Monday, November 25, 2013

Filo Potato Pie

I love a good pie. Even better when there's not too much pastry!
I don't regularly use filo pastry but when I do its a nice treat. 

Here's how I used up the last of the filo pastry I had in the fridge since making strudel.
We all love mashed potato and when we have some leftovers I love to add it onto the tops of pies!  
Its amazing what a fantastic dish can be made with a few leftovers & a few household staples!

You'll need:
4 sheets filo pastry
1 leek
1 can cannellini beans
3 cubes frozen spinach
1 teaspoon garlic
1 x 400g can tomatoes
1 teaspoon Italian herbs
1 teaspoon cornflour dissolved in  1/4 cup water

1 cup mashed potato

Lightly spray a pie dish with oil.
Line the dish with the sheets of filo pastry. Place the sheets in the middle of the dish and allow the excess pastry to hang over the edges.
In a frying pan, combine the chopped leek, drained cannellini beans, spinach, garlic, herbs and tomatoes.
Cook until the leek is soft and the spinach has completely defrosted, approx 7 minutes. 
Stir in the cornflour mixture and stir straight away. The sauce will thicken.
Pour the mixture on top of the pastry.

Top the veggie/bean mixture with the mashed potato (you can either use leftover mash or make a new batch).
Fold the ends of the pastry over the filling and mash.
Bake in a preheated 180C oven for 30 minutes until golden brown.
Slice and serve :-)


Question of the day:
Do you prefer your pie topped with pastry or something else like mashed potato?

Friday, November 22, 2013

Veggie & Rice Bake with Cauli-Sauce Topping

This bake has a lot of layers & takes a bit of time, but its not at all hard.
In fact once the layers are put together it simply bakes in the oven.

We have had this many times and its always a winner. I love how big the meal is so that makes plenty of leftovers!
Its incredibly tasty & although it's just 'one' dish, it really is a complete meal by itself.
I especially love the cauli-sauce topping because I can't get my husband to eat cauliflower unless its hidden like this!!!! ;-)


Makes one large baking tray - Serves 6-8
You'll need:
Bottom layer: 

2-3 cups cooked brown rice
1 can lentils, salt free
1 onion
1 cup mushrooms
1 can tomatoes

1/2 green capsicum
1 can corn
1 carrot

Cauli sauce:
1/2 head of cauliflower
2 Tablespoons tahini
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoons minced garlic

Black pepper

Spread the pre-cooked brown rice into the bottom of a large baking dish.
Drain the lentils and spread the evenly over the rice, followed by the chopped onion & the chopped mushrooms. (Mushrooms shown only on one side of the bake here to keep hubby happy!)
Pour the canned tomatoes over the onions and mushrooms. Spread so evenly distributed.


I find the putting the tomato in the middle helps to keep the bake moist while its cooking instead of just on the top.

Chop the carrot & capsicum. Spread them over the tomatoes along with the drained corn.
To make the cauli-sauce:
Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend til smooth and thick.

Pour the sauce over the bake and spread til all the veggies are completely covered.

 Sprinkle with freshly cracked black pepper.
Bake in a preheated 200C oven for  45-60 minutes. The vegetables will be tender but not completely soft after 45 minutes, they will be soft by 60 minutes - so the choice is yours! Please note, these times are for my oven and ovens can vary! Baking for 60 minutes will definitely brown your cauli-sauce but not to the point of being burnt. If you are worried about the browning you can cover the dish with foil.
Shown here baked for 1 hour.
So I must admit that this is not the 'prettiest' food to photograph! The pictures don't do it justice of how yummy it is! 
Definitely a home-style meal & not for photographic purposes!!!!

Submitted for Healthy Vegan Friday.
You can add your recipe at these blogs:
carrie on vegan

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

In (and out) My Kitchen - November


Well this is a bumper edition that's for sure!
I not only have several things IN my kitchen to show you, but also several things that have gone OUT of my kitchen!

I have been attempting to reduce our clutter & with that comes parting with some kitchen items that no longer are used as frequently as they should be.

These include a bread maker and a yogurt maker (to name a few):
I never had much luck making dairy free yogurt despite several attempts.

And so that brings me to a few new food items that I have in my kitchen to try:
One being coconut yogurt.
This is a new product available at Woolies.
Its delicious! But quite high in fat and a bit costly. 

Unrefined sugar to cook with - replaces raw sugar in recipes. Not necessarily a "new" thing for me, but I do tend to refer to 'raw sugar' in recipes even when I'm using an equivalent unrefined sugar.
I picked up this range of McDougall Right Foods from Coles. I was soooooooo excited that they stocked them! I LOVE that these have no added oils. I haven't actually tried any yet. My husband tried the lentil soup and said it was ok. Again, on the costly side but worth it to have healthy convenience foods for when they are needed. I have the remaining items in my drawer at work for one morning when I don't make lunch!
And peanut butter cacao spread which I also picked up from Coles. 
To be honest, I would much rather just have plain peanut butter. This didn't tickle my fancy! But my daughter LOVES it.

