Fusilli with Herbed Tomato and Roasted Brinjal

Brinjal, Aubergine, Eggplant….whatever you call them, this is what is needed today.  I even found ‘exotic brinjals’ where I shop, and of course could not resist them.  Just their outer skin differed from the common ones, and I did not notice them tasting any different.

I am totally enjoying pasta these days, now that I am eating Gluten Free Pasta.  What a difference, and best of all, my stomach is thanking me.  If you are going to try this meal, feel free to use the pasta you want.  I have made this meal with a bit of wine in the sauce.  It makes a huge difference, but feel free to use stock if you are not into the wine (or if you drank all the wine…no judgement 🙂 ).  Basically the wine cooks down, so it is not as though you will be tasting the wine in all it’s glory…sorry..!

I put some grated cheese on at the last minute with the basil leaves…somehow pasta and cheese just seem to go together for me.  I did not melt the cheese initially. Then when I came to eat it, I needed my food to be hotter, so into the microwave it went and it melted down a bit, and it was delicious.  The hubby had his not melted and he wolfed that meal down, so yeah, either way….melted or not is great.

Fusilli with Herbed Tomato and Roasted Brinjal

Preparation time:  15 minutes

Cooking time:  45 minutes

Total time:  1 hour

Serves 4

Ingredients:

Fusilli

2 brinjals, cut into chunks

3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper

Pasta Sauce:

3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 cup chopped onion

1/4 cup chopped garlic cloves

2 x tins whole tomatoes, chopped or 1 1/2 cups chopped whole fresh tomatoes

2 heaped teaspoons dried oregano

1/4 cup white wine

Salt and Pepper to taste

Topping:  

Grated Matured Cheddar Cheese

Chopped Fresh Basil

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius / 390 degrees Fahrenheit.

Bake the brinjals and then set aside.

Whilst the brinjals are baking, cook the fusilli as per the packet instructions.

In a large skillet or pan, heat up the oil and fry the onion and garlic until translucent and fragrant. Add the tomatoes, herbs, wine and seasoning.  Bring to boiling point and then reduce the temperature to simmer.  Allow the sauce ingredients to simmer for at least 45 minutes. Add the cooked brinjals.  Taste and season.

Add the cooked sauce to the cooked and drained fusilli.

Top with some grated cheese and fresh basil leaves.

 

Enjoy 🙂

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Roasted Curried Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup with Crispy Roasted Lentils

Yes, I did this….In the peak of our summer I made a Roasted Curried Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup with Crunchy Roasted Lentils 🙂 . I just had to…I was craving soup and this is one soup I love, and not only that, I love carrots :-), the slight flavour of the curry and crispy lentils, and, and, and…. Yes, I know I shared a salad with the crispy lentils, but they are just so amazing….

I bet you all think I am crazy…but in my defense, today was a bit of a cloudy day.  In fact, there was not a trace of sun, and to top it all, it was not even humid !!!  Whatever, this soup happened, and it was delish !!!!

Curried Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup with Crispy Roasted Lentils

Preparation time:  10 minutes

Cooking time:  20 minutes

Total time:  30 minutes

Makes 4 cups

Ingredients: 

a little olive oil for saute’ing

1 cup chopped onion

2 fat garlic cloves, chopped

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

4 fresh bay leaves

3 centimeters fresh ginger, chopped

1 teaspoon curry powder (mine is a hot one! )

500 grams chopped fresh carrot

150 grams chopped fresh sweet potato

2 cups vegetable stock

Salt and Pepper

Instructions:

In a medium-sized pot, saute’ the onion with a little oil, then add the garlic, spices, bayleaves, ginger and curry powder.  Allow to cook for a few minutes until onions are cooked and the aromas of the spices are nice and strong.  Then add the carrots, sweet potato and stock. Once the stock has reached boiling point, reduce the heat to simmer and let the soup cook until all the vegetables are soft and cooked through. Taste, and if salt and pepper are necessary then add.

Bring out the blender, and blend the soup until smooth.

