Mumday Monday Interview with Belinda Randell from The Organic Cook
I recently met Belinda Randall at a Bloggers Breakfast Event and I instantly connected with her sunny smile, warm dispostition and kind ways. It didn’t take long to discover the many parallels in life that we shared. We were both hardworking Mumpreneurs, we both graduated from the same nutrition school , and we were both very passionate about health and wellness. In this interview I see we have even more parallels and it excites me no end to hear about the amazing nourishing service Belinda provides to her clients in need.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a mother to a baby girl (7 months) and step mum to two daughters (12 and 14) I also own a business and juggle between family life and the business which to be honest is an ongoing challenge!
Tell us about your business The Organic Cook, why you started it, and what it’s about?
I started it after helping a sick dying parent, and realised a personal chef service is what a lot of people need to help them at different stages of life.
I was also inspired by the holistic chef movement happening in New York and America and had previously cooked in a vegan café and restaurant when I lived in Toronto, and was trying to figure out what to do with my life. The past 13 years has all been an ongoing journey of food, health, and formal study in order to get me to this point. And I’m still evolving. I also did a lot of self study and tried fasting, macrobiotics, vegetarianism and was also a vegan for two years.
Now, I mostly follow the Weston A Price eating and nutritional model, and am mainly concerned with nourishment rather than fasting and detoxing. My clients mostly need nourishment, particularly those trying to conceive and improve their fertility
At the Organic Cook we do a lot of specialised food as medicine based cooking, but also work for busy professional individuals and families who desperately need healthy organic meals. I have also done quite a bit of teaching but am now so busy with the personal chef service and private clients that, I don’t have time to continue teaching for the moment.
What are some of the things you value most in life?
My beautiful family and friends, working with such interesting clients, my gift for cooking and nourishing others, yoga and stillness, and living by the beach.
What is your favourite quote
This one comes to mind from buddha
‘Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.’
What are your tips to staying happy and healthy?
Practicing mindfulness meditation has always been something that keeps me emotionally in the present and therefor happy and healthy. I am an advocate that you arewhat you eat, so home-cooking is the basis for everything I do in my family life and work life in order to keep healthy. It’s the simplest thing we can do but unfortunately it’s becoming a lost art form in modern society!
Do you find time to nurture yourself? What does this involve?
At the moment with a small baby, hectic family life and busy business the answer is no. I’m working on reclaiming it from the persistence of my partner but food is all I can manage right now, and walking, and when necessary acupuncture helps with my frayed nerves! I’m well aware you can’t have everything you want at one time and so am in a cycle of life that is sometimes overwhelming but it will shift again as life does…
What does healthy eating mean for you?
It is the template for everything I do, after cooking for 13 years I understand the level of nourishment ones needs to be healthy and to also help prevent onset of disease.
What are five of your kitchen pantry essentials?
Oh, this is difficult to narrow down to five!
Homemade chicken broth, tamari, biodynamic brown rice, coconut oil, ghee.
What do you indulge in?
Baking healthy desserts and making ice cream from scratch for summer. And I love art, music and cinema.
What do you and your family like to do on the weekend?
We go to the organic markets in Frenchs forest every Sunday and we also love to go for a walk at the beach, and I sometimes take my older daughters to a yoga class.
Would you like to share one of your favourite healthy recipes?
Here is a special little soup I created for a client who needed nourishment and recovery foods for a long stint in hospital. Pulling in all my food as medicine notes and experience cooking for different medical conditions, I came up with this little gem that the family also enjoys.
*** Note for this recipe it helps to have chicken broth already premade, I make mine well in advance and freeze in portions and freeze for later use. ***
Nourishing Chicken Soup with Fresh Shitake Mushrooms, Broccoli and Corn
800g organic chicken breasts
8 fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced finely
1 teaspoon fresh ginger grated
1 lemongrass stick
1 fresh lime, juiced
1 litre home made chicken broth
300g organic broccoli, cut into florets
1 fresh corn husked
2 tablespoons tamari
In a large pot add hot water and the lemongrass stick, infuse for 5 minutes, add the organic chicken breasts and poach for approx 12-15 minutes, checking at 12 minutes and making sure the thick part of the breast is cooked through.
Once done drain the chicken and lemongrass into a spider/sieve and reserve the water for use later.
Leave the chicken to cool slightly then when not to hot to handle start to shred into manageable pieces, the chicken should be very moist, that’s why overcooking is not advised you need to check at 12 minutes when poaching.
Using the same cooking pot add the chicken broth and start to gently simmer, add the fresh shitake mushrooms and ginger and cook for 3 minutes until shitakes are softening. Add the corn cobs, fresh lime and tamari, taste and adjust for your palate. Simmer for a further 5 minutes, lastly add the shredded chicken and the raw broccoli and cook for a further 5 minutes. The add some of the reserved poaching chicken water to get the right consistency.
Enjoy by itself or with some biodynamic brown rice
Nutritional note about shiitake mushrooms – They are 6000 years old and have been used in asian countries as food as medicine for centuries, they are also sustainable as they are forest farmed, although you will hard pressed finding certified organic ones in Australia. Used frequently for cancer patients to boost immunity. Shiitake mushrooms contain all 3 b vitamins (b2, 5 and 6) vitamin d and maganese, and are a good source of dietary fibre. They are very soft to handle and to retain all there phytonutrient properties make sure you don’t over cook them. We like to add them to soups and also gently fry in coconut oil for stir fries and fantastic with scrambled eggs!
You can connect with the gorgeous Belinda here: