Wednesday, July 22, 2015

{Lamb, Chickpea + Lentil Soup}

This has to be the best soup I've made all winter, inspired by something I saw in a free food mag given away at our local supermarket I made a few tweaks and its a winner.  Billy and Jay both had two bowls in a row and that makes me a happy cook.

I personally am a sucker for anything you get to dollop greek yoghurt onto, which incidentally I am now making myself along with a vanilla version which the boys eat litres and litres of which was really the reason I started to make my own.  

Now don't get too excited and think I am showing off, I bought an eziyo, and can I say what a fantastic kiwi invention.  The milk powder in the sachets is produced by happy freeranging south island cows, with no added nasties and I can completely vouch for both the full fat vanilla and the full fat greek versions.  I have heard the flavoured sachets are not so flash so have avoided them instead opting to flavour it myself, favourites so far have included cherry jam, homemade lemon curd, maple syrup + bananas, honey, it is all good.  I now pack the wee peas off to school each day with a little tub and its much cheaper than those sachets they sell at the shops and it produces less landfill.  Hmmmmm making yoghurt and reducing landfill, I feel a tie dyed outfit coming on.

Make this soup before winter is out, you will be happy you did.

...the soup
2 tbsp olive oil
1 brown onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp sweet paprika
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
400g lamb mince
tin of brown lentils, rinsed, drained
tin of chickpeas, rinsed, drained
400g tin of diced tomatoes

1 litre of beef stock
1/2 cup sultanas
1 cup frozen broad beans, thawed, peeled
juice of a lemon
greek yoghurt
handful of coriander leaves

sea salt + freshly ground pepper

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or soup pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring for around 5 minutes or until starting to brown. Add the garlic, turmeric, paprika, cumin, cinnamon and ginger and cook for a minute or until fragrant. Add the mince and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up any lumps, for 5 minutes or until the mince changes colour.

Next pour in the beef stock and tomatoes and add the sultanas, increase the heat to high and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.  Now add the lentils, chickpeas and broad beans and cook for a further 5 minutes or until they are warmed through. Lastly add juice of a lemon and season generously with the sea salt and ground pepper.

Serve with a dollop of greek yoghurt and and sprinkle of fresh coriander leaves.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

{Chocolate + Zucchini Cake}

I am not going to bang on about sneaking vegetables into my children although that is a bonus when it comes to this cake, in our house one of the smalls eats every vegetable under the sun the other eats none.  Yes, none.  Occasionally some brocollini dipped in ketchup but other than that, nada.  So yes I do add them discreetly when the opportunity arises but that is not what this cake is about.  

This cake is just a really delicious, moist, rich and dark chocolate cake.  I think it is also one of those cakes that tastes better the next day.  So bake it and eat some then go to bed, wake up and eat some more, you know, just to test my theory.

1/2 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup (100g) melted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
pinch salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup dutch cocoa powder

50g 70% dark chocolate, chopped into fine splinters
1 cup plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups firmly packed finely grated zucchini (
about 2 medium zucchini, it is important that you grate it finely)

1 cup icing sugar
2 tbsp dutch cocoa powder
1 tbsp milk
40g butter, softened

Preheat oven to 180. Grease and line a loaf tin with baking paper.

Pop the sugars, melted butter, vanilla, eggs, salt and cinnamon in a mixing bowl and stir to combine.

Sift in the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder and baking soda.

Using a rubber spatula, fold the dry into the wet until just combined. Now stir thru the finely grated zucchini and the dark chocolate splinters.

Pour the mixture into your loaf tin and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

For the icing combine all the ingredients and whip it either by hand or with your mixer till combined and fluffy.  Ice cake once cool.