We all know that the evening is not the optimum time to be photographing food. Viper’s pie looked amazing golden brown and piping hot straight from the oven. Smushed into his lunchbox for work? Yeah not so much. You’ll have to take his word for it that it was goooood.
This is such an easy pie using simple pantry-staples. I always keep those little cans of coconut cream/milk in the cupboard…. a jar of curry paste in the fridge…. pastry sheets in the freezer. You could add any veggies you had on hand too – Viper ate this with a big salad so I kept the vegetables to a minimum inside in the pie. Make the filling ahead and store it in the fridge until you are ready to cook the pie. I reckon you could easily do a vegetarian version using firm tofu too.
Fridge Scrapings Chicken Curry Pie:
- 1 large chicken breast
- 2 cloves crushed garlic
- A once inch piece of fresh ginger, finely diced
- 1 small brown onion, chopped
- 1C chicken stock (or vegetable)
- 2T Red Curry paste
- 2T peanut butter
- 2T coconut cream
- (Optional… 1/2C finely chopped spring onions, 1 small grated carrot)
- 1/2t arrowroot (to thicken)
- 2 sheets of frozen puff pastry
- 2T milk to glaze pastry
- Dice you chicken breast into small pieces (maybe 1cm squares).
- Heat a little oil in a fry pan, and cook off the curry paste. This is crucial for releasing all those amazing flavours/spices/aromas hidden in this glorious goop. Cook for about 2 minutes.
- Add onion, garlic and ginger to the pan, and cook everything over a moderate heat until nice and fragrant… 2 minutes or so.
- Add chicken to brown.
- To release all those delicious flavours that have caramelized onto the bottom of the pan, de-glaze with the chicken stock.
- Reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Add in peanut butter… cook for a further 5 minutes.
- Take off the heat and stir in the coconut cream and arrowroot. You don’t want to add the cream too early as it will separate. At this point, if you are adding the carrot and spring onion, stir this through now… it will get the cooking it needs in the oven. Fresh cilantro is also a nice touch.
- When you are ready to cook the pie (about 30 minutes before you are planning to eat) grab your defrosted pastry sheets and spray a pie tin (20 cm diameter… basically it’s the same size as the pastry sheet with a little over hang) with a little oil. Line the bottom of the pie tin with the pastry sheet, gently folding and squeezing the pastry together where you get “tucks”.
- Fill with your chicken mix.
- Lay the second sheet of pastry on top, and squeeze the bottom and top pastry layers together. I find what works well is if you roll and fold the pastry over on the edges, which seal it well and creates and nice big “crust.” Secure with the tines of a fork.
- Brush with top of the pie with milk (I have a paint brush specifically for pastry… otherwise use your fingers, I won’t tell) and cut a small hole in the centre to let out steam.
- Bake for about 30 minutes at 180 degrees C, or until pastry is puffed up and golden brown.
Just imagine this is a cooked one.
I’m not usually one for links… but I have been reading up on phytic acid… it’s kind of scary – ignorance is bliss, huh? Apparently two of my favourite things (oats and soy milk) are really high in it. Now, I have always had a problem with zinc and iron absorption which phytic acid is guilty of inhibiting. This post was really interesting. Anyway I’m going to experiment with switching up my oats for things like quinoa/millet/buckwheat and sticking to almond and rice milk. A bit more variety can’t hurt.
Yesterday’s “using up pulp experiment“…. ? I tried to make another sort of sweet “bread” with it.
Not good, not bad, not great. Not a fail, but not really a massive win. Not worth the typing to share, basically.
Pretty good mixed into a spirilina banana soft serve and peanut butter bowl of moosh though.
No wonder Viper likes to describe my breakfasts as “alien poo.”
Turns out someone has decided he likes his Mama’s weird experiments, AND unsweetened dark chocolate (I’m taking 100% cocoa here). He’s eaten about half of the loaf already. Champ.
