Kale has become so popular, a greengrocer commented to me recently, “years ago nobody wanted it, now it’s walking out the door”. It’s new status as the healthiest vegetable on the planet would have something to do with that of course. The Queen Of Greens, it may provide significant health benefits including protection against cancer and lower cholesterol. I was craving something super healthy for dinner yesterday, realised it was Wednesday so jumped in the car and headed to South Melbourne Market.
I wanted to buy some ingredients to make a dish I found on Gourmet Traveller’s website, Roast Ocean Trout with Kale, Fennel and Chickpeas. Walking around browsing the different stalls, I soaked up the atmosphere of the market and came home with a box full of fish, vegetables, fruit, bread and flowers.
The fish mongers at South Melbourne Market sell the best fish, always fresh, shiny and melt in your mouth. It’s the best fresh produce market in Melbourne. I remember visiting as a child with my Mother often and being fascinated by all the different stalls and the buzz of the market. It was a treat when we joined the always long queue for one of the famous Dim Sim’s at the end of our shopping.
Glistening fresh fish from the market and some dark leafy greens.
My family loved this dish, I’m looking forward to making it again. Next time I’ll ask the fishmonger to pin bone the fish for me, I forgot and found it very difficult to pull the bones out myself without special fish bone tweezers. By the way Kylie from the gorgeous blog Townmouse Countrymouse has written a beautiful piece on me, where I answer some foodie questions. Here’s the link if you’d like to have a look and leave a comment.
Roast Ocean Trout With Kale, Fennel and Chickpeas
2 baby fennel bulbs, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
Finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon, plus extra wedges to serve
1 bunch curly kale, coarsely torn into bite sized pieces
400gm can chickpeas
190ml chicken or vegetable stock
4 pieces skinless ocean trout fillets, pin-boned
Preheat oven to 200C.
Heat oil in a large saucepan, add leek and half the fennel and cook until tender.
Add garlic and half the lemon rind and cook for a further minute.
Add the kale, stir every now and then until just wilted. Then add the chickpeas and stock, bring to simmer. Season and keep warm.
Place Ocean Trout on a tray lined with baking paper, drizzle with olive oil and season. Sprinkle with remaining lemon rind and roast for 8-10 minutes.
Add lemon juice to chickpea/kale mixture then divide among plates. Top with trout and remaining fennel. Serve with lemon wedges.
Hi Everyone, when I started the journey of redesigning my blog, I had no idea how I wanted it to look. I knew I was putting myself onto these pages, but didn’t know for sure how I wanted the world to see me, I found it so difficult to get my head around. Then started months of emails backwards and forwards between Stephanie J my designer and myself. When it came time to think about a new header, I was unhappy about the options and felt led to have mine illustrated. I then had the pleasure of working with Lucy King, a talented artist who illustrated my header and all the motifs you’ll see throughout the blog. That accomplished, it was time to reconnect with Steph, my design ideas had changed, we scrapped everything, I filled out Steph’s questionaire again and we started afresh. What you see today is the final product of alot of hard work and thinking. I couldn’t be happier with the new design and feel very connected to it.
HUGE thanks go to Steph for her patience, insight and hard work. If you have a blog you’d like to redesign or wish to start a blog, I’d highly recommend Steph, she’s incredibly patient and very good at what she does. She also designed the blogs for Mel from Armoire, Pegs and Casserole and Alison’s blog Green With Renvy. Huge thanks also to Lucy for her insight and beautiful sketches. In the coming weeks I’m very happy to be doing a blog post about Lucy, she lives in a country town not far from me and we’re going to meet for coffee. It’ll be wonderful to meet as I hold Lucy’s sketches so dear.
Upon reaching this milestone, I decided to celebrate with a gluten free dessert – a celebration cake filled with cream, yoghurt and plum compote.
I must warn you not to leave the stones in when you cook the compote, I did to intensify the flavour and removed them when the compote was cooked. I inadvertently left one in which my daughter chomped on whilst eating her cake (no teeth broken). Next time I’ll leave them out and recommend you do the same.
One of the new features of my blog is a subscription box, I’d love you to subscribe so I can send you free seasonal recipes and updates about exciting things I come across.
The cream, compote and cake meld together beautifully in this gluten free dessert. Lovely if you can only eat gluten free desserts and still delicious for people who don’t have to eat gluten free. Why not spoil yourself every now and then.
I hope you all like the new design, it’s been a labour of love and I’m excited to hear what you think!
This is a lovely cake if you fancy one filled with cream and some lovely fruit. I used plums as they’ve just come into season here in Australia but you could also use nectarines or peaches. You can top your breakfast muesli or porridge with any leftover compote, it’s delicious.
