A crowd-pleasing menu + recipes for the AFL grand final.

Whether you’re rooting for the Swan’s or the Bulldog’s this Saturday, you are going to need some serious fuel for the game. Just beer doesn’t cut it.

 

As one of Australian’s largest sporting events, the AFL grand final is well known as being one of the most difficult events to obtain tickets for. So chances are, to see the game, you will be joining in excess of 2.5 million other viewers and watching it on a screen.  If your not heading down to your local, and are choosing the comforts of your own home to enjoy the game, I have the perfect menu for you.

 

Finger-licking pork ribs, sweet potato wedges, a crunchy slaw & grilled corn with a smoky lime butter. Sounds good huh?

 

Well, the ribs will take a bit of preparation (sooooo worth it!), but you can make the marinade and cover them with the spice rub the day before and then just pop them in the oven before the game. There will be nothing quite like smelling the cooking ribs while watching the game. In the final stages of cooking you can turn the oven up, and add your sweet potato wedges. The slaw ingredients can be prepared in advance, (just dress just before serving), as can the smokey butter. And you can char the corn while you are plating up the other components. Oh yeah, not only is it super tasty, it’s fairly healthy too.

 

Sticky BBQ Pork Ribs

 

1.5kg American style pork ribs

 

Spice Rub

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup smoked paprika

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon chilli powder

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

 

Marinade

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup minced onion

3 cloves garlic, diced

240 ml tomato Sauce

180 ml tomato Paste

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon mustard powder

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

pinch of black pepper

 

To prepare the ribs: Mix all of the ingredients for the spice rub together. Using your hands massage the rub all over the ribs. Let marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

To prepare the marinade: Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Saute the onion and garlic until translucent. Add remaining ingredients and simmer over a low heat for 20 minutes, until nice and thick.

Preheat oven to 150C (130C fan-forced). Transfer the ribs into two baking dishes, spreading in a single layer. Baste with the marinade all over then roast, tightly covered and basting occasionally, until tender (3 hours). If the marinade looks as if it is sticking and starting to caramelise on the bottom of the baking dishes, add some water and remember to cover tightly again after basting.

Once tender (the meat will come away from the bone easily) turn the oven up 200C (180C fan-forced) and cook uncovered until until glazed, charred and sticky (15-20 minutes). Slice ribs and serve hot.

 

Sweet Potato Wedges

 

900g sweet potato, washed

3 tablespoons coconut oil

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

 

Position the rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 200C (180C fan-forced). Place a heavy large baking tray in the hot oven for 10 minutes to preheat.

Meanwhile, melt the coconut oil (if solid) in a small saucepan, and the seasonings and pour into a large bowl. Cut the sweet potato lengthways into wedges (you may need to cut longer potatoes in half first), about 2-2.5cm thick, tossing in the oil mixture as you go.

Arrange the sweet potato wedges, cut-side down, in a single layer on the hot tray.

Roast for about 20 minutes, or until the sweet potato wedges are golden brown on the bottom. Using a metal spatula, turn the sweet potato wedges over. Continue roasting for about 5 minutes, or until the sweet potato wedges are golden brown on the bottom and soft in the centre.

 

Crunchy Capsicum Slaw

 

1/8 white cabbage, thinly sliced

1/16 red cabbage, thinly sliced

1/2 medium sized carrot, grated

1/2 red capsicum, thinly sliced

1/2 yellow capsicum, thinly sliced

1/8 cup sliced almonds, toasted

1/4 cup firmly packed fresh coriander, chopped

 

Dressing

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 ½ tablespoons sugar

Juice of 1 fresh lime

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

¼ teaspoon ground cumin

Salt and black pepper

 

In a large bowl, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients. Season to taste.

Add the slaw ingredients to the bowl and toss them to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and allow it to chill for 1 hour before serving, tossing occasionally. Stir in the coriander and toasted almonds just before serving.

 

 

Grilled Corn with Smoky Lime Butter

 

4 ears fresh sweet corn

 

Smoky lime butter

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 lime

2 tablespoons fresh coriander, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

 

In a small bowl combine the butter, zest from half the lime, juice from the whole lime. Stir in the coriander, salt, smoked paprika and pepper. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.

