Pumpkin and Spinach Soup

30 06 2012

So I will first to admit that isn’t the best color soup I have ever seen but it does taste pretty awesome. The spinach will help you grow up big and strong and get ‘guns’ like Popeye…. Well at the very least, 100g spinach provides 402% of daily vitamin-K requirements and 25% daily iron needs. Vitamin K plays vital role in strengthening bone mass and Iron is an important trace element required by the body for red blood cell production. Pumpkin is a storehouse of many anti-oxidant vitamins such as vitamin-A, vitamin-C and vitamin-E. It is rich in B-complex group of vitamins like folates, niacin, vitamin B-6, thiamin and pantothenic acid.

1 onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
500g pumpkin, cut roughly into chunks
500g frozen spinach (you can use fresh if you like, I just had frozen)
500ml Veggie Stock
1 tsp coconut oil (or oil of your choice)
Pinch salt
1 tsp black pepper

Heat coconut oil in a pot, add onion and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes. Add pumpkin and stock and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for an hour. Add spinach and cook until it has all defrosted (or for 5 mins if using fresh spinach). Season with salt and pepper. Blitz with your stick mixer until smooth.

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Fig & Pistachio Porridge

30 06 2012

Now I used quinoa for my porridge but you can definately use oats, buckwheat or whatever else you like to make porridge with. This makes 2 large serves. Quinoa is a gluten-free nutritional powerhouse. It is often called a ‘grain’ but it is actually a seed and is pronounced keen-wah. Quinoa is a complete protein source containing 9 essential amino acids and is particularly high in Lysine which is responsible for healthy tissue growth and repair.

1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 cups quinoa
1 cup water
3 cups milk of your choice (dairy, soy, coconut, almond)
1 cup chopped dried figs
1/2 cup toasted pistachios
Honey, to serve

In a saucepan, add milk, water and quinoa and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Simmer for about 10 minutes uncovered. Add figs and maple and continue to sir and simmer for about another 5 minutes. Cover with a lid and allow to stand without heat on for 5-10 more minutes. Remove from heat, serve into bowls, drizzle with honey and sprinkle with pistachios. YUM!

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Wombok and Braised Fennel Salad

30 06 2012

Womboks contain significant quantities of calcium, iron, phosphorus, and vitamins A and C. Like other brassicas (cabbages) womboks also contain glucosinolates. This group of sulphur compounds are widely believed to reduce the risks for certain cancers. Fennel has a strong anti-oxidant activity and a great source of Vitamin C, fibre, folate and potassium. You can have this salad on its own or add some lean protein to bulk it up.

1 fennel bulb- thinly sliced
1/2 wombok cabbage- thinly sliced
1 golden shallot- finely diced
2 cloves garlic- crushed
1 handful mint leaves
Bunch coriander- stalks finely chopped, leave reserved
Juice 1 orange
4 radish- thinly sliced (optional)
1 tsp coconut oil (or oil of your choice)
1/2 cup Veggie Stock
1 cup dry roasted cashews (optional) to serve
Lime wedges to serve

In a pan, heat oil. Add garlic and shallot and fry until fragrant. Add stock and bring to simmer, add juice of orange and return to simmer. Add fennel and simmer for about 5 minutes. When fennel is cooked but still firm, remove with tongs leaving liquid in pan. Increase heat, add coriander stalks and reduce liquid by half. Once reduced, pour back over fennel and set aside to cool. In a big bowl combine radish, wombok, mint, coriander leaves, and fennel and toss well to combine. Sprinkle with cashews and serve with lime wedges. We had ours with some grilled scallops… DELICIOUS!!

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Creamy Dill “Pasta”

26 06 2012

This is a fantastic low carbohydrate and nutrient rich version of Italian spaghetti. Zucchini is low calorie and a great source of fibre. It is rich in vitamin A, flavonoid and poly-phenolic antioxidants such as carotenes, lutein and zeaxanthin. These compounds help scavenge harmful oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species from the body that play a role in aging and various disease process. When was the last time regular spaghetti gave you this much goodness? The dill and the basil are packed with flavour and the anchovies add a tiny bit of saltiness and a real depth of flavour…. I don’t even know what “depth of flavour” means, pretty sure I heard it on MasterChef and I thought it would make me sound Iike I have a clue what I’m on about :)

1 tsp anchovies (optional), finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 red onion, finely diced
1/2 cup basil leaves, finely chopped
1 cup dill, finely chopped
1 cup coconut cream
1 cup baby spinach, shredded
3 zucchini- “spaghetti’d” I used my Veggie Twister

In a frypan, sauté the garlic an onion. Add the anchovie and coconut cream and mix well. Add in the basil, dill and spinach and simmer for about 10 minutes. While that is simmering, steam the zucchini spaghetti lightly, about 2 minutes should be enough, you want it to be still firm. Gently add the ‘spaghetti’ to the sauce and toss lightly. You are ready to eat! I served ours with some grilled salmon, there is something very awesome about salmon and dill together.

