Dressed to im­press

Give sal­ads, stir fries and steamed veg­eta­bles the fin­ish­ing touch

Warwick Daily News - - WEEKEND - PURE FOOD with Do­minique Rizzo

PALM sugar is a nu­tri­ent-rich, low-gly­caemic crys­talline sweet­ener that looks, tastes, dis­solves and melts al­most ex­actly like sugar. It’s com­pletely nat­u­ral and un­re­fined. It’s ac­quired from the flow­ers grow­ing high on co­conut trees, which are opened to col­lect their liq­uid flower nec­tar.

This nec­tar is then air-dried to form a crys­talline sugar that’s nat­u­rally brown in colour and nat­u­rally rich in a num­ber of key vi­ta­mins, min­er­als and phy­tonu­tri­ents in­clud­ing potas­sium, zinc, iron and vi­ta­mins B1, B2, B3 and B6.

Palm sugar is not a calo­rie-free sweet­ener. It has calo­ries like any car­bo­hy­drate, but due to its rel­a­tively low gly­caemic in­dex, its calo­ries are ab­sorbed into the blood­stream at a sig­nif­i­cantly slower rate than reg­u­lar re­fined sugar.

Asian-style lemon­grass, gin­ger and chilli mari­nade or dress­ing

Makes 1 cup

IN­GRE­DI­ENTS: 1 stalk of lemon­grass 3 cloves gar­lic tbs fresh gin­ger 2 long red chill­ies, de­seeded, chopped 3 tbs fish sauce 2 tbs lime juice 3 tbs palm sugar ¼ tsp sesame oil 3 tbs soy sauce

METHOD: For the mari­nade, roughly chop the lemon­grass and place it in a blender or food pro­ces­sor with the rest of the in­gre­di­ents and blend un­til com­bined. This will keep in the fridge for up to a month; you can add a cou­ple of ta­ble­spoons of light olive oil to make it a great dress­ing for a salad or steamed veg­eta­bles.

Co­rian­der and lime dress­ing

This is a zesty and flavour­some dress­ing ideal to use over sal­ads, veg­eta­bles and in stir-fries.

Makes 1 cup

IN­GRE­DI­ENTS: ½ bunch co­rian­der stalks 1 clove gar­lic ½ tsp sesame oil ¼ cup sweet chili 2 tbs fish sauce ½ cup sweet style vine­gar or ver­juice* 2 tbs lighter tast­ing oil

METHOD: Com­bine all the in­gre­di­ents in a food pro­ces­sor or blender and com­bine un­til smooth. This will keep in the fridge for up to a month. *Ver­juice is a condi­ment made from the first press of grapes. It is a fresh prod­uct although you will find it near the vine­gars. It has a slightly sweeter taste than vine­gar but is used as a vine­gar in dress­ings, mari­nades and also for desserts. Once opened ver­juice has to be kept in the fridge.

PHOTO: THINKSTOCK

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