Friday, 26 September 2014

Parsley Pesto Pasta and Roasted Tomatoes

My little garden has produced an abundance of flat leaf parsley over winter, so far it seems to be the only thing that has done well, and there are only so many things one can do with parsley right? Then I remembered the Broccoli Pesto the wonderful Sarah Wilson from iquitsugar produced and after a bit of googling came up with a parsley version which not only went well with pasta but also scrambled eggs and chicken. I've spent the last week cooking only with ingredients in the cupboards and fridge and this pesto has added so much flavour to otherwise boring dishes.

Ingredients
  • 2 cups packed flat leaf parsley, stems removed
  • 4-6 gloves of garlic, peeled (I love garlic in pesto so if you aren't a fan cut down to 2-3 gloves)
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts or you can use walnuts
  • Lemon - juiced
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (we had just stocked up on some amazing sheep cheese from Matatoki Farm and I used something similar to a Parmesan)
  • 2/3 cup olive oil (from Azzuro Groves - the best Olive oil
    around!)
  • sea salt & freshly cracked pepper
  • pasta - I just used dried
  • tomatoes - I used vine as they were on special
  • feta (optional)
Method
  1. Throw all the ingredients except the olive oil into a food processor and blend until a paste forms then gradually add in olive oil. Season and keep in fridge.
  2. Preheat oven to 180oC. Place tomatoes on an oven tray and splash some olive oil over them and season. Bake for around 20 minutes or until they are caramelised and starting to collapse.
  3. Cook pasta according to packet instructions.
  4. Mix the pesto into the drained pasta, crumble in some feta if using and serve with roasted tomatoes on top and a generous ground of fresh black pepper. Enjoy!

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Steak n Kidney Pie

Oh there is nothing quite like a good ole steak n kidney pie in the middle of winter. And for those strange people that don't like kidney (seriously???) you can double up the amount of mushrooms. Check out my fancy pastry work, always the best part to eat.

Ingredients
  • 800g chuck steak, cubed (or any good stewing steak)
  • 6 lamb kidneys, remove any membranes from the kidney and slice each one in half lengthwise, cut out the hard core using a small sharp knife then cut into pieces
  • 1 large onion, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 200g mushrooms, I used large portobellos (double if you aren't
    using kidney)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2-4 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 2 carrots, peeled & chopped - I used purple carrots just because they are in season
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 2 tbsp cornflour, mixed with 1/4 cup of water
  • salt & freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley 
  • 350g shortcrust or puff pastry
 Method
  1. Place steak, kidneys, onions, mushrooms, bay leaf, thyme, carrots, leek & beef stock in a pot, cover & simmer on lowest heat for 1 1/4 hours. Add some water if it looks like it's drying out.
  2. Stir in cornflour paste to thicken.
  3. Season well and add in fresh parsley. Cool then place in a pie dish & cover with pastry (enamel pie dishes are great with puff pastry).
  4. Bake at 200oC for about 30 minutes or until pastry is puffed & golden. Serve with mashed potatoes and enjoy!

inspired by Annabel Langbein

Decadent Scrambled Eggs

As Mum says, if you have eggs in the house you have a meal and these would make a substantial dish for any time of the day. I use salmon chorizo from Farro Fresh to top the eggs as I don't eat pork, plus they don't have any crap in them. You can also use smoked salmon or prosciutto or some sliced avocado. The pesto adds a depth of creaminess that wins over cream and again there are options as pesto can be expensive. I've included a recipe for broccoli pesto because how cool is that, sneaking in a green vege! When I don't have any on hand I buy a dip from the supermarket that makes an inexpensive substitute. Finally, I use caramelised onions as the toast topping. With all these extras this egg meal will keep you full for hours.


serves 2
takes 10 minutes

Ingredients
  • 8 free range eggs
  • freshly ground pepper and salt
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp pesto or make a quick Broccoli Pesto 
  • salmon chorizo, sliced or smoked salmon slices or sliced avocado
  • caramelised onions
Method
  1. Heat a fry pan over a medium heat. I add a couple of knobs of
    butter.
  2. Break the eggs into a bowl, add milk, parsley & season. Grab a
    fork & give it a good stir so they egg yolks are mixed.
  3. When the pan is heated & butter melted, add the eggs. Let them cook for 2-3 minutes then using a wooden spoon gently break them up, stirring occasionally. Just before they are set stir in the pesto. Remove eggs from pan so you can give the chorizo a quick sear on each side.
  4. To serve, on top of toast add a dollop of caramelised onion then the scrambled egg mixture. Placed the cooked chorizo on top. Finish off with some freshly ground pepper and enjoy!

