Roast Pumpkin Rocket Salad

This was one of the salads I made for our Christmas feast (it’s up there on my list of favourite salads). I love salads that combine a great selection of ingredients and this is one of them. It’s not the cheapest salad to make as far as the cost of ingredients goes but you pay for what you get, its delicious.
Zagorgeous Cathy a work colleague and friend from Patrick Egan Optometrist shared this recipe with me a couple of years ago and every year since I have made it for Christmas lunch as well as a lot of special occasion BBQ’s. I love it when others ask me for the recipe, to me that’s what its all about, sharing the love and great recipes!!

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Your List Of Ingredients

1kg butternut pumpkin (This week I used a 1kg combination of pumpkin and sweet potato)
4 cloves unpeeled garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
6 slices prosciutto
2 bunches asparagus trimmed
200g baby rocket leaves
1/2 cup shaved parmesan cheese
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted (I usually cheat and buy the ready roasted pine nuts)
200g snow peas, thinly sliced

DRESSING
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

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Peel pumpkin and chop into 3cm pieces (mine always seem to end up a little smaller). Place pumpkin into a baking dish with garlic. Drizzle with oil, season with salt and pepper. I then give the pumpkin a toss around on the tray with my hands to make sure it is evenly coated with the oil.

Cook in a moderately hot oven, 190C, for about 25-30 minutes until pumpkin is tender and browned, turning the pumpkin at the 15 minute mark helps keep the process even.

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This is what you should see post roasting.

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I pop garlic out of the skin and shred it up and gently fold through the pumpkin for extra flavour.
I actually completed the pumpkin roasting step the night before I assembled the salad, I do this every Christmas too. Just pop roasted pumpkin and garlic in an airtight container in the fridge.

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This is where I prefer to purchase all my fresh fruit and veg, ‘Tweed Fruit Exchange’. You can always be sure of getting great produce and customer service. I was served by Zagorgeous Lee this week, thanks guys I’m sure I’ll be back again before the week is out!

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This is where I picked up to finish off the salad on Monday night.

Boil, Steam or microwave asparagus until just tender (I microwave in a steamer for 2 minutes on high). Rinse under cold water, drain well.

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My thinly sliced snow peas.

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Cook prosciutto in a heated greased pan (I just use a non-stick pan and no greasing) until browned all over and crisp. drain on paper towel. Roughly crumble into bite sized pieces.

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Unfortunately Toasted pine nuts were not available at the supermarket this week so I had to do my own. As you can see from the before and after shot they ended up a little toastier then I would have liked but they were fine.

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When chopping the thyme I strip the woody stalks and discard them, using just the leafier remains.

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DRESSING
Combine all ingredients in a screw top jar (I use a trusty Tupperware cup and lid), shake well.

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Assemble the salad as shown (I mix all the greens and make them the base of my salad, I then top with pumpkin followed by the prosciutto then the parmesan, scattering the pine nuts on top and lastly drizzling the dressing over the top. Alternatively you can gently toss all the ingredients together.

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I served the salad with a side of BBQ chicken. Perfect for a warm summer evening.

I hope you enjoy this as much as we do, its delicious.

Stay tuned for my upcoming Blog Post this Sunday for ‘Salted Caramel Brownie Sandwich Cookies’.

Until then,
Zamamabakes

Easy Brown Rice Salad

This recipe is one I have been thinking about making for quite some time. My beautiful Mother-in-law recently introduced me to the convenience of using ready-made brown rice, I now often use it to accompany the slow cooker or stir-fry dinners I make, it’s a great time saver especially on work nights. I have been using Sun Rice fragrant Brown Rice in 2 1/2 Minutes 450g, you’ll find it in the same aisle as uncooked rice.

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You will need:
450g family size Sun Rice fragrant brown rice in 2 1/2 minutes
150g diced bacon fried off in pan
1 1/2 cups frozen mixed corn and peas, cooked according to packet instructions
1 carrot grated
1 Lebanese cucumber, diced
1/2 red capsicum, diced
2 sticks celery, diced
1 green onion, diced
1/2 cup craisins (dried cranberries)

DRESSING
1/3 cup French dressing
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon brown sugar

Combine rice, bacon, vegetable ingredients and craisins.
Mix dressing ingredients well to combine and pour over rice salad.
You can enjoy this as a meal just by itself or you can use it as a side with your favourite meat, totally up to you.
It will keep in the fridge for 3 days.
Enjoy. We had leftovers of it tonight with a BBQ chicken and garden salad.

Thai Beef Salad

This is a great meal to have anytime as it doesn’t take much to put together and is extremely tasty!!! Some of you would have seen me post a picture of it on Zamamabakes Face Book page last week!!! I have finally got around to blogging the recipe.

I have Zabeautiful Trish to thank for making the suggestion of Thai beef Salad, resulting from the question I put up on Face Book ‘what should I make for dinner’?

