I am not a food blogger. In fact, when I look at food blogs, I generally skip all the chit-chat and pretty pictures and head straight to the recipe. And even then, I don’t really follow what they tell me to do. I read through the ingredients, see if I have everything that they say I need, omit from their recipe what I don’t have, and make it up as I go along.

So the irony of my writing an article about food and cooking is not lost on me. If this was me reading I’d already be at the end sussing out my ingredients. So if you must, skip on through, take what you like, leave what you don’t, because karma, as they say…

But here is why I’m writing a food piece:

I love it! I love to cook food, love to share food, love to make food for my hangry demon children (who turn into sweet angel star faces when they’re tummies are full) and, obvs, I love to eat food. I love food from all over the place, all different countries and regions of different countries. When my best friend and I decide we’re having a dinner together, nothing big, just her family and mine, we need a couple of planning discussions because we love a theme. Entrée and main and dessert all need to match, you can’t have a pre-dinner snack of corn chips and salsa and then a Vietnamese main course noodle dish with a dense British comfort food pudding.

That, of course, would be outrageous.

And the reasons I’m writing a Fast ‘Whole’ Food piece are:

  1. I’m always in a rush to get food happening, (either for my own or others’ hangry-ness or because I have little patience in waiting for beans to soak, onions to caramelise or bread to rise);
  2. My kids and I don’t cope too well with processed foods and ‘numbers’ (colours, flavours, preservatives etc), and;
  3. It’s just more fun and healthy to cook from scratch (even if that means we cheat in the beans/onions/bread department).

I think that cooking is yoga, too because I get so into it.

I don’t think about anything else while I’m doing it. When I’m on the mat, I have no brain space for shopping lists or errands I need to run or what such and such said about whoever, I can only practice. I can breathe and see what happens. And I know that cooking isn’t always a creative or inspired activity, we all eat beans on toast from time to time, just to have some dinner, but when we’re on fire, when the stars are aligned, delicious food filled with love comes out of the kitchen and people can feel it. Putting love into your food, like into your garden, or into a painting or a drawing or a poem or your yoga practice, all have a profound and tangible effect. All roads lead to Rome!

Also, although I’m a part time vegetarian now (don’t judge me) and I’ve attempted both veganism and eating and cooking meat, I’m really just better at cooking vegetarian dishes. Whatever recipes follow should surprise even the meatiest of meat eaters, because they’ve been tested on my carnivorous off spring.

So in keeping with my needing a theme and all of our time restrictions here is an snack and a main that match, that are super quick to make, that take less than half an hour to be on the table and will fill your tummy to the brim with happiness*.

* If you don’t like chick peas/garbanzo beans/dairy, then switch the word “happiness” with “this is why I don’t like food blogs.”

Theme: Mediterranean-ish

Beetroot Dip with Garlicky Cheesy Pita Breads

Serves 4

You will need:

  • 2 fresh medium sized beetroots, peeled and grated
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  • ½ cup Greek/plain yoghurt
  • Freshly ground sea/pink Himalayan salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 4 Pita breads
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 4 tsp crushed garlic cloves (from the jar) or 2 teaspoons dried garlic granules

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 240deg C/460 deg F.
  2. Heat medium pan over a medium heat.
  3. Add cumin seeds and toast until fragrant.
  4. Add 1 tbs olive oil and warm.
  5. Add grated beetroots and cook until softened (5ish mins).
  6. Remove from heat and let cool while you make pita chips.
  7. Place the pita breads on two oven trays.
  8. Spread 1 tsp crushed garlic or sprinkle ½ tsp granulated garlic on each pita bread.
  9. Evenly divide the parmesan cheese and sprinkle over each pita bread.
  10. Drizzle olive oil over each bread and put in oven for 5-10 minutes until the cheese is melted and the sides of the breads have started to turn golden brown.
  11. In a bowl, mix the cooled beetroot, yoghurt, lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil. Taste and season with salt and pepper accordingly. You can drizzle a little more oil over the top to serve.
  12. Remove the breads from the oven and allow to cool slightly before slicing and serving with the beetroot dip.

Veggie Souvlaki w Tzatziki

Serves 4

You will need:

4-6 Button Mushrooms
4-6 flat bread/pita bread/wraps of your choice
3 medium tomatoes
Fetta cheese (or vegan substitute)
2 Lebanese cucumbers
½ – 1 Cup Greek or coconut yogurt
2 Tins of chick peas/garbanzo beans, drained and washed thoroughly
1 Red capsicum/bell pepper
Olive oil
1 lemon
Dried oregano
Your favourite olives
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper pepper
Ground sumac (if you have any! No worries if not!)

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 180deg C/360deg F
  2. Cut the mushrooms in half and in an oven proof dish, mix in the chick peas/garbanzo beans. Over the top drizzle about 1 tbs olive oil and juice of half a lemon. Sprinkle 1-2 teaspoons of dried oregano, 1 garlic clove, a little pepper and ½ tsp sumac over the top. Stir around until bits of everything are all over everything else.
  3. Put in oven for 10-12 mins.
  4. While that’s cooking, chop up your salad veggies into cubes – tomatoes, one cucumber and the red capsicum/bell pepper.
  5. Crumble your fetta cheese.
  6. Get some olives on a plate.
  7. Into a bowl grate the other cucumber, add 2-4 tablespoons of Greek yoghurt, the other garlic clove, drizzle a little bit of olive oil, squeeze of half a lemon, salt pepper and mix. You can add another drizzle of olive oil and a little bit of sumac over the top garnish.
  8. Put the pita/flat breads/wraps in the oven for 2ish minutes just to warm through.
  9. Check your mushrooms/chick peas- mushrooms should be cooked and chick peas may be starting to brown a little.
  10. Wrap it all up and eat the love!

Let me know if you try these recipes! And share your faves with me in the comments 🙂