From Scratch Friday – Are you up for the challenge?

There are a list of recipes as long as my arm that I’ve always wanted to try but I’ve been too scared to have a go because I’m worried they won’t turn out. I’ve decided that maybe I’m limiting my cooking skills by not venturing into new territory. I’ve also decided that perhaps if I can master the art of some basic recipes and not need to rely on the store-bought versions I can further reduce our household waste and the food my family will be eating has been lovingly prepared in our own kitchen.

My desire to make things from scratch hasn’t always been limited to cooking though. Before I had my children I always had a deep desire to learn to sew, knit and crochet but it just seemed so hard and I couldn’t wrap my head around the idea. Eventually I decided to just give it a go, it wasn’t like to world was going to implode if I made a mistake! So, after reading many books and watching a few YouTube videos I taught myself to do all three!

This post isn’t about bragging how proud I am of teaching myself to do things but more to set myself a challenge to make one thing every week, from scratch. It can be something I’ve never tried before, something I want to perfect or even just something that has a purpose (like a loaf of bread for sandwiches for lunches).

This week I decided to have a crack at puff pastry. I’ve always assumed it would be hours of hard work to create puff pastry and honestly, with two kids running around, the concept didn’t sound appealing. I’m a firm believer that there is usually an easier way to do things and that eating from scratch can be simple and time effective. So, I was rather happy when I discovered there is such a thing as QUICK puff pastry! Obviously I’ve been living under a rock!

After reading a few recipes I was actually surprised to find out it only required four ingredients and while it did require some time, it didn’t require much hands on work.  It’s also an easy recipe to remember, which is always a bonus. It needs equal parts flour to cold, cubed butter and then 1/4 of the weight of the flour and butter of very cold water. The fourth is a pinch of salt, for good measure. Now that I had decided to make this puff pastry I needed to work out what to use it for. It didn’t take long for me to decide it had to be sausage rolls. They are a family favourite here but I’ve been avoiding making them for a while now because I feel so wasteful throwing out the blue sheets of plastic they place between each layer of store-bought pastry, such an unnessesary contribution to landfill!

Anyway, these are the recipes I used today. Feel free to join me on Facebook or Instagram if you’re up for the challenge and hashtag #MFWfromscratch – I’m choosing Fridays because I have the day off but feel free to share your creations any day of the week! Also, what you choose to create is up to you; food, craft, upcycle something or something creative/ useful for the garden.

Puff Pastry

Speedy Puff Pastry

250g Flour (All purpose or white spelt)

250g Butter, cubed

125ml Icy cold water

Pinch of salt

1. In a Thermomix or food processor, add all ingredients and blend until a dough comes together (TMX is speed 6 for 20 seconds)

2. Turn out dough on a floured surface and shape into a rough rectangle. Cover and refrigerate for half an hour.

3. Remove dough from fridge and roll the dough by only rolling away from you with the rolling pin, until it’s about triple its length. Then fold it in thirds by folding the top of the rectangle into the middle and the bottom of the dough on top of that. Then rotate the folded dough a quarter turn and repeat the rolling and folding half a dozen times.

4. Place dough, covered in the fridge until you need to use it (minimum of 30 minutes). You can also freeze it and keep it for another day!

Sausage Roll Filling

1 zucchini, grated

1 carrot, grated

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 TBS of Worcestershire sauce

1 TBS tamari

1 TBS Tomato paste

1 TBS Stock paste/ Jelly bone broth

2 eggs

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 leaf and stalk of silverbeet, finely chopped

A few sprigs of thyme and parsely, finely chopped

500g mince

1. Combine all ingredients, except one egg, well in a large bowl

2. Roll out pastry in a large sheet on Thermomat or floured surface. Section out into long rectangles and place sausage rolls filling in a line (thickness of a sausage) and roll the pastry over it to encase it. Beat the second egg in small bowl and use a brush to brush the egg along the edge where the pastry meets, then press the edges together to seal.

