For those of you who know me, know that I LOVE to cook & entertain!
I rarely eat out or order take away now, purely because I am just cooking all the time.
This has been something that many have been asking me to do for a while now & given that I am currently in between jobs for the first time in 14 years, I thought…why not!
It should be noted that these are not my own personal recipes, this is a blog focussing on fave, go to recipes that I have cooked for many of my family, friends & colleagues over the years.
I may be vegetarian, but even my carnivorous comrades devour my cooking.
150g Jasmine Rice
5g Lemongrass Powder
1 packet Tofu
1 head of Broccoli
2 Celery Stalks
400ml Coconut Milk
30g Peanut Butter
60ml Kecap Manis
20g Roasted Peanuts
250ml (1 cup) water + 2 tbs water
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 tsp Soy Sauce
1 tbs Vegetable Oil
- Cook rice – Rinse the rice until the water runs clear. Put in a small saucepan with 250ml water, 1 tsp lemongrass powder (see cooking tip) & a pinch of salt. Cover & bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low & cook for 12 mins or until tender & the water has absorbed. Turn off the heat & stand, covered, for at least 5 mins.
- Prepare ingredients – Meanwhile, carefully remove the tofu according to the packet instructions & drain on paper towel for 5 mins. Cut the broccoli into florets. Peel & coarsely chop the stem. Peel & thinly slice the carrot. Thinly slice the zucchini. Cut the celery stalks. Cut the tofu into 2cm cubes.
- Make satay sauce – Put in half the coconut milk, peanut butter, 1 tsp soy sauce & 1 1/2 tbs of kecap manis (the remaining kecap manis & coconut milk will not be used in this dish) in a small saucepan & stir over medium heat for 3 mins or until the sauce comes to a simmer & thickens. Remove from the heat, cover & keep warm.
- Cook tofu – Heat 1 tbs vegetable oil in a large deep fry-pan over a med-high heat. Cook the tofu for 3-5 mins, carefully turning, until golden. Remove from the pan.
- Cook vegetables – Add the carrot & broccoli stem & florets to the pan & stir-fry for 2 mins. Add 2 tbs water, the celery & zucchini & cook stirring regularly, for 2 mins or until the vegerables are just tender. Season with salt & pepper. Remove the pan from the heat.
- Get ready to serve – Meanwhile, coarsely chop the peanuts. Divide the rice, vegetables & tofu among bowls. Spoon over the satay sauce & scatter with chopped peanuts to serve.
2 cups self-raising flour
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 ripe bananas
1 cup (200g) Nestle Dark Choc Bits
- Preheat oven to 200C or 180C fan-forced
- Sift flour into a mixing bowl. Stir in sugar. Make a well in the centre of dry ingredients.
- Melt butter in a small saucepan or heat-proof bowl in microwave. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Add milk, eggs & butter in dry ingredients, along with mashed banana. Using a wooden spoon, gently mix ingredients until just combined. Stir in choc bits. Don’t beat the mixture or the muffins will be tough.
- Line a muffin tray with paper cases. Spoon the mixture evenly into the muffin cases. Bake for 20 mins or until firm on top when lightly touched.
- Leave in the tray for 3 mins. Transfer the muffins to a rack to cool.
NB// You can freeze the cooled muffins for up to 1 month. Thaw on the kitchen bench & zap in the microwave for 30 secs before serving.
1/4 cup (60ml) extra-virgin olive oil
2 heads of cauliflower (about 1kg each), halved through stalk, trimmed & cut into 2cm-thick slices
Pomegranate seeds & parsley, to serve
White Bean Puree
1 can (400g) butter beans, drained & rinsed
1/4 cup (60ml) hulled tahini
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp groun cumin
1 cup (120g) blanched almonds, toasted & chopped
2 tomatoes, seeds removed, diced
1 bunch flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1/4 cup (60ml) extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Preheat the oven to 180C. Heat butter & oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat & cook cauliflower in batches for 4 mins each side until golden. Place on an oven tray lined with baking paper, season & roast for 8-10 mins until just tender.
- For bean puree, place ingredients & 1/3 cup (80ml) water in a blender, season & blitz until smooth.
- For the almond tabbouleh, combine the ingredients in a large bowl & season.
- Spread the puree on a platter, top with tabbouleh & cauliflower steaks & scatter with pomegranate seeds & parsley.
1 cup pecans
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup plain flour
1 cup self-raising flour
3 tsp ground ginger
125g cold unsalted butter, chopped
300ml tub light sour cream
1 egg, at room temperature
1 tsp bicarbonate soda
125g punnet of blueberries
300ml tub of thickened cream
1/2 cup thick vanilla custard
- Grease a 20cm round cake pan, line base and side with baking paper, extending 2cm above pan edge.
- Coarsely chop 1/2 cup of pecans.
