Two shakes

Watermelon shake

Take a watermelon. Remove pips. Put in blender with a tray of ice. Blend. 

OMG yum. 

One watermelon normally makes two blenders full. 

watermelon-smoothie
Hint: How to get pips out of watermelons

Use two bowls and a sieve. Scoop out the watermelon flesh into one of the bowls, then use your hands to grab out bits of flesh. The pips will come off easily. Use the sieve to collect the watermelon water at the bottom of the bowl while avoiding the pips. 

Spinach, orange and apple shake

1 cup of fresh spinach leaves
2 oranges
1 apple, peeled
1 cup chilled water
4 cubes of ice

Spinach, apple and orange smoothie

Peel and chop the apple and orange. Put all ingredients in the blender and blend! So fresh and energizing. Spinach love!

This is a sweet green drink with a slightly tart/bitter undertone. Very nice. Beware of the green moustache! 
 
Got spinach?

Kim with green "got spinach?" moustache

Peach Sorbet

It seems crazy to post about sorbet on one of the coldest days we’ve had in a while. Oh well, save this great recipe from the Mediterranean Food Warehouse for a nice sunny day!

The peach flavour is amazingly intense. The man at the Food Warehouse swears it’s because of the quality of the Spanish canned peaches that they supply. I’m sold.

Ingredients:
• Caster sugar 250g
• Water 125m1
• Spanish peaches 1 large tin drained reserving the syrup
• Lemon juice 2 tablespoons

Method:
Gently heat the caster sugar the water and the syrup until the sugar has dissolved.

Set aside to cool. This will make more syrup than you will require, but it can be used for other purposes.

Purée the peach halves with the lemon juice until smooth. Pass through a sieve to remove any lumps and hard bits. The ripeness of the fruit will dictate how much syrup to add. Start with 1/4 cup measures, then taste. Add a little more syrup when the required taste is achieved because the frozen sorbet is so cold, you need a little more syrup to bring out the fruit flavour.

Remember to let the sweetness work in contrast with tartness, which is achieved by adding a little more lemon juice. But don’t add so much that you overpower the fruit. If using an ice cream machine, churn the purée to the manufacturer’s instructions. Otherwise place the purée in a large dish and freeze.

Check it every 20 minutes and break up the crystals with a fork. When it has reached the desired consistency, place in an airtight container, smooth down and freeze until ready to use.

Sorbets should eaten immediately they are ready but at least within 2—3 days as they begin to lose their fresh flavour.

Serves 4 – 6

For people who eat dessert first..

For some reason the slogan of the Dessert Magazine – For people who eat dessert first – really appeals to me :-)

Although I sometimes eat it *instead* of dinner rather than just before it.

I’m linking it from here as a reference, the magazine has some good looking vegan desserts (heh, vegan dessert art) and since I seem to be cooking a lot for vegans and people who can’t eat dairy I’m sure it will be a handy resource.

Thanks to Sacarna for bringing it to my attention.

Potato Curry with Sesame Seeds

I really like this simple to make potato side dish. Be warned if you’re coming over to my place for dinner in the next little while you’ll be eating potatoes. Winter and potatoes go together very well as far as I’m concerned.

mustard-seed-potatoes

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Total cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4 as a side dish

4 large potatoes
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon chopped fresh chili
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind
2 tablespoons lemon juice
salt and pepper

1. Boil, steam or microwave the potatoes until tender. Cool, peel and chop. Heat the oil in a large heavy-based pan over medium heat. Cook the cumin, coriander and mustard seeds for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

2. Add the sesame seeds; cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring until golden. Add the turmeric, chilies, potatoes, lemon rind and juice. Stir until well combined and heated through. Season to taste, with salt and pepper.

Yum.

From The Essential Vegetarian Cookbook, Murdock books

Spiced Apple and Almond Cake (Vegan)

For Bex, it’s always nice when a dinner guest asks for the recipe.

