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

Vegetarian Green Hummus Recipe

Did you know that hummus is actually packed with nutrients and protein? This healthy dip is a fantastic alternative to mayonnaise since it’s relatively low in fat and is so easy to make from scratch. Why not try this delicious green hummus, which is packed with vegetables, as a tasty snack for the entire family!

RELATED: Quick and Easy Party Snacks For Kids

Ingredients

2 cups chickpeas, cooked

1 cup beet greens or kale, roughly chopped

1 clove carlic

2 tbsp. tahini paste

2 tbsp. olive oil

2 tbsp water

Juice of one lemon (approx 2 tbsp)

1/2 tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

Method

  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth – they can also be combined using an immersion blender.
  2. Taste and adjust salt and pepper if necessary.

Image and Recipe via The Well Floured Kitchen

June 22, 2015

Healthy Courgette Spaghetti Recipe

Treat the family to a healthy courgette dish which actually looks and tastes like real pasta, minus the added calories.

RELATED: Ricotta-Stuffed Zucchini Flowers

While this meal is made easy using a spiraliser to finely carve the courgettes, you can just slice them manually with a knife, add some tomato sauce and basil leaves to finish – yum!

Serves: 2

Ingredients

3 courgettes (zucchini)

1 tin canned tomatoes

1/2 clove of garlic

3-5 basil leaves

1 tablespoon vegetable stock

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Method

  1. Wash, dry and chop off the ends of each courgette.
  2. Attach the courgette into the centre of your spiralser, then turn the handle. Make sure to place a bowl at the end to catch the spiralised courgette.
  3. Add one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil over a hot pan, crush the garlic, empty out the can of tomatoes, and finally finish off with one tablespoon of vegetable stock. Stir well.
  4. Steam the courgettes for a few minutes until soft, drain them, then combine them with the tomato sauce. Mix well, and then transfer onto a bowl.
  5. Serve with a few basil leaves arranged over the top.

Image via Splodz Blogz

March 24, 2015

5-Minute Greek Salad Skewers

Try this quick and healthy lunch or snack idea which takes less than 5 minutes to prepare, and looks amazing!

Make sure to soak your skewers in cold water for 15 minutes so they won’t shed on your vegetables.

RELATED: Summer Beetroot Salad Recipe

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 whole tomatoes (chopped)

6 Greek feta cubes

8 kalamata olives (pitted)

1 large cucumber (sliced)

4 bamboo skewers

Instructions

  1. Soak the skewers in cold water for 15 minutes. This will remove any excess or dry bamboo, and will thread seamlessly into your food.
  2. Thread the skewers starting with the olives, cucumber, feta and finally tomato. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil before serving.

Image via My Baking Addiction

March 9, 2015

Green Lentil and Walnut Taco Wraps

Next time you’re stuck on what to have for lunch, use the leftover vegetables from the pantry and try your hand at these delicious green lentil wraps. Packed with protein to keep you satisfied until dinnertime, this dish is easy to make and perfect if you’re constantly on-the-go!

Ingredients

1 cup uncooked green tentils

1 cup walnut pieces

1.5 tsp dried oregano

1.5 tsp ground cumin

1.5 tsp chilli powdera

1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt

1.5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp water

For the toppings:

1-2 bell peppers, thinly sliced

1/2 large onion, thinly sliced

Cashew sour cream

Diced tomatoes or salsa

Green onion, sliced

Fresh lime juice

Lettuce draps (large romaine, iceberg or butter lettuce leaves are best)

1 avocado, sliced

Instructions

  1. Rinse the lentils in a mesh sieve, then empty them into a medium pot with 1-2 cups of water. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to medium heat and let it simmer for 20-25 minutes until tender, before draining the excess water.
  2. Preheat the oven to 150ºC, line a tray with baking paper, then spread walnuts evenly across the entire area. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
  3. Season a wok with 1/2 tablespoon of oil, then cook the onion and sliced peppers over medium heat for 15-20 minutes or as desired.
  4. Add 3/4 cups of the lentils over the toasted walnuts and pop into a food processor until evenly chopped. Stir in the oregano, cumin, chilli powder and salt before adding the olive oil towards the end.
  5. Tear a lettuce leaf and top off with taco meant, peppers and onion, with your choice of toppings. Wrap tightly then enjoy!

