High Protein Vegetable Soup with Crunchy Golden Roasted Chickpeas

I absolutely love soup.  There is just something about homemade soup …. My mom was the soup maker of all time.  In fact, she was the Queen at making her famous soup.  She had this big old black pot, which was her soup pot, and she would throw in a cup of this and a cup of that, grate veggies and stir everything with a big wooden spoon.  Then bread was buttered and cut in half in a triangle effect and soon we were enjoying this amazing miracle of mom’s soup. Fast-forward ….a few years…okay many years….I still can’t get my mom’s soup to taste as great as when my mom made it….. It must be that pot…and I don’t have the pot.

So, after many years of trying, failing and crying I decided to do my own version of an awesome hearty soup.  Pure veggies with loads of nutrition, no big surprise there.   I am not too pedantic about the actual quantities of the vegetables, but the combination of the vegetables and the chickpeas work really well together. I like this soup thick-ish, and smooth, so using the blender really helps getting it to perfection. This recipe came about from just vegetables I had in the fridge.  This happens often around here…..I am seeing a pattern…

High Protein Vegetable Soup with Crunchy Golden Roasted Chickpeas

Preparation time:  20 minutes

Cooking time:  25 minutes

Total time:  45 minutes

Makes 9 cups

Ingredients:

a little oil for saute’ing

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup chopped green pepper

6 long celery stalks and tops, chopped

approximately 2 1/2 cups (350 grams) chopped carrots

2 large zucchini’s, chopped (approximately 350 grams)

2 cups cooked chickpeas

salt and pepper to taste

dried origanum

2 cups vegetable stock

For the topping:  Dry roasted chickpeas – optional

Instructions:

In a large pot, and on medium heat, saute the onions until just translucent. Add the green pepper, celery and  celery tops.  Stir around for about a minute and then add the carrots, zucchini’s, chickpeas, origanum and stock. Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally and then reduce the temperature to simmer with the lid on the pot.  Let simmer for about 20 minutes or until the vegetables have softened.  Taste.  Season with salt and pepper. Add more origanum if you feel it is needed. Taste. Then, add the vegetables to the blender.  Blend until the vegetables reach the consistency you want.

Serve hot and with some crunchy roasted chickpeas.

Enjoy 🙂

NB*

This soup freezes well in a sealed container.

To Dry Roast Chickpeas:  Chickpeas must be cooked.  Drizzle over olive oil, salt and pepper. Then place on a baking tray in a preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.  Remember as the roasted chickpeas cool, they will get a bit more crisp.

 

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Zucchini, Baby Spinach and Cottage Cheese Phyllo Tart

Ummmm yes please !

I have finally come to the realization that I REALLY enjoy zucchini’s !, courgettes, or marrows or whatever you guys call them. (Sorry I did not mean to shout, I really just wanted to emphasize how much I really do enjoy them) It’s not a bad thing though as they are healthy, low carbs… but seriously, look at all my posts and 90% of them have zucchini’s in them !!!! (Okay, I still am getting used to the idea of calling what I know as ‘marrow’s’, zucchini’s or courgettes….I know I am carrying on about it, but this is a major for me.

So, this little savoury tart I have done like a billion times, over the years.  I decided that it clearly is good, and it is clearly time to share.  The combination of the marrows zucchini’s and cottage cheese is just delicious.  I have made it with both phyllo and puff.  Both are good, so basically when I am in this tart mood I use whatever pastry I have on hand, so clearly anything goes! (did you notice how many times I said ‘clearly’ in this paragraph?….yip! I am losing it !!!)

Zucchini, Baby Spinach and Cottage Cheese Phyllo Tart

Preparation time:  10 minutes

Cooking time:  30 – 45 minutes

Total time:  40 – 55 minutes

Ingredients:

6 – 8 sheets of phyllo pastry

1/2 cup (125 ml) melted butter, plus more if necessary

250 gram plain chunky cottage cheese

2 Tablespoons basil pesto (be generous)

8 small zucchini’s, sliced with a potato peeler

a handful of baby spinach, sliced finely

4 Jumbo-sized free-range eggs

1 cup (250 ml) crumbled feta cheese

1/2 cup (125 ml) dry toasted pumpkin seeds

To Serve:  Rocket and Sour Cream

Instructions:

Preheat oven at 180 degrees Celsius / 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Grease an oven proof dish approximately 23 x 28 x 5 centimeters / 9 x 11 x 2 inches in size.

