Kitchen Lab

Take 2: My Food Bag- Healthy Recipes‎ Made at Home

Posted on Updated on

What a surprise we are halfway through winter. With this cold season making feel a little insecure about my eating habits, we’ve become attached to My Food Bag, so that we can ease our way through to eating healthy again and reminding ourselves that there’s FRESH fruit and vegetables options for when we cook at home. 

My Food Bag 2016_Nessy Eater (1)

That healthy rainbow spread right at your door step.

There has been some recent improvements that My Food Bag product and experience made. 

New Monday AM delivery time – Enjoy delivery while you sleep! My Food Bag now offers their foodies the added convenience of a NEW delivery window, Monday 2:00am – 7:00am. Win back your weekend and wake up to a delivery on your doorstep! It’s all part of continuing to offer a convenient service to suit the busy lives of their foodies.

New planet-friendly packaging – My Food Bag is committed to delivering their foodies only the freshest seasonal produce available, in packaging which is planet-friendly. They’re now delivering the goodness in their 100% recyclable Chilltainers and Brown Paper Boxes, all kept cool by their new recyclable ice bricks. This new packaging has replaced their traditional bags to continue to ensure the best quality delivery service.

New suppliers – My Food Bag has teamed up with a number of new local suppliers to continue to bring their foodies only the best! While of course remaining free-range, organic and sustainably sourced (wherever possible)

Reduced recipe times – A team of nutritionists and dietitians have been working hard to reduce their recipe preparation time, while retaining variation and a healthy balance of ingredients

My Food Bag 2016_Nessy Eater (2)

No kidding about freshest local Australian produce, meat and fish.

Let’s experience first-hand the following changes… 🙂 Excited (*Insert* happy dance)

Now let’s start with delivery…I must say My Food Bag does keep you informed through email and text, even days before your order, so that you are aware your groceries are coming. Thumb up for that top quality service. Whilst I was in bed dreaming about the things I’m going to cook for that week I did receive 2 alerts on my phone; one for when they deliver and the other saying my groceries are in front of my door.

My Food Bag 2016_Nessy Eater (3)

Delivery came on time just before I head to work. Many ticks for that!

Unpacked my goodies around 8am and they were still nice and chilled. I could smell all the ingredients even before I had opened the brown box. Now that’s another thumb up for quality food supplies.

My Food Bag 2016_Nessy Eater (4)

Didn’t need to waste time hitting the markets to find fresh meat. Thumbs up for that effort!

I dare you to take a peek at the latest scrumdiddlyumptious creations from Nadia Lim and her team for easy recipes cooked in your very own kitchen.

Day 1: MEXICAN FISH & SWEET POTATO NACHO BOWLS

Taste: An old-fashioned favorite made with the freshest of ingredients. Enjoyed tasting the blend of vegetables with the marinated spice mix fish. It seriously was fresh from the fields to my dinner table. My tastebuds could separately taste the cubes fresh fish and veggies. The only thing that bugged me was my sweet potato wasn’t cooked as I followed the recipe. Other than that this was an earth friendly meal.

Verdict: Let’s taco bout this recipe baby, it felt like a fun Friday night meal that was super perfect for my boring Monday night in. I spiced up my nacho bowls with edible Old El Paso Stand ‘n Stuff soft tortilla bowls instead of using the suggested homeware bowls. I mean life is easier when everything is edible, right? Muahahaha. Saved myself from cleaning more dishes by adding my own idea to this dish and yes I was completely stuffed with two nacho bowls.

My Food Bag 2016_Nessy Eater (5)

There’s something fishy about this dinner…haha.

My Food Bag 2016_Nessy Eater (6)

Mexican Fish & Sweet Potato Nacho Bowls

Day 2: PARMESAN & BASIL CHICKEN WITH LEMON POTATOES & CHARRED GREENS

Taste: Might I say fresh, generous, and prepared to perfection, this chicken stuffed with parmesan and basil will leave you wanting more. I was stunned that I made this all by myself. It truly had extraordinary flavours that I never knew it was possible. Don’t normally eat chicken breasts because it always turns out dry for me whenever I cook it, but nope not these breasts. Super juicy because of the parmesan. Loved the fragrant of the basil, garlic and red onion whilst it was cooking in the oven. Gold medal for the rich and hearty flavour.

Verdict: I’m really not sure what to say because I have never been in this kind of situation before, but HEAVENS YES I’d make this again, any day. First time stuffing these breasts with an intriguing filling that I could not have imagined. A delicious and easy-to-prepare chicken breasts that makes a great presentation and fills up any big stomach. Felt guilty (NOT) eating parmesan for a Tuesday night but when it’s mixed with red onion, basil and garlic, you know you have to let the guilty card slide. Thank the veggie gods for arriving on time to balance this meal. So far so good! I think this has become my signature dish for when friends come over to eat.

My Food Bag 2016_Nessy Eater (7)

There’s there’s THERE’S parmesan in this dish 😀

My Food Bag 2016_Nessy Eater (8)

This is new for me…parmesan, basil, garlic, lemon and red onion mixed together…

My Food Bag 2016_Nessy Eater (9)

 Using toothpicks for this recipe. Don’t pick on my breasts! Haha

My Food Bag 2016_Nessy Eater (10)

Just winged it. Teeheehee.

