Category Archives: Hidden Vegetables

Chicken And Apple Casserole With Chive Dumplings

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As the northern hemisphere basks in the heat it has turned rather chilly here in Western Australia so we are loving slow roasts and some serious comfort food.

This however isn’t slow cooking as I cheat and use left over cooked chook which saves on time and to be honest I usually make double as this freezes a treat for an elusive night off another time.

The dumplings are great for filling teenage boys up and they are gluten free too and sooooo tasty you wouldn’t even know!

Serves 8.

Ingredients

50g butter

1 medium onion, diced

3 medium carrots, diced finely

300g eating apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped

600g cooked chicken, dark and white meat, roughly chopped

300mls cream

750mls chicken stock

salt and pepper

DUMPLINGS

300g gluten free self raising flour

100g butter, diced

20g chives, snipped

salt and pepper

200-250mls milk

Method

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Centigrade.

In a large lidded oven proof frying pan, heat the butter over a medium heat, once melted add the onion, carrot and apple, stir well and cover. Allow to cook slowly for 15-20 minutes until the onion is soft.

Add the chicken to the pan followed by the cream and stock.

Season and bring gently up to a simmer.

Move the pan with the lid on into the oven.

Bake, covered for 25 minutes.

Towards the end of the 25 minutes, make the dumplings.

Weigh the flour into a large bowl, add the diced butter and gently rub it in. Once this resembles fine breadcrumbs add the chives, seasoning and finally the milk, you don’t want it too sticky to handle so try 200mls of milk and slowly increase if need be.

Take the pan from the oven and remove the lid.

Working fairly quickly, roll the dumpling mix into small walnut sized balls and pop onto the top of the casserole, repeat until all of the dumpling dough has been used.

Return the pan to the oven, uncovered, and bake for 35-40 minutes until the dumplings are golden.

Coriander Dressing

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This is one of those fab dressings that goes with so many things, we have it poured over roast chicken pieces, salads, barbecued meat and roast vegetables.

I delight in the fact that some of the vibrancy of the sauce comes from a sneaky handful of spinach leaves, what the boys don’t know won’t hurt them!

Ingredients

a large bunch of coriander, around 70g

1 cup firmly packed baby spinach

1 green chilli, deseeded

1 garlic clove, peeled and roughly chopped

juice of 1 lime

60-80mls olive oil

salt and pepper

 Method

In a food processor, whizz the coriander, spinach, chilli and garlic.

Pour in the lime juice and with the motor running pour in enough oil to get it to the consistency that you are after.

Curried Pumpkin Soup

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This soup brings together two of my favourite things, the comforting hug that soup gives and the glow that using up leftovers guarantees!

I recently found an opened jar of rogan josh curry paste and as we are still on a bit of a health kick I wanted to use it in a vegetarian dish and not the meat that I would usually use. Added to that I am still trying to sneak pulses into the boys without them noticing too much and liquidised soup hides a multitude of goodies!

Quantities wise this makes a BIG pot, 12-16 serves depending on portion sizes but don’t panic, this soup freezes a treat to allow you a meal off another day!

Ingredients

50mls oil

2 medium red onions, peeled and roughly chopped

4 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped

a thumb size piece of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

100g rogan josh curry paste

2kg pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and roughly chopped

400g potatoes, peeled and diced

2 litres vegetable or chicken stock

150g  uncooked red lentils, rinsed and drained

Method

In a BIG pot, I use a 6litre pot.

Heat the oil and add the onion, cook slowly until soft.

Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.

Spoon in the curry paste, stir well and cook for three minutes.

Add the pumpkin and potatoes, stir through and cook for one minute.

Pour in the stock and add the lentils  stir well, cover and bring up to the boil.

Turn the heat down and allow to simmer, covered for 30 minutes.

Check that the potatoes are cooked at this stage, if not pop the soup back on the heat.

