A CONVERSATION WITH CHEF-TO-THE-STARS KATE MCALOON

Chef Kate McAloon lives her passion.

Kate has cooked for a number of celebrity clients including Miranda Kerr, Courteney Cox, Gwyneth Paltrow, Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson, Steven Spielberg, Meg Ryan and Orlando Bloom (just to name a few)..

Kate is someone who truly inspires me. I had the pleasure of chatting with her about everything from the release of her new cookbook ‘The Flavour of Joy’, her favourite essential oils to cook with, tips for busy women who want to live a healthy lifestyle, and the most requested dish by her clients. 

1. What inspired you to write your latest cookbook, ‘The Flavour of Joy’?

Creating my book, The Flavour of Joy has been a true labour of love and inspiration. The recipes were developed over several years while cooking for my celebrity clients, friends and family… they are the ‘favourites’. I’ve also included some client mishap stories to amuse, tips for creating your own joyful meals and a little of my life’s journey.

2. Why do you believe it’s important to cook with organic ingredients?

I believe that using certified organic, local, sustainable and chemical free ingredients is really important for our health and the planet. Using the best quality produce and products assures that my recipes are healthy, taste great and my clients are getting the best!

3. What are your top 3 favourite essential oils?

I love using Young Living Essential Oils and am their Australian Culinary Oils Ambassador. There are 33 culinary oils approved for eating in their range. Using the oils in my dishes makes the flavours pop, adds vitality and a beautiful freshness. It’s hard to choose, but these are the three I use the most… Cinnamon Bark (it’s especially great in warm drinks and my Pumpkin Pie Soup), Lime (it’s wonderful in cold drinks and several of the dip/spread recipes in my book) and Lemongrass (great in coleslaw and Thai dishes).

4. What is your number one tip for busy women who want to live a healthy lifestyle?

Shop once or twice a week for the cleanest ingredients you can source and prep them for the days ahead…set aside some time over the weekend to make a couple of dishes like curry and soups to have on hand during the week. You can freeze a few portions just double the recipes if you have freezer space and remember to label them. Labelling is one of my tips in the book…no science projects in the fridge or freezer. My number one tip is… remember cooking can be fun and joyful!

5. What are your favourite superfoods to cook with?

I love using all things coconut especially coconut cream and milk in my dishes. I also use a lot of raw cacao powder, nuts, seeds and organic berries in my recipes.

6. What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?

Never give up! Things can always get better and no matter what if you can keep your joyful outlook, even if it takes some time to find again, this too shall pass and it will be ok!

7. What is your favourite dish to make for your celebrity clients?

My Fragrant Indian Veggie Curry is my go to dish and a favourite of Orlando Bloom and the Kerr family. I usually add chicken (I use Inglewood Organic Chicken… it’s the cleanest and best!), prawns or lamb depending on who I am creating it for.

8. What is their most requested dish?

My curries are a favourite and all my clients especially Courteney Cox and the Spielberg’s loved the Chicken and Fresh Herb Spread and requested it all the time! The recipe is in the book.

 

FRAGRANT INDIAN CURRY RECIPE

I love curries and this one’s chock full of flavourful, healthy ingredients. It’s really easy to make once you have everything prepped. You can add bite-sized pieces of cooked chicken (Inglewood Organic Chicken), prawns or lamb if you like. This curry is a big hit with Miranda Kerr, her parents, Therese and John, and Orlando Bloom.

It’s also great served the next day because the flavours have time to blend. To make the curry spicier, add more chillis and a little ground cayenne pepper to taste. Have fun experimenting with the spices and veggies to make this recipe your own. 

Note: You’ll need approx. 3 cups of assorted veggies, but you can use more if you like. Cut in large bite-sized pieces for this dish. I like using broccoli, onions, spring onions, zucchini, carrots, peas, capsicum, and pumpkin as a base, plus other veggies I have on hand. Use your favourites.

Tip: Mix the spices all together in a bowl before you get started and prep the other ingredients too, because this dish comes together quickly once you start. Double or triple the spice mix and save some for next time. You can also use a little more coconut cream or milk if you desire more sauce. Don’t let the long ingredient list scare you! It’s worth the extra few minutes!

 

SERVES 4 – 6

PREP TIME 20 minutes

COOKING TIME 15 minutes

Spice Mix Ingredients                                                                                               

2 tbsp curry powder (mild or spicy to taste)

½ tsp ground cumin

1 tsp cumin seeds

¼ tsp turmeric

2 tsp sea salt (to taste)

Freshly ground pepper (to taste)

 

Curry Ingredients

2 tbsp coconut oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 tsp ginger, peeled finely minced (to taste)

1 garlic clove, finely minced (to taste)

1 tbsp finely minced hot chilli (optional)

2 cups coconut cream (approx. 1½ cans)

2 tbsp maple syrup or coconut sugar (to taste)

3 cups assorted veggies, cut in large bite-sized pieces

 

For Serving

Cooked quinoa or brown rice

½ cup raw or toasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds

Raw or toasted shredded coconut

Coriander and mint leaves

Plain yoghurt (optional)

 

Method

1. Heat oil in a medium to large pot over medium/high heat, add onions and ginger, and stir for 1 minute. Then add garlic, hot chillis, if using, and spice mix, and cook for 1 minute longer while stirring.

2. Then add the coconut cream and maple syrup or coconut sugar, and continue cooking while stirring occasionally for 10 minutes. Add the veggies and cook approx. 5 minutes until they are just cooked through.

3. If you are using cooked chicken, prawns or lamb add it with the veggies and heat through. Continue cooking while stirring until everything is heated through (approx. 3–5 minutes).

4. Check for seasoning and add a little more salt and pepper if desired. Serve over cooked quinoa or brown rice and garnish with sunflower and pumpkin seeds, shredded coconut, coriander and mint leaves. It’s also great with a dollop of plain yoghurt.

 

For more about Kate McAloon and 'The Flavour of Joy', check out her website and social handles:

Website: https://www.theflavourofjoy.com

Kate McAloon Instagram: Chef Kate McAloon

Kate McAloon Facebook: Chef Kate McAloon