Friday, March 30, 2012

chunky tomato relish

What you need

1 tbs olive oil
1 small brown onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 small fresh red chilli, halved, deseeded, finely chopped
500g ripe vine-ripened tomatoes, coarsely chopped
2 tbs brown sugar
2 tbs white wine vinegar

What to do
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic and chilli, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until aromatic.
Add the tomato to the onion mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until the tomato breaks down.
Add the sugar and vinegar, and cook for 10 minutes or until the mixture thickens. 
Set aside to cool, place in a sterilized jar and keep refrigerated.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

fried pumkin blossoms

Here is a variation on my fried zucchini flowers, Pumpkin vines have large, yellow flowers that are 4 to 5 inches in diameter. The pumpkin vine like the zucchini vine has separate male and female flowers. The pumkin only forms at the base of the female flower.

The pumpkin is technically a fruit that belongs to the Cucurbita family which includes squash and cucumbers

what you need
24 pumpkin blossoms
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
1/2 cup whole wheat flour (or corn meal)
3-4 tablespoons light cooking olive oil
dash salt as desired
fresh cracked black pepper to taste

what to do
Cut pumpkin blossoms off where the pumpkin starts.

Take the center out (stamen) as this is quiet bitter and wash well.

Make a batter of the milk, eggs, salt and pepper.

Dip the blossoms in the wheat or cornflour then in the blossoms in the batter and deep fry at 180 degrees until light golden brown.

Serve hot, these are also great filled with ricotta or goats cheese, or even a cheese risotto filling

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

green tomato relish

Green tomato relish is the perfect relish for hot dogs and hamburgers, or great with cold cuts in a crusty roll

What you need
8 cups finely chopped cored green tomatoes
2 cups finely chopped peeled onions
4 green capsicums, finely chopped
1/3 cup pickling salt
2 tablespoons mixed pickling spices
½ teaspoon celery seeds
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 ¼ cups white vinegar
1 2/3 cups light brown sugar

What to do
Combine the chopped vegetables and salt in a large stainless steel pan. Cover and let stand in a cool place overnight.
Pour the vegetables in a colander over the sink and let drain. Rinse with cool water and use your hands to squeeze out any excess liquids.
Tie the pickling spices and celery seeds in a cheesecloth spice bag.
In a large stainless steel or enamel-lined pan, combine the vinegar, the spice bag, chopped garlic, and the vinegar. Put the vinegar mixture over high heat and bring to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Add the drained green tomato mixture and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and boil gently, stirring often, for 1 hour.
Once cooked place in sterilized jars and keep in the fridge.  

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

prawn, mango & avocado salad

What you need

2 large handfuls of torn iceberg lettuce
1 small handful mint, chopped
1 handful coriander leaves, chopped
200gr king prawns (shrimp), cooked and peeled
1/2 avocado, sliced
1/2 mango, sliced
60 ml (2 fl oz/1/4 cup) lime juice
4 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce

What to do

Combine the lettuce, mint and coriander and divide between two serving bowls.
Arrange the prawns, avocado and mango over the top.
Drizzle over the lime juice and top with a little sweet chilli sauce.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

beef noodle salad

What you need
350g packet fresh Singapore noodles
550g beef rump steak, trimmed
1/2 cup sesame, ginger and soy marinade
1 medium carrot, peeled, grated
2 cups beansprouts, trimmed
6 green onions, thinly sliced diagonally

What to do
Place noodles in a heatproofbowl.
Cover with boiling water. Stand for 2 to 3 minutes or until tender.
Usinga fork, separate noodles. Drain and return to the bowl.
Brush steak with 1 tablespoon marinade. Preheat a greased barbecue plate or chargrill over medium-high heat.
Cook steak for 3 to 4 minutes each side for medium or until cooked to your liking. Transfer to a plate. Stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Thinly slice.
Combine remaining marinade with 2 tablespoons cold water. Add beef, carrot, beansprouts, onion and marinade mixture to noodles.
Toss to combine.
Serve and top with fresh corriander

Monday, March 19, 2012

quinoa tabouleh

Quinoa is a great gluten-free substitute for burghul or cracked wheat that is traditionally used in tabouleh. This salad goes great with barbequed lamb or chicken.

What you need

1 cup (200g) quinoa

1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked, finely chopped

2 tbs finely chopped mint or coriander

10 cherry tomatoes, quartered

3 spring onions, thinly sliced

1/4 cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil

2 tbs lemon juice

1 1/2 tsp paprika, plus extra to sprinkle

1 tsp ground cumin

Pinch of cayenne

1 tsp caster sugar

100g low-fat thick Greek yoghurt

1 tbs olive oil

4 x 180g chicken breast fillets

What to do

Place the quinoa and 600ml water in a small saucepan over medium heat, then bring to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes or until tender. Drain well and leave to cool.

Add herbs, tomato and onion to quinoa and toss to combine. Combine oil, lemon juice, 1/2 tsp paprika, cumin, cayenne and sugar, then season.


Place yoghurt in a bowl and drizzle over 2 tsp dressing, then sprinkle with some paprika. Toss salad in remaining dressing.

