POTATO, MUSHROOM, KALE & FETA PIZZA

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above: pizza dough ready for the oven.

We have pizza probably about once a week in our house and we never get sick of it as we always mix up the ingredients to keep it interesting.

I will usually make the dough in the morning before work and after it has rested on the counter, I’ll cut it into two, put one half in the freezer for another day (we share a pizza) and I’ll pop the other half in the fridge ready to use at night. Its a pretty easy process and making your own dough is well worth it.
Just remember, the longer you knead it for, the crispier and yummier your base will be.

I find the normal tomato paste base ones are a little overpowering, unless you make your own tomato sauce, so try and keep it simple with a base of garlic, fresh herbs and olive oil.

My favourite combination is with Blue Cheese but feta works just as well (and that’s all we had in the house)

POTATO, MUSHROOM, KALE & FETA PIZZA

Makes 1 pizza (with leftover dough for later use)
DOUGH: (adapted from Jamie Oliver’s pizza dough recipe)
500g 00 flour, sifted + a little extra flour for dusting
7g yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp olive oil
325ml luke warm water

TOPPING:
1 Medium Dutch Cream potato or similar, peeled and cut into thin slices
4 Swiss Brown mushrooms
50g good feta (or even better blue cheese!)
1 cup chopped kale (or spinach, any greens will work!)
3 cloves garlic
1 sprig of rosemary
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp pine nuts

METHOD:
1. Make the dough
Tip flour and salt into a large bowl, stir the yeast, olive oil, sugar and water together in a separate bowl and leave on the counter for 5-10 minutes or until you see the mixture is getting foamy. Pour wet mixture into the bowl with the flour and stir until it is nicely mixed together. Now you’re going to dust your bench with some flour and drop your dough mixture onto it and knead it for 5 minutes or so  or until you notice the dough is quite elastic and stretchy, you may need to add some more flour if the dough feels really sticky. I personally find this part of it very fun and kind of meditative (lol) if you’re not up for the handy work just chuck it into a electric mixer, pop on the dough attachment and mix it for the same amount of time.
Once your dough is ready, shape it into a circle , put it back in the big bowl, and pop a damp tea towel over the top. You’ll want this dough to rest for about an hour or until at least double in size (see picture above)
2. Roast the potatoes
Whilst the dough is resting, pre-heat your oven to 200c, pop your thinly sliced potato into a tray and drizzle with 1/2 tbsp olive oil and sprinkle over some salt.
Bake them in the oven for about 20 minutes or until a little golden, turning the slices halfway so they get equally cooked on both sides. Turn the oven up to 220c to get ready for the pizza.
3. Cook the mushrooms
Chop the mushrooms into thin slices and add to a pan on medium heat along 1 tbsp of olive oil, season with salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes or until the mushrooms are nice and soft. Put in a bowl to one side.
4. Cook Kale
In the same pan you cooked the mushrooms in, throw in your kale with 1 crushed clove of garlic, stir until the kale has softened and put to one side.
5. Roll out your dough!
After an hour of rest, your dough is now ready to use! I usually cut the dough into two, and pop one into the freezer (wrapped in cling wrap or in a freezer bag for another time) sprinkle some flour onto your bench and roll out your dough to a nice thin circle about 30cm wide, carefully place onto an oiled pizza tray (or pizza stone if using).
6. Add your toppings
Crush your remaining two cloves of garlic, and mix with the rest of your olive oil and rosemary in a bowl.
Spread this mixture over the pizza to get a nice and flavoursome base.
Next spread over your kale, then your mushrooms on top and then your potatoes. Crumble over your cheese and pinenuts, season with some more salt and lots of pepper and bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until you see the base is crisp.

 

 

 

 

QUICK & HEALTHY BANANA & QUINOA PANCAKES

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BANANA & QUINOA PANCAKES WITH VANILLA BEAN YOGHURT,
RASPBERRIES, MAPLE SYRUP AND BUCKINI’S

It seems I am on some kind of quinoa roll, but its such a versatile, healthy and filling grain! These are honestly the quickest and easiest pancakes to make and most importantly pretty delicious. This is what I made when I found myself with a banana that was a little too ripe and I really didn’t feel like making another banana bread.

This recipe uses Quinoa flakes which you can find pretty easily at any health food store and is pretty affordable too. If you don’t have any on hand feel free to substitute quick cooking oats instead.
I also bought some yummy “Buckini’s” which is activated caramelised buckwheat but again, use some chopped pecans/almonds/hazelnuts/muesli instead, it’s just nice to have a bit of crunch on top of your pancakes.

These should make you around 8 little pancakes which should be enough for 2-3 people!

FOR THE PANCAKES:
1 cup quinoa flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup almond milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 slightly overripe banana
1 teaspoon ground flaxseed
2 tbsp coconut oil

CONDIMENTS:
*1 cup raspberries (if using frozen, just let them thaw out for an hour or so)
*Vanilla Bean yoghurt for dolloping ( I used the Barambah organic one because it’s amaaaaaazing!)
*Maple Syrup
*Your favourite muesli/chopped nuts or buckinis (like I used here)

METHOD:
Mix the ground flaxseed, quinoa flakes, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.
In another bowl, mash the banana, add the vanilla extract, almond milk and beaten egg and mix together.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until well combined.
Heat the coconut oil in a non-stick pan on medium heat, add in small scoops of the pancake mix, leaving enough room to allow each pancake to be flipped. Cook for about 3 minutes on each side or until each side is nice and golden.
Divide pancakes onto each plate, top with a dollop of Vanilla Bean yoghurt, a good handful of raspberries, drizzle with maple syrup and sprinkle your chosen crunch-factor on top.

