Monday, 27 June 2016

Rocket, kumara, feta and walnut salad with a ruby red dressing

A great salad to serve at this time of year when kumara are plentiful.
The Fresh As freeze dried beetroot powder gave this dressing its gorgeous ruby red colour.
I had roasted some kumara the previous day and saved some to make this salad.

Blend :
6 tbsp of macadamia oil
1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
Juice of 1/2 lime
juice of 1/2 mandarin
1 teaspoon of Fresh As Freeze Dried beetroot powder

Add salt to taste.

Arrange rocket leaves. feta. chunks of roasted kumara and walnuts in a shallow serving bowl.
Dribble over the dressing.

Variation: Add slices of orange or mandarin segments.
and/or add chunks of roasted beetroot

or if you would like a sweeter dressing substitute the balsamic vinegar 

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Thai Mushroom Broth with Freeze Dried Herbs

A bowlful of steaming mushroom broth can be quickly made with Fresh As freeze dried herbs and a good chicken stock.Tasty on its own but all the better with the addition of  thinly sliced pieces of left over roast pork.
I love it moderately hot but if you dislike a slightly burning sensation add a little less chilly powder,
And you can play with the balance of the flavours by adding more or less of any of the freeze dried powders.The first time I made it I added only 1/2 teaspoon of Fresh As freeze dried kaffir lime powder but wanting this flavour to be stronger I stirred in another 1/2 teaspoon at the end which gave it a more distinctive lime flavour.
I imagine that a vegetarian option using vegetables stock and adding small cubes of firm tofu towards the end would work well. And a more substantial broth could be made with the addition of rice noodles.

1-2 tbspn of vegetable oil (I used grapeseed)
1/2 teaspoon Fresh As freeze dried lemongrass powder
1 teaspoon of Fresh As freeze dried kaffir lime powder
1/2 teaspoon of Fresh As freeze dried ginger powder
1/2 teaspoon of Fresh As freeze dried garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon of Fresh As freeze dried chilly powder.
200 gm of brown mushrooms (finely sliced)
1 tablespoon of soy/tamari sauce
3 cups of chicken stock.
Freshly ground salt and pepper to taste.
A squeeze of lime juice (optional)

Heat the oil in a fry pan and fry the mushrooms for 2-3 minutes over a moderately high heat.
Add the Fresh As freeze dried  powders and fry for another minute, tossing and stirring as you go.
Add the chicken stock and simmer for 10 minutes. ( If the liquid reduces too much add a little more stock)
Stir in the soy/tamari sauce.
Season the broth  to taste.
A squeeze of lime juice is good but optional.
Add in the slices of roast pork.
Serve while piping hot sprinkled generously with fresh coriander.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Cheesy Mite Scrolls

As I was leafing through 'The Marist Kitchen" a great little cookbook from the Marist Catholic School in Herne Bay, I thought of my great friend Hilary Hall who used to teach there and the wonderful art the students created with her. She would have loved this book and all the effort that went into creating it,

Scattered throughout are lots of photographs of the students tucking happily into the recipes contributed by their families. Lots to choose from but one stood out: The Cheesy Mite Scrolls . Our granddaughters are going to love getting into the kitchen and trying their hand at them.

And if Grandparents want a treat of their own they can easily divide this recipe into thirds .

Cheesy Mite Scrolls come from the Quesnel family and the recipe was passed on from Luc's Grandma.

Marist kids are rugby kids and these are a great favourite after a rippa rugby game. "Twice as delicious as the ones you buy in the local bread shop and brimming full of melted cheese," they write.

Cheesy Mite Scrolls

3 cups of flour
6 tsp of baking powder ( yes, this is correct even if it seems like a lot)
1/4 teaspoon if salt
75 gm of cold butter
11/2 cups of milk
3/4 cup more or less of grated cheese (or a combination of cheeses you like)
Marmite or Vegemite
extra grated cheese for the top (optional)

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C and place baking paper on an oven tray
Add the flour, baking paper and salt to a food processor and process for 1 minute to sift the dry ingredients together

Add the butter and process for about 1-2 minutes until the mixture is crumbly.
With the processor running add the milk and briefly mix together ( do not over mix)
Remove the mixture and knead it into a dough.
Roll the dough into a rectangular shape about 3 cm thick, using a little flour to avoid sticking.

