Spiced Pumpkin, Turmeric and Coconut Soup

Time to spice things up, A twist on an old classic soup. If you like Thai flavours of ginger, coconut cream and coriander well this is a simple yet tasty dish to help change-up the everyday pumpkin soup recipe.

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Spiced Pumpkin, Turmeric and Coconut Soup

Ingredients

20g butter

1kg butternut pumpkin, peeled, seed removed and diced

1 potato, peeled and diced

1 leek white part sliced

1 tbsp ground turmeric

2 tsp ground ginger

2 tsp ground coriander

2 tsp cumin

2 tsp cinnamon

1 L  vegetable stock

1/2 cup coconut cream

salt and pepper

Fresh coriander to garnish

Directions

  1. In a large stock pot melt butter on medium/high heat, add leek and saute for 2-3 mins until softened.
  2. Add potato and pumpkin and spices, toss through vegetables
  3. Add stock and bring to the boil
  4. Turn heat to low and simmer for 20-30mins until pumpkin is soft
  5. Blitz soup with a stick blender or in a food processor to make a smooth puree
  6. Place back in the pot and add coconut cream and season with salt and pepper
  7. Reheat the soup then serve with some fresh coriander

 

 

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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 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cauliflower Crust Pizza with Colourful Veggies

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I had this beautiful whole cauliflower staring at me for a good 10mins hmm what to make with you?? I only had a short time to prepare something before I did the school run so I had to think fast. I had some ideas come to mind vegetable curry, cauliflower rice, even what’s been trending at the moment baked whole cauliflower.

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Prep veggies

With only minutes to decide I went for a quick cauli crust pizza base. As it was something I could quickly whip up prepare veggies and bake when I got home from the afternoon rush.

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Blitz Cauliflower in a food processor till smooth and resembles rice like consistency
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In a microwave safe bowl, cover with plastic film & cook for 8 mins. Strain excess liquid through a colander

 

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Mix cauliflower with egg, cheese and S&P. Spread on a lined baking tray. Bake crust on 220’C for 15-20mins until crisp and golden
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Top with tomato paste & pesto
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Top with you favourite veggies, cook for 15-20mins

It is super fast only takes 15 mins in the oven once topped so perfect for those days when time gets the better of you. My kids turn their nose up at cauliflower so this was an adults meal for us instead I had some bakery prepared pizza bases from our local bakery and they enjoyed topping theirs for themselves.

So pizza night was still enjoyed by all!

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Cauliflower Crust Pizza with Colourful Veggies

  • Time: 35mins prep 15mins cooking
  • Print

Ingredients

1 large whole cauliflower, cut into florets

1 egg

1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

2 tbsp tomato paste

2 tbsp basil pesto 

1 purple onion, cut into wedges

1/2 yellow capsicum, cut in chunky strips

1/2 zucchini thinly sliced

6 brussel sprouts, leaves separated

1/2 red chilli, sliced

1 tbsp olive oil

50g fetta cheese, crumbled

Fresh basil leaves to top

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 220’C
  2. Place cauliflower in a food processor and blitz until resembles fine crumbs
  3. Place cauliflower crumb in a microwave safe bowl, cover with cling wrap and cook on high for 8 mins
  4. Strain in a colander pressing down removing any excess liquid
  5. Place in a bowl with eggs, cheese and season with salt and pepper. Mix to combine
  6. Spread the cauliflower mixture onto a lined baking tray in the shape of oval or you can use a round pizza tray. Cook in oven for 20mins or until crisp and golden
  7. Meanwhile place onion, capsicum, zucchini, brussel sprouts, chilli and oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss gently to coat veggies
  8. Once crust is ready spread tomato paste and dollops of pesto. Arrange veggies and top with fetta cheese
  9. Bake in the oven for 10-15mins or until veggies are just cooked
  10. Top with some fresh basil leaves

Note: Best eaten straight away

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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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Stuffed Baked Sweet Potatoes with Spicy Black Beans

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Ever wondered what the difference is between sweet potatoes and white potatoes? Which you should be eating?

Firstly the carbohydrate content let’s get this straight, sweet potatoes are lower than that of white potatoes but still high in carbohydrates the difference is that sweet potatoes are lower on the GI (glycemic index) which is a slower releasing energy making sweet potatoes are better choice for calorie content as it has more time to burn rather than turn to fat if unused. Unless you are extremely active and burn a lot of calories daily keep an eye on portion size.

In saying that white potatoes and sweet potatoes offer some different nutritional benefits both in which are good for us depending on what your body needs more of.  White potatoes are higher in protein and iron where as sweet potatoes have become a superfood lately purely for it’s high fibre and it’s extremely high Vitamin A content which is essential in maintaining an all round healthy body from our eyes, bones, reproduction, immune system and skin.

So which is better for us?

The answer is both are good for us in different ways. The difference is the way we cook/ prepare them and what we add to them after. Deep frying vs baking or boiling. Adding butter, sour cream, fatty bacon vs legumes, chilli, avocado and yoghurt. Keeping this in mind sweet potatoes do often satisfy sugar cravings, especially if they’re baked and caramelized as they contain a higher natural sugar content.

Both fills us up, give us energy, and leave us satisfied for a long time. Making it a perfect winter comfort food.

Hope this has shed a little light on the subject and gives you a better understanding of the ever popular spuds.

Stuffed Baked Sweet Potatoes with Spicy Black Beans

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 1hour +10 mins
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Ingredients

2 large or 4 small/medium size sweet potato

1 tbsp olive oil

1 small onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 red capsicum, sliced

1 carrot, peeled and finely diced

1 tbsp cumin

2 tsp sweet paprika

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (don’t like spicy leave this out)

400g tin crushed tomatoes

1 1/2 cups water

410g tin black beans, drained and rinsed

400g tin lentils, drained and rinsed

salt and pepper

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

1/2 avocado diced

2 tbsp pinenuts, toasted

2 green onions finely chopped

1/2 cup baby spinach

1/2 cup natural yoghurt (unsweetened)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 200’C
  2. line a baking tray with baking paper, prick sweet potatoes with fork all over set a side
  3. Heat a large frypan with oil on high heat, add onion and garlic cook to 2-3 mins until softened. Add capsicum, carrot, cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper cook for 5-6mins.
  4. Add tin tomatoes, water, black beans and lentils to the pan and stir to combine.
  5. Bring to the boil then reduce heat to low and simmer for 45mins or until the sauce has reduced and thickened. Try not to let it dry out if needed add a little more water.
  6. Place  sweet potatoes in the oven and cook for 45-50 mins or until flesh is soft and tender
  7. Once the sweet potatoes are cooked cut a slit in them lengthways, add some of the bean mixture then the cheddar cheese and place back in the oven until melted (optional)
  8. Top potatoes with chopped avocado, green onions, pinenuts, baby spinach, and yoghurt and top with some extra paprika

Note: cooking time will vary depending on the size of the potatoes. Larger ones will take 60-70mins.

Vegan: For vegan version leave out the cheese and yoghurt or use substitutes

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