What is real food? Simply put, it's a movement back to wholefoods and made-from-scratch cooking.
Our grandparents saw us develop new technology to alter and transform foods which has led to today, where supermarkets now have an array of pre-made, pre-cooked and packaged and processed foods that are often laced with additives, preservatives and refined sugars, easy to eat, but lacking in nutritional value. Food should sustain us.
The Australian Women's Weekly has been involved for decades in teaching Australians to cook and appreciate food, and the recipes in Real Food will take you back to the beginning. This cookbook will help you to reconnect with the intimate art of cooking and to care about the ingredients you cook with and the way you eat them.
Real Food brings together recipes using seasonal produce, wholegrains, sustainable meats and dairy products with an abundance of fruit and vegetables.
The first section of the book encourages us to 'Eat The Rainbow" which offers a wide variety of colourful vegetarian recipes such as the cauliflower steaks with chimichurri or the baked pea falafel with mint lemon yoghurt.
We then move from 'Farm To Plate" with delicious recipes to try such as spice-rubbed beef rib eye with merlot sauce, green papaya salad with pork and prawns or the vinegar poached chicken.
The 'Make Your Own" section shows you how to make homemade yoghurt with fruit flavours, gluten-free buckwheat and millet flour pizzas, no-knead multigrain bread rolls, fragrant Asian infused chicken stock, apple butter, raspberry vinegar, even how to make your own cordial, crumpets, and relishes to homemade coconut dream ice-cream.
'Fish is Good" is dedicated to sustainable produce from the sea with recipes such as crispy fried fish, mussels with fennel bread, polenta dusted calamari with seafood mayonnaise, beetroot cured salmon or try the lobster and potato salad.
The book finishes with 'The Sweeter Side" which includes the recipe on the front cover of the book: gluten-free lemon zucchini polenta cake with candied lemon slices and orange blossom syrup.
The Australian Women's Weekly Real Food cookbook shows how food should always be; simple, wholesome and delicious.
The Australian Women's Weekly: Real Food
Prep + Cook Time: 25 minutes
3 sheets nori seaweed
500g (1 pound) asparagus, trimmed
¼ cup (60ml) olive oil
⅓ cup (55g) natural almonds, chopped coarsely
¼ cup (50g) pepitas (pumpkin seed kernels)
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed coarsely
1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon brown malt syrup
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
2 medium avocados (500g), sliced
2 medium lebanese cucumbers (260g), cut into long wedges
Cut nori into 3cm (1¼-inch) wide strips with scissors, then pat with a damp piece of paper towel to soften slightly. Wrap a nori strip around each asparagus spear, starting 2cm (¾-inch) from the end; drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil.
Cook asparagus, on a heated grill plate (or grill or barbecue) over medium-high heat for 4 minutes each side or until tender.
Meanwhile, heat remaining olive oil in a small non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add almonds and pepitas; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add coriander and sesame seeds; cook, stirring, for a further 2 minutes or until lightly toasted. Cool.
Combine sesame oil, vinegar, syrup and ginger in a small bowl; season to taste. Place avocado, cucumber and asparagus on a platter, drizzle with dressing; sprinkle with toasted seed mix.
Prep + Cook Time: 45 Minutes (+ refrigeration)
1⅓ cups (185g) plain (all-purpose) flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons icing (confectioners') sugar
150g (4½ ounces) cold butter, chopped
2 tablespoons iced water, approximately
300g (9½ ounces) coconut yoghurt
75g (2½ ounces) watermelon, peeled, cut into thin slices
3 medium figs (180g), halved
50g (1½ ounces) strawberries, halved
8 cherries, halved, pitted
50g (1½ ounces) small black grapes
1 tablespoon pomegranate seeds (see tips)
1 cup (250ml) pomegranate juice
2 tablespoons cranberry sauce
1 tablespoon corn syrup
Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F.
Place flour, cocoa powder, icing sugar and butter in a food processor bowl. Pulse until mixture forms coarse crumbs. With motor operating, add enough of the iced water until dough comes together. Turn onto work surface; shape into a rectangle; wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Roll pastry between sheets of baking paper to a 15cm x 30cm (6-inch x 12-inch) oval, 5mm (¼-inch) thick. Discard top sheet of baking paper. Transfer pastry on paper, to an oven tray. Bake for 12 minutes or until cooked through. Cool.
Meanwhile, make pomegranate glaze.
Spread yoghurt over pastry, leaving a 1cm (½-inch) border. Top with fruit and pomegranate seeds; drizzle with glaze.
Combine ingredients in a small saucepan over high heat; bring to the boil. Boil for 10 minutes or until reduced to a syrup consistency.
tips To remove seeds from pomegranate, cut pomegranate in half crossways; hold it, cut-side down, in the palm of your hand over a bowl, then hit the outside firmly with a wooden spoon. The seeds should fall out easily; discard any white pith that falls out with them. Pomegranate seeds will keep in the fridge for up to a week. To avoid pastry softening, assemble tart close to serving. We used black grapes in this recipe, you can use small red grapes or fresh muscatels, if you like.
The Australian Women's Weekly: Real Food