Posts Tagged ‘vegetarian’

Why have egg and cress sandwiches, when you can be totally extra and have egg and two cress sandwiches?

Is it egg and two cress, or egg and two cresses?

It’s all very Famous Five, but these are absolutely delish sandwiches to serve at a high tea (or to take on a picnic where you solve mysteries accompanied by potted meat sandwiches, seed cake and lashings of ginger beer).

Substantial high tea, artfully photographed.

Embarrassingly: the reason why I purchased the lebanese cress is because I saw Shane Delia’s cooking show and decided I simply must grow lebanese cress… Now that I have grown it successfully: I’ve been struggling to find recipes to include it in. Luckily a shortage of home grown watercress, a surplus of lebanese cress and an impending high tea led to this recipe-spiration 😉

Note to self: find time to search for Shane Delia and locate his recipes using lebanese cress.

Sandwiches hiding behind neverfail chocolate cake

I cut my sandwiches into 4 triangles, and people will generally eat 2-3 triangles per person. I’ve written this recipe so you can easily make as much as you need for your high teas, picnics and assorted mystery-solving adventures.

Aerial perspective.


  • 1 hard boiled egg per sandwich (peeled, obvs)
  • 1 spring onion, green part only chopped finely (0.5 of an end per sandwich is a good ratio but it does depend on how long your spring onion is)
  • 4-5 sprigs of lebanese cress per sandwich, leaves only (cut the leaves off the stalk)
  • 2-3 tbsp of watercress leaves (or land cress leaves) per sandwich, leaves only (cut the leaves off the stalk)
  • 1 dessert spoon of egg mayonnaise per sandwich
  • 2 slices of white sandwich bread, buttered (or nuttelexed, or margarined: whatever your preference)
  • Salt and pepper to season

Mash your boiled egg(s) in a bowl: I like to use a potato masher to break them up finely, and then a fork to stir. Add in the spring onion, lebanese cress leaves, water/land cress leaves and egg mayonnaise. Stir well with the fork to ensure the egg and other ingredients are completely and evenly mixed through.

Taste, and add salt and pepper to your liking.

You use about 1-2 dessert spoons of this mixture per sandwich, so pop your spoonfuls of egg-and-two-cress-mixture on one of the slices of bread and smooth out evenly to cover the whole slice of bread, then cover with the other slice of bread and THEN cut into 4 triangles.


These sandwiches are so much more satisfying as triangles.

Triangles by supreme edict.



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The wonder and the majesty

This Mac N Cheese is a little bit extra, if I do say so myself. It’s not for the calorie counters, or the carb and dairy avoiders. Oh no: not for you. Not for you at all.


  • 1.5-2 cups of elbow macaroni (dried)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1-2 cup milk
  • 1 cup stock made up (I use vegeta vegetable stock)
  • 3 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1/3 of a half round of Creamy Blue Castello, chopped (if you are wondering what to do with the rest of the round, make this amazing blue cheese dip)
  • 100gms provolone, finely grated (you could substitute a tasty cheddar)
  • 100gms parmesan, finely grated
  • 100gms gruyere, finely grated
  • Panko breadcrumbs
  • Olive Oil

Cook the curly macaroni in salted water and drain. Oil a large baking dish and pre-heat the oven to 170°C.

In a large saucepan (it needs to be large because you will be adding the macaroni to it), melt the butter and add the spring onions and when you can smell the cooked onions, add the flour (you’re now making a roux), stir while cooking. If it starts to stick add a tiny bit of olive oil (less than 1/2 tbsp) and keep stirring. and the roux is a nice golden colour, add 1/3 of the milk to it, turn the heat down to low-medium and stir until fully combined. Now add the rest of the cup of milk and stir until combined.

Turn the heat up to medium and add the pasta, and stir until covered in sauce (congratulations, you’ve just made pasta with white sauce). The sauce should be starting to thicken at this point, so turn down the heat to low-medium and then add your provolone, parmesan and gruyere cheese one at a time, stirring thoroughly when you do.

Once the cheese has melted into the white sauce, take off the heat. Tip out into your baking dish (you can freeze any surplus and microwave, it’s very nice). Tuck your pieces of Creamy Blue Castello into the pasta in the dish (making sure every part of the dish has a portion of goodness), top with panko breadcrumbs and a sprinkle of parmesan and/or gruyere and a drizzle of olive oil.

Cook in the oven for 30-40 minutes (it’s already cooked, you are just heating the top and melting the cheese). Then serve…#yourewelcome

It’s pretty deluxe

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Left: hardcore version. Right: softcore version

I don’t particularly like blue cheese, but this dip has won me over. If you make it just before serving, it will be quite runny and you can use it as a salad dressing (great over cos lettuce halves). If you leave it in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight, it will firm up and become more of a dip consistency.

