Winter Salad with Roasted Vegetables and Sugar Snap Peas

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This is a wonderful winter salad.  Just add a chunk of bread for a delicious lunch.
Ingredients Mixed greens (lettuce, rocket, spinach, braising mix) 150 grams of Pumpkin 1/2 a Sweet Potato 1 med Beetroot 1 large Fennel Bulb 2 garlic cloves 100 grms Sugar Snap Peas Tamari 1/3 cup of pepita seeds 200 grams feta Dressing 2 tbsp White Balsamic Vinegar 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil 1 tbsp Dijon or seeded mustard 2 roasted garlic cloves 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp Freshly ground pepper fresh thyme or lemon thyme small dash of sugar Method 1. Preheat oven to 180C 2. Cut up an assortment of vegetables which roast well like pumpkin, sweet potato, beetroot, fennel into bite size pieces. 3. Mix well with salt and olive oil, enough oil to well coat. Place on baking dish with two whole garlic cloves(for the dressing) and roast in the oven, turning after 15 minutes to ensure all sides are evenly brown. 4.  Place pepita seeds into a small cast iron fry pan. Add enough tamari to just cover seeds.  Put onto high heat, stirring frequently until all of the tamari has evaporated.  Remove from heat. 5.  Remove garlic from oven.  Mash into the rest of the dressing ingredients and whisk. 6. Wash and break up greens and place in a bowl. 7. Remove the string from the sugar snap peas and cut each into two or three pieces. 8. Remove veggies from oven and toss them over the greens.  Add tamari pepitas. Coarsely crumble feta on top. Add the cut up peas.  Dress at the table.

Warm Kale and Roasted Pumpkin Salad

This salad was inspired by Sprouted Kitchens Kale Bowl. Warm salad may sound bizarre but we have served this twice now for crew lunch and both times it was the perfect combination of flavours and perfect balance of proteins.  We did not want for anything more all afternoon!  Warm salads are perfect for Winter!

Ingredients A large chunk of pumpkin, skinned and seeded and cut into ¾ inch cubes 1 large fennel bulb, reserving fronds for garnish Red or brown onion cut into chunks 5-6 garlic cloves 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided 1 Tbsp. Grade B Maple Syrup 1 tsp. whole grain mustard 1/2 tsp. cayenne pinch of red pepper flakes 1/2 tsp. cinnamon 1/4 tsp. fresh grated nutmeg salt (smoked or sea salt) + pepper 1 bunch purple kale, stems removed tamari roasted pepitas 15 almonds coarsely pounded in a mortar and pestle feta cheese

Method 1. Preheat the oven to 225C'. Arrange one oven rack in the upper third and one on the bottom third. 2. Peel, seed and cube the pumpkin. Slice the fennel down the center, cut out the tough core, slice into 1/2'' wedges. Peel and cut the onion into 1/8ths. Do not peel the garlic. Spread everything on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 Tbsp. of the olive oil, maple, mustard, cayenne, red pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg and a few generous pinches of salt and pepper. Toss gently to coat everything, adding another drizzle of oil or maple if it seems too dry. Roast in the upper third of the oven for 35-40 minutes or until the squash is tender and caramelized, tossing the vegetables halfway through. 3. Rip the kale into large chunks, drizzle it with remaining olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Spread it on another baking sheet. At the 30 minute mark, move the squash tray to the lower rack and put the kale on the top rack. Bake for 10 minutes until the edges are crisp. 4. Squeeze the roasted garlic from its skin.  Gently toss everything together. Enjoy warm.

Autumn Salad with Roasted Sweet Potato, Apple, Radish and Goat Cheese

Ingredients2 cups rocket or mixed Asian greens 1/2 sliced, cored apple 1 cup cubed, roasted sweet potato, carrot and/or pumpkin 4 sliced radishes 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted 2 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 teaspoon honey salt & pepper 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese

Method 1. Put the greens, apple, roasted veggies, radish and sesame seeds in a large mixing bowl. 2. In a small separate bowl make the dressing: mix the olive oil, lemon juice, honey and season with salt & pepper. 3. Toss the salad with the dressing, using the amount you like. 4. Divide salad into two serving bowls. Scatter the goat cheese on top of the salads.

Vegetable Soup with Quinoa and Nettles

Quinoa, a grain like seed is a complete protein, unlike rice or beans. It is also gluten free. It is the best source for a plant based protein and being high in fiber and iron it should have a place in every vegetarian kitchen. Sopa de quinoa is a staple soup in Peru.  The Andes is where this grain thrives.  Quinoa is cooked with potatoes, onions and garlic in lard or oil and flavored with native oregano and annatto seeds. Whatever vegetables or greens are at hand are added to the soup. The soups I had ranged from a clear pale yellow soup to a thick creamy one, chock full of vegetables and greens.It usually served with an aji made from chili peppers.  You can take one slice from a chili and float it in your bowl of soup until you have the desired heat you like.