My Food Bag 2016_Nessy Eater (11)

Parmesan & Basil Chicken with Lemon Potatoes & Charred Greens

Day 3: GARAM MASALSA BEEF WITH MUSHROOMS RAGOUT SPINCH & FLATBREADS

Taste: Sadly this dish was my least favourite (insert sad face) because it didn’t blend so well together. I wasn’t a huge fan of the sourness taste of the tomato base dish, then moving on to the creamy mayo flavour from the spinach and finally the garam masala beef strips. Don’t get me wrong, all 3 dishes had a full burst of flavour, but it wasn’t what I was expecting. On a much happier note I enjoyed dipping my Lebanese slice bread into the mushroom ragout.

Verdict: It’s a great destination meal for those who heart mushroom and cherry tomatoes. Would suggest to substitute the spinach with cos lettuce so it would marry so well with the garam masala beef strips. I had plenty of leftovers and decided to mix the mushroom ragout with brown rice and as for the gram masalsa beef it turned out to be a kebab using the bread and adding with spinach.

My Food Bag 2016_Nessy Eater (12)

Garam Masalsa Beef with Mushrooms Ragout Spinch & Flatbreads

Day 4: LAMB LEG STEAKS WITH CORIANDER PESTO LEMON KALE & RICE

Taste: Silver medal for this dish as there was no game smell of the lamb and who knew you could cook kale. I was shocked you could mix lamb with sweet chilli sauce. It was a great steak that was so juicy that you accidentally bursted the water pipe…well almost. Loved the subtle hints of sweet, chilli from the lamb and as for the kale…OH MY! Incredible flavour that I wished I found this sooner. As for the rice I totally forgot about that being there because I was so distracted by that lamb leg and veggies.

Verdict: I am very like VERY sensitive to wanting to cook lamb  in my own kitchen and eating kale during dinner time because both don’t mix so well in my books, but I was wrong. A winning pair of kale and lamb leg bursted intense flavors and alluring aromas. Loved the serving of solider carrots and mountains of kale.

My Food Bag 2016_Nessy Eater (13)

There’s lamb leg and kale on the menu…first time cooking these ingredients.

My Food Bag 2016_Nessy Eater (14)

Lamb Leg Steaks with Coriander Pesto Lemon Kale & Rice

Day 5: BACON & ZUCCHINI RISOTTO WITH PEAR & PARMESAN SALAD

Taste: This dish didn’t go bacon my heart…thank the food gods, instead it was warming my heart. This risotto covered in a decadent creamy texture and dusted with parmesan made me lick my plate clean. A healthy pile of greens with the added pear fruit as a side salad offered a bright crunch when paired with the risotto.

Verdict: I must say I’m surprised with this recipe. Risotto is something I don’t normally whip up in the kitchen because rice doesn’t cook properly, but it turned out very smooth and creamy.  As for a salad that has slices of pear in it, impressive. I do like pear salad now, thanks to My Food Bag!

My Food Bag 2016_Nessy Eater (15)

It’s so hot inside, I’m bacon!

My Food Bag 2016_Nessy Eater (16)

Bacon & Zucchini Risotto with Pear & Parmesan Salad

Thoughts about My Food Bag

Regards to the following changes that was mentioned at the beginning of this post, let’s see if it approved on the Nessy Eater radar.

  1. Delivery time – Spot on with timing and they text you before and after to confirm delivery to your home 
  2. Packaging – Can’t blame if it’s recyclable and helping the environment 
  3. Food Products – Still impressed with the high quality and fresh ingredients. I’m still intrigued with lamb leg steaks! YUM! 
  4. Reduced recipe times – 4 out of 5 recipes was super easy to assemble as it only required chopping and assembling the ingredients into one pot, so yes it did reduce 5-15 minutes. 

Other notes

  • My Food Bag menus use only fresh seasonal produce, so there’s nothing frozen and they choose free-range and sustainably farmed products
  • Nutritionally balanced meals for all 5 nights
  • Read more here

When it comes to purchasing a week’s worth of groceries, it’s frightening to try new things for example purchasing new meat parts, spices or vegetables because it’s very costly and it takes so much of your time thinking about what to make out of it, but with My Food Bag they’ve done the dirty work for you.

Overall my view on My Food Bag hasn’t changed even for my previous review. My Food Bag does an excellent job with providing fresh ingredients and delicious recipes that can cater for those who cannot cook (that’s me).

My Food Bag 2016_Nessy Eater (17)

Photos by Vanny Tang

Disclaimer: Nessy Eater received a trial of My Food Bag-Classic, thanks to My Food Bag.

Opinions are however, Nessy Eater’s own.

Check out other My Food Bag post I did. Click here.

Like to know more about Nessy Eater food adventures?

Follow Nessy Eater on Instagram / Facebook / Twitter or feel free to leave a YUMMY comment 😀

Advertisements

Easy Homemade Honey, Banana & Walnut Loaf

Posted on

This winter bake yourself something simple and healthy with this easy homemade honey, banana and walnut loaf. Bananas are one of nature’s non-stop energy snack that have loads of health benefits. In fact, bananas have a burst of natural carbohydrates, vitamin B6 and potassium, which is perfect for balancing your healthy tummy. Make your body sing and get your tastebuds buzzing with this recipe.

