Homemade Hidden Veggie & Beef Sausage Rolls

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With three hungry growing boys in my house well four including the biggest boy, hubby. I must have my pantry stocked and fridge full most of the time. Healthy snacks I like to always have on hand so I know they are getting used to healthy eating habits as they grow up. At times it can be hard to think of new ideas I don’t buy a lot of packet or pre-made snacks unless I know exactly what’s in them and I stay clear away from supermarket sugar filled packaged food. While we eat a lot of fruit, veggie sticks, nuts and smoothies at times the kids want something hot and tasty to fill them up. These homemade sausage rolls are ideal for hungry bellies yet still nutritious and without the nasties.

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This is such a handy recipe to have sausage rolls make easy lunch ideas, afternoon tea snacks, party food and great for BBQ entertaining. The frozen pre-made ones from the supermarket well god knows what is actually in them the processed so-called meat they use may taste ok but we all know it’s not healthy for us with all the additives and preservatives that they contain.

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If you have ever thought of making them yourself this recipe is ideal. I actually made it even healthier by substituting the pastry with sheets of mountain bread wraps bought from the supermarket. They contain little calories and no artificial nonsense. They crisp up a treat and you or the kids will never notice the difference, well my kids didn’t.  I’ve used organic lean beef and added some hidden veggies for extra goodness. You can also make and par-cook then freeze them to have on hand when needed. They are just too good not to try them for yourself.

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Homemade Hidden Veggie & Beef Sausage Rolls

  • Servings: 15
  • Time: 40-50mins
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Ingredients

2 tsp olive oil

500g lean organic beef mince

1/2 leek thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic crushed

1 carrot, peeled and grated finely

1 zucchini, grated finely

2 tbs tomato paste

10 sheets mountain bread

1 egg whisked

3 tsp sesame seeds

Directions

  1. Preheat oven 160’C line a tray with baking paper
  2. In a large frypan heat oil and garlic and leek. cook for 2-3 mins until leek has softened
  3. Add carrot and zucchini cook for a further 3-4 mins
  4. Take off the heat mix together with the mince meat in a bowl. Add tomato paste and season with salt and pepper
  5. Lay 2 sheets of mountain bread on top of each other. Spoon 3 heaped tablespoons of mince meat mixture on one end of the sheet to make a log shape.
  6. Roll to enclose, cut into three pieces and place on baking tray
  7. Repeat with remaining sheets and filling
  8. With a sharp knife make little slits on the top of the sausage rolls, with a pastry brush the sausage rolls with whisked eggs and sprinkle with sesame seeds
  9. Cook in the oven for 25-30mins or until golden and crisp and filling is cooked through

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Italian Eggplant Parmigiana

Continuing to use up the endless amounts of basil leaves it was sauce making time and the last of the sister in-laws eggplants. I decided to make the family classic eggplant parmigiana.

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This is one of those traditional recipe that has been made in our family for generations like most Italian families and now I  will share with you. Though the traditional version is a little different in every family and well I have opted to bake my eggplants first instead of frying them for a healthier option.

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Cook in the oven 15-20mins
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Start Layering 
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Top with bocconcini

Italian Eggplant Parmigiana

Ingredients

1tbsp olive oil

2 cloves garlic crushed

2 cups  tomato passata

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup of red wine (optional)

1 bunch basil leaves

1/2 tsp salt

2 eggplants sliced thickly

2 tsp oregano

50g parmesan cheese

100g bocconcini cheese thinly sliced

salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 180’C
  2. To make tomato sauce; Heat olive oil in a small saucepan on the stove add garlic and cook till just browned and fragrant
  3. Add passata, water, salt, wine and basil to the pot
  4. Bring to the boil, turn down to low heat with lid on and simmer for at least 30 minutes
  5. Meanwhile place sliced eggplant on a lined baking tray sprinkle with oregano, salt and pepper and drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil
  6. Cook in the oven for 15-20 mins until just tender
  7. In a 18x 25cm baking dish spoon some tomato sauce on the base just to cover
  8. lay one layer of eggplants, spoon sauce generously over the eggplants, followed by some parmesan cheese and basil leaves
  9. Repeat layering using all remaining eggplant, top with sliced bocconcini
  10. Bake covered with foil for 30 mins then remove foil and cook for a further 15mins until bocconcini has melted and browned and eggplant is tender

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Italian Eggplant Parmigiana 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eggplant Pizzettes

 

Yes it’s actually a thing I googled it!  Really just meaning mini pizzas with eggplant as the base which can be eaten as a appetiser, snack or with antipasto.

With my influx of basil pesto in the house and the family eggplant delivery I received from my sister-in-law the other day I was eager to use them both. I was making a traditional eggplant parmigiana for dinner and had some eggplant left over so I decided to bake some extra thick cut slices with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of oregano in the oven for 15-20mins until was just cooked through without being mushy.

