Peach and balsamic honey pork salad

Winter continues, as does our preference for hearty meals at dinnertime to warm us from the inside out. But I came across photos of this salad we made a while back, presumably when the temperatures were a little kinder, and I couldn’t resist sharing it.

A peach and balsamic honey pork salad.

And while I’m conscious that stone fruit is not readily available at the moment, I figure that by adding it to my recipe page it will serve as a good reminder to make the salad  again when peaches and nectarines come into season.

I must say, I’m quite the fan of using fruit in salads. The sweetness of the peaches worked beautifully on this particular occasion – with the slight tartness of the balsamic dressing. It turned out to be a lovely dinner, and would also make a delicious lunch if you had the time.

Peach and balsamic honey pork salad (serves 2)

  • 2 slices sourdough, torn
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 200g pork fillet
  • 1 tbs honey
  • 1 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • mixed lettuce leaves (I used baby spinach and rocket)
  • 100g mixed cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 peach, cut into wedges
  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Place sourdough on lined baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden. Set aside.
  2. Combine honey and vinegar, and set aside.
  3. Season pork and spray with a little oil. Pan-fry for 6 minutes or so, turning, until browned. Transfer to an oven-proof dish, and roast for 8 minutes then pour over the honey and balsamic vinegar and cook for a further few minutes. Remove from oven, and rest in foil for 5 minutes. Slice.
  4. Arrange the salad leaves, tomatoes and peach on two serving plates. Add the sliced pork and toasted sourdough, and drizzle with the pan juices.

Healthier Honey Bubble Bars

Now that I have a little more time on my hands, I’m keen to get back into the kitchen. To develop new recipes, and generally get creative!

In particular, I want to create some lunchbox treats. Lately I’ve been relying on pre-packaged snacks all too often for the kids, and their ingredient list is far from desirable.

So with the rain falling heavily outside the other day, I got to work on my first lunchbox treat.

A healthier honey bubble bar.

As soon as I began pulling bowls out of the drawer, Little J arrived curiously at the kitchen bench. Actually, she is quite the shadow when I am in the kitchen, always eager to help out. And this being a no-bake treat, well that was just perfect for little hands!

I measured out the ingredients, and she poured them all into a big bowl and gave them a good stir. “Pat-pat-patting” the slice into the baking tin was also a big hit.

In the mix? Puffed rice, shredded coconut, chia seeds, sunflower kernels, butter and honey. Oh some chocolate chips for a little indulgence too.

Pressed into a lined tray, and allowed to firm up overnight in the fridge.

The following day, it was simply a matter of slicing the mixture into bars.

The bars were sweet, without being over-sweet, although I made the rookie mistake of adding the chocolate chips before the melted butter and honey (ie. the chocolate melted).

The honey also made the bases a little sticky,  so I wrapped each bar in some baking paper for ease of transport.

And just like that, my baking mojo has officially returned! Not to mention being able to share some time in the kitchen with Little J.

Stay tuned for more lunchbox treats in the weeks to come!

Healthier Honey Bubble Bars

  • 4 cups puffed rice
  • 2 tbs chia seeds
  • 3 tbs sunflower seeds
  • 1.5 cups shredded coconut
  • 125g butter
  • 220g honey
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  1. Grease and line a slice tray with baking paper.
  2. Combine the puffed rice, chia seeds, sunflower seeds and coconut in a large bowl.
  3. Heat the butter and honey in the microwave until melted and combined. Pour over the dry ingredients and stir to coat the mixture well. Add the chocolate chips and stir.
  4. Press firmly into the lined tray, and place in the fridge overnight to firm.
  5. Remove from the fridge, and cut into slices. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

 

Warm honeyed sweet potato salad

IMG_8677

Yesterday there were hopeful signs of Spring in the air. I left my heavier jacket at home, and embraced the shining sun and blue skies when I went to collect Miss C from school.

Today? Well sadly I can’t say the same thing. The temperature has dropped, my heavy jacket was definitely required for the school drop off, and I can hear the rain falling steadily as I sit here typing.

But chilly days make for great ‘catch up on work’ days, so I’m doing just that. Starting with a long overdue post – on a recipe that has become quite a favourite in our household nonetheless!

Warm Honeyed Sweet Potato Salad.

A.k.a. a great compromise when you want salad for dinner, but the weather calls for something warm too.

