Tag Archives: Dinner

Aunty Sandra’s Pasta made a little more healthy for the kids!

IMG_2966OMG, I’m exhausted.  I have just made spelt rolls testing out the Callington Mill flour now available from my new website www.paleoprovidore.com (they are lovely), made my new version of what the kids know as “Aunty Sandra’s Pasta” by special request for miss 6 and lamb shanks in the oven for us!  Now to make something for the lunchboxes for the morning…I think I’ll make my chocolate cake!

I thought I would quickly share the pasta recipe because it is so quick and easy and ALL kids seem to like it from 5 year olds through to teenagers.  I will give you the original recipe plus my “healthified” one!

Aunty Sandra’s Pasta Original Recipe

250g spiral/macaroni/tube pasta of choice

1 tin condensed tomato soup (I think it was a 400/420g tin)

6 bacon rashers

1/2-1 onion

1 garlic clove

1 tbsp. oil of choice

Method

Cook pasta and remove from saucepan to drain.

Put saucepan back on the stove.

Add oil.

When hot, fry off onion, garlic and bacon.

When soft, add tomato soup and pasta.

Heat through, and serve with cheese if desired.

I sometimes would put in a casserole dish and grate cheese on top – pop in the oven to brown!

My “healthified” version

250g gluten free pasta – macaroni or spirals

200g Organic Passata

6 rashers organic bacon

2-3 spring onions

1 clove garlic

1 tablespoon organic maple syrup

1 good pinch salt

1 tbsp. oil of choice

Method

Put pasta on to cook.

In another saucepan fry off spring onions, garlic and bacon, then add passata.

Let it simmer while the pasta is cooking.

When pasta is done, drain.

Put back into the saucepan and add the tomato mixture.

Serve with or without cheese.

Miss 6 hasn’t even realised I’ve changed the recipe and requested it for dinner again tonight!!!  Miss 12 and Mr 19 may be a different story though!

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Tonight’s dinner…a warming Irish Stew!

Lamb_StewYou may recall that a few weeks ago I went to a cooking class with Jude Blereau.  She was launching her new cookbook “Wholefood Baking” and did a Thermomix demonstration for some of the recipes she has converted to be used in Thermie!

One of the recipes that received great comments was the Irish Lamb Stew on Sweet Potato Mash (the photo is Jude’s picture of her dish).  I had a small taste and it was delicious, but as it contained vegies and grain that I don’t eat I subsequently went home and made it the next day.  Again it was great!

OMG, a couple of weeks have gone by since I started to write this post and I find myself making this great recipe yet again. In fact I think I’ve been making it about once a week!!! It’s DEFINITELY time I share the recipe with you.

Tonight I am using up vegetables that I have in the fridge like – parsnip, carrot, pumpkin, capsicum, broccoli. The options are endless. Just use the measurements of vegetables in the recipe as a rough guide when substituting!  For a larger family, I would suggest steaming some diced vegetables in the Varoma and adding it to the stew to make it go further.  You could have your sweet potato steaming on one level and the other vegies on the top!

It is supposed to be served with Herb Butter, but as I don’t eat dairy I just don’t use it, but I’ll be nice and include it for those who do! I will also give you the original recipe and let you know the variations I usually use to make it Low FODMAP, Paleo, fructose friendly and gluten free which will appear in brackets (). Here’s the recipe!

Herb Butter

6 sprigs fresh flat-lef parsley, leaves only

20g fresh chives

4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only

120g unsalted butter

Method:

Place all herbs into mixing bowl and chop 3 seconds on speed 7

Scrape down the sides of the bowl

Add the butter and blend for 10 seconds on speed 5.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl and repeat if necessary.

Refrigerate until ready to use.

Irish Lamb Stew

Ingredients

002150g leek, white part only (150g green part of spring onions)

2 garlic cloves (1 garlic clove or omit and use garlic infused oil if you can’t tolerate any garlic)

3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only

20g butter, coconut oil (garlic infused oil)

90g celery (90g zucchini or if using parsnip and swede instead of potato, use 90g celeriac)

190g carrots

190g potatoes (to make it paleo I use celeriac or a mix of parsnip and swede)

4 pieces of lamb necks on the bone, fat trimmed (about 700g)

40g pearl barley presoaked for 1 hr or overnight with 1/2tsp lemon juice (120g quinoa washed)

sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

3 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, leaves only with extra to serve

1 sprig fresh marjoram, leaves only – I didn’t have any so just omitted it!

