Whole Roasted Cauliflower (vegetarian)

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We all know variety is the spice of life and that is so very true when it comes to feeding vegetables to your children.

Coming up with alternative ways of preparing and serving veggies that your kids have been rejecting or are unwilling to try, can sometimes help get them over the line. 

My boys are not all that excited about cauliflower, but when they walked in the door from school and this was just coming out of the oven, they asked what smelt so good. When I mentioned the word cauliflower, they looked a little stunned, but willing, to give it a go. 

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Roasting a whole cauliflower is very similar to roasting a piece of meat. You massage it with olive oil, salt and pepper and flavour or spices of choice, and then bake for 1 1/2 hours in a moderate oven.

It can be eaten straight from the oven, or at room temperature. You can leave it as is, or dress it up with lemon zest, finely chopped fresh herbs and toasted almonds. You can squeeze lemon juice, olive oil or a dressing of choice over it before serving. 

I like to picture it in the middle of the table, with everyone carving their own pieces, as a side dish to some pan-fried meat or fish. I can also see it as a part of a tasting banquet, guests carving off warm florets and dipping them in hummus. 

If we have leftovers, I will thinly slice it and put it in the fridge in an airtight container to throw in salads or on top of a homemade pizza in the coming days.

The limit is your imagination friends. 

Whole Roasted Cauliflower
Serves 6
A whole cauliflower, rubbed with olive oil and cumin, roasted in the oven.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
1 hr 30 min
Total Time
1 hr 35 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
1 hr 30 min
Total Time
1 hr 35 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 whole cauliflower, outer leaves removed
  2. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  3. 1 tablespoon dried cumin
  4. salt
  5. pepper
  6. fresh herbs, lemon zest and toasted flaked almonds to serve (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius.
  2. After removing the outer leaves of the cauliflower, turn the cauliflower upside down and cut through the base, slightly hollowing out the stem, so the cauliflower sits flat on a dish. Score a cross pattern into the remaining stem.
  3. Massage the oil, cumin, salt and pepper to taste, around the entire cauliflower.
  4. Place in a lightly greased baking dish.
  5. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour.
  6. Remove the foil and bake for 30 minutes more.
  7. Serve it straight from the oven just as it is, or garnish with fresh herbs, lemon zest and almonds.
Notes
  1. It can also be enjoyed at room temperature.
  2. If you are going to eat it at room temp, wait to put the garnish on right before you serve.
cook fast eat slow http://www.cookfasteatslow.com/

Sticky Lemon Slice

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When life gives you lemons, make a Lemon Tart. 

That might not be the version most people know, but it’s my favourite and I am sticking with it. 

It’s the dessert I cannot look past if it’s on a menu and the one I love to make for special occasions. 

But on an ordinary day, in the middle of an ordinary week, feeling a little unhinged by life and all it’s stuff, it’s not quite as simple to whip up a Lemon Tart.

Enter the Sticky Lemon Slice. It’s really a Lemon Tart in slice form. No fussing with pastry, no blind baking, just a few simple steps with a bowl, beaters and a spoon. 

I dare you to make it and eat it with your eyes closed and see if you agree?

Sticky Lemon Slice
A sticky lemon-curd like slice with a shortbread base.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
50 min
Ingredients
  1. 125 grams unsalted butter, softened
  2. 1/4 cup icing sugar mixture
  3. 1 1/4 cups plain flour
  4. 3 eggs
  5. 1 cup castor sugar
  6. 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
  7. 1/2 cup lemon juice (approx 2 lemons)
  8. icing sugar to dust (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius (160 degrees fan forced)
  2. Grease and line a rectangular slice tin
  3. Cream butter and icing sugar mixture with electric beaters until smooth
  4. Stir in 1 cup of the plain flour.
  5. Press mixture over the base of the tin with your hands and palm until even and smooth
  6. Bake in oven for 15 minutes or until lightly golden
  7. Place eggs, castor sugar, 1/4 cup remaining flour, rind and lemon juice in a bowl and whisk with a hand whisk to combine
  8. Pour mixture over hot base and bake in oven for 20 minutes or until firm
  9. Cool in tin
  10. Dust with icing sugar and slice into pieces
Notes
  1. This slice will last for 3 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
cook fast eat slow http://www.cookfasteatslow.com/

 

Simple Berry Almond Tarts (no pastry)

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Spring. 

Hello again.

Thank you for showing up, as you always do, with your new green growth, your bulbs and buds.

Thank you for your warmth, that’s just enough to start to defrost our homes and our spirits. I seem to forget about half way through winter that you indeed always show up. The coats and blankets start to feel heavy after a while. So, thank you that we can lighten our load now that you are here.

Thank you for your longer days and your breeze that blows through our homes and even our hearts. Winter always takes it’s toll, physically and emotionally. I am so thankful that the winters do end eventually, both in seasons and in our lives. 

Thank you that the washing will now dry in a day and that I can watch the boys play in the backyard while I cook dinner, instead of stepping around them as they play soccer in the kitchen (I wish I was joking).

Thank you for asparagus, oranges and rhubarb. For beetroot, cauliflower, fennel and leeks. Thank you for colour in our gardens and on our plates. 

Now that I have that off my chest, on to these gorgeous buttery berry tarts.

You may remember me telling you all about frangipane in my recipe for the French-style Summer Fruit Tart. If you don’t, you can read about it here.

These tarts are simply the frangipane mixture, pressed into mini tart tins with removable bases and dotted with your berries of choice. No pastry needed.

Perfect for a picnic and freezable, I am very thankful to Donna Hay for this idea.