Recipe and image via Oh She Glows

September 18, 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

Stefano De Pieri’s Vegetarian Farfalle Pasta Recipe

Chef Stefano De Pieri has partnered with Italian premium pasta brand Garofalo to create a pasta dish inspired through the company’s latest produced short film Caserta Palace DreamGarofalo has long enjoyed a connection with the arts as producers of Italian short-films, sharing its creativity and passion for the ‘art of pasta’ through world cinema.

Stefano has created the pasta dish ‘vegetarian farfalle with cream of red capsicums and basil’ to pay homage to the natural beauty and radiance of the gardens of Caserta featured in the film, to share with SHESAID. 

Vegetarian Farfalle Pasta With Cream Of Red Capsicums And Basil

Serves 4

2 fleshy red capsicums

1 garlic clove

2 tabsp extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onions or three shallots, coarsely chopped

½ cup cream

Basil to taste

Salt and pepper to taste

3 tbsp Parmesan cheese or good grana padano

360g Garofalo Farfalle pasta

Method

  1. Remove talk, seeds and membrane from the capsicums and chop. Chop onion and garlic
  2. In a saucepan heat the oil, add the garlic, onions and capsicums and gently heat. Place a lid on the saucepan (or small pot). Simmer gently adding perhaps a touch of water and cook until very tender. It should not take more than 15 minutes.
  3. Place contents in a food processor and pulse to obtain a fine cream.
  4. Return this to a saucepan large enough to accommodate the pasta and reheat gently. Add the cream (double is better – or mascarpone), add salt and pepper to taste and basil likewise.
  5. Cook the farfalle as per the packet instructions al dente, drain, place in the saucepan, sprinkle with cheese and toss. Serve at once with more basil and cheese if desired.
  6. By sprinkling the cheese on the pasta before you toss it, you will ensure that the cheese sticks to the pasta and then is coated with the sauce.

Recipe by Italian celebrity chef Stefano De Pieri, Garofalo pasta ambassador

August 14, 2014

Top 5 Tofu Recipes

Tofu is a staple edition to any vegetarian or vegan diet. A great substitute for meat, tofu is high in protein, calcium and iron, and is even thought to lower cholesterol. If you’re looking for something new to cook for dinner, try these healthy and delicious tofu recipes.

Tofu San Choy Bow
San Choy Bow is a traditional Chinese dish, usually served with pork mince. However, it’s so easy to turn this dish into a vegetarian dream with this recipe.

tofu-san-choy-bow-300x250

Laksa
Tofu is a central part of this Malaysian favorite. Laksa is a spicy noodle dish with coconut milk, prawns, bean sprouts and vegetables.

rasamalaysia.com

Sweet Potato and Tofu burger 
Some people think a burger has to be unhealthy to be tasty. This great recipe proves that’s simply not true. Sweet potato is high in vitamins B, C and D, and is rumored to fight stress and aging!

Recipe: Sweet potato and tofu burger

Paul McCartney’s Super Vegetable Salad
Who doesn’t want to know what a member of The Beatles eats for dinner? This gem is inspired by Meat Free Mondays, a movement that promotes healthier and more sustainable living through cutting meat from your diet, one day every week.

