Orange dressed beetroot and carrot ‘carpaccio’

orange juiced beetroot and carrot carpaccio

This is a delicious starter or side dish.

2 medium beetroot
2 carrots, sliced finely with mandolin
½ onion, diced
Olive oil
3 oranges juiced and zest from 2
Sea salt & pepper
2 Tb apple cider vinegar
Mint micro herb- other micro herbs such as cress will also work

Simmer beetroot for 30min, cool, peel and slice finely with mandolin.
Heat 1Tb olive oil and sauté onion with a pinch of salt on a low heat for 15min.
Add orange juice, zest, carrots and 1Tb cider vinegar. Simmer for 15min.
Strain carrots and onion, retaining orange liquid. Return orange juice to heat to further reduce.
Meanwhile arrange beetroot and carrot on a plate, season with salt and pepper.
Remove orange jus from heat, stir in 1Tb apple cider vinegar and 1Tb olive oil, taste for seasoning.
Drizzle dressing over beetroot and carrot, top with micro herbs.

Serves 4 as starter or side dish

Parsley crumbed tofu in tarragon broth with spring vegetables

Parsley crumbed tofu in a tarragon broth with spring vegetables

Ingredients
1 onion, diced
3 celery stalks, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
5 tarragon sprigs
6 peppercorns
Almond or olive oil
1Tb sea salt
2 Lt water
1 block firm tofu, drain water and cut into blocks
½ bunch Dutch carrots, trimmed and peeled
1 bunch of asparagus, trimmed
1 C peas

Crumb
½ C blanched almonds
½ bunch continental parsley, add stems to broth
1 garlic clove
1Tb almond or olive oil
1tsp sea salt

In a large pot heat 2Tb oil add onion, celery, carrot (not Dutch)and garlic; sweat for a few minutes until softened. Add tarragon, peppercorns, parsley stems, salt and water. Simmer for 40 minutes, liquid will reduce by half.

For the crumb, Blitz together all ingredients.

Pre heat oven to 160°
Heat 1Tb oil in fry pan and fry tofu on all sides. Press crumb together firmly and place on top of tofu. Bake in oven for 15mins or until crumb is golden.

Strain broth into a bowl, discard solids. Return liquid to pot over a medium heat and season to taste. Simmer Dutch carrots in broth for 5mins. Add asparagus and peas cooking for a further 5mins.

To serve, gently place crumbed tofu in bowl, pour broth and vegetables around.
Serves 4

FACT
Tarragon has the flavor of sweet aniseed and mild vanilla. This recipe is also great with the fish replacing the tofu.

Roast pumpkin salad with ricotta and sage

Roast pumpkin, ricotta and sage salad

Ingredients
½ pumpkin, slice into wedges
1Tb paprika
1Tb sea salt
Olive oil
8 garlic cloves, optional
½ C flaked almonds
4Tb sage leaves
½ C almond milk Ricotta (see previous post for recipe)
2C rocket, washed

Sprinkle pumpkin with paprika and salt. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat.
Bake in 180° oven for ½ hour, turn half way and add garlic after 15mins.
Toast almonds in a dry fry pan for 3mins or until golden. Remove and set aside. Heat 1Tb olive oil in fry pan and add sage, fry until crisp approx. 20 seconds. Set aside on paper towel.

To assemble arrange pumpkin, rocket, peeled garlic and ricotta on a plate. Top with sage, almonds and a drizzle of olive oil.
Serves 4

FACT
Fresh sage leaves can be covered in olive oil and refrigerated for up to 3 weeks and oil will be flavored for use.

Grilled watermelon with edamame and ginger dressing

Grilled watermelon with edamame and ginger dressing

Ingredients
¼ watermelon, cut into approx. 2cm slices
1 packet of edamame, available from japanese grocer in or out of pods
½ C Vietnamese mint leaves or mint, washed
½ bunch of watercress, washed- other lettuce greens also work
1inch ginger, grated
1tsp sea salt
½tsp white pepper
1tsp sesame oil
1Tb olive oil
½ lime, juiced

Grill watermelon slices for 2 min on each side, grilling makes it sweeter and slightly smoky.
Boil edamame for 5 min and drain, remove from pods if necessary.
For dressing mix together ginger, salt, pepper, sesame oil, olive oil and lime. Taste and season for balance.
To serve, top grilled watermelon with edamame, watercress, mint and dressing.

