vegetable soup
food, health

Time for Tuscan Bean Soup

The beauty of this soup is that it works with most leftover vegetables. I chop up things I find in the fridge at the Home by the Sea, such as the leftover broccoli stalks or slightly limp-few days old -beans and add them in. The soup will taste just as good, if not better.

The addition of chickpeas adds a lot of fibre to this recipe and balances out the carbs hidden in the pancetta/bacon.

A hearty soup perfect for an easy family dinner.

tomato-parsley-food-cooking-

Tuscan Bean Soup Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons cold-pressed Olive Oil
  • 2 medium Brown Onions, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
  • 200g Speck, or good quality Bacon or Pancetta, coarsely sliced
  • 2 -3 Carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 3 Celery stalks, coarsely chopped
  • 1 can Diced Tomatoes*

I didn’t have a can of chopped Roma Tomatoes, in the pantry, so I boiled up 8 fresh Roma tomatoes, chopped them roughly, then boiling them in a saucepan till soft, [about 8 -10 minutes on medium heat].

  • 1/4 head of Cabbage, shredded coarsely
  • 1- 2 Zucchinis, coarsely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons Thyme
  • 2 cups Chicken or Vegetable stock
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1 small can of Chickpeas, in vinaigrette, rinsed and drained
  • 1 new Potato, coarsely chopped
  • 1 whole Celery stalk with leaves attached
  • Chives, a handful sliced plus some extra for garnishing

Serves 6

Tuscan Bean Soup

Method

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan
  2. Cook onion, celery, garlic, and selected cured meat, such as Pancetta, stirring until onion and celery is soft (about 5 minutes)
  3. Add carrot, undrained tomatoes, cabbage, zucchini, potato, thyme, stock, drained chickpeas, water and the whole celery stalk, with leaves attached.
  4. Bring to boil
  5. Simmer uncovered about 30 – 40 minutes [go for a nice walk whilst it is simmering]
  6. Remove the whole celery stalk with leaves
  7. Add finely sliced chives and garnish with a sprinkle prior to serving.
  8. Serve with a crusty bread

If you are a soup lover, you might also like Lemon Broccoli Soup

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fishing park bench australia canals
food, health

Easy Salmon Pie with Cheesy Crust

Salmon is low in fat and high in protein. Not to mention it is a good source of B12, potassium, iron and vitamin D. No wonder the Scandinavians enjoy it.

Making pastry can be a pain but it’s a breeze with this recipe as the kitchen food processor blends and forms a delicious, cheesy pastry shell.

Cooks Notes:

This recipe is substantial and makes a filling pie great for serving the family or group. The pie cuts easily and holding its form brilliantly on the day of cooking as well as the next day for a summer lunch.

Salmon Pie Recipe

Preheat Oven to 180 C (350F)

Cheesy Pastry Crust Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups Plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Paprika
  • 125 g Butter
  • 1 cup grated Cheddar or firm Cheese (substitutes are fine as long as it isn’t a cheese that melts too much such as mozzarella)
  1. Rub the butter into the flour using a Food Processor but not so much that it turns into a ball (keep it crumbly)
  2. Add the grated cheese and mix through the pastry.
  3. Set aside 1/4 of the mix to reserve for the pie topping
  4. Press the remainder into an 8-9 inch pottery, or glass, pie dish until it covers the base and sides to form the pastry shell.

Filling Ingredients

  • 220 gram (around 8 oz) can cooked Red or Pink Salmon, preferably boneless
  • 3 Eggs
  • 375 grams Sour cream (13 oz)
  • 1 Onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped Chives
  • 2-3 drops of Tabasco sauce (optional)
  • 1/2 cup grated Cheese (extra)
  1. Drain and flake salmon and combine with the rest of the filling ingredients
  2. Place the combined mix into the pastry shell
  3. Crumb the reserved portion of the pastry crumbs on top
  4. Bake 40 – 50 minutes at 180 C (350 F) or until golden brown on top

Delicious served hot or cold the next day with a green salad.

