Tag Archives: Rice Bran Oil

Feeding the Funky Bunch: Black Bean Brownies

Standard
So here it is (drumroll please), my first guest blogger! How exciting. My good friend Em makes these gorgeous black bean brownies which are a healthy treat that the whole family can enjoy. They are an absolute hit with the kids and are packed with nutrients. Great for an after school snack or in their lunchbox, and yum for everyone else too!
Black beans are considered a ‘superfood’ because they are packed with a rare combination of protein and fibre which is great for the digestive system, the cardiovascular system, and for regulating blood sugar. This protein-fibre combination is not found in fruit, vegetables, meat, dairy, nuts, seeds or seafood. Only in legumes, including black beans.
Em says “These are fantastic, always moist and chocolatey, and without a hint of the goodness of the beans hidden within. They can be made dairy free using milk free chocolate. I have not tried to make gluten free but I believe the plain flour can be replaced with a GF option”.
Preparation: 10 minutes. Cooking time: 20-30 minutes
Black Bean Brownies
Ingredients
  • 250g (3/4 cup) cooked black beans*
  • 100g (1/2 cup) oil (Em uses rice bran oil or vegetable oil)
  • 2 eggs
  • 20g (1/4 cup) cocoa powder
  • 110g (2/3 cup) rapadura
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g chocolate, divided in two
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 50g (1/3 cup) cup plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp pink salt

*How to cook black beans

  • Firstly soak your beans overnight (or for 8 hours) in a large bowl with plenty of clean water, then drain the beans (discarding the water) and rinse well
  • Cook black beans on the stovetop using My New Roots method by placing 1 cup of beans and 3 cups water in a large pot, bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer, cooking beans until tender (approx 45-60min).
  • Cook black beans in the TMX using Tenina’s method by placing them in the simmering basket in the TMX, then filling the bowl with enough water to just cover the beans. Cook 30 min, 100C, Sp 3.
  • Cook black beans in the pressure cooker using Em’s method by placing 1 cup of beans and 3 cups of water in the pressure cooker and cooking for 20 minutes.
To make the brownies: 
TMX Method
  1. Pre Heat oven to 180C
  2. Melt half of the chocolate (50g) and set aside
  3. Put the other half (50g) into TMX bowl and chop 3-5 sec, Sp 5 and set aside
  4. Place black beans and oil in TMX and blend to a paste 2 min, Sp 7
  5. Add eggs, cocoa powder, rapadura, vanilla extract and melted chocolate, mix 20 sec, Sp 4
  6. Add baking powder, flour and salt, mix 20 sec, Sp 4
  7. Add the chopped chocolate and mix 10 sec, Rev Sp 3
  8. Pour into a well greased and/or lined brownie tin (approx 20cmx20cm)
  9. Bake at 180C for 20-30 minutes – Em says “My oven is a big old gas oven without a fan and therefore everything takes a while. The brownie should be matte at the sides and shiny in the centre, it should still be slightly soft in the centre”.
  10. Allow to rest and then cut into cubes
  11. Enjoy!
Non-TMX Method
  1. Pre Heat oven to 180C
  2. Melt half of the chocolate (50g) and set aside
  3. Break or chop the other half (50g) into small pieces (Em says “I usually do this in the food processor before beginning the remainder of the recipe”)
  4. Using a  food processor or blender,  blend the black beans and oil to a paste
  5. Add eggs, cocoa powder, rapadura, vanilla extract and melted chocolate, and mix until well combined in a food processor or by hand
  6. Add baking powder, flour and salt, and mix until well combined in a food processor or by hand
  7. Add the chopped chocolate and mix until just combined in a food processor or by hand
  8. Pour into a well greased and/or lined brownie tin (approx 20cmx20cm)
  9. Bake at 180C for 20-30 minutes – Em says “My oven is a big old gas oven without a fan and therefore everything takes a while. The brownie should be matte at the sides and shiny in the centre, it should still be slightly soft in the centre”.
  10. Allow to rest and then cut into cubes
  11. Enjoy!

Little People: Arancini Balls

Standard

After posting this recipe for one of my family’s favourite risottos, I thought I should share my favourite way to use left over risotto. Arancini balls are simple to make and great for kids dinner, lunch boxes and party food. They work best with left over risotto that has sat in the fridge overnight or has been frozen and defrosted.

Ingredients

  • Portion of left over risotto (works with any risotto)
  • 1 beaten egg for every 400-500g risotto
  • 1 more beaten egg
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs
  • Rice bran oil 

Method

  1. Mix beaten egg through left over risotto
  2. Take 2tbs risotto mix and shape into a ball
  3. Roll in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs
  4. Refrigerate for 30min if you have time
  5. Shallow fry in hot rice bran oil and place on paper towel to drain
  6. Eat hot or cold

Feeding the Funky Bunch: Risotto with Roasted Capsicum & Pumpkin

Standard

This risotto recipe is a family favourite at our place. I like to roast the capsicum and pumpkin separately in the oven which gives a really great flavour to the dish. This risotto is equally as delicious as a vegetarian meal – simply omit the chicken and add an extra 100g of water.

