antique roadshow

roasted pumpkin & hempseed spelt pasties

After another rather deep conversation about the goings on of the planet and our place on it, a beautiful friend of mine proposed a beautiful thing; can we have a play date and remember that carefree joy that sits in us somewhere under the seriousness of how we’re planning to save the world? Instantly on board with the idea, my mind went to setting up jumps for the ponies (our legs) that would be racing around the hill next time we caught up. That little gem of a game featured heavily in my childhood so it was a given it would be the first thing to come to me, but thinking about it a little more, I kind of felt a bit sad that we might have to organise play for ourselves, that it did seem like quite a while since that easy, go-with-the-flow creative process had us captured in that wonderful place of no time and no expectation. A heavy sigh out let in a gorgeous visual vignette of antique shops, a packed lunch, thermos of tea and laughing in the car – a road trip – of course! Grown up play of the very best kind.

Just thinking about what we’d have on our roadside picnic had the creative process started, food always does it. Actually, that’s not true, sometimes cooking can be a drag, but when you take the expectation away the whole concept flips itself into the same territory as finger painting or potato stamping. Good stuff. So, with the current roast-ahead-to-make-easy-meals-later theme at play in our kitchen, I had some roasted pumpkin ready to go, the hemp seeds came out of the fridge and some lemon thyme and sage joined in to make pasties. Because that’s what the miners used to eat, and we were heading into old mining towns, and somehow this all made sense at the time. You know how it goes.

It was the very shiniest of days as we set ourselves up on a blanket in the overgrown grounds of an unused church, drinking kombucha, eating pasties and rocket salad with sauerkraut and pesto, and chatting about everything and nothing. The raw chocolate and tea was saved for our next stop further up the road and every little antique shop in every little town we drove through filled in the blanks along the way. As we stopped to watch the sunset on the way home, in the middle of absolutely nowhere, where the sky was so big we had to turn the music way up in the car to do the scene soundtrack justice, we vowed to make this a seasonal event at the very least. Given, eating vegan food and antique shopping in quiet country towns isn’t the wildest thing we could all imagine doing, it’s our new favourite game. And don’t worry, we giggled at that too.

 

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Roasted Pumpkin & Hempseed Spelt Pasties

makes 4 pasties

for the spelt pastry:

1 1/2 cups organic spelt flour

2 tbsp organic virgin coconut oil

enough water to pull dough together

Himalayan salt, to taste

for the filling:

1/2 organic pumpkin (about 4 cups), cut into 2cm cubes, skin on and roasted

extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp organic lemon thyme, chopped

2 tbsp organic fresh sage, chopped

4 tbsp organic hempseeds

Himalayan salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat your oven to 180C.

To make the pastry, combine the flour, salt and coconut oil in a food processor and blitz for 30 seconds. Then slowly add a little water until the dough pulls together to form a ball. 

To make the pumpkin filling, simply combine all the ingredients without mashing the pumpkin up too much in the process. If you’d rather not have the skin as part of the plan, remove it prior to mixing, but I love the texture it adds so I’ve left it on in this recipe.

Remove the dough and cut into 4 even pieces. Roll each piece out into a circle about 20cm in diameter and place a quarter of the pumpkin mixture along the centre line in a small mound, tapering off at each end.

Using your fingers to wet the edges of the pastry, pull the two sides of the pasty over the top of the filling and press together using your finger and thumb to concertina the join. Work all the way down to each end of the pasty and finally fold the very last piece of dough at each end over itself to completely seal the pasty.

Repeat with the remaining dough and mixture to end up with 4 pasties.

Brush a little almond or soy milk across the tops of the pasties and put into the preheated oven to cook for about 25-30 minutes, or until the pastry just starts to colour and is cooked through on the bottom. This is not the kind of pastry that puffs up, so don’t wait for that as the sign it’s ready!

When the pasties are cooked, remove from the oven and slide onto a cooling rack to ensure they don’t end up with soggy bottoms. Nothing worse.

We ate our’s with sauerkraut which I’d highly recommend as the perfect accompaniment but I’d never say no to a good homemade tomato sauce either.

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full moon dinner guest

Not-Sausage Rolls

With our next Full Moon Farm Gate happening this Saturday night, I thought we could put two frogs on a rock by letting you know what morsels might be on offer, as well as you give you a chance to bake these delectable little guys at home after you fall in love with them, nibbling away, perched on a straw bale in the moonlight. I’d love to say that’s the only way you should ever eat these, but that would just be silly. They’re way too good for a once a month kind of dish. Over to my gorgeous buddy and fellow blogger, The Natural Foodie, aka Kirsty…

Growing up, I very quickly came to the realisation that sausage rolls go hand in hand with a party. I was never much of a fan of traditional party food, so I don’t really feel as though I’m missing anything by sticking to a whole food plant based diet. The sausage rolls however, were my one party food weakness, and my seven year old self’s guiltless pleasure.

