Mixed Veg + Feta Frittata

Inspired by the awesome Dr Rupy Aujla who I look up to very much for his knowledge and foodie ideas! I’ve recreated my own version of his tasty frittata with a different flavour spin/core ingredients. I love making this as one big dish to then split up into portions and enjoy throughout the week for breakfast or lunch, or perfect to delve into with family and friends for a laid-back weekend breakfast.

Delicious paired with some mixed salad/rice at lunchtime or a slice of toast at breakkie, drizzled with a little olive oil – or by all means devour it simply as it is, it’s super filling due to the ratio of protein and healthy fats.

With subtle French influences, the flavour is pretty damn tasty if I say so myself. The hit of feta cheese at the end though – that does make it pretty special! Below is how to make it. Just chuck everything in and you’re good to go… *limited washing up – bonus!

Ingredients (serves 4-5):

7 large eggs + 1/3 cup egg whites (about 80ml)

3 echalion shallots, chopped finely, or 1/2 white onion.

2 tsp butter

4 thick purple sprouting broccoli trees (or a big handful of regular broccoli florets), cut into cubes

1 whole medium courgette, cut into cubes

1 large handful of button mushrooms, roughly chopped

50g feta cheese

2 tsp dried rosemary

1/4 cup frozen peas

Method:

In a large non-stick pan, melt 1 tsp of butter and add the shallots and chopped broccoli. Set on a medium heat and cook for 3-4 mins to soften slightly and for the flavours to release

Tip in the mushrooms, courgette and frozen peas then sprinkle over the rosemary – stir everything together and continue to cook for another couple of minutes

While the veggies are gently cooking, in a separate bowl crack in the eggs and egg whites, whisking until evenly combined

Add the remaining tsp of butter into the veg and pour the eggs over the top, pooling evenly through the mixture. Put the lid on the pan and cook on low-medium heat for 8-10 mins

Take off the lid, shake over some cracked black pepper and crumble over the feta cheese (the top will still be undercooked!). Place the pan under the grill for 5 minutes until the feta has melted slightly and the surface of the frittata has ‘set’

Let cool, then cut into portions and enjoy!

 

Smokey Butternut + Black Bean One Pot

It’s that time of the week again! Here’s the 2nd recipe from my mini batch-cook series: Smokey Butternut + Black Bean One Pot. Vegan, gluten free, delicious and rammed with goodness.

Black beans are one of my favourite legumes – they’re rich in protein and fibre, helping to feed your friendly gut bacteria and keep you well satiated. With the additional ingredients I’ve chosen to combine the black beans with, this is a real nutrient-dense power meal! Lots of colours and complementing spices for a flavour-packed Mexican vibe dish.

This recipe will make 3/4 meals if you wish to make it as part of your food prep. Or feed a group of you for supper! I like to add fresh salad or veggies and some whole-grains too, boosting the complex carbohydrate and protein content a little further if I’m likely to need more fuel. Avocado is also delicious as a side to this dish but is best sliced fresh just before eating to prevent it from oxidizing.

Ingredients:

400g butternut squash cut into small cubes

1x 400g can of black beans, drained

1x 400g tinned chopped tomatoes

1 tsp ground cumin

1 heaped tsp ground turmeric

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 – 1 tsp hot chilli flakes

1 tbsp olive oil

1 large red onion diced (or 1 small + 2 eschalion shallots)

2 garlic cloves

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

sea salt + black pepper to season

Method:

Drizzle the olive oil into a deep sauté pan and gently heat through

Add the diced onion/shallots and garlic and let sweat for a few minutes

Add in the butternut squash and spices and mix until very fragrant and the squash is well coated, a couple of minutes or so.

Empty the can of tomatoes into the pan and 1 tsp balsamic vinegar, turn the pan to a medium-low heat and simmer for 12-15 minutes.

