Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Banana Fritters

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These banana fritters are great for breakfast when you've got lots of ripe bananas you need to use up.  A friend of ours has a roadside fruit stall, and we get about half a box of bananas most weeks for free... so we eat lots of banana ice-cream, smoothies and banana fritters!  Sometimes I use spelt flour, sometimes buckwheat - like pancakes, they're pretty versatile.  We also like them with half banana, half berries - delicious with a little pure maple syrup drizzled over!  The kids eat any leftovers cold for a snack at morning tea time.

1.  Grind grain in Thermomix on speed 9 for 1 minute, or until fine (buckwheat takes about 30 seconds):
- 120g spelt grain, or hulled buckwheat

2.  Add and mix on speed 5 for 20 seconds, and scrape down:
- 3 eggs
- 1 tablespoon raw honey
- 110g water

3.  Place a bowl on top of Thermomix lid, reset scales, and weigh in bananas, chopping them as you go:
- 500g ripe bananas (about 4 or 5 bananas), chopped in small pieces (or part bananas, part mixed berries)

4.  Tip bananas into Thermomix and mix on reverse, speed 3, until mixed in.

5.  Heat oil in medium-hot frying pan:
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil (or butter/ghee)
     Drop large spoonfuls of batter into hot pan and cook until golden brown on both sides.

6.  Serve with a little honey or pure maple syrup drizzled over.

Variations: Try adding some berries, or replacing the banana with blueberries - so good!

Menu Plan Monday - 26th April

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Oops, late again with my menu plan!  I do have it written on the note pad on the fridge, but can't seem to find the time to 'blog' it!  So I'm a bit late, but I thought I'd post it anyway. 

I was so excited this morning to see my little kitchen on Rhonda's wonderful blog, "Down to Earth" - she's been featuring kitchens from all over the world and today mine is featured! (When you see my tiny kitchen you'll understand why I love having a Thermomix to take the place of the fifteen or so appliances most kitchens are cluttered with!) Check out Rhonda's website for lots of great ideas for simplifying your life, focusing on what's important, and getting back to the basics. (She has some great recipes too!)

This week I'm trying to clean out my freezer and cupboard a bit, as it's all getting a bit scary in there - I have so many different grains, seeds, beans and things that need to be used...  So this week I plan to make some buckwheat granola, buckwheat-banana fritters and buckwheat pancakes, as well as using up some rye in spelt & rye artisan bread, some barley in Irish Stew, some kidney beans in chilli, maize grain in cornbread, some oats in homemade muesli bars, and some millet and rice in my gluten free bread.  I'm also going to try making my own coconut oil from fresh coconuts, as well as coconut milk and dessicated coconut from the grated pulp.  I'll try to get some of these recipes posted this week - the days fly by so fast, but hopefully I'll find some time to blog!

You may notice I'm cooking a few recipes this week from the new Thermomix cookbook, "Meat on the Menu".  There's some really yummy recipes in it - I highly recommend it! 

If you'd like some ideas on how to plan your weekly menu to save yourself time and money, here's how I do it: 'Menu Planning'.  And don't forget to check out all the wonderful menu ideas at I'm An Organizing Junkie's 'Menu Plan Monday'.  Have a great week! :)

[TMX = prepared and/or cooked in my Thermomix]

(lunch) Cooking for a demo - kids at G'mas
(dinner) Leftover crockpot roast beef & gravy on mashed potatoes (TMX) with steamed veges (TMX)

(lunch) Mackeral patties with raw beetroot salad (TMX), homemade mayonnaise (TMX) & spelt bread (TMX) (pictured above)
(dinner) Chicken & Olive Braise (TMX - meat cookbook) with roasted potatoes

(lunch) Shredded Beef Taco Salad (TMX - meat cookbook)
(dinner) Pasta e Fagioli (TMX)

(lunch) Chunky Beef Chilli (TMX - meat cookbook) with rice and homemade salsa
(dinner) Cooking for a demo - leftovers for family

(lunch) Lamb Mince & Salad Pizza/calzone (TMX) (double batch)
(dinner) leftovers

(lunch) Irish Stew (TMX - meat cookbook) & Artisan bread made with rye & spelt
(dinner) Vege pasta (TMX)

(lunch) Roast chicken & veges (crockpot) with Chicken & Mushroom Veloute (TMX - meat cookbook)
(dinner) sandwiches (on spelt rolls - TMX)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Homemade Mayonnaise

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This is how I make my mayonnaise in the Thermomix.  It's quick and easy, and tastes delicious!!  I like to use garlic, shallots and seeded mustard in mine to add flavour and texture, and a little honey to sweeten it.  You can keep it plain if you like - just leave out the garlic and shallots, and use dijon mustard.  I also use white wine vinegar - you can use lemon juice instead, but it's a bit more 'iffy' - the acidity of the lemon juice is variable, so some batches of mayonnaise may work better than others. 

I have hardly ever had this recipe fail - it's very easy.  Just don't forget to let the egg get to room temperature before you begin - or better still, use a nice, fresh egg collected straight from the chook pen!  If you do have a batch of mayonnaise that fails, don't throw it out...  Start again, with another room temperature egg yolk, mustard, vinegar, honey, etc - then instead of drizzling in oil, drizzle in the failed mayonnaise, and hopefully it will work out better the second time.

All ingredients should be at room temperature, especially the egg!!!

