Woo hoooo, it’s nearly Christmas!! This has been a gigantic year for us, and the last month especially has been packed with adventure. In the past four weeks, we have travelled to Darwin, Alice Springs and Perth for our Nourish seminars, have held or attended four other smaller events and spoken to almost 1000 people between us. We met up with friends old and new at breakfasts, lunches and dinners, worked hard on our new gut-health cookbook with Jo travelling down to Sydney to work with Fouad on the new book plan, added lots of exciting new products to our online store, recorded podcasts, had a Quirky Christmas dinner in Perth, and have even worked on a brand new project which we will be sharing soon! (Eek! Stay tuned!!) It’s all been a bit crazy, but we always try and find time to breathe amongst it all so that we stay sane (ish). We love the work we do and love travelling and meeting you all, and at the same time are both very happy to be back home and slowing down for the year! We’re ready to take some time out to re-energise for the new year ahead.
For those of you who also feel like this has been a big year, and you really want to slow down but instead you’re starting to stress over all the Christmas craziness, we have something to help you out… We’ve been recording some great podcasts with ideas for making this holiday season a healthy, happy time – reducing the stress and simplifying things so you can relax and enjoy being with family and friends. Listen in to the first first of these podcasts here, with Cyndi O’Meara of Changing Habits, and the second one with Elyse Comerford (our nutritionist and GAPS practitioner). We will also be releasing one more podcast with our beautiful friend, Jude Blereau of Wholefood Cooking. And of course we’ll be sharing lots of our own tips and recipes and ideas as well.
If you are feeling inspired to spend many hours in the kitchen making something extra special for the holidays, you can try your hand at Fouad’s recipe for Sayadiyeh (above), which he recently demonstrated on SBS Food Safari! However, this year, we are keeping things much simpler. In the absence of an army of assistants, and in the heat of the Australian kitchen, simpler dishes are a must. Today we are sharing a recipe for Lebanese-style herb crusted fish. This recipe is adapted to use a Thermomix® method – you will find the original ‘conventional’ method in our cookbook, Life-Changing Food. Using the Thermomix® makes our herb crusted fish super easy to prepare, and doesn’t heat up the kitchen! And we love that this dish can be prepared ahead of time and eaten at room temperature, or even cold. If you like the fish to be hot, you can prepare the toppings a day or two ahead, and then cook the fish on the day.
We hope you have a beautiful, peaceful, relaxing Christmas and holiday season, with plenty of love and good food.
Jo and Foo xx
PS If you need some more Christmas recipe inspiration, just search online for “quirky cooking christmas” and you’ll find heaps of recipes! Also keep an eye on our Quirky Cooking facebook and Instagram for ideas over the next couple of weeks.
800g (approx.) wild-caught snapper fillets, or other white fish
Place onion into TM bowl and chop 3 sec/speed 5. Remove to a bowl and set aside.
Place herbs into TM bowl and chop 7 sec/speed 7. Scrape down sides of bowl, and chop again 1sec/speed 7 if needed. Remove to bowl with onions. Rinse and dry TM bowl.
Place almonds into TM bowl and chop 7 sec/speed 5.
Add sumac, cayenne, 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste) and olive oil, and mix 10 sec/speed 3. Return onion and herb mixture to TM bowl and mix 10 sec/speed 3. Place mixture back in bowl, cover and place in fridge until fish is done. Rinse and dry TM bowl.
Place tahini, lemon juice, 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste) and water in TM bowl and mix 10 sec/speed 4, or until smooth. Consistency should be like thick cream. If it looks like the tahini has curdled, add water a bit at a time until it reaches desired consistency. Remove tahini mixture to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate while fish cooks. Rinse out TM bowl.
Weigh 500g water into TM bowl and place Varoma into position on lid. Divide fish fillets between the Varoma dish and tray, spacing to leave plenty of room for air flow. (If some of the fillets are thicker than others, place them in the dish as they will cook quicker in dish than on tray.) Cook for 18 mins/Varoma/speed 2 for smaller fillets, or increase the time to 20-25 mins/Varoma/speed 2 for larger fillets.
Check fish to see if it is cooked. You will know it is done if it has turned from translucent to opaque inside – use the tip of a small knife to peek at the inside of the fish. The flesh should easily give way. Don’t cook it until it flakes apart as fish will continue to cook for a few minutes after you stop cooking, and flaky fish will be too dry once cooled. If it needs more cooking time, just give it 3 mins/Varoma/speed 2 and recheck. Remove fish from Varoma onto a large serving platter.
If serving warm, spread the tahini mixture evenly over the fillets, then add the herb and nut mix on top of that. Press down gently, so the herb and nut mixture sticks to the tahini mixture.
If serving cold, refrigerate fish and toppings separately and assemble just before serving.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
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