Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - On Sunday - @chef­ben­nett23 @Vueben­nett


“Pa­neer, a fresh In­dian cheese, and sprouts are avail­able from su­per­mar­kets.” SERVES 4

2 tbs ghee

250g pa­neer, cut into 1cm-thick slices 1 onion, finely chopped

3 gar­lic cloves, crushed

1 tbs gin­ger, finely grated

Finely grated zest of 1 lemon, juice of ½ 10 curry leaves, plus ex­tra, to serve

1 tbs curry pow­der

200g packet sprouted legumes

500g pump­kin, peeled, seeds re­moved,

chopped into 1cm cubes ½ cauliflowe­r, cut into flo­rets

100g green beans, trimmed and halved 4 large toma­toes, chopped

½ cup co­rian­der leaves, chopped,

plus ex­tra to serve

Heat 1 tbs ghee in a large non-stick fry­ing pan over medium-high heat, add pa­neer and cook for 2-3 min­utes each side un­til lightly charred. Set aside on a plate.

In­crease heat to medium, add re­main­ing ghee, onion, gar­lic, gin­ger and lemon zest and cook, stir­ring reg­u­larly, for 5 min­utes. Add curry leaves and pow­der and cook for a fur­ther 2 min­utes, stir­ring con­stantly with a wooden spoon and scrap­ing the base of the pan. Add sprouts, pump­kin, cauliflowe­r, beans, toma­toes and 1½ cups (375ml) wa­ter, bring to the boil, re­duce to a sim­mer, sea­son and cover. Cook, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally, for 10 min­utes or un­til tomato has bro­ken down and veg­eta­bles are ten­der. Re­move lid and stir in lemon juice and chopped co­rian­der, add pa­neer and cook for a fur­ther 1 minute or un­til pa­neer is warmed through.

Serve scat­tered with ex­tra co­rian­der.

PER SERVE • 25G PRO­TEIN • 12G SAT FAT • 30G CARB • 20G SU­GARS • 180MG SODIUM • 435 CAL (1830KJ)


“This dish is in­spired by In­done­sia’s gado-gado, a salad of lightly cooked veg­eta­bles served with peanut sauce.” SERVES 4

2 (about 600g) egg­plant, halved

2 tbs olive oil

2 tbs soy sauce

2 tbs red curry paste

½ cup crunchy peanut but­ter

400ml can co­conut milk

1 tbs fish sauce

1 lime, ½ juiced, re­main­ing cut into


½ tsp caster sugar (op­tional)

100g snow peas, trimmed and shred­ded 1½ cups Chi­nese cab­bage, shred­ded Thinly sliced chilli, Thai basil and co­rian­der,

and roasted peanuts, to serve

Pre­heat oven to 220°C. Line a large bak­ing tray with bak­ing pa­per. Deeply score the cut sides of the egg­plant in a rough 1.5cm cross­hatch pat­tern. Place cut-side up on the pre­pared tray.

Com­bine 1 tbs oil and soy sauce in a small bowl, then spoon mix­ture over the cut sides of egg­plant, en­sur­ing you get it in the in­ci­sions. Sea­son egg­plant and roast for 25-30 min­utes un­til browned and very ten­der.

Mean­while, heat re­main­ing oil in a fry­ing pan over medium heat, add curry paste and cook, stir­ring con­stantly, for a minute or un­til fra­grant. Add peanut but­ter and co­conut milk, stir to com­bine and bring to the boil, stir­ring reg­u­larly. Re­duce to a sim­mer and cook for 3 min­utes, stir­ring of­ten. Re­move from heat and stir in fish sauce and the lime juice.

Spread some of the sa­tay sauce over a large plat­ter. Place egg­plant onto sauce, top with snow peas, cab­bage, chilli and herbs. Scat­ter with peanuts and squeeze over lime wedges. Serve with re­main­ing sa­tay sauce on the side.

