Category Archives: No baking

Sensational Breakfast Sanga (Indea’s favourite breakfast)

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This is Indea’s favourite breakfast and she asked me to share it. Super easy but super yummy and vegetables are the star. Long weekend Breakfasts are sacred in our family, many pots of tea, coffee, good food and long leisurely yarns with those you love most – what in life is better?

For this Sanga you will need

Toast for each person. Indea and I like an open sandwich but Pete likes two sliced of bread, top and bottom for his.

Capsicum

Spinach

Tomatoes

Haloumi Cheese

Avocado

Tomato Pesto ( you can use shop bought or you can make it. I like to whizz together garlic cloves, sundries tomatoes, macadamias and enough olive oil to make it to a spreading consistency)

To make it

Grill or fry the haloumi and capsicum until golden and cooked through, slice the tomatoes and avocado

Spread the toast liberally with the tomato pesto, layer the vegetables on top.

Super easy and super yummy

Seared Tuna with Olive, Feta and Pomegranate Couscous

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It is getting so hot in tropical Queensland that meals which require very little cooking, are healthy and quick to make, are essential. Tuna, egg and olives make such a happy trio. I created this last night and we settled back with our bowls of yummy couscous and tuna, under the ceiling fan and chilled out with Neil Gaiman’s American Gods.

For four hungry people

You will need

4 Tuna Steaks – You can use Tempeh for a Veggie Option

2 Cups of dry Couscous. I use corn couscous because we are gluten free and this is available in most supermarkets in the health section

4 Eggs boiled hard, shelled and chopped

1 cup of chopped Olives

I red Capsicum finely diced

125 grams of Feta cheese

1 bunch of finely chopped fresh Coriander (otherwise known as cilantro)

1/4 cup of Lemon juice

1/4 cup of Pomegranate syrup (sometimes called Pomegranate Molasses)

1 Lemon

Optional extras

1/2 cup of toasted Pine Nuts

The seeds of one Pomegranate

To Make it

Prepare the Couscous by putting the dry couscous into a large bowl and pouring over 4 cups of boiling water. Let it sit for 15 minutes. Whilst this is happening I pop on the eggs to boil. When the couscous has absorbed most of the water and is fluffy and soft to eat drain it in a sieve and run it under the cold tap. This will stop the cooking process and stop it from becoming gluggy. Place the well drained cold couscous into a large bowl.

Add

The Olives, diced red capsicum, most of the chopped coriander keeping some aside for garnish, crumble in the feta cheese, 1/4 cup of lemon juice and the 1/4 cup of pomegranate molasses. If you are adding pomegranate seeds and/or toasted pine nuts pop them in now too.

Combine well until the pomegranate molasses and lemon juice are thoroughly spread throughout the couscous.

Set aside and sear the Tuna Steaks on both sides

To Serve

Place the couscous salad into bowls, place the sliced Tuna steaks on top, sprinkle on the diced egg and remaining coriander.

Add a 1/4 lemon to each plate so eaters can squeeze over their tuna

Easy Peasy Poke` Bowl

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We love this Poke` on hot tropical nights when heating up the oven is an absolute no. It’s fresh, healthy and super quick to make, more importantly it’s super super yummy. There are many variations on Poke bowls and this is mine.

These are ingredients you will need for each person.

1 Cup of chopped mixed greens. Any greens will do. I use spinach and beetroot leaves and occasionally throw in some blanched broccoli or asparagus.

1/2 Cup of diced Tomato

1/2 Cup of diced Cucumber

1/2 Cup of diced avocado

1/4 Cup of crushed Macadamias

140 gram fillet of diced Salmon or Tuna – make sure its really fresh and a good colour

Put all these ingredients into a bowl.

Now make the dressing and again these are the ingredients for each person

1 Tablespoon of Soy Sauce

1 Teaspoon of Wasabi

1 Dessertspoon of lemon juice

1 Teaspoon of Sesame Oil

1 Teaspoon of Horseradish Cream

Chilli as you like it.

Stir well with a fork until combined.

