Sunday, May 22

recipe: Eggplant, Capsicum & Black Bean Stir Fry

This dish is perfect for a week night cooking when you don't have much time and want something quick, healthy and good! I will definitely repeat this one. Serves 4:
3 tsp olive oil, 2 red capsicums thinly sliced, 2 eggplants sliced lengthways and then cut into 3-4 cm pieces, 6 spring onions, 1/4 cup black bean sauce, 1/2 cup water, salt and pepper to season, steamed or boiled rice to serve

1. Heat oil in a large wok or sauce pan in high heat;
2. Add chopped eggplant, reduce to medium heat and cook eggplant for about 8 minutes, stirring frequently;
3. Chop 5 spring onions into 4 cm pieces and add to the eggplant. Add sliced capsicum and cook for another 5 minutes;
4. Add black bean sauce, stir to combine and add water. Simmer covered for about 5 minutes. - or until capsicum is tender but not overcooked. Season with salt and pepper. Serve topped with thinly sliced spring onion on top of rice. (chopped coriander will also add a nice finish touch to it)


recipe: Roast Pumpkin and Lentil Salad

This dish is very simple, but really yummy and quite filling, plus is full of good things for you!

Serves 4:

1kg pumpkin, 2 tsp cumin, 1x 400g can lentils drained & rinsed, 1/3 cup dried cranberries, 1 tbsp toasted pepitas (sunflower seeds), 2 tbsp thyme leaves, 100 g baby spinach, 2 tsp grated lemon rind, 1/4 cup lemon juice, salt and pepper to season

1. Pre-heat your oven to 180C. Wrap the pumpkin entirely in aluminium foil, place in a bakin gtray and bake for about an hour, turning every 20 minutes - it might take a bit more or less to be completely cooked - you can chop the pumpkin in small cubes and roast it like that instead if you are strong enough to chop one of those babies!;
2. In a bowl, place lentils, spinach leaves, lemon rind and mix well;
3. When the pumpkin is cooked, chop its flesh into small cubes. Season with cumin and add it to the salad bowl;
4. Add cranberries, pepitas, thyme and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper, mix and make sure seasoning is even and serve;

Tuesday, May 17

recipe: Another Potato Tortilla

This isn't really a Spanish tortilla, but it surely does the trick, plus there isn't much cooking involved, you basically just have to prepare some stuff, stick it in the oven and wait.

Serves 4:
3 tsp olive oil, 4 large potatoes, 3 garlic cloves crushed, 2 onions thinly sliced, 8 eggs, 1 tbsp thyme, 1/2 tsp paprika, salt and pepper, mixed salad to serve

1. Peel the potatoes, place them in a sauce pan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Simmer covered for about 10- 15 minutes or until cooked through. Drain and let cool;
2. Pre heat the oven to 180C;
3. Heat oil in a large frying pan. Add garlic and onion and cook for about 10-15 minutes on low- medium heat until soft. Season with salt and pepper and reserve;
4. Grease a round oven proof dish with olive oil.
5. In a bowl beat the eggs, season with thyme, pinch of paprika, salt and pepper and reserve;
6. Slice the potatoes lengthwise and place one layer on the bottom of the oven dish. Top with half of the onion mixture and 1/3 of the egg mixture. Repeat until you finish with the third layer of potatoes and the remaining 1/3 of the egg mixture. Sprinkle remaining paprika over the tortilla.
7. Bake for about 30--40 minutes or until top is golden. (check regularly to make sure eggs are cooked through)

Serve with some salad or rice. Enjoy.

Monday, May 16

recipe: Chili Bean Nachos

This dish is really nothing special in terms of cooking, its dead easy, and sooo good, I feel like eating it again right now just thinking of it...

