Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Quinoa white sauce

Today I needed to whip up a fast, toddler (and husband!) friendly dinner in a hurry. I was going to make a cheesy white sauce to mix in some stuffed pasta and frozen veges, but then I realized that we didn't have any flour! I turned to quinoa to save the situation. Is it possible to make a quinoa white sauce? Apparently, yes! Plus, it's gluten free as a bonus for my friends and family who have intolerances.

The secret is to take quinoa flakes and turn them into flour in a coffee grinder (ours is dedicated for spices). In 10 seconds you have a fine, dusty flour that works beautifully in a white sauce.


30g butter
1/2 cup quinoa flakes
1 cup full cream milk
Parmesan and pepper to taste


Grind quinoa flakes in a coffee/spice grinder. Melt butter on a medium heat. Add ground quinoa and stir with a whisk until combined. After 1 minute or so, start adding small amounts of the milk, stirring until the mixture thickens and then continuing until you are satisfied with the texture (you may not want to use a full cup of milk). Add parmesan and pepper to taste.

Add to pasta and steamed vegetables for a fast and delicious dinner. White sauce is the basis of so many delicious recipes. I can't wait to try using this recipe for making chicken pies, roast cauliflower, lasagne and many more!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Lemon and ginger slice

Ginger and lemon tea is so restorative that I wanted to make a slice with them. What a refreshing way to accompany a cuppa? My recipe is a combination of ideas from this caramel slice recipe and this ginger and lemon slice recipe. I'm not shy on the ginger, so moderate this ingredient to suit your own tastes.


1 cup plain flour, sifted
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
125g butter, melted
2-3 tsp ground ginger

400g can sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons golden syrup
60g butter, melted
Zest of approximately 1 lemon


Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a 3cm deep, 28 x 18cm (base) lamington pan.

Combine all base ingredients in a bowl. Mix well.

Press into prepared lamington pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until light golden. Remove from oven. Cool.

Make filling: Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, whisking, for 8 minutes or until golden. Pour over cooked base. Bake for 12 minutes or until firm. Cool completely. Refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours, or until set.

Cut into squares to serve.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Cauliflower and kidney bean tacos

I'm back! After being pregnant and becoming a mum, I've been cooking from my instincts and not necessarily coming up with the most creative dishes. Also, I have often not had time to pause to take photos and blog. Nonetheless, I'm still here and tonight I made a scrumptious vegetarian mexican dinner for my best friend and hubbie: cauliflower and kidney bean tacos! The secret is cooking the cauliflower and bean mixture for a good hour or so--like a hearty bolognese. 

Apparently if you don't cook cruciferous vegetables for 30min they are goitrogenic (inducing goiter formation). They contain enzymes that interfere with the formation of thyroid hormone in people with iodine deficiency. In that class of vegetable includes: cauliflower, cabbage, cress, bok choy, broccoli and similar green leaf vegetables.


1 mexican dinner kit ('requiring' 500g of meat)
1 onion finely chopped
1tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves crushed
1tbsp ground cumin
1tbsp dried oregano
1/2 cauliflower chopped into bite-sized chunks
1 can kidney beans
sour cream
2 cups water

2 tomatoes diced
1 avocado smooshed with lime juice, salt and pepper
Fresh coriander/cilantro
1 green top of spring onion sliced
1 carrot grated
grated cheese
sour cream

Tabasco, jalapenos and chilli to taste


Fry onion until soft. Add cumin, garlic and caulflower and cook for a couple of minutes. Add kidney beans, taco seasoning packet and water. Simmer on low, uncovered for 30min-1hr, stirring occasionally  and breaking down cauliflower with a wooden spoon. Add 2 tbsp sour cream towards the end as it thickens. Put taco shells in the oven to crisp.

Serve with chopped tomato, salsa, mashed avocado, cheese, sour cream, lettuce, grated carrot, lettuce, sprouts, coriander and chilli sauce to taste.