Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Winter Sunshine is the best!

I had a rather unadventurous weekend. Much winter hibernation as it was freezing cold and I was very tired with my period and the tail end of a cold. Friday's intention to go to a gig was thwarted by an episode of Spooks and the heater. Saturday people came round for lunch and I went to visit my wedding dressmaker with Marni. I've picked a pattern and have a pic of how I would like the dress to be. Now I have to find the fabric, go for fittings and lose some weight...

Saturday night, Marni and I had a girls night at home with pizza, red wine and chocolate and we watched The Holiday and Jane Austin Book Club, both of which I quite enjoyed for a lazy saturday night-I managed to fall asleep during the latter.

It rained all sunday and was freezing cold so Chris and I stayed indoors all day watching dvds (I can't believe he had never seen Fame hehe) and we baked a lemon cake which turned out more like some kind of soggy pudding. In the evening we braved the elements to go and see George Romero speak as part of the Melbourne International Film Festival. Quite interesting and I always love visiting The Forum theatre, Chris got quite a kick out of it, as he's never been there before.

We might be going to London in December for Les Carter's 50th birthday ( I wouldn't have met Chris if it wasn't for Les) and to spend Christmas with Chris' family in the country. Kind of depends how much money we get back on our tax returns, as we were hoping for a trip to South America next year and I've already used this year's leave. But we have enforced Christmas close down from Dec 23rd to Jan 2nd so....

Having lovely drinks with a new friend tonight. Starting the gym tomorrow night (might not actually be weights as I have to go sign up so might end up just going for a swin or something).

I'm simply longing for summer


My creation
Originally uploaded by polkadotrabbit.com
Here's some pics to remind us of what it's like to be warm....

K is for Kale


pic from here

We had friends over for lunch on saturday and one bought a big bag of home grown vegetables including some rather wonderful kale. I put some in a veggie thai green curry with tofu but cooked the rest last night with some home grown spring onions, parsley, chilli, brocolini and parmesan and added some pasta-delish!

Here's some recipes I've found:

North African Chickpea and Kale Soup




1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, sliced or diced
4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/8-1/4 teaspoon chilli powder or cayenne
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
generous pinch saffron, lightly crushed
2 bay leaves
1 3-inch cinnamon stick
3 cups cooked chickpeas (or 2 cans, drained and rinsed)
8 cups vegetable broth (or water plus bouillon)
1 large bunch kale, thick center ribs removed and chopped (at least 8 cups)
about 2 cups water
salt to taste

Spray a large saucepan with olive oil spray and heat it. Add the onion and carrot and cook over medium-high heat until the onion begins to brown (about 5 minutes). Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the spices, including bay leaves and cinnamon stick, and cook, stirring, for another minute. Add the chickpeas and stir to coat them with the spices. Pour in the 8 cups of vegetable stock, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to a simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the chopped kale and stir. If necessary add water to cover the kale and cook until it is tender, about 10-25 minutes, depending on how cooked you like your kale. Check frequently to see if it is becoming dry and add water as needed. Add salt to taste and serve.


Winter Vegetable Hash

  • 45 ml olive oil
  • 30 g butter
  • 455 g Yukon Gold potatoes, diced
  • 225 g fresh shiitake mushrooms, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small acorn squash, diced
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 6 g garlic powder
  • 1 g salt
  • 1 g ground black pepper
  • 65 g chopped kale
  • 4 sprigs fresh sage

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Melt butter and mix in potatoes, mushrooms, pepper, squash, and shallot. Season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Cook 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender.
  2. Mix kale and sage into skillet. Continue cooking 5 minutes, until kale is wilted. Serve and enjoy!

Kale and Roquefort Parcels

I'm a sucker for pastry so will be trying these for sure!


Ingredients

250g shortcrust pastry
200g kale (or Swiss chard or winter spinach)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
¼ teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
100g blue cheese, e.g. Roquefort or Stilton
Handful pine nuts
Salt & pepper to taste

Method

  1. 1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 C.

  2. Heat a large frying pan with no oil and toast the pine nuts for 2 minutes, stirring often, until lightly browned. Remove from the heat and set on one side.