Banana Honey Walnut Bread Loaf_Nessy Eater (12)

INGREDIENTS: 

1/2 cup (65 grams) Walnuts, Roughly Chopped

2-3 Super Ripe Bananas, Mashed

1/3 cup (40 grams) Melted Butter

1 Egg, Beaten

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Bean Paste or Extract

Pinch of Salt

1 1/2 Cups of Self-Raising Flour

1/2 cup (65 grams) Honey

1 Teaspoon Baking Powder

Banana Honey Walnut Bread Loaf_Nessy Eater (1)Someone has got to make something YUM in the kitchen this winter 😛

INSTRUCTIONS: 

Just before you start looking glamorous in the kitchen, preheat oven to 180°C and grease a 4×8-inch loaf pan with butter. In a LARGE mixing bowl, mash 2-3 ripe bananas with a fork until you cannot see any lumps.

Banana Honey Walnut Bread Loaf_Nessy Eater (2)Get mashing with them bananas

If the bowl still contains large chunks of bananas, that’s okay, just use a whisk or if you wish to have chunks of bananas in your loaf, leave it as it is. Now add in 1/3 cup melted butter into the mashed bananas and continue to stir until it is blended in thoroughly. Note: Microwave the butter for about 10 seconds before adding it into the mixing bowl.

Banana Honey Walnut Bread Loaf_Nessy Eater (4)Tip: You can actually use one bowl for this recipe

Add in 1 teaspoon baking soda, mix, then add a pinch of salt. Gently fold until well combined. You’ll notice the texture becomes more gooey, that’s a good sign you’re doing it right.

Banana Honey Walnut Bread Loaf_Nessy Eater (5)It’s looking all gooey means it’s a good sign.

Mix in 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or if you don’t have that then vanilla extract is fine. Stir, then add the beaten egg, 1/2 cup honey, 1/2 cup walnut and 1 1/2 cups of self-raising flour. Mix mix MIX!!!

Banana Honey Walnut Bread Loaf_Nessy Eater (6)Time to make a re-MIX with bananas

Once the batter well mixed, pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan that you buttered earlier. Bake in oven for 45 -55 minutes on a 180°C or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Banana Honey Walnut Bread Loaf_Nessy Eater (7)Ready to bake baby

Once the banana bread has finished baking, set aside to cool completely or on a rack. You can add 2-3 teaspoons of honey on top of the loaf to add an extra sweet kick to it.

Banana Honey Walnut Bread Loaf_Nessy Eater (9)Looking MIGHTY sassy banana bread

After the loaf has cooled down slice and serve. Note: I found it much easier to use a bread knife as it reduces crumbly outcomes. It’s best to eat this banana loaf warm with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream.

Banana Honey Walnut Bread Loaf_Nessy Eater (13)Feeling a bit naughty? Add your favourite ice-cream.

Photos by Vanny Tang

Opinions are however, Nessy Eater’s own.

Like to know more about Nessy Eater food adventures?

You can follow Nessy Eater on Instagram / Facebook / Twitter or feel free to leave a YUMMY comment 😀

Celebration Cooking with Jessica Pedemont + Interview

Posted on

Keen to decorate dessert like a Master Chef? Then head along to Celebration Cooking on the 1st Floor 720 New Canterbury RoadCanterbury and join Jessica Pedemont in this hands on class to explore the colourful and vibrant world of of decorating cakes and desserts. Learn the art of pastry from the industry’s finest. We always seem to see those celebrity chefs on TV and they make it all look super easy by taking a pinch of this and adding a cup of that. Then transforming the ingredients into something that makes our mouth water like as if we saw a supermodel walk across the room. At the Celebration Cooking they do the same, by providing step-by-step process at an absolute beginner or seasoned level from $220 a class and then turn you into a patisserie decorator master.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (0)Guess who made this?! Hint it’s someone who cannot cook and is VERY messy 😛

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (2)Now which door will you choose today? 😛

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (3)There is so many types of cacao in different processes. Check out the mini museum hidden at the corner.

We are first welcomed with our own individual notes, ganache, chocolate cake and tea towel in class. Yes did I mention you get your very own CAKE…no need to share for those who like it all to themselves *raise my hand*.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (7)Getting the wafer party started 

Starting her own business called Chocolate Artisan 8 years ago and just launched her very own Sydney based cooking school early this year AND happen to be the FINALIST for the “Local Business Awards 2015“- Jessica Pedemont, a Muay Thai Kickboxer who is highly regarded pastry chef with over 18 years of experience, runs a cooking class most weekends and offer personalised class. Classes are an ideal way to learn the basics of sugar craft and with a house-made coffee made by Jessica herself on arrival and the opportunity to take home the treats you create, who wouldn’t want to participate? Not only does this bad ass chef uses her fists and elbows along with various wrestling techniques in her own cooking classes just so she can score more points, but she already won the match for being the most sweetest chef you’d ever meet.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (9)HEY it’s Jessica Pedemont in her PINK Chef uniform.

We start off with cooking some cake lace in decorative moulds and my oh my am I impressed with how easy this looks. You so can do this at home if Jessica was next to you.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (11)DIY cake lace moulds

Spotted an EDIBLE “Food Scenepainting made by Jessica who was nominated to make an art work for Australian Cake Decorating Network gallery at the Cake Bake Sweet Show “Sydney in Cake” exhibition. The theme was “What inspires me about Sydney?”. It is clearly evident a lot has got to do with edible ingredients…and mostly sweets I believe. It’s a NO BRAINER that there is royal icing, chocolate, modeling chocolate, rice papericing, gum paste, edible paints and wafer paper. Yeah you name it kiddo.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (13)This painting is edible kids!

