Brown Rice, Quinoa , Asparagus & Pomegranate Tabbouleh

Needing some healthy salad ideas for a weekend bbq ? This is just that salad. The goodness of quinoa and whole grains with vegetables and herbs plus the added sweetness of pomegranate makes this salad a delightfully change to the standard tomato or rice salad.

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Brown Rice, Quinoa , Asparagus & Pomegranate Tabbouleh with a Pomegranate Vinaigrette

  • Servings: 15-20
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A healthy quinoa and whole grain salad with the added sweetness of pomegranate

Ingredients

2 packets microwave instant quinoa and brown rice

1 punnet of grape tomatoes halved

1 Lebanese cucumber sliced

3 green onions sliced

1 bunch of raw asparagus chopped2 cups chopped flat leaf parsley, mint and basil

Seeds of half a pomegranate (cut in half, turn over in your hands and using the flat back of a knife beat out the seeds of the pomegranate)

**can also add some Danish feta

Pomegranate Vinaigrette

1/2 cup EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)

2 tbs apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar

1 tb Dijon mustard

1 tb Honey

2 tbs Pomegranate Molasses (can be found at the supermarket or health food store)

Directions

  1. Cook rice per packet instructions, place in a large bowl and let it cool
  2. Make vinaigrette, place all vinaigrette ingredients in a jar and shake to combine set aside
  3. Add all remaining ingredients to the rice and mix to combine, season with salt and pepper
  4. Add the dressing and mix throughly to combine

Smashed Potatoes with Lemon, Rosemary & Thyme

What’s more Aussie than having friends or family over, kids swimming, drinks flowing and having a backyard Barbie. Here is a simple side to accompany an Aussie BBQ that’t always a crowd pleaser and isn’t drowned in mayonaise!

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Smashed Potatoes with Lemon, Rosemary & Thyme with Honey Dijon Vinaigrette

  • Servings: 12-15
  • Difficulty: easy
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A perfect side to accompany a backyard BBQ

Ingredients

1 kg baby red potatoes skin left on

zest of 1 lemon

fresh rosemary and thyme

Salt and pepper

Honey Dijon Vinaigrette 

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar

1 tb Dijon mustard

1 tb honey

1 garlic crushed

Directions

  1. Place potatoes whole in a large pot fill with water  till covers the potatoes add a heaped tsp salt, bring to the boil with lid on
  2. Once boiling remove lid and let it boil for 10-15mins
  3. Prick Potatoes with a fork to check if they are cooked they should be firm but tender inside
  4. Drain and let it cool
  5. Meanwhile make the dressing, add all the dressing ingredients into a jar and shake to combine, set aside.
  6. With a potato masher gently take each potato and press down just enough to break each potato place in a serving bowl
  7. Sprinkle the lemon zest, fresh rosemary sprigs and thyme and season with salt and pepper.
  8. Drizzle the dressing over the potatoes and gently  mix till all the potatoes are covered in the dressing.
  9. Can serve this still warm or cold.

 

 

 

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.

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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!

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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!

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