Layer one sheet of your phyllo pastry into the dish and brush the pastry with some melted butter.  Continue to layer and brush with butter until all the sheets of phyllo are finished.

Then blanch the sliced zucchini’s in boiling water for a few seconds, drain and set aside.

In a medium sized bowl add the cottage cheese and pesto.  Taste and if needed season with salt and pepper.  Spoon mixture onto the phyllo pastry.

In another bowl, add the zucchini, baby spinach, eggs and feta. Mix well. Then stir in half of the dry toasted pumpkin seeds.

Spoon the zucchini mixture over the cottage cheese mixture, and top with the remainder of the pumpkin seeds.

Place in oven and bake for 30 – 45 minutes or until egg has set and phyllo is golden brown.

Serve with rocket and sour cream.

Enjoy 🙂

NB*  If you find that your phyllo is browning too quickly, cover the exposed phyllo with tin foil, so that it does not burn.

 

Refreshing Cucumber Chia Drink with a ‘kick’

It is so … Greeeeeen…… A-gain !!! Can you handle it?  I am wondering if I can handle it. Well, at least I did put a bit of yellow with it, even if it is the flower to make it a little bit more pretty…apologies to all out there that are not into green. Talking of green, have you read about purple being the new green?  I am talking about food…you know that green veggies are always classed as healthy….well now it apparently is purple.  Well, I have yet to see purple veggies here on this side of the world, so I guess, I will still be eating green!

This is really such a great little creation, thanks to the contents of my fridge. The ‘kick’ is the perfect ‘kick’ and this little creation would not be as great as it is without it.  If you do try this, feel free to bump the quantity up of the ‘kick’…the worst it could do is put hairs on your chest!

Refreshing Cucumber Chia Drink with a ‘kick’

Total time:  6 minutes

Makes just over 1 cup

Ingredients:

1 cup chopped cucumber

1 cup tightly packed baby spinach leaves

1/2 – 1 cup mint leaves

2 Tablespoons chia seeds

1 teaspoon lemon juice

3 – 5 Tablespoons water (optional, and depends on consistency you like)

1/2 – 1 teaspoon Tabasco Sauce (‘The Kick’), or more

Instructions:

Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend till smooth.

Have immediately or put in the fridge overnight.

Enjoy 🙂

 

Spiralized Zucchini with Snap Pea Mint Pesto and Crispy Black-Eyed Peas

I have been dying to post this….well not literally dying, but you know what I mean. I like my spiralized zucchini  raw, so this is the perfect summertime meal.  It is cool and refreshing, and light. Did you notice, I said, ‘zucchini’ instead of ‘marrow’…aren’t you proud of me?  Now this way, no one will get confused !!!

Mint is one of those amazing herbs.  I totally love it.  Mint leaves end up in salads, green tea, you name it, if I can find a place for it to be appreciated, I will.

Now for the Black-Eyed Peas….or is it a bean…I think it is both….whatever, I know for sure it is a legume !   Anyway, I am calling it a pea for now, and I have to admit, I honestly have never given this poor pea much credit ! (because I have this thing about ‘peas’ but lets not go there as this will end up being a post of absolute crazed contradiction, that even I do not understand) But, they are amazing roasted, and all crisped up ….it is like a chickpea.  So now I am totally on the Black-Eyed Pea train ….

Spiralized Zucchini with Snap Pea Mint Pesto and Crispy Black-Eyed Peas

Preparation time:  20 minutes

Cooking time:  20 minutes

Total time:  40 minutes

Ingredients:

Zucchini/Courgette/Marrow, spiralized

Black-Eyed Peas, cooked and roasted.

For the Pesto: 

1/2 cup packed chopped snap peas

1/2 cup packed chopped celery

1/2 cup packed chopped baby spinach

1/4 cup packed chopped mint

2-3 Tablespoons olive oil

2 Tablespoons lemon juice

This makes 1 cup of Pesto

Instructions:

Place all the pesto ingredients into a food processor and blend till smooth or the consistency you want.  With regards to the olive oil, only put 2 tablespoons in at first and if you feel you want a slightly thinner consistency then add in the extra.

To roast the black-eyed peas:  Place the cooked peas onto a baking tray, drizzle with a little olive oil, salt and pepper.  Place in the preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius / 350 degrees Fahrenheit and let roast until crisp. Remember they will crisp up further whilst cooling once out of the oven.

