Easy Pineapple and Ginger Salsa

So now that Spring has, at least officially, “sprung” – I am already dreaming of all the gatherings that will soon appear on our calendar. Morning lake walks and bike rides, followed by milkshakes and ice-cream treats. Lunches with friends, while the kids play on the trampoline and splash around the wading pool. Afternoon teas, that more often than not turn into impromptu dinners, as we chat and laugh our way into the evening.

Our BBQ is inevitably a star of the warmer months – allowing for dinners to be thrown together easily and with minimal fuss (not to mention avoiding a hot kitchen with the oven turned on).  But what BBQ dinner would be complete without a few tasty side dishes to serve alongside.  These too ought to be fuss-free and quick to prepare – for who wants to be trapped in the kitchen when all the fun is happening outside.

One of my favourite side dishes would have to be this easy pineapple and ginger salsa. I often serve it alongside grilled pork, but it would easily work with chicken or fish too.

Packed with fresh pineapple and herbs, balanced with lime juice and given a hit of heat with some red chilli – it really is a  versatile addition to the dinner table.  The added bonus being that you can make it in advance before guests arrive – leaving more time for fun!

 


Print Recipe
Easy Pineapple and Ginger Salsa
Course Side dish
Servings
people as a side dish
Ingredients
Course Side dish
Servings
people as a side dish
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Season to taste.
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Pineapple ginger cake & A WINNER ANNOUNCED

IMG_7165 Over the weekend, I was lucky enough to get some quality time in the kitchen. I say ‘lucky’ because I really do love spending time getting mu ‘bake on’ – particularly when it comes in the form of sweet treats. On this occasion, a lovely little pineapple and ginger upside down cake in a recent Donna Hay magazine had caught my eye, and it seemed liked it would fit just nicely with the Indian feast being prepared by my MIL. IMG_7160 I started by simmering pineapple slices with water, sugar and ginger, creating a luscious syrup and softening the pineapple at the same time. The slices were then layered in the bottom of the baking pan, with the remaining syrup (that had been reduced), drizzled over the top – then followed by the cake batter. The idea being that when you later turn out your cake, the ‘bottom’ becomes the ‘top’ – with those gorgeous pineapple slices on full display! IMG_7162 I suspect the seal on my tin was a little iffy, as a bit of the syrup escaped – perhaps preventing the pineapple from turning a nice golden brown. IMG_7163 But looks aside, this cake was rather delightful. Moist and full of flavour – although I would have probably added a little extra ginger to give it a real spice kick! IMG_7169 We served generous slices with a dollop of double cream – flavoured with a little chai powder. IMG_7213 And I am pleased to report that most plates were licked clean! (If you would like the recipe, feel free to drop me an email). GIVEAWAY Perhaps it is only appropriate, or at the very least a tad ironic, to announce the winner of my New Year, New You giveaway on the same day as I post about sugar-filled cake. NEW YEAR _ NEW YOU GIVEAWAY! (2) I loved reading all of your entries, and I found myself repeatedly nodding in agreement at many of the changes you feel inspired to make this year. But there can be only one winner and, as selected by the judge (Mr BBB), that winner is *drumroll*…. Eat to Live! Please drop me an email so I can arrange to get all the prizes sent your way! TITLE And thankyou again to everyone who entered!

Sweet potato and ginger soup

IMG_2516 A simple soup. Served to my lovely sister in law and niece when the rest of the family were out of town over the weekend. Simple ingredients… IMG_2510 Simple method… IMG_2511IMG_2513 But packed to the brim with flavour. IMG_2514 Creamy, rich and luscious, and mostly healthy. IMG_2519 A simple dish to serve for lunch, but filling enough to serve for dinner too – as was the case here. IMG_2518 Simply delightful really! soup Sweet potato and ginger soup (serves 4)

  • olive oil
  • 1 leek, sliced finely
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tbs ginger (either minced or freshly grated )
  • 1 L reduced salt chicken stock (or vegetable stock if you would prefer / want a vegetarian option).
  • Cream to serve
  1. Heat oil in a large pot, and add leek. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until the leek has started to soften.
  2. Add the sweet potatoes and the ginger, and stir. Cook for a further 3-4 minutes, stirring.
  3. Add the stock, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer (covered) for 20 minutes – or until the sweet potato is tender.
  4. Allow the soup to cool slightly, then use a stick blender (or regular blender, in batches) to process the soup until smooth.
  5. Divide among serving bowls and top with a dollop of cream.

What about you? Cooked any yummy soups lately?

