Roasted Veggie Bowl

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All health people ! All health :-). Just a bunch of goodness and heaven, all in a bowl.

I personally love textures, so have included a variety, just to add to the deliciousness.  I mean, why not?  I have also added colours :-), colours just make it all just look so appetising, don’t you think?.

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I figured this bowl of veggies would probably need a sauce of sorts, but I really could not decide on one.  So, for this particular meal I did, I just played it safe with a light white cheese  sauce (yes, there I go again…cheese, sorry I just could not help it, I mean, what is a girl to do, when cheese is just so…..good!).

These veggies would be great with any sauce I am sure, so knock yourself out and do whatever sauce floats your boat. 🙂

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Roasted Veggie Bowl

Chickpeas, cooked

Butternut, cut into cubes

Kale, cut of stems

Brinjal (Aubergine, Eggplant), peeled and cut into cubes

Red Pepper, de-seeded and cut into large strips

Snap Peas

Baby Corn on cob

Cheese Sauce (optional)

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius/350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Chickpeas – place cooked chickpeas on a baking tray, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, dried origanum and thyme, toss around so all the chickpeas are well coated.  Place in the oven and about 10/15 minutes later, toss and turn them around. Return them to the oven for a further 15 minutes until golden and crisp. Remove from the oven.

Butternut – place chopped butternut on a baking tray and drizzle well with extra virgin olive oil.  Salt and Pepper well.  You can even add some herbs if you like, and place in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes.  Remove once done.

Kale – massage the cut kale leaves, and place on baking tray, with salt and pepper and a drizzling of extra virgin olive oil.  Do not over oil the kale, rather have too little than too much.  Place in oven, watch carefully as the kale cooks quickly.  Once crisp, take out of the oven.

Brinjal (Aubergine, Eggplant) –  Place on baking tray with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.  Place in preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until cooked and remove from the oven.

Red Pepper – Place on baking tray with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in preheated oven for about 10/15 minutes, then turn over and roast the opposite side of the pepper.  Watch carefully as peppers roast quickly. Remove from the oven once done.

Snap Peas and Baby Corn on the Cob – You can either saute’ them or steam them, whichever you prefer.  I love these veggies to be crunchy, so just heated them up slightly for a couple of seconds in the microwave before eating my bowl of veggies.

Cheese Sauce –  1/4 cup (25 gram) butter, 1/4 cup (25 gram) flour, 1 – 2 cups milk (you may require more so have a bit more handy, it all depends on the consistency that you want), a good handful (or more) grated cheese, salt and pepper to taste and a generous amount of nutmeg.

To make the Cheese Sauce:  On medium heat, in a small to medium-sized pot, add the butter. Once butter has melted, take it off the stove and add the flour, stir and mix flour in thoroughly with a wooden spoon.  The butter and flour will combine to a smooth consistency.  Then, put the pot back onto the stove, and over medium heat, gradually add the milk, stirring all the time.  Stir until the mixture becomes thick and smooth, then add a bit more milk, continue this until the sauce becomes the consistency you are wanting.  Then, add the grated cheese and continue to stir.  If you find that the sauce becomes thicker, add a little more milk until you are happy with the consistency.  Season well to taste with salt and pepper, and then the key ingredient….nutmeg 🙂 .

You may notice that if this sauce stands and gets cold, it will thicken even more.  You can then just heat it up on the stove and thin it out again with a little milk.

Once all the veggies are cooked to deliciousness, assemble in bowls, and top with sauce.