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Pumpkin & Haloumi Burgers

My meat loving partner cooked these up and they were better than any meat burger I've had...well except for the ones I've made ;)

serves 4
takes 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 650g peeled butternut pumpkin, chopped
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
  • 2 teaspoons zaatar
  • 400g can chickpeas, rinsed, drained, mashed with a fork
  • 1 cup (70g) fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 200g thick Greek-style yoghurt
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon, plus 1 tablespoon juice
  • 250g haloumi, sliced
  • 4 bread rolls, toasted
  • Butter lettuce leaves and tomato slices, to serve
Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C.
  2. Place pumpkin on a baking tray, drizzle with oil, scatter with 1 teaspoon zaatar and season. Roast for 20-25 minutes until
    tender and lightly caramelised. Transfer to a bowl and mash to
    a coarse paste with chickpeas, crumbs, parsley and egg. Shape into 4 patties. Chill for 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the yoghurt, tahini and lemon zest and juice in a bowl. Season and set aside until ready to serve.
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a frypan over medium heat. Fry the patties, turning once, for 6-8 minutes until golden. Keep warm.
  5. Wipe the pan clean, then return to medium heat. Place the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the frypan, add the haloumi and cook, turning, for 1-2 minutes until golden.
  6. To assemble, spread the bottoms of the toasted rolls with the yoghurt mixture, then top with lettuce, tomato, haloumi, a pumpkin patty and an extra dollop of the yoghurt mixture. Sprinkle with remaining 1 teaspoon zaatar, then replace the roll tops and serve immediately. Enjoy!
from Delicious

Tofu and Pumpkin Laksa

Love, love, love this quick laksa from Donna Hay. It's worth splashing out on a good quality laksa paste.

serves 4
takes 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • ⅔ cup (185g) store-bought laksa paste
  • 2 cups (500ml) chicken stock 
  • 2 x 400ml cans coconut milk 
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce 
  • 800g pumpkin, peeled and sliced 
  • 400g broccolini, trimmed and chopped 
  • 250g dried vermicelli noodles, cooked 
  • 300g silken tofu, sliced 
  • 4 spring onions, thinly sliced 
  • 1 cup fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves, roughly chopped 
  • 1-2 long red chillies, finely sliced (take seeds out for less heat)
Method
  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over high heat. 
  2. Add the laksa paste and cook for 1 minute. 
  3. Add the stock, coconut milk and fish sauce and bring to the boil. 
  4. Add the pumpkin and cook for 12 minutes or until tender. 
  5. Add the broccolini and cook for a further 2 minutes or until tender. 
  6. Divide the noodles between bowls and spoon over the soup. 
  7. Top with the tofu, green onion, coriander and chilli to serve. Enjoy!

Roast Vege Frittata

I love how this recipe uses spinach leaves to line the dish, feels like you are sneaking one more vegetable in to a dish already packed with them. Use any seasonal root vegetables like parsnip instead of carrots (or in addition to), beetroot, potatoes, swede etc. 

serves 4
takes 40 minutes


Ingredients
  • 2 cups of fresh spinach leaves (I used baby)
  • 1/4 pumpkin or squash
  • 1 large kumara or potato
  • 2 large carrots or parsnips
  • 2-4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 free range eggs
  • 2 cups of milk or cream
  • pumpkin seeds (optional)
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 180oC
  2. Spray a quiche dish with oil and line with the spinach leaves, set aside.
  3. Peel & chop the pumpkin, kumara & carrots into bite sized pieces, about 2 cm. Place on a roasting dish with the crushed garlic, season, add a dollop of olive oil and bake until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. You can chop the vegetables into smaller chunks to speed up roasting time. Cool then place into spinach lined quiche dish.
  4. Whisk eggs & milk together and pour over vegetables. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds if using.
  5. Cook for 20-30 minutes or until set and starting to turn golden. Enjoy!

Inspired by mindfood.com

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Raw Chocolate Brownies

This is from ohsheglows.com which contains some great vegan recipes. Things have come a long way from my vegan days where I really struggled with what to eat. Now I pretty much eat anything except for processed sugar, fructose and pork. I've also cut out a lot of natural sweeteners like agave (90% fructose) & honey so rice syrup & stevia are my new best friends. I made some substitutes as the recipe is quite flexible so play around with what you have in the cupboard.

Ingredients
  • 1 cup raw pecan or walnut pieces
  • 1/2 cup linseed seeds
  • 1 1/2 cups pitted Medjool dates (approx. 275g)
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao powder or dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt or fine grain sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons raw cacao nibs
  • Dark chocolate for melting - I used Cavalier Dark Chocolate Buttons sweetened with Stevia but if you aren't eliminating fructose from your diet then any type of 70% dark chocolate will work
Method
  1. Line an 8-inch square pan with baking paper

  2. In a food processor, process the pecans (or nuts of choice) into a fine crumb.
  3. Add the seeds and the pitted dates and process until finely
    chopped and sticky.
  4. Add the cacao powder, vanilla, and salt and process until thoroughly combined.
  5. Stir or pulse in the nibs until just combined.
  6. Evenly press the mixture into prepared square pan until smooth. Place in the freezer for about 10 minutes.
  7. For the chocolate topping: place buttons in a heat proof dish that will fit snugly over a pot. Bring pot of water (fill about 2cm as you don't want the water touching the bowl) to barely simmering & place bowl of buttons over the top and melt stirring with a dry wooden spoon
  8. Remove the brownies from the freezer and pour on the chocolate topping. Spread out evenly. Transfer the pan to the freezer on a flat, even surface. Chill for 20 + minutes or until the topping is firm enough to slice & enjoy!

ohsheglows tips

  • Run hot water over a knife for a minute or so, wipe quickly with towel, and carefully slide the knife into the brownies to slice (warming up the knife helps it slice more evenly without much cracking).
  • Store leftovers in the freezer for a chocolate treat anytime.
  • You’ll want to use soft, fresh Medjool dates for this recipe to make it easier on the processor. If your dates are firm, try soaking them in water for 30-60 minutes (and then draining well) before use.