Spring Vegetable Pasta

Garden Green Pasta

Green Pesto Pasta

This delicious pasta dish will ensure you and your family are getting your daily dose of greens! Ready in a flash, and with a chilli pop that will keep you warm in winter, it’s the perfect weeknight main meal or side to grilled meat.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of Green Vegetables – I used McCain Garden Greens – cooked as per packet instructions
  • ¼ cup of olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic – halved and finely sliced
  • 1 long red chilli – halved, seeds and membrane removed, and finely sliced
  • The juice of 1 lemon
  • 500g of Orecchiette pasta
  • 1/3 cup of green basil pesto
  • 100g of rocket
  • Shaved parmesan to serve
  • Salt and pepper to season

Spring Vegetable Pasta

Method

  1. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water, to al dente, and drain, reserving ½ cup of pasta water.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add sliced garlic and chilli and cook for 2 minutes, stirring. Add pesto, pasta, Green Vegetables, lemon juice and season to taste. Mix well and cook for 2 minutes. Add reserved pasta water sparingly to lubricate the pasta and create a dry sauce.
  3. Divide rocket evenly amongst bowls, top with Garden Green Pasta and serve topped with shaved Parmesan.

Enjoy!

Pea and Avocado Gazpacho

Pea and Avocado Gazpacho

This is honestly one of the easiest dishes I have ever made – measure, blend and top. It is delicious, in fact I surprised myself with how good it tasted, and it can be ready in a flash. The vibrant green of the gazpacho against the red of the prawns gives this dish instant visual appeal which means it’s a sure thing for summer get together’s, parties or Christmas do’s.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of McCain Frozen Peas – thawed
  • 3 cloves of garlic – crushed
  • 3 cups of vegetable stock
  • 1 ripe avocado – mashed
  • 2 tbs of lemon juice
  • ½ cup of thickened cream
  • 500g cooked peeled prawns
  • 1 red chilli – halved, seeds removed and finely sliced
  • ½ cup of pea shoots
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • ½ cup of McCain Frozen Peas – thawed, to serve
  • Salt and pepper – to taste
  • Oil olive – to serve, if desired.

Pea and Avocado Gazpacho Progress

Method

  1. Place McCain Frozen peas, garlic, vegetable stock, avocado and lemon juice in a large bowl and add in batches to a blender blitzing until smooth.
  2. Stir through the thickened cream and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Place the prawns, chilli, lime and pea shoots in a small bowl and toss to coat.
  4. Divide the gazpacho evenly among bowls, top with prawn mix, scatter with remaining McCain Frozen Peas and drizzle with olive oil, if desired.  Serve.

Pea and Avocado Gazpacho

15 Minute Monday – Creamy Mushroom Sauce

Creamy Mushroom Sauce

I love mushrooms, I can’t get enough of them – breakfast, lunch or dinner – they are a welcome inclusion to any meal. I especially love mushroom sauce/gravy, the pub kind is particularly delicious atop a perfectly cooked steak. Without heading out the pub every time I wanted this and to cut out unneeded  additives

Ingredients

  • 2 tbs of olive oil
  • 1 tsp of crushed garlic
  • 1 cup of thinly sliced brown mushrooms
  • 150ml of lite thickened cream – you can add more if you like it extra saucy
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Heat olive oil in a small frying pan over a medium heat, add garlic and stir until fragrant.
  2. Add mushrooms and stir to coat and allow to brown slightly, approx. 2 minutes. Pop a lid on the pan and allow the mushrooms to soften and appear golden, approximately 4 minutes, stirring to ensure they don’t burn or stick.
  3. Remove lid, season with salt and pepper, add cream and stir until the cream reduces slightly or you can’t resist eating it!.

Best served atop a medium-rare steak, steamed greens and my delicious white bean and chickpea ‘mash’.

Enjoy xx

 

15 Minute Monday – White Bean and Chickpea Mash

White Bean and Chickpea Mash

White bean and chickpea ‘mash’ is the perfect accompaniment to steak and veggies or as a side for Christmas roasts. This garlicky, lemony, ultra-fabulous, utterly addictive bean mash is a wonderful substitute for those looking to kick potatoes.