To assemble:  Place the spiralized zucchini in a bowl and toss through the pesto. Don’t mix the peas through the pesto in the bowl before serving as they will go soft. When serving, top with the crispy black-eyed peas on the individual plates.

Enjoy 🙂

Berry and Chia Smoothie

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I could not resist this !!! What is better than a quick throw together morning smoothie.  I feel like I have just discovered my blender again, and can’t resist playing with it !!! I literally have been making smoothies and juices all week….I know….quite sad hey, but I like playing in my kitchen, and I like just sprucing the breakfast ideas up, otherwise it gets a tad boring. Not only that, I scrapped together the last of the strawberries here, so I had to take full advantage.

I was really on the fence about the banana thing…I am weird, I have this thing about bananas.  I like them, and then sometimes I don’t.  I love them in a fruit salad, banana bread and even in muffins, but then sometimes the thought of putting a banana into say a smoothie…….it doesn’t gross me out, it is just like…do I have to? should I?  Then, I do, and I love the smoothie….  Yes, just bare with me, I have my moments.

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Berry and Chia Smoothie

Preparation time:  5 minutes

Total time:  8 minutes

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients:

100 grams fresh strawberries, chopped

100 grams fresh blueberries

100 grams milk of your choice

1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds

1 banana (fresh or frozen)

Instructions:

Bomb all of the above ingredients into a blender and blend for about 2-3 minutes until nice and smooth. Pour or scoop into a glass.

Enjoy 🙂

Crustless Swiss Chard and Zucchini (Courgette/Marrow) Quiche

Now this is the easiest Quiche ever !!! You could probably throw it all together with your eyes closed, I am not kidding !

Three key ingredients only and then whatever filling your heart desires. 🙂

This time my filling consisted of Swiss chard, cheese (obvs) and zucchini’s.(seems weird me calling them this, as I have known them my whole life as ‘marrows’ but I know this has confused some people, so I am trying, to continue to call them zucchini’s here on my blog). Anyway…the beauty with this recipe is, literally anything goes.  I generally like to bump it up and put enough filling together so it is quite thick and I can barely mix it up with a spoon, that way I know the filling with be thick and not soggy. There really is no hard and fast rules with this one when it comes to quantity, just go with your gut. Oh, and by the way, this quiche does not have to be gluten-free, just use a normal flour if you are not gluten intolerant.

Crustless Swiss Chard and Zucchini (Courgette/Marrow) Quiche

Preparation time:  10 minutes

Cooking time:  20 – 30 minutes

Total time:  30 – 40 minutes

Ingredients:

350 millilitres milk of your choice

2 – 3  heaped Tablespoons of gluten-free flour * (oh, and don’t be shy, heap that spoon up!) 

4 free-range extra-large/jumbo eggs

Filling:

1 large onion, diced

1 – 2 large garlic cloves, chopped finely

3 cups packed chopped and shredded Swiss chard

3 large zucchini (courgette/marrow)* (approx 150 gram each)

2 cups grated matured cheddar cheese

Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions:                                 

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

In a small pan on medium heat, saute’ the onion and garlic together.  Set aside.

With you potato peeler, peel the zucchini/courgette length-ways, all around.  I leave the middle watery area alone, as that could make the Quiche a bit mushy. Don’t throw these away, they can be chopped and used for another meal..just saying 🙂 

Now this is the easy part.  In a large bowl, bomb all the ingredients in together, (milk, flour, eggs, onion, garlic, Swiss chard, zucchini/courgette, cheese, salt and pepper) Mix well.

Then, place all the mixed ingredients into a greased dish.  (The dish I used is a 6.5 x 11 inch /16.5 x 28 centimeter oven proof dish.)

Place in the oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Once done, remove from the oven.

Enjoy 🙂

  •  I used Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour.

 

 

Meatless Chilli Quinoa Patties

I have created a Meatless Chilli Quinoa Pattie hubby monster…and I mean this in the most loving way ever !  If the hubby could, he would eat this all day and everyday. This Chilli Quinoa Pattie meal has become one of the hubby’s absolute faves!

