Sunday, June 21, 2015

Potato-topped, white bean pie

I'm sorry, there simply is no way to photograph this and make it look pretty....
Then again, often the sloppy-messy dinners are the most delicious!

We definitely think this is one of those dinners!!! :-)
This eventuated when a lentil shepherd's pie was on the cards, but no tins of lentils were in the pantry. Alas, potato-topped white bean pie came about :-)
I haven't given this recipe the usual make, try, try again process. However, it's quite a simple dish that is versatile and you basically can't go wrong!


POTATO-TOPPED WHITE BEAN PIE

You'll need:
1 onion

3 cloves garlic
2 stalks celery
1 zucchini
2 carrots
1 green capsicum
120g fresh spinach leaves
2 tins white beans
1/2 large jar of tomato passata
1 Tablespoon mixed Italian herbs

For the potato topping:
6 medium sized potatoes
1/2 cup motherless milk of choice
2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/2 Tablespoon dried onion flakes
1 teaspoon dried chives

Chop the potatoes into little pieces and place in a microwave safe dish and cover with water. Heat in the microwave for 10 minutes (or until totally soft).
Combine all the vegetables except for the spinach in a food processor and pulse a few times until desired size. 

Put chopped veggies into a frying pan and dry-fry until then begin to soften.
Add the drained white beans, the passata, spinach and herbs.
Stir frequently until warmed through and spinach has wilted.
Transfer to a large lasagne size baking dish and press down evenly.

Drain the potatoes and mash with the other ingredients needed for the topping.
Spread the potatoes over the top of the bean/veggie mix.

Place in a preheated 180C oven for 30minutes until lightly browned on top.
Serve :-)

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Cheesy Baked Cauli & Capsicum

I am totally in love with these mini capsicums that are readily available in the grocery store lately.
There's something about the mixture of the colours and their little cone shapes that I just find incredibly appealing!

Here's our families favourite way of using them lately. This makes a great side dish. 
The capsicums make little cups that hold the cheese sauce - just delicious :-)

CHEESY BAKED CAULI & CAPSICUM

You'll need:
250g tub of mini capsicums
1/2 head cauliflower
1/4 cup nutritional yeast 
1 Tablespoon cornflour
2 teaspoons onion flakes
1/2 teaspoon each sage, garlic powder, paprika
1/2 cup motherless milk of choice
1/4 cup water

Half the capsicums and scrape out the seeds. Place in a baking dish along with the cauliflower broken into florets. 

In a microwavable measuring jug, combine the remaining ingredients and stir with a fork until dissolved. 
Microwave for 1 minute until the mixture starts to thicken.

Pour over the vegetables.

Place in a preheated 200C oven for 40 minutes until veggies have softened and lightly browned.


The top will be crisp and underneath will be filled with oozing-gooey-cheesy sauce :-)



Question of the day:
Are mini capsicums available in your area?
Do you use them as mini scoops for anything?

Friday, May 22, 2015

Blueberry Breakfast Muffins

These are a delicious, sugar fee, oil-free, yet moist muffin. They are easy to make and we often prepare them the day before if we will be staying somewhere overnight and want a quick and easy breakfast. My husband always said he didn't like blueberry muffins..... now he LOVES them!

BLUEBERRY BREAKFAST MUFFINS
To make 4 jumbo muffins you'll need:
1 cup oats
1 cup wholemeal spelt flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup ground flax seeds
1 cup dates (soaked in boiling water)
1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup motherless milk of choice
Optional extras:
2 Tablespoons chocolate chips
small handful of walnuts

In a large mixing bowl combine the oats, flour, baking powder, flax seeds and cinnamon. 
Place the drained dates, milk, and vanilla in a blender and blend til smooth.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir til combined. Add the blueberries and fold through the batter gently.
Pour into a lined or lightly sprayed jumbo muffin tin.
Top with crumbled walnuts if desired.
Place in a preheated 180C oven for 25-30 muffins until cooked through.
 
ENJOY! :-)

Question of the day:
What's your favourite muffin flavour?

Friday, April 17, 2015

Refried Bean Dip with Corn Crisps

Brace yourself --> I bring you fabulous news!!!
It is possible to make delicious Corn Chips that haven't been deep fried!

Here's how:

Layer half a can of creamed corn onto a lined dehydrator tray.
(You can use as many cans and trays as you like.)

Dehydrate for 8-10 hours, time will vary depending on your dehydrator. You can tell when it is done as the colour will have changed completely and the corn will be crisp.
Note: You can stir into the corn some paprika or taco flavoured spices if you desire.


 Gently pull the lining away from the corn crisps, being careful not to split them.

Using a large knife, slice into pieces (or you can do it with your hands if you'd rather!).

Serve! 
Yes, it's really that simple!  
The hardest part is waiting for the dehydrator whilst a delicious aroma fills your home!

Now for a perfectly paired dip.


Mix a can of re-fried beans with 1/4 cup diced tomatoes (either canned or freshly chopped). Stir until the re-fried beans are now more spreadable.
Pour bean mix into a serving container.
Chop 1/2 red capsicum into little pieces, sprinkle over the top of the dip along with 1/2 can drained corn kernels and 1 chopped spring onion. You can put a dollop of salsa in the middle if you like for presentation purposes.

 


Would you like an invite to our home for pre-dinner snacks???

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

In My Kitchen - April

For those of you who follow my blog, you may have noticed I have taken a bit of a break lately.
We have lots going on for us so I just needed some down time, and that meant time away from the computer.
I have plenty of recipes lined up to share in the coming weeks, but to get back into things I thought it would be a good idea to share what has been happening In My Kitchen so far this year. 


When life gets busy we find that we fall back onto easy meals. Well, to be perfectly honest the large majority of what we eat is easy, basic meals. But in busy times that means relying on some family favourites.
From Top left:
Red Lentil and Spinach Sauce with roasted potatoes and green beans, Veggie Pizza, mashed potatoes with steamed veggies and thick Mushroom Gravy with spinach added, Salad with Potato Waffles and Lentil Burgers, Red Lentil and Spinach Loaf with corn and potatoes, Rice & Veggie Bake, Eggplant Bean Sauce over roasted potatoes with corn, Lentil Meatballs with potatoes in tomato sauce and steamed veggies. 

Easy doesn't mean that dessert is forgotten! 
We often have banana ice-cream, or mini "puddings" that are made with just fruit, dates, applesauce and oats. I often throw together things like this without following a recipe. However when I made these raisin sweetened brownies my family gave me strict instructions to write down exactly what I had done and make them again and again! Recipe coming soon so stay tuned!

Below is a new family favourite that we are working out how to tweak it to be just right. The problem is, I have been slack with writing down exactly what I do, so no 2 batches ever end up the same!
But this is so good that my husband has made up a little song to go with it!
 
I love seeing all the colours as we are cooking our meals :-)
They are just so inviting!


I have been putting our pressure cooker to good use and making large batches of legumes. 
Sometimes though...... it all goes horribly wrong! 
I find that I am still getting used to the exact number of 'minutes' that I should set the cooker to, in order to get perfect legumes. This batch of fava beans that I put on were clearly overdone and they had completely crumbled into a big blob! So instead of being able to use them in a ratatouille like I had planned, I ended up doing some experimenting! I must admit that it brings me much joy to just experiment in my kitchen and not have to bother with precise measurements!
I made several dips and a batch of mini pita breads to go with them. I took this into work for a meeting and everyone really loved both the dip and the pita bread.
These stuffed foldovers were loved by my family too. They were filled with the gone-wrong fava beans, spinach, carrots, peas and corn. Of course, baked til golden brown (not shown).


Talking about baking, there is rarely a week that goes past without our oven producing wonderful aromas.
We made these animal cookies for a "vegan teddy bears picnic" we went to. They had a wonderful texture, quite true to 'cookies' even without the use of vegan butter replacements. I intend to master this creation and blog the recipe soon. However, since they do contain nuts, it is a rare occasion that we eat nuts at home so it may be a while before a final recipe eventuates! 
The "kale" cake shown is the recipe from the new Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook, which I finally caved in and purchased! 
Also shown below is a pile of super yummy oat pancakes which we devoured for breakfast one morning. And one of my daughter's favourite after school snacks recently - apple nachos. Sliced apples, piled with goji berries, homemade chocolate sauce, coconut and a sprinkling of walnuts. 

Here's a glimpse of a few of her lunches lately:
More colourful items. She is really enjoying hommus and salad wraps/rolls at the moment. Pictured is also pita bread, banana loaf, fruit wrap and strawberries.  


