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Posts Tagged ‘vegetarian’

I have discovered a new rule to life. It is: You can never have too much guacamole at a picnic. Think about it, you never get to the end of a group picnic and hear someone say, “Oh my goodness, what on earth are we going to do with all of this excess guacamole?” And if you do know anyone that faces this problem, introduce me to them an they’ll never experience it again. Its the ultimate dip, delicious and chunky and perfect. And the best thing about it is it is so easy to make. So here is a very very easy guacamole recipe that I think could work for 4-6 people.

Ingredients

Two ripe avocadoes
One vine-ripened tomato chopped into small pieced
Half a large red onion chopped into small pieces
Juice from one lime
Salt to taste (chilli salt is best)

Recipe

1.    Cut avocado in half removing seed. Slice each avocado while still in skin without piercing the skin and remove with spoon into medium sized bowl.
2.    Mash avocado with fork slowly mixing in juice of lime. The more juice you add the easier it becomes to mash.
3.    Add the chopped tomato and red onion. Stir through.
4.    Add salt to taste.

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Hi my name’s Erin and I’m a Persian fetta addict. It began three years ago in Bangladesh, where delicious reminders of the food luxuries of home are few and far between. After over a year of having no good cheeses available they had almost escaped my diet altogether. But then a very large fancy hotel opened near my apartment and besides the icecream, prawn salads, buffet lunches and glasses of wine I discovered, much to my delight, that they sold Persian fetta. I would buy it in small lunch boxes and take it home to eat guiltily. Not small portions either and often on its own. And alone (like any addict I didn’t need the company of other to enjoy my vice). Its so smooth and salty and I can’t think of a food that is whiter.

When I returned to Australia I found Persian fetta at the grocery store, floating around being marinated in olive oil and pepper corns. If you whip it up it becomes the perfect creamy dressing or spread. Which led to my now, “I can’t be bothered cooking anything” staple. Until I find Persian fetta-holics anonymous, I plan to continue this love affair.

Ingredients

Sliced sour dough
Persian fetta (when sitting in olive oil it makes an easier spread)
Sliced tomatoes (kumatoes are brilliant)
Drained capers
Black pepper to taste

Recipe

1.    Toast sour dough.
2.    Loosen Persian fetta by crushing and mixing with a fork (add olive oil for smoother spread). Spread as thick as you like on toasted sour dough.
3.    Top with sliced tomatoes, drained capers and black pepper. Eat up and then, if you an addict like me, make more!

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I have been wanting to try out the new curry paste since making it and now that I’ve been launched back into uni and the busy-ness is setting in I have excuses for very simple dishes. I’m always amazed that some people seem to think making curry is difficult. It isn’t. In fact its almost fool proof. I say ‘almost’ because I once served a very unfortunate vegetarian guest and an unsuspecting couple a vegetarian curry that was so hot we couldn’t get through a sentence without coughing. It was a dinner party disaster that was not made any better by us serving crumbling flavourless vegetarian and gluten free balls of muck as entree. Once again, amateur cook = mistakes.

So here is something it is almost impossible to stuff up and is gloriously cheap and simple to make.

Serves 2-4. Vegetarian.

Ingredients

2 tables spoons of curry paste (you can make your own or buy one, Patak’s Tikka Masala or Rogan Josh are great)
Assorted veggies (I used a carrot, a zucchini, two tomatoes, a large potato, and two small onions because that’s what I had. Also great in curries is eggplant, capsicum,  and okra)
1 small can of coconut milk
1 can of chickpeas
1 bay leaf
Salt to taste
You can also add (and I have in the past to good effect), spicy mango chutney, chopped chilli, and any meat you like.

Recipe

1.    Cut up vegetables into bite-sized chunks and put in medium saucepan with bay leaf. For tomatoes, leave slightly larger as they will reduce significantly in size as they cook.
2.    Stir through 1-2 table spoons of curry paste.
3.    Pour over coconut milk.
4.    Almost cover with water.
5.    Heat on high heat and once bubbling reduce to low.  Keep returning to the pot to stir every few minutes. Mixture will slowly reduce becoming creamier. The longer you cook the more flavoursome and tender everything will be.  Cook for at least 45 minutes and up to 2.5 hours.
6.    Serve with brown rice. Curry always tastes better the day after so don’t forget to save some for lunch!

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Delish Relish

Corn is apparently taking over the world. And its using us in its dastardly plans. At least that’s what Michael Pollan is saying and he has a point.

We unnecessarily (I don’t include economic or industrial necessity in this definition) consume vast quantities of corn without even knowing it. Us and the animals we eat ( I have to admit here that prior to my foodie enlightenment when I saw that a chicken was “corn-fed” I thought, “hey isn’t that nice, that chicken gets to eat corn!” – oops).

So rather than take my corn in the form of Coke (yes, lots of corn in the form of high fructose corn syrup in there apparently) I thought I’d just eat corn as close to the knobbly little yellow pearls that grown hidden away in little cocoons as I could. So here is the tomato and corn relish. And its better than Coke.

