Monthly Archives: November 2015

Throw-it-all-in vegetable soup

I’ve had a rare baby-free weekend, and instead of making reservations at the hottest, UN-baby-friendly joints in town, I decided that I would spend it cooking.

I am so terribly uncool.

Anyway. I managed to try a whole bunch of new recipes that I’ve now frozen, which saves me having to slave in the kitchen when the family is back. The little miss LOVES her carbs, dairy and meat, but hasn’t really taken to loving veggies. So I decided that it was time to go down the sneaky veggie route.

And if anyone lectures me on how I shouldn’t disguise vegetables for my child, well, you are more than welcome to come to my house and show me how you get a toddler to eat a piece of broccoli without the word “NO.” coming up once. You can come by anytime. Interested?

Thought not.

So I decided I’d start out with a veggie-packed soup that Arianna could have with some cheesy toast, rice or pasta. I found this recipe which looked great because it was so versatile, and I could just run to the supermarket and grab whatever was in season (when I say this, I mean whatever is on special.)

I’ve listed the veggies I used this time, but as long as you aim for 600g of vegetables, you can pretty much use whatever you want.

Ingredients

3 cloves of garlic

1 onion, peeled and quartered

A good lug of olive oil (between 10-25g is fine)

Freshly ground pepper

A handful of parsley (optional, I didn’t have any)

600g chopped vegetables (I had a few pieces of sweet potato, 1 carrot, two stalks of celery, a handful of asparagus and a quarter of a stalk of leek)

700g vegetable stock

Some grated parmesan, to serve

Method

  • Chop garlic and onion for 5 secs/speed 5. Scrape down the sides of your TMX bowl.
  • Add the oil and saute for 5 mins/Varoma/speed 1 with the MC off.
  • Add all the other ingredients except the cheese, and cook for 20 mins/Varoma/speed 1. Leave the MC off, and I put a kitchen towel above 3/4 of the hole to prevent spattering.

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  • Gradually increase the dial to speed 9 once done, blending to the desired consistency. I blended my soup for about 30 seconds.
  • Serve with grated parmesan and more cracked pepper if you need.

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Nigella’s chocolate chip muffins

I may have mentioned this before, but I have a bit of an issue with open pantry items. I feel the need to use them up as fast as I can, for fear of forgetting said items and letting them go past their use-by date. So this opened bag chocolate chips had been bugging me for a few weeks and I turned to trusty Google to see what Thermomix could accomplish with it. And it didn’t disappoint, finding this recipe quick-smart. I brought down the sugar a little bit and didn’t have cocoa powder, so I milled a handful of my chocolate chips instead. And finally I tend to prefer hand mixing the final mixture, so my method here is a tad different too.

Ingredients

130g raw sugar

250g milk

90g vegetable oil

1 egg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

250g plain flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

2 tablespoons good quality cocoa powder

150g dark chocolate chips, plus a few extra for sprinkling

 

Method

  • Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celcius.
  • Mill the sugar for 3 secs/speed 9. Set aside.
  • Pour all the liquid ingredients into the TMX bowl and mix for 10 secs/speed 5.
  • Add all remaining ingredients and mix for 3 seconds/speed 4, then finish combining with a spatula to avoid over-mixing.

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  • Divide mixture equally in a regular muffin tray (I actually only made 9 muffins with this amount), pop in the oven and bake for around 20 minutes. Eat.

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Brownie balls

I was very late to the protein ball party. I shouldn’t have been given my love for peanut butter, but better late than never right? I must also confess to having a MASSIVE girl crush on Zoe Foster Blake so when she mentioned something on her Instagram account about bliss balls and Thermomix I literally went out the next day to stock up on ingredients. However the recipe I found wasn’t the best and the emd result was quite dry. Also I used some Skippy peanut butter that had been languishing in my pantry ever since the husband last made a trip to Costco and got sucked in to their ‘extra crunchy’ sales pitch. 

They lied. 

Also, it has a strongly artificial taste of something which I can’t put my finger on but is definitely not good for you. 