I knew straight away this girl LOVES her CHOCOLATE as she is so passionate and detailed about explaining the right ingredients for each type of chocolate cake. Who knew I found my chocolate soul mate. Teehee. Stepping away from the kitchen and kickboxing scene Jessica spends her time writing for the Australian Baking Business that offers an inside look at the news and views affecting today’s baking industry.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (16)True face of a chocolate lover.

All cakes and ganache are provided and made from scratch by Jessica using Swiss ‘Felchlin‘ couverture Chocolate, ‘Pepe Sayabutter and buttermilk and free range eggs.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (19)Time to set-up a round cake with chocolate ganache and create sharp edges.

Tough love was seen here as we carefully place the warm gooey ganache that was re-heated to the surface of the cake. It felt like a lifetime smoothing the surface as I tried not to remove sweat off my face when dealing with something so delicate in front of me.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (21)You need steady surgical hands to create smooth surfaces for this cake. 

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (22)SUCCESS for Nessy Eater Girl!

We now move on to colour and handling techniques for fondant. We decided sunset orange and with confidence the cake will look even brighter.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (23)I can see a rainbow 

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (24)During the roll of sugar fondant icing, we somehow created Mr. Blob. Teehee.

Minutes before we started our class we had the pleasure to meet Tommy Prosser, who worked at the 1 Michelin starred Gravetye Manor and 3 Michelin starred Waterside Inn. Tommy tells us he dreams of one day eating in all the world’s best restaurants. Not just a man who knows how to cook though, it turns out Tommy’s quite the fighter as well…the sporting kind of course.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (25)Sneaky shot of Jessica Pedemont and partner in crime Tommy Prosser.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (26)I spy C-A-K-E!!!

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (27)SPOTTED another cake display.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (28)Best quote ever for hard workers 🙂

NOW it’s time to cover with ready to roll sugar fondant icing. Be prepared to work-out your arms as it requires all strengths from  your upper body.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (29)

We set-up a round cake with chocolate ganache and created a magnificent smooth edging. The beauty of this cake is its simplicity. Crisp orange edges and a comfy icing fondant are a solid go-to cake.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (30)I think my ego just boosted for making this cake look so smooth…

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (31)There may have been a competition happening between four of us students in the wafer class.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (32)Time to make wafer rose.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (34)Our cake lace moulds are set.

Personally the most difficult part of this class was having patience. We spent a generous amount of time outlining the shapes of the leaves, cutting out and brushing with edible glue. Sadly that wasn’t the hard part. It was making sure you didn’t glue your fingers to other wafer paper leaves. In the end we pulled through and below is what we ended up with. What do you guys think? 😀

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (37)*Woo-hoo* Made a wafer paper from scratch

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (38)Did you know that this decorative lace mould is edible?!?!

We are almost finished with making our own wafer rose paper cake and now our eyes pay close attention to Jessica as she demonstrates the final steps. I swear I was DEFEATED with Jessica’s 18+ years experience as it looks easy from here as she sticks on the cake laces within seconds.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (39)Jessica teaching us the handling techniques.

Okay…I may not be the best cake decorator but the smell of the cake was astonishing. MUST not eat this cake till it is complete…

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (40)Steady now…

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (41)Now that’s a wrap folks of the wafer paper rose cake class.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (42)WOAHZA! How simply was that? Hehe

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (43)It’s impossible to ignore these cakes…

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (44)Incredible hard work has been put to these wafer rose cakes. 

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (45)You don’t leave empty handed at Celebration Cooking with Jessica Pedemont. 

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (48)Top view of Nessy Eater’s Wafer Paper Rose Cake. Suspense is killing me to show you!!!!

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (49)But FIRST let me show you “behind the scenes” …#Sorrynotsorry…yeah I am childish 😛

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (50)We did it GIRLS! Totes can be a pastry chef any day…*coughs*

Jessica Pedemont has an enormous range of cooking and decorating classes to choose from including Brioche Nutella Star, Macaron Mayhem, Handbag cake and Christmas Fruit Cake just to name a few. They are perfect for all ages  even catering some of her classes for the wild kids you may have. Jessica’s classes are also an excellent  gift to give or if you are impressing the family or maybe someone special *wink wink*. With less than 4 weeks to go till Christmas i’d be be scheduling classes before they all book out. Just make sure you don’t mess with her otherwise she’ll organise a Muay Thai match and we know who will win this one. Teehee.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (50 B)We had to do kawaii poses just for the sake of it 😀

Tell me about yourself Jessica Pedemont

I started Martial Arts when I was 15, mostly kickboxing and Muay Thai. I’ve always been athletic. I progressed to mixed martial arts, competing on a professional world level, then eventually was asked to do freestyle wrestling for Australia and competed at Oceana. As a kid, I was a national gymnast. I’m always game to learn new things. I love to travel, meet new people, different cultures.

When did you realise being a Pastry Chef was your passion? And do you have any passions outside of cooking?

While I still also do work as a savoury chef, my passion for pastry was a natural progression. I’d trained in both, as you do. Other passions, as above, include sport, well-being and travel.

