Gluten-Free Tomato, Basil and Zucchini Savoury Loaf or Muffins

Gluten-Free Tomato, Basil and Zucchini Savoury Loaf or Muffins

 

Ok – sometimes I have a brain surge in the kitchen and come up with an absolutely stunning recipe … luckily for all of you, this is one of those times!   I first made this into a loaf to be sliced and toasted with a slather of delicious organic butter.  It lasted about 5 seconds.  Then I experimented by pouring it into individual muffin tins to make savoury brecky muffins to keep in the freezer for those crazy mornings where you are starving but have to eat on the run – another success!  So I will share the batter recipe with you all here now and you can decide if you prefer toasted slices or warmed muffins – either way I’m sure you will enjoy!

Note:

  • This recipe makes a loaf of around 10 slices or 8 large muffins if using a large muffin tin (it should make about 12 standard muffins).
  • I have included instructions for Thermomix or non-Thermomix cooks

Tomato, Basil and Zucchini Savoury Loaf or Muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup basil leaves
  • 1 zucchini (courgette) topped and tailed
  • 2 cups almond meal
  • 1 cup arrowroot (tapioca) flour
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 4 organic eggs
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup macadamia oil
  • 2 tablespoons slivered almonds (optional)

Topping:

  • 1 tomato – sliced
  • A handful of shredded basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons slivered almonds

Thermomix Method:

Put the tomatoes, basil and zucchini in the mixing bowl and mix speed 5 for 5 seconds.

Add the remaining ingredients and mix reverse, speed 5, 10 seconds.

If using the slivered almonds add them and mix reverse speed 2 for 5 seconds.

Pour into either a greased and lined loaf tin, or a well greased muffin tin (make sure it’s well greased or you may wish to use cupcake papers) and top with tomato, basil and almonds.  Cook 180 degrees Celcius (350 degrees Fahrenheit) for 45 minutes (loaf) or 25 minutes (muffins) or until golden brown on top.

Serve warm (or toasted) with a slather of grass-fed, organic butter or mashed avocado and sea salt.

Regular Method:

Grate the zucchini, dice the tomato and chop the basil.  Set aside.

Mix the dry ingredients together (including slivered almonds if using).  Set aside.

Mix the wet ingredients together.  Set aside.

Combine the vegetables with the dry ingredients, add the wet ingredients and mix well.

Pour into either a greased and lined loaf tin, or a well greased muffin tin (make sure it’s well greased or you may wish to use cupcake papers) and top with tomato, basil and almonds.  Cook 180 degrees Celcius (350 degrees Fahrenheit) for 45 minutes (loaf) or 25 minutes (muffins) or until golden brown on top.

Serve warm (or toasted) with a slather of grass-fed, organic butter or mashed avocado and sea salt.

Yum – enjoy!

 

 

The Shrinking Hubby’s Miracle Chocolate Brownies

The Shrinking Hubby’s Miracle Chocolate Brownies

Wow!  I thought that these might be popular – I mean chocolate is always bound to sell itself right?!  But I was blown away by the response I got from the photo of these brownies I posted on Facebook last night.  So as promised, here is the recipe!  I hope you and your kids enjoy these delicious and healthy treats!  (as always I have included Thermomix and regular methods below)

The reason why these are such a winner is because they are not only gluten and grain free, dairy free and refined sugar free, but they are also nut free which is great for school lunchboxes.  I have included a recipe for a dairy free chocolate ganache which makes these a decadent treat, but they would be just as nice without the ganache and much less messy for lunchboxes.  However my kids (and husband) did love the icing!

The kale is an added bonus, but it is not essential so if you really detest kale, just leave it out.

The Shrinking Hubby’s Miracle Chocolate Brownies

What you will need:

  • 500g (about 1 pound) sweet potato (peeled and finely diced)
  • 1 cup (40 grams) kale (shredded – stalk removed)
  • 200 grams pitted medjool dates (about 14 dates)
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/4 cup cacao
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 2 large organic free-range eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon gluten free (aluminium free) baking powder

Thermomix method:

Place the sweet potato and kale into the mixing bowl with 100 grams water and cook 100 degrees/10 minutes/speed 2/REVERSE.

When cooked, blitz 20 seconds, speed 8.  Scrape down and blitz 10 seconds speed 8.  You may wish to repeat to get the texture you like with the kale.

Add 200 grams pitted medjool dates (about 14 dates) and mix 10 seconds, speed 9.

Add the remaining ingredients and mix 7 seconds, speed 7.  Scrape down and repeat another 2 times until well combined.

Pour into a greased and lined square baking tray and bake for 18- 20 minutes, 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit) until cooked through.

