Roast Vegetable Quinoa Salad

I’d had a naughty few days and needed a healthy pick me up. I saw a similar version of this salad online somewhere and just adapted the recipe to use up what I had in the fridge. I had some sweet potato, heaps of fresh coriander and some ricotta. The only thing I bought was the punnet of cherry tomatoes because the idea of using roast cherry tomatoes was too appealing to pass up. It was a very filling salad, but you never feel heavy after eating something like this. Oh and I LOVE olives. I usually buy them in jars, and this week at ALDI I found they had jars of olives for about half the price of the local supermarket! YAY! So I bought a few jars and have been enjoying my little snack for a few days now.

So as far as the roast vegetables go, all I roasted was tomatoes and sweet potato. Some other options could be parsnip, beetroot, brussel sprouts, pumpkin, artichoke or capsicum. Its totally up to you and your fridge! I also saw a recipe during the week that had roast parsnip, artichoke and beetroot, and they sautéed tofu in soy sauce and added it to the salad. That sounded delicious!

Roast Vegetable Quinoa Salad

(Serves 4, Prep time 10mins, Cooking time 25mins)

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups of uncooked Quinoa

1 punnet of cherry tomatoes

1/2 a large sweet potato cubed

1/2 cup of pitted olives (any kind)

1/4 of chopped chopped coriander/cilantro

1/2 cup of light ricotta cheese

Fresh squeezed lime juice and salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Spray a little olive oil cooking spray onto a baking trap and add the cubed sweet potato and cherry tomatoes. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper on top and bake for about 20minutes qt 200C. The tomatoes are ready when the skins start to break.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the quinoa in a rice cooker with three cups of water.
  3. When the quinoa and vegetables are done, combine in a large bowl with half the coriander, half the ricotta, the olives, lime juice and salt and pepper.
  4. place the rest of the coriander and ricotta on top for serving. You could also fancy it up with a couple of wedges of lime!

 

 

 

Beef and Veggie Pasties

I make pasties about once a month or so usually when I have run out of fresh vegetables but still have some frozen. I always have some beef mince and puff pastry in the freezer so its an easy option that’s pretty fast to make, very delicious, and very popular!

Beef and Veggie Pasties

Prep time 15mins, cooking time 25mins

Serves 6

Ingredients:

3 sheets of frozen puff pastry, thawed

3oog beef mince

1 medium brown onion, diced

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

1/4 cup of chopped fresh parsley

1 cup of frozen peas, corn and carrot

1/2 cup of diced fresh vegetables such as potato or mushroom

1/4 cup barbeque sauce

2 tbs tomato paste

3/4 cup beef stock

Method:

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Get two large baking trays/cookie sheets and place a sheet of baking paper on each.

place a little olive oil into a medium saucepan, when hot add the garlic and onion and cook until the onion is soft. Add the beef mince and cook through.

Meanwhile in a large mixing bowl combine the remaining ingredients except the pastry!

When the beef is cooked add the bowl full of saucy vegetables and parsley to the beef, stir to combine and bring to a simmer for 5minutes or until some of the liquid has reduced. Set aside for 10minutes and allow to cool.

Cut each puff pastry sheet in half so you have 6 strips of pastry. Place one strip at a time on a baking tray, and add about half a cup of the cooling beef mixture on one end of the strip. Fold the other end of the strip over the beef mixture so the edges of the pastry touch. fold over the edges, about 1/2 cm in, and then tap down with a fork.

Repeat this process with the other 5 strips of pastry, three pasties to a baking tray. Poke the tops of the pasties with a fork a couple of times. This stops the pasties from puffing up too much while baking.

Place in the oven and bake for 20-25minutes or until golden brown and crispy on top.

Eat your pasties with some tomato sauce and a salad. Or if you really have nothing else in the fridge just eat it by itself and then go shopping the next morning ;).

 

 

 

Hot Cross Scones

My husband and I both love hot cross buns and they are certainly very popular around Easter time. However every time I go to the supermarket I really feel like I am being ripped off having to pay so much for 6 which we would probably consume in one day! The recipes are actually really low cost and the only thing that we had to buy was some sultanas/rasins! However, after arriving home with my sultanas I realised that I had run out of plain flour! So, I used a recipe for scones and essentially made hot cross scones! This recipe was REALLY FAST as they do not need the rising time that the yeast in bread requires, and the scones were still VERY tasty. I also think that this recipe is very child friendly, it might me a nice family Easter activity which allows you to explain all about why there is a cross on hot cross buns!

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups self-raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 60g butter
  • 4 tbs sugar
  • 1/2 cup sultanas and rasins
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 cup milk

Crosses

  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1/3 cup water

Glaze

  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tbs caster sugar

Preheat oven to 220C

Sift dry ingretients into a bowl

Rub butter until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs

Stir sugar and egg into dry ingredients and enough milk to form a soft dough.

