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“A table without vegetables is like an old man without wisdom”

This is an old arabic saying that I came across which I think is fantastic. Even more like an old woman with out wisdom I would say, but either way we really should be getting more vegetables into our diet so I am making it my mission to help you transform the way you see vegetables. I want to help you love them and for you to see them as the main focus of your meals no matter what else you eat. So be you vegetarian, vegan or omnivore I want to help you love your vegies more.

Moroccan Style Vegetable Tagine

2 cups kent pumpkin cut into 2 – 3 cm cubes skin on
2 large carrots peeled and cut into 2 cm rounds
1 red capsicum cut into 2 – 3 cm pieces
1 leek cut into 2 cm rounds
or any other seasonal veg eg zuchini, parsnip, swede, cauliflower
1 can chickpeas drained and rinsed
1 cup passata
¼ – ½ cup raisons depending on sweetness desired
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp all spice
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
½ tsp or more dried ginger
½ tsp or more cumin
½ tsp ras el hannout, optional
½ tsp hot paprika
1 tbsp ghee, butter or oil
¼ cup water in slow cooker, a bit more in tagine or saucepan

heat spices in oil or ghee till fragrant in tagine or if using slow cooker heat spices in a pot on stove before adding to slow cooker, add raisons then vegies and chick peas then top with passata and water. Put lid on tagine on low on stove top or slow cooker on high and cook undisturbed till carrots are soft, about 2 – 3 hours depending on temp. Gently stir in 1 tsp salt, and extra chilli flakes if desired and a little extra water if too dry.

Serve with quinoa, rice or just as is (or traditional couscous if you are doing wheat)

Spinach or Silverbeet Quiche

This is a great way to get a really big dose of greens into your life. I am purporting to goodness of this dish for other reasons but it does taste great and kids love it and it is super quick and easy.

1 large bunch sliver beet or spinach
6 eggs
200ml sour cream
about a cup crated cheese or packet of dried parmesan
puff pastry or short crust pastry to line pie dish

preheat oven to 180 degrees
grease pie dish and lay frozen pastry over top to soften, press pastry in to shell or if feeling particularly virtuous line with the short crust pastry you just made.
remove stalks of sliver beet or roots of spinach and wash well. Be particularly careful washing the sandy dirt from spinach. Shake water from leaves and put into large pot with lid on and cook over medium heat until just wilted. Remove and run under cold water until cool enough to really squeeze dry. Chop finely and set aside to cool further while you prepare rest of ingredients.
In a large bowls whisk eggs, cream, cheese and optional salt, pepper, nutmeg and then stir in spinach well. Making sure to get the egg mix between all the clumps of leaves. Pour into pastry lined pie dish and bake for about 40 mins or until the middle of the quiche has just risen or just before it rises if you like a softer quiche.

Red Pasta Sauce

1 brown onion finely diced
2 sticks celery
2 carrots, peeled and grated
1 parsnip, peeled and grated
1 beetroot, peeled and grated
2 cloves garlic
1 jar passata
50ml olive oil

saute onion in olive oil for 4 mins, add celery saute 2min

add carrot saute 2mins , add parsnip & beetroot saute 5 mins

add jar of passata, bay leaf, garlic, salt, mixed herbs or oregano simmer 15 mins

serve on gf pasta with good grating of grana padano if desired

“Mexican Delight Sweet Potatoes” name by my daughter Mila

4-6 small banana sized orange sweet potatoes scrubbed clean.

Preheat oven to 200 degrees C

line the bottom tray with foil and place the sweet potatoes on the rack above for 1 hr turn and roast for another 30mins. This is approximate because all potatoes cook at different rates depending on age etc.They should be super soft to touch and dripping sticky sweet ‘sap’ and just beginning to darken but not yet black on the outside.

Meanwhile prepare your beans, salads and salsa

Re fried Beans
Red kidney beans or black beans are best, canned or pre prepared ones you have cooked yourself.

1 – 2 cans beans drained.
1-2 tsp cumin toasted
¾ cup passata or ½ can tinned tomatoes or 2-3 chopped fresh tomatoes (or left over red pasta sauce)
salt to taste
½ cup water
splash red wine vinegar

simmer till beans are softened and squash them a bit

Winter Salsa
fresh corn cut from 1 cob
2 sticks celery finely diced
1 red capsicum finely diced
½ teaspoon cumin
lightly saute with olive oil and add salt and lemon or lime juice or white wine vinegar.

Winter Salad
Red Cabbage finely sliced on mandolin
Fennel finely sliced
Red wine vinegar

To serve
Sour cream or yogurt
corn chips

To assemble slice a sweet potato longways and add a dob of butter
pile on beans then salad and salsa and top with sour cream and jalepenos with corn chips on the side.