Raw Thai Spiralised ‘Noodle’ Salad

Raw Thai Noodle Salad

Raw Thai Spiralised ‘Noodle’ Salad

Super light, zesty and delicious for our warm spring and summer evenings. I fear that i may be killing you with gadgets (waffle irons and now spiralisers)!   I  blame my first food mentor and good friend Jan Pinkney a connoisseur, researcher and user of great gadgets, I confess to being easily led though!   My intention  in my culinary life was to be a good plain knife chef, but at a point I gave in to the temptation and am now fully gadgetised.  This said that they are not necessary, just toys, food and cooking enablers and enhancers for those of us like myself who, are very happy playing in the kitchen.  These noodles can easily be coarsely grated or peeled in strips using your usual kitchen peeler, the flavours will still be zesty and delicious. This recipe lends itself to adaptations depending on what vegetables you have to hand and, if you plan to serve it with fish, chicken, meat or vego, or have it as is as a simple and satisfying meal.  The dressing will keep for a week or so in the fridge. I often blend together ginger lemongrass kaffir lime leaves and chilli and freeze it in small wraps of clingfilm for dressings like this or as a base for my Thia’ish soups and salads, this way I make sure I use these ingredients when they are at there best price and quality. Thai Salad Dressing Chop dry ingredients roughly and blend in food processor […]

Overnight Oats

Milk Kefir

  It has been a year of playing with fermented products, our house has been happily bubbling away with Kombucha, water Kefir,  Kimchi, Saurkraut …….   All of these have had their successes and failures, but they have all been happily consumed.   Recently I was given some milk kefir granules.  These it seems are the simplest of all the fermented things so far.  A simple matter of adding milk,covering, stirring and in a day or two you have beautiful slightly sour, slightly thickened Milk Kefir.  This was all very well until I realised that I needed to start eating all of this quickly accumulating milk kefir and that generally I don’t consume a lot of milk products.  Bring on second fermentation, overnight oats, light and fluffy pancakes or waffles.  At least I now have breakfasts covered. Second fermentation for me simply involves adding flavours. To date this has taken the form of a splash of vanilla essence and a couple of chopped medjool dates. This can then be left covered on the bench or fermentation halted if sour enough and put in the fridge.  This is yummy enough to be a great substitute for all those sweet store bought yoghurts with all the benefits of fermentation.  As it has been winter and fresh fruits are limited I haven’t taken this much further but I know all those summer fruits and berries will be amazing in the Kefir. My next Kefir treat was combining with oats overnight. I don’t really […]

brussel sprout, blue cheese fennel and walnut salad

Two Salads for Winter and Early Spring

This is all about Brussel sprouts.  I know that they aren’t a lot of people’s favourite vegetable. Big love to those people who are fans, I like to think we are very sophisticated! Haha not so much me.  They are a seasonal and affordable vegetable for winter so that makes them worthy of my attention and despite the cold sometimes I still need something fresh, raw and crunchy in the winter.  I think that there is enough flavour and good things in these salads for even the most hardened sprout haters and I would love it if you would give them a go. I have been playing with these two salads using Brussel Sprouts this winter and even though I am hopeful that spring and its new vegetables are nearly with us I don’t want to forget these winners of this winter. I hope that you will give these a try, but if your thoughts have moved on from winter vegetables (yes I know me too), we will have these recorded now for next winter and I will remind us of them then.  Having said that they are still good eaten simply as is for lunch or for a meatier meal team well with pork.  Think about quality pork sausages or chops and mash, or a juicy pulled pork slider or simply as a side at a barbecue.  Both of these salads taste equally good the next day, even the apple will keep its colour, flavour and texture if passed through […]

Matcha Green Tea and Coconut Truffles

Matcha Green Tea and Coconut Truffles

Motivation for these comes from the lovely and slightly exotic seeming tin of Matcha Green Tea Powder I bought a couple of months ago.  I was very excited as I had seen lots of ideas using it on the internet and had trouble finding it, as is always the way it was instantly everywhere after that point. But, I the end I did have my tin and since then I have been inventing new ways to add it into my recipes These delicious little truffles are filled with goodness, but not the easiest for an amateur photographer to get the best pictures of.  I’d like to add that the slight green colour from the Matcha powder didn’t look the best in all settings! Life is great though and I did have fun and learned some new tricks. In the end it was the colours that mattered and putting them against pastel background colours worked for me. These are so simple with just a few ingredients and taste delicious. I used Coconut Nectar as the sweetener because I felt the flavour reflected and didn’t compete with the ingredients, but you could use rice syrup (I didn’t have any), maple syrup or honey.  You could easily cut back a spoonful of sweetener but I chose to keep these fairly sweet so they would have a wider appeal in my family Ingredients Truffles Coating I added the truffle ingredients to the food processor and blended briefly to bring together, then rolled them in […]

Fabulous Falafel

Falafel, I love them! My love affair with all food Middle Eastern began nearly twenty years ago when my husband and I bought the most amazing little Lebanese Kebab and Vegetarian café in Queenstown.  Habebes, a little café with a big attitude and the most amazing array of foods, not the least of which were the fabulous little falafels.  We owned and ran Habebes for twelve years through floods, relocations and good times, that is history now but the great memories and my love of Falafels live on. The method we used to make the falafel at Habebes was very specialised and not something I was able to do at home until, through the genius of the internet, I chanced upon the idea of making them in the waffle press.   The perfect solution for a mix that is at its most delicious slightly loose and in need of pressing into shape. The recipe for the Felafel we made at Habebes is top secret so this is a version that I have made to satisfy my cravings at home.   The little falafel are very versatile, great for a mezze type platter, in a salad wrap or as a side to as simple or complex a salad as you care to make. Served with hummus, tahini, yogurt or chilli, they are satisfying and delicious.  Add that to the fact that you have avoided any need to deep fry and these are definitely all good. The recipe for these is as follows INGREDIENTS […]

middle eastern mezze platter

Middle East Mezze Platter

Labna Carrot Spread is a white bean feta smash and a selection of warmed citrus spices, marinated olives with breads and crackers to scoop it all up with. This is to be shared with a group of friends, and added extras who meet with on a rotating venue and themed, arrangement, lots of fun and a shared interest and love of good food and entertaining. In the mix is a vegetarian and a gluten free requirement. I love these extra stipulations as it helps me think outside the square and work with new ideas and ingredients. LABNA CARROT SPREAD I have strained though a clean muslin cloth 500ml of plain unsweetened acidophilus yoghurt overnight. This will leave me with a nice thick yoghurt to begin (don’t forget you can use the whey in smoothies or baking or maybe I will give it to my poor unsuspecting chickens). WHITE BEAN AND FETA SMASH There are possibly more culinary correct words than smash, but I think it describes the effect I want best with a little drama as well. Cook the beans till well done in lightly salted herbed up water, sometimes I add a good pinch of baking soda to the beans as they cook this seems to have a softening effect on the beans. Don’t do this if you want firm beans for a salad, this would fall in the category of lessons I have learned the hard way! Cool the beans and then lightly mash so you still have […]