Kale Crumpets with Tzatziki Sauce

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Look at this!  It is well into Feb and this is my first post for the month!  My plan was not to ever skip a week of posting this year – and I have failed royally at that already.  I am soooooooo slack !!!

Anyway, when I was a kid, my mom frequently made crumpets. She was the best at making them, and would whip up a huge batch in no time! Crumpets usually were served with butter and syrup.  That butter literally melted on the hot crumpet and the syrup just trickled down. Oh, sweet sweet memories 🙂 .

So, just to change things up a bit, I decided to go with a bit of a savoury vibe. I mean, who says breakfast needs to be sweet?  ……Not….I am all for the savoury ones :-). And, even if I say so myself, these make a pretty good savoury breakfast. This is my basic crumpet recipe, with some kale thrown in, no biggie, but really awesome.  When I first made these, I just had them with plain yogurt and lemon, they were nice, but felt they needed something more, so tried adding fruit to the yoghurt, again nice, but I wasn’t 100% sold.  Then I had a light bulb moment, I had Tzatziti Sauce left over from the night before….This for me, did it. I loved the combo. I really felt it really kind of brought it all together.

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Kale Crumpets with Tzatziki Sauce

Preparation time:   5 minutes

Cooking time:  10 minutes

Total time:  15 minutes

Makes 6 – 9 depending on size

Ingredients:

For the crumpets:

1 cup self-raising flour (I used Gluten-Free)

1 cup milk (I used a Lactose-Free Milk)

1 teaspoon castor sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 eggs (I used jumbo sized)

1/2 cup chopped cooked kale (I chopped up 1 cup kale, and nuked it in the microwave for 30 secs, and it shrunk to 1/2 cup)

For the Tzatziki Sauce:

8 – 10 centimeter cucumber, grated

handful of chopped fresh mint

1 clove garlic, minced

160 millilitres plain yoghurt (I used Lactose-Free)

1 teaspoon lemon juice

salt and pepper to taste

These quantities can be doubled.  This makes about 175 millilitres of sauce.

Instructions:

For the crumpets:

In a medium-sized bowl add the self-raising flour, castor sugar and baking powder. Whisk.

In a separate bowl add the eggs and whisk with a fork, then add the milk.

Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk until nicely combined.

Stir in the cooked kale.

Heat up a pan on the stove with a little oil, and add a couple tablespoons of mixture into the pan.  When the outer edges of the mixture start to bubble, gently flip over.  You will notice the crumpet is a nice light golden brown. Cook the other side till light golden brown, remove from pan and allow to sit on a paper towel.  Continue this method until all the mixture is used up.

For the Tzatziki Sauce:

Squeeze out the excess water from the grated cucumber.  Then, add all the ingredients together (except the salt and pepper). Mix together with a fork or spoon. Taste and then add salt or salt and pepper accordingly.

Enjoy 🙂

NB*

  1. The ingredients can be halved, doubled, tripled, whatever.
  2. Also, if you are not a kale fan, feel free to use baby spinach.  In this case though, the baby spinach would not need to be nuked, and also, you could double up on the baby spinach as it is not as bitter as the kale.
  3. This mixture can be made in advance and stored in the fridge in a sealed container for a couple of days
  4. All times may vary depending on size of pan, quantity, and how many crumpets you cook at one time

Easy Baked Vegetable Quinoa with Cheesy Topping

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Okay, I have loaded up quinoa with loads of veggies and I am not apologizing. So, to veggie lovers out there, today is your day.  I have for you, a mound of deliciousness all in one bowl !!! This is awesome, and,yes, this is pretty much a one pot meal sort of.  It is easy and a matter of, throw together, bake and devour.  I need these kinds of meals in my life now and then.  I mean there is nothing better than this. Since I have been making this quinoa meal, it kind of changes each time, with what I would put into it. Then I decided to perhaps put some order into it, especially if I wanted to share it with all you guys, because it was always soooooo divine, and healthy and tasty and all those good things….so order it now has, and I actually have now stuck to this recipe on several occasions.  Don’t get me wrong, if you try it and want to spruce it up a bit, go for it, add whatever, I am sure it will be great.