Turn onto a floured board and knead lightly.

Pat out to approximately 1cm thickness and using a 5cm round cutter, cut into scones.

place onto a lightly greased oven tray.

Crosses: mix together four and water to make a soft paste (I added about a tablespoon extra water as it was easier to pipe). Using a piping bag and small plain tube, pipe a cross on each scone.

Bake at 220C for 12-15 min.

Glaze: in a small saucepan combine the water and caster sugar, bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes.

Remove scones from oven and brush warm scones with warm glaze.

We ate them with melted butter which was delicious!

Happy Easter!

Lauren

Home Made Sausage Rolls

These home made sausage rolls, or if you are Olivia – snag rolls, are made from a recipe given to me by my mother in law at my kitchen tea party. She made 500 of them for our engagement party and the same for Olivia and Paul’s engagement party. They are becoming famous in our circle of family and friends and now everyone is requesting them. The recipe is of course open to further additions, for example, I like to make them in all different sizes, and sometimes I add extras like spring onion, cheese, grated zucchini, BBQ sauce etc.

Here is the basic recipe and it is DELICIOUS!

Ingredients:

  • 5 sheets of puff pastry
  • 1kg sausage mince
  • 2 cups of bread crumbs freshly made
  • 1 onion roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1tsp mixed herbs
  • 1 carrot roughly chopped
  • 1 celery stalk roughly chopped
  • salt and pepper

Method:

Combine onion, carrot, celery in a food processor and process until fine. If you do not have a food processor the easiest way to get the right size is to finely grate the vegetables.

Combine the chopped vegetables with sausage mince, garlic, bread crumbs, herbs and salt and pepper. This is most easily done with your hands.

Cut each pastry sheet into two or three depending on desired size.

Put mixture onto pastry.

Roll and seal with a little water and brush with milk or egg.

Cut each roll into desired size – for party sausage rolls probably about 6-8.

Bake for 25-35 mins at 200C or 400F – until golden brown on top.

The recipe allows for about 120 party sausage rolls if cutting into 8.

Enjoy!

Home made sausage rolls, 8 to a sheet.

Meat Pie Scrolls

The concept of a meat pie scroll might not sound or look to appealing but trust me it is freakin’ awesome. It contains all the tastes that you love in a meat pie but in easy to eat scroll form. what more could you ask for. There is no dripping gravy on your top or the chance of the entire base falling in on itself and burning your hand. I guess that I am just not very good at eating meat pies. The good thing about this recipe is that it is easy, you know exactly what kind of meat your pie/scroll contains and most of the ingredients you will already have at home.

This recipe is found in the Australian Women’s Weekly Little Pies and Cakes book again. I love this book because everything is portion size and, because it is just Paul and I, if there are leftovers I  can store them individually for Paul to take to work.

ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small brown onion, chopped finely
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 3 rindless bacon rashers, chopped finely
  • 300g beef mince
  • 400g can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 1/4 coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 cups self-raising flour
  • 1 tablespoon castor sugar
  • 50g butter, chopped coarsely
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup pizza cheese

1. Heat oil in large fry pan; cook onion, garlic and bacon, stirring, until onion softens. Add beef cook, stirring., until beef turns brown. Add undrained tomatoes, paste, sauce and stock; bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, about 20 mins or until sauce thickens. Remove from heat; stir in parsley. Cool.

2. Preheat over to 180C/160C fan-forced. Grease two 6-hole texas muffin pans.

3. Sift flour and sugar in medium bowl; run in butter with fingers. Stir in milk; mix to soft, sticky dough. Knead dough on flour surface; roll dough out into 30cmx40cm rectangle.

4. Spread beef mixture over dough; sprinkle with cheese. Roll dough tightly from one long side; trim ends. Cut roll into 12 slices; place one slice in each pan whole.

5. Bake about 25 mins. Serve top-side up.

I didn’t have any fresh parsley but for some reason I have a tonne of the dried stuff. I just used that, so mine scrolls weren’t as healthy looking as the one’s in the book because they are lacking green. Also, I am not in the habit of buying pizza cheese. I have tasty cheese in my house so I just used that. Much to Paul’s dislike, we also don’t have bacon. We already have 4 other types of meat in the house and don’t require any more so I just used finely sliced ham instead.

When we ate these we just had a salad with them. If you want you can make two 15cmx20cm rectangles and bake the scrolls in a normal muffin tray if you don’t have a texas one. These smaller scrolls can also be served at parties as finger food.

Until next time, enjoy your cooking (and eating).

Olivia