Dinner

Raw Broccoli Salad with Bacon, Avocado and Almonds

Raw broccoli doesn’t have to be as dry as you might think – a quick marinade will soften the florets, making them much more palatable!

Take the florets off 1 head of broccoli and place in a bowl – try to break them up into the smaller florets as much as possible

Mix the following in a small jar or glass to make the marinade:
~ juice of half a lemon
~ 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
~ 1 tbsp dijon mustard
~ 2-3 tbsp macadamia oil (or olive oil)
~ salt and pepper

Pour the marinade over the broccoli, stiring thoroughly and leave to rest for around half an hour. (N.B. you may not need to use all of the marinade, or you may like more lemon juice)
Add into the bowl of broccoli:
~ a handful of slivered/flaked or chopped almonds (lightly toasted in a dry pan if you like)
~ around 6 rashers of bacon, diced and fried until slightly crispy
~ 1 avocado, diced

The salad doesnt last very well, having avocado in it, but you can prepare the salad with the broccoli, almonds and bacon in advance and then add in the avocado as you require.

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Pumpkin Dahl

Flavoursome and filling, great for a cold day to keep you warm.

Start by boiling the yellow lentils so that they are cooked by the time the rest of the curry is done
~ 1 cup of yellow lentils, cover with boiling water, simmer fr 20-25 minutes until tender
~ strain and set aside

Fry the following in a large pot on medium-high heat:
~ 1 onion, diced
~ 1 tsp ghee
~ 1 tsp coconut oil

After a few minutes, when the onion is soft, add in:
~ 1-2 garlic cloves, diced finely
~ ginger and tumeric root, diced finely (about a thumb sized piece of both)
~ 1/2 Kent pumpkin, diced into 1cm pieces

Cook for round 5 minutes, stirring often.  When the pumpkin starts to get soft around the edges, add in the spices:
~ 2 tsp garam masala
~ 1 tsp cumin
~ 1 tsp ground tumeric
~ 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
~ 1 tsp curry mix (equal parts mustard seeds, fenugreek & cumin seeds)
~ 1/2 tsp cinnamon
~ 3-5 curry leaves

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Stir the mixture around for a couple of minutes until the spices become fragrant
Add the rest of the ingredients one at a time:
~ 1tsp fish sauce
~ 2 cups chicken stock
~ 200g coconut cream
~ juice from 1/4 of a lemon
~ pinch of salt (to taste)
~ 2 tbsp black or white sesame seeds

Bring to the boil and cook for a further 10 minutes on low heat, until the pumpkin is cooked but not too mushy
Lightly push down on a few areas of the curry with a potato masher so some pieces of the pumpkin are squashed down
Add the lentils and keep cooking for a further 5 minutes

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Delicious Cauliflower Rice

I was skeptical at first as to how this would turn out, however I was pleasantly surprised and will definitely be making it more often.  Blitz a whole lot of cauliflower (half to 3/4 of a medium one) in a food processor and keep it in a container in the fridge to use throughout the week in other dishes such as tabouleh.
Here’s my step by step guide for the rest:

1) Scramble 3 eggs in a large hot pan with a little butter, set aside and cut into chunks
2) Fry 1 onion (diced) in some coconut oil for a few minutes, then add in 4 rashers of bacon (diced)  until the bacon is crispy and the onion soft
3) Add in around 6 mushrooms (sliced or quartered), and chopped or minced garlic*
4) Season with ground coriander, ground cumin and some chili flakes (as much as you like!)
5) Add in 1.5 cups thawed (or fresh) peas into the pan and 1 tin corn kernels (or fresh) and cook on med-high heat for a few minutes
6) Stir through the scrambled eggs, that have been set aside
7) Add in about 2 cups of the blitzed cauliflower and fry for only a few minutes (any more than 2 mins and the cauli will go mushy)
8) season with some salt, pepper, a few drops of both sesame oil and soy sauce
9) top with some toasted cashews, chopped coriander, chives or mint

*You could also add in cooked prawns, leftover roast chicken, beans, broccoli or diced carrots in step 3*

cauliflower rice bacon peas corn egg

Some other dishes you may like:
~ Quinoa Cauliflower Salad with Pistachios and Cranberries
~ Stuffed Mushrooms
~ Zucchini Slice
~ Banana Coconut Bread
~ Coconut Chia Almond Blueberry Muffins

