With delicious avocados in season, I’m finding myself drawn back to salads. Lentils are a good way to bring some winter warmth to a salad. Although this can be served cold, it would be ever better warm with the avocados sliced on top. Peel and pop beetroot in the oven for 30 – 40 minutes, then dice when cool. Dice capsicum, celery, red onion and leek and heat in a pan with some ghee or coconut oil. Add puy lentils, garlic, some thyme leaves and stock then simmer for 20 minutes until lentils are soft. Serve with roast beetroot, slices of avocado and feta. I found this recipe which sounds perfect.
Roast Chicken & Veggies
Sarah Wilson recently wrote about making a roast chicken stretch to 15 meals. The way my family consumes roast chicken, that’s not likely, but I can certainly make it go 2 or 3. This week I’m starting with a roast, then turning the bones and leftovers into a nourishing chicken soup. Pop a chicken in the oven with chunks of potato, carrot and parsnip for an hour until golden. I turn it every 20 minutes (first one side, then the other, then upright). Add zucchini to the pan with 20 minutes to go. Make a gravy from pan juices and a little bit of cornflour and red wine. Serve with mixed greens sautéed in ghee and garlic.
Leftovers Chicken Stock and Soup
After you’ve eaten your fill of roast, pull most of the chicken off the carcass and reserve it for your soup. Pop the carcass in a big pot of cold water. Add some big chunks of onion (pick up a ‘free to a good home’ onion at the Local Organics HQ), a dozen peppercorns, a bay leaf and any fresh herbs you have in the garden. Chunks of carrot if you can spare any, and celery leaves and ends will also add flavour. Add a splash of Apple Cider Vinegar and simmer on low for 2 – 6 hours, strain and save the stock. To make the soup, chop onion, garlic and celery and sauté in a soup pot. Add stock with chopped carrot, parsnip and potato and simmer until the veggies are soft. Add in your reserved shredded chicken and stir to heat. For extra deliciousness, slowly stir the juice of half a lemon and a beaten egg into the soup before serving. You can also add wakame, ginger, turmeric, coriander and other immunity boosting treats like this fabulous Immune Boosting Chicken Soup or follow Sarah Wilson’s instructions for simple stock and soup. Save or freeze any leftover stock to make another soup.
Veggie Fried Rice
Cook brown rice (try soaking overnight first for softer, more easily digested and nutritious rice) and set aside. Make a simple omelette and slice in to strips and set aside. Gently stirfry onion and garlic in a wok, then add diced carrot for a minute, broccoli florets (cut them small) for another minute, then peas, diced zucchini and capsicum and stir fry until veggies are close to ready. If they start to stick, throw a splash of water in the wok. Add your choice of sauces (try soy with a few drops of sesame oil and perhaps a tablespoon each of hoisin and oyster sauce) and stir through. Throw in your cooked rice and heat, then serve topped with egg slices.
Mixed Greens and Ricotta Rolls
Sautee onion, garlic and chopped greens in a saucepan and stir until wilted. Transfer to a bowl and cool slightly before adding heaps of ricotta, a squeeze of lemon juice or rind and your choice of herbs (dill or nutmeg would work well). You can also stir an egg through. Stir the mixture until combined and spread onto strips of puff pastry. Roll pastry like sausage rolls, cut into shorter sections and bake – this recipe covers the basics.. You could use filo pastry instead and make parcels, or even squeeze the mixture into cannelloni tubes and bake with a tomato sauce.
Cauliflower Crust Pizza
I still have heaps of cauliflower left over from last week so I'm giving this crazy cauliflower pizza another go. I tried it a few months ago and it worked out pretty well. It’s definitely not a firm pizza-like base but it’s good with a knife and fork and a deliciously novel way to consume lots of cauliflower! Grate cauliflower and mix with egg and grated cheese to make a light dough. Spread the dough out on a pizza tray and bake in a hot oven for 15 minutes. Roast chunks of fennel, red onion and beetroot in advance then layer it on the cooked pizza base with tomato paste and top with feta, then pop it back under the grill for 5 minutes. This website has a simple recipe, but just google Cauliflower pizza for plenty more ideas.
Stewed Apples with Yoghurt
Whenever I have extra apples around the house I make a batch of stewed apple. It’s my answer to the inevitable school lunch apples that come home bruised and beaten and the old ‘I’ve taken a bite and changed my mind' situation that you get with preschoolers. Peel and slice apples and pop into a saucepan with enough water so it doesn’t dry out, a drop or two of vanilla and a pinch of cinnamon. Simmer gently until the fruit is soft, adding water if it starts to stick. Serve with greek yoghurt and sprinkles of toasted nuts, coconut and cacao nibs.