Super Simple Tomato Soup

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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!

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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.

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Tanisha xx

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Sausage Rolls

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Let’s talk about sausage rolls.

No, not the sad excuse for a sausage roll you find at most Aussie kid’s birthday party BUT the delicious homemade ones that make you water at your mouth at the mere sight of them (that may be a slight exaggeration).

So what’s so good about homemade sausage rolls you’re probably wondering?

Well, first of all, they’re like definitely 10x healthier than the usual store bought ones because they actually contain veggies and all that other good stuff!

But don’t worry, they are still tasty. I actually think they’re a whole lot tastier than the normal ones, as well.

And they’re also one of the easiest snacks to make for lunch. Pretty much the hardest thing to do is grating the veggies but you can just get the kids to do that!

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Recipe

Homemade Sausage Rolls

Ingredients:

  • ½ onion, grated
  • ½ carrot, grated
  • ¼ zucchini, grated
  • ½ celery stick, finely chopped
  • 400g sausage meat
  • 2 sheets of puff pastry
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 egg

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C.
  2. Grate onion, carrot and zucchini, and finely chop celery.
  3. Place vegetables, sausage meat, salt and pepper into a bowl and mix well. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  4. Cut the pastry sheets in half down the centre.
  5. Evenly place a quarter of the sausage mixture along the edge of the long side of the pastry.
  6. Roll up with join on the bottom.
  7. Cut in pieces or halves for a longer sausage roll.
  8. Repeat with the rest of the pastry and mixture.
  9. Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
  10. Whisk the egg and brush the tops of all the sausage rolls – this creates the golden crunchy tops (which I forgot to do on the batch I photographed for this blog)!
  11. Place into the oven and cook for 15 – 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Notes:

  • This recipe is pretty flexible so you can pretty much sub in (or out) whatever vegetables you want, and also double, triple or even halve the recipe. It’s basically fool proof!
  • Make sure that the pastry sheets are completely defrosted before starting this recipe.

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I’d just like to do a shout out to my year 5 teacher who gave me this recipe. My family and I have been using it ever since and it never fails.

 

Tanisha xx

Smashed Pumpkin Bruschetta

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Move over smashed avo, there’s a new guy in town who’s taking the steady stream of trendy hipster cafes by storm.

And who would that be?

Why, smashed pumpkin of course!

And I’m loving it.

What’s more to love than a big, thick slice of toasted sourdough bread topped with a copious amount of warm, hearty, and subtly sweet smashed roast pumpkin on a cold winters day – geez could I have added any more adjectives to that sentence!

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So today I am going to share a recipe for a suitably delicious smashed pumpkin that takes so little effort to prepare and make that you won’t need to set foot in another cafe  ever – that may be a slight exaggeration.

 

As soon as I saw this recipe on The Healthy Hunter, I just knew I had to make it immediately. It sounded so warm and inviting, and luckily, I had all the ingredients at home so there was no need to rush to the shops.

As usual, I have added a few ingredients to this recipe but, in this case, it has been extremely minimal, as I felt that the original recipe was pretty close to perfect!

Nonetheless, I added a sprinkling of pine nuts on top for an extra depth of flavour and texture (but this is by no means required, given that there is already sunflower seeds), I didn’t use any spring onion simply because I didn’t have it although I have included it in the recipe because I thought it would be a worthwhile addition, I used rosemary as I had no thyme, and I omitted the rocket.

Oh, and I increased the serving size of the original recipe because 1 slice was nowhere near enough for me!

