World Egg Day calls for celebratory Shakshuka

Yes it’s Friday the 13th but this recipe is foolproof! No broken egg yolks here (we hope!). It makes me so happy that we have a whole day dedicated to the humble egg – so versatile, affordable and nutritious. Eggs often get a bad rep for being too high in fat or cholesterol and yes, the egg yolk does contain cholesterol but recent research shows that having 1-2 eggs/day is healthy and in fact, we should be aiming to get in atleast 1 egg/day. Treat yourself to this vibrant and fresh Shakshuka that shows off the egg in all it’s glory!

Foolproof Shakshuka (serves 3-4)

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 green peppers, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 6 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup tinned tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • Salt and pepper

Method:

  1. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large cast iron skillet. Add the onions, green peppers, garlic, spices, pinch salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables have softened, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the tomatoes, tinned tomatoes, tomato puree, and honey. Simmer until the tomato mixture begins to reduce, about 10-12 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking.
  3. Using a wooden spoon, make 6 “wells,” in the tomato mixture (make sure the indentations are spaced out). Gently crack an egg into each well.
  4. Reduce the heat, cover the skillet, and cook on low until the egg whites are set.
  5. Uncover and add the fresh parsley and mint. You can add more black pepper or crushed red pepper, if you like.

The dirty deets on the glorious egg – here we are:

Nutritional composition per egg (roughly 50g):

  • Energy (kJ): 308
  • Protein (g): 6.29
  • Carbohydrates (g): 0.39
  • Fat (g): 4.97
  • of which Saturated fat (g): 1.5
  • Cholesterol (mg): 212
  • Sodium (mg): 70

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.

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

Chocolate Avocado Pudding Pops

Ingredients (8 small pops)

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 6 tbsp almond or coconut milk (unsweetened)
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • Pinch salt
  • 60g unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil

 

Method

  1. Add avocado to a food processor (or a good blender) and puree on low until smooth, 3 to 4 minutes, scraping down sides with a rubber spatula as needed.
  2. Add in almond milk, honey, cocoa powder, vanilla and salt. Continue to process on low until well combined, scraping down sides as needed.
  3. In a microwave safe bowl, melt chocolate with coconut oil in 30 second increments on high, stirring until smooth.
  4. With processor running on low, pour chocolate mixture through pour spout and continue to process until well combined, scraping down sides as needed.
  5. Spoon half of the mixture into ice-cream molds and tap molds several times on counter to release air bubbles. Spoon remaining mixture into molds and tap again.
  6. Press wooden sticks about 2/3 into molds and freeze for at least 3 hours.
  7. To release the pops, run molds under hot water for about 30 seconds, then twist gently to release.

Quinoa with blueberries, strawberries, mango salad and a honey lime dressing.

This easy and healthy Quinoa Fruit Salad goes well with any summer meal.

 

Ingredients ( 6 servings as a side dish)

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • Pinch of salt
  • For the Honey Lime dressing (optional)
  • Juice of 1 large lime
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint

For the fruit:

  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped mango
  • Extra chopped mint, for garnish-optional

 

Method

  1. Using a strainer, rinse the quinoa under cold water. Add quinoa, water, and salt to a medium pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 5 minutes. Turn the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Let quinoa cool to room temperature.
  1. To make the Honey Lime Dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk the lime juice, honey, and mint together until combined.
  1. In a large bowl, combine quinoa, blueberries, strawberries, and mango. Pour honey lime dressing over the fruit salad and mix until well combined. Garnish with additional mint, if desired. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

 

Note: use your favourite fruit in this salad. Blackberries, peaches, kiwi, raspberries, pineapple, grapes, etc. are great options!

 

Crispy Roasted Chickpeas

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 to 4 tsps. spices or finely chopped fresh herbs, like chili powder, curry powder, garam masala, cumin, smoked paprika, rosemary, thyme, or other favourite spices and herbs

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 180’C: Place an oven rack in the middle of the oven.
  2. Rinse and drain the chickpeas: Open two cans of chickpeas and pour the chickpeas into a strainer in the sink. Rinse thoroughly under running water.
  3. Dry the chickpeas: Pat the chickpeas very dry with a clean dishtowel or paper towels. They should look matte and feel dry to the touch; if you have time, leave them to air-dry for a few minutes. Remove any chickpea skins that come off while drying, but otherwise don’t worry about them.
  4. Toss the chickpeas with olive oil and salt: Spread the chickpeas out in an even layer on the baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Stir with your hands or a spatula to make sure the chickpeas are evenly coated.
  5. Roast the chickpeas in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes: Stir the chickpeas or shake the pan every 10 minutes. A few chickpeas may pop – that’s normal. The chickpeas are done when golden and slightly darkened, dry and crispy on the outside, and soft in the middle.
  6. Toss the chickpeas with the spices: Sprinkle the spices over the chickpeas and stir to coat evenly. Serve while the chickpeas are still warm and crispy. They will gradually lose their crispiness as they cool, becoming addictively chewy.

Beetroot and Chickpea Salad

Whether you roast/boil it whole, blend into a classic soup or drink as juice, beetroot is low in fat, full of vitamins and minerals and packed with powerful antioxidants.

Ingredients

  • 400g cooked beets, quartered
  • 400g cooked chickpeas
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 100 gram (large handful) spinach leaves, washed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ tsp mustard powder
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed.
  • 90g low-fat feta, crumbled
  • 2 tbsp walnuts
  • pinch of black pepper

Method

  1. Place beets, chickpeas onion and spinach leaves in a large bowl.
  2. In a small screw-top jar, add olive oil, vinegar, mustard and garlic and shake to combine to make dressing.
  3. Drizzle dressing over salad vegetables and toss to combine.
  4. Sprinkle with feta and walnuts and, season with black pepper and serve immediately.

Almond Chicken Soup with Sweet Potato and Ginger

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced (2 cups)
  • 230g skinless chicken breast, cut into 2cm pieces
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (make sure it’s unsweetened!) – Optional
  • 1 cup spinach leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges

 

Method

  1. Combine the stock, onion, garlic, and sweet potato in a stockpot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and add the chicken, then cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the almond milk and 1/2 cup of the soup mix. Add the spinach leaves and ginger to the soup and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes. Stir in the almond mixture. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Ladle the soup into bowls, and squeeze with lime wedge.

 

Exchanges

2 cups = veg 1, protein 1, starch 0.5, fat 2

Oat, date and chia smoothie

“Breakfast in a glass” smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp raw oats
  • 2 dates
  • 1/2 banana
  • 100ml – 200 ml rice milk (or low fat cow’s milk)
  • a couple blocks of ice
  • Cinnamon
  • Whey (optional)
  •  1 tsp Chia (for the topping)
  • Cinnamon

Method:

Blend everything together. Top with chia and cinnamon for a little omega 3 boost. Enjoy!

Exchanges:

1 serving = 1 starch, 1.5 fruits, 1/2 milk