Broccoli Soup (Blue Cheese optional)

2 tbsp butter (or olive oil)

1 large onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed (or 2 tsp pre-crushed garlic)

1 large head broccoli, chopped (include the stalks to save waste and add flavour)

1 large potato, peeled and diced

1 ltr chicken stock

150 g blue cheese (optional)

 Melt butter (or heat oil) in a large pot.  Add onions and garlic and cook until soft.  Add broccoli, potato and chicken stock.  Bring to the boil, then simmer until vegetables are soft.  Blend until smooth.  Crumble the cheese and stir through the soup.  (If you don’t like blue cheese, just omit and serve as broccoli and potato soup.)  Delicious served with a dollop of sour cream.

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Cinnamon Apple Cake

500 g apples (or pears)

125 g butter

¾ cup sugar

1 egg

1 ½ cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 ½ tsp cinnamon

½ tsp all spice

Peel (optional) and chop apples (or pears).  Melt butter in a large saucepan then add fruit and sugar.  Stir together until sugar dissolves.  Beat egg then add, while quickly stirring the fruit mix.  Sift remaining dry ingredients and stir into the fruit mixture.  Try not to overmix.  Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 35 minutes.

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Yummy stirfry

1 chopped onion

1 tsp crushed garlic

1 tsp grated ginger

500 g chicken breast or beef schnitzel (cut into strips)

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 splash of sesame oil

1 tsp fish sauce

2 carrots, sliced

1 cup broccoli florets

½ capsicum

¼ cabbage, sliced

¼ cup cashew or peanuts to serve

Fry onion (until clear) in a large non-stick frying pan or wok.  Add garlic, ginger and meat, quickly fry until the meat is browned.  Add soy sauce, sesame oil and fish sauce, quickly stir through.  Add vegetables and cook until heated through (or longer if you prefer softer vegetables).  If you need a little more liquid to steam the vegetables add ¼ - ½ cup of water or chicken stock.  Sprinkle with nuts to serve.  Serve with rice or noodles.

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Courgette Fritters

½ cup plain flour

½ tsp baking powder

1 tsp mixed herbs

½ cup milk

½ onion

1 cup grated courgette

¼ cup grated cheese

1 egg (beaten)

2 tbsp olive oil

Combine flour, baking powder and herbs into a bowl.  Slowly add milk, mixing to a batter like consistency.  Finely chop the onion, then add onion and courgette to the fritter mix.  Stir through.  Beat egg and mix into the fritter mixture.  Finally, add the cheese and stir lightly through.  Heat oil in a frying pan, up to a moderate heat.  Drop tablespoons of the fritter mixture into the pan.  Cook until golden on one side, then turn and cook the other side.  Serve hot. 

These are a great lunchbox filler with hummus, or a nice chutney, or add a side salad for a tasty meal.  You can replace the courgette with any other vegetables, or a combination for variety.

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Kale and cheese muffins

1 ½ cups finely chopped kale

1 tbsp chopped capsicum

¾ cup grated tasty cheese

2 cups plain flour

4 tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

1 beaten egg

50 g melted butter

½ cup milk

2 tbsp pesto (optional)

1 tsp mixed herbs (optional)

Put kale, capsicum and cheese into a bowl.  Sift flour, baking powder and salt into the bowl.  Stir to combine.  Quickly stir in egg, butter and milk.  For more flavour add pesto or mixed herbs.  Do not over mix, or muffins will be over-firm.  Spoon mixture into greased muffin tins.  Bake at 200 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes or until golden.  Makes 12. 

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Carrot, coconut and coriander salad

4-6 carrots

½ cup coconut flakes (or shredded coconut)

¼ cup cashews (substitute peanuts for a more cost-effective option)

2 tbsp edible seeds (whatever you have on hand i.e sesame, sunflower, pumpkin)

Fresh coriander to taste

1 tsp olive oil

Juice of ½ orange

Coarsely grate carrots and place in a bowl.  Add coconut, cashews (or peanuts), seeds and coriander (roughly torn).  Mix together.

Combine olive oil with the orange juice then toss through to dress.  But remember, drizzle – don’t drown!

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Plum and Apple Crumble

3 apples

4 plums

1 tablespoon water

1/4 cup rolled oats

1 tablespoon coconut

2 tablespoons flour

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

25g butter

Peel and dice the apples into 1-2cm cubes.  Leaving skin on the plums, also dice into 1cm squares.  Put diced fruit in the base of an ovenproof dish.  Add water.  Combine oats, coconut, flour and cinnamon in a bowl.  Melt butter and add to the dry mix, rubbing through until the mixture is like coarse breadcrumbs.  Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the fruit.  Bake at 180 degrees for 30 minutes, until golden brown on top.  Serve with cream or ice cream.  (Just don't tell Lauren.)

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Garlic and Lemon Broccoli

1-2 heads of fresh broccoli cut into florets (as pictured)

3 tablespoons of olive oil

5 garlic cloves finely chopped

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

Salt and pepper to taste

Bring 5cm of water to the boil in a saucepan fitted with a steamer attachment.  Add broccoli, cover and steam until tender, 3-5 minutes.  If you don't have a steamer attachment, simply boil enough water to cover the broccoli, then add the broccoli direct to the boiling water for 2-3 minutes.

Heat oil and garlic in a frying pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally.  Cook until garlic is fragrant and just starting to brown.  Scrape garlic into a large bowl and immediately add lemon juice, zest and salt and pepper. 

Stir the broccoli into the lemon mixture and stir to coat.  Serve hot and enjoy! 

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