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Pear, sweet potato and ginger soup

Another soup recipe? Yes I may be overloading you with soup recipes but they are very popular in our house, and as I have stated before it’s a great way to get Leroy to eat lots of vegetables and he really enjoys dipping his bread into the soup. This soup recipe is deliciously sweet with a punch of ginger, the pear and ginger flavors work great together.

Ingredients

  • 30g butter
  • 1 small white onions, diced
  • 2 small carrots, chopped
  • 3 firm pears, cubed
  • 1ltr vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 800g orange sweet potato, cubed

Steps

  • Melt butter in pan, add onion and cook for 3 minutes or until softened. Add pear, carrots and sweet potato, stirring for 2 minutes. Add stock and bring to boil, cook for 20 minutes or until vegetables are soft.
  • Blend mixture together using food processor or stickmaster until smooth, blend in batches if needed. Return mixture to pan and gently reheat without boiling.
  • Season to taste. Serve with crusty bread. Enjoy.

Sorry i forgot to take a photo, it basically looks like pumpkin soup.

Yum!

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Marinated rockling with pak choy

A simple tasty fish dish, this simple marinade was given to me by a friend many moons ago, it can be used on many mild flavoured fish types.

ingredients

Marinade

  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce (use less if your little one doesn’t like chilli or exclude all together)
  • 2 tbsp grated ginger
  • 2 tbsp crushed garlic
  • 4 rocking fillets
  • 3 bunches pak choy, separate leaves
  • rice

Steps

  • Mix all marinade ingredients together, marinade fish approx 1 hr before cooking. Set aside in fridge.
  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Place baking paper on large oven tray, place fillets on paper and bake in oven for 20 minutes or until just cooked. Reserve a little marinade to baste fish occasionally and reserve the rest to cook with pak choy.
  • While fish is cooking you can cook the pak choy. Boil or steam pak choy until just tender, drain. Heat some vegetable oil in a pan, stir fry pak choy in marinade until tender, about 2 minutes.
  • Place Pak choy and fish in 2 separate serving dishes, including cooking juices.
  • Serve with rice

Enjoy.

Chicken pasta herby 6-veg ragu from Jamie Olivers 15 minute meals by Jamie Oliver

Another great recipe by Jamie Oliver, perfect for the family, full of goodness and flavour. I love that this recipe blitzes up all the vegetables and they are hidden in the tomato pasta sauce. Once again it was not possible to complete in 15 minutes, I managed to get it to the table in 40 minutes. Give it a try.

Ragu ingredients

  • 1 large leek
  • 1 stick of celery
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 courgette
  • 3 jarred red peppers
  • olive oil
  • 8 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 700g passata

Pasta ingredients

  • 320g dried wholewheat pasta
  • 2 x 150g skinless chicken breast
  • 3 rashers of smoked streaky bacon
  • 1/2 a fresh chilli (i left out as too hot for Leroy)
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp pine nuts
  • balsamic vinegar
  • parmesan cheese, to serve

Steps

  • Split the leek lengthways, rinse under the cold tap, then finely chop in the processor with the trimmed celery and carrot, the courgette and peppers. Put into the casserole pan with 1 tablespoon of oil, the thyme leaves and a pinch of salt and pepper and stir regularly. Put the pasta into the large pan, cover with boiling salted water and cook according to packet instructions.
  • Dice the chicken into 2cm chunks and put into the frying pan with 1 tablespoon of oil and a pinch of salt and pepper, tossing regularly until golden and cooked through. Stir the passata into the vegetables and simmer. Finely slice the bacon (and chilli) and add to the golden chicken, then squash in the unpeeled garlic through a garlic crusher. Strip in the rosemary leaves, add the bay leaves and pine nuts, fry for a minute or two, until bacon is golden, then drizzle with balsamic.
  • Season the sauce, drain the pasta, reserving a cupful of starchy cooking water, then toss the pasta with the sauce, loosening with the cooking water, if needed, and pour on to a platter. Scatter the chicken and bacon on top of the pasta and serve with a grating of Parmesan.

Delicious, enjoy.

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Winter warmers: Capsicum, spinach, bean and chickpea soup

A nutritious hearty soup to warm you up during the cold winter days.

Ingredients

  • 10 spring onions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 red capsicums
  • 400g can chickpeas
  • 400g can butter beans
  • 3 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 150g baby spinach leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cumin
  • 700g tomato passata
  • 1 ltr vegetable stock

Steps

  • Heat oil in saucepan and stir in spring onions, cook on reduced heat for 3 minutes, until softened. Remove seeds from capsicums and puree in food processor until you have a smooth consistency. Add to pan along with garlic and cumin, cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add passata and stock to pan, bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add chickpeas, beans, vinegar and sugar to soup, simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in spinach and remove pan from heat. Season to taste and serve with parmesan cheese sprinkled on top ans crusty bread.

