Have yourself a Merry Christmas in July

Who doesn’t love a mid-year Christmas?

If you are feeling festive this July – give these simple but oh-so-yummy recipes a try.

Salmon with Roasted Veggies (serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 2 red onions, cut into wedges
  • 2 red peppers, sliced into strips
  • 1 yellow pepper, sliced into strips
  • 1 zucchini, halved lengthways and thickly sliced
  • 1 whole garlic, halved across the middle
  • 2 medium tomatoes, halved
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
  • 270g cherry tomatoes
  • 4 x 150g salmon fillets
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • Handful of fresh basil leaves

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Place the onions, peppers, zucchini, garlic and tomatoes into a shallow roasting tray. Pour over 3 tbsp olive oil, season with sea salt and ground black pepper, then gently toss to coat.
  3. Roast the veggies for 20 minutes.
  4. Add the cherry tomatoes to the tray and lay the salmon fillets on top. Season, then drizzle with a little more oil and a generous squeeze of lemon juice.
  5. Return to the oven for 10-12 minutes until the salmon is just cooked through and the vegetables are tender. Scatter with fresh basil leaves to serve

 

Image result for salmon and roast veg

Fresh Cherry Crumble (serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups fresh pitted cherries
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp raw honey
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

For the crumble topping:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons coconut
  • 1/3 cup agave nectar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans

Method:

  1. Heat oven to 190 C. Lightly spray four ramekins with baking spray or lightly butter the bottoms and sides.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the pitted cherries, water, honey, agave, and cornstarch. Stir to blend and put the pan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Divide cherry mixture among 4 ramekins.
  4. Combine topping ingredients and, using fingers, sprinkle evenly over each filled ramekin.
  5. Put ramekins in the preheated oven with a sheet of foil or baking sheet on the rack below to catch drips. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the topping is browned and the filling is bubbly.

Image result for fresh cherry crumble recipes

 

Individual blueberry cheesecakes

(serves 8-10)

Ingredients:

For the crust:

  • 1 cup packed (200g) pitted dates
  • 1 cup (120 g) raw almonds/walnuts

For the filling:

  • 1 1/2 cups (180 g) raw cashews, soaked
  • 1 large lemon, juiced
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar or honey
  • 1/4 cup blueberries

Method:

  1. Add dates to a food processor and blend until small bits remain and it forms into a ball. Remove and set aside.
  2. Next add nuts and process into a meal. Then add dates back in and blend until a loose dough forms – it should stick together when you squeeze a bit between your fingers. If it’s too dry, add a few more dates through the spout while processing. If too wet, add more almond or walnut meal.
  3. Lightly grease a standard, 12 pan muffin tin.
  4. Next scoop in heaping 1 Tbsp amounts of crust and press with fingers. Set in freezer to firm up.
  5. Add all filling ingredients to a blender and mix until very smooth.
  6. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  7. Divide filling evenly among the muffin tins. Place a couple of blueberries in each mini cheesecake. Tap a few times to release any air bubbles, then cover with plastic wrap and freeze until hard – about 4-6 hours.
  8. Once set, remove carefully with a butter knife. They should pop right out.

Braai’d lamb skewers with a herby vegetable couscous

(serves 4)

Ingredients:

For the lamb skewers:

  • 1kg lamb leg or shoulder, cut into chunks
  • 80ml/5 tabespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 red onions, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme or some fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 10 skewers

For the herby couscous:

  • 200g asparagus, trimmed and cut into 4cm pieces
  • 1 red pepper, cut into 2cm pieces
  • 1 red onion, cut into thick slices
  • 140g mushrooms, cut into thick slices
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 2 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 240g couscous (dry weight)
  • 500ml hot vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree
  • 40g pine nuts
  • 3 handfuls of your favourite herbs (I used coriander, parsley and dill)

Method:

For the skewers:

  1. In a large bowl add the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, the herbs and spices and season with freshly ground pepper. Whisk all the ingredients to combine. Add the lamb and the chopped onions and blend to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, chill and let marinade for at least 4 hours.
  2. To assemble the lamb skewers. If using wooden skewers, soak them in water. (This will prevent them from burning.) Lift the chunks of lamb out of the marinade and thread the pieces, on the skewers.
  3. Braai the lamb skewers for about 10-15 minutes, until cooked to your liking.

For the herby couscous:

  1. Pre­heat the oven to 200C.
  2. Place the vegetables on a roasting pan, drizzle with the olive oil, add the paprika and season to taste with salt and black pepper. Stir well and pop in the oven for 30-­35 minutes until soft and caramelised.
  3. While the vegetables are roasting, put the couscous in a large bowl. Add the tomato puree to the hot stock and stir until fully dissolved. Pour the stock on the couscous, stir, cover with a plate or cling film and let it stand for at least 15 minutes, until the stock has been fully absorbed. Uncover and fluff the couscous with a fork.
  4. Toast the pine nuts by placing them in a small pan and cooking them over low heat, stirring frequently, until golden brown.
  5. Add the roasted vegetables, the pine nuts and the chopped herbs to the couscous, then drizzle with a little olive oil and mix well. Serve hot or cold, alongside the braai’d lamb skewers.

