Vegetarian Recipes

Healthy Homemade Falafel Recipe

Not only is falafel a great dish for those light summer nights, but it’s also really quick and easy to make from scratch. Enjoy with a side of salad or in pita bread with red onion and lettuce if you’re on-the-go.

RELATED: Healthy Snack Recipe – Falafel

Ingredients

1 cup chickpeas (cooked)

1 onion, coarsely chopped

2 large cloves of garlic, smashed

1.5 tsp ground cumin

1.5 tsp ground coriander

3/4 tsp cayenne pepper

½ bunch coriander stalks

1 lemon (juiced)

1-2 tbsp plain flour

Salt

Olive oil

Instructions

  1. Drain the cooked chickpeas in a colander until there is no excess water left in the chickpeas.
  2. Put chickpeas into the food processor along with onion, garlic, coriander stalks, lemon juice and spices.
  3. Blitz until combined without using any water, scraping down the sides of the processor if needed. The mixture will not be smooth, but it should not have large chunks.
  4. Scrape out the mixture into a clean bowl and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove the chickpea mixture from the refrigerator. Add enough oil to a large saute pan so it reaches 1/2-inch up the sides and heat it over medium-high heat
  6. Meanwhile, drop spoonfuls of the chickpea mixture onto a plate with 1/4 cup flour. Roll into balls on the floured plate and press gently into patties of about about 1.5cm thickness.
  7. Shallow fry in hot pan for 5 minutes on each side or until golden on crisp on both sides and drain on absorbent papers.
  8. Serve with pita bread, Greek yoghurt, fresh vegetables, and sliced tomato.

Image via A Beautiful Mess

August 9, 2015

5 Healthy Green Salad Ideas

Who said healthy salads had to taste boring and lifeless? If you’re looking for a light meal for dinner or lunch, try the following green salads for a tasty and filling option. Use them as inspiration for future meals, or add some tasty fruits and vegetables to make them your own.

RELATED: 5 Tasty Ways To Cook Quinoa

Arugula salad with grapes and black pepper vinaigrette

This salad makes for the perfect late afternoon snack since it’s packed with vegetables, a touch of spice and some juicy grapes to fill-up on.

5 Healthy Green Salad Ideas

Roasted chickpea bowl with cherry tomatoes

For more of a textured dish, roast a handful of chickpeas and toss some crumbled feta over the top. Finish off with some sliced vegetables and fresh Spanish onion to taste.

5 Healthy Green Salad Ideas

Broad bean, mint and ricotta salad

Try and incorporate some broad beans into your salad to give it some extra body for dinner. Our favourite is this one featuring tasty ricotta and mint for that super-fresh taste.

5 Healthy Green Salad Ideas

Sweet and spicy cucumber noodle salad

Take it one step further by baking your very own cucumber noodles with the help of a spiralizer. Don’t forget to add some other vegetables and sweet fruits to make this salad one-of-a-kind.

5 Healthy Green Salad Ideas

Herbed quinoa garden salad

Finish off with a tasty quinoa salad; an ideal dish if you want to keep it light and fresh. Add some textured lettuce to make it super healthy and crunchy!

5 Healthy Green Salad Ideas

Images via Top With Cinnamon, Sassy Kitchen, She Knows, Pinch of Yum

July 26, 2015

Light Guacamole Salad Recipe

We aren’t the type to resist anything with avocado, so when this certain recipe came along, we just had to share it! The perfect, light meal which is loaded with greens, protein and natural fats, all of which are actually good for your body. Don’t forget to add in some tuna, egg or tofu for added texture.

RELATED: Avocado Summer Rolls Recipe

Ingredients

1 red onion (sliced)

2 ripe avocados (cut into thick slices)

5 cherry tomatoes (sliced in half)

Coriander and mint leaves

3 tbsp of olive oil

Salt and pepper to season

Juice of 1 lime

Method

  1. Whisk together the lime juice and olive oil. If you prefer your meal on the spicy side, feel free to add some chilli flakes into the dressing.
  2. Slice the avocado, cherry tomatoes and red onion, then arrange them on each plate.
  3. Add the coriander and mint leaves, then toss the salad with the dressing.

Image via Donal Skehan 

April 9, 2015

Spicy Cucumber and Chilli Salad Recipe

The spicy chilli invites a taste sensation and is ultimately a match made in heaven paired with a cool-cucumber and vinegar topping.

The entire meal takes about 5 minutes to prepare, and is washed down best with a refreshing fruit juice, or a sneaky white wine during the later hours of the evening.

RELATED: Detox Salad Recipe

Ingredients

1 tsp peppercorns

1/2 tsp chilli flakes

Splash of lemon juice

1/4 clove of garlic

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp Greek yoghurt

2 cucumbers (sliced)

Pinch of chives

Pinch of parsley

Season with salt and pepper

Method

  1. Finely chop the cucumbers and set aside. For extra crunch, leave the skin on and slice horizontally.
  2. Crush the peppercorns and chilli flakes until they have combined. Add the garlic, salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Add the lemon juice, olive oil, and yoghurt. Mix well, then toss with the cucumber and other herbs for a fresh taste.