3. You’ll now have a long sausage roll, cut it into 4-5 pieces and arrange on  a baking tray, brush with egg.

4. Repeat for the remaining pastry and mince mixture.

5. Bake for 35-45 minutes on 180 degrees (fan forced)

 

 

Breakfast Rice Pudding

The weather is slowly starting to cool down here in South East Queensland. Easter usually signals the change of weather for us and this year has been no different. I love Autumn and Winter here on the farm. As the cold air rolls in it brings with it the smells of fire places alight in almost every home. Every house you visit seems to have that nostalgic smokey aroma pouring out of a chimney stack. For some reason, I find that quite comforting and it makes me want to get in the kitchen and start cooking something to warm our bellies as we warm our toes by the fire.

I like rice. I think it’s underrated and can be quite a versatile and frugal addition to the household larder. So, why settle for it as a side to a curry? Why not have it as a warming breakfast? It is a filling breakfast that can be paired with seasonal fruit and drizzled with delicious runny honey.
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Breakfast Rice Pudding

1 Cup Basmati Rice (brown or white – brown will take longer to cook, soaking overnight will speed up cooking time)

1 1/2 Cups whole milk OR milk of choice

1 1/2 Cups filtered water

1 tsp Ground cinnamon

1 tsp Ground nutmeg

1 tsp Ground cloves

6 Date, roughly chopped

1 TBS Runny Honey OR Pure maple syrup

Traditional

1. Add all ingredients to a pot on the stove top and gently bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer (covered), stirring occasionally, until rice has absorbed the water and is cooked through. Add more milk or water if needed.

2. Serve with 1/2 cup natural yoghurt, grated apple and chopped walnuts.

 

 

 

Choc Zucchini Muffins (Gluten Free)

We are half way through school holidays here in Queensland and I’ve finally got some time to work and blog. These past few weeks have been nothing short of crazy and an absolute whirlwind, in a good way. The Thursday before Easter, I had the great honour of standing beside my best friend as she married the love of her life. Then, the morning after the wedding, my husband and I drove home to collect our children to embark on an eight-hour car journey to visit my grandparents’ farm in rural New South Wales. I’ll honestly say, the children did very well on the car journey, especially since we were at a stand still on the highway for two hours…

Travelling with children is honestly like a rollercoaster of emotions. First they are calm, then they are hungry. Once you feed them they have a spike in energy and go crazy (squealing, playing and laughing) which inevitably leads to a fight between them because one of them has the red teddy bear and the other NEEDS it. Then they go to sleep. After about an hour, they wake and the cycle repeats. I’m assuming the bizarre mix of food they ate over the trip probably contributed to their moods swings as much as being confined to the one spot for an eternity. Being a problem solver, I was trying my best to avoid my eldest song getting car sick. Frankly, it’s not a nice feeling and I don’t want him to have to experience that. Also, I’m not a fan of vomit. So, I let them eat Cruskits to take the edge off. This has seriously backfired on me now as the back of my car looks like it’s been through a Cruskit blizzard. Crumbs. Everywhere.

Anyway, now we are home and as much as I LOVED every minute of being away, I have a whole new appreciation for sleeping in my own bed! I also have a great appreciation for the food I can make in my own kitchen. Something I often take for granted. It wasn’t until we were on the road that I realise how ill-prepare I was. Armed with a box of Cruskits and bottles of water, I thought we’d be able to find something healthy to eat. Foolish, especially because I live in a rural area, I should have known that the only access to food would be from service stations. We did our best with our choices but the food left me feeling sluggish, moody and I didn’t feel like my body felt nourished at all. I am not going to dwell on it too much though because, we did the best we could in the situation we were in. I’m actually glad it happened. I now have a great appreciation for what it feels like to feel good and how satisfying it is to nourish our bodies.

So, I thought I’d have another crack at this recipe today, to see if it was ready to share. I’m very happy to say it is a hit with the kids and husband alike. So, I hope it is a hit in your household too!

