Quick and Easy Hummus

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Hummus is great as part of a middle eastern themed dinner or as a healthy snack or even great on sandwiches! This recipe is so quick and easy to make and its always better home made!

200g canned chickpeas

2 tbsp lemon juice

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tsp ground cumin

salt to taste

100ml tahini (sesame seed paste) optional

4 tbsp water

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 

1 tsp paprika

4 rounds of pitta bread 

– Drain the chickpeas and rinse. Reserve a few whole chick peas for serving.

– Combine the chickpeas, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, salt, tahini, and water in a food processor, and blend to a creamy purée.

– Add more lemon juice, garlic, cumin or salt to taste. Turn out into a dinner plate, and make smooth with the back of a spoon. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and scatter with the reserved chickpeas.

– Sprinkle with paprika and serve with pita bread, warmed in a moderate oven for three minutes, and cut into quarters.

Recipe by BBC Food

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Basic Mayonnaise

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Nothing like home made mayo! This is a great recipe and you can use it as a base and add flavour if you like. Lemon juice (at the end) or chopped up herbs, tabasco… totally up to you!
  • 1 egg
  •  1 tablespoon lemon juice
  •  2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  •  sea salt and ground white pepper
  •  1 cup (250ml) vegetable oil

– Process or blend the egg, lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper in a food processor or blender until well combined.

– With the motor running, pour the oil in very slowly in a thin stream and process until the mixture is thick and creamy.

Makes 1¼ cups.

Recipe by Donna Hay

Chicken Liver Pate’

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Ok, so you either love it or you hate it. I am a big fan and love chicken liver pate’. This is a great recipe for those of you who are with me on this! amazing on fresh ciabatta! Making pate yourself is also ALWAYS better than store bought. Especially this one 🙂

500g chicken livers

1 tsp mixed herbs

250g soft butter

1 Tbsp apricot jam

1 clove of garlic

1 large onion, diced

2 Tbsp brandy

Freshly ground sea salt and pepper

– Fry the onion in the 1/4 of the butter with the garlic. Add the liver and cook briskly. Never overcook the liver, just enough so that it changes colour.

– Add salt and pepper to taste. Add 1 Tbsp apricot jam (heaped). Add herbs and brandy and the rest of the butter and leave everything in the pan to cool.

– Once cool, blend everything together in a food processor and pour into a dish. Bang the dish on the counter top to release the air.

– Leave to cool down, Chill and serve with melba toast or fresh ciabatta.

Photo courtesy of google.com

Butternut and Feta ‘Hummus’

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A lovely vegetable ‘hummus’ thats divine as an easy and healthy snack or even as a light, meat-free meal!

1 large butternut, halved and seeded

Olive Oil

Salt and milled pepper

1 Tbsp (15ml) Tahini (sesame paste)

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 tsp (5ml) each ground coriander and cumin

1 tbsp (15ml) lemon juice

1 tsp (5ml) chopped flat leaf (italian) parsley

1 disk (50g) feta cheese, crumbled

– Preheat your oven to 180 C

– Place butternut in an ovenproof dish, brush with oil and season. Cover with foil and roast for 45 minutes or until tender. Leave to cool and scoop out flesh.

– Blitz butternut, tahini, garlic, coriander, cumin and lemon juice until smooth.

– Stir through parsley, seasoning and feta.

– Drizzle with olive oil and serve with toasted pita breads.

Recipe from Fresh Living Magazine

Jamie Oliver’s Tomato Sauce

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Tomato sauce is incredibly versatile! You can use it as a base for pasta sauces, on pizza, on bruschetta. Just allow your imagination to go wild! This recipe is a great base recipe. You can twist it up however you like!

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 -3  garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 bunch basil stalks or a tsp dried oregano

1 whole red chili (pierced once with a knife to prevent from bursting during cooking)

2 cans of whole peeled plum tomatoes

Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp red wine vinegar

– Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Fry the chopped garlic until lightly golden. Add the basil stalks or oregano and the chili. Add the tomatoes. Keep the tomatoes whole until right at the end as the seeds cab be bitter and you want the sauce as sweet as possible. Season with salt and pepper and gently simmer for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the chili and discard.

