Happy New Year! Hope your holidays have been wonderful. Our family has had a lovely break in Central Otago enjoying all a holiday should be about - lots of sunshine, lake swimming, bike-riding, barbecues with family and friends, and lovely catch-ups with some of our oldest mates. Add a little bit of rest and relaxation into the mix (admittedly, a little hard to do at times with four kids in tow including one very busy toddler), a few day trips to explore new places, some good walks in beautiful locations, and a memorable meal at Bistro Gentil in Wanaka on our last night - it really felt like a proper holiday. Back home now and feeling refreshed and ready to begin 2018, and excited about all the plans for Temple+Co for this year.
For the first blog post of the year, I have collected some of our current favourite recipes to share with you. As a dedicated foodie, from a family of foodies, I love spending time in the kitchen, and I have an alarmingly large collection of cookbooks (which seems to keep growing - I did buy a bookshelf to house all my cookbooks and food magazines, but I may need to get a second one soon) full of favourite recipes that I refer to, but then generally just do my own thing, depending on what is in the fridge at the time. At the start of the year, when there is so much amazing fresh produce about, it is pretty easy to be inspired by what is on offer at the farmers’ market and the fruit stalls. We were lucky enough to be given a huge box of cherries from friends in Cromwell who have an amazing cherry tree in their garden (it produces about 80kgs of cherries a season - 80kgs!!!) so cherries feature in a couple of these recipes, and my parents have a property in Clyde with several apricot trees that have had a bumper season, so we have been using them up in lots of different ways. I’m a big fan of the philosophy that good fresh produce doesn’t need a lot done to it, and I’m not a complicated cook for the most part (I did make a croquembouche once, but it’s unlikely I’ll ever feel the need to do so again) so the recipes are simple and don’t require a large number of ingredients. Enjoy!
Cherry Berry Smoothie Bowls
After any good holiday (read: any holiday where much delicious food and drink has been consumed), it feels like time to reset and choose some lighter options. These smoothie bowls were delicious - if you prefer to drink your smoothie, just add more almond milk.
12-15 pitted cherries
1/4 C blueberries
1/4 C raspberries
1/2 C almond milk
1 t white chia seeds
1/2 C Greek yoghurt
plus a few blueberries, coconut chips and chia seeds to garnish
Add the banana, cherries, berries, almond milk, white chia seeds and yoghurt into a blender or NutriBullet. Blitz until smooth. Pour into bowls, and garnish with blueberries, coconut chips and chia seeds. Serves 2-3.
Summer Soba Noodle Salad with Avocado and Green Herb Dressing
Salads are so easy at this time of year, and I am a big fan of one-dish dinners because I love being in the kitchen to cook, but not to clean up (who does?) so this noodle salad works for me. My kids all love noodles so it goes down well (albeit a little messily) with them too.
Ingredients for the salad:
1 packet of soba noodles (270g)
1 T rice bran oil
1 T soy sauce
1 t peanut oil
3 courgettes, thinly sliced
1-2 T olive oil
pinch of sea salt
1 C edamame beans (frozen is fine, just thaw them in warm water)
4-5 radishes, sliced
1 spring onion, chopped
1 avocado, peeled and sliced
Arrange sliced courgettes on a baking tray in a single layer, and drizzle with olive oil and sea salt. Bake at 180 degrees C for 20 minutes, or until starting to turn golden/brown. Remove from oven and place on a plate lined with a paper towel, and leave to cool.
Cook soba noodles as per the instructions on the packet, then drain and rinse in cool water. Return to pot and add the rice bran oil, soy sauce and peanut oil. Toss through and cover.
Ingredients for the dressing:
juice of 1 lemon
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
large handful of parsley
a few stems of coriander, half a dozen mint leaves and a handful of basil (omit coriander if not to taste)
1/3 C - 1/2 C extra virgin olive oil
1 T mayonnaise (or use plain Greek yoghurt)
pinch of sea salt
Place all ingredients in a food processor and blitz until smooth. Dressing will be thick, but if too thick for your liking, add a little more olive oil.
Arrange noodles on a dish and top with the courgettes, edamame, radishes, spring onions and avocado. Serve with the dressing. Serves 5-6 as a side, or 4 as a main.
Roasted Apricots and Cherries with Coconut and Lime Mascarpone
We hardly ever have dessert but with all this amazing stonefruit around it would be wrong not to. If you prefer, add more maple syrup (or you could sprinkle the fruit with brown sugar) to make the fruit sweeter.
Ingredients for the fruit:
15-20 apricots, stoned and halved
20 cherries, pitted
1-2 T maple syrup
2 T olive oil
Lay fruit out in a single layer on a baking paper-lined roasting dish. Drizzle with the olive oil and maple syrup and bake at 180 degrees C for 20 minutes. Turn off oven and leave to cool down.
Ingredients for the mascarpone:
zest of 1 lime
squeeze of lime juice
1 T maple syrup
1/4 C toasted coconut chips (to toast, add to a non-stick pan over medium heat and turn until golden brown).
Combine all ingredients except for the coconut. Serve in dollops over the warm fruit, and sprinkle with the coconut chips. Serves 4-5 (the kids preferred to have theirs with ice-cream). Any leftover fruit is delicious as a muesli topping for breakfast.