Hay Donna . . . Donna Hay, that is . . . and three delicious and easy Donna Hay vegetarian recipes

Do you do the Donna? Donna Hay, I mean? Well, if you don't, then you are in for a pretty, pretty ride.

Donna Hay is the Australian answer to the foodie side of Martha Stewart. Starting with a home economics diploma from a technical college, her first job was in the test kitchens of the Australian publication Women's Weekly. She eventually worked her way to food editor of Marie Claire, managing to write eight cookbooks (well worth looking at both for the fast and simple recipes and the wonderful food stying) along the way. Oh, and least I forget, she now also has a self-titled magazine which is a lovely as her cookbooks (and, at $9.99US, almost as expensive).

And now that I've introduced you to the talented Donna Hay, I'd like to introduce you to three of her wonderful, wonderful vegetarian recipes.

Now, Donna is, by no means, an almost vegetarian. But she does have plenty of vegetarian recipes, and her simplicity is such an inspiration that she is well worth reading. But don't take my word for it. Try one of the recipes from her magazine yourself:
Donna Hay vegetarian recipe: Pear and blue cheese crunchy salad
vegetable oil for shallow-frying
8 wonton wrappers
400g (14 oz) blue cheese, sliced
2 bosc pears, quartered
2 cups watercress
french dressing
¼ cup (2 fl oz) malt vinegar
2 teaspoons brown sugar
¼ cup (2 fl oz) olive oil
1 eschalot (French shallot), thinly sliced
sea salt and cracked black pepper

To make the French dressing, place the vinegar, sugar, oil, eschalot, salt and pepper in a bowl and stir to combine. Set aside.

Heat 1cm (¹⁄³ in) of oil in a non-stick frying pan over high heat. Add the wonton wrappers and shallow-fry in batches for 2 minutes or until golden and crispy. Drain on absorbent paper. Divide the wontons between plates and top with cheese, pears, watercress and French dressing to serve. Serves 4.

And, while you're at it, you might want to try a recipe from one of her books. This one is from Modern Classics 2.
Donna Hay vegetarian recipe: Orange and Poppyseed Cake
1/3 cup poppy seeds
3/4 cup milk
200g butter, softened
1 tbsp finely grated orange rind
3/4 cup castor sugar
3 eggs
2 cups plain flour
1 1/2 tspns baking powder
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 cup shredded orange rind

Preheat the oven to 160C. Place the poppy seeds and milk in a bowl and stir to combine. Set aside.

Place the butter, orange rind and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until light and creamy. Gradually add the eggs and beat well. Sift the flour and baking powder over the butter mixture and add the orange juice and poppy seed and milk mixture. Stir to combine and spoon into a 20cm round cake tin lined with non-stick baking paper.

Bake for 55-60 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer.

While the cake is cooking, make the syrup. Place the sugar, orange juice and orange rind in a saucepan over low heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Increase the heat and boil for 5-6 minutes or until syrupy.

Pour half of the hot syrup over the hot cake. To serve, cut the warm or cold cake into wedges and pour over the remaining syrup. Serves 8-10.

Finally, this recipe is from another Donna Hay book: Flavours. It is divine with fruit. Any fruit.
Donna Hay vegetarian recipe: Whipped Minted Yoghurt
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup shredded fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup water
1 cup yoghurt, well chilled
1 cup cream, well chilled

Place sugar, mint and water in a saucepan over low heat, stirring till the sugar has dissolved. Allow it to simmer for another 4 minutes, then let it stand for 5 minutes.

Strain and cool the mixture.

Place the yoghurt, cream and mint syrup in the bowl of a mixer, and beat till light and creamy.

Serve the minted yoghurt with fresh fruit for breakfast or dessert. Garnish with a couple of extra mint leaves.

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