Categories: Dinner, Healthy, Recipes, Salads | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Satay Soba ‘Slaw

I was so surprised at how well all these flavours work together, and even if you aren’t a massive peanut butter fan this dressing isn’t too over powering.
Also a great leftover dish for the next day lunch.  Original recipe here

~ Bring a pot of water to the boil
~ Cook a small bunch of soba noodles (1/3 of a packet) for 2-3 minutes
~ Drain and rinse in cold water (so they don’t overcook and become sticky)
~ Set aside for combining into the rest of the ‘slaw later

In a food processor:
~ 1/4 red cabbage – sliced
~ Green/Chinese Cabbage (same quantity as the red) – sliced
~ 6 brussel sprouts – sliced
~ 2 med carrots, peeled – grated

For the dressing, combine in a medium bowl:
~ 2 tbsp peanut butter (Mayvers or Pics are great)
~ 2 tbsp honey (warm these for 15 sec in the microwave to make them easier to mix together)
~ 3 tbsp white wine vinegar/rice wine vinegar
~ 3 tbsp sesame oil
~ 3 tbsp soy sauce/tamari
~ 1 tbsp grated ginger (peel it and keep it in the freezer to use when needed)
~ 1 clove garlic, minced/finely chopped

Assemble the coleslaw  by mixing part noodle, part vegetable, spoon of sauce and building until you get the consistency you like
Garnish with chopped fresh coriander and chopped peanuts/cashews

satay soba noodle coleslaw

Categories: Dinner, Recipes, Salads, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Red Rocket Quinoa Salad

Recently I’ve been loving making rocket, pear and parmasan salad,  but I had a couple of pomegranates in the fruit bowl and after reading Alexx Stuart’s recipe for a “powerhouse antioxidant red salad” I came up with the following Red Rocket Quinoa Salad – perfect side for a roast chicken.

rocket quinoa pomegranate beetroot almond avocado salad

Cook the quinoa in some boiling salted water for 10 minutes – I used about 1/3 cup dry quinoa.
While it is cooking, start putting together the rest of the salad:

In a bowl, add each ingredient in the following order, mixing after each addition:
~ 1 pomegranate – bash the seeds and juice out using the back of a spoon (do this first so you can pick out bits of pith that may fall in)
~ handful of rocket
~ a few sprigs of parsley, finely chopped
~ 3 baby beetroots, cut into 8ths (Costco have some vacuum sealed packets which are tasty, quick and easy)
~ drizzle balsamic vinegar (I used a small amount of caramelised strawberry balsamic)
~ squeeze of lemon juice (half of a half)
~ drizzle of olive oil
~ pinch of sea salt
~ add the cooked quinoa

Top the salad with flaked almonds and slices of avocado.

rocket quinoa pomegranate beetroot almond avocado salad 2014-06-14 17.25.41

 

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Easy Chorizo Cauliflower Slice (paleo, GF)

You can have this slice warm with dinner, or even cold for breakfast.  Packed with protein and veges, it will keep you full for hours.

chorizo cauliflower paleo egg slice dinner

Cut 2 x medium chorizo lengthways, then slice into 1cm angle chunks
Pan fry on med/low until they get a bit of colour and some of the oil comes out, allow to cool slightly

In a bowl, mix the following:
~ 1/4 head of cauliflower, sliced and diced as finely as you can by hand
~ 1 med/large courgette, grated
~ handful of mint and flat leaf parsley, chopped
~ salt and pepper
~ pinch of sweet or smoked paprika
~ the pan fried chorizo and oil from the pan (extra flavour!)
~ 4-5 eggs (start with 4 and see if the consistency is alright)
~ 2 tbsp coconut flour

If the mixture is too dry, add the 5th egg, but if it feels too wet (like an omelette) then add another tbsp coconut flour.
Bake at 175 for 30 minutes (should feel solid when you take it out of the oven)
Serve warm or cold.

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Bread-free stuffing (for chicken/turkey) (GF)

A great side dish for a roast chicken or turkey without the bread – I have only made this in a loaf tin, rather than actually stuffing a chicken/turkey with it.

