Red onion and goat feta tartlets

In my last post I promised to share with you the delicious filling for the gluten free tartlet shells I made. These red onion and goat feta tartlets are the perfect entertaining appetiser as they are bite sized yet filling enough to serve with drinks.

Before I share the tartlet recipe, Woolworths have kindly donated two $50.00 gift cards for me to giveaway to YOU – simply enter the Woolworths gift card giveaway here and entries are open to Australian residents only till 7pm AEST Wednesday 22 January 2014!

Red onion and thyme

The earthiness of the red onion and thyme complement the sharpness of the goat feta.

Cooking down the onion

As the red onion becomes translucent by adding the thyme to the fry pan the herb creates a beautifully fragrant filling.

Gluten free tartlet shells

What I love most about these tartlet shells, besides being gluten free, is they can be pre-made then stored in the freezer. All you then have to do is make the filling, bake the tartlets and you have a scrumptious appetiser to serve your guests in little to no time!

Egg filling

By mixing the almond milk with the eggs for the filling it ensures it goes that little bit further and the tartlets don’t taste too heavy.

Ready for the oven

Make sure you fill the tartlets to the top, I did this by spooning the egg filling over the goat cheese.

Perfect to serve when entertaining!

These tartlets will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for two days or in the freezer for up to two weeks! Simply warm in a 180C/350F oven for 10 – 15 minutes then serve!

Red onion and goats feta tartlets

Makes approximately 40 tartlets

Ingredients:

  • 1 batch of gluten free pastry tartlet shells
  • 1 red onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 2 TBSP fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup goat feta, crumbled
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 TBSP almond milk
  • Salt and pepper

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F and line baking tray with baking paper. Line tartlet shells on baking paper.
  2. Place red onion and coconut oil in a small fry pan over medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes or until onion has softened then mix in thyme.
  3. Place 1 tsp of red onion mixture in each tartlet shell then top with 1 tsp of crumbled goat feta.
  4. Whisk eggs, almond milk, salt and pepper together.
  5. Spoon approximately 1 – 2 TBSP of egg mixture into each tartlet until the goat feta is covered.
  6. Place in oven for 10 – 15 minutes or until cooked. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Don’t forget to enter the Woolworths gift card giveaway here!

Chopped salad with spiced mint lamb

As mentioned in my last post, here is the dinner I made for guests Friday evening.

When entertaining I like my guests to feel relaxed. By allowing guests to serve themselves this creates an informal, casual atmosphere and also enables them to serve their own portion size.

Fresh herbs

Make sure you wash your fresh herbs as they can be quite sandy. By adding a dash of apple cider vinegar to the water it will remove most pesticides from the outside of the herbs.

Light salad dressing

This salad dressing is really light and fresh. The lemon provides a tanginess and mellows the pungent flavour of the garlic.

All dressed!

I love the bright reds and greens in the salad. The coriander and parsley really bring out the flavours of the salad ingredients.

Seasoned lamb

I seasoned the lamb with cumin and paprika just before cooking to ensure each piece was coated with the spices.

Cooked lamb topped with fresh mint

Lamb and mint go hand-in-hand, especially in this case as the lamb was seasoned.

Complementary condiments

These condiments improve the flavours of the main dish. By adding the spices to the coconut yoghurt and the pine nuts to the hummus, it really dresses up what could be quite plain condiments.

Dinner is served!

The salad and lamb will both keep in separate sealed containers in the fridge for up to two days.

Chopped salad with lamb

Serves 6 generously

Ingredients:

  • 6 tomatoes, washed and diced
  • 1 cucumber, washed and diced
  • 1 red onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 red capsicum, washed and diced
  • 1 green capsicum, washed and diced
  • 1/2 bunch fresh coriander, washed and chopped
  • 1/2 bunch fresh parsley, washed and chopped
Dressing
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 4 TBSP olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
Lamb
  • 2kg grass fed lamb, cubed
  • 1 TBSP cumin
  • 1 TBSP paprika
  • 1 TBSP macadamia oil, for frying
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, washed and chopped
To serve
  • 1/2 cup coconut yoghurt
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • 1 tsp sumac
  • Homemade spelt pita crisps or gluten free pita bread
  • Olives
  • Goat cheese
  • Hummus
  • Pine nuts, cumin and olive oil for topping hummus

Method:

  1. Place tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, capsicum, coriander and parsley in a large bowl.
  2. Whisk all the dressing ingredients together and taste for seasoning.
  3. Add dressing to salad and toss well.
  4. Season lamb with cumin and paprika.
  5. Heat large frying pan over medium heat and cook seasoned lamb in macadamia oil for 7-10 minutes.
  6. Serve on a large dish and garnish with fresh mint.
  7. Sprinkle coconut yoghurt with chili flakes and sumac.
  8. Add pine nuts, cumin and olive oil to hummus.
  9. Serve salad and lamb with spelt pita bread, spiced coconut yoghurt, olives, goat cheese and hummus. Enjoy!