Since I like to imagine the Full Moon Farm Gate as one big celebration, it seems only logical that my contribution would be not-sausage rolls. This is the kind of party food I wish I’d had access to at parties as a kid. In fact, the Full Moon Farm Gate is the kind of party I wish I went to as a kid, too.

Despite their much healthier outfit, I still think of these not-sausage rolls as a treat (it is pastry after-all). They just so happen to be much better for everyone involved, or not involved, if you happen to be a pig or cow.

If the lack of sausage in this recipe isn’t enough for you, we’re going one step further and making these gluten free as well. So if you happen to be that way inclined and are wondering what you can snack on come Saturday afternoon, please pop by our trestle. We’ll be the ones behind the pie warmer, keeping ourselves, and the not-sausage rolls, warm. There’ll be homemade tomato sauce and paper bags at the ready, too.

If you don’t have the time, store bought puff pastry is okay and usually doesn’t contain dairy or eggs (check the ingredients to be sure though). Health food stores usually have organic and gluten free options as well. However, if you’ve got the time and patience, it is possible to make your own gluten free rough puff pastry. There are several recipes floating around the net, like this one. Just be prepared to spend the better part of your day rolling, resting and rolling again, if you head down this road.

 

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Not-Sausage Rolls

 To make the cashew cheese:

1 cup organic cashews (soaked overnight, drained)

juice of one organic lemon

1 tbsp savoury yeast flakes

1/4 cup rain water

1/2 tsp murray river salt flakes

cracked black pepper

 

1 cup brown rice flakes 

1 cup warm water

1 tbsp flax meal 

3 tbsp rainwater

1 organic brown onion

1 cup organic almonds

2 organic garlic cloves, peeled

handful of chopped organic parsley

5 organic oregano leaves

1 tbsp organic tamari

1/4 cup psyllium husks

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp savoury yeast flakes

murray river salt flakes

black pepper

organic sesame seeds

extra oil for brushing

 

Add the cashew cheese ingredients to a high speed blender or food processor and blitz until smooth. Scrape the cashew cheese mix out and set aside. 

 

In a separate bowl soak the rice flakes in the warm water. In another small bowl, stir together the flax meal and water. Set both aside.

 

Add the almonds, onion and garlic to the food processor and blitz into rough chunks. Add the remaining ingredients to the food processor, including the cashew cheese and flax meal mixture. Drain the rice flakes of excess water and add to the food processor. Blitz the mixture until smooth and sticky.

 

Roll the mixture into “sausages” and wrap with pastry. Brush the edges of the pastry with oil and press the edges together. Cut the rolls into desired length, prick them with a fork and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

 

Bake in a 220 degree celsius oven for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown and flaky.

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beet ’em, join ’em

Roasted Olive & Beetroot Salad with Nasturtiums

As soon as the weather makes its shift into cooler territory, I find it a bit tricky to eat the amount of raw salady stuff that I know I should. Enter the roasted salad. Such a great fall back plan, on a few different levels actually; there’s the fact that you can still manage to have a decent sized serve of leaves and veggies while your appetite is screaming out for something warming, and the other part I really like about roasted salad is the roasted bit. I’ve been doing an almost weekly ritual of roasting whatever is still in the fridge on a Saturday afternoon when we do the changeover from one Farmer’s Market haul to the next. Things can get a little sad if they’re still sitting on the shelf by the time the next load comes in to replace them, but roasting somehow gives slightly limp veggies a second chance to shine. I throw in overlooked potatoes, beetroot, carrots, onion, any left over bits of cauliflower or broccoli and then add in some fresh stuff from our veggie garden; herbs and greens, maybe the odd tomato – it all goes into a couple of baking pans with lots of olive oil and salt and pepper and comes out ready to supply a week’s worth of soups, salads, risotto, pasta, toasted sandwiches and pies. Just having a choice of roasted veggies ready to go from the fridge cuts the time in half to make something decent for lunch rather than eating sourdough toast 7 days a week! My resolve is only as strong as my prep time I’ve discovered.

So, in doing the roasting thing for a while, I started throwing in whatever I thought might make things a bit different from the week before and olives ended up as part of the deal. Have you had roasted olives before? I never had – they’re good. Here’s what happened when they meet the roasted beetroot and some broad beans I had tucked away in the freezer…

 

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Roasted Olive & Beetroot Salad with Nasturtiums

2-3 organic beets

1 cup organic wild, or kalamata olives

extra virgin olive oil

Himalayan salt flakes

freshly ground pepper

6-8 fresh organic beet leaves

1 cup organic broadbeans

generous handful of fresh organic herbs – chervil, dill, parsley

fresh organic nasturtiums

1/2 organic orange

Pre heat the oven to 190C.

Roast the washed and cut beetroot, along with the olives, a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper until the beet is tender.

Blanche the broad beans in boiling water and drain.

Add the roasted beets, olives, broad beans, beet leaves, herbs and nasturtiums to a large bowl and gently toss through with the roasting juices and oil from the beetroot.

 Squeeze the juice from 1/2 an orange over the salad, add salt and pepper to season, and tumble the salad out onto a serving plate. 

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