Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sorrel Pesto and Za’atar Roasted Baby Eggplants

Sorrel is a lovely green that exudes a fantastic lemony flavour..  Similar to spinach it can be lightly cooked or used for extra zing in a salad.  When I stumbled across a bunch not so long ago I wasn’t sure what its destiny would be until the need for pesto arrived one morning.  I tend to have pesto making down pat these days which is great.  With no recipe needed, just a few minutes, sorrel pesto is being connected with a plate of fluffy scrambled eggs for breakfast and then atop some ever so quaint roasted baby eggplants coated in Za’atar  for lunch.  But why stop the parade there I say when you can top off some pan fried salmon for dinner with another dollop and a squeeze of lemon juice also  -  now that was delicious!

For those who are unfamiliar with Za’atar it is a middle eastern spice blend of which there are many different styles which share common ingredients.  It is easy to make yourself but you can also buy pre mixed preparations in most deli’s or specialty food stores.

Sorrel Pesto
Makes approx 2/3 cup

1 bag of fresh sorrel
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
¼ cup pine nuts
1/3 cup packed coriander leaves
1/3 cup freshly grated romano
¼ cup olive oil
1 tsp honey (optional)

Place all the ingredients except the olive oil in a food processor and blend together
Gradually add the olive oil and continue to blend to a paste or your desired chunkiness
Place in a jar with a tight fitting lid and chill in the fridge where it will last for 1 week.

Fine Cooking
Makes 1/3 cup

3 Tbs Dried Thyme
1 Tbs Lightly Toasted Sesame Seeds
1 Tbs Ground Sumac
½ tsp Dried Oregano
¼ tsp sea salt

Mix all together in a bowl or if you have a spice grinder pulse a few times to break up slightly making sure not to over processs (you should still have some whole seeds in the mix)
Store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Roasted Baby Eggplants

10 baby eggplants, cut in half
2 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs Za’atar

Preheat oven to 185 degrees celcius
Line a baking tray with foil
Prepare eggplants by washing and cutting into half
Place the halved eggplants in a bowl and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 Tbs Za’atar, tossing well to coat the eggplant.
Place in the oven for approximately 20 mins or until soft and cooked through

** Roasted baby eggplants are super to have on hand for pepping up and adding variety to a salad or even as a side when a quick dinner is called for. 

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Monday, September 17, 2012

Some Spicy Tomato Ketchup

  Spiced Tomato Ketchup

Spiced Tomato Ketchup and Roasted Kipfler Potato's

Since recently attending a cooking class at the Spirithouse I’ve had an asian influenced cooking bug of which this ketchup by Kelly Lord forms part of.  Generally I am very bad at sticking to any recipe however on this occasion i managed to stick to the lines fairly closely which, is possibly a world first for me.  My personal spin on the dish entered when i decided to serve this luscious sauce over  freshly roasted kipfler potatoes which isn't asian but pretty darn good none the less.

Use this sauce as you wish.  For that matter it is great as a sauce for pizza or anywhere else you may use a tomato based sauce (within reason).  Beware it does make quite a large quantity so feel free to halve the recipe below.  I have done this numerous times and it makes approximately 500ml.  A perfect amount if you ask me.

Kelly Lord’s Spiced Tomato Ketchup
Makes - a lot

Step 1

1.5 kgs vine ripened tomatos
1 medium red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tspns black peppercorns
2 tspns mustard seeds
2 whole cloves
1/2 stick cinnamon
1 tsp smoked paprika
10 red chillies, deseeded and sliced

Place all the above ingredients into a large stock pot and simmer slowly for 45 mins or until a third of the juices have evaporated.
Stir frequently whilst cooking.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Once cooled, place the tomato mixture in a blender and blend on high for approx 1 minute
Strain the blended mixture through a sieve and into a saucepan, making sure you have extracted as much juice as possible from the pulp.

Step 2

1/3 cup coconut sugar (original recipe calls for brown sugar)
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
1 lime, juiced
1tsp sea salt

Place the saucepan with sieved ingredients on a medium heat and add the ingredients from Step 2.
Allow to simmer for about 10 - 15 mins.
If you prefer a thinner consistency then only simmer for 5 mins.

Once cooked, allow to cool before placing into a sterilised jar in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.

