A lovely little GF lemon tart

IMG_3290  When I pulled this ingredient out of the Mystery Box last weekend…. IMG_3302 I just knew I had to use it for a dessert creation.  For don’t lemons just provide the perfect flavour when it comes to tasty vibrant desserts…. lemon  And not to mention pretty ones…. macaron Did you know? It is presumed that lemons were first grown in India, North Burma and China, although their precise origin is unclear. Not only are lemons rich in vitamin C and make a wonderful addition to both savoury and sweet dishes, they are also a natural cleaner and have antibacterial properties! lemon2 My chosen dessert using lemons was made at the request of Mr BBB (who seemingly enjoys my other more ‘adventurous’ baked creations, but who really is a lover of simple desserts at heart). One of his all time favourites being…Lemon tart. But not just any lemon tart in this instance…but a gluten free lemon tart! IMG_3268 In all honesty, the GF pastry I made was a little tough to work with. It was rather fragile, and required more of a ‘shaping’ into the tart tin rather than a ‘roll and place’. IMG_3267 It may have also stuck in the tin after cooking, making slicing the tart rather difficult. But workability aside, it was a lovely light and flaky pastry – and spot on in terms of texture and flavour. IMG_3270 Although it seems my quest for the perfect GF pastry continues! IMG_3272 The filling itself, could not have been easier to make. Just lemon juice, eggs and cream….. IMG_3275 Poured into the pastry and baked for an hour or so, until just set. IMG_3280        Sprinkled with icing sugar… IMG_3285 and we had ourselves a lovely little lemon tart. IMG_3284 And yes, I confess… IMG_3286 The lack of "slice" photos may be indicative of how difficult it ended up being to get out of the tin. IMG_3290 Although, I did manage to get one slice that didn’t look too bad… IMG_3345 From this angle lol. Oh well….. at least it tasted yummy. I just have to perfect the recipe before sharing it with you, a task for which I am sure Mr BBB is quite happy to be the ‘quality assurance’ tester 😉 What about you? Are you a fan of lemon desserts?

No ordinary lemon chicken

IMG_2498 When I think of lemon chicken, I think of blah. I think of ordinary. I have to say, however, that this recipe from Adam Liaw’s cookbook (Two Asian Kitchens) quickly changed my view, and has made me quite the lemon chicken fan. IMG_2479 I gave this cookbook to Mr BBB a while ago, for  a couple of reasons. IMG_2478 First, he likes to cook. Even if he is not the most calm and collected cook. Seriously, if we had a swear jar it would be half full by the time Mr BBB finished preparing the dish lol. Second, he is a much bigger fan of Asian food than I am (I like Asian food, its just that he loves Asian food). And third, due to said love of Asian food, he is always bugging me to include more interesting Asian dishes in our weekly meal plan. IMG_2495 So buying the cookbook and encouraging him to cook whatever his heart desired seemed to be a smart move on my part.  He satisfies his craving for new Asian dishes, and I get a night off cooking! IMG_2480 So it was upon this background that the first receipe from Two Asian Kitchens was attempted by Mr BBB, with some assistance from his trusty wife dish washer/carrot chopper/bench cleaner. And, if the other dishes in this cookbook turn out as good as this lemon chicken did, then I will be suitably impressed. Over the weekend we got our essential supplies, including shaoxing wine and chestnut flour, both of which we found at our local Asian grocer. IMG_2492 The chicken was flattened slightly, then marinated in a mixture of GF soy sauce, sesame oil and shaoxing wine for an hour or so. IMG_2489 When it came time to cook, the chicken was dipped in egg white… IMG_2490 Floured (in the chestnut flour).. IMG_2491 Then pan-fried in a decent amount of vegetable oil for 4 minutes or so each side. IMG_2486 The result being some seriously cruncha-licious chicken…. IMG_2493 Gluten free! To finish the dish, we placed the chicken on a bed of brown rice and shredded lettuce, then topped it with the lemon sauce star. IMG_2499 Julienned carrots and spring onions, cooked in a mixture of sugar, vinegar, lemon juice and zest, stock and arrowroot, creating a fresh and vibrant lemon sauce. IMG_2501 Between the crunch of the chicken, the sweet zing of the lemon sauce, and the softness of the rice, this dish ended up being quite a star. IMG_2507 No gluggy lemon chicken in sight here! IMG_2504 We both agreed that this would make a wonderful addition to a home-cooked Asian banquet, where a big platter of rice / lettuce /sliced chicken, and the flavoursome lemon sauce, would surely be well received. IMG_2503 I was really impressed with the chestnut flour too, and am thinking perhaps I could use it to make a chicken schnitzel of sorts….. just an idea 😉 IMG_2500 What about you? Do you have a favourite cuisine? Mine is probably Thai at the moment, although it changes all the time!      

