Sunday, January 11, 2009


Simple, but yummy. I don't usually write out recipes, just make 'em up in my head, but here goes.

Watermelon 'sorbet'
This is what I made up tonight when I was craving ice cream and there was none in the house. It is sugar-free! All quantities are approximate, I don't measure. Agave nectar is a natural, low-GI sweetener available from health-food stores.
2 cups frozen watermelon chunks
2/3 cup coconut cream
a squeeze of agave nectar (to taste)
a handful frozen raspberries (other fruit with robust flavour will work, the mixture was too bland with just the watermelon)

Throw everything in the blender and blend. A food processor would probably work better. It's not scoop-able (too liquidy) but it's very refreshing!

Beef & vegie pasta bake (serves 4)
Made this up because all the pasta bake recipes I've found use sauces that are too rich for what my partner likes (either too tomatoey or too creamy), and pasta bake is a great way to use up floppy vegies from the bottom of the crisper. Use whatever vegies you have.
200g beef mince (ground beef)
2 carrots
a head of broccoli
1 medium sweet potato
2 cloves garlic
about a tsp oil, depending on how good your pan is!
150g crushed or diced tomatoes (canned or over-ripe fresh ones)
100mL cream
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1 tbsp cornflour
1 tsp dried thyme
2 handfuls grated cheese
salt & pepper
500g pack dried pasta of your choice - I used macaroni

If you have a pan that can go from stovetop to oven, all the better. Otherwise you need a pan AND a baking dish. I love my Square Roaster from Chef's Toolbox.

Cook pasta according to packet directions, and drain. Cook (boil, steam or microwave) vegies until just tender, and drain. I cook them all in the same pot to save washing up!

Meanwhile, brown the mince in a pan with crushed garlic cloves. Add tomatoes, cream & thyme. Mix the cornflour with a little of the stock to make a paste, then add cornflour and stock to the pan.

Add drained pasta and vegetables to pan (or transfer both to baking dish), and toss to combine. Sprinkle grated cheese over the top.

Place in a preheated 180C oven for about 15 minutes or however long it takes to feed the baby :P

Healthier banana muffins (with credit to this recipe for the original)
175g wholemeal spelt flour
75g plain/allpurpose flour
1/3 cup raw sugar
1/4 cup agave nectar
2 cups mashed ripe banana
110g butter, softened
2 eggs
5 tbsp milk
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda/bi-carb soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt

Cream butter and sugar until smooth. Add agave nectar and eggs and mix until combined well.

Sift flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together and fold into liquid ingredients until combined.

*Optional: add walnut pieces. My kids don't like nuts, so I fill a mini muffin tray for them, then add walnuts and fill a regular muffin tray for us grown-ups. This makes 18 regular muffins or 24 mini muffins plus 8 regular muffins.*

Fill greased* muffin trays. *I use good silicone bakeware, so I don't grease.

Bake in a preheated 175C oven for 12 minutes (mini muffins) or 20 minutes (regular muffins). My oven cooks fast, so check they are cooked in the middle.

Lemon tartlets (makes 5 tartlets)
2 eggs
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp finely grated lemon rind
(basically, 1 large lemon will give you this easily)
1/3 cup caster sugar
50g butter, chopped
about 7 plain sweet biscuits
about another 50g butter, melted

Whisk eggs, lemon juice, lemon rind and sugar in a saucepan. Add chopped butter and whisk over a low heat for 6-8 minutes, until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat, allow to cool down.

Crush biscuits (I use the ol' plastic bag and rolling pin trick). Add melted butter and mix. Press into tartlet cases (you could use muffin trays, but the tartlet cases look cool!) and refrigerate.

Fill tartlet cases with lemon curd. Place a couple of berries on top if you like.

These are not healthy. But they are sooooo good.

Poor Evie had to settle for the plate (she's not on solids yet):

And someone requested a photo of Alastair in his guitar T-shirt. This was when he ran off when I tried it on him, only half-completed.

No comments: