Soft and Chewy Granola Bars

Anytime I make these and serve them to friends they ask for the recipe. I’m not sure where I got the original recipe, but, I tweak it every time I make it, depending on what I have in the cupboard. So, feel free to put in extra of one thing and substitute where needed. The end result will always be delicious.

INGREDIENTS

120g Oat flakes

2 Weet-Bix or Vitabrits

60g Pumpkin seeds / Pepitas

90g Nut of choice (Almond, Pistachio, Macadamia, etc), chopped

60g Sunflower seeds

30g Sesame seeds

30g Flax seeds / linseeds

30g Chia seeds

60g Dried cranberries, chopped

1/2 tsp Dried ginger

1/2 tsp Ground cinnamon

90g Butter

90g Agave syrup (or Maple syrup)

90g Hony (or Rice Malt syrup)

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

In a large mixing bowl combine all of the dried ingredients.

In a small saucepan melt the butter, the syrup and honey. Pour this over the dry ingredients and stir, thoroughly coating the dry ingredients.

Pour mixture into baking tray and flatten using the back of a spoon, or, the palm of your hand.

Bake for 25 minutes, remove from oven and allow to cool in the tray.

Cut into serving sizes and place in refrigerator to set.

Store in an airtight container for up to three weeks.

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Zoodle Carbonara

This variation on Carbonara is gluten free, low in carbohydrates and delicious.

INGREDIENTS

4 medium zucchinis top and bottom sliced off

1/2 tsp Salt

2 rashers Bacon diced

Olive Oil

1/2 Large onion diced

1 Clove garlic, crushed

1 cup Frozen peas

2 cups Mushrooms, sliced

2 eggs beaten

1 egg yolk beaten

1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated, plus more for serving if desired

Cracked Black Pepper to taste

Salt to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

Use a spiraliser or zoodle maker to make the zoodles from your zucchinis. Lay the zoodles on some paper towel. Top with another layer of paper towel to soak up excess moisture.

Heat a large pan over medium heat and add one teaspoon of oil. Add in the bacon and onion, cooking until the onion is soft.

Add in the garlic and mushrooms and stir for 1 minute. Next, add the peas and stir until thawed through, about 2 minutes.

Add in the zucchini, increase the heat to medium high, and saute for 2-3 minutes or until fully warmed through.

Turn off the heat.

Beat together the eggs, egg yolk and cheese then add them to the pasta and toss gently until coated, approximately 2 minutes.

Add additional Parmesan if desired when serving, and season with salt and cracked pepper to taste.

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Bliss Balls

These Bliss Balls are perfect for when you get a 3 pm chocolate craving! Full of goodness and absolutely delicious.

250g Dried dates

100g Sunflower seeds

100g Pepitas / Pumpkin seeds

4 tbl Chia seeds

2 tbl Cacao

2 - 3 tbl Coconut oil

1/4 - 1/2 cup of Crunchy peanut butter (preferably natural like Mayvers)

Place the dates in a small bowl and cover with water for 5 - 10 minutes to soak.

Remove the dates from the water and blend all the ingredients together in a food processor

Form the mixture into balls.

Keep in the fridge and enjoy as a guilt free snack.

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Cauliflower Pizza Base

I’m going to be honest and say that this is fiddly to make. It would help if I had a proper food processor and wasn’t relying on blitzing the cauliflower in small batches in my hand mixer. On the upside, I know this can be made using whatever kitchen equipment you have available to you. A grater will work as well.

The end result is delicious and you are getting at least one serve of vegetables in your pizza base!

INGREDIENTS

1 Medium head of cauliflower

1 Extra-large egg

1 tsp Seasoning (Oregano or Basil)

1/4 tsp Salt

1/4 tsp Pepper

1/2 cup Cheese (Mozzarella or Parmesan, or a mix) grated / shredded

Cooking spray

METHOD

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C and line a baking tray with baking paper

Rinse cauliflower, separate into florets and chop into smaller pieces. Process in a food processor (or use a grater) until the cauliflower resembles the texture of rice.