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Choc Zucchini Muffins (Gluten Free)

Ingredients

250g Zucchini, roughly chopped (approx 2 medium zucchini)

80g Butter

3 Eggs

90g Buckwheat Flour

40g Coconut Flour

30g Cacao

1 tsp Aluminium Free Baking Powder

100g Pure Maple Syrup

Thermomix Method

1. Pre-heat oven to 180C (Fan forced) and line a 12 hole muffin tray.

2. Add zucchini to bowl. Chop 3 seconds/ speed 7. Place is basket or colander and use a spatula to squash down to drain juices off, set aside.

3. Add butter to bowl. Melt 90 seconds/ speed 1/ 100 C.

4. Add all remaining ingredients, including drained zucchini. Mix 5 sec/ speed 5. Scrape sides then mix 2 sec/ speed 5. Careful not to over mix or the muffins will turn out very dry and dense because of the coconut flour.

5. Pour mixture into muffin tray and bake for 25 minutes.

Traditional Method

1. Pre-heat oven to 180C (Fan forced) and line a 12 hole muffin tray.

2. Grate zucchini into a mixing bowl. Place into a colander and squeeze of excess juice by pushing down with a spatula. Place back in the mixixing bowl.

3. Add all ingredients, except for the butter, to the mixing bowl. Do not mix.

4. Melt butter in a saucepan on a stove top until just melted. Pour into the mixing bowl.

5. Use a spatula to bring the mixture together until just combined. Over mixing will cause the muffins to be dry and dense.

6. Pour mixture into muffin tray and bake for 25 minutes.

 

Until next time,

Belinda x

Let’s learn together. Stop the judgement. 

 

 

Ok, it’s been a long time since my last post. Too long. Yes, I’ve been busy. Too busy. That’s only part of the reason I’ve been holding back from posting though. At the moment I feel like I’m stuck somewhere in the middle of ‘health’ and just good old fashioned cooking. Which is all well and good but so far I’ve left a lot of my voice out of posts in fear of being judged. Yep, there, I said it. I don’t know if you’ve noticed but the online world can be a little harsh at times and everyone feels they have the right to tear someone down just because they don’t agree with them. I don’t really want to be torn down but then I also don’t want to sit on the fence forever. So, I guess this post is just to put my voice into my blog so my readers know what it is that I stand for.

I believe in real, whole food. I don’t believe in packaged food on a regular basis. There are a couple of reasons for this. There is the fact that most packaging is not biodegradable and will sit in landfill forever, negatively affecting natural ecosystems which ultimately affects the health of the planet we live on. Then there is the fact that most food that comes in packaging is usually heavily processed and contains artificial preservatives, additives and high levels of refined sugar and salt which is highly detrimental to our health and lack any real nutrients. I also say ‘on a regular basis’ because to be honest I don’t believe in shaming each other over the occasional packet of food. We are human. What you do most of the time and what is part of your regular daily habit is what counts most. Shame and guilt are not nice feelings and can be damaging to your mental health. Let’s lift each other up and empower each other to make good choices. Let’s learn together. Stop the judgement.

I believe in organic and ethical food. Food that is raised humanely and without the use of synthetic chemicals. I also feel that being ‘elite’ about these things doesn’t help. Do the best you can with what you’ve got, if you can afford to eat 100% organic, then that’s great. If you can only afford one thing in your weekly groceries to be organic then that’s great too. Eating is not about perfection. Do your research and decide which things you can change and which things you can’t, every person and family is different. Stay informed and make the best choices you can with the knowledge you have. Vote with you dollar. Let’s learn together. Stop the judgement.

I believe in enjoyment. Enjoy what you cook and what you eat. Put love into the food you make, even if you are just cooking for yourself. Celebrate local, fresh produce. Support local butchers, grocers, farmers etc and create positive relationships with these people. Enjoy a range of food and don’t cut out food groups if you don’t have to or want to. If you want to, then own it but don’t judge others because they don’t want to. We all have a choice. Let’s learn together. Stop the judgement.

