Southbank is great! It was in walking distance to the CBD, the Crown Casino and also to venues like Rod Laver Arena, Hisense and the football venues.

The rooms are spacious. We just got a run of the mill room which fitted a king bed and a rollaway easily, with room to move still!!

The hotel has a 2 restaurants, Aria-a bar with dining and Melba their main restaurant. There is a small pool and spa bath and a Chuan spa for those who like indulging themselves…ah one day!!!

Anyway, staff were welcoming and helpful. An added bonus is their check out time of 12pm. We will definitely be back!


ETC and others 1355Not sure what to make the title here…Today I have made coconut butter using Jude Blereau’s recipe in the Thermomix and have then made coconut balls with the butter using Jude’s recipe as a starting point, but then adding some extras! I should also add, that the photographed Organic desiccated coconut is for the online health food shop “Paleo Providore” that I am trying to get up and running! I will upload it onto my facebook store for starters while I am getting the website sorted!

Anyway back to cooking!

I went as a Thermomix Consultant to the Jude Blereau Wholefood cooking class.  I have learned quite a bit from it and have had fun cooking some of her TM recipes since!  Today I will share the coconut butter recipe as I think it is one that you will find useful.  Sorry to those of you who don’t have a Thermomix,  I think it would be difficult to make without one!

Coconut Butter

ETC and others 1333Ingredients:

250g Organic desiccated, shredded or flaked coconut.


Place coconut into the mixing bowl and blend for 1 minute at 37 °C on speed 8.

Scrape the sides of the bowl down and then blend for a further 2 minutes at 37 °C on speed 8

At this stage the coconut butter is a bit like a thin paste.  As it solidifies it will harden.  Store in an airtight container in a cool dark place.

Apricot Balls

I suppose being that I’ve tempted you with the picture I should share the coconut balls too!

ETC and others 1334Ingredients:

100g almonds

100g apricots

60g pitted dates

230g coconut butter

desiccated coconut, to coat


Place almonds in the mixing bowl and chop on speed 8 for 2-3 seconds

Add apricots and chop on speed 8 for about 10 seconds.

Add dates and on closed lid, hit the turbo button 2-3 times.

Add the coconut butter and blend for about 10 seconds on speed 4, scrape the sides down and repeat for a few seconds if necessary (take care not to over mix or you will end up with nut butter).

Jude says if it isn’t holding together you may need to add a tbsp. coconut oil – I didn’t have this problem.

Roll into bite size balls and coat with desiccated coconut.  Jude suggests putting them in a cool dark place for a couple of hours before serving…If I wasn’t intolerant to fructose (apricots and dates) I don’t know if I would be able to do that!

Store in the fridge.

Enjoy x