Foodie

Zucchini & Tomato Bake

zucchini tomato bakeI used to make this deliciously simple zucchini bake dish all the time but I forgot about it until I was gifted a sh*tload of zucchini last month…I had zucchini coming out the wahzoo. I beavered away in the kitchen making zucchini salad, zucchini chocolate cake, zucchini curry, zucchini fritters (anyone else thinking of Forrest Gump right about now?) when something jolted my memory and a little voice in my head said ‘hang on!’ – what about zucchini/tomato bake? And I’ve made it three times since in the last few weeks, it’s that good.

Note, it might look a tad dry on top, but trust me: Once you cut into it, the moist goodness of the melted zucchini and tomato hits you. I love the crunchy topping as a contrast. Mmmm.

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Bacon, Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad

bacon broccoli and cauliflower saladI’ve been making this delicious salad for years, however it recently got an extreme makeover! My friend Emma sent me her cauliflower and broccoli salad recipe, which is really similar to mine, but it had a few extra ingredients that I just knew would take the recipe to a whole new level.  Emma’s addition of sweetness and vinegar in the creamy mayo dressing, as well as cauliflower a main ingredient, well… Oh yes. See for yourself!

Thanks Emma for the inspiration x

Bacon, Broccoli & Cauliflower Salad Recipe

Salad ingredients
1 head broccoli, cut into small pieces
1/2 head cauliflower, cut into small pieces
8 slices streaky bacon pan fried till cripsy, cooled, then chopped into little pieces
1/2 cup Craisins (you can use raisins or sultanas too)
1/4 cup sliced almonds (you can sub with other nuts)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (”   “)
3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds (dry fry them in a frying pan)
½ cup red onion chopped (Top tip: Finely dice the onion, cover it in cold water, drain the water out after five minutes, pat the onion dry with a paper towel. This step takes the acidity out of the onion!)
1 red capscium, finely sliced
2 heaped tablespoons of fresh herbs (you choose, I use any of the following: Flat leaf parsley, basil, mint – use what’s on hand!) – reserve some for ganish!

Dressing
1 cup of my Homemade DIY mayonnaise (click here) – if you don’t fancy making your own mayo, Best Foods or Hellman’s Mayonnaise are your next best options
1 tablespoon cider vinegar (rice wine and standard white vinegar work too!)
1 tablespoon of runny honey

  • Place salad ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Mix all the dressing ingredients together in a separate bowl.
  • Add the dressing ingredients to the salad – mix well. Top the salad with the reserved herbs as a garnish.
  • Chill for half an hour before serving

Couscous with herby feta and pomegranate

I made this yummy and rather festive looking salad over my recent (glorious) summer holiday in Ohope. It would have been gorgeous on the dinner table on Christmas Day – check out those colours!  I actually wanted to make this dish using Israeli couscous but we couldn’t find it anywhere! It didn’t matter a bit, regular couscous worked super well and I’ll definitely be making this again.   Bonus too, as well as being delicious this salad was super easy to prepare.

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Pesto Crusted Salmon

Pesto crusted salmonI’m a little bit excited about this recipe. Salmon is easily my fish of choice – I just can’t get enough of it. Add pesto into the same sentence as salmon and you’ve got me grinning like a Cheshire Cat.  Bonus too – this has sod all ingredients (I know my recipes can get a tad lengthy – so enjoy this!). This definitely falls in the ‘easy mid week’ dinner category – despite looking like it’s something you’d cook for a flash dinner party (that’s my kind of dinner!). (more…)

Coconutty Bark (sugar free goodness)

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My version of Cave Girl’s brilliant recipe!

Way back in September I took part in Sugar Free September. The whole low/no sugar movement is gaining momentum and I thought I’d give it a whirl. The Executive Summary of that story is:  I did it, I feel great and fast forward now, We’ve stayed sugar free (mainly) because we feel GREAT.

Sure, there’s been a couple of what I call ‘Relaxing Moments’ but they aren’t biggies by any stretch of the imagination.  What am I relaxing on? Wine mostly – Pinot Gris to be precise, my tipple of choice when the weather gets warmer.  In context though, as someone who had a serious weakness for chocolate at 3pm, it’s nothing short of miraculous that I’ve eaten four squares of chocolate since late August. That’s it for the extent of my ‘sugar deviation’ not bad, right?   I’m staying sugar free because I feel amazing. But I won’t witter on about that here because I went on about it here. 

Anyhow, one of the things I enjoyed most about Sugar Free September was trying out new food and recipes and I thought it would be fun to share my favourite recipe from September. If you follow me on Facebook you’ll have seen this before as I shared the recipe for Pecan and Caramel Bark from the Cave Girl blog which, frankly,  is a recipe of pure genius.  So, with Cave Girl as my inspiration, I made up my own barky version and… YUM!  Both bark recipes are so good that, even if I fall well and truly off the sugar bandwagon, I’ll still whip this up. Now, while I shared the recipe on Facebook, those little buggers at Facebook are playing mind games with me as some of my posts on my Facebook just vanish – like POOF! Gone! I have no idea why (if anyone knows – please enlighten me as this palaver drives a woman batty). So, for prosperity, here’s the Coconutty Bark recipe I posted on Facebook here on the blog: Now it’s kept safe for us all to enjoy!  (more…)

Hollandaise Sauce – It’s easy

easy hollandaise sauce recipeEggs benedict. Asparagus with Hollandaise. The thought makes me go weak at the knees and my mouth water.  Everytime I make this sauce for visitors they are wowed that I’ve made it from scratch.  The thing is, I’ve bought pre-made Hollandaise sauce and I’ve been really underwhelmed – it just doesn’t compare to the homemade version.

Unfortunately, lots of people are intimidated by making Hollandaise because it’s known for being finicky and temperamental, or to be more precise, splitting.  I’m pleased to report this easy Hollandaise sauce recipe has never split on me, far from it: It turns out perfect everytime, the only problem is reigning in how much you eat! It’s also easy – it takes two minutes for the sauce to come together, which I like, I’m not known for having the best attention span in the North Island. I think the secret with this fool-proof recipe is that it contains less butter than most other Hollandaise recipes. Before you starting high-fiving me thinking this is a calorie friendly sauce, hold fire: It’s not.  But it’s delicious. Give it a go! (more…)

Speedy Spaghetti and Meatballs

spaghetti and meatballs recipeI put a call out on my Facebook page a while back to see what recipes you lovely blog readers would like to see: Speedy savoury dinners seemed to be a bit of a popular theme! Well, you said, I’m delivering.

This speedy meatball recipe totally fries my burger as I can get this dinner on the table within 25 minutes, while multi-tasking with those those tedious domestic activities like supervising homework and getting lunches ready for the following day.    This recipe is also really versatile: Haven’t got pesto? Add a sauce (sweet chilli sauce, tomato paste, BBQ sauce, hell, tomato sauce if you like). Don’t like/haven’t got cheese? Leave it out.  If you want to speed things up, use a pre-made pasta sauce (I make pasta sauce in bulk from scratch and keep it in the cupboard in sterilised jars…  Since Operation Sugar Reduction I find pre-made pasta sauces like Dolmio far too sweet).

Lastly, here’s a tip: Make double the meatball recipe (get the kids to help you with the rolling) and keep them to cook the next night. Stuff them into wholemeal pita breads, or roll them up in tortillas. Add salad and your favourite sauces/dressing (mayonnaise, pesto, hummus, sweet chilli sauce, you get the idea). This is another speedy, popular, tasty and healthy mid week dinner.

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