Sugar Snap Pea and Mint Soup

Well…helloooo green soup and helloooo lunch !!! Come on, let’s be honest here, we are friends, and I am sure you expected nothing less from me than …something….healthy and green.

Oh, before I start rambling….. Sugar Snap Peas are also known as Snap Peas. These guys are identical !!! Why the word ‘sugar’ is included, I have no clue. Also, did you know that the Snap Pea or Sugar Snap Pea is a combination of the Snow Pea and the Garden Pea hmmmmmm???  Well, I didn’t know this. I have never seen them on this side of the world, but clearly they are around. Okay, well apart from that, these guys are super high in nutritional benefits…so Sugar Snap Peas are the way to go !

I have mentioned this tons of times about how things get created just from the contents of my fridge, blah blah blah….yeah, I know, you are probably thinking….blah blah blah, there she goes again….Anyway, often I do not plan my meals, I know it is something I am working on, and often I go shopping and just load up the trolley with every fruit and vegetable that looks amazing, in moderation of course….  Then, the usual scenario takes place, I cook, veggies get used up and then often there is always a little something left just begging to be used (this time, sugar snap peas!) Then I have to rattle my brain and think again.  Well, with the mint starting to flourish in the garden thanks to the rains we have been experiencing, it was a no brainer, and what better way than to blend it all into a nice healthy thick soup.

I think I’m a little obsessed with the blender, anyway, obsessed or not, this soup was perfect and light, and absolutely great for lunch.

Sugar Snap Pea and Mint Soup

Preparation time:  10 minutes

Cooking time:  15 minutes

Total time:  25 minutes

Serves 1

Ingredients:

125 grams sugar snap peas

a little oil for saute’ing

1/2 cup diced onion

125 grams diced potato

1/2 cup vegetable stock

1/2 cup packed fresh mint leaves

For serving:  1 teaspoon fresh  lemon juice

Instructions:

Blanch the sugar snap peas in boiling water for 30 seconds.  Remove them from the boiling water and immediately put them in a bowl of iced water, to stop the cooking process.  Set aside.

In a small pot, add the oil and saute’ the onions until translucent.  Add the potato and stock and reduce the heat.  Allow to simmer for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.  Add a little water to the pot if necessary to prevent burning or sticking to the pot. Remove from the heat and place in the blender.

Remove the sugar snap peas from the iced water and roughly chop them up and place them into the blender with the onion and potato. Add the mint. Blend, pulse, blend until it reaches the consistency you are wanting. Add a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice and serve.

This soup is great at room temperature or heated up.

Enjoy 🙂

 

 

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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.

Cauliflower Pizza Base with Brinjal Tomato Pesto and Double Cheese Topping

Oh yes, this is happening !!! …. The Cauliflower Pizza Base from decades ago is now being relived. Okay, maybe not ‘decades’ but at least a decade….  Shock and horror !  I am bringing back the Cauliflower Pizza Base in all its form and glory. Seriously, there isn’t anything wrong with going into the archives and digging out an old antiquated recipe is there?  Especially if it was all great and successful ‘in its day’…..come on guys, work with me here….this is awesome !!! and it is healthy !!!, and it is low carb !!! (if you are into that kind of thing). Back in the day, when I first made this Cauliflower Pizza Base, of course I was dubious, I mean, who wouldn’t be…Cauliflower isn’t the most tastiest veg unless smothered in cheese…right? well, at the time, that was the only way I would eat Cauliflower…you know the fave veggie dish then, was cauliflower cheese sauce (what is not to love). Anyway, so I remember finding a recipe on Pinterest, but of course didn’t have the exact ingredients, so subbed here and there, and the end result was amazing!  I actually surprised myself, and of course to sweeten matters, I then loaded it with cheese, bacon, more cheese, peppers and just for good measure…even more cheese.  Need I say the pizza was awesome.

Now, years later…this pizza may not be drowning in cheese but it was just so good, I just had to share….

