Super Simple Tomato Soup

img_1413

Creds to Jamie Oliver for this recipe.

Unfortunately I can’t claim it given that it was purely all his genius but this one’s a keeper – not no Jamie, the soup.

Oh and please don’t be fooled by the title (oh it is simple btw) but just because it is ‘super simple’ doesn’t mean it is not delicious, infact it is quite tasty if I do say so myself.

This is one of those recipes that is literally just all derived from vegetables, yet still tastes yum (although I am biased because that I am quite the veggie lover), but I guess you could put it in the same ‘delicious veggie derived recipe’ category as fritters and sweet potato chips. Personally, I could live either of them.

Anyway, I digress.

What I really wanted to say is that this recipe is perfect for those winter nights when you really want something warm and comforting but also good for you. Well my friends, this soup has got your back! After all, it does contain four different types of vegetables and is (according to the Jamie Oliver website) great as a base sauce for popular winter dishes such as cannelloni or lasagne.

So with the upcoming winter approaching the Northern Hemisphere and the weather being a bit bi-polar over here in Western Australia I think this one’ll be a keeper!

img_1411

Recipe

Tomato soup

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 2 carrots
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Olive oil
  • 2 chicken or vegetable stock cubes
  • 2 x 400g tins of quality plum tomatoes
  • 6 large ripe tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • ½ a bunch of fresh basil or other fresh herb
  • A little bit of grated parmesan, to serve

Method:

  1. Peel and roughly slice the carrots, slice the celery, and peel and roughly chop the onions. Peel and slice the garlic.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pan over a medium heat, add all the prepped ingredients, then cook with lid ajar for 10 to 15 minutes, or until softened.
  3. Crumble the stock cubes into a jug, cover with1.5 litres of boiling water, and stir until dissolved.
  4. Add the stock to the veg pan with tinned and fresh whole tomatoes, including the green stalks that may still be attached to some of them (these give an amazing flavour – trust me!).
  5. Give it a good stir and bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on. Meanwhile, pick your basil leaves.
  6. Remove the pan from the heat. Season to taste with sea salt and black pepper, then stir through the basil leaves.
  7. Using a stick blender or liquidizer, pulse the soup until smooth. Taste and check the seasoning, then serve.

Notes:

  • Best served with sourdough or other good quality bread.
  • Recipe from here.

 img_1406

Tanisha xx

Advertisements

Deluxe Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe

IMG_6974

I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT I HAVEN’T POSTED A PASTA RECIPE ON THIS BLOG YET!!

Now that’s embarrassing.

I am a true pasta enthusiast. It just tastes so good I could eat it plain. In fact, I used to do just that when I was younger. And I don’t care what anyone tells you but pasta IS healthy, especially if you cook with wholemeal or experiment with other wholegrain pastas such as quinoa. And if you eat the right amount, alongside lots of veggies, you’re on a winner. Everything in moderation, guys.

So here is a perfectly healthy pasta recipe, just waiting for you guys to try it. It’s great for a summer lunch or even dinner if you so wish.

IMG_6978

Recipe

Deluxe Pesto Pasta Salad

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 500g pasta – spiral penne or orecchiette
  • Handful baby spinach
  • Handful olives, sliced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 150g feta
  • 5 tablespoons whole egg mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons seeded mustard
  • Basil pesto, to taste

Method:

  1. Bring some water to the boil and add a pinch of salt before adding your pasta. Cook to al dente according to the packet instructions and then strain in a colander and leave to cool.
  2. Meanwhile cut up your olives and red onion before adding to the pasta in a large bowl (you may need two bowls). Add the spinach and stir through. Crumble some of the feta over the top then mix through the mayonnaise, mustard, and basil pesto, adjusting quantities for a balanced flavour. Mix well.
  3. Garnish with the rest of the crumbled feta.

Notes:

  • This recipe is from the book, Flavours of Melbourne pg. 310. It was originally called, Olive Grove Salad and was a recipe from the café Famish’d.

 

When I made this salad I was astounded at how big it was. I couldn’t find a bowl big enough to mix it in so I had to use two!! The original recipe said that it served 4. And there is no way that it serves 4. I served it alongside a lunch for 6 people and there was heaps of leftovers so it took another 4 of us to finish it off for dinner later on. But I think if you ate it as a full meal it would probably serve at least 6 people. Minimum.

IMG_6986

My lunch spread. The pasta salad is in the background.

What I love about this recipe is that it is so easy and tasty too. So, I guess it’s not really that deluxe like the title says but I feel that if you make the basil pesto yourself it does really spruce this pasta salad up above the usual. And if you counter in all the other ingredients it really is deluxe compared to other pesto pasta salads.

