Berry Fruit Compote

So simple to make. Quick and delicious … and you can adapt it to whatever fruits you have lying around.

  • 1 cups frozen berries*
  • 1 medium apple or pear, finely diced
  • Lemon peel (peel into strips for easy removal)
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • Optional: 1-2 tsp maple syrup

*if you are using fresh berries and not frozen, you’ll need to add a little splash of water when you first start cooking.

Place all ingredients into a small saucepan and turn on to a low heat.

Stir regularly until the juices from the berries release.

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Allow the mix to come to a simmer and then leave to a very gentle simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Leave the saucepan partially covered with the lid to stop it splattering!

It is ready when you can very easily slide a fork through the apple and the juices in the pan are becoming thick and sticky.

Remove the lemon peel and if you want a smoother compote, use a potato masher to crush down the fruit.

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Thermo Cooking instructions:

Place all ingredients into a bowl and turn on to Speed 2, 100C. For about 10-12 minutes.

Remove the lemon peel. If you want smoother compote, turn off heating, increase speed to 4, in 5 second bursts until you are happy with the texture, scraping down the sides as required.

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Serve warm on cakes, scones or pancakes, or allow to cool and serve with yoghurt, custard or ice cream … or just eat it on it’s own!!

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Enjoy 🙂

Oaty Seed Bikkies

These lovely bikkies are like a cross between an ANZAC and a muesli biscuit.

Just sweet enough to satisfy my husband’s sweet tooth, super easy to whip up plus they’re lunchbox and allergy friendly!

  • 1 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup plain flour  (GF flour, spelt, wheat – all work)
  • 1 tsp GF baking powder
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup sultanas*
  • 125g melted butter or oil (coconut oil and melted vegan butter work well)
  • 70g golden syrup/honey/maple syrup

*Chopped Dates, or dried apple, or apricots work well too

**For a Coeliac friendly version: you can replace the oats with a mix of rolled quinoa, puffed rice and shredded coconut.

Mix together  all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. (Speed 4, 10 seconds). Then set aside.

In a medium sized saucepan (or microwave), melt together the oi/butter and syrup. (Speed 2, 100C for approx 2 mins)

Add the wet mix to the dry mix and combine well (Speed 4, 8 seconds, scrape down and repeat).

On a greased baking tray place heaped teaspoon-fulls of the mixture and flatten down slightly.

Cook in a preheated oven at 170C for about 15-20 mins or until golden brown.

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When you remove them from the oven they will be fairly soft. They will harden as they cool. Leave them on the tray for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Makes about 20 – store in an airtight container for up to a week.

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And watch out for the bikkie thief ….

Enjoy 🙂

Zucchini cake

Such a deliciously light and moist cake …. so good for afternoon tea, picnic and even in lunchboxes.

  • Approx 200g (combined) grated zucchini and carrot (roughly half a medium zucchini and 1 medium carrot).
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple sauce
  • 1/2 cup honey/maple/golden syrup
  • 2 eggs / 2 flax eggs / 2 tsp egg replacer whipped with 4 tbsp water
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1/3 cup chopped nuts or seeds (hemp seeds or walnuts go really well)
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 3/4 cups plain flour (we do half wholemeal)**
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Optional extra: Top with choc chips of choice

** To make this one coeliac friendly, replace with a plain GF flour, 1.5 cups and 1 tsp of psyllium husk.

Start by grating the veg. After squeezing the moisture out of the grated zucchini you should have about 120g, and another 80g from the carrot. *If you are grating in a food processor or thermo cooker, you will need to take the zucchini out, tip out the liquid in the bottom, then squeeze the zucchini before adding it back in to the bowl.

Add all of the wet ingredients into a bowl and stir well to combine (speed 4, 6 secs).

Add in the baking powder, flour and mixed spice. Fold through gently until the flour is just combined. (Speed 3, 10 seconds)

Then add in the chopped nuts or seeds and fold through until evenly combined. (Speed 3, 8-10 seconds) Do not beat the mix.

Pour into a greased/lined loaf tin and place into a preheated 160C oven.

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Sprinkle the top with some choc chips if you like (only half of family do!)

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Bake for approximately 60minutes or until golden, well risen and a skewer comes out clean. Remember that if you are cooking with GF flour or without egg then you won’t get quite the same rise.

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Allow to rest in the tin for about 15 minutes before removing to an airing rack and allowing to cool.

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Slice and serve, warm or cold. A spread of butter on your slice is delicious too.

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Slice before freezing any left overs and wrap so it is airtight.

