Category Archives: Savoury

Cheese and Olive Tart – because I love anything with cheese (and olives)

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I love cheese, cheese with cheese, cheese with olives, cheese with anything else I can find so I can have cheese. I love cheesecake but I’m over the sweetness so for ages I have been thinking about making a savoury cheesecake to satisfy my longing for cheesecake but without the sugar.

This is an Olive and Cheese Tart. Its super easy. I made my own pastry but you don’t have to. You can use bought or make a biscuit crumb base if you want to but I’ve included the recipe for gluten free pastry I used.

I served this for lunch with salad and we all ate three slices each.

For the Pastry You Will Need

6oz Flour
4oz butter
2 Eggs
Salt

To Make the Pastry

Rub the butter into the flour until it is crumbed
Add the eggs and knead together adding extra flour until you have a soft dough that sticks together.

I always roll gluten free pastry between two sheets of baking paper and use the baking paper to support the pastry whilst I move it to the tin.

I used a 10 inch (27cm) diameter pie tart tin with a removable base. Make sure to grease and flour the tin well. Put the pastry into the tin pressing gently into the corners.
Blind bake the pastry for 10 minutes at 180o. Remove and cool.

While the pastry is baking have a cuppa and begin the filling.

To Make the Filling

Mix together until well combined:

1/2 cup (125ml) of Sour Cream
1 Cup (250ml) of Ricotta Cheese
1 Cup of (250ml)Cream Cheese
1 Cup of Tasty Cheese
1/4 Cup of Self Raising Flour
Zest of two Lemons of a piece of preserved Lemon chopped
1/2 heaped Cup of Pimento stuffed Green Olives chopped in half
2 Tablespoons of chopped Parsley
3 Eggs
Salt and Pepper

To Make the Tart

Pour the filling into the tart case and bake at 180o for 40 minutes.

Thats it! Now impress everyone.

Holy Jebus Easy Lentils with Tomato Sauce, Caramelised Onion and Pistachios

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This has always been one of my hubby Pete’s favourite meals. When my son Seth had his first son, I made this for him and his lovely partner Clara and Seth texted later – ‘Holy Jebus that was good!!! Can we have the recipe?’

So now I call it Holy Jebus Lentils.

Here is the recipe for you Seth and for everyone else who likes honest wholesome yummy food. This recipe has three cooking parts but don’t let that put you off as each part is super super easy.

Each part has only 2 or 3 ingredients and at the most 4 steps

Part 1 is the lentils, rice and pumpkin and I’ll give you the instructions for both white and brown rice. I use brown rice but I know some people really hate brown rice. Part 2 is the sauce and Part 3 is the onions.

For the Lentils you will need:

1 Cup of Lentils – I use the nice small brown ones sometimes called French Lentils but red or green is okay too.
1 Cup of Brown Rice (instructions included for white rice)
6 Cups of Stock – any stock is fine
2 Cups of chopped pumpkin
1 dessertspoon of maple syrup or brown sugar
Oil for frying

To Make with Brown Rice

1. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the Lentils for about 5 minutes until they brown and start to smell nice and nutty.
2. Add the brown rice and fry for another 3 – 5 minutes.
3. Add 6 cups of stock, salt to taste and simmer covered for 40 minutes until all the stock is absorbed. If the liquid isn’t absorbed at the end of the cooking just leave the lid on for another 10 minutes or so and the rice and lentils will take up the remaining liquid.
4. While the lentils are cooking chop the pumpkin into 1cm cubes, rub or toss the pumpkin in the maple syrup and roast in the oven until cooked – about 30 minutes.

To Make with White Rice

Follow step 1 above.
2. Cook the lentils in 3 cups of water for 15 minutes then add the other 3 cups of water and the white rice and cook covered for another 15 minutes
Follow step 4.