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Eat sign
food, health

A Gluten-Free Christmas Menu

You know your own children’s preferences, but when they become adults and bring home partners, you might have to face the prospect that the partners has different dietary preferences that need to be accomodated at festive occasions, like Christmas.

Scandinavian Christmas light

I am rather late in planning this Gluten free Christmas menu and it is not Vegan, nor vegetarian so that is a heads up. But it is highly nutritious.

Entree or Nibbles

First off we have a Prawn, snow pea and Capsicum Entree, I used the following Prawn dish idea but made it a kind of tasting nibbles board, rather than a whole dish. I will add some nice cheeses, home made Knekkerbrød (Norwegian crackers) and nuts to accompany this.

Fresh is best for this opener. Given that all prawns are frozen at the point of capture, fresh is a loose term these days. But we are Australian, so we have to have some kind of shellfish option to start the hot meal.

Christmas food

Mains

Meat

  • Assortment of oven-roasted, gluten-free meats – without stuffing and preferably organic in nature

Roasted Vegetables

  • Potatoes roasted with garlic, thyme and dill
  • Pumpkin, sweet potato, and carrots (all roasted with rosemary sprigs)
  • Onion
  • Choko
  • Red capsicum drizzled with olive oil and roasted lightly

Salads

  • Cauliflower butter beans and Pumpkin Hommus
  • Chickpea Spinach and Eggplant Salad
  • Broccoli, Quinoa and Edamame Vegetables (served warm for the Moth)

Christmas food collage

Dessert

Smashed Pavlova with seasonal stone fruits – there is just a little teaspoon of cornflour in this Pavlova recipe but when there is a coeliac visitor, one has to be extra careful. This is not just Gluten intolerance, but allergy!

  • Gluten-free Option – Chocolate Brownie

For the Moth: Warm Plum Pudding served with custard and ice cream

(not gluten-free)

What kind of different dishes are you cooking this Christmas?

Are you breaking from preparing traditional foods?

Merry Christmas from the Home by the Sea

A Home by the Sea
chocolate orange cake
food, health

Weekly Cake Recipe Rich Chocolate Orange Cake

One Cake A Week

Do Chocolate Cakes in your house disappear all too quickly?

Then your household will love this Chocolate Orange cake. It has the flavour of Chocolate with a hint of orange juice goodness. Better than chocolate!

Chocolate Orange Cake Recipe

Ingredients

  • 125g butter (softened)
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 3/4 cups Self Raising Flour (equivalent to plain flour with 3 teaspoons of Baking powder added)
  • 1 1/3 cup castor or fine white sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 cup Orange Juice
  • 1/4 cup water

Method

  1. Preheat Oven 180 Celsius or 375 Fahrenheit.
  2. Grease and flour a 20 cm/8 inch bundt or round cake pan.
  3. Combine all ingredients in an electric mixer adding wet ingredients last.
  4. Beat on low speed until all ingredients are combined.
  5. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat for 3 minutes or until the cake mixture changes colour and is smooth.
  6. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 50 – 60 minutes.
  7. Leave stand for 5 minutes before turning out.
  8. Dust generously with icing sugar before serving.
  9. Optional: Ice with Choc Orange frosting, if desired.

Chocolate Orange Frosting

  • 60 grams or 4 tablespoons soft Butter
  • 1 tablespoon grated Orange rind
  • 1 1/2 cup Icing Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Milk
  • 1 Tablespoon Cocoa

To Make Frosting:

  1. Beat butter and rind in small mixer bowl until light and fluffy.
  2. Add icing sugar and milk gradually.
  3. Divide frosting mixture in half, stir sifted cocoa into one half and mix well.
  4. Top cake with spoonfuls of orange and chocolate iceing.
  5. Swirl icing with knife to give a marbled effect.

I am making #onecakeaweek at the Home by the Sea. Join me in collating a recipe blog list by leaving your link in the comments below.

More HbtS Cake Recipes. There is plenty to choose from.

