Monday, April 29, 2013

Marinated Chicken Skewers

Years ago, I used to love the marinated chicken skewers that you can get from the supermarket deli's.  Though since become more aware of what I put into my body, I stopped buying the pre-prepared skewers and started making my own - and they are so easy to make.  The marinade is my hubby's recipe and it is one of my fave marinades.  

Ingredients (makes 12 skewers):
You will need 12 bamboo skewers, soaked in water for approximately 20 minutes
600g free range chicken thigh fillets, cubed
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 small chilli's, deseeded, finely chopped
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp pure honey
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp tamari (wheat free soy sauce)
1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce

1.  Thread the cubed chicken onto the soaked bamboo skewers and place into a large glass dish

2.  To make the marinade, combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl and stir together until the honey is dissolved

3.  Pour the marinade over the chicken skewers, cover and put into the fridge to marinate for at least 6 hours.  Turn the skewers every couple of hours if possible.

4.  Preheat oven to 180 degrees and bake the chicken skewers for around 25 minutes or until cooked through.  Serve with stir-fried vegetables.

(To stirfry veggies in the Thermomix, I did this: add a clove of garlic, a thumb of ginger and if you can find it a thumb of fresh turmeric root to the bowl.  Chop 5sec/sp9.  Add 3tbsp of cooking fat and cook 2min/Varoma/sp2.  Add 4 cups of chopped veggies, placing harder veggies at the bottom of the bowl, and cook 5min/Varoma/rev+sp1).

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Bliss Balls

I love the idea of eating a clean diet, and try as much as I can to do so.  For me, buying organic wherever possible is a big part of my life.  I've made these bliss balls with mostly organic ingredients.  You could use whatever dried fruit you have really, just make sure that your ingredients are additive free. 

Ingredients (makes 8 balls):
2 handfuls dried organic apricots, soaked in water for at least 20 minutes
2 handfuls fresh Medjool dates, pitted
1 handful cacao nibs
1 handful nuts (I used walnuts)
1 handful organic dried fruit (I used white mulberries)
1 tbsp cacao powder
1 tbsp sweetener (I used coconut nectar)
1 tbsp Superfoods for Kidz Berry Choc Chunk
1 tbsp linseeds
1 tsp vanilla essence
Pinch of sea salt

Organic dessicated coconut, for rolling the balls in at the end

1. Drain the apricots and put into food processor or Thermomix.  Add the pitted dates.  Process for about 20 seconds or until finely chopped (20sec/sp6 in Thermomix)

2.  Add the remaining ingredients and process for a few more seconds until the nuts are chopped (but still chunky) and the mixture has come together (10sec/rev+sp2 in Thermomix).

3.  With wet hands, shape the mixture into 8 balls and then roll in coconut.  Store in the fridge.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Anzac Biscuits

Better late than never!  I must admit, I haven't made a lot of biscuits in my time so it took a couple of tries to get this recipe to work!  And they taste great!

Ingredients (makes 8 biscuits):
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup rapadura sugar
1 cup organic dessicated coconut
1 cup light spelt flour
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
1/2 cup organic dried fruit (I used sultanas and currants)
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 tbsp pure honey
100g coconut oil, melted
2 tbsp water

1.  Preheat oven to 200 degrees and line 2 baking trays with baking paper.

2.  Add all the dry ingredients to a large bowl and stir to combine

3.  Add remaining ingredients to the bowl and mix with your hands.  Ensure the mixture is sticky enough that it holds when pressed together.  Add a little more water if needed.

4.  Shape into 8 biscuits and pop onto lined baking trays.

5.  Bake for 10-12 minutes or until biscuits are golden.  Take out of the oven and let the biscuits cool on the baking trays.  They will firm up as they cool.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Strawberry Ice Cream

On the odd occasion, I can't resist making some gourmet homemade ice cream for the fam.  Especially because it isn't easy to find additive free ice cream.  And nothing beats the flavour of real fruit in this recipe!  I even resisted the urge to use my fave ingredient in this recipe (coconut) and make it with coconut milk... though next time I might do just that...  

