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Nutrition cook-off student event 2022

Written by Endeavour College of Natural Health | Tuesday, 13 December 2022


In November, Bachelor of Health (Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine) students competed in our second annual Endeavour Cook-Off event. Current students competed for a top-three spot, with the brief being recipes that support fertility.

The fierce (and tasty) competition was hosted and judged by Sophie Porter – our Head of Department for Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine, Kate Carr – Endeavour Lecturer and Clinical Nutritionist, and Jason Roberts – internationally renowned chef, author, and brand ambassador.

It’s safe to say that all of our contestants brought their A-game and truly did us proud. The passion and dedicat… Okay, stop us before we get too emotional! Let’s get to the recipes.

First place: Karen Van Esveld

Pea, mint, and sardine pancakes

Karen Van Esveld - Cook off dish


  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 can of sardines (by the Goodfish)
  • 2 cups organic frozen peas
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp capers
  • Handful fresh mint roughly chopped
  • 2 finely chopped shallots
  • Lemon zest
  • Juice of half a lemon

Served on a bed of:

  • Dark green leafy greens

Topped with:

  • Half a sliced avocado
  • Sprinkle of hemp seeds
  • Sprinkle of pepitas


  1. Lightly steam the frozen peas and mash them together
  2. Whisk the eggs then fold them into the mashed pea mixture
  3. Mix in the remaining ingredients
  4. Add 1 tsp of olive oil (Cobram Estate) to a frying pan
  5. Spoon the mixture into a pancake shape and lightly pan fry

To serve, place the pancakes on a bed of leafy greens and top with thinly sliced avocado, a drizzle of olive oil, and a squeeze of lemon. Sprinkle with pepitas and hemp seeds, then add some mint leaves for presentation.

Nutritional notes: This recipe is rich in B9, B12, Omega 3, Protein and antioxidants, all of which support fertility.

Second place: Khanh Doan

Thousands of blessings multigrain congee


Allergy information: Vegetarian and vegan-friendly*, gluten-free

*For a vegan option, omit the egg and replace it with scrambled tofu.

Serving size: 3-4



  • ¼ cup quinoa
  • ¼ cup wild rice
  • ¼ cup brown rice
  • ¼ cup black bean (or preferred mix of legumes)
  • 4 cups of veggie stock (preferably from kelp)
  • Iodine salt and pepper to taste


  • 4 large organic eggs
  • ½ cup tamari
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1tbsp minced ginger
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1tsp five spiced (optional)
  • 4 cups of chopped kale/spinach/silverbeet
  • 2 tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 cup kimchi/sauerkraut
  • 2 cups fresh shiitake mushroom or ½ cup dried
  • 1 large carrot, julienne
  • Toasted sesame seeds, chive, and microgreens to garnish
  • 2 tbsp more of olive oil for cooking


  1. Soak the grains and legumes in filtered water for 8 hours or overnight. Drain and cook with 4 cups of veggie stocks in a pressure cooker (porridge function) or slow cooker (for 8 hours). Add more water as needed/to your preferred consistency
  2. Once the congee reaches desired consistency, lightly season with salt and pepper
  3. Soft-boil the eggs and let them cool in cold water
  4. While the eggs are cooling, make the marinade sauce by mixing tamari, minced garlic, ginger, olive oil, maple syrup, and apple cider vinegar in a pot and bring to a gentle boil
  5. Take the pot off the heat to let it cool and peel the eggs
  6. When the marinade cools down, pour it into a container and drop in the peeled egg
  7. Let it sit for at least an hour or overnight (recommended)
  8. In a cast iron pan, grill the tomato with olive oil on both sides until brown
  9. Sauté the mushroom, and carrot and add in the greens at the end (you can also use a tbsp of the egg marinate mixture to season)
  10. Pour the congee into a bowl, add the toppings and top with the garnish

Nutritional notes: The congee element of this dish provides a rich source of complex carbohydrates and protein. Nine essential amino acids (grains and legumes) combined with omega 3 and 6 (quinoa) support circulation, which boosts fertility. By soaking the grains and legumes, phytates content reduces significantly which allows for better absorption of nutrients.

Third place: Feda Hassan and Hannah Dean

The third place medal was split in two between Feda Hassan, who whipped up a Mediterranean spiced salmon, and Hannah Dean, with her fertility-booster chicken patties.

