Spring has sprung! Lockdown is over! Both great reasons for diving into this all-occasion Pearl Couscous Salad. The silky, comforting pasta vibe of pearl couscous teamed with fresh Mediterranean-inspired ingredients like tomato, cucumber and capsicum, and the vibrancy of fresh herbs and feta means this is a dish that can be enjoyed as a midweek supper, a hearty offering to take to an impromptu gathering with family and friends, or even an enviable leftovers lunch!
Prep Time: 30 min
Cooking Time: 10 min
1 cup pearl couscous
1 tbsp oil
2 garlic cloves minced
1 ¾ cups water
2 tsp vegetable or chicken stock powder
1 cucumber chopped
½ red onion, finely diced
1 capsicum, chopped
1-2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
½ cup cubed feta or goats cheese
½ bunch mint, roughly chopped
½ bunch parsley, roughly chopped
¼ cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1 tsp honey
1 tbsp za'atar spice mix
First, toast the almonds over a medium heat in a frying pan. This only takes a couple of mins. As soon as they start to colour, remove the pan from heat and transfer almonds to a small dish. Set them aside for garnishing your salad at the end.
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add pearl couscous and garlic and stir, cooking for 1-2 minutes. Add stock powder and water, cover with lid and reduce heat to medium low.
Cook for 10 minutes until the liquid is absorbed and the pearl couscous is cooked through but still a bit firm. Use a fork to gently separate the couscous, then transfer into a large bowl to cool. Note: it might look like it's getting a bit sticky or gluggy as it's cooling but never fear, the dressing and other ingredients will fix all that.
While the couscous is cooking, make the dressing and chop the salad ingredient
To make dressing, simply place dressing ingredients in a jar and shake well.
Add remaining salad ingredients into the large bowl with the Pearl couscous, then pour over the dressing and toss.
Garnish with slivered almonds and serve the salad at room temperature.
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Indian Spiced scrambled eggs with curry leaves is a wonderful way to add fresh flavour and variety to a breakfast classic. I love to serve mine with roti, naan or paratha, and grilled tomato.
2-3 tsp ghee or butter
¼ tsp mustard seeds, brown or yellow
¼ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp turmeric
6 or 7 curry leaves
Salt and pepper
Toast, roti, naan or paratha to serve
Whisk eggs in a bowl or jug together with a small splash of water (or cream if you're feeling decadent).
Heat a frypan over medium-low heat, add ghee or butter. Add all the spices and stir for 30 seconds or so before pouring the whisked eggs in.
Turn heat to low. Low and slow is the secret to creamy scrambled eggs. Don't scramble the eggs so much as keep them moving with your spatula or wooden spoon. The aim is to keep gently lifting the egg mixture off the bottom of the pan. They need to cook slowly and gradually, over a few minutes. When they are almost cooked, spoon the scrambled eggs onto your serving plates; they will continue to cook for a minute after leaving the pan, and if you leave them in the pan until they are perfectly cooked, they'll be overcooked by the time you sit down to enjoy them.
Serve with your choice of bread or toast, plus any sides you fancy.
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Paneer goes beautifully with these eggs. Crumble them over the eggs as they are cooking.
Leftover potato is an utterly perfect accompaniment to Indian spiced eggs.
Cut cooked potato into small cubes and fry over a high heat, adding a few mustard seeds if you like. Delicious!
Chopped shallot is another yummy garnish, as is coriander. Green chilli is a delicious garnish if you want things spicy. You can also try eggplant or lime pickle to really ramp up the flavour.
This simple mix & bake loaf is a handy recipe to have on hand. Think of it as banana bread's fruitier cousin! It's perfect for breakfast, supper, lunch box snacks, or morning and afternoon tea. In winter it's the perfect companion to a hot cuppa. As the weather gets warmer, I love it with a glass of iced Ginger Glow tea!
1 cup chopped dried pears
1 cup chopped dried figs
1/3 cup butter, room temperature
1 ½ teaspoons bicarb soda
1 cup boiling water
½ cup rapadura or brown sugar
½ cup chopped walnuts
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup whole wheat flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
Preheat the oven to 180c/160c fan forced. Line a loaf pan with baking paper, or grease it lightly with butter.