Ingredients (makes about 1.5L):
600ml pure cream
350ml milk
3 free range eggs
250g raw sugar
Pinch of sea salt
2 tsp vanilla essence
Juice of half a lemon
250g strawberries, washed and hulled

1.  Into a medium saucepan on low-medium heat, add all the ingredients except lemon juice and strawberries.  Whisk continually for around 10 minutes or until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture coats the back of a metal spoon.

(In Thermomix, add all the ingredients except lemon juice and strawberries and cook 10min/80deg/sp3)

2.  Blend the hulled strawberries and stir into the ice cream mixture along with the lemon juice.

(Add washed and hulled strawberries, and lemon juice to ice cream mixture in Thermomix and blend for 30 seconds, slowly turning the dial to speed 6)

3.  At this point, if you have an ice cream machine, churn the mixture through the ice cream machine.  Otherwise, pour ice cream mixture into a large container and put into the freezer for 2-3 hours.   

4.  Pour cooled ice cream mixture into a blender or Thermomix and blend on high speed for around 30 seconds (speed 9 in Thermomix).  Pour back into container. 

5.  Put back into the freezer until completely frozen.  If possible, stir the mixture a couple of times during the freezing process.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Creamy Salmon Dip

Dips are one of those things that are generally pretty quick to whip up, but so many people buy them at the shops (myself included, back in the day before I saw the light!)... and yet the store bought ones are loaded with all sorts of additives and fillers and really not much that is actually nutritious and worth eating!  This dip is delicious and healthy.  Just remember to soak your cashews for a few hours before making this dip as it is the cashews that give it that creamy texture.  If you're OK with dairy, you could also use a block of Philly cream cheese (full fat) in place of the cashews.

1 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 6 hours, then drained and rinsed
1 clove garlic
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
210g can pink salmon (wild caught), drained, bones removed
3 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
Sea salt and pepper to taste

To serve - carrot and cucumber sticks

1.  To Thermomix or food processor, add the drained cashews, garlic, olive oil and lemon juice.  Process until finely chopped (10sec/sp5 in Thermomix).

2.  Add the remaining dip ingredients and process until all ingredients are combined and the desired consistency is reached (around 1min/sp4 in Thermomix).

3.  To serve, garnish with some fresh dill, cracked pepper and an extra drizzle of olive oil.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Carrot & Pineapple Cupcakes with Coconut Cream Icing

I have always loved carrot cake.  Though the addition of pineapple to carrot cake takes the flavours to another level I think!  I also had my 3yo "sous chef" helping me to make these!  Though next time I will leave out the nuts so that I can pop these cupcakes into the kids school lunchboxes.

Ingredients (makes 18 cupcakes):
3 carrots, peeled, cut into chunks
1/2 fresh pineapple, peeled, cored, cut into chunks
1.5 cups whole kamut flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup rapadura (or raw) sugar
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup organic sultanas
2 free range eggs
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla essence

2 x 400ml cans coconut cream, refrigerated (to separate the cream)
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla essence

1.  Preheat oven to 160 degrees and line cupcake tins with cupcake cases.

2.  In food processor or Thermomix, grate the carrot and pineapple until finely chopped (5sec/sp6 in Thermomix).  Tip into a large bowl.

3.  To the carrot and pineapple, add the remaining cupcake ingredients.  Stir to combine.

4.  Divide amongst cupcake cases and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out almost clean.  Allow to cool completely.

5.  To make icing: open the cold cans of coconut cream and scoop the cream portion off the top and into a bowl.  Add the maple syrup and vanilla and whip with an electric mixer until creamy.  Tip into a bowl and keep in the fridge, icing the cupcakes as required.

(To make icing in Thermomix, insert butterfly into TM bowl.  Add cream portion of coconut cream, maple syrup and vanilla.  Whip 1min/sp4, tip into a bowl and keep in the fridge.  Ice cupcakes as required).

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Tuna & Veggie Pie

This dish is great for using up all sorts of veggies that might be in the veggie crisper in the fridge!  Even my super fussy 5yo loved this and ate up all the veggies on his plate!