I hope you enjoy it!

Also: 1 MORE SLEEP TILL CHRISTMAS!!!!

IMG_6975

Tanisha xx

Roasted Pumpkin & Pearl Cous Cous Salad

IMG_6312

So, I’d like to start this post with a big, fat apology for not posting much lately. Sorry guys. Life has been pretty hectic lately with school, exams, athletics and what not, BUT guess what, schools out (scream and shout!! – gotta love a bit of High School Musical) and exams are over and it’s the summer holidays and what does that mean?? That’s right, I will have more time to make some uber delicious meals so I can post them on this poor neglected blog. Hell yeah!!

And you know while I’m at it I may as well give this blog an update because I feel like it needs some freshening up. After all, it has had the same old theme for nearly a whole year (wow, it’s nearly been a whole year with this blog!!) so you know what they say; new year, new me!

Anyway, as I mentioned before, it’s the holidays so “I will have more time to make some uber delicious meals” – as quoted by yours truly – and I have already lived up to that statement. I mean, I have only been off school for a total of 3 ½ days and I have made so much yummy stuff already, so it looks like these holidays are going to be full of delicious, healthy food!

So the first of my holiday creations that I am going to post is this fabulous pearl (Israeli) cous cous salad, packed full of sweet, honey roasted pumpkin and other delectable goodies! I ate this all by itself for dinner yesterday but it would be really good as a side to some roasted chicken or apricot chicken orr even as a part of a Middle Eastern feast (I’m thinking hummus, baba ganoush, tabbouleh, and koftas – yummm)!!

IMG_6323

Recipe

Roasted Pumpkin & Pearl Cous Cous Salad

Serves 4 or 6 as a side

Ingredients:

  • 1 butternut pumpkin, diced
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • Fresh herbs (e.g. thyme)
  • 1 packet pearl cous cous
  • ½ red onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup currants
  • 1/3 cup dried apricots, diced
  • ¼ cup feta, crumbled
  • Handful spinach
  • Handful fresh mint and parsley, chopped
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds and slivered almonds each
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ lemon, juice and zested
  • Drizzle olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees C.
  2. Prepare a baking tray lined with baking paper. Place the pumpkin, honey and herbs on the baking tray and drizzle with a little olive oil. Toss to combine.
  3. Place in the oven and allow the pumpkin to roast for around 30-40 minutes. Once it is roasted to your liking, take it out of the oven and let to cool.
  4. Cook the cous cous according to the packet instructions. Once cooked, allow to cool for five minutes.
  5. In a large bowl combine the cous cous, pumpkin, onion, currants, apricots, feta, spinach and mint and parsley, and pumpkin seeds and almonds.
  6. Dress the salad with cinnamon, cumin, lemon juice and zest, a drizzle of olive oil, and salt and pepper. Mix the salad together and whallah, it’s ready to serve!

Enjoy!

Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni

IMG_6159

Long time, no recipe! But don’t worry (you probably weren’t) I am alive and cooking – no pun intended!!

Sooo, I have been very busy lately and continue to be as I have exams coming up but I have managed to sneak in some time to provide you with this stellar recipe:

On Thursday it was my mum’s birthday (and mine!) and because I am just such an outstanding daughter I decided to make her dinner. Yes, I know, I’m fabulous! The only problem was that I had absolutely no idea what to make her. You see, among her favourite foods are seafood and laska both of which I am not very fond of and have never cooked before.

So, to conquer this problem I did what every good chef would do; I consulted the Taste.com gods!! And can I just say, thank god that website exists otherwise I would have been running around like a stressed mess.

This website has a recipe (or 5) of just about every kind of food you could think of. It is amazing. I could literally spend hours just scrolling through all the recipes on this website. I mean, it’s like a world of its own.

So anyway, whilst I was doing the above I came up with the idea of making spinach and ricotta cannelloni because I know that my mum and my whole family are very fond of this humble vegetarian dish. So here is the recipe:

IMG_6156

Recipe

Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni

 Serves 4 – 6

 Ingredients:

  • Around 2 -3 jars of tomato pasta sauceIMG_4318
  • A very large handful of fresh spinach (not baby spinach)*
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves
  • ½ onion, diced (optional)
  • 350g ricotta
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan
  • 3 egg yolks
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper
  • About 2 packets of cannelloni tubes
  • Fresh basil and toasted pine nuts, to serve

