Friday, August 10, 2007

Love cooking. Cooking love.

What is it about eating a meal prepared by someone that makes you feel loved? Maybe it’s just me, but when someone makes me a meal, it is not just food that fills my belly, it is love from that person that I swallow with every bite. It tastes so good!

I remember those mornings when Rochelle and I lived together, when I woke up and coffee was gurgling and smelling so good in the coffee machine and she had made fresh muffins for breakfast. Or Sarah making some goodies and leaving a note saying “feel free to have some”, or mom making breakfast with eggs and bacon when I visit, or Lynn, Neil’s mom, experimenting with delicious salads and dinners when we were staying with them. I remember those times and they are so much more than just eating – they make me feel so loved by those people.

I have borrowed some cooking magazines from the library and some of these recipes seemed really interesting to me. Feel free to look through them and make someone feel loved. Or just read them and be inspired to do some delicious cooking today!

Little pea omelets in ciabatta
Serves 4
½ cup fresh or frozen peas
1tblsp extra virgin oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 large eggs
½ cup chopped mint leaves
4 small ciabatta rolls, split
12 cherry tomatoes, halved

Cook the peas in a pan of boiling salted water –5 mins for fresh and 1 min for frozen. Drain, rinse put aside.

Preheat the grill on high. Heat the oil in an ovenproof pan, set aside. Add the onion, cook until softened.

Place the eggs and mint in a bowl and season, whisk to combine, pour the mixture on the onion. Add the drained peas, place the frying pan under the grill. Grill for 1-2 mins until just set.

Cut into quarters.

Fill rolls with mint, tomatoes and a wedge of omelet.

Spinach, avocado and pumpkin seed salad
250 baby spinach leaves
½ cup pumpkin seeds
2 small avocados
1tsp pumpkin seed oil
2tbsp peanut oil
Zest and juice of 1 lime

Combine it all! 

Avocado dip
Fresh 2 avocados
Juice of ½ lemon
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 vine ripened tomatoe, seeds removed, chopped
1 cucumber, chopped
¼ bunch coriander

Serve with chips and carrot sticks

Chunky Hummus Dip
800g canned chickpeas
½ cup (125ml) lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
1/3 cup (80ml) olive oil
1 garlic clove, chopped
1tbsp tahini

Serve with chips or veggies!

Coconut, chocolate, banana mini muffins!!
125 g unsalted butter, melted
¾ cup (165 g) caster sugar
3 ripe bananas, roughly chopped
2 eggs
1tsp vanilla extract
2 cups (300 g) self raising flour, sifted
½ cup (45g) desiccated coconut
½ cup (100g) dark chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 200C and grease the muffin pan.

Process butter, caster sugar, banana, eggs and vanilla in a food processor.

Place flour, coconut and chocolate in a large bowl, then fold in banana mixture.

Bake for 15 mins or until golden brown.

Caprese salad
2 large ripe tomatoes, thickly sliced
1 large fresh mozzarella or bocconcini ball, thickly sliced
Handful of fresh basil leaves
¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Overlap tomatoe and cheese slices.
Scatter over the basil leaves
Drizzle over the olive oil.
Season to taste with salt & pepper.

Serves 10 (about 3.5 l)

½ cup dried chickpeas, soaked in cold water for 6 hours overnight
½ cup dried borlotti beans, soaked in cold water for 6 hours overnight

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
1 leek (white part only), finely chopped
1 carrot, cut into 1cm cubes
¼ small pumpkin (400 g) cut into cubes
2 medium potatoes
½ large kumara (200g)
2 L (8cups) vegetable stock
2 dried bay leaves
2 zucchini
4 oven roasted tomatoe halves
1 cup broccoli or cauliflower florets
¼ cup (65g) basil pesto
½ cup finely chopped basil leaves

Cook chickpeas for 50 mins and beans for 30 mins in separate pans.
Cover with cold water and set aside.

Heat the oil ina large pan. Add the: onion and leak. Cook, stirring for 5 mins.
Add carrot, pumpkin, potatoe, and kumara. Cook stirring for 5 mins.
Add stock, bay leaves, zucchini, broccoli, tomatoes and 2 cups (500 ml) boiling water. Bring to simmer.

Simmer over medium heat for 15-20 mins, until veggies are tender.

Add the drained beans and chickpeas with the pesto, basil and enough extra boiling water to cover the veggies. Cook for another 3-5 mins.

Tomatoe & chickpea soup
Serves 6

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp thyme leaves, chopped
400 g canned chopped tomatoes
400 g canned chickpeas, rinsed, drained
6 slices ciabatta

The the oil. Cook onion until soft
Add garlic, cumin and thyme, stir for 1 min.
Stir in tomatoes and 1 cup (250 ml) water, season to taste.
Bring to boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 mins.

Pour half the soup into processor and blitz a few times.
Return blended soup to pan with chickpeas and simmer over low for 2-3 mins.


Felicia said...

Great ideas! And if they take only 30 minutes to prepare, you might be the next Rachel Ray of Australia!! Bon Apetit!

Ciciley said...

They all sound so yummy...