Citrus Satay Gravy

Yesterdaysatay2 in the photocopy room at work I was thoughtlessly waiting for my printing to complete and reading the generic work posters scattered across the back wall.  What caught my attention was something written on the mindfulness in the workplace poster.  Step 1 to mindfulness in the workplace it said was to “get to know who you really are, not who you think you are”.  How true is that!  Who am I really?  compared to who I want to be or who I think I am.  It’s impossible to change or break bad habits if we can’t see ourselves for who we really are.  In light of this latest photocopy room epiphany I’ve been thinking more about my actions and if they line up with who I think I am and who I want to be.  It is spring after all and all the plants are blooming and every day is a medley of all the seasons, it’s a good time to think about change. Tonight I made some Citrus Satay Gravy to coat roast veggies.. Because I Want to be healthy but enjoy a little creamy coconut goodness on the side.. I mean, can’t be perfect.   satay1

Citrus Satay Gravy Ingredients

  • 1 heaped tablespoon of crushed garlic
  • 1 heaped tablespoon of crushed ginger
  • 1/2 a cup of crushed peanuts
  • 2 tablespoons of 100% peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon of curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon of red curry paste
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon of garam masala
  • 1 fresh squeezed lemon
  • 50ml of full cream coconut milk or cream
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

Let’s Cook!

  • Heat oil in pan
  • Add garlic and ginger to oil and cook for 3mins or until garlic starts to pop.
  • Next add curry paste, crushed peanuts and peanut butter, saute for 5 mins.
  • Next add turmeric, curry powder, garam masala, coconut milk, water and lemon juice.
  • Simmer for 5mins.

Pour over rice or your favourite vegetables. Can be kept in the fridge, however, the coconut milk will cause the sauce to thicken, in that case, add some water.

Yummmmm!

Health and Happiness,

Katri x

 

 

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Roast Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Soup

Wow this year is turning out to be a busy one.  I don’t know if time is just going faster or the quickening of time is a by product of getting older.  I think we just get busier as life goes on and I imagine it will slow down significantly at the end.  Maybe that’s how it’s meant to be? So we can spend our last days (if we’re lucky) enjoying the slow pace of the life, watching, thinking.. Of-course by the time we get to old age we may have forgotten how to enjoy anything at a slow pace and criticize our quality of life in comparison to the fast paced vigor of our youth.  Who knows.

One way to slow down time for a moment is to cook, like colouring in or going to the gym, cooking takes your attention and energy and focuses it on one thing.  Maybe that’s why i enjoy it so much.  Although I hate the washing up.

Tonight to distract myself and to take my mind of the impending law assignment that’s due in a few days, I made Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Soup.pumpkin soup1 (1108 x 576)

Roast Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Soup Ingredients

  • 1/4 of a medium sized kent pumpkin
  • 1/2 a butternut pumpkin
  • 2 medium sized brown onions
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 2 vine ripened tomatoes (roughly chopped)
  • 6 cloves of garlic (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon of dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of vegan dried stock powder (I use Massels)
  • 2 table spoons of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of brown sugar
  • 300ml coconut cream
  • 3-4 cups of water

Let’s Cook!

  • Roughly chop the pumpkin and sweet potato, and quarter the onion.
  • Place the chopped veg into a large casserole dish and coat with the olive oil, place in the oven at 220° (fan forced) and roast the veggies for around 40mins, or until they are tender and soft.
  • Place tomatoes in a large saucepan with a little bit of water and cook on medium heat, stirring till the tomatoes breakdown (around 10-15mins).
  • Next, to the tomatoes add the stock, salt, basil, garlic and pepper.
  • Next (once they are ready) add the roast veggies to the saucepan, stirring them through the tomato sauce and using a wooden spoon to breakdown the pumpkin and sweet potato to create a mash. The onion won’t break down the same way, it’s OK to leave the onion in bits.
  • Finally stir in the coconut cream, sugar and water (only use as much water as you feel necessary, how thick/runny do you like your soup?). pumpkin soup2 (1109 x 575)

Serve! I had some freshly squeezed lemon on top of mine.