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Easy Baked Vegetable Quinoa with Cheesy Topping

Preparation:  10 minutes

Cooking time:  20 – 30 minutes

Total time:  30 – 40 minutes

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

1 cup uncooked quinoa

1 1/2 cups vegetable stock

a little oil to saute’ vegetables

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup chopped rainbow peppers (I used a mixture of red, green and yellow peppers)

2 cups corn on the cob

2 cups chopped marrow (zucchini, courgette)

2 cups chopped tomatoes

2 cups roughly chopped baby spinach

Topping:  Grated matured cheese/feta or any cheese of your choice (I used matured and feta)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celscius/350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Prepare the quinoa with veggie stock, and cook for 8-10 minutes only. Whilst the quinoa is cooking, saute the onions and peppers in a pan.  After a minute or two add the marrows and corn. Cook for a few minutes.  Do not over cook! By this time the quinoa would have soaked up the stock.  Set aside.

Once vegetables are done add them to the cooked quinoa.

Add the chopped tomatoes, and roughly chopped baby spinach. Stir around well so all the veggies are mixed through.

Place in an oven proof dish approximately 9 x 13 inches. Top with cheese of your choice.  I used a combination of feta and matured cheddar (because I could not decide which one to use). I made slight indentations into the quinoa and vegetables so that some of the cheese could filter through and mix in with the veggies.  Top with extra cheese.

Allow to bake for about 20/30 minutes until the cheese is nicely golden and grilled.

Enjoy 🙂

Chickpea and Spinach Cakes

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Happy New Year 🙂  Yes, I know we are nearly half way into the month, I have been slack…there, I said it.

Well, whilst some of you have been all bundled up in scarves and boots, I have been sweltering in the sun.  It is not all bad though, I have a nice tan, and feel healthy!

And, on the plus side, I made these Chickpea and Spinach Cakes !!! I think these are my new fave cakes, super easy to make and literally a few ingredients.  Warning:  you may be seeing more chickpea experiments happening here on this blog….just saying!!!

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Chickpea and Spinach Cakes

Preparation time:  15 minutes

Cooking time:  30 minutes

Total time:  45 minutes

Makes about 9

Ingredients:

500 grams (approx 2 cups) cooked chickpeas

large handful of chopped spring onions

2 big handfuls of baby spinach, chopped

2 medium-sized carrots, grated

large handful of coriander, stems included, chopped

2 rounds feta cheese (approximately 200 grams)

2 eggs, jumbo-sized

salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

Add all the above ingredients into a food processor and blitz.  I personally like a bit of a chunky texture.  Once done, make into fair-sized balls (I made mine into heaped tablespoon size) flatten slightly and place on a greased baking tray.  Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees Celsius / 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 – 35 minutes or until golden brown.

Enjoy 🙂

 

Vegetable Spaghetti with Spinach Almond Pesto and Bacon

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Ha ! what is not to love?  This is the all time super quick easy meal….with bacon. You can easily make it totally vegetarian if you wanted by just not adding bacon, (or you could sub with mushrooms.  I always find mushrooms a great alternative) but, bacon is just soooooo cool, and there are times I wonder if I could possibly live without bacon.

So, it is a matter of spiralize the marrows/zucchini/courgettes, or whatever you call them in your part of the world, bomb all the pesto ingredients into the processor, process.  Cook bacon, (preferably at the same time) assemble on plates and boom, meal done !

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Vegetable Spaghetti with Spinach Almond Pesto and Bacon

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time:  approximately 10 minutes

Total time:  approximately 40 minutes

Serves 4

Ingredients:

3 large marrows (zucchini/courgette) depending on the actual size

250 – 500 grams bacon chopped

Feta crumbled – optional

For the pesto: (makes 2 cups)

6 handfuls of raw almonds, soaked

2 handfuls of baby spinach (you can use ordinary spinach as well, but I suggest chopping it into smaller pieces)

2 blocks of feta cheese (the blocks I use are approx 100 grams each)

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 Tablespoons of fresh lemon juice

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

Instructions:

Soak almonds for at least 20 minutes in boiling water. This will slightly soften the almonds, so it wont be so hectic whilst the processing is taking place

Whilst the almonds are soaking, spiralize the marrows (zucchini/courgettes) if not done already, and set aside.

Add all the pesto ingredients into the food processor (including the almonds) and process until the pesto becomes the consistency you want.  I personally like to taste bits of the almonds in mine, you know me and crunch !