Top with the roasted lentils.

Enjoy 🙂

Swiss Chard and Chilli Parsley Patties

These little mouthfuls of gorgeousness have come into my life, and personally I do not foresee them leaving my life anytime soon. I know that they do not look too appealing to the eye, but trust me…they are delicious!  These are baked and not fried (yay !!!). They are jam-packed with loads of nutrition, thanks to the swiss chard, and they are gluten-free!  Okay, these don’t need to be made gluten-free, but for those with a gluten intolerance or whatever, this is an added bonus. Aannnnnd, to make these little gems even more desirable and more-ish, they are amazing to eat with a plain yoghurt, additional garlic and herbs. Ahh I just cannot resist these babies.  I made a batch the other day, and literally from the baking tray they were being devoured. They are divine.  I put a few aside in a container, and the following day we had them for lunch with a salad.  They too, are the perfect healthy snack attack.

Swiss Chard and Chilli Parsley Patties

Preparation time:  13 minutes

Cooking time:  15 – 20 minutes

Total time:  28 – 33 minutes

Makes approximately 12 depending on size

Ingredients:

300 grams fresh Swiss Chard, shredded finely (I used the food processor to do this)

3 – 4 large fat garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 Tablespoon (15 milliliters)  of dried chilli flakes (seeds discarded if wanted)

1/4 cup (62.50 milliliters) chopped fresh parsley

1 1/2 cups (375 milliliters) chickpea flour (I used Gluten-Free)

1 teaspoon (5 milliliters) baking powder (I used Gluten-Free)

1/2 cup (125 milliliters) water

Optional extras:

1 cup (or more) Plain yoghurt (I used Lactose-Free)

2 garlic cloves, finely crushed

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Instructions:

Preheat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius / 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a medium-sized bowl, add the finely shredded Swiss Chard, garlic, chillies, parsley, flour, baking powder and gradually add the water.  Stir all the ingredients thoroughly until a thick batter is formed.  If you feel you feel you need a bit more water, then add, but do not allow this batter to be thin.  Using a tablespoon collect together enough thick batter and then place on a lined and greased baking tray. These patties will not spread much so just leave a small space in-between each pattie.  It is not necessary to flatten them, I quite like the rugged rustic look of the jagged edges. Ideally if you have a silicone baking mat, these work the best as no lining or greasing is required.  Once the baking tray is full, place in the oven to bake until done.

For the Optional Extra’s:  Place the garlic and parsley into a bowl and add the yoghurt.

Serve warm or hot with the yoghurt (if using).

Enjoy 🙂

 

 

Gluten and Wheat Free Savoury Spiced Bread

To all the bread lovers out there, this one is for you.  But… this is a relatively healthy bread made from Gluten Free Chickpea and Rice Flours.  Both these flours are high in fibre, so that is a huge plus! Personally I think Chickpea flour is the bomb! Apart from being high in fibre, it is high in protein and iron. Just a heads up, I have been using this flour more and more lately, so expect more chickpea flour adventures 🙂  In all seriousness, I just love the subtle nuttiness of it.

This Gluten and Wheat Free Savoury Spiced Bread is just a great. It is ridiculously easy to do and can be prepared and done in no time at all !!! I don’t often find  a Gluten-Free bread recipe that really makes me excited, let alone end up being totally successful.  This recipe is one of my old time finds dating back to the late 90’s. It has proven to me time after time, and has yet to disappoint. Having made this recipe many times, I have always slightly altered it one way or the other, either by changing the actual flours, depending on what I actually have on hand, herbs and spices and then just adding a bit of texture here and there.  The flavours here are superb….almost earthy….I think 🙂 . I love adding the additional sunflower seeds sprinkled on the top…just for that extra crunch 🙂 . Generally, I just eat this bread plain, without any butter as I don’t really think it needs anything added to it. Oh… also, this bread is ideal for slicing up, wrapping up and freezing. This way it makes the perfect additive for lunches or that quick snack.