Cheese and Chive Mancakes for Dad this Father’s day

Cheese and chive mancakes (serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour (can be substituted with almond/oat flour)
  • 2 scoops protein powder (vanilla/unflavoured)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon flaxseeds
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 3 tablespoons chives, chopped
  • 1 cup mozzarella, grated

Method:

  1. Mix all dry ingredients together, then add eggs, coconut oil, and milk and blend well.
  2. Spoon batter into a hot non-stick pan.
  3. Once pancakes bubble, flip over and cook until golden brown.
  4. Serve with a sprinkling of grated mozzarella, a poached egg, delicious salmon or some tomato salsa if your dad prefers some heat.

Soup up this Winter

Temperatures are dropping, and there is something so comforting about sipping on a warm bowl of goodness. Avoid the pre-made stuff and use up all those leftover veggies in the fridge by whipping up these quick and super easy, heart-warming soups. These recipes are rich in anti-oxidants and plenty of other nutritious, delicious superfoods. The best part is, they can be made in 60 minutes or less.

 

Sweet potato, butternut and kale soup (serves 6)

Ingredients:

  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 small butternut
  • 400 ml coconut milk
  • 300ml almond milk
  • 4 handfuls of chopped kale
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 apples, chopped
  • Salt, pepper, curry (optional)
  • Roasted pine nuts for garnish
  • Small bunch coriander

Method:

  1. Start out with preparing the ingredients. Peel and dice the sweet potatoes and the butternut. Wash and chop the kale, onion, and apples.
  2. Bring the coconut  and almond milk to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the sweet potato and butternut and cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes or until the sweet potato/butternut is soft.
  3. Add the kale, onion, and apples to the saucepan. Season with salt, pepper, and optionally curry according to taste. Let simmer for another 10 minutes.
  4. In the meantime, roast the pine nuts in a frying pan.
  5. Serve the soup hot with a good amount of the roasted pine nuts and fresh coriander.

 

Ginger and turmeric carrot soup (serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 400g  carrots, chopped into rounds
  • 4 medium beets, peeled and diced into small cubes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-4cm of fresh ginger, grated
  • 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Coriander, chopped, for garnish

Method:

  1. Toss the carrots and beets with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Spread out onto a baking sheet, transfer to the oven and roast for 30-40 minutes, or until the veggies are tender when pierced with a fork.
  2. Place the remaining tablespoon of olive oil into a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  3. Add the onion to the pan and sauté for about 2-3 minutes, or until the onion begins to become soft. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté for one minute more, or until the garlic/ginger becomes fragrant.
  4. Add the roasted beets, carrots and vegetable stock to the saucepan.
  5. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until lightly thickened. Stir in the vinegar, cayenne pepper and turmeric. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Transfer the beet stock mixture to a blender or blend in the pot using a blender stick. Blend until smooth.
  7. Serve with chopped coriander to garnish.

 

Chicken zucchini noodle soup (serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • ½  cup diced red onion
  • 2 celery ribs, diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 3 teaspoons fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
  • 3 teaspoons fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried oregano)
  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cups chicken broth, low-sodium
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 medium zucchinis
  • Avocado for topping (optional)

Method:

  1. Place a large soup pot over medium heat and add in the onions, celery, carrots, garlic and red pepper flakes.
  2. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until vegetables “sweat” and onions are translucent. Add in the thyme and oregano and cook for another 1 minute, stirring frequently.
  3. Place in the chicken thighs and bay leaf and pour in the chicken broth and water.
  4. Cover and let the mixture come to a boil. Once boiling, lower to a steady simmer and cook for 30 minutes.
  5. After 30 minutes, remove the chicken and peel off the skin and discard. Then, shred the chicken off the bone and set aside, with any juices. Place the bones back into the soup pot and simmer for 10 more minutes, uncovered.
  6. While the bones simmer, slice the zucchinis halfway lengthwise. Then, spiralize/grate the zucchini. Set aside.
  7. Remove the bones and bay leaves and discard. Add the reserved shredded chicken back to the pot along with the zucchini noodles.
  8. Cook for 5 minutes or until zucchini is al dente. Season to taste.
  9. Top with sliced avocado (optional)

 

An afternoon nibble of Brie and Pomegranate Bruschetta for Mother’s Day

Serves 3-4

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoons agave
  • 1/4 cup Pomegranate Liqueur
  • 1 French baguette, sliced into 1 inch slices
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 whole brie cheese, sliced
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 2 tbs chopped flat leaf parsley

Method:

  1. Add the balsamic vinegar, agave, and Pomegranate Liqueur to a saucepan over high heat.
  2. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to a simmer and allow to cook until thick and syrupy, about 15 minutes.
  3. Preheat the griller on your oven. Add the bread slices to a baking sheet, brush the top side with olive oil. Grill until golden brown, about 3 minutes.
  4. Flip the slices over, place sliced brie on the non-toasted side. Return slices to the griller until cheese has melted, 1-2 minutes. Plate bruschetta, drizzle with homemade balsamic glaze and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and parsley.