These flavours work great together, you could also add chilli to this dish for some heat. Enjoy

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Slow Cooker Series: Massaman beef curry

I am still really enjoying my slow cooker and I am slowly building recipes, today’s recipe was found at the Taste website, the link is below. It was very easy to prepare and very tasty. Massaman curry is mild so great for kids. Highly recommended.

http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/27841/slow+cooker+massaman+beef+curry

  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 750g beef chuck steak, trimmed, cut into 3cm cubes
  • 1 medium brown onion, halved, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup Thai massaman curry paste
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 6 cardamom pods, bruised
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves, vein removed, chopped
  • 270ml can coconut milk
  • 500g desiree potatoes, peeled, cut into 3cm pieces
  • 2 large carrots, peeled, thickly sliced
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon palm sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • Steamed rice, chopped dry roasted
  • Peanuts and coriander leaves, to serve

Heat half the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook beef, in batches, for 5 to 6 minutes or until browned. Transfer to the bowl of a 5-litre slow-cooker.

Heat remaining oil in pan. Add onion. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until softened. Add paste and garlic. Cook for 1 minute or until fragrant. Transfer to slow cooker. Add cardamom, cinnamon, lime leaves, coconut milk, potato, carrot, fish sauce and sugar. Cover with lid. Turn slow-cooker on to low.

Cook for 8 hours or until beef is tender.Discard cardamom pods and cinnamon. Add lime juice. Serve with rice and sprinkle with peanuts and coriander.

Enjoy.

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Winter Warmers: Cauliflower & red lentil soup

Another freezing cold day in Melbourne so craving some hot and healthy soup to warm me up and make me feel good. Today its Cauliflower and red lentil soup, deliciously nutritious. Leroy enjoyed the soup, the cauliflower breaks down along with the lentils so he was slurping it all up with the broth, and enjoying dipping his bread into the broth. I find soup is a great way to get veggies into him!

Ingredients

  • 1 lrg head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 4 medium carrots, diced
  • 1 1/2 cup of red lentils, rinsed
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 1 yellow capsicum, chopped
  • 1ltr chicken stock
  • 1ltr boiling water (use more water if you like more broth)
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, chopped finely
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped finely
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Pinch of saffron

Steps

  • Cover lentils completely with boiling water and leave to soak for 10 minutes, drain most of water from bowl after 10 minutes.
  • Saute leek in olive oil for a few minutes then add carrots, capsicum, garlic, ginger, and coriander. Stir to combine all for a few minutes.
  • Pour in stock, boiling water, lentils and stir to combine. Bring to boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. Add cauliflower & bring to boil, then lower heat and simmer for a further 10 minutes or until cauliflower is tender.
  • Season to taste. Serve with crusty bread.

Variation – you can use 1 tsp of ground turmeric instead of saffron. Chill flakes or chilli paste can be added to your bowl separately to add some heat or you can add directly into pot if your kids like chilli.

Enjoy.

Steps

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Minestrone, poached chicken & salsa verde from Jamie’s 15-Minute Meals by Jamie Oliver

Winter is here and so are the colds. Leroy has been sick again and this time he passed it onto Leila. Now my husband and I need to avoid getting sick. I needed to cook something healthy with heaps of vegetables but that wouldn’t require a lot of my time. I found the below recipe in my book ‘Jamie’s 15 minute meals’, mind you it took me 40 minutes but was worth it. The chicken was the real hit, served on a very tasty salsa verde.

Minestrone, poached chicken & salsa verde from Jamie’s 15-Minute Meals by Jamie Oliver

Ingredients

Chicken & Soup

  • 6 rashers of smoked pancetta, finely sliced
  • olive oil
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary, strip leaves
  • 2 small carrots, diced
  • 2 sticks of celery, diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2 chicken stock cubes
  • 1/2 a head of cauliflower, chopped
  • 1/2 a head of broccoli, sliced, separate the stalks
  • 100g basmati rice
  • 100g dried macaroni
  • 2 x 150g skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 handful of frozen broad beans
  • 1 handful of frozen peas
  • 200g baby spinach
  • Parmesan cheese, to serve

Salsa Verde (you can buy salsa verde from a gourmet deli to save time)

  • 1 bunch of fresh tarragon or flat leaf parsley
  • 1 bunch of fresh mint
  • 2 anchovy fillets
  • 1 tbsp cornichons
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 1 heaped tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar

Steps

  • Cook the rosemary and pancetta until crispy in olive oil in a large casserole pan. Then remove it all into a bowl, leaving the oil. Add carrots, celery, onion into the pan, turn to high heat, add salt & pepper and crumble in stock cubes. Add the broccoli stalks and cauliflower to pan along with the rice and macaroni, then cover with 1.5 litres of boiling water and the lid.
  • On a plastic board, bash the fatter end of the chicken with a rolling pin so the thickness is even. Then add into the pan, fully submerged, and cover with lid. Cook chicken for approx 8 minutes the scoop out. Add the broccoli florets to pan, along with broad beans, peas and spinach, cover with the lid.
  • While the chicken is cooking, make your salsa verde. Put the tarragon or parlsey, top leafy part of mint, anchovies, cornichons, capers, crushed garlic and mustard into your food processor and blitz. Scrape into a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of soup stock, extra virgin olive oil, vinegar and mix together, loosen with extra stock if needed.
  • Spoon salsa verde into a platter, slice chicken and serve on top of salsa, sprinkled with pancetta and rosemary. Add more boiling water to soup if you prefer it brothy. Serve soup with shavings of parmesan.

Delicious.I love Jamie Oliver recipes, he has never let me down.

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Slow Cooker Series: Shredded Beef with Tzatziki sauce

I was looking through my slow cooker cook book and found this beef recipe which made my stomach grumble. This was really quick to prep up, and once it was in the slow cooker I could enjoy the rest of my day with the kids. After coming back into the house from a trip to the park the house smelt amazing, I couldn’t wait to eat it. Thankfully we were not disappointed, the beef was so tender and the sauce was delicious. Leroy gobbled it down and he also enjoyed using the sauce over his beef.

Shredded Beef with Tzatziki sauce (Recipe from book ‘Slow Cooker’ By Parragon Books www.parragon.com/lovefood)

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp natural yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • salt & pepper
  • 700g chuck steak, diced

Sauce

  • 1 cucumber, peeled, deseeded and coarsely grated
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 225ml natural yoghurt
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 50g chopped fresh mint leaves

To serve

  • Warmed flatbread, pitta or wraps (your choice)
  • Spinach leaves
  • Cherry tomatoes, chopped in half

Steps

Put the yoghurt, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, salt & pepper into the slow cooker and stir to mix well. Add the beef and turn to coat. Cover and cook on high for about 5 hours or on low for 9 hours, until beef is tender. Shred the beef and mix it with the cooking juices.

To make the sauce, place cucumber on a double layer of kitchen paper and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Set aside. Put the yoghurt, the remaining salt, lemon juice and mint into a bowl and stir to combine. Wrap the cucumber in the kitchen paper and squeeze out the excess juice over the sink. Mix the cucumber into the yoghurt mixture.

Serve the shredded beef on warmed bread, drizzled with the sauce and topped with tomato and spinach. Enjoy.

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Roasted pumpkin & chickpea salad

Here is a quick and delicious salad, great for kids as very nutritional and yummy to eat. For something different you could also add pasta, fresh cherry tomatoes or fresh herbs from the garden, or perhaps something else your little one likes to eat.

Ingredients

  • 500g pumpkin, cut into 1cm pieces
  • 420g canned chickpeas, rinsed & drained
  • 350g chopped spinach
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt & pepper

Steps

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees, put roasting pan in while heating.
  • Place pumpkin in hot roasting tray, add olive oil and salt and pepper, toss to combine. Roast pumpkin in oven at 180 degrees to 40 minutes or until tender. Then set aside.
  • Heat chickpeas and spinach in frypan, stir until spinach has wilted.
  • Combine pumpkin, chickpeas and spinach in a serving bowl, season to taste.

This salad can be served accompanied with fish or meat, or can be eaten on its own as a tasty lunch option. Enjoy.

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Slow Cooker Series: Chicken with sun-dried tomatoes

Here is a yummy chicken dish I have adapted from a few different recipes. This recipe cooks the chicken very tender and once ready the chicken just falls apart and tastes delicious. You could add more vegetables and use less chicken if you prefer. It’s a tasty recipe for kids as the tender chicken is easy for them to chew.

Ingredients

  • 900g skinless chicken breast, bone-in thighs or drumsticks (your choice)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 30g plain flour
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 125ml red wine
  • 100ml of vegetable or chicken stock
  • 800g canned chopped tomatoes
  • 80g sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp sun-dried tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp ground paprika
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • cooked pasta to serve

Steps

  • Season chicken with salt & pepper and then place in bag with flour, shake well to coat chicken. Heat oil in fry pan and cook chicken over medium heat in batches for 4 minutes on each side until browned. Transfer chicken into slow cooker.
  • Add some more oil and cook onion, garlic, paste & paprika for 5 minutes until softened. Add wine and stock and bring to boil. Cook, stirring up any sediment from the base of the pan, stir for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and sun-dried tomatoes, season and stir for 2 minute.
  • Add the mixture to the slow cooker over the chicken, combine carefully. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours. Serve with pasta.

Enjoy.

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