Ingredients

  • 50g parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 leek, roughly chopped
  • 2 sticks of celery, roughly chopped
  • Handful of flat leaf parsley
  • 2 x 20g rice bran oil
  • 150g white wine
  • 350g arborio rice
  • 400g chicken (optional) cubed approx 4cm x 4cm and seasoned with black pepper
  • 1 capsicum (red, yellow and/or orange), sliced 1-2cm wide
  • 1/2 pumpkin, cubed approx 2cm x 2cm
  • 2tbs thermomix vegetable stock concentrate
  • 1000g water
  • pink salt and black pepper
  • 20g butter

Method

(leave MC off for all cooking time)

  1. Pre heat oven to 200C
  2. Place capsicum slices and pumpkin cubes in a bowl, season well with pink salt and cracked black pepper, drizzle with 20g rice bran oil, toss until coated in oil and seasoning, place on a lined tray and roast 20-25min
  3. Place parmesan cheese in TMX and grate 10 sec, Sp 9
  4. Set parmesan aside in a separate bowl
  5. Place leek, celery, parsley and 20g rice bran oil in TMX
  6. Chop 2-3 sec, Sp 6
  7. Saute 4min, 100C, Sp 1
  8. Insert Butterfly
  9. Add rice
  10. Saute 1min, 100C, Rev, Sp Soft 
  11. Add wine
  12. Saute 4min, 100C, Rev, Sp Soft
  13. Add chicken, stock and water, and season well with cracked black pepper
  14. Cook 20min, 100C, Rev, Sp Soft
  15. Pour into ThermoServer and mix through parmesan cheese and butter
  16. Add roasted vegetables and gently mix through
  17. Rest for 10 min in ThermoServer, then serve and enjoy

Feeding the Funky Bunch: Madras Curry

Standard

By now you know I have a love for good curry recipes. This Madras Curry is another family favourite. The original recipe is an ‘Indian Inspired’ one Curtis Stone wrote for Coles during the Commonwealth Games. I have tried cooking this in the thermomix but I just can’t get the same flavour as I get cooking it in the frypan. I usually cook my rice and steam veggies over the top in the thermomix and varoma while I cook the curry on the stove. This recipe is done with chicken, however it can easily make a delicious vegetarian meal either by adding chopped vegetables to the pan instead of the chicken (eg. pumpkin and cauliflower) or simply cook the sauce in the pan and pour over steamed veggies and rice.

IMG_0213

Ingredients

  • 2-3tbs rice bran oil
  • 1 large brown onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2tbs fresh ginger, finely chopped or grated
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 8 fresh curry leaves*
  • 400-500g chicken thigh fillets, each cut into approx 4 pieces
  • 2 medium tomatoes chopped or 200g tinned tomatoes (it is nicer with fresh)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tbs thermomix vegetable stock concentrate
  • Steamed vegetables and basmati or brown rice to serve

I have a curry leaf tree in my garden which my father-in-law gave me. If you don’t have a tree, try and get frozen leaves from an asian grocery store. If you know someone with a curry leaf tree, pick the leaves and store them in a zip lock bag in the freezer then just throw them straight into your curry from the freezer. They add an amazing flavour.

Method

  1. Get your rice and veggies sorted in the TMX & Varoma or Rice Cooker & Steamer. If your ingredients are prepped the curry needs approx 30 min cooking time, so you can time your rice and veggies accordingly.
  2. Heat 2 tbs rice bran oil in the pan over medium high heat.
  3. Add onion and cinnamon stick, and cook stirring frequently for 3-5 minutes until golden brown.
  4. Add the ginger and garlic, and cook for another minute.
  5. Turn the heat down to medium low. Add all the spices and curry leaves with an extra 1 tbs rice bran oil if necessary. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently so the spices don’t burn.
  6. Add the chicken to the pan and cook a further 3 minutes, stirring so that the chicken is coated in the spice mix.
  7. Add the tomatoes and stock. Stir through then cover pan with lid and simmer on low for 15 minutes until chicken is tender and tomatoes have broken down to form the sauce.
  8. Add the coconut milk and stir to combine. Simmer for 2-3 minutes until warmed through and sauce thickens.
  9. Serve with rice and veg, and enjoy.

Feeding the Funky Bunch: Moussaka

Standard

This Moussaka recipe is the product of much experimenting on my part.  I wanted to make a really delicious Moussaka that wasn’t too labour intensive, so I’ve eliminated all the fussing and just kept all the flavour. It is a great family meal, packed with veggies and easy to adjust either for meat lovers or for vegetarians. My kids absolutely love this dish.

Ingredients

  • 1 large eggplant or 2 smaller eggplants, thinly sliced (approx 3mmm)
  • 6tbs rice bran oil (to brush slices with)

Many recipes call for the eggplant slices to be salted, left to drain for 20min, rinsed then dried. I never bother to do this and it still tastes great.

