Beetroot leaf and Ricotta Ravioli with Walnut Butter and Dill

Soooo I’m pretty sure this is a revolutionary recipe! I googled it and saw no other recipe the same! Pretty happy with myself over here.
I’d been eyeing off the beetroot powder in my local health food store for the last few months so I figured it was about time I used it in something! Upon googling it I was pleasantly surprised to find out that one tablespoon of the stuff has the nutritional equivalent to a whole beetroot!
I’’ve also recently discovered how easy it is to make your own ricotta, and have been loving using the beetroot leaves and stems in salads as well as the beetroot themselves. So, I thought I’d put it all together into one beautiful looking (and even better tasting) dish!

Beetroot Leaf and Ricotta Ravioli with Walnut Butter and Dill

Serves 8

Ingredients

Pasta dough

340g OOO flour
60g beetroot powder
4 eggs
2 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten, to seal ravioli

Ricotta

2 litres full fat organic milk
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup white vinegar

Filling
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely crushed
2 bunches beetroot leaves and stems, finely sliced
1 bunch curly kale, stems removed, finely sliced
450g ricotta
150g parmesan, finely grated
Zest of 2 lemons
3 tsp sumac
2 egg yolks
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper

Sauce
200g butter
1/2 cup olive oil
150g walnuts, chopped

To serve
Bunch fresh dill tips
Fresh salad, such as lemon and white wine vinegar dressed rocket or finely sliced zucchini

Method

To make pasta dough, combine the flour, beetroot powder and salt. On a clean work surface, make a mound with the flour mixture, making a hole in the middle. Add the eggs into the middle. Using a fork, start to whisk the eggs, slowly incorporating the flour as you go. When it starts to get too thick, use your hands to combine. Knead the dough for about 10mins, until it becomes smooth. Wrap in plastic wrap and leave to rest for about 30mins.
Meanwhile, to make the ricotta, heat the milk and salt over medium to high heat in a large saucepan, stirring often. When steaming, foaming, and just about to boil, take it off the heat and add the vinegar. Stir well, cover, and leave for 15mins. Pour into a muslin lined colander. Allow to strain for 20mins. Discard the whey. Take the curds from the muslin and refrigerate until needed.
To make the filling, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat, Add the garlic, beetroot leaves and kale. Cook, stirring often, for about 10mins or until soft and wilted. Remove from heat and cool.
In a bowl combine the ricotta, beetroot leaf mixture, parmesan, lemon zest, sumac, egg yolks and pepper.
Cut the pasta dough into quarters. Using a pasta machine roll out each piece until dial 2.
Place 1 tsp of filling at 2cm intervals along the dough. Brush seals with beaten egg. Top with pasta and press down around filling to get rid of any air. Use a knife or pasta cutter to cut ravioli. Place ravioli on baking paper until all of it is done.
To make the sauce, heat the butter and olive oil in a pan over medium, high heat. Stirring often, cook until butter is melted and starting to brown, about 15mins. Add the walnuts and continue to cook for another 5mins.
To cook the ravioli, bring a large saucepan water to the boil. Add the ravioli. Cook, stirring, for 5 to 7 mins, or until cooked. Strain and then pour into a large bowl. Immediately add the walnut butter sauce and stir to combine.
Spoon into serving bowls, top with dill and serve alongside your choice of fresh salad.

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

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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.

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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!

 

Maple Roasted Pumpkin, Kale, Blue Vein and Wild Rice Salad with Pomegranate Molasses

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How awesome are vegetables! They are so versatile, exciting, colourful, textural, interesting, and above all, nourishing. I love treating my vegetables as the main point of a meal, all you need is a bit of love and a few extra touches, and the next thing you know you’ll be turning your humble piece of pumpkin thats been hiding at the bottom of your veggie draw, into a beautiful, shining, and delicious star!