  3. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and gently sauté the onion with the garlic for 10 minutes until it is soft.

  4. Wash the kale well and dry thoroughly. Shred it finely. Add the kale to the pan and sauté with the lid on for 5 minutes, until the kale is wilted. Then remove the lid and continue to cook until most of the moisture has evaporated.

  5. Roughly chop the pine nuts and mix in with the kale. Add the nutmeg, salt and pepper and stir well.

  6. Roll out the pastry to about ½ cm thick. Use a saucer and a knife to cut 4 circles, to make the pasties.

  7. Put 2-3 tablespoons of filling into the middle of each pasty. Crumble the blue on top of the filling.

  8. Brush the edges of each circle with a little milk or beaten egg, then seal together to make a pasty shape. Brush the top of the pasty with milk or egg.

  9. Put on a greased baking tray and bake for about 40 minutes, until the pastry is golden and crispy.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

This is why I need another bunny!

Rabbit the bunny a hare-raising fire hero
From The Age
by Andrea Petrie
July 24, 2008 - 2:58PM

A pet rabbit has been credited with saving the lives of a Melbourne couple after fire swept through their home this morning - six days before their renovations were due to be completed.
Macleod resident Michelle Finn and her partner Gerry Keogh were woken about 7am by their family pet, named Rabbit, who was causing a racket from his cage.

"Gerry only got home from work about 5.30am because he works night shift and about 7am we both woke to the sound of a thumping rabbit,'' Ms Finn said.

"We heard windows breaking at the back of the house and got up to see what was wrong and the house was on fire.''

The blaze had broken out in the back office and smoke was spreading quickly through the house.
Ms Finn said she was grateful to her six-month-old, black, floppy-eared companion for reacting the way he did from his loungeroom cage.

"He's in the cage during the night and just started thumping and running around and was trying to get out I guess,'' she said.
"If it wasn't for the rabbit we probably wouldn't have woken up quite as soon.''
Firefighters donned breathing apparatus to get inside the house to retrieve the pet. His owners could not reach him due to the smoke.

Ms Finn said they had been renovating the house for two years and were due to finish next week.
"It's my Mum's 60th birthday in August and we were supposed to be having the party here,'' she said. "That's not going to happen now.''

Metropolitan Fire Brigade commander Mick Swift said it was the first fire he had attended where the life-saver was a rabbit.
"It could have been a lot worse and without the rabbit it could have been a tragedy where lives were lost,'' he said.
"We're pretty happy to be able to giggle about it.''

Four fire appliances and 15 fire fighters brought the blaze _ which was caused by a faulty electrical heater _ under control in 10 minutes. Damage is estimated at $80,000.
Mr Swift said a smoke alarm had been removed from the ceiling while the back of the home was being renovated.

"The lesson to learn from this is that even if a smoke alarm is removed it can still be put high up on a shelf or attached with double-sided tape or Blu Tack until it is put up permanently,'' he said.
Mr Keogh, a nighclub employee, said while he and his partner faced the difficult task of rebuilding, Rabbit had also been left homeless by the fire, with his cage ruined.
"We don't know what we're going to do with him in the meantime,'' he said.
"The fire-fighters did a wonderful job saving him and we're just glad that we all got out alive.''

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

C is for cauliflower


Well winter veggies are certainly overrepresented in the beginning of the alphabet! But from tomorrow we take a significant leap down the list...

But for today:

I like cauliflower (not as much a broccoli though), we are even growing some in the garden. When all the 'low carb' eating was the rage, I used to see a lot of recipes that substituted cauli for mashed potato. But I was never fooled.

Cauiliflower and Potato Pie
  • 1 cauliflower, separated into florets
  • 11/2 cups mashed potato or 3-4 cooked potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons cream or sour cream
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan or other hard cheese (our hard tomme cheese is fine)


Preheat oven to 180degrees Celsius. Steam cauliflower. Drain very well. Process for 30 seconds in a food processor or chop by hand. Mix cauliflower with potato (crush the cooked potatoes, if using). Add cream and seasonings. Use half the oil to grease an ovenproof pie plate or gratin dish, then drizzle with remaining oil and sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown.


