Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks with Sweet Potato

It’s time to crack out the lamb shank recipes! I love this Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks with Sweet Potato creation. It is really simple to make and full of wholesome ingredients and fragrant spices to make your mouth water. The smells in the kitchen while its cooking are divine.

I make this recipe in my beautiful Le Creuset pot and cook the whole dish in the oven for about 2 and a half hours, until the meat is just falling off the bone. The sauce is rich and fragrant and is delicious served with polenta or mashed potato. You can serve it with anything that will help you soak up the tasty sauce.

This is a weekend dish for me. It takes about 2 hours and 45 minutes to prepare and it is so worth it. It’s a hands down winner with the whole family.

Lamb Shanks Sweet Potato Chickpeas title
My Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks with Sweet Potato served on a bed of dairy-free polenta (cooked with home made vegetable stock and some olive oil).

Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks with Sweet Potato

Serves 4 (very generous serves)

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons macadamia oil
  • 4 lamb shanks
  • 2 heaped teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 heaped teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 whole cinnamon sticks
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 2 brown onions, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 litre of home made stock (I use vegetable stock that I make in my Thermomix)
  • 800g of sweet potato, washed with the skin left on, cut into 3cm pieces
  • 1/4 cup of organic sultanas
  • 400g can of chickpeas, drained and washed

Method:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 150 degrees Celsius.
  2. Heat the oil in a large casserole dish over medium heat. Add two of the lamb shanks and brown on each side. Transfer them to a plate. Repeat with the remaining two lamb shanks.
  3. Add the cumin, coriander, paprika, ginger and cinnamon to the casserole dish. Stir until fragrant – about 1 minute.
  4. Add the brown onion, celery and water to the casserole dish. Stir well to allow the water to degrease the casserole dish. Cook for 5 minutes until the onions and celery soften.
  5. Return the lamb shanks to the casserole dish and add the stock, sweet potato and sultanas. Bring to the boil.
  6. Transfer the casserole dish to the oven and cook for 2 hours with the lid on.
  7. Remove the casserole dish from the oven and add the chickpeas, stirring gently to mix through. Return the casserole dish to the oven to cook for a further 30 minutes with the lid off. The dish is ready when the meat is tender and falls off the bone. Remove the casserole dish from the oven.
  8. Serve with cooked polenta or mashed potatoes.

I use the Polenta recipe from the Thermomix Basic Cookbook. It is really easy to make and contains no dairy.

Lamb Shanks Sweet Potato Chickpeas closeup

Gluten Free Zucchini Muffins

These are a favourite in our household. They are such a brilliant lunchbox treat for the kids and a yummy snack too. My Gluten Free Zucchini Muffins have lots of hidden vegetables in them and they take about 2 minutes to make in my Thermomix. I also mill my own gluten free flour using whole brown rice and buckwheat, providing lots of extra nutrition with no preservatives. This equates to quick, easy, delicious and healthy food for my growing boys. Just what this mum wants!

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If you want to save some for another time these do freeze well. And if you don’t have a Thermomix, just grate all of your vegetables, use 200g of any gluten free flour you have, and then whisk everything well in a large mixing bowl.

You can also personalise these yummy Gluten Free Zucchini Muffins by adding extra vegetables on top. I have one son who goes bananas for cherry tomatoes, so he gets these halved on his. My other son is not a fan, so plain muffins are his favourite.

My boys are enjoying these in their lunchboxes tomorrow, along with some organic grapes, cut up carrot and cherry tomatoes, and a delicious gluten free chocolate cupcake. Yummo.

Enjoy!