I then use a stick blender to whizz the soup until smooth, taste and season with salt and pepper.

 

 

 

Mexican Green Chorizo

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This is so tasty I always make double!

Can’t get the kids to eat greens? Give this a try, I serve it with mini tortillas and the boys make their own, we can get through an entire lettuce, 2 capsicums, 4 avocados and 10 tomatoes, never mind the sneaky spinach and capsicum in the chorizo!

Although I crumbled this for tonight’s dinner it also works well as a burger and sausages.

Leftovers are brilliant with eggs, over an omelette or scrambled eggs is a favourite in our house of I have thrown a little chorizo crumble into the boys school wraps for added zing!

Serves 4-6.

Ingredients

small green capsicum

80g fresh coriander, leaves and stalks

30g green jalapeño chilli, deseeded

4 garlic cloves, peeled

50g baby spinach leaves

1 lime, zest and juice

2 teaspoons dried oregano

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

salt and pepper

500g minced pork

a little oil to fry

Method

Over a BBQ or gas ring, singe the skin of the capsicum, all over until it is completely black. Pop the capsicum in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Wait for 15-20 minutes and then remove from the bowl and rub off the skin, remove the seeds and stalk too.

In a food processor, whizz the capsicum, coriander, jalapeño, garlic, spinach, lime zest, lime juice, oregano, cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper to form a bright green paste.

Weigh the meat into a bowl and add the paste, mix really well with your hands.

Form into any shape that you want, patties, sausages or crumble as I use.

Heat a large frying pan, I use a 32cm non stick pan, add a splash of oil and once hot tip in the green meat.

Using the side of a wooden spoon break up the meat, turning and squishing all the time.

To begin with lots of fluid will release but just keep cooking, on high heat until the water evaporates and the meat is beginning to colour up.

Serve immediately.

 

Pumpkin And Parsnip Soup

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A very smooth soup deserves some garlicky crispy crumbs to elevate it to something really quite fancy!

I use gluten free fresh bread that I crumb but use regular if you can.

Serves 12 and leftover soup freezes really well.

Ingredients

50mls olive oil

1 large onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

900g pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and diced roughly

500g parsnips, peeled and diced roughly

275g potato, peeled and diced roughly

2 litres vegetable stock

salt and pepper

CRUMB TOPPING

100mls olive oil

4 garlic cloves, crushed

200g gluten free breadcrumbs

4 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley

salt and pepper

Method

In a large stock pot or pan, heat the oil and cook the onion until soft.

Add the garlic and cook for one minute, add the pumpkin, parsnip and potatoes, stir well and then cover.

Allow the veg to sweat for 20minutes stirring occasionally.

Add the stock, salt and pepper and bring up to the boil, simmer gently for 30 minutes until all of the vegetables are soft.

Allow to cool a little and then whizz using a stick blender until smooth.

To make the garlicky crumbs, heat the oil in a frying pan, once hot add the garlic and cook over a medium heat for around one minute.

Add the breadcrumbs and cook until crispy.

Stir through the parsley, salt and pepper.

Sprinkle the garlic crumbs over each bowl of soup.

Pumpkin And Garam Masala Soup

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Comfort food in a bowl.

I was given some wonderful Mauritian garam masala by my lovely neighbours and this is a great way to let it shine.

As with most of my soups, I like to make a big batch and freeze half for another day.

Served with some naan or parathas this fills the boys up!

Serves 12.

Ingredients

30-45mls olive oil

1 onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped

1kg pumpkin, peeled and roughly chopped

400g carrots, peeled and roughly chopped

2 tablespoons garam masala

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon chilli powder

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

2 litres vegetable or chicken stock

salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon nigella seeds to finish or freshly ground pepper

Method

In a large soup pan or stock pot, heat the oil.

Add the onion, garlic and carrots and cook gently until the onion is soft.

Add the garam masala, cumin, coriander, chilli and turmeric and stir through, cook until fragrant.