FACT
Edamame are young green soybeans. They have a sweet light nutty flavour, delicious hot or cold and are highly nutritious.

Chilli and garlic poached eggplant

Poached Eggplant

Ingredients
2 eggplants, cut into quarters lengthways
1 Lt vegetable broth
4 red chilli, cut into quarters lengthways
4 garlic cloves, smashed
8 dates, roughly chopped
2 inch ginger, grated
1 Tb sesame oil
2 Tb sesame seeds, toasted
3 spring onions, trim ends and slice
1 lime, cut into wedges

Pour broth into a large pot; add chilli, garlic and dates. Bring to boil then add eggplant. Lower heat and simmer with lid on for 20 min, gently turning eggplant halfway. Remove eggplant and set aside. Reduce broth with lid off until it thickens, then add ginger cooking for 1 min. Pour broth through a sieve into a bowl, discard solids. Add sesame oil to remaining sauce.
To serve pour sauce over eggplant, top with spring onion, a squeeze of lime and sesame seeds.

FACT
Eggplant also known as aubergine is a fruit. They should be eaten when still young because they contain fewer seeds, making them less bitter.

Crunchy broccoli salad

Crunchy broccoli salad

Ingredients
1 medium broccoli head
1 red chilli, sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 Tb olive oil
1.5 tsp sea salt
1 tsp white pepper
½ lemon juice and zest
3 Tb parsley leaves, sliced
3 Tb Oregano leaves- optional
½ C slivered almond, toasted dry in frypan

Sit broccoli head (upside down) in a bowl of boiling water for 3 minutes, remove and rinse under cold water. This will wash and slightly soften broccoli. Shake off excess water and chop finely, discarding the stalk.
Heat 2 Tb oil of in a fry pan, add chilli, garlic, lemon zest, salt and fry for 1 minute then remove from heat.
Stir in broccoli, parsley, oregano, lemon juice, pepper and remaining oil, coating well. Season to taste.
Top broccoli mix with almonds to serve.

FACT
Broccoli florets are good source of Vitamin C (antioxidants), vitamin A (for healthy eyes) and folate (helps red blood cell production, particularly important for pregnancy).

Spiced vegetable curry with mint yogurt

Spiced vegetable curry

300gm firm tofu, cubed
1 onion, diced
1 sweet potato, diced
½ cauliflower, cut into florets
200gm green beans, ends trimmed
1 Tb garam masala
1 Tb ground coriander
1 tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp chilli powder or 1 red chilli
10 curry leaves (recipe remains flavoursome if leaves or one of spices is unavailable)
1 inch ginger, grated
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 C vegetable broth
Coconut oil (or olive oil)
Sea salt
1 C natural yogurt
4 Tb mint (or coriander), chopped
2 tomatoes, diced – optional

Heat 1 Tb oil and fry tofu until golden, remove and set aside on paper towel.
In a large pot with a lid, saute onions in 1Tb of oil. Add spices, curry leaves, ginger and garlic and fry for 2 min.
Stir in sweet potato and fry for further 1 min.
Add broth and pinch of salt. Simmer with lid on for ½ hour.
Add cauliflower, cook for 5 min with lid on, then add beans cook for a further 2 min.
Sweet potato will mash down and thicken sauce.
In a small bowl mix mint with yogurt.
To serve, top curry with yogurt and fresh tomato.
Serves 4

FACT
‘Garam masala’ means warm spices (warming for the body). A typical Indian mix has cumin, cinnamon, cloves, pepper and cardamom.