Gluten Free Zucchini Muffins

Makes 12

Ingredients:

  • 100g brown rice (or any type of rice that you choose)
  • 100g buckwheat
  • 2 zucchinis, cut into chunks
  • 2 small carrots, cut into chunks
  • 6 free range eggs
  • 80g coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons gluten free baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt or sea salt
  • 12 muffins patties
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, cut into halves (optional)

Method:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line a 12 hole muffin tray with paper muffin patties.
  2. Place the brown rice and buckwheat into your Thermomix bowl and mill on speed 9 for 1 minute. Set aside.
  3. Place the zucchini and carrot chunks into your Thermomix bowl and chop on speed 5 for 3 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients and the reserved brown rice and buckwheat flour. Mix on speed 5 for 20 seconds.
  5. Divide the mixture evenly amongst the 12 muffin patties. If using, place a cherry tomato half on top of each muffin and press down lightly.
  6. Cook in your pre-heated oven for 25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre is clean when removed. Remove from the oven and allow them to sit in the muffin tray for 10 minutes. Then remove the muffins from the tray onto a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or cool.
  7. Store in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 3 to 4 days.
Muffins before going into the oven to cook
Muffins before going into the oven to cook.
These Gluten Free Zucchini Muffins are a delicious addition to your child's lunchbox.
These Gluten Free Zucchini Muffins are a delicious addition to your child’s lunchbox.

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Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

At this time of year when the weather is getting colder, it’s always nice to make some real, homemade chicken noodle soup. I’m not talking about the stuff you buy from the supermarket, add hot water to and stir for 5 minutes. I’m talking about real, old fashioned, home cooked soup made with chicken bones to create a nourishing chicken broth that is flavoured with vegetables and some gluten free pasta. It takes a little bit of love and care but I think it’s so worth it. The end result is a very special soup that is reminiscent of the chicken soup I used to eat in my childhood. The kind of soup that Nanna and Mum made.

Chicken Noodle Soup

I make this soup in a large casserole dish so it can simmer on the stove for a while. My Le Creuset pot is perfect for this. Using chicken bones is a great way to get lots of flavour and goodness into your broth. I used a bag of three chicken carcasses from the supermarket. It may seem like there’s not a lot of meat on them, but I removed 2 cups of shredded chicken from the carcasses for my soup.

Once you have finished cooking the pasta in the soup, you will need to check the soup for seasoning. You are essentially making a chicken stock from scratch so you will need a good amount of seasoning for flavour. Let your palette be the judge. I suggest using a good quality salt like Himalayan salt or Celtic sea salt. These will add trace minerals and extra goodness to your soup.

Lastly, ladle generous amounts of the Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup into your favourite soup bowls. Warm your hands on the outside of the bowl and breath in the delicious aroma. Share your soup, cooked with care, with the people you love to enhance the whole experience.

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 tablespoon of macadamia oil or coconut oil
  • 3 chicken carcasses (mine had a little bit of meat left on the bone)
  • 4 cups of water
  • 2 teaspoons of mixed dried herbs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Himalayan salt and pepper
  • 1 cup of dried gluten free penne pasta (preferably organic and GMO free)

Method:

  1. Heat a large stove proof casserole dish (that has a lid) over medium heat. Add the oil, onion, garlic, carrots and celery. Cook them for a few minutes until the onion becomes translucent, stirring regularly with a wooden spoon.
  2. Place the chicken carcasses on top of the vegetables and add the water, dried herbs, bay leaves, two generous pinches of Himalayan salt and some freshly cracked black pepper. Stir to combine. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat to low to medium. Place the lid on the casserole dish and simmer for 45 minutes. You want the soup to simmer away nicely, not boil over.
  3. Turn off the heat and remove the bay leaves and the chicken carcasses from the casserole dish with a pair of tongs. Remove any excess fat that collects on the top of the soup with a ladle. Place the chicken carcasses on a large plate and let them cool down enough so that you can handle them. Remove any chicken meat from the carcasses. I removed about 2 cups of shredded chicken meat. Return the chicken meat to the soup.
  4. Turn the heat up to high and bring the soup back to the boil. Turn the heat down to medium and then add the penne pasta. Stir well to ensure the pasta doesn’t stick together. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes over medium heat, until the pasta is al dente. Stir the soup often during this time. You want to cook the pasta al dente as it will continue to cook in the hot soup once removed from the heat.
  5. Check the soup for seasoning and add more salt or pepper if desired. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve immediately.
Shredded chicken removed from the cooked chicken carcasses, ready to be put back into the soup.
Shredded chicken removed from the cooked chicken carcasses, ready to be put back into the soup.
Homemade Chicken Soup simmering away while the pasta cooks.
Homemade Chicken Soup simmering away while the pasta cooks.
The broth is just delicious and so comforting.
The broth is delicious and so comforting.

