That’s ‘Saucy’!

That’s ‘Saucy’!

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That’s ‘Saucy’!

Karina’s ‘Saucy’ Chorizo, Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli!

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Ingredients:

– 1/2 a Chorizo Sausage, sliced thinly

– 2 x 400g cans of Chopped Tomatoes

– 1 tablespoon of Tomato Paste

– 1 pinch of Cracked Black Pepper

– 1 tablespoon of Balsamic Vinegar

– 2 tablespoons of Dried Mixed Italian Herbs

– 3 Cloves of Garlic, minced finely

– 1 large handful of Fresh Basil, roughly torn

– 400g Reduced Fat Fresh Ricotta

– 100g Fresh Spinach, roughly torn

– 50g Shaved Fresh Parmesan (30g for filling and 20g for garnish)

– 2 tablespoons Olive Oil for Pasta Dough and 1 tablespoon Olive Oil for Sauce

– 300g Wholemeal Flour and 3 Large Eggs (this is for Option 1)

– 1 packet of Gow Gee Pastries (this is for Option 2)

Method:

Making your Fresh Ravioli Filling:

Fill your kettle with 1.5 litres of water, then bring to the boil. Once water has boiled, place your torn spinach into your heatproof bowl. Cover your spinach with boiling water, then drain immediately. Rinse your blanched spinach in cold, fresh water,  then squeeze your spinach well with your clean hands, to remove excess water. Place your cooled, blanched and squeezed spinach into your mixing bowl, then add 30g of shaved fresh parmesan, cracked black pepper and fresh reduced fat ricotta. Mix well to combine evenly.

Making your ‘Saucy’ Chorizo Pasta Sauce:

On medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a medium-sized pot, then wait until oil has heated. Once oil has heated, add your chorizo sausage. Allow your chorizo sausage to caramelise on one side, for approximately 2 minutes. Once caramelised on one side, flip your chorizo sausage pieces over, to allow to caramelise for 1 minute on the other side, then turn the heat to a low heat. Add your minced garlic and allow to cook for 1 minute. Deglaze the inside bottom of your pot, by placing your balsamic vinegar in with your caramelised chorizo sausage. Wait only 15 seconds, then pour your chopped tin tomatoes in with the chorizo sausage. Add your dried mixed italian herbs, along with your tomato paste, then stir to combine. Allow your sauce to simmer for 30 minutes, keeping the heat on low. Tip: you can have your sauce simmering while you are making your pasta 🙂 Just ensure your sauce does not burn, by stirring occasionally and keeping the pasta sauce on a very low temperature.

Once your ‘Saucy’ pasta sauce has simmered for 30 minutes, turn the heat to off, then add your torn fresh basil to your sauce. Stir briefly, then set aside to infuse these fantastic flavours!

Option 1: Making Fresh Pasta Dough:

Combine all the flour into a large bowl and make a large indent in the middle. Add the eggs and 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the centre. Use a fork to mix the eggs until combined, then use your fork to gradually bring the flour in from the outside. After most of the dough is roughly combined, flour your clean hands and bring all the dough together to form a big ball. Knead on a floured surface for approximately 2-3 minutes, or until smooth and slightly resilient.  If your dough is too wet, add more flour. If your dough is too dry, add more olive oil. Wrap your large dough ball in cling wrap, then leave in your refrigerator to relax for 1 hour.

If you’re angry and you have more time, choose this option: ‘Hard Yakka.’ 

For the ‘Hard Yakka’ option, you’ll need to ensure you are angry, or, at the very least, would like to burn off energy. You’ll also need to ensure you have a very large rolling pin 🙂

Cut your pasta dough into three even sections, keeping one section in front of you. Wrap the other two sections in cling wrap, then place in your refrigerator. Using a very large rolling pin and a large, flat surface, roll out your first pasta section, ensuring the dough is about 1.5 mm in thickness.

Cut your dough into square pieces. Place one square pasta piece on a flat and floured kitchen bench, then place a level tablespoonful of your fresh ravioli filling into the middle of one piece of pasta. Brush the entire boarder with water, then place your other square piece of pasta over the filled one. Press both pasta squares together, around the boarder, to form a solid bond. Repeat with your remaining pasta squares and filling.

Repeat this process with your other two pieces of pasta dough, placing your completed ravioli batches in a container in the refrigerator to keep moist and to prevent from drying. Place cling film to separate the pasta from each layer of pasta, in order to prevent your pasta ravioli from sticking to one another.

If you would like a more professional result, with less fuss, choose this option: ‘Rolling in Happiness.’

For the ‘Rolling in Happiness’ option, you’ll need a pasta machine.

Cut your pasta dough into three even sections, keeping one section in front of you. Wrap the other two sections in cling wrap, then place in your refrigerator. Flatten your first piece of pasta dough by hand, then run it through the thickest setting on your pasta machine. Put the pasta rollers down two settings, then run the pasta dough through again to make it thinner. Fold your pasta dough in half, then run it back through the thickest setting again. Repeat this process two more times, or until your pasta becomes silky-smooth.

