Reheating your BBQ leftovers in the Varoma

BBQ Varoma

One of my all time pet hates is wasting food, so we all enjoy leftovers in our house.   A friend of mine only recently told me about reheating food from last night’s BBQ in the Varoma, so I gave it a go the other night.   By reheating with steam, you retain the moisture in the food & I was very impressed with the result.  Needless to say, I won’t be using my microwave anymore to reheat things like cooked sausages or hamburgers.   One of the many things I love about Thermomix, is that after 5 years, I’m still picking up new hints & tips!

I reheated a sausage, a hamburger, a few Cajun chicken tenderloins & a few pieces of turkey stuffing.  I added 500g boiling water to the TM bowl & cooked for 7 minutes/Varoma/speed 3.  If you’re reheating a larger quantity of food, you may need to increase the time by a few minutes.

I always use a sheet of baking paper on my Varoma tray – purely so there is minimal washing up.  If you would rather not use baking paper, just place the food straight onto the Varoma tray.  I add boiling water from my kettle when I use my Varoma, as this decreases the overall heating time, as the boiling water will create steam faster than cold water.  If you do add cold or warm water to your TM bowl, allow 5-10 minutes extra heating time.

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Ruth’s Gingerbread (egg free)

gingerbread-house

I’ve always loved to bake, so of course I love to make gingerbread at Christmas time. However, I didn’t have a recipe which I really loved. Last Christmas Eve, my lovely next door neighbour Ruth, dropped in to wish us a Merry Christmas. She gave me a bag of gingerbread biscuits her daughter had made. With my first bite, I told Ruth I must have the recipe! The gingerbread has a rich colour, perfect level of spice & most importantly, the texture is firm, not crumbly, which makes it perfect for making gingerbread houses!

Ruth is in her mid eighties & has lived in the house next door for over 50 years. She said the recipe was packed away in a cupboard, with her oldest recipe books, but she would try to find it. I’ve reminded her a few times & whenever I saw her she’d say “I must find that recipe for you dear”. Anyway, a few months ago, Ruth gave me the recipe. I first converted ounces to grams & then converted the recipe to make in my Thermomix.

This recipe also has no egg, so if there’s an egg allergy or intolerance in your household, you will love this recipe!  To make a full gingerbread house – multiply this recipe by 1.5

Ingredients:

100g Butter, cubed
110g brown sugar
80g treacle
340g plain flour
30g cold water
1 heaped tsp ground ginger
1 heaped tsp ground mixed spice
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp bi-carb soda

Method:
1) Place butter, sugar & treacle in TM bowl, melt 2 minutes/70°/speed 2 (you may need to increase the speed at the start if the butter is cold).  Scrape down the sides of the bowl & melt further 1 minute/70°/speed 2.

2) Add remaining ingredients, mix 10-20 seconds/speed 5 (or until ingredients are combined).

3) Knead for 2 minutes on dough setting.

4) Tip out gingerbread onto Thermomat or clean surface. Use your TM spatula to get the dough out of the bowl. Wrap in glad wrap & refrigerate for 15-20 minutes only. Pre heat oven to 170°C

5) Roll out gingerbread on a non stick mat & cut shapes as desired. Remember not to cut on your Thermomat though!

6) Bake for 12-15 minutes. Allow to cool completely, before decorating or assembling a gingerbread house.

Notes:

Don’t leave the gingerbread in the fridge for more than 20 minutes, as it will be too hard to roll out.

If you happen to leave your gingerbread in the fridge overnight & it’s too hard to roll, you can chop it up into pieces, put in the TM bowl & knead for a minute. Add small amounts of water through the hole in the lid, until the dough returns to rolling consistency.

 

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Broccoli Salad with Craisins & Almonds

Broccoli Salad

One of my lovely colleagues at Thermomix passed on this amazing salad recipe – thanks Melinda!  I made this salad at home recently, to serve with a piece of steak & also made it at a demo, to rave reviews.   This salad is full of flavour & colour, but like so many Thermomix recipes, is so very easy.    This salad is especially delicious when you make your own Mayonnaise in your Thermomix.