Rosemary Sweet Potato Chips

This is one of my all time favourite snacks. Rosemary Sweet Potato Chips. These are so easy to make and are a guaranteed hit. I have been making these for a long time and they always get gobbled up. These little beauties are gluten free, dairy free, paleo friendly and vegan.

Rosemary Sweet Potato Chips cooked

I love making my own baked chips. I can flavour them how I like and I know the quality of the ingredients that I’m using. I have been getting some delicious organic sweet potatoes in my weekly fruit and vegetable box from HomeFresh Organics lately. They make the best chips. I flavour them with a little bit of fresh rosemary from my garden, some coconut oil and a generous sprinkle of Himalayan salt. I bake them in the oven until they are golden and voilà! A delicious plant-based snack for the whole family.

These Rosemary Sweet Potato Chips make a regular appearance at our house on the weekend. It’s nice to eating something fresh from the oven this time of year as the temperature starts to cool down. Put them in a big bowl and curl up on the couch with these to watch a movie. Simple pleasures. The best part for me is that these chips are a wonderful way to add more vegetables to our diets. Bonus.

I like to leave the skin on my sweet potatoes because there is just so much goodness there. I did a quick internet search and found out that sweet potato skins have lots of fibre, really high levels of beta carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, folate, potassium and iron. I just give them a good scrub with a brush under running water to remove any dirt. However, if you’re not a fan, then peel off the skin before you cut the sweet potatoes into chips.

Rosemary Sweet Potato Chips

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium organic sweet potatoes, washed well, cut into chips
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary, leaves removed and chopped finely
  • 1 tablespoon of organic coconut oil, melted
  • A good pinch of Himalayan salt

Method:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Place your sweet potato chips onto the baking tray and sprinkle with the chopped rosemary, coconut oil and salt. Toss the sweet potato chips with your hands to coat them evenly in the oil and seasoning.
  3. Cook your Rosemary Sweet Potato Chips in the pre-heated oven for 45 minutes, until they are golden.
  4. Remove the tray from the oven and carefully place the chips onto a serving dish. Eat immediately!
Rosemary Sweet Potato Chips ready to be cooked in the oven.
Rosemary Sweet Potato Chips ready to be cooked in the oven.
Ready to be devoured!
Ready to be devoured!

Vegan Pumpkin Soup (Thermomix)

When the weather starts to cool down I love making soups. I’ve certainly made a lot of soups since I got my Thermomix in 2012. The Thermomix is such a wonderful appliance when it comes to preparing and cooking soups. It makes my life easier and it’s so easy to put a delicious and nutritious meal on the table in under 25 minutes. I want to share this Vegan Pumpkin Soup recipe with you because it is so easy to make in my Thermomix, it uses a handful of ingredients and it always satisfies. This soup is totally plant-based and is gluten free, dairy free, sugar free and grain free.

For those of you without a Thermomix, you just need to cook the ingredients the traditional way (on the stove top) and then use a blender or a handheld mini food processor to blend it into a smooth soup.

Vegan Pumpkin Soup

I love a good pumpkin soup! It’s probably my favourite. It’s simple, warming and comforting. A dish that I always look forward to.

Since giving up dairy, I have reinvented my traditional pumpkin soup recipe – the one that I grew up making with my mum. The pumpkin soup I cook now is much thicker, having a higher ratio of pumpkin to water than traditional pumpkin soup recipes. I like the thicker consistency because it gives me the illusion of having a creamy soup, but obviously without the cream. I also don’t add any oil to my soup.

