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!

 

Making Fig Jam

We’ve got the BIGGEST fig tree sitting in our front yard. Only 1/4 of the figs are ripe, so earlier this month, one cold chilly morning, I went fig picking with my little helper and made us some jam. Two whole baskets full, gave us five jars. I added about a 1/2 cup of sugar (figs were pretty sweet already!) and 15 drops of Lime essential oil for a burst of citrus flavour.

Deeeeelious on toast!

Porcupine Meat Balls

The other day, I asked Dusty for a list of favourite meals he’d like me to cook up. This included Porcupine Meat Balls and my first reaction was…. ‘what is that?’. Not long ago, his mum also made some of these and I think it triggered some childhood memories of simple delicious home cooked meals that won’t break a budget. All I can say is…. OH WOW! It’s incredible how much flavour there is! While it was easy to want to devour the whole lot, I saved us a doggie bag for next time and froze the rest off. This is definitely finger lickin’ goodness.

Ingredients

420g concentrated tomato soup (I got the Heinz one); 500g beef mince; 1 brown onion grated; 1/2 cup of long grain rice (rinsed); 2 garlic cloves crushed; 1/4 cup of flat leaf parsley chopped; 2 drops of basil; 2 drops of oregano and steam veggies to go with it.

Instructions

  • Place soup and 1 3/4 cups cold water in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to the boil.

  • Meanwhile, combine mince, onion, rice, garlic and parsley in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Using 1 tablespoonful mixture at a time, roll mixture into balls.

  • Add meatballs to boiling soup. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 40 minutes or until rice tender and meatballs cooked through. Stir through 2 drops of basil and 2 drops of oregano essential oils. Serve with mashed potato and other steamed vegetables.

Sue’s Famous Mediterranean Chicken Bake

A couple of weeks ago, we were so lucky to have the in-laws visit from Adelaide. This is Dusty’s mum’s famous dish. It’s always a favourite, comes out perfect and there is NEVER any left overs! The chicken’s tender, the potatoes crispy but soft on the inside and oh, I love the lemon that sits at the very bottom soaking up all the juices. Nom, nom, nom! I’ve included the use of essential oils in this one and it came out amazing!

Ingredients

6 chicken thigh skin off, 4 small potatoes, 2 tomatoes, 2 lemons, 2 cloves of garlic, ½ cup black olives pitted, 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 drops Rosemary essential oil, 4 drops Lemon essential oil.

Instructions

Preheat the oven 220 degrees celsius. Slice 1 whole lemon and line the casserole dish. Slice chicken thigh in half and score thickest parts of meat. Line evenly in the casserole dish on top of the lemon slices. In a mixing bowl, add cubed potatoes (skin on), tomato in quarters, finely chopped garlic, ½ cup of black olives, juice of 1 lemon, grate half lemon rind, rosemary & lemon essential oils, salt, pepper to taste and olive oil. Mix well and add fill up the casserole dish covering the chicken. Put in oven and cook for 1.5 hours.

 

Steam BBQ pork buns

Last weekend, I made steam BBQ pork buns. It’s a rare treat as I don’t often make it and really missed authentic Vietnamese home cooking. It spurred me to get the steamer out and make something delicious! I’ve added a drop of ginger essential oil to help cut through all the sweet & saltiness of this dish. Try it, you’ll be surprised!

Ingredients

For the dough:

  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • ¾ cup warm water
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup corn starch
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 2½ teaspoons baking powder

For the filling:

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • ⅓ cup finely chopped shallots or red onion
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1½ tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 drop of ginger essential oil
  • 1½ cup sliced pork belly

