One Tray Mediterranean Chicken Bake

This is one for those ‘cooking when you can’t be bothered cooking’ kind of days!

Ingredients 

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 2 medium zucchinis
  • 500g mushrooms
  • 2 red capsicums
  • I head of broccoli
  • Herbs of your choosing – I used my favourite garlic lovers mix from Gewurtzhaus but a clove of garlic and a generous sprinkle of mixed herbs or parsely + oregano will work just fine!

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180*C. Line a baking dish with paper or grease with olive oil.
  2. Chop the zucchinis, broccoli and capsicum into roughly even sized chunks.
  3. Place the vegetables on the bottom of the dish, then place the chicken on top, covered with a little olive oil and the herbs of your choosing.
  4. Cover with alfoil and bake until cooked through (about 30 minutes). Remove from oven when chicken is just cooked (as the veggies will be cooked underneath). Serve hot or use as meal prep to fill the freezer!

Pumpkin, banana and rhubarb loaf

This was an experiment I’ll admit, but it was a rather delicious one. This is a great way to use up any leftover roast / boiled pumpkin as well as old bananas. The rhubarb is entirely optional and was just what I had in the fridge!

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 cup flaxseed meal, 1/2 cup buckwheat flour and  1/2 cup vanilla pea protein  –> BUT you can substitute ALL of this with 1.5 cups of plain flour of your choice + 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 over-ripe bananas (must be over-ripe for this to work!)
  • 100g roasted or boiled pumpkin
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup almond milk (or whatever milk takes your fancy)
  • 2 tbsp Nuttalex olive oil spread (or just use butter or coconut oil)
  • If using rhubarb – bake 4 stalks of rhubarb until soft, then mush with a fork until it forms a rough puree

Method 

  1. Preheat the oven to 200*C and line a brownie tin with baking paper.
  2. Place the pumpkin, banana, milk, eggs and butter in the blender and blend until smooth.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flaxseed, buckwheat, protein powder and baking soda, then stir in the mixture from the blender until well combined.
  4. Pour into the baking dish and swirl in the rhubarb by placing small blobs on top and dragging through the mixture with a butter knife.
  5. Bake until firm and risen (about 25-30 minutes). Allow to cool, the cut into slices (I find it easier to cut into 9 chunks, and then cut these in half through the middle).

Nacho Average Burrito

Here’s one for the meal prep list for vegetarian burritos on demand!

Ingredients 

  • 1 can mixed beans
  • 1 large red capsicum, chopped
  • 200g mushrooms, chopped
  • 4 large kale leaves, deveined and chopped
  • 200g fetta cheese, crumbled
  • 250g cherry tomatoes, cut in halves
  • 1 packet wraps +/- salad leaves

I mix the beans, capsicum, mushrooms, kale, fetta and tomatoes until well combined, then divide into air-tight containers and freeze until needed. Then just defrost the mixture, decant any water that may have been produced in the defrosting process, and wrap in your wrap (I also add lettuce or baby spinach and sometimes avocado for a bit of freshness just before serving!).

Hazelnut Cherry Cheesecake

This is not healthy in the slightest really BUT it is deceptively easy to make! To ease up on the calories (because every little bit counts), I use fat-reduced cream cheese and ricotta, and I don’t add any more sugar. It does produce a slightly more tart cheesecake though, so if you’re after something sweet, add 1/2 cup of caster sugar to the filling.

Ingredients 

  • 250g block of cream cheese
  • 125g smooth ricotta
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp flour (can use gluten free plain flour if required)
  • 1/2 cup hazelnut spread
  • 200g chocolate biscuits (I used chocolate ripple, but substitute for whatever suits your diet)
  • 70g butter, melted
  • To decorate – cherries, chocolate lindt balls (+/- 200g chocolate with 2 tbsp cream for ganache).

Method 

  1. Preheat the oven to 180*C. To create the layered look, I used three different sized cake tins but in reality, a single 24cm springform tin will suffice! Line the base and sides of the tins with baking paper.
  2. Crush the biscuits until fine crumbs, and mix with the butter until starting to form clumps. Spread onto the base of the lined tin/s and bake until starting to firm (about 10 minutes).
  3. Use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese, ricotta, eggs, hazelnut spread and flour until well combined. Pour into the lined cake tins and bake until firm (about 20 minutes but keep and eye on them!). Return to the fridge to cool as the mixture will reduce down and become much more firm.
  4. If using ganache as part of the decoration, melt the 200g chocolate and cream in a pot over a saucepan of boiling water until melted. Allow to cool slightly. Once the cake is firm, assemble the layers with toothpicks if you’ve used different tins. Then pipe or drizzle the ganache around the edges, then decorate with cherries and lindt balls (again, use tooth picks to hold them on!).

Best-Ever Potato Salad (with Saffron Garlic Aioli)

This is an extra-ordinarily big call to make but believe me when I say this is one potato salad you won’t forget in a long time! I made both the non-vegan and vegan version for Christmas and can confirm that both are rather sensational.

