Sunday, June 23, 2013

Roasted Eggplant Dip

When you're intolerant to all sorts of foods like I am, it can sometimes be hard to find snacks that are yummy and healthy.  This dip is both.  Very quick to whip up once you have roasted your eggplant and garlic!  Roasting the garlic cloves gives this dip a very mild garlic flavour but you could use raw garlic if you wanted - though if you do that, then I recommend cutting back to just 1 clove of garlic.

1 eggplant
3 garlic cloves
1 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Sea salt and pepper to taste

1.  Preheat oven to 160 degrees and line a baking tray with baking paper.

2. Pierce the eggplant a few times and place on the baking tray, along with the 3 unpeeled garlic cloves.  Bake for 15 minutes, take out the garlic, and bake the eggplant a further 20 minutes or until soft.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

3. Peel the garlic and eggplant and add to food processor or Thermomix.  Process for a few seconds until chopped (3sec/sp5 in Thermomix).

4.  Add the remaining ingredients and process until almost smooth (1min/sp5 in Thermomix).  Adjust seasonings if necessary.  Drizzle with some extra olive oil and serve with crackers or veggie sticks.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Chocolate Coconut Custard

So if you have a Thermomix, then you will know that beautiful homemade custard is one of the easiest things you can make in this wonderful machine!  However if you don't have a Thermomix, it is still really easy to make your own custard!  This one is one of our favourite flavours and it's dairy free so that's a bonus.

400ml can coconut milk/cream
200ml water
2 free range eggs
3/4 cup rapadura or raw sugar
1/3 cup cacao powder
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 tbsp gluten-free cornflour

On stove top: dissolve the cornflour in some water and then add it, with all the other ingredients to a saucepan.  On a medium heat, cook, whisking constantly for a few minutes until the custard has thickened to the desired consistency (don't forget the custard will thicken further as it cools).


In Thermomix - add all the ingredients to the TM bowl and cook 7min/90deg/sp4.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Apple Berry Crumble

I've seen a few piccies and recipes of crumbles lately on a few blogs!  So in keeping with the winter warmer theme, I thought I would come up with my own recipe for a crumble as well!  Here is my recipe for apple berry crumble which we served with Cocoluscious raspberry coconut ice cream.  This crumble would also be nice with a homemade custard... but the recipe for that is coming soon so stay tuned!

Fruit layer:
6 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1.5 cups organic mixed frozen berries
1/4 cup rapadura sugar
Squeeze of lemon juice

1/2 cup quinoa flakes
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup organic flaked/dessicated coconut
1/2 cup rapadura sugar
1/4 cup almonds
1/4 cup hazelnuts
40g coconut oil
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees and grease a square baking dish with coconut oil

2.  Combine the fruit layer ingredients and toss to combine.  Tip into the greased baking dish.

3.  To make the crumble, add all the crumble ingredients to food processor or Thermomix and blend together for a few seconds (5sec/sp5 in Thermomix).  Top the fruit layer with the crumble mixture.  Bake for 30 minutes or until the fruit is soft and the crumble is golden on top.  We served it with coconut ice cream.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Spicy Lamb & Lentil Casserole with Herby Dumplings

The biggest problem with cooking this meal was that as it cooked in the slow cooker and I sat there trying to study for next's week biology exam, the amazing smell was very distracting!  I managed to get the study done in the end, as well as cook an amazingly nutritious dinner.  The best bit is that you literally throw all the ingredients into the slow cooker (or into the oven if you don't have a slow cooker) and leave it to cook.... just stirring every couple of hours and adding in the dumplings in the last half hour of cooking!

1kg free range lamb, diced
1 cup lentils, rinsed (I used a mix of red lentils and Beluga lentils)
1 onion, peeled and sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
400g can diced tomatoes
2 cups stock (I used chicken stock made as per Quirky Cooking's recipe)
OR 2 cups Campbell's vegetable stock
OR 2 cups water + 2 tsp TM vegetable stock concentrate
3 cups diced veggies - I used 1/2 a zucchini, 1 carrot, half a green capsicum, jap pumpkin and some mushrooms
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
Juice of half a lemon
Sea salt, pepper and Herbamare

1.5 cups spelt flour
30g butter, cubed
1 tbsp each chopped fresh parsley, dill and basil (or 1 tsp each of dried)
1/4 cup water
Sea salt and pepper

1. Into a slow cooker, add all the casserole ingredients and give it all a good mix.  Cook on "low" for up to 8 hours, stirring every now and then.  If you don't have a slow cooker, preheat your oven to 150 degrees, add all the ingredients into a casserole dish, mix, cover and cook for around 3 hours, stirring occasionally. 