I came across this Naranka Gold Pumpkin at the markets here, I’ve never seen it before, but, as I love to roast pumpkin with its skin on, I thought the look of this pumpkin’s golden skin was very enticing. Roasted to perfection with a hint of sweetness and citrus, it was absolutely delicious. Not to mention the nutty wild rice, the bursts of sweetness from the pomegranate, the earthiness of the kale and the strong scent of the blue vein. It is perfectly satisfying as a main meal but would also be great as part of a feast, along with roasted meats, spreads, other salads and breads. You could also replace the rice with quinoa and the blue vein with goats cheese or feta.

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Recipe

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups blended black, red and brown rice

1/2 a small naranka gold pumpkin, about 800g-1kg, cut into thick 5cm wedges, seeds scraped out

1 tbs golden syrup

1 tbs lemon infused olive oil

1/2 cup mixed seeds, such as pepitas, sunflower and pine nuts, toasted

4 large kale leaves, about 120g, stems cut out and leaves finely shredded

Small red onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tsp fennel seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds

Handful of fresh parsley and mint, roughly chopped

120g blue vein cheese. crumbled

Fruit from 1 fresh pomegranate

2 tbs pomegranate molasses

Splash of red wine vinegar and olive oil

Salt and pepper

Method

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celcius. Line an oven tray with baking paper.

In a large bowl, toss the pumpkin with the lemon infused olive oil, maple syrup and some salt and pepper.

Lay the pieces of pumpkin in a single layer on the lined baking tray. Place in the oven and cook for about 45 mins, turning halfway, until golden and tender, crisp edges are good. Remove and allow to cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Boil the rice until tender. Drain, and transfer to a large bowl to cool.

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Sauté the onion and garlic until soft, about 5mins. Add the fennel seeds, cumin seeds, and kale, and continue to sauté for another 5mins. Add to the bowl with the rice, along with half of the toasted seeds, half of the pomegranate, the fresh herbs, a splash of red wine vinegar and olive oil, and some salt and pepper. Mix well.

Empty the rice mixture out onto a large serving plate. Top with the pumpkin, the rest of the seeds, the rest of the pomegranate, the blue vein, and a drizzle of pomegranate molasses.

Enjoy!

 

 

Creamy Pea, Mint, Ginger and Coconut Soup with Kale Chips (Vegan)

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I can’t believe it’s this far into winter and I haven’t posted a recipe for a soup yet! It’s all I’ve been eating this week, along with lots of herbal teas and smoothies, trying to get rid of the killer flu from hell. It’s been so long since I’ve been sick that I totally forgot how horrible it is. It’s been three days now and considering how sick I was on the first day (think fevers so bad that you yell out ridiculous insanities at your loved ones in the middle of the night), I’m pretty impressed how much better I feel, just by consuming immune boosting foods. It makes me pretty proud of my body, and more inclined to keep being this healthy even once I’m over the flu.

Today has been the first day that I’ve had the energy to actually make my own soup, the others I ate were made by my beautiful friends. But my energy bursts are short lived so I wanted to make a simple soup that didn’t require too much chopping but still had enough flavour and texture for it to be interesting, plus the benefits of some immune boosting ingredients like ginger, garlic and mint. Even though there are few ingredients in this soup, the flavours are really interesting and I love how the consistency just perfectly coats your tongue so that you can really appreciate the flavours. Add the crunchy, earthy kale chips and the creamy coconut cream and you have a perfect bowl of goodness. I served it with some delicious Ancient Grain Rolls from my local health food store (got them for free cause they were one day out of date, BONUS!!), warmed in the oven, so delicious and nourishing.

You don’t have to be sick to make this soup, serve it up to your friends for a lazy lunch, or serve smaller portions for an entree. It would even be delicious served cold in the summer, just omit the kale chips, add a drizzle of mint sauce and serve with some tortilla chips.