In whatever form, it is great with hot and spicy chicken winglets, and celery. I cannot get enough of celery sticks dipped into this.

Warning: you will need a food processor (I have a mini stick food processor)


  • 2 tbsp greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp whole egg mayonnaise
  • 1 large clove of garlic, crushed
  • Blue cheese:
    • Softcore version: use 1/4 to 1/3 of the White Castello soft cheese half round (Creamy White)
    • Hardcore version: use 1/4 to 1/3 of the Blue Castello soft cheese half round (Creamy Blue)
    • Extremely hardcore version: use 1/4 of the Creamy Blue and 1/4 of an actual hardcore blue
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

Pop everything into your mini food processor and process until smooth. Pour into a lidded container and then either dress salad with it immediately, or leave in the fridge for a couple of hours to firm up.

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Recipe: Garlic Salad Dressing

Dressed cos lettuce halves and radish quarters

You can thank the Countess Von Noodlestein for inspiring this: she drenches tomatoes and separately chopped iceberg lettuce in something similar. And it is divine. It’s also quite simple.


  • 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (aka EVOO)
  • 1 clove garlic (fresh garlic, mind)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Crush the fresh garlic into a dressing container, add the salt, mix and leave for about 20 minutes. Then add the EVOO and the pepper and whisk/shake until well combined. If you are serving this over tomatoes, dress the tomatoes in it an hour/so before so they have time to warm up, marinate and infuse (same with the chopped iceberg lettuce), otherwise drizzle over your cos lettuce halves, your radishes or whatever else you want to bath in luxurious, garlicky, olive oil warmness immediately before serving.

Dressed cos lettuce halves (2018 may be all about the cos lettuce halves) and tomato quarters

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Cos lettuce halves with tomato quarters, slow cooked beef ribs and red cabbage coleslaw

I’ve previously shared with you a really delicious, creamy Purple Coleslaw with ginger, lemongrass and garlic.

This new version is a purple cabbage coleslaw for the days when you don’t want a creamy salad (perhaps you are cooking something that is quite fatty and rich in and of itself, like beef ribs). It’s a lot more simple that the creamy version, but word of warning: it’s not for the coriander h8rs.


  • 1/4 head of purple cabbage (red cabbage), finely sliced
  • 1/2 bunch of coriander leaves, chopped finely (coriander ha8rs could substitute mint and/or basil…I guess).
  • 1-2 tbsp sushi vinegar
  • 1 tsp caster sugar

Pop the cabbage in a bowl with a lid, add in the sushi vinegar and caster sugar. Shake and leave for 1-2 hours: I left it on the counter top but you could also leave it in the fridge. Every so often, shake your bowl (hence the need for a bowl with a lid) to make sure the vinegar and caster sugar are covering all the cabbage and the sugar is dissolving (you could also mix the sugar and vinegar together before you pop it on the cabbage, but I was lazy).

When you are ready to serve, add in the coriander and stir thoroughly.

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Onion pudding with baby carrots and chicken gravy (It’s gravox).

First I need to tell you a little bit about my uncle John, and when I first had this onion pudding. Uncle John has been my Uncle Roger’s partner since the early 80’s (maybe even the late 70’s), and in every way that counts: he’s family (although he doesn’t like to admit it). So he’s my uncle.

So…onion pudding? My sister and I went to the UK for Christmas in 95/96: it was the first time we had seen snow, the first time my sister (14) had traveled outside of Australia, the first time we had ever had a cold Christmas (our norm is 30°+ degrees Celsius, not 0°+ degrees Celsius) and seen how amazing Christmas is in the UK, and the first time we’d seen real holly (it doesn’t just come in plastic, you know.).

One of the enduring memories from that trip was the Christmas Tree and fireplace Mantle that my Uncle Roger decorated. Amazing. Seriously AMAZING. This was pre-smartphone era, so I don’t think I took any photos unfortunately. But I do photograph presents my Uncle sends me, and save the cards he sends me: for.a.reason.

Another enduring memory is the Christmas lunch Uncle Roger and John made, including this Onion Pudding. This Onion Pudding is a family Christmas tradition in Uncle John’s family, and he shared it with us. I had never had savoury pudding before, and IT.WAS.AMAZING.

That was 95/96. I asked him for the recipe when I went to the UK in 2014, and then serendipitously bought a pudding basin and pudding cloth on one of those flash sales sites earlier this year (in Summer, if I recall correctly). So it was fated that this year, in winter, I was going to make Uncle John’s Onion Pudding. 22 years after I ate it for the first and only time, I WAS going to make it. Or else.