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Picnic time – this one with Sweet William White Chips

Enjoy 🙂

 

Basic Beef Burgers

Burgers aren’t a very frequent meal in our house. I’m not sure why. Peter and the kids adore them and serving themselves makes for a very happy family meal.

It’s been several weeks in isolation now, and our local supermarket is still very low on many things (totally empty shelves in many aisles) so our grocery shopping and planning has looked a little different. We’ve needed to be a little more creative and adaptive with what we can access – that’s ok by me!!

When my biggest boys asked for Cheeseburgers, we went back to the style of burger patties that we haven’t made in a long time. Very simple, quick to make and not many ingredients. Devoured by everyone. Winning.

  • 500g beef mince
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 medium brown onion
  • 1 tsp fresh chopped thyme (or dried Italian Style herbs)
  • 4 tbsp Nutritional Yeast*
  • 1 clove garlic, finely grated (or 1/2 tsp dried garlic flakes)
  • ground salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp coconut aminos (or soy sauce)
  • Optional: 2 tbsp hemp seeds

*You can add in 2 tbsp of suitable breadcrumbs here if you’d prefer.

Grate the onion and carrot and mix together with all other ingredients, except the beef.

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Break up the beef mince and add to the carrot mix.

Smoosh (yes, that’s the technical term!) the mince in until well combined. You can do this with a spoon, your hands,  or even a short burst in the food processor.

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Using your hands, for the mix into patties and lay on a lined baking tray.

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Place into a preheated 180 oven for about 30 minutes, turning them over after 20 minutes. You can also fry them in  a pan with a little olive oil if you’d prefer.

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Makes 6-8 burger patties (depending on their size)

We like to have this as a ‘serve yourself meal’. Some add only cheese and cucumber, others add EVERYTHING!

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They are delicious in  a bunless burger ….

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Or with your favourite bun – We particularly enjoy them with fresh spelt/hemp buns!!!

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Enjoy 🙂

Sweet Potato Rolls

As are you all, we are spending a LOT more time at home at the moment.

Which, I guess, in good news – means more time for baking!

Although getting all the ingredients we normally use has been a little tricky….

But sweet potatoes are plentiful in our garden right now, so they are featuring quite a bit on our plates!

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I was thinking about making rolls to go with our soup, when I remembered that I had seen these yummy looking rolls on ‘Super Healthy kids. The original (see the link) is a sweet version that they eat in the states for Thanksgiving.

I didn’t want a sweet roll (although I’m sure I will another time!) and I needed to adapt it to our dietary requirement (no egg, or dairy). So I got experimenting.

Our family adores these rolls. Even the sworn sweet potato hater inhaled 3 before I stopped him!

Hope you enjoy them too 🙂

  • 3 1/2 cup flour (2 cup plain & 1.5 cups wholemeal) – we use spelt
  • 1 flat tablespoon yeast, active dry
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup, mashed Sweet potato, cooked (about 1 medium potato)
  • 1 cup milk of choice (oat milk works well here)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp each of rosemary and thyme, finely diced (or 1 tsp dried Italian Style herbs)
  • spray olive oil
  • extra flour for rolling

Start by peeling and dicing your sweet potato. Then steam it until it is soft (approx 4-5 mins in a microwave)

While the potato is steaming, place into your bowl/machine (see instructions below for multiple machine methods), the flour, salt, herbs, oil and yeast.

As soon as the sweet potato is cooked, drain it and mash it. Measure out your 1 cup and add it to the cup of milk. The milk doesn’t need to be warmed – by adding the potato to the milk, you’ll bring both the milk and the potato to the right temperature to make sure you don’t kill off the yeast.

Whisk the milk and potato together until they are roughly combined and then pour into the flour mix.

Give a rough mix of the dough for a few seconds and allow it to sit for 5 minutes (it won’t be all combined at this stage). Use a wooden spoon in the bowl if you’re doing it by hand, or speed 3 for 5 seconds in a thermal cooker, or about 5 seconds with a dough hook in a stand mixer.

Now get kneading –

For a bread machine: Use the dough only function. Set and walk away.

For a stand mixer with a dough hook: you’ll need to mix for 6-7 minutes

For a thermo cooker: set your knead function (for a less powerful machine, like a Bellini, you might need an extra minute or two)

By hand: flour the bench and get your muscles ready! Knead until your dough is smooth and elastic.

Place the dough ball in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a cloth and let rise in a warm area until doubled in size – about an hour, or until your machine has finished it’s rise function.