Once that is done, place marrow (zucchini/courgette) on plate, and mix through the pesto. Top with a generous amount of bacon.  You can also add extra feta if you want….

I like this meal cold.  I do not see the point of warming it up, but the choice is yours.

Enjoy 🙂

 

 

 

 

Beetroot and Berry Smoothie

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Do you know that feeling when, you just have to?  Well, I just had to do a beetroot smoothie. I added some fruits and if I did not tell you there was beetroot in this smoothie, you wouldn’t even know.  My best is making a smoothie, and sending it off with the hubby to work not telling him what is in my concoction, then during the day I usually get a call or message (we are big on whatsapp messaging here) saying what a great ‘xyz’ smoothie it was.  Great compliment, but he usually doesn’t know the key veggie ingredient I had tossed in. Actually, is that a compliment or an insult to my concoction? Hmmmm whatever, oh well, it is healthy and that is all that matters :-).

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Beetroot and Berry Smoothie

Preparation time:  5 minutes

Total time:  7-8 minutes

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients:

100 grams raw beetroot

100 grams fresh strawberries

100 grams fresh blueberries

100 grams milk of your choice

Instructions:

Blend all the above ingredients in a blender until smooth.  This will take approximately 2-3 minutes.

Once done, pour into a glass.

Enjoy 🙂

NB*  Feel free to also roast your beetroot till it softens slightly if you are afraid your blender might struggle.  It works just as well, just don’t go and salt and pepper it 🙂

Roasted Butternut, Egg and Bacon Stack with Almonds and Baby Spinach

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Guess what I have just made….and I actually ended up eating it for a late breakfast! Shock and horror!!! Veggies for breakie!!!  Well if you are not into veggies for breakie, have it for lunch, I mean, it doesn’t get better than this :-). Here I have done the egg without the yolk, but by all means make a nice poached egg, and enjoy all that runny yolk trickling down as you take a bite. Crisp up that bacon, (if you are not keen on the bacon, you can always sub the bacon with chopped mushrooms….just a thought 🙂 ). Toast the almonds and you are good to go.

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Roasted Butternut, Egg and Bacon Stack with Almonds and Baby Spinach

Preparation:  5 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Total time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

Roasted Butternut Rounds

Crispy Bacon

Egg, cooked (either poached, or boiled)

Almonds, toasted

Handful of baby spinach

Salt and Pepper

Instructions:

Slice a butternut into rounds, and roast in the oven with salt and pepper and a dash of olive oil.

Whilst the butternut is roasting, dry toast some almonds on top of the stove, cook up your bacon either on top of the stove or in the oven.

Just before the butternut is done and the bacon is crisp, cook up the eggs.

Place a handful of baby spinach on the plate, topped with a butternut round, egg, bacon and another butternut round. Sprinkle with some chopped and crushed almonds. Serve hot.

Enjoy:-)

NB*  The baby spinach does not need to be cooked, it will heat up with the heat from the roasted butternut.

Also, to cut down the time issue when you are roasting butternut for an evening meal, roast extra rounds seal them in a container overnight and use them for breakfast the next morning 🙂

Easy Vegetable Lasagna

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OMG !!!  I haven’t made this lasagna in awhile, and I really love it.  I was racking my brain for dinner ideas and then this old favourite came to mind, and that was it, mind set…this was happening !

Okay, I know the pics do not give this meal justice, stone me, sue me, do what you will, but just try this combination of vegetables made into a lasagna….almost to die for.

Even though this is super easy, you can even cheat with this to make it even easier if you want…the roasted butternut, roast extra the night before, the corn, cook or grill up extra the night before with your evening meal, or even with the creamy spinach. Hey, if you want to cut corners, go for it, no judgement here.

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Easy Vegetable Lasagna

Preparation time:  15 minutes

Cooking time:  40 minutes (roasting butternut) + 30 minutes (to cook the completed lasagna)

Total time:  1 hour 25 minutes

Serves 4 – 6

Ingredients:

9 – 12 lasagna sheets (I used Gluten-Free, but you can use which ever lasagna sheets you prefer)

1 medium-sized butternut (approximately 500 grams)

sprinkling of either fresh or dried thyme

1 – 2 sweet corn cobs

1 fresh bunch spinach (approximately 150 – 200 grams cut, and uncooked)

For the topping:

1 cup of grated cheddar or matured cheddar cheese for the top

and / or feta cheese

Cream Cheese Sauce:

100 grams salted butter

100 grams all-purpose flour (I used Gluten Free flour)

3 1/2 cups full cream milk, plus extra if thickens too much. (I used a lactose free milk)

salt and pepper to taste

a good sprinkling or two of nutmeg

230 grams tub of plain, smooth cream cheese

Instructions:

Peel and dice up the butternut, place in an oven proof dish with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Sprinkle over some thyme.

