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What is this bag of food you speak of?

It’s Friday, the perfect day for a cheeky coffee in a cafe and an inspiring read… So today I thought I would tell you a little bit more about this fun foodie game we have been playing for nearly four years now – the food bag game. Many of you will already know this game well, and some of you will be asking – what is a food bag? 
The Food bag concept (or call it dinner kit, grocery bag, recipe bag)–  and dinner delivery services in general – have taken the world by storm in the last decade.
The food bag (matkasse) concept originates from my native Sweden and was first introduced to the market by Middagsfridin 2007. A lovely story comes from the largest food bag companies in the world, Linas Matkasse  –  founded by siblings Lina Geback and Niklas Aronson. It is said that one day Aronson’s wife came home frustrated from a day of work and school pick-ups stating “I wish you could just reach out and grab a grocery bag at a red light, rather than going to the supermarket”. Entrepreneur Aronson got right on it and the company was founded in 2008.
This idea has since seen around 20 different companies enter the Swedish food bag market, each with their own niche – organic, LCHF, vegetarian – you name it! The latest statistics show that this way of grocery shopping occupies 7-10% of the Swedish grocery market. The idea has since spread globally to Europe, the UK, America and Oceania. 
The concept is based on a model where grocery bags are delivered on a regular/subscription basis, directly to the consumer for simplified weeknight dinners. More often than not there is a nutritionally sound foundation to the menus, with an emphasis of a healthy balanced diet.
When we were getting ready to launch Emma’s Food Bag in early 2013 the dinner delivery services were only just making an appearance in the New Zealand marketplace. 
For us, the emphasis was always a little different from anyone else’s, and we believe that we are unique in the world with our “Love Local” approach. We have maintained our niche during these three years, providing food that is mainly locally sourced, and more often than not directly from the supplier – and always freshly picked!This allows us to keep the food mileage low, and we also get to support our local community – what a win! 
This concept certainly simplifies the weeknight dinner chore – there is no need for the dreaded question “What’s for dinner tonight” or rummaging around for ingredients only to find that an essential component of the meal you want is missing from the pantry. What’s more is the potential for reduced waste, with only the right amount of ingredient being supplied – so long sad packet of sushi rice sitting at the back of the cupboard, and that sad looking half cabbage from three weeks ago is no longer a feature in the chiller drawer. (That’s literally something I have experienced myself. So. Many. Times)
Personally, I think this beautiful concept meets a happy middle ground. It caters for the time-poor and the gastronomically challenged customer, but it does not go as far as pre-prepared meals that only requires heating in the microwave. It also appeals to foodies and gourmet lovers – as new exciting ideas are introduced weekly. Some culinary skills are honed and a healthy relationship with the foods that make the meals can be maintained. 
At EFB, I think we have a n exciting few years ahead! The food bag and dinner kit concept, and indeed the dinner delivery service in general, is still in in its infancy here in NZ and I believe we’ll have some great times of evolution ahead with more players entering this market. If Sweden is anything to go by, this idea can only grow and grow…
As always, would love to hear your comments below – what’s your favourite thing about ordering a food bag? Is there anything preventing you from ordering? How do you think this concept has been received in NZ? 
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Free Recipe Friday: Lamb and spinach meatballs on cauliflower and buttermilk mash and an update from HQ

So there we have it. It’s officially autumn… well that’s great. I love autumn, it’s my favourite, but what I’m not quite sure about is how it rolled around so quickly… 
So what’s been going on here at EFB HQ lately? Not much, really…. Just kidding. As always in a young business driven by ambitious and creative people we are constantly working towards something. At the moment, the recipe creations team are working hard to get ahead of the game – we’re currently trialing recipes for end of April and May. The operations team are in the process of fine-tuning the packing and delivery procedures and it makes me so proud to say that everyone is working hard and showing such an amazing commitment to help improve the quality of our product and service. 
Proud business mama over here! 
Oh and then there’s the new website… how could i forget. We’re working with a cool cat called Samuel in Scotland (of all places) to build us a new sleek website which will help enhance the customer experience as well as allow us to launch a whole range of new products. 
Watch this space, that’s all I’m saying. Time’s are ‘a changin. Good things await. 
We’ve had some good times this week, and we’ve done some good eating. 
The last couple of weeks you have seen recipes produced by the wonderful Debby de Gouviea-Rennie. There’s definitely been a South African influence on the meals – Bunny chow and miele pap – lot’s of spices and herbs (to the packing team’s great delight). Debby is also great at inventing meals with a wholefood basis – something that makes me so happy inside. 
