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

 

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.

Royal lattes

Gingerbread-goodness latte (serves 1)

Delicious almond milk infused with warm spices that sing gingerbread. Don’t be shy with the cinnamon, it is loaded with anti-oxidants, has an anti-inflammatory effect, can aid digestion and it is even believed to help maintain blood glucose levels.

Ingredients:

  • Single espresso
  • 1 tablespoon agave
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (almondbreeze barista blend)

Method:

  1. In a mug, combine the espresso, agave, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla. Whisk together until well-combined.
  2. Heat the milk until just steaming in a small saucepan (or in a microwave). Froth using an electric or handheld frother (optional). Pour the milk gently into the mug over the back of a tablespoon. Spoon on the frothy milk on top and serve with a sprinkling of cinnamon.

 

Sunny Turmeric latte (serves 1)

Where to begin… much like cinnamon, turmeric has anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties. The reason for its health effects is the compound known as curcumin. Almost anyone can benefit from this Indian-hailed spice, especially because it can boost the immune system and act as an anticancer agent.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cm fresh turmeric, peeled (or 3/4 teaspoon turmeric powder)
  • 1cm fresh ginger, peeled (or ½ teaspoon ground ginger)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • ¼  teaspoon ground cinnamon
  •  ½ teaspoon vanilla essence
  • Pinch of salt

Method:

  1. Combine turmeric, ginger, honey, cinnamon, vanilla essence and a pinch of sea salt in a blender.
  2. Heat coconut milk in a small saucepan over medium heat (or in microwave) until just simmering.
  3. Pour the hot milk into the blender and blitz everything until smooth and frothy.
  4. Serve with a sprinkling of cinnamon on top.

 

Watch ‘yer Matcha (serves 1)

Matcha, is a very fine green powder made from the green leaves of tea bushes. It’s the only tea where the leaves are consumed as part of the drink rather than being infused in hot water. The anti-oxidant content of matcha is higher than other teas, and it’s a particularly rich source of L-theanine, an amino acid unique to tea.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (almondbreeze barista blend), soy milk or rice milk.
  • 1 teaspoon matcha powder*
  • 1 teaspoon agave syrup

Method:

  1. Bring 3/4 cup milk to a bare simmer in a small pot over medium-high heat (or in a microwave).
  2. Place 1 teaspoon matcha powder in a mug/cup. Slowly whisk in 1/4 cup boiling water, then the milk, tipping the cup slightly to help create more foam. Sweeten with agave syrup.

*Matcha (green tea powder) is available at Wellness Warehouse.

 

Charry night latte (serves 1)

Activated charcoal has a strong affinity for absorbing impure and toxic gases in the body and drawing them out, like a magnet, and aiding your body’s natural detoxification process. Activated charcoal is not known to be toxic, but avoid taking it within two hours of vitamins or medications because it will keep the body from adsorbing them. A latte to be enjoyed if you are experiencing a nasty bout of the tummy bug but if not – tantalise your taste buds with another one of our Royal lattes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (almondbreeze barista blend)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • ¾ – 1 teaspoon activated charcoal
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence/extract
  • 1 teaspoon agave

Method:

  1. In small pot on medium heat, add all ingredients.
  2. Whisk vigorously until milk begins to froth.
  3. Add to mug and enjoy warm – remember that this latte should not be drunk within 2 hours of taking vitamins/medications.

*Activated charcoal is available at Dischem or health shops – look for Natures Choice Detoxinol.

 

Macalicious (serves 1)

Maca has recently found itself on the top of almost all superfood lists; and I’ll tell you why. Benefits of maca include: increased energy, enhanced libido, immune system support, improved memory and mental clarity, reduction of chronic fatigue and an enhanced mood. With benefits like that and the malty taste it has – there’s no reason to not add this superfood to smoothies, soups or your daily latte.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (almondbreeze barista blend)
  • 1-2 pitted dates
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons maca
  • 1 teaspoon carob powder (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method:

  1. Add the milk and dates to a saucepan and heat until steaming.
  2. Add the warm milk and remaining ingredients into a blender. Blend on high until smooth and frothy. Serve with a dusting of maca powder on top.

*Maca is available at most health shops including Wellness Warehouse – look for the Superfoods Organic Maca powder.

Dreamy peppermint and cacao latte (serves 1)

Besides the irresistible aroma of peppermint – the benefits are endless: digestion health, nausea, weight loss, stress management and even bad breath. Pair peppermint with cacao nibs which are potent anti-oxidants and you have yourself a winner.

Ingredients:

  • 1 shot espresso
  • 1 teaspoon of organic cacao powder *
  • 5-6 peppermint leaves
  • 1 teaspoon agave
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (almondbreeze barista blend)

Method:

  1. Add the milk and peppermint to a saucepan and heat until steaming.
  2. Infuse the milk with the peppermint for 5-10 minutes or until desired strength is acquired.
  3. Stir in the cacao powder and agave.
  4. Gently pour the heated milk mixture over the espresso shot.
  5. Top with a sprinkling of cacao powder and enjoy.

