Leek and Potato Soup

Thankyou all for your lovely comments about my 10km PB yesterday. My legs were sure feeling it this morning during my Body Pump class! But running aside, as you know, my weekend was also filled with lots of great food and great company, the star of which being our Mother’s Day brunch. IMG_8575  Including a delightful winter warmer…. IMG_8665 Potato and leek soup! And it couldn’t have been easier to make. Leeks, potatoes and herbs, slow cooked until tender, and blended to create a rich creamy soup. IMG_8666 Finished with a little somethin’ extra… IMG_8662 Courtesy of our soup “toppings bar”. Fresh chives and parsley, IMG_8649 And my personal favourite…. IMG_8652 A good sharp parmesan! One of the great things about this soup was that I was able to make it in advance, then just reheat it when our guests arrived. IMG_8664 Served alongside some spelt toast for extra crunch… IMG_8667 And there you have it! And easy yet comforting lunch to warm up from the inside out 🙂 Potato and Leek Soup (serves 6)

  • 1 tbs butter
  • 6 leeks, sliced thinly and washed
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 sticks celery, diced
  • 4 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • handful fresh marjoram
  • salt and pepper
  • fresh chives, parsley and grated parmesan to serve
  1. Melt butter in a large pot over a medium heat. Add leeks, onion, celery and garlic, and stir until the vegetables are coated in the butter. Lower heat, cover, and sweat for 5 to 10 minutes or until the vegetables have softened.
  2. Add the potatoes, bay leaves and marjoram and barely cover with water.
  3. Simmer, covered for 40 minutes. Remove cover and continue to simmer for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.
  4. Remove from heat. Blend or puree until smooth and season well with salt and pepper.
  5. Served with a sprinkle of fresh chives, parsley and parmesan.

________________________ Day 19 – MOVE it, TONE it, DRINK it

  • MOVE it – Body Pump
  • TONE it – Push ups 40
  • DRINK it – 2L

________________________ What about you? What is your favourite soup? Happy Baking 🙂

Indian Feast – Part 2

Training: Upper body weights / Elliptical 30mins IMG_7966 So yesterday I shared with you the first two dishes served at our Indian Feast. Paneer with mushrooms and peas.  IMG_7958 And a refreshing tomato, cucumber and onion salad. IMG_7937 But the real star of the show – actually came care of a free magazine I picked up at our local health food shop. Lentil Potato Dahl with Cashew Almond Sauce. I doubled the recipe, and it ended up being quite the generous dish. So much so that Mr BBB and I had leftovers for 2 nights afterwards. That’s a lot of dahl. Like so many wonderful Indian dishes, the magic came with time. IMG_7807 Once the ingredients were measured, into a pot they went, then it was all a matter of  time. IMG_7835 Time to simmer. IMG_7838 And time to let the flavours develop. And, as is often the case with dishes like these – it was even better over the next few days. Finished with a nutty yoghurt sauce.. IMG_7840 Almonds, cashews, yoghurt and cayenne pepper. IMG_7843 Blended, then stirred through the dahl… IMG_7966 Topped with a generous amount of fresh parsley and coriander, and a sprinkle of flaked almonds. IMG_7970 The result? IMG_7964 A spicy, hearty and fragrant vegetarian dish. IMG_7980 Packed with flavour and nutrition, IMG_7981 (2)  And a perfect addition to our Indian Feast! But, of course, our feast did not stop there. For what feast would be complete without a little sweet treat to end the meal? Particularly one that involves oranges and almonds…. Part 3 to follow…. What about you? Do you have a favourite Indian dish? Happy Baking 🙂

