Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower with Pine nuts

finished cauli

Ah cauliflower….you’re such an unassumingly delicious vegetable.

From cauliflower pizzas, crackers and rice there are so many interesting ways you can transform this dull yet healthful vegetable into something amazingly moorish.

One of my favourite ways to eat cauliflower is to roast it.

Roasted cauliflower is quick, simple and nutritious. Cut the cauliflower into florets, douse it in your fat of choice and flavour it with whatever your creative heart desires. It will turn out sweet with slightly crunchy tops….Yum!

I’ve been flavouring my own cauliflower with turmeric, coriander and cumin. This is because:

  • I’m trying to introduce more spice into the girls diets.
  • I keep reading about the amazing health benefits of turmeric (find out about it here and here)
  • I think the colour is pretty

After roasting, I add a handful of lightly toasted pine nuts and voila! I have a bowl of snackable pop cauli that we can nosh on during our afternoon garden sessions .

What could be more simple and nourishing?

photo 1 (6)

Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower with Pine nuts

Makes one bowl

Ingredients

  • 1/2 medium head of cauliflower
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1 tbs ghee(pasture raised if you can swing it)
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric
  • 1/2 ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • Generous pinch of himalayan salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius
  2. spread pine nuts onto a baking dish and bake until golden brown approximately 5mins. Set aside.
  3. Cut cauliflower into small bite sized florets and spread evenly on a baking dish. Add ghee to baking dish and transfer cauliflower to the oven for a few minutes to melt the ghee. Remove from the oven and sprinkle cauliflower with spices and salt. Toss to combine.
  4. Cook for approximately 30min tossing every now and then until the tops of the cauliflower are golden brown. Transfer to a bowl and sprinkle with pine nuts.

Do you like roasted cauliflower? what do you like to flavour it with?

The Big Dipper

At the end of the day I’ve been opening lunch boxes containing half masticated celery sticks and dirt covered capsicum strips….and I think I know why.

Like my kids I’ve become a bit bored of our boiled egg and plain vegetable stick fair. Yes it’s easy, healthy whole food, but man it can be boring.

This week I’ve complied a list of tasty dips to jazz up your regular carrot sticks.

Some are old time favourites, others are the new kids on the block – all of them, are super tasty!

But the best part is that not one of them contains any preservatives or vegetable oils (unlike their store bought counterparts).

Let’s get dipping!

Hummus

Lebanese_style_hummus

How could I not start the list with hummus. I don’t think I’ve met one person ever who doesn’t like this mild manner dip.

I particularly like this sprouted hummus recipe from Nourished kitchen.

kitchen http://nourishedkitchen.com/sprouted-hummus-recipe/

If however, chickpeas don’t agree with you check out this clever legume free hummus dip from Summer Tomato below.

Roasted Parsnip and Cauliflower Hummus

roasted-parsnip-and-cauliflower-hummus-Kopecky-dpr-sm

I think this looks so comforting and moorish.

http://summertomato.com/foodist-approved-roasted-parsnip-and-cauliflower-hummus/

Baba ganoush


roasted eggplant

Want to know how to cook your eggplant to get that smokey flavour? This recipe from the Gourmet Worrier will tell you how. The recipe also adds almond meal and mint to put a new twist on an old favourite.

http://www.gourmetworrier.com/2009/08/one-of-those-happy-kitchen-accidents.html

Labneh

labneh

Tangy and full of probiotics, Labneh is definitely one of my favourite dips. It’s basically yogurt that has most of the whey strained out of it. It’s quite easy to make.

Find out the how to and some ideas on favouring your labneh at cultures for health. I personally like mine topped with sauerkraut or raw grated beetroot

http://www.culturesforhealth.com/how-to-make-labneh-yogurt-cheese

Spiced Capsicum dip

 

spiced capsicum dip

I found this dip on Grow Food Slow Food and it just sounds delish! I love Middle Eastern food and the addition of pomegranate molasses sounds amazing.

http://tinyurl.com/k32gm7k

Pate

Felicity's perfect chicken liver pâté

If you want a dip that packs a nutrient dense punch, try pate.

Liver is full of essential vitamins and minerals. It is in more abundance in liver than muscle meat. Pate is an excellent way to start consuming liver(without the ick factor).

Here’s another great recipe from the Nourished Kitchen

http://nourishedkitchen.com/chicken-liver-pate/

Carrot, Red Lentil and Yogurt Dip

Carrot2-575x262

A beautiful dahl like dip from the One Handed Cooks. Quick, easy and filling.

http://onehandedcooks.com.au/recipe/carrot-dip/

Guacamole

Pomegranate-Guacamole-final

My girls will flat out refuse to have strips of avocado for their lunch, but have no problem devouring three whole avocados in a bowl of guacamole!

