Friday 25 September 2009

Green Home, Green Houses

We have many green things in our home. We even have green interior walls and a green front door. But while I was out walking with Sylvia I started wondering about having a house that was green on the outside. It had never occurred to me before, but time at home with a baby means I have too much time to think. Since I have started looking I have been amazed at how many green houses there are. So to celebrate spring rains and new green growth, Sylvia’s first green vegetables (zucchini last week and broccoli this week) and a green meal, I give you a photo feast of green home and green houses.

It started at home when I began to look around at the green things we have in our house. Many of my green kitchen things can be seen throughout the blog including on the banner at the top of the page. But there are more:

Green CDs:

Green Books:

Green Clothes:

Green baby bits and pieces:

Outside the house, many green leaves are easy to find. Here is a sample of some from the humble gum tree:

I have always liked the idea of a green wall:

But recently, on walks with Sylvia, I have been noticing just how many green houses are in my part of Melbourne. Most of these are weatherboard. I think they are called 'clapboard' in America but not here in Australia. There are so many green houses (and apologies to anyone reading this post looking for houses with environmental credibility rather than a coat of green paint). They are many and varied. Some have green roofs and picket fences:

Some are pale green:

Some are dark green:

Some are terraced:

Some are in desperate need of work:

Some have already had a lot of love and attention lavished upon them:

And some just make me feel nostalgic for houses I have known and loved:

Well after that long excursion you are either a) curious to know where this is heading, b) waiting for a recipe, c) excited by all the green and longing for more, or d) procrastinating. So for those who have stayed the distance, I will now give you a recipe based on Heidi's Double Broccoli Quinoa. It caught my eye because it was full of lovely green broccoli. Mine wasn't the best because I accidentally over salted the quinoa and I suspect Heidi's cream might have been more liquid than my cream cheese. If I had been organised I might have served it with avocado but there were no ripe ones to be found. I've told you what I did but you are welcome to check out Heidi's superior dish, especially as her photos are always stunning.

I added more green vegetables and it looked a gorgeous green. E said it needed red capsicum but I am only showing you the green version because that is today's theme. The best use of the broccoli pesto was in some polenta that I baked with mozzerella and topped with a tomato, lentil and pumpkin sauce but there were no photos - it would not do in a green post!

Green Broccoli Quinoa
Adapted from 101 Cookbooks
Serves 4

1 cup uncooked quinoa
3 medium heads of broccoli (about 5 cups), chopped
1 small garlic clove, chopped
⅔ cup almonds
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup cream cheese (or cream)
dash of cayenne pepper to taste
1 bunch asparagus, chopped small
2 large handfuls of baby spinach
1 cup frozen peas
feta cheese 100g

Rinse quinoa (if necessary) and place in medium saucepan with 2 cups of water with a pinch or two of salt.  (NB I forgot that the quinoa would soak up the water and thus the salt so mine was too salty – next time I will taste the water to check it is just salty enough.) Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 15 minutes until the quinoa is fluffy and soft. Most of the water will be absorbed but if there is any extra water, tip it out.

Meanwhile, cook half broccoli in the microwave. Put one head of broccoli in the blender. Add almonds, parmesan, garlic, lemon juice, oil , cayenne and cream cheese. Blend to make a smooth puree.

Cook the remaining broccoli, asparagus and peas in the microwave separately till tender and bright green.

To assemble. Mix half the broccoli pesto into the cooked quinoa. Check seasoning – it may need more pesto, salt lemon, or cayenne pepper. Spoon quinoa into bowls. Arrange vegetables on quinoa and scatter with crumbled feta cheese.

On the Stereo:
Sol Lucet Omnibus: a tribute to Sol Invictus - Various Artists


  1. I love your green post! All your photos are so beautiful! The green houses are so cool, and made me feel quite nostalgic - when we lived in Baton Rouge we had a little olive green wooden cottage... :-)

    Your quinoa looks incredible! Personally, I think your substitution of cream cheese instead of cream sounds heavenly!

  2. Love all the green (that purse is astonishing!). I've never seen a gum tree, so thanks for that, too. I also bookmarked Heidi's double green recipe so glad to see how well it worked out (with or without extra salt, or capsicums). :)

  3. I miss Melbourne... Hopefully I can settle down there very soon. Sydney is good for me, but Melbourne has never lost its charm :)

  4. Thanks Astra - your green cottage sounds just my sort of place

    Thanks Ricki - that is amazing you have never seen a gum tree - yet another reason you must come to Australia

    Thanks Anh - hope you manage to make your way back to Melbourne

  5. I was c) excited by all the green and longing for more! I love green and love all the house photos and other photos you shared. The broccoli dish looks lovely! I had saved Heidi's recipe to make so thanks for reminding me I should make it soon! And I just bought a big bag of quinoa.