I really love how quickly this salad comes together. It would be a lovely little side dish, although it easily extends to a main course.

IMG_8682 Simply – sweet potatoes – sliced and drizzled with spices and honey – then roasted. Piled atop a bed bed of lettuce and purple cabbage, and sprinkled with parsley, almonds and persian feta. Completed with a warm honey vinegar dressing.
IMG_8679

But now…where did I put my slippers??

Warm Honeyed Sweet Potato Salad (serves 2)

  • 1 large sweet potato, scrubbed and sliced
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbs honey
  • 2 cups mesculin lettuce
  • 1 cup shredded purple cabbage
  • 2 tbs flaked almonds
  • 2 tbs persian feta
  • 2 tbs chopped parsley
  • 1tbs white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  1. Preheat oven to 200C, and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Place sweet potato on tray, and spray with olive oil spray. Sprinkle with cumin and cinnamon, and drizzle with 1tbs honey. Roast for 30-40 minutes or until tender.
  3. Meanwhile, combine 1 tbs honey, vinegar and juice in a small dish, and microwave until warmed through.
  4. Place salad leaves and cabbage into two large serving bowls. Top with the cooked sweet potato, almonds, feta and parsley. Drizzle with warmed dressing.

Honey pumpkin risotto take 2

IMG_3007 When this gorgeous pumpkin graced our countertop, I knew exactly what I would make with it. Something hearty, something warming… IMG_2992 Risotto! IMG_2994 But not just any risotto. A honey pumpkin risotto – for those two ingredients seem to go together so very well indeed. IMG_2997 I basically followed this recipe, roasting the peeled diced pumpkin that I had drizzled with olive oil and honey. IMG_2998 Then got to work on the risotto itself. Onion, garlic, white wine, aborio rice and stock. IMG_3000 Gradually cooked, stirring, stirring, until I had myself a big pan of creamy risotto. Finished with the honey pumpkin, parmesan, lemon zest and parsley. IMG_3001IMG_2999 All together now! IMG_3002 Well I was looking for a meal that was hearty, and warming, and that is exactly what I got. IMG_3004 I particularly loved the little bites of caramelised pumpkin, with their hints of honeyed goodness. IMG_3005 A dish that again proved to me why I love risotto – it is so very versatile! IMG_3012 Not to mention being a favourite of the little one too! IMG_3016 What about you? How do you like to cook with pumpkin?

Banana and honey spelt loaf

I think I have found my new favourite baked loaf. So much so, that thanks to some overripe bananas in our fruit bowl, and this recipe I found online… IMG_7774 It has made an appearance in our household not once but twice in the past week. IMG_7777 I was drawn to the recipe when I saw that it also featured two other favourites of mine… IMG_7771 Walnuts and dates. And the overall result was rather tasty indeed. IMG_7854 A moist, tasty loaf, with just the right amount of sweetness from the dates and honey. IMG_7855 And with a little crunch from the walnuts, scattered throughout. IMG_7856 Sliced and served with a little butter. IMG_7872 And I was one happy girl! I recommend that you try this for yourself. I know I will – well as soon as I leave some bananas in our fruit bowl too long again… What about you? Are you a fan of banana bread?

