Author: KiahsKitchen

Pumpkin, Kale and Risoni Soup

Pumpkin, Kale and Risoni Soup

Hello Friends, Welcome back to another Kiah’s Kitchen recipe post! Today I am sharing one of my new favourite winter soup recipes; Pumpkin, Kale and Risoni Soup. If you have followed my blog for a while you probably already know how much I LOVE soup 

Roasted Sweet Potato, Ginger and Coconut Soup

Roasted Sweet Potato, Ginger and Coconut Soup

Hi Friends, Welcome back to another Kiah’s Kitchen recipe post! Today I am sharing one of my favourite soup recipes of all time, Roasted Sweet Potato, Ginger and Coconut Soup! This is a super easy, affordable and healthy plant based meal option that will keep 

How and why you should make your own vegetable stock!

How and why you should make your own vegetable stock!

Hi Friends!

Welcome back to another Kiah’s Kitchen post!

Today’s post is kind of a recipe post, combined with a post about minimising waste, eating real food, frugal living and saving money. All my favourite topics in one!

So, making your own veggie stock. If you are reading my blog posts, I assume you eat plenty of fresh food and veggies (or you’re trying to). And I assume you are like most people (including myself) and don’t eat the WHOLE vegetable i.e. you peel your carrots and chop off the ends, you don’t eat the onion skin, you chop the ends off your zucchini, you chop the tops of your celery, you don’t eat the stems of your fresh herbs etc.

It’s not that these parts of the vegetable don’t contain nutrients, in fact they contain quite a lot, it’s just that they aren’t as desirable to eat. But what if there were a way you could get all of the nutrients and flavour out of these veggie scraps without eating them! After all, what else would you be doing with them, throwing them in the bin or in your compost? You may as well get the nutrients first!

AND while you are getting all of this delicious flavour and nutrition, you are minimising food wastage, saving money and avoiding processed food, packaging and preservatives. It’s a win all around.

If you need vegetable stock for your recipes, i.e. a soup, a stew, a curry, whatever it may be, you may be in the habit of simply purchasing this from the supermarket as part of your regular shop. What’s the problem with this?

Well firstly, it’ll cost you money sometimes around $4 or more depending on the brand and quality. Secondly, you have no control over the ingredients, I had a look at a couple of the better brands in Australia and have screen shot their ingredients below. Even these ‘organic’ or ‘100% natural’ marketed products contain things like sugar, glucose, sunflower oil, flavouring and maltodextrin.

You know what homemade veggie stock contains? WHATEVER YOU DECIDE TO PUT IN IT. There are not preservatives, no need for sugar, no processed vegetable oils, just pure vegetables and all their nutritious goodness!

Cost and nutrition aside, buying packaged products is of course contributing to plastic/environmental waste that can be completely avoided if you make your own stock.

OK, so assuming I have successfully convinced you to give making your own veggie stock a go, read on to learn how to do it!

To make your own veggie stock, you’ll first need to save up enough veggie scraps, the easiest way to do this is to have a container in your freezer, and every night when you cook dinner just add your veggie scraps to it, add your celery tops, your carrot peel, your leftover herbs, whatever it may be. You can put pretty much any vegetable in!

Once you have saved up around four – five cups worth of scraps, you’re ready to make your stock!

What you’ll need:

  • A large pot
  • Water
  • Salt
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 4-5 cups worth of vegetable scraps
  • Any additional veggies/herbs for flavouring
  • Glass jars to store your stock in
  • A strainer

Making the stock:

  1. Add all of your veggie scraps to the large pot
  2. Add the bay leaves and any additional veggies/herbs for flavouring, I will usually crush some cloves of garlic with the side of my knife (no need to peel) and add them, along with an onion quartered (again no need to peel) and any other dried herbs or seasoning
  3. Fill the pot with water until all of the veggies are well covered and the water line is an additional 2-3 inches above the vegetables
  4. Season well with plenty of salt (and pepper if you wish)
  5. Place the pot over a medium – high heat and bring to a gentle boil
  6. Once boiling, stir and turn down heat to a low simmer, partially cover and let cook for 1-2 hours
  7. Once the stock has finished cooking, strain out the vegetables using a sieve and pour the golden liquid into glass jars

Storing the stock

There are a few options for storing, if you are going to use the stock during that week, the refrigerator is the best way to go. If you’re not going to use it (or all of it) during that week, freezing is best to keep it fresh.

