Bake a batch of mini quiche and discover how delicious they are! Fantastic for the whole family.
The basic ingredient of the mini quiche is eggs (preferably free range or organic). What you add to the mix is entirely up to your preferences. This could include seeds, nuts, vegetables, cheese and seasonings as examples.
Mix in a bowl eggs, grated carrot, spring onion green tops, parsley, a meat such as tuna (optional), pink rock salt and black pepper. Grease the pan very well or use patty pans. Pour the mixture into each hole in the pan and place a piece of raw broccoli in the centre of each. Cook in a 200 degree celsius oven until firm and golden.
Egg and bacon quiche are delicious straight out of the oven.
Place a strip of bacon into the greased tray and crack an egg into each hole. Season with pink rock salt and black pepper.
Mini quiche are also a great snack and lunch box filler. Have the leftovers the next day with a salad for lunch or grab one for morning tea. Alternatively enjoy the quiche the next night by gently reheating in the oven and serving with a delicious salad or roast vegetables.
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This soup has a wonderful balance of flavours with the most important element being a beautiful home-made chicken stock. It is such a delightful colour and looks so much like tomato soup but has a very distinctive flavour of beetroot with a lovely sweetness.
Check the recipe-soup section of the website for the chicken stock recipe.
Prepare the vegetables by washing, peeling and chopping.
Add the stock and put the lid on and let simmer for about 60 minutes.
This is a very thick and filling soup. It has the most delicious sweet flavour and the colour is enticing. The main tips for this soup are to brown the vegetables before you put the stock in, use a very good quality home-made stock and use fresh vegetables.
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Home made stock is so handy and can be used as a base in dishes such as soups, casseroles, sauces or as a broth. It is extremely nutritious and adds a lovely flavour to your cooking.
When l had a colonoscopy recently l strained it through a muslin cloth and had it before the procedure and it helped me get through the fasting period.
It freezes very well and if you put it in lots of small containers is easy to add to your favourite dishes. Alternatively freeze it in a couple of larger containers and use it as a base for a soup or casserole.
To make the stock start off with a good quality organic or free range chicken which you can cook using your favourite method. I usually roast mine and have a meal or two with it then use the leftover bones, meat and skin to make the stock.
Place the chicken carcass, left over meat and skin in a large stainless steel pot and cover with cold filtered water.
Add the following to the pot:
1 onion or spring onion chopped up
2 or 3 celery sticks chopped into a few pieces
2 medium sized carrots chopped up
Several bay leaves
A small dash of organic apple cider vinegar
A few black peppercorns
Put the lid on and bring to the boil. Let the pot simmer most of the day and overnight if you can. When it has cooled slightly strain into a large pot or bowl.
Carefully pour into the storage containers. I usually freeze most of it and keep a small amount in the fridge for use during the week.
Some of the stock can be used straight away to make a delicious soup.
Do yourself a favour and make your own stock. It is very quick to make and the taste is sensational.
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Sweet potatoes are versatile, sweet, nutritious and affordable!
Oh, how l love the sweet potato which is also known as kumara or yam. Not much to look at in the shops, but once cooked the flavour is enticing.
Sweet Potato is a good source of complex carbohydrates, dietary fibre and beta carotene, and this root vegetable also has modest amounts of Vitamin C, Iron, Calcium, Vitamin B6 and Magnesium.
Since l stopped eating processed sugar l like to include foods which are naturally sweet as part of my everyday diet. The sweet potato is a lovely addition to a meal because of its beautiful sweet taste, soft texture and bright colour. It is extremely easy to cook with and difficult to ruin. I am amazed at the lovely flavour it adds to baked goods such as cakes and pancakes and although l prefer it cooked it can be a good addition raw to a smoothie.
I can’t remember when l first ate a sweet potato but it certainly wasn’t until l was an adult. It has some similarities in flavour and colour to the pumpkin but holds together better when cooked and is especially delicious cut into chips. Sweet Potatoes can be bought quite small or enormously large, and the surprising thing is that in my experience the flavour is the same whatever size you buy. They are also available with a red skin and a white flesh and this is one of those times when your taste buds can get very confused as the taste is the same as the orange version. I have to admit here that l have on occasion tricked my children into thinking they were eating normal potato when in fact it was the red sweet potato just to get them to try a new vegetable.
