main dishes, grains, vegetables & sides

saffron celery rice

25th April 2020

This is a modified rice dish that Donna posted years ago and because I make it often I thought I would revisit and repost it. It is soothing on the digestive system and soft on the eyes with its pale yellow saffron hue. Serve it with roasted vegetables and an avocado-yoghurt sauce. It also goes nicely with a simple tovve and vegetable palya.

Saffron is considered sattvic, balancing all three doshas. One flower bears three stigmas, which are plucked and dried. It contains a carotenoid called crocin, which imparts a golden-yellow hue to dishes.

“Generosity is a noble quality. It opens the mind and heart to appreciate the universe and all that it encompasses.” ~ The Sacred Tradition of Yoga by Dr Shankaranaranaya Jois.

saffron celery rice

preparation 25 minutes

serves 3 – 4

ingredients 

1 cup white basmati rice

2 cups hot water/vegetable stock

two pinches saffron threads (15 threads)

2 Tbsp ghee

1 stalk celery, finely chopped

1 bay leaf

½ tsp fine rock salt

handful coriander, finely chopped

zest and juice of ½ lemon

to serve

roasted vegetables

spicy avocado-yoghurt puree

preparation 

1.  Rinse the rice until the water runs clear, pour into a sieve to drain.

2.  Place the saffron threads in the hot water to steep for 5 minutes.

3.  In a heavy-based pan, heat ghee, then fry the celery, bay leaf and salt; when soft, add rice and stir to coat grains in ghee.

4.  Pour in ¼ cup saffron water and stir. When almost evaporated, add remaining saffron water and bring to a boil, reduce heat to maintain a rapid simmer, uncovered for 8 – 10 minutes or until the water has evaporated.

5.  Turn off heat, and cover with a tea towel between the lid – set aside undisturbed for further 10 – 15 minutes.

6.  Add coriander, lemon zest, juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Donna’s Hasselback Sweet Potatoes

13th August 2019

On this day 10 years ago, Donna and I posted our first combined post on Goodnessis’, and with this in mind, we felt it was appropriate to share another, considering that we are currently spending family time together in Australia. As we live on opposite sides of the world, we always commit to meet once a year with our parents in Australia’s Winter on Hamilton Island. Each night, Donna and I cook and prepare a meal together, these Hasselback sweet potatoes was one of those delicious meals!

Donna first initiated this blog as a way for us to keep in contact. As with most areas of life, for growth to occur, things need to evolve, and due to exploring other pursuits, Donna stepped away from contributing and I continued. For me, this blog has given so much and has become a wonderful way to share this way of life and recipes with like-minded well-wishers.

This post is a heartfelt THANK YOU to Donna!  I am forever grateful that we began this journey, as I am not sure this blog would have taken birth without her initial inspiration.

Hasselback sweet potatoes

Preparation – 1 hour

Serves 6

ingredients

3 large/6 small sweet potatoes

2 Tbsp ghee/extra virgin olive oil, melted

1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped 

sea salt & cracked pepper

to serve

spicy avocado yoghurt puree

beetroot, apple, fennel, sesame seeded salad with ginger lemon dressing

preparation

1.  Preheat oven to 200C/400F. Line a flat baking tray with baking paper.

2.  Place sweet potato in between 2 wooden spoons. Holding the spoons and the potato, make thin slices across the top of the potato. The spoons prevent cutting all the way through. Repeat with all sweet potatoes.

3.  Place each sweet potato on the lined tray. Gently fan out the potatoes so the slices are revealed.

4.  Drizzle ghee over the potatoes, aiming for a little to drip between the slices, and then also brush tops with ghee.

5.  Sprinkle the rosemary over the top of each. Add salt and pepper to taste.

6.  Cover with foil and place in oven for 30 minutes, then remove foil and roast for a further 15-20 minutes, or until edges are crispy/charred, depending on how you like them.

sandwich night with sesame-tempeh, charred fennel & pepper rings

3rd October 2018

Usually, sandwich night falls on Friday when it is just the three of us and I have made a fresh loaf of challah bread. The meal comes together in half an hour and is so delicious and satisfying. Slices of homemade bread are brushed with strong English mustard, followed by a thick layer of vegan mayonnaise and filled with avocado salsa, green garden leaves, tamari-sesame coated slices of tempeh and charred fennel and red pepper rings.