1. Weigh oil into the jar the mayonnaise will be stored in and set aside.
- 250g macadamia oil (or grapeseed oil, but macadamia is better for you)

2.  Chop in Thermomix bowl on speed 7 for 5 seconds:
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 shallot, chopped in a few pieces

3.  Separate the egg, and add to bowl with other ingredients:
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 rounded teaspoon seeded mustard (or dijon mustard)
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon raw honey
- salt & pepper

4.  Place butterfly on blades and mix for 1 minute, speed 4.  After a minute, with butterfly still spinning on speed 4, start drizzling oil very slowly onto the upside down MC (cap).  The oil should drizzle down into the bowl at a steady rate.  This stage should take about 3 minutes.

5.  When all the oil is mixed in, open the MC and tip in the egg white, and allow it to mix in for another 10 seconds, then turn off machine.  Your mayonnaise should be lovely and thick!  Remove butterfly and fold in any mustard that didn't mix in, and remove mayo to jar. 

* Note:  If you don't think you'll use the mayonnaise within a week or so, you can store it in a ziploc bag and squeeze the air out of it - this will help it to keep longer.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Breakfast Sorbet

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Mmmm... sorbet for breakfast!

Here's a different version of sorbet that's a lot more filling, and perfect for breakfast or an energizing morning tea snack!  My friend Nancy came up with the idea (inspired by the muesli and protein shakes in Cyndi O'Meara's cookbook Changing Habits Changing Lives),and I've changed it a little to make it dairy free and a bit more 'chewy'.  Nancy's version has a good dollop of natural yoghurt in it, which is nice if you can handle yoghurt - or if you want to you can use coconut cream instead.  I add sultanas at the end for a bit of sweet chewiness, and sprinkle some chopped nuts on top. If you can't be bothered you can add them all at once with everything else. Feel free to play with the ingredients and amounts, but don't fill the bowl too full, as it makes it difficult to mix.

1.  Toss into your Thermomix bowl (weighing them if you want to be particular!), and grind on speed 9 for about 30 seconds, using the spatula to assist:
- 40g raw almonds/macadamias/cashews
- 30g rolled oats or quinoa flakes
- 25g seeds - pepitas, sunflower, linseeds, chia seeds
- 30g tahini
- 30g sultanas
- 250g ice

2.  Next add the berries and grind them up on speed 9 for about 15 seconds:
- 250g frozen mixed berries

3.  Then add the remaining ingredients and mix on speed 9 for about 2 minutes, using spatula, mixing until creamy:
- 250g frozen bananas, chopped in 1 inch pieces
- 40g pure maple syrup or raw honey (or to taste)
- 50g yoghurt or coconut cream (optional)

4.  For extra yumminess, add some extra sultanas and/or chopped nuts and stir on speed 3 until mixed in, or sprinkle them on top:
- 30g sultanas
- 30g chopped nuts (I like pecans)

[Note: For a smoother version, grind up the dry ingredients first (seeds, nuts, oats/quinoa) until fine; add ice and grind; add frozen berries and grind; then add remaining ingredients.] 


P.S. Freeze any leftovers in a sealed container or ice cube trays.  When you're ready to use it, thaw for a few minutes and remix in Thermomix to whip it up again.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Easter Cooking & Menu Plan

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Hi everyone - sorry I dropped off the radar for a week or so - I've been in holiday mode!  Actually, I did try and post my Easter menu plan, with photos, but the internet connection kept dropping out, and the program kept crashing, and I finally gave up in disgust...  So here's a few photos of some of the goodies we enjoyed over Easter, and maybe some recipes will follow soon - if I can get it together! :) 

[TMX = prepared and/or cooked in my Thermomix]

Raw Chocolate with Roasted Almonds (made in TMX) - yum!!
(made with cocoa butter, cacao powder, agave nectar, vanilla bean & sea salt, with almonds)

Spelt Greek Easter Bread (made in TMX with this recipe)
(I love the aniseed-orange-sesame seed flavour!)

Chocolate-Orange Spelt Hot Cross Buns (made in TMX)
(Oh so yum, hot out of the oven!!)

We also had roast lamb and veges (with baked garlic, lemon & rosemary), a breakfast sorbet (made from frozen berries & bananas, oats, nuts, seeds, coconut cream & ice, in TMX of course)... hmmm, can't remember what else!  Oh yeah, a dark chocolate Lindt Easter bunny each - hee hee!
Anyway, I hope you all had a lovely Easter break - it's back to the grind for us again tomorrow, with homeschooling, babysitting, and lots of paperwork needing to be done . Here's my plan for the week... check out Menu Plan Monday at "I'm an Organizing Junkie" for more menu planning ideas, and the Thermomix Forum too.

(lunch) Gluten free calzone with mince & vege filling (TMX) (babysitting a few kids, so this will give them something to do!)
(dinner) Scalloped eggs with baby spinach (TMX)

(lunch) Spelt tortillas (TMX) with refried beans & salad (picnic and excursion with kids)
(dinner) Chilli con carne (TMX) with cornbread (TMX)

(lunch) Tuna pasta (TMX)
(dinner) Meatball vege bean soup (TMX)

(lunch) Baked potatoes & raw vege sticks
(dinner) Out for dinner - it's my birthday!! :D

(lunch) Pasta salad (made by the kids)
(dinner) Spicy meat-filled steamed buns (TMX)

(lunch) Fried rice (TMX)
(dinner) Japanese style steak salad (a la Jamie Oliver)

(lunch) Hamburgers on spelt buns (TMX)
(dinner) Fruit, raw vege sticks, boiled eggs - serve yourself!

Pasta Salad - a favourite with the kids!
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