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees C.
  2. Fill the bottom of a large baking dish with one jar of tomato pasta sauce.
  3. Wash spinach thoroughly and pat dry.
  4. Heat a large fry pan with olive oil on medium-high. Sauté the garlic and onion until just cooked, then place the spinach in the pan and wilt – you may need to do this in two batches.
  5. Place spinach mixture, ricotta, parmesan, egg yolks, nutmeg and, salt and pepper in a large bowl and mix with a fork to combine.
  6. Stuff the spinach and ricotta mixture into the cannelloni tubes one at a time. Once stuffed, neatly place them in the baking dish. Once the baking dish is filled pour the rest of the tomato pasta sauce over the dish so that the cannelloni tubes are covered.
  7. Cover with alfoil and bake for 30 minutes or until cannelloni are soft.
  8. Remove alfoil and sprinkle cannelloni with mozzarella cheese and bake for another 10 minutes or until cheese has melted.
  9. Serve with fresh basil and toasted pine nuts. Enjoy!

Notes:

  • * A recipe I used to use says to use 375g spinach but I never really measure it and just use the whole bunch.

IMG_4304IMG_4320IMG_4337IMG_4338

Once again, the measurements of this recipe are slightly vague at times but that is only because I have a tendency to never measure anything I am cooking and just go with the flow, which works 90% of the time but it not very good when you are trying to write a recipe. Fear not though, this recipe is extremely forgiving and will work 90% of the time too, unless you somehow manage to stuff the tubes with tomato sauce and layer it in spinach and ricotta because I am telling you now, that will definitely NOT work. But I am certain that won’t happen because this is a super easy recipe to make and it sure to be a winner.

Tanisha xx

Honey-baked Pumpkin and Spinach Risotto

IMG_5356

It seems it’s just that time of the year when the weather can’t decide what it wants to be. Or maybe that’s just Australia for you! You see, it’s Spring so the weather should be starting to warm up a little after a rather frosty winter (finally!!!), which it is…..when it wants to. We’ve had our fair share of warm ones so far but then all of the sudden it goes back to being cold again. Like, NO!! Let me provide you with an example to illustrate my annoyance. Okay, so a couple of weeks ago we had a couple of days in a row where it was hitting the 30’s (now, that’s what I’m talking about) then all of a sudden the next day the temperature just decides to drop to 19 degrees! For us Aussie’s that’s pretty cold, especially in spring (and for me!). And what do you know, it’s back to a warm 28 degrees the next day!

Now, I know I shouldn’t be complaining; 19 degrees isn’t really that cold but for me it is. So, what better way to warm up than with a delicious bowl of steaming hot pumpkin risotto. It doesn’t get much better than that!

 

Recipe

Honey-baked pumpkin and spinach risotto

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 to ½ a pumpkin, peeled, cut into small cubes (I used Kent pumpkin)
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil IMG_5353
  • 1-2 tbs honey
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of crushed garlic
  • 2cm piece ginger, grated
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 2/3 cup (160ml) white wine (optional – just use water)
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus extra to garnish
  • A knob of butter
  • A small handful of spinach
  • Grated parmesan to serve

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 150° degrees C.
  2. Lay pumpkin in an even layer on a large baking tray and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of oil. Season with pepper. Roast for 15 minutes, then remove and drizzle with 1/2 tablespoon of honey, tossing well to coat each piece. Roast for a further 15 minutes until cooked and golden
  3. Place stock in a saucepan and keep at a simmer over low heat.
  4. Heat remaining tablespoon of oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and celery and stir fir a few minutes or until soft.  Add ginger and garlic and cook for a couple more minutes.  Add rice and cook for a further few minutes, stirring to coat grains. Add wine/water and cook until absorbed. Add stock bit at a time, allowing each to be absorbed before adding the next. It should take 15-20 minutes until rice is cooked but still firm to the bite. Add, butter and stir through, then lemon juice, pumpkin, parsley, and remove from heat. Season, to taste.
  5. Serve with parsley and sprinkle of parmesan.

Notes:

My inspiration for this recipe was from here.

IMG_5365

This is actually quite a healthy version of what can sometimes be a very heavy dish. It’s great because it still has that creamy texture risotto’s are known for, but without the unnecessary addition of all the cream. Win, win!

The addition of the pumpkin, celery and spinach also help to boost the nutrient content of this dish and help get your 5 in a day, whilst the rice provides a good carbohydrate source to create a very balanced meal. Perfect for after a hard training session to replenish your glycogen stores.