sandwich night

Preparation – 30 minutes

Serves 3

for the fennel-pepper rings and charred tempeh 

1 small red and green bell pepper

1 large fennel

1 packet/200g tempeh

6 Tbsp oil/ghee

3 Tbsp sesame seeds

3 Tbsp tamari

for the sandwiches

slices of your favourite bread

strong English mustard

avocado with tomato, coriander salsa and mustard seeds

vegan mayonnaise

bitter salad leaves

salt and freshly ground black pepper

cook the vegetables and tempeh

1.  Slice the fennel and bell peppers into rounds and the tempeh into strips or rounds. (Depending on the shape of the tempeh you are using). Set aside

2.  In a heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat. Drizzle in a tablespoon of oil and cook the fennel rounds until charred around the edges. When sufficiently charred, scoop them out onto a large plate and repeat the same procedure with the red and green peppers – add to the same plate as the fennel.

3.  Lower the heat to medium and pour in the remaining oil, fry the tempeh until golden, flipping over and doing the same with the other side. Once all have been done (may need to do in two batches), return all the tempeh to the pan, sprinkle over the sesame seeds and saute, coating the tempeh with the seeds for 1 minute. Turn off the heat and drizzle the tamari over the tempeh. Stir a few times and scoop out onto the plate. Making sure you brush out all the seeds leftover in the pan over the charred peppers, fennel and tempeh.

to assemble the sandwiches

4.  Drizzle each slice of bread with olive oil, a swipe of mustard and spread a thick layer of mayonnaise, add a dollop of avocado salsa, and a layer of garden green leaves, a few slices of tempeh, a generous sprinkle of fennel and pepper rings and season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

Enjoy!

lasagna tart

11th September 2018

sunkissed and content…

A very decadent and comforting dish for a special occasion. A bit rich on its own but goes well as part of the main meal, accompanied by a simple rice dish and a variety of salads. The parmesan crust is divine, crunchy and flavourful.

lasagna tart

Preparation time  – 40 minutes

Baking – 15 minutes

Serves 6 – 8 or one 9-10 inch tart.

Recipe adapted from here. 

ingredients

2 medium/350g zucchini, sliced into very thin coins

¾ tsp fine-grain rock salt

tart crust

½ cup/75g unbleached all-purpose flour

½ cup/70g whole wheat flour

½ cup/115g unsalted butter, well chilled + cut into small cubes

2 cups/100g loosely packed grated parmesan cheese

½ tsp fine-grain rock salt

2 Tbsp ice cold water

tomato sauce

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 tsp each of finely chopped fresh rosemary and oregano leaves

¾ tsp red pepper flakes

400g cherry tomatoes, finely chopped

½ tsp fine-grain rock salt

½ tsp brown sugar

 

1 cup/250g ricotta cheese

¼ cup small basil leaves

preparation

1.  Preheat your oven to 190C/375F. Oil a 10-inch tart pan and set aside.

prepare the zucchini

2.  Slice the zucchini using a mandoline or knife into 2mm slices. Place in a bowl, sprinkle over the salt and gently toss until evenly covered with salt. Transfer to a colander and let drain while you make the tart shell and tomato sauce.

make the tart crust

3.  Place both flours, butter cubes, parmesan and salt in a food processor and pulse quickly about 25 times. You are looking for a sandy textured blend, with pea-sized pieces of butter. With a few more pulses, blend in the 2 tablespoons of ice water. The dough should stick together when you pinch it with your fingers.

4.  Pour the dough into the tart pan. Working quickly, press the dough uniformly into the pan by pressing across the bottom and working up towards the sides. Place in the refrigerator and chill for 15 minutes. You can use this time to finely chop the tomatoes.

bake the tart crust

5.  Pull the tart out of the refrigerator and poke a few times with the tongs of a fork. Cover the tart with baking paper and fill generously with pie weights (I used chickpeas). Bake for 15 minutes, pull the tart out of the oven and gently remove the baking paper containing the pie weights.