Enjoy 🙂

  •  I have not included quantities. This will depend on how many people you are  serving.
  •  Kale, I believe needs to be massaged, in order to help relieve some of the  bitterness.
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Double Noodle, Tofu and Vegetable Stir Fry

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Oooo this is an amazing dish.  Over the years I have often seen recipes for Tofu, and somehow I just never ventured into it.  My brother has been living in Connecticut for over ten years now, and often on our weekly phone calls mentioned he would have a protein enriched drink each morning with tofu and a bunch of other things in it.  When I asked what the Tofu tasted like, he really couldn’t tell me. So I of course, then googled Tofu to see if I could find out more about it, and low and behold I discover, Tofu is bean curds !  Well, I was ecstatic, because I love bean curds, but never knew bean curds is Tofu. My hubby and I go out for Sushi every couple of months and one of our favourite sushi dishes that we order is one made with bean curds.  So, off I went to find Tofu, which I found, and bought, and have never looked back. Now Tofu is a must at all times in my grocery cupboard 🙂 .

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I did google to find out exactly how to prepare the Tofu, which I found quite interesting.  Once that was done, I chopped the Tofu into squares.

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I knew I wanted to do a vegetarian stir fry, so brought out my wok and I then, prepared and chopped the veggies. Except for the baby marrows, I spiralized those, just because I could and because I love my spiralizer 🙂 .  I basically did quite a light fry with a little oil so all my cut squares of Tofu were golden brown. These by the way need to be watched like a hawk in the wok, they cook so quickly! I still have some experimenting to do with the cooking of Tofu, so for now, it’s a light fry.  I obviously want to try baking it and so forth, but that will be another time….  Anyway, then I was a little stumped, it was a matter of …what now? So I stir fried the veggies (except the spiralized baby marrows as those cook up so quickly and did not want them to end up like mash) but still felt, the stir fry needed more. I then remembered the Udon noodles I had bought in the same section as the Tofu, so hauled a packet of them out, and oh my…the ones I bought are so easy to prepare, it is a matter of puncture some holes in the packet, place in the microwave for a short while and its done! What a pleasure !!! So while they were cooking, tossed the spiralized baby marrows in the wok, then dumped the Udon noodles into the wok with the sauce…and…dinner was done 🙂 .

I must say, I quite enjoyed the double noodle effect, it was different 🙂 .

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Double Noodle, Tofu, Vegetable Stir Fry

Preparation time:  50 minutes (excluding draining of Tofu)

Cooking time:  45 minutes

Total time:  1 hour 35 minutes

Serves 6

Ingredients:

2 x 297 grams firm Tofu

1 large onion, chopped

2 large garlic cloves, crushed

1 large red pepper, sliced and chopped

125 grams snap peas, chopped

135 grams baby corn, chopped

100 grams fine beans, chopped

500 – 530 grams baby marrow, spiralized if spiralizing OR sliced

400 grams Udon Noodles

olive oil

For the sauce:

3 teaspoons dark sesame oil

1 cup soy sauce

1 tablespoon brown sugar (slightly heaped)

1 tablespoon raw honey (slightly heaped)

2 well-rounded teaspoons of green (or red) mazavaro0*

1/4 cup water

Instructions:

To prepare the tofu:

Place a folded tea towel on a bread board.

Take the tofu carefully out the box as per box instructions.

Place the block of Tofu on the folded tea towel and carefully cover the Tofu with the towel, alternatively even using another tea towel.  The tea towel basically are there to absorb any water from the Tofu.  I placed a saucer on top of the wrapped Tofu, just to add a slight pressure to help release some water. Any weight on top of the tofu must not be heavy or the Tofu will break.  Tofu is very delicate.  Leave to drain for about 20 minutes, and then cut into squares.

Whilst the Tofu is draining, prepare the sauce.  Basically just mix all the ingredients together and mix well together. Set aside for later.

In a large wok, saute the Tofu on all sides and set aside on paper towel to drain off any excess oil. (I did mine in batches and it is a little time-consuming.)

Then, add the chopped onion, and crushed garlic cloves to the wok stirring occasionally until the onions are sautéed.

Add the sliced red pepper, the chopped snap peas, corn, and fine beans. Continuously stir around the wok for several minutes.  The vegetables must still be crisp. Take off the stove if necessary to prevent over cooking.

In the meanwhile cook the Udon noodles as per packet instructions.

