Baked Fish with Dahl

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On a grocery exploration, I discovered a ready-spiced dahl with curry leaves, coriander and cumin seeds and black pepper … here’s what evolved …

Ingredients:

1 cup, red lentils
6-8 curry leaves
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups stock or water (no salt – it makes the lentils harden)
500 grams fish fillet (I used barramundi)
1 large brown onion, sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
Chilli flakes, to taste

One bunch of fresh asparagus spears, bases trimmed

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC.

In a medium non-stick saucepan with a lid, put the dahl and stock or water in cold, cover and bring to the boil. Turn down to the lowest heat and simmer for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, making sure it doesn’t catch on the bottom. The dahl thickens to a creamy texture. Remove from the heat and allow to rest – the dahl will thicken a little more as it cools slightly.

While the dahl is cooking, line a baking tray with foil. Place the sliced onion on the tray. Toss the fish in the olive oil and chilli then place it on top of the sliced onion and bake for 20 minutes. When the fish is done and falling apart, remove from the oven.

While the fish and the dahl are cooking, cut the asparagus in half and steam for about 4 minutes till ever so slightly al dente. There is seriously nothing quite as crispy, barely cooked asparagus …

Serve with the lentils as a base, then the onions, with the fish and asparagus on top – it’s a winner dinner x

with love, Sarah

Pear & Vanilla Cookies

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Felt like a perfect delicate little cookie and it goes like this …

Ingredients:

2 cups almond meal
½ cup dried pears, finely chopped
1 whole egg or ¼ cup egg white, whisked
¼ cup coconut oil
2 tablespoons maple syrup, or another liquid sweetener you like
1 teaspoon pure vanilla powder
Some raw almonds

Method:

Pre-heat oven to 180ºC

In a large bowl mix the almond meal, dried pear and vanilla until combined

Mix in the melted coconut oil, whisked egg and maple syrup to end up with a slightly sticky cookie mixture

Line a tray with baking paper

Roll cookies into balls, whatever size you prefer, and place on the tray

Push a whole almond into the top of each one and bake for about 15 minutes until just golden

Allow to cool and enjoy with a fresh cup of tea and the sound of birds tweeting

The original recipe had dates … which I’m sure would be lovely too … or cranberries perhaps … easy either way!

with love, Sarah

Warm Crispy Fish, Prawn & Tarragon Salad

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IMG_2409This was a classic “what’s in the fridge, I’m hungry and I need to eat about NOW” meal that totally knocked my socks off – good thing I like dancing in bare feet #justsayin

It has the perfect balance of crispy and soft and zing and sour and freshness and flavour and makes a lovely meal for two people.

Ingredients:

500 grams thin part of any fish fillet, thinly sliced into strips
500 grams raw shelled prawns
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
1 large garlic clove, thinly sliced
½ cup fresh tarragon, roughly chopped
½ teaspoon dried chilli flakes (or more if you want)
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1 medium lebanese cucumber, chopped
2 cups cos lettuce leaves, finely sliced
1 cup baby spinach leaves, chopped
Juice of one medium lime
2 tablespoons olive oil

Method:

Turn on the fairy lights and put some music on

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large non-stick pan or wok on a medium to high heat. Please don’t heat to smoking because you lose the flavour of the oil.

Add the little strips of fish and cook till crispy. Remove and place on a plate on some absorbent paper towel.

Turn the heat down to medium and add the onion. Cook gently making sure it gets lovely light colour without the burn. Add the garlic, prawns, tarragon, chilli and black pepper and cook until the prawns are pink and just cooked. Overcooked prawns are a disappointment … remember that all food continues to cook after leaving the pan so you can be assured you won’t have raw prawns if you cook them for 2-3 minutes on each side.

Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly in the pan. Add the fish to the pan with the lime juice and the other tablespoon of olive oil and sesame seeds and toss together well. Leave to rest while you prepare the salad leaves.

Into a large bowl, place the lettuce, spinach leaves and cucumber and toss.

Add the warm prawns and fish and toss all though gently in the bowl to coat the leaves in the dressing from the pan juices.

Serve in individual bowls.

Be aware – this is super delicious and my friend had raised eyebrows – “you really can cook!” … he seemed surprised and I did my smooth Snoopy dance and smiled :)

BIG love, Sarah x

Grilled Fish with Asparagus & Crispy Kale

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Crispy Kale & Fish

This is a super simple and tasty meal that’s full of texture, flavour and sparkle and goes something like this. Put your hands on your hips, and bring your knees in tight .. ok, not exactly like that, but it’s pretty self-explanatory. This recipe serves two people

Ingredients:

600g fresh white fish – we used Barramundi
12 spears of fresh asparagus
6 large kale leaves
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons dried chilli flakes
2 teaspoons ground black pepper

Method:

Pre-heat oven to 220ºC

Remove the stem then roughly chop kale leaves into 5cm (or so) pieces and place a large, or two medium sized baking trays and toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the chilli flakes making sure all the kale is well coated.