Cauliflower Pizza Base with Brinjal Tomato Pesto and Double Cheese Topping

Preparation time:  20  minutes

Cooking time:  30 – 40 minutes

Total time:  50 – 60 minutes

Serves 1 or 2

Ingredients:

2 cups (250 milliliters) Cauliflower Rice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 large garlic clove, chopped

1/3 cup (80 milliliters) grated mozzarella cheese

1/3 cup (80 milliliters) grated white cheddar cheese

1 egg

1 teaspoon dried oregano/origanum

1/2 teaspoon dried sweet basil

For the topping:  

Tomato pesto

Grilled brinjal/Eggplant

Grated mozzarella cheese

Feta

Chopped fresh basil

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius / 390 degrees Fahrenheit (I used a fan oven).

Microwave cauliflower rice for 3 minutes 50 seconds.  Place in the middle of a dish cloth, bring up the sides of the cloth, twist and ring out as much water as possible from the cooked cauliflower.  The cauliflower will be scorching hot, so be careful not to burn your hands.  Do this squishing and twisting of the cloth with the cauliflower in several times.  Let it rest for a few minutes and do it again.  Remember the more water left in the cauliflower, the more soggy your pizza base will be!

Once all the water is out, spoon the dried cauliflower into a large bowl. At this stage it will be all mashed together and will look minute in size.  Add all of the other base ingredients and mix together with a spoon. The mixture may feel a bit wet, but form a ball with it as best you can and then flatten it on a greased baking tray with greased baking paper or better still if you have a silicone mat (this works so well).  Flatten it to the thickness you want.  I personally like mine to be really quite thin.  Then place in the oven for about 30 minutes.  By this time it should be a nice golden brown.  Take it out of the oven and carefully turn it over.  Let it cook on the opposite side for an extra 5 – 10 minutes.  Take it out of the oven and then put the topping on (excluding the fresh basil) and return it to the oven for another 5 minutes.  Just before serving add a little more feta if you want and the fresh chopped basil.

Enjoy 🙂

To make your own Cauliflower Rice:  Cut a head of cauliflower in half.  This will make it easier.  Then with a sharp knife slice and chop the florets until it resembles ‘rice’.  This can be a bit messy and a bit time consuming, but it is worth it.  Alternatively, if you have a food processor, process the florets by pulsing until it resembles ‘rice’.

High Protein Vegetable Soup with Crunchy Golden Roasted Chickpeas

I absolutely love soup.  There is just something about homemade soup …. My mom was the soup maker of all time.  In fact, she was the Queen at making her famous soup.  She had this big old black pot, which was her soup pot, and she would throw in a cup of this and a cup of that, grate veggies and stir everything with a big wooden spoon.  Then bread was buttered and cut in half in a triangle effect and soon we were enjoying this amazing miracle of mom’s soup. Fast-forward ….a few years…okay many years….I still can’t get my mom’s soup to taste as great as when my mom made it….. It must be that pot…and I don’t have the pot.

So, after many years of trying, failing and crying I decided to do my own version of an awesome hearty soup.  Pure veggies with loads of nutrition, no big surprise there.   I am not too pedantic about the actual quantities of the vegetables, but the combination of the vegetables and the chickpeas work really well together. I like this soup thick-ish, and smooth, so using the blender really helps getting it to perfection. This recipe came about from just vegetables I had in the fridge.  This happens often around here…..I am seeing a pattern…

High Protein Vegetable Soup with Crunchy Golden Roasted Chickpeas

Preparation time:  20 minutes

Cooking time:  25 minutes

Total time:  45 minutes

Makes 9 cups

Ingredients:

a little oil for saute’ing

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup chopped green pepper

6 long celery stalks and tops, chopped

approximately 2 1/2 cups (350 grams) chopped carrots

2 large zucchini’s, chopped (approximately 350 grams)

2 cups cooked chickpeas

salt and pepper to taste

dried origanum

2 cups vegetable stock

For the topping:  Dry roasted chickpeas – optional

Instructions:

In a large pot, and on medium heat, saute the onions until just translucent. Add the green pepper, celery and  celery tops.  Stir around for about a minute and then add the carrots, zucchini’s, chickpeas, origanum and stock. Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally and then reduce the temperature to simmer with the lid on the pot.  Let simmer for about 20 minutes or until the vegetables have softened.  Taste.  Season with salt and pepper. Add more origanum if you feel it is needed. Taste. Then, add the vegetables to the blender.  Blend until the vegetables reach the consistency you want.