Drain the black beans and rinse thoroughly, add these to the mixture, season with a little S+P, then continue to cook for another 10 minutes with the lid on (the butternut squash should be soft enough to cut through, but not too mushy!) *if the overall texture becomes a little too thick, add 1-2 tbsp of water to loosen.

If you’re making this as part of your food prep, store in tight, tuppawear containers and it’ll last you through the week (pair with rice + salad if you wish) or perhaps portion out sections to have as a side dish with some fish or meat.

I hope you enjoy this, remember to tag me in your photos if you make it, I love to see your creations!

Lean Turkey + Herb Meatballs

I made these meatballs recently when I hosted a meal with friends. Stuffed with flavourful ingredients, these are tasty, straight forward and filling.

You could make these as part of your food prep for the week ahead for your protein source – they’re so easy to throw together and a nice change to your standard perhaps? Mix into a tasty sauce, or have plain with mixed veg/rice and you’re set!

Turkey contains a decent amount of tryptophan – an essential amino acid that helps create niacin (B3) in the body and also aids serotonin (a neurotransmitter partly responsible for relaxation and well-being) yes that post Christmas dinner ‘turkey coma’ is real 😉 ha.

Turkey is also a ‘lean protein’, meaning it’s fat content is low. Animal protein typically contains more saturated fat in comparison to plant-based proteins and even though we need some saturates in our diet for sturdy, cellular structures – too much of it, like pretty much anything can become detrimental to our health. So, turkey is a good option if you do eat meat, along with chicken breast/white fish for keeping the saturated fat content in our diet more controlled.

Ingredients (makes 20 meatballs):

400g turkey mince

1/2 red onion, finely chopped

2 small garlic cloves, minced

1 generous palmful of curly parsley, chopped finely

1 tsp chilli flakes or diced fresh chilli

1 small egg

2 tbsp oat flour (oats blended)

salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Chop the onions, garlic, chilli and parsley and put in a large bowl. Add the turkey mince and combine together. I used my hands for ease.

Crack in an egg and add the oat flour and stir again until a dense, GIANT ‘meatball dough’ forms.

Break sections away and roll into balls. About 20 should come from the mix. If the mix is a little wet, roll onto a board with some flour dusted on so it doesn’t stick.

When ready to cook, add about 1 tbsp of oil into a large pan (I like to use coconut oil for cooking at higher temperatures) and brown the outside of the meatballs. Transfer into a oven proof dish, cover with a fresh sauce and bake for 20 mins on 180 fan.

Alternatively put the lid on the pan and turn to a lower heat (without a sauce) to trap the heat in and cook through, about 10 mins. Cut through the middle to check the meat is cooked throughout – it should be white with no pink flesh visible.

 

No Bake Mini Gingernut, Lemon + Berry Cheesecakes

Yup these really are as good as they sound. The perfect dessert for entertaining guests. Not only do they look pretty special and cute (don’t you think?), they are mouth-wateringly tasty. I’m so happy with how they turned out and I hope you enjoy them as much as my friends and I did.

I made these the day before I was having some girl-friends for dinner and kept them in the fridge overnight. A great time saving dessert right there – no faffing around with an oven needed.

 

Ingredients for 3 jar-fulls:

 

Base

8 gingernut biscuits smashed up (I used these lower sugar, oat biscuits)

2-3 tsp organic butter

Filling

100g medium-fat cream cheese

130g skyr 0% icelandic yoghurt

1 tsp lemon extract

1 lemon – whole of zest grated and juice of 1/2

1 tsp granulated stevia

Topping

150g mixed frozen berries

1/2 lemon – juice

1 tbsp water

2 tsp chia seeds

1/3rd tsp stevia

 

Method:

Start by crushing the biscuits (either put in a plastic bag and whack against a hard surface… or blitz in a food processor)

Once a crumbly texture has formed, transfer into a bowl and add the butter. Rub in with your hands until it becomes more clumpy and dense. Add a tsp water or 2 to help bind further if needed. Press down into the glasses/jars for your biscuit base.

