Saturday, 5 December 2015

Blueberry Pancakes

So quick, so blue, so yum

Ingredients
serves 2
takes 10 mins
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • dash of sea salt
  • 1 cup full fat milk
  • 2 cups frozen (or fresh) blueberries
  • serve with yoghurt & maple syrup or topping of choice



Method
  1. Place all ingredients except blueberries into large mixing
    bowl.
  2. Whisk together until you have a lovely smooth batter
  3. Fold blueberries through
  4. Heat frying pan on a medium to high heat and dollop in some coconut or olive oil or butter
  5. Add a ladle of batter and cook for 1-2 mins or until little bubbles appear on the surface, the flip and cook for a further minute
  6. Serve immediately with your favourite topping. Yum!

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Yotam Ottolenghi's Parsnip Dumplings in Broth

I learnt a valuable lesson when I made this for my sister (ex-chef) and that's not to add water to vegetable stock after its been soaking up delicious flavours for hours, hence watering down the flavour and making it taste...well, like water. I don't know why I did it, clearly all logic had left the kitchen. Ottolenghi adds prunes so here I was expecting gasps of 'what's your secret ingredient' - not hmmm the broth is a bit bland [insert very sad face]. So while my ex-chef sister kindly explained stock making #101 I was already planning when I was going to make it next, which I did and it was divine [insert very happy face]. Another tip for stock is to add the hard rind from cheese, haven't tried prunes and rind together though so guess what Trevor, we're having this third time in a row :)

Ingredients

serves 4

Broth

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into batons
  • 5 celery sticks, cut into chunks
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • ½ celeriac, peeled and cut roughly (I left this out second time around & didn't notice)
  • 7 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 small bunches flat-leaf parsley
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 8 prunes

For the dumplings
  • 200g floury potato (1 small), peeled and diced
  • 200g parsnip, peeled and diced
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 30g butter
  • 60g self-raising flour 
  • 50g semolina
  • 1 free range egg
  • Salt and white pepper

Method
  1. To make the broth, sauté the vegetables until lightly coloured. Add the herbs, spices and prunes, cover with cold water and simmer for up to two hours, skimming and adding water as needed
  2. Strain the broth through a fine sieve into a clean pan and set aside for reheating.
  3. For the dumplings,  boil the potato, parsnip and garlic in salted water until soft. Drain, and sauté in butter to remove moisture. Mash, whisk in the flour, semolina, egg and a little seasoning, cover and refrigerate for 30-60mins.
  4. Reheat the broth to a simmer and taste for seasoning.
  5. In another pan, bring some salted water to a rolling simmer and using a hot teaspoon, drop in small dumplings. Cook until they rise to the top, leave for 30 seconds, then transfer to the hot broth, garnish with parsley and serve. Enjoy!



Sunday, 4 October 2015

Creamy Citrus Fish Stew

Limes weren't in season when I made this so I doubled up on the lemons. The coconut milk provided creaminess while the tomatoes and lemons cut through to provide a great citrus tingle. Yum!

Ingredients
serves 2
takes 30mins chilling time
20mins cooking time
  • 1 tsp finely grated lime zest, divided
  • 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest, divided
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh coriander leaves roughly chopped, divided
  • 2 x 200g cod, snapper, or any firm-fleshed, mild white fish fillets, skinned & boned (I used monkfish)
  • 500g raw prawns, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 large red onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tin diced tomatoes, in juices
  • 1 tin full-fat coconut milk
  • 1½ teaspoons fish sauce
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (remember Trevor, this has a kick!)
Instructions
  1. In a large glass bowl, combine ½ teaspoon of the lime zest, ½ teaspoon of the lemon zest, the lime and lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons of the chopped coriander. Add the fish and prawns and refrigerate, covered, for 30 minutes.
  2. Melt the coconut oil in a medium soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 10 minutes, or until translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds more.
  3. Add the tomatoes, coconut milk, fish sauce, and cayenne pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes, covered.
  4. Add the fish and prawns along with the marinade. Bring to a simmer and cook another 6 to 8 minutes, or until the fish starts to flake and the shrimp is cooked through.
  5. Serve garnished with the remaining coriander and citrus zest. Enjoy!

Crispy Skin Fish with Cauliflower Puree

Love this easy dish from Donna Hay, the new classics. It ticks all the boxes and looks posh enough to serve as a "special" dish or just whip it up during the week to super impress.