This soup has been extra special for us lately because we’ve had a beautiful pumpkin harvest in our garden. Our home grown pumpkins taste amazing in this soup. They are so sweet. If you have some extra space in your garden at home, I highly recommend planting pumpkins. They do run a little wild, but they are so easy to grow and have required very little attention from us.

I love serving my Vegan Pumpkin Soup with thick slices of homemade gluten free bread. My Golden Flax and Almond Bread is beautiful with this soup and turns this dish into a very hearty meal.

Vegan Pumpkin Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 650g of organic pumpkin, cut into 2cm cubes
  • 400g water plus 2 tablespoons extra
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable stock concentrate (recipe from the Everyday Cookbook)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of grated nutmeg

Method:

  1. Place the onion and garlic in the Thermomix bowl and chop on speed 7 for 3 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with your spatula.
  2. Add the extra 2 tablespoons of water and cook at 100 degrees Celsius for 3 minutes on speed 1.
  3. Add the pumpkin, water, vegetable stock concentrate and nutmeg to the Thermomix bowl. Cook at 100 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes on speed 1.
  4. Once cooked, blend the Vegan Pumpkin Soup on speed 8 for 1 minute, starting at speed 1 and then slowly turning the dial to speed 8.
  5. Serve with thick slices of Golden Flax and Almond Bread and sprinkle with a little bit of extra nutmeg if desired.
Ingredients ready to be cooked in the Thermomix.
Ingredients ready to be cooked in the Thermomix.
The Vegan Pumpkin Soup after blending in the Thermomix for 1 minute.
The Vegan Pumpkin Soup after blending in the Thermomix for 1 minute.

Simple Quinoa Salad

This Simple Quinoa Salad is really easy to make and is so refreshing. It is a great salad for vegans and vegetarians as the chickpeas and quinoa provide a wonderful source of plant-based protein. The sweetness of the currants works so well with the vegetables and the zing of the lemon dressing. I love to add lots of fresh herbs to this salad. I have chosen basil and parsley because these grow abundantly in my garden.

Simple Quinoa Salad
Simple Quinoa Salad

If you haven’t tried quinoa before, then this Simple Quinoa Salad is a nice way to become initiated. I like to replace quinoa with rice in lots of my recipes now, especially when I make curries. It’s really simple to make and I cook it just like rice, using the absorption method. You add two parts water to one part quinoa in a pot over high heat. Bring to the boil then reduce to simmer, pop on the lid and cook for 15 minutes. Alternatively, if you have a Thermomix, you can cook the quinoa in the basket just like you would cook rice. Add 900g of water and cook the quinoa on Varoma heat, speed 4 for 15 minutes.

Simple Quinoa Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of uncooked white quinoa
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 can of organic chickpeas, drained and washed (ensure the chickpeas contain no added sugar) OR 1 cup of homemade cooked chickpeas
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • 2 small carrots, diced
  • 1 red capsicum, de-seeded and diced
  • 1 large handful of fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 large handful of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of organic currants
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1/4 cup of cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • Good pinch of Himalayan salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method:

  1. Cook your quinoa. I like to use the absorption method. Place the uncooked quinoa in a saucepan and add 1 cup of cold water (always use the ratio of 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water). Place the saucepan on high heat and bring to the boil. Once boiling, change the heat to low and put a lid on the saucepan. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and spoon the quinoa onto a plate to cool.
  2. Place all of the other ingredients in order into a large mixing bowl. When the quinoa has cooled down, add it to the bowl and stir well until the salad is well combined and coated with the lemon and olive oil dressing.
  3. Place the salad in the fridge until you are ready to serve. Note that if you want to make this salad in advance (i.e. the day before), leave out the lemon juice and olive oil and only add these to the salad before serving.