Ingredients (serves 6-8):
50g parmesan, cubed
400g can tuna in springwater, drained
Assorted veggies, diced (I used 1/2 green capsicum, corn off 1 cob, couple of handfuls of broccoli florets, 1 carrot, 1/2 eggplant, 1/2 cup frozen peas, 1/2 zucchini)

Mashed potato:
3 large white potatoes, peeled, cut into chunks
1 sweet potato, peeled, cut into chunks
2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup milk of choice (I used Bonsoy)
Sea salt and pepper to taste

White sauce:
3 tbsp butter
2 tbsp cornflour (gluten-free)
500ml milk of choice (I used Bonsoy)
Sea salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste

1.  Preheat oven to 180 degrees.  Grate parmesan cheese (10sec/sp9 in Thermomix) and set aside.

2.  Boil the potatoes until cooked.  Drain.  Add butter, season with salt and pepper.  Mash. 

3.  While the potatoes are cooking, flake the tuna and spread out along the base of a baking dish.  Sprinkle diced veggies over the top of the tuna.

4.  Make a batch of white sauce as per the recipe in the Thermomix EDC cookbook.  Or to make on the stovetop: in a saucepan on medium heat, melt the butter and whisk in cornflour.  Gradually add the milk, whisking the whole time.  Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg and whisk until slightly thickened.  Pour the white sauce all over the tuna and veggies in the baking dish.   

5.  Spread the mashed potato out in the baking dish.  Top with grated parmesan.

6.  Bake for around 30 minutes or until the cheese is golden and veggies are cooked through.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Pesto Pasta with Chicken, Tomato & Avocado

This can be a very quick weeknight meal to throw together, especially if you have baked your chicken and made the pesto ahead of time.  As a rare treat for the family, I bought some wheat pasta to make this with.  Usually I use pasta made from gluten free or low gluten grains.   

Ingredients (serves 4-6):
500g spaghetti
2 chicken fillets, baked with a sprinkle of Herbamare, diced
2 avocadoes, diced
2 tomatoes, diced

Basil pesto:
50g parmesan, cubed
2 garlic cloves
Leaves from 1 bunch of basil
2 handfuls cashews
2 handfuls pinenuts
Sea salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1.  Cook the pasta as per the packet directions, drain, rinse and set aside.

2.  To make the basil pesto: add parmesan and garlic to food processor or Thermomix.  Process until finely chopped (5sec/sp7 in Thermomix).  Add basil, nuts and season with salt and pepper.  Process again for a few seconds or until finely chopped (5sec/sp7 in Thermomix).  Then with the blades running (speed 3 in Thermomix), add the olive oil in a thin stream through the hole in the lid.

3.  In a large bowl, combine the cooked pasta, chicken, avocado, tomato and pesto.  Toss to combine.  Serve with a drizzle of extra olive oil. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Coconut Raspberry Cake with Chocolate Ganache

I generally try to stick to a diet that is low in grains ... however, when chocolate cake is involved, it then becomes very difficult for me to say no!  Especially because this cake is soooo good!  Also, it may or may not be apparent by now that I am slightly obsessed with coconut and, in one way or another, tend to add it to most recipes I make.

1.5 cups light spelt flour
1/2 cup organic dessicated coconut
1/2 cup cacao powder
1/2 cup rapadura (or raw) sugar
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of sea salt
2 free range eggs
3/4 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup coconut oil
2 tsp vanilla essence
3/4 cup raspberries (fresh or frozen)

150g dark chocolate (I used Green & Blacks), broken up into pieces
1/4 cup coconut milk
2 tbsp coconut oil

Extra raspberries to serve

1.  Preheat oven to 180 degrees.  Grease and line a square baking tin.

2.  In a large bowl, add all the cake ingredients except raspberries.  Stir to combine.  Fold in the raspberries and pour the batter into the baking tin.

3.  Bake for around 15 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out with a few crumbs stuck to it.  You don't want to overcook this cake - it needs to be moist.  Allow to cool completely in the baking tin.

4.  Once cake has cooled, make the ganache by combining the ingredients in a small saucepan and stirring over low heat until melted and smooth.  Pour over the cooled cake and garnish with some raspberries.

(To make the ganache in Thermomix, add chocolate pieces and chop 5sec/sp7.  Add coconut milk and coconut oil and melt 4min/50deg/sp2.  Pour over the cake).  