Makes 12 Servings

4 cups peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped Golden Delicious apples (about 4 medium).
1 ¾ cups sugar
½ teaspoon chopped dried lemon peel
½ cup canola or other mild vegetable oil
½ cup cup red currant jam, at room temperature
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped blanched almonds
Icing sugar (optional)

Preheat the oven to 175C (350F). Grease a 13 by 9 inch baking pan. In a large bowl, combine the apples, sugar, and lemon peel; let stand for 15 minutes.

Add the oil, jam, vanilla extract, and almond extract to the apple mixture; stir until the jam is well dissolved.

In another large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Gradually stir into the apple mixture. Add the almonds, stirring well to combine. Pour into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes.

Let the cake cool n the pan on a wire rack. When completely cooled, sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar, if desired. Cut into squares and serve.

Advance Preparation

The completely cooled cake can be covered with foil and stored at room temperature for up to two days.


From The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen by Donna Klein

Degustation breakfast two

Thomas and I are still continuing our weekend degustation breakfasts.

The highlight of last weekends was without doubt the mini-pancake with maple syrup, boysenberry puree and whipped cream. Small plates of food are so cute.

baby-pancakes

Complete breakfast menu:

1. Feijoa
2. Sliced apple and cheese
3. Mini-big-breakfast – scrambled egg with roasted potato, mushroom and half a cherry tomato
4. The extra roast potato with sour cream
5. Mini-pancake with maple syrup, boysenberry puree and whipped cream

Anyone know of cafes offering degustation breakfasts?

Degustation breakfast

I’ve been experimenting with portion sizes and eating lots of whole foods. This weekend I made Thomas a five course meal for breakfast with under 350 calories. It was fun having lots of little things to eat.

1. Feijoa

feijoas-ripe

2. Cumin gouda cheese with plum tomato

cheese-tomatoes

3. Manuka smoked salmon with cream cheese on wholemeal bread

salmon-creamcheese

4. Hard-boiled egg

eggs

5. Apple and pear salad with yoghurt and walnuts

pear-apple-walnut-salad

Kiwi Berries

I was quite surprised to come across Kiwi berries in the supermarket. Have these been around for a while?

kiwi berries

Unsurprisingly the are very similar to kiwi fruit. The differences are that you can fit all of one all in your mouth at once, there is no fur and it has a slightly more berries texture. Firm outer layer which when you bite through you get a burst of kiwifruit goodness. I think I prefer them.

The New Toasted Sandwich

So, as part of setting up our new kitchen I bought a nice combination sandwich press/griller. It makes a good toasted sandwich and I’m very happy with it… but it hasn’t been used as much as I expected because I stumbled upon an even better way to make them using the oven griller.

Tuna Toasted Sandwich

This recipe for a tuna toasted sandwich is an example of the technique. It can easily be modified for any fillings you like although I recommend keeping the tapenade no matter what else you change!

Ingredients (per sandwich)

  • Turkish bread (ideally not the Quality Baker brand – it’s very dense)
  • 1/2 small can of lemon-pepper tuna, drained
  • About 1/2 tbsp tapenade (recommend Genoese brand)
  • About 1tbsp basil pesto (recommend Genoese brand)
  • Half a tomato, thinly sliced
  • Small amount of grated mozzarella cheese
  • Handful of lettuce

Instructions

1. Turn on your oven’s griller (I think this is the broiler in US-speak)
2. Cut the bread into sandwich sized sections
3. Carefully slice the bread to separate the top and bottom
4. Lightly toast the outer sides of the bread (careful, it doesn’t take long)

5. Spread pesto on bottom piece of bread
6. Spread tapenade on the top piece

Spread that bread
7. Put the tomatoes on the bottom
8. Spread the tuna on top of the tomato
9. Put the cheese on top of the tapenade

10. Place back under the grill (again, it doesn’t take long)
11. Remove from the grill (to assist you with getting it just right, I carefully cooked the one in the picture one a little bit too much)


12. Put the lettuce on
13. Put the sandwich together and eat