Friday, 29 March 2013

Carrots, Almonds, Cumin

Simple flavours make these carrots sing! This is from Hugh's Three Good Things with some of my own ideas thrown in.

serves 2
takes 15 minutes
  • 500g small baby sized carrots, scrubbed & trimmed & halved horizontally
  • 100g blanched whole almonds OR try other nuts you might have on hand such as pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds OR combine caraway and anise seeds OR try chilli powder
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • sea salt & freshly ground pepper
  1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil & add carrots. Boil for 5-8 minutes until tender. Drain & leave to cool just a little.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the almonds & toast, tossing frequently until they are golden. Transfer to blender.
  3. Put the cumin seeds in the same pan & toast for a few minutes until fragrant. Add to blender & blitz until crumbly but you still want to be able to see pieces of almond.
  4. Put the carrots on a serving dish and sprinkle almonds & cumin mix on top with a dash of olive oil and some salt & pepper. I served ours with some lamb medallions that had been seasoned & pan fried for a couple of minutes each side. Enjoy!

Beans, Olives, Mozzarella Pizza

I can never be bothered making pizza dough so normally use pita bread or  mountain bread as I like a thin crust. This comes from Hugh's Three Good Things.

serves 2
  • 2-4 pizza bases
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 x 400g tin white beans, such as cannellini, drained & rinsed
  • 2-4 balls of buffalo mozzarella (love Clevedon)
  • 1 cup of stoned black olives, very roughly chopped or torn
  • sea salt & freshly ground pepper
  1. Heat oil in a large frying pan over a low heat. Add the garlic & cook gently for 30 seconds. Add the beans with 200ml of water & increase the heat. Simmer for a minute or two.
  2. Using a handheld blender blitz the beans to a puree & season.
  3. Spread pizza base with bean mixture, tear up one ball of
    mozzarella & distribute over base followed by olives. Grind over pepper.
  4. Cook pizza in the oven for 10-12 minutes until crisp & golden brown at the edges. Enjoy!

Lamb Stew

Requires some planning as you need to roast it for a couple of hours but super easy to prepare as you just throw everything into the one pot. This is from Dish Magazine #47 with some slight changes.

serves 4
roasting time: 2 1/2 hours
  •  1 kilo of boned lamb shoulder, cut into large pieces
  • 2 red onions, peeled & cut into wedges
  • 6 small waxy potatoes, cut into large pieces
  • 2 large tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 each of orange & lemon, zest & juice
  • 10 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 12 large green olives
  • 2 tsp dried oregano (I used fresh thyme since it's abundant in my garden at the moment)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • sea salt & freshly ground pepper
  • 150 grams feta
  1. Preheat oven to 180oC
  2. Combine all the ingredients (except feta) in a large roasting dish & season.
  3. Cover with lid (or tin foil) and roast for 1 1/2 - 2 hours, turning the lamb every 30 minutes or so.
  4. Uncover the lamb & top with feta, spooning some of the juices over the top.
  5. Bake uncovered for a further 15-20 minutes or until feta is golden brown. Serve with a salad or steamed broccoli & enjoy!

Monday, 25 March 2013

Stuffed King Sweetie Peppers

Loving the new Dish magazine and this recipe is first off the rank. I found some king sweeties at our local community market today (also available at the local vege shop) so recommend grabbing them but you can substitute with red bell peppers.

serves 2-3
takes about 30-40mins
  • 6 long red king sweeties
  • 1/4 cup couscous
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 chorizo sausage, finely diced
  • 400 grams free range beef mince
  • sea salt & freshly cracked pepper
  • 12 large green olives (or pitted black olives)
  • 1 cup freshly grated parmesan
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 1/2 cups tomato pasta sauce
Heat olive oil in a saucepan over a low-medium heat & cook onion, garlic, paprika & a pinch of salt until the onion is tender. Stir in the pasta sauce & set aside.

  1. Preheat oven to 180oC.
  2. Combine the couscous & water in a small bowl, cover & leave for 10 minutes.
  3. Trim the tops off the peppers & remove the seeds, keeping the peppers whole.
  4. Place them in a heatproof dish & pour over enough boiling water to cover. Leave for 5 minutes then lift out & drain well.
  5. Heat oil in a frypan & cook onion, garlic & paprika until onion is tender. Stir in chorizo & cook for a further minute. Tip into a large bowl & cool. Add the couscous & mince, season & mix well.
  6. To assemble: holding each pepper upright, drop in small pieces of the stuffing using the handle of a wooden spoon to gently push it right to the bottom. Continue until full to the top and repeat with remaining peppers. Roll any unused filling into balls.
  7. Tip the tomato sauce into a large shallow baking dish & place peppers on top, placing mince balls around them.
  8. Place green olives around balls & peppers. Ground over some black pepper. Cover tightly with foil and bake 40 minutes. Uncover, scatter with fresh parmesan cheese and bake for a further 10 minutes until golden and the peppers are tender when pierced with a skewer. Serve with a green salad if you wish & enjoy!