Salt and Vinegar Potato Wedges

Training: Run 5km IMG_7035 I decided that today would not be a repeat of yesterday, in which my after-work exercise plans had to be cancelled due to really inclement weather. Rather, I brought my workout clothes into work and when the clock hit 1pm, headed out for a lunch time run. And, despite a sprinkle of rain towards the end, I managed to fit in 5 relatively dry kilometres. Training win! Another bonus of training at lunch was that it freed up my evening. AKA time to get a little creative in the kitchen. One of my all time favourite crisp varieties when I was growing was salt and vinegar. You could keep your plain chips, or your artificial ‘chicken’ or bbq flavours. Just hand me the familiar purple packet and was a happy girl. And let’s not even talk about how much vinegar I would drown my hot chips in if I got the chance….. IMG_7016 So when I saw that I had a full bag of chat potatoes in the pantry, and it happened to be sitting near my bottle of vinegar….I figured….why not??? IMG_7020 I started by slicing the potatoes into ‘wedges’ (skins on) then placed them in a bowl with a little olive oil. IMG_7019 Next, I covered them with a good amount of vinegar.. IMG_7022 and a sprinkle of spice. IMG_7023 And allowed them to marinate for 20 minutes. IMG_7024 Then spread onto a lined baking tray (with the extra marinade poured over) and baked for 45 minutes (turning halfway through). IMG_7026 Before…. IMG_7028 And after…. IMG_7030 Sprinkled with sea salt. IMG_7033 Oh Lordy Lord. IMG_7035 IMG_7037 I ended up serving these alongside some prawns I had sautéed in garlic and butter and some asparagus I had roasted in lemon juice. IMG_7042 But who am I kidding…. IMG_7047 why show you those when these were the real star of the show 🙂 IMG_7044 IMG_7054  Crunchy on the outside, and packed with vinegar and salt flavours on the inside… IMG_7050 Just how I remember 🙂 IMG_7048 Seriously… between you and me….I would have been happy to forego the prawns and greens and eaten the whole bowl of the wedges alone. IMG_7052 With the added bonus of no lengthy ingredient list such as that on the familiar purple bag 😉 Salt n Vinegar Wedges

  • 500g potatoes, washed and cut into wedges (skin on)
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp bush spice seasoning*
  • 3 tbs white vinegar
  • 1 tsp cracked sea salt
  1. Preheat oven to 200C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Place the potato in a bowl with the olive oil, vinegar and herbs. Toss to coat then allow to marinade for 20 minutes.
  3. Spread the wedges onto the baking tray, and pour over any remaining marinade.
  4. Roast for 40-5o minutes until fork tender(turning each 10 minutes).
  5. Remove from oven and sprinkle with sea salt.

What about you?  Do you like flavoured crisps? Happy Baking 🙂

You say potato…I say twice baked potato with pesto and broccoli!

Training: Swim / Run Today I felt as if I was in and out of training clothes all day. Ahhh the joys of trying to fit in allocated training sessions with a full time job ….. Before work I hit the pool for a 2km swim, and was rather happy to see that the pool was quiet AND the ‘best’ shower was free when I finished. It’s small things like those that can really start the day of on a positive note. At lunch, I changed into workout clothes for a 5km lake run, then back into work clothes for a few afternoon meetings. Then, after work, it was back into workout clothes again for another 5km run (I had to complete 10km today). Make sense? hehe Dinner Not only did I manage to fit in my scheduled training today, I even managed to get to the shops to by some much needed produce. But that doesn’t mean that I am abandoning our pantry mission already. In the potato drawer I had a couple of potatoes that needed to be eaten. So, using them as a base, I decided to try a twice baked potato dish. IMG_2147 After scrubbing the potatoes, and brushing them with a little olive oil and salt, I placed them in the oven to bake at 200C for 1 hour. IMG_2151 After half an hour had elapsed, I also put a tray of cauliflower in the oven, that I had sprinkled with a little olive oil and lemon pepper seasoning. IMG_2154 Next, I blanched some broccoli that I had cut into small florets. IMG_2155 Once the potatoes were cooked, I sliced them down the middle and scooped out the flesh. IMG_2184 IMG_2185 IMG_2187 I combined the potato flesh with the broccoli, and the remainder of the pesto from last night. IMG_2165 IMG_2189 Spooned into the potato skins, topped with parmesan, and baked for a further 10 minutes until brown and bubby on top. IMG_2191 IMG_2192 IMG_2194 Topped with a small spoonful of sour cream. IMG_2202    And served alongside mound of roasted cauliflower. IMG_2205 As far as potato toppings go, this one was actually not too bad! IMG_2203 Perhaps a little garlic in the potato filling may have made it even better? Twice baked potatoes with pesto and broccoli