Tanisha

Mushroom and Lentil Bolognaise

It’s quite embarrassing to say that this is actually the first pasta recipe I have put on this blog. I mean it’s meant to be a food blog for ATHLETES for god’s sake, and everyone knows pasta is the bee’s knees food for any athlete. But nevertheless, I’ve got a decent carby pasta recipe for you to savour in its delightfulness. So if you’re carbing up for a big event on the weekend, such as the HBF Run For a Reason for those of you in WA, then this recipe’s for you!

But be warned…this isn’t your traditional bolognaise. This one’s for the vegetarians of the world, who want to the bolognaise minus the meat.

37699_l

Recipe

 

Mushroom and Lentil Bolognaise

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 brown onion, peeled, 
coarsely chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled, coarsely chopped
  • 1 celery stick, coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, halved
  • 2 1/2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 fresh or dried bay leaves
  • 4 large (about 385g) field mushrooms
  • 200g (1 cup) French green lentils
  • 410g can Ardmona Rich 
& Thick Tomatoes & Paste
  • 375ml (1 1/2 cups) vegetable stock
  • 400g btl tomato pasta sauce
  • 375g pkt dried wholemeal spaghetti
  • Finely grated pecorino, (or vegetarian hard cheese) to serve
  • Chopped fresh continental parsley leaves, to serve

Method:

  1. Process onion, carrot, celery and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped (but not a paste). Heat 1 1⁄2 tbs of the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion mixture and bay leaves. Season. Cook, stirring, for 6 minutes or until soft. Transfer to a bowl.
  2. Meanwhile, process mushrooms in food processor until finely chopped (but not a paste). Heat remaining oil in pan over high heat. Cook mushrooms, stirring, for 3 minutes or until soft.
  3. Stir onion mixture and lentils into mushroom. Stir in tomato, stock and pasta sauce. Reduce heat to low. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes or until lentils are tender. Season.
  4. While the lentils are cooking, cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain.
  5. Top spaghetti with bolognaise and sprinkle with pecorino and parsley.

Notes: Photo and recipe can be found here.

 

This recipe was from the Body + Soul section of The West Australian way back in November last year. In this section there is always another sub-section in which the B + S nutritionist, Lisa Guy, provides a recipe. I always look forward to reading this part because Lisa always comes up with some really great recipes and writes about the nutritional benefits of them too. So this is what she had to say about this recipe:

Carrots contain the potent antioxidant betacarotene, which has been shown to have anti-cancer effects, and is essential for healthy eyesight and skin. Onions are high in quercetin, an antioxidant that helps lower cholesterol and acts as a natural anti-inflammatory. Mushrooms are high in vitamin D, a deficiency which is linked to increased vulnerability to infection and risk of bone fractures. Green lentils are rich in iron, essential for red blood cell production and transporting oxygen. Tomato paste is a source of lycopene, which can help lower the risk of cancer.”

I’m actually one of the few people in the world who doesn’t particularly (how do you say) enjoy the traditional meaty bolognaise. The problem is, it is my sisters absolute favourite thing to eat. She’s practically head-over-heels in love with it. But me, not so much. I will eat it if we are having it for dinner but I won’t particularly enjoy it. That is why this recipe is so good! I actually enjoy eating it and so did my meat-loving family (even my sister!). Better yet, she can’t stand mushrooms, and she ate this with no hesitations, despite them being one of the main ingredients (probably due to the fact that they were put in the food processor and I didn’t tell her they were in there until afterwards)!!

Tanisha xx

Mothers Day Feast

IMG_3980 (1)So, after much deliberation (not really, read: procrastination) I finally bring you the post I mentioned last week about my Mothers Day Feast.

Now, if you have absolutely no idea what I am talking about then, here, let me fill you in. So last week, on Mothers Day (obviously) I cooked my family and I a massive lunch to share. It turned out really well so I was intending on posting all the recipes the same day but I never got round to it. So what better time to do it then now, when I have mounds of study and homework I should be doing instead….oops!!

The first recipe I bring you guys is this Chicken Pie. It was the main component of our lunch, and was super tasty and filling.

IMG_3957

Walker Family Chicken Pie

Serves 4 – 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg chicken thighs, sliced
  • 1 each onion and carrot, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 80g unsalted butter
  • 2 leeks (pale part only), thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup (50g) plain flour
  • 1 cup (250ml) thickened cream
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbs chopped tarragon
  • 150g Swiss brown mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cups chicken stock (estimate)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 ½ sheets puff pastry

Method:

  1. Heat a fry pan with a little olive oil. Place the chicken thighs in the pan and cook for 5 minutes, or until just browned. Add some butter to the pan and cook the leeks for 4 minutes, season. Repeat with mushrooms.
  2. Place chicken, onion, carrot, bay leaves, leeks, Dijon, tarragon and mushrooms in a large saucepan covering with chicken stock. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, skimming off any impurities that rise to the surface. Reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, for 1 hour. Set aside for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Grease a 3cm-deep, 26cm x 30cm baking dish.
  4. Add flour and cream to the chicken mixture and place in the prepared dish. Lay pastry over, pressing edges to seal and crimping with a fork. Brush pastry with egg, then bake for 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden and crisp, and filling is hot.