How many ways can one vegetable be used in recipes?
Here are a few more pictures of how l have used the sweet potato in my cooking:
I hope you can enjoy the sweet potato as much as l do and make it a regular part of your meals.
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Here is a link to a great online book store where you can purchase some Paleo and wellness books.
Quinoa (pronounced Keen-wah) is a nutritious gluten-free grain alternative and is in fact a seed from a vegetable linked to swiss chard, spinach and beets. It is considered a super food and is high in protein, with a good balance of all 8 essential amino acids, making it a good choice for vegetarians. It is also high in fibre and has a low-GI, beneficial for keeping blood sugar levels stable as well as having a slightly alkaline effect on the body.
This dish was very quick to make as l pre-cooked the quinoa and the flavours in it were lovely. There was a strong hint of lemon, a crunch from the walnuts and a flavour kick from the addition of fresh ginger and cumin.
I was inspired to make this risotto as l have a vegetable garden filled with greens including masses of silverbeet. There is no need to follow my recipe to the letter as part of cooking is having fun and experimenting with new ingredients and flavours, and my cooking is quite plain due to food intolerances, so you may wish to spice it up a bit more.
2 cups organic quinoa (l used white)
1 tablespoon organic tomato paste
1 small tomato diced
1/2 red capsicum diced
1/2 teaspoon cumin
3 large leaves of silverbeet
Fresh parsley and basil chopped
1 cm fresh gInger finely sliced
2 spring onion green tops sliced
5 snow peas sliced
1/2 carrot finely diced
1 cup roughly chopped raw activated walnuts (or another nut)
Lemon juice and zest of 1/2 a lemon
1 tablespoon Organic apple cider vinegar
Pink rock salt and ground black pepper (season to taste)
Cooking quinoa requires some pre-planning as it needs to be soaked and rinsed prior to cooking. I soaked 2 cups of quinoa in filtered water all day and then rinsed just before cooking to remove the bitter tasting saponins. You can soak it for a shorter time such as 30 minutes if that is all the time you have. I placed the rinsed quinoa in a saucepan and covered with filtered water so that there was about an inch of water on top of the grain. I brought it to the boil, then let it simmer with the lid on until the water was absorbed and the seeds had popped open. You can turn the heat off at this point while the rest of the dish cooks.
In a fry pan place a splash of olive oil, the organic tomato paste, tomato, red capsicum and cumin. Let that cook for a minute then add the quinoa and mix well. Now add the rest of the ingredients and season well to taste with pink rock salt and ground black pepper.
Give it a good mix for a couple of minutes and serve. I spooned mine into a ramekin, then turned it upside down and let it slip out onto the plate. It looked lovely when it was on the table garnished with lemon rind and parsley.
If you don’t have the ingredients listed just use what you have in the fridge and you can also make the risotto the traditional way by adding the liquid in small intervals to the uncooked quinoa.
Below l have included a link to my favourite supplier of all organic goods such as quinoa and other pantry essentials. They offer a great service and very good prices with free delivery if your purchase is over a certain amount which is listed on their website depending on your location.
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Mental and practical roadblocks people use to not have a green smoothie in their life.
It it scary to drink a green smoothie
I don’t want to drink vegetables, especially green ones
There are things in there l won’t like
I’ve never had a chia seed
I don’t have a blender
The ingredients are expensive
It will taste awful
I’d rather have a normal fruit smoothie
Do any of these sound familiar? They can all be overcome if you can think out side of your comfort zone. If you don’t have a blender they can be purchased very cheaply or you can borrow one, and if you grow your own green leafy vegetables that is another one crossed off the list.
Take the plunge and try a simple recipe for your first smoothie that is guaranteed to be delicious. You can even leave the chia seeds out.
Cos lettuce (fill up half the blender with this, but make sure it is well washed), one small banana, one navel orange, 1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional), some fresh mint and enough plain coconut water to give a good consistency to drink or you can eat it with a spoon.
A green smoothie is different to a green juice. A juice has most of the fibre removed and is much lighter to drink and digest. When l was very unwell last year l loved having a green juice as the nutrients were quickly and easily broken down and absorbed for use in the body, whereas a smoothie was too heavy for me and l just couldn’t digest them.
