Roasted Cauliflower & Garlic Hummus

Late last year, I was diagnosed with an Autoimmune disease called Hashimoto’s.  I’d had 4 years suffering horrible symptoms & countless visits to my GP & specialists.  Thankfully, finally, I was diagnosed by my new Naturopath, Carly Gallagher & I can honestly say, she has literally saved my life.  One thing I had to do upon my diagnosis, was drastically change my diet.  Gluten & dairy are gone, along with many other foods I used to love.  I now follow an Autoimmune Protocol Diet (AIP) about 80% of the time.  The AIP diet is basically a Paleo diet, with no eggs, nuts or seeds.  It’s terribly limiting, but it’s had such a positive result reducing the symptoms I was experiencing & reducing the inflammation in my body.

Thankfully, I have a Thermomix, which allows me to make meals from scratch, using whole foods, but is really quick & easy.  If you avoid anything, be it sugar, gluten, fructose, nuts, dairy – a Thermomix is a must in your kitchen.  Even if you just want to eat clean, healthy food.  It’s such a relief to know 100% what is in the foods you’re eating.  You can also save a lot of money buying whole foods in bulk & reducing the amount of packaged foods you buy.

My dietary restrictions have forced me to be very creative in the way I flavour my food.  I found this dip recipe on the website ‘Autoimmune Wellness’.  I made it, tweaked it (roasting the cauliflower adds so much more flavour) & converted the recipe to Thermomix method.  I always have this dip in my fridge.  I eat it with raw veggie sticks as a snack & will often add a dollop to a grilled steak or on grilled asparagus.

If you don’t have any Garlic Confit, follow the notes at the end of the recipe to roast your garlic bulbs.

Ingredients:
1 head of cauliflower, roasted
100g olive oil (plus extra for roasting cauliflower)
80g lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
40g water
1-1.5 tsp salt
3 tsp Garlic Confit

Method:
Pre heat oven to 180°C.
1) Roughly chop Cauliflower into large pieces, drizzle with olive oil & bake for 50-60 minutes (or until the top of the cauliflower is dark drown)
2) Allow cauliflower to cool, or place in the fridge overnight to continue with the recipe the next day.
3) Add roasted cauliflower to TM bowl, along with the raining ingredients.
4) Puree 1 minute/speed 8, or until dip is nice & smooth.
5) Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Notes:

If you don’t have any Garlic Confit for this recipe, you can use a whole head of garlic.  Chop off the bottom of the garlic, so that every bulb is exposed.  Top with a teaspoon of coconut oil & then wrap in foil.  Place the wrapped garlic in with the cauliflower for roasting.  Once cooled, squeeze the smooth garlic out of each bulb – just be careful to let it cool down enough.


Fresh Orange Juice

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Your Thermomix is fantastic for making juices & smoothies.   One of the many benefits is enjoying juice that is full of fibre, because you’re using the whole fruit, rather than the juice only.  This orange juice recipe is delicious, easy & so fresh!

Adding the sugar in this recipe is optional.  If you’re used to drinking store bought orange juice, you will need it.  However, over time you can gradually reduce the amount as your tastes get used to the natural sweetness.  The secret to this recipe is the water gradually being added to the TM bowl.  Your Thermomix blades will emulsify the water into the orange flesh, ensuring a smooth consistency.

Ingredients:
10-20g raw sugar (optional)
400g oranges, flesh only (about 3 large oranges)
12 ice cubes
200g cold water

Method:
1) Place sugar in TM bowl & mill for 10 seconds/speed 10.
2) Add oranges & ice.  Mix 20 seconds/speed 6.
3) Set timer for 1 minutes & turn on speed 9.   Slowly pour water onto TM lid & it will drizzle under the MC into the bowl.
Serve & enjoy!

Keeping herbs fresh

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I love using fresh herbs whenever I can in my cooking.  However, when I spend money on herbs & they only last a day or so, drives me crazy!

I wish I could take credit for this tip, but a colleague of mine shared this with me some time ago (thanks Petina!!).  I’ve been storing my fresh herbs like this ever since.  My herbs will easily last 7 days stored this way, even up to 10 days.

Here’s what to do…..

Take 2 pieces of paper towel & thoroughly well the towel with water, then give the towel a light squeeze.

Wrap the herbs tightly in the wet towel, then store in an airtight container in the fridge.

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Herbs

Protein Bliss Balls (using almond pulp from nut milk)

Balls

These sugar free bliss balls are easy to make & great to have on hand for an afternoon snack or just when I need something on the sweet side.

I’ve recently been eating a paleo diet & besides being amazed at how good I feel, I’ve been amazed yet again at what my Thermomix can do for me!  I’ve been able to make so many things myself, rather than buying them, which has not only saved a lot of money, but taste better too.  I’ve made these bliss balls using the left over pulp from making my own Almond Milk, so there’s no wastage.  You can keep the pulp in the fridge for a day or two after making milk, if you don’t have time to make the balls straight away.

Ingredients:
Almond pulp (left over from making almond milk – about 180g)
100g cashews, unsalted
175g pitted dates
25g cocoa or cacao
90g shredded coconut
30g maple syrup or honey
pinch of salt
2 tbsp coconut oil

Method:
1) Add all ingredients to your TM bowl & chop 10-20 seconds speed 8.
2) Scrape down the sides of the bowl & combine a further 10-20 seconds speed 8 (using TM spatula through the hole in the lid if necessary).
3) Roll into balls coat in desiccated coconut (optional)
4) Freeze the balls for at least 30 minutes before storing in the fridge.