PaulsRecipe107893

Stir Fried Tofu and Asian Greens 
The great thing about a stir-fry, is that it can take less than 15 minutes to cook. It is also one of the best cooking methods, as it allows you to preserve all their healthy nutrients.

shesaidImage via asianfoodgrocer.com

August 11, 2014

Quick Broccoli And Sun-Dried Tomato Pizza Recipe

While we’re all tempted to call it quits on cooking and let the local pizza place deal with dinner, a healthy and nutritious meal doesn’t always mean slaving in the kitchen all night long. Pizza’s can be healthy meals (without the guilt), if you just swap some ingredients for a healthier alternative. Try this quick vegetable pizza recipe the next time you’re feeling peckish.

Ingredients

1 crown broccoli, broken into florets

1 teaspoon olive oil

2-3 tablespoons prepared pesto

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes

Handful of basil leaves

Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Start off by preheating the oven to 400ºF (or 200ºC).
  2. Then simply line a tray with baking paper and drizzle a few drops of olive oil before adding the pieces of broccoli.
  3. Now is the best time to season the broccoli with salt and pepper, then pop into the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes or until it starts to brown. Remove the tray, and leave to cool.
  4. Whether you choose to make your own base from scratch or simply buy one from the store, line another tray with baking paper and pop on the base. Then spread a thin layer of the pesto onto the centre of the base.
  5. Chop up some capsicum and top off with mozzarella cheese before baking in the oven for 10-12 minutes or until lightly brown.
  6. Remove the pizza from the oven and sprinkle over the roasted broccoli, sun-dried tomatoes and basil to taste before cutting and serving.

Recipe and image via Oh My Veggies

By Felicia Sapountzis

 

July 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

Vegetable Pho Recipe

What’s more restorative than a bowl of vegetable pho? The flavorful tea-based broth steeps in a French coffee press with spices for a tasty twist on your favorite Vietnamese noodle soup.

Serves 4

Ingredients
200g shirataki noodles*
2 tsp McCormick Chinese 5 Spice Blend
1 tsp McCormick Garlic Minced
1 tsp McCormick Onion powder
pinch McCormick Chilli Flakes Crushed
2 Tbsp loose Lapsang Souchong Tea
3 Tbsp Hoisin sauce
1 litre (1000ml) boiling water

Garnishes
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
50g red pepper, thinly sliced
50g carrots, finely sliced
50g shiitake or wild mushrooms, thinly sliced
lime wedges to serve

Method
1. Rinse noodles with hot water in a colander then divide amongst 4 soup bowls.

2. Combine rest of the ingredients, excluding garnishes in a large French coffee press.  Let stand for 3 minutes then, using the French press plunger, strain the stock.  Pour the liquid evenly into the bowls and arrange garnishes on top.

Cook’s Tip:  Shirataki noodles can be found in Asian markets, health food stores, or in the refrigerator section in some supermarkets.  If unavailable, substitute with 100g egg noodles, cooked according to pack directions.

What is your favorite Vietnamese dish?

March 11, 2014

Zucchini, Chilli and Herbed Ricotta Pasta Recipe

This high protein, low carb pasta recipe is one of our favourite dinner ideas for when the fridge is empty but you still want a delicious dinner.

Cooking time: 20 min

Serves 4

Ingredients

375g Vetta Smart Pasta High Protein Low Carb Penne
2 tbsp olive oil
400g (approx. 3 large) zucchini, finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 large red chilli (seeds removed), finely chopped
Pepper and salt to taste
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
200g fresh ricotta
4 tbsp fresh herbs chopped (parsley, chives, mint)

Method
1. Cook pasta according to packet directions in a large pan of salted, boiling water.

2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large fry pan on medium heat. Add zucchini, garlic, chilli and lemon zest and stir fry until golden for about 5 minutes.

3. Remove the pan from the heat and add the lemon juice.

4. Drain pasta, reserving ¼ cup cooking liquid and return pasta to the pan.

5. Stir through the zucchini mix with cooked pasta, adding the reserved liquid if needed.

6. Combine the ricotta, lemon and herbs and set aside.

7. To serve, place pasta on each plate with the ricotta mix divided equally on top.

What are your favourite empty fridge dinner ideas?

