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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Farro recipes

Farro can be used in almost any dish, from a robust salad to accompany hearty beer-glazed beef short ribs to a new take on risotto with mushrooms, leek and parmesan. Here are 14 ways with this versatile grain.

Aløft

There's nothing new about Nordic interiors - blond timbers, concrete surfaces, warm, mid-century charm without the twee - and thank heavens for that. It's a style that augments the beauty of everything around it, in this case, gorgeous Hobart harbour, which makes up one whole wall. What is new here, however, is the food - by veterans of Garagistes, which once dazzled diners down the road, Vue de Monde in Melbourne and Gordon Ramsay worldwide. There's a strong Asian bent, but with Tasmanian ingredients. In fact, the kitchen's love of the local verges on obsessive - coconut milk in an aromatic fish curry is replaced with Tasmanian-grown fig leaf simmered in cream to mimic the flavour. Other standouts include a gutsy red-braised lamb with gai lan and chewy cassia spaetzle, pigs' ears zingy with Sichuan pepper and a fresh, springy berry dessert. While the food is sourced locally, the generous wine list spans the planet. 

Secret Tuscany

A far cry from Tuscany’s familiar gently rolling hills, Monte Argentario’s appealing mix of mountain, ocean, island and lagoon makes it one of Italy’s hidden treasures, writes Emiko Davies.

Where to stay, eat and drink in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Beyond Kuala Lumpur's shopping malls, Lara Dunston finds a flourishing third-wave coffee scene, tailored food tours and charming neighbourhoods.

Moon Park to open Paper Bird in Potts Point

No, it’s not a pop-up. The team behind Sydney’s Moon Park is back with an all-day east-Asian eatery.

Kisume, Melbourne

Chris Lucas has flown in talent from all over the world, including Eleven Madison Park, for his bold new venture. Here’s what to expect from Kisume.

Grilled apricot salad with jamon and Manchego

Here we've scorched apricots on the grill and served them with torn jamon, shaved Manchego and peppery rocket leaves. Think of it as a twist on the good old melon-prosciutto routine. The mixture would also be great served on charred sourdough.

O Tama Carey's fried eggs with seeni sambol, coconut and turmeric

"I first cooked a version of this dish - inspired by the excellent deep-fried egg dish at Billy Kwong - while working at a restaurant in Sri Lanka," says O Tama Carey. "The lattice-like eggs are doused in a creamy turmeric curry sauce and topped with seeni sambol, a sweet-spiced caramelised onion relish. This dish is equally perfect for an indulgent breakfast as it is served as part of a larger meal." The recipe for the seeni sambol makes more than you need, but to get the right balance of spices you need to make at least this much. It keeps refrigerated for up to three weeks; use as an onion relish. The curry sauce can be made a day or two ahead.

Quick meals with chilli bean paste

This handy Chinese condiment is a sure-fire speedy way of adding a flavour boost to a raft of dishes.

Asian supermarkets have a mind-boggling array of sauces and condiments and one of the biggest subsections is chilli sauces and pastes. Dear to our hearts here at GT and indispensable in our pantries is chilli bean paste, a richly flavoured condiment that lends a beautiful spicy complexity to all manner of Asian dishes.

There are many varieties, but here we're talking about the Chinese condiment, which delivers serious bang for your buck in the flavour stakes. The consistency varies from a thick paste to a thinner sauce, but common to them all is the use of fermented or germinated beans - soy beans or broad beans - along with chillies, oil and flavourings such as ginger, garlic and sugar (some also contain MSG, so check the labelling; the jars should have an ingredient list in English).

This remarkably tasty paste guarantees even the most humble of meals is lifted to greater heights, be it a heart-warming soup or good old scrambled eggs. The choice of chilli bean paste is very personal, and requires a bit of experimentation, so grab a couple of jars and do a taste test to find your favourite. Some are intensely flavoured and need to be treated with caution, while others are milder - Sichuan versions are widely considered to be the tastiest of the lot. Add it to dishes little by little to gauge its impact and serve extra alongside at the table.

Spicy tofu soup
Serves 4
Heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, add 2 tbsp finely grated ginger and 2 finely chopped garlic cloves and sauté until fragrant (1-2 minutes). Stir in 1 tbsp chilli bean paste, then 1 litre chicken stock, 60ml soy sauce and 60ml Shaoxing wine, bring to a simmer and simmer until flavours develop (4-5 minutes). Add 4 baby bok choy, leaves separated, and simmer until just tender (2-3 minutes). Stir in 500gm diced firm tofu, simmer to warm through and serve scattered with thinly sliced Chinese chives.

Beef and broccolini fried rice with chilli bean paste
Serves 4
Heat 1½ tbsp vegetable oil in a wok over high heat, add 200gm thinly sliced beef blade and stir-fry to brown (1-2 minutes). Stir in 1 tbsp chilli bean paste and 1 tbsp soy sauce, stir-fry to combine and place in a bowl. Wipe out wok with paper towels, add 1 tbsp vegetable oil, heat over high heat, then add 1½ bunches chopped broccolini and stir-fry until tender (2-3 minutes), adding 1 tbsp finely grated ginger towards the end of cooking. Add to beef. Heat another 2 tbsp oil in the wok over high heat. Gently break up 300gm cooked rice (leftover takeaway rice is perfect), add to wok and stir-fry, keeping the rice moving to prevent it sticking, until warmed through (2-3 minutes). Return beef mixture to pan and stir-fry until hot. Add extra chilli bean paste and soy sauce to taste, 2 thinly sliced spring onions and sesame oil to taste and stir-fry to combine. Season to taste and serve topped with extra thinly sliced spring onion and roasted sesame seeds.

Chilli bean and mushroom scrambled egg
Serves 4
Heat 2 tbsp vegetable oil in a wok or frying pan over medium-high heat, add 100gm sliced shiitake mushrooms, 1 tbsp finely grated ginger, 1 finely chopped garlic clove and thinly sliced white part of 2 spring onions, and stir-fry until just tender (1-2 minutes). Transfer to a plate. Heat another 2 tbsp oil, add 6 eggs lightly whisked with 1 tbsp soy sauce and stir-fry until scrambled. Return mushrooms to pan, add 1-2 tbsp chilli bean paste to taste, stir to just combine and serve topped with sliced green part of spring onions.

Chilli bean chicken
Serves 4
Heat 2½ tbsp vegetable oil in a wok over high heat, add 6 skinless chicken thigh fillets cut into bite-size pieces and stir-fry until golden brown (2-3 minutes). Set aside. Add 2 tbsp vegetable oil to wok and when hot add 1 tbsp finely grated ginger, 2 finely chopped garlic cloves and 3 thinly sliced spring onions and stir-fry until fragrant (30 seconds). Add 2 tbsp chilli bean paste, 1 tbsp rice vinegar, 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine, 1 tsp caster sugar and 1 tsp sesame oil. Season to taste and stir-fry until fragrant (2-3 minutes). Return chicken to pan and stir-fry to coat well (2-3 minutes). Serve with steamed jasmine rice.

Hot tips
+ Chilli bean paste varies in intensity and flavour brand to brand. We prefer the Fu Chi brand because it has a fresher, milder flavour than other chilli pastes and contains less preservatives.

+ To deepen the flavour of the paste, stir-fry it in a little oil before using.

Love spice? Check out our collection of fast spicy recipes.

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