If you wish to ice the cake with my chocolate ganache (recipe below), leave in tin to cool slightly, then pour the ganache over the brownie making sure it is evenly covered.  Put in fridge until icing is set, then cut into squares and serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge (they won’t last long I promise!)

Regular method:

Steam the sweet potato and kale.  When soft blitz in a food processor with the dates until well combined and the kale is a texture you are happy with.

Add the remaining ingredients and combine well.

Pour into a greased and lined square baking tray and bake for about 18- 20 minutes, 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit) until cooked through.

If you wish to ice the cake with my chocolate ganache (recipe below), leave in tin to cool slightly, then pour the ganache over the brownie making sure it is evenly covered.  Put in fridge until icing is set, then cut into squares and serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge (they won’t last long I promise!)

Chocolate Ganache

  • What you will need:
  • 100 grams good quality dark chocolate (I used 70 percent).  If you want to keep this refined sugar free you can use a dark chocolate that is sweetened with stevia
  • 100 grams coconut cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup (optional if you want a sweeter ganache – I didn’t use)
  • 25 grams butter or coconut oil

Thermomix method:

Place chocolate into mixing bowl and blitz 8 seconds speed 9.

Add the remaining ingredients and cook 3 minutes, 50 degrees, speed 3.

Regular method:

Combine all ingredients into a small saucepan and stir until melted over a very low heat.

I hope you enjoy them!  And be sure to let me know how you go in the comments 🙂

The Shrinking Hubby’s Egg and Veggie Scramble

The Shrinking Hubby’s Egg and Veggie Scramble

This is a fantastic way to start the day – especially after a good workout! It is tasty, filling and as always very nutritious!

It might look like a bit of work in the kitchen but it seriously only takes a few minutes to throw together.  If you are time poor it’s a good idea to chop up a couple of leeks and some veggies at the beginning of the week and just grab handfuls when you are ready to make it (rather than chopping it all every morning).

I don’t have it with bread and I don’t feel like I am depriving myself.  Apart from adding heaps of flavour, the coconut oil and butter make it really satisfying, and you’ll find you won’t be hungry again for ages. Enjoy XX

The Shrinking Hubby’s Egg and Veggie Scramble

(Serves 1)

What you will need:

  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil or good quality grass –fed butter
  • 2 free range eggs (organic if possible), whisked quickly in a separate bowl
  • About 1 inch of leek
  • Mix of chopped veggies – e.g. zucchini, tomato, broccoli, beans, spinach, asparagus
  • Sea salt/freshly cracked pepper

How to pull it together:

Heat the butter and/or coconut oil in a pan.

Add the leeks and cook until browned.

Throw the rest of the veggies into the pan and stir through until well coated.

Add the whisked eggs and stir through until scrambled.

Serve and eat immediately.

Note:  If I have any leftover meat from the night before (e.g. steak, lamb or chicken) I add this with the veggies.  For a kick you can add some fresh chopped chilli with the leek or a good quality chilli paste stirred through at the end.

Enjoy XX

The Shrinking Hubby’s Chewy Salted Caramel Cookies

The Shrinking Hubby’s Chewy Salted Caramel Cookies

These are a really yummy and healthy treat.  I confess to having a bit of a thing for salted caramel, and these bring those flavours out beautifully.  With only a handful of ingredients, and a few seconds to blend together they are quick and easy to pull together and a great one for the kids to make.  My daughter is excellent at pitting the dates for me and these are her favourite cookies!  Enjoy XX

Chewy Salted Caramel Cookies

Makes approximately 16 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups raw macadamia nuts
  • 1 1/2 cups pitted medjool dates
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Method:

Place all ingredients into a food processor and blitz until well combined.

If using a Thermomix (or similar), place all ingredients into the mixing bowl and mix 20 seconds, speed 9.

Roll the mixture into balls about 1 tablespoon each.  Flatten with your palm and bake in a moderate oven (180 degrees Celcius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit) for 12-15 minutes or until cooked to your liking.

Careful as they will burn easily so keep an eye on them and keep in mind that they will continue to cook for a minute or so after you have taken them out of the oven.

Allow to cool and enjoy.

 

 

 

Jazzing Up Your Veggies (Part 2)

Jazzing Up Your Veggies (Part 2)

It’s been a while since I wrote my article ‘Jazzing Up Your Veggies’ which has some great tips for getting creative with ordinary vegetables to make them more appealing and delicious.  You can check it out here  – seriously that sea salt and cinnamon roasted sweet potato is just so yummy!

I often post photos of my food on my facebook page or my Instagram feed  and you guys are always eager to know how I prepare my veggies so I thought I’d share a few more of our family’s favourites here:

1.  The Super Greens Stir-fry

This is my current favourite accompaniment – delicious with barbequed salmon, grass-fed scotch fillet, chicken thighs, lamb cutlets or even aside a succulent roast chook.  The coconut oil and/or butter or ghee make it really tasty (and filling).  The trick is to get the leeks nice and brown before adding the rest of the greens.