3 bay leaves

1 tbsp. tamari (1 tbsp. Coconut Aminos)

700g water

600-800g sweet potato, peeled and cut into 2cm pieces (600-800g mix of celeriac and pumpkin)

Method

003Place leek, garlic and thyme into the mixing bowl and chop for 3 seconds at speed 5

Add butter/oil and sauté for 4 minutes at Varoma temperature on speed 1.  Set aside

Place celery, carrot, potatoes and herbs (or the alternative vegies – do not put in bay leaves) and chop for 3-5 seconds on speed 4-5 to obtain a chunky consistency.  Less is best as the veggies cook down.

005Add the leek, lamb and barley into the mixing bowl and season with salt and pepper.

Add the bay leaves, tamari and water.

Place the sweet potato (or in my case celeriac and pumpkin) in the top rack of the Varoma dish and place Varoma into position.

Cook for 45mins  at 100° on reverse, soft spoon.

Season the stew with extra tamari to taste and check if the steamed vegetables are cooked. If they are, set them aside in a Thermoserver. If not, continue cooking as before. If the Varoma is no longer needed, place TM basket on top of mixing bowl with MC removed. Cook for a further 10-15 minutes on Varoma, reverse, soft spoon setting until the lamb is tender. I often add extra vegetables like zucchini, if not used before, or broccoli. When stew is cooked, place in Thermoserver.

Lamb_Stew_Low FODMAP_QuinoaClean and dry mixing bowl. Place steamed sweet potato into mixing bowl and mix for 10 sec on speed 5. Insert butterfly, add 10-20g milk if using and puree for 10-14 sec or until smooth. I sometimes don’t mash at all and put the steamed vegetables into the stew as well.

Serve stew hot with the vegetable mash. Garnish with chives and parsley and herbed butter if using it!

I hope you enjoy this as much as our family does x

Paleo Quiche – Gluten, grain and dairy free, low fodmap, fructose friendly!

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As promised here is my quiche recipe. It is a rough guide as to what I used as it was just a trial that worked really well!

“Pastry”

1 1/2 – 2 cups Almond Meal
1 egg white
1 full egg (or you could use 2 egg whites)

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Mix ingredients together until they have a pastry like consistency.
Next time I would do this in the Thermomix – mix the ingredients for about 5-6 seconds on speed 5 and then kneed for about 1 minute.

Roll out between two sheets of baking paper.
Put into a greased quiche dish.
Prick the bottom of the pastry.
Blind bake for about 10 minutes or until it has only just started to colour.

“Quiche”

About 6 eggs
Then add whatever bits you have in the fridge. I added:
1 tomato diced
Greens of about 6 spring onions, finely chopped
ham/bacon (about equivalent to 6 rashers of bacon)
2 tablespoons coconut yoghurt
Approx 100g baby spinach leaves finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together.
Pour into the “pastry case”.
Cook at 180 degrees until set in the centre.

Hope you enjoy it! We had leftovers cold and heated in the microwave – both worked well! Bron x

My quick Friday night dinner…Chicken Curry!

Chicken Curry

Just a quick post in response to a request for my chicken curry recipe. This is only a rough guess as to what I did as I didn’t measure anything (sorry!)

So here it goes…

The Red Curry Paste recipe is in the Thermomix Everyday Cooking for the Family book. The paste could be done manually by cooking off the seeds etc on the stove and grinding them with a pestle and mortar or simply by using powdered spices and a food processor.

Red Curry Paste

8 teaspoons Coriander Seeds

8 fresh red chillies quartered

6 cm fresh ginger peeled and chopped

2 tablespoons paprika

1 clove of garlic (10 if you don’t have IBS/none if you can’t tolerate garlic)

Juice and zest of 4 limes (I peel the zest of with a potato peeler)

4 lemon grass stalks cut into 2 cm lengths

100g garlic infused olive oil (or plain olive oil if you’re using 10 cloves garlic)

Method

Put coriander seeds into the TM bowl for 6 minutes on 100 degrees celcius speed 2 (or cook on the stove).

Tip seeds onto a plate and allow the seeds and TM bowl to cool, then put them back in and grind on speed 10 until fine (or grind in a pestle and mortar).

Add chillies, ginger, paprika, garlic, lime juice and zest and the lemon grass to TM bowl (or put all of the above ingredients into a food processor/blender).