Here’s a picture of her posing, safely behind the camera still, in front of an array of wholesome meals, including lamb and spinach meatballs, cauliflower mash, chicken and roast vege salad, cauliflower taboouleh :
But enough about us, let’s talk about the food.I cooked this recipe for Kenzie and Harland on Wednesday and just added a little more cauliflower because 
a) Kenzie is a meatball monster 
b) We were all very hungry after a very active day
It was such a joy watching Kenzie tuck into these meatballs and loving every bite, knowing that she was getting the added goodness of green leafy vegetables.
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Free Recipe Friday: Steak served with stuffed garlic parmesan courgettes and grilled balsamic gourmet tomatoes

Ehm…. what just happened? How is it suddenly the last Friday of the month? I feel like it was just Christmas… We stepped off the plane on the 10th January and since then it’s been all go!
It’s been great being back, catching up with the team back at HQ – everyone’s in good spirits and looking forward to 2017.
Our operational dream team, Rach and Harland are spending the summer working on the systems that help us streamline the packing and delivering of the food. 
Debby and I have been writing recipes furiously and cooking up a storm! Needless to say we are looking forward to bringing some amazing menus to the table this year. 
It goes without saying that we have all been enjoying our dinners to. One of my favourite things at work is comparing notes on our dinners the night before, and also hearing what customers thought. There has been much talk about the steak dish this week, and no surprises there – it was a winner! 
Cooking a good steak is an art form, one that should be taken with the up most care. 
Here are a few key elements that may be helpful to cooking the perfect steak:
 Oil the steak, not the panSeason with salt and pepper just before cooking, not in advance (this retains moisture in the meat rather than drying it out)Use coarsely ground pepper and sea salt and don’t be stingy! This will form a tasty crust, keeping the meat juicy and deliciousHeat the pan to the point of smoking hot – for this you will need a pan that can high heats such as a cast iron panCheck that the pan is up to temperature by adding a few grains of sea salt – once they turn brown, the pan is ready for the steakIf you use a griddle pan, move turn the steak 90 degrees halfway through  cooking each side for a funky griddle mark criss- crossALWAYS let the meat rest before serving – covered in tinfoil – at least 1-2 minutes. Don’t worry – it won’t cool down. 
For the courgettes:
4 large courgettes, halved lengthways
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 shallots, finely diced
Salt and pepper to taste
4 tbsp parmesan, grated
½ cup breadcrumbs (wholemeal)
For the tomatoes:
5 gourmet tomatoes, halved
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
For the steak:
800g prime rump steaks, cut to portion size
2 tbsp rice bran oil
½ tsp sea salt
1 tsp coarsely ground pepper
Heat the oven to 200°C and line an oven dish with baking paper. Finely chop the shallot and garlic.
Slice the courgettes in half lengthways. Using a teaspoon, scoop out the softer core and place the pulp in a medium bowl. Add garlic and shallot to the bowl and mash with a fork before stirring through most of the parmesan (reserving some for serving).  Season with a little salt and pepper. Lay the deseeded courgettes flat side up on the lined oven tray. Stuff with the mashed courgette mixture and sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the top. Drizzle with olive oil, place in the top of the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes.
Halve the tomatoes, and place tomatoes in the oven dish, cut sides facing up, in a single layer. Combine olive oil, sugar and balsamic vinegar and pour over the tomatoes. Sprinkle with oregano, and season with salt and pepper.
After the courgettes have been baking for 10 minutes, add tomatoes to the top rack in the oven, moving the courgettes down. Roast for 20-25 minutes, until the tomatoes have reduced in size and caramelised a little. The courgettes are done when they are soft and the breadcrumbs have slightly browned.
Cook the steak when the vegetables are nearly done. Heat a large flat-bottomed pan, griddle or barbeque to a high heat. Pat the steaks dry with paper towel and rub with oil and salt and pepper. Once the pan is smoking hot, cook for 1-2 minutes per side for medium-rare, flipping once only. Add on a couple minutes per side if you like your steak more well done. Once the steaks are cooked, remove from the pan and place on a chopping board to rest, covered with tin foil.
To serve, lay the steak alongside the courgettes and dot with the tomatoes. Drizzle with the tomato juice from the oven dish, sprinkle the remaining parmesan over the vegetables and tuck in.
