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 🙂

Lentil and Nut Stuffed Roasted Peppers

Look I just added a liittttle cheese !!! We had such an onslaught of cheese the other week (which of course was divine), so I thought today I would just keep it simple, with a minimal amount of cheese.

These little guys are so awesome and really is such a versatile meal.  For as long as I can remember I have LOVED roasted peppers.  Hey, I am not even picky about which colour pepper I have.  I know some people do have their preferences, but not me…. So, I know stuffed peppers is not a new thing….but then it is all about the filling.  So if you want to go the ‘veggie way’ these I think will impress you !  These Lentil and Nut Stuffed Peppers can easily just be eaten as is. Don’t be shy, be like me and try all the colours and make it a meal. I served these little babies with a ton of roasted veggies…(yes, that is how I like them) but knock yourself out and serve them pretty much how ever you would like to serve them.  No matter what….I know you’ll enjoy  🙂 !

Lentil and Nut Stuffed Roasted Peppers

Preparation time:  15 minutes

Cooking time: 20 – 30 minutes

Total time:  35 – 45 minutes

Makes 8 – 9 whole peppers, depending on the size

Ingredients:

8 – 9 whole peppers

1 cup cooked lentils (I used brown)

1 cup grated carrots

approximately 3/4 cup diced white onion

1 clove garlic crushed and diced

a handful of grated matured cheddar cheese  – optional (for the cheese lovers, you can add one cup)

1/2 cup dry toasted nuts, slightly chopped (I used walnuts)

1/2 cup dry toasted sunflower seeds

100 gram tomato paste

2 teaspoons dried oregano

2 teaspoons dried parsley

2 teaspoons dried basil

Salt and Pepper

For the topping:  extra matured cheddar cheese – optional

extra dry toasted nuts (I used walnuts)

Instructions:

In a large bowl add all the above ingredients except for the extra cheese and nuts.

Cut the top off each pepper (so it acts like a lid or hat for the pepper LOL)

With a tablespoon generously fill each pepper.

Top with extra cheese and nuts.

Place in the oven (place some aluminium foil/tin foil over ovenproof dish) and allow to roast. Check peppers after 20 minutes.  Roast in oven until the cheese is bubbling. You may want to take the foil off from the ovenproof dish nearing the end of roasting time.

Remove from the oven.

Serve hot either with roasted vegetables or with a salad.

Enjoy 🙂

NB*

1)  To make it vegan,  omit the cheese.

2)  Preparation time can literally be cut in half with this meal if the cheese is already grated, and the nuts and seeds are already dry toasted.

3)  This recipe can easily be cut in half if wanted, as it does make a fair amount.  Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge and utilized again, even making alternative meals.

 

 

Red/Purple Cabbage and Berry Breakfast Smoothie

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Okay, I did this…..I put cabbage in your smoothie.  I swear you probably think I have lost all my marbles even considering cabbage for a smoothie….Don’t stone me, trust me… And, I put in the nice cabbage, the pretty colourful red one….just for a change. Or is it purple?  Aubergine like colour? Burgundy? I don’t know, personally I don’t think it is red or purple, often it is called red….but whatever, just something in between, but who cares so long as it is super cool and super pretty. Sorry if the cabbage thing has put you off, but it is good for you.

So, the moral of the story is, if you have a bit of red/purple,burgundy or aubergine colour cabbage left or if you see those little baby ones in the store or at the market, bomb it into a smoothie, add an apple and a banana and some berries and you have this smoothie of note !!!!

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Red/Purple Cabbage and Berry Breakfast Smoothie

Preparation time:  5 minutes

Total time:  8 minutes

Serves 1

Ingredients:

1 fresh or frozen banana

1 red apple, chopped

100 grams shredded red cabbage

100 grams  blueberries, fresh or frozen

1 cup milk of your choice

Instructions:

Place all the above ingredients into the blender and blend until smooth.  This takes approximately 3 minutes.

Pour into a glass.

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.

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/5.3 ounces) fresh strawberries

100 grams (approx 1 cup/7.1 ounces) fresh blueberries or frozen

100 grams rice milk (approx 1/2 cup/3.5 ounces) 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/3.5 ounces) 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.  🙂

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 🙂