They’re good for more than just guac.
Ridiculously easy. Ridiculously delicious.
We know you don’t have a lot of time in the morning for a healthy and delicious breakfast, but these plum and yoghurt muesli pots are quick to make and taste like a decadent cafe treat. Really pressed for time? Roast the plums the night before, and all you have to do is assemble them in the morning. Don’t have plums on hand? Just roast apricots, nectarines or peaches. Yum!
8 blood plums, halved with stones removed
1/2 cup brown sugar
400g thick Greek yoghurt
1 1/2 cups toasted muesli
- Place the plums onto a baking dish lined with baking paper, sprinkle with brown sugar and 1/2 cup water, cook under a preheated grill until the plums are soft.
- Divide half the plums between four serving glasses, top with yoghurt, muesli and finish with remaining plums and syrup.
What’s your favourite healthy breakfast?
If you’re hosting a party this holiday season, throw away the sit-down dinner menu and whip up some easy and delicious appetizers to excite your guests. These recipes are also vegetarian-friendly!
Onion and goat cheese tartlets
2 tbsp olive oil
4 red onions, thinly sliced
2 sprigs fresh thyme
3 sheets shortcrust pastry
3.5oz fresh goat’s cheese
Salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 350F (180C).
- Heat olive oil in a pot. Add the onions and thyme. Season with salt and pepper, cooking over medium heat and stirring frequently for 10-15 minutes. The onions on the bottom should become quite dark but not burnt – when it darkens, remove from heat and allow to sit for 3-5 mins for the onions on top to sweat and soften those underneath. Stir well, return to the heat and continue to cook for about 10 mins until the onions are completely soft and dark, golden brown, removing the pot from the heat occasionally to allow further softening. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
- To make the tart cups, lay pastry sheets on surface and cut into circles (2 inches diameter). Grease a muffin tray or tartlet cooking cups with butter. Fit pastry circles to cups. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden. Set aside to cool.
- Spoon equal amounts of caramelised onion into tartlets. Top with a small slice of goats cheese and garnish with thyme to serve.
Note: To speed things up, purchase pre-made tartlet cups from the supermarket.
Olive and sundried tomato crostini
- Preheat the oven to 400F (200C)
- Combine cream cheese and feta in a mixer until smooth.
- Slice the bread into 1/4 inch slices, place on a baking tray and splash with olive oil. Toast in oven until golden.
- Put garlic cloves, olives and sun-dried tomatoes in bowl of food processor. Pulse until coarsley chopped but not pureed. Slice basil in ribbons and stir into tapenade.
- Roughly spread the olive and tomato tapenade onto crostini and serve.
Smoked salmon on rye
Makes approx. 24
1 loaf rye bread, lightly toasted
5 oz crème fraiche
5 oz light cream cheese
2 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp fresh chives, finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh dill, 1tbsp finely chopped
8 oz smoked salmon
Pinch of salt
- Using a cookie cutter, cut out circles (1.5 inch diameter) from the lightly toasted rye bread. Alternatively you can cut into halves or quarters.
- Using an electric mixer, mix crème fraiche, cream cheese and lemon juice together until smooth. Fold through dill and chives, and add a pinch of salt. Using a teaspoon, dollop a small amount onto the rye toast.
- Slice smoked salmon into strips and roll up. Place one on top of each canape. Garnish with sprig of dill.
Images via seriouseats.com, garnishwithlemon.com, goodtoknow.co.uk
The perfect summer side – as tasty as it is filling!
Preparation time 15 mins
Cooking time 25 mins
Serves 4-6 as a side
1 cup SunRice long grain rice, rinsed
1 1/2 cups water
2 red capsicum, chopped
2 yellow capsicum, chopped
2 red onions, sliced into 1cm-thick slices
3 garlic cloves, sliced
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves
375g mixed gourmet tomatoes
1/2 cup Kalamata olives
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp baby capers
1 cup flat leaf parsley leaves
Extra virgin olive oil to serve
- Preheat oven to 200°C. Put the rice and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes until small craters in surface of the rice. Remove from heat and stand covered for 10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl, set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, put the capsicum, onions and garlic onto a large baking tray. Drizzle with oil. Sprinkle with oregano. Season. Roast for 15 minutes until just tender. Add tomatoes, olives and vinegar. Roast for a further 10 minutes until just warmed through.
