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0 In Blog/ Dinners/ From Scratch

Spinach & Ricotta Cannelloni

This Spinach & Ricotta Cannelloni recipe was one of those finds that will now stay safely tucked inside my recipe tool box. Another stellar recipe by Jamie Oliver, this pasta dish is truly delicious and is packed with the goodness of spinach and tomatoes. I can guarantee that it will be a family favourite. This dish is also one of Heartfelt Food’s recommended meals that freezes well for enjoying later. 

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This recipe is very easy to follow. Don’t be surprised at the quantity of the spinach, once it starts cooking and you squeeze all the water out of it, it shrinks down to a small ball that fits inside your hand. So it’s worth it to use the recommended amount. As well, I didn’t have a piping bag so I used a Ziploc bag and cut the corner to squeeze the Cannelloni filling in. This method is much faster than spooning the filling in or trying to use your hands. Just a little tip that could save you some hassle. Otherwise the recipe says it all, enjoy making it and enjoy eating it even more! 

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Spinach & Ricotta Cannelloni
Serves 6
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Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Ingredients
  1. 400 g spinach
  2. Extra-virgin olive oil
  3. 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  4. 1 onion, diced
  5. 2 cloves garlic, squashed
  6. 2 x 400 g tins of tomatoes
  7. 1 by leaf
  8. 1/2 bunch of basil, leaves picked
  9. 1/2 lemon, grated zest of
  10. 250 g ricotta
  11. 1 free-range egg, beaten
  12. 2 tsp grated parmesan
  13. 150 g cannelloni, about 14 tubes
  14. 2 x 125 g mozzarella balls, sliced
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Put the spinach and a drizzle of olive oil in a large pan over a low heat. Add the nutmeg, season with salt and pepper, cover and leave to sweat. Help the kids to stir it occasionally until the spinach has cooked down. Place in a bowl and set to one side to cool a little.
  2. In the same pan, heat a drizzle of olive oil and gently sweat the onion until soft. Add the garlic, tomatoes, bay leaf, a few basil leaves and lemon zest and let it gently simmer for 20 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Have the kids squeeze the moisture out of the spinach into the bowl. Place the spinach on a board so you can chop it up. Return the spinach to the liquid in the bowl and get the kids to stir in the ricotta, beaten egg and parmesan. Season to taste.
  4. Sit the piping bag in a jug, fold its edges over the rim, then spoon in the spinach mixture. Have the kids help pipe the mixture into the cannelloni tubes and lay them in a 20cm x 25cm oven dish.
  5. Spread the tomato sauce over the cannelloni. Scatter over most of the basil, lay the mozzarella slices on top, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and season. Place in the oven and cook for 35–40 minutes or till the top is golden and the pasta tender (if the top browns too fast, cover the dish with foil). Remove from the oven and let stand for a few minutes before serving with the remaining basil.
Heartfelt Food http://heartfeltfood.com/
0 In Blog/ Dinners

Chicken Pot Pie

chicken_pot_pie_heartfelt_foodHave you ever want to make a savoury pie but were a bit too intimidated by the whole process? I found this Chicken Pot Pie recipe and I assure you it’s the perfect first time pie maker recipe. I found it on Meghan Goetz’s site www.twineandbraids.com and she got it from Julie of Lovely Little Kitchen. So now I’m passing it on to you because it’s great find that’s for sure.  I made this pie about 3 weeks ago and it turned out beautifully, absolutely delicious and was perfect for freezing and eating later. 

I suggest having a little fun with the pastry and make some nice shapes on top. I found some great pastry cutters at the local craft shop to add just a little more fun and creativity to this pie. It’s a nice little feeling pulling out a pie from the oven that’s beautifully decorated as well as heartfully delicious! I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did. 