In a mixing bowl combine the pears, figs, butter and bicarb soda. Add the boiling water, stir then let stand for 10 minutes.
Using a wooden spoon or spatula, beat the sugar, walnuts and eggs into the fruit mixture. Combine the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour and baking powder; sift and stir into the fruit mixture just until blended. (Don't overstir). Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan.
Bake in a preheated oven for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to completely cool.
Serve sliced, either as is or with butter.
Wrapped well, it will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer for 3 months. Make sure to preslice it if you are freezing.
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For our first recipe of Spring 2021, and we thought it fitting to bring you a versatile salad recipe that showcases our delicious, 100% buckwheat soba noodles. Light and fresh, yet also comforting and substantial, they're the perfect lockdown lunch or iso supper. It's made with ingredients most of us have in the pantry and veg crisper. Versatile, and ready in 15 minutes, Soba Noodle Salad is easy to prepare for 1 person or many. It's Soba Noodle Salad, your way.
200g Soba noodles
A combination of approximately 2 cups of your vegetables of choice. (For this recipe I used sliced green beans, broccoli cut into small florets, ¼ red capsicum sliced thinly, and edamame).
1 shallot, both green and white parts, sliced thinly
Small handful chopped coriander
A small sprinkling of sesame seeds, white or black
1 red chilli, finely sliced (optional)
2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and halved (optional)
For the dressing:
2 tbsp tamari or soy
1 tbsp mirin
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp olive or peanut oil
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1-2 tsp brown sugar
Things to have ready:
Bowl of iced water
And remember to pre-boil some eggs if using!
¾ fill a large pot with water, add a tsp salt and bring to a boil.
Cook the soba noodles in the boiling water for about 6 minutes. In the last minute add green beans, frozen edamame and broccoli, or any other veg you're using that needs a quick blanching.
While the noodles are cooking, chop your remaining veggies and herbs (capsicum, shallots, coriander, ginger, garlic).
Drain and transfer noodles and veg into an ice bath (just a bowl of iced water, with ice cubes). This not only stops the cooking process immediately but helps maintain a bright colour in the blanched veggies. Drain the noodles and veggies and transfer them to a large serving bowl. Add remaining salad veg (capsicum and shallots).
Combine all dressing ingredients in a jar, pop the lid on and shake it vigorously for 10 seconds or so. Pour dressing over the noodles and veg.
Garnish with coriander, chilli if using, and sesame seeds. If using eggs, place them on top of your salad and serve.
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Universally loved by 97% of children and grown-ups alike, it's hard to go wrong with pasta and a simple red sauce.
But what if you don't have tinned tomatoes on hand? Or you don't have the extra time needed to turn those tinned tomatoes into a sauce?
Tomato powder to the rescue! In seconds, tomato powder can be turned into the most gloriously silky, full bodied and satisfying red sauce. Made from 100% dried tomatoes, you can use it in pasta, soups, casseroles, jaffles, nachos and parmigiana! See under recipe for more ideas on how to use tomato powder.
Here I've paired it with our popular zoo pasta for a simple, 15 minute dinner. My kids and I love this dish, and I bet you will too!
300g zoo pasta
50g/2 tbsp tomato powder
2 handfuls broccoli florets
½ cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
+1 cup reserved pasta water
Fill a large pot with water, add 2 tsp salt. Bring to a boil then add pasta. The pasta takes aprox 12 mins to cook. At the 9 or 10 minute mark, add broccoli to the pasta pot. Then take a ladle or large spoon and scoop out 1 cup of the pasta water and pour it into a jug or small saucepan. At the 11 minute mark (or when pasta is al dente), drain pasta and broccoli, then return it to the pot. Drizzle a bit of olive oil over it. Set aside while you make your quick-as-a-flash sauce.
Sauce: add tomato powder to the cup of reserved pasta water, then whisk together til smooth. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.
Place pasta and broccoli into serving bowls, then spoon the silky red sauce on top. Finish with grated parmesan or cheddar if desired.
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SOME MORE USES FOR TOMATO POWDER