The following guest blog post is by Dominique Rizzo from Pure Food Cooking, Channel 10′s “Ready Steady Cook” and “The Circle”…
Here are some tips to help you save energy in the kitchen:
- If you need to boil water for cooking pasta or rice always fill your pots with hot water
- Only preheat your oven for pastry or baking all other dishes you can cook or add to your oven while it is preheating, this will speed up your cooking process
- Use alfoil to cover dishes as this will not only keep your food moist, protect your oven from getting splashed with food but will also help to speed up your cooking process
- If you are making pasta and boiling or steaming vegetables ie. use the same water to cook your vegetables first then your pasta, add your vegetable water to soups and use as a stock for wet dishes, your pasta water is great to add to your pasta sauce to loosen the sauce and give the sauce great consistency especially when you are using an olive oil base for your pasta
- If you are using your oven for baking try and bake on a day when you can cook several dishes or bake quite a few dishes and then freeze or store them so that you are not having to turn your oven on for one or two items
- If you are looking for a new oven, opt for induction as it is quicker, more efficient and take less energy to heat up and cook with saving you money and saving energy
- In summer try cooking on the barbeques much as you can enjoying our beautiful summer evenings and saving energy while you are doing it.
- Try eating at least 2 raw food/vegetarian/vegan or 2 uncooked meals a week if not more including raw vegetable soups, salads and no bake dishes to save energy, you will find that you will be incorporating loads more vegetables and fruits and feel better for it.
- Soak rice, legumes and grains overnight to soften them and therefore they will take less time to cook.
- When you do cook these grains, cook double and freeze them keeping them for use in other dishes.
Try this ‘No Cook’ date, pecan and sour cream strawberry tart:
- 150g fresh pitted dates
- 150g pecans
- 150g fat free sour cream
- 250g fresh strawberries
- 10g (80%) dark chocolate, shaved
I love this dessert for a couple of reasons, no baking, it’s so quick, simple and healthy to put together, gluten free and it is delicious and you can substitute the strawberries for any of your favourite fruits, you can also substitute the sour cream for fruiche, yoghurt, or fresh whipped cream.
In a food processor combine the pecans and the fresh dates until crumbled and blended together so that when you press the mixture in your hands it sticks.
Remove the mixture and press into 6 x 10cm fluted tins with removable bases, I have used heart shapes for this recipe as I thought they were just lovely. Divide the mixture evenly among the bases and press into the moulds so that they are evenly covered.
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
When the bases are set or firm to touch remove them from the moulds and place onto your serving plate, dollop in a tablespoon about 25g of the sour cream and top with strawberries and shaved chocolate. Dust with icing sugar just before serving.
*Recipe makes 6 tarts
This recipe and much more at www.dominiquerizzo.com
About the Author: A soul woman chef, Dominique possesses a passion for creative world food, fuelled by her Sicilian heritage. In 2007, Dominique started her own chef /consulting business “Pure Food Cooking” with a focus and purpose to inspire and generate awareness in cooking using natural whole foods, and fresh organic produce to improve health, balance and life vitality. She appears regularly on Channel 10′s ‘Ready Steady Cook’, and does guest chef appearances on ‘The Circle’ , Kerri-anne and ‘The 7pm Project’.