Roasted Pumpkin and Avocado Salad

I am loving salads at the moment. The summer temperatures have been high and have really diminished my appetite. When it’s hot at night I find a salad is all I really want to eat. Saying that, I admit that eating the same garden salad over and over again can become monotonous, even for a salad lover like me! So, let me introduce you to this delicious Roasted Pumpkin and Avocado Salad. It is super light but really tasty and I have no problem putting the oven on when the result is sweet and golden roasted pumpkin pieces. Delicious!

This is one of my favourite salads because it is so delicious and really easy to make. The sweetness of the roasted pumpkin works beautifully with the creaminess of the avocado, and the roasted pepitas provide a wonderful source of crunch. If you’re looking for some extra protein, then add your favourite cold meat. Try some cold roasted chicken, some sliced turkey breast, some canned tuna in spring water or some cold hard-boiled eggs.

If you’re feeling super keen, then roast a big batch of pumpkin the day before and use it for this salad as well as adding it to your other salads for the next three to four days. Just keep it simple and easy in this hot weather, and enjoy all of the beautiful, fresh summer produce that is available at the moment.

Roasted Pumpkin and Avocado Salad
Roasted Pumpkin and Avocado Salad

Roasted Pumpkin and Avocado Salad

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:

  • Half a Butternut pumpkin, seeds removed and skin washed, cut into 1.5cm chunks with the skin left on
  • 1 tablespoon of macadamia oil
  • Pinch of Himalayan salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup of raw pepitas
  • 2 avocados, cut into chunks
  • 100g of organic baby spinach, washed and dried
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 3 tablespoons of cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • Extra salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Place the Butternut pumpkin pieces on the lined baking tray and drizzle with the macadamia oil, salt and pepper. Mix well with your hands to ensure the pumpkin is well coated. Cook in the pre-heated oven for 45 minutes.
  3. When there are 15 minutes remaining for the pumpkin to cook, remove the tray from the oven and sprinkle the raw pepitas over the pumpkin. Return the tray to the oven and cook for the remaining 15 minutes. Remove the baking tray from the oven and set aside the pumpkin and the pepitas to cool. These steps can be done the day before you want to serve the salad.
  4. Once the roasted pumpkin and pepitas have cooled down, add all of the ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Mix well with a large spoon to ensure that all of the salad is well coated with the lemon juice and olive oil.
  5. Place the salad in the fridge until you are ready to serve. Note that if you want to make this salad in advance (i.e. the day before), leave out the lemon juice and olive oil and only add these to the salad before serving.

Gluten Free Pesto Pasta Salad

I love a good pasta salad in summer. We had friends over on the weekend on a day when it topped 38 degrees Celsius, so my husband and I decided that it would only be right to serve cold dishes to our guests. We had cold chicken, a simple garden salad and this delicious vegan Gluten Free Pesto Pasta Salad. It was so refreshing in the heat!

PestoPastaSaladBowl

I love experimenting with different pasta salads. I just use whatever fresh and seasonal vegetables I have in my fridge, pair it with freshly cooked al dente gluten free pasta and a simple dressing. I love adding dips to my pasta salads as well and my Amazing Almond Pesto works so beautifully in this recipe.

As far as gluten free pasta goes, there are a few good brands out there. Where possible, I like to buy organic pasta that is GMO free. Orgran make a rice and corn gluten free penne pasta and my local supermarket stocks SamMills gluten free corn penne pasta in the health food aisle. The thing to bear in mind is that, in my experience, gluten free pasta is different to your standard pasta. It is generally a little bit tougher, especially if you’re eating it as leftovers the next day. Now that I’ve gotten over the difference, I enjoy eating pasta every now and then.