Cauliflower Poppers



1 large head of cauliflower
juice of 1 lemon
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried dill
fresh black pepper
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

Directions:

These are soooo good - sometimes when I want a light dinner I'll just make a batch and eat it all myself, easily as good as French fries!

Preheat the oven to 400, and separate the cauliflower into bite-sized florets.

Whisk together the remaining ingredients and toss with the cauliflower, then bake for 40 minutes, stirring once about halfway through the cooking time.

They're ready when they get nicely browned and they're tender but not mushy -- I like to leave mine in until they get chewy blackened parts, but that's just me. ^^

Serves: 4-5

Preparation time: 10 minutes plus 40 to bake

Fresh Pappardelle With Cauliflower and Zucchini

Pappardelle With Cauliflower and Zucchini

Serves 3-4

  • 2 heads garlic (if roasting, or 1-2 minced cloves if just sauteeing)
  • 4 T. butter
  • 1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1-2 medium zucchini, cut into 4 lengthwise strips and then sliced 1/2 thick
  • pinch of tarragon
  • 1 lb fresh pappardelle noodles
  • black pepper
  • salt
  • pecorino romano, cut thin with a vegetable peeler
  1. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Put your serving bowls somewhere to warm.
  2. If you want to roast the garlic, trim the upper 1/4" off of each head, rub them with some olive oil, wrap in tin foil and place in the toaster oven (or regular oven) at 400 F for about 40 minutes, until easily pierced with a fork. If you don't have that kind of time, skip it and just add a minced clove or two to the saute.
  3. In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, melt 3 T of the butter. Add the cauliflower, and stir. Add a couple tablespoons of water and cover for a couple of minutes, until just starting to become tender. Squeeze in the cloves of roasted garlic, taking care not to add the skins. Add the tarragon and 1 t. of salt. Add the zucchini and stir occasionally. Check the seasoning.
  4. When the vegetables are 3 minutes from done (probably just after you add the zucchini) turn them down to the low heat and drop the noodles in the boiling water.
  5. When the noodles are al dente (about 3 minutes for fresh pasta), drain them and toss with the remaining 1 T. of butter.
  6. Divide the noodles among heated bowls, top with 1/4 of the vegetable saute, several nice shavings of pecorino and freshly ground pepper.

This is what makes me happy


I have a lot to be thankful of in my life, especially my wonderful partner Chris who puts up with me and loves me and supports me in my endeavours...

Thanks to Jacinta for a great theme this week - you too can join THIS IS on Angela's Three Buttons blog!

Friday, July 18, 2008

C is for carrots





I've never been much of a fan of raw carrots I must confess. Carrot juice even less so. But baked carrots are definitely the bomb!


Baked Carrots
Ingredients :

4 cups of carrots, sliced.
½ cup of water.
6 tablespoons of nuttlex.
2 tablespoons of sugar.
1 teaspoon of nutmeg.
1 teaspoon of salt.

Instructions:

In a casserole dish, mix the sugar, nutmeg and salt with water.

Add the carrots and dab them with nuttlex.

Bake at 350°F (175°C) for 10 minutes, stirring after 5 minutes.

Allow to rest for 3-4 minutes.

Serve.


Carrot soup



Ingredients (serves 4)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 leek, halved lengthways, thinly sliced
  • 6 carrots, peeled, chopped
  • 4cm piece ginger, peeled, grated
  • 2 cups salt-reduced vegetable stock
  • 2 cups water
  • light soy sour cream, dill, and toast, to serve

Method

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add leek, carrots and ginger. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes, or until vegetables start to soften.
  2. Add stock and water to saucepan. Cover. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes, or until carrots are very tender.
  3. Remove from heat. Set aside to cool slightly. Process or blend soup until smooth. Return to saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat until hot. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Ladle soup into bowls. Top with sour cream and dill. Serve with toast.

