Saturday, April 24, 2010

Spinach & Mushroom Quesadillas with Lentils

Ingredients - makes 3
250g mushrooms
1 can lentils, drained and washed
½ tsp chilli flakes
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp parsley flakes
Salt & Pepper to taste
75g fresh baby spinach leaves
6 tortillas
Parmesan cheese, grated
Fetta, crumbled
1) Heat oil in a pan
2) Add mushrooms, lentils, cumin, chilli flakes, parsley flakes and salt & pepper and cook through (approx 10 minutes) then remove from heat
3) While mushroom mix is cooking, planch spinach with boiling water
4) Lay out 3 tortillas and spread salsa over them leaving about 1cm around the edge
5) Place a layer of spinach, then cover with the mushroom mix. Top with parmesan and fetta
6) Put another tortilla over the top
7) Heat frying pan and spray with a cooking spray (low heat)
8) Place 1 prepared quesadilla in the pan for a few minutes, then turn and cook the other side
9) Serve hot
10) Eat & Enjoy!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Lemon & Broccoli Risotto

1 lemon
1.625L (6 1/2 cups) vegetable stock
450g broccoli, cut into small florets, stems cut crossways into thin slices (keep the florets & the stems separate)
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
60ml (1/4 cup) olive oil
20g (1 tbs) butter
8 green shallots, trimmed, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
440g (2 cups) arborio rice
60ml (1/4 cup) dry white wine
1/4 cup chopped fresh continental parsley
2 tsp butter, extra
35g (1/3 cup) finely grated parmesan
1) Use a zester or grater to remove outer layer from lemon. Set aside until required.
2) Juice the lemon and reserve 2 tbs.
3) Place stock in a medium saucepan. Cover and bring to the boil over high heat.
4) Reduce heat to medium-low.
5) Stir in broccoli stems, season with salt and pepper, keep at a gentle simmer.
6) Heat the oil and butter in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat until foaming.
7) Add the green shallots and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
8) Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
9) Add the rice and stir over medium heat for 1 minute or until well coated with oil and butter, and the grains are slightly glassy in appearance.
10) Add wine and use a wooden spoon to stir until all liquid is absorbed.
11) Add a ladleful of simmering stock and stir until absorbed.
12) Continue to add stock, a ladleful at a time, stirring constantly until all the liquid is absorbed before adding more.
13) Add broccoli florets with second-last ladleful of stock. Stir until all liquid is absorbed and the broccoli is tender - it will take about 30 minutes to cook until the rice is tender yet firm to the bite and the risotto is creamy.
14) Remove from heat. Stir in parsley, lemon juice, lemon zest, extra butter and parmesan.
15) Season with salt and pepper.
16) Spoon into serving bowls and serve immediately sprinkled extra parmesan if desired.
17) Eat & Enjoy!

Caramel Muffins

100g caramel-filled chocolate block
2 cups plain flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
80g butter, melted
1) Place chocolate in freezer for 1 hour or until frozen.
2) Preheat oven to 180°C.
3) Grease a non-stick, 12-hole, 1/3 cup-capacity muffin pan.
4) Sift flour and baking powder into a large bowl.
5) Add sugar and stir to combine. Make a well in the centre.
6) Combine milk, egg and butter in a jug and pour into well.
7) Using a large metal spoon, stir until just combined.
8) Chop frozen chocolate and fold into batter.
9) Three-quarters fill muffins holes with batter.
10) Bake muffins for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
11) Allow muffins to cool in pan for 1 minute. Carefully transfer to plates.
12) Eat & Enjoy!

Chocolate Risotto

1.25L (5 cups) milk
40g butter, chopped
220g (1 cup) arborio rice
100g dark chocolate (Plaistowe brand), finely chopped
60g (1/4 cup) caster sugar
1) Bring the milk just to the boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat.
2) Reduce heat to low and hold at a gentle simmer.
3) Heat the butter in a medium heavy-based saucepan over medium heat until foaming.
4) Add the rice and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until the grains appear slightly glassy.
4) Reduce heat to medium-low and add a ladleful (about 125ml/ 1/2 cup)of the simmering milk to the rice and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until all the liquid is absorbed.
5) Continue to add the milk, a ladleful at a time, stirring constantly, allowing the liquid to be absorbed before adding more. The rice will take about 40 minutes to cook.
6) Once the last ladleful of milk is just absorbed, add the chocolate and sugar, and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until chocolate melts and mixture is well combined.
7) Eat & Enjoy!

