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You’ve been asking for it, so here goes nothing! Bon Appetite!

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.

Potato & Cauliflower Curry with Pea Raita & Coconut Rice

150g basmati rice

270ml can coconut milk

ginger, coriander

1 red onion

250g chat potatoes

500g cauliflower

5g cumin seeds

5g ground tumeric

5g garam masala

150g green peas

100g Greek-style yoghurt

1 1/2 cups water

1 tbs vegetable oil

Salt & Pepper

Instructions

  1. Cook rice – Rinse the rice until the water runs clear. Put in a small saucepan with coconut milk & 1/2 cup water, cover & bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to low & cook for 12-15 mins until the rice is tender & the water has absorbed. Remove from the heat & stand, covered, for at least 5 mins.
  2. Chop vegetables – Meanwhile, peel & finely grate the ginger. Finely chop the onion. Cut the potatoes into 2cm chunks. Cut the cauliflower into florets.
  3. Cook spices – Heat 1 tbs vegetable oil in a large deep fry-pan over med-high heat. Add 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1 tsp tumeric & 1 tsp garam marsala (the remaining spices won’t be used in this dish) & cook, stirring, for 1 min or until fragrant. Add the onion & half the ginger & cook, stirring, for 5 mins or until the onion has softened.
  4. Cook vegetables – Add potato, cauliflower & 1 cup water, bring to the boil then cover, reduce heat to low & cook for 10 mins or until vegetables are tender. Season with salt & pepper. Meanwhile, bring a small saucepan of water to the boil. Add peas, return to the boil then cook for 2 mins or until tender. Drain & cool half the peas under cold water.
  5. Make pea raita – Meanwhile, finely chop the coriander, including the stems. Put the yoghurt, remaining ginger, half the chopped coriander & the cooled peas in a small bowl & use a stick blender or food processor to blend until slightly chunky. Season with Salt & Pepper.
  6. Get ready to serve – Remove the lid from the pan & cook curry for 2 mins or until the sauce has thickened slightly. Add the remaining peas & cook a further 1 min or until peas are heated through. Stir in half the remaining coriander & season with salt. Divide the coconut rice & curry among bowls. Scatter with the remaining coriander & serve with the pea raita.

Satay Vegetable Bowl with Lemongrass Rice

150g Jasmine Rice

5g Lemongrass Powder

1 packet Tofu

1 head of Broccoli

1 Carrot

1 Zucchini

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

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

 

Choc Chip Banana Muffins

2 cups self-raising flour

1/2 cup caster sugar

1/2 cup milk

2 eggs

60g butter

2 ripe bananas

1 cup (200g) Nestle Dark Choc Bits

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 200C or 180C fan-forced
  2. Sift flour into a mixing bowl. Stir in sugar. Make a well in the centre of dry ingredients.
  3. Melt butter in a small saucepan or heat-proof bowl in microwave. Set aside to cool slightly.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

Cauliflower Steaks, White Bean Puree and Almond Tabbouleh

Cauliflower Steaks

100g butter

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

Almond tabbouleh

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

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. For bean puree, place ingredients & 1/3 cup (80ml) water in a blender, season & blitz until smooth.
  3. For the almond tabbouleh, combine the ingredients in a large bowl & season.
  4. Spread the puree on a platter, top with tabbouleh & cauliflower steaks & scatter with pomegranate seeds & parsley.

Blueberry Pecan Cake with Custard Cream

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

Instructions

  1. Grease a 20cm round cake pan, line base and side with baking paper, extending 2cm above pan edge.
  2. Coarsely chop 1/2 cup of pecans.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Beat cream in a small bowl of electric mixer until soft peaks form. Swirl through custard.
  7. Serve cake with custard cream and remaining blueberries.

Green Bean & Tomato Couscous with Feta

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

Dressing

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tbs lemon juice

1 small clove garlic, crushed

Salt & Pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Boil or microwave beans until tender. Drain. Refresh under cold water. Drain.
  2. To make dressing, whisk all ingredients in a small jug.
  3. 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.
  4. Transfer couscous mixture to a large bowl. Stir through beans & parsley.
  5. Sprinkle over feta before serving.

Roasted Middle Eastern Cauliflower

1.3 kg cauliflower, trimmed

2 tsp harissa seasoning

1/4 cup currants

1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. Cook in a hot oven (200C) for about 20-25 mins, or until golden brown and tender.
  3. Transfer to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with currants & mint

Vegetable & Haloumi Salad

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

Dressing

2 tbs red wine vinegar

1 tsp honey

1 tsp dried Italian herbs

Salt & Pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Meanwhile, to make dressing, whisk all ingredients with remaining oil in a small jug.
  4. Serve vegetable and haloumi over salad leaves. Drizzle over dressing.

 

 

Chickpea Kofta with Minted Salad

Vegetable oil

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

Kofta

2x 400g can chickpeas, drained

1 zuchinni (200g), grained

4 green spring onions, chopped

2 cups packaged dried breadcrumbs

2 eggs

2 tsps garam masala

Instructions

  1. To make kofta, process all ingredients in a food processor until finely chopped & combined. Shape 1/4 cups of mixture into slightly flattened ovals.
  2. 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.
  3. Combine lettuce with tomatoes, carrots & shredded mint.
  4. Serve kofta with salad, yoghurt & chutney. Garnish with extra mint leaves.

 

Chocolate brownie slab cake

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

4 eggs

1 cup buttermilk

Chocolate Frosting

320g butter, softened

3 3/4 cups of icing sugar mixture, sifted

1/3 cup cocoa powder, sifted

2 1/2 tbs milk

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.