Super Food Ideas - April 2004 , Page 30

Recipe by Alison Roberts


Vegan Carrot Cake


Ingredients

- 200 g grated carrots
- 200 g whole grain flour
- 100 g brown sugar
- 1 handful of walnuts or hazelnuts
- 2 tablespoons of raisins
- 1 tablespoons of baking soda
- 1 tablespoon of baking powder
- nutmeg
- ground cinnamon
- Juice of 1 orange
- 1/4 cup of mild olive oil
- salt
Instructions:

1. Put all the dry ingredients into a bowl and mix with a wooden spoon. Add a pinch of every spice listed and a bit of salt.

2. Add the liquid ingredients and mix until homogeneous.

3. Place it on a baking tray covered with margarine or baking paper

4. Bake at 170 ºC for 45 minutes.

5. Decorate with chocolate shavings or powdered sugar. Let it cool down before you slice it.


NB-I've had several bunnies living with me over the years and the whole carrot thing is a bit of a myth. Buns shouldn't be fed carrots except as an occasional treat, they are far too high in sugar. My buns favourite veggies were parsley, celery and asian greens.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I love op shopping!

Here's some bits and pieces from the op shop (charity shop) around the corner from my house. I got there regularly and never find anything, then suddenly....

Gorgeous plate from New Zealand of all places! (I decide to take these pics in the veggie patch as it was such a nice day):


Can you see my celery leaves peeking out from the side?the other side of the cup (resting in the cabbages):


And here's some random bits and pieces that make me happy. I'm currently decluttering as I now share a study/craft room with Chris so some of these things have been donated to charity:


Monday, July 14, 2008

Friday, July 11, 2008

No, I haven't bought a dress yet

I haven't written a catch up post for a while as I've been extremely busy at work and too tired to post in the evenings. I have loads of pics to upload at some stage!

Other news:
Craftea Chat workshops are coming along nicely with lots of wonderful presenters and quite a bit of interest. More updates to come!

I got through this week ok, monday was the anniversary of David's death. It's still terribly hard and i still get really upset thinking about him and how he died but I've made it through Christmas, our birthday and now the anniversary of his death which is a help. It's very hard to make sense of suicide and I still feel alot of pain and guilt about everything. To not have him around for key parts of my life like visiting england, my wedding and such is incredibly sad. It's so hard as everyone says, 'think of the happy memories'. These upset me the most. But I'm coping as well as I can.

I'm writing for a couple of different blogs at the moment (although I haven't had alot of time to post all that much as I would like I must confess).

The Dawn Chorus
An ace feminist blog!

http://greenrenters.blogspot.com

[info]chrischinchilla and I started this blog for discourse on how you can live in rental accomodation and still do your bit for the environment.

Crafty creations at Polka Dot Rabbit are coming along, I have many half finished things (brooches, cassette wallets, cards) and i will be finished a cross stitch for dear friend's birthday over the weekend! My softie ducks for Softies For Mirabel are coming on nicely once I weight the feet so they don't topple over upon standing! I'm also hoping to make a doll.

The wedding is also coming along. Slowly. Despite being constantly asked, no I haven't bought a dress yet. And yes, I know I should have a long dress with long sleeves to cover my fat bits. And yes, I will be wearing glasses.

Other news is that I am joining the gym next week and looking forward to it. Much easier than worrying about my eating at the moment and berating myself for not cycling to work.

Lastly, Chris and I are going on a wonderful weekend away this weekend which I'm really looking forward to and we sorely need. We booked it originally as we share house with another person and were keen for some space but she moved on wednesday back to Perth so now we are living alone together at last! We are both really enjoying it. The weekend will involve lots of sleeping, chocolate, red wine and fun in gorgeous surroundings! Hurray!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

This is....

My most treasured childhood memory, Snoopy! I had him from age 6-25 (when I thought it was getting a bit embarassing....)

This_is_badge Danielle, it was a great theme suggestion.

C is for cabbage




I live in fear of residing in one of those rental properties that smell like boiled cabbage. I also hate storemade coleslaw. But I love the frilliness of cabbage:

Click here for more arty cabbage picks

When searching for saucy cabbage picks I came across the infamous Cabbage Soup Diet-you all know that's a piece of poo, right?

