Vegetables

Got a random vegetable in your pantry that you’re not sure what to do with?

http://vegetables.co.nz/ may come in handy as it has a search for recipes by vegetable option.

(I saw a hot air balloon with the URL flying past and just had to check it out, I’m going to give a few of the recipes a try. Pity about the slogan – “Be inspired”. It makes me want to throw carrots at them.)

Guacamole Pizza

For the past while I’ve been fixated on adding olives, feta and pesto to nearly all my savoury meals. Everything tastes better with olives/feta/pesto right? Well, yes and no. After realizing that my last three meals had included all these ingredients I decided it was time to branch out again.

So, I present to you pizza without the OFP combination.

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The base spread is tomato salsa with left over Guacamole, topped with chargrilled capsicum, red onion, chillies, cheddar and mozzarella.

A delicious combo. I didn’t miss OFP one bit.

For general pizza making instruction view:

Broccoli or Mushroom Simple Pizza

For other yummy pizza toppings view:

Zucchini and Onion Pizza.

Potato and Leek Pizza

Peach, Banana & Mint Smoothie

I love going to the gym as gym means that when I get home it’s time for smoothies! (yes, really everything is about food).

This is the smoothie of the hour. I think it’s the mint leaves and dash of lemon which give this smoothie the edge.

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Put the following in your blender.

  • A ripe banana
  • Two ripe peaches (stones removed of course!)
  • Dash of lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons of yogurt
  • A couple of small mint leaves finely cut

Then add milk. For two people I add milk till the total of ingredients in the blender is 750mls.

Drink. Mmmmmm.

I’m currently not going to the gym as I broke my finger. Damn. I’ll probably make the smoothie again soon anyway though I’ll need to get Thomas to do the chopping for me.

Chai

The Auckland contingent of Polly Put the Kettle on had a Chai making get together the other day. We made chai, ate food, sat on the back deck and watched ducklings.

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We’ll be providing chai as well as other refreshments at KiwiBurn next year. We were thinking that we’d have to try out a few different recipes before finding the perfect chai. Not so, this one is great. Using soy means it’s also vegan friendly (anyone know if vegans eat honey? If not I guess we could replace the honey with brown sugar).

Rowena served the chai on a cute little tray in cute mugs purchased at an Op shop.

Put the following in a pot:

1 Tbsp anise seed
6 green cardamom pods
12 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1/4″ ginger root, sliced thin
1/4 tsp black pepper corns
2 bay leaves
1/2 cinnamon pod
7 Cups water

Boil 5 minutes, then steep 10 minutes:

Add:

2 Tbsp Rooibos tea (or your favourite) then bring to a boil, and simmer 5 minutes:

Add:

6 Tbsp honey or brown sugar
1 Cup soy

Serve!

Changing Tastes

I never used to like sushi, but yesterday I was sitting at work scoffing my prawn and avocado rolls and reflecting on how my tastes have changed over the years. (If anyone feels an urge to tell me that I’m using the term sushi incorrectly because blah, blah, blah – please don’t.)

I started making a list of foods I’ve learnt to like, and then I realised that the learning came in two clear phases. The first I started liking as a teen, the second happened after I reach adulthood.

The Teenage Years

* Mushrooms

* Asparagus

* Avocado

* Fish

* Mussels

* Chocolate mousse

I note that my parents thought it was a sad day when I started liking mushrooms and asparagus – it meant there was less for them!

The Gourmet Adult

* Sushi

* Prawns

* Olives

* Feta cheese

* Coffee

And then there’s the foods that other people love but I still just don’t get.

Ick! Still!

* Oysters

* Blue cheese (although I’m getting there)

* Coriander

I’m sure there’s a bunch I’ve missed. Anyone else finally seen the light on something?

~Thomas

Tuna and Cream Cheese Dip

This is a lovely and easy starter. Even Thomas who is normally the anti-tuna thinks it’s delicious. Thanks to Clarissa for the recipe.

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Tuna and Cream Cheese Dip
1 x medium tin plain tuna (in spring water)
1 x pot of cream cheese (250gms)
Good bunch of fresh mint
Salt and pepper to taste
Juice of half a lemon.

Loosen the cream cheese in a bowl (until smooth and easy to stir), flake the tuna into it and stir through, add the mint and stir, then salt, pepper and lemon juice.

Serve with carrot sticks.

Tuna Dip with Carrots

Tip: If the cream cheese is at room temperature it makes it easier to deal with :)

Chocolate Walnut Fudge

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Chocolate Walnut Fudge

  • 250g (1 cup) sugar
  • 400g can of condensed milk
  • 50g of butter
  • 5ml (1 tsp) vanilla
  • 115g plain chocolate, grated
  • 75g (3/4 cup) walnuts
  • Non Stick Baking Paper

Grease an 18cm square cake tin and line with baking paper.

Mix the sugar, condensed milk and butter in a heavy-based saucepan and heat gently, stirring occasionally until the sugar is dissolved completely.

Bring the mixture to the boil (stir continuously) and cook until it reaches 119 degrees Celsius*. Remove the pan from the heat and beat in the vanilla essence, grated chocolate and nuts. Beat until mixture is smooth and creamy.

Pour mixture into the cake tin, spread evenly. Leave to set in the fridge (a few hours).

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*Or perform the famous fudge soft ball test (drop a few drops of the boiling fudge mixture into cold water. If it forms a ball it is ready).

Pumpkin and Ginger Felafels

Here is another lovely recipe I was emailed by Marie (from Traits).

I really enjoyed them as burger patties even though I’m a little uncomfortable with the taste of ginger. It won’t replace my standard comfort burger but it will be a nice change when I feel like going a little more gourmet.

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I’ve included Marie’s email text below as I love the way she writes. If you have recipes for me to try email them to me at Kim@WhatKimAte.co.nz.

Pumpkin and Ginger Felafels

“Here is a recipe from Allyson Grofton (food in a minute lady).

We had them just as described but I think would be magic as burger patties! (and can be a change from the regular tofu patty.)

– 250gms firm pumpkin
– 425 gm can cannellini (butter) beans. Drained
– 2 tsp minced fresh garlic
– 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
– 1 tbsp chopped fresh chilli
– 3 cups fresh bread crumbs
– oil for frying
– 200 gm tub hummus
– 1/2 cup yoghurt
mango salsa ingredients

Mix the hummus and yoghurt together – cover and back to fridge

In a bowl combine all the mango salsa ingredients – cover and back to fridge

Peel & cook pumpkin in a little boiling water, drain and then put back into pan to dry it out – a couple of minutes, just to its not too wet. In a processor (I don’t have one so I used a potato masher) cannellini beans, garlic, ginger, chilli and 1/2 breadcrumbs.

Season with salt and pepper.

Mould into 12 patties (or burger sized patties) and roll in remaining breadcrumbs.

Fry with a little oil until golden and heated through, keep warm while others are being cooked.

Serve as it or with a plain salad or make mega burgers!

Andrew loves this and I’m looking forward to getting out the barbie and making these bad boys in summer. Keep up the great blog!

Marie xx”