Gluten and Wheat Free Savoury Spiced Bread

Preparation time:  12 minutes

Cooking time:  30 – 35 minutes

Total time:  42 – 47 minutes

Ingredients:

152 grams (360 milliliters) white or brown rice flour

36 grams (85 milliliters) chickpea flour

1 1/2 teaspoons (7.5 milliliters) bicarbonate of soda

1 teaspoon (5 milliliters) ground coriander

1 teaspoon (5 milliliters) dried origanum

1/2 teaspoon (2.5 milliliters) ground cumin

1 large onion, chopped

1 cup (250 milliliters / 250 grams) unsweetened apple juice

4 Tablespoons + 1 teaspoon (65 milliliters / 65 grams) sunflower oil

3 Tablespoons (45 milliliters / 45 grams) lemon juice

1 Tablespoon (15 milliliters) honey

2 Tablespoons Tahini paste

2 jumbo-sized free range eggs

Topping:  Dry toasted sunflower and sesame seeds

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius / 320 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large sized bowl, add the flours, bicarb, herbs and spices together.  Using a hand whisk, whisk together to combine all the ingredients and set aside.

Using a food processor, add the remaining ingredients being, the onion, apple juice, oil, lemon juice, paste, honey and eggs.  Process until blended to a smooth consistency.

Then, add the processed ingredients to the flour mixture and stir.  Do not over stir.  Do not use a mixer.  This needs to be stirred gently.

Pour into a greased and lined baking tin. (I used a square baking tin approximately 7 x 7 inches / 18 x 18 centimeters in size).

Bake for about 30 – 35 minutes.  Test with a skewer, if it comes out clean then the bread is done.  Allow to cool, before slicing.

Enjoy 🙂

Coriander, Wasabi, Macadamia Farfalloni Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes

Look at this pretty meal guys!  Can you stand it?

This is the simplest meal ever ! and it is under 30 minutes !!! It seriously is a matter of pasta and pesto, tossed together….meal done.  Eat hot or cold.  I had some of this fancy bow tie (or butterfly) pasta, which I could just not resist in my cupboard. (Probably the last of my gluten pasta, but that is fine.) If you are Gluten Free, use a Gluten Free Pasta, even if you cannot get the fancy bow tie (or butterfly) one, any pasta will do. It all is great !!!

Now, for the people who aren’t keen on the hot stuff….. brace yourself…this is not a hot meal unless you get over enthusiastic with the wasabi, and then your nasal passages will be going crazy with this cold, airy feeling (actually weird feeling). Your eyes may start to water and your sinus’s will be utterly cleared.  So, note to yourself:  Keep it simple and enjoy the slight flavour….

Coriander, Wasabi, Macadamia Farfalloni Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes

Preparation time:  15 minutes

Cooking time:  8 – 10 minutes

Total time:  23 – 25 minutes

Serves 2

Ingredients:

Farfalloni Pasta

For the Pesto

1/3 cup plus 1 Tablespoon (approximately 100 milliliters) Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon (20 milliliters) freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 Tablespoon (15 milliliters) white wine vinegar

1/3 cup plus 1 Tablespoon (approximately 100 milliliters) chopped onion

1 large fat garlic clove, chopped

1 cup (250 milliliters) packed coriander, chopped

1 cup (250 milliliters) macadamia nuts (I dry toasted mine)

2 teaspoons (10 milliliters) wasabi

For the topping:

cherry tomatoes, cut in half

Instructions:

Cook the pasta as per packet instructions, and use the quantity you want.

Whilst the pasta is cooking, place all the pesto ingredients into a food processor and process until the pesto sauce is nice and creamy.  If you want the sauce a smoother consistency add a little extra olive oil or a dash of water.

Once the pesto is done, serve with the cooked pasta and top with cherry tomatoes.

