Friday, 26 July 2013

Spiced Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Yoghurt Dressing

The cafe I used to work at makes a yummy cauliflower salad. This is my inspired version.

1/2 cauliflower
1/2 capsicum chopped small
1/2 tomato chopped small
1-2 red onions sliced thinly 
1/3 cup currants
Cumin powder
2 tsp Cumin seeds
Lemon juice
2 tsp Black Mustard seeds
Half bunch flat leaf parsley finely chopped

First, caramelise the onion. 
In a frying pan heat oil until hot and cook onions on low heat until soft and caramelised. Before they are done add the currants and cinnamon and some salt. The currants should expand and become really juicy. Set aside.

In a big frying pan, heat oil until very hot and add cumin seeds and mustard seeds until they pop.
Throw in the cauliflower and fry to absorb  flavour of the spices then add tomato and capsicum. Add some cumin powder and some more cinnamon. Salt if you need. Add a big squeeze of lemon juice. 
Fry until combined and cauliflower has softened a little. 
Add caramelised onions. 

When the salad has cooled off a bit add the chopped parsley and mix well.

2 tbs tahini
2/3 cup natural yoghurt
Lemon juice

Combine tahini and yoghurt. Mix well. Add water gradually until you reach the consistency you want. Add lemon juice to taste. 


Sunday, 21 July 2013

Red Pesto, Green Pesto

 When Cal and I were in Vienna, our friends picked us up from the train station after a long trip from Prague. We were tired and hungry and when we got to their place they fed us red pesto spaghetti. Every time i eat this pesto now i get Vienna nostalgia.

Red Pesto
1 cup Sun-dried tomatoes
1/.2 cup fresh parsley
1/3 cup kalamata olives, pitted
1/2 small red onion
1 hard boiled egg, cooled (the egg is the winner of this pesto. You can't taste it, but it gives the pesto a beautiful creamy texture)
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in food processor until you reach the consistency you want. 
If you want your pesto to be more tomato-ey add a teaspoon of tomato paste.

Green Pesto
1 bunch fresh basil
1/3 cup salted cashews (you can use pine nuts too)
1/4 cup good quality parmesan cheese freshly grated'/
1 clove garlic
1/3 cup olive oil
pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in food processor until you reach the consistency you want.
If you want to make the pesto in to a sauce, add some boiling water 

Pesto's going on my veggie lasagne tonight.

Friday, 12 July 2013

The Wednesday Winter Cook Up.

Our Wednesday night cook up was a success. Good food, good company, good wine.

Here is a recap of the evening's rules-

1. You must bring 3 of your favourite ingredients
2. These ingredients are secret
3. Two of these ingredients are for savoury dishes and the third is for dessert.
4. Another rule i forgot to add was - No meat.

What was brought? 

Between the 8 of us and a few misinterpreted rules, we managed to collect some pretty impressive ingredients.
  • Chickpeas
  • Coconut milk
  • Zuchini

  • Mushrooms
  • Truffle oil 
  • Pine nuts

  • Potatoes
  • Olives
  • Finger limes

  • Tomatoes
  • Coriander
  • Strawberries

  • Chocolate
  • Black tahini
  • pumpkin
  • frozen bananas

  • Passionfruits and kiwis
  • Chickpeas- soaked and boiled
  • Ashed goats cheese

  • Bok choi
  • Garlic chives
  • Capsicums
  • Cherries

What was made?

After guessing each others secret ingredients, we put our heads together to invent this beautiful Wednesday winter menu: 

-Dinner dishes-

Truffle oil mushrooms
mushrooms sauteed with truffle oil, chili, garlic and red wine vinegar, topped with pine nuts.

Colourful, Sweet and spicy salsa
Tomatoes, coriander, green chillies, capsicum, red onion, finger limes and red wine vinegar.

Roasted potatoes
Boiled until soft and then roasted. 

Oven warmed kalamata olives

Sauteed greens with miso and sesame dressing
Bok choi, garlic chives and broccoli sauted and topped with miso dressing with toasted sesame seeds.

