Thursday, December 06, 2012

Raw Carrot Dip

4 carrots, washed & trimmed
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp crushed garlic
pinch sea salt
1/2 cup raw cashews
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp ground cumin

Soak cashews overnight in water then drain.
Blend all ingredients together to desired consistency.
Serve with vegies and crackers, if desired.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Easy Chargrilled Vegetable Lasagne

Serves 6

1 large eggplant, thinly sliced into rounds
2 zucchini, thinly sliced diagonally
canola or olive oil spray
500g smooth ricotta
500g cottage cheese
cracked black pepper
700g bottle passata
6 large instant lasagne sheets
500g jar chargrilled capsicum, drained & cut into small lengths
190g jar basil pesto
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 180C.
Spray eggplant & zucchini with oil spray & chargrill over medium-high heat in batches until browned, then cool.
Mix ricotta, cottage cheese & pepper together in bowl.
Grease a medium baking dish with oil spray.
Pour 200g passata over base of dish & cover with 2 lasagne sheets.
Using 1/2 of vegetables, layer eggplant, then zucchini, then capsicum.
Spread over 1/2 of cheese mix, then 250g passata.
Layer again 2 lasagne sheets then remaining vegetables, cheese mix & passata.
Cover with last 2 lasagne sheets & spread over pesto.
Sprinkle over cheddar then parmesan cheeses.
Cover with foil & bake for 30 min.
Uncover & bake for further 15-20 min or until cheese is lightly browned & lasagne is cooked.
Enjoy with salad & your favourite red wine!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Roast Pumpkin & Lentil Salad

Serves 4-6

1.5kg butternut pumpkin
sea salt
1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup quinoa*, rinsed & drained
1 1/2 cups water
2x400g cans brown lentils, rinsed & drained
1 medium red onion, finely sliced
4 spring onions (scallions), chopped
1/2 cup fresh coriander, chopped
1/2 tsp ground cumin seeds
zest & juice of 1 lemon
3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
sea salt & cracked black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 190C & line baking tray with non-stick baking paper.
Peel & chop pumpkin into small pieces (~1cm cubes), season with little salt & drizzle with olive oil.
Baked until cooked & charred along edges (20-30 min), remove from oven & cool.
Meanwhile place quinoa in small saucepan with water, bring to boil, then reduce heat, cover & simmer for 10 min or until all water is absorbed.
Remove from heat & cool completely.
Place pumpkin & lentils in bowl; gently stir in quinoa, onion, spring onions & coriander.
To make dressing, mix all ingredients well, pour over salad & gently toss through.

*Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is an ancient seed native to the Andes Mountains. It is considered to be almost a complete food, being very high in protein, containing all 9 essential amino acids (the only known grain to do so), is full of vitamins, & is totally gluten-, wheat- & cholesterol-free. It is available from the health food aisle of the major supermarkets & many health food stores.

Grilled Thigh Fillets with Salsa Verde

Serves 4

8 chicken thigh fillets (880g)
salsa verde
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint
1/3 cup (80ml) olive oil
1/2 cup (125ml) lemon juice
1/4 cup (50g) rinsed, drained capers, chopped coarsely
8 anchovy fillets, drained, chopped coarsely
2 cloves garlic, crushed

Combine all ingredients of salsa verde.
Place 1/3 cup of salsa verde in medium bowl; add chicken, turning to coat in marinade.
Cook chicken on heated oiled grill plate, or grill or BBQ, until browned both sides & cooked through.
Serve topped with remaining salsa & potatoes cooked to your liking (mashed, smashed, boiled...).

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Ren's Magic Muffins

This one is straight from the lovely René, a fellow new mum, and can be used for sweet or savoury muffins.

Makes 9-10

base dry ingredients
1.5 cups self raising flour
If sweet: 1/2 cup sugar OR if savoury: 1 tbsp sugar (I use raw, low GI)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

base wet ingredients
1 cup milk
If sweet: 1/4 cup canola oil OR if savoury: 1/4 cup olive oil
1 egg

1 1/2 cups of lovely stuff, e.g. fresh fruit, dried fruit, chocolate, nuts, cheese, cooked veggies, whatever the 'title' of the muffin is.

Preheat oven to 200°C.
Grease 9-10 cups of a muffin tray or place paper muffin cups in tray.
Combine dry ingredients (base & dry additions e.g. nuts) in one bowl.
Combine wet ingredients (base & wet additions e.g. fresh fruit) in another bowl.
Mix wet & dry ingredients.
Spoon batter into muffin cups 2/3 full.
Bake 20-30 min until golden brown.

My favourite combo is capsisum & feta - I chop up little squares of red, yellow & green capsicums (frying them in a bit of olive oil & herbs & adding them in step 4) & one biggish cube of feta per muffin. I don't add the feta in step 4, but instead place them into the muffins in step 6 to be sure everyone gets one!
I like to sprinkle sesame seeds on top if making the capsicum/feta muffins - I do this between steps 6 & 7.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Some breakfast favourites:

Breakfast Muffins

Makes 12

3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups caster sugar
1/2 cup milk
3 eggs
3 cups plain flour, sifted
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 apple, grated
2 bananas, mashed
250g strawberries, chopped
1 tbsp raw sugar

Preheat oven to 180C.
Place oil, caster sugar, milk & eggs in medium bowl & whisk to combine.
Place flour, baking powder 1/3 cup rolled oats & cinnamon in large bowl & stir to combine.
Add fruit to flour mixture & stir to combine.
Add milk mixture to flour mixture & stir until just combined, being careful not to overmix.
Spoon into 12 x 1 cup greased muffin tins.
Sprinkle tops with remaining oats & raw sugar.
Bake for 25 min or until cooked when tested with a skewer.

