Quinoa Crusted Falafel

I had planned to make falafel one night and realized, too late to be bothered to go to the store, that I didn't have any breadcrumbs, or bread to be able to make breadcrumbs ... so, I improvised. And it was good. I have crusted chicken fingers with quinoa before and though I didn't do it exactly like that, it was my inspiration !

Here's what you do ...

Cook your quinoa. I think I cooked one cup.

For the Falafel :
1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons canola oil
1 small onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained ( these are also called chickpeas )
quinoa, cooked
salt and pepper
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 egg, lightly beaten

Prepare the falafel. In a medium skillet, heat 2 teaspoons of canola oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook over moderate heat just until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the cumin and cayenne and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Scrape the onion mixture into the bowl of a food processor. Add the beans and pulse until the mixture is finely chopped but not smooth. Scrape the mixture into a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Form the mixture into 6 1/4-cup patties, about 1/2 inch thick.

Put the flour, and beaten egg into 2 shallow bowls. Lay your cooked quinoa out on a cutting board or some baking paper/tin foil. Dust each bean cake with the flour, tapping off the excess. Dip the cakes in the egg and then press gently into the quinoa - do both sides.

In a very large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil until shimmering. Add the cakes and cook over moderate heat, until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

We ate this with a green salad and tsatsiki.

Healthy Muffins {Take Two}

So ... I tried THE MUFFINS again and these were a huge success. I'm really pleased with how they turned out. We didn't need butter on them at all ... We'll keep making these and trying different fruit variations !! Again ... this made 24 muffins !! And they are perfect for lunches !!

2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups whole wheat spelt flour
1 tsp baking soda
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
4 eggs
3/4 cup honey
3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup milk
3 granny smith apples
1 cup frozen mango squares
1.5 cup frozen blueberry/cherry mixture
1 frozen banana (I chopped it, Rory reckons mash it next time ...)

Put your muffin papers in your tins.
Peel and chop apple, add 1 or 2 tsp water and cook in microwave about 5 minutes. Smush 'em up.
Combine dry ingredients.
Combine wet ingredients, minus the fruit.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and combine.
Fold in fruit. ( I make 12 berry ones and 12 mango/banana )
Put in muffin tins.
Bake on 180C/350F for 20/30 minutes. Mine took about 30 ...

Creamy Parmesan Mustard Chicken Pasta

Ok, so you all know that we are eating no preservatives, no additives, no white flour, sugar etc this year. Well, when I don't have leftovers, and I've run out of bread, I have to cook something for lunches the next day. I could probably MAKE more bread but I'd rather cook ! I whipped this little beauty up at the beginning of the week and it lasted the four of us 3 lunches ! I'll tell you ... whole wheat pasta fills you up quicker and therefore stretches a lot longer than regular pasta !

Here's what I used ...
1 chicken breast
2 big handfuls of baby spinach
1 red onion, sliced thinly
3 cloves of garlic, I think I slivered them
1.5 tablespoons whole grain seed mustard
3/4 cup thickened cream
1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tablespoon whole wheat flour
1 bag of whole wheat penne pasta

Here's what I did ...

Boil the pasta.

While that's boiling, sautee your onion and garlic, til onion is not raw and the garlic smells yum. Add chicken (and salt/pepper to taste) and cook til no longer pink. Add flour. Stir to coat chicken. Add cream, mustard, parmesan cheese and spinach. Stir to mix it up and cook for a few minutes while the cream thickens, cheese melts and spinach wilts.

Drain pasta and add to fry pan ... or if your frying pan isn't a really cool, really big, electric one that your brother in law gave you for Christmas, add your chicken sauce to your pasta !

I'm submitting this to Cooking Thursday ... hosted by Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom. For more great recipes, check her Cooking Thursday posts each week !!

Kale Crisp

When Steamy Kitchen posted this recipe for Crispy Kale, I had to try it !! And I liked it ! I munched on it while dinner cooked and then served it to the family as one of the side dishes with that dinner ! Yum Yum Yum. I haven't seen kale since but as soon as I find some more, I'll be making this again !!

It was super easy. All the specifics are over at Steamy Kitchen and you should pop over there and read before you try this but basically you just chop a bunch of Kale (take the center bit out), drizzle with olive oil, bake in a 180C/350F oven til crispy. Took about 15 minutes in my oven. The trick is to not let them burn !! I had a few burned ones and they were pretty bitter !! Once you take them out of the oven, sprinkle them with sea salt and yum !! yum !! yum !!

