Saturday, 27 February 2016

Roasted warm vegetable salad with basil crème fraiche vinaigrette

600g sweet potato and potato-you can use a mix or just 1. Keep the skin on and chop to a 1 cm dice.
1 large broccoli, cut into florets
½ large cauliflower, cut into florets
300g green beans, top and tailed

This is the timeline because the veg takes different times.
In an oven tray toss the potato/sweet potato in some olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast this at 200 c fan forced for 20 minutes. In another roasting tray toss the broccoli and cauliflower in olive oil, salt and pepper.
Then put the broccoli and cauliflower in the oven and roast for 10 minutes.
Throw the beans on top of the sweet potato and give them a toss through the oil, season with salt and pepper. Roast a further 15 minutes. Everything should now be cooked at the same time.
You can serve hot if you like but I served mine as a warm salad.
Add your protein, I had mine veg and did hard boiled eggs and pan fried haloumi. If you want vegan you can heat some lentils, chickpeas or cannellini beans.
So the sweet potato takes 45 minutes. The broc/cauli take 25 minutes and the beans take 15 minutes.

Basil, crème fraiche vinaigrette
Juice of 1 lemon
A handful of basil leaves
1 small clove of garlic
1 tbsp crème fraiche- or you can use sour cream or cream, or just use oil
2 tbsp mild tasting olive oil
Salt and pepper

Pulse in a food processor until combined, Taste and adjust your seasonings.
Or finely chop the basil and garlic and mix by hand.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Honey, soy, garlic pork belly with asian slaw and crackling

Do you ever feel like pork belly but don't want to make a roast cause its too hot?!?!
Yeah, me too!
Check out this honey, soy, garlic, pork belly salad with asian slaw and cracklin!

For a super quick version you can use a normal pre cut pack of coleslaw plus any extra salad stuff like bean sprouts or thinly sliced capsicum, snow peas. Plus you can use pre made jars/tubes of chili, garlic and ginger. No judgement here:)
You could also to make it quicker by just stir frying the pork belly plain.

Serves 4-6
500g piece of pork belly- I have used the precooked one at woolies. Take the skin off.
1-2 red chilies, finely chopped-optional, if you are cooking for kids who don’t like chilli keep the chilli separate and look in the recipe to see where you can add it.
4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 tbsp ginger, finely minced
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp tamari
For the slaw
This makes 4-6 serves
½ daikon- if you can’t find this use a bunch of radishes and grate them
½ small red cabbage, mine was really tiny-use ¼ of a bigger cabbage, finely shredded
2 carrots
3 stems of spring onion, thinly slice the white part and the green part and keep separate- put the green part in the slaw and put the white part with the garlic and ginger and chilli
Coriander, as much or as little as you like, it’s up to you! I always cut 4 cm or the root and stem and freeze for when I make curry pastes.
Very simple dressing of lemon juice and olive oil- about the juice of 1 lemon and 2 tbsp olive oil.
Cut the pork belly into a manageable size (in half) and then slice into ½ cm strips across the grain.
Slice the skin into ½ cm slices- cook this on a low heat with some salt and oil if needed until golden brown, the fat will render down and they will go crispy. Takes about 15 minutes.
The daikon and carrot I used a spirooli to make very thin noodles, you can also grate them. Then add this to the red cabbage, spring onion, coriander and dressing. Combine well, add more lemon and olive oil if you need to.

Stir fry the pork belly in a large pan or wok for 5 minutes until golden brown, then add the white part of the spring onion, garlic, ginger and chilli. What I do- If you are cooking for kids leave out the chilli at this time and add it later.

Cook a further 1-2 minutes and then add your tamari and honey, stir and take off the heat. At this stage I would take the kids meat out and put on their plate. Then add the chilli, put back on the heat and cook for a few seconds.