I believe in researching and doing what makes you feel good. If you feel good when you cut out dairy then only you can make the judgement on whether or not to do it. No one can tell you how you feel. If something doesn’t agree with you then do the research and change your diet to suit you, not to suit Joe Bloggs down the road. Also, don’t believe everything you read on the Internet. A lot of ‘information’ out there is not factual but simply someone’s opinion. It’s always worth reading and listening to the opinions of others but don’t let people force their ideas on you and let them completely influence your decisions. This also goes two ways. If you have a strong opinion, you are absolutely entitled to tell the world but please don’t tear other people down because they don’t agree with you. Listen with kindness in your heart, you don’t have to agree but you don’t have to be mean either, especially when you’re sitting behind your keyboard. Let’s learn together. Stop the judgement.

I really believe there is a lot in a person’s life that influences the food choices they make. Whether it be finances, accessibility to certain food, time or lack thereof or even just attitudes towards food. Let’s just learn and absorb information. Read and be informed, cook with love and share beautiful food with your family but please, don’t judge others based upon what they eat.

 

Belinda x

Rustic Date Loaf

I have been cooking with my Thermomix for almost two years now and while I love it to death, I just felt like making a cake by hand this evening. Cue this date loaf. This is an old recipe I’ve had in my handwritten recipe book for many years, it’s so easy, uses minimal ingredients and tastes great. The original recipe called for wholemeal self raising flour but I wanted to give spelt a try because I have 12kg of the stuff in my freezer!

I have added a few ingredients to the original recipe so it appeals to my husband and children.

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Rustic Date Loaf

Ingredients
300g pitted dates
300g water
500g white spelt flour
2 heaped tsp baking powder
2 eggs
1/4 cup coconut oil
1-2 TBS maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger powder

Traditional Method

1. Pre-heat oven to 180C fan forced.
2. Place water and dates in a saucepan on the stovetop. Bring to boil and simmer for around 10 minutes. Set aside.
3. Add flour, spices and baking powder to a bowl and mix to combine.
4. Add date mixture to the bowl and mix. Then add remaining ingredients and mix well to combine. You’ll have a thick, sticky dough.
5. Place dough mixture in a lined loaf tin (I use a cast iron one).
6. Bake for around 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

Thermomix

1. Pre-heat oven to 180C fan forced

2. Place water and dates in bowl. Cook 7 minutes/ 100 degrees/ reverse/ speed 1

3. Add remaining ingredients, adding eggs last. Mix 6 seconds/ speed 6

4. Place dough mixture in a lined loaf tin (I use a cast iron one).

5. Bake for around 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

 

Mini Pumpkin Scones

Since the term began I feel like I’ve been constantly cooking, washing and cleaning in my spare time as opposed to giving my garden the attention it needs and putting energy into my blog. I’m re-learning how to be a working Mum and fast realising that I need to have a good plan at the start of each week otherwise we fall behind fast.

Organisation has become my mantra. I make sure I have everything I need for lunches before the week begins and bake enough snacks for all of us and freeze them. Having all the bits and pieces readily available makes it easy to throw together lunches the night before meaning I won’t resort to prepackaged food. Avoiding processed food and additives and preservatives is a high priority for me.

Another high priority for me, is to make sure there is no ‘rubbish’ in our lunches – as in there is nothing that needs to go into the bin. I use stainless steel lunch containers and unbleached baking paper when something needs to be wrapped. This baking paper can be composted along with any fruit scraps that may be remaining. Sometimes we take juice or coconut water along with us too, I decant from a larger bottle into a small drink bottle to reduce our rubbish and also save money.

The following recipe is my version of the classic ‘Pumpkin Scone’. These are nice on their own, as my children prefer them, or my husband and I have them with butter and chia jam. You can also make them into larger scones, if you prefer. The mini size suits the size of our lunch boxes and are easier for the children to manage. These freeze really well and make around 20 mini scones. Enjoy!

