May 30, 2016

A Morning Bush Walk and Stir Fried Breakfast Noodles

A Morning Bush Walk and Stir Fried Breakfast Noodles. Anna Johnston -

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?!

A Morning Bush Walk and Stir Fried Breakfast Noodles. Anna Johnston -

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.

A Morning Bush Walk and Stir Fried Breakfast Noodles. Anna Johnston -

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?

A Morning Bush Walk and Stir Fried Breakfast Noodles. Anna Johnston -

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. 

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

A Morning Bush Walk and Stir Fried Breakfast Noodles. Anna Johnston -

Serves 4
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.

A Morning Bush Walk and Stir Fried Breakfast Noodles. Anna Johnston -

Are you a hiker? Do you enjoy sunrise or sunset more? And what unusual food pairings have you whipped up in your kitchen lately? 

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shenANNAgans is Anna Johnston, a 30 - something Aussie gal with an unwavering passion for the Hospitality industry. I love the quirky and unusual, designing events, travelling far and wide and eating food from all around the world. I am coffee blooded, a craft beer enthusiast, wine drinking yogi who enjoys writing about her adventures.

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Sophie - July 1, 2016 Reply

What a fun post, my friend,…beautiful photos too’!

    Anna - July 3, 2016 Reply

    So glad you enjoyed my post Sophie, it is a wonderful way to start my day, a bush walk with my pooch and a yummy feed. 🙂

Rosemary - June 27, 2016 Reply

What a lovely story. Going on hikes to connect and disconnect is one of the reasons I love hiking as well. Love the name of your hiking companion – little chef 🙂 My preference is morning hikes, but if waking up is too difficult, I can settle with evening hikes! What a simple and delicious recipe…something easy is perfect after a long hike. Great read!

    Anna - June 27, 2016 Reply

    That is the perfect way to explain why one hits the hills for a hike, to connect with you and nature, and disconnect from the rat race.
    Yes, my fur baby is a brilliant hiking buddy, loves a good mountain climb too.
    Hope you enjoy the recipe, it really is a goer after a morning walk.

Sue Slaght - June 23, 2016 Reply

Anna I snorted at the identical parking levels. Glad to hear I am not the only one wandering aimlessly! What fabulous photos and the one of that sweet pup is heart melting.
A recipe that takes 5 minutes of prep? Now we’re talking sister. 🙂

    Anna - June 24, 2016 Reply

    I have made friends in that car park, we decided it was safer to hunt for cars in a pack. Haha! 🙂
    Yeah, Little Chef is a sweet man indeed, so happy and enjoying his time in the wilderness very much.
    Hope you enjoy the noodles. They are very popular in my household.

Sahar - June 21, 2016 Reply

I am not a morning person but I love morning walks. Your place looks so good. So many walking buddies!! The stir fry noodles..Ah-mazing..

    Anna - June 21, 2016 Reply

    Morning walks make mornings much more beautiful huh? And yes, the mountain that Little Chef and I walk up often is really great, we love it. Hope you try the noodles, such a delicious way to start the day. 🙂

Jess - June 13, 2016 Reply

We live in a City with beautiful surroundings, that very few actually get out to see. Keep on rocking it Chickadee!

    Anna - June 18, 2016 Reply

    We really do huh? Lucky little beggars we are having access to so much awesome. AND… thanks chick, I totally will! 🙂

Amanda @ Move Love Eat - June 13, 2016 Reply

I love sunsets more, because I’m not really a morning person. But if I’m awake they are both equally beautiful!

    Anna - June 18, 2016 Reply

    Sunsets really are beautiful too, if given the choice, I would probably say sunsets for the same reason as you. Not big on mornings.

Gourmet Getaways - June 13, 2016 Reply

Anna your picks are fabulous! Although I think it would be a little cool for me in Canberra at the moment! That place gets SO COLD!
Love the noodles… you could probably even lure me on a hike with the promise of a bowl 😉
Thanks for sharing
Gourmet Getaways

    Anna - June 18, 2016 Reply

    Thanks HEAPS Julie! Yup, Canberra is beyond freezing at the moment (actually for another 2-3 months), but as soon as it warms up, you must pop in for a visit. 🙂
    The noodles are so flippin tasty, totes worth the walk when you get to tuck into this yumminess.