Kipfler Potato

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Pumpkin Quinoa Cake For My Dad - Two Ways!

“The food is terrible, he said” 

The words of my Dad who was recently hospitalised for two weeks after falling terribly ill.  Of course we knew he was on the mend when these words passed his lips.  It was a relief to hear.

  I took off home that day and headed straight to the kitchen with the intention of creating something delicious but wholesome, and, I was pretty happy with the outcome.  I knew I had done it the moment I pulled it from the oven. 

I could smell the cake was done.  I let it cool then wrapped it in some fabric I had in the cupboard before heading back to the hospital, for a picnic of sorts from which there were crumbs to match thanks to two ravenous boys.  I can only imagine the cleaner was not impressed the following morning.    

I made the original version of this cake on spelt flour but since then I have created another version using oat flour for my own curiosity really.  It was equally delicious and is the one pictured.   I include the recipe for it below, if you are interested.  It could be regarded as gluten free if uncontaminated oat flour is used.  For anyone interested in making their own oat flour click here.

In my climate I like to store this cake in the fridge if it hasn’t been eaten within a day or two.  Allow it to come to room temp before serving or warm gently if you can’t wait. 

Pumpkin Quinoa Cake

(Dry Ingredients)
3/4 cup whole spelt flour
3/4 cup almond meal
3/4 cup quinoa, cooked
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp cinnamon, ground

(Wet Ingredients)
2 eggs
1/2 cup ricotta
1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup chopped pecans + extra to top
1 cup grated pumpkin

Preheat over to 185 degrees celcius
Line a loaf pan with baking paper
Place the first 7 ingredients into a bowl and use a whisk to lightly mix together and break up any lumps 
Then mix the wet ingredients together using a whisk
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix lightly using a rubber spatula
Add the chopped pecans and grated pumpkin and mix again
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf tin and top with extra pecans if you wish
Place in the middle shelf of the oven and cook for approximately 35 - 40 mins or until a skewer when inserted comes out cleanly

Oat Flour Version
 (Gluten Free if Oat Flour is Non-Contaminated)

(Dry Ingredients)
3/4 cup oat flour
3/4 cup almond meal
3/4 cup quinoa, cooked
1/2 cup brown rice flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tbs arrowroot flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt

(Wet Ingredients)
2 eggs
1/3 cup ricotta
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup full cream milk

1/2 cup pecans
I cup grated pumpkin

Essentially follow the same method as above for the spelt version

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Tried and Tested Thai Style Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin Soup

I seriously have no idea why I haven’t shared this considering we have been eating it all winter long.  Soup is such a great thing to just have on hand.  I can’t tell you how many times it has been my saviour.  

Thai Style Pumpkin Soup
Serves 6
Inspired by the Spirithouse

1 - 2 Tbs macadamia oil
4 cups pumpkin, chopped

1 Tbs macadamia oil
1 red onion sliced thinly
1 can of coconut milk
1 Tbs red curry paste
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 Tbs coconut sugar (brown sugar will also do)
1 Tbs fish sauce

1/2 cup coriander leaves, roughly chopped
juice of 1 lime

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius
Place pumpkin on a baking tray and lightly coat/spray with oil
Roast until tender (approx 25 mins - 30 mins depending on the size of your pieces)
Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly

Meanwhile heat macadamia oil over a low - medium heat in a heavy based saucepan
Add the onion and cook until soft
Turn down the heat slightly before adding a 1/4 cup coconut milk and the curry paste 
Allow to cook gently for 5 mins 
Add the slightly cooked pumpkin, remaining coconut milk, stock, fish sauce and coconut sugar
Allow to simmer for 5 - 10 mins longer
Add the coriander leaves and transfer to a blender or use a hand held blender to puree
Add the lime juice and adjust the seasoning if necessary 

Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin Soup

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Hey There, I’m Sherilyn the creator of Wholepromise. This is where I venture outside of being a mum, wife and Fertility Nurse Specialist. I live on the Sunshine Coast in Qld, Australia and am spoilt by year round access to Farmers Markets offering a plethora of local, seasonal and organic produce. In all Wholepromise is my style of food, it’s the food I want my boys to appreciate and it’s the food that makes me happy. Styling and photographing it is just another bonus.


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