I need to go find me some kale ...

Eeek ! It's 6:04am. My computer time is finished for this morning. I'm going to hit publish and be on with my day !!

Menu Plan Monday - the Jill Edition

I'm not eating a whole lot at my own house this week, but here's what I've got anyway!

Football! Eat at Aunt Kathy's.
Thanks again for cooking, AK!

Cabbage with Bacon
Freshly made bread

Steamed Broccoli
Avocado Salad
Chicken (not sure yet how I shall fix this, stay tuned)

Fouds d'Artichouts Mornay
I'm going to a cooking/girls night. Fun fun!

Breakfast burritos

Hopefully Shabbat with the fam
Stir fry with tofu

Go Go Gadget Video

I found the brand ... Chef'n Flexicado Avocado Slicer

PS ... those are my children, not train whistles that you hear in the background !

Just {A} photo ...

Bonnie cooks Jill's cous cous.

And likes it !

Menu Plan Monday - Bonnie - 25 January 2010

Menu Plan Monday is hosted by Laura at I'm an Organizing Junkie

So ... every meal we're eating this week is OUT or new , which means no photos ...

Going out to dinner !!!

Going to
Talia and Luke's for pizza in their outdoor wood fired pizza oven
Aren't they clever ??
I can't wait to try it !
Maybe we'll hire them to come build one for us !!

Having dinner at Mum and Dad's hotel ... they're here for the weekend !

Monday - Salad Night
This Prawn, Avocado, and Pecan Herb Salad looks delicious!
I'll do prawns and chicken ... the kids aren't fussed on prawns so
I'd rather pay chicken prices than prawn prices for them ...

I'm going to try my hand at making gnocchi.
Never done it before.

We'll see ...

I'll let you know if it works !
I'm all about experimenting with new things !

oops ... it appears I forgot to plan something for Wednesday night.
I'll have to wing it. Not something I'm used to doing these days.
Might be breakfast food ... we'll see.
Or maybe something with lamb chops ... any ideas ?
I've got cous cous too ... might do some lamb and cous cous ... but how ?
Let me know your thoughts !!

Thursday - Crock Pot Night
40 Clove Garlic Chicken
with Pumpkin and Feta Fritters

Snack Foods to Try Making :
Mozzarella Sticks with Marinara Sauce !!

Healthy Blueberry Muffins

The inspiration for these muffins was from a great blog called The Gracious Pantry. I've just recently discovered this blog but I love it. Probably because I can eat most everything on it !! Her Clean Eating Kiwi Flax Muffin recipe looked so good and they were ok for us to eat on our whole unprocessed journey this year so the kids and I had a go at making them !! We did make a few changed and I'll post my adapted recipe here ... It will be a bit of a work in progress though. Next time I plan to stew some apples and add them ... these were a bit dry. And pretty heavy. We're still eating them and loving having a baked good but I think apples will be a great addition ... Any other suggestions would be welcome too ...

Here's what I did. I doubled her recipe and got 24 muffins out of it. This is the doubled recipe ...

3 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup flax seed meal (I might replace this with whole wheat spelt flour next time)
2 eggs
1/4 cup agave ( I actually decreased this ... next time, I'll use none ... just apples)
3/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup milk (I used regular milk ... next time, I'll use almond !)
2 cups blueberries (I used frozen)

Put your muffin papers in your tins.
Combine dry ingredients.
Combine wet ingredients, minus the fruit.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and combine.
Fold in fruit.
Put in muffin tins.
Bake on 180C/350F for 20/30 minutes. Mine took about 30 ...

And there you have it. I'm going to make some more tomorrow. With the apple. I'll let you know how they turn out ...

Asparagus and Whole Wheat Pasta

I made this the other night when Rory's Mum was staying with us.
It was a hit ! So yummy ... such an interesting mix of flavors.
I got the original recipe out of a Rachael Ray cookbook that my cousin, Jill, gave me for Christmas a couple of years ago. I modified it a bit ... here's what I did ... if you want to do what
Rachel did you'll have to go buy her cookbook ...