Add the spiralized baby marrow noodles (or sliced), the cooked Udon noodles and add to the veggies.  Stir around.

Pour in the prepared sauce.

Stir well and serve immediately.

Enjoy 🙂

  •  Mazavaroo is a paste made of green or red chillies and garlic.

NB*  Any left overs can be kept in a sealed container in the refrigerator and re-heated and eaten the next day.

 

 

Toasted Sesame and Herb Omelette with Crunchy Cabbage Salad

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I honestly do not know where to start…

I came across the most fascinating cookbook, I have seen in a long time.  It is called The Australian Women’s Weekly Cookbook of Main Course Salads, which was first published in 2004.  Apart from this book being beautifully illustrated each recipe is tested three times in their Test Kitchen for guaranteed perfect results.

This recipe just immediately stood out for me, and after reading the ingredients found it to be very doable with simple instructions.  It really was a matter of throwing everything together and doing a salad dressing. I mean, what could be easier than that ! I did make very slight deviations to the original recipe according to what I had in my refrigerator, as I felt it was a recipe, I had to do there and then for dinner, and was not prepared to wait another day, I was that desperate !!!

With South Africa coming into Spring and with the warmer weather just around the corner, I have been keen to find salad recipes that I would be able to have as a main meal, and this being solely vegetarian was a plus.  Nothing wrong with a meat-less meal :-).

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Toasted Sesame and Herb Omelette with Crunchy Cabbage Salad

Preparation time:  30 minutes

Cooking time:  15 minutes

Total time:  45 minutes

Serves 6 – 8 depending on portions

Ingredients:

For the omelettes:

8 free range Jumbo eggs

125 millilitres (1/2 cup) full cream milk

hand-full of fresh chives, chopped

4 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds *

For the salad:

325 grams finely shredded green cabbage

325 grams finely shredded red/purple cabbage

1 large green pepper, thinly sliced (insides discarded)

1 large red pepper, thinly sliced (insides discarded)

1 large yellow pepper, thinly sliced (insides discarded)

2 fresh red chillies, seeds taken out and finely sliced

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh lemon grass

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

Dressing:

4 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds *

60 millilitres  (1/4 cup) sweet chilli sauce

60 millilitres (1/4 cup) rice vinegar

60 millilitres (1/4 cup) peanut oil

1 tablespoon dark sesame oil

Instructions:

For the omelettes:  In a large-sized jug or bowl, beat together with a whisk the eggs, milk, chives and 4 tablespoons of toasted sesame seeds.  Then, divide the omelette mixture into four equal parts and set aside. Each equal part will make one omelette.  Heat a little oil in a large frying pan, and pour in one part of the omelette mixture.  Cook the one side of the omelette, and then turn the omelette over and cook the other side.  Once done, remove from the frying pan and place on a plate to cool.  Continue this method until all four omelettes are cooked, placing each cooked omelette on a separate plate to cool.

Once the omelettes are cooled completely, roll each omelette up.

For the salad:  Combine all the salad ingredients together.

Just before serving, slice the rolled up omelettes up into ‘wheels’ and together with the salad vegetables assemble in a large salad bowl.  (I basically did this in layers, one layer salad veggies, omelette wheels, salad veggies, ending with a layer of omelette wheels on the top)

For the dressing:  Combine all the dressing ingredients in a container with a tight-fitting lid and shake well.

Pour the dressing over the salad, just before serving.

Enjoy 🙂

  •  For toasting sesame seeds:  Dry toasting is the best.  Put the sesame seeds into a frying pan and turn on the heat to a medium level, and with a wooden spoon or spatula, continuously keep turning the sesame seeds. After a few minutes the seeds will start popping, just keep on moving the seeds around to prevent burning.  Once they turn golden brown, they are done.

