Beetroot and feta tart

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I’d like to start off this post with an apology for my laziness. I haven’t posted on this blog since April last year. So much has happened since then, I survived my first year of high school, turned fourteen, bought myself a smartphone and am slowly learning to navigate my way around teenagehood. So that was my year and my apology, now on with the blog!

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We used this beautiful blue egg from my Oma’s chickens to brush the pastry.

This week I desperately wanted to cook fish but as we know fish is not cheap and we already had other meat meals planned for the week so I had to settle on something different. Mum had bought some puff pastry on special so I decided to make this beetroot and feta tart.   Making food with pastry is kind of nostalgic for me. It reminds me of making bacon and egg pie with my nana when I was little, standing on the four-legged stool in her tiny kitchen peeling the blue sheets away from the pastry. img_5206

This meal is super easy to cook, the only drawback is that it takes a while to roast the topping and then the tart itself. It’s also a little light to eat by itself for dinner, I just added a very boring salad but you could eat this with whatever side you want. All of my siblings ate this happily which I think goes to show that its a pretty good recipe :). img_5213

Everyone friendly apple crumble

Today my family (plus two friends) were driving home from a bushwalk and as we came past a vacant lot near our house. This particular vacant lot is a fruit forager’s heaven, it provides us with plums (in summer) and apples and pears (in autumn), currently there are loads of apples and pears lying on the ground under the two apple trees and the huge pear tree. Now, my parents are not the kind of people who are going to pass up an opportunity as great as this one, oh no, they couldn’t resist but to get us all out of the car and into the trees. So after about forty five minutes of foraging we had around seven kilograms of apples.

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Iris in the trees.

Now you can’t just let seven kilograms sit around on the bench all week (especially because these were mostly half eaten by birds or bruised from falling to the ground) so when we got home, I spent an hour in the sun on the deck washing chopping and sorting (to stew, to make crumble or to compost) all the pieces of apple.

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Washing the apples.

When I had filled a big crumble dish with apple slices I then made the crumble to go on top. This crumble is gluten – free, refined sugar – free and vegan but, to my utmost disbelief, still tastes really good.

For the crumble part:

1 1/2 – 2 Cups of  finely chopped mixed almonds and cashews

1 Cup of thread/dessicated coconut

3 – 4 Tbsp of maple syrup

1/3 Cup of coconut oil

Mix nuts and coconut in a big bowl. In a small pot melt coconut oil and then add maple syrup stir to combine. Pour mix over nuts and mix together. then spread over apples in a crumble dish. Cook at 180 degrees C until apples is fully cooked.

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The dish of foraged apple crumble.

Since I don’t know how many apples I had, this recipe is just to show proportions so adjust it to your crumble as you go. Happy baking!

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It’s healthy enough for afternoon tea but yummy enough for desert!

 

Morning smoothie in a bag

So far, for me college is just a storm of perpetual lateness, late to my ride to school , late to class, late back from class and late home. For this reason, I like to make my mornings as fast as possible so smoothies are great for the mornings. My recipe is not fancy but it’s easy and fast. A while ago some very clever person on pinterest posted some thing about making smoothie packs or ‘smoothies in a bag’ which great because you can just tip the ingredients into the blender without having to chop anything up. In my smoothies I put banana kale and raspberries or boysenberries, simply because I like them and we always have them, the pictures above and below are of the kale in our garden right now.

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Baby kale leaves.

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So here is my recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 a banana (frozen or fresh)
  • big handful of frozen berries (I like raspberries and boysenberries best)
  • handful of baby kale leaves (you can use the bigger ones but they are tougher)
  • 2 tbsps of chia and/or linseeds.
  • water
  • 1/3 – 1/2 a cup of milk

Method:

Put chia seeds in a mug and cover with water. Leave them for a few hours or overnight to absorb water. Take the skin off the banana and chop into pieces. Put chopped banana raspberries and kale into a ziploc bag (soaked chia seeds can also be put into the bag but this is optional). Place bag in the freezer and freeze overnight or until needed. To make the smoothie tip the contents of the bag into the blender, add milk and blend until smooth.

This smoothie is delicious and great for you and it’s actually really filling (because of the chia seeds). So if you ever find yourself bored at home make a couple dozen of these and that’s your breakfast sorted for the next three weeks!IMG_2535

Chicken tikka masala curry with cauliflower rice

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Rain on the kitchen window.

