Kalamata Olive and Roast Almond Tapenade

dsc_1431dsc_1335 dsc_1340

Every year I say, I’m not doing anything for Christmas, I can’t afford it, I don’t have time, blah blah blah. But then, every year, next minute, I’m elbows deep in royal icing, fighting off the flies on a 35 degree summer’s day, making gingerbread houses that no-one is going to eat. And I secretly love it.

However, I’m guessing most people aren’t like me, so here is a recipe for an impressive but very easy appetiser for these entertaining times. Will post another one tomorrow for an even easier one!dsc_1371 dsc_1396dsc_1415 dsc_1434

Recipe
Makes about 2 cups
Ingredients
500g kalamata olives
4 anchovies plus 1 tbs of their oil
2 cloves garlic
2 tbs capers
4 tbs olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp cracked pepper
1 cup roasted almonds plus a quarter of a cup of sliced to serve
To Serve
4 garlic bulbs, cut and roasted with olive oil, salt and pepper at 180 degrees for about 30mins
Cherry tomatoes on the vine, roasted at 180 degrees for about 15mins
Danish Feta
Fresh baguette (or a gluten free alterna
Fresh basil leaves
Method
To make the tapenade, first roughly chop the almonds in a food processor by using the pulse button so as not to over-chop. Empty them into a bowl.
Place the olives, anchovies, garlic, capers, olive oil, lemon juice and pepper in the processor and process until combined and relatively smooth. Empty into the bowl with the almonds and stir to combine.
To serve, place in a bowl and top with the extra sliced almonds. Place bowl on a platter with the garlic, tomatoes, feta, baguette and basil leaves.
Enjoy!

Charred Avocado, Cucumber, Radish and Chickpea Salad

dsc_1236

 

dsc_1248

dsc_1212

Here is a recipe for an impressive but simple salad that would serve well as a nice lunch with some white wine or to take to a barbecue. It’s perfect on it’s own but would also go really well with some grilled chicken or salmon. Crusty bread would also go well on the side.
I used to talk about stuff on this blog about life and inspiration. But, at the moment, I have nothing interesting to say. And I’m sure no-one cares anyway. However, if you do, I’d love some feedback.
Hope you like the salad.

dsc_1200

Recipe
Serves 4
Ingredients
2 avocados
Lemon oil for grilling
1 bunch radishes, thinly sliced on a mandolin
5 baby cucumbers, finely sliced on a mandolin
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
Handful of fresh dill sprigs
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
Salt and pepper
Crusty bread to serve (optional)
Method
Heat a grill pan over high heat. Cut the avocados in half. Remove the seed and cut each half into thirds. Peel away the skin. Brush the avocado with the lemon oil and place, cut side down, on the hot grill pan. Grill each cut side for about 2 mins, or until blackened lines appear. Remove from the heat and set aside.
To make the dressing, combine the lemon juice, olive oil, dijon mustard and some salt and pepper in a tightly sealed jar and shake well to combine.
To serve, arrange the avocado, radishes, cucumbers and chickpeas on a platter. Drizzle with the dressing and sprinkle with the dill.
Enjoy!

Beetroot Carpaccio with Horseradish Dressing

dsc_1097 dsc_1159 dsc_1139

This recipe came about as a result of some amazing fresh beets that I picked up at the farmers market and my new love for horseradish cream. This is a simple but impressive starter or light meal, or you could serve it with some grilled meat and crusty bread to bulk it out. Replace the horseradish cream with dijon mustard if you’d like the dish to remain vegan.dsc_1110

dsc_1151 dsc_1080

Recipe

Ingredients

Serves 4 as a starter or light meal

4 fresh beetroot, stalks trimmed and discarded, leaves reserved
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tbs fresh chopped dill, plus extra to serve
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
2 tsp honey
2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs red wine vinegar
2 tsp horseradish cream (or mustard for vegan)
salt and pepper
50g baby capers
70g walnuts, roasted and roughly chopped
Crusty bread

Method

Place the beetroot in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to the boil over high heat and continue to boil for about 45mins or until a knife inserts easily into the flesh. Drain and rinse under cold water,using your hands to slip away the skin. Set aside and allow to cool.
Meanwhile, to make the dressing, Place the lemon juice, 2 tbs chopped dill, red onion, honey, olive oil, vinegar, horseradish and salt and pepper in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake thoroughly to combine.
Using a mandolin, thinly slice the beetroot into rounds.
On a platter arrange the beetroot leaves, and then the beetroot. Drizzle over the dressing. Sprinkle with the capers, remaining dill and walnuts.
Serve with crusty bread.
Enjoy!