Preheat the oven to 180C and grease a 20cm round baking tin with butter, dust with flour and tap out the excess.
125 ml maple syrup
220ml macadamia oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
squeeze of lemon juice
220g plain gluten free flour
2 tsp gluten free baking powder
pinch of salt
1 250ml bottle thickened cream
2 TBLSP plain greek yoghurt
dash of vanilla extract
1kg plums, quartered and stones removed
1/2 to 3/4 cup honey (to taste)
2 cinnamon quills
1 tsp vanilla extract
Beat the eggs until thick and fluffy in an electric mixer. Add the maple syrup, oil, vanilla and lemon juice and mix through slowly. Add the sifted flour, baking powder, salt and fold through carefully until the flour just disappears.
Pour mixture into your prepared tin and bake in the centre of your oven for 25 to 30 minutes. I checked mine after 20 minutes and found it was browning to quickly so placed a sheet of foil over the top. When cake is ready, rest it in the tin for 5 minutes then turn upside down onto a baking rack to cool.
When completely cold slice in half horizontally and spread with the cream and yoghurt mixture. Top with the compote and place the lid of the cake on. Sprinkle the top with icing (confectioners) sugar.
Compote: place all ingredients in a pot, stir and cook on low heat until compote softens and thickens, around 30 minutes. Allow to cool and lift out cinnamon quills.
Cream: place cream in a mixing bowl with the vanilla and whip until it holds its shape. Stir in the yoghurt.
I’ve been noticing a trend recently of salads and healthy food being topped with a poached egg. There’s a cafe near my house called Servery and Spoon and they have the most amazing super salad for breakfast on their menu at the moment, topped with..you guessed it, a poached egg. I’ve seen quite a few photos of this salad on Instagram so wanted to recreate it at home, please forgive the look of my poached eggs, whilst my husband Nick and daughter Hayley are fantastic at poaching eggs, I need more practice!
I loved the sound of this salad as it combines quinoa with cauliflower rice. The Cauliflower Rice Vegie Curry recipe has been the most popular recipe on my blog so far, so I was happy to find a salad that includes it.
Chive micro herbs used in the salad are perfect for garnishing the salad, plus they look so cute.
This salad has lots of healthy ingredients: quinoa, cauliflower rice, kale, spinach, swiss chard, beetroot and pumpkin seeds, delicious! I always use the ‘Perfectly Cooked Quinoa’ method from Gwenyth Paltrow’s book “It’s All Good” to cook my quinoa. I hope you enjoy this salad.
Cauliflower Rice Quinoa Super Salad
1 cup quinoa
1/2 packet of kale, baby spinach and swiss chard mix
2 cooked beetroot, diced (peel and roast in the oven with a little sea salt & pepper or buy already cooked).
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds + extra for garnishing
1/2 avocado, mashed with a little lemon juice
2 poached eggs
micro herb chives or normal size snowpea sprouts for garnishing
Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
1 cup quinoa, 1/14 cups water, pinch sea salt
Rinse the quinoa in a fine strainer.
Place it in a pot with the water and the salt and bring to the boil on high heat.
Lower heat and place the lid on the pot. Cook until all the liquid is absorbed approx 12 to 15 minutes.
Turn heat off and place a dry paper towel between the pot and the lid. Let quinoa sit for at least five minutes before fluffing with a fork.
Blitz raw cauliflower florets in the food processor until it looks ‘rice like’, place it in a microwave safe dish, cover with gladwrap and microwave on high for seven minutes. If you don’t have a microwave you could cover the dish with foil and place it in the oven for seven minutes or until cooked.
Bring some water and a generous splash of white wine vinegar to a simmer in a saucepan. Crack your egg into a cup. Create a swirl in the water and lower the cup to the surface of the water. Lower the egg into the water, after they’ve been cooking for a few minutes, lift it out of the water with a slotted spoon and gently press the yolk to see if cooked (2-3 minutes for a semi soft yolk, 3-4 minutes for a firmer yolk).
3 TBLSP extra virgin olive oil
1 TBLSP white wine vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard
sea salt & pepper
If you find the salad needs more dressing make up another batch and add as you think necessary.
Assemble the Salad
In a bowl place the quinoa, cauliflower rice, sliced kale, baby spinach and swiss chard, beetroot and pumpkin seeds and mix together gently. Add salad dressing and mix together gently again. Taste the salad for seasoning, mine needed some extra white wine vinegar, taste and adjust, it may also need more salt. Top the salad with the avocado and poached eggs and garnish with the chive micro herbs and extra pumpkin seeds. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.