Ingredients 

  • 1 medium sweet potato, washed well (+/- peeled, up to you!)
  • 4 Kippfler potatoes, washed well (+/- peeled, up to you!)
  • 1 leek, green portion removed and finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup garlic aioli (or vegan mayonnaise with 1 clove garlic)
  • Small pinch of saffron threads
  • 1/2 tbsp chopped fresh chives

Method

  1. Prick the Kippfler potatoes. Chop the sweet potato into chunks.
  2. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and boil the Kippfler potatoes until soft. Remove and do the same with the sweet potato.
  3. Heat a frypan over medium heat. Add a small amount of olive oil and fry the leeks until soft.
  4. Allow the saffron threads to steep in 1 tbsp water until yellow in colour.
  5. Mix the aioli with the saffron mixture and chives until well combined, then toss through the leek and potatoes. Return to the fridge to chill until serving.

Honey I Stuffed the Pumpkin

While we’re all getting into the full swing of our New Year resolutions, I thought I’d share a few of my recipes from the festive season – starting with this stuffed pumpkin.

I’ve seen many variations of this concept over the past few weeks, and mine is nothing fancy. But it was super easy and vegan / gluten friendly too!

Ingredients

  • 1 large butternut pumpkin, halved
  • 1 cup black rice
  • 200g vegan cheese (I used a vegan version of Persian fetta)
  • 1 tbsp each of sunflower seeds, cranberries, pepitas
  • 1/2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp lemon infused olive oil

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200*C.
  2. Place the pumpkin halves cut side up on a baking tray. Remove the seeds and bake until soft enough to scoop out a portion of the flesh in the middle (about 30 minutes).
  3. Cook the rice as per the instructions (or you can cheat by using a supermarket microwave version). Mix the rice with the seeds and olive oil until well combined.
  4. Scoop out a small portion of the pumpkin flesh. Fill the hole with the rice mixture, then top with the vegan cheese and bake until the pumpkin is soft (another 15 minutes should do).
  5. Serve hot, or portions can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer for 1 month. Enjoy!

Non Alcoholic Summer Punch

Whether you’ve got little kids or are just having a healthy silly season, this punch packs a punch without the booze!

Just soak three Twinnings watermelon strawberry tea infusers in 500ml of coconut water and 1 litre of no sugar added apple juice for 15 minutes until the liquid has changed colour to a deep pink. Add frozen raspberries and mint to serve!

Gigantic Mango Weiss Bar

This 4-ingredient dessert is the perfect way to beat the heat in our hot Australian summer, while celebrating one of our most glorious summer fruits – the mango!

Ingredients

  • 2 large mangoes
  • 600ml thickened cream
  • 1 can (~300g) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence

Method

  1. Line a loaf tin with plastic wrap, with enough overlap along the edges to cover the top.
  2. Remove the flesh from the mangoes and blend until smooth. Pour the mango mix into the loaf tin and freeze for 15 minutes.
  3. Whip the cream until soft peaks form, then mix with the condensed milk and vanilla. Be careful not to over mix as the cream will split and the texture will become grainy.
  4. Pour the cream mix on top of the mango mix, then fold the plastic wrap edges on top (this is to prevent the top from becoming icy). Freeze overnight or for at least 4 hours until firm.
  5. When ready to serve, remove from the loaf tin and let stand for 10 minutes to soften. Serve topped with whatever you like, but I love mint and blueberries!

Pumpkin Poulet Patties

These are based on my turkey rissoles, and make for some great chicken burgers (although they’re just as tasty on their own too!).

Ingredients (makes 8 large patties) 

  • 500g chicken mince
  • 1 small piece sourdough
  • 1/4 cup quinoa flakes
  • 100g pumpkin
  • 1 egg
  • herbs: 2 sprigs dill, 4 sprigs parsley, 6 tarragon leaves

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200*C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Chop the pumpkin into small pieces and roast until soft (~ 20 minutes). Leave the oven on.
  3. Place the bread in a food processor and process into crumbs. Add the mince, egg, herbs and pumpkin until combined, then stir in the quinoa flakes.
  4. Heat a large fry pan over medium heat with a small amount of olive oil. Roll 2-3 tbsp of mixture into balls and drop onto the pan, squishing with the back of a spatula. Lightly brown both sides of the patties, then remove from the pan, place on the oven tray and return to the oven until cooked through (~ 15-20 minutes). Serve hot or cold.

Served above with a beetroot and cauliflower dip (essentially my lemon beetroot hummus but with roasted 1/2 head small cauliflower instead of chickepeas).

 

Nutty Carob Granola

Nutty, chocolately granola without the hidden sugar!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup buckwheat groats
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup quinoa flakes
  • 1/4 cup flaked almonds
  • handful each of hazelnuts, cashews, walnuts and flaked coconut
  • 2 tbsp carob
  • 2 tbsp cacao
  • 3 tbsp olive oil Nuttalex, melted

If you prefer your granola sweeter, add 1-2 tbsp maple syrup.

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180*C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Mix all of the ingredients together and spread onto the baking tray.
  3. Bake until crispy (~ 15-20 minutes), using a fork to turn the mixture every 5 minutes.