I didn’t get round to Viper’s chicken pie last night. Bad wifey. I am onto it today though… a kind of red curry based chicken thing – plus something for the vegan:
Brown Rice Crusted Sweet Potato and Brussel Sprout “Pie”
(Vegan, gluten/wheat/soy/corn/refined sugar free)
(Make this ahead… pre-bake it, then store in the fridge until ready to fill and eat)
- 1 1/2C cooked brown rice
- 1/4C chick pea flour
- 2T ground flax seed
- 1/4t salt
- 1t coconut oil
- 1/8C water
- Pulse everything together in a food processor. Transfer to a bowl, and let the mix chill for about an hour.
- Set oven to 180 degrees C.
- Using wet hands, press into a greased pie dish (I used 2 small 10cm spring form pans) as evenly as possible…. push it up the sides of the dish too, to create space to fill inside.
- Bake for 15 minutes… it will puff up a little, but will deflate on cooling.
- Let the baked pie shell rest for at least 15 minutes before filling with:
- Scoop spread into pre baked pie shells… filling to about a cm below the top of the shell.
- 1C brussel sprouts… pre steam them to get the cooking process happening, so they caramelize quickly when cooked on top of the pie. Cut off the stalk of each sprout, remove the outer leaves and cut in half length-wise. I zapped mine with a splash of water in the microwave for about 5 minutes… just until they turn that brilliant green hue. Toss steamed sprouts in 2t maple syrup, 1t coconut oil and 1/4t sea salt.
- Scatter as many sprouts on top as you wish… I put heaps, pushing them down well.
- Bake again for 20 minutes at 180 degrees, or until sprouts go all crispy and caramelized.
I’ve been what I call “cranking,” today. The definition is pretty loose, but I tend to think of it as a term that describes something really good, or achieving a lot. Viper uses it to describe surfing conditions… ‘man the surf is cranking out there.’
Basically, I have been “cranking,” today as I seem to be a mini tornado of productivity and busy-ness. Tis good, tis good. I find being busy suits me to a T…. too much time on my hands tends to leave room for my over-active mind to think…. and think…. and think. Too much thinking is NOT a good thing in my book.
It’s funny, the more I have on my plate, the more productive I am. If I have only one important task to achieve, procrastination rears it’s ugly head. Being a Mum is great… you have so much to do, you just get in there and do it…. no time for thinking, just doing.
Anyway, after a jaunt down at the rock pools to help Misty burn off some energy (read: an opportunity for Misty to escape the safety of the rock pools and hunt out the elusive traffic that he seems to love so much)… after sorting out the paper trail from Timbucktoo to help Viper get a new passport…. after produce shopping and battling the crowds at the local green grocer…. after feeding and watering a (still) lively Misty…. after cleaning up an unfortunate accident by said lively child (no details, seriously you don’t want to know. Seriously. The things we do for our offspring)…. after feeding and sort of watering myself, it’s time to prepare all sorts of goodies for my chaotic family.
Getting some vinegar infusing with rosemary, mint and ginger for my Naturally Awesome Multi Purpose Spray. I love this stuff…. particularly because it’s safe for Misty. I don’t care if he grabs + sprays the bottle, as it’s not going to do him any damage. I mean, he could drink some if he really wanted to (not advised, but it would be OK you know?) At the moment I’m loving adding this to my cleaning products:
It’s actually best used as a decongestant… my Mum got it for me when Misty was a bit snuffly. A few drops on a tissue, all you have to do is sniff away, and you sinuses clear up really quickly. Just like magic. Hooray. Apparently it relives muscle pain too, if used topically… it contains a blend of cajuput, clove, juniper berry, and mint oils… awesome.
For some reason I decided to take it upon myself to make home made coconut milk (a la HEABie) and experiment with soaking and blending up flax seeds for flax milk. Why I embark on these crazy projects while trying to wrangle the Misty I do not have the foggiest. Anyway, I had tried Heather’s technique before… this time I just soaked 1C desicated coconut in 1 + 1/2C water overnight PLUS in a separate bowl I soaked 1/2C whole flax seed in 1 + 1/2C water for the same amount of time.
