Thursday, August 28, 2014

SIMPLE CHOCOLATE HOTCAKES


Bella and Obi were up bright and early this morning and begged me to make these chocolate hot cakes! To prepare, simply add the following to a blender. 1 large banana, 1/4 cup good quality cocoa, two large free range eggs and 1/4 cup brown rice flour, or flour of your choice. Blend until smooth. Grill heaped tablespoons of the batter in a greased skillet over medium heat for 1-2 minutes on each side. They enjoyed them so much, they didn't even ask for toppings! Eleanor xx

Monday, August 25, 2014

SPRING ONION AND MILLET PILAF WITH FETA









Millet is an ancient seed that is rich in iron, vitamins and calcium, and is naturally gluten free. When cooked, millet has a really lovely and light texture, and is relatively fast to cook. The trick is to cook the millet in delicious home made stock to give it an incredible depth of flavor.

1 cup hulled millet
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 tbsp ghee, butter or olive oil
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
8-10 spring onions, roughly chopped
Juice of one lemon
A good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt
Pepper

To serve:
Half a block of feta
1 avocado, sliced


Melt the ghee, butter or olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, and spring onions, and cook while stirring until softened and slightly browned, about 15-20 minutes.

Transfer the spring onions to a large saucepan, and then add the millet, stock and a pinch of sea salt. Bring to a soft boil, and then simmer, covered for 15 minutes, or until the grains absorb almost all of the stock. Stir once or twice, but be careful not to over mix as this will break up the texture of the grains.

Remove from the heat, and leave to sit, covered for 10 minutes.

Remove the lid, and then fluff the millet with a fork. Add the lemon juice, olive oil and a good pinch of salt and pepper.

Mix until just combined, and then sprinkle the feta on top.

Serve with the avocado.

Serves 4

*gluten free
*dairy free
*vegetarian

Friday, August 22, 2014

AROMATIC AND DELICIOUS GHEE


I quite often have readers asking me what my favorite oil to cook with is. While I absolutely love extra virgin coconut oil in baking and raw treats, and olive oil for drizzling over meals, ghee would have to be my number one choice for cooking with. Ghee is also known as purified or clarified butter, and has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. This healthy fat is can be used to nourish and regenerate the body’s tissues, cleanse toxins, ward off pathogens and cancer, aid in learning & memory, lower cholesterol, boost the immune system and promote general vitality.

Ghee is free of casein and other milk solids as these has been boiled off when preparing. If you are intolerant to butter, you may find that you are able to enjoy ghee. It is a wonderfully healthy alternative to other vegetable oils and spreads.

I love the weekly ritual of preparing a glass jar full of aromatic and delicious ghee to use in my daily food preparation. It is also fantastically easy and enjoyable to make. 

Simply place a block of unsalted (preferably organic) butter in a skillet or saucepan over medium heat, and bring to the boil. Allow the butter to bubble away for 5-6 minutes, it will start to fill your kitchen with the most divine toasty aroma, similar to popcorn. The ghee will turn a lovely dark golden color, and a foam will appear on the top. 

Immediately remove the ghee from the heat, pour over a cheesecloth lined sieve placed on top of a glass jar. 

Allow to cool, and store for 3 months at room temperate or much longer in the fridge.




Wednesday, August 20, 2014

CARAMELIZED SHALLOT, RICOTTA & CHIVE DIP WITH HOME MADE SEED CRACKERS




SUNFLOWER SESAME CRACKERS

1 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup sesame seeds
3 tsp garlic granules (I have also used 3 garlic cloves instead)
1 tbsp dried herbs
3-5 tbsp water
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sea salt

Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a tray with baking paper.

Place the sunflower seeds , salt and garlic granules in to a food processor.  Process on high for 2-3 minutes or until the seeds become a dense flour like consistency.

Add the sesame seeds, dried herbs and olive oil, pulse to combine. With the food processor running on low, slowly start to add the water one tablespoon at a time. The mixture will start to come together in a dough like consistency. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking tray and knead slightly (it will be a little crumbly don't worry). Place a piece of baking paper on top of the dough and using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to around half a cm thick. Remove the top piece of baking paper then using a knife, score criss cross lines in to the dough. 

Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow to cool completely, then using your hands, break along scored lines and serve.

Makes around 20 crackers. Will keep in an airtight container for 1 week.



CARAMELIZED HONEY SHALLOT AND RICOTTA DIP WITH CHIVES


8-10 shallots
1 tbsp honey
2 cups ricotta
a handful of fresh chives, roughly chopped
a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
sea salt
pepper

Heat the butter or olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.

Add the shallots, and stir to coat in the butter. Lower the heat and sauté until browned.

Drizzle over the honey, and continue to cook for 8-10 minutes or until lovely and caramelized. Leave to cool slightly.

Once cooled, toss with the ricotta, fresh chives, and a pinch of sea salt and ground pepper. Transfer to a serving dish, and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.

Best enjoyed within a few hours of making.

Serves 4 as an appetizer with crackers or bread.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

WINTER ROSES



A couple of days ago I was gifted these beautiful hellebores flowers, also known as 'winter roses'. Aren't they stunning? what are your favorite blooms at the moment? Eleanor xx

Thursday, August 7, 2014

DECADENT ZUCCHINI CHOCOLATE CAKES



These amazingly rich and delicious chocolate cakes contain zucchini as their secret ingredient, adding a certain moistness that chocolate cakes can sometimes lack.

The little cakes of joy emerge from the oven incredibly tender and moist, and fill the kitchen with the most stunning chocolate smell. The best part is that you can throw the ingredients together in less than 5 minutes. Topped with pure and simple mascarpone and a sprinkling of hazelnuts. Perfection.

You can find the recipe over on the Viva - The New Zealand Herald Website by clicking HERE.



Wednesday, August 6, 2014

QUINOA PASTA BAKE WITH TOMATO PESTO SAUCE, CAULIFLOWER & CHEDDAR


My kids absolute favourite dinner at the moment is this wonderfully delicious quinoa pasta bake. To prepare, simply cook the pasta ( I used Ceres organics gluten free quinoa variety ) according to the instructions, and lay in a baking tray with florets of cooked cauliflower. Pour a jar of tomato passata on top, and add a few dollops of basil pesto in and around the dish. Season well with sea salt and ground pepper, then top with grated cheese. I used a mix of parmesan and gruyere, but most types of cheese would work well. Bake in the oven at 180 C until bubbling and golden. Enjoy!



Sunday, August 3, 2014

PETITE KITCHEN - THE SECOND COOKBOOK



So....I have some pretty damn amazing news that I have been struggling to keep quiet... I am fantastically excited to be working on my second book to be published next year.

Here you can see my beautiful girl Bella being silly in front of the beginnings of my mood wall. I absolutely can not wait to tell you all more about the direction of the book, and wanted to ask if there were any special requests? what kind of recipes would you like to see?

Sending a massive thank you to everyone for your incredible love and support, without you all this would never have been possible! Huge love! Eleanor xxx

Thursday, July 31, 2014

LAVENDER, BLUEBERRY & LEMON MUFFINS




These gorgeously moist lavender and blueberry muffins are naturally free of gluten, dairy and refined sugar, and are sweetened with a touch of honey. They are sprinkled with a little coconut sugar before baking to give a deliciously sweet and crunchy crust. Beautiful with a mug of herbal tea.

You can find the recipe over on the  Viva - The New Zealand Herald website by clicking HERE.

xx

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

PARMESAN, PUMPKIN & SAGE SOUP




Today I cooked up a large pot of this parmesan, pumpkin & oregano soup. I used a recipe which I posted a while back, but added a few generous handfuls of grated parmesan right at the end. Gorgeously good! and so wonderfully simple to make. My favourite kind of cooking.  You can find the recipe by clicking HERE. Eleanor xxx