- Add the rice, capers and parsley to the warm vegetables. Season, toss to combine. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Tip: Great served with barbecue prawns, chicken, lamb or beef.
Whether it’s made from red, white or even rosé it seems that everyone loves a little bit of sangria. Not only is this drink refreshing, but is filled with many tasty summer fruits which makes it seem good for you, right? Making your own sangria doesn’t have to be difficult – all you need is a punch bowl, some wine and add in your favourite fruits.
Red wine sangria recipe
2 (750ml) bottles of dry red wine (cabernet sauvignon or merlot are good options)
1 cup brandy
1/3 cup sugar
¼ cup orange liqueur
Handful of strawberries, hulled and halved
3 oranges, thinly sliced
3 limes, thinly sliced
4 cups fresh arugula
1 can (375ml) lemon-lime soda
- Combine the wine, brandy, sugar plus the orange liqueur into a large punch bowl.
- Keep stirring until the sugar has completely dissolved, then add the arugula. Arugula is purely optional, so if you aren’t a fan of the flavour, then skip this step.
- Then just add in the strawberries, lime, thinly sliced lemon and orange pieces to the mixture. Make sure to lightly mull the fruit, this will allow the fruits natural juices to infuse the wine.
- Cover up the punch bowl with plastic wrap and pop it into the fridge for 2-3 hours. This will allow the flavours to completely mix together, then add ice before drinking.
White wine sangria recipe
White wine sangria isn’t uncommon; however it isn’t nearly as popular as its red counterpart. A refreshing beverage which is light and tasty when mixed with sweet summer fruits.
1.5L white wine
¾ cup peach pucker
1 lemon, thinly sliced
Handful of strawberries, sliced
1 green apple
1 can (375ml) lemonade
½ cup of ice
- Firstly pour the wine and the peach pucker into a glass pitcher. Mix until they have completely combined.
- Chop up the apple (making sure to remove the core) and add it into the mixture together with the strawberries, and lemon slices.
- Look at the label of the white wine, and try to stay in the same family of fruits. In this case, not many fruits were used so you can still taste the wine in its mostly original state.
- Pour in the lemonade – this will make the sangria sweet, and will also mesh well against the fruits. Pop the pitcher into the fridge for 2-2.5hrs.
- Add half a cup of ice before stirring with a wooden spoon, then serve.
Recipes and image via Gimme Some Oven, Mac and Molly
There’s nothing better than inviting some friends over for a few drinks and introducing them to the latest cocktail from a Pinterest-induced browsing spree which you just can’t get out of your head. Stock up at the supermarket, buy some yummy fruits and invite your friends over for a quiet night in.
1. Watermelon Margarita
We can’t go past a traditional margarita, but we’re adding a sugary twist to this classic recipe. All you need is a few watermelon pieces, lime and the rest is history. This cocktail is smooth, sweet and super easy to blend-up and prepare for guests.
A classic drink served with a cucumber for a splash of fresh flavour. Simply chop up cucumbers extra thin and serve with Bombay Sapphire and a few mint leaves to taste.
3. Coconut Mojito
For those who love the sugar-induced taste of a classic mojito, definitely try this cocktail which will surely transport you back to better weather. Will take only 10 minutes to prepare, and make sure to use fresh mint and lime for a genuine flavour.
4. Champagne Cocktails
Finally an excuse to break open the bottle of Veuve Clicquot you have stored in the pantry, for a delicious cocktail which all are sure to enjoy. Pour 1 part St. Germain liqueur to 2 parts champagne and garnish with orange zest. Yum!
5. Blushing Whiskey Sour
There’s always one person in the group who loves the sour but sweet taste of whiskey, and this cocktail is definitely made just for them. Give the drink a girly twist by adding in some lemon syrup and shaking it up before dropping in a blackberry for presentation, Instagram-worthy!
6. Grapefruit-sage Mimosa
Or otherwise referred to as the perfect weekend cocktail, the pinch of grapefruit gives the drink a bittersweet taste which is totally uncommon when mixed together with sage. Feel free to use a rosé-induced champagne for an extra splash of sweetness.