Notes:
 I store my protein balls in the freezer, as they don’t need to defrost long before eating.  Once they’ve frozen on a tray or plate, you can store them in a zip lock bag & they won’t stick together.
 
 This is what the almond pulp looks like after it’s been strained through the nut milk bag….
Almond pulp

If you’re a perfectionist in the kitchen like me & prefer ever ball to be the same size, I use an old fashioned ice cream scoop to portion the mixture, before rolling into balls.

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Spiced Sweet Potato & Chick Pea Soup

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It’s a cold day in Melbourne today, so there’s nothing better than a delicious & comforting than a bowl of soup for lunch.   This has fast become another favorite of mine.  I tweaked this recipe from one I found on the Thermomix Recipe Community.  I loved the flavours, but the texture was different, as the original recipe pureed the chickpeas into the soup.   I thought I’d have a play with the recipe & leave the chickpeas whole, which I really liked.  You can make a vegetarian version of this by substituting the stock paste from chicken to vegetable.    If you don’t have time to dry roast & mill the spice seeds, see notes at the end of the recipe.

Ingredients:
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes (to taste)
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
20g olive oil
500g sweet potato, peeled & roughly chopped
2 carrots
1 tbsp chicken stock paste (or vegetable)
1L water
1 can chickpeas, drained & rinsed
Fresh coriander or natural yoghurt (to serve)

Method:
1) Place dried spices in TM bowl, dry roast for 3 minutes/100 degrees/speed 1 (MC off).   Replace MC, then mill spices 40 seconds/speed 9, set aside.
2) Without cleaning the TM bowl, add onion & garlic. Chop 3 seconds/speed 5.
3) Add oil, cook 3 minutes/100 degrees/speed 1.  Add the reserved spices, cook 1 minute/100 degrees/speed 1.
4) Add sweet potato & carrot. Chop 5 seconds/speed 5.
5) Scrape down sides of bowl, add water & stock, cook 25 minutes/100 degrees/speed 1.
6) Puree the soup for 1 minute/speed 9 (gradually increasing the speed from speed 5 to speed 9).
7) Add drained chickpeas, cook for 5 minutes/100 degrees/reverse/speed 1.
8) Top with coriander & serve.  This is also lovely topped with a tablespoon of natural yoghurt.

 Notes:
 If you’re in a hurry or don’t have spice seeds, you can skip step 1.  Just add 2 tsp ground cumin & 1 tsp ground coriander with the oil in step 3.  This still tastes nice (I’ve made it both ways), but dry roasting & milling the spice seeds, adds much more flavour.

Grating Tasty Cheese

Grated CheeseSome of my customers have asked me about grating cheese in their Thermomix, in particular cheeses like Tasty or Cheddar.  They find it easy to grate hard cheese like parmesan (10 seconds/speed 10), but struggle with softer cheeses.    They key is to not grate Tasty & Cheddar as long as hard cheeses, as the cheese will just clump together.  My other tip is to add some plain flour to your cheese before you grate & this will help your cheese not to clump.

You can save a lot of money buying blocks of cheese & grating them yourself.  A packet of pre packed grated cheese can cost around $17.50 per kilo, verses a block of cheese costing around $12.00 per kilo.  If your family eats a lot of cheese, these savings are significant over a year.  Not to mention avoiding additives & preservatives found in pre packaged grated cheese.  These contain Cellulose, which stops the grated cheese from clumping.  What many don’t know, is that Cellulose is actually powdered wood pulp!  I know what I’d prefer my kids not to be eating.

 Ingredients:
400 – 500g cheese, cut into pieces (approx. 4-5cm cubes)
40g plain flour

Method:
1) Place cheese & flour in TM bowl.  Chop 4 seconds/speed 8.  Check consistency & chop for an additional second at a time, so as not to over grate, until desired consistency reached.
2) Store in your fridge in an airtight container for up to a month, or in a zip lock bag in your freezer.

Grape & Basil Fruity Dream

Frruity dream

If you’ve ever been to a Thermomix demo, you’ve probably been wowed by the sorbet!  My favourite comment from a demo so far has to be ‘Oh Caroline….you had me at icing sugar’!

You can also use your Thermomix to make instant soft serve ice cream.  Instead of using ice & frozen fruit for a sorbet, a Fruity Dream is made from frozen fruit, so the texture is more creamy.  By adding the Butterfly Whisk in the last stage of the recipe, you incorporate air, which produces such a light dessert.

This fruity dream recipe is for the adults, as I’ve found kids don’t really appreciate the basil.  It may sound like an odd combination, but trust me, it’s absolutely delicious.

Ingredients:
60g raw sugar
600g frozen red grapes (seedless)
handful of basil leaves
1 egg white

Method:
1) Place sugar in TM bowl, mill 10 seconds/speed 9.
2) Add frozen fruit, chop 10 seconds/speed 8. Scrape down the sides of the bowl & chop again 10 seconds/speed 8.
3) Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the egg white & chop 10 seconds/speed 8.
4) Insert Butterfly Whisk. Mix 40-60 seconds/speed 4, or until a soft & smooth consistency is reached.
5) Serve immediately or store in the freezer in a container.

 Notes:
 You can use green grapes, however I prefer the colour the red grapes give to the ice cream.
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You can use any frozen fruits or berries to make your fruity dream!