To Refrigerate: Once you have poured the stock into jars, allow to cool then screw on the lids tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to five days

To Freeze: There are two options for freezing, pick the one that works best for you

  • In jars: Allow stock to cool completely, ensure you are using freezer safe jars, leave at least and inch of space at the top of the jar for the liquid to expand as it freezes and leave the lid off until it has frozen then screw on tightly – defrost as needed
  • As ice blocks: Once cooled, pour stock into silicone muffin tray moulds and freeze, once completely frozen you can pop them out into a container and store in the freezer so you can easily grab 1-2 frozen blocks of stock as you need it rather than defrosting a whole jar – they should not stick together as long as you are quick when getting them out of the moulds and back into the freezer in a container

Congratulations, you now have your very own, healthy, unprocessed, practically free, vegetable stock to use in your delicious cooking creations.

What to do with the veggie scraps you strained out of the stock? COMPOST THEM! While it isn’t recommended to compost cooked foods especially as they have added oils, fats and other ingredients, composting the plain boiled veggie scraps will be fine!

I will usually make a batch of veggie stock every two weeks or so and store in the fridge or freezer depending on when I am planning to use it. Perfect for soups, stews, curries, risotto, pasta sauce, casseroles, paella etc.

I hope this post has inspired you to give making your own vegetable stock a go, it is so easy, so healthy, will save you money, prevents unnecessary food waste and reduces the impact of single use packaging on the environment.

If you like these kinds of posts, feel free to subscribe to my blog via email so you receive a notification every time I publish something new. If you have any tips and tricks for minimising food waste and saving money in your kitchen, please feel free to share them in the comments below or over on my Instagram page, I’d love to hear from you.

Until next time, stay healthy and happy!

Xx Kiah

 

Creamy mushroom and rocket pasta (dairy free and vegan)

Creamy mushroom and rocket pasta (dairy free and vegan)

Hi Friends, Welcome back to another recipe post! So apparently I’ve been on a bit of a pasta kick as my last two recipe posts have both been pasta recipes (what can I say, breastfeeding  = carb life). Today’s recipe is a super creamy and 

Summer Fennel and Zucchini Pasta

Summer Fennel and Zucchini Pasta

Hi Friends, Wow, it has been a hot minute since I have posted a recipe to this blog, apologies for my absence I have been busy growing and birthing a human, who arrived safely on the 22nd of December 2019 – I’ll save the birth 

Easy Leek and Lemon Risotto with Green Peas and Spinach

Easy Leek and Lemon Risotto with Green Peas and Spinach

Hi Friends,

Welcome back to another Kiah’s Kitchen recipe post! Today I am sharing this easy yet delicious Leek and Lemon Risotto with Green Peas and Spinach.

This recipe came about for a few reasons, firstly, my lemon tree is doing exceptionally well right now, it is overcrowded with lemons and I need to find some creative ways to use them!

Secondly, I cleaned out my pantry a few weeks back (when it comes to my pantry and my fridge I am an organisation freak) which is pretty clean at the best of times, but I did a little stock take of what I had in there and reorganised some jars etc. When I did this I cam across a packet of unopened arborio rice that need to be used by November 2019. Now, I HATE food waste so that automatically meant risotto was on the menu at some point in September and probably will be again in October.

Thirdly, after the success of my last risotto recipe which I received a lot of great feedback on (recipe here) I decided to try creating another!

So, all I knew is I had to make a lemon risotto but as far as what to add to it I decided to see what was on special at the green grocers, which is where I found the bunch of three leeks on sale and huge bag of baby spinach that I buy every week. I added in the peas because I feel like they go well with lemon and added a bit more green!

