Cazinc is a collective of Melbourne bloggers that explores culture in many forms – from fashion and style, travel, lifestyle and wellbeing, to the culinary and decorative arts.

 

10 Fabulous Easy And Tasty Recipes

10 Fabulous Easy And Tasty Recipes

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It is no secret that I have always admired Nigella Lawson for her love of life and passion for food.  When my cousin Shane moved out of his family home, I gifted him a Nigella recipe book, so when Nigella came to Australia, Shane and I went to see her.   I met Nigella after the show and became so stage-struck, I became lost for words.  Hard to believe, yes, but it is true.  Over the years I have watched and written down many of Nigella's recipes.  

When Simon and I travelled to Paris in 2010, my son Luke stayed home on his own.  I received a message from him saying he was watching my Nigella videos and getting in touch with his feminine side.  Then straight after I received another message stating he was watching Risky Business to get some ideas!!!

Every Christmas friends often enjoy the Nigella Christmas cakes I bake.   Another super easy recipe which is a crowd pleaser.

But what I have loved is witnessing the change in Nigella, who is changing with the times for a healthier way of eating, with vegetarian and gluten free recipes, but still maintaining the delicious flavours she is known for.  Nigella also has a range of express meals, which are a huge hit with our family.

Here are my top 10 Nigella recipes, with a passionate introduction from Nigella herself for you to enjoy:

1. Vegetarian: Pumpkin and Goat's Cheese Lasagne

 This is so delicious and one for the family, who will all enjoy.

This is so delicious and one for the family, who will all enjoy.

Nigella - One of the questions I am asked most often is how do I come up with recipes? The answer is simple: greed. When I'm not eating, I'm thinking about what I might want to eat, and the notion of pumpkin lasagne came into my head when speculo-salivating, and it found its way from my head to my kitchen to my stomach with gratifying ease. This is an easy lasagne to make in that, unlike a traditional meat one, there are not two sauces to do in advance. I simply cook th pumpkin earlier and layer it up with fresh lasagne sheets (bought in vacuum packs from the supermarket) that don't need pre-cooking and an easy cheese and egg mixture. Don't be put off by the length of the recipe that follows. It takes longer to explain than to do!

2. Vegetarian: Moroccan Vegetable Pot and Couscous with Pine Nuts and Dill.

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Nigella - This warmly-spiced vegetable stew, sweet with parsnips and carrots and tangy with preserved lemons and dried apricots is the perfect winter warmer, and just right to break up the seasonal meat feast. And it smells so wonderfully festive as it cooks.

I have specified wholemeal - sometimes sold as wholegrain - couscous as an accompaniment, as I so much prefer it: it is nuttier than regular couscous but still fine and light. Were you to want to sprinkle some pomegranate seeds over, along with the dill and pine nuts, you’d get no argument from me.

3. Vegetarian Pasta - Pappardelle with Butternut and Blue Cheese.

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Caz - This recipe is one of my favourites.  I often add rocket or spinach at the end of the cooking phase.

Nigella - This is one of those welcoming, big-bowl suppers, perfect for feeding friends cosily. Soft, oniony cubes of squash are answered by the salty, sharp and pungent cheese; a little sage breathes its necessary but not overbearing bitterness, and the waxy, scorched pine nuts give quiet crunch, a hint of nubbliness, to this meltingly gorgeous concoction.

4. French Indulgence - Croque Monsieur Bake

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Nigella - Like many good brunch recipes, this is also just the ticket for an early evening supper, the sort you eat in your dressing gown before sophisticated adults feel it is entirely proper to dine.

The joy of this is that you make up the mustardy ham and gruyere sandwiches and cover with beaten eggs the night before, and just let them sit in the fridge melding into one savoury, gooey pudding overnight. The next morning goes as follows: oven on, egg-and-bread dish in; brunch effortlessly served.