Health and Happiness,

Katri x

Vegan Bolognese

It’s really hot today, sticky hot.  In Tasmania we don’t get a lot of these Really hot days so I try to make the most of it.  My girls and I went to the beach, I got burnt.  I was, for the record, wearing sunscreen but I probably didn’t put enough on.  The water was really refreshing and felt great against my sun-burnt skin.

Before we left I made an early lunch.  On days like today I think carbs and salts are important, and plenty of water.  So I made a vegan bolognese with GF pasta.

And here it is,Bolognese 2

Bolognese Ingredients

  • 1 medium brown onion (diced)
  • 1 zucchini (finely diced)
  • 1 large carrot (finely diced)
  • 1 cup of chopped baby spinach
  • 1 1/2 cups of cooked brown lentils
  • 1 cup of cooked cannellini beans
  • 400g of chopped tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup of water
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of chopped garlic
  • 1 table spoon of Massel’s chicken stock powder
  • 1 heaps tablespoon of dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon of dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • Dash of pepper to taste

Let’s Cook!

  • In olive oil saute chopped onion on medium heat, when onion begins to soften add garlic and cook for 2-3 mins
  • Next add zucchini, carrot and salt, saute for 5-6 mins
  • Next add water, chopped tomatoes, stock, oregano, basil, pepper and baby spinach, stir the ingredients together and cook till carrots have softened
  • Lastly add the pre-cooked (or tinned) lentils and cannellini beans, and cook for 5 mins stirring consistently

Serve with gluten free spaghetti, but also nice over a baked potato.Bolognese 1

I added cayenne pepper to mine for a little heat!  

Health and Happiness,

Katri
 

Thai Pangnang Peanut Butter Curry

Today is the 7th of January or it might still be the 6th depending on where in the world you’re hailing from.  I can’t believe we are officially one week stuck into this year.  The year of the positive outlook.

Yesterday I went to the supermarket and startled the shop attendant by letting out a large “Gasp” while she was scanning my rice crackers.  “What?? you OK?” she seemed slightly annoyed.  “My Gawd” I pointed behind her “You’re selling eggs, Easter eggs”.  She just smiled.. but seriously My gawd, already??

So far I’m a little behind on my goals, but I think some slack should be cut in January, January is kinda like the trial period, the warm up (well at least that’s what I’m telling myself).  I don’t have an amazing introduction to the next recipe other then it’s amazing and thank-you Mr internet for helping me find the perfect recipe, slightly modified by yours truly.  But i do have to say I really love a Pangnang, at home or from my local Thai place.

Pangnang Curry Ingredients pang curry 1

  • 250g Organic firm Tofu (cut into cubes)
  • 1/2 Fresh Lime
  • 1/2 Medium sized Red Capsicum (finely sliced)
  • 1/2 cup of chopped Shallots
  • 1 large Zucchini (thinly Sliced)
  • 1 Tablespoon of chopped Ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon of chopped Garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • 1 Teaspoon of Turmeric
  • 1 1/2 Large Table spoons of crunchy Peanut Butter
  • 1 Tablespoon of Brown Sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons of Red Curry Paste
  • 2 Tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 250ml of Light Coconut Cream
  • 1/3 cup of water

Let’s Cook!

  • Saute shallots in coconut oil on medium heat till soft
  • Add garlic and ginger, cook until fragrant, then add peanut butter, curry paste, turmeric and cumin, stir until well combined
  • Next stir in tofu, zucchini and capsicum, until veggies and tofu are well coated in mixture
  • Next add water, coconut cream and brown sugar
  • simmer on low heat till zucchini is soft and curry sauce has thicken slightly, making sure to stir occasionally.
  • lastly squeeze in the fresh lime juice

I served mine with lemon and a little salad.

Bon appetite!

Health and Happiness,

Katri x

Vegetable Risotto with Dill

Spring has sprung and the weather was a barmy 24° on Saturday and Sunday.  My friend and I decided it was a good time to leave the city and go away for the night.  On Saturday we did some short bush walks across the west coast of Tasmania then on Sunday we hired toboggans and headed for some sand dunes.  At the end of our trip I’m fairly sure I had half morphed into the sandman, with tiny grains of sand lodged into every pore on my white pasty body.  But the laughs and the tumbles were worth every penny.

