Mama Ogg's Cookbook

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Spinach Rice Pie

This is a reworking of my Hunza Pie recipe from years ago, but I realised that I don't have the updated gluten-free version anywhere handy to share with friends, so here it is. This is a fabulous recipe for when you come home from the local farmers' markets with a bunch of the green leaves du jour and no idea what to do with them, since the "spinach" of the title is highly customisable. I usually start with a bunch of rainbow chard and add whatever else I have in the fridge or garden - kale, most Asian greens, mustard greens, etc. If you haven't made it to the farmers' markets lately or, like this week, you find all the local kale has gone to seed in the recent mini-heatwave, you can even make it with frozen spinach and grated zucchini to fill out the chard. Hunza Pie is traditionally made with brown rice, but I use white rice these days as brown does not agree with me.


at least 2 tbsp butter2 red onions, sliced thinly
1/2-1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 bunch silverbeet/rainbow chard, shredded
1 bunch other greens (or equivalent in frozen spinach/grated zucchini)
1 cup (dry weight) rice, cooked
1 cup grated cheese (opt)
6 eggs
1/4-1/2 cup cream or sour cream (or milk)
1/2 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper

Melt one tbsp of butter in a large pan over a low heat and slowly caramelise the onions, stirring occasionally to stop them sticking. Add the balsamic vinegar after about 20 minutes and continue to gently cook down for another ten minutes or so. When the onions look and smell amazing, add the rest of the butter and start adding the greens (you may have to do this in batches depending on the size of your pan, adding more as the first wilts). While the greens are cooking down, heat the oven to 180C. When all of the greens have wilted and started to change colour, stir in the rice, and transfer the mixture to a pie dish (I used to add cheese to this, but these days I don't bother and it's still amazing. But if you want, you can add a cup of grated cheese at this point).

Whisk together the eggs and cream, sour cream or milk (I have no idea of quantities here as I usually eyeball it relative to the amount of filling). Add oregano and season with salt and pepper, pour over the filling. Bake for around 30 minutes or until top is golden and centre is firm.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Bliss balls

Produced a variation of my usual bliss ball recipe which was so delicious and rich and truffly I have to write down at least the ingredients, if not the proportions (which were of the "plonk things into the food processor til it looks right" variety). I usually use almond or hazelnut meal but I have run out, so used the seed mix instead, and I think I prefer the result.

dates (about half the volume of the recipe)
sultanas (about half as much as the dates, maybe a bit more)
pepita and sunflower seed mix
2 scoops peanut butter (about 2 tbsp)
1 heaped tbsp cocoa
more coconut for rolling

If you're more strictly paleo than me, tahini works fine instead of peanut butter. I'm glad the kids and my Beloved don't like these, they will all go in the freezer for me!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Black Bean Brownies (grain and processed sugar free)

I found a recipe for black bean brownies on the internet which I really liked, but foolishly did not bookmark it or save a copy, and then forgot where I'd found it, and forgot the recipe as well. So this is my attempt at figuring out a recipe for myself, which avoids most of the things which really mess with my health. These are moist and fudgy (at least if you don't overcook them) and delicious. I slice these about 1 inch square and freeze them, otherwise they would disappear extremely fast.

1 ½ cups cooked black beans
16 dates, soaked overnight and drained
2 eggs
4 tbsp cream
4 tbsp honey (or maple syrup)
3 heaping tbsp hazelnut meal
3 tbsp cocoa
½ tsp vanilla essence (optional)
2 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 180C and line a small baking dish with baking paper. Combine in the food processor until smooth. Pour into tray and smooth the top. Bake for 30 minutes, slice then leave in tray to cool for a few minutes before turning out.

This recipe is veganisable if you sub maple syrup for the honey, coconut cream or nut milk for the cream, and 2 tbsp flaxseed meal mixed with 5-6 tbsp warm water and left to gel for a few minutes for the eggs.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Fish Patties

I take it back, quinoa does not agree with me as much as I thought it did. I think I've been off grains and grain-like things long enough to really feel them if I indulge. Although it did give me the perfect opportunity to use the word "borborygmi", for which much can be forgiven. Might try that recipe with riced cauliflower for me next time instead.

Lunch today was fish patties. I had Mackerel and Sweet Potato Patties on the menu plan, except the elder daughter has an aversion to sweet potato. Also that recipe involves steaming the sweet potato first and my steamer saucepans were both occupied (ie. waiting to be washed up). So I went for my other recipe, which is one of the "Stick everything in the food processor and whizz" ilk and thus required me to do the extra washing up afterwards rather than before. This recipe works with pretty much any vege which you can grate or shred into it and is therefore a useful bottom-of-the-vege-crisper day staple.