Monday, 18 March 2013

Broccoli, Cauliflower, Chilli, Cashews

This is from Hugh's Three Good Things with an extra vege thrown in (cauliflower) which I found in the fridge. Any seasonal greens would work well. I served it with grilled fish topped with homemade basil pesto. Super quick and super yum...I went back for seconds, thirds...


  • Head of broccoli, trimmed into bite size pieces
  • Half head of cauliflower, trimmed into bite size pieces
  • 1/3 cup cashew nuts
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large red chilli, half deseeded & finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • Dash of soy sauce
  1. Steam the broccoli & cauliflower until just tender then drain.
  2. Heat a wok over a medium heat, add cashews and toast until they are golden (keep an eye on them as they can burn easily). Set aside.
  3. In the same wok add oil, chilli and garlic, heat gently for 30 seconds then add the cashews back in with the broccoli & cauli. Turn up the heat and stir fry for a minute or two so the broccoli is well mixed with the flavours.
  4. Season with a splash of soy sauce & serve straight away. Enjoy!

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Spring Prawn Salad

serves 2
takes 20 minutes
  • 400g prawns, shelled, deveined, tails off
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
  • zest and juice of 1 lime
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly cracked pepper
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds (I used 50/50 white & black)
  • 2-3 fennel bulbs depending on size, thinly sliced
  • Bag of baby spinach
  1. Mix the prawns with the oil, ginger & zest and season.
  2. Cover and stand for 15 minutes.
  3. Heat some oil in a frypan over a high heat & fry the prawns until opaque (1-2 minutes each side).
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the lime juice, 1 tbsp soy sauce and sesame seeds.
  5. Place sliced fennel and baby spinach leaves in a serving bowl, add the prawns & their pan liquids. Toss to serve. Enjoy!

Massaman Curry

I use cauliflower "rice" which is a fantastic alternative to rice and adds another vegetable to your servings. Basically you throw a head of cauliflower into your food processor using the grate function and viola - something good to soak up the wonderful sauce.

takes 15 minutes
serves 2
  • 1-2 steaks, depends how large, go for a good quality steak. For those in NZ Silver Fern Farms offer a fantastic range
  • 1 jar (200g) massaman curry paste
  • 1 can coconut milk (400mL)
  • 2 tablespoons crunchy peanut butter
  • Big bunch baby spinach leaves
  • Head of broccoli, trimmed into bite size pieces
  • 1/2 cauliflower (for the rice) OR just use normal rice and cook following packets instructions
  1. Grab your fry pan and heat over a high heat. Season steak then add to hot fry pan, can take between 6-10 minutes depending on how you like your steak done and thickness. Let it rest for 5 minutes then cut into slices and set aside.
  2. Add the curry paste to the hot pan and cook for a few seconds until it becomes aromatic. Add coconut milk and peanut butter & stir so the peanut butter is melted. Add broccoli pieces and simmer for about 5 minutes. 
  3. While the sauce is simmering cut cauliflower into florets and
    grate using using your food processor (normal blades work if you don't have a grater blade) or hand held grater to give you cauliflower 'rice'.  Place in a serving bowl.
  4. Add baby spinach to the pan & cook until it wilts slightly, about 2-3 minutes. 
  5. Return steak to the sauce and bring back to a simmer just to warm it through. Taste and season. 
  6. Serve curry on a bed of the cauli 'rice'. Enjoy!

Hot and Sour Prawn Noodle Soup

Takes 20 minutes
serves 2
  • 1.5 litres vegetable stock
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves, crushed but not chopped up
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, crushed & halved
  • 3 red chillies, whole
  • 24 prawns, shelled & deveined
  • 5 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 16 mushrooms, chopped so they are a similar size to the prawns
  • 5 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 200 grams rice noodles or vermicelli
  • fresh coriander, to garnish
  1. Cook noodles according to packet instructions. Divide between
  2. In a saucepan, heat the stock, add the kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass and chillies. Bring to the boil then simmer for 5 minutes. Strain leaves, lemongrass & chillies.
  3. Add the prawns, fish sauce, sugar & mushrooms and simmer for a further 3 minutes, stirring well.
  4. Add the lemon juice, stir then pour over the noodles. Garnish with fresh coriander. Enjoy!