Instructions
serves 4
takes 40mins
  • 1kg cauliflower, chopped
  • 250ml (1 cup) single cream
  • 750ml (2.5 cups) free range chicken stock
  • 20g unsalted butter, chopped
  • pinch sea salt flakes
  • 4 x 200g firm white fish fillets, skin on
  • olive oil, for brushing
  • 80g unsalted butter, extra
  • 4 tablespoons fresh oregano OR sage leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
Method
  1. Place the cauliflower, cream and stock in a saucepan over a high heat and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid and cook for 20 minutes or until tender. 
  2. Drain the cauliflower, reserving 2 tablespoons of the liquid.
  3. Place the cauliflower and liquid in the bowl of a food processor with the butter and salt and process until smooth OR use a hand blender. Set aside and keep warm.
  4. Heat a nonstick frying pan over a high heat. Brush the fish with oil and cook, skin-side down, for 2-4 minutes or until golden and crisp. 
  5. Turn and cook for a further 1-2 minutes or until cooked through (depends on how thick the pieces of fish are). Remove from the pan and keep warm. 
  6. Add the butter and fresh leaves to the pan and cook for 1 minute or until just browned. Remove from the heat and stir through the garlic and vinegar. 
  7. Top the purée with the fish and spoon over the oregano butter to serve. Enjoy!


    recipe source: Donna Hay


    Sunday, 16 August 2015

    Raw Chocolate Mint Slice

    Lot's of nutritional goodness in this raw slice: almonds, cacao, coconut, cashews, tahini, kale...WT? Oh yes, I managed to slip some kale powder in among all the goodness. This is from Dr Libby's Real Food Chef with some minor tweaks.

    Ingredients
    Base:
    • 2 cups raw almonds (soaked in water) OR I used 1 cup ground almonds
    • 6 Medjool dates, pitted & coarsely chopped
    • 1 cup Cacao powder
    • 1/2 Cup desiccated coconut
    • 2 tbsp tahini or water
    • 2 tbsp water

    Blend all the ingredients  in a food processor until combined. Press into a 25cm x 35cm slice tin and freeze for 10-15 minutes or until set.

    Next make the mint layer and spread over the set base.

    Mint layer:
    • 1 tbsp Spirulina or kale powder (this adds the green colour but you can't taste it)
    • 10 drops peppermint oil
    • 2 cups raw cashews
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 1/4 cup rice syrup or honey or maple syrup
    Blend the ingredients in a food processor till smooth.

    Once you have put the mint layer on let it set in the freezer and once it has set top it with the choc icing below.

    Chocolate icing:
    • 2 cups raw cashews
    • 1/2 cup rice syrup or honey or maple syrup
    • 3/4 cup Cacao powder
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 100 grams cacao butter or coconut oil
    • 1/4 tsp tamari
    Melt cacao butter (or coconut oil) in a saucepan over gentle heat. Allow to cool. Then combine this  with the rest of the ingredients in a food processor and blend till smooth.

    Return the tin it to the freezer now with all 3 layers so the choc icing can freeze and set. Enjoy :)

    Thursday, 23 July 2015

    Cauliflower Mac n Cheese

    Nothing says comfort food like mac n' cheese. And I reckon this one is healthy as it has a good helping of cauliflower ;)

    Ingredients
    serves 4
    takes 30 mins
    • 1 cup dried macaroni or your favourite dried 'tube like' pasta
    • 50g butter, coarsely chopped
    • 1/3 cup brown flour
    • 2 cups milk
    • 1/2 - 1 cup coarsely grated aged cheddar, plus extra for scattering over the top
    • 2 tbsp chopped thyme or parsely
    • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
    • 1/2 cauliflower, cut into bite sized florets
    • 1/4 cup coarse day-old sourdough breadcrumbs or Panko 
    • large handful hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
    • 1 tbsp olive oil
    • To serve: green leaf salad...or not :)
    Method
    1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat
    2. Bring a large pot of water to boil then add dried macaroni and cook until al dente (5-6 minutes) 
    3. Adding cauliflower after 2 minutes
    4. Drain and pour into a large baking dish & set aside
    5. Combine breadcrumbs, hazelnuts, oil 1 tbsp thyme in a bowl & set aside
    6. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat, add flour and stir until golden (2-4 minutes)
    7. Gradually whisk in milk and stir until mixture is thick and comes to the boil (2-4 minutes)
    8. Stir in cheese, remaining 1 tbsp thyme, mustard & season to taste
    9. Pour cheese sauce over cooked pasta & cauliflower, stir in and scatter with remaining cheese and grill until golden (3-4 minutes)
    10. Serve with green salad if you like ;)




    source: Taste Magazine#112

    Saturday, 9 May 2015

    Fig & Goat's Cheese Focaccia

    Fancy cheese on toast! From Nigel Slater's book, Eat.

