I am alive !!!

Hi everyone,

I am alive !!! but sadly this is going to be my last post.

Blogging, which was supposed to be done as a hobby has pretty much become a full time job and has taken over my life.  Basically I just do not have enough hours in a day to fulfill everything I need to accomplish on a daily basis.  So, the time has come for me to re-focus and put all my time and energy into my home and family.

I have enjoyed my few years blogging and have loved the interaction which I have had and the friends that I have made.  I am not giving up on any of you and will still follow and keep up to date with your posts via email and Instagram as best I can.

Thank you so much for your friendship, support and believing in me

Take care and lots of love

Lynne

x

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Fusilli with Herbed Tomato and Roasted Brinjal

Brinjal, Aubergine, Eggplant….whatever you call them, this is what is needed today.  I even found ‘exotic brinjals’ where I shop, and of course could not resist them.  Just their outer skin differed from the common ones, and I did not notice them tasting any different.

I am totally enjoying pasta these days, now that I am eating Gluten Free Pasta.  What a difference, and best of all, my stomach is thanking me.  If you are going to try this meal, feel free to use the pasta you want.  I have made this meal with a bit of wine in the sauce.  It makes a huge difference, but feel free to use stock if you are not into the wine (or if you drank all the wine…no judgement 🙂 ).  Basically the wine cooks down, so it is not as though you will be tasting the wine in all it’s glory…sorry..!

I put some grated cheese on at the last minute with the basil leaves…somehow pasta and cheese just seem to go together for me.  I did not melt the cheese initially. Then when I came to eat it, I needed my food to be hotter, so into the microwave it went and it melted down a bit, and it was delicious.  The hubby had his not melted and he wolfed that meal down, so yeah, either way….melted or not is great.

Fusilli with Herbed Tomato and Roasted Brinjal

Preparation time:  15 minutes

Cooking time:  45 minutes

Total time:  1 hour

Serves 4

Ingredients:

Fusilli

2 brinjals, cut into chunks

3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper

Pasta Sauce:

3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 cup chopped onion

1/4 cup chopped garlic cloves

2 x tins whole tomatoes, chopped or 1 1/2 cups chopped whole fresh tomatoes

2 heaped teaspoons dried oregano

1/4 cup white wine

Salt and Pepper to taste

Topping:  

Grated Matured Cheddar Cheese

Chopped Fresh Basil

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius / 390 degrees Fahrenheit.

Bake the brinjals and then set aside.

Whilst the brinjals are baking, cook the fusilli as per the packet instructions.

In a large skillet or pan, heat up the oil and fry the onion and garlic until translucent and fragrant. Add the tomatoes, herbs, wine and seasoning.  Bring to boiling point and then reduce the temperature to simmer.  Allow the sauce ingredients to simmer for at least 45 minutes. Add the cooked brinjals.  Taste and season.

Add the cooked sauce to the cooked and drained fusilli.

Top with some grated cheese and fresh basil leaves.

 

Enjoy 🙂

Spirulina Breakfast Oats

I seldom seem to post anything for breakfast…really bad of me….and it is supposed to be the most important meal of the day!  Well now, how about this Spirulina Oats breakfast !!!

This is a super cool and easy breakfast to have.  Only four ingredients !!!  (Definitely my kind of a breakfast….and of course, it is GREEN…another plus for me) It is healthy and perfect to kick the morning off with a bang.

I have used rolled oats here so if you want to give them a quick burst in the microwave, go for it.

Spirulina Breakfast Oats

Total time:  5 minutes

Ingredients:

1 cup oats (I used Gluten-Free Oats)

1 cup water (hot)

1 teaspoon Spirulina Powder

(optional 2 Tablespoons milk of your choice or as much as you want)

Instructions:

In a bowl add the oats, water and Spirulina.  Stir around and mix through until all the Spirulina has combined nicely with the oats.

If heating through, 30 seconds in the microwave. should be sufficient.  Then add milk (if you are adding).

Top with blueberries, coconut and sliced banana or any fruit you may have.

Eat.

 

Enjoy 🙂

NB*  I often don’t microwave mine and feel that the combination of the hot water mixed through is sufficient, so basically just see how you feel and go for it!

Roasted Curried Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup with Crispy Roasted Lentils

Yes, I did this….In the peak of our summer I made a Roasted Curried Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup with Crunchy Roasted Lentils 🙂 . I just had to…I was craving soup and this is one soup I love, and not only that, I love carrots :-), the slight flavour of the curry and crispy lentils, and, and, and…. Yes, I know I shared a salad with the crispy lentils, but they are just so amazing….

I bet you all think I am crazy…but in my defense, today was a bit of a cloudy day.  In fact, there was not a trace of sun, and to top it all, it was not even humid !!!  Whatever, this soup happened, and it was delish !!!!

Curried Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup with Crispy Roasted Lentils

Preparation time:  10 minutes

Cooking time:  20 minutes

Total time:  30 minutes

Makes 4 cups

Ingredients: 

a little olive oil for saute’ing

1 cup chopped onion

2 fat garlic cloves, chopped

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

4 fresh bay leaves

3 centimeters fresh ginger, chopped

1 teaspoon curry powder (mine is a hot one! )

500 grams chopped fresh carrot

150 grams chopped fresh sweet potato

2 cups vegetable stock

Salt and Pepper

Instructions:

In a medium-sized pot, saute’ the onion with a little oil, then add the garlic, spices, bayleaves, ginger and curry powder.  Allow to cook for a few minutes until onions are cooked and the aromas of the spices are nice and strong.  Then add the carrots, sweet potato and stock. Once the stock has reached boiling point, reduce the heat to simmer and let the soup cook until all the vegetables are soft and cooked through. Taste, and if salt and pepper are necessary then add.

Bring out the blender, and blend the soup until smooth.

Top with the roasted lentils.

Enjoy 🙂

Swiss Chard and Chilli Parsley Patties

These little mouthfuls of gorgeousness have come into my life, and personally I do not foresee them leaving my life anytime soon. I know that they do not look too appealing to the eye, but trust me…they are delicious!  These are baked and not fried (yay !!!). They are jam-packed with loads of nutrition, thanks to the swiss chard, and they are gluten-free!  Okay, these don’t need to be made gluten-free, but for those with a gluten intolerance or whatever, this is an added bonus. Aannnnnd, to make these little gems even more desirable and more-ish, they are amazing to eat with a plain yoghurt, additional garlic and herbs. Ahh I just cannot resist these babies.  I made a batch the other day, and literally from the baking tray they were being devoured. They are divine.  I put a few aside in a container, and the following day we had them for lunch with a salad.  They too, are the perfect healthy snack attack.

Swiss Chard and Chilli Parsley Patties

Preparation time:  13 minutes

Cooking time:  15 – 20 minutes

Total time:  28 – 33 minutes

Makes approximately 12 depending on size

Ingredients:

300 grams fresh Swiss Chard, shredded finely (I used the food processor to do this)

3 – 4 large fat garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 Tablespoon (15 milliliters)  of dried chilli flakes (seeds discarded if wanted)

1/4 cup (62.50 milliliters) chopped fresh parsley

1 1/2 cups (375 milliliters) chickpea flour (I used Gluten-Free)

1 teaspoon (5 milliliters) baking powder (I used Gluten-Free)

1/2 cup (125 milliliters) water

Optional extras:

1 cup (or more) Plain yoghurt (I used Lactose-Free)

2 garlic cloves, finely crushed

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Instructions:

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

In a medium-sized bowl, add the finely shredded Swiss Chard, garlic, chillies, parsley, flour, baking powder and gradually add the water.  Stir all the ingredients thoroughly until a thick batter is formed.  If you feel you feel you need a bit more water, then add, but do not allow this batter to be thin.  Using a tablespoon collect together enough thick batter and then place on a lined and greased baking tray. These patties will not spread much so just leave a small space in-between each pattie.  It is not necessary to flatten them, I quite like the rugged rustic look of the jagged edges. Ideally if you have a silicone baking mat, these work the best as no lining or greasing is required.  Once the baking tray is full, place in the oven to bake until done.

For the Optional Extra’s:  Place the garlic and parsley into a bowl and add the yoghurt.

Serve warm or hot with the yoghurt (if using).

Enjoy 🙂

 

 

Herbed Buckwheat with Crunchy Sugar Snap Peas and Crispy Roasted Lentils

Holy Cow, I have just made the most amazing, refreshing salad from buckwheat !  Who loves buckwheat ? I am not going to lie, but buckwheat and me have a little thing going.  I love the nuttiness of it.  I love the slight rawness of it as I do not cook it to a pulp.  I have been neglecting buckwheat a bit, so decided today was buckwheat day and man, I am so happy I did.  This salad does have a slightly addictive snack attack as an additive, but it is so worth it.  I will take full responsibility if you get to the point of…obsession and addiction (like me).  In the meantime, this is a must make salad guys.  Have it as a whole salad meal or a side, trust me both work.  It is packed with good, simple, nutritious ingredients….and it is pretty much green !

And, do yourselves a favour….The addictive, obsession snack…make it! Make it and love it as much as I do, but do yourselves another favour, and store some in a sealed container and freeze it, for easy usage on salads or whatever for next time.  You will Thank me !

Herbed Buckwheat with Crunchy Sugar Snap Peas and Crispy Roasted Lentils

Preparation and Total time:  10 minutes (this will alter if buckwheat is not cooked and lentils are not roasted)

Serves 2

Ingredients:

1 cup cooked buckwheat

1 cup baby spinach, uncooked and slightly chopped

1/2 cup packed fresh mint leaves (or more), finely chopped

1/2 cup packed fresh parsley, stalks included, finely chopped

a handful (approx 60 grams or more) raw sugar snap peas, chopped

1 avocado (I used Hass Avocado, very creamy and buttery) Depending on the size of your avocado, you may want more…

1 fresh lemon, cut into quarters for lemon juice

salt and pepper

To garnish:

Roasted lentils * (either black, brown or green)

Instructions:

Cook buckwheat as per packet instructions.  Let cool.

Chop up your herbs really small and  mix through the buckwheat.

Add the sugar snap peas to the buckwheat.

On a serving plate, place spinach, top with the herbed buckwheat and sugar snap peas.

Add the avocado pear, squeeze some fresh lemon juice over and top with the crunchy roasted lentils.

To Roast Lentils:

Cook lentils as per packet instructions.  I don’t cook mine too much as I like a bit of texture.  Drain and dry them thoroughly with the help of kitchen towels and the lentils spread out individually.  Once completely dry, place them on a baking tray with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and roast until crispy in a preheated oven at about 180 degrees Celsius / 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  They pretty much go black and shrink…it is a good sign 🙂 . Once done, let them cool and then go crazy and add them to EVERYTHING !!!

Enjoy 🙂

 

 

Sweetcorn, Nectarine, and Turmeric Oats Smoothie

How about a bit of bright yellow to lighten up your day!  This smoothie is definitely a bit different to my usual (you know…the green ones, I so love).  I am so used to concocting green smoothies but really wanted the challenge of this one.  It started off with me having some extra cooked corn, and then wanting other yellow fruits or vegetables but not banana…but seriously if you are into banana, banana would be great to add.  Anyway, cut a long story short, there was not a pineapple in sight at the grocery store, so I opted for some yellow fleshed nectarines and from there this nutritious, fibre packed smoothie was born.  It actually is quite versatile and has a few options which are really nice.  We had it one morning with plain lactose free yoghurt, topped it with almonds and a little maple syrup (honey would have been nice as well).  It immediately became a stunning breakfast smoothie.  Also, just to have it plain was equally as tasty.  The hubby added a dash of maple syrup, so that too, was an option … I guess with a bit of creativity, this smoothie has endless possibilities. 🙂

Sweetcorn, Nectarine and Turmeric Oats Smoothie

Total time:  10 minutes

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients:

1 cup cooked or raw sweetcorn

5 – 6 Tablespoons of cold water

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 cup of oats (I used Gluten-Free Oats)

1 cup of yellow fleshed nectarines

Instructions:

Place all the above ingredients into a blender and blend to the consistency you want.

Once done, either have plain or

Option 1 :  Top with a little honey or maple syrup

Option 2 :  Top with plain yoghurt and nuts

Option 3 :  Add both option 1 and 2

 

Enjoy 🙂

Gluten and Wheat Free Savoury Spiced Bread

To all the bread lovers out there, this one is for you.  But… this is a relatively healthy bread made from Gluten Free Chickpea and Rice Flours.  Both these flours are high in fibre, so that is a huge plus! Personally I think Chickpea flour is the bomb! Apart from being high in fibre, it is high in protein and iron. Just a heads up, I have been using this flour more and more lately, so expect more chickpea flour adventures 🙂  In all seriousness, I just love the subtle nuttiness of it.

This Gluten and Wheat Free Savoury Spiced Bread is just a great. It is ridiculously easy to do and can be prepared and done in no time at all !!! I don’t often find  a Gluten-Free bread recipe that really makes me excited, let alone end up being totally successful.  This recipe is one of my old time finds dating back to the late 90’s. It has proven to me time after time, and has yet to disappoint. Having made this recipe many times, I have always slightly altered it one way or the other, either by changing the actual flours, depending on what I actually have on hand, herbs and spices and then just adding a bit of texture here and there.  The flavours here are superb….almost earthy….I think 🙂 . I love adding the additional sunflower seeds sprinkled on the top…just for that extra crunch 🙂 . Generally, I just eat this bread plain, without any butter as I don’t really think it needs anything added to it. Oh… also, this bread is ideal for slicing up, wrapping up and freezing. This way it makes the perfect additive for lunches or that quick snack.

