Australia Day is the ideal holiday to bust out your tongs, spark up the barbie and create some delicious Aussie flavours for your family and friends to enjoy. Quintessential Australian food is definitely something to be patriotic about, especially when you can make it healthier and more satisfying without skimping on flavour. It's no big secret that many of our national dishes may not have originated in our homeland but we've certainly done an exceptional job of incorporating our Aussie spirit into our food and making it our own.
As a passionate chef and qualified health coach it's a priority for me to cater to everyone as I understand and respect the fact that many of us have different dietary requirements and beliefs, which is why I also choose to create flavoursome, nutritious food suited to people with food intolerances, allergies and health concerns.
The following recipes are some of my favourite Australian-inspired dishes and, believe me, it was no easy feat choosing only four. I opted for traditional tucker that reminded me of my youth and growing up in our glorious country and they are free of refined sugar, gluten, wheat, dairy and grains.
So what's on my 'Straya Day menu? The mighty meat pie, finger-licking fish and chips, and for a sweet treat to top it all off, the lavish lamington.
Don't be shy, give them a go and have a safe and happy Australia Day.
3 tbsp coconut oil, melted (or ghee, duck/beef/pork fat)
8 large Portobello mushrooms, cores removed
4 slices nitrate-free bacon (optional)
2 tbsp fermented or homemade tomato sauce
8 slices tomatoes
4 gherkins, sliced, or fermented pickles
2 brown onions, sliced into rings
4 tbsp chipotle aioli (see recipe below)
2 carrots, grated
1 large beetroot, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks
2 tbsp seeded mustard
8 leaves butter lettuce
4 organic free-range eggs
600g chuck steak, minced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Pinch of dried chilli flakes
1 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
Pinch of dried oregano
1 organic free-range egg
1 tsp Himalayan sea salt or other quality salt
1 tsp cracked black pepper
½ brown onion, finely diced
1 tbsp dijon or wholegrain mustard
Preheat the oven to 240C.
Place Portobello mushrooms on a baking tray lined with baking paper or tin foil.
Drizzle the mushrooms with coconut oil or other fat of choice, season with salt and pepper and roast in the oven for 10 – 15 for minutes or until the mushrooms are tender.
Remove from the oven and place the mushrooms on a paper towel to remove excess moisture. Allow to cool.
For the patties
Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl and shape into four patties.
Heat the barbecue or grill to medium heat. Add two tablespoons coconut oil (or other oil) and place the patties, bacon and onions on the barbecue. Cook for 5 minutes or until golden, then flip the patties and bacon over and continue cooking for a couple of minutes or until cooked through and the onions are tender and caramelised. Remove and set aside to keep warm.
Add a little more coconut oil to the barbeque and cook the egg to your liking. Season with salt and pepper.
Place the patties and the burgers in the middle of the table with all other components in individual bowls and let everyone help themselves to build their own burger.
Makes 4 burgers
250g aioli (see recipe below)
2 chipotles in adobo sauce – or to taste
1 tbsp adobo sauce
Blend all ingredients together using a hand-held blender, until smooth.
4 free range egg yolks
2 teaspoons dijon or fermented mustard
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
6 garlic confit cloves, finely chopped (see recipe below)
400 ml light olive oil or macadamia oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Blend the egg yolks, mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic and some salt using a hand-held blender. As you blend, slowly pour the oil in a thin, even stream until all the oil has been added and the aioli is thick and creamy. Season with salt and pepper. Keep refrigerated.
Makes approximately 500ml
150g garlic cloves (approximately 25 cloves), peeled
250ml coconut oil or macadamia oil
Place the garlic cloves and coconut or macadamia oil in a saucepan over very low heat (you do not want the oil to boil). Cook gently for 2 hours or until the garlic is soft. Store the confit garlic in its oil in a sealed jar in the fridge. The confit garlic will keep for around two weeks.