Category Archives: Beans & Legumes

Pea, Chickpea & Quinoa Fritters

Happy New Year! Wow. 2013 was quite challenging (more like First World problems challenging) – nothing in comparison to what I am sure millions of parents around the globe have to deal with every day when it comes to raising their children. I am feeling very lucky these days, too many bad news stories from hanging out with my friends that work for DOCS. We are still very blessed with our healthy little girl Rafaela, She will be two in 8 days! She has an amazing little personality these days. I have to say the most adorable thing is seeing her wiggle her bum when she is free of her nappy before her bath. It washes away the countless tantrums and leg clinging episodes we battle with throughout the day. Oh the joy!

What I do love about her age now is she can help me cook. She is so excited stirring and pounding pizza dough. I hope we can keep up the enthusiasm. Today she helped me make the fritters below and all she could say was “Oh wow” and “Yummy in my tummy”. Then she gobbled down three of them for dinner. I’m not quite sure that she understood, that what she was eating was what she helped me make. Regardless, she was eating a dinner littered with green, which was amazing enough.

I’m back at work full-time now, therefore the opportunity to really consider our meals has been limited and hence the lack of posts. Though the recent festive season (I hosted our family Christmas dinner) really ignited my love for menu planning, cooking and inventing! I’ve enjoyed an extra week off at work and armed with a few new cookbooks for Christmas, it’s game on!

As with the start of every New Year, I try to turn over a ‘new leaf’ in my eating habits and inflict these on to the hubby. This usually consists of weird grains and vegetables. He hates peas and isn’t really a fan of quinoa. We started off using quinoa instead of breadcrumbs on schnitzels. It was merely quinoa (cooked in vegetable stock) seasoned with salt, pepper and some sage on the chicken. Add a squeeze of lemon before serving with mash and greens. They worked out fantastic but didn’t photograph well. It was a really great way to pack in some extra protein, fibre and iron. With a great deal of left over quinoa, I started to look for different ways to use it and adapted this Donna Hay recipe.  As I said, Rafaela hoovered these down, which makes me so happy! Andrew also went back for more… did I mention he hates peas! We both agreed that they tasted like Chinese fried rice. Random indeed!

I served them up with a green salad and a little bit of tomato relish (store bought) and can be eaten warm or cold. This recipe makes around 14 (I did lose 2 fritters during the process of cooking – Try using a spatula and spoon to flip them)

Pea, Chickpea & Quinoa Fritters

2 cups (250g) of cooked peas (Use wholefood organic peas)

1 x 450g can of chickpeas (Use organic chickpeas)

2 cups of cooked white quinoa

1 carrot, peeled and grated

1 spring onion, finely sliced

2 eggs

2 tablespoons of rice flour

2 tablespoons of vegetable or sunflower oil (more for cooking)

Sprinkle of ground cumin

Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper for seasoning.

Method

Roughly mash the peas and blend the chickpeas in a food processor. Place into a bowl with the quinoa, eggs, rice flour, oil, carrot, cumin and season with Salt & Pepper. Mix well to combine and sit aside.

Line a baking tray with non –stick baking paper and start to form ¼ cupful’s of the mixture in to thin patties. Lay the patties on the tray to set before shallow frying.

Heat the extra oil in a non-stick frypan over medium heat and cook, in batches, for 3-4minutes each side until golden. Drain on absorbent paper. The fritters can be served warm or cold.

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Rafaela cooking up a storm!

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Golden Pea, Chickpea and Quinoa Fritters

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Do you need a super cheap and super easy meal that everyone will love? Try making a Cauliflower & Leek Soup aka CC Soup (Cheap & Cheerful). I found this recipe from Teresa Cutter, the healthy chef (my new bible)  My mother dropped over a huge head of cauliflower, which sent my fingers to do the typing, on the hunt for a recipe that would somewhat disguise the vegetable from Rafaela. (It’s not cheap because I got the cauliflower for free…) It’s cheap because it is cauliflower season and cheerful because all you need is a leek (also in season) and 4 cups of stock or water.  It is the ultimate one pot meal; all you need is a hand blender to make it thick and smooth.