There’s something about mushing fruits and vegetables up and serving them with pita chips that makes them so much more delectable.

We prepare our guacamole the traditional way, but I couldn’t help share this vibrant pomegranate guacamole recipe from Just a Taste.

http://www.justataste.com/2013/04/homemade-pomegranate-guacamole-dip-recipe/

Tzatziki

Authentic-Greek-Tzatziki-Dip-1

Another traditional, crowd pleasing dip. This recipe from the wanderlust kitchen provides some excellent tips to make the tastiest tzatziki  possible.

http://thewanderlustkitchen.com/authentic-greek-tzatziki/

Broad Bean and Pea Dip

broad bean dip

I couldn’t help but be inspired by all this dip blogging and decided to end the post with a little last minute creation of my own.

I didn’t have much food left in the house but found a rather large packet of broad beans in the freezer and thought I’d try to dippify it.

The results were ok, it had a lovely fresh flavour but would taste even better with some fried haloumi or crumbled feta.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups frozen broad beans unshelled
  • 1/2 cup frozen baby peas
  • 1/4 red onion finely diced
  • Small handful fresh basil
  • Big pinch salt
  • Squeeze of lemon
  • 1 tbs olive oil

Instructions

  1. Blanch broad beans in boiling water. Once water has cooled peel away broad bean skins and discard. Discard any yellow looking broad beans(they’re bitter).
  2. Blanch peas until defrosted. Drain water when cooled and transfer to a bowl with broad beans.
  3. Add other ingredients and blend in a food processor until desired consistency (I prefer my dips a little chunky). Serve with pita chips.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who is Herman the German?

business man shrug

I got a very unusual text message from a friend the other day.

“Would you like to meet Herman the German?”

Not being one averse to making new friends, I asked

“Hmmm what’s he like?”

She didn’t know how old herman was, but told me he liked to travel the world making new friends. His favourite thing to do, she said, was to hang out in the kitchen.

He sounded like a pretty interesting guy, so I asked her to bring him over.

In the following 10 days Herman stayed with us, I found out that he was a mess of contradictions. He was quite a sour little fellow but could at times have a rather bubbly disposition… I suppose, like most of us, it all depended on the day you saw him.

He was however, the easiest house guest I’ve ever had. He only wanted to be fed twice, made no mess, and by the end of the 10 days all this sour little guy wanted to do was to be shoved in the oven.

Who the hell is Herman?

Herman, if you haven’t guessed already is a sourdough starter that sits on your counter for ten days before being baked into a cake.

Named Herman the German Friendship Cake it’s origins seem to be a bit unclear. The idea is most likely taken from Amish friendship bread. This was a bread made from a starter of wild yeast, milk, flour and sugar which was fermented and then baked into bread for the sick and needy.

baking-day-amish

The idea somehow evolved in the 70’s to use bakers yeast instead of wild. Instead of passing it around to the sick and needy, you now passed the starter around to your friends and told them to bake their own (that’s progress!). Much like a smelly chain letter, Herman continued to proliferate around the globe until he got right to my doorstep.

Soul-Train-Dancers_Soul-Train-Photo-Exhibition_magnum

What I like about Herman

Besides being a form of chain letter that doesn’t sit in my inbox telling me something terrible will happen to me if I don’t pass it on; Herman brings people together – physically!

In a world full of Facebook, Instagram and instant messages we don’t get enough FACE time! It may be the old fogey coming out in me but I really think it’s important for our children to see us interacting – and not just on our iPhones. Sharing a meal is a great way to take time out and de-stress with friends and family.

Kid friendly

kids in the kitchen

It’s also a great way to get kids in the kitchen. I’ve had a sourdough starter for quite awhile now and much like Herman, Frankie and Imi have had so much fun feeding and naming their different sourdough starters. A few names they’ve come up with are:

Sarabi
Elsa
Imi
Sarabi 2
Sourface

Sourdough starters are the easiest first pets!

A great introduction to working with sourdough starters

As far as sourdough starters are concerned, Herman is pretty easy going. He doesn’t need to be fed daily and he’s a pretty hardy starter.

I think the reason Herman is so hardy is because as oppose to being fed with flour and water, Herman is fed with flour, sugar and milk. This would give the yeast more sugar to feed on and therefore would not need to be fed as regularly. This gives you a bit of leeway while you’re getting into the habit of caring for a sourdough starter.

How to care for Herman

There is a great website http://www.hermanthegermanfriendshipcake.com/ where you’ll find how to care for Herman, recipes for turning the finished starter into bread, or even starting your own starter (incase you accidentally kill Herman).

My experience with Herman

Herman came with a set of instructions which told me just what to do to keep him happy for the next ten days. It also had a recipe to bake him into a cake.

Herman-The-German-Friendship-Cake-Instructions

He arrived at my house on day three. The instructions said he needed to sit on my counter without a lid on so he could breathe. If he ever stopped bubbling, he was dead.

I transferred him to a large jar and put a tea towel over the top so no curious insects contaminated my Herman.

Besides smelling sour and viewing a few bubbles on the surface, nothing much was happening.

first transferred into jar

Day 4

feeding herman

Feeding time! I mixed one cup each of sugar, flour and milk into the starter. I worked out all the lumps and then tucked him into his little tea towel and said goodnight.

When I checked on him before bed herman had doubled in size, bubbling up to the top of the jar.

photo (6)

Day 5

After his voracious feed Herman has slunk down to the bottom of the jar again. I gave him a mix and left him for the day.

photo (5)

Day 6

Gave him a mix.

Day 7

Gave him a mix

Day 8

No bubbles! is he dead? I gave him a mix to make sure and some little bubbles came popping up to the surface phew! all is well.

Day 9

Gave him a mix. Still doing his sour bubble thing.

Day 10

Feeding Time!

This time I fed Herman the same amount as day four. I then divided him up into four portions(each portion contained just over 1 1/2 cups of starter.

Three of the portions were to be given to friends to make more little Hermans. The fourth portion was to be kept and made into my own delicious cake. Very exciting! I tucked Herman and his little Herman Jnrs in for the night and went to sleep dreaming of batter and icing.

divided herman

B DAY!

Herman was looking bubbly and ready to go. You can flavour Herman with whatever your heart desires, and there are some great looking recipes on the Herman website. Since I’d never baked a cake with a sourdough starter before (only bread) I thought I’d use the basic recipe that was given on the instruction sheet, but changed it a little.

I decided to use spelt flour and almond meal, cut the sugar, use butter and flavour it with pistachios, cranberries and apples.

I mixed all my chosen ingredients up in a big bowl (forgetting to use the almond meal) and sweetened it with 1/3 cup of maple syrup. I had been feeding Herman so much sugar during the week I figured he didn’t need much more.

The batter was quite thick when I had finished mixing. I added a splash of milk to make it less doughy and poured him into a lined spring form cake tin, ready to pop into the oven.

just before the oven

The finished Herman

Herman was finally smelling good….This is what he turned out like.

fresh out of the oven

The combination of cranberries, apples and pistachios was just delicious. He was still a little bit sweeter than I would have liked. I’d used regular cranberries from Coles instead of the unsweetened ones I usually buy from the health food shop. I think that combined with the sweet starter made it just a bit too sweet for my liking,

What did the rest of the family think?

Iain was a bit disappointed….he thought I was making a HeMan cake. Imi and Frankie tucked in straight away and fought over the crumbs. Herman was eaten within a few days so all in all I’d have to say our German house guest was a huge success.

he-man

 

crumbs

Herman the German Cranberry, Apple and Pistachio Cake

slice of herman

Ingredients

  • 2 cups spelt flour
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp himalayan salt
  • 2/3 cup melted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 cup cranberries
  • 1/2 cup pistachios
  • 1 medium sized apple cut into chunks (I used a pink lady)
  • 1 1/2 tsp mixed spice
  • 2 heaped tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbs milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees centigrade. Line and grease a 22cm springform cake tin with butter and baking paper.
  2. Combine flour, salt, mixed spice and baking powder into a large mixing bowl and stir to combine.
  3. Whisk eggs and combine with other wet ingredients. Add to dry ingredients and mix into a smooth batter. Add extra milk if batter is too doughy and will not combine well together with a spoon.
  4. Add pistachios, apples and cranberries and fold into mixture. Pour mixture into springform cake tin and bake for 45. Test the middle with a clean knife; if it comes out clean it is done. If not cover your cake in tin foil and bake for another 20 minutes until cooked through.

 The future of Herman

Unfortunately Hermans children didn’t survive. None my friends were interested in cultivating a Herman of their own, so Herman dies with me.

Albeit a sweet death, it was still sad to see him and his little progeny go. We shall therefore honour the memory of Herman by eating the crumbs we find in our couch over the next few weeks.

Rest in pieces Herman – you were too yummy for this world.

tombstones

Have you ever made a Herman the German Friendship cake? would you be interested in making one? Why the hell not?