20 Minute Creamy Chicken and Zucchini

Well, it is safe to say that we have started the year with a bang! Lots of gardening, some serious decluttering, getting organised for school (my son starts school this year – eek!), breeding chickens and further immersing ourselves in becoming more self sufficient. This year I have left my much loved job to focus on settling my son into primary school life and hopefully further my vision for a sustainable and self sufficient life as well as do some voluntary work within the community. The one thing I will miss most about my job is the interaction between other country women. The networking that is constantly happening and the respite we all unknowingly provide each other is so powerful and very important. It’s a good thing I’m not the only one who thinks networking is vital because Michelle from The Lost Acre Farm was feeling the same way. Together we decided to create the Facebook network, The Lady’s Paddock Life,  to connect with other ladies who farm, in some form or another. Since it began it has been so inspiring to see the stories of the strong women who are living on the land. It has inspired me so much, that it’s given me a push to get back into the kitchen and begin creating recipes again.

This recipe took only a mere 20 minutes to cook and was made up of local  and home grown produce. The taste was out of the world and my husband declared it a winner. My two year old told me it was yucky… yet he still polished the bowl! That’s toddlers for you!

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20 Minute Creamy Chicken and Zucchini

500g Chicken Breasts, cut into pieces around 1cm in size

1 large zucchini (approx. 350g) diced

2 Spring onions, sliced

2 TBS of Butter/ Ghee

2 tsp crushed garlic

1 TBS stock paste + 200mL of water (or 200mL of ready made stock)

200g Pure cream

5 sage leaves, chopped

3 sprigs of parsley, chopped

2 tsp cornflour (or arrowroot flour) mixed with 2 TBS water

 

  1. Place a frypan over medium-high heat. Add butter and garlic and cook until garlic starts to brown. Add chicken and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add Zucchini and spring onions and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Reduce heat to low-medium and add herbs, stock, and cream and simmer.
  4. Add cornflour mixture and simmer and stir until liquid has thickened.

This makes 4 serves and is best served with brown rice or mashed potato. Garnish with parsley if desired.

Remember, you can keep up with what’s happening on the farm on Facebook and Instagram (@themodernfarmerswife) !

 

Until next time,

Belinda x

The Lunchbox Diaries – Choc Beetroot Muffins

After a pretty awful fortnight I finally dragged myself out in the garden to inspect the damage that may have resulted from the sheer neglect it has been receiving lately. When I saw full heads of cabbage, multiple heads of broccoli, bunches upon bunches of beetroot and hundreds of snow peas staring back at me, to say I was surprised would be quite an understatement. While I was thrilled to see everything had survived AND thrived without much input from me, I was also aware that now I had to pick all of it before it went to seed or a hungry little creature (HARES) spotted the tasty treats first.

The thing with gardening is, sometimes you have nothing but herbs to pick, and other times you have so much food you really don’t know what to do with it all. The latter is now very much applicable. I don’t mind though because I love being creative in the kitchen. So far, I’ve made a meat and garden veg pie, which was a big hit with my boys, beetroot bread rolls (recipe on my Instagram account @themodernfarmerswife ) and now these yummy choc-beetroot muffins. I won’t lie, this recipe is quite an open ended one and I change the way I make it nearly every time. Sometimes I use spelt flour and rapadura sugar, other times I simply use wheat flour and raw sugar. Sometimes I use rice milk and other times I use dairy milk. You can really choose your own adventure here, just stick to the quantities and you can’t really go wrong!

IMG_9533 (1)

Choc Beetroot Muffins

Ingredients:

1 Medium beetroot, grated (or quartered, place in Thermomix and grate 3 seconds/ speed 7 – no need to wash the bowl before proceeding with the recipe)

120g butter, softened

100g sugar (rapadura, raw or coconut all work well)

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla essence

100g milk (rice, almond, coconut or dairy)

130 g flour (either use self raising flour or white spelt + 1 tsp baking powder)

1 tsp baking powder

30g cacao powder

12 Chocolate melts/ pieces of chocolate (I used 70% Cocoa Lindt)

Thermomix:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180C and line a 12 hole muffin tray
  2. If butter is straight from the fridge you can soften for 1 min/ 60 degrees/ speed 4
  3. Add all ingredients, except chocolate, to TMX bowl and mix 20 seconds/ speed 5
  4. Divide between muffin cases and place a piece of chocolate on top of each muffin
  5. Bake for 18-20 minutes

Traditional:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180C and line a 12 hole muffin tray
  2. Using an electric mixer beat butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Add eggs and beat until well combined.
  3. Add remaining ingredients, except chocolate, and combine using a spatula.
  4. Divide between muffin cases and place a piece of chocolate on top of each muffin
  5. Bake for 18-20 minutes

These are always a hit with my boys who gobble them up without a second thought!

The Lunchbox Diaries – Oat and Sultana Bars

Usually Winter signifies a time to bake in my household. It’s cold and cosy and the warm oven and delicious smells permeating the house really scream out comfort. However, the weather lately has been quite odd for Winter… the days have been amazing. The warm sunny days have seen us spending more and more time outside and less time in the kitchen. My boys have been enjoying digging in the dirt and finding an afternoon snack in the garden. Today, however, I did feel like something homemade and wanted to be prepared for next week’s lunchboxes so I decided to do some much overdue baking (these freeze well so are a good option for lunches). The bars can just as easily be cut into smaller portions and served as a slice instead. I use the bigger bars because my kids have a huge appetite these days!

I’ve also been looking for ways to use up the eggs we have! At the moment we are getting five eggs everyday but with another 11 laying hens joining us in three weeks, I’d better at least use up the eggs we’ve already accumulated! This slice is a great ‘throw together’ type recipe that you can make when you’re running low on supplies as many of the ingredients may already be in your pantry and, as is the case with most of my recipes, they are super easy and quick to make.

 

Oat and Sultana Slice

Ingredients

125g butter, melted

100g rapadura sugar

1 large egg

1 tsp vanilla

200g white spelt flour

120g rolled oats

80g sultanas

Thermomix

1. Pre-heat oven to 180C and line a slice tray (approx. 23 x 23 cm) with baking paper

2. If butter is unmelted, cut into small cubes and add to the TMX bowl. Melt for 1 min 30 sec/ 60 degrees/ speed 3

3. Add sugar and mix 10 seconds/ speed 5

4. Add egg and vanilla and mix 10 seconds/ speed 5

5. Add remaining ingredients and mix for 20 seconds/ reverse/ speed 4

6. Transfer mixture to lined slice tray and bake for 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool before slicing.

Traditional

1. Pre-heat oven to 180C and line a slice tray (approx. 23 x 23cm) with baking paper

2. Combine melted butter, sugar, egg and vanilla in bowl with a whisk

3. Add all other ingredients and stir to combine using a spatula

4. Transfer mixture to lined slice tray and bake for 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool before slicing.

 

Until next time,

Belinda x

Veggie Loaded Cottage Pie

Cottage pie is one of those family recipes that kids usually love. I love cottage pie because I can load up the veggie content for dinner and the kids inhale them without evening questioning it. Extra veggies for dinner is always a winner in my books! After spending a lot of time away from home this past fortnight I was really craving a hearty, homemade, nourishing dinner and this just fit the bill.

This recipe was born out of my desire to have minimal dishes to deal with for the after dinner clean up. By using the pan the mince mixture is cooked in to bake the finished pie I’m saving dishes and time because I can cook the mince while the sweet potato cooks away in the Thermomix, meaning I can have this in the oven in 20 minutes and have it on the table for dinner after 10 minutes in the oven – great seeing as my children are like clockwork and need dinner at 5.30pm or they get a little hangry! I have used a cast iron pan to cook the mince, you can do the mince in the Thermomix if you so desire, I just prefer the texture of mince cooked in the pan.

Cottage Pie

Veggie Loaded Cottage Pie

Ingredients – Mince

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 brown onion, finely sliced

2 TBS Ghee

500g beef mince

1 carrot, grated

1 zucchini, grated

100g button mushrooms, sliced

1/2 cup tomato passata

2 TBS tomato paste

1 TBS stock concentrate

1 tsp dijon mustard

2 TBS worcestershire sauce

Ingreidents – Topping

900g sweet potato, roughly chopped (you can do half potatoes, half sweet potatoes too)

200ml water

1/2 cup grated cheese

Method – Topping

Thermomix – Add sweet potato/ potato and water to bowl and cook for 18 minutes/ 100 degrees/ speed 1. Once cooked, insert butterfly and mash for 30 seconds/ speed 4.

OR

Stovetop – add sweet potato and water to saucepan and boil until sweet potato is soft. Use a hand held masher to mash until desried consistency is reached.

Method – Mince

* If you have a Thermomix you can cut down on prep time by – chopping onion and garlic (3 sec/ sp5), grating zucchini and carrot (roughly chop then add to TMX bowl for 3 sec/ sp5) and grating cheese by cubing into approximately 1 cm pieces then adding to TMX bowl (10 sec/ sp 9).

1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees

2. In a pan (it needs to be able to be transferred to the oven – I use a cast iron casserole dish) heat ghee and add onion and garlic. Fry until translucent.

3. Add beef and cook until browned (using a wooden spoon to break up any bigger pieces)

4. Add carrot, zucchini and mushrooms to pan and cook while stirring for 5 minutes of until the vegetables appear to have softened.

5. Add remaining mince ingredients and simmer for 5 minutes. Once the mince mixture has thickened up remove from heat.

6. Using a wooden spoon, press the mince mixture into the pan to flatten out the top. Spead the potato mixture over the top then add the grated cheese.

7. Bake in the oven for approximately 10 minutes or until cheese has melted and browned slightly.

 

Then watch the children devour all those veggies!

 

Until next time,

Belinda xx

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Save time and money with DIY ‘Quick Oats’

It is already July and that means we are well and truly into Winter now. The fire is going almost constantly these days as even the temperature during the days has been quite low. July also means the beginning of ‘Plastic Free July’, a challenge set up to encourage us all to quit single use plastic items for the month of July. It’s not too late to sign up and the webpage http://www.plasticfreejuly.org/ has some really great tips to get you on your way. I also did a post last year (my very first post) on reducing household waste which involves reducing our dependance on single use items. You can find it here: 9 Ways To Reduce Everyday Household Waste

What has this got to do with time and money saving breakfast I hear you ask. Well mostly microwaveable, flavoured breakfast oats come in small sachets that we tear open and discard, making them a single use item. Not only that but I often feel uncomfortable with buying things like that because I feel we, as consumers, are grossly overcharged for what we are told is convenience. ‘Quick’ oats are literally just regular oats that have been cut down smaller so they cook faster. We are taught to believe that we are far too busy to do *all* that work and these companies will save us the hassle and do it for us. At what cost? The mounting landfill that is destroying our natural environment or the whole in our hip pockets? Maybe it is time we took back the control of our own kitchens and did things for ourselves. It is strangely empowering and will help you keep a few extra dollars in your wallet each week.

Enter my quick oats recipe. These took around 5 minutes to create and we have breakfast sorted for weeks. It was also a LOT cheaper and I can change the recipe depending on what we have on hand and I can even sneak in some garden produce by drying fruit in my dehydrator and adding it.  They only contain four ingredients, all of which can be bought in bulk and stored, so you can have them on hand all the time. All you need to add is the milk of your choice and you can either microwave, cook on the stove top or cook in the Thermomix. You can add just about anything to top it off too; fresh fruit, yoghurt and a sweetner like honey or maple syrup if you so desire (though I find the dates do add a good amount sweetness).

Quick Oats

DIY Quick Oats

6 dried dates

4-5 cups of rolled oats

2 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)

1 cup of dried fruit (I used currants)

To make the dry mix:

Throw the dates into a food processor or Thermomix (speed 8/ 10 seconds) and process until they are cut down very finely. Then add the oats and cinnamon and process until the oats are chopped very small but not a fine powder (Thermomix – Turbo x 4) it doesn’t matter if there are still some bigger pieces left as these will add some texture when you cook the oats later. Then transfer to a glas jar or container along with dried fruit. Seal and shake the jar to combine oats and fruit. Store in the pantry until needed.