Zucchini “Pasta” with Tomatoes, Olives and Pinenuts

image2Sometimes it’s good to take a little break from your normal meal routine and try something different. This dish will satisfy the biggest pasta lover whilst being super healthy and provide a great flavour hit.
A colleague at work kindly gave me a big bag of homegrown tomatoes which were so delicious but any mixture of little cherry tomatoes or other small tomatoes will do.

You will need a mandoline or if you don’t have that, a vegetable peeler will do. To make it look just like pasta, take the skin off your zucchini but leaving the skin on will give you more fibre! Woo.

Zucchini “Pasta” with Tomatoes, Olives and Pine Nuts

Serves 2 hungry peeps

You will need:
4 medium-large zucchinis, ends sliced off
2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for final drizzlin’
1 tsp fresh oregano
1/4 red onion, chopped into fine slices
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 red chilli, chopped finely
1 cup of mixed small tomatoes, chopped into chunks
1/4 cup kalamata olives, chopped
handful pine nuts
salt & pepper

Method:
Wash zucchini (and peel if you’re doing that) and use a mandoline or vegetable peeler to create your pasta, salt generously, mix through and put in a mesh strainer and let sit (in the sink or in a bowl) whilst you prepare your sauce.
Place a large pan on medium heat and toast your pine nuts until nice and golden, put in a bowl to cool.
In the same pan, pour your 2 tablespoons of olive oil in, pop in your garlic, oregano, chilli and onion and let fry until fragrant. Pour in your tomatoes, and olives and cook for 5 or so minutes or until tomatoes are slightly softer, give them a good squash with your spoon so it releases all their goodness.

Give your zucchini a good squeeze in the strainer to let some of the liquid out and chuck into your pan and give it a good toss so its nicely combined with everything else, let cook for 4 minutes or until its warmed up.
Pop into bowls, season with a good dash of cracked pepper, sprinkle your pine nuts over, and drizzle over a little olive oil.

Hope you like it!

BASICS – HUMMUS

hummus1 hummus2Okay so I know there are plenty of recipes on how to make hummus, but this is my favourite way of doing it and if you haven’t already tried making it yourself, now is the time!
Hummus is great straight from the bowl, in a little container and take it to work with some cucumber or celery to dip in there or my favourite way is dipping crispy fried pita bread into the hummus..deliciiiious!

MY FAVOURITE HUMMUS
You will need:
1 can organic chickpeas, rinsed and drained (they taste the best and go super creamy)
1/4 cup hulled tahini
1 clove garlic
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil + a little extra for the drizzle on top factor
good pinch of salt
a little water, for thinning down the hummus
dukkah, to sprinkle on top

Method:
This is the most important bit! Pour the tahini, garlic, salt, lemon juice and olive oil in a food processor, process until mixture is combined, if its looking a little thick, slowly pour in a little cold water until its a nice smooth mixture. Next, whilst the processor is still running, slowly add in your chickpeas until your mixture is looking nice and smooth, you don’t want it too thick and dry so add a little more water to loosen it if needed. This is the time where you can add your own little touch, whether that be nice smoked paprika, some fresh coriander or a pinch of ground cumin.

Pop the hummus mixture in a bowl, sprinkle over some dukkah and drizzle with olive oil.

Nom.

PUMPKIN, KALE, QUINOA AND ALMOND SALAD WITH TAHINI CORIANDER DRESSING

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Eat this salad when you’ve eaten too much bad food on the weekend and need to redeem yourself 😉 I was actually going to serve this as more of a “bowl” type thing where the pumpkin, quinoa and kale are separate and add in some cannellini beans and then pop the dressing on top but I ended up just making it into one big salad. You’ll see I’ve added ground turmeric as an option, only because its so good for you and adds an interesting little flavour in there.

This is best served room temperature, great as a  dinner for two with left overs for both for the next day.

For the salad:
1/2 Kent or Jap Pumpkin, skin removed and cut into cubes
2 cups chopped Kale, stems removed
Large handful dry roasted Almonds, chopped into small chunks
1 cup Quinoa, preferably organic
2 cups Water
1/2 clove Garlic
2 tbsp Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
1/2 tsp ground Turmeric (optional)

For the dressing:

1/4 cup hulled tahini
1/4 – 1/2 cup water (depending on how thick you want it)
1/4 cup olive oil
1.5 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 clove of garlic (use the other half of the clove for the salad)
1 tbsp soy sauce
A good handful of fresh coriander ( change this to parsley if you don’t like coriander!)
Juice of half a lemon

To make the dressing, put all the dressing ingredients, excluding the water into a food processor and process until well combined. Slowly add in water and keep processing until your dressing reaches your desired consistency, I like mine to be the consistency of heavy cream. Put dressing to one side whilst you make the rest of salad.

Preheat oven to 200 degrees, spread pumpkin out in a large oven tray, massage in 1tbsp olive oil and season with salt, bake for 20-30 minutes or until pumpkin is nice and golden. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, place your Quinoa, 1/2 clove of garlic and water in a saucepan on high heat, once the water starts to boil, cover and reduce heat to medium and cook for around 15 minutes or until the water has been absorbed. Take off heat and let rest for 5 minutes to make your Quinoa nice and fluffy. Remove the clove of garlic from the Quinoa.
Get a nice big bowl and pop in your chopped kale, add the rest of the olive oil, a pinch of salt and cracked pepper (and turmeric if using) and massage your kale until it’s a little softer, top with the cooled pumpkin, quinoa and your almonds and toss the salad.

Drizzle over your dressing and serve.
Keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days, take it to work the next day if you have any left over!