Place in a preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius/350 degrees Fahrenheit  and allow to cook until done.

In the meanwhile, remove the main vein from the spinach.  Chop and slice the fresh spinach. Wash and drain.

Cook spinach your preferred way, either by steaming, or a quick microwave. Do not over cook, to a wilted stage.  Once done, remove and drain once again. (I usually place mine in a tea towel and pat dry to make sure all the water content is out as best as possible.)

Cook the corn, your preferred way. (I like mine to be cooked but still crunchy.)

Remember the lasagna is still going to get a cooking burst in the oven, so you don’t want to over cook your vegetables before they have even reached the oven.

Then, prepare the white sauce.  Add the butter to a medium sized pot and allow the butter to melt.  Then take the pot off the plate and add the flour, stir with a wooden spoon or spatula and mix well until the flour and butter collect together in a smooth ball stage.

Place the pot back onto the heat, and add one cup of milk, stir continuously until the sauce becomes smooth, it will be a little thick but that is fine.  Add another cup and continue to stir until a thick-ish consistency and then finally add the third cup and stir continuously once again.  At this point add the contents of the tub of cream cheese, stir in well.

Now stir in the cooked spinach.

Season to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

At this point, if you are wanting a more refined spinach content, like I did, I suggest you use a stick blender, and blend till you are happy with the consistency of the spinach.

If the white sauce is going to stand a bit before assembling the layers, you will find that the sauce does thicken up quite a bit, I suggest then adding a bit more milk, just to get a thick-ish but workable consistency.

As always this is the fun part.  With an oven proof dish approximately  23 x 23 x 5 centimeters/ 9 x 9 x 2 inches  in size, spoon a couple spoons of the spinach sauce on the bottom of the dish, top with a layer of lasagna sheets, top with a couple spoons of the spinach sauce, then roasted butternut pieces and a handful or two of the sweet corn, top with a little spinach sauce and repeat this method ending in a spinach sauce layer (I also  managed to do three layers of lasagna in my dish)

Top with the grated cheese on the top and feta if using.

Place in a preheated oven for 20 – 30 minutes, until the grated cheese is bubbly, and the lasagna nicely cooked through.

Enjoy 🙂

NB*  I also have used baby spinach for this, and in that case I do not cook it, instead I just chop and add it to the white sauce.

Green Goodness Bowl

046 Oh man, now we are talking ! This bowl of goodness is like nothing else….yes, it is jam packed with goodness.

I am so pumped up about this, I think for me, every morning needs to be a ‘Green Goodness Bowl’ or ‘Green Juice’ morning, of course the contents will vary, but that’s fine, so long as it is GREEN !!!

I remember years ago watching an Oprah show, and her guest on the show was Dr Oz?  Who remembers Dr Oz? Anyway, good ol’ Dr Oz (he wasn’t really old) was doing like a morning breakfast thing by doing a green juice.  He maintained, every morning, throw together whatever you have in the fridge that is green, blend it all together and you are sorted.  So, of course, me being me, took that to heart, and yip I had to do it. Green juice it was, and it was yummy.  Sometimes now, I change it up a bit and do delicious healthy green bowls instead, but no matter what it is always good. So, here is a bowl of green yummy delicious goodness….and I have kept it simple.060Green Goodness Bowl

Preparation time:  8 – 10 minutes

Serves 1 – 2

Ingredients:

2 handfuls of lettuce leaves, roughly chopped

1/2 cucumber, roughly chopped

1 handful of baby spinach, roughly chopped

1 handful of fresh parsley

1 green Granny Smith apple, chopped

3 -4 centimetres (1.5 inches) fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/2 avocado pear

Instructions:

Add all the above ingredients into a food processor and process.

If you don’t have a food processor, a good blender will do the trick as well, just make sure you add the lemon juice, avo, cucumber and apple in first, blend a bit and then add the rest of the ingredients.

