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Roasted Garlic & Miso ‘Butter’ (on Roasted Kabocha Squash)

Roasted Garlic and Miso Butter

This butter is my new obsession. I wanted a savoury spread that was fatty like real butter, didn’t make everything taste like coconut (ok for some things, but not for everything), wasn’t a pain to make and had rich umami vibes. This is so it.

Roasted Garlic and Miso Butter

It contains only three (powerful!) ingredients: roasted garlic (sweet, warming, anticarcinogenic, antibacterial, antifungal), extra virgin coconut oil (antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral, also contains lauric acid, which is great for the immune system and brain function) and chickpea miso (a fermented paste, big umami flavour, great for digestion, anticarcinogenic, reduces effect of radiation and pollution). Phew.

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Sauce Gribiche with Roasted Cauliflower Steaks

Gribiche Sauce

This sauce stole my heart many moons ago when my French chef had me squish hardboiled eggs through a fine mesh sieve. I was a little bit panicky inside, because I really should have been setting up for service, and brunoise-ing veg for a mystery sauce probably would have been something I would have taken care of earlier, given the option. We served it as a special amuse bouche that night for some phantom VIPs, underneath a piece of briefly seared tuna. It was f-ing great.

Gribiche Sauce

It wasn’t until later that week that I realized the reason I liked it so much was because it had all of the components of a fish & chips-style tartar sauce. The stuff you ask for extra of when your Dad takes you to the beach for a greasy lunch. I love it when classic flavours can span fine-dining, to the very most casual classics, and now to the healthy, nutrient-dense world of food.

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Fermented Carrot & Jalapeno ‘Hot Sauce’

Fermented Jalapeño and Carrot Hot Sauce

I used to have a jar of sambal in my fridge at all times, as well as backup in my cupboard. I loved spicy food (still do) and this was my fave spicy condiment. That spiciness is addictive, apparently our brain thinks we are on fire and sends out endorphins and dopamine, both of which make us feel great, and leave us wanting more.

Fermented Jalapeño and Carrot Hot Sauce

Unlike other addictive substances/foods –drugs, alcohol, coffee, cheese, sugar, there doesn’t seem to be a downside to spicy food (unless your colon is inflamed, or you’re sensitive to nightshades). Although there are worse processed foods to consume than sambal, if we have the ability to make a homemade version and turn it into a superfood, we’re obviously going to do it.

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Nut-based Cream Cheese with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Pesto & Pine Nuts

Plant-based Cream Cheese with Pesto, Sundried Tomatoes and Red onion

I can’t tell you how happy I am that this recipe translates so well to dairy-free. It’s a dish that my cousin (trained Chef and so much more) created and would put out as an appetizer around Christmas time when all of our families would get together. My Mom then started making it because we all loved it so much, so it now tastes, to me, like every fun family occasion.

Plant-based Cream Cheese with Pesto, Sundried Tomatoes and Red onion

I hadn’t thought about it in years, but suddenly it’s all I could think about. It’s a little bit retro now, it was born back when pine nuts were cool and sundried tomatoes were sort of new and fancy and everyone had a jar of those Costco ones in their fridge.

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