Monday, August 16, 2010

Pasta Napolitana

hmmmm - what to say about this one? I found it to be blah and lack a massive amount of flavour. It takes approx 1 hour to cook as well, so i admit that i was upset that it didn't turn out very nice. Sooooo, i treated it like a vegetarian spaghetti bolognaise - i added tomato paste, tomato sauce and bbq sauce. I would suggest you adding this if you don't like the result. I estimated the amount i put in (you can NEVER have too much tomato sauce!) So about 1 tablespoon tomato paste and about an even amount of the sauces :)


Ingredients - 
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stick, finely chopped
  • 500g very ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 500g pasta
Method - 
  1. Heat the oil in a heavy based pan. Add the onion, carrot and celery. Cover and cook for 10 minutes over a low heat, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the tomato, parsley, sugar and 1/2 cup water. Bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 45 minutes stirring occasionally. Season if necessary, and add up to 3/4 cup more water (only if need be, add a little at a time and stir)
  3. About 15 minutes before serving cook the pasta in a large pan or boiling water. Drain and return to pan.
  4. Pour the sauce over the pasta and gently toss.

    If adding the sauces as mentioned above, add these about the same time as you start cooking the pasta. Taste test and go from there.

Lentil cottage pie

My husband and I made this one together last night - him doing most of it :) I have never had lentils before and found this to be incredibly yummy. We added a little cheese on top once served (we <3 cheese!). As nice as it was, it was lacking something.....So i added some tomato sauce, and it was perfect! So try before adding anything to it, as you may like it as is. Again, we didn't use the eggplant so i replaced it with 2 carrots :-)


Ingredients - 
  • 4 medium potatoes, chopped coarsely
  • 1/2 cup milk, warmed
  • 4 green onions, chopped finely
  • 1/2 cup french green lentils
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large brown onion, chopped finely
  • 1 medium red capsicum, chopped coarsely
  • 2 medium zucchine, chopped coarsely
  • 1 medium eggplant, chopped coarsely
  • 2 cloves onion, crushed
  • 410g can crushed tomatoes
Method - 
  1. Boil, steam or microwave potato until tender. Drain. Mash potato, adding milk and green onions until smooth.
  2. Meanwhile, cook lentils in a small saucepan of boiling water until tender. Rinse, drain, rinse. (for cooking instructions see the back of the packet. Usually takes about 20 minutes to cook)
  3. Preheat over to 200 degrees Celsius (180 for fan-forced)
  4. Heat oil in medium saucepan. Cook brown onion, capsicum, zucchini, eggplant and garlic. Stirring until vegetables are soft.
  5. Add lentils and undrained tomato and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes or until mixture has thickened.
  6. Spoon mixture into an oiled shallow baking dish (2.5L/10 cup) Spread potato on top.
  7. Bake uncovered for about 30 minutes or until top browns lighty.

Couscous patties

So i have JUST tried this recipe and am very satisfied (no surprise as i LOVE couscous) I only had one Pattie with a bowl of spinach salad for lunch and i am very satisfied. This one has standing time and about 30 mins of prep time, so its not something you can whip together in 10. I also didn't add the eggplant, as we don't like it.        


Ingredients - 
  • 1 cup couscous
  • 4 tablespoons oil
  • 1 eggplant, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed (i used minced garlic)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 red capsicum, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 5 tablespoons natural yoghurt
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • oil, for shallow-frying
Method - 
  1. Add 1 cup of water, and bring to the boil. Add couscous and remove from heat. Cover, and leave for about 3 minutes. Stir, and add a little more water if needed. Fluff with fork, and keep aside.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large fry pan, and fry the eggplant until soft and golden. Place in bowl.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in the pan. Add onion, garlic, cumin and ground coriander. Cook over a medium heat for about 4 minutes or until soft. Add to the bowl.
  4. Heat remaining oil and cook the capsicum for 5 minutes, or until soft. Add to the bowl and stir.
  5. Add the vegetables to the couscous with the fresh coriander, lemon ring, lemon juice, yoghurt and egg. Season to taste and mix well.
  6. Using damp clean hands, divide the mixture into four portions (I got about 5 patties) and form into large patties - they should be about 2cm thick.
  7. Cover and refrigerate for 15mins.
  8. Shallow fry the patties over medium heat for 5 minutes on each side, or until golden.
  9. Drain patties well and serve with extra yoghurt.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Orange Poppy Seed roasted vegies

I very much enjoyed this one! I LOVE roasted vegies, and the dressing on this was superb! I've never really had Brie cheese before though, so i was not a big fan of it in this recipe. Next time i would use another cheese i prefer, like mozzarella, and see how that goes.


