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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!

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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Apple, Berry & Cinnamon Cake

This recipe was found in the AHM member magazine, June 2013. Leroy loves fruit and never saids no to cake, he is still unwell so I decided to make it for him. It’s a little indulgent for the little feller but the recipe also has plenty of goodness. It was a fun recipe to make together, he enjoyed helping mummy in the kitchen, although he struggled to wait for it to bake! Once it was cooked it was immediately on his plate, he loved it!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 2 large granny smith apples, peeled quartered, cored and cut into 1.5cm pieces
  • Zest & juice of a small lemon
  • 2 eggs
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 cup wholemeal flour
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups of frozen mixed berries

Topping

  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • 20g flaked almonds
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Steps

  • Preheat oven to 180degrees, spray a 23cm spring form tin liberally with oil spray. Add oats and shake around the tin to coat the sides and bottom. Place apples and lemon juice & zest in a freezer bag and set aside.
  • Beat together the eggs & sugar until light and creamy. Sift flours and cinnamon over the egg mixture and gently fold through. Add apples and berries and gently stir through.
  • Pour mixture into cake tin, scatter over the topping mix and bake for 35-40 minutes.
  • Leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes before serving warm or cool completely in tin before removing.

A variation on this dish could be pears instead of apples and tinned plums instead of berries. A lovely winter treat. Enjoy.

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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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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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Bill Grangers Chicken, Eggplant & Cherry Tomato Bake

Today Grandma choose to cook Bill Grangers Chicken, eggplant and cherry tomato bake which was featured in the Age last weekend. It was absolutely delicious and very easy to cook. It’s a dish you can prepare in the morning and then later put into the oven an hour before dinner time. I find mornings are a great time to prepare meals as the house is generally calm and I have the energy.

Leroy thoroughly enjoyed this meal, especially the drum sticks as they were very tender and slightly sweet. Grandma doubled this recipe so there was plenty of seconds.

Ingredients

  • 1 red onion
  • 4 chicken legs, skin & flesh slashed
  • salt & pepper
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tsp honey
  • 4 Thyme sprigs, leaves only
  • Zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Large handful of breadcrumbs
  • 300g cherry tomatoes

Steps

  • Place eggplant and onion in a large roasting tin. Add chicken legs, season with salt and pepper. In a bowl, mix 2 tbsp olive oil with honey, thyme, orange juice and 1 clove of garlic, then spoon over chicken and vegetables.
  • In a separate bowl, combine breadcrumbs, orange zest, remaining garlic and remaining olive oil. Cover both the chicken and breadcrumb mix and chill in fridge for up to 12 hours if preparing ahead.
  • Preheat oven to 200degrees. Bake chicken for 40-45mins, until golden. Remove from oven, stir in tomatoes, then top with prepared breadcrumb mix and roast for a further 10 minutes.
  • Serve with a green salad of your choice.

Find link below to recipe from the Age;

http://www.theage.com.au/lifestyle/advance-tactics-20130514-2jk23.html

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Winter Warmers: Minestrone Soup

Well my darling Leila is almost 7 weeks old and blossoming beautifully. We aren’t in a routine yet so its hard to plan my day, let alone cook dinner. Lucky I cooked lots of meals before her birth and froze them for this busy time. unfortunately my cooked freezer meals have run out so its time to start cooking again. I am trying to cook as much as possible but its proving to be a hard juggling act with Leila and Leroy. However I am determined to try to get dinner on the table, as fresh, healthy and delicious as I possibly can. Last night i made a yummy minestrone soup, really craving warm vegetables as winter sinks in. It was delicious, I didn’t have any complaints however Leroy didn’t eat all the vegetables but he made a good attempt.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 leek, sliced thin
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 1 broccoli bunch, chopped
  • 2 large potatoes, diced
  • 150g greens beans, chopped
  • 2 litres vegetable stock
  • 800g can chopped tomatoes
  • 400g can lentils
  • 100g pasta (your choice)
  • 1 tub tomato paste, use 2/3
  • 4 celery stalks, diced
  • Parmesan cheese to serve

Steps

  • Cook pasta according to pack instructions. Return to pan to keep warm.
  • Heat oil in pan and cook leek and carrot for 4 minutes, then add potato and cook for a further 4 minutes. Then add celery, zucchini, broccoli, green beans, tomato paste, stir for 2 minutes. Add stock, can tomatoes and 1 cup of water. Bring to boil and simmer for 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Season to taste.
  • Add the can lentils and stir in cooked pasta. Serve with parmesan.

Enjoy

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