Ingredients 8 cups (2 liters) of vegetable or chicken stock 1/2 cup quinoa, well rinsed 1 cup carrots, quartered and sliced 1 cup pumpkin, peeled and cubed 1 cup onion, finely chopped 1/2 cup celery, chopped 1 cup potatoes, cubed salt (to taste) 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley 1cup minced nettle

Method 1. Combine carrots, onions and celery in a heavy bottomed soup pot with a splash of olive oil.  Gently fry until the onion is translucent. 2. Add pumpkin, potato, quinoa and stock.  Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer.  Continue to simmer until the vegetables are tender and the quinoa has "split", the curly tails have removed, about 10-15 minutes. 3. Adjust the seasoning with additional salt, if necessary and add the fresh herbs. Cook 2 more minutes, then remove from the heat.

Chunky Potato and Leek Soup

This is my new favourite crew lunch soup recipe.  The chunkiness allows each vegetable to speak for itself while the overall flavour is gorgeous. Ingredients 300 gm sweet potato - scrubbed not peeled and cut into 1 cm rounds (if they are the finger sweet potatoes) 500 gm potato - scrubbed not peeled and cut into large bite size pieces 3 carrots - halved and cut into 1/2cm semi rounds 1 leek halved and sliced into 1/2cm semi circles 250ml white wine 200 gm of pumpkin peeled and cut into 2 cm squares a large knob of butter...about 80 grams 1.5L vegetable stock 1/2 cup chopped parsley 3/4 cup chopped stinging nettles

Method 1. Place the butter and leeks into a large heavy bottom stock pot on medium heat.  Caramelise the leeks...stirring occasionally until they begin to brown. 2. Add carrots, potato, pumpkin, sweet potato and wine and turn the heat up burning the alcohol from the wine. 3. Turn heat back to medium and add stock.  Ensure that there is ample stock to cover vegetables.  Simmer until pumpkin begins to break down.  The pumpkin can completely disintegrate adding flavour to the stock. Add stock if needed. 4.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Once the stock is well flavoured, add the parsley and nettles and remove from heat.  Let rest for five minutes before serving.

Photo Credit Belinda Sheekey at Dyeing Trade

 

Pumpkin and Autumn Green Cannelloni

IngredientsOlive oil 750g pumpkin, peeled, cut into 2cm pieces 1 large red onion, halved, cut into thin wedges 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves 250g spinach, baby silver beet or nettle (I use a combination), lightly wilted 300g fresh low-fat ricotta Sprinkle of nutmeg 1 x 400ml tomato passata 1 tbs chopped fresh basil 2 garlic cloves, crushed 4 fresh lasagna sheets

Method 1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Lightly grease a shallow ovenproof baking dish. 2. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Place the pumpkin and onion, in a single layer, on the lined tray. Spray lightly with olive oil spray. Sprinkle with thyme and season with pepper. Bake in oven for 40 minutes or until the pumpkin is golden and tender. Set aside to cool slightly. 3. Wilt your greens. Place over a strainer and squeeze out any extra water. 4. Place the pumpkin mixture in a bowl and use a fork to coarsely mash. Add the wilted green and 250g of ricotta. Season with nutmeg, pepper and salt. Mix until well combined. 5. Combine the tomato passata, basil and garlic in a medium bowl. 6. Cut each lasagna sheet in half. Spoon 1/3 cup of the pumpkin mixture along the centre of each sheet. Fold the sheet over to enclose filling. Spread 80ml (1/3 cup) of the tomato mixture over the base of the prepared dish. Place the cannelloni in a single layer in the dish. 7. Pour the remaining tomato mixture over the cannelloni. Season with pepper. Bake in oven for 30 minutes or until bubbling. Set aside for 5 minutes to stand.

Quinoa, Roasted Veggies, Marinated Chickpeas and Feta Salad

Ingredients1 cup raw chickpeas 1 medium whole Butternut squash or 1/4 to 1/3 of a Queensland Blue squash 3 carrots 2 beetroot 1 cup red quinoa balsamic vinegar extra virgin olive oil 100g feta lemon thyme salt and pepper

