Roast Quinoa and Tomato Salad with Quinoa and Parmesan Wafers

Roast Quinoa and Tomato Salad with Quinoa and Parmesan Wafers

It seems like a good idea when life is so busy to try and plan ahead a little for meals or, at the least, to make ingredients that I am cooking do a bit of multi tasking other than just as leftovers.  With this in mind, I cooked up a nice big pot of quinoa and put it to work firstly in a summery fresh salad with basil, tomatoes, parmesan and quinoa crisps. Next time, for a complete change of flavours, I used it for some Asian inspired fish cakes (post for this to follow shortly!) Remember, quinoa is a food like rice that has a high water content, therefore it is a great breeding ground for bacteria.  If you have cooked up a big pot and can’t use it within a couple of days, put it in the freezer until you are ready to use it. This salad is delicious on its own, for a light lunch, with some crusty bread or with some simply grilled meat or chicken. The components keep well although, if made in advance, you might want to freshen up the crisps briefly in the oven. Oven at 150′ C Cut the cherry tomatoes in half (save a small handful raw for the final salad), place on a lined baking tray (for larger tomatoes, cut in chunks and follow the recipe), drizzle with a couple of tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and put in the oven to bake. […]

My Daily Bread and Crackers

Wahoo … 2017!  High expectations for another amazing year, with lots of challenges and big goals.   Top of the list is a commitment to keeping up with regular contributions to Fresh Kitchen and in doing so keeping us all fueled with fresh and tasty exciting meals and snacks.  Please let me know if you see anything we should try!  I am always looking for new inspiration and would love to hear from you. I thought to start the year with something basic that is a constant in my life, this ‘bread’ originated with Sarah Britton from My New Roots   Life Changing Loaf Of Bread,I have been making variations since she first posted it in 2013, and love it.  Over time I have made some changes to suit me,such as chopping the seeds and nuts, to make the bread and crackers hold together better for slicing and toasting.   I also use brown rice flakes which means it’s completely gluten free and changes up the ingredients we are eating on a regular basis.  The bread then led to the crackers, because I love crispy things and these are just a variation of the bread rolled and baked so it was a bit of a no brainer once you get the bread recipe down pat.   As with most things, I make these are very adaptable. You can swap the seeds and nuts, and add spices as you like, and the bread keeps well in the fridge – it lasts […]

prawn potsticker dumplings and asian salad

Prawn Potsticker Dumplings with a Fresh Asian Salad

Delicious light summer food with the bonus that, by spending a little extra time, you can put a batch or two in the freezer for Christmas entertaining.  This did involve a little bit of time but once they are in the freezer you will thank yourself!   These little dumplings are full of fresh, light, zingy asian flavours and are so delicious. I chose not to put chilli’s into the dumpling mix as I wanted the prawn and fresh herb flavours to be the heroes.  I always love dumplings and love that here they can become part of the main event for dinner. For the photos today I have served them up as an individual generous portion (slightly greedy – I hate it when there aren’t enough of the good bits in a meal ! ) but, when I have friends and family for a meal I mostly resort to big platters and I would love to serve this on a big platter with a jug of dipping sauce and little bowls for everyone on the side. It was interesting to me that these potstickers are really good at room temperature (and not too bad cold) which also makes for helpful salad meals.  A friend and fellow dumpling maker is here for Christmas and the plan is to have a dumpling dinner, so watch out for more photos on Facebook and Instagram, no pressure Chloe! Prawn Potstickers (makes approximately 70) 800 grams raw prawns tails removed and well drained 1 […]

haloumi and green vegetable fritters

Halloumi and Spring Vegetable Fritters

Often I crave large helpings of green vegetables.  Today after melting in the heat yesterday the weather has changed to damp and dreary so something a little comforting seemed in order.  Fritters fit that comfort food bill every time, and these do it leaving your conscience in a good place too. Although the weather is dreary my little vegetable patch is starting to yield a few goodies and add to that the wonderful array available in the market and the choice is there to play.  You can make this with pretty much whatever greens  you have in your fridge and or garden.  Recipes like this make me happy because I get to use the whole vegetable, I love the fact that I can grate the broccoli stalk and any other stalks into the allocation of of vegetables.  It is also a good way of clearing out all those odds and ends that accumulate in your fridge at the end of the week.  The flavours I have used here are more of a mediterranean bent, and so choose your herbs accordingly, parsley, mint, and even basil if you should be so lucky. Haloumi and Green Vegetable Fritters 3 eggs 3 tablespoons brown rice flour (you can use any flour you like here it is just to add a little thickening and body) 1 teaspoon salt pinch pepper 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (optional) Chilli or chilli flakes to taste (optional) Approx 100 grams halloumi 5 cups fairly finely chopped and grated green […]

