Grilled Halibut with sautéed peas, potatoes and herb sauce

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Dinner
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I love fish. But I’ll admit, it has taken some time to master the art of cooking it perfectly. I’ve served up broken fillets, fillets half stuck to the pan, overcooked and undercooked fish. This week when I was sold (without looking at the price) a rather exy pair of Halibut fillets I was a little afraid of destroying them. But thankfully it plated up without too many dramas. Served with sautéed peas, potatoes and a herb sauce it made a really nice dinner.

You want to look for a good quality firm white fish. Buy the freshest fish that you can afford. This recipe uses wild fresh American Halibut. It’s a meatier fish and has an amazing taste and texture.

I’ve used fresh tarragon and dill as herbs in the mashed peas and sauce. But tarragon can be an acquired taste so if it isn’t to your liking then choose another herb like Italian parsley. The sauce ingredient quantities actually makes more than you need. But to blend well it requires a bit of liquid to get it going. It makes a great salad dressing however so store any remaining sauce in the refrigerator and use it for another meal.

I’ve also used smoked flaked sea salt. This isn’t a necessity but I had it on hand and thought it would go well here. Flaked or regular sea salt is fine.
 

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Easy spiced applesauce

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Stocks & sauces
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Applesauce is a great accompaniment with roasted pork. And spiced applesauce – yum. The smell of it cooking reminds me of Christmas.

There is no added sweetener in this recipe since apples are sweet enough. All you need are fresh apples, water and a few spices. I’ve used a food processor but you can use a potato masher. You will just get a slightly lumpier sauce.

You can give it to toddlers straight off a spoon. You might just need to dial down the spices if they find it a bit too strong. Soren (our little mister) loves it with this amount of spice in it. So test it out once and then adjust the next batch you make.

Personally I love it spread over a piece of toast. Adding a slice of Gouda makes it a little more decadent.
 

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Salted nut butter cups

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Dessert
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Homemade nut butter cups are fast becoming my favourite thing to prepare for a sweet treat. They are quite simple to make as well. This recipe I’ve adapted from I Quit Sugar and My New Roots. 

I tried making them with the pistachio butter I had on hand, but the pistachio flavour gets a little lost against the cacao. Cacao is quite intense. But an awesome ingredient loaded antioxidants and a good source of fibre and iron. Almond butter works really well with cacao which is what went into these.

I’ve kept sweetening to a minimum and only added in a little honey. But if you would like it sweeter then taste as you go and add a bit more to each mixture if you think it needs it. The same goes with salt.
 

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Chicken stock

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Stocks & sauces
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I’ve recently started making my own stock/broth. It’s easy to buy stock cubes but if you look at the ingredient list they are filled with so many ingredients that really don’t sound natural. I find processed stock can be way too salty.

Making your own stock from scratch isn’t actually that hard. Plus, you end up with a whole heap of meat to use for salads or meals throughout the week.

Here’s a simple recipe for chicken stock. It takes several hours so if you have a slow cooker then it’s super easy. If not then it will take about 4 hours on the stove, which is also easy enough if you have the time to be home while it simmers away.

If time is an issue then your local butcher might have a homemade beef, chicken or bone stock available to buy in their freezer. Better for you than cardboard box varieties you find in the supermarket.

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Roasted cauliflower ‘rice’ and grilled ham salad

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Lunch
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Cauliflower ‘rice’ is cauliflower pulsed in a processor until it resembles what looks like rice. It works well in a salad when paired with bulkier ingredients. I like to roast the cauliflower as it gives it a nice texture and nutty flavour. If you don’t have a processor then just chop the cauliflower up into small pieces and roast the same way.

Today for lunch I added grilled ham, avocado, arugula, herbs, toasted almonds and a simple mustard dressing.

When looking for ham, it’s good to try to get one with as minimal added ingredients as you can. Things like added sugar, sodium nitrate and MSG are no good for you. Organic brands are usually quite good. As an alternative you could add another protein like grilled chicken or pork. Or toasted chickpeas for a vegetarian option.
 

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Pistachio butter

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Snacks
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I’ve banned peanut butter from our home. When it’s here I’m like a moth to a flame with spoon in hand. I can’t just stop at one mouthful. But with other nut butters I seem to be able to restrain from devouring the whole jar immediately. Last week I made up a jar of pistachio butter. With the salt and cinnamon it makes a yummy little treat.

When you’re grinding the nuts it may seem like they will never form a butter, but be patient. It takes a little while to get going but all of a sudden a paste forms quite quickly.

And it will stay fresher if you store it in the refrigerator. But it will harden up. So you may want to let it sit at room temperature for 5 minutes before using.
 

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