Indonesian Jackfruit and Mushroom Curry with Red Rice, Crispy Tempeh, Green Papaya Salad and Sweet Potato Chips

DSC_1045

Here is another curry recipe using the Indonesian Curry Paste from the last post. If you haven’t had jackfruit before, I strongly suggest you give it a go, especially if you are a vegan or vegetarian, it’s a great substitute for meat. It’s becoming easier to find in Australia, most good asian or indian grocers should have it in cans. Here in Indonesia it’s growing everywhere and most markets sell it by the piece, already cut, which is good because cutting a fresh one can be a very messy, sticky task. Check out my recipe for Smokey Pulled Jackfruit Burgers for another yummy way to use jackfruit.

DSC_1044

Recipe

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

Curry

2 tbs sesame oil

1 cup Indonesian Curry Paste

500ml coconut milk

1 litre vegetable stock

4 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce

2 cans jackfruit, drained

200g chanterelle mushrooms (or any mushroom you like)

Bunch kale, roughly chopped

Bunch choy sum, roughly chopped

Green Papaya Salad

2 cups shredded green papaya

1 chilli, finely chopped

Juice of 3 limes

2 tablespoons palm sugar

1 tsp salt

Handful each of lemon basil, coriander and mint

Crispy Tempeh

1 piece tempeh, chopped into 2cm pieces

3 tbs Canola oil

3 tbs kecap manis

To serve

Cooked red rice

Lime wedges

Sweet potato chips

Method

For the curry, heat the sesame oil in a large wok over medium to high heat. Add the curry paste and cook, stirring, for about 1min until fragrant. Add the coconut milk, stock, tamari and jackfruit. Bring the boil, reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 45mins, or until jackfruit is very tender and starting to fall apart. Add water during this time if the sauce is becoming too thick and reduced.

Add the mushrooms, kale and choy sum and cook for a further 10mins or until mushrooms and greens are just cooked.

Meanwhile, for the green papaya salad, combine all the ingredients in a bowl, stir well, cover and refrigerate until needed.

When ready to serve, cook the tempeh. Heat the canola oil over medium heat in a frying pan. Add the tempeh and the kecap manis and cook, stirring, for about 5mins or until tempeh is crispy and golden brown.

Serve the curry with the cooked red rice, papaya salad, crispy tempeh, lime wedges and sweet potato chips.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Creamy Kabocha Squash Dip with Kale, Nashi Pear, Chilli and Cashew Topping

DSC_1023 DSC_1019 DSC_0993

Dips are one of my favourite things to make, it’s so easy to make a different variation every time, depending on what you have available. I also like the challenge of making them super healthy but equally as delicious as a naughty, creamy, oily, cheesy dip you might buy from the supermarket. So many of the so called ‘healthy’ dips you can buy, like hummus and babaganoush can have very high levels of oil in them. When I make dips, sauces and pestos at home I try to use water and vinegar where possible and usually it turns out just as delicious. Sometimes just a drizzle of oil on top of the finished product is all you need.

The kabocha squash I used in this dip is a type of asian squash that is abundant in the markets here at the moment, but you could use any type of pumpkin you like, butternut would work well. You could also use green apple or a firm green pear in place of the nashi pear.

DSC_1033 DSC_1016

Recipe

Ingredients

1kg kabocha squash, cut into wedges, skin left on, seeds removed

1/4 cup coconut nectar or maple syrup

1 tbs sesame oil

1 whole bulb garlic, cloves separated

salt

150ml coconut cream

1/4 cup tahini paste or cashew butter

Juice of half a lemon

1 tsp curry powder

2 large leaves of kale stem removed, finely shredded

1/2 nashi pear, julienned

1 long red chilli, finely sliced

handful of fresh herbs such as lemon basil, mint and coriander

1 tsp olive oil

juice of 1/2 a small lime

handful of roasted cashews

Brown rice crackers, to serve

Method

Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Line an oven tray with baking paper. Place the squash in an even layer on the tray, along with the garlic and drizzle with half of the coconut syrup, sesame oil and sprinkle with salt.

Roast in the oven for about 45mins or until very tender. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Scoop the flesh from the squash into a food processor (reserve the skins for a roast vegetable salad or just to snack on, they are delicious). Squeeze the garlic from the skins and add to the pumpkin along with the rest of the coconut syrup, coconut cream, tahini, lemon juice and curry powder. Process until combined and smooth. Check for seasoning and add salt if necessary. Spoon out into a wide, shallow bowl.

In another bowl add the kale, nashi pear, chilli, herbs, olive oil, lime juice and a pinch of salt. Use your hands to combine and slightly massage the kale to soften it.

Spoon on top of the dip and sprinkle with the cashews.

Serve with brown rice crackers or scoops of choice!

Enjoy!

