Lentil and Nut Stuffed Roasted Peppers

Look I just added a liittttle cheese !!! We had such an onslaught of cheese the other week (which of course was divine), so I thought today I would just keep it simple, with a minimal amount of cheese.

These little guys are so awesome and really is such a versatile meal.  For as long as I can remember I have LOVED roasted peppers.  Hey, I am not even picky about which colour pepper I have.  I know some people do have their preferences, but not me…. So, I know stuffed peppers is not a new thing….but then it is all about the filling.  So if you want to go the ‘veggie way’ these I think will impress you !  These Lentil and Nut Stuffed Peppers can easily just be eaten as is. Don’t be shy, be like me and try all the colours and make it a meal. I served these little babies with a ton of roasted veggies…(yes, that is how I like them) but knock yourself out and serve them pretty much how ever you would like to serve them.  No matter what….I know you’ll enjoy  🙂 !

Lentil and Nut Stuffed Roasted Peppers

Preparation time:  15 minutes

Cooking time: 20 – 30 minutes

Total time:  35 – 45 minutes

Makes 8 – 9 whole peppers, depending on the size

Ingredients:

8 – 9 whole peppers

1 cup cooked lentils (I used brown)

1 cup grated carrots

approximately 3/4 cup diced white onion

1 clove garlic crushed and diced

a handful of grated matured cheddar cheese  – optional (for the cheese lovers, you can add one cup)

1/2 cup dry toasted nuts, slightly chopped (I used walnuts)

1/2 cup dry toasted sunflower seeds

100 gram tomato paste

2 teaspoons dried oregano

2 teaspoons dried parsley

2 teaspoons dried basil

Salt and Pepper

For the topping:  extra matured cheddar cheese – optional

extra dry toasted nuts (I used walnuts)

Instructions:

In a large bowl add all the above ingredients except for the extra cheese and nuts.

Cut the top off each pepper (so it acts like a lid or hat for the pepper LOL)

With a tablespoon generously fill each pepper.

Top with extra cheese and nuts.

Place in the oven (place some aluminium foil/tin foil over ovenproof dish) and allow to roast. Check peppers after 20 minutes.  Roast in oven until the cheese is bubbling. You may want to take the foil off from the ovenproof dish nearing the end of roasting time.

Remove from the oven.

Serve hot either with roasted vegetables or with a salad.

Enjoy 🙂

NB*

1)  To make it vegan,  omit the cheese.

2)  Preparation time can literally be cut in half with this meal if the cheese is already grated, and the nuts and seeds are already dry toasted.

3)  This recipe can easily be cut in half if wanted, as it does make a fair amount.  Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge and utilized again, even making alternative meals.

 

 

Red/Purple Cabbage and Berry Breakfast Smoothie

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Okay, I did this…..I put cabbage in your smoothie.  I swear you probably think I have lost all my marbles even considering cabbage for a smoothie….Don’t stone me, trust me… And, I put in the nice cabbage, the pretty colourful red one….just for a change. Or is it purple?  Aubergine like colour? Burgundy? I don’t know, personally I don’t think it is red or purple, often it is called red….but whatever, just something in between, but who cares so long as it is super cool and super pretty. Sorry if the cabbage thing has put you off, but it is good for you.

So, the moral of the story is, if you have a bit of red/purple,burgundy or aubergine colour cabbage left or if you see those little baby ones in the store or at the market, bomb it into a smoothie, add an apple and a banana and some berries and you have this smoothie of note !!!!

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Red/Purple Cabbage and Berry Breakfast Smoothie

Preparation time:  5 minutes

Total time:  8 minutes

Serves 1

Ingredients:

1 fresh or frozen banana

1 red apple, chopped

100 grams shredded red cabbage

100 grams  blueberries, fresh or frozen

1 cup milk of your choice

Instructions:

Place all the above ingredients into the blender and blend until smooth.  This takes approximately 3 minutes.

Pour into a glass.

Enjoy 🙂

 

Four Cheese and Nut Tart

For all the Cheese Lovers out there….this one is for you!!!

I am an all or nothing kind of a girl, and I have pretty much been on a Gluten and Dairy-Free way of eating for quite some time now.  Well, this tart, just threw the gluten thing and dairy thing out the window for me.  But it was all good and totally worth it. I ate salad leaves and cucumber for a solid week just to apologise to my stomach and try and get it back on track from making it consume the gluten and dairy…but that is how it goes once in awhile :-). This was like my all time cheat.  Most people do it with chocolate, I did it with cheese, not one kind, but FOUR!!!