Add the pumpkin and stock and bring up to a gentle simmer.

Simmer, covered for 30minutes until all of the vegetables are soft.

Remove from the heat and liquidise, I use a stick blender.

Check for seasoning.

Reheat gently to serve, spoon into bowls and sprinkle over some nigella seeds of freshly ground pepper.

Chickpea And Carrot Hummus

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Hummus is very popular in our house, great to nibble on as a dip, spread in sandwiches or boxed up for school lunches.

Serves 6.

Ingredients

250g dried chickpeas, around 575g cooked

2 garlic cloves

juice of 3 lemons

4 tablespoons tahini

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

2 carrots, peeled and grated

250mls olive oil

salt and pepper

Method

Soak the chickpeas overnight, drain and pour into a large pan, add three times the quantity of water and bring to the boil. Simmer for one hour until cooked, it may take a little longer depending on your chickpeas.

Drain the chickpeas and allow to cool completely.

Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and process to a smooth paste.

Apple And Walnut Salad

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A lovely crisp and crunchy salad.

Summer is fast approaching in Western Australia so salads are making a come back. I find that fussy kids are more likely to eat salad when it features fruit and nuts!

Serves 4-6.

Ingredients

1 large Granny Smith apple, cored and sliced finely

75g walnut halves, broken a little by hand

150g baby spinach

2 spring onions, finely sliced

a handful of roughly chopped coriander

DRESSING

2 tablespoons olive oil

juice of 1/2 a lime

salt and pepper

Method

Take a dry frying pan, add the nuts and heat gently over a medium heat until a little roasted, remove from the pan and set aside to cool.

Layer up the salad, leaves apple, nuts, onions and coriander.

Combine the dressing ingredients and pour over the salad.

Serve immediately or the apples may brown.

Autumn Vegetable Soup

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A very simple soup but so satisfying and healthy!

I liquidise the soup just to stop fussy children picking bits out but this is a very pretty soup and looks lovely as it is without the stick blender getting to it!

Serves 10.

Ingredients

Splash of olive oil

1 large onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

400g carrots, peeled and roughly chopped

400g potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped

300g parsnips, peeled and roughly chopped

500g beetroot, peeled and roughly chopped

a large sprig of parsley

2.2 litres chicken or vegetable stock

salt and pepper

parsley to garnish

Method

In a large pan, heat the oil over a medium heat, add the onions and cook for 5 minutes until soft.

Add the garlic, carrot, potatoes, parsnip and beetroot and stir through.

Cover with the lid and allow to steam for 10 minutes.

Pour in the stock and bring up to the boil.

Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes until the veggies are soft.

Allow to cool a little and then blend with a stick blender.

Return to the heat and bring back to a simmer, season well.

Serve with a little parsley sprinkled over the top.

Beetroot Falafel

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I love these, yet another sneaky vegetarian meal that seems not to be noticed as the boys eat these in wraps!

Served with quinoa tabbouleh and a good spoonful of Greek yogurt if you aren’t going all out vegan.

I have made the falafel into 40-50 g patties as they are inclined to crumble if you roll them as balls, this way they are easy to flip. I also start them in a pan and then pop them in the oven, you can make them a few hours ahead and then bake when you need them.

Makes 24 falafel.

Ingredients

2 x 400g tin of chickpeas, drained, rinsed and mashed with a potato masher

650g fresh beetroots, topped and tailed and grated

1 onion, finely diced

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

100g tahini

3 tablespoons ground cumin

150g fresh coriander, leaves and stalks, shredded

oil to fry

Method

Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade and line two baking sheets with baking parchment.

Heat a large frying pan over a medium to high heat and add oil.

Take small handfuls of falafel and form into patties, fry in batches, just a a minute or two on each side.

Drain on some kitchen towel roll and then place on the baking sheets.

Once all of the falafel have been made, pop the trays into the oven and bake until crispy, 15-20 mins.