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 🙂

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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!

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 🙂

 

 

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 🙂

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 🙂

 

Millet Vegetarian Fruit and Nut Loaf

Aren’t I slack !  This is the first post for 2018 ! And look at the date, it’s nearly half way through the month !!!  Happy 2018, to all who I have not wished already.

I have decided that I get top marks today for this 🙂 .  Seriously guys, this Millet Vegetarian Fruit and Nut Loaf totally overwhelms me every time I make it, but in such a good way.  I now regret not making a bigger one.  I now regret not having enough millet in my grocery cupboard !!!! Why? why? why?  Guess what I will be buying tomorrow…like a massive amount of millet !  I think millet is underrated !!!  This is such a great grain, and I am even at fault for not cooking more of it…  Today I switched this meatless meatloaf up a bit and added cranberries, just because I can.  This is such an awesome additive loaf !!!

I don’t usually do a sauce with this loaf, but today I did …I  threw together a quick cranberry sauce, to go with the whole cranberry vibe. No sugar added guys !!! I often have had cranberry sauce with other meals and just found it over the top too sweet and it kind of ruins the taste for me.  This one is all healthy…. Yay 🙂 and it is great, but honestly for me, I am not convinced it is totally necessary for this particular loaf…but then again, there is nothing wrong with a little on the side… I served this vegetarian loaf with a bunch of roasted vegetables and it was A-ma-zing !!! 🙂

Millet Vegetarian Fruit and Nut Loaf

Preparation time:  40 minutes (including roasting the butternut)

Cooking time:  30 – 40 minutes

Total time:  1 hour 10 minutes – 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients:

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 large fat onion, diced

1 large fat garlic clove, minced

300 – 350 grams cubed butternut, roasted

1/2 cup finely chopped mushroom

Salt and Pepper to taste

A good helping of origanum – don’t be shy! (I used dried, but fresh is great! )

100 grams cooked millet

150 grams mixture of dried fruit, chopped (I used pear, apricots, prunes, apples and cranberries)

100 grams dry toasted almonds, chopped

The zest of 1 large orange (alternatively 1 Tablespoon of fresh fruit juice if oranges are not available)

50 grams rolled oats (I used Gluten-Free)

1 jumbo-sized egg

Instructions:

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

Grease a loaf tin.

In a medium-sized pan on medium heat, saute’ the onion with a little oil.  Add the garlic and cook for a couple minutes.  Add a little more oil if needed, or water so it does not stick to the pan and add the roasted butternut (feel free to mash it up a bit if you want, I did) and mushrooms to the pan.  Stir around. (I felt I needed to add a bit more water at this point to avoid sticking) Season well.

Remove from the stove top and add the millet, fruit, nuts, zest, oats and egg.

Stir well until all the ingredients are combined.

Place in a greased loaf tin and bake for about 30 – 40 minutes or until golden and set.

Cranberry Sauce (Makes 1/2 cup)

100 grams dried cranberries

zest and juice from 1 large orange

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Place all the sauce ingredients into a small pot, on a low heat on top of the stove and let it gently cook for approximately 10 minutes.  The sauce will be thick.

 

Enjoy 🙂

Roasted Butternut Sage Spiral Noodles with Toasted Pecans and Cranberries

Okay, so …Roasted Butternut Sage Spiral Noodles with Toasted Pecans and Cranberries is a bit of a mouthful of a title to say the least….but guys….it is sooooo worth it.  At least you know what it really is, with no surprises!

This is beyond super easy…. and for me if a meal can be thrown together is less than half an hour, I am THERE !!!  Hello lazy days…and I have a lot of them. Especially this time of year…I mean, really where does the time go ?…. I cannot believe that we are literally a few days away from Christmas.

When I started this meal initially I thought it would be quite a heavy meal with the butternut and noodles together. I generally find pasta heavy, and am not really a fan …yes, I know I am an odd one, but that is me. I must say though since doing the whole gluten free thing and having gluten free pasta, I honestly have found pasta not so heavy and actually tolerable! That doesn’t mean I am going to eat it all day, everyday..no no no, but in all honestly, this meal is not heavy at all ! The roasted butternut and noodles actually compliment eachother, but then again the roasted butternut is more of a creamy sauce, ah, so good !!! and then there is that sage…  I couldn’t resist the sage.  Sage is awesome !!!  I just wish I had some fresh sage at the time, but the dried sage served its purpose. The pecans and cranberries is a no brainer….. I just had to ! Load them onto your plate, you will not be sorry. 🙂

So, I now present to you………

Roasted Butternut, Sage Spiral Noodles with Toasted Pecans and Cranberries

Preparation time:  15 minutes

Cooking time:  10 minutes

Total time:  25 minutes

Ingredients:

Gluten-Free Pasta Spirals

For the Butternut Sauce (Makes 3 cups)

A little Olive oil for sautee’ing

1 cup chopped onion

1 Tablespoon chopped garlic clove

2 teaspoons dried sage

2 cups Roasted Butternut

Salt and Pepper

Garnish:  Toasted Pecans and Dried Cranberries (the more the merrier)

Instructions:  

Cook pasta as per packet instructions.