Lamb curry and ginger molasses pudding

The lovely Em reminded me that I never posted the lamb curry and ginger pudding from our recent Indian Affair. A complete oversight on my part, as the weeks seem to fly past so quickly these days! So without further ado, both dishes came courtesy of this cookbook…. IMG_0111  Aka my new favourite cookbook! IMG_9850 I think what made this lamb curry so very delicious, was the abundance of spices. You can find the recipe online here. IMG_9848IMG_9849 And also a long sloooooooow cooking time. While the recipe asked for the curry to be cooked for 1.5-2 hours, I put it on at lunchtime and let it slowly cook throughout the entire afternoon. IMG_9887 The result? IMG_9888 Melt in your mouth lamb, that was full of flavour. IMG_9889 Spicy and aromatic, without being ‘hot’ for the milder palates at our dinner table. IMG_9890 And it must have been good – for my biggest critic (Miss C) ate a big bowl of it for dinner the next night! IMG_9892 But now, onto dessert. Again courtesy of this cookbook (email me if you want the recipe) IMG_9851 Ginger and treacle pudding. Or in my vase, ginger and molasses pudding as that’s what I had in the cupboard. IMG_9852 So very simple to put together. Cream the butter, add the sugar and molasses, then the remaining ingredients. IMG_9854 Spread into a lined baking dish, and baked for 40 minutes. IMG_9856 What a pretty and aromatic pudding this turned out to be. IMG_9857 Moist and flavoursome… IMG_9895 Served with double cream while warm, then sliced and served with a big scoop of homemade vanilla ice-cream the next day. IMG_9903IMG_9913 Simply delightful. And one I will definitely make again! What about you? What is your ‘go to’ meal when cooking for a crowd?

Lazy gal’s herbed quinoa and mushrooms

Despite all appearances on this blog, I can assure you that some nights I find myself staring blankly in the fridge without a clue what to make for dinner. Throw in a long work day, an up and down pregnancy appetite, and the temptation to have a bowl of cereal instead of putting together a meal is ever present. However, knowing that I am ‘eating for two’, I have made a conscious effort when these moments strike to delve into the crisper drawer and try to put together something a little more nutritious. Tonight was one of those nights. Back in the pantry went the box of cornflakes, and out of the fridge came a bunch of mushrooms. IMG_4534 Along with a bag of herbs, picked from a friend’s garden, and kindly donated to the BBB kitchen. IMG_4535 Into a pan, with a heaped spoonful of ginger, IMG_4537 And a pile of quinoa (that I had pre-cooked for 15 minutes or so, until fluffy). IMG_4538 Warmed through for a couple minutes, and this lazy gal’s herbed quinoa and mushrooms was ready for the plate. And, with the help of Mr BBB who was out on BBQ duty, our dinner was complete. IMG_4539 Herb-filled quinoa… IMG_4540 Served with a sausage and grilled zucchini. IMG_4541 And certainly worth the effort! IMG_4542 Delish! What about you? What is your ‘fall back’ meal when the desire to cook is missing?

Bibimbap – BBB style

Wow that’s a lot of B’s huh?! It’ll make sense in a moment….I promise 😉 Training: Ride Today I needed my car for work, so I wasn’t able to commute using my road bike. But, I did the next best thing and took an early morning spin class! I am lucky that I have a gym nearby that has an awesome early morning instructor – who guarantees a heart pumping / leg quivering session on the bike. Albeit a stationary bike. And, I must say, that after yesterday’s 3-part training session I was ever so grateful for only 1 training session today.  Scheduled workout completed by 7.00am??? I like the sound of that! Dinner Tonight’s dinner has a little story behind it. It is rare that Mr BBB will walk past a Korean restaurant at lunchtime and not order Bibimbap. This ‘one bowl’ dish consists of rice, meat, seasoned vegetables, chilli sauce and an egg – all layered perfectly to make a pretty tasty meal! Unfortunately due to the presence of soy sauce in most of the marinades, it is not a dish that I can partake in. Well that was until tonight. IMG_2228   Mr BBB ordered this dish from a local restaurant last weekend, but was not that pleased with the bowl that was placed in  front of him.  Always looking for a new recipe to try, I promised him that I would try and make it at home this week. Later,  I was telling Mr BBB’s parents about the dish and they too were keen to give it a try! So – after ‘comparing schedules’ , we discovered that we would all be home on Friday night. And thus the Friday Bibimbap cook-up was born. While the dish took a while to prepare, once the vegetables had been sliced, and the meat had been marinated, it actually came together quite quickly. IMG_2206 IMG_2209 IMG_2218 Rice, beef, vegetables and egg. IMG_2222 Served with a generous amount of chilli sauce. IMG_2211 IMG_2214 And a sprinkle of sesame seeds. IMG_2226 Trust me when I say that this recipe is a keeper… IMG_2229 Oh hi there ooey-gooey chilli egg 😉 My lips are still tingling from your deliciousness;) BBB’s Bibimbap  (serves 4)