2 bunches of asparagus, chopped into one inch pieces
1 bag of whole wheat penne pasta
1 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
garlic ... minced ... i used about 4 cloves ... but do what you like
2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
3/4 cup veggie stock
3/4 cup thickened cream
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
juice and zest of one lemon
a couple twists of the pepper grinder
sea salt flakes ... or whatever salt you like
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, finely chopped
fresh parmesan cheese, grated

Boil your water for the pasta. Then cook it ...

In my cast iron skillet, I used a bit of olive oil and sauteed the asparagus and set aside.

In my electric fry pan, I added the (1 tbls) olive oil and the butter ... then the garlic and cooked for a couple minutes, til it smells like you'd like to stop there and just eat that. But don't. Sprinkle your flour into the pan and stir. Add the stock, cream, mustard and lemon zest. Stir. Add salt, pepper and tarragon. Cook for a couple minutes, til it thickens. Add the lemon juice, asparagus and cooked pasta.

Grate your cheese on top and you're done.

Crock Pot Chicken Salad

My inspiration for this dish came from Real Mom Kitchen's recipe for Chile Lime Chicken Tostadas. But ... I didn't feel like making Tostadas so I thought a salad would be the way to go.

It was !

Alia finished hers first and asked for SECONDS !! She said "I love this stuff !" Seriously, if you knew this child and that she was THE SLOWEST EATER ON THE PLANET, you would be a shocked as we were to see how quickly her dinner left her plate and got into her belly !!

Here's how you do it ..

In the morning, put the following into your crockpot:

1 can diced green chilies
4 cloves of garlic, minced
A sprinkle of chili powder ... to taste
Juice of two limes
1 diced medium red onion
2lbs or 1kg boneless chicken breasts

Turn it on low ... come back in 5 hours, shred the chicken, mix it around with the remaining juices and leave it on warm til ready to serve. If you aren't going to be out all day, like I was, you might like to put it on closer to lunch time so it doesn't sit on warm for so long. But it made no difference.

When you're ready to eat, make your salad. I used :

3/4 head of iceberg lettuce ... chopped small (cuz I'm weird like that)
4 roma tomatoes, chopped

I also had, on the side since I knew there would be leftover salad :

greek yogurt
grated tasty (white cheddar) cheese
cilantro (fresh coriander)
chopped avocado

Right before we were ready to eat, I topped the salad with shredded chicken. I didn't use all of it as I thought Rory might like shredded chicken sandwiches for lunch the next day !

Toss. At the table, serve the salad into the bowls & let people top with the toppings ...

DONE !!!

and so yummy !!

I'm submitting this to Coooking Thursday ... hosted by Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom. For more great recipes, check her Cooking Thursday posts each week !!

A Good Whole Wheat Bread

Pay no attention to the fact that this sinks in at the top.
Other than that, which made no difference at all, this bread was great !!

I used a few different recipes and modified this to our specifications.

Here's what I did ...
Add the following to your bread maker.

1 & 1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons honey
4 teaspoons olive oil (I might try canola next time)
4 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 & 1/4 teaspoon yeast

Turn on the bread maker. Select the wheat bread setting. I'm not sure how big of a loaf this would be but I think I selected the medium size. And I always select light crusts ...

Come back in roughly four hours to find a freshly baked, healthy, delicious loaf of whole wheat bread !!

Menu Plan Monday - Bonnie - 18 January 2010

Menu Plan Monday is hosted by Laura at I'm an Organizing Junkie

Well, I've pretty much abandoned my themed dinner nights.
I thought it would make things easier but it just hasn't ... so ... I'm not doing them !


I had planned to make Falafel and I did but I didn't have any breadcrumbs ( or bread ) so I decided to crust the falafel with cooked quinoa. It worked well. Took a bit longer to cook but a good substitute in a pinch. I'll share the recipe with you later in the week ...

Quinoa Crusted Falafel with salad and tzatsiki ...

Kaffir Lime Prawns (and Chicken Kebabs too)
with a homemade Sweet Chili Suace
Will share recipe soon ...


We modified a Jamie Oliver recipe to cook a beautiful BBQ Lamb with Potato and Pumpkin !
You guessed it ... I'll share the recipe soon !!


