Tag Archives: feta

Beetroot and Feta Dip

6 Jan

Dip it! Yeah, Dip it Good! 🙂

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I’ve never liked Beetroot, for various reasons, one being that I have probably only ever been exposed to tinned beets, but more probably because my Mum doesn’t like it. Isn’t that so the way as we grow up? 🙂

But there were fresh beetroots at my Farmers Markets and I thought, “Come on, Sam. You are old enough to give it a go.” And so I did. I admitted cluelessness to the man at the stall, and he said that I could also use the leaves for salads, which I did – and they were ok; peppery like rocket.

But my plan was to make dip, and it went really well, so here we go.

What’s the deal?

Wrap fresh, real (not tinned), uncooked beets in aluminum foil, putting a little water inside each package. Pop them on a tray, also covered in foil, as they leak a bit and (as I discovered) create a sticky mess. Into the oven they go at 180 – 200 degrees for at least an hour and a half. Turns out, beets are surprisingly slow to cook (who knew?), so you need to think ahead a bit for this one.

I used 4 beets and this made twice as much as I really needed. I think I would halve this recipe next time.

Allow the beets to cool down a bit and then blend them in your blender. Add 200 grams of Feta Cheese, and blend it all together. It becomes this beautiful purple/pink colour. So lush. Season to taste, salt, pepper etc.  You’re done! Dip in with fresh bread and raw veggies! 🙂

A Few Notes:

  • There are versions of this recipe that bake the beets with oil and salt and pepper and herbs – I haven’t tried it, although it sounds delicious. The way I am explaining here (above) worked perfectly well, and lead to a very tasty dip.
  • These are the two Farmers Markets I shop at in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie, NSW. They are both excellent and worth a visit.
  • My husband says I am a Feta snob. 🙂 I am ok with that, you can really, REALLY taste the difference. I’m not into advertising, but I have tried a lot of Feta and these days I only use Dodoni Feta. It is the only one (easily available in supermarkets in my world) that is amazing. It looks like this, keep an eye out for it and if you have it, spend the few extra dollars sometime to try it:

dodoni

A Seasonal Note: Beetroot is pretty much in season all year round in Australia! 🙂 Yay Beetroot!

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 – are in season in Summer
Carrots – Summer, Autumn, Winter
Pumpkin – Summer, Autumn
Tomatoes – Summer, Autumn
Spinach – Winter, Spring, Summer
Avocados – all year

Quiche: If I can do it, you can

7 Oct


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This was my very first attempt at making quiche. I read several different recipes and in the end, I sort of used a combination of them. I went with a Feta and Spinach combo, because let’s be honest, I’m such a fan of those two hanging out together. And I have to say, it was pretty tasty. I will definitely try making quiche again. I have heard that people use a lot more eggs than most recipes I saw called for. Thoughts? Opinions? Helpful quiche based tips?

Really I guess I’m asking you guys if you have a tried and tested quiche recipe you could share in the comments below? I’m yet to have one to recommend.

NEWSFLASH! Ravioli: It should not taste like cardboard

7 Feb

I’m always disappointed when I order ravioli at restaurants and you just know they have tipped it out of a frozen packet.

NO! Rah! Grr!

It’s not hard to make, and you CAN taste the difference!! Fresh ravioli is silky and soft. It melts in your mouth. The filling should be a feature, not just that, a filler.

Here is my fresh ravioli I made in the afternoon, awaiting my friends arrival for dinner. They are drying out a little on a chopping board. This helps them hold their shape when they are plunged into the boiling water.

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Here is the recipe I “base” my ravioli filling on. It is from the “Vegetarian: More than 150 Family Recipes” cookbook. Mostly for this one I throw stuff together in a bowl and taste test until its right though. I substitute Feta, instead of Ricotta (just a personal preference) and I use whatever fresh herbs I have around. Note also that this is not the method I use to make pasta, although I’m sure it would be fine. You can view how I make fresh pasta here.

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Edit: 22/10/12
Here is another I made last night. Roasted pumpkin (with salt, pepper and olive oil), mashed with nutmeg. Feta and parsley on top.

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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. 🙂 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. 😉

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”. 🙂 I’m learning in all this too.

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