I cannot take all the credit for this amazing tart.  I have had this recipe for ‘yonks’ and every time I page through my recipe collection, this recipe practically haunts me. It is like….bake me, bake me….I swear I literally hear this timid little voice, it is just so sad…..so…. Finally I just did it ! I made it, and it was all that I expected and more ….yes, this tart was AWESOME.

Four Cheese and Nut Tart

Preparation time: 10  minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes

Total time:  55 minutes

Serves 8

Ingredients:

Shortcrust Pasty (I used store-bought, purely due to laziness)

4 jumbo-sized egg yolks

a bunch of spring onions

1/4 a small white onion, diced finely

200 gram Cream Cheese (I used Full-Fat as I was on a mission)

125 gram Mascarpone Cheese

250 gram grated Matured Cheddar Cheese

20 – 30 gram grated Parmesan

50 gram dry toasted walnuts, chopped

50 gram dry toasted almonds, chopped

Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions:

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius / 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Grease a springform cake tin, approximately 20 centimeters /8 inch in size.

Roll out the pastry and cut out a 23 centimeter /9 inch circle and place the shortcrust pastry into the cake tin.

Prick the pastry all over with a fork and allow to bake for 15 minutes.

Now, in a bowl, mix together the egg yolks and onions.

Add the cream cheese and mascarpone.

Season well with some black pepper.

Add the nuts to the cheese mixture.

Then scatter the matured cheddar cheese on top of the pastry.  Top with the nut and cheese mixture and then lastly sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the top.

Bake in the oven for 25 – 30 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let it rest for ten minutes before serving.

Enjoy 🙂

NB*  This can also be made ahead of time and placed in the fridge.  Just remember to bring it to room temperature before serving.

 

Pineapple, Carrot and Walnut Smoothie

This IS seriously happening….brace yourself, this is a salad smoothie !!!

I had bought this pineapple on the hopes of making a pineapple smoothie of sorts. My original idea was to concoct a smoothie from a salad my mom used to make with pineapple.  (Does that sound weird or what?….salad….and smoothie) So anyway, I hack this pineapple up into chunks,  and bomb it into the blender, add the frozen banana, then realise, I didn’t have lactose free yoghurt…… bummer,  but carried on thinking now of the salad ingredients……added the carrot, and then……..drum roll please……….

WALNUTS

……but me being me, ended up not thinking with all my excitement and landed up emptying the entire bowl of walnuts into my previously perfect smoothie….

Result?   Full Blown Walnut Smoothie !!!!  Not good, well, not the way I wanted it to go. So, hubby had Full Blown Walnut Smoothie for breakie today. You talk about a nut boost !

But, now for the real deal…..and if I say so myself, this was Deeliciousssss.  

Pineapple, Carrot and Walnut Smoothie

Total time:  10 minutes

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients:

1 cup chopped pineapple

1 cup grated carrot

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (if possible)

1oo millilitres milk of your choice (I used Rice Milk)

Instructions:

Bomb all the above ingredients into a blender and blend away till everything is combined nicely and is a smooth consistency.

Enjoy 🙂

 

 

Quinoa, Spinach and Sunflower Seed Patties

Yes, I did it again…

Quinoa…… Hmmmmm ….and I cannot apologise 🙂 ….Why?  beee…cause it is an awesome healthy seed !!!! and it needs to be enjoyed in every possible way known to mankind !!!

I have this thing for spinach, I swear….Barely a meal goes by without some form of spinach. Anyway, in this batch I used a combination of Swiss Chard and Baby Spinach. These can seriously be used with any kind of spinach – trust me, I have done it all, and all were scrumptious. When growing up, my mom was also big on spinach for meals, we were told as kids, ….eat spinach and you will be as strong as pop-eye!  I guess, something has always stuck, and that is why spinach is constant with me.  I mean, all that goodness…..