2. Half an hour before the casserole is ready, make the dumplings.  To a food prcoessor or Thermomix, add all your dry ingredients.  Pulse a few times until they ingredients are all incorporated.  Add the water and process for a few seconds until it all comes together (8sec/sp6 in Thermomix).  Shape the dough into dumplings and pop the dumplings on top of the casserole.  Put the lid back onto the slow cooker (or if cooking in the oven, pop the lid back onto the casserole dish and return to the oven for 30min).

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

I like to keep a stash of lunchbox friendly snacks in the freezer so that the kids and I can quickly throw together their lunchboxes for school and ensure that they get a bit of variety in what goes in the lunchboxes.  I always like to have some kind of cupcakes in the freezer.  Though when my 4 year old helped me to make these this afternoon, quite a few got eaten before they made it to the freezer!  Hope you like them as much as we did.

Ingredients (makes 12):
1.5 cups whole kamut (or spelt) flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
40g butter, softened
1/2 cup rapadura or raw sugar
3/4 cup chocolate chips 
1 free range egg
1.5 cups coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt

1.  Preheat oven to 180 degrees and line a cupcake tin with 12 cupcake cases

2.  Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine

3.  Divide the batter between the cupcake cases

4.  Bake for around 15 minutes or until the cupcakes spring back when pressed lightly at the top

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Chicken & Vegetable Pie

What a great wintery dish.  Very warming on a cold winter day!  You can really use whatever veggies you like in this pie.  The more the merrier!

Pie filling:
1 onion
2 garlic cloves
1 tbsp cooking fat
500g free range chicken fillets, diced
1/2 zucchini, diced
1/2 capsicum, diced
1 carrot, diced
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 cup chicken broth (OR 1 cup water + 1 tsp TM veggie stock concentrate OR 1 cup Campbell's veggie stock)
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp tamari sauce
1 tsp dried basil (or 1 tbsp fresh)
1 tsp dried parsley (or 1 tbsp fresh)
Sea salt, pepper and Herbamare to taste
2 tbsp gluten-free cornflour in 1/4 cup water

2.5 cups spelt flour
80g butter
1 tsp sea salt
1/3 cup water

1. Make the pie filling: cook the diced onion, crushed garlic, diced chicken and cooking fat for a few minutes on medium heat.

(TM: add halved onion and garlic cloves.  Chop 5sec/sp7.  Add cooking fat and chicken.  Cook 3min/100deg/rev+sp1)

2.  Add diced veggies, stock/broth, vinegar, tamari, herbs and seasonings.  Turn down the heat and simmer, stirring every now and then, for 10 minutes.

(TM: add diced veggies, stock/broth, vinegar, tamari, herbs and seasonings and cook 10min/100deg/rev+sp1)

3.  Add the cornflour dissolved in water and stir in.  Simmer for a few more minutes until the liquid has thickened.  Cool the pie filling while you make the pastry.

(TM: add cornflour dissolved in water.  Cook 3min/100deg/rev+sp1.  Allow the filling to cool while you make pastry)

4.  To make the pastry, in a food processor, process the flour, butter and salt until breadcrumb consistency.  Add the water and process a few more seconds.  Take the pastry out and knead until smooth.  Split into 2 equal portions and put into the fridge for around 15 minutes.

(TM: into clean and dry bowl, add flour, butter and salt.  Mix 6sec/sp6.  Add water and knead 30 seconds on interval setting.  Take the pastry out and split in half, then refrigerate for 15 minutes)

5.  Preheat the oven to 200 degrees and grease a pie dish with butter.  Take out one portion of pastry and roll out.  Place into greased pie dish and prick with a fork.  Blind bake for around 10 minutes.

6.  Turn down the oven to 180 degrees.  Pour the pie filling into pastry shell.  Roll out the remaining pastry and place on top of the pie, pressing down all along the edge to secure.  Prick the top a few times to allow for air vents.  Bake for around 20 minutes or until the pastry on top is golden.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Beef & Vegetable Casserole

It is getting really cold in Perth now that winter has officially started!  So we are having lots of soups and casseroles full of seasonal veggies.  This one was made in the slow cooker (my latest obsession) which I cooked for around 8 hours.  If you don't have a slow cooker, you could easily bake this in the oven, but you need to make sure you allow around 3 hours cooking time.

