Please, Parsnip


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We were lucky to be given a couple of homegrown mean looking parsnips the other day. In no way were they perfect, but who can say “no” to fresh produce! Somehow soup just seemed the right thing to do, after all it is Winter, and excellent to use for work lunches.

My inspiration came from Deliciously Ella, with a few changes.   I managed to fill 3 small freezer bags plus keep some for lunch tomorrow. So probably about 4 servings. Less or more dependent on how much extra water or milk you might decide to add.


Spiced Parsnip Soup:

4 parsnips                  you will see from my photos this is a bit of a guess, the shape of my parsnips were not the usual shop type shape!
3-4 small potatoes
1 carrot
Olive Oil          for roasting
400ml water
165ml can coconut cream
1 large clove garlic (peeled)
1 teaspoon tahini (or a bit more, to taste)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
¾ teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon apple cider
2 teaspoons chilli flakes
1 teaspoon mustard seeds

Preheat the oven to 180C. Chop the parsnip, carrot and potatoes into chunks. Place in the roasting tray with olive oil, salt and some of the chilli flakes. Roast for about 40 minutes, until soft.

Let cool. In the roasting pan (because I am trying to save you dishes) add all the other ingredients.  Blend in batches until smooth (if too thick add more liquid). To serve just heat – if too thick then dilute with water, more coconut cream or milk, or just milk, or stock.


I decided to portion this up for the freezer – easy to take to work and reheat in the microwave.

Delicious! And this is all for me because Mr MWCED says he just can’t marry the idea of parsnips and soup. Missing out he is.

Beet & Carrot Raw Energy Salad


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This is a salad that even the most staunch non-beetroot eaters usually love.  It is tasty, tangy, fresh and just too delicious.   The following recipe is from Ripe Recipes Red Book- a first cookbook from Angie Redfern – Ripe is a cafe/deli in Auckland NZ, well known for its exceptionally delicious food.    I made this last week alongside quickly sauteed white cabbage to accompany individual leek and white bean galettes.  Definitely a winning combination.

I have made the galettes before and thought I had posted the recipe, but seems not, so check them out over on Smitten Kitchen who i think have the best galette recipes on the net!


Raw Energy Salad

Serves 4 to 6

500g raw beetroot, peeled and grated – for me this is getting out the grating attachment on my food processor – makes all this grating too easy
700g carrot, peeled and grated
1 cup fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
½ cup raisins
¼ cup (30g) sunflower seeds, toasted
¼ cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
½ tsp salt

2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses (do not sub this – it absolutely brings the salad together)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
¼ cup (60ml) orange juice
¼ cup (60ml) olive oil
1 tablespoon honey


Dressing – place all the dressing ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid.  Shake well to combine.

Salad – combine beetroot, carrot, mint, raisins, seeds and salt in a large bowl and mix.  Pour over the dressing – toss and serve.

If not serving immediately I tend to keep all the ingredients separated and combine just before serving.  That said,  this is one delicious salad the next day and the next………..


Olive Tapenade


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Last year we were lucky enough to have a great crop of olives. And, sadly, now we have moved we don’t have any olive trees – though to be 100% honest I think I would be just as happy to buy or trade some fresh olives from someone – even 2 small trees provided far too many olives for just one person to plough through – Mr MWCED doesn’t like eating olives so that leaves them all for me.

The olives we picked were mostly very small.   I decided to brine them and now have a multitude of jars in the pantry. They really need to be used.   It is a labour of love using them in anything as it takes an age to stone them, but at the same time I know exactly where they came from and what has gone into them.  IMG_0867.JPG

I have to admit that the taste on their own isn’t amazing. I don’t know if it was the type of olive, or my brine.   They are fine cooked but I wouldn’t put them out for snacking on.   As they are fine when cooked I thought maybe a tapenade might be worth trying. Though not cooked, I thought a mix of other ingredients may work to create a tasty mix.


An hour later (well, it felt like an hour!) after stoning a cup of olives we now have tapenade. Most recipes call for fresh garlic, however I had some roast garlic from the other night and it works fine, probably providing a somewhat more refined garlic taste.

Olive Tapenade 

  • 4 cloves roasted garlic
  • 1 cup pitted olives
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 3 tablespoons diced fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons basil pesto (or to taste)
  • 2 fillets anchovies – rinsed
  • Black pepper (grind into blender – as much as you want)

I just put everything into the blender and mixed it up. The pesto was an addition at the end as I felt the mixture needed a bit of jazz.   It worked perfectly.   The recipe makes enough for two ramekins.


The tapenade will go out on a cheese platter later this afternoon when we have some drinks on the deck.   And some of it might end up on the pizza I think we will make for dinner.