I love when the weather warms up.  There is always an expectation or excitement in the air.  My expectations were exceeded this weekend with a lovely meal I enjoyed at a local cafe in the small town where we stayed.  With not many options of places to eat we decided to go to a place called the Bushman’s Bar & Cafe.  With a name like that I was expecting nothing but steak on the menu, and preparing myself to have yet Another large serving of hot potato chips as my main.  I was however pleasantly surprised, after a quick discussion with the staff about my dietary requirements the chef said it would be no problem to whip up something separate.  What I got was possibly one of the tastiest risottos I had ever had, topped with crunchy spinach leaves.  I doubt I’ll ever have it again because it wasn’t on the menu.  I did however send many compliments to the chef and let’s hope that they’ll consider having something gluten free, vegetarian and dairy free on the menu.  I do wish more places would consider at least one option.

Last night I whipped up a risotto in memory of the sunny weekend because now it’s overcast, using one of northern Europe’s favorite herbs, Dill.risotto 1

Vegetable Risotto with Dill Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups of risotto rice
  • 1 medium brown onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 heaped tablespoon of minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 30g of nuttalex
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/2 red capsicum (finely chopped)
  • 2 carrots (finely chopped)
  • 1 celery stalk (finely chopped)
  • 3 1/2 cups of massels chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 2g of fresh dill (roughly chopped)
  • 1 end of a sping onion (finely sliced)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Let’s Cook!

  • In a medium size saucepan heat nuttalex and 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat
  • Once nuttalex has melted saute brown onion and garlic till onion is soft and garlic is fragrant, add dill and stir for another 2 mins
  • Next add rice, apple cider vinegar and 1 cup of stock, stirring continually over a low heat until liquid is nearly absorbed into the rice
  • Then add carrot, celery, capsicum and spring onion with another 1 1/2 cups of stock, stirring continually till liquid is nearly absorbed
  • Lastly add remaining stock, tomato paste and lemon juice and 2 table spoons of olive oil
  • Stirring until the last of the stock is absorbed into the rice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Apple cider vinegar can be replaced with white wine, plus cooking with wine is nearly always more fun!

risotto 2

Health and Happiness,

Katri x

Strawberry and Rhubarb Kiisseli

University has gone back this week and as a mother and a student I find myself playing catch up most semesters, because I can’t seem to get organised.  It might also be an addiction to deadlines, I’m not sure.  But this semester I am planning to do all my readings, get started on assignments early, all while pretending to be super mum and working on my business.  People only know what you tell them right??  Anyway while My studies are back on, my chipmunks are still on school holidays and buzzing with boredom and energy.  I’ve decided to add fuel to fire by mixing up a quick, sweet and sugary desert from the motherland.  Taking advantage of the hearty rhubarb bush growing at the back of the garden.  While Strawberries aren’t traditionally a winter fruit, rhubarb seems to be hearty enough to source locally in the winter time.  My strawberries are from Queensland so the food mileage isn’t too detrimental.  However do try to cook in season when using fresh fruits and vegetables where you can. Minimize your foot print.  Kiisseli is a popular dessert in Finland.kiisseli top

Here’s how I make mine,

Strawberry and Rhubarb Kiisseli ingredients

  •  6 rhubarb stalks (chopped)
  • 250g of whole strawberries (quartered)
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 5 cups of water
  • 4 tablespoons of corn flour
  • the juice of 1 orangekiisseli ingrediants

Let’s Cook!

  • Pour the sugar and 4 cups of water into a large saucepan, bring to the boil and simmer till the sugar dissolves
  • Add the rhubarb and simmer for 5 mins
  • Next add the strawberries and orange juice, simmer on low for 8 mins
  • Now in a separate cup mix 1 cup of cold water with the corn flour
  • Then slowly pour the cornflour mixture into the saucepan, mixing it through, the sauce should begin to thicken
  • Remove from heat and and allow to cool (or you can enjoy it warm)kiiseli side

Serve with dairy free/lactose free ice cream or rice porridge

I sprinkled mine with a few sultanas and ate as is!