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Recipe

Seves 6

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil

6 spring onions, white and most of the green part, sliced

3 cloves garlic, crushed

5cm pice ginger, grated

1 tsp dried mint

4 baby potatoes, peeled and diced

1L vegetable stock

1kg peas

10 stalks fresh mint, large leaves chopped and small leaves reserved for garnish

400ml can organic coconut cream, 1/2 for soup and 1/2 reserved for serving

salt and pepper

1 bunch kale, stalks removed and leaves chopped into quarters

spray oil

salt and pepper

bread to serve, whatever kind you like

Method

Pre-heat oven to 180 Degrees Celcius.

Arrange kale on two baking trays, spray with a little oil and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Bake for 10mins, swapping trays half way, or until crunchy and starting to brown at the edges. Remove from oven and leave to cool on trays.

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil and add the onion. Sauté for about 5 mins or until soft, add the garlic, ginger and dried mint and sauté for another 2 mins, making sure it doesn’t brown at all.

Add the vegetable stock and the potatoes and bring to the boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer for about 15 mins.

Put the heat back up to high and add the peas, just bring to the boil and take off the heat. Add the mint and some salt and pepper. Use a stick blender to blend until smooth. Stir half of the coconut cream through, check for seasoning, add more if necessary and your ready to serve!

To serve, drizzle with remaining coconut cream, crumbled kale chips, extra mint leaves and some cracked pepper. Oh, plus your nice warm bread!

 

 

Silverbeet, Kale and Walnut Tart (dairy free)

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My ultimate dream is to become a travelling foodie. I want to travel all over the world and research ingredients, recipes, traditions and methods. Well, I am going to do that anyway but to be able to make money from it somehow would be perfect. I haven’t figured out the best way to go about this yet but I figure if I keep doing what I’m doing, getting better and expanding my skills, I should one day get there.

Very soon I will be leaving this town with an indefinite plan and no return date.  I can’t wait to experience and learn everything I possibly can about the food from different regions along the way.

We will be travelling through northern Australia first, along the coast, and I’m so excited about the seafood.

I hope to be in Europe by this time next year, and after my experience there last year, it’s all I can think about. The local produce markets and beautiful little cafes in beautiful little alleyways…. aaahhhhh.

SBS’s Feast magazine is my favourite food magazine and in their recent issue was a recipe for a kale and walnut tart, taken from the streets of France, where beautiful people support their local businesses and support each other by buying local and cooking seasonally. I loved how simple but beautiful this tart sounded but i also wanted to make something reasonably healthy so I made a few adjustments and it was still absolutely delicious.

The fresh and simple salad to go with it is so perfect. I love the contrast of the creamy, earthy pie filling, the crunchy crust and the fresh juicy tomatoes. The spanish onion adds just the right amount of kick too.

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Recipe

Ingredients

Crust

270g wholemeal flour

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup water

1 tsp salt

Filling

125g silverbeet leaves, finely chopped

125g kale leaves, finely chopped

4 eggs

1 1/2 cups oat milk

1/4 cup coconut cream

70g toasted walnuts, chopped, plus extra to serve

Salad

A few handfuls of heirloom cherry tomatoes

A handful of pitted kalamata olives

Half a spanish onion, thinly sliced

A handful of small basil leaves

Drizzle of good quality olive oil and balsamic viegar

Salt and Pepper

Method

Pre-heat oven to 280 degrees celcius. Grease a 24cm round tart dish.

In a bowl combine the flour, salt and olive oil. Add the water and store to combine. Bring together with your hands and turn out onto clean surface. Knead for about 4 mins or until smooth.

Roll out the dough to 3mm thickness and line the dish with it. Place in the freezer for half an hour.

Meanwhile, to make the filling, combine the silver beet, kale, and walnuts in a bowl. In another bowl beat the eggs with the milk, cream, and some salt and pepper. Add to the silver beet mixture and stir until combined.

Prick the base of the tart crust with a fork and bake for about 20mins or until just dry and lightly golden.

Remove front the oven and pour in the filling. Return to the oven and bake for about 50mins, or until set. Remove front the oven and let it sit for at least 10mins before serving. Or it can be served at room temperature. To serve, scatter with extra walnuts.

To make the salad, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and stir well.

Enjoy!