In a pan with a little oil, saute’ the onion and garlic for a few minutes.  Then add in the roasted butternut cubes, sage and let it cook for a couple minutes until all is combined.  Add to a blender and blend.  Taste. Season with salt and pepper and a little more sage if necessary.

Place over pasta and mix through.  Garnish with dry toasted pecans and dried cranberries.

Enjoy 🙂

 

Quinoa Sundried Tomato Chilli Chia Patties

I have been such a disaster in the kitchen lately.  I honestly have no idea what has got into me…  I could blame ‘the utensils’ but then that would be like the man blaming his tools for his bad workmanship, so I will own this, I will take full responsibility.  I mean, what is with this…  I overcooked the quinoa the other day until it was literal mash !  Seriously, at times I swear my mind, leaves my body …  where the heck it goes, who knows !

These Quinoa Sundried Tomato Chilli Chia Patties are ridiculously tasty.  Annnnnd, finally I get to share them with you.  After a lot of failed attempts, consistency just not being right, taste lacking ….here they are in all their glory 🙂   Do you know the saying, practice makes perfect ???  It is true 🙂 !!! I have made them like a zillion times now (okay, that’s an exaggeration) but very very frequently. I can pretty much make them in my sleep now, and I just do not tire from them. There is something about these flavours that really work for me. The chilli is not overpowering at all, it is more of a mild twang in the after taste.  My ideal pattie needs to be moist inside, and not fall into crumbs when cutting into it. This is it. These are a pure winner and are fantastic with a salad or roasted veggies !

Quinoa Sundried Tomato Chilli Chia Patties

Preparation time:  15 minutes

Cooking time:  20 – 25 minutes

Total time:  35 – 40 minutes

Makes 6 – 9

Ingredients:

1 cup cooked quinoa

1/2 cup cooked brown lentils

1 Tablespoon finely chopped garlic clove

2 Tablespoons chopped Sundried Tomatoes

1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds

1 heaped teaspoon dried Thyme

1/4 – 1/2 teaspoons dried chilli flakes

2 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast

1/2 teaspoon salt

30 cracks whole ground black peppercorns

1 Tablespoon white rice flour (Gluten Free)

1 whole free range egg plus 1 free range egg yolk

Instructions:

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

Place all the ingredients into a food processor and pulse several times, until you are able to form a ball with the ingredients.

On a lined and greased baking tray, place the patties and gently flatten slightly. (I used a baking tray with a silicone baking sheet on it…worked like a dream)

Bake until golden brown.

Enjoy 🙂

 

 

Sweet Chilli Coriander Butternut with Almond Spaghetti

So, although I am not big on pasta….I know….crazy hey…..this is one amazing dish.  I can’t take all the credit though, as I first came across a recipe at the back of an Udon Noodles packet and from there I was sold ! It was a matter of I just had to try it, no questions asked.  I have slightly adapted the recipe with a bit of my spin on things and also increased quantities where I found necessary.  This is pretty much a one pan meal if you are using Udon Noodles  but if not, a pot is required for the cooking of the spaghetti…..

Just a heads up with the butternut, if you are chopping it up in cubes, try not make the cubes too small, as when they are cooking they may fall apart. Rather chop them a bit too big, as then they can always be halved if necessary. (You can see I learned by my mistakes here LOL)

I have also used Gluten-Free Spaghetti due to the intolerance thing, but seriously Udon Noodles will be great and are great.  They are so cushiony and soft and kind of just soak up the juices :-).

Sweet Chilli Coriander Butternut with Almond Spaghetti

Preparation time:  20 minutes

Cooking time:  20 minutes

Total time:  40 minutes

Serves 4

Ingredients:

A little coconut oil for frying

2 large garlic cloves, chopped *

2 Tablespoons ginger, chopped finely *

900 grams – 1 Kilogram butternut cubes

1/2 cup water (to be used to prevent the butternut from sticking)

400 grams Udon Noodles or Gluten Free Spaghetti

6 heaped Tablespoons of Sweet Chilli Sauce (plus more for later! )

3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus extra if necessary

2 – 3 large handful of fresh coriander, chopped (stalks included)

400 grams almonds, dry toasted (plus extra if you want)

Instructions:

Stir fry in a little oil the garlic, ginger and butternut cubes. add a little water to prevent sticking. Add the balance of the water.  Cover the pan and let simmer for about 5 – 8 minutes.  Periodically check that the butternut is not cooking too much and also check the water content.  Again, if it is sticking add a little more water. The butternut needs to be a little tender at this point and not falling apart.

Meanwhile cook the spaghetti according to the packet instructions, and then add to the butternut in the pan with the sweet chilli sauce.  Stir gently through. Add the lemon juice, coriander and almonds.

You may need to add a little more water to loosen it up, or you may prefer to add a little more sweet chilli sauce (I added more chilli sauce….no surprise there 🙂 )  

Stir through and serve hot with  extra toasted almonds.

Enjoy:-)

NB*

  • With regards to the garlic, I used the biggest garlic cloves I can find.
  • With regards to the ginger, don’t be afraid to heap up that ginger on the tablespoon.

To Dry Toast Almonds:  Place in a saucepan, on the stove on medium heat.  Do not add any oil, as nuts have their own natural oils.  Stir and toss around constantly until the nuts are a nice golden brown.  Remove from the heat, and allow to cool.