  • 3 large potatoes
  • 1tbs olive oil
  • sea salt
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 2tbs pesto
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, shaved or grated

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200C
  2. Scrub the potatoes and prick with a fork several times. Pat dry. Brush with olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt. Place on a baking tray and bake for 60 – 90 minutes.
  3. Blanch the broccoli in boiling water for 4 to 5 minutes, then refresh under cold water.
  4. When the potatoes are cooked, slice lengthways and scoop out the potato flesh – making sure to leave a 1/2 inch ‘skin’.
  5. Combine the potato flesh, broccoli and pesto and spoon into the potato skins. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
  6. Place on a lined baking tray, and return to the oven to bake for a further 5 – 10 minutes or until browned on top.

What about you? Do you have a favourite potato topping? Mr BBB requested a bacon/sour cream/chive combo, but seeing as he had it not that long ago, I couldn’t resist trying something new! Happy Baking 🙂

Patatas Bravas – BBB style

Thankyou again for all your sweet words about my race. Last night’s yoga class was the perfect cure for tired legs, and I woke up this morning feeling refreshed and stretched. Not a bad combination for a Monday morning really! Today was my scheduled "rest" day from exercise, and it was nice to have an evening at home with nothing specific on the agenda. It was also nice to spend a little extra time in the kitchen, cooking up tonight’s Mystery Box meal. The chosen ingredient:  IMG_9059     Paprika! IMG_9065 Did you know? Paprika is the dried ground pods of the Capsicum Annun, a sweet red pepper. It contains capsaicin (also found in chillies and cayenne) which has both anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Paprika is also rich in vitamin C, can assist digestion, and has also been used to treat conditions such as poor circulation and lethargy. Sometimes when I select a Mystery Box ingredient, it takes me a while to work out what to make with it. Other times, like tonight, I immediately know what to cook. One of Mr BBB’s all time favourite Spanish tapas dishes is Patatas Bravas – a fried potato dish served with a spicy tomato sauce. And the spice used in that spicy tomato sauce? Paprika! IMG_9058 Normally the potatoes are fried in oil, however I wanted to make the dish a little more waistline friendly so opted to oven bake them instead. IMG_9066 While the potatoes were in the oven, I sautéed the Bravas sauce – consisting of olive oil, garlic, onion, paprika, thyme, tobasco and diced tomatoes. IMG_9068  Removed from the heat, and combined with mayonnaise and ketchup until creamy. IMG_9075 Spooned over the roasted potatoes. IMG_9077   And served alongside some oven baked tofu and steamed broccoli. IMG_9079 Oh my – this little sauce was so so tasty. IMG_9078 The paprika added both sweetness and smokiness, with a hint of spice from the tobasco. The flavours worked wonderfully with the creaminess of the potatoes. The ‘crowd’ also loved it and mentioned that the sauce could be served on anything. I must say that I agree. IMG_9081 Seriously – you must make this dish  sometime soon. BBB Bravas Sauce

  • 1Tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, diced finely
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4tbs diced tomatoes
  • 1.5 tbs smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp tobasco
  • 1/4 tsp ground thyme
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup ketchup / tomato sauce
  1. Sautee onion and garlic in olive oil until translucent.
  2. Add tomatoes, paprika, tobasco and thyme, and simmer for 5 minutes stirring.
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Stir through mayonnaise and tomato sauce.
  4. Serve atop a pile of oven roasted potatoes.

What about you? How do you like to cook with paprika? Happy Baking 🙂