Monday, October 31, 2011

Meat-free Wheat-free Monday, Falafel

Falafel has been a family favorite of ours since our children were very young, they still ask me to make it from time to time and although gluten-free wraps are a bit cardboardy (haven't found a brand yet that's much good) we still enjoy them.
I like the interactiveness of putting all the  components on the table and having people put together their own wraps.
I soak two and a half cups of chickpeas overnight in cold water, drain them the next day and process them into a paste with a teaspoon of ground Cumin and a teaspoon and a half of baking powder, I let this sit for half an hour at room temperature  before rolling into walnut sized balls, I let these sit for about 15 minutes before frying them in Canola Oil. The Falafel go on the table with a simple salad of Lettuce, Tomato and Cucumber, enough wraps for 2 each and a sauce made of Yoghurt with a crushed Garlic clove and a pinch of salt stirred in.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Meat-free, Wheat-free Monday, Cauliflower Pakoras

The weather is really starting to change and we're getting to the end of the cool weather vegies, our last couple of cauliflowers are ready to eat and I wanted to pick them before the slugs took over!

A Zucchini Curry was on the menu for our Monday vegie meal, I thought Cauliflower Pakoras would be a good accompaniment and a good use for the Cauliflowers, they're  always popular and so easy. I chopped the Cauliflower into florets and cooked them in boiling water until they were almost tender.

I then added a cup of Besan Flour (Chickpea Flour), to a large bowl, stirred in three quarters of a cup of water, about a teaspoon of Cumin seeds, lightly crushed in a mortar & pestle and half a teaspoon of salt.

I added the drained Cauliflower to this batter and mixed until it was well coated.

I fried the florets in Canola Oil until they were golden brown and served them with coriander leaves, the curry, rice and some yoghurt and mint raita.

Friday, October 14, 2011


I've never grown Dill before this year and I don't really think I'd tasted it properly until we grew some! I love it, what a beautiful soft aniseedy flavour! I also love the way it looks, both in the garden and on the plate.

I made some pasties the other day and had some short-crust pastry left over so I made some little tart cases, I put a bit of sour cream, a twist of salmon and a little sprig of Dill on each one along with a couple of capers, they were lovely and so easy!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Meat-free, Wheat-free Monday, Vietnamese and Japanese.......

I have never made rice-paper rolls before, they were easier than I thought they might be and, pardon my big head, but I thought they tasted even better than any I have ever had!
The Vietnamese Mint added a lovely fresh flavour.

 This gorgeous cabbage was the last one for the year and I wanted to make something special from it, I decided on Okonomyaki (Japanese Pancakes), I made them from one and a half cups of gluten-free flour, 4 lightly beaten eggs, quarter of a cup of vegetable stock, half a cup of sliced spring onions and about half of the cabbage, cooked until tender, then cooled and added to the batter.

This amount of batter made four decent sized pancakes, they're very filling, one for each person is plenty.

A squiggle of Kewpie Mayo and a squiggle of Okonomi Sauce (both from an Asian grocery store) and that's all there is to it! Amazingly good to eat, a definate favorite of ours.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Time for a Tidy Up!

The main part of our veggie garden is in our front yard, this makes it very visible to our neighbors and to passers by, most of the time I think it looks lovely, productive, green and interesting. This week it has definitely been looking like it's time for a tidy up, a lot of the winter veggies are finishing and it's time to prepare the beds for all the wonderful Summer veggies that I'm already looking forward to.

Up until two years ago this area at the front of our house was a lawn and had been for thirty years, we've left grass in between the beds for now although my long-term plan is to have gravel, it's tricky to mow in between the beds but very satisfying to stand back and look at once it's done though......

I pulled out the rocket which had gone completely out of control, tidied up what was left of the cauliflowers, they did so well and we've really enjoyed them, picked the last of the cabbages ready for something special on Monday and dug lots of compost into the spaces that are now empty.

It all looks much more organised and I can't wait to get planting!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Meat-free, Wheat-free Monday, Tapas

I've been thinking about Tapas ever since I mentioned them in my post about Balsamic Thyme Mushrooms, I thought Meat-free, Wheat-free Tapas would be manageable, especially if I did a bit of delegating. It all came together
well and as you can see, there was no shortage of food!

Some of the dishes we had were really simple and took little time to prepare, some took more effort such as these eggplant rolls which one of my daughters filled with ricotta and chargrilled capsicum, absolutely delicious, well worth the effort.

We had a fritatta, smashed potatoes with fennel seeds, cauliflower fritters with mint yoghurt, artichokes and olives from the deli and crusty sourdough bread.

I also made a baked dish with fetta chunks and tomato with fresh oregano, it was great spread on the bread.

Another one of my daughters made the most amazing chocolate brownie cookies with peanut butter filling from the latest issue of Donna Hay Magazine, they were the perfect end to a fun meal.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

October Food Swap

I can hardly believe that it's been a month since the last food swap, it was a cold, wet morning, not so good for being out in the garden picking goodies to take to the swap.
I took...................

6 eggs
1 cauliflower
1 bunch of curly kale
1 bunch of ruby chard
1 jar of apple jelly
1 jar of curried cauliflower and carrot pickle

and I brought home..........

tomato seedlings
cos lettuce seedlings
radacchio seedlings
1 vegetable frittata
1 lemon
1 bottle of plum sauce
1 bunch of radishes
1 wedge of pumpkin
1 bunch of spring onions
1 bag of frozen tomatoes
1 bunch of parsley
1 bunch of silverbeet

Fortunately Sunday was a better day and I was able to plant the lettuce and Radicchio seedlings, looking forward to lovely Summer salads from the garden now.