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Kaffir Lime and Nutty Rice Salad

10 Feb

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Tasty and quite easy, this salad is a nice change from my usual greenery based salads. I find it serves well on its own for lunch, or for dinner with a side meat of choice. Tonight we went with honey, soy and sesame chicken cooked under the grill in the oven, and that worked a treat.

This recipe is from the Woman’s Weekly: Salads cookbook.20140211-062651.jpg

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Pete’s Potato Wedges

20 Nov

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Looking for something new to do to spice up your roast potatoes?

What’s in it?

  • Potatoes cut into wedge shaped pieces

PLUS

  • Fresh Rosemary from your garden ๐Ÿ˜‰ – chopped finely
  • A clove of garlic – chopped finely
  • Cumin (whole seeds or ground is fine. We use either, depending on what is in the house.)
  • Tonight we also added Cajun Pepper too, just to spice it up a bit. You can left this out if you prefer.
  • Sweet Paprika – one teaspoon
  • Olive oil (more than you want to admit to… glug glug glug)
  • salt
  • pepper

Par-boil the cut potatoes in boiling water. We cooked for two people tonight and 8 minutes on the stove did the job. You can of course skip this par-boiling and go ahead and whack them straight in the oven, it just takes longer.

While the potatoes are par-boiling, prepare and mix all the rest of the ingredient in a small bowl. It should be a sloshy liquid, not a paste. See my note about using fresh rosemary here.

Drain the potatoes and let them sit for a bit. All the water needs to evaporate. I like to spread them out over the oven tray to let off some steam in their own space. I’m about to use it (get it dirty) for the baking anyway, so no loss.

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Here is another tip. You already dirtied the saucepan par-boiling the potatoes, so why not use it again now, instead of another mixing bowl. Can you tell I’m not a fan of washing up? ๐Ÿ™‚
SO – pop the now “dry” par-boiled potatoes back in the saucepan and pour the liquid spice mixture over the top. Mix together. You can use a spoon, but I find getting in there with your hands gets a better result.

Lay the spiced potatoes out on the same oven tray as before, spreading them out as much as possible. Pour any extra spice mix over the potatoes on the tray.

Cook in the oven until crispy as, bro. ๐Ÿ™‚ Yum!

Seasonal Note: There are many varieties of potato that grow throughout the year in Australia. So that’s good news! ๐Ÿ™‚ Eat up!

Seed Lovers Salad w Roasted Pumpkin

5 Nov

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This salad is kinda a combo of my favourite salad and favourite muesli. Nuts and seeds offer us so many important nutrients as part of our everyday requirements, and too often they are missed out. While they can be super expensive from the supermarkets, I’ve found that they are surprisingly cheap from the farmers markets. If you’re not someone who is yet into farmers markets, have a Google around, and see where your local market is. They are much more accessible than they used to be.

Here is an easy, and tasty way of working seeds and nuts into your lunch.

What’s in it?

  • Pumpkin, cut into small pieces and roast in olive oil, salt and pepper

Get the pumpkin sorted first, while it is baking sort the rest out. The pumpkin will be ready by the time all else is chopped, mixed and in the bowl/s (or lunch boxes) ready to serve.

The rest of the tasty things:

  • Cashews
  • Flax seed (or linseed)
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sunflower kernels
  • Sesame seeds
  • Pepitas
  • Baby spinach (or mixed lettuce leaves or rocket would work)
  • Carrot, peeled thinly
  • Baby tomatoes, halved
  • Avocado, in small pieces
  • Red capsicum, in small pieces
  • Feta cheese, crumbled
  • Parmesan cheese, shaved
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil/balsamic/ranch dressing (whatever floats your boat)

A Seasonal Note just for us to keep in mind: (In Australia)
Capsicums โ€“ are in season in Summer
Carrots โ€“ Summer, Autumn, Winter
Pumpkin โ€“ Summer, Autumn
Tomatoes โ€“ Summer, Autumn
Spinach โ€“ Winter, Spring, Summer
Avocados โ€“ all year

Jamie’s Smash

20 Oct

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This is (our bastardised version) of one of Jamie Oliver’s quick meal ideas. We use it A LOT. It is, as he would say, “proper tasty”. We have his 30 Minute Meals book, but I couldn’t find it in there. We pulled this from his tv show.

What is in it?

  • 1 – 2 Potatoes halved or quartered
  • 1 – 2 Sweet Potatoes halved or quartered (or sometimes we use pumpkin, depending what is in the house.)
  • A handful of chopped Feta Cheese
  • A handful of chopped fresh coriander (The coriander really makes this recipe. We have a friend who doesn’t eat coriander and we replace it with parsley when they come to dinner. It really is not the same, but it does the job.)
  • Chilli (Fresh is best, but when we do use dried chilli we chop some red capsicums very finely and add them in too.)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Cook the potatoes. Jamie cooks his potatoes (both kinds) in the microwave in a bowl covered in cling wrap. We just boil them and drain them (drain them well).

Meanwhile, “dress the board”. This is an expression Jamie uses when he serves things on a “rustic” wooden chopping board. Drizzle olive oil over a large board, add salt and pepper. Chop the coriander, fetta, chilli roughly. They will get more chopping later.

After the potatoes are cooked through put them on the “dressed” board, on top of the other ingredients. Using a large knife chop the potatoes mixing through the ingredients. Use the flat side of the knife to flatten the potatoes and flip the underside ingredients to the top. Leave some large chunks throughout. It is a smash, not a pureed mash.

Serve immediately. It goes cold really fast.

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Killer Salad, yo.

20 Dec

This one has become known as, “Sam’s Big Salad”. It’s actually one of the more healthy things I make. This one was for a christmas gathering, so it is HUGE. I works just as well for small lunches. I make it in layers, because I hate when you serve salad and miss out on all the good bits.

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What’s in it?

  • Rocket
  • Baby spinach
  • Mixed lettuce leaves
  • Carrot, peeled thinly
  • Baby tomatoes, halved
  • Pumpkin, cut into small pieces and roasted in olive oil, salt and pepper
  • Avocado, in small pieces
  • Red capsicum (blanched for 30 seconds just to soften it slightly)
  • Pine nuts, toasted
  • Cashews, toasted
  • Feta cheese, cubed
  • Parmesan cheese, shaved
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil/balsamic/ranch dressing (whatever floats your boat)

What to do:

It’s a salad and you’re not an idiot. ๐Ÿ™‚ Pretty sure you can figure it out. Have fun layering tasty delicious foods. 3 layers is good.

Seasonal Note: There is merit in knowing a little about the so called “fresh” foods we consume. What we really need is to start learning about (what our grandparents knew about) is when foods are actually in season, not just when the shops are selling them. In doing this we can begin to buy foods seasonally, ingest actually happy foods, and start to take back some of the control from the big chains. Just something for us all to keep in mind. ๐Ÿ˜‰

A guide for this recipe: (for Australia)
Avocados – all year
Capsicums – are in season in Summer
Carrots – Summer, Autumn, Winter
Pumpkin – Summer, Autumn
Tomatoes – Summer, Autumn
Spinach – Winter, Spring, Summer
Lettuces – Summer, Autumn

So I’m thinking perhaps this is a “Summer/ Autumn salad”. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m learning in all this too.

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