Oaty Seed Bikkies

These lovely bikkies are like a cross between an ANZAC and a muesli biscuit.

Just sweet enough to satisfy my husband’s sweet tooth, super easy to whip up plus they’re lunchbox and allergy friendly!

  • 1 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup plain flour  (GF flour, spelt, wheat – all work)
  • 1 tsp GF baking powder
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup sultanas*
  • 125g melted butter or oil (coconut oil and melted vegan butter work well)
  • 70g golden syrup/honey/maple syrup

*Chopped Dates, or dried apple, or apricots work well too

**For a Coeliac friendly version: you can replace the oats with a mix of rolled quinoa, puffed rice and shredded coconut.

Mix together  all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. (Speed 4, 10 seconds). Then set aside.

In a medium sized saucepan (or microwave), melt together the oi/butter and syrup. (Speed 2, 100C for approx 2 mins)

Add the wet mix to the dry mix and combine well (Speed 4, 8 seconds, scrape down and repeat).

On a greased baking tray place heaped teaspoon-fulls of the mixture and flatten down slightly.

Cook in a preheated oven at 170C for about 15-20 mins or until golden brown.

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When you remove them from the oven they will be fairly soft. They will harden as they cool. Leave them on the tray for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Makes about 20 – store in an airtight container for up to a week.

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And watch out for the bikkie thief ….

Enjoy 🙂

Zucchini cake

Such a deliciously light and moist cake …. so good for afternoon tea, picnic and even in lunchboxes.

  • Approx 200g (combined) grated zucchini and carrot (roughly half a medium zucchini and 1 medium carrot).
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple sauce
  • 1/2 cup honey/maple/golden syrup
  • 2 eggs / 2 flax eggs / 2 tsp egg replacer whipped with 4 tbsp water
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1/3 cup chopped nuts or seeds (hemp seeds or walnuts go really well)
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 3/4 cups plain flour (we do half wholemeal)**
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Optional extra: Top with choc chips of choice

** To make this one coeliac friendly, replace with a plain GF flour, 1.5 cups and 1 tsp of psyllium husk.

Start by grating the veg. After squeezing the moisture out of the grated zucchini you should have about 120g, and another 80g from the carrot. *If you are grating in a food processor or thermo cooker, you will need to take the zucchini out, tip out the liquid in the bottom, then squeeze the zucchini before adding it back in to the bowl.

Add all of the wet ingredients into a bowl and stir well to combine (speed 4, 6 secs).

Add in the baking powder, flour and mixed spice. Fold through gently until the flour is just combined. (Speed 3, 10 seconds)

Then add in the chopped nuts or seeds and fold through until evenly combined. (Speed 3, 8-10 seconds) Do not beat the mix.

Pour into a greased/lined loaf tin and place into a preheated 160C oven.

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Sprinkle the top with some choc chips if you like (only half of family do!)

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Bake for approximately 60minutes or until golden, well risen and a skewer comes out clean. Remember that if you are cooking with GF flour or without egg then you won’t get quite the same rise.

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Allow to rest in the tin for about 15 minutes before removing to an airing rack and allowing to cool.

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Slice and serve, warm or cold. A spread of butter on your slice is delicious too.

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Slice before freezing any left overs and wrap so it is airtight.

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Picnic time – this one with Sweet William White Chips

Enjoy 🙂

 

Basic Beef Burgers

Burgers aren’t a very frequent meal in our house. I’m not sure why. Peter and the kids adore them and serving themselves makes for a very happy family meal.

It’s been several weeks in isolation now, and our local supermarket is still very low on many things (totally empty shelves in many aisles) so our grocery shopping and planning has looked a little different. We’ve needed to be a little more creative and adaptive with what we can access – that’s ok by me!!

When my biggest boys asked for Cheeseburgers, we went back to the style of burger patties that we haven’t made in a long time. Very simple, quick to make and not many ingredients. Devoured by everyone. Winning.

  • 500g beef mince
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 medium brown onion
  • 1 tsp fresh chopped thyme (or dried Italian Style herbs)
  • 4 tbsp Nutritional Yeast*
  • 1 clove garlic, finely grated (or 1/2 tsp dried garlic flakes)
  • ground salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp coconut aminos (or soy sauce)
  • Optional: 2 tbsp hemp seeds

*You can add in 2 tbsp of suitable breadcrumbs here if you’d prefer.

Grate the onion and carrot and mix together with all other ingredients, except the beef.

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Break up the beef mince and add to the carrot mix.

Smoosh (yes, that’s the technical term!) the mince in until well combined. You can do this with a spoon, your hands,  or even a short burst in the food processor.