Roll your beautiful pasta sheet down through each setting, dusting with wholemeal flour before using each setting. Roll your beautiful pasta sheet to your desired thickness, which is about 1.5mm for wholemeal pasta dough. You don’t want wholemeal pasta dough rolled too thin, otherwise it may crack due to the wholemeal grains.

Cut your dough into square pieces. Place one square pasta piece on a flat and floured kitchen bench, then place a level tablespoonful of your fresh ravioli filling into the middle of one piece of pasta. Brush the entire boarder with water, then place your other square piece of pasta over the filled one. Press both pasta squares together, around the boarder, to form a solid bond. Repeat with your remaining pasta squares and filling.

Repeat this process with your other two pieces of pasta dough, placing your completed ravioli batches in a container in the refrigerator to keep moist and to prevent from drying. Place cling film to separate the pasta from each layer of pasta, in order to prevent your pasta ravioli from sticking to one another.

Option 2: Using Gow Gee Pastries:

Place a gow gee pastry on a flat and floured kitchen bench, then place a level tablespoonful of your fresh ravioli filling into the middle of one pastry. Brush the entire boarder with water, then place your other gow gee pastry over the filled one. Press both pastries together, around the boarder, to form a solid bond. Repeat with your remaining wrappers and filling.

Compiling the Beauty:

For your Beautiful Fresh Pasta:

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Once your water has boiled, add your beautiful and fresh ravioli to the boiling water. Stir once then cook over medium-high heat for 8 minutes, or until your ravioli float. Drain, then divide among 4 deep bowls. Serve with your ‘Saucy’ pasta sauce, along with your grated fresh parmesan and a fresh sprig of basil.

For your Easy Gow Gee Pasta:

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Once your water has boiled, add your ravioli to the boiling water. Stir once then cook over medium-high heat for 4 minutes, or until your ravioli float. Drain, then divide among 4 deep bowls. Serve with your ‘Saucy’ pasta sauce, along with your grated fresh parmesan and a fresh sprig of basil.

Serves 5

Enjoy!

Karina x

‘Veg’-etating!

Karina’s Environmental Cooking Tip!

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Why ‘veg’-etate, when you can start your own vegetable garden!

There are soo many benefits of having your own vegetable garden and even more benefits, if you start from seed!

Some benefits of growing your own vegetable garden, include:

– You save money by not having to buy your own vegetables

– You will improve your family’s health

– You will help the environment, by not having to drive to the grocery store to buy your vegetables

– Your food will taste better and be better for you, since it would be incredibly fresh

– You can trust where your food came from, since you grew it yourself

– Growing vegetables is much easier than it sounds and will give you great pride, joy and a strong sense of accomplishment!

By growing your own vegetable garden, you are teaching kids where food originates from. This is what this world needs: more children learning about good, natural and nutritious food. Besides, you’ll get to see how happy kids get, when one of their seeds they planted, turns into a vegetable! Once your kids grow into adults, then have kids of their own, they will then be able to pass down this sacred food ritual to their kids too. Now, this is what awesomeness is made from!

You don’t need heaps of land to grow a vegetable garden. All you need is a lovely garden bed in your backyard, which will maximise space, create depth and retain nutrients for your vegetables. Now, theres no point ‘vegetating,’ is there? Sorry, my ‘Dad jokes’ are terrible 🙂

One way to get kids to start gardening, would be to make your own garden bed and then have your kids help you plant seeds. If you don’t have a garden at all, fear not: you can make a garden bed for your balcony or porch! Let’s maximise space people and have fun at the same time 🙂

Now, let’s stop ‘veg-etating’ and start gardening!

You will be incredibly proud of what you have planted from seed!

Enjoy!

Karina x

Take a Dip!

Karina’s Roast Beetroot Dip!

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Do you have left-overs after making my Roast Beetroot Salad from yesterday? Well, here’s an inventive way to use this up! Try my delicious Roast Beetroot Dip!

Ingredients:

– Leftover Roast Beetroot Salad

– Juice of 1 Lemon

– 2 tablespoons of Light Sour Cream

– Assorted Vegetables to serve (e.g. Carrots, Celery, Cucumber and/or Capsicum)

N.B. The ingredients above are based on 50% of Karina’s original Roast Beetroot Salad (2 servings). Add or subtract the amount of lemon juice and sour cream according to the amount of salad left.

Method:

Place your Leftover Roast Beetroot Salad into a large bowl. Place 2 tablespoons of Light Sour Cream, along with your lemon juice, into the same bowl. Use a stick blender to blend all the ingredients together, until lovely and smooth.

N.B. If you don’t have a stick blender, just pour all your ingredients into your blender to blend.