To cook the oats:

Combine half a cup of ‘Quick Oats’ with 1/4 cup of milk of choice and cook in the microwave for 90 seconds OR on the stovetop in a saucepan (heat and stir until mixture has thickened) OR in the Thermomix for 2 minutes/ 90 degrees/ Reverse/ Speed 2 (double time for a double batch).

If the mixture is too thick just add a little more milk after the cooking time and mix well.

And it is as easy as that!

Until next time,

Belinda xx

 

 

30 Minute Lemon Tart – Gluten and Dairy Free

I have been dying the get in the kitchen to cook but I’ve had two very sick children to look after and tend to this past week and a half. The one thing I hate most about Winter is all the germs that seem to be floating about and how easily kids get sick. I was overjoyed this morning when my eldest son wanted to visit his Grandparents for a few hours and my little man, who has been horrendously sick, is down for a nap. That meant I could finally hop into the kitchen and have a moment of respite (I love them to bits but man, I need a break too!). I realised I didn’t have much time though and thought that I should use my time wisely so that I could recipe test, blog and get dinner under way before the children were back and ready for lunch. So, the slow cooker was loaded up with two small chooks 1/2 a lemon in each cavity, drizzle with macadamia oil and sprinkle of sea salt) and veggies were cut up, placed on baking trays, covered with tea towels and put the in fridge until I am ready to bake them and my roast dinner will be a tummy pleaser with very little effort later on.

If you follow me on Instagram (@themodernfarmerswife) and/ or Facebook you may have noticed our abundance of lemons on the trees in the photo of my cheeky chickens. Usually I juice the lemons off one tree for cleaning and then I generally just add lemon to everything until the season is over for another year. I’ve been contemplating making a lemon tart for a while now after drooling over one I saw on TV a few weeks ago. In the interest of being creative I thought I might as well make it gluten and dairy free, just for something different. This tart could be made using butter too if you’re not worried about dairy. You could serve it with either whipped cream or a nice dollop of thick CoYo Coconut yoghurt – yummo!

The tart is also brilliantly fast to make which would make it ideal for those times you need to ‘bring a plate’ to a BBQ and you’re really strapped for time.

 

Lemon Tart 2

30 Minute Lemon Tart – Gluten, Dairy and Grain Free (Thermomix)

Crust:

200g Raw Cashews

6-8 Dried Dates

Pinch of sea salt

2 TBS Coconut Oil, melted (or butter) plus an extra teaspoon to grease to pie dish

1 Large egg

Method:

1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees (fan forced)

2. Grease a pie dish with coconut oil and set aside

3. Combine all ingredients in the Thermomix for 6 seconds/ speed 6 until a sticky dough is formed

4. Empty dough into the pie dish and use your hands to press it into shape

5. Bake for approximately 10 minutes or until the crust is firm to touch and is browning around the edges. Once cooked, remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Lemon curd filling:

Juice and zest of 2 lemons (or for a more subtle flavour, use the zest of only one lemon)

60g Coconut Oil (or butter)

80g Honey

3 Large Eggs

1/2 tsp Agar flakes

Method:

1. Add the butterfly whisk attachment to TMX bowl

2. Add all ingredients and cook for 8 minutes/ 80 degrees/ speed 3

3. Empty the curd into the cool pie shell, using a spatula to smooth the curd. Place in the fridge until it has set. Serve with coconut yoghurt and strawberries for a decadent dessert.

Lemon tart 1

 

 

The Lunchbox Diaries – Big Batch Biccies

We are nearing the end of term two of the school year here in Queensland and I am losing my lunchbox mojo! I am fairly certain my kids are sick of eating apples and carrots for morning tea (not that there is anything wrong with these, some variety would be nice though!) At the moment I have four lunchboxes to pack each week. To me, a perfect lunchbox isn’t something that has taken hours to prepare and looks too beautiful to eat. To me, the perfect lunchbox is full of a variety of fresh fruit and veggies, home made snacks, satisfying to unrelenting child hunger AND doesn’t take an eternity to create.

I am at the beginning of my lunchbox packing journey with my children so it is important to me that I lay the groundwork for healthy choices by modelling this through the type of food I pack for them to eat – avoiding preservatives is very important to me. It’s also important to me that I create a system early on that doesn’t rob me of the precious moments I have with them over the weekend. They are only little once and I don’t want to miss out on that!

