Crunchy Polenta Fingers- Chris’ Dips

I love snacking, and I’m always trying to come up with quick and easy foods to create. Especially vegan and vegetarian dishes that are portable and easy to eat on the run.

Polenta is such a versatile food which can be made sweet or savoury.  It can be used to make ‘fries’ or sweetened to make desserts.

For these Polenta snacks I used pre-firmed Polenta which can be purchased in the pasta section of your local supermarket.

You will need:

Half a polenta slab cut into fingers
1/2 container Chris’ Spiced Roasted Carrot and Turmeric Dip
3/4 cup Gluten Free bread crumbs

Slather each finger in the dip- I used a spoon to make this easier and then dunk them in the bread crumbs so they are completely covered.

Place them on a baking tray lined with baking paper.

Bake in a fan forced oven at 180 degrees for 20 mins to half an hour until the fingers are browned.

Leave to cool once cooked and then enjoy them dipped into more of Chris’ Dip or a plain Greek yoghurt. 

I made these gluten free to tie in with the dip and I also had a friend coming over who was gluten intolerant.
These would work well with quinoa instead of the breadcrumbs or even a cheese mixed in with the breadcrumbs.

These can be enjoyed warmed or cold.  For pre-heating do this in an oven as a microwave will leave them soggy.

Healthy Pizza Bites- Chris’ Dips

Have you tried the new range of Chris’ Dips?

My favourite at the moment is the Spiced Roasted Carrot and Turmeric.
It is FULL of flavour and very moreish. It’s safe to say I’ve eaten the entire container.

The great thing about the Chris’ Dips range is they taste like you’ve just made them yourself. Fresh, light, delicious and full of all the good stuff; for example the carrot is actually visible in the dip- and it’s only 39 calories per serve!

I wanted to create something warm and tasty, yet healthy- to feel good about what I was eating!

These take no time to make and you can add whatever pizza toppings you prefer or what suits your dietary needs.

I sliced a green capsicum in half and used Chris’ Spiced Roasted Carrot and Turmeric dip as my base, topped with sundried tomato and grated Bio Cheese.

Bake in a preheated fan forced oven at 180 degrees for 15 minutes.

These are healthy, full of flavour, vegan and vegetarian, gluten free, dairy free, low in saturated fat, and perfect as a snack or as an entrée. 

They would work well at a party too, and make simple finger-food. 

I love Chris’ Down 2 Earth range, it’s great for the health conscious and next on my list is their Japanese Eggplant and Miso dip!

Best get creating!

Cloude Hill Gardens and Nursery

I visited the most beautiful place in Olinda over the weekend, Cloude Hill Gardens and Nursery.

We wanted to do something fun and also make the most of the lack of rain during the morning. It sure did pelt down in the afternoon and on Sunday, but luckily stayed dry for our adventure!

We reached Cloude Hill just after it opened and paid the $10 entry. We spent a good couple of hours wandering the meandering paths and gardens.  

The gardens were like a magical movie set, there are 20 gardens filled with sculptures and ornaments.  The paths are filled with the beautiful orange and reds of the changing autumn leaves and we could hear the shuffles and movements of kangaroos. 

It’s almost like we were in our own Secret Garden. I was so desperate to find an ivy covered door to push open to reveal a flower covered swing.

The land dates back to the 1890’s & Ted and Jim Woolrich, brothers, established the gardens in the late 1920’s.
Unfortunately bushfires swept through the land in the 60’s and the property ended up being sold onto a man named Keith and the garden is as you see it today.

Cloude Hill also has a beautiful nursery attached and we picked up a blueberry bush to plant in our own garden. 

The small shop is quaint with walls full of seeds, garden ornaments and books. The Cloude Hill restaurant overlooks the huge gardens and is perfect for a hot cuppa after exploring the beautiful landscape.

Cloude Hill Gardens and Nursery is located at 89 Olinda-Monbulk Road, Olinda

Cloude Hill Website

Wild Cattle Creek Winery

We celebrated my Grandma’s 80th Birthday at Wild Cattle Creek Winery on the weekend.

The area is beautiful and surrounded by many vineyards, trees and gorgeous open spaces. The autumn leaves were stunning and the sun blessed us with it’s rays during the afternoon.

We all enjoyed sharing platters for entree and I chose the salmon as my main meal.
The variety on the patter was wide, with olives, feta, cold meats, herb crusted cheeses, prawns, bread sticks & marinated vegetables.
I filled my plate with prawns, cheese, olives and some of the cold meats.
Each platter came with a side of warm herb bread with garlic butter.

I was glad to see the green beans with my salmon as I am crazy for them at the moment.
We all posed for some family photos before dessert. 

Haha this is a fun one with my cousin and Aunt!

Wild Cattle Creek is located in Wandin in Melbourne. It is a quaint, pretty place with the most amazing staff members- they call you Madame or use Sir & are very polite and genuine. 

The gardens give that mystical feel and are so pristine and neat. Wild Cattle Creek also makes the perfect wedding venue, the photos would be amazing.