involtini and kale salad

Spring Involtini

Involtini is an Italian word for a small bite of food consisting of some sort of outer layer wrapped around a filling. It seems the market is awash with lush spring vegetables calling to me to get to the kitchen. This is a delicious little spring starter, light dinner,or side dish. A little bit of effort, involving a bit of slicing and standing over the chargrill pan, but then it’s all fun and as creative as you want to be.  I teamed this with a kale salad, but any simple salad would go just as well.  The ingredients and vegetables I used are really just a rough guide, though the eggplant and courgettes make for good sturdy wrappers.  The cheese could just as easily be feta or haloumi for these. I felt they were equally delicious as they were straight after wrapping ( this keeping them a bit light and fresh) or,  given a hot fast bake to meld and melt all together.  Left to sit for a while  the tomato juices and combined flavours start to run a little, and are delicious served with a slice of toasted ciabatta to mop it all up.   Ingredients on the day[ enough for 4 starters or 2 main course) 1 mozzarella ball, equivalent amount of feta or haloumi. 1 eggplant bunch fresh basil 3-4 courgettes 1-2 red peppers 1 red onion 1/2 bunch asparagus 1 punnet of cherry tomatoes sticks or skewers to secure involtini Optional extras or substitutions such as […]

Carrot Cake Muffins

A Fresh Take on Carrot Cake

I decided to make these little Carrot Cake Muffins after talking with a friend about the challenges of sugar free icing for cakes.  I had an idea I wanted to try and so here we are, with something not perfect but an idea worth remembering   This cake recipe is based on an old favourite carrot cake recipe that I have slightly adapted to suit a more modern processed sugar free and potentially gluten free approach.  Remembering carrot cakes were the original healthy cakes back in the late seventies and eighties they have always had a leaning to the healthy side, we are just lucky now to have more natural sugar alternatives.  The icing tastes great, I really like the flavour of the orange zest picking out the cardamon spice in the cake, and although it wont set hard it would also make a delicious caramel filling for raw slices.  As you see I decided to split this into muffin tins so it is easy for lunches or picnics, but it cooks just as easily as a cake. It is hard to go wrong with this recipe,( unlike a sponge, but thats another very long and unsuccessful story), I have even subbed in beetroot and cocao and turned it into a chocolate beetroot cake. You will need to think about this the day before if you want to go with this icing recipe, in order to  rinse and soak the cashews in time. Its a show of intention to friends […]

fresh fridge pickles

A Quick Fridge Pickle and a Favourite Easy Raw Beetroot Salad

I am in the zone to be talking and thinking about summer.  The local weather has other ideas though and after a month and a bit of balmy spring weather I am  this morning surrounded by snow, no electricity and fallen trees and chicken coups.  It has been said that I don’t respond very well to change (love my family!) so here I am as planned talking about some great fridge staples, to brighten and lighten up your spring and summer meals. This fridge pickle has been a favourite for the past few summers, easy,fast and delicious. When I went to get the recipe I found it was lost – forever! So here I am trying to embrace one of life’s little challenges and I will admit to varying levels of success with that.  Oh well! A little memory jog and a bit of kitchen play and I think that if this is not the same recipe then I have the old fav back with a few little improvements.  This very pretty pickle is a great addition to cold meat meals, cheese and ploughmans platters, sandwiches, salads, buddha bowls… I also have some plans to add little slices of pickle to some rilette canapes. You can eat it within a couple of hours or it will keep in the fridge pretty much for a month or two, but it does loose colour with age though so i try to make it little and often. Fresh Pickles Vinegar Start by finely […]

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 […]