To kick off inspired lunchbox packing, here is a list I wrote last year that will give you loads of ideas. If you missed it, you can find that post here: 20 Kids Lunchbox Ideas. I have a notebook in my kitchen that I write down all my exeriments, classic favourites and ideas for food that I find interesting or exciting. This next recipe is an oldie but a goodie and the original can be found on many popular websites as well as the good old CWA cookbooks. Originally the big batch biscuits used only four ingredients (condensed milk, flour, butter and sugar). I decided to make my own version of condensed milk to help reduce the amount of sugar in the biscuits. I also wanted to give my Thermomix a workout for this one too but quickly found it could only do half the job as the quantities are very large and will overload the machine.

So, here are my version of the Big Batch Biccies!

Big Batch Biccies

Big Batch Biccies (Makes from 60-70 biscuits)

Cheat’s Condensed Milk

50g Butter, softened (if butter is cold from the fridge, add to TMX for 1 min/60 degrees/ speed 2)

120g Honey

130g Powdered Milk of choice

50g Near boiling water

1. Add all ingredients to the TMX bowl and mix on speed 5 for 15 seconds, scrape the sides and repeat as needed. You can also use a blender to combine the ingredients.

2. Pour condensed milk into a very large mixing bowl and set aside

Biscuits

500g Butter, softened (to soften in TMX add butter to bowl for 2 mins/ 60 degrees/ speed 3)

5 Cups white spelt flour

2 heaped tsp baking powder

1/4 – 1/2 cup rapadura sugar, depending on how sweet you like them

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees and line 2-3 biscuit trays

2. Cream the butter and the sugar either with a stand mixer or in the Thermomix (speed 5/ 20 seconds) and transfer to the bowl with the condensed milk

3. Add the flour and the sugar to the butter/ condensed milk mixture and bring together with a wooden spoon. When the mixture becomes difficult to mix, use your hands to bring the dough together into a large ball.

4. At this point you can flavour the dough with whatever you like. (I split my mixture into four part. I then just knead in the chosed flavouring. This time I did vanilla essence, oat and desicated coconut, cacao and fruit and chia jam drops.) Once dough has been flavoured, pinch off pieces around the size of a 50cent piece, roll into a ball, place onto baking paper and squash down with your finger or a fork.

5. Place all biscuits into the oven for around 15-20 minutes. Allow to cook slightly before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

*You can bake all of the biscuits at once, which will take a few batches, or you can roll them into logs, wrap tightly in baking paper and place into an airtight container. It will last in the freezer for around two months. When you’re ready to cook them, simply leave them to defrost, slice, shape and bake at 180 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

 

 

 

Cheesy Veggie and Lentil Pie

Long before I had my children and before I met my husband I was a vegetarian. There was a long list of reasons why I chose to be vegetarian at the time, including the fact I was a broke uni student and meat was pretty expensive! My mum and I decided to eat a vegetarian diet when I was in high school and although I got a lot of funny nicknames and was constantly asked, ‘buy why?’ I stuck it out until I finished uni. I eat meat now and I stand by my choice to do so.

Although I was lucky to learn from my Mum how to cook delicious meat free dishes and how to include plenty of protein in my diet. I think when you cut out entire food groups you run the risk of depriving your body of the things it needs, even if you have the best of intentions. For me, I was only young and didn’t know enough about nutrition to sustain a healthy vegetarian diet and in my youth I would eat hot chips as a meal because it didn’t contain meat. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that this was not healthy and would eventually lead to deficiencies. And it did. I became low in iron and very weak. At the time I was running long distances and by the end of a run I felt dizzy and so tired I could go to sleep. Something had to give. I ended up, reluctantly, eating meat again to regain some energy. I then went on to marry a beef farmer and moved to the country which meant, if you didn’t eat meat you’d be very hungry.

