Carol’s in Mexico!

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Carol and her family are enjoying some R’n’R in Mexico, and they are relishing the delicious food on offer there. Here’s an easy recipe to cook at home for a  Mexican style treat!

Baked Coconut Prawns

INGREDIENTS

24 large prawns peeled and deveined shrimp-1523135_1920

1/2 cup plain flour

1/2 teaspoon paprika

salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 large eggs beaten

1 cup panko breadcrumbs

3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconutclose-up-coconut-food-221074 (1)

olive oil

Mayonnaise

1/4 of a lime

Few coriander leaves

 

 

INSTRUCTIONS

Pre-heat oven to 180C fan forced. Grease a baking pan and place a baking sheet on top.

Mix flour and spices in a bowl and place on your bench, then beat eggs in another bowl and finally combine breadcrumbs and coconut in a third bowl.

Dip prawns in small batches in the flour mixture then the egg mixture (shake off excess) and then coat in the coconut/breadcrumb mixture.

Place the prawns on the baking sheet in a single layer. Lightly spray with olive oil. Bake for around 10 minutes until they are golden on the outside and opaque in the centre.

Photo by Estaban

Serve with mayonnaise which has a squeeze of lime and garnished with coriander.

 

 

 

Happy Lunar New Year! Gong xi fa cai!

Year of the Pig

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Lunar New Year celebratory almond cookies

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Ingredients

Makes 24 cookies

  • 110g butter, softened
  • 100g (1/2 cup) sugar
  • 1 egg whisked
  • 2 teaspoons almond essence
  • 100g (1/2 cup) almond meal
  • 155g (1 1/4 cups) plain flour sifted
  • 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 24 almonds

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Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180 ºC (fan forced).
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add the egg, almond essence and almond meal, and mix until combined.
  3. Stir in the baking powder and sifted flour, small portions at a time until well blended. Roll the mixture into balls of 2cm in diameter, 3cm apart, on baking trays lined with baking paper.
  4. Press the the cookies down with a fork to create ridges on the cookies.
  5. Press an almond down onto each cookie. Bake 7 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven or until cookies are lightly coloured.
  6. Leave to cool on tray.

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The Magic of Macadamia Nuts

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The mild buttery flavour and a soft crunch gives Macadamia nuts a top spot in cookies, cakes and salads. Paired with white chocolate and raspberries they add a super indulgent deliciousness to sweet treats.

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These native Australian nuts have an unusual and unique nutritional profile. A 30g serve, provides our total daily requirement for vitamin B1 (Thiamine), a fair amount of B6 (pyridoxine), and about 20% of our daily requirement for iron and fibre.

The unusual feature of the Macadamia nut is the quantity of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) that form a key part of the heart healthy Mediterranean diet. Like olive oil and avocados, Macadamia nuts are particularly rich in the MUFAs palmitoleic and oleic acids. These fatty acids are thought to promote a healthy lipid profile by reducing levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol whilst maintaining levels of HDL (good) cholesterol. They may also improve blood vessel function and insulin sensitivity.

Macadamia nuts are best stored in the fridge or freezer, these precious fatty acids are prone to oxidation (going rancid).

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Plenty of MUFAs means plenty of calories. The Mayo Clinic advises that we should eat MUFA rich foods instead of other fatty foods, not in addition to them.   They are excellent for people with low appetite who need energy dense snacks, but for most of us, it’s Macadamia nuts in our salad or avocado, but not both! Here’s a link to the delicious salad pictured below Baby spinach, orange and macadamia salad

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Salad image: Steve Brown

Banana and Macadamia Nut Loaf – Perfect for Picnics

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With the Australia Day long weekend less than a week away, and picnics being planned, this deliciously golden and easy-to-make loaf is perfect to pack as a sweet treat. Full of all Australian goodness!

 

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Ingredients

50g Australian Macadamia nuts – roughly chopped

70g softened butter

Grated zest of one small lemon

190g/1cup soft brown sugar

2 eggs beaten

2 large ripe bananas mashed

200g/1½ cups self-raising flour

 

Method

Line and butter a loaf tin, 22cm by 12cm.

Heat oven to 180 C.

Cream butter, lemon zest and sugar together.

Add egg, half at a time, beating in between.

Add mashed banana, mix well.

Sift in flour, add chopped nuts, fold in carefully.

Pour into loaf tin.

 

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Bake in oven on medium shelf for 45 minutes. Loaf should be golden brown and firm to the touch. Cool in tin. Remove to serve.

Delicious and moist. Totally moreish on the day it’s made, if it isn’t finished, serve with natural yoghurt or spread with butter for a treat.

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Dosas For Dummies!

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We love the crispy Indian Dosa and we want to have a go at a proper, full-monty fermentation – no tinkering around the edges for us, we want the real thing. These are also vegan and gluten free!