Ingredients (serves 6-8):
1kg gravy beef, diced
400g can diced tomatoes
1 cup beef broth (I made this as per the recipe in Sally Fallon's "Nourishing Traditions")
OR 1 cup Campbell's vegetable stock
OR 1 cup water + 1 tsp TM vegetable stock concentrate
1/2 cup preservative-free red wine (I used Settlers Ridge brand)
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
Sea salt, pepper and Herbamare to taste
Assorted diced veggies - I used 1 carrot, 4 small potatoes, 1 onion, 2 garlic cloves, a few green beans, a couple of handfuls of mushrooms and a cup of pumpkin.

1.  Into the slow cooker or baking dish, add the tomatoes, broth/stock, wine, tomato paste, vinegar, oregano, basil and seasonings.  Stir to combine.

2.  Add remaining ingredients and stir to coat in the sauce.  If baking, cover the dish with a lid or alfoil.

3.  Cook for 8 hours on "low" setting in the slow cooker, or for 3 hours in an oven preheated to 150 degrees.  Stir every now and then.

4.  Serve with some bread (if you can have some!), otherwise this really is a complete meal on its own!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Raw Jaffa "Cheesecake"

Ever since I went to a raw dessert cooking class last year in Maitland, NSW, I have been fascinated by raw cooking and keen to experiment a bit with it.  I just love raw desserts.  They tend to be made with wholesome ingredients and the fact that they are raw means that all the goodness is preserved that would otherwise be destroyed through heating.  And because chocolate and orange is one of my favourite flavour combo's, a raw jaffa "cheesecake" seemed like the perfect raw dessert for me to create!

1 cup organic dessicated coconut
1/2 cup raw cashews
5 fresh Medjool dates, pitted
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla essence

1 cup raw macadamias, soaked in water for at least 2 hours, then drained and rinsed
1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for at least 2 hours, then drained and rinsed (I soaked the nuts together)
1 orange, zested, then peeled and quartered
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup cacao powder
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp apple juice concentrate (or honey)
1 tsp vanilla essence or vanilla paste

To garnish - orange segments and extra orange zest

1.  Grease a springform tin with coconut oil.

2.  In a food processor or Thermomix, briefly blend all the base ingredients (10sec/sp7 in Thermomix) and then tip into the greased springform tin.  Press the base down and then refrigerate while you make the filling.

3.  Blend all the filling ingredients together until smooth (1.5min/sp9 in Thermomix), stopping and scraping down the sides a couple of times.  Pour the filling over the base and then put back into the fridge for 2 hours or until set.

4.  Garnish with orange segments and extra orange zest. Serve.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Flourless Orange & Almond Cake

This cake is very light and not overly sweet. It is really delicious, especially after the syrup has had some time to soak into the cake!  As I ground my own almond meal, the cake also had a nice amount if crunch to it.  Even my nut hating husband loved this cake! 

1.5 cups raw almonds
1 orange, zested and then peeled and quartered
50g butter, cubed
3/4 cup raw or rapadura sugar
3 free range eggs
2 tsp vanilla essence 
2 tsp baking powder

2 oranges, juiced
2 heaped tbsp pure honey

1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees and then grease and line a ring baking tin.

2. In a food processor or Thermomix, pulse the almonds a few times until almond meal consistency is reached.

3. Add orange zest, quartered orange and butter and pulse a few times until incorporated.

4. Add eggs, vanilla and sugar and mix on low speed until combined (20sec/sp3 in Thermomix).

5. Add baking powder and mix for a few seconds (5sec/sp3 in Thermomix)

6. Pour into prepared baking tin and bake for around 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.  Allow to cool in the baking tin for about 10 minutes before inverting out onto a wire rack to cool completely. 

7. To make the syrup, warm the orange juice and honey in a small saucepan, stirring until the honey has dissolved. To do this in the Thermomix, warm the orange juice and honey for 2min/60deg/sp2. Pour the syrup all over the cake. 

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Mini Meatballs

This is a great lunchbox food for the kids or a quick weeknight dinner to have with salad!  These would also make a great party food.

500g beef mince
1/2 onion
1 garlic clove
1/2 cup pumpkin
1/2 carrot
1/2 cup broccoli florets
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp chopped fresh herbs
1 free range egg
1 tsp onion powder 
Sea salt, pepper to taste

1.  Preheat oven to 180 degrees and line a baking tray with baking paper.

2.  Process onion, garlic, pumpkin, carrot and broccoli in a food processor (or 5sec/sp7 in Thermomix) until finely chopped.  Tip into a large bowl.

3.  Add remaining ingredients to the chopped veggies and mix with your hands until combined.

4.  Shape the mixture into meatballs and bake for around 20 minutes or until lightly browned and cooked through.