Transfer onto the baking tray and bake for 15 minutes.

Remove cooked cauliflower rice from the oven and transfer to a colander lined with cheesecloth or paper towel. Let it cool then squeeze the liquid out of the cauliflower. Use the back of a large spoon or your hand to push against the colander and remove as much liquid as you can. You can also ball the cauliflower up if you have cheesecloth and squeeze the ball. This step is important as the more liquid you can discard the crunchier your base will be.

Increase oven temperature to 200 degrees C.

In a mixing bowl whisk the egg with the herbs, salt and pepper. Add cheese and cauliflower mixing well.

Line the baking tray with new baking paper (or I use a pizza stone for this bit) and spray with cooking spray.

Transfer cauliflower dough onto the tray and flatten with your hand until a thin crust is formed.

Bake for 20 minutes, carefully flipping it with a spatula and baking for 5 more minutes.

Top cauliflower pizza base with your favourite toppings and bake again until cheese on top turns golden brown.

Leftovers will store in the fridge and are delicious the next day.

Original recipe sourced from ifoodreal.com

My Friday night pizza with homemade pesto, roast pumpkin, tomato, roast capsicum, chorizo, pine nuts and haloumi.

My Friday night pizza with homemade pesto, roast pumpkin, tomato, roast capsicum, chorizo, pine nuts and haloumi.

Zucchini Slice

Some mornings I have to leave the house early to drive to a hiking destination. As I’m not hungry at 5.00 am I make sure that I always have a batch of this slice in the fridge ready to go as an on-the-go, easy, nutritious breakfast. It’s full of vegetables and protein to keep me full for hours. It’s also a great after gym breakfast, lunch or snack.

INGREDIENTS

2 Large zucchini, coarsely grated

1/2 Red onion, finely diced

3 Rashers of bacon, diced

60g Baby spinach, finely shredded

1 tbs Herb of choice (dill, oregano, basil, etc)

1 cup Self-raising flour (substitute for flour of choice or Almond Meal)

1/2 cup Grated cheese

100g Fetta, crumbled

1 1/2 cups Frozen peas

5 Extra large eggs, lightly whisked

1/4 cup Milk

1 tbs Olive oil

METHOD

Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease a 20cm x 30cm dish and line with baking paper

Fry the onion and bacon together for approximately 5 minutes, or until the onion softens. Set aside to cool

Combine the zucchini, spinach, herbs, flour, cheese, fetta and peas in a bowl. Add the bacon and onion mixture.

Whisk the egg, milk and oil in a small bowl. Add to the zucchini mixture and stir to combine. Season. Spoon into prepared pan and smooth the surface.

Bake for 40 mins or until the slice is firm to the touch. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Raspberry Banana Bread

I recently participated in a Challenge at the gym and this was one of our snack recipes. It is gluten free and the only added sugar is honey (which I substitute for rice malt syrup).

INGREDIENTS

100g Gluten Free flour (can also use plain flour or flour of choice)

60g Almond meal

1/2 cup Desiccated coconut

2 tsp Baking powder

2 tbs Chia seeds

1/4 tsp Salt

175g Greek yoghurt

2 tbs Milk

2 tbs Honey (or Rice Malt Syrup)

3 Very ripe bananas

1 cup Frozen raspberries

METHOD

Preheat oven to 160 degrees C and line a 10 x 20 cm loaf tin.

Combine flour, almond meal, coconut, baking powder, chia seeds and salt in a medium bowl

Mix together yoghurt, milk, honey and banana and combine with dry ingredients

Gently stir through the raspberries and pour into prepared loaf tin and bake for 50 minutes, or, until an inserted skewer comes out clean. (Note, if the top is browning too much before cooked, cover loosely with foil).

Cool bread in tin, then turn onto a wire rack and slice.

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Pumpkin, Kale and Feta Frittata

A frittata sounds posh, but, it is simply just a fancy omelette mixed with various ingredients and baked in the oven. Eggs are a nutritional powerhouse and a great source of protein which promotes satiety making a frittata a convenient and versatile choice for breakfast, lunch or dinner. 

INGREDIENTS

1kg pumpkin diced
2 chorizos thinly sliced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
100g kale, stems removed and leaves coarsely chopped
150g crumbled feta
⅓ cup caramelised onion relish (store bought)
8 eggs
1 cup cream
Salt and pepper to taste

METHOD

Preheat oven to 220°C. Place the pumpkin and chorizo in a baking dish, drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper.
Cook until pumpkin is tender (approximately 20 - 30 minutes) Remove the pan from the oven and reduce oven temperature to 200°C.
Add the kale, feta cheese and caramelised onion to the pan and mix gently. Place the eggs, cream, salt and pepper in a bowl and whisk to combine.
Pour the egg mixture over the vegetable mixture and cook for 30–40 minutes or until puffed and golden

Serve with a green salad 

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Poached Egg with Smashed Avocado Breakfast

I love this easy to make breakfast after a Saturday morning hike. 

Ingredients

1 slice bread of choice

1 egg

1/2 avocado

Feta cheese

2 tablespoons pumpkin and/or sunflower seeds

1 - 2 handfuls baby spinach

Olive oil

1/2 cup sauerkraut of choice

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Method

Poach or fry the egg

Toast the bread 

Using a fork 'smash' the avocado and feta onto the toast

Saute the spinach leaves with the olive oil in a small frypan over medium heat

Place the spinach on the avocado laden toast, top with the egg and sprinkle with the seeds

Serve the sauerkraut on the side.

Quinoa Salad with Pumpkin, Pomegranate and Goat's Cheese

I am well known for bringing delicious salads whenever we meet friends for a social get together.  I love the nutty flavour that quinoa brings to a salad, and the added protein means that the salad can be the main dish (especially great at lunch).

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Ingredients

1/2 butternut pumpkin diced (or pumpkin of choice)

1 red onion sliced into wedges

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup quinoa

1 cup chopped coriander

1 cup chopped baby spinach leaves

2 tablespoons seeds (sunflower or pumpkin)

Seeds from 1 pomegranate

Juice from 1 lemon

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

100g goat's cheese (or feta if preferred)

1 avocado diced (optional)

Method

Preheat oven to 200C. Place pumpkin and onion on a roasting tray, drizzle with oil, season to taste and roast until tender (approximately 20 - 30 mins)

Cook quinoa as per packet's instructions

Whisk or shake lemon juice and olive oil to combine.

Place all ingredients in a large bowl and gently combine with dressing. 

 

Black Bean & Quinoa Salad

This is one of my favourite salad recipes ever.  The dressing is sublime and the flavours continue to develop if you make it the night before you intend to eat it.  I tend to make a big batch of this and keep it in the fridge for lunch for a few days.

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Ingredients

2 cups cooked quinoa (about one cup of dry quinoa)

1 can black beans

1 capsicum diced

6 shallots chopped

1 cupped roasted diced sweet potato

1 cup of cooked corn kernels (approximately 2 corn cobs)

2 Handfuls of baby spinach, or rocket, or a mix of both

1 avocado diced 

Dressing ingredients

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 clove garlic crushed or finely chopped

1 teaspoon sea salt or Himalayan salt

2 tablespoons lime juice

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

Method

Cook the quinoa on the stove top as per instructions on the packet. 

Combine all of the dressing ingredients together and whisk or shake to combine.

Mix all of the remaining ingredients with the quinoa in a large bowl.

Fold the dressing through the salad.

Enjoy as a side salad or as a main dish.  Delicious!

 

Breakfast Bars

A fabulous recipe book full of inspirational wholesome snacks is 'Bliss Bites' by Kate Bradley. I love these Breakfast Bars as a quick and filling morning tea snack with a cup of tea.  Everyone who has tried them loves them. 