 

Vegan Pandan Cake

DSC_0747DSC_0743

Pandan. Amazing. Smells and tastes like nothing else I’ve experienced, and the colour is something else! It is used in so many desserts in many asian countries, but also works beautifully in savoury dishes like curries and rice. Fortunately lots of Asian grocers in Australia now stock Pandan leaves, and will definitely stock the Pandan essence I used for this cake. The Cassava flour turns the cake into more of a pudding texture, it is unusual but delicious. I iced this cake with condensed milk that was simmered and reduced with Pandan essence to form a sort of caramel. But if you want to keep the cake vegan, I would suggest using a simple icing of icing sugar, lemon juice and pandan essence.
DSC_0760

Recipe

Ingredients

4 cups cassava flour

1 1/2 cups palm sugar

3 tsp baking powder

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp salt

3 cups coconut milk

2 tsp chia seeds mixed with 2 tbs water

1 tsp pandan essence

1/4 cup white vinegar

Method

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celsius. Grease and line a 30cm cake tin.

In a large bowl combine the flour, palm sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and salt.

Add the coconut milk, chia, pandan essence and vinegar. Stir to combine.

Spoon into prepared pan and bake for about 40-50mins or until risen and springs back to the touch.

Cool in pan.

Turn out and ice as you please.

 

Tempeh Burgers with Chilli Beetroot Relish, Tahini Sauce, Salad and Seeds on Pumpkin Bread

DSC_0811DSC_0825DSC_0827DSC_0831

Tempeh is possibly one of the best things on the face of this earth. It is so damn tasty and so damn good for you (except for maybe when you fry it up all crispy in oil….)

The flavour of tempeh on it’s own is delicious already, but, teamed with a few spices and some sweet and salty sauces, it is next level. All shoved in a dripping burger full of fresh salad, spicy beetroot relish and nutty tahini sauce, you definitely won’t be missing meat after this meal.

I love how readily available and cheap the tempeh is here in Bali. I’ll definitely be missing that back in Aus. I need to get into making myself. We bought the beautiful pumpkin bread and fresh produce from the organic markets here in Canggu on the weekend, always a treat!

DSC_0813 DSC_0818 DSC_0839

Recipe

Ingredients

4 pumpkin bread rolls (or whatever type you prefer)

1/4 cup coconut oil (or other cooking oil)

4 pieces tempeh, halved horizontally

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 tsp ground turmeric

Lettuce leaves

Tomatoes, sliced

Red onion, thinly siced

Bean sprouts

Cucumber, sliced

Toasted sunflower seeds

Fresh coriander

Chilli Beetroot Relish

Ingredients

2 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp crushed black pepper

1 tsp dried chilli flakes

1 tbs olive oil

1 red onion, finely diced

6 cloves garlic, crushed

Thumb side piece of ginger, grated

5 birdseye chillies, finely chopped

3 fresh beetroot (small fist sized), peeled and grated

2 cups white vinegar

2 litres water

salt to taste

Tahini Sauce

Ingredients

3 cloves garlic, crushed

4 tbs tahini

1 tbs coconut syrup (or maple syrup/golden syrup/honey)

3 tbs lemon juice

water

salt and pepper

Method

To make the beetroot relish, first, toast the cumin, coriander, pepper and dried chilli in a dry frying pan for about 1min, stirring constantly, until fragrant. Remove from pan and set aside.

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook the onion, stirring, for about 3mins, or until soft. Add the garlic, ginger and chillies, and cook, stirring, for a further 1min. Add the toasted spices, beetroot, vinegar, some salt and 2 cups of the water. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally and adding a cup of water at a time as it reduces. Continue this for about nd hour and a half until beetroot is very soft and liquid is mostly absorbed. Spoon hot relish into sterilised jars and seal. Keep in the fridge after opening. Makes about 3 cups.

Meanwhile, to marinate the tempeh, in a shallow dish sprinkle the tempeh with the soy sauce and turmeric. Rub to coat evenly and allow to marinate in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

To make the tahini sauce, combine the tahini, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add a tablespoon of water at a time until desired consistency is reached.

To make the burgers, heat the coconut oil in a large, non-stick frying pan over medium to high heat. Cook the tempeh, about 2 mins each side, until browned and crispy.

Toast the buns if you wish. Assemble the burgers with as little or as much ingredients as you want!

Enjoy with a side of potato wedges and cold beer!

 

 

Tempeh and Mushroom Fritters with Pickled Cucumber and Chilli Sambal

DSC_0704DSC_0675DSC_0693DSC_0666DSC_0659I’ve finally escaped the Australian East Coast winter and am lucky enough to again be in the warm and welcoming arms of Bali. It’s been a week now since we arrived and we are finally starting to feel like we are away from it all. Our jobs, families, responsibilities good and bad. I always struggle in the first week to let it all go and allow myself yo relax. I straight away start to come up with ideas and projects and then struggle between the guilt of not getting onto them straight away and allowing myself to have a break.

So, I’ve started slow with a couple of little recipes and shoots this week. All enjoyed by the poolside at the end of the day, so really, not too stressful…..

