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.
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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.

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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.

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

Classic Minestrone

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This is originally a Jaime Oliver recipe, which I found in the newspaper recently.  I love a good minestrone, so I was eager to try his recipe.  I’ve adapted the recipe to Thermomix method & tweaked it a little, but I really didn’t want to change the recipe much, as it’s delicious.  Very hearty & warming on these winters days.   This recipe makes 5 large serves.  Add some additional water & pasta to serve more.

Ingredients:
1 garlic clove
1 red onion, peeled & halved
1 carrot, roughly chopped
1 celery stick, roughly chopped
1/2 fennel bulb, roughly chopped
3 rashers bacon
1/2 bunch basil
20g olive oil
70g red wine
400g tin diced tomatoes
1 zucchini, sliced lengthways then chopped
150g cabbage (about 1/4 cabbage)
400g tin cannellini beans, drained
1 heaped tablespoon chicken stock paste
40g macaroni
600g water
parmesan cheese (to serve)

Method:
1) Place garlic in TM bowl, chop 3 seconds/speed 7.
2) Add onion, carrot, celery, fennel, bacon & basil stalks. Chop 4 seconds/speed 4.5
3) Scrape down sides of bowl, add oil, cook 8 minutes/120 degrees/reverse/speed 1 (MC lid off).
4) Add wine, tomatoes & zucchini. Cook 12 minutes/100 degrees/reverse/speed 0.5.
5) Add shredded cabbage, stock paste, beans, macaroni & water. Cook 12 minutes/100 degrees/reverse/speed 0.5. Use your spatula through the hole in the lid, to ensure ingredients are well mixed.
6) Season with salt & pepper to taste. Serve topped with torn basil leaves & parmesan cheese.

 Notes:
 For a vegetarian version, leave out the bacon & use vegetable stock paste.

 You can use any vegetables in this recipe.  You can substitute the cabbage & zucchini with silverbeet & any seasonal vegetable.

Breakfast Smoothie

Green smoothie

I’ve been making this delicious green smoothie for a while now for breakfast.  This recipe makes 2 large serves & should keep you full until lunch time.  In the past, I’ve never found a smoothie enough to satisfy my hunger until lunch, but this one does!  Each serve contains 200 calories.  If you’d like a creamier consistency, add a whole avocado, which increases the calories to 300 per serve.  I’ve only been making it with half an avocado as they are quite expensive in Melbourne at the moment.  This smoothie will last in your fridge for a few days too.   Store in an air tight container in your fridge, so that you can give the smoothie a thorough shake before serving, as they juice may separate.

Ingredients:
1/2 avocado, peeled & stone removed
60g broccoli florets
20g kale leaves
20g baby spinach
1 stalk celery
1 apple, quartered
1 lemon, skin & pith removed
1 frozen banana, cut into thirds
5g mint leaves (a good handful)
1 tsp chia seeds
1 tsp stevia
60-100g ice cubes
600-700 g water

Method:
1) Place all ingredients in TM bowl, mix 1 minute/speed 9.

Notes:

Tweak this recipe to your liking, by adjusting the amount of water you add.  I usually add 650g, which I find ideal.

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Recipe based on; the Original Skinny Smoothie (Sally Obermeder)

Garlic Confit

Garlic Confit3

If you love making pizza’s, this is a must have staple in your fridge.  Spread it on pizza dough, then top with sauce & toppings.  You can even just spread a teaspoon of this on the dough & top with grated cheese, for a delicious cheesy garlic pizza.  If you’re just making a garlic pizza or garlic bread, no need to drizzle with oil, as there’s enough oil in the spread already.  This is also wonderful to add to stir fry’s & any other dish you add garlic & oil.

Once the confit cools, the garlic pieces will solidify in the oil, so make sure you give it a good mix before you use.  This will keep in your fridge, in a sealed & sterilised jar for 3-6 months, making sure you always use a clean spoon in the jar.

I first made this last year, after converting the recipe to Thermomix method, from Pete Evan’s Pizza Cookbook (obviously before his Paleo days)!!  ‘Confit’ means cooking in fat or oil, at low temperature, for a long period of time.  Cooking garlic this way, means it’s cooked slowly into a rich, succulent texture & it brings out the sweetness of the garlic.  Even better, you should also avoid bad ‘garlic breath’ too!

Ingredients:
150g garlic cloves (about 3 bulbs)
250g olive oil

Method:
1) Place peeled garlic in TM bowl, chop 3 seconds/speed 5. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
2) Add oil, cook 45 minutes/95°/reverse/speed 1.
3) Carefully pour into a sterilised jar & keep in the fridge.  One pizza will only need 1-2 teaspoons of mixture, spread over the base with the back of the spoon.

 

Notes:
 Once the confit has cooled, the garlic will solidify in the oil.  Make sure you give this a good mix before using, so you get an even amount of garlic & oil.

Garlic Confit Garlic Confit1

Cheesy Meatballs (served at least 3 ways)

imagesYYPO4XJ3

As a busy Mum, I’ve always got some home cooked meals in the freezer for my kids.  These frozen meal are especially handy, when 5pm comes around, the girls are getting tired, I’m tired & I think, what’s for dinner?  To know I can prepare a healthy meal for them in minutes, that’s been cooked from scratch, is wonderful.  These balls are full of hidden veggies, that have been cut so small by my amazing Thermomix blades.  They are also cooked in the Varoma, which keeps them lovely & moist.