Mini pumpkin scones

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Ingredients
200g cooked, mashed pumpkin
40g maple syrup
50g butter, chilled and cubed
1 Egg
360g white spelt flour
2 tsp baking powder

Thermomix Method
1. Pre-heat oven to 200C (fan forced)
2. Add flour, butter and baking powder to bowl. Turbo x 3 – mixture should look like bread crumbs.
3. Add remaining ingredients and mix 5 seconds/ speed 5 to bring together and then 30 seconds on knead setting.
4. Turn out onto floured surface and gently push together, taking care not to overwork the dough. Use a round scone cutter to cut out the scones and place them closely together on a lined baking tray.
5. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Traditional Method
1. Pre-heat oven to 200C (fan forced)
2. Add flour, baking powder and butter to a bowl and rub together with finger tips until a breadcrumb texture is formed.
3. Add remaining ingredients, bring together and gently knead without overworking the dough.
4. Once a soft dough is formed turn out onto floured surface and gently push together, taking care not to overwork the dough. Use a round scone cutter to cut out the scones and place them closely together on a lined baking tray.
5. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Stay posted for my next recipe – cucumber sweet mustard pickles. I have so many flowers on my cucumber plants that I know I’ll be searching for ways to use them up very soon! I have my first three pickling away on the bench ready to be made into a delicious sandwich spread!

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Choc Blueberry Brownies

Warning: the following recipe is highly addictive! Don’t say you weren’t warned!

They are dairy free, egg free and delicious.

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Choc Blueberry Brownies

Ingredients

100g Almonds (or almond meal for non Thermomix users)
100g White spelt flour
1 tsp Alum free baking powder
2 tsp Apple cider vinegar
2 tsp Vanilla paste
175g Pure maple syrup
120g Coconut milk
90g Macadamia oil
50g Frozen blueberries (plus an extra handful to top)
30g Cacao

Thermomix
1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
2. Add almonds to bowl and mill 10sec/ sp9.
3. Add remaining ingredients and mix 20sec/ sp5.
4. Pour mixture into a lined slice tray and top with remaining blueberries.
5. Cook for 45 minutes.

Traditional
*Mill almonds in a high speed blender/ processor OR use ready made almond meal.
1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
2. Add all ingredients to a food processor and mix until mixture is smooth.
3. Pour mixture into a lined slice tray and top with remaining blueberries.
4. Cook for 45 minutes.

Pumpkin and Silverbeet Bake

Firstly, Happy New Year!

Wow, what a crazy time of year. I spent some time at my parent’s house in Brisbane for Christmas, as we do every year. It’s always nice to reconnect with loved ones we don’t see often and it’s even better to connect over delicious, homemade food.

This year, Mum and I worked like crazy in the kitchen in the lead up to Christmas Day but the end result definitely made it worth the hassel! For lunch we had roast chickens (slow roasted in an outdoor pizza oven), glazed ham, roast turkey, mango salad, beetroot salad, pesto potato salad, homemade sourdough bread, artisan beetroot ciabatta, pickled beetroot and roasted potatoes. Then followed on with dessert; Alexx Stuart’s Christmas cake and Lemony, Coconut custard, Blueberry and Raspberry ‘Cheesecake’ (Quirky Cooking) and Mango and Peach cobbler. Needless to say, 80% of my family slipped into a food coma soon afterwards.

In the evening we had an outdoor ‘pizza night’ where we cooked the pizzas in the pizza oven. We had prepared the bases and pizza sauce beforehand (sauce was made almost entirely of homegrown produce). We also used the Thermomix to grate the cheese. We used up a good portion of the lunch meat as toppings for the pizza too, which reduced our overall Christmas food waste significantly. My Mum also had the brilliant idea to send home pieces of cake with family members so nothing got thrown in the bin.

Healthy or not, after Christmas a light and easy meal comes in handy to give our bodies a break from heavier foods that we may not be used to eating. This is where the Pumpkin & Silverbeet Bake comes  in handy. It’s low fuss and packed full of nutritious veggies. It also uses up a large amount of silverbeet, which will be great news for the home gardener, as silverbeet grows like crazy and there is usually an abundance of the stuff at this time of year!