Fermentation takes time – we start our fermentation the day before we want to eat dosas. I started this at lunch time day 1, to eat for dinner day 2. The preparation is easy.

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Dosas are usually eaten for breakfast in India but Westerners like them for dinner

 

The Dosa Batter

1 cup (180g) basmati rice

¼ cup (45g) urad dal (black split lentils)

Rinse basmati rice in a sieve. Put in a bowl and cover with 2 cups (280ml) cold water. Rinse the lentils and put in a cup and cover with cold water to 1cm over the lentils. Leave both to soak for several hours. Drain the rice. Place in a blender with ½ cup (120ml) water and blend to a smooth paste (about 4 minutes). Drain and rinse the lentils and add to the blender. Blend together for a further two minutes. Pour contents of blender into a bowl. Add ½ cup (120ml) water to blender, swill around and add to bowl. Cover with a tea cloth and leave until the next day. (Any left over batter can be stored in the fridge for a few days.)

Topping For Dosa

400g sweet potato – cut into small cubes, boiled and drainedIMG_6338

2 tablespoons canola oil

½ teaspoon cumin seeds

½ teaspoon mustard seeds

1 large onion, chopped

1 green capsicum/pepper, de-seeded and chopped

2 cloves garlic – crushedIMG_6337

1 thumb tip size piece ginger, peeled and grated

½ teaspoon garam masala

¼ teaspoon dry chili flakes

1 tablespoon lemon juice

½ teaspoon salt

 

This can be made ahead and re-heated when required. In a large wok or frying pan, heat canola oil and when hot, add cumin and mustard seeds. When seeds pop, after a minute or two, add onion and capsicum. Fry for a few minutes until onion starts to soften. Add crushed garlic and ginger, chili and garam masala. Fry for a few minutes more. Add sweet potato and salt, mix well and cook for a further 5 minutes on a low heat.

 

Prepare Dosas

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Add ¼ teaspoon salt to dosa batter and stir. Heat a non stick frying pan with one teaspoon canola oil. Use a ladle or ¼ cup measure, pour batter into centre of pan and spread with a swirling action. As the dosa starts to cook and edges brown, ease away from the pan with spatula. I flipped mine – the real deal dosa cooks very hot on one side and filling is loaded while the dosa cooks. Mine’s a wimps dosa but it cooked well, had a fresh, crisp texture and tasted great. These are best eaten fresh. If you can keep frying dosa batter and keep adding filling, people will love your meal. A little coconut chutney or extra veggie curry is wonderful with this. A little plain yoghurt worked for me.

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Coconut Pancakes with Blueberries and Creme Fraiche (gluten free)

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It’s Shrove Tuesday, a great excuse for yummy pancakes and they are pretty healthy. Those winter Olympic athletes could be having them for breakfast with bananas to get a low fat, high carb plus protein start to the day.  Here’s our delicious recipe to try with coconut flour which is gluten free, perfect for those of us who are gluten intolerant or sensitive or who just like the coconut flavour for something different.

Ingredients

½ cup (20g) coconut flour

¾ cup (95g) gluten-free plain flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 tablespoon caster sugar

1 egg

1 cup (240ml) milk

Small handful of blueberries

Dollop of crème fraiche

Directions

Sieve dry ingredients into mixing bowl. Whisk 1 egg with milk and add to flours. Mix well. Spoon dollops of batter into buttered hot frying pan. Spread a little, turn after a few  minutes. Serve warm with blueberries and crème fraiche.

Enjoy for breakfast or a delicious dessert or snack.

 

Pumpkin Scones

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These delicious scones are remarkably light and fluffy.

Like all scones, they are best eaten the day they are made, but freeze well and liven up with a little warming when thawed.

 

Makes 8 large scones or more little ones

250g pumpkin

40g butter

75g/ 1/3 cup castor sugar

300g/2 cups self-raising flour

1/3 nutmeg finely grated or ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 egg, gently whisked

Milk for brushing

1 tablespoon sunflower seeds for sprinkling.

 

Heat oven to 180 C, line baking tray with greaseproof or baking paper.

Boil the pumpkin for 15 minutes, drain well and place on a double layer of absorbent kitchen paper to cool and remove excess fluid.

Beat butter and sugar in a mixing bowl.

Add egg, beat well.

In a small bowl, mash pumpkin with a fork.

Combine pumpkin with mixture, fold in flour.

Turn dough onto floured surface and gently mould with rolling pin to give a layer 2cm thick.fullsizeoutput_23fc

Cut disks using pastry cutter or small wine glass, arrange on lined baking tray.

Re-mould and cut left over pieces.

Brush surface with a little milk and sprinkle with sunflower seeds.

Bake in centre of oven for 15 minutes

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Cool on rack. Serve buttered with jam.