Saturday, September 13, 2014

{Roasted Pumpkin, Tomato and Chorizo Salad}





I'm all over a warm salad at this time of year, this is a favourite of mine in the warm salad department, its so pretty and colourful especially if you use a mix of different coloured heirloom baby tomatoes.  My local supermarket sells mixed punnets and they include red, yellow, orange and even purple, they are so sweet to look at and even sweeter to eat after roasting, lovely little bursts of warm tomatoey goodness. And you can't go wrong with chorizo, what salad is not improved by crispy chorizo.


...the salad
quarter to half a pumpkin (I like kent), cut into chunks
pinch chilli flakes
handful of fresh oregano (or basil) leaves
1 big red onion, sliced thickly
1 punnet baby tomatoes
extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 chorizo, sliced
2-3 handfuls baby spinach and rocket leaves
shaved parmesan
s+p

Preheat oven to 190.

Pop the pumpkin in a roasting dish and scatter over the chilli flakes, oregano and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over just enough olive oil to coat the pumpkin and toss gently to combine. Pop in the oven and roast for 15 minutes.  Next add the red onion, give it a toss to coat in the oil and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes then add the whole baby tomatoes, toss and bake for a final 10-15 minutes until everything is nicely roasted.

Heat a frying pan over a medium heat and fry the chorizo slices for a couple of minutes each side until golden. Drain on kitchen paper to remove any excess oil.

Pop the salad leaves on a platter and then add the roasted vegetables and the chorizo, drizzle over the red wine vinegar and finish with the parmesan shavings.


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

{Brown Rice, Tuna and Green Things Salad}





We have a new gelato shop in our neighbourhood and today we wandered over there with the kids for a try.  It was amazing, I am looking forward to daylight savings now and to more wandering there on a warm evenings. I had a coffee gelato which I always have but its my fav so why not, I don't mind having things over and over again if they are delicious. I drove Jay mad with ordering caesar salads every time we went out once upon a time before we had kids.  So anyways this salad is something I make over and over again, it started off as a Karen Martini recipe but I've tootooed with it a fair bit, it is filling, healthy and delicious, and makes for excellent lunchbox leftovers the next day too.

...the salad
2 cups of brown rice (I use 90 second sunrice to make it speedy)
2 handfuls of green beans, trimmed and cut into batons
40ml of extra virgin olive oil
20ml of sherry vinegar
juice of a lemon
1 tbsp of ground sumac
sea salt and pepper
185g tin of best quality tuna in olive oil, drained
handful of parsley leaves, chopped 
handful of mint leaves, chopped
(sometimes I add a handful of dill too)
1 cucumber, peeled cored and chopped
2 spring onions, finely sliced
3 soft boiled eggs at room temp or warm, sliced
handful pine nuts, toasted


Cook the brown rice, or pop the pack in the microwave for 90 seconds like I do.

Cook the beans in salted boiling water for 3 minutes, remove and then add the eggs to the boiling water and cook them for 5 minutes, remove them and leave them to cool before peeling and chopping.

Pile the warm rice onto a platter and dress it with the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice and sumac, season with salt and pepper and stir through the tuna. Next add in the beans, herbs, pinenuts and spring onions, stir or toss with your hands then lastly add the eggs, and serve.


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

{Jam Drops}



My little ones love these and they regularly feature as a lunchbox treat, I love that there is hardly any sugar in them, the jammy centres are sweet enough and they are simple and quick to bake with ingredients you most likely have in your pantry at any given moment.  You can also glam them up if you like by using a fancy jam like maybe a fig or peach, delish.


...the cookies
125g softened butter
1/3 cup caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
185g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp milk
jar of lovely raspberry or strawberry jam

Preheat oven to 180. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Cream the butter, caster sugar and vanilla until pale. Add the flour, baking powder and milk and use a wooden spoon to mix the dry ingredients and milk into the butter mixture and make a soft dough.

Roll walnut sized balls and place on the baking tray about five centimetres apart. Flatten each ball then press a two centimetre wide indent in the centre of each with your finger or the end of your wooden spoon.

Bake in your preheated oven for 10 – 12 minutes or until lightly golden, remove from the oven and fill each indent with jam then bake for another 5 – 10 minutes.

Leave on the baking tray for 2-3 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.