  • 20g rice bran oil
  • 2 sticks celery, roughly chopped
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 small red capsicum, de-seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 red onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • handful of fresh flat leaf parsley
  • handful of fresh mint
  • 400-500g lamb minced (can replace with red kidney beans or your choice of lentils for a vegetarian version)
  • 2tbs thermomix vegetable stock concentrate
  • 1tsp ground cinnamon
  • 400g passata (tomato puree)
  • black pepper to season
  • Extra 1/2 cup grated cheese for topping

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180C
  2. Slice eggplant and place in a single layer on lined baking trays
  3. Brush eggplant slices lightly with rice bran oil
  4. Roast in oven for 8-10 min until soft then set aside
  5. Make béchamel cheese sauce
  6. If mincing lamb in TMX, place cubed lamb in clean TMX bowl and mince 8-15sec, Sp 7
  7. Set minced lamb aside and give TMX bowl a quick rinse
  8. Place celery, capsicum, carrot, onion, garlic, parsley and mint in TMX
  9. Chop 5sec, Sp 5
  10. Add 20g oil and cook 100C, 5min, Sp1
  11. Place lamb mince in TMX, season with black pepper and cook Varoma Temp, 5min, Rev Sp Soft
  12. Add cinnamon, passata and stock
  13. Cook Varoma Temp, 15min, Rev Sp Soft
  14. Season to taste

Assemble Moussaka

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180C
  2. I use a large 1.6L pyrex dish to bake my Moussaka in
  3. Line bottom of dish with a single layer of roasted eggplant slices
  4. Spread over 1/3 of the lamb and vegetable sauce
  5. Drizzle over 1/3 of the cheese sauce
  6. Follow with layer of eggplant, layer of lamb and vegetable sauce, layer of cheese sauce until all used
  7. Sprinkle grated cheese on top
  8. Bake 30 min, 180C

Non-Thermomix Method

Ingredients

  • 1 large eggplant or 2 smaller eggplants, thinly sliced (approx 3mmm)
  • 6tbs rice bran oil (to brush slices with)

Many recipes call for the eggplant slices to be salted, left to drain for 20min, rinsed then dried. I never bother to do this and it still tastes great.

  • 20g rice bran oil
  • 2 sticks celery, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 small red capsicum, de-seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled & finely chopped
  • handful of fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • handful of fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 400-500g lamb minced (can replace with kidney beans or lentils for vegetarian version)
  • 2tbs thermomix vegetable stock concentrate or 1 stock cube
  • 1tsp ground cinnamon
  • 400g passata (tomato puree)
  • black pepper to season
  • Extra 1/2 cup grated cheese for topping

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180C
  2. Slice eggplant and place in a single layer on lined baking trays
  3. Brush eggplant slices lightly with rice bran oil
  4. Roast in oven for 8-10 min until soft then set aside
  5. Make béchamel cheese sauce
  6. Place large frying pan over medium heat
  7. Add oil, celery, capsicum, carrot, onion and garlic, cooking for 4-6 minutes until soft
  8. Add lamb mince, season with black pepper and cook for 5 minutes until browned
  9. Add passata, stock, cinnamon, parsley and mint, and simmer for a further 15-20 minutes
  10. Season to taste

Assemble Moussaka

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180C
  2. I use a large 1.6L pyrex dish to bake my Moussaka in
  3. Line bottom of dish with a single layer of roasted eggplant slices
  4. Spread over 1/3 of the lamb and vegetable sauce
  5. Drizzle over 1/3 of the cheese sauce
  6. Follow with layer of eggplant, layer of lamb and vegetable sauce, layer of cheese sauce until all used
  7. Sprinkle grated cheese on top
  8. Bake 30 min, 180C

Peek in my Pantry: Rice Bran Oil

Standard

Reading about all the oils on the market and their various health risks and benefits can cause your head to spin a little. It is difficult to sift out which oils are good to use and which are not. I am no expert on cooking oils but it is an area that interests me. I have read widely on the internet regarding this topic including looking at work by wholefoods guru Jude Blereau and the wonderful My New Roots blog.

Over the past year we have changed over to using Rice Bran Oil for a lot of our cooking needs. Rice Bran Oil has a very high smoke point so it is stable at high temperatures which makes it ideal for roasting and frying. It doesn’t impart a strong flavour onto your food and it contains anti-oxidants that remain intact and good for you even when it is heated. It is free of trans fats and cholesterol (which are really bad for you), and contains approximately 23% saturated fats (which are not quite so bad for you), 35% polyunsaturated fats and 42% monounsaturated fats (which are better for you).

Ghee or clarified butter is also very stable and has health benefits from the antioxidants and vitamins that it contains. You can cook with butter but it burns at a much lower temperature than ghee. Undoubtable delicious to cook with, ghee can be expensive to buy and often there is not much choice in brands. You can make your own on the stovetop – check out the ‘Ghee Whiz’ post on My New Roots – or in the thermomix – check out the Dairy Substitutes post on Quirky Cooking.

We still use good quality extra virgin olive oil for cold applications like salad dressings but don’t cook with it. Olive oil has a relatively low smoke point so when heated it breaks down and creates free radicals which are carcinogenic, that is, associated with heart disease and cancer.

Another oil I have read about that is considered good and stable for cooking at high temperatures is coconut oil, but I haven’t gotten around to giving this one a try yet.