Roast in the oven for 15 minutes, checking once and giving it a toss and shuffle so it stays light and has space to crisp.

While that’s doing it’s thing, heat a large frypan on the hob. When hot, add the remaining olive oil and gently fry the fish fillets sprinkled with the black pepper. Turn both sides until cooked and browned.

While that’s doing it’s thing – this is the ultimate practise at timing and efficient kitchen shenanigans – trim the ends from the asparagus and steam in your favourite steamer for about 5 minutes. NO MORE THAN 5 minutes because the asparagus is best when just barely cooked.

And that’s it!

Everything till be ready at the same time.

Serve with Jeannette’s World Famous Pesto and a drizzle of olive oil and fresh squeezed lemon juice. Thank you Sarah Flenley for being my guest for this yummy adventure! Love, Sarah

Spicy Egg Nori Rolls

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NoriThese rice free nori rolls are just the ticket for a light, nourishing and energy sustaining lunch. My body is evolving, transforming and sensitive to food at the moment … I’m not sure what to eat so have to give myself a little more time to truly listen to it and what I really feel to eat.

NORI … it shouted this morning, clear as a bell … here’s what transpired …

Ingredients:

½ cup egg whites
2 teaspoons dried mixed herbs
½ teaspoon dried chilli
½ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon ground black pepper

2 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

½ ripe avocado
2 baby cos lettuce leaves

2 nori sheets

Method:

Place a large non-stick fry pan on a medium heat and add oil if you want to. I added a couple of teaspoons of olive oil, but you can add what you wish or leave it out.

In a bowl, gently whisk the egg whites with the herbs and spices and add to the pan, forming a thin layer of egg.

In another small saucepan on a medium heat, add the sesame seeds and allow to toast slightly before adding the spinach. Place the lid on and steam gently till wilted.

Cook egg till firm then flip elegantly to cook the other side.

Remove from heat and allow both to cool.

Slice half an avocado into strips and slice the lettuce leaves in half, lengthways.

Cut the egg in half, forming two semi-circles.

Place the nori sheet onto a flat surface and place the egg down with the straight edge facing you, flush with the edge of the sheet.

Place on the same edge half the spinach, sliced avocado and then the lettuce strips.

Roll up tightly and gently, wiping down the end of the nori roll with water so it sticks together. Leave to rest for a minute before cutting each roll into four pieces.

Sounds a little complicated perhaps, but once you’ve done it once, they are a walk in the park and great for lunch, snacks, travelling and parties. You can put whatever you want inside and they are tasty, scrumptious and worth the loving commitment.

with love, Sarah

Jeannette’s World Famous Pesto

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IMG_2347There are a few precious things in this world, and Jeannette’s pesto is especially divine. This sparkling and zingy pesto livens up every single meal whether vegetables, fish and meat or gluten free pasta. It’s lovely with crudités and hors d’doeuvre, salads and I have been known to take a spoon to it just on its own – don’t tell anyone!

Ingredients:

1 cup extra virgin olive oil
5 cups washed and dried fresh basil leaves
4 medium garlic cloves
½ cup raw macadamia nuts
¼ cup raw walnuts
Juice of one large lemon
½ teaspoon ground fenugreek

Method:

Blend to a smooth paste.

Depending on your ingredients, you may need more nuts or more olive oil. It is lovely when the consistency is quite a thick paste – this is entirely up to you!

I served it with sautéed onion and prawns with steamed asparagus, broccolini and sugar snap peas – quite simply sensational :)

with love, Sarah

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Prawn & Radicchio Stir Fry

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I don’t know about you, but when it gets to Friday evening, all I want is a simple, quick, gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, scrumptious, snappy and super tasty meal that’s quick to prepare and cook.

Well … here it is … the answer to all my needs and wants in one dish that literally took me about 20 minutes start to finish … now that’s what I’m talking about.