Raw Lasagna in Grilled Portabello Mushrooms
Leftover Lamb

A Rachel Ray recipe out of the cookbook Jill gave me for Christmas last year !
Asparagus Penne
and this Sauteed Zucchini with Garlic and Lemon

We are going to make Funky Lime Pizza using whole wheat pizza dough ...
and we are going to try cooking it on a pizza stone in the Weber !!

Crock Pot Chili Lime Chicken Tostadas ... only, I'm going to modify them into a salad !

Snack Foods to Try Making :
I'm going to make
Kiwi Muffins ... except I'm going to use Blueberries in place of the Kiwi

Captains Logs - 17 January 2010

Monday 9:10 pm ...

Well, I'm pooped ! Seriously ... I get to the end of the day and I'm thinking to myself "how will I do this for a full 12 months ?" I'm hoping that I will get into a good groove soon ! Some sort of routine. Tonight, after cooking dinner, I packed lunches, made yogurt, yummo apple oats, and almond milk. Good thing Rory cleans the kitchen or I might not have made it ! I am shopping around and have been finding some good products that fit our specifications too. That's good. We now have two variety of crackers we can eat out of a box. And a few pastas. And I'm trying lots of different whole grain flours. I made bread today too. It worked ok. It tasted good ... it just looked funny. The top sunk in. But ... it was 100% whole wheat and had no sugar. Anyway ... I am going to go have a shower. It's been hot today ! I think I'll read my book for a bit ... if I last that long !!

Tuesday ...

(Click on photo to go to recipe)


Sunday 7:42am ...

I haven't been very good about writing my captains log this week. I really want to get better about it. I need to get into a good routine. I keep saying that to Rory ! About a lot of things !! I have been spending a lot of time in the kitchen though and shopping takes me so much longer. So many of our meals are first times or even experiments to see if they will work so I find myself miscalculating how long things will take. It's frustrating but I know it's not something that will last forever.

Rory said to me the other day "this isn't really that bad, you know ? I think we've been eating pretty well." I think he must have been worried ... :)

He also said, just last night, that the worst part about this whole unprocessed thing is that he rarely feels satisfied after a meal. Even when he eats til he is full, he just doesn't feel satisfied. I'll be interested to see if that feeling goes away eventually, as he gets more used to eating this way. I don't have that feeling anymore, I did in the beginning but only for a couple of days. In fact, I get full much quicker now and find I'm not able to finish everything on my plate. I'm having to reduce portion sizes. Which is such a good thing !

Rory and I didn't buy each other Christmas presents this year. Instead, we make a couple big ticket purchases that we've been considering for years. A Weber BBQ was one of them. Rory got it put together and we fired it up for the first time Monday night. And then again last night. And we're using it again tonight !! I think there will be some great BBQ recipes coming out of The Beans Blog soon ...

I know it's morning, and I normally post this in the evening but I'm going to post this now ... Rory built some shelves into the office closet yesterday and I know I'll be spending the day organizing those. I've got some cookin' to do to get ready for the week. Plus, there's talk of us taking the kids to the beach later this afternoon. All that by way of saying ... I may not have the energy to come back and write tonight !!!

Hasta Luego,

Not For Beginners ...

I made this green smoothie this morning. I was just adding as I went and tasting. I got to this very green stage, had a taste and was surprised by the fact that I LOVED IT ! But, it was VERY GREEN tasting and probably not good for a beginner green smoothier !! I know I wouldn't have liked these a few months ago ... But easing into it with fruitier ones has gotten me here !!

I'm at the end of the week ... need to shop today or tomorrow,
so I pretty much just dug through the fridge and did a big cleanout into the blender !

I used ... a very little bit of mango off the seed that was (oddly) leftover.
One peach.
One nectarine.
A spoonful of homemade peanut/cashew butter.
and a lot of snow pea sprouts !

I blended that up and then added all of the baby spinach I had left in the fridge.
Added about 1/2 a cup of water and whizzed it up again !

I poured my glass, then added a cup of frozen blueberries to the remaining mixture, whiz whiz whiz and we're done ... kid approved green smoothies !!

Yum Yum !

Does this make me a twit ?

The Beans Blog is on twitter !
I've tried Twitter before on a personal level and hated it !
Decided to do it again to try and promote the blog ...

If you are on Twitter, come follow The Beans Blog !

I'll follow you too ... just as soon as I learn how !

And for dessert ...

... mango 'ice cream' !!

Super easy.