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Using your hands, for the mix into patties and lay on a lined baking tray.

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Place into a preheated 180 oven for about 30 minutes, turning them over after 20 minutes. You can also fry them in  a pan with a little olive oil if you’d prefer.

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Makes 6-8 burger patties (depending on their size)

We like to have this as a ‘serve yourself meal’. Some add only cheese and cucumber, others add EVERYTHING!

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They are delicious in  a bunless burger ….

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Or with your favourite bun – We particularly enjoy them with fresh spelt/hemp buns!!!

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Enjoy 🙂

Moroccan Black Bean Chicken on Seared Eggplant

This is such a simple meal – quick to throw into the slow cooker in the morning and then a few extra minutes to finish in the evening when you get home from work. But it is delicious and filling – I guess ‘hearty’ is a good way to describe it!!

It makes a large batch too which is great for big families and for the freezer 🙂

5 out of 6 thumbs up at my place (number 6 is waaay over tired and went to bed so I’m not sure that I’m counting his vote this time 😉 )

  • 8 chicken thighs, skinless & boneless (approx 1.2kg)
  • 2 tbsp Moroccan spice blend (I make this one)
  • 2 x 400g tin black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 800g tin diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup hot chicken stock (Massel for store bought)
  • 1 rounded tbsp tomato paste
  • Eggplant (aubergine) slices, Approx 200g per person
  • Olive oil
  • Pink salt flakes
  • Grated cheese of choice to top

Place chicken in the bottom of the slow cooker, sprinkle the seasoning over the top.

Add in the black beans and tomatoes.

Stir together the tomato paste and stock before pouring it over the contents of the slow cooker.

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Place lid on slow cooker and cook on low for 7-8 hours.

Lift lid and use a couple of forks to shred the chicken.

Slice eggplants long ways (I cut a medium one into 4 slices) then pat dry of any water.

Spray with a little olive oil and place into a hot frying pan. Cook each side for a couple of minutes until soft and golden.

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Sprinkle eggplant with a little salt, then transfer to a lined baking tray.

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Top the eggplant with the slow cooked chicken mix and a little grated cheese (dairy or plant based). Put under a hot grill for a few minutes until the cheese is melted and golden.

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Serve immediately.

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SO very full after dinner!

This quantity of chicken mix makes about 12 adult serves. If you’re not serving 6 like me, a half batch cooks exactly the same.

We portion out and freeze the left-overs ready for another easy family meal – just need to cook the fresh eggplant each time.

Full disclosure ….. 3 of my 4 kids cried on being told that they were having eggplant  – they had theirs on a little GF pasta instead!!!

P.S. I have been asked about the macros of this recipe – so if you need them: The serve as pictured above is 1/12 of the mix, roughly 1 ladle, with 2 x 100g slices of eggplant and 15g total of Tasty cheese. It is 282 calories, 10g fat, 30g protein and 20g carbs.

P.P.S I haven’t made a vegan version yet, but next time I intend to give it a go and I’ll update. I think I’ll use 2 cans of cannellini beans to replace the chicken and use stock paste or powder for the flavour, but not use the water.

Pear, Pomegranate & Date Overnight Oats

Every year in January our extended family gathers at the beach for breakfast to remember my Grandad on his birthday.

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It’s always a bring and share affair; fruit, savoury muffins, bacon and eggs, pancakes … And I’m pretty well not allowed to attend without bringing some form of fruity overnight oats.

This is the one I took this year.

It’s 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 ground cinnamon
  • 1 large very ripe green pear, grated
  • 1 pomegranate, seeded
  • 6 medjool dates, quarted
  • Small handful of dry roasted almonds (or sunflower seeds), roughly chopped
  • 1 heaped tbsp each pumpkin seeds and hemp seeds
  • Several mint leaves, torn

Place the oats, milk and cinnamon 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 fruit, nuts and seeds and then mint and serve.

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

Serves 8

Enjoy 🙂

Fragrant Stewed Apples (and the best ever apple sauce!)

Such simple comfort food!

We often wind up making this recipe when the apples (or pears!) we’ve bought are really floury or soft but we don’t want them to go to waste. My biggest little one is very excited whenever this recipe appears. He has Oral Allergy Syndrome and reacts quite badly to raw apple, but cooked he can handle it!!

Like most of my recipes I take the simple (lazy?!) option!

As well as taking less time, leaving  the skin on the fruit is terrific for the added fibre and nutrients. Very simple, and you don’t need to add any extra sweeteners.

  • 6 apples (whichever kind you like)
  • peel of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 6 cloves
  • 1/4 cup water

Thermal Cooker Method: Core and slice the apples, place them in the machine, sprinkle over cinnamon and cloves. Then use a peeler to remove the yellow layer only of the lemon. Add the strips to the top of the apples.

