Spicy peanut dressing

One of my latest easy suppers is to make a deconstructed salad plate with some grilled chicken and/or meat and I am always looking for interesting additions for the adult members of our family.

This weekend we discovered an awesome zero waste food shop which had a diy peanut butter machine which the kids of course had to test out even though neither of them eat peanut butter! However the delicious fresh peanut butter that we ended up with inspired me to make a spicy peanut dressing to go with our deconstructed salad.

Ingredients

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

1/ a clove of garlics grated or crushed

2 teaspoons of soy sauce

2 teaspoons of rice wine vinegar or fresh lime juice

2-3 teaspoons of sesame oil

2 heaped tablespoons of natural peanut butter

As much chilli or sriracha sauce as you like/don’t like

2 tablespoons of boiling water

Mix all ingredients except the boiling water together and taste it to make sure it’s to your liking and if not add more soy/chilli/garlic/ginger/lime.

Once you are happy add the boiling water and whisk it in, you can add more if you want a runnier dressing.

We had this with grilled chicken, shredded carrot, cucumber, iceberg lettuce, avocado and rice noodles but you can have it with pretty much anything you like.

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Tuna Ceviche/Tartare

I absolutely love raw fish, as sashimi or ceviche or in a poke bowl. Whenever there is fresh tuna at my local fish shop I have to buy it and always make this dish. This is a made up cross between a tartare and a ceviche, it makes a great casual starter on something crunchy like a corn or tortilla chip or a crouton.

Ingredients

(This makes enough for 4-6 as a starter or 2 hungry people as a main dish )

3-400g piece of fresh tuna (from a fishmongers)

Half a small red onion chopped as finely as possible,

1 avocado peeled and diced

2 large tomatoes deseeded and diced

Small bunch of coriander washed and finely chopped.

Dressing

Juice of 2 limes

1 tablespoon Olive oil

Small clove of garlic crushed or finely grated

A jalapeƱo or large red chili deseeded and finely chopped (optional)

A teaspoon of sugar

Salt and pepper to taste.

1. In a jam jar mix up all the dressing ingredients and shake well, taste and adjust seasoning – you want a salty sour sweet balance.

2. Mix all the other ingredients together in a bowl

3. Add the dressing and mix well, the Tuna should be starting to ‘cook’ slightly from the acid of the limes.

4. Cover the bowl and put in the fridge until ready to serve up

5. To serve put a teaspoon of the mixture onto a cracker, crouton or corn chip.

#raw #tunaceviche #salad #summer #avocado #healthy

Smashed Avo

This is not really a recipe but it’s so pretty and quick to make I thought it was worth a post.

I made it for myself and my husband this morning and it took less than five minutes.

Here in Australia we are blessed with amazing produce all year round but right now tomatoes and avocados are in mint condition and super delicious. So here is my quick smashed Avo recipes

Ingredients and method

2 slices of good quality bread (I used Day old sourdough rye).

1 small ripe avocado

A walnut sized piece of soft goats cheese or feta if you like if

Half a line

Salt and pepper

A large ripe tomato. (Optional but delicious)

1. Put bread in the toaster.

2. In a bowl mash avocado, goats cheese, lime and seasoning.

3. Spread it on the toast.

4. Slice tomato thinly and put on top with some black pepper if that’s your thing.

#avocado #goatscheese #breakfast #quickandhealthy #australian #buyaustralian #tomato

Chocolate mousse x 2

Who doesn’t love chocolate mousse (apart from my six year old but he is a bit eccentric when it comes to eating)? I have tried a few recipes with mixed results and have come up with these two which are always a hit when I make them. Neither of them contain egg and one is dairy free/vegan depending on what chocolate you use.

The method for making them is largely the same but I’ll give them both separately.

Chocolate mousse #1

Ingredients

400 ml carton of thickened or whipping cream

125g of good quality dark chocolate

Pinch of salt flakes (optional)

1. Put all the chocolate in a heat proof bowl over simmering water with a sloop of cream (50mls if we are being specific) so they it melts. Give it a stir to mix it with the cream to form a sort of ganache and take off the heat.

2. Whip the remaining cream until it forms soft peaks.

3. Once the chocolate mixture is cool enough to touch fold it gently into the cream until it’s mixed through.

4. Spoon straight into glasses or coffee cups and put in the fridge.

5. you can decorate appropriately if so inclined and depending on the audience!

Chocolate Mousse #2

Ingredients

400 ml tin of coconut cream (refrigerated overnight or for as long as possible)

125g dark chocolate

Pinch of salt flakes

1. Open the coconut cream and scrape as much of the solid part into a mixing bowl as you can and add a small amount of the liquid part too.