Long story short… coconut milk = yum and Misty also approved. Flax? Yeah not that great. Will be good for an alternate cooking milk, but by the glass? Pass. ***Edit to add – Misty has decided he LOVES the flax milk and is sculling it as I type. Crazy kid *** Now I have a whole lotta pulp to use up… this will be tomorrow mornings breakfast experiment:
- 1C dessicated coconut (I’m using the pulp but just the normal stuff would be fine)
- 1/3C ground flax seed
- 1/4t sea salt
- 6 medjool dates
- 2T maple syrup
- 80g dark chocolate
- 1t vanilla extract
- 1C gluten free flour (I’m trying sorghum)
- 1C milk (coconut)
This is just an experiment at this stage, so basically I whizzed everything through the food processor and let it all soak overnight. Cooking in the morning… for now, it’s wine time… plus I’m meant to be making Viper a chicken pie. Bah.
I can’t imagine how hard this time of the year (really, any time of the year, but Easter in particular) is for parents of kids who suffer from EE. All those colourful foiled-wrapped treats every direction you turn. It’s hard enough trying to keep my chocolate fiend aka Viper away from them, let alone trying to explain to a toddler why they can’t have a tasty eggy treat like everyone else.
I remember my sister would hoard her eggs for months after Easter and taunt me with them at her leisure…. I was part of the “eat-every-single-egg-on-easter-and-feel-very-sick-afterwards” movement.
“When they’re gone, they’re gone,” was Mum’s wise words. That they were. Gone.
I was never a fan of the marshmallow eggs though. I still ate them, but I didn’t really like them… when you’re 9, you will take sugar in any form, whether you like it or not. We came up with the most disgusting way of consuming these not so popular marshmallow monstrosities though…. zapping them in the microwave until they became a melted puddle of sticky, sugary, stringy goo. Scape ‘em of the plate with a spoon. If you nuked them too long, they would burn onto the plate… or hideously burn your mouth. Either way, my Mother was not impressed.
However disgusting and sugar filled my memories of Easter are… they are that – memories. Fond reflections of eating myself into a sugar coma…. to not be able to experience the simple joy of an egg shaped chocolate(s) every year is just unimaginable.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, and knew I needed to come up with something for my Buddy EE. The following recipe may not be as pretty as it’s commercial counterparts…. but it’s something. Something to enjoy making and eating, and maybe feel included just a little in such a food focused holiday.
The following is obviously a recipe for those with extreme allergies… it’s actually really yummy though. You can play around with colours/flavours to your heart’s content. Chuck in a few blueberries for a purple hue… use chocolate coconut butter or add some cocoa to the filling. It’s a really fun hands-on (messy) activity to do with the kiddos.
- 1/2C coconut flour
- 1 medium sized apple, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
- 1T sugar (or more to taste)
- 2-3T coconut oil… start with 2T, you may need to add more depending on the size of your apple. Increase amount if dough feels too crumbly, and won’t squeeze together.
- 1/4t sea salt
- Coconut butter for dipping
- 1/4t ground tumeric if you want a “yolky” colour
- Pulse all ingredients together in a food processor (except the tumeric). The mix seems very crumbly, but when you squeeze it firmly in the palm of your hand, it will stay together….. the handling of coconut flour does take a bit of practise, but that’s part of the fun!
- If you want to make the “yolk” just take about 1/4 of the mix, and stir through 1/4t ground tumeric. I just made a little ball of yellow, and smooshed in the middle of a handful of the plain white. Yeah I’m not so much of a perfectionist.
- Place “eggs” in the freezer for an hour.
- Once you eggs are solid, it’s time to get messy. Grab your coconut butter (if it’s solid, just zap in the microwave until nice and runny)and be prepared to get it everywhere. I didn’t have a set method with this… just kind of slopped it around and rolled the eggs around in it. Tasty mess nonetheless.
At the end of the day, scrambled eggs are fine by me too. Thanks must go to Misty for donating his bath toy for the photos.
Teething is no fun. Poor Misty Man is having trouble with these molars. If the throbbing gums weren’t enough to deal with, every time he cuts a tooth he gets a sore bum. I’m not sure what the connection is, but apparently it’s a common thing – new tooth = nappy rash. I’m all for bare-bumming it, and letting Misty go “free range” which seems to be the best cure… although I’m super glad we have wooden floors, as there has been more than a few accidents. Whoops.
