Showing posts with label quick meals. Show all posts
Showing posts with label quick meals. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Hot Damn - Tasty Hot Vegan Dips

Hot Damn - Tasty Hot Vegan Dips - White Bean Dip and Roast Beet Dip

On a ‘oh-my-god-these-are-so-cute-AND-on-sale’ whim…I bought a set of individual casserole dishes. And I LOVE them. But to justify my purchase of said cute-but-not-entirely-necessary dishes, I want to use them all of the time. We were having people over for some casual drinks one cold night and I thought of the perfect plan for using the casseroles and having a delicious snack to go with said drinks. Hot dips. In my experience, if you get served a hot dip it’s invariably cheese based. Often served in a cobb loaf. Nothing terribly wrong with that…but we were having mac and cheese for dinner. Didn’t want to over-do the cheese. Plus one attendee doesn’t really do cheese. My mind was blown when I was first served warm hummus – essentially chick pea mash and now it’s become a frequent side dish in my house. Which made me think of my white bean dip. I love it because it only contains a handful of ingredients, all of which are always in my pantry so it can be made in under 5 minutes when unexpected guests come around. That is pretty much flavoured white bean mash if you heat it up!

Knowing a few of my readers are vegan, and already rebelling against the hot cheese dip in my head, I thought I would make the second dip vegan too, seeing as my first one was by sheer coincidence. I had some roasted beets waiting for me in the fridge and basically came to the same conclusion as with the white bean dip. I could make a beetroot mash and serve it as a dip. To the beets I added coconut cream to help loosen the mixture while adding that sweetness that pairs beautifully with the earthiness of beetroot, and then chia seeds to help it gel and give it a lovely texture.

Pop both in casserole dishes, heat in the oven for 30 minutes and voila!

Hot Damn - Tasty Hot Vegan Dips - White Bean Dip and Roast Beet Dip

White Bean Dip

One tin white beans
5 sundried tomatoes in olive oil
1 tsp mixed dried Italian herbs (basil, thyme, oregano, parsley)
1-2 tsp sriracha (to taste)
Salt & pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 150C

In a food processor, combine the white beans, sundried tomatoes, sriracha and herbs. Process until a smooth paste. Add olive oil from the tomatoes if you need more liquid to form a proper dip consistency. Taste and add salt and pepper.

Put in a casserole dish and heat for 30 minutes or until warm through.

Hot Damn - Tasty Hot Vegan Dips - White Bean Dip and Roast Beet Dip

 Roast Beet Dip

2 roasted beetroots
¼ cup coconut cream
¼ tsp caraway seeds
2 tbsp chia seeds
Salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 150C

Chop the beets into quarters and add to your food processor with the coconut cream and caraway seeds. Process until smooth. It will be fairly liquid at this point. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the chia seeds and pulse to distribute.

Put in a casserole dish and leave to sit for 15 minutes while the chia seeds absorb some of the liquid and makes it a more dip-like texture. Heat in the oven for 30 minutes or until completely warm through.

Hot Damn - Tasty Hot Vegan Dips - White Bean Dip and Roast Beet Dip
Hot Damn - Tasty Hot Vegan Dips - White Bean Dip and Roast Beet Dip
Hot Damn - Tasty Hot Vegan Dips - White Bean Dip and Roast Beet Dip

Monday, July 14, 2014

Produce Experimenting - Taro and Bacon Hash

Produce Experimenting - Taro and Bacon Hash

I bought a taro the other day. I saw it at the greengrocers and had never seen one before in the shops, so I got excited and bought one. Then realised I had absolutely zero idea of what I was supposed to do with it. I remember seeing it in recipes and on menus, but I couldn’t pick enough of a memory to know what to do with it. A quick google search indicated that as a tuber it can be cooked pretty much like a normal potato. But that it absolutely must be cooked to get rid of a chemical that has a toxicity that causes gout-like issues. Not a problem, I prefer my tubers cooked. It’s also used extensively to make desserts. Before I contemplate getting into taro desserts, I thought I’d cook one up in a more traditional-potato manner in order to get a feel for what it’s taste and texture is like. That also meant curries and stews were out.

So, that somewhat narrowed down what I was going to do with it. And it was another cold, rainy night which automatically lends itself to comfort food. I have said it before and I’ll say it again…I love breakfast. So breakfast for dinner is a pretty huge comfort food for me. Taro Hash with eggs it was. Add some bacon – because it’s bacon. And some ginger, pomegranate and chilli for a pop of brighter flavours and you have a pretty amazing dish.

