Eggplant Pizzettes

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.

Continue reading “Eggplant Pizzettes”

Advertisements

Turmeric Spiced Polenta Eggplant Chips

 

image

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.

turmeric-roots-and-a-jar-of-turmeric-powder

 

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!”

image

Turmeric Spiced Polenta Eggplant Chips with Turmeric Garlic Aioli

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Print

Ingredients

1 large eggplant cut into thick chips

1 1/2 cups polenta (cornmeal)

1 tsp sweet paprika

1/2 tsp cumin

2 tsp turmeric powder or 5 cm piece fresh peeled and grated turmeric

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

2 eggs whisked

2 tbs extra virgin olive oil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 200’C
  2. Place Polenta and spices and seasonings in a medium bowl. Place whisked eggs in a separate bowl
  3. Coat the eggplant chips first in the egg then into the polenta mix making sure to generously coat them evenly
  4. Place eggplants on a lined baking tray drizzle with olive oil
  5. Bake in oven for 15mins then turn over and cook for further 10-15mins until golden and soft in the centre.
  6. Serve with Turmeric Garlic Aioli

Notes: Can be served as a starter or as a side with your favourite protein meat or fish.

image

 

 

 

 

 

Did Someone Say Healthy Nachos?


Is there even a thing?

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. 

Smokey Lentil and Brown Rice Nachos

A quick and easy weekend dish that is perfect for lounging around or having friends over

Ingredients

1tsp olive oil

2 cloves crushed garlic 

1 cup cooked brown rice

400g can lentils drained and rinsed 

400g tin crushed tomatoes 

1 tsp hot paprika or cayenne pepper or omit for a mild verison  

1 tsp smoked paprika

1/2cup water 

Salt and pepper

300g mission corn tortilla chips

1/3 cup grated mozzarella cheese (optional)

1/2 cup labne or Greek style  yoghurt

1 zucchini spiralised 

Baby spinach leaves 

1/2 avocado sliced 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 180’c (350’F)
  2. Heat oil  in a large frypan and add garlic cook for 1 min.
  3. Add lentils, rice and cook for 2 mins, stirring occasionally 
  4. Add the tomato, hot paprika, smoked paprika, water, salt and pepper 
  5. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside 
  6. Place corn chips on a baking tray, top with rice and lentil mixture, and scatter the mozzarella cheese place in the oven cook for 2-3mins until cheese has just melted 
  7. Top with labne or yoghurt, spiralised zucchini, baby spinach and sliced avocado 
  8. Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil to serve 



 

Fuss Free BBQ Party

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.

image

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!

image

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!

image
Smashed Potatoes with Lemon, Rosemary & Thyme
image
Wild Rice, Quinoa, Asparagus and Pomegranate Tabbouleh