Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Bircher Muesli - my easy-healthy breakfast

When I have yoghurt, I like to make bircher muesli.
Weekday breakfasts can be frantic around here. Bircher muesli is great because I prepare it the night before, and it's disgustingly healthy. Oats and yoghurt are both considered 'super foods', with more than their fair share of nutritional goodness. Cinnamon is thought to moderate blood-sugar levels, and sultanas have fibre and (I think) anti-oxidants. We'll just ignore the massive amount of honey that Ryan likes to add...
Kazari's Bircher Muesli
The night before: Grate an apple. Add about a cup of quick-oats, twice as much thick plain yoghurt, a handful of raisins or sultanas and half a teaspoon of cinnamon. Stir until all the oats are wet, and everything is well combined. Store in the fridge overnight, in a covered container. Try to choose a container with as little air as possible (I used glad wrap over a bowl, squished down to get the air out). It doesn't really matter, but it helps keep the apple from discolouring.
In the morning: Scoop out some muesli, slather with honey, and enjoy as much as you can before leaving for work.

Of course, the proportions in this are pretty arbitrary. As are the ingredients - any dried fruit works well, and you can substitue orange juice for the yoghurt if you really want to.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Chocolate Velvet Pie

Sometimes the old school recipes can't be beaten. I don't know where this one came from, except I saw it on Simple Savings. It is decadent and reminiscent of all those good things like chocolate self-saucing pudding.
I hope you like it.
Chocolate Velvet Pie
1/2 Cup plain flour
3 Tbs Cocoa
1 Cup shredded coconut
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Cream (I didn't say it was healthy!)
1 Cup Milk
4 eggs, lightly beaten
100g butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
Mix all the ingredients thoroughly and pour into a greased 25 cm pie dish. Bake for 1 hour, and let stand for at least 10 minutes before eating. Serve with cream or icecream.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Menu Plan Monday - August 27

Wow - last week was a busy blog week for me. Not that there's much to show for it! Evil, template-eating internet. Anyway, this week we are trying a couple of new recipes and a couple of old favourites.

Spaghetti and meatballs
Indian Mince and rice, with Tandoori Cauliflower
Chicken and veggies (beans and carrot)
Home made Pizza
Vegan Mac & Cheese Florentine

Happy Monday!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Oops! Updated

I inadvertently updated my template - please bear with me while I tinker!

Edited to say:

While I tinker, you can check out Smokey Mountain Breakdown, where I've guest posted about Ryan's latest cookie discovery. Rosie posts about wildlife, goats and local culture as well as food. And her short-story posts are breathtaking.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Fantastic Four - a meme

I have been neglecting this blog recently. But because I am a vain person (and nosy to boot) I still check my stats on technorati to see who is linking to me. And guess what? I got tagged with a meme! This is doubly exciting because I wasn't familiar with Something Yum, and now I have links to a whole heap of new UK bloggers. Yum : )
I don't know where it came from, but I thought I'd play along anyway. You will have to wait until tomorrow for my post about Chocolate Velvet Pie.
4 jobs I've had
Purveyor of Christmas trees
Front counter at an upmarket veggie shop called Epinards
Marine Conservation Officer
4 places I've lived
Winnepeg, Canada
Grand Cayman
Perth, Western Australia
That's pretty much the whole list...
4 places I've holidayed
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Tours, France
Margaret River, Western Australia
Budawang Ranges, New South Wales
4 favourite foods
Only four?
Cheese - blue, sharp, crumbly, soft and gooey - I don't care
Bircher muesli - I still remember being surprised by my first taste of this. It looked so boring!
Mussels - specifically, chilli mussels from Kailis in Fremantle. But I'm not fussy.
Dessert - whatever Ryan has decided to make.
4 places I'd rather be
Near the beach. Anywhere.
In the UK with my sisters
Somewhere like Rosies farm, where there is goats and wilderness and running water
4 bloggers to tag
Well, I decided to pick 4 bloggers that I'd like to know more about. Kat was right, this is a bit nerve wracking!
Neil at At My Table
Traceyleigh at TLSC
Rosie at Smokey Mountain Breakdown
Mummy at Red Dirt Mummy