Jean | Holy Smithereens - June 8, 2016 Reply

Yes winter has well and truly settled in Canberra! I admire you for still hiking in this weather! Great dedication, and wonderful photo on Instagram!
I could use that sitr fry noodle recipe. With this weather, my tummy’s always wanting something warm and filling 🙂

    Anna - June 18, 2016 Reply

    It’s flippin bloody freezing huh? And the rain doesn’t help either. Le SIGH!!! But… once you get going, there is something very beautiful about the fog and fresh crisp air.
    I do hope you enjoy the noodle recipe, its super simple so I know you will be good with it. 🙂

mjskitchen - June 8, 2016 Reply

Gorgeous photos of your hike! It’s always harder getting started isn’t it? Once started you have the drive to keep going and there is nothing better than a puppy dog to help encourage you along. 🙂 Love that noodle dish! Great mix of noodles and such simple ingredients with lots of flavor. YUM!

    Anna - June 18, 2016 Reply

    Yeah, getting out of a cozy warm bed is so darn hard, not to mention the regret you feel when winter slaps you in the face. But like you say, once you get going and when you have a beautiful fury friend to encourage you, it is totes worth it. 🙂 The noodle dish is ace indeed. Has become a family favourite.

Krysten (@themomnoms) - June 7, 2016 Reply

I love the photos that you’ve taken.
Would you say that it’s prettier there in the winter or summer? I really want to make a trip there very very soon!
I love your idea of a breakfast stir fry, I like mixing things up all the time. I usually come up with the best recipes that way! 😀
I hiked a lot before I lived in the city and had a baby, but I’m trying to at least get out more for walks with him since we live on the water.

    Anna - June 7, 2016 Reply

    Thanks honey bunch! I appreciate you saying so. 🙂
    It is a pretty city most of the year, I personally enjoy the summer more so would insist you visit then, but heck, if you want to visit in the winter, I will find all the fun things for us to do then too. So when ya coming?
    Brekkie stir fry is the business, works for lunch and dinner too. Lol!
    I bet your little one would love the walks out in fresh air, especially if you live by the water. Sounds pretty!

Hannah - June 7, 2016 Reply

I love sunset!
However I am 100% a sunrise girl.
I think there is something so special and calming about seeing something almost everyone else missed.
I’ve been known to get up at 5am, torch in hand,to trek 2km just to be able to greet the sun as it starts a new day.

    Anna - June 7, 2016 Reply

    I love sunset waaaaaay more than sunrise, but feel such a sense of pride when I do catch a sunrise, because most do not get to see that.
    Where are you trekking at 5am with a torch in hand, I wanna come with, that sounds fun. We can get coffee and brekkie at the end. 🙂

      Hannah - June 14, 2016 Reply

      I love breakfast!

        Anna - June 18, 2016 Reply

        Lock that shiz in friend! 🙂

Evelyne CulturEatz - June 7, 2016 Reply

I am so envious of your gorgeous hikes, keep the pics coming. And say what for breakfast and noodles? They do look really good.

    Anna - June 7, 2016 Reply

    Why thank ya Evelyne, I am normally pretty darn impressed with myself when I do haul butt up a mountain, so the pictures are a plenty as proof it happened. Lol!
    Yup… breakfast noodles are legit one of the tastiest inventions ever.

Eileen | The Food Avenue - June 6, 2016 Reply

I could definitely climb a mountain if it meant I got a delicious meal at the end of it. Bribery is the way to get me to do something.

    Anna - June 7, 2016 Reply

    Wanna climb a mountain with me and I will make you a delicious feed as reward. Or we could hit up one of the MANY excellent restaurants and eat all the things to celebrate making actually exercising. 🙂

Nathan - June 6, 2016 Reply

Oh wow- these look delicious and easy to prepare. But how do you not love peach skins? I think they’re delicious!

    Anna - June 7, 2016 Reply

    Totally delicious and totally easy to prepare, especially good when you are ravenous after a morning bush walk. 🙂
    Blehhhh… peach skin is gross, but I love peaches. Weird I guess.

Elissa - June 5, 2016 Reply

Gorgeous photo with the Mt Taylor view! We have lived here all this these years and haven’t been up there yet – should definitely put it on the to do list.

    Anna - June 7, 2016 Reply

    It is my most favourite mountain to climb in Canberra, so would absolutely recommend getting on that hike, it’s rather beautiful, and a good way to get in a semi difficult workout quickly too.

Prateek - June 5, 2016 Reply

Lovely piece once again Anna, and love Little Chef! What an adorable puppy! This seems to be a nice healthy recipe to start your day but not a huge fan of ground Turkey so probably will try some other minced meat 🙂

    Anna - June 7, 2016 Reply

    Thanks Prateek, glad you enjoyed. 🙂
    Yeah, Little Chef is the best, he makes exercise so much fun. And the friends we make because he is so cute is brilliant too.
    The noodles are delicious, and I am sure would work with your chosen minced meat.

