{RECIPE} Really Easy Dhal

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Summer is over and the misty mornings and cool evenings are starting to arrive. One of the best ways to warm up is with comfort food. Dhal is one of my favourite dishes, but one I never had until 2 years ago. Boy was I missing out! 

I’ve tried many dhal recipes and have finally created my own one that I love! I will use no other!
Even Olivia loves my dhal. She eats it straight off the spoon from the saucepan (it’s okay, I’ve taught her to blow on food to cool it down). I would eat this every day if I could. In fact, I’m eating a bowl of it right now for lunch while I type this post. I swear, look:
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She can eat as much as she wants, because this dish has many health benefits. Lentils are great for vegans and vegetarians and contain more folate (an important B vitamin) than any other unfortified plant food. Spices are beneficial as well, with tumeric being well known for it’s cancer-fighting properties.
As a mum I don’t want to spend an hour in the kitchen getting dinner ready which is one reason why I love this recipe. It’s so simple and so easy. If you were really lazy, you could replace the fresh tomatoes with tinned (but come on, you know fresh is best!).

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REALLY EASY DHAL
(Serves 2)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 large tomato, chopped (about 200g)
  • 1 cup dried red lentils
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbs coconut milk
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
Combine everything but the coconut milk and lemon juice in a medium saucepan. Give it a stir and pop the lid on and bring it to the boil. 
Reduce the heat to low-medium and let it simmer away uncovered for 20 minutes (until lentils are thick and soft), giving it a stir every now and then. 
Add the coconut milk and lemon juice, stir it through and remove the pot from the heat. And that’s it, seriously.
Serve garnished with coriander on a bed of rice.
How easy was that?! If you like a bit of spice, feel free to add more curry powder or add some chilli powder. I’m a wussy and the above amounts are just perfect for me.
Do you like dhal? I want to know, can you handle the spice?!

{RECIPE} Grape & Prosciutto Crostini

We were at my parents house a couple of weeks ago and I was flicking through an Aldi catalog and came across a recipe on the back page. Being Italian, I loved it straight away… it had prosciutto! I wanted to make it ASAP! We don’t get catalogs where we live so my Mum kindly gave it to me to take home.
The Hubby was hesitant, mainly about the grapes. But while Olivia napped I made this for lunch. And it was really tasty! The grapes were a nice cold and sweet hit, it worked really well. The Hubby loved it and I’ll be making it again for sure. After a few people saw it on IG and FB they asked for the recipe, so here it is…
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Image is my own.


Grape & Prosciutto Crostini
Ingredients

1/2 cup small red and white grapes, halved
80g goats feta
6 thin slices of  Prosciutto
½ cup rocket leaves
1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
1 ½ tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ tbsp Honey
1 loaf of Pane Di Casa, sliced

Method

Brush bread slices with olive oil on both sides and toast in a frypan on medium heat. Gently press slices with a spatula. Flip and repeat once bread is crisp/golden and transfer to a platter.

Lightly whisk balsamic vinegar, olive oil, honey and salt and pepper to taste to make honey balsamic dressing. Set aside.

Slice each prosciutto piece into two long strips and place one strip on each grilled bread slice. Top with crumbled goats cheese, a few rocket leaves and sprinkle with the halved red and white grapes. Drizzle each slice with the dressing and serve immediately.

Again, I do not take credit for this recipe. You can find the original recipe here.

{RECIPE} Cheats Pizza

Normally I would make a pizza base from scratch (next on the list is a cauliflower base) or at least use an actual base from the freezer department designed for pizza making. But… I’m human too. Shock horror, I know. I’ve been tired and run down lately (as my last whingey entry told) so I whipped up a cheats pizza for dinner last night.
To me, making a pizza from home is pretty basic, especially when using a prepared base. But I’m hopeful someone will find this inspiring or helpful.
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Cheats Pizza
Wholegrain wraps (or spelt, white, whatever you like)
Sauce base (I used pesto. Other options are pizza/tomato sauce, BBQ, garlic sauce)
Veggies (for mine I used pumpkin, pineapple, capsicum, mushroom, red onion and pine nuts)
Quality melting cheese (I always use Bocconcini)
Preheat your oven to 180C and line a tray with baking paper.
Chop up your veggies to desired sizes and shapes. If you’re using something like pumpkin or sweet potato, pop them in the oven while you’re making the rest of your pizza.
Place your wraps on the tray and spread with whatever base you want (pesto, BBQ…).
Arrange veggies on your base. Shred or slice your cheese (try not to go overboard, most people do!) and arrange on the pizza.
Pop it all in the oven for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and base is crispy. Slice it up and enjoy!
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Other toppings I often use: baby artichokes, pine nuts, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh tomato, avo (after cooking), prosciutto (my favourite, but naughty!), fresh herbs, rocket (love this fresh as a topping after the oven).
The options are endless. Have fun experimenting with what flavours compliment each other. I’ve found minimal is key.

Very Tired

I’m tired. Very tired. Olivia has tooth #7 coming through and therefore is not sleeping very well. Which means not only am I tired but I’m also sore because she insists on breast feeding all night. So I have nothing interesting to post today. So here is a load of recent pictures of my adventures in the kitchen.

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1. Tropical style smoothies are my go-to lunch right now with the heat being in the 30’s and 40’s. This one is topped with coconut and bee pollen. Easy to whack it all in the blender and tastes amazing. If only I was on a tropical island to match.

2. Was going to make a lemon meringue. Decided to give a clean recipe from IG a whirl and made a lemon tart instead. Tastes exactly the same as the lemon meringue (minus the meringue obviously) but the consistency wasn’t very pleasing – it was like half dried glue or as the Hubby said, “snot”. Delightful.