Serve hot and with some crunchy roasted chickpeas.

Enjoy 🙂

NB*

This soup freezes well in a sealed container.

To Dry Roast Chickpeas:  Chickpeas must be cooked.  Drizzle over olive oil, salt and pepper. Then place on a baking tray in a preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.  Remember as the roasted chickpeas cool, they will get a bit more crisp.

 

Spiralized Zucchini with Snap Pea Mint Pesto and Crispy Black-Eyed Peas

I have been dying to post this….well not literally dying, but you know what I mean. I like my spiralized zucchini  raw, so this is the perfect summertime meal.  It is cool and refreshing, and light. Did you notice, I said, ‘zucchini’ instead of ‘marrow’…aren’t you proud of me?  Now this way, no one will get confused !!!

Mint is one of those amazing herbs.  I totally love it.  Mint leaves end up in salads, green tea, you name it, if I can find a place for it to be appreciated, I will.

Now for the Black-Eyed Peas….or is it a bean…I think it is both….whatever, I know for sure it is a legume !   Anyway, I am calling it a pea for now, and I have to admit, I honestly have never given this poor pea much credit ! (because I have this thing about ‘peas’ but lets not go there as this will end up being a post of absolute crazed contradiction, that even I do not understand) But, they are amazing roasted, and all crisped up ….it is like a chickpea.  So now I am totally on the Black-Eyed Pea train ….

Spiralized Zucchini with Snap Pea Mint Pesto and Crispy Black-Eyed Peas

Preparation time:  20 minutes

Cooking time:  20 minutes

Total time:  40 minutes

Ingredients:

Zucchini/Courgette/Marrow, spiralized

Black-Eyed Peas, cooked and roasted.

For the Pesto: 

1/2 cup packed chopped snap peas

1/2 cup packed chopped celery

1/2 cup packed chopped baby spinach

1/4 cup packed chopped mint

2-3 Tablespoons olive oil

2 Tablespoons lemon juice

This makes 1 cup of Pesto

Instructions:

Place all the pesto ingredients into a food processor and blend till smooth or the consistency you want.  With regards to the olive oil, only put 2 tablespoons in at first and if you feel you want a slightly thinner consistency then add in the extra.

To roast the black-eyed peas:  Place the cooked peas onto a baking tray, drizzle with a little olive oil, salt and pepper.  Place in the preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius / 350 degrees Fahrenheit and let roast until crisp. Remember they will crisp up further whilst cooling once out of the oven.

To assemble:  Place the spiralized zucchini in a bowl and toss through the pesto. Don’t mix the peas through the pesto in the bowl before serving as they will go soft. When serving, top with the crispy black-eyed peas on the individual plates.

Enjoy 🙂

Meatless Chilli Quinoa Patties

I have created a Meatless Chilli Quinoa Pattie hubby monster…and I mean this in the most loving way ever !  If the hubby could, he would eat this all day and everyday. This Chilli Quinoa Pattie meal has become one of the hubby’s absolute faves!

Seriously, I am not complaining.  All it is, is one large bowl, and it is a matter of chop, chop, chop and bomb…it doesn’t get easier than that. Oh, then there is the messy hand bit, to make the patties, but hey, what’s a little mess between friends…

These Chilli Quinoa Patties are divine no matter how you choose to eat them. Personally I love mine with a bunch of roasted vegetables or salad….but you knew that already, so that was a bit of useless information…ummm sorry. The patties themselves are beautifully moist inside, so don’t really have the need to be doused in sauce, if any, to be honest.

Meatless Chilli Quinoa Patties 

Preparation time:  15 minutes

Cooking time:  45 minutes

Total time:  1 hour

Makes between 9 and 12 (depending on size)

Ingredients:

2 cups cooked quinoa

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 cup diced white onion

2  1/2 cups diced peppers (I used a red, yellow and green pepper)

3 cups grated matured cheddar cheese

2-3 discs of feta cheese, crumbled

1/2 cup sun-dried tomato pesto

4 Tablespoon sun-dried tomato, chopped (I buy the one in oil, but do not use the oil)

1 jumbo-sized egg

1/2 cup breadcrumbs (I used Gluten-Free Breadcrumbs)

1 heaped teaspoon of chilli powder

2 heaped teaspoons each of dried oregano and dried parsley

salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius/350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large bowl, add all the ingredients.  Mix very well and make into patties.