Enjoy 🙂

Warmed Triple Grain Coffee Breakfast Bowl Topped with Dark Chocolate and Coconut

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Hey hey….well you all know my love for grains ……well, this triple grain idea actually happened unexpectedly.  Me being me, and my latest obsession for breakfast (and grains) sort of happened like this.  Leftover cooked quinoa, a bit of millet and some buckwheat, and I kind of wondered what on earth I was going to do with the ‘bits’.  So, I threw them all together, added some instant coffee, tasted it, yum.  And, from there it all evolved.  Thoughts of chocolate, and then coconut entered my brain, and soon more chocolate.  I mean, come on, who doesn’t like a bit of a dark chocolate kick?  Then, the guilt fled in, so I added some chia seeds. Hahahahahaha

So, this breakfast can be prepared overnight, and eaten the next day without any issues.  Warming it up is just the best, as those chocolate chunks just start to melt, OMW !!! and then here and there you get a bit of a chunk of chocolate. Seriously, this is a great way to start the morning or in fact, I could eat this anytime of the day…obvs 🙂

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Warmed Triple Grain Coffee Breakfast Bowl Topped with Dark Chocolate and Coconut

Total time:  7 minutes

Serves 1-2 people

Ingredients:

2 cups cooked grains (I used a combination of quinoa, millet and buckwheat)

2 cups rice milk (you can use any milk of your choice)

2 Tablespoons chia seeds

2 Tablespoons instant coffee

1 Tablespoon coconut

chopped dark chocolate chunks

For the topping:

extra coconut – optional

extra dark chocolate chunks – optional

Instructions:

In a bowl add all the above ingredients, stir well to combine.  Cover and place in the refrigerator overnight.

When ready to eat, warm up quickly either in the microwave or on top of the stove in a small bowl.

Top with coconut shavings and more chunks of dark chocolate.

Enjoy 🙂

Mint Pesto Marrow (Zucchini, Courgette) Spaghetti with Herb Roasted Chickpeas and Feta

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I totally love this meal.  I don’t even bother to have it hot, it is so good cold.  I usually make extra and then have it the next day for lunch.  I am confused whether that is genius or just downright lazy…whatever, it works for me.  Just one thing with this, is the roasted herb chickpeas must be crunchy.  I don’t know what it is with me, but I just love ‘the crunch’.

I seem to be making loads of mint pesto these days, the mint in my garden is going all kinds of crazy, thanks to the excessive rains we are having.  But it is all good.

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Mint Pesto Marrow (Zucchini/Courgette) Spaghetti with Herb Roasted Chickpeas and Feta

Preparation and total time: 20 minutes

Serves 3-4

Ingredients:

3 large marrows (zucchini/courgette) spiralized. (This is what I used but definitely will depend on the size of your marrows (zucchini/courgettes), so spiralize until you have enough for each serving)

roasted herb chickpeas (the amount totally depends on you, I love these, so I feel zero guilt and load them on my meal)

crumbled feta cheese

For the mint pesto

1 cup fresh mint leaves, packed

handful of fresh parsley leaves

2 handfuls of macadamia nuts, crushed

2 cloves of garlic

1 onion (medium-sized) chopped finely

zest of 1 lemon

juice of 1/2 lemon

2 Tablespoons of olive oil

Instructions:

For the Roasted Chickpeas:

Once chickpeas are cooked and drained, place the chickpeas on a baking tray. Sprinkle with a salt and pepper and a drizzling of olive oil.  I did mine for about 45 minutes on 180 degrees celsius. Whilst the chickpeas are in the oven, keep checking on them and give them a good toss and stir around, so they roast evenly.  Also, sneak in a taste periodically to check for the crispness you want.  Once they are done, remove the baking tray from the oven and generously add some dried origanum or any other herbs you prefer.

For the Pesto:  

Put all the pesto ingredients in a food processor or good blender and blend until it reaches the consistency that you like.

Add the pesto to the spiralized marrows (zucchini/courgette) and top with the roasted herb chickpeas and feta.

Enjoy 🙂

NB*  I like this meal cold, and personally feel that the warmed version sort of loses the actual taste, but if you want you can warm it up by adding it to a pan and heating up and then take off the heat, and lastly add the chickpeas and feta.

Also, if you have extra pesto left over, place it in a sealed jar and keep in the refrigerator. This will keep for a few days.