Tag Archives: Garlic

Celebrating Spring

The arrival of spring is such an exciting time of the year. Blossoms. Ducklings. Daffodils. My birthday.Sunshine. Dresses. Asparagus. I love spring and the flavours of spring but I still struggle to cook seasonally. I blame reading food blogs written by people in the Northern Hemisphere. It takes some restraint to bookmark all the pumpkin recipes appearing online and not succumb to ‘order envy’ and to embrace what is in season here.

Spring is the season for asparagus, avocados, beetroot, courgette, cucumber and tangelo so I’ll be trying to make the most of these ingredients being cheap and at their tastiest in the coming weeks. I’m terrible at remembering what is in season when, but the Healthy Food Guide has a great reference chart you can easily glance at to see what fruits and veges are available when.

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This stir-fry is very simple. It consists of just orange, pork and asparagus, seasoned and flavoured with a little olive oil and garlic. The flavour combination may seem strange but is light and fresh. I think a cool glass of white wine would have just made it… next time.

Pork, Asparagus & Orange Stir Fry Recipe
(adapted from Good House Keeping)

(serves 2 or 4 if served with rice)

Ingredients

  • 200g pork, sliced into strips (use a bit more pork if serving 4)
  • 500g (2 bunches) asparagus, stalks halved
  • 2 oranges
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • salt and pepper

Method

1. Grate 1 teaspoon of rind from the first orange and squeeze 1/4 cup of orange juice from it. Set aside.
2. Cut the skin and pitch (white bitter coating under the skin) from the second orange. Cut the flesh 8 wedges and then cut each wedge into 3 or 4 pieces.
3. Heat the olive oil in a fry pan over a medium-high heat and stir fry the pork until just cooked. (Don’t over cook it as I did or it will be chewy). Remove pork from pan and set aside.
4. Add asparagus to pan with orange rind, garlic and 1/4 cup of water. Cover the pan and cook for two minutes until the asparagus is bright green and tender crisp.
5. Add orange juice, pork & orange pieces. Heat through.
6. Season with salt and pepper then serve.

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Beef with Asparagus and Mushrooms

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If I could post smells instead of pictures on this blog, then today it would be the smell of these vegetables cooking. The asparagus, onion, mushrooms cooking in olive oil, rosemary, garlic and lemon juice were fragrant and made the kitchen smell incredible.

Asparagus being back made me a happy grocery shopper this morning and I had to try it out in this South Beach recipe for Beef with Asparagus and Mushrooms. I’m no fan of the South Beach diet – I’m too much of a carbohydrate lover to follow it but I have found that the website has some really, really delicious, nutrient packed meal ideas.

This dish is very simple – pan-fried steak and sautéed vegetables. The addition of garlic, rosemary and especially the lemon zest takes it from being potentially boring to something to get excited about (unless I’m the only one who gets excited about a good feed?!).  I’ve re-written the recipe here in metric measurements and for 2 portions instead of 4.

Beef with Asparagus and Mushrooms (from the South Beach Diet)

(serves 2)

Ingredients

  • 2 portions of steak
  • 1T olive oil
  • 2t dried rosemary
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 onion, roughly diced
  • 1 bunch asparagus, with spears cut into thirds
  • 250g mushrooms, sliced
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon
  • Salt and pepper, freshly ground

Method

1. Score the steak with diagonal lines
2. Rub 1t rosemary, 1 clove garlic into the steak and season with salt and pepper
3. Heat 1/2T of oil over a medium-high heat and fry steak for ~4 minutes on each side (for medium-rare)
4. Cover the meat with foil while preparing the vegetables.
5. Reduce heat to medium and heat the remaining 1/2T of oil
6. Sauté onion for 2 minutes
7. Add remaining garlic and stir through
8. Add mushrooms and asparagus, cook for 5 minutes until asparagus is cooked through but still crisp and mushrooms are turning golden brown
9. Add the lemon zest and remaining 1t of rosemary
8. Season with salt and pepper before serving

If you’re like me and get grumpy with-out some carbs or you’re hungry I’d recommend serving this with some boiled baby potatoes. Mm.