Health and Happiness

Katri x

Tangy Red Lentil Soup

This morning the littlest chipmunk woke me up early, woke me up early to tell me something Very important.  “What is it??  Mum’s still sleeping, it’s dark outside” I moaned into my pillow.  “It’s very important mum” she responded, followed by “did You know that chocolate is really really good for you?? cos coco and stuff”.  I don’t know why she was up that early ready to provide me with this important information, but I suspect that her little mind was devising a scheme to catch me off guard and to allow her to indulge in chocolate before breakfast.  Not a chance, even when I’m half asleep my mummy senses are tingling.

Later I was thinking of how we might sometimes try to convince ourselves things are good for us so we don’t feel guilty for eating.  “Oh but it’s good fat” or “The lemon juice on the fish batter breaks the batter down in my system so I don’t absorb the saturated oils”.  Alright so I made up the last example but you get the picture.  Chocolate does have antioxidants but I think the benefits are from dark no less then 70% cocoa, not from chowing down a block of dairy milk.  One thing I do know is healthy for us are red lentils.  They boast benefits from anti-aging to lowering cholesterol and are cheap and easy to prepare.

Today we had Tangy Red Lentil Soup for lunch, another winter warmer that keeps you full and something you don’t have to feel guilty about.  Lentil soup

Tangy Red Lentil Soup ingredients

  • 1 heaped tablespoon of minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 1 large brown onion sliced
  • 2 cups of red lentils
  • 3 celery stalks (chopped)
  • 3 medium size carrots (chopped)
  • 4 cups of vegetable stock
  • 400g tin of vine ripened chopped tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon of rock salt
  • 1 teaspoon of oregano
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 lemonlentil soup ingrediants

Let’s Cook!

  • In a large saucepan melt coconut oil over medium heat, add onion and garlic and saute for 5-8 mins till onion looks semi transparent
  • Then add tomatoes, lentils, tomato paste, stock, salt, oregano and curry powder, simmer on low-medium heat stirring occasionally for 10 mins.  The lentil should begin to thicken
  • lastly add the chopped celery, carrot and water
  • bring to the boil then allow to simmer on low for 30-40 mins, stirring occasionally, add more water if needed

Serve with freshly squeezed lemon juice, drizzled over the top!lentil soup side

Health and Happiness

Katri x

Apple Crumble

At the moment, Jupiter is in full swing and is the brightest “star” in our night sky.  The chipmunks and I were marveling at the planet on a drive home from the supermarket last night.  Although my 8 yr old is certain it’s not Jupiter or a ‘wishing’ star it is in fact Never Never Land.  The great land of Peter Pan.  “It probably is Never Never Land”  I replied, “I guess we’ll Never know.. unless peter pan looses his shadow again and he escapes into your room at night”.  How exciting, in their little minds I’m sure it could very well be a possibility.  The life of a child is filled with the uncertainty of the reality of fantasy, fairies, magic and even Peter Pan.  When do we lose that as adults.  When do we stop believing in the mystery and wonder of the world.  Maybe it happens when we “grow up” and replace our childish notions with watching the important and always depressing news.  Maybe when we realise our own short comings, our trust for all things great begins to unravel.  We don’t need to believe in elves and alternate realities but we can benefit from taking time to see the magic and beauty in everyday “real” life, plants, love, resilience of humans, the curious nature of animals.. The addictive sweet taste of sugar.

I’m not ordinarily a sweet tooth, but it is winter after all, and although I don’t promote Mary Poppins motto of a Spoon full of sugar (in one go) I do think some sweet treats from time to time, sooth the soul. Tonight we had Apple Crumble. crumble side

Apple Crumble ingredients

  • 2 cups of gluten-free original muesli
  • 1/2 cup of gluten-free flour
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
  • 5 medium size apples (peeled, cored and sliced)
  • 1/2 cup of white sugar
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 75g of nuttelex
  • Juice of 1/2 a grapefruitcrumble ingrediants

Let’s Cook!

  • Preheat oven at 180°
  • In a bowl toss brown sugar through the apple pieces
  • in a separate bowl mix nuttelex, flour, muesli, white sugar and cinnamon
  • Arrange apple mixture in a baking dish, squeezegrape fruit juice over the top of the apples
  • Top the apples with the crumble mixture, pressing down firmly
  • Cook in oven for 1 hr

All done!  Gooey goodness, I served mine with sweet coconut cream and a cup of tea!

