Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Vegetable Spring Rolls



I love afternoon teas over the weekends. If there is one thing that I do on a saturday and sunday afternoon if we aren't hosting folks is make a nice hot cardamon chai and then a sweet and/or savoury to go with it. I married a man who likes the savoury and sweet yummies to go with his coffee or tea, so I am always trying something new and I have started to notice that the Miss 2 year old is really enjoying all these afternoon tea delights that I have been putting together - its honestly a lot of fun sitting together as a family of 3 munching on our yummies, and sipping a cup of tea ... so good!!!

I love spring rolls and so on one of my visits to the asian supermarket, I picked up some spring roll sheets and the spring roll sauce. The rest of the stuff was already at home, so it was so easy to put together.

The only technical bit is how to wrap the spring roll ... if my description does not make sense - watch this video :) LOL
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2p_NXtmgC8

Ingredients:

  • Spring Roll Sheets (bought from an asian supermarket)
  • 1 medium onion sliced thinly
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 cup of mixed veggies - like carrots, beans, cabbage, peas, corn, etc
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp oil
  • Oil for frying
  • Spring Roll dipping sauce


First step is to prep the filling! Also make sure you put the spring roll sheets on the counter so it can defrost.

To some heated oil, saute the onion until it has softened. Add the ginger and garlic pastes and the veggies next.
Reduce the heat to low, sprinkle some water, put a lid on the pot and let it cook till the veggies are fully cooked through.

Final step is to add the soy sauce, season with salt and pepper, turn up the heat to high and mix to combine well. Transfer the veggies to a bowl and let it cool down.

Once the veggie filling has cooled down and the spring roll sheets are full defrosted;

Add a couple of tablespoons worth of filling towards one corner of the pastry sheet. Fold in the end of the corner first and then both sides.

Make sure the ends are firmly placed so the filling doesnt come out when frying, then start rolling towards the other end until fully done.

Hope that made sense - if not watch the video :) 

After you try one, the rest of the wrapping comes together really well.

I then fried them until golden brown.

Serve straight away with some spring roll dipping sauce.



Sunday, July 20, 2014

Broccoli Mash



Broccoli !!! I grew up eating them and I haven't really hated it, probably cause my mum knew how to cook it right. As an adult now, I so enjoy raw broccoli in my salads. Mr.husband on the other hand, did not grow up eating it, isn't a big fan of broccoli and complains if he has too much of it on his plate! So when I pulled out two broccolis out of the grocery bag and began munching on them while chopping them, he wasn't really sure if he was going to like this dish (he didn't even know what I was going to make LOL). He refused to munch on a piece of raw broc and thought it was quite gross LOL ...

I placed the broccoli mash on the table along with the rest of whatever I cooked for lunch. K spooned some of the mash on his plate and it didn't click in his brains that the raw broccoli that I was munching on was that green mash LOL ... I asked him what he thought of lunch and he said that he was actually very impressed with the broccoli mash! YAY! he apparently thought it was something minty when he saw me place the bowl on the table ...

So if you hate broccoli as much as K does, you should try this ... the flavour is great and the onions + garlic and that little butter totally makes this yum!
Its healthy too AND lower in calories unlike mashed potatoes :)


Ingredients:
  • 2 Broccolis
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • A knob of butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste



Cook the broccolli and garlic either by steaming, or cook in some boiling water for a few minutes. You don't want to over cook the broccoli and loose the nutrients in the water :)

Saute the onion in some butter. Once softened, remove from the health.

Put the cooked broccolli, garlic and sauteed onions in a food processor. Add some salt and pepper and process until its pureed fine.

Transfer to a serving bowl and serve warm.






Monday, July 14, 2014

Beef, Mushroom & Kale Stir fry




I've had a few interesting days in the house ... My 2 year old wasn't in the greatest shape, but we pulled through and have made it to Tuesday and its looking better so far LOL. I have been excited about sharing this recipe since the time I cooked it and was meaning to post this on Monday, but had to delay it as the 2yr old was a bit more important than a recipe :)


This definitely is one of my favorite dishes that I put together. It was very flavourful and I just loved the combinations as my three favorite ingredients totally make this dish a star! I made this for dinner and had left overs for lunch for K and I ...
Eyeball the ingredients and change quantities wherever needed, it won't go wrong, just don't go overboard with the soy sauce LOL.