I’ve posted before about soothing baths for bums and babes alike… but what is exciting for me is that now we have a proper bath. Before it was all, ‘fill up baby bath, pin Misty down quick enough to wash him, get water everywhere and then try not to fall over when carrying said child to room to dry off.’ Yes, it was a huge procedure.
Tiny bathing babe…. seems like a lifetime ago.
Now I can just have a bath with him. Toys aplenty, and some nice soothing additions which is good for Misty AND me. Hooray. Although, now more than ever he wants to drink the bath water. I’m talking gulping it down, and loving it. Ew.
Best Bath Ever:
- 2/3C quick oats
- 1T coconut oil
- 2T raw organic honey (I know it’s not vegan, but I know my source and they are very well looked after bees)
- 1T Dr Broner’s Castile Soap (optional… I just like it for the soapy factor and a nice smell… use a few drops of essential oil if you wish).
- One nice warm bath.
- Chuck all the ingredients in a small bowl, mix and whack it in the bath as the water is running. This just mixes everything up nicely.
- Alternatively you can use the mix as a face/body scrub first, and then just wash it off in the bath…. then soak in all of it’s glory.
- 1C coconut flour (almond meal would be a good substitution here)
- 4 medjool dates
- 1 large banana
- 2T coconut oil
- 2T maple syrup
- 1/4t sea salt
- 1/4C cacao powder (or cocoa)
- 1t vanilla extract
- Pulse all ingredients together in a food processor, until a soft kind of “dough” forms.
- Roll into balls… the mix seems crumbly due to the coconut flour, but if you squeeze it firmly in your palm, it will hold together… (I usually favour around a walnut sized ball, but whatever you fancy) … freeze solid.
- Coconut butter for dipping… plain Toasty or add some cacao (or cocoa) for a chocolate version. I did this, but ate them all before I took the photo. They weren’t as photogenic, but I think they were slightly tastier. Per 2T plain coconut butter, add 2t cacao and 1t maple syrup or agave.
- Dip frozen balls in coconut butter (it’s always liquid here where I live as it is warm… if yours has gone solid, simply warm in the microwave until it’s runny.
- Re freeze and munch at your leisure. Best enjoyed straight out of the freezer and rock hard. Rock hard balls. Ha.
They are like Yin & Yang balls.
It IS all about balance, no?
I think of a hair cut in the same realm as clipping my toenails.
It’s annoying… I put it off as long as I can until I give in and just do it in the garden so I don’t leave a trail of shed body pieces throughout the house. Gross. I rarely go to a hairdresser. Usually it’s when my Mum makes (and pays for) me. Misty had a few dreadlocks in the back of head last week that I snipped out while thinking, ‘hmmm maybe he’s due for a cut/brush?’ It doesn’t help that he confuses his hair brush with his tooth brush and tends to use the latter on his head. Oh well.
Anyway as it is a theme around here…. you guessed it – I did a DIY job on my innocent son’s head.
I reckon I didn’t do too badly, considering I was just following him around the house, snipping away when he stopped for a moment. Anyway, he’s too young to know, Ha. We are a DIY haircut house for sure. Viper has a habit of shaving his head on a whim (usually after a few beers).
Anyway… I think me and Misty are still friends, even though I hacked at his hair. What do you do for a friend? Why, make them tasty treats of course! This is a more user-friendly version of my Friendly Fruit Bars I made and posted about a million years ago. I have tweaked the recipe to make the dough a lot easier to work with. Seriously, give these a go…. they aren’t just for kids either – Viper thought they were Yummo.
Friendly Oat “Fillers”
(Vegan, wheat/cane sugar/soy/corn free… gluten free if you use certified oats)
- 3/4C + 1/8C oats
- 1/4C apple puree
- 1T sunflower butter (or tahini/any nut butter)
- 1/4t salt
- 1/2t ground cinnamon (optional)
- 1/2t vanilla extract (optional)
- A no sugar fruit spread like St Dalfour’s (Pop-Tart/Turnover style only, as you need to trap it inside).
