Broccoli Pasta and Getting with the Program

Ah so the weekend was momentous… I did two things that are almost entirely unheard of: 1) I ate pasta and 2) I joined Instagram. BIG deal.

It’s not that I have a problem with pasta – I am all for good carbs and wholemeal bread and grainy goodness…but I really just never eat it. A couple of years ago it was an entirely different story, I LIVED off pasta, literally, my pasta bowl would be the size of my head. I was running a lot at the time so it was entirely warranted…in addition to living with my then-boyfriend, so naturally dinner time became a competitive sport between us. Fast forward to now and my pasta love has waned entirely…but I just had a craving for it one evening out of the blue!

So this is a recipe I used to make a long time ago. If I remember correctly it’s an Italian dish that is traditionally made with anchovies. If you eat seafood then go for it and use anchovies because they add a lot to the flavour. But I omitted them this evening now that I am a boring, sad vegetarian (please note my sarcasm). Oh and don’t be shy with the garlic..(you also probably shouldn’t make this on a night that you have to go anywhere/interact with anyone you are trying to make a good impression on). Just a friendly warning.

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Broccoli pasta

(serves 1 if you’re really hungry)

75 g wholemeal pasta

1 x head of broccoli, chopped (include the stalk)

1 x garlic clove, finely sliced

1 X small red chilli, finely chopped

 2 TBS x olive oil

1 TBS x parmesan

1 x lemon (juice + rind)

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil

Blanch broccoli for 2 minutes until it turns green, remove from water

Using same pot, cook the pasta

Heat olive oil in a pan

Add garlic and chilli and cook for 1 minute

Add broccoli and cook for a further minute

Drain pasta and add to pan along with lemon juice and rind

Serve in bowls and sprinkle with parmesan

Now I know wholemeal pasta can be a bit blah and often tastes like cardboard…but it really does have a lot more fibre than regular pasta and is higher in protein too..so I really do encourage it. If you couldn’t care less about fibre and protein content that go nuts on the white stuff, no judgement here! Traditionally the recipe suggests cooking the broccoli until it starts to soften and go a bit mushy..I love my  broccoli crunchy so I don’t cook it for too long, and the less you cook it the more vitamins it retains – vitamin c in particular quickly leaches into water- so the less cooking time the better 🙂 A lot of people throw the stalk away and just use the florets, but the stalk is good too! Just cut off the outer edges so you are left with the middle bit, slice it up and cook it as normal.

Oh and I almost forgot about the other major event: the Instagram bit! Encouraged by my dear friends I thought I would attempt to catch up with social media and jump on the Insta bandwagon. So follow me, friends. It will be fun! #themelbeanian #awkward #foodie #completelyoutofmyelement xxx

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‘Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche’

My dad always says ‘real men don’t eat quiche’. I’ve never totally understood what this means but I feel compelled to disagree. What’s wrong with quiche?! Anyway – this isn’t your regular egg and bacon quiche from the bakery, this one is vegan, and it’s lovely 🙂

Lots of healthy fats from coconut oil and cashews, and a good dose of fibre from the buckwheat and wholemeal flours too. I had planned on making the pastry entirely out of buckwheat to make it gluten free, but i ran out so had to substitute wholemeal flour. If anyone has ever given buckwheat pastry a go let me now how it turned out!

You can use any vegetable you like for the filling. Spinach and leek would be good, or mushroom.

And if you’re wondering what the hell agar agar is (I don’t blame you) it’s a type of seaweed. It’s used as a gelling agent instead of gelatine (if you’re unsure of why I avoid gelatine, read this – apologies in advance :P). Agar agar is a bit of a tricky one to find, you’ll have to go to a health food store, it’s a fine white tasteless powder and you have to measure it vey carefully! But it worked beautifully in this recipe.

 

Recipe inspired from YumUniverse.

 

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I’m really proud of this baby because I made my own pastry and it turned out pretty damn good.

Broccoli and Capsicum Quiche

PASTRY

1/2 cup buckwheat flour

1 cup wholemeal plain flour

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup water

FILLING

1 cup cashews, soaked for 2 hours

1 TBS lemon juice

1/2 tsp salt

1 TBS nutritional yeast

2 cups water

3 tsp of agar agar

1 cup broccoli florets

1/2 cup capsicum slices

1/2 cup cooked quinoa

Preheat oven to 180 C

Mix the flours and salt in a large bowl

Rub the coconut oil in with fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs

Add water and combine to form a firm dough

Wrap in cling film and leave it in the fridge while you make the filling

Blend cashews, water, salt, lemon juice, agar agar and nutritional yeast in a food processor until smooth

Roll out the dough and place in a pie dish, because of the buckwheat the dough will be a bit difficult to work with so expect it to break a little, just patch it up with your fingers

Blind bake for 10 minutes

Take pastry out of the oven, sprinkle over quinoa, then veggies, then pour over cashew mixture

Put back in the oven and bake for another 45 minutes.

Leave it to cool in the fridge before you slice!

Serve hot or cold.

Just to re-iterate once more I’m not against guys eating quiche. Especially vegan quiche. Just quietly i would be very impressed 😉