Serve up your slaw and top with pork belly and crackling, plus you can garnish with extra chili, coriander and spring onion. You could also add some roasted chopped peanuts too. Another suggestion is you can put some cooked noodles in the slaw such as vermicelli, soba, egg noodles, rice noodles etc

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Cajun chicken, chickpea and avocado salad with lemon and chive crème fraiche dressing

Serves 4
400g chicken breast or thigh ( I always do extra to have for lunches)
1 x 400g can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
180g bag of mixed lettuce- You can use cos lettuce, rocket, baby spinach, chopped kale or coleslaw, whatever you like!
2 tomatoes, diced
2 lebanese cucumber, diced
1 small red onion, peeled, cut in half and sliced thinly
1 avocado, diced
1 portion of crème fraiche dressing (below)
Cajun spice mix (recipe below)

Slice your chicken into 4 or so pieces and then rub some of the spice on both sides. It is up to you how much you would like to use. Heat a pan with a little oil and cook 4 minutes on each side or until no longer pink in the middle. At the end of cooking put in your chickpeas and heat through for 2 minutes.
To serve place your lettuce mix, tomato, cucumber, red onion and avocado onto 4 plates. Top with chicken and your crème fraiche dressing.

Crème fraiche, lemon and chive dressing
¼ cup of crème fraiche- or you can use sour cream
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp chopped chives
½ tsp Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper

Mix together well. Add a little water to make a nice dressing consistency.

Cajun spice mix
¾ tsp salt
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp onion powder
½ tsp chili powder (or to taste)

Using a spice grinder or similar and grind to a powder. Keep in an airtight container.
Use to rub on beef, pork, chicken, fish and prawns

Monday, 15 February 2016

Apple fritters with an almond and coconut crumb

Well, you know I like to crumb things so last night I thought, what about crumbing apple and making apple fritters?!
The result was great!
Here is the recipe

2 large apples
¾ cup of almond flour
¼ cup of desiccated coconut
¼ cup of corn flour
1 egg, beaten
Cinnamon sugar to dust in when cooked. Use a ratio of 1:3 -1 tbsp of cinnamon to 3 tbsp of a granulated sugar such as panella.


Peel your apple and using an apple corer, take the core out. Cut each apple into 4 rings, trim each end a tiny bit so they will cook evenly.
Mix the almond flour and coconut together.
Toss the apple rings in the corn flour, then the egg and then the crumb mix. Press the crumbs in well.
In a large pan cover the bottom with oil. Heat on a low to medium heat and cook the apple fritters 1-2 minutes each side until golden brown. Do not have too high or the outside with be too dark before the apple is cooked through. When done take out and put on paper towels if needed and then coat in the cinnamon sugar. You can serve with cream/ice cream/crème fraiche if you like!

Mexican spiced fish with capsicum salsa and baked potatoes

Serves 4
4 fillets of fish (1245g-200g) I have used orange roughy here
Mexican spice mix (recipe below)
4 x 150g potatoes, scrubbed of dirt
Crème fraiche/sour cream and chives as an option to put on the baked potatoes

Dry the potatoes and rub with oil and salt. Make at 180 c for 1 hour. To check if the potato is cooked you can pierce with a small knife -it should easily go through. To serve do a criss cross cut on the top and squeeze the bottom to spread out the potato, top with sour cream and chive or butter and salt.
Sprinkle over some spice mix on each piece of fish, I tend to use less on the kids fish.
Heat a little oil and butter in a large pan and cook your fish, thin fish will only take 1-2 minutes each side, thicker fish will take longer, it is done when the fish flakes easily.
Serve you fish with your capsicum salsa and baked potato- I also had a handful of rocket under the salsa.

Capsicum, tomato and avocado salsa
Serve 4-6
½ a red yellow, red, and green capsicum, chopped 1 cm dice
 2 tomatoes, diced
1 lebanese cucumber, diced
1 avocado, stone taken out and diced

½ red onion, fine dice
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Optional chopped coriander
Salt and pepper

Put everything in a bowl and mix to combine.

Mexican Spice Mix

This can be used for taco, burritos, as a rub or a marinade for various meats such as beef, chicken and prawns. Use as a base for a slow cooked casserole; add some tomatoes, some stock and serve with salsa, avocado, sour cream, coriander etc…

1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground coriander seeds
1 tbsp mild paprika
1 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp chilli powder (optional)
Mix altogether and store in an airtight container.