This recipe is actually based on the Broccoli Salad from the Everyday Cookbook & Janine Babauskis modified the recipe as it is today.  Janine used to work for Thermomix & there is not much she doesn’t know about her Thermomix.  She also presents many of the cooking classes at the Alyce Alexandra cooking school in South Melbourne.  If you receive a Thermomix owners newsletter from me, you’ll know I’m a huge fan of Alyce Alexandra & their classes.   By going along to any class, you’ll pick up so many tips from Janine, not just about your Thermomix, but cooking in general.

Ingredients:
180g broccoli florets, roughly chopped (about 3/4 head)
1 carrot, roughly chopped
1 green apple, quartered
1/4 red onion
1 stick celery, roughly chopped
1 red capsicum, seeds removed & roughly chopped
1 handful of craisins
100g slivered almonds (toasted)

Dressing Ingredients:
100g Mayonnaise (homemade or good quality)
10-15g pomegranate syrup
1/4 tsp salt or to taste

Method:
1) Add broccoli, carrot, apple, onion, celery & capsicum to TM bowl, chop 4 seconds/speed 4.5
2) Scrape down the sides of the bowl & repeat chopping for 1 second at a time/speed 4.5, until desired consistency is reached.
3) Add craisins, almonds, mayo, syrup & salt, stir 5 seconds/reverse/speed 3, or until combined.
4) Taste & add extra syrup or salt if required.

 Notes:

 If you’re making your own mayonnaise in your Thermomix, make it first & scrape out the mayo into a jar or bowl.  You won’t need to clean the bowl, just add the salad ingredients & start the recipe.  I’ll usually have my TM spatula handy, in case I need to mix the salad through the lid.
 
 Feel free to add ingredients to your mayonnaise – the recipe in your cookbook is a basic mayo.  You can add things like garlic, parmesan or apple cider vinegar for a different flavour. 

Weetbix Slice (includes egg free option)

Weetbix slice

This slice has fast become my family’s favourite!  My kids absolutely love it & often get involved in making & icing it.  I tried a few recipes, some too dry, but my favourite was from a blog called Make it Perfect.  I’ve tweaked the recipe a little & adjusted everything to grams, so it’s so easy to weigh the ingredients into your bowl.

For an egg free version of this slice, replace the egg with 40-50g chickpea water.  This is the water drained from a can of chickpeas.  You won’t be able to tell the difference, in fact, I prefer it with the chickpea water.

Ingredients:
10 weetbix  (160g)
180g butter, cut into pieces
25g cocoa
150g brown sugar
40g desicated coconut
1 egg

Icing Ingredients:

180g icing sugar
20g cocoa
20g soft butter
boiling water

Method:

1) Pre heat oven to 170 degrees (fan forced). Grease & line a slice tin with baking paper.
2) Place weetbix in TM bowl, crush 5 seconds/speed 10.  Set aside.
3) Without washing TM bowl, add butter, melt 3 minutes/60 degrees/speed 1.
4) Add cocoa, sugar, coconut, egg & reserved weetbix, mix 20 seconds/speed 4.
5) Scrape down the sides of the bowl, mix a further 10 seconds/speed 4.
6) Pour mixture into slice tin & press evenly into tin (see notes).
7) Bake for 20 minutes.  Allow to thoroughly cool before icing.

Icing Method:
1) Place icing sugar in TM bowl.  Mill 5 seconds/speed 10. (No need to sift – it’s now done)!
2) Add cocoa & butter.  Add 5-10g boiling water, then mix 10 seconds/speed 5.
3) Add 5-10g more boiling water & mix again 10 seconds/speed 5, until you achieve a smooth consistency.  Don’t add more than 10g boiling water at a time, as too much & the icing will be too runny.
4) Pour icing on cooled slice & sprinkle with 100’s & 1000’s.

 Notes:
 In my kitchen, food handling gloves are a must have!  For this slice, I put some on & press the slice down evenly with my hands before it goes in the oven.
IMG_4017

I cut up the whole slice into small pieces, then store half in the fridge for the kids to enjoy.  The other half of the slice goes in the freezer, so I can always pop a few pieces in their lunch boxes.