Simple Berry Almond Tarts
Serves 4
An easy frangipane mix studded with fresh berries.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 90 gram unsalted butter, softened
  2. 1/4 cup castor sugar
  3. 1 egg
  4. 1egg yolk
  5. 1 1/2 tablespoons plain flour
  6. 1 1/4 cups almond meal
  7. 125 grams of berries of choice ie. raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees celsius.
  2. Cream butter and sugar together with electric beaters until pale and creamy.
  3. Add remaining ingredients, except the berries, and mix on low until thoroughly combined.
  4. Press mixture into lightly greased mini tart tins with a removable base.
  5. Press a few berries lightly into the top of each tart.
  6. Dust with a little icing sugar.
  7. Pop on a baking tray and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until lightly golden and slightly puffed up.
Notes
  1. These will last a couple of days in a single layer in an airtight container.
  2. They can be frozen too.
Adapted from Modern Classics 2
Adapted from Modern Classics 2
cook fast eat slow http://www.cookfasteatslow.com/

 

 

Chicken and Corn Soup

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This meal-in-a-bowl soup is another classic from my mother’s kitchen. 

We all loved it as children, especially my sister, who has gone on to make it more often than any other family member.

My sister made some extra large quantities of this soup recently for a special family birthday. 

Picture a mountains setting on a cool but clear winters day.  There were multiple camp fires going, surrounded by log seats and camp chairs. Lunch was steaming hot mugs of this soup, or my Mum’s Chilli and baskets of chunky sourdough for dipping. 

I think we are all guilty at times of over complicating get togethers or special celebrations. We can get ourselves worked up in knots about putting on the perfect party. 

This winters afternoon we recently enjoyed, with lots of friends and family enjoying soup around the fire, was absolutely perfect. 

Fast forward a few weeks and it was my turn to host a little party for our youngest sons birthday. With the kids food sorted, thanks to a delivery of McHappy Meals (that’s for a whole other blog post!), I wanted to give the mums something simple and warm for lunch, so I made a double quantity of this soup and served it in the park in disposable coffee cups. 

I think I have said before that my boys have never LOVED soup, but as long as it’s chunky and not just hot liquid, they will eat it. 

So the baton gets passed on again. From my mum to my sister, from my sister to me.. and now me to you…..

I hope you like it x

Chicken and Corn Soup
Serves 6
A thick creamy soup, made with chicken, corn, carrot and a little curry powder.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 tablespoons olive oil or 30 grams of butter
  2. 600 grams of chicken thigh fillets, excess fat removed and chopped into small pieces
  3. 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  4. 1 clove garlic, crushed
  5. 2 teaspoons curry powder (I use AYAM brand)
  6. 2 teaspoons flour
  7. 5 cups chicken stock
  8. 1 large carrot, peeled and grated
  9. 1 large can creamed corn (420 grams)
  10. 3/4 cup of medium grain rice
Instructions
  1. Heat oil or butter in a large soup pot over a medium heat.
  2. Add the chicken, onion, garlic and curry powder and gently fry until onion is softened and chicken is browning.
  3. Add flour and stir.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients and stir.
  5. Put a lid on, bring the soup to a boil and then turn down to a simmer.
  6. Simmer gently for 30-40 minutes.
  7. Serve with coriander or flat leaf parsley.
Notes
  1. The quantity of chicken is a rough guide only. You could use less if you are on a budget, or add more if your family prefers a meaty and chunky soup.
  2. If you make this in advance, the rice will continue to absorb the liquid. To bring it back to thinner consistency, just add some extra stock when you reheat.
  3. This is very mild and family friendly. If you like more heat, add a few teaspoons more of curry powder.
cook fast eat slow http://www.cookfasteatslow.com/

Scrambled Eggs with Goats Cheese (what to cook when you’re too tired to cook)

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I feel a little sorry for the humble egg.

It’s been given a hard time for so long. The good old cholesterol drama of the last 20 years or so had many believing that the yolk was bad for you and we were encouraged to only eat eggs sparingly. Remember egg white omelettes? Seriously…what were we thinking people?

The yolk actually contains most of the important nutrients and the white is mostly protein. ALL of it is good for you. 

One of God’s greatest gifts to us is the egg. It’s such a powerhouse of nutrition, it’s inexpensive and can be cooked quickly and in a million different ways.

Here is a link to an easy-to-understand article about HOW amazing eggs actually are. It’s a must read.

My new favourite breakfast, lunch or dinner dish is this Scrambled Eggs with Goats Cheese and Rosemary. 

I first read about the combination in a beautiful book by Shauna Niequist called Bread and Wine, a love letter to life around the table (my kind of book).

This is one of those ideas that is hard to put in a recipe format. 

Basically, choose as many eggs as you wish to eat or according to how many you are feeding. This is very personal. I would eat 2 if I was making this for myself, my eldest son has been having 5 on his own lately….you see what I mean!

Pour your lightly beaten eggs into a cold non-stick frying pan and then turn on the heat. Gently, start moving the eggs around in ribbons with a spatula or whisk. I like to think of it as a gentle scramble. We all know how awful tough and chewy scrambled eggs can taste. That’s usually from too much over zealous beating and too long on the heat. 

The whole thing takes only a few minutes. When the egg is starting to look almost finished, i.e. just set, crumble in as much goats cheese (feta works well too) as you like, sprinkle in some finely chopped fresh rosemary and season with pepper. 

And there you have it. 3 ingredients, ready in about 3 minutes. 

Who said eating well had to be complicated?