Pumpkin and Silverbeet Bake
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Ingredients

500g Sliced Pumpkin (approx 2mm thick)

1 Onion

2 Cloves of Garlic

20g Butter/ Ghee/ Macadamia Oil

120g Corn Kernels

150g Silverbeet Stems

200g Shredded Silverbeet leaves

160g Cherry Tomatoes (any tomato is fine though)

300g Passata/ Tinned Tomatoes (BPA Free)

2 tsp Tomato Paste

1 tsp Veggie Stock Concentrate

1/4 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp paprika

5 TBS Ricotta Cheese + 1 TBS filtered water

100g Pareman Cheese, grated

Handful of pepitas

 

Method:

1. Place Pumpkin on baking tray, drizzle with oil (macadamia) and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Bake at 200 degrees for approx 15 minutes or until cooked. Once cooked reduce heat to 180 and leave on to pre-heat for the bake.

Thermomix:

2. Place onion and garlic into bowl. Chop 3 seconds/ speed 5. Scrape sides.

3. Add Butter, ghee or oil and cook Varoma/ 3 Minutes/ Speed 1.

4. Add all ingredients EXCEPT for shredded silverbeet leaves. Cook 100 degrees/ 7 minutes/ reverse/ speed 1.

5. Add shredded leaves and use the spatula to mix it in. Cook 100 degrees/ 8 minutes/ reverse/ speed 1.

6. Tip silverbeet mixture into a pie dish. Layer with cooked slices of pumpkin until the mixture is covered.

7. Mix ricotta with water until it has reached a whipped cream consistency. Spread over the pumpkin using a dessert spoon.

8. Add grated cheese and sprinkle pepitas on top.

9. Place in oven for approximately 20 minutes or until cheese is golden.

Traditional:

2. Thinly slice onion and mince garlic.

3. Add butter/ghee/ oil to a casserole dish on a stovetop over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until softened.

4. Add all ingredients, EXCEPT for shredded silverbeet leaves, to the dish. Cook until silverbeet stems are softened and sauce is bubbling (approx 10 minutes)

5. Add shredded leaves and mix in with a wooden spoon. Allow to simmer until stems and leaves are soft. (approx 5 minutes)

6. Remove mixture from heat. Layer with cooked slices of pumpkin until the mixture is covered.

7. Mix ricotta with water until it has reached a whipped cream consistency. Spread over the pumpkin using a dessert spoon.

8. Add grated cheese and sprinkle pepitas on top.

9. Place in oven for approximately 20 minutes or until cheese is golden.

 

Chicken & Vegetable Pie with Potato Pastry

As I e-mailed my order for my veggie co-op late last night, I realised that I still had a fridge full of food that we hadn’t eaten. I usually receive my order on Monday afternoon and I really hate an over crowded fridge because generally that means you can’t see what is in there and things are bound to get wasted. So, today I set about using up what we had and turn the food into easy to eat meals and snacks. I managed to make coconut yoghurt, dairy yoghurt, choc-coconut custard, vegetable stock, pumpkin purée (to freeze), steamed whole chicken, mango salad and potatoes roasted in ghee (for my husband to have on night shift). I also made the yummiest chicken pie EVER! Seriously.

The best part of this recipe is that it can easily be a weekend meal that you can spend time creating OR you can use shop bought pasty and throw together the filling in mere minutes for an easy mid-week meal. Which will definitely be great for me when I return to work in January, and once again become a working mum! Below is the Thermomix recipe, a traditional method will be added at a later date.

