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Ham Hock and Barley Soup

Ham Hock and Barley Soup

Ingredients – Serves 6-8 (depending on your appetite)

  • Ham hock from your local butcher
  • 1-2 carrot sticks diced
  • 1 leek diced
  • 5 garlic cloves crushed/diced
  • 2 celery sticks diced
  • 1-2 zucchini diced
  • 1/2 – 1 cup of mixed soup packet (containing barley, yellow lentils, split peas etc.)
  • 400g tomato passata
  • 1 tbs of balsamic vinegar
  • 2 generous tbs tomato paste
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • salt and pepper (S&P) to taste
  • 1 bunch of basil and or parsley chopped/torn

Method

Get ready to make a large amount of soup, my advice is to get a big pot.

First step is to saute the leek using 1 tbs of extra virgin olive oil on a medium heat, note if you find your leek is sticking add some water to the pot and turn the heat down.  Once the leek is cooked add the garlic, celery, carrot and zucchini continue to saute until the vegetables are slightly soft.  Then add the tomato paste, tomato passata, balsamic vinegar and ham hock.  Cover all ingredients with water and bring to the boil, once the soup is boiling give it a stir then add the barley/soup mix, give the pot a good stir and turn down the soup and simmer for at least an hour and a half.  The longer and slower you cook this soup the more flavour you will get out of the ham hock.  Make sure you taste this one along the way to ensure you have a balance of flavours.  Once the lentils and grains have softened to your liking and the meat falls off the bone, your soup is ready to be served.  Serve this with lots of chopped herbs and S&P to taste.  Enjoy!

Basil, Barley and Goats Cheese Salad

Basil, Barley and Goats Cheese Salad

Ingredients – Serves 6-8

  • 400g barley
  • 1-2 cups of basil
  • 2 garlic cloves (crushed or finely chopped)
  • 1/2 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
  • 100g soft goats cheese
  • 300g rocket leaves
  • 1/2 cup crushed roasted almonds
  • 1 lemon

Method

Cook the barley in a pot on the stove.  Add enough water to cover the barley in the pot, bring the barley to the boil add plenty of salt to the water.  Allow the barley to cook for 35 minutes or until tender, add more water if need be, do not let the water dry out.  Barley has a nutty flavour, is high in fiber and contains certain micro nutrients like selenium and manganese.  Meanwhile whilst the barley is cooking, combine the garlic, basil and EVOO together using a mortar and pestle or a small hand held blender. Once the barley is cooked to your liking, drain any excess water and rinse.  Then into your salad bowl place the barley and pour the EVOO dressing over the barley, mix through thoroughly and allow to infuse for at least half an hour.  Once the barley has cooled, add the remaining ingredients, squeeze the lemon over the salad and serve with extra Basil leaves for garnish.

This salad can be enjoyed on it’s own or served with a protein of your choice.  I hope you enjoy this salad, it’s always wonderful to introduce different grains into your diet.

x

Chicken and Miso Soup

Chicken and Miso Soup

Ingredients – Serves 2-4

  • 1/3 cup miso paste (try Spiral Organic Shiro Miso)
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2tbs tamari sauce
  • 2-4cm finely grated/sliced ginger knob
  • 1-2tbs mirin seasoning
  • 6 cups of water
  • 350g chicken tendons diced
  • 250g mushrooms
  • 2 generous handfuls of coriander roughly chopped
  • dried chilli to taste
  • 2 shallots roughly chopped
  • 2 generous handfuls of baby spinach

Method

Saute onions for 5 minutes in small amount of extra virgin olive oil or a splash of water.  Once translucent add miso paste, tamari, 6 cups of water, grated/sliced ginger and mirin seasoning bring to the boil.  Once boiling add the chicken this will cook over about 5-10mins.  Once the chicken is cooked add the mushrooms and cook for a further 2-3 mins.  To serve, pour the soup of a bowl of baby spinach.  Garnish the soup with chilli, shallots and coriander.

Enjoy x

Rice Paper Rolls

Rice Paper Rolls

Ingredients

  • 300g pork medallions
  • 1 capsicum finely sliced
  • 1 cucumber finely sliced
  • 1 carrot finely sliced
  • mint leaves
  • 100g vermicilli noodles (optional)
  • Dipping Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tamari sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey/maple syrup
  • 1 small garlic clove (diced)
  • 1cm ginger grated
  • 1 squeeze lemon
  • 1 tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Rice paper rolls

Method

  1. Mix all dipping ingredients in a jar, mix well.  Taste to see if need to add anything extra, e.g. more sweetener or maybe a squeeze of lemon!
  2. Cook pork to your liking in small amount of sesame oil. Once cooked finely slice on chopping board.
  3. Slice all other vegetables, very finely like match sticks so they fit nicely into your rice paper roll.
  4. Cook noodles following instructions (if using)
  5. Wet a dry tea towel and lay flat on your bench, have a bowl of cold water for the rice paper to dip into.
  6. Place first piece of rice paper in bowl of water to moisten.  Then place rice paper on the damp tea towel.
  7. Place small amount of each ingredients in the middle of the rice paper, remembering this needs to be a bit size amount not too big.  Garnish ingredients with small amount of mint and a drizzle of the sauce.
  8. Roll the rice paper with ingredients following instructions on rice paper roll packaging.
  9. Place first roll on serving plate.  Complete steps 6 – 8 until all ingredients have been used.
  10. Finally enjoy, served with more of the yummy dipping sauce!