All you need to do is heat up a good dollop of coconut oil and/or ghee or grass-fed butter in a large pan.  Add a handful of chopped leek (I usually use about 5cms (or 2 inches)) and cook until nicely browned.  When it’s ready add some chopped asparagus, broccoli, zucchini and beans (or whatever veggies you like) and stir until well coated and cooked to your liking. Add a good sprinkle of good quality sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper and serve immediately with your choice of protein.

2.  Zoodles (pasta free zucchini noodles)

If you love your spaghetti but are trying to avoid pasta and starchy carbohydrates, these are just the best thing ever!

What you will need:

  • 2-3 zucchinis/courgettes per person
  • Sea salt
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh Lemon Juice
  • A vegetable spiraliser (or you can use a vegetable peeler for a ‘fettucine effect’ if you don’t have a spiraliser)

How to pull it together:

Create the zucchini noodles using a vegetable spiraliser (see note below).  Place noodles in a colander, sprinkle liberally with good quality sea salt, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and drizzle with a splash of olive oil.  Toss and let sit for about 30 minutes.  You will find a lot of liquid leaves the noodles which means that they will shrink down quite a bit.

You can heat them up before serving, or have them raw – they are delicious both ways!

NOTE:  I have tried many spiralisers to make vegetable ‘noodles’ and the GEFU Spiral Slicer Spiral Fix is by far the easiest and most effective I’ve used.

If you like the idea of Zucchini noodles and want more inspiration I have used Zucchini noodles previously with the delicious Dina’s Tomato Sauce here, my Salmon with Pesto Zucchini Noodles here and we absolutely love our zucchini noodle ‘spaghetti bolognese’ here!

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3.  Slow Cooked Tomatoes

These are the best!  So easy to pull together and pack a huge punch of flavour to any meal or salad.   Again, this is a perfect accompaniment to a barbeque, but is also delicious for breakfast with eggs and sauteed spinach and mushrooms.

Lay out some small tomatoes (I used baby roma tomatoes on the vine here but cherry tomatoes, or halved tomatoes also works well).  Drizzle with some olive oil, sprinkle some torn basil leaves, sea salt and cracked pepper and cook in a moderate oven for a good 30 – 45 minutes or until well cooked to your liking.

 

 

4.  Cauliflower Rice

This is seriously so easy it doesn’t even really qualify as a recipe!  If you have a thermomix, simply pop half a head of cauliflower into the mixing bowl and chop in reverse speed 5 for about 5 seconds.  If you are using a food processor, put the roughly chopped cauliflower into the bowl and pulse until it reaches a texture you like.  Cauliflower rice is brilliant with curries, stir fries, as fried ‘rice’.  A perfect substitute for rice for those looking to avoid grains or starchy carbs.

Feel free to play around with your seasoning, a bit of lemon juice, sea salt and cracked pepper or some spices such as chilli, cumin, paprika or even cinnamon are all delicious!

I love to throw some lemon zest, a squeeze of the juice and some green shallots (spring onion) into the machine with the cauliflower for a lemon zesty ‘rice’.

9k=-15.  Zesty Salsa

I love a tasty little salsa.  This one is delicious served with my healthy nachoschilli mince or with my gluten free chicken schnitzel or a barbequed piece of fish or steak.  It is zesty and tasty and takes no time to prepare!

Don’t be restricted what I’ve used here – you can use what you’ve got in the fridge, some organic corn kernels or rinsed baby salted capers would be nice here too.  The idea is to create a fresh and zesty mix of flavours to jazz up your meal!

(serves 2-4 as a side dish)

What you will need:

  • 1 Avocado diced
  • 1 cucumber peeled and diced
  • A handful of button mushrooms diced
  • 1/2 red capsicum diced
  • 1 green chilli (seeded) finely chopped
  • 1 roma tomato or a few cherry tomatoes diced
  • 1/4 red onion finely chopped
  • About a 1/4 cup of fresh Coriander leaves (cilantro)

For the dressing:

  • The juice of 1-2 limes (depending on your taste)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper

How to Pull It All Together:

Shake or whisk all the dressing ingredents together.  Combine the chopped up veggies into a bowl.  Gently toss the veggies with the dressing and serve!

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I hope that some of these ideas inspire you!  I have a few more up my sleeve for the third installment of Jazzing Up Your Veggies – Shrinking Hubby style! Stay tuned!  And don’t forget to like me on FacebookInstagram or Pinterest for more ideas to create healthy meals for you and your family!

Enjoy XX

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