Category Archives: Uncategorized

Sesame Green Beans

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Sesame Green Beans

This is a super simple and super yummy way to liven up some green beans.  It’s great as a side dish but I will often make it for myself when I feel like having a green lunch.

Recipe

  • 200 g fresh green beans
  • 1 T soy sauce
  • few drops of sesame oil
  • 1 T toasted sesame seeds

Steam or boil green beans until just beginning to soften. Drain the water from the pan. Add soy sauce and sesame oil and toss well to coat.  Place in serving dish and sprinkle generously with sesame seeds.

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Potato Cauliflower Dill Soup

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Potato Cauliflower Dill Soup

There is nothing like coming home from a holiday to find your home ransacked and burgled. It is such a rude shock to find your personal space violated, and precious keepsakes (worth so much more than money) taken. But the worst part is watching your innocent young children suddenly realise that their home is not the impenetrable sanctuary that they had always thought that it was.

So the sooner we could return to a sense of order and normality the better.

So that night, as an important step in reclaiming our space, we sat down to a quiet, comforting and warming soup.

Recipe

  • 1 med onion
  • 1 T oil
  • 2 large potatoes, washed but not peeled
  • 1 head cauliflower (about 1.2 kg)
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 5 c good quality vegetable or chicken stock (preferably homemade)
  • 2 T finely chopped fresh dill
  • 180 g cream cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Chop onion and sauté in oil until starting to soften.  Add chopped potatoes and celery and 2 cups  of stock.  Bring to boil, then turn down to a simmer and add cauliflower. Cook until cauliflower is soft.

Add dill, cream cheese and salt and pepper and remove from heat. Once cooled enough, blend in a food processor or blender on high speed til as smooth as you like it.  I like to leave mine a little rough and chunky.

Serve with garlic bread.

Lentil Rice and Tomato Bake

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 Tomato Lentil Rice Bake

Someone, I think it was Salsa, once told me that the nutritional value of rice and lentils combined is greater than the nutritional value of them both if eaten separately. I don’t know if this is true, but they taste so good together that I choose to believe that it must be!

This is one of my favourite recipes for a quick but filling and healthy mid-week meal. It is equally delicious in meat-eater, vegetarian or vegan mode…

Recipe

Base

  • 4 c cooked rice (white or brown)
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 2 T fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 T fresh lemon juice
  • 1 egg (optional)

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until well combined.  Lightly spray 20 x 30cm baking dish with oil. Spread rice evenly over the baking dish and press down to flatten the surface.

rice base

Second layer

  • finely sliced cooked chicken breast, and/or
  • 8-10 mushrooms, finely sliced, and/or
  • 1 eggplant, sliced and roasted

Layer your choice of ingredients over the rice.

Third layer

  • oil
  • 1 onion, finely  diced
  • 1 stick celery, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2  c cooked lentils
  • 1 t dried basil
  • 1 t finely chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 fresh tomatoes, diced
  • 1 can tomatoes

Saute the onion and celery in oil until onion is translucent. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to cool  slightly.  Spread evenly over the previous layer.

tomato lentil layer

Topping

  • finely sliced or grated chedder cheese or
  • 2-3 slices day old wholemeal bread

Spread cheese over the tomato layer, or crumble bread into large-ish crumbs, and lightly fry in oil before spreading evenly over the tomato layer.

Bake at 190C until heated through, and cheese has melted, or breadcrumbs have crisped.

Tomato Lentil Bake

Blueberry Smoothie

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The holiday season is still in full swing, but now that Christmas is over we can start to cut back on some of the excess.   A good way to start is to begin the day with a berry smoothie.  They taste so good it’s kind of amazing that they are healthy!

blueberry smoothie ingredients

Recipe

  • 1 c blueberries (or raspberries – fresh or frozen)
  • 1 banana
  • 1 c Greek style yoghurt
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1 c milk – or enough to create the right consistency

Toss it all in a blender – whiz it up, serve and enjoy!  A filling and delicious breakfast that will keep you going for hours!

blueberry_smoothies

Cheats Raspberry Sorbet

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Spring has been very drab this year.  Cool and damp, with the odd warm-ish day in between.  So it was a bit of a shock when Sunday turned blisteringly hot and dry and still.  With girls giggling indoors with curtains closed – apparently rehearsing for a school talent show, and boys out in the backyard with a soccer ball (of course) getting sweaty and smelly, I decided that the parents sweltering on the back porch needed something to reward our parental patience and sooth our boiling insides.