A Home by the Sea
sunrise beach australia
blogging, environment, health, home

Friendly Friday Challenge – Morning Rituals on the Beach

Although I may be in the minority, I have to say that I love getting up in the mornings. No, I am not masochistic. I live by the sea and the mornings there are so joyous, it makes me want to get up early just to see the very best of the day.

Furthermore, I am now retired so I don’t need to be functioning all day, but can take it at an easier slower pace. To which, I am rapidly becoming accustomed. And, I love it.

The mornings are no time to sit and drink a hot cuppa. It is time to move – after sleeping all night.

I like to take a walk, after a morning routine of Yoga exercises, right on the beach if possible.

As you get older and more sedentary, the joints and muscles stiffen up and it is so vital that we keep them functioning for as long as possible. What good is it living to a ripe old age if you can’t enjoy it? Right?

Yoga Sun salutations are best performed facing east. Because that is where you will see the sunrise, of course.

Even better if you can do it on the beach.

A walk with the dog is next on the agenda.

Right on the beach if possible.

See what you are missing all you people who like a sleep in?

Linking to Sandy’s theme for Friendly Friday. I will be back at my main blog, StPA, next week with a new theme. You are welcome to join in with the Friendly Friday Challenge anytime.

See you then.

chocolate brownie
food, health

Fast Chocolate Brownie Slice Recipe #Onecakeaweek

Who wants to spend too much time in the kitchen these days?

Even with Covid lockdowns, the easier and simpler the recipe, the better it is for everyone. Right?
This Chocolate Brownie recipe will be perfect to whip up for Afternoon or Morning Tea treats, school lunches, surprise gifts for friends and impromptu family visits.

In just 45 minutes you can serve up this mouth-watering delight.

The dark chocolate component of this slice makes it a healthy option, when eaten in moderation. Provided you use quality dark chocolate with a high cocoa content, then it is actually quite nutritious.

It {Dark chocolate] contains a decent amount of soluble fibre and is loaded with minerals. 100 grams (3.5 ounces) is a fairly large amount and something you should consume in moderation. All these nutrients also come with 600 calories and moderate amounts of sugar. The fatty acid profile of cocoa and dark chocolate is also excellent. The fats are mostly saturated and monounsaturated, with small amounts of polyunsaturated fat.

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/7-health-benefits-dark-chocolate#section1

A 100-gram bar of dark chocolate with 70–85% cocoa contains:

  • 11 grams of fibre
  • 67% of the RDI for iron
  • 58% of the RDI for magnesium
  • 89% of the RDI for copper
  • 98% of the RDI for manganese
  • Minerals: potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium
Photo Credit: A Saucy Kitchen

Chocolate Brownie Recipe

Ingredients

  • 200 grams Dark Chocolate that has 50%- 70% Cocoa
  • 250 grams (9 oz or 1 & 1/4 cups) Butter
  • 200 grams (7 oz or 1 & 1/2 cups) Brown sugar
  • 4 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 150 grams (5 oz or 1 & 1/4 cups) Plain or All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 30 grams (1 oz) Cocoa

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180 or 350 F and line a square cake or slice tin with baking paper.
  2. Melt the butter and chocolate in a saucepan over low heat, stirring continuously till smooth. Once all lumps have melted, take off the heat.
  3. Mix other ingredients together, adding the eggs last.
  4. Mix in melted chocolate mixture and stir through.
  5. Bake for 28 minutes.
  6. Brownies may look slightly underdone, so allow them to cool in the tray.
  7. Dust with Icing sugar and cut into small squares to serve.

Variation:

  • Add roughly chopped walnuts for a tasty and healthy variation.
  • Serve warm with ice cream and drizzled with chocolate sauce and whipped cream.

This is the recipe for this week’s #Onecakeaweek series.

Do you have a recipe you wish to link up?

Pingback to this post and I will come and visit your blog.

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#Onecakeaweek. Are you tempted by any from previous weeks?

