Sneaky Sauce…

14 5 18 081I have to say, I’m actually pretty lucky with the vegetable consumption of my little bear cubs.  They do seem to have a preference for things beginning with ‘c’: cucumber, capsicum, celery, carrots and believe it or not, cabbage, I don’t know if this is coincidence or if the universe is trying to tell me something, I’m just going to roll with it and keep feeding it to them as, if there’s one thing I’ve learned with little bears, things change in the blink of an eye…

This sneaky sauce is based on a Tasty Junior recipe I saw one night and to be honest my initial thought was it would be most useful in upping the vege intake of hubby bear, but regardless of who needs to have the smuggled veg this is really tasty and super easy to use.  I just freeze it in 2 cup quantities and use instead of tinned tomatoes and tomato paste in everything from nachos to curry to spaghetti bolognaise.  I see no reason why you couldn’t also use it on a pizza base or even on sausages though I haven’t tried it like that myself.  Give it a go and let me know how it works!

 

INGREDIENTS

4 large carrots, diced

4 large celery ribs (leaves included), diced

1 large red/yellow/orange capsicum (bell pepper), diced

2 large onions, diced

2 large garlic cloves, diced

2 x 400g tins of tomatoes in juice

280g tomato paste

2 Cups of bone broth

1 heaped teaspoon of salt

Grind of black pepper

1 heaped teaspoon of dried oregano

1 heaped teaspoon of dried basil

1 heaped teaspoon of ground paprika

1 tablespoon coconut oil

 

DIRECTIONS

Sauté the carrots in the coconut oil in a large heavy based pan over a medium heat until they start to caramelise.  It’s really worth doing this slowly and not over a high heat as this is what dials up the natural sugars in the veges.  Once the carrots have started to brown and soften add in the onions and the garlic and continue to sauté for a few more minutes then add in the capsicum and celery and sauté for another few minutes.

 

Transfer your veges to your slow cooker and add in the rest of the ingredients, top up with water to fully cover your veges if you need to, then pop on the lid and leave it on low for ~8 hours or high for ~4.  I lurve things that just take care of themselves!!

 

Once you’re ready to get hands on with your sauce again, let it cool completely and then blitz till smooth.  I use a stick immersion blender and you would never know what the component parts of the dish were… sneaky 🙂

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Silver Fern Farms Porterhouse Steak with Vege Mish Mash

silver fern farms steak

I was lucky enough to be able to trial a couple of different cuts of the Silver Fern Farms meat selection.  Hubby Bear had quite a bit of say in which cuts we chose (aka he chose them), but I must admit this was a good choice.  I still have the lamb loin fillets left to cook so stay posted to see how they turn out!!

I wanted to do something quite simple that would let the flavour of the meat come to the fore and I think this was a success, there was certainly nothing left on anybody’s plate at the end of the meal and in Baby Bear No. 1’s case that is pretty rare…  She would rather filch food off my plate than finish her own even though it’s exactly the same.  Nothing quite like the grass on the other side of the fence 😉

INGREDIENTS

2 x porterhouse steaks, Hubby Bear can polish one of these off by himself, but Baby Bear No. 1 and I need to share as her tummy is still little and mine is currently being squashed mercilessly

½ head of broccoli, chopped into florets

1 Cup of sliced button mushrooms, white or brown

½ brown onion, finely sliced

½ red capsicum, roughly sliced

1 Tablespoon coconut aminos

DIRECTIONS

Take the meat out of the fridge and let it come to room temperate (~10 minutes on the bench should do OK).

Combine the onions, mushrooms and aminos in a large saucepan over a medium heat and cook until softened, stirring occasionally.  Next add the broccoli and cook until just starting to soften.  While it’s still al dente and brilliantly green throw in the capsicum and stir to coat everything together.  Capsicum is wonderfully high in vitamin C so you don’t want to destroy that by too much cooking.  Take the pan off the heat and leave the lid off so it doesn’t keep cooking too much.

Heat a heavy based fry pan over a medium heat until hot then add in the steaks.  Leave to sear for ~4 minutes each side (and just leave them alone while they’re cooking, don’t poke them!!) for medium rare (I had to cook mine for a bit longer, poo to pregnancy dietary requirements) then leave to rest for ~10 minutes to let the fibres relax and the juices redistribute through the meat.  Then plate up and enjoy.  We did 🙂

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BACON, GREENS AND MUSHROOM FRITTATA

frittata

You know how some nights you get home and you just want dinner to be sorted?  The house looks like a whirlwind has been through it, you’ve got loads of washing to put through, Baby Bear wants you to read ‘Munch Crunch What’s For Lunch’ for the thousandth time (no? is that one just me?) and you just want to do things as quickly as you can.

Well drum roll please for my go to easy to do, the frittata!  Veges, bacon and eggs, it’s got all the essentials in it and most of the time is spent just leaving it to do it’s thing in the oven, got to love it.

Apart from the bacon, eggs, milk, salt and pepper, you can pretty much add in whatever.  It’s one of those awesome ‘use up what you’ve got’ dishes that always seem to turn out great.  This is also great with any roasted pumpkin, kumara (sweet potato), yams or beetroot you might have left over.  Go wild, I dare you 😉

INGREDIENTS

5 large eggs, please make them free range if you can, you will definitely see/taste the difference

½ Cup of almond milk

Good pinch of salt and grinding of black pepper

1 Cup sliced button mushrooms

2 Cups shredded greens, we used baby kale and cavolo nero for this one because that’s what we’ve got in the garden at the moment, but it’s also great with broccoli, silverbeet etc.

150 – 200g diced shoulder bacon, again please make this free range if you can, piggies who aren’t free range farmed have a horrible, horrible life and you don’t want to be putting the end product of that into your body

DIRECTIONS

Pre-heat your oven to 180 C.

Sauté your bacon, greens and mushrooms in a heavy based pan over a medium heat, keeping it moving so it doesn’t catch anywhere.  There’s really no need to add anything to the pan for this as you get some fat rendering from the bacon and there’s plenty of moisture in the greens and mushrooms.  Once your bacon is just cooked through, your greens are wilted and mushrooms softened, transfer to your baking dish.  I use a silicone cake pan as it cooks well and is super easy to get out, but you can really use whatever you want, just remember the deeper the mixture in the dish, the longer it will take to cook right through.

Next comes your eggy mix.  Combine your eggs, milk, salt and pepper in a bowl or wide jug and beat well to combine.  Tip evenly over the veges and bacon in the pan and give a gently jiggle to distribute everything.  Then pop into the oven to cook for approx. 20 minutes.  However, as mentioned, time to cook will depend on the depth of your mixture in the pan.  You really don’t want to overcook this, so do keep an eye on it.  It’s done when the top is golden and there’s no wibble wobble if you shake the pan.

We had this with a super simple avocado and capsicum salad last night, as Baby Bear number 1 would say “tasty!”

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