Wednesday, March 28, 2012


A film by ana Sophia joanes.

Bellofoodbox invites you a special screen of the documentary Fresh.

When: Tuesday 3 April
Where: No 5 Church Street
Time: 6.00 pm for an all you can eat feast ($16) and 7.30 pm for the movie (no cost)
Contact: Leigh 0400146085

"FRESH celebrates the farmers, thinkers and business people across America who are re-inventing our food system.  Each has witnessed the rapid transformation of our agriculture into an industrial model, and confronted the consequences: food contamination, environmental pollution, depletion of natural resources, and morbid obesity.  Forging healthier, sustainable alternatives, they offer a practical vision for a future of our food and our planet.

Among several main characters, FRESH features urban farmer and activist, Will Allen, a 2008 recipient of the MacArthur “genius” grant and recently named one of Time’s 100 most influential people; sustainable farmer and entrepreneur Joel Salatin, made famous by The Omnivore’s Dilemma, the best-selling book by Michael Pollan, who is also featured in the movie; and, Kansas City supermarket owner David Ball, who is challenges our Wal-Mart-dominated economy every day by stocking his stores with products from local suppliers.

FRESH is more than a film; it is a reflection of a rising movement of people and communities across America who are re-inventing our food system.  FRESH celebrates the food architects who offer a practical vision of a new food paradigm and consumer access to it.  Encouraging individuals to take matters into their own hands, FRESH is a guide that empowers people to take an array of actions as energetic as planting urban gardens and creating warm composts from food waste, and as simple as buying locally-grown products and preserving seasonal produce to eat later in the year."

Pearl's note: ".... and did you notice it has Joel Salatin from Polyface Farms in the doco.... one of my personal food heroes :-)

Photo of Joel courtesy of Polyface Farms

Take the Local Harvest Challenge

Support local growers and reclaim your food choices.

Join the many individuals, households and community groups around Australia who are taking up the Local Harvest Challenge!

Find out resources near you, and put into practice the art of eating locally, supporting local and organic farmers and businesses, and discovering the face behind your food.

Choose your challenge – your level of commitment (bite-sized, meal-sized, or feast sized) – and the activities and events you plan to participate in. Blog your experiences as you make changes both large and small.

Sunday 1st April — Saturday 7th April 2012 (for the official week or if this week coming isn't convenient any week you choose)

For information and to sign up, go to


There was no show this week due to ill health on my part - humblest apologies - but we will be back next week!

I have had a couple of people comment that they are having problems downloading the podcast from podomatic so I have found another link - try this one and let me know how you go. And we are still on iTunes :-)

Image: "Sweep the last leafs away" by DesignJunkyGrafix

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


It is easy to subscribe to our podcasts here or on iTunes.

And if you missed out on any of the first three programs, or you would just like to listen to them again,  you can download them here.

Podcast 4 onwards are available here.

Podcast 7: Our biggest episode yet - John from Bellingen Chillies introduces us to varieties outside the generic cayenne, we meet Dave from Australia's only potato vodka manufacturer Red Dirt Distillery and chat with Anna from the local primary school about their new cookbook

Passionate About Chillies

A sample of the photos taken while visiting with John from Bellingen Chillies

Bellingen Chillies

There is more to the world of chillis than the standard cayenne, or the burning mouth feel.

Bellingen Chillies is on a mission to introduce the palates of Australia to a range of tropical chillies ranging from the very sweet to the mildly warm and coming in all colours of the rainbow.

Grown organically in Brierfield Bellingen Chillies produces a wide range of pastes, smoked, marinated and dried products, all picked and packed weekly.

Products are available at the local markets or online and yes, they are very easy to eat.

Red Dirt Distillery

Dorrigo's own Red Dirt Distillery is special for so many reasons - they are Australia's only potato vodka manufacturer, they provide a unique tourist experience right in the main street of town, they produce a very high  quality product, and they use Dorrigo's very own (not so humble) spud the Sebago grown in the rich red dirt of the plateau.

And is the vodka isn't enough to excite you - check out their outstanding range of liqueurs including the Alloro, Centrbe, Noncini and Rosolio available in store or online.