Serves 4:

2 tsp olive oil, 1 large zuchinni, 1 onion chopped finely, 1 garlic clove crushed, 2x 400g cans kidney beans drained and rinsed, 1x 400g can chopped tomatoes, 2 tsp mexican taco seasoning, chopped coriander, 150g corn chips, salt & pepper, extra spring onion , *cheese and Greek yoghurt to serve

1. Pre heat your oven to grill - only if you are grating cheese, if you are like me and don't like cheese, you won't need an oven;
2. Heat oil in a sauce pan, add onion and garlic and cook until soft;
3. Grate the zucchinni and add to the pan. Add mexican seasoning and cook in medium heat until zucchini is fragrant and soft;
4. Add kidney beans, diced tomatoes and simmer for about 15 minutes. With a potato masher, coarsely mash half of the beans. Season with salt
and pepper, add coriander and reserve;
5. Divide bean mixture among serving bowls. Top with nachos, spring onion and yoghurt and serve. (if using cheese top chips with cheese, grill for about 8 minutes or until melted, top with greek yoghurt and spring onions and serve).


Sunday, May 15

recipe: Raspberry Souffle

These souffl├ęs are so pink and pretty and they are ready in an instant. Mostly with things on your pantry. I used frozen raspberries and they work fine, so keep some of those in your freezer and wrap up this in no time. Serves 4:

butter or margarine to grease, 1/2 cup caster sugar, 150g raspberries, 4 egg whites, 1 tbsp cornflour

1. Pre heat the oven to 160C.
2. Grease 4 ramekins with the butter and reserve;
3. In a food processor, blend the raspberries until you have a coarse paste;
4. In a small pan, mix 1 tbsp water with 1 tbsp sugar on low heat, until sugar dissolves. Increase heat and let the syrup thicken. Add raspberry puree, cornflour and another tbsp water and combine. Bring to the boil, stirring frequently for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool;
5. Using an electric mixer, whisk eggwhite until soft peaks form. Add remaining sugar, 1 tbsp at a time, whisking constantly until it thickens;
6. Stir in raspberry mixture and fold everything gently;

7. Divide mixture between ramekins, bake for 13-15 minutes until risen;

Serve immediately. They are great just like that, or with some nice chocolate ice cream on top.

Saturday, May 14

recipe: Chargrilled Polenta with Bean & Tomato Salsa

This recipe is really easy, but you need to start at least 40 minutes ahead of serving.

serves 4:
1 cup instant polenta, 1 tbsp dijon mustard, salt and pepper, 1x 400g can cannellini beans, 2 large tomatoes chopped finely, 1/2 red onion chopped finely, 1 green capsicum chopped finely, 1 garlic clove chopped finely, 1 cucumber chopped finely, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dry oregano, salt to season

1. Heat 3 cups water in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Add polenta, stirring constantly, mustard and a bit more water if necessary. When the polenta is soft, remove from heat, season with salt and pepper and place in a rectangular dish. Let cool in the fridge for at least half an hour;

2. Drain and rinse the beans and place them in a large salad bowl;
3. Add chopped tomatoes, onion, capsicum, cucumber and garlic. Mix well;
4. Season with 1 tbsp olive oil and 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar (or to your taste), add the oregano, salt and reserve.
5. When the polenta is hard enough to cut, heat a grilling skillet on high heat and brush with a bit of olive oil;
6. Divide the polenta in 4 and then cut wedges to char grill. Grill them a couple of minutes each side until slightly dark and place them on serving plates. Top the polenta with the salsa, top with cracked black pepper and an extra drizzle of olive oil to finish.


week 22

After an extra busy week coupled with the flu, hopefully the blog picks up this week....

and the menu is:

_dinner: Chargrilled Polenta with Bean & Tomato Salsa
Dessert: Raspberry Souffle

_lunch: Chargrilled Polenta with Bean & Tomato Salsa
_dinner: Chili Bean Nachos

Chili Bean Nachos
_dinner: Another Potato Tortilla

Another Potato Tortilla
_dinner: Roast Pumpkin & Lentil Salad

Roast Pumpkin & Lentil Salad
_dinner: Capsicum & Black Bean Stir Fry

Capsicum & Black Bean Stir Fry