Seriously, I am not complaining.  All it is, is one large bowl, and it is a matter of chop, chop, chop and bomb…it doesn’t get easier than that. Oh, then there is the messy hand bit, to make the patties, but hey, what’s a little mess between friends…

These Chilli Quinoa Patties are divine no matter how you choose to eat them. Personally I love mine with a bunch of roasted vegetables or salad….but you knew that already, so that was a bit of useless information…ummm sorry. The patties themselves are beautifully moist inside, so don’t really have the need to be doused in sauce, if any, to be honest.

Meatless Chilli Quinoa Patties 

Preparation time:  15 minutes

Cooking time:  45 minutes

Total time:  1 hour

Makes between 9 and 12 (depending on size)

Ingredients:

2 cups cooked quinoa

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 cup diced white onion

2  1/2 cups diced peppers (I used a red, yellow and green pepper)

3 cups grated matured cheddar cheese

2-3 discs of feta cheese, crumbled

1/2 cup sun-dried tomato pesto

4 Tablespoon sun-dried tomato, chopped (I buy the one in oil, but do not use the oil)

1 jumbo-sized egg

1/2 cup breadcrumbs (I used Gluten-Free Breadcrumbs)

1 heaped teaspoon of chilli powder

2 heaped teaspoons each of dried oregano and dried parsley

salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius/350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large bowl, add all the ingredients.  Mix very well and make into patties.

Place on a lightly greased non stick baking tray.

Bake in the oven until golden brown.

Enjoy 🙂

 

Garden Fresh Crunchy Marrow/Zucchini/Courgette Salad

Say hello to crunchy salad !!! Say hello to this amazing, light summer salad I threw together for lunch! I really had no clue how this was going to turn out, it was a matter of using what I had in the fridge (yeah, I do that a lot) and …I surprised myself! This is the perfect summer salad for all those lucky people out there enjoying the warmth of summer.  And, of course those that aren’t (me)….. just pretend the sun is shining and the day is good !

This is a super easy salad, and could work well just as a side salad or as a main. I am just loving the spiralized marrows, it just makes this salad so pretty :-). Just one thing, if you do make this salad, and you are wanting to make it ahead of time, don’t cut your tomatoes until you are ready to serve, otherwise your salad will become quite watery.

Garden Fresh Crunchy Marrow/Zucchini/Courgette Salad

Preparation time:  10 minutes

Serves 2 *

Ingredients:

2 cups spiralized marrows

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup fresh basil leaves

2 cups baby spinach leaves

2 cups exotic tomatoes, chopped/halved (or cherry tomatoes)

salt and pepper to taste

Olive Oil for drizzling

Nutritional Yeast for sprinkling on the top (optional)

Instructions:

Throw spiralized marrows, chopped celery, basil and baby spinach into a bowl.

Add tomatoes.

Season.

Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with nutritional yeast.

Enjoy 🙂

 

  • This recipe can easily be halved or doubled, depending on how many people or if you are wanting it as a main or side.  I also, used Nutritional Yeast so it is vegan, but this can be subbed with feta or any cheese of your choice if you don’t want the vegan option.

Curried Roasted Vegetables and Curry Sauce

This is my latest craving !  I think I could have curried roasted vegetables forever without tiring from them.  This sauce OMW !!! This sauce is the star of the show ! It is probably the most versatile sauce I have made and it is great with Evverryything !!!. With literally six ingredients you have the ultimate sauce, and best of all….no major effort.

I do a lot of roasted vegetables, and one day decided to throw some curry powder on them instead of the usual herbs.  Result:  Perfect.  That night I was going to serve it on quinoa (obviously) but just thought that it needed a bit of oomph. I didn’t really know where I was going with this, but some sort of sauce was needed, maybe…but I didn’t want the thickness of a white sauce effect…. So, butter, chopped onion, minced garlic, curry powder, a little milk and cornflour came to play and the Curry Sauce was born. Now….this sauce is used for pretty much anything, on top of patties, burgers, tortillas, you name it, the sauce is used ! Seriously, if the hubby could drink this sauce from a straw, trust me he would !!! In fact I am waiting for him to pile it on a sandwich instead of his usual peanut butter !!!

The great thing about this Curried Roasted Vegetables and Curry Sauce is that you can mix and match whatever vegetables you like, or better still whatever vegetables you have on hand. This can be made as a main meal or a side…I mean, really….how great is this!!!