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Green Tea Salmon with Coconut Rice & Miso Greens

This is one of Jamie's "15 minute" meals...took two of us almost an hour. One reason it took longer was because I used brown basmati rice (next time I'm using couscous which will speed things up) and our kitchen is ultra small so we need to clean up after preparing each step. Regardless, this has some amazing flavours and well worth doing.

serves 2-4
takes 2 slow people in a small kitchen 50 minutes

  • 2 x 120g salmon fillets, skin on, scaled & pin-boned
  • 2 green tea bags
  • olive oil

Rice (or replace with couscous following instructions on bag)
  • 1 x 400g tin of lite evaporated milk with a dash of coconut essence OR lite coconut milk
  • 1 x cup of brown basmati rice (or normal) OR cup of couscous
  • 1/2 lemon

  • 1/2-1 fresh chilli
  • 1 small thumb-sized piece of ginger
  • 1 tbsp of miso paste
  • 1/2 bunch of fresh coriander
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 heaped tsp honey
  • 1 x cup sugar snap peas
  • 1 x cup broccoli, trimmed into even sized pieces
  • 1 x bunch asparagus, trim wooden ends (snap them off)
  • 1 x lime

  1. Place the coconut milk, rice, one cup of boiling water and half a lemon into a large saucepan, cover and cook over a medium high heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, then turn the heat off.
  2. Finely slice 1/2 a chilli for garnish then throw the rest into a food processor with the peeled ginger, miso, most of the coriander, juice of 1/2 lemon, soy sauce, honey & a splash of water, then whiz until smooth.
  3. Put the salmon on a plate, rip open the tea bags and rub over the fish with some salt & pepper. Place into a fry pan over a medium high heat, skin side down with a dash of oil, turning until golden on all sides. Cut into large chunks.
  4. While the salmon is cooking, fill a saucepan with some water & add the sugar snaps, broccoli & asparagus with a pinch of salt & cook for a few minutes until just tender. 
  5. Pour the dressing onto a platter, drain the green vegetables and place on top.
  6. Fluff up the rice and place on another platter with the salmon chunks on top, sprinkle with the rest of the chilli & coriander and some line wedges. Enjoy!

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Berrylicious Tart

This is so easy, looks stunning & tastes soooo good, it will be my new party trick when asked to bring dessert.

  • 375g wholemeal digestive biscuits 
  • 80g melted butter
  • 400g light cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 240g lemon & passion-fruit curd (or just lemon is fine), at room temperature
  • fresh berries to top
I used a punnet each of organic blackberries, raspberries & blueberries. Whatever tickles your fancy really.

  1. Melt the butter on a low heat in a small saucepan.
  2. In a large bowl, crush the biscuits, then add the melted butter & mix well.
  3. Press the mixture into a buttered tart tin (with a removable base). Make sure you press it up the sides as well so you get an even coverage bottom & sides of the tin.
  4. Place in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  5. Whisk the cream cheese and curd until smooth. This is where a strong man comes in handy if using a hand whisk ;)
  6. Dollop & spread it around the chilled tart base, smooth it out a tad.
  7. Pop into the fridge overnight (mine was in there for 2)
  8. Before serving, arrange all the gorgeous berries over the top and enjoy.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Super Breakfast Smoothie

This does not look pleasant but it tastes great because the cacao powder gives it a chocolate taste and who doesn't like a chocolate smoothie in the morning. Packed with "super" foods we love having it in the morning or after a work out. If you don't have all the ingredients just start with a few as they are not cheap but do last for a few months if you aren't using everyday.

makes 2 glasses

  • 1 tbsp Super Greens (or spirulina) - supports detoxification, alkalisation and the immune system 
  • 1 tbsp Maca Powder - packed with vitamins, plant sterols, many essential minerals, amino acids and healthy fats 
  • 1 tbsp Bee Pollen - a natural multi-vitamin containing virtually all the essential nutrients necessary to sustain life. Pollen is a highly bioavailable source of plant phytonutrients, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, proteins, enzymes and amino-acids. It is a natural energy tonic and a powerful immune booster. 
  • 1 tsp raw Cacao Powder - high levels of antioxidants, great source of beta-carotene, protein, amino acids, calcium, zinc, iron, potassium, chromium and an excellent source of magnesium 
  • small handful of Goji Berries - contain 18 kinds of amino acids, all 8 essential amino acids, 21 trace minerals (the most powerful ones being zinc, iron, copper, calcium, germanium, selenium, and phosphorus). Goji berries are the richest source of carotenoids, including beta-carotene (more beta carotene than carrots), of all known foods or plants on earth! They contain 500 times more vitamin C than oranges by weight, ranking them third behind Gubinge and Camu Camu berries as the richest vitamin C source on earth. Goji berries also contain vitamins B1, B2, B6, and vitamin E
  • 2 Bananas
  • 1 scoop Protein Powder (optional)
  • 1 1/2 glasses of Rice or almond milk (cows milk is also fine)
  • Leafy greens, couple of handfuls per person. I use whatever is about to turn in the fridge such as rocket, spinach, swiss chard. The cacao powder will hide any bitter taste.
Add all the ingredients to a blender, pulse to start then mix until smooth. Enjoy!