Monday, July 28, 2008

Date and Walnut Loaf Cake

Don't limit yourself to dates and walnuts; substitute any other dried fruit and nuts you choose. Recipe makes 10 slices.


1/2 cup boiling water
1 cup chopped dates
1 1/2 cups wholemeal self-rising (raising) flour
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons margarine
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 egg, beaten
1 cup skim milk


1. Pour boiling water over dates and let stand for 30 minutes.
2. Mix flour and spices in bowl.
3. Rub in margarine until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
4. Add sugar, dates, soaking water and walnuts to dry mixture and mix lightly.
5. Stir in egg and skim milk.
6. Place in lightly greased nut loaf tin.
7. Bake upright for 45 minutes or until cooked (see below).
8. Leave in tin for 10 minutes before turning out to cool.

Oven Temperature: 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 20 minutes, then lower to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) for a further 25 minutes.

Stuffed Eggplant

A classic and easy Middle Eastern vegetarian dish. Great as a light meal or to accompany a main course. Recipe serves 4-6.


3 small-medium eggplants
3 cups chopped onions
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
4-5 ripe tomatoes, chopped
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 teaspoons freshly crushed garlic
2 cups breadcrumbs


1. Cut each eggplant in half lengthwise, sprinkle cut surface with salt. Lay face down in colander to draw for 1/2 an hour. Rinse thoroughly and pat dry.
2. Meanwhile saute onions in 1/4 cup oil until soft. Add parsley and basil.
3. Remove from pan and combine with tomatoes. Add salt to taste.
4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and oil a large roasting pan.
5. Heat oil and butter in fry pan. Saute garlic and breadcrumbs, stirring constantly until oil is evenly distributed and crumbs golden brown.
6. Rub eggplants with a little oil. Mound each half with vegetable mixture and top with breadcrumbs.
7. Add enough water to just cover base of roasting pan. Add eggplants. Cover with foil. Bake for 1 hour. Remove foil and bake for another 20 minutes until browned.

Garlic Puree

This fresh puree is a useful and tasty addition to soups, stews, sauces, salad dressings - especially bought or home-made mayonnaise - and as a relish with cold meat. The cooking takes away any acrid flavors and the puree is far less crude and bitter than the commercially-produced version. It is also delicious spread on toast under poached or scrambled eggs.


About 50 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper


1. Simmer the unpeeled garlic cloves in lightly salted water for about 20 to 25 minutes, until soft. Drain and cool.
2. Peel the garlic cloves, cutting off the tough root end and any discolored patches.
3. Mash to a smooth, sticky paste with a fork.
4. Stir in the oil, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
5. Pack into a glass jar and cover securely.

This puree will keep in the fridge for 4 or 5 days, and can be frozen in cubes, using an ice-cube tray reserved for this purpose.

Red Pepper (Capsicum) Soup

You need to start making this roasted red pepper soup one or two days in advance. It can be served as an appetizer but also makes a delicious complete or vegetarian meal when served with herb bread. Recipe serves 6.


4-5 large red or yellow peppers (capsicum)
2 quarts (2 litres) chicken stock
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
A few drops of Tabasco sauce
4 tablespoons rice (uncooked)
1/4 bunch fresh chives
Oven bag (regular size)


1. Arrange peppers, skin side up, on foil covered baking trays. Cook under a hot grill or in the oven until skins are blistered but not blackened. Turn as necessary.
2. Place in an oven bag for 10-15 minutes. When cool enough to handle, skin. Cut into 3/4 inch (2 cm) squares.
3. Bring chicken stock to the boil, add pepper, tomato paste and paprika. Season and add Tabasco sauce to taste.
4. Add rice and simmer gently for 10 minutes or until rice is tender. Cool and refrigerate for 1-2 days, or freeze until needed.
5. Warm the soup and serve with freshly snipped chives on top and herb bread.