Serve the salad with warm BBQ lamb or chicken thighs and yoghurt dressing

Saturday, March 17, 2012

gluten free banana bread

What you need
Makes 1 loaf
300 gr smashed ripe banana
3 free range eggs
60gr honey or organic maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
60gr cold pressed olive oil or macadamia nut oil
half teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda ( bicarb soda) + 1 tbsp lemon juice
200gr ( 2 cups ) almond meal
25gr (1/4 cup) ground flaxseed (linseed)
½ cup chopped walnuts
Preheat your oven to 160 C.

what to do
Combine smashed banana, honey, oil,
cinnamon, vanilla, eggs, bicarb and lemon. ( the lemon activates the bicarb). You could do this step in your trusty blender to ensure you blend up all the
base ingredients like a smoothie, then pour into a mixing bowl to finish off
the banana bread batter.
Add the almond meal and flaxseed and mix well.
Lightly oil one loaf tin and then coat liberally with extra almond meal – this will prevent the cake from sticking.
Spoon batter into the tin
and top banana bread before baking with a ½ cup of chopped walnuts and a
lightly sprinkle of cinnamon.
Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour and cover the top with foil if over-browning.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool before turning out the loaf.
Serve warm or at room temperature by itself or with a little ricotta and honey.

warm lamb salad

What you need

450g or 2 lamb backstraps

Olive oil spray

400g frozen broad beans, thawed, peeled

2 bunches asparagus, woody ends trimmed

1 bunch watercress (or rocket), leaves picked, washed, dried

60ml (1/4 cup) fresh lemon juice

1 tbs extra virgin olive oil

1 tbs wholegrain mustard

1/2 tsp raw sugar

What to do

Season both sides of the lamb with salt and pepper. Spray a non-stick frying pan with oil spray and place over medium-high heat. Add the lamb and cook for 4-5 minutes each side for medium or until cooked to your liking. Set aside for 5 minutes to rest.

Meanwhile, bring a medium saucepan of water to the boil. Add the broad beans and asparagus and cook for 2-3 minutes or until bright green and tender crisp. Drain. Place the beans and asparagus in a bowl of iced water for 2 minutes to refresh. Drain.

Thinly slice the lamb across the backstrap

Combine the lamb, broad beans, asparagus and watercress in a large bowl.

Divide the salad among serving plates.

Place the lemon juice, oil, mustard and sugar in a small jar and shake to mix. Drizzle the dressing over the salad when ready to serve.

roasted beetroot & red wine risotto


400g (3 large) beetroot, ends trimmed

500ml (2 cups) salt-reduced vegetable stock

1 tbs olive oil

1 small brown onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

220g (1 cup) arborio rice

160ml (2/3 cup) red wine

40g (1/2 cup) finely grated parmesan


Preheat oven to 190°C.

Wrap the beetroot in foil and roast in the oven for approx. 40-50 minutes or until tender (this will depend on the size of the beets). Set aside to cool slightly.

Wearing rubber gloves to avoid staining your hands, peel the beetroot and coarsely chop.

Place the beetroot in the bowl of a food processor with 125ml (1/2 cup) of the stock and process until smooth.

Heat the oil in a 2L (8-cup) capacity ovenproof casserole dish over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic and rice, and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds or until the grains appear slightly glassy.

Heat the remaining stock in a small saucepan over medium heat.

Add the beetroot mixture, stock and wine to the casserole dish and stir to combine. Cover the dish tightly with a lid or foil.

Reduce the oven temp to 160 celcius and bake in oven for 25-30 minutes or until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed.

Stir in the parmesan. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Serve immediately, topped with baby water cress and break pieces of goats cheese over

My tip: Prepare the beetroot up to 7 hours ahead. Store in an airtight container in the fridge, then it should only take 40 minutes to finish the risotto.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

banana & coconut bread

Melted butter, for greasing
100g shredded coconut
450g self-raising flour
150g brown sugar
150g butter, at room temperature,
1 ripe large banana, mashed
270mls coconut cream
2 tsp vanilla essence

What to do
Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush a
6cm-deep, 10 x 21cm (base measurement) loaf pan with the melted butter to
grease. Line the base and sides of the pan with non-stick baking paper.
Spread coconut over a large
baking tray. Toast in preheated oven for 3-4 minutes or until lightly toasted.

Sift flour and sugar into a large
mixing bowl and stir to combine. Add butter and use your fingertips to rub in
until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the toasted coconut and
make a well in the centre.

Combine the banana, coconut cream and vanilla essence in a medium bowl. Add to dry ingredients and use a wooden spoon to mix until just combined.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan and use the back of the spoon to smooth the surface.
Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Cover with foil and bake for a further 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into centre of bread comes out clean. Set aside for 10 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool.

To serve, preheat grill on medium.
Thickly slice the bread and place on a baking tray. Toast under preheated grill for 2-3 minutes each side or until lightly toasted.
Spread with ricotta, drizzle with honey and serve immediately.

roasted vegetable frittata

This is a great breakfast or Sunday brunch/lunch idea. and perfect to use those left over vegetables. or why not try sautted leek and bacon, potato and rosemary or pumpkin and chorizo.

What u need
4 eggs
1 cup roasted vegetables (such as pumpkin, potato, parsnip, beetroot, capsicum), cut into 2cm chunks
2 tbs grated parmesan
1/4 cup shredded fresh basil leaves

What to do
Preheat the grill to high.
Place eggs in a bowl and whisk lightly, then season with salt and pepper.
Place vegetables
into a 20cm non-stick frypan with heatproof handle and warm over medium heat for 1-2 minutes.
Add the eggs and reduce heat to low,
Cover and cook until eggs have almost set.
Sprinkle over the parmesan and shredded basil, then place the frypan in the oven for 4-5 minutes or until golden and puffed.
Slice into wedges and serve with a garden salad, or toasted sourdough for breakfast