One pot vegetarian chilli wonder

This meal, that graced our dinner table (some time ago now), highlights just how easy home cooking can be. Using ‘whatever’ ingredients I had on hand… IMG_9151 (onions, garlic, quinoa, frozen peas, chilli powder, capsicum, carrot, oregano and cumin) Along with a trio of beans… IMG_9152IMG_9153 We had ourselves quite the vegetarian chilli party! IMG_9160 I would give you a recipe, but there really is no need. IMG_9161 Just heat some olive oil in a large pot, add the onions, garlic and your vegetables. Throw in the other herbs, quinoa and water (using a 1:2 ratio), and some tinned tomatoes, simmer for half an hour, and you are done! IMG_9162 On this occasion we served the chilli alongside a green salad .. IMG_9167 Jazzed up with some cucumbers, raw cashews and dried cranberries. IMG_9165 Too easy! The best part being that there are inevitably leftovers to enjoy for lunch or dinner the next day! What about you? Are you a fan of one pot meals? I certainly am – especially when it means there are less dishes to do afterwards!

Vegetarian cauliflower curry

IMG_9030 In addition to soups, we have been warming up with lots of curries and stews lately. And this one, although rather simple, was packed with flavour. Just as a good curry should be, really. Inspired by a large cauliflower that arrived in my weekly vegetable box, I set about making a vegetarian curry. Using curry paste, ginger and onions as the flavour base.. IMG_9020 Simmered with water, fresh tomatoes and, of course, the cauliflower… IMG_9024 Finished with a cup of frozen peas and a a tub of natural yoghurt. IMG_9025IMG_9026 Piled high on a bed of brown rice, and served with fresh coriander. IMG_9028 And my favourite curry addition… IMG_9029 A couple hard boiled eggs! IMG_9033 Simple, fragrant, tasty. IMG_9030 And a lovely way to warm up on a cold Canberra night! What about you? Do you have a favourite curry?

Cauliflower pie

IMG_8784 As I mentioned here, I have been having a lot of fun with our weekly vegetable boxes from Aussie Farmers Direct. IMG_8693 I am, however, falling behind in blogging about the dishes we have created, as this was one of the dishes I made from our first box. The inspiration? IMG_8757 A beautiful head of cauliflower. Boiled, processed… IMG_8772IMG_8773 Then jazzed up with a few extra ingredients. IMG_8771IMG_8774 To create a simple yet tasty cauliflower pie. IMG_8778 I served this as a dinner ‘side’ for a couple nights, but it also made a rather tasty ‘heat and eat’ lunch too. IMG_8784 Perfect for when you have a grizzly bub in one hand, and a tummy that is crying out for food. IMG_8785 Showcasing one of my favourite vegetables too! Cauliflower pie

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 3 potatoes, cooked and mashed
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream
  • 2 tsp Chinese five spice
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Lightly grease a pie dish.
  2. Boil cauliflower for 5 minutes, drain, then process until smooth.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the cauliflower, potato, sour cream and Chinese five spice,  and season to taste.
  4. Spread into the prepared dish. Sprinkle with parmesan and drizzle with olive oil.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

What about you? Are you a fan of cauliflower?

Gourmet Garden – Thai inspired tofu stir-fry

I think that it will come as no surprise when I tell you that I am a big fan of healthy, yet easy, meals. And, although my preference has been for “make ahead” meals recently, ie ones that I can put on the stove and ‘forget about"’ throughout the afternoon, stir-fries usually also feature heavily in the BBB household. blog So, for my third Gourmet-Garden inspired meal, I decided to return to an old favourite. On the menu… Ctofu A Thai inspired tofu stir-fry. Flavoured with two more of the herb pastes sent to me by Gourmet Garden. IMG_7000 Basil paste and Thai Seasoning. IMG_7001 The first thing that I noticed when I opened the Thai Seasoning, in particular, was its wonderful aroma. You could definitely detect all the included herbs – lemongrass, ginger, coriander and chilli. Flavours I used to marinate a block of organic tofu (drained and cut into cubes). IMG_7002IMG_7009IMG_7011 Then, after Charlotte went to bed for the evening, we set about bringing the rest of the dish together. Vegetables, sliced…. IMG_7014 Rice vermicelli prepared… IMG_7016 Thrown into a wok, with the marinated tofu and a couple eggs. IMG_7020 Piled into bowls, pretty ones of course Winking smile IMG_7021 And our super speedy mid-week meal was done. IMG_7023 While I normally tend to rely on fresh herbs when it comes to cooking, I cannot fault how tasty these herb pastes are (not to mention being convenient). IMG_7025 The chilli had quite a kick to it too – which my spice-lovin’ husband was pleased to find out! IMG_7028 While I used tofu, I have no doubt that you could use any protein of your choosing. Delish! What about you? Are you a fan of spicy food? I used to be, but while pregnant I found that I had no tolerance to spicy food at all. Slowly but surely I think it is starting to come back though! Bring on the vindaloo……