Enjoy 🙂

 

Brown Lentil and Vegetable Potato Bake

Now this is iresistable comfort food at its finest !!! It is simple, not too bad on the timing thing, so I am on board with this.  Just make sure the lentils are cooked, and you are good to go. The mashed potato is a huge plus and then the added cheese on the top….OMW……..there are no words. You definitely can make this more healthy by doing a sweet potato mash and no cheese, but nah…this is good enough for me.  In fact, this is like Christmas for my family….not to sure when we last had good ol’ mashed starchy unhealthy potatoes, loaded with butter and milk…you really did not read those last few words, did you?.

Anyway, so you will notice (if you scroll down to the recipe) that I did not tell you how to make the mash or how much mash to make.  Mashed potato does seem to be a thing with people, and often I have found that people certainly do not make it like me….If I really told you how I make mine, some people out there would probably stone me, yes, even in this 21st century !!! so…..knock yourself out and make your mash, however you like to make your mash. And, make as much of it as you want, there are no rules here!  But, whatever you do….don’t forget the CHEESE !!!!!

Brown Lentil and Vegetable Potato Bake

Preparation time:  15 minutes

Cooking time:  30 minutes

Total time:  45 minutes

Ingredients:

A little oil or ghee

1 cup chopped onion

2 large fat garlic cloves

1 cup chopped carrot

4 fresh bay leaves

4 – 5 Tablespoons Tomato Paste

1 x 410 gram tin of whole tomatoes

3 fresh tomatoes, chopped

1 Tablespoon dried oregano

1 Tablespoon dried parsley

1 Tablespoon dried thyme

1 cup vegetable stock

1 cup cooked lentils

Salt and Pepper to taste

 

Potatoes and Cheese for the mashed potatoes

Instructions:

Preheat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius / 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Time to multi-task guys 🙂 Get two pots on the stove.  One for the potato mash and the other for the lentil and vegetable mixture. You can easily make these at the same time.

On medium heat, saute’ the onion in a little oil or ghee.

Add the garlic and cook for a few minutes.

Add the carrots, bay leaves, tomato paste, tin of tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, herbs and vegetable stock.  Once everything reaches boiling point, turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Add the cooked lentils and taste, and season. The mixture should be slightly thick.  If you feel the mixture is too watery, thicken slightly with a little cornflour and water made up into a paste.

Place the lentil mixture into an oven proof baking dish.

Make your mashed potato. Spoon on the top of the lentil mixture and top with cheese.

Place in the oven and let it bake for about 20 minutes and until the cheese is nicely melted.

Enjoy 🙂

 

Coriander Egg Chilli Corn and Snap Pea Fried Rice

So, I did it again… A mouthful of a title.

Yes, I know, everyone knows how to do a fried rice dish, but really they all can be so different ! This is so scrumptious, it can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  I added a couple eggs, but of course if you want this to be totally vegan, leave the eggs out. It is still so delicious, and you probably will want to stuff your face like I did…..straight from the pan!  I kid you not !!!. In fact, if you are on your own, go for it, grab a spoon and just eat…no one will see you….. and trust me, there is no judgement my side.  I have done this !!! Seriously, this kind of throw together thingy works like a dream.  Basically it is just a nice array of leftovers, so each time I have done it, it differs from the last time.  I don’t do a lot of flavours as then I find, I don’t know what I am tasting, so I just keep it simple.  That way for me, is the tastiest….and if you are wanting a bit of oomph, add some chilli flakes, fresh coriander and you are good to go. !

Coriander Egg Chilli Corn Sugar Snap Pea Fried Rice

Preparation time:  5 minutes

Cooking time:  3 – 4 minutes

Total time:  8 – 9 minutes

Serves 1

Ingredients:

a little oil for frying

1/4 cup (approximately 60 milliliters) uncooked chopped onion

1 garlic clove, chopped (I used a large fat clove)

1 fresh corn on the cob, corn (kernels) cut off

60 grams uncooked sugar snap peas, roughly chopped,

1 cup cooked rice

2 free range eggs

Salt and Pepper

Chilli Flakes – optional

Fresh Coriander to garnish

Instructions:

Using a small pan on medium heat add the onion and saute’ for a couple minutes.  Then add the garlic, corn, and snap peas.  Fry, stirring constantly to prevent sticking.  Then, scoop all the cooked ingredients to the side of the pan and on the opposite side of the pan break the eggs, and stir around, cooking the eggs. Once done, mix the eggs and veggies all together.  Season to taste.