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Mini Sausage Rolls

My kids just love sausage rolls.  It's been a while since I have made them so I decided I would treat the kids tonight for dinner and make these sausage rolls.  As usual, I get whatever veggies I can into them!  If you didn't want to make sausage rolls, you could just make the mince mixture and roll into meatballs.  As it was, I did have some leftover mince mixture that I did just that with!

Ingredients (makes 24):
3 sheets Pampas butter puff pastry
1 slice spelt bread
1 carrot, peeled
1/2 zucchini, peeled
1/2 capsicum
Handful of mushrooms
1 onion, peeled
1 clove garlic
500g beef mince
1 free range egg
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp fresh parsley and basil
Sea salt, pepper and Herbamare
Optional - 1 tbsp Superfoods for Kidz Vital Veggie Power
1 extra egg, for eggwash

1.  Preheat oven to 180 degrees and line 2 baking trays with baking paper.  Take the puff pastry out of the freezer, separate the 3 sheets and allow to thaw on the kitchen bench while you make the sausage roll filling.

2.  In Thermomix or food processor, process the bread for a few seconds until it is a breadcrumb consistency (5sec/sp6 in Thermomix).  Tip into a large bowl.

3.  In Thermomix or food processor, process the veggies and herbs until finely chopped (5sec/sp6 in Theromix).  Add to breadcrumbs.

4.  Add the remaining ingredients to bowl and mix with your hands until well combined.

5.  Cut each pastry sheet in half.  Divide the mince mixture into 6 equal portions and place each portion along one long side of each pastry piece (there will be a pretty generous amount of mince mixture - just make sure you don't use too much as you want to be able to roll your pastry up without any trouble!).  Roll up the pastry and cut each roll into 4 pieces.  Place on baking trays and brush with eggwash.

6.  Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until cooked through and pastry is golden.  Serve with an additive-free tomato sauce (I make my own tomato sauce using the recipe from the Thermomix Everyday Cooking cookbook).

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Savoury Mince with Veggie Mash

Apart from chocolate, this is my other kind of comfort food.  And you can use whatever veggies you have in the fridge to add to the mince.  Now the weather is (slowly) starting to get cooler in Perth, I will be cooking this one a bit more often!  This dish doesn't look so pretty, but it tastes great and is very satisfying.  

Ingredients (serves 4-6)
1 onion
2 garlic cloves
1 red chilli, deseeded
1 tbsp duck fat (or other cooking fat)
500g beef mince
400g can tomatoes
200ml water
2 handfuls sliced mushrooms
1 cup shredded cabbage
1 cup broccoli florets
1 carrot, diced
1/2 zucchini, diced
1/2 capsicum, diced
1 tsp Herbamare
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Lemon juice, sea salt and pepper to taste

Veggie mash:
2 potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1/2 sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
150g pumpkin, peeled and cut into chunks
1 tbsp butter
1/2 cup milk of choice (I used Bonsoy)
Sea salt and pepper to taste

1.  Make veggie mash: pop the veggies into a pot and cover with water.  Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer until veggies are cooked through.  Strain out the water, add the butter, milk and salt and pepper.  Mash. 

2.  While the mash veggies are cooking, heat a saucepan on medium heat, melt the cooking fat and add the diced onion, garlic and chilli.  Cook for a few minutes or until softened.

(In Thermomix, add halved onion, garlic and chilli.  Chop 5sec/sp5.  Add cooking fat and cook 2min/100deg/sp1)

3.  Add the beef mince and cook, stirring, until browned.

(In Thermomix, add the beef mince and cook 3min/100deg/rev+speed soft)

4.  Add tinned tomatoes, water, diced vegetables and Herbamare.  Reduce heat to simmer and cook, stirring, for around 10 minutes.

(In Thermomix, add tinned tomatoes, water, diced vegetables and Herbamare.  Cook 10min/100deg/rev+sp1)

5.  Add lemon juice, parsley, salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring for a few more minutes.  Adjust seasonings if necessary.

(In Thermomix, add lemon juice, parsley, salt and pepper.  Cook 3min/100deg/rev+sp1.  Adjust seasonings if necessary).

6. Serve with the veggie mash. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Zucchini Slice

It's been a busy week getting back into the swing of things at uni and cramming for a biology quiz that I have to do by this weekend.  So when I got home this afternoon after getting the kids from school and before heading out for my pilates class, I needed to make something super quick but super nutritious for dinner.  Enter zucchini slice!