Mince on speed 9.

Scrape down the sides as every now and then.

When mixture is beginning to form a paste, add some oil through the lid.

Turn the TM down to speed 3 and continue to pour the remaining oil slowly onto the lid with the MC in place.

When all of the oil is incorporated your paste is done! Pop it into an airtight container in the fridge and it will last a few weeks. It can also be frozen.

Curry Chicken

Ingredients

1 kg chicken thighs thinly sliced

2 cups vegetables diced/ chopped, you can use anything that is in the fridge – I used carrots, broccolini, capsicum, pumpkin.

1 tablespoon curry paste (for a mild curry add or reduce to taste)

1 tin coconut milk (I used AYAM premium as it only has coconut and water in it!)

1 tin coconut cream/ 100g Monika pure creamed coconut and some water (I filled the coconut milk tin with water)

2 star anise

6 cardamom pods

2 Kaffir lime leaves

1-2 tablespoons fish sauce

Bunch fresh coriander

1 tablespoon olive oil (I used garlic infused)

Method

Heat a wok or large saucepan on medium heat with the olive oil.

Fry off the curry paste stirring continuously for 1-2 minutes until there are beautiful aromas of curry paste (don’t let it burn!!!)

Add the coconut milk and stir until boiling.

Add the vegetables, star anise, kaffir lime leaves and cardamom (I think technically the cardamom should be fried off with the curry paste) and reduce the heat a bit and simmer for about 5 minutes.

Add the chicken and the water and simmer until cooked (about 10 minutes or so depending on how big you cut the chicken).

Add the fish sauce to taste.

Garnish with coriander.

Can be served with rice/cauliflower rice etc.  I serve plain yoghurt with the curry for the younger children in our family.  You can add some garlic/garlic infused olive oil and diced cucumber to this if you wish.

I hope you enjoy it x

A hearty, rich winter warmer…slow cooked Oxtail, chorizo and red wine stew.

037Last week I ordered some oxtail from our local butcher. I’ve never cooked it before so it sat in the fridge for a couple of days before I finally decided that I needed to do something with it.

It was a dreary winter’s day, so perfect for a warming winter stew.  I got on to Taste.com.au and searched for some recipe inspiration. Oxtail, chorizo and red wine stew came up and had some good reviews. I had all of the ingredients in the cupboard (except for the truss tomatoes to roast), so promptly set about making this dish, and boy was I glad I did!

Ingredients

2kg oxtail pieces

1/3 cup (80ml) extra virgin olive oil or garlic infused olive oil

1 onion or 3-4 spring onions (green only for low FODMAP) roughly chopped

2 garlic cloves finely chopped (I used 1 garlic clove as I can tolerate that but omit if sensitive)

3-4 carrots, roughly chopped

2 chorizo, chopped

1 tsp smoked paprika (pimenton)

Finely grated zest of 1/2 orange

1 bay leaf

2 rosemary sprigs

2 cups (500ml) red wine

2 x 400g cans whole peeled tomatoes (I actually used 1 tin + passata)

3 cups (750ml) beef stock

16 cherry truss tomatoes (the only thing I didn’t have!)

Mashed potato, to serve

Chopped flat-leaf parsley, to garnish

Method

023Preheat the oven to 170°C.

Tie a piece of kitchen string around each oxtail piece so the meat holds on the bone.

Place oxtail in a saucepan of cold water and bring to the boil, then simmer for 15 minutes to remove impurities.

Drain, rinse in cold water and set aside.

Heat 1 tbs olive oil in a large flameproof casserole over medium heat.

030Add onion, garlic, carrot and chorizo, then cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes until vegetables soften slightly.

Stir in paprika, orange zest, bay leaf and 1 rosemary sprig. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Add wine, canned tomatoes and stock, bring to the boil, then add the oxtail. Cover with the lid and bake in the oven for 3 hours.

Place cherry tomatoes and leaves from the remaining rosemary sprig on a baking tray. Toss with remaining 3 tbs olive oil, season, then place tray in the oven with the oxtail for a further 30 minutes or until the tomatoes have softened and the meat is meltingly tender.

Remove the kitchen string from the oxtail pieces, season sauce to taste with salt and pepper, then serve on mash with roasted tomatoes and parsley.

Absolutely delicious and a real winter warmer on these dreary, rainy wintery days…roast lamb tonight!!!