I’ve always got some of these meatballs in my freezer (in varying shapes & sizes), that I can turn into a family favourite meal.  See the notes below for all the variations.  I cook small balls to turn into spaghetti with meatballs.  I cook small balls to serve on a pizza base with mashed vegies or pizza sauce, to make a meatball pizza.  Another option is to shape the meatball mixture into rissoles, coat in breadcrumbs & shallow fry, so we’ve got hamburgers.   You could also substitute the minced beef with minced turkey or pork for another variation.

Ingredients:
1 small onion, halved
1 carrot, cut into pieces
1 zucchini, cut into pieces
handful of fresh parsley, or 1 tsp dried mixed herbs
500g beef mince, premium
1 tbsp vegetable stock paste
60g cheddar cheese, grated
30g plain flour

Method:
1) Place onion, carrot, zucchini & herbs in TM bowl, chop 3 seconds/speed 7.
2) Add remaining ingredients, mix 10 seconds/speed 7. Use TM spatula through the hole in the lid to assist mixing ingredients if required.
3) Shape mixture into small or medium sized balls & place on Varoma tray, lined with baking paper.
4) Add 1 litre boiling water to TM bowl, set Varoma into position, cook 14-16 minutes/Varoma/speed 3.
Serve or freeze.

 Notes:

I use these old fashioned ice cream scoops to portion control my meatballs or rissoles, which allows for even sizes & more importantly, even cooking.

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These are the meatballs after they’ve been cooked in the Varoma.  You can see how moist & tasty they look!IMG_2388-001 
 This is a meatball pizza that is one of my kids favourite meals.  The pizza sauce is actually pureed vegetables with some tomato paste added for colour.  Follow this link for more on pizza night with lots of veggies.

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This mixture can also be shaped into hamburgers, coated in breadcrumbs, then shallow fried.  Serve as a hamburger or cheeseburger, or even just as rissoles!

6-Homemade-Cheeseburger-Buns

Of course, serve as spaghetti & meatballs.

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Or serve with a dipping sauce as a canapé.

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Canape meatball picture source: Taste.com.au

Pea & Ham Soup

Pea & Ham soup

One of my lovely customers sent me this recipe last year.  She’s a fan of Pea & Ham soup & had tried making a few recipes, but wasn’t 100% happy with the results.  So, she decided to make her own recipe, by blending a number of recipes together to get the result she was after.  I first made this late last year, and was so excited to be able to share it with everyone this winter.  The cooking time is considerable for a soup, so it’s not a soup to make if you’re after a quick & easy meal.  However, if you’re a fan of this classic soup, you’re sure to love this recipe!

Thank you for the recipe Sharon Wilson!

Ingredients:
3 cloves garlic
1 onion, halved
1 leek, white part only
1 carrot
1 stick celery
1 potato, peeled
900g water
1 tbsp vegetable stock paste
100g split green peas
1 large ham hock or 2 small ham hocks (approx. 1kg)
pepper to taste

Method:
1) Place onion, garlic & leek into TM bowl, chop 5 seconds/speed 5.  Scrape down sides of the bowl.
2) Add oil, cook 5 minutes/Varoma or 120 degrees/speed 1 (MC lid off).
3) Add roughly chopped carrot, celery & potato. Chop 5 seconds/speed 5.  Scrape down sides of the bowl.
4) Add water, stock paste, split peas & pepper to TM bowl. Place ham hocks into the Varoma dish & place into position.
5) Cook 60 minutes/Varoma/speed 1.
6) Remove Varoma dish & set aside.  Replace MC into bowl lid.  Puree soup for 1 minute/speed 9 – Gradually increasing speed from speed 5 to 9.
7) Using a knife & fork, remove cooked ham from the bones & discard bones, skin & fat.
8) Chop/shred ham into small pieces & add to soup.  Mix 20 seconds/reverse/speed 2.
Serve & enjoy!  Suitable to freeze too.

Ham hock

Cranzac’s (Cranberry ANZAC biscuits)

Cranzacs

I made these biscuits recently & my kids devoured them. These are Anzac biscuits, with cranberries, pumpkin seeds & sunflower seeds added to them.  You could really add any dried fruit or seeds, but this combination is really lovely.    Lunchbox friendly & I’m sure the whole family will love them!

Ingredients:
125g butter
90g golden syrup
35g water
1 tsp bi carb soda
140g plain flour
120g rolled oats
80g desiccated coconut
140g brown sugar
90g pumpkin seeds (pepita’s)
40g sunflower seeds
80g cranberries

Method:
1) Preheat oven to 170 degrees celcius.
2) Place butter, syrup & water in TM bowl, melt 3 minutes/70 degrees/speed 2.
3) Add bi carb soda, mix 5 seconds/speed 3.
4) Add remaining ingredients, mix 10 seconds speed 3.
5) Scrape down the sides of the bowl, knead mixture on dough setting/45 seconds.
6) Place small balls of mixture on tray lined with baking paper & lightly press down each ball with a fork or spoon.
7) Bake for 12 minutes, until golden.

Makes about 50 biscuits