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Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea

Cancer is the leading cause of death in Australia. By the age of 85, 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women will have been diagnosed with cancer. Probably the most depressing start to a blog post I have written but unfortunately they are stats we cannot ignore.  Everyone knows someone who has had cancer.  The story is not all doom and gloom though.  In Australia we are fortunate enough to have organisations like Cancer Council who are committed to education, research and prevention of cancer.

This May Cancer Council are celebrating 20 years of Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea.  This is a great event and an easy way to get involved in raising funds to help Cancer Council continue their great work.

Last week I was lucky enough to be invited to the launch of this years event.  I got to share an indulgent morning tea with 19 other Sydney food and lifestyle bloggers.  Of course we ate, and we chatted, but we also got to hear some interesting information from Cancer Council staff and Ambassadors. Until this event, I hadn’t appreciated the scope of the work Cancer Council do, including providing financial assistance, legal assistance and the more obvious education around prevention and early detection.  There was also a lot of discussion around the benefits of a healthy diet for cancer prevention and treatment, including the interesting link between sugar and cancer.  More photos from this delicious event are on my Facebook page.

Regular readers will know that I have had to make a few diet changes in our house.  It started with high cholesterol but I have since been convinced by the overall benefits of a healthier lifestyle. I also don’t have a particularly sweet tooth, so when it comes to choosing something for morning tea I choose savoury over sweet every time.  Once upon a time my morning tea snack of choice would have been homemade sausage rolls but that’s not the healthiest option around.

Although I cannot profess that this is a healthy snack, I have adapted my sausage roll recipe and morphed it into these pork and leek filo cigars which are a slightly healthier alternative.  Filo pastry is much lower in fat that regular pastry and because it is so thin you often use less of it.  The filling is also lighter than regular sausage rolls as I have used lean pork mince and because it is cooked before going into the pastry you use less meat.  By my calculations each cigar should contain around 120 Calories compared to anything from 250-350 calories in a regular sausage roll.

So what are you waiting for, make your favourite healthy cake, something savoury and sign up for Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea.  The main event is on Thursday May 23rd but you can host a morning tea anytime throughout May or June.  For more information or to sign up checkout Cancer Council’s webpage here.

Pork and Leek Filo Cigars (makes 10)

100g leek (approx 1 small one, white part only)
1 garlic clove
40ml olive oil
200g lean pork mince
6 large sage leaves
a little grated nutmeg or a small pinch of ready ground nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
5 sheets of Filo pastry

Pre-heat the oven to 180C and line a baking tray with baking paper.

Remove the top of the leek (the tough, green leaves) and the roots from the bottom then slice in half length ways. Wash under cold running water to get rid of any dirt. Slice in half length ways again and then slice. Finely chop or crush the garlic. Put 10ml of the olive oil in a frying and and heat to medium. Gently fry the leeks and garlic for 10 minutes until soft and cooked but not brown.  Remove from the pan and set aside.

If needed, add a little bit more oil to the pan (reserving 20ml for later).  Heat to high, add the pork mince and fry until stating to brown and cooked through. This should take about 5 minutes.

Finely chop the the sage leaves and add to the pork mince. Return the leeks to the pan with the pork and stir to combine.  Remove from the heat, season with a little grated nutmeg, salt and pepper. Transfer to another bowl to cool slightly.

Now it’s time to construct the cigars. The first thing to do is treat the filo pastry very gently as you don’t want any holes or rips.  Remove 5 sheets of the pastry and cut them in half.  The cigars take a little while to roll to make sure you put a damp cloth over the sheets of pastry you are not using.

Place one of the cut sheets of filo on the work top longest edge at the bottom. Brush some olive oil on the right half of the pastry then fold in half from left to right.  Place about 20g of your filling at one of the narrow ends of the rectangle leaving about a 2cm border either side.  Tightly start to roll.  After the first turn fold the left and right side into the centre to completely enclose the filling then continue to roll tightly.  When you get to the end of the pastry brush the end of the pastry with oil to seal and place on a baking tray seam side down.  Continue until all filling and pastry has been used up.

Sparingly brush with a little more oil and bake in the pre-heated oven for 15-20 minutes until lightly browned and crispy.  Serve warm or cold.


Comment from Claire @ Claire K Creations
Time May 1, 2013 at 8:14 pm

I’ve been reading a little on the link between sugar and cancer lately too Nic. It’s very interesting isn’t it?
Food really can give us great health or take it away depending what you choose.
Love the look of your lightened up sausage rolls.

Comment from nic
Time May 1, 2013 at 8:37 pm

Thanks Claire! Yes it’s an interesting subject and one very close to my heart.

Comment from Kyrstie @a Fresh Legacy
Time May 2, 2013 at 5:37 am

A wonderful cause to support Nic. I love that you used filing for your rolls. I really hadn’t considered that. Great tip.

Comment from JJ – 84thand3rd
Time May 4, 2013 at 5:15 pm

Good to see you at the event and love your twists on the sausage rolls :)

Comment from Colin
Time May 27, 2013 at 10:02 pm

Since having bowel cancer in 1999,I have been supporting Macmillan here in the UK.Its only £10.00 a month by direct debit,so we hardly notice it going,but if you add it up over the course of 14 years!If any of you folk out there can afford $10.00,or more a month,please consider it,these Charities really value the regular monthly amount.

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