Thursday 30 November 2017

Christmas nibbles: 3rd December and Easy Peasy soup

Our Spade to plate group is running out of food in the allotment, but we are looking at the other side of this weekly event. The harvesting has been good but the being together, cooking and eating has been lovely. So for now we shall focus on this part until next season when we hope the allotment and garden will once again give us an abundance of lovely organic food.

We made some Easy Peasy Soup as it is a wonderful standby soup, for busy households.

We also made some Christmas nibbles

Food ideas for Christmas nibbles:

tomato, basil and mozzerella kebabs

Brie, veggie bacon and walnut puffs

Mince pies with puff pastry

In addition we made this a veggie Christmas Tree for those of us who want a gluten, dairy, nut free healthy nibble

and some hummus as a base for a dip.

Low fat hummus with yoghurt

What You'll Need

1 15-ounce can of chickpeas (or garbanzo beans, drained; save liquid)
1 to 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1/2 cup plain yogurt
Blend all and serve

Hopefully this will get us in Christmas spirit.

Bon Appetite!

Monday 20 November 2017

From Spade to plate: vegetable soup and thai vegetable curry

Today’s soup was lovely but almost too simple to give the recipe.

Basically we chopped an onion and some ginger, June softened this in some oil.
Then we added the finely chopped, carrots, broccoli (florets as well as stalk) leek, potato and some finely chopped brussels sprouts.
Sweated the vegetables and then added vegetable stock. At the very end we put in a handful of vermicelli.(pasta) boiled it for another couple of minutes et Voila,this tasty soup was it was ready in no time.

The rice was cooked in a rice cooker with some salt this time. Felicia, showed us how to use this as she uses it all the time.

We steamed 2 medium sized butternut squashes (because I thought that would be enough for the 6 of us) you could use sweet potatoes instead. We cut up some brussels sprouts and added a handful of peas. (I suppose you can use any combination, even baby corn, beans etc) 

In a non stick pan we heated oil and added  a good table spoon of yellow curry paste and cooked for a minute to develop the flavour.
When fragrant we added a quarter of a tin of coconut milk and mixed it all through.

Once done, we added the rest of the coconut milk, rinsed out the tin with 2 tbsp of water and added to the pan.
Then we added the butternut squash chunks, brussels and peas and a little salt to taste.
We simmered it for another 10 or so minutes.

Meanwhile we dry roasted a handful of cashew nuts. when toasted, we put most into the coconut mixture, keeping behind a little as topping when we dish up.

We served the curry on a bed of rice and topped with cashew nuts and coriander leaves. MMM!

Very quick and easy but above all. VERY tasty.

Tuesday 14 November 2017

From Spade to Plate: Mung bean vegetable curry with yoghurt coriander and rice

The recipe for the  Mung bean curry: 4 servings

1 cup of mung beans soaked for 6 hours or overnight
2 tbsp oil
2 tsp brown mustard seeds
1 finely sliced onion
15 gr finely grated ginger
1 tsp tumeric powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
4-6 minced garlic cloves
1 can of chopped tomatoes
2 carrots sliced into half moons
4 cups of vegetable stock
3 large handfuls of shredded silverbeet/spinach
sea salt to taste

In a large pot heat the oil over a medium high  heat and add the mustard seeds
When the mustard seeds start to pop add the cumin seeds and onion. Saute for a few minutes over a medium heat. When until onions become translucent, add the chilli, tumeric, ginger, garlic and tomatoes.

Continue to saute on gentle heat for another 5 minutes, until the tomato pieces are cooked down. Then mix in the mung beans and carrots. Stir thoroughly so all the spices and flavours coat the ingredients

Next add the stock and bring to boil. then turn down and gently simmer.
At this point you may want to add some salt, try 1/2 a teaspoon.

Cook for 30 minutes with the lid partially on, until the lentils are fully cooked and you have a thick caserole like consistency. You will need to stir consistently so that the beans don't stick to the bottom of the pot.
Once cooked, stir in the beet and simmer for a couple more minutes before turning off.

Serve with basmati rice, a dollop of yoghurt and a fresh salad.

Monday 6 November 2017

From Spade to Plate: 6th November" What to do with this Marrow

Today we saw the first frost of the year, it started cold but wow what a beautiful morning it became. fresh with a blue sky,  a real treat. Michael and I set up the kitchen for the from Spade to plate session and a little before 11, Lucy and Theo arrived. Lucy got the cheese and flour for the Brasilian cheese balls (*)
she is going to make with us today. Followed by Carmen who surprised us by presenting each member of the group with a lovely notebook for our recipes and new English words.
She had made a fish as well as a bird cage design cover. Delightful. Many thanks Carmen!

Eileen, Lucy and Glo, had a go at making the cheese balls

Whilst June and Carmen made the dough for the lasagne sheet,

You see we still had this Marrow which we wanted to turn into something lovely that could feed 9 people for lunch.

Michael and Felicia turned part of the marrow into a hearty lentil and Zucchini Soup

Rather than using the yellow lentils we used red lentils and the chicken broth was changed for vegetable stock.  The end result was delicious.

We went to the allotment to pick the spinach for the courgette, spinach and ricotta lasagne

Francis turned the pasta dough into lasagna sheets  whilst Michael and Felicia made the white sauce, the spinach and courgette filling to put the dish together. Whilst we ate our soup and cheese bread, the lasagne went into the oven for 20 minutes. The end result, a filling and tasty lunch  shared with a record  number of friends.   Thank you to Lucy, Glo, Carmen, Francis, Eileen, Michael and June it was a lovely morning again.

The pasta dough was rather sticky as we used the full eggs. We should be using:
2 cups of plain flour, 2 egg yolks, pinch of salt, table spoon of oil and a little bit of water if needed.

(*) This is the recipe we used rather than the one mentioned above from the internet

15 mins
25 mins
40 mins
Cuisine: Brazilian
Serves: 60 cheese rolls

·       500g tapioca/cassava flour (in Portuguese: polvilho doce)
·       2 cups milk
·       1/2 cup oil
·       150g grated parmesan cheese
·       3 large eggs (or 4 small/medium)
·       2 teaspoons salt

1.    Combine the milk and oil in a saucepan and bring to boil
2.    Add the tapioca flour and salt to a big bowl and, once the milk mixture boils, pour it over the flour. Mix it with a spoon until it cools so you can use your hands
3.    Then add the eggs, one at a time. You will think they won't mix, since the tapioca flour mixture is so sticky, but hang in there cause they will.
4.    Once the eggs are incorporated, add the cheese, until fully incorporated.
5.    The dough is supposed to be soft and sticky. However, if you're worried it's too liquidy, add some more tapioca flour. Just don't over do it or your cheese bread will be tough and not too gooey.
6.    To shape the balls, wet your hands with cold water and, using a spoon, scoop some of the dough to shape balls that are a little smaller than golf-sized.
7.    Place the balls on a baking sheet and bring it to the oven at 180 C. No need to preheat the oven.
8.    Bake for 25 minutes or until they are golden and puffed.
9.    Serve them warm! :)

To freeze them, shape the balls, place them on the baking sheet and bring to the freezer. Once they are frozen, transfer to a ziplock bag and keep them in the freezer.
Once you're ready to use them, place the balls on a baking sheet and bring it to the oven as usual (again, no need to preheat the oven) and bake the frozen balls for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden and puffy.