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Chicken, garlic and parmesan patties

Really simple dish with a few ingredients, so perfect for a week day meal. You can do these as balls or sausage shape, use as a burger pattie. Do extra to use for lunch the next day 
smile emoticon
You can have fun with these and make faces for fussy husband or wives, the kids like them too!

Makes 8 patties to serve 4
500g chicken mince
50g parmesan cheese, grated
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup (100g) of fresh bread crumbs-I made mine from saving my sourdough crusts- this is about 3
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Knead the mince until sticky and then add the rest of the ingredients and combine well.
Form into 8 patties, you could also do balls or sausage shape, adjust the cooking time as needed. Cook with a little oil in a pan on a medium heat for 3-4 minutes each side or until cooked through.

I served this with sweet potato mash, peas, broccolini and asparagus.

Chocolate chip muesli bars with seeds and goji berries

1 cup of rolled oats
1 cup of puffed rice
¼ cup of desiccated coconut
¼ cup of sunflower seeds
¼ cup of pumpkin seeds
¼ cup of goji berries
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp honey
2 eggs
1-2 tbsp chocolate chips to press down on the top

150 c fan forced or 160c normal oven
Line a 20 x 20 cm cake tin. A really good way to do this is to dampen and crumple up the baking paper, makes it easier to line your tin.
In a small bowl add your eggs, vanilla, honey and goji berries, whisk together. This helps rehydrate the goji berries a little.
I briefly blitzed the sunflower and pumpkin seeds, but you can leave them whole if you wanted. They were still chunky though, not crumbs J
In another bowl add your rolled oats, puffed rice, seeds and coconut.
Pour your egg mix into the oat mix and combine.
Press firmly into your tin and top with optional chocolate chips. Press them down into the mix.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, should be firm to the touch. 
Leave in the tin for 5 minutes then lift out and cut in half and then cut into 12 bars. You can do squares or smaller ones, whatever you want to do. You can have these in the fridge but I think the texture is better left at room temperature.

Monday, 8 February 2016

Mint, coriander and pecan pesto

1 bunch each of mint and coriander (or close to 1 bunch- I used about ¾ of a bunch)
60g parmesan cheese
2 cloves of garlic
½ cup of olive oil
½ cup of pecan nuts


Blitz up your herbs, garlic, nuts, cheese and olive oil.  Then add enough water until you get your desired consistency. I used about ¼ of a cup. Check seasoning.

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Tandoori fish curry

4 fillets of fish
2 tsp each of finely chopped fresh garlic, ginger and turmeric (optional chilli)
1 x 270ml of coconut milk
1 tbsp of tandoori spice mix

In a large pan or wok, heat a little oil on a medium heat and fry off your garlic, ginger and turmeric (optional chilli) Cook for 30 seconds and then add your spice mix and cook for a few seconds more until fragrant. Should smell pretty good right now!
Then add you fish and push down, add a little water if it is too thick. Simmer for 5-8 minutes, this will depend on the thickness of your fish. It should flake easily when done.
Serve with brown rice or basmati rice. I also had with steamed cauliflower, broccoli and green beans.

Tandoori spice rub
Makes 1/3 cup
Use this for beef, lamb or prawns

2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons garam masala
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoons white pepper
½ teaspoon cayenne or chilli powder


Mix together and store in an airtight container.

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Banana and carrot loaf

100g butter, room temperature
¼ cup of granulated sugar such as panella, white, brown, rapadura etc…
2 eggs
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 large carrot, grated
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
½ cup of LSA
1 cup of wholemeal spelt flour- you can use wholemeal wheat, white spelt or gluten free flour

Preheat oven to 180 c
Cream butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy, then add the eggs and beat in well. Then using a wooden spoon stir in the vanilla, cinnamon, flour, carrot, baking powder, banana and LSA until combined. It should be quick thick, if it is too thick add a little milk. It’s not a pourable mix. Then spoon your loaf mix into a loaf tin and bake for 30-35 minutes. A skewer should come out clean. When cooked leave in tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a cake rack to cool. 
Serve sliced with butter or hot as a dessert with ice cream. 
You can ice with a lemon cream cheese icing also, yum yum!
You can make these as muffins but will take less time- about 15 minutes or so.