For The Sauce You Will Need

1 Capsicum Chopped
3 Large Tomatos Chopped
1 Heaped Dessertspoon of Brown Sugar
1 Heaped Dessertspoon of Ground Cumin
Salt

To Make The Sauce

1. Fry Capsicum in pan until just going brown
2. Add all other ingredients into the pan and cook for 20 minutes or until tomato is going mushy
3. Blend until smooth

For the Onion You Will Need

2 Large Onions halved then sliced
4 Garlic Cloves chopped
1 Heaped Dessertspoon of Brown Sugar

To Make the Onion

1. Fry the Onion and Garlic until brown and transparent
2. Add the Sugar and fry until caramelised

To Serve

You will now have four components, The lentils, the sauce, the onions and the pistachios

1. Place Lentils in a bowl
2. Sprinkle some pumpkin on top
3. Spoon the tomato sauce over
4. Add some Caramelised Onion on top
5. Sprinkle with Pistachios

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Easy One Pot Lamb (with slow cooker instructions)

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Every now and then my husband Pete gets a real craving for a good lamb casserole. Especially on cold wintry Ballarat days when the air blows icy from the Antartica, it whooshes right over Tasmania and straight up to our front door and nothing beats the cold like a hearty one pot. This is my go to recipe. It’s super easy and yummy and I make it in our slow cooker. I pop it on at night and the next morning we have hot lamb ready to eat all day with Golden Mash or Parsley and Cheese Dumplings – I have given you the recipe for both.

You will need

1 kg of lamb – I used a leg but you can use any cut of lamb you like. I cut it into large chunks.
4 Cloves of Garlic chopped finely
1/4 cup of plain flour
2 large potatoes sliced
2 Onions sliced
4 small to medium Carrots sliced
1/4 cup of mixed herbs
1 cup of Mushrooms sliced

if using a slow cooker add 1 cup of any broth

if using a stove top use 2 cups of broth

To Make It

Cut the excess fat off the lamb and chop it into large pieces and put it into the pot or slow cooker.
Tip in the flour and rub it over the lamb covering the pieces
Put in all other ingredients.

To Cook It

If using a slow cooker cook on auto or on high until bubbling then turn to low and cook for 8 hours (Or do as I do and put it on at night and leave over night)

If using a pot on the stove cook covered over a low heat for 2 – 4 hours or until the meat is tender and falling apart

Serve with either Golden Mash or Parsley and Cheese Dumplings:

Golden Mash

Cook equal parts potato and pumpkin or yam and then mash with sour cream

Parsley Dumplings

Mix together:

1 cup of self raising flour
1 egg
2 tablespoons of finely chopped parsley
1/4 cup of grated cheese
1 tablespoon of milk

Drop balls of dumpling mix about a dessertspoon size onto the top of the stew, cover and continue to cook for 20 minutes or until dumplings are cooked.

Pea, Blue Cheese and Mash Frittata

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Sometimes when you cook with only what you have in the fridge a surprise happens. This was one of those surprises. This was Sunday brunch and was so yummy we made it again for lunch today. Twice in one week so has to be good right. If you have some left over mash this is the recipe you need.

You will need

6 X- large eggs or 8 Large ones
1/2 cup of grated tasty cheese
1/2 cup of grated sharp parmesan cheese
1/2 cup of crumbled blue cheese
1 cup of shredded baby spinach
1 cup of frozen or fresh peas
1 and 1/2 cups of mashed potato and pumpkin

To Make

1. Put all ingredients in a large bowl and whisk with an egg whisker until well combined.

2. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a 24cm fry pan. When the oil is heated swish it around the pan so it covers the sides as well as the bottom.

3. Pour in the egg mixture and cook over a low heat on the burner for 20 minutes or until the frittata has risen and is cooked and not wobbly in the middle.

4. Sprinkle generously with grated tasty and parmesan cheese.

5. When cooked brown the top of the frittata with a kitchen torch or by placing under the griller.

Alternatively you could bake this in a moderate oven until risen and cooked.

Broccoli, Broccolini and Almond Salad with Tahini Soy Dressing

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I have been going mad for greens – especially on hot summer nights. Super healthy and super yummy what is there not to like when you mix those yummy greens with nuts and seeds.

Ingredients for the Salad

2 large cloves of garlic chopped
2 flowers of broccoli chopped
1 bunch of broccolini chopped
1 large handful of spinach leaves chopped
10 baby tomatoes quartered
1 small handful of mint leaves chopped
1 small handful of chives chopped
A generous handful of sesame seeds
A generous handful of almonds
A generous handful of flaked almonds

Ingredients for the Sauce

1/2 cup of tahini
A good splosh of soy sauce
A good splosh of lemon juice
1 heaped teaspoon of sugar
Water to thin to desired consistency

To Create

Gently fry the chopped garlic cloves, the stalky ends of the broccoli and broccolini that are good to eat until the broccoli is nearly cooked then add all the seeds and nuts and continue to stir fry until these are brown then set aside

Stir fry the broccoli and broccolini until cooked but not soggy.