Hotly Spiced - June 5, 2016 Reply

Winter has definitely arrived here too. It’s absolutely vile here in Sydney this weekend with cyclonic winds, torrential rain and flooding. I’m not putting a toe outside the front door. I do love going for bush walks in Canberra. You photograph animals really well! What a perfect breakfast (or even lunch or dinner) these noodles are xx

    Anna - June 7, 2016 Reply

    Yup! All that happening here in the Berra too, including a little sleet too. Its totally charming. Not!
    If avoiding going outside was an option, I’d be just like you too. Soak up some warmth and toasty toes for me too please.
    We should do a walk when you are next in the Berra?
    Little Chef and I (mostly me) were having a rest on a rock and the roos didn’t seem to mind us being so close, so it was easy to snap a pic or 3.
    Yes, noodles for breakfast are the business!

Elaine J Masters - June 5, 2016 Reply

How I love your writing! Great journey too with hike and pooch, earning that tasty reward. Interesting that you note Gluten free Soy sauce. The noodles aren’t. Is it a taste thing?

    Anna - June 7, 2016 Reply

    Why thank ya Elaine, what a beautiful comment. 🙂
    The gluten free soy I enjoy for taste, as well as the gluten free bit. The noodles in this dish are rice, so they are gluten free, but not the fried noodles on top, they have gluten in em. I try to make most of the food I make at home gluten free. 🙂

Sarah - June 3, 2016 Reply

Uhm I’m pretty sure there is nothing better than stir fried noodles after a long hike. It looks like you had some amazing views and I’m just going to note how incredibly jealous I am that you get to see kangaroos as wildlife instead of as zoo animals. Beautiful post!

    Anna - June 7, 2016 Reply

    I hear that Sarah, noodles are tha BUSINESS!!!! 🙂
    And thank you, I love that you enjoyed my post. My city really is very pretty and I guess I am lucky having access to all the wildlife for free. Thanks for the reminder to appreciate all that I have.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella - June 2, 2016 Reply

You’re such an awesome inspiration Anna! Me, I’d be in bed and then eating the noodles 😛 I’ll be cheering you on though!

    Anna - June 7, 2016 Reply

    Hahaha! I normally would agree with the staying in bed and enjoying the noodles bit, but Little Chef loves climbing up mountains and if you go early, you miss the crowds (Canberrans enjoy being outdoors) and you get to see lots of wildlife too. I appreciate the cheering me on, you da best!

John/Kitchen Riffs - June 2, 2016 Reply

I’ve tried for years — decades! — to insult cold weather into submission. Doesn’t work. Most stupid parking garage I’ve ever seen has every level painted a different shade of green. Sure, you’ve got sage green, pine green, forest green, emerald green, etc. But who the heck can remember that? Or distinguish between sage green and forest green by sight? Too difficult to use your basic rainbow colors, I guess. Anyway, good stuff — thanks.

    Anna - June 7, 2016 Reply

    You’d think we’d get the point that cursing winter actually has zero effect huh?!
    Lol… what a fantastic design for a car park, I have visions of you walking around the car park cursing all the greens you can think of. That person really must of loved green, or maybe they were colour blind? Is there a reason for the different greens?

Serina aka Ms Frugal Ears - June 1, 2016 Reply

What lovely bushwalking pictures! Congrats again on the new job, and thanks for sharing such lovely brekkie noodles.

    Anna - June 7, 2016 Reply

    It’s a lovely walk the ol Mt Taylor, the roos are a plenty and seem relatively okay with being so close to humans making the pictures easy to take.
    Thank you, I appreciate the lovely comment. 🙂

Mabel Kwong - May 31, 2016 Reply

That sounds like quite the hike, Miss Anna! Little Chef looks so at one with the great outdoors and doesn’t mind the wind or cold at all. Even the kangaroos turned their heads! It is so true that the weekend is only 48 hours long, but it is what we make of it.

I love a good hearty breakfast – in small portions! That is such a great noodle breakfast, light, fresh and straight from the wok. I am tempted to add an egg…maybe even cheese 😀

I like to hike when my health permits it. Love a good bush hike, taking in the greens and getting away from the rushy life that is the weekdays. Definitely prefer a sunset over sunrise, but I think that’s because I am so not a morning person! As for cooking in the kitchen, I usually do a big pasta to last me the whole week 😀 Hope you are keeping warm, big sis. Warm hugs to you xoxo

    Anna - May 31, 2016 Reply

    Miss Mabel! Mwah! xox
    The mountain is actually not that big a walk, takes around 45 minutes round trip, quicker if Little Chef is really, really eager to run. 🙂 Little Chef digs mountain climbing, when we reach the top, he stands on a rock and takes it all in. Its like he knows he should take a moment to appreciate his efforts. Lol!