Pour the dressing over the Salad and toss through, coating the fish in the dressing.

Sprinkle on

1 finely chopped sheet of Nori Seaweed

1 Dessertspoon of Sesame Seeds

Now enjoy how great and refreshed this makes your body feel after eating it.

Easy Agedashi Tofu

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This is our go to quick healthy snack. I love Agedashi Tofu and could easily eat it for three meals a day. This recipe takes less than half an hour to whip up. What can I say? Tofu has come a long way.

This recipe makes 2 large serves.

You will need

400grams of Firm Silken Tofu
Bonito flakes
1 teaspoon of Bonito Stock
1 cup of Potato Flour
2 Tablespoons of Mirin
1 Tablespoon of Soy Sauce
1 Cup of water
Coconut Oil

First Make the Stock

Place the bonito stock, water, miring and soy into a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Then set aside.

Next Make the Tofu

Because you are using Silken Tofu you will need to be gentle with it.
Pat the Tofu dry with towel.
Cut the tofu into cubes, I use fairly large cubes and cut each 200g packet of Tofu into 4.
Coat each cube in potato flour
Immediately gently fry each cube on each side in the hot coconut oil until slightly golden.

To serve

Place the lightly fried Tofu in a bowl, pour over the warm broth, sprinkle with the bonito flakes and enjoy immediately.

Note: You can purchase mirin, bonito flakes and stock in most supermarkets but if yours doesnt have it an asian grocer most likely will. You will find the potato flour in the flour section of most supermarkets

Prosciutto Brown Fried Rice – Healthy and Yummy

Fried Rice

We have rushed or no breakfast during the week but weekend breakfasts are sacred in our family – they last over many cups of tea and coffee for as long as possible. This fried rice was born when I got up to make big weekend breakfast of rice that reminded me of the rice breakfasts we had in Cambodia. When I opened the fridge door I found we had barely any supplies and I wasn’t ready to get dressed and hit the shops so I used what we had. Luckily I had a few really yummy ingredients that surprised us all by making a perfect marriage and now this is our family fried rice recipe and now we eat it for any meal and cook enough to make sure there are plenty of left overs .

Ingredients you will need:

5 Cups of Brown Cooked Rice

6 Eggs

1 Red Capsicum finely diced

800 grams of Broccoli heads finely shredded – don’t cut the broccoli into florets slice through it like you would if shredding lettuce so it falls off the head like rice

2 Red Onions – love love love sweet red onions

1/2 Cup of Soy Sauce

200 grams of Prosciutto torn into pieces

2 teaspoons of Keanes curry powder – this is optional – sometimes I leave it out. I use Keanes for this recipe rather than making the curry paste, because it is mild for breakfast and has a slight sweetness.

Coconut Oil

Making the Fried Rice

Place a good dob of coconut oil into a large frying pan (I use one that has a 34cm diameter)and heat it, when its good and hot and everything will sizzle drop in the prosciutto, onion and capsicum and fry until the onion and capsicum is browned and the prosciutto is crispy. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Beat the eggs into a bowel. Warm some more coconut oil in a fresh smaller pan (I use one that has a 26 cm diameter). When hot pour in the eggs, lift the eggs around the edges as it cooks so the uncooked egg can run underneath to cook. When cooked flip out onto a bread board, roll and slice into thin strips.

Now put the large saucepan (with the prosciutto mix) back on the heat and add the shredded broccoli. Cook for a couple of minutes until the broccoli softens, then add the cooked rice, soy sauce and curry powder. Finally add the shredded eggs and fold through.

And Eat.

Added extras – I like a squeeze of lemon juice over my rice, my husband Pete likes more soy sauce and fried egg.

Vegetarian Option – Discard the prosciutto and instead use Tofu Chips. To make Tofu chips cut hard tofu into rectangles. Mix 4 tablespoons of flour with mixed herbs, salt and pepper. Coat the tofu pieces and fry in coconut oil. Then add to the rice at the end with the eggs.