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Asparagus Season – my favourite time of year

To me, there are few things that signal the arrival of spring as strongly as asparagus. Those spears start popping out of the ground and making an appearance at the markets and that’s when you know the weather has turned. Summer is around the corner and everything feels a little lighter somehow. 
I like asparagus in every which way and because the season is so short I can get enough of it. I serve it raw in a salad, blanched as a side vegetable, in an Asian stir-fry, on its own with and hollandaise sauce or roasted with a light balsamic glaze. Dipped in a soft boiled egg, with crumbled feta on top or wrapped in Parma ham it makes a perfect lunch or light bite. 
You might not know this but a few years back Harland and I worked on an asparagus farm in Norfolk, England. While we were there we learnt a few tricks of the trade. Because the asparagus plant is closely related to lilies, it’s best stored like a flower in a glass of water in a cool place for optimal freshness. When trimming the bottom off the spear, bend the spear and allow it to snap naturally. That way you can remove the stringy wooden end which isn’t very pleasant to eat. Some people then peel the bottom of the spear but personally I find this a waste of time. Most people look for the big fat spears when shopping for asparagus but, honestly, I prefer the thin delicate thin ones. What you should look for though is a nice tight head that has not yet flowered. 
I’m sure you have one lingering question at this point. "Why does it make my wee smell?" I hear you cry. Well, simply put there’s a sulphurous component which is broken down in the intestine and makes its way to the urine in a very short space of time after eating asparagus. So it smells.  
Totally worth it, don’t you think?
If you’re not sure what do do with asparagus, or if you have been put off by overcooked stringy stems before here’s a simple and inspiring way to cook asparagus beautifully. We’ve served it alongside a stunning piece of rump steak along with a German potato salad. Tuck in and enjoy! 
Serves 4
For the potatoes:
1 kg potatoes, scrubbed and diced
20g flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 small carrots, peeled and grated
For the dressing:
½ lemon, zested and juiced
3 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
For the steak:
800g prime rump steaks
2 tbsp rice bran oil
½  tsp sea salt
1 tsp coarsely ground pepper
For the sauce:
2 tbsp butter
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup salt-reduced beef stock
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
For the asparagus:
500 g asparagus, trimmed
Olive oil for frying
½ lemon, juiced
Salt and pepper to taste
Dice potatoes into 2-3 cm pieces and place in pot, just covered with salted cold water. Bring to a boil and cook for 12-15 minutes, until just tender. Once cooked, drain and run under a cold tap.
While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the rest of the ingredients. Gently bend one spear of asparagus and it will snap at the part where it is too woody to be eaten (bottom of spears). Gather the remaining spears and chop off roughly the same amount and discard the woody bottom bits. Finely chop the shallot and crush the garlic, measure out the remaining ingredients for the sauce.
Combine all dressing ingredients in a large serving bowl. Once cooked and cooled, toss the potatoes in the dressing. Grate in the carrot, and sprinkle over the chopped parsley.
Handy hint: The shallot-mustard sauce will be made in the same pan used for cooking the steak so a flat-bottomed pan is more suitable than a griddle or barbeque surface. You may need to cook the steaks in two pans to avoid stewing the steaks.
To cook the steak, heat a large flat-bottomed pan over a high heat. Pat the steaks dry with paper towel and rub with oil and salt and pepper. Once the pan is smoking hot, cook steaks for 1-2 minutes per side for medium-rare, flipping once only. Add on a couple minutes per side if you like your steak more well done. Once the steaks are cooked, remove from the pan and place on a chopping board to rest covered with tin foil.
Cook the sauce and asparagus at the same time while the steak is resting.
For the sauce, remove the steak pan from the heat for a minute to cool down. Place the pan back over a low heat and melt the butter. Add the shallot and garlic. Cook gently for 2-3 minutes, until soft. Add the beef stock and wholegrain mustard, then let the sauce simmer for 2-3 minutes over a medium heat, stirring occasionally to keep shallots from sticking.
Once the sauce is underway, cook the asparagus. Heat a large pan with drizzle of olive oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot and shimmering, add the asparagus to the pan and sizzle for a few minutes, until the spears turn to a lovely bright green. Season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice.
To serve, place rested steak on to a plate, along with potato salad and asparagus on the side. Drizzle some shallot-mustard sauce over the steaks and tuck in!
