Carrot and Parsnip Gratin

After I made my amazing mushroom cauliflower sauce, I remembered I had bought some parsnips from the market. Time to make gratin!

Ingredients (serves 2 as above)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180*C. Lightly grease a baking dish with olive oil.
  2. Grate the carrot and parsnips. Mix with the sauce and pour into the dish.
  3. Sprinkle with quinoa flakes and then mozzarella. Bake until cheese is melted and golden (approx 20 minutes).

Creamy Cauliflower Mushroom Sauce

  

Ingredients

  • 1 cup salt-reduced stock (chicken or vegetable)
  • 400g mushrooms
  • 1/2 medium head of cauliflower
  • 2 sprigs each of tarragon, parsley, thyme and 2 large sage leaves
  • 1/4 cup light cooking cream

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200*C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Break up the cauliflower into small florets and baking until soft and starting to brown (30-40 minutes).
  3. Heat a large saucepan over a medium heat with a small amount of olive oil. Place the herbs, mushrooms and 1/2 cup stock in the pot and simmer, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms soft and half the liquid evaporated (approximately 30 minutes).
  4. Drain the remaining liquid from the pot. Place the liquid, cauliflower, remaining stock and cream into a blender and blend until smooth. Return to the pot with the mushrooms and stir until well combined. Serve with whatever takes your fancy (like roast chicken with kale and spinach as above!).

Lemon Coconut Blueberry Protein Mini Muffins

The secret to these super moreish, dairy free, gluten friendly mini-muffins is the use of lemon infused olive oil instead of butter / coconut oil, which adds an amazing tang to the mix!

Ingredients (makes 24) 

  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup vanilla pea protein (I used vanilla pea pro by Protein Supplies Australia)
  • 2 tbsp lemon infused olive oil
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180*C and line a 24 cup mini muffin tray with cases.
  2. Mix all of the ingredients together until well combined.
  3. Spoon ~ 1.5 tbsp mixture into each case and bake until firm (approximately 30-40 minutes). Store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.

Best Ever Veggie Patties

What do you get when you mix protein-rich chickpeas, nutty LSA and a tasty range of vegetables from the market? Some of the best veggie patties I’ve ever made!

Ingredients (makes 12) 

  • 100g pumpkin
  • 100g sweet potato
  • 1/2 small head broccoli
  • 150g baby spinach
  • 1 x 400g can chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup LSA (linseed, sunflower seed, almond meal)
  • 1 large egg
  • herbs from the garden – sage, thyme, parsley, chives, tarragon

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200*C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Chop the pumpkin and sweet potato into small pieces and roast until golden and soft (approximately 30 minutes).
  3. Place the roast pumpkin and potato, broccoli, spinach, chickpeas and herbs into a food processor and process until combined. Add the egg and LSA, and mix well.
  4. Heat a large frypan over medium heat with a small amount of olive oil. Roll 2-3 tablespoons of mixture into balls, place onto the pan and flatten with the back of a spatula. Lightly brown both sides  (don’t cook all the way through).
  5. Transfer the patties to a lined baking tray and bake until firm (approximately 30 minutes). Serve as veggie burgers, as part of a buddha bowl, or as a delicious snack straight from the fridge!

Raspberry Chia Sauce

I went to cooking school in Paris. While I was there, we learned how to make “Canard avec fruites rouge” (duck with red fruits), which was essentially a pan fried duck with amazing raspberry sauce. In my usual habit of trying to recreate things, I tried to make my own raspberry sauce, but with a slightly thicker texture – and so this raspberry ‘jam’ was born. Note that it is supposed to be tart like cranberry sauce rather than sweet like strawberry jam, so don’t get a fright if you put in on your toast and something tastes a little odd!

Ingredients 

  • 200g raspberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/8 cup white chia seeds
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 1 tsb balsamic vinegar (flavoured ones work well here, I used fig and guava with success)

Method

  1. Using a fork, gently mash the raspberries. Add the water and vinegar and stir to combine.
  2. Add the chia seeds and continuously stir until starting to thicken. Put aside in the fridge for 5 minutes and stir again (if too thick at this stage, add small amounts of water until it thins out). Return to the fridge until ready to serve.

For example – roasted turkey with spinach, slaw and a sweet potato and pumpkin smash! 

Honey Mustard Pumpkin Seeds

Don’t throw out your unwanted pumpkin seeds – turn them into this tasty snack instead!

Ingredients

  • 1/8 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1 tsp honey

Just multiply the recipe for bigger quantities, works a treat! I’ve also thrown in buckwheat groats and tigernuts to increase the volume before and they taste amazing. 

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180*C and line a tray with baking paper.
  2. Toss the pumpkin seeds with the honey and mustard, then roast until golden – be vigilant as these can burn quickly, then only need 8-10 minutes max!

Roasted Cauli Salad with Tahini Turmeric Sauce

Another easy meal-prep option that’s vegan and gluten friendly, packed full of nutrition with a hint of spice!

