Food Skills Expert

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Fitness Fun or Energy Output = Energy Input

Getting into Running...
with the opportunity to maintain some level of fitness over the Winter term break, I have embarked on running. Initially inspired by my half-marathon running husband Jan and then by my ultra-marathon, clarinet playing colleague and friend Julia Thorn, I joined a Saturday morning run group located at the bayside suburb of Brighton.  There I met an inspirational couple Sue and Andrew O'Brien who run the group as Lululemon Ambassadors and have a marvellous story of their own. Known as the 'couple on the run' they generously share their story of how running together has brought them closer together and have helped them both achieve wonderful success in their personal and professional lives.
As someone who has ventured down the PhD track and succeeded, Andrew has shared some useful tips to help keep me inspired not just to run but to also keep me on track with a PhD personal vision of my own..(hard work and slog ...and early morning starts when the house is quiet)
Read more about their story and some great top tips to start you own roadway to running... 

Benefits of running we all know about it - fitness, stamina and blowing your blues away
Staying motivated is also a factor so joining a running group can also keep you on track too!
Here is our regular Saturday morning running group (I'm at the back waving and wearing a cap)

From Sports Nutritionist Anne Ryan , read up more about how best you can prepare nutritionally for your next bike race

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Perfect for winter - dishes from The Taste of the Tour de France

Great winter recipes with a taste of France can be had at Taste de Tour de France. If you enjoy cycling and following those wonderful athletes as they hurtle through the Pyranees, the added bonus is viewing one of my favourite chefs, Gabriel Gate celebrate and create the regional dishes of his motherland as the Tour de France progresses.

I was planning to make Gabriel's Rabbit Stew but Richard, my friendly butcher, was selling veal shanks today for $11.99 a kilo (his fresh wild rabbits were $13.99 each) so I have substituted the rabbit for the veal but everything else kept the same!
I have the shanks marinating overnight and I will slow cook them up on Sunday and enjoy with cous cous and rocket salad - with family and good friend, Mira (over a glass of big Rutherglen red, I think)

Visit the Food Book Blog at for the recipe

Here's a photo to whet your appetite

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Fun Stuff - for making life easier for food skillists


An ICT expert friend sent me through this great culinary tool guide - scroll over the tool and it zooms right in

One of the best freebie downloads is the dietary analysis program Food Choices
Anyone can download this interactive program - use the case study "Abby" to help you orientate your way through the tabs. You need to roughly know your weight, height and level of activity to help you work out your energy input and output.
Food skills experts and health professionals will be keen to know that this version contains the new NRVs (that's Nutrient Reference Values)
We use it all the time in schools - for a nominal subscription the package comes with a comprehensive array of learning activities that are designed for use by young people in food skills and physical education classes.

Best recipe and food web sites
Visit this site for a cultural oasis - includes recipes, a comprehensive Glossary, Food Art guide (including video footage of how to make turkish delight, zucchini flowers and many other gastronomics delights) , In season (seasonal fruits and vegetables - how to buy, prepare and store them), Ask the Chef (ask delightful and charming Gabriel Gate all your food skills questions), occasions (from all around the world, including Dutch-Indonesian Rijstafel, Greek Easter, St Patrick's Day), Restaurants (reviews, contact details) and access to all your favourite food programs on SBS.

2. For those of you who have an I-Pad or I-Phone remember to download a free version of the ABC Foodi app - this includes all your favourite enticing recipes including colour-laden images.
My other favourite free foodie apps includes Epicurious- the cooks companion, is US-based which means that you either have to be a baby-boomer or understand imperial measurements to make sense of the ingredient quantities (but you can go to Metric and oven temperature calculator for cooks at Taste) or you can buy the Taste app for AUS $1-19

3. Taste is one of the best Australian sites for all your favourite recipes.  Like the Sbs Food site all its recipes are in metric measures and include lots of other useful information, including Special occasion collections (I plan to try the Orange and marmelade roast turkey with cranberry stuffing for my Christmas in July next Saturday, 2 July. Other features include Menu plans, How to (what's in season, cooking tips, ingredients), Cuisine (recipes classified under Vegetarian, Desserts, Fish and Seafood).

4. Expecting a guest for dinner who has a food allergy or a dietary tolerance and don't know what to cook? Two useful sites to visit and explore include Betterhealth - visit the Healthy Living section and then healthy recipes. Scroll down the page to select the dietary variation.
Go for your life provides a wealth of information for healthy and happy family living - for family members of all ages - kids, teenagers, new parents and adults and older adults. Tip sheets are available in a selection of community languages including Arabic, Chinese, Greek, Italian and Vietnamese.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Entertaining Mathematically

Teaching food skills is also a wonderful way of showcasing other life skills - mathematics!
Young people, especially those who may lack an aptitude for mathematics, seldom see the connection of how mathematics operates in our everyday lives.
In my junior year 7 food skills classes, we discussed how isosceles traingles are used when we make spinach and cheese triangles.  This was a great way of combining geometric and food skills - encasing a spinach and cheese filling in filo pastry by folding it into a rectangle and then into a triangle!
Click on to access the lesson and the recipe!

Our next lesson was producing Savoury Pinwheels using a scone dough encased with a tomato salsa, capsicum and champignon filling as a way of learning about rectangles! Visit