Tomato, Veggie and Lentil Stew

Found a this nutritious recipe which I think is great for a weeknight dinner.  Dishes like this are usually tastier the next day or even just half a day later therefore I made ours during the day.  Not only did the flavours soak through more it also made dinner time so much easier.  Served with a good crusty bread tops it off beautifully.  We had Five Minute Bread fresh out of the oven.

Tomato, Veggie and Lentil Stew.

420g can whole tomatoes
1 tablespoon of oil for frying - I use macadamia
1 brown onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 sticks celery, diced
½ sweet potato, diced
Pinch of red chilli flakes - I used a little more
1½ cups green lentils, rinsed and drained
4 cups vegetable stock
2 sprigs fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried
1 sprig fresh rosemary or ½ teaspoon dried
1 cup kale, roughly chopped

Grated parmesan cheese to serve

Pour the can of tomatoes into a bowl and break up with your hands.  Set aside.

Heat oil in a large pot, add the onion and simmer until softened.  Add the carrots, celery, sweet potato and chilli flakes.  Stir well and cook for 5 minutes.

Add the lentils, stock, tomatoes, thyme and rosemary mixing well.  Bring to the boil and then lower heat to a simmer.  Cook, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes or until lentils and vegetables are tender.

Stir in the kale and cook for 2 minutes.

Serve topped with freshly grated parmesan cheese and a good crusty bread such as Five Minute Bread.


Five Minute Bread

Ever since discovering this quick and easy bread on Rhonda's Down to Earth blog I've made it countless times.  Short preparation the day before and then the next day after a very quick one minute knead it's in the oven.  Before I know it the whole kitchen smells just like a bakery.  Perfect served straight out of the oven with soups, stews, casseroles or just on its own.

I make the smaller loaf using three cups of flour however if you are after a larger one Rhonda gives the measurements on her blog.

Five Minute Bread.

3 cups bread flour
¼ teaspoon dried yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1½ cups water

The evening before you want the bread place the bread flour, yeast and salt into a medium bowl and mix together.  Add the water and mix using your hands.  It will be quite wet and sticky.  This mixing should only take one minute.  Remember you are only mixing and not kneading.

I give the bowl a quick clean which is optional.  Cover with plastic wrap and leave on the bench overnight.

Next day.

The next day and approximately one hour before you would like to have the bread ready preheat the oven to 260°C for 15 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.  Knead for a few minutes.  I find the dough fairly sticky therefore add a little flour as I knead.  

Line the base of a dutch oven with a circle of baking paper.  Place the dough inside the dutch oven and cut two slits on top with kitchen scissors.  Cover with a lid or foil and bake for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes turn the heat down to 200°C and remove the lid or foil.  Bake for another 15-30 minutes.  I have always found 15 minutes enough.  If making the larger loaf it may need longer.

Best eaten straight out of the oven.  If we have any leftovers the following day we just pop the pieces into the microwave to warm them up.

Homemade crusty bread made with little effort however big results.


A Week to Recharge

We've had such a great week together and a jam packed weekend full of so much fun.  Our son who now works after school has been saving up for some new bedside tables and chest of drawers.  A trip to IKEA and then many hours putting flat packs together and he has finished off his room beautifully.  A reward for his hard work.  IKEA is a fair distance away so we had lunch together at a lovely cafe.  Just the four of us which was so enjoyable.  Chatting with the kids over lunch is different these days.  When my son asked 'would you like a coffee Mum?' I suddenly realised how much they've grown up.  Then came the 'when did you start drinking coffee?'  Where did that time go?

Our daughter enjoyed her granola - great choice I think.

Menu Plan 8th - 14th October 2017

The kids have been back to school for a week now.  The time goes so fast.  I'm still back on the school holidays and trying to get my head around the first week back.  I better get a move on.

During the week I've tried some new and exciting recipes with such pleasing results.  Everyone has enjoyed their meals and they comment often on how much they love my cooking.  I thoroughly enjoy serving up delicious meals and having them enjoy.

We had a day out Sunday with a trip to IKEA as well as a very filling lunch.  Dinner only needed to be something light and our Egg & Bacon Pie was just perfect.  I used the eggs from our chickens, greens from our veggie patch and a mixture of herbs from our garden plus Mum and Dad's garden.

Egg & Bacon Pie.

Baked Cinnamon Donuts

A few weeks ago I purchased a donut pan and just couldn't wait to begin my donut making journey.  I've been searching the internet for the best recipe to get me started when I came across these Baked Cinnamon Donuts and they are super good.

I'm so glad I chose this recipe to begin with as they turned out beautifully.  Best of all the kids said they taste exactly like the ones you buy in the shop.  I think that is amazing.  Goes to show you can make them at home in the oven without deep frying which is much better for you. 

Cinnamon Donuts.

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