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Topped with some extra tomato passata I’d made, spooned some of the Homemade Basil Pesto  from the other day and topped with some shredded cheese. Popped back in the oven for a few minutes until the cheese was melted and we had a delicious pre dinner appetiser. It is a great idea for entertaining,  something a little different and suitable for vegetarians. I just called them mini eggplant pizzas but soon discovered there was an actual name for them. You learn something new everyday don’t you. hehe

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Turmeric Spiced Polenta Eggplant Chips

 

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One thing I have been mad about lately is the spice turmeric. There has been a lot of chat about this golden spice in recent times for its wonderful medicinal health benefits. Even though the Indian & Asian culture has been using it to flavour and colour their curries and traditional dishes for centuries the western culture has finally caught on to the many wonderful benefits it contains including anti-inflammatory properties, cancer prevention, improves brain function, prevention of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and heart disease, helps with arthritis pain, and also has proven benefits to help against depression.

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But how do we use it? 

Well apart from the usual use in curries and indian/asian dishes I like to use it to flavour all sorts of vegetables such as baked cauliflower, pumpkin, sweet potatoes anything really it gives it a subtle spiced flavour without being too over powering. I also add a couple tablespoons to my polenta coating to make these eggplant chips and wow did  it come out delicious. You can either buy the powder  or use fresh turmeric peel it and grate a 5cm piece, warning though can no will stain your hands, chopping boards and well anything it comes in contact with so if this bothers you use kitchen gloves and be careful in the preparation.

I served them with a Turmeric Garlic Aioli and well I have to say I am now turmeric obsessed! So hopefully in the future I’ll be an elderly woman still happy, fit and active with all my heart, joints and marbles in check. This definitely fits the saying “A teaspoon a day will keep the doctor away!”

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Turmeric Spiced Polenta Eggplant Chips with Turmeric Garlic Aioli

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Time: 35-40mins
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Ingredients

1 large eggplant cut into thick chips

1 1/2 cups polenta (cornmeal)

1 tsp sweet paprika

1/2 tsp cumin

2 tsp turmeric powder or 5 cm piece fresh peeled and grated turmeric

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

2 eggs whisked

2 tbs extra virgin olive oil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 200’C
  2. Place Polenta and spices and seasonings in a medium bowl. Place whisked eggs in a separate bowl
  3. Coat the eggplant chips first in the egg then into the polenta mix making sure to generously coat them evenly
  4. Place eggplants on a lined baking tray drizzle with olive oil
  5. Bake in oven for 15mins then turn over and cook for further 10-15mins until golden and soft in the centre.
  6. Serve with Turmeric Garlic Aioli

Notes: Can be served as a starter or as a side with your favourite protein meat or fish.

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Pan Seared Sumac Salmon With Freekeh & Broccoli Tabbouleh

After having been dealing with a family tragedy recently I have had some down time, soul-searching so to speak. After such deep loss and sadness we tend to question our purpose and way of life. It is important to find the positives even when faced with such difficult times. There is always something to be grateful for even if it is just the air that we breathe and the roof over our heads.

Someone very dear to me said remember to stop and enjoy life because it can all be taken away from you in an instance. We can all get caught up in working and providing for ourselves and our families and wanting to buy the latest and the best, it human nature. But it is when you are faced with such tragedies do we stop and think why? and for what? At the end of it all we only leave behind the memories so make them count and plentiful.

I know this has nothing to do with Salmon.. well yes it does actually indirectly because looking after ourselves and nourishing our bodies with healthy nutritious food can help in the prevention of illness and diseases more than you realise. Provide your body with good food  and can only hope that we are never faced with the pain and suffering of the sick.

Live Well. Eat Well. Love Well

Caz  ♥

Pan Seared Sumac Salmon with Freekeh & Broccoli Tabbouleh

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 20mins
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Ingredients

4  fresh salmon fillets skin off

1/2 cup uncooked freekeh rinsed

1 broccoli head cut into florets

1/2 bunch fresh asparagus finely chopped

1/2 small red capsicum diced

3 green onions finely sliced

400g tin chickpeas drained

200g grape tomatoes sliced

1 cup fresh flat leaf parsley finely chopped

1 sliced chilli optional

1/2 cup pistachio nuts roughly chopped

Lemon Sumac Dressing:

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

1 garlic clove crushed

2 tsp sumac

1 tsp salt

cracked pepper

Directions

  1. Place all the dressing ingredients in a jar and shake. Set aside
  2. Place salmon in a dish and Add 4 tablespoons of the sumac lemon dressing to the salmon. Place in the fridge to marinade till needed.
  3. Bring 2 cups of water to the boil in a small saucepan
  4. Once boiling add freekeh and cook with lid on for 25 mins. Drain and cool
  5. Place broccoli, asparagus, capsicum, onion, tomatoes, chickpeas, parsley, chilli and pistachios in a large bowl with the freekeh. Mix to combine
  6. Add the rest of the dressing and mix well
  7. Heat a medium pan or grill pan to high heat. Place salmon fillets in pan and cooked for 3-4 mins and each side.
  8. Serve with Freekeh & Broccoli Tabbouleh and extra lemon if desired.

Notes- you can easily substitute salmon or white fish

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