Mustard musing…

Training This morning I crawled out of bed at 5.30am and headed to the pool for my before-work swim session. I increased the distance to 1.4km, and focused on breathing and technique, rather than speed (not that I am a very quick swimmer anyway!) The session actually passed quickly and soon it was time to shower and head to work. Tuesday brought with it a bounty of productiveness, as hoped, and I managed to tick quite a few things of the ‘to do’ list. I even finished work on time and was eager to head out for a run, but unfortunately Mother Nature had other plans and decided it would be a good time to ‘top up’ the dams. Lots of rain = no run this evening with my favourite running buddy, Mr BBB 🙁 Tomorrow night perhaps? Mystery Box Having an extra hour, however, did allow for a dinner creation inspired by the chosen Mystery Box ingredient: IMG_0349 Mustard! To say I was excited about tonight’s Mystery Box ingredient is an understatement. Did you know? Mustard is a condiment made from the seeds of a mustard plant, that have been mixed with water, vinegar or other liquids. Mustard often has a sharp, pungent flavour, as mixing the ground seed with  liquid causes the release of an enzyme  responsible for mustard’s characteristic heat. The temperature of the liquid used also plays a role in the "strength" of the mustard:  hotter liquids are more ‘hostile’ and will produce a milder mustard, while cold liquids are less ‘hostile’ and will produce a hotter mustard. I believe I inherited my love of mustard from my dad, who would thickly spread mustard (the hotter the better) on his sandwiches, omelettes, pies and anything really! I too am now fascinated by all the varieties of mustard on offer, and have been known to walk away from local markets with several jars in hand.  Be it spread on a sandwich, served with roast meat, or shaken into a homemade salad dressing, mustard is one versatile ingredient! Take this little jar of goodness, that I found sitting in the sale bin at our local grocer, for instance…. IMG_0364 When we drew “mustard” out of the Mystery Box, I knew that this particular variety would be perfect for tonight’s dinner –  warm vegetable salad with honey mustard dressing. To make the dressing, I combined honey, apple cider vinegar and of course, the mustard. IMG_0366 Then poured it over warm sweet potato, potato, eggplant, red onion and chickpeas, that I had roasted in the oven for about an hour, together with a few handfuls of rocket leaves. IMG_0371 With a sprinkle of fetta on top. IMG_0374 Oh my – this was comfort on a plate! Just perfect for a rainy day. IMG_0377 The chilli mustard added a sharp spicy flavour to the dressing, while the honey added a sweetness without being overpowering. IMG_0376 Combined with the warmed caramelised vegetables, and the creaminess of the feta, it was a delicious balance of flavours. Definitely a dressing that I will be making again (and again….). I suggest that you do too 😉 Honey Mustard Dressing

  • 2 tbs mustard
  • 2bs honey
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  1. Whisk together all ingredients and pour over your favourite salad.

What about you? Do you like mustard? What is your favourite kind? Mine would have to be seeded or dijon. Happy Baking 🙂

“Bee” inspired

Happy Hump Day! Training This morning when I arrived at the gym before work, instead of turning "right" and heading to the weights room, I turned "left" and entered, on a whim,  the spinning studio. And boy am I glad I did. 45 minutes of an intense spinning class later, and I left the gym sweaty and energised to start the day. I’d forgotten how much I love this heart-pumping class and must not let that happen again! Random Q – does anyone know how ‘far’ you ride in a spin class? I estimated 20km… Dinner Tonight was my turn in the kitchen, and I knew I had big shoes to fill after last night’s potato tortilla and lentil / veggie soup combination. Oh and I’ve updated my last post with the recipe for the tortilla for those of you that requested it. I turned to the Mystery Box this evening to provide inspiration for dinner. And the chosen ingredient…. IMG_9090 Honey!  IMG_9093    Did you know? Honey is a natural source of carbohydrate, made by bees using nectar from flowers, with varying flavours depending on the nectar source. Not only is honey a wonderful sweetener in cooking and baking, it has both anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, making it effective in the treatment of a variety of ailments. IMG_9096 Despite the temptation to make honey on toast,  or perhaps drizzle honey on a big stack of pancakes, I decided to try and make something little more hearty for dinner using this wonderful golden ingredient. And what is more hearty than risotto, a honey pumpkin risotto to be precise. IMG_9097 IMG_9098 Served with a good amount of parsley, parmesan and chopped walnuts. IMG_9105 The honey added a subtle sweetness to the dish, which worked well with the creaminess of the risotto. IMG_9106   Not to mention the crunch of the walnuts. Definitely a risotto that I would make again! Honey Pumpkin Risotto (serves 4)

  • 800g pumpkin, peeled and cut into 1inch cubes
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tbs honey
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 cups aborio rice
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup white wine
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/3 cup parmesan
  • 1/3 cup parsley chopped
  • chopped walnuts and extra parmesan to serve.
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Place pumpkin on a lined baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and bake for 15 minutes.
  3. Drizzle honey over the pumpkin, then bake for a further 15 minutes or until the pumpkin is golden. Set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, heat stock / water in a saucepan and simmer over a low heat.
  5. Sautee onion and garlic in a frypan over medium heat. Add the rice and stir to coat well.
  6. Add white wine and cook stirring until all the liquid has been absorbed.
  7. Add stock, one ladleful at a time, stirring until the liquid has absorbed.
  8. Remove from heat, then stir through lemon juice,  parmesan and pumpkin. Season to taste.
  9. Top with walnuts and grated parmesan.

What about you? How do you like to use honey in cooking? Happy Baking 🙂