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Free recipe Friday: Thai basil beef pad-gra-prow served with jasmine rice

This wee blog post is coming from a hectic test kitchen. We’re test cooking the Christmas menu here today and all the photography will take place tomorrow. Keep your fingers crossed for good weather, we’re planning on shooting it in the meadow! 
But you will have to wait a few weeks to tuck into this feast…
In the meantime, can I tempt you to a delicious and healthy Thai Friday dinner? This is new favourite here at HQ, created by our clever recipe creator and photographer Debby. Give it a shot! 
For the rice:
300g jasmine rice
2 cups water
For the pad-gra-prow:
600g beef stir-fry
1 tbsp cornflour
2 tbsp rice bran oil
5 cloves garlic, crushed
½ red onion, sliced
1 red capsicum, diced
300g sprouting broccoli, trimmed
2 carrots, julienned
20g Thai basil, leaves picked and stalk chopped
½ plant coriander, stalk chopped
For the sauce:
4 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp oyster sauce (optional)
1 tbsp fish sauce
½ tsp sugar
½ cup water
Place the rice in a small pot with salted water. Place over a high heat and bring to the boil. Once boiling, stir once then immediately reduce to a slow simmer. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook for about 12-15 minutes. Remove from the heat and stand, still covered with a lid, allowing the steam to finish cooking the rice. Only lift the lid during cooking if you suspect the rice is catching on the bottom of the pan, in which case add a bit more water.
Combine the ingredients for the sauce and set aside.
Start preparing the vegetables. Slice the onion into petals, i.e. top to bottom. Julienne the carrot by cutting into 2-3 segments, then slicing lengthways and cutting into matchstick sized pieces. Chop the herb stalks finely and set aside the leaves for serving. The remaining vegetables can be prepared once the pad-gra-prow is underway.
Lightly dust the beef stir-fry in the cornflour. Heat your wok or deep frying pan over high heat, and add the oil. Sear the beef for 2 minutes until just browned, remove from the wok, and set aside.
Once the beef has been removed, reduce the heat to medium, and add another splash of oil to the pan along with the onion and carrot. Cook for 2-3 minutes until browned and slightly caramelised. Add the broccoli and capsicum and fry for another 2-3 minutes, then add the beef back in. Crush in the garlic and add in herb stalks, stir through for 20 seconds until fragrant, then add the sauce and cook out for 2-3 minutes.
To serve, place a mound of rice on each plate and make a well in the middle. Divide the pad-gra-prow between plates and garnish with the Thai basil and coriander leaves.
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Produce of the week: Carrot

Ah… the humble carrot, these sweet and crunchy little everyday heroes – what would the world be without them!?
It’s a bit of a standing joke in the test kitchen that if a dish is lacking a bit of vege content it is our knee jerk reaction to add a carrot to it.
“Let’s grate a carrot in this”
Then we try to control ourselves and give the other vegetables a fair chance.
Although the orange variety is the most well know and readily available, these beautiful root veges come in more or less all the colours of the rainbow. The other day we were using some locally grown purple specimens in the test kitchen, a little earthier than the orange friends.
While it’s not entirely true that carrots can make you see in the dark, they are rich in beta carotene, which converts to retinol in the human body – vital for eye health and also general immunity. So tuck in!
Most of the carrots we source are grown in…. you guessed it…. Ohakune! Most of the baby carrots used in EFB dinners come from Southern Fresh just outside Cambridge. Delish!
Sure, carrots are great “on the side” but if you fancy getting a little creative I recommend trying this recipe: carrot taco shells/tostadas. They’re really grate! (see what I did there?)
Carrot Taco Shells 
2 cups carrots, grated
¼ cup water
¼ cup cheddar cheese, grated
2 eggs, beaten
2 tbsp flour (wholemeal, gluten free or plain)
Salt and pepper to taste
Pre-heat the oven to 200°C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
For the carrot taco shells, peel and grate carrots then place into a pot and cover with water. Place over a medium heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain them and spread out on clean tea towel. Firmly squeeze out any extra water until they are dry. Removing the excess water is crucial to prevent the taco shells from going soggy. 
Combine carrot with the grated cheese (reserving some for serving), egg, flour and salt and pepper. Divide the mixture into 2-3 evenly sized portions per person. Spread out the portions onto the baking paper in thin layers, pressing down gently. Pop into the oven and cook for around 15 minutes until crisped up.
Test kitchen tip: This method will make flat taco shells, aka tostadas. If you prefer them bowed like a traditional taco shell, simply “bend” the rounds over a small bottle or glass. Gently transfer shells to the oven. As the shells cool after cooking they will harden up.