As you can see from the pictures it’s been freeeeeeeeezing recently, so cold that I had to have a dressing gown slippers (thanks Oma!) and a heater in the kitchen to actually cook.

We’ve been doing alot of trips to the library and my mum got me out Nadia Lim’s Fresh Start cookbook, which you can get here, and when I was flicking through the recipes I found one for chicken tikka masala curry and cauliflower rice. Cauliflower rice is a great alternative to rice because it adds another vegetable to your meal and tastes much better, it’s also super easy to make. The meal is really quick and easy so it’s good if you’re in a rush (i.e: I had invited my friend over to study and forgot I had to make dinner so had to do both at once). IMG_2261This a super mild curry and it’s great because it doesn’t require random ingredients that require you to go to ten different shops (we bought all our ingredients from pak ‘n save).  I am definitely going to make this again because I think it’s one my favourite meals I have cooked so far.

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🙂

 

Chicken and pumpkin bake

The cold weather is finally upon us and hot meals are in order. My mum bought me a Nadia Lim magazine from the opshop and was I looking through the recipes when I found It’s a bit time consuming but not difficult to make and according to my eight year old sister “I don’t usually like pumpkin but it’s not that bad, it’s actually quite nice.”.

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Roast veges.

 

It’s just a layered bake with roast capsicum, pumpkin, chicken, cheese and Italian herbs.

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Finished dish.

This is a great kid friendly winter meal for the cold months this year. Yum!

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Delicious!

 

Mussels marinara

When I was about seven, my grandad and I went to countdown and bought a kilogram of mussels, took them home cooked them and then ate them all. That’s how much I loved mussels and still do so when it came to my cooking night I decided to make mussels marinara. The recipe I used was found here.  The dish is pretty much just pasta and mussels with a tomato sauce but it tastes amazing!

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Mussels and sauce cooking.

This dinner is really easy to make, nutritious and delicious. Mussels are a great source of protein and also give you iron zinc and vitamin b12. This certainly wasn’t my siblings favourite meal that I’ve cooked but I think it’s definitely one of mine.

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Finished platter of mussels.

Soft shell beef tacos

My younger brother practically lives at his best friend’s house. Now, thats all well and good except that they have amaaazing food at his house, which I am extremely jealous of. His mum, Bonnie, is an amazing cook (you can find her recipes here) and I guess I owe her credit for this dinner ( I once tasted one of her tacos and vowed that I would learn to make them). I found this recipe here.

Anyway, It’s only March but already freezing so, even though my sister shrieked and declared it “WAAAAY TOO SPICY!!!!”,  it was really nice to have something hot to eat. Before school this morning I put the beef on and when I came home basically all I had to do was chop veggies and fry tortillas.

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The “Way too spicy” spice mix.
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Taco time!
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Yum!

Super easy salsa

It was sunday, it was after church and it was hot. I was really hungry, so I grabbed a Donna Hay magazine and had a look for something to eat. The magazine was issue number 7 of  Fresh and light magazine. I found an amazing recipe for a tomato salsa. So I made myself a delicious summer salsa in like 10 mins.

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Coriander and onion.

 

Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

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Salsa!

 

Greek pasta salad

Ok, so it’s after after school and I’m on dinner, I’m pretty tired so I decide to make something easy. A few weeks ago I had been scrolling through my pinterest feed (and satisfying my unhealthy pinterest addiction) and I saw this recipe for greek pasta salad. I love mediterranean food and it looked super easy to make so I saved it and showed my mum.  Turned out this was just as easy as promised (like literally, if you can chop veggies and boil pasta, your good), and tasted great so it will definitely be on the menu here again sometime soon.

So, this meal is pretty much self explanatory, I boiled some pasta,

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Draining pasta.

chopped the veggies and then mixed it all up.  It’s as easy as that!

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Finished salad

 

D.I.Y Italian herbs

I love Italian herbs, on pizza and with grilled cheese on toast, so I decided to make my own using the herbs in our garden. Pretty much I just dried big bunches of thyme, oregano, basil and parsley.

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Oregano
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Basil and parsley.
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Thyme

Once I had done that I took all the leaves and flowers and crushed them (you could use a mortar & pestle but I just used my fingers) and popped them into a suitable jar to be used.

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Ready for pizza sauce!