Sunday, January 27, 2013

Watermelon Coconut Vegan Salad

A simple recipe which can be eaten as a summer salad at your next BBQ or equally special as a healthy dessert at any time.
Watermelon Coconut Vegan Salad

Three ingredients make this the easiest dish to prepare... even the kids can do this one.

  • I like to dice the watermelon into large chunky bite size pieces... or you can dice to whatever suits your family.
  • Add any fresh herb that you like... I have used torn basil leaves in this dish as I have it growing fresh in the garden at present. I have on other occasions used mint or coriander. 
  • Finally add some shredded moist coconut to your liking (desiccated would work also however this is much drier) .

Gently toss all ingredients together and serve immediately as a quick lunch, a side salad or my favourite idea is as a healthy dessert. 

*Top with either cream or ice cream any time of the day... however this version would no longer be vegan.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Brodetta - Brodet

This meal was one that my Dad made when supplies were low over the Abrolhos and the carrier boat hadn't yet arrived with the order. It's a broth type soup (to use up the stale bread) made from simple ingredients, tomato paste (when there were no tomatoes left) , potato (because you always had them) and fish (on an island in the ocean they were all around you.) He never actually taught me how to make this but I can see him in my minds eye cooking it and my mouth waters when I try to remember how he said the word "Brodetta" ... not knowing a lot about the history of this recipe I did a little research and came up with the fact that although it may have started out as an Italian simplistic thin broth dish it travelled around and crossed some water and picked up elements from other cultures to end up a thicker tomato, onion, multi fish richer soup called "Brodet"
My version sadly is not my Dad's, it is my memory of his adapted... and I need to say a work in progress as it isn't as good as his was so I am still modifying it each time I cook it. Practice makes progress right?


  • I like to make my own fish stock so whenever I have a handful of prawns or fish head I use the shells and heads to make a stock. A purchased one will suffice.
  • In a little oil soften some crushed garlic and the chopped stems of some coriander and a couple of tablespoons of tomato paste.
  • Add chunky peeled potatoes and thickly sliced cabbage (this is something Dad never would have added but I love the cabbage simmered in the juices) and the stock to cover.
  • Simmer until the potatoes are cooked, the starch from the potatoes slightly thickens your broth and then slide in your fish (any white fish is nice in largish chunks, Dad would make this dish whenever he got hold of a coral trout) gently cook until the fish flakes apart with a fork.
  • Lastly add a heap of chopped parsley and I like to serve it on a couple of forks of spaghetti however this is your choice and once again Dad served his with crunchy Italian loaf torn not sliced and we all know that pasta and bread are never served together... sshhh!

This dish is superstitiously never stirred. Not sure where this comes from but simmer gently no stirring ok !!! Presumably it is so that the fish doesn't fall apart but I'm not tempting fate with a spoon.            ENJOY!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Three Ingredients Fruit Cake

It just doesn't get any easier than this for a delicious fruit cake... A big thanks has to go to a helpful couple Ken and Rosemary that we met on our recent travels North from home. Not only did they suggest a fabulous spot for us to park at the Cliff Head free camp site area but they also provided me with this recipe suggestion for my blog. 

This is a rich, moist, heavily fruit abundant cake... dare I say suitable for the upcoming festive season or an any time of the day, night or the year indulgence.

Three Ingredients Fruit Cake

  • Take a 600ml Iced coffee or Choc Milk and add it to 1kg of mixed fruit. Soak this mixture overnight to plump up the fruit. 
  • Add 2 cups of self raising flour and bake slowly in a 170/180 oven for about an hour and a half until a wooden skewer comes out clean... and that's it!  

Turn out to cool on a wire rack and share both the delicious cake and the simple recipe with everyone at your camp sight.

Equally wonderful served warm on its own or with a blob of cream or cold on its own or with butter.

Note: The soaking of the fruit causes the glace cherries to take on the colour of the milk and loose the red colour but doesn't change the flavours of the fruits.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Oven Baked Fish

Oven Baked Fish ... GONE!

I have to confess...I didn't actually catch the Taylor used in this recipe and so for anonymity I will not show you a photo of the whole fish... thank you to the kind man who donated us these most wonderful specimens of the species... delicious just isn't descriptive enough.

  • Preheat your oven to moderate and take your scaled, beheaded and cleaned Taylor and lay out on a piece of glad bake and foil.
  • Season with salt and pepper first thing on both sides and flavour as desired... finely sliced red onion, lemon slices, capsicum, freshly grated ginger, a splosh of sweet chili sauce, a splash of soy and a drizzle of olive oil... anything you like really...
  • Seal your little parcel up and bake for 30-40 minutes depending on the fish size.
Any whole fish or even a fillet can be used... very simple and easy and absolutely delicious so give it a try.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Quinoa, Coconut and Currants

Quinoa, Coconut, Currants

Did you know that Quinoa pronounced keen-wah is a grain, used by the ancient Incas that they referred to as "the mother grain" and today is defined as a supergrain. It is a wonderful alternative to rice or couscous in any recipe and in the case of this recipe an alternative to porridge... today's blog (serving size 2 large or 4 small)is equally nice served either warm or cold, with or without yoghurt or with  fresh fruit or a conserve topping.

  • In a medium saucepan combine 1.2 cup quinoa, 2 tablespoons honey, a pinch of salt, 1 cup currants, half can of coconut milk and a can of water... add the reminder coconut milk through the cooking process if it looks a little dry.
  • Bring to the boil and then simmer very gently for about 30 minutes until it resembles the consistency of porridge and the grains are soft and transparent.
  • Serve as you wish and top with any remaining coconut milk.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Chocolate and Coconut Brownies

Chocolate and Coconut Brownies

I ate my first piece of this brownie while it was still warm straight from the oven.. there is no way you can't do that with the smell created during cooking.
I am keen to experiment with coconut flour (gluten free alternative) and so I have used it in this recipe. It appears to me to be similar in texture to almond flour and so could be substituted if you have trouble finding the coconut. It is available from Hills Fresh in Mundaring for my local followers and I believe can be ordered on-line.
Coconut Flour is an alternative to wheat flour that has a very high percentage of dietary fibre which helps support your digestion.