Image via Kirbie Cravings

January 28, 2015

Crispy Goat’s Cheese Salad Recipe

Goat cheese, or chèvre, is high in flavor and low in fat. It is higher in calcium and protein than its brothers made from cows milk. This goat cheese salad is great to accompany a large meal for the family, or to enjoy on your lunch break.

RELATED: Brown Rice, Asparagus and Goat Cheese Salad Recipe

Ingredients

16 oz. Goat cheese

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup bread crumbs

Olive oil for frying

4 cups of small-leafed greens (baby spinach leaves, arugula or loose leaf lettuce)

6 fresh figs, quartered

Salt and pepper

Method

  1. Using your hands, mould the goats cheese into tiny balls (no larger than half an inch in diameter). Put your flour in a small bowl, or on a plate, and roll the goats cheese balls, coating them evenly in the flour.
  2. Transfer your goats cheese balls to the lightly beaten eggs, coating them in the mixture.
  3. Next, pour your bread crumbs onto a plate or into a bowl, then cover your goats cheese balls in the crumbs.
  4. Heat oil in a small skillet on medium-high heat (you should only need to use around a 1/4 cup – you don’t want to deep fry the goats cheese, just crisp the bread crumbs on the outside.) Put the crumbed goats cheese balls in the frying pan and cook on all sides, rotating as required to cook evenly. You don’t want to deep fry the goats cheese, just crisp the bread crumbs on the outside. You can cook several balls at a time if you have the room, just make sure you always test one first. Once fried, transfer to paper towel on a plate and set aside.
  5. Put leafy greens and figs in a bowl. Add goats cheese balls and serve. Season with salt and pepper, if required.

Image via yuppiechef.com

November 6, 2014

Brown Rice, Asparagus and Goat Cheese Salad Recipe

Brown rice is the healthy alternative to white rice. Because it is unrefined – unlike white rice – brown rice still contains whole grains and natural vitamins, fiber, protein, calcium and magnesium, often lost in the refining process of white rice. It has a low glycemic index, meaning it releases energy slowly, allowing you to stay full and energised for longer. Asparagus is also rich in vitamins A, C, E and K, as well as fiber and folate. If this tasty salad wasn’t healthy enough, goats cheese is also low in fat and healthier than other cheeses made from cows milk.

RELATED: Miso Glazed Fish with Sesame Brown Rice Recipe

Ingredients

Serves 6 

1 1/2 cups long-grain brown rice

2 tsp salt

2 tsp vinegar or citrus juice

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 pound asparagus, trimmed

2 1/2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 shallot, minced

1 tsp grated lemon zest plus 2 tablespoons juice

4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled (1 cup)

1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Salt and pepper

Method

  1. Bring 3 quarts water to boil in large pot. Add rice and salt to water and cook until rice is tender, stirring with a fork occasionally so it doesn’t stick to the bottom. Drain rice, transfer to a baking paper-lined tray and spread evenly. Drizzle rice with vinegar or citrus juice and let cool.
  2. Heat vegetable oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add asparagus and arrange evenly in a line, as best you can. Cover and cook for 2-5 minutes until bright green but still crisp. Uncover, increase heat, season with salt and pepper, and continue to cook until tender and well browned on 1 side (approx. 5 minutes). Using tongs, rotate asparagus spears to ensure all are cooked evenly. Transfer to plate and let cool completely. Cut into 1 inch-long pieces.
  3. Whisk olive oil, shallot, lemon zest and juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper together in bowl.
  4. Transfer cooled rice to large bowl. Add asparagus, goat cheese, almonds and 3 tablespoons of parsley and dressing; toss to combine. Keep remaining parsley to serve.

Image via coldlife.com

October 23, 2014

Best Ever Guacamole Recipe

Try this fresh and delicious guacamole recipe the next time you’re hosting a small get together, or simply in the mood for a healthy snack. This classic dip is best served with wholemeal tortilla chips and a cheeky margarita (or two).

Ingredients

1 large ripe tomato

3 avocados (ripe)

1 large lime (juice)

Coriander leaves

1 small red onion

1 chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped

Tortilla chips

Method

  1. Use a large knife to pulverise the tomato to a pulp on a board, then tip into a bowl. Halve and stone the avocados (saving a stone) and use a spoon to scoop out the flesh into the bowl with the tomato.
  2. Tip all the other ingredients into the bowl, then season with salt and pepper. Use a whisk to roughly mash everything together. If not serving straight away, sit a stone in the guacamole (this helps to stop it going brown), cover with cling film and chill until needed.
  3. Scatter with the coriander, if using, then serve with tortilla chips or spicy wedges and sour cream.