Use a small tupperware of frozen mango ...
the one that you conveniently froze the night before.
Remove the tupperware and put the mango into your blender.
Add one banana.
And a couple spoonfuls of greek yogurt.


This was so thick and creamy.

And sweet.

Rory's comment was "I think this one may actually be better than store bought ice cream" !

Stuffed Crust Whole Wheat Veggie Pizza !!!

I am soooo excited about this !!

Shifting from white flour to whole wheat flour has been one of my biggest fears in this whole unprocessed journey. I finally decided early in the week that I just needed to 'give it a go' ! If I have some failures along the way, no worries ... just 'give it a go' again !! Last night, I put this dough into the bread maker and it worked ! And it's delicious ! And I'll make it over and over again !! I think I like it even better than my white flour pizza dough. And knowing that it's doing our body some good is just a cherry on top !

I hadn't planned on doing a stuffed crust but when I rolled the dough out, it was bigger than the pizza tray so I decided to go for the stuffed ! Probably wouldn't do it all the time because it just adds more cheese but it was good ...

You know how to do stuffed crust right ?
You just spread the cheese around the edges and then fold 'em over ...

Did anyone else notice that I forgot to round the corners on those pictures ? Duh.

Here's how I topped this pizza.
Tomato paste ... garlic flakes ... fresh oregano, parsley and greek basil from our garden.
Onion, thinly sliced
Fresh Spinach, diced like the herbs
Zucchini, thinly sliced
Green (preservative free !!) Olives
Pumpkin, thinly sliced
Mushrooms (except on the kids one)
Pine Nuts and Mozzarella Cheese

It was sooo good.
Just look at it.

You can almost taste it ...

But not quite ...

I think you might need to go make your own !

Here's how you do the dough ... compiled from about four different recipes I found on line to meet my own requirements !

1 & 1/3 cups water
2 Tablespoons honey
2 Tablespoons olive oil
4 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 & 1/4 teaspoon yeast

Put it all in your breadmaker, I did mine in that order. Turn it on to the 'pizza dough' setting. When it's done, roll it out. It will make two stuffed crust pizzas or 4 thin crust pizzas !

PS ... I forgot I was going to make 'mini pizza' ... oops ! I'm thinking I'll do that soon and pop 'em in the freezer for easy lunch options !

Edited to add ... I cook my pizzas in an oven preheated to 200C/390F - for between 10-20 minutes. Totally depends on how much is on the top ! I just do it til the cheese is a nice golden brown.

Menu Plan Monday - Bonnie - 11 January 2010

Menu Plan Monday is hosted by Laura at I'm an Organizing Junkie

I'm only planning through Thursday today.
Need to get back into shopping on Fridays ... so will do another menu then.


I'm making a spicy cauliflower and potato salad from a vegetarian cookbook - thanks library !
We'll have BBQ chicken too ... on our new Weber that Rory is going to set up!
And some sort of green veg ... just not sure which one yet !

Going to try my hand at whole wheat pizza dough ... in the bread maker.
And I'm going to make mini pizzas ... with veggies on top ...

Falafal, Salad, Hummus
May try a chapati or naan to go with it.

Khrista's Lemon Spaghetti (with whole wheat pasta)

I'm didn't try the lentil dip last week ... I'm going to do that this week.
I'm also going to make raw lasagna. Haven't made it in ages and I'm fangin' for some !

Captains Log - 10 January 2010

Monday 7:42pm ...

Four days in and I'm tired. Don't worry, I'm not giving up, I'm just being honest. We had salad for dinner tonight and I baked some potato chips for a treat. They were wonderful ! We all liked them. Lots. I think in future, I need to try new and interesting salads rather than just throw one together like I did tonight. I mean, it was good. But ... nothing flash. Anyway ... it's a tortilla night tomorrow night and I need to put the tortillas into the bread machine. I'm hoping they work better this time. I'm going to halve the recipe again but this time I'm going to leave out the baking powder. I'll let you know how they go ...

Tuesday 8:00pm ...

Well ... the tortillas were better tonight ! They were no where near as sticky. And I've worked out a good system now. I roll them out onto baking paper to make them easy to get into the frying pan. One day, maybe, I'll look for a tortilla press ! I was thinking tonight, as I was making dinner, when it was 30 minutes past our desired sit down time of 6:30, that I need to give myself much more time to prepare the evening meal !! I'll get that worked out ! Lunches seem to be the biggest issue, though. I haven't started making bread yet so it's really leftovers for lunches but if we don't have leftovers then I'm a bit stuck. Salad won't hold Rory all day. I will set myself the task of figuring out some good lunch options.