6.  Place the uncovered tart back in the oven, weight free, and allow to cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

prepare the tomato sauce

7.  Stir the olive oil, red pepper flakes and finely chopped herbs in a saucepan, cook over medium-high heat until the herbs start to sizzle just a bit.

8.  Stir in the finely chopped tomatoes, bring to a simmer, cook the sauce down, uncovered, for 20 minutes, then stir in the salt and sugar, set aside.

to assemble the tart

9.  Use a spatula to spread half the ricotta cheese across the base of the tart shell. Then spoon half the tomato sauce over the ricotta and arrange half the zucchini in a single layer on top of the sauce. If your zucchinis are still quite wet, press them with a paper towel. Spoon the remaining ricotta over the zucchinis and push it around a bit with your fingers so that it forms a layer. Arrange another layer of zucchini and finish with the remaining sauce. You want the filling to nearly, but not quite fill the pan.

to bake the tart

10.  Place the tart on a rimmed baking sheet (in case you end up with an overflow) and bake for 40 minutes or until the tart is cooked through. Remove and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle the top with fresh basil leaves.

slow cooked zucchinis with basil

4th September 2018

ZUCCHINI

This year I staggered my planting to have a continuous supply of zucchini throughout the summer, but I forgot how quickly they grow from seed to plant and now I have an endless supply.

Just when I think I have them under control, I venture out into the garden and miraculously there is another batch ready to be picked! I have been giving away a lot and trying many new recipes to use them up.

I have been returning to these zucchini fritters and recently sitting in my drafts is this lasagna tart recipe from 101 Cookbooks which I will make for my daughter before she returns to University.

I have also been making a sweet zucchini palya to accompany any dal or sambar.

In the garden…..

slow-cooked zucchinis with basil

Preparation – 1 hour

Serves 4, as a side dish.

Recipe adapted from `Spring´ by Skye Gyngell.

ingredients

6 small/530g firm zucchinis

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 Tbsp ghee/butter, melted

rock salt & freshly ground black pepper

preparation

1.  Trim the zucchinis and slice them into fine rounds, about 3mm thick. I used a mandoline for this.

2.  Place a medium heavy-based pan over medium heat and pour in the olive oil and melted ghee, add the zucchinis and stir well to coat the slices in the ghee and oil. Add a good pinch of salt.

3.  Turn down the heat to its lowest setting possible and cover the pan with the lid. Cook for 40-50 minutes, stirring every few minutes to ensure the zucchinis do not stick to the bottom or brown. As the zucchinis cook they will soften and their flavour will deepen. Eventually, they will begin to disintegrate, becoming almost like a thick mushy jam.

4.  At this point, remove from heat and add half the basil leaves, plenty of pepper and a good pinch of salt. Stir well, sprinkle over the remaining basil leaves and serve.

These zucchinis are surprisingly good eaten cold as well. Serve as an antipasto with crusty bread, stirred into pasta or as a vegetable side dish.

carrot coriander fritters

8th July 2018

June has been a month of abundant poppy blossoms, big round buzzing bees and cool, misty, chalky mornings.

~ Oriental Brillant Poppy (Papaver orientale)

carrot coriander fritters

preparation – 30 minutes

15 – 18 fritters

ingredients 

¾ cup/90g chickpea flour

¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

½ tsp fine rock salt

½ tsp turmeric powder

½ tsp cumin seeds

½ tsp coriander seeds

1 chilli, finely chopped

pinch asafoetida powder

¾ cup/180ml water

3 – 4 medium/350g carrots

½ cup/20g fresh coriander

peanut oil/ghee for frying

preparation 

1.  In a small pan, dry roast the cumin and coriander seeds. Set aside to cool, then roughly grind in a mortar and pestle.

2.  In a medium bowl, measure out the chickpea flour, add salt, pepper, turmeric powder, ground coriander and cumin, chilli, and a pinch asafoetida powder – stir to combine.

3.  Pour in the water and whisk together until smooth. Set aside. The mixture will be sticky.

4. Top, tail and scrub the carrots.  Grate them, either with a box grater or using the shredding blade of a food processor. Place in the bowl with the chickpea batter, along with the chopped coriander. Stir to combine, the mixture will be quite dry. Allow to sit for 5 – 10 minutes for the water to come out of the carrots.