- Finely chopped dried fruit (medjool dates with a splash of maple syrup are delicious).
- Nut butter/mashed banana.
- Nut butter mixed with cocoa and a splash of liquid sweetener. (Almond butter, cacao and maple syrup pictured above – YUMMO).
- A square of chocolate – add 1T of cocoa/cacao to the dough mix for double chocolate joy.
- Cream cheese and chopped dried fruit (vegan or cow it doesn’t matter).
- In a food processor, pulse together all ingredients until a dough forms.
- Wrap and chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
- Pre heat oven to 180 degrees on fan bake.
- Divide dough into 4, and using these sections roll out until around 2-3mm thick. If the mix is sticking to the rolling pin, I find sandwiching in between baking paper works a treat.
- You can go crazy with shapes… stick with the fruit bar “roll” if you wish, but the classic “Pop Tart” square is easy too. Actually I’ve never had a Pop Tart so I don’t know why I’m referring to it as a classic. If you cut a large square, you can simply fold over to form a triangle, and seal the edges. This is what I would call a “Turnover.”
- Be on the stingy side with your filling, as if you put too much in it will squirt out the sides and you will end up with a sticky, burnt mess. Make sure you put your filling right in the centre with a wide border to ensure no leakage.
- Pinch dough together to close, and then press down with the tines of a fork.
- Place on a lined baking tray and bake for 13-16 minutes or until golden brown.
- Best enjoyed warm… possibly with some ice cream or custard (Viper thinks so).
Circle ones look like tiny UFOs.
This is the only time I’m going to warn you to be stingy with the filling. Seriously, it’s not worth the pain.
Dates, cinnamon and maple syrup… easy and delicious.
Chocolate for the win.
The inspiration for the dish detailed at the end of my rambles came about in disjointed fashion. It began with addressing wedding invites… talking about certain guests… bad impersonations of a certain guest.
My impression was bad… I was supposed to be a sort of leprechaun (yeah there’s my nod to St Paddy’s day whenever it was) but I ended up sounding like a pirate. This reminded me of a pile of pirate-y fabric I have had sitting around intended for Misty’s curtains. Then I started thinking about Misty and how he used to look like a Kewpie Doll when he was little. That got my mind onto Kewpie mayonnaise, which I hate similarly to all mayonnaise. It did get me thinking about Japanese food though, and how much I love it. Speaking of love… Viper took me out to a fantastic Japanese restaurant back in our early dating Melbourne days where we had the best Nasu Dengaku I have ever tasted.
After all this thinking (yes, my brain was starting to hurt) I remembered a tub of miso that has been in my fridge for months. I love miso, don’t get me wrong, but I generally love the very hearty dark miso (way more salty) over the light one that I purchased without looking at properly. Viper said it wasn’t strong enough tasting as well… so it has been sadly sitting on the fridge shelf for a long while.
What I love about Japanese food it the balance of flavours. They really have the old “sweetie/salty” thing down pat. Nasu Dengaku (it’s a roasted eggplant and sweet miso sauce kinda dish) is the perfect dish in my mind. Brussel Sprouts aren’t the typical feature, but I had bags to use up – the fridge scrapings way.
Baked Tofu and Brussel Sprouts with Maple Miso Sauce……
- 1/4C light miso
- 1/2t sesame oil
- 1T apple cider vinegar
- 1T + 3t water
- 1T + 2t maple syrup* (Or honey/agave/rice syrup)
- Whisk all ingredients together and store in the fridge… makes about 1/2C.
- I baked 350g of firm tofu (after pressing) check out the method here.
- To cut down on the cooking time, I par-steamed 500g brussel sprouts (cut in half) in the microwave first…. about 5 minutes worth of zapping in a splash of water.
- I whacked them all in a roasting dish with a sprinkle of sea salt and 2T melted coconut oil. I baked them for about 20 minutes at 180 degrees until they were just tender when stabbed with a fork. I actually love it when they get slightly charred on the outer leaves… let’s call it “caramelised” to sound hip.