 

 

Quinoa with Veggie Chips

Topped with a greek yogurt dressing

Topped with a greek yogurt dressing

It is so hot in Cairns and we wanted a dinner that was light, healthy and meant no baking.  So I created this salad topped with a yogurt sauce. Meals that show off the beauty, colour and flavour of simple vegetables are always my favourites. We loved it and hope you do too.

Ingredients

I cup of Quinoa

2.5 cups of water

1 massel stock cube

2 tablespoons of pine nuts

1 sweet potato

1 eggplant

1 red capsicum

100 grams of natural yogurt or greek yogurt

3 tablespoons of lemon juice

2 tablespoons of minced garlic

2 tablespoons of tomato pesto

1 tablespoon of coconut oil or olive oil

oil to sauté

salt

optional

parsley to top

asparagus to add some green

 

Cook the Quinoa

In a saucepan place

1 cup of quinoa

2.5  cups of water

1 massel vegetable stock cube or a teaspoon of stock powder

Cook for 20 minutes until the water has been absorbed by the quinoa

Whilst it’s cooking

Lightly brown 2 tablespoons of pine nuts and set aside

Prepare and Cook the veggies

Slice the vegetables in strips and place one type of vegetable at a time into a heated and lightly oiled pan and sauté until cooked and browned. When each vegetable is cooked set aside and do the next one.

When all vegetables are cooked place the 2 tablespoons of garlic and the 2 tablespoons of tomato pesto in the pan and lightly cook then add the cooked vegetables and sauté for a further 3 minutes until the vegetables are well coated with the garlic and tomato.

Prepare the Quinoa

When the quinoa is cooked add 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice (you will need the rest for the yogurt) and the pine nuts and 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and lightly stir through the quinoa.

Prepare the Yogurt Sauce 

Mix 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and a generous pinch of salt through the yogurt

To serve

Place the quinoa in each serving bowl or plate, top with the vegetable chips and spoon over yogurt.

Chilli Non Carne

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This recipe is one of my favourites – I love a good vegetarian Chilli as a comfort food, and a chilli that has chocolate in it is even better. I have been making this recipe for 20 or so years now. It tastes even better the next day when the flavours have really infused so if you are making it for friends you can make it the day before they come over.

Chilli Non Carne

You will need

2 sticks of celery finely sliced, making sure to include the leaves which have all the flavour

1 large or 2 small capsicums diced, you want the pieces to be between .5 and 1 cm (1/4 inch), you don’t want them too large and chunky

2 cloves of garlic – I use double this at least but I do love garlic so feel free to use more if you are also a garlic lover

2 onions finely diced

2 dessertspoons of chilli paste (more or less if you want extra hot or mild)

2 dessertspoons of dried oregano

1 dessertspoon of cumin powder

A good slug of olive oil.

Pop all this on the stove to simmer until the onions are tender, stir occasionally and whilst its simmering away prepare:

4 cups of carrots diced finely as above or grated if you want a mushier texture. I like the carrots diced because I really enjoy carrot flavour but my Girls prefer the carrots grated.

1 400 g tin of kidney beans

1 400 g tin of diced tomatoes

When the onions are tender and all those spices have cooked and blended add the carrots, kidney beans and tomatoes and cook covered over low heat until the carrots are really cooked. Normally I like my veggies crunchy but for this recipe you really want those carrots to be soft and to absorb all the chilli flavour.

Usually cooking the carrots takes about 30 minutes. When cooked add,

50 grams of good quality dark chocolate

2 tablespoons of tomato paste or pesto

Stir until the chocolate has melted, the chocolate will give the chilli a lovely rich colour and deeper flavour.

Serve with coriander (cilantro) salsa, sour cream or greek yogurt and rice or corn chips

Coriander Salsa

Combine in equal proportions:

diced avacado, cucumber and tomato

Sprinkle with lemon juice and lightly toss through 2 tablespoons of fresh coriander

Heavenly Hash with a Dash of Sin

 

My Aunt used to make this dessert every Christmas and I loved it. She was a strict Baptist so she never added the sin bit that I’ve put in – but my attraction to sin always did make me the black sheep of the family.