Ingredients (serves 4)
100g pecorino or parmesan cheese
2 large zucchinis, peeled
3 rashers nitrate-free bacon
3 free range eggs
100ml pure cream
1/2 cup spelt flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Sea salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp paprika

Salad and additive-free sweet chilli sauce (I used Trident brand) to serve

1.  Preheat oven to 180 degrees and grease a medium sized glass baking dish with butter.

2.  In Thermomix or food processor, process the cheese until crumbled (5sec/sp9 in Thermomix).  Tip into a large bowl.

3.  In Thermomix or food processor, chop the zucchini and bacon until finely chopped (5sec/sp6 in Thermomix).  Add to the bowl with the cheese.

4.  Into the bowl, add eggs, cream, flour, baking powder and parsley.  Season well with sea salt and pepper and mix well.  Tip into greased baking dish and sprinkle paprika over the top.

5.  Bake for 20 minutes or until the slice is cooked through and golden on top.  Cool slightly before slicing and serving with salad and sweet chilli sauce.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Mini Quiches

These little quiches are great for kids' party food and I also make them regularly for the kids' lunchboxes.  I always sneak in some veg and also some Superfoods for Kidz Vital Veggie Power for extra added goodness.  These quiches are good to make ahead as well as they freeze well.  

Ingredients (makes 18)
2 sheets Pampas butter puff pastry
80g cheddar cheese
1/2 zucchini, peeled
2 rashers nitrate-free bacon
3 free range eggs
200mL pure cream
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of pepper

1.  Preheat oven to 180 degrees.  Grease cupcake trays with butter.

2.  Cut each pastry sheet into 9 squares.  Place pastry squares into greased cupcake tins.

3.  In a food processor, process the cheese, zucchini and bacon until finely chopped.  Distribute evenly amongst pastry shells.

(In Thermomix, add cheese, zucchini and bacon and chop 5sec/sp6.  Distribute evenly amongst pastry shells). 

4.  In a bowl, whisk together eggs, cream, nutmeg, pepper and Superfoods for Kidz powder (if using).  Pour into pastry shells.   

(In Thermomix, whisk together eggs, cream, nutmeg, pepper and Superfoods for Kidz powder (if using) for 10sec/sp3.  Pour into pastry shells)

5.  Bake for 15 minutes or until quiches are golden on top and cooked through.  Take out of the oven and let them cool slightly in the trays before turning out onto a wire rack.   

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Chocolate Coconut Pikelets

We had these for breakfast this morning and they were delicious.  This recipe makes a decent batch of pikelets too so there are always a few leftover too for brekky the next day.  

Ingredients (makes approximately 15 pikelets)
1 cup whole kamut (or spelt) flour (or can use whole grain and mill in Thermomix for 1min/sp9)
1/2 cup besan (chickpea) flour
1/2 cup cacao powder
1/2 cup rapadura (or raw) sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 free range egg
1 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt
400mL coconut milk
1 tbsp Superfoods for Kids Berry Choc Chunk (optional)
Coconut oil, for cooking

1.  In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and mix.

2.  Add to the bowl the wet ingredients and mix until the batter is smooth.

3.  Heat a frypan on low-medium heat and add a small amount of coconut oil.  Use around 1/4 cup of batter per pikelet and fry in batches of 2 or 3.  Add extra coconut oil in between batches.

4.  Serve with fresh fruit and pure maple syrup.  We also had a little bit of Coyo coconut yoghurt on ours.

Coconut Vegetable Curry

Love this curry.  What could be better than a coconut veggie curry, especially now that the days are generally getting cooler?  This curry is so good, I can even forgive the fact that there is no meat in it!  Also, when fresh turmeric is available, I would suggest adding a thumb of that to this recipe. 

Ingredients (serves 4-6)
1 onion
1 clove garlic
2cm fresh ginger
4cm fresh turmeric
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp curry powder (I used Planet Organic brand)
1 potato, peeled, cubed
1 carrot, peeled, cubed
200g pumpkin, cubed
150g sweet potato, cubed
150g cauliflower, cut into florets
4 kaffir lime leaves
400mL coconut milk
200mL water
1 tsp Herbamare
Juice of 1/2 lemon or lime
400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Sprinkle of toasted peanuts or cashews

Jasmine rice, brown rice or quinoa, to serve

1.  In a pot over medium heat, add the coconut oil, diced onion, crushed garlic, and grated turmeric and ginger.  Cook, stirring until softened.  Stir in curry powder.