How did the opportunity at Celebration Cooking come about?

Andrew, the owner of Celebration Cakes, is someone I’ve known in the industry for many years and he offered me this space where I’m current teaching. It’s been a great opportunity to have a dedicated facility so close to my home.

Tell me about being in the FINALIST for the “Local Business Awards 2015”? What was rushing through your mind when you received the news?

It was a pretty unbelievable as I’d only just opened. It’s been a great privilege to be recognised for our work.

What personal quirks does your team tease you about?

Since fitness is important to me, I still like to balance all my cooking with a good workout…

What’s your process for coming up with a new cooking/decorating classes?

We do take a lot of student feedback, recommendations…I’m always open to new ideas. Often my students will ask for things…which is really encouraging. Classes for kids, water colour cookies, marzipan, etc.

Is there a chef that you admire?

I admire chefs who are hard-working, who have a sensitive palette, who have skill, talent, poise…who are deeply passionate and elegant to watch work…oh and and a sense of adventure, a great pedigree, amazing experiences in kitchens…it makes me think of my partner Tommy Prosser. He’s also very humble, which is a killer trait, so I don’t mind mentioning him here. I also like what Jaime Oliver has done. Doing a lot to help communities, get people to think and act, love his fresh approach to food, even making good/healthy eating easy and quick where appropriate.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (51)

Photos by Vanny Tang

Disclaimer: Nessy Eater attended Wafer Paper Rose Cake, thanks to Celebration Cooking.

Opinions are however, Nessy Eater’s own.

Like to know more about Nessy Eater food adventures?

You can follow Nessy Eater on Instagram / Facebook / Twitter or feel free to leave a YUMMY comment 😀

Cooking with Kylie Kwong – Woolworths

Posted on Updated on

If you haven’t heard already Kylie Kwong who is an Australian television chef, author, restaurateur and was a guest judge for MasterChef Australia is now plating up her signature Chinese dishes to Woolworths customers. The oh so very new range of Chinese dishes includes Aussie favourites such as Mongolian style beef and stir-fried chicken with cashew nuts and if you LOVE Cantonese style dumplings then there is prawn dumplings with ginger and coriander that’s ready for you to make it yourself at home within minutes.

Kylie Kwong_Nessy Eater (1)

Let’s get the party stared.

To celebrate Kylie Kwong’s partnership with Woolworths guests partied hard at Billy Kwong. The purpose of adding a new dedicated section in Woolworths stores is providing delicious Chinese meals in the space of your own kitchen at home. The experience of the meals will be the same fresh flavours you get at a restaurant with added authentic recipe secrets from Pauline Kwong’s unique approach to cooking Cantonese cuisine.

Kylie Kwong_Nessy Eater (2)

Such a long LONG LIST for dinner. *Grins*

Kylie Kwong_Nessy Eater (3)

Table is set!

Kylie Kwong_Nessy Eater (4)

Billy Kwong’s open kitchen

Kylie Kwong_Nessy Eater (5)

Started with a few glasses of white and red.

Kylie Kwong_Nessy Eater (6)

Guess which object is Kylie Kwong’s instagram image?

Before we started our long-crazzzzzy tasting menu, Kylie tells us her stories of how she started her passion for Cantonese food and it’s all thanks to her mother, Pauline Kwong. Kylie jokingly tells us a story of when she use to attend Epping North Public School and how after school she’d go to her Russian friend’s house to eat their cuisine food and the very next day in exchange Kylie would bring her friends over to eat her mother’s cooking.

Kylie Kwong_Nessy Eater (9)

Kylie tells us the history of how her passion started in her mother’s kitchen.

One Chinese classic dish that can grow better and richer over time would be the master stock eggs. Bathed heavily in pork stock you can tell these half sliced golden eggs have been soaked for what it seems to be hours, but really 45 mintues, said Kylie.

Kylie Kwong_Nessy Eater (10)

Master Stock Eggs

We move on to the food kit that can be cooked from scratch and that is great value for money is the prawn dumplings with ginger and coriander. This is a great Cantonese style dumpling that combines a filling of seasoned chopped prawns and secret sauce. My mouth kinda fell open a little when this plate arrived looking so awesome. The sauce had an aromatic smell of fresh grated ginger and chopped coriander and it tasted exactly what I  had smelt.

Kylie Kwong_Nessy Eater (11)

Prawn Dumplings with Ginger and Coriander 

Next up we deep-fried silken tofu squares with black bean sauce. The superstar ingredient of this dish was of course Kylie’s black bean sauce. This custardlike deep-fried tofu was simultaneously rich, creamy and light and married so well with the powerful taste of the black bean sauce. The sauce was a deeply savoury taste which had a pungent salty flavour.

Kylie Kwong_Nessy Eater (12)

Deep-Fried Silken Tofu Squares with Black Bean Sauce

I had a weakness for the seared prawns when there was only one left remaining on the plate. It was crazy insane to see the perfectly tender prawn that’s been sweetly caramelised with honey and ginger sauce disappear and devoured in record time.

Kylie Kwong_Nessy Eater (13)

Seared Prawns with Honey and Ginger Sauce

It was lovely guests had the opportunity to meet Pauline Kwong who is Kylie Kwong’s mother. She’s one beautiful lady who knows how to tell jokes. Pauline explains how every Chinese New Year and Christmas she’d be in her own kitchen for hours stir-frying or deep-frying to cater over 50+ relatives.