Risotto is a bit of a labour of love, it’s not hard but just requires a lot of attention compared to something that you just stick in the oven and forget about. I don’t mind this too much though, the ingredients took no time at all to prep and it can be pretty relaxing to stand there and gently stir the rice, you could multitask if that’s your thing, maybe chat to a friend, listen to a podcast, audio book or even a YouTube video, you never know what you might learn.

The flavours in this dish turned out great, the lemon was just the right amount without being too overpowering and the leek added the lovely delicate allium flavour that it needed.

I do hope you give this recipe a try, maybe you have a lemon tree of your own or a friend/family member has gifted you some off theirs. If you do make this, please let me know how you liked it either in the comments below or over on Instagram, I love hearing from you! If you’d like to see more recipes like this, feel free to subscribe via email so you are notified each time I publish a new post.

Until next time, take care and eat well!

X Kiah

P.S. Apologies for the quality of photos in this post, once I finished cooking and pulled out my camera I realised both batteries were flat (fail) so ended up taking the photos using Nathan’s iPhone!

Easy Leek and Lemon Risotto with Green Peas and Spinach

This is a deliciously flavourful and easy to make risotto using fresh lemon, leek, green peas and spinach. The lemon flavour is refreshing without being overpowering, a great recipe for spring but would work at any time of year! The veggies could also be swapped out for whatever you have on hand, don't be afraid to experiment!

Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Easy Risotto, Leek and Lemon Risotto, Lemon Risotto, Risotto
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 small leeks washed and thinly sliced, white and light green section only
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled and finely diced or minced
  • 1.5 cups arborio rice rinsed
  • 2 whole lemons zested
  • 1 heaped cup frozen green peas
  • 2 large handfuls fresh baby spinach
  • 5 cups quality vegetable stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese (plus more for serving) substitute nutritional yeast for vegan/dairy free alternative
  • 1/5 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 tsp salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Pour stock and water into a small pot and bring to a gentle simmer over a medium heat before reducing to a low heat to keep warm

  2. While the stock/water is warming, prepare all ingredients as per the ingredient list above - to prepare the leeks, make sure to use only the white and light green section, slice in half lengthways, thouroughly rinse with water and then thinly slice

  3. Place a large wok or pan over a medium heat and add olive oil

  4. Once oil is warm, add the sliced leek and minced garlic, saute for 3 - 4 minutes until transluscent

  5. Add the rinsed aborio rice and stir well to coat in the remaining oil, saute for 3 minutes or so until rice looks a little transluscent

  6. Add the white wine and stir well until it is absorbed into the rice, you may need to adjust the heat a little lower

  7. Add 1-2 ladles of warm stock and continue to stir rice gently until stock is absorbed before adding another 1-2 ladles of stock - repeat this process until you rice is cooked

  8. You should be able to start testing the rice after about 15 minutes, however it will generally take about 20 minutes, the rice is ready when you can easily bite through, there should be a little firmness in the middle (you don't want mush) but it shouldn't be crunchy

  9. Add in the zest of the two lemons, the juice of one of the lemons, the parmesan cheese, the green peas and the baby spinach

  10. Stir well until peas are cooked through and spinach is wilted

  11. Season with salt and pepper to taste

  12. Serve in bowls topped with liberal amounts of parmesan cheese (or nutritional yeast) and freshly chopped parsley leaves

  13. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Risotto is generally best eaten fresh, rice doesn't tend to freeze too well, however if you do happen to have leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge and use within 1-2 days. Instead of microwaving I recommend heating on the stove with some more stock.

If you don't have the vegetables called for in this recipe, why not use what you do have? This is completely customisable you can substitute for the produce you have on hand!

Easy Sourdough Starter Pancakes

Easy Sourdough Starter Pancakes

Hi Friends, Welcome to another Kiah’s Kitchen recipe post! Today I am sharing these easy and delicious sourdough starter pancakes. As any regular readers would know, I am always on a mission to reduce my food waste (and plastic waste) and cook more from scratch. 