NOTE: Served immediately this is soft & risotto-like in texture. However to serve later you can reheat in the oven. It tastes the same, however the texture becomes more like a thick rice pudding.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Quick & Easy Vegetarian Spag Bog

Pasta - whatever you have in the cupboard
Jar of pasta sauce - whatever you have in the cupboard (I used Raguletto Sicilian Mushroom)
Tin of Sanitarium Vegetarian Casserole Mince
Herbs & spices to blend with your pasta sauce (I used basil, parsley, salt & pepper)
1) Cook pasta
2) While pasta is cooking mix your pasta sauce and casserole mince
3) Add herbs & spices
4) Heat sauce mixture
5) Serve up & top with cheese to taste
6) Eat & Enjoy!

This took me 15 minutes and truly tasted like a good quality spaghetti bolognaise. The trick is to add herbs to the pasta sauce so you get the taste you enjoy.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


1 cup freshly brewed coffee
¾ cup castor sugar
125ml Frangelico liqueur
6 eggs, separated
500g mascarpone
425g savioardi biscuits
150g good quality dark chocolate, grated

1) Place hot coffee in a bowl, add 2 Tbspn caster sugar, and stir till sugar dissolves
2) Add Frangelico, then allow to cool
3) Using an electric mixer, whisk remaining sugar and egg yolks until very thick and pale
4) Add mascarpone and whisk until smooth like softly whipped cream
5) In another bowl whisk eggwhites until stiff peaks form
6) Fold 1/3 of egg whites into mascarpone mixture to loosen, then gently fold in remaining eggwhites till just combined
7) Dip savoiardi biscuits into coffee mixture, one at a time, turning once, allowing biscuits to soak up coffee mixture without becoming soggy
8) Place half the soaked biscuits over the base of a 22x26cm ceramic/glass dish
9) Cover with half the mascarpone mixture
10) Sprinkle with half the chocolate
11) Repeat with remaining biscuits, mascarpone mixture and chocolate
12) Refrigerate overnight
13) Eat & Enjoy!

Quiche Lorraine

1.5 cups plain flour
¼ tsp salt
125 g unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small chunks
¼ cup iced water
NOTE: You can pre-prepare this and freeze it

The Filling
30g butter
1 cup cream
3 eggs
Pastry - first part should be prepared the day before
1) Using a food processor whiz the flour and salt together
2) Add butter and whiz again until mixture looks like coarse breadcrumbs
3) With the machine running pour in the iced water until the mixture forms a ball around the blade
4) Remove the pastry and reshape into a ball. Flatten slightly, wrap in cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (overnight if possible)
5) Preheat oven to 200°C
6) With a little flour over the work surface, roll out pastry and line a 20/22cms deep tart dish or loose bottomed flan tin with the pastry
7) Return dish to fridge for a further 20-30 minutes - this prevents shrinkage
8) Take pastry dish from fridge and prick base generously with a fork
9) Blind bake for 20 minutes or until pastry is cooked
10) Remove from oven and allow to cool a little before adding filling

1) Increase heat on oven to 220°
2) Beat the eggs with the salt
3) Beat in the cream
4) Cut the butter into small pieces and lay over the pastry in the flan tin
5) Pour in the filling and cook for 20 minutes or until custard is set
6) Allow to cool a little
7) Eat & Enjoy!

NOTE: Baking blind - cover pastry with a piece of foil or baking paper and weigh down with a good layer of pie weights or dry rice

Boston Baked Beans

olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 red capsicum, diced
1 tsp cumin seeds, ground
2 x 400g tins navy beans or cannellini beans
¼ cup white wine
½ cup water
1 cup tomato pasta sauce (Paul Newmans original is best)
2 dessertspoons brown sugar
2 dessertspoons molasses
1 dessertspoon wholegrain mustard
2 dessertspoons bbq sauce

1) Heat olive oil in a large pot over moderate heat
2) Add the onion and capsicum and saute for a few minutes
3) Add the cumin and saute for a further minute
4) Drain and rinse the beans
5) Add beans and remaining ingredients to the pan with a little water and stir through
6) Bring to the boil then simmer for 20 minutes to allow the flavours to develop
7) If beans start sticking can add a little more water
8) Eat & Enjoy!