Chicken and Vegetable Pie with Potato Pastry

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Pastry Ingredients

190g potato
100g water
500g white spelt flour
250g unsalted butter
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
A further 100g chilled water

Pastry method:

1. Chop potato into 1 centimetre pieces and put in Thermomix bowl with 100g water – cook 100degrees/ 11 minutes/ speed 1 then blitz 5 seconds/ speed 5. Place in a bowl in the fridge to cool.
2. Rinse bowl and dry.
3. Place flour, butter, baking powder and salt to bowl. Set to ‘close lid’ and press turbo four times for around 1 second each.
4. Add cooled potato and chilled water and mix 6 seconds/ speed 6 – use a spatula to loosen the pastry and blitz again if needed. It will be crumbly.
5. Turn out onto a floured Thermomat or bench top and bring together and form into a ball. Cut 1/3 of the pastry off and put both pieces, covered, in the fridge to rest.
6. Once pastry has rested for at least an hour, pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees (fan forced).
7. Roll pastry out on a floured surface. Roll to about 3mm thickness then place in a greased pie dish. Use your fingertips to push pastry in around the edges at the bottom. Don’t worry if the edges drape over, it just adds to the rustic look! Prick the bottom with a fork and lay a piece of baking paper on top then use rice or baking beads to weigh the paper down.
8. Blind bake for around 20 minutes.
9. Remove from oven and remove baking paper and rice. Place pie filling (recipe below) in the pie shell.
10. Roll out the remaining 1/3 of pastry and place on top, pressing down around the edges to make it stick to the base crust. Then use a sharp knife to gently score the top of the pastry. Brush with beaten egg.
11. Bake for 35 minutes or until pastry is golden and crunchy.

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Pie Filling Ingredients:

2 sprigs of parsley
1 onion, quartered
90g zucchini
1 stick of celery
1 medium carrot
3 cloves of garlic
20g ghee
400g chicken thighs – cut into 1cm pieces
2 TBS arrowroot starch
1 TBS TM vegetable stock concentrate
170g mushrooms, sliced thickly
100g milk

Pie Filling Method:

1. Add parsley to bowl and chop 3sec/ speed 5. Set aside.
2. Add onion, zucchini, celery, carrot and garlic to bowl. Chop 3 sec/ speed 5.
3. Scrape sides. Add ghee and cook 3 minutes/ varoma/ reverse/ speed 1.
4. Add chicken and cook 5 minutes/ 100 degrees/ reverse/ speed 1.
5. Add arrowroot, stock, parsley, mushrooms and milk and cook 13 minutes/ 100 degrees/ reverse/ speed 1.

Enjoy!

Soaked Cereal

It has been a little quiet around here on the blog lately…I’ve been spring cleaning…

The reason I’m spring cleaning? Well, I’ve been doing a 30 day course (Alexx Stuart) all about living a low tox life. So, this past month I’ve been overhauling my home to eliminate and reduce chemicals even further. I thought I was quite clued up on everything ‘low tox’ and ‘chemical free’ but I have learnt SO much this past 30 days and I would highly recommend the course to anyone, whether they are at the beginning of their journey or someone who has been on the path for a while.

The spring cleaning is a great feeling when it’s finished… However, I’ve got 3 rooms pulled apart with piles upon piles of things to go to Red Cross and we are currently experiencing a heat wave here in QLD! So, my progress has slowed quite considerably and I’ve decided to blog in the air con instead (haha).

It is far too hot to bake so I’ve decided to share this recipe for super easy soaked cereal instead. You don’t need any kind of milk for this recipe and you really can use any ingredients you have on hand. I can’t take credit for the idea behind this recipe though. My Mum often visited health retreats when we were growing up and this was something she had there and often recreated for us – long before overnight oats became the ‘in’ thing. This is my version of what I can remember and I often change the recipe to suit what I have on hand.

Soaked Cereal

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3 cups rolled oats
1 cup desiccated coconut
1 1/2 cups chopped nuts (I often use almonds and cashews)
1 1/2 cups chopped dried fruit (I use raisins, dates and sulphur free apricots)
1/2 cup seeds (I use pepitas)
Ground cinnamon

1. Put all ingredients in a bowl or container and mix well to combine.
2. Pour filtered water over the cereal until it’s only just covered – you don’t want it swimming in water though.
3. Sprinkle with cinnamon to completely cover the top.
4. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
5. To serve, place a few spoonfuls of soaked cereal in a bowl and top with yoghurt and chopped fresh fruit.