Scoop the vegemite or marmite onto the dough and spread it out thinly.
Sprinkle the dough with the cheese and then roll the dough, from the long side, into a tube. Use a little water to stick the edge to the tube.

Cut it into 2-3 cm slices on the baking tray and sprinkle with a little extra cheese. Bake for 10-15 minutes until they are golden and the melted cheese is bubbling.
They are crispier if left for a minute or two more but be careful not to burn them. Remove from the oven, leave them to cool slightly, then enjoy!

Hints and Tips:
Roll the dough out onto gladwrap so it doesn't stick, makes clean-up a breeze.
They taste better straight from the oven but if you have any left over they are good the next day or even frozen and saved for school lunches.
They can also be heated straight from the freezer.  Put a frozen scroll on a paper towel and microwave on high for about 40 seconds

Make or buy a thick custard and spread all over the dough with a little cinnamon for a sweet treat.

Simply Persimmon Fruit Salad

This little persimmon fruit salad is so simple but very good to serve with muesli and yoghurt for breakfast. To make it I simply peeled and diced two persimmons, added the juice of a lime and 1/2 teaspoon of Fresh As freeze dried lemongrass powder. The lemon grass gives it a subtle Asian flavour.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Skordalia with a Japanese Twist

We used to make skordalia in the sixties and I think it deserves a revival!

I added some white miso and rice vinegar so giving this traditional Greek recipe a Japanese twist. The white miso is lighter and sweeter in taste and texture than brown miso so won't overwhelm the other flavours in this recipe.

It's great as a dip or simply slather it on hot toast,

I like using Purebread spelt bread in this recipe as, apart from being healthy and easily digestible. it dissolves readily in water


2-3 slices of Purebread Spelt bread
1/2 cup of walnuts
3 cloves of garlic 
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of salt 
the juice of 1/2 lemon or a little more to taste
1 teaspoon of rice vinegar
1 tablespoon of white miso
a little water to reduce to the desired consistency if necessary 
chopped flat leaf parsley and Greek olives to garnish


Soak bread for about 2 minutes , then squeeze to remove excess liquid
Whizz in foodprocessor with walnuts and peeled and finely chopped garlic to create a paste
Add lemon juice, rice vinegar, miso and salt and blend again
Add the olive oil
If necessary add a little water to create the right dipping consistency
Put in a bowl and garnish with chopped flat leaved parsley and Greek olives
Serve with celery, carrot and red pepper strips for dipping

Fresh As Freeze Dried Coriander and Broccoli Couscous

Adding broccoli crumbs and Fresh As freeze dried herbs and spices added  flavour and goodness to this speedy couscous which I created last night. 

The flavours of Fresh As freeze dried dried herbs and spices are quite intense and a little goes a long way so I would start with the quantities suggested and add more to taste.
Using chicken stock or vegetable stock instead of water, if you have some at hand, would also give a deeper flavour.
You could add some toasted walnuts as well.
Yo can also substitute hazelnut for olive oil which is more expensive but delicious.
And for a more substantial vegetarian lunch  add 180 gm of crumbled feta and increase the broccoli to 1 cup. This version will  need a couple more tablespoons of oil .

1 cup of couscous
1 cup of hot water
1/4 teaspoon of Fresh As freeze dried garlic
1 tablespoon of Fresh As freeze dried coriander powder
1/4 teaspoon of Fresh As freeze dried chilli powder
Enough broccoli to make 1/2 cup of broccoli crumbs when whizzed
3 tablespoons of olive oil
the juice of 1/2 a lime /lemon
Freshly ground salt and pepper salt and pepper

Pour hot water over couscous
Leave to stand, covered,  for about 15 minutes util the water has been absorbed
Stir in the garlic, chilli, and coriander Fresh As freeze dried powders
Whizz the broccoli to make crumbs and add
Stir in the olive oil and lime/lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper

Any leftovers can be kept in the fridge for several days.

Monday, 6 June 2016

A quintet of Fresh As freeze dried powder dips.

We're heading off for a week's wintry hiking in the South Island soon . Just for day walks so each evening we'll be returning to a comfortable and warm motel  to thaw out and rest our weary legs.

