Stories | Food & Beverage


Is living off grid feasible for modern families and could you do it?

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I think at some point almost all of us have thought about living off grid. Throwing in the day job, eating what you grow and being completely self sufficient.

The sun lapping across your back as you take it easy, sipping on your home made Ginger Beer….

That’s about where most of us get to, when we are suddenly pulled back to reality – work, deadlines, paying bills, study, kids, partners, family – you name it!

Maybe self sufficiency or off grid living is just that, a dream. An unreachable goal that on paper feels like what we were meant to be doing, but can never fully attain.

The other issue that’s always slapped me in the face (pretty hard) when I’ve looked into self sufficiency, that a great number of people who’ve achieved self sufficiency (or even just off-grid) status happen to accept a significantly lower standard of living than what most normal families are prepared to live with.

Making dinner at night shouldn’t be an exercise in how many kilowatts are left in my battery, and maybe I shouldn’t (or cannot) use the microwave!

To be honest, in the middle of summer we want energy independence, we want to run the air conditioner (in Queensland, Australia) and enjoy life, not sweat it out. The same in winter, families want a warm shower – fine, it doesn’t have to be a 10 minute shower, but something you can rely on.

So, without any more ado – we are making it happen!

That’s right, we are taking a family of 4 living on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland Australia – firmly fixed to the energy grid, and taking them off grid, and a long way to being self sufficient.

The goal – for under $50k (retail) we will show you how a family of 4 can live sustainably and off grid. This isn’t a warm and fuzzy brush over, this is a warts and all look at what it takes to transition from a normal grid connected family to a renewable off grid life. We will be showing you every step you need to get you, and your family off grid and on the road to self sufficiency:

  • Energy – production/storage
  • Food – plan/plant/harvest/store
  • Water – harvest/treat/store
  • Short and long distance transport – fuel/vehicle selection
  • Community – give/live/assist

The families overall goal is to inspire other families all around Australia that living a rewarding and sustainable lifestyle is possible and within reach, and that the implications are probably far greater than you could ever imagine.

More information about our off grid family will be released in the coming weeks -> sign up here to keep yourself posted on our off grid project.

Posted in Family, Food & Beverage, Gadgets, Health & Lifestyle, Technology1 Comment

The Health Benefits of Fresh Herbs

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For centuries, herbs have been used all over the world to add flavour to cooking, but did you realize that some of them have amazing health benefits as well?

Sage

Sage is a beautiful plant that is really easy to cultivate at home, especially with a grow room. Apart from adding wonderful flavor to a meal, it has anti-inflammatory properties, is good for the memory, helps with sugar levels in the blood, can relieve some of the symptoms of the menopause and can assist with the lowering of cholesterol.  All this from a herb that is sometimes overlooked by chefs, but one that if it was used in more meals could help everyone that eats it.

Parsley

Generally, anything green and leafy is good for you and parsley is no exception. It is classed as a super food because of its concentration of nutrients and antioxidants, among other things. It also has vitamin, A, B, C and K, some of them is such high quantities that just half a cupful is 500% of the recommended daily amount. Like most herbs, it has anti-inflammatory properties and it is antibacterial and antifungal.

Rosemary

As one of the prettiest and most aromatic of all the herbs, rosemary is considered sacred in some cultures, such as Egyptian, and Greek. It has several vitamins in it, is high in fiber and combine these with its anti-inflammatory properties for a great way to improver your digestion. Research has also shown that it can help to boost your brain power with just one deep intake of its aroma.

Oil made from rosemary is very good for skin and hair, and will help to heal any sore spots.

Thyme

Thyme is second to sage for the amount of antioxidants it contains, and has the ability to help your body fight off disease causing free radicals. It is also a good source of vitamins A and C as well as iron and dietary fiber. Sprinkled over a salad, it will add a lovely flavor, and make the meal even healthier for all who have some.

Tarragon

Tarragon is said to be one of the most underused herbs, yet it adds amazing flavor and contains iron, zinc and magnesium. Overcooking will reduce the amount of these, so it is best added at for just the last few minutes are used as fresh leaves. It makes a wonderful garnish for a dish such as mushroom and white bean pasta.

Basil

Basil is said to be the most popular and most used of all fresh herbs, especially for Mediterranean cuisine. It has a peppery flavor that can, is aromatic and is though to fight off several chronic diseases.  It works well with meals and desserts, and is ideal for something like a spring strawberry salad.

The health benefits are often overlooked in the western world, although the ancient Chinese and Indians used them often for health purposes. Whatever reason you use them for, there is no getting away from the fact that they are good for us, and should be used even more.

