Baked Haloumi Mushrooms with Roasted Tomatoes, Beans & Basil Pesto

With limited visits to the grocery store these days, testing our skills to create meals with little ingredients we have on hand somedays can be challenging. I had one of those days, with only a couple of veggies in the fridge, some beans in the house and some homemade basil pesto I had made from my garden. Luckily with some Portobellos on hand, I came up with baked mushrooms.

This dish came out a treat so delicious with the basil pesto and the crispy yet soft centred cannellini beans added a lovely texture. Juicy roasted mushrooms and tomatoes, topped with the halloumi cheese which I happened to find but if you have no cheese it’s still perfectly delicious as it is.

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The Perfect Autumn Salad Roasted Beetroot & Carrots with Orange Citrus Dressing

With Autumn (Fall) in full swing now here in Australia, the days are still quite pleasant and warm, the nights start to cool off just a little after dark which makes cooking warmer seasonal meals such as roasted vegetables more enticing. As the heat cools and the sticky humid days have past I find this is one of my favourite times of the year.

Not quite cool enough to get out the slow cooker Autumn (Fall) does brings out this earthy feeling of root vegetables and baked home style meals, back to simple home cooking. As we get ready to cozy up into our winter woolies Autumn is the perfect transitional time to start nesting and getting into the garden planting seedlings, vegetables and getting our hands a little dirty.

I have the perfect Autumn salad for you earthy beetroot with thyme, sweet honey sesame carrots topped with a fresh citrus orange dressing added to leafy green lettuce and Persian feta cheese. Not too heavy but still enough to make you feel satisfied and full. Delectable on it’s on or if you prefer as a side dish to a simple roast chicken.

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Italian Braised Beans With Tomato, Rosemary & Crispy Kale

Italian Braised Beans with Tomato, Rosemary & Crispy Kale on Toasted Sourdough

No doubt with the recent lockdowns happening all over the world, it is only natural to feel worried about the financial impact it may have on you and your family. Many having think more sensibly about what they buy and how to ration out groceries. Thinking of creative ways to utilize basic staples such as beans and pasta. I am also thinking how of ways to stretch the costs to ease some of your worries.

This recipe is cheap to make and can be eaten as breakfast, lunch or even a hardy dinner meal. I have used cannellini beans and chickpeas in this recipe however you can use whichever bean are in your pantry, such as butter bean, borlotti beans, or even four bean mix. This is a amped up version of your baked beans on toast with all the tasty Italian flavours of tomato, garlic & rosemary.

Serve it warm on some crusty bread with some toasted crispy kale (if budget allows) Top with a boiled or poached egg for a fulfilling breakfast. Filling for a jaffle sandwich for a quick lunch, or add it to some pasta for a satisfying dinner. Can be portioned and frozen in containers for a quick go to meal.

Braised Beans with Tomato, Rosemary & Crispy Kale

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

400g can cannellini beans (200g raw soaked overnight )

400g can chickpea (200g raw soaked overnight )

2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, crushed

2 celery stalks, finely sliced

800g canned tomatoes (or fresh roma tomatoes chopped)

2 cups water (plus 1 cup for more soupy consistency)

3 sprigs fresh rosemary or 1 tb dried

150g chopped kale (optional)

Salt and Pepper

Grated parmesan to taste

Directions

  1. Drain and rinse beans. Heat oil in a large pan over high heat.
  2. Add onions, garlic, celery and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes, beans, water, rosemary, salt and pepper and bring to the boil.
  4. Cook for 50-60 mins. Meanwhile drizzle a little olive oil over chopped kale and massage into the kale. Lay on a lined baking tray and cook in a 160’C preheated oven for 10 mins until just crispy. Remove and set aside.
  5. Top with grated parmesan and kale.
  6. Serve on crusty bread such as sourdough or ciabatta, cooked pasta or as a bean soup just add 1 cup of extra water while cooking.

Carb Free Zucchini Pasta with Lentil and Eggplant Bolognese

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 Spiralized  zucchini pasta with homemade lentil bolognese

Have you tried zucchini pasta? Aka spiralized zucchini.

Spiralizing vegetables became a foodie craze a few years ago. I have to admit this is one trend I continue making regularly. Taking an ordinary vegetable and making it into a noodle/spaghetti brilliant idea! (more…)

Best Ever Creamy Cauliflower Mash

This seriously is the best mash I’ve ever made. If you are a lover of cauliflower or even if you are not this mash is so darn delicious. Silky smooth and creamy you wouldn’t even know it consists mainly of cauliflower.

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Japanese Okonomiyaki

I was first introduced to this dish when my husband and I went on a trip to Japan. Before this trip my husband wasn’t much of a Japanese food eater this was 9 years ago, now we enjoy almost every week. We were also interested in the historic culture Japan so proudly exuded. The friendliness and politeness of the locals made our way around the predominantly non english speaking, ever so populated country much easier and enjoyable. Yet another reason we fell in love with Japan. The popularity of ¬†western food has become evident though with fast food chains opening up in many suburbs over the past 20 years of the major cities of Tokyo and Osaka. Full of the youngsters of the next generation eager to adapt to the western way of life, all awhile we go there for more of the authentic way of life.

During this trip we tried many firsts, raw sashimi, tea ceremony, charcoal bbq and this savoury dish Okonomiyaki. Which if you have never heard of it before is basically a savoury cabbage pancake with veggies. You can add your choice of cooked meat or seafood such as prawns, then top with kewpie (Japanese mayonnaise) Okonomiyaki bbq sauce, sesame seeds, green onions, shredded nori (seaweed) and pickled ginger.

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