Quinoa and Spinach Patties

Preparation time:  10 minutes

Cooking time:  15 minutes

Total time:  25 minutes

Makes 9

Ingredients:

2 cups cooked quinoa

1 cup toasted sunflower seeds

1 bunch of spring onions, chopped

1/2 white onion, finely chopped

3 teaspoons dried parsley

1/2 cup packed chopped fresh basil

3 garlic cloves chopped finely

3 cups chopped spinach (use any spinach you like or a mixture)

3 free-range eggs

2 Tablespoons of fresh lemon Juice

1/3 cup Gluten-Free Flour or flour of your choice

Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions:

Bomb everything together in a large bowl, mix thoroughly with a metal tablespoon.

I like to allow my mixture to sit in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes, just to bring all those flavours together, then I make them into patties, using a tablespoon.

You can either bake these in a preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius /350 degrees Fahrenheit until golden (approximately 10 minutes on either side) or lightly fry these with a little oil in a pan.  Either way is great.

If using a fan oven, be careful not to ‘over’ bake them, as I did once, they ended up being a bit dry, but still edible – thanks to the fan oven, that does an amazing job, cooking equally inside and out 🙂 (did you notice the slight sarcasm there?)

Serve with a fresh salad or roasted vegetables (which is my favourite).

Enjoy 🙂

 

 

 

 

Healthier Blueberry and Seed Muffins

Today is muffin day! and you have my full permission to eat as many as you want.  I am only saying that, as I am guilty of devouring one hot muffin just as they came out of the oven.  I know….I have no control.  I don’t know what it is about muffins, but for me they need to be HOT !!! and the best ones are straight from the oven. I just cannot resist them !!! I don’t even sit down to eat it, it is a matter of …tray out of oven, and my paw clutching one hot muffin from the tray….and need I say much more…..

So, anyway, I decided to post something a little different from my usual …. actually I was kind of feeling a little guilty, as I have not really baked in a while, and I was getting the impression that the hubby was starting to feel a bit deprived.  (Yes, let’s blame it on the hubby :-)) Anyway, so I opted for these ‘healthier’ muffins. Note, the operative word ‘healthier’, so in my mind they are ‘healthier’ but still not 100% healthy. There still are a few things which raise my eyebrows…but hey…it is all about balance. 🙂

Healthier Blueberry and Seed Muffins

Preparation time:  10 minutes

Cooking time:  20 minutes

Total time:  30 minutes

Makes 12

Ingredients:

2 jumbo-sized free-range eggs

45 grams apple sauce

45 grams vegetable oil/or butter, melted/or coconut oil, melted

1/2 cup lactose-free plain yoghurt

1 medium-sized banana

 

225 grams gluten-free plain all-purpose flour

3 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder

50 grams sugar

20 grams gluten-free oats

125 grams seeds (I did a mixture of 50 grams sunflower, 50 grams pumpkin, 25 grams combined sesame and poppy seeds)

125 grams blueberries (fresh or frozen)*

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius /350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Lightly whisk eggs with a fork.

If using butter, melt it.  Whilst butter is melting, mash-up the banana.

In a large bowl, add the beaten eggs, applesauce, butter, yoghurt and banana. Mix well with a metal tablespoon.

In another bowl, combine all the dry ingredients together.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold in nicely.

Lastly, fold in the blueberries until just combined.

Spoon dollops of mixture into the muffin tin.

Cook for approximately 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Enjoy 🙂

NB*  If you are using frozen blueberries, allow the blueberries to defrost naturally overnight.

If you are not Gluten intolerant, I am sure these muffins will be equally as nice using another healthier flour option.

Vegetable Omelette

Omelette’s for dinner?….Yes please 🙂  This is not your usual omelette though filled with loads of yummy cheese, bacon and so forth…these are a healthier version filled with loads of yummy colourful vegetables !!!! Okay, so the hubby wanted some cheese on his veggies, before he had even tasted the omelette, but I think it was more of….in his mind…..Ummm you can’t have an omelette without cheese, sort of thing.  But, you can!  I did !!! And, in his defense the omelette was not doused in cheese, so …. he still got to taste the actual veggies and not only the cheese. Anyway,  these are super delicious and literally could not be easier.  Bomb a couple of trays with a variety of veggies in the oven, roast, and load up the omelette.  I do love this combo of veggies, but knock yourself out and do any roasted veg, it can only taste great! Oh, and don’t be fooled by my spiralized veggies in the pics, chunky veggies work equally as well.  I just love big fat puffy omelettes and with the chunky veggies, my pic’s looked like a massive hot mess, so spiralizing, made my pic’s a bit more sane looking 🙂 But hey, I am all for trashed up chunky veggies and puffy, fluffy omelettes, so long as they taste good 🙂

Oh, and before I forget…this really works well with left-over roasted veggies, or do what I do, roast extra on purpose for a veggie omelette the next day….It is the perfect time saver.  Or, you could call it…lazy, whatever, I totally own it.