This treat is quick, easy, healthy, and wonderfully refreshing.

Recipe

  • 5 ice cubes
  • 1 c apricot nectar
  • 2 c frozen raspberries
  • 1 T icing sugar (optional – see how sweet your raspberries are…)
  • raspberries to serve

Drop ice cubes into blender running at top speed.  Once crushed add raspberries, nectar and sugar.  Once blended, poor into serving cups and top with raspberries. Enjoy!

Idea adapted from “Family Circle”, Christmas 2008, p108.

An Aussie Halloween

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Ultimately, this post is about a pumpkin.  Not a pumpkin that we have eaten, but I figure that since pumpkin is actually edible, this post belongs on a food blog!

Coming to Australia as a child, there were so many things I missed about America.  Halloween was a big one.  What child couldn’t love Halloween?  Getting dressed up in costumes, decorating everything in sight, cutting up and lighting the pumpkins, and … candy candy candy! Heaven!

But back then, NO ONE celebrated Halloween here. Everyone knew what it was but it hadn’t caught on. The chocolate and candy here weren’t the same or as varied.  There was no candy corn, a personal childhood favourite, no Hershey’s,  and even M&Ms hadn’t come here by then. And the only pumpkins were big funny shaped blue pumpkins.

They taste good but just didn’t appeal for carving.  The one saving grace was that for the first 4 or 5 years, my grandmother used to post us a big box of American munchies. Bless her!

Halloween still isn’t huge here, but it is getting bigger every year.  Nowadays you do see houses decorated and kids do go out trick or treating, especially in our little pocket of the world for some reason.

For the first time since I can remember, the local shops were selling American pumpkins!! We won’t talk about the OUTRAGEOUS price being charged, but these were proper big round bright orange easy to cut American pumpkins and when my daughter saw them she HAD to have one! The kids had so much fun (with some help from Wal) gutting the big fella and carving a face into him.

And, today, the kids were allowed to go to school in costumes – lots of fun for kids who are used to wearing school uniforms!

Of course this is the Sunburnt Country, and while we are a long way from the summer heat, Halloween is different in the heat.  Think sweat-streaked makeup, sticky wet costumes, and of course the chocolate (and the pumpkin while off duty) requiring refridgeration!

So happy Halloween everyone.

This post dedicated to Darlene and  the Prof, and The Cousins! with love xx

Roast Pumpkin and Rocket Salad

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Rocket is my favourite salad green.  So many things taste good with rocket.  I add it to green salads that might otherwise be bland, and it is a great topping for a range of foods from risotto to casseroles to soups. Rocket is also fabulous as the basis for a salad with nuts, seeds, and an assortment of vegetables.

A salad like the one below works as a main meal for lunch, or as an excellent accompaniment for a simple barbecue.

Recipe

  • 200 g peppery rocket
  • 750 g Kent or Butternut pumpkin
  • 1 lg clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced finely
  • 100 g pecans, cut in half
  • 100 g reduced fat crumbly feta
  • 2 T good quality balsamic vinegar
  • 4 T macadamia oil
  • salt, pepper to taste

Cut pumpkin into 1.5 cm squares. Place on oven tray with garlic and 2 T macadamia oil.  Roast until soft. Set aside to cool.

Wash and drain rocket and place in a shallow salad bowl.  Add pecans and onion to salad bowl. Crumble feta into salad. Add pumpkin and mix salad carefully.

Drizzle with vinegar and remaining oil, and season.

Optional extras

  • 2 rashers bacon rinely chopped and cooked until crispy
  • 3 T toasted pine nuts and/or pumpkin seeds and/or sunflower seeds