Monday, 12 October 2009

Pear and Maple Syrup Triangles

This super easy dessert can be made with homemade puff pastry or ready made pastry from the supermarket. If you're in Australia, the brands of puff pastry that I recommend are, first "Pastry Chef" from Aldi, and second the "Black & Gold" brand from IGA. I find that these brands are so much flakier and light than any other brand. The IGA "Black & Gold" had been my favorite for years until I recently discovered the brand from Aldi.


1.5 ready made puff pastry sheets
1 large pear
1 tablespoon of pure maple syrup
6 large strawberries, washed
6 tablespoons of creamy vanilla yogurt
  1. Peel the pear, cut it into fours and remove the core. Slice very thinly.
  2. Place the pear in a small bowl and pour the maple syrup over it, mix well and set aside.
  3. Cut the whole sheet of puff pastry into four squares, and the half into two.
  4. Remove the pear from the syrup and divide into 6.
  5. Place filling in the center of each square and fold in half, pressing the edges with a fork to seal.
  6. Place on a cookie tray lined with baking paper, and brush any remaining maple syrup (from the bowl) over the triangles.
  7. Bake till they are nicely colored.
  8. Serve drizzled with a tablespoon of vanilla yogurt and decorate with a sliced strawberry.
Serves 6

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Roasted Veggie Bake with Lettuce, Apple & Walnut Salad

Veggie Bake (serves 6)
1 large eggplant
1 large zucchini
400gms Jap pumpkin

1 large onion chopped finely
3 cloves of garlic
3 tablespoons of fresh thyme (finely chopped)
2 tbs vegetable oil
800gm of canned tomatoes (blended)

500gms firm tofu (or 500gms low fat ricotta)
3 tablespoons dry chives
salt & pepper to taste

50gms baby spinach leaves

  1. Slice the eggplant, zucchini and pumpkin very finely, spread out each vegetable on a baking tray lined with baking paper (to prevent sticking) and brush lightly with olive oil (or spray with cooking spray. Cook on a hot oven until they are tender. Set aside
  2. Chop onion and garlic finely and saute in the olive oil some vegetable oil. When they are see through and starting to caramelise, add the can of tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes, add thyme and salt and pepper to taste, and simmer for another 5 minutes. Set aside.
  3. Place tofu, dry chives and salt & pepper into a food process, and blend until it resembles a cream cheese. (if using Ricotta, just blend until the chives are mixed through the cheese)
  4. Spoon some of the cooked sauce on the bottom of a baking tray and layer with eggplant, followed by some zucchini. Place the whole lot of tofu (or ricotta) on top of the zucchini, flatten it out, and then continue to layer that with pumpkin, followed by spinach leaves. Spoon more sauce on top of the spinach leaves, then place the remainder of the eggplant, and finish off with some more sauce.
  5. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes.
  6. Serve with salad
3/4 of a butter lettuce
50gms spinach
1 fuji apple
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 carrot
1 tablespoon dijonnaise
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tsp brown sugar

  1. Tear the lettuce roughly and place in a bowl with the washed spinach.
  2. Peel the carrot and cut into thin batons.
  3. Peel apple, remove core, and cut into quarters. Slice each quarter into small pieces.
  4. Mix dressing, and pour over the lettuce. Mix in other vegetables and walnuts.
  5. Serve immediately.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Breakfast Stack

A few weeks ago hubby and I delivered a wedding cake in the morning to a venue near the city. Afterward we went to the Veggie Bar for brunch. One of the things Boone had was a breakfast stack. It looked simple enough, so I decided to try it out. So here it is. It was delicious. The hash browns I made were a little thick according to hubby, the ones at Veggie Bar were the type they use at McDonald's, and mine were homemade. I think if they were thinner they'd be crunchier, but I liked them like this.

Breakfast Stack (Serves 3)
Hash Browns (recipe below)
Mock Hollandaise (recipe below)
3 free range eggs (poached)
1 large tomato (cut into thick slices)
3 large flat mushrooms (stalk removed)
120gms Baby Spinach Leaves
Vegetable oil to cook
  1. Make hash browns and hollandaise as per recipe below and set aside.
  2. Cook mushrooms on a little bit of vegetable oil, these take a while to cook so I'd suggest cooking them first and setting them aside while you prepare the other ingredients (keep warm)
  3. Poach your eggs.
  4. Cook tomato on a non stick pan and a little vegetable oil
  5. Sautee spinach leaves
  6. Assemble by putting the hash brown on the bottom, follow with the tomato, then the mushroom, spinach and then the egg. Pour some of the sauce over the top. Serve warm

Hash Brown
420gms (15oz) Potato (cut into small squares)
40gms (1oz) Potato Flour
Salt & Pepper to taste
Vegetable/Olive oil for frying
  1. Cook the chopped potatoes and set aside to cool. I put mine in the microwave for 10 minutes and they were done. I left the skins on because they were very clean and the extra nutrition never goes astray ;)
  2. Add the potato flour and mix it through thoroughly through the potatoes. Press the mix into an egg mold on a chopping board. Move the mold to ensure it is not stuck on the bottom and unmold. The hash brown should come out intact. I used larger molds, used for crumpets. This mix made 3 hash browns in the larger mold.
  3. Cook on a non stick pan with a little vegetable or olive oil until they are nicely colored and crunchy.
Mock Hollandaise
10gms Arrowroot
15gms Potato Flour
1 egg yolk (optional)
2tsp lemon juice
3/4 cup rice milk (soy or dairy is ok too)
1/4 tsp tumeric
Salt & Pepper to taste
  1. Mix all ingredients in a saucepan until thoroughly mix.
  2. Cook on a low heat until sauce thickens. Add water if the sauce is too thick.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Pour over stack.