7. Fig Thyme Cocktail
There’s just something delicious about figs which goes hand-in-hand with even the easiest to make cocktail recipes. This unusual recipe uses Cointreau, lime juice, pisco and a splash of thyme syrup for a super-sweet drink.
Image via Design Love Fest
This versatile spirit can be enjoyed just as much in the kitchen as in the bar! If you enjoy a tipple here or there but also spend your spare time sharpening your knives and citing Jamie and Nigella, vodka could be your new kitchen best friend. And let’s face it, it’s a bit more fun than kale.
Drunken cherry tomatoes
The perfect companion for mature cheddar cheese and crusty bread. Prick the tomatoes all over and place in airtight jar, cover with Vodka O and add peppercorns, salt, chilli, lemon slices and celery, Leave for two to three days and drain before serving. But don’t throw away the drained vodka – you can strain and chill it to make a spicy Bloody Mary!
Make pasta sauce with a kick
The famous Bloody Mary cocktail demonstrates how well vodka goes with tomato juice, so why not add some vodka to your tomato-based pasta sauce to give it a little kick! Cook garlic, shallots, oregano and chilli in oil until golden brown. Remove from heat and add a generous amount of Vodka O (about 1¼ cups), stir and return to heat and add cherry tomatoes and cook until they begin to collapse. Stir sauce into your favourite pasta and enjoy!
Make the perfect, flaky pie crust
Who would have guessed, but vodka is the magical ingredient for a fine and flaky pie pastry! Follow your usual pie dough recipe, substituting half the amount of water required with Vodka O. Too much water can mean tough pastry, so replacing some of the water means your recipe will still be moist enough to roll out, but the alcohol evaporates during the cooking process.
Marinate your favourite roast
You can make a simple marinade for your Sunday roast using Vodka O, garlic, olive oil, chilli flakes and a pinch of salt and pepper. Marinate for at least eight hours, then add lemon juice and parsley to the roasting pan before placing in the oven.
Frozen vodka watermelon makes a perfect dessert for warm summer nights. Dissolve some sugar in 750ml of Vodka O, cut a hole in the top of a watermelon and slowly pour vodka in until absorbed. Freeze the watermelon for 24 hours, cut into slices and serve.
For more recipes vists facebook.com/vodkao
This sexy salad is one of my staple Friday night quick dinner ideas when all you want is a glass of wine and something tasty and fuss-free. Juicy peaches pair beautifully with salty ribbons of prosciutto, peppery rocket and shaved parmesan. Try serving this salad as part of a summer BBQ, too.
120g baby rocket
70g parmesan, shaved
100g finely sliced prosciutto
4 white peaches, halved with stones removed
cracked black pepper
extra virgin olive oil
1. Arrange rocket, parmesan shavings, prosciutto curls and peach halves onto plates.
2. Top with cracked black pepper and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
What’s your favourite summer salad recipe?
Who doesn’t love avocado toast? Perfect as an easy breakfast, quick lunch or healthy afternoon snack, this avocado toast recipe comes drizzled with an addictive herb sauce and delicious savoury umami flavour from Marmite.
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 2 minutes
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 tbs capers (optional)
1 clove garlic, peeled, crushed
1 tbs lemon juice
1/2 tsp mustard
50 ml extra virgin olive oil
4 slices whole grain brown bread
2 large avocadoes, peeled
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tbs Sanitarium Marmite
1. Combine the parsley, capers, garlic, lemon juice and mustard in a food processor and process until finely chopped, but not smooth. Put in a serving bowl and set aside.
2. Toast each slice of bread under grill or in toaster. Spread each slice with Sanitarium Marmite.
3. Cut avocado into slices and sprinkle with lemon juice. Arrange avocado slices over the Marmite toast. Spoon over herb and mustard sauce and serve immediately.
Tip: The herb sauce can be stored for up to a week in the fridge. Stir well before using and it pays to remove from fridge and bring to room temperature before serving.
What’s your favourite healthy breakfast?
This low-calorie, vitamin-rich vegetable soup makes a delicious and filling lunch or dinner. Use the best canned tomatoes you can find, and top with a dollop of pesto for great flavour.