(In Thermomix, add halved onion, garlic, turmeric and ginger.  Chop 5sec/sp5.  Add curry powder and coconut oil.  Cook 2min/100deg/sp1).

2.  Add chopped vegetables, coconut milk, lime leaves and water.  Bring to the boil and then reduce heat.  Simmer for around 15 minutes or until vegetables are cooked through.  Stir every now and then.    

(In Thermomix, add vegetables, lime leaves, coconut milk and water.  Cook 20min/100deg/rev+speed soft)

3.  Add Herbamare, lemon juice and chickpeas.  Simmer for a few more minutes.

(In Thermomix, add Herbamare, lemon juice and chickpeas.  Cook 3min/100deg/rev+speed soft).

4.  Serve with rice or quinoa and sprinkle over the top with a few toasted peanuts or cashews.   

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Honey Mustard Chicken

Honey mustard chicken is something that I used to make all the time back in my additive-loving days... back then I used jars of sauce from the supermarket (cringe!)... Not sure why, because it is so easy to make this dish with very simple ingredients.  So here is my version of it, which I have also made dairy-free using some of my homemade nut milk.   

Ingredients (serves 4-6)
1 onion
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp duck fat (or other cooking fat)
500g free-range chicken fillets, cubed
2 carrots, diced
1/2 zucchini, diced
500mL milk of choice (I used my homemade cashew milk)
2 tbsp pure honey
1.5 tbsp wholegrain mustard
1 tsp Herbamare
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsp cornflour (gluten-free)

Rice, to serve

1.  Melt the cooking fat in a pot over medium heat.  Add the diced onion and minced garlic.  Cook until softened.

(In Thermomix, add halved onion and garlic clove.  Chop 5sec/sp6.  Add cooking fat and cook 2min/100deg/sp1).

2.  Add cubed chicken and diced veggies.  Cook, stirring, for a few minutes or until chicken is mostly cooked through.

(In Thermomix, add chicken and veggies and cook 5min/100deg/rev+speed soft)

3.  Add milk, honey, mustard, Herbamare and season with salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring, for a few minutes.    

(In Thermomix, add milk, honey, mustard, Herbamare and salt and pepper.  Cook 7min/90deg/rev+sp1)

4.  Mix cornflour with 1/4 cup of water (make sure it's smooth) and add to pot, with the chopped fresh parsley.  Cook, stirring, for a few minutes or until the sauce has thickened slightly.

(In Thermomix, add cornflour mixed with 1/4 cup water and also add the parsley.  Cook 3min/90deg/rev+sp1).

Corned Beef with Mustard Sauce

Since going additive free, I haven't bought corned beef from the supermarket due to all the nasties that are added to it.  However since reading Cyndi O'Meara's "Changing Habits, Changing Lives Cookbook" I realised just how easy it is to make yourself.  That cookbook is where the original recipe comes from.   You don't get that bright pink colour with this corned beef but I promise, the flavour is amazing and more than makes up for that!  The beautiful mustard sauce is based on my mum in law's recipe!

Ingredients (serves 4-6)
1-1.5kg chunk of beef (I used a grassfed blade roast)
4 tbsp good quality salt (I used Murray River salt flakes)
1 onion, peeled
10 whole cloves
2 tbsp molasses
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
Few whole peppercorns

Mustard sauce:
2 tbsp butter
2 tsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp cornflour (gluten-free)
1 cup cooking liquid from beef
Salt and pepper, to taste

To serve - assorted vegetables

1.  Stab a few holes all over the beef and then place in a large glass dish.  Sprinkle the salt and rub it in all over the beef.  Cover and put into the fridge for around 24 hours.

2.  Rinse the beef and place into a large pot.  Cover with filtered water.  Push the cloves into the peeled onion and add to the pot.  Add molasses, apple cider vinegar and peppercorns and give the liquid a good stir.  Cover the pot and cook beef on a very low heat for approximately 2 hours, turning the beef every now and then.