Mediterranean spiced salmon with roasted vegetables, couscous, and minted-yoghurt


Serving size: 1


  • 300g Woolworths Tasmanian Salmon
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 green zucchini
  • 1 red capsicum
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1 handful of rocket
  • 150g greek yoghurt
  • 1 cup of boiling water
  • 1 lemon
  • Mint
  • Olive oil
  • Masterfoods Mediterranean spices
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning


  1. Preheat a fan-forced oven to 200 C
  2. Cut the carrots, zucchini, and capsicum into small cubes. Place chopped vegetables and asparagus on a lined oven tray and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and place in oven for 20 minutes
  3. In a pot, heat 1 tbs of olive oil and add the couscous. Toast the couscous until golden brown. Turn off the heat and carefully, add 1 cup of boiling water and a pinch of salt. Cover and allow couscous to absorb the water
  4. Zesty minted yoghurt: Cut the lemon in half and zest one half of the lemon and put aside. Chop a few mint leaves finely and in a small bowl, add the yoghurt, chopped mint, lemon zest and a squeeze of lemon juice. Mix well ensuring all ingredients are well combined and set aside
  5. Drizzle the salmon with 1 tsp of olive oil and generously season the salmon with Masterfoods Mediterranean spice. Place salmon in a frypan and cook on medium heat skin down for 4 minutes until cooked through and then 2 minutes on each side. Remove from heat once cooked
  6. Wash and drain the chickpeas
  7. Using a fork, fluff up the couscous, ensuring there are no clumps
  8. Combine the roasted vegetables (excluding the asparagus) and the chickpeas with the couscous. Add a squeeze of lemon and mix well

To plate, place the couscous on a plate, top it with Mediterranean spiced salmon, and add a handful of rocket on the side. Top this with roasted asparagus and 2-3 thin lemon wedges. Put some zesty minted yoghurt in a small bowl or directly on the side of the couscous.

Nutritional notes: Salmon contains omega 3 fatty acids that boost fertility in men and women. It also increases selenium, which contributes to the formation of healthy sperm. Chickpeas contain calcium (bone health and enzyme regulation) and magnesium (RNA and DNA production).

Fertility-booster chicken patties

Cook off - Hannah Dean dish

Serving size: 4


  • 500g chicken thigh (approximately 5 small thighs) or 500g chicken mince
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 whole beetroot, shredded or 400g tin of beetroot
  • 1.5 cups chickpeas, mashed
  • 1tbsp ginger
  • 1tsp thyme
  • 1tbsp Brewers yeast
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • ½ small garlic clove
  • ¼ - 1/3 apple cider vinegar*
  • ¼ - 1/3 extra virgin olive oil*
  • 1 avocado
  • ¼ tsp ginger
  • Lemon balm*
  • Salt and pepper

A ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar and olive oil will result in a thick dressing – if you prefer a thinner dressing, use large quantities. Add a tbsp of dried lemon balm or a few fresh leaves as it aids in digestion.

Side salad:

  • 2 cups spinach leaves
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1 whole apple
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • Goat’s cheese*


  1. Combine all ingredients for chicken patties into a medium bowl
  2. Heat a pan over medium heat and a 1tbsp of olive oil. Shape patties and add them to the pan until cooked through
  3. At the same time, combine all ingredients for the sauce into a blender. Set aside
  4. In a medium bowl, combine salad ingredients. Set aside
  5. Once the chicken patties have been cooked, it’s time to assemble!

You can toss your salad with the dressing or drizzle it on top if you prefer! Add goat’s cheese for some extra flavour to the salad, and sauerkraut on top of the chicken patties for an extra probiotic boost!

Nutritional notes: This recipe is rich in various vitamins and minerals that aid in fertility. Chicken contains selenium (aids male fertility), Vitamin B12 (DNA production) and Zinc (necessary for semen to develop, bone formation and skin integrity). Chickpeas contain calcium (bone health and enzyme regulation) and magnesium (RNA and DNA). Walnuts contain omega 3 fatty acids which reduce inflammation.

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Endeavour College of Natural Health

Endeavour College of Natural Health is Australia's largest Higher Education provider of natural medicine courses.

The College is known as the centre of excellence for natural medicine and is respected for its internationally recognised academic teams and high calibre graduates. Endeavour offers Bachelor of Health Science degrees in Naturopathy, Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine, Acupuncture Therapies and Chinese Medicine, Undergraduate Certificates, a Diploma of Health Science and massage courses.

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