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Sweet Capsicum Chicken

26 06 2012

I found some leftover Capsicum Sauce from when I made the stuffed veggies and thought it would be a great way to spice up some chicken breasts. Even if you don’t have the capsicum sauce already, it only takes a few minutes to whizz it up.

1 golden shallot, diced finely
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp coconut oil
3 tbs Capsicum Sauce
3 small chicken breasts, halved

Sauté shallot and garlic in the oil, add chicken and brown. Add the capsicum sauce and mix through so the chicken is coated. Cover and simmer for 5-10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Serve with some veggies or salad.

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Raw Broccoli Salad

25 06 2012

This salad is super quick and easy, very fresh, very clean and full of goodness. Broccoli has a strong, positive impact on our body’s detoxification system, it is also a rich source of fiber, Vitamin C, beta carotene, folate, as well as a variety of other important nutrients.

1/2 fennel bulb, roughly chopped
1 carrot, roughly chopped
1 small head broccoli, roughly chopped
1 apple, roughly chopped
2 cm square fresh ginger, peeled and grated on microplane
Juice 1/2 lemon

In your food processor, pulse all the ingredients together until they are blitzed to the chunkiness you like. I tossed mine with some Creamy Cauliflower Sauce once I’d finished blitzing it. Some natural yoghurt with fresh dill would be a great dressing too.

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Creamy Cauliflower Sauce

25 06 2012

I was hunting around for a delicious sauce to use on a salad that was really tasty but still “clean”. I found a few different recipes using cauliflower, this is what I ended up with. It is kinda creamy, without the cream and would make a great sauce on zucchini pasta or tossed through a Broccoli Salad, you could even use it as a spread or on your pizza base.

Cauliflower is from the same family as broccoli and cabbage, it contains many essential B-complex vitamins and loads of vitamin C. Cauliflower contains several anti cancer phyto-chemicals which have proven benefits against prostate, breast, cervical, colon, ovarian cancers. Let’s hear it for cauliflower!

1 golden shallot, roughly chopped
1/2 zucchini
2 cups roasted cauliflower (chop cauliflower into chunks, place on baking paper on a baking tray, sprinkle with water, roast for about 20-30 mins on 180C)
1 tsp tahini
Pinch Himilayan Rock Salt
Pinch cayenne pepper
1/4 cup flaxseeds
1/2 cup basil leaves
3-4 cloves roasted garlic- OPTIONAL
1/2 cup water (you can add a bit more if you want a thinner sauce)
Juice 1/2 lemon

Put all ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth. Easy Peasey.

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Have your cake and eat it too

25 06 2012

For Trav’s birthday I made him the Mammoth Kitchen Chocolate Cake….. Ah, YUM! It is kind of like the consistency of a flourless chocolate cake, which makes sense being that is exactly what it is. It is moist and rich and completely delicious….. And the best part, it has no added nasties, no processed sugar and no artificial rubbish! Winning! I made a Mocha Coconut Frosting to go on top and added some raspberries too. This just goes to show, that with a little effort, you can have your cake and eat it too. Mmmmmm cake. Big shout out to Our Mammoth Kitchen for making a seriously awesome packet cake.

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Mocha Frosting

25 06 2012

This stuff is DELICIOUS!! You could press it into a tray and let it set and eat it like fudge! I used it to ice Trav’s birthday cake that was a Mammoth Kitchen Chocolate Cake. The coconut butter gives it a great texture and a beautiful flavour. Raw cacao has more than 4 times the antioxidants found in green tea and more magnesium than any other whole food. Don’t be deterred by the high fat content of coconut, the saturated fat in coconut is made up of short-chain and medium-chain fatty acids the body quickly turns into energy instead of storing as fat. Therefore, even though it’s high in saturated fat, coconut can aid in weight loss. Half the medium-chain fatty acids in coconut are composed of lauric acid, which is anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and anti-fungal. Coconut can help boost the immune system. The dates are a great way to add texture and a lovely caramelly (is that even a word??) sweetness without the addition of any other sweeteners.