 VEGETARIAN CABBAGE ROLLS
(no picture but they sound yum!)
Ingredients:
2 Cabbage heads

FILING:
  • 3/4 c Barley
  • 3/4 c Bulgur
  • 6 c Water -- salted if desired
  • 1 c Rice
  • 1 lg Onions
  • 1 tb Paprika
  • 1/2 ts Chili powder
  • 4 Garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 c Pine nuts
  • 10 1/2 oz Tofu, firm
  • 1/2 bn Parsley -- chopped
  • 6 tb Sauce, soy
  • 4 tb Molasses
  • 2 tb Oil, sesame

  • -----SAUCE, PER BATCH-----

  • 2 c pureed tomatoes
  • 1/4 ts Sea salt
  • 1/4 ts Onion powder
  • 1/8 ts Garlic powder
  • 1/8 ts Chili powder
  • 1 tb Sugar, brown
  • 1 1/2 tb Vinegar, wine

  • -----SAUCE, REMAINING BATCHES-----
  • 6 c pureed tomatoes
  • 3/4 ts Sea salt
  • 3/4 ts Onion powder
  • 3/8 ts Garlic powder
  • 3/8 ts Chili powder
  • 3 tb Sugar, brown
  • 4 1/2 tb Vinegar, wine
 
Filling: Precook grains in water until done. Crush tofu. Saute
remaining ingredients in oil until cooked and add cooked grains.

Sauce: Season tomato sauce with remaining ingredients.

Cabbage: Core cabbage and cook in boiling water for several minutes.
Pull leaves away as they soften. Cut out hard core of leaf. Cut
largest leaves in half.

Preheat oven to 300. Oil 9"x13″ casserole. Place enough tomato
sauce to cover bottom. Fill cabbage leaves with cooked filling and
wrap, tucking sides and ends in to form neat rolls. Place rolls
snugly in casserole against each other. Spoon remaining sauce over.
Cover tightly and bake 2 hours. Leave in oven until serving time.


Colcannon
This stuff is seriously good, I had it at some dodgy Irish pub in London
and loved it!


Ingredients (serves 6)

  • 900g sebago (brushed) potatoes, peeled, coarsely chopped
  • 50g butter/nuttlex
  • 300g savoy cabbage, hard core removed, shredded
  • 60ml (1/4 cup) milk/soy milk
  • 60ml (1/4 cup) pouring cream/soy cream
  • White pepper

Method

  1. Place potato in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil over medium-high heat, and cook for 20 minutes or until tender. Drain and return to the pan. Use a potato masher to mash until smooth. Transfer to a large heatproof bowl.
  2. Melt half the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the cabbage and cook, stirring occasionally, for 7 minutes or until the cabbage softens.
  3. Add the mashed potato and remaining butter to the pan and stir to combine. Gradually add the milk and cream, and stir to combine. Season with salt and white pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve.

Friday, July 4, 2008

B is for Brussel Sprouts!

Like many children, I was bought up to hate Brussel Sprouts. Mum never cooked them and I never had anything to do at them at all, except when I admired their appearance ( a bit like mini-cabbages) at the supermarket.

Until I started today's research, I knew they looked like this:
But I never really had given any though to how they grew which is apparently like this:



(Thanks to this site). Amazing stuff! How cool do they look, talk about ornamental gardening! You can even plant some now! Yes, I'm getting excited about Brussel Sprouts! And to prove it, here's some yummy recipes...

Golden-Crusted Brussels Sprouts Recipe



This is the only way to eat brussels sprouts: cut in half and cooked until deliciously tender inside and perfectly brown and crusted on the outside.

Use brussels sprouts that are on the small size and tightly closed. You can finish these with many different types of cheese but I tend to go for Parmesan when the weather is good. I trade that in for heavier cheeses like gruyere or Gouda in colder weather. I finished them off with some toasted hazelnuts the other night - delicious!