Ingredients

  • 1 can of white beans – drained
  • 1 can of chickpeas – drained
  • 1 tsp of dried rosemary
  • 1 tbs of crushed garlic
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of lite thickened cream
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Heat olive oil in a small pot over a medium heat. Add garlic and rosemary and cook, stirring until fragrant.
  2. Add white beans, chickpeas and lemon juice to the pan and allow to cook, stirring for 3-5 minutes or until warmed through.
  3. Add cream to the beans and use a potato masher or fork to roughly mash/squish the beans.
  4. Season with salt and pepper and serve!

Enjoy xx

Spice Roasted Potato Wedges

15 Minute Monday – Spice Roasted Red Skin Wedges

Spice Roasted Red Skin Wedges

These Spice Roasted Red Skin Wedges as simple to make, quick to cook and delicious to eat! They are the perfect party platter to whip up for Christmas entertaining or  to take to a BBQ.

Ingredients

  • 1 packet McCain’s Red Skin Wedges
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp ground onion
  • 1 tsp dried ground garlic
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp Moroccan spice mix
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Spray canola oil
  • 1/2 bunch of fresh coriander – roots removed
  • 1 long red chilli
  • 1/3 cup of pine nuts
  • 200g plain Greek yoghurt
  • 2 lemons to serve – cut into cheeks

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 230°C degrees (210°C fan-forced) and line to baking trays with non-stick baking paper.
  2. Evenly divide McCain’s Red Skin Wedges among the two trays and spray with canola oil. In a small bowl combine all dried herbs and salt, mix to combine. Scatter herb mix evenly over the wedges and turn to coat. Bake for ten minutes or until golden brown.

Spice Roasted Red Skin Wedges - Progress 1

  1. Meanwhile, halve the chilli lengthways and remove seeds and membrane. Finely slice and set aside.  Heat a small pan over a medium heat and add pine nuts, cook stirring until golden.

Spice Roasted Red Skin Wedges - Progress 2

  1. Remove wedges from oven and place onto a serving platter. Top with fresh coriander sprigs, toasted pine nuts, yoghurt dollops and sliced chilli. Serve with lemon cheeks.

Enjoy xx

Chilli and Garlic Kale Chips

Chilli and Garlic Kale Chips

Fancy an afternoon snack? Try these spicy kale chips – they deliver all the flavour with none of the guilt.

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch of curly kale – about 250g
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tsp of sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp of dried, ground garlic
  • 1 tsp of dried, ground onion
  • 1 tsp of moroccan spice mix
  • 1/2 tsp of dried red chilli flakes
  • Freshly ground sea salt, to serve

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C and line 2 large baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Trim centre stems from kale and tear into small bite size pieces.
  3. Combine olive oil and spices in a large bowl. Add kale leaves and toss to coat in oil mixture. Spread kale out in a single layer on prepared trays.
  4. Bake for 12-15 minutes, swapping trays half way through cooking time, or until leaves are crisp.
  5. Serve sprinkled with sea salt.

Enjoy!

Risoni and Pumpkin Salad

Risoni and Pumpkin Salad

I recently attended a bring-a-dish dinner party to farewell a friend from town who happens to be a vegetarian. I was on salad duties and decided to whip up a Pumpkin and Risoni salad which is a personal favourite of mine. It’s light, fresh and delicious. This dish is perfect for a dinner party, BBQ or to be served with grilled fish or chicken. The lemon sings through and compliments the pepperiness of the rocket and the acidic bite from the tomatoes; while the creamy pumpkin and risoni balance the dish.

Ingredients

  • 500g risoni
  • 700g butternut pumpkin – peeled and diced into 1cm cubes
  • 1 punnet of cherry tomatoes – quartered
  • 200g baby rocket
  • 1 large lemon
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • Freshly ground sea salt and black pepper

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees and a line a large baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Par-cook pumpkin in a lare saucepan of boiling water, drain and place on a lined baking tray.
  3. Coat lightly with olive oil, salt and pepper, place in the middle of the oven and bake 20-30 minutes or until golden.
  4. Meanwhile, cook risoni in a large saucepan of salted boiling water for 8 minutes or until cooked through as per packet instructions. Drain and cool.
  5. Using a peeler, peel the rind from the lemon and finely slice. Juice the lemon and reserve.
  6. Add pumpkin, tomato, rocket, lemon rind, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper to risoni, toss until well combined and serve.

Enjoy!