 

Remove from the bowl and knock down the dough.
Cut it into two and roll each one into a circle – like you’re making a pizza base.
Cut each circle in to 8 wedges (again, like a pizza).
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Then start at the outside edge (where the the pizza crust would be) and roll toward the point to make your crescent shape.
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Little rolls, ready to start the second rise
Place on a lined baking dish, spray lightly with olive oil and then allow to rest in a warm place until the have doubled in size again (roughly another hour)
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2nd rise complete – into the oven they go
While the dough is doing it’s second rise, preheat your oven to 180C degrees.
When the second rise is complete, place into the preheated oven. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. The bottom will sound hollow when you tap it.
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Delicious perfection!
Remove from the oven and cool for just a couple of minutes before you dig in!
Makes 16 rolls.
Enjoy 🙂

Simple Mushroom Soup

You already know how much I love soup!

With Mr 11 having just got his braces on, I have had a weekend of making soft food … and soup certainly made the list!

As well as being quick and inexpensive to make, nutritious and filling, allergy friendly and comforting – it is also very kind to sore mouths!

  • 1 tbsp garlic olive oil
  • 1 brown onion
  • 4 medium sticks celery
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 large zucchini
  • 450g mushrooms (I like portobello)
  • 1 tsp each fresh chopped rosemary and thyme
  • 1 tbsp (40g) tahini (or seed butter to keep it sesame free)
  • 1/2 cup (40g) nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp pink flaked salt
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1.2L boiling water

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Heat oil in a large, heavy based saucepan. Add in finely diced onion  and cook for 2 minutes. Add in finely diced celery and cook, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes, or starting to soften and get a little colour.

Add in finely diced carrots and combine well. Add in herbs plus salt and pepper, stir well and cook over medium heat for a further 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until onions are golden.

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Slice and add in the mushrooms, and cook, stirring occasionally for a further 5 minutes until mushroom are reducing and releasing their liquid.

Add the chopped zucchini to the saucepan and then the boiling water. I start with 1.2L and then add more if it’s needed.

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Bring to a gentle and simmer and cook, stirring occasionally for about 25 minutes or until the carrot squashes easily with the back of your stirring spoon. If it still crunchy then you won’t get a smoothly blended soup.

Add in the tahini and nutritional yeast, stir, and then use an immersion stick blender to blend until smooth.

Add in more water and blend again if it is too thick.

Taste test and add a little more salt if required. Serve hot.

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Delicious …. but I just can’t make it pretty!

Serves 6.

If macros are important to you – here are the details per serve:

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Enjoy

J x

Chicken Cannellini Casserole

Quick and easy comfort food that is delicious and filling 👌👌

Enough meat to satisfy the carnivore and still enough veg, beans and mushrooms for my preference.

In the spirit of full transparency … Only 1 of my 4 kiddos was happy to eat this one…  🤷🤷 ah well. 3 of us loved it and 2 of us are delighted to have some leftover for tomorrow!

  • 700g chicken thigh, skinless
  • 400g field mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tbsp garlic olive oil
  • Medium brown onion
  • 400g tin Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 rounded tsp pure corn flour
  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 2 tsp fresh chopped thyme
  • 2 cups chopped green beans
  • Carrot noodles to serve

Heat the oil in a heavy based pan.

Dice the onion and cook until soft. Add in the mushrooms and thyme. Cook until the mushrooms start to soften.

Remove from pan and set aside.

Add sliced chicken to the hot pan and brown. Then sprinkle in the corn flour, stir and then add the stock and aminos.

Add in the Cannellini beans and return the mushroom mix to the pan.

Mix until evenly combined and bring to a gentle simmer for about 15 minutes until the sauce is thickened and the chicken is cooked through.

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Add in the green beans for the last 2 minutes of cooking … You want them to still have some crunch!

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Serve on a bed of carrot noodles (use a veggie peeler to create the long strips)

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Makes about 5 serves.

Enjoy 😊

P.S – If macros are important to you here are the details for 1 serve (without the carrot)

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Spicy Green Chicken Patties

I live in a house with multiple small boys who are obsessed with both the Marvel universe and body parts …. I won’t tell you what they wanted to call these green balls … you can use your own imagination 😉

Whichever cheeky name you choose to call them – they are very yummy and were happily devoured by all 6 of us!

  • 750g chicken thighs (approx 6 thighs), skinless
  • 1 medium brown onion
  • 1 tsp garlic flakes (or 2 fresh garlic cloves, crushed)
  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos
  • Good pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1-2 birdseye chillies (depending on the heat you like)
  • 70g bean shoots
  • 2 tightly packed cups of chopped spinach
  • 50g hemp seeds

Roughly dice the onion.

Place all the the ingredients, except the bean shoots, spinach and seeds in your food processor.