Gluten and Wheat Free Savoury Spiced Bread

Preparation time:  12 minutes

Cooking time:  30 – 35 minutes

Total time:  42 – 47 minutes

Ingredients:

152 grams (360 milliliters) white or brown rice flour

36 grams (85 milliliters) chickpea flour

1 1/2 teaspoons (7.5 milliliters) bicarbonate of soda

1 teaspoon (5 milliliters) ground coriander

1 teaspoon (5 milliliters) dried origanum

1/2 teaspoon (2.5 milliliters) ground cumin

1 large onion, chopped

1 cup (250 milliliters / 250 grams) unsweetened apple juice

4 Tablespoons + 1 teaspoon (65 milliliters / 65 grams) sunflower oil

3 Tablespoons (45 milliliters / 45 grams) lemon juice

1 Tablespoon (15 milliliters) honey

2 Tablespoons Tahini paste

2 jumbo-sized free range eggs

Topping:  Dry toasted sunflower and sesame seeds

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius / 320 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large sized bowl, add the flours, bicarb, herbs and spices together.  Using a hand whisk, whisk together to combine all the ingredients and set aside.

Using a food processor, add the remaining ingredients being, the onion, apple juice, oil, lemon juice, paste, honey and eggs.  Process until blended to a smooth consistency.

Then, add the processed ingredients to the flour mixture and stir.  Do not over stir.  Do not use a mixer.  This needs to be stirred gently.

Pour into a greased and lined baking tin. (I used a square baking tin approximately 7 x 7 inches / 18 x 18 centimeters in size).

Bake for about 30 – 35 minutes.  Test with a skewer, if it comes out clean then the bread is done.  Allow to cool, before slicing.

Enjoy 🙂

Green Salad Smoothie

Now we are talking……

For as long as I can remember, the thought of a salad smoothie has always intrigued me.  I mean, I love all salads…..so why not blend it all together just for a change?  My typical salad generally involves an array of colours, and colours that if blended together probably would not be the most appetizing site.  Probably would taste amazing, but definitely would not be too appealing to the human eye!

Hence, this gorgeous all Green Salad Smoothie !!! It really could not be easier. I totally used all green salad ingredients (from my fridge, in fact that is how I generally throw together a quick smoothie)…….  I even added in some green grapes!  I just had to!  They are green !!! I really have been enjoying fruit in my salads lately, especially lovely fresh summer fruits. Don’t laugh, but I added spring onions too!  There really is not much more to say about this simple quick healthy green yumminess of a smoothie.

Green Salad Smoothie

Total time:  10 – 12 minutes

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients:

3 Tablespoons cold water

1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 cup chopped packed lettuce

1 cup packed baby spinach

1 cup chopped packed cucumber

1/2 cup chopped spring onion, green parts included

1/2 cup chopped packed celery

1/2 cup green grapes

1/2 avocado pear

Instructions:

Add all the above ingredients into a blender and blend until it reaches the consistency you are wanting.

Enjoy 🙂

 

 

Coriander, Wasabi, Macadamia Farfalloni Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes

Look at this pretty meal guys!  Can you stand it?

This is the simplest meal ever ! and it is under 30 minutes !!! It seriously is a matter of pasta and pesto, tossed together….meal done.  Eat hot or cold.  I had some of this fancy bow tie (or butterfly) pasta, which I could just not resist in my cupboard. (Probably the last of my gluten pasta, but that is fine.) If you are Gluten Free, use a Gluten Free Pasta, even if you cannot get the fancy bow tie (or butterfly) one, any pasta will do. It all is great !!!

Now, for the people who aren’t keen on the hot stuff….. brace yourself…this is not a hot meal unless you get over enthusiastic with the wasabi, and then your nasal passages will be going crazy with this cold, airy feeling (actually weird feeling). Your eyes may start to water and your sinus’s will be utterly cleared.  So, note to yourself:  Keep it simple and enjoy the slight flavour….

Coriander, Wasabi, Macadamia Farfalloni Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes

Preparation time:  15 minutes

Cooking time:  8 – 10 minutes

Total time:  23 – 25 minutes

Serves 2

Ingredients:

Farfalloni Pasta

For the Pesto

1/3 cup plus 1 Tablespoon (approximately 100 milliliters) Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon (20 milliliters) freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 Tablespoon (15 milliliters) white wine vinegar

1/3 cup plus 1 Tablespoon (approximately 100 milliliters) chopped onion

1 large fat garlic clove, chopped

1 cup (250 milliliters) packed coriander, chopped

1 cup (250 milliliters) macadamia nuts (I dry toasted mine)

2 teaspoons (10 milliliters) wasabi

For the topping:

cherry tomatoes, cut in half

Instructions:

Cook the pasta as per packet instructions, and use the quantity you want.

Whilst the pasta is cooking, place all the pesto ingredients into a food processor and process until the pesto sauce is nice and creamy.  If you want the sauce a smoother consistency add a little extra olive oil or a dash of water.

Once the pesto is done, serve with the cooked pasta and top with cherry tomatoes.

Enjoy 🙂