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Recipe:

Smashed Pumpkin Brushetta

Serves 1 or 2 (small)

Ingredients:

  • 300g butternut pumpkin, roughly chopped into 3cm pieces, skin off.
  • 1 ½ tsp olive oil
  • A small handful of fresh thyme or rosemary
  • 1 tbs spring onion
  • 1 small handful of feta, crumbled
  • A few sprigs flat leaf parsley
  • Pepper and salt
  • 2 x slice of toasted sourdough bread
  • 1 tsp sunflower seeds toasted
  • 1 tsp pine nuts toasted

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius.
  2. Toss pumpkin with 1/2 the olive oil and 1/2 the thyme (or rosemary) and transfer to a parchment paper lined baking tray. Bake for 30 minutes or until soft and cooked through.
  3. Combine the cooked pumpkin, most of the feta, spring onion, remaining thyme (or rosemary), oil, parsley and a pinch each of salt and pepper, roughly mash.
  4. Spread the pumpkin mix on the toasted sourdough and top with the remaining parsley, feta, sunflower seeds, pine nuts, and salt and pepper.

Notes:

 

Hope you enjoy!

Tanisha xx

Super Simple Basil Pesto Recipe

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This is just your stock-standard basil pesto recipe. There’s really nothing out of the ordinary about it because I think that it is just that good as it is you really don’t need to mess with it.

Plus, if any Italian nonna’s found out that someone had even thought of changing the recipe to their beloved pesto, I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t be very happy at all.

Recipe

Basil Pesto

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 1 ½ cups fresh basil leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan
  • ½ cup olive oil (roughly)
  • ½ lemon, juiced (optional)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Method:

  1. Place all the ingredients in a mortar and pestle or a food processor and pulse until fully combined. If needed, add more olive oil until the pesto is slightly runny. Season with salt and pepper.

 Notes:

  • To ensure that the pesto is of best quality it is crucial that you use fresh basil and top quality ingredients.

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Serving suggestions:

  • In pasta salad, try my Deluxe Pesto Pasta Salad.
  • In scrambled eggs or an omelette.
  • On toast with avocado and haloumi or a poached egg.
  • Blobbed on top of pizza.
  • In savoury muffins .
  • Spread on a sandwich.
  • In (or on) quiche or frittata.
  • Serve alongside meat.

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Tanisha xx

Deluxe Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe

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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.

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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.

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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!!!!

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Tanisha xx

Roasted Pumpkin & Pearl Cous Cous Salad

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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)!!

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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!

Cauliflower and Zucchini Fritters served with Minted Yogurt

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I am a big fan of fritters. I find there is something so comforting about them that they’re perfect for anytime of the year. They’re also a great way to use up vegetables if you seem to have an over-supply of them. Not to mention, they’re very versatile so you can basically mix and match with whatever vegetables, herbs and spices you have on hand.

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  • Sweet corn
  • Sweet potato and haloumi
  • Zucchini and feta
  • Cauliflower and parmesan

Recipe:

Cauliflower and Zucchini Fritters served with Minted Yogurt

Serves 4 – 5 people

Ingredients:

  • ½ cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • 1 zucchini, grated
  • A handful each of chives, parsley and mint, chopped
  • 1 cup self-raising flour (½ cup wholemeal, ½ cup plain)
  • 1/3 cup feta, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon each ground coriander and cumin
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Vegetable oil, to fry

Minted Yogurt

  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • Small handful of chopped mint
  • ½ lemon, juiced

Method:

  1. Cook cauliflower florets in a small saucepan of boiling water for 8 minutes or until tender. Drain and pat dry with a paper towel. Leave to cool slightly.
  2. Place the eggs, zucchini, herbs, flour, feta, spices and olive oil in a large bowl and combine. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Place the cauliflower florets in a medium-sized bowl and mash. Transfer the mashed cauliflower to the other bowl with the mixture and stir to combine.
  4. Heat one tablespoon of oil in a large frypan over medium heat. Cook mixture as rounded tablespoons for 2 minutes or until crisp and golden.
  5. To make the minted yogurt simply combine all the ingredients and serve with the fritters.

Notes:

  • I used garlic chives and flat-leaf parsley but any type would be fine.
  • To keep the cooked fritters warm whilst cooking the rest of the mixture, place them on a baking tray lined with baking paper in a warm oven at 150 degrees C.IMG_4608