Lentil Bolognaise

Yeah I know, 2 posts in 4 years and now 2 posts in 2 days. I guess that’s what happens in a pandemic, people look to the familiar. Or maybe its the idea of quarantine and isolation reminding me of what it’s like to have very young children (or my experience of very young children), which is when most of this blog was written. Or maybe it’s the need to be creative during our self imposed food scarcity that has meant I am looking for new ways of using both what’s in the garden, and what I can find lurking in the cupboard. Or maybe its that when someone suggests you make lentil bolognaise (for the first time) you want to tell the world about the experience.

So anyway this my recipe for lentil bolognaise, which in a remarkable turn of events in my Pescatarian/Flexitarian/Carnivore (and my oh god, can you lot agree on anything) household everyone ate, which I take as an absolute win – plus I really liked it too).

Lentil Bolognaise
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 1 carrot finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 sprig oregano
  • 1 400g can lentils (or equivalent dried lentils cooked until tender but not too soft)
  • 2 400g tomatoes
  • olive oil

Saute the onion and carrot in olive oil until nearly cooked. Add the garlic and saute for another minute or two. Add the lentils and saute for about 5 mins. Add the tomatoes and herbs and cook until the tomato has reduced a bit. Season with salt and pepper.

As I often do (because they are the best things ever) I added a load of chillies in oil and a little parsley for garnish. And because there was no pasta left at the shop (and we’d had pasta last night anyway) I served it on baked potatoes which happily I had from the garden, as the shops had sold out of potatoes too.

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Fish Cakes

It is pretty clear that we are living in strange times at the moment, and strange times call for comfort food (that uses both things from our gardens and our pantries). While the supermarkets near me have sold out of lots of things I could still get tuna which means I can still make fishcakes. This is a good thing as they are one of the few foods that my family all enjoy (albeit in one case they have to smothered in tomato sauce…).

To make fish cakes;

  • 1 425g can tuna
  • 700g potatoes mashed (you can use butter and milk in the mash, or mayo also works really well)
  • 3 spring onions – finely chopped
  • 1 small bunch parsley – finely chopped (you can add other herbs too if you have them)
  • salt & pepper
  • For the crumb
    • Flour
    • 2 large eggs
    • Breadcrumbs

Mix together the tuna, mashed potato, spring onions, and herbs. Season well, then coat in flour, egg and breadcrumbs. Shallow fry in canola or sunflower oil. Serve with salad (in this picture coleslaw).

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Surviving the heat

Melbourne had its hottest day in 5 years on Friday. It reached 44.5 in my suburb and it felt every degree of that. I was a bit worried about my plants but seasonal family commitments meant I had no time to do anything about protecting them. Fortunately other than a bit of damage to the youngest leaves on one Tommy Toe tomato plant and some of the raspberries, everything emerged unscathed.

I think the combination of a good layer of mulch and morning watering helped avert anything more serious.

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New crops

First bean harvest of 2019.  Hopefully the first of many.  I ate them lightly boiled with a little butter – delicious.  

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Beetroot & Carrot Salad

It seems ages since I posted a recipe (probably because it is ages since I posted a recipe).  It’s the time it takes -to make it, and photograph it.  It also takes concentration, I have to write down how much I’m adding of what, record it nicely and then type it all up in a nice format.  Basically it’s a bit of work. But I love this salad so much it’s worth it, and the recipe is very forgiving so if my quantities are a bit out it wont affect the end result too much.

This salad is pretty much a tribute to my laziness.  I often have beetroot, my father grows it and it always looks pretty at the Farmer’s Market so I often buy it.  I also grow it regularly, nestling in between other bigger, slower growing crops.  But I never seem to be organised enough to bother to cook it.  So in this salad I don’t, I use it raw and I think it tastes all the better for it – not to mention adding a lovely texture to the salad.

Beetroot & Carrot salad

Beetroot and carrot salad 012 (800x530)

  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 medium sized beetroot
  • 1 small bunch mint
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 1 red onion (or substitute a couple of spring onions)
  • 1 cup grains (I have made this with everything from Farro to Quinoa and lentils but my favourite is Black Rice)
  • juice of a lemon
  • salt
  • 1 to 3 tblspns olive oil (less/more to taste)
  • Topping – You could add feta, any types of seeds or nuts would work, any thing to add a little more texture and protein.

Cook which ever grain you are using via your prefer method.  Cool.  Peel and grate the carrot & beetroot.  Finely chop the mint, parsley, and red onion.  Mix together.

Make the dressing by mixing the lemon juice, 2 tblspn of oil, and salt.  Taste and adjust by adding more juice, oil, salt or ever a little sugar depending on the acidity of the lemons.

Dress the salad and add the toppings and the salad is ready to eat.


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