Order Envy20

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Sesame Beef Stir Fry

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When I was growing up, broccoli seemed almost exotic. Our family didn’t eat broccoli at this stage and I always enjoyed it when I had dinner at my best friend’s house. Years later, the novelty hasn’t worn off but I enjoy broccoli for different reasons. I love how it only takes a few minutes to steam and how sauce gets stuck in its little finger bits (I’m sure they have a name, any ideas anyone?!).

This quick recipe is based on the Sesame Beef & Noodles by Women’s Weekly. I have simplified the method a little bit, added more broccoli (yum) and used dried rice noodles instead of fresh rice noodles because they are a lot easier to find and super cheap too. I like that this recipe doesn’t have  a lot of ingredients.

Sesame Beef Stir Fry

(serves 2)

Ingredients

  • 200g beef
  • 1/2t sesame oil
  • 1/2TBSP peanut oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 broccoli head
  • 100g rice noodles
  • 1TBSP sesame seeds
  • 1/8C oyster sauce
  • 1/8C sweet chilli sauce

Method

1. Coat beef with oils and garlic. Cover and leave to marinate over night
2. Put rice noodles in a large bowl, cover with boiling water until soft (about 3 minutes) then drain
3. Cut broccoli head into florets
4. Simmer broccoli for 1 minute until bright green, drain
5. Microwave sesame seeds at minute intervals until golden brown
6. Stir fry beef over a high heat. When just browned add noodles, broccoli and sauces
7. Serve stir fry sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds

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Easy Miso Vege Soup

This soup has been one of my staples this winter. It’s nothing gourmet but I like it because it is warming, satisfying and an easy source of lots of vegetables and protein. Perfect for when all you want to do is snuggle up under a warm blanket and keep warm! It also reheats nicely for lunch or dinner the next day.

Easy Miso Vege Soup Recipe

(serves 2)

Ingredients

  • 3C water
  • 3TBSP miso paste
  • 1/2t ginger, minced
  • 1/2t garlic, minced
  • 1TBSP tamari
  • 200g pumpkin, chopped into cubes
  • 1/4 cauliflower head, chopped into florets
  • 1/3C dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/2 block tofu, cubed
  • 1 large handful baby spinach leaves
  • 1 spring onion, chopped finely
  • 1 sheet nori (seaweed), cut into thin strips  (I roll my nori up like a cigar before cutting it to save time)

Method

1. Bring water to the boil in a medium saucepan
2. In the meantime, chop the pumpkin, tofu and cauliflower
3. Whisk miso paste, ginger, garlic and tamari into water then add pumpkin, tofu, cauliflower and mushrooms
4. Once the pumpkin is tender (about 12 minutes depending on the size of your cubes) add the spinach leaves and heat until wilted.
5. Serve the soup in bowls and sprinkle spring onion and nori on top

This is another recipe that lends itself to using up left over veges lingering in your fridge. I have used kumara, broccoli, beans, carrots and snow peas before. Rice noodles would be another nice addition if you wanted to bulk it out a bit.

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Recipe Underdog Win

At the start of every week I make a list of recipes I want to cook and go and buy the ingredients so I’m not having to visit the supermarket every other day. I start off making the recipes I’m excited about and then get left with the ones that I wonder why I even chose. More often than not it’s the end of week reject recipes that are often the most delicious. Maybe it’s because they make me venture from my usual ‘safe’ eating choices.

Yesterday I tried my favourite recipe I’ve cooked so far since writing this blog. I hadn’t been looking forward to cooking it but my-oh-my it was delicious! I just wish I’d made more because I could happily live off the leftovers for days. The recipe was Thai Fried Quinoa by Mama Pea of PeasandThankyou. Check out her website, it’s hilarious and everything I have tried off it has been super tasty.

To cook this dish you toast quinoa in a saucepan, then simmer it in broth and coconut milk. Meanwhile, you fry up garlic, ginger, spring onion then peas, pineapple and coriander. You add the cooked quinoa to the fry pan, add some soy sauce and lime juice then top it with roasted peanuts, coriander and coconut. So simple but so good. I wanted to bulk mine out a bit so added some shrimp in at the start with the garlic and ginger. I am SO glad I did – it was the perfect protein accompaniment.

