Posts Tagged ‘vegetables’

Cauliflower au Gratin

Cauliflower au Gratin (aka Cauliflower Cheese) is always popular on a winter table. With cauliflower in season (and now affordable), it would be a shame not to make this at least once or twice while the weather is chilly. My version uses Gruyère cheese to make it extra special, but a mature cheddar would also be a good choice. Or if you’re feeling adventurous, try a smoked cheddar or even a flavoured cheese! Serve this as a side to any roast or winter dish like Braised Lamb Shanks or Osso Buco. You can vary the recipe by substituting some of all of the cauliflower with blanched broccoli or fennel (also both in season).

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Dutch Pea & Ham Soup (Erwtensoep)

Many years ago before I made food my career, I worked in the corporate world and my job took me to The Netherlands for a three year assignment. Yes, I survived three long winters (not to mention three pitiful summers). In fact, two of the three winters I spent there were so cold the canals of Amsterdam froze, and it was possible to ice skate from my front door!

To stay warm in these freezing temperatures, it was necessary to nourish oneself with plenty of hearty comfort food. This traditional Dutch winter soup certainly fulfils the brief: made with split peas, ham and packed full of vegetables, this soup is more like a stew. The Dutch claim that Erwtensoep should be so thick that you can stand a spoon upright in it!

All the vegetables used in this soup are in season and readily available at this time of the year, as are ham hocks. This is really a main-meal soup, as you are well and truly satisfied after a bowl of it. However, if you prefer to serve it as an entree, just serve small portions. Erwtensoep is traditionally served with addition of smoked sausage but this is optional.

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Sweet Roasted Carrots

With temperatures plummeting, it’s the perfect time of year to fire up the oven and cook a homely roast. Whenever I have the oven in use I like to maximise its space, so I will invariably find something else to throw in there too. This side dish accompanies any roast very well, and indeed most main courses. Roasting carrots enhances their flavour due to the caramelisation process, making them sweet and irresistible. And with prep time under 10 minutes, it’s super simple as well as delicious.

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Asparagus with Fresh Herbs, Lemon & Cheese

You know spring is here when asparagus starts appearing in the shops. In this dish, asparagus sings with fresh herbs, olive oil, lemon and cheese with just a hint of chilli. A chilled glass of Sauvignon Blanc is a perfect match.

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Smoky Kale Chips

We’re a pretty healthy bunch here in Noosa: with such an abundance of locally grown fresh produce, it’s not exactly difficult. Kale, once thought of as a disinteresting vegetable and now the superstar of leafy greens, grows very well in our climate and is easily found at the Noosa Farmers Market or most local greengrocers. Or if you’re a keen vegetable gardener (like me), you can often find yourself with a glut. Solution? Make Kale chips.

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Santa Fe Salad

The barbeque season has well and truly kicked off, with temperatures soaring well into the 30’s already in Noosa. Barbequing is a way of life here, and while meat often plays the starring role, I like to ensure that there is a diverse selection of salads served for the non-carnivores. This is a salad I created recently, which uses barbequed corn, the only way to prepare corn in my humble opinion! It’s a pretty, colourful and satisfying salad and goes beautifully with barbequed chicken or salmon.

Santa Fe Salad

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Recipe: Chunky Gazpacho

With the temperatures climbing, lighter foods are definitely on the menu and this colourful chilled Spanish soup is perfect for this time of year.  In my version the vegetables are not pureed but still retain some crunch, giving the soup a lovely texture. It’s also extremely low in fat, which is great news for those of us that are trying to shed a couple of kilos in an attempt to fit into last year’s swimsuit!  For the best flavoured soup, ensure that the ingredients are top quality. A New Zealand sauvignon blanc is a good wine accompaniment if you’re not watching your weight.

Gazpacho

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Recipe: Veggie Skewers with a Lemon Herb Marinade

The barbeque season has not officially started, but no matter how chilly the weather is, I like to grill all the year round. Food just seems to taste better when cooked on the barbeque!  Barbequing vegetables definitely enhances their flavour, and these Veggie Skewers are proof of that.  Marinated in a lemon herb marinade, these skewers will be a winner at your next gathering. You can vary the vegetables depending on what you like and what’s in season – cherry tomatoes and finger eggplants work well. But don’t leave out the haloumi cheese – it’s the best part! If you’re a Noosa local, try the award winning Cedar Creek Buffalo Haloumi, available from the Noosa Farmers’ Market every Sunday.

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What’s in Season – February

With the abundant selection of fruit and vegetables currently available on the Sunshine Coast, there’s no excuse for not eating seasonally. Make the most of the late summer fruit and vegetables by enjoying:

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What’s in Season – January

Now that we are well into summer, it’s the perfect time to be enjoying the wonderful selection of locally grown fruit and vegetables available at this time of the year. Currently in season on the Sunshine Coast are:

Fruit:
Bananas
Blueberries
Figs
Limes
Lychees
Mangoes
Passionfruit
Paw Paw
Pineapple
Watermelon

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