Now for the filling! Put the cream cheese and yoghurt into a bowl with the lemon zest + juice, extract and stevia and blend with an electric whisk for a few moments until it thickens. Spoon the mixture into the jars on top of the ginger biscuit base.

Pop the semi-finished jars into the fridge to set whilst you start the final layer…

In a saucepan, add the frozen berries, water, lemon juice and stevia and let thaw on a low heat for around 10 mins, gently breaking bigger pieces down with a wooden spoon. Once your beautiful berry sauce is ready, pour it into a bowl and stir in the chia seeds. The seeds will make the sauce thicken up for a more gelatinous top layer. LET THIS COOL COMPLETELY before spooning it on top of the cheesecake filling, otherwise the layers will bleed into one another instead of having defined sections.

Once the sauce has cooled and thickened, spoon onto the top of the cheesecake filling for that final touch. Store your mini cheesecakes in the fridge and take out 20 mins before serving to take the chill off slightly.

Beautiful Filo Mince Pies

These mince pies are so dreamy! They are also accidentally vegan so those of you who follow a vegan diet can hit these up also.

A lovely twist to regular short-crust pastry (which is equally as delish, don’t get me wrong) but I fancied trying something new. These are free of ‘refined sugars’ – I put it like that as it’s not a term I tend to use often, simply because sugar is sugar, our body doesn’t exactly know the difference between sugar from dates, honey or white sugar…they’re all monosaccharides and broken down similarly, although certain types can add some benefit along the way to giving us energy…(ie. fruit has numerous vitamins and minerals present and also fibre which this recipe gladly contains!)

Stevia (a plant – sweetness is extracted from the leaves) is a type of sweetener I use in some recipes; it has no reported effects on blood sugar but be mindful as it is naturally much sweeter than sugar so you need less of it in comparison.

So let’s get to it! These are simple to put together and a huge crowd pleaser as they look and taste so spectacular!

Ingredients (makes 12):

2/3rd cup currants

1/3rd cup pitted soft dates, chopped small

2 bramley apples peeled and chopped

2 small oranges (juice from both, zest from 1)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1.5 tsp ground mixed spice

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

2 tsp grated fresh ginger

1 tsp granulated stevia or 2 tsp sugar

2 tbsp flaked almonds, toasted

12 sheets of filo pastry

1 tsp coconut oil/spray or organic butter

 

Method:

Preheat oven 180 fan. In a medium saucepan, add all the mincemeat ingredients (apples first) and let simmer on a medium-low heat to ‘gloop up’ (around 15-20 mins).

Whilst the mincemeat is simmering, toast the almond flakes gently in a pan, being careful not to burn them – transfer to the simmering mincemeat once the almonds are crisp and golden.

In a 12 hole muffin tin, grease the spaces with oil spray (quickest option) or a swipe of butter then set aside.

Unroll and flatten out the 12 sheets of filo pastry on top of each other on a cutting board. Cut the sheets in half across the width and again down the centre so you have 4 quarters. Try and work fairly quickly with the pastry so it doesn’t dry out. You can always dampen a tea towel and press gently into the sheets to keep moist.

Line the bottom of each muffin tin hole with 3 sheets, 1 at a time rotating into an approx star shape, pressing into the base. Put in the oven for 5 mins to start the pastry off, allowing it to golden slightly.

After 5 mins, remove the pastry bases from the oven and spoon in the mincemeat filling, equally between each pie. Top with the 1 remaining filo sheet on each pie, scrunched slightly for a pretty effect. Pop in the oven once again with a brush of butter/oil on top. Bake for 12 minutes until gold and crisp.

Filo pastry is very delicate so be extra gentle when removing them from the muffin tin after cooked through. Enjoy with a dollop of vanilla ice cream melting deliciously into that crispy pastry with all those festive flavours, or a splodge of tangy, greek yoghurt. Heaven!