Healthy Apple and Rhubarb Crumble – Gluten, Dairy and Sugar Free

Healthy Apple and Rhubarb Crumble – Gluten, Dairy and Sugar Free

I used to love making an apple and rhubarb crumble which was so full of sugar even though it didn’t really didn’t need the extra sweetness!!  So I created this guilt-free version which I’m sure you will all love.  It’s healthy enough to eat the leftovers for breakfast!

(I’ve also included my Thermomix friendly version here.)

Healthy Apple and Rhubarb Crumble

What you will need:

For the filling:

1 green apple – peeled and diced

1 bunch rhubarb – trimmed and cut into 2 cm pieces

1/2 cup pitted dates chopped

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Topping:

1 cup quinoa flakes

1/2 cup brown rice flour

1/2 teaspoon aluminium free baking powder

1/2 cup coconut sugar

1/2 cup slivered or flaked almonds

1/2 cup shredded coconut

3 tablespoons coconut oil

How to pull it all together:

In a large saucepan heat the coconut oil.  Add the apple, rhubarb, dates, cinnamon and vanilla and cook for about 5 minutes until well combined.  Set aside.

To make the topping, combine all the ingredients into a bowl and mix together (working the coconut oil into the dry ingredients) with your fingers until the mixture has the consistency of crumbs.  Pour over the fruit mixture.

When ready to serve, bake in a moderate oven for about 30 minutes or until deliciously browned and bubbling.

Serve with thick cream or coconut yoghurt.

The Shrinking Hubby's healthy crumble with coconut yoghurt

The Shrinking Hubby’s healthy crumble with coconut yoghurt

Thermomix version:

For the filling:

Put the dates, roughly chopped rhubarb, peeled and roughly chopped green apple into the mixing bowl.  Put the dial to lid closed position and chop turbo 3 or 4 times.

Add the cinnamon, vanilla and 2 tablespoons coconut oil (about 50/60g) and cook REVERSE speed 1 at 90 degrees for 5 minutes.

Pour into baking dish.

For the topping:

Add 1/2 cup (65g) brown rice flour, 1/2 teaspoon aluminium free baking powder, 1 up (50g ) quinoa flakes, 1/2 cup (50g) almonds,  1/2 cup shredded coconut, 1/2 cup (70g) coconut sugar and 3 tablespoons coconut oil (about 75/80 g).  Mix closed lid position turbo a few times – until desired crumb-like consistency is achieved.

Pour topping over filling and bake in a moderate oven for about 30 minutes until brown and bubbling.

Options:

  • You can use butter  (organic grass fed if possible) instead of coconut oil (50 grams for the filling and 100 grams for the topping)
  • You can use rolled oats instead of quinoa flakes (1/2 cup)

Enjoy XX

There wasn't much to have for breakfast the next day!!!

There wasn’t much to have for breakfast the next day!!!

Jazzing Up Your Veggies – Part 1

Jazzing Up Your Veggies – Part 1

Over summer I posted an article about how to get creative with your salads.  If you want to have a look you can check it out here. I thought now, since  the weather has been a bit colder and we have been enjoying our winter veggies, that  I would share a few ways that we have been cooking them.

1.  Turmeric Cauliflower

Oh my!  I made this as an alternative to potatoes.  It was so simple, yet really tasty.  This went brilliantly with a beef curry I made, but you could just as easily serve it with anything.  It would really jazz up a roast chicken!

I chopped half a head of cauliflower into florets and boiled it in some salted water to which I added 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder.  I boiled for 5 minutes.  Then I drained the cauliflower and tossed in a little olive oil (although coconut oil would also work really well here) and baked in a moderate oven for about 30 minutes or until nicely roasted.

turmericcauliflower2.  Cinnamon Baked Sweet Potato

Sweet potato, sea salt and cinnamon is a match made in heaven!  Chop up a sweet potato, lightly coat in olive oil (or coconut oil) and sprinkle with some cinnamon and sea salt.  Soooo yummy!

cinnamonsweetpot3.  Eggplant and Tomato Bake

I posted my recipe for Eggplant and Tomato Bake here.  It is so versatile – goes brilliantly with chicken, fish, my healthy schnitzel (recipe here), steak – or even by itself as an entree.  For Thermomix owners – I have adapted the sauce recipe so that it is Thermomix friendly.

bubabefore

4.  Pumpkin/Cauliflower mash

This is what I use to top my shepherds pie (recipe here).  It is so simple and delicious.  Much more flavour than mashed potato and much better for you.   I have also included a Thermomix version of this recipe here too.

