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APPLES

by August 25, 2020

I have a lot of apples falling off my apple trees in these windy times.  I decided to stew lots of them, which I can then use in a myriad of ways.   Apple Sauce as an Egg Substitute.  Apple in with Overnight Oats.   Stewed Apple in with my Porridge.   As a base for an Apple Crumble or other Apple Dessert.   Stewed Apple freezes really well so it can be pulled out later on and used as above or for anything else you need Stewed Apple for.

 

 

I always stew my Apples using freshly squeezed Orange Juice, this adds sweetness without making them too sweet, which I don’t like.

 

 

 

For a big pot of Apples I used the juice of one Orange.  This is enough moisture as liquid comes out of the Apples also.  Just be careful not to have the heat too high initially as you don’t want to boil it all away before the Apples begin to break down and release their juices.

You can also add cinnamon to them if you want, but then it is more limiting in what you can use it for, so I tend to make it plain and then add flavours to it when using it.

 

For the last few days I have been using my Stewed Apples in my Porridge and it is delicious.  I cook my Organic Porridge Oats in some Almond Milk and then when it is cooked I add in a big spoonful of the Stewed Apples and then let it cook slightly with the Porridge to heat through.

 

Then into the bowl with some Flax Seeds, Chia Seeds, a small mixture of Nuts (this is Macadamia, Almond and Walnut) and some lovely plump blueberries.

 

Delicious!!!

 

 

Apples are a very good source of antioxidant nutrients.  They are also an excellent source of both Soluble and Insoluble Fibre and both types of Fibre are beneficial for your digestive health.  Fibre cannot be broken down and absorbed by your digestive system, instead it moves through your Small Intestine into your Large Intestine or Colon.    Soluble Fibre is the type of Fibre that mixes with water to create a gel like substance in your intestines for example what happens when you add liquid to oats in overnight oats, or if you make a chia seed egg!!   Insoluble Fibre does not dissolve in water, it remains fibrous as it travels through your system and adds bulk to your stool.  The friendly bacteria in your Large Intestine love a Fibre rich diet !!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

CARROT DAHL WITH PICKLED RED ONION

by July 9, 2020

I was craving Dahl for dinner and decided to make this Carrot Dahl with Pickled Red Onion and it was really tasty and total comfort food.    Some of the Carrots are chopped and cooked in the Dahl itself and some are roasted and placed on top.  Serve with some Coriander Leaves and some thick full fat yoghurt dolloped on top –  if you are not dairy free or vegan !!!  If you are, then just leave it out and it is still delicious.  Or you could add some Coconut Yoghurt which I am sure would work very well.  The addition of the Pickled Red Onions on top really add a zing !!!

The left overs are perfect for lunch the next day and this also freezes well.

 

SPICE MIX FOR ROAST CARROTS AND FOR THE DAHL

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground Tumeric
  • 2 tablespoons ground Cumin
  • 2 tablespoons ground Coriander
  • 2 tablespoons Mustard Seeds – roughly ground in a pestle and morter
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chilli Flakes
  • Big pinch of Sea Salt and  Ground Black Pepper

 

ROAST CARROTS AND GENERAL DAHL INGREDIENTS

  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil  (can use Ghee if happy to eat dairy)
  • 10 Carrots  –  6 peeled and cut into chunks and 4 peeled and diced
  • 1 tablespoon Maple Syrup
  • 3 large Onions, finely sliced
  • 6 Garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 5 inches of Ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 2 Green Chillies, finely sliced
  • 350 g Red Lentils, washed and drained
  • 3 tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 1 can full fat Coconut Milk
  • 2 teaspoons of Vegetable Stock Powder (good quality and low salt!)
  • Big bunch of Baby Spinach leaves (or Swiss Chard/Silverbeet, stalks finely sliced and leaves roughly chopped)
  • Yoghurt to serve (optional or could use some Coconut Yoghurt !!)
  • Coriander Leaves to serve

 

PICKLED RED ONIONS

  • 3 large Red Onions, finely sliced
  • Juice of 3 limes
  • Big pinch of Sea Salt

 

First, preheat the oven to 200 degrees.  Heat 2 tablespoons of the coconut oil in a baking dish.

Make the Spice Mix by simply mixing everything together.

Toss the Carrot chunks in the warmed Coconut Oil and add half the Spice Mix and toss to coat them.

Cook for approximately 30 minutes.  After 20 minutes, add the Maple Syrup and toss them around again and let cook for another 10 minutes, but keep an eye on them as the Maple Syrup will brown quickly and you don’t want them to burn.  You want them golden and crispy on the edges.  Once cooked put them aside.

 

In a large frying pan with a lid, place the remaining Coconut Oil and melt.  Add the sliced Onion and saute until it is transparent and soft.