Images and Recipe via BBC Good Food

September 10, 2014

Tofu San Choy Bow Recipe

A perfect dinner idea that is quick, easy, nutritious and caters for the vegetarian in the house.

Serves 2

Ingredients

350g firm tofu

1 tbsp sesame oil

300g mushrooms, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 red chilli

1 tsp ground coriander

2 tbsp tamari

4 shallots, thinly sliced

1/2 lemon, juiced

1 cup fresh coriander, coarsely chopped

8 iceberg lettuce leaves

Method

  1. Cut tofu into large squares and place in a pan filled with water. Bring to the boil and wait for tofu to rise to the surface.
  2. Drain water, transfer tofu to a food processor and process until minced.
  3. In a wok, heat sesame oil. Add mushrooms, garlic, chilli and ground coriander. Stir fry for 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add the minced tofu, tamari and 3/4 of the shallots to the wok and stir through. Add lemon juice, turn heat off and stir through.
  5. To serve, spoon mixture into individual lettuce leaf cups, garnish with fresh coriander and remaining shallots, and serve.

Courtesy of The Healthy Mummy

July 8, 2014

Easy Vegetarian Weekly Meal Plan

There is no shortage of delicious vegetarian recipes out there, the challenge is often finding the time to put together a week’s worth of dinner ideas. We think you’ll love our vegetarian weekly meal plan.

Monday: Portobello Mushroom Burgers

Simply marinate mushroom caps using your favourite marinade for 15 minutes. Grill the caps for about five minutes per side. Once they are done, place the mushroom caps on a brioche bun and top with guacamole, cheese and salad.

Tuesday: Spinach Quiche

Set your oven to 375 degrees. Saute a bag of spinach and any other vegetables you have left over in a skillet for 2 minutes. Next, use a whisk to mix 6 eggs and 1/4 cup milk together in a separate bowl. Pour the spinach mixture into a pie crust, then mix in the egg mixture. Bake the quiche for 15 minutes. Apply a layer of cheddar cheese on top, and then bake for another 35 minutes. Let the quiche stand for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Wednesday: Chipotle Bean Burritos

Use a fork to mash one ripe avocado in a bowl. Then add cooked black beans, chopped onion, cilantro, salt, lime juice, garlic and jalapeno. Mix everything together and spread over tortillas, then wrap like a burrito.

Thursday: Grilled Eggplant Sandwiches

Bake or grill thinly sliced eggplant for a few minutes on each side and and serve on toasted ciabatta bread. Then add any sandwich toppings you like, such as bell pepper, onion, goat’s cheese and arugula. To round out the meal, serve with a bowl of tomato soup.

Friday: Kale and Bean Soup

In a large pot set on medium heat, add diced onion, carrot, celery and cook until tender. Next, add in some garlic and salt to taste. Cook for one minute, then add a chopped head of kale and three cups of vegetable broth. Allow it to come to a boil before covering the pot. Lower the heat and let the soup simmer for about three minutes.

Puree two cups of cooked cannellini beans in a blender. Then add the pureed bean mixture to the pot. Bring the soup back up to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for five minutes.

Saturday: Goat Cheese Pizza

Set your oven to 450F. Boil 2 potatoes until they are tender. Once they have cooled, cut them into slices. Next, saute a medium sized red onion in olive oil over medium heat. Cook until tender. Sprinkle a light layer of cornmeal on a baking sheet, then roll and stretch pizza dough on the baking sheet. Sprinkle the dough with an even layer of mozzarella cheese. Next, create a layer of potatoes and onions. Top this layer with goat cheese and minced garlic. Place the pizza into the oven and cook for 15 minutes or until the cheese is golden and melted.

Sunday: Potato Croquettes

Boil and mash 2-3 potatoes and add to a bowl. Next, finely chop leeks, mushrooms and thyme in a food processor. Set a skillet on medium heat and saute the mushroom mixture for about 6 minutes, and then add it to the potatoes. Add Gruyere and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese to the potato mixture, along with one egg yolk and salt to taste. Mix thoroughly and form the mixture into patties. Dredge each patty in flour, and then dip them into an egg mixture containing one egg white and 2 teaspoons of water. Then dredge the patties into panko bread crumbs. Set a skillet to medium-high heat and add enough olive oil to generously cover the bottom of the skillet. Add the patties to the skillet and cook for four minutes each side.

April 7, 2014

Vegan Weekly Meal Plan

Eating vegan is a clean and healthy lifestyle choice, but one that can sometimes present challenges when it comes time to planning a weekly menu. It can become difficult to throw together dinner ideas every night, so try our week of dinner ideas and see just how easy vegan cooking can be.

Monday: Mexican Tacos

1. Brown tofu crumbles in a pan, mixing in some taco seasoning. Add a spoon of tomato paste and a can of black beans and let simmer.