Vegetable Omelette

Preparation time:  10 minutes*  (including veggie prep)

Cooking time:  20 minutes*  (including roasting of the veggies)

Total time:  30 minutes

Serves 1 or 2 depending on how hungry you are!

Ingredients:

For the Omelette

4 eggs, separated (I used extra-large free-range eggs)

1 Tablespoon of milk or water

For the Vegetables:

butternut, marrow (zucchini/courgette), carrot, tomatoes and red peppers

salt and pepper

Olive Oil for sprinkling

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius / 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Peel and chop the vegetables as you want.  Place the veggies on a couple of baking trays. Season and sprinkle over a little olive oil.

Put the trays in a preheated oven and roast for 10 minutes, then stir around so and roast for a further 10 minutes or until cooked to your liking. Once done, keep the vegetables warm.

In the meanwhile, beat up the egg whites until stiff and soft peaks form.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks and the milk until well combined.

Then beat the egg yolks into the egg whites with an electric beater, until just combined.

In a large skillet, heat up a bit of butter or oil to cover the bottom of the skillet. Then pour your egg mixture into the skillet and let it cook for a minute or two. Remove from the stove top and place in the heated oven for about 6/7 minutes. (if your skillet handle retains heat, place aluminium foil around the handle) You will notice how the heat puffs up the egg.  Remove the skillet from the oven, and let it sit in the skillet for a few seconds before removing it and placing it on a large plate.

Fill half the omelette with the heated roasted veggies.  Fold the other half of the omelette over.

Serve with extra roasted tomatoes if you want.

Enjoy 🙂

 

 

Brinjal (Aubergine/Eggplant) Walnut Pesto and Butternut Spaghetti with Roasted Tomatoes

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Spiralized Butternut Spaghetti……finally !!!!  Do you know how long I have wanted to do a Butternut Spaghetti meal? Well, let’s just say…a l-o-n-g time ! and, you are going to love this one….

Firstly, it is incredibly easy.  Secondly, it is extremely tasty, and…Thirdly, you just need to make this.

This pesto, is my everything right now. I mean,who would have thought that a brinjal (sorry I am using the name I use for it here in this country) pesto would be so incredible awesome?….. Me !  because I love nuts and anything with nuts IS awesome !!! By the way, if you don’t have walnuts, I am sure any nut will be equally as great…it is just that I had ….Ummmmm…a fair amount of walnuts, so walnuts have been going into EVERYTHING 🙂

So, here goes.

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Brinjal (Aubergine/Eggplant) Walnut Pesto and Butternut Spaghetti with Roasted Tomatoes

Preparation time:  15 minutes

Cooking time:  25 – 30 minutes

Total time:  40 – 45 minutes

Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the pesto:  

1 medium-sized (approximately 400 grams) brinjal (Aubergine/Eggplant)

6 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 teaspoons white vinegar or white wine vinegar

1/2 – 1 cup of dry toasted walnuts, chopped

1/4 cup packed basil leaves, chopped

1 – 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped (depending on size)

salt and pepper to taste

Makes  just over one  cup of Pesto 

approximately 800 – 900 grams uncooked spiralized butternut spaghetti (for the best results, please use the largest, thickest blade you have on your spiralizer).

approximately 350 grams tomatoes of your choice (I used exotic tomatoes and cherry tomatoes, cut in half).

Instructions:

Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius / 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

To make the Pesto:  Cut the brinjal in half, lightly drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Put the brinjal in the heated oven and roast for about 25/30 minutes or until done. Then remove from the oven.  Scoop out the insides and discard the skin. Allow to cool. Place the cooled flesh of the brinjal into a food processor and add all the other ingredients.  Process until the consistency you like and taste and add more salt or pepper if necessary. If you find that you would like a thinner consistency, by all means add another tablespoon or two of olive oil .

In the meantime, place the spiralized butternut onto a couple of baking sheets. You may want to just get a knife and cut the spiralized butternut pieces a little shorter (mine were massively long) so it’s more edible. Drizzle with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Mine took about 8 minutes till it was firm but done. (Try not cook the butternut until it is too soft, as it will just mash up and break when tossing through the pesto.) When done, set aside and keep warm.

Whilst the butternut spaghetti is in the oven roasting, dry toast the walnuts, and roast your tomatoes.

To dry toast the walnuts:  This you do by just adding the dry walnuts to a small frying pan and frequently toss with a wooden spoon.  You do not add any oil to these, as nuts have their own natural oils. Continue to toast until slightly fragrant, and then remove from the stove and set aside.

To roast the tomatoes:  Place the tomatoes (cut side down if you cut them in half) on a baking sheet, drizzle the tomatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in the pre-heated oven and allow to roast till the tomatoes pop oven and look a bit wrinkled.

Once everything is done, serve hot.  Add more cherry tomatoes and fresh basil leaves for garnish.

Enjoy 🙂

NB*  For the pesto: If you do not have a food processor and will be using a blender, you may want to use a pestle and mortar and break the nuts up more.

Also, quantities do not have to be the same and can vary. (That is what I like about pesto’s, you can make it your own)

 

Blueberry, Spinach and Quinoa Smoothie Bowl

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Yes, I am on a Quinoa thing at the moment…sorry, I know I posted a Quinoa salad last week, and it was for breakfast, and now I am posting a Quinoa Smoothie, probably also for breakfast too….but guys, I don’t know about you, but I definitely need my Quinoa fix, and this was just too good to pass up !

Porridge like ….. thick ….filling, and so so healthy.  What better than a quinoa smoothie bowl, loaded with fresh baby spinach and berries.  If you still have this ‘anti’ thing about spinach in your smoothies,  seriously, please try … even if you try firstly with a small quantity. Green equals Healthy.

You know, I shudder when I think of all those unhealthy, breakfast cereals out there, loaded with preservatives and such like.  It’s really scary.  And, this can be prepared in minimal time, just like those cereals.  Generally I like to have my grains cooked before hand, it really makes life so much easier or, if I am doing quinoa for dinner, just cook up a bit more, and that is the base for breakfast the next morning – boom, breakie is done !

Anyway, I feel I am rambling right now…. Lets get back to the real stuff…..and, look at the colour of this !!! Isn’t it A-M-A-Z-I-N-G !!!!!

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Blueberry, Spinach and Quinoa Smoothie Bowl

Total time:  9 minutes

Serves 1-2

Ingredients:

150 grams (approx 3/4 cup) fresh strawberries

100 grams (approx 1 cup) fresh blueberries or frozen

100 grams rice milk (approx 1/2 cup) or milk of your choice. If using frozen blueberries use some of the juice, or a combination of both

2 Tablespoons chia seeds

1 handful of baby spinach

100 grams (approx 1/2 cup) cooked quinoa

1 banana

Instructions:

In your blender, add all of the above ingredients and blend until smooth. Blend for about 3 minutes or so.  Transfer into a bowl.

Enjoy 🙂

NB*  Don’t stress too much about getting ‘exact’ quantities.  What is great about smoothies is that you can blend together whatever quantities suit you, and you can really make them your own.  🙂

Breakfast Quinoa with Summer Fruits

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I love, love, love…… fruit salad.  This time of year we are so fortunate to have so many types of fruit available and the colours ….lets not even go there with the stunning colours.

So, growing up we had fruit salad often, and each time it was just solid mouthfuls of goodness and health being consumed into our bellies.

Okay, now if you have been following me for awhile, you will know how I do not like waste, and I will find something to do with leftovers….This was one of those times…just a bit of quinoa, sitting all on its lonesome in a container in my fridge and then of course fruit, put them together and it was like a match made in heaven, oh, don’t forget about some freshly squeezed orange juice, just to seal the deal.

This, I just could not resist.  You are probably thinking I have lost my marbles but really Quinoa and Fruit are my new best friends…and what is wrong with a little updated version of The Fruit Salad……..Total Awesomeness !!!

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Breakfast Quinoa and Summer Fruits

Ingredients:

cooked quinoa

blackberries

strawberries

grapes

freshly squeezed orange juice

Instructions:

Add cooked quinoa to a salad bowl.

Chop fruit to your liking.

Add the fruit to the quinoa, stir around and top with the squeezed orange juice.

Enjoy 🙂

NB*  Feel free to use whatever quantities and fruit you like, I am sure it will taste just as good.