Rory just set up the double hammock that he got for Christmas. I'm going to go join him !!

Wednesday 7:31pm ...

Wow ! The hammock is fantastic ! Nothing else really to report today.

Sunday 11:06 pm ...

I'm pretty tired so we'll see how much of this I get written tonight ! I missed a couple of days writing ... LIFE happened and I just didn't have time to write. And then we were out of town Saturday and Sunday so I am up late, cooking something for Rory's lunch tomorrow and writing this log !!

This was our first weekend away since we started this whole unprocessed thing and it was pretty hard. We have said from the beginning that we would eat what we are served when we go to other peoples houses but we still found it hard. We didn't want to just jump back in and eat whatever so we tried to make wise choices over the weekend. We did ok. The hardest part was the kids. One night we didn't let them have ice cream. They survived. And they didn't get to eat most of the candy from the party bags. Again, they survived. They did get to eat out twice though. Pizza. Calamari. Chips. And McDonald's on the way home ... about as preserved as you can get !! I felt sick giving it to them ( and eating some myself ) We had actually planned to eat at home but ended up being delayed way past dinner time ... I'll plan better next time. I'm not beating myself up though. It was one (planned exclusion) day and tomorrow we are right back on the wagon.

I can tell you one thing. I got a TERRIBLE headache after eating the birthday cake. Sugar really does bad things to my head ... especially after I go off it. I won't make that mistake again.

Financially, this week was crazy. I don't know how I spent so much but I did. I went way over budget ... like, almost double what we have allocated for a week. I didn't even realize. I need to do better. I will reign it in. We may just need to eat A LOT more beans !

I can hardly think of what else to write tonight. I think the pasta (whole wheat ...first time trying it !) should be cooled enough that I can pack it up and put it in the fridge for Rory to take to work tomorrow. So ... I'll go do that and then head to bed.

Do any of you have any thoughts ? questions ? ideas ? great blogs I should visit or books I should read ? I'd love to hear 'em if you do ...

'til next time ... Bon

Yummo Apple Oats

Ok ... this is a combination of a few recipes I've seen around. The almond milk is based on an Ani Phyo recipe but with a few omissions.

You'll have to start this two days before you want to eat it (if you make your own almond milk). I know ... crazy planning involved but it's worth it.

To start you will need to soak the almonds overnight.

Then, put the following into your blender :

1/2 cup soaked almonds
1/2 cup pitted dates
5 cups water

Blend really really really well. I don't strain this ... it's not necessary in these oats.

That's you almond milk.

Then ...

Grate (skin on) two granny smith apples
Top with :
1.5 cups of rolled oats
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/2 cup slivered almonds (and any other assortment of nuts/seeds you might like)
1.5 cups of almond milk

Mix it up, cover it and put it in the fridge ... it'll be ready in the morning !!

All you have to do in the morning is scoop it into your bowl ! I topped mine with chopped nectarine. My children topped theirs with a bit of extra milk and some frozen blueberries. Both ways were delicious !!!

Some inspiration for all you awesome cooks out there!

I posted this on my own blog, but it seemed like it should go here too!

I am now the proud owner of, not just a cookbook, but THE cookbook.
Julia's cookbook.
A small, but tasteful, shrine has been erected in my apartment to Mrs. Child.
and to butter.

Making mayonnaise...from scratch.

Garlic Soup

The beginnings of ratatouille. I love all the colors.

Finished ratatouille. Sooooooo yummy!

Chicken, simmering in butter. And garlic. And heaven.
I would be perfectly happy to eat my own shoes if they were prepared this way!

Thanks for joining me on this little food/photo fest.
Now wipe the drool off your face and have a great day!

Stir Fry Sauce

I love stir fry sauce! Love it! Sadly, the bottle I can buy at the store is full of non-food crap. And since I am determined to eat (as much as humanly possible) real food, that came from the ground or somewhere nearby, I needed to find a recipe for stir fry sauce.

Enter kikkoman soy sauce bottle label.