2. Heat taco shells in oven, then spoon tofu mixture into each shell.

3. Top each taco with lettuce, diced tomatoes, sliced olives and some salsa.

Tuesday: Italian Lasagna

1. Bring a pot of water to boil and place in lasagna shells. Let cook for about eight minutes, until soft, and drain.

2. Layer a baking dish with noodles, then top with tomato sauce and non-dairy ricotta cheese. Sprinkle a layer of non-dairy mozzarella over the ricotta.

3. Repeat step two, making layers until you reach the top of the dish. Bake for 45 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius.

Wednesday: Sushi

1. Lay seaweed sheets on a sushi roller and cover with a thin layer of sushi rice.

2. Cover the rice with a thin layer of your favourite sushi vegetables, like sweet potato, avocado, cucumber or asparagus.

3. Roll the sushi up tightly, then cut into bite size pieces. Serve with soy sauce and wasabi.

Thursday: Breakfast for Dinner

1. Dunk slices of baguette in almond milk, then coat them in egg substitute, letting the bread soak up the liquid.

2. Fry the bread slices on each side, then top with syrup and powdered sugar.

3. Serve with fresh fruit and your favourite breakfast meat substitute.

Friday: Chinese Stir Fry

1. Cook a diced onion and two cloves of garlic in a bit of olive oil, until the onion is soft and translucent.

2. Saute snap peas, water chestnuts, carrots and baby corn in with the onion. Douse liberally with your favourite soy sauce.

3. Add tofu for some extra heft to the dish, and let cook down in the sauce for about 20 minutes. Serve over white rice.

Saturday: Soup

1. Saute garlic and onion with green beans, diced eggplant, squash, carrots and cabbage in a tablespoon of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

2. Pour six cups of vegetable stock over the vegetables, and add a can of crushed tomatoes. Toss in a bay leaf and a few dashes of soy sauce for some added flavour.

3. Let simmer for about an hour before serving. Serve up with a nice crusty loaf of bread.

Sunday: Indian Curry

1. Dice a small onion and two cloves of garlic and saute in olive oil. Once soft, sprinkle a tablespoon of garam masala and a tablespoon of curry powder over the onion, and dash in a pinch of salt and pepper.

2. Dice up some vegetables to act as the “meat” of your curry, like broccoli, bell peppers, squash and carrots. Toss these into your pan and saute for a few minutes, letting the spices combine.

3. Pour a cup of coconut milk over the veggies and let simmer for about 30 minutes. Serve over rice.

March 18, 2014

Savoury Bread and Butter Pudding Recipe

Chef Adam Humphrey of Sydney’s Restaurant Arras and Arras Too shares an easy dinner idea using leftovers from the beautiful OzHarvest Cookbook. Australia’s most celebrated chefs including Matt Moran, Neil Perry, Maggie Beer and George Calombaris share their favourite ‘food rescue’ recipes.

This is a dish my mother used to cook for my brothers and me when we were young and she needed to feed us cheaply and with minimum fuss, using left over bread and other pantry items. 

From the OzHarvest Cookbook, RRP $60

Serves 4

Ingredients
10 slices stale bread, crusts removed (use the crust for crumb)
50g butter
50g mustard, preferably English mustard
350ml full cream milk
50ml cream
2 eggs
Pinch cayenne pepper
100g leftover hard cheese, grated (plus extra for topping)
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper

Variation: In between the layers of bread, place in any left over ham or mushroom or vegetables or herbs that you have.

Method

1. Grease and ovenproof dish enough to hold approximately a litre.

2. Butter each slice of bread both sides with the butter and the mustard, and then cut in half triangularly. Lay one layer of the bread across the bottom of the dish.

3. Heat the milk and cream in a pan with the bay leaf ensuring it doesn’t boil. In a heatproof bowl, whisk the eggs until well broken down and pale in colour. Immediately add the hot milk mix and whisk until well combined, add in the grated cheese and whisk until melted. Season with salt and pepper.

4. At this stage, add in any extra items (ham, vegetables etc) in between the layers of bread. Ensure that the top layer is finished with the bread. Pour over the cheesy custard mix gradually – If you have time, “feed” the pudding over a period of a few hours with the custard.

5. Top with the extra grated cheese, mixed with the crumbs.

6. In a 180°C oven, bake the pudding for approximately 40 mins until the custard is set and the top is golden brown.

7. Once cooked, let rest for a couple of minutes before serving. Serve with left over salad. This pudding is even great the next day too.

What’s your favourite leftover recipe?

January 20, 2014

Detox Salad Recipe

Naturopath Michèle Wolff, author of Digestive Solutions, shares an easy January cleanse recipe for detox salad. The salad rids the body of toxins, cleanses your digestive system and gives your body a boost of vitamins and nutrients. Eat it anytime you need a healthy pick-me-up!

Ingredients

Large handful of rocket
Large handful alfalfa sprouts
Large handful chopped parsley
Sprinkle of sunflower and sesame seeds
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Olive oil to taste
Crushed garlic, if desired

Method

1. Combine all ingredients together and serve. You can also add a boiled or poached egg, and goat’s cheese for added flavour.

