Sunday, February 28, 2016

Stuffed peppers with a punch

One thing that the wretched @#$% shingles has not stopped me doing is cooking and thinking about recipes. Just before the disease hit, I had had a longing for stuffed red peppers and had been thinking of a recipe that contained some Indian flavours. I like the combination of those flavours and the Greek fetta.

As I was sick, this recipe was made with a number of readily available ingredients rather than much cooking preparation.  But let's face it, we all like to have some recipes on hand to make quickly. Two of the key ingredients were bought from the supermarket: a Tilda multi-grain rice pilau flavoured with cummin, curry leaf and fenugreek, and a Dolmio spicy pasta sauce with chilli.

I really liked the result of this easy recipe.  I hope you will too!


2 large red peppers
250 gr rice pilau
200 gr spicy pasta sauce
1 handful currants
20 gr fetta
1/2 cup water


Preheat the oven to 180c
Remove the head of the peppers and clean inside
Heat pasta sauce on stovetop
Add rice pilau and stir to combine
Add currants and stir to combine
Simmer until all ingredients are combined and liquid absorbed
Crumble fetta
Spoon rice mixture into each pepper until half full
Add half of the fetta to each
Spoon remaining rice mixture into peppers
Add pepper heads and place in a baking dish
Add water to baking dish
Place in oven and cook for 45 minutes.

Nectarine breakfast #breakfastwithouttoast

Here's another in my series of #breakfastwithouttoast for those of you who don't believe there can be breakfast without it! The main flavour here is from the yellow nectarine: definitely a good seasonal choice to add to the other flavours. Enjoy!


3 heaped soupspoons strained yoghurt
1 yellow nectarine
2 Greek dried figs
20 almonds


Chop the nectarine roughly and place in breakfast bowl
Roughly chop the figs and place in bowl
Add almonds.
Spoon on the yoghurt


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Lentil, ricotta and spinach lasagne

Well here I am at home struck down by the dreaded shingles.  What to cook and what to eat becomes what is in the pantry or what is in the freezer. This is going to be a long haul, I fear. Did I mention that I hate shingles? But one thing I do like about it is that it means I am going through the pantry and freezer and sorting them out.  And I really liked the outcome of my latest foraging.  Thanks Leonie for suggesting I blog it.  Otherwise it might have stayed on a scrappy piece of paper for eternity.

So the outcome of my latest foraging?  A lasagne made by alternating layers of a lentil and tomato sauce with a mixture of ricotta and spinach. And it really is so yummy!  You will notice that this really is about staples in the pantry for me.  If you want to soak and cook your own lentils that is fine: I used canned. Likewise with the lasagne sheets!


For lentil sauce
400 gr canned lentils
400 gr canned chopped tomatoes
2 tbs tomato paste
1 onion
2 tbs olive oil
2 handfuls dried basil
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp ginger
2 small carrots
1/2 cup water


For spinach/ricotta sauce
375 gr ricotta
250 gr frozen spinach
2 spring onions
2 cloves garlic

Lasagne sheets (not needing precooking)
Grated or shaved Parmesan


Preheat the oven to 180c
Put the oil in a pan to heat
Finely chop the onion and add to oil
Crush garlic and ginger and add
Stir constantly until soft
Add tomatoes and tomato paste and stir
Drain lentils, rinse, add and stir
Crush dried basil and add
Chop carrots and add
Stir to combine and add water
Leave simmering on stove top
Meanwhile, place frozen spinach in microwaveable bowl
Chop spring onions and add
Crush garlic and add
Cover and microwave for 5 minutes
(Alternately cook in a steamer until tender)
Place ricotta in bowl and add spinach when cooked
Stir to combine
Assemble the lasagne in an oven-proof dish commencing with a thin layer of the lentil sauce
Add lasagne sheets
Then add a thin layer of the spinach and ricotta
Add lasagne sheets
Continue with this process until the baking dish is full
Make sure to end with a lentil sauce layer to ensure that the pasta cooks properly
Sprinkle with grated Parmesan
Bake in a 180c oven for 45 minutes

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Sour cherry, currant and yoghurt ices

This is another variant on the yoghurt ices for summer eating. I like to have some in the freezer for a cool snack when the mercury rises, and even when it doesn't! This batch is done with dried sour cherries and currants. Because the fruit is dried, I chose to let the mixture sit for a while to allow the fruit to absorb some of the moisture before freezing.  But if you are in a hurry, you could just do them in one hit. The amounts given make four icy poles using my moulds, but yours may need the measurements to be increased or decreased depending on mould size.


8 tbs strained yoghurt (aka Greek yoghurt)
2 tbs dried sour cherries
2 tbs currants


Place yoghurt and fruit in bowl or jug
Mix together until they are well-combined
Leave to sit for a couple of hours to allow the fruit to absorb some of the moisture
Spoon into icy pole moulds and insert sticks/lids
Freeze for at least five hours or until solid (overnight is good)
Loosen from mould by holding under warm water

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Pork with red pesto

This is a very simple and easy recipe which was inspired by a chicken recipe of Kalyn Denny, of Kalyn's Kitchen. I have enjoyed Kalyn's chicken recipe many times.  But this is different because I use red basil pesto (i.e. basil pesto with tomato paste) and I use pork not chicken.  I also cook the pork as whole steaks and include the parmesan from the start, rather than doing a two stage process.  Apart from heating the oven, there is about five minutes preparation time and 45 minutes cooking time.

So pop the pork in the oven, pour a glass of wine and watch the evening news!  Then make a salad and your pork will be ready.


2 pork butterfly steaks (about 400 gr)
100 gr red basil pesto


Preheat the oven to 180c
Spoon half the pesto into the base of an oven-proof serving dish
Place the pork steaks on top
Spread the rest of the pesto over the pork
Grate Parmesan over the pork
Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 45 minutes.

Lunch - without bread!

Another day, another lunch without bread for those of you who think you can't eat lunch without bread!  I do eat bread sometimes, but I try not to most of the time, particularly when I am at home.  This meal is a fresh combination of salmon, egg and vegetables.  My salad greens were a mixture of endive, rocket, and cos, but you could use whatever you had at hand. Or just one type.


Mixed salad greens
105 gr can pink salmon
6 cherry tomatoes
1/2 Lebanese cucumber
1/2 red capsicum
1 small carrot
1 hard-boiled egg
1 tbs lemon-infused olive oil


Place salad greens in serving bowl
Chop cucumber and capsicum and add
Peel and cut the carrot in strips and add
Slice egg and add
Add the tomatoes and salmon (including liquid from the can)
Stir to combine
Sprinkle over the oil
Toss thoroughly until all ingredients are combined and the oil and salmon liquid cover the other ingredients.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin