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http://www.101cookbooks.com/salads/

Why haven’t I used this before? I’m going to work my way through the list as the veg becomes available.

Salad City

I’m not normally one for salads but there are a couple I’m enjoying this winter:

Baby Spinach Olive and Caper Salad

1/2 cup / 100g mixed olives, chopped (kalamata, green, stuffed, whatever)
1 tbs rinsed capers
2 tbs olive oil
100g baby spinach leaves
1 bunch flat parsley, leaves picked and chopped
Combine all in a bowl. Serve with chargrilled lemons (and salmon as a main)

Adapted from a tear out from Notebook Magazine, Feb 2009 which used Rocket instead (I’m so over rocket)

Wombok, Carraway and coriander Salad

This was The Age last weekend but used red cabbage instead of wombok, omitted the apple and added some sultanas.

Dressing:
2tbs natural yoghurt
2tbs sherry vinegar
1tsp raw sugar
1/2tsp salt
2tsp carraway seads

Salad
1/2 onion finely diced
small to medium wombok very finely sliced or shredded
50 cheese finely grated (etc parmesan, tasty)
1/2 bunch coriander, finely chopped
3/4 cup sultanas or raisins
1 apple,grated (optional)

Combine the dressing ingredients than add the salad ingredients, mixing really well. Leave for 15 mins in the fridge so the wombok can soak up the goodness.

Yummo.

Have also just made this Lentil and Walnut Salad which is really good but haven’t decided if it will be a staple yet. Double the non lentil ingredients (or half the amount of lentils). Am out of fetta but I think it’s worth adding and will do next time I make it.

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I’m now on the search for easy hearty salads I can make and keep in the fridge for lunch during the week. I’m finding that being home so much during the day and being guided by baby’s mealtimes, I’m skipping lunch and eating crap all afternoon or having big servings of left over dinner for lunch which isn’t helping lose the baby weight.

Oats

Loving rolled oats at the moment. Have oatmeal muffins in the oven right now. Will probably omit the crumble topping next time, I think it was overkill and there’s a lot of butter in the recipe as is.

And baked a big batch of choc chip oat slice last week – super good, will be a household staple.

Made zucchini oatmeal slice last week with limited success. I really like the ingredients though so will try again.

Back… well sort of

So that was an bit of an unplanned absence of sorts. Around the time of my last post I found out I was pregnant (I know, exciting!). This is my first pregnancy and it turns out though, for me, that preparing food and being pregnant do not mix! I never expected I’d be so sick! Food diary + morning (read: all day) sickness don’t really work together.

For the record I’ve lived on a diet of crumbed fish, hot chips, brownies and chocolate milk. There’s also been lemonade, toast, ginger nut biscuits and my favourite: fresh fruit and yoghurt (for breakfast, lunch and dinner).

So 17 weeks later, I finally sucked it up and managed to prepare a meal. Nothing exciting, just some baked pasta, but it was a success – no nausea! I might even cook again tomorrow!

The plan for the week is pretty bland but in the interests of recording:

Tomato and Broccoli Pasta Bake
Cannellini Bean, Feta and Asparagus Pasta
Winter Lentil, Potato and Vegetable Pie
Vegetable and Lentil Curry
Pumpkin and Spinach Couscous

I made the Tomato and Broccoli Pasta Bake tonight and it was good, I’d happily make it again. I skipped the carrots altogether and swapped out the tinned tomato with real tomatoes and a tablespoon of tomato paste.  We had mozzarella cheese instead of tasty so I sprinkled this over the top of the bake, rather than mixing it in before. No picture this time round.

Fingers crossed no more nausea and lots more cooking!

PS: Andy and I are very excited about being pregnant! We’re due in April around Easter time.

Dinner tonight was the Barley Stew with Leeks, Mushrooms, and Greens from epicurious.com.

I skipped the mushrooms as I was out and used bok choi from the garden instead, otherwise I didn’t change a thing.

Yummo. The barley was chewy and soft and the rosemary gave it pop. So good! Great winter warmer. Vegan too!

I’ll be cooking this again. 5 Stars

Meal Plan for this week

The veg in the backyard is going gang busters at the moment. Combined with a few bits and pieces left over in my fridge this week means I didn’t end up ordering a veg box this week (again). I’m a a little bit sad about that because I love the surprise of finding out what we have in the veg boxes each week but waste not want not and all that. It will be great to harvest some goodness from the back yard so it’s not all bad.

So on hand in the house I’ve got:

1x zucchini
1x carrot
1x pumpkin
loads of potatoes and onions
3-4 small beetroot

In the backyard:

Bok choi
Loads of Broccoli
Loads of celery
Rocket
Baby Silverbeet
Leeks

Here’s what I’m thinking:

  • Leek and Bean Cassoulet: I’m on a mission to use up what’s in the fridge and I’m still in pie loving world this dish is an easy choice. I’m thinking instead of dumplings or biscuits I will top it with some mashed potato and pumpkin, shepherds pie style. I’ll use the zucchini, carrot, pumpkin, spuds and also some celery and the leeks from the back yard. Left overs will feed us all weekend.
  • The Barley Stew with Leeks, Mushrooms, and Greens from epicurious.com has been in my bookmarks for a while waiting for a time when we had mushrooms. I’ve decided I’m going to give it a go without them and will use bok choi and silverbeet instead of the kale. Vegan bonus recipe
  • I didn’t end up making the Potato and Broccoli Croquettes last week so I plan to do them this week instead. A good lunch box snack?
  • The Spicy Stir-Fried Brown Rice with Broccolini and Scallops from epicurious.com sounds interesting. I’m going to use broccoli and substitute the scallops for haloumi as it’s what I have.  It also calls for a capsicum but I’ll use some jalapenos (as suggested in some of the reviews on the site) and maybe some celery as well.
  • Lastly, I’ll have another crack at the Beet Bundt Cake that is if I don’t end up juicing the beetroot with some celery first.

Barley Stew with Leeks, Mushrooms, and Greens

Ginger Pumpkin Muffins

Also on the cards this week were batch  Ginger-Pumpkin Muffins.

Unfortunately the recipe is drafted to appear more complicated than it needs to be.  Like with most muffin recipes all you need to do is mix the wet ingredients with the dry. I also changed some of the ingredients to lower the sugar content and use what I had in the pantry.

Here’s what I suggest:

  1. skip the crystallised ginger and the brandy and use a teaspoon of minced ginger and hot water instead.  Soak the currants (or whatever dried fruit you have, eg dates, sultanas, apple) in the hot water and stir in the minced ginger.
  2. beat 2 eggs (instead of 1 and a half) until foamy and add 1/2 cup brown sugar (not 3/4) and a tablespoon of honey (instead of the molasses) and the oil.
  3. stir in the vanilla, milk and mashed up steamed pumpkin (instead of the canned puree)
  4. Add the dry ingredients as listed (a straight whole wheat / plain flour substitution is possible) and stir through the wet ingredients.
  5. Spoon the mix into muffin trays, bake until golden and you’re done.

They are worth the effort !

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