Health and Happiness

Katri xcrumble front

Mixed Mushroom Stroganoff

It was cold this morning.  I had to get up at 6:30am to move my car and the whole darn thing was covered in frost.  Nothing that couldn’t be resolved with a jug of hot water.  Last night the power went out at home, while I was standing next to the heater, checking my emails, watching television and waiting for my oven potatoes to cook.  Suddenly it was dark and cold and a whole lot less stimulating.  What to do with no power that early in the night?  I fumbled my way to the kitchen to look for light sources in the form of candles , I felt a little adventurous, Maybe I’d finish my crocheting by candle light.  15 minutes later after I’d pulled out a candle and marveled at the spookiness of it all, the lights came back on.  I was bathed in the bright fluorescent goodness of the kitchen light.  The heater hummed back into action.  Never have I felt so grateful for power on a cold night, I’d be able to eat my potatoes after all..

Earlier in the day the power was in full swing but the cold was relentless so I pulled out the mushrooms and popped them in the sun for an hour, the girls and I could have a hearty belly warming midday meal.  Mushrooms in the winter are great because they can provide us with sunlight vitamin D, which so many lack during the colder months.  Just make sure you put them outside for a while to soak up the rays before cooking or placing them in your salads.

Here’s what we had,stroganoff

Mixed Mushroom Stroganoff ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 1 large brown onion (chopped)
  • 3 tablespoons of gluten-free flour
  • 2 cups of vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon of gluten-free soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon of dried sage
  • 70ml coconut milk
  • 600g of mixed mushrooms
  • Dash of salt and pepper

Let’s Cook!

  • In a large saucepan heat oil on medium heat, add onion and saute for 4 min
  • Next add the flour and stir for 1 min till the onions are coated in the flour
  • Then add the stock, soy sauce and lemon juice, stirring continuously till the sauce becomes thick and bubbly
  • Lastly add the mushrooms, thyme, sage, vinegar and coconut milk, cook for 5-10 mins till the mushrooms have shrunk in size
  • Salt and Pepper to tastestroganoff1

Serve with rice or mix through GF pasta!  Yum!

Health and Happiness,

Katri x

Simple Green Stir Fry

Today started of as a regular school holiday day.  No getting the kids ready for school, no constant nagging to finish their breakfast with threats of running late.  Nope, this morning was a stress free morning.  School holidays are great.  There is however the small issue of coming up with good lunch options everyday for the kids and I.  My girls hate gluten free bread so sandwiches are out.. but stir fry is in.  for lunch yesterday my 8 yr old chipmunk and I made one of my favourite quick meals, simple green stir fry.  Broccoli and cabbage are referred to as “cruciferous vegetables,” they are a rich source of vitamins and minerals—including vitamins C, E, K, and A, as well as folic acid, iron, magnesium, and fibre.  Which basically means they are super healthy and great for warding off the winter lurgy.

Here’s how we cooked ours:

Stir Fry ingredients

  • 1/4 of a Chinese cabbage (wombok), finely sliced
  • 1/2 head of small broccoli, roughly chopped
  • 100g of whole snow peas
  • 100g of vermicelli rice noodles
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 4 tablespoons of gluten free soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of crushed garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon of chili sauce (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugarstirfry prep

Method: Rice Noodle prep

  • vermicelli rice noodles are easy to prepare, soak them in hot water for 5 mins,  drain, stir through a teaspoon of coconut oil (to stop clumping) and put aside.

Let’s Cook!

  • In a wok or large fry pan heat coconut oil on medium-high
  • add the cabbage, snow-peas and broccoli, stir fry on medium-high for 5-8 mins
  • next add the ginger and garlic and cook for 2 mins till the garlic and ginger is fragrant
  • follow with the soy sauce, chili and brown sugar, cook for a further 5 mins
  • lastly toss the rice noodles through the vegetables till the noodles are hot and the sauce is stirred through

Note: stir fry is  easy to over cook, so make sure you keep stirring
stirfry

Quick and easy!  I left the chili out for the chipmunks and added it to my own later.

Health and Happiness,

Katri x