Serve with some fresh parsley and sumac scattered over the perfect yolks. Then eat with hot sauce. The taro cooked this way developed a slightly chewy texture and it has a nutty, somewhat earthy flavour which worked really well. I’m thinking I might need to try some more taro recipes in the future. Have you tried taro before? What’s your favourite way of preparing it? Comment below or email me!
Produce Experimenting - Taro and Bacon Hash
Produce Experimenting - Taro and Bacon Hash
Produce Experimenting - Taro and Bacon Hash
Produce Experimenting - Taro and Bacon Hash
Produce Experimenting - Taro and Bacon Hash

Taro and Bacon Hash

(serves 2 big servings)
1 large taro, peeled and cut into 2cm dice
1 brown onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Generous grind salt and pepper
Thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled and grated
Juice of 2 limes
1 pomegranate, seeded
4 rashers eye bacon, diced
2/3 cup corn kernels
1 chilli, minced (or to taste)
4 eggs

Heat a tall-sided pan that can also go into the oven to medium heat and add a generous splash of olive oil. Stir in the onions and salt and pepper, and cook 10 minutes or so until caramelising and soft and sweet. Stir here and there to make sure it doesn’t catch. Add the minced garlic and bacon and stir through.

Heat the oven to 175C

When the bacon is starting to colour and render out it’s fat, add the grated ginger, chilli and lime juice. Stir through the taro and corn, coating it in the oniony-mixture. Pop the pan into the oven and cook for 20 minutes or until the taro is mostly cooked and softer. Stir through the pomegranate seeds, then carefully crack the eggs into each ‘quarter’ of the pan. Pop back in the oven for 10 minutes or until the egg is cooked to your liking. I like runny yolks!

Sprinkle with some fresh parsley and sumac. Eat, curled up on the couch watching your favourite show!

Produce Experimenting - Taro and Bacon Hash
Produce Experimenting - Taro and Bacon Hash
Produce Experimenting - Taro and Bacon Hash
Produce Experimenting - Taro and Bacon Hash

Saturday, June 21, 2014

White Vegetables - Mushroom, White Bean and Cauliflower soup

Things got a bit involved on this site. The dishes became very involved and fancy. But things got very busy at work, and out of work. And it got really cold at night times quite suddenly. So now there is flannelette sheets on the bed and there is this soup. Creamy and comforting and incredibly simple to make. I got home from the gym, 10 minutes of prep cooking. Leave it to simmer while I showered, came back and blended it up and voila. Perfect soup for sitting on the couch snuggled under my quilt.

This is naturally vegan and gluten free. It’s full of protein and things that are good for you. I added diced fried chorizo bits on top of mine because it is amazingly delicious but somewhat takes away from the vegan status. Bacon bits would be equally delicious. But the chopped toasted almonds are pretty amazing if you want to keep it vegan/vegetarian.

Mushroom, White Bean and Cauliflower Soup
Olive oil
1 – 2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and Pepper
500g mushrooms of choice, thinly sliced
1 brown onion, diced
1 small head of cauliflower, broken roughly into large florets.
1 litre vegetable stock
1 litre water
1 cup of almond meal
Tin white beans, rinsed

Diced, fried salami
Toasted almonds
Dried oregano
More black pepper

Drizzle a good glug of olive oil into your soup pot and heat to medium. Add the garlic, and cook 1-2 minutes until softened and fragrant. Thinly slice the mushrooms and add to the pot, and a good few cracks of pepper and fat pinch of sea salt. Stir well to mix through the garlicky oil across all the mushroom slices. Fry until the mushrooms release their liquid, then it absorbs/evaporates back again. Remove from the pot and set aside.

Add a tablespoon more olive oil to the pot and add the onion, cook 5 minutes until translucent but not browned. Add the stock, water and cauliflower. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer 15 minutes, until the cauliflower is tender. Add the white beans.

Remove from heat, then puree with a stick blender. Add the almond meal and blend it in, too.

Add mushrooms back to pot, place back over low heat. Cook 2 minutes so that the mushrooms heat up again. Check for seasoning.

Serve, garnished with oregano flakes, plenty of black pepper and toasted almond bits.

If you don’t mind breaking the vegan-ness of this dish, serve with fried diced salami pieces or bacon bits

Monday, June 2, 2014

Happy WA Day - Pumpkin Spice Porridge

Happy WA Day holiday! My husband works on public holidays, so I play the single lady after he leaves for work. I sleep in until a leisurely hour, get up and make things that I like for breakfast that he doesn't necessarily agree with. So in honour of that luxury, I will do a post in real-time! Being a public holiday, I don't want to put too much effort in. And being the second day of winter means it needs to still be satisfying comfort style food. Something I can eat from a bowl, snuggled up on the couch, flicking through cook books.