Part of the joy of drinking a green smoothie is that it is green!
A green smoothie can quickly turn a not so nice colour if you add certain ingredients to it such as raspberries, blueberries or blackberries. It could go a brown colour and will taste great, but won’t look so appetising.
Choosing your ingredients:
1. Start by picking your choice of greens. You can have just the one such as cos lettuce, kale, spinach or silverbeet or a mixture. Cos lettuce is so sweet and lovely and l love the smaller green spinach leaves.
2. What liquid are you going to have in your juice? I would advise either plain coconut water or filtered water.
3. Choose the fruit you are going to add. This could be banana, apple, peach, apricot, pear, mango, pineapple, orange and mandarin as examples. Citrus is wonderful as it will help your body absorb the iron from the greens.
4. Add a few interesting things to your smoothie. Limes and lemon’s with the skin on will give the smoothie a kick, while fresh ginger and herbs such as parsley and mint will help to enhance the flavour.
5. Add additional nutrients such as chia seeds, green powders or nuts.
A way to combine a green smoothie with a more colourful ingredients and still have it looking good is to have some fun putting it together as in the one below. Both the green and pink sections tasted wonderful, but when mixed together were a not so nice brown colour.
The green section is cos lettuce, banana, green apple and coconut water. The pink layer is strawberries, blueberries, acai berry powder, chia seeds, banana and coconut water. I make the green part first and pour it into two glasses and wash the blender, then make the pink part. The decorative pointy bits l do with a stainless steel straw and it looks nice to drink!
A smoothie can easily be a meal if you add in good sources of protein such as chia seeds and nuts. I drink them slowly as it is a lot of liquid going into the stomach all at once and adding the nuts and chia seeds make it a bit heavier and thicker as well as slowing down the digestion of the sugars in the drink. Sometimes l have a handful of nuts with the smoothie if it has a lot of fruit in it and this balances out the snack.
The best way to get started on your smoothie adventure is to fill up your fridge with lots of healthy fresh food. Here is a quick snapshot of my fridge as it looks most of the time.
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A healthy twist on some old favourites in a recipe which is gluten, dairy and processed sugar-free. There are so many wonderful ingredients in this meal and the cooking methods of almost dry baking and steaming are very healthy and help to retain the nutrients in the food. I have used quinoa flakes in this recipe and if you are a strict Paleo follower you can leave them out, but l don’t mind having them now and again.
These golden rissoles were so crunchy and delicious. I made them early in the day and had them ready on the tray so that when dinner time came l just had to place them in the oven and steam the vegetables for the mash. I didn’t coat the rissoles in anything such as a flour before baking as is normally the custom and just drizzled a tiny amount of olive oil on them. They turned the most beautiful golden colour when cooked and had a delightful flavour from the spices, herbs, nuts, seeds and vegetables. The mixed vegetable mash is a new favourite of mine and had some crunch from the addition of pumpkin seeds and a lovely spicy taste as well.
Feel free to add or delete any ingredients that you don’t have as rissoles are very flexible in what can be used in the mix. You can also make them spicier or use more meat than l have depending on your tastes. This particular mixture was amazing in that it stuck together, and when cooking, the rissoles held their shape and didn’t split in half or have bits breaking off which is often the case with rissoles, especially ones that don’t have a lot of meat in them. The spices used in this recipe are all the dry ground versions and try to use organic versions if you have them. I also used activated almonds which are quite moist, and if you use raw almonds you may need to add another egg to compensate.
Place the following into the food processor (this mixture made 12 rissoles)
1 washed and roughly chopped free range chicken breast
1/4 teaspoon organic curry powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon ginger
A pinch of paprika
1/4 teaspoon pink rock salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 finely grated carrots
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley
1/4 cup quinoa flakes
1 tablespoon black chia seeds
2 free range eggs
2 spring onions roughly chopped (I don’t use the white parts)
1 cup of activated almonds.
Once the mixture is processed, form into small balls using your hands and flatten slightly as you place them on a tray lined with baking paper.
Drizzle a tiny amount of olive oil onto each rissole and cover the whole tray with Aluminium foil. I let mine set in the fridge for a few hours and this may have contributed to them staying in shape so well. Place in a pre-heated 200 degree celsius oven until the tops look golden, then turn over and give them a few more minutes.
