What’s cooking good looking?

Here’s a little insight into the #Blissfarm kitchen over the last couple of months as we’ve been balancing eating our way through our farm produce with introducing conscious eating.

Quail eggs

Longer days mean the quail are laying again and the Lovely Deputy brought home some rescue-quail so it’s quail egg city at #Blissfarm.

Pickled quail eggs

These eggs are prepared in advance for use in practically anything you’d use a boiled egg in. I used Maggie Beer’s recipe who advises that they can be shelved for a couple of months without refrigeration. I put mine in the fridge after I open the jar. They are a quick addition to a salad and I’ve used them in a Caesar and a roast vegetable salad as the protein content. I also added them in a recent scrambled tofu dinner (see below).

Here’s a slightly revised version of Maggie’s recipe as featured in Maggie’s Harvest published by Lantern (Penguin Books).

36 quail eggs, at least 1 week old

1 1/2 cups (375 ml) white wine vinegar

50 g sugar

1 level teaspoon black peppercorns

1 level teaspoon allspice berries

1 fresh bay leaf

Place the quail eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Stir them gently with a wooden spoon until they come to the boil. Boil the eggs for 5-6 minutes and tip them straight into iced water to cool. Place the eggs in a plastic container, seal the lid and gently shake the eggs. This will crush the shell and make them easier to peel. Slip your fingernail in the air pocket at the base and peel the shell off in a ribbon.

Place the peeled eggs in a sterilised jar (about 300 ml). Boil the other ingredients together in a saucepan for about 5 minutes, until the sugar has dissolved  and all the ingredients are combined, and then pour the liquid over the peeled eggs. Seal and store until use.

Hot smoked salmon and quail eggs

If you haven’t been put off eating salmon altogether, you might like this recipe, it’s my favourite breakfast.

Crumble a packet of hot smoked salmon in a bowl. Add soft boiled quail eggs (2 ½ minutes on the boil and refresh), a diced avocado, halved cherry tomatoes, crumbled marinated feta to taste, zest of one lemon and gently combine. Wet with a dressing of lemon juice, olive oil, Dijon mustard and rice bran syrup. Serve on a slice of sourdough. Yum!

Kale

I’m happy to share the kale with the guinea pigs but sometimes I really think we should enjoy some of that vitamin goodness too.

Winter salad of broccoli, apple and kale with sesame dressing 

Don’t be put off by the name, it’s good at any time of the year if you have kale in the garden. All the elements are important in this recipe – the mint provides a lift, the sweetness of the apples provides a contrast for the vegetables and use the mixed sprouts with the soybeans for texture. It is such a robust salad that it’s a meal in itself. Dress the salad liberally because those thirsty vegetables will drink that moisture right up.

Turnip and Kale Gratin

The Lovely Deputy foreshadowed a glut of turnips. This is what I decided to try although I threw in a few potatoes because the glut turned out to be a modest haul. I swapped the cream for evaporated milk which worked perfectly well with a fraction of the calories and since I only had a small piece of fontina in the freezer and couldn’t be bothered going to the shop, I added a little goats cheese and only used about half the cheese recommended overall. Great meal that fed both us four times.

Tofu

I first ate scrambled tofu with the Sandra Cabot Liver Cleansing Diet. It’s stayed as a part of my repertoire because it’s easy, tasty and a good go-to, week night, vego dish. This is my take on the original. I won’t give quantities because it depends on how many people you’re feeding and what you have available.

Slice mushrooms and add a couple of dashes of tamari, a sprinkle of ground cumin and seasoning and roast or fry them. Crisp up some shredded kale, remove from the wok and set aside. Heat a couple of tablespoons of water and add a diced onion, an appropriate quantity of soft-medium tofu, a handful of diced semi-sun dried tomatoes, diced garlic and heat until the onion is cooked. Mix a dash or two more of the tamari with a teaspoon or so of mustard powder or miso and cook for a couple of minutes. At this point, I recently added some halved pickled quail eggs. If you don’t have a regular supply of quail eggs like we do then why not do an egg omelette or similar and add it sliced with the crispy kale. Add a little curry powder, chilli flakes and fresh or dried tarragon, a sweet and beautiful herb.

If you don’t want to do the egg, use finely diced red pepper and zucchini.

Spinach

In our garden, spinach is either a feast or famine.

Spinach and feta muffins

Regardless of my bulging library of  recipe books, I google for recipes all the time. It’s often easier when you have a lot of something from the garden. The polytunnel is full of silver beet. Taste.com is generally reliable and this recipe looked fairly standard. I probably used a bit more than I needed to but it was great to actually taste the silver beet and the muffins were terrific. Initially, we ate one for breakfast with a fried egg but I’ve since eaten a muffin with some scrambled eggs and it was a delicious breakfast. The rest are in the freezer so we’ll be eating them for breakfast for many weekends to come.

Here’s a post on conscious eating and giving up the booze during October – 28 Days.

 

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