I love taking simple ingredients and creating something special. This garlic roasted pumpkin will absolutely melt in your mouth!! With the addition of the walnut pesto and toasted almonds, it takes the flavours to the next level. The left over pesto can be stored in a glass jar in the fridge for 4-5 days or can be frozen for 3 months. It can be used as your sauce to pasta, a dip or a delicious spread in your sandwich.
1 butternut pumpkin
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
sea salt and pepper to taste
drizzle olive oil
toasted slivered almonds (optional - as topping)
4 cups basil leaves
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 cup walnuts
zest and juice of one lemon1/2 cup olive oil, more as needed
1 teaspoon salt
pinch of cracked pepper
1/2 cup parmesan (optional)
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Prepare a tray with baking paper and prepare your pumpkin by cutting it in half length-ways and removing all the seeds. Place the pumpkin on the tray skin side down. Rub the pumpkin with the garlic, season and drizzle with the oil. Bake in the oven for 75 minutes. The pumpkin should be very soft.
Whilst the pumpkin is baking, you can make the walnut pesto by adding all of the ingredients except for the oil into your food processor (including parmesan if you are using) and pulse a few times to break the basil down. In a steady stream add the olive oil until it is all blender and forms a loose paste. Add one tablespoon of oil at a time if you haven't reached the consistency you desire. Adjust seasoning
Transfer the pumpkin to a tray and top with the walnut pesto and slivered almonds.
Making sandwiches for the kids everyday can become boring, so I like to change it up a little. These savoury cheese and herb muffins are the perfect swap and are great as snacks too. Packed with a lot of flavour and goodness, you're kids will absolutely love them. They also freeze really well so it's always handy to have an extra batch prepared and ready to go.
3 cups Spelt flour (or flour of your choice)
3 tablespoons mixed dry herbs (I used rosemary, parsley and oregano)
1 cup grated tasty cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 eggs, lightly whisked
1.5 cups Almond milk (or milk of choice)
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees. Grease your muffin tins and set aside.
Place the flour in a large bowl and using your hands rub in the butter.
Add your dry herbs and cheese and mix.
Add your eggs and milk and mix so that it is all well combined. Be careful not to over mix.
Spoon the mixture into your muffin tin and bake for 20 minutes.
Makes 12 muffins
Moving away from the traditional potato fritters, here is a lower-GI version using pumpkin. These are so light and fluffy that you'll almost mistake them for your breakfast pancakes!
500g pumpkin, steamed
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 tablespoons spelt flour
¼ teaspoon sea salt
cracked pepper to taste.
2 tablespoons coconut oil
Steam your pumpkin until it is soft enough to mash. Pat the pumpkin dry once it is finished steaming and then transfer into a bowl to mash.
Add your eggs, baking powder, flour, salt and pepper and mix so that it is well combined.
Allow the mixture to sit for 10 minutes.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a pan on medium heat and then add 1.5-2 tablespoons of the mixture for each fritter. Allow it to cook for 3-4 minutes until golden brown and then carefully turn them over and cook for a further 3 minutes.
Once cooked, remove the fritters onto a plate with paper towel to allow some of the oil to be soaked and then serve.
Makes 10 fritters
Pizza definitely has the association of being a 'bad' food and generally the ones that we purchase from pizza shops are made of white flour, have sugar in the base and are covered with toppings that are full of trans-saturated fats. However, just because you are wanting to make healthier choices around your nutrition, does not mean that you have to give up on one of your favourite meals. This pizza base is adapted from the Quirky cooking Thermomix recipe and is full of protein and omega 3's which will have you enjoying every mouthful of your pizza without any associated guilt.
150g quinoa flour
2 tablespoons chia flour
pinch sea salt
Olive oil (for baking)
Toppings: as you desire
roasted / steamed vegetables
rocket / spinach
grated cheese / goats cheese / bocconcini / feta
Preheat oven to 180 degrees and prepare your tray with baking paper and a drizzle of olive oil.
Have all your toppings ready and waiting.
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix until it becomes a well combined sticky dough.
Spread the dough on the prepared tray and cover with your toppings.
Bake in the oven 25-30 minutes
Makes equivalent to 1 large pizza
It can always be quite challenging to think of alternatives to rice or pasta, especially when you are having a meal that is quite saucy and want something to absorb that yummy sauce. In steps your Cauliflower and broccoli rice.... You can do a combination of these vegetables or you can even do them separately. It will take no longer than 10 minutes to prepare and is an awesome way of adding more vegetables to you meal. There's even a Facebook Live video of me preparing it you can see here:
½ head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 head broccoli, cut into florets
4 spring onion, sliced thinly
2 cups silverbeet, finely shredded
Seasoning as you like – salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, fresh herbs or Sahara Mingle seasoning
Place cauliflower and broccoli florets into high speed blender for 3-5 seconds until it resembles rice. Set aside.
Heat a fry pan on the stove and add 1 tablespoon of water. Once the water has heated, add the spring onion and sauté’ for 3-4 minutes. Add the silverbeet and stir until it has wilted slighted. Add the ‘rice’ and seasoning. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally so that the rice does not stick to the pan.