Lovely lentil stew with lemony herb yoghurt

Happy Friday lovely people! I don’t know about you, but I am so very happy that it is Friday. It probably has something to do with the fact that I have thought the last two days were Friday, when obviously they weren’t. So a part of me is feeling a little ‘finally’ about the whole thing! And to kick of the weekend, I headed to the gym for some elliptical action after work, enjoying the fact that is is never too busy on a Friday evening. Then, after picking up my (hopefully) fixed PC from the repair shop, I arrived home on quite the high. I am just ignoring the fact that I broke my favourite sunglasses today. My Friday night high continued when Mr BBB declared it a no cooking night, and arrived home with a tasty take away dinner in hand. And, as I am sure you have seen a takeaway GF pizza  before, I thought I might share last night’s dinner creation with you instead. IMG_2402  Because, really, it ended up being a very tasty (albeit random) addition to our weekly dinner menu! IMG_2390 With leftover vegetables as a starting point, the addition of lentils for some bulk and a variety of spices for some punch, this one pot stew came together really easily. IMG_2383 I really do love lentils, in all their hippy stereotype glory. I particularly appreciate how quickly they cook, as opposed to many other dried legumes or pulses, making them a good (and healthy!) dinner option when time is limited. IMG_2388 Aside from sautéing the onions and garlic first, I literally threw all the remaining ingredients for this meal in a pot, added some stock, covered it and let it cook slowly for 45 minutes or so. IMG_2398 I actually had the stew slowly cooking on the stove while Mr BBB and I took our evening walk last night, meaning that by the time we arrived home, all I had to do was pop some GF bread in the toaster to serve on the side, and make a lemony herb yoghurt to dollop on the top of the lentils. IMG_2399 Which in itself took a matter of moments. IMG_2392 Just Greek yoghurt, lemon zest and some finely chopped parsley. Picnik collage Served atop the bowl of lentils… IMG_2401 Adding just the right amount of extra "zing" to an already flavoursome dish. IMG_2404 We both practically licked our bowls clean, so I am recording this little lentil dish as a win! IMG_2402 There was, however, room for dessert… IMG_2406 Lovely lentil stew with lemony herb yoghurt (serves 2) This is a lovely little one-pot stew, that comes together quite quickly, making it a worthwhile addition to a weeknight meal plan. I served mine with a few slices of GF toast on the side, however it depends on your appetite. While I used carrots, celery and cauliflower, feel free to experiment and use whatever vegetables you have on hand. The recipe makes enough to feed 2 people, however you could easily double (or triple!) the quantities, to have tasty leftovers the next day.

  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 cup lentils
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1/4 head cauliflower, separated into small florets
  • 2 cups stock
  • Handful chopped parsley (+ extra 1-2 tbs finely chopped parsley for yoghurt)
  • 150g Greek yoghurt
  • Rind of 1 lemon (or more or less to taste)
  1. To make the lemony herb yoghurt, combine the Greek yoghurt, lemon rind and chopped parsley in a small bowl. Cover and place in the fridge.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a medium pot over a medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and sautee until the onion starts to soften.
  3. Add the spices and cook, stirring, for 15 seconds.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients, stir well to combined.
  5. Cover, lower heat, and cook slowly for 45 minutes – until the lentils have softened an soaked up most of the liquid. Stir through handful of chopped parsley.
  6. Divide among serving bowls, and top with a dollop of the lemony herb yoghurt.

What about you? What is your favourite way to use lentils?

Pass the Paella

Training: Body Balance IMG_9536 One of my favourite cookbooks at the moment is this one… IMG_9471 And, when I saw that it had a recipe for paella, well I was sold. Particularly when I saw that it called for homemade vegetable stock, infused with porcini mushrooms. IMG_9494 copy  Divine. I started by slicing and salting eggplant. IMG_9495 Then sauteeing it in a little olive oil until golden brown. IMG_9502 In a separate frypan I heated the remaining vegetables – sliced capsicum, leek and diced tomatoes. IMG_9503 Cooked until softened…  IMG_9504 Before returning the cooked eggplant to the pan. IMG_9506 Next – I added a combination of aborio and brown rice. IMG_9498 Finished with the rich homemade stock. IMG_9511 Covered and simmered until the rice had cooked. The original recipe called for the addition of artichokes – but I didnt have any. So, deviating from the vehetarian version, I threw in some prawns and peas during the final 10 minutes of cooking. IMG_9515  Then, with a sprinkle of parsley… IMG_9528 And a squeeze of lemon juice…. IMG_9526 Dinner was served. IMG_9531 Served communally straight from the pan. IMG_9534 Now THIS is my kinda meal. Pack with flavours and textures…   IMG_9532 And vibrant not only in colour but also in taste. IMG_9537 I think this would make a great dinner party dish, served communally with a good loaf  of crusty bread on the side (or oat bread in my case!).  Actually, I know this would make a great dinner party dish! One pot, no fuss!! What about you? Do you have a favourite dinner party dish?