5.  Heat the oil over medium heat in a cast-iron skillet.  When hot, place a heaped tablespoon of the batter into the hot oil.  Spread a little to make a round, flatter shape.

6.  Cook them over medium-high heat until the edges turn golden, about 3 – 4 minutes.  Flip the fritters and fry for another 2  – 3 minutes.  Drain briefly on a paper towel.  Best served immediately with the avocado raytha or spicy pickle, also nice alongside coriander leaf vanghi bath.

Goodness shared by Stacey

a buttery herbed pilaf

16th June 2018

Each year I plant broad beans because of their delightfully scented pure white, black and white flower. The seed always germinates, even in this unpredictable Sintra weather but when the beans arrive, I am sometimes at a loss at what to do with them.

This year, there was an abundance of both succulent beans and sweet peas. Just in time, I came across this rice dish which enabled me to make use of all the various green bits and pieces from the garden, that have emerged at this time of year.

The herbs soften the buttery rice and infuse it with flavour. The steaming method of cooking the rice forms a crusty bottom, creating crunchy shards of golden rice. It is a splendid outcome.

a  buttery herbed pilaf

Serves 3 – 4

Recipe adapted ‘Gather Cook Feast’ by Jessica Seaton.

ingredients

1 cup/200g white basmati rice

½ cup/65g fresh young broad beans

½ cup/70g fresh sweet peas

½ cup/70 g finely chopped green beans (optional)

1 large bunch/20g each fresh parsley, dill or fennel fronds

1 very large bunch/80g fresh coriander

½ cup/125ml melted ghee – divided (or 75g butter-melted)

salt and pepper to taste

zest from half lemon

juice from half lemon

soak the rice

1.  Wash the rice in cold water and drain. Repeat 3 more times to flush out all the excess starch (this helps the rice to be fluffy with nice separate grains when cooked). Then leave to soak in cold water for 1 hour while you prepare everything else.

prepare the greens 

2.  Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil. In it blanch the broad beans, peas and green beans for 3 – 4 minutes, then drain and refresh in ice-cold water immediately to cool them down (this keeps them green). When they are completely cold, drain the peas and beans, set aside.

3.  Finely chop the leaves and tender stems of all the herbs, and mix together. Keep any tough stems for soups or stews. Set aside.

prepare the rice 

4.  Drain the rice. Fill a medium saucepan (with a lid that fits) with very well salted water. Bring the water to a vigorous boil and cook the rice for exactly 5 minutes, starting the timer from the moment the rice enters the pot. Drain in a colander and let sit for 5 minutes or so to steam dry.

assemble and cook the pilaf 

5.  Return the empty pan to the stove, add half of the melted ghee.

6.  Split the pile of herbs in two – one to use now, setting the other half aside to use later.

7.  Add one-third of the rice to the pot, then half of the herbs for using now. Do not mix. Repeat with the next third of the rice and the other half of the herbs. Finish with the last third of rice. Drizzle the remaining melted ghee over the top.

8.  Cover the pot with a tea towel, then place the lid firmly on top, folding the corners of the tea towel over the top so that they don’t catch fire. Cook over medium heat for 8 minutes, then place the pot on the lowest heat you can manage and continue cooking for another 45 minutes.

9.  When the rice is ready, mix the reserved herbs from the bowl and the peas and beans into the rice and pile it all on to a good wide platter or bowl. Sprinkle over the lemon zest and squeeze over the lemon juice. Taste and season with salt and a few rounds of pepper. Scrape up the crisp rice at the bottom of the pot and tuck it into the pile of rice shards – it’s delicious.

variation

  • replace the peas and beans with 3 medium potatoes; boil until soft, cut into slices and assemble in a wide heavy-bottomed saucepan, starting with potatoes first (for a crusty potato bottom), then rice, herbs, potatoes, rice, herbs, rice then the remaining ghee.

roasted pumpkin tortellini with sage butter

30th January 2018

Making tortellini does require a little patience and time, however, the final result is worth every fiddly moment and if you get everyone on board in the assembly line filling up the table, it speeds up the process and allows for a wonderfully intimate and fun afternoon together.

roasted pumpkin tortellini with sage butter

4 servings

The fulsome sage butter is soft and simple allowing the pumpkin tortellini to shine through. The addition of the fried sage leaves adds a nice crunch which contrasts with the silkiness of the tortellini.