    How good is breakfast, its my favourite meal of the day, especially on weekends. You could totes make this noodle dish in bulk and enjoy it all week. Its inexpensive too. 🙂

    Are you not well little sis? Bush walking is awesome, the fresh air blows out the cobwebs, I find it very rejuvenating. Sounds like you do too!

    Keeping warm-ish. Took a blow drier to my face this morning, I was convinced I was suffering from frost bite. Haha. Talk to you soon little one. Big squishy hugs. xox

      Mabel Kwong - June 8, 2016 Reply

      45 minutes is still quite a walk, at least for your lil sis over here! Good on you for getting early, out and about and seizing the day. Little Chef sounds like a great little motivator 🙂

      Hahaha, and I thought I was the only one who likes to put a hair dryer to my face. I do it practically every single day and it warms me up instantly! It has been a challenging time for your lil sis of late, but life is a series of ups and downs. Talk soon and looking forward to reading about your next adventure, and seeing that lovely meal you will whip up next x

        Anna - June 18, 2016 Reply

        Oh noooooooo…. I do hope you are okay little one. Sending you loads of strength and motivation and love and hugs to get through the challenging life curve balls.
        Little Chef is a wonderful motivator up the mountain, also a wonderful buddy when you are feeling a little down. He sends love too. xox

Elizabeth - May 31, 2016 Reply

How do you have so much energy on the weekends. I’m still trying to get out of bed at 8am…. But thankfully it has gotten a bit cooler during the night, so it is easier to sleep well!
I love a good stir fry and yours looks particularly scrumdidleumtious. I really think we need to use turkey more… so off the to shops it is for some underused turkey mince 🙂
Anyway I’m glad you seem to be enjoying you new job and I look forward to seeing you soon!
Liz xx

    Anna - May 31, 2016 Reply

    Haha, I am exactly the same with getting outta bed on Saturday, the snooze button and me, we be mates then! 🙂 And I did hear that you have been experiencing some cooler weather up your way. Rug up for those double digits you hear. Lol!

    YEAS…. stir fry is the business! The turkey mince is super good too, not only the leaner way to eat meat, but also a great change from the traditional beef or pork mince. I am hoping it doesn’t become the ‘it’ meat any time soon.

    Cant wait to see you in a couple of months. Big hugs. xoxo

Tandy | Lavender and Lime - May 31, 2016 Reply

We tend to walk more when overseas as we have the time. I always try and park in the same place when I go somewhere so that I don’t lose my car

    Anna - May 31, 2016 Reply

    Yes, I am the same, that is why I decided after my last overseas adventure that I would try implementing the same level of exercise in my normal life as I do when I travel. And that is an excellent idea re the parking, but because every level looks the same, I think I have parked in the same place, but I haven’t. Argh!!!

kris - May 31, 2016 Reply

Beautiful photos. Thee is a real peace that can be found when your body is working away to reach the top of a hill. The breath, looking at each foot step and taking in the simplicity of your surroundings.

The breakfasts looks wicked. I love foods that are just thrown together like that. YUM. Thanks for sharing another adventure. x

    Anna - May 31, 2016 Reply

    Yeah, totally! Once I work through the initial feelings of ‘I might die, I hope that someone finds me before the wild animals eat my body’, it is a brilliant feeling, it somehow energises you. I love it.
    And the brekkie is the business, get on it Nizz.
    As always, thanks for sharing my adventures! xox

Jem @ Lost in Utensils - May 31, 2016 Reply

That pic of Little Chef…it’s a dog’s life! Says it all 🙂 Yum recipe and quick. Nothing more satisfying than a bowl full of noodles!

    Anna - May 31, 2016 Reply

    Teehee… Yep, Little Chef loves a good mountain hike, and seeing him standing there like a proud King overseeing his kingdom is priceless!

Jessica - May 31, 2016 Reply

Yum! I am both inspired to conquer Kosciuszko and make delicious noodles – turkey mince is delicious and much leaner! Thanks for sharing, I need to work out a way to motivate myself to get out of bed on those colder mornings and stop pressing ‘snooze’!

    Anna - May 31, 2016 Reply

    JESSICA! Mwah… Big squishy hugs hello! 🙂
    Yes, I can totally vouch for the awesome sense of accomplishment and pride that conquering Kozzie gives you, defs one of the most wonderful experiences I have ever had. If you want someone to train with, I am all over that. 🙂
    Turkey mince is absolutely the way to go for mince, I don’t really eat red meat these days, so having a delicious substitute is awesome.
    Haha… Also happy to be your weekend mountain climbing motivator. I will allow the snooze button to go until double digits, then its on like donkey kong!

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