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Ingredients

1 1/2 cups sunflower seeds
3/4 cup pepitas
1/4 cup macadamia nuts
1/4 cup goji berries
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup cacao nibs
1/4 cup white chia seeds
1/4 cup linseeds (flax seeds)
1/2 cup raw honey or rice malt syrup
1/3 cup tahini, cashew butter or other nut/seed butter of choice
40g cacao butter, melted

Method

Line the base of a 20 x 15cm baking tin with baking paper.

Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix with a wooden spoon until well combined.

Transfer the mixture to the tin, pressing it firmly and evenly over the base then refrigerate for 2 1/2 hours or until firm.

Once the mixture is firm, cut into 10-12 even-sized bars. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or the freezer for up to 2 months.

You can check out Kate's Kenko Kitchen blog  http://kenkokitchen.com/blog/2016/4/10/raw-seed-bars

Homemade Muesli

How much sugar is in your store bought "healthy" muesli?

An overload of dried fruit, added sweeteners and unhealthy oils can make a healthy breakfast less than so.

The good news is that it's super easy to make your own muesli.  I make a batch big enough to fill a baking dish and it keeps in an airtight container for ages.  I like to toast mine in the oven on a low temperature, sometimes with some coconut oil, but, it tastes just as good raw. I use quinoa flakes as they are gluten free, high in protein and contain all 9 essential amino acids.  They are also high in fibre, magnesium, iron, folate and zinc. Oats would work just as well.  

The quantities below are estimates, it changes every-time I make it depending on what I have in the house.  Don't be scared to mix it up a bit and adapt to your taste.

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Ingredients

350g Quinoa flakes (about a packet).

1 cup chia seeds

1 cup flaxseeds or linseeds

1 cup pumpkin seeds

1 cup sunflower seeds

1 cup chopped nuts of choice

1 cup coconut flakes or shredded coconut

1/2 cup craisins

Method

Mix all together.

If toasting, spread in a baking dish and drizzle with coconut oil.

Bake in a low oven 120 - 150 degrees Celsius and turn regularly until golden.

Serving size is 1/2 cup. 

 

 

Chia Pudding

For a quick easy snack or breakfast you can't go past a thick and creamy chia pudding.  Quick to make and with a variety of flavour options you can constantly change it up. 

Chia seeds are high in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, calcium, vitamin Bs, iron, zinc, and magnesium.

No baking, no hassle.

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Ingredients

1/4 cup chia seeds

1 cup of milk of choice

1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 tablespoon sweetener of choice (the quantity will depend on taste and the sweetener used)

Method

Place all the ingredients in a glass or bowl, mix together and place in the fridge overnight. 

To serve add one or a selection of the following:

1 - 2 tablespoons of Cacao nibs and cacao powder (depending on how strong the chocolate flavour you like) or chocolate protein powder

Chopped berries 

Coconut flakes

Yoghurt

Peanut butter

Bananas

Crushed nuts

A parfait can be made by layering the chia pudding mix, yoghurt, fruit and nuts

The Chia Pudding will keep in the fridge for up to four days so make a bigger batch and spoon out as needed.

 

 

 

Turmeric Porridge

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Now I have to admit to cheating a little here.  I use a turmeric latte mix in this recipe as the mix contains black pepper which helps with the absorption of the curcumin.  

Easy Turmeric Porridge

Serves 1

1/2 cup oats

1/2 teaspoon turmeric latte mix

2/3 cup milk of choice

Now, I would love to say that I have time in the mornings to lovingly cook this the traditional way on the stove, however, some days I cook it in the microwave.  Your choice.

Once the oat mix is cooked.... 

Add 1/2 grated apple or 1/2 cup berries or 1/2 chopped banana or fruit of your choice

1 tablespoon LSA mix

1 teaspoon rice malt syrup.

Mix together and enjoy this perfect, warm breakfast on a cold winters morning.  

 

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