Add the remaining Spice Mix, Garlic, Ginger, Green Chilli and cook for a few minutes to cook out the spices.

 

Add the diced Carrots and the Lentils, the Tomato Paste and mix around for a few minutes, then add the Coconut Milk and three tins of water.  Stir around and bring to the boil.  Once bubbling, put the lid on and turn down the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.  Stir during this time to make sure the Lentils don’t stick to the bottom.

 

 

If you think it needs more liquid, or you like it to be soupier then add some more water.  I did not need to add any further water and mine was a perfect soupy consistency, not too runny but not too thick either.

 

Whilst this is cooking, massage the Red Onion slices into the Lime Juice and Salt, they will soften.  Leave to marinate while the Dalh finishes cooking.

 

After 20 minutes test the Lentils and Carrots and see if you are happy they are cooked to your liking.  If so add the Baby Spinach Leaves, put the lid back on and let steam for a few minutes to soften.  If you are using Swiss Chard, it will take a little longer to wilt.  Mix into the Dahl mixture.

 

 

Serve the Dahl with the Roast Carrot chunks, some Yoghurt (if using), some Pickled Pink Onions and the Coriander Leaves !!

 

 

 

 

I based this recipe on a recipe in Melissa Hemsley’s Eat Green cookbook !!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ROAST BUTTERNUT SQUASH, LABNEH, WALNUT GREMOLATA AND POMEGRANATE SALAD

by July 3, 2020

I made this delicious Salad for dinner during the week and even the committed carnivores in the house loved it !!!!

We ate the leftovers the next day for lunch and it tasted just as good.

It does require a bit of planning as you have to make the Labneh the day before.  The Labneh is delicious and creamy and you could use this for lots of other recipes, as a dip or as an accompaniment to a cheese board.  You can add herbs such as coriander, mint, parsley depending on what you want to serve it with.

Both the Dressing and Gremolata are delicious and could also be used with lots of other Salads.

It looks like it has a lot of ingredients, but each component is easy to put together and then the final dish comes together very quickly and easily.

 

LABNEH

  • 400g Greek Yoghurt (full fat)
  • 2 cloves of Garlic, crushed
  • good pinch of Sea Salt

BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND SALAD

  • 1 large or 2 small Butternut Squash
  • 4 tablespoons  Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 5 cm Ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • Ground Black Pepper
  • juice of 1/2 small lemon
  • Salad leaves
  • bunch Coriander Leaves
  • seeds from 1 Pomegranate

GREMOLATA

  • 35g Walnuts
  • zest of 1 Lemon
  • 2 Garlic cloves, crushed
  • small bunch of Flat Leaf Parsley

DRESSING

  • 4 teaspoons Pomegranate Molasses
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • 4 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Lemon Juice

 

 

The day before you wish to eat the Salad, make the Labneh.    Line a sieve with a piece of muslin (or a brand new J cloth) and put it over a bowl.

Mix the Yoghurt with the Garlic and Salt.

Tip into the cloth, tie it up and put in the fridge.  The Yoghurt will lose its moisture over the next 24 hours, giving you a firm creamy garlicy “cheese”.

 

 

The next day !!!

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees.   Cut the Butternut Squash in half lengthways, peel off the skin and scoop out the seeds.  Slice the Butternut Squash across the width into approx 1 1/2 cm slices.   Put onto a roasting tray.

Heat the 4 tablespoons of Olive Oil, Cinnamon, Cayenne and chopped Ginger in a small saucepan until just warm.

Pour the warm Olive Oil over the Butternut Squash pieces and make sure each piece is coated in the spicy mixture.  Season with Sea Salt and Ground Black Pepper.

Roast in the oven for 45 to 60 minutes until they are soft and caramalised, turning them over every 15 minutes.  Once cooked to your liking pour over the Lemon Juice.

 

 

Make the Gremolata by toasting the Walnuts in the oven for 5 minutes, taking care that they do not burn.  Chop the toasted Walnuts and the Parsley and add to the Lemon Zest and crushed Garlic and mix thoroughly.

Make the Dressing by putting all the ingredients into a jar and giving a good shake.  Taste and make sure it has a good sweet-sour balance.

 

 

Take the Labneh out of the cloth and break it up into small pieces.

 

 

Pour the dressing over your salad and coriander leaves and toss to coat them.

 

 

 

Place the dressed Salad Leaves on a nice serving plate and place the Roasted Butternut Squash on top.  Sprinkle over the Gremolata and the Pomegranate Seeds.  Place pieces of the Labneh over the Salad.

Enjoy !!!!