Its super quick to whip up.

Combine

500 grams of chopped strawberries ( don’t make the pieces too small) halves is usually okay unless they are those enormous G.M strawberries that the supermarket shelves are now full of.

1 sliced banana

1/4 cup of liqueur , – there’s the dash of sin. I used limoncello but cointreau would work, as would grand marnier, brandy, champagne etc. If you don’t want the alcohol you can omit it.

Leave this to marinade for about 1 hour in the fridge

Add

2 cups of chopped marshmallows

1 cup of grated eating chocolate, I used  Lindt Dark Strawberry Intense, but Toblerone would be great or Lindt Dark Chilli Chocolate.

300 mlx of thickened cream whipped

1 tablespoon of chopped fresh mint

Gently combine this with the fruit.

Serve in a glass and sprinkle fresh mint on top – voila – a kinda healthy dessert – well it has got fruit in it so that means no calories right?

Poor Student Vegetable Soup (now also called Actors Soup)

 

I lived on this soup when I was a poor art student in the late 70’s.  I dressed in bright green tights and retro 1930’s dresses from the op shop, lived on a student allowance of $70 a fortnight and made gallons of this soup. I passed on this recipe to my youngest son who is at present a poor Jazz Piano student at the Conservatorium in another state (God I miss him!) . This soup is great because you can use it as a base and add anything you like to it according to your budget. It’s super healthy and so now I am putting it here for my  son Seth who is an actor on the other  side of the world in L.A. (God I miss him!) ,

Vegetable Soup

Into a large pot place one and half cups of each of the following vegetables:

diced onion

sliced celery

grated parsnip

grated turnip

grated carrots

Add

1 tablespoon of mixed herbs

A good lug of olive oil – about 4 tablespoons

salt and pepper

Fry everything for about 5 minutes stirring often. Its really important not to skip this step, this is what really brings out all the lovely vegetable flavours.

Add

500 g  (1 lb) of the cheapest bones you can find, lamb, beef, oxtail, ham hock, chicken anything is fine. I used lamb bones today but I just use what ever is cheapest. If you want a vegetarian soup leave out the bones but add some lentils or other legumes instead.

2 litres of vegetable stock, you can use the ready made stock or you can use powder or cubes and water which is what I did.

Bring to the boil then simmer gently for one hour.

Remove the bones. The dog is waiting patiently for the bones, this is the dog with his I’m being good waiting for those bones face IMG_0015

Chop a bunch of parsley and add to the soup – this will taste great and give you a really good shot of iron.

Serve sprinkled generously with parmesan or tasty cheese.

Things I sometimes add to this soup are

bacon pieces, lentils, white legumes like haricot beans, other veggies like potato, yams, zucchini etc.

Butternut and Cashew Curry

Butternut and Cashew Curry

This is Peter’s favourite curry – the one he asks for as his birthday dinner. Here it is for Seth who is looking for yummy veggie meals for those trying to live on a budget in L.A, and all the rest of you who want to try a really yummy, easy vegetarian curry.

Spices

1 chopped onion

1 chopped capsicum

1 teaspoon of seed mustard

1 dessertspoon of curry paste ( more or less to taste)

2 dessertspoons of dark brown sugar, (I hate to use sugar but it really does bring out the lovely sweetness of the pumpkin)

1 dessertspoon of lemon juice

2 heaped dessertspoons of sultanas (preferably sun dried no sodium nitrates which are super bad for you)

1/2 cup of cashews

a few lugs of olive or cocoanut oil

Throw all these into a good sized pot and stir over heat until the aromatic smells combine into deliciousness and start to fill your house and make you all hungry, reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting and leave to sauté whilst you prepare the veggies.

Vegetables

1 large tomato chopped

1 zucchini (courgette) chopped

200 grams of mushrooms sliced

1/2 butternut pumpkin chopped unevenly, (this is so the smaller pieces become mushy saucy bits whilst the larger bits retain their shape)

Add all these to the spices and stir well, still sautéing for a few minutes so the spices coat the vegetables. Its really important to sauté it all to really give the pumpkin its nuttiness. Then pop on the lid and keeping on low simmer for 30 minutes or until the larger pieces of butternut are cooked. It doesn’t matter if the smaller bits get a bit mushy as you want that  – they will become part of the curry sauce.