Michèle Wolff is a leading health practitioner and a qualified naturopath, nutritionist, herbalist and nurse, owner of Ultimate Detox Solutions. Her new book ‘Digestive Solutions – 101 Proven Methods to Solve Your Tummy Problems Naturally’ is available from bookstores and good online booksellers. Visit www.digestivesolutions.com.au.

January 8, 2014

Vegetable Patties Recipe

Whether you’re looking for delicious meat-free Monday recipes or new easy dinner ideas, give these authentic Sri Lankan patties a try. They’re delicious hot or cold, served as part of a curry night or a picnic, and a great recipe to get kids cooking.

Recipe and image from Hidden Kitchens of Sri Lanka by Bree Hutchins, Published by Murdoch Books, RRP: $49.99

Sri Lankan patties are unlike the ones I’m used to; these are deep-fried pastry parcels filled with curried vegetables, similar to a samosa. Vigneshwaran wrapped up a few patties for me to eat on the drive back to Jaffna, but we only made it down the road before they were all gone.

Makes 32 

Ingredients

Filling
1 tablespoon coconut oil
200 g cabbage, thinly sliced
4 dried long red chillies, chopped
6 small pink Asian shallots, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon roasted chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 sprig curry leaves, leaves picked and roughly chopped
6 cm piece rampe (pandanus) leaf, chopped
1 teaspoon salt, dissolved in 1 tablespoon warm water
1 kg potatoes, boiled, peeled and mashed
vegetable oil, for deep-frying

Dough
600 g (4 cups) plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon coconut oil, plus 2 tablespoons extra
250 ml (1 cup) full-cream milk

Method

1. To make the filling, heat the coconut oil in a wok or deep frying pan over medium heat. Add the cabbage, dried chillies, shallots, fennel seeds, chilli powder, turmeric, curry leaves and rampe; cook for 5 minutes, or until the shallots are golden brown. Add the salty water and remove from the heat. Stir in the mashed potato until well combined. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

2. To make the dough, sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a bowl. Using your hands, mix in the coconut oil, then gradually add the milk, about 2 tablespoons at a time. Continue to work the dough until it is soft and pliable; you may need to add a little water (up to 4 tablespoons). Shape the dough into a large ball and rub with a little extra coconut oil.

3. Roll out half the dough on a lightly floured surface to 3 mm thick. Cut out 10 cm  circles with a pastry cutter or glass. Spoon a heaped tablespoon of the filling into the centre of each circle and fold in half. Use your fingers to press the edges together, brushing the edge of the dough with a little water if necessary. Re-roll the offcuts and use as well. Repeat with the remaining dough.

4. Fill a wok one-third full of oil and heat to approximately 180°C (a cube of bread dropped into the oil will brown in 15 seconds). Deep-fry the patties in batches for 2–3 minutes until crisp and golden, turning them over halfway through cooking time. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Serve hot or cold.

srilanka

What’s your favourite meat-free Monday recipe? Share them in the comments!

 

January 6, 2014

Butternut Pumpkin Quiche Recipe

With just a few staple ingredients, Susie O’Neill shares her one of her favourite easy dinner ideas that’s also delicious for lunch the next day. It’s a true 5 ingredient dinner! Serve with a crisp green salad.

Preparation time: 10mins. Cooking time: 50mins
Serves 6

Ingredients

6 sheets filo pastry
1 x 505g can butternut pumpkin soup
5 eggs
2 cups frozen pea, carrot and corn mix, defrosted and drained
50g reduced fat feta cheese, crumbled

Method

1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Spray a 24cm deep quiche tin with olive oil.

2. Press the sheets of filo into the prepared quiche tin.

3. In a bowl whisk together butternut pumpkin soup and eggs, stir in vegetable mix and pour into filo base. Sprinkle over feta.

4. Trim pastry with kitchen scissors to just above the tin rim. Bake 50 minutes until firm. Serve with a green salad.

Share your favourite 5 ingredient dinners in the comments!

December 30, 2013

Silvia’s Cucina’s Fresh Pasta Squares with Ricotta + Vegetables

Italian food lover, blogger and actress Silvia Colloca shares her easy fresh pasta recipe – sagne a pezze – topped with a simple ricotta and vegetable sauce from her new cookbook Silvia’s Cucina.

This is a very popular dish in the mountainous villages of Abruzzo. My second cousins run a restaurant in Torricella, and they serve freshly made pasta squares in a simple but splendid tomato sauce, crowned with a generous dollop of cow’s-milk ricotta (full-cream and unpasteurised). This is my personal take on the classic dish, devised to celebrate the crisp sweetness of spring vegetables.