Stir Fry Sauce:
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 T brown sugar (or sweetener of thine unprocessed choice)
1 T water
1 T cornstarch

In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce and the sugar. Add to your pan/wok of stir fried veggies.
In another small bowl, mix water and cornstarch. Add to the pan and stir until sauce thickens.

Seriously. Super easy and really yummy! I'll never buy store-bought sauce again.
Thank you kikkoman soy sauce bottle label, thank you.

Cheesy Crackers - Take One

I found this recipe for Cheese Crackers and decided to give it a go. I changed it a bit. I wasn't 100% happy with them but I'll try them again with a few modifications and I think they will be better ! Having said that I wasn't happy ... we are all still eating them !

125 gr. flour - I used 1/2 wholemeal spelt and 1/2 wholemeal millet.
Next time I'll go 100 % plain old wholemeal.
½ teaspoon paprika
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
80 gr. butter
125 gr. gouda cheese - I used tasty cheese. Next time I'm going to try Parmesan.
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons lemon juice.

Preheat oven to 410F/210C.

I'm pretty much cutting and pasting these directions ... Put all the above ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until it resembles coarse bread crumbs. Pulse a little bit longer; mixture should come together into a ball. (I did it too long, I think and it got too sticky. I'll be more careful next time.) Let it rest in refrigerator for 20min. (I think I let it rest longer and it probably wasn't good.) Roll the dough out thinly about 1/8" thick using generous amounts of dusting flour. Use fork to poke holes in the dough. (oops, just realized I forgot to poke holes !) Bake until the crackers start to get just golden on the edges. Remove from the oven, and transfer to a cooling rack.

Chicken Fajitas

I started with this recipe for pollo fajitas but ended up changing it to suit our unprocessed needs. Here's how I made my version that all four of us loved ! I had a bit of difficulty with the tortillas tonight. I'm not sure why. I halved the recipe and I'm wondering if I put something in wrong. My math skills never were that good !!

1.5 tablespoons cider vinegar
1.5 tablespoons soy sauce
a couple shakes of chili powder
3 cloves garlic, minced
a couple dashes of Tabasco

2 chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
olive oil for shallow frying
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 red capsicum, sliced

1.Combine vinegar, soy sauce, chili powder, garlic and tabasco. Place chicken in sauce, and work through with fingers to coat. Marinate for 30 minutes or more in fridge.

2. Heat oil in a large skillet (I used my electric fry pan that I was given for Christmas !!) over high heat. Add chicken strips to the pan, and saute for 5 minutes. Add the onion and capsicim, and saute another 3 minutes.

3. Done ! I served it with homemade tortillas - but we didn't wrap them - issues with the tortillas, remember !? AND greek yogurt, chopped tomato, baby spinach and avocado ...

Delicious !

Salt and Vinegar Oven Baked Chips

Well, four days into the whole unprocessed thing and we needed a TREAT.
I searched recipe after recipe and finally combined about six ideas to make these little beauties !

Here's how you do it ...

Using a mandolin slicer, finely slice 5 medium sized potatoes (or however many you want). I did 5 for the 4 of us. It made heaps. Put the slices into a long rectangular dish and top with 2 tbls vinegar and 2 tbls olive oil. Let soak at least 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 200C. Line cookie sheets/baking trays with baking paper and then top with crushed sea salt. Lay potatoes in a single layer (not touching but pretty close) on top of the salt. Bake til golden brown. Ours took between 10 and 15 minutes ... but watch them closely, you don't want them to burn !! I can't wait to try these with a bunch of different flavors. I think we will do Cajun or Moroccan next !

Almond Covered Date Balls

The other day we were at the check out of one of my favorite shops ... not a humongo supermarket ... and Jono saw a box of date/almond balls. They looked good to him and he asked if we could buy them. I looked at the price and nearly choked when it read $12.99, especially when the ingredients read: dates, almonds. Needless to say, we did not let ourselves be robbed along the highway ... instead, we went home and made these little beauties ourselves !

It was so simple ! All you need is dried dates and some almonds. Just process the dates til they form a ball. The kids thought this was hilarious. Rory and I thought it looked like something that should not be eaten. Ever. Pull that ball out and process the almonds. Then, put your kids to work. Have them roll the date balls and then cover them in almonds. That's it ! Easy. And they are yum. And sweet !

... very sweet !! A perfect little treat !!

