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!
Advertisements

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).

 

Pumpkin, Sage and Rosemary Muffins

Another awesome work snack, breakfast on the go or easy lunch box filler!

Ingredients (makes 10-12) 

  • 100g pumpkin
  • 150g baby spinach leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup LSA
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 3 tbsp olive oil or melted olive Nuttalex
  • 3 sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 sprig rosemary, leaves removed
  • 1/4 cup mozzarella

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200*C and line a tray with baking paper, as well as a 12 cup muffin tray with muffin liners.
  2. Cut the pumpkin into small pieces and roast until soft (~ 30 minutes).
  3. LIghtly smash the roasted pumpkin. Place in a mixing bowl with spinach, carrot, eggs, LSA, coconut flour, oil and herbs, and mix until well combined.
  4. Spoon the mixture into lined muffin tray and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Bake until firm and golden on top (~ 20 minutes).

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).

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!

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!

Herbed Turkey and Cranberry Meatballs

Despite living in Australia, we celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving with our friends thanks to two of them spending a number of years working in Vancouver. While these turkey meatballs are no competition to the amazing roast turkey and myriad of sides our friends serve up, these meatballs do happen to make for super easy mid-week meal prep!

Ingredients (serves 2-4 depending on size)

  • 500g turkey mince
  • 1 piece stale bread (I use gluten free bread and it works well) OR 1/3 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1/8 cup cranberries
  • herbs of your choice – I use 1/2 tablespoon each of fresh parsley, dill, chives and rosemary from our herb garden! But if you’re on a budget, just dried parsley is totally fine!

If you need to make these on a bigger scale, this recipe can easily be doubled or tripled by multiplying all of the quantities. 

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180*C and line a tray with baking paper.
  2. Place the bread in the food processor and process until crumbed. Add the egg, herbs and mince and process until well combined.
  3. Place 2-3 tbsp of mixture on your palm and flatten, then place 3-4 cranberries in the middle, then close the mixture over the top before rolling. Roll the mixture into small meatballs and allow to set in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.
  4. Heat a large fry pan over a medium heat and add 1 tbsp olive oil. Add the meatballs, flatten slightly with the back of a spatula, and brown both sides (don’t need to cook through). 
  5. Transfer the browned patties to the oven tray and bake until cooked through (about 10 minutes or so).
  6. Serve with your choice of greens (or in this case, lettuce with red sorrel from the garden, with cauliflower roasted with a sprinkle of aged parmesan).