Enjoy 🙂

 

Millet Vegetarian Fruit and Nut Loaf

Aren’t I slack !  This is the first post for 2018 ! And look at the date, it’s nearly half way through the month !!!  Happy 2018, to all who I have not wished already.

I have decided that I get top marks today for this 🙂 .  Seriously guys, this Millet Vegetarian Fruit and Nut Loaf totally overwhelms me every time I make it, but in such a good way.  I now regret not making a bigger one.  I now regret not having enough millet in my grocery cupboard !!!! Why? why? why?  Guess what I will be buying tomorrow…like a massive amount of millet !  I think millet is underrated !!!  This is such a great grain, and I am even at fault for not cooking more of it…  Today I switched this meatless meatloaf up a bit and added cranberries, just because I can.  This is such an awesome additive loaf !!!

I don’t usually do a sauce with this loaf, but today I did …I  threw together a quick cranberry sauce, to go with the whole cranberry vibe. No sugar added guys !!! I often have had cranberry sauce with other meals and just found it over the top too sweet and it kind of ruins the taste for me.  This one is all healthy…. Yay 🙂 and it is great, but honestly for me, I am not convinced it is totally necessary for this particular loaf…but then again, there is nothing wrong with a little on the side… I served this vegetarian loaf with a bunch of roasted vegetables and it was A-ma-zing !!! 🙂

Millet Vegetarian Fruit and Nut Loaf

Preparation time:  40 minutes (including roasting the butternut)

Cooking time:  30 – 40 minutes

Total time:  1 hour 10 minutes – 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients:

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 large fat onion, diced

1 large fat garlic clove, minced

300 – 350 grams cubed butternut, roasted

1/2 cup finely chopped mushroom

Salt and Pepper to taste

A good helping of origanum – don’t be shy! (I used dried, but fresh is great! )

100 grams cooked millet

150 grams mixture of dried fruit, chopped (I used pear, apricots, prunes, apples and cranberries)

100 grams dry toasted almonds, chopped

The zest of 1 large orange (alternatively 1 Tablespoon of fresh fruit juice if oranges are not available)

50 grams rolled oats (I used Gluten-Free)

1 jumbo-sized egg

Instructions:

Preheat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius / 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Grease a loaf tin.

In a medium-sized pan on medium heat, saute’ the onion with a little oil.  Add the garlic and cook for a couple minutes.  Add a little more oil if needed, or water so it does not stick to the pan and add the roasted butternut (feel free to mash it up a bit if you want, I did) and mushrooms to the pan.  Stir around. (I felt I needed to add a bit more water at this point to avoid sticking) Season well.

Remove from the stove top and add the millet, fruit, nuts, zest, oats and egg.

Stir well until all the ingredients are combined.

Place in a greased loaf tin and bake for about 30 – 40 minutes or until golden and set.

Cranberry Sauce (Makes 1/2 cup)

100 grams dried cranberries

zest and juice from 1 large orange

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Place all the sauce ingredients into a small pot, on a low heat on top of the stove and let it gently cook for approximately 10 minutes.  The sauce will be thick.

 

Enjoy 🙂

Roasted Butternut Sage Spiral Noodles with Toasted Pecans and Cranberries

Okay, so …Roasted Butternut Sage Spiral Noodles with Toasted Pecans and Cranberries is a bit of a mouthful of a title to say the least….but guys….it is sooooo worth it.  At least you know what it really is, with no surprises!

This is beyond super easy…. and for me if a meal can be thrown together is less than half an hour, I am THERE !!!  Hello lazy days…and I have a lot of them. Especially this time of year…I mean, really where does the time go ?…. I cannot believe that we are literally a few days away from Christmas.