September Grocery Budget Challenge: Week 3

September Grocery Budget Challenge: Week 3

Hello Friends! Welcome back to my September Grocery Budget Challenge, I can’t believe we are in week three, where is the month going! If you missed out on week one and two, you can find them here: September Grocery Budget Challenge: Week 1 September Grocery 

September Grocery Budget Challenge: Week 2

September Grocery Budget Challenge: Week 2

Hello hello hello!

Welcome to another Kiah’s Kitchen blog post! This is the second instalment of my September Grocery Budget Challenge! If you haven’t seen week one, you can check it out here.

For those that need a quick recap – this challenge is all about spending less on groceries without sacrificing food quality. After all, who doesn’t love extra money leftover for other things? Nathan and I have our first baby arriving in December and in preparation for this I’m directing as much of our income towards savings as possible. What is my budget you may ask? I’ve allocated $120 per week to cover all groceries AND household items. For reference we live about an hour out of Melbourne CBD in Australia and for our location/life style, $120 is an achievable challenge, previously I would spend over $200 per week on groceries for the two of us. So, without further ado, let’s jump in to the post.

This week’s grocery shop

For the second week of September, I spent a grand total of $151.91 which is $31.91 over budget (whoops!). There are a few reasons for this, the 5kg bag of rice was half price at Coles, we were’t out of rice but this is such good value for money that I make sure to get it when on sale. Secondly, Nathan needed more coffee, we buy the big 400g jar of Moccona which I did get for $14 instead of $24 as they were also on special at Coles #Winning. Lastly, I didn’t do such a great job of planning my meals around produce sales this week, I was really craving an asparagus pasta so went ahead and purchased the ingredients despite the asparagus being $4 per bunch (and I bought two) and the same with the cauliflower soup (heads of cauliflower were $4 each). This price for asparagus and cauliflower is completely fine, but when you are trying to stick to a budget, you’ll get more produce for your money if you adapt your recipes/meal plan to what is on sale. Anyway, you live and you learn and even with the overspending it is still much lower than what I was spending previously so I’ll consider it a win. Below is the breakdown of what I spent and where.

Local Green Grocer – $67.96

  • Pink Lady Apples x 2kg
  • Walnuts x 400g
  • Brown Onions x 715g
  • Sweet Potato x 470g
  • White Potato x 300g
  • Dried Thyme Leaves
  • Dried Parsley Leaves
  • Ground Cumin
  • Ginger x 9g
  • Broccolo x 730g
  • Avocado x 1kg
  • Whole Cauliflower x 2
  • Baby Spinach Leaves x 500g
  • Bananas x 1.3kg
  • Zucchini x 1kg
  • Bunch of Asparagus x 2
  • Lebanese Cucumber x 170g
  • Red Chilli x 1
  • Tomatoes x 510g
  • Cherry Tomatoes x 1 punnet
  • Fresh Curry Leaves
  • Bunch Parsley x 1
  • Purple Garlic x 1 bulb
  • Strawberries x 2 punnets

Aldi – $40.35

  • Toilet Paper
  • Organic Milk
  • Organic Plain Yoghurt
  • Vanilla Yoghurt
  • Apple Mango Juice
  • Block of Extra Tasty Cheese
  • Can of Coconut Milk x 2
  • Flavoured Tuna x 4
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Sardines in Springwater x 2 (for the dogs)
  • Organic Spaghetti
  • Blueberries x 1 punnet
  • Light Rye Bread

Coles – $43.00

  • Basmati Rice x 5kg
  • Moccona Coffee x 400g
  • Lindt Dark Chocolate x 2 blocks
  • Tuna in Springwater x 425g
  • Almond Milk
  • Babybel Natural Cheese x 200g

Meal Plan for the second week of September

Week Commencing 08/09/19
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Breakfast Organic sourdough toast with peanut butter or Vegemite and butter

Kiah: Porridge made with oats and almond milk, topped with chopped banana, almond butter and hemp seeds

Nathan: Weetbix with honey and milk

Kiah: Overnight oats with natural yoghurt, almond milk, chia seeds, fresh berries and chopped walnuts (Kiah)

Nathan: Weetbix with honey and milk

Kiah: Overnight oats with natural yoghurt, almond milk, chia seeds, fresh berries and chopped walnuts (Kiah)