What you will need:

  • 1/2 head of cauliflower (chopped/broken into florets)
  • 1 cup diced butternut pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoon organic grass fed butter or Ghee (optional)

How to pull it together:

Steam or boil the cauliflower and pumpkin until soft.  Drain if necessary.  Add 1 tablespoon of butter and blitz in a food processor or with a hand held blender until smooth. You may need to add a bit of liquid to improve consistency (water, stock, milk – whatever you would prefer)

Thermomix version of crust:

If making in a Thermomix cook the cauliflower and pumpkin and about 1/2 cup of water and a tablespoon of Thermomix vegetable stock for 20 minutes speed 1 at 100 degrees.  Make sure it is cooked through.  Add the butter or ghee.  Attach the butterfly attachment and blitz for 20-30 seconds speed 3-4.

5.  Spiced Roast Veggies

Although these make a perfect side dish, this is my current favourite ‘light’ dinner. If I feel that we have over-indulged I’ll make this for hubby and I to have for dinner.  I always wake up feeling cleaner and lighter.

Chop up a variety of your favourite veggies – I like to use whole button mushrooms, diced eggplant, cauliflower florets, zucchini (courgettes) and pumpkin.  A couple of chopped tomatoes would be nice too.  I toss the veggies in some olive oil with about a teaspoon each of cinnamon, ground corriander, turmeric, sea salt, chilli flakes and cumin – but feel free to play around with the quantities of the spices.  It’s a great blend!

If you like you could add a dollop of pesto (my recipe for basil pesto is here) or even some hummus or a little creme fraiche (a little bit goes a long way).

I hope you enjoy some of these ideas, my repertoire is constantly expanding so watch out for the sequel to this post 🙂

My Greek-Inspired Shepherd’s Pie With A Cauliflower and Pumpkin Crust

My Greek-Inspired Shepherd’s Pie With A Cauliflower and Pumpkin Crust

What can I say – this was absolutely delicious!  It is The Shrinking Hubby’s new favourite meal and is a great one to make double and freeze half, or take to work for lunches the next day.  The flavours work really well here and make a refreshing change to the traditional shepherd’s pie.  The cauliflower and pumpkin crust is really yummy but you could definitely add your own touch with what you use here (think zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli etc).  Who said you needed a potato crust on a pie?  You wouldn’t even know!!

Greek-Inspired Shepherd’s Pie

With A Cauliflower and Pumpkin Crust

What you need:

For the Base:

  • 1 kilo lamb mince
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped (I used 2 tsp organic minced garlic)
  • 2 onions diced
  • 1 700 ml bottle passata (tomato puree)
  • 1 tablespoon homemade vegetable stock paste (I made mine in the Thermomix) (or you could use a good quality bouillion powder like Marigold, or  1/2 cup chicken or beef stock – but you may wish to use 1/2 cup less of the passata mixture if you don’t like your sauce too liquidy)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tablespoons choped flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 carrots peeled and finely diced
  • 2 zucchinis finely diced
  • sea salt and cracked pepper

For the Crust

  • 1/2 head of cauliflower (chopped/broken into florets)
  • 1 cup diced butternut pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoon organic grass fed butter or Ghee (optional)
  • a small handful of cheese (tasty, feta, parmesan) – optional

How to pull it together:

For the base

In a large pot heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Add the onions, garlic and a sprinkle of sea salt (to stop the onions burning) and cook on a low heat for about 5 minutes or until soft.  Add the carrots and zucchini and cook for a further 3 minutes stirring frequently so that the onions don’t burn.  Add the lamb mince and cook until browned.  (about 5 minutes).  Add the tomatoes, stock, cinnamon, mint, parsely, salt and pepper and cook for 15-20 minutes or until reduced and thickened.  Taste for seasoning and set aside.