Spring Rolls

295Spring Rolls are a real treat in my home.  They are something I love but just don’t do often enough.  I have no idea why, maybe it’s because they are a little time-consuming, but that shouldn’t matter as they are so worth the wait! Maybe it’s because they are fried in oil.  I am not keen on frying and really don’t enjoy all the fat splattering around, although I must say I have semi alleviated that problem with newspaper.  (Hubby’s idea….genius !) Yip, place newspaper around the stove top by the plates to absorb the fat splatter :-), but I still don’t like frying .  I haven’t figured out if baking them would be equally as tasty ….probably not, how could they be…Baked Spring Rolls???….Really ??? No… Never the less, what with the time aspect, and the fat aspect, and the near fire aspect….yes, the newspaper was placed too closely the plate, and the flame from the gas….need I say more….(yeah, we have fun in my kitchen 🙂 … it was soooo worth it !!! Oh, and I did my usual….pig out with them, so I guess I will be sorted for a month or two.

This Spring Rolls recipe came from a magazine which I cut out and saved many years ago. I am not sure which magazine it came from, I just remember a pile of various magazines, and my mom and I going through them saving whichever recipe we liked.

I have changed this recipe slightly to suit my tastes. What I love about Spring Rolls is the veggies, which I have added more than the original recipe stated. You can also change the veggies to your liking.  I added some finely, chopped leftover chicken this time, but this recipe can be kept strictly vegetarian as well.

244Even though the Spring Rolls are deep-fried, they literally cook so quickly. There is something about that crispy crunch of the fried thin pastry that just cracks in your mouth and then the crunchy veggies …. yum….

I have included two dipping sauces which I usually make, but also a sweet chilli sauce also tastes divine with these Spring Rolls.

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Spring Rolls

Preparation time:  40 plus minutes *

Cooking time:  30 minutes

Total time:  1 hour ten minutes *

Makes 24

Ingredients:

1 cup finely shredded green cabbage

1 cup finely shredded red/purple cabbage

2/3 medium-sized carrots, sliced finely, length-ways

2/3 green chillies, chopped finely (and seeds taken out)

1 medium-sized onion, chopped finely

6 spring onions, chopped finely

4 cloves garlic, chopped finely

2 red peppers, sliced finely, length-ways

2 cups bean sprouts

1 cup finely chopped chicken (optional)

salt and pepper to taste

24 spring roll wraps

vegetable oil for deep-frying

Instructions:

Take Spring Roll pastry squares out from the freezer.

Put some water in a saucer or small bowl, for dampening the pastry edges, and set aside

Place all the sliced and chopped vegetables in a large bowl and stir fry in a wok until slightly done, but still crisp.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Now, place a Spring Roll pastry square directly in front of you on a board, turning it so its like a diamond shape with the top corner at the top.

Using a tablespoon, scoop a spoon of veggies from the bowl and place on the Spring Roll pastry square, at the lower tip, but just slightly above the corner, allowing enough pastry to fold upwards. Fold the bottom corner over the filling.

Dampen the edges of the pastry square with a little water, and then fold in the left side, this will overlap the bottom folded over pastry slightly. Then fold the right side, this will overlap the bottom folded over pastry slightly.  The left and right corners of the pastry will practically join at the tips. Then, roll up to form a spring roll. Set aside, and continue till the quantity you are wanting to do is complete.

Deep fry the Spring Rolls for a few minutes until they are golden brown.  You will need to do them it batches.

Drain the deep-fried Spring Rolls on kitchen towel paper.

Serve immediately.

Dipping sauces:  These Dipping Sauces can be doubled up in quantity and can be stored in sterilised jars in the refrigerator for a few days.

Easy Thai Dipping Sauce (makes 1/2 cup)

Ingredients:

2 medium-sized garlic cloves

15 milliliters (1 tablespoon) fresh ginger

30 milliliters (2 tablespoons) raw honey

60 milliliters (1/4 cup) soy sauce

125 milliliters  rice wine vinegar

30 milliliters (2 tablespoons) sesame oil

De-seeded chilli, chopped up finely (optional)

Instructions:

Finely chop the garlic cloves

Grate the fresh ginger

Add all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk together until they are well combined.