I love sweet pumpkin dishes. Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin and Maple Bacon Muffins, Pumpkin Spice Marshmallows and all that. Love it. Lance isn't the hugest fan. Nor does he particularly like porridge. So this dish is all me. I have some pumpkin puree from making a pumpkin mac and cheese a few days ago so this dish all came together in the time it takes to make the porridge and boil the kettle for my coffee.

I'm sure you've all made porridge before, so I'll leave it to you to cook it the way you do. Personally, I like to cook my oats in water (or coffee) with a pinch of salt and add milk or butter (or both!) once it's cooked. You can sub the butter for coconut oil, or coconut cream for a delicious vegan version of this dish.

Pumpkin Spice Porridge
(serves one)
1 cup cooked porridge (made from 1/3 cup rolled oats)
3 heaped tablespoons pumpkin puree
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch ground nutmeg
1 tsp maple syrup (plus an extra to drizzle  if desired)
1 tsp unsalted butter
6-8 crushed walnuts

Cook the oats to by your preferred method.

In a small dish, mix the pumpkin, spices and maple syrup. Microwave for 1 minute to heat the mixture.

Stir pumpkin mixture and butter into porridge. Top with crushed walnuts.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Easy Friday Nights - Cheese, Pickled Beetroot and Avocado Toastie with Creamy Sriracha Dipping Sauce.

Sometimes you get home late and  it's dreary, miserable weather and you can’t be bothered with the cooking, but you want something delicious. What is more delicious than melted cheese? Melted cheese with creamy avocado and tart pickles. I’d put this on the grill and immediately regretted not adding some spice. Which I remedied when I remembered the amazing Pig’s Ass Sandwich Lance and I ate at Casselula in New York, with it’s spicy dipping sauce. This isn’t that sauce - not even close, but I needed something super quick and this more than adequately did the job.

So there I was, melted cheesy deliciousness in crunchy toasted bread, creamy spicy dipping sauce and a sipper of Rye. A perfect meal for sitting on the couch after a long day. And it all comes together in less than 10 minutes.

(makes 2 sandwiches)
½ Avocado
Pickled beetroot and onion
Sliced Cheddar Cheese - sharp is better but it has to melt well
4 slices light rye bread

Dipping sauce
4 heaping tbsp greek yoghurt
1-2 tsp sriracha (to taste)

Heat your sandwich press

Slice the cheese and layer it onto two slices of bread. Smoosh ¼ of an avocado on each one, then drain and place a few tablespoons of the pickled vegetables on top. Top with the other slice of bread to make 2 complete sandwiches.

Put into the sandwich press and push down firmly to squash together.

In a small bowl, mix together the yoghurt and sriracha to your taste.

When the sandwich is toasty and golden with the cheese fully melted, remove and slice into strips.
Eat, dipping into the sauce as you go

Monday, May 5, 2014

Easy Meals - Roast Mushroom & Mangoes

Having bucketfuls of fresh mangoes has made me use them in ways I wouldn’t ordinarily, if I had to pay for them individually. This was one of those ways that is a bit different, but delicious. I bought a bag of mushrooms from The Nanna Shop with the intention of making a mushroom sauce for some roast lamb. I kept the same basic principle that I was going to – roast with some rosemary and garlic, but added chilli and mangoes for a fresher kick.
 The result was delicious. It lightened up the meal on a day when it was cool enough to serve the roast lamb with salad instead of vegetables. I had the leftovers on toast the next morning, which was also delicious. But it’s as simple as simple could be. Just chuck everything in a roasting pan, throw it in the oven and grab it out in half an hour. To make it even easier, I processed all the veges to save on chopping. Give it a go while there's still the last mangoes of summer floating around the shops.

Roast Mushroom & Mangoes

2 mangoes
500g mushrooms
2 shallots
4 garlic cloves
1 tbsp minced rosemary
2 tbsp butter
¼ cup lamb stock
2 red chillis

Generous black pepper grinding
Big handfuls parsley for serving.

Preheat the oven to 180C

Peel and de-seed the mango. Cut into cubes. Peel the shallots and garlic cloves, and put them into the processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Remove garlic and shallot and set aside. Add the mushrooms in batches and pulse until roughly chopped. Finely slice the chillis, mince the rosemary.

Put the mushrooms in a big roasting pan, stir through the mangoes, shallots, cloves, rosemary, lamb stock and chillis. Place the butter on top, seal with foil and place in the oven. 

After 20 minutes, take the foil off, stir, then roast for a further 10 minutes. Stir through chopped parsley.

Serve as a sauce with roast meat, or just some crusty fresh bread