Saturday, September 25, 2010

Mexican nachos with red kidney beans, sweet tomatoes, creme fraiche and goat's cheddar

My chiropractor inspired this recipe, she told me vegetarian nachos are her favourite food, well damn I think they are ONE of my favourite foods and when I'm in the states I eat so much real mexican (not tex mex) it makes me feel nourished and is real soul food yum yum. Lot's of protein and crunchy goodness!

I had some left over basmati pilaf that I served with it too and made guacamole

1 can organic kidney beans
1 teaspoon cumin, ground
1 clove garlic. diced
sweet baby tomatoes
organic plain corn chips (gmo free)
creme fraiche to serve I used tatua farms a new band I found at harris farm
goat's cheddar this is from alpine farms and really so good
1 avocado
jalapeno peppers
and chololula hot sauce (arbol and piquin peppers) beautiful glass bottle with a wooden lid and rock a billy style picture of mexican mamma on the front label!


Gently fry garlic, add cumin , sweet baby tomatoes and red kidney beans for 3 minutes, mash (into semi-refried bean situation)
On a tray lay corn chips and add red kidney bean mixture, grate the goat's cheddar and stick under the grill for 3 minutes

Serve with creme fraiche (European cultured cream) and guacamole with a little hot cholula sauce

Serves 2

Friday, September 10, 2010

Lamb meatballs with cumin, parsley pesto and tomato eggplant, capsicum spicy sauce

Ah more meatballs, this time lamb, last night I gave a seminar to a group of girls that train with my friend Sarah from Pure Fitness Manly the title was smart eating for busy people, all the knowledge that I have on food and health at the end of the day needs to be translated into recipes, this is smart eating, cooking 80-90% of your food, consciously shopping, knowing where your ingredients are coming from. Health = food choices, Diet = how you prepare those foods and translate them into recipes.

1kg lamb mince (ask you butcher to do fresh)
1 tablespoon cumin seeds, ground in mortar and pestle (or ground cumin)
sea salt and pepper to season
1 tablespoon parsley pesto (recipe on blog with chicken meatballs)

tomato sauce

1 jar passata
2 cups chicken broth (stock)
1/2 yellow capsicum, cut into fine strips
4 baby eggplants (or 1 medium size eggplant) sliced finely
1/2 rd onion, diced finely
1 red chilli, diced finely
1 tablespoon ghee
1 carrot, diced into cubes
200g pumpkin, cut into cubes


Preheat oven to 10 degrees
Take the lamb mince, cumin seeds, pesto and season in a bowl, mix with your hands very well, then roll into small balls, bake on in over for 20 minutes (should be a little pink on the inside)
On another baking tray place the eggplants and rub extra virgin olive oil into them and season again with sea salt and pepper

In a saucepan gently saute the red onion and chili in ghee, add the capsicum, and then the stock and tomato passata, pump kin and also carrot cook on lo heat for 20 minutes.

When the eggplant is cooked, cut up into small squares and then add to tomato sauce, stir around and serve with meatballs and some basmati or brown rice, these meatballs keep int he freezer really well I always make large batches of the sauce too so I have them ready to go for busy days.

Roasted pumpkin salad with spinach, walnuts, cucumber, coriander

This salad is really easy and super yummy, my family came over for lunch on Father's Day it was a sunny and windy day, but we love the sun and took the opportunity to sit outside in our wonderful garden. This salad was a combination of a few thing's I had left over in the fridge and I used the white bean sumac puree as the salad dressing, whizzing it in the blender with a little water to move the texture from a puree to a dressing.

Baby spinach, washed
200g Japanese pumpkin, diced small
handful fresh walnuts
1 cucumber, skin off and diced into small cubes
Sheep's feta
cherry tomatoes, cut in half


*****see below recipe lamb, quinoa, and white bean sumac dressing


Roast the pumpkin for around 20 minutes with a little olive oil and sea salt and pepper the tomatoes also in the oven and roast for the same time.
Lay all the ingredients onto a beautiful plate and lastly roast the walnuts for ten minutes and sprinkle on top pouring white bean sumac dressing all over and some sheep's feta

Rosh Hashanah

Last Wednesday night was Rosh hashanah - Jewish New Year my very good friends Michal and Shai invited me to celebrate with a bunch of beautiful people some Israeli's some non - Israeli's, it was so wonderful.