*Superfoods to the rescue once again – try Superfoods organic cacao powder available at Wellness Warehouse.

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)

 

Pea, Broccoli and Almond Soup

Ingredients (serves 4)

 

  • Juice 1 lemon
  • 1 head broccoli
  • ½ bag frozen peas (250g)
  • 2 sticks celery
  • Frozen spinach (100g)
  • 200ml almond milk (make sure it’s unsweetened!)
  • 450ml water
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 small piece fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp brown miso paste
  • 1 tsp tamari
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Start by peeling the ginger, then chop it finely and crush the garlic cloves. Add these to a large frying pan with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper.
  2. Let this heat up and sauté for a few minutes before adding in the tamari, finely chopped celery, frozen spinach and broccoli. Stir this around for a minute before adding the water and frozen peas to the pan. Add a generous pinch of salt and let this heat up for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Once everything has cooked pour the mixture into your blender with the lemon juice, chilli flakes, miso paste and almond milk. Blend it all together until it’s really smooth and creamy!

Inspired by Deliciously Ella 🙂

Exchanges

2 cups = veg 1, starch 1, fat 2

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

Curry Coconut Chicken

Ingredients

  • 500g free range chicken, cut into cubes
  • 1 tsp salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 – 3 large carrots
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 3-4 tomatoes, diced
  • 60ml tomato paste (sugar free)
  • Coriander
  • Brown rice or buckwheat

Method

  1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat oil and curry powder in a large pan on medium to high heat.
  3. Toss in the chopped onions, carrots and garlic, and cook 1 minute more.
  4. Add chicken. Reduce heat to medium, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes.
  5. Pour coconut milk, peas, tomatoes, tomato paste into the pan, and stir to combine. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, approximately 30 to 40 minutes.
  6. Serve with rice or buckwheat (cook according to the packet instructions) and top with coriander.

Exchanges

1/2 cup rice or buckwheat = 1 starch

1.5 cup curry = 2 veg + 2 protein + 2 fats

Tomato, Chickpea Curry

Tomato chickpea curry on a bed of roast veg topped with broccoli and pea pesto

Tomato chickpea curry
Ingredients

  • 1 onion
  • 1 tin chickpeas
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp chutney
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder

Method

  1. Chop onion and fry in a bit of water. Add spices and fry for 3-5 minutes. Add the chickpeas.
  2. Add the tomato paste and chutney and stir.

Roast veg
Ingredients

  • 1 butternut
  • 3 carrots
  • 2 beetroots
  • Dash of canola oil
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Method
Peel and chop the veg into cubes and parboil. Toss in olive oil and spices and roast at 180 degrees for about 40 mins.

Broccoli and pea pesto
Ingredients

  • 1 head broccoli
  • 500g kale
  • 1 cup peas
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan
  • 1 handful cashew nuts
  • Salt, pepper, garlic and lemon juice

Method
Chop and steam broccoli, kale and peas. Toss into a bowl with the rest of the ingredients and blend.

Sweet vegetable and lentil soup

Ingredients

  • 1 Onion
  • 3 Carrots
  • 1/4 butternut
  • 2 big handfuls of green beans
  • 1/2 cabbage
  • 3/4 cup Brown lentils, red spilt lentils and Pearl Barley
  • Fresh garlic
  • Cumin, coriander, dash curry powder, salt and pepper
  • 1-2 tbsp mild chutney

Method

  1. Simmer onion in some water and the garlic and spices, until browned
  2. Toss in the chopped carrots, butternut and green beans
  3. Simmer until veggies are soft. Keep topping up with water and adding spices to taste.
  4. Throw in the lentils and barley
  5. Throw in the cabbage
  6. Add more water and the chutney
  7. Once veggies and lentils are cooked, blend
  8. Serve with fresh coriander, sundried tomato pesto and sunflower seeds

Dahl

Ingredients

  • 250g red lentils
  • Salt
  • 1 Onion grated
  • 1.5 tsp garlic and ginger paste
  • 1 grated tomato
  • Chili 1 sliced fresh
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 3/4 tsp chili powder
  • 3/4 tsp ground fennel
  • Half tin coconut milk (optional)

Method 

  1. Rinse lentils until water runs clear
  2. Boil in enough water to cover
  3. Add salt, cook until soft, add water to prevent sticking.
  4. In a separate pot,
  5. Braise onion until golden then add garlic and ginger paste
  6. Add tomato, chili and the rest of the spics
  7. Cook for about 3 minutes
  8. Pour lentils into pot
  9. Add coconut milk