    Ingredients
    serves 2
    • 6 figs, sliced thinly
    • 250g soft goats cheese, sliced into 2cm slices
    • 4 tblsp soft honey
    • loaf of fresh focaccia
    • 2 tsp fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped

    Method
    1. Set oven to 200oC.
    2. Split the focaccia horizontally to give two pieces and place on an oven tray.
    3. Pour some of the honey over the focaccia and place figs on top followed by another trickle of honey and rosemary leaves. Bake for 15 mins.
    4. Remove and add slices of goat's cheese. Turn oven to grill setting and grill for 5 minutes or until cheese starts to melt. Serve immediately. YUM :)

    Grilled Eggplant & Haloumi with Tomato Vinaigrette

    Tasty, quick week day meal with only two main ingredients it still hits the satisfaction spot.

    Ingredients
    serves 2

    • 3 eggplant, cut widthways into 1½ cm-thick slices
    • olive oil
    • 250 g haloumi, thickly sliced
    • ½ cup (loosely packed) mint leaves, coarsely chopped 
    Tomato vinaigrette
    • 400 g very ripe vine-ripened tomatoes (about 4) coarsely chopped
    • 100 ml extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar

    Method

    1. For tomato vinaigrette, purée tomatoes in a food processor,
      pass through a fine sieve into a bowl (discard seeds and skin), stir in olive oil and vinegar and season to taste. If you have a Vitamix you won't have to sieve it!
    2. Preheat a char-grill over medium-high heat. Brush eggplant slices with olive oil and grill, in batches, turning once until cooked through (4-5 minutes each side).
    3. Increase char-grill to high heat, brush haloumi with olive oil, grill until golden (1-2 minutes each side). Arrange with eggplant on serving plates, drizzle with vinaigrette, scatter with mint and serve immediately. YUM :)
    source: Gourmet Traveller

    Orange & Chocolate Chip Cake

    I don't do a lot of baking so when I do it has to be easy. This cake comes from my favourite kiwi cook, Annabel Langbein. Just throw the ingredients into a food processor, easy! I've made a few changes to make it slightly healthier but still yum.



    Ingredients

    • 1 large orange (unpeeled)
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 125gms softened butter
    • 1 cup sugar (I used 1/2 cup stevia; 1/2 cup coconut sugar)
    • 2 free range eggs
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 2 cups chickpea flour
    • 1 cup cocoa nibs (or sultanas/raisins or chocolate chips)
    • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts


    1. Preheat oven to 160 deg C. Grease a 20cm diameter cake tin and
      line the base with baking paper.
    2. Cut the orange into quarters, remove the seeds and whizz in a food processor until finely chopped.
    3. Dissolve baking soda in 1/2 cup water and add to the food processor with butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla and flour. Whizz to combine. Add cocoa nibs and walnuts and stir with a spoon or pulse several times to just combine (don’t whizz them or they will break up)
    4. Pour into prepared cake tin and bake until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. (about 35 minutes)
    5. Orange lightening cake will keep in an airtight container for up to a week or can be frozen.

    Thursday, 16 April 2015

    Crispy Snapper in Butter, Leek & Caper sauce

    Snapper cooked in butter served with a crispy skin, topped with salty capers, olives, baby leeks and juicy borlotti beans in under 20 minutes. Yum!


    Ingredients
    serves 2
    • 3 tbsp olive oil
    • 15g butter
    • 4-6 baby leeks, trimmed & sliced thinly (or one large leek) or diced onion
    • 2-4 garlic cloves, peeled & crushed
    • 1 x 400g can borlotti beans and 2tbsp salted capers - drained & rinsed
    • 1 tbsp tomato paste
    • 1/2 cup red wine
    • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
    • 1/2 cup pitted green olives 
    • sea salt & pepper
    • small handful of fresh parsley
    • 2 firm white fish fillets - I used snapper with skin on. If you choose a fillet with no skin, dust in seasoned flour before cooking
    • baby spinach leaves to serve
    Method
    1. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a sauce pan over a medium heat and cook the leek & garlic until soft.
    2. Add beans, tomato paste, red wine, vinegar, olives, stir and
      season. Simmer for 5 minutes, take off heat and add fresh parsley.
    3. Prepare fish i.e dust with seasoned flour or if serving with the skin on, score across the fillets then season.
    4. In a fry pan add 1 tbsp olive oil and 15g of butter, medium-high heat until butter almost turns brown. Add fish, skin side down and cook until brown, 2-3 minutes. Flip fish over, turn heat off and let it sit for 1-2 minutes until fish is opaque & cooked through.
    5. To serve: place fish on plate, pour over sauce from the fry pan. Spoon beans over the fish, and top with salad leaves, freshly ground pepper and drizzle of olive oil. Enjoy!
    adapted from Dish#59