2 onions, quartered
1 carrot, grated
2 large cauliflower florets
broccoli stem, grated
handful of cabbage
1 tin mackerel in oil, drained
1 tin sardines in oil, drained
3-4 tbsp quick oats
3-4 tbsp ground almonds (or use all almonds)
2 eggs

Chop all the veges finely then add the rest of the ingredients. Splodge dessert spoonfuls of mix into patties. I cook mine in my large sandwich press, which is pretty much the only use said sandwich press gets now we don't eat bread. This quantity made 20 small patties, of which the five of us polished off 14, served with a big salad. Be warned it will probably stink out the kitchen while cooking; at least it did according to my elder daughter, who pointedly wandered in and out holding her nose.

Quinoa Paella

I don't seem to react as badly to quinoa as I do to wheat or rice, and I like it a lot, so I still eat it occasionally. I've made this dish a few times and the previous incarnations (involving tomato) haven't been very popular with the kids, but this version I omitted the tomato and everybody ate it. Not necessarily with cries of enthusiasm, but so long as most of it went into them rather than into the chickens tomorrow morning I'm okay with that. I usually add prawns to this recipe but didn't have any this time; add them if you wish (I dislike 'em but the rest of the family are fans).

3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 1/2 cup chicken stock or water
knob of butter
2 small onions, diced
1 cooked chicken breast, shredded
150g diced ham
1 cooked sausage, diced
1 chorizo, diced
1 garlic clove, diced
1/2 tsp chilli
1/2 red capsicum, diced
1 carrot, grated
1/2 cup cabbage, finely shredded
1/2 frozen spinach
chicken stock
1 tbsp paprika
salt and pepper

Cook the quinoa in stock or water until tender, using the absorption method. Meanwhile saute the onion in the butter, adding the meats and other vegetables when the onion is golden, then the garlic, chilli and other seasonings. Stir, adding tablespoonfuls of chicken stock occasionally if it's sticking to the pan. When everything is nicely browned and flavoursome stir in the drained quinoa and heat through, adding more stock if necessary.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Cheesy Mushroom Muffins and Beany Tomato Soup

There was a terrible crisis precipitated by the discovery that I was making tomato soup for (late) dinner tonight and there were no bread or bread products obtainable in our little country town at 7pm. To pacify the revolting horde (aka my husband) I whipped up some quick muffins instead. They were devoured to cries of acclamation, although since I didn't eat any I can't personally vouch for them.

300 grams of plain flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup grated cheese
250g mushrooms
2 eggs
1/2 cup of olive oil
2/3 cup of milk
salt, pepper
Preheat oven to 180C. Combine flour, baking powder, salt and pepper and mix thoroughly. Whizz the mushrooms in the food processor until finely chopped. Stir mushrooms and cheese through flour. Beat liquid ingredients together then stir roughly through dry ingredients and spoon into muffin tins. Bake for 25 minutes.

May as well add my soup recipe as well.

2 onions, diced
1 carrot, diced (or grated if you want it to cook quicker)
1 stick celery, diced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tsp chilli
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 bottle passata
1 bottle water (add more if necessary, which it will be if you use lentils)
tin of butter beans (normally I make this with 1 cup red lentils but I was going for speed tonight so used a tin of beans instead)

Saute everything sauteable. Add everything else and cook until is tender. Smoosh. Serve.

Monday, December 30, 2013


Or, Korean mixed rice with assorted vegetables and meat. New recipe tried on the guinea pigs family today for lunch - or in my case breakfast, since I've gone back to intermittent fasting until 12pm - and was a great hit with the four out of five of us who tried it. (For those keeping score at home, we have lost a housemate since the beginning of the year, but temporarily scored a teenager home for the holidays). This is one of those handy recipes served buffet-style, which in a house with kids is known as “Look, just eat the stuff you like and don't whinge about the stuff you don't, okay?”. At this time of year, it also usefully fits under “add extra protein to things by breaking a few eggs in somewhere”. Although I currently have two mums off the lay and a broody hen sitting on most of the output of the rest of the flock, so I'm having to *gasp* buy eggs occasionally. And it was handy because I had leftover rice from last night so didn't have to cook any.

