Winter is here in Canberra!!! My weekdays seem to blur into each other, somehow Mondays warp speed into Fridays and the time out in the fresh air is spent dashing to and from the warmth of my car, usually in the dark and usually with me muttering mild threatening expletives aimed to insult the cold weather into submission. My workout plan during the week of late pretty much consists of me wandering around the Parliament House underground car park because I forgot where I parked. Seriously, what bright spark thought up the idea of making every level of the car park identical?!
But weekends, now that’s a whole other story filled with much excitement to get out and experience life and friends and great food and the sun and fresh air, it may only be 48 hours, but when the sun shines and the skies are blue during Canberra winter, being out in nature is where you need be. Ever since I conquered Kossie, I’ve had an addiction going on with mountain climbing and much to my surprise, my usually lazy pooch Little Chef likes nothing better than hitting the hills and doing the climb with me.
Always rearing to go, Little Chef sets the pace straight up, he’s more of a 0-100 type, so you’ve gotta make sure your psyched and ready to run. Before long a chorus (more of a screech actually) from the cockatoos surrounds me, a gentle chilled breeze brushes my face with the smell of damp grasses and kangaroos stare as we hurry past. A smile creeps slowly but uncontrollably across my face wondering what animals think of humans as we go about life?
My breathing, heartbeat and steps are all in sync and my muscles have relaxed. The colors of the bush seem brighter, and for the first time in weeks, months even, I’m completely present and in the moment. Connected once again… This, in itself, is reason enough to get my hike on. We reach the peak of Mt Taylor (856m); there are views in all directions, but particularly the northern side of Canberra with Black Mountain and Mt Ainslie strutting their stuff. The ranges to the west make a striking backdrop at any time of day and today my friends, it is no different.
Bushwalking in Canberra is a breath of fresh air. In an extensive network of walking paths and trails some highlights include Black Mountain Reserve, Mount Ainslie Reserve, Jerrabomberra Wetlands, and Mount Taylor, which Instagrammer @annaj31 recently conquered! #visitcanberra #onegoodthingafteranother
It isn’t long before we scale downhill and my thoughts turn to food. Oh how I love to funk up old recipes and try new food *snort* who am I kidding? I love ALL food (well not peach skin, that makes me gag!). Honestly, it would be hard for me to choose a favorite, but I do have a soft spot for sushi, Asian greens, mangoes, noodles and breakfast foods. Feeling energised and kitchen creative, I set to combining a couple of my ol faves and sha-wing… I found myself chowing down on these inexpensive, gluten free stir fried breakfast noodles in under 30 minutes. #boom
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
3 tbsp canola oil
400g turkey mince, but pork or chicken or veal would work too
4 shallots, minced
2 shallots, finely sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (2”) piece ginger, peeled and minced
1 1⁄4 tbsp. gluten free soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
440g thin udon or dried flat rice noodles, boiled and rinsed under cold water
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp fried noodles
Step 1: Heat your wok or skillet over high heat until it begins to smoke. Add canola oil around the edge of the wok and swirl to coat bottom and sides.
Step 2: Add pork, half the shallots, the garlic, and ginger; cook, stirring and breaking up minced meat into small pieces, until browned, 3–4 minutes.
Step 3: Add the soy sauce and sugar; cook for 30 seconds. Add remaining shallots, the noodles, and sesame oil; cook, tossing, until hot, about 1 minute.
Step 4: Serve with a sprinkle of fried onion or fried noodles and shallot.
Are you a hiker? Do you enjoy sunrise or sunset more? And what unusual food pairings have you whipped up in your kitchen lately?