Sweet potato, quinoa and cranberry salad

Being that it is the school holidays, it must be time for our traditional family ladies lunch! I am so thankful for wonderful women in my family and being able to meet with them still πŸ™‚

This was the delicious salad we shared …. Just quietly, I may have made extras so there would be dinner leftovers πŸ˜‰

  • 1 medium gold sweet potato
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup pepitas
  • 1 packed cups spinach
  • 1 cup quinoa (which ever colour you prefer)
  • 2L hot water plus 1 tsp stock powder
  • 1/2 large ripe avocado
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Pink salt flakes
  • Ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp aquafaba (liquid drained from a can of chick peas)*

*replace the aquafaba with water for legume free, the dressing will just not be quite as ‘fluffy’.

Soak the quinoa in a pot of water for 1 hour then drain and rinse it really well.

While the quinoa is soaking, heat the oven to 200C.

Peel the potato and dice it in to roughly 3-4cm cubes. Place them in a baking tray and drizzle with 1 tbsp of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Place in pre heated oven and roast for about 45 minutes or until golden.

Remove the potato from the oven, add in the seeds, and toss to coat them, then return to oven for a further 10 minutes.

Cook the quinoa in the weak stock by bringing it to the boil and simmering gently for about 15 mins, the drain and set aside.

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All prepared in advance to take out with me

To make the avocado lime dressing, place the remaining tbsp of olive oil, the lime juice, pinch of salt, maple syrup, aquafaba (or water) into a blender/bullet/thermal cooker together the the avocado and blend until smooth and light (speed 4, 8 secs, scrape down, speed 5, 10 secs)

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So tart and creamy!

Chop the spinach, and fold it through the warm quinoa.

Top with the potato and seeds.

Drizzle the dressing over the salad and then sprinkle the cranberries over the top.

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Serve immediately and enjoy πŸ™‚

For a delicious variation on this dish we use pumpkin in place of potato, pomegranate seeds in place of cranberries and slivered almonds in place of pepitas.

 

Savoury Pikelets

Our little people eat pikelets in many forms. Mildly sweet ones (hotcakes) for breakfast are on the menu probably once a week, but this holidays we have changed it up a bit and made a savoury variety.

Our kids love them – Harry describes them as a cross between a hotcake and a cheese toastie …. both things he loves!! They are very filling and make a satisfying lunch, they’re nutritious – and they freeze and defrost well so you can make them in advance for lunchboxes.

This recipe makes a large quantity (about 30) so just halve it if you have fewer staaaaaarving children to feed than I do πŸ˜‰

  • 3.5 cups spelt flour – I do half wholemeal (OR 3 cups plain GF flour and 1 tsp psyllium husks)
  • 3 heaped tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tbsp flax seeds
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp pink salt
  • 4 tsp GF baking powder
  • 2 3/4 cups milk of choice
  • 50g light tasting oil/vegan butter, melted
  • fist sized piece a sweet potato (roughly 200g)
  • OPTIONAL: Handful GF ham/left over chicken/corn kernels

Peel and roughly chop your sweet potato, then steam until soft.

While the potato is steaming, place the seeds, yeast, salt and baking powder into your processor/bullet/blender/thermal cooker and process until very fine (Speed 8, 6 secs, repeat if necessary). The set aside.

Blitz together the steamed potato with the milk and oil in your processor/bullet/blender/thermal cooker until very smooth (Speed 6, 10 seconds, scrape down and repeat). You could add in a handful of spinach here too if you’ve got it on hand and your kids are happy to eat ‘green stuff’.

Add in the seed mix to the wet mix and process to combine (Speed 5, 6 secs).

Add in the flour, half at a time and process to combine (Speed 5, 10 seconds, repeat if necessary).

If you want to add in any of the optional extras, chop them finely and fold them through here.

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Spoon tablespoons of the batter into a hot, lightly greased frying pan – it’s quite a thick mix so you’ll need to use the back of the spoon to spread it out. Cook until golden on one side and then flip and cook until both sides are golden brown.

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Serve warm with your choice of topping. I sandwich them together with a little butter in the middle and freeze in a zip lock bag so they are ready to drop into lunchboxes.

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Enjoy πŸ™‚

 

Troll Scrolls

It really is all about the marketing with kids πŸ˜‰ how to get them to eat something green and with bits that are all bumpy? Call it something gross!

Continuing on with my need to use up what we’ve got in the fridge, pantry and garden because I can’t get to the shops, today’s lunch was a favourite – Troll Scrolls!!

I use the base of my yoghurt doughΒ then add lots of goodies to make these ones, green and bumpy (and extra nutritious).

  • 470g Spelt flour (or 420g GF flour together with 1tbsp psyllium husk)
  • 2.5 tsp GF baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp pink salt
  • 2 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 heaped tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tbsp flax seeds
  • 300gΒ natural yoghurtΒ or soy/coconut yoghurt
  • 1 packed cup of spinach
  • Shredded Cheese of choice (we do both a dairy batch and a Bio Cheese Batch)

In your processor pulse the seeds until they are finely chopped.