– Mash the tomatoes right at the end of the cooking process with a fork to puree. Taste and adjust seasoning and add the red wine vinegar. You can now serve this sauce in so many ways!

Recipe by Jamie Oliver

Mushroom, Sherry and Grain Mustard Sauce

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When I discovered this one I was one happy girl!! It’s so delicious! It’s amazing on steak and I would highly recommend that you serve it with a great fillet steak and home made chips! BUT, this will also work with Pork fillet steaks or pork chops. The original recipe had 2 tbsps of parsley, but I found that was very overpowering so I’ve reduced that and I just sprinkle a little bit in at the end. But you can try for yourself. Add a little first and adjust for your taste. I have made this a few times. It’s a BIG favourite of mine!

3 tbsp olive oil

200g button mushrooms , quartered

1 garlic clove, lightly crushed

1 sprig thyme

150ml dry sherry

1 tbsp sherry vinegar

150ml beef stock or brown chicken stock

2 tbsp crème fraîche

1 tbsp grain mustard

1 tbsp chopped flatleaf parsley

– Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the mushroomswith the garlic and thyme, stirring until softened.

– Pour in 100ml sherry and cook until reduced to a glaze, about 3 mins.

– Add the vinegar and cook for a few seconds more. Mix in the remaining sherry and the stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 3 mins.

– Remove the garlic and thyme, then mix in the crème fraîche and mustard. Pour in any juices from the steak, then add the parsley.

Recipe by Gordon Ramsay

Basil Pesto

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Home made pesto is the way to go – and its SUPER easy! Just make sure that you have a good glug of olive oil covering it so that the colour does not turn.

2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup pine nuts
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino cheese

– Combine the basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add 1/2 cup of the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

– If using immediately, add all the remaining oil and pulse until smooth. Transfer the pesto to a large serving bowl and mix in the cheese.

– If freezing, transfer to an air-tight container and drizzle remaining oil over the top. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw and stir in cheese.

This recipe is from the food network. It’s a great one!

Lemon-Garlic Chick Pea Dip for Veggies and Chips

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1  can chick peas, drained
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 lemon, zested and juiced
4 to 5 sprigs fresh thyme leaves, stripped from stems
Coarse salt and pepper
A few drops hot sauce, to taste
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (eyeball it)

– Combine the chick peas, garlic, lemon zest and juice, thyme, salt and pepper and hot sauce in food processor.

– Turn processor on and stream in the extra-virgin olive oil until a good dip consistency forms.

– Transfer the dip to a dish and surround with veggies and chips

Groovy Green Goddess Dip

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60g anchovy fillets, drained
1 small shallot, chopped or a small, 5cm piece red onion
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley
12 blades fresh chives, chopped (about 3 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons chopped tarragon leaves
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup sour cream
Black pepper

– In a food processor, combine first 6 ingredients. Turn processor on and stream in the olive oil.

– Transfer dip to a bowl and stir in sour cream and black pepper. Serve with veggies and breadsticks for dipping.

Recipe by Rachael Ray

Ricotta Dip for Vegetables

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4 medium garlic cloves, skin on
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 sprigs flat leaf parsley (1/4 cup leaves)
1 cup ricotta
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper

– Put the garlic cloves in a microwave safe bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Cook the garlic on high power in the microwave, until very soft, about 1 1/2 minutes. (Alternatively steam the garlic until soft.) – Let cool, and gently press the cooked garlic out of the skin onto a cutting board. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt, and mince together with the parsley leaves to make a paste. Using a fork, blend the garlic-parsley paste with the ricotta, lemon zest, and olive oil. Season with pepper and serve with vegetable crudités such as broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers, and button mushrooms.

Keep in airtight container refrigerated for 2 days.

Recipe from the Food Network.