2. In a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water melt the chocolate with about 75mls of the liquid from the coconut cream and the salt, mix as if melts and once it’s melted and combined take off the heat.

3. In the mixing bowl, whisk the coconut cream adding more liquid if needed. It won’t increase as much in volume as normal cream but will fluff up a bit.

4. Once coconut cream is whipped up fold in the chocolate mixture and mix well.

5. Spoon into small cups or glasses ( you will need much less of this than the dairy mousse as it’s much richer) and put in the fridge

6. serve this with berries or if they are available some fresh cherries

#chocolate #vegan #dairyfree #dessert #pudding #coconut #chocolatemousse #twoingredients

Beetroot, quinoa and beetroot salad

It took me a while to get to grips with quinoa, the smell when it cooks, the texture and what to do with it. Now I have got past those issues, it’s become a staple item in my cupboard.

Having overseas visitors for over a month who need feeding every night, I found myself running out of cooking ideas. A trip to the supermarket and a packet of ready cooked vacum packed beetroot, gave me the idea for this dish. This serves 4-6 with a green salad and some grilled chicken or fish or another veg dish.

Ingredients

1 cup of quinoa

1 250g packet of cooked beetroot or 3 medium to large beetroot cooked yourself (just peel and boil)

50-75 g of goats cheese (I use the Meredith one in olive oil and use 2-3 chunks) but any old soft goats cheese will do – even feta or grilled halloumi work for this.

A handful of sunflower and or pumpkin seeds

A handful of rocket, watercress or spinach

Any combination of mint/parsley or chives depending on what you have available (optional)

Dressing:

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (or horseradish if you are a fan)

Juice of a lemon

2 tablespoons of olive oil

Teaspoon of honey or maple syrup

Salt and pepper.

Method

1. Cook the quinoa, 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups cold water. Simmer until water mostly absorbed then leave with lid on until you are ready to make the salad.

2. In a small frying pan toast the seeds with a pinch of salt until they are golden and the pumpkin seeds start to pop.

3.mix the dressing ingredients together in a jar or bowl.

4. Chop the beetroot into 2cm chunks

5. If using finely chop the herbs

6. In a serving bowl mix all the ingredients except the dressing and goats cheese together adding the beetroot last.

7. When you are ready to eat crumble the goats cheese over the top and drizzle with the dressing.

The leftovers are great for a lunch box as it keeps well in the fridge.

#salad #beetroot #vegetarian #quinoa #lunch #dinner #quick and easy

Leftovers to luxe….

One of my resolutions for 2019 was to minimise food waste. I am frequently guilty of leaving little bowls of leftovers forgotten in the fridge and then throwing them away. Knowing what to do with leftovers can sometimes be challenging if they don’t lend themselves to be eaten as they are. I had something of a success this weekend when I turned the remains of the baked salmon with pesto, peas (recipe in an earlier post) and zucchini into a rather delicious brunch frittata with the addition of three eggs, a rather sad zucchini, a few spring onions and some basil from the garden.

I don’t have a recipe for this as such but I did fry the zucchini from the fridge with the spring onions first and added the salmon and veg leftovers to warm them throwing before cracking the whisked eggs over the top.

Other leftovers that would lend themselves to this would be cold cooked potatoes, roast or steamed veggies, so cheese that’s gone a bit hard, even some leftover chicken or even sausages. Adding extra flavours, for example, cold potatoes and peppers would go well with anchovies or chorizo/salami , or some garlic and parsley.

Lamb meatballs

These are really simple, tasty and most children will happily eat them up. They work well as part of a middle eastern style mezze plate or in a flatbread wrap with tsatsiki and salad. You can spice them up a bit more if you are so inclined.

Ingredients

A kilo of lean lamb mince (ask the butcher to make it if you have one nearby)

3-4 cloves of garlic minced

1-2 teaspoons of smoked paprika

2 tablespoons of chopped rosemary (oregano and Thyme also work well)

Tablespoon of finely chopped parsley

A teaspoon of salt

Method

Put all the ingredients in a bowl and with clean hands (I use disposable gloves). And mix really well. You can leave this in the fridge to marinate for a bit if you have time.

Roll the mixture into balls a bit smaller than a ping pong ball.

Heat a splash of oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and cook the meatballs in batches Until brown on the outside.

I like them slightly pink in the middle but if you don’t pop them in a foil covered dish in a 180 degree oven for 10 minutes.

No photo today as they all got gobbled up!

You can mix up the herbs and ramp up the spice factor with these, oregano, coriander, mint, chilli, cumin or Harissa all work well..