Saturday, 9 May 2015

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! 


Saturday, 20 December 2014

Creamy lentil vol-au-vents

Vol-au-vents seem so 80s but officially in love with this Yotam Ottolenghi recipe from his cookbook "Plenty". Half way through making these I thought, oops, this is a recipe for starters but the sheet of pastry made about 12 bases which satisfied the two of us nicely. Note to self though, they would make awesome entrees when entertaining, as you can make the topping ahead of time.

Ingredients 
serves 2-3 (as main)
takes about 60 mins 

  • 1 cup puy or green lentils, rinsed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2-3 handfuls of baby spinach, stems trimmed, leaves roughly chopped
  • 1 handful each fresh coriander and mint, picked and roughly chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 x sheet of puff pastry
  • dash of milk, to brush pastry

Method

  1. Rinse the lentils first in case there are any little stones,
    then add to a pot with four cups of water and the bay leaves & bring to the boil, then simmer for 15-20 minutes. Rinse in cold water and set aside.
  2. Dry fry the cumin and coriander on a medium heat for two minutes until the aromas are released, then grind. Set aside.
  3. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan and gently fry the onion for five minutes, until golden & soft. Add the ground spices and garlic, cook for two minutes, then mix in the lentils. When cool, stir in the yogurt, spinach, herbs, splash of oil, lemon juice and seasoning. Preheat the oven to 180oC.
  4. Unroll the pastry so it's 3mm thick and cut out as many circles as you can get that are roughly about 8cm in diameter. If they are smaller, no worries, means you can have more. 
  5. Place them on a baking sheet & refrigerate for 30 minutes. 
  6. Brush the chilled pastry with milk and bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden on top and underneath. Allow to cool slightly. 
  7. To serve, place a disc on a plate, pile on a heap of lentils so you can just see the edges of the pastry, and drizzle with olive oil. So good!

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Cacao Chip Banana Bread

Found some bananas hiding in the fridge that were looking a bit sad so why not make banana bread, no sugar and cacao chips thrown in for some texture & chocolatey taste.

Ingredients

  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup natural yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp rice syrup 
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup cacao chips
  • 1 1/2 cups wholemeal flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

Instructions

  1. Pre heat oven to 160oC and line a loaf tin with baking paper
  2. Mash together bananas, olive oil, yoghurt, rice syrup, eggs, chips & vanilla. Sift in flour, baking soda & baking powder & stir until well combined.
  3. Pour into the loaf tin and cook for 50 minutes or until skewer comes out clean and loaf is golden brown. So good!