Friday, November 19, 2010

Creamy Butter Bean Pasta

Creamy Butter Bean Pasta

I subscribe to Sanitarium's recipe of the week and a while ago, the recipe was for a Creamy Butter Bean Pasta. I love creamy pastas but since Sophie can't have cow dairy, we have been limited in what we can make. Having discovered oat milk with goat cheese makes a great béchamel sauce topping for lasagna, I thought I would give them a go for this recipe. I have used their recipe as a base and changed a few of the ingredients to what we have on hand, plus I love mushrooms in creamy pasta!

  • This quantity would serve 6 for a dinner.
  • The lemon juice contains the vitamin C which helps with the bioavailability of the non-haem iron in the beans.
  • Their recipe calls for an onion in the method but isn't in the list of ingredients. I tend to use shallots now.
  • I used basil, oregano and thyme from our herb garden.
  • I used a mix of button and Swiss brown mushrooms.
  • It was not really my cup of tea, funny texture for the sauce and well, still not that keen on goat cheese, but Greg had 3 bowls of it! I'm not sure what the girls thought really. Amy didn't particularly like the sauce either but still ate her bowlful. Sophie seemed to like it (she does love her goat cheese) but couldn't get through all her bowl.


250g packet buckwheat spirals pasta
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 shallot, thinly sliced
400g can butter beans, drained and rinsed
2 Tablespoons flour
2 cups oat milk
50g goat cheddar, grated
40 mL lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs
200g sliced mushrooms
350g green beans, topped and tailed


  • Cook pasta according to packet directions.
  • Heat oil in a large frypan and sauté garlic and shallot.
  • Add the butter beans and heat through.
  • Place bean mixture, cheese, lemon juice, flour and milk in a blender and purée until smooth.
  • Sauté mushrooms in frypan.
  • Return bean mixture to pan.
  • Add herbs and green beans and simmer until slightly thickened.
  • Stir cooked and drained pasta through sauce.
  • Serve with more grated cheese on top.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I was given a wake up call this week why I started this blog. I wanted to journal what we ate, what I read about, nutrition facts, restaurant reviews of where we eat (in case we do/don't want to go back), keep meal plans handy and keep recipes at hand of dishes we have all enjoyed so we can repeat them when we want and the girls can have them in the future.

As we were planning this week's meals, Amy's request was for a "soupy, chicken curry with rice we had while sitting in the lounge room one night". We all looked at each other wondering what it was and I had no idea which meal she was talking about or how I made it. I have vague recollections of sitting in the lounge room to eat dinner (I think we have done it twice!) but no idea about what we ate or of cooking such a dish. She, however, obviously really enjoyed it! 

Unfortunately, I have started trying to write this blog as more of a what do other people want to read and is that photo good enough type of journal rather than my personal journal, thus taking too long to write, forgetting recipes and meals and missing many reviews. 

So, as of tonight, I must make a conscious effort to go back to my journal and if other people enjoy it and get something from it, great, if they don't, well...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Macadamias - Sweet or Savoury?

Yesterday, I bought some macadamias. I LOVE macadamias and could probably just continue to eat them natural but they sat looking at me today begging me to do something different with them. It got me thinking - should I do sweet or savoury? What do macadamias call for?

There are so many options; shortbread, with mangos, salads, lightly salted, cake, roasted, toffee, with prawns, avocado, chocolate....

What to do?

What do macadamias want?

We sat taste testing natural macadamias at the dinner table tonight, brainstorming some ideas.

How do you like macadamias?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Bitsa Pie

I'm having a big clean out in all parts of the house at the moment; clearing out my unused craft stashes, furniture, and the kitchen pantry, fridge and freezer.

So tonight for dinner was "Bitsa Pie"! I'm going to preface it by saying that at least the mince was free-range and the garlic home grown. It's not a pretty pie and not something I'm used to making. The frozen pastries were probably not ideally fresh, cracked a bit getting them out as well, but it did end up being REALLY delicious and got a big thumbs up from the girls, with even Sophie eating it "in a timely manner"! (That is a big thing here). I'm thinking pies may appear more regularly on the dinner table with more experimentation with the fillings.

"Bitsa Pie" Inside (looks are deceiving - tasted great!)


1 sheet frozen shortcrust pastry
1 sheets frozen puff pastry
1 Tablespoon rice bran oil
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
2 shallots, finely chopped
500g beef mince
500g packet mixed frozen vegetables (this one had peas, corn, beans, carrot, potato)
1 Tablespoon plain flour
1 Tablespoon mixed dried herbs
1/4 cup water
splash balsamic vinegar
salt, pepper to taste


  • Prepare filling mixture ahead of time to cool.
  • Heat oil in a large frying pan and saute garlic and shallots.
  • Add beef and cook though then add herbs and vegetables.
  • Cook vegies through then add flour, stir through and add water.
  • When mix has thickened, add vinegar, salt and pepper to taste.
To make up:
  • Defrost both sheets of pastry
  • Preheat oven to 180ºC
  • Line 23cm pie dish with shortcrust pastry, line with baking paper and pie weights* and bake blind for 10 minutes.
  • Remove paper and weights and bake for a further 5 minutes until pastry is golden.
  • Spoon in mixture (it may not all fit so keep any extra aside for just eating!)
  • Cover with puff pastry and cut a small hole in the top to allow steam to escape.
  • Bake for 20 minutes until top is golden brown.
* You can buy reusable ceramic pie weights or use rice or beans.

Serve with salad and enjoy :)