 

 

Chicken Pot Pie
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Ingredients
  1. 4 TBSP Butter
  2. 1/4 cup chopped onion
  3. 1/4 - 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  4. 1/4 cup chopped celery
  5. 1/4 tsp salt
  6. 2 TBSP flour
  7. 2 cups milk
  8. 2 cups milk
  9. 1/2 cup heavy cream
  10. 1 tsp chicken bullion - I used my home made veggie stock paste.
  11. 2 cups chicken, cooked and chopped
  12. 1/2 cup frozen peas
  13. 1/2 tsp fresh thyme
  14. 1 sheet puff pastry
  15. 1 egg
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F and thaw puff pastry.
  2. In a large pot melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, celery, carrot and salt and saute until vegetables are tender.
  3. Sprinkle flour over vegetables and cook for 1-2 minutes. Slowly stir in milk, heavy cream and chicken bullion and bring to a boil. Simmer gently over medium heat until sauce begins to thicken.
  4. Turn heat to low and add in chicken, peas and thyme.
  5. Pour chicken mixture into a 9x9 baking dish. ( I used a pie dish)
  6. Cut puff pastry into 12 equal strips. Lay the strips over the chicken mixture, weaving them to form a lattice pattern. Whisk the egg and brush on top of the puff pastry.
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the puff pastry is golden brown.
Heartfelt Food http://heartfeltfood.com/
0 In Blog/ Dinners/ Soup

Roasted Squash Sweet Potato Soup

As the trees start to lose their leaves and the days start to get cooler I start to get into soup make mood again. I love the endless possibilities with soup, the boundless flavour options and the warm fuzzy feeling you get when you’re eating it.  One of my favourite soups to make is Roasted Squash & Sweet Potato Soup. Now that’s the short name. What I really should be calling it is a roasted medley of butternut squash, sweet potato, carrot, garlic and onion soup.  I simply cut up all the vegetables, roast them, cook them all together with water and veggie stock and then blend. And voila, the easiest yet most beautifully tasty soup!  And you’ll find that the aroma during the roasting of the veggies and cooking the soup is almost equally as enjoyable as the taste of the soup itself! Oh and it’s vegan, gluten free and dairy free! 

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I start by cutting up all the veggies then toss them in olive oil, spread them out on a baking tray and stick them in the oven. After 30 minutes I take out the garlic bulb and onion and leave the rest in for another 10 minutes until they’re golden and brown. By roasting the garlic and onion first it sweetens them both up and calms down the sharpness of their flavour. I absolutely love these flavours in soup. By the time all the vegetables are roasted they’re slightly brown and golden and are beautifully sweet. 

I do the rest in my Thermomix but this can easily be done in a large sauce pan along with a blender of some kind. 

I basically chop up the roasted onion and garlic and saute for a few minutes. Then I add the rest of the roasted veggies along with water and veggie stock paste and cook it up for 15 minutes or so. 

I then blend the soup in my Thermomix for 1 minute until creamy and smooth. I like to add a splash of honey and add some salt to taste to make sure the flavour is just right.  And then I serve the soup with a dollop of yogurt and garnish with parsley. 

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I love this soup because it’s such an easy recipe with very little prep. And it’s my go-to soup recipe for the Fall and Winter season. I hope you enjoy it too. Read my recipe below for a more detailed description of the recipe. 