I had a look at a few online recipes for some ingredient idea’s, I found they all differed slightly, this is what I ended up making. It was deliciously fresh and I will happily make it again.
You could use any selection of salad you desire and as for the meat again select what you enjoy best. Whatever you do I hope you enjoy this dish as much as ZaDada and I.
You should get at least 3 dinner serves out of the amount of ingredients listed. We had 2 main meals plus 2 smaller lunch serves the next day.

MEAT INGREDIENTS

500g rump or sirloin steak

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 garlic clove, crushed

SALAD INGREDIENTS

1 packet Coles mixed lettuce leaves

1 carrot grated or thinly sliced

1/2 red capsicum finely sliced (I used some of a mixed packet of small red, yellow and orange capsicums)

10 snow peas thinly sliced lengthways

1 punnet grape tomatoes

1 Lebanese cucumber halved lengthways and sliced diagonally

1/2 cup natural cashew nuts to sprinkle over the top of salad and beef

DRESSING INGREDIENTS

1/2 teaspoon crushed garlic

1/2 teaspoon chilli (I keep dried chilli flakes in pantry for convenience)

1 Tablespoon fish sauce

1 1/2 Tablespoons lime juice

1 1/2 Tablespoons sweet chilli sauce

2 teaspoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon chopped palm sugar (you may want to add more or use less depending on your palate)

1 Tablespoon freshly chopped mint ( you may choose to use less or more again according to your taste, you may also like to add some fresh coriander in conjunction with or instead of mint). Zadada loathes the taste of coriander so I did not use it.

METHOD
1. Combine all meat ingredients in a bowl/container to marinate in fridge (if your organised a few hours but I only did for 1 hour and I was still happy).
2. Combine all dressing ingredients and set aside
3. Arrange salad ingredients on dinner plates.
4. Cook steak to your liking and let rest for at least 4 minutes, cover with foil during this time.
5. Thinly slice steak into strips and arrange over the top of salad ingredients.
6. Garnish with cashew nuts
7. Pour a serve of salad dressing over the top
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Enjoy, we loved it. Thanks for the inspiration Trish.

Zucchini and Feta cake

Zagorgeous friend Jennifer introduced me to this great savoury cake. It comes from the ever fantastic cooking site taste.com.
We had this for dinner last night, I served it with some salads and we plan to have the leftovers for lunch today!!

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I didn’t have the full quantity of feta so I used some tasty cheese too. I also used ham instead of pastrami. It all worked really well together. Click here for an easy healthy dish the whole family can enjoy.
Thanks for sharing Jennifer this was a winner at our house too.

Gluten free chocolate loaf

I have made this cake several times now and it never fails. We are not a gluten free household but I do have a few friends who are gluten free which was what originally led me to discovering this recipe, however now I bake it because we enjoy it so much. It is beautifully moist and chocolatey!!! I did discover it at taste.com they are my online cooking bible love their site!!!!
I don’t always use Lindt chocolate, I usually just buy the dark chocolate on sale with the highest cocoa content.
Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family does. Click here for a fantastic recipe!!!

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Roasted Gold Beetroot Salad

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This is a delicious salad that was introduced to me by my local fresh produce supplier
‘Tweed Fruit Exchange’. Every second Wednesday these fantastic people are giving out food tastings of recipes made from the ingredients they sell. I think it’s a fantastic idea and wanted to share one of the wonderful recipes I got to sample.

You will need
2 bunches gold Beetroot
200g Danish fetta
1sml salad onion
1/4 cup balsamic dressing

Method
Wash and trim Beetroot, wrap in foil and roast @ 180 degrees for about 1 hour. Let cool then peel and cut Beetroot into a wedge. Dice fetta and finely slice salad onion, then place all ingredients in serving bowl, season with salt and pepper if desired, drizzle with balsamic dressing and serve.

I also chose to serve the above on a mixture of salad greens. It was absolutely delicious.
I would never have known gold Beetroot existed if it wasn’t for ‘Tweed fruit exchange’ so I say thankyou to them and also I am looking forward to their next tasting which I believe will be this coming Wednesday yum. They are the best fresh produce suppliers around and they have amazing staff.

Cherry tomato, cucumber and green bean salad

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This is a great recipe for spring/summer I found it on taste.com about 12 months ago. You can have it alone or accompany it with another salad and some protein it’s totally up to you. Tonight we had it with a roasted gold beet root salad and some salmon, lentil and carrot patties!!! I wish our kids would eat this food too but unfortunately not this time around instead they chose 1x reheated spaghetti Bol leftovers and 2x boiled egg and soldiers!!! But for those who have an appreciation for fresh healthy food, here is the link to a quick, fresh salad.
You may notice in my salad picture I used raw zucchini that’s because we were out of cucumbers, the zucchini’s still worked really well.