Place the following in a med-large bowl:
~ 1/4 cup chopped dates
~ 1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped
~ handful of cranberries (you could use sultanas/raisins)
~ handful of chopped pistachios (or almonds, macadamias etc)

In a medium fry pan, saute the following for around 5 minutes until the onion is soft:
~ 1 red onion, diced finely
~ 2 sticks celery
Add the rest of the ingredients and saute for another 5 minutes:
~ 1/2 granny smith apple, grated
~ any herbs – I find fresh thyme, sage and rosemary work well
~ salt and pepper

Add the onion/apple mix to the dried fruit and nuts
Stir through a beaten egg so that the mixture is wet
Mix in about 1/4 cup almond meal to start with, then keep adding almond meal until the texture is thick and sticky
Place in a lined loaf tin, or small casserole dish
Bake at 180C for 30 minutes (keep an eye on it – if the top starts to brown quickly, then place a piece of baking paper / foil over the top)
Allow to cool slightly then divide up to serve with turkey or chicken

 

 

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Slow Cooked Pork Belly

I always thought there was great mystery to cooking pork belly, slow enough to be tender but not too long as to dry it out.  Turns out the slow cooker does all the hard work and all you have to master is the crackling at the end!

pork belly chinese slow cooked

Mix the following in a medium jug:
~ 2 tbsp brown sugar
~ 1/2 – 3/4 cup chinese cooking wine (from asian grocer)
~ 2 star anise (whole)
~ 1 cinnamon stick

Place your pork belly in the slow cooker (mine was about 1.8 – 2 kgs)
Pour over the above mixture
Slow cook on medium for 5-6 hours
TIP:  During the cooking, check that the cooking wine doesn’t evaporate entirely, but the belly shouldn’t be immersed in it either

About half an hour before you are ready to serve, heat your oven to 240C
Take the pork belly out of the slow cooker and place on a flat baking tray
Score the fat with a super sharp knife, either vertically or on an angle – be careful as the fat will be hot so it may spray out when pierced!
TIP: You could score the fat before the slow cooking, but it may mean the belly falls apart entirely during the cooking, so I left mine in tact until crackling stage

Grind sea salt generously over the scored fat
When your oven is piping hot, place the tray with the belly in the middle rack for 15 mins
TIP: Check after 10 to make sure it isn’t burning – all you want is for the top to crackle and then it is ready

I served this with a red cabbage/carrot/coriander salad and some blanched broccoli.

pork belly chinese slow cooked

pork belly chinese slow cooked

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Moroccan Rice

This is a great accompaniment to slow cooked Moroccan lamb, full of flavour!

Cook 1 cup Jasmine rice in 2 cups chicken stock (or water), while it is cooking you can prepare the rest of the dish:

You will need:
~ 1 brown onion, finely diced
~ 2 tbsp olive oil
~ couple of handfuls of natural almonds, chopped roughly
~ 1/4 tsp ground cumin
~ 1/2 tsp ground coriander
~ 1/8 tsp ground tumeric
~ handful of raisins/sultanas
~ small bunch of coriander leaf, chopped roughly
~ handful of cashews
~ juice from 1/4 orange

While the rice is cooking, fry the onions and oil in a pan for a few minutes on med-high heat
Add the almonds and spices and keep stiring the mixture until fragrant
Add a bit more oil if the mixture starts to get a bit dry
Add the raisins for the last few minutes
When the rice is cooked, stir through the onion/almond/raisin mix
Add the coriander leaf, cashews and orange juice and mix thoroughly

moroccan nuts rice almonds sultanas raisins

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Healthy Beef Meatballs

Just by adding a few things to a traditional meatball/rissole recipe gives them some great flavour and extra nutrition!

Mix the following in a large bowl:
~ 400g lean beef mince
~ 1 small red onion, finely diced
~ 1 medium carrot, grated
~ 1 medium egg
~ 1/2 tsp ground cumin
~ 1 tsp ground coriander
~ 1/2 tsp sweet paprika
~ 1/2 tsp crushed garlic
~ 1/2 tsp crushed chilli (however much you like really!)
~ 1/2 tsp tomato paste
~ few drops of Worchester Sauce
~ salt & pepper

The mixture should be relatively wet, so to reduce the wetness I added quinoa flakes (around 1/4 cup total) until the mixture was a good consistency to roll into balls
Roll the balls in flour (I used Orgran plain flour as it is wheat free)
Place them on a baking tray lined with baking paper
Spray with Coconut Oil Spray and bake at 180C for 20-25 mins (turning half way)
I served with some blanched broccoli and green beans

beef meatballs quinoa

 

beef meatballs quinoa

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