Cooking (er, eating) up a storm!

I did something a little indulgent last week and participated in a healthy food cooking class at Queenscliff Neighbourhood House. Actually, the presenters cooked and the class ate! It was awesome!

Without telling you all my gastronomic history – I have had a bit of a bad tum in recent years. Last year, I had a colonoscopy which found nothing. So I took myself off to a naturopath who did a blood test.  She later diagnosed me with leaky gut syndrome (I know, yucko!) and informed me that I was intolerant to wheat, dairy, eggs, nuts, mushrooms and radishes!

At first it was a relief to have some sort of explanation. Then, it felt like a jail sentence. Then, I decided to give it a bit of a go – those familiar with my pain call it ‘the elimination diet’. And, I have to say, my tummy is a lot happier and I’ve lost a bit of weight. (My family are happy because my flatulence has decreased as well…oh, sorry, we weren’t going there). So, hence, my interest in a healthy cooking class. The first thing we ate was bread. Paleo bread and get this, the Life Changing Loaf.

The Life Changing Loaf is smothered in Capsicum and Sun-dried Tomato dip. The Paleo bread is spread with homemade butter.

The Paleo bread (left) is spread with homemade butter. The Life Changing Loaf (right) is smothered in Capsicum and Sun-dried Tomato dip. Yum!

I like to think of it as the bread with tickets on itself. I probably liked the Paleo bread best – this could have been because of the delicious butter that was spread on it. Angie – one of the presenters – made it by whizzing cream in her Thermomix at the start of the class. I think we were all a little nervous that we were going to have a Thermomix rammed down our throats. This would’ve been uncomfortable for two reasons – (1) They cost around $2000! and (2) They bare an uncanny resemblance to a small Dalek! Here’s Angie and our other presenter Bettina posing with the Dalek.

Our gastro tour guides, Bettina and Angie

Our gastro tour guides, Bettina and Angie

As it happened, the Dalek was a great time saver and enabled Angie to cut, chop, blend and cook – all in the one appliance and right under our noses. And I’m very pleased to report there wasn’t even a whiff of hard-selling.

The other interesting thing about the class was how much our lives determine what we eat. One woman had been a nanny for a family whose father’s parents had been Holocaust survivors. As a consequence the father had been brought up vegetarian – the meat his parents were exposed to during war-time was disgusting. So the lucky nanny was sent off to numerous cooking classes for the benefit of her employing family. And she gained a life-long appreciation of food and healthy eating. Another class member had suffered debilitating arthritis which had stopped her getting out of bed. In desperation, she had radically changed her diet and was reaping the benefits.

Bettina – who is a qualified naturopath – explained that there is more serotonin in the gut than the head. “If you have a sad gut, you have a sad head,” she said.

Certainly, as someone who has suffered depression on and off all my life this was food for thought.

Some other things we ate:

Creamy Cauliflower & Kale Salad

Creamy Cauliflower & Kale Salad

Asian coleslaw with Thai cashew dressing

Asian coleslaw with Thai cashew dressing

Thai Pumpkin Soup

Thai Pumpkin Soup






But the most delicious thing – to my tastebuds – was the Cada Breakfast. I made this for breakfast today and my 13-year-old, who wants to be called The Ferret for the purposes of this blog, declared it awesome!

Cada Breakfast

Cada Breakfast

To make a big batch, I whizzed a 250g bag of pitted dates and mixed them with a 250 gram pack of dessicated coconut and ground almonds. You then dice an apple and mix through a few tablespoons of the mix. Serve with a dollop of greek yoghurt.

So good, The Ferret keeps coming up (after school now) and asking for yet another diced apple 🙂

3 thoughts on “Cooking (er, eating) up a storm!

  1. Angie Taylor says:

    Heather, it was such a pleasure to have you join our class and then to read your blog. We are glad to share our thoughts on food for health & especially enjoy the friendly exchange of ideas with our guests. We look forward to offering a Winter class and hope you’ll have time to attend.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s