1 cup Coconut Butter
1 tbs instant coffee dissolved in 1/4 cup warm almond milk (or milk of your choice)
1/2 cup raw cacao powder
8 fresh dates

Pop everything in your food processor and blitz until smooth. If you like it sweeter you can add a few more dates. If you need it a bit thinner to spread on a cake you can add a bit more milk, a tablespoon at a time.

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Flour free Choc Brownie

21 06 2012

This is possibly even better than my FUDGY BLACKBEAN BROWNIES. It has no flour so is a perfect option for the gluten free and no legumes so is Paleo friendly. The pumpkin purée adds a great texture and sweetness without being heavy and keeps it really moist. If you need it “nut free” for school lunches you can substitute the nut butter with coconut oil and add an extra tbs of flaxseed meal.

1 cup pumpkin puree (steam or roast some pumpkin and blitz it, presto- purée)
1/2 cup nut butter- I used ABC but you can use what you like
2 eggs
1/2 cup raw cocoa powder
2 tbs flaxseed meal or LSA
1 tsp baking powder
Stevia to taste (optional) or 1 tbs agave or pure maple syrup
1/4 cup nuts or frozen berries (optional)

Preheat oven to 170C
Mix together the pumpkin, nut butter, eggs, flaxseed meal and stevia (or other sweetener, if using) until well-combined. Add in cocoa powder and baking powder until smooth. You may add a few tablespoons of water to help with mixing, but batter should be thick. Fold in berries or nuts, if using.
Line an 8×8 baking dish with baking paper. Pour batter into dish. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Slice and serve with some berries or coconut milk yoghurt.

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Coconut Butter

21 06 2012

This might actually be the best thing I have ever eaten! Seriously, I know I am a bit OTT when it comes to coconut but this stuff is SO good. I used dried shredded coconut but you could probably use coconut flakes or desiccated coconut.

400g shredded coconut- unsweetened, preservative free

Pop it in the food processor and blend. That’s it. I will probably take about 10 minutes and you might need to give the edges a scrape occasionally. It will turn into a paste then start to get a bit runnier like nut butter and then you are done. Pop in a jar and use it as you wish….

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I “Stuffed” the Veggies

21 06 2012

This is a super easy side dish that can be altered as you need to. If you don’t have the time to roast some capsicums you could use some sundried tomatoes instead. You could also use eggplant or squash as your veggies if you like. These are healthy, tasty and have minimal ingredients. Winning!

Portabello Mushrooms- big ones, one per person
Zucchini, halved lengthways, 1/2 per person
1 bunch fresh basil
4 red capsicum, roasted
1 chilli, seeds removed if you don’t want it too hot
2 tbs olive oil

Preheat over to 180C. In a food processor blitz the capsicum, basil and chilli and olive oil until a rough purée. Place mushroom and zucchini on a baking paper lined tray and spoon purée on top. You can also crumble a bit of goats cheese on top if you like. Pop in the oven for 20-30 mins until cooked. Get in while its hot! YUM!

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Shepherd’s Pie with a Twist

20 06 2012

This is a great spin on the old faithful Shepherds Pie. You can chuck as many veggies or as few as you like. I made mine with chicken mince but you can use any mince you choose. The mash is not as heavy or stodgy as the original pie version but still makes you feel warm and comforted.

For the pie filling-
500g chicken or beef mince (I just minced chicken breasts in the food processor)
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
1 zucchini- diced or grated if you are trying to hide it from small people
1 carrot- diced or grated
1/2 cup frozen peas (optional)
1 tin tomatoes, including juice
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed

For the mash-
1/2 head cauliflower, steamed
1 lge parsnip, washed, skin on, steamed
You can sneak in some steamed broccoli here too if you like.
2 tbs milk of your choice
1 heaped tsp sweet paprika (optional)
1/2 tsp onion powder (optional)
1/2 tsp garlic powder (optional)

In a pan, sauté onion and garlic. Add mince and brown. Add all other pie filling ingredients and mix well. Bring to the boil and reduce heat to a low simmer. Allow to simmer for 20-30 minutes. Spoon into a casserole dish.

For the mash- purée all ingredients in the food processor until smooth. You can mash it all together if you like. It will be a reddish colour if you add the paprika. Spoon the mash on top of the mince and bake on 200C for 15-20 mins until it starts to brown on top.

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World, meet Maggie

18 06 2012

Just thought I would quickly introduce everyone to the latest love of my life…. My new Thermomix. Her name is Maggie, after the gorgeous Maggie Beer, and though we have only been together a few days now, I think this is a love that will last the test of time.