Pumpkin tart on a millet pesto base

Pumpkin and onion tart on a pesto millet base

¾ C Millet
2 ½ C water
2 Tb ground flaxseed, in 4 Tb warm water (egg substitute)
2 onions, sliced ( red or white)
600 gm pumpkin, deseeded, peeled & diced 1cm cube
Sea salt & pepper
1 bunch basil
1/4 C almonds
1 clove garlic, peeled
Olive oil
1 Tb water
¼ C pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

For the base.
Pre heat oven to 180°
Toast millet dry in a medium saucepan for 2 min, toasting gives a nuttier flavor.
Add water, good pinch of salt and simmer on low heat with lid on for 20 min, stirring half way.
Mix flaxseed with warm water to make paste.
Turn heat off and stir flaxseed paste into millet and mix well to make a creamy consistency.
Spread mix evenly into tart tin (any shape tin works approx. 30cm, spray with olive oil if not non-stick). Use the back of a wet spoon if mix is too sticky. Place in freezer to cool for 10 min then bake at 200° for 15 min, allow to cool before topping.

Filling
Heat 1tb olive oil in a fry pan and cook onions on a low heat for 10 min, add a little water if they are sticking. Add pumpkin, pinch salt, pepper, drizzle of olive oil and fry on medium heat for 10 min.

Pesto
Blitz basil (reserve some leaves for garnish), almonds, 2Tb olive oil, water, garlic and good pinch of salt in food processor until combined. Add dash more water if required.

Assembly
Spread pesto over millet base. Top with onion, pumpkin mix and sprinkle pepitas over. Bake in oven at 200° for 30 min. Allow to cool for 10min before removing from tin. Garnish with basil leaves and salt & pepper to serve.

FACT
Millet is a small round ancient seed. It is very nutritious, particularly high in protein, magnesium and fibre. The method of cooking allows it to be creamy like polenta or fluffy like cous cous.

Parsnip & carrot fritters with tahini sauce

1 Tb flaxseed, ground
3 Tb warm water
1 large parsnip, grated
1 carrot, grated
2 spring onions, finely sliced
Sea salt, white pepper
¾ C almond meal
3 Tb tahini
1 clove garlic, crushed
½ lemon, juiced
3 Tb warm water
1 cucumber, peeled into ribbons
4 radish, sliced
1 avacado, sliced
Nori, cut into small strips (scissors work well)
Sesame or olive oil for frying

Stir flaxseed into 3Tb warm water, sit for 5 min to make gel (This replaces an egg to bind mix).
Mix parsnip, carrot, spring onion and a pinch of salt and pepper, add gel and combine well.
Stir through almond meal. Form fritters about 10cm in diameter, pressing together firmly.
Refrigerate while other prep is done.

For sauce mix tahini with lemon juice, garlic and a pinch of salt. Add warm water for desired consistency.
Fry fritters in hot oil until golden. Transfer to paper towel.
To serve, top fritters with tahini, cucumber, radish, nori and avocado.

FACT
Tahini is a paste made from sesame seeds. You can buy hulled or unhulled, both work for this recipe.
Unhulled has a higher nutrient content though hulled has a less bitter taste.

Roast Cauliflower soup with beetroot chips

Roast Cauliflower soup with beetroot chips

1 cauliflower, leaves and stem removed, cut into florets
1 onion, chopped into quarters
3 garlic cloves
Olive oil
2tsp ground allspice
Sea salt & pepper
1 litre vegetable broth
3 beetroot, washed & sliced thinly with mandolin
Parsley to garnish

Pre heat oven to 200°
Place cauliflower, onion and garlic cloves in a large roasting dish.
Sprinkle with allspice, salt, pepper and drizzle of oil, toss to coat.
Bake for 30min or until lightly golden, turn occasionally.

Lay beetroot slices on a tray lined with baking paper in a single layer. Brush with oil and scatter a pinch of salt.
Bake in oven at 200° for 20min (this will vary on thickness), turning halfway. Chips will become lighter in colour and crisp up once removed from oven.

Pour broth into a large pot, add roasted cauliflower, onion and squeeze garlic from cloves. Bring to boil and simmer for 15min. Blend soup until smooth, add some water if consistency is too thick.

Ladle into bowls, topping with beetroot chips and pepper.
Parsley and drizzle of oil is optional.

FACT
Allspice is from the dried berry of the Myrtle plant, Pimenta Diocica.
The flavour and aroma has hints of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and pepper.