Do you have a slow cooker that’s gathering dust, or a tagine still in the box? Set aside some time this winter, and follow our tips and try these small kitchen appliance recipes.
The humble food processor is a fabulous tool for creating flavoursome marinades, dressings, sauces, pastes and dips. You can also create veggie burgers and falafels! You’ll love the fresh taste, and absence of added sugars, preservatives and nasties found in store-bought options.
If you’re looking for inspiration, try these two ideas
1. Low-calorie kale and basil pesto:
To your food processor, add 1 ½ cups of torn basil leaves, 1/3 cup of pine nuts, 2 cups of torn kale, 2 cloves of garlic, juice of 1 lemon, salt and pepper to taste, and 1tbs extra virgin olive oil. Process slowly, drizzling in additional water until you reach your desired consistency. Use the pesto to marinate meats, chicken and fish before steaming or pan frying. Or, stir through wholemeal pasta with cherry tomatoes, sliced mushrooms, capsicum and poached chicken.
2. Homemade hummus:
Drain 1 tin of chickpeas and add 2 cloves of garlic, 1 tbs tahini paste, 1 tsp olive oil, juice of 1 lemon, salt and pepper to taste, and either a raw, peeled beetroot or carrot – chopped into segments to food processor. Process slowly, drizzling in additional water until you reach your desired consistency. Paprika and cumin are nice additions to a traditional beetroot or carrot hummus.
Steaming is a low-fat cooking method that locks in the moisture and the nutrient content of foods. Multi-level steamers are more gentle than using a microwave, and quicker than oven-baking. They suit a wide range of foods, particularly lean cuts of meat, such as chicken breast or fish fillets, which can become dry with pan frying.
For a healthy, fuss free meal, try this recipe for steamed lemongrass and soy barramundi with basmati rice and Asian greens
Place water in your steamer. Place two barramundi fillets in a ziplock bag with 1 tbs grated ginger, 1 crushed garlic clove, 1 tbs lemongrass paste and 2 tbs soy sauce. Rub fish in marinade and place on the bottom level of your steamer. Add 120g basmati rice to the middle tra . Steam for six minutes. Meanwhile, wash and cut 3 cups of your favourite Asian green vegetables. Add to the top tray.Steam for a further 8-10 minutes, or until cooked to your liking.
If you love hearty food that’s full of flavour and spice, you will love creating meals with a tagine. While some tagines are purely decorative others, usually made from clay, can be used for cooking – make sure you know which type you have! Its cone-shaped lid locks in moisture and steam, keeping meats and vegetables tender.
This Moroccan inspired tagine will make your taste buds sing – so get your tagine ready!
Place the clay bottom of the tagine on the stove top, with heat set to high. Add 2 tsp olive oil, then sauté 500g of beef chuck steak with 1tbs each of ground cumin, coriander seed, cinnamon, paprika and ginger. Once the meat is browned, add 1 thinly sliced onion and cook for a further 5 minutes. Add 1 tin of drained chickpeas, 1 tin of crushed tomatoes and 1 cup of vegetable stock. Bring to the boil, and then cover with the tagine lid and reduce heat to a simmer for 90 minutes. Then, add 400g diced butternut pumpkin, 2 sliced carrots, 1 cup of green beans, cut into 3cm lengths, 50g of pitted prunes, and another 1 cup of vegetable stock. Cover and cook on low heat for a further 90 minutes. Serve with toasted almonds, coriander and basmati rice.
Slow cooking is perfect for winter – when the days get colder and shorter, there’s nothing better than walking into your home after a long day at work, and having dinner ready and waiting. Whilst it’s a perfect method for cooking lean, cheaper cuts of red meat, it’s equally good for vegetarian curries, soups and stews.
For a meat-free, easy Monday meal, pull out your slow cooker and try this sweet potato chickpea curry
1 sliced brown onion, 2 cloves of garlic, 1tbs each of curry powder, cumin and paprika, 300g diced sweet potato, 2 sliced carrots, 2 cups of cauliflower florets, 1 sliced zucchini, 1 tin of drained chickpeas and 1 cup of vegetable stock. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, to taste. Cook on a low for 8 hours. Serve curry with basmati rice and natural yoghurt.