Thai Chilli Dipping Sauce (makes 1/2 cup)

Ingredients:

3 fresh red chillies, finely chopped

2 medium-sized garlic cloves, finely chopped

62.5 milliliters (1/4 cup) brown sugar

125 milliliters (1/2 cup) water

2.5 milliliters (1/2 teaspoon) salt

7.5 milliliters (1 1/2 teaspoons) cornflour mixed with 30 milliliters (1 tablespoons) of water.

Instructions:

Put all the ingredients into a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally.  Once boiling point has reached, reduce the heat slightly and thicken with the cornflour and water mixture.

Enjoy 🙂

*  Preparation time will differ, depending on quantity and also with the Spring Roll Pastry Squares, sometimes I battle to separate them.

* Cooking time may differ, again depending on quantity.

NB*  If you don’t want this to be strictly vegetarian, feel free to add chopped meat of your choice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baby Spinach and Pepper Frittata

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I am so grateful for the cooler weather today.  Don’t get me wrong I love the sun, but now and then welcome a cooler day especially when it has been so hot.

I had great plans today of all the things I wanted to do, but I have a feeling that not too much is going to be accomplished.  I just am in a relaxed frame of mind  and feel like taking things in my stride for a change.  (no real harm in that, is there?)

So here I am , sitting in my lounge, alongside two of my cats, Taylor and Dexter, drinking green tea and writing this post.  I thought I would share today my frittata recipe with you.  I love frittata’s, they are just so simple to make and best of all you can put anything in them !  This frittata is filled with goodness and all health.  I decided on vegetarian. I just had to, as the last several days I have been eating….lets say more ‘of what I should not be eating’. Yes…I am feeling a bit guilty, but it is fine…I will just eat loads of vegetables and attach myself to the treadmill.

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This frittata is filled only with a couple of vegetables, baby spinach which I love and peppers.  I usually like to use at least three different colours of peppers, but only had two in the fridge.  I enjoy the different colours of the peppers, and apart from the taste, they make the frittata look pretty 🙂  a clove of garlic which is also so good on the health aspect and loads of eggs.  If you are not keen on the garlic, you can leave it out, its really up to you.

My vegetarian frittata cooks for 3o minutes in the oven, and it rises ! But its okay, once it is nice and golden brown take it out of the oven.  Once it cools, it will flatten.  This frittata is so soft and succulent it practically melts in your mouth. It is not only great for breakfast but is ideal for any meal at any time of day.  For a light dinner, just add salad.

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Baby Spinach and Pepper Frittata

Preparation time:  8 minutes

Cooking time:  30 minutes

Total time:  38 minutes

Serves 8-10 depending on size of slices

Ingredients:

1 large onion, chopped

1 large red pepper, chopped

1 large green pepper, chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed

Coconut oil for frying

10 extra large/jumbo free range eggs

2 handfuls of baby spinach leaves, chopped

1 1/2 teaspoons of chopped fresh parsley *

1 1/2 teaspoons of chopped fresh thyme *

(or 1 tablespoon (3 teaspoons) of any mixed fresh herbs) substitute for dried herbs will be 1 teaspoon only). *

Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions:

Preheat oven at 180 degrees Celsius / 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Saute’ the onion, peppers and garlic clove with a little coconut oil in a frying pan.

Once done take the frying pan off the stove and set aside.

In a medium sized bowl, lightly beat all the eggs with a fork or a hand whisk.

Add the onions, peppers, garlic, baby spinach herbs and spices into the medium sized bowl (with the eggs) and mix to combine using a metal spoon.

Transfer into a well greased oven proof dish (approximately 20 cm x 20 cm or 8″ x 8″) and place in oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

The frittata will rise in the middle.

Once taken out from the oven, allow to cool in the oven-proof dish and cut accordingly.

Enjoy 🙂

 

*  I use a Spray ‘n Cook for greasing

*  Feel free to increase the herbs and spices to your liking