Basically, this sauce will taste good on just about anything…. veggie stir-fry, fish/chicken, rice, noodles, yeah anything.
No, it’s not my breakfast… it’s a body/hair product in the making.
I can’t emphasise enough the amazing-ness of oats. Yes, delicious and nutritious they are indeed. Great for the skin? Why yes, that too. As a hair product? Yip, again, oats are amazing. Viper thinks I’m a freak with my oat- using habits. I’m not the most thorough person in the cleaning-up-after-myself- sense either. Whoops. Viper gets upset at the trail of oats I tend to leave around the house. Particularly in the bottom of the shower. Whoops.
Anyway, at least I make him tasty treats now and again.
The following recipe is what I would call a “Moisture Milk.” I use it as a moisturising rinse through my hair…. a face wash, body wash, you name it. Sometimes I just chuck a cup in the bath for Misty and me…. now Misty loves to drink the bath water. I just hope and pray he didn’t wee in there.
- 1C oats
- 2T fresh rosemary (or a few whole cloves for a nice spicy scent)
- 2C water
- 2t tapioca starch (arrowroot) to thicken
- Optional add ins…
- Combine oats, water, and herbs in a small bowl and soak overnight.
- In the morning, strain through cheese cloth, as you would to make nut milk. Squeeze out all the liquid. Yeah, basically, you make oat milk.
- Choose your ‘add ins’ and add to the mix along with the starch to help thicken it all up a little. Whisk it together well.
- Store in the fridge, and use within 5 days of making it. Shake before use as the starch tends to separate.
As you know, the theme around here is waste not, want not… so Misty scored himself some rosemary infused oat cakes for breakfast:
- Leftover oat “pulp” from above… minus whole rosemary leaves (I finely chopped a few to leave in there)
- 1T ground flax seed
- 1T chick pea flour
- 1/8t salt
- Oil/butter for cooking
- Combine all ingredients well.
- Spray fry pan with oil, and cook for a few minutes each side until golden brown and firm.
Butter and Vegemite… Misty was a happy boy. He’s also very quick… not sure if it was the suit or the oats.
Viper is not a fruit man. Unlike myself and Misty who are constantly munching on fresh/dried fruit, Viper is not so keen on it. I mean, he’s not against fruit, but he doesn’t go out of his way to eat it. Usually, he’ll see me eating an apple and steal a few bites. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Viper eat a fresh banana. He will eat mango, and has been known to consume my famous “Mango La Las,” – a creation that involves blending up mangos, ice and vodka. Very very good. Too good.
I got Viper to drink Kombucha last night. It was the only thing we had left in the house to mix with some vodka I found at the back of the freezer. It was either Kombucha or milk. He picked Kombucha (home brew ginger and lemon grass) and he actually liked it. I usually let my Kombucha ferment for ages, so it is basically like sculling vinegar (I have low stomach acid, so my body tends to crave really vinegary tasting stuff). This was a brew I didn’t let go for as long, so it was sweeter and more palatable for dear Viper’s tender taste buds.
So back to the topic of fruit. Viper has been complaining about my lack of muesli bar creating as of late. His work lunches have been sub par, apparently. Oh goodness gracious, Viper I am sorry. In typical fridge scrapings fashion, these bars were born from an overloaded supply of dried bananas courtesy of my dehydrator and plentiful super cheap bananas. It seems Viper will eat fruit in bar form.
- 1/2C dried banana, chopped into chunks/slices (NOT those horrible banana “chips” I’m talking proper dried banana).
- 1/2C peanut (or any nut) butter (tahini if you are nut-free)
- 1/4C milk (I used almond, but any milk will work).
- 1/4C honey (or rice syrup/agave/maple syrup to make it vegan)
- 1/4t sea salt
- 1C rolled oats
- 1/4C coconut
- Prepare your “setting” tray – I lined a small loaf tin with non stick baking paper.
- Combine all ingredients except oats and coconut in a small saucepan.
- Bring to the boil, and then simmer until the mix thickens (about 5 minutes). Keep stirring as the mix will stick and burn to the bottom of the pan if let unattended.
