Healthy Eating

We're championing fresh food that packs a flavour punch, from salads and vegetable-packed bowls to grains and light desserts.

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Food-truck tribulations
29.03.2017

Chicken or pork? Kelly Eng takes on a food-truck challenge but fails to cement her millennial credentials.

Take me to the river
29.03.2017

For serial cruisers who have done the Danube and knocked off the Nile, less familiar waterways beckon.

Gourmet Institute is back for 2017
29.03.2017

Fire-up the stove, tie on your favourite apron and let’s get cooking, food fans. This year’s line-up is brimming with talent.

The Royal Mail Hotel is changing
28.03.2017

Executive chef Robin Wickens has a stronger influence at the Royal Mail Hotel's upcoming restaurant, slated to open later this year.

Adventuring along America's north-west rivers
28.03.2017

The rivers of America's north-west running through Washington state and Oregon form the arteries of epic landscapes and bold discovery routes. Emma Sloley follows in the wake of Lewis and Clark.

The World's Best sommeliers are coming to Australia
28.03.2017

For the first time, the world's top international sommeliers will take part in the World's 50 Best Awards too.

Seven Italian dishes that shaped fine dining in the 2000s
28.03.2017

Italian food in the restaurants of Australia blossomed into maturity in the new millennium, as the work of these trailblazers shows – dazzling and diverse, a successful balance between adaptation and tradition.

Steam ovens: a guide
27.03.2017

Billed as the faster, cleaner way to cook, are these on-trend ovens all they’re cracked up to be? We take a close look at their rising popularity, USP versus the traditional convection cooker and how each type rates in terms of form, function, and above all, flavour in this buyer’s guide.

Fast autumn dinners

Autumn weather signals the arrival of soups, broths, roasts and more hearty meals.

Flour and Stone Recipes

Baker extraordinaire Nadine Ingram of Sydney's Flour and Stone cooks up a sweet storm for Easter, including the much loved bakery's greatest hit.

Roasted cauliflower salad with yoghurt dressing and almonds

The cauliflower is roasted until it starts to caramelise, which adds extra depth of flavour to this winning salad. Serve it warm or at room temperature.

All Star Yum Cha

What happens the morning after the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards? We treat the chefs to a world-beating yum cha session, as Dani Valent discovers.

Lemon tart

It's really important to seal the pastry well to prevent any seepage during cooking, and to trim the pastry soon after cooking. Let the tart cool in the tin before removing it, or it will crack.

Melbournes finest meet Worlds Best

Leading chefs descend on Melbourne in April for The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. We asked local hospitality folk who they’d abduct for the day and where they’d take them to show off their city. There may be coffee, there may be culture, but in the end it’s cocktails.

Spelt cashew and broccoli bowl with yoghurt dressing

This nicely textured salad transports well, making it ideal for picnics or to take to barbecues. The broccoli can be kept raw and shaved on a mandolin, too.

Bali's new wave of restaurants, hotels and bars

The restaurant and hotel scene on Australia's favourite holiday island has never been more exciting and Australian chefs, owners and restaurateurs are leading the charge, writes Samantha Coomber.

The cheat: chickpeas

Canned chickpeas punch well above their weight, all year round. Keep some in the cupboard and you've got an instant start point for soups, stews and salads.

The mighty chickpea can be roasted, sprouted, ground into flour, or shaped and fried into falafel, but here we're dealing with the time-saving canned variety. Keep a few tins of versatile chickpeas in the cupboard and a midweek meal can be fashioned in minutes. Chickpeas have a creamy texture and match well with heavy spices, fresh, punchy herbs and a kick of acidity, especially from lemons. When you're short on time or if soaking slips your mind, canned chickpeas make a great substitute for dried. Throw them into soups, toss them in salads, or simmer in a well-flavoured stock, then crush with plenty of butter and ample seasoning for a new take on classic mash. Opinions are divided on whether dried or canned chickpeas make the best hummus, but when time is tight a version made from canned chickpeas will be appreciated by unannounced guests. Be warned, however: the same rule doesn't apply to falafel. If you have forgotten to soak your dried chickpeas overnight, don't try to use canned, but rather leave it for another day instead.

Carrot and chickpea salad
Serves 4
Place 600gm Dutch carrots on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil, add 1 tbsp cumin seeds and roast at 200C until tender (20 minutes). Combine 400gm canned chickpeas with grated zest of a lemon, 2 tsp smoked paprika, 2 finely grated garlic cloves and 2 tbsp olive oil. Spread over a baking tray and roast until warmed through (8 minutes). Transfer to a large bowl with carrots, a cup each torn mint and flat-leaf parsley, ½ thinly sliced Spanish onion, juice of a lemon and 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil. Season, and serve with Greek-style yoghurt.

Hummus with chickpea, lemon and parsley salad
Serves 4-6
Blitz 400gm canned chickpeas with 2 tbsp tahini, a garlic clove and juice of a lemon in a processor until smooth. Season and thin with warm water until smooth. Mix ½ finely diced Spanish onion, 100gm canned chickpeas, ½ cup chopped parsley with juice of ½ lemon, 2 tbsp olive oil and 1 tsp roasted, crushed cumin seeds. Serve salad on hummus with bread and lemon wedges.

Chickpea, pumpkin and coconut curry
Serves 4 (pictured)
Sauté an onion and 2 garlic cloves, both thinly sliced, in olive oil until tender (6 minutes). Stir in 2 tbsp grated ginger, 1½ tbsp mild madras or korma curry powder, 400ml coconut milk and 200ml chicken stock and bring to the simmer. Add ½ butternut pumpkin, in 3cm pieces, and simmer until soft (10 minutes). Add 400gm canned chickpeas, bring to the simmer. Stir in 2 handfuls of baby spinach, season, and serve with coriander, mint, lime wedges and steamed rice.

Quick chickpea, sausage and tomato braise
Serves 4
Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large saucepan. Sauté an onion and 2 garlic cloves, both finely chopped, until tender (5-7 minutes). Add 4 merguez sausages, squeezed from their casings, with 1 tbsp chopped thyme and fry until golden (5-7 minutes), breaking up sausages with a spoon. Add 800gm canned cherry tomatoes, 400gm canned chickpeas, season, and simmer for 30 minutes. Serve with bread or soft polenta with grated parmesan.

Hot tips
+ The bugbear with canned legumes can be the liquid they're canned in. Always drain the chickpeas and rinse them thoroughly under cold running water until they're no longer foamy before using.
+ Try to buy organic chickpeas in cans that are BPA free. Two such readily available brands are Ceres Organics and Eden Organic.
+ For a super-smooth hummus, remove the skins from the chickpeas before blending.

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