Roasted chickpeas
roasted chickpeas mixed with indian spices, zuchini and cherry tomatoes, topped with goats cheese.

Roasted Pumpkin
Roast pumpkin wedges with black tahini and toasted pumpkin seeds (from the same pumpkin)


Kiwi fruit and strawberries with chocolate and coconut sauce and banana ice cream topped with finger lime and passionfruit.

Banana ice cream is literally frozen bananas whizzed in a food processor for about 5 minutes.
For the chocolate sauce, we melted a block of loving earth raw chocolate with some warm coconut milk. The fats separated a bit, but the sauce still tasted amazing!

The night ended with a very humorous game of Scategories and some midnight salted caramel popcorn. 

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Savoury, Spiced Pumpkin Loaf

I went out on a whim today and trialled an idea I've been brewing in my head for the last few days.
Based on the method for the banana bread i posted the other day, i baked a spicy pumpkin loaf to go with our soup.

This one is also wheat free, but not entirely gluten free. Ideally i wanted to bake the mixture in muffin tins, but i couldn't find any at the place we are staying at the moment.

Spiced Pumpkin Loaf:
    1/2 cup oat flour/ oat bran
    1/2 cup rice flour
    1 tsp baking powder
    1 tsp toasted and ground coriander seeds
    1tsp toasted and ground cumin seeds
    1 big pinch good quality salt
    1 handful linseeds and sunflower seeds (you can use any seeds)
    1/2 a small pumpkin, roasted and mashed. (Half way through roasting i added some crushed garlic)
    3 eggs, beaten
    1/4 cup milk of choice or water
    2 tbs coconut oil
    Preheat oven to 180 degrees and grease loaf tin or muffin tray.
    Combine the dry ingredients and wet ingredients in separate bowls.
    Combine everything together and bake for about 35-40 mins.
    Loaf is ready when you can insert a skewer and remove it clean.
    Serve warm with good quality butter or goats cheese or anything you like!

    You can substitute flours for whatever flour you like. Add or take seeds, nuts, spices.
    You could stir cheese through the mixture, or turn this in to a sweet loaf with different spices and adding a sweetener like maple syrup/stevia/sugar etc.
    Substitute pumpkin for banana or stewed apple. Pumpkin is great sweet though!

    We ate ours with a veggie soup- leek, potato, celery, carrot and lentil.

    Bon Appetit!

    Tuesday, 9 July 2013

    To market to market... stock up for the cook up.

    Cal and i are minding my aunty and uncle's beautiful house for a week and what better way to celebrate being here than to have all of our favourite people over for a winter cook-up.

    This is not just any cook-up though- there are strict rules of entry.

    1. You must bring 3 of your favourite ingredients.
    2. These ingredients are secret
    3. Two of these ingredients are for savoury dishes and the third is for dessert.

    Before revealing our ingredients we will be guessing what everyone has brought.
    Stay tuned for Thursday's cook-up post.

    Today at the Queen Victoria Market...
    Market Lane Coffee- mis-spelt name.
    Tangelos in season! grapefruit-cum-tangerine- yum!

    Saturday, 6 July 2013

    Delicious, versatile NUT BUTTER

    One of the easiest things you can do in your food processor is nut butter. It's full of good fats and protein.
    You can put this on your toast, in your smoothies or on top of your porridge and it keeps in a container for ages!
    Nuts are expensive, but this nut butter, is so versatile and healthy and keeps for ever!
    Worth every penny.

    Get as many of your favourite nuts as you can afford. I used 500g of mixed natural nuts- almonds, cashews, brazil and walnuts.

    Put them in your food processor and whizz away.
    Don't be disheartened if after 5 minutes, your nuts are still like a nut meal/flour rather than a paste. This takes some patience.

    If your nuts aren't roasted, you'll be whizzing for about 15 minutes. You'll have to stop every now and then and scrape down the sides.

    Blend until you reach the consistency you want. Scrape in to an airtight container and enjoy in every way you can!