Saturday, 26 April 2014

Veges!

Hi-de-ho my lovelies!  I hope you have all enjoyed your long weekends of late.  We chose to stay at home this time, and caught up with good friends and good food.  And before you ask, yes, I did use them as my guinea pigs for some things :)

First up though, I would like to say that I have now created a Facebook page (here) specifically for Calamity Jayne, where you can keep up to date with my blogs, post suggestions for me to make, or even ask me questions.  You're welcome :)

Now, as the title suggests, I have made a few vege dishes this last week.  Two of which, I got from Facebook, and one from a magazine.  I also made a chicken fried rice and noodle dish which was A-Maze-ing!  So I'll start with that one.

I know it's normally fried rice or fried noodles, but I couldn't decide what I wanted so decided to combine the two and I have to say, it was a great choice.  For those of you who have never tried to make one of these meals, you really have to give it a go, it's so easy and you can adjust the taste to suit you.  I think a lot of the time it tastes better than the takeaway places (and probably better for you too).

Chicken Fried Rice and Noodles

1 chicken breast, diced
1-2 squares of egg noodles
1 C cooked rice
Carrots chopped finely (matchsticks)
Peas
Onion
2 eggs
1 tsp garlic crushed
1 tsp ginger crushed
2 tsp Soy Sauce
Oil

Slice chicken and put in a bowl with soy sauce, ginger and a splash of oil - I use Olive Oil.  rub it in and then leave it to marinate for about 15 mins.
Heat a little oil in a wok and add chicken.  Cook for 3 - 5 mins until cooked, then remove and set aside.
Crack eggs directly into pan and stir with wooden spoon - you want to cut it and turn it, a bit more like an omelette.  When cooked, remove and set aside.
You may need to add a splash more of oil to the pan.  Add onions - you can use spring onion or regular brown onions, finely sliced.  Add carrot too and cook for a few minutes.  Add peas and garlic.  You can also add cabbage, beans, corn - whatever veges you like.
Add cooked rice and noodles, with another splash of oil and soy sauce.  Toss and heat through.
Add chicken and chopped egg to the pan and continue to heat through.  Add more sauce if needed.
Serve.



Obviously this recipe can be made with just the rice or noodles if you don't want both.  You will need to adjust the amount to suit.  This also works as a meatless meal too or alternately, you could substitute chicken for pork.  So many variations you can use.


The next meal I have for you is a Zucchini, Corn and Feta Tart.  I found this recipe in the 'That's Life' magazine.  I have to say, feta and zucchini  is such a good combo!  I had a little bit of each leftover before I put it in the oven and tried them together and Oh My God!  Delicious!
(for those of you who don't know, zucchini and courgette are the same thing - I have been asked this before)

Zucchini, Corn and Feta Tart

2 sheets pastry (recipe said shortcrust but I used flaky)
2 small or 1 large zucchini
1/2 pack of feta
125g corn kernels
4 eggs
1/3 C cream
1/3 C grated parmesan
1 Tbsp mint

Lay pastry sheets on top of each other and roll to enlarge to approx. 30cm.  Line a quiche dish with this and trim to fit.  Prick base and line with baking paper and rice/beans - place in oven 200C to blind bake.  Approx 15minutes.  Remove and let cool.  Reduce heat to 180C
Meanwhile, heat 1Tbsp oil in pan over medium heat and cook thinly sliced zucchini for a few minutes until just tender.
Arrange half zucchini over base, sprinkle with half the feta and all the corn.  Whish eggs, cream, parmesan and finely chopped mint together.  Season with salt and pepper. Pour over base.  Arrange remaining zucchini and feta around the top of the quiche.  Season with pepper.
Bake for 35 minutes or until set.



The last two recipes are kind of similar principles but different ingredients.  Once again in my haste to serve, I forgot to take a picture of one of the dishes, so I'll post the pic that went with the recipe so you can see the deliciousness.
One is Loaded Cauliflower (similar to that of loaded potatoes) and the other is Broccoli and Corn Casserole.
To be fair, I think the cauliflower recipe is better and would work with both cauli and broccoli.  I did however adjust a few things in the broccoli recipe so it could very well be my fault. Anywho, here are the recipes:

Loaded Cauliflower

Ingredients:
1 large head of Cauliflower cut into bite size pieces (approx 6 cups)...

