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.

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 🙂