4 ingredients is all it takes to put this tasty salad together. It is a great salad to have in the warmer months with cucumber being so hydrating. The cashews adds a really nice crunch. This salad can be used as a side to any meal or even just add some chickpeas or lentils and you have an awesome vegetarian meal.
2 continental cucumbers
100g baby spinach leaves, shredded
handful raw cashews, crushed
handful fresh parsley or corriander
sprinkle chili flakes
1 lemon juiced
1 teaspoon tamari
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons light coconut milk
¼ teaspoon grated ginger
Place all dressing ingredients in a jar, mix well until combined and then set aside.
Prepare your cucumbers, by scrapping out the seeds from the middle and then slicing them.
Place your shredded spinach on a plate, top with the cucumber, crushed cashews and herb of choice. Sprinkle with a little chili.
Drizzle dressing prior to serving
Serves 6 as a side salad
Sushi is all time favourite for many, however did you know that there is a large quantity of refined sugar added to the sushi rice? Being one to avoid sugar at all costs, I thought it would be appropriate to create a modern, deconstructed version of this dish, without the additional refined sugar. There are a few steps to this dish, however they are all very quick and easy to prepare.
½ cauliflower, cut into florets
1 tablespoon tamari
1 tablespoon mixed white and black sesame seeds
½ packet frozen picked edamame
800g shitake mushrooms, sliced
1 garlic clove, sliced
2cm knob ginger, sliced
1 tablespoon brown rice vinegar
2 tablespoons tamari
1 tablespoon mirin
300g roasted pumpkin + 1 tablespoon mixed white and black sesame seeds
2 bunches steamed bok choy
1 lemon, zest and juice
½ orange, zest and juice
2 tablespoons tamari
1 tablespoon brown rice vinegar
1 tablespoon raw honey
Place cauliflower florets into high speed blender for 3-5 seconds until it resembles rice.
Heat a fry pan on the stove, add the cauliflower and tamari and cook for approximately 5 minutes, stirring occasionally so that it doesn’t stick to the pan. The cauliflower is cooked when it is slightly soft. Add 1 tablespoon mixed white and black sesame seeds. Remove from pan and set aside.
Follow instructions as per packet
Fill a pot of water and place on the stove. Add the garlic, ginger, tamari, vinegar and mirin. Bring to the boil. Add mushrooms and reduce heat to a simmer. Allow to cook for 5 minutes. Remove pot from the heat, however keep mushrooms in liquid for 15 minutes. Strain and set aside
Prepare you roast pumpkin as per your usual method, sprinkling them with 1 tablespoon of mixed white and brown sesame seeds prior to cooking.
Steam bok choy as per your usual method.
Wash bean shoots and set aside.
Combine all dressing ingredients and whisk until well combined.
Now to put it all together. Get 2 bowls and divide the rice, edamame, mushrooms and additional veggies evenly. Drizzle with the dressing and enjoy.
Brussels sprouts has definitely been given a bad wrap from our childhood days when we were forced to eat them boiled and bland. I would recommend that you give them another go, as they are absolutely delicious when cooked with beautiful seasonings to make them really tasty. They are great as additions to salads or simply as a side dish to your protein.
20 Brussels sprouts, washed and halved
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon cumin
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
Place Brussels sprouts in oven proof dish. Add oil, cumin and seasoning. Toss well and bake in oven for 40-45 minutes until sprouts are golden brown and crunchy.
I always find my digestion works more efficiently when I give it a break from animal proteins. However, in order to have a complete meal and ensure that you are going to remain satisfied, a good plant protein source will be required. Here steps in the mung beans. They are part of the legume family and are really easy to prepare and throw into anything. I often cook up a batch and use it for all sorts of meals including additions to salads and pastas. Here's another simple way you can utilise your mung beans.
4 field mushrooms, peeled
4 tablespoons cooked mung beans
6 cherry tomatoes, diced
6 olives, chopped
1 tablespoon coconut aminos balsamic vinegar
Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Line tray with baking paper and set aside.
Combine the cherry tomatoes, olives, mung beans and vinegar. Mixing well. Place mushrooms on prepared tray and then carefully fill the cup of the mushroom with the mung bean filling.
Place in oven for 25 minutes until mushrooms become a little soft.
Can be enjoyed as a side to any protein or as the main component of your meal on a bed of sauteed greens or with a salad.
Looking to add some more greens to your meal, but you’re sick and tired of the same old boring steamed broccoli and bok choy? Here is a really delicious way to get a variety of greens into your meal with lots of flavour too.
2 cups uncooked brown rice
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ white onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 bok choy, chopped
100g baby spinach, shredded
½ cup fresh or frozen peas
2 tablespoons tamari
Cook rice as per instructions and set aside.
Heat olive oil on medium heat and add onion, sautéing for 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and stir well.
Add vegetables and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Pour in prepared rice and tamari and mix well until all the vegetables and rice are coated in the sauce.
Makes 6 serves