 

This recipe is based on the Roast Pumpkin, Labneh, Walnut Gremolata and Pomegranate dish in the Diana Henry book, A Change of Appetite.  A lovely cookbook with delicious recipes, one for your cookbook shelf!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

ELDERFLOWER CORDIAL

by July 2, 2020

Using the pink Elderflowers from my garden I made this beautiful pink Elderflower cordial.  I just love the color.  It is delicious with sparkling water or as an addition to a glass of Prosecco.  I so enjoy using things from my garden to make delicious things to eat and drink.

 

  • 2 litres of water
  • 2 kg of Sugar
  • 25 heads of Elderflower (unwashed)
  • 2 Lemons, zested and cut into large slices
  • 85g Citric Acid

 

 

Dissolve the Sugar in the water.  Once the Sugar is dissolved bring the mixture to the boil and then allow to cool for approximately 10 minutes.

 

 

 

Add the Lemon Zest, Lemon slices, Elderflowers and Citric Acid.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave to infuse for 24 hours.

 

 

 

 

Strain and put into sterilised bottles.

 

Dilute to taste.

 

This will last for ages if airtight.  Once you have opened a bottle it needs to be kept in the fridge.

 

CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP WITH GINGER AND SESAME DRESSING

by June 26, 2020

I had left over Roast Chicken and Chicken Stock made from the roast Chicken bones and vegetables, so thought I would make this Chicken Noodle Soup with a delicious Ginger and Sesame Dressing.  This served 4 of us!  It is very easy and quick to prepare.  If you use Tamari instead of Soy Sauce it is Gluten Free.

  • Left over Roast Chicken, finely sliced
  • 1 packet of Rice Noodles – cooked as per the packet instructions.
  • 1 1/2 litres of Chicken Stock
  • 3 tablespoons of Sesame Seeds – toasted in a frypan
  • 1 bunch of Spring Onions – finely sliced
  • 2 Red Chillis – finely sliced
  • Large bunch of Coriander Leaves – taken off the stem

 

The Ginger and Sesame Dressing

  • 2 tablespoons of Soy Sauce (I used Tamari which is Gluten Free)
  • 2 tablespoons of Sesame Oil
  • 2 inch knob of Ginger – peeled and finely grated
  • 3 Spring Onions – finely sliced

Combine all the Dressing ingredients and mix well.

 

Heat the Chicken Stock in a large saucepan, and add in the chopped Chicken.  Let it simmer away for a couple of minutes to heat the chicken through.

 

Add the cooked Noodles to the Chicken Stock and stir around to heat through.  (Generally the packet instructions tell you to refresh the Noodles in cold water till you need them.  But if you just add them to the bowl directly it will make your soup cold, so I reheat them gently in the stock).

 

 

Divide the Soup and Noodles between your bowls and top with the Ginger and Sesame Oil dressing.

Add the toasted Sesame Seeds, Red Chilli, Spring Onion and the Coriander Leaves to each bowl and serve !!!

 

This recipe is based on a Chicken Noodle Bowl recipe from Donna Hay’s Basics to Brilliance cookbook.  A great cookbook to have on your shelf !!!

FRUIT AND NUT CHEESE ROLL

by June 25, 2020

A lovely Summery addition to a Cheese Platter, or great to take on a Picnic!!!  Very easy to make, just takes a little time to soak the fruit and then let it firm up in the fridge before eating.  You can use any combination of fruit you like really, and either add nuts or not depending on your requirements.  This is the combination I used.   You could also use Port or Brandy instead of the Orange Juice to soak your fruit, depending on which fruits you were using.

 

  • 250g Cream Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Grated Mature Cheddar Cheese
  • juice of 1/2 Orange
  • 1 teaspoon fine Orange Zest
  • 6 dried Apricots – finely chopped
  • 2 to 3 dried Figs (depending on size) – finely chopped
  • 10 dried Cherries – cut in half
  • 10 Macadamia Nuts – cut in half
  • Poppy Seeds

Combine the chopped Fruit in a bowl and cover with the Orange Juice.  Leave to marinate for up to 2 hours.  After the marination period, if there is still a lot of liquid, then strain the fruit.

 

Beat the Cream Cheese and grated Cheddar together with an electric mixer.  Stir in the Orange Zest, strained marinated Fruit and the Nuts.  Refridgerate for 1 hour to firm up a bit.

 

Using a piece of non stick baking paper, place the cheese mixture in the middle and form into a log shape.  You can make the log thicker or thiner depending on your preference.  Take another clean piece of baking paper and put some Poppy Seeds on it, place the Cheese Log on the Poppy Seeds and move backwards and forwards to cover the log in Poppy Seeds.  You need to keep gently rolling and moving the Poppy Seeds on the paper to ensure that it is totally covered.

 

 

 

Place the covered log back into the fridge and chill for at least 3 hours before serving.

 

This lasts very well in the fridge and can easily be prepared the day before you want to use it.

 

Serve with Cheese Biscuits or finely sliced toasted pieces of Baguette are delicious with it.

 

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