Creamy Polenta with Mushrooms


340 gm onion , coarsely chopped, 120 gm button mushroom, sliced, 2 Tbsp garlic, crushed, 60 gm dried mushrooms, soaked in water, 150 ml olive oil, 2 tsp dried basil, 1 tsp dired oregano, 2 litre chicken or vegetable stock, 360 gm polenta, salt & pepper to taste, 450 ml cream, 120 gm Gruyere, Emmental, Edam or Gouda, grated, 8-10 Portobello (also known as Swiss Brown) mushrooms,  fresh basil for garnish

Saute onions, white mushrooms, garlic & reconstituted dried mushrooms in 120 ml oil til lightly coloured. Add basil, oregano & stock. Bring to the boil.
Slowly stir in polenta. immer 10 min. stirring often. The polenta should thicken and be creamy. Add more stock if you feel it necessary.Add salt & pepper to taste. Set aside but keep warm.
Just before serving add the cream & the grated cheese and stir vigorously to blend.
Saute the portobello mushrooms in the remaining oil til tender.
Spoon polenta onto plates. Garnish with the sauteed mushrooms & fresh basil.


Vegetarian Cumin Rice

2 C Basmati rice, 2 tsp cumin seeds, 1 Tbsp butter or ghee,
4 C water, salt & a squirt of lime juice to taste.

Heat butter/ghee in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add cumin seeds & fry for about 2 min, til seeds start to sputter.

Add rice, water, lime juice & salt. Mix well & bring to the boil.As soon as it comes to the boil, reduce heat to a simmer & cook approx. 15 min or til the water has been absorbed.

Serves 4


Cashew Sultana Saffron Rice


1 1/2 C basmati rice, 2 1/4 C water, 1 cinnamon stick - broken into several pcs, 5 cloves, 2 bay leaves, 1/4 tsp crumbled saffron threads, 1 tsp salt, 2 Tbsp soft butter, 1/4 C cashew nuts - chopped, 1/4 cup sultanas

Bring water to the boil in a saucepan. Add rice, cinnamon, cloves, bayleaves, saffron & salt.

Reduce heat to simmer, cover & cook approx 10 min, til all water has absorbed, & rice is tender.

Remove from heat.  Fluff with fork, stir in butter, sultanas & cashews.



Put 220gm tin of chick peas,  1/3 C oil,  3-4 Tbsp lemon juice,  2 cloves garlic,  2 Tbsp tahini,  1 Tbsp cumin  &  1/2 tsp salt in food processor & blend til creamy.

Add 3/4 - 1 C cooled veggie stock til you have the consistency you like.

Serve with bread, or raw veggies or how ever you like.


Potato Dumplings

These dumplings are heavy but delicious with Sauerbraten or stews.


4 large potatoes - peeled & boiled, 1/2C bread crumbs, 1 egg - slightly beaten, 2 Tbsp milk, 2 tsp grated onion, 1 Tbsp flour, salt & pepper to taste, 2 tsp chopped parsley.

Grate the potatoes, moisten the breadcrumbs with the egg & milk; add potatoes, salt, pepper, flour, onion & parsley. Form into walnut sized balls, dust lightly with flour.
Drop carefully into salted boiling water or stew, cover with a tight fitting lid and cook gently for 15 min. Do not lift lid til time is up.


Lentil Dahl

One of my favourites!!


1 large onion - finely chopped, 3 cloves garlic - crushed, 1 tsp ginger - grated, 1 bay leaf, 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1 C red lentils ( or any other colour you prefer), 2 tsp Dahl Masala, 1 tsp turmeric, 3 C stock ( veg or chicken), 1 C sweet potato - diced, 1/2  red capsicum - diced, 1/2 C coconut milk, 2 C chopped baby spinach leaves

Fry onion, garlic, ginger & bay leaf in the oil til onions are translucent.
Add the lentils, Dahl Masala & turmeric. Fry for a couple of minutes stirring all the while.
Pour in the stock, add sweet potato & capsicum & the coconut milk.
Cook for approx 30 min on simmer, giving it the occasional stir. Don't let the dahl stick to the pan. Add more stock if necessary. The dahl should not be watery.
Add the chopped spinach at the end of cooking, stir it through for a couple of minutes & remove from heat.

I double the recipe and put it in my slow cooker after adding the coconut milk. If you prefer to use the tinned lentils as I do, use less stock, only 1 1/2-2 C instead of the 3. If it's still to much stock just cook it on simmer longer to evaporate the liquid.


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