Nathan: Weetbix with honey and milk

Kiah: Overnight oats with natural yoghurt, almond milk, chia seeds, fresh berries and chopped walnuts (Kiah)

Nathan: Weetbix with honey and milk

Kiah: Green smoothie with frozen banana, fresh spinach, hemp seeds, almond milk, peanut butter and tropeaka protein powder

Nathan: Weetbix with honey and milk

Toast with eggs or oats with leftover fruit
Morning Tea Coffee out with Nathan Kiah: Coffee with Sarah

Nathan: Vanilla yoghurt and piece of fruit

Kiah: Homemade banana muffin, raw almonds and cup of tea

Nathan: Vanilla yoghurt and piece of fruit

Kiah: Homemade banana muffin, raw almonds and cup of tea

Nathan: Vanilla yoghurt and piece of fruit

Kiah: Homemade banana muffin, raw almonds and cup of tea

Nathan: Vanilla yoghurt and piece of fruit

Kiah: Homemade banana muffin, raw almonds and cup of tea

Nathan: Vanilla yoghurt and piece of fruit

Raw almonds and leftover fruit with a cup of tea
Lunch Salad using leftover greens/produce from last week Sweet potato ginger soup with avocado on toast Sweet potato ginger soup with avocado on toast Sweet potato ginger soup with avocado on toast Salmon salad bowl with quinoa, cucumber, spinach, tomato and a honey mustard dressing Toasted sandwhich BBQ at Nikki’s house
Afternoon Tea Fruit and cup of tea Kiah: Natural Babybel cheese round and an apple

Nathan: Homemade banana muffin and piece of fruit

Kiah: Natural Babybel cheese round and an apple

Nathan: Homemade banana muffin and piece of fruit

Kiah: Natural Babybel cheese round and an apple

Nathan: Homemade banana muffin and piece of fruit

Kiah: Natural Babybel cheese round and an apple

Nathan: Homemade banana muffin and piece of fruit

Kiah: Natural Babybel cheese round and an apple

Nathan: Homemade banana muffin and piece of fruit

Homemade banana muffin
Dinner Lemon, asparagus and tuna spaghetti with fresh herbs and chilli Lemon, asparagus and tuna spaghetti with fresh herbs and chilli Black eyed pea curry with spinach and zucchini on rice Black eyed pea curry with spinach and zucchini on rice Roasted garlic and cauliflower soup with toast on the side Roasted garlic and cauliflower soup with toast on the side Date night/take away
Dessert Dark chocolate and cup of tea Dark chocolate and cup of tea Dark chocolate and cup of tea Dark chocolate and cup of tea Dark chocolate and cup of tea Dark chocolate and cup of tea Dark chocolate and cup of tea



Breakfast

Again for breakfast, Nathan and I are sticking to our tried and true meals. The only difference is on Monday, I had the day off work so I was able to cook warm porridge at home rather than grabbing overnight oats on the go. To make the overnight oats, I throw together oats (duh!), natural yoghurt, almond milk, chia seeds and some maple syrup and top them with chopped berries, chopped walnuts and sunflower seeds. Now that the weather is getting a bit warmer I’m also loving my green smoothies which I had on Friday. Nath loves his Weet-Bix and honey with milk and a glass of juice.

Lunch

I actually hardly had to buy anything for lunches this week apart from bread, cheese, tuna and some salad ingredients (tomato and cucumber and I’ll use some of the spinach). The roasted sweet potato soup we planned on having Monday – Wednesday I cooked a couple of weeks back and put in the freezer as I had some sweet potatoes I needed to use up (I’ll post a recipe for this soup soon). This mean’t my weekend was a little easier as I had one less thing to meal prep. Our plans changed slightly as I was out for lunch on Monday with a Friend so didn’t have soup and on Tuesday Nathan took leftover pasta from the night before as we still had some left even after eating it for two nights! We both ended up having soup Wednesday/Thursday and our toasties on Friday which is what the cheese and tomato was for (and tuna for Nathan). Yet again, the quinoa was not used from last week and will stay in the pantry for next time!