Combine all ingredients, the chopped tomatoes, spinach, mint leaves, chives, nuts and broccoli mix.

Serve with the sauce on the side.

Chicken Salad with Lentils and Kefir dressing

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My kids say this is their all time favourite salad. So when I make it I do so in a huge tray as I know it’s all going to get eaten.

Ingredients

For the dressing
1 cup of probiotic kefir milk or yogurt
lemon juice to taste
1 teaspoon of tumeric

For the salad

2 large chicken breasts, butterflied and cut in half sideways to make thinner
curry paste of any kind (I used korma)
1 finely diced red onion
1 tablespoon on cumin powder
1 400g can of lentils or equivalent fresh and cooked
1 large diced tomato
1/4 cup of white wine
1 big bunch of coriander leaves
150g cashews
2 large handfuls of fresh spinach leaves sliced roughly
1 cucumber sliced thinly lengthways
1 large carrot sliced thinly lengthways (I used a mandolin for the carrot and cucumber)
250 grams of sliced mushrooms

To Create

Rub the chicken all over with the curry paste until well covered, then sear in a pan until cooked through and set aside to rest

In the same pan fry the diced red onion, cumin powder and cashews until the onion is cooked. Add the lentils and stir fry for a minute or two to distribute flavour.

Add the sliced mushrooms, diced tomato and wine and continue to stir fry until the mushrooms are cooked and wine absorbed. Set aside

Slice the chicken into strips, now add all ingredients including carrots, cucumber, spinach and coriander. Serve cold with the sauce on the side.

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

Robbi’s easy peasy 100% Rye Bread and nothing else (made for Pete)

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My lovely husband Peter looked at the salt content in shop bought bread and had a coronary over his sardines on toast so I said I would make home made bread for him that was 100% rye – his favourite.

This bread is so yummy and so easy to make I’m now making it every second day – (ahh what you can manage when the kids fly away).

Smile because there are no arduous hours of kneading and the smell of bread cooking and the taste of hot bread smothered in butter is one of those things that makes life worth living.

Just make sure you have somewhere warm away from drafts to leave the bread whilst it rises. Up here in the tropics that means anywhere.

Ingredients

6 Cups of Rye Flour

2 Teaspoons of Yeast granules

2 Dessertspoons of Molasses

1 Teaspoon of salt

1/4 Cup of Rice Bran Oil

2 Cups of Warm Water

To Make that Dough

Put the rye flour into a large bowl and make a well in the centre, put the yeast into the well, sprinkle the salt and molasses over the yeast. Pour over 1 of the cups of warm water, stir the well until the salt, molasses and yeast is mixed into the water but don’t stir in all the flour.

Leave it in a warm place for about 15 – 20 minutes, after this time there should be bubbles in the watery-yeast mix.

Pour in the other cup of water and the oil and mix the whole lot up until combined. Cover with a towel if you have drafts near by and leave in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size or for about 1 – 2 hours.

Now cover  your hand in rye flour and knead the dough. I usually do this in the bowl using one hand. As its rye you won’t knead to knead (hah hah) for long – just until the dough is doughy and holding together and a bit shiny and elastic – no more than 20 kneads.

Now shape it into the tin you want to bake it in and leave it in a warm place for another 1 – 2 hours until it doubles in shape again.

Bake that Bread

Now bake the bread at 175 degrees celsius or 350 farenheight for 1 hour.

When cooked tip the bread out, slice, smother so its dripping in butter (another coronary coming on) and try not to eat the entire loaf in half an hour.

Prosciutto Brown Fried Rice – Healthy and Yummy

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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.

Spanakopita Gluten Free – Spinach and Cheese Pie

Our current favourite we are eating this once a week

Our current favourite we are eating this once a week

We love spanakopita – the salty fetta, healthy spinach. I have worked to perfect this recipe over the last 6 months to get it how we think is just the right combination of fetta, other cheeses and the spinach. Its super easy to make. Super yummy and there is never any left over.

You will need:

1 diced onion, sautéed until it is just browning

1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese

1 cup of grated tasty cheese

200 grams of fetta cheese (I use the Danish because I love its creaminess)

300 grams of  spinach leaves, chopped and make sure they are dry (even though I find it difficult to cook anything that has the word baby to describe it I do use baby spinach leaves)

6 eggs

3 tablespoons of fresh oregano

1/2 cup of gluten free self raising flour – now you can leave this out and sometimes I do – but then you have to make sure the spinach really is dry. If you add the 1/2 cup of flour you will have a fail safe pie.