Method 1. Night Before: Soak 1 cup of chick peas over night. 2. 1 1/2 hours before serving: Drain the chick peas and refill with water.  Add a 3 cm piece of Kombu.  Boil and then reduce to a simmer for about 1 hour or until tender. 3. Vegetables: While the chick peas are boiling, peel 1 medium whole Butternut squash or 1/4 to 1/3 of a Queensland Blue squash and cut into 1 1/2cm cubes.  (I prefer these squashes because they remain whole even when roasted.) Peel carrots and cut into match sticks. Peel beetroot and cut into 1cm cubes. Place all on a roasting tray. Lightly sprinkle with olive oil, salt and fresh thyme. 4. Roast in a 180 oven for about an hour, turning occasionally so that all sides brown. 5. Quinoa: Rinse and drain 1 cup red quinoa.  Place in a saucepan with 1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock.  Cover.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.  Simmer for about 20 minutes or until the quinoa seed has split, a little white "tail" comes away from the kernel. This is the sign that the quinoa is soft.  Place in a bowl to cool. 6. Marinade: 1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil Dessert Spoon fresh lemon thyme 1/2tsp salt and generous grind of cracked pepper 7. Greens: Use seasonal greens.  Mixed lettuce, spinach, rocket, beetroot greens, mizuna.  Rinse and spin dry.  This salad is delicious with as few or as many as you have. 8. Remove vegetables from the oven and allow to cool. 9. Assembling: Once chickpeas are tender, drain and mix immediately with the marinade.  As they cool, they soak up the marinade.  If there is no marinade left in the bowl with them, make a bit more.

Once cool, add about 100grams of feta cheese cut into 1 cm cubes. Stir to coat with marinade and let sit for ten minutes.

Place greens in bowl.  Top with quinoa, then roasted vegetables then chickpeas and feta.

Creamy Pumpkin Soup

Ingredients1/4 cup (60ml) butter 2 leek 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped 1 red birdseye chilli, finely chopped (optional) 1 cinnamon stick 3cm piece ginger, peeled, thinly sliced 1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds 1 apple 2 carrots 1.5kg pumpkin (Buttercup varieties work well for soups.  They have a richer flavour) 1/3 cup (70g) red split peas (optional) Fresh thyme, coriander and/or parsley Salt, Pepper and Cream

Method 1. Peel, seed and cut the pumpkin into 3cm pieces.  Lightly coat with olive oil and roast in a 220 oven for about 45 minutes or until golden.  Take care to turn the pumpkin a few times while roasting. 2. Thinly slice the white of the leek. Peel and coarsely chop the carrots. 3. Put butter, leeks, carrots, garlic and thyme into a large soup pan and lightly saute for about 5-10 minutes. 5. Place a cast iron fry pan on high heat and roast the cumin seeds.  Then grind them in a mortar and pestle. 4. Peel, core and slice into 1 1/2 cm cubes the apple.  Add apple, cinnamon, cumin and ginger to the leeks. Saute for another few minutes to release the flavour of the spices. 5. Add stock and split peas and gently simmer for about 20 minutes or until the lentils and carrots are tender. 6. Add in the roasted pumpkin and simmer for another five minutes. 7.  Blend.  Adjust seasonings for taste.  You can add more cinnamon, more chillies, more salt and pepper, or even a dollop of honey. 8.  Serve with a dollop of double cream and a sprinkle of coriander or parsley.

Delicious Hearty Pumpkin Soup

This recipe comes from "A Spoonful of Country - Cooking from a Cootamundra Farmhouse" by Catherine Bragg Often 'starting-out cooks' don't have a large array of cooking equipment, especially essentials like food processors.  This is a good recipe for a wonderfully flavoured soup that doesn't need blending.

Ingredients butter 1 onion finely chopped 600g pumpkin, peeled and cut into small chunks 1/2 tsp sugar 1/2 cup soup mix (a mixture of lentils, chickpeas, barley, etc) 2 cups chicken stock 1 cup water 2 tsp tomato paste salt and pepper

Method 1. Melt a small knob of butter in a large saucepan.  Add onion and pumpkin, stir and cook for 5 minutes, then sprinkle in the sugar. 2.  Add the soup mix, stock and water, and bring to a boil. 3.  Simmer gently for about an hour until the vegetables and beans are tender. 4. Add tomato paste, salt and pepper to taste and mash the pumpkin pieces lightly with a fork, so it becomes a chunky hearty soup, adding a little extra stock or water if it becomes too thick. 5.  The soup is extra good with sippets, little squares of bread fried in oil and butter till crisp, sprinkled on the top.

 

Moroccan Inspired Cous Cous Stuffed Sweet Dumpling Squash

Ingredients1 sweet dumpling squash lug of olive oil 1 small onion, diced 1/4 cup shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped 6 dates, coarsely chopped 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 3/4 cup cooked cous cous Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method 1. Preheat oven to 190. 2. Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds. (The seeds can be roasted like pumpkin seeds.) 3. Place squash face-down in an oiled baking dish. Bake until tender when pierced with a knife, about 30 minutes. Remove squash from oven but keep oven on. 4. Prepare the stuffing while the squash is baking. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until onion is translucent. Add pistachios, dates, lemon zest, and cinnamon and sauté for another minute. Stir in the cooked quinoa and season to taste with salt and pepper. 5. Turn the squash upright in the baking dish and stuff with the quinoa mixture. 6. Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake for another 20 minutes. 7. Serve warm, garnished with extra pistachios or lemon zest, if desired. The peel of sweet dumpling squash is generally tender enough to be eaten.