Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Roasted Beetroot, Walnut & Feta Salad

serves 2
Takes 30-40mins
  • 4 cups, your choice of salad leaves ie rocket, lettuce
  • 3-4 large beetroot, scrubbed (peeled if old) & diced
  • 1/2 cup shelled walnuts, halved, roasted OR 1/4 cup roasted pine nuts 
  • 150g feta, crumbled
  • Vinaigrette dressing or red wine vinegar - we've been using Agretti Fig Condiment containing grape juice, red wine vinegar & fig juice. It's pretty darn good.
  1. Preheat oven to 190oC
  2. Shell walnuts if using - this is a fun after work activity  with a hammer:) Place into a roasting pan and bake until slightly brown, around 10-15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  3. If using pine nuts place in saucepan over low heat until they change colour. Set aside to cool.  
  4. Throw your diced beetroot into a roasting pan with a swig of olive oil & roast for around 30-40 minutes or until beetroot is tender. Set aside to cool slightly. 
  5. Place all the ingredients into a salad bowl and dress. Enjoy! 

Quinoa with Salmon and Mint Pesto

serves 4
Takes around 30mins 

  • 1 cup (200g) quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups (375ml) vegetable stock
  • 1 bunch mint leaves
  • 30g parmesan, finely grated
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup (120g) frozen peas, blanched, refreshed, drained
  • 1 courgette, finely sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 lemon, finely grated zest & juice of 1/2 lemon 
  • 4 x skinless salmon fillets
  1. Put quinoa & stock into a pot over a medium heat & bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low & simmer for 15 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat, cover & set aside.
  2. Place mint (save a few leaves for garnishing), parmesan & 2 tbsp olive oil in a food processor, then whiz until a coarse paste.
  3. Add the peas, garlic, lemon zest & juice & blend until all combined. Season & put aside.
  4. Heat remaining 1 tbsp oil in fry-pan over medium-high heat. Season salmon & cook for 2-3 minutes each side until cooked but still a little rare in the centre. Rest for 5 minutes, then pull apart into bite size pieces.
  5. Combine quinoa with pesto, then stir in courgette. Place salmon & mint leaves over top. Enjoy!

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Prawn Saganaki

(serves 2)
  • 500g uncooked prawns
  • 2-3 spring onions or red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/4 tsp caster sugar
  • 400g canned whole tomatoes
  • few drops Tabasco
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped italian parsley
  • 1/3 cup each loosely packed fresh dill sprigs & mint leaves
  • 180g feta cheese
  1. Shell & devein prawns leaving tails on.
  2. Slice onion, finely chop garlic. Finely grate lemon rind, segment lemon.
  3. Heat oil in a large frying pan; cook onion & garlic until soft, add prawns, stirring until they change colour.
  4. Add wine, sugar, undrained tomatoes, Tabasco and half of the herbs, bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer.
  5. Place lemon segments & crumbled cheese on top of prawns, sprinkle with rind & cook covered for around 3 minutes or until the cheese begins to melt.
  6. Season & sprinkle with remaining herbs. Serve with brown rice. Bon appétit!

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Beetroot Tarte Tatin

This is from River Cottage, Vege Everyday cookbook - currently my favourite cookbook out of the hundred or so sitting on my bookshelf!

I almost converted my meat loving boyfriend with this recipe. 

Hugh serves his with a vinaigrette dressing which is yum (& I've included the recipe) but a good quality balsamic glaze (which is thicker than your normal vinegar) goes beautifully and makes it quicker to serve.