Ocean trout served with creamed spinach and a tropical salsa

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When I was a child I lived in Western Samoa, a group of little islands in the Pacific. It was a time that created amazing memories and impressions that will last for the rest of my life. I lived at a tourist attraction, Piula Cave pool, and met people from all over the world on a daily basis. I swam through caves and snorkelled on coral reefs that were the colours of the rainbow.

We lived in a fabulous “missionary” house that had a central courtyard in which a bunch of bananas was always hanging. Our veranda was surrounded with paw paw trees. We had huge mango trees, guavas, lime, avocados, pineapples and coconut trees. I quickly made friends with local families and was always welcomed into their homes to eat their amazing food.

The other day I was at our local green grocer’s where I saw very green bananas. In Samoa, green bananas were a staple in their diet as a vegetable. I went home and did a test run! That night I was also cooking ocean trout, which I served with a salsa. It immediately made me think of a more tropical version, which is what i cooked tonight, and yes it was a winner! So here it is, Ocean trout with (coconut) creamed spinach and a tropical salsa! The spinach is inspired by a local Samoan dish called palusami. It is traditionally made with taro leaves and baked in an umu (ground oven) This recipe serves 2.

Creamed spinach

Ingredients

150 g baby spinach leaves

1 x 270 ml can coconut milk

6 spring onions (green only for low FODMAP)

1 tablespoon garlic infused olive oil

Salt and pepper

Method

Heat a small saucepan on medium heat.

Add olive oil.

When hot, fry off the spring onions until just wilted.

Add spinach leaves and coconut milk and season.

Simmer for about 5 minutes or until spinach leaves are wilted.

Ocean trout with tropical salsa

Ingredients

1/4 pawpaw diced

1 small tomato diced

6 spring onions (green only for low FODMAP)

1 small bunch coriander leaves finely chopped

1/4 red capsicum diced

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1/2 lime juiced

2 fillets ocean trout (I like middle pieces of the fillet)

1 tablespoon garlic infused oil

Method

Mix all the fruit and vegetables in a small bowl and add balsamic vinegar and lime juice.

Combine ingredients well and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Heat frypan with oil on medium high heat.

Panfry trout for a few minutes on each side, until cooked to your liking.

To serve, divide the creamed spinach between the bowls/plates.

Place the trout on top.

Spoon generous amounts of tropical salsa over the trout and serve immediately.

I hope you enjoy my culinary journey back to the islands!

Pierre’s Restaurant, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia

pierres-brasserie-launcestonOn Friday night I ate at this restaurant with a group of girlfriends.  Pierre’s is somewhat of an iconic institution on the Launceston restaurant/café scene and this year has been awarded a spot at number 12 on the Australian Good Food Guide (AGFG) list of Australian Restaurants.  It has been around since 1956 and in recent years has had a facelift which has modernised it’s interior without sacrificing it’s charm.  With the classic black and white tiles, rich red colours and the high back leather bench seats, Pierre’s provides a sophisticated yet relaxed dining experience and has a great pre theatre feel about it.

The restaurant is divided into two sections.  The main entrance is off George Street and is a long narrow room, dimly lit and lined with bench seating.  The Courtyard room and bar is a bit more open and light and can be accessed either from George Street or through the back, which is handy for those diners who wish to park in the Patterson Street undercover car park which is conveniently located adjacent to the restaurant.  While the back room does have smaller tables, it is also perfect for larger groups or functions.

The menu looked great and the wine list extensive, although I thought there could have been a bit more choice in the Tasmanian wine department.

OuPierres Creme Bruleer table however,  was fairly unadventurous, only ordering two of the main course dishes and two desserts.  Meals were simply presented but loaded with flavour.  The Duck confit a la orange was by all reports a superb dish.  I ordered the fish of the day, which was Atlantic salmon.  The restaurant catered well for my dietary requirements and served the fish with steamed vegetables and a slice of lemon.  The fish was moist, but cooked all the way through.  Desserts also looked great with crème brulee and a trio of sorbets being ordered.

Unfortunately the service on this occasion was a bit slow, particularly when it came to drinks.  We ended up having to go and wait at the bar to order drinks, which was a bit disappointing.  As I’ve dined here previously, I know that this isn’t always the case.

All in all it was a great dining experience and I would recommend this restaurant to anyone who is visiting Launceston.  No doubt the locals are already well aware of it’s presence!  Pierre’s is open Tuesday to Saturday for breakfast lunch and dinner.