I will be making one cake each week and would love you to link up any cake recipes you have posted on your blog, so I have more recipes to try out.

sliced lemon blueberry bread cake
food, health, home

Lemon Blueberry Bread

#onecakeaweek

The cake for this week is a bread that is really a cake.

Blueberries are in season here at the Home by the Sea. Blueberries the so-called Superfood packed with antioxidants means this bread-like cake can legitimately claim the label of a healthy home-baked food.

You will find it especially delightful served warm with a cuppa.

Recipe for Lemon Blueberry Bread

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup light or low-fat milk
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Glaze

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F or 175° C
  2. In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugar, lemon juice and eggs.
  3. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir into egg mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition.
  4. Fold in the blueberries, nuts and lemon zest.
  5. Transfer to a greased 8×4-in. loaf pan.
  6. Bake for 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  7. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.
  8. Combine glaze ingredients; drizzle over warm bread.
sliced lemon blueberry bread cake

Recipe Variations

Because of its lemon base you can replace the blueberries with raspberries or any other bey in season. Or you could turn this into an orange cranberry bread by using orange juice and cranberries. Cherries and almonds also pair beautifully with either lemon or orange.

Using full fat milk, will mean the bread will keep moist for longer.

A Home by the Sea
food, health

Raspberry Buttermilk Cake

Cake with Cinnamon and White Chocolate Options

#onecakeaweek

This week’s Cake at the Home by the Sea is delicious served with tea or coffee or can be versatile enough for a dessert treat if served with some vanilla yoghurt, cream or ice cream drizzled with Raspberry Coulis.

IMG_20141026_202813

Raspberry Buttermilk Cake Recipe

Ingredients

  • 130g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 55g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 145g sugar, plus a further 1 1/2 Tablespoon sugar, divided
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest (optional)
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk
  • 1 cup (approx 140g) fresh or frozen raspberries

Topping:

  • 1 dessertspoon butter, (melted)
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon (sprinkled over the top)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 205°C/400°F
  2. Butter and flour a 20cm round cake pan.
  3. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and set aside.
  4. Beat the butter and first measure of sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy.
  5. Beat in the vanilla extract and lemon zest. Add the egg and beat well.
  6. Switching the mixer to a low speed, mix in the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour. Ensure that each time you only mix until just combined.
  7. Transfer the batter into the cake pan and gently spread to fill the pan. Scatter the raspberries over the top and sprinkle with the final 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of sugar.
  8. Bake until cake is golden and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, which should take between 30-35 minutes.
  9. Cool the cake for 10 minutes then turn out onto a rack to cool completely, then brush melted butter on top and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Variation: Add 100g  white chocolate buds to the mix prior to adding the raspberries.

There are more cake recipes here: #onecakeaweek

shells on the beach
food, health

Magnesium Rich Foods for Lunch

I have been having issues with muscle cramps in the foot and calf lately, so I wanted to ensure I wasn’t falling behind on a quota of minerals, such as Magnesium, that might be explain this problem.

Symptoms of a Magnesium deficiency may include:

  • numbness
  • tingling
  • muscle cramps
  • seizures
  • muscle spasticity
  • personality changes
  • abnormal heart rhythms

Lunch constituted a portion of Salmon, some baby Spinach leaves in a leafy green Salad, topped with Apple cider vinaigrette dressing, and garnished with Almonds, Pickled Danish Cucumbers and Walnuts.

I just needed some avocado to top it off. According to healthline.com, one medium avocado provides 58 mg of magnesium, which is 15% of the RDI.

But there are loads more good reasons to add avocado in your diet.

More Reasons to Add Avocado to your Diet

Studies have shown that eating avocados can reduce inflammation, improve cholesterol levels and increase feelings of fullness after meals.

Sounds like a powerhouse food, right?

What to Eat as a Magnesium-Rich Afternoon Snack?

Perhaps a Banana with a square or two if 70% dark chocolate?

spice cake with lemon butter
food, health

Cinnamon Spice cake

I do look for recipes that use cinnamon, as it is has so many health-giving benefits:

Cinnamon Spice

  • contains calcium, iron, vitamins, fibre
  • assists with  a variety of digestive ailments such as gas and bloating
  • has a mild anti-inflammatory effect.