  • 250g puff pastry
  • knob of butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp cider vinegar
  • trickle of honey or brown rice syrup (or 1 tsp brown sugar)
  • 300-400g baby beetroot, the size of a golf ball, scrubbed & halved  OR buy normal sized beets & quarter
  • Sea salt & freshly ground pepper
  • 2 shallots or 4 spring onions
  • 1 tsp English mustard
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 4 tbsp rapeseed oil (or olive oil)
  • a pinch of sugar
  • handful of italian parsley leaves
  1. Preheat oven to 190oC.
  2. Melt butter in a cast iron frying pan at a medium heat. Add the cider vinegar, sugar and some salt & pepper, stir well then add the halved beetroot cut side down and toss in the juices. 
  3. You want the beetroot to fill the pan snugly. Cover pan with foil and roast for 30-40 minutes in the oven until beetroot are tender.
  4. Take the pan from the oven and rearrange the beetroot halves neatly, placing them cut side up.
  5. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to a 5mm thickness & cut into a circle big enough to cover the fry pan.
  6. Lay circle over beetroot patting it down & tucking in the edges
    down the side of the pan.
  7. Return to oven & bake 20 minutes, until the pastry is fully puffed up & golden brown.
  8. Leave the tarte to cool in the pan for about 15 minutes, then turn out by putting a plate over the top and inverting it. Pour any juices left in the pan over beetroot.
  9. Put the ingredients for the vinaigrette into a food processor, season with salt & pepper and blend.
  10. Trickle over tarte tatin. Bon appétit!

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Butter Chicken

This is adapted from Bill Granger's 'Easy' cookbook. I nickname him the 'vain' chef as he constantly mentions his weight throughout the book. In fact he starts this recipe with "I'm too vain..." but it tastes great without all the added cream of a traditional butter chicken curry.

(serves 2)
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 2 tbsp curry paste (I used green)
  • 4-6 chicken thighs, cut into 2 cm chunks
  • 400g can of tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup of chicken or vege stock or white wine
  • 2/3 cup cashew nuts or almond meal (ground almonds)
  • 1/3 cup yoghurt (I use Naturalea acidophilus plain unsweetened although Bill uses thick Greek yoghurt which often contains cream so I've gone ultra healthy & it still tasted yum)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • steamed rice (I used black rice which has a lovely sweet taste and went well with this but you can use basmati or brown or rice of your choice) OR cauliflower rice
  • lime wedges & handful fresh coriander to serve
  1. Heat oil in a wok or large frying pan over a high heat and brown chicken pieces quickly on each side, remove & set aside.
  2. Lower heat to medium & cook onion for 6-8 minutes until soft & golden.
  3. Add curry paste & cook for another 1-2 minutes stirring until fragrant.
  4. Add tomatoes and stock, stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat & cook gently for 10 minutes then add chicken and simmer for another 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
  5. Meanwhile, blitz the cashews in a food processor until finely ground.
  6. Add to the chicken & simmer for a further 5 minutes or until sauce has thickened.
  7. Remove from the heat & stir through the yoghurt &,lemon juice.
  8. Serve with steamed rice, dressed with coriander and a squeeze of lime juice. Bon appétit!

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Mushroom and Bean Hotpot

This one will not win a beauty contest but the taste is superb especially considering the ingredients are simple and it only takes 30 minutes to cook.

  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-2 cups of button mushrooms (or whatever is in season), quartered
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp flour (I use wholemeal but rice or white could be substituted)
  • 1 tbsp mild curry paste or powder
  • 1/3 cup white wine (or  vegetable stock or water)
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 x 400g beans, drained & rinsed - I use whatever is in the cupboard. I've cooked this with kidney beans, white beans & chickpeas - it's always good
  • 3 tbsp mango chutney - I've started experiencing with other fruit chutney's. Last time I used half mango and half kiwifruit & banana chutney which I bought from a local market from some talented elderly lady. So good!
  • 3 tbsp roughly chopped fresh coriander and mint - optional but the fresh herbs do add to this dish
  1. Heat oil in a large pan over a low heat & cook the mushrooms & onion until soft and golden.
  2. Stir in flour & curry paste, then cook for 1-2 minutes before adding the wine/water, can of tomatoes, tomato paste & beans.
  3. Bring to the boil, then simmer gently for 30 minutes or until most of the liquid has reduced.
  4. Stir in the chutney & fresh herbs just before serving. Enjoy!