- Process remaining pecans, sugar, flours and ginger in a food processor until combined. Add butter and process until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Press 2 cups of mixture over vase of pan with back of a spoon.
- Add sour cream, egg and bicarbonate soda to remaining crumb mixture in food processor. Pour into pan. Smooth over top. Sprinkle over half the blueberries and chopped pecans.
- Cook in a moderate oven (180C) for about 55 mins, until a skewer inserted into centre of cake comes out clean. Stand for 5 mins in pan. Invert onto a wire rack to cool.
- Beat cream in a small bowl of electric mixer until soft peaks form. Swirl through custard.
- Serve cake with custard cream and remaining blueberries.
350g green beans, trimmed
1 tbs olive oil
1 small red onion, finely chopped
250g punnet of cherry tomatoes, halved
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 1/2 cups couscous
2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
100g soft feta, crumbled
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbs lemon juice
1 small clove garlic, crushed
Salt & Pepper, to taste
- Boil or microwave beans until tender. Drain. Refresh under cold water. Drain.
- To make dressing, whisk all ingredients in a small jug.
- Heat oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 3 mins, or until soft. Add tomatoes. Cook, stirring, for 1 min. Add stock. Bring to boil. Stir in couscous & zest. Remove from heat. Stand, covered, for 5 mins. Fluff with a fork.
- Transfer couscous mixture to a large bowl. Stir through beans & parsley.
- Sprinkle over feta before serving.
1.3 kg cauliflower, trimmed
2 tsp harissa seasoning
1/4 cup currants
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
- Cut cauliflower into florets. Place in a large bowl with seasoning. Drizzle well with Olive Oil. Toss well to coat. Place on a large oven tray.
- Cook in a hot oven (200C) for about 20-25 mins, or until golden brown and tender.
- Transfer to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with currants & mint
1/3 cup olive oil
2 zucchini, thickly sliced
1 bunch asparagus, sliced diagonally, blanched
200g green beans, trimmed, halved
250g punnet cherry tomatoes
2x packets haloumi, thickly sliced
160g mixed salad leaves
2 tbs red wine vinegar
1 tsp honey
1 tsp dried Italian herbs
Salt & Pepper, to taste
- Heat 1 tbs of the oil in a large, non-stick frying pan over medium to high heat. Add zucchini, asparagus and beans. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 mins, or until lightly browned and almost tender. Add tomatoes. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 mins, or until starting to blister. Remove. Keep warm. Wipe pan clean.
- Heat same oiled pan over a medium to high heat. Add haloumi in two batches. Cook for about 1 min on each side, or until golden brown.
- Meanwhile, to make dressing, whisk all ingredients with remaining oil in a small jug.
- Serve vegetable and haloumi over salad leaves. Drizzle over dressing.
1 iceberg lettuce, chopped
250g punnet cherry tomatoes, halved
2 carrots, peeled into ribbons
1/3 cup finely shredded fresh mint leaves, plus extra leaves, to garnish
2/3 cup natural yoghurt
1/3 cup tomato chutney
2x 400g can chickpeas, drained
1 zuchinni (200g), grained
4 green spring onions, chopped
2 cups packaged dried breadcrumbs
2 tsps garam masala
- To make kofta, process all ingredients in a food processor until finely chopped & combined. Shape 1/4 cups of mixture into slightly flattened ovals.
- Heat enough oil to coat the base of a large, deep frying pan over a medium to high heat. Add kofta in four batches. Cook, turning occasionally, for about 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden brown. Drain an absorbent kitchen paper.
- Combine lettuce with tomatoes, carrots & shredded mint.
- Serve kofta with salad, yoghurt & chutney. Garnish with extra mint leaves.
300g dark chocolate, chopped
375g butter, chopped
3/4 cup self-raising flour
3/4 cup plain flour
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
3/4 cup of cocoa powder
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup buttermilk
320g butter, softened
3 3/4 cups of icing sugar mixture, sifted
1/3 cup cocoa powder, sifted
2 1/2 tbs milk
- Place chocolate & butter in a heatproof, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on MEDIUM (50%) for 1-2 minutes, stirring every 30 secs with a metal spoon, or util melted & smooth. Set aside to cool.
- Preheat over to 180 degrees Celsius/160 degrees Celsius fan-forced. Grease a 5.5cm-deep, 21cm x 30cm (base) baking pan. Line base with baking paper. Sift flours, bicarbonate of soda & cocoa in a large bowl. Add sugar. Stir to combine. Whisk eggs & buttermilk together in a jug. Stir buttermilk mixture, then chocolate, into flour mixture. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 55 mins to 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean (cover with foil if over browning). Cool in pan.
- Make chocolate frosting: Using an electric mixer, beat butter until light & fluffy. Gradually add icing sugar mixture, cocoa and milk, beating constantly until combined. Spread top of cake with frosting, Cut into 24 pieces. Serve.