A Mother’s Day lazy lunch – Chicken and Blood Orange Tabbouleh Salad

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 large Chicken breast fillet
  • 3 Blood oranges
  • 1 pinch Chilli flakes
  • 1 small bunch coriander
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1 small bunch parsley
  • 4 Spring onions
  • 200g Bulgur wheat
  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon, ground
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 400ml Water

Method:

  1. Start by cooking the bulgur wheat. Pour 1 tablespoon of oil into a small saucepan along with the cinnamon and heat gently until starting to sizzle. Add the bulgur wheat and stir.
  2. Continue to cook over medium heat for a couple of minutes until the bulgur wheat smells toasted and fragrant. Add the water and a pinch of salt and bring to the boil.
  3. Cover with foil or a tight-fitting lid and turn the heat down as low as it will go. Cook for 10 minutes and turn off the heat. Leave to steam for 5 minutes before fluffing up the grains with a fork. Set aside to cool.
  4. Cut the chicken into very small bite-sized pieces. Place in a small bowl along with the zest of 1 blood orange and the garlic powder, chilli flakes and a good pinch of salt. Mix together well.
  5. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a frying pan and add the chicken pieces. Fry the chicken pieces over medium heat until cooked through.
  6. In a large bowl mix together the cooled bulgur wheat, the blood orange chunks and the juice of 1 blood orange, the herbs and the spring onions. Taste and season if needed and add a drizzle of oil if liked. Serve with the chicken on top or mixed throughout if preferred.

Mother’s Day breakie – Healthy Banana Pancakes

Healthy pancakes with mum’s choice of toppings (serves 2)

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 3 eggs
  • 2/3 cup rolled oats
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon

Method:

  1. Mash the bananas in a mixing bowl.
  2. Add the eggs, oats and cinnamon to the bananas, and mix.
  3. Heat a non-stick frying pan to medium heat, spray a small amount of non-stick spray into the pan.
  4. Pour a small amount of the mixture into the frying pan and wait till the pancake is easily flippable.
  5. Repeat step 4 with the remaining mixture.
  6. Stack the pancakes on a plate topping with either nut butter, fresh fruit, yoghurt, nuts, honey or chia seeds.

Spice things up with a Deconstructed Vegetarian Mexican Bowl

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked brown rice or quinoa
  • 2 cups cooked black beans
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 cup fresh corn
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 large avocado, cubed
  • 1 tbsp jalapeno, diced
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh coriander, minced
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 2 cups cabbage (purple and white)
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1-2 tsp agave nectar

Method:

  1. Begin by making the rice/quinoa according to package’s directions.
  2. To make the Avocado Corn Salsa: Combine avocado, corn, jalapenos, cherry tomatoes, red onion, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/4 cup minced coriander and the juice from 1 lime in a medium size bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. To make the Mexican Coleslaw: Shred the cabbage, carrots, and bell pepper. Transfer to a medium bowl and add 1/4 cup minced coriander, juice from 1 lime and the agave nectar. Mix together to combine, then refrigerate until ready to use.
  4. To make the Black Beans: Coat the beans in a 1/2 tsp cumin and place in a pot over medium heat. Cook until heated all the way through, stirring as necessary. Season to taste.

Assemble the bowls by placing the brown rice/quinoa on the bottom. Top with avocado corn salsa, coleslaw and beans.

Serves 3-4

Hello Easter 2017

Have yourself a guilt-free Easter by trying these sneaky (and smart) eating tips:

  • Start your day off healthy: Go for your walk (or find your inner child and partake in the Easter egg hunt) and drink your green smoothie. Nothing sets you off more positively for the day.
  • Be drink-wise: Remember that alcohol is an empty calorie so try limit yourself to 1-2 units (for females) and 2-3 units (for males). Drink plenty of water throughout the day too.
  • Get in those veggies: Aim to fill up at least half your plate with salad and vegetables, that way there isn’t much space for the potato bake and pumpkin fritters.
  • Choose your indulgence: Avoid going overboard and stick to one treat. It’s either a second helping of roast, pudding after lunch or hot cross buns and a sneaky Easter egg, but not everything.
  • Start off the new week fresh: Easter break and school holidays are over, get back into routine with regular, healthy meals, lots of water and exercise. Try our Dietitians Guide to Clean Eating to kickstart your healthy eating regime. E-book now on sale for R199.00