June 4, 2015

Chicken miso soup with brown rice and vegetables

Our town of Orange has launched well into winter with temperatures in the -4C degree range on rising so it’s no surprise that every second day we are indulging in pots of soups or stews to stay warm.

Tonight’s dinner is simple as it is delicious. It’s a soup base with a miso flavour and you can literally throw any number of vegetables into it for bulking up the nutritional value and saving on food wastage; think a few leftover carrots, limp broccoli, zucchini, peas, etc.

The image I have does not show you much of the soup as we’ve all eaten it so quickly although I have placed some in a thermos funtainer as a tester for my son’s lunch at school tomorrow.

These new thermos containers just came in today and are available to buy now on my shop site http://greenskis.bigcartel.com

Chicken and Miso soup in thermos

Chicken miso soup with brown rice and vegetables

Ingredients: (Serves 4-6) Prep time: 20 minutes

1.25L  Chicken stock home-made is preferable or low-salt bought one

Roughly chopped breast and leg pieces of meat from boiled or pre-cooked chicken (skin removed)

50 gm butter or coconut oil

pinch of chilli flakes

3 tsp fresh ginger grated

250 gm brown rice

2 cups of mixed green vegetables; broccoli and zucchini work well chopped

5-6 carrots peeled and roughly chopped

3 Tbsp mirin

2 – 2 1/2 Tbsp miso paste

1 Tbsp soy sauce

Optional: silken tofu can be substituted for chicken or added to this dish.

Method:

1. Cook brown rice in a large saucepan of water or according to instructions and set aside.

2. In a large soup pot bring chicken stock to the boil, add carrots and/or broccoli stalks, then 3 minutes later add broccoli and zucchini for another 5 minutes. Please note if using peas, kale or spinach only add in last-minute and turn off heat or down to a simmer.

3. Meanwhile in a saute pan on medium heat, melt butter adding chicken pieces with ginger, chilli until fragrant. Add mirin and soy stirring to combine and remove from heat.

4. Add chicken mixture to stock pot on a simmer and stir in miso paste. You must not overheat as it preserves the active beneficial bacteria in the miso. Turn off heat and add tofu if you prefer.

5. Spoon rice into bowls and top with soup.

Enjoy!

chicken soup thermos3

May 21, 2015

Leftover broccoli, rocket, basil and walnut pesto

The rain is blanketing down thick and fast and I’m not at all feeling inspired (YES! It happens, even when you love to cook). You ask yourself “what’s for dinner” and you see that walking out into heavy rain to the grocery store with your boys in tow is clearly out of the question.

I never want to waste any food, good produce is too precious and perhaps I wouldn’t feel that bad if we had chickens but right now at the very least it goes straight into the compost.

So, what do I have in my fridge? I have some broccoli, some a bit limp from last week and a fairly new one, I have walnuts which have been sitting in the pantry for well who knows because sometimes I get carried away when nuts are on sale! I have some leftover basil from a previous planned meal and its crushed down the bottom of the freezer. Rocket is usually a staple in my fridge and it definitely needs to be used up today.

Garlic, olive oil and lemons are always on hand – I rarely run out of these ingredients but realised I could substitute with apple cider vinegar, orange juice/zest and macadamia nut oil.

There is some pasta and a few pork & fennel sausages leftover from the weekend.

Okay so it’s looking like a leftover pesto creation, a few sausages sliced on top with some pasta. Ricotta complements this pesto too if you have some lying around. You can be assured though that this pesto packs a punch of immune boosting, anti-cancer fighting super greens in this sustainable waste not want not dinner.

You could substitute a number of items; watercress instead of rocket, mint perhaps instead of basil, I am sure it would taste good with a variety of items.

My boys are always the judge of whether I continue to make something again or not…the verdict? They loved it! Empty bowls with lines of pesto remnants.

Please note, you will require a fine blender like Vitamix, Nutri-bullet or Thermomix to make a fine paste. Here is the recipe.

Broccoli, rocket, basil and walnut pesto

Broccoli, rocket, basil and walnut pesto pasta

Ingredients: Serves 4 (15-20 minutes)

2 cups broccoli stalks as well

1 cup rocket

1 cup basil leaves

1 lemon zest and juice (if you are not a fan of lemon, cut it back by half)

zest of 2 mandarins or 1 orange (why not?)

1 cup walnuts

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup macadamia oil

2 cloves garlic

parmesan grated and/or ricotta crumbled

1/8th teaspoon of chilli powder – use more if you like it spicy

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

pasta of your choice; spiral clings well, fettucine is also good.

optional: pork and fennel sausages

1. If you are using sausages, cook them over a low-medium heat until cooked through; this should take no longer than 10 minutes.

2. Fill saucepan with water two thirds full and bring to the boil and then add pasta.

3. Meanwhile, steam broccoli for approximately 7 minutes in a bowl of water in the microwave.

4. Combine all ingredients including broccoli in blender, in stages if not large enough until a fine paste.

5. Mix through drained pasta, add cheese, sliced sausage.

Enjoy!

Broccoli, rocket, basil and walnut pesto pasta