Before Serving

When the butternut pumpkin is cooked add 270 mls of cocoanut cream and 4 dessertspoons of chopped fresh coriander (more or less to taste – I love coriander so there is never enough for me).

To Serve

Sprinkle chopped roasted cashews on top

Serve with microwaved pappadums and rice

Dukkah Egg and Chicken Salad

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This is a such an easy salad to toss together, so healthy and fresh and it’s my girls favourite salad. Often if I’m short of time I take short cuts and use store bought dukkah and sesame dressing. I’m including my recipe for dukkah and dressing so if you want to make the whole thing yourself you can.

This make 4 ample serves for hungry eaters.

Ingredients

500 grams of Chicken fillets
4 eggs boiled for 8 minutes
4 freshly cooked baby beetroots
1 bunch of freshly steamed asparagus (don’t over cook it, you want a crispness to it)
4 handfuls of fresh salad greens of any type
1/2 cup of sesame and pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
Dukkah – or make your own (recipe below)
Japanese creamy sesame dressing (or make your own)

Ingredients for the Dukkah

4 tablespoons of pistachios (almond, hazelnuts are a good alternative)
2 tablespoons of sesame seeds
1 tablespoon of coriander seeds
1 tablespoon of fennel seeds
1 tablespoon of salt
1 tablespoon of pepper
4 good slices of lemon peel

Throw all this into a food processor and blitz, (adjust the pepper if you don’t like it too hot)

Sesame Dressing

2 dessertspoons of tahini
1/4 cup of sesame oil
3 dessertspoons of lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

mix the oil into the tahini, slowly add the lemon juice so it doesn’t curdle, add salt and pepper

Making the Salad

Coat the chicken strips in the dukkah and fry until cooked and golden brown.
Peel the hard boiled eggs, rinse but don’t dry and coat each egg in the dukkah.
Cut the eggs into four pieces

Place a handful of greens on each plate.
Add the beetroot, asparagus, egg, chicken strips.
Sprinkle with the pumpkin and sesame seeds.
Drizzle with the dressing.

Happy Days! The Neal family favourite salad

Bliss Balls

Perfect for school lunches

Perfect for school lunches

Remember school – for me it was just like the movie “Mean Girls” where the bullies always seem to get everything they want and the good girls (that was me – super goody goody) get trampled on. All my kids are the good kids and I always tell them that it turns around when you’re adults but I don’t know that’s really true or we wouldn’t need all those workplace bullying laws.

Anyway school can be tough. And what do us mothers do when we can’t solve our kids problems for them – we feed them up instead so that at least they will stay strong. So I made these for my daughters lunch box, a nice cheer up treat that is also super healthy for any work or school lunchbox – AND – They are super easy to make, I think all up it took me 10 minutes to throw these together.

These Bliss Balls are fruit free because like many people my kids really hate dried fruits.

Ingredients

1 cup of ground almond meal or other ground nuts (almond is technically not a nut but a kernel)
2 tablespoons of coconut flour
1 teaspoon of treacle or golden syrup or honey (make sure its a very generous teaspoonful)
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
3 tablespoons of coconut flakes or shreds
3 tablespoons of chia seeds
125 ml of tahini or peanut butter (tahini is a good option because peanut butter is not allowed at some schools due to allergies)
3 tablespoons of coconut oil
1 generous tablespoon of cocoa powder

toasted shredded coconut to roll. (to toast the coconut I pop it into a fry pan and gently heat stirring occasionally till it starts to brown. You have to watch it though because once it browns it will do it quickly and will continue to brown after you remove it from the heat)

Making the Bliss Balls

Throw everything together in a food processor and blitz till it holds together.
With wet hands roll mixture into balls and roll to cover in the toasted coconut and refrigerate.

And your done 🙂