Kylie Kwong_Nessy Eater (14)

Kylie introduces her mother, Pauline Kwong.

This fried rice is overloaded with nutritious vegetables that includes carrot, mushroom, buk choy and tofu. The fried rice is really simple and traditional, however I found it to be a tad soggy, but that didn’t matter because flavour was more important for my tastebuds.
Kylie Kwong_Nessy Eater (15)

Vegetable Fried Rice

A popular Chinese stir fry with a spicy edge would be the stir-fried beef with black bean and chilli sauce. This was my least favourite because I can’t handle spicy food as much as I want to but I am trying. But if you enjoy the sharp, pungent and spicy flavours then you go for it because I did feel a punch to the mouth. Besides that wild flame on my tastebuds I really liked that somewhat syrupy flavour of the black bean sauce. I tell you this dish totes goes well with a bowl of plain rice.

Kylie Kwong_Nessy Eater (16)

Stir-Fried Beef with Black Bean and Chilli Sauce? 

Something really simple yet I rarely see these days in Asian restaurants is the stir-fried chicken with cashew nuts. I was so easily distracted eating the cashew nuts because of its crunchy texture and the chunks of juicy tender chicken that I had forgotten my bowl of rice. It just shows how this dish can be on its own.

Kylie Kwong_Nessy Eater (17)

Stir-Fried Chicken with Cashew Nuts

The stir-fried eggplant with black bean sauce was dangerously tasty. I mean WHOAH that black bean sauce goes so very well with eggplant. The slices of eggplant was evenly covered in the sauce and it contained a sticky outside and as you bite into it it was warm and gooey.

Kylie Kwong_Nessy Eater (18)

Stir-Fried Eggplant with Black Bean Sauce

Kylie Kwong_Nessy Eater (19)

Action shot of Kylie Kwong in her Billy Kwong kitchen.

It only takes seconds to notice the crispy chicken with sweet and sour sauce. The sauce are a deep red in colour and if you dunk a piece of the chicken into it then it’s going to be a satisfyingly sticky situation.

Kylie Kwong_Nessy Eater (20)

Crispy Chicken with Sweet and Sour Sauce

Now Mongolian style beef is something I don’t often cross paths with but I do like the savoury flavours of the soy sauce and sweetness from the hoisin sauce. This dish is another perfect example of having it with a bowl of steamed rice. There’s a lot of bright colourful vegetables in this dish like carrot, red capsicum and spring onion.

Kylie Kwong_Nessy Eater (21)

Mongolian Style Beef

Stir-fried chicken with honey and ginger sauce was really mind-blowing with chicken with thick strands of spring onions. And might I add that sauce was pure perfect comfort with rice as well.

Kylie Kwong_Nessy Eater (22)

Stir-Fried Chicken with Honey and Ginger

Incredible fragrant of the pork belly soaked in master stock arrived soon after. It was hard to believe nothing was added into this dish for instance any extra spices or sauce because it tasted like it has been marinated for days.

Kylie Kwong_Nessy Eater (23)

Master Stock Pork Belly

Even the vegetables in master stock provided the same full flavour. Kylie suggested if you use her ranges especially the master stock, it is best to let the meat, vegetables or egg soak for 30 minutes before cooking.

Kylie Kwong_Nessy Eater (24)

Master Stock Vegetables

For our final savoury dish we were introduced with stir-fried mussels with black bean sauce. There was a lot of flavours going on with the fresh mussels and sauce. I was overjoyed for the first time to have black beans and mussels together.

Kylie Kwong_Nessy Eater (25)

Stir-Fried Mussels with Black Bean Sauce

Not only was I super happy to meet Kylie Kwong but I also got to meet Lorraine Elliott from Not Quite Nigella. If you don’t know already I am such a FAN GIRL of her blog. Lorraine and I have crossed paths before at Maille High Tea, however I was sooooo nervous to introduce myself to her and plus it would have been freaky to go up to her and say I stalk your blog. Haha. Moving on! Lorriane is an incredibly talented food writer. She tells me her stories about her blog, her husband and how she started Not Quite Nigella. It was truly jaw-dropping to finally have a lonnnng conversation with ONE-OF-A-KIND full time food and travel writer. OH MYYYY GODDDDDD somebody pinch me I really can’t believe we took a selfie together 😀 😀 😀

Not Quite Nigella

Selfie time with the beautiful Lorriane from Not Quite Nigella

Photo credit: Lorriane from Not Quite Nigella

Kylie Kwong_Nessy Eater (27)

Guess who’s got her very own personalised chopsticks?!

I had to take a photo with Kylie Kwong just to prove I wasn’t dreaming. But before a happy snap, Kylie was super-excited as she grabs my hand and gives me a personal tour of Billy Kwong’s open kitchen at Potts Point. Kylie is one passionate Chef who revealed her secrets and rewards of hard work. She gave us a glimpse of her family’s Australian-Chinese festivities and taught me how to use her NEW Cantonese cuisine ranges available only at Woolworths. I cannot wait to give these products a go at home. 

Kylie Kwong_Nessy Eater (28)

Kylie Kwong with Nessy Eater Girl. 