Serve with taco mince and crunchy veges. 
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Free recipe Friday – Chicken, parmesan and red lentil coins on cauliflower purée

What can I say about this week?
I survived. 
That’s it. There was enjoyment in the week that’s for sure. My mum arrived from Sweden on Monday night, we had a fab fun-filled day in the test kitchen on Tuesday and on Thursday I was re-elected for the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce Board of Executives (such an honour!). 
But other than that it was back to back meetings, recipe writing, editing. Now without Lucy in the office, and with the lovely Debby on holiday, suddenly the workload was a little higher than normal.
But, I survived… 
So, although this post is coming to you a little later than normal, I would lie to share with you my favourite recipe from the week just gone. It featured on the Original and Inspiration Menus and it has crowd pleaser written all over it! 
I suggest you give this a go when you’re having a week like mine. It will lift your spirit and feed your soul.  
Wholesome, filling and delicious.
Chicken, parmesan and red lentil coins on cauliflower purée
Serves 4 
For the chicken coins:
2 spring onions, finely sliced
600 g chicken mince
2 tbsp mustard (wholegrain)
10g parsley, finely chopped
1 cup grated parmesan
1 cup red lentils
Pinch of chilli flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp olive oil for frying
For the cauliflower purée:
1 head cauliflower, chopped
3 tbsp butter
1 tsp salt
To serve:
1 head cos lettuce, finely shredded
1 red onion, finely sliced
½ tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
Rinse the lentils under cold water and place into a pot. Cover with water and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook uncovered for 6-8 minutes – just until the lentils start to lose their shape. Drain and fluff with a fork then pour out on a clean tea towel to dry and cool a little.
Meanwhile, shred the lettuce and finely slice the red onion for the side salad. Dress with a drizzle of vinegar and olive oil. Set aside.
While the lentils are cooking, get started on the cauliflower purée. Chop the cauliflower florets and some of the stem into 2 cm pieces. Pop in a saucepan and only just cover with salted water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 8-10 minutes. Reserve about ¼ cup of the water before draining.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the spring onion, chicken mince, mustard, parsley, parmesan and cooked lentils. Season with salt, pepper and chilli flakes. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add a large tablespoon of the chicken mixture to the pan and flatten to a coin shape. Fry for 6-8 minutes, turning halfway through, until cooked through and browned. If your pan is not large enough to house all the coins comfortably, use two pans or fry in batches.
Put about half of the cooked cauliflower into a food processor. Pour in ¼ cup of the cooking liquid; purée until smooth. Place the rest of the cauliflower on top, add a little more liquid and purée again, adding more liquid as needed to form a firm puree. Alternatively, mash using a potato masher. Stir in the butter, salt, and pepper. Taste for seasoning and serve hot.
To serve, spread some cauliflower puree on each plate. Top with the chicken and lentil coins and serve the salad on the side.
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Friday – possibly the best day of the week? Free-recipe – Thai chicken, mushroom and leek soup

Here at EFB we do love Mondays, there’s something very cool about coming to work knowing that you have a whole week ahead to create and do awesome things. We love Sundays too, because it’s the day of the week most of our deliveries go out and we get to catch up with many of our customers for a chit chat. Tuesdays are a good day too because that’s the day we test cook our menus, and yeah, test eat too!
Fridays though… there’s something about Friday, that beautiful day at the end of the week and start of the weekend. We normally kick off early on a Friday and start the wind down to the weekend, it’s an exciting time isn’t it? It has to be said, we have some troopers who sometimes come in and do some work on a Saturday, and I take my hat off to those dudes and dudettes, they rock our world.
So yeah, it’s Friday. I hope you have some exciting plans for the weekend! I  It’s a wee bit grey out there so I thought a soup recipe would float your boat. This one is an absolute fave of mine. So easy to cook, and even easier to eat! I’ve been battling a sore throat this week so I think it’s exactly what I need for dinner tonight…
This dish was actually born from a rushed lunch in a local café. I didn’t read the menu properly and thought it said Thai chicken, mushroom and leek soup. In reality it was THYME, chicken, mushroom and leek soup. Oh well, I thought, that’s nice too but I think I will go ahead and create a THAI chicken, mushroom and leek soup, because it made me so excited. Some easy swaps – out with the thyme, in with the lemongrass, ginger and lime, out with the dairy cream, in with the coconut cream. And voilà! What’s more, this bowl full of yum will be on the table in 20 minutes or less. As so many customers will tell me, simple is best during the week. Simple and inspiring, I say.