    Friday, 3 April 2015

    Easy Pancakes (rice flour)

    Trevor & I are cutting out wheat at the moment so experimenting with different flours. I love pancakes but these kinda turned into pikelet size and they certainly weren't fluffy but apparently if you let the mixture sit for an hour or overnight this helps.  I'll let you know if I'm ever that organised to make something an hour ahead before I get hungry! But this worked without the waiting and once we smothered them in maple syrup & blue berries they were yum.

    Ingredients
    makes about 8-10

    • 1 cup brown rice flour
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • dash of sea salt
    • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
    • 1 cup milk (I used rice milk)
    • 1 egg
    • 1 tbsp coconut oil
    • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    • To serve: fresh blueberries & maple syrup

    Method

    1. In a large bowl whisk together the dry ingredients first followed by all the wet ingredients.
    2. Oil a fry pan, heat on medium adding batter (which will be quite runny) only once pan is hot. I kept mine pikelet sized as they were easier to flip.
    3. Once bubbles begin to form on top, flip & cook until browned on other side.
    4. Serve hot with maple syrup & fresh blueberries. Enjoy!

    Wednesday, 11 February 2015

    Prawn and Kelp Noodle Salad

    Delicious quick weekday meal? Tick. Packed with antioxidants? Tick? Enough to justify a Flake afterwards? Tick. Tick. 

    This is a great relaxing salad as you 'layer' up the ingredients as you go, mixing with your hands to help immerse the flavours and there's hardly any cooking involved. If you don't have kelp noodles on hand (worth looking for as they are gluten free and so nutritious) you can use glass noodles. Ditto with the other salad ingredients i.e if you don't have edamame beans try fresh peas. No cashew nuts, use pumpkin seeds or pistachio. Recipe is from Dish.

    Ingredients
    takes 30 minutes
    serves 2-3

    • 400grams raw, peeled & deveined prawns
    • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
    • 1/2 bag kelp or glass noodles, prepare according to packet instructions
    • 1/2 cup frozen edamame beans or fresh peas, cooked
    • 2 spring onions, finely sliced
    • 1 long chilli, sliced thinly (depending on hotness either de-seed or leave them in)
    • 1 medium carrot, grated or julienned
    • 1/4 red cabbage, finely chopped
    • 1/4 cup roasted cashew nuts
    • good handful fresh coriander

    Dressing

    • 3 tbsp olive oil
    • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
    • finely grated zest & juice of an orange
    • 1 clove garlic, crushed
    • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
    • sea salt & freshly ground pepper

    Method

    1. I like to prepare all the salad ingredients before I cook the prawns. Add to a large serving platter as you slice & dice, mixing everything up with your hands (or spoon) as you go.
    2. To cook the prawns heat oil in large fry pan over a medium-high heat and add prawns, don't clutter the pan. When they change colour slightly take off the heat, sprinkle with sesame seeds and season. Set aside to cool.
    3. For the dressing, place all the ingredients into a jar and give it a good shake. Add to serving platter, top with the prawns and enjoy!


    Sunday, 25 January 2015

    Creamy Avocado Basil Pasta

    Pasta tends to be a bit heavy during summer so loving this light sauce that hides a bucketful of spinach but requires no cooking. Handy when you need some carbs for that run or cycle the next morning.

    Ingredients
    serves 2
    takes 15 minutes
    • pasta of choice (I used about 250grams dried pappardelle but this works with any type of pasta including fresh)
    • 2 avocados, peeled
    • 2 cloves garlic, peeled & roughly chopped
    • 1 lemon, juiced
    • large bunch of baby spinach leaves
    • 6 large basil leaves
    • 2 tbsp of olive oil
    • Sea salt & freshly cracked pepper 
    • 1/4 cup starchy water (from the cooked pasta)
    • 2 tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese, to serve 
    Method

    1. Grab a large pot & fill with water, add a pinch of sea salt and bring to the boil. Add pasta and cook according to instructions. Save 1/4 cup of the pasta water then drain.
    2. Into a food processor add the rest of the ingredients with the pasta water. Save the parmesan cheese to serve. Blend everything until smooth. 
    3. Serve the sauce over the warm pasta sprinkled with parmesan cheese and freshly cracked pepper. Enjoy!