Variation: if strawberries are out of season, substitute an extra grated apple & 2 mandarins, sectioned, seeded & chopped.

Bircher Muesli

Serves 4

1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup apple juice, warmed
2 green apples, grated
1 cup thick natural yoghurt
1/2 cup slivered almonds
honey, to serve

Place oats & apple juice in large bowl, cover with plastic wrap & allow to stand for 30 min or until oats are softened.
Stir in grated apple.
To serve, divide yoghurt between 4 serving glasses, top with oat mixture, almonds & honey.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Carrot Soup

Very easy & tasty; husband said it was the best thing he could think of to do with carrots!

Serves 4

1 tbsp olive oil
1 leek, halved lengthways, thinly sliced
6 carrots, peeled, chopped
4cm piece ginger, peeled, grated
2 cups vegetable stock
2 cups water
sea salt & cracked black pepper
light sour cream, dill/coriander/chives & toast, to serve

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat.
Add leek, carrots & ginger.
Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 8 min, or until vegetables start to soften.
Add stock & water to saucepan & cover.
Bring to boil then reduce heat to medium-low.
Simmer, covered, for 20 min, or until carrots are very tender.
Remove from heat & set aside to cool slightly.
Process or blend soup until smooth.
Return to saucepan & heat over medium-high heat until hot.
Season with salt & pepper.
Ladle soup into bowls, top with sour cream & herb of choice & serve with toast.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Hummingbird Cake

Serves 8

melted butter, to grease
440g can crushed pineapple in juice
1 cup mashed overripe banana (2 large bananas, approx.)
1/4 cup fresh passionfruit pulp (3 passionfruit, approx.)
1 cup caster sugar
2 eggs, lightly whisked
150g unsalted butter, melted
1 3/4 cups self-raising flour, sifted
2 tsp ground cinnamon

cream cheese icing
250g pkt cream cheese, at room temperature
60g unsalted butter, extra, at room temperature
3/4 cup icing sugar mixture

Preheat oven to 170°C.
Brush round 22cm (base measurement) cake pan with melted butter to lightly grease.
Line base with non-stick baking paper.
Drain pineapple, reserving 1 tbsp juice.
Combine pineapple, banana, passionfruit pulp, sugar & egg in large bowl.
Stir in butter.
Add flour & cinnamon & stir until just combined.
Spoon into prepared pan.
Bake for 1 hour 10 min or until skewer inserted into centre comes out clean.
Set aside in pan for 5 min to cool.
Turn onto wire rack to cool completely.
To make the cream cheese icing, use electric beater to beat cream cheese, butter, icing sugar & reserved pineapple juice in bowl until smooth.
Spread over the top of the cake & enjoy!
Freezing tip: After cooling cake completely, wrap in 2 layers of plastic wrap. Freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw & spread over icing.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Lactation Cookies

Thanks to my friend Lisa for this one

Makes 4-6 dozen

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
4 tbsp water
2 tbsp flaxseed meal (can be found in the health food aisle of supermarkets or at any local health food store)
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2-4 tbsp brewers yeast* (be generous)
3 cups oats, thick cut if you can get them
1 cup or more chocolate chips/sultanas/almonds (whatever takes your fancy)

Preheat oven to 180°C.
Mix together 2 tbsp of flaxseed meal & water, set aside for 3-5 minutes.
Cream butter & sugar.
Add eggs one at a time, mixing well.
Stir flaxseed mixture & add with vanilla to the butter mixture.
Beat until blended.
Sift together dry ingredients, except oats & choc chips/sultanas/nuts.
Add to butter mixture.
Stir in oats then choc chips/sultanas/nuts.
Scoop or drop onto lined baking sheet.
The dough is a little crumbly, so it helps to use a scoop.
Bake for 8-12 min, depending on size of cookies.

* If you need to increase your supply even more, add more brewers yeast, which is the magic ingredient!

Potato, Bacon & Spinach Frittata

Serves 4-6

800g potatoes, peeled
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced thinly
4 bacon rashers, chopped finely
250g frozen spinach, defrosted (or 8 large spinach leaves, shredded finely)
6 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup coarsely grated cheddar cheese

Cut potatoes into 2cm cubes.
Boil, steam or microwave until just tender; drain.
Heat oil in large non-stick pan; cook onion & bacon, stirring, until onion is soft.
Add potatoes; stir until browned lightly.
Add spinach; stir (if using fresh, until just wilted).
Whisk eggs & milk in large bowl.
Pour egg mixture into pan; cook, tilting pan, over medium heat until egg mixture is almost set.
Sprinkle frittata with cheese; place pan under heated grill until cheese is browned lightly.
Serve hot or cold with green salad.