When Nonna Irene taught me to make sagne, she wasn’t her usual vague self about size and measures. She insisted  the squares must be an even 2.5 cm × 2.5 cm. Given that this is the only time she has ever advocated precision in the kitchen, I make it a point to follow her instructions to the letter.

silviascucinarecipe

Extract from the book ‘Silvia’s Cucina’ by Silvia Colloca, & photography by Chris Chen, published by Lantern, RRP $39.99 

Serves: 4

Ingredients

1 quantity of egg pasta dough , rolled into 2.5 mm thick sheets
coarse semolina, for dusting

Ricotta and vegetable sauce

3–4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
1 clove garlic, skin on, bashed with the back of a knife
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
2 zucchini (courgettes), thinly sliced
150 g broad beans with pods removed salt flakes
150 g full-cream ricotta finely grated zest of 1 lemon small mint leaves, to garnish freshly ground black pepper

Method

1. Dust the pasta with semolina, then cut into 2.5 cm squares. Place them in one layer on a tea towel or wooden board generously dusted  with semolina.

2. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil.

3. For the sauce, heat the olive oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat, add the garlic and spring onion and cook for 1–2 minutes  or until fragrant. Add the zucchini and and cook, tossing often, for 5–6 minutes or until golden. Turn off the heat.

4. When the water comes to a rolling boil, drop in the broad beans and cook for 1–2 minutes. Lift them out with a slotted  spoon and rinse them under cold water to arrest  the cooking. Peel off the skins and add them to the zucchini and season with salt.

5. Return the water to the boil, then gently drop in the pasta squares and cook for 1–2 minutes  or until nicely al dente.

6. Turn the heat back on under the zucchini and broad bean mixture and remove the garlic clove. Using a slotted spoon, take out the cooked pasta squares and add them to the pan, along with a little pasta cooking water. Toss the pasta through the vegetables for 1–2 minutes or until well coated with the sauce. Add a little more pasta cooking water if the sauce looks a bit dry.

7. Divide the pasta and vegetables among shallow bowls and top with a good dollop of ricotta and a drizzle of olive oil. Scatter over the lemon zest and mint leaves and finish with a grinding of pepper. Serve and enjoy!

Note
Sagne a pezze are also quite wonderful dressed with roasted tomato sugo or Abruzzese-styl meat sauce.

silviascucina

October 24, 2013

Quick Dinner Ideas: Vegemite, Sweet Potato and Rosemary Pizza

Make tonight pizza tonight with this delicious Vegemite, sweet potato and rosemary pizza recipe. The Vegemite adds great savoury flavour which compliments the roasted sweet potato and fragrant rosemary. Making your own thin and crispy pizza base couldn’t be easier with our foolproof pizza dough recipe (or just use pita bread for instant pita pizzas!).

Ingredients

300g kumera (sweet potato), peeled and thinly sliced
Garlic olive oil spray
1 1/2 tablespoons Vegemite
Rosemary sprigs
2/3 cup grated mozzarella or tasty cheddar cheese

Pizza Dough
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon dried yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup lukewarm water
1 tablespoon olive oil

Method

1. Place the potato on a paper lined baking tray and spray with oil. Bake in a hot oven 200oC for 20-25 minutes or until just tender.

2. Sift together the flour, yeast, salt and sugar. Add the water and oil and stir to make dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. Place dough in an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Stand in a warm place for 30 minutes or until doubled in size.

3. Roll out dough on a floured surface to make a rough 20 x 30 cm rectangle and place on a large, lightly floured baking tray. Spread with Vegemite and then top with kumera, rosemary and cheese. Bake in a hot oven 200oC for 10-15 minutes or until cooked through. Serve immediately.

What are your favourite pizza toppings?

October 17, 2013

Mushroom and Halloumi Bruschetta Recipe

Whether as a snack, light meal or dinner party canapé, these mushroom and halloumi bruschetta are packed with rustic Italian flavours and really easy to make. For an easy dinner for one, we like to top these tasty toasts with a fried egg, or when friends come over they make an elegant bite-size snack to serve with bubbly.

Serves: 4 

Ingredients

1 tablespoon Talinga Grove Extra Virgin Olive Oil
300g small button mushrooms, quartered
125g halloumi cheese, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon balsamic (we like Lomondo Aged Caramelised Balsamic)
8 slices crusty Italian bread
2 cloves garlic, halved
Talinga Grove Garlic Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Method

1. Heat Talinga Grove Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a small frypan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes until they begin to soften.

2. Add halloumi cheese and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until just tender. Stir in fresh thyme and balsamic vinegar.

3. Toast bread on both sides.

4. Rub one side of each with a cut garlic clove.

5. Top bread slices with mushroom mixture. Drizzle lightly with Talinga Grove Garlic Infused extra virgin olive oil. Season with freshly ground black pepper and serve.

Recipe courtesy of Talinga Grove. Talinga Grove olive oil is available from Olive Trader.

What’s your favourite dinner for one recipe?

October 16, 2013

Quick Dinner Ideas: One-Pot Farro with Tomatoes

This delicious quick dinner recipe comes from Deb Perelman’s Smitten Kitchen food blog, where it has become a bit of a cult classic in just a few months. And for good reason. This is going to become a dinner staple recipe (it has for me).

