Lana Purcell’s Girls Gone Clean cleanse

After a couple of indulgent weekends my body was crying out for some clean, simple, healthy food. It was perfect timing then that I was selected as one of Lana Purcell’s ‘guinea pigs’ for her new Girls Gone Clean program. Lana is a “healthy life styler” based on the Bellarine Peninsula and was seeking volunteers to test out the new cleanse before she gave it to her clients – the cleanse had us trading meat, coffee and alcohol for baked sweet potatoes, soups and green juices – and it was surprisingly easy and enjoyable to do. I lost a couple of kgs over the week and, more importantly, picked up some knowledge and recipes about raw, vegetarian and vegan food.

I had to share the recipe for this soup, as I was hesitant but intrigued when I first saw it on our diet plans. Creamy cashew and corn soup, read the recipe, and I couldn’t even imagine what it would taste like. After a quick whiz in the Thermomix I was extremely happy with the result and will be eating this soup regularly even when I’m not detoxing.

Creamy Cashew Corn Soup

3 1⁄4 cups fresh corn

2 cups water

1/2 cup raw cashews

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 clove garlic

1 teaspoon salt

Blend all ingredients in a Thermomix (or high speed blender) on 9 for about 30-40 seconds, or until nice and smooth.

Pour into bowls and garnish with corn kernels, coriander and freshly ground pepper if desired.

Note: As the point of this cleanse was to remove processed foods and other junk from our bodies, and get lots of nutrients from the food we ate, we consumed this soup raw – the only heat in the soup was a slight warmth from being blended up. Lana might not like this, but if you feel like you have to have it hot and you’re not doing a cleanse I’m sure you could chuck it in the microwave – it’s such a delicious soup whether you’re trying to be healthy or not, and it’s surprisingly creamy and indulgent. But give it a go raw!

I recently got engaged and there’s been a lot of celebratory dinners and drinks over the last few weeks – and more to come with the silly season approaching. I obviously love my food but I also want to stay healthy, and in the past I’ve focused too much on counting calories – one of the most valuable lessons I learned from Lana was to focus on clean eating, and on adding lots of nutrient-rich ingredients to my meals, rather than obsessively tracking everything I eat or following silly fad diets. Girls Gone Clean gave me recipes and meal ideas I’d never thought of before that were tasty and made my body feel good, rather than feeling bloated and in a food coma. I’m doing the cleanse again starting this Monday and am looking forward to feeling nice and light and detoxed thanks to Lana’s recipes!

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Oakdene: quick review

Oakdene

255 Grubb Road

Wallington

Victoria 3221

(03) 5255 1255

oakdene.com.au

It was a work dinner and I wasn’t going to worry about taking snaps, but after the amazing food, wine and service we had at Oakdene I had to share. From Wednesday to Saturday, Oakdene offers a choice of entrée and main course for $58 per person.

Diamantina Wagyu Eye Fillet Carpaccio, Crispy Potato, Truffle  Pecorino, Soft Egg Gribiche, Watercress Salad, Horseradish Snow

This was incredible, the highlight of the night for me in terms of food. The flavour of the cheese and truffle was so strong, balanced out by the delicate wagyu. Served cold, this was a dish that really focused on textures and made for an interesting and surprising meal.

14hr Kurobuta Sticky Pork Belly, Roasted Sea Scallop, Shredded Raw Potato & Garlic Slaw, Crispy Pigs Ear

Queenscliff King Fish, Portarlington Mussels, Finger lime Salad, Pickled Wombok

Broccolini with slivered almonds


We polished everything off very easily; it’s the kind of food that leaves you wishing you could pick up your plate and lick it clean. The sauces on my kingfish were so moreish and left me scraping up every last bit.

Oakdene Dessert Tasting Plate

The menu reads:

Selection of our desserts served on a platter to share
(Minimum 2 person’s $5 pp supplement)

Lemon Meringue & Strawberry Gateaux, Crème Fraiche Sherbet

Textures of Chocolate, Honeycomb Ice-Cream

Banana, Toffee & Espresso Cream Pie, Salted Caramel Ice-Cream

“Knickerbokerglory” Peach Nectar, Peach Yoghurt, Peach Compote,
 Strawberry Granita, Vanilla Bean Ice-Cream

 This is how I love doing dessert – tasting just a little bit of everything. The salted caramel ice-cream was fantastic, the highlight of the plate for me.

Oakdene is a fabulous special occasion restaurant. The venue consistently receives rave reviews from both in-the-know locals, and visitors travelling long distances just to experience the incredible food, and now I understand why – it’s well worth the drive.

Oakdene Vineyards Restaurant on Urbanspoon

New post: Rue Cler Market @ Terindah Estate… monthly roundup

The Shed @ Terindah Estate (food by Rue Cler Market)

90 McAdams Lane

Bellarine

3221 VIC

(03) 5251 5536

Here’s a selection of the beautiful meals I’ve been treated to at Rue Cler Market over the last month or so…

Duck and mushroom pasta

Organic chicken leg, beans, brussels sprouts, creamy potato mash

Marinated chicken legs, green salad, super crispy potato chips

Eggplant gnocchi

Organic “Purple Congo” potato pizza

Whole snapper and garlic mussels

Pumpkin and smoky bacon soup

… and cheesy toasts to go with your soup! A lot of this stuff is still on the menu at Terindah Estate right now, come check it out!

Working for Rue Cler Market

Rue Cler Market – The Shed @ Terindah Estate

90 McAdams Lane

Bellarine

VIC 3221

03 5251 5536

I got a bit of a shock this morning when I checked the date of my last post on this blog. It’s been a while! In the last few months a lot has been going on for me in terms of combining my love of food and writing – including some local magazine work, more on that to come – and one of the latest exciting ventures has been my appointment as a social media/PR consultant for Rue Cler Market on the Bellarine.

This job isn’t like work at all, because I get to write, sample beautiful food in an amazing location, and be around others who are passionate about fresh produce and exciting ways of preparing and serving it.

Rue Cler Market is a catering company that started small and has built up a strong reputation through work with a number of high-profile clients and with the amazing experiences the team provides. It’s Andy Pye’s baby, and he truly does live and breathe this stuff.

Teaming up with peninsula winery Terindah Estate, the two forces have created The Shed @ Terindah Cellar Door and Café, open daily from 10am-4pm.

I’ll be covering the events and everyday happenings at RCM in more detail later, but for now, here’s a little sample of the awesome stuff I get to see, do and taste at this place.

Even something as simple as grilled cheese on toast takes on a new form here, with fresh herbs from the garden added to the bubbling cheese, served on top of house made bread that has that fantastic chewy, almost sweet flavour.

Fresh, fresh carrots – straight from Andy’s garden…

…become this beautiful heirloom carrot salad with Drysdale cheese and fresh Terindah herbs.

Roast organic chicken, seasonal vegetables

Staff lunch – crisp green salad, marinated organic chicken and probably the best, crunchiest chips I’ve ever had.

So far my tasks at Rue Cler Market have been varied, from managing social media accounts to checking out new event spaces in the city, developing media kits and of course, tasting the latest dishes to come out of the kitchen. It’s an awesome place to work at and I genuinely recommend that you get down here and check out the cafe; make a day of it and come down from Melbourne, or if you’re a Geelong resident, Terindah Estate is probably closer than you think. Andy says he wants to build his business up to be one of the best caterers in Australia, and I know he’s well on the way to achieving that.