Ginger Chicken with Hokkien Noodles

Hokkien

This has to be one of my favourite dishes to make in my Thermomix!  I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but when I first became a Thermomix owner over 5 years ago, I made every a point of trying a new recipe every Wednesday.  I still pass this advice onto my customers today, as it really helps you maintain variety, learn more about your machine & you’ll find hidden gems along the way, just like this one!  This dish takes a little preparation & then cooking time is 11 minutes!  The garlic & ginger are so fresh & very warming in winter especially, although you can enjoy this dish all year round.

This recipe makes 2-3 large serves.  If you’d like to double the recipe, see me notes at the end.   It’s also very easy to make this vegetarian – replace the chicken with tofu or double the vegetables.

Ingredients:
300g chicken breast, cubed
20g sherry
10g soy sauce or tamari
2 cloves garlic
10g ginger
1 fresh red chilli or dried chilli flakes (optional)
220g packet Hokkien Noodles
15g macadamia oil
250g vegetables (such as broccoli, snow peas, bok choy, capsicum)
50g oyster sauce

Cashews, almonds, coconut flakes or coriander to garnish (optional)

Method:
1) Place chicken into a small bowl, place on TM lid & tare the scales. Weigh sherry & sauce into the bowl, mix & allow to sit 30 minutes, or longer.
2) Boil the kettle, place hokkien noodles into a large bowl & cover with boiling water. Set aside.
3) Place garlic, ginger & chilli in TM bowl, chop 5 seconds/speed 7.
4) Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add oil & cook 2 minutes/120 degrees/speed 1.
5) Add the chicken (including the marinade), cook 3 minutes/100 degrees/reverse/soft speed.
6) Add vegetables & oyster sauce, cook 3 minutes/100 degrees/reverse/soft speed.
7) Drain the noodles, add to TM bowl, cook 3 minutes/100 degrees/reverse/soft speed.
Garnish as desired & serve.

 Notes:

To double this recipe, you have two options:

A) Prepare double ingredients & chop garlic, ginger/chilli for both serves.  Set half the garlic mixture aside & follow the recipe as above.  When finished, place in a Thermo Server to keep hot & follow the whole recipe again.  As the cooking time is only 11 minutes, this is usually a good option.  Also, you don’t need to clean the TM bowl in between!

B) Add double ingredients to TM bowl & add 1 minute cooking time to steps 4 & 5.  Increase the cooking time to 8-9 minutes in step 7.  Disregard step 7.  Instead, pour drained hokkien noodles into a Thermo Server, add cooked chicken/vegetables & gently combine

Peanut Butter

Peanut Butter

I’ve been using my Thermomix for over 5 years now, but I only started making condiments in the last year or so.  One of the many things I love about my Thermomix is that I can make so many things from scratch, instead of buying them.  I avoid additives & preservatives, save a lot of money & the taste just doesn’t compare.  When I first started making peanut butter however, my kids were less than impressed with the taste.  I didn’t mind it, but I think for the kids it lacked the taste of the commercial product.  Then one of my colleagues (thanks Melinda!) passed on a great tip – add a little honey & salt to replicate the commercial taste.

Since then, I haven’t bought any more from the supermarket & just made my own.  The kids are happy & so am I!  In terms of savings, a 375g jar of Kraft peanut butter costs over $4.50.  I buy my peanuts in bulk & buy 1kg bag for $5.95 which makes over 3 jars.  The other major benefit of making your own is avoiding additive #320 Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) which is found in many commercial peanut butters, including Kraft.   I won’t go into details of BHA reactions, but trust me, it’s quite scary.

Ingredients:
300g unsalted peanuts
handful of macadamias
10g honey
1/4 tsp salt
5-10g macadamia oil

Method:
1) Add nuts to TM bowl, chop 20 seconds/speed 7.
2) Add honey, salt & 5g oil to start. Chop further 20 seconds/speed 7. Check the consistency of the peanut butter & add more oil if needed (best to add in small amounts at a time).
3) Spoon mixture into a sterilized jar.  Store in the pantry or in the fridge.

 Notes:

 I prefer to use unsalted peanuts & then add salt myself, so I can control the amount of salt added.