  • 400g scotch fillet (you could also use chicken or tofu instead), thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely sliced
  • 1tsp grated ginger
  • 1tbs tamari
  • 1tsp sesame oil
  • 2 carrots, peeled cut into match sticks
  • 2 zucchinis, cut into match sticks
  • 8 mushrooms, sliced
  • 200g baby spinach
  • 1/3 cup chilli sauce
  • 2tsp brown sugar
  • 1tsp sesame oil + extra
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 cups coked rice
  • 1tbs sesame seeds
  1. Combine beef, tamari, garlic, ginger and 1tsp sesame oil. Marinate for 1-2 hours.
  2. To make the chilli sauce, combine the chilli sauce, brown sugar and sesame oil.
  3. Sautee vegetables in a little sesame oil in separate batches, remove and cover with foil to keep warm.
  4. In another frypan, stir-fry marinated beef until  cooked (this will only take a few minutes). Meanwhile, pan fry eggs.
  5. Place a serving of rice in each bowl. Top with 1/4 each of the vegetables and beef. Place a fried egg atop each bowl, with a good dollop of chilli sauce.
  6. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.

Well I believe the couch is calling my name – and at this stage, I am making the most of every quiet moment that I can.  This weekend is sure to be a busy one – with a long bike ride, a long run, (hopefully) a lake swim, boxes to pack, sweet treats to bake and a family dinner on Sunday night. I may just very well need a weekend to recover from my weekend! What about you? Do you have anything planned for the weekend? Happy Baking 🙂

Ginger-riffic!

Training: While last night’s yoga class was all about strength, stretching and calmness, this morning’s spin class was all  about energy! 45 minutes with an amazing instructor, hard "hills" and crazy "speed" work – and I was one happy (yet sweaty) girl when I left the gym. The day progressed well and I may have even made a slight dent in my ‘in-tray’ as a result. I do, however, see some long days in the office in the not too distant future, hence why morning workouts are a must for me at the moment. Exercise = stress relief! I actually had an interesting lunch break today. Our boss arranged for health tests for those employees who wanted them and I figured ‘why not?’ I had a bone density test which confirmed that my bone density is A-OK for my age group, although I could include a little more calcium in my diet. I also learned that tahini is a fantastic source of calcium – so bring on the homemade hummus I say! I also had an iridology consultation which revealed an "autonomic nerve wreath". Translation: my head rules my body and I need to learn to relax. Hmm and what was I saying just the other week about having trouble switching my mind off???  Hehe it seems even my eyes give me away! Oooh and I should mention that the consultation finished with a 15 minute massage. Yes – you heard correct. Free 15 minute massage at work = BLISS. In a perfect world wouldn’t every day include a massage? Even if it was only for 15 minutes to target the tight neck and shoulders (which is apparently an inevitable symptom of spending too much time sitting at a desk). I can dream I suppose…or start buying more lottery tickets so as to fund the daily massage…. Dinner Tonight I was both hungry AND excited by the chosen Mystery Box  ingredient / recipe, so I set about making dinner as soon as I got home. The chosen ingredient…. IMG_9226     Ginger! IMG_9229 Did you know? Ginger is a tuber, or rather, the rhizome of the plant Zingiber officinale. Aside from being beautifully aromatic and spicy, ginger is also widely known for healing benefits including relieving stomach upsets and nausea. Due to its promotion of mucus secretion, ginger can also protect against the development of stomach ulcers. While I am not a fan of a lot of ginger in cooking, I do believe that it adds a wonderful rich aroma and flavour to certain dishes. With that in mind, I decided to make a Lentil and Ginger Curry for dinner.  IMG_9232 Served with a baked sweet potato. IMG_9233  And topped with sliced almonds. IMG_9234 I really enjoyed the flavour of the ginger in this dish. It was present, without being overpowering, just the way I like it! Another warming dish for this never-ending Winter! Lentil and Ginger Curry (serves 4) (adapted from here). Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 1/4 pumpkin, finely chopped
  • 1 tbs grated ginger
  • 1tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 x 400g cans lentils, drained and rinsed*
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • 3 large handfuls of baby spinach
  • 1 tablespoon sliced almonds

Method

  1. Heat oil in a large pan.
  2. Add onion, pumpkin  and carrots and cook for 10 minutes to soften slightly.
  3. Add ginger, spices and lentils and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add water and coconut milk. Cover and bring to the boil.
  5. Simmer until thickened.
  6. Add spinach and stir until thickened.
  7. Serve with rice or baked sweet potato and top with sliced almonds.

* I cheated and used canned lentils but you could also used dried lentils and simmer the curry for longer until the lentils are soft. How about you? How do you like to use ginger in cooking? Happy Baking 🙂