Michal is an amazing cook and the dishes were delicious, some Israeli, an Arabic dessert with rosewater, we were very blessed.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Lamb, spinach , quinoa and white bean sumac puree

What a week, my car hit the dust and has been in the mechanic's all week, I caught a cab to get ingredients for a catering gig and kept smiling, (!) I have been on foot, borrowing friend's cars if absolutely necessary and using the opportunity to be indoors and focus on planning workshops and recipe development. Also of course I have been cooking, cooking and dreaming and thinking about food. Sometimes been without the freedom of a car brings you back to the important stuff in life.
This recipe is dedicated to my late father, as it is father's day this Sunday and he is in my mind and heart everyday but especially this week. So at this sad time for me, I pour that (e)motion into my craft; cooking. My father was a coeliac and very passionate about food, good health and nature he inspires me in my work today.
This dish is very delicious and the sumac and white bean puree brings a smooth and salty taste to the dish. Enjoy and hopefully you may make this meal for a father or loved one.

1 lamb back strap (if cooking for 4, do 2)
1 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 bunch spinach, finely chopped
sea salt and pepper to season
extra virgin olive oil

white bean puree
1 can cannelloni beans
1 clove garlic
1 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon sumac (middle eastern berry)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil


Take all the puree ingredients and put into a food processor, buzz until smooth, taste, add salt and check it's balanced, slightly salty, and sour.

Season the lamb back strap with sea salt and pepper and rub oil on either side of the meat, turn the skillet or fry pan up high, then when hot add the lamb, cook for 3 minutes each side then rest for a further 10 minutes
In the same skillet/frypan throw in the finely chopped spinach and cook quickly for a few minutes, slice the lamb thinly it should be pink inside, on a plate lay the spinach first, then the quinoa and sliced lamb, add the puree around the plat so it looks good.

Serves 2

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Raspberry, banana and coconut muffins - gluten and dairy free

I'm exploring gluten free baking and this recipe works really well, I adapted it from an easy gluten free baking book from the states, these muffins are moist and sweet enough. All the flours work really well and the buckwheat brings out a nutty flavour.
Make a batch and give them away to your friends.

1 cup raspberries
1 banana
1 cup brown rice flour
1/4 buckwheat flour
1/4 besan (chickpea flour)
1/4 arrowroot starch
2 eggs
1 cup agave syrup
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup coconut oil


Preheat the oven to 170 degrees
Grease a cupcake or muffin tray with a little butter
In a mixing bowl, combine all flours and the baking powder
Melt the coconut oil
In another bowl, mash the banana, add raspberries and eggs and agave syrup and coconut oil, add the wet and dry ingredients together.
Bake for 20 minutes

Chicken meatballs with parsley pesto and roasted red capsicum tomato jus

Thanks to Michal my dear Israeli friend for always inspiring a meatball makeover.
Yep so easy and such a great way to get protein in a simple form, you can reheat them in a saucepan with sauce, you can steam them to rejuvenate and always have them on hand for last minute to add with some vegetables and perhaps a grain if you desire. The secret ingredient to these meatballs is the preserved lemon and parsley pesto giving them a zingy flavour.

500g organic or certified free range mince chicken ( I use la ionica) ask your butcher to mince fresh
100g green beans, diced finely
1 tablespoon parsley pesto (recipe below)
sea salt and pepper to taste
small amount dried chilli flakes
1/4 preserved lemon, diced finely (pulp and skin)

parsley pesto
1 bunch parsley
handful of raw almonds
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup extra quality olive oil
dash sea salt

red capsicum sauce
1 red capsicum
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1/2 fennel dced finely
1 cup vegetable or chicken stock


Take the mince chicken, parsley pesto, green beans, preserved lemon, and mix together, form into small balls and bake in the oven for 20 minutes
Roast the capsicum for 20 minutes and peel the skin off, saute the fennel, cumin seeds and add the tomatoes and stock, cook for 10 minutes, in a blender place the tomato sauce and red capsicum and blend until mixed
serve the meatballs with red sauce and green vegetables.

Storage hint - you can freeze meatballs and sauce in container and simply reheat and make fresh vegetables to go with it