Making the vegetable mash:
While the rissoles were in the oven cooking l steamed the vegetables for the mash. Into the steamer l placed roughly diced sweet potato (1 medium), beetroot (1/2 of one large or a whole small one) and carrots (2 medium carrots). Steam the vegetables until just done to preserve nutrients and them place into the food processor with a cup of activated pumpkin seeds, pink rock salt, black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon organic cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon organic curry powder (or similar). Process until it all looks blended but not smooth as this is a rustic mash with lots of texture.
This is a lovely family meal and l love it when there are left overs for the next day. I used to always think a mash had to be potato and then on the Paleo diet l switched to sweet potato mash, and now l just think the possibilities are endless and that l can have a rainbow of vegetable mash!
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I have been experimenting with my smoothies lately and it has been great fun. I am alternating the smoothies with juices and love how the flavours change with the addition of a different ingredient and am amazed at the colours that can be produced from using fruits such as berries or vegetables like Bok Choy. I like to use the fruits and vegetables which are in season and l only add filtered water to my smoothies as l don’t drink any kind of milk.
I have been layering my smoothies to make them look more attractive and experimenting with different ingredient combinations. The smoothie above has three layers that l mixed around with the straw. The red layer is frozen raspberries and water, the green layer is cos lettuce, pineapple, green apple, banana, black chia seeds and water. The yellow layer is cantelope and mandarin. All of the layers were really nice.
The ingredients in this one are spinach, cos lettuce, pineapple, banana, green apple, black chia seeds, mint and filtered water.
This smoothie needed to be mixed to drink, but the layers added some fun to it. The green layer is cos lettuce, spinach, mint, green apple and water, while the yellow layer is mandarin, black chia seeds and water.
This smoothie was so much fun to make and l had to mix this one to drink it also. The green layer is cos lettuce, green apple, mint and water. The yellow layer is orange, banana, chia seeds and water, and the top layer is cherries, raspberries and water.
I made this smoothie today and it was a joy to drink as both of the colour combinations had a divine flavour. The green half is cos lettuce, green apple, parsley, banana and water. The red half is blueberries, blackberries, pineapple, black chia seeds and water.
Have some fun with your smoothies and experiment with different flavours. Add in fresh ginger, herbs from the garden, lemons and limes. They are filled with so many nutrients and lots of fibre. Try to have a mix of green vegetables and fruit so the sugar load isn’t so great and just one glass is a good amount. Enjoy!
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There is something about mixing up a batch of smoothies for the family that is fun and exciting! Changing the colour of the smoothie by using different ingredients is part of the enjoyment, but if you mix greens with berries such as raspberries the taste is good but the colour is a not so enticing brown. I made this smoothie in a large blender as l wanted enough for the whole family, but l have also been making a lot of individual smoothies lately as l have a new blender that makes smoothies to go.
These containers are good when l am just about to go somewhere in the car or l am sitting at my desk. The blender came with two containers so l will often make one for myself and one for my youngest daughter who loves smoothies.
I have problems digesting too much fruit at once so l try to balance my smoothies with leafy green vegetables and chia seeds and l don’t have too large a serving. The smoothie below was for my daughter and contains yoghurt. I don’t eat dairy so wouldn’t put yoghurt in my smoothies, but my daughter loved the creaminess of this smoothie.
To make the featured green smoothie l placed the following ingredients in the blender:
1 large banana or 2 small ones
A good chunk of pineapple
2 green apples. I took the skin off because of the wax on the skin which l find hard to get off
Some spinach and cos lettuce leaves
A few pieces of fresh mint. Pull the leaves away from the stem.
1 tablespoon of black chia seeds
About 3/4 of a cup of filtered water. It will depend on the size and amount of the other ingredients. You can always add more if it is too thick but you can’t take it out if you add too much. I had to add some water as the blender needed the liquid to get mixing and the blender was so full l had to push the lid on. I also like a thick smoothie and eat it with a spoon, but if you like a thinner smoothie and want to dilute the sugars then add more water.
Smoothies are a great source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre. They can be made to suit each person’s tastes and they are fun to make. I don’t have a smoothie every day, but l have them a few times a week. Sometimes l just feel like eating the whole fruit such as a banana or orange and this is usually when l am really busy or l might make a juice instead. It does take more time to make a smoothie or juice than to just grab a piece of fruit, but l love that l can mix it up and have something different each day.
