The Sarah Wilson mindful xmas gift guide. ‘Cos you asked for it.

Posted on December 11th, 2014

My family doesn’t do Christmas gifts. Each year we pitch in for a crappy, wood-veneered, chenille-bedspreaded holiday house down the coast. We wrestle, eat, attempt to play board games (none of us are good at sitting very still), go for bike rides and try not to step on each other’s toes (especially those of the crew sleeping on the floor in the lounge). I accept my family is in the minority, but will never accept that this time of year should be a time of rampant, crass consumerism. And to this end will continue to offer up some sustainable gift options, as I do each year. You can find my previous posts here, here, here and here. But to my latest round of ideas, collated from the wares of wonderful folk who’ve spun into my orbit throughout 2014…

christmas tree plantar boxes boy Fresh Prince

Planter boxes by Fresh Prince made festive.

1. Fresh Prince Desk-top Planter boxes
Bondi boy Richie, aka Fresh Prince, is the delightful dude who created our rooftop garden at IQS HQ, and recently snuck in to the office to deliver a stack of his pen holder planter boxes for the team. The little pen holder bits are lined with fake grass. Sweet. You can buy them here.

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 5.09.15 pm2. A six-pack of Blind Corner Field Blend wine
Buy a six pack of their Blind Corner Field Blend and save yourself and your family from certain toxic  hangover this Christmas lunch. I love these guys. Ben and his wife produce stunning, hand (and foot)-crafted wines with minimal, if any additives. The vineyard is organic, dry grown and utilises biodynamic Read more

Gwyneth Paltrow shares her favourite wintery recipes with us!

Posted on April 9th, 2013

Oh, today we’re in for a treat! Gwyneth Paltrow this week releases her latest cookbook It’s All Good in Australia and – hoorah for us – I’ve been very lucky to be granted a sneak peak and an extract.


Perhaps she’s wearing makeup that makes her look like she’s not wearing makeup…either way, the shot is hot and fresh and pervily captivating.

Gwyneth and I are very much on the same page with food and lifestyle stuff and she contributed a recipe to my I Quit Sugar cookbook. You might recall her last cookbook, My Father’s Daughter, was a rippa…but it used sugar in the recipes; this time around, Gwyneth has switched most of her recipes to xylitol, rice malt syrup and stevia. We’re straddling a revolution, I tell you!

She’s also a fan of slow cooking. Anyone who follows my style of eating here will no doubt love the lamb tagine. The recipes are also hit with a “Vegan”, “Protein Packed” and “Elimination Diet” so you can choose your own adventure, with various modifications specified. Clever, hey?

But over to Gwynnie and her nouriture…

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Sweet Potato + Five Spice Muffins, recipe below. © It’s All Good by Gwyneth Paltrow, Grand Central Publishing

Sweet Potato + Five Spice Muffins

Gluten-free baking is not for the faint of heart. At first as we tested this recipe, we produced heavy or bizarrely textured muffins, but we finally hit the nail on the head with the perfect mix of ingredients. These muffins are super-tasty and are always a smashing success in my house.

Makes a dozen (vegan) muffins

  • 1 large sweet potato
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • ¾ cup xylitol
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups gluten-free flour (if the flour doesn’t include xanthan gum only add 1 teaspoon)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1½ tablespoons Chinese five-spice powder
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt

Preheat the oven to 200 C. Prick the sweet potato a few times with a paring knife or a fork. Bake until soft (when a paring knife can cut through with zero resistance), about 1 hour. Set the sweet potato aside until it’s completely cool.

Peel the sweet potato, discard the skin, and mash the flesh in a mixing bowl with a fork. Whisk the olive oil, almond milk, xylitol, and vanilla into the sweet potato. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, five-spice powder, and salt. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Read more

How Maggie Beer + Poh use their leftovers (4 clever recipes!)

Posted on April 2nd, 2013

OzHarvest has released its first cookbook of “food rescue” recipes, which perfectly marries two things I’m passionate about: not wasting food, and creating simple meals with leftovers. I’ll be sharing a few of the recipes from the cookbook below, but also know this:

for every book purchased, more than 60 meals will be delivered to those in need.

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Neil Perry’s Orecchiette with potatoes peas & pesto, recipe below

There’s a great incentive to get the cookbook if ever I’ve heard one. You can buy the OzHarvest cookbook from David Jones’ stores nationwide, or from OzHarvest online.

Each year, $7.8 billion of food is thrown out and over four tonnes ends up as landfill (stats via Foodwise). And in any one night, one in ten people go without a decent meal. OzHarvest has been the conduit that links the two, picking up leftover food that would otherwise have been thrown out and delivering it to those who need it. OzHarvest has delivered more than 15 million meals and rescued more than 4,400 tonnes of food from ending up as landfill since 2004.

The cookbook includes 120 recipes dedicated to converting your leftovers into simply great meals for the family devised by 40 super chefs, including Maggie Beer, George Calombaris, Poh Ling Yeow, Peter Gilmore, Bill Granger and Neil Perry.


Her’s a peek at some of my favourites…

Neil Perry’s Orecchiette with Potatoes Peas & Pesto

Serves 4 (image above)

You can buy pesto or make it in the blender, but I promise that if you pound it by hand it’ll taste so good that you’ll never go back to the old ways. Pesto is perfect for using up wilting bunches of basil, and this recipe also uses last Read more