Saturday we had a BBQ with friends where everyone bought something to share, I made a delicious rocket, roasted pumpkin and green bean salad with haloumi and toasted pine nuts. I also made a lemon tahini dressing to go along side it. These ingredients didn’t come out of our grocery budget.

Sunday we were also out, we visited some of our close friends on the Mornington Peninsula, the boys went mountain bike riding at Red Hill and Karolina and I went to Conscious Cravings for coffee before making sandwiches back at their house when the boys returned. It was such a great afternoon with Karolina, we had a lot to catch up on and talk about, I’m so grateful to have friends like that in my life!

Dinner

I tend to plan to cook 3-4 nights per week, the nights in between we have leftovers, this works well for us as it is easy, saves us time, reduces dishes and minimises food waste. One night we’ll usually have fish, we might have meat another night and the rest of our meals are vegetarian or vegan.

Sunday night I threw together this Lemon, Asparagus and Tuna Spaghetti with fresh herbs and chilli (I’ll share the recipe soon) as I was really craving Asparagus for some reason. We also have a heap of lemons from our tree at the moment and I had leftover fresh dill from last week to use up. This turned out great and provided dinner for Sunday and Monday nights!

Tuesday night Nathan put together this Black Eyed Pea Curry with zucchini and spinach! I bought the dried black eyed peas on impulse last week and decided to create a recipe with them. As I was out at prenatal yoga on Tuesday, I had to write out my recipe idea for Nathan to follow, it’s actually quite difficult to make up a recipe without testing it yourself and being able to adjust as you go but I’m pleased to say, it was a success! This recipe is up on the blog now if you want to check it out, click here!

Wednesday was leftovers of the Black Eyed Pea Curry, even better the second day!

Thursday I made a batch of this deliciously creamy Roasted Cauliflower Soup by Cookie and Kate. I make the recipe a little differently, I use two heads of cauliflower, I roast the garlic (about four cloves) with the cauliflower rather than adding it later and I add in a potato, adjusting the liquid as necessary. Unfortunately my potato was a little worse for wear so I composted that and added in some zucchini instead. This soup is amazing, so creamy and has no milk or cream! We served this with some toast, fresh parsley and Parmesan.

Friday was leftover soup (again, even better the next day)!

Saturday we were pretty tired and full from the BBQ that afternoon so we stayed in and cooked up a heap of veggies that were leftover (some sweet potato, broccoli, zucchini) and had leftover roast pumpkin, green bean and haloumi salad.

Snacks

Snacks this week were much the same as last week, I made another batch of the healthy Banana and Oat Muffins which are perfect for work. I also took my usual raw almonds and cashews, fresh fruit and natural Babybel cheese rounds. Nathan had the same but instead of the nuts and cheese he takes vanilla yoghurt. As I had Monday off work, I caught up with one of my best friends for coffee was a nice treat, we went to a new cafe that is owned by one of the soon-to-be mummas that I do prenatal yoga with!

This week for snack fruit we had apples, bananas and a whole heap of oranges from a friends garden.

Summary

Overall, I am pretty happy with my efforts this week, I know I went over the budget slightly but I’ll save money in the long run from stocking up on some essentials while they were on sale which will last us many months to come.

So that is it for the second week of the grocery budget challenge done and dusted! If you too are looking to cut some money from your grocery budget I hope this has given you some motivation, or at the very least, I hope it has given you some meal ideas and inspired you to do some more cooking from home with fresh ingredients! If you’d like to stay up to date on the remainder of this challenge, feel free to subscribe via email so you receive a notification every time a new post is published.

I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below or over on my Instagram page, maybe you’re trying to cut costs or just looking at ways you can be more sustainable both financially and environmentally, I love chatting about both of these topics.

Until next time friends,

Xx Kiah

 

Easy Black Eyed Pea Curry

Easy Black Eyed Pea Curry

Hi Friends! Welcome back to another Kiah’s Kitchen recipe post! Today I am sharing my delicious and easy Black Eyed Pea Curry recipe! Cooking with black eyed peas is actually new to me, I have never tried them before! I was in my local green