 

Easy Vegetarian Dinner Inspiration

Easy Vegetarian Dinner Inspiration

Evening All, I made this dinner last night… honestly it was made in fifteen minutes and tastes sooo good.

Ingredients – Serves 3-4 (depending how hungry you are)

  • 1 can chickpeas drained (Note with can food, I try to organic where possible but I also watch out for number in the ingredients)
  • 1 can red kidney beans drained
  • 1 can lentils drained
  • I can tomatoes
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 garlic
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 can of organic coconut milk (or cream)
  • Cottage cheese to serve
  • 250g of baby spinach
  • Coriander

Method

  1. Saute onions for 5 minutes.  Add garlic and sautee for another 5 minutes, until onions are translucent.
  2. Add all other ingredients: tin tomato’s, chickpeas, red kidney beans, lentils, juice of one lemon, coconut milk.  Simmer for another 5 minutes
  3. Serve on a bed of baby spinach, with a dollop of cottage cheese and corriander
Greek Salad with a Twist

Greek Salad with a Twist

It is already feeling like summer and I am loving getting back into more salads.  Try this salad using your homemade chicken stock – it’s super fresh!

Ingredients, Serves 2-3 (depending how hungry you are!)

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 2 cups of homemade chicken stock
  • half a cauliflower chopped into florets and roasted for 25-30mins in splash of olive oil and lemon zest
  • 1 cucumber diced
  • 1 punnet cherry tomatoes
  • 250g of rocket (add more if you like more, I always have more rocket, love it!)
  • 1 bunch mint chopped
  • 1 bunch parsley chopped

Dressing

  • 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oi
  • Juice from 1-2 lemons and or you could use roughly 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of chopped mint
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 clove of garlic (minced)

Method

  1. Cook quinoa – 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups chicken stock.  Bring mixture to the boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 mins.  When cooked all excess moisture should have gone from the pot, leaving a slightly translucent grain.  Allow to cool slightly.
  2. Meanwhile – break/cut cauliflower into florets and mix with a little Extra Virgin Olive Oil and lemon zest.  Roast in oven @ 180 degrees for about 25-30 mins allowing the cauliflower to caramelise
  3. Mix salad dressing ingredients into a jar mix and taste, balance the flavours if necessary
  4. Put all other salad ingredients into a bowl, add the roasted cauliflower last and drizzle with a generous amount of dressing.
  5. This salad would go beautifully with lamb, lemon chicken or some white fish.

Enjoy. x

Thai Pumpkin Soup

Thai Pumpkin Soup

This is a delicious and so simple recipe.  I like things to be as easy as possible in the kitchen.

Ingredients: Serves 4 -6

  • 1 Leek or brown onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 head of cauliflower. cut into smaller florets
  • 500g Jap Pumpkin, take skin off and cut into chunks
  • 2 big tablespoons of Yellow Curry Paste (I use Mae Ploy, no nasties in it just pour ingredients: lemongrass, shallots, garlic, galangal, diced red chilli, corriander seed, Kaffir lime peal etc… ) “It’s the bomb, if you don’t have all the wonderful individual spices in your kitchen”
  • 500ml of home made chicken stock
  • 400ml of coconut milk or cream
  • bunch of corriander

Method:

Roast pumpkin in oven for roughly 30mins at 180 degress

Meanwhile sauté leek for 5mins and then add the garlic and continue sauteing for another 3-4mins until leek is soft in texture.  Then add 2 tablespoons of curry paste, the cauliflower and pumpkin, sauté for another 2-3 minutes so the vegetables absorb the spices.

Add the chicken stock, bring to the boil and reduce heat cook until cauliflower is cooked through.  Once cooked blend all the ingredients with a blender until you have a smooth consistency.  Final step add the coconut milk stir through.

Serve with a generous garnish of corriander, salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy! x

Cauliflower Soup

Cauliflower Soup

Ingredients

  • 2-3 L of home made chicken stock
  • 2 leeks
  • 2 rashes of bacon (Nitrate free) – finely diced or 200g diced chicken thigh
  • 1 whole cauliflower
  • 2 zucchini grated
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • Handful of chopped parsley, chives and salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Saute leeks in 1 tbs of extra virgin olive oil for 5 mins then add minced garlic and continue to saute for another 5 mins until soft and slightly caramelised
  2. Add diced bacon of chicken, cook for a further 5-8 mins on medium heat until cooked through
  3. Add grated zucchini for flavour saute for a further 1 minute
  4. Add 2-3 Litres of homemade chicken stock (depending on your personal preference).  Less stock gives you a thicker soup.
  5. Bring to a boil and then reduce and simmer on low for about 1 hour on until cauliflower is soft, once soft
  6. Blend to your liking and reheat before serving.  Garnish with parsley, chives and salt and pepper and cream if you wish!