Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Smoked Trout with a Winter Salad

My new smoker is already gathering dust because I hadn't figured out how to use it but Masterchef had this lovely looking smoked trout on the menu for a Masterclass so after my next trip to the market I'll give this a go:
Smoked Trout with a Winter Salad

Prawn Kalamaki with Tzatziki and Herb Salad

I'm watching Masterchef at the moment and I'm definitely going to make this for my next dinner party!
Prawn Kalamaki with Tzatziki and Herb Salad

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Home remedies for healthy plants

After a little bit of research I discovered that there are many different household items that you can use on your plants over and above composting. These are the ones I'm planning on trying:

1. Used coffee grinds - Excellent on roses and azaleas, or any plant that likes a higher acidity in the soil.

2. Unused milk - Watering indoor plants with any leftover/expiring milk

3. Epsom Salts - Fantastic for tomatoes, capsicum, chilli plants, roses and pretty much anything else. When first planting, place a tablespoon in the soil and continue to use semi-regularly throughout the year. Especially good if your tomato plant leaves are starting to yellow.

4. Honey - When taking a cutting from a plant, dip the cutting in some honey before planting. It kills all bacteria and promotes growth. No need to buy special root-growing formula.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Eggplant, pumpkin & zucchini curry

Preparation Time
10 - 15 minutes

Cooking Time
25 minutes

2 tsp vegetable oil
1 medium brown onion, cut into wedges
3 tsp Madras Indian curry paste (medium hot)
450g (about 4 large) baby eggplant, halved, cut into thick chunks
450g medium zucchini, halved, cut into thick chunks
500g Jap pumpkin, deseeded, peeled, cut into chunks
1 x 140ml can coconut milk {Ayam brand)
250mls (1 cup) vegetable stock
3 tsp brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander
Salt & ground black pepper, to taste
300g (1 1/2 cups) Basmati rice

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until slightly golden. Add the curry paste and cook for a further 2 minutes.

Add the eggplant, zucchini and pumpkin and toss until well coated in the paste. Add the coconut milk and stock, stir to combine and bring to the boil over high heat.

Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and simmer for a further 5 minutes or until the sauce has thickened slightly and the vegetables are just cooked. Stir in the brown sugar and coriander and season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, cook the rice in large saucepan of salted boiling water, according to packet directions, until just tender. Drain.

Serve the vegetable curry with the rice

Leftovers: use curry paste in vegetable or meat curries. Use stock in soups or casseroles. Use rice to make pilaf. Use coriander in pesto.

For the kids: mild vegie curry - reduce the curry paste to 1 tsp.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A year's worth of cleaning product for $7.50

I saved $1900 in a single year with this recipe for a great all purpose spray cleaner! It is suitable for all kitchen surfaces, tiles, bathrooms, toilets, even stainless steel kitchen appliances and cooktops. The only thing I'm not sure it's suitable for is marble benchtops. Here's how you make it:

In an empty 600ml spray bottle, combine one tablespoon of full strength eucalyptus oil and one tablespoon of sugar soap. Fill the bottle with water, turn gently to mix, then simply spray and wipe as needed.

The eucalyptus oil cuts through all grease and is also a cockroach deterrent and an anti-bacterial agent. In the bathroom, I spray all bath/shower surfaces and then scrub with a clean, wet broom. As a floor cleaner, I spray it on the really dirty bits, then use a steam mop over the top.

Before I started using this, I used to spend $4.00 per 500ml bottle of Ajax Kitchen Cleaner, $6.00 per 500ml bottle of Ajax Bathroom Cleaner and $8.00 for a 250ml bottle of special cleaner for the stainless steel cooktop and oven. I was replenishing all these every two months. That's $18 every second month or $1944 per year!

By comparison, I have calculated that my recipe costs $0.79c per 750ml bottle, and I make a new batch about once a month. That's a grand total of $7.50 a year. What a saving!

Pepper your pumpkin and store it for weeks

To stop pumpkin from going mouldy and growing fur, simply scoop all the seeds out, along with any loose bits, then sprinkle black pepper all over the cut flesh and the pumpkin will last for weeks in the fridge. Every time you cut a piece of pumpkin off, just add more pepper over the sliced area.

Keep avocado from turning brown

Mash ripe avocado flesh with 10ml of milk. i.e. if you mashed eight avocados use 80ml of milk. Mash them as required and store them in an old dip container. It doesn't alter the taste and it stays green for days!


Wrap a cut avocado in aluminium foil and then wrap it in cling wrap and put it in the fridge.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Salmon Salad with Tarragon & Caper Dressing

Server 4 for lunch

100g green beans
1 x 400g tinned salmon
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
4 spring onions (scallions), finely sliced
1 cos (romaine) lettuce, torn into pieces

1 Tbsp capers, finely chopped
1 Tbsp tarragon, finely chopped
2 tsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp olive oil

Bring a small saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil. Blanch beans for 5 minutes. Drain and cool under cold running water.
In a small bowl mix all dressing ingredients and season to taste.
Drain salmon and place in a salad bowl with beans, tomatoes, spring onions and lettuce. Pour dressing over salad, toss well and serve immediately.

Source: the CSIRO total wellbeing diet