Saturday, January 31, 2015

January 2015 - Heirloom tomato & haloumi salad

Just squeaking in here with my January recipe. Goodness it was a long hard road to get here. 

My cruise around New Zealand was amazing. The food was just incredible. So much variety and so good. I will post some of the photos I have in another post. I was incredibly good on the cruise though and didn't just pig out on the food. I came home without having put on any weight! Even though I tried a lot of food I ate small amounts of it. 

Unfortunately I came home and discovered that food didn't just appear in a buffet in front of me. The well cooked, tasty and mainly healthy food just wasn't appearing. I have actually put on weight since coming home and I have kind of fallen into a can't be bothered hole. A lot of people have said to me that if they lived on their own they wouldn't bother cooking. I have always said that I love to cook and, well, you have to eat decent meals. However, this past month the food hasn't been great. I have been eating breakfast most days. I do try to have a good lunch every day, even if it has involve buying it every week day. It is bloody expensive but it is better than nothing at all or just snacking.

I really need to get my mojo back. I need to get back into a routine. What I am eating is off a bit, I am not exercising as much and my sleep, while I am getting more it still isn't that restful.

Eat, sleep, exercise

They are the three main things that underpin all things in our lives. If there isn't some kind of balance there then a bunch of other things will sprout from it. 

The food has been random. 

My exercise has been less frequent. My main form of exercise is swimming and I got a new tattoo 2 weeks ago so have not been allowed to swim. They said give it two weeks but it isn't completely healed yet so will need another week. There are plenty of other forms of exercise though. So I really need to get off my butt and get out there doing them. 

Sleep is, well, I am not sure how to describe it. I bought myself a vivofit a few weeks ago. My doctor had suggested it as a way of keeping track of my sleep. It is really very interesting. I have been sleeping for a longer time than I had previously thought but I am very restless and don't hit a deep sleep for any length of time. 

When looking for another recipe to make out of this double issue this was one that caught my eye. Easy, quick and fresh. Even though it is a really easy recipe I still took a couple of short cuts but hey it got a good meal on my table. Do whatever you need to so that you can get back into it. I'm just going to write this as I did it.

Heirloom tomato & haloumi salad 
(serves 1)

1 tbsp garlic olive oil
1 tsp butter
1 slice sourdough bread, torn
haloumi slices
Mixed heirloom tomatoes (I got the cherry tomato mix)
1/2 lebanese cucumber, deseeded & sliced
handful salad leaves
your favourite vinaigrette dressing, I used Paul Newman's Classic 

Heat oil & garlic over a medium heat. Toss in bread & cook until golden. Set aside. 
Fry haloumi in the same pan until soft & melty (I cooked mine too long). 
Combine all ingredients. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

December 2014 - Bloody Mary Beans

You're not getting much this time as tomorrow I head off on my adventure. Cruising around New Zealand. Well, I don't actually get on ship tomorrow but I am on my way and I still have things to do tonight. 

This was really yum. I will post the recipe at a later date when I have some extra time but I just wanted to get the post up. However I will say that while they were called Bloody Mary Beans they didn't have vodka in them. I mean really? I rectified that. A slug of vodka went in the pot. Hmm, now that I think about it perhaps the slug of vodka should have gone in me instead of the pot. lol

Saturday, November 29, 2014

November 2014 - Baked Ocean Trout with smashed cucumber salad

I planned to make this early in the month but I just didn't get to it. For the past two weeks I have been basically kitchenless as I have been renovating. It is so very exciting and photos will be forthcoming. I am actually away this weekend so I decided to make it here. It was a pretty simple dish although I didn't have anything to smash the cucumbers with, or any bags to put them in, so it is just chopped. I would definitely make the fish again but the cucumber was a bit meh. I used salmon instead of trout as that is what I could get. I forgot to bring ginger with me so I put some of the pickled ginger in the marinade along with some green onions.

Baked Ocean Trout with Smashed Cucumber Salad
Serves 6-8

2/3 cup (160ml) soy sauce
150ml maple syrup
3cm piece ginger, grated
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1kg skinless ocean trout, pin boned (I used a salmon fillet)

Cucumber Salad:
2 telegraph cucumbers
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1/4 cup drained, finely shredded pickled ginger
Micro herbs (I used rocket)


1. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Place soy, maple syrup, ginger and garlic in a small bowl and stir to combine.
2. Place trout on the baking tray. Pour over marinade , then cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
3. Meanwhile, for the cucumber salad, peel and halve the cucumbers lengthways, scoop out seeds and discard. Transfer cucumber to a large ziplock bag, seal, then bash with a rolling pin. Using your hands, break into chunks.
4. Add garlic and 2 tsp salt to the bag and shake to combine, then seal, removing as much air as possible. Chill for 15 mins.
5. Preheat the oven to 140 deg and cook the trout uncovered fir 15 mins or until just cooked through.
6. Meanwhile, drain cucumber mixture, discarding liquid, then todd with ginger in a bowl. Serve trout with cucumber salad, top with herbs

Thursday, October 30, 2014

October 2014 - Coconut-crumbed pork with pineapple salad

This was okay. I probably wouldn't make it again.

Coconut-crumbed Pork with Pineapple Salad

3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 c plain flour
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
2 x 400 g pork fillets (I used pork scotch fillets)

1/2 pineapple, thinly sliced
1/2 daikon, peeled, cut into matchsticks (I used regular radishes)
1 bunch coriander, leaves picked (I used mint)
1 tbsp each fish sauce & soy sauce
2 tbsp oil 
Finely grated zest & juice of 1 lime
1 tsp dried chilli flakes (didn't use)

Pre-heat oven to 180 C
Mix breadcrumbs & coconut. Crumb fillets with flour then egg and then crumbs. If you have enough dip in egg & crumb a second time.
Heat about 2 cm oil in pan, brown pork on all sides and then place on a baking tray and roast in oven for about 20 minutes
Combine pineapple, daikon and coriander. Separately combine remaining ingredients  and pour over pineapple. Serve with the pork.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

September 2014 - Spaghetti with cherry tomato sauce

Blah to cooking this month. No there has been some done but mostly rather plain stuff or stuff that shouldn't be spoken about, like the Pasta & Sauce sachet that I bought, made and devoured...blergh. 

There were various things in this issue that did look okay but I just could not seem to get interested in making any of it. Coming towards the end of the month and I realised that something had to be done. So I went for something quick and easy. Valli Little's Spaghetti with cherry tomato sauce. It was good. I mean it was spaghetti with a tomato sauce not much can go wrong with that. I didn't have pancetta so I had to leave that out. The resulting meal was very good. 

Spaghetti with Cherry Tomato Sauce 
by Valli Little 
Delicious September 2014 pg 48

1 onion, chopped
125 g pancetta, rind removed, chopped
1 rosemary sprig, leaves picke
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 tbsp evoo
3 anchovy fillets in oil, drained & chopped
400 g can chopped tomatoes 
400 g can cherry tomatoes 
400 g spaghetti
2 cups  basil leaves ( I didn't have any, added dried mixed herbs & baby spinach for green)
80 g grated parmesan

Wizz, onion, pancetta, rosemary and garlic in a processor until finally chopped.
Cook onion mixture over medium heat for 2 -3 minutes. Add anchovy and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, cook 5 - 6 min until slightly reduced. 
Cook pasta as per directions, drain, toss to combine with sauce.