24 small brussels sprouts
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for rubbing
fine-grain sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup grated cheese of your choice

Wash the brussels sprouts well. Trim the stem ends and remove any raggy outer leaves. Cut in half from stem to top and gently rub each half with olive oil, keeping it intact (or if you are lazy just toss them in a bowl with a glug of olive oil).

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in your largest skillet over medium heat. Don’t overheat the skillet, or the outsides of the brussels sprouts will cook too quickly. Place the brussels sprouts in the pan flat side down (single-layer), sprinkle with a couple pinches of salt, cover, and cook for roughly 5 minutes; the bottoms of the sprouts should only show a hint of browning. Cut into or taste one of the sprouts to gauge whether they’re tender throughout. If not, cover and cook for a few more minutes.

Once just tender, uncover, turn up the heat, and cook until the flat sides are deep brown and caramelized. Use a metal spatula to toss them once or twice to get some browning on the rounded side. Season with more salt, a few grinds of pepper, and a dusting of grated cheese. While you might be able to get away with keeping a platter of these warm in the oven for a few minutes, they are exponentially tastier if popped in your mouth immediately.

Serves 4.

The recipe is from 101cookbooks.com

Thursday, July 3, 2008

B is for Broccoli


I'm definite in saying that broccoli is my favourite vegetable in the world-steamed, with butter, in a soup...all awesome! We're growing some at home and whilst it doesn't look quite like this yet, I have high hopes...

Broccoli and Tahini Soup


Broccoli and Tahini Soup

For the soup:

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • florets (about 250-300g, 9-10 oz) from 1 head of broccoli, chopped
  • vegetable stock
  • 2 Tbsp tahini
  • black pepper to taste

For the gremolata:

  • leaves from 1 head of broccoli
  • an equal volume of flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt to taste

For the croutons:

  • 12 thin slices (1/4 cm, 1/2 inch) from the interestingly-shaped part of the broccoli stem (see photo)
  • olive oil
  • salt and black pepper

Method:

1. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat, and saute the onion for about 7 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and chopped broccoli florets and stir briefly to let the garlic release its flavour into the oil. Pour over hot vegetable stock to cover, bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 20-25 minutes until the broccoli has softened (the amount of time it takes will depend on how much stalk you left on the florets).

2. (Optional) While the soup is simmering, make the gremolata: chop the broccoli leaves together with the parsley until very finely-minced. You should end up with 2-3 Tbsp of the minced mixture. Stir in the lemon juice and olive oil, and season well with salt. Set aside for the flavours to infuse.

3. When the soup has finished simmering, stir in the tahini, season with black pepper, and puree in the blender. Return to pan and keep warm.

4. (Optional) Make the croutons just before you're ready to serve. Heat a generous layer of olive oil in a small frying pan, until very hot. Season the broccoli slices with salt and freshly-ground black pepper and then fry them in the hot oil, turning once (I use chopsticks to do this), until lightly (or darkly!) browned, according to taste. The ones in the photo are done to my taste, which is well-browned. Drain them briefly on kitchen paper after taking them out of the oil.

5. To assemble the soup, pour it into four warmed bowls, balance the croutons on top, and drizzle over a little of the gremolata. Serve at once, with the rest of the gremolata in a small saucer for people to add as required, or dip their bread into.'

From Kake's Vegan Cookery Site


Vegan Broccoli Casserole

Ingredients

  • 1 med Potato -- peeled and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • Couple of bundles of broccoli chopped
  • 4 oz Tofu, firm -- crumbled
  • 1/2 md Carrot -- scraped and
  • 1/2 c Nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 tb brown Rice, brown, instant
  • 1/2 med Onion -- peeled and
  • 10 oz Mushrooms sliced
  • 1 cup water

Instructions

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small saucepan, bring potato, carrot, onion, 1 cup water and salt to a boil over medium high heat. Lower heat to medium, cover and simmer until potato and carrot are tender, about 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, thaw frozen broccoli in a colander under hot running water, then set aside and drain well.

3.When potato mixture has finished simmering, pour into a blender and add tofu, yeast, lemon juice and garlic.

3.Blend until very smooth and creamy. Pour into a shallow, greased 1 1/2- to 2-quart casserole.

