Tag Archives: Cheese

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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Zucchini, corn, carrot and cheddar loaf

Wondering what to make for the kids lunch boxes this week? Why not try this Zucchini, corn, carrot and cheddar Loaf? I found this recipe on a recent trip to NZ. I had the chance to go through archived Donna Hay magazine in her IPad App and found this in a old Kids issue.We love a good loaf at home, however they are usually sweet ones. I made this loaf in about 10-15 minutes, this was the time that Rafaela sat down and ate her lunch. So it is very easy and very quick. We have a walking toddler on our hands now, so cooking can be quite acrobatic at the moment and I will say that kitchen looked like a bomb had hit it!

The original recipe calls for grated cheddar. I had a mexican cheese medley in the freezer and introduced a lone carrot sitting at the bottom of the vegetable tray. The texture is light and fluffy, yet dense enough to remain in tact if toasting or using as a sandwich. It is best served with some extra sliced cheese and tomato chutney.

Zucchini, corn, carrot and cheddar loaf

2 ½ cups self-raising flour

1 ½ cups grated cheddar cheese

1 cup grated zucchini

1 cup sweet corn kernels

1 cup of grated carrot

2 green onions (Scallions) sliced

2/3 cup Canola or Sunflower Oil

1 cup of Milk

2 eggs

Sea salt and cracked pepper

Cheddar and Tomato Chutney, to serve.

Method

Preheat oven to 180 degrees (350 F). Place the flour, grated cheese, zucchini, sweet corn and green onion in a bowl and mix to combine. Place the oil, milk, eggs, salt & pepper in a separate bowl and whisk to combine. Add the zucchini mixture and stir until well combined. Pour into a lightly greased 8cm x 22cm (1.75 litre capacity) loaf tin lined with non-stick baking paper. Bake for 55-60 minutes if until cooked when tested with a skewer. Serve with the cheese slices and chutney. Serves 8

Slice of the loaf

Slice of the loaf

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Cheesy Polenta Slice

I must say juggling motherhood and working has taken its toll. Not to mention the sickness rotating through the household at the moment. Rafaela is the little outbreak monkey; bringing home all these random diseases and the constant runny nose. ‘Hand, foot and mouth disease’ what the hell? Sounds worse than it is…I would pride myself on being quite healthy, I have avoided countless bouts of the infamous man flu. However the combination of being exhausted and never fully recovering from one sickness to another is definitely making life that little bit more dramatic.

We’ve had some big changes of late. I went away for work for 5 days and Andrew played Mr Mum and Dad, he’s now decided number 2 addition to the family is on hold indefinitely. Ha!

Rafaela has sprouted a tonne of teeth, along with being sick, this has led to a fair few sleepless nights, vaporisers and a heap of Panadol. It has also been very challenging to get her to eat anything than puree and spaghetti. Nothing orange or green gets past her so we’ve had to get pretty creative these days. It has been a huge learning curve for us. Every meal these days seems to start with the refusal to sit in her high chair (this resembles planking) Then watching her (like a hawk) to take the first bite to then try for the second and it’s a blatant refusal.  We are then cleaning up countless bowls of food thrown across the room, arguing over the options in the freezer, to then release her from her chair and the screams that can only be described as her being tortured, to then have her just want to eat something from a packet. It is not uncommon for the whole family to be in tears by the end of this… and that was just breakfast.

Now, the little devil is walking! It has been a process as many mums and dads will know; starting with the shuffle across the furniture, then the two hand hold, then the one hand. We went from big steps to little more controlled steps and then we had the downward dog moves that took her from sitting to standing on her own. All amazing feats, and then last night in the corner of my eye I see her get into her tripod position, stand and then take off! She was practically running and on a mission to nowhere. She was just so excited to be moving. It was hilarious and charming all at once. So with all these changes, I am feeling the need to be as simplistic as possible. This leads me to the below recipe for Cheesy Polenta Slice. It is extremely easy to make, it just needs at least 25 minutes of your attention.

Ingrediants

1 cup of polenta
1 litre of water
3/4 cup of parmesan cheese
3/4 cup of a cheddar, tasty or mozzarella cheese
3 good pinches of dried oregano
Cracked pepper
Butter

Method

Bring the water to boil and slowly while whisking add the polenta. Reduce the heat and Continue to whisk the polenta for 10-15min so you don’t get any lumps. Remove from the heat and allow it to sit for 5 minutes. While it may look cooked it’s important to cook the polenta for close to 25min otherwise it will be heavy and grainy.

Add the cheese, oregano and pepper stir to combine.

Line a small rectangle baking tray (The silicon trays work a treat), smooth out the polenta into the tray and allow to set in the fridge for 30 minutes.

When ready slice up into fingers or use a cookie cutter to make fun shapes out of the polenta. Melt a dollop of butter in a non-stick pan and fry up the slices until golden brown.

Serve up with pasta sauces, fresh tomato salsa, or with roast veggies. You can also add cooked veggies to this dish before setting in the fridge, consider; pumpkin, carrot or zucchini

You can also freeze the polenta. I find it easier to package the individual portions in foil and then defrost in the fridge or microwave before crisping them up in some butter.

Cheesy Polenta cut using a cupcake cookie cutter

Cheesy Polenta cut using a cupcake cookie cutter

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Green & Gold Pesto Pasta

I am going through a reminiscing phase at the moment. It has a lot to do with Rafaela turning one, growing up and going into day care. I was looking at photos of Rafaela on Australia day sleeping in her pram, all 9 days old and she is the tiniest little bubba choo. One year on she can enjoy the day much more. A splash in the pool and some BBQ, She might just have her first taste of Lamb! We get to have a little dress up in Green & Gold on Friday at day care too. I cannot wait to dress her up in costumes. My husband and I are pretty good at them if I do say so myself! But I think we will just stick to colour blocking on Friday, ease into it.

A great little dish, light lunch or side is this Green & Gold pesto pasta, inspired by Australia day. It’s really just pesto pasta with peas and corn, very tasty and I serve it with wholemeal spiral pasta. It makes it a great finger food for Raff to get all messy with. Yep I have had to let go of my cleaning anxiety and just let her go for it.  I actually feel really good when I see her eating all her food even if her hair is now green and I’m washing pesto out of her ears.

Homemade pesto is great to have on hand in the freezer; I enjoy pesto pasta more than pasta and sauce most of the time. It’s a great way to use up leftover herbs before they go off. Freeze them in portion sizes; it will make it easier to whip up quick meals. This is also great summer pasta for adults too, hot or cold. Add Rocket, red onion, bacon or prawns, dried chilli, salt and voilà!

Ingredients

Makes 4 Serves

1 tablespoon of LSA meal

1 clove garlic, finely minced

1 cup fresh basil leaves

1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup finely grated parmesan

Splash of lemon juice

freshly ground black pepper

1 cup cooked peas & corn (I use the frozen variety)

2 cups cooked wholegrain pasta or brown rice.

Method

1. Pulse the garlic, basil and olive oil in a blender or food processor until minced.
2. Add the lemon juice and pepper and pulse again.
3. Remove to a bowl and stir in the parmesan cheese.
4. Mix as much of the pesto as you like with the peas and pasta and freeze the rest.

Pesto Pasta and Rafaela enjoying spiral pasta

Pesto Pasta and Rafaela enjoying spiral pasta, getting messy!

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