Studies have shown improved insulin sensitivity and blood glucose control by taking as little as half a teaspoon of cinnamon per day. Improving insulin resistance can help in weight control as well as decreasing the risk for heart disease.

[Source: cinnamonnutrition.com/ ]
Photo by Ena Marinkovic on Pexels.com
cake

Initially I adapted a Danish Spice cake recipe posted by Ted at Recipereminiscing, but halved the recipe as it makes quite a large cake, used butter instead of margarine, and replaced the cloves with mixed spice. Then I added a few currants, because I had a slight oversupply of currants in the pantry and I thought it might work will with the spices.

The cake turned out well but I preferred another version of the Danish spice cake, one that is evocative of Christmas and all those aromatic spices. I have posted both Ted’s and my recipe below.

Danish

Spice Cake

cake on cooling tray

In Australia, we do not have easy access to the wonder that is a range of fermented milk products, so I substituted sour cream and plain probiotic yoghurt, in place of cultured milk.

Ted’s Danish Spice Cake

2,1 pint / 1 l flour
1,6 pint / 7.5 dl sugar
3 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
1 teaspoon cloves, ground
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 egg
1,6 pint / 7.5 dl cultured milk (see note below)
5,3 oz. / 150 g margarine

[1] Set the oven at 390 F / 200 C.

[2] Melt the margarine.

[3] Mix all the dry ingredients.

[4] Mix the eggs with milk and margarine, and stirred into the dry.

[5] Bake in pan for approximately 30 min.

Note:
Cultured milk or soured milk is a food product produced from the acidification of milk. It is not the same as spoiled milk that has gone bad, commonly but incorrectly called soured and which may contain toxins.

Acidification, which gives the milk a tart taste, is achieved either through the addition of an acid, such as lemon juice or vinegar, or through bacterial fermentation. The acid causes milk to coagulate and form a thicker consistency, and inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria and thus improves its shelf life. Soured milk that is produced by bacterial fermentation is more specifically called fermented milk or cultured milk.

Wikipedia

Amanda’s Danish Spice Cake

Ingredients:

danish cake
  • 2 dl Dark Brown sugar
  • 0.5 dl White sugar
  • 4.5 dl Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp Ground Cardamom
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 2 tsp Ginger
  • 2 tsp Clove
  • 1 tsp Mixed Spice
  • 1 tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • 2 tbspn Cocoa Powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 200ml Buttermilk or Yoghurt
  • 2 Eggs
  • 100ml melted Copha/Coconut oil/Vegetable oil

 Method:

  1. Mix all the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon.
  2. Ensure melted Copha and buttermilk is at room temperature and add to the dry ingredients.
  3. Mix well, but not too much.  If the Copha solidifies, place the bowl over a hot water bath and gently fold until even.
  4. Pour into greased cake tin, I used a ‘kugelhof’ or bundt mould.
  5. Bake in oven 175° celsius (350°F) for about 40 minutes.
  6. Cool 10 mins  before turning out.

For extra decadence (entirely optional):

Drizzle melted butter over the top and sprinkle liberally with cinnamon sugar/dusting sugar.

Tips for measurement conversions: 

American

1 cup = 8 fl oz = 2.4 dl = 24 cl = 240 ml

British

1 cup = 10 fl oz = 2.8 dl = 280 ml

Australian

dl – 1 deciliter = 6 (scant) tablespoons

Reasons to Indulge in this Cake:

It doesn’t require heavy lashings of icing, and the less sugar we eat, the better for us, right?  (There is plenty of sugar in the cake itself, so why add more?)

While we are eating it, think of all the good things the spices are doing for our bodies!

Another tasty cake recipe using cinnamon is Apple and Cinnamon Bread.

Find more about the healthy benefits of Cinnamon.

#onecakeaweek

Have you posted a recipe for a cake? Post your link in the comments below.

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