Without access to all the herbs and spices in my pantry and garden it's always a bit of a challenge to cook a tasty dinner in a motel kitchen and it calls for some creative thinking.

In my luggage this time will be some little resealable foil packets of Fresh As freeze dried herbs and spices.These are incredibly handy as they take up hardly any room, are resealable and are intensely flavoured. I've been trying them out at home and will post some of the recipes I developed with them soon. But these dips were my starting point.

I felt a bit like an alchemist swirling the coloured powders through little bowls of full cream yoghurt.The  dips can easily be multiplied. You can also add a little squeeze of lime juice to each dip but this is not essential.

The first three I served as part of a crudites platter with a collection of raw vegetables including celery and carrot sticks and sliced red pepper. 

Lemon grass, garlic and coriander dip

Mix together:
1/4 cup of Greek yoghurt
1/2 teaspoon of Fresh As freeze dried  lemongrass powder
1/2 teaspoon of Fresh As freeze dried coriander powder
1/4 teaspoon of Fresh As freeze dried garlic powder

Garlic dip

Mix Together:
1/4 cup of Greek yoghurt
1/4 teaspoon of Frsh As freeze dried garlic powder

Chilli Dip

Mix together:
1/4 cup of Greek yoghurt
1/4 teaspoon of Fresh As freeze dried chilli powder   or more depending on how hot you like it. But be careful, a little goes a long way!)

Once I was in the flow of things it was hard to stop so I created two variations which tasted especially good. The first was a quick way of making tzatziki , a garlicky cucumber dip. Good as a vegetable dip but we also enjoyed it as a side with freshly caught and fried snapper. 


1/2 cup of Greek yoghurt
1/2 teaspoon of Fresh As freeze dried garlic powder
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1/4 telegraph cucumber
a squeeze of lemon/lime juice
salt and pepper to taste

Stir the Fresh As freeze dried garlic and olive oil  into the yoghurt. Add a squeeze of lemon/lime juice (about 1 teaspoon)
Peel and grate the cucumber.
Put the cucumber into a sieve and press down on it with a spoon to remove excess liquid
Stir the cucumber into the yoghurt mixture.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Chilli and Smoked Paprika Dip

Apart from its vibrant colour The Fresh As freeze dried chilli powder is I think far superior to the often stale tasting chilli powder found in packets on most supermarket shelves. In this dip I have combined it with some smoked paprika , The result is not just good as a dip but great to spread liberally on a wrap before adding coleslaw and pulled pork/chicken.


Stir together:
1/2 cup of Greek yoghurt
1/2 teaspoon of Fresh As freeze dried chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika
a squeeze of lime juice
2-3 tablespoon of mayonaise

Friday, 3 June 2016

Butternut Salad with Savoury Muesli and Walnut Crumble

This vibrant healthy salad is a meal in a bowl ,
My small obsession with the possibilities of using muesli in a savoury way continues! It does need to be a crunchy and only very lightly sweetened muesli so I have used organic Purebread Wild Oats muesli again.
Tio Pablo Red Chilpotle salt is another favourite of mine. This complex spicy Mexican salty condiment includes such ingredients as chilpotle, annatto seed, coriander. lime and juniper berries
The Kashmiri chilli powder is much milder than most. If you use another kind of chilli powder use much less or you can leave it out altogether.

 1/4 cup of Purebread wild oats muesli.
1/4 cup of walnuts
1/2 teaspoon of Tio Pablo Red Chipotle Salt

Briefly toast the walnuts and muesli in a dry frypan.
Stir in the  Tio Pablo Red Chilpotle salt.

500 gm of butternut (peeled and sliced)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2-1 teaspoon if kashmiri chilli powder
Freshly ground salt to taste
A handful of chopped coriander/flat leaved parsley
A small tub of ricotta cheese

Toss the butternut in the olive oil and kashmiri chili powder. Add a little salt.
Roast for about 20 minutes until done at 200 degrees C
Put in a shallow salad bowl .
Leave to cool a little before tossing plenty of chopped coriande/parsley  through the butternut.
Top with small dollops of ricotta and the muesli and walnut sprinkles