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment (you can also just use a regular mixing bowl and knead by hand), dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Sift together the flour and corn starch, and add it to the yeast mixture along with the sugar and oil. Turn on the mixer to the lowest setting and let it go until a smooth dough ball is formed. Cover with a damp cloth and let it rest for 2 hours.
  2. While the dough is resting, make the meat filling. Heat the oil in a wok over medium high heat. Add the onion and stir-fry for a minute. Add in sliced pork belly and fry until cooked. Turn heat down to medium-low, and add the sugar, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, and dark soy. Stir and cook until the mixture starts to bubble up. Add the chicken stock and flour, cooking for a couple minutes until thickened. Set aside to cool. Add 1 drop of ginger essential oil and stir through while it’s cooling down. If you make the filling ahead of time, cover and refrigerate to prevent it from drying out. A neat trick is to also take a pair of scissors and cut up the meat so that it’s little bit sizes too.
  3. After the dough has rested for 2 hours, add the baking powder to the dough and turn the mixer on to the lowest setting. At this point, if the dough looks dry or you’re having trouble incorporating the baking powder, add 1-2 teaspoons water. Gently knead the dough until it becomes smooth again. Cover with a damp cloth and let it rest for another 15 minutes. In the meantime, get a large piece of parchment paper and cut it into ten 8cm squares. Prepare your steamer by bringing the water to a boil.
  4. Now we are ready to assemble the buns: roll the dough into a long tube and divide it into 10 equal pieces. Press each piece of dough into a disc about 4½ inches in diameter (it should be thicker in the centre and thinner around the edges). Add some filling and pleat the buns until they’re closed on top.
  5. Place each bun on a parchment paper square, and steam. I steamed the buns in two separate batches using a metal pot steamer (be sure the boiling water does not touch the buns during steaming process). You can use the wooden steamers too! Once the water boils, place the buns in the steamer and steam each batch for 12 minutes over high heat.

Simple salmon with steamed veggies

I am enjoying the use of essential oils in the kitchen. The cost of fresh fruit and vegetables isn’t getting any lower and the worse thing I could do is buy a whole heap and forget to use them (that means they go into the bin – such a waste!). With essential oils, I know that for my peace of mind I can use these oils anytime in the kitchen without the hassle of shelf life (they last several years, even longer than dried herbs!).

Last night, I whipped up some salmon and steamed veggies for dinner. I didn’t have any fresh lemons on hand so I added a few drops of doTERRA’s lemon essential oil. The verdict? Delicious!

Ingredients:

2 pieces of salmon, half a broccoli, 2 medium carrots, 50g butter, 2 large potatoes, lemon essential oil.

Instructions:

Heat a small fry pan on low, add 30g of butter and pan fry salmon to your liking. Cut up broccoli and carrots while setting a small saucepan with steamer on the stove. Cut up potatoes and add to the water, set steamer on top with broccoli and carrots. Take off the heat when vegetables are steamed to your preference (usually 8 – 10 mins). Drain the water and mash up potatoes while adding the rest of the butter (salt / pepper to your taste). Plate up mash potatoes, steamed veggies and salmon. Meanwhile in the small frypan, add 2 – 3 drops of lemon essential oil to the butter. Drizzle over the salmon. Enjoy!

Accept others

Everyone has their own idiosyncrasies (and insecurities). No one is the same. Everyone is unique. There is no perfect. If we remember this, it helps us to be more empathetic and less inclined to judge.

I’ll raise my hand and be honest. I put up walls and find it difficult to accept other’s as I always expect so much more. It only takes a second to be judgemental and it takes even longer to acknowledge people’s differences.

Today, in the midst of all things, I received a delivery of roses from my partner. Even on days we agree to disagree (that probably won’t ever change), I am mindful that I will do it from a place with an open mind and mutual respect. Thank you for making my day brighter, with love.

 

doTERRA Product Expo February 2017

There’s no better opportunity to learn about doTERRA’s products than to attend an expo. You meet the people from all walks of life with one passion – their love of oils! Not only do you gain a new network of friends, you’ll learn about upcoming products, experience oils in a way you’ve never imagined and hear some truly inspiring ancdotes that resonate deep within.

Many thanks to John and Paula for organising their latest product expo in Melbourne. The food was divine. You’ve sparked my interest in getting back into the kitchen and creating vibrant, delicious, easy meals using essential oils. I look forward to the next event.