Serves: 4 
Gluten Free 
Dairy Free
Thai-inspired chicken, leek and mushroom soup
2 tbsp rice bran oil
600g chicken thigh pieces
1 leek, finely sliced
3 tbsp lemongrass, hulled and finely chopped
300g mushrooms, diced
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1 tbspginger, peeled and grated
1 lime, zested and cut into wedges  
400ml coconut milk
3 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
4 cups vegetable stock
Handful of fresh Thai basil
Heat the rice bran oil to a medium-high heat in a large soup pot, preferably with a wide base. Once the oil is shimmering, add a layer of chicken to the pan (don’t overcrowd the pan). Allow the meat to sear on one side, around 3 minutes, before gently stirring. Brown for a further 2 minutes, then remove from the pan with a slotted spoon – do this in batches if necessary.
While the chicken is underway start preparing the vegetables; trim, slice and rinse the leek – using most of the green and all of the white; remove the rough outer husk from the lemongrass and chop very finely; cut the mushrooms into 6-8 pieces; peel and grate the ginger and finely chop the red chilli – removing the seeds if you prefer a milder flavour.
Once all of the chicken is cooked and removed from the pan, start adding the leeks to the pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes until softened, then add in the mushrooms and cook for a further 3-4 minutes. Add the lemongrass, ginger and chilli and cook out for a minute, then add the chicken back in. Sprinkle in the lime zest and pour in the stock and coconut milk, fish sauce and brown sugar.
Simmer the soup for 5-6 minutes on a medium-high heat to let the flavours develop, then turn down to a low heat. Avoid rapid boiling as this would split the coconut milk. Taste and season with some more fish sauce and black pepper as desired. Roughly chop the Thai basil and cut the zested lime into wedges.
Serve the soup in deep plates or bowls. Squeeze over some lime juice and garnish with Thai basil.
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Today is all about Dad!

We all know the way to a man’s heart is via his belly, so this Father’s Day, serve up something special to the dad in your life to show how much you care.  This Latin-inspired recipe is just what this day needs to end it on a high note! Yes, it does have some green stuff on top but I can promise he will love it! 
Serves: 4 – 5
Preparation time: 25 minutesNote: For best results bring the steak to room temperature before cooking Gluten and Dairy Free
900 g skirt steak 1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
2 tsp smoked paprika
For the chimichurri:
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 red chillies, deseeded and chopped
2 red onion, chopped
40 g Italian flat leaf parsley
30 g fresh coriander
10 g fresh mint
4 tbsp white wine vinegar
6 tbsp olive oil
For the carrots
6 large carrots, peeled and cut into batons
1 1/2 large red onion, cut into wedges
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp salt
Pinch of black pepper
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
Heat the oven to 220°C. Peel the carrots and cut them into batons. The easiest way of doing this is to halve them widthways and then cut each piece into 6-8 pieces lengthways. Cut the red onion into wedges remembering to leave some for the chimichurri. Toss red onion and carrot with olive oil, chilli flakes and salt and pepper. Place in a large oven pan, spread out evenly and cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes while preparing the chimichurri and steak. 
To make the chimichurri, use a blender or food processor, or chop by hand. Place remaining onion, red chilli and garlic into food processor or blender and roughly chop. With the motor still running, add olive oil and vinegar. If needed, stop the blender and scrape the mixture down from the sides from time to time. Wash herbs and shake off most of the water. Remove the thickest stems from the mint, but most of the stalks can go in to the chimichurri. Keeping the blender running, add herbs and blend for a few minutes. Check the seasoning and consistency, add a few teaspoons of water or oil if needed – the chimichurri should be loose enough to be drizzled over the steak, but not watery.
Cook the skirt steak once the carrots are just about ready. Rub steak with rice bran oil and season generously with sea salt and coarsely ground pepper. Sprinkle with smoked paprika. Heat a dry frying pan, griddle or barbeque until smoking hot. Add the steak and cook for 2-3 minutes per side. Remove from the pan, cover with tinfoil and rest for 2 minutes before serving.
Slice the steak finely and spread most of the chimichurri over the steak while it’s still hot, this will release the aromas from the garlic and herbs. Serve immediately alongside the spiced carrots and onions with the remaining chimichurri on the side.