The local market here in Canggu is great for seasonal and cheap produce, it’s a hectic motorbike ride along a busy road to get there so we always try and get as much as we can carry back. I haven’t had the guts to carry a pumpkin on the bike yet but will sometime soon!

These little fritters were a delicious afternoon treat with some cold drinks and jumps in the pool. You can serve them like this or alongside some rice and salad for a more substantial meal. I used button mushrooms here but shitake would be even better. Corn kernels would also work well. If you can’t find Cassava flour, chickpea flour would be a fine substitute.DSC_0710DSC_0715DSC_0718DSC_0653Recipe

Mushroom and Tempeh Fritters

Ingredients

800g tempeh, chopped into 1cm cubes

10 shallots, finely sliced

500g mushrooms

2 1/2 cups cassava flour

1 lemon, zest and juice

1-2 cups water

2 tsp ground coriander

1 large thumb ginger, grated

4 tbs soy sauce

salt and pepper

Handful fresh coriander, chopped

Canola oil for shallow frying

Method

Combine all of the ingredients, except the water, in large bowl. Add one cup of the water and stir to combine, add the rest of the water as needed, until mixture sticks together but isn’t too wet.

Heat the oil in a wok, about 5cm deep. Test it is hot enough by seeing if a cube of bread turns golden in about 20secs.

Fry heaped tablespoons of mixture, in batches, turning frequently, until dark golden brown. Don’t be put off by how dark they go, they need to cook in the middle. Test one if you need.

Drain on paper towel, sprinkle with fresh coriander and serve with samba and pickled cucumber.

Pickled Cucumber

Ingredients

1 small or half a large telegraph cucumber, halved lengthways, seeds scraped out and finely chopped

Handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped

1 cup white vinegar

2 tbs white sugar

salt and pepper

Method

Combine ingredients in a bowl and mix well until sugar dissolves. Refrigerate for at least 20mins, or until needed.

Chilli Sambal

Ingredients

2 brown onions, peeled and chopped

1 whole bulb garlic, cloves peeled and chopped

2 large thumbs ginger, peeled and chopped

10 birdseye chillies

4 stalks lemongrass, white and pale green parts chopped

4 tomatoes, chopped

3 tbs palm sugar

1/4 cup vinegar

juice of 5 small limes

1 tbs fish sauce (optional)

salt and pepper

Method

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Check for seasoning and adjust to suit.

Keep in a jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

 

 

 

Watermelon, Radish and Pistachio Salad with Herbed Quark

DSC_0336DSC_0322DSC_0293DSC_0345

Here is a beautiful fresh recipe that would be perfect for Summer, not really now, in this freezing cold, disgusting wintry weather. Back in February was when I actually made this salad, we took it to the beach to watch the sunset and enjoy the beautiful warm weather. It’s just that I haven’t had two seconds to spare until now to actually sit down and get the recipe up on here for you all. I’m struggling to remember how I actually made the dressing, I did have it written on scrap of paper somewhere, but who knows where that is hiding now. Lucky it’s a pretty straightforward salad, you could almost make it just from looking at the photos, which, as you can see, there are plenty of (they are all just too pretty with those radishes!)

If you’ve never heard of quark before, it’s a European style cheese, similar in texture to cottage cheese or ricotta and similar in flavour to yoghurt. It is a healthier option to cheese as it is lower in fat and salt, and has a lot more protein than yoghurt. It is becoming more available in Australia these days, I was surprised to find it in my local supermarket. However, if you can’t find it, ricotta or feta will work just fine in this recipe.

This salad is perfect as a fancy little entree or, if you want to serve it as a main, you could beef it up with a grain, such as pearl barley, or add some cooked prawns and some fresh crusty bread alongside. Yum!

DSC_0306DSC_0294DSC_0325DSC_0303

Recipe

Serves 4

Ingredients

Half a small watermelon, sliced into small triangles

1 bunch radishes, thinly sliced

1 bunch fresh basil, leaves picked, half finely chopped and half left whole

1/4 cup fresh chives, finely chopped

300g quark

edible flowers and nasturtium leaves

3/4 cup roasted pistachios, roughly chopped

1/3 cup olive oil

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons honey

salt and pepper

 

Method

To make the dressing, combine the olive oil, vinegar, honey, salt, pepper and a 1/4 cup of the pistachios in a small food processor. Process until the pistachios are finely chopped and the dressing is well combined. Taste and check for seasoning and a balance in acidity and sweetness. Adjust if necessary.

To make the herbed quark, combine the quark, finely chopped basil and chives, mix well.

On four plates, arrange the watermelon, radishes, whole basil leaves, quenelles of the herbed quark, flowers, nasturtium leaves and the rest of the pistachios. Drizzle with the dressing.

Enjoy!