Garden Girl – Elisabeth Kingman

In the glorious greenhouse that is my life, there are a bounty of friendships that plant, bloom, harvest or go to seed, just like the cycle of life. I have had the great pleasure of fertilising many a laugh with my friend Elisabeth for plenty of apple seasons, and although we do not enjoy the fruit of our labour together as often as we might like, I have happily watched her oasis blossom from afar.

The Bride, I call her with utmost affection, is married my dear ol’ buddy, Brett. We call him Burger. Today is all about Elisabeth, an energetic wife, mother of two, mad keen gardener and now social media gardening personality. Elisabeth has worked extensively in both the entertainment and recruitment industries and most recently in local government but she has always had a passion for gardening. Elisabeth decided that it was time to turn her passion into a business. And so “Garden Girl” was born!

Along with the enthusiastic assistance of her husband, the aforementioned Brett, a guitarist and renowned YouTube guitar-gear demonstrator, Elisabeth creates relaxed and informative garden-based videos that cover everything from her own beautiful garden on the Mornington Peninsula to those of talented friends and local garden destinations.

Elisabeth also offers a garden advice and consulting service to those wanting to broaden or make improvements to their gardens. There are many people out there who would love a beautiful garden but are unsure perhaps where to even begin: this is an area where Elisabeth can help and advise.

The Garden Girl brand and online entity are in their infancy at the time of writing. But you can bet it won’t take long until GG is a well known force in the world of gardening and the media in general.

Grow get ‘em, Garden Girl!

Elisabeth’s Dukkah-crusted chicken, crunchy apple and iceberg salad.


Prep time : 10 mins
Cooking time : 20 mins
Serves : 4

Ingredients

1 cup raw cashews
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ cup plain flour
2/3 cup plain Greek-style yoghurt
4 x  150 gram chicken breast fillets
2 tablespoons good olive oil
500 grams baby potatoes, quartered
¾ cup frozen peas
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 iceberg lettuce, cut into wedges
1/3 cup fresh mint leaves
1 red apple, cored, cut into thin wedges
½ Spanish onion, peeled, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons walnuts, halved

Method

  • Preheat oven to 230/210 C fan-forced. Line a large baking tray with baking paper.
  • Place cashews in a small food processor.
  • Pulse until finely chopped. Transfer to a large bowl.
  • Add cumin, coriander, sesame seeds and sea salt.
  • Mix well to combine. (If short on time, use a prepared dukkah mixture).
  • Place flour on a large plate. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Combine half the yoghurt and 2 tablespoons water in a bowl.
  • Working with 1 piece at a time, toss chicken in flour, shaking off excess.
  • Dip in yoghurt mixture, allowing excess to drain. Transfer to prepared tray.
  • Sprinkle with nut mixture pressing to secure. Drizzle liberally with olive oil.
  • Bake for 20 mins until chicken is golden and cooked through.
  • Meanwhile, cook potato in a saucepan of boiling water for 10 mins or until tender.
  • Add peas during the last 2 mins of cooking time. Drain. Rinse under cold water. Drain.
  • Combine remaining yoghurt, lemon juice and chives in a small jug to make a dressing.
  • Season with salt and pepper. Slice chicken.
  • Place potato, chicken, lettuce, mint, apple, onion, peas and walnuts on a platter.
  • Drizzle with dressing. Serve.

How to Eat, Plant, Grow with Garden Girl

What’s your survival food after a day in the garden?

I am a constant muncher! I eat raw nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews) as I work in the garden to give me energy and drink loads of water. I also make my own Bircher muesli which I have for breakfast each day.

What’s your healthy go-to comfort food?

I don’t think you can beat the freshness and delicious flavours of Vietnamese food which I absolutely love! Not only does it taste great it’s also full of vitamins and minerals so gives me a good energy boost. My go-to comfort food when we are at our favourite Vietnamese restaurant is prawn rice paper rolls and beef in wild betel leaves.

Do you have a secret recipe that keeps your hands and body in shape?

I garden both for my enjoyment and to keep in shape. It definitely keeps me fit. My hands get a good work out too so I make sure I wear hardy garden gloves and pile on Aesop’s Resurrection Aromatique hand balm every night.

Who would you most like to have dinner with? Dead or alive and why?

I love nothing more than a relaxed, no fuss dinner with my family and close friends, especially when my husband, the creative foodie of our family, is cooking!

What is your ‘can’t live without’ garden gadget?

My garden gloves! I’m very tactile in the garden and tend to use my hands more than any implement so the gloves are a necessity.

Which plant makes you the happiest?

The hydrangea. The massive and colourful blooms of the hydrangea flower bring a smile to my face as they remind me of my mum’s 1960’s petalled swimming caps.

Follow Garden Girl on Facebook here and checkout the YouTube channel here

Melbourne Masterclass April 30

Before nutrition became trendy, before kale became the superfood superstar, and before the green juice Instagram selfie was ever a ‘thing’, there was Sam Gowing, spreading the word on healthy cuisine and all that it encompasses. Join her on Sunday 30 April from 11am – 3pm for an intimate food as medicine masterclass in her hometown of Melbourne. Early Bird $250 pay by 28/2/17

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