No salt – the fetta is salty enough on its own

To make it:

what it will look like before you pop it in the oven

what it will look like before you pop it in the oven

Combine all these ingredients and pour into an oiled baking dish and top with extra cheese and some extra fresh oregano. Bake in a moderate oven for 30 minutes or until set and browned nicely on top.

To Upload it

Sometimes – and my daughters love it when I do this – I line the greased dish with nitrate free prosciutto and then pop the spinach cheesy mix on top. It does make it more salty but also super yummy.

to upload line the dish with prosciutto

to upload line the dish with prosciutto

 

 

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

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

Hidden Shepherds Pie – a Fair Dinkum Aussie Meal

Shepherds Pie with hidden layer of Cheese Melt

Shepherds Pie with hidden Cheese Melt

My baby daughter (okay she is 17 so maybe not a baby) is off to the other side of the world – to Italy and she wants to make a Fair Dinkum Aussie Meal for her host family. She decided there was nothing more Fair Dinkum Aussie than Shepherds Pie and asked me for my recipe.

So why do I call it Hidden Shepherds Pie – I have been making this one for years and when the kids were little they never picked up on the hidden veggies and lentils which add to the texture. But its not just stuff kids don’t like that are hidden in here – there are also yummy slices of Tomatoes and Cheese.

It looks like a lot of ingredients but it is really quite simple to make.

The secret to this recipe is it tastes even better the next day.

This serves 6-8 people.

Ingredients

1 Onion
2 – 4 cloves of Garlic (depending on taste – we are 8 cloves kinda people)
2 Tablespoons of fresh Herbs or 1 tablespoon of dried Mixed Herbs. For fresh I used rosemary, thyme and oregano because that is what grows on my back porch.
1 Stick of Celery sliced thinly
1 kg of Minced (Ground) meat. We use Kangaroo – its low fat, cheap and ecologically sound in Australia. Kangaroos breed prolifically and don’t hurt our environment. You can use Lamb or Beef just as easily
I Grated Carrot
I cup of Peas fresh or frozen
1 can of Lentils
2 Tablespoons of any Gluten Free Flour
2 Tablespoons of Worcestershire Sauce
2 Tablespoons of Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons of Red Wine (more if like me you want to have a glass while you cook) or Balsamic Vinegar
4 generous Tablespoons of Tomato Paste
Olive Oil
3 Cups of Diced Sweet Yellow Potato or Yams or Butternut Pumpkin
4 Cups of Diced Potato’s
Sliced or Grated Mature Tasty Cheese
Fresh Tomatoes

Let’s Make it

Meat Base

In a deep saucepan fry the onion, garlic and herbs in a good lug of olive oil until the onion is transparent. Then add the meat, grated carrot, celery and peas and continue frying until the meat is cooked.
Remove from the heat.
Add the flour and stir thoroughly so lumps don’t form. Then add the Lentils, Soy, Worcestershire, Red Wine or Balsamic and the Tomato Paste.
Pour into a deep baking dish and pat flat.
Cover the meat with slices of fresh tomato
Cover the tomato with a yummy layer of Tasty Cheese.

Potato Top

Boil the diced Potato until cooked soft enough to mash.
Mash the potato with Olive oil (I used 3 tablespoons of Oil) – you want a soft but firm consistency.
Place the mashed potato on top of the cheese and spread evenly with a fork
If you want to you can drizzle olive oil or grated cheese over the potato to assist browning.

Bake 20 minutes @ 350F

Quinoa Fritattas

Quinoa Frittatas

Quinoa Frittatas

I was going to post some delicious gluten free biscuit (cookies for non aussies) recipes but instead I have decided to go healthy. This recipe for Quinoa Frittatas is one I make for my daughters for their school lunches. They are full of yummy veggies, cheese and what is life without cheese? and of course Quinoa an excellent source of protein, fibre, carbs etc.
This is a super healthy but super yummy recipe.

This recipe will make 12 Quinoa Frittatas in a large muffin pan

Cook 1 cup of quinoa in a saucepan with 2 1/2 cups of water and one vegetable gluten free stock cube. I use Massels stock cubes which also have no nasties like msg.

