April has flown by and I got experimenting this month with new challenges in the kitchen.
First challenge of the month was creating my first ever batch of sauerkraut! I followed the recipe for Changing Habits sauerkraut, minus the carrots, and adapting the method to blend by hand (good old fashioned way to create the brine). Tucked away in the back of the cupboard we let the fermentation process do its magic, only disturbing it to burp off the gases every couple of days. We allowed it ferment for 2-3 weeks and husband had the job of taste testing to check when it was ready for our taste buds. Sauerkraut makes a lovely addition to our meals.
I started off the month with an explosion of cooking over the Easter long weekend. Borrowing mum’s thermomix I cooked up a storm. The challenge I had set myself was to cook up Alexx Stuart’s key lime pie, a tantalising dessert taking time to put together but oh so worth it!
While the thermomix was in use I made a batch of spelt hot cross buns with cranberries in my KitchenAid. Nothing beats a hot cross bun freshly out of the oven with a lashing of Pepe butter. Yum!
My sister stayed over on the long weekend and a treat for us is homemade spelt based pizza. My sister loved the ham and pineapple pizza and husband loves being in control of how much cheese he can pile on the pizza.
With mum’s thermomix I created my first ever batch of yoghurt. Following the recipe in the Thermomix EDC cookbook and leaving it to set for about 7 hours I was quite impressed with how easy it was to make yoghurt.
I also made Thermomix ricotta using apple cider vinegar. Ricotta is also a very easy thing to make; once you know how you think why have I been buying ricotta from the supermarket for this long?
A throw together salad of roast lamb and veges, homemade ricotta and fresh avocados from the farmers markets.
I have been waiting for ‘I am Mightly’ to come in stock at my local health food store. I am not sure how I first found out about this product, however, it is a great substitute to Vegemite without the nasties like MSG. Husband and I were hesitant at first but we are quite impressed with the taste.
Picking up a bargain at the supermarket of grass fed veal schnitzel we cooked up Miguel’s beefoloni from The Living Room. I have missed pasta cannelloni since reducing eating wheat and this meal was fantastic substitute.
Loving fresh organic rainbow spinach from the farmers markets.
I have been wanting to buy the River Cottage Everyday cookbook since watching the series a while ago, so I didn’t miss my chance during the Easter sales in bringing it home. First thing out of the cook book was wholemeal honey cake. An absolute perfect recipe to go with the jar of honey I picked up from the farmers markets.
Another bargain we picked up from the supermarket was reduced organic chicken mince. We cooked up Penne Primavera from Survival from the Fittest. Only one problem, I didn’t meal plan in advance for this meal and checking the cupboard for evaporated milk, well I had a slight problem, no can available. So luckily I had a few hours up my sleeve before dinner time and not wanting to venture to the shops for one can of evaporated milk I turned to my friend Google. I had in mind that making evaporated milk was difficult and some how complicated. Well the challenge with this meal was overcoming my perceptions on how to make evaporated milk. All you do is bring a saucepan of milk to the boil, reduce to low and simmer for about 30 minutes till you have reduced the milk by 60%. So simple! Bonus is that I get to avoid the nasty stabilizers and additives in canned evaporated milk.
A quick pumpkin and feta frittata for lunch.
My son thought all his wishes had come at once with nachos for dinner using Keys to Fine Food Mexican Taco mix. Mince, cheese and sour cream plus organic corn chips, my son didn’t know what to eat first. The best part of nachos is that the mix makes up 4 batches so great to freeze up for another time.
Baked snapper on a bed of veges for a quick dinner.
Yeah! My Changing Habits order arrived. I ordered the new Organic Emmer Wheat Flour and Organic Chia Seeds and received the complimentary All Natural Seaweed Salt! Plus I added the All Natural Probiotics. Can’t wait to try the Emmer Wheat for my baking. Just in time too as I had run out of Chia seeds and they are great to add to the curry for dinner.
Recalling watching Hugh on River Cottage making yoghurt I flicked through my new River Cottage Every Day cookbook to find the recipe. The first batch I made was quite runny. The second batch set perfectly after I warmed the milk up to 90 degrees from looking at Rhonda’s recipe from Down to Earth. After buying a thermometer, yoghurt is so achievable to make and so cheap to. We pay between $5 for a supermarket organic yoghurt to $9 for a biodynamic yoghurt from the farmers markets, so make a batch for $1 for 500g certainly helps stretch the budget.
What have you challenged yourself to cook this month?