I originally heard about this on a blog somewhere and noted down the name, then forgot where I'd seen the original. So this morning I googled for recipes and read about half a dozen to get the general idea, then put something together to fit what I had in the fridge and what I know my family eats. I gather this is one of those highly-customisable recipes where this is the general procedure in any case.

coconut oil
1 small onion, finely diced
250g mince
grated zucchini (yes, I have a lot of zucchini to use up)
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
slosh in a bit of fish sauce and soy sauce near the end, to taste

½ carrot, grated
½ red capsicum, thinly sliced
raw cabbage, shredded
cucumber, thinly sliced
more shredded cabbage, sauteed in coconut oil and a bit more fish sauce 

Or whatever you happen to have in the fridge. My kids like raw veg more than cooked so that's what I put out, but feel free to steam or saute anything if you prefer.

leftover rice, reheated
4 runny fried eggs
chopped peanuts (this didn't occur in any of the recipes I read but appears to be an indispensable accompaniment to any Eastern-inspired mince-and-salad combo as far as my family is concerned)
sweet chilli sauce (ditto)

The cooking of the mince I imagine is fairly obvious. Prepare the veges while the meat is doing its thing, then the assemblage is basically thus: put everything on table, serve yourself whatever you like into a bowl, put a fried egg on top, and gleefully mix it all up into a moosh. Except nobody had done the washing up this morning so there were no bowls, but it worked almost as well with plates. Which were almost licked clean. Will definitely make again.

Egg Curry

Oh dear, I have been ignoring you, haven't I?

Tonight's curry was so sublime I had to write down the recipe before I forget it. It was cribbed from this recipe although I'm too lazy to do it properly and didn't have some of the ingredients so had to make some substitutions. And I added cream and ground almonds because cream, and also because younger daughter does not eat hard boiled egg curry and this way at least the sauce would be proteinaceous (as it happens she didn't eat the sauce either, but still, four out of five in favour is pretty good).

knob of butter3 small onions, finely diced
1/2 medium zucchini, grated (stealth veges FTW!)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
heaped tsp ginger
slightly less heaped tsp chilli (or to taste)
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tin tomatoes
1/2 cup cream
1/2 cup ground almonds
8 hard-boiled eggs, halved length-ways

Saute the onions in the butter until golden, add spices and zucchini. Continue to gently saute until everything smells divine and the veges are well and truly soft because this is more or less all the cooking they'll get. Add the tomatoes and then attack everything with the stick blender til it's less chunky (if you are less lazy than me and can be arsed washing up the food processor afterwards do it in that, but then you might as well follow the original recipe, no?). Stir through the cream and ground almonds, bring to a very gentle simmer, plop in the eggs and warm through. Serve over rice for them wot eats it, or in my case, over stir-fried silverbeet and mustard greens from the garden. Nom.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

I Aten't Dead

And I do still cook pretty much every day. I just haven't been inspired to find or create new recipes for a while so have not had much to blog about. But I discovered a recipe for Spinach and Lemon Quinoa Bake today which was extremely nommy, and since I tweaked it a bit I wanted to write down the modifications before I forgot.

We've acquired a vegan housemate in the last few months, and since I am possessed by a compulsion to feed people, we generally cook and eat vegan meals together 3-4 nights a week then do our own thing the rest of the time. I cook a lot of vegan food anyway, but I rarely modify very non-vegan recipes to make them vegan, since that generally involves substituting with fake dairy products and frankly, since none of the rest of us have a problem with dairy, I'd rather just not bother. But this one sounded yummy, plus it would be a variation on my popular silverbeet rice pie which our housemate (who is intolerant to rice as well) can eat. Since I'm still sticking with a lower-carb diet and have largely eliminated rice, quinoa is slightly lower in carbs and higher in protein than rice so is a better option for me too.

I don't have a lemon zester, so I did thinly slice some zest off and chuck it in, but mostly relied on lemon juice instead. The zest would definitely be better, so go with that if you have a better option for parting it from its lemon than picking it out of a cheese grater with a toothpick.

  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked in 3 cups water
  • olive oil, coconut oil
  • 2 onions
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 1 bunch silverbeet, shredded
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon zest
  • 2 tsp flaxseed meal + 4 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 300mL medium tofu, drained
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt, pepper
  • 1 large tomato
  • almond meal
Slowly saute the onion and garlic in a mix of olive and coconut oil until caramelised. Add the zest and shredded silverbeet and cook down, adding more olive oil if necessary. Meanwhile, combine the flaxseed meal and water and leave to sit til it coagulates a bit. Then combine tofu, flaxseed mixture, tahini, lemon juice and seasonings in the blender until smooth. Combine the tofu mixture with the silverbeet and the quinoa, and pour into a baking tray. Top with sliced tomatoes and a sprinkling of ground almonds. Bake at 180 for an hour, let sit for a few minutes, then serve.