Emma Nutrition

Simplifying the science through cooking and education. When I'm not on Mummy duties…

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Cook off with Rosemary Shrager

I’ve had an amazing day at the Gourmet Garden cook off. They were all so welcoming and we had a good laugh.

Rosemary Shrager giving me tips was totally surreal but she was very kind.

The winner (first on left) really deserved it too. Here I am (second from left) pre-contest with my fellow cooks 😉


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Gourmet Garden Blog off Cook off!

An exciting little parcel recently arrived for me. It was full of some of my favourite things. Not diamonds or wine but herbs and spices! These neat little packages of herbs and spices are from a company called Gourmet Garden. Hailing from Australia just like this company I recall my Mum always having some basil in the fridge and I can’t believe I’ve lived without them until now. Gone are the days of wasting herbs or freezing them! I’ve been experimenting with them and here are some of my favourite recipes. Enjoy!

Medicine Soup Medicine soup

250gm sliced chicken

5 spring onions sliced

1 red pepper sliced

2 rolls of Soba noodles

1 litre of chicken stock

5 mushrooms (shiitake, oyster, button)

Pinch of seaweed

2 tspn gourmet garden thai spice

1/2 tsp gourmet garden chilli

1/2 tsp gourmet garden ginger

2 tsp gourmet garden coriander

Fry off the onion in a little water with the lid on for 5 minutes, add the chicken and a dash of oil, fry until nearly cooked. Add the gourmet garden thai spicegourmet garden ginger and gourmet garden chilli frying on a low heat to allow the flavours to permeate the chicken. Add the vegetables (try some green veg towards the end of cooking if you like) and stock. Add the  Simmer with a lid on for 15 mins. Add the gourmet garden coriander at the end of cooking time.

Meanwhile cook the Soba noodles and place in bowls.

Serve piping hot.

Serves 2-4 adults/children. 

Nutritional benefits:

I call this Medicine Soup as it is a clear broth base so is rehydrating and waistline friendly. I believe that chicken soup is healing following illness or just as a general be-kind-to-yourself meal. The herbs and spices have wonderful actions. The chilli stimulates circulation and increases metabolism and fat burning, the ginger and coriander soothe the stomach, while the lemongrass in the thai spices is said to relieve colds and coughs. Seaweed – high in flavour and minerals as well as flavour with a lot less sodium than salt. 0.5% Sodium whereas Salt has 38% sodium.  Shiitake mushrooms are super immune boosters and high in vitamins B6 & B12 – great for those with pernicious anaemia. This soup is my fail-safe remedy when I’m feeling low, have a cold or a hangover. I am delighted it works so well with the Gourmet Garden products.

Spicy Butternut Squash SoupSpicy Butternut Squash Soup

1 butternut squash chopped

1 onion

1 litre of vegetable stock

1 potato

2 tspn gourmet garden chilli

Fry off the onion in a little water with the lid on for 5 minutes. Add the other ingredients. I use a heavy-based dish on a low heat for 20 mins. This gives the soup depth of flavour as opposed to a thinner pan which cooks it faster but if you are in a hurry this can be made in 10 mins. I added the chili at the end of cooking as my 9 month old prefers it without 🙂

Serves 6-8 adults/children.

Nutritional benefits:

Butternut Squash is full of antioxidants, fibre and beta carotene. One serve of soup provides half your daily needs of beta carotene and lutein benefiting your skin, mucus membranes and eye health. It is rich in B vitamins to stave off winter depression and stress. The chilli stimulates circulation and increases metabolism and fat burning.

Sun Dried Tomato, Basil and Parmesan Bread
Sun Dried Tomato, Basil and Parmesan Bread

500 gm flour – I use 250gm white : 250gm wholemeal

1 sachet bread yeast

250ml tepid water

20gm salt

Slug of olive or rapeseed oil

3 tspn sun dried tomato pesto

2 tspn gourmet garden basil

2 tbspn grated parmesan cheese

Combine the flour, yeast, water, salt and oil. Knead the dough on a floured work surface. Add the sun dried tomato pesto, basil, parmesan cheese and knead it through the bread. Place dough in a deep round bowl, cover with cling film and store for 3 hours or so in a hot room (I used the airing cupboard). Remove from bowl, place on a baking tray in a hot oven at 200 degrees for 40 mins.

Serve hot with above soup or with some yummy olives.

Nutritional benefits:

Basil is known as an anitoxidant and also has antibacterial properties. It has been shown to inhibit pathogenic bacteria, such as Staphylococcus, that is resistant to antibiotics (antibiotic bread anyone?!). The wholemeal flour is higher in fibre that white flour and this bread has no preservatives in it. Which means it wont last as long as your shop bought loaves but it will taste ALOT better.

I also made the following but they got eaten too quickly to take photos 🙂

Fish cakes using coriander and chilli, Tartare sauce using coriander and a healthy Chocolate Cake using apples and chilli!!

Disclaimer: these products were provided free of charge.