January 28, 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

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

Pumpkin Curry Recipe

Thinking of doing a vegan challenge like Beyonce and Jay Z? Curry is one of our go-to easy dinner ideas, and this authentic Sri Lankan pumpkin curry recipe is so quick to make, it’s ready in under 30 minutes. A great recipe for when you want to go meat-free or have vegan or vegetarian friends over.

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

This thick, creamy curry, made with tender chunks of pumpkin, is enhanced by a burst of flavour from tempered onions, curry leaves and mustard seeds. Tempering is a method used often in Sri Lankan cooking and is a great way to increase the flavours of a curry. The technique involves frying onions, mustard seeds, sometimes fenugreek or cumin seeds, and curry leaves in oil until they are brown, slightly crisp and aromatic. This mixture is added to the curry just before it is served.

Serves 4–6 

Ingredients

Curry

750 g Jap pumpkin, seeded and cut into 5–6 cm pieces (skin left on)
4 small pink Asian shallots, sliced
2 thin green chillies, cut into thirds
1 sprig curry leaves, leaves picked and roughly chopped
8 cm piece rampe (pandanus) leaf, cut into 2 cm pieces
1 teaspoon unroasted chilli powder
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons Manike’s thuna paha (or store-bought roasted curry powder)
1 teaspoon salt
500 ml coconut milk
250 ml coconut cream

For tempering

2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
2 small pink Asian shallots, sliced
1 sprig curry leaves, leaves picked

Method

1. To make the curry, place the pumpkin into a clay pot or heavy-based saucepan, add the rest of the curry ingredients and mix to combine. There should be just enough coconut milk and cream to cover the pumpkin pieces.

2. Bring to the boil, then cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10–12 minutes, or until the pumpkin is tender, stirring the curry occasionally so the coconut milk does not split. Remove from the heat and set aside.

3. For tempering, heat the coconut oil in a small wok or frying pan over medium heat and add the mustard seeds. When the seeds start to pop, add the shallots and curry leaves and cook for 3–5 minutes, or until the shallots are dark brown and starting to crisp a little. Remove from the heat and strain through a sieve. Stir half of the tempered mixture into the curry and garnish with the remaining mixture. Serve with pol roti and rice.

srilanka

What’s your favourite curry?

December 4, 2013

Quick Dinner Ideas: Spiced Lentil and Chickpea Patties

Whether you’re looking to spice up your dinner roster or introduce more vegetarian recipes into your weekly meal planning, these great tasting, protein-packed Spiced Lentil and Chickpea Patties are ready in only 30 minutes from start to finish which makes them one of our favourite quick dinner ideas.

For the perfect blend of flavours and crunch, simply cook the onions until soft with garlic, turmeric and cumin before adding to a blender with chickpeas, lentils, sunflower seeds, coriander and eggs. Once combined, shape into patties and pan-fry. You can also add extra veggies, like corn or peas.

Then it’s up to you how you want to serve them: stuff them in toasted pita pockets with tzatziki and salad, top with a mango and avocado salsa for a refreshing twist, or try them in the best veggie burgers you’ve ever had. Any leftover patties make the perfect sandwich or wrap for next-day lunch.

Serves: 4 

Preparation Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 20 mins

Ingredients 

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1 x 400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 x 400g can lentils, drained and rinsed
½ cup sunflower seeds
¼ bunch coriander
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2/3 cup wholemeal flour
Pepper to taste
Vegetable oil

Method

1. Place a fry pan onto medium heat, add olive oil and diced onions. Cook until softened, stirring occasionally.

2. Add garlic, turmeric and cumin and cook for a further 2-3 minutes while stirring. Place into a food processor, leave to cool.

3. Add chickpeas, lentils, sunflower seeds, coriander, eggs and seasoning into the food processor. Blend until smooth.

4. Transfer mix into a bowl, add flour, combine and form into 8 patties.

5. Place frypan onto medium heat, add vegetable oil and panfry patties on both sides until golden.

What are your go-to quick dinner ideas?