Retro dinner party, with Uncle John’s Onion Pudding. And yes I am in Australia, and that is Union Jack bunting in the very background…what of it?

[For the record: you don’t need a pudding basin to make this pudding, and I knew that. But what can I say? It was a kitchenware sale, and I was on a roll. In other news: I’m now researching steamed pudding recipes.]


  • 250gm butter
  • 1.5 cups plain flour
  • 1 onion, diced (*if you have a food processor, I have a nifty additional tip I will share in the method)
  • Pudding cloth


  • 2 tsp dried/fresh herbs of your choice ( I went without, it’s nice as is)

Mix the flour and the butter until it’s at breadcrumb stage (I did this in the food processor, so quick, so amazing. Food processors may actually be a revelation). Add the onion (HOT TIP: I added my lazily diced onion while the flour/butter breadcrumb mix was still in the food processor and then pulsed it a couple of times to cut up the onion even more. AMAZING).

If you have a food processor, now you will need to tip everything into a large bowl. If you don’t have a food processor (and I was once like you before I found the light), then you’re probably already making this in a bowl bless your gorgeous heart 😉

Now: you need to stir in some water, but don’t go crazy. Stir in water one tablespoon at a time AND stir the batter with a knife (not a fork, not a spoon: a knife), I used a butter knife, if it helps. You’re aiming for a consistency that just binds together: the dough/batter should be firm but not wet.

Get your pudding cloth, dust it with flour, then shape your pudding into either a ball or a log shape (swiss roll was how it was described by Uncle John) on the pudding cloth . You can see from the pics I was aiming for a ball but did not tie my pudding cloth tight enough, so I ended up with a disc shaped pudding. Uncle John’s pudding was a round ball, FYI. I bow to his onion pudding making skillz.

Pop it in a saucepan with high sides, cover with water, bring to the boil and then turn down and simmer for an hour.

Serve your Onion Pudding with Chicken Gravy or Turkey Gravy (Poultry Gravy). Onion Pudding is a great accompaniment to a traditional Christmas dinner: turkey, peas, baby carrots, gravy, other amazing winter food stuff. And it is tradition in Uncle John’s family.

But this pudding could be eaten as the main focus: it’s that nice. Just remember the gravy and ENJOY!

Retro Dinner Party with onion pudding in the background


It’s also a great accompaniment to a Crown Roast (a la Robert Carrier), fish pie, tuna potato pie (long story) when you hold a Retro Dinner Party #justsaying



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Recipe: Zucchini Soup

Zucchini Soup Ready To Be Eaten


I’ve been trying out the 5:2 diet since May last year. It’s pretty cool: I’ve lost ~9 kilos so far, slow and steady. I am enjoying fitting back into some of my clothes again, and look forward to more fitting in the near future 🙂 That’s one reason I went on my Great Pot Noodle Experiment of 2016.

So I am on the lookout for low calorie (VERY low calorie) recipes I can meal-prep and eat on the fast days. This Zucchini Soup is a bit of a winner: when you blend the zucchinis, the soup becomes thicker and creamy looking so you could be fooled into thinking it’s richer and higher calorie than it is. I’ve worked it out as about 66-86 calories per serve (but I am not a qualified nutritionist, and am relying on online calorie calculators for quantities), and I get about 6 serves out of this.

You will need a blender or stick mixer to blend at the end.


  • 1 brown onion, diced
  • 1 tsp diced garlic (I used diced garlic in a jar for convenience)
  • 1-2 Zucchini, diced
  • 4 sticks of celery, diced
  • 1-2 tsp Vegeta Stock Powder
  • 1-2 tsp Olive Oil for frying
  • 6-8 cups of boiling water (put your kettle on when you start this recipe)

Pop the olive oil in your soup pan, and heat. Add the onions and start cooking until they are translucent. Add the garlic and fry, then add your celery and fry for a while. The onions should never turn brown at any point, we’re aiming for softened, translucent vegetables so you will need to keep an eye on your pan, and keep stirring. Add the zucchini and fry for a while, still making sure veggies are being stirred regularly and nothing is sticking to the pan.

When the Zucchini has softened, add your boiling water and stock powder. Stir to combine and then simmer for 20-30 minutes on the stove until the vegetables are completely soft.

Take off the heat, and leave to cool. Then blend and portion out into your storage containers.

When I take this to work for lunch, I will pour the soup into a bowl and add a little bit of water (1tbsp) to the jar, shake and pour into the soup bowl to get the very last dregs.

It’s pretty delicious, and I am not sick of eating this yet (although I do have something different for dinner to ensure it doesn’t wear out its welcome).

66 Calories of Lunch 🙂

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