Add in the other dry ingredients and process to combine (Speed 4, 8 secs). Then set the dry mix aside.

In your blender/processor/bullet/thermal cooker place the spinach and just 150g of the yoghurt. Blitz until very well combined (Speed 8, 10 seconds, scrape down and repeat) – it’ll look like a very unappealing milkshake at this point!

Add in the remaining yoghurt and process to combine (Speed 4, 6 secs)

Add the dry ingredients back to the wet and process until it forms a dough (Speed 5, 15 seconds),Β  knead together, dust with flour and roll out into a rectangle.

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If the dough is too sticky, add in 1 tsp of extra flour at a time and process to combine.

Top the dough rectangle with grated cheese, then roll into a cylinder.

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Cut into rounds and lay on a lined baking tray and place into a preheated 200C oven for 18-20 minutes until well risen and golden.

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Freeze in an airtight container if you have any leftovers.

Enjoy πŸ™‚

Rice bubble slice

Hello – I hope your New Year has stared out well.

We have just returned from a lovely family holiday that was filled with mountain climbs, hikes and adventures.

Most of the days looked like this:

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But the last day ended up looking like this:

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Uh oh. Not my finest moment.

So now I’ve got 4 kids who are on school holidays, I can’t drive and they are permanently staaaaaarving …. especially after their swimming lessons.

Ok- so what to make for them that is quick and doesn’t involve me going to the shops or standing up for very long?

We decided today to go with this slice that was originally inspired by this almond slice recipe from TRTLMT

It is quick and easy, delicious and uses our pantry staples, plus it’s very allergy friendly. But best of all …. my little people can help to make it and then they devoured it. I will be making double batches from now on!

For the base:

  • 40g rolled oats (OR 20g rolled quinoa, 20g shredded coconut and 1/2 tsp psyllium for GF)
  • 20g pumpkin seeds
  • 10g flax seeds
  • 40g coconut sugar
  • 100g flour of choice (a plain mix GF works as does wholemeal spelt)
  • 1/2 tsp GF baking powder
  • 55g Sunflower seed butter
  • 55g vegan butter

In your processor mill together the oats, seeds and sugar until very fine (Speed 10, 10 seconds)

Add in the flour and baking powder and process to combine (Speed 4, 6 secs).

Add in the seed butter and butter and process until it comes together as a dough (Speed 4, 10 seconds, scrape down and repeat on speed 6, repeat if necessary).

Tip into a lined 20×20 tin and press down firmly.

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Place into a preheated 180C oven for 10 minutes.

While the base is cooking, make the topping.

  • 80g honey/maple syrup
  • 45g vegan butter
  • 45g sunflower seed butter
  • 60g puffed rice/GF rice bubbles
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste.

Place all ingredients, except the rice bubbles, into a saucepan and cook, stirring regularly over medium heat for about 3 minutes (Speed 3, 100C, for 4 minutes).

Add in the rice bubbles and stir to combine (Speed 1, 10 seconds)

Remove the base from the oven and pour the rice bubble mixture over the top.

Smooth out the rice bubble mix and press it down quite firmly.

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Return to the oven for a further 18-20 minutes.

The top will be very golden when you remove it. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire wrack to finish cooling.

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Slice in to squares when cool. Store any left overs in an airtight container in the fridge.

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Enjoy πŸ™‚

Roo and root veg pie

We have reduced our consumption of meat significantly in the last year. For numerous reasons; the cost, the environmental impact and the health benefits.

But recently we were kindly given a couple of kilos of Kangaroo tails. Kangaroos have far less of an impact on the enviroment than does farmed meat, it is much, much lower in saturated fats than other red meat, but is higher in iron and B12 and well, as a gift … the cost aspect was quite appealing!

It is something I have eaten before and enjoyed but not cooked myself. We have had a stew with them, and added them to veggie burger patties and for our last lot I thought we’d have a pie. Since we have an abundance of beetroot, sweet potato and fresh herbs in our garden at the moment, we made good use of those too.

Peter went back for seconds, Will gave me 5 gold stars, George licked his bowl clean and Harry went back for seconds and thirds …. even Ellie tasted it. Winner!!

Of course if you don’t have access to Kangaroo, or it doesn’t appeal to you, you can always use beef or lamb bones for this pie – just reduce the cooking time in the slow cooker to 7-8 hours on low.

For the meat and gravy part of the pie:

  • Approx 1kg kangaroo tail pieces
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp vegemite or miso paste
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1/4 cup coconut aminos
  • 1 tsp peppercorns
  • 2 sprigs each of fresh rose and thyme
  • 1tsp onion flakes
  • 1/3 tsp garlic flakes
  • 3 cups hot beef stock (I used Massel)

Place the tail pieces in the slow cooker and turn it on low. Sprinkle over it the pepper, onion, garlic and herbs. Mix together the stock, wine, tomato paste, aminos and vegemite and pour over the lamb.