PestoPastaSalad

Gluten Free Pesto Pasta Salad

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 500g of gluten free pasta (look for a brand that is GMO free)
  • 1/2 cup of pine nuts
  • One batch of Amazing Almond Pesto
  • 1 punnet of ripe cherry tomatoes, washed and cut into quarters
  • 100g of raw snowpeas, washed, tips removed and cut into strips
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 3 tablespoons of cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • Himalayan salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Cook your pasta according to the packet instructions so that it is al dente. I like to bring a large pot of water to the boil then add a big pinch of salt to flavour the water. Pour in the pasta and stir immediately to ensure the pasta doesn’t clump together. Cook the pasta on high heat for the required cooking time. Stir another two or three times throughout the cooking process. Drain in a colander and then rinse the pasta under cool running water for a minute. Set aside to drain and then place in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Place your pine nuts in a small fry pan and heat on medium heat. Toast the pine nuts for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until they are golden brown. Pour your pine nuts on top of the pasta in the mixing bowl.
  3. Make your Amazing Almond Pesto whilst the pasta and pine nuts are cooling down. Click here for the recipe.
  4. Pour your Amazing Almond Pesto onto the cooled pasta. Add the tomatoes, snowpeas, lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper. Mix well with a wooden spoon so that you coat all of the pasta evenly with the pesto.
  5. Serve in a large serving bowl and eat immediately.

I’ve also been eating leftovers of this Gluten Free Pesto Pasta Salad with a big dollop of my Cumin Spiced Hummus mixed in, with a side of green salad. This is absolutely delicious. The flavours of the pesto and the hummus are divine together.

Gluten Free Pesto Pasta Salad served with a fresh green salad and a big dollop of homemade hummus.
Gluten Free Pesto Pasta Salad served with a fresh green salad and a big dollop of homemade hummus.
Pesto Pasta Salad with hummus, rocket and cucumber mixed through.
Pesto Pasta Salad with hummus, rocket and cucumber mixed through.

Amazing Almond Pesto

It’s hard for me to describe in words how vibrant this Amazing Almond Pesto is. It just screams good health to me! The colour is sensational. It really does make me happy, from picking the basil, to whipping it all up in 20 seconds, and then to eating it (which is the best part in my books). All of that beautiful basil mixed together to create a tasty dip that is so good for your body. It’s hard to beat that.

PestoInBowl

Every time I eat this Amazing Almond Pesto I feel like I’m doing something really good for my body. Plus, it’s a fantastic way to use the huge amounts of basil that are currently growing in my garden. I normally pick about 4 large stalks of basil (about 25cm in length) to get the amount I need for this recipe.

This Amazing Almond Pesto is essentially a raw vegan and paleo friendly dip. It uses lots of beautiful fresh basil (and you can also add in a little parsley if you like), fresh garlic cloves, activated (or soaked) almonds, lemon juice, cold pressed extra virgin olive oil and a little bit of Himalayan salt. It is full of beneficial antioxidants and phytonutrients. I mean, just look at that colour!

I also love this recipe because it is so versatile. You can be quite traditional and pair your Amazing Almond Pesto with a gluten free pasta or you can do something a little different. Try it on some freshly made Golden Flax and Almond Bread, put a big dollop on your vegetarian casserole or stew and, of course, you can eat it as a dip with fresh vegetable sticks.

I had a massive dollop on top of my lentil and vegetable stew for dinner tonight and it tasted amazing. It just lifted the dish perfectly and gave it a wonderful freshness.

I placed a large dollop of Amazing Almond Pesto on top of my vegetable and lentil stew tonight.
I placed a large dollop of Amazing Almond Pesto on top of my vegetable and lentil stew tonight.

However you choose to eat this pesto, I hope you enjoy it and eat it often.