In addition to these benefits, Cauliflower is rich in sulphur which works as an anti-inflammatory, support digestion and boost your immune system. Everything Rafaela needs at the moment!

Now we’ve made this soup a couple of times now and I thought I’d taken photos of the creation, but it must have been gobbled up before I could snap it!  I was really surprised at how much Rafaela really enjoyed it and so did the hubby!

Ingredients (Serves 4)

1 large cauliflower, washed
1 leek, washed and sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
good pinch of white pepper
3 – 4 cups (750 – 1000 ml) water or organic vegetable or chicken stock.

Method

Slice the cauliflower finely into small bits. Sauté the leek in 2 tablespoons olive oil over a medium heat for 3 minutes until softened.
Add the cauliflower and 3 cups of water or stock plus a little sea salt and pepper. Cover + cook for 5 – 10 minutes until the cauliflower is tender and then remove from the heat.
Puree in the pot with either a hand blender (careful of hot splashes) or place into a blender with 1 to 2 more cups of water or stock, depending on the consistency you like.
Serve warm soup with your choice of grated Parmesan or cheddar.

Some additions include; Broccoli or Spinach or  1 x 400g of Cannellini beans (White Beans)

Hand Blending Soup

Teresa’s recipe also includes a drizzle of Parsley Oil just before eating. It does give the dish a fresh flavour and works on a number of other dishes such as salads and drizzled over chicken and fish. The recipe is as follows;

Parsley Oil
2 large bunches parsley, washed and dried
1/2 cup cold pressed olive oil, macadamia or walnut oil
Pinch of sea salt

 Combine parsley, oil and salt into a blender and process until smooth. Pour into a fine sieve and strain the oil from the solids. Drizzle over cauliflower soup just before eating.

Cauliflower and Leek Soup (aka CC Soup)

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Leftover Chicken Soup

It has been a while since I’ve posted any recipes, I must say the cold weather has taken its toll on the family. We’ve had a little sick monkey on our hands, well I am going to say it has been on and off for the last 6 months and it has just been exacerbated by the cold weather.  I am sure every parent goes through this battle, months of runny noses, ear infections and chesty coughs. I think the hardest thing is she can’t blow her nose. I think it would solve a great deal of her problems! She likes to make the noise and pull out tissues from the box and hold them to her nose which is all very cute, but isn’t helping!

Along with the sickness comes the teething, Poor girl has mini volcanoes all along the back of her mouth waiting to erupt. This all contributes to one upset little girl. Her appetite has definitely suffered, we have reverted back to the puree food so how timely that it’s soup season!

This is a great recipe to use up left overs, especially after a roast/BBQ chicken meal. You can make this with home-made stock or pre-made stock, just look for options that are organic and low in sodium (Salt). We have a cheeky weekend ritual; well it pretty much started when Andrew started renovating the house. We enlisted the help of many capable friends and family to help with a bit of coaxing – Lunch and beers. So began the trip to the best little BBQ chicken place in the hood.

So if you roast your own chickens of not, this is a great recipe from Donna Hay that uses up the carcass of the Chicken to make a beautiful, clear stock.

Left over Chicken Soup

1 cup of soup mix (Split peas, barely, lentils) or small pasta like Rissoni

Baby Spinach

Roast chicken, shredded

2 carrots

1 Zucchini

Chicken Stock

Cracked pepper and parmesan to serve.

Basic Chicken Stock Recipe

1.5kg chicken bones (still with some meat on)

2 onions, halved

2 carrots halved

2 sticks of celery, chopped

8 litres of water

8 black peppercorns

4 stalks of flat-leaf parsley

2 fresh or dried bay leaves

Sea salt

Method

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Place the chicken bones, onions, carrots, celery in a large baking dish and bake for 1 hour. Transfer to a stock pot or large saucepan with the water, peppercorns, parsley and bay leaves. Bring to the boil and allow to simmer rapidly, uncovered.

