Food to Feed Me

I am a recipe book, food book junkie from long, long ago. I recently parted with a collection of Gourmet Traveller and Vogue Entertaining Magazines that date back before the turn of the last century. However, in a digital environment I have not purchased as many cook books as I perhaps would have imagined. So many of my favourite food journalists, chefs and cooks have online resources, blogs and apps and this makes cooking simple.

But there is something lovely about reading a recipe book. Taking a quiet moment over a cup of tea and being inspired. I rarely cook from recipe books directly. But I think my brain works like a search engine, trawling the books for ideas, techniques and new skills that I can apply to our everyday repertoire for our 7mouths2feed.

Jane Kennedy’s One Dish Two Ways is great. I have blogged about this is  woman before and her food minus the boom bah. Like me knows the juggle of five children and she has struggled with children who don’t like every recipe or ingredient. Her collection of food ideas take one dish and offer a kid friendly and a more adult version. And it is fun. The idea is simple. You and I are doing most of it already I suspect, but she offers variety.

Bill Granger is a perennial favourite and his book Feed Me Now is about fresh, fast food. Our Granger collection is well loved.

This Home Made Summer is another food book that is full of great pics and typography. Food books have changed so much in my lifetime. The look, layout and ‘feel’ is evolving.

And finally, meet Dan Churchill. Confession. Before I picked this book up I had no idea who he was – at all. Those of you who follow Master Chef would be familiar with his new celeb status. And seriously, I am not going for the V-neck T. Are you?

But I am totally captivated by his recipes and healthy approach to food. Yes, he is a bit of a Paleo lover and his recipes have less sugar than most but he has some great combinations. His slow cooked lamb…….fabulous! So if you have a special man friend, brother or Dad this books would be a great gift. Or a good pressie for you.

The Boombah

I made this a few weeks ago with great success I think. 
The inspiration was left over porridge. Andrew is the porridge maker in our house. He tends to rise early and gets breakfast going and on this particular day we had quite a large amount left. Now the entire family love lasagne but I really find making béchamel a bit of a bore – I love eating it, however.

The key to this dish was a moderate amount of left over porridge (the rolled oats and milk variety – not the microwave  packet version) and a memory of Jane Kennedy’s book 

Fabulous Food Minus the Boombah

Jane offers healthy food ideas minus the “boombah” – insert any carb, fat or tasty stuff.  I am not so sold on eating curry without the rice and so on , so it didn’t occur to me that her ideas would get any leverage at our house. Until I remembered she had steamed and then forked a head of cauliflower until it resembled cous cous and acted like the aforementioned grain on the plate. Apparently it soaks up the curry like rice.

So my very special lasagne is built around steamed cauliflower pureed with left over porridge and would you believe you have a creamy, delicious white sauce. Less fat and less mess. Less Boombah!

Roasted Vegetable Lasagne..with a twist

To assemble the lasagne I simply roasted a range of vegetable from the fridge – red capsicum, sweet potato, onions, mushrooms, garlic, zucchini and eggplant. These roasted delights were assembled with fresh baby spinach, fresh herbs from the garden, a simple tomato passata with additional garlic, salt and sweet chilli, the creamy sauce and of course, lasagne sheets. The top layer was some of my Boombah béchamel and a sprinkling of grated cheddar/parmesan.

So maybe I have put some of the boombah back into the pasta dish, but really I think this is a great use of oats…….the kids told me they could “smell” the cauliflower but really didn’t mind because it tasted great.