Saturday, November 27, 2010

baked butter beans with tomato and feta recipe

As a teenager my friends and I were somewhat addicted to baked beans. Wattie's baked beans that is. We would try to out do each other, each trying to prove just how much we loved the sweet and salty canned variety. One friend even went so far as to cover her art folder with old baked bean labels! We all thought that was pretty cool.

As I got older however, I began to find them less and less appealing. I prefer to make my own these days, and while you can by all means soak and cook your own butter beans, using the tinned variety speeds things up and is a godsend on nights when you find yourself caught out, wondering what to cook at 5pm.

The pairing of tomato, feta and garlic, with plenty of fresh herbs works just as well for breakfast as it does for dinner. At breakfast time I like to serve the beans hot and piled high on thickly buttered toast, a poached egg added for a special Sunday feast. At dinner, you can either serve on brown rice or as is, with a green salad and bread to mop up the juices.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

gluten-free lemon chia cookie recipe

Our results are back...I am happy to say we've had the all clear. The kids and I do not have coeliacs! That does not mean to say I am going to run out and buy a pie and a loaf of bread though, oh no no. After feeling the way I have for the past month while eating wheat, I am really really happy to be wheat-free once more. Yes, it is a huge relief to know that gluten does not actually damage our bodies like those who are coeliac, but I know it definitely does not agree with us either. After only two days being wheat-free again, my month-long dull headache has gone and I am starting to feel like I have energy again. It is however, going to be really nice to relax a little and not have a heart attack every time the kids want to eat birthday cake at a friends party.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

natural homemade garden fertiliser

Our garden is starting to look healthy and lush thanks to all this lovely warm weather and is something I am once again proud of! (It really was a sad state of affairs over winter, understandably). I've found from personal experience, that a lot of people seem to get put off growing their own vegetables after the initial successful season, when the soil is still full of nutrients and goodness. It is after this time that you really need to start to give back to the soil, by means of a good compost or liquid fertiliser, to have continued success and to keep you motivated.
Friday, November 19, 2010

brothers, a sister, 2 kids, two mums and a family treasure

I had intended to do this little write-up a few days ago, but it turns out Ada picked up some bug while over at mum's in Pukehina. She's been up every night since we got home, hot with a fever. As I type I have my fingers crossed tonight will be the breakthrough night, god knows we could do with some sleep around here!
As I mentioned in my last post, the kids and I took my two younger brothers over to my mum and little sister's place (Si works Saturdays, so it's a bit hard for him to have weekend away). It was an interesting weekend and a long overdue family catch-up. There were moments of craziness, way too much piss-taking, laughter, and plenty of talking! You know those kind of catch-ups when you all talk so much your brain hurts!? It was one of them.

The kids spent Sunday morning helping "Nana-Nana" out in her garden, taking rides in her wheelbarrow and digging holes for her summer seedlings. I found mum's old favourite cookbook, Meals without Meat by Alison and Simon Holst and flicked through it for old times' sake. This is somewhat of a bible in my family. Back in the 80's and early 90's vegetarian cookbooks were mostly limited to Hare Krishna Indian cookbooks. So a book like this, featuring Mexican, Japanese and European vegetarian recipes really was something quite special. Until this day, it is still my mothers most loved and treasured cookbook and judging from the food splattered pages, it has been used to make many a family feast!
Monday, November 15, 2010

peanut, tofu and coriander soba noodle salad recipe

The kids and I are finally in our last few days of eating wheat and have just returned home from a weekend at mum's place in Pukehina, with my two younger brothers. I'll post a few pictures from our weekend away once I've caught up on some sleep and unpacked our bags. But for now I though I'd share this soba noodle salad recipe I made last week, flavoured with peanuts, ginger, garlic and coriander.

It's been a long month of eating wheat that's for sure, and while I did struggle in the first weeks getting my head around the whole idea of eating wheat, the kids and I have more than made up for it in these last weeks. I went all out on my last food shopping trip to Hamilton, buying ginger kisses (I know, something I probably shouldn't admit too, but I've always loved them! I am vowing to come up with my own gluten-free version), crumpets, soba noodles, and Vogels bread. Yes I still feel bleh, tired and grumpy, but I figured if this was to be my last taste of wheat, then I'd better make it a good one!
Thursday, November 11, 2010

babaganosh recipe & a galloway family reunion of sorts

Last weekend my Dad, his partner and a few of their neighbours had organised a beach tidy-up and barbecue down in the little bay in front of their silo house and holiday apartments. It was all very casual, as most things are in Raglan. When asked if I needed to bring anything dad replied "oh nah..oh..if you want to?".

Our cupboards were looking pretty bare so I thought it wasn't going to be anything overly exciting if I did manage it. Then I remembered I had two shiny eggplants (aubergine) picked up on my last food shopping trip in Hamilton. I had intended to use them in a curry, but decided at the last minute to use them to make my favourite eggplant dish, babaganosh.
Monday, November 8, 2010

gluten-free rhubarb berry tarts with pistachio labne recipe

You may remember a while back I wrote a post on the gluten-free girl and the chefs new cookbook? Well, after four long weeks of waiting it has finally arrived. I don't think I have ever waited so anxiously for an Amazon parcel to arrive, before ordering this book.... Their recipe for asian pear tart instantly called out to me. But as you may have noticed I'm on a little bit of a rhubarb tangent at the moment, so I decided to make these rustic rhubarb berry tarts instead. Using their pastry recipe but my super fast I'm-to-busy-with-two-kids-hanging-off-my-legs method.
Friday, November 5, 2010

asparagus and edamame soup with rocket pesto recipe

I have been waiting for what feels like months to try this recipe for asparagus and edamame soup from Jane Lawson's book Yoshoku: Japanese food western style. I've always been a fan of Asian food, so naturally this book appealed and while "fusion" food has gotten a bad name for itself over the years, done correctly with a deep understanding of both eastern and western flavours the end results can be both exciting and tasty!

Edamame are the immature green beans from the soybean plant if you are not familiar with the name. More commonly seen as a bar snack throughout Japan, they are also a lovely addition to soups, stews and salads. They are becoming more and more available in New Zealand and can be found frozen in most Asian supermarkets and some mainstream ones too. You can buy them in two forms, either pre-cooked whole edamame which you then just need to steam or lightly boil in salted water/stock for a few minutes before eating straight from the shell or pre-cooked shelled edamame sold as "frozen soybean meat". While I do tend to buy the soybean meat most often, there is something seriously pleasing about sitting down to a bowlful of steamed edamame, popping the beans out as you go.

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