Reduce the heat so that the stock simmers slowly but constantly. Skim the surface of the stock with a spoon occasionally so that it remains clear. Simmer for 1 ½ hours or until the stock is well flavoured. Add a generous amount of sea salt to bring out the flavour.

Strain the stock through a fine sieve. Allow to cool, and then remove any solidified fat from the surface. Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze in ready to use portions. This should make 4 litres of Stock.

To make the soup, dice carrot, zucchini and any other vegetables such as potato and add to the chicken stock, cooking until tender. Meanwhile, cook the soup mix or pasta according to the packet instructions.  Add to the stock along with Shredded chicken and simmer for a few minutes, check for extra seasoning. Before serving, add baby spinach leaves and allow them to wilt. Serve with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and a little cracked pepper and crusty bread.

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Baby Lentil Falafels & Garlic Yoghurt Sauce

Here is a simple recipe from Donna Hay’s latest cook book ‘Fresh & Light’. I have been looking for simple, healthy recipes that are freezer friendly and it has so many easy recipes that use fresh ingredients.

Patties, burgers, cakes, rissoles, meatballs… however you want to define food rolled up and then pan fried or baked is fine by me. All I can say is, these little round morsels of food are making a huge comeback in our household these days. It is the ultimate odds and ends recipe, using up odd vegetables and the staple mincemeat or that odd can of chickpeas from the pantry. So this is the start of the Palm series. I say palm as I make them all the size of Rafaela’s palm (the recommended portion size) for her and everyone really. So watch this space, over the coming weeks I will be focusing on all things…. Round!

Lentils are a great addition to your little bubba choo’s diet; High in protein, so great for Vegetarians. They also tend to take on the flavours that they are cooked with, Making them very versatile. You might want to start with Red lentils, they are slightly lower in fibre so they don’t produce as much gas as brown and green ones. They also cook to mushier consistency. Some suggestions for Lentil include; cook them in a homemade broth, mash them with vegetables, Use them as a thickener or throw them into a soup or casserole. They would require 20min of cooking. Always thoroughly rinse lentils as they are prone to debris.  This recipe calls for a can of brown lentils. These are readily available as all supermarkets. You can also get organic varieties, which I have used below.

These little Falafels are very tasty and are not deep fried. Like most falafels, they are best served with a sauce. So I’ve included the one from the original recipe. Rafaela gobbled these down, while smearing the yoghurt sauce all over her face. They freeze really well and are a great meal or snack option. These are perfect for the whole family. I found them a great finger food for parties.

Lentil Falafels (makes 12)

1 x 400g can brown organic lentils, drained and rinsed.

1 cup (70g) fresh breadcrumbs

100g Ricotta

1 egg

1 teaspoon ground cumin

½ coriander leaves

1 teaspoon of finely grated lemon rind

Sea salt and black pepper

Sunflower oil or macadamia nut oil for brushing

Garlic Yoghurt Sauce

1 cup thick plain yoghurt

2 garlic cloves crushed

2 tablespoons of Tahini paste

2 table spoons of lemon juice

2 table spoons of chopped chives

Method:

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees (450F). To make the garlic yoghurt sauce, combine the yoghurt, garlic, tahini, lemon juice and chives. Set aside.

Place the lentils, breadcrumbs ricotta, egg, cumin, coriander, lemon, salt and pepper in a food processor and pulse until the mixture is just combined. Shape 2 tablespoonful’s of the mixture into small patties and place on a baking tray lined with non-stick paper.  Brush the patties lightly with oil and bake for 10 minutes each side or until crisp.

Serve with Garlic Sauce. For infants try serving with couscous and vegetables. For older kids & adults, try serving with salad and pita bread.Image

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