NOTE: Picture is showing beans served over soy sausages - delish!

Tofu Balls

700g Tofu (firm)
80 gm raw rolled oats
1 egg beaten
2 egg whites
1 onion chopped and browned
2 Tbspn soy sauce
30 pecan halves chopped, but not too finely. Needs that CRUNCH
2 grated carrots
2 cup grated zucchini
SPICES: coriander flakes, cumin, chilli powder, salt/pepper (you can use any spice you like to create whatever flavour you like)
1) Preheat oven to 190°
2) In a large bowl, mash tofu
3) Add all other ingredients and mix well
4) Form into balls using a soup spoon. This mixture should make at around 24-28 balls
5) Place onto a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake for 30 mins
6) Serve hot with sweet chilli sauce, or a tomato based sauce, with rice etc
7) Eat & Enjoy!

NOTE: These are great with my Mexican Lentils


Sushi Rice
225g sushi rice
250ml water
2Tbspn sushi vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 Tbspn sugar
¾ Tbspn mirin or dry sherry
2 or 3 fillings to taste, options include avocado, cucumber, capsicum, tofu, pickled ginger, egg etc
Sushi Rice
1) Put rice into a pan, cover with plenty of water and stir till water becomes cloudy. Drain & repeat 4 or 5 times until water is clear. (this is cleaning the rice)
2) Put washed rice into saucepan with water on high heat and bring to the boil
3) Cover the pan and reduce to very low heat and continue cooking for exactly 15 minutes more (no need to stir).
4) Leave lid on and remove from heat for another 10 minutes
5) Mix the sushi vinegar, sugar, salt and mirin until the sugar has dissolved.
6) Put the rice into a large bowl and stir through vinegar mixture.
Note: To cool the rice quickly “cut” the rice by folding a spoon through until it cools to body temperature - it should be sticky in texture. Use immediately
Making the Sushi
1) Toast nori sheet by heating in a dry fryong pan a few seconds on each side
2) Place nori sheet on sushi mat, rough side up, long side facing you
3) With damp hands spread approx ¼ of the rice over the nori approx 1cm away from the front edge. Nori should be approx 5cm wide and approx 1 cm thick
4) Make a groove along the middle for the filling to sit in
5) Put fillings in but don’t overfill
6) Using the mat as a guide, lift the edge closest to you and roll firmly away from you into a neat cylinder.
7) Repeat until all rice is used
8) Let rolls rest for approx 10 minutes then cut into desired sizes with a sharp wet knife
9) Eat & Enjoy!

Tofu with Peas

1 onion, diced
1.5 Tblspn Olive Oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tsp freshly grated ginger
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp tumeric
350g pack firm tofu, diced into 1.5cm cubes
3 medium tomatos, chopped
½ cup frozen peas
1 Tblspn lemon juice
1) In a medium pan over moderate heat, heat the oil
2) Add onion and cook for a few minutes until soft
3) Add the garlic, ginger, cumin and tumeric and cook an extra minute or so
4) Add the tofu to the pan and stir into the spice mixture so the tofu becomes golden
5) Saute a couple of minutes then add the tomatos and peas
6) Stir through and cover with a lid for 5 minutes
7) Add lemon juice and season with salt & pepper if desired
8) Serve with rice
9) Eat & Enjoy!

Indian Style Beans

1 tbspn olive oil
20g ghee
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp black mustard seeds
2 tsp freshly grated ginger
1 long green chilli, seeds removed, finely diced
1 tsp turmeric
400g can crushed tomatos
½ cup water
Salt, pepper & ½ tsp sugar
2 x 400g cans cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
1) Heat the ghee and olive oil in a large saucepan over a moderate heat
2) Add onion and cook a few minutes until softened
3) Add the garlic, ginger, mustard seeds, turmeric & chilli, and stir through for 1 or 2 minutes until fragrant
4) Add the tomatos, water, salt, pepper and sugar and bring to the boil
5) Turn heat down and simmer for about 10 minutes until thickened
6) Add the cannellini beans and simmer an extra 5 minutes, stirring occasionally
7) Serve hot
8) Eat & Enjoy!

Serving suggestions
* Serve hot spooned over ripe avocado
* Serve with rice or some Indian bread, like naan, and yogurt and chutney
* Serve with polenta or corn chips