Bellingen Public School

You don't get more local than the local school and the Bellingen Public School has released a cookbooks filled to the brim with recipes contributed by parents, students, staff and friends of the school. As well as real recipes using common ingredients, the recipe book also forms part of the schools fundraising program.

Available for the bargain price of just $15 from the School or the Bellingen Library.

Why stop at one, why not get enough for all of the stocking stuffers you will need for Christmas 2012.

Image: Nelson Stark with his winning cover for the recipe book. Photo from the Bellingen Courier-Sun

Easy Peasy Chicken

6 - 8 chicken pieces
2 medium brown onions, peeled and thinlly sliced
1 red capsicum, thinly sliced
1 chorizo sausage, sliced (optional)
1/4 C olive oil
1 head garlic, haleved horizontally

Preheat oven to 200C.

In a large baking dish arrange onion, capsicum and chorizo. Drizzle with half the olive oil.

Place chicken pieces and garlic on top of the other ingredients. Drizzle over the remainder of the oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Bake for 25 - 30 minutes until the chicken is lovely and golden.

Serve with couscous, pasta, rice or lightly steamed cabbage. The juice creates a lovely sauce and the skin on the chicken goes crispy.

Recipe from the Bellingen Public School recipe book.

Image from fullmeals

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Food Exchange Thursday

I headed down the Bellingen Food Exchange today - what a treat - so many conversations, much laughter and the food! The photo is just a sampling of what was on offer. Put in the diary for next time - 29 March.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Yes we are now a podcaster so if you missed out on either of the first three programs, or you would just like to listen to them again,  you can download them here.

Podcast 4 onwards are available here or check us out on iTunes - yes we are on iTunes!.

Interviews on podcast 6: Along Schmuel from Hafla Dips talks about his dips, Israeli food and learning to cook while David and Sonya from the Bellingen Food Exchange talk about permaculture, sustainability, resilience and, of course, the Food Exchange.

Bellingen Food Exchange

The Bellingen Food Exchange meets fortnightly (with their next gathering this Thursday) 10.30 - 12.30 outside Kombu in Church Street. Bring along any extra garden produce to share, or consider sharing via the donation tin. All welcome.

For more information on the Bellingen Food Exchange, or if you are interested in permaculture, check out the Permaculture Collective MNC.

Interested in attending the bamboo biochar workshop? Here are the details you will need:
23 and 24 March
$10 each day (by donation)
Contact Kirsten for more information (or if you hvae any spare 44 gallon drums) 0457 710 696

You can also find out about other local projects involving sustainability, resilience and community building through Transition Bellingen.

Hafla Gourmet Dips

Made locally using the best ingredients possible, Halfa Gourmet Dips are enough to get the tastebuds watering.

And don't limit yourself to just eating the dips with a biscuit or carrot stick - what about stirring through pasta as the base of a quick and easy meal, adding them to stir-frys, using the dips instead of butter in your sandwiches - you are only limited by your imagination.

And when you visit the website, don't forget to leave your feedback - let Alon know what you thought of the product, or even send him a photo of the feast, party or casual get together where it was enjoyed.

Hafla is a great local company available in stores from Sydney to Brisbane.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Layered Tomato and Basil Salad

1 kg tomatoes
100 g pinenuts or macadamias, roasted
1 bunch basil
Lots of garlic, crushed or chopped very finely.
Olive oil
White balsamic vinegar

Slice tomatoes 1/4" thick and lay a third of them in a bowl. Salt. Sprinkle over a third of the pinenuts. Sprinkle over a third of the garlic. Season with pepper. Top with a third of the basil. Repeat until all of the ingredients have been used. At the end drizzle over olive oil and a splash of white balsamic vinegar. Do not stir. Refrigerate for about 2 hours. If you have time you can make the salad the night before.

Recipe by Pete Bufo

Image by Pearl


Yes we are now a podcaster so if you missed out on either of the first three programs, or you would just like to listen to them again,  you can download them here.

Podcast 4 onwards are available here or check us out on iTunes - yes we are on iTunes!.