Anyway, I hope somebody finds this interesting, or at least click through to some of the other blogs. I always find them interesting!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Menu Plan Monday - August 20

This week I did the grocery shopping on Friday (how's that for organised!) but I completely forgot to plan a couple extra meals. So we have a few pantry meals as well.
Curry Night with friends (Spiced Green Beans and baby corn)
Roast Beef with veggies (I'm doing this in the slow-cooker - I hope it turns out!)
Chicken Nacho's (the last of the leftover Red Rooster chicken from the freezer)
Spaghetti with beef ragu (from the roast)
Tandoori Chicken
Satay Meatballs
Gnocchi with tomato sauce

Happy Monday!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Gozleme Recipe

I have re-written this post a heap of times. I'm not sure why, but the gallery software I use is having a heart-attack over the photos. Then the internet connection would die, and it wouldn't save my edits... It's latest attempt to frustrate me involves rotating the photos 90 degrees when it uploads them. Gack!
Gozleme are Turkish flatbread that are stuffed with something good. Usually spinach and feta, although there are a heap of variations. I found a great recipe here. The dough is just flour and yoghurt, which is pretty healthy, and really frugal if you make it with home-made yoghurt. Once you've made the dough (which is soft and stretchy and very forgiving) you form it into pasty kind of shapes, and fill it with good things. In my case, that was leftover chilli con carne, and leftover vegetables and gravy from a Red Rooster Classic Roast pack. I'm not sure why I had that hiding at the back of my freezer, but never mind. Anyway, I thought the gozleme would be a great entry to Project Foodies' Leftover Tuesday #7.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Too many vegetables - celery pasta

What would you do if you inadvertently bought two bunches of celery at the same time? This is what happens when Ryan and I go in separate directions at the farmers' market. I didn't mind too much though - I saw a briliant recipe on Frugal Cuisine (months ago) and remembered it just in time.
Basically, you sweat the celery for a little while, add chicken stock and set to simmer. When the celery is breaking down and the stock has reduced a bit, you add some stirfry noodles, and cook until ready. I couldn't find any stirfry noodles in the cupboard, so I added some bowtie pasta a little earlier.
It was good. I just wish I could take photos as well as Pepper.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Menu Plan Monday - August 13

I hope your week has started out ok. We didn't get to the veggie markets on the weekend, so this is a bit of a clean-out-the-cupboard week.
Stuffed capsicums
Red Rooster gozleme
Sausage rolls
Cous cous and canellini burgers
Chicken and chickpea curries

Happy Monday!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Sweet Potato Gnocchi for Donna Hay

I love Donna Hay recipes for the simplicity and the beautiful photos. I don't think gnocchi is either simple or particularly photogenic, but I love eating it. So when Linnylu chose gnocchi as the theme for Hay, Hay, it's Donna Day #14, I knew I was going to have a go.
I'd like to say I came up with a completely new and original recipe, but this stuff is difficult! I've had gnocchi disasters before. (Hint: If you're going to freeze 'raw' gnocchi for later, you probably want to flash freeze it. Or eat a lot of potato cakes.) I found a recipe for Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Brown Butter and Sage on epicurious, and proceeded to make an enourmous mess. I also made some cute little gnocchi's, that maybe aren't so ugly after all. The colour was great, but the best thing was the sage butter. Unfortunately I can't add the aroma to the photo for you!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Mushy Mushrooms