Ingredients (serves 4) 

  • 1 small cauliflower
  • 1 large eggplant
  • 200g pumpkin
  • 4 large kale leaves, washed and de-veined, then finely chopped
  • 1/8 cup cranberries
  • 1/8 cup flaked almonds
  • 1/2 cup plain coconut yogurt (can use plain Greek instead)
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tsp turmeric

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180*C and line a tray with baking paper.
  2. Wash and chop the cauliflower, eggplant and pumpkin into similar sized pieces. Roast the cauliflower and eggplant on the same tray until slightly charred around the edges (about 40 minutes), and roast the pumpkin until soft and golden (about 30-40 minutes).
  3. Make the yogurt sauce by mixing the yogurt, tahini and turmeric until well combined.
  4. To assemble the salad, place the kale on the bottom, then top with the vegetables, then add the yogurt sauce, and sprinkle the almonds and cranberries on top.

Easy Lemon Beetroot Hummus

I’m of Lebanese heritage on Mum’s side, so hummus is in my blood. Some would say there is too much blood in my hummus stream even. But as much as I love the traditional recipes, I also love to experiment – and this tangy pretty-in-pink version is a great example of how to make better-than-store-bought hummus without the fuss!

Ingredients 

  • 1 x 400g can chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 x 200g can beetroot (drained and rinsed)
  • 3 tbsp lemon infused olive oil (or you can use normal olive oil and add lemon zest to taste)
  • 2 tbsp unhulled tahini
  • pinch of sea salt to taste

Method 

  1. Place the chickpeas, beetroot and tahini in the food processor and blend until starting to combine.
  2. While processing, slowly add the olive oil until the mixture is smooth and creamy, and add the sea salt to taste. Refrigerate before serving to allow the mixture to firm, then serve with your favourite crackers or vegetable sticks.

Meal Prep for Professionals #3

I’ve written before about easy meal prep recipes to make in bulk and freeze for easy meals at work and during the week. This edition of “meal prep for professionals” focuses on one particular kitchen appliance – the trusty oven!

“Baking” can seem daunting for some, and you may even be one of those people who uses their oven for storage instead (Carrie from SATC I’m looking at you). But the oven can be your best friend when it comes to meal prep, where you can roast multiple different proteins and vegetables at the same time to create any number of amazing dishes.

The trick to it is choosing proteins that cook quickly and vegetables that can be grouped into those which take a similar amount of time to cook. Remember this is all being packed away, so it doesn’t really matter if it’s not all hot at the same time!

An example of one of my recent meal prep afternoons:

Three dishes (making 3-4 portions of each = 9-12 meals!)

Pesto barramundi with carrots and sweet potato

  • 2 large barramundi fillets
  • 3 tablespoons of your favourite pesto
  • 3 large purple and 3 large orange carrots
  • 150g baby spinach leaves
  • 3 small sweet potatoes

Turkey with zucchini, beetroot, pumpkin and dukka

  • 500g turkey breast fillet
  • 150g spinach leaves
  • 3 medium zucchinis
  • 6 small beetroots
  • 200g pumpkin
  • 3 tablespoons of your favourite dukkha

Ras el hanout spiced pilaf with pumpkin and honey mustard pumpkin seeds

  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1 tablespoon Ras el Hanout (Arabic spice mix)
  • 200g pumpkin
  • 1 tin tomatoes (salt reduced)
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 packet of microwave brown, black and red rice
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard

While the list of ingredients may seem potentially expensive, I save heaps by buying the “ugly” produce where I can (still tastes the same!) and by also shopping seasonally.

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180*C.
  2. Wash and chop ALL of the vegetables! This may seem like the longest part, but it can be made much more enjoyable with Netflix or music playing in the background. Leave the skin on wherever practical to maximise your micronutrients, while also saving time on peeling.
  3. Don’t throw away the pumpkin seeds! Wash them, remove the pumpkin strands, then toss in the honey and mustard, and set aside ready for roasting.
  4. Proteins first. On separate oven trays, roast the barramundi and turkey until cooked through (about 15 minutes). Remove and set aside to rest to free up some oven space!
  5. Group the starchy vegetables (pumpkin, sweet potato, beetroot) and group the slightly softer ones (zucchini and carrots) together on the oven trays (you may take up the entire oven!). The softer ones will take about 20 minutes while the starchy ones will take more like 30-40 minutes. The perfect way to keep track of this is to keep a timer on your phone. Put everything in at the same time and put your feet up until you need to take the trays out!
  6. While you’re waiting for this, now is the time to prepare the ridiculously easy pilaf. Microwave the rice according to the instructions, then mix in a large bowl with the chickpeas, Ras el Hanout and tomatoes. Simple!
  7. Leave the pumpkin seeds until last because they can burn if you leave them in for too long. 10 minutes should do the trick.
  8. And now, the assembly! Grab all of your airtight containers and lay them out on the bench. Put spinach in the bottom of all of them, then the vegetables as per the recipe above, then your designated proteins, then your toppings (pesto, dukka or pumpkin seeds). Put a couple in the fridge and a few in the freezer and you’re officially set!