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.

 

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Roasted Butternut and Beetroot Nutty Spaghetti

Happy Thursday guys…..It’s been a weird week, dealing with the frustrations of an over the top slow computer that keeps losing connection….Urrggggggg !!!!! I don’t know where to start with this one….apart from this is not the prettiest meal out there.  I thought it would be, but it’s not, somehow those colours just intermingled and got messy….but it is tasty and it is healthy !!!

Anyway, comfort food was needed, and I needed some crunch and colour and carbs !!! I know, can you believe it?  I think my hubby nearly had a mild heart attack when he saw I was eating pasta.  So, originally my thoughts were spiralized butternut and beetroot.  I wanted the whole spaghetti vibe going on…… Anyway, so lazy me was too lazy to take out the spiralizer so opted for the grater instead, so we have grated butternut and grated beetroot !  I wasn’t too sure how this concoction would work, but it did.  I actually surprised myself, and the roasted grated butternut and beetroot didn’t mush all up when roasted….so that was a huge bonus! Crunch was needed for that bit of oomph, so topping this meal with toasted almonds and pumpkin seeds was The Best!!!

Let’s just say that this, maybe not so pretty, Roasted Butternut and Beetroot Nutty Spaghetti will be in my life forever. 🙂

Roasted Butternut and Beetroot Nutty Spaghetti

Preparation time:  20 minutes

Cooking time:  12 minutes

Total time: 32 minutes

Serves 4

Ingredients:

Spaghetti (I used Gluten-Free Spaghetti)

2 cups grated raw butternut

1/2 cup grated raw beetroot

salt and pepper to taste

a drizzling of extra virgin olive oil for the roasting of the vegetables

a little butter or oil for cooking the garlic, sage and onions

3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped (depending on size)

handful of fresh sage leaves

6 spring onions, finely chopped

To serve with:

freshly squeezed lemon juice

toasted almonds, chopped

toasted pumpkin seeds

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius/ 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Grate the butternut and beetroot.

Place on a baking tray with a little oil, salt and pepper.  Place in a preheated oven and roast for about 10 minutes.  After about 5 minutes, give the vegetables a stir.

Whilst the vegetables are roasting, cook up the spaghetti (as per packet instructions).

Once the vegetables are done, remove from the oven.

In the meanwhile, heat up a little oil in a pan and cook the garlic and sage for a couple of minutes, lastly add the spring onions and give them a stir.

Then add the cooked spaghetti, and quickly toss in the roasted butternut and beetroot. You may find that the spaghetti starts turning a bit pink from the beetroot, don’t worry it is fine. Give this meal a squeeze of lemon juice and top with toasted almonds and toasted pumpkin seeds.

Enjoy 🙂

Cream Cheese Snacks

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Well, this are probably the easiest snack to prepare on this planet!  In fact it all could even be less time consuming if the toppings are all prepared before hand 🙂 .

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I am known for doing this snack.  It goes down well with friends and family and I am always asked to please do my ‘fancy biscuit things’…Yeah, inevitably that is what they are called….I mean, how easy is it …the main thing is cream cheese!  at least say ‘the cream cheese biscuit things’, then I will know, and not have to rack my brain so much…only kidding the brain doesn’t get racked, but you know what I mean.  It is likeuse your words !!!

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Anyway, so I was all amped up to kick off the New Year all healthy and stuff….well, it didn’t happen :-(. Never mind, now I just have to work even harder as of Monday…I really am a glutton for punishment.

So before I get all healthy on you, I must give you this quick and easy Cream Cheese Snack.  These snacks are devoured on Salticrax biscuits.  Then, the cream cheese…if you want, get the healthier version being low-fat cream cheese, both taste great.  Then, the toppings, well you can go crazy with these and really do any topping you want.  I mainly use fresh chives, dry toasted seeds and freshly ground pepper, I also have used toasted nuts, chopped, pink pepper corns freshly ground and a range of fresh herbs…all are equally as good 🙂 .

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Cream Cheese Snacks

Preparation time and Total time:  10 minutes (this will vary depending on how many people you are doing for and what actual toppings you are doing)

Ingredients:

dry toasted sunflower seeds

dry toasted pumpkin seeds

dry toasted sesame seeds

chopped fresh chives

black pepper freshly ground

1 box of Salticrax

1 tub of cream cheese

Instructions:

With a knife put a dollop of cream cheese on a salticrax.

Choose a topping and put on top of salticrax.

Enjoy 🙂

NB*  When dry toasting seeds and nuts, do not add any oil to the pan, as seeds and nuts have their own natural oils.  Keep tossing the seeds or nuts in the pan to avoid burning.  Watch them carefully when they are on the stove as they will burn if unattended.

Once done, allow to cool and place in a sealed container and store in the fridge.