This month’s theme: Once-a-month shopping
The Facebook Group
Apple and date breakfast bars
prep 10 min : serves 1
- 1 ½ cups rolled oats
- ¼ cup wholemeal flour (or buckwheat)
- ½ cup dates, chopped
- ¼ cup sultanas
- ½ cup walnuts – processed to chop them up finely
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ¼ cup freshly-squeezed orange juice
- ¾ cup grated apple (skin on)
- ¾ cup grated pear (skin on)
- Pre-heat the oven to 160C(320F) fan-forced and grease and line a 20cm square baking tin.
- Line a separate baking tray with baking paper.
- Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl.
- Tip the mixture into the tin and spread out with a spatula then press firmly on top to compact the mixture.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until browned.
- As soon as you can without burning yourself, take the slab out of the tin and cut into 16 bars.
- Place the bars on the baking tray leaving a little gap between each one and bake for a further 15 minutes.
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Bars will keep for 3-4 days in an air-tight container in the fridge or can be frozen (I just threw them in a zip-lock bag).
prep 20 min : cook 20 min : serves 36
- 250g (0.5lb) pork mince
- 250g (0.5lb) beef mince
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 green shallots, thinly sliced (I forgot to get these so used chopped chives instead)
- 4 tsp sesame oil
- 4 tbsp hoisin sauce
- 2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
- ½ cup (or more) sesame seeds for rolling
- Line a baking tray with baking paper and preheat the oven to 180C fan-forced.
- Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well (I just threw it all in the Thermomix and whizzed it on speed 5 for a few seconds).
- Pour the sesame seeds into a shallow bowl.
- Using about a heaped teaspoon of mixture at a time, roll it into balls then roll each one in sesame seeds and place on the lined baking tray.
- Cook the meatballs for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through.
I served mine over hokkein noodles cooked with some chopped veges and tossed with sesame oil and soy sauce but they can be served as party meatballs with a sweet chili dipping sauce.
prep 20 min : cook 40 min : serves 6
- 2 tsp oil
- 2 medium brown onions finely chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped (I used minced garlic from the jar)
- 200g (7oz) button mushrooms, sliced
- 500g (18oz) lean beef mince
- ½ cup soft fresh breadcrumbs (I used oats as I was out of breadcrumbs and too lazy to make some)
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- ½ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp dried oregano leaves
- 1½ sheets frozen low-fat puff pastry
- 1 tbs low fat milk
- steamed veges (or salad) to serve
- Heat the oil and saute the onions until soft then add the garlic and stir until fragrant. Remove from the pan.
- Cook the mushrooms and remaining garlic until the liquid evaporates. The recipe says 10 minutes but mine took about 15.
- Pre-heat your oven to 200C/180C (390F/360F) fan-forced and line a baking tray with baking paper. A trick I learned a little while ago is to put a sheet of alfoil under your baking paper. This eliminates having to clean the tray.
- Combine mince, onion mix, breadcrumbs, egg, parsley, half the mustard and oregano and season with salt and pepper.
- Lay out a single sheet of pastry and spread the remaining mustard in the middle of the sheet. Spread the mushroom on top of the mustard then shape your mince into a loaf on top. Place the half sheet of pastry over the top then fold the sides up to enclose your filling, pressing the edges to seal.
- Carefully place the loaf (seam sides down) on the baking tray, score a few diagonal slits in the top to let out the steam, brush with milk and bake for about 40 minutes or until the pastry is golden and mince is cooked – that’s a bit of a guesstimate but mine was perfectly cooked in that time.
- Note – I would probably let the mushrooms cool a little before putting them in the pastry next time. They ‘melted’ the pastry and led to a near disaster when I moved it from the chopping board to the oven tray.
- Serve with a steamed veges and enjoy!
Gluten & dairy-free choc biscuits
prep 25 min : cook 10 : serves 30 biscuits
- 20 dried pitted dates
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 10g (2tbsp) desiccated coconut
- 390g (14oz) mixed nuts (I used walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, brazil nuts and almonds)
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- Pinch of sea salt
- 1 tbsp raw cacao (or use cocoa)
- Pre-heat the oven to 160C(320F) fan-forced and line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Place the dates in a heat-proof bowl and cover with hot water then leave to soak for 15 minutes.
- Drain the dates well then place them in the bowl of a food processor or thermomix.
- Add the vanilla and process until the dates are all chopped up.
- Add the coconut, nuts, cinnamon, salt and cacao and process just until the mixture comes together.
- Using a heaped teaspoon of mixture at a time, roll into balls then flatten slightly and place on the tray leaving 1-2cm between each one.
- Bake for 10 minutes and then leave to cool completely on the tray (out of the oven).
- Store in an airtight container.
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