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ANGEL MUNRO

Posted on June 09 2020

ANGEL MUNRO 

 

Tell us a little bit about what you do? 

I'm a Clinical Nutritionist as well as a Coordinator & a teacher at Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program.
Clinical nutrition is very similar to Naturopathy. It is a holistic, evidence based practice that can be used as preventative medicine & as an adjunct therapy to existing medical conditions using diet, lifestyle & nutritional medicine interventions.
The Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program is a national program aimed at improving the health outcomes of children via pleasurable food education. In the program they learn how to grow, prepare & share food. I teach the cooking classes.

 

Has Iso influenced your creative process with food?

It’s definitely given me the time & headspace to revisit things that I had stopped doing like fermenting sauerkraut & baking bread. It’s also given me time to document & share more recipes which I love.

 

 What pathways led you to your profession ?

Many roads led me to where I am now, it was a bit of a slow process. I have always loved cooking since I was a child & spend most of my time thinking about food, but it took me a long time to work out how to work it into a career.
I had my first child at 19 & after his birth, my immune system wasn’t great, so my mother took me to a Naturopath who was also a Homeopath & an Acupuncturist. I was quite inspired by her, so I enrolled into Naturopathy & then after a term swapped over to Acupuncture. I only got half way through the degree, however, as part of the degree I also studied Tui Na massage, which I ended up practicing for 10 years.
After the birth of my second child, 11 years later, I knew I wanted a career change, & that it had to be something that felt effortless to me as I wanted a good work/like balance. I realised that food was what I obsessed over & where I felt the most creative. I still wanted to work in preventative health, so I enrolled into a Bachelor of Health Science in Nutrition & the rest is history.
Three years ago, I started teaching & coordinating a Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden program at a primary school. In the program, the children learn how to grow their own produce and how to cook with what they’ve grown. It’s incredible how diverse the pallets of even some of the fussiest children can become. Considering only 5% of Australian children eat the recommended 5 serves of vegetables a day & only 7% of Australian adults eat the recommended 5-7 serves of vegetables a day, coupled with the fact that that 90% percent of deaths in Australia are due to chronic illness, most of which are preventable with diet & lifestyle, this is a big deal. Working with the program has really solidified for me, the importance of preventative health programs. It’s far simpler to prevent disease than it is to treat it.

 

When creating a meal for your family is health always at the forefront?

For the most of part yes, but I think sometimes the cook and the nutritionist in me battle it out. I’m always calculating nutrients in my head & making sure that we’re are getting everything that we need but I also want things to taste great so I’m constantly considering both. Although, I try not to be too uptight about diet, cause that can be detrimental as well.
For the most part I try to make sure that the weekday meals are pretty clean & balanced while still being varied & tasty. Our weekend meals are far less considered & far more indulgent.
 

 

 What inspires your recipes? 

Everything! I’m a food nerd & a sponge, I’m also a very sentimental cook. I'll remember a dish from 25 years ago that I had at some restaurant or at someone’s house & I’ll make it from memory. But mostly, I’m inspired by produce. I start with beautiful, fresh ingredients & the recipes flow on from there.

 

 

 

What have you missed the most during Covid?

Not being able to see friends and family was the worst. My mum lives in the Northern Rivers of NSW & she turned 70 on Mother’s Day, we had planned to spend it together but obviously couldn’t in the end, that was the hardest. 

And I miss eating out. I‘ve had some pretty nice meals delivered from some great restaurants during the lockdown & although they have been great they have just not been the same. I love eating out not just for the food but for the whole visceral experience that it provides. I love the staff, the patrons, the noise, the smells…

 

What’s your favourite thing about providing meals for your family?

I love the freedom, creativity & control that cooking gives you. I love being able to cook what you want, when you want, how you want it. I’m also a bit of a produce snob, I like things to be as fresh, seasonal & local as possible, so being able to oversee that is important to me. Ultimately though, there’s nothing better and more nourishing than sharing a meal with your family, that’s been thoughtfully prepared in your own home.

 

 

 

What have you been listening to lately?

I have been listening to a lot of music & so many random songs, but artists/albums on high rotation have been Blood Orange, The Snakes, Cream, Rapsody, Led Zeppelin, the Queen & Slim Soundtrack, Freddy Gibbs & MF Doom. I don’t know what was going on with me the other day but I listened to The Beautiful Ones by Prince, 7 times, I was obviously in a particular mood.