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Almond Butter, Pancakes, Salmon and Hummus

Don’t worry, I haven’t gone mad – I’m not considering putting the ingredients in the title together! Yesterday morning started disastrously – my beloved almond butter smashed onto the kitchen tiles. Thankfully the stickiness of the almond butter meant that most of the glass attached itself to the giant glob of nut butter. Not cool.

To console myself I made a new egg white and oat pancake recipe topped with banana, toasted coconut, pineapple and a tiny bit of almond butter I managed to save. The toppings were amazing but the pancakes were so so, so no recipe to share for them. I’ve seen so many recipes online with egg whites and oats blended together to make a healthy, protein-filled pancake but there is no disguising the egg. The pancakes had an ‘omlettey’ texture, nothing like the spongy pancakes I prefer.

For lunch I made a Salmon Noodle Bowl by Faith at An Edible Mosaic. You must give this a go. The noodle bowl is very simple to prepare and looks impressive. You just simmer the noodles, saute the vegetables in a garlic-ginger-honey glaze and then add the fried salmon on the top. For the vegetables, I used bok choy (80 cents at my local FruitWorld – what a bargain), carrot and half an onion. Next time I’d probably two bok choy as I prefer lots of green stuff! I used whole grain spaghetti instead of noodles because it is what I had on hand but soba noodles would have been better. You could even use rice noodles and make it gluten-free.

Today’s lunch was also very satisfying. I made a sandwich using homemade cannellini and feta hummus. I adapted this recipe from Caitlyn’s Holly Deliciousness Hummus and it was super good. Adding feta is actually genius. It took all of two minutes to throw the ingredients in the blender to being able to spread this on my sandwich.

Cannellini Feta Hummus Recipe (adapted from Caitlyn’s Holly Deliciousness Hummus)

Ingredients

  • 1 can of cannellini beans
  • 1TBSP tahini
  • 1tsp garlic, minced
  • 50g feta, crumbled
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 TBSP water
  • 1 tsp dried capscicum flakes (optional)
  • salt and pepper

Method

1. Drain and rinse cannellini beans
2. Add beans and all other ingredients (apart from salt and pepper) to blender
3. Blend until smooth and creamy
4. Season to taste with salt and pepper
5. Try not to eat too much and give yourself a tummy ache like I did – it’s quite rich!

This recipe is definitely a keeper. Next time I’m going to add sun dried tomatoes and basil. This definitely beats store-bought hummus!

http://www.healthytippingpoint.com/2011/08/holy-deliciousness-hummus.html

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Lentil Dahl

Don’t be put off by the long list of spices for this recipe.  Although there are lots are ingredients, it is still a quick and easy dinner to throw together on a weeknight. I use the half  hour the recipe takes to simmer to tidy the kitchen, make my lunch or prepare some dessert. I used canned lentils because that is what I had in my cupboard but you could most definitely use dried lentils and it wouldn’t take much, if any, longer to prepare. You would just need to increase the amount of stock so the lentils have enough moisture to absorb.

Lentil Dahl Recipe

adapted from Joe Rich’s Red Lentil Dahl recipe

(serves 2 as a main or 4 with rice and vegetables)

Ingredients

  • 1tsp cumin seeds
  • 2tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2tsp fennel seeds
  • 1tsp ground coriander
  • 1tsp cardamom
  • 1/2tsp ground chili
  • 1/4tsp cinnamon
  • 1 lug olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1TBSP minced garlic (3-4 garlic cloves)
  • 1TBSP minced ginger
  • 1/2tsp salt
  • 3TBSP tomato paste
  • 1/2C vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 can lentils
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1TBSP lime juice
  • few handfuls of baby spinach leaves

Method

1. Gently heat spices in a saucepan with oil until fragrant
2. Add onion and saute until softened and translucent
3. Add garlic and ginger and cook for a further few minutes
4. Add salt, tomato paste, stock, lentils & tomatoes
5. Cook for 20-30 minutes until mixture is thickened
6. Add lime juice and spinach, stir until wilted

I just had this plain but plain yogurt and some coriander leaves on top would have just made it. The flavour is quite ‘tomato-ey’ and has a just a little heat. It’s definitely not authentic Indian by any stretch of the imagination but still yummy.

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