The inspiration for this post found here.

ingredients

½ portion pasta dough

pumpkin filling

1 kg pumpkin

1 Tbsp melted ghee/butter

¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg

½ tsp fine rock salt

¼ tsp freshly ground pepper

sage butter and toasted leaves

60g unsalted butter

40 sage leaves – divided

salt and pepper, to taste

4 Tbsp peanut oil

to serve

pine nut parmesan

few rounds of black pepper

a sprinkling of fine rock salt

preparation

1.  Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.

2. To make the filling, slice the unpeeled pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds with a spoon, then slice each half into 5-6 wedges and place in a large bowl. Drizzle over the melted ghee or butter and toss with your hands until the wedges are sufficiently coated.

3.  Arrange on a lined baking tray and roast for 30 – 40 minutes until soft. Allow to cool and scoop the pulp away from its skin with a spoon and place in a medium bowl and with a hand blender, puree until smooth. Allow to drain through a cloth or fine sieve for 1 hour.

4.  Place the pumpkin back into the bowl and sprinkle over the nutmeg, salt and pepper, stir to combine.

5.  Prepare the dough, divide the pasta dough into thirds. Work with one piece at a time and keep the other pieces covered. Follow the detailed instructions here. Roll your dough as thin as possible – #6 on pasta roller.

6.  To shape the tortellini, cut the sheet of pasta into rounds using a 3-inches cutter or tin. Gather the scraps into a ball and put them with the remaining pieces of dough to roll later.

7.  To fill the tortellini, place 1 teaspoon of filling in the middle of each round. (Don’t be tempted to overfill, otherwise, they will break and you will have a hard time sealing them.) Dip your finger in a bowl of water and run it along the edges of the circle. Fold the rounds into a crescent shape, pressing the top together carefully and pressing out any air trapped inside and then working your way along the sides. Bend the bottom two corners round to meet each other and press well to seal. Set aside, spacing them apart slightly, on well-floured board, covered.

8.  Repeat with remaining pieces of dough, re-rolling the scraps. (It is important to work on a well-floured surface, to avoid the tortellini sticking as you repeat with remaining pieces of dough.) Cover with a cloth, or if you are making them a few hours in advance lightly dust them with semolina flour.

9.  When ready to cook, bring a large pan of lightly salted water to the boil. While waiting for the water to boil, make the sage butter.

sage butter

10.  Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add half the sage leaves and season with salt and pepper. Turn off the heat and set aside.

11.  Toast the remaining sage leaves, in a small skillet, heat the peanut oil over medium-high heat and fry 6 – 8 sage leaves at a time until crisp, 2–3 seconds. Transfer with a fork to paper towels.

12.  Once the water is boiling, gently drop the tortellini into the water and cook 1½ – 2 minutes – they will rise to the top. Gently lift out with a slotted spoon onto individual plates.

13.  To serve, drizzle with the sage butter, sprinkle over a few spoons of pine nut parmesan, a few rounds of pepper and decorate with the crispy sage leaves. The tortellini goes well with a plate of sauteed kale or nettles.

Jonathan’s Sunday night pasta sauce

8th September 2017

garden tomatoes & marigold - 1 (1)

Sunday night is pasta night and has become a regular for years now, mostly because we cook a lot of Indian and it was requested by our children to be guaranteed a  ‘normal’ non-Indian meal at least once a week! It started off as a special weekend dish my husband would cook and slowly my son started helping out by chopping vegetables and now he is in charge and has taken on the important role of making the pasta sauce. This past year, focaccia has become a regular at the pasta table and recently I have been making my own vegan pasta.

garden tomatoes & marigold - 1 (2)garden tomatoes & marigold - 1 (5) garden tomatoes & marigold - 1

~Marigold (Tagetes patula flowers).  The genus name for marigold (Tagetes) gets its name from the Etruscan god ‘Tages’ – the god of wisdom. It’s common popular name ‘marigold’ comes from “Mary’s gold” after Mother Mary.  In Hinduism too, the flower symbolizes auspiciousness. The saffron/orange colour signifies renunciation and hence is offered to God as a symbol of surrender.

