Each meal has been like a tasting plate, with small portions of several different dishes.
Not having had dinner the night before we still had quite a lot of leftovers – yes we always have lots of leftovers, I know. So I decided to make a couple of side dishes to go with them. When grocery shopping a couple of days earlier I saw, and got very excited by, some baby rainbow carrots – purple, yellow and of course orange. Sometimes it’s the little things. We don’t see them for sale here all that often, so it’s a bit of a treat. They got made into Provençal style carrots with star anise – cooked in red wine and spices, then boiled down with a little sugar to make a glaze. Yum!
The other dish was Brussels sprouts, for some reason I’m very attached to tiny cabbages, even though we don’t really eat them that often. Steve isn’t a huge fan, but I find them hard to resist – they’re just so cute! Is it just me that finds them adorable? The dish was Baked Brussels sprouts with garlic, this one was really simple, lightly steamed then baked covered in the oven with garlic and vegie stock – easy but delicious!
With lots of leftover side dishes I decided to just make a super quick and Simple pesto pasta dish to have with them. I cooked some penne, (just because that’s what we had, any pasta would work) drained it, then tossed it with some savoury yeast flakes and pesto then mixed in some chopped spring onions, halved cherry tomatoes and baby spinach leaves, plus a good grind of fresh pepper. Easy!
To add into the mix I decided to make some simple Spanish style garlic mushrooms. I don’t know about you, but I love garlic mushrooms! They’re fabulous for a quick but delicious breakfast on some nice toasted sour dough. The real treat here is the addition of lemon juice near the end, and the fresh herbs of course!
Steve stepped into the kitchen, and made his first ever paella! The title is a little misleading, since it’s not that quick, but it certainly is very tasty! Quick Farmer’s Paella, Spanish of course, packed full of vegies, beans and nuts. He also made Roasted Greek Potatoes with Lemon and Oregano. I don’t know what it is about potato and lemon, but it’s a winning combination.
We had some cauliflower and eggplant that needed to be used, so they were the focus of my efforts in the kitchen. The eggplants were oven roasted and processed with some breadcrumbs, herbs etc, then formed into little patties, coated in more breadcrumbs and baked in the oven and then served with a simple tomato sauce – Eggplant Croquettes with Tomato Sauce. They were an absolute winner! The other dish was Pasta with Sicilian Cauliflower Sauce. The cauliflower is chopped into small pieces and cooked until very tender with tomatoes herbs etc. It’s surprisingly tasty and goes really well with a small type pasta.
There was still leftover paella and pasta, so I decided to throw a polenta dish into the mix. Pumpkin and Mushroom Polenta Pie – a layer of roast pumpkin smothered in pesto, fresh polenta poured over that, followed by a layer of lightly roasted sliced mushrooms and topped with the leftover tomato sauce from the eggplant croquettes and baked in the oven. Yum!
With enough food left to feed us for a few days, I decided to try a dessert. I had a recipe for a basic Italian Genoise cake which made 2 thin layers. So I sandwiched those together with some strawberry jam and served it with coconut yoghurt, fresh strawberries and chocolate sauce. Oh yum!