Yes it’s actually a thing I googled it! Really just meaning mini pizzas with eggplant as the base which can be eaten as a appetiser, snack or with antipasto.
With my influx of basil pesto in the house and the family eggplant delivery I received from my sister-in-law the other day I was eager to use them both. I was making a traditional eggplant parmigiana for dinner and had some eggplant left over so I decided to bake some extra thick cut slices with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of oregano in the oven for 15-20mins until was just cooked through without being mushy.
One thing I have been mad about lately is the spice turmeric. There has been a lot of chat about this golden spice in recent times for its wonderful medicinal health benefits. Even though the Indian & Asian culture has been using it to flavour and colour their curries and traditional dishes for centuries the western culture has finally caught on to the many wonderful benefits it contains including anti-inflammatory properties, cancer prevention, improves brain function, prevention of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and heart disease, helps with arthritis pain, and also has proven benefits to help against depression.
But how do we use it?
Well apart from the usual use in curries and indian/asian dishes I like to use it to flavour all sorts of vegetables such as baked cauliflower, pumpkin, sweet potatoes anything really it gives it a subtle spiced flavour without being too over powering. I also add a couple tablespoons to my polenta coating to make these eggplant chips and wow did it come out delicious. You can either buy the powder or use fresh turmeric peel it and grate a 5cm piece, warning though can no will stain your hands, chopping boards and well anything it comes in contact with so if this bothers you use kitchen gloves and be careful in the preparation.
I served them with a Turmeric Garlic Aioli and well I have to say I am now turmeric obsessed! So hopefully in the future I’ll be an elderly woman still happy, fit and active with all my heart, joints and marbles in check. This definitely fits the saying “A teaspoon a day will keep the doctor away!”
Turmeric Spiced Polenta Eggplant Chips with Turmeric Garlic Aioli
Changing some of the ingredients in your favourite weekend drinking snack or hangover meal can still be tasty without all the excess calories that you kick yourself for eating later on.
Inspired by issue 6 Donna Hay Fresh & Light Magazine where she included some lighter more nutritious alternatives to the heavy, cheesy Mexican favourite was a brilliant idea and was too eager to try it out. Perfect for a lazy weekend in front of the Netflix wouldn’t you agree?
*Warning this has a good kick of heat so adjust the hot paprika/cayenne to your personal heat levels Or omit it for a mild child friendly version.
The leftovers of any of the lentil mix is also great for topping of baked sweet potatoes or on toast with poached eggs, as a stuffing in capsicums (bell peppers) or mushrooms, the possibilities are endless.
Last weekend we celebrated our youngest son’s 2nd birthday with a little party at home. We invited just close family and cousins which is still a reasonable number. At this age he still doesn’t understand the full concept of birthdays but to the contrary he loved singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to himself every moment he could throughout the day so I must give him a little credit.
It was a very hot and humid day so the kids couldn’t wait to get cool in the pool whilst they were enjoying themselves with the blow up donuts and bomb dives the adults got a chance to sit down with a cool drink and enjoy a grazing platter I put together. I love this kind of entertaining it’s all prepared earlier before guests arrive and you have a chance to sit down have a drink and talk enjoying the people’s company while still being a host. It’s actually quite easy but looks so impressive when you serve it on a long wooden serving board with an assortment of deli meats, olives, cheeses, dips, crackers, vegetables and fruit. I also added some crostini (french stick cut into thin slices) with some various toppings this time but some other ideas can be mixed nuts, pretzels, popcorn or any other finger food. Spread it out without putting the items all in one spot that’s the key , Add the dips and bowls first and just keep filling around till there is no gaps. Whether is be for 5 or 25 people you can make a size to suit. Perfect way to start off a party!
We are lucky enough to have an outdoor rotisserie (spit) and decided to cook some roast chickens for lunch. My husband was in charge of this so takes a little pressure off the cook. BBQ’s are a Aussie tradition, when the weather warms up it’s backyard barbecue season. Whether it’ll be BBQ steaks, chickens, sausages or hamburgers or salmon and prawns for the vegetarians it is an easy, social way of entertaining. The men usually take pride over the bbq and takes an army of them to watch over the cook to make sure they are doing it right, beer in hand of course. There is just something about the smell of sausages sizzling on the bbq that screams out Aussie summer!
The chickens came out perfectly succulent and juicy and well worth the time and effort, we carved them up and served them with some bread rolls and a few side salads. An excellent way to feed a crowd of hungry guests. All in all a successful day with little stress and fuss. The key to entertaining is being prepared, I always have as much as I can prepared beforehand so that when people arrive I’m not running around the kitchen flustered and stressed, you can actually enjoy the day as well as being a host and guests feel comfortable and leave belly full and satisfied. Now to start planning Christmas!