Notes:

  • When entertaining, you can cook the lamb just before your guests arrive and leave on a simmer covered whilst you wait till it’s time to serve.
  • Here’s the spelt pita crisp recipe will be posted tomorrow!

What do you like to make when entertaining guests?

Healthy beef burritos

Everyone seems to love burritos. I remember as a little girl getting so excited to have burritos for dinner, probably because we rarely had them and the fact that you can ‘make your own’.

It’s an easy yet tasty mid-week meal that requires little preparation.

Spiced beef mince

I used a combination of cumin and paprika to give the mince an earthy flavour. This is definitely a healthier alternative to the packaged spices you can buy.

Toppings to choose from

I believe everyone should eat a rainbow a day! I just love the fresh vibrant colours all the vegetables lend this dish.

My burrito bowl

All dishes will keep in the fridge for up to two days either in a sealed container or covered in plastic wrap. Enjoy as a salad for lunch the next day!

Healthy beef burritos

Serves 4 generously

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 red onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 1kg organic beef mince
  • 2 TBSP cumin
  • 2 TBSP paprika
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
Toppings and wraps/’bowls’
  • 2 carrots, peeled and grated
  • 4 tomatoes, washed and diced
  • 1/2 iceberg lettuce, washed and 1/2 shredded & 1/2 used as ‘bowls’
  • 1/2 red cabbage, washed and 1/2 shredded & 1/2 used as ‘bowls’
  • 1 cup goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 serving of this guacamole
  • 1/2 cup hummus (I used Yumi’s brand)
  • 4 gluten free wraps

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 160C/325F.
  2. In a large frying pan over medium heat place coconut oil, red onion and garlic cloves. Cook for 1 minute. Add mince and cook for a further 10-12 minutes, or until it is all cooked.
  3. Place wraps on lined baking tray and warm in the oven for 5 minutes.
  4. Add cumin, paprika, chili flakes, salt and pepper to the mince and cook for 2 minutes. Place in a bowl to serve.
  5. Place all dishes on the table and enjoy a healthy meal!
What are your favourite healthy burrito toppings?

Vegan spelt pizza

I love having pizza nights. There’s something so enjoyable about getting friends together, making pizzas and watching movies.

This spelt pizza is a healthy, vegan alternative to the traditional pizzas. Please don’t let the term ‘vegan’ deter you from making it. Vegan basically means it does not contain any animal products e.g. eggs, honey, chicken, goat cheese, etc. However, feel free to add some chicken or lamb as toppings if you’d like some animal protein!

Mixing the wet and dry ingredients

What I really like about spelt flour is it’s very filling, but surprisingly doesn’t make you feel heavy.

Finished kneading, ready for rolling!

It’s important to knead the dough as this helps it to come together and makes it easier to roll out.

Ready to be baked

I baked this before adding the toppings as this ensured it was properly cooked.

All toppings on

I love the combination of earthy basil pesto and zesty cashew cheese – they really complement each other.

Dinner is served!

This pizza will keep in the fridge for up to four days in a sealed container. Reheat in the oven at 180C/350F for 10 minutes or enjoy cold!

Spelt pizza

Makes 1 large pizza

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups wholemeal spelt flour, extra for flouring surface
  • 1 TBSP baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons macadamia oil
Toppings (feel free to adapt to suit your tastebuds)
  • Basil pesto
  • Cashew nut cheese – place in a ziplock bag, cut off one corner and squeeze to pipe the cheese on top
  • Red onion, washed and chopped
  • Zucchini, washed and chopped
  • Spinach leaves, washed
  • Asparagus, washed and chopped
  • Pumpkin, washed and chopped
  • Mushroom, washed and sliced
  • Broccolini, washed and chopped
  • Red capsicum, washed and chopped

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Line baking tray or pizza tray with baking paper.
  2. Place the spelt flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl.
  3. Make a well in the center and add the water and oil. Combine ingredients gradually, be careful not to over mix.
  4. Transfer the dough to a clean, floured surface and knead for 5-6 minutes, until smooth.
  5. Roll the dough out to your desired thickness and place on prepared tray and into oven.
  6. Bake spelt base for 10 minutes then removed from oven.
  7. Place pesto, then toppings of your choice, finishing with cashew nut cheese.
  8. Place into oven for 15-20 minutes, until golden on top.
  9. Slice to serve and enjoy!