Posted in Food & Beverage, Health & Lifestyle5 Comments

RECIPE: Sweet Potato Spanish Omelette

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Sweet Potato Spanish Omelette

Sweet Potato Spanish Omelette

For all those craving a delicious Spanish Omelette – without the white potato.

Recipe by Rebecca @  Nourish Naturally

Ingredients

1 medium sweet potato, peeled

3 tbs olive oil

1 small zucchini, sliced

5 Free Range @AustralianEggs

50 ml milk of choice

1 medium brown onion, finely diced

1 medium carrot, finely chopped

2 tsp curry powder

2 tbs garlic chives, chopped

Method

1. Slice sweet potato into 1/2cm thin slices.

2. Coat sweet potato in 2 tbs olive oil & place onto a 24cm diameter fry pan, evenly covering the base of pan.

3. Turn stove on medium heat & place lid on fry pan. Cook until sweet potato is cooked though.

4. In a large bowl, place 5 eggs (whites & yolk) & whisk. Add milk, onion, carrot, garlic chives & 1 tsp curry. Mix. Add 1 tbs olive oil & mix.

5. Pour over cooked sweet potato in pan. Reduce heat to low and cover with lid to cook evenly for approx. 10min. Take off lid, top with sliced zucchini & remaining curry.

6. Place under heated grill without lid until top is crispy & golden brown.

7. Remove from pan, slice & enjoy.

Posted in Food & Beverage, Health & Lifestyle0 Comments

Bigger and Better: The $33 lunch and dinner returns for March Into Merivale 2010

Bigger and Better: The $33 lunch and dinner returns for March Into Merivale 2010

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Posted in Events, Food & Beverage, New South Wales0 Comments

16 Restaurants, 48 Mouth Watering Dishes… Something to suit everyone’s Taste!

16 Restaurants, 48 Mouth Watering Dishes… Something to suit everyone’s Taste!

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Posted in Events, Food & Beverage, New South Wales0 Comments

7 simple rules for food & wine matching success

7 simple rules for food & wine matching success

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by Jules Clancy from stonesoup | minimalist home cooking. Continue Reading

Posted in Featured, Food & Beverage3 Comments

Pizzacutters gets the Tick from the Heart Foundation for six new pizzas

Pizzacutters gets the Tick from the Heart Foundation for six new pizzas

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Today, Sydney based pizza chain, Pizzacutters will launch a range of six new pizzas, which have earned the Heart Foundation Tick of Approval. From tantalising Beef Bearnaise to Vege Delight, the pizza chain hopes to excite Australian taste buds by offering healthier options for the much loved meal. Continue Reading

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Sydney Seafood School turns 20 this year!

Sydney Seafood School turns 20 this year!

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Twenty years is a long time in the food world.

In 1989 Atlantic salmon had only been farmed in Tasmania for a few years and aquaculture (then confined to a very few species) was just starting to be heralded as the way of the future. Although Sydney-siders were becoming more interested in food, the average palate was still at best quite uneducated and at worst quite staid. Continue Reading

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Gabriel Gaté introduces Gourmet Pearl Couscous: A new taste

Gabriel Gaté introduces Gourmet Pearl Couscous: A new taste

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Posted in Featured, Food & Beverage0 Comments

Do you skip breakfast?

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Food & Nutrition Australia have warned that missing breakfast could mean missing out on essential nutrients. With nearly a quarter of the adult population skipping breakfast at least 3 times a week Bakers Delight has decided to do something about it. Continue Reading

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And the Love is Free – Simple no-fuss recipes – A tribute to Mum

And the Love is Free – Simple no-fuss recipes – A tribute to Mum

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After June Clancy died suddenly of cancer two years ago, her eldest daughter Jules – author of the food blog ‘stonesoup’ – decided to pull together a collection of her mum’s recipes Continue Reading

Posted in Featured, Food & Beverage, Literature0 Comments

Another healthy snack from Table of Plenty

Another healthy snack from Table of Plenty

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A new healthy snack that you can eat however and whenever you please! Stack them together, eat them separate, have one a day for the working week, eat them plain or spread with your favourite topping. On the go, at your desk, in the car – they are convenient, easy and mess-free! Continue Reading

Posted in Food & Beverage, Health & Lifestyle1 Comment

Universal Restaurant in Sydney collaborates with Seppeltsfield Estate Vineyard

Universal Restaurant in Sydney collaborates with Seppeltsfield Estate Vineyard

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The opportunity to sample some of Australia’s most exquisite fortified wines and Australian delicacies matched in an elegant location comes around about as often as a fine vintage. So there’s little doubt many wine lovers in Sydney will be pleased to know the Universal Restaurant Fortified Wine Dinner is taking place Wednesday 23rd September. Continue Reading

Posted in Events, Food & Beverage3 Comments


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