Carb-less broccoli quiche

Broccoli quiche

Stir-fry the following for 5 mins in 2 tbls sunflower oil; the broccoli can remain a bit hard.

  • 1 1/2 broccoli heads cut in quatered florets
  • 2 chopped onions
  • 1 tbs mixed dry thyme and basil

In the meantime beat the following in a bowl:

  • 120 ml soya milk
  • 120g grated cheese of your choice
  • 6 eggs
  • pepper and salt to taste

Lay the broccoli mix on an oven dish (approx 28cm) and if desired add some cooked paprika cut in tin strips on top of the mixture.  Pour the egg mix gently making sure to cover all the broccoli and spread the cheese on top.  Bake for around 40 mins or until golden brown.

Tip: you can use cauliflower, cut in small florets, as an alternative.

Thai pumpkin and lentil soup

IMG_4658

I love this one because it is so easy to make, with just two cooking steps, but rich in taste.  Here goes:

Fry one chopped onion in 3 tbs sunflower oil until soft, then add:

  • one pumpkin, washed, not peeled and chopped in approx 2 or 3 cm cubes (after seeds are scooped out)
  • 600 ml chicken stock
  • one orange or tangerine, cut in 4 pieces
  • 2 or 3 carrots, sliced
  • 40g of your favourite curry paste, preferably yellow
  • one 400g coconut milk

Let cook gently for 25 mins until pumpkin and carrot are soft, then add one small tin of lentils and cook further for another 5 mins.

Once ready add a little cream (optional) and cream with a hand blender.  Add some water if required.

Add 20 g of chopped coriander.

 

Sandwich alle Melanzane

On a recent trip to Italy I had a sandwich that was so delicious and looked so easy to make that I made a mental note to replicate once back home.  Here goes:

For two:

  • 4/6 slices of lightly toasted brown bread
  • one aubergine cut in thin slices and seasoned with salt and pepper
  • some frying/grilling oil
  • brie cheese, cut in thin slices
  • pancetta or ham
  • rucola

Fry the thin slices of aubergine until golden brown on each side.

On a bed of rucola spread two buttered toasted slices of bread and cover with pancetta/ham, brie and the freshly grilled or fried aubergine slices.  The latter will nicely soften the cheese.

Trouble free spelt lasagne

Lasagne

Lasagne does not need to mean unhealthy and lots of work.  Try this easy version:

Fry  2 red roughly chopped onions until soft in 2 tbs of olive/sunflower oil, then add the following and cook for around 6 mins, stirring often:

  • 400g lean mince meat – you can substitute with soya mince – follow the pack directions accordingly
  • one aubergines cut into small cubes
  • one courgette sliced in half and then 5 mm slices
  • 2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • some chilli to taste
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp cumin seed  and 1 heaped tsp coriander seed
  • 1 tbs dried mixed italian herbs
  • 1 tbs ground flaxseed (optional)

After the 6 mins, add:

  • 2 tinned tomato cubes
  • 500 ml beef stock (made from organic cubes)

and simmer for 35/40 mins.

Prepare and cook lasagne by following the instructions on the spelt lasagne packet (250g) – it usually does not require any pre-cooking and needs 35 mins at 200oC.  Top with a layer of grated cheese to taste before baking.

3-minute walnut pesto

This pesto is so tasty but easy to make you will wonder why you ever bought a ready made version.

Mix in a blender to a nice pesto paste:

  • 100g walnuts
  • 1 tbs ground flaxseed (optional)
  • 100 ml olive oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • juice of half a lemon
  • ground pepper to taste
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 60g rucola

Serve with your favourite pasta on a bed of rucola.  Here I have combined with wholemeal ravioli, alfalfa sprouts and sautéed mushrooms.

Walnut_pestoimage

Quick and tasty broccoli muffins

Broccoli muffin

Mix the following in a blender, pour into paper cupcake cups and bake at 200oC for 40 mins or until beautifully golden brown.  I thought this would make a great healthy and fun variation on the broccoli patties by baking rather than frying them.

  • 2 boiled (or shh… microwaved) potatoes
  • 300g steamed broccoli
  • 100 g grated cheese of your choice
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1.5 tsp sea salt
  • fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 6 tbs ground flaxseed – for a great healthy twist

Serve with fresh green salad and a side mix of half ketchup, half mayo – although I found the muffins tasty enough not to require the latter.

Easy baked potato

IMG_5638

For a great tasty version of a baked potato, try this.

Mix together the following:

  • 6 tbs olive oil
  • 3 heaped tbs grated cheese
  • 2 large minced cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbs chives
  • fresh pepper
  • chopped bacon (optional)

Slice thinly 5 medium sized unpeeled potatoes making sure not to slice to the very bottom.

Gently insert the above mixture in between most of the slices.

Bake at 230oC for 45 minutes.

Serve with a simple fresh green salad.

Probably the easiest but tastiest salad dressing you could make

Put in a blender, or just cut into small pieces and mix thoroughly, the following:

8 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1.5 tsp sea salt

1 bunch fresh mint

1 bunch fresh coriander (you can also use parsley if coriander is not your thing)

some flaxseed (optional)

3 or 4 spring onions

juice of one lemon

You can spread the above on a normal green salad, or delicious on a bed of grilled aubergines or courgettes.

IMG_4124

IMG_2627

IMG_8065

Easy pesto, made even healthier with flaxseed

IMG_8199

Pesto is extremely easy to prepare, and I added ground flaxseed to this version for those extra health points.

Blend together in a food processor or a blender:

2 cloves garlic, peeled
50g ground (or let grind in the food processor with the rest) flaxseed
50g lightly roasted pine nuts
50g grated parmesan cheese
150ml extra virgin olive oil
3/4 tsp sea salt, to taste
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
large bunch fresh basil, leaves plucked
some lemon juice, optional and to taste

Quick but delicious oven roasted asparagus

 

Image

Asparagus is healthy and easy to cook, but also easy to get wrong.  The following takes literally 5 minutes to prepare and is ideal as a starter or even a snack.

You will need:

  • 400-500g asparagus
  • generous amount of olive oil
  • 1 heaped tsp sea salt
  • 2 gloves garlic, finely chopped
  • bunch of fresh Melissa/lemon balm leaves
  • ground black pepper
  • balsamic vinegar

In a small bowl mix the oil, chopped Melissa, garlic, salt and black pepper.  Arrange the asparagus on a sheet of baking paper on a tray and cover with the oil mixture.  Spray or sprinkle some balsamic vinegar.

Bake at 220oC for around 20 minutes or until the asparagus is done and slightly golden.

If lemon balm is not available, use some lemon juice instead.