3.  In the last 10 or so minutes, add any vegetables you would like to have on the side to the cooking liquid (I added shredded cabbage and chopped carrots, and also had some white and sweet potato chunks cooking in a separate pot).

4. Make mustard sauce: in a small pot on low heat, melt the butter and whisk in the mustard, cornflour and 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid from the beef until smooth.  Add the remaining 3/4 cup of cooking liquid, season with salt and pepper and continue whisking until the sauce is slightly thickened.    

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Creamy Pumpkin & Bacon Soup

This is another family fave that allows me to get more veggies into my kids.  Super quick to make and it's dairy free. 

Ingredients (serves 4-6)
1 onion
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp duck fat
1 potato
1 carrot
100g sweet potato
300g pumpkin
2 rashers nitrate-free bacon
1L water + 1 tbsp Thermomix veggie stock concentrate
(OR 1L Campbell's vegetable stock)
1 tsp Herbamare
200mL coconut cream
Freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste

1.  Melt duck fat in a pot on medium heat and add diced onion and crushed garlic.  Cook until softened.

(In Thermomix, add halved onion and garlic.  Chop 2sec/sp7.  Add duck fat.  Cook 2min/100deg/sp1).

2.  Peel vegetables, cut into chunks and add to pot.  Add stock and chunks of bacon.  Cover and bring to the boil.  Turn down the heat and simmer for around 15 minutes or until vegetables are soft.

(In Thermomix, add chunks of veggies, bacon and stock ensuring the level does not come up above the 2L mark.  Cook 15min/100deg/sp1.  When finished, check to ensure that the veggies are soft).

3.  Add Herbamare, coconut cream and season with salt and pepper.  With a stick blender, puree the soup until a smooth consistency is reached.

(In Thermomix, add Herbamare, coconut cream and salt and pepper.  Puree for 1 minute by slowly turning the dial to speed 7). 

4. Garnish with a drizzle of coconut cream and chopped fresh parsley. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Raw Nut Milk

I frequently make raw nut milks at home.  They are so easy to make and much more economical than buying.  And not only that, you know exactly what goes into them!  The picture above is organic cashew milk that I just made this morning - I soaked the cashews for about 3 hours beforehand.  Different types of nuts need to be soaked for different periods of time in order to de-activate the enzyme inhibitors - this makes the nutrients within the nuts more available for absorption by your body.  If I'm making almond or hazelnut milk, I will soak those types of nuts for closer to 12 hours.  I use these nut milks for my morning breakfast smoothies.  The leftover pulp can be used as well - I have used mine in raw vegan desserts.  If you're not using it straight away, just make sure you pop it into a ziplock bag and freeze it until use.   

Ingredients (makes 1L)
1 cup raw nuts, soaked in filtered water
4 cups filtered water
Optional - small amount of sweetener such as rapadura/maple syrup - I used 1 date

1.  Drain and rinse the nuts.  Tip them into Thermomix or blender.  

2.  Add 4 cups of water, and sweetener if using.  Blend for approximately 1 minute on high speed (speed 9 in Thermomix).

3.  Strain the nut milk through a fine sieve or a nut milk bag.  Store the nut milk in the fridge and consume within 4 days.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Apple & Oat Fritters

I always know I've made a winner when my kids love what I've cooked!  These fritters were gobbled up with not one complaint.  Soaking the oats overnight not only makes them easier to digest, but it also helps to bind the batter and gives the fritters a moist texture.

Ingredients (makes approx 10 fritters)
1 cup oats, soaked overnight with 1 cup of water (cover and put in the fridge while soaking)
1/2 cup rapadura or raw sugar
1/2 cup spelt flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of salt
1 free range egg
1 large apple (no need to peel if organic)
Coconut oil, for pan frying

1. Grate the apple (if using Thermomix, quarter the apple and chop 5sec/sp5, then tip into a large bowl) and combine with all other ingredients in a large bowl (no need to strain the oats).  Mix until combined. 

2. Heat a frypan on low heat and add a small amount of coconut oil.  Cook fritters in batches of 2 or 3, for around 2 minutes on each side or until browned, adding a little more coconut oil in between batches.

3. Serve with honey or pure maple syrup, and fresh fruit.