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Add in the water and set for 15 minutes, speed 1, ST.

Stove top method: place all of the ingredients into a large sauce pan, cook, stirring frequently, with the lid on in between stirring. Will take about 15-20 minutes on the stove.

If you want a sweeter fruit desert, add in a handful of sultanas during the last few minutes of cooking.

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Place in an air tight container in the fridge and use for up to a week. Remove the peel and cloves before serving.

If you want a most delicious, fragrant, thick apple sauce instead, follow the same steps as above, then remove the lemon rind and either transfer to a blender or set a speed 4 for 15 seconds, scrape down and repeat.

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How can I use stewed apples?

  • Eat them on their own!
  • Mix it with yoghurt for breakfast or dessert
  • Use it as a topping for your soaked overnight oats
  • Add it to your cereal
  • Add in some roasted, crunchy nuts and have it for an afternoon ‘pick-me-up’
  • Serve it as a side to a soft tea cake

And the sauce?

  • Perfect if you’re doing baby food
  • Mix it through yoghurt
  • Use it as an egg or sugar replacer in cakes and baking (check out my Apple, Pumpkin and Oat muffins, or my Maple Cinnamon Weet-bix slice)
  • Use it with you next pork roast or pulled pork burgers.
  • Freeze it in ice cube trays so you can grab it out at short notice
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Delicious with yoghurt for dessert!

Enjoy 🙂

Creamy Mushroom Stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff was my one of my husband’s favourite childhood meals. And I used to make a slow cooked version for him (it is yummy – and you can find it here), but as we’ve been reducing our meat consumption, it has fallen off the menu in the last year or so.

I decided to give a completely non-meat version a go and was very happy with the results! Peter thoroughly enjoyed it – and even took the left overs for lunch the next day … although he still wants the beef version to make an occasional appearance!

  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small brown onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped and crushed
  • 400g button mushrooms – add in different types for a variety in texture if you like
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped thyme and rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp pink salt flakes
  • 1/4 cup flour (spelt or GF)
  • 1 tbsp Nutritional yeast (optional but add for depth of flavour)
  • 2/3 cup plant based milk (I used a high protein soy milk for a really creamy sauce)
  • 1 cup veggie stock (the beef style Masssel stock gives a more authentic Stroganoff flavour, but any veggie stock is fine)
  • Vegetables or noodles to serve

Heat the olive oil in a heavy based pan on the stove.

Add in the olive oil and cook for a few minutes until it starts to become translucent, add in the garlic and allow to cook for another minutes.

Add in the chopped mushrooms, stir will to coat in oil and onion mix then allow to cook for about 5 minutes, until the mushroom soften.

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Mix together the flour, nutritional yeast, herbs, paprika and salt. Then sprinkle this dry mix over the top of the mushrooms and stir well until the mix is well combined.

Add in the hot stock and plant milk, then stir well. Bring the mix to a gentle simmer.

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Simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the liquid is thick and creamy.

If you love noodles (I don’t – sorry!), stir through your cooked and drained pasta here, to coat it with the stroganoff before serving.

I add in some green beans at this point and simmer for a minutes or 2 so that they still have a bit of crunch, and serve them on a bed of carrot noodles  – SO good!

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Serves 3-4

This one isn’t suitable for freezing but it does well as leftovers for lunch the next day!

Enjoy!

Mushroom Meatballs

People are choosing to decrease meat consumption for many reasons; ethical, environmental, health and budgetary.

Whatever your reason, one of the ways you can decrease your consumption is by not always focusing on meat as the centre of your meal. Thinking about it as the side instead.

For me, it’s a juggle between my preference for a largely plant based diet and my husband’s preference to live as a carnivore!

These meatballs were a pretty good compromise and they were very well received.

  • a dozen  medium button mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • half a brown onion, diced
  • 1.5 tbsp garlic olive oil
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 500g beef mince
  • 200g cooked chick peas (about 1/2 a tin)
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos
  • olive oil to cook

Place the garlic oil in a hot frying pan, fry the onion until it begins to soften, then add in the mushrooms.

Fry the mushrooms until they begin to soften and then add the grated carrot.

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Mix well, add in salt and pepper to taste, thyme and the coconut aminos.

Fry, stirring regularly, until the carrot is soft.

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Into your food processors, place the beef mince, the mix from the frying pan and the chick peas.

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Process until well combined and fairly smooth. (Speed 4, 8 seconds, scrape down and repeat)

Place mix into the fridge for at least half an hour but up to a full day – this will help the mix tighten and hold together better when you cook it later on.