  • In a heavy base saucepan over a very low heat gently melt 200 grams of dark chocolate (highest cocoa solids possible) and 250 grams of butter.
  • Remove from heat and add a couple of teaspoons of vanilla essence and about 3/4 cup of caster sugar and stir to dissolve.
  • Whisk 3 eggs into the mixture along with a cup of coconut flour and a handful of moist flakes coconut.
  • This recipe is best shared so I have baked the mix in two greased foil baking tins so that I can share one tray with my friends for about 30 minutes (this recipe will rise just a little so leave some room, will be set on top and moist in the centre but cooking times will vary depending on the container size you use) ... still warm, gently slice the portion size whilst in the tray... delivered warm and enjoyed with a coffee you will most certainly be welcomed.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Creamed Cabbage with White Sauce and Feta OR Simmered Cabbage with Feta Cheese

Creamed Cabbage with White Sauce and Feta
Simmered Cabbage with Feta Cheese

Cabbage is one of my favourite veggies. There is so much  that you can do with this versatile vegetable all year round... try this particular recipe when you are looking for that flavour filled soft cabbage fix with a yummy cheesy creamy sauce. I often cook this when I am home alone and eat it as my main meal. If you don't want the creamy milk sauce you can leave the white sauce step out and simply break the feta through the drained simmered cabbage and serve.

  • Melt a large blob of butter with some fresh ground black pepper and salt... stir in a half cabbage roughly chopped and sauté until softened. 
  • Add a splash of white wine a teaspoon of honey and a cup of chicken stock and simmer gently for about 15 minutes until the cabbage is cooked right through and the liquid is all but gone.
  • In another saucepan soften some onion or leek, your choice and a couple of cloves of crushed garlic in a blob of butter... I am using red onion for this recipe today.
  • When the onion is softened add a couple of tablespoons of flour and cook for a minute or so.
  • Gradually add enough milk to make a thick sauce about 300 ml... let this sauce softly simmer for a couple of minutes to cook the flour properly.
  • Break through about 100 grams of feta cheese and melt... add this sauce to the drained cabbage and heat through to serve.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Broccolini with Butter Beans, Pine Nuts and Pasta

This recipe is great as a side dish or to feed the hoards. Simple increase the ingredients to suit your purpose.Delicious, hearty and healthy all in the one dish.... Pasta can be substituted for the butter beans if preferred or half and half as I have done which is the healthier option and has a nice texture.
Broccolin with Butter Beans, Pasta & Pine Nuts

  • 1 large bunch of Broccolini on to steam while preparing the rest.
  • Boil a small amount (1/2 cup)of a small pasta ... I have used Piccolini. 
  • Meanwhile heat a few tablespoons of oil in a frying pan and softly fry some finely chopped fresh garlic then add a drained tin of butter beans and stir fry until they take on some colour.
  • Add a large handful of pine nuts to the pan and toss them to toast up.
  • Turn off the heat and stir through some cream to make a sauce.
  • Finally combine the cooked pasta, broccolini, heaps of parmesan cheese and black pepper with the butter bean and pine nut mix to serve.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Chicken Noodle Soup recipe...

... with a twist of freshness added...

Chicken Noodle Soup with some added freshness

I have used a salt reduced packet of chicken noodle soup for this recipe and freshened it up with the quick addition of a couple of items. You are limited only by your imagination and this simple idea I hope will be inspiration for you to become creative. The only limitations are that what ever you add in the way of fresh veggies or noodles etc needs to cook in a five minute simmer situation.

  • Make up the salt reduced chicken noodle soup following the directions on the packet ... bring a litre of water to the boil and add the soup mix.
  • While the water is reaching the boil finely dice the stems of a small bunch of coriander which you have picked the leaves from and retained along with a small handful of finely sliced cabbage.
  • Add both the coriander stems and the shredded cabbage at the same time as the soup mix and simmer all together as per the packet instructions.
  • Two minutes before the finish of the simmer time add about a cup of crushed vermicelli rice noodles.
  • Stir through the coriander leaves and serve immediately with a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice and cracked black pepper.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Cauliflower Rice with Goats Cheese

Cauliflower Rice with Goats Cheese

This dish can be served on its own, as a side dish, in place of rice or let it go cold and add to salads. Cauliflower is low in fat and contains numerous health benefiting nutrients that help in the prevention of prostate, ovarian and cervical cancers.

  • Soften a finely chopped onion in a little oil in a large frying pan for about 5 minutes until transparent.
  • Either grate or whizz a half cauliflower in a food processor until very fine and resembles couscous (which is another name for this recipe "Cauliflower Couscous")
  • When the onion is softened add the finely dice stems of a small bunch of coriander (pick and retain the leaves) a teaspoon of ground coriander and the fine cauliflower... continue to cook, stirring occasionally until the cauli is soft and starting to brown.
  • Stir in 3/4 of the coriander leaves and season with some salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • To serve plate up topping it with some crumbled goats cheese and the remaining coriander leaves.

  • Feel free to replace the cauliflower with broccoli for a green alternative.
  • Serve with meat as a side dish if you like.
  • Cool the cooked cauliflower dish and add it to your favourite salad as a way of incorporating texture and nutrient into a delicious leafy salad.