I also have a bag of Mrs Mays snacks. These are soooooooooo delicious. Made using whole ingredients these are a healthy snack and although they look small, just 2 pieces is actually quite filling, so I'm very pleased with how long this bag has lasted us!
In my kitchen is this vegan Christmas pudding that is waiting til next month when it will be devoured! Also purchased from Coles & especially marked "vegan" - gotta love that!!!
Its nice to have a little one for our family when it is time to share a Christmas meal with our extended family. I'm sure I will have enough other food I need to make without adding Christmas pudding to the list!!!!

In My Kitchen is a range of new teas that I have purchased and am looking forward to trying:

In my kitchen is this bag of rocket seeds that I'm waiting to plant. We are running short of pots in our yard. I feel a Bunnings trip coming up soon! 
On my kitchen window sill is this little basil plant that we've grown from a seed :-)
It is due to be transferred to our garden anytime soon, where it can joint the other basil that is growing!

Our pot of basil!
Which brings me to some other things OUT of my kitchen that will hopefully one day come IN!
Capsicum plant
We have several edible items growing around our garden at the moment. Since we don't have any lawn they all need to be in pots. I can take NO credit whatsoever for our garden because I do not have any green thumbs on my body at all! My hubbie does all the gardening work! I'm quite proud of his effort! Its so incredibly exciting to see the produce actually beginning to grow and not just having a plant full of leaves!
Here's some others that we currently have growing:

Tomatoes - if these succeed they will become tomato sauce because none of us actually like eating fresh tomato!
Lemon tree - I really hope this one takes off. I miss having a lemon tree.
Kale - however, it seems that we just can't keep the bugs from enjoying these leaves - then again, I can't blame them! We have been trying to get this to work for over a year now! We have a new cover to put on it and see how we go!

Last but not least, in my kitchen I have some new Norwex cleaning cloths.
For those of you who are not familiar with Norwex products, they are a company that make products that reduce the need for chemicals in cleaning. This includes  a large range of anti-bacterial clothes that use silver particles that only need water for cleaning.
I'm all for cleaning without chemicals so I'm eager to use these more and see how they go. So far I'm really really pleased with them.


Link your kitchen up on the Fig Jam & Lime Cordial blog.

Friday, November 8, 2013


I have made this 'stew' (for want of a better word) several times.
Its so quick & easy but yet really tasty. That makes it great for those evenings when we are late home from one activity and not long til we need to leave for the next....

The added bonus is that these are simple foods that we almost always have on hand.


To serve 2 you'll need:
1 onion
2 potatoes
1 zucchini
1 cup button mushrooms
1 can lentils
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn

Chop the onion, potatoes, zucchini and button mushrooms into small pieces. 
Add to a frying pan and lightly saute, adding small amounts of water to stop from sticking to the pan. 
Drain the lentils and add them to the veggies with the tomato paste. Cover for 15 minutes.
Remove lid and stir through the basil.
Serve with black pepper.

*You can sub fresh oregano in place of the basil. 
Equally as tasty, but changes the meal completely!*

Submitted for Healthy Vegan Friday.
You can add your recipe at these blogs:
carrie on vegan

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Best Nacho's I've Ever Had

Now that's a bold statement.... But it really is true!

So I just HAD to share what I did to make them so tasty!

I cut a packet of wholemeal pocket pita breads into little pieces the size of corn chips and spread them out on a lined baking tray. Baked the pieces in a preheated 180C oven for 15 mins until golden brown and crunchy.

While the bread pieces were cooking I chopped an onion, a zucchini, a capsicum and a cup of button mushrooms. I then dry-fryed the veggies with a sprinkling of cumin, oregano and a teaspoon garlic, until the veggies were just softened.

Once the bread pieces were done I removed them from the oven & topped them with several dollops of tomato paste. I then added the cooked veggie mix, a can of corn kernels, a can of drained red kidney beans and popped the tray back into the oven for a further 10 minutes to warm the other ingredients. 

While that was cooking I made some cheesy sauce. 
This is how:
In a microwave proof glass measuring jug I combined-
1 teaspoon cornflour

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
Using a fork I slowly added 1/2 cup soymilk and stirred until all the ingredients were dissolved. I then microwaved the cheesy sauce for 1 1/2 minutes until thickened but not totally firm. 

I removed the nacho's from the oven and topped with a few dollops of salsa, splashes of cheesy sauce & some mashed avocado.


There was something amazing about the mix of the salsa with the cheesy sauce. And I loved how the pita bread stayed crispy despite having LOADS of toppings.

Question of the day:
Is there a particular food that you cook at home that you enjoy more than when you eat it out at a restaurant? 

For me the answer to that question is usually - EVERYTHING! 
However these nacho's needed a special mention because I never have cheesy sauce on top at a restaurant!