Char-grilled Chorizo Rolls

Image: Gourmet Traveller http://bit.ly/15JFCsP

Image: Gourmet Traveller http://bit.ly/15JFCsP

The final weekend of the NRL season is here and what better excuse to fire up the barbie?! This year, ditch the bulk-buy snags and horrible, artificially flavoured chicken kebabs for a delicious char-grilled chorizo roll. Served with two yummy sauces and salad sides, these rolls are sure to be a hit.

Ingredients

  • 6 fresh smoked chorizo – if you use fresh chorizo you may need to increase your cooking time
  • 6 soft torpedo rolls, split lengthways
  •  Rocket

Ingredients – Roast tomato salmorejo

  • 500 gm (about 2 punnets) cherry tomatoes
  • 90 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 90 gm coarsely torn crustless sourdough bread
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp sherry vinegar

Ingredients – Salsa vinagreta

  • 40 gm tiny salted capers, rinsed
  • 1 hard-boiled egg, coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 cups (firmly packed) flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ cup (firmly packed) oregano
  • 200 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 50 ml white wine vinegar

Method

  1. For roast tomato salmorejo, preheat oven to 200C. Place tomatoes on an oven tray, drizzle with 30ml olive oil, season to taste and roast until dark golden (8-10 minutes), transfer to a food processor. Combine bread in a small bowl with 60ml cold water, stand until soft (2-3 minutes). Add to food processor with garlic, process until smooth, then, with motor running, add remaining oil in a thin steady stream until emulsified. Add vinegar, season to taste, process to combine. Makes 250ml, will keep refrigerated for up to five days in an airtight container.
  2. Meanwhile, for salsa vinagreta, process capers, egg and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped. Add herbs, process until coarsely chopped, then, with motor running, add oil in a thin steady stream and process to a fine paste. Add vinegar, season to taste and set aside. Makes 250ml, will keep refrigerated for up to five days in an airtight container.
  3. Preheat a char-grill or barbecue to high heat. Cook chorizo, turning occasionally until browned (6-8 minutes). Split lengthways, then stuff into rolls and serve with wild rocket, salsa vinagreta and tomato salmorejo.

Best washed down with an icy cold beer!

Enjoy!

Oven Baked Sweet Potato Crisps

shutterstock_116273602

Step away from the Kettle Crisps, put down the Doritos and whip up a batch of these homemade sweet potato crisps! They are the perfect snack food and what’s best – you know exactly what goes into them! Eaten stuffed into your mouth by the hand full or served with dip they will disappear in a flash.

Ingredients

  • 1 large sweet potato – peeled and very thinly sliced. Use a mandolin to slice them if you have one and are confident you won’t slice your fingers off. The thinner the slices, the crisper your crisps!
  • 1 tbs of olive oil – don’t give into temptation and add too much oil. You are trying to dry out the sweet potato not fry it
  • A sprinkle of cumin, sweet paprika and freshly ground sea salt

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 200C.
  2. Toss the sweet potato slices in oil and season with cumin, paprika and fresh sea salt.
  3. Arrange in single layers on lined baking trays and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, turning halfway through, or until crisp and golden.

Tip: add an extra sprinkle of dried herbs and spices like rosemary and garlic or smoked paprika and chilli for a flavour hit!

Enjoy!

15 Minute Monday – Turkish Eggs

Image: Stone Soup Virtual Cookery School http://bit.ly/1f3ycCc

These Turkish style baked eggs are perfect for family dinners, served with a light green salad or are an impressive addition to any weekend brunch.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large brown onion – halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 can of cushed tomato with paste and capsicum
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 100g of feta – crumbled
  • 2 sprigs mint – leaves picked and finely sliced
  • 4 rounds pita bread – to serve
  • 1/2 cup roast garlic tzatziki – to serve
  • 1/2 cup of hummus – to serve

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 160°C fan-forced. Heat oil in a medium frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onion. Cook stirring, for 5 minutes or until softened. Add paprika, coriander and cumin; cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add tomato and 1/2 cup of water. Season. Bring to a simmer.
  2. Wrap pita bread in foil and place in oven. Cook for 5 minutes or until warm.
  3. Make 4 holes in tomato mixture and crack 1 egg into each hole. Reduce heat to medium-low, cook covered for 5 minutes or until egg white is set and yolks are still runny.
  4. Top with crumbled feta and chopped mint.
  5. Serve with tzatziki, hummus and pita bread.

Enjoy!