My vegetarian experience certainly wasn’t all negative though! In fact, some of the most delicious meals I have ever eaten where vegetarian and we have meatless meals through the week more than we have meaty meals. This next recipe was something I learnt to cook as a teenager and would cook for our family. The pasty doesn’t contain butter so if you omit the cheese (and possibly replace with a small amount of nut parmesan) this dish could also be vegan. This is a great way to load up the veggie content in your weekly meal plan. It freezes well too, so is great to make ahead of time and eat as an easy mid-week meal. I have included Thermomix instructions for the pastry but I prefer to make the filling on the stove top and haven’t experimented with times etc. in the TMX. I feel the Thermomix may make the mixture too smooth and the best bit about this pie is the chunky veggies.

 

Cheesy Veggie Lentil Pie

Olive Oil Pastry

400g Wholemeal Spelt flour

130g Olive Oil

100g Ice Cold water

1/2 tsp sea/himalayan salt

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees (fan forced)

2. Combine all ingredients in a food processor or Thermomix  (6 seconds/ speed 6 then ‘knead’ for 1 minute)

3. Turn out onto a floured surface and work into a ball. Separate 2/3 of the pastry and roll out to fit a pie dish, allowing for a little overhang. Wrap the other 1/3 of pastry and set aside.

4. Place some baking paper and rice/ baking beads on top of the pastry and blind bake for 15 minutes. Remove baking paper and rice or beads and set aside while you make the filling.

Veggie and Lentil Filling

1/4 large jap pumpkin. peeled and roughly chopped

2 medium potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped

1 medium carrot, roughly chopped

1 medium sweet potato, peeled and roughly chopped

2 Cloves of garlic, minced or finely chopped

1 brown onion. diced

1-2 TBS Butter or ghee

600 mL stock or broth (1 TBS TMX Stock concentrate to 600mL water)

1 tin of brown lentils

1 cup of grated cheese

1 cup of frozen peas

2 sprigs of thyme (leaves only)

Juice of half a lemon

1. Add butter, garlic and onions to a heavy based or cast iron pot and saute until translucent.

2. Add all the vegetables, except the peas, and stir to coat them in the garlic, onion and butter.

3. Add stock and allow to come to the boil. Simmer, occasionally stirring, until vegetables have soaked up the majority of the liquid and are soft enough to mash with the back of a wooden spoon. The consistency should be that of a thin mashed potato.

4. Add the tin of lentils, peas and half the cheese and allow to heat through for about five minutes.

5. Tip the mixture into the blind baked pie casing and top with remaining cheese.

6. Roll of the remaining 1/3 of the pastry and place it on top the pie. Using a fork to press around the edges. Use a sharp knife to make a few holes on the top of the pie. Brush the pie with either an egg wash or some milk or water.

7. Bake for 20 minutes or until the crust is golden and crunchy.

 

 

 

No Waste Cashew-Coconut Milk

So, this week for ‘From Scratch Friday’ I’ve decided to make something that doesn’t take all day to create and is something that can even be made on a week night! I like dairy products and we use them regularly in our kitchen. I also like variety and to give us all a break from dairy milk I sometimes like to throw together a nut milk. I often find nut milks can create and add a delicious flavour to hot chocolates, custards and are a great alternative to dairy milk in baking (obviously not for school baking). My absolute favourite thing about DIY nut milk though? We live a fair drive from town so to discover the milk in the fridge is ‘off’ usually makes me want to have an adult tantrum because no milk means no coffee for me. Luckily, the ever present bag of bulk cashews, coconut and dates in my deep freeze means that I can create some form of milk, drink my coffee and continue on functioning for the day (I probably need to assess my caffeine addiction – ha ha!)

One thing that does irritate me about DIY milks of any form is wasting that lovely pulp that is left at the end. Although, my chickens love to gobble it up without a second though, I decided it may be nicer used to make a snack. And who doesn’t love little bliss ball type snack. I can honestly say, I think this is the yummiest version of a ‘bliss ball’ that I’ve tried. These full flavoured little bites are great for squashing those 4pm pre-dinner blues too.

