Thursday, 31 October 2013

Sweet Potato Muffins



These are moist and delicious like a carrot cake. They are made with healthy sweet potatoes and good olive oil. Just cause it's a muffin doesn't mean it can't have some benefits. This is a half recipe that makes 6 muffins which I find is perfect for two, enjoyed over a few days. They stay nice and moist .


You will need:
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup sweet potato puree/mash
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla or rum (I used my homemade vanilla rum)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup olive oil (or 1/4 cup olive oil and 1/4 cup blood orange avocado oil)
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar and 1-2 tbsp orange juice or maple syrup just until makes a thick glaze to drizzle on tops.


Step 1: peel and steam or boil sweet potato until soft. In a small bowl add dry ingredients: flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. Mash sweet potato with a potato masher or food processor until smooth puree.


Step 2: Heat oven to 350 degrees and get 6 large muffin cups ready. I use parchment liners. In a large bowl add sweet potato puree, brown sugar, honey, vanilla, egg and olive oil. You can use some orange flavoured avocado oil and some olive oil or all olive oil. Mix well with a whisk.


Step 3: add flour mixture and fold in with a spatula until incorporated. Do not over mix.


Step 4: scoop with an ice cream scoop into cups.


Step 5: bake for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool.


Drizzle glaze on top and bite it!




Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Vegetable Bolognese with Fresh Pappardelle



This is a perfect pasta for a hearty meatless meal. it is also a good way to get loads of vegetables into your family without them knowing it. You process everything in a food processor so it is very fine and it cooks until it is thick and meaty. I have prepared fresh pasta but, you can easily replace with a good quality store bought fresh.


You will need:
  • 1 oz dried mushrooms = about 1/2 cup
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 5-6 fresh cremini mushrooms
  • 1 large carrot
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 small red pepper
  • 1 small fresh chili - medium heat
  • 3 cloves garlic 
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • salt/pepper
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 red wine
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • water (you might need 1/2 cup to keep sauce from going too dry while vegetables get soft)
  • fresh basil to serve
  • freshly grated Parmesan to serve
  • more extra virgin olive oil to serve.
Pasta
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup semolina flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
OR use store bought fresh pasta


Gather all your ingredients.


Step 1: if you are making pasta. Add all ingredients to a food processor and turn on until a ball forms. This will take less than 1 minute. Wrap in plastic to let rest 30 minutes.


Step 2: take your dry mushrooms and add to boiling water. Set aside 5 minutes.



Step 3: take carrot, celery, onion, red pepper and chili. Pulse until fine. Remove and place in a hot pan with a generous amount of good olive oil.


Step 4: pulse fresh mushrooms, garlic and fresh herbs until fine. (I didn't even clean out the machine from the first chop)


Step 5: cook the carrot mix on medium high heat for 10 minutes to let much of the water evaporate. Add Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.


Step 6: add mushroom mix cook 5 minutes.


Step 7: add Worcestershire, balsamic, tomato paste and red wine. Let cook 10 minutes until almost dry. 


Step 8: add a bit of milk (any kind) and then water to make a sauce. Cover and cook on low for 20 minutes checking from time to time to see if you need more water. Taste it and adjust salt and pepper as necessary. 



Step 9: prepare pasta. I have a pasta attachment for my kitchenaid mixer however you can roll out and slice by hand to form thick ribbons. You can also prepare your store bought fresh pasta if you want to skip this step.


 Thin


or thick pasta!! Make sure you save some pasta water to toss your thick Bolognese with the pasta. Add some fresh grated Parmesan, parsley and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.


























Sunday, 27 October 2013

Minestrone Soup


It is the first snow of the season today and this is the perfect meal! This is a filling vegetable packed  soup. Hearty and satisfying on a cold evening. A slice of crusty bread and you have a very good meal.


You will need:

  • 2 slices bacon/pancetta or smoked turkey
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley and basil combination
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 celery stalks-sliced
  • 2 carrots-sliced
  • 1 leek
  • 5-6 small potatoes - sliced
  • 1 litre chicken/beef or vegetable broth
  • 2 small fresh tomatoes
  • salt/pepper
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning spices
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup orzo or small pasta
  • 1 14oz can of white beans - rinsed
  • 3 brussel sprouts-sliced
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp chopped basil
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

gather all your ingredients. 


Step 1: chop a bit of smoked bacon, turkey or pancetta.


Step 2: puree onion, garlic, parsley, basil and celery stalks in food processor.


Step 3: add to a large pot with olive oil bacon and saute 10 minutes.


Step 4: add sliced carrots, leeks, potatoes and cook another 5 minutes.


Step 5: add chicken broth.


Step 6: puree tomatoes in food processor.


Step 7: add tomatoes, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and bay leaves. Cook 

Step 8: rinse beans, chop brussel sprouts, kale and more basil and parsley. I placed herbs in a small bowl with some a bit more great extra virgin olive oil. 


Step 9: in the last 10 minutes before serving add remaining ingredients. Taste and adjust salt and pepper if necessary.


Prepare to feel warmed!!