Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The one where I prove (AGAIN) that healthy food is not boring

Thanks to Brand Meets Blog, I was lucky enough to score an invitation to an interactive cooking class and information evening run by the Heart Foundation last week. (And to digress a little, I thought it was sometimes difficult to explain blogging to people in my real life... imagine the poor girls over at BMB trying to explain to their friends and family what the heck a blogger outreach agency is... Oy.)

I'd had a particularly bad day at work, was stressed to the max and then got held up way out in the eastern suburbs. At 6:00pm I was just leaving work and was sure that I was going to be late arriving at the venue, the LG cooking school at South Melbourne Market. But for once, the traffic gods smiled upon me and I pushed open the door with a few minutes to spare. Phew. I also discovered that I had already met (or knew of) 80% of the other bloggers present. I felt instantly at home.

The evening turned out to be a lot of fun - guided by the chef, we all pitched in and helped prepare a magnificent meal, starting with beautiful fresh, healthy ingredients which became an absolute feast. And yes, of course we got to eat it! There was chatter about all things blogging, and every other topic under the sun too. And in between cooking, talking and eating, we listened to Dr Lynne Roberts, CEO of the Heart Foundation, who had a few key messages to deliver.

Did you know that heart disease is the number one killer of Australian women? Well, actually, I did - but I was surprised and concerned to learn that most people don't. Which is one of the reasons why women don't always recognise the symptoms of heart disease. 27 women in Australia die of heart disease every single day. Heart disease kills more women than breast cancer. Those are scary statistics.

So what can you do about it? Know the risks: this is no time to bury your head in the sand. Find out if you have any risk factors for heart disease here. I've been blogging about my high cholesterol recently, which is one of them, but there are a number of others, and almost all can be modified IF YOU'RE AWARE YOU HAVE THEM.

Alright. I'll stop shouting at you now and make with the pretty pictures. And there's a recipe too. But please go check out the Heart Foundation's website and make sure your cardio-vascular system is in good nick, OK? They have all sorts of awesome recipes over there as well, plus lots of other resources; well worth a visit.

I am there...hiding behind Emma of The Scoop on Nutrition and Kim of Working Women Australia 

Ooh look! There I am, all serious and acting like I know what I'm doing... 

...which, clearly, I don't. The recipe did not call for bits of fingers.

The menu

White bean mash with crudités and flatbread

Main course
Grilled fillet of mackerel with avocado
Mixed Moroccan style grain salad
Poached chicken with Vietnamese coleslaw

Poached pears in red wine

The mackerel was simple, but divine. The avocado was flavoured with chilli, lime and coriander.

The Moroccan grain salad had a mixture of burghul & quinoa. And that's "my" Vietnamese coleslaw on the right

I loved this: poached pears served with orange-honey yoghurt. 
I plan to share the recipes we cooked with you all over the next few weeks. For now, I'll start with the poached chicken and Vietnamese coleslaw, because I've already made that one myself.

Here's one I prepared earlier:

I used red cabbage, carrot and lettuce in this version, because that's what I had in the fridge.
Who says you have to follow the recipe precisely? Be creative and see what you can come up with.

One last thing: If you have kids, make sure you check out Mums United, another initiative of the Heart Foundation. There are recipes, tips and advice for us mums who want to feed our kids healthy food that they'll actually EAT.

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. I did get a delicious free meal, thanks to Brand Meets Blog and the Heart Foundation, plus a goodie bag to take home, but received no payment for this post. Opinions expressed here are my own. 

Thanks also to Brand Meets Blog for the photo of moi, which I totally stole from their Instagram feed. 



Sara said...

That looks like sooo much fun! I wish there were some awesome blogging networks in NZ.

Carly Findlay said...

It was so good to finally meet you and it was also a fun night! :) great summary.

Kek said...

Sara, I think you should just fly over here and attend some blogger events with meeeee! xx

It was a fun night, wasn't it Carly? It was lovely to meet you too. :)

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