- Take the pan off the heat, add oats/coconut and stir well.
- Spoon into your prepared dish. With wet hands, carefully (mix is HOT) press the mix down into the pan firmly, smoothing the top.
- Place in the fridge for at least 1hour, or until it is firm.
- Cut into bars, bites, or squares.
- Store in the fridge.
We just acquired 1.5kg of M&Ms… I’m hoping these bars will balance out the amount of sweets Viper is likely to consume on one of his evening chocolate+tea guzzling rampages. My expectations of this are low, as he is presently sprawled on the couch with a bowl of said chocolate, watching the latest “Ricky Lumbermill” (Justin Timberlake) blockbuster.
At least he drank some Kombucha last night (vodka or no vodka). At least his lunch will be healthy tomorrow. At least I have multiple hidey-holes for a ridiculous amount of M&Ms.
I’m all for finding filling foods at the moment. The other day’s pizza experiment was awesome for filling up ones’ stomach…. seriously that ugly beast kept me full for over 5 hours (unheard of). I think it’s about getting the right combo of fats, protein and carbs together to keep my belly happy. Due to the fact I spend most of my time trying to stop Misty running out onto to the road to play with his beloved traffic- when I eat, I need it to stick. I don’t get that much time for fancy food preparation these days.
This salad has evolved over about 8 years…. my Mum used to make a version using brown rice, celery and red capsicum. I think the original idea came from Alison Holst (New Zealand’s “Grandmother of Cooking”). I think the only remaining similarities between the original and the following recipe is the use of seeds and raisins with a grain, but I like to pay dues where they are earned. My Mum’s collection of Alison Holst cook books have played a huge part in educating me in the art of creating food. I read (and looked at the pictures) her books over and over… I love the fact her recipes not only illustrate the way to make simple and tasty food, but she tells stories of her life and experiences along the way. For me, that’s the key to a good recipe book; the narrative has to be a big part of it too. It’s one thing to have fantastic recipes, but for me, as an avid reader…. I need to be entertained along the way.
This is reflected in the blogs I read…. awesome recipes and photography are all well and good, but I prefer being engaged through reading (and hearing) a blogger’s “voice.” I will read an entertaining, engagingly written blog over a “pretty” popular blog any day. I crave a bit of brain stimulation, ya know?
Back to rib-sticking recipes… the following is a fridge staple in our house, I make up a huge batch (triple this recipe) for quick munching whilst Misty-wrangling.
Quick Quinoa Salad:
(Vegan, nut/cane sugar free… wheat/soy free if you use tamari)
- 1/2C quinoa + 1 1/2C water for cooking
- 1T + 1t soy sauce (or tamari)
- 1T olive oil
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed
- 1t finely chopped fresh ginger
- 1t brown rice syrup/honey/agave
- 1/4C finely chopped dark raisins
- 1/2C toasted pumpkin seeds
- 1t lemon juice
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Dry chilli flakes (optional… around 1/4t)
- 1/4C chopped fresh herbs (coriander or parsley work really well)
- I always dry toast my quinoa before cooking (until fragrant; 5 minutes or so)…. this removes a little of the bitterness. Otherwise rinse well under running water.
- Combine quinoa and water in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil, and reduce to a gentle simmer.
- Meanwhile, assemble the dressing ingredients in a small bowl… mix together soy, olive oil, liquid sweetener, ginger, garlic and chopped raisins.
- Once most of the water has been absorbed by the quinoa, take it off the heat and pop a lid on it. Let steam do the rest (10 minutes with the lid on, or until quinoa is fluffy).
- Chuck the dressing straight onto the warm quinoa. The heat is enough to slightly “cook” the garlic, so you don’t get the strong raw flavour.
- Wait until quinoa has cooled before tossing through toasted (way better flavour) pumpkin seeds, fresh herbs, and seasoning with black pepper, lemon, and chilli flakes (optional).
This little dish is great for serving up with grilled tofu (or chicken/fish if you are that way inclined). It’s also great stuffed into field mushrooms and baked.