Process until well combined (speed 4, 15 seconds, scrape down and repeat)

Add in the bean shoots, process to combine (speed 4, 10 secs), then add the spinach and repeat.

Start processing again (speed 3) and pour seeds through open top chute.

Process until well combined and smooth.

Scrape mixture out into a bowl, cover and place in the fridge for 2 hours or up to overnight. This helps them to hold together well without the addition of egg or breadcrumbs.

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Using a spoon and damp hands, form patties with the mixture.

Lay on a lined baking tray and spray with a little olive oil before placing into a preheated 200C oven.

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Cook for 30 mins or until golden and cooked through. (I flip them after about 20 minutes)

Makes 20 patties.

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Serve with cucumber and ribbons, topped with sliced avo and drizzled with extra coconut aminos.

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And if macros are important to you – here are the details (per patties – and not with the salad accompaniment):

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Enjoy 🙂

 

 

Moroccan Black Bean Chicken on Seared Eggplant

This is such a simple meal – quick to throw into the slow cooker in the morning and then a few extra minutes to finish in the evening when you get home from work. But it is delicious and filling – I guess ‘hearty’ is a good way to describe it!!

It makes a large batch too which is great for big families and for the freezer 🙂

5 out of 6 thumbs up at my place (number 6 is waaay over tired and went to bed so I’m not sure that I’m counting his vote this time 😉 )

  • 8 chicken thighs, skinless & boneless (approx 1.2kg)
  • 2 tbsp Moroccan spice blend (I make this one)
  • 2 x 400g tin black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 800g tin diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup hot chicken stock (Massel for store bought)
  • 1 rounded tbsp tomato paste
  • Eggplant (aubergine) slices, Approx 200g per person
  • Olive oil
  • Pink salt flakes
  • Grated cheese of choice to top

Place chicken in the bottom of the slow cooker, sprinkle the seasoning over the top.

Add in the black beans and tomatoes.

Stir together the tomato paste and stock before pouring it over the contents of the slow cooker.

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Place lid on slow cooker and cook on low for 7-8 hours.

Lift lid and use a couple of forks to shred the chicken.

Slice eggplants long ways (I cut a medium one into 4 slices) then pat dry of any water.

Spray with a little olive oil and place into a hot frying pan. Cook each side for a couple of minutes until soft and golden.

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Sprinkle eggplant with a little salt, then transfer to a lined baking tray.

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Top the eggplant with the slow cooked chicken mix and a little grated cheese (dairy or plant based). Put under a hot grill for a few minutes until the cheese is melted and golden.

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Serve immediately.

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SO very full after dinner!

This quantity of chicken mix makes about 12 adult serves. If you’re not serving 6 like me, a half batch cooks exactly the same.

We portion out and freeze the left-overs ready for another easy family meal – just need to cook the fresh eggplant each time.

Full disclosure ….. 3 of my 4 kids cried on being told that they were having eggplant  – they had theirs on a little GF pasta instead!!!

P.S. I have been asked about the macros of this recipe – so if you need them: The serve as pictured above is 1/12 of the mix, roughly 1 ladle, with 2 x 100g slices of eggplant and 15g total of Tasty cheese. It is 282 calories, 10g fat, 30g protein and 20g carbs.

P.P.S I haven’t made a vegan version yet, but next time I intend to give it a go and I’ll update. I think I’ll use 2 cans of cannellini beans to replace the chicken and use stock paste or powder for the flavour, but not use the water.

Pear, Pomegranate & Date Overnight Oats

Every year in January our extended family gathers at the beach for breakfast to remember my Grandad on his birthday.

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It’s always a bring and share affair; fruit, savoury muffins, bacon and eggs, pancakes … And I’m pretty well not allowed to attend without bringing some form of fruity overnight oats.

This is the one I took this year.

It’s a super simple way to make a delicious, filling, summer breakfast when you are short on time in the mornings (ok – so every morning then?!).

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk (or other milk of choice)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 large very ripe green pear, grated
  • 1 pomegranate, seeded
  • 6 medjool dates, quarted
  • Small handful of dry roasted almonds (or sunflower seeds), roughly chopped
  • 1 heaped tbsp each pumpkin seeds and hemp seeds
  • Several mint leaves, torn

Place the oats, milk and cinnamon in a bowl and mix together. Cover and place in the fridge over night, or for at least 2 hours.

In the morning, fluff up the oats with a fork, then grate the pear and stir it though.

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Top with the fruit, nuts and seeds and then mint and serve.

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Add a spoon of your favourite yoghurt (dairy, soy or coconut) if you’d like too.

Serves 8

Enjoy 🙂