Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Mandarin & Chicken Salad

Local seedless mandarins are coming into season, they are great to eat on their own, but even more lovely as part of a meal.

Ingredients (serves 4)

·         500g (approx. 2) chicken breast fillets, trimmed
·         4 medium (Black Hill) seedless mandarins, peeled, segmented
·         3 shallots, trimmed, finely chopped
·         1 red capsicum, thinly sliced
·         1 handful (about 80g) snow pea sprouts, cut in half
·         1 bunch coriander leaves, picked
·         5cm piece ginger, peeled, cut into very thin strips
·         1 lemon, juiced
·         1 tablespoon peanut oil
·         1/2 cup roasted cashew nuts, chopped


  1. Poach chicken by placing pieces in a large saucepan. Cover with cold water. Bring to the boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low. Simmer for 10 minutes, stir and turn occasionally. Remove chicken to a bowl. Set aside to cool for 10-15 minutes. Slice the chicken.
  2. Combine the chicken, mandarin, capsicum, sprouts, coriander, shallots and ginger in a serving bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Gently toss to combine.
  3. Combine 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon oil in a jug. Drizzle over salad. Toss to combine. Divide among plates. Sprinkle with cashews. Serve.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Shop Local Campaigns – Thought Provoking?

This year we have been hearing about “Shop Local” campaigns. So far we have discovered that these campaigns are in place throughout suburbs of Sydney, Melbourne, country towns throughout NSW and parts of the United States. Essentially this campaign suggests that whenever possible a consumer purchases goods or products from a local or locally-owned business.
There are many reasons that this campaign is gaining momentum.
  • Environmental; rather than driving to the large shopping centre to make purchases, you call into your local shopping strip as part of your daily travel arrangement, or you walk, as part of your daily exercise routine. This reduces our individual contribution to greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Social; shopping locally gives you a chance to interact with your immediate community.
  • Economic; Local businesses often have specials in place that are competitive with the prices offered by big business. Research from the US showed that “Every $100 spent at locally owned businesses contributes an additional $58 to the local economy.  By comparison, $100 spent at a representative national chain store in Portland yields just $33 in local economic impact.’ [1]
  • Service; Local business owners have made a choice to own a business in your community, they are keen to develop a relationship with you, not just to sell you something.
  • Choice; Product lines are gradually disappearing from supermarkets, hardware chains & variety stores, to be replaced by home-brands. Customer choice of product is being gradually eroded. Support of local businesses is a vote for choice. It ensures that the food production and manufacturing in Australia is not dictated by and dominated by faceless, nameless executives in offices in major cities in Australia, or other parts of the world.

So, in the future, when you need to go shopping, THINK LOCAL. Think about the choice you are making. Are you choosing to support your local economy, your local food producers, your local tradesmen, and your local community? Or are you choosing to line the pockets of big business and internationally owned companies? Your shopping choices are determining the future of our world and our children’s world.