3. Scored punnets of strawberries for 99c each over the weekend. They were end-of-life quality so after making a smoothie, feeding them to the kid and having them on my breakfast cereal, I made this Strawberry Jalousie (recipe on my Instagram).

4. As mentioned above, the strawbs needed to be used, so in this smoothie went a big handful of them along with some blueberries, baby spinach, banana, black sesame seeds, coyo, bee pollen, maca powder and almond milk. Breakfast is served.

5. Healthy and “clean” flourless chocolate muffins via Teresa Cutter. I used raw cacao instead of cocoa powder which made it taste pretty bitter. Next time I’ll have to add more sweetener (agave, maple syrup etc). The recipe is here.

{RECIPE} Capsicum & Nut Dip

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Today I’m sharing the recipe for a delicious dip I made yesterday. It’s healthy and suitable for vegans, kids… everyone! I’ve had many comments on Instagram asking what nutritional yeast is. It’s great for vegetarians and has plenty of vitamins in it such as B vitamins, folic acid, selenium, zinc, and protein. It’s low in fat and often gluten free. It has a cheesy flavour so is often a staple in a vegan’s home. Olivia has air-popped popcorn with a drizzle of good quality olive oil  and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast on it every day. It’s her favourite snack and I’m okay with that because it’s pretty healthy!

Why do I love this dip? It’s easy and quick to throw together. It took me less than 5 minutes to pop it in my Cuisinart, blitz it smooth and transfer to a glass jar. And I usually have all the ingredients in my kitchen at any notice.
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 You’re going to need:
  • 1 cup pine nuts 
  • 1 cup cashews 
  • 2 cloves garlic 
  • 1 red capsicum 
  • 1 lemon, juiced 
  • ½ cup ACV 
  • ½ cup nutritional yeast/savoury yeast
  •  Pinch salt 
  • Water for desired consistency (I use none)

Blend all ingredients in food processor or blender.
Store the dip in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

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I usually only make half the amount which is perfect for one person over a week or two. I also do a little less ACV than listed as I find it too overpowering. You can smear it on some bread, or use it as a dip for some crackers, or veggie sticks.
Tip: you could use salted cashews instead of a pinch of salt.
Not sure who to credit with the recipe as my Mum sent it to me in a Word Document a couple years ago. Hope you enjoy it, maybe it’ll be your go-to dip to take to your next BBQ!

New Salad Love

Recently, my mum and I went halves in purchasing The Green Kitchen, a vegetarian recipe book full of beautiful photos and nutritious and easy recipes. It’s written by David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl, who live in Stokholm and they have an adorable little girl called Elsa.

One of the first things I recreated from the book was the Broccoli Salad with Pomegranate and Raisins. I followed it word for word and it’s now one of my favourite salads. I’d never eaten pomegranate before (although I’d had the juice, but always mixed with something else) so wasn’t sure what to expect.

Some people struggle with eating broccoli  raw but it’s really crunchy and nice! It’s a really refreshing salad, and I can see us making it often, with the warmer summer months ahead.

So here I share the recipe with you. I recommend you purchase the book (or even have a squiz  in your local library) for more delicious recipes! And check out their blog here.

Raw Broccoli Salad with Pomegranate and Raisins
You’ll need:
  • 2 heads of fresh broccoli
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • arils from 1 pomegranate\
  • 1 1/4 cup raisins
  • generous 1/2 cup sunflower seeds, toasted
  • 1 cup plain yoghurt
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
Separate the broccoli florets from the stalk and cut them into smaller bit sized pieces. The book says to slice the remaining stalk and use that as well but the hubby said no way. Place it in a serving bowl with the onion, pomegranate raisins and sunflower seeds. Toss to combine. Add the yoghurt, salt and pepper to taste, and then using your hands, mix the yoghurt through everything, making sure to coat all the broccoli florets. 
Ta-da! Dig in.
It’s a seriously different but beautiful salad.
Give it a go and tell me if you like it!

Finally Friends With Egg

Photo from “A Nourishing Kitchen” e-book.
*This is NOT a sponsored post.
Many months ago I came across an account of Instagram called The Holistic Ingredient. The wonderful lady behind it, Amy Crawford, also has a website and Facebook page under the same name and has published an e-book called “A Nourishing Kitchen”. I purchased it the day I came across it and have used it weekly in my meal planning, for breakfast, lunch, dinner and even snacks. Most of it is dairy, sugar and gluten free or has the option to be. It’s all clean, nourishing and (most importantly) freaking delicious. 

Today I came home around lunch time and almost reached for the unhealthy box of Milo cereal hubby has on top of the fridge.

I was hungry, O hadn’t had a morning nap (read: devil child) and I had limited time to get something ready for lunch. Magically, I convinced myself to re-consider my options and I opened up the Nourishing Kitchen e-book and decided to give the Sweet Omelette a go.

Fact: I’ve always hated eggs. I know how good they are for you, but I could just never enjoy them, no matter how they were cooked. Anywho, I whipped 2 eggies up, following the recipe, and wouldn’t you know… I ACTUALLY ENJOYED IT. This is definitely one way I can get in my eggs every week.
You’ll need:
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbs pure maple syup
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • couple drops vanilla essence
I used my cake beaters to get all of the above ingredients nice and fluffy. If you’re strapped for time, just whisk away vigorously for a bit. It’ll still work. Pour the mixture into an omelette pan. I used a bit of coconut oil in mine. I then watched Jamie Oliver make an omelette on Youtube… because being an egg-hater and omelette virgin, I had no idea what I was doing.
Once it was cooked, I added some plain CoYo and my raw berry chia jam. It was amazing. Even my grumpy 1 year old enjoyed it (she is more into savory than sweet).
Try this recipe, especially if you hate eggs like me!

You can purchase the e-book here.