Lemon Rosemary Carrots

I've been trying to find new ways to use rosemary as we have an enormous bush of it in our garden ! The other night I had 1/2 a cauliflower, decided to roast it but needed another veg as that wouldn't have been enough. I had carrots so went with that. I just threw them in a baking dish (with baking paper on the bottom, of course !), squeezed the juice of 1/2 a lemon on them, added a bit of olive oil, a few cloves of sliced garlic and then heaps of fresh rosemary. Unchopped. Just pulled off the branch ! Baked for probably 15/20 minutes. And it was soooo tasty ! I'll be doing carrots like this more often ! Much more often !!

Menu Plan Monday - Bonnie - 4 January 2010

Menu Plan Monday is hosted by Laura at I'm an Organizing Junkie

Monday - Salad Night
No specific salad recipe.
I will just be rummaging through the fridge and making a salad.
I'll also be trying Fast and Flexible Whole-Grain Rolls from The New Whole Grains Cookbook

Tuesday - Beans Night
Black Bean and Pumpkin Burritos
with Lime/Coriander Quinoa (a little experiment !)

Wednesday - Whole Grains Night
We never tried Jill's Spinach, Chicken, Mushroom Couscous last week so we'll have this Wed.
I think I'll do asparagus. Probably peas to.

Thursday - Crock Pot Night
I will be experimenting with converting a recipe to a crock pot recipe this week.
I'm going to try this Beef Curry with Toasted Spices but in the CP !

Friday - International Night
Not really international but we'll be away Saturday so I'm doing fish on Friday instead !
We're going to try this Lime and Honey-Glazed Salmon recipe.
It's a one pot dish and I think I'll leave it at that.
Although ... I am going to double the
amount of broccolini in it !!

Saturday - Fish Night
Hangin' with family ...

Sunday - Big Cookup for Freezer Night
Hangin' with family ...

Snack Foods to Try Making :
Curried Red Lentil Dip with Home Made Crackers

I'm also going to try making my own nut milks this week !
Looks simple !

Lunches ...
Leftovers from dinner
Dips and Crackers
Salad Sandwiches
Etc ...

Captains Log - 3 January 2010

I've always wanted to write a "captains log" or a "doogie howser" journal ... Does everyone know what I'm talking about or am I showing my age ?

My plan is to write a little bit every night and then post my "captains log" on Sundays. This first one will only have a couple of days. Two, in fact, since tomorrow is Sunday ! I plan to talk about how things are going. Just a little re-cap of each day.

Saturday Night ...

Today went well. One thing I will need to be really careful of is planning ahead for lunches. We went on a bush walk this morning and then needed to stop at the shops on the way home. While we had all eaten breakfast, we were STARVING by the time we finished our 2 hour walk. It all was fine, we just grabbed some fruit at the shops for the car ride and then did Salad Sandwiches once we were home. But ... I could have been much more prepared. It probably doesn't help that we are all still in holiday mode ...

Sunday Afternoon ...

(a simple spinach salad ... spinach, mushrooms, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, hard boiled egg and a soy vinaigrette.)

I did the grocery shopping today. Phew. Big job ! I had my book with me and had to check a few products out. I'm bummed that olives are out for the year. Well ... not ALL olives but they will become quite occasional as the ones with no colors are EXPENSIVE ! Not out of the question expensive, just out of the everyday menu expensive ! Bread ... same thing. I need to find a good recipe for making whole meal grain bread in my bread maker. I wonder how it would work if I just added grains to the whole meal recipe I've used before ?

And gum. I can't find any gum or mints that meet our guidelines for the year. We might have to grow fresh mint and chew on that !

A few other things we've decided after today. We need to keep some nuts or dried fruit on us. Probably both. When eating so many veggies as the main part of our diet, when they are digested, we are HUNGRY ! Ravenously ! It's crazy. I barely made it out of the health food store and had to pop some almonds in my mouth before I ate my own arm ! I know our bodies will get used to this new way of eating but at the moment I think we might all be going through a bit of withdrawal symptoms ! It's weird.

Rory goes back to work tomorrow and that may be a bit of a challenge. I pack his lunches and I'll need to make sure he has plenty of food. I'll let you know how it goes. I'm looking forward to our first week of 'normal' ... well, semi-normal, the kids are still home for a few more weeks before school starts up again.

All for this week ... Bon