Interviews on podcast 5: The award winning Byron Beans tells us all about growing and brewing coffee and Pete Bufo shares his recipe for his Layered Tomato Salad as well as chatting with Pearl about food, life and everything else

The Link

Do you like the music from today's show? It is by local duo The Link which is Jesse Lethbridge playing
digeridoo, hang and shakers and Robby Neal on celtic harp.

Want more info? Contact them directly on

Byron Beans

Passionfruit and Chilli is passionate about supporting local growers - and even better when they are award winning and organic! So for all coffee lovers, check out Byron Beans

Byron Beans is family owned and 100% Australian. They have been growing coffee on their  farm since 1999 in the Byron Bay hinterland.

Available at Kombu and Fullers if you live in Bellingen, the Spar supermarket if you live in Dorrigo and online if you live anywhere else. Order online or check out other Australian stockist.

Byron Beans is local. And they are award winning ..... and they are orgnaic.

Coffee Cake with Pecans

1/2 - 3/4 C roughly chopped pecans
1/4 cup brown sugar
4 t instant coffee
180g butter, softened
3/4 C brown sugar
2 eggs
2 C SR flour
1 C milk
1/2 C white sugar
1/2 cup black coffee (can be instant but espresso or plunger are better)

Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease a 20cm round cake pan.

Mix walnuts, brown sugar and half of the instant coffee in a bowl and set aside.

Cream butter and remaining brown sugar. Beat in eggs and remaining instant. Fold through flour and milk.
Spread half the cake mixture onto the base of the pan.

Top with the pecan mix then remaining cake mix. Bake for 1 hour 10 minutes.

Make a coffee syrup by combining 1/2 C black coffee with white sugar Mix over low heat until the sugar is dissolved then boil gently unttil the mixture thickens a bit.

When the cake is cooked and still in the pan, gently make some deep holes with a skewer in the top of the cake. Pour over syrup and allow to stand for a few minutes. Turn out and serve warm or cool.

I have had this recipe for ages but I am not sure where I got it from. In the interests of transparency, I have found a very similar one here which I include as reference.

Image" Coffee" by SuzyTheButcher

What's Fresh in Bello This Week

Support your local growers and buy what is in season this week. Wherever you shop keep an eye out for local:

Apples  - fuji, royal gala
Cucumber - Lebanese
Garlic - premium Italian, Russian
Persimmon - astringent
Potatoes - chats, sebago, red skinned
Pumpkin - jap, grey, butternut
Sweet potato

Need a recipe for any of these ingredients?  Leave a comment.
Know of something we have missed? Please let us know.

List compiled with the help of bellofoodbox

Image from Inelegant Sufficiency

Friday, March 2, 2012

Hints and Tips - Cutting the Food Budget

1. Plan your meals and make a list - stick to it.

2. Only buy seasonal produce.

3. Use leftovers the next, or freeze then, or upcycle them.

4. Make your own baby food by freezing iceblock sized portions of fruit, vegetables or other foods.

5. Don't go shopping hungry.

6. You don't need more than a palm sized piece of red meat two the three times a week - eating larger servings more often are just wasted.

7. Make your own meals from scratch - pre-pared food is usually more expensive.

8. Cut out or cut down the take-aways - home cooking is usually a lot cheaper and more healthy - and tastes better too! This includes taking your own lunches to work or school.

9. Grate your own cheese rather than buying shredded. This applied to pre-cut onions as well.

10. Check the unit pricing.

Cook, Style and Shoot

Get creative with your cooking, style it and shoot it for the chance to win some great prizes from ABC delicious. magazine. Give your creation a name and upload it to the ABC Pool website by 17 March 2012 for your chance to win. The winning photos will be published on the ABC Radio National website.

Entries will be judged by one of Australia’s leading stylists Emma Knowles, food and style director with the Australian Gourmet Traveller Magazine. Emma's style is elegant, and yet it seduces with its quality of always looking completely real and unbelievably delicious.

Style-Cauliflower Soup with Ground Fresh Nutmeg and Parmesan Lace by Wendy T
Lunch in a box by Carolyn Leach-Paholski
Pumpkin Soup by mountaingirl (that's me lol)
Mojito by manusmenu