PER SERVE • 15G PRO­TEIN • 18G SAT FAT • 15G CARB • 11G SU­GARS • 2085MG SODIUM • 540 CAL (2265KJ)


“A sim­ple way of steam­ing a fish.” SERVES 6

1.2kg whole snap­per, gut­ted and scaled 1 lemon, thinly sliced

4cm piece gin­ger, thinly sliced, plus 1 tbs

finely grated gin­ger

¾ cup (180ml) teriyaki sauce

¾ cup (180ml) mirin

¼ cup (60ml) rice vine­gar

2 tbs soy sauce

2 tsp se­same oil

3 Le­banese cu­cum­bers, cut into wedges 200g pod­ded edamame beans, thawed 1 small red onion, thinly sliced

1 cup mint, thinly sliced, plus ex­tra to serve Toasted se­same seeds and chilli flakes,

to serve

Rinse fish in­side and out and pat dry. Make 4-5 slashes each side. Stuff cav­ity with lemon and sliced gin­ger. Place in an oven dish and pour teriyaki sauce over. Rub it into slashes and turn fish to coat. Leave at room tem­per­a­ture for 30 min­utes, turn­ing once.

Pre­heat oven to 220°C. Cut 2 sheets of foil to 30cm x 70cm. Place, over­lap­ping, on bench. Cut 2 sheets of bak­ing pa­per the same size, place on foil, then place fish in the cen­tre. Bring up sides of foil and pa­per to form a loose par­cel (so steam can cir­cu­late), par­tially fold edges over to seal, pour the teriyaki sauce in through the gap, then seal com­pletely. Bake for 40 min­utes or un­til fish is just cooked. Rest for 5 min­utes.

For dress­ing, sim­mer mirin, vine­gar and grated gin­ger in a saucepan for 4-5 min­utes un­til thick­ened. Re­move from heat, stir in soy and se­same oil and cool.

Place fish on a plat­ter. Mix cu­cum­ber, edamame, onion, mint and dress­ing in a bowl, toss to coat and spoon onto snap­per. Scat­ter with se­same and chilli flakes.

PER SERVE • 23G PRO­TEIN • 1G SAT FAT • 42G CARB • 36G SU­GARS • 1715MG SODIUM • 315 CAL (1310KJ)

IT’S ONE of the big food de­bates of the era. Pa­leo or veg­e­tar­ian diet – which is bet­ter for you and which is bet­ter for los­ing weight?

Rather than weigh in on the sub­ject with no ex­pe­ri­ence or re­search be­hind me, I’ve tried both in the past year or so – first a pa­leo diet, then a hard-core ve­gan diet, each for a few months, both as an ex­per­i­ment to bet­ter un­der­stand the ap­proaches and to lose weight.


The cou­ple of months on a pa­leo diet were pretty easy at first and I dropped ki­los quickly and early, as is of­ten the case when you switch to pa­leo, keto or Atkins. I started or­der­ing al­mond lat­tes, got cre­ative with the veg­eta­bles I served with all that grass-fed beef, and read a lot of pa­leo web­sites in search of in­spi­ra­tion.

It went fine un­til all that fat and an­i­mal pro­tein started to grind me down. I be­gan to dread the spec­tre of more red meat and break­fast of eggs and ba­con or an omelette. Bizarrely, I craved oats and I twitched when I saw pho­tos of pa­leo blood pud­ding. I baulked at the crazy prices charged for small pack­ets of bone broth (which wasn’t a su­per­mar­ket sta­ple at the time) and I started to hate all the fer­mented food I was in­structed to eat. Now, I love kim­chi with a Korean meal, but it’s hard to stom­ach at break­fast with the blood pud­ding.

I missed cheese some­thing rot­ten, but when you’re not eat­ing bread, pasta or risotto this even­tu­ally passes. In ex­change, I devel­oped a sort of sneaky ob­ses­sion with nu­tri­tional yeast and dis­cov­ered some truly de­li­cious nut cheeses among the hun­dreds of truly dread­ful cheese sub­sti­tutes.the good ones aren’t cheap, though. I also noted that af­ter ev­ery visit to the nu­tri­tion­ist I left with an­other $40 tub of some odd-sound­ing sup­ple­ment, pill or po­tion.

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