Tuesday, October 16, 2012

garlic, lime and chili mussels with spelt pasta

It's like a ghost town on this blog a the moment.. and not for any other reason than the fact that I am down and out with the flu.

I am truly miserable right now, coughing, sneezing, moaning and carrying around roll of toilet paper to blown my nose. I feel like I'm suffering the 'man-flu'.

Joel has been great, bringing me cups of peppermint tea first thing in the morning and offering to get me anything I need. I am so glad my husband works from home.

Enough of my misery. I haven't been adventurous in the kitchen recently, as you can imagine. However, as they say on the cooking shows - here is something I prepared earlier.


(serves 2)

70g wholemeal spelt pasta

1kg organic live mussels (in shell)

1 tblsp olive oil
1/2 garlic sprig, minced
1 lime, finely grated rind and juiced
1/2 small red hot chili, finely sliced
1/4 c dry sherry
2 handfuls of green peas, roughly chopped
1/4 c finely chopped parsley

salt and pepper to taste

Bring a medium sized pot of water to the boil and add pasta, cook until al-dente then drain and set aside.
As the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a saucepan/wok and add garlic, chili, sherry and lime rind - cook until fragrant and sherry has mostly evaporated.
Turn off heat and stir through the peas.
Bring a large pot/saucepan of salted water to the boil and add the mussels.
Boil for about 5-7 minutes until the mussels have opened.
With two-thirds of the mussels, remove the flesh out of the shell and add to the garlic mix - keeping the remaining mussels in the shell for decoration.
Re-heat the saucepan/wok and add in the pasta, parsley and lime juice tossing and heating through for a minute or two.
Serve and decorate with the mussels in shell.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

pick-me-up breakfast smoothie

My goodness we had some hot days here last week. It was so nice not being wrapped up in layers upon layers of clothing.

The only downside was that with the sudden heat came that feeling of utter lethargy. The unwillingness to move around too much in fear of melting.

So, on days like those, I like to whip up a smoothie to cool me down. In this one I included malt extract, deemed as natures pick-me-up as it is full of important B vitamins, essential for energy.


(makes 1 - large)

1 banana, roughly chopped
4 ice cubes
1/4 water
2 silverbeet leaves, roughly chopped
1 tblsp malt extract
1 tsp mixed spice
2 tsp chia seeds
4 strawberries, green left on
1/2 c yoghurt (or alternative)

Combine all ingredients in a blender and whiz until smooth (30 seconds or so).

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

vegan risotto with truffle oil

You may not realise it, but I love any excuse to add truffle to a meal. I usually add it to a mushroom based dish and this one was not going to get away without a drizzle or two.

It’s such a whole sensory experience that compares to none other. When you sit down to a meal and smell the truffle, it’s like your first kiss, every time. Your heart skips a beat and you can’t wait to dig in, but you want to take it slow and savour every moment. What an analogy huh!

Risotto is an awesome one pot meal to spare you that laborious task of washing up too much. Adding to that beautiful experience.

I don’t know about you, but usually I find myself using heaps of pots and baking dishes when preparing dinner. It’s not so bad because I wash as I go – we’ve got a pretty tight kitchen so bench space is hard to come by. Actually, if I think about it, every night the dishes (bar the ones we eat on) are all washed up and stacked before we sit down to eat. Joel likes that because he is always on washing up duty but there is rarely much to do.


(serves 4)

1 tblsp olive oil
1 brown onion, finely sliced
200g button mushrooms, finely sliced
1 c arborio rice (risotto rice)
2 ½ c water
1 bunch asparagus, sliced into 1cm rounds
1 c peas, frozen or fresh
salt and pepper to taste
Optional: Tartufo Bianco (white truffle oil)

Heat oil in a heavy based saucepan, add onion and stir until softened.
Next add mushrooms and stir fry for approximately 5 minutes.
Add rice and mix for a further 2 minutes.
Then add 1 c of water to the pan and simmer until water has been absorbed, stirring minimally.
Next mix in the asparagus and add the remaining water.
Cover saucepan to cook through, approximately 15 minutes.
Finally add the peas stirring the risotto until the peas are cooked.
Season with salt and pepper, drizzle with truffle oil and serve.