What are your favourite pizza toppings?

Beef koftas with fattoush salad and coconut dressing

I love using a lot of different spices in my cooking as it brings the dish alive and tantalises your taste buds. My personal favourite spices are paprika and cumin as they add so much flavour to practically anything, including chicken, beef, prawns, lamb, roasted vegetables, nuts, lentils and quinoa.

I am a huge fan of meals that have many small dishes as they feel that little bit more special. They also enable guests to graze and I find that it makes a dinner last longer.

Soaking the skewers

It’s important to soak the skewers for 30 minutes to prevent them burning whilst in the oven.

Kofta ingredients all processed together

The kofta mixture is quite wet once processed, don’t be alarmed as this ensures they are juicy when cooked.

Koftas all rolled and ready to be cooked

This mixture makes 18 koftas, however it could be more/less depending on how big/small you roll them. If you’re time poor in the evenings, the koftas can be made that morning then placed in a sealed container in the fridge until needing to be cooked.

Brand of wraps I used

As these wraps don’t have gluten in them, they have a more cardboard like texture. This is why I prefer for crisp them up in the oven and use them as ‘chips’ instead.

Vibrant salad

This salad is a standout on its own! I never really use mint in salads, but I definitely will be more often after eating this. It gave the salad another burst of freshness and complemented the spices in the beef koftas.

Turmeric rice once all cooked

Recent research has highlighted the health benefits of incorporating more turmeric into your diet. These benefits include helping to prevent cancer, fighting cold and flus, helping indigestion and aiding in weight loss.

Dinner is served!

Beef koftas with fattoush salad and coconut yoghurt

Serves 6

Ingredients:

Beef koftas
  • 1 cup fresh coriander leaves, washed
  • 2 brown onions, quartered
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1kg organic lean beef mince
  • 1 TBSP ground coriander
  • 1 TBSP cumin
  • 1 TBSP paprika
  • 2 tsp allspice
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 18 Skewers
Fattoush salad
  • 1 romaine lettuce, washed and pat dry, sliced
  • 1 green capsicum, diced
  • 1 red capsicum, diced
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 1 red onion, finely sliced
  • 4 springs mint, leaves only, washed and finely sliced
  • 2 gluten free wraps
  • Macadamia oil
  • 5 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 TBSP sumac
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Coconut oil
Turmeric rice
  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 TBSP turmeric
Coconut dressing
  • 1/2 cup coconut yoghurt
  • Olive oil, drizzle on top
  • Sumac, sprinkle on top

Method:

Beef koftas
  1. Soak skewers in water for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Line baking tray with baking paper. 
  3. Place fresh coriander, onion and garlic in the food processor. Process until finely chopped. Add mince, ground coriander, cumin, paprika, allspice and season with salt and pepper. Process until well combined and paste like.
  4. Mould 2 TBSP beef mixture with your hands around one of the skewers. Place on the lined tray.
  5. Repeat with remaining mixture and skewers.
  6. Brush each kofta with a little coconut oil and cook in preheated oven for 4 minutes. After turning, cook for a further 4 minutes or until browned and just cooked through.
Fattoush salad
  1. Place wraps on another baking tray lined with baking paper. Brush side facing up with macadamia oil. Place in oven below koftas for 4 minutes. Flip onto other side and cook for a further 4 minutes or until crisp.
  2. Once crisp, cut into triangles and set aside.
  3. Place all the vegetables in a large bowl and toss to combine.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, sumac, salt and pepper until well combined.
  5. Add the toasted wraps to the salad and toss well with the dressing.
Turmeric rice
  1. Rinse the rice to get rid of the excess starch that can make it stodgy. When the water runs clear it is ready. 
  2. Place rice, water, bay leaves and turmeric in a medium saucepan and bring to a rolling boil.
  3. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes, or until all water is absorbed.
Coconut dressing
  1. Place coconut yoghurt in a small bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sumac. Serve koftas with coconut yoghurt dressing. Enjoy!

Tasty dinner ready to be eaten!

What are your favourite spices to cook with?