Saturday, April 7, 2012

The great good Friday challenge.

It's been awhile, but I'm back. With so much to share. It might take me awhile to find the time to fill you in on everything, but bare with me, we'll get there!

I just wanted to share quickly a challenge that I gave myself this Good Friday just gone. As we slip deeper and deeper into a recession I find myself becoming more and more aware of every dollar. I don't want to spend in excess and I don't want to waste anything!

After reading this article about saving money on your food shopping, I decided to set myself a challenge. We had invited our friends over for dinner and I asked myself - could I put on a good, tasty dinner using only what was left in my cupboard? Since our 'shopping day' was the next day, it was especially hard, but with a little help from google I started to plan my Vegetarian Good Friday Feast.

On the menu was: zucchini risotto balls, lentil and quinoa sausage rolls, roquette and red onion salad, broccoli pasta, quinoa salad and fig and walnut puffs with ice cream.

Here are a few of the recipes I used, and of course, some select pictures.

Zucchini Risotto Balls

I cup arborio rice
1 cup white wine
clove garlic, chopped
1 white onion, chopped.
Parmesan cheese
2 cups chicken stocks (and more if needed)

Fry garlic and onion in pot with olive oil. add rice and stir thoroughly. When the rice is nicely coated with mixture turn up the heat and add wine. let this reach a boil and then turn right down. add shredded zucchini and i cup of stock. stir continuously adding stock in small doses until the rice is cooked. When ready stir through parsley and Parmesan. When mixture is cold roll into balls and roll through bread crumbs. Bake in hot oven until golden.

TOP TIP: Did you know the hard part of your Parmesan cheese block can be chopped up small and thrown into your risotto a few minutes before it finishes. This adds lovely little cheesy bites with real texture and doesn't waste a thing!

Lentil & Quinoa Sausage Rolls

I cup red lentils
1 and 1/2 cups of water
1 cup of cooked Quinoa (follow pack instructions)
1 carrot, chopped into tiny cubes
1 zucchini, shredded
1 cup bread crumbs
2 tbs tomato sauce
1 tbs oyster sauce
4 sheets of puff pastry

Fry carrot and zucchini in a pan with butter. Bring lentils to the boil and cook until water has mostly gone. Throw lentil mix, carrot and zucchini mix, cooked quinoa, sauces and bread crumbs into a bowl and mix. Cut sheets of puff pasty in half. Fill middle with some mix and roll into a sausage roll. Cut roll into standard sausage roll sizes (10cms) cook in heated over until lovely and golden.

Broccoli Pasta

2 cups of penne pasta
cup of chopped broccoli
olive oil
quality dried Parmesan cheese

Boil pasta and broccoli until cooked. drain. add a dash of olive oil to coat and some Parmesan cheese to taste. done. yum. yum.

Quinoa Salad

1 cup quinoa salad
half a cup of cranberries
half a cup walnuts
quarter cup red onion
handful of chia seeds
1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup of olive oil
2 garlic cloves chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Add quinoa to water in pot. bring to a boil, then simmer and cover. Let all the water absorb and it's done. Take it off the heat and let it rest/go cold. In a bowl combine, walnuts, cranberries, red onion and chia seeds. Add cold quinoa. Half an hour before serving add garlic, oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Stir through and then put back in the fridge.

Fig & Walnut Puffs

My mum gave me a bag of her beautiful figs. I have NEVER cooked with figs. So i googled. And with the pastry I had left over, made these little parcels of love!

20 ripe figs
3 sheets puff pastry
some sugar
1/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped
4 tbs honey

Using a mug or cup, cut out pastry rounds and place in a well oiled muffin tin. Sprinkle a little sugar in each. Cut the stalk off the figs and slice into approx four pieces. Layer 3-4 pieces in each pastry basket. Warm walnuts and honey in the microwave. Top figs with walnuts. sprinkle a little more sugar over each. cook in warm over until golden. serve with ice-cream.