Heat your BBQ or stove top grill plate to medium-high. Grill the corn on all sides until lightly charred and tender(8-10 minutes).

Place onto a platter and dollop with the butter mixture.

 

I hope that you enjoy these recipes and that the game keeps us all on the edge of our seats!

 

How to spring clean – chemically free

spring-cleaning-without-chemicals-2

 

I am a big believer in doing as much as we can to look after our beautiful planet. I know we can’t be perfect all of the time, but we can all try to do our best. We can all recycle. We can all make as much of our food from scratch as possible to avoid processed foods and  save on the amount of packing that needs to be disposed of.

 

We can also make our own cleaning products for around the house. Chemical laden commercial products have a huge impact on the environment. They pollute our planet in various different ways. They are sprayed into the air, flushed down toilets and washed down sinks, thrown into the trash and dumped into the ground. All the while releasing their toxins, contributing to the depletion of the ozone layer, polluting our water, contaminating our soil and harming animals, fish and plants (and us!).

 

We all know the saying “we are what we eat”  but we need to consider that we are also what we digest and absorb.

 

Personally, I can’t stand the smell of commercial cleaning products and I’m certainly not happy about the fact that they can be absorbed into my body through inhalation or absorbed via my skin. If I there is an ingredient that I don’t recognise, or a strange word that I can’t even pronounce, I don’t want it near me, my house or my planet.

 

There are plenty of natural cleaning products on the market today and many homes are using them but you can just as easily make your own with everyday household products that you probably already have at hand.

 

Here are some recipes for various cleaners you can use around your home. (Remember to purchase only 100% pure essential oils, and to keep all cleaning products stored safely from children and pets).

 

All-Purpose Spray Cleaner (not for stone or granite surfaces)

 

1/4 cup white vinegar

2 cups water

10 drops Eucalyptus Oil

10 drops Tea Tree Oil

10 drops Orange Essential oil

 

Add all ingredients to a spray bottle. Shake thoroughly before spraying.

 

Stone & Granite Cleaner

 

3 tablespoons rubbing alcohol

2 cups water

1/4 teaspoon Castile soap

10 drops eucalyptus oil

 

Add all ingredients to a spray bottle. Shake thoroughly before spraying.

 

Peppermint Glass & Mirror Cleaner

 

2 cups water

2 tablespoons white vinegar

2 tablespoons rubbing alcohol

5 drops Peppermint essential oil

 

Add all ingredients to a spray bottle. Shake before using. Spray and wipe with a soft cloth.

 

Disinfecting Toilet & Bowl Cleaner 

 

1/2 cup baking soda

1/4 cup vinegar

5 drops Tea Tree oil

5 drops Lavender essential oil

 

Add the oils to the vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray the inside of the toilet bowl with the vinegar mixture, and then sprinkle on the baking soda. It should be fizzy; if not, spray with a bit more vinegar.  Let sit for 10 mins or so, scrub with your toilet brush and flush.

 

Lemon Microwave Cleaner

 

1 fresh lemon, juiced

2 cups water

 

Put the water and squeezed lemon with juice into a bowl and place inside the microwave. Run the microwave until the water boils (3-5mins). Let rest for a few minutes, remove the bowl and wipe clean.

 

Mould Remover

 

1/8 tsp Clove essential oil

1 litre of water

 

Add all ingredients to a spray bottle. Shake before using. Spray on anywhere you have mold issues; e.g mold in shower, grouting, sink, walls, outdoor shade sails and furniture, umbrellas and even clothes, canvas shoes etc.  Wearing gloves is recommended when cleaning with clove essential oil.

 

Tile, Grout & Sink Cleaner

 

1/8 cup Castile soap

1/8 cup water

½ cup baking soda

10 drops Eucalyptus essential oil

 

Mix all the ingredients together. You can add more water depending on how thin or thick you want the mixture to be. Paint on with foam craft brush (or your hand if you want to). Let sit for 15 – 20 min. Get it wet with a spray bottle, scrub with a scouring pad, and wipe clean with a wet cloth.

 

 

Credits: cleanmama.netwellnessmama.com