Make ahead meal – Curried lentils and sweet potato

(Disclaimer – This post was typed with one hand, and a sleeping baby on my chest. So apologies in advance for any typos!)  IMG_6257 When looking for inspiration for a make ahead meal, I tend to gravitate towards slow cooked meat dishes. However, as I also like to have at least a couple of meatless dinners throughout the week, coming up with a make ahead vegetarian meal was my aim yesterday. IMG_6244 Lentils and vegetables seemed the most logical choice. And when Charlotte went down for a nap in the afternoon – well I got to work. IMG_6246 Veggies – diced. Sautéed with some spices, then simmered slowly with lentils and vegetable stock until the lentils were tender. IMG_6247 Later that evening, I put the dish back on the stove and simmered it uncovered to allow some of the liquid to evaporate. Then threw in a good amount of spinach and allowed it to wilt. IMG_6249 The result? IMG_6252 A thick stew-like dinner, packed with goodness. IMG_6253 Finished with one of my favourite stew toppers. IMG_6256 Natural yoghurt! And a sprinkle of parsley – for some extra green. IMG_6259 I loved how the sweet potato had broken down owing to the long cooking time. It gave the dish a nice hearty consistency. IMG_6260 And between the curry powder and cayenne pepper, the dish also had a bit of a spicy kick to it. IMG_6261 Mellowed, of course, by the yoghurt. IMG_6264 I think this dish, or at least a version of it, will be making regular appearances in the BBB household. Curried lentils and sweet potato (serves 4-6)

  • 2 onions, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1tsp minced garlic
  • 1- 2 tbs curry powder (to taste)
  • 1 tsp garam masalsa
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
  • 1 cup dried lentils
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup water
  • Few handfuls of spinach
  • Natural yoghurt and fresh parsley to serve
  1. Heat a splash of olive oil in a large pot over a medium heat. Add vegetables, garlic and spices, and sauté for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the lentils, vegetable stock and water, cover and simmer gently for 1 hour. (At this point I took the dish off the stove, then reheated it just before serving a few hours later).
  3. Before serving, add spinach and simmer until the liquid has evaporated and you have the desired consistency.
  4. Divide among serving bowls, and top with a spoonful of yoghurt and a sprinkle of parsley.

What about you? Are you a fan of lentils? I most certainly am, and should cook with them more!

Nacho Sunday

Its been another productive day in the BBB household, with more things being crossed off my ‘waiting for baby’ to do list. By afternoon I was starting to feel a little stir crazy being cooped up inside, however, so I was very grateful when the rain stopped allowing me to get outside for a walk. Gotta stay active! And, while I have a very tasty dish marinating in the fridge for tonight’s dinner, I thought I would share last night’s carb fest with you. IMG_4938 aka. Nacho Sunday! But not just any nachos… IMG_4931 Herbed, bean and tomato nachos. IMG_4934 (chopped tomatoes, coriander, parsley and kidney beans). So very simple to make. Just layer…. IMG_4935 On layer… IMG_4936 On layer… IMG_4937 And into the oven… IMG_4939 Eaten picnic style from the coffee table, of course,  while watching the latest episode of Homeland. IMG_4940 A perfect carbed up Sunday night really Smile  What about you? Do you have a favourite nachos topping?

On a roll…

Last night Mr BBB and I attended the final class in a set of three antenatal classes. While the previous class was about all things “natural“ when it comes to labour, last night the midwife talked us through the various synthetic pain relief options, as well as what to expect during the first few weeks after the birth. I must say, I am really pleased with the hospital we have chosen, as all the midwives and other staff we have come across so far have been lovely. And not pushy at all. My only criticism of the classes, as I mentioned here, is that they run from 6.00pm to 9.00pm. ie. dinner time. ie. starting too early to have eaten dinner before hand. And finishing too late to eat dinner afterwards. A first world problem, I agree, but a problem for my tummy nonetheless. So, for the last two classes I packed dinner to take along with us (salad sandwiches, and then these wraps). But with extra time on my hands this week owing to being on maternity leave, I decided to get a little more creative. I was after something fresh, healthy and portable. IMG_4823 And rice paper rolls fit the bill just perfectly. roll I had originally planned on making a chicken variety, but with a block of tofu in the fridge needing to be used, I opted for a vegetarian version instead. IMG_4822 Along with a stack of other goodies… capsicum, cucumber, mushrooms, lettuce, vermicelli rice noodles and mint. Do not forget the mint! IMG_4824 All laid out and ready to roll. IMG_4826 IMG_4827 IMG_4825 Although the ingredients can take a little time to prepare, and the rolls can be a bit fiddly at first, once you get on a roll (*groan), they actually come together quite quickly. IMG_4832 Providing for a healthy, quick and portable meal! IMG_4830 All packed up and ready to go! What about you? Are you a fan of rice paper rolls?