6-8 strips of bacon cooked and crumbled (Cooked in oven at 400° for 20 mins)
6 Tbs chopped Chives
1/2 cup Mayonnaise
1/2 cup Sour Cream
2 cups Colby Jack Cheese ( may use cheddar)
8 oz container sliced mushrooms
Directions:
Preheat oven to 425°
In a large pot boil water and cook Cauliflower for 8 - 10 minutes, drain and let cool.
In a large bowl combine sour cream, mayo, 1/2 of crumbled bacon, 3tbs chives, 1 cups of cheese,mushrooms and cauliflower and mix well... place in baking dish and cover with remaining 1 cup of cheese and rest of bacon crumbles. Bake for 15-20 minutes until cheese is melted. top with remaining 3 Tbs chives and serve.


 
Ok, so I omitted the mushrooms for this recipe and probably could have used a larger head of cauli.  I also used red onion (finely diced) in place of chives, and Edam cheese in place of Colby.  This was soooooo good!  Perhaps a little too creamy - but I eyeballed the ingredients rather than measuring, and again, with a larger head of cauli it might have been spread out a bit better.  I do think that if you had cauli and broccoli mixed together this would be fantastic.

This is the other one:

Corn & Broccoli Casserole with Bacon

2/3 cup almond flour
1/2 cup cornmeal...

3 Tablespoons granulated Swerve or Stevia
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
pinch of sea salt
1/3 cup almond milk
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 can creamed corn
1 cup light sour cream
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 bag of frozen broccoli
1/2 package bacon, diced and cooked to crisp
1 cup grated cheese - whatever kind you like

Combine flour, cornmeal, sweetener, salt and baking powder in a small bowl.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a baking dish (I used a 13" x 9").

Melt the butter over low heat; dice up and cook bacon to crispy, drain grease and then allow to cool on paper towel. Lightly steam the broccoli, drain and then dump into the baking dish - spread it evenly out.

Open the cans of corn and pour into a medium sized bowl. Add into this the melted butter, sour cream and milk. Mix well. Now add in the dry ingredients and mix until no lumps. Pour over the broccoli.

Bake for about 55 minutes. Remove and sprinkle the bacon & cheese on top. Return to the oven and bake another 5 minutes or until cheese is all bubbly. ~ Enjoy!!

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Now if you note the part at the bottom (this was also at the bottom of the first one), I really don't see how this could possibly be part of a weight loss support group!  The ingredients in here are not exactly the best for you - which is partly why I changed a few things. 

1: I thought that 1/2C of butter to cook your bacon in and then add to the dish was a bit of overkill - Bacon certainly doesn't need butter to cook in, but as I thought it might be important for the rest of it, I kept it in, but reduced it to 25g

2: I used fresh broccoli not frozen, and only used one head, though again, probably could've use two.

3: I only used half a can of each corn and 1/2C sour cream, again, I thought it was a bit much. 

4: I used plain flour and milk ( I didn't have almond flour or milk)

5: I used regular sugar and sour cream as opposed to light or artificial sweeteners - that stuff is nasty!  Anything "Light", "lite", "diet" is not good for you!

So after all those changes, what I ended up with, was something that looked a bit like cornbread with broccoli in it, and ,melted cheese and bacon on top.  It did taste good though, just not a casserole texture, a bit more doughy.
In my opinion, it could have been made without the flour and cornmeal, with just the creamed corn, corn and sour cream to make up the saucy part, topped with cheese and bacon.  Or if you combined some of each recipe and did Broccoli, corn, cauli, red onion with sour cream, mayo, cheese and bacon, I think that could be a winner!

Anyways, hopefully that has given you some ideas of vege dishes to try with your family.  Might be a good way of sneaking veges into your children! 

I'm going to leave you with a couple of pics of some sweet stuff that I made this week also :) I had to share the pie as it's by far the coolest looking pie I have ever made!  If you want to make one similar you will need a lattice cutter which you can get from Kitchen Kapers.




Enjoy the last day of your long weekend.  Happy cooking!