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Take the juicer out of the cupboard, borrow one or buy one and put making a juice on top of your list of things to do this weekend!
Which juicer to buy is another blog which l have already done, but whether it is a centrifugal juicer or a cold pressed juicer, you can make a delicious refreshing and nutritious juice that will liven up your day. You can experiment with ingredients and use whatever suits. Don’t be afraid to add in vegetables such as beetroot, cos lettuce, spinach, kale, sweet potato or broccoli. You can make this a fun activity to share with family members or challenge yourself to try new and interesting flavours. Juices can literally be the colours of the rainbow!
The first step in making a juice is to get all of your ingredients ready. If you have a centrifugal juicer then it is a matter of washing them, peeling and a bit of chopping. A cold pressed juicer required more preparation, but it is very good for leafy greens and retains more nutrients.
Have all the fruit and vegetables ready to go!
The pulp is most of the fibre from the fruit. You could compost it or use it for some baking.
Once your juice is finished it is time to wash your machine parts. Don’t wait until you have finished your juice as this is a job that needs to be done as soon as possible. The filter is a delicate piece of equipment in any juicer and can become blocked. Clean this first with warm water and the little brush that comes with the juicer.
I find it hard to just make enough juice for one person and usually have some to share. This morning’s juice was very sweet and just what l needed for an early start to the day. One glass of a sweet juice is enough for me and l would have it with a protein to balance my blood sugar levels and for me this will be my morning healthy pancake.
The main thing is to enjoy your juicing. If you put too much fruit in it and find it doesn’t agree with you, then add in some more greens or other vegetables. Everyone’s taste buds are different. Try adding ginger or herbs to the mix and see how wonderful the flavours can be. This is a way to get the whole family involved and living a healthier life.
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There is so much comfort in sitting down to a lovely bowl of vegetable soup, especially on a cold day.
It might seem kind of basic to be writing about how to make vegetable soup but if you haven’t had a go at it these tips might help. I like to make up big batches of soup and keep them in the freezer in small containers so l can use them as needed. The soup freezes well and if l don’t have time to let the soup defrost overnight l place the frozen tub in a small amount of hot water so it loosens from the container, then put it in a saucepan with a small amount of water. This method works very well as l do not use a microwave oven so need to find other ways of managing.
The whole base of the soup is a good stock. I have a recipe on my website for making a stock from a chicken base but you can use beef or lamb shanks. My mother used to put the lamb shank into the soup and let it all cook for several days and if you can find some grass fed lamb shanks this would be very nice. I don’t eat red meat now due to my lack of a gall bladder but my Dad was a sheep farmer and we had some lovely lamb meals when we were growing up. Although l don’t eat the red meat l could still put the beef or lamb bones into my stock mix but at this stage l am in the habit of using free range chicken as we often have a roast chicken for dinner and it is economical to then use the bones, skin and leftover meat in the stock.
The pictures above show the cooked stock, draining out the bones and meat and finally the delicious stock which is the base of the soup. At this stage you can place small amounts of the stock in containers and freeze to use in casseroles or bolognese as examples depending on the quantity of soup you wish to make.
Decide which vegetables you would like in your soup. I chose sweet potato, celery, pumpkin, carrot and cauliflower this time. You can add anything that you like such as cabbage and some onion if you can tolerate it. My mother used to add split peas and soup mix but l have found these can create digestive issues so avoid them now. Make sure your vegetables are washed well then cut into small pieces. Vegetables such as the carrots and celery will be there in the diced form in the final soup, but the softer vegetables such as sweet potato and carrot will dissolve and thicken the soup. Place all of your chopped vegetables in the pot with the broth and let simmer all day. Get a potato masher and mash some of the softer vegetables such as the pumpkin so they break up and thicken the soup. Serve in a bowl or mug and season with sea salt and ground black pepper. You can add a clove of crushed garlic or some sliced spring onion tops at serving as a garnish and extra flavour. Let the soup left over cool and place into the fridge or freezer for later use. Another handy idea is to take the soup hot to work in a thermos so you can enjoy a lovely lunch or have it in a mug for morning tea.
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