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 carrots, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
2 celery ribs, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
2 leeks, halved and thinly sliced
1 fennel bulb, halved, cored and thinly sliced
1 can of whole tomatoes
2 bay leaves
Handful spinach or kale leaves
6 cups water
Leftover parmesan rinds
2 Tablespoons pesto
1. Heat a little olive oil in a large soup pot. Add the garlic and cook over moderate heat, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, leeks and fennel and cook, stirring, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the can of tomato, bay leaves and spinach or kale leaves, and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the water and the parmesan rinds and bring to a simmer. Cover partially and cook over moderately low heat until the vegetables are very tender, about 30 minutes.
2. Discard the rinds and bay leaves. Season the soup with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls, add a dollop of pesto and serve.
Hint: Use this vegetable soup as a base to add other ingredients like cooked beans or lentils.
Collect and freeze parmesan rinds when you finish grating cheese, then add to soups and casseroles to infuse the dish with savoury flavour.
What’s more comforting on a cold winter’s day than a bowl of creamy homemade rice pudding? We like to leave the vanilla bean in the milk to infuse for even more luscious vanilla flavour.
4 cups whole milk
1/2 cup medium-grain white rice or arborio rice
1 vanilla bean, split, or 1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
1. Add the milk, rice and salt a large, heavy saucepan. Scrape the vanilla bean and add the seeds to the rice mixture, and drop the split bean into the pan.
2. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. As soon as it reaches a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Uncover and continue simmering, stirring frequently, until the rice is tender, about 8 minutes. It’s important to let the pudding simmer slowly and not boil, as the liquid will evaporate before the rice finishes cooking.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar. Slowly add the cooked rice mixture, whisking constantly. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan. Set the pan over medium-low heat and cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture has thickened and coats the back of the spoon, about 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat. Discard the vanilla bean.
5. Serve warm, at room temperature or cold. We like to top rice pudding with a shake of cinnamon and a drizzle of cold cream, maple syrup and berries, or for even more decadence, swirl a spoonful of Nutella through hot rice pudding for a chocolate-hazelnut twist.
What are your favourite rice pudding toppings?
Rosemary Cadden, co-author of Making a Meal of It, gives us 12 ideas for using up some of the festive fare, plus tips on how to store leftovers to make them last longer.
1. Don’t forget to stuff the stuffed turkey back in the fridge. After 4 hours at room temperature, you’re in danger of serving up a dollop of food poisoning with those turkey slices.
2. Follow the suggestion of “Do Something!” founder Jon Dee, who named Boxing Day “National Leftover Day”, and have a party! Impress your pals with turkey mango salad: mix together cooked turkey (or chicken), some ham, chopped cucumber, chopped coriander and finely sliced red onion. Blend together mango, grated rind and juice of a lemon and olive oil for the dressing.
3. Overload of avocados? Treat the kids to avocado and banana ice blocks, and make the big kids avocado shakes – with a taste of honey, lemon, orange or mint.
4. Those bunches of herbs are in danger of drooping. Easy answer: freeze them in sprigs or in ice-cube trays for another day!
5. How’s that ham going? Think about freezing some of it. There’s only so much ham one can take day after day…
6. Soft biscuits gone soggy? Put a piece of apple or bread in the container for 24 hours. Crisp biscuits gone soggy too? Put them in a low oven for a few minutes before serving – you can only do this once though!
7. New Year’s Eve, and space must be found in the fridge for the beer and champagne. Time to use up all those bits of sponge cake, Christmas cake and chocolate cake to make lamingtons, truffles, rum balls and trifle for yet another party!
8. That bumper bag of capsicum seemed a good idea at the time. Never fear. There are lots of ideas for baking, stewing, roasting and, of course, stuffing.
9. What are you going to do with all those bits of leftover cheese? How about quiche, vegie bake, frittata or risotto?
10. Stop crying over sliced onions: use those goggles you got for Christmas to tearlessly chop away. Or you could chop under water – the onions, not you!
11. You’ve neglected the garden and that zucchini plant is going berserk. Slice the biggest one in rounds, brush with oil and pop on the BBQ.
12. The excess food bought before Christmas that has not even seen the light of day since going into the fridge: hmmmm. Good excuse for another party!
What do you do with your Christmas leftovers?