 

 

Where can people find you and what do you offer? 

You can find me at my Instagram @angel.munro & my work at the school is documented @sakgfmurrumbeena When I’m not teaching I offer clinical nutrition consultations. Information about consultations can be found at www.angel-munro.com. Articles and recipes can be found on the Journal via the website.

 

 

Lentil, Roast Capsicum & Roast Carrot Salad

By Angel Munro

Serves 6-8 as a side dish

 

 

This salad was born from what was in the fridge one day & has ended up being on high rotation. Lentils provide a good balance of complex carbohydrates and protein, providing slow releasing energy. Lentils are high in fibre, essential for a healthy microbiome & therefore a healthy immune system. The variety of brightly coloured vegetables provide phytochemicals & nutrients that are aid liver detoxification, are cellular protective & immune regulating.
 

 

Ingredients

5 medium sized carrots slice into quarters, lengthways

2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil

3 capsicums

1 cup of dried French lentils (2 cups when cooked)

3 sprigs of parsley, roughly chopped

2 large handfuls of baby spinach

3 tbsp of dried currants

Dressing

¼ cup of red wine vinegar

¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp of maple syrup

1 garlic clove

3 pinches of sea salt

Method

Place carrots in a baking tray & coat well with 2 tbsp of olive oil & a good pinch of sea salt. Bake at 200°C for an hour, shake the tray halfway through. Set aside.

Place whole capsicums in a baking tray. Bake at 200°C for an hour, turn capsicums half way through & bake until skin is slightly blackened & the skin is wrinkled. Place in a bowl & cover with a plate until cool. Remove seeds and skin and discard. Tear capsicum into strips. Set aside.

Place lentils in a saucepan & cover well with water. Bring to the boil & then simmer on medium heat until just tender for about 15-20 minutes. Drain well & set aside.

To make the dressing, peal garlic clove, top with a pinch of salt & chop until very fine. The salt will help to soften & mince the garlic. Place in a jar with the remainder of the salad dressing ingredients, secure lid & shake well.

Just before serving, place all ingredients in a large bowl, cover with salad dressing, mix well & serve.

 

Brown Rice Salad with Pesto, Herbs, Walnuts & Goats Cheese

By Angel Munro

Serves 6 as a side dish

 

 

 This salad is an interpretation of one of my favourite salads from one of my favourite cafes, Alimentari. The recipe calls for soaking the brown rice overnight, it’s not essential, however, it makes the nutrients more available and easier to absorb & it will cut down cooking time. Brown rice provides slow releasing complex carbohydrates to give you long lasting energy as well as mood boosting nutrients such as magnesium & B vitamins. The parsley & rocket provide good amounts of immune regulating vitamin C as well as vitamin K, that helps keep calcium in your bones & teeth (where you want it) & keeps it out of your arteries & skin (where you don’t want it). The walnuts provide beneficial omega 3 fats, aiding cognitive function.

 

Ingredients

6 dill fronds, leaves pulled apart

4 sprigs of mint, leaves pulled apart

3 sprigs of parley, leaves pulled apart

A couple of large handfuls of rocket

1 cup of brown rice, soaked in water overnight then cooked (=3 & ½ cups of cooked rice)

3 spring onions, finely sliced

100g of marinated goats cheese, crumbled  

Pesto

1 bunch of parsley, large stems removed (small stems are ok = 2 cups of loosely packed parsley leaves)

Juice of one lemon

¾ cup extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, peeled

2 tsp of salt

1 cup of walnuts

Method

For the Pesto

Place walnuts in a baking tray & roast walnuts in the oven at 180°C for 8 minutes until golden. Set aside to cool. Rub with a clean tea towel to remove some of the walnut skin.

Blend parsley, oil, lemon juice, ¾ cup of the roasted walnuts (reserve the other ¼ cup) garlic and salt in a blender or food processor. 

 

Putting the salad together

Soak brown rice in water overnight, drain, rinse & then place in a saucepan, cover with water, bring to the boil, then simmer on medium heat for 15-20 minutes of until tender. remove from heat, drain & set aside to cool.

Stir the pesto through the brown rice, then add the rest of the ingredients reserving some of the fresh herbs & goats cheese. Mix well then serve on serving platter topping with reserved walnuts, goats cheese & herbs.

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