Moussaka bubbling away on the stove

Moussaka bubbling away on the stove

For the crust

Steam or boil the cauliflower and pumpkin until soft.  Drain if necessary.  Add 1 tablespoon of butter and blitz in a food processor or with a hand held blender until smooth. You may need to add a bit of liquid to improve consistency (water, stock, milk – whatever you would prefer)

Thermomix version of crust

If making in a Thermomix cook the cauliflower and pumpkin for 20 minutes speed 1 at 100 degrees.  Make sure it is cooked through.  Add the butter or ghee.  Attach the butterfly attachment and blitz for 20-30 seconds speed 3-4.

To assemble, place the meat evenly along a deep baking tray.  Top with the mash and sprinkle with a tiny bit of grated tasty cheese, parmesan or feta (optional).  Bake in the oven for 30 – 40 minutes until the crust is brown and bubbly.  Enjoy!

Eggplant and Tomato Bake AKA as ‘Buba’s Eggplant’

Eggplant and Tomato Bake AKA as ‘Buba’s Eggplant’

I honestly have to say (and this is not an easy call for me to make), that of all the cookbooks and recipe e-books that I own, The Monday Morning Cooking Club is my all time favourite.  Not all the recipes are clean, but there are some great healthy meals in there.  It is a compilation of recipes contributed by eager cooks from all over – each recipe has its own story/history.  I love the fact that every recipe was hand picked from hundreds and has been quality tested time and time again by a dedicated and talented group of women devoted to the preparation and offering of delicious food.  You know that if it’s made it into the book it’s going to be good.

When I bought this cookbook, the first recipe I made was Buba’s Eggplant.  A simple yet amazingly tasty dish of baked eggplant with a rich tomato sauce.  This dish has become one of our favourites, always wins compliments and is clean and healthy.  A  great option for midweek dinner, or even a dinner party.  And freezes beautifully too.  The Shrinking Hubby loves this dish!

I have recently (with much excitement) purchased a Thermomix.  I am hesitant to post about this on here because my blog is a place to share clean and nutritional recipes and motivation for a healthier lifestyle, not promote/become about an appliance.  I have decided though (where relevant) that in future, if I have managed to alter recipes to suit the Thermomix I will just add the thermomix version as an option in addition to instructions for cooking without it.  That way everyone is happy (and nobody misses out).

This eggplant dish is wonderful with salmon or grilled barramundi, perfect with schnitzel (check out my recipe for almond crusted schnitzel here – soooo good!), roast chicken, or even by itself – makes a great dinner party starter.

Here is the recipe from The Monday Morning Cooking Club.  I have tweaked it a little.  I’ve reduced the garlic, I don’t fry the eggplant in a cup of oil, and I’ve added some chilli.  But if you are feeding kids, or aren’t partial to a bit of heat then leave the chilli out.

Buba’s Eggplant (from the Monday Morning Cooking Club)

What you will need:

2 large eggplants

Olive oil

A bunch of fresh basil

Buffalo Mozzarella or parmesan cheese (optional)

Tomato Sauce

1/4 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes or 1 fresh red chilli finely diced

1 small onion finely diced

4 cloves garlic crushed

1 tablespoon tomato paste

2 X 400g tins tomato paste

How to pull it together:

Slice the eggplant into rounds.  Lay the slices on baking paper and salt with celtic sea salt.  Let sit for 10 minutes until it is weeping, then wipe off moisture with a paper towel.

 

Lay the wiped eggplant on a lined baking tray, use a pastry brush to coat with olive oil (or you can dry bake without oil if you would prefer – it doesn’t really matter) and bake for 30 minutes.

salting-eggplant

For the sauce:

Heat the olive oil in a large pan/pot.  Add the onion and garlic and chilli and cook for 5 minutes until soft and translucent.  Add the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes.  Add the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper and let simmer for 30 minutes (a rich sauce will form).  Check the seasoning for taste and set aside.

When the eggplant is ready, assemble the dish by layering as follows.  Spoon 1/3 of tomato sauce into baking dish, add a single layer of eggplant, and repeat until all ingredients used.  Make sure you finish with a scant layer of tomato sauce.

