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!