The plant’s odour and root hormones scare away many animals and insects from the garden. Marigolds are often used in companion planting for tomato, eggplant, chilli pepper and potato.

jonathan´s pasta sauce - 1 (3)

sunday night pasta sauce

Preparation 2 hours

Serves 6 – good for 500g pasta

For everyone who has joined us for pasta night!

ingredients

⅓ – ½ cup peanut/olive oil or to generously cover the base of a large saucepan

¼ heaped tsp asafoetida powder

1½ cups/155g celery

2 heaped Tbsp ginger, finely chopped 

2 cups/220g carrots

1½ cups/125g red bell pepper

1 x 140g tube tomato paste

1.5 kg/16 medium plump Roma tomatoes

3 heaped tsp fine rock salt

3 heaped tsp jaggery

to serve 

half portion home-made vegan pasta

pine nut parmesan

bowl steamed broccoli & kale, or grilled zucchini slices.

preparation

1.  Wash the vegetables and finely chop the celery, ginger, carrot and red pepper.  Set aside in their own piles on a chopping board.  Cut the base off the tomatoes, and cut each tomato into quarters. Set aside.

2.  Over medium heat, pour the oil to fill the base of a large pot, add the asafoetida powder – fry for 30 seconds, then add celery –  fry until the celery starts to soften, add ginger and carrot, simmer for 3 – 4 minutes.

3.  Add in the red pepper, simmer for 3 – 4 minutes more, then clear a space in the middle of the vegetables and squeeze in the concentrate, add the tomatoes and give everything a good stir – simmer, uncovered over medium heat for 1½ hours, stirring occasionally. Toward the end of cooking, stir in the salt and jaggery.

If the sauce is very liquid, leave uncovered. Not very liquid, leave covered but with the lid ajar.

4.  Once the sauce is ready, roughly puree using an immersion blender.  Serve with your choice of pasta, a sprinkling of pine nut parmesan and grilled zucchini, steamed broccoli or beans.

jonathan´s pasta sauce - 1 (2)

Goodness shared by Stacey, Jonathan & Elijah

sweet parsnip fries

16th November 2016

4v7a8028_1980x1297

Parsnips are an ivory-cream root vegetable, their taste slightly astringent with a gentle earthy sweetness.

Parsnips taste sweeter as the soil temperature drops – the starch in them turns to sugar – so they’ll be at their best just after a cold snap. These tender morsels are lovely as a garnish in a hot soup like this one, steamed, mashed to a puree, roasted in ghee, served like this with a mayonnaise or tossed in a winter salad.

4v7a8052_1980x1297 4v7a8055_1980x1297 4v7a8071_1980x1297

~ this morning, glorious colours of Autumn, lighting up the mistiest of mornings…

4v7a8040_1980x1297

sweet parsnip fries

Serves 4, as a side dish

When buying organic I usually leave the peel on my root vegetables but with parsnips – the skin tends to toughen on cooking, so it is best to peel. 

ingredients 

7 medium/480g parsnips

2 Tbsp ghee/oil

rock salt

freshly ground pepper

preparation 

1.  Preheat oven to 210C/410F.

2.  Rinse the parsnips and scrub well under running water and peel the skin off them, with a sharp knife cut into fry shapes about 1 cm thick.

3.  Place them in a bowl of water, move them around a few times, allow to soak for 10 minutes, then drain. This step helps to remove some of the starch and improves the crispness.

4.  Place the parsnip fries on a dry towel and dry them well – very important. Allow them to air dry for 15 minutes.

4v7a8020_1980x12974v7a8022_1980x1297

5.  Once dry, place in a large bowl, drizzle with melted ghee/oil and using your hands toss well until well coated in oil.

6.  Pour the parsnip fries on a lined baking sheet, (may need to use two) and arrange them so they are not overlapping and bake for 30 – 40 minutes until golden brown.  No need to flip them halfway during cooking.  Serve immediately.

4v7a8039_1980x1297

Goodness shared by Stacey

All rights reserved © Goodness is…. · Theme by Blogmilk + Coded by Brandi Bernoskie