Curried Roasted Vegetables and Curry Sauce

Preparation time:  10 minutes

Cooking time:  30 minutes

Total time:  40 minutes

Ingredients:

Butternut

Carrot

Peppers

Tomato

Marrows

Salt and Pepper

Sprinkling of curry powder

Optional:  Top with roasted curried chickpeas *

Kale

For the Sauce:  (Makes just over 1 cup /approximately 300 millilitres thickish sauce)

4 Tablespoons of butter

1 onion, diced

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 cup milk of your choice (plus an extra 50 millilitres to thin sauce later)

2 teaspoons maizena/cornflour (gluten-free)

1 dessertspoonful curry powder

Instructions:

Preheat oven at 180 degrees Celsius/350 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you are going to roast Kale, I like to do this on a separate baking tray from the other veggies.  Remove the kale leaves from the stalk. Massage the Kale leaves with a drizzling of olive oil and salt, for a few minutes. Place in the preheated oven, and watch carefully, as the Kale roasts up quickly.  Remove from oven.  The Kale will be nice and crispy. This is a great snack attack btw, but try to save some for your meal :-). 

Chop up all your vegetables, preferably the same size for roasting.

Place on baking trays, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, and season with salt, pepper and curry powder.

Give the veggies a toss so that the oil and seasoning covers the veggies well.

Place in the oven and roast.  Check about half way through and give them a stir around.

Remove from the oven once done.

Whilst the veggies are roasting, make the Curry Sauce.

In a small pot, on medium heat, add the butter and saute’ the diced onion and garlic. Add the curry powder and stir.

In a small cup add the maizena/cornflour and use a little of the milk you’ve measured out and add to the maizena/cornflour to help it combine.  Add this mixture to the small pot with the saute’d  onion and garlic. Stir gently.

Then add all of the remaining milk (except the extra measured out for thinning the sauce if needed) and allow to reach boiling stage.  Keep stirring. The sauce will thicken. If it is too thick, add a little milk.  If the sauce does stand awhile, it will naturally thicken and then just thin out with a little milk.

Taste.  If you want the sauce hotter, add more curry powder.

Serve the curry sauce on top of the roasted veggies and top with crunchy roasted curried chickpeas.

Enjoy 🙂

NB*  To Roast Chickpeas:  Place cooked chickpeas on a baking tray, drizzle olive oil over and season with salt and pepper.  Add a sprinkling of curry powder.  Toss so all the chickpeas are generously covered with the  seasonings. Place in pre-heated oven and cook until a light golden  brown.

Green Bean and Herb Superfood Soup

Okay, so maybe this green is not the best shade of green. Try not let this put you off this amazingly tasty healthy soup though! Personally I am a huge fan of everything Green. Green veggies are my all time best.  I know they are piled with goodness, and all that goodness mixed with herbs is like a match made in heaven.

This Green Bean and Herb Superfood Soup, kind of snuck up on me the other day.  It was a situation of green beans in the fridge, lunch time approaching and wanting something different. (there is only so much salad a girl can have and with winter approaching here, soup seemed just perfect) Anyway, so with the help of a bunch of herbs from my garden, this bean soup was created. Then just for a bit of a ‘why the heck not’ decided to splurge with a few more nutrients, in the way of a dash of Spirulina.  Please note, I did say ‘a dash’ meaning a little bit, because if anyone has had Spirulina before, ummmmmm well let’s face it…..the taste is not really the best, but by putting in a little, the taste was totally camouflaged. Maybe you think I am crazy putting it in, but why not, just that little bit extra goodness goes a long way…but hey, it is totally up to you.

Green Bean and Herb Superfood Soup

Preparation time:  10 minutes

Cooking time:  7  minutes

Total time:  17 minutes

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients:

280 – 300 gram Green Beans, chopped

I medium sized onion, chopped

1 cup vegetable stock

2 – 3 fresh rosemary stalks (about 15/20 centimeters long)

Handful of fresh basil

salt and pepper to taste

1/4 teaspoon of spirulina powder (Optional)

Chia seeds for topping

Instructions:

In a medium sized pot, on medium heat saute onion.

Add beans, stock and herbs (leaving the leaves of the rosemary on the stalk, they will fall off whilst cooking)

Cook until the beans are tender about 5-7 minutes.

Remove the rosemary stalks and throw them away.

Add the pot contents to a blender, and blend until smooth.

Taste, and see if anymore salt or pepper is needed.

Add spirulina. Give it a quick blitz.  Place into soup bowls.  Top with chia.

Enjoy 🙂