Notes:

This recipe is adapted from Delicious Magazine May 2015 Issue.

 

The second component of our meal was roasted potatoes. In our family we usually have these beauties about once every two weeks or so, and we never really follow a recipe as such, so I’ll provide you with Jamie Oliver’s recipe. His version are very much similar to what we do at home, with simple flavourings such as salt and pepper, fresh herbs like thyme and rosemary, and a big glug of olive oil….they sure are a winner!

IMG_3955

Our main meal would not be complete without a wholesome salad. Instead of the light, fresh salad we would normally have, I found a recipe for this zucchini, sweet potato and haloumi salad on Taste.com and thought it would be great for this cooler weather…and boy was it!

IMG_3953

Roasted Sweet Potato, Zucchini & Haloumi Salad

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 550g sweet potato, peeled, cut into 1.5cm pieces
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 70g (1/4 cup) low-fat Greek yoghurt
  • 3 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 250g light haloumi, cut into 1.5cm-thick batons
  • 4 (about 900g) zucchini, peeled into ribbons
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves, chopped, plus extra leaves to garnish
  • 1/2 cup continental parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pistachio kernels, toasted

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 190°C/170°C fan forced. Place sweet potato on a lined tray and drizzle with half the oil. Season and toss to combine. Roast, stirring halfway through cooking, for 30 minutes or until tender.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the yoghurt, lemon juice and balsamic vinegar in a bowl. Season.
  3. Preheat a barbecue or chargrill on medium-high. Spray haloumi with olive oil. Cook, turning, for 2-3 minutes or until golden. Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm.
  4. Combine zucchini and remaining oil in a bowl. Season. Chargrill zucchini, in 2 batches, gently tossing, for 1-2 minutes or until just tender. Combine sweet potato, haloumi, zucchini, chopped mint and parsley in a bowl. Drizzle with yoghurt mixture. Sprinkle with pistachio and extra mint.

Notes:

I got this recipe from here.

 

Of course this lunch was not complete without dessert. So, what a better way then to complete the meal with nothing other than the humble crumble (wasn’t even pre-prepared!). Crumble is the ultimate dessert in my family, and as I have mentioned earlier in one of my previous posts, it also happens to be my downright favourite dessert. It’s perfect anytime of the year but is a particularly good way to make great use of the seasonal apples and pears in abundance around this time of the year. This particular recipe is a little different to the usual, as it doesn’t include any oats, but is still great and quite healthy. Also, it can easily be made gluten free by omitting the self-raising flour and adding more almond meal, or just replacing it 1:1 with any other gluten free flour. Enjoy!

IMG_3991

Pear & Coconut Crumble

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 5 beurre bosc pears
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 125g pitted dates, chopped
  • 1/3 cup (75g) self-raising flour
  • 1 cup (100g) almond meal
  • ½ cup (70g) slivered almonds
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • To serve (optional):
  • 300ml double-thick cream
  • Good quality ice cream

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.
  2. Peel and core the pears, rubbing the flesh with half a lemon to prevent them from going brown. Cut into thin wedges, then place in a 22cm round baking dish. Add the dates, 1 tbs coconut sugar, juice from the remaining lemon half and 2tbs water, and toss well to coat. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes or until just tender.
  3. Meanwhile, to make crumble, combine butter, flour, almond meal, almonds, cinnamon and remaining ¼ cup (35g) coconut sugar in a bowl.
  4. Remove foil from baking dish and stir pears to coat in syrup. Sprinkle crumble over pear mixture, then return to oven and bake, uncovered, for a further 20 minutes or until crumble is dark golden and pears are tender.
  5. Serve warm with double-thick cream and/or ice cream.

 

Notes:

I served mine with Connoisseur Caramel Honey Macadamia ice cream but it would go great with vanilla ice cream, cream, or even custard.

This recipe is from Delicious Magazine May 2015 Issue

IMG_3968

As well as beautiful food, we had a beautiful table setting thanks to my awesome grandma and flowers from our garden. I hope everyone else had a great day as well and treated their mums well.

IMG_3937

Tanisha xx