Compiling the Beauty:

Rinse your vegetables under clean, running water. Slice all your vegetables, then arrange onto a serving platter. Pour your smooth Beetroot dip into your serving bowl, or onto your serving platter.

Serves a tribe as an appetizer!

Enjoy!

Karina x

The Right Beet!

Karina’s Roasted Beetroot Salad with Chickpeas, Roasted Garlic and Ricotta!

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Ingredients:

– 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for greasing

– 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

– 3 cloves of lightly roasted garlic, minced

– 1 sliced, then lightly roasted white onion

– 800 g roasted beetroot

– 1 400 g can of chickpeas

– 1 large pinch of cracked black pepper

– Juice of 1 whole lemon

– 150 g reduced fat ricotta cheese (or you can use reduced fat feta cheese)

– 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

– 1 teaspoon sesame seeds

Method:

Preheat your fan-forced oven to 200 degrees celsius. Lightly grease your baking tray with olive oil. Wrap all your beets in foil, then place on a baking tray. When your oven is preheated, place the tray of beets into the oven for 50 minutes.

During the last 15 minutes of cooking, grab your whole cloves of garlic, leaving the skin on, along with your sliced white onion, then place with your wrapped beets in your oven. Continue to cook altogether in the oven, until 50 minutes is over. Turn your oven to off, then take your onion and garlic out of the oven. Keep your beets in the oven, allowing the residual heat to further gently cook the beats until you have made your salad dressing.

Make your salad dressing by combining your balsamic vinegar, olive oil, cracked black pepper, lemon juice, sesame seeds and sesame oil. Give this a stir, then mince or crush your roasted garlic into the salad dressing. Stir well to combine, then set aside.

Compiling the Beauty:

Take your beets out of the oven, then allow to cool slightly. Cut the base of the beets off, so it makes it easier for you to peel your beets. Use the inside part of a large metal spoon to gently peel your beets.

Once your beets are peeled, cube your beets into bite size pieces. Rinse and drain your chickpeas, then add your chickpeas to your chopped beets. Give your salad dressing a final stir, then pour over your beets and chickpeas. Using clean hands, mix your beets with your chickpeas and salad dressing until they get to know each other. Gently pull apart your ricotta cheese or feta cheese, then let it rest on top of your beets and chickpeas. Loosen your lightly roasted onion rings, then let them present on top of your salad.

Serves 4

Super good for you salad, which will make your heart ‘beet’ with joy.

Get the Right Beat into ya!

Karina x

Eggcellent!

Karina’s Eggcellent Spanish Chorizo, Basil and Parmesan Omelette!

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Fancy a flavour explosion? Then look no further. To enjoy Karina’s Eggcellent Omelette, you will need to grab your favourite breakfast drink, a comfortable chair and perhaps read up on some of my recipes 🙂

Ingredients:

– Two Large Eggs (free range are best)

– Cracked Black Pepper

– 1 tablespoon of Olive Oil (I like to use garlic infused olive oil for maximum flavour)

– 1 small handful of finely grated Parmesan Cheese (you can use finely grated Cheddar Cheese if you prefer a less sharp flavour)

– 1/4 of one Spanish Chorizo, skin removed and sliced thinly.

– 1/2 of 1 handful of Fresh Basil Leaves, torn.

N.B – You can make your own garlic olive oil, by dry roasting garlic cloves either in a pan, or in the oven until it’s golden brown (it should only take a few minutes). Allow the roasted garlic to cool slightly, then place the roasted garlic into a jar of olive oil to infuse. Keep it in the olive oil for about one week, then fetch the garlic out with a long skewer. You can then use this beautiful garlic oil in any of your favourite recipes which calls for a hint of garlic. Enjoy the flavour sensation!

Method:

Add your Spanish Chorizo to the pan, along with your olive oil. Fry over a high heat until the bottom side is crispy and golden brown. Flip your Spanish Chorizo to allow the other side to turn golden brown. When both sides of your Spanish Chorizo are crispy and golden brown, turn the heat down to a low heat.

Crack your eggs into a bowl, with a pinch of pepper, then beat well with a fork until combined. Add your eggs to the pan, along with your Spanish Chorizo. Wobble your pan with your eggs, until the bottom surface of your pan is coated in egg.

Now, pop your favourite wholemeal or grain bread into your toaster. Boil the kettle to get your favourite cup of tea or coffee going.

Wait about 1-2 minutes, or until you see the eggs are slightly cooked. Grate your parmesan cheese on top of your eggs. You don’t need to wait for the cheese to cook, since it would have already melted into your eggs slightly. Flip one side of your omelet onto the other, by using a spatula.

Compiling the Beauty:

Turn the heat to off, then you should be able to slide your silky, flavourful omelet onto your plate. Cut your toast to your liking. Pour out your favourite cup of tea, coffee or whatever you like. Relax and enjoy your beautiful omelette!

Enjoy this wonderful breakfast!

Serves 1

Karina x