Three bowls, all delicious

Ingredients

2 spring onions, chopped
Half Spanish onion, chopped
½ tablespoon wholegrain mustard
Two large vine ripened tomatoes, chopped
¼ teaspoon chilli salt (made with celery)
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 table spoon caster sugar
Kernels from 2 cobs of corn
Salt to taste

Recipe

Now I like to do this like a scientist, preparing everything first and then dealing with it because with my poor timing if I don’t have everything ready to go the second it needs to go in I’m likely to set something on fire. Though this always means a lot of dishes. So…
1.    Prepare three bowls. In the first, put all the chopped onion and the mustard. In the second, put all the chopped tomato, the white wine vinegar, the sugar and the chilli salt. In the third put the corn kernels (off the cob NOT from a can). Now you can begin.
2.    Heat oil in a large pan over a high heat. Add everything in the onion bowl and stir until tender (about 3 minutes) then add everything in the tomato bowl, keep stirring.
3.    Once it is think and not too sloppy  (about 5 minutes) add the corn and cook until its soft and tasty (about 3 minutes).
4.    Put into a sterilised jar. I think it would be perfect with cheese and crackers or in a sandwich.

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There is some debate as to who “owns” this recipe. I was making this last year and knowing that something was missing (but too lazy to correct it). After a trip home my father put his finger on it when he decided to add the roasted tomatoes and use Persian fetta (so much smoother than the average Greek fetta) as a dressing. I’ll give him credit for that. For this attempt I used a variety of different small tomatoes, mainly kumatoes (the ones that look brown). They all have a little bit of a different taste to them which makes the salad better for savouring.

I have now more than once had this salad the next day cold (both times at the beach) and it was still delicious. I love dinner’s that become’s tomorrow’ lunches and this recipe remains firmly at the top of my list for that reason.

Colourful tomatoes make a meal brighter

Ingredients

1 butternut pumpkin, chopped into 1 inch cubes
600 grams of little (assorted colours best) tomatoes halved
500 grams canned chickpeas, rinsed
Olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped basil
Persian fetta

Straight from the oven

Recipe

1.    Preheat over to 180°C fan forced
2.    Drizzle over olive oil and roast butternut pumpkin until tender (approx. 35 minutes)
3.    Drizzle over olive oil and sprinkle chopped basil on tomatoes and roast in same oven until tender (approx 15 minutes)
4.    Combine roasted tomatoes, roasted pumpkin and chickpeas in salad bowl.
5.    Mash up Persian fetta with a fork until smooth (may need to add olive oil).
6.    Mix fetta in to other ingredients. Eat up!

Sweet and creamy

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Serves two. 30 minutes to make. Vegetarian.

I have been wanting to put an egg on top of something that isn’t breakfast for while now. I haven’t been game to try it in a soup yet, I worry that the yolk floating around will put me off. When I saw this recipe in one of my new favourite food blogs – Smitten Kitchen, my mouth watered for days before finally getting the ingredients for it. See, what I was waiting for were the perfect eggs. I am happy to say I found them in the form of WildYards Farm Eggs from NSW and am happy to know that rather than being immobile, tortured, antibiotic fed, caged hen eggs my egg’s layers were grass eaters, rotated on different pastures (which is good for the soil and for sustainability), have never come into contact with fertiliser or antibiotics and, if I am to believe the very homey packet, they never even saw a cage! Brilliant.

Happy Hen Eggs

Ingredients

Two happy hen eggs
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
1/4 cup peanut oil
1 leek, sliced thinly (about 1 and 1/2 cups)
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon soy sauce
Salt to taste

Chop chop chop

Recipe

  1. Heat peanut oil in large frying pan on medium heat adding garlic and ginger. Fry until golden brown and crispy. Set aside, add salt to taste.
  2. Immediately after removing garlic and ginger reduce heat and add sliced leek. Stir for about 10 minutes or until really tender (but not brown).
  3. Add cooked rice heating through. The longer you cook it the more crispy it gets so its really up to you. Remove fried rice and leek and place on two plates.
  4. Immediately add two happy hen eggs to fry, cooking until whites are cooked through but yolk is still runny.
  5. Position fried egg on top of fried rice, sprinkle with garlic and ginger mix, and drizzle soy sauce and sesame oil over top. Enjoy!

    It may not be pretty but it is delicious

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Serves two. 1 hour to make. Vegan.

I love the way that cannellini beans look, the kidney bean’s virginal cousin, much less meaty and overpowering. I also happen to think that roasted pumpkin is one of THE best salad ingredients ever. But what makes this salad is the dressing. Sweet and fresh, I didn’t expect that lemony flavour to go well with the hearty pumpkin, but I was wrong! One of the greatest joys of being an amateur cook is that the way that a recipe tastes often surprises you. Beware though, this salad leaves a lingering tang on the taste buds well after you’ve finished eating it…

Cannellini beans - look at them glow!

Ingredients

1 can (400g) cannellini beans drained and washed.
Half a butternut pumpkin cut into 3cm cubes
100g baby roquette
1 cup loosely packed fresh coriander leaves
1 small handful of sunflower seeds

Lemony Dressing:

Juice from one medium lemon
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1 tablespoon finely chopped eschallots
1/2 teaspoon caster sugar
1 teaspoon olive oil

My very favourite fishy salad utensils

Recipe

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees celcius (fan forced). Place pumpkin in a single layer on tray lined with baking paper. Roast for about 30 minutes or until tender.
  2. Meanwhile, make sweet lemon dressing (combine and stir).
  3. Combine cannellini beans, pumpkin, baby roquette, and coriander in bowl.  Drizzle sweet lemon dressing on top and sprinkle with sunflower seeds. Ready to serve!

Ready to serve

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