I bought a new gadget recently - an air-fryer! I am in love with it! Not only does it NOT totally heat the whole house up (like the oven does) but it cooks my potato chips in less than half the time. It is also great for warming up leftovers for school lunchboxes and also makes wonderful crumbed mushrooms (even if the photo looks wrong, I promise you they were delicious! I used oyster mushrooms on this occasion).

Other new items in our kitchen:
PB2 (Powdered Peanut Butter)- Yes, yes I know - processed food! But alas, I just HAD to try this when I saw it in our health food store recently. And with much less fat than peanut butter it ticks the box for an occasional treat.
I bought these curry paste's to try and they are the only oil-free ones I could find. I have only opened the red one so far and it was HOT HOT HOT! So the other three-quarters of the container is still in the fridge!
These relatively new "flats" - available in Woolies and other stores, are made from veggies or fruit with the addition of seeds and/or nuts. They are dehydrated to become crispy. They are quite tasty. Again, not something I would purchase regularly but none the less a great product for when those occasions happen that we need something to snack on and are caught out unprepared (I'm thinking those days when you end up caught back at work for 2 hours!).

Also shown are these White Corn Tortillas. I pictured these because I have been asked about wraps that are oil-free. These are the only ones that I have had any luck being able to find regularly. To be honest, they don't fold real well and are best used in cooked items such as Mexican Pie.

And to finish off this post - here a few items "out" of my kitchen.
Enjoying a delicious Bean & Potato Salad under the Harbour Bridge just before day-light saving ended.

And an amazing oil-free vegan pizza that was made especially for me at a friends birthday party! I felt so blessed! :-)
It's nice to stop and enjoy the little blessings when life gets busy and the weight of everyday things are getting us down!

Question of the day:
What is something that you can stop and be thankful for lately?

Tell us what's been going on in your kitchen this month! And don't forget to add your link at Fig Jam & Lime Cordial. Thanks for hosting Celia! :-)

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Summer breakfast ideas

I am a breakfast preson :-)
I just LOVE having breakfast - however, I must admit that I find I get bored with breakfast easily.

Here's 2 recipes that I've been loving over summer when it's too hot for having warm oats..... and I'm not bored with them!

Blueberry Buckwheat Breakfast

3/4 cup buckwheat

1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1 medjool date, pitted
splash of motherless milk
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds

Place the buckwheat in a bowl of water and soak overnight.
In the morning drain the buckwheat and place in a blender with the blueberries, date and motherless milk. Pulse a few times until the mixture is combined and broken down but not completely smooth.
Serve in a bowl with the flax. 
  So creamy and delicious :-)
Anything purple is appealing to me!




Banana Soaked Mango Oats

1 banana
1 teaspoon coconut essence
3/4 cup rolled oats
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
1 mango

Place the banana and coconut essence in a blender with just enough cold water to cover it. Blend til smooth.
Place the oats and flax in a bowl and pour over the banana mixture. 
Place in the fridge for 10-15 minutes. 
The mixture will thicken and the oats will fluff up slightly.
Serve with a sliced mango.
Tropical flavours for breakfast :-)
So refreshing. 
 

Question of the day:
Do you prefer something different for breakfast in summer than winter?

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Easy Choc-Mint Biscuits

Happy Australia Day to all my Aussie readers.
I hope you are enjoying your long weekend. 

If you haven't found something amazing to make tomorrow then let me suggest these!
Lots of people think of Tim Tam's and Mint Slice as real 'Aussie' biscuits.
And yes, there are vegan versions available in the supermarket - but hey, why not make your own??!!

I don't pretend these are healthy, but then again, we're all allowed a treat occasionally.


EASY CHOC-MINT BISCUITS

You'll need:
Arnotts nice biscuits
Kingland Soy cream cheese
Your Inspiration at Home choc-mint powder (or alternatively cocoa powder with a drop of peppermint essence)
Lindt 70% dark chocolate block

Remove the creamcheese from the fridge and allow to soften for 10 minutes. Mix in the choc-mint powder (or cocoa and mint essence).
Spread the mixture over the top of nice biscuits. 
Melt the dark chocolate in a microwave on 50% power until soft and runny. Drizzle over the biscuits. 
Allow to cool before serving so the chocolate can set. 
You can keep these in the fridge to firm up for about half an hour. Any longer and the biscuits will go soggy!

Enjoy! :-)