Ingredients:
  • Beef flank steak cut into thin strips
  • 8 button mushrooms (or any mushrooms of your choice) sliced
  • 1 onion sliced thinely
  • 2-3 cups of fresh kale chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves mashed
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • Freshly chopped spring onion and coriander leaves to garnish


Marinade:
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 inch piece of ginger grated
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup stock (chicken/veg/beef)
  • 2 tbsp corn starch
  • 3 tbsp rice wine vinegar



First step is the marination! Put all the ingredients mentioned in the marinade list in a bowl and add the steak. Gently mix to combine. I let it marinate in the fridge for about 30mins.
Once you are ready to cook, to the olive oil, add the onion and garlic. After the onions have softened, add the steak (save the marinade).
Saute for about 4-5 mins or until the steak is browned. Remove the steak and set aside.  Add the mushrooms, kale and the marinade to the pan and allow it to cook.
The sauce will start to thicken, then add the steak back in to the pan. I made sure the heat was on medium low, stirring it often also helped it from the sauce being burnt.
I served this with some rice vermicelli noodles - you can also serve this with rice.
Garnish with freshly chopped coriander and spring onion.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Shrimp Spaghetti with a Pesto Cream Sauce



Since Saturday it feels like we have only been EATING! We've had parties to go to and friends to meet and there was a LOT of food. Lots of fat and sugar and carbs were consumed, it was AMAZING, but definitely paying for it in the gym these two days! :) In the middle of all of this, I had to cook up a meal for one of our lunches. I had about 15minutes to spare!!!!! before heading out the door to a party, so this was one super fast meal that had a very delicious outcome! :)

If you don't like shrimp, you can easily substitute with chicken or totally omit it. I love the pesto cream sauce ... it was AMAZING!


Ingredients:

  • 1 packet of egg spaghetti
  • 15-20 shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 cups of Spinach leaves
  • 1 medium size onion sliced 
  • 2 garlic cloves mashed 
  • 250gms pesto
  • 1/2 cup cream 
  • Salt and epper to taste
  • Grated Parmesan


Cook the pasta according to package instructions.

In the mean time, add the chopped onions and garlic cloves to the olive oil. Once the onions have softened add the shrimp. Season with some salt. Once the shrimp has turned pink, toss in the spinach.

After the spinach wilted I added the pesto and also the cream. You can also add some of the pasta water to loosen up the sauce if its thick.

Final step is to add in the cooked pasta and gently toss so its well combined. Add the grated parmesan and serve immediately.

YUM! :)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Stuffed Capsicum with Chicken and Rice



Last weekend when walking through the market I walked past these colour red-orange-yellow capsicums, they looked too cute and had to be bought - so I quickly grabbed enough for a meal and thought about what I could stuff it with. I usually use beef mince when I make stuffed capsicum sauce and cover it with a yummy garlic-ky tomato sauce, but decided to go for chicken instead! I had some left over rice, so put a few things together and out came a beautiful looking dish and it tasted pretty nice too ... It will be a fun thing to make for guests, stack the filled capsicum cups on a platter and it will look great!  Garlic bread and a fresh garden salad and your meal will be ready!

YAY! for middle of the week ... Hope yours is going great!

Ingredients:
  • 3 or 4 capsicums cut into half
  • 1 small onion sliced thinely
  • 1 tomato diced
  • 1 chicken breast cut into small chunks
  • 1 garlic clove mashed to a fine paste
  • 1 cup frozen corn or mixed veggies
  • 1.5 cups cooked white or brown rice
  • Seasoning of your choice: Moroccan / Taco / Cajun
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • Mix of shredded cheese of your choice: Parmesan + Mozz is a nice yum combo.


In a non stick pan, add the tbsp of oil. Once heated, add the mashed garlic and the onion and saute until the onion has softened.

Next add the chicken, some seasoning and also salt and pepper. Give it a few mins and then add the tomato and also the veggies, I just added corn as Miss 2 year old has had an issue with mixed veggie combo like carrot, peas and beans LOL in the last week. Add more seasoning if needed.

Final stage once the chicken has fully cooked through, is to add the cooked rice and gently toss it all together.

I cut the capsicum lengthwise and scooped out the inside. Fill each capsicum cup with the rice. Top each cup with some shredded cheese.

Two options that you can do next:
1. Here is what I did, I poured some hot water into a non-stick pot - carefully placed the capsicums in the pan, turned up the heat and put a lid on it. The capsicum will cook through and the cheese will melt.

2. Arrange the filled up capsicums on a baking sheet lined with baking paper and pop it in a preheated oven at 180C.

Serve immediately