This one-pot recipe couldn’t be easier to make and is a real 30-minute meal. If you’ve always wanted to try farro, or want to eat more of it but are looking for new farro recipes, this is the dish for you. It’s a healthy dinner but feels luxurious. You simply add farro to a pot, throw in a few basic ingredients (as Deb says, who doesn’t have an onion and some tomatoes that need to be used up?) and you have an easy dinner that is much more than the sum of its parts. The farro cooks in its own delicious stock of garlic and tomatoes, the onions become soft and sweet, and it’s finished with a glug of good olive oil and a showering of parmesan. This is one of those dishes where it’s worth dusting off that expensive gift bottle of olive oil that you never use, as you’ll really taste it as the seasoning at the end.

Even better, this recipe is a blank canvas for other flavours and ingredients. I like to throw in a handful of rocket or baby spinach in the last minute of cooking just until it wilts. Have a few loose mushrooms rolling around the fridge? Slice and add them. Throw a fried egg on top. Not sure about farro? Use couscous. And leftovers make a great next-day lunch idea.

Serves: 2

Ingredients

2 cups water
1 cup farro
1/2 large brown or Spanish onion
2 cloves garlic
250g cherry tomatoes
1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt
Up to 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes (optonal)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
Few basil leaves, cut into thin ribbons
Freshly-grated parmesan cheese, for serving

Method

1. In a medium cast-iron pot or saucepan, add the water and farro while you prepare the other ingredients.

2. Add each ingredient to the pot as you finish preparing it: thinly slice the onion into quarter-moons. Thinly slice garlic cloves. Halve the cherry tomatoes. Add salt, pepper flakes (to taste) and 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pot, and set a timer for 30 minutes.

3. Bring uncovered pot (you won’t need a lid) up to the boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally. When the timer rings, the farro should be perfectly cooked (tender but with a pleasant chew), and the cooking water should be almost completely absorbed. Check for seasoning. If the farro is still hard, keep it simmering for another 5 minutes.

4. Serve with a glug of your best extra-virgin olive oil, basil leaves and shavings of freshly-grated parmesan.

What’s your favourite one-pot meal?

September 23, 2013

Meat-Free Mondays: Vegetable Fritters

These delicious vegetable fritters are a great vegetarian recipe the whole family will love, and an easy way to use up leftover vegetables. Serve with tzatziki and salad on the side.

Ingredients
1 zucchini
1 x220g can sweetcorn kernels, drained
1 small carrot
1 small Spanish onion
¼ cup self-raising flour
½ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp cinnamon
3 eggs, separated
Olive oil cooking spray
Tzatziki to serve
Cherry tomatoes and salad greens to serve

Method
1. Preheat oven to 150c. Grate zucchini, carrot and onion and place in a large bowl along with the drained corn. Add flour cumin and cinnamon.

2. Stir egg yolks through and season to taste with freshly ground black pepper. Whisk egg whites to firm peaks and gently fold through fritter mixture. Spray a large frying pan with olive oil and heat over medium heat.

3. Place 2 tablespoonfuls of mixture into pan and cook for 2 minutes each side or until golden. Remove from pan and keep warm in oven. Repeat with remaining mix.

4. Serve immediately with tzatziki, cherry tomatoes and mixed green leaves on the side.

What’s your favourite way to use up leftover vegetables?

July 15, 2013

Meat-Free Mondays: Baked Orzo With Mushrooms, Spinach And Feta

We love cooking with orzo (and the kids love eating it), especially in this custardy baked pasta dish. It’s a great way to use up leftovers – think roast chicken and bacon, or keep it veg with mushrooms, spinach and cheese.

Ingredients

1 cup orzo

300g mixed mushrooms

1 large red onion or leek, thinly diced

300g baby spinach

150g feta, crumbled

4 eggs

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

1/2 cup milk

Handful toasted pine nuts

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 190°C. Cook the orzo in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, saute the mushrooms and onion or leek in a little olive oil until cooked, about 8 minutes. Add the baby spinach at the last minute until slightly wilted. Season with salt and pepper and add to the orzo.

3. Add the crumbled feta to the orzo mixture, taste and season again if needed.

4. In a bowl, whisk the eggs, yoghurt and milk together, season and stir into the orzo mixture.

5. Spoon the mixture into an oiled 20x12cm baking dish (square or round) and bake for about 40 minutes, until the top is lightly golden. Sprinkle with toasted pine nuts. Let stand for 10 minutes, then serve with a crisp salad.

What’s your favourite pasta bake recipe?

June 3, 2013

Healthy Lunch Ideas: Chickpea, Eggplant And Tomato Salad

This is a delicious healthy salad packed with Mediterranean flavours that makes a great side dish or lunch!

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

500g lebanese eggplant, halved

2 cloves garlic crushed

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon fresh basil

400g canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 punnet cherry tomatoes halved

50g baby spinach leaves, washed

Method

1. Heat half of the oil on a large frying pan and sauté the eggplant in batches for 2-3 minutes each side until golden and tender. Set aside and cool.