November 6, 2013

Easy Dinner Recipes: Clafoutis Provencal

This French baked vegetable and egg dish is one of our favourite French Women Don’t Get Fat easy dinner recipes by Mireille Guiliano. It’s a great way to use up those leftover vegetables lurking in your fridge, and is delicious hot, warm or room temperature.

To make this easy dinner even quicker, sauté your vegetables the night before and refrigerate them, then just whip up the egg ricotta batter, fold the veggies in and dinner is ready in 30 minutes!

We had cherry trees in our garden, and from the time I was eight, I got to climb the ladder (and some branches) and pick cherries. My little girlfriends and I would sometimes overeat the fresh cherries, but there was still enough to bring back to my mom, who used them to make a clafoutis, baking the fresh fruit in a custardy batter in a round baking dish. The curious name for this dessert comes from the verb clafir, ‘to fill up’, because you fill up the batter and mould with fruit, most commonly cherries. Clafoutis usually refers to a dessert preparation, but in Provence it can be a savoury yet still rich dish with cheese, eggs and bread – Mireille Guiliano.

Serves 4

Preparation Time: 20-25minutes 
Cooking Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small eggplant, cut into 1cm dice
1 yellow capsicum, seeded and cut into 1cm dice
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 slice bread, crusts removed
2 cloves garlic, peeled
225g ricotta
3 eggs
2 tablespoons finely shredded fresh basil leaves
50g black olives, pitted and halved
110g grated parmesan
butter, softened, for baking dish
fresh basil, for garnish

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180ْ C.

2. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a frying pan and sauté eggplant and capsicum until softened, about 6 minutes. Season to taste and set aside to cool.

3. In a food processor, combine bread, garlic, ricotta and eggs and blend until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper and using a spatula, fold in 1 tablespoon basil, the olives, parmesan, eggplant and capsicum.

4. Pour the mixture into a lightly buttered 21cm square baking dish and bake until lightly golden, 30 to 35 minutes.  Serve warm or at room temperature, garnished with basil.

What are your favourite easy dinner recipes?

October 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

Easy Dinner Recipes: Mexican Tomato and Corn Soup

Imagine your favourite tomato soup recipe with the exotic Mexican flavours of cumin, corn and crunchy tortilla cheese chips. Make a big batch of this easy soup and freeze for lazy nights.

For a heartier meal, add some cooked risoni or leftover rice to the soup during the last 5 minutes of cooking. Plus it’s easy to make this a vegetarian soup: just use vegetable stock and leave out the bacon.

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 35 minutes

Serves 4

Ingredients
4 flour tortillas
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 cups fresh or canned corn kernels
40g butter
2 onions, chopped
3 teaspoons cumin
2 cloves garlic, crushed
425g can diced tomatoes
1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup Greek-style natural yogurt, for serving
2 middle rashers bacon, trimmed, roughly chopped and cooked till golden
coriander leaves and freshly ground black pepper, for serving

Method
1. Cut tortillas into triangles and place on a baking paper lined oven tray. Sprinkle with cheese and paprika and bake at 180°C for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and tortillas are crisp.

2. Blend half the corn kernels in a food processor until smooth and set aside.

3. Melt butter in a saucepan and saute onions and cumin for 4-5 minutes, until softened. Add garlic and cook for a further minute. Add tomatoes and simmer, covered over low heat for 10 minutes. Stir in stock, oregano, pureed corn and remaining corn kernels and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until corn is cooked.

4. Ladle soup into bowls, dollop yogurt on top, sprinkle with bacon, coriander and pepper. Serve with tortilla chips.

Tip: If you prefer a slightly thicker soup, simmer for an extra 5 minutes, uncovered, before serving.

What’s your favourite soup recipe?

September 15, 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
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