Roasted Squash & Sweet Potato Soup
Serves 5
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 1 onion
  2. 1 bulb garlic
  3. 5cm piece fresh ginger
  4. 1 carrot
  5. 1 medium size sweet potato
  6. 1/2 large butternut squash
  7. 2 tbsp olive oil
  8. 1 TBSP Veggie Stock Paste *
  9. 1 Bay leaf
  10. 1 Litre Water
  11. 1 TBSP honey (optional)
  12. Salt & Pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F.
  2. Cut up carrot, sweet potato and butternut squash into small equally sized pieces, easy for roasting. Cut onion in half and leave on skin. Cut top of garlic bulb off, leaving rest of garlic bulb intact. Toss all the vegetables along with onion and garlic in olive oil, salt and pepper and lay out evenly spaced on baking tray. Bake for 40 minutes until golden brown. After 30 minutes remove onion and garlic from oven tray.
  3. Once all the vegetables have finished roasting place onion, fresh ginger and roasted garlic (squeeze out roasted garlic from the bulb) in Thermomix bowl and chop for 3 seconds, speed 7. Add 1 TBSP olive oil and saute for 1 minute, 100 degrees, speed 1.
  4. Add roasted sweet potato, butternut squash, carrot, Veggie Stock Paste, bay leaf and water. When adding water it may not be exactly 1 litre of water. Add enough water to reach the 2 litre mark on the Thermomix bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. And cook for 15 minutes, 100 degrees, speed 1. Once cooked, blend for 1 minute on speed 9. Be careful to put a cloth on top of the lid while blending to avoid hot liquid from coming out the top. This is when I add the honey and add more salt and pepper if required.
  5. Enjoy right away or wait a day for the flavours to deepen. They say the soup is always better on the second day but you may not be able to wait that long to enjoy this one!
Notes
  1. * Veggie Stock Paste - this is a vegetable based soup stock that we Thermomix users make using vegetables, herbs and salt and it's basically a stock paste that is fantastic to use in soups, sauces and all kinds of cooking. Alternatively you can use vegetable or chicken stock or stock cubes.
  2. * This soup freezes really well so is great for future meal planning.
Heartfelt Food http://heartfeltfood.com/
0 In Blog/ Dinners

Perfect Lasagna

Lasagna is one of my favourite things to make and eat too! I enjoy playing around with the recipe by adding more vegetables and trying to pack as much nutrition as I can into the dish. I’ve even made a raw lasagna which is extraordinarily delicious which I’ll share in a later post if you can wait. But lasagna is also delicious as the plain classic version too.  This time I made the classic version and it did not disappoint. I made two and froze them for a happy awaiting customer to use at a later date.

The below recipe is from the Thermomix Recipe Community and can easily be made without a Thermomix.  And it really is Perfect Lasagna every time, enjoy!

Recipe

Ingredients

Meat Sauce

  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 carrots
  • 30 g oil
  • 500 g minced meat, Half beef, half pork
  • 400 g chopped tomato, canned
  • 30 g tomato paste
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cube vegetable stock
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp oregano, dried
Bechamel Sauce
  • 50 g Butter
  • 80 g flour
  • 600 g milk
  • 1.5 tsp salt
Other
  • 150 g cheese, Mix of Tasty & Parmesan
  • Fresh lasagna sheets

Method

Grate cheese 10 sec / Spd 8 & set aside.

Meat Sauce

Chop carrots, onion & garlic cloves 5 sec / Spd 5, scrape down sides and chop another 5 sec / Spd 5.Add oil & sauté 2 min / Varoma / Spd 1. Preheat oven to 200° C.Add meat & cook 5 min. / Varoma / Gentle stir setting / counter-clockwise operation. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, stock cube, sugar & oregano and cook 12 min / 100° / counter-clockwise operation / Spd 1-2. Pour into Thermoserver/bowl (doesn’t need to stay warm) & rinse out Thermo bowl.

Bechamel Sauce

Melt butter for 2 min / 100 ° / Spd 1.Add flour & cook for 1 min / 100 ° / Spd 1.Add milk & salt, scrape flour mixture from bottom through milk & mix for 2 sec / Spd 5 to combine. Cook for 8 min / 100 ° / Spd 2. Check if all flour combined by scraping again with spatula, then briefly mix again for 2 sec / Spd 5.

Layering

Spread some bechamel sauce in the bottom of a baking dish, line with lasagne sheets, top with bechamel again, sprinkle some cheese and then start layering meat, lasagne sheets, bechamel, cheese until top of dish is reached. Generously sprinkle cheese on top layer.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Lasagne is done when a toothpick easily pierces through the layers and the cheese is nicely browned. Let rest for at least 20 min before cutting and serving. Enjoy!!