You’ve probably been scrolling through the recipes on MNB lately, drooling and wondering who is the mastermind behind our delicious culinary creations – and we don’t blame you! Jazz up your chicken was scrumptious and the lime Anzac biscuits were a tantalising twist on the old favourite. Say hello to Jasmine Norton, who is the sweet inspiration behind our latest and greatest eats, with many more to come. We sat down with Jas to talk fables of food, flavour and philosophies…
WELCOME TO MNB JASMINE! SO, WHAT’S COOKING?
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF
I’m a 30-year-old, nature-loving woman. Food is how I express my creativity (never been musical or an artist) so your dinner plate is my canvas!
A QUIRKY FACT ABOUT YOU…
I changed my name to Jasmine (from Marianne). It’s the only rebellious thing I’ve done!
WHEN WAS IT THAT YOU REALLY STARTED BECOMING PASSIONATE ABOUT HEALTHY EATING? WHAT WAS THE ‘UH HA’ MOMENT FOR YOU?
I was 27 years old, driving around selling vitamins to cure every ailment you can think of, and I really thought “what can I do to impact the health of people permanently whilst doing something I love?”…The answer was cooking healthy real food! I truly believe that when you find that sweet spot of doing something you love, that also helps others, the universe conspires to support you in every way! So don’t hesitate!
HOW DO YOU MNB [MOVE, NOURISH, BELIEVE] ON A DAILY BASIS?
Every morning I practice kundalini yoga meditation and breathing and stretching. I find this keeps my mind balanced and clear. Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day, it’s a feast! Poached eggs, activated nut and seed bread, sautéed greens in ghee, kraut, pumpkin and dukkah (yum). I find that this sets up a stable blood sugar for the day and gives me fuel when I need it. After work I practice vinyasa yoga to help stretch after a day in the kitchen. I have a 20-minute move rule that keeps me motivated every day! Who doesn’t have 20 minutes?!
CAN YOU TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOUR FOOD PHILOSOPHY?
I’m a teacher not a preacher, I feel that sharing my food experiences and knowledge comes from a place of inspiration rather than dogma. I think everyone holds the pen to their own perfect diet book. Keep it real and as close to your back door as possible. The real super foods are in your garden (not in south America!)
Food is not simply fuel, its is a way of nourishing your body with the fundamental ingredients for growth and repair, it’s the connection to what grows in nature outside of us and it’s the pleasure of being nourished.
WHAT’S YOUR SIGNATURE DISH?
I love Middle Eastern cuisine, so my Moroccan tagine and fennel and pomegranate rocket salad is my favorite!
WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR KEY INFLUENCES?
My mentor Samantha Gowing (food health wealth) and my cooking schoolteachers Jude Blereau and Holly Davis are my greatest mentors.
WHAT’S SOMETHING YOU LIKE TO MAKE FOR HEALTH SCEPTICS…
Avocado chocolate mousse! I’ve made many a skeptic smile when I have told them what was in the chocolate mousse they just devoured!
3 ‘CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT’ INGREDIENTS IN YOUR KITCHEN?
Tamari, Apple cider Vinegar and goat’s cheese
BEST HEALTHY SMART SWAP DISCOVERY?
Swap tamari for soy sauce, its gluten free and contains no sugar!
IF YOU COULD COOK A MEAL FOR SOMEONE [DEAD OR ALIVE] WHO WOULD IT BE & WHY?
I feel honoured to cook for Lorna! Other than that, Yotam Ottalenghi is my all time favourite cookbook author.
WHAT ARE YOUR TIPS ON ‘MAKING A NOURISHING MEAL’ FOR THOSE OF US WHO ARE STRAPPED FOR TIME?
Always make sure you have the fundamentals: a tablespoon of good fats, 150gms of protein such as chicken, beef or lamb, 1 cups of above ground vegetables and ½ a cup of below ground vegetables or grain. That way you know your getting a good balance. Some tasty examples would be: A hearty broth. Simply heat 2 cups of broth to a simmer and add left over cooked chicken, cooked quinoa and thinly sliced vegetables with some ginger, tamari and lime. Or a frittata with eggs, salmon, roast/steamed sweet potato, goat’s cheese, spinach and dill
ANY TIPS OR ADVICE YOU COULD GIVE TO OUR READERS WHO ARE JUST STARTING OUT ON THEIR HEALTHY EATING JOURNEY?
Take one area of your pantry per week to swap e.g. oils, flours or grains e.g. ditch canola oil and replace with macadamia oil. And use this over 12 weeks to go through the whole pantry without having to make drastic changes and have an empty pantry. Choose the things that you can live without first, not the foods you go to for comfort. That way you get healthier without resistance so you can get the energy to take on the more challenging ones later on!
FINALLY, CAN YOU PRETTY PLEASE SHARE A RECIPE WITH US?
Of course! My chicken broth bowl!
Preparation time 10 mins
Cooking time 20 minutes
- 1tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 thumb ginger
- 1 mild red chilli, finely sliced
- 500 mls chicken stock or broth (try celebrate organics chicken stock from Coles if you’re in a hurry)
- 1 chicken breast
- 1 zucchini, sliced finely
- 1 carrot, sliced finely
- 1/2 red capsicum, sliced finely
- 1/2 yellow capsicum, sliced finely
- 1/2 bunch coriander, leaves picked and stems finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon tamari
- 1/2 lime, juiced
- 1/2 cup bean shoots or sunflower sprouts
- Simmer ginger, chilli, coriander stems and chicken stock and add chicken breast.
- Poach for 15 minutes and remove from pot and shave thinly.
- Add vegetables and tamari and simmer for 4 minutes.
- Return chicken to pot. Add lime and bean shots.
- Garnish with coriander.