Disclaimer: Nessy Eater attended Kylie Kwong’s Woolworths tasting menu, thanks to One Green Bean.

Opinions are however, Nessy Eater’s own.

Like to know more about Nessy Eater food adventures?

You can follow Nessy Eater on Instagram / Facebook / Twitter or feel free to leave a YUMMY comment 😀

My Food Bag- Weekday Meals Made Easy at Home

Posted on

“What’s for dinner tonight?” seems like the most important question on everyone’s mind every night. Dinner ideas can be really frustrating especially when you just finished a stressful long day at work. When you finally figure out a dish you want to cook (usually the same idea: chicken and broccoli or steak with chips), then comes the chore of having to purchase the ingredients and lining up in the supermarket queue. By the time you finish unloading your groceries onto the kitchen table, you’d be ready to jump into bed. Rewind everything you just read and let’s just order seven days of take-out food for dinner. Luckily there is a solution for this and here is how: My Food Bag. Full stop!

My Food Bag was born in New Zealand in March 2013. After a huge success and support from their kiwi fans, it hopped on to a plane to Australian soil and launched in Sydney, Melbourne and soon to launch in other Australian cities. What My Food Bag offers is a selection of healthy recipes, AND EVERYTHING you need to whip up to make a 5-star dish (minus a fraction of pantry staples that you may already have at home e.g. egg, salt and or pepper).

My Food Bag_Nessy Eater (1)

Food rainbow 

There are three different Food Bags to choose from to suit different households and tastebuds, unfortunately this does not include pets if you count them as family, sorry. Delivered on a Sunday so you’re all prepped for the week ahead:

  • The Family Bag, designed for a family with 2 adults and 2-3 young children ($169 for 5 people for 5 days)
  • The Classic Bag, designed for a family of 4 with 4 adults or 2 adults and 2 older children ($129 for 4 people for 3 days)
  • The Gourmet Bag, designed for two people ($149 for 2 adults for 4 days)

The first thing I noticed about My Food Bag is that they are great with communicating with their hungry customers. For instance we received an email on Friday informing us what recipes we’d be cooking the following week. I must confess all recipes for my week looked MOUTH-WATERING. On Saturday they send us a text telling us time slot for our delivery. And on Sunday it felt like Santa popped by because as promised My Food Bag-Classic arrived right on our doorstep. As we unwrapped our presents, everything seems to be top notch. The organic meat and free range chicken to spices and brown rice was meticulously labelled. Fruits, vegetables and herbs smelt ridiculously healthy. Totes give My Food Bag a HUGE TICK of APPROVAL for freshness.

My Food Bag_Nessy Eater (2)

What’s in the My Food Bag Classic?

For your first delivery My Food Bag gifts you with a mini folder where you can store your deepest darkest secrets of your favourite recipe cards. All recipe cards are seasonally based and are created by their top dog Head Chef, Miguel Maestre (from Channel 10’s The Living Room), as well as Zoe Bingley-Pullin who co-host of Channel Ten’s Good Chef Bad Chef and 2011 MasterChef New Zealand winner, Nadia Lim.

My Food Bag_Nessy Eater (3)

Time to unwrap the recipe bag…what’s cooking good looking.

Get ready to be rescued from starvation in your own home! What are you waiting for…keep scrolling for more healthy home cooked meals.

Day 1: SALMON WITH SALSA VERDE, SMASHED POTATOES AND SPINACH

Taste: Great start to a Monday with a fat piece of salmon that smelt like it just had been caught from the ocean before it was then pan fried. I loved how the salsa verde from The Cooking Room made the warm salad much more tastier. The downside of this dish was the salmon flavour seemed to be super strong in freshness that it didn’t blend so well with the salad. Maybe I should have marinated the fish with the salsa verde….note to self for next time.

Verdict: I was absolutely stuffed eating this dish and had half a plate of leftovers. It was a fantastic warm-up exercise to get started in the kitchen. I noticed there was vegetables on my plate and I cooked it (GASP).

My Food Bag_Nessy Eater (4)

OH EM GEEE! What am I cooking?

My Food Bag_Nessy Eater (4B)

Salmon with salsa verde, smashed potatoes and spinch

Day 2: ZA’ATAR CRUSTED CHICKEN WITH LEBANESE FATTOUSH

Taste: This dish was pretty darn addictive. The Lebanese fattoush was enough to send me running to the nearest farm and pick up the same ingredients to make it again. I did not know mint and parsley can go so well together with salad, it tasted refreshing. The chicken was so flavoursome like it had been marinated for hours but really it was max 10 minutes, so applause to za’atar. As for the pieces of Lebanese bread I made a new batch right after demolishing this dish. So much goodness in this recipe!

Verdict: To my surprise I now know how to make a fattoush salad using herbs and learnt how to use za’atar spice with chicken thighs. Also what an excellent idea of substituting deep fried chips with baked Lebanese bread and it’s served hot. Great for winter snacks that’s just around the corner and doesn’t increase your waistline.

My Food Bag_Nessy Eater (5)

Gonna make the most delicious dish on the planet! Can you guess?

My Food Bag_Nessy Eater (5B)

Za’atar crusted chicken with Lebanese fattoush

Being oh so childish as always and pretending to be creative in the kitchen, I thought it would be fun to make a fattoush boat. This would be great for the kids as it was served in a small portion. Do you like my work of food art?