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Form teaspoons of the mix into small balls and then place into a frying pan with a couple of tablespoons of oil – don’t have the frying pan searing hot or you’ll burn them before they cook properly. Cook on each side until golden brown and cooked through.

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Next time I make them, I will bake them after spraying with olive oil instead of frying  – I’ll update when I do.

Makes about 24. Serve with your favourite sides – pasta, veggies, salads, or even in a sandwich!

These don’t freeze particularly well (the tend to fall apart a little bit) but they are delicious for lunches over the next couple of days. I had mine with salad and avocado – yum!

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Enjoy

 

Pumpkin pastry parcels

I guess this one isn’t so much as recipe as an idea or a suggestion!

We do our very best to reduce waste from our kitchen.

So many ways to make some little changes that help –

  • We menu plan,
  • Cook in bulk,
  • Freeze leftover for work lunches,
  • Make soup to use up veggies that are past their best
  • All veggie peelings and scraps go to our worms and so back to the garden,
  • Do a swap – we give out overload of veggie scraps to friends with chooks (and sometimes get eggs in return!)

One of the other ways to reduce waste is to get a bit creative when you’re down to the last few bits of veg before shopping day!

I had about 1/4 of a butternut pumpkin, a couple of handfuls of spinach, a small handful of left over roast chicken and the dregs of my walnut container left. Together with a few basic pantry staples – that sounds like weekend lunch!

My husband reckons they are better than a bought pie (and his body feels better afterwards) and he says they’re much nicer than the ones he can buy at a cafe in the city – for an obscene price!

We used: Pumpkin, spinach, walnuts, cooked chicken, puff pastry, Italian herbs, salt pepper, olive oil (garlic infused) and coconut aminos.

But use whatever left overs you have and enjoy and get creative!

*If you don’t eat meat – we often us about half a tin of butter beans or cannellini beans instead – just pop them in the oven together with the pumpkin in the last 10 minutes of roasting time.

*If you don’t eat nuts – pumpkin seeds or hemp seeds work really well here too – use them in exactly the same way as the walnuts.

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Dice the pumpkin into small pieces.

Then roast the pumpkin with some garlic olive oil, salt, pepper and Italian herbs (about 200C for 35-40 mins).

Place pumpkin in a bowl together with the chopped chicken, walnuts and spinach and then add about 2 tsp of coconut aminos. Mix well so that the pumpkin gets a bit mashed up.

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Place mixture into the centre of pastry squares (obviously – use whichever pastry suits your diet)

Fold the pastry over the mix to form a parcel and then use the fork to press the edges of the pastry together.

Bake in a 200C fan forced oven for about 25-30 minutes, or until golden, puffed and flaky.

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Enjoy 🙂

 

Roasted Garlic Mushroom Stacks

Last night we celebrated 17 years together.

Kid free – but we had to do our tax …. ah well, at least we got to have a yummy dinner!!

Peter says that if I had presented him with this kind of meal 15 years ago, he might have run … but he has gradually learned that you can have delicious flavour and texture without meat. So if you’re looking to add a meat free dish to your repertoire – this might be a very simple place to start – and it has 2 enthusiastic thumbs up from the carnivore!

  • Butternut pumpkin, two discs, about an inch thick
  • olive oil to brush
  • 2 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 large portobello mushrooms
  • 1 tsp fresh chopped thyme
  • 2 tsp garlic olive oil
  • 1 tsp vegan butter
  • 1/2 large ripe avocado
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • squeeze lemon juice
  • Mixed salad greens
  • Handful pine nuts OR pumpkin seeds

Peel your pumpkin discs, brush them with olive oil and sprinkle the nutritional yeast over them. Place on a lined baking tray and into a 200C oven. After about 25 minutes, turn the pumpkin over and return to the oven for another 10 minutes.

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While the pumpkin is cooking dry fry your pine nuts/seeds in a hot frying pan until they are golden – be careful… it doesn’t take long! Then set them aside.

Melt together the butter and garlic olive oil and brush it over both sides of the mushrooms. Place these on the baking tray with the pumpkin discs (that have now been in the oven for about 35 minutes). Sprinkle over the thyme and return to the oven for about 15 minutes.

Mash together the avocado with the lemon juice plus the salt and pepper.

Place the salad greens on the plate. Top with the roasted pumpkin, then spread a thick layer of the avocado on to the pumpkin. Top with the mushrooms and then add the pine nuts over the meal.

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When you remove the mushrooms from the baking tray, you’ll see that they have produced a dark juice … don’t waste it – drizzle it over the salad leaves!

 

Sprinkle the top of the mushroom with a little extra thyme and salt.

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Serve immediately.

Enjoy 😊