When I decided to give these babies another shot, I discovered that I could literally whip up my own peanut butter too instead of using the stuff in the jar. A very exciting day in this kitchen, lemme tell ya. 

Ingredients

3/4 cup raw almonds or preferred nuts

1 tbs cacao or cocoa powder

12 pitted dates

2 tbs peanut butter

Shredded coconut, optional

2 tbsp maple syrup (the original recipe uses agave syrup and says honey or rice malt syrup are possible substitutes, and also that you might not need as much if using fresh medjool dates which are super sweet.)

Method

Pop cocoa powder, dates and peanut butter into your Thermomix bowl and blend for 20 secs/speed 6.

Add the nuts in and press the turbo button a couple of times until the mixture is well combined and the nuts have been chopped coursely. 

Test the mixture, you should be able to roll a tablespoonful into a ball quite easily. If the mixture is too crumbly, add a touch of water. 

I rolled my balls in shredded coconut to finish them off but you don’t need to do this, I just love coconut and also think that it makes the end product look pretty 🙂 

 


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Apple, banana, coconut and date muffins

This four-day weekend has been the BEST, I managed to try four different and NEW recipes in the Thermomix. CAPS EVERYWHERE! 

I wanted to give Arianna a treat that packed in some fruit and was relatively healthy. Plus we are going away for a couple of trips over the next two months and I wanted to clean out my pantry as much as possible. There were some frozen bananas that were shouting out to be used as well as a pack of dates, so I googled “Thermomix bananas dates” and voila, this lovely and more importantly easy recipe popped up. It uses cups as a measuring device for some of the ingredients, but I’m all about only using those brilliant TMX scales (one less thing to wash up amiright), so I guesstimated the weight of the oil, coconut and milk here. 

Ingredients

1 apple, cored and quartered and chopped in the Thermomix

2 small bananas, mashed

50g pitted dates, chopped in the Thermomix

70g desiccated coconut

80g sugar

220g self-raising flour

125g vegetable oil

200g milk

1 egg

Method

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius.

Add apple, bananas and dates to your Thermomix bowl, and mix for 5 secs/speed 5.

Add the oil, milk and egg, mixing for 15 secs/reverse/speed 4. Side note: I read somewhere that the Reverse function should not be used on speeds 3 and above. But I’ve seen quite a few recipes that ignore this rule so maybe it isn’t actually a rule to begin with. In any case the original recipe uses speed 5 in this step, I used speed 4 for peace of mind, even though that doesn’t really make sense 🙂

Add the flour, coconut and sugar, gently mixing with a spatula (over-mixing = muffin death) 

 Pop mixture into a muffin tin, and bake for 20 mins (check at 15mins)

Leave in tray for a couple of minutes and then place onto a wire rack to cool. Done! 
 

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Super easy peanut butter

I grew up on Kraft peanut butter. I tried a couple of healthy versions recently but perhaps my tastebuds are conditioned to eating artificial goodness, because I just couldn’t get into the all-natural stuff. But I’m trying my best to give Arianna healthy options where I can, so this morning when I woke up and decided to make bliss balls as a snack for us, I thought I’d also try making my own peanut butter. And when I came across this recipe I got a little bit excited! You literally just need peanuts or your preferred nuts. I used unsalted peanuts. Because these were looking a bit blah in the packet, I toasted them slightly in a frying pan, but you can leave this step out if you don’t feel like it.  

 Once the peanuts had gotten some colour on them, I tipped the lot into the Thermomix jug and blended it for 10 secs/speed 4. This gets you to crushed-nut phase. Then I scraped the sides down, before continuing to blend on speed 4 for about a minute, slowly increasing to speed 7. I stopped when the consistency looked like this: 

 When I tipped the contents out, I got around a chinese soup bowl full of peanut butter which was perfect for making a smoothie and my bliss balls (recipe to come!) 

 

I must say that due to the lack of anything extra, this literally tastes like a peanut paste and is also quite dry. I wouldn’t put this on toast without adding some salt, and perhaps a touch of oil to make it a bit smoother. Or honey… But as a base for another recipe it is absolutely fine, And I must admit I was quite chuffed knowing how healthy it was! 

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