When I started this meal initially I thought it would be quite a heavy meal with the butternut and noodles together. I generally find pasta heavy, and am not really a fan …yes, I know I am an odd one, but that is me. I must say though since doing the whole gluten free thing and having gluten free pasta, I honestly have found pasta not so heavy and actually tolerable! That doesn’t mean I am going to eat it all day, everyday..no no no, but in all honestly, this meal is not heavy at all ! The roasted butternut and noodles actually compliment eachother, but then again the roasted butternut is more of a creamy sauce, ah, so good !!! and then there is that sage…  I couldn’t resist the sage.  Sage is awesome !!!  I just wish I had some fresh sage at the time, but the dried sage served its purpose. The pecans and cranberries is a no brainer….. I just had to ! Load them onto your plate, you will not be sorry. 🙂

So, I now present to you………

Roasted Butternut, Sage Spiral Noodles with Toasted Pecans and Cranberries

Preparation time:  15 minutes

Cooking time:  10 minutes

Total time:  25 minutes

Ingredients:

Gluten-Free Pasta Spirals

For the Butternut Sauce (Makes 3 cups)

A little Olive oil for sautee’ing

1 cup chopped onion

1 Tablespoon chopped garlic clove

2 teaspoons dried sage

2 cups Roasted Butternut

Salt and Pepper

Garnish:  Toasted Pecans and Dried Cranberries (the more the merrier)

Instructions:  

Cook pasta as per packet instructions.

In a pan with a little oil, saute’ the onion and garlic for a few minutes.  Then add in the roasted butternut cubes, sage and let it cook for a couple minutes until all is combined.  Add to a blender and blend.  Taste. Season with salt and pepper and a little more sage if necessary.

Place over pasta and mix through.  Garnish with dry toasted pecans and dried cranberries.

Enjoy 🙂

 

Quinoa Sundried Tomato Chilli Chia Patties

I have been such a disaster in the kitchen lately.  I honestly have no idea what has got into me…  I could blame ‘the utensils’ but then that would be like the man blaming his tools for his bad workmanship, so I will own this, I will take full responsibility.  I mean, what is with this…  I overcooked the quinoa the other day until it was literal mash !  Seriously, at times I swear my mind, leaves my body …  where the heck it goes, who knows !

These Quinoa Sundried Tomato Chilli Chia Patties are ridiculously tasty.  Annnnnd, finally I get to share them with you.  After a lot of failed attempts, consistency just not being right, taste lacking ….here they are in all their glory 🙂   Do you know the saying, practice makes perfect ???  It is true 🙂 !!! I have made them like a zillion times now (okay, that’s an exaggeration) but very very frequently. I can pretty much make them in my sleep now, and I just do not tire from them. There is something about these flavours that really work for me. The chilli is not overpowering at all, it is more of a mild twang in the after taste.  My ideal pattie needs to be moist inside, and not fall into crumbs when cutting into it. This is it. These are a pure winner and are fantastic with a salad or roasted veggies !

Quinoa Sundried Tomato Chilli Chia Patties

Preparation time:  15 minutes

Cooking time:  20 – 25 minutes

Total time:  35 – 40 minutes

Makes 6 – 9

Ingredients:

1 cup cooked quinoa

1/2 cup cooked brown lentils

1 Tablespoon finely chopped garlic clove

2 Tablespoons chopped Sundried Tomatoes

1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds

1 heaped teaspoon dried Thyme

1/4 – 1/2 teaspoons dried chilli flakes

2 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast

1/2 teaspoon salt

30 cracks whole ground black peppercorns

1 Tablespoon white rice flour (Gluten Free)

1 whole free range egg plus 1 free range egg yolk

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius / 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place all the ingredients into a food processor and pulse several times, until you are able to form a ball with the ingredients.

On a lined and greased baking tray, place the patties and gently flatten slightly. (I used a baking tray with a silicone baking sheet on it…worked like a dream)

Bake until golden brown.

Enjoy 🙂