If you prefer a chunky peanut butter, add the peanuts to the TM bowl (before step 1 above) & turbo for 1 second.  Set a portion of these nuts aside & then proceed with the recipe.  At the end of step 2, add the reserved nuts back to the TM bowl & mix on reverse for 20 seconds/speed 5.

I add macadamias to my recipe, as they are quite oily.  If you’d rather not add the oil, that’s OK.  I add it, so that my peanut butter is a spreadable consistency.  If you don’t add the oil, chop the nuts for longer, as the longer they’re chopped the more oil is released from them.

Peanut butter can be stored in the pantry or the fridge.  I prefer mine in the pantry, so it’s easier to spread.  I found mine lasts up to 2 months in the pantry.

Super Summer Salad

Brown Rice Salad4

I recently had the pleasure of seeing this version of the Brown Rice Salad being made by my Group Leader at one of our cooking classes.  I have to say, I was so impressed, that I made sure I shared the recipe on my blog.  I’ve had a Thermomix for 5 years now & had never made this recipe from the Everyday Cookbook or the Basic Cookbook.  It wasn’t until I saw it being made & then tasted it, that I realised what an amazing dish this is.   The salad is vegetarian & vegan without feta (which is optional).  The quantity in this recipe would feed at least 8 adults.  I personally usually halve the recipe when I make it & still have enough for a few lunches or dinners, as it keeps in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Cooked in layers, using the Varoma, the recipe also incorporates some new steaming techniques using baking paper.  By creating a platform on the base of the Varoma dish with two forks, you can pack the dish with parcels of food.  This allows you to cook each vegetable to it’s perfect cooking time – cook beetroot the longest & add the lighter veggies for the last 5-6 minutes.  This technique also prevents different foods ‘bleeding’ into each other during the cooking.  See the notes for more details & photo’s!

Thanks for sharing this lovely version of the recipe Michelle Moss!

Ingredients:
300g brown rice
100g quinoa
100g roasted cashews
50g sunflower seeds
50g pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1 large beetroot, diced
2 bunches asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
1-2 red capsicum, sliced
120g baby spinach
4 spring onions
100g feta (optional)
60g olive oil
60g lemon juice
60g soy sauce or tamari

Method:
1)Weigh brown rice & quinoa into the simmering basket. Cover with cold water & soak for at least 1 hour (or up to 24 hours).
2) Insert the simmering basket (containing rice & quinoa) into TM bowl & add 900g water. Cook 15 minutes/Varoma/speed3.
3) Meanwhile, prepare vegetables for cooking by wrapping them in parcels of baking paper (see photo’s in Notes)
4) Place 2 forks or chopsticks on the base of the Varoma dish (see photo’s in Notes), then place the parcel of beetroot on top of forks.  Insert Varoma, cook 12 minutes/Varoma/speed3.
5) Add the asparagus & capsicum parcels to the Varoma dish, cook 6 minutes/Varoma/speed3.
6) Remove the Varoma dish & carefully check that vegetables are cooked to your liking.
7) Place spinach leaves in a large salad bowl.
8) Remove the simmering basket & pour cooked rice/quinoa over the leaves. Add cooked vegetables, nuts, seeds & spring onions. Gently toss to combine.
9) To make the dressing, combine oil, lemon juice & soy sauce in a small jar.   Shake well, pour over salad & toss to combine. Top with crumbled feta.
Season with salt & pepper.  Serve warm or cold.

Notes:

forks in Varoma

Placing 2 forks or chopsticks in the base of your Varoma dish, creates a platform that allows steam into the Varoma, so you can pack your dish full of food.

Brown Rice Salad3

For this recipe, the parcel of beetroot does in the Varoma dish first, as it takes the longest to cook.

Brown Rice Salad2

Add additional parcels of vegetables according to the cooking time they require.

Brown Rice Salad1

Pouring the cooked rice & quinoa over the baby spinach wilt’s the leaves

Brown Rice Salad

I add all the ingredients for the dressing in a jar & shake well.  You can pour it all over the salad, or keep some for the leftovers.  The dressing could also be mixed in your TM bowl on speed 6 for 5 seconds.

Brown Rice Salad5

When soaking the rice & quinoa, the basket fits into a Thermo Server.