Place on a lightly greased non stick baking tray.

Bake in the oven until golden brown.

Enjoy 🙂

 

Garden Fresh Crunchy Marrow/Zucchini/Courgette Salad

Say hello to crunchy salad !!! Say hello to this amazing, light summer salad I threw together for lunch! I really had no clue how this was going to turn out, it was a matter of using what I had in the fridge (yeah, I do that a lot) and …I surprised myself! This is the perfect summer salad for all those lucky people out there enjoying the warmth of summer.  And, of course those that aren’t (me)….. just pretend the sun is shining and the day is good !

This is a super easy salad, and could work well just as a side salad or as a main. I am just loving the spiralized marrows, it just makes this salad so pretty :-). Just one thing, if you do make this salad, and you are wanting to make it ahead of time, don’t cut your tomatoes until you are ready to serve, otherwise your salad will become quite watery.

Garden Fresh Crunchy Marrow/Zucchini/Courgette Salad

Preparation time:  10 minutes

Serves 2 *

Ingredients:

2 cups spiralized marrows

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup fresh basil leaves

2 cups baby spinach leaves

2 cups exotic tomatoes, chopped/halved (or cherry tomatoes)

salt and pepper to taste

Olive Oil for drizzling

Nutritional Yeast for sprinkling on the top (optional)

Instructions:

Throw spiralized marrows, chopped celery, basil and baby spinach into a bowl.

Add tomatoes.

Season.

Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with nutritional yeast.

Enjoy 🙂

 

  • This recipe can easily be halved or doubled, depending on how many people or if you are wanting it as a main or side.  I also, used Nutritional Yeast so it is vegan, but this can be subbed with feta or any cheese of your choice if you don’t want the vegan option.

Creamy Mushroom Garlic Basil Pesto Spaghetti

I really seem to be into my carbs lately.  Clearly my body must be lacking something, or I am storing up for winter…but it can’t be the latter as it doesn’t really get THAT cold here (she says all curled up under her duvet nearing the end of May) Well, in all seriousness, a couple weeks ago we really did have a cold spell over the weekend. You should have seen me then….

Oh well, such is life….

This Creamy Mushroom Garlic Basil Pesto Spaghetti is my go-to meal.  It is simple, and probably the easiest meal known to mankind to make.  It is incredibly tasty and ultra healthy.

Creamy Mushroom Garlic Basil Pesto Spaghetti

Preparation time:  5 minutes

Cooking time:  12 minutes

Total time:  17 minutes

Serves  4

Ingredients:

Spaghetti (I used Gluten-Free Spaghetti)

2 cloves garlic, chopped

250 gram mushrooms, sliced

a little butter for the mushrooms

For the pesto sauce:

100 gram butter

60 gram flour (I used Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour)

3 cups milk of your choice (I used Lactose-Free Rice Milk)

280 – 300 gram basil pesto (home-made or bought, whatever your preference)

salt and pepper if needed

Instructions:

Cook spaghetti as per packet instructions.

In another pot, on medium heat, add butter and saute’ the sliced mushrooms and garlic. Set aside once done.  In the same pot you used for the mushrooms add the butter for the sauce, allow to bubble and boil slightly. Remove from the heat and add in the flour. Stir well.  Return to the heat and stir well adding the milk in gradually.  This could be a bit of an arm workout, but it is nothing serious.  Keep on stirring until the sauce thickens and the milk is finished. Add the pesto, most of the mushrooms and stir.  Take the pot off the stove.

On individual plates, serve the pesto sauce on top of the spaghetti and top with the balance of the mushrooms.

Enjoy 🙂

NB*

  1.  Any leftover sauce will freeze well in a sealed container.

 

 

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 🙂

 

 

 

 

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 🙂