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

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.

guamolepizza.jpg

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.

smoothie.jpg

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.

chai.jpg

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.

tunadip.jpg

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 :)