Place the lid and the slow cooker and leave for 9-10 hours.

For the remainder of filling of the pie, after the meat is cooked:

  • 400g sweet potato
  • 250g beetroot
  • 400g tin kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • meat from the slow cooker
  • 3/4 liquid from the slow cooker.

Grate the veggies finely, use a food processor, or Speed 6 in your thermal cooker.

Add in the kidney beans and cooking liquid process until the beans are well broken down (Speed 5, 10 seconds).

Transfer the veggie mix to a large pan – even better if it can go directly from stove to oven. Place on a medium heat.

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Use a fork to pull the meat from the bones and finely chop it.

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Add the meat to the veggie mix.

Drain and strain the remaining liquid from the slow cooker and add another 3/4 cup of it to the meat and veg. Mix well and bring to a gentle simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While the meat and veg are simmering, make the scone dough for the top of the pie:

  • 1.5 cups spelt flour (I do half wholemeal) OR 1.25 cups GF flour mix and 3/4 tsp psyllium
  • 1.5 tsp GF baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp pink salt flakes
  • a few grinds of black pepper
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp fresh chopped rosemary
  • 50g vegan butter
  • 1/3-1/2 cup water

Place all ingredients except the water and butter in your processor and process to combine (Speed 4, 6 seconds)

Add in the butter and pulse until you get a sand like consistency.

Whilst the processor is running (Speed 4), add in the water through the top chute. Start with 1/3 cup and gradually add more if needed to bring together to a dough.

Tip out the dough and roll into shape of your pie dish.

Lay the dough on top of the pie filling, cut a few steam vents and place into a preheated 180C oven for about 30 minutes.

 

Remove from oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Then cut and serve.

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Makes enough for 5-6 adult serves.

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Enjoy πŸ™‚

 

 

 

Creamy Cannelloni

Our tomato based cannelloni was very popular here so I decided to risk it and add a little variety to the “those long, fat, hollow noddles that you put stuff in and have sauce on top” πŸ˜‰

This version uses more of a creamy white sauce and it was very delicious! Possibly received even better than the original!

  • 800g butternut pumpkin, diced
  • 400g tin butter beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 large handfuls spinach
  • cannelloni tubes (we used the San Remo GF ones)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp fresh chopped rosemary
  • 2 tsp pink salt flakes
  • 1/3 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 small head cauliflower
  • 3/4 cup warm veggie stock
  • 1.5 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 heaped tsp sunflower seed butter
  • 3/4 cup milk of choice

Place the pumpkin in a large baking pan. Drizzle with 1 tbsp of the olive oil, sprinkle with 1 tsp the salt, nutmeg and rosemary.

Bake in a pre-heated 200C oven for about 40 minutes.

While the pumpkin is roasting, roughly chop the cauliflower and place it in a small baking dish. Drizzle with remaining tbsp of olive oil and sprinkle with salt, paprika and 1 tbsp of the nutritional yeast. Toss well to coat and then place in the 200C oven for 30 mins to roast (tossing once after 20 minutes).

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Remove the pumpkin tray from oven and add in the butter beans, toss them with the pumpkin and return to the oven for a further 15 minutes.

Remove the golden cauliflower from the oven and place in your food processor/blender/bullet/thermal cooker. Add to it, the remaining nutritional yeast, the seed butter, 1/2 cup of the stock and milk. Blitz it until the mixture is very smooth (Speed 5 for 10 seconds, scrape down, repeat on speed 8, repeat if necessary). Set aside.

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Remove the pumpkin tray from the oven and turn oven down to 180C. Place the pumpkin and bean mixture into your processor/thermal cooker, together with the spinach and remaining 1/4 cup of stock and process until well mixed and relatively smooth (Speed 4, 8 seconds at a time). Place pumpkin mix into a piping bag.

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Fill the cannelloni tubes with the pumpkin mix and then lay in a baking dish.

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Pour the cauliflower sauce over the top of the filled cannelloni (top with fresh herbs if desired) and return to the oven to bake for 30 minutes.

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Remove from oven, slice and serve immediately.

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Enjoy πŸ™‚

Blueberry, Pear and Almond Overnight Oats

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2018 πŸ™‚

We went to a brunch to celebrate with family this morning and we took along the oaty part of the meal – yay!

This is a super simple way to make a delicious, filling, summer breakfast when you are short on time in the mornings (ok – so every morning then?!).

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk (or other milk of choice)
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 ripe green pears
  • 50g dry roasted almonds, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 cup blueberries

Place the oats, milk, cinnamon, maple syrup and vanilla in a bowl and mix together. Cover and place in the fridge over night, or for at least 2 hours.

In the morning, fluff up the oats with a fork, then grate the pear and stir it though.

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Top with the blueberries and almonds and serve.

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Add a spoon of your favourite yoghurt (dairy, soy or coconut) if you’d like too.

Enjoy