Cashew Coconut Milk

Cashew-Coconut Milk (TMX – Makes 1 Litre)

60g Cashews

60g Desicated coconut

30g Pitted dates (5-6 or you can use less or omit these)

1 TBS Coconut Oil

1 Litre of filtered water

1. Blitz cashews, coconut and dates for 10 seconds/ speed 9

2. Add remaining ingredients and cook for 4 minutes/ 60 degrees/ speed 4

3. Blitz again for 10 seconds/ speed 8

4. Allow to cool slighlty, then strain through a nut milk bag, squeezing as much milk out as you can. Transfer to a glass jar or bottle and keep in the fridge for up to three days. Shake before use. Reserve leftover pulp.

Spiced Snack Bites

Spiced Snack Bites (Make 12-14)

Leftover pulp

100g Pitted dates

80g Cashews

50g Sunflower seeds

1 TBS Maple syrup (optional)

1 tsp Vanilla powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1. Place all ingredients into TMX bowl and blend 15 seconds/ speed 8 – scrape sides and blitz again for a smoother texture, I like mine a little chunkier.

2. Roll into balls and roll in desicated coconut to coat.

3. Refrigerate and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

From Scratch Friday – Silverbeet and Ricotta Cannelloni (spelt pasta sheets)

Well, it’s Sunday but I haven’t forgotten my challenge just yet! The housework and the washing probably needed my attention a whole lot more than spending hours cooking something. Then Saturday was like a beautiful Spring day outside and I couldn’t bear to stay indoors. Today, however, was a mix of dreary and foggy with only a few moments of sunshine. So, I thought it was time to cook! This recipe was something I cooked a LOT when I was at Uni, it’s cheap and really easy to throw together. The recipe I used back then involved sauce from a jar and packet lasagne sheets (not that there is anything wrong with that!) so I thought I’d take it right back to basics and make the whole lot from scratch. I did realise AFTER I made it and put it in the oven that I could have actually made the ricotta too! Next time!
cannelloni

Cannelloni Sheets

350g White spelt flour

3 eggs

1 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Silverbeet and Ricotta Mix

2 Big handfuls of silverbeet leaves (some stalks are ok too)

500g Ricotta

1 tsp ground nutmeg

2 egg yolks

70g grated cheese

Tomato Sauce

1 Onion, quartered

3 cloves of garlic

30g Extra Virgin Olive Oil

700g Jar Passata or tinned tomatoes or 600g fresh tomatoes, quartered

1 TBS Stock concentrate

1 TBS Tomato paste

1 TBS Balsamic Vinegar

1 tsp Honey (optional)

100g Grated cheese to top (I used a mix of cheddar and parmesan)

Method (Thermomix)

1. If your cheese isn’t grated, chop into 1cm cubes and throw in the TMX bowl and grate 10sec/ sp9. Set aside. Thorooughly was the bowl.

2. Add all ingredients for pasta sheets into bowl and put it on the ‘knead’ setting for 2 minutes. Then transfer to a lighly floured surface or Thermomat and work into a ball. Wrap in Thermomat and place in fridge to rest.

3. Wash and dry bowl. Add silverbeet to the bowl and chop 5 seconds/ speed 6. Then add the remaining filling ingredients and comine 20 seconds / speed 6. Transfer into a large bowl and cover. Rince TMX bowl.

4. Add onion and garlic to TMX bowl and chop 3 sec/ speed 5. Scrape down side, add Oil and cook for 3 minutes/ Varoma/ Speed 1.

5. Add all remaining ingredients excpet for the topping cheese and combine 5 seconds/ speed 6 if using passata or tinned tomatoes or 30 seconds/ speed 6 if using fresh tomatoes.

6. In a baking dish, tip 1/3 of the tomato mixture on the base of the dish and spread with a spoon so it is evenly covered.

7. Unwrap the pasta dough. Pinch of piece of dough and roll into rectangular shapes that are around 5cm x 8cm. Roll it out as thin as you can get it (as thin as a sheet of copy paper)

8. Using a dessert spoon, place around 3 spoonfuls of ricotta mixture down the middle of the rectangle. Then roll the dough closed to form a tube. Place the tube in the baking dish. Continue until all the ricotta mixture has been used up.

9. Tip remaining tomato sauce over the cannelloni tubes, using a spoon to even it out if needed. Top with grated cheese and bake at 180 degrees (fan forced) for 45 minutes.