Add together:

Cooled Quinoa
1/2 cup of gluten free self raising flour. I use white wings but any brand or type is fine.
salt – just a pinch
Herbs, just a handful chopped well, I use what ever is growing well in my pot plants on the back verandah, today is was oregano and thyme.
6 cups of mixed finely diced or grated vegetables. I used mushroom, grated zucchini, capsicum, spanish onion, carrot – what ever you have on hand will work. I have used grated sweet potato which was yum.
2 cups of cheese, I use 1 cup of tasty and 1 cup of shredded parmesan
8 eggs

Combine this and spoon into 12 lined large muffin pans.
Sprinkle a little cheese on top.
Cook at 375 degrees for 20 minutes

2 Colour Potato Gnocchi with Gorgonzola

My son ate 5 bowls of this in one sitting

My son ate 5 bowls of this in one sitting

Yes my son ate 5 bowls of this Gnocchi in one sitting (he has grown to over 6ft tall – maybe it was the Gnocchi). It’s his favourite dish. I make this with a Gorgonzola sauce and prosciutto crumble but my kids do like really strong flavours, if yours don’t you could just as easily use parmesan or tasty cheese instead of Gorgonzola and make the dish veggo by omitting the prosciutto crumble and using parmesan or herbs to garnish.

Ingredients

For the Gnocchi
2 cups of sweet golden potato (sometimes called yam or kumara)
2 cups of white potato (I like Desiree)
1 Egg
1 cup of Gluten Free Self Raising Flour
3 heaped teaspoons of Herbs (I used fresh Parsley, Chives and Oregano from my pot plant garden because that’s what I had, you could also use Basil)

For the Sauce
2 teaspoons of crushed garlic
1 cup of sour cream
100g of Gorgonzola (or other cheese)
1/2 cup of vegetable stock (I use Massels, it has no nasties and is gluten free)

To finish off
3 tablespoons of prosciutto fried till crisp and crumbled or grated parmesan or chopped fresh herbs
Chopped Baby Spinach

Making the Gnocchi
1. Dice and cook the potatoes till soft, drain and cool. Whilst cooling I make the sauce.
2. Once cooled mash the potato very well
3. Add 1 egg
4. Add flour 1/3rd at a time and mix in well
5. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and then bring it down to simmer
6. Using floured fingers and a floured teaspoon, gently take teaspoons of the potato mixture and form them into Gnocchi shapes – don’t overwork them or they will become heavy.
7. Carefully drop them into the simmering water, don’t overload the saucepan.
8. When Gnocchi have floated to the top let them cook for 1 – 2 mins before removing with a slotted spoon. Don’t let them cook for any longer or they will become soggy.
9. Place the Gnocchi on a bed of chopped baby spinach (so your kids get some greens and because baby spinach is sooo yummy) and pour the sauce over the gnocchi, garnish and serve

Making the sauce
1. In a saucepan fry the garlic till browning
2. Add sour cream and stir regularly till melted
2. Crumble in the Gorgonzola and melt whilst stirring regularly
3. Add the vegetable stock

Sour Cream Veggie Slice (good enough to make you give up meat)

My daughter says this slice is so good she would give up meat for veggie food like this and she asked me to make it two nights in a row. It’s super easy so have a go!

"will make you give up meat"

“will make you give up meat”


Ingredients

3 heaped cups of Mixed Veggies (I used spring onions, asparagus, parsley, corn, spinach and potato but have added others and basically use what I have in the fridge)
4 large eggs
3/4 cup of sour cream
200g of Fetta (I love Danish fetta because of its creaminess)
1 cup of shredded parmesan plus a bit extra for on top
3 tablespoons of Pesto
6 tablespoons of Gluten Free Corn Cous Cous (or GF breadcrumbs)

1. Lightly cook the veggies until they are just tender (you don’t want them to go mushy when baked). Drain very well.
2. Sprinkle the cous cous over the base of an 8 inch, well buttered or oiled square baking dish. The cous cous will form a base for the slice.
3. Mix together until there are no lumps (well maybe only a few, it’s hard to get rid of them all) the eggs, fetta, sour cream, parmesan and pesto
4. Sprinkle the drained veggies over the cous cous
5. Pour the mixture over the top and shake a little so it gets in around the veggies
6. Sprinkle the extra parmesan (and some tomato slices if you feel like it) over the top
7. Bake for 25 minutes at 180C
8. Allow to rest for a few minutes before serving
It tastes even better the next day for brunch!!!