Cauli potato mash

Aww thankyou for all your sweet comments about yesterday’s post. You really do know how to make a preggy gal feel good about herself (and her blindingly white baby bump!?). Want to know something else that was blindingly white? IMG_4434 This simple side dish that I want to share with you. One that was rather random in its creation, but ended up being rather tasty. Just cauliflower and potato, steamed until tender. IMG_4431 Mashed with a little butter, a dash of milk and a ‘throw in’ of grated cheese. IMG_4433 Combined… and voila! IMG_4434 Cauli potato mash – creamy and delicious. IMG_4436 Served with scotch fillet and sliced zucchini (both seasoned with a sprinkle of bush spice blend and grilled on the BBQ). IMG_4439 Finished with fresh parsley, and dinner was served. If you find mashed potato a little heavy going, particularly in the warmer weather, this might be the side dish for you. I found the cauliflower ‘lightened’ the mash a tad, while being a rather tasty accompaniment to the steak. Delish! What about you? Do you have a favourite vegetable mash combination?

Roasted kipfler, pea and feta salad

Between the lamb cutlets and duck that have graced our dinner table lately, I was looking for a vegetarian dish for dinner this evening to balance out the week. And with this Christmas present again providing inspiration… IMG_4290 It wasn’t long until I came across a dish that sounded oh so appealing. Roasted kipfler, pea and feta salad. First, the stars of the show… IMG_4309 The kipfler potatoes! Washed and sliced…. IMG_4310 Drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt. IMG_4312 Then roasted for 40 minutes until golden brown. IMG_4320 Combined with blanched green peas, crumbled feta, fresh mint, and dressed simply with olive oil/white wine vinegar/dijon mustard… IMG_4314 And we had ourselves quite the tasty warm potato salad. IMG_4322 To add some protein to the meal, I sliced some firm tofu… IMG_4315 And raided the pantry for a “tofu” flavour. When I came across this tomato jam, well I couldn’t resist. IMG_4313 Spooned atop the tofu, and grilled until golden. IMG_4316 IMG_4327 All together now! IMG_4321 This ended up being one of those random dishes that you enjoy so very much, and vow that you will make it again sometime soon. Even if the dish itself is far from ‘photogenic’ Winking smile  IMG_4323 The clear taste winner for me were the waxy kipfler potatoes, which worked rather well with the fresh mint and blanched peas. Not to mention the creamy feta. IMG_4324 ’twas most certainly a dish worth putting the oven on in Summer for! IMG_4326 And a lovely vegetarian end to the working week. What about you? Do you have a favourite type of potatoes? I really do enjoy the waxy varieties, such as kipfler.

Orange tofu stir-fry

IMG_3752 Can you believe there are only 4 weeks until Christmas. How very wonderful – and crazy – all at the same time. Here’s hoping that my work schedule and ‘life’ calms down a little between now and then, so that I can get some quality "Christmas baking" time in….. Tonight’s dinner continued my recent ‘quick and easy’ theme, and what is quicker and easier than stir-fry! An orange tofu stir-fry. IMG_3748 I came across a similar recipe in one of my cook books, and with a few modifications, converted it to a BBB-style recipe. Starting with the tofu marinade… IMG_3749 Orange zest, juice and tamari. Combined and poured over diced tofu, allowing it to marinade for a good 20 minutes or so. Meanwhile, I prepared other vegetables… IMG_3750 which tonight were capsicum, carrot and asparagus. Throw them all into a wok with some rice vermicelli noodle, as well as some orange segments and green onions at the last minute. IMG_3751 Let the wok do its magic, and voila. Dinner is served. IMG_3752 Truthfully, both Mr BBB and I were rather apprehensive when the fresh orange segments were added. IMG_3753 But, you know what? IMG_3756 They were my favourite bits! Juicy, and sweet, and the flavour worked quite nicely with the tamari tofu. IMG_3757 For a rather random stir-fry – this one is certainly a keeper! What about you? What is the weirdest ingredient you have put in a stir-fry?