(If using) scatter some torn basil leaves and/or torn buffalo mozzarella or a sprinkling of parmesan.

buba-uncooked

Bake for 45 minutes or until a crust as formed.

Thermomix version:

Slice the eggplant into rounds.  Lay the slices on baking paper and salt with celtic sea salt.  Let sit for 10 minutes until it is weeping, then wipe off moisture with a paper towel.

Lay the wiped eggplant on a lined baking tray, use a pastry brush to coat with olive oil, and bake for 30 minutes.

For the sauce:

1.  Put 2 dried chillies, 1 onion and 4 cloves garlic into the thermomix.  Blend 5 seconds, Speed 7.

2.  Add 60 ml olive oil and saute 100 degrees, 4 minutes, speed 1.

3.  Add 1 tablespoon tomato paste (30 grams).  Cook 90 degrees, 2 minutes, speed 1.

4.  Add 2 tins organic tomatoes (400 grams each).  Cook 100 degrees, 30 minutes, speed 1.

When the eggplant is ready, assemble the dish by layering as follows.  Spoon 1/3 of tomato sauce into baking dish, add a single layer of eggplant, and repeat until all ingredients used.  Make sure you finish with a scant layer of tomato sauce.

(If using) scatter some torn basil leaves and/or torn buffalo mozzarella or a sprinkling of parmesan.

Bake for 45 minutes or until a crust as formed.

Everything Tastes Better With A Dollop Of Pesto!

Everything Tastes Better With A Dollop Of Pesto!

I LOVE the smell of fresh basil – it sends my taste buds and endorphins crazy!  I also love whipping up a batch of homemade pesto – not only because it is super quick and easy, but it tastes delicious and adds zest and oomph to anything, it is super healthy, and when you make your own you can make sure you know what goes into it.  (Most commercial pestos use harmful vegetable oils rather than olive oil.)  So now I make my own!

Pesto is great as a dip with carrot sticks, spread over some salmon fillets (check out this yummy recipe here), in a mountain bread toasted wrap with some poached chicken or smoked salmon, tossed through zucchini pasta as a meal or salad (see how to make zuccini pasta here), mixed with some olive oil and vinegar for a zesty salad dressing, tossed through roast veggies or added to some scrambled eggs for a twist – there is just so much you can do!

Here is my simple recipe.  Feel free to play around with the quantities (the quantities here are really only a guide – the amount of basil for example might vary according to the size of the bunch etc (I tend to use as much as I have)…  You might also wish to experiment with the ingredients.  I love a lemony zesty flavour but the lemon isn’t a necessity here.  Also you might want to add some chilli (flakes or fresh) or play with the greens (think coriander, parsley, etc) or the nuts (think cashews, walnuts, pistacchios, macadamias) or even the cheese (think fetta, goats cheese, gruyere – oh yum!).

PS – I have added a Thermomix version below for those wanting to use their Thermomix or Bellini …

Basil Pesto

What you will need:

1/4 cup pine nuts dry roasted (you can do this in the oven on some baking paper or in a non-oiled pan on the stove – keep an eye on them – they can burn quickly!)

1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves

2 small garlic cloves (or 2 teaspoons good quality organic minced garlic)

3/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

1/4 cup olive oil

juice of 1/2 a lemon

sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste

How to pull it together:

Place the pine nuts, basil, lemon juice, garlic, parmesan, salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely chopped.  Gradually add the olive oil while the motor is running in a thin stream until well combined.

pestoprocessor

If using a Thermomix:

Put an approximately  65 gram (2 ounce) chunk of Parmesan into the mixing bowl and blitz, speed 10 for about 8 seconds or until evenly grated.

Add the basil, pine nuts, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper and mix speed 6 for about 3 seconds or until it reaches your preferred consistency.

You will end up with a deliciously chunky pesto.

thermomixpesto-300x300

Notes and tips:

You can freeze the pesto for up to 4 months in an airtight container.  (You could also freeze in a seal-able ice cube tray for easy portion sizing.)

Drizzle with a little olive oil to cover.  To thaw, place in the fridge for 3-4 hours, stir to combine and serve.

Enjoy (and if you haven’t already don’t forget to head over to my facebook page and LIKE it!  You can also follow me on instagram @theshrinkinghubby xx

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