Ingredients - 
  • 500g potatoes, halved (your choice to peel or not)
  • 6 parsnips, peeled and quartered lengthways
  • 500g orange sweet potato, cut into large pieces (peeled or not)
  • 335g baby carrots, with stalks*
  • 6 pickling onions, halved*
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 200g Brie cheese, thinly sliced.
Orange Dressing - 
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed**
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
Method - 
  1. Preheat over to moderately hot - 200 degree Celsius, or 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place all the vegetables and the oil in a large deep baking dish.
  2. Toss the vegetables to coat with the oil. Bake for 50 minutes, or until the vegetables are crisp and tender, turning every 15 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle with poppy seeds.
  4. Whisk together all the dressing ingredients
  5. Pour the dressing over the warm vegetables and toss to coat.
  6. Transfer to a large bowl and top with Brie cheese. Serve immediately. 
* I did not use the onions, and used normal carrots, cut into large pieces instead of the baby carrots.
** Instead of the garlic cloves, i used minced garlic.

Noodle Salad

Now this recipe was very interesting! I personally am not a big fan of capsicums, so i picked those out...But definitely yummy overall (and healthy too!) This recipe serves 8 - so half it if need be :)


Ingredients - 
  • 900g Hokkiens noodles
  • 6 spring onions, sliced diagonally
  • 1 large red capsicum, thinly sliced
  • 200g snow peas, sliced
  • 1 carrot, sliced diagonally
  • 60g fresh mint, chopped*
  • 60g fresh coriander, chopped*
  • 100g roasted cashew nuts
Sesame Dressing
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons kecap manis**
  • 3 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce
Method - 
  1. Gently separate the noodles and place in a large bowl, cover with boiling water and leave for 2 minutes. Rinse and drain.
  2. Put the noodles in a large bowl and add capsicum, spring onions, snow peas, carrot, mint and coriander. Toss together well.
  3. To make dressing, whisk together the oils, lime juice, kecap manis and sweet chillie sauce.
  4. Pour dressing over the salad and toss again.
  5. Sprinkle the cashew nuts over the top and serve immediately.
* I used herbs from the jar as i never use the whole bunch of fresh herbs and do not want to waste them.
** This can be found in the sauce isle, near the marinades and soy sauce. If you cannot find it, you can use soy sauce sweetened with a little brown sugar.

Monday, August 9, 2010

now lets begin!


So i thought as a first post, i would share with you THE BEST CAKE recipe i have ever come across - White Chocolate Mud Cake. Its rich, delicious and has so many calories it should be banned! But please note, you do not need a massive slice of this cake to enjoy it. I made it at a party with about 12 people and still had cake left over the next day. Enjoy!


Ingredients - 
  • 250g butter, chopped
  • 510g white chocolate, chopped coarsely
  • 2 cups (440g) caster sugar
  • 1 cup (250ml) milk
  • 1 1/2 cups (225g) plain flour
  • 1/2 cup (75g) self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
White Chocolate Ganache
  • 1/2 cup(125ml) cream
  • 300g white chocolate, chopped coarsely
Method - 
  1. grease deep 20cm round cake pan. Line base and sides with baking paper.
  2. Combine butter, chocolate, sugar and milk in medium saucepan. Stir over low heat, without boiling, until smooth. Transfer mixture to large bowl and cool for 15 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to moderately slow - approx. 160 degrees Celsius.
  4. Whisk sifted flours into mixture, then stir in essence and eggs. Pour mixture into prepared pan.
  5. Bake in oven for 1 hour. Cover pan with foil and bake for a further 45 minutes.
  6. Stand cake in pan for 30 minutes, turn onto wire rack to cool. Spread the top and sides of caked with the white chocolate ganche.
  7. White Chocolate Ganache - Bring cream to a boil in a small saucepan, pour over chocolate in a small bowl, stirring until chocolate melts. Cover, refrigerate, stirring occasionally for about 30 minutes or until spreadable.