Cooking with herbal essential oils

I’m enjoying the use of cooking with essential oils. In particular, the herb varieties have been interesting to use.

A long time ago, my mum got sick, in Vietnamese we call it ‘Gio’ which the direct translation is ‘wind’ but not in the gassy sense, rather it was having a deep cold in the body. To help her get better, I watched her heat a pot of water, pulverise sticks of lemongrass and boil this to get the steam. Then under a blanket, she sat, covering the pot and ‘sweating it out’. This was to help draw out the ‘wind’ and sweat out the toxins through the skin. She even got me to take a face washer to wipe down her back! Pretty interesting for a twelve year old kid to help mum out!

There’s so much natural medicinal value in plants that we sometimes tend to forget. It’s easy to grab an over the counter option, take a Panadol and reach for cough medicine. Everyday is a new learning experience for me and taking a natural approach to healthcare will be the norm. Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and place for modern medicine! With these essential oils on hand, I can quickly whip up a roller ball to help with all sorts of ailments – that’s empowering my family!

Did you know that, when taken internally, Cilantro, Lemongrass, Oregano, Peppermint, Rosemary, and Spearmint are shown to aid in digestion. The Marjoram, Melaleuca, Melissa, Oregano, and Thyme oils also support a healthy immune system.

Reference: Herbal Oils

 

Golden crispy pan fried Gyoza

Gyozas are one of my favourite dishes to make and it’s so easy once you get the hang of pleating many. The other day, I invited our mothers group to my place for lunch and made Gyozas! There are many different recipes on the internet and various ingredients to substitute with. The version I’ve got here is lovely because of the little crunch you get from the water chestnuts. You can also use a cup of cabbage or bamboo shoots, but water chestnuts is just simply divine! I’ve also included a vegan version below too.

Meat Filling

Ingredients: 500g chicken mince, 200g can of water chestnuts, 2 spring onions finely chopped, ginger essential oil (toothpick) or 2tsp of minced ginger, 1 small garlic clove finely chopped, 1 tsp caster sugar, 1 tsp sesame oil, salt / pepper to taste, 30 pack gyozas, 1 tbsp vegetable oil, ½ chicken stock (or water), soy sauce to serve

Vegan Filling

Ingredients: 10 button mushrooms, ½ can 200g of water chestnuts, handful of green beans thinly sliced and chopped, 2 spring onions finely chopped, 1 small garlic clove finely chopped, 1 tsp caster sugar, 1 tsp sesame oil, salt / pepper to taste, 30 pack gyozas, 1 tbsp vegetable oil, ½ cup water, sesame oil to serve (optional: grated carrots, chopped bamboo shoots, shredded cabbage).

Instructions

  1. Combine chicken mince, finely chopped green onions, minced ginger (or using a tooth pick, dip into ginger essential oil and dip into mixture – it’s very pungent so 1 drop will be too much), garlic, finely chopped water chestnuts, sugar, sesame oil, salt and pepper in bowl.

 

  1. Place a gyoza wrapper on a clean work surface. Spoon a heaped teaspoon of chicken mixture on to the centre of the wrapper. Brush the edge with a little water. Use your fingertips to pleat the edge 4-5 times. Fold over to enclose the filling. Place on a plate. Repeat with remaining mix and wrappers.

  1. Heat vegetable oil in a large fry pan over high heat until just smoking. Remove from heat. Arrange the dumplings over the base of the pan. Return to heat and cook for 2 minutes or until the base of the dumplings are golden. Pour ½ cup chicken stock over the gyoza, cover with a lid (careful, it might splatter!). Cook, covered, for 3-4 minutes or until gyozas are cooked through and water has evaporated. Add a couple of drops of sesame oil, spread around pan and allow gyoza to get crispy. Remove from heat and set aside for 2 minutes.
  1. Place on a serving platter and sprinkle with green onions. Serve immediately with soy sauce.

 

Homemade Felt and Essential Oil Air Freshener

As a wellness advocate, I’ve been thinking about how I can replace everyday items with more natural solutions. It never occurred to me until my partner went out to buy a car freshener at the local petrol station that I could make it. I hopped online and found an interest DIY blog by SimpleMom.com. I’ve chosen my own felt, colours and design. Keeping with my ‘Zen’ theme I’ve used circles to represent perfection and with three layers, it’s a ripple effect to represent the core of my business and the impact of sharing oils to many. It only takes a drop.

One method that is circling the internet is using felt.  We tried this and really liked it.  Most people will tell you to use wool felt because of its absorbency.  The regular cheap kind absorbs just as well in my opinion, so that’s up to you.

What you need

  • Felt
  • button
  • Scissors
  • hole punch
  • essential oil of choice
  • yarn or string

Instructions

  1. Cut the felt into the size and shape that you want (I used circles!)
  2. Use the button to sew together the felt.
  3. Place 10 drops or so of essential oils of your choice onto the felt.  It will absorb them after a few seconds.
  4. Put the yarn through the button and hang in your vehicle.

**A Variation on this is to cut out two identical pieces of felt and sew them together, leaving a small hole to squeeze a cotton ball into.  Then drip a few drops of essential oils onto the cotton ball and close.  To reload, sprinkle on the felt and it will soak through into the cotton ball.

 

Salmon with spinach, tomato and cucumber salad

A few weeks ago, my amazing mentor Allie Starbuck headed over to Ballarat to spend some time helping me develop my business. It was a beautiful Thursday lunch and I whipped together something we can gobble up and get started on preparing for our natural solutions workshop. She’d just kick started her healthy living challenge so I’m glad we were both eating right and well.

Ingredients

2 salmon steaks (skin off); knob of butter; 4 drops of lemon essential oils. Salad: two handful of spinach leaves; 10 cherry tomatoes; 1 cucumber; half an avocado; 6 drops of lime essential oil; 1 tsp of honey; 1 tsp white vinegar, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp mustard.

Instructions

  • Wash all vegetables and then cut cherry tomatoes in quarters, peel cucumber and dice, cut half an avocado, remove skin and dice, slice spinach leaves.

  • Place all the above into a bowl and in a small bowl add dressing ingredients and mix well.
  • Pan fry salmon to your liking with the butter.

  • Plate up the salad, place salmon on top and add the lemon oil into the pan with butter and pour on top of salmon. Bon appetite!