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For practically the first time in my adult life, I have no chooks at present.  This is the culprit.

I am working on a new roost design.  If it works, the chooks will be able to put themselves to bed at night.  I will be able to let them free range in the daytime and she (or he) won’t be able to get them at night.

I am missing them for many reasons, but right now because it is egg season.  Luckily though, I have friends who have free-range, ethically raised chooks and, at this time of year an abundance of eggs.

My Muesli Bar Challenge series is a series of recipes for healthy lunch box baking based on fresh in-season produce.  This recipe melds the last of the citrus season with the start of the egg season.  It is a flourless cake with no butter but no less than six eggs.

Eggs are a great source of protein, but they go extra well in school lunches because they are rich in choline, which is needed for nerves and brain to function properly. Using them in baking makes them safer in the heat of a lunch box.

You need a cup of macadamia meal for this recipe.  You can substitute almond meal – in fact I would be fairly sure that somewhere back in time I had an original version of this recipe  based on almond meal.  But for me, macadamias have no food miles at all. And they’re super healthy, with monounsaturated heart healthy oils  and a huge range of vitamins and minerals.  And fresh, in-the-shell macas in season are a taste sensation.  This little tool makes cracking macas easy, and the kernels blend to a meal easily in a food processor.

Once you have your maca meal, the recipe is dead easy. Let’s see what the reviewers think.

The Recipe:

Turn your oven on to heat up to medium.

Grease a 20 cm cake tin and line the base with a circle of greaseproof paper.

Blend together until smooth:

  • 1 cup of macadamia meal
  • 1½ teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 cup of orange, tangelo, mandarin, or lime segments with seeds removed.
  • ¾ cup of brown sugar
  • 6 whole eggs

Stir in 3 good dessertspoons of poppy seeds.

The mixture will not be at all like a cake mix.  It will be quite liquid.

Pour it into your prepared cake tin and bake for around 40 minutes till the cake is set and a skewer comes out clean.

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No picture for this one.  It was one of those cooking experiments that just developed along the way, and was already eaten by the time I realised, hmm, this is a good one!

My tangelo compote is still my current breakfast fetish, but the possum is starting in on the tangelos, so I decided it was time to start using them at a faster rate than two a day. Kangaroo is my choice of red meat, for both health and ethical reasons, (see the links for why), and remembering how good the kangaroo with pomegranate sauce turned out, I wondered how it would go with the slightly grapefruity mandarin sweetness of tangelo.  Then, to cut the sweetness just a little I added some lime and ginger, and just kept tweaking until I had something I wish I’d photographed!

The Recipe:

Sear two kangaroo steaks in a little olive oil in a heavy pan, then continue to cook for a few minutes each side until they are medium rare. Take them out of the pan and let them rest while you make the sauce.

Into the juices in the pan, pour a cup of tangelo juice, a potato crisp sized slice of fresh ginger (skin and all), a whole peeled clove of garlic, juice of half a lime, a couple of teaspoons of balsamic vinegar, a scant teaspoon of brown sugar, a pinch of salt, and a pinch of black pepper. Reduce until it is a nice sauce-like consistency. Fish out the garlic and ginger. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper.

Slice the kangaroo steaks diagonally, arrange on the plates and drizzle over the  sauce.

We had it with sauteed radicchio and parsnip mash, both from the garden, and it was one of those epiphany moments where you realise how truly lucky we are.

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It’s citrus season, our tangelo tree is loaded, and I have a new favourite breakfast.  There’s a fast morning version that I can make  in the time it takes the coffee pot to perk, and a slow morning version that is decadent enough to get me out of bed on a cold Sunday morning.

Tangelos are a cross between a grapefruit and a tangerine, but they’re much sweeter than a grapefruit  with a honey flavour and a very tiny edge of grapefruit bitterness. They’re easy to peel but almost too juicy to eat straight unless you are in the bath.

Citrus fruits in general are good sources of Vitamins C and A, and folic acid and potassium.  But it’s the “bioflavanoids” that make them interesting, and it’s the pulp, not the juice that contains most of the flavanoids. They have lots of good health effects including antioxidant, anti-allergy and anti-inflammatory effects, they help the body take up the Vitamin C in the juice, and they also  improve capillary health. So they help with with all the things that depend on good capillaries like eyesight and kidneys, and also bruising, varicose veins, and fragile capillaries – which I like because I’d rather eat tangelos than get laser surgery to deal with my spider veins any day!

The Recipe

In a heavy pan, melt half a teaspoon of butter and half a teaspoon of honey and add three desertspoons of muesli.  (In the slow morning version, instead of muesli I use freshly cracked pecans and macadamia nuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, oats and organic sultanas.)

Toast for just a minute or two, then peel and segment two tangelos over the pan so that the juice falls into it.  Cook for just a minute or two longer till the juice goes syrupy.

Serve with a dollop of plain low fat yoghurt.

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