Monday, April 22, 2013

Aussie Trip and Veggie Challenge

Sorry for having abandoned my blog for so long!! It has been a busy (but wonderful) couple of weeks.

Just over 3 weeks ago I packed up my bags, hopped on a plane and headed to Australia (namely the Gold Coast and then Townsville). During my stay I did a lot and I mean a lot of shopping and ate some fantastic food. Unfortunately I was so busy enjoying myself that I forgot to take photos of the food! It also may have been a little strange for me to be constantly taking pictures of my plate around people who aren't used to my food blogging crazy-ness.

So basically, I am just going to have to describe some of my food highlights of my 2 weeks away. Down in the Gold Coast (Robina) a big group of us went to this fantastic little Chinese/Malaysian place. We decided to get a whole bunch of dishes and just share them out, which I was actually really glad about as I couldn't choose!! It also meant that i got to try King prawns without committing to an entire King prawn dish. While I didn't mind the King Prawns, i wasn't a huge fan of the texture. Probably my favourite dish from this restaurant was the Rainbow chicken (ahem* which I chose off the menu). I have no idea what was actually in the sauce but if anyone does know you must tell me!! Hungry male and I also got the deep fried ice-cream to share. I really wasn't sure about this dish, however, it was deep fried in a coconut batter and was absolutely delicious and I'm sure incredibly bad for me but oh well.

We only had 2 nights in the gold coast and then went up to Townsville. We were staying with hungry male's family in Townsville, so a lot of our meals were homemade (and absolutely delicious!). We did go out for dinner to Ribs and Rump in Townsville and basically the name of the restaurant describes the menu. As there was a big group of us we had to wait till 8.30 to be seated and for me waiting until 8.30 for tea was a tough thing to do!! However, the aged rump that I had more than made up for the wait.

If we did eat out it was mostly for lunches. Over my lunches I tried some grilled Baramundi from a little fish and chip kiosk on the Strand. While it is no Stewart Island Blue Cod it was still delicious. Hungry Male and i were also quite impressed with the Chinese we had in the food court of Stockland Mall. There were plenty of veges in the dishes and they were really tasty and not gloopy or greasy like bad Chinese food can be.

The reason we were in Townsville was for a wedding and the wedding food did not disappoint! There was 3 different kinds of spit roast meat that were all beautifully succulent, with roast veges salad and bread. Simple but fantastic. The dessert was the wedding cake which was red velvet cake. I have only ever made red velvet cupcakes but I now think that red velvet cake needs to go on my to-do list.

Anyway, I got back to Dunedin about a week and a half ago and while i meant to write a blog post sooner, I have been so hectic with uni tests and catching up on the 4 days that I missed that I haven't really had the time.

As we had pretty much no edible food in the house i had to go do a big shop. With this shop I decided to continue with my vegetable challenge and this week I chose silverbeet and broccoli. The silverbeet was quite a challenge for me. While I love spanakopita, I wasn't really sure how else I could use this vegetable, so i immeditaely went online and found some recipes. As a result, I have a new-found respect and liking for this vegetable and its versatility.

The first night I went quite simple. I stir-fried up some silver-beet with apples and raisins and a dash of balsamic. If I learnt anything this week its that silver-beet goes fantastically with balsamic!!

The next recipe that I made was just simple roasted broccoli. This is really easy to do, just spray with oil spray and throw in the oven for 20 minutes or so. I dipped this in some sweet chilli mayonnaise. Yum!

As the week went on, I got a little more adventurous and decided to try a salad with the silver-beet. The first salad was very simple and just had raisins, tomato and was dressed with olive oil and balsamic. The next salad that I did was for my lunch and was absolutely delicious. It was finely shredded silver-beet, dressed with olive oil and balsamic and then topped with blue cheese and shredded beef.

The final dish that I made was really just to use up all of the vegetables that I had left over, so in here was some leek, broccoli, red pepper and silver-beet. And surprise surprise I stirfried it with balsamic (perhaps i am just having a balsamic obsession at the moment).

This week my vegetables to get creative with are pumpkin and leek. Watch this space...

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