This recipes feeds one super hungry person (aka me) or two people who want a light supper …

Ingredients:

8 raw green prawns, peeled and de-veined
6-8 radicchio leaves, about 2 cups when chopped
1 bunch broccolini, about 8 stalks, 2 cups when chopped
1 red onion, medium
1 cup spinach leaves
2 cloves garlic
1 large mild chilli
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 lemon, juiced

Method:

In a large frypan or wok heat coconut oil till almost smoking

Slice red onion into little half moons and pop into the oil

Chop broccolini into 3cm/1 inch pieces and add to onion

Fry on high for about 2 minutes, tossing or stirring frequently till the onion starts to colour

Add radicchio, prawns, garlic, chilli and spinach leaves and mix through

Fry till the prawns become pink – takes about 5 minutes

Add lemon juice and serve

This one is a no-brainer – perfect for a Friday evening after a long week!!

with love, Sarah

Pear & Lime Tart

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This petit and light tart is both beautiful to look at and to eat … it’s like a smooth sailing waltz in the arms of heaven …

Ingredients for base:

1½ cups raw almonds
2 teaspoons coconut sugar
¼ cup egg white
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Method:

Pre-heat oven to 190ºC

Blend nuts in till almost meal consistency

Place into a frypan on a medium heat and toast the nuts with the sugar till light brown

Transfer to a mixing bowl and allow to cool

When cool, add the egg whites and nutmeg and mix well to a sticky paste

Press evenly into three (3) small flan dishes – mine are 15cm diameter

Bake flans on baking tray for 10-15 minutes till brown and firm to touch

Remove from oven and allow to cool

Ingredients for filling: (you can make the filling while the bases are in the oven)

2 firm green pears, medium
1 cup macadamia nuts, raw unsalted
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon coconut cream
Juice of one lime

Peel and core pears

Chop 1½ pears into chunks and place into blender with macadamia nuts, lime juice, coconut oil and coconut cream and blend to a smooth paste.

Pour into the cooled flan bases

Thinly slice the remaining ½ pear and poach in a ½ cup water on the stove top till al dente. This only takes about 3 minutes. Keep an eye on them because they need to be firm.

Allow to cool

Place them around the top of the flan like petals

Place in the fridge for at least an hour to firm up the filling – it’s meant to me a little soft …

These are delicate and exquisite and perfect shared for a romantic dinner with your lover, friends and anyone you love x

with love, Sarah 

Slow Roast Pork Belly with Thyme & Garlic

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It’s been a long time since I’ve had roast pork and this afternoon I decided to slow roast a small pork belly for the first time … there I was, wondering what to have and found a yummy recipe that I’ve tweaked to try something spicy and tasty … suffice to say it was totally moist, delicious and yummy!

Ingredients:

800g piece of pork belly
3 large garlic cloves
3 tablespoons fresh thyme
3 teaspoons caraway seeds
3 teaspoons chilli flakes
2 tablespoons olive oil
Juice of one medium lemon
2 large brown onions

Method:

Score the skin of the pork belly, cutting through the fat but not through to the meat. Set aside.

In a large pestle and mortar combine the garlic, thyme, caraway seeds and chilli to a rough paste. Add the lemon juice and olive oil and combine well to a smooth-ish paste.

Rub paste into the pork and allow to rest and infuse for 30 minutes.

Cut onions into thick slices. Line a baking tray with parchment and place onions in a layer on the paper.

Pre-heat oven to 220ºC.

Place pork belly on the onions and place in the oven for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, turn oven down to 170ºC and roast for 3 hours.

Test after 2½ hours with a skewer – if the liquid comes out clear, the pork is done. If it’s pink, return to the oven for the additional half hour.

The last half hour, turn the oven up to 230ºC and blast it to crisp the crackling!

When done, remove from oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes before serving.

Serve with a smile, a heel-toe-heel-toe and some vegetables or salad. Spoon the onion from the tray over the top too – it’s rather sticky and spicy.

The rub would also work well with lamb, beef, vegetables or fish … mmmmm

with love, Sarah

Spicy Poached Pears with Strawberries & Passionfruit

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This is a treat that’s not too sweet … a little spicy and zingy with a swing and a tang .. kapow!!

Ingredients:

2 large green Packham pears, firm
6 cardamon seeds, smashed open
1 star anise
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon all spice
1/2 cup filtered water

Method:

Peel and core the pears and cut into eight segments each.
In a saucepan on a medium heat bring the water to the boil with the spices.
Place the pears into the poaching water, cover and turn down low and simmer for about 10 minutes. Keep an eye on them – the idea is al dente pear – the only way to poach in my humble opinion.

Remove when done and serve with sliced strawberries and a scoop of passionfruit and a dollop of coconut cream if you are feeling that way inclined. You could serve with nut cream instead of coconut cream – simply blend peeled apple with blanched almonds and a little water till it becomes creamy …. mmmmm

Exquisite!

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