4. Add broccoli, rice, mushrooms and 3/4 cup water. Stir well and smooth top of casserole.

5.Bake for 40 minutes, until golden and bubbling. Serves 4

from Big Oven


If anyone has any broccoli dessert recipes, send them our way!

xx

Craft workshops coming up!

Hi folks,

I’m organising a 8 week series of ‘craftea chats’ for women who have experienced mental illness and are based in Melbourne.

We’ll have different materials and teachers each week and you can bring along your current project or learn a new skill such as knitting, sewing or cross stitch. All materials are provided and each session is free. Depression, anxiety and the like can be lonely and isolating and the workshops are a great chance to meet other women and engage in some crafty fun while enjoying tea and bickies.

Weekly from August 6th
6.15-8.15pm
Ross House, 247 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

The workshops are funded through a grant by The City of Melbourne and auspicing of the Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council

Interested? Check out the details below and email ms.cate@gmail.com to book your place ( spaces are limited).

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

B is for Bok Choy


Bok Choy is perhaps one of the easiest veggies to grow (at least at our place). It's a staple in many Asian dishes (often with ginger and garlic) but there's also other ways of using it that you may not have thought of:

Baby Bok Choy Stuffed with Bread Crumbs and Cheese

Ingredients :

1/2 cup Breadcrumbs
2 tbl Olive oil, divided
6 x Baby bok choy –
1/4 cup Ricotta cheese
2 oz Feta cheese
1 tsp Finely chopped lemon peel

Method :

  1. Place the bread crumbs on a plate and toss with 1 tablespoon of oil.
  2. Microwave on high( 100 percent power) for 2 minutes, stirring after 1 minute, or until toasted.
  3. Rinse the bok choy; set aside the four largest, and finely chop the remaining two. In a small bowl, with a fork mix together the ricotta cheese, lemon peel, remaining 1 tablespoon oil, chopped bok choy and bread crumbs.
  4. Gently spread apart the leaves of each whole bok choy and fill with the cheese mixture. Place in single layer in a dish, cover, and microwave on high for 4 minutes, or until wilted and slightly soft. Serve right away or at room temperature.
recipe from FoodDownunder.com

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

B is for Beetroot



When I was a kid, the big decision was whether you had beetroot in your salad sandwiches or hamburgers with the lot. I grew up in the country and can recall stopping at a roadhouse in the middle of nowhere which served salad sandwiches: buttered white bread, soggy tomato and tinned beetroot. It wasn't until I went to University that I discovered that beetroot could be bought in the grocer's and eaten cooked, not just out of a can!



Beetroot, carrot and potato cakes

beetroot-carrot-potato-cake.jpg

Recipe for beetroot, carrot and potato cakes
2 medium beetroots, greens removed, peeled & grated
2 medium carrots, skin on, grated
2 medium potatoes, skin on, grated
½ medium onion, thinly sliced
½ tin of green lentils
1 egg, beaten
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
25g wholemeal plain flour
3 chopped spring onions
1 garlic clove, crushed
3 tbsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 150C/300F/gas2. Combine all the vegetables in a large bowl, then mix in the lentils, egg, salt and pepper. Sieve in the flour and seasoning and stir well until it’s all blended.

Heat half the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Using 2-3 tablespoons of mixture per cake drop four cakes into the frying pan. Flatten each out with a spatula, and cook until just browned and cooked through, which should take 3-4 minutes per side. Be careful that the pan isn’t too hot, or the cakes will burn before they’ve cooked in the middle. When they are done on each side transfer the cakes to a tray in the oven to keep warm, then repeat with remaining mixture until finished.

Serve with a green salad, houmous and if you’re feeling frivolous, put them under the grill and melt some cheese on top.

© Katheryn Rice 2007


Beetroot Pesto
Pesto made from beets -- no added fat and piles of flavor and color

500g cooked beets (there are several ways to cook beets)
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup coriander (or basil)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup sunflower seeds (toasted) or walnuts (toasted)
Salt to taste

Mix all the ingredients in the food processor til it reaches desired consistency.