My Food Bag_Nessy Eater (5C)

Nessy Eater’s fattoush boat (Please don’t judge me!)

Day 3: PORK STEAKS WITH SWEET POTATO ROSTI, MANGO SALSA AND CURRY MAYO

Taste: There was plenty of vegetable element in this dish and all ingredients married so well together even the curry mayo. Life’s too short to just have one serving. Teehee. The pork steak bathed in curry powder was beautifully paired well with the salsa and had the perfect sweet/salty balance as well as a bit of tanginess from the dressing. LIP SMACKING DELICIOUS RECIPE!

Verdict: I am gobsmacked that I made a sweet potato rosti. Never knew sweet potato can be used like that before and that’s why I never buy sweet potatoes at the supermarket, but that’s going to change from now on. Besides the rosti the salsa was screaming summer all over the plate. Not only did this dish bring happiness to my belly but it kept me dreaming about it the next day.

My Food Bag_Nessy Eater (6)

I think I can smell a healthy meal coming soon…

My Food Bag_Nessy Eater (6B)

Look how fabulous my sweet potato rosti looks before pan frying it.

My Food Bag_Nessy Eater (6C)

So weird to admit I made this…

My Food Bag_Nessy Eater (6D)

Pork steak with sweet potato rosti, mango salsa and curry mayo

Day 4: ZOE’S LAMB, TAMARIND, PUMPKIN AND YOGHURT CURRY WITH BROWN RICE

Taste: Get punched in the mouth with Zoe’s lamb with flavours of modern India. This curry was easy to make and sang with flavour, I wish it was a never ending pot. The lamb was tasty enough with the curry and wasn’t overpowering. I may have had a bigger appetite than Zoe with this dish, so thank goodness for leftover Lebanese bread.

Verdict: The curry was seriously amazing because well I cooked it. Haha. However I failed to cook the brown rice accordingly to the recipe card, but that didn’t stop me from eating it. On a much happier note I now can make lamb curry. This pot of curry would be pretty high up on my list for winter meals. To my shock I used curry leaves, tamarind puree and Bombay curry powder for the very first time in one dish. I think I’m ready to apply for the next MasterChef.

My Food Bag_Nessy Eater (7)

Need curry in a hurry? Make this!

My Food Bag_Nessy Eater (7B)

May need to work on cooking brown rice a little bit more…

My Food Bag_Nessy Eater (7C)

Zoe’s lamb, tamarind, pumpkin and yoghurt curry with brown rice

Day 5: VIETNAMESE BEEF SALAD WITH RICE NOODLES

Taste: The rice noodles was fully coated with fish sauce and there was completely no sign of lack of flavour. I quite enjoyed the slices of beef sirloin steak that combined so well with the super refreshing salad. It was very juicy and tender that it was pretty impossible to share. Pretty impressed with using Thai herbs and eating 3 vegetables. Can be easily served hot or cold because that sweet sour flavour doesn’t vanish.

Verdict: This was so easy to make that I could do this blind-folded. Most of the time spent was chopping up my vegetables into different shapes. Again I am still overwhelmed of using herbs in any of My Food Bag recipes.

My Food Bag_Nessy Eater (9)

Bring on the next My Food Bag recipe!

My Food Bag_Nessy Eater (9B)

Vietnamese beef salad with rice noodles

Aaaand that’s a wrap up of My Food Bag Classic. I have definitely gained a lot of skills during these 5 days and instead of eating my beloved steak and fried repeatedly during the weekdays, I have now got 5 recipe cards to use. It was great that every day was a mix of vegetables and meat so it wasn’t boring at all for me to be in the kitchen. There was plenty of left over spices and herbs that can be used for other recipes you can try at home. I love the idea of having not to use my brain to plan ahead of what to eat for dinner and go to the grocery store to buy each ingredient. My Food Bag is super duper convenient for families.

Top 5 Reasons to Try My Food Bag

  1. The ingredients you pull out of the paper bags is 110% fresh, you can smell it from miles away. All My Food Bag produce is organic and free range that is straight from the farmers. There is definitely a difference to the taste when it comes to organic vs. purchasing at a supermarket.
  2. Delivered straight to your door for FREE. This means fewer trips to the shops. No need to battle the supermarket queue on weekends- I know how frustrating that can get!
  3. Don’t need to menu plan because My Food Bag has already planned 5 days of delicious recipes for you and the family.
  4. Great family activity and bonding time with kids and or loved ones.
  5. You’ll be eating healthy for dinner. There are at least 2 vegetables or greens for each recipe without you even knowing!

Final Thoughts about My Food Bag

  • Felt like a 5 star chef in the house
  • Never knew I can use spices and herbs in my own kitchen
  • Had leftovers = YUM
  • Never ate 2-4 vegetables on one plate in one night before
  • Great family activity
  • Learnt a few new tricks

My Food Bag_Nessy Eater (10)

 Photos by Vanny Tang

Disclaimer: Nessy Eater received a trial of My Food Bag-Classic, thanks to Porter Novelli and My Food Bag.

Opinions are however, Nessy Eater’s own.

Check out other My Food Bag post I did. Click here.

Like to know more about Nessy Eater food adventures?

You can follow Nessy Eater on Instagram / Facebook / Twitter or feel free to leave a YUMMY comment 😀