Corn fritters

Makes 8-10

The kernels from 3 cobs of cooked corn, this should be about 2 cups. You can use frozen corn that has been defrosted or canned corn. Whatever suits you.
¾ -1 cup of rice flour
2 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
Salt and pepper
1/3 cup of milk

Mix the corn, salt and pepper, eggs, baking powder and ½ a cup of the rice flour, mix well. Add more flour as needed the mixture needs to be really thick.

In a large pan heat a little oil. Spoon your mix in, about 4-5cm in diameter. Cook on a medium heat until golden brown underneath, then turn over and cook the other side. They don’t take long!
You can make these the night before and just heat in the morning. They are good in a child’s lunch box.

This is your basic mix- this to add to the mix include grated zucchini, diced red capsicum (which is what I used in there) diced mushrooms or other cooked vegetables like sweet potato, broccoli, grated haloumi, herbs like chives, parsley, basil. You can add jalapenos, diced olives, sundried tomato, cooked diced bacon…so many thing you can do here!
To serve you can do bacon, avocado and tomato. Just cook your bacon and tomato together in the pan. You can top with smoked salmon, sweet chilli sauce and sour cream. Top with poached, fried or scrambled egg and wilted spinach.

With your mix just remember that whatever you add it may have a higher water content which will make the mix more watery- when you are ready to cook you need the consistency to be really thick, if it’s not just add more rice flour. Easy as.

corn and capsicum fritters with smoked salmon, sweet chilli sauce and sour cream

With bacon, avocado and tomato

Monday, 1 February 2016

Lentil and vegetable bolognese sauce/nachos

I made this the other day and i'm using 1/4 of it for nachos and I still have another 1/4 to use up!!

The sauce is vegetarian which you can have without the meatballs if you prefer. I blended the sauce at the end so the kids could not see what was in it. I was delighted to tell them when they finished dinner that their most hated vegetables were in there, mwahahahaha! (zucchini, mushroom and pumpkin)
Lentils are a great addition to bolognese sauces as they break down and add extra nutrients plus extra fibre.

You can serve this with rice or mash or use it as a savory mince dish. Use as a baked potato topping with melted cheese, or jaffles, pies or shepherd's pie.
When you use the rest you can fry some more onion and garlic add some cumin and paprika and as well as some kidney beans and chopped tomatoes and simmer until really thick. Use for burritos, tacos or nachos.
Lentil and vegetable bolognese sauce
1 brown onion
4 cloves of garlic
2 zucchinis
300g pumpkin
150g broccoli
150g mushrooms
1200 ml tomato passata
½ cup of red lentils
3 tsp each of dried oregano and basil
Salt and pepper
Meatballs is just 500g mince, kneaded until sticky with some herbmare or salt and pepper. Roll into balls and fry in a pan for 6-7 minutes. You can either add the sauce to the meatballs in the pan and simmer a few minutes
- or you can stir the sauce through the pasta and serve the balls on top. If you do it this way you can set any leftover balls aside and make a meatball salad or stuffed into some pita bread and salad.
I used the grater attachment on my food processor but you can finely chop by hand. It gets blended up at the end anyway (although you don’t have to).
Fry off onion and garlic for 30 seconds and then add everything else. Simmer for 25-30 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Use a stick mixer to blend until the sauce is to your liking. Serve with pasta like spaghetti, penne, rigatoni or whatever you like. Instead of parmesan cheese I used some feta.

Another idea to use this up is nachos
For the spaghetti above I used half the recipe then I used 1/4 to make nachos. (still have 1/4 of the mix left!)
In a large pot add 1 chopped brown onion, 3 cloves of crushed garlic, fry off in some olive oil for 30 seconds, then add 3 tsp paprika and 2 tsp ground cumin, stir again until fragrant. 
Then add on 1 x 400g can of rinsed and drained kidney beans, your leftover mix and 3 chopped tomatoes. Simmer for 25 minutes stirring occasionally. it should be nice and thick.
Now you have yourself some vegetarian nacho mix. You can also use for burritos or tacos or on a bed of brown rice.
Serve up with corn chips, melted cheese, guacamole and sour cream, so good!!