5.  Something Light - Tarragon Salmon

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Caz - This is a fabulous recipe for when I am rushing in the door after meetings.  Nigella likes her salmon sushi style (below) but we love to crisp the skin and cook salmon right through, which takes approximately 10 minutes.

Nigella - I like my salmon almost sushi-coral and cooked for two minutes a side, but if you want yours less pink, then cook for three to four minutes a side and add some water to the vermouth mix, as the longer cooking will make more evaporate. The retro sauce is super comforting both for its speed and its fragrant creaminess.

 

6.  Lamb Cutlets With Mint, Chilli & Golden Potatoes

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Nigella - If you put halved baby potatoes on to steam before you get started on the lamb chops, you can fairly effortlessly rely on a proper meat-and-potato supper in around 20 minutes (plus a little marinating time). Steaming the potatoes is, for me, an important stipulation: a steamed spud is a sweet spud; more than that, cooked this way, rather by boiling, the potatoes are dry when done, which makes them easy to fry to crisp bronzedness, without spitting, later. It's important, though, that you don't fill your pot with too much water first. If new potatoes aren’t around, then use a couple of baking potatoes, cut into 1cm / ½-inch dice. Steaming here would be obligatory rather than merely desirable, as the potato chunks would dissolve into mush in boiling water.

7.  Winter Warm Up - Red Prawn and Mango Curry

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Nigella - This is one of the easiest suppers to make, but somehow, however much I know this, it always surprises me. Not in the cooking, so much as in the eating: I can't believe, each time anew, how deep and textured and full-throttle, in a sweet, comforting way, this tastes, when all I've done is a bit of shopping, chopping and some light stirring.

I often use the whole can of coconut milk rather than the mere half below; it really depends on whether I feel like eating out of a deep bowl, soupily, or a shallow one.

Caz - Nigella is right.  Super easy, healthy and delicious on a cold night.

8. Pear, Pistachio and Rose Cake

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Nigella - This is a delicately perfumed confection: yes, a cake, but no ordinary cake; the fruit keeps it so tender and damp that it's as if it's been drenched in light, scented syrup. I've been bold with the amount of rosewater here but, with the pears and pistachios, it strikes only the most fluttering of floral notes. True, the amount of rose petals I strew on top makes it look as if you might just as well wear it on your head as eat it, but it's the sort of cake that invites exuberance.

Caz - If you loved our "Ultimate Love Cake", then you will go crazy over this one.

9. Gluten Free Venetian Carrot Cake

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Nigella - I long thought that carrot cake was an American invention, until I found out that an early version was made by Venetian Jews in the original ghetto. This modest disc is very different from the gargantuan US model with its rich sweet cream-cheese filling and topping, and although - apart from a glorious goldenness - it's not much to look at, it is divine to eat. It also has the added virtue of being attractive to those with dairy and gluten allergies: it came to me dairy free, and I decided to use ground almonds in place of flour to keep the gluten-averse brigade happy, too, but more particularly because it tastes perfect to me like this. Only those with less austere eating habits will care to dollop alongside each damply crumbling wedge of cake my Italianate nod to the American cream-cheese frosting - a soft, rum-flavoured mascarpone cream.

10. Indulgence - Brownies

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Nigella - I don't know why people don't make Birthday Brownies all the time - they're so easy and so wonderful. Brownies are much quicker to make than a cake, and they look so beautiful piled up in a rough-and-tumble pyramid spiked with birthday candles.

Caz - these are my ultimate go to indulgence desert that I quickly make and serve with strawberries, a good vanilla ice-cream and sprinkled with icing sugar.

 

I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as I have sharing them with you.

May you all have a beautiful relationship with food as Nigella and I do.

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Carolyn Rowland is a qualified NLP Master Therapist, Advanced Practitioner of Matrix Therapies, Time Line Therapist, Practitioner of Hypnotherapy, has a Diploma for Business and Life Coaching and A Professional Image Stylist.  Carolyn is happily married to her husband Simon, and raised four beautiful children, who are now young adults and a teenager.

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