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

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.

Cauliflower puree with roasted grapes and apple cider vinegar jus

Cauliflower puree with roasted grapes and apple cider vinegar jus

Ingredients
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 onion, diced
1 C almond milk
Large bunch of red seedless grapes, washed and picked
1 C apple cider vinegar
1/2 C water
3 cloves garlic
1/2 bunch thyme, save some for garnish
1tsp paprika
Olive oil
Sea salt
Black pepper

Preheat oven to 180°. Place grapes on baking paper lined tray, drizzle with olive oil, some thyme sprigs and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 30min or until skins are slightly crispy, center will be soft.

In a saucepan sauté onion in 1Tb of oil on a medium heat, until softened not brown. Add 2tsp salt, milk and cauliflower, simmer covered until soft, approx. 20min. Stir occasionally.
Blitz with stick blender until smooth.

For the jus. Simmer apple cider vinegar, water, garlic (whole), 1Tb salt, 8 sprigs thyme and paprika until reduced to 1/4 C. Discard garlic cloves and thyme. The sweetness of the grapes will balance out the jus acidity.

To serve, top cauliflower with grapes, jus, pepper and fresh thyme.

FACT
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is crushed apples, which have been fermented in barrels. It is a natural cleanser due to its high probiotic content and natural acidity, which alkalizes the body. A tablespoon is recommended daily in water for full alkalizing benefits, raw unfiltered is best.

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.

Sumac salted fries with green ‘aioli’

Sumac salted fries with green aioli

Ingredients
2 sweet potatoes, (1 per person) skin on, if washed dry thoroughly- moisture will make fries soggy
2 Tb sumac
1 tsp cumin
2 Tb olive oil
1 tsp sea salt

Aioli
1 avocado, scooped out
3 Tb parsley
½ lemon, juiced
1 garlic clove
½ tsp paprika or cayenne pepper (hotter)
Pinch sea salt & white or black pepper
1Tb olive oil

Chop sweet potatoes into approx. 1cm cube lengths, trim thin ends of to avoid burn.
Place on a tray lined with baking paper. Drizzle with olive oil, sumac, cumin and salt. Toss to coat and place in single layer with separation. They will not crisp up if touching.
Bake for 15 min at 200°, turn and bake for a further 15 min. Cool for 5 min and serve with aioli.

For aioli, place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until combined. Season to taste. Sprinkle with paprika to serve.

FACT
Sumac is a dried berry; it has a tangy and lemony flavor. It can be cooked or sprinkled over dishes, particularly good over salads.

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).

Asparagus with fennel infused almond cream

Asparagus

1 fennel top, washed and roughly chopped
½ C boiling water
½ C blanched almonds
1 garlic clove, peeled
½ tsp sea salt
¼ C sunflower seeds, toasted
black pepper

Smash fennel in a mortar and pestle, reserving some leaves for garnish.
Place in boiling water and allow to infuse for ½ hour, stir occasionally.
Then strain and discard fennel pieces.

Place almonds, garlic and salt into food processor. Blend until granulated.
Add fennel water and mix until a smooth cream.
Plunge asparagus into boiling water for 4 min. Remove and drain on paper towel.
To serve lay asparagus in a dish, top with almond cream, sunflower seeds, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.
Garnish with fennel leaves.

Fact
Adding lemon or vinegar to cooked asparagus will cause skin to wrinkle and colour to fade.

Fennel slaw with avocado & mint mayonnaise

Fennel slaw

I love this substitute mayonnaise!
It’s also great with other salads or as a dipping sauce.

1 fennel bulb, trim ends and discard any tough outer layer, keep top leaves for garnish
¼ red cabbage
1 granny smith apple
1 avocado, remove stone and scoop flesh out
Handful mint leaves, reserve some for garnish
3 Tb lemon juice
1.5 Tb olive oil
3 Tb water
good pinch of sea salt

Cut fennel in half to remove core. Slice fennel, cabbage and apple finely.
A mandolin works well.
Coat apple with 1Tb lemon juice and combine ingredients in a bowl.

For the mayonnaise place avocado, mint, remaining lemon juice, olive oil, salt and water in food processor/mixer. Blitz until combined; add extra water if consistency is too thick.

Coat salad well with mayonnaise and top with herb leaves to serve.

FACT
Avocados only ripen once picked, so they are hard when fresh.
Once the stem comes out easily they are ready to eat.

Fennel baby carrots

Fennel baby carrots

1 bunch baby carrots, peeled and tops trimmed
¼ C flaked almonds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 Tb olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped finely
3 Tb parsley, chopped
Sea Salt

Steam or par-boil carrots for 3min.
Dry toast almonds in fry pan on medium heat until lightly golden, set aside.
Toast fennel seeds in fry pan for 1min, add oil and heat.
Add carrots, pinch of salt and garlic, toss to coat.
Fry for 5 min on medium heat.
Stir through parsley and top with almonds to serve.

FACT
Carrots have the highest content of Vitamin A out of all the vegetables. Vitamin A boosts the immune system. They were originally grown for medicinal purposes.