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I will still make sure that I remember that everyone does not have a Maggie (and therefore you will not all be broke like me for a very long time) and ensure my recipes still cater for the masses. We are still in the honeymoon phase and I just needed to gush about her :)





Chai Quinoa Porridge

17 06 2012

It’s cold outside and warm porridge is the perfect way to warm your morning! Quinoa is a gluten-free nutritional powerhouse. It is often called a ‘grain’ but it is actually a seed and is pronounced keen-wah – just in case you go asking for it and they look at you like you are a twit for pronouncing it how it’s spelt :) Quinoa is a complete protein source containing 9 essential amino acids and is particularly high in Lysine which is responsible for healthy tissue growth and repair (if have a coldsore- get lots of Lysine into you! Read more about this here ). Quinoa is also a great source of magnesium, is low in fat and is a lower carbohydrate solution to grains.

1 cup quinoa- rinsed in cold water
2 cups milk- coconut, almond, soy or dairy
2 heaped teaspoons chai tea or 2 chai teabags
1 tbs pure maple syrup
1/2 cup chopped dates

In a saucepan, add milk and warm over a low heat. Once milk is warm place 2 chai tea bags or loose leaf holder of chai into the saucepan to infuse the milk. Allow to infuse over the low heat for 5 minutes then remove tea leaves/bag. Add quinoa and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Simmer for about 10 minutes uncovered. Add dates and maple syrup and continue to sir and simmer for about another 5 minutes. Cover with a lid and allow to stand without heat on for 5-10 more minutes. I served mine with some toasted seeds and coconut but some yoghurt would be nice too.

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Choc raspberry Fudge

17 06 2012

A super fast fudge without all the sugar of regular fudge. The banana adds just enough sweetness. This does not make a huge amount of fudge which may or may not be good, it was good for me because it prevented me from eating a kilo of fudge in one hit :)

4 tbs nut butter
4 tbs coconut oil
4 tbs cocoa powder
1 lge very-ripe banana
Pinch salt
optional: feel free to add a little sweetener (agave/pure maple) if your bananas aren’t ripe enough
1/2 cup raspberries

Blitz everything except the raspberries in the food processor until smooth. Stir through raspberries. Press into a small dish and pop in the fridge or freezer to set.

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Jac’s Brekkie Fritatta

17 06 2012

This recipe was sent to me by one of my wonderful friends Jaclyn, I made it, I loved it, so I thought it only fair to share it. It is super easy, you can make a big batch and keep it for the week’s brekkie, a snack on the run, an accompaniment with your dinner or with a nice big salad for lunch. The veggies in this are a great addition for a fast nutrition injection.

Now let’s talk about eggs…. In a world full of misinformation about nutrition, most people mistakenly think that the egg yolk is the worst part of the egg, when in fact, the YOLK IS THE HEALTHIEST PART OF THE EGG!

By throwing out the yolk and only eating egg whites, you’re essentially throwing out the most nutrient dense, antioxidant-rich, vitamin and mineral loaded portion of the egg. Yolks contain more than 90% of the calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, thiamin, B6, folate, and B12, and panthothenic acid of the egg. In addition, the yolks contain ALL of the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K in the egg, as well as ALL of the essential fatty acids (EFAs).

In fact, the egg whites are almost devoid of nutrition compared to the yolks. Even the protein in egg whites isn’t as powerful without the yolks to balance out the amino acid profile and make the protein more bio-available.

Keep in mind, even though this seems like a lot of eggs, this makes about 6-8 serves so you are not even having more than one egg at a time! 2 at most! I eat about 3 whole eggs a day normally so don’t have a freak out.

2 cups of roasted (or steamed) sweet potato or pumpkin
6 eggs
1 cup raw broccoli
1 grated zucchini
4 slices cooked bacon, chopped roughly (OPTIONAL) or you could use smoked salmon like I did.

Blitz the roasted sweet potato or pumpkin and the broccoli in the food processor. In a bowl beat the eggs lightly, add broccoli mix, zucchini and bacon (if using) and mix well to combine.

Pour into a small baking dish or lightly greased muffin tins and bake on 180C for about 30mins. Mine is crazy green because I got lazy and blitzed all the veggies together and I added some kale (don’t tell Trav) and some parsley I found in the fridge that was on it’s way out so it went in too. Enjoy!

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Kale Chips

17 06 2012

These are like chips…. Only healthy! You can buy them at the healthfood store already done but they will cost you a small fortune and will most likely have more salt than you need. Even my husband kale-hater-Trav thinks these are delicious. You can sprinkle with a bit of parmesan if you like as well.