2. Heat the remaining oil in the same pan on medium heat. Add the garlic and balsamic vinegar and reduce for a minute or so, shaking pan. Remove from heat, pour into a jug and cool. Stir in basil and season to taste.

3. In a salad bowl, combine chickpeas with eggplant, tomato halves, spinach leaves and the cooled dressing. Season and serve.

May 29, 2013

Meat-Free Mondays: Mushroom, Tomato And Cheese Pasta Bake

A great way to use up leftover pasta, this delicious vegetarian pasta bake makes an easy midweek dinner – you won’t even miss the meat!

Serves 4

Ingredients

400g penne or leftover pasta

2 1/4 tbs olive oil

500g mushrooms, sliced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

500g jar tomato pasta sauce

salt and ground black pepper

180g tub bocconcini, drained and quartered

1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

1 large tomato, thinly sliced

1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs

1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese

Method

1. Preheat oven to 180C. Cook penne in a large saucepan of salted boiling water, following packet directions, until al dente.

2. Meanwhile, heat 2 tbs oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Add mushrooms and garlic and cook, stirring often, for 4-5 minutes or until mushrooms are golden. Set aside.

3. Drain pasta and return to the saucepan. Add mushroom mixture, tomato pasta sauce, bocconcini and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Stir well to combine.

4. Spoon penne mixture into a 10-cup capacity deep baking dish. Top with sliced tomato. Combine breadcrumbs, parmesan and remaining 1 tsp oil in a bowl. Sprinkle over penne. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until hot and breadcrumbs are golden.

What’s your favourite vegetarian recipe?

May 20, 2013

Meat-Free Mondays: Ale And Mushroom Puff Pastry Pies

Who doesn’t love a puffy pastry pie in winter! These ale and mushroom pies taste just as rich and hearty as a traditional meat pie but are a great choice for Meat-Free Mondays.

Ingredients

100g butter

2 large bunches spring onions

550g small chestnut mushrooms

1 tablespoon cornflour

½ teaspoon yeast extract like Vegemite

300-350 ml light ale

210g ready rolled puff pastry

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.

2. Melt 50g of butter in a large non-stick frying pan. Roughly chop the bottom 7 cm of the spring onions and sauté briefly. Save the tops as you will need them later.
Cut the mushrooms into 5mm slices and add to the pan. Continue to sauté for 5 minutes until starting to colour, stirring to prevent sticking.

3. Remove from the heat and sprinkle with the cornflour. Once back on the hob, add the Vegemite and ale. Cook for a further 5 minutes or until mushrooms begin to soften. Use more ale if the mixture seems too dry.

4. Divide the mixture into four small soufflé/ceramic pie dishes, then cut out four pastry circles to place on top, leaving some room to rise. Brush with milk and make a small hole in the top to let the steam escape. Bake for 20 minutes until golden.

5. Serve with a crisp salad.

What’s your favourite winter pie?

May 13, 2013

Healthy Lunch Ideas: Mango, Avocado And Macadamia Salad

Looking for a tasty new lunch idea? This colourful salad is packed with flavour and nutrients – with a little spice and plenty of crunch. It goes great with grilled fish or meats too.

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

1 ripe mango

1 ripe avocado

100g rocket

1 cup dry roasted unsalted Suncoast Gold Macadamias, crushed

Dressing:

Juice of 1 lime

2 tablespoons of Suncoast Gold Australian Macadamia Oil

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 teaspoon of wholegrain mustard

1 long red chilli, deseeded and sliced

Method

1. Chop the mango and avocado into small cubes of the same size and set aside; make sure you don’t bruise them and keep them in a good shape.
For the dressing: Mix the lime juice, oil, garlic, mustard and sliced chilli together.

2. Put the rocket in a large bowl, add the mango and avocado and the dressing and gently toss to combine. Top with the macadamias.

What’s your all-time favourite salad?

April 11, 2013

Healthy Lunch Ideas: Gluten-Free Club Sandwich

The club sandwich would have to rank up there as the world’s greatest sandwich, with grilled chicken, crispy bacon, salad and zesty mustard dressing. What’s your favourite sandwich?

Ingredients

4 thin slices smoked bacon, cooked and crispy

2 firm ripe heirloom tomatoes, cored and chopped

1/2 head romaine lettuce, chopped (3 cups)

4 scallions, chopped

Mustard dressing

2 slices of PureBred White Farmhouse bread

2 grilled Chicken Breasts, cut lengthwise into thin slices

Method

1. Crumble bacon. Combine tomatoes, lettuce and scallions together, add dressing and toss together.

2. Spread a little of the dressing on the bread toasted and place on bottom of serving plate. Top with dressed lettuce. Top with sliced chicken breast and crumbled bacon.

What’s your all-time favourite sandwich?

January 31, 2013
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