Amazing Almond Pesto

Ingredients:

  • 100g or 3 cups of fresh basil leaves, washed (you can add a little fresh parsley in to make up the 100g if you choose)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup of activated almonds (or raw almonds soaked overnight in filtered water and drained)
  • 95g or 1/2 cup of cold pressed extra virgin olive oil (use the best quality olive oil that you can find)
  • 60g or 4 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt

Thermomix Method:

  1. Place all of the ingredients into your Thermomix bowl and blend for 10 seconds on speed 7.
  2. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with your spatula and mix for a further 10 seconds on speed 6, until the ingredients are well incorporated and the basil is chopped finely.
  3. Spoon into your serving dish and use immediately or store it in the fridge in an airtight container for use within 2 to 3 days.
The Amazing Almond Pesto ingredients in the Thermomix bowl before being processed.
The Amazing Almond Pesto ingredients in the Thermomix bowl before being processed.
The Amazing Almond Pesto once it has been mixed in the Thermomix.
The Amazing Almond Pesto once it has been mixed in the Thermomix.

Conventional Method:

  1. Place all of your ingredients into a large food processor with an S blade and process until the ingredients are finely chopped. You may need to wipe down the sides of the food processor with a spatula and continue processing for a little longer to achieve the desired consistency.
  2. Spoon into your serving dish and use immediately or store it in the fridge in an airtight container for use within 2 to 3 days.
Mix your Amazing Almond Pesto in a large bowl with gluten free pasta.
Mix your Amazing Almond Pesto in a large bowl with gluten free pasta (this is gluten free, vegan black bean pasta).
Freshly made gluten free pasta with Amazing Almond Pesto. So delicious!
Freshly made gluten free pasta with Amazing Almond Pesto. So delicious!

Roasted Whole Duck with Orange Sauce

This Roasted Whole Duck with Orange Sauce is absolutely delicious. The orange and rosemary rub on the outside is salty, the duck skin crispy and the duck meat juicy and tender. The accompanying Orange Sauce is full of zing, with a nice balance of sweetness and tartness. This Roasted Whole Duck with Orange Sauce works beautifully with roasted vegetables and a crispy salad with a lemon juice or orange juice based dressing.

This is a beautiful gluten free, dairy free and sugar free dinner party recipe that I’m sure your guests will love. There is so much drama in removing the crispy skinned whole duck from the oven, filling the room with the aromas of baked orange and rosemary, and then carving it at the table ready for your guests to enjoy.

Whole Roasted Duck with a rosemary and orange zest salt rub
Whole Roasted Duck with a rosemary and orange zest salt rub

Whole Roasted Duck with Orange Sauce

Ingredients for the roasted duck:

  • 2.2kg whole duck, washed and patted dry with paper towel (ensure you wash inside the cavity of the duck)
  • Zest of two oranges
  • 1 sprig of rosemary, leaves removed and chopped finely
  • 2 teaspoons of Himalayan salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Ingredients for the orange sauce:

  • Juice of two oranges
  • One extra orange, cut into thin slices
  • 1/2 cup of chicken, duck or vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup of organic or 100% pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of cornflour
  • 1 tablespoon of water

Method:

Prepare the duck.

  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Place a roasting rack inside a large baking tray.
  2. Place the washed whole duck on top of the roasting rack. Ensure you have dried the duck skin and inside the duck well with paper towel.
  3. In a small bowl combine the salt, orange zest, rosemary and black pepper. Mix well with a spoon. Place the rosemary and orange zest mixture onto the skin of the duck on top of the duck breasts, wings and legs.
  4. Roast the duck in your pre-heated oven for 40 minutes per kilogram, until golden and juices run clear when tested. A 2.2kg duck will need to be roasted for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
  5. Remove the duck from the oven and allow it to rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Once rested, carve the duck into pieces, placing them onto a large platter. Cover with alfoil to keep the duck warm until you are ready to eat.

Make the orange sauce whilst the duck is resting.

  1. Place the orange juice, orange slices, maple syrup, stock and apple cider vinegar into a medium saucepan. Bring to the boil and then reduce to medium heat and cook for 10 minutes.
  2. Combine the cornflour and water in a glass with a teaspoon and whisk this into the sauce until the sauce starts to thicken.
  3. Remove the orange sauce from the heat and place it into a gravy dish ready for serving.
Roasted Whole Duck carved and served with Orange Sauce
Roasted Whole Duck carved and served with Orange Sauce