Kale contains some very powerful antioxidants that protect our cells from free radicals. One cup of kale contains nearly 20% of the RDA of dietary fiber, which promotes regular digestion, prevents constipation, lowers blood sugar and curbs overeating. It is an awesome veggie to aid our bodies in the detoxification process and contains lads of vitamins A, K and C.

1 bunch kale- leaves removed and washed (you can keep the stalks to chuck in a Veggie Stock)
Himalayan pink crystal salt- why this salt? Read more HERE
2 tsp olive oil

Wash the kale leaves and dry well. Tear into pieces and toss with the olive oil. Spread on baking paper on a tray and sprinkle lightly with salt. Bake for about 10-15 mins on 160C. Do NOT leave the kitchen. These have a habit of going from bright green and not cooked to complete chunks of char in a matter of minutes. Allow to cool and then eat them up! I am not sure how long or how to store these…. They never last long enough for that to be a requirement at our place.

This is before they went into the oven

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And after they came out….

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Coconut Milk Yoghurt

17 06 2012

Coconut milks and creams vary hugely in their fat content which really tells you how much water has been added. I’ve used unsweetened coconut ‘cream’. Higher fat coconut cream will give a thicker, richer yoghurt,of course, you’ll get a less thick yoghurt with a lower fat coconut milk. Don’t be deterred by the high fat content, the saturated fat in coconut is made up of short-chain and medium-chain fatty acids the body quickly turns into energy instead of storing as fat. Therefore, even though it’s high in saturated fat, coconut can aid in weight loss. Half the medium-chain fatty acids in coconut are composed of lauric acid, which is anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and anti-fungal. Coconut can help boost the immune system.

You will need a good thermos and a thermometer. You can also make this recipe with regular milk instead of the coconut cream. If you do not have a thermos you can pop the yoghurt in a covered pot in the oven with just the light on- no heat.

2 cans coconut cream/or milk (about 500ml)- I used the AYAM brand as it has no added crap
1 tsp agar agar powder or tapioca flour (optional to thicken)
1 tbs honey/agave (to give the bacteria some food to flourish)
3 tbs good quality Natural Yoghurt (use a non-dairy alternative if required)

In a clean bowl, add the yoghurt and allow to come to room temperature.
Combine coconut cream and tapioca/agar agar in a medium saucepan. You’ll have some lumps.
Gently heat to 43C and turn the heat off. I did not add the thickening agent to mine and it had the consistency of regular (non-Greek style) yoghurt. I would add some thickener next time to get a thicker consistency.
Place 2-3 tablespoons coconut mixture in the bowl with the yoghurt and stir until it forms a paste. Add this back into the main saucepan and stir well for a few minute without the heat on to combine well.
Pour into a thermos and leave in a warm place for about 12hrs. If you don’t have a thermos, cover the pot with a lid and place in the oven with just the light on, no heat. This will be enough to keep it warm for the 12hrs.

After at least 12hrs pop in the fridge and leave for another day before eating. If your yoghurt is not as thick as you would like, strain it through a clean chux or muslin cloth. Keep the whey that runs off for smoothies, baking etc, you can freeze it if you like. ** UPDATE – I added some chia seeds to my yoghurt and they did a great job of absorbing the excess moisture and made it really thick!
You can now flavour your yoghurt with some fresh or frozen berries or whatever you like to add some additional flavour if you want to. Add some honey if you like your yoghurt a bit sweeter or some LSA and nuts.

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Asparagus, Pea and Mint Soup

16 06 2012

This soup just makes me feel healthy even looking at it, I think it is because it’s green and green food makes me feel good. This is a really light soup and makes a great entree as it’s not too filling. I added a zucchini to mine even though it wasn’t in the initial recipe, it’s green so in it went, you can also add some spinach at the end with the mint if you too are excited by green things. If you like you can make this in your slow cooker but it is a pretty quick soup anyway.

750ml Veggie Stock (you can use chicken if you like)
250g frozen baby peas
2 bunches fresh asparagus-ends trimmed, roughly chopped
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
1 zucchini- OPTIONAL diced
1 onion- diced
2 large cloves garlic- crushed
1 tbs macadamia oil (or oil of your choice)

In a pot sauté onion and garlic in the oil. Add zucchini and asparagus and sauté for a few more minutes until starting to soften. Add stock and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 1/2 hr. Remove from heat, add peas and mint and blitz with a stick mix until smooth. Serve with a dollop of natural yoghurt if you like, I do :)

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