What on earth is that funny lumpy stuff? Well, according to the recipe I was following, it's Two-Mushroom Barley Soup. It's a slow cooker recipe from Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker. I really like the book - because I'm always on the hunt for slow cooker recipes that don't rely on a can of cream of mushroom soup. The range of recipes is really inspiring, as is the meatless factor. It even has instructions for making your own seitan (wheat protein), which I'm keen to try.
As for the mushy mushrooms, they turned out more like a barley risotto. Not that I'm complaining - it was still really tasty and had texture. If you've got a slow cooker, I'd definitely recommend it. I've written it up in metric, but the measurements were actually in ounces.
Two-Mushroom Barley Soup from 'Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker' by Robin Robertson
30g Dried mushrooms (I used shitake where the recipe recommends porcini)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped (I'm not sure about yellow onions, I used a brown one)
1 large carrot, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped (I used a couple. I may explain later)
1 Cup pearl barley
225g white mushrooms, sliced
6 Cups vegetable stock (mine was homemade, also from the slow cooker)
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
salt and pepper
2 Tablespoons minced fresh chives (I didn't have any)
1. Place the dried mushrooms in a heatproof measuring cup and cover with hot water. Let sit until softened. Drain, straining and reserving 1/2 Cup of the liquid, thinly slice the mushrooms, and set aside.
2. Heat the oil in a small skillet (frying pan, aussies) over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot and celery, cover, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
3. Transfer the cooked vegetables to the slow cooker. Add everything except the chives and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours. Taste to adjust seasonings before serving. If a thinner soup is desired, add more stock (I may have missed that bit).
4. Serve, garnished with the chives.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Crustless quiche - impossible pie

This is a new recipe from Australian Table Magazine. It's quick, tasty and good for you, but the reason I'm REALLY posting about it is eggs. We have started buying eggs at the Woden Farmers' Market. (They are on Sunday mornings at Woden CIT if you'd like to buy some yourself). These eggs are small, but so fresh! You can tell good eggs by the gooeyness of the whites (they get more runny over time) and the yellowness of the yolks.
This quiche turned out so yellow!
We've been eating these eggs for breakfast, and I'm amazed at how good they taste. I think they are definitely worthy of Alanna's icon, even if they aren't veggies.
"Impossible" Quiche
5 small eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 Cups skim milk
1 Cup fresh bread crumbs
1 Cup grated cheese (your favourite)
100g diced sandwich meat (I used roast beef)
1 brown onion, finely diced (green onions would be better, but I didn't have any)
1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Grease a pie plate.
Combine all ingredients in a bowl, and season to taste. Pour into pie dish and bake until golden and set (around 30 minutes). Bon Apetite!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Menu Plan Monday - August 6

Good grief, I can't believe it's August already. I can't believe I survived last week without a menu plan either. It was fine by myself, but when Ryan was back on the weekend we ate an awful lot of takeaway.
Anyway, it's a new week, with a bunch of new things to try. I bought a new cookbook, I'm going to put an entry into Hay, Hay, it's Donna Day. And there was some new and interesting vegetables at the farmers market.
  • Sweet Potato Gnocchi
  • Prawn Curry
  • Lamb Chops with couscous and endive salad
  • Sausage Rolls and more salad
  • Stuffed Capsicums
  • Two-mushroom and barley soup
The soup is in the slow cooker as we speak, and it smells pretty good.
Happy Monday!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Crispy Chickpeas

This is really simple. But these crispy roast chickpeas are a great snack. They also make a great addition to salad, or work as a garnish on top of curries. Tonight I ate half in a simple (really filling! salad), and I'm saving the rest to snack on during 'Las Vegas'.
Bon Apetite!
Crispy Chickpeas
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 Tablespoons olive oil
A generous amount of rock salt.
Heat the oven to 200 degrees C. Mix everything together, until the chickpeas are coated. Then spread them out on a cookie tray, and roast for 20 minutes until crispy. Of course, you could add any herbs or flavourings you like. Check on them every so often, and shake the tray a bit so they roll around and cook evenly.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

A five minute pasta dinner

I love making dinner just for me. I don't have to worry about anybody else's whims. But this is easily dinner for two - just increase the portions.

Smokey tuna tomato pasta

Cook enough wholemeal pasta for just you. Top it with one of those small, flavoured tuna tins - I love the smokey flavour. Cut up some cherry tomatoes, red capsicum, and any other veggies you like. Mix it all up, and zap it in the microwave for two or three minutes. Yum. This recipe works equally well for two people.

OK, I admit it isn't quite as quick if you have to cook the pasta. But I had a single serve already cooked and frozen in the freezer. I'd put it in the fridge last night.